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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 6, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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general. >> obviously a very significant statement there, refusal to do that. thank you so much, evan perez. thanks to all of you for joining us. don't forget to watch "outfront" any time. go to cnn go. "ac 360" with anderson cooper begins right now. good evening and thanks for joining us. several big breaking stories tonight. exclusive new details on what fired fbi director james comey will say when he testifies thursday morning. we begin, though, with more along the lines of evan perez's reporting moments ago. multiple reports including from magg maggie haberman is that jeff sessions has volunteered to resign. >> how would you describe the president's level of confidence in the attorney general jeff sessions? >> i have not had a discussion with him about that. >> the last time you said that, there was a development. >> i'm answering a question, which is i have not had that discussion with i am had. >> would you say confidence as
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his attorney general? >> i have not had a discussion with him on the question. if i haven't had a discussion with him about a subject, i tend not to speak about it. >> more now from maggie haberman. i understand you're learning more about what is going on behind the president and the attorney general. >> yes. this follows up on the reporting that peter baker and i did that posted last night. that there have been tensions between the attorney general and the president going back to when jeff sessions decided to recuse himself from any russia-related probe that was going on. this is after, you remember, after he did not disclose in his senate confirmation hearings that he had had at least one meeting with the ambassador from russia and this became controversial. the president was blindsided by this recusal and at some point during the last eight weeks, don't know exactly when it was, but at some point the attorney general told the president, according to two of my sources,
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that he, you know, needed to be able to do his job, and if he couldn't have that, then perhaps he shouldn't be there. it was not a hard resignation. it was not, here is my letter, but it was certainly making clear to the president that he was also frustrated with where this relationship has evolved to. and jeff sessions was one of his biggest supporters, one who put policy planks under the trump campaign. >> you said this is according to two sources that this happened sometime within the last eight weeks. do we know if tensions have calmed since then? >> no. the president has continued to be frustrated with jeff sessions. the president, to be clear, is frustrated with almost everybody on his staff at the moment, including and not limited to don
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mcgahn. he says that sessions made a huge error, he's very frustrated. a couple people have said one of the few times they've seen him get genuinely angry as opposed to the blufter that we know the president is prone to was about jeff sessions. he's upset about the russia recusal situation and feels angry and hamstrung about the fact that the executive order that the president himself signed related to a ban on travel -- a temporary ban, quote/unquote, from muslim majority nations was struck down by the court. this was within the first week of the administration and set the tone going forward and in the president's mind, jeff sessions is tied to everything. >> lastly, your colleagues just broke some news which is fascinating about jim comey asking jeff sessions not to be left alone again with the president or that he didn't want to be left alone with the president.
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>> it's quite striking. essentially you have the fbi director concerned about the position apparently that the president might put him in, based on any kind of inappropriate conversation. and it recalls an instant several months ago where the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york had been asked to stay on by the president during the transition. he got a call from the president the night before a broad dismissal of a number of obama appointees in federal prosecutor's office and bar rar ra did not return the president's call only to say it would not be appropriate. so i think you're seeing this is an elitist in a number of instances where people have been concerned from outreach from the president about what it could mean given all of the investigations going on. >> two big developments.
