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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  July 13, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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the president in paris, his son and son-in-law facing new heat in washington. the top of the hour begins with our reporters rounding up the news that matters. manu raju, jeff zeleny, pamela brown on a curious gaffe in trump jr.'s chain and ryan nobles on the newest incarnation of the senate health care bill that republican senators aren't exactly rushing to embrace. we begin with manu raju. what are you learning? >> well, anderson, tonight the senate intelligence committee saying that they planned to ask donald trump jr. and jared kushner for more records, records about past meetings that may have occurred between russian officials and themselves over the past several years and months. now, this of course comes in the wake of donald trump jr. revealing that he had that meeting with the russian lawyer, a meeting that was told to him was to get dirt from the clinton campaign.
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part of an effort to help the russian government. both paul manafort and jared kushner were in attendance of that meeting. mark warner, the top democrat on the senate intelligence committee raising concerns that jared kushner left off what he said were three meetings with russian officials on his appropriate forms. that's one reason why they asked for more records from him. this come as the senate judiciary committee's chairman chuck grassley said that he wants donald trump jr. to testify before his committee. something that could happen as soon as next week. grassley sending a letter to donald trump jr. today or tomorrow. they are writing the letter today and hope to send it out by before the end of the week in order to see if he can testify as early as unique week. some developments on the house side of the capitol. the house intelligence committee had planned to interview roger stone, that former trump adviser on july 24th, but abruptly canceled his testimony. he is no longer going to
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testify. stone's camp telling me tonight that they got no explanation why, just that the committee was not ready to move forward. that's going to be delayed until the august recess, according to stone's attorney, anderson. >> also, what kind of reaction has there been on capitol hill today over donald trump jr.'s explanation about why he took the meeting? >> a lot of republicans are pushing back and actually the president's explanation, when the president said at his press conference today that it's standard for donald trump jr. to take such a practice because that's what you do in politics, some republicans are saying, well, that's really just not the case. including arizona's jeff flake. listen to this. >> the president today said that anybody in politics would take a meeting that his son took with a russian lawyer. what's your reaction? >> it doesn't include me. i would never. >> it doesn't include me, and that's what a lot of republicans
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and democrats are saying. that's not standard politics to take a meeting like this, especially one backed patiently by the russian government, anderson. >> manu raju, thank you. now to paris where the president enjoyed a gourmet meal. he did his best to defend his son's meeting with a russian lawyer offering dirt on hillary clinton. more now from jeff zeleny in paris. this has not stopped him from defending his son. >> no, it hasn't stopped him at all, anderson. in fact, it raised the questions because the president did something he doesn't do very often. he held at least a brief press conference taking about four questions or so and, of course, one of them was about his son. one of them was about that meeting on june 9th, 2016, that marks the first time someone from his inner circle had a meeting with a russian government operative. this is what the president said today. >> as far as my son is concerned, my son a wonderful young man. he took a meeting with a russian lawyer.
