tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN June 29, 2018 3:00pm-3:38pm PDT
that point about menendez's prosecution was the biggest gaffe that came out of this. the president didn't give any cards away. it do could have been so much worse. there's so much chaos in the white house. not enough attention to security. people are not skilled enough to understand who is who and what kind of processes should be in place for things like this. >> it's very awkward. this comedian, stuttering john on the howard stern show, he got through to the president. he spoke with our reporter. before he spoke with the president, he spoke with jared kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser to set the stage for the president from air force one calling him back. listen to this. >> i get a call from air force one. it's jared kushner. i know it's jared.
i'm a political news junky. i watch cnn all the time. i know jared's voice. it was definitely him. he said to me, i'm going in and out of my english accent. yes, hello, how are you doing? then he says, i can get the president out of a meeting now or i can have him call you back in a few minutes. i said, please have him call me back. i knew i had to call my friend in new york to record it. no problem. we will call you back. now i'm getting nervous. i'm like, this can't be happening. sure enough, 20 minutes later, i get a call. it's from -- i answer with my bad long island accent. hello. i go, yes, hello, this is sean moore. let me get the senator on the phone. i call my friend in new york. i get on phone with trump. bob, i want to congratulate you. >> why would -- >> it sounds like an snl episode. >> you used to work at the white
house in the national security council during the obama administration. >> i have been on the receiving end of calls to air force one. there are a million hoops that people have to go through to just get patched through. it sounds like the white house team did their job. they spoke with -- the issue is jared kushner. jared kushner went around the process. he went around the staff. he made a recommendation to the president. if he couldn't take a hot second to do background work to figure out if this guy was for real, how much prep work is he doing on any issue he is working on? it would have taken 30 seconds to figure out this guy was a fake. >> why would bob menendez, new jersey senator, have an assistant with an english accent and an l.a. area code? it's the most absurd thing. if any of you listen to howard stern, i mean, to think back then, if you knew stuttering
john and donald trump were going to have this conversation in the year 2018 -- >> you remember -- you used to listen to howard stern, maybe you still do. trump was a regular guest. >> everyone remembers stuttering john and the round table. one would be president and the other would -- >> if there was -- bob menendez and jared kushner share an attorney. >> i didn't know that. >> they have the same attorney. i wonder if that may have played a role. who knows? >> just back check it. >> a little news that did come out of that is trump didn't think that the investigation into bob menendez -- unless he was being nice. he didn't think it was a big deal. he said, congratulations. either an acquittal or hung jury. >> hung jury. >> he said, you kind of got railroaded there. i'm glad it's over. >> people were worried about the president's cell phone which is a wide open book. i don't think anyone thought air
force one would be a place where you would have to worry the president would get unsolicited calls from random people. >> the white house staff, it does seem they did their job. this was a call that was placed to the switchboard. then -- >> routed to air force one. >> then so it seems they did their job. it's the people aboard air force one and jared kushner who decided to engage him and decided to patch him through to the president. >> i think i remember -- i don't know if you were working at the white house, sam, during the first year of the obama administration when a fake couple showed up for a state dinner and got through secret service and got into the dinner. that raised security considers as well. >> we addressed them. there was a review and secret service figured out how to prevent that. i hope based upon the fact that the white house said today they made a mistake, that the same thing will happen. maybe donald trump will give up his personal cell phone. >> like so many other things, that was one of the biggest scandals of the year when those -- >> they were a real couple but
they managed to get through into the east wing of the white house and got into this state dinner. >> huge deal. let's be honest, we won't be talking about -- >> this is just another friday afternoon in the trump white house. >> stick around. there's more we need to discuss. i want to bring in congressman gregory meeks. congressman, thanks for joining us. >> good to be with you. >> let's get through several issues while i have you. the president says he won't ask his potential supreme court nominees their stance on roe versus wade. >> i probably knows where they stand. that's why he said he will go by a list that he has had. had they not -- had they had a position of where they would support roe v wade they would have never made the list. he made a deal with the ultra conservatives that forgive me for what i do personally or whatever i did personally, but i will appoint your conservative judges. that deal has been cut.
