tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN March 5, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
stoned again. a federal judge may be fed up with roger stone after the indicted trump ally potentially violating his gag order. will stone be thrown in jail? calling him a criminal. nearly two-thirds of voters believe mr. trump committed crimes before he was president. they are divided on potential crimes in office. what does it mean for the possibility of impeachment? russia mocks congress. the kremlin is trying to discredit a u.s. house probe into president trump's contacts with putin. tonight, moscow is on the same page as mr. trump and borrowing from his playbook. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> we're following breaking news on the white house defying
democrats who are investigating the president and his inner circle. the house oversight committee chairman says the administration is refusing to produce documents and witnesses on alleged abuses involving jared kushner's security clearance. two democratic lawmakers are calling for a criminal investigation after a report that mr. trump ordered top secret access for his son-in-law overruling intelligence officials' concerns. also brag ieaking, the whit house is prepared to push back on the sweeping new probe of the president, claims of executive privilege, despite public promises to cooperate. i will get reaction from the house oversight committee democrat and our correspondents and analysts are standing by. first, let's go to our chief white house correspondent jim acosta. we heard the president's reaction to the democratic investigation. it all sounded very familiar. >> reporter: that's right. the oversight fight has begun.
the white house is digging in its heels over the investigations launched by house democrats into allegations of corruption across trump world. asked about the avalanche of probes coming his way, president trump all but declared his own resistance. faced with one of the most far-reaching congressional investigations in years, president trump doesn't sound like he is in the mood to cooperate. >> there was no collusion. it was a hoax. there was no anything. >> reporter: mr. trump blasted away at the how judiciary committee request as part of a larger probe into allegations of trump world corruption. >> basically, they started the campaign. the people understand it. when they look at it, they just say, presidential harassment. it's too bad, because i would rather see them do legislation. >> reporter: aides to the president have told cnn they may assert executive privilege to block document demands.
hinting the white house will dig in its heels, the president accused the obama administration of obstructing republican probes. >> they didn't give one letter. >> reporter: the investigations are proviegd tding the presidenh ammunition for his twitter feed. he called it a fishing expedition, december prain sear crime. >> the people who spent more than two years on the benghazi investigation or hillary clinton's e-mails make bizarre champions for the idea we have gone too far. all we have done is send out document requests. >> reporter: a new poll finds nearly two-thirds of registered voters believe mr. trump committed crimes before becoming president. a view shared by 89% of democrats, 65% of independents and more than a third of republicans. asked who do you trust more, 50% said the president's former personal attorney michael cohen. only 35% said the president. only 35% said it's time to impeach.
>> thank you all. >> reporter: the president did not respond to questions about reports he ordered white house staff to grant a security clearance to jared kushner despite concerns from the intelligence community. elijah cummings released a statement demanding cooperation saying, the white house security clearance system is broken. it needs congressional oversight and legislative reform. cummings released a letter from white house counsel complaining, we will not concede the constitutional prerogatives or allow the committee to jeopardize employees. democrats say they won't take no for an answer. >> all sorts of red flags. we need to find out why they believe that he should not have gotten security clearance. >> reporter: as for the security clearance questions, a white house official claims democrats are making unreasonable demands for information knowing that aides to the president will refuse to comply. the president already has
another investigation to worry about. new york state insurance regulators say they plan to look into what mr. trump's personal attorney -- former personal attorney michael cohen testified last week when he told lawmakers that the trump organization had been inflating the value of its assets to insurance companies. everywhere you look these days, it seems the president is phasiphase i facing serious legal questions. the white house is in the mood to resist all of the requests coming out of the capitol hill. let's go to capitol hill. manu raju is watching this unfold. the house oversight committee chairman says the white house is withholding information on security clearances. is this the first sign that the administration will refuse to cooperate with these various congressional probes? >> reporter: democrats here are girding for what could be two
years of fights over document requests, subpoenas and demands for witness interviews that the administration may ultimately resist. today in a private meeting at the white house, the president himself complained about these democratic investigations. lindsey graham, who is a republican senator who chairs the senate judiciary committee, attended this meeting. he told me afterwards that the president was concerned that the democrats are taking -- trying to take a wrecking ball to his life. he believes the democrats are going to go, quote, nuts, according to graham who said that trump expressing a number of concerns. i asked graham whether the president would comply with these requests. he said that he urged the president to listen to his lawyers, to fight back when necessary. but ultimately try to govern the country the way that in graham's view bill clinton did. i asked a democratic congress who is planning to mount an aggressive investigation into the president, into the russia
