tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN July 15, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
you're live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm ana cabrera in new york. a new twist in the scandal that already involves the president's son, his son-in-law and his campaign manager. a british music promoter, a former soviet soldier with alleged ties to russian intelligence and a russian lawyer peddling dirt on hillary clinton. cnn has now learned all of the people as well as at least two others attended a meeting last summer at trump tower. lawmakers are zeroing in on a russian born lobbyist who worked as a counterintelligence officer for the soviet union although he denies being formally trained as spy. the president for his part said he only recently became aware of his son's meeting. he's spending the weekend at one of his golf courses and boris sanchez is nearby. the lawmakers are eager to hear from both trump jr. and this lobbyist.
>> reporter: absolutely, ana. we should mention that rinat akhmetshin, that russian lobbyist is a dual russian and american citizen so he could be called before congress to testify. as you said you bet that lawmakers on the house and senate intelligence committees would love to hear from donald trump jr. under oath, testifying about his thought process in taking that meeting with what he called a russian lawyer and now as we know rinat akhmetshin, this russian lobbyist, with alleged ties to russian intelligence gathering. we should also mention that some of the questioning to donald trump jr. if he does indeed testify would have to be about why this story has changed so many times. we have heard administration officials tell us that there were no contacts between russians and the campaign during the campaign, even up to last week when the story then changed. donald trump jr. said that there was a meeting with a russian lawyer, but it was specifically about adoptions. then the story changed again when he released his e-mails and
it was a revealed that he took this meeting in part at least to gather some dirt on hillary clinton gathered by the russian government and then last night we find out this story about who specifically was in the meeting. as you mentioned at least eight different people there. despite all of this and the mounting evidence the president continues to call this a hoax as he did on twitter just a short while ago. separately, though we have not gotten an official statement from the white house about these new revelations, officials at the white house have told cnn in private that this is frustrating, that it's not a good thing that the story has continued to change. ana? >> still, no official comment besides that tweet where we see the president say it's a russian hoax. but the white house has added a new lawyer to their team this weekend. what can you tell us about ty cobb? >> reporter: yeah, his name is ty cobb, he's a high powered attorney in washington, d.c. a former federal prosecutor and a partner at hogan and lovell's.
he is supposed to come into the white house now and handle and oversee the response to the russia investigation. not only legally, but also in the press. we will still have to find out more specifically about what he's going to be handling on and we'll bring you that information as soon as we hear from officials in the white house. >> boris sanchez, thank you. let's talk about this thickening plot. joining us former undercover kgb spy is jack borski. and also with us editor at large for "time" magazine, david von drily. he's the man behind this cover. but jack i'll start with you. take a look at who is in this meeting. a lobbyist who is admitted to being an exsoviet military -- and still an unidentified person. does this seem like a russian
intelligence operation to you? >> it's an interesting collection of people. in preparation for this, i refreshed my memory. we don't have good data on russian intelligence and soviet intelligence but there's some really, really good data on intelligence out of my old country the german democratic republic, because it became public knowledge. one out of ten -- think about this for a moment. one out of ten people had official/unofficial connection to the stasi, the secret service. so these kind of tentacles you expect to have been in place in the old soviet union and, you know, russia is just -- it's a child of the soviet union. i guarantee you at least -- there was at least one if not multiple folks who had some intelligence connection in that meeting. >> david, i want to read you a portion of your cover piece for
"time" magazine. thanks to trump jr.'s twitter stream, he knew of purported attempts to help his father weeks earlier. the proof is in an e-mail chain. you're alluding to the e-mails that he tweeted out himself right before "the new york times" of course put together their latest reporting. do you think enough is being made to the fact that the trump campaign was told last summer that there was a russian government effort to help them win, but even to this day questions russia's interference in the election? >> i think that this is what makes this story so big is that it's no longer the intelligence community of the united states. it's no longer the media that's going into this. it's -- we have the firsthand testimony as it were in that e-mail chain of people at the
very highest level of the trump campaign. this is -- you know that president trump's operation is a family business. this is his oldest son, his son-in-law and then the manager of his campaign at the time, paul manafort. and they had this document which said, hey, the russian government wants to help your dad and we'd like to give you some damaging information, can we do that? and the response was, if this is true, we'd love it. i would love it. said don jr. so it's not coming from his enemies anymore. it's coming right from the heart of their own operation. >> yeah, it's black and white. i love it, especially later in the summer he writes. jack, i want to ask you about this new player in the meeting, a russian lobbyist that was at this meeting. we just learned his name yesterday, rinat akhmetshin. he was an officer in the soviet army in the late '80s. he said his unit was loosely
part of counterintelligence and chuck grassley has noted in a letter to homeland security that was in april that he allegedly still has ties to russian intelligence, although rinat akhmetshin denies this. do you see any red flags in his background? >> yes, absolutely. again as i said before, in the former soviet union as well as russia, if you are anywhere near a center of power in the army, if you're in the army that's the center of power, you have some connection with intelligence. now whether this was all a concerted effort to do some real damage in the united states, that's a whole different ball game. but, you know, i've said that before. you know, any time you have contact with a -- with a connected individual that comes out of russia, you have to be very much aware that you are dealing with an adversary.
