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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  June 12, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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cycle for heros, september 9, the 9/11 weekend here in new york. all week long my colleagues will be sharing stories like this about the causes that are so near and dear to their hearts. you can also see the next one tonight at 9:00 eastern on "ac 360" and take a look at all of them on "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. thanks, brooke. well, these loyalty pledges did not happy about hind closed doors. "the lead" starts right now. something of a surreal scene. a cabinet meeting where officials went around the table and some of them pumped up the president at a time when clearly he's feeling cornered. right after we learned that one of the people at the table will be testifying tomorrow before the senate about his meetings with the russians. also breaking news, coming back to haunt him. the president's tweet costing him in court as federal judges cite his tweet in their ruling against his travel ban. plus, the hidden front in the global war on terror.
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dangers few will ever know and fewer will ever face. cnn taking an in-depth look at these elite warriors and their growing mission around the world. good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we'll begin with the politics lead and with a president feeling under siege as we get ready to hear from the attorney general jeff sessions in public testimony before the u.s. senate tomorrow, today president trump set out to show the american people that his administration remains focused and positive with a cabinet meeting, the likes of which frankly we've never seen before. it started with the president and now familiar fashion boasting of his accomplishments and attacking his rivals. >> but i think we've been about as active as you can possibly be and at just about a record-setting pace. if we had the greatest bill in the history of the world on health care, we wouldn't get one vote from the democrats because they are obstructionists. that's what they want to do. >> but then cabinet members were
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invited to speak, and that's when it all got a tad unusual. >> greatest privilege of my life a is to serve of as vice president keeping his word to the american people. >> mr. president what, an incredible honor it is to lead the department of health and human services at this pivotal time under your leadership. i can't thank you enough for the privilege that you've given me. >> hundreds and hundreds of people were just so thrilled to hang out watching the whole ceremony. i want to thank you for getting this country moving again. >> the entire senior staff around you, mr. president, we thank you for the opportunity and the blessing that you've given us to serve of your agenda. >> now the white house might say this is just a display of focus and loyalty and positivity, but critics suggested that the display today was sycophantic and a little more disturbing. some supporters of the president
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in the world of conservative punditry were busy out there trying to undercut a man today with an impeccable reputation for serving, robert mueller. currently the special counsel heading up the russia investigation. with former house speaker newt gingrich tweeting, quote, republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair. look who he's firing. chicago reports. what a difference a month makes. a month ago gingrich said robert mueller is amount superb choice to be special counsel and others are beginning to question mueller and his investigation and integrity for any number of reasons. perhaps belying the positive vibes that we saw in the cabinet room earlier today, but let's focus right now on the testimony of attorney general jeff sessions who has thrown back into the center of of this storm by james comey last week.
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sessions will also face the senate intelligence committee tomorrow and the testimony will be public. cnn's jessica schneider has all the late on the russia investigation. jessica? >> well, you know, jake, it's fair to say that tomorrow's testimony, it will be intensified in the wake of james comey's accusations last week that sessions left him alone with the president and didn't respond when comey told sessions the president made him uncomfortable, but questions do remain about how wide-ranging jeff sessions' testimony will be and will the white house try to intervene? >> it's an honor to be able to serve of you in that regard. >> reporter: attorney general jeff sessions praising the president in today's cabinet meeting. >> you're right, jeff, thank you very much. >> it followses of tensions between the two over sessions' recusal over the russia investigation back in march. sessions will testify tomorrow in front of the senate intelligence committee. sources say he tried to raise a closed hearing and after objections from democrats agreed to speak publicly. the white house is still weighing whether to exert executive privilege to preclude some of sessions' testimony.
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>> it depends on the scope of the questions, and it -- to get into a hypothetical at this point would be premature. >> reporter: sessions faces a long list of questions from lawmakers. >> what were his contacts, if any, with -- with russian officials during the -- during the period of the campaign? i think that's -- that's certainly a question that we need to ask. secondly, a question i'm interested in is what role did he play, if any, again, in the comey firing? >> reporter: cnn has told james comey revealed to senators in a closed door briefing last week that sessions may have had a third undisclosed meeting with russian ambassador sergey kislyak in april 2016. sessions could also come under scrutiny for comey's claim that sessions did not respond when comey told the attorney general he felt uncomfortable being left alone with the.and questions linger about why sessions left comey alone in the oval office on february 14th when comey contends the president directed him to drop the investigation into former national security adviser michael flynn.