interference campaign and any money laundering that may have occurred with the trump organization and russians. it's adam schiff. i asked him about the president's concerns and he is the democrats are trying to take a wrecking ball to his life. schiff responded. >> the president has had two years of a republican congress that did no oversight whatsoever. he doesn't know what oversight looks like. every day we learn about new impropriety for a president that talked about draining the swamp. he has filled the swamp to overflowing. i'm not surprised he doesn't line the idea of oversight, because i think he's too conscious of the corruption large and small in the administration. >> reporter: i asked him about the new house intelligence committee effort along with two other committees demanding information about vladimir putin's communications with president trump and those interpreter notes and demanding -- interest viviews a
whether the president discarded notes. they do not respond to you within two weeks as you are demanding, what is your next step? he said, we will do what we can to protect this country. expect that to be a major fight going forward. >> the house intelligence committee is expanding its staff, including hiring a former federal prosecutor who went after the russian mob with some success. what does that signal about the committee's efforts to ramp up its own russia probe? >> reporter: daniel goldman, one of several hires announced today by the house intelligence committee. goldman was a former federal prosecutor who will be the head of the director of investigations for the committee, director of investigations. he worked with the southern district of new york. he has experience looking into russian mob activity, russian organized crime. the committee has been very clear, adam schiff has been clear, he wants to investigate
any efforts -- the financing of the trump organization, any financial ties between the trump organization and the russians. goldman very clearly is going to lead that investigation going forward. i asked schiff about that, too. he said he wants to fill his staff with the best possible people. they are ramping up for what could be two very intense years on his committee. >> manu, thank you very much. let's look ahead to another round of foepotentially crucial testimony. michael cohen prepares to return to capitol hill tomorrow. shimon prokupecz is joining us right now. "the wall street journal," as you know, is reporting that one of cohen's lawyers actually sounded off one of the president's lawyers about a possible pardon. i assume that's a subject of serious investigation up on capitol hill. >> it is. it's been asked of michael cohen, whether or not this ever came into play, whether or not he ever considered a pardon and whether the president ever spoke to him about a pardon. the point of this -- there's two things. first, this information coming
out obviously after michael cohen testified saying that he was not interested in a pardon. he had no intention on trying to even ask for a pardon. it goes to his credibility. now you have the story out there that says, actually, his attorneys did discuss a potential pardon. that seems to have come at a time when everybody was getting along. the president and he were getting along. the lawyers were getting along. there was a shared defense agreement. that came at a different time. here is what michael cohen had to say when he testified. >> i have never asked for, nor would i accept, a pardon from president trump. >> when he started cooperating, wolf, as you know, he was insistent that he had no interest in seeking a pardon. he was about to do the right thing. he didn't want the president's help because he felt it was the right for him to do was to come forward and tell people what he knew. >> amidst this, today we learned that new york state regulators are beginning yet another
investigation into some of the president's business practices. as you know, he is in new york. >> you have to wonder who in new york is not at this point investigating the trump organization. between the southern district of new york, the attorney general's office, now the department of financial services, there's a lot going on for the trump organization in new york. they are being scrutinized from every end now. interestingly enough, this comes -- this subpoena to the trump organization comes after michael cohen testified on the hill where he was saying that the trump organization was inflating its assets for insurance purposes. this is not going to end any time soon. what's going on now is that every part of this organization, the trump organization, is now under scrutiny. it's going to be problematic. >> another intriguing development today. roger stone, he is out on bail awaiting trial. he is in deep trouble right now with the federal judge
overseeing all of this. >> yeah. this has to do with a book. he is re-releasing a book. he added additional information to the introduction. he alerted the court about this. it wasn't like the court found this. he alerted the court, which is making someone sm we ining some was doing this to get attention, to sell books. we know he needs money. he needs money for his legal defense fund. there is some question about what was the point of him doing that. the other part of is that the judge is not happy. as you know, he is under this gag order. she wants to know why didn't you tell me this was coming in advance? she wants to know now when he planned to do this, when was the planning for this book, did it come before the gag order, doid it come after? the judge does not trust anything that roger stone says. now he could face consequences. he could be sent to jail for his trial. she could fine him.
