tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN March 28, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
the connections between some of president trump's key adviser and russia in the past. just the facts. the fbi and two congressional committees are investigating ties between trump associates and russia, russia's meddling in the u.s. election. former trump campaign chairman paul manafort offered to meet with the house intelligence committee. he has been facing allegations about work he has done in ukraine and russia. no doubt we will hear more about him as the weeks go on. our senior investigative correspondent drew griffin tonight has more details. >> we have to talk to mr. manafort. >> reporter: it as name heard more and more on capitol hill. >> you talking about paul manafort? >> i'm talking about mr. manafort. >> reporter: this paul manafort. donald trump's former campaign chief. who is denying he has had anything to do with the russian government, with vladimir putin, and with alleged russian hacking of a u.s. election and with any coordination between donald trump's campaign and russia. the russian connection issue will not go away, largely because of this man, victor
yanukovych, a politician who eventually became president of ukraine. in 2005, paul manafort says he began consulting with him, advising yanukovych and his party through tumultuous elections that included a divisive campaign, allegations of corruption, voter fraud. manafort is credited with helping get yanukovych elected president of ukraine. in an interview with cnn last year, manafort says the ideals he brought to ukraine were pro-u.s. and his job was focused on bringing ukraine closer and closer to europe and away from russia. >> as far as the yanukovych administration is concerned, you will see if you do any fact-checking that i was the person who negotiated the framework which is based upon which ukraine is now part of europe. that was my role. that's what i did. when it was completed, i left. >> reporter: but yanukovych
moved closer and closer to russian president vladimir putin. yanukovych's policies divided the ukrainian people. leading to riots, police killings, dozens were shot to death, including targeted killings of yanukovych's political opponents. ukrainian president viktor yanukovych fled his own country to russia and to the safety of his friend, vladimir putin, on february 22nd, 2014. all the while he was continuing to be advised by paul manafort. then there's this, a ledger identifying $12.7 million in possible certificate repetitious payments to manafort from the ukrainian political party, from 2007 to 2012. a newly released document, allegedly signed by manafort himself, which a member of the ukrainian parliament insists is proof paul manafort was receiving illegally payments while working as a political
strategist. >> this fake invoice and fake signed by paul manafort is not about political consultant, it's about selling of computers. by paul manafort to this shell company in belize. >> reporter: manafort's spokesman says the signature does not belong to his client and the ledger allegations against manafort are false. how did manafort just two years after his former boss fled ukraine for russia come to the rescue of donald trump's campaign for president? starting in the 1970s, paul manafort worked or consulted for three republican presidents. was a lobbyist working with firms who represented repressive or military governments around the world that needed a friend in washington. somalia. ferdinand marcos in the philippines. angola. they were all clients of his firm. also on the list, rupert murdoch's news corporation and donald trump.
in 1989 testimony before congress on a separate issue, paul manafort was blunt about his overall job and his clients. >> technical term for what we do and what law firms associations and professional groups do is it lobbying. for purposes of today i will admit that in a narrow sense, some people might term it influence peddling. >> reporter: but in march 2016, donald trump needed a different kind of influence-peddling. his campaign tapped paul manafort as just the republican insider the donald trump campaign needed to win over establishment republicans to clinch the nomination. paul manafort was brought in to make the reality tv star and real estate developer appear more presidential. >> i have known donald since the 1980s. we talked about it. he felt i could help him as i felt. he made the changes. >> reporter: five months later, paul manafort was gone. his troubled past in ukraine was coming back to haunt him. as cnn first reported, the fbi
was looking into possible corruption and money-laundering involving ukrainian politicians, including the work of manafort's firm. current and former u.s. officials tell cnn high-level trump campaign advisors, including manafort, regularly communicated with russians known to u.s. intelligence, though manafort called that allegation 100% not true. >> in addition to all these other connections, manafort -- he's admitted he worked for a russian billionaire who's supposedly close to or has ties with vladimir putin. yet manafort says there's nothing nefarious and he has nothing to hide. when is he going to answer questions about this? >> when he answers those questions, will any of them be on the record, sworn testimony before the senate or house intelligence committees that are looking into all this russian election meddling? we only have a statement from manafort saying he has instructed his representatives to reach out to committee staff and offer to provide information
voluntarily regarding recent allegations about russian interference in the election. that doesn't sound like testimony to me. it doesn't sound like he is going to appear publically up on capitol hill. >> that also may be because -- he could face much more serious issues in criminal matters. >> it's no secret manafort is wanted for questioning in a ukraine corruption case. there are also reports the u.s. treasury department is looking into some money transfers he has been involved with. there may be legal reasons why paul manafort just isn't ready to go on record anywhere just yet. >> drew griffin, thanks. there's breaking news tied to the investigation. the first republican member of the house has called for a house intelligence chairman devin nunes to step aside. walter jones of north carolina saying it is up to the speaker, to speaker ryan, but he does think nunes should recuse himself. as we said the white house was on the defensive today, denying it tried to block former acting attorney general sally yates
