tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN July 12, 2018 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
>> that was house judiciary committee chairman wrapping up, 10 hours without interruption and all eyes and no shortage of heat have been focused on that hearing room and one individual, fbi peter stzok pulled from the investigation last august over e-mails he had with lisa page. he was grilled all day. and unfolding as high drama and democrats reviewing it as a come comedy at best, a farce, they say, because he has testified behind doors. joining us after what has been quite a long day. >> reporter: yeah. very contentious remarkable hearing. something we have not seen on capitol hill, outburst after outburst drowning out the
witness himself who pushed back for the first time getting a chance to respond to those messages the president seized upon to try to taint all the fbi as biased. but peter stzok wasn't having it. fbi special agent peter stzok took a firm stand from the very beginning of the hearing. >> the suggestion that i in some dark chamber somewhere in the fbi would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safeguards and somehow be able to do this is astounding to me. it simply couldn't happen. the proposition that that is going on, that it might occur anywhere in the fbi deeply corrodes what the fbi is in american society and the effectiveness of their mission and it is deeply destructive. >> stzok saying he was removed from the mueller probe because of how the texts were perceived, not because of bias. >> i am stating to you it is not my understanding he kicked me off because of any bias, it was done based on the appearance. if you want to represent what you said accurately i'm happy to
answer that question. i don't appreciate what was originally said being changed. >> i don't give a damn what you appreciate, agent stzok. i don't appreciate having an fbi agent with unprecedented level of annie mouse working on investigations in 2016. >> republican issa reading his texts aloud. >> you want me to read this? >> omg, he is an idiot, he is a douche. >> trump is a disaster, i have no idea how disaster his presidency will be. >> reporter: he sent it to lisa page, saying we will stop it, referring to trump as president. >> that was written late at night off-the-cuff in series to responses of then candidate trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero. and my presumption, based on that horrible, disgusting behavior, that the american population would not elect
somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the united states. it was in no way unequivocally any suggestion that me, the fbi, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process, for any candidate. >> the lawmakers also turned their fire on themselves. at one point, erupting over whether or not the full transcript of agent stzok's closed door testimony should be released. something democrats have called for and republicans have resisted. >> i ask the chairman now to order the release of that transcript. will the chairman do so? >> not today. >> will the chairman ever do so? >> you can direct your questions to the witness, that's your time to do that, not to discuss this. >> reporter: the hearing grew incredibly personal with one republican spotlighting stzok's extramarital affair with page. >> i've talked to fbi agents around the country.
you've embarrassed them, you've embarrassed yourself, and i can't help but wonder when i see you looking there with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife's eye and lie to her about lisa -- >> mr. chairman, this is outrageous. >> the credibility of a witness is always an issue. >> mr. chairman, please! >> have you no -- >> this is intolerable harassment of the witness. >> do you need your medication? >> after about 10 hours, peter stzok walked by me just now and i tried to ask him, anderson, whether or not he believed republicans treated him fairly in this hearing? he didn't want to answer any reporter questions. he left. tomorrow, the same two committees will be interviewing lisa page behind closed doors. expect that also to be contentious, and they want to bring her to a public hearing. this is just part one of what could be another contentious hearing involving lisa page.