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not a government lawyer but a russian lawyer. it was a short meeting. it was a meeting that went very, very quickly, very fast. two other people were in the room. they -- i guess one of them left almost immediately and the other one was not really focused on the meeting. i do think this. i think from a practical standpoint most people would have taken that meeting. it's called opposition research or even research into your opponent. >> well, it's not called opposition research, anderson. as manu was just saying, the reaction from capitol hill from people who run campaigns, this is not standard practice at all. in terms of the president saying he was not a russian government lawyer, in fact, that is exactly what donald trump jr. thought the meeting was. that has been spelled out in the e-mails that he released himself, that there was a meeting with a russian government lawyer. that's why he accepted a meeting. the president also didn't say
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who these two people were. you may get this sense that there was some mid-level aides or so. that's not the case. there's the campaign manager paul manafort in that meeting as well as his son-in-law jared kushner also in that meeting. the high command of the trump campaign meeting in trump tower at the same day that candidate trump was in the building as well last june. >> just in terms of the trip, president trump and president macron of france certainly made a big point today of emphasizing the relationship between our two countries. >> reporter: no doubt about it. they were definitely trying to emphasize, you know, the sources of agreement, the alignment between the two countries. and the large share of their private meeting, bilateral meeting was actually on counterterrorism and syria. there are two areas in which these two countries agree and france is a major ally of the u.s. yes, they've had many disagreements, particularly on climate change, on the -- some
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free trade agreements and immigration, certainly. but there was a heavy emphasize today with both of these new leaders and this is the youngest president in modern french history and the oldest president in u.s. history, you know, standing side by side, giving each other hugs and pats on the back, trying to make a new start, a new relationship known here. that continues tomorrow at the bastille day parade which coincides with the 100th year anniversary of the u.s. entering into world war i. that's why president trump is here in paris. >> jeff zeleny, thank you very much. i want to go to pamela brown. a new reporting of a time gap on donald trump jr.'s e-mail chain and what might have filled it. what are you learning? >> there are lingering questions whether a phone call ever took place between don junior and emin agalarov. before the meeting. as the e-mails might suggest, if you read them during this exchange, his publicist says, "let me know
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when you are free to talk to emin by telephone about this hillary info." can we talk now? let me track him down in moscow. what number should he call. don junior says he can call his cell and he says i'm sure he can call. that was at 3:43 p.m. on june 6th. nearly an hour later, don junior replies, rob, thanks for the help. raising the question, what happened within that time frame. around 24 hours later, goldstone sent another emane saying emin asked that i schedule a meeting with you, and the russian government attorney. i believe you are aware of that meeting. anderson? >> i spoke to agalarov's lawyer about this very thing. he denied that there was any phone call that ever took place. at first he said he had no knowledge of it. then he said it never happened. >> uh-huh. >> and it wasn't clear to me if i asked him if he had actually asked his clients about it. he wouldn't go into any level of
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detail. >> that's right. i've actually talked to him as well and also the attorney for don junior, both of them say that their clients have no recollection of any phone call that took place before or after this meeting. here's what the agalarov's attorney had to say. >> i really can't speak to what rob goldstone was thinking or what he wrote or why, but i'll tell you again that that call didn't happen. i don't know if there was someone else who spoke to donald trump jr. about this prospective meeting but it wasn't my client. i don't know where mr. goldstone got his information from but it's categorically incorrect. >> and so again, don jr.'s attorney told me tonight that his client has no recollection, but he did add, quote, we are
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continuing to do our typical factual examination of everything. so that means they are going through e-mails, phone logs just to make sure that his recollection is accurate. anderson? >> pam, thanks. it's easy to forget that the investigation or not, lawmakers are also considering legislation that affects one-sixth of the economy. we're talking the latest senate health care bill. let's go back to ryan nobles. the health care debate rages on. you're on with that. what's the latest? >> well, we have a new bill in place, anderson, and it's really not dramatically different than the bill senators initially revealed, but it does have some significant changes, and it is a 172-page bill. so these are just some of the top lines. but let's go through some of them. it includes an option for people to buy cheaper plans that also have fewer benefits. these catastrophic plans, as they are called. it would also allow americans to use their health savings accounts to pay their premiums without a tax penalty. there's $45 billion substance abuse opioid treatment set aside there is one provision here that has a lot of moderates nervous, and that is that it maintains
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the deep cuts to medicaid that the original bill had in place, but moderates are happy with the fact that they took out a plan to repeal the obamacare investment tax which would be a tax break for wealthy americans. there are tax breaks in this bill but that was the most significant one. at this point, these senators are just digesting this bill to try to figure out if they can support it. most senators today, anderson, telling us that they are still undecided. >> but there are two known nos, right? susan collins and rand paul, right? >> that's right. that leaves mitch mcconnell no room for error. he needs 50 votes in order to pass this bill. he's already lost two republican senators. there aren't any republican senators left to lose. we're keeping a close eye on many of the senators who had problems with the original bill. probably the most prominent is dean heller of nevada. he says he'll talk it over with stakeholders back in his home state. that includes his governor, brian sandoval. and sandoval says he has major concerns with this bill.
