tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 3, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PST
and trial and cruise crucifixion were found. >> reporter: evidence for the faithful in this city under god. >> thank you so much, david gregory. the new season of "finding jesus" begins sunday night at 9:00 eastern on cnn. thanks for joining us and have a great weekend. "ac 360" starts right now. tonight, new re lagss about previously undisclosed contact between russia and trump associates. recently president trump is back at mar-a-lago tonight, called russia a ruse and when asked if such contact took place during the campaign said, quote, i have nothing to do with russia and, quote, no person i deal with does. that said, the stories keep coming about former aides, the attorney general, his son-in-law, talking the russian ambassadors during or after the campaign, not uncommon or improper. it's the denial, nondisclosure and the rest raising questions and driving a string of investigati investigations.
in a moment, carter page, who first denied and now admitted to meeting with moscow's man in washington will clarify what that was about. first latest from jim acosta. >> reporter: when then candidate donald trump delivered a foreign policy speech in washington last april, russian ambassador to the u.s. sergey kislyak was in the audience listening in as the real estate tycoon calld for better relations with the kremlin. >> i believe an easing of tensions, improved relss with russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. >> reporter: three months later -- former campaign adviser j.d. gordon tells cnn he and foreign affairs correspondent, jill dougherty policy adviser carter page discussed u.s. russia relations with the ambassador. jared kush merer in and michael flynn also sat down with the ambassador at a previously
undisclosed meeting at trump tower in december. now republicans are saying it's time for bhiswhite house offici to tell all. >> i think everybody ooh who's had any contact with the russians need to be in the practice of oversharing. >> reporter: the president pushed back about his campaign's contacts with the russians. >> i have nothing to do with it, nothing to do with russia. >> reporter: fighting back tweeting this photo of vladimir putin and chuck schumer from 2003 calling the new york democrat a total hypocrite. schumer responded he's willing to talk about his contact with putin under oath. asking the president would you and your team? >> i have recused myself in the matters that deal with the trump campaign. >> reporter: democrats warn jeff sessions' recusal from the russian investigation may only be the beginning. >> a recusal is an admission that something was wrong. >> jim, the president has responded today. what did he say? >> reporter: that's right. he's pointing out there are
other people in washington who appear to be suffering from some amnesia when it comes to meeting with the russian ambassador. we can put this tweet up on screen. this came from the president earlier this afternoon. it shows a picture of the house minority leader nancy pelosi sitting down around a lunch table it appears with the russian ambassador sergey kislyak and this came after nancy pelosi denied she'd ever met with him. now, she did fire back with a tweet of her own, we can put that on screen, she had a response saying that the president does not know the difference between an official meeting photographed by the press and closed secret meeting that his attorney general lied about under oath. trying to make the distinction it was a meeting photographed by the press whereas jeff sessions simply forgot or did not tell the truth about his meeting. one of the outgoing questions about all of this is what about hillary clinton's campaign.
i reached out to a former top official with the clinton campaign who said nobody from the campaign, no high-level officials in tham campaign ever met with the russian ambassador, trying to push back from a democratic standpoint against this pushback you might say from the white house, that just about everybody here in washington met with the russian ambassador. the clinton campaign, one official saying that did not happen when it comes to top officials with that campaign. >> thanks. more on one of the two campaign advisers other than the attorney general who met with the russian ambassador during the convention, carter page, a name that might be familiar because it keeps coming up again and again in reports regarding the trump campaign or white house. we'll talk to him. first background from jim sciutto. >> we heard you might be announcing your foreign policy advisory team soon. >> carter page, ph.d. >> reporter: march 2016, carter page's name is announced publicly by then candidate
donald trump. page was nope for as a businessman than a foreign policy expert. he is an energy exec tiff and former investment banker with ties to russia. he lived in moscow for three years while working for merrill lynch. during that time he worked as an adviser to gas prom, the russian-controlled energy giant now run by a former aide of vladimir putin when he was the mayor of st. petersburg in the 1990s. in 2008, page came back to new york and founded his own company, global energy cap tam llc. page also started writing columns for global policy and academic journal where he was critical of sanctions. and of the obama administration's relationship with russia. three months after page is named as one of trump's adviser he attended a meeting of foreign policy experts in washington and according to "the washington post" he stunned the crowd by praising russian president vladimir putin, also saying a trump presidency would be good for u.s. russia relations. a month later page was in moscow
for a speech at the new economic school. he told the crowd he didn't want to comment on the u.s. election but was sharply critical of u.s. foreign policy. >> a failure of u.s. analysts and leaders to consider these principles as often allowed washington to disregard proposed ideas that are actually not contrary to america's interests. >> reporter: it was during this trip to moscow he allegedly met with russian nationals who were under u.s. sanctions. an allegation that page has denied multiple times. >> did you have any meetings with russian officials last year in russia, outside russia, anywhere? >> i had no meetings, no meetings. i might have said hello to a few people, you know, as they're walking by me at my graduation -- the graduation speech i gave in july.
