tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN June 5, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
s up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. happening now, breaking news. pathetic excuse. lashing out at the mayor of london again. britain reels from new terrorist attacks. tonight, the white house is scrambling to defend president trump's latest tweets that sparked new fire storms. undermining his team. executive order is indeed a travel ban, slamming his own justice department for the revised measure that. even some administration allies are claiming mr. trump isn't helping his case before the u.s. supreme court. comey testimony is on. the white house announcing the
president was trying to block his former fbi director from speaking out. now the leaders of senate intelligence committee are making a new attempt to get a hold of comey's secret memos where they question him three days from now. and diplomatic crisis. new concerns tonight for the u.s.-led coalition against isis as a rif in eastern nations takes a dramatic term. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." >> we're following breaking news. a potential roadblock for comey's must-see testimony after days of dangling the possibility of invoking executive prim ledge. the white house saying the president won't try to block his fired fbi director's appearance
on thursday. chairs of the senate intelligence committee are once again asking the fbi for comey's secret memos about his con ver sayings with the president. also breaking, new warnings that president is undermining his administration's appeal to the u.s. supreme court to enforce what he is flatly calling a travel ban. mr. trump tweeting that his justice department should not have submitted a new version of the ban, deciding it as watered down and politically correct. the husband of trump's senior adviser kellyanne conway is calling the president's tweet sad because of the high impact on the potential court case. claims that the president is trying to pick a fight with the mayor of london. handling the weekend terror attack. the president now accusing a response to verbal swipes with a pathetic excuse. british police publicly named
two of three dead takers in saturday's terror rampage. we learned multiple people who have been arrested in connection with the terror attack have now been released. this hour, i'll speak with the ranki ranking democrat on the house armed service committee. adam smith is standing by and our correspondent specialist they also are standing by. first, let's go to our white house correspondent sarah murray. sarah, the president keeps tweeting and it is causing him trouble. >> that's right. setting off a debate about whether or not we should pay attention to the president's tweets, some top aides say we are obsessing over them. but sarah huckabee sanders says this is how the president speaks directly to the american public. either way a debate focused on his twitter at rather than insti infrastructure that was supposed to be a push. >> tonight president trump is trampling his own agenda. >> today we are proposing to take american air travel into
the future, finally. finally. >> after the administration teased a week of infrastructure focused events. the president deveiled that strategy with a fiery tweet storm. trump using the terror attack in london to slam his own justice department. tweeting, the justice should have stayed with the original travel ban, not watered town politically correct version they submitted to supreme court. this as trump administration after lower courts rebuffed it for national security reasons. and less there be any confusion, the president is making clear, the ban ban. tweeting, the courts can call it whatever they want but i'm calling it what we need and what it is, travel ban. a comment white house communication staff is standing by today. >> i don't think the president cares what you call it. whether you call it a ban. call it a restriction. he cares that we call it national security and that we
take steps to protect the people of this country. >> this after other administration officials insisted it wasn't a ban at all. >> this is not a muslim ban. it is an travel ban. it is a vetting system to keep america safe. >> the travel ban isn't the only tweet storm taking the president and the white house off message. the president took to twitter to criticize london's response to the terror attack and the city mayor directly. saying, pathetic excuse by london mayor who had to think fast on his no reason to be alarmed statement. mayor khan urged citizens in london not to be alarm bade visual increase in police activity on the streets. today a white house spokeswoman defended those tweets to. >> i don't think the president is picking a fight. the point is, there is a reason to be alarmed. we have attacks going on. not just there but across the globe. as trump bears his outrage on twitter, one of his top advisers insisted the media shouldn't be
