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tv   Wolf  CNN  June 13, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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hello i'm wolf blitzer. wherever you're watching from around the world thanks very much for joining us. up first jeff sessions in the spotlight and under oath. the attorney general of the united states testifies next hour before the senate intelligence committee in an open hearing. you're looking at a live picture coming in from the hearing room right now. sessions arrives on capitol hill this hour for what could be another major round of dramatic testimony stemming from the russia investigation. among the issues, sessions will likely be questioned about revelations from last week's testimony by the fired fbi director james comey. his decision, his role in the decision to fire comey and his meetings with russian officials. while the sessions testimony is unfolding up on capitol hill, president trump will be on the road. he leaves this hour on a trip to
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wisconsin where he'll visit a technical college as part of what's called fork worse development week. let's bring in our reporters for a preview of sessions testimony, the latest on the russia investigation. we have our cnn senior congressional reporter manu raju up on capitol hill. justice reporter laura jarrett is in washington. our national correspondent jason carroll covering the white house. manu, give us a preview of how this hearing is likely to unfold. >> a lot of tough questions likely to face jeff sessions, wolf. this is the first time he has testified publicly since he was confirmed by the senate earlier this year. questions about jeff sessions interactions with the russian ambassador and any of the russians that he had as a surrogate for the trump campaign including those two previously undisclosed meetings with the russian ambassador and whether there was actually a third meeting he did not disclose during his confirmation proceedings. in addition senators tell me they want to ask jeff sessions
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about whether he knows any any recordings in the white house that president trump has suggested that there may have been as well as whether or not he can corroborate anything that james comey, the former fbi director said last week when he raised concerns that jeff sessions was not intervening between him and president trump in their one-on-one interactions that made james comey uneasy. expect some questions about that as well as jeff sessions recusal in the russia investigation. whether or not he should have played any role in the firing of james comey. now, wolf, this comes as several committees are ramping up calls for other matters related to the investigation, including the james comey memo that the senate judiciary committee has called for. they set a deadline for last friday to receive a memo that comey gave to his friend daniel richmond that shows an interaction that occurred between comey and trump. richmond told me moments ago
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that he is turning over that memo not to the senate judiciary committee but to the fbi and to the special counsel's office bob mueller will be in touch about any relevant materials. this is actually angering some members on capitol hill including the senate judiciary committee chairman who plans to push forward on this russia investigation. here's what he said. >> senator feinstein wanted to talk to me by phone today. i sent word back that i'd like to have her and i sit down face to face and we'll work out all of the subpoenas and all the stuff we have to do in the future and work out a whole program. >> are you okay looking into the potential of obstruction of justice? >> we're going to leave that to a conversation with feinstein. >> now, that last part, wolf, significant because grassley not ruling out the idea of looking into obstruction of justice as part of the senate judiciary committee investigation.
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that's what the top democrat dianne feinstein has called for an investigation into that matter looking also into subpoenas. he's open to calling jeff sessions before his own committee as part of an oversight committee hearing. jeff sessions testifying today won't be his only appearance in public before congress, wolf. >> significant statement from chairman grassley indeed. laura, a friend of president trump, the news max ceo chris ruddy says the president is considering firing the special counsel robert mueller. is that possible? can he do that? >> the short answer is noc. the regulations are pretty clear. rod rosenstein tried to clear this up on capitol hill today. the regulations say it is up to rosenstein whether or not to fire mueller. and it has to be for good cause. of course, the president could try to order mueller -- order rosenstein to do it or he can try to repeal the regulations. rosenstein told senators it's
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really up to him. take a listen. >> at this point have you seen any evidence of good cause for firing special counsel mueller? >> no, i have not. >> and have you given the special counsel full independence from the justice department to conduct his investigation? >> yes, and i appreciate that question. >> if president trump ordered you to fire the special counsel, what would you do? >> senator, i'm not going to follow any orders unless i believe those are lawful and appropriate orders. if there were good cause, i will consider it. if there were not good cause, it wouldn't matter to me what anybody says. >> wolf, you guarantee attorney general jeff sessions is going to get a similar line of questioning when he is questioned in just a little over an hour from now. >> he certainly will. jason, a source close to the president, says he is being advised not to try and fire robert mueller one way or another, but there's certainly been a lot of back and forth between chris ruddy and the white house staff including the white house press secretary.
