tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN March 16, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
happening now, breaking news, president trump refuted, the white house blasts the media and refused to backed down from the president's claim he was wiretapped. and speaker house paul ryan all say they see no evidence. how long will the white house stand on this explosive. >> a top democrats say fired national security adviser, michael flynn was paid for more than 30,000 by russian tv for his speech. >> lack of con sensensus, one republican congressman says there are not enough votes to sink in. what will happen next? >> going to court, the white house vows to appeal rulings, putting president trump's new
travel ban on hold despite changes designed to withstand legal challenges. is the president's latest order an unconstitutional muslim ban? >> we want to welcome our viewers to the united states and the around the world. i am wolf blitzer and you are in the "situation room." >> we are following breaking news. sean spicer per raid bar raided. all of them are now seeing no evidence backing up the president's allegation that president obama ordered surveillance on him at trump
tower. there is more breaking news. documents obtained by the over site committee shows that national security adviser, michael flynn was paid more than 30,000 by the russian tv network rt. the money was payment flynn gave in moscow two years ago. this is considered a kremlin propaganda tool. we are covering much more on this with our guests. our correspondents of expert animal li analysts are also standing by. president trump claimed that president obama had wiretapped him. the president told fox news there is evidence that's still forthcoming. >> i have been reading about things and i read in january 20th, of the new york times article where they were talking
about wiretapping. there was an article and i think they used that exact terms. i read other things. i watched of the day previous where he was talking about certain, complex sets of things happening and wiretapping and i said, wait a minute, this is a lot of wiretapping being talked about. i have been seeing a lot of things. for the most part i am not going to discuss it because we have it before the committee and we'll be submitting things before the committee were soon that's not submitted as of yet. it is a potential serious -- >> the president is increasingly isolated in this claim, paul ryan, told me a short time ago that he sees no evidence. and the head of the committee of the house are saying the same thing and intelligence committee "based on the information available to us, we see no
indication of trump tower of the subject of surveillance of the united states of the government before or after the election day of 2016." lets get to our jim costa. >> reporter: that's right, we stand in abaptiyss at the white house here and we did not try to find much and we tried to suppress on sean spicer on the statement that you just read. they essentially are not seeing any information on this point that led any to the president's claim that he was wiretapped. the press secretary on this point at the press briefings today, it is a lengthy exchange and here is how it all went down. >> you said you were extremely confident that the intelligence committee would ultimately vindicate the allegation of trump tower. i am sure you have seen the
intelligence committee have said they see no indication of surveillance. what's your reaction? >> it is interesting to me that just as a point of interest that when entities say one thing that proves of one thing you guys cover it. when devin nunez came out and covered it yesterday that it is possible, it was crickets with you guys. you don't want to cover the stuff. no -- hold on. >> the house intelligence committee. >> here is this quote jonathan. >> "i think it is possible." >> end of quote. that's what he said. >> so no indication of wires. >> the president had been clear when he talked about it last
night. when he talked about wiretapping, he meant surveillance and there is incident that occurred. devin nunez could have stated more beautifully. you chose not to cover that part. you chose when others went out. >> hold on -- >> i understand that jonathan. >> where was your passion and concern when there is they said there is no connection from them. >> at the end of the day -- no, hold on, i am making a point. the point is this, number one, it is interesting how when evidence comes out and people briefed on the russia connection comes out saying there is nothing they have seen, you choose not to cover that and you don't stop the narrative. when he came out yesterday and said "i see no evidence of this happening." i think it is possible. we should know later. you don't cover that part. you cover the part, well, lets go through what we do know. hold on, hold on -- i am trying
to answer your question if you can calm down. >> if you look at the new york times on january 12, 2017. "the obama administration expanded the power of national security agency to share globally intercepted communication with the government's 16 intelligence agencies. the n the information gathered by the most surveillance operation which were regulated by wiretapping laws. separately the obama administration amending and allowing information or by the national security agency should be shared by a wider audience and 16 government agency as obama was leaving offices. just a handful of leaders were spread throughout briefings and soon leaks began in
organizations. often in stories lacking context of how investigations are concluded. march 3rd, there is a report on june 2016, an advisor were requested to monitor and communications of donald trump in several other campaign officials then they got turned down and in october, they renewed it and do a start up wiretap at trump tower with some computers of russian banks. a judge says -- hold on, jonathan, you can ask and follow up. a judge says go monitoring the tower. this is wiretap going on at a monitor of computers that sometimes they believe of russians. the investigation continues and we don't know it. on november 11th, 2016 days
after the election, two separate sources of the intelligence committee confirmed of what the fbi saw and granted. shawn hahnty wenerty went on. the constitutional rights are to be protected. of course, this was not the case with lieutenant general flynn. the call was created and given to intelligence officials who leaked this information which was a felony. >> so shawn -- >> so despite the findings of the bipartisan findings of the sentence intelligence committee. >> no, they are not findings. there is a statement out today and they have not begun this. two days ago, the department of justice asked for additional weeks. at this time they don't believe that.