anderson. >> thanks very much. joining me now is congressman from rhode island who took part in the hearing today. thanks for joining us. i know it's been a long day. do you think today's hearing was productive in any sort of way? >> no. i think this was a very sad day for the committee. this is a joint hearing where our republican colleagues really had no interest in these questions, this was a narrative to undermine the investigation of robert mueller and distract attention to issues congress is not taking up. it was incredible because they wouldn't let the witness answer questions, confirmed what the ig said, no bias affected any decisions made in this, appropriate decisions made and his personal opinions didn't in any way affect the outcome of the investigation. the republicans already know
this and continued to ask him about the investigation involving the trump campaign and resistance and they know under the department of justice and fbi rules he cannot answer questions about an ongoing investigation. that's what the ig criticized the fbi for doing. they continued to ask that question. we spent 11 hours in a deposition of him and eight hours in hearings. this is the judiciary committee. we should be focused on the family separation policy, we should be focused on driving down the cost of prescription drugs before our committee. we should be focused on comprehensive immigration reform, comprehensive gun safety legislation. no, today we spent 8 1/2 hours talking about the clinton e-mails in an ongoing effort to distract from what is a growing and serious investigation off the president and his inner circle. >> that not only was it chaotic from the start, there was the point when congressman louie gohmert directly referenced
stzok's affairs, how many times did you look into your wife's eyes and lie to her about lisa page? what was going on there and in your opinion was that over the line? >> it was very much over the line. look, the republicans made it very clear they weren't interested hearing the's ens to any of these questions. mr. the answers to any of these questions. mr. stzok was very truthful and forthcoming. they have a narrative they're trying to promote. this is the administration and allies in congress trying to do everything they can to undermine the credibility of the mueller investigation, to attack the ongoing investigation, create some impression it's not a legitimate investigation. peter stzok was a prop. they brought him in to talk about his text messages, to continue with this narrative this is an untrustworthy investigation led by untrust pore the people. they weren't interested in hearing anything. he was used today and frankly they behaved more like members of the trump defense team and
members of the judiciary committee who have very serious oversight responsibilities. i'm proud on my home state to be on the judiciary committee, an honor of my life and today was very sad day when you see members of the committee abandoning their responsibilities to do real oversight and take up important issues facing our country and instead devote hundreds of hours to hillary clinton's e-mails and attacking the character of the fbi and department of justice in order to protect the president. >> you've now initiated the process for releasing the closed door transcript of stzok's testimony, which as you said was already given behind closed doors. obviously, the doj would have to make redactions. do you expect and i know you can't comment on the details. do you think people would be surprised? what makes the closed door transcript so interesting to be released? >> what makes it interesting peter stzok was consistent with the testimony he provided today.
he was clear those text messages and his personal opinions did not in any way impact the decisions -- >> there weren't inconsistencies? >> no. the american people would see that and saying i haven't decided if i will release them. they decided to prevent it. i think the american people should know. he sat through 11 hours of testimony. let the american people read the transcript and make their own judgments particularly after he testified in public in the hearing. i'm working with congressman ras skin, having the fbi look at it to determine if there is any reason not to. the fbi have a right to see it and as long as there is no prohibition, we will try to release it. >> he said he wouldn't answer questions about an ongoing investigation, steve bannon would not answer questions as well. he was not threatened with being held in contempt. do you think the republicans
would agree to the request to bring bannon back to the committee? >> remember, when steve bannon refused to answer questions he just said i'm not answering them. we had a vote to compel him to come back and answer questions. that vote went down because the republicans opposed it. peter stzok's situation, the fbi rules and he cannot answer questions that involve an ongoing criminal or counter intelligence investigation. the 500 page report from the ig criticized directors comey for doing just that in violation of doj rules. republicans know that. they read that report and know the fbi protocols. this was about asking questions they know mr. stzok is not permitted to answer and shouldn't. it would be dangerous to the investigation, would endanger our national security if current investigations or people talked about them in this middle of it.
there's an obvious reason they can't do that. this is theater, an ongoing effort to try to undermine the investigation. >> congressman, i appreciate your time. thank you very much. joining me now, author carl bernstein and gloria borger. have you ever seen anything like this before? did you see this hearing as anything other than a partisan shouting match? >> no. it was a partisan shouting match. i was thinking about that, anderson. i think i'd have to go back to the benghazi hearing that was a partisan shouting match where hillary clinton testified for 11 hours in 2015. you could compare it to that. the bottom line here is that nobody, none of the republicans were able to prove in any way, shape or form, that peter stzok influenced the fbi in any way to go easy on hillary clinton and go hard on donald trump. they didn't even get there.
he gave it to them when they tried to say to him, you know, this is a false investigation. and he took great umbrage at it. obviously, he has done the fbi a lot of damage in the public eye. that's why he was taken off the mueller investigation. but if the object of this was to prove that the russia investigation is false because it started in a wrong way and should never have begun, i do not think the republicans achieved their goal. >> josh, as a former fbi agent, former special assistant to director comey, how did you view the hearing and stzok's handling of himself. >> we have to start with what the purpose of this hearing was, the opportunity for america's elected representatives to ask tough questions of a public servant that made mistakes and that peter stzok used bad judgment. the question, would they allow
him the opportunity to explain himself. i think he did the best he could. it disofld into a sideshow meandering from oversight to overreach. listen to what you just played, yelling and interrupting and badgering the witness. i don't think house republicans came in there looking for answers but slinging insults and catchy sound bites, overall, a low point for the house of representatives. >> he said he was not taken off the investigation because of bias, because of the perception his texts might have created a bias. do you buy that? >> i think it's a footnote. i think you can read it either way. we have to listen to what mr. mueller says about that later on. what we need to do is hear from mr. mueller at the end of a productive deliberative investigation, without the kind of travesty and interference in his investigation that this hearing was intended to be.
