tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN July 17, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
hi there, i'm brooke baldwin. you are watching cnn on this tuesday afternoon. heads up. we are waiting for a critical moment in the trump presidency. the president will be speaking on camera any moment now amid the fierce fallout from his own party over his summit with russian president vladimir putin. for a full 24 hours now he has heard many republicans, including most of his ardent supporters, you see a ton of them on your screen here, condemning him for not backing american intelligence agencies when they say russia has been
and continues to attack u.s. elections. just yesterday as president trump stood there in helsinki next to putin trump said that he saw, quote, unquote, no reason to blame russia. the outcry over those comments and more has been fast and furious and far reaching. in moments republican senate leader mitch mcconnell is set to make remarks. we'll bring that to you. mcconnell's counterpart over in the house, speaker paul ryan had this to say earlier today. >> vladimir putin does not share our interests. vladimir putin does not share our values. i understand the desire and need to have good relations, that's perfectly reasonable, but russia is a menacing government that does not share our interests and does not share our values. let's be clear just so everybody knows. russia did meddle in our elections. not only did they meddle in our
elections but they're doing it around the world. they're trying to delegitimize democracy. >> how has the president responded to this republican rebuke so far? here's just one of his tweets today where he wrote, quote, well, i had a great meeting with nato raising vast amounts of money. i had an even better meeting with vladimir putin of russia. sadly, it is not being reported that way. the fake news is going crazy. let's start with our white house correspondent boris sanchez standing by as we wait for the comments from the president himself. all right. he's off the plane. he's back home. what do we expect to hear from him in terms of cleanup over what happened yesterday or tripling down on his comments? >> reporter: hey there, brooke. yeah, president trump expected to have this meeting with house republicans on the ways and means committee in just a few moments. the white house confirms that he will be talking about his summit with vladimir putin, but as far as what his response is going to be, we don't really know. he may dig in his heels and
defend his statements. he may try to clean up some of what he said. as suggested by even steadfast reporters like former speaker newt gingrich. just judging from that tweet though, the president is obviously unhappy about the reception that his performance is receiving in the united states. sources indicate that the president was actually upbeat when he walked off the stage in helsinki. he felt like the summit was successful. he apparently became furious once he was on air force one watching press coverage of the event where he stood side by side with vladimir putin. apparently he was fuming to aides about what he saw as the lack of support from certain republicans. we should point out the white house put out some talking points to surrogates yesterday. cnn obtained a copy of them and they suggest that the president wants americans to focus on the future of the u.s. relationship with russia, not the past. so we may hear the president try to go down that road today.
we should point out though that just a few days ago the director of national intelligence, dan quo, said the warning lights are blinking red. he believes that russia is still a threat and will likely meddle in future elections, one coming up in just a few moments. >> boris, thank you. we'll wait for the president and see if he does triple down or not, continue to dig in, use your words, as the president meets with republican lawmakers. one of the big questions, will they tell trump to his face what so many of their fellow republican colleagues have been saying out in public? here are just some of the republicans slamming the president. >> to create an equivalence between our intelligence agencies and what putin is saying and then for the president to say, why would they do it, russia? well, i mean, it's just such a naive comment. the antics over the last ten days have been damaging to our country. >> president trump was wrong yesterday in a major way, and i
think it was a very embarrassing press conference. you cannot cut deals with the devil and you can never trust russia. >> you can say it's embarrassing, but i don't think that does it sufficient justice. i think it undermines our moral authority. >> i've seen the russian intelligence and, you know, manipulate many people in my career and i never would have thought the u.s. president would be one of them. >> definitely wrong to in any way be suggesting any mild equivalency between the u.s. and russia. to me it's a terrible mistake and he's got to correct it. >> let me add another republican to that list. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, he just made comments. watch. >> over the last few years, the annexation of crimea, the invasion of eastern ukraine not to mention the indisputable evidence that they tried to impact the 2016 election.