and the trump organization was totally -- >> we're just looking at -- i'm looking at the right side of the screen there, gentlemen. these are live pictures of president trump. he's at bedminster golf club. so there's a lot of crowd there, as he's spending the weekend in new jersey. back to our reporting, i'm curious, jack, given your ties to the kgb if you ever heard of this person, rinat akhmetshin, before. >> no. that's a different generation. i'm sorry. >> all right. well, the big question that remains, david, is what did president trump know and when did he know it? you point out that just hours after this russia meeting was scheduled, then candidate trump announced to the world he was drafting a major speech to make public all things that have happened with the clinton. just a coincidence, do you think? >> well, the problem is whether intentionally or unintentionally president trump and his administration have made it very
difficult for us to know anything categorically because they changed their stories daily and hourly. but this is the important thing. regardless of what his opponents, political opponents do, regardless of what the media does, the facts are going to come out. because he's now embroiled himself largely through his own decisions in a major federal investigation in which people will be put under oath at risk of perjury and the facts are going to be ascertained. you know, some citizens don't realize this, but the media -- we don't have subpoena power. there's no penalty for lying to us. but the whole game is different when you are dealing with the fbi and the department of justice and special counsel mueller. >> jack, based on what was said in the e-mails we didn't know what was actually discussed if there was any information that was gleaned there by the trump campaign, but based on the
e-mails and based on what you said about just the tentacles of the kremlin, do you think the russian government would have been aware of this meeting and if so, what kind of information even without even knowing what was discussed could have been gleaned by the russians just by having this meeting? >> first of all, aware of it, yes. connected to it with plausible deniability. but that would not have been as much as, you know, getting information from the trump campaign. but you know creating a whole bunch of havoc which, you know, if that was the plan they succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. >> david, you have a new "time" cover, red handed is the cover. put it up, guys. the russia scandal hits home, you say. people can read into this as they wish, but what's the message you wanted to get across here? >> that this is coming not from
outside, but now from inside. that it's no longer speculation. we now know that regard -- while we don't know the details of what was passed or what was going on, what we do know now categorically is that the donald trump senior leadership of the campaign believed that they were going to get help from the russian government and that they were excited about that. and that they arranged to have their top people go into a meeting fully expecting to get help from the russian government. and we'll find out as this investigation goes on what actually transpired in that meeting and potentially the other meetings if there are meetings that we haven't learned about yet. but we do know now emphatically this question is resolved. they thought they were going to get help. they wanted the help. and they took steps to get the help.
>> even conservative commentator charles krauthammer is writing and saying on air, this is proof of collusion. those are the words he uses. thank you both for being here with us. have a great weekend. coming up, one person present at that meeting between trump jr. and a russian lawyer still wanders the halls of the west wing. next, how jared kushner fits into all of this. plus, it's a popular activity for tourists in a vacation spot in the caribbean, but this week it turned deadly. a look at the beach where people literally get blown away by powerful jet engines. later, heartbreaker on the court, venus williams falls short of making history at wimbledon. ® clear aligners are made with smarttrack® material to precisely move your teeth to your best smile. see how invisalign® treatment can shape your smile up to 50% faster today at invisalign.com
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kushner a swift kick amid the revelations they met with a russian lawyer with ties to the kremlin last summer. jared kushner actually works in the white house and now some democrats want his security clearance revoked immediately. cnn's tom forman reports. >> reporter: ana, the white house is clearly frustrated that the russia investigation just won't go away. not only that, it's now circling even closer around someone who's described as very close to the president. inauguration week and the president's son-in-law files his first papers for a security clearance on january 18th. jared kushner reveals no contact with any foreigners during the campaign or transition. but the next day he says he hit that send button too soon and will amend that. in may according to his lawyer, the papers are updated to show kushner had over 100 calls or meetings with representatives of more than 20 countries, most during the transition.
