tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN July 7, 2017 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
tomorrow. u.n. ambassador nikki haley is on state of the union with jake tapper sunday at 9:00 a.m. now i turn it over to wolf blitzer in the situation room. happening now, breaking news. two-hour tango. president trump and russian president putin sit down for their first meeting. it is a blockbuster as they talk four times longer than planned. center of the meeting, russia's interference in the u.s. election. differing accounts. the two sides offer very different versions of their election meddling discussion. russia says that president trump accepted putin's word that the kremlin did not interfere in the campaign. senior u.s. officials said trump did not, in fact, accept putin's denial. welcome to hell. that is the slogan of thousands of anti-g20 protesters.
there are hundreds of injuries at this hour. a laumnch of a new long-rane missile. trump and putin cannot agree on how to heal the weapons program. it comes down to practice and pace of the regime. i'm jim sciutto and you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. breaking news, russia's election meddling is at the heart of president trump's high stakes meeting with russia's vladimir putin which ran four times longer than planned. secretary of state rex tillerson said president trump opened by raising concerns about russia's interference in the 2016 campaign. tillerson says the two leaders had a robust and lengthy exchange on the subject, with putin denying any involvement and the russians asking for
proof. senior u.s. official rejects a russian claim that president trump accepted putin's denial. tillerson said the leaders had a positive chemistry, reaching an agreement on a cease fire in syria, which he says could lead to more cooperation. and at russia's request, the u.s. has appointed a special representative for ukraine. there have been clashes all day among german protesters looking to cease the summit. the first lady was stuck in her hotel for a time as fires raged in hamburg and clouds of smoke filled the city. police say dozens of protesters have been arrested and some 160 officers hurt. and while north korea is celebrating the launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile, claiming it will mend any confrontation with the u.s., presidents putin and trump have failed to agree on how to deal
with north korea's nuclear program. our correspondents, specialists and guests are standing by with full coverage of today's top stories. we begin, though, with the first face to face meeting with president trump and russia's president putin. contrary to some expectations, president trump raised the issue on russia's attack on the american democracy. let's go to jim acosta. he is in hamburg traveling with the president. we're hearing very different versions of events between trump and lavrov. are there different versions we should believe. >> reporter: they are definitely saying americans should believe president trump. president trump did press vladimir putin on this issue of russian meddling in last year's election, but there were also some pretty big issues, including putin's denials of interference. >> president putin and i have
been discussing various things, and i think it's going very well. >> reporter: just after the cameras were kicked out of the room, president trump reportedly did what many of his critics thought as unthinkable. the president confronted vladimir putin on u.s. concerns that russia meddles in last year's election. in a meeting that lasted much longer than expected, 2 hours 15 minutes, rex tillerson said the president raised the issue repeatedly. >> the president pressed. president putin denied such involvement, as i think he has in the past. >> reporter: braving reporters off camera, he said the two leaders never came to an agreement on russian interference. >> the two presidents rightly focused on, how do we move forward? how do we move forward from here? because it's not clear to me that we will ever come to some
agreed-upon resolution in that question between the two nations. >> reporter: but that's not exactly how the russians described it. speaking to reporters on camera, sergey lavrov said the president denied putin's denials. >> reporter: president trump said he heard putin's clear statements, that this was not true and that the russian government did not interfere in the election and that he accepted his statements. not a single fact has been presented. and this is something that has been acknowledged by the people in congress. a senior administration official told cnn that president trump did not accept putin's denials. still, a decision to press on the interference is a significant shift. just a day ago when poland continued to express doubts about russian meddling, contradicting his own intelligence community. >> i think it could have been russia, it could have been other
people in other countries. it could have been a lot of people interfered. >> in his hours with putin, he continued to blame others, including john podesta, saying, everyone around here is wondering why john podesta refused to give his computer to investigators. disgusting. he responded, get a grip, man. the russians committed a crime when they stole tmy e-mails in n effort to get you elected. >> there was a clear and positive chemistry between the two. >> reporter: they agreed on syria and ukraine. that may not be enough for german leader angela merkel who appeared to flash an eyeroll during her own exchange with putin. .
