to court to get this released. there were 911 calls released yesterday. there's a debate about gun violence. also important to put the pooss together as to what happened that say to everybody can learn from it. thanks for joining us on "inside politics." wolf starts right now. hello, i'm wolf blitzer, it's 1:00 p.m. in washington, 5:00 p.m. in london, 8:00 p.m. in moscow. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks for joining us. a white house on edge, president trump expected to fire more people from his staff and cabinet as concerns grow inside and outside the west wing it's too much too fast. facts be dammed, the president admitting he lied to a major u.s. ally and threatens to pull u.s. troops from south korea as his potential meeting with kim jong-un gets closer. and a new twist in the stormy saga. cnn is learning a second lawyer from the trump organization is involved in efforts to silence
the porn star from talking about the alleged affair. all that coming up, let's begin with breaking news. sweeping new sanctions against russia for u.s. election meddling. the trump administration today finally imposing the new punishments, a month and a half after a deadline set by congress. among those targeted, more than a dozen individuals dieted by special counsel robert mueller as part of his russia investigation which president trump dismissed as a witch-hunt. our senior white house correspondent jeff zeleny is at the white house. senior international correspondent fred pleitgen is in moscow. jeff, fill us in on these sanctions and the delay by the administration in imposing them. >> wolf, this is the sweeping effort, the toughest effort the trump administration has announced in the last year against russia. there is a level of familiarity between the 19 individuals and five organizations announced
this morning in the treasury department sanctions with that indictment list from a month ago from the special counsel's office. there is significant overlap so it's the first sign the trump administration at least is taking this more seriously. of course it comes a month and a half after congress mandate ad deadline here. we asked administration officials to explain why. they said it took them that long to get it worked out but it's raised questions in the meantime if the president was serious about this. even though there is a delay, certainly tough sanctions here and it's revealing for the first time that russia was attempting to either look into or infiltrate the u.s. energy grid so that also part of the sanctions here announced today by the drarmt, wolf. >> fred, you're in moscow, what's the reaction from the kremlin? >>. >> a couple of things, wolf. the russians alerted the fact that these sanctions were coming
on russian state media before the treasury announced them. that shows you how seriously they are taking this. it didn't take them long to respond, either, wolf. the deputy foreign minister of russia saying russia was calm in the face of these new sanctions by the treasury but also said that russia is working on retaliatory measures against the united states. now so far ever since the statement was issued, we haven't heard what these retaliatory measures are going to be but we're keeping an eye on that. this comes as the russians are working on retaliation against the britts for throwing out 23 russian diplomats after allegedly poisoning a former russian spy in britain. tonight we can see the russians lashing out at the u.s. and its allies but we'll keep you posted once we hear what the russians will do to retaliate for these new sanctions. >> we anticipate they will do somethi
somethi something. jeff, many officials describe themselves on edge as a result of more firings. give us a sense of where things stand ar more changes might take place. >> there is a sense the president is still wanted to change things up a bit, of course, coming on the heels of firing his secretary of state a cupping days ago but the president was asked in the oval office earlier today about these reports and he said, look, there is change coming, change is good. but he was essentially dismissing the fact that there would be a broad shakeup. that's done little to ease the anxiety here. there are several cabinet members who are uncertain about their future. first and foremost, the veterans affairs secretary david shulkin who is appearing on capitol hill earlier this morning. he expressed regret for the mismanagement management at his department but others also are expecting to depart at some point first and foremost. the national security adviser, general h.r. mcmaster. he declined to answer a
discussion or question about his future a short time ago when asked by reporters, wolf, but there's a sense the president isn't done making changes. it will happen today or tomorrow? on the president controls the timing, wolf. >> we'll see what happens. jeff zeleny at the white house, thanks very much, fred pleitgen in moscow, thanks to you as well. president trump bragging about lying to a key u.s. ally at his event in st. louis. the president talked about a conversation he had with canadian prime minister justin trudeau where he insisted the u.s. had a trade deficit with canada. the president admits he didn't know the answer at the time and this morning the president tweeted this, let me quote. we do have a trade deficit with canada, as we do with almost all countries, justin trudeau of canada, a very good guy, doesn't like saying canada has a surplus but they do. close quote. so what is the truth about trade with canada? cnn money's chief business