so make no mistake about it, i would say to our friends in europe, we understand the russian threat and i think that is a widespread view here in the united states senate among members of both parties. >> so let's start there. i have two people joining me now. cnn's chief political correspondent dana bash and jeffrey edmunds, the former director on the cia military analyst. a lot to get to. dahna, first to you. you've covered capitol hill for years. i want to ask you about what we anticipate from the president in just a second, but how often do you actually hear mitch mcconnell, you know, repudiating the president and all of these republicans, right using words like shameful, disgraceful, name your adjective yet i'm wondering what they'll actually do about
it? >> reporter: well, let's start with where you started, and that is the really remarkable moment we just had with the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell saying what he said. not only repudiating the president saying russia is not our friend and that the evidence is indisputable, but sending a direct message from the united states capital to european and other allies, nato allies that the congress is behind them. i mean, just think about what that means. >> which is in direct contrast from what the president said in calling them foes? >> reporter: exactly. bingo. i >> it's not so hard to read between the lines to say we know our commander in chief did what he did and said what he said, but we are with you because we understand that russia is a potential or a real threat to you, to many nato countries. that's pretty unbelievable. and there are a lot of questions
about what the republicans who run congress can or should or would do, but the fact that the senate majority leader is talking to nato allies effectively trying to make foreign policy around the commander in chief is significant. >> making foreign policy around the commander in chief. jeffrey, just to you on the intelligence angle of this. you heard the white house saying that the president has been, i think his word was fuming, as he's hearing these comments from his fellow republicans, right? he thought he did a -- he thought the meeting was great with vladimir putin until he hopped on air force one and started seeing all of the press and these republicans describing his meeting as disgraceful. what do you anticipate to hear from this president with regard to this country's intelligence community? >> i think he's going to double down on this. >> you do? >> i think what we're seeing
consistently is president trump boils down the health and welfare and national security interests of this country into his own personal issues. i mean, for him to reject the intelligence community assessment is to dismiss hours of work by selfless servants that are not political, that work very hard. fortunately for us these individuals are going to continue to work to provide our leaders with good intelligence because the russians are going to continue to try to meddle in our elections. if you are correct, jim sciutto, you could be, jeffrey. jim sciutto is our cnn chief national security correspondent. if the president tripless down, jeff, we have no reason to believe he wouldn't based on the history of comments he's made with regard to the department of justice, what now? john brennan, right, the former cia chief was saying it's possible that, you know, covert information should be withheld from this president. do you agree with jeffrey, that this could just be worse? >> reporter: well, let's see,
here's the question because i just asked this question on the air ten minutes ago, which is is this moment different, right? because we have been through many controversial moments with this president via his statements and actual decisions where you have had some rumbling of republicans, set aside the democrats or former officials, sitting republicans who are uncomfortable with or somehow criticize the president's remarks. there does seem to be a qualitative level up this time around because to have both the house speaker, speaker ryan, the senate majority leader who have, dahna knows this better than me, who have sometimes i don't want to say pulled their punches but qualified their punches, and to be clear, neither of them mentioned trump specifically but they did vehemently contradict the president on russia to say very quickly russia is a threat, russia interfered and felt the need to reassure their allies, that is remarkable. now i think the real measure
will be is there binding legislation to back up those words. you've already heard some talk about this from our colleagues up on capitol hill talk of an additional round of sanctions by this republican-led congress. i think those are the steps in my view that would mark a significant change from where we have been in the past when republicans have expressed their dissatisfaction with this president, but at least the statements are remarkable, particularly where they're coming from. >> sure. maybe additional sanctions. we're going to talk to a senator out of florida who hopes so but, you know, reality check. you think of who's in the majority in both chambers and, you know, it sounds like from our folks on the hill, we'll get dahna to talk about this in a second, it sounds like maybe it's a resolution supporting the intelligence community's findings and that could be it. >> that would be -- i mean, that's sort of like, as we used to say in new york, that and a token will get you on the
subway. >> right. >> the key with this president is not only has he embarrassed intelligence agencies and the justice department, et cetera, but he has made policy decisions overruling their advice on the iran nuclear deal, on canceling military exercises with south korea. if he's made a deal with russia to withdraw troops from syria, et cetera, the president's very powerful. he can do what he wants to do in the foreign policy sphere and if he does that, you know, all the -- all the non-binding censured resolutions in the world aren't going to get you anywhere. >> let me hit pause on this conversation. jeffrey an dana, i'll come back to you. we're coming back with the comments from the president of the united states. 24 hours after the disgraceful summit, a word so many people are using, republicans and democrats alike, over what happened in helsinki between these two men. actually, i'm being told in my ear let's flip it back over to the senate majority leader mitch
