tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 9, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
>> were computer servers owned by a russian bank and trump communicating with each other. what does it have to do with his tweet storm accusing president obama of tabbing his phones. he and seven others met with director james comby and let's turn to the server story. pamela brown reporter has been looking into it. let's start things off. what have you learned about the investigation? >> we learned fbi investigators
and scientists examine whether there was a connection between the trump organization and a russian bank called alpha bank according to several sources familiar with the investigation. this is the same server mentioned in a breitbart article that a white house official said sparked trump's series of tweets accusing investigators of tapping his phone. there was no fisa warrant on the server. questions about the server and the russian bank were dismissed as an attempt to block spam, but we are learning that the fbi's counter intelligence team said the 2016 election is still examining it and one official said the server relationship is odd and seen as perflexing and determined what was behind the activity and there was significance to it. the fbi declined to comment and
they did not respond to the request for comment. >> it's confusing. this russian bank looked up and the internet address with the server in the u.s., while there is not necessarily a phone call, it indicates an intention to communicate according to several we spoke to. a group that include these leaked records that were never supposed to make public, they were puzzled as to why they were doing this. was it trying to send an e-mail and they couldn't tell. last summer during the presidential campaign, they looked up the address to this trump corporate server 2800 times. that's more look ups than they received from any other source.
the only other entity for trump server was spectrum health, the husband of betsy devos appointed as the president as u.s. education secretary. the computer scientist found it plain weird. all the corporations said they never communicated with the trump organization by e-mail and they haven't provided any proof and don't agree to what the explanation is. for example, they think they were receiving trump hotel marketing last summer, but have not provided them with a back up to that theory. the american marketing company that would have been sending trump e-mails said it wasn't doing that at the time and they said not a single executive had any affiliation with the president or the trump organization. neither alpha binge or principals have or have had any
c contact with trump or his organization. this remains a mystery. >> thanks so much. as that story was breaking late this afternoon, fbi director james comey was briefing the gang of eight with the chairman and ranking members of the two intelligence committees. what do we know about the briefing? do we know what was discussed? >> they talked about russia and part of this growing investigation is happening on capitol hill as well as the fbi inquiry that is happening by the attempts to influence the election and whether or not there were any improper contacts that occurred between trump associations and people tied to the kremlin. they get the most sensitive information on capitol hill. they would not answer a single question. they had an community to ask him about an issue he has been in
the middle of since trump tweeted over the weekend that he was spied on by president obama. we learned that comey himself was upset at the tweets and asked the main justice department to knock down the story. this was an opportunity for them to ask if there was any evidence of the claims to have been spied on. we don't know the answer, but it's an answer to look into that and the broader issue of russia which is at the heart of what members are looking into right now. >> march 20th, comey will be testifying publicly? >> that's right. the first public hearing at the house intelligence with a number of intelligence officials to talk about the issues. the top democrat wants to press combo the issue. >> in terms of this, where do they stand? >> right now members in the house and the senate who sit on
the committee are heading over to langley, virginia to through law data that they are provide being what happened during the elections. they learned a lot about the russia attempts to influence the elections, but they are trying to figure out whether or not the trump associates colewded or coordinated or work with the russians in any way. that is one reason why i am told they want to hear directly from trump officials who had discussions with russian officials during the campaign. the former manager as well as michael flynn, a national security adviser who resigned after the discussions with the russian ambassador came to light. they are open to the issues of subpoenas in a closed door setting if they don't agree to the request to talk to them and
one thing, tax returns also on the issue. some members in the democrats and republicans want to get donald trump's tax returns to see if there are financial ties to russia and something they may try to subpoena. it's something they are looking at. >> thanks very much. the ranking democrat on the house select committee and i spoke to him late this afternoon, director comey met with the senate counterparts. >> i want to get your reaction to new cnn reporting that federal investigators and computer scientists examine whether there was a computer server connection between the trump organization and russian bank. do you know anything about that? >> i can only say this. i'm aware of the reports going back now with months about an alleged connection between alpha bank servers and potentially a
server affiliated with the trump campaign. i can say what i think the questions we ought to be asking are. i think we need to ask are these allegations credible and have they been investigated by authorities. what have they found? did they reach a conclusion or is that investigation still ongoing? what remains to be tracked down. these are what the committee ought to be asking, but i can't go into anything we are able to find out until the conclusion of the investigation. >> it seems as if there could be a completely benign explanation for this. >> i certainly reserve judgment in terms of whether this is benign or whether there is something more here. that is what we need to tomorrow. this alpha bank issue is one of many issues that we have been
