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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  July 11, 2017 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT

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what -- just in terms of some processing, donald trump, jr. released all these e-mails, the president praised him for transparency. he's released a series of e-mails. the president praised him for his transparency. had "the new york times" contacted him and said we are going -- we have these e-mails and then he went forward with these e-mails? and also jared kushner, my understanding is three weeks or so ago, he amended his security request to get a security clearance with this meeting. can you say if he had been informed or questioned about this meeting or if he knew the "times" was investigating? >> to your first question, we have reached out to the lawyer for donald trump, jr. we said we were familiar with the contents of these e-mails and were planning to public. we gave a hardline. donald trump, jr. pre-empted it. i think there's been some
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frustration on the part of donald trump, jr. and people close to him about how the last couple of days have gone in terms of the disclosures and the slow roll, drip, drip. in terms of kushner, i'm not entirely sure what you're asking me. >> our understanding is that for a second time he has amended the information that he gave in order to get a security clearance. he gave that once earlier and more recently he did that to include this meeting that he hadn't previously disclosed. my question is, was he aware that you were investigating and that's why he amended this or was this just a coincidence? >> more broadly, without getting into specifics about our reporting and the nature of it, jared kushner did amend his security clearance form, his foreign contact disclosures. i believe it was for a second time, included some reference to
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this meeting. around the same time paul manafort provided some more specifics to one of the congressional committees that is investigating whether this was any collusion between the russian government and the trump campaign, and there was a reference to this meeting there, as well. and so the e-mails came up at some point during both of those processes. >> jeff toobin, does donald trump, jr. have any potential legal exposure here? >> potentially, but it's not cheer that he does. collusion, which is something we've talked about, is not a crime. there's no such crime as collusion. also, all the lies that have been told to the american people, it's not a crime to lie to the american people. one possible offense that donald trump, jr. might be investigated for is violating the campaign finance laws. the laws say it is unlawful to solicit anything of value from a
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foreign government. now, the question is, did he solicit something of value? we don't know what went on in this meeting. i think -- we have donald trump's word that this was a 20-minute meeting and a big waste of time. but presumably there are e-mails describing what went on at this meeting. this is something that is certainly going to be of interest to director mueller and his team in determining what he -- and what went on at this meeting is very important. the other person who may have a problem is jared kushner, because it is -- that form, the application for a security clearance is submitted under penalty of perjury. and if he only corrected it because he got caught omitting it, that is potentially a, you know, a legal problem for him. so i think jared kushner, who is the one who has senior job in
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the administration, he's the one who is at more risk than donald trump, jr. >> steve hall, i want to ask you two questions. i'm not sure if you can or would answer them. but a, how likely is it that u.s. intelligence would have been aware that potentially kremlin linked individuals would been trying to connect with the son of a presidential nominee? and secondly, if there was a phone conversation between donald trump, jr., and this russian pop star, is it likely or possible that that was picked up and is recorded somewhere, whether in the u.s. or overseas? >> well, taking your second question first, anderson. yes, it's certainly possible that the intelligence community may have intercepted such a call. although it would have been involving a u.s. person, you know, it would have been -- we get back to the old masking
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issue. was the name concealed? but that's possible. i would say it's hs possible that the intelligence community may have had some indication that the russian government was attempting to arrange this meeting. but fromly re lmy reading on th think it would have come up sooner if the intelligence community had been aware of it. what this looks very much to me like, the russians at the time had a very successful influence operation going. they had already penetrated cyber fashion, the dnc databases. and i think the russian intelligence and russian government said, you know, we should try for the trifecta here. let's see if we can't make a little bit of contact with somebody in the trump team, just to see if they're willing to play ball. just to have an initial conversation. there's no doubt in my mind that the lawyer had to have been from
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the government, because nobody else would have had the type of information she claimed aside from somebody that had contact with the russian government. so this sounds like the russians trying to go a little further in this operation and tried to get a human angle to it in addition to the other stuff. >> the attorney for these two russian guys, the pop star and his father, says that the pop star was basically make thing connection to goldstone for the russian attorney, because she was an acquaintance and he was doing a favor because that's how things work. does that make sense to you, or is it possible that, you know, the father here has links to the russian government or does business? obvious hi he's very successful in real estate there. and that would it be normal that the russian government would use other people that are not directly linked to the government? >> sure, absolutely.
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this has russian government finger prints and intelligence all of it. standard operating procedure for the russian intelligence services in a situation like this, if you are reaching out to somebody, a high-level person in the trump team, you don't want to do it with an intelligence officer, you want to have a cutout, a link to a link to a link so that you have deniability. you have some sort of plausible deniability to say what you're saying, anderson. maybe it was just somebody that was a friend of a friend of a friend. the russians know that we in the west have a tendency to want to think positively, this is just business, who knows what was going to happen? yet this is exactly how the russians, especially the intelligence services, operate. >> i want to thank everybody. when we come back, we'll hear from political operatives how they see the latest revelations and what that means for the future of this administration. o give families a second chance.
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white house spokesperson sarah huckabee sanders stayed mum and off camera.