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maggie haberman, thank you very much. i want to go to sara murray who was at the white house. what are you hearing about the tension between president trump and jeff sessions? >> reporter: well, we know it's been a frustrating relationship. sessions decided to recuse himself and it came as a surprise to the white house and since then, as maggie pointed out, the president has been fuming in his conversations about the fact that sessions recused himself, which led to a special counsel. and once you're in a special counsel, there's no way to unring that bell that could delve into the campaign and we've already seen the way the investigation has touched the inner circle. it's touched jared kushner, his own son-in-law. when the president appeared very briefly if front of the cameras today, he couldn't even get beyond that. he was saying that jared kushner even now is more famous than i
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am and i'm a little bit upset about that. but, could ha of course, it's b the russia probe. when we get closer to james comey testifying on capitol hill where the president tends to get more spun up. he tends to get angrier about the fact that he's now in this position because, as he feels, one of his closest allies decided to recuse himself from this investigation. so these tensions certainly aren't going away, anderson. >> you know, when he said to jared kushner, he's more famous than i am now, didn't he also say that to director comey at some point? >> reporter: he did also say that. it's not a good development if you're somewhere between president trump and the media limelight. he likes to be the most important person in that limelight. we saw him get angry with steve bannon when he appeared on the cover of "time" magazine and saw him mention to comey, this is a guy more famous than i am. certainly that's not the position you want to be in if
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you're jared kushner. he's the son-in-law. most people say he's position is relatively safe but that's not necessarily a compliment. >> sara murray, thank you. i want to bring in my panel now. the idea that the president doesn't want to be in a room with jeff sessions who is a long-time supporter of president trump. >> he didn't disclose certain things he should have with his contacts with the russians, he's a little more institutionalist. he was on the judiciary committee for years. he hammered justice department officia officials and -- >> how solid is the notion that sessions offered his resignation? >> sorry. go ahead. >> he knows these rules in a
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way -- and obviously comey who has a very, you know, strict wall that he believes should be placed between the white house and the fbi, especially when the fbi is investigating something that involved the white house. you understand where they are coming from. stay away from the president. sessions saying, if you don't let me do my job, i need to resign. and then you have trump who knows none of these rules and doesn't understand that even though these people technically work for him, there's a degree of separation and he violated that norm again and again. >> spicer today saying he hasn't asked -- when asked if the president has confidence in jeff sessions, i mean, most answers would normally be, the president has confidence in his attorney general. sean spicer said, well, i haven't had a chance to ask him that. >> it seemed like a very telling omission. and i think, you know, as ryan was saying, trump uses people who work for him, not people who work for the country and jeff sessions views himself as
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someone who works for the united states and the constitution. for him to be put in this position where he's being told by the president, you have to be loyal to me, that's a difficult position for him and we're seeing, i think, an increasingly enraged president who wants all of these people to be loyal to him personally and to put that above everything else. and so none of us know what james comey is going to say on thursday, but these are all of the questions that are going to come up about whether the president is demanding loyalty to him about loyalty to -- >> what does it tell you about things at the white house, matt? >> look, i think everyone here is right. it's about loyalty to donald trump and the president carries very deeply about an independent fbi but i think this speaks to sean spicer, that any other press secretary has full confidence in the attorney
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general, even if they were lying they would have said that because they would have assumed i would have heard about it if it wasn't true or that they would have to be loyal to the president. but i think sean spicer realizes the president might take that as a slight, that he was off the reservation. how dare you say that i have full confidence in the attorney general and might even tweet about it to contradict it. >> gloria, if sean spicer faced any other version of that question, about the vice president or secretary of state, hard to imagine sean spicer would say i haven't specifically asked him about that. >> right. so we knew something was up or sean would have said, of course the president has full confidence in jeff sessions and he didn't say that. so, you know, people began raising eyebrows and saying, wait a minute, what is going on here? and i just want to bring this back to this question of loyalty that you were talking about earlier. i talked with a source recently