by mid june as they prepare for congressional testimony, kushner's lawyers say they discovered the e-mail from donald trump jr., setting up that meeting last year with russian lawyer natalia veselnitskaya, allegedly to get russian government dirt on hillary clinton. kushner attended that meeting which donald jr. said was a bust. >> it went nowhere. it was apparent that was what about that meeting was about. >> reporter: nonetheless, kushner amended the security papers again to reflect his attendance at that meeting and according to a source close to kushner he said he was going to tell president trump. we don't know if he did. >> nothing happened from the meeting, zero happened from the meeting. >> reporter: yet even as the president called it meaningless, he's also saying he learned of it not in june, but only days ago. >> he was not aware of the meeting, did not attend the meeting and he was only informed
about the e-mails very recently by his counsel. >> reporter: kushner's late as mission of that meeting has spurred sharp interest in all his foreign contacts not initially disclosed. because as an adviser, all meetings with foreigners must be listed. >> it seems strange to me those meetings were at least conveniently forgotten at least by mr. kushner. >> how long was the meeting? >> 20 minutes or so. >> 20 minutes. jared left after five or ten? >> yes. >> reporter: neither kushner or then trump campaign manager paul manafort played much of a role. >> i don't know, he was the only one i was speaking to. >> reporter: but admit all the late revelation, democrats are fuming that kushner was given security clearance at all. >> anybody else applying for a clearance under these facts would be denied that clearance. >> reporter: of the three representatives of donald trump who we know were in the room with that russian lawyer, the only one who is now an official adviser to the president is
jared kushner. and that has put him squarely in the crosshairs of investigators looking to see if anyone did anything illegal. ana? >> thank you, tom foreman. joining us now former federal prosecutor laura coats. now the cnn reporting that's new is the white house aides, not personal lawyers, but government employees were involved in issuing that first statement from donald jr. when the story first broke. they obviously left a few things off and were not accurate. do they just get dragged into bob mueller's special investigation? >> they did. this took place as part of a counterintelligence probe by mueller. they want to have the flexibility to say, where they're going to go with it and what angles to take. with each new revelation, with each new person who has the actions of amnesia, you have the
dragnet getting wider and wider and closer to the west wing which is problematic to the administration which the investigation began as the trump campaign as the main focus and now the administration is at issue too. >> as noted in tom's piece there, jared kushner a member of the white house right now, he had to revise the security clearance form not once, not twice, but three times to our knowledge that add over 100 foreign contacts according to his attorney. you say no one piece of evidence is conclusive, but the repeated information goes to criminal intempt. explain. >> you're trying to figure out what it would mean, collusion, and what criminal statute you want to hook it to. but the overall intent the person had, what was their mens rea, and perhaps there was an intention to receive information that may have been a violation of different federal laws. but with jared kushner in
particular, in an omission can also be an affirmative action when you continuously fail to provide information that you're required to do so. remember the security forms are not a courtesy to the government. they are used to figure out whether this person should be entitled to the highest level of information. the highest levels. although the unfortunate irony of this is the president is the one who decides about classification, and can ultimately decide to still maintain that national security clearance, but ultimately speaking, jared kushner by failing to provide this information it looks like he has criminal intent than he does amnesia that's convenient. >> you say the president would have to really make the final call on whether or not kushner's security clearance is revoked. democrats are calling for that to happen. and some have been using a loaded word when it comes to the e-mails. let's listen. >> we're now beyond obstruction of justice in terms of what's being investigated. this is moving into perjury, false statements, and even into potentially treason.
>> laura, you're introducing a different word into the conversation. not treason but bribery. arguing the presence of the russian-american lobbyist suggests that the investigation will now include allegations of bribery. so why, why do you think that? >> well, you have the idea of the campaign finance laws that say you can't receive anything of value -- i guess i would include opposition research that -- you don't have to spend your own money on. now you have the revelation that they were aware that the pretext of the meeting was not about adoption, but instead about providing information about hillary clinton that was negative that's one part. you have the russian-born ambassador who was also in the room. not veselnitskaya, but the other gentleman who was there and this person was there -- >> yeah, russian-american lobbyist. >> he was there to lobby on behalf of the magnitsky act being revoked a way to sanction people from russian who are thought to be involved in human
rights violations. you have his presence there and the pretext and it an pierce to be a quid pro quo exchange. if you give me dirt, you give me the assurances that we will revoke that act when you do take office. that alone can highlight an issue of potential bribery and potential conspiracy to commit any type of fraud. >> all right, laura coat. thank you very much for being with. a republican operative who apparently hunted for hillary clinton's missing e-mails now found dead. the coroner now calls it suicide. what was written on the note left behind? wise man, i'm nervous about things i can't control... affecting my good credit score. i see you've planted an uncertainty tree. chop that thing down. the clarity you seek... lies within the creditwise app from capital one. creditwise helps you protect your credit. and it's completely free for everyone. it's free for everyone? do hawks use the stars to navigate? i don't know. aw, i thought you did. i don't know either.
