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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 5, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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thanks for watching. time to hand things over to don lemon is cnn tonight. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. breaking news, i federal contractor charged with leaking top secret information. this is cnn tonight. i'm don lemon. 25-year-old reality lee winner accuse of classifying an memo on russian hacking. more on that nia -- in a moment, but is president trump his own worst enemy? twitter rants attacking the mayor of london, shooting himself in the foot in his travel ban, contradicting his own team, and insisting what they say it isn't. let's get right to more breaking news. dana bash is here, jim sciutto and david gergen. all of them join me. good evening to you. jim, there's new video tonight
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on one of the london attackers being searched by police back in 2015. tell us what we're seeing and what happened at the time. >> so this is another example of where you have attacks like this play out where the attackers were known to authorities before the event as was this attacker. he's actually appeared in a number of videos including in a documentary on jihadis living in the city of london and here it -- he is at another event where police had to respond to it, a public event where he was espousing extremist views. this happens. we saw it with the attackers at the "charlie hebdo" shooters. some. -- some of the paris attackers had been known to authorities. the trouble is, they have so many people on their radar screen, it's difficult to impossible to have all the resources to follow all of them. the other point i would make is that you had another case here where the attackers had been
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reported to authorities by people within the muslim community. him for instance, twice before which gets at this issue where, you do have people in the community who are doing what authorities ask them. the trouble is the authorities are often overwhelmed and they can't keep track of all these folks before they lash out and carry out deadly attacks like this. >> i want you to update us on our other breaking news. a federal contractor charged with leaking classified information. >> this was a top secret nsa report compiled last month, reflecting some of the latest intelligence on russian interference specific to a particularly alarming question. and that is, what was russia doing not just with information from stolen e-mails, et cetera, but with voting systems. we knew some information about this before election day that they had probed voter registration rolls in arizona, illinois.
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probing attacks on a contractor involved with voting systems in florida. no evidence then, no evidence as of the most recent intelligence assessment that russia affected any votes or interfered with any vote tallies but this shows there's more information about probing attacks, that they were looking at these systems at least, doesn't mean the assessment changes that voting tallies were not messed with by russian hackers but it does show they were at least looking at these systems and perhaps most alarming going forward because when i speak to u.s. intelligence officials they constantly say 2016 was not the last election that russia will interfere with, they'll do the same in 2018 and 2020 and what does this say about future attacks going forward. >> jim just told us what was in the document. what's your reaction to this breaking story? >> i think it really does present questions about whether the russians can get into our election system and change local and state elections, as early as next year. we've had trouble with voting booths in the past and voting processes. they've not been as careful. just think of florida in 2000. i think it's important to press
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down and have a national effort. there ought to be some sort of commission, you know, like a 9/11 commission that's looking at these things, that's what congress should do in these investigations, figure out how do we protect yourself against this rampant hacking. >> dana, a 25-year-old contractor, her name is reality winner. she admitted to intentionally leaking this classified material. just 25 years old and in a heap of trouble. what do you think this could mean for leaks in the future? >> look, i obviously -- we don't know all the details of how this happened but it seems as though just e-mailing it shows the naivete of her age. >> we should say alleged. >> alleged, exactly. thank you for saying that. maybe she needs to watch more spy movies about how these
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things are done, you know, and the journalists as well, that probably to receive something this classified via e-mail is not the greatest thing in the world to do. having said that, look, i mean i think -- it would be hypocrite cal to say that those of us who are covering all things russia would not be interested in seeing what real intelligence, the most recent report -- a recent report of what they're looking into, to be able to get that as a journalist is pretty remarkable, understanding that there really are parameters when it comes to protecting sources and methods that we all try to do and jim know this is better than i. >> what did you want to say? >> one of the details, it's breaking fast. our understanding she actually snail mailed it, but still -- but still. >> thank you. >> but still -- >> then that's smarter.
