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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  July 19, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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tonight, the president still struggling to clean up the mess from their first meeting in helsinki. not so incredible. after mr. trump left the door open to letting russia interrogate americans, the white house now says he disagrees with the offer he found so intriguing and even incredible three days ago. putin's talk, the russian military is putting on video of mus nuclear and other weapon that is the russian leader has touted as invincible. why is he going there just days after the helsinki summit? tax summit. new calls for the president to release his tax returns as critics wonder if russia has any financial dirt on him. zbh we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. iep wolf blitzer. you' you're in "the situation room."
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breaking news tonight. after one of the most widely criticized sum ed summits in mo u.s. history, president trump and vladimir putin apparently want to do it all over again, the white house revealing that talks are now underway for holding a second summit in the fall, this as the president's top intelligence official admits he still doesn't know what was said during a private meeting between the two leaders on monday. dan coats publicly discussing his concerns that mr. trump sided against him and with putin in helsinki. this hour, i'll talk with democratic senator ben carden and mark sanford. our correspondents and analysts are also standing by. let's go to jeff zeleny. the summit fallout continues as round two is now in the works. >> reporter: the white house clearly doubling down on this idea of building a new relationship with vladimir putin, the white house announcing it's extending a new
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invitation for vladimir putin to come here in the fall. we do not know if that would be before or after the midterm elections but that is a central question, because u.s. intelligence officials say that russia is still trying to interfere in u.s. elections. but the nation's top spy chief, when he was told about this, he had two words to say. say what? the u.s. intelligence chief saying tonight he had to correct president trump's incorrect claim russia had no role in attacking american democracy. >> it was important to take that stand on behalf of the intelligence community and the american people. >> reporter: dan coats, the president's hand picked director of national intelligence, said american leaders must speak forcefully about russia's ongoing threat to u.s. elections. >> it's undeniable that the russians are taking the lead on this. basically they are the ones that are trying to undermine our basic values and divide us with our allies. they are trying to wreak havoc
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over our election process. we need to call them out on that. it's critical. >> reporter: coats also said it was a mistake for trump to meet privately with vladimir putin. >> if he had asked me how that ought to be conducted, i would have suggested a different way. but that's not my role. >> reporter: asked whether he considered resigning, coats said this? >> as long as i'm able to have the ability to seek the truth and speak the truth, i'm on board. >> reporter: the extraordinary comments came as trump invited putin to the white house for a second meeting amid another reversal from the helsinki summit. trump said he now disagrees about letting russians interrogate americans,three days after he praised putin's idea. >> what he did is an incredible
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offer. he offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. >> reporter: what the president twice called incredible on monday was still being considered yesterday at the white house. >> the president is going to meet with his team and we'll let you know. >> reporter: even as the state department rejected the idea. >> is that the oval assertions that have come out of the russian government are absurd. the fact that they want to question 11 american citizen. >> reporter: mike pompeo weighing in today after being silent since the summit. >> the administration is not going to force americans to travel to russia to be interrogated by vladimir putin and his team. >> reporter: for the third straight the dday, the west win scrambled. the white house pulled the plug on allowing moscow to question certain americans including michael mcfaul and bill browder.
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speaking to kate bolduan, browder said putin wants to kill him. >> i believe that i'm putin's number one foreign enemy. some people have scoffed at that. >> reporter: sanders said it was a proposal made in sincerity by president putin but president trump disagrees with it. >> that is neither the policy nor the practice of the united states to submit our citizens, let alone our ambassadors to the interrogation of a foreign adversary. >> reporter: the president taking no responsibility for the diplomatic debacle the summit has become, instead placing blame on a familiar target. the fake news media wants to see a confrontation. they are pushing so hard and hate the fact that i'll probably
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have good relationship with putin. putin was singing a strikingly similar tune. >> translator: we see there are forces in the united states that are prepared to casualty sacrifice russia/u.s. relations, to sacrifice them for their ambitions in the course of an internal political battle. >> reporter: time magazine making the point on its cover, showing the faces of the two leaders morphing into one. now it's been since 2005 since vladimir putin visited the white house. of course, so much as changed since then. now, there's been no word from the kremlin if he's accepted this invitation, but it's hard to imagine he would not. he was thrilled by that meeting in helsinki. the questions are why not didn't people inside the administration know about this? dan coats, of course, the head of the national intelligence, i've asked white house officials why he was taken off guard by this, why he was surprised by this. they don't have an answer. he was traveling, of course.