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right now there aren't too many people optimistic about this bill's prospect. and we still have to wait for the score from the congressional budget office which is expected on monday. >> ryan nobles, thanks. thanks to all of our reporters. coming up next, a member of the senate judiciary committee weighs in on what she wants to hear from donald trump jr. work up a sweat during the day. not at night. only tempur-breeze® mattresses use an integrated system of technologies to keep you cool while you sleep. so you wake up feeling powerful. save up to $500 on select tempur-breeze® mattress sets. find the breeze that's right for you at is america's number-one you kmotorcycle insurer. yeah, she does purr! best bike i ever owned! no, you're never alone, because our claims reps are available 24/7. we even cover accessories and custom parts. we diget an early start! took the kids to soccer practice. you want me to jump that cactus? all right. aah! that lady's awesome. i don't see a possum!
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breaking news tonight. as manu raja reported, the senate intelligence committee plans to ask for more documents from jared kushner and donald trump jr. in the wake of their meeting with a russian lawyer last year. the senate judiciary committee wants to hear from donald trump jr. amy klobuchar sits on that panel. i spoke with her earlier this evening. both have said they want donald trump jr. to come testify. what questions do you want answered by him? do you feel like the story is full known at this point? >> well, i don't think so. i think the first immediate question is what other contacts
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did he have with the russians. as you note in the e-mail, it says that it's part of the work that was being done. so clearly you want to know what other work was being done by the russians, what's his knowledge and then of course you want to hear from manafort which both chairman grassley and senator feinstein are also requesting that he testify. and so there are so many questions relating to this. this is the only thing we know now is this e-mail in which here he is, you hear your dad is running for president, you get an e-mail about russians looking for dirt on hillary clinton and instead of giving it to the lawyers or giving it to someone in charge, you actually say, i love it. well, i actually hate it. i hate it because i think that this is a foreign entity that's trying to influence our democracy. as marco rubio has said, this time it was one party and one presidential candidate and next time it will be the other party. so we have an obligation to get
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to the bottom of this and to allow the special counsel to do their job. but at the same time, congress and especially the senate should be holding hearings because those are in public so the public understands what's going on here. >> one of the other things that's really struck me in that e-mail exchange -- and again, we don't know if that's the full e-mail exchange. but it wasn't just that they were pitching dirt. it was that the sentence where they say that the russian government is backing donald trump or wants donald trump to win the election and there was no reaction from or apparently in those e-mails that we saw from donald trump jr. of surprise. that seems to be a major headline for someone in the midst of a campaign to discover and yet it seemed almost like a second reference or that this was sort of a known fact already. >> exactly. and i think that kind of presumption makes anyone -- you don't have to be a lawyer or a prosecutor to think this, hey, wait a minute. if i got that e-mail, i'd say, whoa.
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and i'd say that if i was the trump administration. but instead it seems like this is just a part of the general course of business and certainly opposite of what we've been being told throughout the campaign, that they had no relationship with the russian government. and here you see a meeting with his son, his son-in-law and his campaign chairman directly with a high-powered lawyer who works directly with the kremlin. >> in the e-mail chain again, we don't know if it's complete, donald trump jr. wants to have a phone call with the russian oligarch's son who is a pop star in russia who is apparently orchestrating or the conduit to set up this meeting through goldstone. and he sends his cell phone number. the guy responds that he is just going to be getting off stage. i'll talk in 20 minutes. i talked to the attorney for the pop star and his father who denies that there ever was a phone call. but that's something certainly i
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imagine you would like very much to know the content of that phone call because if that was such an important thing, as a prerequisite for this meeting, to find out what was said in that phone call. >> right. he clearly showed an eagerness with the discussion of the phone kale. you also have the whole miss universe pageant and the relationship to that and what he knows about that and what happened there. and just getting to the bottom of all of the business since he has been involved in the trump business and those relationships with russia. so there are endless questions to ask. and i think it's really important that the special counsel do their job as they're looking into criminal aspects of this entire affair. but you can do that without hurting that investigation so long as you're not giving people immunity and you're not doing anything that would get in the way of that investigation.