from testifying at a public hearing scheduled for today but canceled without explanation by congressman nunes. today, nunes says he invited fbi's director james comey to testify again in a closed-door hearing. it has been eight days since he testified at the first hearing and only hearing. that's when he asked for first time public -- said for the first time publicly that the fbi is investigating possible contacts between the trump campaign and russia. since then the questions have been mounting. jim acosta has the latest. >> stop shaking your head. >> reporter: defiant in the face of questions on trump campaign contacts with the russians, white house press secretary sean spicer was once again pouring it on. >> if the president puts russian salad dressing on his salad, somehow that's a russian connection. at some point, april, you're going to have to take no for an answer with respect to whether or not there was collusion. >> reporter: pressure is mounting on the white house and house intelligence committee
change devin nunes. >> are you going to recuse yourself? >> reporter: would not say whether he plans to recuse himself in the russia investigation. >> an investigation continues. we have had an investigation into russia for many, many years. >> are you going to recuse yourself? >> excuse me. >> is that a no? >> reporter: nunes and the white house won't answer big questions such as who cleared the chairman on the white house grounds last week, one day before revealing new information about the possible incidental collection of communications by mr. trump and his associates and who gave nunes access to that piece of intelligence. not only are fellow democrats on the house intelligence committee demanding nunes step aside -- >> at this point, there's one thing that needs to happen to rescue this investigation. that's that chairman nunes needs to recuse himself. >> reporter: fellow republicans are calling on nunes to provide answers. >> there needs to be a lot of explaining to do. i've been around quite a while and i've never heard of any such thing.
obviously, in a committee like an intelligence committee, you have to have bipartisanship. otherwise, the committee loses credibility. >> should chairman nunes reveal his source? >> absolutely. i can't imagine why not. >> reporter: another controversy swirling around the nunes committee investigation emerged just today as "the washington post" obtained a letter regarding former acting attorney general sally yates, who was fired by the president and was scheduled to testify before the house intelligence panel. the letter from the justice department to yates' lawyer appeared to advise that yates would need to consult with the white house before testifying stating, she needs to consult with the white house, she need not obtain separate consent from the department of justice. the white house insisted it would not stand in the way. >> i hope she testifies. i look forward to it. it was never -- let's be honest. the hearing was never -- was never notified if they choose to move forward, great. we have no problem with her testifying. plain and simple. >> jim joins us.
is it clear when or if sally yates' testimony is going to be rescheduled on capitol hill? >> reporter: no word yet. sally yates was scheduled to testify before the house intelligence committee, along with the former director of national intelligence, james clap ir, and former cia director john brennan. that hearing as you know is scrapped by nunes. of course, you heard democrats speculate this was scrapped because this was not going to present itself very favorably for the president. no word yet when that hearing will be rescheduled. we should also point out white house press secretary sean spicer was asked yesterday, he was asked again today, whether he could provide new information as to how devin nunes made his way onto white house grounds last week. spicer did not answer that question today when he was asked the question. he blamed the media for its coverage of all of this. as we have seen, for the last several days, we're asking these questions. they're just not answering them. >> jim acosta, thanks very much from the white house. the senate intelligence committee is investigating russia's meddling in the u.s. elections and the connection
if any between trump advisers and russia. although with much less public drama. senator james lankford joins us, thank you for being with us. i want to talk about the work your committee is doing. just on sally rates. her attorneys send a letter friday saying she's going to be testifying, speaking about subjects related to michael flynn. doesn't think executive privilege applies because of the conversations have been talked about publically. then the hearing is canceled. do you think that is a coincidence? >> that i don't know. owns what's happening on the house side of it, they've cleared a bunch of their schedule this week. obviously all the controversy swirling around chairman nunes right now is a distraction. >> it seems like they're not -- we had congressman heinz, who's on the committee, who said they're not even having regular meetings now. >> that's too bad. when you deal with intelligence information, that's current, that's active. the intelligence committee meets multiple times a week. we have a lot of issues that we
have to -- >> right, more than just the russian investigation. >> that's correct. more than just the russian investigation. that's ongoing in the house and senate. there are other issues. there's oversight that has to occur. >> for your committee -- how critical is it that it truly is bipartisan? when you see the questions and the only open hearing the house has had, all the republicans are asking about leaks. all the democrats are asking about russia. it's like it's two different hearings. now it's just completely broken down. >> now you are getting into pure politics. it's essential that an investigation like this is nonpartisan more than bipartisan. when you deal in intelligence committee, specifically, no cameras are on. open conversation. you are talking about very difficult issues that are national security issues. that's not a partisan issue. we all want to protect the nation. >> your meetings are behind closed doors. >> they are. >> that makes it easier for -- obviously, the public, reporters would like to know what's going on. for as an investigator, that's critical?