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but certainly you could see the look on his face when he was asked the question, did not know about it. the only question remaining now, if it's before or after the election. one thing is clear. this will be a central election issue going forward. >> he might not have known about the second meeting now in the works, but he says three days after the first summit he doesn't know what happened in that first meeting with the president and putin either. all very, very shocking indeed. president trump is finally dismissing putin's so-called incredible offer after top members of his own administration insisted it wasn't going to happen. elise, the president had lunch with mike pompeo, the secretary of state today. you heard what he had to say. do you think he convinced the president this notion of allowing american citizens, including a former u.s. ambassador to russia, to be interrogated by the russians is a horrible idea? >> i think secretary pompeo and
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others had to explain to the president what an audacious and outrageous suggestion this is that not only would american citizens be handed over to the russians for interrogation, but in this country the u.s. does not launch these interrogations and investigations against political adversaries like bill browder is to president trump. i think in the light of day, the state department was able to explain to the president that this is not something -- i'm sure secretary pompeo had a lot to do with it. >> it's hard to believe the director of national intelligence said three days later he still doesn't know what happened at the first summit. >> i don't know what happened in that meeting. i think as time goes by -- and the president has already mentioned some things that happened in that meeting -- i think we will learn more. but that is the president's prerogative. if he had asked me how that ought to be conducted, i would have suggested a different way.
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but that's not my role. that's not my job. it is what it is. >> what are you hearing? >> well, wolf, not a lot of people know. in fact, nobody really knows what happened in that room. secretary pompeo had lunch with president trump today. they did talk about the meeting. but officials i've spoken to say they have no clue what happened in the meeting. what officials are saying is, listen, he hasn't articulated anything to us, he hasn't given any instructions. so for now, there's no change in policy. so people that are so worried that he gave away the store to president trump, he hasn't told anybody. there were no agreements made during those bigger delegations between the u.s. and russia right before the meeting. so more ffor now it's status qu >> it's pretty amazing that three days later top official
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versofficials have not been briefed. the meeting took place in the presidential palace in helsinkh. i assume that room was wired as well. but top officials are still in the dark. now there's talk of a second summit. >> president trump had said he wants to invite president putin again. there's talk that it could be on the sidelines in washington after the u.n. general assembly. the danger is not only is president trump still cleaning up the mess from this summit, but that will just continue if he continues to go further into putin's embrace, we'll just continue to give him tension between his opposition here with congress, with the american. and it's not good for president putin either. he thinks he's getting what he wants from president trump. but this is going to handicap the cooperation they could do together on nuclear weapons.
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and over time president putin is not going to be able to get what he wants from president trump because president trump will have to face opposition not only from his opponents but from his own party. >> joining us now is senator ben carden, a top democrat on the senate foreign relations committee. what does it say to you that the administration took three days to reject the idea which the president initially twice called an incredible offer from the russians to interrogate u.s. citizens including mike mcfaul, the former u.s. ambassador to russia? >> there's so much that happened in helsinki that's just unbelievable. the president should have rejected out of hand any request from russia to interrogate american citizens. particularly a former ambassador
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to russia, that should have been rejected out of hand. it was the president of the united states senate ready to pass a resolution saying no way, the president backtracked on what he thought was a good idea three days ago. >> putin wants to get his hand on bill browder who pushed for the magnitsky act to punish russian officials for violating human rights. >> it shows that the magnitsky act is working, it is doing what we intended. that is russia created human rights violations against many magnitsky. they killed him. what they did against mr. browder, that was all orchestrated by the putin government. that's the reason why we passed originally the magnitsky act. it's now a global magnitsky act. i worked with senator mccain to get that done. we did that to make it clear that the fruits of their corruption could not be hidden
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in the hides aunited states and be denied the opportunity to visit the united states. it's working. putin despises that law and it's having an impact. >> they're already preparing for a second summit in the fall with vladimir putin right here in washington. john bolton was instructed to go ahead and issue the formal invitation to putin. what's your reaction? >> wolf, we first need to understand what happened at the first summit. we saw the president's news conference. it was shocking to all of us. clearly we knew that in moscow they were smiling and in the white house they were scrambling to either deal with the mistakes that were made. let's find out what happened in that room. it's shocking that the director of national intelligence to this moment still doesn't know. what happened in that room between mr. putin and president trump. congress has a responsibility to find out what happened, what the
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conversations were. we need to know that before you set up a second summit. it's clear that mr. trip was um not prepared for the first. certainly he was not prepared for his news conference. let's make sure we understand what was done in helsinki before we have another meeting. >> do you support efforts by some members of your own party to subpoena the american interpreter from the helsinki summit? >> i believe we need to know what happened in that room. obviously the interpreter has that information. we need to know what happened in that room. congress has that responsibility. >> you don't know now, but how concerning is it that the president's own national security top aides including the director of national intelligence dan coats, they don't know what happened three days ago in helsinki. >> two things about that, mr. coats' acknowledgment he doesn't know what happened.