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donald trump jr. seemed to confirm comey's account of that conversation. >> when he tells you to do something. >> yes. >> guess what? >> there's no ambiguity in it. there's no, hey, i'm hoping. you and i are friends, hey, i hope this happens but you've got to the do your job. that's what he told comby. >> comey's memos about his interactions with president trump could be turned over to the senate judiciary committee this week. columbia law professor daniel richmond, a friend of comey's who shared the contents of the memo with media, has copies the committee wants. the president continues to criticize comey via twitter. i believe that james comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. totally illegal and very cowardly. senator lindsey graham suggested that could get the president in trouble. >> i don't think what was said amounts to obstruction of justice. now what the president did the was inappropriate, but here's what's so frustrating for republicans like me. you may be the first president in history to go down because you can't stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that if you just were quiet would clear you.
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>> and attorney general jeff sessions will go before the senate intelligence committee tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. senators, meanwhile, are still deciding whether sessions will also be asked to testify in a classified briefing after that public hearing. >> all right. jessica schneider, thanks so much. joining my now is republican senator rand paul, republican of kentucky who serves on the senate foreign relations committee among others. thanks for joining us. >> absolutely. >> i know you want to talk about your saudi arabia bill, but i do want to the ask you republicans are going after special counsel robert mueller, laura ingraham and anne coulter raising questions about a man who served with distinction, fbi director under both bush and obama. what do you make of this? >> you know, i think we've had special counsels in the past that have plilt sized things and i think we've had some who haven't. you know, if it goes the way it's supposed to go, it's supposed to be done in secret like a grand jury and only if something ultimately sin dietable do you hear anything that. actually would be fine with me and is actually something that
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would probably be a good way of looking at this. now, i can't vouch for how it's going town fold or what will happen, but if it happens the way it's supposed to, i think -- i think the president will be cleared. i don't know what else happens out of it, but i think it's probably the best way to look at it. >> just to clarify, you have described the allegations of any collusion between associates of trump and russia as a myth perpetrated by democrats, but you support seeing the probe through and letting the facts lead where they may? >> yeah. i think the whole thing is sour grapes to tell you the truth. did sessions meet with the russian ambassador ever? i mean, yes, i think it's all sour grapes. i don't think there's anything there, but i'm not against people looking at facts, but i think we shouldn't get carried away with things. i think from comey's testimony there were some pretty important things. comey said that the president was not, you know, the point of any investigation, and the president responded petulantly probably and said tell everybody i'm not the object of your investigation, and you can see
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where there are would be annoyance, but even by comey's testimony, he's saying he told me he hoped i would finish it. certainly doesn't sound like obstructing any kind of justice when you tell somebody that they hope they will finish their job. >> senator rand paul, stick around. lots more to discuss including the conflicting stories from president trump and the former fbi director. that's next. stay with us. it's your paradise perfected with behr premium plus paint. the best you can buy starting under $25. only at the home depot. usaa gives me the and the security just like the marines did. the process through usaa is so effortless, that you feel like you're a part of the family. i love that i can pass the membership to my children. we're the williams family, and we're usaa members for life.