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>> to your point there is still an electronic trail in that she printed it out from her office. >> she was the only person who had contact via e-mail with the organization. >> that's right. there was a couple clues. one, she printed it out from her computer and investigators were able to determine only six people printed it out and of those six people, one of them had e-mailed with this news outlet before. so there was a communication tie there. the actual document she snail mailed it, but regardless, to your point, dana, there was an electronic trail, which as we all know in this day and age, those things don't disappear. >> i'm not sure i got an answer. the full answer from you, i'm wondering what does this mean in the future for leakers? >> it shows that there is -- that there really is a crackdown. it's not something that we didn't know. the president talks about it all the time. i will also say that -- >> and other members of his administration. >> and it's not unique to had
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administration. president obama and his administration, they were really, really tough on leakers of national security information. and also, i mean, i remember covering the bush administration, post 9/11 reporting on something that was an nsa intercept and dick cheney started an investigation on capitol hill. about whether it came from there. so it certainly is not new. >> let's talk about the former director of the fbi james comey testifying before congress and president trump is not going to invoke executive privilege to try to stop it. how big of a test will this be for president trump and his administration, david gergen? >> first of all, let's give credit to the white house and president trump for not invoking executive privilege. they could've done that. i think they did the right thing. when you do the right thing we ought to say so. goodness gracious. we take them on all the time on other things. but i think james comey testimony is extraordinarily significant in terms of this
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particular episode and it may have historic effects. we'll have to wait and see. if he lays out a pattern of conduct which shows that the president and his team were trying very hard to shut down the flynn investigation, that is going to give great weight to the whole question of obstruction. we're now hearing the democrats like mark warner saying we don't see evidence of collusion, we don't see any smoking gun yet on the collusion question, but the obstruction of justice may turn out to be a more serious problem for the administration than the collusion issue. >> jim, as has been said by a number of people especially those who, you know, were around when watergate was going on and experienced that, you know, it started as something else and everything always starts as something else and it's usually what they uncover in the course of an investigation. what's your reaction to comey testifying on thursday? >> white water led to monica lewinsky. you have that example as well. i think this is going to be a really remarkable moment because you're going to have the former
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head of the fbi effectively contradicting the president here on this, and that -- that's a remarkable moment. we don't know how far he's going to go in public, but the fact is, dana and others, my colleagues, have spoken to people close to him. he's already leaked out his impression of those conversations, the message that the president was attempted to deliver to him. it becomes then a question for the lawyers and really for the public as to whether that is undo influence. it's partly a legal question, is this obstruction of justice but it's also -- it's a public opinion question, what is an intolerable abuse of power? or a step beyond the bounds, whatever you want to call it and is it when a president goes to his fbi director, the highest or second highest after the attorney general law enforcement
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official in the country, leading an investigation regarding a foreign adversary into a presidential election, with at least questions about the involvement of a senior advisors to president trump, is that proper in the view of the american people beyond what the lawyers say, it's going to be remarkable to hear that testimony and to hear where it goes, to hear what -- what the price is tr that, in effect. >> just in case you missed it, it was a big thing over david gergen. three days left, three days left until comey testifies. thank you all. i appreciate it. i like the conversation. we come right back, jason chaffetz is here. i want to know what he thinks about this leaked memo and what he thinks james comey will say in his testimony on thursday. [vo] what made secretariat the greatest racehorse
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here's breaking news tonight. a federal contractor with top secret security clearance charged with leaking classified information about russia's hacking of the election. i want to talk all of this with
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jason chaffetz, utah republican, who is the chairman of the house oversight and government reform committee. soon to be former congressman. >> yes, thanks for having me. >> we're going to talk about that. >> uh-oh. >> hopefully we'll have time to talk about that, but i want to get your reaction to this breaking news now. a 25-year-old woman charged for leaking classified material to an online media outlet. should she go to jail? >> there's a right way and wrong way to do this. if you feel compelled to share information that's classified because you're concerned about the implications or how it's being used. there are legal ways in which you can have whistle-blower protection or go to the committee for instance, on oversight and protect your legal rights and not get yourself into trouble. but just because you see something that is classified, you can't just hand that out like it's candy and whether or not you mailed it or printed it, you're not allowed to do that and yes, i do believe, regardless of the administration, they should put handcuffs on a person like that and they should go to jail. i don't know if this allegation is true, okay. i'm just reading a media report.
