tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN July 14, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT
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
started strategizing in late june how to handle the release of those e-mails connected to the meeting kushner was forwarded. the white house aides could be facingi facinging scrutiny of their own. jeff zeleny is live where the president just left. jeff, what does this mean for this white house? >> reporter: kate, there has been one phrase and one answer that has been used every time questions are asked of the white house about anything with the russian investigation. i refer you to outside council. the reason for that is, the white house aides and spokes people do not want to get ensnared in the ongoing investigation. that may have changed last weekend. when the president was flying home from germany, "the new york times" reported the existence. we know about the meeting in june of 2016 with the russian government lawyer and donald trump jr., as well as jared
kushner and paul manafort. on that air force one flight, we are told several staff members helped with the response to that and brought them into the fray, if you will, of crafting a response to when they actually knew about that meeting. we are told, as our colleagues reported this morning, the people close to jared kushner has been strategizeing and planning how to respond to the release of the e-mails for several weeks, dating back to mid-june. there's potential bob mueller, the special council could bring in white house aides involved in the crafting of the response to ask them about the central question here, who knew about that meeting, when and why and at what point. that is a central question that house and senate investigators also want to know. it's ultimately going to lead to the question of when did the
president know about the meeting. he said and the white house said he only learned about it last weekend when that new york times story came out. there is growing suggestions and evidence that people inside the white house had known about it for weeks and were crafting this response. that's why there's worry if they will be brought into this widening investigation. >> did they keep the president in the dark or is the time line off about when the president knew. great to see you, jeff. thank you soft. with me, white house reporter for "the new york times," julie. robert mueller's former special assistant, michael zelden and jeff baker. why the time line of the don jr. meeting and who knew what when is becoming increasingly more and more important. if aides were working with kushner back in june and the president didn't know about the meeting until a few days ago,
that would mean the white house kept the president in the dark. do you see that with this white house happening? >> listen, there have been instances in the past where this question has arisen and there's been a real effort to insulate, as jeff was saying, the legal issues and the russia investigation from the rest of what's going on in the white house. the problem for them now is that with this new timetable emerging and learning that jared kushner's aides and others were sort of knew about this weeks ago and were crafting a response, that sort of chinese wall is showing signs of coming down. it does raise the question of whether these aides who were working on this issue briefed the president about it and if not, why not. this is obviously a very serious issue of, you know, a year ago this meeting having happened. there's a clear connection to the allegations that the
president is facing and people around him and in his campaign are facing. when did he learn of it? if they did keep it from him, why did they do that? >> they are not only involved as the top aide, jared kushner, his son. >> son-in-law. >> and his son-in-law. michael, the fact that white house aides were strategizing with kushner's legal team on how to respond and the aides as jeff was laying out, they help crash don jr.'s support or air force one coming back from the g-20, did that open a whole bunch of people to the mueller investigation from the legal side of it? what do you see? >> well, probably they would be witnesses if mueller thought the crafting of that message was an important component to his investigation of don jr. and that meeting or jared kushner and that meeting. i think more significantly, what we have learned today bears on the credibility of these
witnesses. i thought for a long time, this case is going to come down in the end to an evaluation of who to believe. they are hurting themselves with the constant, changing stories. i thought for a long time, in the end, legal jeopardy may well be best framed in terms of who is going to tell the truth under oath. when you have these evolving stori stories, it's hard to remember what you said yesterday and the day before yesterday and the day before. when you get into a grand jury and you have to tell a consistent story that is truthful, they are putting themselves in a difficult position to remember all that which they have said over the evolving period of time. i think there's jeopardy for these guys from a truth standpoint and credibility standpoint. >> remember, that first statement that came from don jr. that was crafted with the help
of some white house aides, that was about -- the meeting was only about adoption. that was not the story put out first. in light of this news coming out about who knew what when, democrats are calling on jared kushner to lose security clearance. democrats don't have say in that happening, but who does? >> yeah, that -- first of all, that would be the president. he would have that say. it would be his inner circle that would have a conversation about that. if there was egregious evidence about the sharing of classified information or mishandling of classified information, it's on the table. i don't see this happening. this idea of him losing his clearance is something someone is throwing against the wall to see if it will stick. michael makes a good point in terms of we are seeing this constant series of
self-inflicted wounds from a group of people unable of understanding things. one, the importance of getting ahead of the message and being consistent in what you are saying. the other, just coming out with the story. tell what happened. say what happened. i suspect if they said that some time ago, we would be talking about something different right now. >> again, because the story continues to change, almost daily, that is what becomes the story. julie, one of the strange things, i don't know how you rank it on the strange scale today, a strange element of how the president responded to this, as you spoke to reporters on air force one for an hour on the way to paris. the white house staff made off the record conversations. that happens. that's not the important part about this. >> standard. >> yeah, pretty standard. this is important. the president wanted it on the record, he said it as it has reporters were at a pool spray of the bilateral meeting, what is going on there?
