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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 28, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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one that keeps you connected to what matters most. the president is spending tonight at one of his properties outside the white house, which isn't new. he's guest of honor at the first fund-raiser of his 2020 election campaign which is unheard of. no president has ever done this so early. president george w. bush and president obama each waited three years before kicking off their campaigns for a second term. we'll talk about the ethics and legalities of the event which took place it at the president's hotel in washington. we would bring you video of it but at the last minute the white house disinvited the president. the president is still there. he was supposed to leave about half an hour ago. i assume he's raising a lot of money. how much are people paying for this? >> reporter: it's a very pricey event, anderson, $35,000 a head.
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and they're expecting about 300 guests. an rnc spokesperson told us earlier they're expected to make $10 million here at the trump hotel tonight. >> and those are protesters outside, that's what you're speaking over? >> and this one -- >> reporter: yes, yes, excuse the noise. there's a guy to my left with two megaphones who is protesting donald rump outside of his own hotel here in washington. >> do you know how much the trump hotel is getting paid to host this event? >> reporter: no. that's one thing we have not gotten answered today despite the fact we have made multiple requests. i made one recently even half an hour ago, and we still don't know who is paying for this event at the trump hotel tonight. is it the rnc who splitting the fund-raiser with the president? is it the president's re-elected campaign? or did the hotel not them for this event? we haven't gotten an answer. >> the president actually filed his papers for re-election the
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day he was inaugurated. >> reporter: he fouled it hours after he was sworn in blocks away on capitol hill. now less than six months later here we are at his hotel holding his first re-election fund-raiser. this is not usual. george w. bush and barack obama did not hold their first re-election fund-raiser within two years of their presidency. donald trump is getting a head start. for donald trump, the campaign never really ended. he has held five rallies since he was sworn in all in states that he has won. his campaign produced its first commercial in april and now tonight he's here. so for donald trump, this is business as usual. >> did the white house give an explanation for disinviting the press? >> reporter: no, we have not. today the press -- when we started out this morning the press was not invited. it was closed press. when sarah huckabee sanders was asked at the press briefing, she said it was a political event
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and had he were keeping that separate. after some prodding from the press they decided to invite a few pen and pad report eers and one camera. then two hours later they got back to the press and said actually we've changed our mind. no press is allowed because of a logistical issue. it's perplexing what that could be because there are 300 people in the room right now, so surely they could have made room for a few reporters. and if they had planned in the beginning to allow the press in it wouldn't have been a last-minute issue. there is no press in there listening to the president give remarks to some of his biggest donors right now. >> i appreciate you battling the sound of someone with a megaphone right next to you. more on the legal and ethical dimensions. joining us is former george w. bush ethics adviser richard painter, vice chairman of a watchdog group that's suing the president over the constitution's emolluments clause. jen sauky and jeffrey lord,
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well, because of ronald reagan. so, jeffrey, the fact at the last minute the trump campaign decide decided to bar the press from this event, is that a problem for you? >> no. this kind of thing is so incredibly common. when i knew what our segment was here i went back and took a look. president obama, for example, met with all kinds of donors to his library in private, and they went out and raised money for it. if you remember his bitter clingers remark which was about pennsylvania, which is why a lot of people in pennsylvania remember it, is because somebody smuggled out a tape of it. the press was not invited. it was a fund-raiser in san francisco. and to be bipartisan about this, president bush 43 had his pioneers and rangers who raised all kinds of money. they he did these kinds of things in private settings. there's nothing unusual about this. the only thing that's unusual is he's doing it so early.
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frankly, anderson, you and i and others spent a lot of time in 2015 and 2016 saying this has never been done before and donald trump is doing it. this is just one more thing. >> do you see a problem with this? as jeff said president obama held fund-raisers without the press being present. >> well, first of all he's referring to a fund-raiser back in 2007. we did change our policy to allow the press in. oftentimes it was the larger pool. and in the white house when it was a fund-raiser that was over 100 people, maybe even smaller than that, we always had a pool present. actually that's not accurate. i was there, jeffrey. the piece here that should be concerning to republicans is that president trump is the leader of the republican party.
