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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  February 21, 2020 2:00pm-3:00pm PST

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instagram or twitter or facebook. you can tweet the show, and our coverage continues on cnn. have a fantastic weekend and i will see you sunday morning. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com this is cnn breaking news. i'm wolf blitzer in the "situation room," and we are following breaking news, the washington post is now reporting that bernie sanders has been formally briefed by top u.s. intelligence officials on russian efforts to help his presidential campaign. we are also learning new details in the heated intelligence briefing that u.s. lawmakers got on the russian interference designed to help re-elect president trump. it is more of the breaking news right now, and the justin correspondent evan perez is joining us, and a significant development a formal briefing by
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the intelligence community to senator sanders that the russians are trying to help him. >> it is happening again, wolf. and this is what the intelligence community has been looking for and waiting for some time this year in the election season to brief the campaigns about what they are seeing. it appears according to the washington post, they have approached the bernie sanders' campaign to let him know that the russian government is behind some efforts to try to assist this campaign. now we don't know exactly what those efforts entail, but we certainly saw it in 2016. there were some efforts by the russian online trolls to not only help donald trump, but to help bernie sanders' campaign to try to hurt hillary clinton's campaign, and again, this is something that we saw in the 2016 campaign. this is a statement from bernie sanders' campaign today reacting to the news. they say quote unlike donald trump i do not consider vladimir putin a good friend. he is an autocratic thug who is attempting to destroy democracy and crush dissent in russia.
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i don't care frankly who putin wants to be president, my message is clear, stay out of u.s. elections and as president, i will make sure that you do. this is the same playbook they used in 2016 and if you can remember in the mueller report, there is discussion of this including the efforts to go to hurt other campaigns. marco rubio and ted cruz' campaign to try to help donald trump's campaign and the republican side of the field on the democratic side, they were trying to cause some issues for hill clinton by trying to propel bernie sanders. so this is not something that the intelligence community is not used to seeing. it tells you a lot that the intelligence community is now going to the campaign at this point, and months before the election to try the discuss some of this so that everybody is aware. >> standby a moment, and shane harris the reporter from the washington post who broke this story is joining us on the phone right now. and tell us more, shane.
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tell us about the for mamal briefing that senator bernie sanders received from the u.s. intelligence officials that the russians are trying to help promote his presidential campaign? >> what we know, wolf, is that the senator was informed that the officials had developed intelligence that indicated to them that russia was trying to lend support to the campaign. importantly, we don't know the precisely the content of the briefing, but it is telling in senator sanders' statement that he gave to us that he noted possible that it is some of his supporters online who are not genuine, and that is not confirmation of what that briefing is about, but it is notable, and he has actually spoken about that this week in a debate on wednesday when he pointed to russia as a possible source of people posing as the supporters online. this is notable. campaigns are used to getting briefings from the fbi on general security pro cautiecaut
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they should be taking and possible targets, but this is the first of the u.s. officials going to one of the campaigns to say, look, we are seeing the trade craft of 2016 and assistance lent to the trump campaign, and we are seeing it here now with your campaign. >> it is interesting that you should mention, shane, 2016, because if you are going to the indictment that robert mueller, the then special counsel filed against the russian trolls, the internet research agency among others, the lengthy indictment among other things, and one element says this, specialists were instructed and these are russian specialists to post content that focused on politics in the usa and to use any opportunity to criticize hillary and the rest except sanders and trump. we support them. i am sure that you have seen that with the allegations that the russians were not only trying to help donald trump, but
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also senator sanders in his battle with hillary clinton. >> yes, and of course, wikileaks posted the stolen dnc emails before the convention in 2016 which had the real effect of aggravating and i think dispiriting a lot of the sanders' supporters as well. so in some ways we have seen it play before with respect to senator sanders, but what we didn't have in 2016 of course is the intelligence community or the fbi going to the campaign and identifying it. you remember back then, the fact that russia was even interfering with the election was a closely held secret and not something that the u.s. acknowledged until late in the campaign. so i think that what this is telling us now is that you will see a different posture from the intelligence community of being much more proactive in going tout tell the campaigns when they believe they have developed information that campaign needs to know. it is interesting to see as well from the sanders' campaign, did they ever consider making this information public and if not,
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why not? >> that is significant. they should inform the campaigns if the russians are directly interfering one way or another. shane, the online harassment that we have seen from some of the individuals claiming to be sanders' supporters, do we know right now that as the u.s. intelligence know or the fbi know if in fact russia has been behind at least some of it? >> i don't know if we -- we don't know that right now in the reporting. i did think it is notable that senator sanders made a reference to that in the statement that he gave us when we published the story about the briefing. and did not comment specifically about the briefing, because that is something that we will look at -- >> shane, shane. hold on one second, because senator sanders is speaking in bakersfield, california, right now, and we want to listen in. >> and to acknowledge that they did interfere in 2016 and the intelligence community is telling us that they are interfering in this campaign right now in 2020.