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what's the latest as the president gets ready to leave town and head over to wisconsin? >> right. a lot of back and forth between these two men. between chris ruddy and sean spicer. i mean, what a lot of this could boil down to, there are a number of folks out there who support the president who feel as though spicer may not be up to the task. this to be an example of. that here's basically what happened. spicer was pressed on this issue yesterday. he was repeatedly asked whether or not it was true, these reports coming from chris ruddy that the president was considering trying to fire robert mueller. these are the reports that were out there. chris ruddy for his part saying that he never met with the president but this was the word that he was getting. spicer responds to that basically saying that only the president or the president's attorneys were the people who could basically comment on something like that and to that ruddy said this. >> i think it's a consideration the president has had because
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mueller is illegitimate as special counsel. i never shadeaid i had a conversation. >> spicer reached out to ruddy yesterday just to clarify to make sure once again that he had not in fact met with the president. ruddy saying for his part that what spicer should do is focus on -- not focus on rather those folks who trying to be out there and actually help this president. you also had mentioned about the president and what he's going to be doing today hopefully what the administration wants to do is keep the president focused on the task at hand. that's not sessions testify. that's his trip to wisconsin. he's got a full load ahead of him. much like he had a full load of a day when comey was testifying. for today for example, it's going to be wheels up at about 2:05. after that he'll be meeting with some folks in wisconsin who have been affected by obamacare. he's going to be making remarks on health care. he's going to be holding a work
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force round table. ivanka trump will be there as well with the hopes that perhaps she, too, can keep him focused on the task at hand in wisconsin and not on what's happening here in washington. >> lot of drama happening here in washington. jason carroll, laura, manu, guys, thanks very much. in the appropriations hearing with the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, some senators expressed frustration with his boss for canceling his appearance so that he could testify in front of the senate intelligence committee. listen. >> why isn't jeff sessions here today? >> the attorney general i believe has chosen to skip this hearing today in order to avoid difficult questions. >> the height of arrogance for the attorney general not to come before the committee. >> i want to talk a little bit more about the sessions testimony that's upcoming and we'll of course have live coverage of that. laura coats is with us. she's a cnn legal analyst, a former federal prosecutor. our legal analyst -- our
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political contributor david gregory is with us as well. mark preston is a cnn senior political analyst and margaret t talla is the white house correspondent. david, what is your title? >> why did you think i can be -- i'm very close to lawyers. >> all right. so you're not our legal analyst. laura is our legal analyst. i want everybody to go through and tell me two things you are especially going to be looking toward in the upcoming sessions testimony. >> two things i'm looking for, wolf, one is does the attorney general exert executive privilege and how? or is it more along the lines of what we heard from coats and rogers last week? i'm not comfortable answering that question at this point. how does the committee respond. that's one main thing to look for. then the questions about this reports of the third meeting with mr. kislyak are going to be really important on how he handles that. >> on the issue of executive privilege, doesn't the president have that responsibility? he has to tell sessions in
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effect this is executive privilege, don't talk about it. >> that's right. so the question is is the white house asserting that privilege at this point? i'm not clear that anyone knows the answer actually to how this is going to unfold. it hasn't been previewed partly because we didn't see a prepared statement and partly because of what we saw last week with coats and rogers and the questions about whether it will follow in that pattern. >> we'll see what happens today. mark, what are you looking at? >> i'm looking at tone and body language from attorney general sessions when it comes to was he aware of any discussions that robert mueller has been discussion that he perhaps could be fired or dismissed by president trump. whether that's from president trump or anyone else either within the white house or within the department of justice. also did he offer to resign. did he offer his resignation to
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president trump that was not accept s accepted? i don't necessarily expect we're going to get answers from sessions, but i think that's why you have to look at his tone and body language. >> i'm interested in the last firing of jim comey and what counsel the attorney general offered to the president about firing jim comey in light of the fact that he'd recused himself from anything having to do with the russia investigation. i'm also interested to know the second thing, what actions did he take after jim comey said to him look, you've got to keep the president away from me from being alone with me. did he actually take any action as a result of that? i think all of that will be interesting. >> laura, you're our legal analyst. from the legal perspective, what are you looking at? >> one of the points david mentions is so important t. it's what the role of the attorney general is. it's all been pinned on rod rosenstein. it harkened back to the press conference that comey held last july in response to the hillary clinton e-mail scandal/investigation/matter.