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for free from july 10th through the 16th with xfinity on demand. from action, to comedy, to drama. this summer hbo and xfinity have you covered. and catch the game of thrones season 7 premiere on july 16th. winter is coming to xfinity. welcome back. there are new details about the mysterious suicide of a republican operative who just days before his death told a newspaper reporter he was trying to obtain hillary clinton's missing e-mails from russian hackers. cnn's brian todd digs deeper
into this story for us. brian? >> reporter: we're getting startling new information about the republican operative, peter smith. we have learned about his suicide note and getting ahold of the hacked clinton e-mails during last year's campaign. there are serious new questions being raised now about the timing of peter smith's death. peter smith reportedly moved around under mysterious circumstances and now there are questions over whether he died under them. smith a republican operative was found dead in his room near the mayo clinton in rochester, minnesota, in mid may. police tell cnn it was suicide. asphyxiation. the medical examiner report said that the is victim placed a bag over head and attached helium source. >> this isn't shooting yourself or impaling yourself as something more violent. it's a more peaceable method if you will. >> reporter: police say in his hotel room, the 81-year-old left a road map documents indicating
he had been in ill health recently and that his insurance policy was about to expire. the police report says quote, the documents included a note that there was no foul play. that odd suicide note combined with what he told "wall street journal" reporter shane harris ten days before he died is putting the death into the spotlight. >> so smith told he put together a group of lawyers and technology experts to get in contact with hackers in europe which he believed would be in russia what they suspected may have obtained hillary clinton's private e-mails from her server. >> reporter: smith told "the wall street journal" he had done this during the late stages of the presidential campaign. >> he wanted to get the e-mails, acquire them and then publish them so it would be damaging to secretary clinton. >> reporter: matt tate said he was told about being contacted by someone from the dark web claiming to have clinton's personal e-mails. and said he might need help authenticating them. tate wrote that smith had a reckless lack of interest in
whether they came from the russian cutout. peter smith told the journal that general flynn then serving as national security adviser to the trump campaign was aware of smith's operations. >> was there any legitimacy to that? did flynn have any ties to the campaign? >> well, flynn has not commented -- and that if peter smith was doing something with flynn that was in general flynn's private capacity. so it's still not entirely clear to what extent mike flynn was involved in this. there's no doubt that these two men knew each other. >> reporter: an attorney for flynn didn't return our calls for comment. peter smith believed he had gathered the private hillary clinton e-mails but couldn't completely verify the accuracy. now some on capitol hill including one member of the house intelligence committee thinks smith's efforts are one more avenue that should be investigated in the russia probe. >> it's something that should be probed further and i hope it now gets folded into what we're doing. >> reporter: now aside from
flynn's attorney never getting back to us, the white house didn't return our calls or e-mails but a senior official from the trump campaign said he had never heard of peter smith or about smith's reported attempts to get the clinton e-mails during the campaign. ana? >> brian todd, thank you. we'll take you live now to bernie sanders event. here he is speaking in iowa for the first time since the 2016 campaign. this just a day after saying in an interview it's too early to talk 2020, but he's not taking it off the table. here's sanders moments ago talking about what he sees as the gravest threat to elections in america. listen. >> american democracy is not the koch brothers buying elections. it is ordinary americans determining the future of this country. some republican wants to run for office talking about giving tax breaks to billionaires and cutting social security and medicare and medicaid and
education, that is his or her prerogative. run for office on those ideas. see how many votes you get. >> we'll keep watching this for you, bring you any highlights. coming up a popular spot where tourists can feel the blast of jet engines. now the site of a deadly tragedy. more on the fallout, next.