i think it's a political stunt from the get-go. >> reporter: months after trump named him to his foreign policy advisory team, a trump spokesman gave him a new moniker, informal adviser. one month later communications director jason miller changed his status again writing in an e-mail to the hill, he's never been part of our campaign, period. after the election, the trump white house continues to deny any close connection between carter page and their campaign. >> carter page is an individual who the president-elect does not know and was put on notice months ago by the campaign. >> reporter: carter page later said while he was part of the foreign policy team he did not work directly with mr. trump and did not work on anything substantial relating to russia policy. jim sciutto. >> carter page joins us now. thanks for being here. what you said to judy woodruff
and last night on nbc. she asked you did you have any meetings with russian officials outside russia anywhere, you said no meetings, repeated it three times. last night you say to chris hayes you don't deny talking with russia's u.s. ambassador over the summer at a conference at the republican convention. that sounds like you were misleading to judy woodruff. >> anderson, a great analogy is you and i were members of the same health club here in new york previously. and i remember walking by you even though we didn't know each other and i said, hi, anderson, and you said hello and we, you know, i a nice little exchange for half a second. does that to you constitute a meeting? >> we've met but it's not a meeting. >> exactly. thanks a lot. i will not talk about anything that happened in off the record meetings. there's plenty of people in
washington i know -- >> but when judy said did you have any meetings last year with russian officials in russia, outside russia, you could have just said, well, i, you know, did attend a conference and was in a meeting with the russian ambassador at the republican national convention. because that sounds like more than just saying hello to him. >> it was literally -- you know, the amount of time you and i walk by each other and, you know, greeted each other, it's about -- again, i don't talk about off the record confidential information. everyone that attended that -- >> if all you said was hi, ambassador, that's not a confidential conversation. >> the fact that we were -- i wouldn't even be talking about this if someone hadn't leaked it to "usa today." >> okay. but last night -- you met the russian ambassador at this conference in cleveland. >> i don't feel comfortable -- >> last night you said you don't deny it. >> i do not deny these reports,
which is just totally getting this entire story out of context. >> off the record meeting -- >> instead of talking about real substance, real crimes that were committed last year during the election against me, you know, human rights violations by the -- >> i've read your letter to the department of justice. happy to talk to you about it. but i want to clear this up because it appears you were misleading. you said no meetings, no meetings. off the record means you're not going to talk about the details of what were discussed but you can say, yeah, i had a meeting. >> it's exactly like you just said to me. it was not a meeting. our thing in our health club saying hello -- >> did you speak to the russian ambassador more than ten seconds? >> never more than -- again, i don't want to talk specifics but i can assure i've never spoken with ambassador kiselak more than ten seconds. yeah. that's a safe statement. >> okay. >> i would not be talking about this if there weren't leakers --
>> right. it's already been reported out there. there is confusion about your role in the campaign. in march last year, candidate trump identified you by name as part of his foreign policy team. the next day you tell "the new york times" you've been sending policy papers to the campaign. august 24, calls you an informal adviser who doesn't speak for mr. trump or the campaign. a month later, jason miller says mr. page is not an adviser, made no contribution to the campaign, said i never spoke to him, wouldn't reck if he was sitting next to you. this is what president trump said about you last month. >> i don't think i've ever spoken to him or ever met him. and he actually said he was a very low-level member of i think a committee for a short period of time. i don't think i ever met him. it's possible i walked into a room and he was sitting there but i don't think i ever met him. i didn't talk to him ever. and he thought it was a joke.
