tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN June 20, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
the feds financial crimes unit is giving senators information that could potentially reveal any secret ties between the trump team and russia. what will they find when they follow the money? referendum on trump, we're standing by for the first results in the special election that's widely seen as a test of the president's popularity. can democrats felipe house se seat -- flip a house seat that's held by republicans for decades? senate gop leaders say they are on the verge of releasing details on their health care bill cloaked in secrecy. tonight the white house admits even the president may be in the dark about the legislation. and aggressive maneuvers, an armed russian jet buzzes a u.s. reconnaissance plane as moscow threateneds to shoot down american aircraft in one area. u.s. and russia are getting closer to an open and dangerous conflict. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news tonight, senate investigators are digging deeper into potential financial ties between the trump team and russia. the president's own business dealings with russian interests. members of the intelligence committee say from the treasury department's financial crimes unit is being transmitted to the senate as the russia investigation keeps expanding. tonight, more reason to doubt president trump's hints of a possible white house taping system. the office of management and budget responding to a request by cnn says it found no records that any taping devices had been installed in the white house. press secretary sean spicer saying again that mr. trump may finally reveal this week if there are any recordings of his conversations with fired fbi director james comey. also breaking, voters in georgia now in the final hour of casting
ballots in the most expensive house race in history. widely seen as a referendum on president trump and his policies. we are standing by for the first results in the runoff election between democrat jon ossoff and republican karen handel. and the pentagon is sending a warning to the kremlin tonight about its dangerous maneuvers after a russian war plane flew within 5 feet of an american spy plane over the baltic sea. tensions also are escalating in the skies overseer i can't where russia is threatening to target u.s. military jets and the u.s. shot down a third aircraft aiding the russian-backed syrian regime. this hour i'll talk to congressman eric swalwell, a democrat on the intelligence and judiciary committees. and/or correspondents and specialists are also standing by. first legalities' go to our correspondent jessica snyder. robert mueller is on capitol hill as we speak. >> reporter: mueller is meeting right now with key members of
the house intelligence committee mike conowe way leading the russia probe and adam schiff the democrat ranking leader. he will brief the senate judiciary tomorrow and all of this is part of an effort to make sure the multiple investigations aren't overlapping or undermining each other as the white house continues to deflect key questions. tonight white house spokesman sean spicer still won't say if tapes of the president's conversations with former fbi director james comey exist. he continues to promise the president himself will answer the question. >> the president has said he will make an announcement on this. i expect it next week so when he's ready to make that announcement we'll let you know. >> reporter: the house intelligence committee has demanded any tapes by friday. the senate intelligence committee is pledging to follow the money as part of its probe. members just got word they'll get access from date a from the treasury department financial crimes unit as part of their investigation into possible collusion or financial ties
between the trump campaign and russia. >> i have long felt that the follow the money questions are right at the heart of our work in terms of telling the american people what has happened with our democratic institutions. >> reporter: meanwhile michael flynn is facing even more fire from congress. a pair of top house democrats now digging into can whether flynn may have misled officials by omitting a trip to the middle east from his security clearance form where he worked a deal between russia and saudi arabia in 2015. house democrats are demanding documents from flynn about that trip and another one in october 2015 which he disclosed but left out significant details. senate judiciary committee member sheldon whitehouse in an interview with wolf speculated flynn's silence so far means there could be a deal in the works. >> all the signals are suggesting that he is already cooperating with the fbi, may have been for sometime.