now, we have a little investigation going into exactly what was going on. >> she could revoke his bail. he could spend time awaiting trial in jail, like paul manafort. >> that's right. she could do that. then really gag him. he won't be able to speak publically to anyone. roger stone is pushing it close to the line here each and every time. he claims it's volunteers sometimes. in this case, it seems what he did was he filed these legal papers to try to get publicity at least for this book. >> shimon, thank you very much for that. joining us now, a democrat on the house oversight committee. thanks for joining us. >> good evening. >> the chairman of your committee says the white house refused to hand over any documents on your investigation into security clearances. cnn learned they are planning on fighting back against other requests as well. how do democrats -- how do you plan to respond? >> i think the first thing is,
subpoenas. if we can't get the dissemination of documents we requested voluntarily, we are left with no other alternative but to issue subpoenas for that information. then we fully expect the white house and the administration to provide those documents. >> the chairman said publically, he said he will be meeting with your committee to determine next steps. he didn't specifically say there would be a subpoena. but you are saying there inhe will will be subpoenas if the documents are not made available in. >> it's safe to assume if we continue to have the white house not provide what was requested voluntarily, that you will see subpoenas. if they continue to stymie obligations of congress to provide oversight of the white house and the administration,
they are leaving us with no other choice. >> two of your democratic colleagues are calling on the justice department to open a criminal investigation into jared kushner's security clearance. is that necessary when your committee is investigating this issue? >> we do need to investigate what's going on with the security clearances. certainly, we don't want to set a precedent for any president to completely disregard the advice of the national defense. you can hear the horns going off for our vote. we need to make sure that we're not setting that precedent and the president is held accountable, whether it's a democratic president or republican president. held accountable to what the advisers say. i used to be a republican. i was a republican for 17 years. i can tell you what we see from this president regardless whether it's a democrat or a republican, this is not a party question. this is a right or wrong question that all of the members of congress need to stand up. >> let me get your response to
that "wall street journal" report that michael cohen's lawyer actually raised the idea of a pardon with the president's lawyers. cohen testified before your committee last week, said he never asked for a pardon. does this report raise questions about michael cohen's honesty under oath? >> it does. the question i would want to know is whether the attorney did, in fact, ask that question and if so, did he do it with his client knowing that that occurred? if he did, in fact, know it and denied it, that certainly shows that we have an issue regarding his credibility under oath. >> do perjured himself? >> don't jump to the facts. continue to investigate. we will continue to do appropriate investigation. >> you questioned michael cohen last week about the president's relationship with russian american businessman felix
sater. he will testify publically last week. what do you hope they ask him? >> it's the old adage. follow the money. there is clear evidence that there has been a long-term relationship with the trump organization and russian-backed banks and oligarchs that have provided funding for the operations of the trump organization as well as numerous kocondominium sales, which demas further investigation to understand what the true relationship there is. that's really all we're trying to do. we're trying to get to the truth. the american public wants the truth. from that, we can ascertain what really happened. >> it seems clear that these investigations could go on now for months, maybe years. a new poll out today shows 35% of americans right now think congress should begin impeachment proceedings. is the democratic strategy to try to convince more people to
support impeachment or to put aside that option and drag out these investigations through the 2020 election? >> i think our job is to do the investigative work we're required to do under the constitution. i find it hypocrisy that the administration is talking about how we have already gone overboard in doing what we're supposed to do. keep in mind, for two years, republicans holding the house did nothing. we have only been sworn in, the 116th congress, for two months of which 35 days was a government shutdown. to suggest that we are overreaching in the 25 days is absolutely hypocrisy. >> thanks for joining us. >> thank you. just head, how fiercely will the white house fight democrats who are looking into every nook and cranny and potential crime in the president's world? we will discuss michael cohen's role in the investigations. what might he reveal when he resumes his marathon testimony tomorrow?