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but also he was pretty clear. for the sake of national security, the way that meeting was conducted, just the two leaders without the preparation, without the others present, that's something that jeopardized our national security. that's what mr. coats was saying. he may not have said it directly, but that meeting should never have taken place in that format. >> he was suggesting that mike pompeo or john bolton or the u.s. ambassador to russia, someone snouhould have been in t meeting with the president, taking notes, making sure there would be a full report to other national security officials of what happened. senator carden, thank you so much for joining us. just ahead, a republican take on trump and putin as the white house keeps trying to dig itself out of a post summit mess. i'll speak with congressman mark sanford about that. he's joining us live. he has deep concerns that the president may be hiding
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tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. woman 6: need more proof? woman 7: ask your rheumatologist about humira. man 1: what's your body of proof? we're back with breaking news. the president's. top intelligence official says he still doesn't know what happened behind closed doors when mr. trump met privately with vladimir putin three days ago. mr. coats also acknowledging he was in the dark about a second summit in the fall here in washington. decisions are now underway for a
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putin visit to washington in the fall. joining me, republican congressman mark sanford. this week's concerns about the summit prompted him to renew his call for the president to release his tax returns. tell us what happened at the summit this week that worried you so much and why it has anything to do with the president's tax returns. >> well, to state the obvious, most people -- and this isn't just a media thing -- but i literally had a friend of mine send me a photoshop picture of putin in black s & m gear walking his dog -- and his dog was president trump -- on a learn. the degree to which the president, who can be bombastic and forceful, was absolutely compliant and deferential to putin. there's a question out there in
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anybody's mind, which is why. he'll talk harshly against nato allies, merkel or may, go down the list of world leaders on that front, but complete compliance and deference to putin. why? one thing that stands out is that this president unlike any other president for the past 50 years has not released his tax returns. could there be information there that would be illuminating? if there's no "there" there, we would all know it. >> what are you hearing from other republicans? >> people don't want to rattle the cages. and i get that, given my own election. there's a danger to doing so. but again, this has nothing to do at the end of the day with
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helsinki but everything to do with, one, the value of the president's word. it was the president himself who said as a candidate that he would release his tax returns. two, it's about a 50-year tradition, whether or not we continue that going forward. three, i was a former governor. twice as i got the nomination for the governorship, i released my tax returns. believe me, if it's no longer released at the presidential level, gubernatorial candidates across this country will not release theirs. we already see this happening here in south carolina. i think it's a big issue. in this case, it's particularly important given the way that everyone is dismayed that i've talked to, republican and democratic alike, with why in the world did the president act as he did at helsinki in his level of deference to putin? i think that again tax returns tell a lot of things that the
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financial disclosure requirements that we have as federal candidates do not. you could have an offshore account. you wouldn't pick it up in the fec reports, but you would pick it up on a tax return. there's huge rang i just think there are questions that would be answered. >> do you suspect that those tax returns would show financial deals with russia in years past? >> i don't have a clue. well, it's not improbable given the fact that the miss universe contest and other things were held in russia and the president was deeply involved in those things during that time. so it could well be and it's probable that there might be. again, if you want to clear up a problem, get information out
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there. transparency is the ultimate disinfectant in life. being transparent on what he has promised to do on this front, would help this administration. >> i was in helsinki on monday. it's interesting that president of the united states sided with putin on monday over the u.s. intelligence comment on this whole notion of russia interfering in the u.s. presidential elections. how do you explain that even though since then he's backed away? >> you don't. it is inexplicable. it is at odds with what any president has done in the past, whether that's nixon -- i mean, go down the list of people. we've never before had this kind of response to a foreign leader, particularly an adversarial leader. it is inexplicable. that's why i think it's that much more important that there be an added measure of
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transparency that would answer the questions out there and go a long way to clearing up the gray. this would clear that you have so you don't have that specter haunting the administration. >> this morning the president was tweeting quite a bit. he's clearly angry at the news media's coverage of this summit. let me read a line that really jumped out at me and i'll get your reaction. the summit with russia was a great success except with the real enemy of the people, the fake news media. here he's saying the real enemy of the american people is the fake news media. how do you explain that? >> you can't. again, as any elected person is going to have stories they don't like. i can give you a lot of stories i didn't like over my time in office. but there's an incredible value
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to holding people accountable with the media. is there a bias at times? absolutely. is there a bias i don't agree with at times? absolutely. have i gotten inaccurate stories over the course of my time in politics? absolutely. again, one of the tenants the founding fathers laid out was the need for a vibrant and healthy fourth branch of government, if you will, and that's the media. the idea of true fake news in russia, where you have state run media that gives entirely fake news, is at odds with the tradition we've had in this country where there are a whole host of choices ranging from fox to msnbc. to label media as something other than it is, i think is dangerous and a problem. >> i'll leave you with this thought. he also tweeted the fake news media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with russia,
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even a confrontation that could lead to war. that's a pretty outrageous accusation against the news media. congressman, thank you so much for joining us. >> my pleasure, sir. just ahead, the deputy attorney general of the united states is now announcing a new cyber security policy. what is he saying about russian interference and why russia is touting its so-called invincible weapons right now. ♪ if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,
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we have breaking news. the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein is warning that russia's cyber attacks on the 2016 election were just part of a growing threat designed to undermine american democracy. the justice department is now releasing a new report warning of future ballot fraud and cyber operations targeting political campaigns and officials here in the united states. our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto is over in aspen where this summit is taking place. rosenstein, i take it is speaking at the aspen security forum right now. what are we hearing? >> reporter: it's remarkable. during a week in which the president has repeatedly expressed doubts about the assessment of russia's interference in the election, here you have another hard
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indicator from another senior u.s. national security official, and one that was also appointed by this president. listen to the way he describes not just the past russian threat to the 2016 election, but the ongoing, the current ongoing threat. he says that it's persistent and per vase i pervasive, this russian interference. this is coming as part of the doj's cyber digital task force report. you referenced a couple of examples there of what they cite as russian attempts to interfere. listen to this list. it includes future ballot fraud, the possibility that russia may take the step of actually interfering in vote counting, truly an alarming process, as well as cyber operations targeting political campaigns and officials, disinformation to influence public opinion as well as the overuse of lobbyists and foreign media to influence u.s.