>> reporter: it's a possibility fired fbi director james comey alluded to during his testimony june eighth. >> would closing out the flynn investigation have impeded the overall russian investigation? >> no. unlikely except to the extent there is always a possibility when you have a criminal case against someone and you squeeze them and flip them they give you something else. >> reporter: he hasn't indicated whether flynn is cooperating or not. house investigators don't know precisely when flynn traveled to the middle east, but they cite a discrepancy between this june 10, 2015 testimony he gave to the foreign affairs committee. >> i just came from a trip fairly extensive trip to the middle east and this was one of the big issues that came up. >> reporter: and the fact that he listed an august 2015 start date on the financial disclosure form he submitted after he was fired as national security advisor. flynn's attorney declined to comment. reuters is reporting the fbi is also looking at flynn's business
partner in its inquiry of whether payments from foreign clients to flynn's consulting company were lawful. he played a central role in flynn's contract company controlled by a turkish businessman flynn initially failed to disclose. it is not clear whether he is a target of the criminal investigation or a federal agents are just trying to build a better understanding of how flynn's company operated. >> what do you want to get out of bob mueller tomorrow when you meet? >> oh, i'm not going to go into it. >> reporter: special counsel robert mueller is expected to meet with senior members of the senate judiciary committee and other members on the hill this week to make sure there are no conflicts between his investigation and their own probes. although questions continue to linger as to whether there are recordings of the conversation between james comey and president trump inside the white house, cnn today received a response from the administration's office of management and budget saying it has no records of any installation or production of any recording devices inside the white house. cnn has previously reached out
to other agencies, all of whom so far say they have no records either. but, of course, we are still waiting on official word from the white house. >> sean spicer says it could happen this week. we'll get the final answer whether or not there are those recordings. jessica snyder, thanks very, very much. we saw the white house press secretary sean spicer brief reporters on camera, something he hasn't done in more than a week. let's go to our white house correspondent jeff zeleny. spicer was asked about the president's views on russia's election meddling during the campaign last year. we didn't really get a satisfactory answer. >> reporter: wolf, he was asked about that. that is something that republicans and democrats in the entire u.s. intelligence committee agree on. russia did interfere in the election. we've heard it time and time again in those hearings on capitol hill. we didn't hear it today in the white house briefing room. let's watch. >> i have not sat down and talked to him about that specific thing. obviously we've been dealing with a lot of other issues. i'd be glad to touch base. >> generally speaking, this
conversation about russian interference in our elections, there's 16 intelligence agencies that say that they did. the former fbi director said without a doubt -- >> i understand. i've seen the reports. >> does the president share those views? >> i've not sat down and asked him about his specific reaction to them so i'd be glad to touch base and get back to you. >> reporter: so it's this reluctance over and over some seven months after the election that has confounded republicans, sort of given ammunition to democrats and really kept this investigation alive in a sense that the president is one of the few people, wolf, here in washington who has not often agreed to the fact that russia did interfere in the election. >> pretty amazing when you think about it. president also posted a late tweet today about china's efforts involving north korea. tell us about that. >> reporter: wolf, he did indeed. of course, this is in response to the very sad story of the university of virginia student who died yesterday and the president talked about this earlier in the oval office. he seemed to imply that the
obama administration had some blame here because the student was under captivity by the north koreans for some 17 months or so. he sent out a tweet shortly after the briefing. it said this. he said while i greatly appreciate the efforts of president xi and china to help with north korea, it has not worked out. at least i know china tried. now, wolf, it's unclear exactly what the president means by this. he was hoping president xi would -- with relations with north korea and the regime there, but that didn't happen here. it is unclear if he's stating a new policy here or simfulply sag this one off didn't work. it is raising eyebrows talking about this and about president xi. >> spicer was also asked about the senate version of the republican health care bill which remains secret. >> reporter: he was indeed, would have. this is something the white house wants to get done, of course. they want to get some type of win on the boards here. but this is one of the most
secret things in all of washington. republicans have complained about this bill being written in secrecy. spicer was asked today if the president knows what's in the bill. >> i don't know that. i know that there was some chatter today. i know the president has been on the phone extensively with the leader and with key senators. so, i don't know if he's seen the legislation or not, but i know that they have been working extremely hard and the president has been giving his input and ideas, feedback to them. and he's very excited about where this thing is headed. >> do you know if anyone on the staff has seen the draft of the bill? >> i don't. >> reporter: so, wolf, this is something the white house is not directly involved in. they have agreed to allow senate republicans and top senate republicans to sort of work this out. but time is running short here. but mitch mcconnell and other senate republican leaders still say they can have a vote before that july 4th recess, wolf. but again, that has to happen before the end of next week and it has to be scored by the congressional budget office. that, too, has not yet happened.
