ioner comes downy odor protect with 24-hour odor protection. downy's powerful formula conditions fibers to lock out odors all day. hey, your shirt's making me hungry. ha ha, derek. downy and it's done. hello, i'm jim sciutto in for wolf blitzer. it's 8:00 p.m. in moscow, 3:00 p.m. in the demilitarized world. thank you for joining us, wherever you are. one of the meetings at the center of robert mueller's investigation. according to a new report, the russian lawyer who went to trump tower said she is, quote, an informant and closer to the kremlin than previously disclosed. plus republicans on the house intelligence committee are releasing their disputed report
on the russia investigation. why they think trump exercised poor judgment. and north korea vows to meet with peace and demdemilita ri e ze -- while the welcome has been very different, the issues have very much the same. iran, syria and trade. >> we're working on a lot of different subjects including trade, including nato, including military of all types, and we have a really great relationship, and we actually have had a great relationship right from the beginning, but some people didn't understand that. but we understand it, and that's what's important. i think we'll be talking about
iran, probably, but i don't necessarily expect it one way or the other. i know we'll have a very good discussion with iran. as i did with emmanuel who just left, the president of france. we'll be having discussions on iran, we'll be having discussions on trade, we'll be having various discussions. >> cnn white house correspondent pamela brown is live at the white house. pamela, we will hear from both president trump and angela merkel later this hour, but we have breaking news on the administration and iran. >> reporter: that's right. as the president meets with german chancellor angela merkel, right now, jim, the president's newly confirmed secretary of state mike pompeo making some news on it rthe iran deal sayin it's highly unlikely president trump will stay in the iran deal absent some substantial fixes and overcoming some shortcomings. some of the sticky points of this administration has been the war on terrorism and about the
being up in ten years. here's what mike pompeo had to say about that. >> i'm confident that will be a topic on my trip to the middle east as well, not only expressing concerns that president trump has expressed consistently but talking about ways to potentially address those shortcomings. we may find a temporary solution to vet flaws that president trump has identified for a long time now. you asked if we talked about the decision. there's been no decision made, so the team is working, and i'm sure we'll have lots of conversations to deliver what the president has made clear. absent a substantial fix, absent overcoming the shortcomings, the flaws of the deal, he is unlikely to stay in that deal past this may. >> so as he pointed out there, time is of the essence here, jim, because may really is the deadline for what the administration has said to reimpose sanctions to pull out of the deal. you can imagine as the president meets with angela merkel, this
will be the center of the discussion. as you know, president macron was here speaking with the president about not pulling out of the iran deal, and angela merkel also has a stake in this. she will likely try to convince the president not to pull out. the president also making moves on a number of other fronts, including north korea on the heels of that historic summit just yesterday with really sending out a shot to past presidents, saying they had been played like a fiddle when it comes to north korea. the president saying the u.s. will not be played the same way. jim? >> interesting talk of getting into a new nuclear deal while talk of exiting an existing one. meanwhile, the house intelligent company received their investigation report. the president reacting to one line in that report. >> that's right. no surprise here the white house, particularly president trump, is lauding the results of what the house intelligence
republicans had relieved, saying there is no trump campaign, saying he tried to elect president trump. here's what he had to say about that? >> we're honored. it was a great report. no collusion, no coordination, no nothing. it's a witch hunt, that's all it is. what we should do is get on with our lives. >> shortly after that, the president tweeted as well, saying there is no evidence their one sitting next to angela merkel. but the bottom line is there is still a russian investigation run by adam mueller, and that's over. >> pamela brown at the white house, thanks very much. there is more news, if you can believe it.
the russian lawyer at the center of the trump tower with members of the trump campaign. as you remember, senior trump campaign officials including donald trump jr. and ray manafort. they met with natalia skaya on the premise she had dirt on hillary clinton. original the skaya said she was a private attorney. but now the "new york times" is reporting that she has close ties with the president. it is following that story. shimon, really an astounding discovery by that reporter. >> she said she was at that meeting acting as a private
attorney, that she helps with adoptions. now she has admitted being much closer and anything that happens with russia goes all the way to the top there, to vladimir putin. certainly as you say, jim, a stun ning mission here. let's remind folks that this meeting that took place in trump tower in 2016 is now the center of mueller's investigation. bob mueller and the fbi and those investigators have been focusing on the meeting, what was it about. they've also been focusing on the statement that was crafted that involved the president, surrounding that meeting when it was finally reveal that that the president issues regarding that meeting and the whether or not it was still misleading.