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president obama did fund-raisers in march of 2009 but they were for the dnc. you really want this money and you are wondering why he is raising money for his campaign more than three and a half years away. >> david, the event being held inside a trump property is nothing new. he has patronized a lot of trump businesses, during the campaign as well -- that's actually the president leaving the trump hotel -- but every weekend he's at some sort of trump business. >> that's right. the campaign experience is relevant. last year he held a lot of events at trump properties and plowed a lot of money and turned it into personal money, money for his business. that seems to be what he is doing tonight. some of the money coming in from donors ends up in his pocket. if he can get away with that, i
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guess that's fine. the really interesting thing to me is the way that the trump organization is changing. he's not running the trump organization anymore but it's reorienting to be about monetizing their connections to the president rather than what it was before which was monetizing golf courses, banquet halls, much more of a business that sells a connection to a guy who is in power rather than what it was before. tonight is a great example of that. >> richard, do you have any ethical issues with what's going on tonight? >> i certainly do. as an american and a republican first i'm disgusted with this campaign finance system where you have all these fund raisers. it's a pay to play game and that's not going to stop until the supreme court overturns citizens united. we do something about that. but then on top of that we have the fact that a president is starting so early in the process, so early in his term raising money for his campaign rather than focusing on the job of being president and then, furthermore, he's taking a cut
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him seven because he owns the hotel where the fund-raiser is. and it's not the only big event at a hotel. there are lots of events at a hotel. not political fund-raisers but trade associations and others that pay top dollar to have parties. that's the go-to hotel in washington now for anyone who wants to schmooze the trump administration. the president of the united states to get access to his administration, and that's just flat out corrupt on top of the corruption both political parties from campaign finance system. i think the whole thing is disgusting and the american people are going to get fed up with both parties if they don't fix our government and get the corruption out. >> jeff, if the idea here is benefiting financial -- we assume he's charging for this fund-raiser in the ballroom.
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we don't know because they won't give any comments yet on it, but assuming he is charming because he has charged for other events in the past, to the point that was just made by richard, is there anything problematic about that? >> the thing that richard -- and i'm not picking on richard here because this is a common place assumption in the swamp having worked there for a long time. they have a are problem with something like this but when it comes to political benefit, which often leads to monetary benefit, they have no problem with it. >> i have a big problem with it. big problem with that. >> you what? you do or do not? >> i have a big problem with the political raiding of campaign contributions for political favors from both political parties. >> let me just say, and i should say before i started out, i meant then governor bush long before he was governor, i think the world of him. i voted for him twice, but he used the office of governor of texas to get elected president of the united states.
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he used all sorts of donors, all sorts of texans who contributed money parlaying his political office into a larger office. and he is not alone. every politician in america does this. >> let's fix it and get on it. we don't have to have a hotel on top of it. >> we need to rein in the political aspect of it and nobody talks about it because everybody has their hands in the pot. >> well, let's get them out of the pot. we don't need the president sticking his hands in the pot twice, one for political contributions and second for his own hotel for the trump organization. >> that's all i want. >> we don't need to talk about the past. we need to fix the future, and this is getting worse and worse and worse. we're just pointing fingers at obama or bush and that is not going to work for this president. >> do you not see a difference with a president actually benefiting financially from a fund-raiser? personally benefiting for him and his family? >> well, anderson, barack obama is just signing a book contract for how many tens of millions of dollars because he was president of the united states?
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and i worked for ronald reagan. ronald reagan benefited from the same system. i mean, if we're going to have a revamp of the system, let's be honest and say, what, hillary clinton -- >> that wasn't -- you can quibble with should the president make millions of dollars but he's not doing it while he's president of the you sats. donald trump is president of the united states and he's making money. >> i want the same standard for everybody. everybody. did the kennedys make money from their various properties? the answer is yes. >> not off the presidency he did not. he did not have a so-called white house or summer white house where people paid money to go to his place in hiyannis por. that is disgusting. he did not do that. do not accuse jack kennedy of doing that. >> money earned from the merchandise which was in the kennedy family, a big property that they made millions of dollars from. are you kidding me? >> he did not use the presidency to make money.
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>> the fact that he was president attracted the money. >> they had the money long before he was president. so did donald trump. >> so did donald trump. and so did donald trump. >> but he is using the presidency to make money when he has the fund-raiser at his own hotel. there are dozens of hotels in town. he should not have owned that hotel. it is against the terms of the gsa lease for him to be receiving money from that hotel. he doesn't need to do it. >> all right. we have to go. i appreciate the discussion. coming up next the discussion of collusion. you'll hear what the republican chairman of the senate intelligence committee has to say about the state of his investigation. is there any there? what did the president mean when he promised a big surprise on health care. that and more when we continue. at johnson's we care about safety as much as you do.