>> let me ask you. did you ever -- you were apparently -- shay thai said early on you were an adviser to the campaign, a foreign policy adviser. did you ever brief donald trump as a candidate or as a president-elect? >> president trump said it absolutely 110% accurate. i never briefed him -- in reality -- >> did you ever meet him? >> i never shook his hand. i've been in many rallies with him from arizona to north dakota to many in new york. >> rallies. >> rallies. you know, which is meetings. so -- >> let me ask you about that, because you have said repeatedly you were in meetings with the president. >> that's it. >> in your opinion moscow in december of 2016, held a press conference at the sputnik headquarters and apparently to reporters you denied claims you had never met donald trump during your time as adviser and said i've certainly been in a number of meetings with him.
that implies i'm in a meeting, in a conference room around a table. you're now saying those meetings were actually rallies. >> that is -- listen, if you look at the definition of meeting in russian and in a russian context, when they have large -- >> do you speak russian? >> yeah. >> really. >> i get by. i can understand what's happening in meetings and i can get my ideas across but it's pretty ugly. >> you're saying you were using the russian definition of meetings. so the hundreds of thousands of people who have been to rallies -- >> not -- i've been in smaller rallies -- >> hundreds or tens of thousands of people who have been to donald trump rallies, can they say they've been in meetings with donald trump? >> i've been in smaller ones as well. >> what's the small snes have you been in a meeting where foreign policy was discussed? >> anderson, listen, they were often discussed in rallies, et cetera, as well. >> i know. but if i go to a rally of donald trump's it doesn't mean i'm an
adviser to donald trump. it doesn't mean i'm going to a meeting with donald trump. i happen to be -- i'm at a rally. you went to a bunch of donald trump rallies. >> things like that, exactly. >> you gave quote to cnn if january, saying i spent many hours in meetings with him and then said but defined in the russian sense of meetings participating in some of the incredible rallies of the organizer of the country from bismarck, north dakota, events in new york, i got to understand what he was talking about. i think to a lot of people that's going to sound like when you're saying one thing at russia in a press conference that you were many meetings with donald trump, that makes you sound important that you were in meetings and then to say actually what i meant was i was using the russian definition and i was actually in rallies with tens of thousands of other people. >> 990% of the students from th university and other media people that came to that meeting that briefing, the presentation i gave, were russians. so when they, you know, have
demonstrations and gatherings in the square or other places, the term for that is meetings. so i would -- >> you're being described on russian television as an important foreign policy adviser to the president of the united states. when you say you were in meetings, it -- if i hear you're an adviser to the president i would think you'd be in more than a rally in bismarck in north dakota. >> this is where things get totally misfocused. i mean, this -- i described the fact that i was, you know, similarly in low-level position and has stated, informal, unpaid adviser. it's just a big distraction from the real lives that are out there, kind of going back to the point you were talking about with the sanctions, et cetera. >> quick break. more on the other side.
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that was in march. in august they say you're informal adviser. a month later jason miller says you're not an adviser and have made no contribution to the campaign and you say you've been sending policy papers to the campaign as far back as in march. >> i never met jason miller. i think he. >> jonathan:ed kind of midsummer and -- >> did you write policy papers and send them to the campaign? >> i don't like talking about specifics of -- >> because you told "the new york times" you did on march 25th. >> that's fair enough. >> can you say who you sent policy papers to? >> i don't -- you know, i don't talk about internal matters. >> but they are saying you were not part of the campaign at all. >> i'm not surprised. he didn't know me because he was there until -- you know, he came over from ted cruz's -- >> nobody came out after jason miller said this and said that's not true. carter page has been an adviser to the campaign.
>> you know, the beauty of it -- part of the reason why i stepped back is i wanted to prevent continuing to be a distraction and this cycle -- >> you say step back. they said you weren't part of it to begin with, which is just weird. >> you know, jason didn't know. i mean, he was -- it's an honest mistake. he was on a few months between ted cruz's campaign and moving on to someone else right now. >> so when sean spicer january 11th two months ago says carter page is an individual who the president-elect does not know and was put on notice months ago by the campaign, what does that mean? put on notice for what? >> i don't know. i haven't met mr. spicer either. so -- >> there was a report in the daily caller that the trump campaign set you cease and desist letters after the relationship with the campaign -- do you know about that? >> i don't know about that.