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who's known the president for 20 years at least. and this source said to me, you know, everybody says donald trump is a really loyal guy, but i will tell you this. he is not. he will fire somebody. he will cut someone off if he believes that they are not loyal to him. and that it's a one-way street. and so the president has been bad-mouthing jeff sessions to anyone who will listen and he's bad-mouthing his counsel, his in-house counsel, don mcgahn. he's bad-mouthing people on his staff all of whom have been quite loyal to this president, including sean spicer, i would say, and to his own detriment. and yet the president doesn't have any compunction to restrain himself when criticizing these people quite openly to people he
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speaks with. >> maggie haberman said that the attorney general offered to, you know basically said i need to be able to do my job and i can resign. how do you read that? >> well, for starters, it's important for people to remember that i've heard a lot of talk about loyalty here. that's very appropriate, i think, for all of the other cabinet positions but the attorney general is unique in the cabinet in having an independent role it in enforcing the law and that may at times involving undertaking that the president doesn't appreciate and may involve protecting investigations from outside influence or even knowledge that the president may not appreciate. that is part of the unique role of the attorney general, the first obligation is to the constitution and to the law. not to the president. and that's not as clearly the case -- of course, they are all obligated to obey the law. but for all of the other cabinet
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members, they are implementers of the president's agenda and that's not necessarily the case with an attorney general. so if jeff sessions believes that that element of independence that is necessary for an attorney general who believes in the rule of law and the constitution to be able to do their job correctly, it shouldn't surprise anyone that he might offer to resign. now, it may just be, you've got a president here who's never been in government before and still hasn't learned a lot of these things, frankly, and that may be going on on a rolling basis, even if it may not be pretty and right in front of us. >> steve, is it possible that it's the president's learning curve? >> it might be. anderson, i think we're burying the lead a little bit. jeff sessions recused because he didn't want to have this air of pro pry tea -- if the president is angry for recusing, it's
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because he doesn't have the ability to control the investigation into russia. that's the irony here and the tie into mr. comey's testimony on thursday. the real concern is, has president trump been involved in obstruction of justice. you know, let's not lose sight of the forest for the trees here. he's upset about jeff sessions recusing himself because it's an ability that legally he shouldn't have had in the first place. >> we've got to take a quick break. we're going to devote our next hour to a preview of thursday's testimony by jim comey and the impact it could have. next, more on attorney general sessions and his working relationship with the president and the continuing question of what happens tonight. also, my conversation with the family of the woman who has been charged with leaking information from the nsa. i am totally blind.
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and at $4.95, you can trade with a clear advantage. [ barks ] radio: scorching heat today, staywalter!ut there! stop suffering with hot ac. cool it yourself with a/c pro. in just 3 easy steps, enjoy the comfort of 2 times the cooling boosters from the #1 selling coldest air. nothing cools like a/c pro. well, there's no shortage of breaking news tonight. evan perez reporting on tensions between trump and sessions including that sessions offered to resign. all of it as tensions rise with jim comey about to testify before the senate intelligence committee on thursday. we're going to preview the comey hearings in a moment.
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gloria borger has exclusive reporting on that just ahead. back with the panel right now. gloria, the idea of jeff sessions offering to resign, he left his career in the senate for this job. he's the top law enforcement official in the united states. hard for him to imagine even broaching the possibility unless tensions were pretty high or he felt this would really impede his ability to do his job. >> absolutely. don't forget, he was the first senator to come out and endorse donald trump. he traveled with him, he was a close adviser and he had a difficult confirmation. it wasn't as if it was a cake walk getting to this job. and he knew it was going to be difficult. and so you can imagine the tensions that arise and it's specifically because sessions feels that perhaps the president was trying to stop him from doing his job, which is, as was stated earlier, to be independent. and donald trump believes that everybody works for him and that
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the people who work for him ought to be able to fix things when things go awry. that's not the way government works. people work for the government and the country and not in particular for the president of the united states, particularly when it comes to questions of law enforcement. and that was his trouble with james comey and i gather that's his trouble with jeff sessions. >> well, also, ken, it's interesting -- again, according to "the new york times," they say it happened sometime in the last eight weeks. we don't know the exact date on this. if jeff sessions did resign, then the deputy attorney general would take over, who is the one -- rosenstein, who aint ppod the special counsel, not something that the president was obviously all that thrilled about. >> right. and i would also point out that when they fired director comey, that left andrew mccabe in charge of the fbi who what evidence exists suggests he has democratic leanings, not
