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tv   CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow  CNN  July 14, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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lawmakers get ready to request more documents from jared kushner and donald trump jr. we are covering all of this. let's begin with jeff zeleny. hi, jeff. >> reporter: good morning, pamela. president trump, as you said, wrapped up his whirlwind trip to paris after spending 30 hours or so here in paris. a lot was among white house staff and others, consumed with questions and wonder and worry in regards to the russia investigation, still looming and expanding in washington. we heard the president yesterday give a vigorous defense, a fatherly defense, if you will, of his son. he called him a good man, a, you know, young boy. the reality is, he is the exact same age as the french president, emanuel macron, so not a boy. this is a moment where there are more and more new questions, focusing on the meeting.
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on june 9, 2016, the meeting between donald trump jr., as well as jared kushner, the president's son-in-law and paul manafort with the russian lawyer. now, there's been a lot of discussion about when people knew about that meeting. the timing has been up to some dispute. the white house insists the president did not know about it until "the new york times" reported last week. we are getting word that may not be the actual chain of events here. we know jared kushner's legal team was advised of this, has been talking about this, strategizing about this since mid-june, for about a month or so. it really raises the question here, when the president and his lawyers were brought into the loop on this. we could get more answers to shine more light on this next week if donald trump jr. appears before the senate judiciary committee as senator chuck grassley, a republican, hopes he will. pamela, this is coming as there
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are more questions from conservatives about the meeting because the meeting of january, 2016, its significance is ties there was an actual meeting between the trump high command and officials from the russian government or lawyers here. that flies in the face of everything president trump argued this last year. we are seeing conservative columnists, respective in the conservative view of things who are, essentially saying this is a new moment and this scandal is now actually real. it's not a hoax as the president argued so many times. a big week coming up next week potentially on capitol hill for the president's oldest son. >> jeff zeleny, thank you for bringing the latest from paris. as jeff pointed out, there are looming questions and more questions than answers for lawmakers on capitol hill. they have requested more records
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from jared kushner and donald trump jr. as top democrats double down on their call for kushner's security clearance to be revoked. we have more. what are you learning, shimon? >> senator bloomen that withal e was resign. now, nancy pelosi held a press conference saying the same, basically, they need to know more and his clearance, that kushner's clearance needs to be revoked. take a listen. >> the revoking of a security clearance for jared kushner. it's absolutely ridiculous that he should have had that clearance. it's not justified in any way. the president could revoke it in a moment and he should. but, congress should call upon,
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the republicans should stop hiding from the truth and stop hiding the truth from the american people. >> reporter: yeah, so that was nancy pelosi this morning. we have not heard from anyone on the republican side, certainly none of the lawmakers calling for his security clearance to be revoked. pamela, as you know, really there's not much anyone can do unless the president, that's president donald trump, his father-in-law, decides this is too much of an issue, let me start to maybe remove some of his clearance, remove some of his power in the white house. but, until then, there's not much anyone can do. certainly, the fbi is not in a position to revoke it. they are not going to do anything to mess with the way the president is trying to conduct business. >> that won't stop democrats on capitol hill from calling for it. shimon thank you very much. david singer, security analyst
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and rebecca, analyst and national political reporter for real clear politics. thank you all for coming on this friday. paul, i'm going to start with you this morning. how crucial is this time line of when jared kushner's legal team found out and donald trump's team found out and why would it matter to investigators? >> it's critical because you, first of all, have the issue of security clearances and when forms were filled out regarding those security clearances. one thing mueller is looking at is were those forms filled out and do they list important meetings that kushner and others may have had with foreign officials. obviously, a meeting suggested, allegedly by the russian government in the russian tower would be an important meeting. time line is going to be very, very important to investigators. also, there's a missing phone call that is referred to in the
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e-mail chain that donald trump jr. participated in. we don't know if a phone call was made, when the phone call was made, setting up the meeting. a lot of critical, facttual issues to be explored. >> to point out, the lawyer denied there was ever a phone call. however, they told me, there was a phone call between them and don jr. a few months before. so, still a lot to look at in that regard. i'm going to go to you, david, the security issue is being brought up again. jared kushner gave it in january at the forum, then amended it twice. if it wasn't jared kushner, if it was someone else in the national security community, how problematic would that be? you heard nancy pelosi say it was not justified. >> it would be medium problematic. it wouldn't be the first time people who meet a lot of foreigners have to update their forms. the difference is, for kushner
