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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  May 30, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT

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told him that he was on prescription drugs we we all know he was because of his surgeries. jake? >> rosa flores, thanks so much. be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter @jaketapper. tweet the show @theleadcnn. that's it for today. i'm jake tapper. i now turn you over to one mr. wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, breaking news. alternate explanations. the fbi digs into jared kushner's meetings with russia's ambassador and with the russian banker linked to vladimir putin. a source says investigators want to learn why the bank and those close to kushner offered different explanations for the meetings. not cooperating. as a deadline looms for michael flynn to answer a congress a.m. subpoena, another trump associate is declining to cooperate with lawmakers. the president's attorney, michael cohen, says the intelligence committees are on a fishing expedition. trogity information. in a cnn exclusive, sources say
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during the campaign russian officials discussed having potentially derogatory information on then candidate donald trump. the information was described as financial, and there was talk of possible leverage other trump's inner circle. and missile interceptor. the pentagon tests its ability to shoot down missiles using a long range interceptor. can it prove it has the answer to north korea's growing missile threat. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." breaking news, cnn has learn the fbi is scrutinizing jared kushner's meetings with russia's ambassador to the united states and 'follow-up meeting with a russian banker tied to president putin. a source says investigators are interested in the different explanations for the purpose of the meeting given by the bank and the white house.
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president trump's personal lawyer is declining to cooperate with congressional investigators. michael cohen says the questions from are the intelligence committees are overly broad and calls the investigation a rush to judgment n.had a cnn exclusive sources say the russians discussed potentially derogatory information about donald trump and his associates during the campaign. one source describes the information as financial and says the russians' discussion centered on possible discussions over trump's inner circle and the source also said the claims could have been part of a disinformation campaign. and with the white house in crisis, a source who speaks for the president describes him as emotionally withdrawn saying he now lives within himself adding that's a dangerous place for donald trump to be. i'll talk to democratic congressman gregory meeks of the foreign affairs committee and our correspondents, specialists and guests, they are standing by with full coverage of the day's top stories. let's begin with the russia investigation. we have breaking news and a cnn
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exclusive, but first cnn's diane gallagher with the very latest. diane? >> reporter: that's right. sources are telling cnn that the russian government officials talked about having that potentially derogatory information during the 2016 election. it was about then candidate trump and some of his top aides. one of those sources saying that the information was financial in nature. the conversations picked up by u.s. intelligence suggest the the russians believed they had the ability to influence the administration with the information. that's according to two former intelligence officials and a congressional source. now sources caution that the claims could have been fake or even exaggerated as part of russia's greater disinformation campaign. former director of national intelligence james clapper acknowledged that's possible, but warned -- >> i will just say that there were a series of communications and dialogs that we grew -- i say we, members of the
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intelligence community that were aware of it, were very concerned about. >> reporter: meanwhile the investigation into russia's interference in the u.s. election continues to swirl around those close to the u.s. president. michael cohen, one of trump's personal attorneys, confirmed tuesday he had, quote, respectfully declined to cooperate with an invitation to provide investigation-related information and testimony related to congress. >> we found that a lot of -- >> reporter: president's most trusted adviser, son-in-law jared kushner, is being scrutinize as well. an official says the fbi is looking into kushner's contacts with russian officials during the transition as well as various explanations given for the meetings. on december 1st kushner met with ambassador sergey kislyak at trump tower and late they are month he met with sergey gorkov, the chairman of a u.s.-sanctioned russian bank, a close putin associate and former spy. in march the white house insisted it was part of kushner's official transition role but the bank said it was
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only about business. the meeting with kislyak was initially left off kushner's security clearance disclosure forms but added the next day. this month sources told cnn kushner discussed setting up a secret communications channel with russia using their facilities as a way to bypass detection by u.s. intelligence. but as an explanation said it was so he and then nsa nominee flynn could discuss military strategy in syria among other topics. reuters is reporting kushner had several additional undisclosed contacts with kislyak but kushner's attorney says that he, quote, participated in thousands of calls in the time period. he has no recollection of the calls as described. the white house also pushed back calling the reports false and unverified claims. >> you're asking if he approves of an action that is not a confirmed action. that being said, i think secretary kelly and general mcmaster have both discussed in general terms back channels are an appropriate part of