correspondent riis teen romans has the facts. christine? >> wolf, the fact is the united states sells more to canada than it buys. that's called a trade surplus. the way that the president views global trade, countries with deficits are the losers and he complains the u.s. is being tripped off by its allies. but wolf in the case of canada, he's making that up about the trade relationship and the government's official statistics show it. this is from the commerce department. in 2017 the balance of all goods and safss trade with canada tilted in the favor of the u.s., a $2.8 billion trade surplus. yes the u.s. imports steel and lumber from canada and on traded goods there was a deficit with canada for 2017, raw materials to feed american manufacturing and housing. but that deficit more than offset by the value of the services the united states exported north. the u.s. no longer just a manufacturing economy but a services powerhouse as well,
think finance, media, technology. the u.s. services trade surplus with canada was $25.9 billion in 2017. wolf? >> all right, christine, thanks very much. christine romans with that. let's bring in new jersey senator bob menendez, the ranking member of the senate foreign relations committee. thank you for joining us. >> good to be with you, wolf. >> what's your response to the president dragging during the closed door fund raiser in st. louis to republican big shots about not knowing trade facts and admitting lying to the canadian prime minister justin trudeau. >> >> well, it's pretty outrageous that you conduct yourself with one of your key allies in the world in a way in which you lie to them boldface and they know that you're lying because they know what the trade realities are and it undermines credibility not just with the canadians but globally when stories like this come out that
you could be engaged with a foreign head of state and have the president of the united states boldfaced lying to them and that undermines our relationships in the world and when you are talking about something else at some other time, maybe some security agreement that you want, the person who you're going to be speaking to is going to be wondering well, is he telling me the truth or lying to me? >> during that fund raiser in st. louis the president took direct aim at south korea over trade, threatening to pull u.s. troops, about 30,000 u.s. troops is out of south korea unless the trade deficit with south korea doesn't go away. is that smart? eggs specially now on the eve potentially of the president's meeting with the north korean leader kim jong-un? >> no, it's one of the dumbest things i've ever seen in my 26 years of dealing with foreign policy between the house and senate. look, at a time in which you have a critical high wire act that the president is conducting in then gaugement with north korea without any safety net
underneath, no preparation whatsoever on these talks, to suggest any inkling that you might move away from your security commitments to south korea is to sell aund the wrong messages, not only to north korea but to our allies globally and so that's one of the dumbest things i've ever seen. >> let me get your reaction to the white house -- the treasury department now, the trump administration finally announcing today sanctions against russia for its meddling in the u.s. presidential elections. do you believe the sanctions go far enough? >> they're welcomed and i've been calling for the sanctions for some time. the reason congress passed in 98-2, those sanctions on russia, iran and north korea was to get the administration implemented so it's past time they did it but they largely sanctioned
individuals that had been previously sanctioned by the obama administration. so that company that was identified in special counsel mueller's indictment of the russians is, that's an entity that could be gone and there's a series of provisions of the law that are pretty mandatory that the administration has not pursued against russia on financial institutions on arms transfers and other things. so the president should be leading a whole of government response to russia. not only for one they did to us in our elections and what they are doing globally and undermining democracies in other elections and what they recently did in great britain. it is a continuing reality from our intelligence agencies, they've continued to seek to undermine our democracy and
elections. putins understands strength and that comes from a robust response. >> they did begin implementing sanctions today even though as you point out the sanctions legislation passed the senate 98-2 last august, 419-3 in the house. the president didn't like it, he reluctantly signed it to law because he knew he couldn't override a congressional veto. but the u.s. has gone ahead, the trump administration with these sanctions. let me get your thoughts on another development that's unfolding. just in, the former deputy director, andrew mccabe, we're told he's at the justice department making his case why he should not be fired. he's retiring at the end of this week but there's some suggestion the attorney general jeff sessions might fire him days away from his retirement. he would lose his pension because of misleading others in the justice department in the course of the schick
investigation. what's your reaction to this? >> it just -- it's a case of first impressions but it seems retaliatory. at the end of the day the man is going to retire. he had served as i understand honorably for a long period of time and it's retaliatory to fire him days before that retirement would take place so this is the type of circumstances that have been going on in this administration where you speak out against him or fact a way in accordance with the law but that's not satisfactory to the president that you end up with a retaliatory response and it's outrageous if we're going to be promoters of the rule of law. >> he served 22 years in the fbi and announced his resignation a few weeks ago to take effect later this month and now only days away he might be fired and he would lose that pension.