skpl also. intelligence officials, u.s. officials are not p spritsd by that, that she was reacting on behalf of the russian government. >> joining me now is california congressman adam schiff. he is ranking member on the republican and democratic committee. this has been part of your own campaign and russians during the election. what is your point of view of this admission by the russian lawyer, that she wasn't just a private attorney but that she was working for the russian government? >> it was certainly collaborated. >>. and one of the things.
donna rorbacher testified another time. it could not have been a what we have seen of her contacts within the. in terms of one of the top priorities would indicate, this is not a solo agent. of a kwid pro quo and saying. >> you have to show up in the lobby of a hotel to meet with another foreigner. based on how you know what russian intelligences behave, is that an attorney?
>>. they're meeting with a foreign ar a, and this multi-professor initiated the. but this is exactly. the reaction she got from the trump campaign was, we would love to have your russian government sell. a and. they told papadopoulos they had the stolen e-mails and that's what the trump campaign originally wanted. it's only days after that i
remember i gave them to begin support. >> leet, also a lawyer. does it bolster a conspiracy case if the person on the other end has these more sushl. . t the, certainly working on behalf of putin, or an oligarch close to putin. all they would need to know is that the russian government is trying to help their campaign, that this is unlawful and they accept that help. and they coordinate in receipt of that help. that would be a criminal conspiracy. interestingly, for people to wonder what collusion might be ausd as a crime. in the document.
it indictment. -- it's not the lack of evidence. >> you think that line of inquiry is still open? >> i think it's because that line of inquiry involves u.s. persons and either the mueller team has not decided yet whether to charge u.s. persons or they already made that decision and that's why they kept that part of the conspiracy separate. stay with us. there's certainly much more to discuss. we're going to talk about republicans on the committee. we're releasing disputed findings of the report, including the president saying he's honored by that report. north korea is saying they will end the war, agreeing to denuclearize. but what's behind the summit with president trump? erse. yes.
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we are continuing to follow breaking news this hour. republican members of the house intelligence committee say they have found no evidence of collusion between russia and the trump campaign leading up to the 2016 election. in their just-released, heavily redacted report, they also dispute the findings that vladimir putin tried to help trump get elected. republicans on the committee said they did find perhaps poor judgment and inappropriate meetings by trump campaign members. adam schiff still with me now. tremendous number of details in here. to folk on us a few of them, because it also relates to this russian lawyer we've been speaking about. you've known there was a follow-up communication of natalia skaya after trump's election. what did she say? >> yes, skaya reaches back to
the trump campaign saying we want to follow up now on this act. now there is proof that they may have involvement with the act. it certainly seems like the russians were ready for payback. >> you're saying it has the impression of a quid pro quo. >> they might get the help they sought in trump tower. >> prior to the trump tower meeting, there were phone calls in phone logs from donald trump jr. what did those phone calls show you? >> this is what's significant. don jr., prior to the meeting when it's discussed by e-mail, because this is a sinister call.
they are separated by a third call to a blocked number. we still have to find out, is that blocked number donald trump's blocked number, because we found out during the investigation that donald trump used a blocked number during the campaign. we asked to subpoena the phone records so we could match up, did donald trump receive a call the same time donald jr. was making that call to find out, did the president's son seek the president's commission, the go ahead and go forward with this meeting. they refused. they didn't want to supply the phone company with those records. that tells you the approach the gop took. >> so you had no evidence, it was just a feeling you had to check out -- >> no criminal investigator would leave that x unchecked. i will tell you bob mueller will subpoena those records if he
hasn't already, and i would subpoena when he sits down with president trump that he'll ask, was that phone mentioned by you? >> you mentioned there was an e-mail by the nra. what did that entail? >> rick erickson, who was a member of the nra, e-mails rick dearborn who said i'm working on establishing a back channel with the russians. they need to do this at their first stop on the campaign trail. here you have in black and white evidence that there was an effort by the russians to use the nra at one of their chann s
