tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN July 10, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
campaign. okay? we've all been there, done that, campaigns do that all the time. what's significant is that it's from a foreign national from russia, from somebody where this meeting was set up in a chain that apparently people in the trump campaign knew this person who knew another person, and this meeting was set up to provide this dirt. donald trump junior in his statement said that he was not told her name prior to the meeting, and that's also odd, because when you're the son of somebody who is likely to be the nominee of the party at that point, it would seem to me that you would only be meeting with people with whom you knew or had some interest in or why would you waste your time? >> right. and not only -- it wasn't just him. it was jared kushner. the president's son-in-law. paul manafort. >> the chairman of the campaign. >> the chairman of the campaign.
jo john, on that note you were formerly with the cia. what's your campaign when you find out a russian national was offering to help the campaign with incriminating information? what stands out? >> that itself is enough, but the fact that he -- the president does not want to take the word of the intelligence community. they're there to serve him and give him the truth. and instead he seems to take the word of president putin who is a former intelligence officer as well as somebody who is kind of a brutal dictator in his own right. i find that very shocking. and i think it speaks to this larger issue of this administration. it doesn't seem to be ready for prime time on one hand, and also doesn't seem to want to trust the experts and wants to do things their way. their way seems to be a very proned to error and a way of just doing things that is very, very unsophisticated and lacking
in any sort of skill or political know-how. >> this raises of question of why didn't -- why wasn't he transparent about it this earlier knowing there was focus on russia meetings with the campaign, the investigations on the hill. why did he deny it and then it comes out, and why did he change his story? >> he doesn't have to fill out the fs 86 form. he doesn't have to fill out the form which jared kushner does have to fill out because he has a security clearance. donald trump junior did not have to do that. his story evolved. he says it didn't different. in the first statement on saturday, he did not include that this was supposed to be because he could get some campaign information, some op research from the russians. he said it was about the adoption of russian children, and this human rights issue. in his second statement he elaborated and said it was
because i thought we could get some information, but i go back to, again, what are all these people doing meeting with somebody whose name -- who donald trump junior had never even met. why was it considered so important? >> yeah, and what do you make, john, of this russian lawyer, this woman who claimed to have incriminating information about hillary clinton and then wanted to talk about adoption? >> if you were to ask me, i would say she's an agent of influence, number one. number two, she's a cutout. she's there to kind of incriminate -- first of all, she hang hang managed to get to speak to the head of the campaign and the president's son. that gets to the point of not understanding the political ramifications of such a meeting. >> do you think it's naive? >> absolutely. and also if i can also address this issue about the joint cyber operations that came out of the geneva meeting. he wants to work with putin on this. this is sort of like going to
baghdadi and saying, i want to work an islamic outreach with you. it's crazy. >> and now he's backtracking from that. but do you think that that's a reflection of he doesn't know, he doesn't care? in terms of the threat that russia poses? >> can i tell you this? i had tdinner with a friend who works at the agency. fairly high level agency. i was talking about issues regarding the middle east. she said your questions are irrelevant. i said why. she said every day we have to change things, because this white house is always -- we think we understand what the president wants and start working toward something and then he tweets something or says something, and it stops everything in its tracks and we have to go back to square one. that, to me, is, like i said, a president that's not ready for prime time. normal i say look to people like mcmaster or mattis or tillerson to get your cues, but even they are undercut by the president's
inability to stay on message, and all of this really amateurism. >> i'm
going to get legal analysis here from jennifer and matt just to get your perspective. jennifer, to you first. as we were just discussing, t not unusual for a campaign to want opposition research on the opponent. but is there anything legal about this now that we know that donald junior did meet with a russian national during the campaign and this person was offering essentially opposition research? >> so i think gloria is right. this is not your garden variety meeting to get opposition research from somebody. look, i don't know who donald trump junior's lawyer is but the defense that he has offered up so far sounds more like a confession. what i mean by that is that it really looks like there's a possible conspiracy here to violate federal law, because taking anything of value if you're a campaign from a foreign
national is unlawful. and to the extent that donald junior agreed with anybody whether it is the go-between who set up the meeting or the kremlin linked lawyer, to have that meeting to get that information of value about hillary clinton, that looks like a conspiracy which is a federal offense, punishable by up to five years in prison. >> okay. that's a strong claim. i just want to be clear. he claims he didn't know exactly who he was meeting with and nothing came of it. he wasn't given anything, but matt, what do you have to say to jennifer's claim -- >> can i jump in there? that's really important. the fact that he -- even assuming that what he's saying is correct that he did not receive anything of value, remember that conspiracy is a crime even if the object offense is not completed. in this case if the object was violating campaign law by taking something of value from a