paying so much attention to the president's own statements. >> this obsession with covering everything he says on twitter and very little of what he does as president -- >> that's his preferred method of communication with the american people. >> that's not true. >> his twitter outburs coat have real life complication, like the travel ban in court. a concern aired by none another than kellyanne conway's own husband, george conway. he seized on one of trump's tweets to say, these tweets may make some people feel better but they certainly won't help office of the solicitor general get five votes in scotus, which is what actually matters. sad. >> and george conway recently pulled his name out of consideration for a job at the department of justice. his misgivings appear to be shared by a number of americans, latest gallup tracking polls, show trump's approval ratings are mired in the mid 30s. >> thank you. now a green light for potentially damaging testimony
of president trump bit fired fbi director james comey. white house revealing that mr. trump won't try to envoc executi executive privilege to muzzle comey. let's get to cnn's diane gallagher. diane with three days to go. this is setting up as a huge, huge moment. >> that's right. just speaking today, even wolf with senate intelligence committee richard burr, says he talked to comey, expects him to talk in detail about his conversations with the president. but doesn't think the committee will actually see any of comey's memos before the testimony. telling cnn they spoke with the acting fbi director today and he said that turning the memos over was a justice department determination. >> president trump will not assert the privilege regarding james comey's testimony. >> tonight, first definitive word on the president's decision just three days ahead of fbi director james comey's testimony and senators are ready to grill him. >> what's the big question that
you have for the fbi director? >> kwet is asked by west virginians is if you knew or thought there was obstruction of justice, why didn't you act on it? >> looking for clarification written by comey, saying bi director that the account that trump urged him to go easy on michael flynn. as is susan collins. >> that's why the tone, exact words spoken, and context are so important. and that's what we lack right now. and we can only get that by targeting to those directly involved. >> in the meantime, the white house isn't commenting on the russia investigation itself. continuing to refer questions to outside counsel. but the trump team is raising questions about comey ahead of his testimony. >> people should look at the rod rosen stein memo again to see what problem was with jim comey. his team cleerly points out that integrity and morale were down and clearly points out that comey tried to usurp the power
of the attorney general -- >> deputy attorney general rod rosenstein will likely be asked about the man he recommended be fired when he appeared before the senate intelligence committee wednesday to discuss wiretapping authorities. rosenstein told the associated press on friday that if he became the special of robert mueller's investigation he would recuse himself. this is expansive and could include the firing of comey. senator mark warner telling jake tapper that while comey may seem like the most important figure there are others to be questioned this week about other interactions with the president. >> a question we will have not only for director comey on thursday but on wednesday for director of national intelligence coats, and admiral rogers, i will want to ask them because there are reports that president also talked to both of them in terms of asking them to down play the russian investigation.
>> and again, burr saying that comey is expected to testify openly on thursday about his discussions with trump. so we will likely learn something but just how much, well that source says that comey is informed senators burr and warner, that he spoke with mueller and for most part is not going to be speaking largely about the federal russia investigation. so wolf, no lack of anticipation but we may not learn as much as many are hoping. >> we could be surprised. let's watch and observe. thanks so much for that, diane gallagher reporting. tonight, senate intelligence can chairman is speaking about what comey may testify about on thursday. manu raju is joining us from up on capitol hill. manu, you had the chance to speak with senator burr. >> yes. he has spoken with director comey several times over last few days and he has given the indication that director comey will be able to discuss openly about his conversations with
president trump. saying that director bob mueller, former fbi director, now leading special counsel investigation, has not walled off comey in any way about this subjects that comey wants to talk about. and those seem to include his discussions with president trump and allegations that president trump tried to squash that investigation into michael flynn, former national security adviser. richard burr addressed those topics earlier today. >> anything that's classified, i haven't gotten any indication that there -- [ inaudible ] >> even if this conversation with president trump to discuss those matters? >> i feel certain that he can. >> you talked to him on friday. how did that conversation go? >> we add very good conversation. it was actually saturday. i talked to him several times over last few weeks. he is looking forward to having the opportunity publicly share his thoughts and beliefs.