you'd have to go back to joe mccarthy to see the kind of berating. even in the mccarthy hearings you had republicans who were willing to say, we want to get at the truth. mr. mccarthy, you don't want to get at the truth. what we're seeing now here in this hearing a total inability and disinterest of the republican party to get to what happened with the russians in the 2016 election. what we are paying is a price for this travesty today is a total breakdown of democratic process in the legislative branch, which is supposed to be a check on the executive. instead, what we are seeing is a blank check for an executive who may be flouting and may have thwarted completely the rule of law. we are now in a kind of place
where what is going to insure the integrity of our democratic institutions if the congress of the united states, and one of the two major parties is totally disinterested in the truth and legitimate inquiry, which is what the mueller investigation is. >> gloria, one of the striking moments we played of the hearing when congressman louie gohmer brought up how many times do you feel -- when you look into your wife's eyes after your affair with lisa page. i interviewed him when he made up false statements publicly on the floor of the house, but were you surprised? >> i guess i was because it was so disgraceful and odious and ridiculous, and if for somebody who wants to get to the truth
about the russia investigation, this is not the way to go about it. i think he just wanted to sort of get a rise out of peter stzok. i was sort of looking all day, and i watched all day, i was looking for a republican, one republican to come out and say, peter stzok, what you did was wrong, but we have no proof, as the inspector general had no proof that what you did influenced the russia investigation. we know that mueller took him off the russia investigation, we know they had a short conversation about it, he said maybe 15 minutes, but there was not one republican who would even admit to that being a possibility. and in watching all of this, you know, i found it kind of sad that the middle ground or any kind of middle ground could not be found or even voiced by
somebody in the republican party. it was kind of stunning to me as was the congressman, but i guess in this day and age you have to expect everything. >> it seems like in this day and age anybody who seeks the middle ground keeps quiet other leaves congress. >> i think that's true largely in the case of the republicans. that's not to say the democrats on this committee acquitted themselves so well. there was some posturing and theater on the democratic side that was really unpleasant to watch. what we have to keep coming back to is the mueller investigation established the rule of law to legitimate inquiry into campaign activities and perhaps the activity of the president of the
united states and those around him. we now have a judiciary committee of the house of representatives that has said we will not participate in a legitimate investigation, we will be shills, we will be shills without looking at the evidence in an open-minded manner. once that happens, unlike what happened -- i hate to go back to watergate in this instance. the heroes of watergate were republicans, republicans on the watergate committee and house judiciary committee who voted articles of impeachment against a criminal president of the united states. is donald trump a criminal president of the united states? we don't know that. we have an investigation intended to determine what his relationship was to these russian interference attempts in our election. let the investigation proceed. what we saw today was obstructionism really verging on beyond irresponsible by the republicans, it verges on undermining who we are as a
people. >> i want to replay the gohmert thing. that was an extraordinary moment. let's play that. >> i can't help but wonder when i see you looking there with a little smirk how many times did you look so innocent into your wife's eye and lie to her about lisa -- >> mr. -- >> josh, i'm wondering what you thought of that. again, it's louie gohmert, so, you know, perhaps not that surprising. what did you think? >> it's not surprising but i think it's no less disgraceful when you have a member of congress sitting there questioning a public servant and bringing up his family and making these kind of demeaning remarks. it's disgraceful. it also does another thing, people will be looking at this hearing trying to determine who do we believe. stzok is trying to prove a negative. they can't get inside his mind and know what he meant when he sent these messages.