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my doctor said preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula the national eye institute recommends to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate to advanced amd after 15 years of clinical studies. preservision areds 2. because my eyes are everything. we're back with our politics lead. lots more to talk about with republican senator rand paul of kentucky. you're against president trump's $110 billion weapons deal with saudi arabia. tomorrow the senate will vote on your legislation to block the deal. last week the saudis and other gulf nations cut off ties with qatar and accused that country of funding terrorism in the region. president trump seems to clearly be siding with the saudis. are you concerned at all that he's emboldening a country that itself has a long history of supporting terrorism? >> yeah. i think one of the most important e-mails and information that we got from the leaked e-mails from hillary clinton was an e-mail she sent to john podesta, and in it she said we need to put pressure on
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the saudis and the qataris because they are giving financial and logistical help to isis, so we're going to give our cell, $350 billion to a country that the insiders say were actually giving weapons to isis. that's a real problem for me. if you follow bob graham and the 28 missing pages in the 9/11 investigation, there's a lot of information that suggests saudi arabia was involved. 15 of the 19 hijackers were from saudi arabia. they have a terrible human rights record. i can list 20 reasons why i'm very concerned about giving them weapons, but one of those things is also coming up this week is we're unhappy with iran for developing ballistic missiles. well, guess what. iran develops them in response to saudi arabia getting more weapons. it's an arms race over there, and we're fueling it. >> let's talk about tomorrow when your former colleague, now attorney general jeff sessions testifies before the senate intelligence committee. the white house suggested today that sessions might invoke
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executive privilege depending on the questions that are asked. do you think that that might be a mistake? >> i guess it depends on the questions. i don't really know what that will be about necessarily. i still think that, you know, we've got a special counsel. let's lem them do their job. the rest is all for show. this is political theater and those committees aren't getting anywhere. if there's anything done wrong it will come out of the special counsel, and my suspicion is very little, if anything, will come out of there. there may be some people who didn't file their paperwork appropriately or didn't file to be registered as foreign agents but i kind of doubt that anything -- look, jeff sessions, known as a hardliner on russia, so it's kind of crazy to sort of say oh, he must have been meeting with them in some secret deal with the russians. you know, he was known as a hardliner, all right, so i don't think any of that is going to go anywhere, but i think we keep going after it, but i think there's a political operation going on and i think dwelling some on this stuff. >> the white house and president trump, both of them refused to
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confirm whether or not there are tapes that might clear up the different stories we have about his conversations with comey. i want you to take a listen to who your colleague republican senator susan collins said on "state of the union." >> this is an issue that the president should have cleared up in his press conference. he should give a straight yes or no to the -- to the question of whether or not the tapes exist, and he should voluntarily turn them over not only to the senate intelligence committee but to the special counsel. >> do you agree, senator? >> i personally am not a big fan of recording private information, private calls between people who don't know they are being recorded are, and so many states have rules against this. the white house is in an unusual situation though where basically they call it a unitary executive. the support in charge and whether he ought to do something is one thing and whether he has to do something is another. i don't think it was an appropriate thing to threaten comey on it, but i think the
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interesting thing that is lost by some people about comey's testimony is i think it completely vindicated everything the president had said. comey said he wasn't being investigated. comey said he kind of felt pressured but he really wasn't told directly not to do anything and the president said he hoped he hadn't done anything. i don't know when hoping you don't do something is an obstruction of justice so i think there's absolutely nothing here to go on, but eventually we'll get to the bottom of it through the special counsel. but this is sort of what have happens. both sides do this it. every time we get a new president. one side spends years and years attacking them and trying to jin up investigations and then the other side, both parties are guilty of it but it is a distraction from a lot of things we do need to do in this country that are much more important, like trying to fix the health care system and trying to look and fix our tax code so we don't lose businesses overseas are way more important than i think a politicized look at this russia thing. >> all right. senator rand paul of kentucky, really appreciate your time. thank you, sir.
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>> coming up next, ivanka trump says she's been surprised by the viciousness directed at the trump family. maybe she wasn't paying much attention to her dad during the last campaign. and coming up, maryland and d.c. suing president trump over his business empire. could they end up getting ahold of those fabled tax returns? with the travelocity customer first guarantee... your only worry... will be how to drink this monstrosity. get help with hotels, free twenty-four-hour flight changes, and our price match guarantee. travelocity.® wander wisely.™
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welcome back to "the lead." sticking with the politics lead. a three-judge panel of the ninth circuit court of appeals has largely affirmed a hawaii judge's decision against president trump's travel ban handing the president yet another court defeat and once again the president's tweets were his own worst enemy. cnn's sara murray is live for us at the white house. legal experts, even many friendly to president trump have suggested his tweets might be an
