tv Inside Politics CNN July 11, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT
because 35%, 40% of the country doesn't want to hear this information. >> they don't -- >> don't want to believe it. but more importantly, the indig nance of the trump white house knowing some of them had to have known that this meeting took place. some of them had to have known that these e-mails existed, of a confidant of the trump's says -- if you would ask me -- you know, a week ago, do you think that we're going to have an example of an e-mail sent by a confidant of the trumps, contacts with people who were supposedly close with the kremlin, saying -- saying, the crouse prosecutor of russia met with this other intermediary, and in their meeting offered to provide the trump campaign with official documents and information that would incriminate hillary in her dealings with russia and be very useful to your father. i would have said, you were crazy. that nobody would put something like that in print and somebody nobody associated with this
campaign would then respond, "i love it". >> crazy to think, then, that don jr. would be forced to release it. the chain of events that's happened in the past hour have been truly -- i think, amazing. >> it's incredible. it does get at what i think, you know, every white house contends is unfair leaking by investigators in the intelligence establishment. although we should point out the initial source of that "new york times" scoop over the weekend were people with close contacts with the white house. so it is interesting where this information is coming from, and i'm sure conservatives and the trump white house and others will be very focused on who is leaking this information? but that's always what people caught in something they don't want to talk about focus on. where did the leak come from? this particular leak came at least where i printed it out from, was donald trump jr.'s twitter account and these e-mails are staggering.
again, this unquestionably depicts somebody saying the russian government wants to help the trump campaign with documents damping to hillary clinton, and donald trump jr. saying, "i love it" and setting up a meeting to do so. >> and taking the meeting. >> taking the meeting. what took place at that meeting is a whole other question and we have different versions of events. shifting versions in some cases. we still haven't heard from paul manafort at the meeting, or jared kushner, who was at the meeting's we heard from the russian attorney in question who's depicting this all as the trump people wanted damaging information on hillary. >> right. >> but she didn't want to talk about that. again, grain of salt when it comes to, to her story as well as anybody else's who hasn't been up front about this, but it's -- it's a staggering turn of events, and it's rather momentous. this can't just be -- this can't
be dismissed as people out to get donald j. trump jr. or fake news. this is -- evidence of willingness to commit collusion. that's what this is. on its face. now, maybe there's an explanation for it, and if that's true, we can talk about that, but -- >> and we'll report it. >> we'll report it. but somebody saying, the russian government wants to help your dad with damping information on hillary clinton and donald trump jr. saying, i love it, and then taking the meeting. that is a willingness to work with the russian government to get damaging information on hillary clinton, and as has been pointed out by several campaign veter veterans, republican campaign veterans, that is not normal. and no matter how much people say, oh, you always meet with people to get opposition research, you don't meet with antagonists of the united states. you don't meet with adversaries of the united states. you wouldn't meet with amullah from iran or somebody associated
with china for damping information on the other candidate. >> great to see you, jake. appreciate you jumping on. special coverage continues right now with dana bash. and i will pick up the breaking news from here. i an dana bash in for john king who is off. as you've just heard on cnn, the very latest bombshell from the russian lawyers meeting last june with donald trump jr. comes from don jr. himself. the eldest son of the 45th u.s. president has just released what he says is the entire e-mail chain between himself and the british publicist who set up the meeting on the promise of incriminating information on hillary clinton, and that chain begins with this -- on june 3, 2016. a meeting, mutual acquaintance just call and asked me to contact you with something very
interesting pt crown prosecutor of russia met with amin's father and in the meet are offered to provide the trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate hillary and her dealings with russia and would be very useful to your father. this is obviously very high level and sensitive information, but is part of russia and its government's support for mr. trump. again, this was actually written in an e-mail to don jr. i can also send this information to your father, but it is ultra sensitive. so wanted to send to you first. and, also, check out what don jr. in part replied. thanks, rob. i appreciate that. if it's what you say, i love it. okay. just want to stop there so we can digest this part of it and the magnitude of what this may or may not mean. i want to bring in jim sciutto and jeff zeleny. jim, talking as we were getting ready to go on, both just aghast