the only thing the american people can do is listen to what he says and determine his credibility. the end of the day, you have someone at the witness table who was doing his best to answer questions, made mistakes, but trying to explain hisself on the dias on this inquisition, you had people grandstanding and slinging insults. that will be the calculation the american people have to decide, who do we believe. >> i have to get a break in, carl. more to talk about next, more fiery comments from the hearing. another lawmakers who took part in it as well. breaking news from the president's trip to the uk. he talked to a british tabloid and he really talked and tell you what he said and it could define his relationship with really our strongest ally. today... back pain can't win. now introducing aleve back and muscle pain. only aleve targets tough pain
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get to know geico. and see how easy homeowners and renters insurance can be. in a day filled with loud confrontations, this was placid rather than contentious, trey gowdy revisiting president trump's messages he says are his personal political beliefs and republicans see bias against president trump and the words you hear earlier will stop it. >> i'm asking if you want to have a debate over a two letter word we have to do that some other time. what and who did you mean by "it." >> mr. gowdy, as i stated that text was written late at night in shorthand -- >> i don't care when it was written, long hand, cursive, i don't care about any of that. i want to know what "it" meant,
agent stzok. >> it would be his candidacy and my sense the american population would not vote him into office. >> we invited congressman gowdy to come on the broadcast. he said no and so did the other congressman gohmert as well. a member of the judiciary and intelligence committee as he questions peter stzok this evening. you had trey gowdy back in april said congress has quote proven itself unable to conduct investigations. do you think the system is broken? >> good evening, anderson. i actually right after the 2016 legislation wrote bipartisan legislation to have an independent investigation. i foresaw then we should have elder state commissioners do it.
i think this demonstrated today why we need an independent commission. >> anyone watching today's hearing saw something, it was certainly contentious, personable, arguably out of control. was anything actually accomplished today? >> no. actually, for the 2,000 children who would like to be with their parents tonight, nothing was accomplished as far as connecting them. this is the committee that has jurisdiction to reconnect and reunite those families, that's why this was such a shame. however, i do think you have now seen director comey, he came to congress, raised his right hand went under oath with respect to russia. peter stzok has done the same thing, two individuals the president continues to attack. the question, mr. president, are you willing to go to bob mueller and raise your right hand and go under oath and answer questions as it relates to your involvement with the russians. >> is what we saw today really that much different than what we've seen in past years?
under past as administrations, with all due respect people in public life like to get sound bites on the evening news and local news broadcast and oftentimes it's more about them wanting to be seen as asking a question than necessarily the answer. was today really that much different than what we've seen in the past sometimes? >> the best hearings, anderson, elicit questions that allow the witness to do more talking than the people asking them. we're passionate. 12 months ago we may not have seen a hearing as intense as it was today. there's frustrations among americans and democrats we have an adversary that attacked us and we're not doing enough to stand up to them and priorities in the wrong direction and we're going backwards looking at hillary clinton's e-mails. >> stzok said his own biases do not interfere with his work at the fbi. do you think that's true and i'm wondering what evidence supports
his assertion. he said he wasn't let go, fired from the investigation because of bias but because of the perception of it. >> i asked him these questions, asked him if he was the sole investigator who closed the hillary clinton investigation. he said, no, there were others involved. i asked if he was the sole investigator that launched the trump-russia investigation? he said there were others involved. i will just tell you, anderson, if i was at the fbi he wouldn't be working for me. i think bob mueller did the right thing taking him off the team. that's what you would want him to do. >> congressman, appreciate your time as always. a few moments ago i referred to lisa page as a former fbi agent, she's in fact a former fbi attorney. do you think any minds were changed today? this hearing have any impact on where republicans or democrats stand when it comes to stzok and his role on the fbi? >> no. i don't think any minds were changed and i don't think any
light was shed on anything. as the congressman pointed out, stzok was hardly allowed to answer questions. the republicans, many times, wanted him to respond to questions that the attorneys for the fbi sitting behind him said that he could not answer because of an ongoing investigation. i think there was a lot of insinuation here, and i think there was a lot of grandstanding, as carl pointed out, on both sides. i don't think anything was accomplished other than the fact that peter stzok got to speak his peace in many ways, said, you know what, i did some wrong things but i didn't influence the russia investigation in any way, shape or form. >> yeah. i got to get another quick break in, gloria. everyone stay with us, we will broaden the conversation after this break. this is a story about mail and packages. and it's also a story about people and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget...