foreign national, even if nothing of value came up from this. we've heard don junior actually say that he thought that the meeting would include obtaining dirt on hillary clinton. and he knew the meeting was with a foreign national. so i think we need to really look at this closely. >> so, matt, she's saying that he was involved in this conspiracy to defraud or commit an offense against the united states. your response? >> i disagree with that analysis. as a former u.s. attorney, we did conspiracies all the time. i prosecuted conspiracies. what happened here is this lawyer used a pretext to get a meeting with some important campaign officials to really talk about the issue she wanted to talk to which was getting rid of this u.s. policy regarding adoptions and used a quite frankly in iowa we call it a b.s. excuse of saying she had opposition research, and, listen, nobody is talking about what that opposition research is because we all agree it's ludicrous. the fact that russians are
funding the dnc and helping hillary clinton, no one's advancing that, and don junior when he heard that certainly dismissed it quickly as based on what he said, and i think sort of to suggest that there's a conspiracy here, i mean, you would always take that and you would have somebody from your campaign -- >> you would always take that meeting -- would you take that meeting two weeks of your father was nominated with someone that you claim to not even know? would you really take that meeting? other people said that's not something that's typical. >> if you have somebody that you trust that is saying you need to meet with this individual because they have information about your opponent, you would take that meeting. there is no suggestion that at the time donald trump junior knew -- >> really? you would advise -- >> finish, matt. go ahead. then i'll go to jennifer. >> i've run for public office twice, and you certainly want to
have any advantage, any legal advantage you can. and one of the main advantages is to know what your opponent is either -- i mean, all sorts of things that could be happening. hillary clinton, there was so much smoke around here. >> but what if it's the russian national providing it. does that create a red flag? >> i guarantee you after that meeting after donald trump junior realized who that person was, that probably had a dramatic impact into how he felt about that meeting. >> you buy he didn't know at all this person was connected to a russian national given that his contact was from the 2013 miss universe pageant who set it up? >> we have no information right now that would suggest that he knew who this individual was or who the three were going to meet with. they must have been sold the fact that there was good information they needed to hear, and having been in campaigns, i know what that pitch looks like, and you would always have somebody from the campaign take that meeting and hear that person out.
now, obviously, as it evolves, it becomes a little concernsing, but i don't think at the time they knew that it was a lawyer from russia that had an issue regarding foreign adoptions. >> all right. jennifer, weigh in. >> i find it hard to believe, but he can correct me if i'm wrong, that matt would provide legal advice to a campaign right now to go ahead and meet with a foreign national who is promising bad information about their opponent. but i want to also add one thing. it seems curious. this. i'm wondering whether don junior has decided or been asked to take the fall in this situation. because what really is strange is the idea oh that paul manafort and jared kushner joined him not knowing what the agenda at all of that meeting was. it's very difficult to believe, and to the extent -- >> he's confirmed the pretext of
the meeting, that this person had information on the opponent. >> right, but as far as i understand, he said that neither manafort for kushner knew the agenda. and that's really important whether they did or didn't, because if they did, then they could be co-conspirators with him. that important to know. even sort of curious to me is if he is taking the fall, why would the son of the president take the fall for his brother-in-law? this is a very complicated not only legal but also family drama here. >> and we should point out his brother-in-law, the attorney for jared kushner, his brother-in-law, did say that he provided this information about the meeting on his updated sf 86. matt, what do you have to say to jennifer's claim? >> well, i am not giving a campaign advice to meet with foreign nationals to get opposition research. i didn't mean to suggest that, and i don't think i did. that being said, what happened
here is what i think your previous panel said. it was very unsophisticated in taking this meeting and not really knowing what the agenda is and sending some important people to obtain this opposition research, but i don't think there is anything that i have heard to date except wild speculation that demonstrates that anybody knew it was a foreign national or knew about connections which i still haven't seen a real connection to the kremlin, and really other than somebody was sold something false and took the meeting based on that false premise. >> basically you're dealing with two scenarios here. either he knew it was a russian national who was offering up this incriminating meeting who was willing to take a meeting he knew nothing about and bring in the president's, the soon to be president's son-in-law as well as paul manafort who was skro r overseeing the campaign at the time. the other version is -- because that is the one you're saying that you believe to be true, right?