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is you were asking a fairly specific set of questions and a meeting with russian nationals, particularly one identified in this e-mail as being a representative of the russian government, whether she was or wasn't, would seem to be something that would stand out. the same issue has come up in some ways for the attorney general who also left off security clearance form. he said on the advice of council, meetings he took while he was senator and in that capacity. it's a harder argument to make in jared kushner's kals. the bigger issue isn't what was on the form, what wasn't on the form, what was in the phone call or not. it's going to be the fundmental fact that the e-mail that invited everybody to this meeting said this was material on hillary clinton being
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supplied by a -- the russian court, essentially, the russian government. that's what should have set off all of the alarm bells. >> because you look so many months later, the intelligence community said it believes the russian government was trying to support the trump campaign. rebecca, to you now. in light of this, there's a peculiar moment from the campaign trail, it happened june of last year, four days after the e-mail promising dirt on clinton and two days before the meeting took place. let's listen. >> i am going to give a major speech on probably monday of next week and we are going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the clintons. i think you are going to find it very informative and very, very interesting. >> that never happened, that press conference never happened that he alluded to. knowing what we know now, does that raise questions for you
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about when president trump knew about this meeting? >> no doubt about it, pamela. this is really the first major instance that donald trump started discussing potential dirt on the clinton's and threatened to use it in a campaign setting. the fact he never did raises more questions. why did he decide not to? is it because they went to the meeting and there was no dirt to be had? we are not sure. the fact he started talking about this shortly after this meeting was being arranged does raise the question of did he know about it. don jr. says he did not tell his father, but don jr. is also being invited or requested that he's going to testify before congress at some point. that testimony will be under oath. we'll see if that story changes at all. to this date, he's given a few versions of event that is changed. when you are under oath, that's
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a different thing entirely. >> i talked to his attorney who said they are doing a factual examination making sure his recklation is accurate. paul, one of the challenges for the president's legal team is their client does what he wants. "the washington post" describes the challenge of the legal team as managing the unmanageable. >> he's a difficult client for any lawyer to deal with. most lawyers would say, please don't make public statements about this until we go through all the e-mails and get the facts straight. the president is constantly makes speeches and tweeting in the middle of the night, backing the lawyers in a corner. he's a tough client. frankly, he may get his son in trouble or his son-in-law, jared kushner in trouble. they are going to look at what
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did kushner or manafort know about the situation and when did they know it. >> adam perez reported you have the scenario where white house aides, even the president that cracked this, are dragged into this probe because they could be called as witnesses by robert mueller. >> you know, it's always the same case in these investigations. it's the how you react to the investigators questions and whether that creates new issues and so forth. in this case, it could well. i just want to go back to a point your other panelists made. what happened in that time period. you played the clip of the president promising a press conference about hillary clinton, that conference didn't happen. what did happen over the next month was a series of proclamations by the president or then candidate trump that the
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russians would have seen as somewhat pleasing. we don't know whether that reflected any further directive to draw them in or any kind of direction. we simply don't know. in an interview i did with them with maggie, he talked about not coming to the defense of nato countries if they haven't paid up. that played into the russians hands. it was this time period where he called to the russians, jokingly to get hillary clinton's 32,000 e-mails. it was during this time period he was asked whether he might recognize the russian seizure of crimea. he said they are looking into it. they haven't done that, in fact it was the opposite. it was a fascinating period of time in july of last year when all these positions were suddenly in play. >> interesting historical context there. david, paul, rebecca, thank you. still ahead on this friday morning, new threats from the
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kremlin. russia warning retaliation if their diplomatic properties in the u.s. are not returned. we are live from moscow. what's in a handshake? as president trump heads back to the u.s., we take a closer look at the evolving relationship between trump and president macron.
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no votes to spare. that's the situation facing senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell as he struggles to repeal and replace obamacare. two lawmakers, rand paul and susan collins of maine don't want to debate the bill on the floor, let alone vote for it.
