tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN July 11, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT
hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. another day, another new twist in the investigation into russian interference in the 2016 election. "the new york times" report that donald trump jr. was e-mailed ahead of time about the material a russian lawyer wanted to pass along to him and was told the source was the russian government. don jr. admits he was promised information helpful to the campaign about hillary clinton. in response to this, his attorney says it's much ado about nothing. no one denied the existence of the e-mail. the russian lawyer who met with don jr. at the height of the campaign is now speaking out. listen. >> they had the impression, it appears, that they were going to be told information that you had about the dnc. how did they get that impression? >> translator: it's quite possible maybe they were looking for such information.
they wanted it so badly. >> have you ever worked for the russian government? do you have connections to the russian government? >> translator: no. >> the white house denying collusion. the president's lawyers denying he knew about this meeting at all. i do want you to keep this in mind. this makes at least seven current or former trump campaign team member who is either lied, changed their stories or have not been forthcoming about their contacts with russia. joining me right now, political director, david is with me. david, what does this mean? what does this change? >> well, i think we are now seeing drip, drip, drip in a significant way just on the donald trump jr. meeting. just this one meeting. he had a version on saturday, that didn't hold up. sunday, it's negative information about hillary clinton that could help in the campaign. now we are learning, this is where it gets significant.
he knew in an e-mail, now, this is going to be part of sort of evidence that mueller, that senate intel, the house intel, all the investigative authorities are going have a chain of them. he has an e-mail that says it's the russian government looking to pass this information on. that's a different ball game. it's not just i'm going to look from any corner possible. it's what campaigns do. it's been donald trump jr.'s defense. it said in the e-mail, it was the russian government's effort to help his father's campaign. that was the purpose this woman wanted to sit down and meet. >> it seems to change where the significance is. not just the meeting, it's what was known before walking into the meeting, because then he still walked in. also significant, if you could, put it in context with the folks. what was happening within the trump campaign? what was this, june 9, 2016, when this russian attorney
walked into trump tower. >> remember, donald trump just wrapped up the primary season, secured enough delegates to become the nominee. we are several weeks before the convention. it's a moment of transition. remember, also, this is when the staff shake up was starting to brew. the children of donald trump, right, wanting lieu wan dough ski out. you have jared kushner and manafort in this meeting. lewandowski was not in the meeting, which i find interesting. you have a small operation covered like a business z. that didn't look like every other campaign you or i covered. >> they took pride in that. >> it was z. it was a different operation. this is just as they were trying to expands and be the general election nominee. all of that is the context. we know donald trump, his schedule that darks he was in trump tower for part of it and
at a fund-raiser at the four seasons with paul manafort for part of it. what we don't know is, was he with paul manafort before he sat in that meeting or after? and we don't know, other than we have heard from the white house and his lawyer that donald trump knew nothing of the meeting, did not know about it or anything about it. that seems odd, if he's with with paul manafort that same day. we have to wait to see. >> we have heard from the president's attorney, not the president. tim kaine, hillary clinton's running mate tells cnn, he thinks with this, trump's son might have committed treason. republican lawmakers are not going there yet, of course. senator john mccain has concerns and spoke out a short time ago. listen to this. >> your reaction to donald trump jr. being infompled by -- >> i have said many times in the past, there's another shoe that
will drop and there will be other shoe that is drop. >> reporter: is this the first sign of coordination -- >> we have heard of many stories of meetings and communications and stuff, yeah. there will be many more shoe that is will drop. >> reporter: how serious do you think this shoe is? >> i don't know. there's another shoe that is dropped that needs to be pursued and looked at. >> the white house story is evolving. >> it has been for the last several months. >> reporter: does it concern you -- >> i told you it would. >> reporter: -- that it's a family member? >> i can't get into all the details. we don't know all the details. we know it's serious. i said a long time ago, it's serious. this is a serious situation. we have new breaking news coming in just now. bear with me, it's just handed to me.
donald trump jr., as we were discussing with david, he just released a new statement. that was just tweeted out. he is also released, it appears to be the e-mails that we are discussing or part of an e-mail we are discussing. let me read the statement to you in full. this, from donald trump jr. to everyone in order to be transparent, i am releasing the entire e-mail, chain of e-mails with rob goldstone about the meeting on june 9th. the first on june 3rd was relating from someone i knew from the miss universe pageant. they have a highly respected company in moscow. the information, suggest, they had about hillary clinton, i thought was political opposition research. i wanted to have a phone call. when that didn't work out, they said the woman would be in new york and asked if i would meet. i decided to take the meeting. the woman, as she has said
publicly was not a government official. as we said, she had no information to provide and wanted to talk about adoption policy. to put this in context, it's before the current russian fever was en vogue. as said in the press, the entire meeting was the most nonsense i ever heard and i was actually agitated by it. that is the new statement coming out from donald trump jr. let me bring in with me right now, cnn legal analyst, paul is here. cnn legal analyst, kristen powers is here. matthew rosenberg, cnn contributor ken, who is a former attorney general of virginia. david. i roped him back into staying with us as well. i'm going to acknowledge, i have not been able to look through the e-mail. david, on your phone, it's probably way too small. looks like he is releasing an e-mail chain that goes back and forth with rob goldstone.