that he knew nothing and took the meeting anyway? >> right. and i'm saying that was -- that's what kellyanne conway talked about today and donald trump junior said today. >> and you find that acceptable? >> i don't have any evidence to the contrary at this point in time. i'm sure that people that have the power to investigate is going to ask those kind of questions. to assume that they're lying to us when that's the only set of facts we have i think is taking a side like you would if you were cheering for one team or another. >> to be clear, he says he doesn't know -- he didn't know the identity but that didn't know he didn't know this person was from russia, but jennifer, weigh in, and then we have to wrap it up. >> sure. the thing about the facts that are in evidence right now just what donald trump junior admitted himself, i couldn't even put this on an exam for my white collar crime class because all my students would get an a. >> okay, we have to go to the briefing. thank you so much.
stand by, our panel.
it would be imaginable, he can't imagine a congressman going home from washington in august, if they hadn't dealt with repeal and replace of obama care. is the president prepares to ensure that there are consequences for those vacationing lawmakers? >> i don't know that he's going to lay out a list of koconsequ e consequenc consequences. i think he's focussed on the positive component. that's the hope that all of the members of congress will come together to repeal and replace obama care. that's his focus is making sure it gets done. not on what happens if it doesn't. >> the president also tweeted
this morning about hillary clinton, chelsea clinton said that she was giving away the country, i believe. at what point is the president going to put hillary clinton and chelsea clinton and bill clinton in the rear-view mirror. he won the election. he won it fair and square. when does he let them go and look forward? >> i believe this tweet was a response to the attacks on his daughter taking his seat, if i'm correct. is that the one you're referring to? look, this wasn't about putting them in the front. this was about responding to an outrageous attack against a white house senior advisor, and it's a pretty standard protocol that when the leader gets, someone takes their seat as chancellor merkel also pointed out and said this was perfectly standard protocol. in fact, i think that we should
with be proud of ivanka taking the seat. if she didn't have the last name she has, i think she would be constantly celebrated instead of attacked. i think it's a sad thing they chose to go after her in that moment. >> first, a quick clarification from the meeting with putin and germany. did the president say that he accepted putin's denial of any involvement in election interference as putin said in his press conference? >> have you had a chance to ask the president about that? >> the president was multiple times asked putin whether or not he was involved. it took up a great deal of the conversation that they had on the front end of their meeting, and the president heard putin's denial, and also realized that they had some very important topics they needed to cover.