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diplomacy. >> reporter: now the president's son-in-law is one of his most trusted advisers, but jared kushner has plenty of white house duties as well, including middle east peace and streamlining government and, wolf, a source familiar with kushner's role says that at this point he isn't giving up any part of that vast portfolio. >> he's there, and he's working. diane gallagher, thanks very, very much. the white house tried to change the subject today touting the president's overseas trip and his agenda, but he can't escape the president's russia troubles. let's gets to senior white house correspondent jim acosta. things got sort of heated today at the briefing. >> reporter: it certainly did, wolf. the white house held an on-camera briefing or steering clear of the cameras on the president's foreign trip. white house press secretary sean spicer didn't offer much information to reporters refusing to say much about jared kushner being swept up in the russia investigation and is insisting that the president is happy with the message coming out of the white house on the same day his communications director announced he's stepping
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down. it was back to the briefing room for white house press secretary sean spicer, and as is often the case in a spicer briefing the back and forth over the russia investigation was especially intense. >> he didn't know at the time. when did he find out? >> i think that assumes a a lot. >> reporter: considering spicer's response when if the president knew about an attempt to establish a back channel with the kremlin using russian facilities. did the president discuss? >> i'm not going to get into what the president did or did not discuss? >> does he approve that have action? >> you're asking if he approves of an action that's not a confirm action. that being said i think secretary kelly and general mcmaster have both discussed in general terms back channels are an appropriate part of diplomacy. >> reporter: the president made clear his frustrations with the russia investigation in a tweet. russian officials must be laughing at the u.s. and how a lame excuse for why the dems lost the election has taken over the fake news. >> mr. trump's by the pull. >> reporter: another familiar face from trump world has
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surfaced in the russia probe. the president owes personal attorney michael cohen who has been asked to provide testimony and information to congressional investigators. cohen told cnn he won't be cooperating adding, quote, they have yet do produce one single peeves credible evidence that would corroborate the russia narrative. the white house is now in the process of ramping up its rapid response efforts in the russia investigation. and they may bring on former campaign manager cory lewandowski to help with damage control. that's happening as white house communications director michael dubke is leaving the west wing. despite all that, spicer insisted the support happy with his team and then took a jab at the news media. >> i think he's very pleased with the work of his staff. i think that he is frustrated, like i am and like so many others, to see stories come out that are patently false, to see narratives that are wrong, to see quote, unquote fake news. when you see stories get perpetrated that are absolutely false, that are not based in fact, that is troubling, and --
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and he's rightly concerned. >> can you give an example of fake news. >> yeah, absolutely. >> reporter: spicer's only example an erroneous tweet that the president wasn't listening to a translation at the g7 what he really was. >> that's the kind of thing that the bbc and a reporter that is joining the "new york times" push out and perpetuate. you're shaking your head, pieter. it's true. >> reporter: but he refruited to say whether report on a pending white house shake-up is true. the white house not backing down from criticism the president lempd at union leader on his overseas trip and the president tweeted we have a massive trade deficit with germany and they pay far less than they should on nato and the military. very bad for the u.s. angela merkel sounded gloomy after the president's trip. >> the times when we could completely rely on others are to an extent over. i've experienced this in the last few days, and that's why we europe ofians must really take our fate into our own hands. >> reporter: spicer didn't see it that way. >> i think the relationship that
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the president has had with merkel, he were describe as fairly unbelievable. they get along very well. he has a lot of respect for her. they continue to groy the bond that they had during their talks in the g7. >> reporter: there were other questions to be asked, but spicer abruptly ended the briefing. >> thank you, guys, very much. appreciate did. >> reporter: not the first time that hassed had a. on a normal day the white house confirmation that the president is re-examining the obama administration's policy towards cuba would be major news, but bogged down on the russia investigation, the white house refusal to provide many answers on that question of russia, just may be refueling this very story that the president would like to see go away. wolf? >> good point. jim acosta reporting from the white house, thanks very much. joining us now democratic congressman gregory meeks of new york. he's a member of the foreign affairs committee, also the financial services committee. congressman, thanks for joining us. >> good being with you, wolf. >> let me get first to the new reporting from cnn.