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so you have that looming overhead. what does recusal actually mean for this a.g. in going forward? the second part is whether or not the attorney general was privy or knew about the communications been donald trump and fbi director comey about flynn's firing. remember, comey signaled that he was aware that sessions would probably recuse himself before the president knew about it, before we all knew about it. what was the indication that comey had and the basis for it and how do we know this information? >> i want to remind everyone, margaret, let's start with you, when comey testified last week, he was asked about the role that sessions played when he had that one-on-one meeting with the president of the united states. he spoke about the behavior that he saw sessions demonstrate. listen to this. >> i don't remember real clearly. i have a recollection of him just kind of looking at me, and there's a danger here i'm projecting on him so this may be
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a faulty memory but his body language gave me the sense, like, what am i going to do. >> this is the subject that clearly is going to come up in this hearing. the role that sessions played in those very awkward meetings that comey had with the president. >> that's absolutely right. and i mean, we will see how the attorney general handles it. but how the attorney general handles it will be interesting to two groups of people. one, the lawmakers who are on these panels and other panels conducting investigations and how to subpoena the administration if you're talking about republicans. the second will be bob mueller and his group of people who are conducting arguably a more important investigation and will be able to watch this panel today. so the attorney general's decision to testify here and not to testify before the appropriations committee is interesting because of what it will reveal today and also some of the clues that we got from rod rosenstein himself earlier today in terms of his unwillingness to answer questions in a public venue that go toward that investigation.
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>> and laura, re mind us of the legal aspects of sessions invoking executive privilege and telling these senators, whether democrat senators or republican senators i'm not going to answer your questions. >> it's one we haven't seen before, the assertion of the privilege in these hearings. but the president of the united states has to be the one to assert this privilege. every conversation you have had the with the is not covered under a privilege. it has to actually be tied to his constitutional duties. it has to not also be part of a criminal probe because if it does, it eviscerated. . so if he really does it, it's a political mishappen so say i dt want to answer charges and also legally speaking to assert the privilege that you don't actually have a basis for and there's no federal judge behind it with a lot of teeth to say i'm going to be able to compel doing it, it's not going to be very weighty. on either front, it will be a mistake. people want to know the answer to the questions.
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also remember, lindsey graham was very hesitant about this entire parallel investigation between what mueller had and congressional probe. they feared this very thing. that because of the criminal probe they would be stone walled for the congressional investigation. so legally speaking, robert mueller, it may be one thing to say it doesn't matter what you say in front of them because i'm going to get my answers. for congress they will not. >> hovering over this, i want to get your quick reaction to chris ruddy's statement that the president is actually contemplating getting rid of the special counsel. >> sessions is the reminder that there's the substance of the probe we have to get back to. the underlying offense on the russians interfering with our election and his contacts with the russian ambassador and whether they shed light on this. what we're really focused on is the president's inappropriate behavior in the course of the investigation itself firing the man investigationing him, it's outrageous. and that leads me to question,
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too, is sessions doing his job? is he trying to pro tech the independence of the jus ttice department at all? i'd like to hear that today. >> i want you to respond, but listen to the speaker. he had this exchange with a reporter earlier today. >> i think the best thing to do is let robert mueller do his job. i think the best thing for the president is let this investigation go on independently and thoroughly. that to me is the smartest thing to do and the best thing to do and that's who i hopefully will happen. i know bob mueller and i have confidence in bob mueller. >> it seems like most republicans have confidence in bob mueller unless they have some kind of strong tie to president trump. we made a lot about newt gingrich coming out and saying good things about mueller and then coming back and saying critical things. let's not forget his wife is going to be the ambassador to the vatican for donald trump. to david's point, though, the idea of is he protecting the department of justice, just look at what happened at that table yesterday during the cabinet
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meeting where they're all pledging allegiance to him which in itself was very disturbing. for the leader right there and for all the leaders on capitol hill, you see the frustration in their face that they have to keep on answering these questions and not about health care or infrastructure or tax reform. >> if republicans are behind trump, you're going to see them are have been cautious. speaker ryan is more capable of speaking out and he's decidedly not doing that. >> guys, thank you very much. lots more coming up. senate leaders from both sides of the aisle have struck a deal to impose new sanctions on russia. why the secretary of state rex tillerson may not be willing to endorse them. plus a u.s. college student is returning to the united states after being detained in north korea for a year and a half. but his family tells us they've just learned he's been in a coma for most of that time. we're going to pyongyang, north korea. that's next. "how to win at busi" step one: point decisively with the arm of your glasses.