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listen. >> do you stand by a statement you made yesterday when you said that our position is that no one within the trump campaign colluded to influence the election? >> i do. and again, i don't have anything else to add. and i know you're going to get tired of it today, but on all questions related to this matter, i would refer you to don jr.'s counsel and outside counsel. to repeat myself, i'm going to refer you to the outside counsel and i don't have anything else to add. look, the president gave a statement on the matter i read to you. and i don't have anything else to add. again, i'm not going to get into the details. >> is the president now aware of the russian government effort to influence the campaign in his favor? >> again, i'm not going to answer. >> chuck grassly is asking the department of homeland security and state department to look into how the russian attorney
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who met with donald trump, jr. was allowed to enter the country. bringing in a new panel now. paul, two things we heard from trump surrogates the last couple of days is that this is just standard operating procedure. every campaign looks for opposition research. nothing to see here. and that what we've heard more is that donald trump, jr. was politically naive and just made a mistake here. >> right. if that's their story, they should stick to it. it's not going to hold. trump, jr. was the son of the presumed at that moment republican nominee. in that meeting also was paul manafort, decades of experience, including experience with russians. you don't have to have a lot of experience, but an e-mail that says russia and its government support for mr. trump. when the russian government is an adversary of the united
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states, had always been in the eyes of the republicans. mitt romney was ridiculed by me and others, wrongly, for saying that russia was our chief adversary. this is just not going to hold. you can't -- by the way, the motion that every campaign does it, david axelrod who ran obama's campaign, none of us have ever heard of anything hike this. i base in on 34 years of experience in campaign -- >> congresswoman, when you were running, you had gotten an e-mail from an intermediary saying the russian government is backing you and there's a russian government attorney that would like to meet with you, would you have had that meeting? >> i would have been shocked, because i was just running for congress. >> but would you have had that meeting? >> look, politics -- >> would you have had that
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meeting? >> it would shock no one, especially you, paul, to know politics is a tough and dirty business. >> you might have sat down with somebody from the russian government -- >> i do not fault donald trump, jr., for his -- >> with all due respect, you haven't answered the question. >> it's a very high stakes political campaign. i do not fault him for doing this. this is a nothing pickle, to use van jones' term, on a nothing burger. >> i'll take that as a no -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> politics is full of all kinds of -- >> you would have sat down with a russian government official? >> if somebody said to anybody in politics i have information that might be of interest, i don't fault anybody with sitting down and hearing it. >> i do.
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al gore is running against george bush, they're tied into the polls. tom downey, congressman from new york, was going to play bush in the debate preps. he receives, unsolicited, and there's the bush debate briefing book. somebody in the bush campaign detrd betrayed their boss. he called the fbi, then he recused himself from the debate. that's what an honorable person does. >> how come donna brazile -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> she's been let go. >> but at the time she accepted it. she accepted the information. >> what she did was sleazy. you are refusing to characterize anything about donald trump, jr. -- >> i'm saying that donald trump,
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jr. did nothing with that information. >> robby, if somebody said they were from the russian government, is that business as usual? >> no, not at all. there's a lot of people that come up to campaigns with information. for example, when i was running hillary's campaign, we had a lot of donald trump's former employees talk about how they didn't get paid, contractors who he didn't send -- replay to their invoices, but they were american citizens. and they were legitimately engaging in a debate. if someone claiming to represent the russian government had reached out and said, first of all, we're supporting your candidate, and second of all, we dug up some oppo to give to you, i would be petrified that i would be in trouble. that's what is so crazy. you layer on top of that how don jr., look, he went on tv and called me disgusting for saying that the russians were involved
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in the election at all. they've lied so much. they have no credibility on this. the other thing that's troubling me, i disagree with one of your experts earlier. i think this thing has been so -- it was so bold. it was in such plain sight the whole time. we don't put the pieces together. this wasn't the russians taking another step. they've been working on this a long time. you look at carter page. the russians were talking about the man one or two years earlier about potentially bringing him on as a spy. they were working on this for a long time, and they were coming at it from every angle. paul mentioned paul manafort, long time working for russian affiliates. so they were coming from all angles on this. i think we've been too small, and we've never pulled back and frankly noticed how big and bold this really was. >> jeffrey, when president trump praises his son's transparency, do you believe what donald trump, jr. has done over the
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last couple of days is being fully transparent? >> unequivocally. >> he released -- okay. >> unequivocally. i know on the trump, jr., unequivocally. >> how is it transparent? how is it transparent to say there -- >> did he not release his e-mail chain? anderson, anderson, talking about transparency, i just posted an article at the american spectator. doing any research, i came across an interview with dick morris which he says that president clinton personally in 1996, meddled and colluded, if you will, in the russian collection to elect boris yeltsin. one of the major -- >> you're going by dick morris? dick morris is your source on this? >> decades later, we find a
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situation where bill clinton's wife is the democratic nominee for president. it had nothing to do with donald trump. [ overlapping speakers ] >> is he the best source on this? >> look, this is dick morris saying that -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> what we are saying is it's okay for foreign powers to interject in our elections because a president took a foreign policy position. [ overlapping speakers ].