ukraine, north korea, syria, and decided to move on from that point of the conversation and focus on those issues. that was the purpose. look, he heard putin's denial, and he knew that at the end of the day the important part was them being able to have that conversation, him to directly ask him. he heard his answer, and he moved forward with places they thought they could work together. the president's been clear from his statements back in january, and even in his tweets over the last couple of days, his opinion on that matter. >> and the question, the reports on this meeting that took place at trump tower last june with donald trump junior, paul manafort and jared kushner, when did the president learn the meeting took place? >> i believe in the last couple of days. >> is he concerned about that? >> no, i've been on several
campaigns, and people call offering information. as i know many of you receive similar calls of people offering information. don junior took a very short meeting from which there was absolutely no followup. frankly, i think something that may look sense is looking at democrat coordinated opposition research directly with the ukraini ukrainian embassy. that's an on the record action they took. if you're looking at the example of a campaign coordinating with a foreign country or a foreign source, look no further than the dnc who actually coordinated opposition research with the ukraine yan embassy, and no one in this room had a big problem with that. the only thing i see inappropriate about the meeting was the people that leaked the information on the meeting after it was voluntarily disclosed. at this point, i'd also like to add donald trump junior has made a statement on this. the president's outside councse
made one. i'm not going to add anything further. >> if this sort of meeting is normal and standard practice in a campaign, do you know if there were any other meetings that either donald trump junior or other representatives of the trump campaign had with other russian officials or any other foreign agent? >> i don't know of any other meetings with don junior, but i also haven't had an extensive conversation with him. >> i have a question about this cyber task force with russia. yesterday the president tweeted about the unit being put together and 12 hours later said it would never happen. what went down in those 12 hours that drastically changed the situation? >> this was part of a discussion in that meeting. and we recognize that russia is a cyber threat. but we also recognize the need to have conversations with our
adversaries, and when our adversaries see strength like they did with the president in the meeting, they can look for other ways to work on shared interests, and look for positive places where they can move the ball forward, particularly on things like the cease fire and that became a greater focus and something the president chose to stay focussed on is that front. >> to clarify, that idea is dead. >> look, i would say that discussions may still take place, but that's as far as it is right now. >> okay. >> and i know you just said a minute ago you're not making an additional statement, but there's a history, and we've been asked to respect the statements you make there. so there's a long history of blanket denials during the transition and during time of this administration about nobody within the campaign having any meetings under any circumstances at all with russian officials, and now one was disclosed this weekend. the original characterization of
that meeting was amended within 24 hours when new information was presented before don junior. how are we to take the blanket denials that occurred through the transition and now when it's been proven and recognized by the president's attorney and don junior that those blanket denials were not facts? >> i think the point is that we've tried to make every single time today and then and will continue to make in those statements is that there was simply no collusion that they keep trying to create that there was. >> but that's a different question than what's asked at the time and different than the statement were about. the questions originally as we both know were about contacts and those were blanket denials. then when the contacts became confirmed, then it was, well, they were infrequent. now we have a whole pattern of lots of different meetings that have to be confirmed later, and those origin questions were not
about collusion. they were about contacts? . >> they were originally about that. that's the whole premise of what you're asking is question is whether or not the campaign colluded with russia. that's the premise of the entire scope of your questioning. and the point we've tried to make and will continue to make is that there wasn't. and beyond that, i really can't offer you anything. >> sara, back to yesterday morning's tweet. can you tell us what was or what is or what was going to be a cyber security unit and how this was going to work? >> i'm not sure that there were specific details discussed. i think it was simply just a discussion on cyber security threats and potential options not necessarily a formal kind of structure in place. >> after this two and a half hour meeting with president putin that the president had in germany, how would you describe
the state of u.s. relations with russia. do you view russia as a partner? do you view them as an ally? do you view them as an adversary? >> i would want to have a further conversations with members of the secretary of state and national security council, but i think we saw that there were places of shared interest that we can work together, specifically things like the syrian cease fire, that we both can agree on in order to move forward in some places. i don't think that's going to be the case on everything, but there are certainly certain instances where we can work together with russia to make every part of the world a little bit safer. >> and does the president trust president putin? >> i haven't asked him that question. >> reporter: i have two questions. we know there was no note taker in the meeting, but did you make an audio recording of the meeting or did the russians? >> not that i'm aware of. >> reporter: the second question
is director comey was under oath when he said that the memo he gave to his friend did not include classified information, and the president tweeted this morning he did leak classified information. is he accusing comey of perjury? >> i think there are a lot of questions out there and a lot of reports where it indicates that director comey may have leaked classified information. that certainly is a threat to the national security and violates policy. i think it's something that should be investigated thoroughly. >> but the president stated he leaked classified information. >> he has a much higher clearance than i do. he may know something i don't. >> reporter: when you talk about the issue of donald junior, you said leakers. what do you think about the word whistle blower? >> i'm sorry? >> reporter: you're trying to say people who gave that information were leakers. what about the issue of whistle
blowing? what do you see whistle blower versus leaker? >> i think this is a voluntary disclosure to include some of that information. i think it would be inappropriate for that to be shared outside of the scope of the people to have this information. >> reporter: one more question. are you saying there's no collusion when it comes to the arch of the campaign, but what about the individuals? what about individuals that could be suspects of collusion? are you vouching for everyone in total or individuals or what? >> i'm saying that the president's campaign did not collude in any way. >> reporter: what do you say about the different people? don junior? anyone? the names coming out? >> i would say don junior did not collude with anybody to influence the election.