paul, this is really interesting stuff to be putting out in the face of all this. >> i'm not surprised. he knows he's going to be under oath and have to answer questions. he's trying to get in front of the story. this is a wise move. this is nothing criminal. this is opposition research that happens to emanate from the soviet union or russian federation, i should say. he's trying to get in front of the story. >> let me read part of this. it looks like this is the first e-mail from rob goldstone. this print is extremely small. it says good morning. ameen just called and asked me to contact you with something interesting. the crown prosecutor of russia met with his father and offered to provide the trump campaign with official documents and information that would incriminate hillary and useful to your father. this is high level and sensitive
information but as part of russia and its government support for mr. trump. wow! helped along by aras and emin. how do you want to handle the information? this is the first time i eec'm reading it. that's an important line. >> it's too small to read, but i see someone from the atlantic said she is identified as a russian attorney. this is a person who, by the way, according to that, they know she's coming to talk about russian sanctions. by the way, when russians talk about adoption, that is what they are talking about. so, you know, they should have known that. they should have known that -- so people understand, the sanctions are against russian government officials. unless she has a hobby of lobbying on behalf of the russian government, she's probably connected to the russian government.
in her interview with nbc, she said that. for years, i have worked on this issue of the sanctions. so, again, unless she is a hobbyist and working on getting sanctions lifted against russian government officials, it's a reasonable assumption she is connected to the russian government. >> that line you just read in that e-mail where goldstone makes it clear to donald trump jr. that this is -- >> government support. >> exactly. >> participant of russia and its government support for mr. trump. >> to me, that negates the line donald trump jr. is offering as tweets that the russian narrative was not either and there was no big deal. it doesn't matter if that was a story line or not. it's in this e-mail that he was alerted that the russian government is seeking to help his father's campaign. >> it goes beyond that in an important way. it talks about an official document of the russian
government. now, this would suggest russian government involvement, not just in leaking information. was it through hacking or illegal entry into u.s. computer systems? that gets closer to a link to possible criminal conduct, if, in fact, that's what is being referred to here. of course we don't know at this point. >> ken, we are all seeing this for the first time together. what is your -- you straddle the political and the legal. what is your reaction to what we are reading right now? >> first of all, i agree with an earlier comment, in light of this coming out, that it was smart on donald jr.'s part to release the e-mails. if their whole team would take that more open approach, we are talking about an ugly line in one of these e-mails. we are going to talk about that. we'll talk about it in other evidence that comes out, too.
it would be so much easier and i think beneficial in the long run for the whole trump team, if they went hunting this stuff down and if they started putting it out. look, donald trump, the president, has no trouble taking shots on the chin and giving them back. they are going to take shots on this. i think it was smart on jr.'s part to lay it out there as ugly as it may be. ond the line on the e-mail, i haven't seen the rest of them, is very, very telling. it suggests to me, if he released these he had, in fact, read them. so you all keep in mind, in the second week of june of 2016, it was very chaotic, not that it ever wasn't in the trump campaign, but, you know, everybody is trying to access the campaign and the president. there's a bazillion e-mails coming in. it may have been a plausible position to say i never saw these e-mails, except it came
from somebody new. it was about someone they worked with in russia who they apparently held in regard on a business level and obviously, that connection was used on the other end to access donald jr. this is one of the issues, you know, this isn't billy carter. billy carter wasn't involved with jimmy carter. the family of donald trump has been intimately involved in governments. because of that, all of them are targets of this dragnet and here is donald jr. in it. we are going to hear more about it as the days go forward. >> matthew, let me bring you in as well. in an e-mail, this goes from rob goldstone back to don. great, they just pulled it up on the screen. pleasant tris, then says amin asked that i schedule with you and the russian government attorney who is flying over from
moscow for this thursday. so, that seems to be a problem in the fact this person is not connected to the kremlin at all. >> yeah. i mean -- you know, you can claim, i guess, this is somebody who wasn't in the government with no experience with this. i think they are going to run into a problem. you are taking information to hurt a political opponent in an american election from somebody that is identifying themselves as coming from the government, information from the russian government. that's going to raise a ton of questions with the fbi investigators among senators and house members on the hill. i think you saw that with senator mccain. the other question, if i were sitting in an interview with don jr., i would ask, if you didn't think there was anything wrong with it, why are we only finding out about it a year later? we have months and months and months of revelations met here
and there. at some point, it's like, there's nothing to see here. why not tell us all about it? why not come out and say it? tell us everything that happened, instead of only coming out with the details after the stories have broken and the news is out. >> what does this mean, excellent point, matthew. david, what does this mean for the other two people in that meeting, jared kushner and paul manafort? maybe don jr. didn't share this ahead of time? >> that would be the best case scenario. you know, i think it's reported jared kushner was in and out of that meeting. it is because of jared kushner -- remember, he initially filled out his security clearance form and did not include, initially. it was submitted prematurely. they filled it out and put it in to detail contacts with russia, right? it wasn't that initial one. it was a supplement supplementa