>> yeah, we deal with sources and methods. it's not a smoke-filled back room that everything's a secret. we deal with america's secrets. it's no grand secret that we're trying to actually find out what nations or terrorist groups are trying to do to us before they do it. we are trying to make every means possible to be able to watch what's happening outside the united states before it actually comes here again, to avoid something like a 9/11. to do that, you deal with very private, human intelligence, what's called signals intelligence in trying to intercept some of their communications. those are very classified issues. if you talk about those issues, you can't talk about it in public. >> there's a lot you can't say. >> right. >> whether you have seen -- i assume you have not seen the information that congressman nunes says he has seen. is that something you would want to see? >> sure. i think the house and senate intelligence committees cooperate together. they go through information. i have not seen what chairman nunes brought out. i think it would be most responsible to share with his committee first, that everyone can see it if his own committee, then obviously to share it with our committee as well. >> does it surprise you he did
not share that with his committee? he seems to be acting kind of unilaterally. he's obviously the chairman, i guess it's his purview to do that. at a time when people are looking for transparency and nonpartisan committees, how do you think he's doing? do you think he should step down? >> again, i'll leave that up to the house to be able to determine his destiny, what happens there. it is important that you work together. mark warner and richard burr as our chairman and vice chairman in the committee, they work together hand in hand. they share information back and forth. it's a loss of trust if one has information that the other doesn't. we have to be able to work in a non-partisan way. that's the way our committee is working together. these issues are hard and they're serious. you don't want to mess up. >> senator mccain said nunes has a lot of explaining to do. lindsey graham says unless he shares who he met with, what he has been told, he lost his ability to lead. >> i couldn't disagree with that. with his own committee, there's no reason his committee wouldn't be able to see that and obviously be able to share with
our committee, including sources for that. we're used to dealing with classified information. there's not a source he's going to bring up that we're not going to be used to getting a chance to deal with top-secret material. >> when you hear them saying that he has his ability to lead, you think he is able to lead? >> it's up to the house to determine that. his own committee. there's a lot -- frankly, i come from a faith background, there's redemption, you get a chance to say to people, i messed up, whatever it may be, clear the air, clear it, let's move on. that's entirely likely. i don't know what the relationships are like that. i would say when you make a mistake, admit it and go forward. >> the democrats and folks who see what's happening on the house side, why should they have confidence in your committee in the investigation? obviously, there's skepticism. >> sure, there's skepticism. i hear a lot of people say, let's do an independent committee instead. here is the challenge that we have that. if we can do our business and do it the right way as we handle information in hard investigations on some difficult issues we deal with, our staff is up to speed, we all have clearances. we all have access to the information. we know what we are reading. we know what the code means. if you set up some independent
commission, you are going to have to dial up a new staff, you're going to have to go through the process, everybody's going to have to get up to speed, everybody's going to have to get additional connections, it's months in the process. let us finish our work. at the end of the time, we will put out a nonpartisan, bipartisan report. all of us will sign on with all the staff and all the members. let everyone take a look at and it be able to see. this is similar to what president obama did at the end of his time. he went through an investigation of all the russia. he put it out in december. he said, this is the investigation we have done. the american people aren't going to be happy because there will be some aspects we can't share. >> do you have a timeline? >> we don't yet. we're going through our background information. we're going through interviews, we're doing source documents. going through it as fast as we can go through it. it's a lot. >> appreciate your time. >> glad to do it. coming up, congressman devin nunes did not endorse donald trump during the campaign. now he is seen as a devoted defender of the white house. he was involved with the transition. his path from a dairy farmer and relative obscurery in congress
not to be focusingo finaon my moderatepe. to severe chronic plaque psoriasis. so i made a decision to talk to my dermatologist about humira. humira works inside my body to target and help block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to my symptoms. in clinical trials, most adults taking humira were clear or almost clear, and many saw 75% and even 90% clearance in just 4 months. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores.