>> this is a president who doesn't handle anything like prior presidents and air force one and talking to reporters is no exception. it does happen from time-to-time, particularly on foreign trips, the presidents come back on air force one. the ground rule is, it's off the record. we push for it to be on the record. particularly with this president, since he's held so few news conferences, there's a need to push back against those things. he wanted to stay and have a conversation. the reporters in the press pool engaged in that conversation. we are willing to honor those ground rules. he said, why didn't you use what i said? >> they responded, it was off the record. he made it clear then, he wanted to be on the record. so, you know, the folks who had been in the press pool went back to sarah huckabee sanders and asked for that to be done. they released on excerpts of what was discussed. he talks about this timetable,
he only learned about this two or three days ago. he made some strange suggestions about maybe i knew about this issue of adoption or heard about a meeting previously, but nothing about hillary clinton and nothing about dirt. this does sort of raise and sort of heighten the question of when he learned about it and when he learned about the issues that arose. you know, as mike said, it really does amplify their problems when their stories keep changing time and again. this is the fourth it ration of the explanation that the president and people around him have given for this. the fact it was off the record and then on the record, it makes it seem more murky than you would want it to be. they need to come out with a clear account of events. the reason we are hear is jared kushner's disclosures were not
complete. he's had to go back and reverse the disclosures and this meeting was part of that. >> kate, may i add something? >> one second, michael. one thing we have from the president consistently now, it does seem, on the plane and off, is that anyone would have taken that meeting. i haven't spoken to a political operative that has told me they would have taken that meeting. as a former intelligence officer, what do you say to that? >> i worked in operations for a long time. after that, i had been involved in commercial intelligence for over a decade. what i would say is anybody who wouldn't entertain taking a meeting with someone who says they have derogatory information on the other side when there's a campaign going on is blowing smoke. they would entertain it, the difference is that a disciplined group with experience would have done vetting.
they would have looked at the situation before they dropped themselves into this meeting and they wouldn't have been in the position of not knowing what was going on. so, i would -- i would argue that, look, the democrats were out, operatives were out trolling in ukraine and russia looking for dirt. that's how the trump dossier came up. nobody is going to clear their hands on either side of the campaigns going back for generations. again, we go back to the same problems. self-inflicted wounds, vet the meeting before it happens. understand what it is about. frankly, i wouldn't have taken the meeting but that's hindsight. >> donald trump jr. seems to think he wouldn't have taken the meeting in hindsight. he said clearly, he would have done things differently. thanks guys. appreciate it. right now, president trump is in the air about to land in the u.s. after his trip to france. one of his top priorities is also up in the air and may not
ever land on his desk. the revised version of the republicans obamacare replacement plan is in jeopardy this morning. one more no from a republican and the bill won't make it to a vote. now, the wheeling and dealing is on. once again, but is it anywhere fast? ryan nobles and mj lee have it covered on capitol hill. ryan, what has changed in this reiteration of the bill? >> reporter: that's part of the problem. there are significant changes in this bill, it's not the dramatic overhaul some of the senators, especially the ones holding out were hoping for. it's a 172-page bill. let me give you a top line. one big thing is they are going to offer an option for folks to buy cheaper plans that include fewer benefits than something conservatives have been pushing for. conservatives want an option for you to use health savings to pay for premiums. that's not currently allowed