this is actually in an e-mail, never mind actually happened. >> this is momentous. right? we've been covering the story, this question of collusion, for months now. still a question. based on meetings, perhaps an unusual number of meetings with unusual parties. russian parties. to this point, that's what this question in the investigation has been based on. meetings. but we didn't know the reason for the meetings what it was, or what happened in those meetings. now we have a meeting and electronic proof of exactly what the intention and offer was, and it could not be more explicit. documents that would incriminate hillary and her dealings with russia. very high letter and senly and part of russia and its government support for mr. trump. so not just the, that he was willing to take a meeting to get information about hillary clinton. perhaps all candidates wro ould
that, but from a foreign country raises questions, and that foreign country expressing interests in helping the candidate, donald trump. keep in mind, whenever the issue, remember, the intelligence community assessed these releases were intended over time not just to damage hillary clinton but help donald trump win the election. whenever that part has come off, dismissed outright by members of trump's camp and ridiculous and many republicans, how do they know that? here you have a russian content offering the president's son just that based on that reasoning. it's remarkable. and it's explicit. >> and, okay, there's the offer. specifically saying it's from the russian government. and then you have his response. if it's what you say, i love it. especially later in the summer. so we've been talking about the c word. collusion. the question that the fbi, that the special council, is investigating. whether there was collusion, and we don't know if there was collusion, but it certainly sounds like there was an attempt
to -- for the quid and a reception for the pro quo part. >> certainly a willingness to listen to what this offer was going to be. that is the central question here. you know, the reason that this is different than everything else that's been reported so far. this happened during the campaign. and the moment of the campaign i think is also theft iinterestin. two days after the primaries ended. the california primaries ended june 7th and the battle was joined at that moment between donald trump and hillary clinton. so that's what -- all on their minds and important to note, where was donald trump on that day of the meeting? he, in fact, was in trump tower. he was holding his first fund-raiser for the trump victory fund at the four seasons earlier that day. we do not believe he was at the meeting. no reference he would be at the meeting. interesting, and one question here is, hanging over all of this -- how is it possible that the president at that point candidate trump did not know about this extraordinary offer
here? donald trump jr. as we've seen him in so many settings. he was so visible in the campaign. in many respects wants to please his father. show his father what he has. hard to believe he did not know this, but the white house said yet, the president only learned about this in the "new york times" over the weekend. we'll see about that. >> we'll see about that. also, again, in the initial e-mail offering, this information, the, rob goldstone, the intermediary says, i can also send this info to your father knowing and understanding that, how to get information. rana is, was, donald trump's longtime assistant and she was the -- >> she's the gatekeeper. >> the gatekeeper. right. and still is. so, you know, that was obviously known there and opens a whole other can of worms. >> right. >> whether or not they actually went directly -- >> and keep in mind, too, that donald trump and his son have repeatedly denied going back months any contacts. remember? the initial denial started with
we didn't have any contacts. repeated by the vice president and others. that most basic fact through time, multiple times in evidence of multiple meetings shown to be not true. and then just in the span of 72 hours the reason for this meeting has gone through three or four iterations. right? because it started as a discussion of adoption. donald trump. and then it moved to possible damping information. then it moved further. so, you know, we've moved so far forward from trump world's initial denials of any contact to where we are now. a specific description what this meeting was about and what the expect were. to be fair, donald trump jr. in a statement attached to these e-mails says, listen, by the time the entire meeting in his words was the most inane nonsense i heard and was actually agitated by it. nothing there, because i didn't get any of that information. and that may very well be true, but he went into the room expecting that information. >> and we just know about this
meeting, what has become a pattern over these last so many months. no more meetings. suddenly there are more meetings. was -- now that we know they are willing to accept information, did they accept any other information in the preceding months? this was june. the election isn't until november. >> so true. on so many levels, denied meetings even just kind of hi, how are you, shake hands and move on meetings and this obviously the biggest. bring in our political director david chalian. i'm sure there are people watch aring saying, isn't this just politics as usual? dirty politics? try to get dirt on yore opponent and figure how to use it? and the answer is, and see if -- i assume you'll back me up here. no, it is not, when you're talking about a foreign national. i mean, you talk to campaign operative after campaign operative, even those offered dirt on their opponent during presidential campaigns, by a