don't start humira if you have an infection. ask about humira, the #1 prescribed biologic by dermatologists. clearer skin is possible. breaking news. house intelligence chairman devin nunes taking fire from inside his own party. congressman walter jones of north carolina saying it is up to speaker ryan, but he should -- does think nunes should step aside.
until recently nunes was a relatively unknown member of congress. those days are over. randi kaye has more. >> the president said that president obama tapped his phones. >> no, no, no. that did nat happen. >> reporter: chairman devin nunes in a rare moment of disagreement with president donald trump. but aside from that, the republican chairman of the house intelligence committee has been a loyal soldier for president trump. consider the history. >> if you have any intelligence questions -- >> reporter: nunes didn't endorse a candidate in the campaign but offered to brief them on national security issues. trump took him up on it and the two have been in contact ever since. their relationship led to nunes becoming an adviser on the trump transition team. after the election, trump continued to turn to nunes who takes credit for helping shape the president's national security team, including his cia director. before coming to washington in 2003 as a member of congress, devin nunes was a dairy farmer.
he grew up on his family's farm in california. he once said all he wanted to be was a dairy farmer. now instead of wrangling cattle, he is caught up in some wrangling of a different sort. nunes, like trump, has gone against the intelligence community's assessment of russia's meddling in the election, calling it preposterous that the russians would somehow favor the republicans. he also slammed calls for an independent prosecute tore look into it, calling that a witch hunt. >> we can't have mccarthyism back in this place. we can't have the government -- the u.s. government or the congress, legislative branch of government, chasing down american citizens, hauling them before the congress as if there is some secret russian agents. >> reporter: now he appears to be the go-to for the trump white house, even calling a "washington post" reporter at the white house's request to knock down a negative story about trump and russia.
>> how is it compromised if i'm trying to be transparent with the press and if the white house asks me to talk to a reporter, which by the way it was one reporter. >> reporter: nunes told a reporter once, you can't have regrets in this business. you have to learn from your mistakes and go on. if nunes has made any mistakes in washington, as his critics have suggested, it seems history will have to be the judge. >> randi joins me from washington, d.c. what else have you been able to learn about chairman nunes' personal story? >> he is portuguese american. he's a dad as well. friends of his have said he is a pretty normal dad. he is a low key guy. he is soft spoken. he is not one to crave the spotlight. he certainly did crave that chairmanship for the intelligence committee. he got it beating out senior members. clearly he didn't think it was going to be as high profile a position as it is. that's not something that apparently he was looking forward to. now this idea of a low-key chairmanship clearly long out of
reach. >> randi kaye, thanks very much. new information about the senate intelligence committee's plans to question the president's son-in-law jared kushner about his russia contacts and whether he will testify under oath. i was thinking around 70. to and before that?re? you mean after that? no, i'm talking before that. do you have things you want to do before you retire? i'd really like to run with the bulls. wow. hope you're fast. i am. get a portfolio that works for you now and as your needs change with investment management services. when did you see the sign? when i needed to create a better visitor experience. improve our workflow. attract new customers. that's when fastsigns recommended fleet graphics. yeah! now business is rolling in. get started at fastsigns.com. (vo) when you wake up with miracle-ear... yeah! now business is rolling in. ...your mornings can come to life with sound. our exclusive speech isolation technology transforms a bustling café into a clear connection that helps you hear the laugh that made you fall in love with her in the first place. and, at miracle-ear, we take the time to
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senior adviser jared kushner. testimony will likely be under oath in a private interview, likely focusing on a meeting with a russian bank history has ties with vladimir putin. adam perez joins us with details. what can you tell us about the meeting and the banker jared kushner met with? >> this isn't just any banker. he met with the chairman of veb. that's a state-owned bank that has deep ties to the kremlin and to russia's security service. gorkov was put in the job by vladimir putin, the russian president. he's a product of the russian academy of the federal security service, which trains russia's spies. of course the obama administration slapped sanctions on veb. after russia annexed crimea from ukraine. kushner didn't necessarily violate sanctions by meeting with gorkov but this meeting adds to the questions about what the russians were up to with all their efforts to reach out to people close to president trump. >> how is the white house characterizing kushner's meeting? >> they defend kushner's meeting.