mcconnell still talking. >> over decades that have worked to maintain world peace and to some process by which we can enter into trade agreements and other things so i just think it was important for our friends and allies to hear from us. yes. >> are you concerned about that? were it to forge ahead, there would be the potential for a senate trial. how would you handle that? >> i'm not going to address a hypothetical like that. i think it's pretty farfetched and probably not worthy of comment at this time. >> do you feel like there's trust and republican confidence on how the president has approached russia over the last ten days? >> look, i'm not here to critique anyone else. i'm here to speak for myself, and you've heard from others
this morning who are standing behind me about our views about our friends and allies, and i want them to understand that in this country there are a lot of people in both parties who believe that these alliances painstakingly built in the wake of the end of world war ii are important and we want to maintain them. >> is there anything that congress can or will do to support those alliances or to push back on russia or the president's comments about russia other than just offering words of support? >> well, i mean, there's some possibilities. senator rubio, for example, has got a bill that targets the 2018 elections, the cycle we're right in now with, as i understand t p it, potential penalties if the
russians do it again. there's a possibility we might take up legislation related to this. in the meantime, i think the russians need to know that there are a lot of us who fully understand what happened in 2016 and it really better not happen again in 2018. >> senator mcconnell -- >> there you have it again just to get the senator majority leader, republican, significant that he is speaking to our allies like the president referred to, nato was a foe earlier, or was it last week? and now you have mitch mcconnell saying, no, alliances matter but, again, not mentioning the president by name. we will be hearing from the president momentarily. stand by for that. quick break. you're watching cnn. is this at&t innovations? yeah, wow..this must be for one of our new unlimited wireless plans. it comes with a ton of entertainment options. great, can you sign for this? yeah.
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to fully understand what happened in 2016 and it really better not happen again in 2018. >> we have dana bash, jim sciutto, jeffrey edmunds back with me as we've listened to pretty stunning and significant comments from the senate majority leader there. dana, to you. a couple of points i want to make on what leader mcconnell has said. when he's saying, i'm not here to critique the president, brackets, right, he never mentions trump by names, but he's trying to fix what trump said when he's talking about allies, when he's talking about why allies matter, why isn't he taking a stronger stance? >> reporter: well, that's a very good question. he could. knowing mitch mcconnell and how
he operates, for him this is a pretty strong stance. i can't tell you how many times i have heard from mcconnell and other republicans that it's the president's job to dictate foreign policy, a president's job particularly when they have their own in the white house to dictate foreign policy. obviously the united states congress has a role constitutionally in a lot of ways, and he wanted to make that extremely clear. i mean, the way i just read that, and it was, again, underlining pretty darn strong for mitch mcconnell that he spoke directly to vladimir putin from the united states congress. >> said you better not do it again. >> reporter: not just saying you better not do it again. effectively saying he, the president might not want to admit that you meddled in our elections, interfeared in our elections, but we got your number and we know you did and america is more than just one
commander in chief. that's not how we work here. there's more than one branch. >> so who is, jeffrey, jeffrey, to you, who is putin and also our allies, who are they supposed to listen to? the president of the united states or leader mcconnell? >> i think that the russian leadership perspective there is this recognition that this is a large body in washington, d.c., that is set against russian meddling and is very serious. there have been some additional sanctions that have been thrown in place. there was an initial period of excitement where they thought president trump had come in and certainly fixed the relationship. i think they've settled in on the best that they can do is get some kind of favorable view from president trump at this point. >> jim sciutto -- >> reporter: brooke, let's not under estimate the importance. he got his propaganda. the leader of the free world stand next to him, doubt his security establishment and that really is a large part of what
russia wants to accomplish in the u.s. if you look at much of the way they interfered in the election and since then stoking division, black lives matter, take a knee, nra, finding divisive issues in groups to divide the country, trump echos many of those points. he does -- he does putin's work for him in that sphere of division and undermining confidence in u.s. institutions. so he got that victory already. now -- >> and he still has division in washington. >> reporter: well, in the country as a whole, not just in washington but in the senate. in addition to saying, russia, you better not interfere, the seven nate may take up legislation is significant. as mitch mcconnell, dana knows this better than me, does not take up legislation that's not in the party orthodoxy.