let's move on to other sensitive issues while i have you. let's talk about the president's cabinet changes. his nomination of cia director mike pompeo to become the next secretary of state, your committee will have to confirm gina haspel to become the next cia director. listen to your colleague, republican senator rand paul of kentucky. he's made up his mind on both of these nominations. listen to this. >> my opposition to her is over her direct participation in interrogation and her gleeful enjoyment at the suffering of someone being tortured. my announcement today is that i will oppose both pompeo's nomination and haspel's nomination. >> where do you stant on these two nominees? >> well, i'm going to give them both their day. on pompeo i look forward to a robust betting and a robust hearing on his nomination, there's much different skill sets to be the cia director
where you're ultimately creating the opportunities for intelligence having covert operations and executing enemies than being a diplomat, the lead diplomat for the united states of america. there's two different skill sets. number two, i want to hear what his views are on some critical issues that the united states is facing globally. what does he view this engagement with north korea directly? what preparation is there going to be to make sure that can actually be a successful result versus the president having the meet i meeting saying he walked away? what is the reality on the iran nuclear deal and what happens if the president walks away? because that has critical challenges to it. where is he on the engagement that we need more robustly against russia for all the malign activities it has done? those are a few of the questions that he's going to have answer
and as to haspel, i have serious question questions concerns about her seemingly unlimited commitment to interrogation techniques and torture that i think from people like john mccain who was a victim of torture himself who was a prisoner of war that it doesn't work at the end of the day for the purpose of our intelligence gathering and it acts as a negative for us globally. i have to respect somebody like mccain who was a prisoner of war, went through torture and understands the realities of it. so she's going to have a real problem for me. pompeo, we'll see how he answers the questions. >> you voted against this confirmation as cia director but you have an open mind as far as secretary of state? >> i will. i believe that there is a vetting process for a reason and he'll have to answer tough questions. i've only mentioned a few of
them. i'm sure some activities as the cia, whether he believes in a robust state department which undersecretary tillerson and particularly under there administration diplomacy is not something that they value as is evidenced by the emaciated state department we have, the constant cuts, the hollowing out of our diplomatic core, some institutional knowledge that is incredibly important with the challenges we have in the world and some other questions so i look forward to how he answers those and i'll create a judgment. >> senator menendez, thanks for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. the president fighting back saying there will always be changes, uncertainty and upevil now plague the white house. and a new layer in the stormy cloud looming g over t i west wing. plus, breaking news out of parkland, florida. new video just revealed shows the first officer on duty, what he was doing as 17 students and
is. president trump is pushing back on reports of more upheaval to come in his administration. he says those reports in his words are exaggerated and false. >> there whether always be change but very little. it was a false story. very exaggerated fa and false s. there will always be change. you want to see change and i want to see different ideas. larry kudlow just came in a little while ago and larry is going to be outstanding as economic adviser. so we look forward to it. >> let's bring in ryan lizza and dana bash. dana, i know you are doing a lot of reporting, we all are. what are you hearing about more imminent changes? >> we've learned enough about
the way this president operates to know that what he says to people he calls on the phone early in the morning and late at night about asking about this person or that cabinet choice or how about if i switch this out which he does a lot and still does is my understanding doesn't 100% portend changes. having said that it's clear from the way he has that he's got that m.o. going on and that he might do something similar soon. at the end of the day, the unfortunate thing is when it comes to people working in the west wing, it's stressful. it's stressful no matter who you're working for but it's stressful if you're waiting to see if the tweet that comes out of the president's thread next will be about you. >> i've spoken to officials in
the administration how awkward it was that rex tillerson whether he was a good secretary of state, bad secretary of state that he learned he was fired because the president tweeted that. the president didn't even have the courtesy to call him up let alone have a face-to-face meeting. i know you've worked hard, appreciate what you've done but you're fired? >> imagine what that does for morale in any organization. imagine your organization and that's how your senior colleagues find out they're outthe door. it's humiliating. on the one hand, have sympathy, but on the other hand, people who signed up for service in this administration have a clear idea the management style trump had. they knew what they were getting into. they there's been so much reporting in the press about these changes partly because trump is on the phone all the time with this large circle of colleagues. this is like the spit ball
