tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN July 13, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
hello, this is cnn special live coverage of the president's trip to paris as donald trump's son, donald junior, may be about to testify publicly about his meeting with the russian lawyer. president trump standing alongside french president emmanuel macron, getting grilled right out of the gate on the fire storm surrounding his son's meeting. >> my son is a wonderful young
man. he took a meeting with a russian lawyer, not a government lawyer, but a russian lawyer. it was a short meeting. it was a meeting that went very, very quickly, very fast, two other people in the room, they, i guess one of them left almost immediately and the other one was not really focused on the meeting. i do think this. i think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting. it's called opposition research or even research into your opponent. i've had many people -- i have only been in politics for two years, but i've had many people call occupy, up, oh, gee, we ha information on this factor or this person or, frankly, hillary. that's very standard in politics. politics is not the nicest business in the world, but it's very standard where they have information and you take the information. in the case of don, he listened. i guess they talked about, as i see it, they talked about
adoption and some things. adoption wasn't even a part of the campaign. but nothing happened from the meeting. zero happened from the meeting. and honestly, i think the press made a very big deal over something that really a lot of people would do. now, the lawyer that went to the meeting, i see that she was in the halls of congress also. somebody said that her visa or her passport to come into the country was approved by attorney general lynch. now, maybe that's wrong. i just heard that a little while ago, but it's a little surprised to hear that. so she was here because of lynch. so, again, i have a son who's a great young man. he's a fine person. he took a meeting with a lawyer from russia. it lasted for a very short period, and nothing came of the meeting. and i think it's a meeting that most people in politics probably would have taken. >> the president's comments come as senate judiciary committee
chairman chuck grassley is sending trump junior a formal letter asking him to testify. reminder here, in macron's very short time in office t french president has made headlines for slamming president trump's decision to pull out of the paris agreement on climate change, for mocking trump's "make america great" slogan and for that white knuckled handshake that macron later called a moment of truth, that early on, the first one when they first met. joining me now, jeff zeleny, traveling with the president today in france. jeff, the first question to the president in paris there was about don junior's meeting with the russian lawyer. >> reporter: it was indeed, ana, and that is a sign that of course this news, this cloud really followed the president over here to paris, but i think when you dissect the president's answer, when you go through what he said and, in fact, he repeated himself pretty much verbatim about twice in that sort of long, meandering answer
and he presented it as a benign situation, a run of the mill standard practice. if that was the situation, i do not believe the republican chairman of the judiciary committee, senator chuck grassley, as well as other republican leaders on capitol hill, would be wanting to hear from donald trump jr. next week before the judiciary committee. the reality here is that republicans, democrats, and indeed the president's own director nominee to lead the fbi said that is simply not standard practice, and in fact, the trump campaign should have alerted federal authorities when they received that letter -- that e-mail saying that someone from the russian government, a russian lawyer,mented wanted ta meeting last june to help the trump campaign and spread dirt on hillary clinton's campaign. so the president presented it as standard practice but that is not the situation. and he said the press is making too much out of this. that's really beside the point. it is the fact that investigators on capitol hill and indeed at the justice department are now looking at
that meeting to see if that is a sign of anything more in this broadening investigation over whether anyone at the trump campaign colluded with the russian officials. but that, of course, is one sort of moment from the press conference but also so many more interesting discussions as well. in fact, the fact the president's even here is interesting, but is wanting to show that america is working alongside french allies, particularly on counterterrorism and other things. so, they're going on tonight to have dinner at the eiffel tower and then tomorrow, he'll be along the parade route at bastille day, which marks the 100th year of when the u.s. started helping, entered world war i. >> jeff zeleny in france for us, thank you. i want to bring in our panel to discuss, kaitlan collins, the author of "the threat matrix,"