pll spared any diplomatic ni. >> are you still going to have mexico pay for the wall? >> absolutely, he said. >> they did not want to stop their meeting. according to rex tillerson, the two leaders were talking for so long that first lady melania trump had to poke her head in the door just to move things along. protesters clashed today as president trump met with vladimir putin and other world leaders. first lady melania trump unable to leave her hotel for a time because of these protests. senior u.n. correspondent fred pleitgen has been covering the protests. fred, thousands in the street tonight. i'm seeing a fire burning behind you. these look like they'll continue into the night. >> reporter: yeah, jim, you're absolutely right. they certainly are going to continue. i want to take you here and show you what's going on.
this is one of several bonfires going on here in a row of streets, which is in a neighborhood that sort of has civil dysfunctions once in a while, but i can tell you it's been a long time since i've seen some of this on the streets of germany. on the pavement there on the ground, pru assume aebl to try to throw that at police later. the police themselves, strangely, jim, is sort of keeping a hands off approach. you can see back there, those are water trucks that have been used overnight. you can see water coming out right now. right now what protesters are doing, they're doing run tactics where you see a group of them run from where i am right now towards the police, throw a couple boxes, throw a couple bottles and run away. you're absolutely right, i don't think this will end any time soon. as you can see, some of these protesters still putting things on that fire. we're hearing r bangs and discussions every once in a
while. that might be exploded. there really is a very, very tense and aggressive atmosphere here on the ground right now. there's also a lot of police officers that are surrounding this area at this point. so this really looks like it's going to go on for a very long time. it is much bigger than where we are. it's at least a mile down that direction, jim. >> 150 officers injured as well. fred pleitgen, stay safe. thank you very much. joining me now is former u.s. ambassador to the organization for security and cooperation in europe. ambassador bear, thank you for joining us tonight. you're hearing these repeating descriptions of exactly howey election meddling was raised by president trump in the meeting with secretary tillerson, raised repeatedly by the president, secretary lavrov continued on
putin's denial of the interference. how do you interpret those explicit remarks? >> reporter: well, jim, i think it's important to remember there were only four of them in the room. the russian foreign minister came out, sergey lavrov, first saying trump had accepted putin's denial. unfortunately, we don't know what to think. i have no doubt that secretary tillerson's account of the meeting is what secretary tillerson hoped would happen, but it's hard to believe president trump reserved the only time he would formally raise russian meddling in our electio elections, because even yesterday he was raising doubts about it. so it's hard to believe tillerson's account of the meeting. >> to be fair, there were lots of questions as to whether president trump would raise this at all, and apparently he began
the meeting by doing so. as ambassador to the i.c.e., you blame him on many functions. does that carry weight without hearing many of the district acti active. . >> after the russians have attempt to undermine our, the americans were cited by fewer than a hundred votes and propaganda and active measures reached tens of million americans. i have no doubt the russian intelligence services think their operation in our election was the most successful russian spy operation since the end of the cold war. it's absolutely critical that the president raise this.
we should give him no special credit for raising it. it's the responsible thing to do. the question is whether he raise itt ed it reportedly or not. he's been all over the map, not only to our elections but to nato. he said different things at different times, and one of the challenges when you're all over the map is that this kind of disparate way of where you stand is something to exploit. >> even tillerson did not have the president raising consequences for russian interference in the election. based on your difference with russia, for russia to stop this kind of activity which we know is continuing -- we hear this in public testimony from u.s. officials -- for russia to stop this kind of interference, does it need to see hard consequences? >> absolutely, jim.