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what i say to mr. putin, if elected president, trust me, you are not going to be interfering in american elections. >> when was this? >> about a month ago i am guessing. >> what do you now that you know this? >> well, it is not clear what role they were going to play. and we were told that russia and maybe other countries were getting involved in the campaign. and look, here is the message to russia, stay out of the american election, and what they are doing by the way, the ugly thing they are doing, and i have seen some of their, you know, the tweets and stuff is that they try to divide us up. that is what they did in 2016 and that is the ugliest thing they are doing, and trying to cause chaos and hatred in america. it is an ugly business and all of us have to say sorry, you won't do it in this election, and again, as president of the united states, mr. putin, you will not interfere in our elections. thank you very much. >> how would it come out now if you had a briefing now?
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>> i will let you guess one day before the nevada caucus, and washington post? good friends. >> are you troubled by the fact. >> shane, i want to go back to bernie sanders, and a tough statement against the russians saying they should not be interfering and if he were president they would not be interfering and a a damning statement of the russians and now what you are reporting that he has been briefed that the russians are trying to interfere with the 2020 election with one goal of helping his campaign, and another goal of helping trump ee's campaign. >> that is right. it is notable as well that the senator said that he got this briefing a month ago. so for some time they obviously known about it, and factored it into some of the responses that they have been getting about syst some of the social media done on behalf of the purported sanders' supporters and that is notable.
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what is also interesting here and a point that senator sanders is going to keep emphasizing is that his response to this is to push back forcefully against russia and to say that we reject this and we don't want any of this. and he is going to contrast that with president trump's response which is to dismiss the intelligence reporting as recently as this week that the russians have developed a preference for him and trying to help him as well, and president trump has called it a hoax and sort of a product of the deep state and intelligence community and so those two reactions are really senator sanders and president trump's polar opposites ends of the spectrum. >> yes, opposite reactions. sanders condemning the russians and president trump dismissing the allegations. and now, hold on, shane, because evan perez is still with us. the original intelligence assessment when it came out of 2016 is that one of the goals
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was to sow political discontent, and sow chaos, and it seems that is what they are after? >> yes, that is the overall goal, wolf, but to shane's point, and he raises a very good point, that senator sanders just said in, told the reporters that he was briefed about a month ago on this, and why not make this public. i think that one of the criticisms of the intelligence community of the fbi and of everyone of the obama administration in 2016 is why didn't they say something sooner so that everyone could know what was going on, and the obama administration folks thought that it would come across that they were interfering, but it was actually helping the russians. so now the intelligence community is trying to be more forward thinking and went to the sanders' campaign and informed
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them. but as shane said, why not just provide this and they have known about for it a month, and why not tell the public, because as you been pointing out discussion about the trolls and the twitter active they is generated by the trolls trying to divide the democratic voters, so why not tell the public about it. >> it is a very important point indeed and everybody should know about it. jim acosta is the chief white house correspondent and over at the white house now, and what are you hearing over there? >> well, wolf, i have been talking to a source who was present at the briefing with the house intelligence committee to echo what evan was saying a few moments ago that the russians are right now interfering with the 2020 election, and that the interference efforts are under way. when i asked the source who was present at the briefing whether or not the briefing they received the information they received was alarming this source said very. so i think that there is a concern among the lawmakers
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hearing this infor nation t rma the russians are trying to interfere, and house speaker nancy pelosi said that there are briefings coming up and one on the senate side coming up in the next couple of weeks. one thing that we should point out, wolf, and shane harris was talking about this a few moments ago, that senator sanders had a different response to his briefing by the intelligence community than what the president heard. the president was at a rally in las vegas a short while ago and he was describing it as quote, disinformation and he was blaming the democrats for this and reading what he said, he said that is the only thing they are good at and not good at anything else, and the president went on the say that putin wants to make sure that i get elected and get this, doesn't he want to see who the democrats are going to put up, and wouldn't you rather have bernie, the president said in reference to senator sanders. it is not clear whether or not the president knew about the briefing that bernie sanders received about a month ago as senator sanders said, but as you heard the senator say a few