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i want to show you another moment from today's very long hearing. chairman bob goodlatte and jerry nadler, the ranking democrat, having a discussion back and forth. >> mr. stzok, you are under subpoena and are required to answer the question. are you objecting to the question? if so, please state your objection. >> mr. chairman, i object. >> the gentleman does not have standing to object. there is no point of order here.
the point of order should be heard. >> the gentleman can state his point of order. >> my point of order is that intentionally or otherwise, this demand puts mr. stzok in an impossible position. he is still and employee of the fbi and fbi counsel has instructed him not to answer the question. >> gentleman, if you have a problem with this policy you should take it wake up the fbi, not badger mr. stzok. >> earlier tonight, carl bernstein compared today's hearing to what mccarthy had. gloria, does all this back and forth and partisan bickering and substance of the hearing or lack of substance, does it cloud mueller's investigation in any way in your opinion? some look at this and say it's designed to cloud it or raise in other people's opinions, raise legitimate questions about the investigation. >> this is about government for the base instead of government
for all the people of the country and legitimate inquiry. we have one shot in this country at establishing that there is legitimate inquiry into what happened in the last campaign, the role of the russians and the role of the president of the united states and those around him. that is mueller's investigation. we have only one entity, the republicans on the hill and the base intent on undermining that investigation. that doesn't mean there might not be problems. we have plenty of time to find out, if there have been mistakes made in the mueller investigation, in the fbi investigation. there ought to be hell to pay if there's anything that happened that was really untoward or prejudicial in terms of the conduct of that investigation and leadership and how decisions were made that affected all the essential decisions. what we heard today actually from peter stzok were some nuanced accounts that we have not quite heard about the
conduct of the investigation, and of all things, despite his personal irresponsible, and his undermining of the investigation or certainly the appearance that he gave by his own actions, what we learned today, there were safeguards in that investigation, that he had the ability in fact to hurt donald trump, as did the investigators and the leadership of the fbi. they did not take that shot. what we learned today, between the lines, is this was an investigation of objectivity, some difficult calls, some not very competent moves made, particularly by comey, as we know, and at the same time, reason to believe that there was integrity despite the recklessness of mr. stzok. >> josh, stzok said in the testimony the fbi had information alleging a russian offer of assistance to a member of the trump campaign. why could he answer that
question while refusing to answer other questions on the russia probe citing the ongoing investigation? >> i think it's representative of he's in an impossible situation. one need only look behind him during that hearing i was watching the footage, he was flanked by fbi person eland the other side fbi counsel to make sure he himself is protected. i sat in conference rooms in fbi headquarters as these hearings are going on, you have a war room set up, the primary purpose, if a witness doesn't know something and the representative says, can you get back to me on x, y or z, the fbi can work on that to get the information the congress wants. i think they said the witness is in an impossible situation. is it going to impact something negatively if we release that information and you saw it go out to the person behind him and said that he could answer it. i'm sure that's what happened here. >> i wonder what you thought
about republicans talking about contempt for not answering but not bringing steve bannon back to the committee, somebody else who refused to answer questions, not for any reason about investigation, just because he refused to answer questions. >> right. i don't think we've heard the end of it. the democrats obviously don't have any power or leverage here because they don't control the committee. i'm sure this was planned on the democratic side, that if they knew good luluck was going to threaten stzok with contempt they had something in their backpack to force bannon to testify. something we did learn today from peter stzok because largely we learned nothing new. one thing we learned is that he did testify that the russia investigation opened in july 2016, not because of the steel
dossier. there's been a lot of charges saying this is based on this faulty dossier. this was the reason the fbi opened its investigation, because of christopher steel and he was on their payroll, et cetera, et cetera. he today let it be known that was not the reason the fbi opened the investigation. so a lot of unanswered questions but one we kind of learned a little something about. >> one other point -- >> carl, i want to play an exchange -- go ahead. >> the way that ended with a threat to rosenstein by the chairman in saying we are not through with you, mr. stzok. mr. rosenstein, he was implying we might bring you in here and hold you in contempt as well. this is an attempt to undermine legitimate investigation. and somehow there must be somewhere in the republican party in congress, out of congress, ex-presidents, a way to find some movement that says
we are republicans who stand together for free and open inquiry, and with some independence as well. otherwise we are going to lose the ability in this country to see the rule of law prevail. that's what this hearing was about, was insuring that the rule of law was undermined. >> i want to play and exchange also between congressman gowdy, another one and stzok. let's listen. >> mr. gowdy, my understanding of why i was kicked off was that based on the understanding of those texts and the perception that they might create -- >> hang on a second, agent stzok, hang on a second. you're saying it was the perception. 13 democrats on the special counsel probe including one who went to what he hoped was a victory party. that's a perception problem, too. they weren't kicked off, you were. why were you kicked off. >> i don't give a damn what you appreciate. i don't appreciate an fbi agent with this level of anmy mouse
working on two investigations during 2016. >> one of the things that louie gohmert said, talking to fbi agents around the country, all of whom felt very embarrassed -- not sure embarrassed is the right word but upset about peter stzok. do you think that's an accurate representation of peter stzok within the fbi. >> i was listening in the "newsroom" when he said that. i shook my head. no way louie gohmert is talking to fbi agents around the country, it harkens to what the press secretary said, setting that aside -- >> just for a little historical, this is not the first time louie gohmert has made comments based on what he said were conversations with former fbi people or fbi people, we did a whole interview with him about a terror baby conspiracy he said fbi agents were concerned about. >> it's pattern. no way someone can prove that.