information from jared kushner that this meeting appeared on a form of jared kushner's. >> all the detail is important for the investigation. if we take a ministep back in what this kind of confirms, does this mean now that donald trump jr. went into a meeting looking for help from the russian government? >> it suggests he was open to it. look, if you took -- i have been hearing trump defenders saying, oh, this happens all the time. jason miller was saying it happens all the time. this doesn't happen all the time. many would have forwarded this to the fbi. if you give this to the average high school student and asked them to identify what was wrong with it, they would be able to tell you. it is hard to believe that donald trump jr. did not understand what he was doing
here. >> let me add to the conversation, if you could stick with me. let's get the view from capitol hill. republican from utah sits on the house intelligence committee. thanks for coming in, i appreciate it. >> good morning. >> we are getting new information. i'm not sure how much you have been able to hear our conversation or to see. of this news about the meeting that donald trump jr. had, donald trump jr. released the entire e-mail chain he had with his go between. here is an important line i would like to get your reaction to in this e-mail. this go between rob goldstone writes to donald trump jr., this is obviously very high level and sensitive information, but, is part of russia and its government's support for mr. trump. what does that tell you, congressman? >> i don't know, honestly. it's something that's just revealed to me as we speak. it's something we would want to look into. i'm not here to defend mr. trump
or mr. trump jr., i'm here to discover the truth. the house intelligence has been committed to that. we are going to investigate and report to the american people. having you read it, i wish i could be more helpful, but it's too soon. >> does it raise new questions for you? >> i think so. any one of these things raises questions. i know there's a lot of people who dream of donald trump being impeached and the russian collusion being proven. again and again, we have been disappointed in that in the sense that most of these things turn out to be, you know, not much there. when you talk to natalia, she says we didn't discuss this. at least as far as i know. she said i never had negative information or damaging information on secretary clinton. from what i understand, h says we discussed the russian adoption issue. the e-mails set up a dimfferent
story for why they met but the context didn't discuss this. >> if donald trump jr. knew going in that it was to help the russian government to help -- or the russian government wanting to help trump's campaign. she is coming and she is a russian government attorney. does that seem appropriate to you? >> no. i mean, that's obviously concerning to us. it's a thing, again, we want to question that and dive into that. again, my understanding is she says i wasn't a russian official. i wasn't working for, as an agent of the russian government. this seems to indicate that maybe she had some affiliation. i don't understand that. let's ask the question and try to find out. >> do you want donald trump jr. to come before you and testify before your committee? >> oh, for sure. this is one of the things the american people are going to
wonder about. it's going to have a lot of unanswered questions, i think, unless he's willing to testify. i have to give him credit and thank you for releasing these e-mails and doing it very quickly. it gives you and i and the media and those of us on the committee a chance to digest them. that's a good, positive step. there's more questions that the e-mails will raise. we look forward to having a chance to speak with mr. trump jr. about this. >> does it seem clear at this point, though, from the e-mail -- just the sentence i read to you that donald trump jr. went into this meeting, if not seeking, at least open to working, getting information from the russian government to help his father's campaign? >> again, i know it would seem that way, but i hate to prejudge it. there's so many times in this investigation where it seems something is "a," then when you put it in context and learn more about it, it's not. to be fair to the process and
mr. trump and frankly, natalia as well, i would like to hold judgment. it's obvious there's questions that arise that we look forward to asking and getting answers to. >> should he have notified the fbi about the e-mail, about the meeting? >> you know, i don't know. again, it's kind of early. i would say this, if they had a meeting and negative information about the secretary was shared, yeah, the appropriate response was you need to share that with the fbi or share that with the justice officials. but i tell you, you know, in politics and probably in life, we hear lots of things and often it turns out not to be much there. so, i don't know that you would share based on just this one e-mail. once again, i come back to what both people said, no negative information was shared. natalia said i didn't have negative information on secretary clinton. if she shared something, that would have been a bigger burden
to share with fbi officials. >> the fact that the meeting happened at all, is that not significant? regardless of what information came out of the meeting, when it's set up as a russian government attorney and the russian government's assistance to help your father's campaign -- >> i agree with you. i mean, that's a meaningful development. that's something that the american people and those of us on the intelligence committee will want to learn more ant. there's no doubt about it. >> with an e-mail chain like that, would you have taken a meeting after receiving an e-mail like that, congressman? >> i don't know. i mean, honestly, it's hard for me to imagine someone would come to me with something like that. you know -- look, people come to me all the time and say i have negative information on your opponent or negative information about this or that. >> negative information is one thing. research is the name of the
game. a russian government wanting to assist your campaign you would take that meeting? >> no, i'm not saying i would take that meeting. i'm saying it's hard for me to judge that. we need to learn more about that. honestly, it's hard for me to invision myself in that scenario. it's difficult to imagine how i would respond to that. no, i can't imagine if someone said to me or any foreign government has negative information, my first response so to share it with officials. >> quickly, i think we have to get going, but you are an air force pilot 14 years, if i am correct. i want to get your reaction to the tragic crash and death of service members that happened overnight. just to get your thoughts on that? >> well, you know, look, those who serve in the military, god bless them, god bless their spouses. you have to remember these families back home. i remember getting a phone call