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moments ago he was indicating that perhaps some of the russian interference tactics had to do with the social media. we have seen some of that before. he did not elaborate. he also indicated that one of the reasons it is coming out is just before the iowa caucuses, so, wolf, as evan was saying and underlined by some of the president's comments as he is once again calling it a hoax and everything else is that the russians appear to already have achieved one of the objectives which is laid out by the u.s. intelligence community which is to sow discord in american democracy to get all sides fighting with one another, and they seem to be stoking it already. and here we are many, many months before the general election, wolf. >> important point indeed. jim acosta, standby. i want to get more on the breaking news. democratic congress gerry connolly is a member of the foreign affairs and oversight committees and thank you for joining us. what is your reaction to the breaking news that bernie sanders has been formally
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briefed by the u.s. authorities that russia is trying to help his campaign? >> i guess i'm not surprised, because we know that the russians have been probing campaigns both in '16 and this year. i must say that the contrast between bernie sanders' reaction of russian interference and that of the president donald trump is night and day. bernie couldn't have been more forthright in condemning the interference and making crystal clear that he does not welcome it, and should he be elected, he will shut it down. in contrast with donald trump still saying that it is fake news and how do we know that it is really the russians and my friend vladimir putin said that he didn't do it and i believe him. and he has rejected his own intelligence community assessment including firing the acting director of national intelligence because of a briefing on this very subject before a house intelligence committee members.
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>> it is interesting, congressman, according to, and i have it right in frontf me the february 16th, 2018, then special counsel robert mueller indictment of the russian entities, the russian trolls, there is an intriguing line in there and i will read another one, and i read one earlier, but this is a different one, congressman, and i will get your reaction. this is mueller in 2018. by 2016, defendants and the co-conspirators had used the fictitious online personas to interfere with the 2016 presidential elections and engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about hillary clinton and denigrate other candidates such as marco rubio and ted cruz and then elect donald trump. so that is what robert mueller wrote in 2018 when the charges were levied against the russian entities. >> well, the people have forgotten that volume one of the
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mueller report lays out a disturbing pattern of the russian interference and trump campaign cooperation. the focus barr put on the report is that there was no collusion, and no crime. but what mueller says is that i cannot prove a criminal conspiracy, but i can certainly document highly unusual and very disturbing connections between the trump campaign people, and russian officials and independent of that russian interference in the election. so that volume deserves more attention than it got. this is far more systemic, and it was welcomed by the trump campaign. there were lots of connections and meetings about which by the way most of the people lied. if the meeting was perfectly okay, why would you lie about it? why would you be meeting with the russian officials about an american election? >> it is interesting, because the president as you know going way back repeatedly has tried to
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cast doubt on the russian interference on his behalf. do you believe he is putting his own personal political interests over the security, over the 2020 election, because the current assessment from his own intelligence community that briefed the house intelligence community the other day, his own intelligence officials are making the same charges right now that the russians are already interfering. >> that is right. there's been a consistence, a consistency of the reporting of the intelligence community across the board, unanimous, that the russians most certainly did interfere with the 2016 election with purpose of electing donald trump. donald trump doesn't like hearing that, because well, it may be true and he may have known about it, but at the very least, he does not like it, because it is casting doubts on the legitimacy of his own election in 2016, but now he has gone further and basically reject and renouncing the
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intelligence findings of our own government. that is a very serious and concerning matter if we need a united front, and we do, to resist russian interference. it has to come from the top. the decisions and words of donald trump are very disturbing and really i think provide comfort to the russians. >> i want to once again point out the reaction of senator sanders is totally different from president trump and among other things, senator sanders said unlike donald trump i do not consider vladimir putin a friend, because he is an autocratic thug and is attempting to destroy democracy and crush dissent among the american people. so now, bernie sanders says that he has been briefed of russian interference in his campaign. we will continue to talk about this with the co-chair of the sanders' national campaign.