>> and mueller, talking about the russian investigation, staying away from certain areas. >> they've talked and i understand that special counsel hasn't fenced him off on any way shape or form about items he intends to call on. >> richard burr saying that michael flynn, intelligence committee, with some information related to two subpoenas the committee sent for michael flynn's businesses. did not say what was in those documents but news that michael flynn did submit some information to the senate intelligence committee and about those comey memos, wolf, that james comey wrote extensively about after conversationes with president trump. burr said that comey believes he will see those memos eventually maybe not thursday, but he said nothing stays locked up in washington forever. >> good point. thanks very much, manu raju up on capitol hill. let's get more. all of this, congressman adam smith is joining us. ranking democrat on house armed services committee.
thanks for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. appreciate the clans. >> you heard the white house saying the president won't try to invoke executive privilege. from your vantage point, were you surprised, i assume you think that's a positive development coming from the white house. >> yeah. i think it is positive development. i'm not terribly surprised. the white house would have looked really bad if they looked like they were trying to silence comey. the white house sun predictable as you know. we were all surprised when he fired jim comey in the first place. >> good point. let's get to other issues. the london mayor khan said londoners shouldn't be alarm whed they see a heavier police presence on the streets following the terror take over the weekend. in response the president tweeted, quote, pathetic excuse by london mayor khan who had to
think fast on his quote no reason to be alarmed, closed quote, statement. mainstream media is working hard to sell it. what do you think the president is saying about the london mayor two days after this terror attack in his city? what do you think is going on here? >> very bad taste to attack the mayor of a city that was just attacked. there is i believe an underlying point to what president trump is trying to say. but you're always in a difficult balance. you want to be vigilant, protect against the attacks but also don't want panic. and i think that's what the london mayor was trying to say. panic never helps in the situation. he was trying to calm people down and be prepared for the attacks. president trump saw a political opportunity here. he wants to ramp this up constantly. he wants to constantly focus on the battle against what he calls radical islamic extremism and
have it be the full focus. and he wants to attack other people for not doing enough. right after an attack is in incredibly bad taste to go after the london may forthis whob by all accounts is handling the attack very effectively. all of europe, certainly england, is a challenge in confronting all of the terror attacks they have faced. >> they certainly do. what kind of message do you believe a tweet like this, tweet by the president, sends to other u.s. allies? >> it's divisive. that's the big difference of opinion i have with president trump. we need partners. we need allies. people to work with. this is a global threat. i think president trump said it well in saudi arabia when he said, this is good versus evil. to do that, you need to bring the good people together. not be so devisive. not always trying to divide those of us trying to fight against this evil that president
trump described. so i think, not reaffirming our commitment to nato allies when he gave his speech in brussels. attacking the london mayor. leak of intelligence after the bombing. all of this divides us from our allies. i think that's a key flaw in the trump foreign policy. he is like, well go it alone. that won't help us defeat the very real evil that describes. >> the president tweeted about the travel ban. let me read it to you. the justice department should have stayed with the original travel ban, not watered down politically correct version they submitted to supreme court. he is calling it a travel ban even though the white house arlier saar earlier said it wasn't a travel ban. he is calling for a tougher version. pegging these to the london attacks. set one who signed this revised version of the travel order and
his justice department it appealing it before the u.s. supreme court. have you ever seen a president criticize his own justice department like this on the eve after supreme court decision? >> no, i don't believe anybody has. this is part of another troubling pattern with the way president trump approaches his job. he seems to want it blame everybody. things that don't go well hb he's the president. he has this long-running debate and argument that every time democrats criticize him, it is because of the outcome of the election. obviously we're not happy about the outcome of the election. but i acknowledge, president trump won, he is the president. i hope at some point he starts acting like it. he made these decisions, be responsible for it. take ownership. that's a tough balancing act in terms of how far you want to two in your policy but he signed the order. he made the decision. when thing don't go well, he blames those below him. a lot of the stories we hear about the chaos, white house,
camps, divisions, certainly the leaks that have come out of the white house show that that white house is divided. and divided for a very good reason. the guy in charge is setting the tone. it is not about being united. it is about blaming someone else and not taking responsibility. if harry truman had the buck stops here on his desk, donald trump has the buck stops with arrows pointing a thousand different directions other than him but he is the president and it is about time he started taking responsibility for the decisions that makes. >> congressman, there is more we need to discuss but i got to take a quick break. well resume all of our special coverage right after this.