hearing the wife of a good friend of mine is, all she said is oh, chris. i knew there was bad news. that's the thing all these families dread. in any one of these circumstances, god bless them for serving. do what we can to serve and support. >> absolutely. congressman, i appreciate your time. thanks for juggling this for me. thanks so much. let's stay on -- let's go to washington, evan perez has new information. what do you have? >> one of the things -- >> every single time we provide to provide meaningful relief for people hurting under obamacare, the position of democrats is not only no, it's hell no. they have opposed anything to help the people that are hurting. right now, i would happily work with democrats if they are willing to address it. the position of democrats is not only do they not want to repeal obamacare and help those hurting
under it, they want to expand obamacare and make the problems worse. that's not compromise. that's moving backwards. in my view, you asked about compromise. >> you are listening to ted cruz on capitol hill. many issues we are juggling. let's get back to evan perez. fill us in. >> reporter: one of the things that's interesting here is, our reporting indicates the fbi did not have position of this information on this meeting prior to this coming out over the weekend from "the new york times." so, we do know, however, they have been looking at intelligence information that they have gathered over the past year doing this investigation that they believe indicated the russians believe they have in some way were trying to collude or coordinate with the donald trump campaign. so, the question is, what else does the fbi have and does this amplify or add to what the fbi already had and robert mueller, the special council, what they
already have as part of the yearlong investigation into the trump campaign and ties to russia. as you mentioned, i think a couple times, you know, what's key in these e-mails that donald trump jr. released is the specific mention that this lawyer who was coming over from moscow is referred to as a government attorney. his reaction is simply, okay, great. see you at 3:00 tomorrow. it is really a remarkable thing because over the weekend and over the last couple days, we heard repeatedly from the white house that they weren't aware who this woman was. they didn't know she had ties to the government of russia. that there was nothing discussed about the campaign. all of these explanations have fallen apart with every new revelation, so, i'm not sure whether this is the final story, whether this is all the e-mail chains, but we certainly know the fbi would want to look at this. >> i want to be clear, evan. there's a lot going on in my
ear. the fbi had not seen the e-mails before he released them? >> reporter: we are told the fbi was not aware of the meeting before this came out this weekend. that's one of the things interesting about this. they already had enough information from intelligence sources that indicated some suggestion of collusion or coordination, which is why they have been investigating this for about a year. it's interesting to me that even without this new information, they already had something significant that caused the investigation. >> fascinating stuff. evan, thank you so much. anything else you get, please jump on. appreciate it. paul, what do you make of that? we don't know exactly what bob mueller has, what the fbi has, if he has these e-mails or not. it came as a surprise, it appears to the republican congressmen on the house intelligence committee that we spoke to. it seems like that was the first time he was hearing about this when don jr. released this.
>> i think it's a shocker piece of information. it's a direct link to the russian government. obviously, donald trump jr. knew he was or at least thought he was meeting with a certified representative of the russian government. what surprises me is, wouldn't his father, wouldn't he have called his father and said dad, the russian government reached out to me. they have stuff on hillary. wouldn't that be the normal thing? a family that is close? i find it difficult to believe this is not going to lead to the president, eventually. you have to remember, at least five top people in the trump administration denied contact with the russians, including the current attorney general. when pressed, this story has begun to fall. this is the clearest indication that there was contact early on in the campaign. >> you raise an interesting point. david and i were discussing this, also. where was -- do you know, i
might be picking your bane too much to go back to june 9 of 2016. do you know where donald trump was that day when the meeting happened? >> i don't. that's a good question. i'll look it up when we are done here. i think there is a real -- raises the point that trump and those around him said look, we had no real contact with the russians. that wasn't the case. i also think there are a bunch of bits of information that dribbled out that the fbi and investigators did not seem to be aware of immediately. i think they are trying to bring their case together. you can see it. a lot has to do with intelligence being murky. there's a lot of kind of -- i would say also ask the congressman that was on before, he keeps referring to revelation that turn out to be, there's really no there there. i'm not sure what he's talking about. there's a lot of revelations
about meetings and contacts that it's not clear what wept on. it's not that there's no there there, we don't know. >> the congressman was generally surprised when -- this -- if an e-mail is evidence, what was happening with hillary clinton the whole time. e-mails are e-mails are e-mails. >> a couple more things in the e-mail, you know, where he's told about russia's support for donald trump. there's a reference to that. that's a shocking thing to hear, right? russia supports the candidacy of donald trump. that, alone, will send off alarm signals. i believe so will say what do you mean russia supports my candidate. he doesn't seem bothered by that. he claimed he doesn't know the name of the person. in the e-mails, he says i'm going to send her name for security. >> it could be a thing we have seen before. just come in.