>> you did not receive any cease or desist letters or attorneys or anything. >> you know, i -- nothing -- you know, nothing specific that -- there's nothing that really came up in that regard, yeah. >> okay. i have to push you on this. does that mean there were no letters or you can't talk about it? >> you know what, no material -- i mean, anderson, this all revolves around large lies that were told against me for literally a year. >> i'm trying to clarify. >> such a minor point. >> it goes to credibility of -- sean spicer is saying you were put on notice and then there's this report. if you don't want to comment on it, that's fine. >> i have no comment. i will say a lot of the people i worked with were some of the most supportive, positive people, you know, throughout the
entire time right up to the very be -- right up to the very end. that's what matters. >> when you were saying you were working with people on the campaign, what does that mean? were there actual meetings that you and other policy advisers had? was it just -- because back then when president trump said your name, i know he wasn't candidate trump, he was under pressure to name names of foreign policy team because he delayed doing that. were there actual meetings or -- >> you know, i have no comment on that because i mean what he said the night of the election is this is not a campaign, this is a movement. and i very much see myself as, you know, a supporter. that's probably the best definition of myself. >> so in july 7 of 2016 wow yao went to moscow, gave a lecture at the new economic school, we saw part of it. can you say who paid for your trip or how that came about? was that a paid speech? was that a russian organization that paid for it? >> i was invited by the
university. i was patd zero, anderson. a big goose egg. so, you know -- and again, this is the story -- >> your travel -- >> some reporter said someone told them today that -- and i get this call i was paid $100,000. and again, this is -- things that are -- it's this red herring technique where let's -- >> we want to clarify with you. obviously the allegations are the russian government does fund, you know, people who might be supporting their policies to come to moscow and speak or whatever and give them speaker fees or whatever. you weren't paid. did they pay your travel? >> in economy class. >> okay. >> an hour flight. >> the university -- >> less than a $1,000 ticket. >> did the campaign -- at that point you were still being called an adviser to the campaign. they said you were absolutely an adviser to the cam pin. did the campaign know about your
trip to russia in advance? >> people knew about it, yeah. >> because you told "the washington post" in september 26 you said you made it clear to senior trump campaign staff at the time that you were going to russia you were acting in a personal capacity and they approved your trip in advance with the understanding no campaign issues would be discussed. is that true? >> not only is that true, what happened when i was in moscow as opposed to the dodgy dossier fake intel report -- >> which we've never reported -- cnn has never reported any details of what was in that dossier nor would i ask you about the details in it. >> there's nothing to ask. everything about me is completely false and jursz st inaccurate. this rosneft brought by glen corp. company founded by marc rich, who's -- long history there you probably remember. >> before we get to that, can you say who gave you a heads up
from the trump campaign to go to moscow? who said it was okay? you told "the new york times" i guess you talked to senior campaign -- or trump campaign staff at the time. you made it clear to senior trump campaign staff at the time you were going. >> anderson, i've never -- i don't like putting my name with someone else in the campaign because i've literally been public enemy number one. i'm constantly being attacked thanks to this false evidence. so if i start telling you names, literally those people are going to get dozens of calls. >> you did tell somebody in the campaign you were going and they approved it. >> people were fine with it. >> people were fine with it. while you were there, the question you were going to, did you meet with anyone connected with or potentially affiliated with the russian government or who may have reported back to the russian government? >> listen, i don't know what -- for me, you know, people are -- >> somebody in a hallway. >> intel supposedly according to
news reports kind of following what's been happening and in my travels and my communications -- >> who you were talking to and how they're connected to whatever. did you hold meetings where you talked about, you know, the elections of hillary clinton? can you say anything about who you actually met with? >> scholars. you know, i was speaking as the graduation speaker at new economic school. and so you know, talking with professors, students, members of faculty. >> conversations about sanctions, what future foreign policy might be under a trump administration? can you say what the conversations were about? >> general -- i mean these are foreign policy experts and so, you know, we're talking about that. you know. >> about the campaign, though? >> nothing -- nothing serious about the campaign. you know, some -- people may -- look, i've been going there since 1991.