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something you'd expect to be favorable to the president either and at the same time, a lot of us have been calling for the resignation or firing of comey for over a year now on both sides of the aisle. it's a different situation with attorney general sessions where presumably the only reason he might offer a resignation is if he didn't believe that he could be left free to do the job -- the part of the job where he's supposed to be independent of the president to do it independently. and, you know, who knows when we'll know that. but that would be the only reason i can think of for former senator jeff sessions to give up a choice slot in the senate -- >> if that is, in fact, a concern about his ability to do the job independently, that's a cause for concern, obviously. >> sure it is. absolutely. >> it's also extremely rare for
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tensions between the president of the united states and his attorney general to get out in public like this. >> yeah. yeah. you have to wonder if sessions wanted this out, if he wanted it to be known. because frankly, this story makes sessions look good. the fact that he's trying to keep the firewall between the justice department and white house in tact, the fact that he has actually offered his resignation if it can't be in tact, that is to his credit, right? that means he's trying to maintain some independence from trump. either he or the people around him wanted the public to know that. so far what we know is his mistake in his testimony not disclosing his conversations with the russians and then not actually recusing himself including recommending that the actual investigator get fired. the other thing -- one other thing, most of the actions that trump has taken to sort of bottle up this investigation,
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they all have backfired. he's done it in a sort of ham-handed way. if he hadn't fired comey, we wouldn't have this special counsel. same thing with the house intelligence -- >> steve , go ahead. >> president trump threw jeff sessions under his twitter bus and said anything that goes wrong with the second iteration of the travel ban, it's all the justice department's fault. >> they did this as if he was a bystander to it all? >> exactly. anderson, i think we're quickly reaching a point where it's getting very hard for senior government officials to want to serve in this administration if the price for doing anything independent, if the price for doing anything, even if they are told to do but then got struck
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down by the court is called out publicly by the president. and that may be why it's hard for him to find openings for these nominees. >> and when you declare war on the fbi, when you say things about the department of justice, surprise, surprise, all of a sudden information starts leaking out. >> we've got to take a quick break. more to report in a moment. gloria borger will talk about what comey may testify about on thursday. also, an nsa contractor under arrest for leaking information during the election. i spoke with her stepmother and father. hear what they have to say, coming up. oil and gas get where they need to go safely. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better.
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breaking news. another story is breaking right now. "the washington post" is reporting that the president back in march asked the director of national intelligence, dan coats, if he could intervene with the fbi to back off its probe of michael flynn's russia connections. we're going to talk about that and get more detail on that because that's a story that is just posted by "the washington post." another story you'll only see here, exclusive new details on what fired fbi director james comey will and will not say when he testifies thursday morning. our gloria borger has that and joins us now. the conversations between president trump and james comey, what are you learning about what comey is going to say about those conversations? >> well, eric and jake tapper and i are learning that james comey is going to dispute president trump when president trump said he was assured three times that he was not under any
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kind of investigation. rather, our sources say that comey is expected to tell senators that he never gave trump such assurances, although one source, without getting into the details of exactly what comey will say, hinted to me today that perhaps the president misunderstood or misinterpreted the exact language that comey was using to talk about any investigations because, as you know, anderson, these things can be sort of complex whether you're the target or the subject or whether it's a counterintelligence investigation or some other kind of investigation, that perhaps comey was hedging his words because he's a pretty slick guy, in a way that the president perhaps misunderstood him. >> right. but if the president misunderstood, the president said that comey told him this three times. >> point blank, right. >> the other question is whether james comey will say that the
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president tried to obstruction justice. >> we know that what comey is going to do is testify as a fact witness. he's going to talk about his meetings with the president. we're not sure whether he's going to read from his memos. we know that congress has asked for those memos and they haven't gotten them but he's going to recount exactly what occurred. but sources talking to us say he's not going to be in the business of legal analysis. he's going to leave the prosecution, if there is one, up to the special counsel mueller but instead he's just going to appear and tell members of congress what happened. my source said to me, well, look, people walk out of that room saying, oh, yeah, the president obstructed justice. he said maybe some will but that's a political judgment and it's not a legal judgment and comey is not willing to offer either one. >> so even if he believed personally it was -- his personal opinion was that the president was trying to obstruct