foreign national. they don't do it, and in cases like 2000, hasened it -- over to the fbi because that's what you do. >> not just a key foreign national. it's a key foreign adversary. so, yes. not usually done with foreign nationals, campaign operatives tell you they don't really take information from foreign nationals, but coming from our key foreign adversary in russia, or a key foreign adversary is a whole different ball game than a foreign national. yes, it is traditional campaign work and procedure to gather all the opposition research on your opponent to figure out vulnerabilities and get your best hits all lined up for the campaign season. yes, you're hungry to hear about things people may have and every operative republican or democrat will tell you that like 95% of what comes over the -- i have something for you turns out not to be great stuff and they don't end up using it. but the difference here and why
i think this is such a significant moment in time in this entire investigation is because of how clear the source of the information and the intention behind it was in the e-mails setting up the meeting that donald trump jr. accepted to have, and that is, that it was information helpful to his dad's campaign as part of the russian government's efforts to help his dad. that is not the norm in any campaign i've ever heard of. >> it's true. i mean, it's written here in black and white. you don't have to be much of an investigator to get to the bottom of it, because it's right here. and provided. we'll get to why by don jr. himself. david, stand by. i want to go to capitol hill and bring in our senior congressional reporter manu raju, talking to key lawmakers about this bombshell and e-mails. what are you hearing? >> concern. not just from democrats, you'd expect to criticize the trump administration and the white
house for this meeting, but also from republicans themselves who say they want to get more facts out. concerns about the drip, drip, drip of information. undercutting the white house agenda. also john mccain saying, another shoe dropping in this russia controversy, and lindsey graham, the south carolina republican said, one thing you don't do as a member of a campaign. that is meet way foreign adversary. take a listen. >> anytime you're in a campaign and you get an offer from a foreign government to help your campaign, the answer is, no. so i don't know what mr. trump jr.'s version of the facts are. i definitely, he has to testify that e-mail is disturbing, but what is equally odd to me is that the person they met with knew absolutely nothing. so i don't know why they would pick somebody for him to meet with that didn't have any information about the clinton campaign. but on its face, this is very problematic. we cannot allow foreign
governments to reach out to anybody's campaign and say, we'd like to help you. that is a non-starter. i know donald trump jr. is new to politics, that jared kushner's new to politics, but this is going to require a lot of questions to be asked and answered. >> and some other strong words, dana, from a top democrat, tim kaine, former running mate to hillary clinton said that this investigation now can move into the issue of treason saying this action could be potentially treasonous. we're not hearing that it from other members yet. republicans certainly not going that far and democrats not embracing that but we're hearing a lot of demands from hear from donald trump jr. in a classified setting at least before the senate intelligence committee, before the house intelligence committee. that call coming from both sides of the aisle, and almost certainly donald trump jr. is also said he would cooperate. that invitation is coming. a lot of questions, a lot of concerns. republicans worried this is
overshadowing the trump agenda and could be problematic, and one democrat said, potentially even criminal. dana? >> manu, thank you for that report. a big deal that tim kaine used the word treason. talk to our legal experts about the implications of that or anything else. i want to bring in cnn legal analyst paul cowen and jeffrey toobin with us as well and start with you, paul. what's your league read on what this e-mail and what the offer for and the actual meeting that happened took place, that took place, what it means? >> i think this is really going to be one of the most important documents that mueller looks at, doing this investigation, because it's the first time we see a clear link to the russian government in that the e-mail suggests that this lawyer who's going to have the meeting has been designated by the russian government, and that there are official russian documents linked to the crown prosecutor
of russia that may incriminate hillary clinton. so all of that is suggestive of now a direct link to the russians, but i think we have to hesitate before we jump to the conclusion that this is criminal as opposed to political stupidity, because there's nothing in american law that i'm aware of that would prohibit a candidate from accepting damaging information, even from an enemy foreign government, to use against a political opponent. and i think it's -- i really think it's absurd to say this could be treason. it doesn't rise to that level. now, will it in the future? yes. that's a possibility. if the trump campaign was aware that stolen material was being used. if they assisted in some way in helping hacking to be done to get material. yes, that could be criminal, but i'm not seeing criminality yet. seeing us getting closer but not a case made yet. >> interesting.