my first trip while i was at anal l annapol annapolis. i've never seen so much excitement -- >> back in '91. >> it was very similar because i think u.s. foreign policy has been so severely mismanaged for many decades that having someone who -- or the possibility that there may be some change at some point over the horizon led to an incredible level of optimism. >> this is an obvious question to ask but at this point when you were there, the revelations about hacking of the dnc had not -- it was not in the forefront. that was later on in the month. so i think it's important to remember that time line. >> good point. >> obvious question, though. did anybody there talk to you about, you know, what they call compromat in russia against hillary clinton, about anything having to do with russian policy, russian thoughts on the campaign. >> anderson, not only did they
not talk about it then, they've never said -- no one has ever said -- no russian person has ever said one word to me ever, you know, in the -- from -- to this very day. >> what do you mean, about -- >> yeah, about that issue you just raised. exactly. >> about hacking. >> yeah. >> so any allegations that you coordinated or colluded with russians during the campaign you deny? >> not only deny it, it's just so false that it's, you know, completely -- it's a joke. it just -- it shows how dishonest and, you know, illegal the actions of the clinton campaign were. john podesta, rob b robbie mook are giving false reports about -- >> you -- i read your complaint for the department of justice. a little odd i have to say.
you're saying the clinton campaign was targeting you in part because you're catholic and also because you're a man. >> you know, there's a very long list reasons why they were taking discriminatory action. it's hard to -- >> hate crimes and based on your religion and the fact that you were a male. >> you know, there is -- compared to that 35-page dodgy dossier, everything in my letter is factual and the difference between the two documents is there's a lot of additional evidence backing up all of my claims. i can -- >> campaign were catholic. >> well, you know, i don't want to get into specifics and discussions but there were definitely a lot of -- there's a lot of evidence and, you know, we can talk -- that's a longer discussion we can talk about. >> quickly the investigation. has anyone from the fbi or any intelligence service or any law enforcement service contacted you for an interview?
have you given an interview or anyone from the intelligence communities or members of congress? >> no one from after -- from the doj or fbi or any member the executive branch of government has ever contacted me over the course of the last year. i was actually excited when i got back from my trip overseas yesterday because i received a letter from -- you were asking about committees as well. i got a nice letter from the senate select intelligence committee asking me to preserve my -- some of my information for, you know -- >> just got that yesterday. >> well, it was dated a couple weeks ago but i've been traveling to last few weeks. but, you know, i was very excited about it because everything that's been -- that we're talking about here is based on false information. so even though it's a little bit 1984-esque that, you know, we want to kind of look at my e-mails or stuff --
>> they've asked you -- routine in an investigation but to preserve any documents that may relate to your travels or any connections you may have had. >> yeah. the nice thing about it is you mentioned the -- there was a brief clip with the attorney general's statement yesterday. it didn't include the full statement which was, you know, recusing himself for all investigations related to campaigns, plural, not just trump campaigns, which is the focus of the first part of the statement. but open to all elements. so, you know, i'm cautiously optimistic -- >> you were called to testify, you would testify? >> i would be happy to testify. and, you know, but i would be more happy if there were -- i hope that the senate -- i actually tried dialling the number for the senate contact -- senate select committee's contact to make sure that they're doing both campaigns and going to look at the very clear
evidence of interfering in the election and kind of using the intelligence community to -- for political acts to support -- >> the clinton campaign. for that. do you believe that -- >> it's clear. is there any -- >> do you believe that russia hacked into the dnc computers, tried to influence the u.s. election? >> i don't -- again, i don't know anything about that. so -- >> you know that the chinton campaign tried to, what, subvert or ip influence the intelligence community but you don't foe, you can't say whether russia tried to influence the u.s. election even though the entire intelligence community says that happened. >> well, it's interesting. in my letter -- you know, it's another political stunt in my view. and if you read -- >> what's a political stunt? someone is going to say you're a guy who has business dealings in russia.
you need to make -- that's how you living so it's understandable you wouldn't want to be publicly saying russia was hacking into u.s., but can you sit here and say you don't have any belief or you can't even imagine that moscow might do that? >> i don't imagine -- you know, i don't think about those things, anderson. all i know -- >> you said you spent a lot of time in russia and you don't think about what russian intelligence is capable of? >> what i think about -- >> you're telling me you don't carry a second phone when you go to moscow because you know they're going to hack into your phone? everybody who goes to moscow does that. do you do that? >> yeah, i have a second phone. >> you carry a second phone because you know russian ru intelligence is likely to hack into your phone but you can't imagine that russian intelligence would hack into the dnc? >> i didn't say -- i didn't say that. what i said was -- if you didn't use a second phone in russia, i have to tell you you should because you're the only person who does business in russia who doesn't do that.