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. looking at live pictures from inside the hearing room in the senate intelligence committee where the attorney general of the united states jeff sessions will soon testify. we'll have live coverage of that. that should be important
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significant and potentially historic. meanwhile, other important news we're following. only hours ago north korea released an american college student after more than a year in prison. otto warmbier was serving a sentence of 15 years hard labor, but the news is tempered by a statement from warmbier's parents. otto has left north korea. he's on a medivac flight on his way home. sadly he is in a coma and we are told he has been in that condition since march of 2016. we want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and troerrorized by the regime north korea. we are so grateful he will finally be with people who love him. for more on this, cnn international correspondent, will ripley. he's in north korea's capital of pyongyang right now.
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tell us what you've learned. >> wolf, the case of otto warmbier has been tragic from the beginning. he came here as part of a tour group, a group of young people who wanted to celebrate new year's eve in the north korean capital, do some sightseeing and they say he wondered into a restricted area of a hotel and tried to take a political sign off the wall leaving it on the floor and going back to his room. but that crime was enough for north korean officials to arrest warmbier at the airport and charge him with hostile acts against the regime and sentence him to 15 years of hard labor alleging among other things that he was in collusion with the cia for this act of taking the banner off the wall. his parents have had no contact with him for more than a year. he's been in custody for a year and a half. his parents thought zero contact was because of wartime law, restricting communication
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between american detiainees and their families. they were not even able to pass letters. just within the past week, his parents in cincinnati, ohio, learned that there son would not have been able to write a letter back to them because he has been in a coma for more than a year. since march of 2016. shortly after his trial and conviction which is the last time that we saw him in public. every time cnn comes in to pyongyang we have asked to speak with him and our requests for information have gone unanswered. now his parents are tells us he contracted a serious case of botulism case last march and became ill and was given a sleeping pill and never woke up. his family says he is being medivaced where he will land in cincinnati unconscious but surrounded by people who love him. >> will, thank you. let's talk about this latest
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very dramatic development out of north korea. i'm joined by cnn military and diplomatic analyst john kirby. retired u.s. navy. spokesman for the pentagon and the state department. what's your take on this development. >> kudos to the administration for working so hard. everything we're learning is that this was worked very hard at very top levels inside the administration. so i think credit is due them for working this. this is difficult to do. don't forget we still have three
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. once again you're looking at live picture coming in from the senate intelligence hearing room where the attorney general jeff
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segs will testify soon on the russia investigation. he's likely to be asked many very sensitive questions including about his meetings with the russian ambassador to the united states sergey kislyak and the firing of the fbi dregt or james come -- director james comey. that's coming up. let's get some perspective on the investigation. a member of the house intelligence committee is joining us from capitol hill. congressman, thanks very much for joining us. >> good afternoon, wolf. thanks for having me back. >> what's the main thing you'd like to hear from the attorney general? >> clear up how many meetings did he have with the russians during the campaign at the time that the russians were interfering in our election. also what was his role in the firing of the james comey and what has his role been in the hiring of a new fbi director. i think those are three important questions that we would all be well served to hear. >> are you confident that he will testify fully on all those matters or will he go ahead and
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say these are privileged conversations i had with the president and i'm not at liberty to discuss them publicly? that's what we heard from some other intelligence officials as you remember last week, the head of the nsa, the chief of -- the director of the dni, the director of national intelligence. >> wolf, why will he hide behind any privileges? the president said in the rose garden last week he would 100% be willing himself to testify under oath so why would he allow anyone else to use the shield of executive privilege. also, wolf, the word is privilege. it's not a right. the courts have found in the past that when criminal conduct is being reviewed that it does not necessarily prevent testimony from being elicited. >> he's about to testify before the senate intelligence committee. congressman, are there any plans to push for the attorney general to also testify before your house intelligence committee? >> wolf, we have an agreement with republicans that we're keeping our witness list close
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to the vest, but i can assure you we are seeking testimony from all relevant witnesses and we want to review and are relev documents. >> chris ruddy says the president is actually considering firing the special counsel robert mueller. a source says the president is being advised against any such move. the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein says he has seen no reason at all to fire mueller and he would be the one to have to make that call. still, are you concerned at all that robert mueller could be fired? >> i am very concerned, wolf. i don't know whether the president is indeed considering that. but i know what he can do. he can put this rumor to bed right away. instead just like with the issue of the tapes or the issue of president obama allegedly wire tapping trump tower, he just lets this fester and what it does is create chaos and that events us here in washington from doing the real work we're supposed to do. he control this chaos and he