>> what about flynn? >> to my knowledge he did not collude with anybody to influence the election. our position is no one in the trump campaign colluded to influence the election. the democrats had a weak candidate and president trump had a stronger message and they're constantly looking for ways to undermine the president and delegitimize his presidency. >> reporter: where the president arrived for the g-20 summit, it was widely reported that the putin regime was cracking down on the opposition candidate at the time. this has been just the latest in a series of events in which human rights have been crushed in russia. was human rights raised at all by the president in his conversation with putin? >> i'm not sure. i'll have to ask and get back to
that. >> reporter: my other one is -- >> i knew there was a second one coming. >> reporter: the president did talk privately with chancellor merkel, we know, days before he arrived there. her party, the christian democratic union, made a much publicized change in its platform and dropped its reference to the united states as a friend, and changed that to important ally. was this something that came up in their meeting and did the president ask why she did that? >> i haven't heard that was specifically discussed, but i'll be happy to ask and circle back with you. >> reporter: did president trump discuss sanctions with the russian president putin at the g-20 summit? >> i do know that it was mentioned specifically when you ask about sanctions, i know there's a little bit of a question there. and there were sanctions specific to election mettling that i believe were discussed
but not beyond that. >> did the president's views on sanctions against the russians change at all after his meeting with president putin? >> not that i'm aware of. >> reporter: this latest meeting with the russian lawyer, we now have three instances where including with ambassador kislyak and head of the russian bank where jared kushner seems to have met with russians and not disclosed it during his clearance check. is the white house concerned about that? >> i believe it was disclosed on his security clearance with an updated -- >> it was updated paperwork, not initially. >> right, with all of his contacts with the transition and during that, they were all included in the update. >> that's what i'm saying. his omission in the original of all the meetings with russians, is there any concern about that? >> no. it was an incomplete form. all of his foreign contacts were
listed in the updated version, not in the original. >> reporter:@president willing to negotiate his position on the paris climate accord? >> i certainly think he likes to keep all things on the negotiating table. at the end of the day the president is very focussed on making sure he gets the best deal for the american people. he wants to do things to protect the environment as we have a history of doing in the united states. he's going to continue that practice and continue to endurj it but also make sure that he's making the deal
that's best for the american people. thank you so much, guys. >> there you heard the white house briefing there. off camera. and i want to bring in my panel to discuss everything that was covered in that briefing. gloria, first to you. what was the headline for you coming out of this briefing? >> she did say sanctions were
discussed with vladimir putin specific to the issue of russian mettling. the president tweeted recently that sanctions were not discussed. this sort of clarity of what occurred at the meeting is fuzzy. it's fuzzy. she said in terms of whether the president accepted or how he reacted to vladimir putin, his denial of russian interference in the election, she said he heard putin's denial. i don't know what that means. >> right. >> and then he decided to move forward on our shared interests, although, didn't indicate, of course, that this joint cyber security panel would go forward because it's had such bipartisan criticism. other than that, she defended ivanka calling it standard protocol to sit in for your father at the g-20 whereas larry summers who's the former secretary of treasury wrote a
column in the washington post today in which he said there's no precedent for it. and says that it's insulting to the other heads of state who were present. but she called it standard protocol. >> of course, i want to talk about the other big headline which is the meeting that was recently discloused that don junior as well as jared kushner and paul manafort met with a russian lawyer during the campaign. something that don junior and others denied. now this happened. what did you make of her explanation? it seemed like she was focusing on this shouldn't have been leaked in falea leaked. she mentioned the president found out in the last couple of days. ? >> the headline out of that is the president has had just learned about this meeting. he was not told about it back last year in june of last year when it occurred. but the tactic of trying to spin the tables is something that they have perfected in many ways
where they just directly go after the leakers. they don't necessarily go after the substance of what has been leaked, although, they will on the edges to try to discredit. but her quote was the only thing i see inappropriate about the meeting was the people who leaked the information on the meeting after it was voluntarily disclosed. if you talk to folks in the national intelligence world, they will tell you they see a lot of problems with that meeting. frankly, even those in the campaign finance world. >> i want to john on that. the irony here is she's focusing on the leakers with this, but the president is tweeting about a report from anonymous sources where these people were leaking that four out of the 7 of the memos contained classified information. there's cherry picking going on. >> of course. everything that donald trump was and has done since he's been in office has been on his terms. it's on his rules, and he -- if it works to his advantage, and we should say most politicians do this as well.