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democrat, adam smith. stand by. we are getting new information about the london terror investigation. let's go to alexander, on the scene forness london. what's the very latest there, alex? >> reporter: good evening, wolf. that's right, even if the authorities here hunt for accomplices they have now released every single person arrested in the wake of this attack. there were a dozen people, including seven women who have now all been released without charges. this as authorities finally after 48 hours released some of the names of the attackers. two out of the three names including a man, a pakistani-born british national, who actually lived right here and in addition to being known to the intelligence service, he had participated in a group supportive of isis. tonight, british police revealing the eidentities of tw of the then men who carried out the deadly terror attack on london bridge.
27-year-old and 30-year-old were in the white van plowing into passers by on the bridge and into borough market where they went on a stabbing rampage. the third attackers name still has not been released. butt was featured in a documentary last year about british jihadis. he was believed to live in this building in east london quickly raided by police. along with three other properties in this neighborhood and nearby where police investigators carried out searches and arrest. police are now looking for possible accomplices but tonight, all 12 people who had been arrested in connection with this attack, has been released. today we met michael mimbo who lives steps away from a building that was raided. he said but was his friend and recently started talking to neighborhood kids about islam. >> he became a bit more erratic, but how he would communicate with the kids and what to believe. and stuff like that. >> and kids would go home and
tell their parents. >> yeah, yeah. >> hours before the attack. mi mimo saw but with a van like that one flying down the street. >> kids were on bicycles. quickly speed around the bends. it was unusual. >> another neighbor told britain that when he rented a moving van one of the suspects took an odd interest. >> he was getting quite inquisitive about the van. oh, where can i get a van? how much was it. details of where he could get a van. and he said, i might be leaving shortly with my family as well. >> police now revealed more about how they stopped the attack at 10:00 p.m. saturday night. responding just eight minutes after it started, eight officers firing 50 rounds to take them down. in hail of bullets described as unprecedented for the uk.
>> the situation these officers were confronted with was critical. a matter of life and death. three young men wearing what appear to be suicide belts. they had already attacked and killed members of the public and had to be stopped immediately. >> no word tonight on why the third attacker's name is not released. another attacker was libyan's moroccan. today the head of the police of london said the great threat to the united kingdom was not foreign but homegrown. wolf? >> thanks so much. let's get back to congressman adam smith. do you believe, congressman, these attackers had direct ties to isis? in other words, was this an attack that was ordered or just inspired? >> obviously we don't know yet.