consequences are critical to discouraging russia from taking further action. obviously we also need to do our homework in explaining to the american people just how the russian operations were carried out. that's why a number of members of congress have called for an investigative commission, so that the american people can understand how russia manipulated our democracy in 2016 and so we can be prepared to withstand active measures in the future. measures for russia is critical of this. the diplomatic compound that were seized in response to russia's intervention in our election, also tillerson himself saying an attempt to respin the press, tillerson himself saying they were kind of going to agree that what had happened in the past, there were some things we were angry about, there were some things they were angry about, and we were just going to turn the page and move forward. i think every republican in the
senate that have grilled me and others in the past about the position of the reset in the obama administration should be loud and clear that the idea you can turn the page and move forward with the russians have been something that in recent history we have tried and it hasn't succeeded. and so that attitude strikes me as painfully naive. >> ambassador baer, please stand by. we're getting new information on the meeting, and we're also watching protests outside the germany meeting. we'll be back with former ambassador daniel baer. soriasis" people don't stare anymore. i never joined in. that wasn't fair to any of us. i was covered. i tried lots of things over the years. but i didn't give up. i kept on fighting. i found something that worked. that still works. now? see me. see me. i found clear skin that lasts. see if cosentyx could make a difference for you- cosentyx is proven to help people with moderate
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protesters clashing with police under the slogan "welcome to hell." this as president trump sits down for the third time with russia's vladimir putin and acknowledges the elephant in the room, russia's meddling in the u.s. election. but the two sides disagreeing about what was actually said on the subject. we're back with ambassador baer, the former ambassador for cooperation in europe. ambassador baer, sergey lavrov who was also in that meeting, says the question of the compounds that russia seized in retaliation for russian meddling in the transition were brought up in this meeting. this comes as a bipartisan group of senators have sent a letter to donald trump urging him not to return those compounds closed by the obama administration. i'm going to quote from this letter. it says, the return of these two facilities to russia while they refuse to address their flew influence in the campaign in the
u.s. would embolden president putin and invite a dangerous escalation in the kremlin's destabilizing actions against democracies worldwide. do you think that would send the wrong message to russia? >> i do, and this is a game they've played a number of times in which that behavior invites a response with russian bad behavior and then they cry foul at the response and claim that is the initial irritant, trying to get you to forget about what they did in the first place to deserve it. i strongly recommend the letter to discourage handing over of those compounds, and i think we have a clear ruling from 17 intelligence agencies that they all agree that the russians were attempting to undermine our elections, attempting to take down hillary clinton, attempting to boost up donald trump.
as we learn more about that, we should be prepared to deliver more consequences to the russians in order to target the actors who were responsible for this influence campaign and this intervention in our democratic process. >> the other topic in this putin-trump meeting was syria, and it appears some important progress here. the two sides announcing that they have helped broker a cease fire in the southwestern part of syria. truce is the word of rebel-backed syria. how important is this to bringing the syrian scivil war o a close? >> i think it's probably too soon to tell. i think it's important to recognize that going into this meeting, it was putin who feels the squeeze on syria. he's overextended there, increasingly entangled, sees the one that feels the squeeze. it's not clear to me that deal on syria is actually a win for the united states rather than
president trump and the administration giving the russians more free rein to play out their game. obviously it is a good step if isis can be gotten out of raqqa, but it's bad if we don't have a plan for the day after. it's bad if the end result is that russia, iran and assad get to run the show. so i think it's too soon to know how this deal will move the ball forward or not, but we should be watching in the coming days and weeks. >> ambassador baer, ufryou have lot of experience with russia. thank you for taking this time tonight. >> absolutely. more on what we learn about russia's meddling, watch tonight our cnn report "the russian connection, inside the attack on democracy." you can see it at 11:00 p.m. eastern time tonight from start to finish. we continue to monitor protests on the streets outside the g20 summit.
you're seeing live pictures there right now. also the latest missile launch with fireworks celebration at a huge rally, and china and the u.s. in disagreement over how to handle north korea. more after this. [ male announcer ] whether you're new to medicare or not, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. it's up to you to pay the difference. so think about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, they help cover some of what medicare doesn't pay and could really save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. call now. with a medicare supplement plan, you'll be able to stay with your doctor. oh, you know, i love that guy. mm-hmm. [ male announcer ] these types of plans let you visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients. and there are no networks.