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the president, if you dig deeper you find out it's not so cut and dried. chairman of the senate intelligence committee was asked about collusion and whether his committee he has cleared the president. i understand one of the topics that came up was about the question of collusion. what did he have to say? >> reporter: he said the issue was still on the table, something they have looked at as part of this investigation. he said that while there's public system that suggests that perhaps there was not collusion, that's something he is not ready to make a conclusion on quite yet. that's much different than what the white house is saying. the white house is saying there's no collusion whatsoever.
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the chairman of the committee who said they interviewed more than 40 witnesses are just not this there yet. and one big reason why, anderson, some of these big-name trump associates have yet to come before the committee, perhaps when they talked to some of these people who had these contacts with russians and reviewed the information, the records they provide, they can reach a conclusion. that question still open at this point in the investigation, anderson. >> and the chairman said he talked about the pace of their investigation. >> reporter: yeah, he did. he said they're moving quickly. compared it to the house committee that's moving had in a much different pace saying that they actually believed they are confident getting the information they are requesting. here is what he said. >> we're quite a bit ahead of where the special counsel's investigation is, we're quite a bit ahead. but, again, i see the special counsel on a different pathway.
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he's looking at criminality. and that's not the subject of the senate investigation. >> reporter: so two important points there, him saying they're not looking at criminality. the issue of obstruction of justice, something the senate intelligence committee is almost steering clear of as the special counsel is looking into that issue presumably from what we are hearing. now also he's saying that he did talk to bob mueller about the investigation, something that he did have a conversation with earlier today. one thing after that conversation burr telling reporters he believes they're going to get access to those memos that james comey, the fired fbi director, wrote about his interactions with president trump, anderson. >> manu raju, thanks. >> reporter: thanks, anderson. another figure in the russia probe and ties with moscow, if any, by way of ukraine, paul manafort. officially registered as a foreign agent late yesterday. the documents could have a lot
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to say. they already speak to how lucrative his consulting business was. our justice correspondent joins us with the latest. what are some of the details you've learned? >> anderson, paul manafort's campaign was paid for work it did on behalf of a pro-russia political party in the ukraine called the party of regents. this was done to comply with the foreign agents registration act known as fara. $3.5 million in travel and other type of expenses. this includes $531,000 paid to a ukraine-base d business associae of man a for the manafort's. dana raherbacker. known as a vocal advocate for
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closer ties to russia, anderson. >> why wait until now to register? is there any explanation? >> so manafort's work was under investigation for years, frankly. a lot of people who do this type of work never actually register as foreign agents because the law is so loosely enforced by the justice department. a lot of this work is now getting more attention in the past year because manafort became chairman of donald trump's campaign and the fbi began doing this investigation into russian meddling in the 2016 election particularly because if there was concern of key ordination between the russia hacking efforts and the trump campaign. it's important to note that in completing this registration it doesn't mean that manafor it t is out of the woods. the special counsel robert mu mueller is overseeing the broader russia investigation and that includes any issues that manafor it t may have with regards to his tax and business records. >> what's manafo are rt have to say about it? >> we did get a statement from maloney, his spokesman, and he said manafort start this had
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process in concert with the fara unit in september before the outcome of the election and well before any formal investigation of the election interference began. they say that paul manafort's primary focus was at the domestic, ukrainian political campaign work, and that is reflected in this filing which was done on tuesday, anderson. >> all right. thanks very much. coming up, the president promises a, quote, great, great surprise in the health care battle. that was after acknowledging getting the legislation through the senate. we'll take a look at where it stands now next. to protect it. at legalzoom, our network of attorneys can help you every step of the way. with an estate plan including wills or a living trust that grows along with you and your family. legalzoom. legal help is here. working my canister off to clean and shine and give proven protection against fading and aging. he won't use those copycat wipes. hi...doing anything later?