reading about in the press for some months now. again, i don't think we want to predetermine where the conclusion will be and what merit any of these have. if they are credible, it's our responsibility to determine whether they have been vet and what we know and whether the further investigation that needs to be done. >> cnn told us and i don't want to be precise, but the server issue surfaced in a breitbart article that sparked a series of tweets presenting them of tapping his phone. does any of that align with what you believe the president's motivations were for lashing out at former president obama? >> anderson, i can only say i have no idea what caused president trump to assert that his predecessor was engaged in that criminality. it seems divorced from reality so i have no idea where it came from and i think it's clear that
that's true of my republican colleagues as well and indeed many in the white house. you know when sean spicer doesn't want to talk about it, not even he can spin this kind of allegation. >> you think that's why the white house is saying we are not going to talk about this anymore? it will be investigated by congress? >> absolutely. they had no way to defend the remarks. they were so odd of bounds, the best they could do is say let's give to the committees and don't ask us about it anymore. be careful what you wish for. this will be one of the topics and we will be able to ask directly if in fact he wanted the justice department to refute this and they were unwilling and they will have the opportunity to do it himself. >> that are will be march 20th. cnn is reporting that director comby is meeting with the gang of eight, the highest ranking member of congress that read in
on intelligence matters. that's a lot you cannot discuss and you have to ask. what do you want to ask him about president trump's wire tap accusation? >> i can't comment on the meetings, but in terms of what we look for from the director from the fbi and both in committee and as generally as a member of the gang of eight, as a general matter as party of the gang of eight, we want to be informed of the most significant counter intelligence investigations going on. that is by agreement of the congress and the bureau. that is the practice. we want to make sure that is being adhered to and complete. in terms of the committee, there is no way we can discharge responsibilities if the fbi is not willing to cooperate with us and tell us about an investigation that is going on
or has gone on so that's a point i underscored with the director. we will have another discussion about what if any issues they looked into. >> appreciate your time. thank you. >> thanks, anderson. >> let's bring in a trump supporter jeffrey lord and analyst kirst up powers. democratic state senator and from silicon valley, the former director of the national cyber security center, the department of homeland security. >> you are the cyber expert. does the activity between the russian bank and trump organization seem odd to you? that's the word being used by a cnn source. >> it does seem odd and there are a few points that don't lineup with conventional internet traffic and how the dns behaves. for example, the allegation is
these were requested sent from alpha bank back to the trump organization in response to spam. that argument doesn't hold water for me. if there was spam being sent out by a trump organization, it would go to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. trend microhas millions of customers and they would cent queries back to the server. these look ups to see who the organization was, that should have been coming from all over the world. that doesn't lineup for me even though i respect the firm. this is the question that needs to be drilled on which is why weren't other trend microsystems around the world being sent messages? >> it's confusing for folks like me who are morons when it comes to computers. try to it down for me. this bank was sending something like 2800 basically requests for
a phone number or look ups to the trump organization server. why would a bank do that and why would anybody need to send so many? >> a reason would be if a bank set up the corporate e-mail address or whatever the address is, if they set up an account and registered it at a program to receive information, if that spam came in, they would go to a server. if they use an address, they could receive that. that would be an example. >> why would the bank be connected? that are not sure who it's coming from and they are pinging the trump server? >> exactly that. that's right. is this spam or a trojan horse
or mal wear or a fishing attempt not coming from the trump organization, but a hacker who sent a fake e-mail like the fake bank e-mails. it's legitimate, but not natural to do it 2800 times. very unnatural that it would only come from one bank in response to spam that should have gone all over the world. it raises questions. three other areas that i have questions. the information doesn't lineup with what we expect as normal. >> would you expect if they had been able to find this pinking, would they find if there was e-mail traffic between the bank? >> potentially. a look up is one specific type of what we call dns query. >> what is dns? >> the domain name system. the way it works, we type in
cnn.com, that converts it to a protocol address and that uses a postage system between the servers on the internet. here's what i want to mention so people understands how this dns information is captured. that went from alpha bank and the trump organization server that i think was in pennsylvania. they had to go to ver sign, all the dotcoms are held in the registry and they respond to the query right away. that query hops through the internet with servers in moscow and before it got to pennsylvania. they could keep a record of that dns query. that's where this data has come from. parties were keeping logs, record logs of the queries. they saw the traffic and they began to work together.