it's amplified when president trump does it on twitter and just really hammers it home. >> all right. i'm going to bring in john nixon for the cia perspective on this. as we heard her say, she said again, there was no collusion that took place during the campaign. between the campaign, and the russians. but are people learning about this, they may say, well, if this russian national had handed over incriminating information would that have been collusion? break it down for us. help us understand. >> i think it is. first of all, if she -- i think there's a very good chance she was given this information by somebody in the russian government, and that was her sole purpose, to get a meeting and hand the stuff over. and then -- >> and you have no evidence to back that up? >> this is my opinion, of course. but the thing is also that from the intelligence community standpoint, donald trump when he came to cia head quarters said i'm going to back you up 100%
and i'm going to be behind you, and little by little over the month we've seen, he is throwing the agency over the bus and throwing the intelligence community under the bus. and i think after a while, there's going to be such distrust, as it is, i think there's a real growing threat of distrust between the intelligence agencies and the president. and the thing is, and i've said this before on cnn, i'll say it again. the only people if a wall of mistrust is built up, the only people that benefit are our enemies and people like vladimir putin and kim i don't think june, those people. >> thinking about distrust, it was pointed out that administration officials have denied there were any meetings between russians and campaign officials and now we're learning about this meeting between don junior and this russian national. how much does this continue to hurt the credibility of the white house when it comes out denies something, and then it turns out to be true? >> right.
and complain about the leakers? and complain about the people who leak it? i think there is a credibility issue. i think it does not extend to donald trump supporters. i think donald trump supporters believe that this is an attack by the media on them, and they're looking to see what happens with health care, for example. and i think the problem with the president getting health care passed, et cetera is the lower his popularity goes with the general public, the less power he has in congress to get things done. so these things don't happen in a vacuum. if his credibility is affected on capitol hill with members of the senate, for example, and passing health care reform, that is a problem with him. so taken in and of itself with his base of supporters, attacking the media works fine, but it doesn't work when you're trying to get something done on capitol hill. and what they would like to see him tweeting about is the
specifics of his health care measure, and how it will help you get bet ere insurance for your family and how the insurance will be cheaper, and how they will make your life better, and that is what people are not hearing from this president when he continues to tweet and talk about these things. and so it's all part of a package. >> and something else he was tweeting about was this notion of creating a cyber security unit with russia, initially he tweeted this was something that they discussed and was in the works. and then after there was sort of a swift backlash, he backtracked and said it's not possible. but you heard huckabee sanders say the discussions about that will continue. what do you make of this? >> she didn't have an answer. unfortunately for her -- i don't think that's a criticism of sarah huckabee sanders who has to answer the unanswerable. when you have john mccain, lindsey graham, ben sass, marco rubio all come out and laugh off
the idea this commission could be put together, which, by the way, would be really created to try to combat what russia is trying to do with its cyber mettling in the united states as well as other nations, i they that says something. i don't know why donald trump decided to reel it back in, so to speak. but he did, and it's just -- he's not very contrite when he -- >> i want to ask john from a moscow perspective when it comes to sanctions, a cyber security unite, the president tweeted that he did not discuss sanctions with putin, election mettli mettli mettling sanctions. then sarah huckabee sanders said it was part of the discussion. what is moscow thinking watching this play out? >> i think they love it. they love the cognitive disdense of this white house. they're like rubs in the big
city. i think it gives them the encouragement they need to be like we can continue to push and continue to push on america and on this white house, and we can maybe get more than we bargained for, and so i have a feeling they're going to be very aggressive in dealing with the united states as well as some other countries? >> all right. everyone, thank you so much for that important perspective. donald trump junior did an interview around the same time of this meeting we've been discussing, and the topic of trump and the russians came up. hear what he said. jake tapper joins me up next.
