tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN July 22, 2017 8:00am-9:00am PDT
these make cleaning between myi love easy.sy. gum brand for healthy gums. soft picks, proxabrush cleaners, flossers. gum brand. hello, it's 11:00 on the east coast. i'm fredricka witfield. welcome to the news room. setting sail as storm clouds loom. president trump is attending a commissioning ceremony for the "uss gerald r. ford," a new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. we'll bring you his remarks live momentarily. in washington, the white house is under deepening scrutiny, a new report indicates attorney general jeff sessions may have lied to officials about discussing trump campaign matters with russia's ambassador. and in the investigation into that secret campaign meeting, with a russian lawyer at trump tower last year, we now know
that donald trump junior and paul manafort are cooperating. they will speak with the senate panel behind closed doors. now to the revelations involving the russia investigation. according to the "washington post," russian ambassador sergei kislyak told his kremlin bosses that he did in fact talk about campaign matters, with then-senator jeff sessions, during the 2016 election. current and former u.s. officials tell the "post" they learned of the conversations from intercepts of russian discussions. attorney general jeff sessions has repeatedly said that he did not speak to russians about campaign-related issues. cnn's justice reporter, laura jarrett, joining me to go over what was discussed and what this means for the administration, laura? >> sessions has been dogged by news since march that he failed to disclose his contacts with russia officials, but this report from the "washington
post" goes a step further and says these recordings with russian ambassador sergei kislyak and sessions specifically discussed trump's positions and prospects for u.s./russia relations back in 2016. which if true, runs completely contrary to the attorney general's version of events. he has completely denied this. in a statement to cnn, justice department spokesperson says obviously i cannot comment on the reliability of what anonymous sources describe in a wholly uncorroborated intelligence intercept. that the "washington post" has not seen. and that has not been provided to me. and flores goes on to say, but the attorney general stands by his testimony from last month before the senate intel committee. when he specifically addressed this and said that he never met with or had any conversations with any russians or foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign
or election. the other issue is whether kislyak's recounting of these conversations can be trusted, fred. or whether he was exaggerating the substance of what was said for whatever reason. nevertheless, this development comes on the heels of a rocky week for sessions after a very public rebuke by the president who told "the new york times" earlier this week, that if he had known sessions was going to recuse himself from this entire russia probe, he wouldn't have hired him in the first place. fred? >> we'll continue to watch the developments there and all that's taking place out in norfolk, virginia the president of the united states soon to take the podium for the commissioning of the "uss gerald r. ford." meantime more about the intel leaks. if indeed they are accurate. and the russian ambassador was telling the truth it casts serious doubt on the credibility of jeff sessions. who denied having any contact with russians during the campaign. here is his sworn testimony in front of the senate committee
last month. >> i have never met with or had any conversation with any russians or any foreign officials, concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the united states. >> cnn contributor selena veto is a reporter for the "washington examiner" and admiral john kirby is a former spokesperson for the state department. good to see both of you. admiral kirby. let's begin with this if true, how does this impact sessions? his position as the a.g.? now again he was talking about not having contact with russians talking about the campaign. but he has said in the capacity as a u.s. senator, it was not unusual to meet with say the ambassador. how are things changed? >> i think what's changed here is you have yet another instance where he had communications and if this report something true, specific discussions about
campaign-related issues. now you notice the doj statement says he stands by his statement that he didn't talk about the election meddling. these alleged intercepts have kislyak talking about campaign-related issues. it adds another layer of suspicion between all the contacts between trump officials, particularly campaign officials and russian officials as well. so i think, what this underscores for me, fred, is we need to let the investigations continue. all this report something interesting. but it does to me underscore the need to investigations to go on unimpeded and for the trump administration to wrap their arms around the investigations, embrace them and if there's nothing there, let them run their course. >> this latest reporting provokes the issues of whether the a.g., sessions, would