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justice, he's going to try to report the facts? >> right. and he's going to say -- you know, there are a series of meetings and one source suggested to me that, in hindsight, things could look very differently than they did at the time. >> gloria, thank you. joining us is brian aryan and christine. first of all, ryan, it's not going to be as satisfying for some democrats or opponents of the president who want him to say he was trying to obstruction justice. >> yeah, i think so. and you could understand why he might have some qualms about making such a bold accusation. he's not the investigator anymore. but i think that what might be powerful in terms of what gloria just laid out is hearing from comey the sequence of events with details coming from his mouth rather than from him
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asking if he was put through a loyalty test, does he indeed contradict the president on this idea that he guaranteed he wasn't a subject or target of the investigation, does he provide details about trump saying to let go of the michael flynn investigation. >> and based on the reporting, the breaking story tonight, did he say to the attorney general, i don't want to be alone in the room. >> yes. >> with the president of the united states. i still can't get over that idea. it's kind of a start telling idea. >> it's start telling and then obviously senators will ask why. and the answer is going to be because he thought he was trying to influence him on this investigation. and remember, comey -- we've seen him testify before. he's a good story teller. he tells a powerful story. >> and the idea that the president of the united states may live tweet this as well, which, you know, from a legal standpoint i would imagine every attorney on the planet would tell him don't do that, you know, this is comey giving his
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version of events. you don't need to add to it in realtime. your response becomes later. >> absolutely. every presidential counsel on earth would be physically restraining their client trying to get him not to do this because there is almost no good he can do himself by bringing himself into this story in this way. you know, as ryan was saying, all jim comey really has to do here is confirm a lot of the events that are already on the record that have been reported in various news accounts, the whole episode where he's trying to hide in the drapes because he doesn't want to get entangled with the president, that has been recounted secondhand by comey's friends, where he he were to confirm that, he repeatedly warned the president that he should not be calling him and having these int ter rackses, not to be in the same room. for him to say, yeah, that happened a a lot of things that we think we know is going to be very explosive.
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>> ryone can only presume that he's going to have a rebuttal for whatever james comey says and go after the character of james comey based on all of the things from the past. >> you know, listen, i don't think you need to go through the character of jim comey. i've heard that comey is not going to say that any type of interference took place. i mean, that's what we're going to walk away from at tomorrow's hearings. >> what he's going to say is facts happen and people can determine whether or not they believe -- >> he was the director of the fbi. if he was in the middle of something that took place, he has an obligation to speak forward. just because people want to dance around the issues whether he's no longer the current fbi director, he was the fbi director for the bulk of this investigation and has a responsibility to come forward if anything took place and he never did. the facts are going to be that nothing took place and partisans are going to walk away with the
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partisan views that they showed up with. >> christine, what about that point, if there was obstruction of justice and he believed there was at any particular moment that he had an obligation to come forward and say something. >> let's just first say that ryan asserted what we know is going to be said on thursday. we don't know. >> right. i'm basing it off a cnn report. >> but the fact that this is such an unorthodox series of events, that the former fbi director is testifying in this way about the president of the united states. and i never expected comey to draw a conclusion. that's not his job in this case. it's to tell him what happened and then lawyers and elected officials, et cetera, will draw the conclusions on a political end on a legal stage. but let's be clear -- we know and i think we know because comey will confirm it -- that he said to the attorney general, i don't want to be alone with the
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president of the united states. that certainly is a conversation that may have led to disclosure. we'll learn more about it. i used to be an elected official of a much lower level and the people you didn't meet with without staff were people you thought were dangerous or untoward or bad actors. and i would think the same judgment applies to mr. comey's statement. >> we've got to take another quick break. coming up, chilling information about a key ally, one that president recently met with. a story that led to multiple gulf nations cutting ties with qatar. details ahead. i was thinking ar. and before that? you mean after that? no, i'm talking before that. do you have things you want to do before you retire? i'd really like to run with the bulls. wow. hope you're fast. i am. get a portfolio that works for you now and as your needs change with investment management services.
