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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 27, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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adversary. >> they're coming after america. >> dangerous and step steptive. they're weapons insidious and unsuspecting. >> they're looking to weaponize information. >> threatening american votes and striking at the hearts of democracy. >> do you think they see their interference in this election as a success? >> i do. >> a spy story? cyber space. >> you don't believe that doe indian is owned. >> that would lead right to putin's doorstep. >> if mr. trump gets his way it'll be like christmas in the kremlin. >> and the words of warning was not nearly enough. >> i told president putin to cut it out. >> the russian connection inside the attack on knocksy.
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it was an unprecedented attack on the very heart of american democracy. >> russia is directly beene the series of cyber attack targeting the upcoming election. >> that in one remarkable year catapulted russia, the old cold war advair, one again to the center of american politics and the american sighky on an almost daily basis. >> i think every american should be concerned about what the russians did. >> tampering a presidency. >> i own nothing in russia, i have no loans in russia, i don't havefully deals in russia. >> and jurn mining and ending the career of top presidential advisers. >> the president was very concerned that general flynn has misled the vice president and
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others. >> the president's first national security adviser michael flynn fired for lying about conversations with russia. >> state the obviouses you don't want your national security adviser compromised with the russians. >> his attorney general jeff sessions. >> i have recused myself in the matters. >> forced to recuse himself from all russia investigations. >> do you swear. >> for not disclosing his own contacts with russian officials. >> i don't think anybody knows it was russia. >> and trump himself repeatedly questioning the intelligence community's high confidence judgment led russia interfere with the election that brought him into the global office. >> it could be klein and also other people sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds, okay. >> and dramatically mr. trump firing his fbi director. >> i was going to fire comey, my decision. >> over a russian investigation,
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the president simply does not trust. >> it's my judgment that i was fired because of the russian investigation. >> now a essential counsel, the fbi, and four separate congressional committees are pursuing investigations. how did we get here? and how did russian influence potentially reach the highest levels of the u.s. government? >> can you say when you were first made aware that russia or some country was attempting to infiltrate u.s. potential organizations? >> sometime in the summer of 2015. >> james clapper was then the director of national intelligence, the nation's senior most intelligence official. >> at that first warning, was it clear to you how serious it would become? >> no i don't think it was, because obviously the russians have us as maybe the primary intelligence target anyway.
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>> the first quiet warning came september 2015, when a mid-level fbi agent notified the democratic national committee that russian hackers had compromised at least one dnc commuter. >> they left a phone message at the help desk of the dnc, they didn't create it with the kind of seriousness i think it deserved. >> that was the fbi's first direct contact with the dnc, a message left for a low-level computer technician who did not return the call. >> it's a busy place they got a lot of stuff to do. i suspect if they had to do it over they'd do it differently. >> the employee did scan the system networks but found nothing. and the it department aparnl did not share the fbi concerns with more senior dnc staff.
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the brief would prove to be enormous, hackers gaining access to countless e-mails, communications and documents. >> i can imagine seeing them a couple weeks later and saying, that went pretty well. >> and as the campaign for president was already well underway. for weeks the fbi kept calling the same computer help desk number at the dnc, never reaching out to dnc leaders and never making the short trip in person to dnc headquarters. >> looking back, i think they'd probably say we should have been more aggressive, but again it's hard to predict where these thing are going to end up. >> the fbi tells cnn it made repeated attempts to alert more senior dnc staff including sharing information on how to identify breaches in their system. by november 2015, polls show hillary clinton leading the pack
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of democratic contenders. >> join my campaign, join this effort, let's go win for america. >> it was now one year to el fbi agent called again with even more alarming news. a dnc computer was now transadmitting information back to russia. still dnc executives claim they were not made aware of the threat, leaving the russians to room free inside the democratic computering for months, in the end giving them further and further ammunition to interrupt the election. >> a hostile foreign power is trying to engage in our process you would have thought that we have risen up to the attention of the other intelligent agencies in the white house itself. >> it goes to the fundamental core of our democracy. >> tom don't lin, president
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obama's national security adviser came face to face more than once with the russian leader behind the attacks. >> it was alarming because it was consistent with putin's intent to undermine the institutions of the west. >> russian president, vladimir putin a former kgb spy, famous for his boldness, even ruthlessness. at home some of his opponents end up dead, abroad, his prime target is the u.s. >> there's no doubt in my miebd that vladimir putin was involved from the very beginning, knew all the details and was probe very eager to see, are we really going to pull this off. >> next, a nation brought to its knees by a massive russian cyberattack. >> started asking what's going on, whose in charge.