preside president. all of us who cover the trump world have some access to the circle of people, they're very talkative. in some sense this administration is transparent because you have a sense of what trump is thinking because he's telling outside advisers and people are talking to the press but it leads to confuse because trump says something to a close adviser doesn't mean he'll pull the trigger. he's obviously thinking about a lot of changes and i don't think anyone knows who the next senior person is to be kicked out. >> the chaos does have an impact on the administration. let's talking of gina haspel's nomination. the senator, senator john mccain, who was himself tortured during the vietnam war as a p.o.w., he wrote this on twitter "the torture of detainees in u.s. custody during the last decade was one of the darkest
chapters in american history. liz cheney -- the daughter of the former vice president dick cheney -- replied "saved lives, prevented attacks and produced intel that led to osama bin laden, the techniques were the same as those used on our own people." to which meghan mccain, daughter of john mccain replied "my father doesn't need torture explained to him." >> it's tough and personal and one of the most poignant and intense debates, policy debates i've covered was when i was on the hill and cover iing the pushback of his fellow republicans in the white house and the enhanced interrogation techniques dick cheney, liz
cha cha cheney's father, was a big proponent of that. having said that, having followed john mccain particularly and knowing some of the details about the way he was tortured when he was in the hanoi hilton when he was held prisoner for five and a half years he says over and over it doesn't work and he knows as megan eluded to firsthand so at the end of the day this is going to be revisited because we are 17 years after -- almost 17 years after 9/11. people are looking at it from a little bit more perspective and without the innate fear that everybody had post-9/11 and gina haspel, the new nominee to be cia director, is going to have to answer important questions and how she answers those questions could make or break
whether she's confirmed? >> she was a cia officer at the so-called black site in tie land where a lot of the enhanced interrogation techniques, waterboarding among others, were taking place. >> and this question keeps coming up as national security officials involved with this program that are now illegal, no longer used as they rise through the ranks and we haven't had a reckoning about how to treat those people. when obama came in he made a decision not the prosecute, not to do anything radical about the bush-era programs, torture and the other programs. he decided the era was over and we would move on. and there were senior officials in the obama administration who were implicated in these same programs and when they go before the senate it comes up but we've never had a reckoning about how do you deal with those people, what's the way? should they be cast out? should they no longer be in government service? or are we forgiving that was a
time and place and they were being told what to do and that they are somehow -- their careers should go on? i think that's the debate the senate needs to have. >> and they will, it's being forced upon them. someone said if gina haspel says i know firsthand, i was involved in it, that it doesn't work, the reckoning will happen. if she goes before the senate and says i know firsthand that it was uncomfortable, it's illegal, that will be problematic for her. >> she is going to answer these there was great fear al qaeda was planning more. they wanted -- they had these al qaeda operatives, they captured them, the president, the vice president, the justice department they all approved it, they said it was legal, she was a clandestine officer, she was involved. let's see how it unfolds during the course of this confirmation
hearing. up next, a cnn exclusive, new evidence of yet another lawyer from the trump administration -- organization, trump organization connected to the efforts to silence stormy daniels. plus breaking news out of florida, new surveillance video shows what the first officer on the scene was doing while the gunman was at large. people confuse nice and kind. but they're different. it's nice to remove artificial ingredients. kind never had to. we choose real ingredients like almonds, peanuts and a drizzle of dark chocolate.
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trump administration, as the attorney representing the country cohen set up to funnel the $130,000 payment to daniels. the address that martin lists in the documents is the same as the trump golf club near los angeles. when cnn reached out to jill martin she claimed she was working in a private capacity saying, and i'm quoting here now, the trump organization is not representing anyone and with the exception of one of its california-based attorneys in her individual capacity facilitating the initial filing the, company has had no involvement in the matter. is that an excellent or not such an explanation? >> it's an explanation and whether or not people believe it is another matter. the document jill martin filed does not say the trump organization anywhere on it, it has her name and lists attorney
and the address it uses is a trump property. so if she says that she was not acting in the capacity of the trump organization then i think the next question that we might want answer answer to is who, then, is paying for her services in doing this atreatment in working as a lawyer? whether or not she's allowed to work in a personal capacity depends on whether her employer, the trump organization, allowed her to do so. some statement bar state bars wt circumstance so if she's in the california bar it would be a matter for the state bar whether or not she's allowed to do that under her bar rules but if her employer, the trump administration -- trump organization allows it, it doesn't look necessarily right. >> the appearance is awkward. >> let's talk about another sensitive issue, you used to work at the justice department.