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mj lee is tracking the latest developments and joins me from capitol hill. >> reporter: good morning. mitch mcconnell has no room for error as you mentioned. two senate republicans said they would vote against the motion to proceed. what that means is mcconnell cannot lose another senate republican if he wants to move forward on this bill. as though mcconnell needed more pressure, president trump weighing in on the health care issue from his overseas trip. he said on air force one the only thing more difficult between peace and the palestinians is health care and sent out a series of tweets, which read republican senators must come through as they have promised. now, it's noteworthy, pam, this bill not sitting well with a lot of senate republicans despite the fact mitch mcconnell decided to make notable changes to the bill. of those changes, the option for insurance companies to offer less expensive and skimpier
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plans and the $45 billion in extra funding to go toward opioid treatment. one change he did not make is to medicaid. this has a lot of moderate republicans worked up and worried. they did not like how it was in the original bill as they hoped to see the cuts less. mcconnell did not make those changes. that is why we saw a number of republicans including dean heller, murkowski, those members huddling with mcconnell after he unveiled that bill. one thing they are going to be watching very closely is the updated score from the congressional budget office to see if there are positive headlines, any silver linings in the report next week. that is expected some time next week and a lot of senate republicans will be paying attention. pam? >> mj lee bringing the latest there. mcconnell is walking a tight rope. thank you, mj.
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joining us, congressman of arizona. thank you for coming on. >> thanks for having me, i appreciate it. >> first question on the heels from mj, repealing obamacare has been at the core of the republican strategy election, campaign, policy restrictions and more for seven years now. what is the impact on your party if this can't get done? >> i think it's very significant and probably the untold story here, pamela, is right now they are trying to put a bill together under reconciliation and controlled by the byrd rule. there's no room for lateral negotiation and makes it hard to get a bill passed in that kind of environment. the reason that's necessary is the 60 vote rule in the senate doesn't allow for order. we have the same challenge in the house where we have to try to shape our bills to fit through this weirded process in
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the senate that none of the american people understand and has been so outdated and so impossible in this environment, it makes legislation either dirt in ice cream or nonexistent. we can't get things to the floor in the senate anymore on the regular order. i think the senate may be one of the few major parliamentary bodies in the world where the majority cannot bring a bill to the floor for debate and amendment under their own power. that's a pretty unique situation. >> i want to turn to what nancy pelosi said just in the last hour. she said republicans are enablers when it comes to the white house and russia. do you agree? >> well, no, ovbviously i don't. i don't think democrats could find russia on a map until they found out or concluded it could somehow be used to beat up
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donald trump. i mean, that's all they have talked about. even the latest situation, i mean i have had i don't know how many thousands of dollars spent on me doing opposition research and i think if -- >> this is a foreign government. this is the president's son -- >> that's what i'm saying. >> -- under the pretext that a foreign government was trying to help the trump campaign by offering dirt on the opponent. that is not, in talking to several people on both sides of the aisle who dealt with campaigns, that is not normal practice. >> no. but i think if my opponents thought, if a russian told my opponent they had information on me, i'm sure they would take the meeting. i think a lot of people would have taken the meeting. >> if that happened to you, would you have asked for legal advice. okay, go ahead. >> the key is if there is something learned or illegally obtained or attempt to create s
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espionage, he would have the right and the responsibility to turn it over to the legal authorities. i guess it never came to that, so we don't know along those lines. you are right, if there was illegality that occurred, he would have the responsibility. i don't think there's a statute he broke. i suppose time will tell. >> you heard the nominee for the fbi director saying that if someone, you know, someone should go to the fbi or seek legal council before taking a meeting like that. we heard in the wake of that, the calls for jared kushner to lose security clearance, others think he should be fired. what do you think should happen given the revelations? >> we need to find out what the facts are and has been so far, they indicate there were no laws broken. there was no attention brought when mr. obama sent taxpayer
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dollars to defeat benjamin netanyahu. that was taxpayer dollars. i don't think that this is going to come to anything, but the facts are always the key. >> i know there's frustration among republicans on capitol hill that this sort of put the cloud over the work you are doing. at the same time, do you have frustration that from people -- directed from people in the white house like jared kushner for not being transparent sooner. this was discovered in june, six months after kushner provided the security clearance form, after they looked at e-mails. are you frustrated it wasn't done sooner or more transparent? had they, perhaps it wouldn't be unfolding the way it is right now. >> i recognize this administration is unique and it wasn't spawned out of the political class. they don't have as many experienced references to point