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>> would your committee have access to donald trump's e-mails? not just the chain he put out there, but other e-mails? >> that's something that we will request and the judiciary committee has to assert some jurisdiction here. the fbi director was fired and we still haven't heard back from him. senator and now attorney general sessions still hasn't come back before the judiciary committee, which is pretty outrageous. he went to the intelligence committee with a very singular focus. but he needs to come before the judiciary committee. let's face it, it's not just russia. it's what's going on with immigration and the refugee order. it's what's happening with the voting rights and this commission that's been set up. we have a lot of questions to ask of the attorney general sessions. >> the chairman of your committee, senator grassley, would not say whether he would subpoena donald trump jr. if he
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he fused to 7 voluntarily. do you think he should be subpoenaed? >> certainly at some point he'll be subpoenaed. again, it's a matter of timing and working with the intelligence committee, but also with the special counsel and making sure that whatever we do doesn't interfere with their investigation. but i am fairly certain that we should be able to have hearings and move forward in a substantive way with many topics. >> do you have a sense just of when you would get an answer of when they might testify? >> no. i know we're going to have a hearing. we're starting our efforts here with the hearing on the foreign agent statute, the fact that manafort actually the former chairman of the trump campaign registered after the fact, which is not how the statute works. and so we're going to look into that because the justice department over which we have jurisdiction has jurisdiction over that statute. >> senator klobuchar, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> it was great to be on, anderson. thank you. when we come back, i'll dig into everything with our panel.
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first, what the president said between his campaign and a russian lawyer when asked about it today in paris. ♪ buried just under the surface, the answer to it all. ♪ we want to need each other. ♪
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as president trump's and macron's press conference, the only question from an american russian lawyer offering russian government dirt on hillary clinton, the reporter asked whether the president disagreed with his own fbi nominee, christopher wray, who said it would be wise to call the fbi after getting an offer for a meeting like this. this is what the president had to say. >> i think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting. it's called opposition research or even research into your opponent. i've had many people -- i've only been in politics for two years. i've had many people call up, oh, gee, we have information on this factor or this person or, frankly, hillary. that's standard in politics. politics is not the nicest business in the world, but it's very standard where they have information and you take the information. >> with me now, michael
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dantonio, steve israel, avery stoddard, and jeffrey lord. you did opposition research is when you were running the democratic national campaign committee. is this standard operating procedure? >> absolutely not. >> someone saying they are a russian lawyer for the russian government. >> it's not standard operating practice for republicans or democrats who have any sense of responsibility. i chaired the congressional committee. my job was to beat republican candidates for congress. their job was to beat my candidates. we would have candidate sessions and tell people that if you're going to do opposition research, hire an opposition research firm. there are companies that do that. they are trained researchers. they use publicly sourced materials and they do reports. if you have any concerns at all respect to the provenance of some materials or the source, you turn it over to the authorities immediately. we would say this at our candidate training sessions, we would say it one on one, we would do it in conference calls and i know my republican counterparts did the same.
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when president trump says this is standard operating practice, maybe for him and his son-in-law and his son but not for most people that i know. hardly anybody that i know would have taken a meeting like that. >> scott, do you agree with that? >> well, to say standard operating practice for the trump indicates that they had a operating practice. this was their first campaign. i'm not making excuses because it's unusual to get these kind tz of e-mails. they should have turned it over to a campaign lawyer. that's absolutely true. but there is something to be said here for not having the experience that you have or i have. >> paul manafort was in this meeting. >> i think you guys are describing a level of manafort that may not be real. again, i'm not making excuses for it and even donald trump jr. has said i wish i handled it differently and he's offered to answer questions about it. we've got democrats in washington right now. and earlier tonight one said hey, people go to jail for these things. this is treason. we have impeachment. we've gone well over the line here, i think, in how we're
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describing this meeting. particularly when trump junior is offering to answer questions about it. >> were you pointing to me when i said treason or impeachment? >> no. >> because i didn't say that. >> i said people have gone to jail for doing things even if they didn't know it was right or wrong. but don't point this way and say that i said that. >> no, but senator warner, senator mccain, they raised issues. >> point wherever they are sitting. >> jeffrey, the president, though, today in paris, standing next to the french president, said point blank this was not a russian government. this was a private lawyer. first of all, he doesn't know if this -- i mean, he probably could know because he has the entire intelligence community behind him. but "the new york times" seems to have indicated that she is connected to the kremlin. she claims she is a private attorney. so does the kremlin. intelligence officials i've talked to, former ones all say look, russians used third-party cutouts all the time for this sort of thing.