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albatross around his neck. >> reporter: they think it's been essential for certainly points of his presidency but this is definitely an instant where the tweets do not seem to be helping. the president insists the travel ban will go through once it makes its way to the supreme court >> another whether for president trump as the ninth circuit court of appeals rules against trump's travel ban. on the same day that trump touted his productivity in the white house. >> i think we've been about as active as you can possibly be, and at just about a record-setting pace. >> the court dealt trump a stinging defeat on a signature policy priority, largely agreeing with previous rules that temporarily blocking all refugees and foreign nationals from six muslim majority countries, likely violates the constitution. the judges cited trump's own tweets to back up their ruling, including one miss any of which trump tweeted that's right. we need a travel ban for certain
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dangerous countries, not some politically correct term that won't help us protect our people. it's a ruling that's all but certain to be appealed to the supreme court. >> the president's executive order to protect this country is fully lawful and ultimately will be upheld by the supreme court. >> >> reporter: as trump tried to stick to as i agenda today turning to his notes to tout a gop health care bill and an upcoming announcement on the battle against isis, this week is still shaping up to be another one dominated by the russia investigation. today the white house once again refused to say whether trump has tapes of his conversations with fired fbi director james comey. >> the president made clear in the rose garden last week he would have an announcement shortly. >> reporter: and in an unusually public cabinet meeting jeff sessions sat across from the president offering up his compliments. >> it's an honor to be able to serve of you in that regard. >> reporter: while trump in turn dodged questions about whether he still has confidence in his
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attorney general. just a day before sessions is slated to testify on capitol hill. >> take your questions. >> today white house press secretary sean spicer declined to say whether the white house would invoke executive privilege to prevent sessions from discussing his conversations with the president. >> it depends on the scope of the questions and to get into a hypothetical at this point would be premature. >> but it's clear the russia cloud remains a distract for trump. on sunday he tweeted i believe that the james comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. totally illegal. very cowardly. it's clear the washington environment is weighing on the president's allies, too, particularly his daughter, ivanka trump. >> it is hard and there's a level of viciousness that i was not expecting. >> now, of course, there's a certain amount of irony that comes with ivanka trump's comments.
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of course, president trump won the republican nomination coming up nicknames for his opponents throughout the campaign. he feuded with the pope and he insulted a gold star family, so certainly viciousness coming from all different directions. jake? >> yeah, that's the abbreviated list you just provided. thank you so much as the white house. what did attorney general jeff sessions think when president trump asked to be left alone with his fbi director? what to expect when sessions speaks tomorrow. that story next. stay with us. award winning interface. award winning design. award winning engine. the volvo xc90. the most awarded luxury suv of the century. visit your volvo dealer to take advantage of our midsommar sales event offer.
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on home and auto insurance. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. at crowne plaza we know business travel isn't just business. there's this. 'a bit of this. why not? your hotel should make it easy to do all the things you do. which is what we do. crowne plaza. we're all business, mostly. welcome back to the lead. the democrats attorney general of maryland and the district of columbia announced that they are suing president trump arguing that the president has, quote, flagrantly violated the u.s. constitution. it's our conflict of interest watch. the lawsuit takes issue with the ongoing ownership as well as a worldwide network. hotels and golf courses and commercial properties. let's get right to cnn's cristina alesci. we've been talking for months about this clause in the constitution that might not
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permit northern governments spending money at trump hotels. >> i feel like we talk about this once a week. the emollments clause which is supposed to guard against corruption barring the president from accepting gifts and benefits from foreign governments. this is to ensure there's no self-dealing and no question about where the president's loyalties actually lie. now the d.c. attorney general today in a press conference put it very
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>> tax credits at the trump international hotel. just to name a few. look, d.c. and maryland say they have a right to sue because they are a party to the constitution and some of their residents actually compete at trump's hotel that they have been harmed because of unfair competition. the attorney generals are asking the court to intervene here and force the president to stop violating the constitution. >> all right. but bottom line, do maryland and d.c. stand a chance here with this litigation? >> it's a very good question and i've talked to lawyers on both sides of the aisle and it's unclear, but one thing is for sure, expect a very strong pushback from the white house. it will likely move to dismiss the case when asked about it today. the press secretary zasean spic
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said they denied it and here's an important detail. if this case does move to the next stage, the plaintiff will ask for documents, including the president's tax returns, and, look, as -- as we've noted before, we've covered this issue and a similar lawsuit filed by a nonprofit watchdog group. this one might have more firepower because it's two state attorneys because it's unclear because of the emoluments clause has never been tested and here's the thing also that i'm hearing. this is not the end of the lawsuits. more are coming on this issue. >> cristina alesci, thank you so much. i'm joined now by my political round table. we have lots to discuss, but i do want to start with ivanka trump this morning. let's roll that tape. >> it is hard and there's a