andrew mccabe worked at the fbi for 22 years. he announced his retirement, supposed to take effect within the next few days but now there's some suggestion that the attorney general jeff sessions might fire him before his retirement because of mistakes he was making, supposedly, while he was serving at the fbi during the hillary clinton investigation and there's a debate whether he should be fired or allowed to retire. if he's fired he doesn't collect his pension. >> there's a few things that raise questions about this particular angle. for a law enforcement officer, really for any career federal government employee who is not a political appointee, which is what andy mccabe is, getting your pension is a big deal. that's a life long factor in one's being able to know you'll get your pension when you retire after 20 some years of service so it's a big deal if the
department of justice decides to not allow him to get his pension a couple days before he is eligible to do so. the question is whether the internal justice department report, the office of inspector general's investigation actually reveals that he did something that is a firing offense and that report hasn't been made public so as an outsider we don't have the basis to judge that i wonder why this is a decision for the attorney general. this could be a decision, i want to know what fbi director wray considers with respect to this matter considering it's an fbi employee. normally management issues in the department of justice would be handled if not by the fbi by the deputy attorney general so it's curious and it has more of a political angle to it when the decision appears to be coming up to the attorney general if that is what is happening. >> and it comes following the fact he was under fire for so long by the president and other supporters of the president for
what he did during the hillary clinton investigation so that is hovering over all of this as well. thanks very much for joining us. up next, a fresh surveillance video reveals the initial response to the parkland, florida, high school massacre detailing the officer on the scene's actions while 17 students and faculty were fatally shot. the fastest samsung ever demands t-mobile, the fastest network ever. preorder the new samsung galaxy s9 for half off. ♪ but i'm not standing still... and with godaddy, i've made my ideas real. ♪ i made my own way, now it's time to make yours. ♪ everything is working, just like it should ♪
parkland and art roderick, former assistant director of the u.s. marshals office. rosa, explain why the video was released. >> cnn and other media organizations sued for the release of the video and a judge ordered its released. here's what we asked for, wolf. we asked for videos showing what the armed deputy did in the moments when he learned about the shooting and what he did after that. throughout this event. let's look at this video together. according to scot peterson he was in the 100 building when the shots were first fired. he moves then to what he called a tactical position between the 700 and 800 front of the building. now we have a spot shot of peterson to make it easy for you to look at where he was, where his position was. looer 's what the broward county
sheriff's office released with this video saying in part "the video speaks for itself, his actions were enough to warrant an internal affairs investigation as requested by scott israel on february 21." after being suspended without pay, skooept chose to resign and immediately retired rather than face possible termination. wolf, we're looking at this together. it's difficult to see peterson was exactly. so i'm following up to make sure this is the video in its entirety. wolf? >> stand by, i want your analysis of what we're seeing, was he acting appropriately based on this video or inappropriate? >> when you look at this video, it's difficult to see, it's taken from quite a distance away but i've gone back and looked at all the active shooter training
protocols. there was a meeting a few years ago between doj and dhs to make sure the active shooter training lined up and it did. the first thing you have to do is respond inside the building and we know from his radio transmissions which we heard a couple weeks ago that he knew the shooting was coming from building 1200 so -- and he did not respond inside and that flies in the face of every act i shooter training. >> so if you're a cop on the scene and you nope there's shooting on the inside you immediately have to run inside? >> i can quote you directly from the training. direct intervention by the on-scene law enforcement officers has reduced injuries and saved lives. without proper intervention on the scene armed suspects can continue to cause serious bodily injury or death. first responders must understand and accept the role of protector
and be prepared to meet violence with controlled aggression. >> since he didn't go inside, that's why he was suspended? >> exactly. >> we're going to continue to look at this. this is a heartbreaking story. up next, submarine wars. is the next flash point between russia and the u.s. in the arctic circle? our exclusive report from the north pole. that's coming up. as uncertainty hangs over the west wing, the white house will hold a press briefing scheduled for at the top of the hour. we'll see what time it starts, sarah huckabee sanders will brief reporters. we'll have live coverage. ♪ i thought i was managing my moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. but i realized something was missing... me. the thought of my symptoms returning was keeping me