resign. or if he's asked to resign. and if that is the case, won't be difficult for the president of the united states to try to nominate somebody else if it appears as though he only wants the a.g. to be loyal to him, the president, as opposed to the constitution of the united states? >> that is the problem. that is the issue what we have here is it could be kislyak or however you say his name, bragging. and boasting. it could be taking a look at the words of the doj's wording in that statement. it's incredibly important for the president to have trust in his attorney general. i also think i have said from the very beginning, i think mueller's investigation is something that the trump administration should welcome. and let it take its course, because i think it gives them the opportunity. if nothing nefarious is
happened. they are able to get it out there, get this behind them. as far as sessions goes, the problem for him right now are optics, right? he had a bad week with the president, the president calling him out and revealing that he had lost faith in him to a certain extent. and now that comes on the heels of this information. >> if the issue is about trust or loyalty or commitment, the president you know telling "the new york times," had he known that sessions was going to recuse himself, he would have reconsidered whether he would indeed be the a.g. but despite that recusal from sessions, didn't sessions still inject himself? wasn't he also a component in the firing of comey? z d that not exhibit the kind of loyalty that the president has inferred he's expecting from the a.g.? >> i think that's a fair question, fred it appeared to me
on the surface that by injecting himself into a comey firing, which was all about the russia investigation it did run counter to me in my limited knowledge of somebody who is quote unquote recusing themself if an issue. i think that casts a little bit of doubt there. i think in general look, i think did he the right thing in saying he was going to recuse himself. to selena's excellent point, i think the president has to embrace that, he's got an attorney general who is wise enough and counsel enough to pull himself out of this, to let this thing go forward and let the facts take them where they may. >> what about the timing of this? donald trump saying what he said to the "new york times" and now the "washington post" reporting. so is there something to the leaks? and whether the leaks are actually coming from the white house. and is this all unbeknownst to the president of the united states? >> it is you know, the report
came out last night. and then it comes on the heels of what the president said. there has to be sort of a lot of people pausing and saying whoa, wait a minute. did he know something that we didn't know before this came out? but you know, also to the point, though, in fairness, trump has been very unhappy with sessions. that's also been widely reported. he has been unhappy with sessions for months now. and so -- >> conflicting accounts of the meetings, his testimony. >> great. yeah. all of this you know, this is all sort of a mess. and i think the best thing as the admiral said is let everything play out. >> selena, i'm going to cut you off. please stand by both of you, let's go to norfolk, the commissioning of the "uss gerald r. ford." here's the president. donald trump.
>> thank you very much, secretary mattis for the wonderful introduction and for your devoted service to our nation. nobody has done it like you. i'm thrilled to be back on this magnificent ship. for this historic moment with the amazing men and women of the united states navy. i was with you four months ago and i knew that i had to be here today and i told you i would be back to congratulate you and the crew and everybody involved on commissioning the newest, largest and most advanced aircraft carrier in the history of this world. that's a big achievement. after today, wherever this ship sails, you will all carry a
proud title. plank owner of the "uss gerald r. ford". for the rest of your lives you'll be able to tell your friends and family that you served on the greatest ship in the united states' navy and in my opinion the greatest ship never in the world. everyone should take a moment to celebrate this incredible achievement. i want to thank the many public servants, who have joined us here today. treasury secretary mnuchin. governor snyder. governor mcauliffe. senator wicker. and members of congress. secretary stackly, admiral richardson. senior military leaders and of course the great captain,
mccormick. captain, i know you will exemplify integrity at the helm. and have a good time doing it, captain. proud of you. thanks to the entire ford family, susan, jack, steven, mike, for all that you've done to support this ship on its voyage. thank you, susan. i also want to recognize two other people who were very special to president ford. thank you vice president cheney and former secretary of defense rumsfeld.
they look great. they look great. as we put this stunning ship into the service of our nation, we must also pay tribute to the thousands of citizens, military and civilian, who helped design and build her, their love of country has been boarded to every ribbon and bulkhead on this vessel. you hammered, chiselled and sculpted this mighty hull. were you there when the first steel was cut. when the turbines first roared to life. and when those beautiful bronze propellers first began to spin, and spin they did and now you are here to witness the moment when your incredible work of art becomes the pride of the united states navy. and a symbol of american power and prestige no matter where in the world you go.