if they're willing to sanction russia, they do hurt further, that will be consequential. >> dana bash, give me the menu of options that this congress has in punishing russia. >> reporter: well, there's punishing, actually punishing, like jim was just talking about, passing legislation the majority leader mentioned that marco rubio has legislation which is more forward looking saying -- but more of a threat, that if we find out russia did meddle in the upcoming mid-term elections in november of this year, then there will be more putative sanctions. some say we don't want to wait for that. we want to do more punitive sanctions now. there is a publication, "the weekly standard" i know you know this. >> sen sukren suring the presid >> they're calling on republicans, as you said, to
censure the president for his behavior on the world stage and his remarks and his attitude towards his own intelligence agencies and so forth standing next to vladimir putin. i wouldn't hold my breath on that one. then there are frankly the toothless options which are resolutions condemning putin supporting the intelligence agencies and when i say toothless, it's because they have -- they have -- there's no law that they're going to pass. it would be, frankly, more words that we've heard but just in a more formal setting because it would be in the congressional record. >> let me ask everyone to stand by. we now know that the press pool has entered the room at the white house where the president will be speaking. we'll turn that around. we'll get that for everyone as soon as possible here after his stunning summit with vladimir putin in helsinki. quick break. we're back after this. smart home technology...meet beautiful window coverings.
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the others? nope! get internet on our gig-speed network and add voice and tv for $34.90 more per month. call or go on line today. we can report that the president is now speaking to members of the press. this is ahead of his meeting with republicans at the white house happening right this very moment. and so as he's speaking to the press, full disclosure to you, we're getting bits and pieces of some of the news that the president is making. we have our first bit of information which is this, the president is standing there saying that he has full faith and support for america's intelligence agencies. so let me bring my panel back, jim sciutto, jeffrey edmunds. they're both still with me. jeffrey edmunds, to you first, former cia military analyst, when you hear that, dana bash
back with us as well, when you hear that, when you juxtapose that from what we heard just yesterday in helsinki, what are you thinking? >> i'm thinking it seems rather incoherent to me. he said this yesterday, he trusted the intelligence community, but i don't see how you can have 17 organizations with thousands of people with incredible training, our nation's best people on this problem and get an assessment from them and then turn and say, well, putin told me he didn't do it. it's just incoherent to me. >> is this cleanup, jim sciutto? >> reporter: he didn't say that yesterday. he didn't say that. >> he said the opposite. >> reporter: he said the opposite. he made the clearest statement possible he doesn't have faith in his intelligence agencies. >> later on in a tweet. >> reporter: exactly. he stood next to the man who orchestrated the interference and doubted those agency's competent assessment that that interference took place and, in fact, was orchestrated by the man standing next to him. the words don't match whatever
words he's saying now. >> let me jump in because we're getting -- as i'm talking to you, we're getting a little more information. this is how this is going to work. the president also has said i accept our intelligence community conclusion that meddling took place and then he said, there was no collusion. >> reporter: two words, brooke, damage control. this is about as far as you can maybe imagine with a president like this who tends to, as we're talking about before we started to hear some of the things that the president is saying, to -- to the pool, that he tends to double down, triple down on whatever it is that he has said that has outraged people in his party and around the world and in this case, at least from what we're hearing so far, he's -- he's actually seems to be getting the crisis that is unparalleled probably in his presidency and even in modern times that he caused with those
comments. jim, you're absolutely right. they completely fly in the face of what he said yesterday, what he's apparently saying today but that is why the term damage control exists, because a politician or somebody in a position of power realizes they messed up and this is -- sounds like this is about as far as we have ever seen or heard the president admit that. >> what's more important -- >> too little too late. jim? >> reporter: more important time. more consequential time. the more courageous time to express that confidence in u.s. intelligence community is when you're standing on the world stage. >> reporter: no question. >> reporter: next to the leader of the world power. i know you agree. whatever damage control the president or his team thinks they're accomplishing, the consequential moment was yesterday or in fact the previous week when he was meeting with u.s. allies who were concerned about the russia threat and was singling out u.