they say all of this was above board. listen to sean spicer describe the meeting. >> jared did a job during the transition in the campaign where he was a conduit to leaders. that's until we had a state department in place for people to go. remember, we had a delay in some of the things. that was his role. he wants to make sure he is clear about the role he played and who he talked to. that's it. >> that doesn't quite settle the issue. veb confirmed the meeting with kushner in a statement to cnn. they described kushner doing this meeting in his role as the head of the kushner company. his family's real estate development company. the russian bank says it was part of a series of meetings with big financial institutions here and around the world. the kremlin says they have no idea about this meeting. this raises new questions, was kushner acting as a trump transition official in charge of
foreign relations, a the white house says? or was he doing his family's business? >> evan, thanks. a lot more to talk about. joining us is former white house communications director for president obama jen zaki. matt, you broke the story originally for the "new york times." a, have you learned more about this? this is a story on two fronts. it's a story about possible russian connections. it's also a story about the conflicts of interest -- the white house is saying, he was a key transition figure before -- but on the other hand, he is having meetings with russian banks as part of the kushner corporation and a russian bank with ties to the kremlin. and the intelligence services. >> that's under sanction. so here's the thing. he meets with the russian ambassador. kislyak. fine. he is with the transition. that's appropriate. why is somebody doing transition diplomatic initiatives need to meet with any russian banker? i don't think our state department officials meet with russian officials.
just for courtesy calls. what were they talking about? that's the key question here. was it just a pleasantry? or was it a meeting about business? if they're talking about business, why are you talking business with a bank that's under sanction? those are serious questions. it goes back to what goes on at this white house. we get a little information and we're told, nothing to look at here. it's all fine. >> i would ask another question. why did he get in to meet with jared kushner? and how did he get the access to meet with somebody so close to the president who was going to have a major role inside the white house. >> apparently the russian ambassador set it up, but did nobody google this? >> they said they didn't discuss business. >> we don't know. >> that's what they did. >> the russian bank says -- >> the question is -- >> if they didn't discuss business, did they discuss sanctions? i can tell you i've lived through a transition, it is not normal to be meeting with the head of a state-run bank of a government where we have an adversarial relationship.
>> it was at the request of the ambassador. >> that's not a normal meeting. it was either they were discussing sanctions -- remember what flynn got into trouble with. or they were discussing business and he is trying to further his own interest. there's a lot of questions here that i think deserve answers. >> remember what was going on. it was mid december. remember what was going on in mid december. the obama administration is trying to figure out what sanctions regime it's going to institute. there's the meeting with flynn and kislyak. where flynn is allegedly talking about perhaps when the trump folks come in. >> sanctions. >> so sanctions is in the air in mid-december. it's central to russian/u.s. relations. >> you are saying they didn't discuss business. according to the white house. but didn't jared kushner while he was on the transition meet with the chinese company to help set up this deal that ended up going through? >> yes. >> which worked out very well for the kushner family even though jared kushner said he has separated himself from benefitting financially? his family has benefitted from
this chinese company which has ties to the government which when they bought the waldorf astoria, president obama would no longer stay in the waldorf astoria out of concerns of being recorded by chinese intelligence. >> yes. you have that. also keep in mind what's happening in december. we're having the kind of realization by the intelligence community and in public there was a russian campaign to attempt to interfere with the election. at the same time, kushner is meeting somebody who was once part of -- tied to russian intelligence, a bank intertwined with the russian power structure, with vladimir putin's regime, with this russian security services. this is -- you can google this. this is one google search. did nobody do any due diligence? coming from the business world, what kind of business are you running you don't check out who you are meeting with? >> if it was a courtesy meeting, which is what -- >> why? >> because the ambassador asked him to. >> so? >> so then i would say to you so? it was a courtesy meeting at the