under the law. there's $45 billion set aside to combat substance abuse. rob portman of ohio is pushing for that. here is the problem. the changes to medicaid stay in place. there aren't going to be more cuts, but the deep cuts originally proposed are on the table. that has many moderates, susan collins many of them, concerned. many are happy the high-end investment tax won't be repealed. that will help wealthy americans. they are going to keep that in plals. no huge changes. that's part of the reason mitch mcconnell is pushing to fight the bill. >> the fight is on. mj, it comes down to math. has mitch mcconnell been able to change any minds? >> reporter: yeah, you are right. it is all about the math. this could, literally come down to one senator, mitch mcconnell wants to have a vote on the bill next week. already, we have two senate republicans who said they will vote no on the motion to
proceed. that means they are a no on even bringing up the bill for a vote. that's rand paul and susan collins, not to mention many more are undecided. what this means is mitch mcconnell needs to spend a couple days making sure there are no defections. the single most important issue is medicaid. members like deal heller, rob portman, lisa murkowski. they huddled yesterday afternoon after the bill was unveiled. this is a sign mcconnell is working to win them over. a thing they are watching is the cbo score. if this updated store does not have good headlines, a lot of folks are not optimistic, that is not going to help them change their minds and get to a yes. >> i would say not. past history is evidence of anything. great to see you guys. thank you so much. not only is there pressure
amongst each other on capitol hill, the president is putting pressure on them. he is saying republican senators must come through with what they have promised, adding, he is ready with pen in hand to sign a bill. with me, political commentator and former spokesman for the republican committee, doug hye. does this kind of pressure and the tweets you see from the president there, does this pressure campaign help? >> i think this is more about getting ready to lay blame in case the bill is not able to get through. let me take you back to 2014 when i worked on obamacare every day and unsuccessfully. we worked to put replacement language together. we were unable to do so. we were dying for a republican president to work with. know for the first time, if they can pass this through, they have a republican president. the president doesn't have to
just put pressure on it. it's up to him to get this through. he is the one dynamic new in the republican party and in washington, d.c., from a year ago when we were unable to do things. >> president trump, very clearly ran on this as well. i mean, isn't -- isn't this on him as well? do you see him -- do you see him taking any ownership of this right now? >> right now, no. it's not a problem, he was in paris. that's fine. he can do those things. with twitter, he can apply pressure on individual senators and have his legislative staff -- >> do you think they don't want him to? is it different if he applies more pressure or buy-in or like obama did with obamacare? >> that's the difference. barack obama spent every day of a year and a half working on the affordable care act. president trump has not been involved. he needs to be. he needs mike pence with long standing relationships on the
house and senate side to do so and the white house staff. this is the only dynamic new in town. it's all hands on deck, regardless of small hands, big hands, whatever. >> don't start. >> if you are donald trump and you don't have a legislative victory, this is the biggest one he can have. >> there's a moment here. see if he grabs it. thank you so much. >> thank you. intelligence sources say two russian compounds on american soil were used to spy on the u.s. is the white house considering giving those compounds back to moscow? the backlash is severe. regretting his defense of the white house over russia. why he says the campaign absolutely colluded. word of a confession in the disappearance of four men and the gruesome discovery of human remains buried 12 feet underground. why the suspects wealth plays a role here.
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russian involvement in the da to operations of the trump presidential campaign and added he looks forward to sharing everything he knows with the committee. joining us now, democratic congressman mike quigley. thank you for the time. >> good morning. >> brad agreed to meet with your committee for an interview. what do you want to know from him? >> look, what i want to know from all the trump team is what, exactly, took place. who talked to whom and when? the problem with this is we have seen changing narratives. initially, when something is brought out, there's a blanket denial that any discussions took place or there's cooperation at all. then there's a slow, slow movement toward acknowledging maybe there was a discussion and maybe more people were in the room. it's clear the only way we are going to find out exactly what took place is when the entire team comes before congress and swears under oath.