stmpt s. allies. that was the consequential time. so it's a difficult hole to dig yourself out from after missing that opportunity be at this. >> let me add one more point to this. gloria borger is joining us. to recap the bits and pieces. the president says he has full faith and confidence in the community. he says there was no collusion. dana says total damage control. what say you? >> reporter: i don't think it's enough. he'll blame the media. we're waiting for that. >> yeah. >> reporter: i think, look, he understands that everybody, including his best friends, are saying that he was an embarrassment yesterday and he doesn't like that. so he is saying, you know, i trust our intelligence agencies, but by the way, i'm not giving up on this, there was no
collusion because he can't get past his own nose. so he really -- i mean, it may be an attempt to try and walk things back and for donald trump, as dana says, is probably a lot but, you know. >> what good -- honestly, what good does it do? he stood next to vladimir putin. he said he was powerful in his denial of any election meddling and we should stop using the word meddling, by the way, because it was an attack on the united states of america, an attack on our democracy. meddling makes it sound too tiny. >> i think it's the word he used. >> exactly. exactly. that's the only word he will use. so i think, yeah, it's an attempt to walk it back because everybody on his staff was fl flummexed. they had to do something but he can't quite get to the 100%, right? he can't mention -- he can't mention russia hacking into the election without mentioning the word collusion because when all
is said and done, it just comes back to donald trump personally. >> let me get more of an international perspective. nic robertson is still live in helsinki right where the president made those disgraceful comments standing with vladimir putin and i'm wondering, jim sciutto was absolutely spot on in saying it's one thing where he could have said, you know, that russia, his word, meddled, the proper word, gloria's word, attacked the elections. should have said it standing next to putin now is saying it to a closed door room with reporters. do you agree that criticizing putin now just doesn't have the same effect? >> reporter: it doesn't. the damage is done. what he said yesterday did the damage. look, if we wind back a couple of days it was theresa may. he undermined her in a tabloid new hampshi newspaper criticizing her utterly undermining her. he stood next to her and
apologized and said he supported the prime minister. yesterday she had a vote and just got through changing her brexit plan 303 votes to 300. only just got through. one of the reasons she was so undermined by president trump days earlier. what he says has an impact. what he said yesterday has an impact. it resonated with his allies in europe. both brittain and germany have had their elections attacked in the same way the united states has. if president trump had said to president putin, don't do it again, we know what you're doing, there would have been a round of applause with his european allies today. we were struck by the sound of silence. why? because there was nothing to applaud president trump for there. would have been plenty to applaud him for had he told president putin not to do it again because the europeans are being attacked in the same way. the united states allies woke today to the realization they've been talking about this today to the realization that if
president trump doesn't listen to his own national security advisors, why do they believe he could listen to them y. should they believe that the united states will look out for their national security interests? that gulf of trust has been opened up. you just do not walk that back by standing next to somebody as he did with theresa may or standing up as he will alone and saying, actually, i meant something else. it's happened. the impact is there. the words have been said. you don't take it back from here. >> by the way, whose interest does that division and that lack of confidence in the u.s. -- >> putin. putin. >> reporter: they are, in fact, part of russia's express strategy to do exactly that. >> no, i keep sitting here listening to nic, jeffrey, what must putin be thinking now? >> to jim and nic's point, the other part of this that president trump missed was an opportunity -- opportunity to clearly communicate to putin that if he does a, we'll respond with b.