american steel and american hands have constructed a 100,000-ton message to the world -- american might is second to none. and we're getting bigger and better and stronger every day of my administration. that i can tell you. wherever this vessel cuts through the horizon, our allies will rest easy, and our enemies will shake with fear. because everyone will know that america is coming and america is coming strong. to every worker from newport news ship building and every
craftsman and engineer who helped build this incredible fortress on the sea, today we salute you. thank you. your skill and your grit build the instruments of war that preserve peace. this ship is the deterrent that keeps us from having to fight in the first place. but this ship also insures that if a fight does come, it will always end the same way. we will win, win, win. we will never lose, we will win. when it comes to battle. we don't want a fair fight. we want just the opposite, we demand victory and we will have
total victory, believe me. having the best technology and equipment is only one part of the american military dominance. our true strength is our people. our greatest weapon is all of you. our nation endures because we have citizens who love america, and who are willing to fight for america. we are so very blessed with warriors who are willing to serve america in the greatest fighting force in history. the united states military. today this ship officially begins its role, in the noble military history of our great nation. in a few moments i will commission this wonderful,
beautiful, but very, very powerful warship. captain mccormick will assume command. he will set the first watch and then the crew of the "uss gerald r. ford" will man the ship and bring her to life. a ship is only as good as the people who serve on it. and the american sailor is the bester in in the world. among you, are great welders, radar technician, machine operators, and pilots, you take pride in your work and america takes pride in you. we love you, we are proud of you. thank you.
but that is why it is so fitting that this ship is named after a sailor of tremendous character, integrity and wisdom. you know that, susan. gerald ford was raised in american heartland. he grew up in grand rapids and became an eagle scout. he played football at the university of michigan. on a team that won two national championships and listen to this. on that great team he was named mvp. not bad. he then went to yale law school, and after pearl harbor, he volunteered to serve. president ford joined the navy and asked to be sent to sea. he wanted to do that very badly. he never really knew why he felt
it was a calling. is he was assigned to a new carrier, the monterey, becoming a plank owner himself on its commissioning in 1943. from there he sailed to the pacific and saw action and a lot of action in the pacific war. like so many others of his generation, gerald ford returned home and started a family. he ran for congress where he served the people of michigan with honor. for many years. from there, he became vice president, and then president of the united states. with this ship, we honor him for his lifetime of selfless and distinguished service. we also remember his wife, betty, i remember her well. and we honor the bravery she showed, in living her life so that her experiences could help
others. susan, she was a great woman. a great woman. gerald ford said that his time in the navy convinced him that our lack of military preparation before world war ii had only encouraged our enemies to fight harder and harder and harder. he learned a lot. in the future ford said, i felt the united states had to be strong. never again could we allow our military to be anything but the absolute best. if he could see this ship today, president gerald ford would see his vision brought to life. and he would see his legacy of service being carried on by each and every one of you.
gerald ford embodied american values like few others. love of family, love of freedom and love of country. he knew that patriotism is the heartbeat of a nation. he knew that we must love our country in order to protect it. and he knew that we must have pride this in our heftry if we're going to have confidence in our future. the men and women of america's armed services. are part of a living history. you uphold timeless customs and traditions and you protect our nation and our freedom for the next generation to come. you are fulfilling your duty to this nation, now it is the job
of our government to fulfill its duty to you. for years our government has subjected the military to unpredictable funding, and a devastating defense sequester. you remember that? sequester, not good. this has led to deferred maintenance, a lack of investment in new equipment and technology. and a shortfall in military readiness. in other words, it's been a very, very bad period of time for our military. that's why we reached a deal to secure an additional $20 billion for defense this year and it's going up. and why i asked congress for another $54 billion for next
year. now we need congress to do its job and pass the budget that provides for higher, stable and predictable funding levels for our military needs. that our fighting men and women deserve. and you will get. believe me. president trump, i will tell you, you will get it. don't worry about it. but i do mind getting a little hand. so call that congressman and call that senator and make sure you get it. >> you can also call the senators to make sure you get health care. we must end the defense
sequester once and for all. we must also reform defense acquisitions to insure we're getting the best equipment, at the best prices so our dollars are used only for the best interests of our country and those who serve. we do not want cost overruns. we want the best equipment, but we want it built ahead of schedule and we want it built under budget. this is the very least we can do for the patriots who have volunteered to give their sweat, their blood. and if they must, their very lives for our great nation. the commissioning of this new american carrier marks the renewal of our commitment to a future of american greatness. greater than ever before.
