tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN July 22, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PDT
>> infamous is different from famous. >> he became infamous. >> he did. a new report from the washington post contradicts the u.s. attorney general who previously insisted he did not discuss u.s. presidential campaign issues with the russian ambassador. plus this. the end of the line for the president's much maligned spokesman. sean spicer resigns. and the palestinian and israeli territories. live from cnn world headquarters. welcome to viewers from around the world. i'm george howell. "cnn newsroom" starts right now.
it's 4:00 a.m. on the u.s. east coast. welcome. several stories we're following from washington this hour. first, potentially damaging new information about u.s. attorney jeff sessions. the washington post reports russian ambassador to the post told his possible bosses in mod about campaign related matters with sessions in the 2016 election. if true, this information directly con interetr if true, this information directly con interetadicts what sessions said with the meetings with the ambassador kislyak. here is the second story we're following. a turn of events involving trump junior and paul manafort. russian meddling in the 2016 election has struck a deal with the men allowing them to avoid making appearances in high profile public hearings that would take place next week in
exchange trump junior and manafort have agreed to provide records to the panel and privately interviewed ahead of any public session. then this, a shakeup at the white house communications staff. the press secretary sean spicer has resigned after six months of sparring with the media and sparring with the reporters and defending the president. spicer calling it quits on friday. he resigned after trump fired financier anthony scaramucci. let's look at the washington post over jeff sessions who is under fire for contacts with the russia officials. we have an interview with a anderson cooper that threatens to under mine sessions interview. >> we know sessions did not
disclose them for the confirmation hearing. we were trying to figure out the nature of the contacts and what with a discussed. we learned what kislyak sent back to moscow. this is his account of the conversations one in april and a second one in july of his contact with sessions. >> while sessions did not seem to remember any specifics about the meetings, kislyak sent back specifics? >> i assume he gets in his car and goes back to the embassy or residence and writes a report. that's the way most ambassadors operate. >> what did he tell his russian bosses? >> he told them what he thought they discussed which was campaign issues. in other words, what the relationship would be like between a future trump presidency and the russian government. the thing that kislyak was under orders by putin to get information about. kislyak was doing his job. meeting with people in the trump
campaign and trying to get information about how that campaign would actually deliver on some of its rhetoric during the campaign if it was lekelect. that way putin can make a decision of the relationship. >> important to point out while it is possible that kislyak was boasting or misrepresenting to the kremlin, it would be out of character for the long time ambassador to give moscow a misleading report. in the wake of the post reporting, the u.s. intelligence department said, quote, the attorney general stands by his testimony from just last month before the senate intelligence committee when he specifically addressed this and said that he never had met with or had any conversations with any russians or russian officials concerning interference with any campaign election. now compare that information and statement to what sessions said back in march of this year.
>> let me be clear i never had meetings with russian operatives or russian intermediaries with the trump campaign and the idea i was part of quote continuing exchange of information during the campaign between trump surrogates and intermediaries for the russian government is totally false. that is the question that senator franken asked me at the hearing. >> all right. that was jeff sessions back then. let's bring in leslie. she is a senior lecturer of international relations of soyuz university. let's starts with the reporting that contradicts the stories from the u.s. attorney general. then he said he had meetings and
then said he did not have meetings with campaign or policy issues. what does this mean for jeff sessions? >> there has been a cloud hanging over jeff sessions for some time over this issue. the timing of this particular release is notable. remember on thursday jeff sessions had to respond to the new york times interview which donald trump said he would not have appointed him had he known sessions would recuse himself. then within a day and a half, we see the leak. one of the interesting questions, one is jeff sessions how much is he lying and the ver as ty of the reports and the exact contact of the conversations. was it about russian interference or sanctions with crimea or what was discussed? there is a question if he is being honest. there is a second question by is where did this intelligence come from and who is leaking? this is important.