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from the president despite concerns among security officials. let's dig deeper. kaitlan collins, you have been doing reporting on this. the white house refusing to provide any documents to cummings and his house oversight committee. is this a sign of what is to come? >> it is. we're going to have this play out over two years. it's a fight where cummings implied, if the white houe whit reject that, could be a subpoena. if the white house defies that subpoena it will end up in the court. it's the overall strategy we are looking at coming from the white house. after that trove of requests, 80 people that they want documents from, the white house is ready to push back against that. publically, they say they will cooperate. they say they feel the president has a right to confidentiality. some of the documents are off limits, ones pertaining to the president's time in the white house. >> jeffrey toobin, what do you make of this?
>> the democrats are going to have to pry these documents out of their cold, dead hands. this is just not happening. the whole mindset of flood, is that you don't give anything to your adversaries unless you have to. next step is a subpoena. after that, it's a court fight. then perhaps finding some people in contempt of congress. they are going to get nothing. i don't think there's going to be political pressure on the white house to surrender these documents. i think democrats ought to not get their hopes up that they're going to see a lot of these documents. >> if there's a court fight that could drag on for months. >> exactly. the clock is ticking on the trump administration. there are 20 months left or so.
that's to the white house's advantage. court fights drag on. they're not going to get their documents as far as i can tell. >> there's a new poll out today. it shows 35% of americans support democrats launching impeachment proceedings right now. are long investigations a smarter political strategy for the democrats? >> i think if safer is smarter, then it's smarter. right now, democrats can try and do this sort of drip, drip, drip where with each investigation of each different allegation, both in terms of the president's conduct or his advisers or whether it's the investigations in the southern district of new york, they can continue to drag this out and try to bring down the president that way versus the risk of having egg on their faces if they go for impeachment in the house, don't get it in
the house or if they get it in the house and condition can't c the senate, it would give the president an ability to turn the tables. >> they have asked for a criminal investigation into jared kushner's security clearance, how he got top secret security clearance. their logic is it's a crime to lie on the security clearance application. do you think that's going anywhere in. >> it's unlikely the justice department will take up this issue. we knew jared kushner omitted more than 100 foreign contacts on the forms. his lawyers argue that those omissions were inadvertent. they included the trump tower meeting in june of 2016 as well as another meeting with the russian ambassador to the u.s. at the time during the course of the campaign. democrats are sort of looking at
those omissions in a new light after reports that the president overruled officials and demanded that kushner be granted a security clearance. it's going to be difficult to prove kushner intentionally lied, especially if they can't get their hands on documents the white house is going to use executive privilege to try and withhold. where it will get interesting is if they subpoena john kelly who was the chief of staff at the time, wrote a memo with his concerns over the occsecurity. >> just for example, the executive privilege does not cover absolutely everything in the white house. it covers advice that the president is given. for example, i don't know why a memo that john kelly wrote about jared kushner's security clearance would be covered by executive privilege. that is not a matter of the president getting free -- getting unfettered advice from
his advisors. the idea that absolutely everything that goes on in the white house is covered by executive privilege has been rejected by the supreme court. i don't know why democrats should be intimidated by that, even though the process to get those documents may be very slow. >> let me ask you this. if john kelly, the former white house chief of staff, he did write a memo, if he did write a memo like this, could he hand it over without going through the white house? >> that's an interesting question. i assume he would honor -- since he wrote it as white house chief of staff, he would honor the request of the white house counsel. i don't know if he even has the document, if he took it with him when he left the white house. you are pointing to an interesting point there that as a private citizen, he is in a somewhat different position than the people who are still employed at the white house. >> yesterday, the president said he always cooperates. he will cooperate with nadler.