remember that, greater than ever before. just moments from now the captain will set the first watch on the "uss gerald r. ford." and with god's grace, a watch will stand until the day she is decommissioned, 50 years or more from now. most of you who will man the ship today, are just about 20 years old. together, you are embarking on a truly great adventure. the journey will require all of your talents, all of your efforts. and all of your heart. as you know, the sea holds many challenges and threats, but starting today you will face together as a team aboard this ship, which is your responsibility, and your home. three generations of americans
will eventually man these decks. perhaps even some of your own children and grandchildren someday. you will inspire many more american patriots to follow your lead and to serve. and one day, when you are old, and have lived a long and hopefully happy and successful life, you may find yourselves back aboard this ship surrounded by your family to mark its decommissioning and on that day, our entire nation will honor, not just this carrier, it will honor you, and the role that you will have played in keeping america safe, strong and free. to every patriot who will serve on this ship, today and throughout history, i say this. keep the watch, protect her,
defend her. and love her. good luck and god speed. thank you to the ford family, and thank you to every sailor in the greatest navy on earth, god bless you, god bless the "gerald r. ford" and god bless the united states of america. thank you very much. god bless you all. >> president trump there in norfolk, virginia at the commissioning of the new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the name of president gerald ford. the president there praising the navy fleet, the crew of this aircraft carrier. and praising its namesake.
let's listen. >> i hereby place united states ship "gerald r. ford" in commission. may god bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail in her. god bless you. thank you. >> thank you, mr. president, executive officer, hoist the colors and the commissioning pennant. >> aye-aye, captain. ladies and gentlemen, i direct your attention to the ship's mast. as we hoist the colors and commission pennant. quartermaster, hoist the colors
and the commission pennant. >> aye aye, sir. [ drumroll ] >> will the guests please be seated? >> in this moment what you couldn't see is they were raising the flag on the ship. rear admiral john kirby is with us to give us a bit more detail on this tradition. this very regal tradition there with the commissioning of an aircraft carrier. back with me now. the president proclaiming it being in commission now.
give us more about what is happening in this ceremony. >> this is when the ship really rejoins the fleet officially. it's almost like when she first, her heart beats the first pulse, when you hoist the commissioning pennant and the american flag, that's when she joins the fleet. that's her birthday if you will. in terms of joining the united states navy. it's a very symbolic. it's very traditional. but in the navy every ship is considered to sort of have a soul and sort of almost has a personality on their own. and this is the day when she kind of gets to show that off. >> this is a living body. when you talk about an aircraft carrier, it is a floating city. i've had the privilege of being on a few. but it really is something special. and something rare, too, to see this part of history. talk to us about the significance of this "uss gerald
r. ford." its namesake, the 38th president of the united states. also a navy seaman what an incredible honor for this family. the aircraft carriers tend to be named about presidents, it's sort of the custom. not always done that way. of course gerald ford was a navy veteran. i know the navy was always special to him. we're proud as a retired sailor verks proud we have a carrier named after president ford. and this ship, fred is a leap ahead. it's a brand new ship and a brand new class. while she's about the same length and width as the old nimitz class carriers, there's lots of differences and changes, additional technology, things that will make the ship more powerful and more efficient going forward. as the president noted, this ship is going to have a service life of about 50 years. those young sailors who were talking to, he's exactly right, they're going to be in their 60s
or 70s by the time the ship is decommissioned. they'll be able to watch her defend the country for the entirety of their lifetimes. at the helm, richard mccormick. >> this is a big day. any time you can command a ship it's a big thing. i never commanded, so i'm in awe and have great respect for all of those who have commanded at sea. something i never did. when you command an aircraft carrier in particular. that's as big a capital ship as you're going to get. you're going to be able to project american power and influence in ways that no other navy can do. from the deck of an aircraft carrier. so he's got immense responsibilities, something to the tune of 5,000 sailors aboard that ship. about 2600 of them will belong to him and in terms of ship's company. so he'll have vast responsibilities over people. and vast power at his fingerprints. >> is that moment tantamount to
swearing in for that captain? >> it's not quite a swearing in for him. it's basically a swearing in for the ship. but it is a renewal this is a man who has commanded in the past. you don't get to command an aircraft carrier without having commanded operational units in the past. he's an aviator, he's commanded certainly aircraft squadrons and also commanded smaller, smaller than aircraft carriers, but large surface ships so this is a renewal for him. it's a whole different level when you're commanding a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and to be commanding the first in the class, that's a unique honor. >> and coming to the podium there, susan, daughter of gerald ford. >> our flora sanchez is there, john kirby. i want to bring him into the equation, too. so boris, the pageantry of this kind of event is remarkable.