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but a contractor, a federal employee cannot just take it upon themselves to bypass the classification system. >> do you think in this environment where everything seems to be so partisan and political that someone would even feel comfortable doing it the right way as you say with whistle-blower protection? >> we have hundreds of thousands of people with security clearances. again, there's a right way to do it. there's a way to go to congress and have that conversation, protect all your legal rights, and not having looming over this young woman, at least what appears to be on this initial read, she could go to jail for a significant amount of time. >> in terms of this top secret nsa report that supposedly deals with russian military intelligence on voting software, no evidence that any votes were affected, but the fact that they were targeting that, and that there was a possibility that they could have been, is that hugely concerning? >> oh, yeah. look, most of the elections are controlled by your local county clerk, so it's not really a
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federal role in administering an election. it does go down to the states -- the lieutenant governor or secretary of state and then it goes down into your county. but let it be no mystery that the russians have been doing -- this is not the first election, that they've looked at, it's probably not the last and it isn't just the russians. the fact that our government through working with contractors is paying attention to this and does have some evidence. of course congress wants to know about that but it also means they were probably doing their job in watching it. >> when you look at this, if there's been no evidence so far of collusion. >> correct. >> and that's what the investigation is about. do you think it makes it more important that we find out all things russia and how much of an effect they had on the election? >> yeah. my friend and colleague devin nunes is the chairman of the house intelligence committee. he's taken some heat on some things, but it was more than a year ago when he was out there beating the drums saying let's worry about russia. i'm critical of my democratic colleagues when barack obama was running for president, for re-election, and mitt romney
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said the biggest geopolitical threat to the united states of america is russia. he was laughed at. the president kind of mocked him saying in the 1980s want their foreign policy back. mitt romney was right. we should have been paying more attention to that. and i don't think the eight years of the obama administration, remember, all this happened under his watch, that we were paying enough attention. >> you don't think he did enough to stop it? >> no. >> because during the election, he said, i told them to cut it out. and i think what -- i think his supporters will say he was concerned about affecting or appearing to put his thumb on the scale. do you think that was -- >> the president has to protect us against all enemies foreign and domestic. he consistently downplayed the threat of russia. yet russia was on the march. expanding their borders globally, and i don't think he did enough then. but the counter intelligence activities, those were all minimized. >> would you say this president should not speak so glowingly about russia as he does and that
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he should speak more forcefully against russia than he does? >> if you look at individual comments, maybe you and i would say things differently, but yes. again, let's not lose focus. it's not just russia, folks. it's a lot of other countries too. when you try to go and do everything digitally there's a consequence. >> but russia appears to have had more influence. >> russia is one of the most savvy. corporate espionage, trying to get involved in elections, these people have been doing this for decades. >> before too much time passes, let's talk about the former fbi testifying on thursday. you've spoken to him recently. >> i did. >> what do you want to hear from him? i think the first question -- >> first of all, can you share anything that you talked about? >> it was a very short conversation. i always found him to be very collegial but i did want him to come to the oversight committee. he's chosen first to go to the senate intelligence. >> was there anything concerning to you that he said to you. >> here's the one concerning thing. when the "new york times" broke this story, they had not
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actually seen the documents. i haven't seen the documents. i'm not aware of anybody in congress that has the documents. >> did you ask him about that? >> and i did ask the director specifically. these documents that were in the "the new york times" article, do they have them or does the department of justice have them and he would not answer that question which i found kind of eyebrow raising. what is this answer? where are these? the oversight committee has asked for not just these documents related to a january 27th dinner with donald trump, but what about the attorney general loretta lynch, what about barack obama, what about all these other memos? >> they're not being investigated. >> yes, they are investigating that. >> did he tell you why he didn't want to answer your question about it? >> no and i respected his answer. i peppered that question to the department of justice. their response is, well now there's a special counsel involved, and that does complicate things, but we don't want to impede that investigation. but at the same time, we believe congress should be able to see these documents. >> what do you hear from him? >> if you don't have the documents it'll be hard to question him. i think one of the most difficult questions he has to answer, why is it when he
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testified, i believe it was the first week of may and before the senate judiciary committee, he said there had been no political interference. you have the current acting fbi director saying he's seen no evidence of any sort of political influence. so there's going to be a contradiction if he tries to go the other direction, but -- >> so who do you believe more? it appears from now that his testimony may be at odds with what the president says happened? >> who do you believe? the president or the former director -- >> you want to hear from both sides but if there's a document sort of memorializing this i want to see what that document says and how is it interpreted because it's a pretty high bar to suggest that there was an obstruction of justice or there was some sort of collusion or something like that. that's a very high bar. >> are you counting the days when you don't really have to deal with this as personal level because you're a month -- how much longer do you have? >> i love the engagement. >> when's your end date? >> june 30th is my last day. after nine years or so in
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congress, it's time to hang up the cleats. >> your future involve any three letters or four letters cnn, fnc, msnbc. >> definitely. -- definite maybe. >> maybe? >> ooh, look at the time here, don. there's a commercial i'm sure that you have to go to at this point. >> it's a definite maybe? >> yes. >> any more than that? >> people break a lot of news on this show. >> and i have with you. i love being on here, but more on that later. >> thank you, congressman, soon to be former congressman. >> thank you. i appreciate it. >> a former cia director and former white house counsel join me and what they think about this leaked nsa document, they'll tell us, and how the white house will handle what could be explosive testimony from james comey.