request -- >> but wait. the russian -- >> you are the new -- >> you sent a minion, a deputy, somebody else to go to the second meeting with the russian ambassador, you blew that off. you met with the banker. why didn't you send the minion to meet with the banker? >> i can answer that question. i've never been president. i don't know i would say this is who meets with the russian ambassador. i think you're expecting too much. i think it's just -- it fits into this conspiracy that the left has just -- won't let go of, that everybody -- as sean spicer said, if he uses russian salad dressing, there's a direct link to russia. >> so why didn't white house -- why didn't the white house months ago lay all of this out? say, you know what? oh yeah -- >> remember, he has voluntarily agreeing to testify. >> he was asked. and he said he would go. >> he broke the story. this just happened. why months ago didn't they just say, yeah, the ambassador asked. we had this meeting. we had that meeting. why not? >> i don't want to speculate
that they have a sense that there's some unfriendly people, sharks infesting the water of washington, d.c. maybe they don't want to put their toe into it. >> let me ask you, do you know if it was a wise decision to do this? >> i can tell you this. there's a lot of things that you do in public life that, yeah, i will meet with him. >> i will meet with the former intelligence agent from a bank that's now under u.s. sanctions at a time when russia has hacked the election, yeah, sure, why not? >> i don't think -- >> remember -- >> he is not a foreign leader. he is a russian banker with ties to -- >> americans -- >> who cares about -- >> why is the russian ambassador telling jared kushner who to meet with? the list of possible explanation -- there's some conspiracy theories about russia. we have to be very careful. what are the list of explanations? jared kushner has no experience in foreign policy and he's just completely and naive and so he did this? that's not great. it was related to his business interests, not government service? that's not great. it was actually to talk about sanctions in the middle of the obama administration's reviewing that issue.
>> let's remember when we were told about the meeting, it was some sort of the courtesy call. then we find out because of your reporting that actually through the other side that he was doing it -- he wasn't doing it as a conduit for the transition team. he was doing it as head of kushner industries. >> what's the best case -- guys, what is the best-case scenario? >> that there's a conflict, that -- >> what's the most -- >> listen -- >> if i was kislyak, never met him, but he's a kind of a man about town, right? even before all this, he was going out -- >> if you met him you would forget about it. everyone who meets him forgets about it. >> not a memorable guy. >> i don't think i met him. >> i met him. i don't remember meeting him. >> the hardest working man in washington. >> he is, apparently keeps lots of meetings. he probably had a list of people in the clinton camp, probably had people in the jill stein camp, just in case they got elected.
he throws himself with reckless abandon or great abandon to meet everybody he can. you know, there's -- >> it's not -- >> it's kislyak's job -- >> a speech for $500,000 to sell one-fifth of the u.s. uranium supply. jared met with dozens -- >> wait a minute. >> this is not a foreign leader. >> i was asked to go to a charity run by some russian exile. i did a google search. found out this person has an incredibly shady background. it was like, no, there's no way i'm going to go, even though it's a charity event. not that i was going to be paid or anything, i was just, no, i don't want to be in the same room with some shady person. why is jared kushner -- >> you who he was and you took a meeting with him. >> "new york times" has tighter ethics rules. >> right, yes. >> it's amazing. i don't want to get -- we don't know what happened in meeting. that's been an issue throughout the last few months. we are finding out a little
thing. we're told, no, it's not a big deal, then it turns out that it is, it's more than we were told. that's what i don't get here. if you announce it and say we have this meeting, this is what happened, it goes away. >> for all the talk during the election about ties to bankers, who knew that ties to russian bankers are okay? ties to wall street, that's a problem. ties to russian bankers -- >> volunteer to go in front of the committee, talk to them. i don't think there's anything he has to hide. it will be another box we can check -- >> wouldn't it be better to avoid the drip, drip, drip? all of this is one thing after another. why not lay it all out? >> as a persecuted republican party member, i would say -- >> persecuted? >> there's a theory among my people that you just -- why even try? the critics on the left will move the goalpost. you just can't play that game. today, president trump did an executive order that may end up in something like 800,000 new
jobs. the sierra club did not like it. he took on the clean power -- >> we will talk about that next. >> the point is, he is governing. i think that that's where he needs to be. >> can i just -- jen, you would know this because you've run a communications office. can you figure out why they wouldn't just put everything out there? is it disorganization? is it trying to -- >> you have been in situations like this. take the heat off my communications brett ren. my bet is they didn't know a lot of the details. a lot of the details about who met with who is not something sean spicer and all of them knew. >> we have to take a quick break. president trump rolling back the obama administration's legacy, combating climate change, ending the so-called war on coal. will it really put miners back to work?