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european country of as stone ya -- acetone ya, a ally of asia is rocked by violent protest after relocation of this soviet war memorial. ya newsly land berg was working for an historic newspaper at the time. >> at that car which was parked at the road side, threw stones, bottles, everything like that. >> riot police struggled to restore order. but the chaos continued. as stone ya's foreign minister recalls a growing sense of fear around his country. >> it was chaos and dozen cars have been turned upside down.
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the people -- well -- that happened. >> as stone ya a tiny nation of just over 1 million people perched on the border with russia had not seen anything like this since it regained independence from the soviet union in 1951. witnesses noticed that rioters had one name, one country on their lips. >> all was shouting russia ya which means russia. >> they did not believe that was an accident. then defense minister had only been on the job three weeks. >> do you believe the protests were orchestrated? >> yes, to a certain extent. >> that kind of violent protest doesn't happen in as tore ya. >> absolutely, it's like i didn't know, this just doesn't
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happen. >> the belief were those protested were orchestrated, manufactured? >> yes, i guess that's pretty much describing term, orchestrated. >> the violence on the street wasn't the worst of it. silently in cyber space, an invisible army was melting an attack, an attack that would fo foreshadow the turmoil that will soon come to western europe and then measuring. >> how did you know that you were under attack, what gave you the first sense? >> i looked at the news bottles and they were done and i was reported banks were down. >> you suspected a cyber assault? >> yes. it's not bad weather it's bad people out there. >> while the u.s. election was a
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new target, russia has been waging cyber warfare for targets over the years. now the target is nato ally as stone ya. >> the 2007 attacks left as stone yans with no news weapon sites or government websites, very little information. >> and people started asking what's going on. i was in charge. >> electronic banking on atms and online at the time which counted for all transaction was completely down. >> people were scared and we were by than a rather inmat base society already. >> as stone ya with its meed evil walls and a technology powerhouse. it was the first country to allow john line voting and known for about birthplace of skype.
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but now one of the most wired countries in the world was under the most crippling cyber attacks the world had ever seen. the attackers created so-called got nets, taking over hundreds of thousands of computers to launch the attack. >> they flooded, they flooded with some -- tens and hundreds of times more than -- could handle. >> and the assault went on for weeks. eventually as stone ya had to black all international web traffic to stop the slaughter. disconnecting one of the most connected countries from one in the world. >> no -- i think that was also the aim of that. to cut you off. >> so who was behind it? acetone ya's foreign minister at
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the time blamed russia. the moscow has repeatedly denied involvement. >> translator: we consider the european union under attack by russia because russia is attacking as stone ya. the attacks are psychological, virtual and real. >> today perhaps fearing the questionings questionings consequences of blaming russia, the foreign minister is more careful. >> did that lead you to a suspect? >> back in 2007 and now ten years later, we don't have the smoking gun, we don't have the finger prints or foot prints. but when we say that probably one of our neighbors was concerned, we also know this was not like the -- finland. >> and that leaves russia? >> yes, the evidence, indirect
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evidence clearly shows in that direction. >> would it be reasonable to think it was anybody else but russia? would it make sense? >> that don't make sense. >> after carrying out increasingly bold cyber attacks across europe including here, russian prime minister vladimir putin turns its attention to its biggest part yet, the u.s. j the 2016 prejudicial election. >> coming up how the hackers tricked the democratic party. >> there's realistic e-mail that look legitimate. >> and the trail of evidence leading right back to russia. whoooo.
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kremlin. >> by now russian hackers has opinion traited the democratic national committee for months and were setting their sites on new targets, using the crudest of cyber weapons so-called spearfishing e-mails. >> in addition to the e-mails that were targeted, multiple people were targeted with spearfishing e-mails that resembled google warnings. >> joel is the -- >> they clicked on those thinking there were security warnings and that basically transported them to the place where the adversary could collect their credentials andload them to their account. >> a prime target was a chairman of hillary clinton's campaign, john possession test that. >> there was a google alert that there was some compromise in the
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system and changed it had password. >> this seemingly benign message was a spearfishing e-mail. it warned someone just used your password and prompted pa test that to change his password immediately by clicking on a link. it was signed, best the gmail team. >> it got managed by my assistant who checked with our cyber security guy and through a comedy of errors he instructed her to click on it and she did. >> the fatal error, pa test that's it person wrote back calling the e-mail legitimate when in fact. >> he meant to say the opposite right? >> right. the rest is history. >> one typo and one click and russian hackers gained --
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>> the initial weapon as it was cyber weapon pretty simple, it's not high-level stuff. >> that is one of the frustrations i think for all cyber security experts. >> russia had now successfully breached two democratic party computer systems, out of the clinton campaign and the democratic national committee. >> we were blown away by the brashness that their operating with, almost like they didn't anticipate any consequences for their action. >> back on the campaign trail it was looking more and more likely to be hillary clinton. >> love trumps hate. >> versus donald trump. >> and we're going to beat crooked hill hillary so bad that you're head's going to spinach. >> april, 2006, 7 months to election day. 9 months since the intrusion to the committee. the dnc commuter technician
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finally discovers the breach. though most of damage has been done the dnc notifies the fbi and hires skroud strike, security firm. crowd strikes quickly identified two culprits, both linked to russia. one dubbed fancy bear, the other cozy bear. familiar foes for cyber security experts. >> long before it had transpired around the elections we've known this actor for many years. >> what kind of evidence, some of it surprisingly simple such as time stamp, showing the hackers were starting and finishing their workdays on moscow time. >> the mistake they made is leaving the time stamps. if you look at enough of them overtime you get a picture of what hours their working. what they come down to is work schedule that fits right in with western russia's time zone.