>> like i said, i do have that. >> you're concerned about them hacking you or listening in on you -- >> that's not my concern. listen, i think what you have is the if you read through that intel report -- i actually have a good analysis of that in my letter. >> your legitimacy on this, your credibility on this seems under question if you're completely unwilling to look at anything russia may or may not have done to even entertain the notion that vladimir putin would be capable -- i read some quote you read during your speech in moscow and i wish i had it in front of me, basically it's a quote by vladimir putin which says -- here it is. he said we never med until the internal political affairs of other countries unlike the u.s. do you believe vuten? >> i think that was a conversation he had with fareed zakaria. >> you read that quote out. do you believe that quote, they don't med until the internal political affairs of other countries? >> the point i was trying to
make is that i don't -- i don't -- i'm not here -- i made very clear i was not there as part of the trump camp -- trump campaign. i was there at as a private citizen. >> as a private citizen, do you believe russia meddles in the internal political affairs of other countries? >> i don't know anything about that. >> you don't know anything about that? >> based on that intel report, it's all politics. if you raid -- >> i have to jump in here. i have only have an undergraduate degree so i'm not as educated as you are, but i've studied russian and the soviet union a fair amount. you honestly can say -- you have a ph.d. you honestly can say about you don't know whether russia meddles in the internal affairs of other countries? >> in the context of my life all the approach by the clinton campaign to drag my name out -- >> you're not making sense. you can tell me, yeah, i do not believe russia meddles in the internal affairs of other
countries or yes i believe they do. >> listen i mean, you know, they may -- i think all countries, you know, are -- certainly the u.s., if you look at what happened in ukraine, right, on -- >> the u.s. meddled in internal -- of course. the cia -- >> exactly. i think that's a fair statement. >> all right. carter page, i appreciate you talking with us. thank you very much. we'll get the panel's take when we come back. by the time you head to the bank and wait to get approved for a home loan, that newly listed, mid-century ranch with the garden patio will be gone. or you could push that button. [dong] [rocket launching] skip the bank, skip the waiting, and go completely online. get the confidence that comes from a secure, qualified mortgage approval in minutes. lift the burden of getting a home loan with rocket mortgage by quicken loans. [whisper: rocket] you need one of these. you wouldn't put up with an umbrella that covers you part way,
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for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. before the break you heard carter page, former trump foreign policy adviser saying he doesn't deny meeting -- didn't deny talking. we talked about many things including the parameters of his relationship with candidate trump and how his relationship with the campaign oddly came to an end. >> carter page is an individual who the president-elect does not know and was put on notice months ago by the campaign.
put on notice for what? >> i don't know. i haven't met mr. spicer either. so -- >> there was a report in the daily caller that the trump campaign set you cease and desist letters after the relationship with the campaign -- do you know about that? >> i don't know about that. >> you did not receive any cease or desist letters or attorneys or anything. >> you know, i -- nothing -- you know, nothing specific that -- there's nothing that really came up in that regard, yeah. >> okay. jo joinings now our panel. maggie, you heard what carter page said. what do you make of it? >> it was a long interview. my take-away was he tried very hard not to answer most pointed questions, wouldn't give basic answers to what you asked repeatedly and did a nice job of trying to nail him down on
specifics about his meeting or meetings or how many there were. he wouldn't go there, declined to say a yes-or-no question to whether he believes or acknowledges that russia meddles in other countries' elections but he was pointed about what the u.s. does and very pointed and adamant that this is a campaign against him by the democrats and by the clinton campaign. i guess i don't really know what he thinks he's accomplishing by doing these interviews throughout the week if he doesn't have more that he's going to say. i am mostly struck that his story changed from as recently as two weeks ago, you know -- >> judy woodruff. >> that's right. and still declining to sort of put it out on the table. if you're going to to this, that's generally the school of thought. i don't see how keeping this alive helps him or the trump white house. >> if there's no "there" there and there may not be, why not just have the white house come forward and say, yeah, jeff sessions met and carter page met
and then spell it all out? >> the big question that everybody acknowledges that meeting with ambassadors is not an unusual thing to do. so why not disclose it. jeff sessions says he forgot about it. but it was a meeting that hadn't happened that long ago and also in the context of an election where there was russian interference in the election. so i think it does seem like the type of thing you might remember or the people who were in the meeting with him maybe afterwards would have said, hey, you need to correct the record because you forgot to mention it. i think with carter page it seems a little like he exaggerated his role on the trump administration and it was a very awkward interview, why he came on when he doesn't want to answer basic questions about who he met with, why would that be confidential if you, you know, ran into somebody at a conference isn't really clear to me. >> carl bernstein, a long history of covering all sorts of phones. what do you make of carter page? >> one, i thought it was an excruciating interview to watch.