channels. >> there have been allegations that the russians were going to funnel money through the nra. we still have to investigate that. there were witnesses with direct knowledge regarding those allegations that we sought to bring in. the republicans refused. we are sending out letters to invite those republicans in. we'll see what happens. >> can we assume robert mueller is stepping down as well? >> i'm sure he is. the north and south agreed to end their warld -- civil war. we'll have that next. powerfully efficient
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from the leaders of north and south korea. kim jong-un and president moon met face to face on the south side of the demilitarized zone. they claimed a desire to end the korean war, 68 years after it began. it was met by some optimism from beijing all the way to washington. >> it's never gone this far, i don't think it's ever had such enthusiasm for them wanting to make a deal. i agree, the united states has been played beautifully like a fiddle because you had a different kind of a leader. we're not going to be played, okay? we hope to make a deal. if we don't, that's fine. the united states in the past was played like a fiddle. money going in and nobody knew what was happening. the day after an arrangement was made -- if you called it a deal, i doubt it -- but an arrangement was made, they sought nuclear
weapons again. that's not happening with us. >> here is state senior adviser from the state department and the ambassador of china, matt boccus. the leaders from the north and south have met before, there's been nuclear deals before, but those deals have fallen apart, often due to cheating by north korea. based on your experience, do you see something different and more substantial in this current effort? >> i do. i think this meeting between president moon and the leader, kim, is historic. it's breathtaking. i think kim clearly is somewhat, if not totally, in the driver's seat. he has a plan. he's planned this for a good long time. he's built up his nukes, he's now negotiating from a position of strength, and if you look at all the details and all the
efforts he's undertaken prior to this meeting and subsequent meeting with trump, i think it's clear this is very different. of course, let's hope this is the goal. we have to do all we can to ensure that goal is achieved. >> what would it take to be clear-eyed? reasonable progress so far but to get it across the finish line? >> i think it's very important to understand, though, this is an inter-korean agreement. it's also important to understand the context, that while this is historic, certainly this is the first meeting between these two korean leaders. it's also the first interkorean agreement. people forget the first interkorean agreement came in 1972. if you actually look at the actual text of this agreement, these are words that were already written, frankly, in 1972. these words are actually
repetitive, and they were already written in 1991, 1992, and this is really the third evolution area agreement that came with kim jong-un, in 2000, and is really in the third stage of the engagement policy. south korea is in the driver's seat here. >> ambassador, you spend a lot of time in china. china plays a particular role in this. i want to read to you a tweet from president trump today. he said the following: please do not forget the great help that my good friend, president xi, has given the united states, particularly on the border. without him, it would have been a much stronger thing to bring the parties this far into the
agreement? >> you can tell they're fairly frustrated dealing with north korea, but they're trying. they're trying in various ways to get some positive influence on kim jong-un. they're a part of this. i think it's important also for us to remember that china's interest in the united states and south korea is aligned with trying to get north korea demilitarized totally or freeze. it comes down to trust, and trust will only occur if we can be very clear that we have almost total and complete verification of what north korea is doing about denuclearizing. >> ambassador, the point there is there appears to be a lot of distance, still, between the parties, because when the u.s. says denuclearize, trump has said this, that means no nuclear weapons whatsoever. the north korean impression, is it not, and i think even china's
is because being a problem going all the way back to decades. it's partisan politics about blaming this administration and that administration. it's really been a very hard process and they all deserve credit for really trying their best. the point here is, and this is exactly the show that was put on, is that the two koreas, what they were showing by that show of stepping over the line this way and that way. this is to show that the two koreas are. this is about the two koreas and they are going to drive the peace process. that was written into the declaration in 1972. in 1992.
i think that's what he's going to bring when he meets with president trump, and that's what he wants president trump to meet to beijing when they meet. >> thank you very much for going through that. this time his whild television interview making its way in. the president will answer questions from reporters at any time now and we'll bring that to you live right after this. preservatives, cial any added nitrates or nitrites, and by waving bye to by-products. so you can get back to loving them. for the love of hot dogs. (car horn) we're finally back out in our yard, but so are they. introducing scotts turf builder triple action. it kills weeds, prevents crabgrass and feeds so grass can thrive, guaranteed. our backyard is back. this is a scotts yard.