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to. i'm more frustrated that we can't speak of the issues facing the country. i'm on the nuclear committee here and i see some profound implications for america on the horizon, yet, my friends on the left, all they can talk about is russia, when they never talked about russia when they were a threat to the united states. >> what about the president? he tweets about it and attacks the media. does that mother you? >> it's fair to say, this president doesn't speak diplomat. the american people realize, at his core, the man wants to do what is right for america. he wants to defend our country, defend the constitution and see the economy grow so everyone can be part of this amazing miracle, america. i didn't start out a trump supporter. the more i know the guy, the more i see, at his core, i think he is truly committed to america and to each person that wants to
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uphold it and see the dream of the founding fathers manifest. >> congressman trent franks, thank you very much. have a great weekend. >> thank you, my lady, thank you. russia may consider expelling u.s. diplomats if they don't get what they are asking for from washington. up next, a look at what they want. we danced in a german dance group. i wore lederhosen.man. when i first got on ancestry i was really surprised that i wasn't finding all of these germans in my tree. i decided to have my dna tested through ancestry dna. the big surprise was we're not german at all. 52% of my dna comes from scotland and ireland. so, i traded in my lederhosen for a kilt.
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a russian spokesperson says moscow is reds di- to respond if the u.s. doesn't give back the two compound seas. new the trump administration could be signaling a willingness to work with russia on this. watch. >> we want to give collaboration cooperation a chance. the fact is, we may not share the same philosophy. we may not share the same type
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of statesmen view of the world, but the fact is, there are issues of common concern. if we can see acts of good faith come out of the kremlin like the cease-fire, perhaps we will see improvement in relations between the two capitols. >> joining us live from moscow, matthew chance. what is russia threatening here, matthew? >> reporter: well whar, what th russians are saying is our patience is running out. we expected there would be a return of the diplomatic compounds by the obama administration in december. they were made as punishment for russia meddling in the u.s. election. also, they are saying the united states side is hampering the issuing of visa's to diplomats sent by russia to replace the 35
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russian diplomats who were expelled as the diplomatic compounds in new york and maryland that have been seized. basically, the russians saying our patience is running out. what the russian foreign ministry is saying, they will recommend that a similar number of u.s. diplomats in russia are expelled in response and they are also saying the overall numbers of diplomats from the united states in russia could be reduced to the number of russian diplomats in the united states. so, they are proposing potentially big expulsions of u.s. diplomats. the kremlin says they are losing their patience, but no decision has been made on what to do. it's going to be a very important meeting on monday between shannon, the u.s. secretary of state and the
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russian deputy sergey lavrov. >> a lot of eyes will be on that. matthew chance, thank you. right now, president trump is heading back to the u.s. as the russia fire storm grips washington. he is sure to face more questions when he lands. joining me now, maria cardona and brian lanza, communications director for president trump's campaign. great to have you on. >> thank you. >> i'm going to start with you, maria on this, the democrats calling for an immediate revoking of jared kushner's clearance. we heard nancy pelosi calling it ridiculous that he has a clearance. is this too far too soon? if not, why? >> no, i wish they had called for that as soon as we found out that he was on the e-mail chain of this meeting that he was invited to and he attended where there was an offer of collusion and the offer was readily
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accepted. it is unconscionable that he has a security clearance. it is unconscionable that the republicans are standing by and supporting a president who has his kids in the white house that are clearly conflicts of interest and clearly learning the line between protecting the interest of the trump family, which is first and foremost for them and the interest of the american people. i think by the minimum standard, jared kushner's clearance should be already be reviewed and revoked until this investigation and the special council robert mueller come out with whatever the outcome of this investigation is. our security, our nation's security is at risk and we have seen that president trump has absolutely no interest in really finding out how far russia went into meddling into our elections. he wants to cozy up to putin,
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somebody we know wants to destroy our democracy and our democratic institutions and seems president trump is not just willing to play along, but willing to help him out in doing that. >> so, brian, she's making strong allegations there that national security is at risk because of this. your reaction? >> my reaction is simple. when hillary clinton was under investigation for leaking classified documents, nobody on the democratic side called for the revocation of her national security clearance. this is partisan politics. this is to create a lot of noise. i mean, they had plenty of opportunity last year, maria, you had plenty of opportunity to say there's an investigation going on with hillary. that's hypercritical. >> she was cleared in june. >> but the investigation had been going on for a very long time. >> she was not a part of the government at that point. >> she has security clearance and access. she was receiving it. >> the fact that you guys -- the
