tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN May 29, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
massachusetts, today. phil mattingly, as always, thank you so much. we continue on at the top of the hour. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. let's begin with the president. president trump beginning his first week back from his overseas trip and the reset his white house was hoping for remains illusive. the crises hitting his administration reaching his son-in-law and one of his top advisers. jared kushner, he may have discussed creating this secret back channel so the trump transition team can communicate with the kremlin. what's more, crukushner suggest using russian facilities in the united states for the communications. "the washington post" cites u.s. officials briefed on intelligence reports of intercepts twoen the kremlin and russian ambassador. that's the very same ambassador
at the heart of the fire iing o national security adviser michael flynn. the post reports flynn was at the meeting when kushner reportedly made this offer. but the president is pushing back and so are several of his top aids. namely national security adviser mcmaster. listen to this briefing with reporters. >> we have back channel communications with them in a number of countries. so generally speaking about back channel communications, what that allows you to do is kmoout communicate in a discreet manner. it doesn't predispose you to content. so we would not be concerned about it. >> let's begin with jeff zeleny. how is the president responding to all of this? >> the president is defending his son-in-law. he's concerned by just a gravity and the deepening nature of this russia investigation. but the president is defending
his son-in-law. it sounds like he's doing that for internal divisions inside the west wing here as much as anything else. let's take a look at this statement that the president gave to "the new york times" in a story they have this morning about his son-in-law. it says this. jared is doing a great job for the country. i have total confidence in him. he's respect ed by vir yulely everyone and is working on programs that will save our country billions of dollars. in addition to that, and perhaps more importantly, he's a very good person. defending his son-in-law certainly is extraordinary. but there's no mention of any of the matter at hand of this russia investigation. his statement does not talk about that at all. so the question here is as the president tries to change the subject and get back to their agenda of doing something they were elected to do, the russia investigation is hang iing over them and the question is what
happens to jared kushner. he was first among equals. i'm told he's willing to talk to the fbi, willing to talk to members of congress here and he's going to. keep his head down internally. what it's allowed is for some of his rivals inside the west wing to sort of resume their previous positions of strength here. so all of this is going on as this white house tries to get back to the subject and their jebd. now the russia investigation is one of their agenda items. >> jeff zeleny, all of this at play. let's continue the conversation with evan mcmullen, tomorrower operations officer. he launched a third party run for president against donald trump. good to see you. first just on the news that kushner wanted to set up this russian back channel. your response? >> i was shocked. and i think the term back channel is very generous to jared kushner.
a back channel in the diplomatic sense is something that a president would sign off on. it's an officially sanctioned effort to communicate discreetly with the foreign government. that's fine we do that as others have pointed out. the problem is that this was not that. this was secret communications or a desire to set them up with our largest adversary using their equipment at their facilities. this was before they took power. this was before inauguration. they can still have communications before inaugurati inauguration. some would say that needs to be managed carefully, but you could still have that. . the concern is that they wanted secret communications with moscow at a time when they knew that moscow and its role in our election was under scrutiny and they want the ed it now and wanted to be skrelt. the question is what is it that jared kushner and his boss
wanted to communicate with such urgency in such secrecy with the kremlin. >> we don't know the answer to that. i'm sure there are multiple committees who will want to. to your point on back channelling. at the cia if i arrange comes with russia outside of official channels and set up a a secret meeting, i would be tried tr espionage. would you agree? >> absolutely. absolutely. there's not a question. in the world of espionage, communications are critical, very sensitive. topic. how communications are conducted, who controls them. >> does it matter he would have been a private citizen? granted on the transition team, but a private citizen versus the krirks a. >> they can be guilty as well.