they are sort of independent. isis has become sort after franchise in which people sign up and may not have direct contact with isis but they still commit terrorist attacks in the name of this terrorist organization. so getting a better handle on who these people are, how they become radicalized is critical to the safety in europe and here domestically. we have some of the same concerns and same problems. we need to figure out, learn from the people who have committed these attacks, what is their background, who are their associates and yes, learn more about whether or not they are directly connected to isis in iraq and syria. >> congressman adam smith. thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. just ahead, the president's newest tweets, undermine his own team. feel a turbulent for the white house. why did they decide not to try to block james comey's testimony? specialists are standing by with new insight on the president's strategy and what comey may say
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classified information. evan perez, what are you learning? >> earlier today the intercept web side publiced from the nsa destale is russian efforts to hack into an elections vendor in florida. the story we previously reported back in october and just a few hours after the intercept was able to publish this nsa document, the justice department announced they arrested the leaker of that document to intercept federal contractor by the name of reality lee winterer who is a contractor in georgia who works for the nsa. according to the dock pts released by the justice department and fbi, they were able to track down this person who leaked this document to the intercept because the intercept provided a copy of the document to the nsa. nsa quickly was able to determine that only six people had printed the document in question and were able to figure out that this person, winter, had been the only one of the six in touch with the intercept, the news organization that we reached out to the intercept to
see if they want to comment at all on this. we have not heard back on that, wolf. and just to go back to the actual report that the nsa report that the intercept obtained, it is may report and described how the russian security services, intelligence services, had managed to hack into a very important voter systems vendor that operated out of florida and helped -- and serviced machines in a number of other states. and that immediately, wolf, raised a lot of questions and concerns that the russian et might have been able to get into the voting systems and perhaps even change voter tallies. we have known from the u.s. intelligence agencies in january and even today they tell us that they believe that despite those hacking efforts that russians were not able to change any vote tallies and vote totals at all. but it is something that obviously underscores the nature
of these hacking attacks and why it is important to know what russians were up to. >> thanks you. evan perez. phil mudd, you're an expert. what is your reaction when you hear this federal contractor, woman named reality lee winter, charged with quote removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet? >> i'm hearing it as you do. i will control myself. i hope they goes to jail. if she's guilty, i hope she goes to jail. we have a digital trail on terrorists we talk about repeatedly they leave an e-mail trail, travel trail, you see the same thing play out in the count irintelligence world. she downloaded a document. only about half dozen did it. this is remarkably stupid for someone to leave that kind of digital trail. i have one other question for news media, if you accept information from someone in the u.s. government who took a top
secret oath not to repeal information that the government collected, this is stolen information. i want to hear from who published this. did you know you were taking stolen information and what is your responsibility to go to the u.s. government and say, i'm accepting stolen information. no one will take responsibility. i think there is questions for the news outlet that took this and didn't question anybody. >> and the question is outing your source, honestly. bringing this, i understand your question, but there's another. i do understand your question, but there's another one here which is, when you go to the nsa to authenticate this and are you assuming that the nsa isn't then going to check who leaked the information to you? and did you -- did you inadvertently out your source? >> oh, heck yes. i will guess the person who received this is probably in the same area from the individual who e-mailed it. there is onlisome people who downloaded that information on a printer. whoever published this gave a clue to the feds. but didn't pick up the phone and
say we are accepting stolen information from the person who took an oath. the same oath i did. >> if we could pull back for one second. >> no. >> this would seem to reflect that the doj with, department of justice, is getting serious about finding leakers within the u.s. government within the intelligence agencies as president trump and many republicans and even democratic lawmakers have said is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. this is a fact they are taking this seriously. >> dana, the notion is that this russian meddling in this particular case went beyond trying to undermine, say, hillary clinton. it looks like, if it's true, they were actually trying to interfere with election processies and a few of those states. we have reported that earlier. but this seems to go into much more detail. this nsa classified document. >> absolutely. which, you know, look, phil, i totally hear you. but we also know there is a fine
line between respecting national security, respecting sources and methods as journalists and get together truth on something that is incredibly important for this country to learn about as much as we can, which is, how much did russia really try to influence the election? and i think that as gloria and phil both said, the way this is handled on both sides was pretty sloppy. but at the end of the day, if this does give us a window and it does seem to, into russia really trying, never mind the conversations and all the things that cnn has been reporting, about the sort of avenues of trying to get to the trump organization and beyond, trying to get to the actual voting booth, that a whole different ball game. >> yeah. i want to remind our view thaerts january 2017 intelligence community assessment found this in connection with this allegation of actually trying to change votes. quote, russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to element of multiple u.s.