>> yeah, they have to move quickly on this. all right, jeff, thank you very much. jeff zeleny over at the white house. let's turn back to the breaking news in the russia investigation. we are joined by congressman eric swalwell. he's the democrat on the house intelligence and judiciary. congressman, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me back, wolf. >> all right. so, cnn has learned the special counsel robert mueller -- of your house intelligence committee, i believe right now. what can you tell us about that? >> yeah, wolf, i can't go into any specifics on when meetings are occurring. i can tell you that we want to make sure that the fbi through the special counsel cooperation is able to make progress again on this investigation. we want to -- if there are resources that they need to conduct this investigation that they can do so. we want to have an understanding of what the time line is. we don't want to interfere in any way. we want to make sure they are able to report back to the american people whether any u.s. persons worked with russia or whether that did not occur. >> he's involved in --
mueller -- in a criminal investigation. you guys are looking at oversight in the house and senate. the ranking member of your intelligence committee, democrat adam schiff, he wants your committee to look into possible obstruction of justice. has your committee come to a final agreement with special counsel robert mueller on this? are you going to pursue that? >> we should pursue that. i support ranking member schiff's belief in that. you know, the obstruction of justice concerns stem out of the russia investigation. from the president's own mouth. so, i'll leave it at that, wolf. i hope we can find consensus with the republicans because as you mention, our task now is to report to the american people how this attack occurred, whether any u.s. persons were involved, and then make reforms so that we never find ourselves in a position like this again. >> lessons learned from all of this, as you say, to make sure it doesn't happen again. the treasury department is providing documents from its financial crimes unit to the senate intelligence committee. will your house committee be requesting those same documents?
>> wolf, first i think this just shows why we should have had a joint senate house intelligence investigation to avoid redundancies and you certainly have seen those. that's something mitch mcconnell and paul ryan opposed. we want to review all relevant documents, talk to all relevant witnesses and do it swiftly because as i said, wolf, it's not just russia who we are afraid of could do this again. other countries with similar capabilities will see this as an opportunity. but understanding what the financial relationships were as this attack took place will be very, very illuminating for us. >> your hearing is set for this friday as the deadline for the white house to provide any recordings it may have of president trump's conversations with former fbi director james comey. have you received any response at all from the white house counsel, don mcgahn, or anyone else at the white house on this request? >> i'm not aware of them responding to us. you know, that was kind of the
easy way to approach this, hoping that they would want to cooperate because it was the president who suggested that they exist. if that does not happen, then one other option we have would be to subpoena the records. and i hope that that's the action we take if the white house is not going to cooperate with that request. >> do you believe those recordings exist? >> wolf, you know, honestly, there's two bad out comes. either the president lied about recordings being in place just to intimidate james comey who came forward and testified anyway, not knowing himself. or he secretly recorded the fbi director without his knowledge. i don't think either of them make the president look well. >> you're also trying to get by friday the comey memos on comey's conversations with the president. i assume you're going to get those, right? and if you are, what are the most important elements you need to review? >> we hope we also get those. again, wolf, we don't want to get in the way of what robert mueller is doing. if they are going to report back, that would impede their
investigation, then i don't want us to get in the way of that. what i hope they tell us is just whether they were contemporaneous, meaning did james comey record these as he had different concerns. maybe also inform us as to other people he talked to. so, if you have what his state of mind was, you can corroborate what he suggested happened. and then also, you know, what was the president's conduct that was so concerning to him, from making the flynn investigation go away to wanting to shut deion the russia investigation. also intent of the president. if it's true that the president asked people to leave the room, that shows what the president was doing, contrary to paul ryan and others who have said, well, he's new at this. he doesn't necessarily know. when you clear a room, you know what you're doing. >> but was that first memo that he wrote following that first meeting, you know, when he went into his car and he started writing up details that he could remember, presumably because he didn't necessarily believe the