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allow its to persist. >> do you know if in fact those conversation comey had with the president were recorded? >> wolf, we don't. we're seeking them on the intelligence committee, but i also want to spput into expect,t was put out there that the president may have taped james comey conversations. in spite of that james comey still came forward knowing that if he lied under oath he could risk himself going to jail. i think that shows us that his testimony should be viewed with high believe ability knowing that he took that risk, that he mayor may not have been taped in the past. >> your committee the intelligence committee has called on both the white house to hand over any material related to the russia investigation including memos and recordings by june 23rd. have you received or heard anything yet based on this request? it's not a subpoena. just a request. >> i'm not aware whether we have or not. you're right, wolf, the goal is to work cooperatively with the white house and any witness in this case and if they refuse to
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cooperate options that we have at our disposal includes subpoenaing that. if people don't have anything to hide and they want to be cooperative, they care about their country, want us to get through this investigation v investigation they'll be forthright. >> last week your committee received michael flynn's documents. have you seen those documents yet? have you had a chance to go through them and if the answer is yes, has anything new surfaced as a result? >> i can't go into any documents we have received or not received yet. we have subpoenaed those documents. that is public. again, i can just assure you that we are still trying to work with republicans since we had mike conaway come in as the chair. we are back on track. we're going to be bringing jay johnson in, the former homeland security to talk about whether the russians were able to get into any elections system. i hope we can report back soon as to what we've reviewed. >> eric, a big, big fan of the
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warriors. congratulations on the nba win. they're in your district. i know they are. >> they're in oakland, just outside, yes. thanks, wolf. my pleasure. >> you had nothing to do with the win except you were cheering your home team on. >> yes, i was. >> this hour the vice president mike pence is up on capitol hill meeting with senate republicans. this after the president and vice president lunched with 13 key republican senators over at the white house during the last hour. the president was asked at that meeting about when he'd be ready to sign a bill. >> as soon as we can do it. >> as soon as we can do it. that could be a while though. these meetings are part of an all out effort from the house to push through their obamacare repeal and replace legislation before the summer recess. so far, though, goenegotiations have all been behind closed doors without any public hearings in the senate. republican aides say the
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congressional budget office needs a proposal by this week for there to be any chance of a vote before the summer recess. we'll see what happens. in the meantime, live pictures once again from capitol hill where the attorney general jeff sessions will soon appear before the senate intelligence committee. what will he be asked? will he invoke executive privilege? our extensive live coverage. that's coming up. i think i migh. totally immersed weekenders. whatever kind of weekender you are, there's a hilton for you. book your weekend break direct with and join the summer weekenders. dearthere's no other way to say this. it's over. i've found a permanent escape from monotony. together, we are perfectly balanced. our senses awake. our hearts racing as one. i know this is sudden, but they say...if you love something set it free.
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assault during an alleged incident at his pennsylvania home back in 2004. cnn jean is joining us. so what questions has the jury been asking? >> well, it's very interesting. the first two questions, wolf, had to do with deposition sworn testimony of bill cosby back in 2005. this is while the civil case was going ocn. the parts they selected had to do with bill cosby saying he saw her from a far. he was interested in her. he knew it right away. he wanted to get to know her. he devised a plan to become friends with her and then gain her trust. and then see if it could become romantic, if there would be permission or no permission. he also very rapidly describes in his testimony what he says that he and andrea did sexually. he also says that he gave her
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b benadryl. so the jury wants to hear his words to assess his credibility, confirm his credibility or to discredit him because of what andrea said on the stand which was no consent whatsoever and he would stop him the two prior times he had tried to make moves on her. the third question, very interesting, an element of the third offense where it says that can you say beyond a reasonable doubt that bill cosby gave in x intoxicants or drugs to her without her knowledge? she testified that she saw the three blue pills. she said what is this? and he said they're your friends. down them. are they herbal? yes, he said, they are. she took them, but he said in his deposition testimony and his police statement that it was benadryl. also telling her mother he couldn't remember, he'd have to look at a prescription bottle. >> jean standing by for the
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deliberations to continue. they're continuing right now for a verdict to come forward. we'll be in close touch with you, jean. thank you. live pictures from the senate intelligence committee. our big story the breaking news we're following. the attorney general of the united states jeff sessions. he will soon start his testimony before that committee on the russia investigation. very sensitive issues about to unfold. we'll have live coverage. stay with us. tech: when you schedule with safelite autoglass, you get a text when we're on our way. you can see exactly when we'll arrive. i'm micah with safelite. customer: thanks for coming, it's right over here. tech: giving you a few more minutes for what matters most. take care. kids singing: safelite® repair, safelite® replace. [ bell rings ] come close, come close.