also mary kcatherine and jackie. so, jackie, the president says this meeting between his son and a russian lawyer, along with jared kushner, paul manafort, was all very standard. i want to get your take. >> well, if it was very standard, why didn't they just come out and say that with the first explanation that donald trump jr. gave. they didn't. they said a couple different things, and then finally, he released his e-mails once "the new york times" was going to publish their story. so that's problematic. not only that, this isn't happening in a vacuum. this is the latest, the closest trump adviser to, it turns out, have contact with the russians during the campaign when they said that -- when trump himself said that didn't happen. so, because of that, it just continues to erode the credibility of the white house and the president when it comes to this issue, and him dismissing this as something
that's run-of-the-mill things that happen in a campaign, that's just not the case. you don't regularly get foreign governments, hostile gordforeig governments, trying to give information like this to campaigns so there's a whole lot of holes there. >> mary catherine, everyone we've talked with who's familiar with campaigns says taking a meeting with someone representing a foreign adversary, the e-mail chain said this was a russian government lawyer donald trump jr. would be meeting with, that is not standard practice. beyond that, don junior has since said he would have done things differently in retrospect. the president isn't even going so far as to say that. >> i think you can maybe make the argument this is unprecedented but it's not standard practice and even if you put aside -- even if you don't think it's mind blowingly bad judgment, which is what it seems like to me, what they have been saying all along, what the trump white house has been saying, trump family, trump campaign, is that meetings of this type did not exist, and
this is not an anonymous source's story. this is not just a media story. this is not a leak from the intelligence community. this is a group of e-mails that donald trump jr. himself released. so that makes it much harder to argue with. because it's right there in black and white, what happened in this meeting. does that mean they were in this giant global conspiracy? not necessarily, and that meeting probably didn't change the face of the election at all, but it still refutes what they've been saying. >> and on top of it. garrett, you've written a book about the fbi essentially undercutting what the fbi director says about meetings like this. >> it was a striking scene in chris wray's nomination hearing yesterday in front of the senate judiciary committee where he said, in unequivocal terms, any time any campaign, any candidate gets an e-mail like this, they should be contacting federal authorities. the fbi would want to know about something like this. and we're seeing just sort of an evolving set of explanations, both donald trump jr. and the
president trump have said in recent days, you know, well, this is before the russian mania, before everyone was concerned about russia. well, it's sort of like listening to an arsonist say that the meeting where they decided to burn down the building is irrelevant because it was before anyone was accusing them of arson. i mean, this is -- this is a very specific meeting with a specific person on a specific date that now is raising all sorts of new questions about the length and the breadth of this involvement with russia. >> now, kaitlan, it struck me that he put blame on loretta lynch for allowing this russian lawyer into the country. >> what you saw was basically the president laying the blame on loretta lynch, the former attorney general, for his son responding to an e-mail from someone who said they were a russian government attorney who had incriminating information on hillary clinton. now, we also saw the president not answer the questions he was asked, which was, what would his
response be to his director -- his nominee for the director of the fbi saying that someone who was contacted in that manner should immediately reach out to the fbi, and he was asked if he felt misled by his team, because as you know, the president has said in the past that no one in his team or his campaign had any contact with anyone in the russians, when his own son, his own son -in-law and his own campaign manager met with a russian attorney one floor beneath his office in trump tower last summer. >> all right, everyone, stick around. much more to discuss. two other big headlines, the president reversing on his previous criticism of the city of paris and also suggesting something may change after he pulled out of the u.s.'s position in the climate deal. plus, breaking news on capitol hill this hour. senate republicans unveiling their revised health care bill but two members of their own party announced at the same time an alternative idea. the reactions are pouring in. stay with us.