he had ak b ses to the protect. he was one of the president-elect's closest advisers. they were heading into a presidency with enormous power. especially over sanctions. reuters has reported that the fbi is investigating to see whether jared kushner was actually involved in conversations with the russian bank in which there was a a discussion about whether sanctions could be relaxed and then the bank could offer financing to trump associates in response. you have to wonder is this what they wanted to talk about or what these secret communications were necessary. >> maybe no protocol. he's not been in politics before. >> i think that's part of it. that's a very important point. people seem to think that it's something that comes separately from espionage. many people who get into these situations do so out of incredible hue brous, ego, there are many things that are involved in decisions to commit
treasonous acts, to commit es peon age. sto say he was naive is a misunderstanding of how this works. >> you mentioned hr mcmaster and secretary kelly has come to his defense. but if you haven't heard what they are saying, listen. >> whatever the communication is comes back into the government and shared across the government. so it's not a bad thing to have multiple communication lines to any government. >> using their equipment in their diplomatic facilities? >> again, don't know if all of that is true. i would just say that any line of communication to a country like russia is a good thing. >> they are down play iing it. >> they certainly are. i'm sad to say that secretary kelly is misleading the american people. it's very disappointing.
he says that any communications with a country like russia are a good thing. it's simply not true. if that were true, then espionage contacts would be okay. that could be a good thing. it's not true. and notice that neither he nor mcmaster refutes the underline report, which is there was this offer, discussion about b covert communications with the kremlin. they don't dispute that. they go back to explaining why a back channel is a good thing. this is not a back channel and i wish we would stop using that term to describe it. that's what the administration want. s to say to describe it. that's not what americans, those of us concerned about national security should say about it. >> point taken. and he has said to congress, yes, you will meet with them and give up information of any of these meetings so far but the probe is widening. the president's son-in-law,
thank you so much. let's talk now that the political ramifications of all of this, "the washington post" reports that the trump administration is preparing a special strategy to handle the fallout coming from this russia probe, including latest allegations involving jared kushner. so we talked last hour to john wagner. he was reporting on how the trump administration is creating a war room, sort of the monica lewinsky/bill clinton days with lawyers and communication experts. >> you can understand why. because the goal here is to try to wall off people who focus solely on that. you just heard jeff zeleny say to that this is an agenda item. so that is is a realization that this is true. so try and get a team solely
dedicated to that, those are the only people that answer those questions. every time somebody gets questioned about the russia investigation say talk over there and then more importantly perhaps, free up everyone else in the west wing who is not working on that at all in the administration the flexibility to try to enact an agenda is just a strategy that attempts to cordon off what is all consuming so the entire administration is not engulfed by it. >> then jared kushner issue, apparently the whole thing is jared island. this is how some of the trump staffers are referring to him to "the new york times." they discuss his special status in the white house. the fact he left that trip early almost protective of the president knowing the news was going to drop on this kremlin communication. >> probably was a smart move. there are definitely are a couple different fangss in the white house. one that is circling the wagons
around jared kushner and the other that are sniping behind his back and say iing exactly wt you said. the whole jared island conversation. this is one of the reasons that having a family member so close to power. the president is family above all else. jared kushner is his daughter's husband, so he's not easy to dispense of, nor does the president want him to be dispensed of. so the fact that the president is responding so vehemently to this, he had an on the record comment in "the new york times." how often does that happen? it shows how seriously they are taking this. and how problematic this is going forward, even if jared kushner does go to the senate and tells them what he knows. >> so this is on the agenda. we know the president is back because twitter has been afire in the last 24 hours.