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the problem is it's so close it can be dangerous. and now it's turned deadly. it's a major tourist draw on the caribbean island of st. martin. tourists line up on the beach with only a chain link fence between them and an active runway at princes juliana international airport. the blast from the jet engines on passenger planes about to take off literally knock thrill seeking tourists off of their feet. on wednesday, the blast from one passenger plane sent a 57-year-old woman flying into the retaining wall, killing her. the police force of st. martin said in a statement the airport authorities and other local authorities have taken all necessary measures such as placing of signs to warn the general public not to stand in the path of the jet blast of a departing aircraft because of the danger involved.
police patrols on a daily basis visit that area during the busy hours to warn persons to stay away. police say this was the first death at the site. the victim was visiting from new zealand. in 2012 the blast sent this woman head first into a concrete wall. despite the signs warning against it, tourists tried to hold on tight to the fence under the force of the jet engines but some are just no match for the force. landing planes are also an attraction, flying mere feet above the beach. police in st. martin do not have statistics on how many people have been injured in these incidents, but tell cnn they're now considering what more can be done to prevent them from happening again. well the engine thrust produces hurricane force winds. here in the united states, most airports are carefully designed with barriers and buildings
provide a buffer from the jet blasts, but in st. martin it seems there just isn't enough space to do that. ana? >> incredible video there. renee marsh, thanks. people might get a rush out of standing in the wake of the jet engines, there's no denying the dangers. i want to bring in a former faa safety inspector. david, first of all, good to see you. >> good to see you, ana. >> long before you went to work for the faa you said you used to do this sort of a thing as a child in the '70s? >> yeah. stapleton airport had a road on the east side of the runway and you could park your car and let the airplanes land above you. i remember as a young child, 5 or 6 years old my father placed me on the hood and trying to hang on as the airplane landed, it would blow me off and throw me on the ground. that was a few years ago, maybe like 50 years ago. >> yeah. a few years ago.
>> things have changed quite a bit. >> it's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt, of course. how powerful is this blast of air that's coming out of a jet engine that's getting ready for takeoff? >> you know, i have suffered through a hurricane and those winds are about 150 miles an hour, and these are 200 miles an hour winds. these are winds that are not messing around. if you lift your feet off the ground, it will lift you right off the ground. i don't know if you remember the movie "pushing ten" there was an illustration of that with billy bob thornton and they caught the wind as well. that's not too much of a dramatization of it. it dispick you up off -- it does pick you know off the ground. >> there are danger signs posted everywhere at the end of the runway in st. martin, but there's no law stopping people from standing next to the jet blasts. are there any rules for this type of thing here in the u.s.? >> well, in the u.s., there absolutely are and the faa and
aircraft certification and airport certification work together to make sure about this. you have to blast fences involved and it redirects it up and out of the way so it won't hit the cars or anybody below. but there are rules that recommend things, but they don't have any enforcement authorities so each country is up to its own demise. st. martin is i believe a dutch controlled country or island. and it needs to be with their regulations so obviously they haven't enforced those and they haven't put those into place. >> what's your take? do you think places that allow this now might reconsider or is this just something people should be allowed to do at their own risk, like whitewater rafting, rock climbing, other dangerous activities? >> well, i found it interesting, renee accurately reported they feel they have done everything they can to prevent people from
doing this and that's simply not true. a sign up, it's not that. it's almost a tourist attraction. i think the government there knows it attracts people. it's -- there's no plausible deniability that's happening. i think they really do need to take some measures to make sure it doesn't happen. >> good to see you, my friend. thanks for being on. >> thank you. it was a heartbreaker for venus williams today at wimbledon. she came up just short of becoming the oldest women's grand slam champion of the open era. williams lost to garbine muguruza. she had an incredible runment and williams before today. she's 37. she beat three players born the same year she made her debut at wimbledon. she's battling an autoimmune disease for the past several years. put yourself in this situation. you stop by an atm some money and then out comes a note
saying, please help. i'm stuck in here and i don't have my phone. probably would think you were being punked, wouldn't you? well, that is exactly what happened in corpus christi, texas, on wednesday. a repair man changing out the lock of the atm got stuck inside the room that houses it. several passersby did think it was a joke, but one passenger called the police. >> you'll never see this again in your life that someone is stuck in the machine. it was just crazy. >> just crazy. police eventually had to kick the door down and rescue the man. there's the note. they say a picture is worth a thousand words but a selfie can be worth $200,000 in damaged art. take a look. this is an exhibit by simon burch. it's not supposed to be a domino's exhibit but that's pretty much what it became earlier this month. this is the 14th factory in loss am. you can see there how the woman
taking a selfie knocks over one piece of art, which topples another and so on and so on. by the time it was all over, three sculptures were permanently damaged. ouch. coming up, the curious case of a guy president trump mentions all the time. his friend jim. who is this jim? does he even exist? jeanne moos is on the case. >> a friend of mine, he's a very, very substantial guy. he loves the city of lights. he used to tell me for years, paris, paris. jim, how is paris doing? i don't go there anymore. paris is no longer paris. no, please, please, oh! ♪ (shrieks in terror) (heavy breathing and snorting) no, no.