president? is that the one you want to see the most? >> we want to see all of them, but that was really -- that's chapter 1, i guess, in the memos and that would give us a good sense of where this, you know, went for the director and how he viewed the president thereafter. yes, i think all of them for our investigation. >> they're not classified, right? he said they weren't classified. i don't understand why wouldn't they be made available to you? >> they should be made available to us. i don't believe they're classified from what i have heard. but again, if special counsel mueller says that for other reasons that they would affect his investigation, then that's something that we should consider, not -- we don't have to accept it, but i think we should at least show the respect of considering it if that is a reason given. >> democratic senator sheldon whitehouse of rhode island, he's a member of the judiciary committee, believes general flynn, michael flynn who was fired as the president's national security advisor, is now cooperating with the fbi. based on what you've seen,
congressman, do you agree? >> i don't know, wolf. i can't say. certainly just as a former prosecutor, i can tell you that when you have cooperative witnesses whose testimony can otherwise be corroborated, that always helps you go farther in your investigation. but i can't speak to general flynn's cooperation. >> all right. stand by, congressman. there's more we need to discuss, and we will right after this quick break. will you be ready when the moment turns romantic? cialis for daily use treats ed and the urinary symptoms of bph. tell your doctor about your medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have a sudden decrease or loss of hearing or vision, or an allergic reaction, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away.
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robert mueller. he's up on capitol hill even as we speak right now. congressman, i want you to stand by because there's other important news we're following including some serious tensions that are escalating between the united states and russia and the skies over europe and the middle east. a russian fighter jet buzzing an american spy plane. it's but the latest in a series of threat moves. want to bring in our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. what are you learning? >> reporter: wolf, the defending the safety of u.s. troops is now the top priority. but the pentagon also making clear it does not want these matters to escalate. tensions are high as russian aircraft continue their bombing overseer i can't 24 hours after moscow threatened to shoot down any u.s. planes flying in certain areas. all u.s. aircraft overseer i can't now taking measures to protect themselves from russian planes and missiles and syrian forces. >> we go through very deliberate
and calculated adjustments. when threats raise, we want to make sure that our air crews and our ground crews are operating safely, and that we take into account all possible threats. >> reporter: in the latest sudden combat encounter, they shot down an iranian-made drone threatening southern troops just days after the u.s. also shot down a syrian fighter jet and another drone, all in self-defense, according to the pentagon. a key question now, after three shoot-downs, can russia even control syrian regime? and iranian-backed militias increasingly challenging the u.s. presence that is fighting isis. >> russia is one of the biggest violations of their campaign to sure up the assad regime, and the reason that they are so worried about this is because they want to at all costs
protect their sphere of influence in syria. and they see assad as their only way to protect their influence. >> reporter: some democrats say a new war may be brewing. >> this is a dangerous escalation. i think that we are getting closer and closer to open conflict with iran and russia. >> reporter: russia also says it shut down the communications line with the u.s. military overseer i can't. the two sides still quietly do talk. this as the russians are still engaging u.s. aircraft over the baltic in dangerous intercepts. an armed russian us-27 erratically flying within 5 feet of an rc-45 reconnaissance aircraft. these unsafe incidents are not new. in 2016 a russian fighter jet by the u.s. navy destroyer. vladimir putin has defended their provocative actions telling oliver stone.