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russian officials claim to have had derogatory information about then candidate donald trump and some of his aides during the campaign. your reaction to these developments? >> i wish i could say that i was shocked, but, you know, day after day after day there's something new being revealed, and i think that -- i'm glad that we now have an independent counsel that will be able to review all of these facts so that the american people will know what happened and who did. i think that the two intelligence committees should continue their work so that, again, we can be assured as the american public what took place and, when and i also think that as a result we need this independent commission as we had with the 9/11 commission, to look at all of this, because oftentimes the prosecutor, special prosecutor and the two intelligence committees, they work in private and secrecy, but an independent commission works in a public because the public has a right to know whether or not we have a president who has been compromised or not, and so
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we need those facts and we need the evidence so we know what we're dealing with. remember, we're dealing with the president who, you know, refused to show his tax returns for the first time in over at least a decade, who has a number of associates all affiliated with russia, as well as when every one of our intelligence agencies have said that russia has interneared with our -- our democracy. so it -- it screams out for our democracies. no longer about democrat or republican. it's about our democracy at this point. >> the chairman of the house intelligence committee devon nunez he was recorded back at a private fund-raiser on april 7th talking about the russian investigation. i want you to listen to what he said. >> several weeks ago, why, because the democrats don't want to have an investigation on russia. they want an independent commission. why do they want an independent commission? because they want to continue the narrative that vladimir
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putin and donald trump are best friends and that's the only reason he wants this because hillary clinton could never have lost on her own stow had to be someone else's fault. >> as you know, he's taken himself out of the investigation right now. he's still the chairman of the house intelligence committee, but he's not directly involved in this investigation. you just heard him say an independent commission would be a political exercise. your reaction to what we just heard? >> that's nonsense because you can't say that the 9/11 commission was a political exercise, and the 9/11 commission came because there was a threat to the united states. an independent commission at this time will look and investigate as to whether what took place with regard to the russians being involved in our election, as all of our intelligence agencies have indicated so it's about our democracy. not about politics at this point, and i would hope that more republicans particularly the republican leadership finally stepped up because of
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their silence. we're starting to hear some of the rank and file members of the republicans starting to talk up. we need some of the leadership to finally talk up and say our democracy needs to know and understand what took place and when it took place and when did the president know and when did he know it and what was told to him? >> we need to know that. >> as you know, congressman, the president's son-in-law, senior advisers, jared kushner has come under scrutiny from the fbi. they want to know why they got different explanations about the purpose of a meeting that kushner had were an influential russian banking chief who has close ties to putin at the same time the white house said kushner was acting as an official for the transition, the bank put out a statement saying they met with kushner in a financial capacity on account of his family's real estate business. what do you make of that clear discrepancy? >> well, look, i'm a former prosecutor myself. the first thing that would jump at me is a cover-up, you know. if i'm a polluter, that would
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bring up my antennas that somebody is not telling the truth because bolt stories can't be correct, and so that means i need to dig even deeper to find out who is telling the truth and who is telling a lie and whether or not there's any collusion going on. i've got to search for the facts because my curiosity as a prosecutor would really be engaged when you've got two significant parties with two opposite responses, and i think that's where we are right now. >> should kushner lose his security clearance as some you are your democratic colleagues have suggested? >> i think that as we look at it, if in fact he has lied, did not reveal certain information at the time that he received his security clearance, then, yes, absolutely. so, you know, we cannot -- and here's a campaign that talked about after hillary was cleared of his e-mails and that there were no violations, that -- about classifications. here clearly if this individual lied about his encounters with
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various, not just one but various russian people of authority, whether it was the ambassador, whether it was a bank, then surely his classification of being access to classified information should be reviewed and revoked if that's the case. >> congressman, there's more to discuss. i need to take a quick break. we'll resume our coverage right after this. what if technology gave us the power to turn this enemy into an ally? microsoft and its partners are using smart traps to capture mosquitoes and sequence their dna to fight disease. there are over 100 million pieces of dna in every sample. with the microsoft cloud, we can analyze the data faster than ever before. if we can detect new viruses before they spread, we may someday prevent outbreaks before they begin.