>> do you know when brad is going to come before the committee? >> yeah. we have an agreement with our republican colleagues not to get into who's going to testify and when because of the pressure that is others face when they talk about doing this. so, a blanket agreement makes more sense and makes the investigation far more effective. >> brad says he will be speaking before your committee. anyway, there has been reporting that the committee is looking into whether the digital operation, which he was part of helped guide russia's voter targeting and kind of their fake news efforts during the election. basically, they helped coordinate with them. do you think they did? >> i think that there was coordination. i think you are starting to see public evidence of that coordination, not just the meeting with trump jr., but others as well. you know, roger stone suggesting he had a relationship with
julian assange and wikileaks and he knew podesta was next in the barrel. i don't want to get into the specifics of digital operation or specifics that are not in the public domain at this point and time. i think you are seeing clear pattern of people in the trump campaign coordinating with russians. i think what we are learning with the trump jr. meeting is when you meet with any russians, you are meeting with russian intelligence, and therefore president putin. >> cnn is reporting white house aides were made aware of the meeting with don jr. they were made aware of the meeting in late june, weeks ago, as they were helping strategize on how to handle the disclosure he was facing. additi additionally, the president's aides were involved in crafting the initial statement don jr.
put out. do you think they have exposed themss and they could be pulled into the investigation? >> look, any sort of investigation, when people talk to the subjects in question and they craft their answer and how to respond, they bring themselves into this. obviously, people aren't listening to their attorney's advice. i don't know that the president of the united states is listening to people's advice. for me, that's not for me to decide. the fact of the matter is, once they do this, they become subject, in my mind of the investigation. at this point in time, if the president wants to end what he calls a witch hunt, the best thing he can do is tell the entire team, the team he has surrounding him now and the team that was surrounding him during the campaign, talk to congress. talk to the american people under oath. tell them exactly what took place and when it took place. there is a cloud over the white house now. it will never be lifted until everyone speaks, tells us exactly what happened and the
truth comes out. >> russia sanctions, there's a big fight on the hill over that. one of the president's aides spoke and he left open the possibility of handing over the compounds that obama shut down. he was asked why the administration was considering that. here is what he said. >> 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 of statesman view of the world, but the fact is, there are some issues of common concern. >> the house is fighting over russia sanctions bill right now. what do you say to that? >> this is ludicrous. we want communication and cooperation in the future with russia. we have common names to get on the same page in syria and how to address isis.
but, russia has to earn our trust back. they have to pull out of ukraine. they are going to have to stop moving the fence in georgia and for anyone to expect us to understand and trust them and give them back locations in which they were spying on us is simply absolutely ludicrous and against the best interest of the united states. >> congressman, appreciate your time. thank you so much. >> take care. >> thank you. new questions coming up about a republican operative who was hunting for hillary clinton's missing e-mails. he was recently found dead. the coroner, now calling it a suicide, according to reports. hear what was written on a note he left behind. plus, a conservative icon calling the trump team pathetic over the don jr. meeting. why he thinks this is collusion. ♪
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one that keeps you connected to what matters most. breaking news at this moment and breaking news involving that 2016 meeting in trump tower, involving donald trump jr., jared kushner and campaign chairman at the time, paul manafort. we are learning there were more people in the room than those three campaign officials and that russian attorney. let's go to washington now. shimon is following this. who is this person? >> reporter: that's right, kate. we learned in the last few hours we have been working through the story that more people were in the room at trump tower than
initially revealed. a well known russian-american lobbyist who lives here in washington, d.c., told the associated press that he was in the room on behalf of the russian attorney who we have all been reporting about, who claimed she was going there, possibly to give some information about the hillary clinton coampaign, then she started talking about russian sanctions. this other person, this lobbyist who told the a.p. he was in the room lives here in washington, is well known within the washington circle. he has, at times, registered as as lobbyist on behalf of the russian government, something to do with sanctions and he has lobbied on behalf of the russian government and he is also connected to this russian attorney through the act which she has been lobbying to have overturned. this has to do with sanctions against russia. he had connections to her.