>> what was the donald cook doing so close to our land? who was trying to provoke whom? and we are determined to protect our territory. >> reporter: defense secretary james mattis's view has not changed since he took office. he recently told congress he has few expectations about military cooperations. wolf? >> all right, barbara, barbara starr at the pentagon. thanks very much. want to get back to congressman eric swalwell. congressman, do you believe these incidents with russia will encourage president trump to take the threat posed by putin more seriously? >> in two thoughts, wolf, first, whether it was bad judgment or collusion, time will tell. but the president through his campaign and this administration has drawn us awfully close to russia. and you have to ask what have we gotten out of it? we know what russia has gotten. they got the president to reduce the role of nato. he's given them nas national
security secrets in the oval office. russia is threat nipping our armed forces and the people who serve our country. the other thought, wolf, it looks like we are at war in syria. but this would be a war that would be without the authorization of congress. and it's time that congress votes on what is the time line, what is the troop commitment, and what is the terrain that is covered. >> today the white house press secretary sean spicer wouldn't answer whether president trump actually believes that russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. why do you think the president still has doubts about this even though the entire u.s. intelligence and law enforcement community says they did? >> it can't be because he has not seen the evidence. we know that he's been briefed on the evidence. the evidence is overwhelming and so i'll let people draw their own conclusions about why he doesn't accept it. but what worries me the most, wolf, is the cost of the chaos of russia's interference is that it's prevented congress from acting on behalf of people's jobs, their health care and
their kids, and also russia is going to do an even better job in 2018 if we don't have a white house that accepts that we were attacked and wants to protect future elections. >> congressman eric swalwell, thanks so much for joining us. >> my pleasure, wolf. >> just ahead, there's more news we're following. the closing moments and the first results in the election that may tell us a lot about president trump's influence in the battle. the trump administration under new pressure to punish north korea at least in some way after the death of former captive otto warmbier. what should be done? son: hey mom, one more game? tech: with safelite, you get a text when we're on our way. you can see exactly when we'll arrive. mom: sure. bring it! tech: i'm micah with safelite. mom: thanks for coming, it's right over here. tech: giving you a few more minutes for what matters most. take care!
we're only about 30 minutes away from polls closing in the most expensive house race in u.s. history, the democratic and republican candidates, they're in a very close contest in what's traditionally been a very solid republican district. the election is seen by many as a referendum on president trump. let's dig deeper with our experts and analysts. gloria borger, as you know, sean spicer was trying to downplay the significance of this race tonight during his white house press briefing. what do you make of that? >> well, because it's a referendum on donald trump. and if donald trump -- if they lose that race, he doesn't want it to be seen to reflect badly on the president. if they win, however, i guarantee you that he'll be
singing a different song about that. but, you know, obviously this is a race that they should win and they should win easily. tom price who karen handel wants to replace, won with 62% of the vote in his district. it has historically been a republican district. it is precisely the kind of race they shouldn't have any trouble with and it's also the kind of race that the democrats need to win if they are going to make any headway in taking control of the house. >> but hillary clinton lost that district to donald trump by only what, a point and a half, or something like that. so it was very, very close. >> yes, but mitt romney won it against barack obama in 2012 by some 23 points. >> that wasn't close. >> it wasn't so close. so, there is something about donald trump -- >> right. >> -- in this district that is creating an opportunity for the democrats which is why it very much is a referendum on donald trump, even though i know the democrat jon ossoff in the race doesn't want to have it be that
necessarily. >> spicer, david, also said that special elections generally don't foretell the outcome of races down the road. is he right? >> well, it does have a mixed history. it's not a sure fire way to tell us what's going to happen a year and a half from now in 2018. that being said, they are sometimes a harbinger of things to come. we saw in '94 special elections did give us a little hint. we saw the scott brown special election in 2009, 2010, the beginning of 2010 of what was to come in 2010. so, it's not as if they tell us nothing, but what they tell us is the current political environment in which the democrat republican parties are going to have to battle out the midterm election. so, it impacts organizing enthusiasm, candidate recruitment, fund-raising, all those things which does have real impact. >> that's why $50 million has been spent in this race alone. what are you going to be looking for, david? >> if democrats can win the seat whether it's close or a bigger margin, they'll at least get the