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focus on what matters to you with thinkorswim. ♪ this hour's breaking news, the u.s. officials have now told senator bernie sanders that russia is trying to help his presidential campaign. joining us now is democratic congressman ro khaan. and i don't know if you heard what senator sanders said a moment ago, but let me play a little clip. listen to this. >> let me tell mr. putin that the american people whether you are democrats or republicans or independents and we are sick and tired of seeing russia and other
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countries interfering with our elections. the intelligence community has been clear about it, whether trump recognizes it or not or acknowledges it or not, they did interfere in 2016 and the intelligence community are telling us that they are interfering in this campaign right now in 2020. what i is a i to mr. putin is if elected president, trust me, you won't be interfering in american elections. >> congressman, as i said that you are the national co-chair of the bernie sanders campaign and have you been briefed of russia's efforts personally to help his campaign? >> i have not been personally briefed, but the senator, my understanding, he has been briefed and he has made it very, very clear it is completely unacceptable. we will stand up against it and we have supported a house bill to stop russian interference, and mitch mcconnell has refused to push the legislation, so we will continue to push for
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legislation to empower the law enforcement agencies to cooperate with tech to stop these interferences. >> and he said that with the russian interference to help hi campaign, and why is this public now and why didn't he come out and let the supporters and everyone know? >> he wants to make it clear that there is no interference, but i don't believe that he is revealing what could have been a classified briefing and he would not want to reveal that publicly, and what he has made clear is no room for russian interference and pushing to work with the senate to actually get the legislation done. i also believe that the social media companies need to make it clear they will remove any posts from foreign actors. >> and issued a tough statement
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as we have been saying and much in contrast from reaction that is from president trump, and he is told that the russians are trying to interfere to help his campaign. why do you think that congressman, that russia wants to help the bernie sanders' campaign rather than say the other democratic candidates? >> well, i have no idea what motivates vladimir putin. i mean, he makes decisions that are dumb all of the time like annexing crimea, and so i think that he wants to create the maximum level of confusion and division. look. russia is a has been power and the economy is in the dumps, and they can see the rise of china, and they are basically realizing that their only method of competing in the world unfortunately is sowing discord in other democracies. it is not going to work. we have to clearly stand up to putin and say, this is unacceptable, and you are not going to endear yourself either to the united states or to europe if you continue down this path. >> let me read to you something from the statement that senator
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sanders put out a little while ago. i will read a quote. some of the ugly stuff and the internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters. do you believe, congressman, that the campaign has evidence that some of this online harassment that we have been all reporting about and supposedly attributed to bernie sanders' supporters has been really coming from russia? >> i don't want to speculate on that, because it would be going too far. what i will say is this, we have a responsibility in the sanders' campaign to live up to his ideals, and no sanders' supporter should be bullying or harassing online and nobody should be saying something that is making other people uncomfortable to participate as equals, and we needed to be inclusive in the campaign. if there is interference, obviously, we need to get to the bottom of that, but i don't want to speculate on something that we don't have hard evidence. >> this is basically the second time that he has suggested, senator sanders, that maybe some
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of the ugly harassments coming from people supposedly supporting his campaign really, he doesn't say it hard, but he says maybe coming from the russians. he is willing to go there in part, but you are not. >> well, i think that we can call for an investigation and i would trust the intelligence agencies, and they ought to be looking at what the interference is and are the russians having bots online that are spreading misinformation or spreading hate. i would defer to the intelligence agencies as would senator sanders and this is the big difference between him and president trump. we believe in the intelligence agencies in the country, and we believe they are professionals and we believe in the competence and we will look at the facts and ultimately what senator sanders wants is for the intelligence agencies to look into this and who is causing the disinformation and what kind it is. >> clearly the russians are trying to sow political turmoil here in the united states by doing what they did in 2016 and