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level of viciousness that i was not expecting. i was a little blind-sided by it on a personal level. >> it is true there is a level of viciousness this this town and ivanka, jared and her father have been subjected to a lot of it but donald trump is no slouch when it comes to being tough and being vicious himself. >> this is politics. what some of the family members are subjected to is perhaps a little unfair and kneeling it for the first time and it stings, but i think it is -- it is unfair on some of the family members, but -- but the president -- you don't hear the president complaining. >> continue -- we don't hear the president complaining. >> he dishes -- he gives it out just as well as he takes it. >> okay that. part is more agreeable. >> was it tough. you worked with barack obama when he was a senator. was it tough for him and his family members, especially michelle, the first lady, to
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deal with how vicious this town can be? >> sure. d.c. is a viper pit and i think every family who comes here experienced is r it in a new way but ivanka trump is not just a daughter. she took on that role. overseeing a lot of use like women's rights and what she's experiencing right now is a bit of a disappointment. she have came here and people thought she would be a moderating norse. people thought she would be somebody that moderate republicans and democrats could reach out to and now that she's not i think people are disappointed. yes, absolutely. every white house and every family, it's an exposure that you don't experience no matter what your background is. >> i think what she expressed this morning is disappointment that she sees herself across america, right? voters didn't send the president here. they sent them here to change washington and to break some china and jobs creation and education and work force development. we're not getting that right now, and i think there's a little frustration on the part
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of what was expressed this morning. >> whose fault is that? it's not like the president has reached out to democrats and a lot of infighting is between republicans and democrats have absolutely nothing to do with it at this point. they are blaming him yet republicans control everything. >> i want to turn to the issue of special prosecutor mueller. one of the president's lawyers did not rule out if president trump would ever order the firing of mueller. take a listen. >> the president of the united states, as we all know. it's a unitary executive, but the president is going to seek the advice of his counsel and inside the government as well as outside and i'm not going to speculate on what he will or will not do. i can't imagine that that issue will rise but then again that's an issue the president with his advisors would discuss. >> why this comes up is because when comey was a -- worked in the justice department for president bush. when he was deputy attorney general. he wrote a letter to the
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gentleman who was investigating the leak of valerie plame and gave him, patrick fitzgerald, independence. like in that letter, but mueller does not have the same amount of independence so theoretically he could be fired. do you think this is just something that media is creating, or did you think this is a real issue? >> you can never tell with president trump, and it seems like his -- his lawyer was being careful. you can never definitively say that president trump is not going to do; and we've seen him turn on a dime. now, would it be politically perilous for him to can bob mueller? >> yes, very. >> look, i don't think that it's going to happen. i think that this is a media spin. one comment from jay sekulow. you can just move on. you know, you heard earlier senator rand paul talking about this is a sideshow tomorrow. we have a really credible person
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looking into this. i think it's -- the congress, usually very much in favor of congressional oversight. i don't think you're going to hear anything new tomorrow from attorney general sessions. i think director mueller is an incredibly capable guy who will get to the bottom of this and washington needs to move on. >> kind of a bizarre moment early this afternoon. the president met with his cabinet and went around the table and some of them effusively praised the president in a manner that i can't imagine you doing, david. >> listen, i'm a huge fan of the president. i come on national tv and praise the president. >> yeah, you do, but not in the manner. senator schumer, the democratic leader of the senate, the minority leader, had a little fun with it with his staff. take a look. >> i want to thank everybody for coming. i just thought we'd go around the room. lucy, how did we do on the sunday show yesterday? >> your tone was perfect. you were right on message. >> michelle, how did my hair look coming out of the gym this morning? >> you have great hair. nobody has better hair than you. >> before we go any further, i
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just want to say thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve you. >> well, specific dig at repreparus there at the end for his effusive praise. do you think that was a genuine emotional outpouring or do you think that president trump needed to hear that because he feels a little cornered right now? >> like, you're serving with the president because you want to work there. people don't take the job because of the high pay and glory. here it's seven days a week 20 hours a day. i believe everyone around that table is completely sincere. i believe it was an attempt to start to pivot, right, and to -- to focus on workforce development and get back to the meaningful issues here in washington. veterans suicide, open yoid crisis, plenty of things to focus on in washington and then the investigation that -- that director mueller is going to undertake for the next year. we can spend the next year
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talking about it. we can pivot and begin to look at real things like workforce issues and things that the president talked about this week. >> jen, i want to ask you one question. over the weekend president bernie sanders said sharp words when he was asked about mr. trump winning the election. take a listen. >> my answer is that trump didn't win the election. the democratic party lost the election. the democratic party must finally understand why. >> i mean, it sounds like the democratic party is like really going through a tough time right now. >> there's something to what senator sanders said. now, there's a division in the democratic party. some of which many argue he's stoking which i agree with, but in the couple of months after the election, when you talk to a lot of democrats, including the dnc, they would acknowledge that there was a problem, but they would say we won the popular vote and this is a fluke.