fever to break. they've lost the kansas special, the montana special. they were supposed to lose those races. but they need to put a win up on the board. if they can win this, they can at least point to one seat they picked off and then go from there. but there is a danger for democrats in overreading it even if they win in the sense that this is a seat that sort of is taylormade for them in terms of the demographics to pick off an otherwise republican district. republicans have proven so far that they can't govern. democrats cannot prove they can win. so, they don't want to read too much into anything that happens tonight. >> and health care, it's going to have an impact on this health care debate that we are heading into in the next week and a half, maybe. and it is because health care became a huge issue in this district. jon ossoff didn't hug donald trump, but he -- i mean, karen handel did hug donald trump on health care. >> the repeal and replace. >> and he has been talking
about, not donald trump per se, but about health care. and i think that if you're a democrat and you look at this, you're going to say, well, it might embolden me. if you're a republican, you know, if he wins you're going to say, wait a minute, maybe we shouldn't move so quickly on an unpopular health care reform. >> it was pretty surprising, at least to me, i don't know about you, david, when sean spicer said today he didn't know, he wasn't sure whether the president himself has seen the republican senate health care bill's language. >> yeah, it was odd to hear the press secretary say that, no doubt. clearly they are trying to keep this up on capitol hill as much as possible in terms of the sausage making, getting the policy hammered out. this is mitch mcconnell -- they have put their trust in him to get this done. so, i think that's what sean spicer was trying to do. rhetorically there, we also know that donald trump is not steeped in the details of the policy and there's no doubt that that's the case this time around, too. but to gloria's point, if indeed
the republican wins tonight and holds onto that district, that is going to calm nerves among republicans that have been out there that trump may be real danger, or that the policies are so bad. not only health care, but tax reform. i think that if indeed the republicans can hold on, mitch mcconnell and paul ryan can go back to their conferences and say, guys, stick with us on this agenda. there's not proving to be a huge political price -- >> david, you've been watching this closely. the president met with senate republicans. the house version which he praised was mean, in his word, and he says the senate version needs more heart right now. what is he talking about? >> in the year 2000, 17 years ago, the president wrote a book the america we deserve. in it he made a case on universal coverage. on this issue i'm a liberal. he wants to be seen as ben he
have atlanbenevalent. it doesn't match what the ryan or republican house agenda says. >> rub cans are saying where is the bill? we'd like to see the bill. senator mccain complained about it. they haven't seen anything yet. >> well, the leaders are assure republicans -- and it is going to be scored by the congressional budget office soon. so, you'll know what it costs. but they are condensing the amount of time to pass this legislation. and to the hard point, that means money. if you're going to have a bill with heart, one would presume it means you're going to spend money on, say, something like medicaid, which under the house version would be severely cutback to the states. if you're a house member and you voted for that bill without enough heart, how are you feeling as the president does this to you? and says, well, we need a bill with more heart. what do you say to your constituents? oops. >> you know what more heart
means? better numbers for the poll. he's keenly aware of how unpopular the american health care act is. he means inject a little heart. >> he's looking at polls? >> i do. >> very surprised. very quickly, robert mueller, the special counsel just wrapped up his meeting with the house intelligence committee. the leadership, were you surprised today that sean spicer at the briefing said he never discussed with the president whether the president believed russia actually meddled in the presidential election? >> i'm not surprised he said it, but i'm not surprised they aren't having these conversations, wolf. this goes to the heart of everything that has sort of rolled out since election day, the transition, inauguration through the first six months of president trump's term. the idea of what's going on between members of his circle and their contacts with russia, whether or not it rises to the level of criminally at this, the idea that this isn't a topic front and center, you know, in
their internal discussions is surprising. >> not once, but twice he said he never had that conversation with the president, doesn't know how the president feels about that. all right, guys, stand by. there is more breaking news. ominous signs of north korea's nuclear test site. we're learning new details. at lincoln financial, we get there are some responsibilities of love you gotta do on your own. and some you shouldn't have to shoulder alone. like ensuring your family is protected, today and tomorrow, no matter what the future brings. ask a financial advisor how life insurance from lincoln can help start protecting your family's financial future now.