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what they are apparently doing right now as well. congressman, thank you for coming in. >> thank you, wolf. we will have much more ahead and the breaking news. once again, senator bernie sanders now confirming public they u.s. officials have told him that russia is interfering in his campaign. fun fact: 1 in 4 of us millennials have debt we might die with. and most of that debt is actually from credit cards. it's just not right. but with sofi, you can get your credit cards right by consolidating your credit card debt into one monthly payment. including your interest rate right by locking in a fixed low rate today. and you can get your money right with sofi. check your rate in two minutes or less. get a no-fee personal loan up to $100k.
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this hour's breaking news, the u.s. officials have told senator bernie sanders officially that russia is trying to help his presidential campaign. let's get the insights of our experts. phil mudd, let's talk about this, because in the 2018 mueller indictment of the russian entities, he said in there specifically that the russian entities not only were trying to help then candidate donald trump, but also trying to help bernie sanders' campaign against hillary clinton for the democratic nomination. >> and let me play the adversary which is what i had to do for 20 years and the adversary is what is to our advantage? you have seen the advantages for russia and syria from the trump administration and in places
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like europe where americans are more divided than ever to nato, and this is playing to russian advantages. so from the russian perspective, you say how can i continue to divert the american attention and which candidate might allow us to continue divide america, and get donald trump elected. it is a chance to assert dominance in europe and elsewhere. >> gloria, bernie sanders has issued a tough statement in contrast to president trump, and bernie sanders said that let's be clear that the russians want to undermine american democracy by dividing us up, and unlike the current president, i am against all of their efforts. >> and the president calling it a hoax and a witch hunt. >> and before that. >> and despite the fact that the united front of intelligence
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agencies all said that russia is meddling, and my question right now, and i am checking my twitter feed is to see what the president tweets about this news about the russians trying to intervene on behalf of sanders. what will he say? will he believe it? he will continue to say that russian interference is a hoax, but only on his part. what will -- i just, it is going to be interesting to see how the president reacts to this when it is not about him. he can make a political statement, and say, well, of course, bernie honeymooned in moscow or whatever, and he could do that, but he can't, of course, he can talk out of both sides of his mouth, but if it is a hoax for him, is it a hoax when it is bernie sanders? >> what are you thinking, elliott? >> here's the thing, and like everybody is mentioning thus far the mueller probe. we know now that the russian investigation was legitimate.
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we knew it back then and we know it now and they are still trying to intervene. and this is the advice to bernie sanders' campaign, and he ought to make sure and keep an eye on not just the friends, but the friends' friends and not unlike donald trump's campaign. both of the campaigns were built on the notion that there were insurgents and people outside of washington and the question is bernie sanders does not want to have a roger stone. he does not want to have a person sort of outside of his orbit that is still willing to accept the help of russians. so we have to be careful. we are talking about which campaign this benefits and so on, and the simple fact that is requiring vigilance on bernie sanders' part. >> and bernie sanders said that he was briefed a month ago or so, and we are only learning about this now. >> and it is interesting that to me the intelligence community, usual will i think that do what they call the defensive briefings and come, usual will i, wolf, much later in the election season s and after the two parties have picked the frontrunners or the nominees and the idea that they are doing it
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now tells us that they are being much more proactive than in 2016 and learned from what happened in 2016 where keeping this quiet helped the russians and propelled the effort to allow it to happen, and in some ways helped to create the suspicion that president trump still has about whether this even happened. so if you are going to talk to the campaigns early on, it does make a difference. i think that to your point, it does mean that the sanders' campaign now has a responsibility to check inside of their campaign to make sure that the systems are clean, to make sure that there is no chance of a intrusion that could end up causing additional problems. >> everybody, hold on to your thought for a moment, and we will have more on the breaking news after this. if you've been dreaming about tender wild-caught lobster, dig in to butter-poached, fire-roasted and shrimp & lobster linguini. see? dreams do come true.