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>> congressman, there's more to
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now breaking news, cnn learns the fbi scrutinizing jared kushner's meeting with russia's ambassador to the united states and later a meeting with a russian banker sanctioned with the u.s. but tied to president putin, the white house refusing to confirm or deny any secret channels with russia. we're back with congressman
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gregory meeks of new york. a member of the foreign affairs committee. following meetings with president trump the german chancellor angela merkel said that europe can real know longer completely rely on the united states, but the white house press secretary sean spicer today defended the president saying his relationship with chancellor merkel is fairly unbelievable and says it's great, it's a great thing that europe recognizes the need for additional burden-sharing. what's your reaction? >> my reaction is the white house's reaction is absolutely ridiculous, you know. as you said, wolf, i'm on the foreign affairs committee. i am the ranking democrat on the european subcommitsy, rand as i've talked to my colleagues in the eu and from nato, they are all very concerned about the words and action and deeds of this president, and it's clear that chancellor merkel is not just making this up. if you listen to his words, where he refused to agree in a
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forthright way on article 5 of a nato constitution where one defends the other, an attack against one is an attack against other, when you continually not hear him talk about the eu at all and the significance or importance at all of the eu and when you hear him not agreeing with the climate change agreement, talk of him pulling out and not having any real faith and trust in any of the world organizations and causing doubt to be had whether the united states will stay in or stay out even though that these things united states have led for all these particular periods of time, when you see something hesitant like that this president has been, yes, if i were chancellor merkel or the head of any country in the eu i would have significant control -- concern, rather. there's no question about that, and it seems as though when he's left europe, the only one that was happy on the european geographicical footprint was mr. putin who wants to see us
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divided and see europe divided. he was the only successor. >> congressman, germany and other -- most of the other nato nations for their part they have been missing that defense spending target of 2% of their gdp over these many years. the president has repeatedly pointed out 23 of the 28 nato allies don't meet that 2% target. doesn't he have a point? >> well, no, wolf, because already even in the obama administration, it had been agreed by all of our nato partners that they would be moving, and that they would be at that number by 2024 and there would be reports of moving forward, so there was no need to go in the manner that he did to try to browbeat our allies who have been working collectively with us, who share the same values that we have and yet go to saudi arabia and egypt, individuals who do not share the same values that we have, who do not believe in human rights and
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women's rights, et cetera, say nothing to them about their human rights violations and just be glad because saudi arabia gave him a medal, that's just absolutely ridiculous, and it is worry some -- worrisome for those of us in had the united states and i know it has to be who are some for those in the eu and our allies. >> you announced the paris climate agreement. as you know, that's a real point of contention. it was at the g7 summit because president trump refused to commit to the paris climate agreement. sean spicer, the press secretary today, refused to say whether or not the president believes that humans are a cause of climate change. in the past the president has repeatedly called climate change, as you know, a hoax. here's the question. if the u.s. were to withdraw from this paris agreement and the president last week said he would have an announcement this week, what message would that send to the rest of the world? >> it would send to the rest of the world a message that the
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united states does not care about this planet that we all share and does not care about multi-lateral agreements that we make with other nations. the president has indicated that he wanted to do everything bilaterally and in a world that's more interconnected than ever about. this is the world that we live in, and he's pulling out of all of the multi-lateral agreements that we have so that we can pull and work together. so it would show legal concern about also the -- the worthiness of the united states in keeping their word and working together with others when it's most important in this day and age in which we live in right now. when you talk about crises around the world no, one can deal with it by themselves. we need to work collectively together in multi-lateral relationships. congressman gregory meeks of new york, thanks for joining us. >> good to be with you. thanks for having me. come up, more of the high-stakes missile intersetter
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it's a new kind of network. xfinity mobile. we're following multiple breaking stories in the investigation of russian meddling in the u.s. presidential election including cnn's exclusive reporting that conversations intercepted by u.s. conversations reveal russian intelligence officials discussing potentially derogatory information about then presidential candidate donald trump and some of his top aides. let's get some insight from our specialists and dana together with jim sciutto and pamela brown. you broke this story. how significant are these