i think that to make his list, he knows what their positions are. >> how likely do you think it is that roe versus wade could be overturned with a new justice on the bench of the supreme court? >> i'm hoping that the senators have a significant role in this. i'm hoping senator collins and murkowski will stick by their guns which will change the trump paradigm. you need a majority. we know that the democrats senators will not vote for this person. if you just need one or two republican senators -- i'm hoping they see through this game and they will stick by their positions and then that will then change and upset the president and the commitments he made and maybe we should do like the republicans did. maybe nothing should happen until after the november elections so we know what the senate looks like. >> you gotta worry from your perspective, there may be one or two or three or maybe four
democratic senators up for re-election in states that were overwhelmingly won by donald trump who might be worried about getting themselves re-elected and they may vote to confirm as they did for neil gorsuch. let me move on and get your thoughts on foreign policy issues while i have you. the president gave us new details about what's on his agenda for the upcoming summit in held ssinki. he blamed president obama. he said he doesn't want anyone tampering in the u.s. elections. he said that aboard air force once just n one, a day after he cast doubt on russia's meddling in the election. how concerning are these comments to you ahead of this historic summit with putin? >> very concerning. i don't know how historic this is because it seems as though we have a reality tv show. we have gone to north korea. now we're going to have one with
putin. two individuals who are authoritarian. he seems to be disregarding those real democrat says acies. he is more comfortable about individuals who do not believe in democracy as our allies to the west has been. so i'm very concerned about that. we saw he is more concerned with making a picture look like he is paling around with someone but it's dangerous. we saw the last time when the russians came and visited the white house where he gave away classified information. i'm very concerned with this president meeting with individuals who clearly is not in accord with the western world and has not indicated that they are ready to form a more democratic society. >> you think the president can get anything from that meeting with putin? >> no. i think -- i'm worried about the
opposite. i'm worried about what putin is going to get from the president. it seems clear -- if you look at the north korean meeting, the north koreans got more out of the president than we got from the northkoreans. we know what they got. they got removal of the war games. what did we get? nothing. now we are not hearing about north korea. we're moving on to dealing with putin. i am very concerned not about what the president -- i don't think he will get much. how much is he going to give putin? on another issue, the president just commented on the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein saying it will all work out. those are his words. "the new york times" is reporting that rosenstein felt angry and manipulated by the white house over his role in the firing of the james comey. what's your reaction to that? >> you know what? i would think so. i think that a lot of individuals that have been associated with the president and his administration and
beforehand have all worried about their reputation and being used by this president. that's why i think that doing the campaign, you saw many republicans, including senator rubio, senator cruz call him a con man. they take individuals, they use them for their benefit and then let them waste away. if i was the deputy attorney general, i would be concerned about my reputation also. but i would stay focused on what my job is. i think that mr. rosenstein will, mr. mueller will. i think we should let those investigations go. don't allow the smokescreen that the president would like to put up or that con men put up. get to the facts. once we see the results, then we know how to move as a country. >> i want your thoughts on another story we have been following. as you know the president of the united states getting prank called by a comedian pretending to be bob menendez of new
jersey. what does it tell you this comedian was able to get through white house staffers, have a conversation with the president of the united states aboard air force one? what does that say to you? >> that they need a complete security review. it should not be that easy to get to the president of the united states. generally, from what i have heard on your panel, for example, if you can look at an area code and know whether that should belong to a senator or not. there's a way that you can check that very easily. that should have been done here. the one thing that i will say though, that i hope that the president does something for real, he should be -- he should be calling bob menendez and other democrats so that we can resolve this very real issue of getting children back to their parents and making sure that we are not having separations at the border that's taking place that's immoral and inhumane. >> has he called you? >> no, he has not called me.