jeff, bringing in on the phone. other people have a different read of the law. that an offer to help is effectively an in-kind contribution, which is not allowed from a foreign government. one part of this. of course, the bigger is, jeffrey toobin, is whether or not we are one step closer to potential collusion, or at least intent to collude? >> well, you know, collusion is not a crime. >> right. >> collusion is -- is potentially an impeachable offense, but it is not -- it is not a crime. however, it is a crime to, for anyone, any campaign, to accept a thing of value from a foreign government, and i think this is very seriously close to the line and maybe even over the line of a criminal campaign finance violation. i think that is certainly something mueller will want to look at, but i think in -- and i also agree with paul. i think treason is ridiculous, and i don't think there is any
possibility that this treason -- this is treason. but i think that the focus on donald trump jr. is perhaps somewhat misguided, because he's the only person who's e-mails we have. what about jared kushner's e-mails? what about paul manafort's e-mails? what one thing about e-mails is very easy to copy people. and it's very easy to have e-mail chains that involve lots of people. so i don't think we should think we have seen all the relevant e-mails just because we've seen donald trump jr.'s e-mails. what did everything else think this meeting was about? that is going to be extremely important, and, you know, this is grounds for further criminal investigation, but it's imprudent and unfair to start convicting people based on just, you know, an initial evaluation of one piece of evidence. >> a very, very fair point.
a very fair pound when it comes to the legal implications to the questions about this. the other question is, what about the e-mails after the meeting? maybe that's more relevant? what they actually did think they learned or didn't learn from this meeting. okay. stand by, everybody. we are going to continue to stay on this story. more on these revelations about donald trump jr.'s meeting with the russian lawyer coming up from trump jr. himself. a trip back to the dthe doctor's office, mean just for a shot. but why go back there, when you can stay home... ...with neulasta onpro? strong chemo can put you at risk of serious infection. neulasta helps reduce infection risk by boosting your white blood cell count, which strengthens your immune system. in a key study, neulasta reduced the risk of infection from 17% to 1%...