we can't sit here and fact check him, no way we can. he's an elected representative. i set that aside, i don't believe him. as to what fbi employees think about peter stzok that is something we can talk about generally as an issue that devised them. this is someone in a senior position in the fbi entrusted with an incredible responsibility and failed the organization with incredibly terrible judgment. that said, it doesn't appear that judgment impacted the investigation for political reasons. the hearing today showed these people will be held to account. at the end of the day, i don't think that's something people will look back in hindsight saying this person threw an election because of blood alcohol bias because it's not something -- because of political bias, but it's not something people do in the fbi. people know that. the president left the belgium meetings touting a big accomplishment and how the
leaders kept him honest on that claim. and something he said is bound to make even more headlines not only tonight but tomorrow as well. so, how's it going? well... we had a vacation early in our marriage that kinda put us in a hole. go someplace exotic? yeah, bermuda. a hospital in bermuda. a hospital in bermuda. what? what happened? i got a little over-confident on a moped. even with insurance, we had to dip into our 401(k) so it set us back a little bit. sometimes you don't have a choice. but it doesn't mean you can't get back on track. great. yeah, great. i'd like to go back to bermuda. i hear it's nice. yeah, i'd like to see it.
there's breaking news tonight on the president's visit to the uk. it was something he said, a front page tabloid interview hit right in the middle of his black tie dinner with the prime minister and what he said could not have gone over well. what he said before leaving the nato summit earlier before leaving brussels, he took a victory lap on his push to other nations to push their defense spending to 2% by 2024 to 4%.
>> for years, presidents have been coming to these meetings and talked about the expense, the tremendous expense for the united states. tremendous progress has been made. everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment. they're going to up it at levels that they've never thought of before. prior to last year, where i attended my first meeting, it was going down, the amount of money being spent by countries was going down and down very substantially and now going up very substantially, and commitments were made. only 5 of 29 countries were making their commitment, and that's now changed. the commitment was at 2%, ultimately that will be going up quite a bit higher than that. so we made a tremendous amount of progress today. >> now, "keeping them honest," the allies did not actually agree to boost their defense spending to 4%, nor did they agree to immediately meet the
2024 sergeant as president trump demanded yesterday, french president saying it is all. and the direct approach i'm quoting helped allies to really hear his message. a far cry from the president's suggestion the allies bought into that message. in other words, whatever else the summit accomplished, the one thing it did not accomplish was what the president took a victory lap over today. in many ways it was the victory lap he had with kim jong-un, only it came a bit quicker this time. joining us "washington post" columnist, and fareed zakaria, host of fareed zakaria gps. >> you said president trump like his north korea template so much he's applying it to nato.