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it wouldn't be unusual to use an allegedly private attorney. why would the president of the united states state emphatically she was a private attorney when, in fact, she was presented as being a government attorney? >> i think he thinks that. >> factually he cannot say that. >> but i just think any time you're in government or in high-level politics and you meet a russian, be careful. >> does that not concern you that the president is just not just here at home, but on the international stage is saying stuff that is demonstrably not true? >> you said she's presenting herself as a private lawyer. >> but if the president is taking her word for it, that's a problem. >> i'm just saying, it's iffy here in terms of who is telling him what. look, i think scott has hit this exactly right in terms of donald trump jr. i mean, he's admitted if he had it to redo, but these are not people who -- people like scott and myself and congressman israel have come up through the political system and have been involved in these things over and over and over again and it
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gives you experience by the time you get to the presidential stage. this is not so with the trump organization. the candidate himself, the people around him -- >> charles, is that a justification? >> this makeses me squirm in my seat. because they want to, on one hand, brag that he has this amazing victory and on the other hand say, we don't know anything about politics. we won, we won, we won. my victories were amazing. these people turned out for me in amazing ways and we don't know anything. if anything goes wrong, we're naive, we're young. well, he's not young but most of us are young. we've just been in for two years and anything that we do wrong, you have to ascribe to naivety. lies, wrong, no we don't. you should know this is wrong. you should know if someone contacts you says, whether it is true or not, that the russian government wants to help your dad, that there is a person coming to meet with you, and
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they describe her, however she describes herself, i don't know. they describe her as a russian attorney. you should know. there should be a moral compass in you that says this is not something i should take. i may not know where to give it to and who to alert about it, but this is not something i should do. i should be able to beat her without this. >> it's interesting that you used the word moral. again, it doesn't seem like we're talking about something that is illegal or that a law was broken. >> no. we don't know that. >> we don't know what was in these full e-mails, we haven't seen all of the evidence. many people have looked at it thus far, quibble about it and say there may be illegality here. but morally, is it right? is it just sleazy? >> in reading the podesta e-mails, there's a section where someone from the clinton campaign is saying that the chinese ambassador wants to meet with us, et cetera, et cetera. i don't know whether they did. they went back and forth about doing this. i'm just saying to you that this kind of thing is much more
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common. than you think. >> the irony, we know more about the podesta e-mails than donald trump jr.'s e-mails because we've seen a screen grab of what donald trump jr. has. >> we know more about donald trump's e-mails than hillary clinton's missing 33,000. >> we don't know more about his finances than the clintons. we can go back and forth. do you think it's strange? you know donald trump well. obviously you don't think it's strange he is saying something which is not the case, and he is saying it emphatically. >> it's not unusual at all for him. i'd like to step back a second. the most interesting thing said so far, i want to help your dad. you mentioned that, charles. this is the big problem, we have a campaign where someone could go to the candidate's dad and the dad was 30 seconds away upstairs. if you think for a moment that donald trump didn't know this was going on, there's a bridge i want to sell you. >> you think donald trump jr. told his father?