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when it comes to your health care, how you get care, when and if you get coverage and how you pay for it, a big surprise may be the last thing you want. that's what the president promised today. a big surprise, a great surprise, he said. it's the latest effort to make good on the promise to repeal and replace obamacare but so far has been paid with misery and struggle. >> great to see you again. >> reporter: after once promising americans more winning than they could stand, president trump appeared to be bracing for a potential defeat on health care. >> i think we'll get at least very close. >> reporter: one day after senate republicans delayed a vote on their obamacare repeal bill the president defend ed hi work on the issue tweeting, some of the fake news media likes to say i'm not totally engaged in health care. wrong. i know the subject well, and i want victory for the u.s. one big problem the president conceded koblg the plan that pleases both conservative and moderate republicans that he encountered in a meeting with
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gop senators. >> it's very tough. every state is different. every senator is different. i have to tell you the republican senators had a really impressive meeting yesterday at the white house. we had close to 50 of them, 52, we need almost all of them. >> reporter: later in the day the president was gynning up suspension without elaboratinel. during the campaign then-candidate trump insisted repealing obamacare would be simple. >> you're going to have such great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost, and it's going to be so easy. >> reporter: now fellow republicans visiting the white house are noting their opposition right outside the west wing. >> because they go far enough to fix it. i'm on the conservative side of this bill, and i think we're going to work together to make it better. >> reporter: sensing they have the upper hand democrats are calling on the president to host woboth parties at the white hou. >> president trump, i challenge
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you to invite us, all 100 of us, republican and democrat, to blair house to discuss a new bipartisan way forward on health care in front of all the american people. >> reporter: asked about that, the president did not knock down the idea. >> we have to find out if he's serious. he hasn't been serious. >> jim acosta joins us. this is not the first time the president has alluded to a surprise. >> reporter: that's right. the president about six weeks ago suggested there were tapes of his conversations with the former fbi director james comey. no such tapes ever existed and the president admitted he didn't have those recordings. and so, yes, we've been down this road before. anderson, i've talked to republican sources who said they don't know what the president means by the surprise. i have one white house official quip to me if we told you what the surprise was, it wouldn't be a surprise anymore. it feels like we're going down the same rabbit hole that we've been down before. but at the same time, anderson, i think there's a very cold reality facing republicans. if you look at all the polls that have come down today
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showing approval for this health care bill in the senate being somewhere around 20% to 25%, there was a usa poll that had had it at 12%, that is legislative dog food at this point. it's tough when you have those numbers, republican senators who may be up for re-election next year for them to swallow it. it will be a tough road to hoe and the president will have to put his weight behind it, something republicans say he hasn't done up to this point. >> with us is jen psaki and matt lewis. do you have a sense of what he's talking about or do you think he actually does have a surprise or is he just being optimistic that there is going to be some sort of resolution like there was with the house bill? >> i don't think he has a surprise. i think he senses that he might be losing the audience, that people might give up hope that this is going to happen. he knows he has to keep the media engaged. he has to keep the activists and even the u.s. senators believing
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that it's possible. they don't want to throw in the towel, believing it's possible he has a rabbit in his hat or up his sleeve or whatever the expression is, that he might be able to pull off another miracle. he's done it before with the election, for example, nobody thought he could do it. so we always have to have in the back of our heads, i don't think there's a surprise but maybe he has something. and as long as we think maybe he has something, he keeps us in the game. >> doug, is there a power to positive thinking or positive statements like that? >> i think there can be. we've seen so many of these from trump. we've seen so many wait and sees where there's actually been nothing to see. and what we've learned so many times now is it's either like waiting to find out what's in al capone's vault or waiting for o.j. to find the killer. there's either nothing there or it's just not happening. that's where so many republicans on capitol hill are getting more and more frustrated. i spoke to a republican southern member about an hour ago who said they keep seeing this bait and switch and wait and see p l
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politics from trump that's causing not trump fatigue but exasperation. he needs to fix that. a legislative victory is a good way to do so. >> jen, the other part is when republican senators go home for the july 4th recess they're asked what the big surprise the president is working on for health care, how do they respond? >> i think a number of them will respond. i hope it's more money for medicaid for my state, to address the opioid crisis. the problem for trump he doesn't have that money to play with because the conservatives will never accept that. so i don't think they play to doug's point. i don't think they play into the surprise. i think a lot of republican senators he is peespecially the vulnerable ones like heller and flake are very nervous about this bill and where it's going and what it means for their political prospects. and when you have governors in a lot of states who were very vocal as well, i think they have to go home to their states and say we're going to advocate for the money and resources that's not in the current version of the senate bill. >> matt, to the extent president
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trump is supposed to be the deal maker in chief, how much is that reputation taking a hit because of health care? it was a battle in the house certainly. it seems like it might be even bigger in the senate. >> yeah. it's interesting. i think he sold him seven as the deal maker. this was going to be so easy to get things done. we are going to get so tired of winning. he really hasn't had that much to do with this health care bill. so, look, i think part of it is you would expect a president if ronald reagan were newly elect ed and trying to pass his first landmark piece of legislation. the white house would be calling the shots, and they would have a firm grasp on the policy. donald trump very early on outsourced this to paul ryan and mitch mcconnell. i do think that the problems that they're facing are not necessarily trump's problems. i think reconciliation was probably the original sin trying to pass this through reconciliation.