state and local electoral boards, dhs, department of homeland security, assesses that the types of systems russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved, invoked tallying. that's significant. >> it is. there is an incredibly important issue you even bigger p. we are coming out of a presidency where we isolated ourselves from nato. just in the past day, alienating ourselves from our closest ally, the british. in american national security, we are going to europeans. especially after meddling in the french election saying we want to lead the charge to stop russian meddling in elections. especially for an american election psych ne election cycle in 2020. what is it with the president to ignore this stuff and say it is not only fake news, it is attempting to get into the american electoral process. we can't tolerate. >> everybody stand by. we are getting more information
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going after the mayor of london following the terrorist attacks in that city. now attacking the justice department as well for the revised travel ban that signed calling it watered down politically correct. what do these actions tell you about this president? >> i'm not so sure it tells you as much substantively as it does about where his head is. he is full of grievance right now. he is full of complaint. he is angry. he is watching morning television and he is complaining. and he is taking the mayor of london out of context in the middle, in the middle of atearer attack. it is astonishing to me that a president would do that. you saw sarah huckabee sanders go up there today when she spoke to the press to explain he did not take mater out of context. which of course he did. then he went on to say that mayor was pathetic, basically saying he gave a pathetic excuse.
what mayor says is the londoners will see an increased police presence today. there is no reason to be alarmed. of course, donald trump tweeted about the mayor saying, you know, essentially of course people should be alarmed. he took it out of context. no one in the administration is willing to say the president made a mistake. which is exactly what he did. in the middle of a terror attack. >> he doubled down then tweeted again at 9:49, pathetic excuse by the london mayor who had to think fast on his quote no reason to be alarmed statement. working hard to sell it. the mayor of the city who just add terror attack. >> 16 years, when ways in nine years after 9/11, if there is an issue or someone to cry on their shoulder, first person who would call me is the british, every
time. mi5, mi6, they are brothers and sisters in arms. what do you say today if they call the cia? you have to apologize for the president of the united states. there is another issue here. the president doesn't set tone -- pardon me, policy alone. he sets tone. >> keep calm and carry on is the tone. whether it is president bush dealing with the 9/11. president obama dealing with the melt down. i can't wait to see a panicked situation in some ways because you will say, unbelievable tragedy, the president can't keep his cool. >> or felt the president's good friend rudy giuliani. the way he handled the post 9/11 situation was exactly how you said, keep calm, he might not have said the words don't be alarmed, but that was his demeanor, and he was praised for it, rightly so, across the political spectrum and across the world.
so it's hard to imagine if the roles were reversed and we heard this kind of response post 9/11 about rudy giuliani from the leader of great britain that there wouldn't be outrage. >> other tweets generating a lot of interest as well. you know, rebecca, on the travel ban. this is a sensitive issue. kellyanne conway's husband, george conway, was under consideration to become the solicitors general in the justice department. he tweeted about the president's tweets. >> these tweets may make some people feel better but they certainly won't help the office of the solicitor general get five votes in scotus, which is what actually matters. sad. it th is amazing george conway doesn't tweet a lot. for him to criticize the president like this is amazing. >> not only is george conway a well respected attorney in his own right and under consideration for some top administration posts but his wife, kellyanne conway, is a top
adviser to the president. many people looking at tweets interpreted this as a message from her as well to the president. now he tweeted later that you know, he was simply saying as a supporter of the president what he thought anyone with the president's best interest at heart would say, is that the president is undermining his own objectives, undermining the administration's objectives making it harder for his justice department to defend his executive order before the supreme court and really the question i think many of us are asking is why isn't trump getting advice from in-house counsel, and if he is getting the advice, why isn't he taking it? >> he doesn't listen. i think people try and give him advice and he doesn't listen. this morning, sebastian gorka was asked about the tweet and he dismissed it as social media. i would say this is not just social media. this is a presidential record.