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suggested that ek perts are saying that russians were behind both the leak, the hacking of the dnc e-mails and their release. he seemed to be suggests this is part of a plot to help donald trump and hurt hillary clinton. your response? >> well, it goes to show you their moral compass. this is time and time again, lie after lie. he won't say, well, i say this. his house cat at home once said this is what's happening with the russians. it's disgusting. it's so phony. i don't mind a fair fight but the perpetuating of that nonsense to gain political capital is outrageous. he should be ashamed of himself. if a republican did that, they'd be calling for people to bring out the electric chair. >> jake tapper joins me now. jake, you watch this and think about the timing of this interview. it is noteworthy. weeks before was when he met
with this russian national who was offering up incriminating information on hillary clinton. >> yeah. two points. one is we should note that since that interview which was the sunday before the democratic national convention, since that interview, what the clinton campaign manager said has been corroborated by the entire intelligence community both under president obama and currently under president trump that the russians were behind the hack and trying to interfere with the election. two, it is a lot of indignant considering he had first-hand knowledge aftof a russian lawye meeting with him with the pretense or promise of damaging information about hillary clinton. in order, he knew that there was at least something about russians trying to help trump and hurt clinton. he knew that already. >> right. >> so the indig nance doesn't
square with what he knew. >> and just the fact that as you know, saturday he said we were talking about adoption. and then he expanded or changed his story, however you want to look at it to say it was about incriminating information. this is the first known meeting between high level people within the trump campaign meeting with russian nationals during the campaign. how significant is this big picture? >> i mean, i don't think it proves collusion, necessarily. but first of all, it's a question as to why we're learning about this now in july after months and months and months of official denials by president trump, mike pence and there were no meetings, no contacts, here's one, and paul manafort and jared kushner were at the meeting as well. the other thing to keep in mind beyond the outrage about what
was said. when they say, when donald trump junior says this meeting was originally supposed tonight about adoption or ended up being about adoption. that's not really what the adoption issue is about. as you know. the adoption issue is about the fact that -- >> sanctions. >> yes. that the u.s. passed a law in 2012 saying they could sanction individual russians basically for human rights abuses. and putin in retaliation stopped the adoptions of americans of russian orphans. that's an american legislation. when she's lobbying or wants to talk to him about doadoptions, e wants the sanctions lifted. even the explanation of originally we wanted to find out about dirt about hillary clinton but she changed the subject to adoption. it's really changing it to sanctions and trying to get the u.s. to lift the sanctions which is also one of the threats we keep hearing when it comes to
contacts between the trump team, whether it's donald trump junior or michael fliynn or whoever an russia. >> what stuck out to me c they said the president found auout about the meeting in the last couple of days. one would think if you know there's an fbi investigation going on, looking at possible collusion between your pain and russians, you would want to know about every meeting. you would ask everyone in your campaign, have you met with the russians, it will me the circumstances surrounding it? >> that's one philosophy. the other is i don't know to know anything. and therefore, when you say something, i don't know about any meetings between anybody on my team and the russians. it's not a lie if you believe it, as it was once said. there are two schools of thought there in the world of politics and one of them might be keep the principal away from any information about this as much
as possible. >> and you have new information i want to get to. you spoke to a friend of james comey who is center stage after the president tweeted that james comey leaked classified information in a memo to his friend. >> daniel richmond said none of the memos he got from james comey were marked classified. comey said in testimony that none of the memos he shared with anybody contained any classified information, and he said that what the president is charging and what others have said is wrong. they're not classified, they weren't at the time of the memo. there's no markings of classification and none were handed over to the press. he shared contents of it. there is a question about whether or not any of these memos have subsequently enjoyed a higher classification or at least parts of them enjoying a higher classification. i don't know if that's true or not. but it started off with a story in the hill about whether or not any of this material might now