it's just a little bit odd that there is so much traffic from one bank and not other places. >> the other thing i want to mention is if this was a real intelligence operation of any sort or sophisticated hacker, they would never do 2800 look ups there is a theory that. >> if anybody is trying to cover their tracks and have a secret channel, this is not the way to do it. >> exactly right. they would be using a vpn or try to hide the activity that is not the case.
the whole thing is a little bit odd. it's an interesting story that tees into. >> we will have to take a break and pick it up with the rest of the panel. later, the sequel to block it. we will tell you about that tonight. e deserves a m way to pay. oh jane, you're getting a ticket i'm going to get you out of this chair. breton. you can use it online and on your phone. nope. it's been masterpassed. winning the little victories, priceless masterpass, the secure way to pay from your bank don't just buy it, masterpass it. well, what are you doing o take care otomorrow -10am? but... staff meeting. 3:45? tai chi. 6:30? sam's baseball practice. you are busy. wouldn't it be great if you had investments that worked as hard as you do? yeah. introducing essential portfolios the automated investing solution.
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. turning to the breaking news with pam brown. fbi investigators and examiners exam whether there was a computer connection. according to the sources familiar with the investigation. that and late afternoon briefings by james comb tow house and senate leaders. we don't know many details. that concerns russia and there are a lot of questions turning back to the panel. how important is it for the public to hear? they will have that opportunity march 20th. >> it's important for the gang of eight, the house and senate
leader who is have special clearance of for them to hear from comey too. they have been complaining that he has been stonewalling them to a certain degree. once donald trump tweeted last week, he lit a fire under members of the house and senate. we don't know enough about any of this. gave them an opportunity to call comby in and say you know what, we need to learn a little more. that's why they are putting him in a public hearing. the democrats have not forgotten that he was public about the hillary clinton e-mail investigation during the campaign. they sort of believe he ought to be forth coming to the american public about this and particularly about whether in fact donald trump may be under a sort of investigation and whether in fact barack obama actually wire tapped him. >> what are the stakes for the
democrats? there are a lot of people with high expectations and what some of these committees may discover. there may not be any there. the smoke trails. >> the stakes are high because a lot of accusations have been made and a lot of things happened that raise questions, but we don't know if there is smoke, is there fire? especially with the server. the server stuff, if you think about it, the trump organization even if they did communicate with a bank in russia, that's not nepharious. he said he hasn't does business there, but that doesn't mean they don't want to. we have to get the facts first. you concerned the democrats are overplaying their hand? per are not at all. a lot of things need to be answered. this white house and this president have gone out of their
way to their own credibility. when donald trump makes comments t puts people in the mote of birtherism and when barack obama created and founded isis in donald trump's own words and the lies that comes from the president's mouth. he has no credibility. a lot of democrats in the biggest twist of irony are looking to james comey. this somewhat independent arbitor of truth. trying to see what happens. when i say the president lied, when you are talking about that or chastising the leader of the free world, you owe it to the audience to explain what you mean. the president and the vice president and kellyanne conway have gone out of their way to say that the campaign had no contact with russia. those words came out of their mouth. now we know that carter page and the trump children and ambassador flynn and jeff sessions had contacts.