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more breaking news. another real world consequence of fake news, not the fake news that the president talks about when he doesn't like the coverage by a legitimate news media. we're talking about real fake
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news that is a true sign of the times. investigators believe russian hackers got into a qatar state news agency and attributed false information to qatar's rulers, partly in reaction to the false news report, qatar's neighbors severed ties with the country. the crisis in the mid-east instigated by a russian fake news report. evan perez has the reporting on this. exactly what have you learned? >> anderson, you're right. this is a real crisis. u.s. investigators believe russian hackers were behind a cyberbreach against the qatari state news agency. the hackers planted a false news report friendly to iran and critical to president donald trump that is now being used by saudi arabia and some of the other u.s. allies in the region as a reason to carry out an economic and political blockade of qatar. u.s. and qatari officials tell us that the fbi sent a team of investigators to doha to help
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investigate the alleged hacking incident. the alleged involvement of russian hackers would add to concerns by u.s. intelligence and law enforcement agencies that russia continues to try to use some of the same cyberhacking measures on u.s. allies that it used to meddle in the u.s. 2016 elections. as you know, qatar hosts one of the largest u.s. military bases in the region. anderson, u.s. officials say that the russian goal here seems to be cause rifts among the u.s. and its allies in the region. >> is it believed that the russian government is behind this? >> well, it's not yet clear whether the u.s. has tracked the hackers in the qatar incident to russian criminal organizations or to the russian security services blamed for the u.s. election hacks. they told me, quote, not much happens in that country without the blessing of the russian government. today, president trump was criticizing qatar that we hear from the saudis and president trump didn't mention the hack but he voiced support for the
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regional blockade of qatar and cited qatar's funding of terrorist groups. the qataris have rejected those accusations and the fbi and cia declined to comment for the story. the qatar said in part, "the hacking of the news agency is an aggressive coordinated crime that represents a continued escalation in the campaign against qatar. these malicious efforts do not support the unity of the region to fight terrorism, instability and conflict." anderson? >> if fbi agents were looking at this in may, the president of the united states must have been aware. no? >> it's not clear. he didn't really refer to the hacking in his tweets. it's not clear what he's been briefed on and we know, according to the investigation, the investigation is still ongoing and they hope to be able to discuss the findings in the next week or so. that's one of the reasons they brought the fbi in. >> evan perez, thank you. joining me now, national security officer steve hall.
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steve, so either russian criminal organizations or russian security services would be behind something like this. which seems more likely, given what you know about both? >> anderson, it's not criminals. and that distinction is somewhat blurred as to who is criminal and who is not. something of this nature, another cyberoperation, in this case, an influence operation using propaganda on the part of the russians definitely if the reporting is accurate and sounds completely consistent would be a russian intelligence security services type of operation that would have been briefed and approved right at the very top with vladimir putin. this is extremely consistent with what we've already seen. >> if this was in fact directed by the russian government, i mean, this is what they tried to do, tried to disrupt and divide. this is what in many cases covert actions are about. >> absolutely. if you sit back and look at it
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from the level that vladimir putin wants geopolitically, he wants to drive wedges between the u.s. and its allies. so it's been a very good couple of weeks for putin in that regard, especially if you look at the reaction of our nato allies and european allies to the president's visit. a lot of concern on that. and so that was a win for putin. and now i think it's only rational and actually good sense on the part of the russians to say, look, this worked really well, the cyberpiece of it worked very well in europe and in the united states. there's no cost -- not much of a cost to us trying to do this in the middle east. it's another piece of warfare from the russians. they can't conventionally go against us with their forces but this cybercapability is proving very profitable and useful to them around the world now. >> it would also show that it's not just u.s. and europe that wants to show division in it. the middle east is obviously
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their prime target. >> sure. if you sit back and say what are vladimir putin's goals, it's a u.s. loss is a win for russia because russia, at the end of the day, putin at the end of the day is earn canned about the united states and its allies because those things the united states represents open society rule of law and he wants no part of it. that's not his sim testimoystem. whatever he can do to weaken the alliances with other western-thinking countries is a benefit in the long term to putin and russia. >> finally, president trump earlier seemed to be taking credit for the gulf nation's moves against qatar. if the u.s. suspected the motivations behind the move, wouldn't this have been included in the president's daily briefings? >> probably it would have been and i guess there's still a lot of analysis going on in terms of how the president takes his briefings and what he gets out
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of it. again, the russians really understand us, the west, and i think the president of the united states is so much better than we understand them. they have watched this president, had gut-level reactions and used twitter and other social media platforms to just come out and say things in a way that other administrations would have been probably much more measured and analytical about. so i think what they do is say, look, if we get out there and mess around a bit in the middle east, say, and give the president fodder for tweeting about something, then there's a good chance that he will. let's give it a shot and see what happens. it's possible that that is one of their calculations and what they were thinking of here when they did this. >> steve hall, appreciate it. thanks very much into coming up, russia's meddling efforts hit closer to home with a 25-year-old federal contractor behind bars accused of sending classified information to a news agency about russia's attempts to hack u.s. voting machines. what her mom and stepfather told me a short time ago, next. perfe, nobody does it better.