if it came from the intelligence community, it is important if it is leaked. and the president making the harsh comments to the times about sessions and sessions saying he wasn't planning to resign. it suggests that there may be something going on that this is a man who is forced out. this is significant. jeff sessions is important to trump's policies and important to his base. he is taking a tough on immigration stance. he is somebody donald trump wanted to be part of his team. this is an important issue. it raises a lot of issues. >> leslie, you talk about the interview with the president talking with his attorney general. i want our viewers to have a chance to listen to that. we can talk about this here on the other side. >> so jeff sessions takes the job. gets into the job. recuses himself.
i then have -- which frankly i think is very unfair to the president. how do you take a job and recuse yourself? if he would have recused himself before the job, i would have said thanks, jeff, i'm not going to take you. >> this president makes most bones about it. loyalty is the big thing that president trump values. he questions why jeff sessions would have recused himself given this complicated and important investigation that is taking place. the question here is could this new information in fact leslie be a gift for the trump white house dealing with a rocky relationship certainly between these two men, but also all of the legal questions that are facing the president with his attorney general not really able to have an impact on it? >> it certainly looks like this is a gift in the sense that it's very difficult to see how the attorney general remains in his
current role. i think the question some people have now is why did this intelligence come out at this point in time and is there any connection between the aspirations of the president when it comes to jeff sessions and the timing of the release of this leak and where did it come from? that is a broader question that i think people are going to be looking at carefully. you are right. trump has been very unhappy that sessions recused himself. of course, in his eyes, it led directly to the appointment of special counselor mueller who is pushing hard with the investigations. as you said, they are looking into questions of donald trump jr., the president's son-in-law and the president is feeling very much under siege and the questions of loyalty are gray for him. he is trying to protect his family and questions erahe rais if he could actually pardon
people. the president i think is b burrowing down. there are multiple things that the focus is shifting the president away from being able to actually push forward his legislative agenda. think about the policies he wants to enact. sessions was critical. crime and immigration. now we are looking at one of the key members of his team likely stepping down. >> you talk about the issue of leaks. president trump made it clear he wants to crack down on leakers. whether from the white house or the intelligence community. you also suggest this is a leak that certainly could be helpful for the trump white house, but can't forget the context of the exact the intelligence community has a rocky relationship with the president who has questioned a great deal and even with
foreign powers. the hard work done by the men and women in the united states in the intelligence community. >> that's right. it is a surprising leak. again, we don't know where it's come from. there is a lot that has still to be confirmed. one doesn't want to say too much too soon. it is not the kind of leak we have been seeing in the past. the president has taken a very tough line in the intelligence community before his inauguration. now we are seeing a leak that looks like it supports the president's agenda and there are all sorts of questions raised where this has come from. this is grave. to leak the contents of the conversation that have been collected by the intelligence community. it is one thing to brief at high level those with top secret clearance. another to leak it into the public domain. this is serious. >> leslie giving us context on the big story. thank you for being with us. we appreciate it.
>> thank you, george. sean spicer says the president did not want him to leave his job as white house press secretary. after six months on the job, spicer resigned his job after the president hired anthony scaramucci as communications director. >> he wanted to bring new people in. my recommendation was i give anthony and sarah a clean slate to talk about the president's agenda and help move it forward. he after back and forth understood that the offer i was making was something in the best interest of the administration. i thanked him for the opportunity and i'm looking forward to watching anthony and sarah do a tremendous job. >> sean spicer on fox news.