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the trump administration took a major step toward changing the u.s. approach to fighting climate change. the president signed an executive order that rolls back obama-era environmental regulations ending a moratorium on coal mining on federal land. easing restrictions on coal-fired power plants. >> my administration is putting an end to the war on coal. >> reporter: president trump taking major steps to strip down obama-era regulations to combat climate change. >> i am taking historic steps to lift the restrictions on american energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations.
>> reporter: signing an executive order at the environmental protection agency that undoes the clean power plan. the initiative to curb carbon emissions at coal-fired power plants. but that 2015 effort by the obama administration has been tangled up in legal challenges and hasn't even gone into full effect yet. president trump's order lifts the three-year moratorium, and rescinds at least six obama executive orders aimed at curbing climate change and regulating carbon emissions. including one that says climate change poses a growing threat to national security. another instructing the federal government to prepare for the impact of climate change. >> the actions represent the largest attack on climate action in our country's history. >> reporter: still tbd in all of this, the paris climate change accord, which this doesn't touch. these new changes will make it
harder to meet the benchmarks of the agreement. >> we're going to bring the coal industry back. >> reporter: climate change is an issue where trump has been all over the map. in 2012 saying in a tweet, global warming is a concept created by and for the chinese in order to make u.s. manufacturing non-competitive. more recently after the election in an interview with the "new york times," he admitted there's some connectivity between humans and climate change. also telling, trump's choice of scott pruitt to head the epa, a long-time skeptic of climate change who sued the epa repeatedly when he was oklahoma attorney general and continues to cast doubt on the role of carbon dioxide. >> i would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming we see. >> reporter: the white house touting today's moves as a campaign promise kept with the goal of job-creation that they claim the mining industry is embracing.
>> the miners and the owners are very, very bullish on this. >> reporter: democrats and environmentalists see little economic benefit and a lot of potential environmental harm. >> the coal industry has been losing jobs for year after year after year. the coal jobs are not going to be coming back in any kind of large quantities whatsoever. >> back with the panel. this is what president trump campaigned on. nobody should be surprised by this. i'd exactly what he talked about on the campaign trail. >> yes. part of his national security is energy independence. it's all of the above energy idea that we need to have it from all these sources. the economic impact of cheap, abundant energy is something like 800,000 new jobs over the next decade. i think it's very good. remember, all of these would have been passed by the u.s. senate and the u.s. congress if they were popular. president obama did it by executive order because he could not get it through his own party. >> the president sold this as
energy independence. talked a lot about the coal industry. of course, we don't import coal, so we don't need energy independence to help the coal industry. that's not the -- the coal industry is losing jobs -- >> we can use coal for -- >> for reasons completely unrelated to the issues he's raising. >> how much he can -- >> if you don't buy overseas oil because you got coal. >> but people are moving towards clean energy. that's what's happening. we're moving away from this. we're moving away from the idea we need to pollute our environment to get energy. so the whole rationale for this actually doesn't make any sense. and by the way, it's not going to bring back jobs, because it's not why they're losing jobs. they are not losing jobs because of -- >> is the president out on a limb promising the coal industry will come back, promising the coal miners? >> no. not at all. i think finally, after eight years it's good to have a president who doesn't see a direct conflict between creating jobs and more energy avenues for creating energy and clean air and clean water. i don't think they have to be in opposition to each other.