they had yet to go through the information. the department of justice as you know has not supplied it yet. it is interesting when the new york times support -- >> so are you saying that the president still stands by his allegation that president obama ordered wiretapping or surveillance of trump tower despite the fact that the senate intelligence committee sees they see no investigation that it is happening. >> he stands by it but you're mischaracterizing what's happening today. >> i understand that. at the same time they acknowledged that they have not been in contact of the department of justice. again, i go back to what i said at the beginning. hold on -- it is interesting how at the same time where were you coming in defense of the same intelligence committee when they said there is no connection of russia. >> no, no, you wanted to comment and you want to perpetuate false
narrative. of those individuals when chairman neunez says there is n information and number two when he went out yesterday saying "it is possible." >> there is a ton of media reports out there that indicates something was going on during the election. >> where was the question during this time? >> i believe you will. >> you were just quoting shawn hannerty there, the house and senate. you are siding shawn hannerty. >> you tend to over look all the other source, i know you want to cherry pick it. you did not seem to have a
concern of that. >> we have done plenty of reporting on all of this >> but you want to cherry pick one piece of comment. how do you know all of this and how do you become an expert at this? >> this is been looked at. >> you made a statement that all of this had been looked at. >> look. so all of this had been looked at -- >> it sounds like in the contact of the investigation that there might have been intercepte intercepted -- we have reported that and others have reported that in your area and various publications. what you are refusing to answer, the question that ru refusing to answer is whether or not -- >> no, i said it no jonathan.
>> both leaders from both parties on both of those panels saying they don't see any evidence of wiretapping. how can the president go on and continue -- >> you are mischaracterizing what chairman nunez said. it is possible that he's following up on that. you are stating unequivocally that somehow -- we cleared that up. the president was referring to surveillance. >> it sounds like what you and the president are saying now, well, we don't mean it is wiretapping but it is surveillance. >> it is cute, what the president had to "wiretapping." he was referring to broad surveillance and you are going back. the bottom line is the investigation or the house or the senate have not been provided of all the information.
when it does. where was the consideratio consideration -consideration - consideration -- hold on. the president addressed that last night and said that there is more to come. >> these are pointing out that there is widespread reporting throughout the 2016 election that there is surveillance done on variety of people. >> jim, i find it interesting that you somehow believe th that -- okay, okay, i get it. you seem to believe that you have all the information and you read in on all of these things which i find it interesting >> i have not read it by the fbi >> you are coming serious conclusions for a guy that had zero intelligence -- [ laughter ] >> give me something. >> clearance. >> i was not done. >> clearance. >> maybe both. >> come on. >> i iunderstand that. >> okay, this question has been asked. >> it is interesting how you jumped to all these conclusions
of what they have and what they don't have and you seem to know all the answers. at the end of the day, there were a ton of reporting -- hold on, jim, let me ask. there is a vast amount of reporting about activities that was going on in the 2016 election, there is no questions that there were surveillance technique used throughout this. i think by a variety of outlets that reported this activity concluding. when you actually ask those two people whether or not and as chairman nunez said yesterday when you take it literally, the president was cleared. he did not mean specifically wiretapping. he had it in quotes. to fall back on that is a false premise, it is not what he said. he was clear when he talked about it yesterday, major. now all of this sets up an important moment for president trump. tomorrow he's holding a joint press conference with the chancellor merkel and when the
president takes questions on reporters in the room, he will be faced on an important choice. is he going to call conservative news outlets who may not ask him about these wiretap claims who are falling apart, as you saw in the briefing today or will he call on reporters asking those questions. many people around washington and around the world will be watching for tomorrow. >> jim acosta, we'll have live coverage. jim acosta are reporting to us over at the white house. lets get some more on all of this. >> in texas, a member of the intelligence, former cia, congressman, thank you for joining us. >> it is always a pleasure to be on, wolf. >> i am sure it is you can ward for you that his accusation of trump tower was wiretapped by