he did tell the associated press he was there, but, you know, the meeting sort of wasn't that big of a deal. you know, he thought it would be more serious. it turned into other issues were discussed. he basically is down playing the meeting at this point. >> that would be no surprise. are there any ties -- there is some reporting that senator chuck grassley described him as having ties to intelligence in the past. what is the reporting on that? >> reporter: there are court documents that allege he has ties to the russian government. it depends on who you talk to. some folks say he's not that big of a player, but he is a washington guy. he does make a living lobbying. so, perhaps he could be that, sort of his lobbying efforts could have been mixed up into some of his other connections to the russian government. there's no doubt he has ties to
the russian government. whether or not he's actually getting direction from the russian government, we have not been able to confirm that. >> shimon, thank you for the reporting. real quick, do we believe this is the full accounting of a attendance or possibility there could be more people? >> reporter: a translater may have been in the room. it's not entirely clear. we are waiting to hear from the white house and donald trump jr., who, ultimately organized the meeting. >> thanks so much. i appreciate it. let me bring in michael zelden who worked with bob mueller, now the special council investigating this matter. he worked with bob mueller at the justice department. thank you for sticking around. what do you think of this news? >> it makes it seem like the meeting has a relationship between derogatory information on hillary clinton and the lifting of sanctions or some approach to sanctions. there's a duality here to the
purpose of the meeting, which makes it more significant. what else is significant, i believe at this point in time, the trump family had secret service protection. so, if they have secret service protection, that means for someone to get up into that tower, into their space, they need to be cleared by secret service. the argument they might not have known who the people are falls on deaf ears. when they know who the people are, and they know what their ag agenda is, it makes the meeting more significant and may be why manafort and kushner are invited in and undermines the stories he told saturday and sunday. it has significance and we have to see how it flushes out. it's not something that you can just dismiss as a translater or some other incidental person now present. >> michael, stick with me for a
second. bob baier is joining us on the phone. this news of this person confirmed to have been in the meeting, a russian-american lobbyist which, as our reporting is, he has ties to the russian government, of course. what do you say to that when you learn he is now in the meeting and no one knew before? >> the truth is trickling out slowly. i can tell you, from a counter intelligence perspective, this would alarm -- it is alarming people in the fbi and cia. the russian government, the kjb has spotters and assessors all over washington. they are not in touch with the kjb in washington, they fly back to moscow, oh, i met an interesting guy or the president or the president's son or son-in-law. they go in for assessment. this is a very informal
relationship. the fbi can't prove it, but is certainly aware of the connections. the fact there's a new person there with connections to the kjb and counter intelligence i find very alarming. then, later on, jared kushner tries to set up a back channel but the russian assembly. if jared kushner, national security standards were applied to him, he would have lost his security clearances weeks ago. >> security clearance is under review. michael, the fact that, i mean, as we long said, when there was a consideration of past meetings, right, between the russian ambassador to the united states, sergey kislyak, a known operative to the russian government, now an american-russian lobbyist with ties to the russian government, what does bob mueller and his
team do with this? >> the interesting possibility for mueller is that given that these people were probably known to u.s. government authorities, the question would be whether there exists any recordings of any of these conversations, whether they were pick ups by phone when they were talking ability the set up of the meeting, pick ups by phone when they were talking about the outcome of the meeting. it may be the presence of the soviet, i keep saying soviet, russian operatives may enhance the possibility there is actually communication that is have been intercepted, that can be listened to so we can get content of the meeting, which is that we are not getting from participants of the meeting. we are learning that in a drip, drip, drip, form. if there's opportunity for mueller to hear content or post mortems on the meetings, it