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besides that, there's a lot of russia language art facts. >> that means computer code written in the russian alphabet. hole quist and his team did not let down their guards and by the summer of 2016 they discovered fancy bear sniffing out more prey. the russian actors has infiltrated act blue, democratic fund raising website. >> they were diverting people that one to the donation system to the server that they owned. >> his team showed us what they found. >> this is the website of the democratic congressional campaign committee on july 19th, 2016. if you right click and go to view, page source it'll bring you the atm l source, the code that's behind what you see. in this case what was interesting was that normally here is a hyperer link, this will go to security.act
11:28 pm but nirks it goes to secure.october with an s. act a blues with an s had nothing to do with the democrats and it happened a. to be a russian cover. >> we've seen their e-mails flying aefr where and wanted to give them a heads up. >> it was one more intrusion inside the american political process. >> we have high confidence that this is a russian intelligence organization. because we've been tracting this actor for so long and we've seen so many artifacts, and forensics and otherwise that suggest this actor is carrying out russian intelligence missions. >> next, what would russia do with the tens of thousands of e-mails they found inside democratic party organizations? >> they're looking to weaponize information. >> as hillary clinton's opponent
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hackers allegedly connected to the russian government, breaks into the server in the democratic committee. >> june 2016.
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>> donald trump is not qualified to be president and commander and chief. >> 5 months to election day and the world is getting the first hence of the -- of stolen e-mails and documents to come. >> it's a breach no question about it. >> a mysterious bloggers or bloggers nickname guccifer 2.0 began posting the first set of stolen documents. >> they love putting on these false per sewn thats and carrying on operations through them. >> so what was russia going to do with all the stolen information? >> they're looking to weaponize information. >> steven hall is the cia's former moscow chief. >> it's hard to put myself given my background into the mission of russian officers. so i would imagine these guys saying is it too crazy to think we can get together and -- and somebody said why not, let's
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give it a shot. >> guccifer 2.0 took its first shot within days of the story breaking that the dnc had been hacked, releasing batches of materials, not just from the democratic national committee but also from the hillary clinton campaign and the democratic congress fall campaign committee, all had been infiltrated by russian hackers. >> it's the russian services taking that gold they have collected, making something out of it that in terms could be used against their adversary, in this term the united states. >> guccifer 2.0 will be soon to be joined by wikileaks. sight founded by julian -- >> we hasn't a third party, somebody like, oh i don't know, wikileaks. >> and on jewel 22nd quicky
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leeks posted it will release more than 19,000 e-mails from the democratic national committee. >> so what in effect you have electronic evidence of a middle man as it were between russia and wikileaks. >> we were pretty high on our confidence and that's what happened. >> wikileaks however continues to deny receiving the hack documents from russia. just three days before the start of the democratic party convention, the stolen e-mails would suggest that top leaders of the democratic national committee were biased in pharr of hillary and against hernandez for the party's nomination. >> bernie beats trump. >> all right everybody now settle down. >> the chair of the dnc debby shaulz was forced to resign. the first scout of russia's influence operation, and the press quickly shifted focus toward the conversery.