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discussing syria, north korea and more, including election meddling and cyber attacks. secretary of state rex tillerson said the two leaders had a very clear, very positive chemistry. but the americans and russians are giving very different accounts of the meeting. we have a great deal to discuss with our specialist, adam kirby. if i can begin with you, there are always differing accounts coming out of these meetings on both sides. mr. lavrov saying mr. trump accepted putin's denial, tillerson saying absolutely not. is there a lot there to that difference? who should we believe? >> it's important to note that the president did bring it up, right at the top. is it possible he wasn't as assertive as people would like him to have been? absolutely. but i'm inclined to take the administrative take on this. 'been in many meetings with sergey lavrov, and the idea he would go to the cameras after the meeting and have an entirely different perspective that
doesn't comport with the discussion doesn't surprise me in the least. i think we should be careful of taking lavrov's word. >> he doesn't have good communication himself. >> when i heard tillerson describe that in lavrov's words, i wondered is it that the president accepted that putin is not going to move off the dime of saying he absolutely had no responsibility rather than accepting putin's comment as true? i just wonder if there is an interpretation thing there. could trump have accepted the fact that putin is not going to move from this position, because everything tillerson was saying was trying to paint the relationship about moving forward. he didn't want to get caught looking backward. >> i think what happened is they brought it up, they acknowledged the elephant in the room, and then they said we have a lot of other business to discuss, let's move on. pretty much what secretary tillerson said. >> to be absolutely fair, we would be having a very different conversation here if, in an hour and a half meeting -- more than a two-hour meeting, i should say -- the president did not bring up election meddling, and
yet he did. and as the secretary of state, a man of some credibility, said he brought it up repeatedly and forcefully, we should give the president credit for this. >> i would give him credit because everyone said he would not say anything because it wasn't on the agenda as set out. >> just 24 hours before, the president of the united states in europe once again questioned the judgment of u.s. intelligence agencies on russian meddling. david, twoovit would have been easier for him to forget about that and take the win for bringing this up with the russian president. >> i agree that the president brought it up. it was kind of an entry he had to make if this meeting was going to be a success for him at all, and i give him credit for that. i do think, though, this is not going to be the last word we ever hear from this administration about its relationship vis-a-vis russia over the election meddling. it can't be. this description of the meeting leaves too many questions.
so here's what i don't understand. how do you square that tillerson said president trump went in there to represent the meddling in our election. if the president believes the american citizens have concerns about this, how does it square that you can say, we're just going to leave that in the past and there are going to be no real consequences for that? those two things, i think together, leave lingering questions that the administration still has to answer. >> consequences are key, are they ant, adam kirby, because russia, by all accounts, will keep going until they pay a price. >> right. as we talked about days ago, i think what's more important is not what happened in 2016, although that is. it's really more important what goes forward? did he make it clear we weren't going to tolerate it in '18 and in '20. david is right. it needs to be a full-looking
description. >> rex tillerson said they should accept fewer elections and they should accept a framework to avoid this type of activity. >> that's right, it was much more of a forward-looking discussion not just on the election meddling, but for all of us, he wasn't being prepped, there is no agenda, this is just going to be a get to know you meeting. it was one of the more substantive meetings that we've seen the president and mar-a-lago, the white house and other places, they discussed substantial issues. i think for president putin, it was very smart to let president trump bring this issue up. although there are differing accounts, he allowed the president to come out looking like he had a bit of a win. they had this relationship. there were a number of deliverables coming out of this meeting today, and i believe they set our expectations so low going into this meeting, the white house and president trump's aides, so they can only surpass them at the end of the