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>> being sold to a russian owned company. >> that's false. >> that to me -- just been false. >> just not true. >> false, you might like to pedal fake news. that its not true. >> that's a real national security issue. >> to paraphrase kellyanne conway, a trip down memory lane. can we refocus on today. >> i read jeffrey's column, what he alleges my old boss did was phone up yeltsin and say you can run ads on this. he is a kibitzer. the russians hacked, attacked. >> excuse me, excuse me, jeffrey, i let you talk. you got to let me. the russians hacked our country. john mccain, a war hero called it "an act of war." we have to retaliate. join together. what donald trump is doing is trying to divide us and he is
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siding with the enemy, with russia. the russians came to his side. and to his son, son-in-law, and said we have dirt on your opponent. they said, great. should have called the fbi. >> we got to take a break. the investigation certainly is ongoing. got to take a break. and eric trump's theory is that some people can't stand that the trump family kpis extremely clo. talk about that. trump family val use wiues next. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable after just 4 months,... with reduced redness,... thickness, and scaliness of plaques. and the otezla prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't take otezla if you're allergic to any of its ingredients. otezla may increase the risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression
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go bodly to discover treatments and cures unimaginable ten years ago... ...and are on the verge of more tomorrow. donald trump jr. released e-mails on twitter. a lot of response and from the british politician who led the brexit. donald trump jr. is the best supporter of potus in the business. no surprise he is under attack. from eric trump. the exact reason they viciously attack our family. they can't stand we are close and will always support each other. joining us two men who wrote books on donald trump. michael dantonio and tim theo brian.
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the president's initial statement today said that his son, my son is a high quality person. i applaud his transparency. were you surprised by that at all? >> i was surprised it was such a mild endorsement of his son. he said the same kind of things about -- michael flynn. before he was out. and i think, just saying, he is a high quality person is, almost throe throwing him under the bus. i would have defended my sewn son far more vigorously. and the idea that he is transparent to me that was -- an atta boy. like you did the right thing. i think, this is something he was directed to do. and, what -- >> the white house has said now, that the president knew nothing abut this until, until recently. i mean the, in the e-mail chain, donald trump jr. is being told that the russian government is backing his father. there was no reaction really in the e-mail to that part of it. >> also told in the e-mail chain, by, by, rob goldstone,
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should we tell your father about this? i can't contact rona, being rona grath. if you want to get to donald trump, rona grath. e-mails exposed grath's calendar and subpoena requests from robert mueller. beyond that it raises the question of when did the president know about the meeting? is donald trump jr. telling the truth today when he says he never knew. and i think there is good reason to believe that donald trump jr. may not be being candid about the fact. one of the things eric trump saying, a close family. will support each other always. does it, is it possible that donald trump jr. would not have told his father that russia, that he learned or has been told that russia is backing his campaign, whether it was before this meeting or after this meeting? >> think highly unlikely. i'm -- 95% certain that this is a meeting that donald trump now
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the president understood was going to take place. i'm sure he was told what happened afterwards. this is a man whose stock and trade is information. he loves to gossip. loves to know what is going on everywhere. one of the things that donald jr. told me was that if you get 100 things right but one thing wrong, you are going to hear about it for the rest of your life from donald trump. i think he is very much aware of pleasing his dad. back then there wouldn't have been any boundaries. this would have been very porous. i can't imagine he didn't inform his father right away. >> tim, this was also during a time. remember the context of all this. a power struggle within the campaign. between cory lewandowski and paul manafort, the trump consider turned from lewandowski to manafort.
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donald trump jr. played a role in pushing lewandowski out. all this will get back to questions of who has been the source of some of the information that has gone to "the new york times" through the great reporting they have been doing over the last few days. >> they cite, three, if i am getting it correctly. memory serves me directly. in one of their reports. three people advised the white house. not as if this is coming from law enforcement. >> right. >> lot of the major leaks have so far. times was clear in its reporting to say they clearly had white house sources. it is another example of how divided and porous this administration is. and it is a reflection how divided and porous the trump campaign was. >> why would somebody in the white house or connections in the white house supposedly supports the president, leak stuff about donald trump jr. >> keystone kops. this isn't a team that is running as a disciplined, goal-oriented unit. it is trump's never run anything that way in his whole life. he certainly is not running the white house that way. i think they easily turn on one another. >> i think what tim said about
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the president, having never on rated anything in an orderly, deliberate fashion is absolutely true. the thing that mattered in the past was that the buck stopped with donald trump. and it was a matter of his celebrity and his profit. and i think now that, you had to make the boss look good. >> make him look good. now that he is the president of the united states. there is a problem with not focusing on the business of the united states of america. what they're still focused on, still still, promoting donald trump's image. everyone is fighting for favored status within the administration. awe their fighting a media war when they should be thinking about the legal battles they're facing. positioning themselves, vis-a-vis the press. donald trump and his father. not thinking about legal consequences they're in now. >> the fact that donald trump jr. gave an interview to sean
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hann tichlt hannity, had to drive his lawyers nuts. more on the big developments. who is lawyering up. and why. ahead. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. ♪