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kind of the intermediary between the russian figures and donald trump jr., and why and how they could even have information about potentially damaging dirt on hillary clinton? >> well, at first glance these individuals are not likely to be really plugged in with the russian government or security services. we're talking about a father and son who are real estate 2kwe6 r developers and the son a music pop star goes by the first name emin when onstage but are very familiar to the trump family, because the father and son together with donald trump sr. put on the 2013 miss universe pageant here in moscow. and they've exchanged an awful lot of public plentries on social media and donald trump has even recorded happy birthday wishes to the pop star emin and appeared in one of his music
videos even. now, why are they coming up? because this british p.r. executive, rob goldstone, according to the e-mails and to his own statement to cnn, he wrote donald trump jr. offering information that he thought would hurt the democratic party and hillary clinton, and he said that he was writing on behalf of the father and son and he would be sending a russian government lawyer to meet with donald trump jr. the kremlin denied any links to this lawyer, and in an interview earlier this morning, the lawyer herself denied working with the russian government. take a listen. >> they had the impression, it appears, that they were going to be told some information that you had about the dnc. how did they get that impression? >> translator: it's quite possible that maybe they were looking for such information. they wanted it so badly. >> have you ever worked for the
russian government? do you have connections to the russian government? >> translator: no. >> so according to rob goldstone, this british p.r. guy from wee2 entertainment, his company, on behalf of the father and son, the father a billionaire, his son this pop star who goes by the first name emin, and, again, they were close business partners with t donald trump during the miss universe contest here in moscow in 2013, and in interviews on russian state tv just last year, the son, emin, said he's still in very close contact with donald trump jr. that they text message each other all the time. that he had had ivanka trump in his office here in moscow and according to one of president trump's tweets dating back to 2013, he had been in talks with
the father to build a trump tower here in moscow. that's a project that was never completely fulfilled. dana? >> thank you so much for that report. i want to bring back jim sciutto and jeff zeleny. jim sciutto, you cover national security. the intelligence world. have you found anybody who thinks that it's plausible that this russian lawyer was not connected to the kremlin? i haven't. >> well, here's the thing. the way the kremlin operates, this has been with a lot of the meetings the trump world had with russians, you have many non-official spies who report back to the spy services. >> right. >> businessmen, et cetera. doesn't mean every russian businessman or lawyer is reporting back, but this is the way russian intelligence services operate. they keep, you know, call them freelancers. >> right. >> and that's why when someone like this, who has more than one connection, be frank. at least offering information based on, said it was coming
from the government. it is certainly plausible that that's exactly the role that this person was playing. that's one thing. keep this in mind as well. so comes to the table offering this damaging information. this other issue, which this lawyer talked about, adoption and the magnitsky act. not a red herring, oh, just adoption. this is central to russia's interests wrashith regards to t u.s., because they stopped allowing u.s. adoption of russian babies as retaliation for the magnitsky act. an act enacted after the death of a russian dissident which punishes to great economic effect senior russian official. russia wants this ended. >> yep. >> so this is a central issue. so if this, if this russian lawyer has no connection to the kremlin, she was at least coming with information, she said, came from a kremlin operation to support trump and, two, pushing a number one kremlin issue. which is adoption as it relates
to these sanctions. >> paul, on the -- at a meeting with the prime minister of which was set on -- we have something for you, wink, wink. actually, not a wink. it was right -- >> at the republican nomination -- >> right. before i ask you, jeff, about the e-mails. there's an important question there, the whole question of adoption was the explanation from don jr. at the beginning when this first broke. >> on saturday. >> on saturday. it was all about adoption. certainly at least in these e-mails, leading up to it, nothing about adoption. >> no. not mentioned once. >> jeff zeleny, these e-mails. not only do we get a batch of the back and forth between don trump jr. and goldstone, who, again, was the intermediary, a friend, but it's clear that don trump jr. forwarded the e-mails to two very important people. >> very important people. two of the most important people with the exception of one in trump tower that day. those people were, jared kushner, the son-in-law, who's
gone on to be a senior adviser to the president and paul manafort at that moment chairman of the trump campaign who left after the convention, but forwarded the e-mail saying the time of the meeting has changed until 4:00 p.m. initially supposed to be 3:00 p.m. on the 9th of june. this shows that jared kushner and paul manafort could see this entire chain, the intent from the russian government. >> bingo. >> an attempt to take down the clinton campaign and that is significant and again raidses the questi raises the question, did the president know about this meeting? changed to 4:00. the president blocks away at the four seasons, a first trump victory and well before 4:00 back at trump tower. it's a big place. he could have been at his apartment. no evidence he was at the meeting. the question did he know about the meeting? the white house said, no, he did not. interesting to point out a month after this happened, donald
trump jr. came on cnn, told our ja jake tap went after the clinton campaign at the mere suggestion russians were involved called it disgusting pt their credibility 59 this point after these months is thin and questionable. we'll see what the white house has to say about this later this afternoon. >> on that note, jim sciutto, one of don jr.'s defenses that he's been tweeting about over the past days has been, what about the democrats and hillary clinton the meetings with the ukrainians? do you think that there's an analogy there? do you think he has a legitimate defense? >> one difference is that -- i mean, his defense in effect that this is political opposition research, whether it quayle from ukrainians, russians or someone in the states is one point. he mentioned that again in this statement. two, the difference is that russia is a major u.s. adversary and of course was at the time hacking or meddling in the u.s. election. he said in his note today, attached to these e-mails this
was before, in his words, the russian fever was en vogue. before he was aware it was out there russia was there. that's a fair argument. u.s. intelligence services had not come out and said russia is meddling in our election. but on the difference with ukraine, jeff covered the campaign. >> so significantly different in the sense we do not know again if there were other meetings. at this point, i would be happy to, he says -- i love the idea of this. especially later in the summer. >> yeah. >> we don't know -- this is part and parcel of the meddling. it went on to sort of, you know -- this is not all that was done. >> no question. >> and in the summer, and fall. they went hard after electronically after hillary clinton with bots and other things. they meddled in the election. >> stand by. a lot more on our breaking news right after the break. stay with us. akes you, you. let's dance grandma! and you're not going to let anything keep you sidelined.