there is not a lot of credibility that the president and his white house have and they wrote it themselves. as democrats, it's okay to say we want answers. >> i think if we are going to go down this road, let's go down it. nancy pelosi said she never met with the ambassador. ambassadors in washington are like actors in hollywood. they are everywhere. if you haven't met an ambassador and you are an elected official -- >> you do have flynn talking on the phone to the russian ambassador. >> who called who? >> the biggest story is about hacking and -- the war by russia. >> let's get this out there and investigate and open up the whole thing. all of the business with computers and servers, let's investigate the servers and the
members of congress. how many contacts did they have with russians? >> i think you are complaining about the problems many americans have. it's not the fact that jeff sessions whether he was a senator or met with russia. it's not the fact that they had a conversation with the ambassador to russia. they lied about the conversations. >> jeff sessions did not lie. >> this is the most memorable ambassador. >> his answer was in relation to a question about a cnn report. >> jeffrey, the argument that he didn't meet with him as a surrogate and a senator and therefore no, that's like saying that you and i only met as a trump supporter, but as somebody who used to work in the reagan
white house so therefore i never actually met you. >> it's not if you met him, it's what you said to each other. it was as what was your conversation with him? jeff sessions seemed to recall a lot about his conversation with the russian ambassador during his press conference which he couldn't recall. >> a lot more to talk about including the republicans and efforts by speaker paul ryan and the president to make what is turning into a tough sell. allergies with nasal congestion? find fast relief behind the counter with claritin-d. [ upbeat music ] strut past that aisle for the allergy relief that starts working in as little as 30 minutes and contains the best oral decongestant. live claritin clear, with claritin-d.
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the gop plan to repeal and replace obamacare came after marathon debates and house speaker paul ryan scheduled the final vote and the bill was introduced days ago. straight out of the gate, it faced intense opposition. several medical groups and hospital groups slammed it with seniors and insurers. the medicate official pointed out and broke with his own department tweeted in support of the groups saying despite
political messaging, i align with the experts from aarp and -- you can read it yourself. in opposition to ahca. most democrats oppose the plan, but the fiercest critics are republicans and the white house is lining up behind conservative calls to roll back the medicaid expansion sooner than the gop bill. that's the sign that the president campaigned on the skills and are ready to clinch a tough sell. >> making only brief appearances, president trump is scrambling behind closed doors to sell the gop plan to repeal and replace obamacare. tweeting despite what you hear in the press, health care is coming along great. it will end in a beautiful picture. that's not the picture painted by conservative critics. senator tom cotton said my friends in the house, pause. start over.
get it right. don't get it fast. to tea party groups who call it obamaca obamacare-lite. >> for they vote for the plan put forward a couple of days ago, they will break their word to the american people. >> part of the frustration, they are trying to race the plan through congress moving it through two house committees before they have a chance to estimate the proposal's cost. the senate majority leader wants to lead. the white house insists there is no rush. >> we think this is a great vehicle to restore a patient health care bill to drive down cost. >> paul ryan core the message of urgenceo his sleeves, prodding lawmakers by power point. >> let's get into why this needs to happen and why it needs to happen now.
options are disappearing fast. this law is in the middle of a collapse and people are quickly losing choices. >> president trump warned a group of tea party leaders they are helping their opponents. sources told us the president told the conservatives if the gop effort fails, he plans to let obamacare collapse and blame democrats. >> it is indicative that he doesn't know what he is talking about when talking about the affordable care act. >> when you hear the idea about president trump letting it collapse he said and blaming it on democrats, what do you make of that? >> if he doesn't do something, the plan will continue to stay in place and people will continue to have health care. it only work if you buy into the idea that obamacare is not floating. there are a lot of problems, no question and areas that they can make better, but it's actually
not spiraling out of control or in a death spiral as paul ryan said today. the most important message is this is our only chance and our last chance. if we don't do it now, it will never happen. he seems to be trying to implore conservatives to do something even though the plan he has and they don't like it and they don't believe in the idea of a moral imperative for health care and they think it's something the free market should be handling. the more they try to appease the caucus, the harder it is to get through the senate. >> donald trump still is a neophyte to politics. the blame game is going to rest on the republican president and the republican house and senate. it's not going to fall on democrats because the democrats could not get something passed. there is a bit of irony in that the best parts about this bill,