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developments? >> reporter: well, it's significant in the sense that it's one more indication that the bigger puzzle and the bigger question of russia trying to intervene in the u.s. election and one more kind of illustration of that it, and it's because what we learned, and pamela brown was kind of the lead on this, was that there were russian officials, russian government officials talking to one another about the fact that they claimed to have derogatory information about trump and his aides and specifically a source said that it was financial in nature. so it gives an indication to us of where these investigations are going, and also the fact that russia really did not just have an intent on messing with the 2016 election but doing so in the way that they traditionally do, which is kompromat, using specific information that they get on an
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individual against them. this is not necessarily that really existed. it could be that the russians were bragging knowing that they were being listened to and was part of a disinformation campaign, but the end of the day this is something that investigators are looking hat. >> the because you know, phil mudd, whenever the u.s. does pick up a conversation like this, they have to make sure that it's the real thing, that it wasn't just phony trying to it, you know, screw around, knowing that the u.s. was listening in. >> you nailed, that wolf. look, handle with care. any fbi investigators got to look at this, but there's a phrase you use in the intelligence business, chain of acquisition. you're listening to the russians. do you believe them, especially if you think they might believe that that chain -- that avenue of communications is already compromised? remember, chain of acquisition. they are talking to somebody who is talking to somebody. when we did this in fourth grade we -- we referred to this as a game of telephone. once you get three or four steps removed and it's the same in the intelligence business, seriously, you're saying i don't know who they acquired it from
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and who the subsource, is so when you're three or four steps out, you don't even know if the russians are accurate or honest in their portrayal of this conversation, and then you take two or three steps out. you've got to investigate, it wolf, but i'm suspicious of this on the surface. >> well, let's say it's true, how would they leverage it if in fact they did have derogatory financial information about then candidate donald trump? what would they do with that. >> >> this is what i find curious about this conversation. when we go into the election we have the president-elect of the united states having a perception of the russians in a public -- in a public portrayal of the russians that's incredibly positive. how would the russians use this? how would they use this with the president? how would they use this with michael flynn? are you going say if you don't do what we want, we're going to blackmail you? already the white house is in the russian camp. i don't exactly understand what the end game is. >> except the question is as an investigator you would look at which game first, the chicken or
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the egg. is the white house -- was donald trump in the russian camp already, or were they in the russian camp because of whatever it is that these people are talking about, right? >> that's right, and that's why the jared flynn conversations with the russian banker and why donald trump's lawyer's conversation with russian financial figures are significant. this is about who shot john when and did that happen before the election started? >> when you say jared flynn, you meant jared kushner and michael flynn. just want to be precise. you brought both of them together. both of them were in on that meeting. >> not like brangelina. >> the president, as you know, mark, he's digging in his heels. this morning he was tweeting once again and tweeted this. russian officials must be laughing at the u.s. and how a lame excuse for why the dems lost the election has taken over the fake news. if -- if some of his advisers, some of his lawyers were telling him, you know, hold off on all the tweet, he's not holding off on the tweets. >> can we just stop for a secretary this is the president of the united states, the leader of the free world, tweeting,
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attacking the american news media and talking about russian officials. how insane is that? we really do live in this very bizarro world, but i will say this. from a strategic standpoint, to your point. when you're a lawyer everything that he says is going to be used and put together like a puzzle in an investigation and where it leads who knows. when you're trying to follow communications strategy, how can you as sean spicer go out there every day and have to answer for the comments that president trump makes? i don't know how you do it. >> the other story that's developing, michael cohen, the president's longtime personal attorney, not a government attorney, personal attorney, he's been asked by congressional investigators to provide, quote, information and testimony that pertains to the russia investigation. he declined to cooperate, but can lawmakers, nia, really force his and? >> you know, i mean they have additional steps. ultimately they probably can't force his and, right there. he's no sort of wonder woman