you look at some of the specific regulations allowing for leasing on federal lands and things like this. this is a no-brainer for continued coal production. and again, like you said, it's something he promised on the campaign trail. this is another example of the president making good on his promises. >> it's a dishonest promise to the coal miners and people in these towns. because coal jobs are going away because of competition, because of automation, because there's a lack of demand. by the steel industry in china. it's not going away because of the federal leasing on lands. in fact, that ceos of coal companies who are going to benefit financially from that. so we'll see. in a year or two when coal miners' jobs don't come back and that's when we'll know. it's a shame that it's a promise made that's not going to be delivered. >> sean spicer dodged the question on whether president trump believes climate change is a hoax. >> right, he did. >> this is in line with that. >> also i would add that the president has not yet decided
whether he's going to formally withdraw from the paris agreement. we haven't seen that yet. i mean what he's done is he's rolled back the policies that would need to meet that agreement, in effect. but donald trump has not yet come out and said he is going to withdraw from it. so that's my question, is he going to? or is he just going to leave the united states to taking a back seat? >> and fight the white house over there too, that will be a showdown, kushner on one side, some of the more conservatives on the other. the one thing jack is right about is obama couldn't pass this legislatively, he couldn't pass a plan to deal with climate change mostly through the senate. he got it through the house. he had to resort to the regulatory system that was available at the epa. this is a classic elections have consequences. one of the only industrialized country in the world, our two parties actually disagree about climate science. every other democracy this isn't a debate. the science is settled. we have a democratic and republican party where this is a
fundamental divide. and i don't think -- it's not surprising that trump is keeping this promise. >> think what a competitive advantage it would give america china and india, they have had a quo toe and after the other they haven't had a competitive advantage over our domestic manufacturers. >> when you talk about national security issues, the reason that china and india committed to the paris accord were the world's biggest emitters, the three of us is because of us. so we're being irresponsible globally. >> thank everybody on the panel. there's a fair chance that the u.s. led coalition was responsible for an air strike that killed dozens of civilians in iraq. cnn is there on the ground. what she found out when we continue. ight it with everythin. ...we've got: pills, tea, syrups, steam the list goes on and on... but whatever you do, you can add vicks vaporub to the mix.
new developments in the fighting for audiocassette. a commander revealing today there's a fair chance words, that civilians were killed 11 days ago and 112 bodies were pulled from the rubble. many could not escape the city because it's believed isis is using them as human shields. coalition forces have been trying to regain control of mosul since october. >> reporter: the destruction here in western mosul appears to be significantly more vast and widespread than it was in the eastern side. and you also see that there are a lot of these really narrow alleyways that winded deeper into the neighborhoods and this is one of the main challenges security forces are facing.
you barely see civilians, but you see the traces of the life that was. of how bustling these particular areas would have normally been and part of the challenge when it comes to trying to protect the civilian population is that even though the iraqi government did encourage people to stay put in their homes, even if they wanted to leave, they wouldn't have been able to because isis would not allow them to leave these neighborhoods. isis was holding every that lived across this entire city as human shields. he's saying that isis, as the forces were coming through, began to decrease its presence. so at least this family felt that they could stay. that's the other reason they couldn't go, obviously because it's difficult for them to try to flee. the day before this area was
liberated, isis took her husband. they had no food left and he went out to try to get them food and isis took him away. she's still here because she's waiting for her husband, who's the little girl's uncle to come back. she's hoping somehow he's going to return home. the people here are trying to get information as to which route may or may not be safe and where there are possible sniper positions. the sounds of battle are all around. and just in this one small part of western mosul, you can see a little bit of appreciation for the intensity of the battle, how terrifying it must have been for those civilians who must have been there amidst all of this. and just how phenomenally the task of eventually rebilkd this city is going to be be. anderson, the situation is
growing even more difficult and as the u.s. and iraqi military search for answers and ways to try to decrease civilian casualties, we have also just heard from the high commissioner for human rights for the united nations who says within the time frame of 17 marks to the 22nd, at least 200 civilians have been killed in western mosul alone. >> arwa, appreciate the reporting. stay safe. we'll be right back. people just can't get enough of me and my discounts. so this year, they're getting a whole lot more. box 365, the calendar. everyone knows my paperless, safe driver, and multi-car discounts, but they're about to see a whole new side of me.
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that's all the time we have. thanks for watching. "cnn tonight" starts right now. see you tomorrow. >> trump white house facing accusations over a cover up. over ties to russia. the administration denying it blocked former acting attorney general sally yates from telling the house intelligence committee what she knows about the trump campaign and russian officials. that hearing was supposed to happen today but was canceled. the man who canceled it, committee chairman devin nunez. saying he's moving forward with the probe. but democrats charge he's too close to the white house and must step aside. they want to know who signed him into the white house grounds to view classified in