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donald trump jr. today. it came from a time period leading up to the meeting that he had in june of 2016 with a russian government attorney. as well, his brother-in-law jared kushner and at the time campaign chair paul manafort also at that meeting. the e-mails again with this from a british publicist and former tabloid journalist named rob goldstone. just called asked me to contact you with something very interesting pt crown prosecutor of russia met with emin's father this morning and in the meeting offered to provide the trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate hillary and her dealings with russia, and would be very useful to your father. this is obviously very high level, and sensitive information, but it's part of russia and its government's support for mr. trump. i can also send this info to your father, but it is
sensitive -- excuse me, it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send you first. donald trump jr. replied in part, thanks, rob. i appreciate that. if it's what you say, i love it. now, bring in our panel to discuss this. jackie kucinich is here from "the daily beast" along with cnn's malika henderson, jeff zeleny and jackie from the "los angeles times." jeff, start with you. you cover the white house every day. first and foremost, what do you make of the fact that donald trump jr. is the one to release these? we hear leak, leak, leak, leak, leak. this was an intentional release but he didn't just offer it unsolicited? >> he didn't offer it because he wanted to be transparent. we're on day four of this now. the "new york times" first reported this saturday. so saturday, sunday, monday and tuesday. the reason that donald trump jr. and his lawyer released these this afternoon in the tweet or late this morning i should say is because the "new york times" was on the verge again of
publishing all of it. the "new york times" is writing in its story on the verge of publishing them, called donald trump jr. for comment for all of these and did not respond instepped released all of these. what we call sort of getting ahead of the story. you know? friday afternoon document dump. coming tuesday shortly before lunch. shows you the severity of all this. as you said, important to point out. no, this is not a leak. this is something he is putting out there, which means, a., he confirms the authenticity of them, first and foremost, and, b., they realize, the story isn't going away and they must get ahead of it. again, forwarded to jared kushner and paul manafort as well. >> jackie, the president's, one mpt adviser, jay sek cue loew s this morning. his defense was this. take ap listen. >> i just knt to wait for some brave soul in congress. it needs to be a republican,
because they're in charge. somebody's got to step up and say enough is enough. we have too much ed at this point that the administration has been compromised by russian interests. >> forgive me. that was robby mook. not the president's legal adviser. robby mook talking about the fact he wants republicans to step up and, in fact, there have been republicans who said they're very concerned about it. now let's play jay sekulow, the president's legal adviser. >> you're asking basically, is everybody reviews notes? of course people review notes, review data and find out that data, but this is much ado about nothing. no one has pointed to me where there's a legal violation of a meeting with a russian lawyer. >> sure. >> that involved the campaign. >> so are they just not talking to each other? the lawyers? did he not talk to donald trump jr.'s attorney and know these e-mails were even out there? >> the level of either incompetence or malpractice, and i don't think any of us really
know for sure. it's just complete mystery. i would be lying to you if i said i could explain almost any of this. >> you've covered washington and politics for a few years. have you seen anything like this? you know, jeff was talking about the fact they got out ahead of the story by releasing these e-mails themselves. i mean, getting out ahead of the story a month, a year and a month after the meeting was held. >> right. >> and a year after this investigation began? >> right. >> you know, not so sure how ahead they got. >> sure at cnn and it's already beginning. you're going back over your clips for the past year. this is a year. >> no question. >> in which everyone from donald trump on down has not only denied all of these but denied it vehemently, and attacked the media who was asking about it for pursuing fake news. donald trump jr.'s e-mails here that have jared kushner's name and paul manafort's name in them and communications with them,