donald trump with this, quote, sean spicer is a wonderful person who took tremendous abuse from the fake news media. but his future is bright. for the last few months, sean sipicer was working as communications director and press secretary. he is a former banker and campaign fund-raiser. cnn has more. >> reporter: sean spicer resigning in protest today. objecting to the president's decision to hire new york financier anthony scaramucci as communications director. >> i wish him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities. just look at his great television ratings. >> reporter: the communications director worked with trump on
the transition. he is seen as a strong television personality and loyal to trump. >> i was in the oval office with him earlier today. we were talking about letting him be himself and express his full identity. he has the best political inn stik stingts in the world. >> he's a terrific guy. >> reporter: in the debut at the podium, scaramucci claims that 3 million votes were cast illegally for hillary clinton. >> let me do more research on it. >> reporter: scaramucci's hire is welcome by jared kushner and ivanka trump. and other strategists objected to the move. scaramucci downplayed his relationship with priebus. and insisted a little friction was no problem. >> we have a little bit of
friction inside the white house as a result of that. it's okay. >> reporter: spicer was opposed to the move that he tendered his resignatio resignation. he said i want to give the president and new team a new clean slate. he will stay on at the white house through august. >> i love the guy. i wish him well. i hope he goes on to make a tremendous amount of money. >> reporter: from the first briefing at the white house podium, he developed a combative tone. he turned to faulty stats to defend the president's inauguration crowd size. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration period. both in person and around the globe. >> reporter: struggled to defend the twitter happy habit and downplayed the campaign ties to russia. >> if the president puts russian salad dressing on his salad
tonight, that is somehow a russian connection. >> reporter: after spicer departs six months on the job, sarah huckabee sanders stepping up leading the first on-camera briefing in nearly a month as she is new white house press secretary. under sean spicer's leadership, this briefing room was a combative place. on friday, anthony arrived with the new york swagger and gentler tone with the press. will that hold? we will see. sara murray, cnn, the white house. >> thank you, sara. still ahead on newsroom. more violence in jerusalem and the west bank. what israel said inspired a deadly stabbing attack. and thousands are standing up to the polish government. the controversial new law that is sparking outrage. stay with us. the cei
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was an official over a settlement. the suspect was shot apparend hospitalized. hamas later praised it on twitter. this came days of violence in jerusalem. let's bring in cnn's ian lee following the story in jerusalem at this hour. good to have you with us. what more do you know about the gruesome stabbing that took place in the west bank? >> reporter: george, it happened last night when a family was celebrating shabatz dinner. this is when the 19-year-old was able to infiltrate the settlement and carry out the attack. he killed three people. fourth person is in hospital. it wasn't until the cries for help that a neighbor with a gun, a member of the military was
able to come over and shoot and injure the an assailant. we are hearing from the israeli military that the motivation behind this was because of the recent flare-up of violence and the restrictions to the temple mound and sanctuary. >> what can you tell us about the violence from yesterday? >> reporter: some intense clashes, but this has been building up over the course of the week, george, starting with the previous friday when there was the killing of two israeli soldiers or police officers. new security measures were implemented and every night since, we have seen clashes in the neighborhood behind me and yesterday we saw the most intense clashes to date. tensions turned prayer into protest. both sides anticipating the violence this friday pitting israeli police against
palestinians. projectiles fill the air. israeli police use stun guns and tear gas and water canynoncanno. turning quiet jerusalem streets into battle zones. >> they want us to leave the country. we are not leaving. we are staying here. there is no way for us to leave. if they came out of jerusalem, there is no meaning for my life after that. everything that belongs to me is here. >> reporter: the day's violence paid in blood. the body of the dead palestinian leaving the hospital. one of several palestinians killed in the volley. hundreds more killed in the west bank. several security officers, two, sustained injuries. >> the israeli national police units responded to the disturban disturbances where our police units are located and responding