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being looking at live pictures from inside the senate intelligence committee, the attorney general jeff sessions will testify starting in a little while. live coverage of that. our senior washington correspondent brianna keilar is just outside the hearing room. does there seem to be any tension there among those who have gathered for the hearing? >> reporter: so far, no. there just seems to be anticipation of this beginning here in about 40 minutes. there are a number of people on the other side of the hearing room who have been lined up for almost three hours. it seems like a number of them are intirns and some of them are
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tourists. we are parked here at the rear entrance which is the hearing room where jeff sessions will be testifying today and we are awaiting senators who may be taking this entrance into the hearing room. but just to show you how big of a hearing this is going to be, you'll recognize the hearing room as the same one where jim comey testified. you'll recognize it from supreme court nominee confirmation hearings. and these senators, republicans and democrats, are going to have a number of questions for the attorney general. for instance, in that mid-february meeting where jim comey was, jim comey said that as the president asked for a one-on-one meeting with him coming out of a larger group meeting, that the attorney general kind of hung back and lingered. it would seem because he knew it would be inappropriate for the fbi director to have a one-on-one meeting with the president. so he'll be asked about that and
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about his meetings with the russian ambassador. he was a top aide to then donald trump before and after he was elected and we know now that when he testified before the senate judiciary committee he didn't talk about any of these contacts, which included a one-on-one meeting in his congressional sa congressional office with sergey kislyak. maybe he'll clear up this issue whether there was a third encounter with the russian ambassador and whether the president is considering firing bob mueller, the special counsel in this office. this has been suggested that this could be in the works. we'll find out if jeff sessions is asked to weigh in on that. >> brianna, thank you. we'll get back to you. senators could soon question their former colleague in this russia investigation but some will likely push the attorney general on the issue harder than
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others. let's bring in chris cillizza, our cnn politics editor and reporter at large. you've done research and you've sort of ranked the senators. who is going to be most aggressive, the top three starting with number three. >> so, three, dianne feinstein, who is on the intelligence committee but also ranking judiciary. she has her hand in the pot and knows a lot. kamala harris, given that she's new to the senate but someone who's been very aggressive about sessions. she was the attorney general of california prior. number one -- and i don't think this number one will be directly confrontation but it's angus king. we've seen him at both the hearing with director of national intelligence dan coats as well as with james comey really able to elicit responses
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that made the ball move. >> listen to this exchange that senator angus king had with admiral mike rogers last week on the whole issue of executive privilege. >> right. >> why are you not answering these questions? is there an invocation by the president of the united states of executive privilege? is there or not? >> not that i'm aware of. >> then why are you not answering my questions. >> because i feel it's inappropriate. >> what you feel is not relevant, admiral. >> strong words. >> yes. but he's right. executive privilege is something that only the president can invoke. it's not called admiral privilege or attorney general privilege. if jeff sessions does today what mike rogers tried to do there and say under executive privilege or my conversations with the president are privileged, then it will be asked, did the president ask you to invoke executive privilege?
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if not, then you can't simply say executive privilege would dictate that i can't cover it. unless the president tells you directly i want you to invoke it on this one thing, it's sort of a meaningless turn. now, that said, that doesn't mean that former senator and attorney general has to answer. he can still say, i prefer not, as rogers did. but this is grossly misused, ov overused and misunderstood. >> he could say these are private conversations i've had with the president. >> and at that point, as jeff toobin has said a number of times, you can hold him in contempt but that weeks and months to get answers. the truth of the matter is, you probably don't have a lot you can hold back on. >> stand by. we'll have a lot more of our special coverage coming up. the attorney general of the united states, jeff sessions, will testify before the senate intelligence committee.
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we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is cnn's special live coverage of attorney general jeff sessions' testimony. i'm jake tapper in washington. >> and i'm wolf blitzer. there will be key issues raised last week by fired fbi director james comey in front of this very same committee. also, about his meetings with russians officials, and sessions' recusal