part of that includes tweets like this one. it is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the white house are fabricated lies made up by the fake news media. whenever you see the word sources say in the fake news media, they don't mention names, it's possible that the sources don't exist and are made up by fake news writers. but reporters are pointing out they are asking to speak to reporters all the time. and trump is wanting his administration to find the leakers and saying the leaks are fake, you can't have it both ways. >> certainly anonymous sources. pi find little sthie for the white house when they complain about the white house. nearly every white house has used that complaint and folks love to remain anonymous. so when it comes to the leaks here. notice the movement of president trump on this. he was asked flat out in
february at a press conference you're saying that the news is fake or that the leaks are fake. he said the leaks are real. now he's calling the leaks fake. so he has moved on this as the news that has been leaking out, has been less and less favorable to him. >> i think you just gave me a headache. jackie, big week ahead. what should we be looking for? >> it's a really open question, to be honest. congress is out of session. i don't believe, the last time i looked at my phone, there wasn't an agenda set for the white house. there is talk about the president weighing in on the paris climate agreement. there's been some reporting this he might decide to pull out of it. but again, his daughter ivanka and eric have initially were telling him to stay in it. we heard there was a meeting that was supposed to have over this agreement rescheduled
several times. so it's sort of an open question at this point on what the white house decides to focus on this week. >> paris acord, health care, we'll see if they can take some of the momentum from the trip and parlay it into something back here at home. thank you so much. breaking news now involving golf legend tiger woods. look at this. his mug shot. he was arrested this morning suspected of driving under the influence. what we know, we'll tell you, coming up. also ahead, new pictures of that manchester concert bomber and his blue suitcase. why authorities are asking for the public's help. two heroes sacrificing their lives to defend two strangers ob a train during aracist attack in portland. one of the strangers is speaking out about what haunts her the most. you're watching cnn, i'm brooke baldwin. ♪ so nice, so nice.
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breaking news out of south florida. once the greatest golfer in the world, tiger woods arrested this morning suspected of driving under the influence near his home in jupiter. he was later released from jail with no bond. let e me bring in christine brennan. talk about a fall from grace. no one ever thought they would see a mug shot of tiger woods. it's sad. >> it's absolutely sad. and as someone who has been k t critical of him over the years in the sports media, there's nothing but sadness here. the horror of what could have been if driving under the influence as the authorities say what we could have done, not only to himself, but others on the road in the middle of the night in jupiter, florida. tiger is 41. he's not 21. he has two kids. he's an adult in every way. but he would make a decision to
drive while under the influence of something, we're not sure what it was yet. it's astounding. the fall from grace is just stunning. i can't even believe we're discussing this. >> i was going back just to try to understand what he's been up to recently. he's been in and out of action. he had some back fusion surgery as recent as a month ago where it was an instant nerve relief. and he said he hadn't felt this good in years. that was last no. >> the surgery was mid-april and he's hoping to come back. we haven't seen him much. he's played three times worldwide in two years. he's had four procedures. on the same spot in his back over the last three years. so four different surgeries in the exact same spot over three years. this was the latest. but this was what he felt was necessary to finally aleafuate
the pain, which is why we haven't seen him on the golf course. so he would have been in a good place and would have been happy. i think it also shows the depths of where he is. he cannot play the game he loves. he was groomed for this. he's won 14 major titles, but none now in 9 years. just the difficulty of his life in this public demise and tall from grace is sastounding. maybe not surprising entirely except the decision of a man w has his life together to make this decision. he will regret that and live with it for his entire life. >> what do we know about his personal life? just over the past couple years, you mentioned his two kids after the infamous divorce. >> the run? was 2009. then the cascading debacle of his personal life fall it iting
apart all self-induced. he has two kids. a boy and a girl who plays so soccer and takes them to and from school. he has a good relationship with his ex-wife. by all accounts he's living a very nice life. except for the back problems he's had and the surgeries he's had to endure. he doesn't play much golf because he hasn't been able to play. he opened a restaurant. he's seen around town in florida. and as i said, he's living a relatively normal life. so again, this is something that is just a misstep that he could not afford to make. thank goodness no one was injured. >> thank goodness. we wish them the best. thank goodness for him and anyone else that could have been on the road. thank you so much. coming. up next, a shocking attack on a portland, oregon, metro train. two men killed, another barely survived after stepping in to defend two girls from a man shouting anti-muslim slurs. we'll hear from the hero's
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despite america's division, the rhetoric, the hate we see in the headlines, there are 12i8 still heroes hong us. even in the unlikeliest of places. even on a train. it's friday afternoon, two young women riding this commuter train in portland, oregon. one of them wearing a hijab when a monster begins to yell out racist and anti-muslim slurs at them. >> he told us to go back to saudi arabia and he told us that we shouldn't be here and to get oit of his country. he was just telling us that we basically weren't anything and a
and that we should just kill ourselves. >> the young women there tells us she and her friend moved to the back of the train to get away. but then a stranger steps in. he defends them and says to the men yao can't disrespect these young ladies like that. more strangers step this. that is when the knife comes out. the suspect starts to stab. right there in broad daylight on a train in america. one of the girls says she just heard arguing, fighting, then saw blood everywhere. two of those hee e rows didn't survive. they died defending strangers. one, a military veteran, father of four. the other, a recent college grat wait who just started his career, started his life. today one of the teens they saved is saying thank you. >> thank you to the people that put their life on the line for me because they didn't even know me. they their life because me and
my friend and the way we looked. i just want to say thank you to them and their family. that i appreciate them. because without them, we probably would be dead right now. >> the third hero right now in the hospital and despite his serious wounds is expected to survive. his mother says, as badly injured as micah fletcher is, he blames himself. >> i am feeling very, very cllu and thanking god. i'm feeling bad for my son who thinks it's his fault. they missed the jugular by a millimeter. they cut one of the arteries.