i don't know of any other democrat he called. i'm hoping that he does. maybe -- i hope he listens to someone. we really need to address this issue in a bipartisan manner. we had a bipartisan bill that was two votes shy of having a discharge position so we could get it on the floor to vote for it. we couldn't do that. in the past, the senate has come up with a bipartisan bill. it's been the republicans on the house side that blocked a bipartisan bill on immigration. we need to get this done for the benefit of the american people and stop plagying with tit. i would add, wolf, we're talking about reasonable border control. no one -- don't believe the hype of what he said that all democrats want all the free flow. we want legal immigration. we don't want to end legal immigration. we want people to go through a process for asylum. i think that's what's being taken -- needs to take place.
i visited a site today. i will say this. that site, i notice every child there they told me had a birth certificate. that tells me their parents was coming not to cross illegally, but to go through the process to show and ask for asylum because of what they were running from. every one of these kids, every one of the parents have a story. >> congressman, thanks for joining us. >> good to be with you. you know, abby, this whole notion that we will know a week from monday who the president is selecting to be his nominee for the supreme court, the seat left vacant by justice anthony kennedy, the president saying, it's going to happen. he has his candidates. he pretty much -- all of them have been vetted for the past year or so, if not even longer. they have been recommended by conservative think tanks. >> all of the them have been vetted for most part. some of them have been interviewed. he did say he is considering two
women on that list, which kind of narrows it kwoquite a bit. it's clear that -- i think the first iteration of the short list was very heavily male. if you are looking at two out of five women, that's pretty important. it probably speaks to the fact that he is looking at people like murkowski and collins who are concerned about roe, concerned about abortion. maybe looking to throw a bone to them or at least give the appearance of that at the onset of this process. this president is -- he is inexperienced in politics. but he has a very raw political instin instinct. i think he understands this time around, he has to get the right balance to get the votes he needs and not have any surprises with the two moderate republicans. >> let me read to you quotes from the president aboard air force one a little while when he was asked would you be looking for -- this is the question --
somebody who would overturn roe versus wade? he says, you know, it's a great group of intellectual talent. but they are conservative. i'm not going to ask them that question. that's in the a question inot a to be asking. >> let's be honest. we know the groups -- the interest groups that helped trump put together this list of nominees, we know a couple things. they hated anthony kennedy. he was the obstacle to keeping -- to turning -- overturning roe versus wade. trump joined the campaign on the record said that if he had the chance to appoint enough justices, roe versus wade would be overturned. there's a game in him backing away from that are a tore . the fact they are coming out
with the pick so soon shows how ready they were. they have vetted these. on the democratic side, they have had this list. you have a lot of democratic interest groups who have gone through the names, doing opposition research. they will be prepared as well. >> one of the groups that did vet this list, susan b. anthony list, big pro life group, i talked to them. they are comfortable with all the people on this list. it means they don't think of these people are going to stray from the party line on this very kr crucial issue. >> we have audiotape of the president, part of his exchange he had with reporters aboard air force one, speaking about his upcoming summit with vladimir putin. listen to this. >> we're going to talk about ukraine. syria. we will talk about elections. we don't want anybody tampering with elections. we will talk about world events. we will be talking about peace.
maybe we talk about saving billions of dollars on weapons. maybe we don't. >> what do you mean? what does that mean? >> we are building a force the likes of which nobody has seen before. i got it approved $700 million plus 760 next year. perhaps the world can deescalate between china, russia and ourselves being the three primaries. maybe the world can deescalate. that would not be a bad thing. >> are you talking -- >> i think having a relationship with china, russia and everybody else is a good thing, not a bad thing. >> samantha, what do you think? >> this is a different trump than we have seen previously. he covered the guamut of items e could talk about. i tune out until we address the russian elephants in room. they are attacking our country. president trump has not successfully been able to stop that.