that's not fake news. and so now that they're going to be confronted with a year's worth of clips and quotes that they're you know, their credibility, which was already dangerously low is just about shot. >> the "washington post" already has started to do what you suggest. no surprise, jackie. >> always on top of it. >> not only did donald trump jr. on saturday say this was a meeting about russian adoption and nothing else. in march, he said that there were no meetings representing the campaign with the russians. in january, the president-elect said no contact between trump associates and russia during the campaign. and back in november, blanket denial. no communication with a foreign entity. and it goes on and on and on. >> pages and pages of it. >> denials. you know, again, this is political. making a denial in public to the press is not -- something
that -- it's not criminal. the big question is, yobviously number one, political ramifications, if there are any now beyond the real legal question. >> and some ways it will be up to republicans to decide what the political ramifications of that, of this are going forward and we've seen some republicans come out today and essentially say it's much ado about nothing, and also, what about clinton? the clinton campaign? and in ukraine. more senior republicans, lindsey graham, john mccain, more interesting to listen to, as well as richard burr, senate intelligence committee. this is, i mean, the fact you have e-mails in this documentation, and the changing story from donald trump jr. oh, it was really about adoptions, as he initially said. finally admitting it was about something else and then suggests apparently that other people didn't necessarily know what the
meeting was about? talking to someone worked on a former campaign. that would never happen. the three most senior people on a campaign who go to a meeting and have no idea what the meeting is about. so, you know, it will be -- we'll watch today to see what republicans come out with today. >> so jackie, before i come to you, i want you to see something that erick erickson said. erick erickson, a conservative and also is somebody extremely critical of president trump and then candidate trump. one of the last never trumper, but here's what he said, in his, in his publication "the resurgent." you might not like it but that's sleazy politics. it is not illegal. it was foreign interference in an american election. so, too, was the british spy circulating a dossier to ruin president trump's campaign. now, again, he's trying to make a point that politics is dirty and nobody out there would be
surprised about that. but is it different when it comes to a foreign national and specifically a foreign adversary? >> i'm not a lawyer, but is serm seems different. this isn't just a foreign entity. this is an adversary. an entity that the u.s. intelligence agencies say tried to meddle in u.s. elections. this is a much bigger deal than someone in iowa finding, you know, some dirt on hillary clinton and sliding it to the trump campaign. yeah, politics is sleazy like that. this is very different. so different that the trump campaign decided to -- to deny it for -- you -- that kind of coordinated denial, which we've seen for the last year plus doesn't happen because politics is sleazy. there's a reason that they were not -- they didn't want to talk about this, and we're starting to see -- erick erickson aside
on the hill, already seeing a weariness when they have to answer questions about trump and russia. this is not going to help and extends beyond russia to the president's other agenda items, but i imagine on the hill there's a lot of people now saying i haven't seen those e-mails -- not going to want to talk about it and have to. >> they will. >> and they are starting -- >> realizing this is a very big deal. everybody stand by. we're going to take a quick break and coming up we'll have a lot more on the explosive e-mail chain we've been talking about released by donald trump jr. about his meeting with a russian lawyer. stay with us. step one. point decisively with your glasses. abracadabra! the stage is yours. step two. choose laquinta. where you'll feel like the king of the road. check out our summer rates now at lq.com.