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in my recent conversations with officials over there and people who are helping them started to recognize and acknowledge that changes need to be made, that the democratic party needs a platform and that that fields to be done together. whether that will be successful, we'll see over the next 6 to 18 months but i've seen a change in the recognition that there's a problem and seen some changes that tom perez has tried to make so we'll see. >> so they are at the acceptance level. >> they are at the acceptance and trying to come up with a platform. the democratic party did do a lot to lose the election. it's not just that donald trump won. >> democrats had their campaign -- they had their convention in pennsylvania. they worked really hard in president and the president won this election, the democrats didn't lose it. he won it. >> david urban with flag in pennsylvania, thank you. >> elite or american forces are on the front line in the war on terror. we'll take you behind enemy lines next, and coming up, the president's young son is living at 1600 pennsylvania avenue.
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we're back with the world lead. the pentagon has identified three u.s. troops shot and killed by an afghan army commando on saturday on what is being designated an insider attack. they are 25-year-old sergeant eric hauck, 29-year-old sergeant william baez and corporal dillon bal d. rich, and their deaths are another stark reminder that the u.s. has tens of thousands of u.s. service members in harm's way around the globe and while these three souls were not special operations increasingly american casualties have been from special forces, navy seals and other special operators. in a cnn exclusive barbara starr reports on the exceptional valor showed by two navy seals killed in the line of duty earlier this year. >> navy s.e.a.l. ryan owens 36
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killed in action in yemen during a nighttime raid. it's one of the most dangerous missions that special operations forces are called upon to carry out. >> kyle milliken also served while serving as a military adviser to somali forces. the two navy s.e.a.l.s spent years on secret missions, dangers few knew anything about. congressman scott taylor, a former navy s.e.a.l. sniper knew them. >> it's a big tragedy we lost boast those men because they were outstanding heros for our nation. >> cnn has obtained the battlefield citations for both owens and milliken both who served for years on high-risk classified combat missions. new details now reveal of their extraordinary service. owens was posthumously awarded
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the will silver star, the nation's third highest medal for valor in a never disclosed battle against 400 al qaeda militants in 2015. u.s. officials say it all happened deep inside war-torn somalia. >> this secret battle raged for three days in july 2015. owens leading a 12-man team alongside african forces, targeting 400 enemy militants, constantly ambushed and attacked with small arms, machine guns, anti-aircraft guns, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and improvised explosive devices according to his citation. owens repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire. the citation says eventually the team securing a town that had been in enemy hands for ten years. on earlier tours he helped
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rescue buddies who were wounded. >> he's a great i go, highly committed and talent the. from somalia to yemen, iraq, syria and afghanistan, it's largely fallen on special operations forces to wage battle against isis, al qaeda and their affiliates, and they are increasingly paying with their lives. five killed in action in 2017 and 22 since june 2014 when the war against isis began. taylor, like so many who served on the front lines, we jekts the controversial pentagon view that when troops are military advisers they must stay out of the direct line of fire. there's no boots on the ground, just advisers. that's just bs. >> on milliken's final mission he was an adviser to somali forces, alongside them in the line of fire. >> he certainly can't fault the operator for wanting to get into
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the fight. they are there. they are there on the ground with the force that they are helping. >> scott taylor recalls his own first mission in iraq which was alongside milliken. >> everyone loved kyle, everyone loved him. >> reporter: milliken also had years of combat. in 2007 alone, 48 combat missions in iraq. on the one mission, he helped evacuate three wounded soelz under fire. there is one clue on how secret their work was. in 2015 milliken was awarded the navy achievement medal for developing ground-breaking procedures for future national mission taskings. in the world of special operations. national missions are the most classified requiring presidential approval and remaining secret for decades. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. >> and our thanks to barbara starr for that report and other world news today. the white house this afternoon called on the russian government
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to release demonstrators arrested earlier today in anti-corruption protests across russia. press secretary sean spicer calling the arrests, which included minors, an affront to core democratic values. one of those taken into custody, a well-known opposition leader and putin critic. let's go right to st. petersburg in russia. how did these protests come about? >> reporter: well, this is the second round of protests called by navalny, a kremlin cricket and anti-corruption campaign, and he's managed to galvanize tens of thousands of people in more than 100 cities across this country the second time that they came out, and the kremlin i think has been taken back by the scale of these protests and has reacted both times by detaining hundreds of protests as most of them in moscow and st. petersburg and i think he's hoping that that crushes the momentum that