neither was president obama. until we stop this attack, we can't assume the president will enter any negotiations with vladimir putin on equal footing, including our military and conventional weapons when vladimir putin continues to show superiority in the digital space, in cyber hacking and more. >> he suggested as you heard, ryan, the three primaries, the three super global primaries, russia, china and the united states. didn't include the nato allies in that little conversation. >> right. imagine if barack obama had said, you know, that russian meddling in the election, they say it didn't happen. russia has this offensive weapon they are using right now. they used it in 2016. trump sweeps it away. he sweeps away the annexation of cry me crimea. maybe we can get a deal on deescalation of tensions and weapons. if you are vladimir putin, you
think, wow, i'm using this new modern weapon. i'm annexing a country. the american president doesn't care. he wants to come to me groveling over a deal. imagine what republicans would say if obama made that case. they would say he is weak, he is letting putin push the united states around, he is going into a summit with his head in the sand. >> i want to bring in our own elise lavit who has been working her sources tracking all the developments. i know you are getting new information. what are you hearing? >> i mean, we have been talking to european diplomats about this summit. there are real concerns. not necessarily so much about the fact that president trump is meeting with president putin. they say it's important and a good idea for the president to have a relationship with russia. you will remember that french president macron visited saint petersburg. he is trying to strike up a relationship with vladimir putin as is angela merkel tries to maintain a good relationship. what they are concerns about,
about this leadup to the nato summit which will take place right before president trump's summit with president putin. it's promising to be very animated in the words of one official. they are concerned this will be a reprise of last year's summit or the g7 summit where he is lecturing that the narrative is that these europeans are fleecing america, whether it's on nato and not paying their fair share of the defense burden, or they are fleecing america on trade. so what they are concerned about is that the optics of having this very tense meeting with the europeans, with nato and then he goes on to have a very chummy meeting with vladimir putin and that will only help to kind of damage the unity of the alliance. that's what vladimir putin wants to do. it has been his goal is to divide nato.
they feel president trump is playing into his hands. >> your source talks about europeans having what the source describes as a special place in, quote, trump hell. what does that mean? >> that's right. this follows comments from -- president trump made to leaders. he said that -- he was saying nato is worse than nafta. you can see that they fear he is conflating his disdain for europe, his concern that america is not getting the same fair treatment on trade deals, and they are being taken advantage of with concern about nato and that it's costing too much money. he sees these alliances in solely economic terms. what this top european official said was that there is this special kind of trump hell in which nato is as bad as nafta and the eu is worse than china. there's a real concern, wolf,
that president trump is trying to divide the europeans, not just on nato but the eu. you will remember that he said to president macron when they met that he suggested he should leave the eu and he would give france a favorable trade deal, a more favorable trade deal. if you remember that picture of the g7 leaders standing tough against president trump, president macron had told angela merkel and the others about what he said. there's a lot of concern about him trying to divide the europeans. >> good reporting. thank you very much. samantha, there are some who now see potential for this entire alliance, the nato alliance of the past 60 years, 70 years or so, being upended even as we speak. >> they do. there are various members who are acting out. we don't talk about turkey a lot. president erdogan has bought russian weapons from vladimir
putin. >> turkey is a nato ally. >> turkey, under u.s. law, should be suggest to u.s. sanctions. they haven't kicked in. we see turkey turning towards russia. vladimir putin is certainly manipulating that. we do have nato members like macron, like merkel, like t theresa may who have a relationship with putin but says stop meddling. >> the president complained that the nato allies are not paying what they should for defense. he says they have to pay 2% of their gdp, some like germany devote 1%. >> it's economic. but i think it's also a part of how the president sees the world in black and white. you are strong or you are weak. in his mind, the europeans are weak. they are not paying enough for defense. they are not doing their fair share in this relationship. he thinks that that's not good enough. he -- i think he is getting
increasingly agitated with each of his relationships. even with macron, who he has had a relatively decent relationship with, that relationship has deteriorated. it deteriorated with merkel. it is deteriorating with may. the president is feeling isolated. it's going to be -- when gets to nato, it's going to be a true test of their ability to hold on to him. he is feeling very much like breaking away. >> there's more news we're following. we will tell you what we are learning now about the accused gunman in that deadly newsroom shooting. police describing a vendetta against the newspaper and his systematic plan to gun down journalists. track from farm, to pot, to jar, to table. and serve with confidence that it's safe. this is a diamond you can follow from mine to finger, and trust it never fell into the wrong hands. ♪ ♪ this is a shipment transferred two hundred times,