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because you have a great president. you have somebody that's going to run this country right, and i would be willing to bet, because i think this is one of the great cities, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and you have a great leader now, you have a great president. you have a tough president. he's not going to be easy on people that are breaking the laws and people that show this tremendous violence. so, i really have a feeling that you're going to have a very, very peaceful and beautiful paris. and i'm coming back. you better do a good job, please. otherwise you're going to make me look very bad. >> my panel is back with me, including mary katherine. what he said there is very different than what he has been saying to an american audience. what do you think that's about? >> i think it's partly about donald trump because he often changes his message depending on the audience. it's also about diplomacy. he had this discussion with
macron behind closed doors about terrorism and cooperating and making paris a safe place so he comes out with a much softer message about that kind of thing and working in the interest of paris while he's standing alongside his french friend timotat this point. >> they did call each other friends. garrett, what's your take on this evolving relationship? remember that white knuckle handshake we saw previously. remember all the things macron has said about trump on camera in public saying, make the planet great again on an issue of climate change. here we see a friendly handshake, lots of smiles, lavishing macron with praise. your take. >> this was a man who just weeks ago was elected, basically, as the anti-donald trump. i mean, the person who was able to bring to a halt this wave of nationalist populism that we've seen sweep the u.s. and europe over the last year and a half. and so this is an important
moment for the two of them to, as mary katherine said, begin to build some international diplomacy around this. we saw president trump remind the audience that france was america's first and oldest ally, a fact that donald trump says most people don't know, but is perhaps, for students of history, a little bit more obvious. and that this is something where we are seeing, again, the president evolve his positions from what he has said from a distance before, just like in many of the meetings that he's had with world leaders over the last six months or so where he said one thing at home and then another thing to their face when he's actually been meeting them. >> do you think he's being genuine or is he just that impressionable that his position is evolving or is he just saying what he thinks the person wants to hear in that moment. >> i think it's a little bit of both. as mary katherine said, but at
the same time, one of the things that we are learning is that president trump is impressionable. i mean, he said that his conversations with china's leader really did change his mind about how complex the issue of north korea was. and so, he is learning, while president, in these interactions with foreign leaders, and we hope trying to do some repair work on some of these alliances that have been strained and harmed over the last year. >> all right, let me ask about the paris climate accord and what he said on that issue. he says, something could happen with respect to the paris accord. we will see what happens. jackie, trump we know made a big deal about pulling out of this agreement. do you think he's wavering? >> no. i don't. i think what garrett and mary katherine very much rings true here. he's saying he has a very different audience in who he was speaking to there. he does have this tendency to say things that are kind of
verbal tofu. they are what you put them in, and that seemed to be what he was doing here. that's a very noncommittal answer. we know what he said and what he's done, which matters far more than sort of a one-off noncommittal answer that he gave at this press conference. >> there were four journalists selected to ask questions from french media, two from u.s. media who were with the american press corps. that last question did not go to a traditionally u.s. journalist traveling with the president. instead it went with somebody from chinese media based here in the u.s. kaitlan, is that normal. >> that's not normal at all. the french president suggested going to an american journalist and instead of sending it to anyone from a typical outlet who's here at the white house every day, it went to that chinese journalist. we don't know if that was an attempt to avoid a question or
that was just who trump pointed at but it definitely didn't go to a typical american journalist like it does at these press conferences where they each get two questions to their respective reporters. >> mary katherine, was that a missed opportunity. >> i'm not sure if he's sending a message or what here. i don't mind him messing with the rtraditional way of doing things but i think going with an american reporter over a chinese reporter would have been good. i think macron recognizes an opening. i think he recognizes that trump is open to new ideas or impressionable and that you can have a conversation with him about the accords and get him to move quite a bit when he's in front of this audience and perhaps he's playing a longer game, welcoming him to his country, and then maybe down the road they actually come together on some things that perhaps people in his base are not excited about. >> a great point. macron seemed to have evolved as well in thamerms of how he trea
donald trump. more breaking news. the newly revised senate health care bill is out today. i'm going to talk to a senator involved in the changes up next. what does he make of an alternative plan also unveiled today by senator lindsey graham. that's next. plus the president's love and hate relationship with "time" magazine covers is well documented, but today, another chapter. we'll talk about don junior's debut. totally immersed weekenders. whatever kind of weekender you are, there's a hilton for you. book your weekend break direct with hilton.com and join the summer weekenders.