kind of give us the color of what it feels like for people to be there, to be in the room there for this very special commissioning. >> absolutely, fred this is really a special event. not only for those who built this ship. but for the families of the service men and women that are going to be serving on the "uss gerald r. ford." you actually don't see it behind me. but there are several thousand people here, all lined up behind the press. to watch or be part of this commissioning. this is truly an achievement of military might and an engineering feat. this ship is massive and as the president said earlier, the most advanced ship in history. the president was very quick to point out that the world is in a difficult place and this ship is a message to our enemies that american military might is second to none. he went on to say that our enemies will shake in fear when they see this ship on the horizon. aside from that, the president
also went on to say that the past few years, specifically have been difficult for the armed services for a lack of funding and urge d them to call their congresspeople to push them to pay more for military and added that they should call their congresspeople and coach them to vote yes on health care. i'll play you some of that sound now. >> that's not quite cued up yet. >> we don't have that sound. but the president again said that the people here in the room should call their congressmen to demand more funding for the military and to say yes to this repeal and replacement plan that is seemingly stalled in the senate recently.
curious that there was no mention here of some of the president's more typical targets. special i had because earlier today on twitter he launched attacks on the press and hillary clinton and james comey. all of this coming amid turmoil at the white house over the past week. not only were there changes to the president's legal team, but also in the communications office, sean spicer resigning and anthony scaramucci being brought in to be the new head of the communications for the white house. and the "washington post" reports that there were inconsistencies in attorney general jeff sessions' testimony before congress in regard to his communications with russian ambassador sergei kislyak. that coming from the intelligence community. all of that merely the backdrop to this event. >> you've set the table very nicely. all of that taking place, the president from the podium there. talking about the dedication, but still on his mind is health
care this is the sound bite that you just republican national conventioned. here it is. >> now we need congress to do its job and pass the budget that provides for higher stable and predictable funding levels for our military needs. that are fighting men and women deserve. and you will get. believe me. president trump, i will tell you, you will get it. don't worry about it. but i don't mind getting a little hand. so call that congressman and call that senator and make sure you get it. and by the way, you can also call those senators to make sure you get health care.