could be significant legally. >> if you could both stand by, we are going to have much, much more on this breaking news. again, there were more people in the meeting than previously known. not only the russian attorney, which was billed as being a russian government attorney, not only three top officials with the trump campaign, including the president's son and son-in-law, but now a russian-american lobbyist with ties to the russian government. coming up for us, we are going to ask, what does this mean for the investigation? also, what does it mean for the credibility of donald trump jr. as well as the white house as there continues to be an evolving story for the reasons for the meeting and who was in this meeting in june of 2016. we'll be right back. she's nationally recognized for her compassion and care. he spent decades fighting to give families a second chance. but to help others, they first had to protect themselves. i have afib. even for a nurse, it's complicated... and it puts me at higher risk of stroke. that would be devastating. i had to learn all i could
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continuing to follow at this hour is there are now more people involved in that june, 2016 meeting at trump tower than previously disclosed. of course, we know there was don jr., who met with the russian attorney in e-mails that were disclosed, a russian government attorney. now, another person linked to the russian government known to be in that meeting, a russian-american lobbyist was joined in that meeting along with the top trump campaign officials. what does this mean now? this drip, drip, drip continues. joining me to discuss, cnn political congressmen tater, trump campaign adviser jack kingston is here. cnn political commentator, ana navarro is here as well. congressman, this was not previously disclosed. this was not part of the statement that came from don jr. don jr., on sean hannity's show was asked, as far as this is
concerned, this is all of it? >> trump jr., this is everything. this is everything. clearly not. >> kate, let me say this, what trey said is accurate, if you drank russian vodka, go ahead and report it and pull out everything you think is irrelevant, make sure everybody knows about it. i think that's a mistake this campaign has not done. >> you think this person -- this person is irrelevant? >> um, i think that a meeting about adoptions in the face of a campaign -- >> it was not about adoptions. that is not how it was billed. >> let me say this, a lot of people come in campaigns, people running for office, dogcatcher or school board, somebody is going to say i have stuff on your opponent. >> directly connected to the russian government like a russian-american lobbiest? >> let me say this. i heard the guy is well moan,
simon said that. i was in washington 24 years, in congress, on the foreign committee, we dealt with sanctions and russian adoptions. i never heard of this guy. further more, if the secret service was there, why not screen this guy out. >> if he is well known, is that important to the fact that he -- being well known or not, is that relevant to the fact he is linked to the russian government and this meeting was billed as being part of the russian government effort to help his campaign? >> what i'm saying is these were minor players. that is important. it was irrelevant information by irrelevant people. in the view of the campaign, it was one more group, one more set of meetings of people who did everything. do you really think -- ask yourselves this, do you think they would put anything in writing and this would have a huge red flag if they thought we have to cover this up, if this was a significant meeting, they would have erased those e-mails,
let's come out with a statement on this, this would have been done several months ago. whatever you people believe about paul manafort, he is a serious player. he is the adult in the room in this situation. he would have said, if you did any e-mail on this, erase it. because it was an irrelevant meeting with irrelevant information, i'm sure they shrugged it off and said one more set of con men and women coming in. we are going to dismiss and move on. >> anna, you are nodding your head, i think to the question he posed. it is rhetorical, go. >> yes, i think you can collude and be stupid at the same time. i don't think they are mutually exclousive. it was stupid to put it in e-mail form, then again, the trump's get away with stuff and they think they can get away with stuff. they have been doing it their entire life. they have been pushing the envel lope. they have been doing it their entire life. i don't fault don trump jr. it's
herred tear. it's a condition to push the law to cheat and to lie. the problem here, with what donald trump jr. said to hannity the other day is we already know, this kid has been lying for the last year. he has been lying publicly. he has been lying infatically. he has been lying with indignation. he has been lying, plain and simple. i don't know how this has any credibility. to me, the only thing with credibility is what we saw in black and white. that he took this meeting under the pretense he was meeting with a russian government attorney. so whether she was insane or sane. whether she was a clown or not. whether she was a russian government attorney or whether she was playing one on tv. he took that meeting under the pretense that he was going to get negative information on his father's opponent from a russian government attorney.