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former fbi director james comey set to testify before the senate intelligence committee on thursday. i want to bring ambassador james woolsey, former director of the iowa and cnn contributor john dean, the former white
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house counsel for president nixon, who is the author of "conservatives without conscience." good to have both of you on. i'm going to get to comey in just a minute. i want to get your take on the breaking news. this federal contractor under arrest for allegedly leaking classified information to an online media outlet. the report supposedly details a 2016 russian military intelligence cyber attack on a u.s. voting software supplier. what's your reaction to this story? >> this is just the first big public round of this we're seeing. we'll see a lot of it. we made a bunch of changes in our voting system after the mess in 2000 in florida and one thing that we now have is about a quarter of our voting machines are touch screen only and don't have paper backup of any kind. that means about a quarter of our votes cannot be recounted because you can't -- you cannot recount what is in thin air and on electronics that the russians and others have tampered with.
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so unless we make whatever decisions and recommendations we want to make relatively soon with respect to this current mess with russia and voting, and move on to fixing our systems so that they can deal fairly and honestly with the next election, we're going to be in real trouble here in our democracy. we've got to have elections work right and having the russians sitting there on the other side of the table and gleefully picking things apart and shutting down areas that are going to have crises, are going to crash and adjusting totals and others, we're sitting ducks unless we get busy and pay attention to the right election, which is the next one, not the last one. >> i want to get through this. so brevity is a key here. i have limited time with you.
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and i appreciate your expertise. john, what is your reaction to this breaking news story? >> i was surprised how quickly they brought together the elements for a prosecution. they're doing it under the 1970 espionage act and this young lady is in trouble. they've got looks like very solid evidence, computer tracking went right to her, so i think they're sending a clear message to leakers here. >> 25 years old, my goodness very young. i want to talk about comey's big testimony on thursday. the white house now saying the president won't stop the former fbi director from testifying. he won't invoke executive privilege. is that the right move? >> it is a charade, don. there is no executive privilege here. in fact, i've written a piece for cnn for tomorrow. it will be up tomorrow, where i go a little deeper than we can tonight, explaining exactly the history of this and why this is really -- there's no basis whatsoever in history or in any
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of the concepts of executive privilege for invoking it in this situation. they're really just saying we're not going to invoke it, although they didn't have the privilege to invoke as if they're granting him the right to testify and not blocking him when that really isn't possible. >> i want to get both of your takes on what you think he will say. but first i want to play something for you. this is what senator burr says how he's going to testify coming thursday, listen. >> they've talked but i understand that the special counsel has not fenced him off in any way, shape or form from the items he intends to talk about. >> and those items he tends to talk about are what? >> it's about russia's involvement in our 2016 election which is the investigation and that does lead in to the possibility of collusion by either campaign but it also gets into questions that have been raised publicly about conversations that may or may not have taken place. >> so comey has talked to robert
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mueller and it means nothing is off the table, that's what we've heard. how damaging could this be for the white house potentially ambassador? >> i don't know. i sometimes can do a fairly good job of getting inside the heads of terrorists and dictators, but i can never figure out what american politicians are going to do or why they're going to do it. i'll punt this one to john, john dean, who knows this area cold. >> in your answer, what do you expect comey to say and what damage could be done, john? >> i think -- first of all going to be a great witness. he's skilled. he's well trained. he's got a lot of experience on the hill. he knows where he can and cannot safely walk as far as the special investigation, special counsel's investigation and he probably won't go there if he thinks he could damage the prosecution. so i think what he'll do is lay
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out exactly what he did with the president, what will be most interesting, don and most telling quickly does he have a prepared statement. if he does then he'll have careful thought out what he's going to say and how he's going to say it and that's not the usual comey format. so that'll be the first sign, is there a prepared statement. >> it's interesting, it's the first i've ever heard of that. because at the other hearing he took part in, he was just sort of giving his own recollection, recalling what had happened and how he saw this investigation or influence or what have you. but if he's reading from prepared text, you think that means he's being overly careful? >> i think it means he's thought out what he wants to present and how he wants to present it and we'll get some signs of what kind of case he might think there is or not there and he certainly didn't try to entrap the president. i think he'll explain that he
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tried to deal with a rocky president and tried to not let him make a mistake, but then he'll put it in back ni larger context where trump kept doing this. >> if he said the president pressured him or he confirms that the president, he did have those conversations according to the memos with the president, does that amount to obstruction? >> it could. not necessarily isolated but he has a bigger picture now that he's been fired and that was part of a final act of as far as james comey goes. so i think he'll look at it differently than when those conversations first happened. >> unfortunately, we're out of time. thank you all. we'll see you back on this program soon. the vice president's message to nato to stand united and strong. not exactly what the president's been saying. ♪ to err is human. to anticipate is lexus. experience the lexus rx with advanced safety standard. experience amazing.