one of the things we have seen before. maybe he didn't know specifically her name. >> recall it. >> or that he was told she was a russian government attorney -- >> the campaign, most campaigns, if it got this far and it wouldn't with most campaigns would check that person out. >> at this point, if you got an e-mail that is a russian government attorney, i don't much care what the person's name is. >> right. yeah. >> plus, you are sending the campaign manager -- i mean the campaign manager to the meeting, too. >> go ahead. >> i have to respond to one thing. look, i was, you know, fighting in the primary on behalf of ted cruz up to the month before this. someone just alluded to, in other campaigns. that statement just doesn't belong in a discussion of the trump campaign. it just doesn't. they had people doing their own thing, including children, during the campaign as we have seen after the election. they go off on their own tracks.
you are right, no other campaign would operate like this. that doesn't mean this one didn't. they won that election operating on chaos theory. it hasn't proven a very god governing style, but it was effective campaign style. let me finish one more point. we have to remember, because now you are saying this was a government official meeting. the way it got set up was the business connection. look, these are friends or this is a person who put forward by this family that they have done business with as recently as a couple years before. so, that's the way this came in. it might explain why it was so easily accepted. however, then last point, you say, well, i see no reaction to this government attorney thing. this is e-mail. you don't put in reactions like that. you have them yourself and you may roll your eyes and say i have to meet with this person,
but that's not -- you are measuring it against other campaigns. that's an inappropriate measure. they have enough problems. >> i'm measuring -- >> you have been talking a long time and telling me what i have been doing. i'm measuring against basically how everybody in the world would work. the fact they did something that they, one, does not mean everything they do that's unethical and maybe illegal is okay. that sounds like what you are saying. i mean, i just want to know, who gets an e-mail saying the russian government supports them and doesn't forward that to the fbi. >> what i'm saying, you may not see the reaction in the e-mail, it will be in the follow up question for donald jr. >> as far as we know from the recording, of course it's happening in realtime, the fbi was not aware of this meeting ahead of time. so, if you -- whatever reaction did not take the step of
notifying. let me do this, guys. matthew, i can see -- his mouth is gaped because he wants to get in. ken, i'm going to get you back. >> hit me every time i try to talk. >> my punching bag. let's reset to bring everyone up to speed where we are right now. we started the day with "the new york times" reporting donald trump jr. was told in an e-mail ahead of the meeting with the russian attorney it was done and the source of the material that was going to be shared was the russian government. this hour, donald trump jr., himself, tweeted a statement saying, for total transparency, i'm releasing the chain of e-mails. this is what we learned from the go between contact in russia. this is obviously high level and senlstive information, but it is part of russia and government support of mr. trump helped along by a pop star and his father. i'm just summing um. in an additional e-mail, we are
told that i believe -- i scheduled a meeting with you and the russian government attorney who is flying over from moscow this thursday. that is where we are in this moment in a very important moment, it appears. brian just jumped into the studio. he is here with us now. what do you have for me? >> it's worth noting the time line of why the e-mails were released on twitter at the beginning of the program. it does not seem to be out of effort of being transparent, in good faith. the context, "the new york times" already had the e-mails, written an entire story and was about to publish the e-mails. at that point, "the new york times" called him up for comment. they said give us more time, give us more time. then he released the e-mails on twitter. i think it's worth noting the context. this is not something where they woke up and said we need to get this out there and make it public. this was forced on him by "the new york times."