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yeah, and i can watch thee bgame with directv now.? oh, sorry, most broadcast and sports channels aren't included. and you can only stream on two devices at once. this is fun, we're having fun. yeah, we are. no, you're not jimmy. don't let directv now limit your entertainment. xfinity gives you more to stream to more screens. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is hoping his second attempt at replacing obamacare will get a second wind among
republicans, and this time, he's including a contentious amendment from senator ted cruz which would allow insurers to offer cheaper yet skimpier plans. let's go to cnn's washington correspondent ryan nobles live on capitol hill for us. ryan, talk to us about the changes in this new bill and the early reaction up there. >> reporter: yeah, a lot of senators still digesting this bill and of course there's still a lot to come. we're going to wait for the congressional budget office score at the beginning of next week but let's go over some of the changes that we see in place that are going to happen here as this bill comes out if we can show them to you now. one of the big things, it's going to allow insurers to offer cheap plans with less coverage. this is part of an amendment that was pushed by senator ted cruz. it does keep some of those obamacare taxes out of this bill. there was going to be a repeal on those tax for wealthy americans. that's no longer going to be a part of this bill but the
medicaid changes largely remain in place and that is a big point of contention for many of the more moderate senators. we're already seeing some senators voicing some displeasure with this man, among them maine's susan collins. she's already said she's not going to vote for the motion to proceed. that would even allow the bill to come to the floor for a debate, and senator rand paul of kentucky, he's on the other end of the spectrum. he is a conservative. he's been against this reform plan for the very beginning, and his position hasn't changed, and the margins here are tight for republicans. they can only afford to lose two votes if they hope to move this bill forward, so right now, they're going to have to do some convincing of their colleagues if they hope this bill moves forward some time next week. >> all right, ryan nobles, thanks for breaking it down, trying to simplify it for us. we appreciate that. this revised bill is already facing criticism as he notes, the very same hour these new details were released, senators lindsey graham and bill kcassid
announced they will propose an alternative for senators to consider. >> in a nutshell, we're keeping the taxes in place on the wealthy. we're repealing the individual mandate, the employer mandate, the medical device text that 75 senators voted to repeal. there's about $500 billion of money. rather than trying to run health care from washington, we're going to block grant it to the states and here's what will happen. if you like obamacare, you can reimpose the mandates at the state level. you can repair obamacare if you think it needs to be repaired. you can replace it if you think it needs to be replaced. it will be up to the governors. they've got a better handle on this than any bureaucrat in washington. >> by the way, if we couple this with the ted cruz amendment, which allows people to purchase insurance through health savings accounts, you can imagine that a state would put money into someone's health savings account with which you could then purchase the issuannsurance whiu needed. the essential health benefits would still be there so you'd
still have the protection. >> did you follow all that? it's complicated. will that alternative pose new problems politically for mitch mcconnell. my next guest is one of the republican architects of that bill. senator john thune, a republican from south dakota and chairman of the republican senate conference. thank you very much for joining us. >> nice to be with you. thanks. >> we're going to talk about graham and cassidy in a moment but let's just talk about your revised version. it keeps two of the most highly criticized taxes from obamacare on high incomes, on investments. is it fair to say this bill doesn't fully repeal obamacare. >> i think it repeals the core of obamacare. repeals the individual mandate, which requires people to buy insurance products that they don't want and can't afford. it repeals the employer mandate, it repeals many of the regulations and it repeals most of the taxes. the taxes that affect consumers, those taxes that get passed on that drive to higher insurance costs and higher health care costs, so there are a couple of, yes, the high-end taxes, a lot
of our members were concerned in keeping those and plowing those back in, those resources back in for particular purposes that they wanted to see served with the bill and so that's where it stands today but like i said, none of these things are ultimately final until we get up on the floor and to an amendment process. >> rand paul says this is in no way a repeal. he plans to vote no on it. we have on the other side, moderate senator susan collins and she tweets out it doesn't do enough, still deep cuts to medicaid in the senate bill, will vote no on ntp. ready to work with gop and dem colleagues to fix flaws in aca so that's two who have said definitively, no, you can't lose one more vote. is that right? >> that's the margin. there's a very narrow margin of error on this bill, and again, i think what you're hearing is you've got our more conservative members saying this doesn't go far enough. our more moderate members saying it goes too far and i think that sort of tells you that it's probably trying to strike the balance and hopefully the broad