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fact that you guys absolutely automatically -- >> let's go to brian -- >> speaks and reeks of desperation here. >> the facts are the facts. >> the back of your claim she was receiving and leaking it? >> my evidence is, once you have security clearance it has to be revoked not to have it. we know she has a history of sharing classified information via e-mail and there's no history showing she stopped. >> the president of the united states shared classified information with none other than the russians and a russian operative. oh, my goodness. you guys are okay with that and you are okay with his son-in-law going to a meeting where clearly there was collusion meant to happen. we don't know what happened at that meeting, but clearly there was an attempt to collude and you guys are okay with him having the top clearance where national security is shared with him at every moment and you guys
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are o okay with that? wow! >> i want to go on because, brian, it's not just democrats like maria, it's also conservatives, some conservatives come out saying president trump and people defending him say this was opposition research. it's really not. i mean look at conservative writer, charles kraut hammer slamming that. he put it this way, this defense is pathetic for two reasons, first, had the trumpites saying collusion never happened. now it doesn't. they are saying so what, everyone does it. what happens to krcredibility wn you make an about face. your response? >> he was never a supporter of this campaign or administration. it's no surprise he is being critical. this is a nothing meeting that took place. the acquaintance of don jr. she
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changed the content of the media. it was a nothingburger to focus on. now a week later we are talking about something where no crime is evident that took place, sure, don said in hindsight he'd probably do it differently. at the end of the day, no crime took place. we are talking about it. it's proof of the distraction. >> the reason don jr. thought it wauz nothing meeting is because he didn't get the information promised to him, the dirt about hillary clinton. that is proving he went to the meeting on the intent of colluding with the russian government because he knew the russian government and russia was supporting his father's candidacy. how clear can you get there's a smoking gun here, i don't know. but robert mueller is going to show us and hopefully sooner rather than later. >> i knew this would be a firy debate. thank you for bringing it on this friday morning. >> thank you. >> thanks, so much, pam. turning to other news, a
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determine. >> brynn gingras is following the developments. what else are we learning from the suspects lawyer? >> reporter: pam, right there, that was stunning. now this death penalty is off the table. he spared his life with telling authorities not only that he was involved in the killing of four men who disappeared from this suburban philadelphia area last week, but also we are told by attorneys that he is cooperating with authorities, telling them where the bodies of the four men are buried. we have been here a week and seen authorities digging up a 12-foot deep grave on the property of his family. they have only confirmed to the identity of one of those men who disappeared. we know other remains were found on that property. we are waiting to get a lot more information but we know that he is helping authorities at this point. that is big. however, right now, we also know
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that he hasn't been charged with the murders, despite that confession. he is still in jail at this point. he's been held since wednesday on $5 million bail for actually being accused of trying to sell the car of one of the men who disappeared. so, right now, no new charges just yet. we are waiting to hear from the district attorney what has been vocal, continuing to give us updates. we learned a news conference will be happening later today and we are told more information will be coming out of that. >> all kinds of questions. people want to learn more about what the connection is between him and the four victims. brynn gingras, thank you very much. a parade, dinner and the eiffel tower and friendly handshakes. has president trump's relationship with the french president changed? ♪
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it's the evolution of a handshake and possibly a diplomatic relationship. president trump and french president emanuel macron sharing an icy grip in the beginning, then a handshake that never
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seemed to end this morning in paris. joining us live from paris, cnn international diplomatic editor, nic robertson. this relationship between trump and macron was once frosty, then the dinner at the eiffel power and the guest of honor at a parade. is this foreign leaders dealing with our president? >> reporter: it certainly seems to be. is similar tactics that were rolling out the red carpet. president trump revelled in that, he talked about it on the rest of his first sort of world tour a month or so back. here, everyone was talking about the handshake, the handshake that had happened at nato a month or so ago between president macron and president trump. it was a tussle of a handshake. they are talking about the handshake that is more warmer, and hospitable. so many handshakes and pats on
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the back. president macron in a statement talks about, we live in an age of 24-hour news but we live in countries that have root that is are so much deeper than ourselves, talking about a sense of unity between the two countries and what the two men could do if they could get past their differences. a handshake was the symbol of it. president macron spoke about it. this is what he said. >> we have found within ourselves this love of the homeland which has saved us, this energy to unite us around those ideals. we have also found reliable allies, friends who have come to our assistance. the united states of america are among them. and that is why nothing will ever separate us.