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president trump is not done tweeting about his travel ban. tonight he says, that's right. we need a travel ban for certain dangerous countries. not some politically correct term that won't help us protect our people. let's discuss now, dan mother,
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the host of access tv and jamie ruben, a former adviser to hillary clinton's 2016 campaign. so much to discuss, there may abe new tweet by the time we're done with this. before we talk about that, dan rather, i want to get your take on this federal contractor being charged with leaking nsa material on russian hacking. >> first of all this young woman's in a lot of trouble because they're invoking the espionage act of 1917. it goes all the way back to the period of world war i and leaking this kind of material for whatever purpose, whatever motive, can be a serious criminal event. so she's in some trouble. as far as what was revealed, it moves the story a little further in the direction of what we talked about so many times before, and that is, what is it that president trump and those around him are hiding about the russian involvement? now, this business of hacking in to the actual voting system as
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someone said on this program earlier, we have real problems with voting machines that i and some others did an investigation several years ago and it's increased since then. we do have to look into this and find out what the facts are. i can't say what happens to this young woman, but take that material and what the other things we know about the russians hacking and hacking into the voting system, find out what happened because we need to get this squared away before the next presidential election. >> she's just accused of leaking but as john dean said it seems they have pretty strong evidence in this case. let's talk about president trump. do you want to weigh in on the leaking part? you good? president trump he's taken to twitter and defending his travel ban. he's undermining his own justice department. you saw the tweet i read earlier on the air. this is one that's about the mayor of london. pathetic excuse by london mayor who had to think fast on his no
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reason to be alarmed statement, mainstream media is working hard to sell it. here's the mayor. listen to this carefully. >> londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. no reason to be alarmed. one of the things the police and all of us need to do is make sure we're safe as we possibly can be. i'm reassured that we're one of the safest global cities in the world if not the safest in the world. >> it is glaring obvious that he mischaracterized what the mayor was saying there and doubling, tripling down on and even members of his own administration doing the same thing. what impact do you think this has on the u.s. on the world stage? >> there's history between these two people. i haven't seen this mentioned as much as it probably ought to have been tonight. when the first time the president talked about a muslim ban, the mayor of london announced that he wasn't going to come to the united states. the president said there would
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be exceptions for important people or something and he said, if there's a ban on muslims coming, i won't come. so he escalated a discussion that was occurring about this very subject. so in other words, the president regards the london mayor as his political enemy and the really sad part about this is, the land mayor is a terrific mayor. he's the most prominent muslim elected official potentially in the world, depending on how you define london, and since everybody knows, everyone who's doing serious work about this, is that if we're ever going to put a stop to these kind of terrorist attacks, it's going to require the moderate muslim leaders to have a greater impact on the extremists within society. this mayor in london is the kind of person we should be helping, not attacking. >> this is personal for him for the president. >> yes, i think it is. you believe he's going after
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sadiq khan personally? >> yes, and he wanted to find a mistake in sadiq's comments. there's the guy who messed with my muslim ban, and then he found something and he was dead wrong. and he never admits he's wrong. that's the basis of his campaign and his presidency, never admit you're wrong, deny, deny and just move on to the next charge. >> did he backfire on him? >> i think it has. look, it may be personal, but it's outrageous. and this is not in keeping with the tone, spirit, and substance that the overwhelming majority of the american people expect of their president, any president. i have a reason to believe that many, many people who voted for donald trump and are still support him would shake their heads at this and say, i wish he wouldn't do this because this is not a reflection. the british are a great people. they've been our allies for a long time. they're under pressure at the moment, under extreme pressure and fooling around with these tweets and taking out personal vengeance on people this is unworthy of a president of the united states. >> exactly, dan.