today, he and his team, they are sounding different. >> you saw a different -- two statements come out of the white house. first they said we have gotten this letter from nadler. we will review it. that was it. short and simple. then later on you got the statement from sarah sanders going after -- a blistering statement essentially ended with the democrats don't want the truth, they just want go after the president. that was something the president echoed on twitter. likely, ed sarah to that out. they think the democrats have overstepped. they have cast way too far -- too wide of a net. they're going to end up failing because instead of targeting certain lines of inquiry, they're going after everything. that's not going to help them be successful in the end. the white house thinks they can fight this successfully. >> as you know, jeffrey, the house intelligence committee's beefing up its staff as the investigations unfold.
the chairman announced five new hires today. you have written an article about one of the new lead investigators, former federal prosecutor daniel goldman. he has a background in prosecuting russian organized crime. tell our viewers what this all means as far as this house intelligence committee investigation unfolds. >> remember the division of labor among the committees that is holding for now. the turf fights are on hold. the intelligence committee is very much responsible for the russia investigation, the investigation of trump tower, president trump, candidate trump's relationship financially with russia. this is precisely in goldman's whe wheelhouse. this is what he investigates when he was an assistant u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york. adam schiff said many times, he is concerned about where president trump's ultimate loyalties lie.
is he someone who is so fixated on trying to make money in russia that he put his commercial interests ahead of the national interests? these former prosecutors seem like the right people to try to find that out, at least that's what they're going to try to do. we will see how far they get. >> it's an impressive staff. the new people that are coming in, backed up by all the other staffers who are investigating. >> yeah. clearly, the mueller team has got the right people in place from the beginning. the question to jeffrey's point is whether or not they will ultimately find something that unravels the whole case, so to speak, or if mostly what we find out from the mueller report ultimately is along the lines of some of the stuff that we already know. >> what do you think? >> just to the question of the president's business interests, because this has been his red line, i think that's why this conversation of the negotiations
around a foenl trtrump tower go. if he was as michael cohen testified pursuing this potential deal well into the course of the campaign, at the same time that he was vowing as president to pursue renewed relations between the u.s. and moscow, it calls into question what was really driving his motivation. >> i assume white house officials are nervous about what michael cohen will tell the house intelligence committee tomorrow when he testifies behind closed doors and what felix sater testifies in open session next week. >> they are irritated by michael cohen. the president has said, this is someone who lied in front of congress before. why is everyone trusting him now? the thing that the white house and officials can't deny is michael cohen knows about the president. maybe he is not always truthful. he is not the most reliable person given his history. he knows a lot about the president, how he ran trump organization, about the president's children. that's the fear for the president. that's why you saw him so
annoyed after cohen testified while he was in vietnam meeting with kim jong-un, because michael cohen is out there laying out all the president's dirty secrets. whether they're illegal, unethical, whatever, he knows a lot. >> the chairman of the house intelligence committee says at some point they will release the transcripts of all of the closed door hearings, which will be important reading for us. we have more breaking news coming up. we are learning of another investigation into the trump organization. what do you look for when you trade? i want free access to research. yep, td ameritrade's got that. free access to every platform. yeah, that too. i don't want any trade minimums. yeah, i totally agree, they don't have any of those. i want to know what i'm paying upfront. yes, absolutely. do you just say yes to everything? hm. well i say no to kale. mm. yeah, they say if you blanch it it's better, but that seems like a lot of work. no hidden fees. no platform fees. no trade minimums. and yes, it's all at one low price. td ameritrade. ♪
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more breaking news. cnn has learned about another investigation into the trump world. a source says that the new york state regulators have opened an inquiry into the trump organization's insurance practices and have issued a nine-page subpoena to the company's longtime insurance broker. let's talk about this. it's a very, very serious -- foe potentially serious development. michael cohen testified last week. he was asked, to your knowledge did the president provide inflated assets to an insurance company? cohen said yes. >> under oath, michael cohen implicated the president in potential insurance fraud, bank fraud and other fraudulent activity with regard to his charity. cohen said the president inflated his assets to insurance companies as well as in order to
get a loan from a bank. so i think this is really of concern for the white house, because we were talking earlier about this notion of executive privilege. when it comes to the president's business, there's no real claim for executive privilege. there's another aspect that concerns them. the special counsel has certain limitations with respect to the scope of the mueller investigation. when it comes to prosecutors in the southern district of new york, there's no real clear mandate. they can pursue inquiry that comes to their attention. there's a lot to follow up on. >> i can only imagine how angry the president must be that new york, new jersey, all these attorneys general and others, the u.s. attorney, they're looking into his business, the trump organization, every little deal. >> that's kind of the sinking feeling in the white house. when mueller's investigation is over and said and done with,