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>> absolutely. >> before or after. >> one of the four did. it was automatic in the trump organization to go upstairs to the boss with everything. >> the other thing that doesn't get as much focus in these e-mails, though i find it fascinating, when the person, goldstone, says the russian government is supporting -- is backing your father, it doesn't sound like a first-time reference. it's almost like a second reference. there's no reaction from donald trump jr. as if -- if i was getting that e-mail i would say, wait a minute, this is the first time i'm hearing about this, this is huge. >> and the thing that should have happened is what happened with podesta and those e-mails. there would be a back and forth communication. you'd contact lawyers. the trump organization is crawling with lawyers. there are plenty of people to consult about whether this was a good idea. and who takes a call from a former tabloid reporter who is a rock 'n roll promoter on a matter like this and then acts on it immediately? >> it would be one thing the way that jeffrey's talking about
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whether or not donald trump jr. was too naive to understand the concept of the use of cutouts and third-party emissaries. that seemed to be disconnected from the putin government, but it turns out that they are. but unfortunately in the e-mail, goldstone is promising that this is part of the effort. she's going to be a emissary on behalf of the russian government that's trying to help your dad to which you point out he doesn't express any surprise. the legal team -- now, the well-paid, well-staffed legal team brought in to help with these different investigations, representing different trumps, jared and even mike pence and everybody, the president is -- now don junior, they were left out completely from the knowledge. it turns out that there's knowledge of the e-mails that goes back to june, several weeks ago, that donald trump knew about these e-mails, that he had
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sort of pr brainstorming sessions without their legal team and then decided over the weekend to first say it was an adoption story and then let it drip out and so -- >> which the president by the way repeated the adoption thing again today. which is why the legal team has been in hysterics. they can't actually change the facts but they're trying to help with the credibility of these people going forward as they're investigated and called in to testify and they are trying to mitigate the damage to their reputations and now nothing that they say about russia is believable. >> we will have more of this conversation when we come back. we'll be right back. here's to the heroes -- america's small business owners. and here's to the heroes behind the heroes, who use their expertise to keep those businesses covered. and here's to the heroes behind the heroes behind the heroes, who brought us delicious gyros. actually, the gyro hero owns vero's gyros, so he should have been with those first heroes. ha ha! that's better.
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so, to recap -- small business owners are heroes, and our heroes help heroes be heroes when they're not eating gyros delivered by -- ah, you know what i mean. it's are and whereing to know you come from. i didn't know a lot about my personal family history. and through ancestry it brought us closer to understanding where i came from. finding out that i'm part native american and that i was related to one of the founding fathers i think has brought me closer to feeling more patriotic, definitely, and also feeling more like this is my home and this is truly where i came from. i'm jamie and i'm the fifth great-granddaughter of benjamin rush. ♪ heri think i might burst..... totally immersed weekenders.
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back now with the panel talking about the donald trump jr. e-mail chain, the meeting with the russian lawyer, who knew what about the e-mails when and could it be true that then candidate trump did not know about the meeting about the meeting either before or after. michael d'antonio doesn't think so. he is on the panel along with all the others. michael, why do you believe that donald trump as a candidate must have known? >> well, there are a number of reasons. one is that this is a very hands-on executive donald trump, the president. he had to know everything that was going on in those offices. it's a very small space, actually. we're talking about two floors connected by an interior stairwell. there's constant flow in and out of his office with people reporting to him and competing for his approval. >> even among the kids? >> even among the kids and that's sort of the more shakespearean element of this.
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this is the son who was a bit wayward and who had wrangled with his father for many years. >> he didn't talk for his father for a while. >> in college he was the wild child. there was nothing worse than donald trump sr.'s eyes to be a person with an alcohol or drug problem. donald jr. was very engaged with the party scene at his university. so i think he's been trying to make up for it ever since and so he's been tougher than everybody else. he's been -- during the campaign, he was a bulldog. and i think he did a service to the president on many occasions. but it made him vulnerable. if you were to dangle something in front of him, that is the key to your father's chances, it would be very hard for him to resist. >> it's interesting. one thing i talked to steve hall who has been decades in the cia, a cia officer focusing on russia issues. and one of the things he said is
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it is standard operating procedure of russian intelligence to whether it's through a cutout or directly to try to probe in this case a campaign and sort of -- even if they're not offering up information in that meeting, to try to get a meeting and just learn about who the characters are and try to probe any potential source down the road of weakness or even learning how the infrastructure is set up. >> this is a family. how vulnerable must the trumps be? and again, you should have some empathy for them. this is a group of people, really brought into this world by donald trump who wanted to be president but none of them had the experience to deal with this. they weren't a political family. and so what experience could they bring to it other than their business experience and in trump world, the business and the family are the same thing. it's a very fraught situation. >> do you guys believe that donald trump would have been told whether anything came out of this meeting or just the fact