he looked like a deer caught in headlights. what i came away with is here is someone who may have been used by the russians and may have been used by the trump campaign and perhaps rather cruelly in both instances. i don't know. but let's cut to the chase here. there's a cover-up going on. we can't tell yet what the cover frup the trump administration and from mr. flynn and mr. sessions who have lied is about. but there is a cover-up going on. people are trying to keep us and investigators from knowing what all of these goings-on are about, people around donald trump and russians, russian nationals, ethnorussians, and the campaign. that's what all of this about. we don't know yet what it goes to, but clearly the president of the united states and those around him ip chncluding jeff sessions, who was the head of his national security adviser advisory team, appointed the same day as the man you just interviewed to be the head of
the national security adviser advisory team for the campaign, we don't know what it is they don't want us to know or why it is they don't want us to know, but it's clear they don't want us to know a damn thing. >> jack, is it fair to say there's a cover snup. >> -- cover snup. >> absolutely not. jeff sessions certainly did not lie under oath. he answered a question. the question never was were you involved as a campaign or as a surrogate. >> wait a minute. that's ridiculous. if i say to you have you and i ever met and you say no, you've never met me because you and i have only met as a political analyst, i've never actually met you as a congressman, we've still met. >> this is what franken's question was. and i'm going to kind of cut in the middle of it. but it says any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the russian governments in the curse of this campaign, what will you
do? >> but he volunteered that he had not. >> he said as surrogate i have not been -- >> come on. it was at the rnc. >> let me ask this. as a member of congress who served on the defense committee -- >> why was he at the republican national convention, as a member of the senate or a surrogate -- >> he spoke to 50 ambassadors and to later go out and -- >> was that his first or second meeting with the russian ambassador? either one he met with the russian ambassador. >> but that was never the question. i absolutely positively believe he answered it correctly. i think -- >> if somebody says -- if somebody says have i ever met congressman jack kingston, i can say no because you're no longer a congressman and i met you as a political analyst. if they said have you met political analyst jack kingston, i can say yes. >> the crux of the question -- >> are people watching this? >> -- has anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated
with the russian government in the course of this campaign? what will you do? they never ask him -- >> i guess what -- >> this is the transcript. >> i guess you have to wonder then if that is the case, if the feeling is that the question asked and answered, then why did the attorney general recuse himself from any possible -- >> i think he's trying to get the issue off the table, did the right thing. the democrats can't get over it so they're trying to grab onto this russian thing. >> jonathan? >> i'm in keirsten's camp at least about the interview. there are a number of people like that in the trump campaign because it kind of came out of nowhere and had to gather advisers together. he was a hanger-on. i think he had no influence. what struck me from the interview when you were asking questions is he was trying to make himself important but every time you asked a question -- for example, you asked him twice, did the campaign know about your trip and his answer was not the campaign, he said people knew.
does that mean his dry cleaner knew, his grosser? >> he told "the new york times" he told a senior campaign person but -- >> i take no second chair to want to skewer donald trump. >> absolutely. >> in this case -- >> make bernstein look -- >> the idea they were using him as an emissary seems highly unlikely. >> highly unlikely. i'm skeptical. i think generally where we're at is there are -- it's plausible some of this happened and it's normal and yet you could also make an argue amount that there's something untoward. these are the two things i would suggest. one is trump has the ability to declassify all these conversation conversations, intercepts, garbage that people are talking about anonymously, he should do that and you guys should call for a special prosecutor, get this on the table, all thrashed through. >> one thing we learned from the clinton campaign is the slow drip, drip, drip that plagued
her campaign as related to the e-mails in benghazi, the server, had she come out at united nations and put it to rest, she might have done better. what we see with the trump campaign and now the white house is this constant question about russia. what i would suggest to the white house is put it to rest. if there's -- i don't think there's anything to hide. i don't think there's anything untoward about a sitting united states senator speaking to russian ambassador ls. they all do this. there's plenty of tweets about this particular ambassador tweeting and talking -- republicans and democrats. >> mccaskill forgot about it. >> there's nothing untoward about it. but the question is when you look at somebody like carter page, it was evident from the interview he was by no means advising the campaign or necessarily the candidate. >> clearly it seems you think back to march, drurp was under
pressure to name people who are in his foreign policy national security cabinet. so he comes up with five names and carter page is one of them. again -- >> he was at a big rally. >> carl, does that make sense to you? >> he looks as someone who was perhaps used by both the trump campaign and by the russians. >> carl, i don't agree. >> what we do know, i think one thing is absolutely true. i think you are correct, that they were stacking up quickly or looking like they were staffing up quickly. what you are seeing now, in addition to the white house has had a tradition and before that, the trump campaign have had a history of not laying their cards on the table.