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i live in london. i'm visiting here in new york and the people of london really are extraordinary in their ability to -- back in the 77 attacks in 2005 if i got my dates right and they showed then and they're showing now that they have this resiliency built into their system going back to the ira days. if we can't work constructively with our closest allies in the world and there's a desire to, you know, insult and harm a friend, the kind of friend we need if we're going to succeed, what it boils down to is this concept in my mind, all of the things that the president has said in nato and the trips, i know we'll talk about that in a minute -- what if today another terrible attack happened in the united states? >> god forbid. >> what would the rest of the world say? i remember, we are all american, the phrase by the french. very powerful statement.
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i remember being moved by that idea that we really were all in this together in the west, because of donald trump's failure to take up the leadership of the west, whatever you want to call that, i'm worried that if something happened f we're in a crisis and we need our allies and we want our allies, that we've harmed the ability of our government to work constructively in a crisis. this is all just small beer essentially for us. it's obviously awful for the british tonight. but what about a real crisis, a potential conflict. >> what happens? will our allies come through? >> what will they do, how will they feel, and will they work with the president? >> they're reporting president trump blindsided his own national security team when he didn't reaffirm america's commitment in article five, in his speech to nato. mcmaster and tillerson and mattis all thought that he would. what do you think about that? >> this is a real major issue
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and it's just going to take a minute to explain, please bear with me. defense in the current era with countries like russia is based on, do they believe, in their head, that the west will act together? will the united states come to the defense of a small european country? lithuania, latvia. it's about what does mr. putin think, that's deterrence. that has been second half undermined because they're talking about the very concept we want the russians to believe, that we will all work together. >> well, and the key thing here is the president leaving out, refusing to say that the very core of nato, what it's all about, an attack on one nato member will be considered an attack on all. that's the red bheetieating hea nato that's kept the peace for well over half a century.
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i'm reminded that when president trump does these things, it's inexplicable to me. he's not dumb as dirt, despite some of the things he does. he has some intelligence. but nato took a long time to build and in a paraphrase of sam ray burn, anybody can knock down a barn. it takes a real carpenter to build one. here we had something built and president trump is tearing it down. and smiling are the russians and putin and the chinese. they love this. >> the vice president is reaffirming america's commitment or this administration's commitment to nato. is he trying to clean up for -- >> this has been happening all along. i was at a famous defense conference when this all began in the early days of the administration, where he said the right things about nato and the secretary of defense says the right thing. but because so much attention is now presented on, they can't care about that and the rest of the european -- and putin doesn't care about that. what they care about is, what does the new commander in chief
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think about this fundamental issue. >> the vice president is not the commander in chief of anything. only the president is the commander in chief and only what the president says really matters. >> that's why i said, when do we pay attention to the president, what he says and his tweets? you said, always. >> always. he's president. what he says matters. >> and this matters because this is about what happens in a crisis. >> right. >> this is all prepping up, we hope never comes but if it happened would we have allies, would we have the british, what would the president do, what would vladimir putin think the president would do? that's the problem. >> thank you, gentlemen. appreciate it. >> thank you, don. we'll be right back.
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z282uz zwtz y282uy ywty megan's smile is getting a lot because she uses act® mouthwash. act® strengthens enamel, protects teeth from harmful acids, and helps prevent cavities. go beyond brushing with act®. president trump loves twitter. his staff? maybe not so much. let's discuss -- >> everything he says on twitter and very little of what he does as president. >> it's his preferred method of communication with the american people. >> that's not true. >> they're a statement to the american people of what he wants. >> it's social media. >> it's not social media. it's his words, his thoughts.