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now to a cnn exclusive, look inside the uss hartford, nuclear powered submarine challenging russia in the arctic. jim sciuto got exclusive access to see how they deal with potential threats under the ice. >> reporter: more than 100 miles north of the northern-most tip of alaska, we set down on a runway carved into the arctic ice. our objective? u.s. navy submarine exercises called ice-x. cnn was granted exclusive acces access. >> it may not look like it, but it's moving all the time. this is the giant kaleidoscope of giant pieces of ice. >> reporter: a new front in the
expanding global competition between the u.s. and russia. these 5 1/2 million square miles are under intense battle for dominance as the ice shrinks and opens new oil exploration, new shipping lanes and crucially new paths to wage war. do you have a sense of greater competition up here for capability in this space? >> we are well aware that we are in a great power competition environment and the arctic is one piece of that. >> reporter: we went under the ice on the uss hartford, one of many submarines taking a competition raging, sometimes miles, below the surface. >> weapons 3, 2, 1. aye, sir. >> a nuclear attack submarine readies to fire. >> two-one primary. backup. >> 2-1.
>> reporter: in an instant a two-ton, 20-foot long torpedo speeds towards an enemy submarine. target acquired and destroyed. >> stationary dive. stationary dive. >> these are just exercises, the hartford training for its primary mission, hunting and destroying enemy ships and submarines. why is it more important now to demonstrate that capability? >> this is our exclusive economic zone that our submarine force is capable of operating here as we operate along our east coast and throughout the world. it shows that we are capable of doing it and willing to come up here. >> reporter: operating under the arctic presents unique challenges, with no access to gps navigation, limited communications and dangers from below and above. >> 07, 55 feet.
>> reporter: extending down from the ice sheet. america's biggest challenge, however, comes from russia. the russian military has assemble assembled an arc of steel along its arctic coast, comprising dozens of military bases, ports and air fields. and it is building and deploying faster, quieter and more capable subs of its own. >> have you had specific encounters? >> we would never try to speak to those specific operations for clear intelligence value that that would be to the adversary. fundamentally, we are watching and we are engaged. and i think our adversaries recognize that. >> this year, these exercises are taking on new urgency. a british submarine joined for the first time in a decade and u.s. submarine forces are refocusing on a mission dating back to the cold war.
deploying and demonstrating deadly fire power on top of the world. but everything is harder here. >> five degree up angle. .23 upper velocity and increasing. >> reporter: surfacing through the ice requires enormous power and skill. >> impact! >> 1, 1,000, 2, 1,000, 3, 1,000. >> reporter: we've just broken through two feet of arctic ice. the north pole is this way. russia is this way and alaska this way. and a mission like this is all about sending a message. the u.s. navy can operate or wage war, if necessary, in the harshest environment in the world. a harrowing message these nuclear submarines are sending to moscow and the world. >> that was jim sciuto's excellent reporting.
all right. there's more breaking news. special counsel, robert mueller, has now subpoenaed the trump organization to turn over documents, including some related to russia. this reported moments ago by "the new york times." this marks, we're told, the first known time that robert mueller and his team have requested documents directly related to the president's businesses. we'll have a lot more on this breaking news right after a quick break. awless that lasts! new super stay foundation from maybelline new york. full-coverage formula. up to 24 hour wear. for a super flawless look. maybelline's super stay foundation. only from maybelline new york. ♪ who's the fun one now? made with real cream. reddi-wip. instant greatification.
what used to take minutes. that guests would compliment our wifi. that we could video conference and do it like that (snaps). if you'd have told me that i could afford a gig-speed. a gig-speed network. it's like 20 times faster than what most people have. i'd of said... i'd of said you're dreaming. dreaming! definitely dreaming. then again, dreaming is how i got this far. now more businesses in more places can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. hello. i'm in for brooke baldwin this afternoon. special counsel robert mueller has subpoenaed the trump organization to turn over documents, including some related to russia. this is all according to the new york times and it marks the first-known time that mueller has requested doc