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it creates a ton of problems including the fact that conservatives want to get rid of the basic architecture of obamacare which can't be done through reconciliation. if donald trump actually had a vision for what he wanted, things might have played out a little bit differently. he doesn't have a vision and he completely outsourced it and here we are. >> doug, i want to play for you some of what you were talking about, the whole idea of the president promising and teasing. let's play this. >> we're going to be announcing something i would say over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal. infrastructure very quickly. we have the plan largely completed, and we'll be filing over the next two or three weeks, maybe sooner. we'll have some very pleasant surprises for you. we're going to surprise you. so she's going to have a little news conference the next couple of weeks. we'll be having a news conference in about two weeks to let everybody know how well we're doing. >> you have people now down there searching -- i mean in hawaii? >> absolutely. they cannot believe what they're
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finding. >> how much does it hurt the president's ability to get the rest of his agenda passed if he can't get this it done? >> i think it's a big step backwards for the administration. let me take you back to when i worked in the houps for eric cantor. we struggled times to move bills through the house. we couldn't get anything through in the senate. the past two years we could pass things but the roadblock was in the white house. there's one dynamic that's new in washington, d.c., right now. that's donald trump. it's up to donald trump to get this to the finish line but not just trump alone. he may be the great deal maker. he has a loclose wer mike pence who has known these senators for so many years he can work with them to get it through. the gorsuch nomination was a big win. that was largely outsourced to the federalist society, kelly ayotte and rob collins. this is where they need to drive a win home. they're the only thing new in this town. >> do you see it as possible still? >> i think it still is possible.
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if you go back to several weeks ago, we had written off the house bill and they had come back and won the vote which the house had never done before. this is new territory, not great territory for the senate. the house can do it. the senate can as well. >> the only difference i think the house, the one advantage they had in the house was saying the senate will fix it. let's just advance the bill. you don't really have that anymore. >> that's why it's up to trump and pence. absolutely. >> we have to leave it there. thanks to everybody. another of president trump's associates will be testifying in the russia probe. randi kaye digs into roger stone's past when we return. it's your daily retreat. the es and es hybrid. lease the 2017 es 350 for $329 a month for 36 months. experience amazing at your lexus dealer. their leadership is instinctive. they're experts in things you haven't heard of. researchers of technologies that one day you will.
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the future of awesome. one of president trump's oldest and most controversial associates is set to testify next month in the russia probe. before he was one of the president's trusted can have dents, roger stone, had a long career as a political operative dating back to his work for another president, richard nixon. randi kaye tonight reports. >> reporter: he is the ultimate wa washington insider. >> you can't win the race if you don't have a horse. >> reporter: lopping before republican strategist roger stone ever met donald trump, he was advising another president caught up in controversy. stone was such a fan of richard nixon's the former body builder had nixon's face tattooed on his back. stone could relate to nixon's resilience. >> roger was the youngest person
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called before the watergate grand jury. he was all of 19 at the time. he was a young, dirty trick sst. >> reporter: later stone became regional political director for th then-governor ronald reagan's 1980 presidential bid. by then stone had formed a lobbying group with rump's future campaign manager paul manafort called black manafort and stone. by 1996 stone was run out of d.c. and out of republican politics. he and his wife had been exposed by "the national enquirer" as swingers and frequent visitors to sex clubs. >> the swinger scandal that "the national enquirer" exposed forced roger into the shadows. he had to operate from the fringes particularly as the republican party moved farther to the evangelical right. a person like roger was no longer palatable as an out front political consultant. >> reporter: in 1999 stone worked with donald trump as he
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weighed a bid on the reform party ticket. in 2000 he helped george w. bush take the white house by sending protesters to florida to shut down the recount. always looking to live up to his reputation as a dirty trickster, stone takes credit for bringing down new york governor eliot spitzer. stone was later accused of spreading false rumors about pat buchanan having an illegitimate child which stone denied. during campaign 2016 ted cruz blamed him for plant iing the fe story cruz had had five ex he tra marital affairs. roger stone also pushed the birther movement and painted hillary clinton as unwell. >> well, look, i don't know whether it's parkinson's or epilepsy or a brain tumor -- >> reporter: during campaign 2016 stone was sometimes referred to as trump's brain. >> roger's relationship with trump has been so interconnected