his statement says he was trying to be fully transparent. this is the fourth day in a row "the new york times" published a story about this meeting, every day with new details that have been damaging to trump. >> i'm fascinated when you talk about this. as he says, for total transparent. that's what he says. note, all, president trump has said nothing. he has been completely silent. his attorney said he was not aware of the meeting. during this same time period, president trump spent time on twitter defending another one of his children. the fact his daughter sat in on a g-20 meeting when he had to step out. he defended her on twitter. silent on this issue. let's go over now, back to washington for a second. let's go to jeff who solved the mystery that i pop quizzed with matthew rosenberg on, you know where donald trump was that day of this meeting now in question. jeff, on june 19th, 2016, where
was that candidate trump. >> on june 9th, 2016, it it was beginning of the general election battle for all intents and purposes. the california primary just ended two days before. donald trump was in new york that day, actually holding his first fund-raiser for the trump victory. he went to lunch at the four seasons, met with reince who was head of rnc. he effectively clinched the nomination a couple months before the investigation. the primaries just ended that week. this was no ordinary day in the 2016 campaign cycle. this was the moment, the time hillary clinton had just delivered that big speech the night before in brooklyn on that tuesday evening. this was a thursday, of course, when all of this was coming together. after that lunch at the four seasons, he went back to trump tower. we looked at the reporters, at
the reports from that day. jeremy diamond spent virtually every day on the campaign trail with donald trump, he remembers then candidate trump being at the four seasons and going back to trump towers. we don't know, have any reason to believe he was at the meeting, but it certainly raises many, many questions and the credibility of this white house has been questioned and tested so many times before in terms of where people were and meetings people had. if his oldest son did not tell his father he was meeting with a russian lawyer here, i would find that very interesting because they are incredibly close. they travel together. they were in each other's offices a lot. that was the moment of that week of 2016. >> fascinating stuff, jeff. i appreciate you tracking it down for us. a big question, we had a republican congressman who sits on the intelligence committee
on, hearing it for the first time. he seemed genuinely surprised and said he would like to see donald trump jr. appear before the committee. he said absolutely they have more questions for him now. the big question is what is the reaction from capitol hill? this is a big moment. there have been many moments, but this is the first chain of e-mails we have seen in the drawn out saga. what are you hearing? >> reporter: a lot of concerns. not just from democrats, but republicans as well who learned more about this. they want don jr. to come and testify before the senate intelligence committee, before the house intelligence committee. the republicans themselves are raising questions about why don jr. agreed to meet with this russian lawyer, especially in light of what we know now, that he was aware he could have gotten dirt from the clinton campaign. this is something that was an effort by the russian government to help his father's campaign at
the time. lindsey graham, the republican from south carolina said to us moments ago, anytime you are in a campaign, you get an offer from a foreign government, the answer is no. he expressed frustration as well that these story lines from the white house continue to change in addition, another senator who sits on the intelligence committee, james langford said really his concern is drip, drip, drip of information. it's hurting the white house. the white house should come out and explain exactly what happened here, lay out all the facts. some democrats, using very strong words, tim kaine, the former vice presidential nominee for hillary clinton said earlier this morning that it could be potentially treason, the activity by don jr. and having this meeting with this russian lawyer. republicans are not going that
far. many democrats are not going that far, but it is causing a lot of discussion in the halls of the capital. republicans voicing concern. they want to hear more information and the point of the investigation to get to the bottom of it. >> political conversation is being reverted back to a national security conversation if you talk about russian influence in the investigation. gate to see you, thanks so much. he's tracking all the reaction from capitol hill. matthew rosenburg is sticking with me. thank you for sticking with us on this. here is a line that i recalled from sarah huckabee sanders. this was yesterday, before the e-mails came out. when asked about don jr., she said in her view, certainly she would say don jr. did not collude with anyone to influence the election. is this now going to come down to what the definition of collusion is? >> it could well. i mean, sure, if that's what he's telling her. she may believe it, she may not
rksz i don't know. i know a few things. number one, you know, if you are an elected official and somebody from the russian government comes and says the russian government wants to help you with information you don't know how they got it. if you are in the government, a career person, you report it to the fbi. it's not something you blow off. if they weren't in office yet, not a lot of experience in government. maybe they didn't know. the other issue is one of the things we keep hearing about a number of meetings is the trump campaign, people running around, doing their own thing. sure, that's true. this involved, donald trump jr., paul manafort and jared kushner, a top adviser. it's not a single person freelance. you have the top of the campaign sitting down in this campaign. that certainly does raise questions about where the campaign was at this time in relation to this material, what it was looking for and what it was willing to take from others. they are questions the fbi is
trying to figure out. a pair of committees are trying to figure out and journalists are trying to figure out. >> don jr. wants to be totally transparent, thank you. when you look at the e-mails, i cannot get over how big of a deal this line is. when someone e-mails to the then candidate now the president's son during the campaign, this is part of russia and its government's support for mr. trump. i know they have a lot of questions. i'm not faulting the congressman who came on that he didn't have an answer for how he felt about it at the moment. this gets to the heart of what this investigation is about, no? >> right. i mean, you know, donald trump jr. said this is before everybody knew about russia's alleged involvement in the campaign. it's right there until the e-mail that they support donald trump. like i said, i think this is something that would normally send off alarm bells to somebody. it seems to be something that
didn't with them because he is -- when all this news came out, he was dismissive of it. what's the big deal. i'm sure i'm not the only one that has done this. the idea that they were suggesting that maybe he sounded to the fbi, he made light of it. itis not something that seems concerning to them and they were happy to work with the russians. this is like if john podesta, bill clinton and chelsea clinton had a meeting with russia saying they supported hillary clinton and they were bringing information to harm donald trump. >> if it came -- in that meeting, they said nothing came of the meeting. ken, i was guess there would likely be another benghazi style hearing on capitol hill, no? >> i fully expect to see donald trump jr. answering questions about this. i think that's entirely legitimate. we need to learn the details of this. i would note, with respect to a comment that keeps coming up