middle will conclude that we at least ought to get on the bill. we need to have an opportunity next week to debate, open up the amendment process f our members don't like particular provisions in the bill, want to strike them or add something else, they'll get that opportunity, but it's important that we get on the bill because if we don't get on the bill, we're never going to have an opportunity to discuss this and debate this in the full senate and a chance to rescue the american people from what is a failing system and a collapsing marketplace. >> you guys included parts of the cruz amendment, it allows insurers to provide these skimpier plans to forego those ten essential plans covering things like prescriptions, maternity care, it looks like this was included to appease hardline republicans, those on the far right. do you personally support the cruz amendment? >> i like what he's trying to do. i think on the, you know, on the merits, on the surface, it makes a lot of sense. but obviously, you have to look at the consequences. you've got to look at the impacts, how does that affect stability of the broader
insurance pool, what does that do to the marketplace, and those are -- >> so you don't actually like the cruz amendment, i'm hearing. >> that's -- that's feedback fa that that we need to get. by giving people the option of buying the insurance product they want is consistent with what we think makes sense in terms of giving people more options and more choices. there wouldn't be any marketplace where you wouldn't have a plan that doesn't have all the other essential requirements in it. all this would simply do is add an as option other plans that might be slimmed down versions that some people might want to purchase. >> i hear you say the goal is lower premiums, increased consumer choices, but this is one take about how this is going to impact the market. this is from kaiser family foundation, which is a nonpartisan health care policy expert, and this is what the vice president says. if there were a joy of cooking for insurance, this would be the perfect are recipe for destabilizing the market and turning the marketplaces into high-risk pools. >> well, look, and that's why i said, we've got to get -- that's
important feedback to have. we're going to be hearing from a lot of folks about this but one thing this bill does is it does pump significant resources, an additional $70 billion, into a stability fund that could be used to help pay for the costs of people in that pool who might have preexisting conditions or conditions that don't enable them to get insurance in the regular marketplace. so if you have an option for people that want to buy a product that has a higher deductible, some sort of catastrophic coverage, we'll lower premiums for people in that market police statiplace. we have to examine the impact on other people. but that's what that $70 billion is for is to help cost share and help people in that market that might be -- might have higher health care costs as a result of conditions they might have. >> everything i've read, we're hearing from health policy experts saying that this is going to be detrimental, potentially, for people with preexisting conditions and those who are sicker among us and would help, as you point out,
lower the cost of premiums for people who are healthier but one way we can get a better sense of who it hurts, who it helps is of course the cbo score and with these new amendments and adjustments is this bill going to get a cbo score before a vote or the motion to proceed? >> i think we'll have a lot of feedback from cbo and a score on the overall bill. you know, each of these individual provisions are, they're being looked at, i think, not only in isolation but in the context of the broader bill and we need that feedback. that's why, you know, in order to move forward, we have to make these decisions in an informed way, but again, back to your point, if people are in the so-called, the pool where they've got higher health care costs because of health conditions, there's $70 billion now available to help buy down and provide cost sharing for people in that pool. that's even if the cruz amendment stays in. so -- >> and the cruz amendment will be included when the cbo reveals its revised score before the vote? >> that is correct.
yes. well, they will -- the cbo will be looking at the legislation with the cruz amendment, i think, probably without the cruz amendment, and giving us their feedback and there will be others who are looking at it. there are actuaries out there from the insurance companies giving us feedback on that and i think there will be others who are modeling this to see what these impacts might be and we're interested in all that information as we move forward. >> so a cbo score before a vote, just to confirm. >> well, there will be a cbo score, yeah. i mean i think -- >> before the vote, correct? >> on the overall bill, yes. >> with the cruz amendment? >> well, i think the cruz amendment will be examined in the context of how it impacts other features in the bill. >> i'm so sorry. i feel like i'm not understanding or getting a clear yes or no answer. will the cruz amendment be scored before there is a vote to proceed? >> the cruz amendment will be scored. >> before the vote? >> well, it's going to be scored -- it will be scored before the vote and whether the -- again, the question of
whether or not the cbo has an opportunity to evaluate all the impacts of the cruz amendment before the vote, that may be a different question. but i can tell you, the cruz amendment will be scored. there are going to be a lot of folks looking at this and the overall bill will be scored by the cbo before we vote, yes. >> okay. let's move on. talking about senators graham and cassidy, their plan to keep obamacare taxes, give money to the states to control that come from those taxes. here's lindsey graham. >> is mcconnell on board? >> well, you know, we're going to support mitch's effort with his new plan, but we want an alternative, and we're going to see which one can get 50 votes. we're not undercutting mitch. he's not undercutting us. >> are you upset that they unveiled their alternative plan during the very hour you guys released your revised bill? >> well, i think it's, you know, we're an entrepreneurial party. we have people with lots of good ideas. everybody says they don't have an idea. we have lots of ideas. we have multiple ideas and that's another one that gets