using non lethal weapons after stones and fireworks fired. >> reporter: the cycle of violence began over a week ago with the killing of two israeli policemen. new security measured around the temple mound known as the sanctuary, is accusing israel of trying to expand control and limits access to the mosque. we know it is for muslims, ali tells me. the occupation crossed all of the red lines. the metal protectors prevent us from the right to pray freely. the minister has no right to change the rules governing the holy complex. netanyahu will stick to the status quo. meanwhile, authorities have deployed thousands of security around jerusalem. the violence seen here playing out across the west bank. the police are pushing the
protesters away from the old city. you can see here on the ground pieces of concrete and rock that they are throwing at the police. the police are using stun grenades and rubber bullets to push back. it is a game of cat-and-mouse. police captured two dozen protesters in the west bank. the police say the actions were designed to keep the peace. in a land where violence begets violence, this will not end the turmoil. it is more likely to take a political solution. george, that political solution seems further off today. we heard from abbas saying he will release some israelis until he feels an acceptable solution is happening. that is removing the metal
detecters from the temple mound and noble sanctuary. as of now, it doesn't look it will happen. >> 11:25 in jerusalem where cnn's ian lee is following the story for us. ian, thank you for the reporting. in poland, the nation's upper house of parliament passed a controversy bill and it has parked outrage across the country. this is the protest outside parliament as officials worked on approving the bill saturday. it gives the parliament to independently remove and appoint supreme court justices. our atika shubert has this report. >> reporter: dubbed the candlelight revolution on social media, tens of thousands of pols poured into the streets to protest the death of democracy in that country. a huge crowd gathered outside the presidential palace in
warsaw demanding the president veto a controversial bill to overhaul the judiciary. parliament has already passed the measure. that would force removal of supreme court judges and give lawmakers control over choosing replacements. >> it is something unusual in democratic countries that for one bill all judges comprising of supreme court are dismissed. >> reporter: supporters say the changes are needed to make the courts more accountable, but critics call it an authoritarian rule and power grab by the ruling party. since coming to power in 2015, the staunchly conservative justice law and party has tightened control over the courts, prosecutors and state media and introduced restrictions on public gatherings. this latest bill has triggered
warnings from the european union threatening the possibility of sanctions and suspension of voting rights. something never used before against an eu member. >> taken by the polish authority and the judicial system and judges greatly amplify the threat to rule of law. >> reporter: recent protests have gone largely unnoticed internationally among visits of royals and the duke and dutches of cambridge and president trump. >> a country that is safe, strong and free. >> reporter: many believe in poland, one of the first communist nations to join the eu, western democracy hangs in the balance. atika shubert, cnn. thank you. after the recent report that the
attorney general discussed campaign matters with a russian ambassador during the 2016 election. and protesters in minnesota demanding answers and resignations as the outrage grows over a deadly police shooting in the city of minneapolis. we are live from atlanta, georgia. across the united states and around the world this hour, you are watching "cnn newsroom." it's a good thing we brought the tablets huh?
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discussed campaign issues with the russian ambassador. the ambassador telling the kremlin about the two conversations on two occasions. sessions has denied about talking about the 2016 campaign. cut a deal with donald trump jr. and paul manafort to avoid a public interview and they agreed to privately be interviewed ahead of public session. lawmakers are seeking more information about the men about the meeting with the russian lawyer last year. sean spicer is out as press secretary. the president hired anthony scaramucci as the communications director. scaramucci is the former campaign fund-raiser and banker. sarah huckabee sanders will take over as press secretary. the united states is set to bar most of the citizens from
traveling to north korea. there will be some exceptions to the ban williahich will take ef next month. this is following the death of otto warmbier in june. he died after more than a year in north korean captivity. we are learning more about the meeting with jared kushner and paul manafort. records show that the lawyer represented a military unit tied to the country's intelligence agency. she has previously denied she was linked to the kremlin. earlier, wolf blitzer asked the former director of u.s. intelligence james clapper to weigh in. >> how risky was it for these three trump associates to meet with this woman during the
campaign? >> well, understanding -- i'm old school warrior. i have truth in advertising. i have great suspicions about the russians and what they do. a lot of this to me had kind of the standard textbook craft employed by the russians or the soviets and now into the russians. i don't find it surprising these connections are coming out. it would have been a really good idea to vetted whoever they were meeting with. i think the russian objective here was, one, to explore to see if there was interest in having such a discussion and offering