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lasso of truth where they can force him to testify, but there is subpoena power that congress has, so that might be the next step. he has complained, for instance, that this request is overly broad. he said it's a fishing expedition. if they come back they might narrow what they are asking for, so the documents or time period that they are interested in or what the line of questioning might be, and if he doesn't agree with the subpoena, then they have -- they can charge him with contempt of congress, but, again, i mean, they don't -- there's no absolute power that congress has that can compel him absolutely to testify. >> nia-malika henderson, a big wonder woman fan. very impressive. everybody, stand by. there's a lot more coming up. we'll take a quick break and be right back. then there are moments it becomes clear, ♪ together always was, and always will be, a better way. ♪
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we're back with our political and counterterrorism specialist. phil mudd, very interesting that jared kushner, the senior adviser, the son-in-law, had this meeting with this russian banker sergey gorkov. his bank has been sanctioned by the u.s. government. the fbi wants to know the answer to this. the white house originally said that meeting had, quote, had little substance and now says the purpose of the meeting was to discuss russian involvement in syria. the banks maintain gorkov met with kushner because they were interested in the family's huge real estate business. it was a business meeting. now investigators want to know, well, what's the truth? that's why they are investigating. what do you think? >> this is money in the bank for an investigator. there's two things that you have to know if the fbi ever walks in
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your office. number one, the investigation is going to take a long time. let's say they are going to talk to 20, 30, 50 people in this circumstance. the reason this takes so long is somebody who says something in september is going to have to go through a reinterview in january, february. all their friends are going to be interviewed. the discrepancies will kill you because the fbi will keep track of them. that's why i'm surprised about how some of these folks with speaking on tv. the fbi is watching that. the second thing they will do to you is they are collecting all this data, phone, e-mail, financial data, to determine whether if you say you said something on date "a" and they determine from your phone records that's incorrect, they are going to catch you on that. it's not just what you know. it's how that story changes over time, and that will kill a witness. that's what you're seeing here. >> we finally, nia, had an on-camera briefing at the white house. sean spicer, he opened up with a very lengthy statement applauding the president's overseas trip and then he took questions from reporters for less than 20 minutes. what do you think? >> he did, and that first
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question was from "the washington post" which has been doing reporting like we have on these conversations with kushner and the russian ambassador, there it is, so i think the most fascinating thing was he never denied it, right. he never denied the "washington post" story, never denied any of the stories that came out about jared kushner's request for a back channel with russians. at the end of that press conference he did talk about fake news, right, and the problem of fake news as they have been doing for months now. jim acosta asked him, give us an example of a fake news story and he rattled off sort of a random neighboring news story about a reporter getting something wrong which was a mistake. >> which was a mistake, right. >> and in that instance you would think if he wanted to knock down this story he could have said, well, this whole story is fake and it's fake because of these things but they haven't done that. i do think he was much more disciplinedch they are clearly trying to get the communication shop in order there. mike dubke is no longer there.
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had a lot of prepared statements that he was reading off the bat, trying to give a confident face to what this administration is doing. >> and set their own fair trif. >> set their own narrative but they are sort of at sea, and they can set a narrative, but there are these investigations going on. >> and that's really the burning desire of the president and frankly any president which is to not be talking from the podium or even from the oval office from a defensive posture which is all they have been doing on this russia issue because that was clearly the goal of having this, you know, i think it was like -- you google synonyms or adjectives, like every single one in the book for how fantastic his trip was, but i think on the kushner thing, and you're right, it struck me also that he didn't deny it, but he went beyond that. he went to the idea that two very well-respected national security members in their -- in their administration, h.r. mcmaster and general kelly have both said that back channels are
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part of national security, which was very artful in the dodge in that, of course, back channel is very important, but that's not the issue here. the issue is whether jared kushner broke protocol by doing this as a private citizen during the transition and when he did this, he was doing something that i don't think anybody in the administration would do. >> you mean have a direct communication with moscow. >> using their equipment from are the embassy. >> the white house communications director gone. is this the beginning of more? >> i think it could be. you know, we've seen a lot of traffic in and a out of the white house over the past few days, past few weeks, including corey lewandowski has been there and david bossie and others. this is what i do think that we should say when we're looking at the whole communication strategy of the white house, and i think we're all in agreement here, that it's real being driven by president trump. it's not being driven by his aides, nor is he really taking their advice.