ramp up the alarming rhetoric, escalate the crisis, hold a meeting. act buddy-buddy. claim that the problem is fixed because you're a master deal-maker even though nothing has changed. is that how he left brussels? >> pretty much he went into the singapore summit saying this is little rocket man and left singapore saying the problem is solved even though we know it is not solved. same thing in nato attacking them for not spending enough for defense and saying germany is a captive of russia and we're cds for paying for nato. lo and behold after two days of meetings he emerged saying i believe in nato and they're spending more than ever before on defense, problem solved. when in fact nothing whatsoever changed, all they basically did was reiterate their existing commitment to aim for 2% of gdp spending on defense by 2024,
which is the exact same commitment they made in 2014, but all of a sudden, trump claims this is a huge victory for his deal making. as he left brussels, although european leaders thought this was a bizarre and erratic performance, they were sort of thinking, well, it could have been worse, at least he left saying something nice about nato instead of saying he would pull u.s. troops out of germany. >> one of them last night called the president a major propagandist calling germany being beholden to russia when he is accused of that and he got them to up their spending but really there's no new commitments on that. they reiterated commitments they previously made. >> it's the art of the new york hustle being applied to international relations, it's bull -- bravado, manufacture
facts, claim the other side is weak. claim that you won, claim that the deal you have is the best deal in the history of the world. it's bizarre only because it's being applied by the president of the united states in the most important form the united states has created over the last 70 years for its security, nato. this is sort of the way, i suppose, this kind of new york real estate deal happens. you can tear your hair about this because this has been going on ever since trump has been president. >> that's why i've gone bald, tearing my hair out about it. >> what's the lasting damage? the lasting damage is what the united states created after world war ii with nato is really extraordinary. the european security umbrella. a former head of nato said the purpose of nato is to keep the russians out, americans in, and germans down. the germans down is no longer
quite true, but you're trying to keep the europeans unified, not have them having competing foreign policies. this is very unusual in history to have all these rich countries cooperating rather than competing. that's where you feel trump doesn't seem to see the damage he's doing. >> yeah. some of the president's comments in this closed door meeting revealed as a veiled threat to leave the alliance but said in his news conference he believes in nato and the u.s. is committed to its western allies. the message is like whiplash. >> it is the whiplash summit, anderson and this dr. jekyll-mr. hyde act donald trump likes to engage in, this wonderful negotiating style alla new york real estate market. this is not new york real estate. the nature of nato is it depends on trust and faith on both sides, in particular on article
v, mutual defense provision the heart of the nato alliance, this promise if one member is attacked the other members will come to their defense. to have that kind of confidence, you really have to believe the united states, in particular, the most powerful member of nato, is truly dedicated to the alliance. who after this performance can >> fareed, how do you see this playing out in the meeting between president trump and vladimir putin? >> well, what's most distressing about it is that trump again seems to think that he can freelance this. there's no preparation, no set guidelines, and there doesn't seem to be any consultation from any of the reporting we got with the nato allies. this was always a core part of the way the united states negotiated with russia, even china, which is you first talk to your allies, come up with a kind of common position. the europeans are completely in the dark as to what trump is going to talk to putin about. we are all in the dark about what trump is going to talk to
putin about. frankly i think some of his closest national security advisers are in the dark as to what he wants to do. >> well, max, what do you think putin is thinking watching all these shenanigans going on in brussels? >> i suspect that vladimir putin has a big cheshire cat grin on his face as he's watching this, and he thinks he has scored two major goals this week, one with the world cup, the other with the nato summit, where donald trump, the candidate that he backed for the american presidency, is sowing -- i'm sure putin was also encouraged by the comments donald trump made where he was asked about putin, when he was asked if putin was an enemy, a threat. he said putin is a competitor, which is pretty much the way he thinks of germany. >> appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you. now the breaking news that we mentioned a short time ago. there's a lot of it, all from the interview that president trump did with the british tabloid, the sun. front page news as you can see
in. in it he slammed the mayor of london, criticized the prime minister of the uk, who was also his host for dinner tonight when the article broke. he endorsed one of her ex-cabinet members who is now perhaps a future rival, and that's not all. details from jeff zeleny who joins us from london. jeff, exactly what did the president say about prime minister theresa may? let's start there. >> reporter: anderson, as you said, extraordinary timing because president trump was standing alongside prime minister may for the last several days tonight at that dinner at blen ham palace. he says what she she's done on brexit is wrong and has killed any chance, in his words, of a fair tried deal with the u.s. that is her whole point of rolling out the red carpet here for him is to try and get more trade with the u.s. he says that kills it in his view. then he said what he would have done. >> i would have done it much differently. i actually told theresa may how
to do it, but she didn't agree -- she didn't listen to me. >> what did you say in. >> she didn't listen. no, i told her how to do it. that will be up to her to say. but i told her how to do it. she wanted to go a different route. >> another remark -- losing its culture. i'm wondering how is that being interpreted tonight? >> reporter: well, anderson, that is one of the reasons that so many protesters are planning on greeting the president tomorrow, simply on his stance on immigration. he was very harsh on immigration. he said he sees places in europe that do not look the same as they looked ten years ago, 15 years ago, that europe is losing its culture. so very aggressive on that front. but the white house tonight, just a few moments ago, actually, white house press secretary sarah sanders issuing a statement, a bit of a cleanup, if you will. she said the president never said anything negative about theresa may herself. he thinks she's a good person.