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>> we have some breaking news coming into "the situation room." dramatic and graphic new videos just released of the controversial police shooting of philando castile. his girlfriend live streamed the deadly aftermath of the confrontation. last july in the facebook live video that was seen around the world. and just last week a minnesota jury found the police officer not guilty in castile's death. cnn has now been given access to the police dashcam video jurors saw. it shows the police stopping castile's car, shows the conversation and the shooting. we want to warn you the video is graphic. >> your brake lights are out. you only have one active brake light. the passenger. the third brake light on top, this one back here is going to be out. do you have a license?
and insurance? sir, i have to tell you i have a firearm on me. >> don't reach for it, though. don't pull it out. don't pull it out. [ gunshots ] >> don't pull it out. >> i wasn't. [ bleep ] >> man -- >> our political commentator david of the washington post is back with us along with cnn legal analyst criminal defense attorney danny sevalas. danny, jurors saw the video. this is the first time the public is seeing it. what do you think this shows about the police officer's reaction, his training? >> the jurors saw a lot there. police officers are trained that every car stop is a potentially dangerous situation and they're also trained that any fertive movement, any possession of a weapon can within a second turn
into a deadly encounter. you see that there. ed the modern view of deadly force is to shoot, reassess the threat, shoot, reassess the threat. so, i think what you see in this video is a number of shots in quick succession which raises the question whether or not the officer was shooting and reevaluating continuously whether there was a continued threat because that's what police are taught to do. they are not trained to shoot to wound. they are trained to shoot to stop the threat. >> the jury, david, as you know, acquitted the police officer. what does that say to you about the video which clearly had an impact? the earlier video we all saw, what does that say to you about the criminal justice system? >> well, i think that jurors frequently are sympathetic to police, would have. police, let's be clear, have a difficult and dangerous job to do. my brother-in-law is a police officer. we talk about this all the time. and what we've come to sort of discuss is this idea that it's incumbent upon citizens to comply with police, but it's
also incumbent upon police to use their training to try and bring a situation to a dee escalated situation rather than a an escalated situation. i don't know all the evidence the jury saw. when you look at that video, though, it seems like it was escalating. in terms of the broader justice system, wolf, it's another instance where people feel like they wonder in their minds, if philando castile wasn't african-american, could this have come out differently? we just don't know. >> yeah, the jury, they did see both videos. the facebook live video from inside plus this video, the dashcam ra video. danny castile, the police officer, he told the driver in a calm tone -- actually castile told the police officer in a calm tone, as you heard, that he did have a firearm. as you know, a lot of people in the country their licensed to carry a gun. what are they supposed to do in a situation like this? >> it does raise the question of
how does a citizen advise an officer that he has a lawfully possessed firearm? because you hear the tone in the voice as you said, it was calm. the police officer doesn't warn his brother officer who you can see in the video across from the car. instead he puts his hand on his firearm and within seconds pulls and shoots multiple -- fires multiple shots. it really raises the question as -- on a broader scale how we are going to address lawful gun ownership and lawful possession in a motor vehicle when you're stopped for a motor vehicle violation. we have to look towards the future and how we're going to deal with these kinds of encounters. >> i guess what you could have done with hindsight, the police officer could have said, once he said he has a gun, raise your hands and come out of the car. and simply like that, and then they could have reviewed the driver's license, the insurance forms, and all of that. >> exactly. >> this was a horrible incident
obviously. >> right. it's a tragic situation. and, again, you go back to this idea of what is going through the police officer's mind. is he predisposed for whatever reason up to and including race to react a certain way. but, wolf, here's the challenge, right? if you're a gun owner who has the legal right to carry a gun, which my understanding is philando castile did in this situation, what else are you supposed to do other than notify the officer at a traffic stop, >> were you surprised that the police officer was acquitted, that it was a unanimous decision by the jury? >> i was surprised. you know, the juries i think struggle with the definition of culpable negligence which in minnesota requires that the officer actually knew he was doing something reckless and that endangered that citizen. but it certainly had to be a close call because this was a very quick use of deadly force.