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that it's hard to define what's roger and what's donald. it will be clearly a trump presidency. i think it's influenced by a stone philosophy. >> reporter: despite that trump says he fired stone as his campaign adviser. stone says he resigned. though now stone is once again in hot water for possible ties to julian assange. after tweet that go john poe s podesta, hillary clinton's 2016 campaign chair, would have his time in the barrel, podesta's campaign e-mails were leaked by wikileaks and julian assange. stone told a reporter, i do have a back channel communication with assange because we have a good mutual friend. still, stone denied having any direct communications with assange and denied leaking podesta's e-mails. now intel officials want to know if roger stone had advanced warning of the e-mails leak and perhaps the russian hack during the 2016 campaign. the man whose motto is admit
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nothing, deny everything launched counterattack now back in the spotlight again. randi kaye, cnn, new york. joining me now is cnn senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin. a fascinating piece for "the new yorker." roger stone is a fascinating character. you profiled him for "the new yorker." he sort of thrives in a murkiness between fact and fiction. >> you know, that's exactly right, anderson. he is an unusual figure in that in my experience he embellishes the bad things he's done. tries to make himself look worse rather than better which is different from how most people i've interviewed over the years. >> there's a quote from donald trump back in 2008 in your new yorker profile of stone and
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trump at the time said roger is a sewn cold loser. but then obviously roger stone was involved for a time in donald trump's campaign and they seem -- i don't know what the relationship is now. >> well, i think that's indicative of the very much up and down relationship that rump and stone have had over the years. roger was involved in the 80s trying to get trump to run for president, and each cycle has encouraged trump to do that. once trump actually did run for president roger was really sort of a peripheral figure in the trump campaign. he never had an official position. he was very much aligned with paul manafort. so during the period when cory l lewandowski was in charge. it's never been clear to me how much roger was involved with trump and how much he was simply claiming to be part of the inner
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circle of the campaign. >> he said he wanted to testify in public. just from a journalistic standpoint it would have been fascinating to see him testify because, you know, to actually see him under oath and have what he says under oath compared to things he had said publicly or on twitter. >> that's right. but that is characteristic of roger's bravado that he would want to testify in public. and even though he brags about his nefarious deeds, one thing he's he been very clear on is that he was not involved in any sort of connection to the russians. that's what he said. i mean, obviously that's an area that's being investigated. and the real question that i think the committee is going to want to answer is how did he apparently have advanced knowledge of the wikileaks disclosures about the democrats and john podesta if he didn't
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have some sort of contact with wikileaks or the russians who were apparently doing the hacking. that's where roger's role is at its most mysterious and i think that's where the committee is going to be looking for clarification. >> jeff toobin, jeff, thanks. well, coming up, how a vacationing former president obama is dealing with needling from the current president. when this bell rings... starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time and automatically deploying countermeasures. keeping the world of business connected and protected. that's the power of and.
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okay, time to do this! don't let your bladder always take the lead. ask your doctor if myrbetriq is right for you. and visit to learn more. former president obama's been on vacation a lot since the current president took office. he's going white water rafting in bali this week, staying clear of choppy waters back in washington. president trump is continuing his line of attacks on the former president blaming mr. obama for russia's meddling, accusing him of everything from negligence to collusion. so far, president obama has not been taking the bait. athena jones has more. >> reporter: online and on the air -- >> i just heard today for the first time that obama knew about russia a long time before the election. and he did nothing about it. >> how are you? >> reporter: president trump making it abundantly clear that more than five months after replacing president obama, his predecessor remains top of mind. >> we've been talking about this
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for a long time. >> reporter: not content with simply undoing parts of obama's legacy like pulling the u.s. out of the trans-pacific partnership trade deal and paris climate accord, trump is increasingly using obama as a political foil. blaming him for not doing enough to stop russian meddling in last year's election. despite calling such meddling a phony story for months. >> the cia gave him information on russia a long time before they even, you know, before the election. and i hardly see it. >> reporter: president trump even accusing president obama of criminal acts. from collusion and obstruction, to spying on him in trump tower. a baseless claim he made in march that was widely refuted. that was also when trump called obama a bad, or sick, guy. a level of public nastiness not seen in modern presidential history. >> these personalized attacks are unusual. and unfortunate.