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that the russian government was backs his campaign? >> i mean, i relate this -- you may be surprised -- to president reagan, right. this is the kind of thing that nobody would every -- i was doing that for charles' sake. this is the kind of thing that no one in the campaign would have ever brought to president reagan. you wouldn't have gone there. >> right. but donald trump's leadership style was supposedly hands-on executive, a pretty small operation. >> right. i honestly don't know. but one of the things that i find fascinating here is we're discussing all of these relationships as if this russian lawyer had some relationship with somebody who had a relationship with this i believe, what is it, the fusion gps firm. >> doing the dossier. >> right. why aren't we looking more at that? i'm not saying don't look at this, but look at that and find out what the connections are here. was this a partisan deal? i don't know. was it a setup? i don't know. if we're going to go down this
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road we should look at everything. >> do you think it's possible that the person who was allegedly friends with don junior through the miss universe pageant from the years before and these russian oligarchs were actually trying to set up don junior? >> that thought has crossed my mind. i have no idea. but yeah, that thought has crossed my mind. >> but if they were trying to -- okay. >> i just want to make this point. look, you can make the argument and give them the benefit of the doubt that they were inexperienced and there's a family dynamic and maybe donald trump knew and maybe he didn't know. but remember, step back and remember the timeline here. this meeting occurs in june. only a few weeks after that, it becomes public knowledge that the russians are hacking and dumping. at that point at least, when the trump campaign, the clinton campaign, the democratic congressional committee, dnc and others know that this is part of an act of espionage against the united states government, at this point at least the trump campaign should have alerted the fbi.
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so there was an opportunity for them. at that point, they knew what was going on. they knew perhaps that they were being baited by somebody representing themselves as close to the kremlin. at that point, they had the opportunity to say, you know what, something happened a couple of weeks ago. we need to disclose it. they still didn't. and that needs to be looked into. >> do you think if then candidate obama in 2008 had someone -- had his wife or -- his kids were too young at that point but somebody incredibly close to him on his campaign who had his ear multiple times on a daily basis who took a meeting from somebody from russia claiming that they were a russian government attorney and then candidate trump says to mitt romney, russia is not the biggest threat, are you telling me that republicans would not -- >> sure, they'd -- >> -- pounce on that? >> if obama had ever eaten caviar, anything russian, the he never would have been president. anything russian he would have been disqualified.
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the staggering double standard here being applied. the leeway he's being given is, to me a shocking development. that we are kind of closing -- well, not everybody. but people are closing their eyes to what is clear and factual and true about what is happening. this is inappropriate. whether or not it's illegal, i don't know. that's for other people to figure out. it is incredibly inappropriate on every possible level and when you know that they know that it's inappropriate is that they never said anything about it. if it was not a big deal, they would have said something about it. if it was not a big deal, jared kushner would have put it on his forms when he was getting his clearance. if it was not a big deal, john junior would not have come up months after that and said, this is preposterous that you would even suggest that the russians are engaged -- >> but to his point, if he didn't believe it was inappropriate on saturday when contacts with the "new york times" would the first story be
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this was a meeting about orphans and then adoptions and then only once -- well, we have the e-mails, he learns from "the new york times," does he then release them? >> he did the right thing in releasing them. but -- >> well, it took three days and multiple stories. >> we still have those 33,000 from hillary. >> you can't -- >> wait. the bottom line here is, anderson, when we talk about collusion and all of this, i want somebody to come to me and say where in the lower cumberland county that voted for donald trump was affected by this, that any of the 67 counties in pennsylvania that voted on election day and 56 of them -- >> you're not concerned about russian interference in the u.s. election? >> i don't think it affected the election. >> that's not what the intelligence committee has -- >> at all. >> come to my precinct and show me. >> they've never said that any
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of the ballots were hacked. what they've said was that the russians successfully targeted 22 state systems. they hacked into three states voter registration databases and managed to steal voter information that they have the ability -- you can read into this. they have the ability now and next time, they are perfecting their active measures so they can reach the ballot box next time and that they used things like fake social media accounts across the midwest that looked like jack from michigan, you know, and this is what's important to me, where they were able to move fake news around. that is known. everyone can look that up. it is not that they hacked votes, jeffrey. they've maintained this all along. that it is a meddling technique that they're perfecting and next time they want to take it further. do you know how many states hillary lost by? three. mitt romney only lost by four. in 2012, the russians can figure out what those states are.