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welcome back. as we await the president's joint conference with german chancellor angela merkel, he expressed his anger this week regarding, of course, the investigation into is his personal attorney michael cohen. the president unleashing that fury during a wild phone interview with fox news. >> how much of your legal work was handled by michael cohen? >> as a percentage of my overall legal work, a tiny, tiny little fraction. but michael would represent me and represent me on some things. he represents me, like with this crazy stormy daniels deal, he represented me. and from what i see, he did absolutely nothing wrong. >> but as the president downplayed his relationship with cohen, federal prosecutors were watching that interview, apparently, and taking notes. cnn politics reporter and editor at large chris lind is joining me on this. chris, it's not the first time
we've seen this where the president makes these public comments that has legal consequences. >> exactly. that was that interview with fox news. donald trump, a tiny, tiny fraction of my legal work talking about michael cohen. here's the problem. the lawyers who were defending the fbi raid, they said, well, wait a minute. michael cohen wants millions of documents protected by attorney-client privilege. if it on's only a tiny, tiny amt of work that donald trump did, there's no way he gets privilege. whoops. donald trump's ostensible reason for firing jim comey was that rod rosenstein memo that said comey did all sorts of wrong things during the campaign, hillary clinton, et cetera, et cetera. well, we have two examples where that is problematic. one, that nbc interview with lester holt where comey said i was going to fire him regardless of the memo. and we're talking about general
flynn, michael flynn in this case, because he lied to the vice president and the fbi. here's the problem. at that moment, donald trump would have had no knowledge that michael flynn lied to the fbi. or he shouldn't have had any knowledge that he lied to the fbi. now, later john dowd, who was donald trump's attorney at the time said, i actually wrote it, donald trump didn't. donald trump during the campaign, you heard this language a lot, a total shutdown of muslims in the united states. talking about it's the only way we can do it. obviously his travel ban, number three, is being litigated in the courts. one argument being made against it was he said it was a complete travel ban against muslims. can you discriminate against an entire amnesty religious group or not? trump says, this isn't a muslim ban because hits only one of ten of the largest muslim countries in the world.
well, his language here as come up in the proceedings. i think we have one more -- yes, daca. donald trump's ostensibly he says he has an issue with daca, they were going to replace it with something better. the problem is tweets like this, the government has said there can be no daca without the desperately needed wall at the southern border. so a judge has allowed daca recipients to continue to receive benefits and continue on based on tweets and comments like this. he says, this is not a policy disagreement, this is a quota parallel. you get daca, i get the border wall and that makes it problematic. again and again and again, his words, tweets, comments, phone interviews matter and get in the way of his priorities. >> tweets last forever. in the president's remarks
specifically about cohen, you say you're also noticing a pattern in this white house for officials who are under investigation. >> let's pop them up. so what you see, and these aren't all donald trump comments but mostly. these are all george papadopoulos, michael flynn, paul manafort, gates and michael cohen. the truth of the matter is manafort was brought on at a key moment of the campaign, around april of 2016, when donald trump was trying to lockdown the nomination from ted cruz. he left in august. he left during a very important part of the campaign. only there for 25 days about mike flynn. mike flynn introduced donald trump at every meaningful rally in the home stretch of the campaign. he was the national security adviser. he had his pick of roles. so down the line, and we know
michael cohen has been with donald trump since donald trump -- he did a tiny fraction of his legal work, but michael cohen is intertwined in donald trump's world which is why the fbi raid on cohen makes trump so uncomfortable. >> now we're learning that they may not cover everything in that raid. >> thanks to donald trump. new questions about the infamous 2016 town meeting. the lawyer at the center making a startling revelation. and president macron warmed up to the president, but can the german chancellor close up the deal? we'll take you to it live, and that's coming up. and so should you. midas has a lifetime guarantee on these parts. that's right. on things like struts, brakes, shocks. all kinds of automobile parts. guaranteed for life. does he turn everything to gold? not everything.
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natalia reporting that at the trump tower meeting she was an informant. samantha, you work for the nsc. you're aware of russian tradecraft, as it were, here. a lawyer like this coming there, offering what they were offering, dirt on hillary clinton, discussing what you might give us in return. is that classic tradecraft? >> this is like national security 101. when a russian who says they have information that just may be useful to you happens to get in touch, typically you would know that this was just spycraft and you would report it either before the fact or after the fact. but it's really interesting that the russians allowed this news to leak or to go out publicly, excuse me, when they did. we all knew that this woman was not operating as a lone wolf here. but ironically, we're now months
after the fact that this meeting has come out, and the kremlin has okayed her ties to the kremlin? i wonder what's with that? >> she doesn't do stuff without getting an okay. do you think this could be a deliberate message from moscow? >> i think that could be exactly what's going on here. is it retribution for the sanctions? is it retribution for the expulsion of the diplomats? is this a way to thumb the nose at trump who just today said nobody has been tougher on russia than me? it could be. but if you're going to meet with russians, you have to assume that conversation is not confidential in any way whatsoever. so yes, the timing is success punish. we have a lot more to talk about. in a matter of minutes, president trump and the german chancellor angela merkel will have a press conference.