up, of course, dirt on hillary clinton. and somehow, you know, at least create the image of at least ostensibly plausible deny built. this is the russian craft to the soft approach. if possible to co-op. >> that was james clapper speaking with my colleague wolf blitzer at the aspen security conference. russian security minister is taking a different view with the encounters with the president at the g20 summit this month. we learned an undisclosed encounter took place with the two leaders. the white house delayed disclosing that meeting. it is causing concern. sergei lavrov as you see here is making light of it. >> we know about president putin
and president trump meeting three times at the g20. they met for the by bilateral and the dinner. >> and maybe they went to the toilet together. >> did they meet another time? >> when you are brought by your parents at kindergarten, do you start confiding with your classmates in the same room? >> this is not kindergarten. >> there is a room they get in before the meeting. >> let's get the russian view on all this. cnn's clare sebastian. >> maybe they met at the toilet clare. this is serious questions that are arising here in the united
states. seemingly dismissed on that side. >> reporter: right, george. this is what we have seen from the russian side throughout this. they sought to roundly dismiss any controversy surrounding the second meeting saying it was nothing more than the course of events like the g20 where they meet on the sidelines formally or informally. the spokesman took to russian television saying putin views this as political skichizophren. and i think it is fair to say that it is not a laughing matter for the kremlin. there are serious issues in their view strain the relationship. they are working to secure the return of two of their compounds. diplomatic compounds in the u.s. seized in a round of sanctions
imposed by the obama administration back in december. sergei lavrov has called that robbery in this past week. you know, they are making light of it. they are dismissing the second meeting as the normal course of events. they still see serious issues that seek to interrupt improvement. >> clare, i want to ask about the new reporting coming in about sergei kislyak and the u.s. attorney general. remind our viewers about the many meetings that happened and how they came to light and now what's happening with kislyak next? >> reporter: absolutely. sergei kislyak, the russian ambassador to washington, has been at the center of the controversy surrounding allegations of potential collusion with the trump team and russia. you know, he not just meeting with jeff sessions, the attorney general, but also jared kushner. there was a report by the washington post back in may that
jared kushner asked to set up a secret line of communication through the russian embassy in washington. of course, most explosively is the conversations with kislyak and mike flynn. this over alleged meddling. it was later disclosed that the sanctions were discussed in that conversations. of course, that precipitated the early firing of michael flynn. russia defended the ambassador. saying it is normal work to meet with officials in washington and called this an echoing of the trump administration is calling this a witch hunt and mccarthyism. the russian embassy tweeted out pictures of the farewell event
for him at the embassy on friday night. he is expected back in moscow today. >> clare, let's talk about the russian court records which show the russian lawyer who met with donald trump jr. represented a military unit tied to the intelligence services. we heard the former dni james clapper about his thoughts of motives. she has responded. what did she have to say? >> reporter: george, she has taken to facebook and said that she has represented all kinds of people from russian entrepreneurs to state agents and american citizens. she said stop wasting time. find something useful to do. her response to people who are looking into her past and trying to dig up things about her. it should be noted she and the kremlin have denied any relationship. the kremlin saying they did not
know about her and did not know the meeting was taking place. these court records show she represented a military unit tied to the fsb. the russian security service. successor to the kgb. represented them in a property dispute. that went from 2005 to 2013. it doesn't show any formal relationship with her and the russian security services. she has said she is willing to testify in the senate if called to do so. there may be more to her side of the story still to come out. >> getting close to noon in the russian capital. clare sebastian reporting. we are following the tragic shooting of the australian woman in the city of minneapolis. we know the police chief in the city is stepping down. some activist are making it clear that's not enough. at bluron, we work directly with more than a hundred family farms. so instead of spending on costly middlemen and supermarkets,