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russia's influence campaign appeared to be having an effect. >> is there any direct reaction coming from the protesters there about the shake ups in the dnc. >> a delighted donald trump tweeted, the new joke in town is that russia leaked the disastrous dnc e-mails which should have never been written, stupid, because putin likes me. now in a speech he took the step of egging the russians on to hack hillary clinton's provide server. >> russia if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> trump was not alone in his circle celebrating the russian hacks. >> wikileaks, i love wikileaks. >> one reporter roger stone hinted he had advanced knowledge of the releases, raising questions for first time, a
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possible cooperation between trump associates and russian. >> i have communicated with the -- i believe the next documents pertain to the clinton fongs but there's no telling with the october surprise may be. >> in okay, roger stone once again seem to signal advance knowledge of wikileaks plan, feeting quotes, wednesday hillary clinton is done, #wikileaks. >> there seems to be some conversation or contact between first closely associated with the trump campaign and wikileaks. it certainly seemed like an interesting coincidence. >> later stone denied speaking with assad directly or colluding with the russians. as for the russian president himself vladimir putin laughed at the idea of russian involvement in an interview. >> no i don't know about that.
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>> i did have a very diser ral feeling in the pit of my stomach that i thought this was really a serious thing, assault on our db you know it was part of our democracy and that's one of reasons i felt so strongly about putting out the statement that we did in okay. >> on october 7, one month and one day before the election, u.s. intelligence agencies publicly named and shamed russia. their statement read, quote, the u.s. intelligence community is confidence that the russian government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from u.s. persons and institutions. >> 17 distinct agencies say we concur on this, that's a significant thing. >> coming up the releases of stolen e-mails accelerate. >> drip of stolen e-mails.
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john pa december that chair of hillary clinton campaign will
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never forget october 7, 2016. >> early in the morning the director of homeland security and the director of national intelligence released a statement that the russians were actively interfering in the election. later in the day, the access hollywood came out and it did [ bleep ] and of course everyone's attention turned to what donald trump had been saying to billy bush on that bus. >> what automatically attracted you? >> just a kiss -- >> a break for the clinton campaign, that is until just moments later. >> within minutes, i think 23 minutes later the first of the e-mails was posted to wikileaks with a statement saying we have the contents of his e-mail system and we're going to release them all and of course the campaign. >> that is the entire contents
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of john pa test that's private account totaling more than 50,000 e-mails. once again the source of the e-mail troll was wikileaks, and democrats as well as the u.s. intelligence committee suspected the release had been timed for maximum impact. >> do you have any doubts those two events that day, the access hollywood tapes and after hearing e-mails -- >> well, it's a massive coincidence that they would chose to pull the trigger on a friday evening when they've been sitting on it for a while. >> no i have nothing to say about wikileaks other than i think we should be concerned about what the russians are trying to do to our election. >> that friday night e-mail dump was just the first of many. it is russia that is behind these hacks. >> a brand new batch of hacked e-mailst posted by wikileaks. >> those releases quickly became
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a not dant story line of the campaign. >> e-mails. >> e-mails. >> e-mails. >> russians are intense observers of what goes on in this country, and try to both collect information on it and as we saw where they can they -- it. >> russian's exploitation would expand to new targets. you are ra -- a hillary clinton's long time confidante was on the team. >> i saw my name on t.v. and i was like what happened. >> tandem's comments on the company revealed to the world. in one e-mail conversation with pa test that, tandem said, quote, hillary, god her instincts are suboptimal. >> an the campaign trail donald
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trump took advantage of the stolen e-mails. >> did you see what came out over wikileaks. >> quoting them or attempting to in the third debate. >> john pa test that says you have terrible instincts, bernie sanders says you have terrible judgment. i agree with both. >> he disquoted it and said it was john's and it was mine. i wanted to put my head under the pillow. >> the releases of the stolen hillary clinton campaign e-mails and memos continue right up until and end election day. >> e-mails getting dumped day in and out and every morning i woke up for dread for what was going to come next. i was like is this going to sink the campaign or not. >> inside the white house, a sometimes bitter debate was unfolding. some senior advisers including secretary of state john kelly
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pushed for more robust response including stricter economic sanctions. in broad the president feared escalation with russia and at moment charges of influencing the election. >> at a time when anything that was said by me or anybody in the white house would immediately be seen through a partisan lens. i wanted to make sure that everybody understood we were playing this thing straight. >> as election day approached, the obama administration's greatest fear was that russian would disrupt actual voting systems. the fear so great that president obama warned putin face to face at a g20 meeting in china. >> i felt the most effective way to ensure that didn't happen was to talk to him directly and tell him to cut it out, there was going to be serious consequences if he didn't. >> later obama made rare use of a secured direct messaging
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system to the kremlin, similar to e-mail, originally intended to overt nuclear war, this time to warn putin again. >> i see it now -- donald trump will carry the state of north carolina. donald trump will carry the state of florida. donald trump wins the presidency. >> how damaging was this to the clinton campaign? >> look, it was our job to win and we didn't do it. what went into that, a lot of thing, and we bear our own sense of responsibility for that. but i think it was an important element of electing donald trump and i think the russians got what they paid for. >> after election day with growing urgency, the obama administration finally retaliated, closing russian compounds in the u.s. believed to be used for spying, expelling
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some 35 russian diplomats and imposing more sanctions on russia. in secret, mr. obama considerrd taking more aggressive steps, including initiating a plan to take cyber weapons inside the russian testimony as reported by "the washington post". for attempting activation if russia was to attack again. next was president trump also in russia's cross hairs. >> we thought that it was important that he knew about it.