these things are archived. when the president tweets it is a rosetta stone in his mind. it and it is very important to the american public, because god forbid something happens in this country that is -- that is dangerous, and we are nervous, and we are alarmed and we are scared. we have to be able to believe that he is in charge. >> dana, i don't remember a time, maybe you can help me, where a sitting president on the eve of a major supreme court decision, has criticized his own justice department for revising that travel ban that he personally signed as an executive order. have you ever seen anything like this before? >> no, absolutely not, which is why george conway, clearly with the wearing the hat of legal expert, supporter of the
president, tweeted for the first time since 2015 and then he was tweeting about football, specifically saying this is not the way to do this, mr. president. i talked a republican senator this morning, who was tearing his hair out, saying we've all tried. we've all tried to say, mr. president, cut wit with the twitter, it is not helpful, especially on something this delicate, like the supreme court, knowing the supreme court or lower courts use the president's words during the campaign and aides since then to try to get to the heart of the rational. it just -- it's mind blowing to the people who are around him and, you know, a lot of them just shrug their shoulders and say there's nothing much we can do. >> and sebastien gorka says it's social media. the president has 100 million followers. so it goes out to a lot of people.
>> you have a couple million people in the u.s. government that work for him. he fired the fbi director after maligning the fbi. he accused the cia of politicizing the investigation with other intelligence community members into russian meddling in the election, then eventually came around and say maybe they're right. he suggested they used nazi tactics. now another department of government that works for him, he's saying the justice department did something i don't want to do. my question is, why don't you tell them to issue a different directive. >> he signed off on it. >> and now he's calling it a travel ban. january 31, sean spicer said it's not a muslim ban, it's not a travel ban. >> it's a travel ban. all right, guys, just ahead, a diplomatic crisis with some of washington's middle eastern allies at the center. how will it impact the fight against isis? sh it into a tree. your insurance company raises your rates. maybe you should've done more research on them.
toonl, we're following the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the gulf states in decades. barbara, qatar has been frozen out by at least six other arab states. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. these are some of america's closest allies, cutting relations with qatar. another close ally of the u.s. the question now tonight, is what will happen next? just as the u.s. led coalition is approaching raqqah, isis' self-declared capital, and is almost ready to declare victory over isis in mosul, the worst diplomatic crisis in years has erupted across the middle east, with several of the u.s.'
closest military allies. at least six nations, saudi arabia, bahrain, the united arab emirates, egypt, yemen have cut off relations with qatar over clams it is supporting terrorism and is too close to iran, which makes the u.s.-led coalition to fight isis a bit more tricky. >> i think what we're witnessing is a growing list of some irritants in the region that have been there for some time. obviously, they have now bubbled up to a level that countries decided they needed to take action. >> reporter: so far there's no indication that the approximately 11,000 u.s. troops stationed there or their military operation also be impacted u.s. officials say. qatar is vital, because the u.s. air force conducts air operations out of an air base there, and runs a center coordinating all air combat missions over iraq and syria. defense secretary james mattis
says the war against isis won't be affected. >> i am confident there will be no implications coming out of this diplomatic situation at all. >> reporter: mattis also taking the opportunity to slam iran's efforts in the region. >> i believe iran's actions speak louder than anyone's words. >> reporter: but a move against qatar is a problem for the trump administration which wants an anti-iran coalition. >> our whole strategy toward deterring iran and maintaining the security of the gulf has been about getting the arab militaries to work together and where we are now, the arab militaries are farther than they have been in years and years. >> reporter: leaving president trump with uncertainty about the next military moves on all sides. >> if you're jim mattis, with good relations throughout the gulf looking at a pre-eminent security threat coming out of
iran, life just got an awful lot more complicated in the last couple of days. >> reporter: tonight, qatar saying there is no justification for these actions. wolf? >> barbara, thank you very much. thanks for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. >> "outfront" next, breaking news. we're learning about a top secret document that says russian military agents may have penetrated the 2016 election to a degree never before known. and more breaking news this hour. the president decides not to invoke executive privilege to stop jim comey's testimony before congress. now, what will the former fbi director say? and trump is calling it a travel ban again. did he just ensure the supreme court will block the ban for good? let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, the breaking news. a new top secret document, a document that says the russian military may have