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nonprescription ibgard- calms the angry gut. i want to turn now to the battle over your health care. president trump and vice president mike pence are making phone calls this weekend. they're trying to drum up support for the senate's newly revamped gop health care bill. now, this is part of their aggressive push on twitter and behind closed doors to put a win in the president's legislative agenda. but it won't be easy. the white house cannot afford even one more republican no vote in order to pass this senate bill. and right now, here's where things stand. by cnn's count, at least 12 republican senators are undecided and the white house is now try to woo governors. we already know of two confirmed no votes including the second name on your screen there, senator susan collins. she will be on cnn's "state of the union" tomorrow morning with
jake tapper. susan collins discussing the alternative bill she has since introduced. we all know he's a fun of puns so bill clinton couldn't pass this one up. and this picture is all over the place. his press secretary snapping this photo of him literally hiding behind two bushes. the two former president bushs that is. not only funny, but also historically accurate. and of course twitter loved this. clinton posed between the statues after giving a talk about leadership with president george w. bush who called him a brother from a different mother. on tomorrow's cnn's new series "90s" we look at the presidency that redefined a decade. >> it becomes clear he wasn't always telling the truth. >> over the years there have been dramatic late night speeches from the white house, national tragedies and national triumphs. but nothing like the speech that
we're about to hear from there tonight. >> indeed, i did have a relationship with ms. lewansky that was not appropriate. in fact, it was wrong. it constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which i am solely and completely responsible. i misled people including even my wife. i deeply regret that. >> that's where the '90s took us. the president of the united states had to testify under oath about a woman in the oval office. this would have been inconceivable in the time of john f. kennedy. but the '90s weren't the '60s. >> president clinton's mea culpa sparked a lot of reaction from those who watched his speech. from new york -- >> i still like him as a president. >> to california. >> he should have laid more of his cards on the table. >> there was skepticism in houston. >> what else has he lied about?
>> and cynicism in minneapolis. >> if hillary don't mind it shouldn't be anybody else's business. >> tune into the original series "the '90's". >> finally, president trump says he has a friend named jim who loves paris. who is he? here's jeanne moos. >> president trump got the royal treatment. whether he was wringing the hand of the first lady of france or complimenting her physique. >> you're in good shape. >> 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 used to tell me for years, paris, paris. jim, let me ask you a question, how's paris doing? paris, i don't go there anymore. pair sis no longer paris. france is no longer france. >> so he talked about jim so
often trying to make the point that france had succumbed to terrorism that the new yorker started hunting for jim in vain. he inspired memes and tweets like just hanging out with #jim. but 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 have mentioned a friend jim. we told you that paris is no longer paris. >> that's a beauty, you know what, it will be just fine because you have a great president. >> if jim were imaginary, it wouldn't be the first time that an invisible character has entered the political fray. would it?
>> what do you mean, shut up? >> clint eastwood riffed with an imaginary barack obama. >> what do you want me to tell romney? i can't tell him to do that. he can't do that to himself. >> judging from the body language, donald trump's imaginary friend didn't get between the two presidents. >> i'm coming back. >> you are always welcome. >> what about jim? they're making him jealous. jeanne moos, cnn. >> france is no longer france. >> new york. >> they won't like me for saying that. you see what happened in nice. you see what happened yesterday. where are we?
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to get some dirt on hillary clinton. the earlier reports it was the president's son, his campaign manager, one of the closest advisers and now we know at least eight people were in that room. here's a look. everybody who was in that maybe for different reasons, we're still not exactly clear why they were invited and what was discussed. i want to bring in our global affairs correspondent elise labott in washington and boris, to you first. another wrinkle in the story just today. the white house has brought on an additional lawyer with a specific role to play in this investigation. tell us more. >> that's right, ana. his name is ty cobb and he's just been confirmed to have been hired by the white house to provide guidance and to oversee the white house response into the russia investigation. not just legally, but also in the press. the most interesting thing about this is the timing of his