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be a topic on my trip throughout the middle east as well, not only talking about the concerns that president trump has expressed consistently but talking about ways to potentially address those shortcomings, finding a solution to the flaws that president trump has identified for a long time now. there's been no decision made. the team is working and i'm sure we'll have lots of conversations to deliver what the president has made clear. absent a substantial fix, absent overcoming the shortcomings, the flaws of the deal, he is unlikely to stay in that deal past this may.
>> quite a warning there from the new secretary of state mike pompeo traveling in brussels. right now we're waiting for president trump and german chancellor ainngela merkel. john, listening to the new secretary of state there, is that a new warning or is that restating the position? >> i think it's restating the policy. trump has said that himself, that absent a fix, they're going to have to, you know, probably pull out. i don't think this is anything new. i think it's important, though, jim, to remember that the sho shortcomings that they cite aren't really valid. he doesn't like the fact that it didn't deal with ballistic missile. you covered the iran deal, if we tried to lump in the ballistic missile, iran wouldn't have gone for the deal. he doesn't like the fact that
there are sunset clauses, to maybe go back and enrich uranium but they they committed to never pursue a nuclear deal. and the third thing they complain about is the inspection regime. it's the strongest arms control inspection regime ever imposed by a foreign country on a national body in history. >> and we heard james mattis reiterate that iran is complying with that and that u.s. intelligence has con servfirmed. it seemed like macron might have been able to bring trump back from the edge, but now you're hearing pompeo and others saying, no, we're not there.
angela merkel has her work cut out for her. >> she does. it seemed they were able to put their differences to the side. macron comes in, sets the mood, gets the president happy and ready to negotiate and merkel comes in for this three-hour visit to probably try to get trump to close the deal. i think trump will wait until it gets closer to the deadlines but this is really a show of european unity. >> pamela brown is there in the east room. pamela, beyond the iran deal, what is the president likely to be pressed on? >> well, you can imagine north korea will be a topic of discussion here on the heels of the historic summit, of the leaders of the meeting.
the president has drawn the line, said he needs to get rid of the new mexico. how will the president verify that ahead of any particular meeting. he showed optimism today after the historic summit between the north and south koreans saying it was a very good thing and that it a great thing for the world if the tensions can be eased. you can really feel they are cautiously optimistic in terms of a potential meeting between president trump and kim jong un. the president said essentially today the past presidents had been hoodwoonginked by the nort koreans, saying they have been played beautifully like a fiddle. the president saying that will not happen with him, he's going to make sure the conditions are set and sad there were two or three locations already picked out for the meeting with north korea. also you can imagine trade will be a topic of discussion, whether the eu will be exempt from this deal, that is something you can imagine german chancellor angela merkel will be
stressing as well and will be important to these two allies. >> is there different definitions between the parties here, is there danger of the u.s. are the west getting played by north korea again to borrow the president's term? >> sure there is. i think that's an essential issue, what does denuclearization mean? it's unlikely that kim jong un will barter that away for nothing or barter it away at all. it's a good thing these discussions are moving forward. i think everybody should feel good about that, but the work of diplomacy is the work of often months, years and generations. we all have to get saddled up for the long haul here. this is not going to get solved in may or june, whenever he sits down with kim jong un. >> the merkel/trump relationship has not been a particularly warm and fuzzy one.
>> it hasn't but that's okay. leaders doesn't have to be best friends. they can talk about their differences publicly, like macron did. they don't have to fist pump to have a solid alliance. and merkel is here with a specific agenda on things like trade, on things like russia. he wants german firms exempt from u.n. sanctions. >> they've got that skin in the game, as it were. >> there's $10 billion worth of russian gas that goes to germany. this is an example when trump is going to be in the room and maybe pushing another country to be tougher on russia than the united states. >> interesting. we're going to be following it. pamela brown is in the east room as we await to bring you this press conference there. certain to be discussions of the iran nuclear deal. we see the principals coming in, sarah sanders, john bolton, so many members of the german
delegation as we get ready for the president and the german chancellor to come in. also new developments in the russia investigation. i'm going to turn you over to our special coverage as it continues with erika hill. she is in new york live. stay with us. >> good afternoon. i'm erika hill in for brooke baldwin today. we're moments away from a news conference between president trump and angela merkel. it's a far different affair than the pomp and circumstances that we saw earlier with president macron. merkel and trump are pushing their rocky relationship april side -- aside to get to the business on the table. >> i know we're going to have a very good discussion on iran, as i did with