be considered classified. and if so, what might that mean, and it was speculative and stuck to the facts of what he reported and what was known. and then another news channel took it and messed it up and turned it into something else, and then president trump -- >> that he did, in fact, leak -- >> yeah, and then president trump said something that is not what anybody has written responsibly about this issue. >> it was interesting. we were having this conversation earlier that you heard sarah huckabee sanders go after the leakers when it came to the donald trump junior meeting with the russian national and going after them, and then the president is tweeting out a story that was essentially from anonymous sources. >> the white house literally sends out press releases that are transcripts of calls that senior administration officials have done with reporters. they don't have a problem with anonymous sources. they don't have a problem with
background. they have a problem with stories that are damaging to them. again, in that case, they are different from every other administration not at all. every single administration hates leaks that hurt them and loves leaks they supply that make their boss look great. >> thank you, jake. >> we'll be back at the top of the hour. next, at least one republican says she'd need a complete overhaul of the health care bill to get to a yes vote. plus, we're learning new details about why the president is taking a hands off approach to getting it passed. these days families want to be connected 24/7.
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way to save the republican's health care bill. some gop senators are saying the bill is likely dead. president trump weighing in on twitter fully approved and ready to go. and today protesters being removed from republican offices on capitol hill. take a look at this video including the offices of senators flake and cruised. a white house official is saying trump will not be playing a large role in selling this health care bill. what can you tell us? >> trump has been so inconsistent about the health care bill, and that's been a major struggle for republican lawmakers. remember a couple weeks ago he talked about the house version being mean. now you have a situation where republican leaders are scrambling to try to convince at least 10 senators who are currently a no on the bill to come to the table, but they all
want different things, so it's making negotiations really difficult. and the longer this goes on, the more of a chance there is that the bill will be dead because time is not something that's helping them with negotiations. >> and senators john mccain, bill cassidy, they were saying without changes this bill is stagnant. here's what they said. >> if you shut out the adversary or the opposite party, you're going to end up the same way obamacare did when they rammed it through with 60 votes. only guess what? we don't have 60 votes. my view is it's probably going to be dead. >> the draft plan has now been in serious rewrite. so we don't know what the serious rewrite is. clearly the draft plan is dead. is the serious rewrite plan dead? i don't know, i haven't seen the serious rewrite plan. >> mave, on that note do you think it's possible for republicans to make enough changes and potentially rewrite this bill in three weeks?
>> it is possible, certainly. but again, they're kind of boxed in between the moderates and the conservatives who all want different things. i have to say, just going out and talking to voters in places like colorado over the last couple of weeks, the health care bill is one of the first things you hear about, people being concerned about it, not knowing what's in it. that's a lot whof what senators were hearing when they were home in their districts over the break. so there's so much pressure on them and this bill is perfect in the eyes of many that it's going to be an uphill battle for the republican leadership. >> all right, mave reston, thanks so much. president trump already backing off his plan to partner with vladimir putin on a cyber security unit. for your heart...
thanks, pamela. someone named donald trump just admitted meeting with a russian during the campaign. "the lead" starts right now. and then there were five. president trump's son now admitting he met with a russian lawyer with kremlin ties in the heat of the 2016 race, reportedly to get dirt on hillary clinton. a tough hill to climb on capitol hill. republicans return from recess eight votes in the hole on health care. can they twist enough arms before they go away again? plus, army of hate. a neo nazi facing a lawsuit for allegedly unleashing bigoted trolls on her jewish son. starting to look at the level of hate possible in america right now. good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we begin with breaking news