but she didn't say anything about the policies of brexit. so clearly the president trying to make a mark. and don't forget. he's meeting with her, spending the morning with her here friday at her retreat outside of london. he cannot stay in london, so many protests here expected. those immigration comments very controversial here, anderson. >> yeah, i think we'll be hearing a lot more about that in the next day ahead as well. thanks very much. a new chapter in the stormy daniels saga. she was arrested last night in ohio while performing at a strip club. we'll tell you what happened next. who is this? you don't always use it to share something. he's doing it! but when it matters most, you count on tracfone to keep you connected, for less. can you send that to me? yeah. our new smartphone plan gives you talk, text and data with unlimited carryover starting at $15 a month, no contract. all with nationwide 4g lte coverage. get top smartphones or bring your own phone. tracfone. for moments that matter.
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another turn in the stormy daniels saga. in columbus, ohio, she was arrested after a performance at a local strip club. the charges allegedly touching three undercover detectives. stormy daniels says she had a sexual encounter with president trump back in 2006, which the president has denied. sara sidner joins us with the latest. what do we know about what happened last night? >> reporter: well, there are affidavits that have been filed showing that there were four vice officers inside the siren strip club here where stormy daniels was performing, and they
say that she broke local ordinances. she's not supposed to be touching people or letting people touch her. and apparently at some point they say that she was taking patrons and letting them put her heads in their boz onsoms. three of those vice officers say she did the same thing to them. this went on for a while, and apparently she was then arrested along with two other performers at this strip club. but michael avenatti, stormy daniels' attorney, says, wait a minute. this looks like a setup, that she was set up for this. she was in the club. they knew she was going to be in there. he finds it very odd that these four vice officers were inside at the time, knowing that stormy daniels doesn't come to town that often. that they were there, and he believes this could have been politically motivated on the part of at least one of the officers. the police chief looking into that. anderson? >> but the charges have -- the
charges have been dropped, right? >> reporter: they have been dropped. in the afternoon, the charges were dropped. the police chief apologizing, saying that in particular, in this particular case with stormy daniels, the ordinance is for people who are regular performers at these clubs here in columbus, ohio. stormy daniels is certainly not a regular performer here. she was a visiting performer, someone who has come at least once to this establishment. so she didn't qualify under the law. he said it was a mistake and apologized for it. michael avenatti says he thanks the police chief for the apology, but if this was politically motivated, there will be hell to pay. anderson? >> all right. sara, thanks very much. the news continues. i'm going to hand it over to chris cuomo. "cuomo prime time" starts right now. chris? all right, anderson. thank you very much, my friend. i am chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time." so did the republicans make the case? did they show that fbi agent peter strzok did things that
tainted the trump probe? that was the bar, and they took ten hours to try. early on, literally there are attacks going in all directions. take a look. >> where is the disgrace? >> you've been out of control since you've been on this committee. >> harassment of the witness. >> what is wrong with that? you need your medication? >> point of order is not well taken. >> it's right on point. >> no, it's not. >> so when lawmakers were actually asking questions of the witness, we saw republicans unload on peter strzok with both barrels. >> if you want to represent what you said accurately, i'm happy to answer that question, but i don't appreciate what was originally said being changed. >> i don't give a damn what you appreciate, agent strzok. >> trey gowdy. i guess he went back to being captain benghazi. remember he said, these hearings are all about political partisanship. this was more about making allegations t