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novalny is trying to build and it may not be that eared. >> tell us more about the opposition leader. >> reporter: well, he's a very interesting figure. he's an anti-corruption blogger. he's produce the these videos on youtube which have been viewed millions of times, detailing the kind of yachts and estates belonging especially to the prime minister dmitry medvedev and that really resonates with the young who feel that the political elite in this country lead a very, very different life when many normal people can't really scrape past the poverty line. he's campaigning to run for president in next year's elections, and it's unclear whether he will because of a lightly spurious embezzlement conviction. that means -- the laws in this country may mean he can't run for public office but with these protests he's trying to put pressure on the kremlin so if
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they block him from running it will appear illegitimate and against the public will and so far he's been sprayed with antiseptic and you can see him with burns to the eye. he is a very interesting figure and someone that the kremlin will be watching and i think possibly fearing. jake. >> indeed. diana, thanks so much. the first family is back together living under one roof. will that affect the president's nighttime tweeting routine? that's next. america's beverage companies have come together to bring you more ways to help reduce calories from sugar. with more great tasting beverages with less sugar or no sugar at all, smaller portion sizes, clear calorie labels, and signs reminding everyone to think balance before choosing their beverages. we know you care about reducing the sugar in your family's diet, and we're working to support your efforts. more beverage choices. smaller portions. less sugar. that when it comes to hospital romances,nows the more complicated, the better. i love you.
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for on our politics lead, the first family is finally living together under one roof full-time. first lady melania trump and barron moved into the white house and some were wondering if she would ever move out of manhattan. >> and she said when barron is done with school they will move down here. not unusual for the first family to land back in washington from
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a trip and this time it was melania trump coming home. today marks the first full day melania trump and 11-year-old son barron trump are official residents of the white house, having finally moved from their new york penthouse apartment in trump tower. with a single tweet she made the announcement. the white house is no longer without a full-time first lady. it was accompanying president trump on his first trip abroad last month that offered the public the longest and most consistent opportunity to learn more about mrs. trump. after wowing international audiences with her style, who can forget that $50,000 jacket, the first lady closed the trip with a rare public speech to u.s. military families stationed abroad. >> it is because of your self-less commitment that we enjoy the freedoms we have today. >> reporter: since january back home in washington the first lady has taken part in official
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duet which is she's able, hosting the wives of dignitaries. >> that's beautiful, thank you very much. >> and making two visits to children's hospital. her presence and that of barron might also fill up some free time for the president who has been living solo and having a few extra hours to watch the news, ponders politics and, yes, tweet. now back together, melania could tell him to put down the phone. as she said in an interview last year she's tried to do. >> something he listens and sometimes he doesn't. >> i'm not a big tweeter. i don't do too many. >> being a first couple now full-time also means trump might be on better behavior. making sure not to crowd his wife off the red carpet. there's the and swat from his trip and remembering to cover his heart for the national anthem, something that took a nudge at the easter egg roll. a white house official this afternoon tells cnn the first lady is being thoughtful about her platform and initiatives and
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she looks forward to announcing them in coming weeks. >> all right. kate bennett, thanks so much, appreciate it. that's it for "the lead" today. right now turn you over to one mr. wolf blitzer in "the situation room." thank you so much for watching. happening now. breaking news. open sessions. attorney general jeff sessions prepares to testify publicly before a senate panel amid questions about his contacts with russia and the firing of the fbi director james comey. will the white house use executive privilege to limit his testimony and when will the president reveal if he recorded conversations with comey. another court defeat. using the president's own tweets to make the case against him. a federal afeels court rules against the president's revised travel ban saying he exceeded his authority from limiting travel from six mostly muslim countries. suing the president. ma