president obama. democrats and republicans refute the president's claim found no evidence backing that up. what's your reaction? >> well, my reaction, wolf, is everybody needs to be precise in the language that we use when it comes to intelligence and federal law enforcement. these are some serious allegations that we are having to investigate, the russian involvement and attempts of manipulating our elections and leaks of information of classified information. these are serious matters that are engaging our intelligence committee. we need to the make sure we are talking about this in a non partisan matter and not using this as a political fight. >> you see they are backing away and disputing what the president is saying. should the president be very, very precise in making a serious
allegation like this against his predecessor. president obama when he tweets -- just found out that president obama had my tower wiretapped. this is early saturday morning and nearly two weeks ago. before he does that, should he be precisely checking with law enforcement and the intelligence committee to see if there is any truth to what some news media outlets would suggest? >> well, if i were spending 30 minutes in a car live streaming everything until i understand the importance of being precise. the president is the most watched person in the world. he has a large organization at his finger tips and this is something that let federal law enforcement do their jobs. let the intelligence committees on both the house and the senate
do non bioppartisan a review of what's going on in running the country. >> it was extraordinary at that white house briefing, sean spicer read from these various news accounts, including from shawn hannity from fox, and suggesting that maybe british intelligence spies of the -- the president-elect trump are nonsense and utterly ridiculous andignorance. >> is that your reaction as well? >> we consider information from
unnamed intelligence sources as if it is intelligence. my formal line, we would call that information and not knowing the source of the information, you cannot speak to the credibility of it and also quoting press alone is not confirmation like you would get from the fbi or the intelligence communities. so, you know, i have said a lot and i think we have talked about this to wolf, one of the greategrea greatest successes of russia intelligence is their activities have create a wedge whether they'll proceed between the white house and the american public and this kind of conversation, this kind of bickering and partisan fighting is creating a problem and it is putting our intelligence services in danger. we should let the men and women go about to do their job and
that's why congress is here to review law enforcement and intelligence. as we can allow that process to unfold, i know the american people demand and deserve the questions. when it comes to law enforcement be intelligence, sometimes these things take a little bit of time. i would say this being in the house and intelligence committee taking this matter seriously and making sure that any investigation is in a throrough way. >> it is bipartisan disputing the president's allegations. >> people all over the world and you served all over the world in the cia, they're watching what the president is tweeting and saying. does this impact his credibility
and the credibility of the united states right now? >> yes, it has an impact on credibility for sure. we also have a code equal branch of government and most people around the world knows that. that's why the american people should feel good and let the process is working. you have people from the same party as the president are disagreeing with the president and that's what makes our government so effective and that's why people should be happy to know that this process is unfolding in a bipartisan manner, in a separate but equal branch of the government. so this is, this is important and it shows that our government is working. >> put on your hat now as a former cia operative and key member of the house intelligence committee, congressman, last night in an interview with fox, president trump confirmed that the central intelligence agency was hacked during the obama
administration years. you saw those wikileaks that came out weeks ago. you heard intelligence experts say you are not supposed to confirm that kind of information. some are suggesting that the president by doing so mishandled classified information. what's your reaction? >> the review of those wikileaks documents, it is still ongoing and how that information and where those information are from, the intelligence community is still ongoing. i think those are inaccurate statements. again, this is why when it come to intelligence and law enforcement information, it is best to let the professionals do their job and waiting for that to happen to speak about it. >> is it a blunder for the president to publicly say the cia was hacked? >> i probably would not have done that if the roles were
reversed. the president is seeing things that i am not seeing so i would lev leave it up to him. the president has the authority to declassify any classified information. you adodon't have that authorit. if you had done that, you would have been in deep trouble as you would have known it. i want you to standby of michael flynn coming into the situation room receiving a substantial payment from russian intelligence. much more coming up. and clearer skin. this is my body of proof that i can take on psoriatic arthritis with humira. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain, stop further joint damage, and clear skin in many adults. humira is the #1 prescribed biologic for psoriatic arthritis.