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and sets a very bad precedent. >> reporter: trump has a long history of antagonizing obama. as one of the loudest proponents of the false conspiracy theory that america's first black president wasn't born in america. >> why doesn't he show his birth certificate? >> reporter: a campaign that eventually led obama to release his birth certificate to the press. he later had some fun with the issue at trump's expense. >> no one is happier, no one is prouder, to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the donald. and that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter. like did we fake the moon landing? what really happened in roswell? and where are biggie and tupac? >> reporter: and while 44 has mostly pulled his punches since 45 took office, he made his
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opinion known on the campaign trail last year. >> donald trump is uniquely unqualified to be president. no, i'm not joking. you laugh. i'm not joking. >> reporter: and he infuriated trump when he told former aide david axelrod -- >> i'm confident that if i -- if i had run again, i think i could have mobilized a majority of the american people. if you succeed, then the country succeeds. >> reporter: after november's election, the pair made nice in an oval office meeting. they have not spoken since inauguration day. >> he was very nice to any with words, but -- and when i was with him, but after that, there has been no relationship. >> reporter: athena jones, cnn, washington. up next, we take you inside the fight for the iraqi city of mosul l. cnn's nick paton walsh is there as iraqi forces close in on the last remaining isis fighters. i have age-related macular degeneration, amd, he told me to look at this grid every day. and we came up with a plan to help reduce my risk of progression, including preservision areds 2.
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five weeks ago, president trump promised to hold a press conference to detail his strategy against isis in the next two weeks. that deadline came and meant. meanwhile, iraqi forces are close in on the terror group in the city of mosul. tonight we take you deep inside the war-torn city. street by street, block by block. nick paton walsh is there on the front lines. we want to warn you, some of what you see you may find disturbing. >> reporter: the end is near for isis, you feel it. springing back out of these pancake buildings, yet turn one corner in mosul toward its old city and the very final chapter in this war emerges. liberation leaves little for life behind. bodies still where they fell in the scorching heat. senior commanders take us in in the calm before their final storm to wipe isis off the map. how many more days do you think is isis have in mosul and in iraq?
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>> some days. >> reporter: three, two? brigadier general beckons us on to see that prize. these are the last rooftops isis own in mosul. barely hundreds to go now in the distant left, the riverbank marking where isis' world ends and in the dust, ruchb ruins of sacred mosque. is isis blew it up rather than have to be can captured. militants held underground as human shields. distant target for iraqi security forces but now they're literally able to see it from rooftops. took us into mosul eight months oe ago, now he's here to see the end. we're in the beginning, now the middle. what are we seeing on the screen? >> enemy, where they're located
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and try to find where civilian also. nobody, exactly, how many civilian there are. they're located in different houses. many families in one house. >> reporter: are you getting enough help from the americans now? when we first met eight months ago -- >> more than enough. i'm so happy for all the support from the iranian side, from the american side. >> reporter: there is the occasion stench of death here from the bodies. fighters like this one below me here left behind. also at times an eerey silence when the gunfire subsides. it's in the dense streets you can really feel how hard the fight against is whereis has bet also, too, how many meters they are away from kicking the terror group out of mosul but also out of iraq entirely. nick paton walsh, cnns, mosul, iraq. on the topic of iraq, its citizens will not be affected when president trump's travel ban goes back into effect which could happen as early tomorrow after the supreme court ruled to partially reinstate it. iraq was moved from the majority
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list of majority muslim stations in the second version of the ban. however, those from iran, libya, somalia, syria, yemen, who lack a bona fide relationship with an american could be barred from entering the u.s. starting tomorrow. that could mean difficulties initially at american airports as custom officials try to figure out who has a legitimate claim to entering and who does not. we'll be covering if all. that's it for us. see you again tomorrow night. time to hand things over to don lemon. "cnn tonight" begins right now. the president doesn't want you to hear. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. at his own trump international hotel down the street from the white house. you might think the president would want you to hear what went on in that fund-raiser, probably a lot of pretty positive things said about him and his administration, but after first saying reporters would be allowed to cover the speech, the white house changed its mind tonight blaming