keeping kits on the insurance until they are 26. the medicaid expansion people are talking about, especially the moderate senators in ohio and other places. also the fact that we have maternity care and prenatal care. they come from obamacare. the republican party is having a hard time after six or seven years coming up with a plan that is palatable to the american people. we have the lowest abortion rates in the history of the country and the lowest uninsured rate in the history of the country. obamacare has problems. any democrat that said it doesn't, is not awake, but there are many good things. this repeal and replace is the wrong tactic. >> the notion that they are not pushing it through, they are. they don't want to be besieged by constituents when they haven't done something. they want to put it in a budget
bill to pass it with 50 votes as opposed to a super majority. they are trying to pass this through. when else would you pass a major-changing piece of legislation without knowing what it costs. >> what do you make of the idea that the white house is looking to get behind this idea of rolling back the medicate expansion sooner than the gop bill? >> they are listening to conservatives. i am baffled here. this has been on the republican agenda for years and it seems to me election won, election over, these members should have gotten all of these people, the conservatives and the republicans in a room and hammered this out so on day one, this proposal was out there. that is clearly not what happened. what baffles me, i'm a regular listener and i'm listening to them say they didn't see this
and i'm listening to speaker ryan saying they were all involved. i have no idea what's going on and that at the end of the day is a bad thing. they should have their act together and the president should step in and go with it. >> they couldn't get them to come together. they are such an ideological disagreement, they made the decision that the only way they could have a chance is to do what they are doing. put a bill out and try to strong arm people. if they had gotten in the room, they would yell and disagree with each other. >> the talking points and the messaging game is different. they are learning how to be an opposition party and the fact is that the president himself said he would put forward a plan that covers all americans. those words came out of his mouth. we know the plan is going to
cover 6 million to 10 million fewer individuals and the democratic party rushed it through in 2008. i will admit it. the vote was on christmas eve. december 24th. they are voting on march 20th. we had over 100 hearings and witnesses testify for an entire year. >> that was not rushed. >> that's my point. >> republicans never agreed on health care. they have been all over the place. john boehner knows it. that's why he is not speaker of the house anymore. they knew they had differences going in. the question is whether you can assuage conservatives to say on medicaid, it will kick in two years earlier, the governors will go nuts. >> more breaking news on the travel ban. the attorney general of washington is back asking a federal judge to take action. he joins us to explain why he is trying again. find out i'm only 16% italian.
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initial travel ban to the revised one. the new restrictions take effect a week from today. travelers from six muslim majority countries will be banned for 90 days and iraq is no longer on the list. refugees would be banned for 120 days and green hold and visa holders would be exempt. even with the changes, there are legal flaws. let's go to the attorney general bob ferguson. why should the restraining order on the previous order apply to the new one? this white house sought to bulletproof it by taking out the things that the judge objected to. >> thanks for having me on. the short answer is that two key provisions that is the refugee ban and the six-nation ban. if you compare the original with the revised one, the language is virtually identical. the new ban narrowed the scope of the people impacted, those
provisions are still in place and negatively impact the people of my state. our view is that the restraining order issued by the judge is still in place and applies to the new executive order. >> will you have some of the same businesses backing you up as you had the first time? >> it's premature to say. we are in touch with businesses like expedia and amazon and other companies who are instrumental and talking to our colleges and universities. things are fluid and happening quickly. our plan is you will see a similar argument from us and if we have another hearing before the judge. you arguing that this is a muslim ban? >> yeah, that's exactly right. don't take my word for it. look at the words donald trump said when he was campaigning for president. he said he would enact a muslim ban. rudy julians said the president asked him to create a muslim ban
and to make it legal. we look forward to getting more documents and e-mails and taking devotions to strengthen our case that this is a muslim ban. >> this is different than washington state. you are not joining them in hawaii? >> hawaii is seeking a temporary restraining order. our argument is we already have one. the president can't say it no longer applies because he cleaned up parts of it. we now have been joined by oregon and new york and massachusetts. they are joining the litigation as well. we feel the coalition is growing here. >> jeff has questions for you. >>ed @min station made clear the reasons they were chosen is they either supported terrorism or have no functioning government so we can't know who is coming here. why aren't those legitimate