and whether you want to argue if it's legal or not, that's fine. what i don't understand is, people who i know to be decent. people who i know to be smart, bending themselves into pretzel shapes and not condemning what is clearly wrong, unethical and lacking moral compass and patriotism. >> congressman, do you think at this point, the fact there's so much attention on a meeting they did not disclose now, do you think that it helps don junior, helps this white house they didn't disclose those in the meeting they were forced to disclose? >> i don't think it will make a huge difference, but i agree with you. getting back to trey gowdy saying anything russian, anything statement, a white russian drink, even, report it. if the word russian is in it, get it out of the way. let me say this -- >> can you not downplay it to that level? it's like sean spicer saying if
he put russian dressing on his salad folks will talk about it. we're not talking about russian dressing or white russians. we're talking about russians promising to give them information that would help the campaign in the middle of the campaign. it's not nothing. >> well, kate, i was underscoring your point in terms of disclosure, but let me say this. this is what we absolutely do know. is that whatever interference there was, any meddling did not affect the outcome. that is something that there is an absolute, positive consensus about it. we also know on november 20th barack obama said weav've we're that, behind us. we're over that, and we know donald trump dropped 59 tomahawk missiles into syria on russian-backed territories and that lehe's continued sanctions and selling patriot missiles to poland against russia's wishes and we also know he's expanding
nato and telling nato countries your defense spending. >> i hear you, words and actions. >> by the way what he just said -- >> things that need -- >> let me say something, though. >> what jack just said. >> okay. no one can hear anybody and i have to make everyone stop talking. ana, go ahead. >> what jack just said is not true. in is no evidence there were any votes turned. no evidence there was any hacking of the actual ballot boxes of the election systems. that much is true. whether there was influence that influenced how a human being, how an american voter issued their vote, that, we don't know. frankly, probably an impossible thing to measure accurately. we don't know how many people were affected and influenced by fake news, and that affected how they finally cast their vote and for whom. we just don't know that. people probably don't know how much of what they were reading was fake news still. so were votes cheating and cast
and changed? no. were people's minds influenced? we don't know. >> believing the word of what is coming out and believing the statements as they have evolved, that is a big part of this. what can you believe when can you take someone's word as credible? you don't have to ask me. conservative voices are saying that, congressman. prominent conservative voice, charles krauthammer, "washington post" wrote this column today and here's part of it -- you don't need a lawyer to see the trump defense collusion as a desperate democratic fiction designed to campaign is away a lost election is now officially dead. do you agree with that? >> no, i don't. let me say this. i think the world of dr. krauthammer but he is a doctor, not a lawyer. just because he wants to change the definition -- to be very clear, congressman, in his column he leaves open the possibility he is not talking about the legal side of this. he is talking about credibility.
>> well i think in terms of the politics of it, the politics of it is bad. we all know that. i'm just saying that i don't think he's in a position to say, here's where collusion was. frankly, let me say this -- if donald trump received information that was damaging to the united states government, and he sat on it or he used it against hillary clinton, i think there's an issue of collusion at that point. but that's not what happened, and -- based on the facts as we know it, that's not what happened. let me say this -- >> but once don junior said i love it, i'm in. that's the point krauthammer makes. once you said "i'm in" it makes no difference the meeting was bust. the intermediary brought no goods. what matters is what don junior thought going into the meeting. you disagree? >> one step away from a thought crime. >> i'm not saying crime. not going with crime. >> that's right. there's not a crime here and a lot of people who are very, very mad about donald trump and this is the best thing that's
happened to them in over a year now. >> so the fact there's no crime, you're totally comfortable how this whole thing played out? >> no. he should have reported that. >> okay. >> i'm not comfortable with that, but at the same time, there's still no evidence of collusion and agreement that it did not -- >> ana. >> affect the outcome of the election. >> i cut you off f. final word. >> we have news dropping on this issue. there is more evidence that will amount to a crime? the likelihood, is will come out. i personally as a republican commend and thank charles krauthammer for being able to prove you can be supportive of some items of donald trump's agenda, of some of the things he has done and the ways he is working with republican congress. you can be supportive of the judges he is naming to the supreme court and other judgeships. >> let me say this -- >> same time, that does not mean you have to give up your morals, your principles, convictions, sense of right and wrong. your logic and your brain, and
needles, or downtime? that's coolsculpting. coolsculpting is the only fda-cleared non-invasive treatment that targets and freezes away stubborn fat cells. visit coolsculpting.com today and register for a chance to win a free treatment. all right. welcome to "inside politics." i'm john berman in today for john king. we begin this busy hour with breaking news. a source familiar with donald trump jr.'s meeting last june with a russian lawyer says that others were present besides the group that has widely been reported. the associated press reports that a russian-american lobbyist
was there, really not just any russian-american lobbyist. one with a lot of alleged connections. bring in my colleagues with these intriguing details. shimon, who is this exactly and how specific to the inve investigati investigation? >> reporter: we're lived there were other people in this room besides -- this all began with this russian attorney, this woman who was meeting there with trump jr. and manafort and kushner. we've learned there were other people including a russian-american lobbyist, he is from washington, d.c. he told the associated press that he was in the room. he was there on behalf of this russian attorney who she hired him for the sanctions.