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to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend. >> pruv, protect, and defend. >> the constitution of the united states. >> the constitution of the united states. >> so help me god. >> so help me god. by the time donald trump took office, the u.s. intelligence community had assessed with confidence that russian president vladimir putin had ordered an influence campaign aimed at undermining the u.s. presidential election. >> why the level of confidence there? >> i'd just say it was multiple sources and that all of us, the
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three agency heads and myself were very high in our confidence that the direction of the orchestration this came from was from the russian government. >> what's the intelligence division view of russia? >> it's not perfect, but pretty good. >> so good in fact at first reported by "the washington post" that the u.s. had sourcing deep inside the russian government, detailing putin's direct involvement. >> you would have had russian intelligence officers saying this is a chance to strike at one of the founding notions, one of the under pinnings, democracy. >> and multiple sources tell cnn that u.s. agencies went further determining again with confidence the kremlin had a more ambitious aim, discrediting
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hillary clinton and helping donald trump. >> i think it's pretty clear if there was a prospect that he might win, that clearly would influence the election in favor of him because they thought they could make deals with him. >> one compelling reason for that judgment is that russia had also hacked into the e-mails and files of republican party files and individuals including members of congress but crucially did not release the bulk of that information. >> do you think they see their interference in this election as a success? >> i do. regardless i feel sure they consider it a success. >> russian officials repeatedly and vumentally denied any interference in the u.s. election until earlier this
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month, seven days after election day. president putin for the first time opened the door to russian involvement. >> hackers are pretty free-spirited people. if they are patriotically minded they begin to make their cob tribution to what they believe. is that possible? it is possible. >> it was a startling and frank revelation. still more alarming questions remain unanswered today. most prominent among them, did russia have help from anyone inside the trump campaign? the possibility of collusion remains a subject of congressional and now special counsel investigations. >> do you standby your testimony that there is an active investigation counter intelligence investigation regarding trump campaign
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individuals and the russian government as to whether or not they collaborate? >> you said if there was coordination of the russian government and -- >> so nothing's going on? >> correct. >> you standby those statements? >> yes. >> another continuing question for investigators, does russia hold information that could be damaging to donald trump if made public? the collection of such compromising material is standard operating procedure for russian spy procedures. >> it's almost impossible to imagine they would not have collected information on donald trump. through the russian lens donald trump might have been an oligarch, a rich guy, a guy you might need down the road. >> cnn breaking news. russian operatives claim to have
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perjury and financial information about mr. trump. >> this information was provided as part of last week's classified intelligence briefing. >> the world's senior most intelligence officials took the allegation of compromising material seriously both on president trump and on president obama to a dossier compiled by a british intelligence agent. in conversations described in the dossier russian officials and others claimed to have personally and financially compromising information on trump. >> can you tell us why you included a now famous dossier werchs to the president? >> well, we thought it was important he know about it, that was the main point. not to comment on the voracity. >> so what happens the next time
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americans vote? lawmakers of both parties and a senior most intelligence officials are unanimous in their answer. russia will strike american democracy again. >> it's not about republican and democrats. they're coming after america. they want to m.d. mine our credibility in the face of the world. and they will be back because we remain that shining city on the hill, and they don't like it. >> is there any reason to believe that russia is not right now today continuing to attempt to or to infiltrate u.s. political organizations. >> i'm quite sure they are. i think it's in their dna, whether during the soviet era or now. >> a return to the cold war, this time in cyberspace with a direct and ongoing threat to american democracy, even the soviets never matched.
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this is cnn tonight. i'm don lemon. lots to talk about on two big stories. the prognosis for repeal and replace getting worse. the senate gop bill in danger with mitch mcconnell painted into a corner and forced to debate after the july fourth recess. and mean when i will president trump meeting with republican senators at the white house in an effort to salvage one of his biggest campaign promises. let's get to cnn jim sciutto first with the latest on the russian investigation. what is the white house doing to make sure the russians don't hack and meddle with our democracy again? >> the simplest answer is we don't know exactly. the questions been asked if not answered in full. one