this is completely unacceptable. it's one thing to now come out and say, okay, gee, he accepts the assessment now. he totally missed the opportunity to deter what they're going to do which is interfere with our internal politics. i think from putin's perspective, one, he said -- the agreement to have the summit was a victory. yesterday was even a bigger victory. i think they're going to continue to undermine western institutions as much as they can. >> go ahead, dana or gloria. gloria. >> reporter: why would we consider it a huge deal that the president of the united states is finally saying that he has faith in his own intelligence community? i mean, it's kind of shocking that we now think oh, this is news. >> how many days into the presidency are we? who's keeping count? that this is finally happening. >> reporter: it is stunning that it is news that any president says that he has support of his own intelligence community,
never mind his own appointed director of national intelligence. of course. but that's the world we're living in. >> true. >> reporter: and there's no excuse and there's no question that the damage is done and it's been done in a way that is absolutely irreparable, but the fact is that for those of us, and all of us have been, watching and studying and trying to figure out donald trump, the fact that he has at least a little bit moved backwards, a little bit made clear that he understands that the whole world thinks that he is an embarrassment, never mind his own country, i mean, it wasn't a given that this is the way he would react. i just want to say that. it was not a given. >> yeah. let me jump in with a bit more. we're getting more nuggets of what the president is saying. again, if you're just joining us, this is the president speaking right now in the white house to the press pool and so the president has also now said my administration will repel any
effort to interfere in our elections and then he said, i can tell you -- for give me. i'm reading bits and pieces. i can tell you trump apparently ignored this question will you publicly condemn putin. so those two bits of news but, floor yeah, if we go back to the first point about repelling interference in our elections, again, that is news, right? not only is he now finally saying he is agreeing with his own -- our country's intelligence community, now he's saying repelling any effort. >> reporter: i would say he had a huge opportunity to repel any efforts when he met with vladimir putin. this is why i think it's so important that congress get a debriefing from the translator and get the notes and debrief the national security officials because i think that we -- you know, we need to know exactly what the president said to putin
privately. because we know what he said publicly, which was so weak. now he's backtracking as dana says, but what did he say directly to vladimir putin? i doubt he said we will repel you. >> reporter: but also, brooke, the thing is the words mean nothing without action, right? you know, repel would be significant because the rez has not said that, but we also know that the directors of all of the intelligence agencies, nsa, dni, fbi testified before the senate some weeks ago that they had not been directed by this president to take action to repel attacks. has he now directed his intelligence chiefs to do so? what actions specifically? he can say it every day, but if the u.s. government is not being ordered to act as such, the president not issuing those orders, it doesn't mean anything. he can say he has confidence in his intelligence agencies, but his actions on a number of fronts belie that, frankly, for instance what he said next to
president putin blowing up an iran nuclear deal that his intelligence agencies advised him that he was complying with, canceling military exercises with south korea. he's taken substantive moves that have indicated whether or not he has confidence or says he has confidence in intelligence agencies, he does not accept their recommendations. the question is, what does he do. >> embolden the russians when you think about it. there's no consequence here. he hasn't denounced anything so why would they expect him to do anything in the future. >> on the note of doing anything in the future, you have to imagine that putin is absolutely emboldened. the mid-term elections are in a couple of months and this ongoing attacking of u.s. elections. dana, going back to where we started and listening to the senate majority leader, to your point that is the strongest we've seen from him without mentioning trump by name. i'm wondering if we heard the color that the president was
fuming, hearing that a number of represent karchs are, you know, coming out with these strong statements in the wake of what we saw, what can congress? what can republicans do to perhaps put some punch behind these words that trump is delivering right now? >> well, they can -- going back to what mitch mcconnell said -- really pass the piece of legislation that looks forward to 2018 to this year's elections, november's elections that threatens russia, if you do this again, there will be further sanctions. that would be the way congress would deal with that. now to jim's point, congress doesn't need to do it. i mean, the president could do it with the stroke of a pen right now preemptively instead of after the fact. i can't imagine that happening but, you know -- yeah. and then the other thing that they can do is something that gloria just mentioned. this isn't about action towards