into the mix and clearly it sounds like they intend to offer an amendment on the floor. but you have to get on the bill before you can actually have a debate about amendments. so, if senators graham and cassidy want to offer that, it is probably a good discussion to have. it's an interesting approach, and it will give people something else to look at, but you braren't going to be able t consider that until you get on the bill. >> does it help or hurt your ability to get people to support your bill. >> well, we'll see in the end. i mean, i think if it -- if people think that they're going to be able to vote on an amendment like that once we get on the bill, i think it helps our bill because we want to get the process moving forward and the first step in that is to get the motion to proceed. you have to get on the bill before you can ultimately listen to and have an opportunity to debate and vote upon amendments that get offered during that process. and i think, again, there are going to be a lot of members with a lot of different ideas. this is one of them. and we welcome that. obviously, we want to get all the best ideas out into the mix, and have an opportunity for
people to talk about them. >> senator john thune, thank you. >> thanks. coming up, what happened on the days leading up to that meeting donald trump jr. had with a russian lawyer in trump tower, how those events unfolded, and what president trump knew about it next. plus, the trump camp trying to change the subject by throwing it back on democrats, drawing connections between the dnc and ukraine. what's going on there? we'll discuss. that's mom taking care of business. but who takes care of mom? office depot/office max. this week, get this ream of paper for just one cent after rewards. ♪ taking care of business. across the country, we walk for those affected by alzheimer's disease. carrying flowers that signify why we want to end it.
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what are all these different topped & loaded meals? it's an american favorite on top of an american favorite, alice. it's like abe lincoln on top of george washington. yonder. get your favorites on top of your favorites. only at applebee's. so far, the trump family is standing by donald trump jr. his father, the president, praised his son for being transparent about the russian lawyer meeting. that meeting just landed trump junior on the cover of "time" magazine, and not in a good way.
here it is. coverline reads, "red handed, the russia scandal hits home." don junior joins a list of covers that have likely not gone over so well with the president, although he has repeatedly bragged about how many times he's been on the magazine's cover. >> so a reporter for "time" magazine, and i have been on their cover like 14 or 15 times. i think we have the all-time record in the history of "time" magazine, like if tom brady's on the cover, it's one time because he won the super bowl or something, right? i've been on it for 15 times this year. i don't think that's a record, mike, that can ever be broken, do you agree with that? what do you think? >> with me now, michael dantonio, cnn contributor. michael, you say don junior would not have taken a meeting with a mystery guest. you believe he knew who he was meeting with the moment he walked in there. >> i do think he understood, if not the precise identity of the person he was meeting, the topic
that was to be discussed and what was on offer. you know, the trumps are great negotiators. they have spent their life buying and selling objects of great value, and so he was actually in this meeting prepared to receive what might be offered and i think hoping, obviously, that it was something really big. >> donald trump, you know, is a family man above all. what do you think it's been like for him to see his son, don junior, at the center of this latest russian development? >> well, let's put it this way. donald trump's office in trump tower is decorated with all the magazine covers that have ever featured his face. i don't think this is going to be a cover that gets put up on the wall anywhere in trump tower. he's got to be very pained about all of this, and, you know, he is, like all fathers, very concerned for his son and very much concerned about the image
of the family going forward. you know, i was thinking earlier today about how there have been a reluctant trump in every generation, going back several among the trump family, and in donald's own upbringing, his own brother, fred, was reluctant about being in the family business, and i think donald junior was the reluctant trump in his generation, and it's more than ironic that he's the one now caught in this terrible situation. >> and yet you say he belongs to a clan that considers, quote, self-confidence to be the same as competence. do you believe that played a role going into this meeting? >> yeah, this is the real trap, i think, of the family business. and also the dynamic that anyone born into the trump clan baface. they are isolated as many very wealthy, very powerful people are, and don't often hear about