michael flynn is not the same as carter page. this is true that they have a pervasive truth problem. in the fact that they have repeatedly said things that were not true or later proved not to be true. so to them, this is a situation where you're asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt. you doesn't know n't know what'. there's a veneer. >> we need to remember what this is about from the beginning. and that is about the fact by the intelligence agencies of the united states, 16 or 17 of them, of finding that the russians interfered in the presidential campaign, in the presidential campaign. this is a huge event in international relations, and what we need is forthright openness, from the trump white house and those in the trump campaign. that's what we're not getting, and that's why we're all exercising these questions, and there are so many investigations
going on. >> we've got to take a break. much more to talk about in the next hour. the fear of the children evacuated now and the wave of threats against jewish organizations. the suspect may come as a surprise. with heat. unlike creams and rubs that mask the pain, thermacare has patented heat cells that penetrate deep to increase circulation and accelerate healing. let's review: heat, plus relief, plus healing, equals thermacare. the proof that it heals is you. you're gonna love birds eye steamwait for it.bles. in about five minutes you get delicious, premium veggies, steamed to perfection. now! ♪ ahhhhhhhhhhh... mmmm heavenly, right? birds eye steamfresh. so veggie good. g new cars. you're smart. you already knew that. but it's also great for finding the perfect used car. you'll see what a fair price is, and you can connect with a truecar certified dealer. now you're even smarter. this is truecar.
the investigation into bomb threats against jewish institutions nationwide has led to st. louis. it involves just a fraction of those directed at jewish community centers in the course of the year. parents have pulled kids from programs. we have more on today's arrest. >> reporter: federal authorities say 31-year-old juan thompson is behind at least eight of the threats against jewish institutions across four states. why did he do it? authorities say to get back at an ex-lover. using a fake e-mail account, thompson allegedly pinned some of the attacks on his ex. she is behind the bomb threats against jews. the next day authorities say he phoned in a bomb threat to the
adl and disguised his voice. he is a former journalist from st. louis and sometimes participated in panel discussions on social issues. >> and everyone i knew, everyone i grew up with, the people i interview, whether they be in ferguson or baltimore, the young people, like i did, at one point in my life when i was younger, they desire something more. >> reporter: at one point, thompson wrote for the online publication "the intercept." the editor in chief there said he was fired early last year after he fabricated quotes and sources, a claim thompson denied in a previous interview with cnn. now at the center of accusations again. according to the criminal complaint related to the bomb threats, thompson even went as far as making it seem like his ex was framing him, sending an e mail to a jewish school, saying juan thompson put two bombs in your school, he is eager for jewish newtown.
need to stop this nasty, racist girl. the phone threats were the culmination of seven months of harassment and intimidation toward his ex. the arrest which received praise came on the day comey met with leaders to discuss the attacks. >> does the fbi have any leads on who's behind the dozens of other threats? >> reporter: well, anderson, you saw the fbi director meeting with those faith leaders. he told them this is a top priority for the agency. they believe that either one person or the same group of people are likely behind a majority of these threats that we've really seen in several waves across the country. they also think a majority of those calls are originating from somewhere overseas. so certainly good news to see this arrest and there's hope that more arrests are coming in the future.
>> much more ahead in the next hour of 360, on the revelations of previously undisclosed contacts between the trump administration and russia. next, ahead. 100% of our food is 100% clean. no artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors, or colors. panera. food as it should be. anyone ever have occasional constipation,diarrhea, gas or bloating? she does. she does.
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