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the police chief in minneapolis, minnesota, has stepped down over the recent death of the australian woman. the woman called police about a possible crime near her home. instead she was shot outside her home. now the family is demanding answers and expressing anger. our ryan young has more. >> reporter: mayor betsy hodges trying to talk about changing the police chief. a position which she believes needs new leadership. protesters made their way into the city hall and conference and took it over. when justine damond was shot and killed, the police chief harteau was not in town. she did not come back until four days later. that was too much. she was posting vacation pictures and that had many
people in the city calling for change. the city council members believe they had more control over city departments and not the police department. this afternoon, the mayor said she asked the police chief to step down. >> as far as we have come chief harteau is not in a position to lead us further. both the chief and i concluded we need new leadership had mpd. >> reporter: despite the drama at city hall, we learned the state investigators were able to talk to the man riding a bike nearby after the shooting. he witnessed officers trying to help justine damond in the alley way. the police have been able to identify limhim. as investigators tistill workin the case, there may be updates later on. the officer noor involved in the case and his attorney have yet to talk to investigators. ryan young, cnn, minneapolis, minnesota. >> ryan, thank you. we have a sickening story to tell you about. it is coming from the u.s. state
of florida. a group of teenagers appear to have discovered a man drowning, but instead of helping the victim, they mocked him. they recorded his death on a phone. our nick valencia has the story. we warn you the report contains graphic images. >> get out of the water. you going to die. >> reporter: a blat end disregard. >> you going to die. >> reporter: a group of florida teens taunt a man while filming final moments. >> ain't nobody going to help you. >> reporter: the five teen boys between 14 and 16 can be heard laughing as the man struggles to stay afloat in the pond in cocoa, florida. rather than call for help, the boys recorded it on cell phone chuckling while they watch the man die. they say this when the man goes under water and doesn't
resurface. >> he just died. >> holy -- >> reporter: the state of florida does not have a law to help. the state is frustrated no one can be held accountable. we are shocked that the man lost his life and the actions to the witnesses to the tragedy. we can find no moral justification for the persons heard on the recording. police say the victim, 31-year-old jamal dunn got into an argument with his mom and fiancee. ten minutes after the fight, police say dunn scaled a fence surrounding a pond and walked into the water. his family reported him missing three days later. the teens stayed quiet about what they saw so police did not know where to look. dunn's body wasn't discovered until five days after his death.
a wildfire in central california near the yosemite national park is sending residents from their home and has thousands of firefighters battling the fire. let's bring in meteorologist maginnis with more. >> the huge wildfire has mushroomed to 75,000 acres or 30,000 hectares. this is the location of this and this is knocking on the door of the beautiful park that so many people go to in the summer months because it is so stunning. hot, dry weather has contributed to the explosion of the wildfire that now is causing about 3,800 firefighters to battle the
blaze. look at images. this is from the detweiler fire. it is knocking on the door of the yosemite park. 60 homes have been destroyed. people are going back to nothing. they had to escape and flee their homes. this is very rugged terrain. the hot, dry weather contributed to it. although firefighters say they don't know exactly what has caused this fire. certainly weather has really caused it to grow exponentially. right now, it is 25% contained, but that is an improvement compared to what we saw 24 hours ago when it was only 10% to 15% contained. now as i mentioned people were fleeing from their homes. they are saying even in yosemite park, it is threatening the power fly in yosemite.
people are being choked by the heavy smoke in the region. it appears, george, firefighters may get a handle because the weather will help them. low humidity and lower temperatures. >> let's hope for the best on that. karen, thank you so much. prince george is looking as cute as ever. the future monarch turns 4 years old on saturday. he had an official portrait released on saturday. toothy grin and smile from ear to ear. he wrapped up a tour to germany and poland. he is accompanied by his parents. the duke and duchess of cambridge and his sister charlotte. this is seen as a move the soft power diplomacy among brexit talks. that wraps up this hour of "cnn newsroom."
uh huh. sure. still yes! you can get it too. welcome to the party. introducing gig-speed internet from xfinity. finally, gig for your neighborhood too. an explosive new report contradicts the u.s. attorney general about his meetings with the russian ambassador to the united states. plus, this -- after six months on the job, the press secretary sean spicer hands his resignation in in another white house staff shake-up. also ahead -- tensions on the streets lead to violent clashes in jerusalem's old city. cnn is live ahead in jerusalem. live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta we want to welcome