>> this is the man accused of the attack. he has a history of white supremacy activities. critics slam president trump for not condemning the attacks. today he tweeted the violent attacks in portland on friday are unacceptable. the victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. our prayers are with them. with me now, the mayor of portland, oregon. he joins me by phone. thank you for coming on. my condolences to your city and these families. you have talked to some of these family members. can you tell e me what you have learned about these heroes who stepped in? >> the main thing i would want people across the country to know is that there are people like this in portland, oregon. they were attacked because they did the right thing. it's very obvious that their actions were brave and selfless and should serve as an example and inspiration to all of us. there's no question in my mind that these men were heroes.
>> how are their families doing? >> they are not doing well. as you can imagine, this is a very traumatic time for them. there's no limits to the amount of grief they are feeling and the community is feeling that grief right alongside them. and if there's any consolation for them, it's this. they stood up for the right thing. they stood up against hatred, against bigotry, two of them paid with their lives. and one, as you just stated, is still in the hospital and is expect ed to survive. and i just can't tell you that there are no limits to the grief and the anger that this community is feeling right now. >> what about this suspect? e we have been trying to understand. i guess he has a history of white supremacy before this train attack. there's cell phone video, appears to be him. we have a piece of it. >> there's very little to
understand here. the bottom line is this. the man was filled with hatred. and we have got to change the political die nam niynamic in t country. people that don't want to get involved, this is the time we have to get involved. we have to stand alongside the memories of rick and with micah, we have to stand with them and say the political dynamic in this country needs to change. we can't continue to accept hatred and bigotry and it's time for ordinary people to stand up and say, listen, we want this country to be what it's supposed to be. which is a country of people who work together, who get along together, who strive together and love each other. and i am so inspired by the actions of these men. they laid it all on the line. and they paid the ultimate price for standing up to those values, which are bedrock to this country. all of us should be inspired now to stand up and be accounted for
and demand change in this country. >> it speaks volumes of your city there in the pacific northwest. mayor, so sorry and we wish mr. fletcher in the hospital a recovery. thank you so much. >> thank you and please know this. our community has rallied around this and appreciate the support. the outpouring of support we have gotten from around the nation and around the world for these three men. >> good, as it should be. thank you. coming up next, a rather stunning remark by one of america's closest allies. the german chancellor says europe can no longer rely on the u.s. hear what happened on the trip that sparked that. plus new pictures of the manchester concert bomber. why authorities are asking for the public's help. ♪
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fresh off his first overseas trip, president trump not getting a vote of confidence from one of america's closest allies. angela merkel says european nation its must take their own fate into their own hands. adding that they i can no longer completely rely on the united states. so with that one sentence, let's have a conversation. michael wies is with me, cnn investigative reporter for international affairs. and also with us cnn mill stair analyst general mike hurtling. thank you so much for your service to this country. but let me begin, general, with this one line coming out of chancellor merkel at a beer
hall. she's not the kind of woman that just speaks off the cuff. her words take significance. why would she say this? what's she getting at? >> first of all, thank you for your comments. secondly, i would say having spent 12 years of my career in germany, when i first heard this, it just shocked me. but as i look more into it and folks i know in germany, it was an offhand comment at a beer hall. it wasn't a major policy speech. but having said that, it is still very disturbing. she has her own internal politics to be concerned about. they have an election in september. so she's actually countering some of the rhetoric of her main competit competitor, who has been asking her to step up against trump. so i think this was a valid opportunity, but it's certainly indicates what kind of affairs took place at the g7 summit and
nato conference, which we all saw play out. they are not happy with the trump administration in europe. >> that awkward moment where president trump is calling out nato allies for not paying their fair share and that awkward glance on all these leaders' faces. david fraum twooeted this. the supreme goal in europe of the ussr was the severing of the u.s.-german alliance. trump delivered. we were wondering watching the nato coverage last week if somewhere in a darkroom vladimir putin is just loving it and cackling. what do you make of those words? >> sort of the unofficial slogan of nato since its inception of keep america in, russians out. now it's keep germany in, russia out and america out to lunch. under this presidency, american leadership is is suffering.