about these things being dead end leads. my other senator, not tim kaine, but mark warner on the senate intelligence committee said the same thing on a sunday show a couple weeks back where he said there's smoke. we haven't seen fire yet. we are going to keep checking out the smoke. obviously, this is another one of those, as john mccain said, a shoe that dropped. i'm not suggesting it shouldn't be run down. i want to make sure it's put in the proper con tect. tim kaine's comment about treason when people aren't in office, i don't think there's a legal foundation for it. this is going to fuel more of the political rhetoric on capitol hill. it legitimately fuels concerns about the bottom line details of this interaction. i am curious and i don't know sitting here, when jared kushner identified this meeting in his
supplemental security admissions. i think that was really the first time this meeting was identified not so much when "the new york times" reported on it. i don't know when that was. that's going to be part of the time line as well. >> don jr. said it was ant adoptions a couple days ago. on saturday, the original explanation was it was primarily about adoptions. is this an ice cube or just the tip of an iceberg and we can't see the rest underneath. it feels, based on the drip, drip, drip of "the new york times" reporting, like an iceberg. >> made the comment that i would agree with. that is the whole trump family would do itself a whole lot better service if they'd just put all this stuff on the table, defended what they thought needed to be defends, explain what needed to be explained and let everybody draw their conclusions instead of the drip, drip, drip. i completely agree with that. i think the american people
would appreciate it. in some ways, they are getting fed up with all this. we get one more dash of this information. another shoe to drop that legitimately needs to be investigated. it distracts from, really, the kind of work that needs to take place in american governance today. >> the attorney that's now mixed up in this, the russian attorney, be it a russian government attorney or a russian national. you decide. she spoke out this morning to nbc news. listen to what she had to say. >> reporter: they had the impression, it appears, that they were going to be told information that you had about the dnc. how did they get that imfregs trrp it's possible they were looking for information, they wanted it so badly. >> reporter: have you ever worked for the russian government? do you have connections to the russian government. >> translator: no.
>> so, we have that added to the mix. jake tapper is adding to the mix. jake, what do you make of this? >> reporter: i mean, simply, obviously, we need a full explanation. there needs to be an investigation. we need to find out the details of this. i don't see how anyone can come to the conclusion that this e-mail chain, on its face, suggests that the trump campaign was willing to collude with the russian government and expressed so in writing in an e-mail. here we have an e-mail. let's back up and go over this so people can see what i'm talking ability. with rob goldstone, the publicist that was with both don trump jr. and others in that orbit is talking about how emin, so we can state who they are, they are a family in russia that the son is a pop star and the father is a real estate
developer. they have known the trumps for some time. they did some business or were associated in the miss universe pageant when it was in russia. emin called me and asked me to contact you with something interesting. the crown prosecutor of russia met with his father, the real estate developer and offered to provide the trump campaign with official documents to incriminate hillary and with russia and would be useful to your father. if the e-mail is to be believed on its face and always with the stories don't just believe an e-mail because they said something in the e-mail. according to the e-mail, the crown prosecutor of russia is reaching out to him knowing that he has a relationship with the trumps and offering to provide information. we don't know what kind of information, that seems to document unflattering
information about hillary clinton and wants to give it directly to aras to give to the trump campaign that would presumely go from aras to goldstone, et cetera or the attorney. this is obviously very high level and sensitive information but as part of russia and its government support for support of mr. trump and would be able to speak directly. and don jr. writes back, thanks, rob. appreciate it. i'm on the road perhaps speak to amy. if we have time. if it's what you say, i love it. especially later in the summer. all do a call first time when i'm back and most of the other e-mails are trying to coordinate a time, although there is another reference to the russian government attorney who is flying over from moscow for this thursday, presumably that would be the attorney with whom he met. >> right. >> so according to donald trump
jr.'s latest information, when we do need to acknowledge that his stories on this story, on this information, have changed. in march he had never met with anyone from the russian government. he told the "new york times." in any way. in his capacity, with the campaign. we now know that's not true. from his own admissions. on saturday told the "new york times" that this meeting was about adoption primarily. and then when the "new york times" went back at them with more information, acknowledged that the information was about damaging information on hillary clinton. and obtaining it. we still don't know what was in the meeting. obviously, the attorney, the russian attorney in question has a very different take on the story. again, just because somebody says something in this tale doesn't mean he or she is to be believed, but on its face, this e-mail chain now -- we need context, information, we need to
talk to don jr., et cetera. the press and also investigators, but on its face this e-mail chain is proof of a willingness expressed by donald trump jr. to collude with russia to get information directly from the russian government through intermediaries to help the trump campaign. i don't see any other way to read these e-mails. >> i think it's the -- the burden is on him to explain it otherwise, at this point. when he releases an e-mail with lines like, "this is done by the russian government in order to assist the campaign of your father." i mean, unless it's lost in translation somehow, there's no other way to read it. also brings into a stark reminder of the interview with don jr. shortly after this meeting happened. jake? >> amazing. i don't know if we have that clip ready to go. >> we do. let's run it. >> before we do, if we could one
second. this is in july. this is the morning -- of the week of the democratic national convention. the dnc was hacked weeks if not months before, and in june, after this meeting that donald trump jr., jared kushner, paul manafort had with this russian attorney, after that meeting, announced hacked the democratic national committee. now what we have in july to set the stage for this clip, e-mails are starting to come out from the dnc that suggest a lot of hostility towards bernie sanders from dnc staffers and causes quite an uproar. robby mook, clinton campaign chairman comes on my show that sunday, "state of the union" saying russians behind all of this. donald trump jr. the next guest and here's what he had to say. >> well, it goes to show you their exact moral compass. they'll say anything to be able to win this. this is time and time again. lie after lie. notice, he won't say, well, i
hear this. we hear experts. this is what's happening with the russians. disgusting. it's so phony. >> i mean, what's so amazing of that righteous indignation, this came weeks after donald trump jr. received e-mails from rob goldstone in which it was expressed that the russian government wanted to help the trump campaign. >> right. >> and here you have donald trump jr. acting as if the notion that the russians were trying to help the trump campaign was an evil and devious lie, when he had been told by a confidant, rob goldstone, that that was the case. >> jake, stand by with me. i think we have robby mook, former campaign manager of hillary clinton's campaign you referenced there. robby on the phone. can you hear me? >> i can. >> thanks for jumping on. appreciate it. you're obviously seeing all this in realtime like we are.