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to an online news outlet. the material, an nsa report on a russian cyberattack on u.s. voter software. there's no evidence any votes were affected. her life has been. i spoke with her mother and her stepfather. what has your daughter told you about what happened? >> she hasn't told us that much. she did tell me that she -- well, it was basically saturday night. she came home from the grocery store and she was followed into her driveway and her home by fbi agents. she said she was very scared. they took her by surprise. she was not expecting any of this. she said they were all armed. they took her into the back room of her house, which is a room she never goes into, for reasons
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anyway. but basically, then she was arrested from that point. we did not have any information with regard to the charges or anything until after the hearing on monday. >> prosecutors have said when confronted that she did admit to leaking a classified document. has she admitted that to you as well? >> she hasn't admitted it to us at all. what she told me was that she was terrified. she was terrified of the situation and she did tell me also that she was afraid she was going to disappear. that they were going to make her disappear. she felt like she needed to give them what they were asking for at the time. and so she was terrified. >> gary, how much communication have you had with her since the arrest? has she given any reason to you
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as to why she might have done something like this, if she did? >> we have not discussed anything about the case, the charges. she called me on saturday afternoon and told me she was in trouble, that there was -- that's why she was calling me. i spoke with the fbi agent at that time. as far as discussing anything, our contact has been very limited because basically she's been talking to her mom. we don't discuss anything about the case. basically -- i haven't had the conversation with her. we briefly got to see her at the hearing. but we have not had a chance to talk with her privately at all. the phone conversations we have are subject to review by the prosecutor. so we can't ask her what's going on with that. >> were you aware -- were both of you aware what she did for a living? did she give any indication she had access to classified information, was thinking about doing something like this? >> no.
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you know, for obvious reasons, she didn't share what she did. i didn't know what company she worked for. i didn't know anything. it was just -- it's a rule that you just -- you don't ask. i don't -- i didn't know what she did. i don't know what she did when she went to work. no idea whatsoever. >> she never discussed her job or details of her job in anything but very, very general terms. >> can i ask, if in fact she did what she's being accused of doing, what do you feel about that? well -- >> let me say this. i don't care what they accused her of doing. i know that she served her country. she's a veteran of the university air force and served with distinction for six years. she's a patriot. to see her maligns and slandered in the media is very
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disheartening. this young lady has served her country well. received praise from her commanders. she still continued to serve after she got out of the air force. >> i just want to say that if she did what she's being accused of, she is -- i know she's ready to pay the price. i know that she's going to do whatever she needs to do to pay that price. our fear -- my biggest fear in all of this is that she's not going to get a fair trial. she's not going to be treated fairly. she's going to be made an example of. that's my biggest fear. i know that if she did something wrong, she's always come clean with it. she's always been willing to accept the consequences.
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but i'm terrified for her right now, because of the news, the climate, the social media. i'm terrified that she is not going to be treated fairly. >> you believe she will be made an example of? >> i do. >> because what she's accused of doing is -- it's a severe offense. >> yes, it is. we haven't actually seen anything other than what's been posted online. it sounds horrible. but we don't know the details. we don't know exactly what it was that she's alleged to have released. we're finding out more and more about the actual raid and her alleged admission. i understand the government's position on this is to go strong with the case at first.
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but we don't have enough information to talk about that aspect of it at this point. we're just here to support our daughter and to put a face on her that's not -- it's the true face of our daughter. >> thank you very much for speaking to us. sorry it's under these circumstances. >> thank you. >> thank you, sir. >> coming up, with james comey's testimony just two days away, we will spend the next hour on what they say they will ask him, what we know about what he will say, what's at stake. also all the breaking news stories that have broken over the last several hours. details on all of them ahead.
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