they have got so much to deal with now, not only the democrats but with what michael cohen said. all these people, every name michael cohen uttered in public, they're going to drag in front of them and interrogate them about this. that's really the problem for the president. that's why he is so irritated, specifically with michael cohen. we have seen that ever since the fbi first raided michael cohen's office. now we see why. michael cohen knew so much about the president and the way he ran his business. things that are going to have a spotlight on them for months to come, maybe years. >> all he had to do to avoid inviting this was not run for president. he just wouldn't -- this never would have been looked into with this much -- this degree of intensity. >> alternatively, if he conducted his business this an honest and honorable way, he would have avoided this problem, too. >> that too. >> let me ask you about thismic lawyers pitched the idea of a pardon to one of the president's
lawyers. last week when he was asked about this, cohen, under oath, he said, i have never asked for nor would i accept a pardon from mr. trump. >> well, you know, the lawyer was only doing his job in seeking that out. the lawyer's job is to help his client in any way possible. a pardon obviously would be a regor very good thing. it was at that time. whether cohen knew about or asked for the lawyer -- it's a previous lawyer. he is no longer representing cohen -- to do that is a question we don't know the answer to. everyone involved in this investigation who was at least at one point allied with the president will be very interested in a pardon. the president has obviously shown that he is willing to do it for allies. paul manafort, michael flynn, they are going to be looking for
one now or twoeowards the end o his administration. >> we know how i objenterested president is in poll numbers. this must be driving him crazy. 50% of the people trust michael cohen more than they trust the president. the question was, what do you believe more? trump 35%, cohen 50%. >> he is not going to like that. i did talk to someone from the white house who made an interesting remark talking about the investigations into the president's business. they essentially believe that the people who supported the president and have questions about whether or not he committed shady business practices aren't going to change their support for the president just because more evidence comes out. the people who think the president is a criminal and had these shady business practices aren't going to change their mind and start supporting the president. they said even given all these investigations, the onslaught of them, they don't think it's going to move the needle with the president. whether that's true, whether it plays a factor in the 2020 campaign, whether there could be
an issue and he could be indicted for some of the potential or alleged crimes is another question. >> stick around. there's more news we're following. president trump poised to face a major republican rebellion as the senate prepares to vote on his national emergency declaration. the poutin goflvernment is weighing in on the and elbow grease. the official truck of getting to work, and getting to work. it's the official truck of homecoming, and coming home. the all new chevy silverado. just announced! 0% financing for 72 months on this all-new silverado has been extended for chevy truck month. find new roads at your local chevy dealer. this is jamie. you're going to be seeing a lot more of him now.
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president trump is placed to face his first major republican rebellion when the senate vote on a resolution disapprovingf his national emergency to build a wall with mexico. sunlen, how many republicans do we expect will break from the president? >> well, wolfering right now, we know at least four republicans are going to vote against president trump on this, and that's the important number because that means it has enough to pass up here in the senate, and will push president trump to issue the first veto of his presidency. very likely, though, when we see the senate move to vote on this at some point next week, very likely that number can and will grow. maybe seeing at least ten republicans voting against the president on this. now, importantly, though, while there is enough support to push this forward, senate side and send this rebuke over, this to
president trump, it is certainly not enough to override a presidential veto. that is important here. they do not have enough republican support. they need two thirds majority in the house and senate to override a veto. those are numbers they will not reach. senator lindsey graham, who is holding a hearing on this next week, he'll be -- excuse me, tomorrow, he will be having a hearing with the chief of border patrol. he met with president trump today over at the white house, and he said he left that meeting very clear impression that president trump can and will veto this. >> there's no backing off. i mean, number one, it is an emergency. after you hear the testimony tomorrow, i challenge anybody to say we don't have a crisis on the border. i think he has all the authority he needs under the statute to do what he's doing with the $3.5 billion for construction. to me, it's not a constitutional crisis. i think he'll win in court and i think his veto will be sustained. >> and senator graham said that president trump in that meeting
also said that republicans who are opposed to his national emergency declaration, they're, quote, playing with fire here. certainly striking words coming from president trump to members of his own party, and next week when this happens, this will be a huge rebuke coming from his republicans up here on capitol hill, wolf. even if, of course, this doesn't change much in the end with that threat of a presidential veto. >> have they decided which day next week they'll vote on this? >> as of now, no date certain set. things are tricky to set that date, but likely midweek. they have to vote on this by friday ofthex week. they had 18 days, had senate, from the time the house voted it through. at some point time next week, we'll see this huge rebuke likely sent to president trump. >> it probably will lead to the first veto by this president of a resolution passed by the house and senate. i just ahead, the russian government's response to the wave of new investigations targeting president trump.