[ ship's horn ] >> ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. >> all right, boris. we got a chance to hear that and again, the pageantry and the tradition is under way for the commissioning of this aircraft carrier. admiral john kirby, if i could ask you, this is interesting, while this is a ceremony that's always steeped in tradition. it was an interesting moment where president trump is there at the podium and then he also made reference to donald rumsfeld, who is the secretary of defense under gerald ford and of course under president george w. bush and the former vice president dick cheney. what are your thoughts on, on their attendance at this moment? >> i think wholly appropriate. i was really glad to see them there. it was really fun to see them sitting there. see the smiles on their faces. they have a part of this. not only did they serve under
and with gerald ford, but certainly secretary rumsfeld had a hand in bringing this ship to be, quite frankly. her design is a long time in coming. she was named in the previous administration to president obama. so i think it was great that they were there and i think a real testament to how long it takes to build an aircraft carrier and how important historical legacy goes into who you name it for and what that means. >> john kirby, i don't mean to be rude talking over this ceremony that is under way. if you do have a return, monitor, are you able to tell us what is happening at this instant right now? >> i wasn't able to hear that. i don't know what exactly that part was. >> we'll continue to do our homework here. admiral john kirby. we'll continue to keep close
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breaking news on new sanctions on russia being proposed. the house and senate have just struck a deal. that could send a new bill to the president's desk before the end of the month. it would slap russia with new sanctions and give congress new veto power over easing sanctions against moscow. the deal also includes sanctions against iran and north korea and comes despite lobbying by the white house to water down sanctions on russia. this coming as donald trump junior and former trump campaign
manager paul manafort also striking deals to be interviewed by the senate judiciary committee behind closed doors and avoiding being subpoenaed for a high-profile public hearing next week. they have also agreed to provide records to the panel and to be privately interviewed ahead of any public sessions. trump's son-in-law and presidential adviser, gerald kushner has agreed to be interviewed by the intel committee next week. expected to be asked about the secret meeting at trump tower with a russian lawyer. this as special counsel robert mueller turns his focus to the first family. here's cnn's diane gallagher. >> cnn has learned that special counsel robert mueller sent a letter this week telling the white house to preserve all documents related to the june 2016 meeting at trump tower between donald trump junior, jared kushner, paul manafort and
a russian attorney among others. staff members received notice on wednesday from white house counsel informing them to preserve text messages, emails, notes, voicemails and any other communications related to the meeting. according to a source who read the letter to cnn's dana bash, mueller wrote in part information concerning the june 2016 meeting between donald trump junior and natalia veselnitskaya is relevant to the investigation. court records show she was tied to an intelligence agency in a moscow property dispute from 2005-2013. the female lawyer has denied she was linked to the kremlin. the special counsel's office declined to comment and a white house spokeswoman told cnn they do not comment on internal communications. it comes as the trump administration appears to be looking for ways to undercut the investigation. >> the entire thing has been a witch hunt. >> "the new york times" reports that trump legal team is conducting a wide-ranging search for conflicts of interest as the president's people publicly
questioned investigators possible political biases. >> these were significant donations by members of that team. clearly wanted the other person to win. now whether that prejudices them one way or the other in the investigation remains to be seen. but it is relevant information for people to have. >> justice department rules allow employees to contribute to political parties and campaigns. so that would not be seen as a conflict of interest. the president went so far in wednesday's interview with the "new york times" as to question robert mueller himself. who trump interviewed as a possible replacement for fired fbi director james comey before he was appointed special counsel. >> what the hell is this all about? talk about conflicts, he was interviewing for the job. >> according to bloomberg, mueller is reportedly investigating russia-related business transactions of the president and his associates. trump has suggested that mueller doesn't have the authority to look into trump family finances. >> he was looking at your finances and your family's finances unrelated to russia.
is that a red line? >> would that be a breach? >> i would say yes. by the way, i don't, i mean it's possible that there's a condo or something. i sell a lot of condo units, and if somebody from russia buy as condo. i don't make money from russia. >> "washington post" reports that the president's team is looking into whether he can grant pardons to aides, family members, even himself. >> the president maintains pardon powers like any president would. but there are no announcements or planned announcements on that front whatsoever. >> the attorney representing mr. trump and matters related to the russia investigation call the "washington post" report nonsense and insist the president's lawyers are cooperating with special counsel robert mueller on behalf of the president. the statement was from john dow, the lead on the president's outside counsel when it comes to the russia investigation, he's replacing trump's long-time personal attorney, mark kasowitz, who cnn has learned is going to be taking a reduced role in all of this.