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congressman, standby. i want to get to breaking news of the fire truck security adviser, michael flynn, on russia. >> jim has some details. jim, this concerns the speech. >> that's exactly right. two issues here. the army requires that if you take a payment as a retired officer from a foreign government, you have to report that payment. there is no record of flynn reporting this payment. you have to include this in your application for security clearance and we have asked flynn's spokesperson and i spoke with him today whether he reported that and they had no comment. the website committee have asked that question and they have no answer. >> thank you very much for inviting me and having me here. >> recently fired national security adviser general michael flynn was paid tens of thousands of dollars by russian state television for this speaking
engagement in moscow of 2015 violating the law and u.s. army regulations. i am going to be really provacative here. the kremlin funded news agency russia today or rt, which hosted the event paid flynn $33,750 for his appearance. documents obtained by the house over site committee. flynn acknowledged accepting payments for this speech but denied being paid by the russian government. >> i did not take any money from russia. >> well, who paid you? >> my speaker, ask them. >> documents obtained by the over site committee indicate that the money was coming from rt. >> e-mails show an official rt russia first haggling over flint's fee. the fee is a bit too high and exceeding our budget at the moment. do you think there is any possibility to reduce the price
of $45,000 and confirming that our team would provide the funds. we'll be covering the payments of general flynn's fees from our london office. the u.s. intelligence committee have long said rt ace prop began ta tool of the kremlin. the organization had participated in this information campaigns aimed at the u.s. u.s. intelligence first determined rt was back by the kremlin in 2012 when flynn was at the defense of the intelligence agency. >> spokesperson for flynn told cnn today that general flynn reported the trip to dia both before he went to russia and after he returned. flynn was roequired to do more than simply reported the speech. the democratic committee asked the white house and fbi and pentagon whether flynn appropriately reported the payments on his security form as
required by law. his spokesperson declined a comment. >> flynn would have had to receive approval from the army for the payment. the army tells cnn, they have no record of it. >> flynn took two more payments from other russian agencies and entities of more than $10,000 and more than $10,000 from a russian cyber security firm. keep in mind, wolf, of course, this was all happening as russia was interfering in the u.s. election process beginning of this hack which was later identified by the u.s. intelligence committee. >> thank you very much. lets bring back congressman will hurd of the intelligence committee. let meggett yo get your reactio. what do you think?
>> well, i think there will be a lot of questions and the house committee is going to have and the director of the fbi and mr. comey and i am sure this line of question and having spent 9.5 years of cia suspicious of the cia and its ties to the government and i see the propaganda piece authorities and folks have spent time should be aware and know that. >> are you concern or how conce concern are you of great influence and national security adviser within the white house so without necessary digging into all of these questions, raise questions about his judgment? >> well, i think the president is a guy that relies on his gut
and first instincts. i think the decision for mr. flynn stepping down was the right decision. the max security adviser we have now is a fantastic choice and is a good example of strengths for the intelligence committee. i would agree when looking after this election, mike pompeo, is a fantastic choice and genera general mattis was approved 99-1 if i am not mistaken. we have some good folks managing the community right now. also, there is a bunch of qualified people. before i let you go, a very different matter because you and your colleague, congressman, you had a creative solution to this no storm of flight cancellations.
you road trip all of the way from texas to washington, d.c. and you were live streaming along the way, tell us about that? >> well, wolf, we left to san antonio texas and drove 1700 miles to watch nbc. it was 31 hours of those are in the car. we live stream about 30 of those hours. we took russians every issue imaginable. we discussed many times and the idea was we say that we could be, you know, we were focused on what divides us a lot and especially in the press and this time of what unites us. this is an opportunity and for me to talk about the things that unite us and to show that you can disagree without being disagreeable. we were surprised how many people watched and stayed with us the whole time and appreciate
what we were doing. >> nice bipartisan road trip. >> congressman, as usual, thank you very much for joining us, will hurd of texas. the white house secretary blasting the news media of president trump's wiretap claim. we asked people to write down the things they love to do most on these balloons. travel with my daughter. roller derby. ♪ now give up half of 'em. do i have to? this is a tough financial choice we could face when we retire. but, if we start saving even just 1% more of our annual income... we could keep doing all the things we love. prudential. bring your challenges.