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oftentimes he will say something that will totally contradict what they were sent out to say 24, 48, 72 hours beforehand, so, you know, mike dubke leaves, but i don't think that's going to change anything in the white house, and i don't care who is standing behind that podium. it is still going to be probably the hardest job in the united states. >> all right, guys. everybody stand by. there's much more coming up, including a crucial test as the u.s. military ramps up its defense against a potential missile attack by kim jong-un's north korea. will the u.s. be able to shoot down an incoming icbm?
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. we are following breaking news out of a vitally important missile defense test. an interceptor is supposed to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles just like the ones north korea's kim jong-un keeps testing. brian, tell us what you learned. >> a short time ago we got word from the missile defense agency that test was successful. the kill vehicle intercepted and destroyed the target in a direct collision. the agency's director tonight says the test shows they have a capable deter erent against a vy real threat. given the problems of past u.s. interceptor tests, the military was under considerable pressure to hit its mark today. u.s. officials stay is like trying to hit a bullet with another bullet. today the u.s. military attempted an exceptionally difficult missile interception,
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first ever to shoot down a model of an intercontinental missile. taking place oever the pacific ocean, a mock icbm was targeted from an interceptor fired from a silo north of santa barbara. interceptor hit its target. the stakes couldn't be higher. >> how much pressure are they under to make this work? >> this is a very crucial test for the pentagon and missile defense agency. north korea is working on ant continental ballistic missile that is targeted to hit the united states. >> add together pressure the u.s. military spotty track record in these tests. in a little over a decade only about half of the interceptors have hit targets and 3 of the previous 4 tests missed. there were several mechanical problems. >> sometimes the kill vehicle did not separate from the rest of the interceptor and at times
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there have also been problem with the kill vehicle itself. >> the interceptor test comes as kim jong-un crows about a missile his team test fired this week which it claims has new in-flight guidance systems to make it more rakaccurate. a do dozen of miss missiles tested by kim this year. and he is quote sending a bigger gift package to the yankees. an australian broadcaster says he is not confident in america's missile defense to counter the north korea's threat. >> i don't think it is acceptable for the united states of mer couamerica to have a mis aimed at australia with a nuclear tip on it and plan to take care of it with a
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anti-missile. >> you have so-called left of launch cyber capabilities designed to hack north korea's rocket systems. you also have preemtive trike on north korea itself. >> that is a risky option. it could turn their guns on troops in south korea. experts say the u.s. might consider launching a preemtive strike on north korea only if it became convinced that kim jong-un was about to fire a missile as an act of war and not just test one like he's been doing. >> while there's good news that interceptor test was successful, you've gotten perspective on it from missile experts. what are you hearing? >> these experts told us the past few days these mock icbms don't move nearly as fast as real enemy warheads which travel about four miles a second. they also point out this is a scripted test.
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interceptor team today knew where that mock icbm was being fired from. when the north koreans fire they often fire with no warning. still a pentagon official tells us they can improve their technology with each interceptor test and move forward toward better capability to hit these missiles out of sky. >> they are learning a lot. it's a work in progress. brian todd reporting for us. coming up, new scrutiny for jared kushner's meetings with russian ambassador to the united states. and with a russian banker tied to putin. and now, with my credit options guide, we can help you find which type of credit might be right for you. ready to get started? [woman] okay. [man] definitely. on a perfect car, then smash it into a tree. your insurance company raises your rates. maybe you should've done more research on them.
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happening now, breaking news. different story. cnn confirms the fbi is looking at jared kushner meeting with a russian banker and the conflicting accounts of why the president's son-in-law was talking to an ally of vladimir putin. tonight, your white house is clamming up about the kushner connection. refusing to testify, the russia probe widens to include the president's personal lawyer, michael cohen now telling cnn why he won't cooperate with congressional investigators. russia intercepts. exclusive new cnn reporting reveals kremlin officials discussed having potentially derogatory information about mr. trump and his team. was it real? and did it give them any influence over the new administration? and in a dangerous place. a source tells cnn trump is angry, alone and crisis rips


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