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the man appearing in court today facing five counts of first degree murder. he executed a plan in the newspaper's offices so people could not escape as he began systematically hunting and killing. >> there were two entrances to the offices in which this attack occurred. the rear door was barricaded. mr. ramos then as i told a judge entered the front door and worked his way through the office where he was shooting victims as he walked through the office. >> reporter: phil davis says ramos fired through a window. >> at some point when i was listening to him reload, are we all going to die? >> reporter: police arrived in minutes, the suspect was found hiding under a desk. >> everyone in the main office is under control. >> reporter: he had a feud with
the paper dating back to 2011 when they publish aid stoed a s about his are a rharassment. he called her vulgar games and telling her to kill herself according to the nape. . >> this was day after day of twittering. just tweeting all over the place. naming her, me, efveryone else. she left. he had an issue with this woman. i don't know what it was. but he did everything he could to destroy her life. he succeeded. >> reporter: according to records, he filed a defamation suit. it was dismissed. ramos threatened the writer of the story. >> we have gotten threats in the
past. this was particularly alarming. it was attached to a name. in previous complaints, it came across anonymously. some comments were off center. >> reporter: the paper chose not to file a restraining order against ramos believing it would only inflame him. they still warned their staff. >> we were alarmed enough to contact police, ask them to look into it and alarmed enough to post his photo at our front desk in case he would come in the door. i alerted my staff to call 911 if anybody resembling him came into the room. >> the victims are being remembered. w wendi winters was a 65-year-old mother of four. rebecca smith was a new hire to the paper who loved spending time with her family.
gerald fischman brought a quirky voice to the paper. john mcnamara was a staff writer who worked his dream job, sports reporting. he is remembered for his wit and being a loyal friend. >> he was killed while he was doing what he loved to do, which put out a newspaper for the people of annapolis. he was proud of those reporters. the other editors and what he would want me to say is everything they do. >> the woman was harassed.
even though jarrod ramos is behind bars. he is held without bond tonight. the judge and the prosecutor say he is an overwhelming danger to the community. >> there's new information tonight that police discussed a possible threat from ramos to the newspaper some five years ago. tell us about that. >> that's right. we have gotten documents released by the police today. 2013 police report detailing threatening online statements that jarrod ramos made to the paper. they were aware of his menace in 2013. >> thank you very much. let's turn back to breaking news
this hour. the president's supreme court search. we are joined by chris cuomo. chris, the president is giving us some hints about how he is choosing his nominee to replace the associate supreme court justice anthony kennedy. what do you make of this. >> he seems to be the president is giving us hints about how she's he replac kennedy. what do you make of this? >> he seems to be followin same p the last time. taking those around him. this i not an area of expertise or cur for the president. he has been tellin he has this great list that includ women. but i think the most presail wea point is the speed with which he wants get this done. it's clear that he moment is now. with the longer that thisgoes, the more chance for troubl and i think thatpthe independ n and this prank phone
call the president took from a comedi a lot of us used to hear on the howardshow. there security ramifications from this. >> i don't understand how it is. how stuttering john got through to air let alone got the believ he was senator bob mendez and then the call was so bizarr by the way, part of the insight we underst the president's th pickin judge is is because of what he said in phone call. the it was such a, i don't kno if they've heard it, but they should bob menendez was in trial and a contro figure for the republparty. the hear the president start off by congratulating him in what seems to be b a nod in beating the case and said we're all proud of you and y glad you made it through would seem like an unfai just b the presid that way to
somebody who was f that kind of legal trouble and you know, i don't kno how it happen i just don't get i i've s the stuff online but i it's true. they've got ts out and make sure happen again. nothin sinister, just prank, but if a bad perso international figu through to the pre president beliefs hear, be serious. the show tonight, 9:00 p.m. easter two hours tonight. we'll be watching. erin burnett "outf right breaking news. "outfr a rush to fill. trump just announcing he's meetin with supreme court nomine this weekend. promis an announcemen days from now. plus, flynn on hold. the special counsel wants a delay sentencing michael flynn. what is the issue? and the president journalists should fear w their jobs, so will he stop attack iing press?