incriminate democratic nominee hillary clinton. donald trump jr.'s response, if it's what you say, i love it. i want to bring in cnn political commentator brian fallon, who was the press secretary for the hillary clinton campaign, and, brian, i want to start with your response just generally to what you thought when you heard this. >> quite frankly, dana, my mind is blown a little bit. for as possible and even likely as many of us that worked on the campaign thought that the trump campaign may have been colluding with the russian government, never in my wildest dreams did i ever think you'd see a piece of evidence that would be as much of a smoking gun as this e-mail. i thought at best, end of this investigation, you'd have a bunch of circle evidence that would be a close call in terms of having any crim na inal repercussions to it. this is clear as day. usually when somebody is engaged in some type of conspiracy, they
are better at covering their tracks, but here you have the publicist saying in an e-mail, using e-mail, and putting in writing that this is part of a russian government effort to help the trump campaign, and in identifying the person he's trying to set up don jr. to meet with as a russian government lawyer, and they take the meeting. it's not just donald trump jr. taking the meeting but the high command of the campaign proper. the campaign chair paul manafort and son-in-law jared kushner joining the meeting. as much legal hot water and donald trump jr. is in now, it's impossible to believe the president himself was unaware of this apparent effort by the russian government that was known to others in the trump campaign, it's impossible to believe that the president himself did not know about this, and now you assume donald trump jr. has to answer questions under oath, not just before congress but also in front of a
grand jury or in an interview with bob mueller's investigative team and asked about conversations he may have had with his father in the months after this meeting. even if the president didn't know about this meeting itself. it's impossible to think for all the months during the campaign as the e-mails were being leaked out by russians there wasn't at some point a conversation where the son revealed to the fall he knew of a russian government plot to help the trump campaign. >> i want to show you part of donald trump jr.'s political defense. this is something he tweeted on monday. everybody is forgetting that clinton allies did the same thing as don jr. he retweeted a story from the "daily caller" which talked about the fact that there was a report in january about a veteran dnc operative who had worked in the clinton white house, who was working with the ukrainian government, and officials there, to help dig up dirt on donald trump, and on his allies.
does he have a point? >> i know of, know nothing about that report and i know of no contact that our campaign proper ever had with any foreign government. but keep in mind what also makes this more troubling in the case of russia and the trump campaign is, this wasn't just cooperation for the sake of helping get donald trump elected. donald trump is now paying the russians back for the assistance the russian government provided him in the form of adopting the russian government's position on any number of issues. just think. congress, the senate, passed by i think a 98-2 vote a few weeks ago, a new round of sanctions against the russian government in response for their aggression in crimea and response to meddling in our election and the trump white house now as we speak is trying to kill that bill. he's trying to unwind the sanctions that the senate thinks is appropriate to impose on russia as we speak. also, as we speak, there are apparently the trump administration is considering giving back the two spy i installations the obama
administration stripped the russians of after meddling in the election came to light. in addition to statements made against nato in the campaign, the friendly stance he continues to take towards vladimir putin in respect is a direct connection of the united states foreign policy that should trouble lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. >> thank you for joining me. out of time. a lot more on this breaking story. thank you for joining me on "inside politics." wb solf blitz"whoa baby! a guids overwhelmed and freaked..." . urance plan. right now? [ 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.
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turning systems off, looking at different wire systems all that training is crucial to keeping our community safe and our firefighters safe. together, we're building a better california. i'm wolf blitzer. 1:00 p.m. in washington. 8:00 p.m. in moscow. wherever you're watching from around the world thanks very much for joining us. we begin with breaking news. explosive and very fast-moving developments in the russian meddling innocent in the u.s. presidential election. donald trump jr. just releasing a chain of e-mails leading up to his meeting with a russian lawyer. a meeting where he hoped to get information damaging to hillary clinton. he released those e-mails, by the way, on twitter just after being notified by the