day when they read it out. >> that's the important thing about expectations. this may be a win for trump at this meeting, trump versus putin, they may both be satisfied. but are all the other lawmakers in d.c. going to be satisfied? they want to see some sort of consequence for what happened to trust there will be something different going forward. >> how will the relationship be going forward? we'll talk about these deliverables but are they actually going to be transferred to policy administration. >> as you say, there wasn't preparation. clearly there was preparations in advance of this meeting. >> four hours before the meeting. >> right. as always with these things.thi. they have a cease fire they're talking about in syria. >> this was part of a larger cease plan being discussed in
turkey. we weren't participating in those discussions because of the iran connection. the question is does it work? cease fires in the past, we've announced them, they've toodled along for a week or two and never got anywhere. if this sticks, it could be a sign that putin is willing to work with the administration a little more. but it's not a piece of country where the united states has a stronghold, and once isis is pushed out, as we are progressing toward that point in places like raqqa, what comes next? because russia and the united states are on opposite sides of everybody who is left and wants to have control. stay with us. we have more time, and i want to show you live pictures coming out of hamburg, germany because those protests we've been reporting on all day. you can see it there. we heat up as we go into the late and early morning hours. stay with us. (vo) when you wake up with
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seems to be holding court there. john kirby, you've been in a lot of meetings with senior officials and world leaders. interesting response from the german chancellor? >> that says it all right there. putin wants to dominate and he wants to make it clear he's the dominating force and i'm not surprised angela merkel responded the way she did. >> she's also been straddling her own relationship with putin, and as the u.s. and russia has had their tension over the last several years, she's tried to bridge the divide and germany has on one hand been on the forefront of sanctions, but there have been many in the german government and german parliament that don't want that -- >> they were also affected by the russians. >> that's true. she was amid savnnctions on.
they have an economic price to pay from sanctions. we don't because we don't do a lot of business with russia, and these come around. >> any other leader has extended a lot of personal capital to make a relationship with putin work and kind of moovving away. they go back a long time. >> that's a really important point, because as you see all these leaders getting together in all the animosity that president trump is facing, a lot of people right now are saying the free leader, the leader of the free world, is no longer the u.s. president but angela merkel, and she is hosting this g20, and even president putin in an article in a german newspaper, an op-ed the other day was talking about the success of the g20 and german leadership and russia playing a role. so look, as president putin is meeting with president trump and trying to start off this working dialogue, he's also playing angela merkel and others. >> before we say that all has
changed course here, a couple hours before that putin-trump meeting, donald trump was tweeting and he was tweeting about john podesta and russian meddling, quite a different point of view, and podesta with quite a push-back. >> he wanted us to think that everyone in the g20 was thinking about john podesta and d dnc e-mails being hacked. i can't imagine anybody understands john podesta's relationship with e-mails and people who were there. that's two different things, john podesta's e-mails being hacked. he was saying, do your job. i'm on a road trip with my wife. i can't believe i'm dealing with this and by the way, i had nothing to do with the dnc. to me it just showed once again that president trump, no matter where he is, no matter what else is happening around him, this story line stays in his head more than anything else.
>> on this issue, though, of russia, what is the actual trump administration position on russia? is it the one who con fronts putin with the issue or one who tweets about it undermines the position with russia? >> it might be both. because he's the guy that's always about his own pr, about branding, about having a face, right? >> u.s. policy has to be one or the other. >> sure t has to be one or the other, but this is who we have in the white house right now and he does do different things in a board room versus a private setting. >> there is election meddling and there is the whole issue of trump's legitimacy, which is why this whole election meddling issue he refuses to recognize that russia could be involved because that could have something to do with his own legitimacy. it may be different when it comes to syria, when it comes to ukraine, which yesterday -- >> he and north korea are not always on the same page.