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>> reporter: in the past few hours, president trump reciprocated, a sign that this handshake, there's more than a visual display of friendship. it means something to both. president trump said, as well, he hopes there will be much more cooperation that nothing will shape the historic bond between them. >> the big question, as he heads back to the u.s., is what will come after this trip? could the president reconsider the paris climate agreement as he alluded to, perhaps, during that press conference yesterday. >> reporter: sure. i mean, we have talked about this visit as president macron having capitol dispair and reframing the relationship of president trump with the united states. he seemed to have succeeded. that, you know, i think we can take as part of it. you know, president macron hasn't had to give up anything. it was president trump that came
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out of that meeting on the issue, talking about issue of climate change that came up, saying he was the one that could change, that there could be a change of opinion. president macron didn't have to say we might change this or that to fit into president trump. it went the other way. president trump left that an open possibility. was it because of something that got sent behind closed doors? we don't know. it's the way macron was hoping to reframe it. >> that's an interesting point that you made there. nic robertson, thank you very much. so, who inside the white house knew about the meeting between donald trump jr. and a russian lawyer and when did they know it? new questions this morning. we are following it all. tech: when you schedule with safelite autoglass,
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president trump has friend in high places and some friend
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that is don't seem to exist. gee moos is on the lookout for jim in paris. >> president trump caught the royal treatment, whether wringing the hand of the first lady or commenting on her physique or getting chummy with her husband, the president, somebody was missing. jim. >> a friend of mine. he's a very, very substantial guy. he loves the city of lights. he tells me for life. jim, let me ask you a question, how is paris doing? paris? i don't go there anymore. paris is no longer paris. france is no longer france. >> reporter: he talked about jim so often, trying to make the point that france had succumb to terrorism. he inspired tweets like, just hanging out with #jim.
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when the white house refused to say whether jim actually exists, thus was born, jim, the president's imaginary friend. with his own twitter account, insisting, i exist. "the view" dedicated a photo album to jim. a french reporter brought him up at the joint press conference. >> you mentioned a friend, jim, we told you that paris is no longer paris. >> that's a beauty. you know what? it's going to be just fine because you have a great president. >> reporter: if jim were imaginary, it wouldn't be the first time an invisible character entered the political fray, would it? >> what do you mean shut up? >> reporter: clint eastwood with an imaginary barack obama. >> what do you want me to tell romney? i can't tell him to do that to
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himself. >> reporter: judging from their body language, donald trump's imaginary friend didn't get between the two presidents. >> i'm coming back. >> you are always welcome. >> france is no longer france. >> reporter: new york. >> they won't like me for saying that. >> the mystery continues. thanks for joining me today. i'm pam brown. "at this hour with kate bolduan" starts now. >> thank you so much, pam. hello, i am kate bolduan. welcome to "at this hour." as questions swirl over what the president knew and when about his son's meeting with a russian lawyer. now, we are learning when some of his white house staff caught wind, at least. white house aides appear to have known weeks ago about that meeting between donald trump jr. and the russian lawyer. a source close to jared kushner said aides and his lawyers

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