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>> the unknown in this is the release of all those e-mails, how did that influence things? i'm not saying ballot boxes were ever hacked. i don't think anyone is making that allegation. but the amount of time we spent covering e-mails, we spent every night for a long, long time doing it. did that influence things. we've got to take a break. we'll have more with the panel in just a moment. one moment left some people scratching their heads. others not a big deal. what the president said to the french first lady and more when we come back. [car tires screech] [bell rings]
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back now with the panel talking about the donald trump jr. e-mails and also whether any of this has had an effect on the election. you were making the point before the break, and a lot during the break, that this is about the next election. as much as it is about the last election. >> right. so, as the russians, you know, take advantage of this internal domestic fight where everyone's fighting about whether or not we really had meddling in the election, between the two parties and because trump continues to deny it even though his intelligence community and all the republicans on capitol hill insist that it's real and it's a real threat, and everyone from his intelligence community when asked in testimony on capitol hill, do you have any doubt that it's the russians, all said it's the russians. what we're dealing with now is
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in reaction to his refusal to accept it, what republicans are going to do and particularly after the don jr. e-mail turn of events this weekend, is they're going to double down on this policy about whether or not donald trump can try to water down the sanctions bill that passed the senate 97-2 and is now waiting in the house and the house wants to send it over to him without the waivers the white house wants to use to weaken it. this is in retaliation for the meddling. they do not want to have the two compounds that obama evacuated in december where the russians, you know, get to stay here and spy on us to be given back to the russians and the administration, sebastian gork admitted to jake tapper wants to give the compounds back to them. because the trump administration doesn't take the meddling seriously and president trump won't concede that it happened, republicans in congress are left to put this pressure on him with this policy to try to punish the russians. >> do you understand, jeff, why even today or scott why even today the president was saying or on the plane, the president
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was saying, well, we wouldn't know if it was russia, could have been china, you know, in the past he's -- >> i think he believes that. >> why would he believe that when his entire intelligence community, his, not president obama's? >> i think he has -- i think he likes the intelligence community but as he, himself, said the other week, you know, he cited iraq. and the -- >> for a guy who's tough on pretty much every other country, it does seem like russia has a special place. >> one of the things to pick up from a.b., what you're saying here, a.b., is the voter fraud commission that all the secretaries of state around the country should cooperate in so we could find out what's going on with the system and then do the cyber security to protect them. >> but that voter fraud is not about -- >> meddling in an election -- >> not about cyber security. >> meddling in an election is voter fraud, is it not? >> no -- >> voter fraud, no, that commission was set up. that commission was set up by donald trump after -- because donald trump claimed that 3
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million to 4 million illegal immigrants voted -- that's what made hillary clinton -- >> the russians manipulating the vote, is that legal? >> no one is saying the russians manipulated the voting box. >> what everyone is saying -- >> that's not what the commission is set to up to do. >> let's expand it, anderson. >> i don't have control over that. that's what they are saying. >> look, it's not just about the next election, which i think is really important, but it is also about faith in a democratic system. democracies are built on faith. that's the only way they operate. you have to believe that you are -- that you are part of the system, that the system is fair and that it works for you. >> and there's no vote stealing in chicago. >> right, and there's no people intentionally trying to pass laws to make sure that black people can't vote. >> we got to leave it there. i've got to take a quick break. i'll have more. we'll be right back. whuuuuuat?rtgage offer from the bank today. you never just get one offer.
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quick programming note, tomorrow night at 9:00, cnn special report, the first son, the life of donald trump jr. time now to hand things over to time now to hand things over to don lemon and "cnn tonight." -- captions by vitac -- president trump says it's no big deal, anybody would have taken that russia meeting. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. the president clearly has no problem defending his son's meeting with the russian attorney, a meeting explicitly set up with the promise that russia could supply dirt to incriminate hillary clinton. here's what he said in his news conference today with french president emmanuel macron. >> nothing happened from the meeting. zero happened from the meeting. and honestly, i think the press made a very big deal over something that really a lot of people would do. >> well, the truth is that meeting is a very big deal. not because the press is talking about it, but because the trump