i never thought i would say this, but i actually agree with prescott who said yesterday, we don't know what side americans are on in this issue. >> north korea very much on the top of people's minds, and a disagreement between russia and the u.s. on that. russia saying they want to freeze the north korea nuclear program, tillerson insisting we want to freeze and a rollback. how do the two sides square in that circle on the issue? >> we can't take serious the cease fires, john was saying earlier, to the bank. but in north korea, this seems to be one of the more acute differences right now. the russians refusing to call that missile launch that the u.s. commanders are calling this the icbm. they're not happy about the idea of new sanctions. they're going to fight the u.s. on this at the united nations. that could be another source of
tensions that could even surpass what's going on with syria right now. >> unfortunately, probably in this situation, if you don't have buy-in from russia and china on the freeze and rollback that russia and china win out. we cannot put enough pressure on north korea ourselves. we don't have economic leverage to do that. >> china in particular is the key. russia is a little opportunistic here. yes, they share a border with north korea, but they have not been in the game in any serious way. this is a chance to beat up on the united states. >> remember the strategic period is over. >> less than two weeks. >> and he said, which was just so stark to hear. if this fails -- meaning, here we are once again trying to pressure china to do our bidding here, and if that fails, there aren't any other good options left. that has been true for administration upon
administration. >> and that's becoming the reality that people are articulating now that you accept it if you're north korea, sadly. we have to leave that, david. putin and trump differ on how to handle north korea. we're getting new details on the actions from the pentagon. so you wake up feeling powerful. save up to $500 on select tempur-breeze® mattress sets. find the breeze that's right for you at tempurpedic.com. on a perfect car, then smash it into a tree. your insurance company raises your rates. maybe you should've done more research on them. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. switch and you could save $782 on home and auto insurance. call for a free quote today. liberty stands with you™.
they disagreed about how to handle north korea. also breaking, word of an upcoming test of a u.s. missile defense system now defending south korea. let's bring in cnn correspondent barbara starr. barbara, what are we learning tonight? >> reporter: good evening, jim. well, this missile test had been long planned, long scheduled but it takes on new significant importance with what is happening in north korea. south korea flexing its own military muscle, conducting a naval launch fiefr military drill to show the world and north korea leader kim jong-un its own military might. for its part, north korea is still celebrating the launch from the 4th of july. >> translator: the great success of the inter-continental ballistic launch a demonstration of our mighty power. >> reporter: u.s. intelligence is urgently assessing what it knows about the north korean
icbm test and how soon it will be able to strike u.s. oil. >> we're still analyzing the latest test at this time. >> reporter: a key question, did the missile reenter the earth's atmosphere intact? that would be a necessary step for a north korean icbm to hit a target. then there is the issue of placing a nuclear war head on top of the missile. >> they're trying to miniaturize this war head to put it on top of this icbm delivery system. so, i think it's a very serious threat. >> reporter: a threat that for now the u.s. is confronting peacefully. >> this is a diplomatically led international effort to stop a worldwide threat they are bringing to bear. >> reporter: but what does that look like? secretary of state rex tillerson announced the trump administration's goal is to roll back north korea's nuclear and missile program. >> stopping where they are today is not acceptable to us.
>> reporter: and the key diplomatic question tonight, would it help to sit down and talk to kim jong-un directly? a question to which nobody knows the answer. jim? >> barbara starr at the pentagon, thanks very much. tonight on cnn be sure to watch the russian connection inside the attack on democracy. that's tonight at 11:00 p.m. eastern time only here on cnn. and coming up, breaking news as protests rage at the g20 summit, president trump and russia's president vladimir putin sit down and end up talking four times longer than plan. at the heart of the discussion, russia's interference in the u.s. election. the two sides do not agree on what actually was said.
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an advanced fiber-network infrustructure. new, more reliable equipment for your home. and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. happening now, breaking news. streets of fire. violent protests rage for a second day around the g20 summit with flames and smoke bill owing on the streets of hamburg. new details tonight on injuries and arrests. president putin, president trump begins his much anticipated meeting with vladimir putin by raising moscow's election interference with the russian president. is mr. trump holding putin accountable or giving him an a
pass? putin denied cyber meddling in the campaign and mr. trump accepted putin's word. why are there two very different versions of the same conversation? and syria agreement, presidents trump and putin managed to reach common ground on the war in syria. striking an important agreement on cease fire that could take an effect within days. can it stand beyond relenting blood shed in syria's brutal civil war? we want to welcome our viewers here in the u.s. and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm jim sciutto and you're in "the situation room." >> translator: this is cnn breaking news. >> we are following breaking news at the g20 summit in germany tonight including new violent protests with clashes between demonstrators and police. fires are burning in the streets of hamburg and officials are reporting almost