reasons? >> we can look at homeland security. they issued a report made public that said national origin is not a good basis for determining national security. more over, they are starting to put forward evidence, but we believe the evidence is quite strong that the motivation behind this was a muslim ban. more over, we have declarations from foreign policy experts including the cia director for george w. bush saying this will be a negative for national security. >> 'should we trust a judge to protect national security instead of the people charged with defending national security. the attorney general and the secretary of state. they are thes with access. why aren't their views better to rely on than a judge sitting in seattle? >> that's an important question. there is great deference given
to any president with executive orders. those powers despite what the department justice argued are not unreviewable. they are arguing and the president is arguing that no court can examine what the president is doing. that is not the law and never has been the law. they looked behind the intend like this. does the president have authority, absolutely, but it's not unreviewable and the argument has been struck down repeatedly. >> the other day when the president made this, you felt he had done a good job of making it much better. >> mixing the problems. >> i thought the original one was a closed case, but the administration helped its cause with the revisions and the way the report has been packaged as
a more reasonable comprehensive order. washington may win too. it's a close call. one thing i find odd about this, using the president's words in the campaign as evidence in the case. isn't that unusual? i don't think i have ever seen that in any case. >> it's an unusual case in the first instance. we have a president and policy impacting thousands of people across the country, but for any case like this where you are trying to get behind the intent of any action, it is entirely appropriate that you are allowed to take action. there is nothing unusual about that concept. what is somewhat unique is we are talking about the president of the united states. pop's action on immigration reform was struck down by the courts. these things happen and courts are allowed to look at the orders. >> thanks very much. we will continue to follow.
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president trump promised to and replace it with better, cheaper health care. with the gop plan to repeal and replace obama care on the table, we wanted to find out if some trump supporters are worried or concerned about it. gary tuchman heads to kentucky. >> reporter: kathy of london, ko kentucky, has a story to tell with a few interesting twists. it starts where she works at a health care company that helps sign up people for obamacare. >> in your fearly four years working there, how many people have you signed up for obamacare? >> i would say over 1,000. >> reporter: what's interesting is you're not a big fan of obamacare. >> i liked obamacare, but i'm not a fan of what it's became. >> reporter: kathy has a serious
vertigo condition. her husband is currently fighting cancer. higher deductibles and fewer choices have left her disallusioned with obamacare. who did you vote for? >> trump. >> reporter: that's right. she voted for president trump. she liked donald trump for many reasons including his pledge to replace obamacare with something better. but -- on the campaign trail he said his plans would be better, cheaper, his quote was a beautiful thing to see. from what you've seen so far, has it been a beautiful thing to see? >> no. because of the cost, and then it's the middle age, not that i'm middle-aged, but it's really affecting, because we need the care now. >> reporter: bobby smith is one of the people kathy helped sign up for obamacare. just before a very difficult time in her life.
>> i'm glad i had it when i had the breast cancer surgery. >> reporter: bobby owns an antique shop in the nearby town in kentucky. she's in remission, works full-time, and makes just enough money to make ends meet. she, too, voted for donald trump. when he said he would have a better health care plan, did you believe he would follow through with it? >> yes, i did. >> reporter: now she's concerned about older and sicker americans will have to pay more under this plan the way it looks. as a cancer survivor, it's been one year since your diagnosis and the procedure, what would it be like to not have insurance if it became unaffordable for you? >> it would be stressful. because i would always wonder if it was there and i couldn't afford to have it treated -- >> reporter: do you see that as a possibility if the rates go any higher than you pay today?
>> yes. i do. >> reporter: both bobby and kathy say they still support donald trump. and hope he's flexible about making changes to this new health plan. what would you say to donald trump? >> why don't we sit down and get a committee that works and knows the pros and cons? working class people that have walked the walk. >> reporter: people like you? >> yeah. >> reporter: what does the woman who had breast cancer plan to do if she can't afford health insurance under the new plan. >> reporter: she said she cannot afford much more. she's preparing herself for the possibility of not having insurance, and she tells me she will cross her fingers for three years. she's 62. when she becomes 65, she's eligible for medicare. >> gary, thank you for that. much more ahead including the
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