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>> it's not policy. it's not an executive order. it's social media. please understand the difference. >> the president says this is what i want. are you saying we shouldn't listen to what the president says? >> you shouldn't obsess about it for now 2 minutes, chris. >> let's discuss now. the reason i said that is we could find a number of sound bites saying how important social media is to the president and how it bypasses the so-called fake media. sodan, what do you make of president trump's top aides slamming the media with his so-called obsession with his tweets? >> when you get to the white house you learn the president's words matter. whether they're on twitter. and so the press is right and the public is right to treat these things as the presidential
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statements. he might as well be standing in the east room delivering a speech. they cannot be discounted because he's making policy pronunciations on twitter. and so that's the mode of communications he's chosen, and so he has to live with that. >> he says trump's tweets are actually more important than the more formal statements coming out of the white house because they represent closer to what he believes on nearly every issue. do you agree with that? especially in the absence of regular press briefings and statements. >> i do. and i think dan stole my notes, because i basically agree with everything he said. i think a presidential statement is a presidential statement whether it comes from the oval office, the rose garden or on a twitter feed. they used it to convey his message and as sarah sanders today, bypassing the media and getting the message directly to the people. the problem is they run into difficulties when they have others saying that the media is
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obsessing on the tweets. look, you can't have it both ways. you have to say let's just ignore everything he says on twitter. but you can't do that. these are statements. this is an actual accounting of exactly what the president is thinking and feeling. the problem they may also run into is when his message on twitter is not the same they're trying to drive from the white house, pushing their legislative agenda. >> what did you want to say? >> well, a lot of people today are talking about all the president's words matter and i agree the president's words do matter. i have not heard donald trump argue his words on twitter are any different than words on a po podium or written down. you should read what i'm saying on social media because it's how i feel. and in the case of today, you talk about the travel ban today. i think the president is
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expressing what is on his heart. now, there are some lawyers who shay it's going to hurt him, and some lawyers who say it's not going to matter. but there's not a businessman large or small who hasn't expressed frustration with lawyers and the way we describe things in the legal process. that served him well on the campaign and i think his instinct to keep doing it. >> okay, then. all right, so you feel the way you feel. so how is one then differentiate between the president's statement or a tweet, especially when members of his own inner circle -- i mean these are people who are close to him. they speak to him every day. they're saying don't pay attention, it doesn't mean anything. but the president says unless you hear it from me. so what should they believe, scott? >> well, i think at the end of the day the buck stops with the president of the united states. his words are the ones that
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matter. i think advisors can have opinions, but i don't think he'd be saying the things if he didn't a believe it or talk bute it. >> why are they out saying that on television when most people can see what they're saying has no basis in reality? >> i don't know. and, look, i don't know work for the white house. and i don't pretend to know what they're doing on a daily basis. but i know this as has been stated, it's the president's words that matter in a white house, advisers and staff can have all the commentary they want, but in the end it's the president's words that matter. but i think that this president -- the reality is we're in for four years for a president who wants to communicate directly and doesn't want to explain it after the
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fact. >> listen, i think you're exactly right. and the only question i have is why are the advisors saying something different? and sarah huckabee sanders saying exactly the opposite in the press briefing. scott said he's not sure whether calling it a travel ban is going to help or hurt him. we can debate that. but is kellyanne conway's husband in the dog house? he said these tweets may help some people feel better but they certainly won't help osg get five votes in scotus, which is actually sad. what do you think of that? >> good for him. he's been sitting there silently. his opinion is one shared by a lot of attorneys and kudos to him for grabbing his twitter
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account and saying what he believes. >> i would guess that he probably didn't ask kellyanne if this was okay. but i think he's got a good point and while president trump has used twitterer very effectively, often times it's caused a great deal of self inflicted wounds and the more he talks about the travel ban or the muslim ban or not a ban or is a ban on twitter, i think it sets up problems for the case as it goes higher up in the court system. so i think less is more in this case and i think he and the staff would be best served driving their message, driving what they talked today about -- >> driving one message. quickly because i'm up against the break here. scott, do you think think maybe mr. conaway is maybe upset by his wife is being contradicted by the person she's working for.
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she's seen as a loyal servient and every time the president contradicts it. >> i think he has a first amendment right to express his views. he's a very respected lawyer and he's got a twitter account just like the rest of us. and he's allowed to express his opinion and say what he wants. and he came back later and made other statements that softened it a little bit but at the end of the day -- >> the damage is done, though. >> well, i hear you. but i still think what we're talking about is what the president said is going to hurt or help. it's not a forgone conclusion it's going to hurt. i'm not arguing it's going to >> thank you you all. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ nothing performs like a tempur-pedic. and now is the best time to buy one. now through june 11th, save $600 when you buy select tempur-pedic mattress sets. find your exclusive retailer at
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