that's the messaging that germans, french, even the bri british are getting. i'm less inclined to down play offhand remarks. i do think this represents a sea change. not just in germany, but also in france. look at what was said. >> that was intentional. >> the white knuckled handshake. comparing donald trump to two world leaders. two authoritarian and increasingly dangerous world leade leaders. this is a signal from a continent to america. we love you, we hope some day you will come to your senses and come back, but for now, we cannot afford in our security and perhaps even in the geostrategic chess game that is world politics, we cannot afford to rely on you because you're too reck skplless. >> i got to say e we aren't that too far apart on this.
it wasn't a policy speech, but it's still damning. i agree with him completely on this. again, things are not going well in europe right now. they are seeing us as they don't know what to do with the united states in terms of relationship. there was a lot bigger fish to fry other than the 2% gdp payment that trump emphasized, which frankly he doesn't understand and the european countries that are part of nato do understand what that 2% means. and there were a whole lot of other things to discuss. the strategy for afghanistan, the strategy of terror, russian expansionism, what to do ukraine, forces on the continent, all those things were much more important to talk about in a very changing world, and trump tended to insult the allies during several conferences. >> you can see it on their faces. let me e ask you, michael. moving away from that and on to the manchester bomber.
we now in addition to getting this photo of him and this big blue suitcase in the days before the attack and police are putting it out for public's help. paul cruickshank said that british officials are telling him they are less sure that the bomber actually received training in syria. that was the initial reporting. not only had he been in libya, but in syria receiving training for months. >> i think that's probably right. it would be very stupid for ab isis operative whether or not he'd been radicalized remotely or activated remotely to try to get him to syria right now. the turkish policy is they ban you from the country. it's too dangerous. it's too front with complications given international security concerns at the moment. more likely he would have gone to libya. he has his father, his brother, libya is even more of a failed state than seyria. at least in terms of the attention that's being paid to it and the pourous through which
you can get in. it just doesn't pass the smell test. >> also the reporting from the airport folks in istanbul that you cannot connect and fly into syria. he didn't go into turkey, but connected on a flight. we wait to see reporting on that. general, before i let you go, north korea has tested yet another ballistic missile. this was what was said about this action. >> john would probably the worst kind of fighting in most people's lifetimes. why do i say this? the north korean regime has hundreds of artillery canons and rocket launchers in range of one of the most densely populated cities on earth. we are working with the international community to deal with this issue, this regime is
a threat to the region, to japan, to south korea and in the event of war, they would bring danger to china and to russia as well. but the bottom line is it would be catastrophic war if this turns into combat. if we're not able to resolve the situation through diplomatic means. >> what do you think that means? what's the appropriate response from the u.s.? >> secretary mattis is just pointing out the obvious. it's a blinding flash. we have known this for awhile. what we have seen is there's been an emphasis on diplomatic action. so far under the trump administration there's been ab e emphasis on military action. those are two of the four elements of national power that have to be brought to bear in a coalition against them. it hasn't been done. this was a subject that was another one at the g7 conference saying what are e we going to do next about this and the same day that the conference broke up, north korea again fired
missiles. so we're talking about the requirement to get multiple nations, japan, south korea, china, russia and others involved in instances of pushing back on north korea. that hasn't happened in the trump administration's approach to transactional relationship. we probably need to take a full-throated power approach to north korea that hasn't been done yet. >> thank you both so much. >> thank you. just in, new details on ivanka trump's mind set as questions swirl around her husband's contacts with russia. that's ahead. 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.