breaking news tonight, the white house press secretary is defending president trump's claim during a contentious news briefing which he blasted reporters of unsubstantiate claims. >> they're standing by of the wiretapping of trump tower. the speaker of the house, they see no evidence to back it up and they did have briefings, highly classified briefings with top law enforcement and officials but the white house is standing by this. >> the briefing is not true. the president appointees' attorney general and the fbi director all said this is not true. what's happening is you have the
president and his spokesperson sean spicer redefining what the allegation is and the terms. the allegation was president obama ordered the tap and it was a wiretap and not just a general form of surveillance. they're now saying well, it was not obama doing it. it was not necessarily me that was the target of trump. it is the possibility that trump adviser is caught up in the form of surveillance. >> cnn reported that adviser of trump were caught of communicating with russian officials. that stuff is hoovered up by the nsa as part of their general surveillance. again, that's not what the
president accused president obama and that's got to be cleared. despite all of the somersalts you are hearing >> in one of his tweets of how low does president obama have to go to tap my phones. this is sick. >> listen to the president to fox news interview explaining it. >> i think it was january 20th, when they were talking about wiret wiretapping. there was an article that they used that exact term. he was talking about certain very complex sets of things happening and wiretapping, wait a minute, there is a lot of wiretapping to be talked about. they did not use the word "wiretap." if you watch what he was saying and how he mentioned the word "wiretap" that you can feel confidence that you can mention
the name. if you take a look at some of this things of wiretapping and eavesdroppi eavesdropping. >> that covers surveillance and many other things. nobody ever talks about the fact that it is in quotes. wiretap covers a lot of different things. >> we looked at those four tweet and two of them were "wiretapping" and two were not in quotes. go ahead. >> details, details. >> it does make a lot of sense unless you are trying to justify something that you don't have any evidence for. that's sort of what the president and his advisers are doing at this point. every congressional committee that have been vested with this, speaker ryan and everyone who had clouds at this point and director comey has said on the record when it comes to the intelligence committee that there is no evidence to support the president's tweet. they're trying to figure out a
way that he cannot be wrong because he does not like to admit that he's wrong. there is an intelligence hearing on monday and director comey is expected to testify about this on the record and that there is no evidence to support those. it is not going the get any less complicated for the white house. >> we expect committee members that comey will publicly say what he has said of no evidence to back it up. the director of national security agency is also testifying in open sessions and he will say the same thing. if they all do, will the president be held accountable? >> i think it depends on accountability. in terms of his supporter, he went up three points this week as presidential approval. i think there is-- people like media against the world that he's taking with the media and basically with everybody with
regards to the story. i do think you see members of congress starting to back away from him on this issue and this is going to make it tougher for him to move his agenda forward on a variety of fronts. >> so a credibility problem on monday during this house intelligence committee briefing, all law enforcement community saying they see no evidence to backup the president's claim. >> right. >> i think it is an open question whether the president will have a credibility probable when it comes to americans and voters. we saw this many times. donald trump would throw something out there that's prover proved to be false. you can think of a number of instances. he is untrustworthy and he
continues on these claims that he was making throughout the campaign. the root of this is just sort of a widespread cynicism about american politics. people don't expect their politicians or government officials to be straightforward. if they see donald trump saying things that are not true, maybe they don't care as much because that's what they expect. it is unfortunate to say the least and you would hope that lawmakers do put more into their shoes but it is possible that people don't care about this >> let me play this last section. >> can you name specific members that the president has turned from no to yes. >> oh, i am not going to get in all that. it is not my bill, it is the american healthcare act. >> we are talking about the repeal and replacement of obamacare and take a look at this shortly after that exchange, the president tweeted this, great progress on healthcare improvements being
made. republicans coming together because, jackie, i mentioned i don't know if he was watching this. i mentioned we are not hearing a lot from the president and he's not tweeting about repealing or replacing obama all that much and all of a sudden that tweet merged. here is the question. where this moves? does it move further to the right to appeal freedom caucus members who want less things or does it move to the moderate of the people who they're going to need to keep their majority at some point. we'll have to see but you cannot please both groups. >> president trump is keeping just enough distance from the bill. >> sending out tweets like that just enough to keep this open
dialogue. >> he's going to own up to it either way. >> yeah. >> how much trouble is this repeal zg repeal/replacing obamacare? >> you can judge a lot that the white house and the trump are keeping their distance, wolf as it stands currently. donald trump cares about his public perception and cares about looking like a winner. if he thinks this does not pass, he does not want to attach himself closely to this bill yet. the white house is very much in negotiating mode. they met with senators earlier this week in the west wing and they were asking them, what do you want to see from the final bill? what changes might we make? >> you know what else is in trouble? travel band 2.0 of two federal judges have said they're not going forward and some legal issues right there. >> it surprised some lawyers that i have been talking to and they looked at these revised
travel ban that it is tight. we going over recent statements by trump and advisers tying this to a religious test. the question is does that challenge go to the supreme court and what happens there and is gorsuch in place by the time you get there. >> let me get your reaction to what the president said last night in the interview on fox. he had this to say and some are suggesting he may have revealed classified information. listen to this. >> i just want people to know, the cia was hacked and a lot of things taken. that was during the obama years, not during us. that was during the obama situation. >> kind of a shift, a ranking democrat in the house intelligence committee saying the president may have revealed classified information. >> interesting and if he did in that context he was basically trying to defend himself, one take a shot at the obama administration, saying it happened then but also sort of draw attention away from the
eavesdropping issue perhaps, et cetera. was he willing to go so far as to reveal something he got in one of his classified briefings? adam schiff is the ranking member in the house intelligence committee. that will be an interesting question to' answered. >> the president can declassify whatever he wants and not get in trouble, but if another official said what the president said, they're talking about the cia being hacked. >> sound a little like a haekleo me. >> not supposed to confirm that kind of information. much more on the breaking news after this. i may reach my blood sugar and a1c goals by activating what's within me with once-weekly trulicity. trulicity is not insulin. it helps activate my body to do what it's supposed to do release its own insulin. trulicity responds when my blood sugar rises. i take it once a week, and it works 24/7.