russia, this is more information gathering which is very important, which -- and that is to try to find out what exactly the president said to vladimir putin behind closed doors. that would be extraordinary. i would even go as far as saying probably unprecedented. >> how would they get that information? >> subpoenaing the translator. that would be -- as i said, that would be extraordinary and probably unprecedented but if there is that much concern and we know there is a lot of concern about what the president said to vladimir putin in private given the fact that he was so soft in public, to say the least, in public -- >> yeah. right. >> reporter: you know, they could also -- by the way, they could also protect the mueller investigation. >> yeah. >> reporter: they could also pass legislation that says the president is not allowed to fire mueller or anybody else dealing with the full completion of the investigation gnat russian
hacking of the election and so, you know, there are democrats who have wanted to do this. well, republicans can do this as well. >> hang on, jim. hang on, jim. nic robertson has been patiently waiting. he's in helsinki. i think you wanted to jump in earlier. go ahead. >> reporter: i did. one of the other things the allies are worried about. gloria and dana are bringing it up. what did president trump say behind closed doors? he's only tried to walk back that that we know. the 2:10 that we don't know about we have no idea what might be necessary to walk back there, and that's troubling for the allies this time as well. i'm sure that the united states allies, the diplomats that represent these countries will have had conversations similar to jim have had and i have had with senior officials. one senior official recently
told me that, you know, he was charged with determining and watching and trying to track cyber intrusions and attacks from china, from russia, from north korea into the united states. he hadn't been given guidance which of those countries to prioritize. there he is with a huge task and no idea what the administration would like him to prioritize. i think one of the other fundamental points we're at, this is a much bigger issue, but it goes to the conversation that president trump and putin had at the g-20 last year, there was something that was a conclusion but nothing has been done about t and that is for there to be an international determination on what is a cyber attack. we all know what an attack of war looks like. big guns reining, civilians all forces. cyber attacks are something that we haven't decided what is an attack, what is an attack on our national strategic security interests, what is an attack on our democracy. the red lines and consequences
of those red lines have not been sort of formalized internationally. so, you know, there is a clear need to do that by the united states so the united states should be in many people's opinion leading the way on this, leading the way with president putin, leading the way for the north koreans, leading the way with the chinese to put up very clear markers, lines in the sand. cross these lines and these are the consequences. that's where we -- that is where we're at. cyber attacks are no longer a serious sci-fi potential. they're a reality and they're undermining our democracy and president putin has been behind it so far. >> here's what i'm wondering, too, in going back to could congress or could people ever find out what was said between these two men during this meeting. dahna mentioned maybe this extreme effort of subpoenaing the tlantsors. jim, do you think it would be possible? again, he wasn't in the room but i assume he would be briefed,
the secretary of state, pompeo, could he be called to the hill to brief lawmakers on what happened? >> listen, he could be but second pompeo was asked questions and he's now secretary of state. i can't tell you a moment i've ever heard him criticize this president by name so -- and i could imagine him declaring executive privilege on some of those conversations. so i don't know that that would be the source where you would get a reliable indicator of what was said in that room. i agree with dana and gloria. it would be a serious step to call a translator. they view that role as supremely apolitical, professional, private. they've been privy to a lot of private conversations but boy would that be a remarkable step. is this a moment where you have a republican controlled congress take that step in possibly.
but i think a lot of what the president is trying to do now on this meeting is take some of the air out of that sort of pressure. >> sure. >> we'll see. >> if you're just joining us we have this great panel going and having this whole conversation going as we're getting dribs and drabs from the president of the united states who's back home at the white house in the wake of what happened between the president and slat mir putin. a couple of headlines if you're just tuning in. we'll be getting this actual tape and we'll turn it for you so you can hear from trump himself. the headlines, he says, my administration will repel any effort to interfere in our elections. apparently a question was shouted about will you publicly condemn putin and trump ignored that question. trump saying i have full faith and support for america's television agencies, again, in stark contrast for what we saw
yesterday in helsinki. i accept our intelligence community's clugs that meddling took place. there was no collusion. dana is saying, damage control. one minute away from getting this tape, dana. just you'll make that point again for me and then we'll listen to the president. >> reporter: yeah, that this is not a president who does anything conventionally in politics and trying to clean up his messes is probably among the top things that he does unconventionally, meaning he doesn't do it. jim and gloria have said very eloquently, there's no cleaning up this mess. he had the moment. he had advice from all corners of the globe on how to deal with vladimir putin in public. >> here he is, the president. >> thank you, everybody. yesterday i returned from a trip from europe where i met with leaders from across the region to seek a more peaceful future for the united states.