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in the long-standing tradition of laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. the president paid his respect at arlington national cemetery where he talked about the sacrifices of those who died while serving this nation. >> to every gold star family who honors us with your presence, you lost sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. they each had their own names, their own stories, their own beautiful dreams, but they were all angels sent to us by god, and they all share one title in common, and that is the title of hero. >> with me now alison jaslow, the director of iava, and also laid a wreath at the tomb of the
unknowns on behalf of the organization. we love iava here at cnn so thanks so much for being with me. i want to talk about the go silent campaign today. iava really wanting americans to remember the true meaning of memorial day. tell me about that. >> well, we launched our go silent campaign a little over probably about two weeks ago, and largely wanted to not only make sure that people saved one minute to remember the true meaning of the day but raise awareness of it. unfortunately, as the war is have drawn down recently the day and the sacrifice of the fallen has gone into the backs of people's minds, but the reality is that many service members have given the ultimate sacrifice recently. their families share that sacrifice and we still have troops in harm's way that we need to keep in mind. we lost a soldier i believe just two days ago as well overseas so we want to make sure that people
remember it. our go silent campaign achieved that and what is a very divisive country and no matter what political affiliation you have and what opinions you can stop that day for that one minute and remember those who gave all. >> and talking about our nation's heros, what about women. you and i talking about, she who borne the battle, really focusing in on women who have sacrificed. >> so iava's top priority this year is to raise awareness and recognition, increased recognition, for women veterans. unfortunately, when people think of veterans they don't think of a woman who looks like me, and that extends to the fallen as well, so i've spend as much time as i've been able to on my own to raise awareness for the nearly 200 women killed in iraq and offing, but i can't thank you enough, brooke, for giving me an opportunity to share that with your viewers today.
>> iava, thank you so much for all that you are doing there for your veterans across this great nation. appreciate your time today. thank you. >> brooke, thank you for having us. >> you got it t. >> now to a tragedy in the middle of fleet week. a navy s.e.a.l. with the elite sky diving unit has lost his life during a team jump. we're told his device malfunctioned. this is in fact the video showing a piece of his parachute falling between the buildings. the navy s.e.a.l. fell into the water near the park where the skydivers were. he has not been identified but our thoughts are with his family, especially on this memorial day. it's our little differences,
international ban on laptops and e-readers in airplane cabins. his decision comes amid escalating concerns about a terrorist attack. >> there's a real threat. there's numerous threats against aviation. that's really the -- the thing that they are obsessed with, the terrorists. the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it's a u.s. carrier, particularly if it's full of mostly u.s. folks, people. it's real. >> right now large devices are banned on some u.s.-bound flights from ten airports across eight nations in the middle east and in africa. and today marks what would have been president john f. kennedy's 100th birthday. jake tapper talked exclusively to caroline kennedy about what she thinks her father would make of the country now. >> i went back actually and i was looking at a speech that he gave right before he became president, and he says history will judge us by four qualities, courage, integrity, dedication
and judgment, so i think that that's how he would judge politics today. >> tune in at any time at 7:00 here on cnn for a special jfk night. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being with me. "the lead" starts right now. thank you, brooke. air force one returns and the president is out of airplane mode. "the lead" starts right now. president trump returns home with a tweet storm as the russia investigation hits closer to home. what's next for jared kushner, the president's trusted son-in-law after a new report that he push sued a secret line to the kremlin? testing trump again. north korea fires its third ballistic missile in as many weeks as the pentagon prepares for the growing threat in an unprecedented way. plus, in the rough. the mug shot after tiger woods is arrested in florida. why he spent part of his morning in