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about me. so from the beginning, it is clear that putin does not want me to be the nominee, and donald trump does not want me to be the nominee. >> what do you think? >> i think that predictable, but it makes a lot of sense that trump does not want me to be the nominee. and with have heard it over and over again since the ukraine story broke, and he can say that i'm the only one who vladimir putin is afraid of. so he feels like he can clearly use this to his advantage. >> but it is beyond that. think about in the last few months we have been talking about the russian disinformation campaign that has been hopefully been carried forth by rudy giuliani, and the whole idea that joe biden was corrupt, and some of the stories which have been discredited have been making the rounds, and the intelligence community has been warning and even lindsey graham, the senator who is a supporter of the president is saying that some of this is the product of the russian disinformation and you have to be careful with it, and rudy has been going around propelling it, and joe biden has
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been sort of, you know, at the victim of some of this for some time. >> and now, just reality check for a moment though. we are focusing on who the russians want to win, and that is ancillary to the central point which is that our system of elections is under attack and what are we doing about it. bernie sanders is a senator and i understand he is running about president, but where in the statement, that as a senator, these are the hearings that i will call for and this is who i need to know about and this is how we will secure the election and whether it is joe biden or whoever it is. >> and so in terms of the russians who they want to win in terms of who they are helping in the election and fast forward to the election, and what happens if some of the american publy says i don't like what happens because there was election interference and now it does not matter what side you are on, and the american public may well say, i don't trust it anymore. >> and this is the greater goal. >> and what you think? >> well, a simple bottom line.
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the president's bottom line is not getting re-elected, but as commander in chief, he has to protect us, and in the last 24 hours that people of the intelligence community should not be briefing congress, but this is where homeland security is intervening and this is where the state department is pressing moscow, and this is how the cia and he would not say this publicly, but collecting information and telling the nsa to hack the russians and creating a plan to go after the russians and telling us how to protect us and instead it is all about him. >> and make us feel safe and not who is going to win the election. >> and the question is if donald trump knew about the bernie briefing? >> the washington post says that he did. >> and he knew about the bernie briefing and so what upset him if you want to unspool that a little bit. >> he does not believe that the russians are serious about this, and he has pooh-poohed it for three years. >> did he learn about it after?