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the kremlin is reacting tonight to the multiple investigations now focusing in on president trump with the russian spokes mrn referring to them as, quote, diminished and laughable. our senior international correspondent, fred pleitgen is joining us from moscow. the kremlin seems to be echoing what the white house is saying. >> yeah, echoing what the white
house is saying and also echoing the way that president trump is quite annoyed at this new set of investigations that has now come up. you can tell how the kremlin spokesman was also annoyed when he asked him about it earlier today. the kremlin believes president trump still wants to improve relations with russia but he's hamstrung precisely by investigations like the ones that were now launched. that's one of the reasons they were trying to mock this new set of investigations. here's what we're learning. tonight, the kremlin blasting the new wide ranging congressional investigation into the trump administration. requesting among other things records of president trump's communications with vladimir putin. the kremlin's spokesman trying to discredit the probe. >> translator: we do not have the capacity nor the desire to comment on every single new investigation launched by one or the other groups of u.s. lawmakers. there are so many of these investigations that their value has definitely diminished. >> the chairman of three house
committees citing, quote, profound national security, counterintelligence, and foreign policy concerns. saying they want to know whether putin managed to influence trump's foreign policy decision making. the kremlin trying to laugh off those concerns. >> translator: it's less and less resembling a serious approach. the most important thing is that none of the previous investigations have yielded any sort of serious results. it's nothing but laughable results. >> the kremlin's line, very similar to president trump's. >> you know the beautiful thing. no collusion. it's all a hoax. you will learn about that. it's a political hoax. there's no collusion. >> all this as russia seems to increasingly see itself in an act of conflict with the u.s. and its western allies. vladimir putin's top general laying out his vision for russia's military strategy of hybrid warfare, involving not just military but also
political, economic, and information battles. saying, quote, acting quickly, we must be able to preempt the enemy with our pre-emptive measures, promptly identify its vulnerabilities and create threats of unacceptable damage to it. this insures that the strategic initiative is captured and held. many of president trump's critics say his actions in office could amount to creating national security vulnerabilities. one of the reasons those leading the new investigations say they want to know exactly what was discussed at the closed-door meetings with vladimir putin. and wolf, it's worth noting that the russians time and again have also said they deny that president vladimir putin was trying to influence president trump in any of the meetings as they held the kremlin has said both leaders obviously represent their own countries, but at the same time, it's quite interesting to hear that the kremlin has told us in the past that they believe scrutiny of their relations with the white house is going to become tougher as the campaign season heats up in the united states. wolf. >> fascinating how intense the
russians watch everything that's going on here in washington. fred pleitgen in washington, thanks very much. to our viewers, thanks for watching. follow me on twitter and instagram. tweet the show. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, trump in a fight. stonewalling democrats as they launch sweeping investigations. what happened to the man who 24 hours ago said he cooperates with everybody and anybody? >> plus, trump organization facing new questions tonight. a big subpoena coming. and the u.s. citizen allegedly beaten while held captive in saudi arabia, and yet there is silence from the president. let's go "outfront." >> good evening. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, trump says no. refusing to hand over documents. we're learning tonight that the white house is finalizing plans to fight back against the democrats who have put sweeping requests out for documents. the white