we're working very hard with our allies and all over the world we're working. we're going to have peace. that's what we want. that's what we're going to have. i say peace through strength. i have helped the nato alliance greatly by increasing contributions by over $44 billion and secretary sultanberg was fantastic. as you know, he reported that they've never had an increase like this in their history and nato was actually going down as opposed to going up. i increased it by my meeting last year, $44 billion and this year will be over -- it'll be hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming years. and i think there's great unity with nato. there's a lot of very positive things happening. there's a great spirit that we didn't have before and there's a lot of money that they're footing. they weren't paying their bills on time and now they're doing
that. i want to just say thank you very much to secretary sultanberg. he was terrific. we had a tremendous success. i also had meetings with prime minister may concerning our specsal relationship. that's between the united kingdom and ourselves. we met with the queen who is absolutely a terrific person where she reviewed her honor guard for the first time in 70 years, they tell me. we walked in front of the underguard and that was very inspiring to see and be with her. the relationship, i can truly say, is a good one. she was very, very inspiring, indeed. most recently i returned from helsinki, finland, and i was going to give a news conference over the next couple of days about the tremendous success because as successful as nato was, i think this was our most
successful visit and that had to do, as you know, with russia. i met with russian president vladimir putin in an attempt to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing humanity. we have never been in a worse relationship with russia than we are as of a few days ago, and i think that's gotten substantially better and i think it has the possibility of getting much better. i used to talk about this during the campaign. getting along with russia would be a good thing. getting along with china would be a good thing. not a bad thing, a good thing. in fact, a very good thing. we are nuclear powers. russia and us have 90% of the nuclear weapons. i've always felt getting along is a positive thing, and not just for that reason. i entered the meeting with the firm conviction that diplomacy and engagement is better than hostility and conflict and i feel that with everybody. we have 29 members in nato as an
example and i have great relationships or at least very good relationships with everybody. the press covered it quite inaccurately. they said i insulted people. well, if asking for people to pay up money that they are supposed to pay is insulting, maybe i did, but i can tell you when i left everybody was thrilled and that's the way this was, too. my meeting with president putin was really interesting in so many different ways because we haven't had relationships with russia for a long time. and we started. let me begin by saying that, once again, the full faith and support for america's intelligence agencies, i have a full faith in our intelligence agencies. woops, they just turned off the light. that must be the intelligence agencies. there it goes. okay. you guys okay? good.
that was strange. but that's okay. so i'll begin by stating that i have full faith and support for america's great intelligence agencies. always have. and i have felt very strongsly that while russia's actions had no impact at all on the outcome of the election, let me be totally clear in saying that -- and i've said this many times, i accept our intelligence community's conclusion that russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place. could be other people also. there's a lot of people out there. there was no collusion at all, and people have seen that and they've seen it strongly. the house has already come out strongly on that. i thought that i made myself very clear by having just
reviewed the transcript. i said, what's going on? what's the big idea? i had a transcript and i actually went out and reviewed a clip of an answer that i gave and i realize that there is need for some clarification. it should have been obvious, i thought it would be obvious but i would like to clarify just in case it wasn't, in a key sentence in my remarks i said the word would instead of wouldn't. the sentence should have been, i don't see any reason why i wouldn't or why it wouldn't be russia. so just to repeat it, i said the word would instead of wouldn't and the sentence should have been -- and i thought it would be maybe a little bit unclear on the transcript or unclear on the actual video. the sentence should have been, i don't see any reason why it wouldn't be russia.
sort of a double negative. so you can put that in, and i think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself. i have on numerous occasions noted our intelligence findings that russians attempted to interfere in our elections. unlike previous administrations. my administration as it will move aggressively to repeal any efforts and repel. we will stop it. we will repel it. any efforts to interfere in our elections. we're doing everything in our power to prevent russian interference in 2018 and we have a lot of power. as you know, president obama was given information just prior to the election, the last election, 2016, and they decided not to do anything about it. the reason they decided hillary
clinton was going to win the election. they didn't think it was a big deal. when i won the election they thought it was a big deal and all of a sudden they went into action so it was given that in sharp contrast to the way it should be. and president obama along with brep than, clapper, the whole group that you see on television probably getting paid a whole lot of money from the networks, they knew about the interference by russia in november and they totally buried it. they buried it because they thought that hrk was going to win. turned out it didn't happen that way. by contrast, we're taking a very firm stance on a strong action. we're going to take strong action to secure our election systems and the process. furthermore, as has been stated
it and we've stated it previously on many occasions, no collusion. yesterday we made significant progress forward resolving some of the biggest problems. when i met with him for 2 1/2 hours we talked about numerous things, and among those things are the problems that you see in the middle east, we're very much involved. i entered the -- our economy is booming and our military is being funded this year. 700 this year, $715 billion next year. it will be more powerful of a military we've ever had before. president putin and i spoke about the civil war in syria and the need for