your reaction to the e-mails that don jr. released? >> well, it -- it's surprising how transactional this appears to be. even i was surprised and i've been pretty skeptical when the trump people have claimed that this was all trumped up. no pun intended. i'm concerned, however, about what we don't know right now. they've withheld so much. they've lied so many times about whether these meetings took place at all. if this is what they're willing to send to us, i can only imagine what they're not willing to send, and i'm -- i'm frankly concerned this may be an attempt to get us to focus on don jr. when we know there are a lot of other people we were already told were talking to russians. carter page, in conversations with wikileaks. so i think it's important that we continue to demand all the
information here, and the other thing i would just say is we need to act, congress needs to act to protect our country. we can see in that e-mail that the russians were doing everything they could to support donald trump, by the evidence, by trump's own behavior, it looks like he's doing a lot to try to express interest through our foreign policy, and that's got to stop. and i just continue to wait for some brave soul in congress, it needs to be a republican, because they're in charge. somebody's got to step up and say enough is enough. we have too much evidence at this point. the administration has been compromised by russian interests. >> robby, quick you said an attempt to get everyone on focus on don jr. rather than elsewhere. do you think that, having don jr. take the fall or something? >> i don't know. i find it strange that after a policy of denying and denying and denying all of a sudden they're putting out this incriminating e-mail. again, my question is, what do
we not know? what have we not seen? we know that paul manafort had deep ties to the russians. even deeper than trump's son. you know, what conversations was the president himself having? i think this piece of information is incredibly damning, but, again, the mere fact they were leaked makes me wonder what has not been or will not be released. >> thanks for jumping on the phone. really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> jake, i think -- i hope you're back with me. >> yep. >> what do you think? i mean, one of the things i've noticed, struck by, that donald trump silence in all this in the past few days? >> yeah. it is interesting. especially since its his son. >> right. >> who is in the firing line. it is, i should say, politically and legally wise for him to be quiet. but we know that he values his social media voice and this social media presence and
doesn't necessarily always do what is considered wise when it comes to speaking out on issues. even when it's issues about the law. such as his travel ban. he's been rebuked by no less than kellyanne conway's husband on twit whir it comes to that. it is interesting, although i'll say again, it's smart for him not to weigh in on this, because this is obviously very serious. the other thing that i just want to say in terms of the indig nance that don jr. showed in that july 2016 clip when robby mook was talking about how the russians were behind the hack and don trump jr. knowing full well that there were claims out there by confidants of his that the russian government wanted to help the trump campaign, and he himself released this e-mail chain today, and anybody who wants to see the e-mail chain, go to donaldjtrumpjr. twitter feed.
they're all there. brian stelter pointed out, there is a sort of faux transparency to this. the "new york times" obtained the e-mails, were ready to public them when donald trump did so as well. that's just politics 101. get the information out on your own as much as you can. he could have done this, of course, a year ago. beyond that, beyond the indig nance of donald trump trump jr., the indig nance of president trump, vice president pence, the trump white house. very easy to find clips online or in our databases of the president and others very angrily talking how there's no their there, no contacts with russians. nothing to this story. it's fake news. et cetera, et cetera. one of the reasons why many strategists believe the trump white house has been so aggressive in trying to undermine the fourth estate, whether the "new york times" or the "washington post" or cnn, is because of stories like this.
because 35%, 40% of the country doesn't want to hear this information. >> they don't -- >> don't want to believe it. but more importantly, the indig nance of the trump white house knowing some of them had to have known that this meeting took place. some of them had to have known that these e-mails existed, of a confidant of the trump's says -- if you would ask me -- you know, a week ago, do you think that we're going to have an example of an e-mail sent by a confidant of the trumps, contacts with people who were supposedly close with the kremlin, saying -- saying, the crouse prosecutor of russia met with this other intermediary, and in their meeting offered to provide the trump campaign with official documents and information that would incriminate hillary in her dealings with russia and be very useful to your father. i would have said, you were crazy. that nobody would put something like that in