and it really requires us to re-examine what kind of training to give law enforcement. i know we already give them a lot as it is. but at this point we need to ask, you know, in a citizen-police encounter, should we be training officers that every encounter so quickly could become so deadly? because i think that's what you see here as a result of that sort of hyper vigilant training. the other side of that is we do not want to put officers in danger. >> just ahead, growing pressure on the trump administration to put pressure on north korea after the death of an american student. almost nothing to holy crow, i'm related to george washington. i didn't know that using ancestry would be so easy.
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more breaking news tonight. two u.s. officials now tell cnn that american spy satellites have detected new activity in north korea's underground nuclear test site for the first time in several weeks. that comes amid growing anger over the death of an american college student who was held by north korea for 17 months before being released last week with severe brain damage. our global affairs correspondent is with us for the latest. the president is reacting to the death of him. >> lawmakers are accusing kim jong-un of murdering him. trump's options are limited, which is why he is stepping up the pressure on china to act. >> it's a total disgrace what happened to otto. >> tonight pressure is building on the white house and china after the death of otto.
>> that should never, ever be allowed to happen. and frankly if he were brought home sooner, i think the result would have been a lot different. >> on the eve of talking between washington and beijing, the president pointed the finger at china for not reigning in north korea tweeting, while i great i appreciate the efforts of the president to help with north korea, it has not helped out. at least i know china tried. the 22-year-old student seen here at his high school graduation. >> was sentenced to hard labor for pulling down a propaganda bann banner. and lawmakers calling his death a wake up call for action. tweeting otto should have never been in jail for tearing down a banner and she most certainly should not have been murdered for it. >> it is incomprehensive.
>> senator john mccain called it murder, plain and simple. but couldn't say how the u.s. should respond. >> one of the most power nations on earth. we have lots of options. >> with north korean weapons pointed at north korea and japan, the cost of military retaliation is too high. they fear for the safety of three americans still being held by south korea. and they hope north korea's decision to release otto, the result of direct talks could pave the way for more dialogue. just last month president trump offered to sit down with kim in an interview with bloomberg news. >> if it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, i would be honored to do it. >> the context in which he said it is if the right conditions presented themselves. clearly, we're moving further away, not closer to those conditions being intact. so i would not suggest we're
moving any closer. >> the tour company that brought otto now says it will stop trips to the country and the state department is looking at ways to prevent americans from traveling there and putting themselves at risk, like an executive order or via restriction. >> do not go to north korea. we can't get to you there. we have to rely on sweden and you know what can happen. >> now the coroner's office in ohio says it has received otto's remains. according to the family's wishes, an autopsy will not be performed on the body. after conducting an external exam, reviewing his medical exams and conferring with doctors at the hospital where he died on monday, the coroner has not reached any conclusions yet about the cause of his death. but investigators will continue to review his medical records and other interviews before reporting their findings. >> and they now have to decide whether to pass legislation to take action to prevent americans from going to north korea and
making it illegal. that's not an easy decision to make. >> well, the congress is the only one that could pass legislation banning that, and that's why the state department is looking at some kind of executive order or restricting travel. >> we'll see what happens on that sad story, indeed. that's it for me. aaron burnett out front starts now. >> next, breaking news. special council bob mueller behind closed doors at this moment. plus, president trump speaks out about the death of an american held in north korea. he says he should have come home a long time. tonight obama firing back. and the first results from georgia's special congressional election moments away. it is a massive test for trump. he put his credibility on the line. will he score a victory or take a hit? good evening. special counsel