what they got wrong. the problem with that is that you start to be over confident and you feel that your expertise can be transferred to any arena. the president himself is struggling to become the president and function well. i think donald trump jr. has said himself, he wasn't a political creature. he was new to all of this. and yet he blundered into a trap that even someone with the barest common sense about politics would have avoided. >> now, ivanka and jared, they're once again not around during this fire storm. they're in idaho for a media and a tech conference. just coincidence? >> not at all. i think that's a very apt observation. jared and ivanka are far more sophisticated players in every sense of the word. i think that jared absented himself from that meeting at
trump tower that's now such a controversy in part because he sensed, a, there was nothing coming out of it, and b, maybe he shouldn't be there. the fact that they're now away from washington and away from paris is another indicator that they understand when to be in the spotlight and when to leave it on someone else. >> michael dantonio, always good to get your insight. thank you. coming up, as questions heat up about don junior's meeting with that russian lawyer, some in the trump camp are pushing back, saying democrats are the ones though blame. we'll fact check that. plus the president in france today saying that most people would have taken the meeting. we're live in paris. stay with us. es it hard to brea. so to breathe better, i go with anoro. ♪go your own way copd tries to say, "go this way." i say, "i'll go my own way" with anoro. ♪go your own way
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from junior in russia, clinton in dnc and ukraine, defenders of the president and his family arguing these are the same thing. this argument getting louder this week following the release of president's and his son's e-mails setting up a meeting with a russian lawyer but do russia and ukraine, those two
situations, pose equal threats? were they in the same ballpark? i want to bring in cnn global affairs correspondent elise slavitt. let's back up for a moment, elise. explain what happened between the ukrainians and the democrats. >> well, essentially, what you had was a consultant, if you will, for the democratic national committee, her name was alexandra, i think, if i'm saying it correctly, and she was someone who was a europe ukrainian-american activist who was doing some outreach with ukraine-american voters for the dnc. now she, in a sense, kind of started researching on her own some of the ties that she thought were between the trump campaign, particularly paul manafort, the then-campaign chairman, and his work with former ukrainian president viktor janakovich. she started sharing it a little
bit with the clinton campaign. the way the clinton campaign and the dnc described it is it was never a kind of full briefing or a full paper, but she certainly was passing along her observations and her research to the dnc. now, nothing ever really came of it, but certainly the trump campaign is saying that while, you know, there's a lot of furor over the russian involvement in the election, it does seem as if the ukrainian government had some interest. and i mean, this woman, this dnc consultant, did have contacts in the ukrainian embassy, did have contacts in the ukrainian government, who she shared her impressions and they shared information and they shared research. so it's not exactly a frivolous comparison between the two. >> but do you believe that it's in the same ballpark? >> i don't know if it's exactly in the same ballpark. first, ukraine is an ally of the
united states, so we're not talking about -- and we're not necessarily talking about a government passing information to the campaign. this was this third intermediary. but again, ukraine is an ally of the united states. russia is, you know, a known adversary whose intelligence operations in the united states have always been subject to scrutiny, and it's also, you know, there was a government effort by the russians, according to the intelligence community, to subvert, to collude with certain people to help donald trump. this was more of one person who was sharing information that she heard. i mean, it's not completely apples and oranges, but i think what we're talking about with the russian instances is a much more concerted effort at the top levels of the russian government as opposed to a kind of third intermediary that was passing on information, passing on impressions without it really
going anywhere further. and certainly there weren't meetings between clinton campaign officials and ukrainian government officials as there appear to be with the trump campaign and the -- and members of the russian government. >> all right, elise labott, thank you. you know next, did president trump just open the door for new talks on the paris climate accord? plus, moments ago, the president speaking out about his son's meeting with a russian lawyer at trump tower. his take on that secret meeting next. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com rapid release gels have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast, for fast pain relief.
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obamacare. and the president and i are very pleased that just a few hours ago, the leadership of the united states senate released an updated version of the senate health care bill. the president and i are truly grateful to leader mitch mcconnell as we are every member of the united states senate. they have to roll their sleeves up and get this bill to the president's desk soon. as i saw in kentucky just yesterday, american families and american businesses are hurting under the collapsing weight of obamacare and it's time for congress to act. this legislation president trump and i believe is the right bill at the right time to begin the end of obamacare. and we would be grateful to have your support. this legislation will put american health care back on a path toward more freedom, more choices, and more affordability for working families. the senate health care bill repeals obamacare's individual and business