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a grand jury indictment is shedding new light on a bribery and sex scandal allegedly involving senior u.s. navy officers and a defense contractor known as fat leonard. brian todd has been digging into this for us. what are you learning? >> prosecutors are calling this a fleecing and a betrayal of the u.s. navy of epic proportions. they say this group of naval officers was so brazen in their corruption that they gave themselves nicknames like the cool kids and the brand and of brothers. we have new details tonight. >> reporter: the 7th fleet, the navy's largest, its motto, "ready power for peace." according to a new indictment, some of the fleet's commanders were also ready for parties and prostitutes. prosecutors say retired rear admiral bruce loveless and eight other officers accepted luxury
travel, ebs pensive dinners and prostitutes and in return gave a civilian contractor classified information about their ships' movements. >> this is beyond the pale. when you look at the ranks and level of officers involved in this scandal, it is something the navy has not dealt with in decades. >> reporter: according to the indictment just unsealed, when some of the officers docked in manila in 2007 they went to a party at the mcarthur suite in the manila hotel. quote, during the party, historical memorabilia related to general douglas mcarthur were used by the participants in sexual acts. >> totally disgusting. there is absolutely -- when you look at that, that is the history of the united states of america, and to take those artifacts and embarrass general macarthur's family in that manner, being used in what is purported to be those sexual acts, it's just -- i -- there's no words that can describe it. >> reporter: the contractor who
allegedly supplied the lavish gifts and parties was this man, leonard glen francis, also known as fat leonard, a wealthy, flamboyant executive who ran a marine contracting agency which provided dockside services to u.s. navy ships. fat leonard francis has pleaded guilty in the case and is awaiting sentencing. but until now, many of the details of what happened were not public. in may 2008, according to prosecutors, francis allegedly paid for admiral loveless and five other navy men to stay at the shangri-la hotel in manila. in the indictment, prosecutors write francis hosted a raging multiday party with a rotating carousel of prost 2002s in attendance during which the conspirators drank all the dom perignon available at the hotel to the tune of $250,000. for some officers in 2006 there was a dinner in singapore with roasted chilean sea bass with expensive drinks and cohiba cigars, $2,000 per box.
prosecutors say in return the officers helped steer navy ships to ports operated by francis where he overbilled the navy tens of millions of dollars. experts say admiral loveless, a top intelligence officer, and the others charged took massive risks that could have exposed american secrets. >> they're susceptible to being blackmailed by foreign intelligence agencies, by other corporations, by this person himself who they've been involved with. >> reporter: experts say give than this all allegedly happened in the asia-pacific theater, chinese spies could have gotten wind of the alleged bribery going on. we contacted an attorney for admiral loveless who said neither he nor his client would comment on this case. wolf? >> this investigation has been going on for some time, right. >> reporter: that's right. fat leonard francis was arrested in 2013 in a sting operation that lured him from singapore to san diego. he has pleaded guilty and court papers indicate he's been cooperating with authorities. they may have gotten some of this information on the navy officers from him. >> brian todd doing excellent
reporting for us as he always does. thanks very much. to our viewers, thanks so much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." "erin burnett out front" starts right now. next, the breaking news, trump stands alone. tom republicans and democrats say there's no proof of his wiretapping claim, the white house digging in on the accusation, citing the media as proof. and nikki haley is out front defending the travel ban and her boss. and will veterans be taking the brunt of trump's budget cuts? let's go "out front." good evening. i'm erin burnett. we begin with the breaking news. president donald trump stand alone. congressional leaders giving strong rebukes of wiretapping, paul ryan saying no such wiretap existed, a quote, and the top republican and the top democrat on the senate intelligence committee came out j