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>> well, i have briefed opposition candidates at the cia -- >> what does that mean opposition candidates? >> in the campaign, you would brief, for instance i briefed secretary kerry as part of the campaign as am no knee, nominee would say with the white house, cross the ts and dot the is and this is a normal process and you may not tell them the nature of the briefing, but this is the subject. the white house if they did not know i'd be shocked. >> it is a serious moment right now, because gloria, you making an important point that we want to make sure that american public has confidence in the outcome of the election, and if there are concerns that the russians are interfering some will have doubts. >> and bernie sanders in the statement and in the debate the other night raised the point and some of the ugly stuff on the internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters. so who is that coming from? >> that is why you need a president who is willing to not only accept this, but also say,
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look, we know what is going on, and this is what, to phil's point, but the problem is that the president won't accept that this is happening, and he would not accept it in 2016 and then raised doubts as to whether or not he would accept the results of the election. >> and my goodness if he loses, imagine donald trump day one after the election and the discourse that could be sowed in the united states and thereafter. >> and the russians would say mission accomplished if that happened. >> and every single candidate needs to join together and say that we cannot let this occur. lit not happen. >> stick around, and there is more news that we are following as well as look towards tomorrow's nevada caucuses and why are some volunteers being asked to sign confidentiality agreements? ♪you make everything... groovy...♪
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our campaign is funded by the working people of this country, and those are the people that i will represent. no more tax breaks for billionaires. we are going to guarantee health care to all people and create up to 20 million good paying jobs to save this planet. i'm bernie sanders and i approve this message because we need an economy that works for all of us, not just wealthy campaign contributors. . this hour's breaking news, u.s. officials have told u.s. senator bernie sanders russia is trying to help his presidential campaign as well. this comes right on the eve of the nevada caucuses. cnn national correspondent
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dianne gallagher is in las vegas for us. we have learned that sight leaders for tomorrow's caucuses are being asked to sign what, confidentiality agreements? >> reporter: that's rights the site leads are being asked to sign nondisclosure agreements that prohibit them from speaking with the media or making disparaging comments about the party. the nevada democratic party tells me this is standard practice to have volunteers and staffers sign these ndas because they are privy to information, but at least one of the site leads felt the language was too broad and he simply could not comply. he had been raising flags all along hoping his state was going to be ready come tomorrow. tonight it looks like nevada's first ever early voting in a caucus is paying off with huge numbers, but will it make getting results more
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complicated. the nevada democratic party says nearly 75,000 participated in the first ever early caucusing, nearly the total number of voters in the 2016 caucus when roughly 84,000 people participated on caucus day. in 2008, 118,000 nevadans caucused in the race. while the party celebrated the high turnout, it adds to the uncertainty whether nevada is ready for saturday or whether it will be a repeat of the iowa fiasco where final results are still pending. >> our goal is to have a successful caucus, and we provide multiple sets of eyes and ears and wisdom and observations and lessons learned from iowa so that we can be successful here in nevada. >> volunteer seth morrison raise add red flag early in the training process. now he's more optimistic saying things are getting better but worried about lingering issues. >> one is we still don't know any details of the back office,
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of how all the early voltes wer tabulated, how this tool works. second of all, there's a massive shortage of volunteers. >> reporter: the democrats are scrambling to train caucus volunteers having added 55 additional training sessions. volunteers can now also try out the much talked about caucus calculator which morrison says is user friendly. >> the tool is very well defined. it's very intuitive. >> reporter: but he does see potential problems for people who aren't familiar with ipads. >> somebody who has not used that kind of technology would find it challenging. >> reporter: these slides replicate what cnn saw during a party hosted demo of the calculator. they did not allow our cameras to film the demo. the calculator will have preloaded early vote information which will be combined with the choices of the people there on saturday to determine winners and losers through two rounds of nominations. back up if the calculator doesn't work is tedious, a lengthy process of manually
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searching a paper list of early voters ranked choices, still the chair of the democratic national committee says he believes everything will be smooth sailing come saturday. >> i am very confident that we have thought of every contingency. >> reporter: now seth morrison, that you just heard from right there says that the democratic party did try to offer him a lesser position that did not require an nda. seth tells me he said no tharnk and he quit. he's no longer going to be a site lead on caucus day tomorrow. >> thank you so much. dianne gallagher reporting. breaking news next, senator bernie sanders told by u.s. officials that russia is trying to help his presidential campaign as part of its effort to meddle with the upcoming u.s. presidential election. we made usaa insurance for members like martin. an air force veteran made of doing what's right, not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit, usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage. that's how you do it right. usaa insurance is made just the way martin's family needs it -
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this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room with breaking news. another bomb shell revelation about russian election interference here in the united states. u.s. officials have told senator bernie sanders that russia is trying to help his democratic presidential campaign. in a new statement, senator sanders says he stands firmly against russia's efforts and he says unlike president trump, he doesn't consider vladimir putin to be a good friend. this comes just a day after we learned that house members were formally briefed on russia's efforts

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