coming on the heels of the resignation of the communications strategist and spokesperson for the legal team, mark corralo, diane gallagher. >> joining me now, cnn legal analyst special counsel to then assistant attorney general robert mueller. what do you make of the deal to allow them to be interviewed behind closed doors. we're talking about manafort, kushner and don junior? one could see this as adventuroadventure o advantageous for the witnesses, because they wouldn't be subject to public opinion. but why would the judish are i panel agree to do this? >> they didn't want to go through the process of subpoenaing them and perhaps them challenging the subpoenas and going to court. in some sense i think it's a win-win. it's a win for manafort and trump, they get to have sort of a dress rehearsal where they're not under oath and they can you know,
they can essentially refine their testimony as it comes to mind during the staff interviews but it's also good for the committee in the sense the staff tend to be more substantive, more prepared, better questionings. they'll get documentation so in some sense this allows this prep session the senators to get a briefing on what they're saying so that if they go to public hearing and if i were counsel to either of these guys i would try to avoid that very much, it allows for -- >> not look good when you do that, though? >> -- allows for more questioning by the snorsz. sorry? >> that doesn't look good when you do that, does it? >> my commentary is legal. they can figure out the political optics. in terms of the law of them testifying they have a right to refuse to testify, they can assert the fifth amendment, and my advice to them as a lawyer would be to not testify under oath in public until everything that they want to say is locked down and they know they're going to be able to maintain a consistent story. so far trump jr. has not been
able to maintain a consistent story. if he testifies under oath inconsistently, he subjects himself to the possibility of making a false statement under oath, which is a much more complicated proposition for him and an easier proposition for the prosecutors who could charm him with that lie. >> so while there may not be a subpoena this go-around because they have agreed, you know, for t the -- does this mean the senate could potentially still subpoena somewhere down the line if it needed to? >> sure. i think that what we're seeing here is a two-step proposition. one, we don't subpoena you but you voluntarily give us documents and subject yourself to a staff round of questions. then after we've debriefed the staff and learned what you are going to say, you will promise sometime in the fall to come in voluntarily and testify under oath. and i hope that that's the deal they've made from the -- hi my hope on the senate side of it.
my open on the lawyer's side for these witnesses is that they avoid having to testify in public for legal reasons and that they limit their testimony under oath to mueller. >> so in addition to the testimony or interview next week as early as wednesday, the committee has also all documents, e-mails, texts, notes, voice mails be preserved from that june 2016 meeting. why wouldn't that request have already been made, particularly when it was made public when don jr., you know, released his e-mails preemptive of the reporting of those e-mails in the newspaper just to make sure that nothing would be destroyed or altered before testimony? >> yeah. well, it's a good question as to timing. you'd think that that would have been done already as soon as the meeting was revealed. i'm not sure that it actually wasn't done previously by white house counsel issuing an internal memorandum to staff
saying to preserve stuff within the white house with respect to donald jr. and others, this is what the process is and if they were to have destroyed this stuff prior to this, that record of destruction would be observable to people who were receiving the data and that would be, again, problematic in an obstruction of justice term. >> you've worked with bob mueller. what are your concerns or thoughts about president trump reportedly he and his team looking for ways in which to undermine mueller, looking for possible conflicts of interest or political biases, even the noti notion that mueller used to be a member of one of trump clubs and there's some dispute over how they parted ways? >> right. so it goes with the territory that if you're going to step into one of these positions you're going to be scrutinized by the opposition. just ask ken starr how that process worked for him and the clintons. so i think that mueller knew well that this was going to be
part of the assignment. as to whether it will be successful, i think it's a good luck with that to the opposition. i don't think that mueller is assailable for any of the conflicts that are being talked about in the newspaper an that his team will proceed with their investigation unencumbered by thee allegations of conflict or golf memberships or donations by one or two staff members to a campaign opposition to trump's. >> all right. michael, thank you. see you soon. more straight ahead, but first one in eight american women develops breast cancer during their lifetime. this week's cnn hero was one of them. as she battled the disease, she saw that it was taking a serious toll on her husband, her young son, and she was inspired to create a way to give other families a chance to reconnect and enjoy life again. meet jean.
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hello again and thanks for being with me. i'm fredricka whitfield. this breaking news that we continue following now on new sanctions against russia. the house and senate have agreed to a deal that would be on the president's desk before the end of the, month giving congress veto power against easing sanctions against moscow. the deal includes sanctions against iran and north korea and comes despite lobbying by the white house to water down sanctions on russia. joining me right now to discuss this liz sweet, washington bureau chief for the "chicago sun-times" and david rote, a cnn global affairs analyst joining us from aspen. david, this is something the president and his administration has been arguing against and now sets up a real showdown between members of congress and the president. what options does sh leave the president when it comes down to this bill hitting his desk?