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policy makers, a broad ranging and continuing attempt to interfere in u.s. politics. listen to how he described it. i'm going to read the quote here. apologies for this. he said the following. he said russian intelligence officers did not stumble onto the ideas of hacking american companies and posting misleading messages. because they had a free afternoon, it is what they do every day. keep that in mind, every day, continuing threat here. of course, rod rosenstein is getting into the response, what are they going to do to respond to this. he lays out a number of steps. one is that the doj is going to expose where they can just where this malign influence is coming from. for instance, if you have fake news -- i'm talking about true fake news here, not that which the president would often use to
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target us -- but russian troll farms, made-up stories about political candidates et cetera, that the doj will make efforts to call this out, say this news is being made up by russian operatives. they also talk about taking a step, which they haven't to this point, which is to alert victims and targets of this foreign influence. in other words, don't wait until after the fact. if you believe that russian intelligence agents are trying to zero in on a political candidate, on a lobbyist here, on anyone, they may take the step of calling this person, alerting them to this as it is happening. again, showing that they want to get on top of this quickly. they don't want to wait to look back and discover it. they want to prevent it as it's happening. >> jim, thank you very much. let's dig deeper with our correspondents and analysts. john kirby, all this coming as
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the director of national intelligence now acknowledging, now admitting he doesn't know what happened at the first summit three days ago, hasn't been briefed on that puti putin/donald trump meeting. and he was taken by surprise when a reporter told them they're working on a second summit in the fall. >> i don't know what's more ridiculous that he didn't know or that the invite had been extended. both are equally ridiculous. we're talking about now sitting down again with putin with no clear agenda with the leader of a nation who trump's own national security strategy listed as adversarial and working to undermine american national interests. this is crazy. >> listen to how he finessed it. he was very honest when he was informed of the breaking news about a second summit. >> the white house has announced on twitter that vladimir putin is coming to the white house in the fall. >> say that again.
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>> vladimir putin coming k-- >> did i hear you -- >> yeah, yeah. >> okay. >> that's going to be special. >> shouldn't the director of national intelligence know about this kind of stuff? >> yes, of course, should know about it in advance. and you can hear in his voice -- he tried to make a joke about it, that's going to be special and the audience was laughing, which is of course what donald trump hates. but what we see here is donald trump doubling down, going on his own. he's clearly upset that the world was laughing at him. and republicans were laughing at him. and dan coats just there was trying to make light of it, but nobody can figure this out. of course the dni should know. the dni should know what
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occurred in the first summit, not just the one that's coming up. and he also admitted, of course, that he had no idea. you know, wolf, this is strange times we're living in, very strange times. >> let me play another clip from dan coats today. watch this. >> i believed i needed to correct the record for that that this is the job i signed up for and that was my responsibility. obviously i wished he had made a different statement. but i think that now that has been clarified based on his late reactions to this. and so, um, um, i don't think i want to go any further than that. >> you've got to give him credit, david. when the president at that news conference in helsinki was siding with putin, going against
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the u.s. intelligence community, dan coats, the director of national intelligence issued a statement on his own, didn't get any clearance, saying, you know what, the russians did it. >> he stuck to what his intelligence staff have brought up to him. he made that clear, he did it quickly. he also in that clip that you played did give what you could call a diplomatic answer, not going back on what he said but also not doing anything to really lash back or contradict the president. that being said, you have a situation where as admiral kirby and flgloria pointed out we're a little bit of the theater of the absurd where the director of national intelligence doesn't know what's going on. >> if that were not enough, he also said he thinks the president made a major mistake going into that meeting with putin with only an interpreter, not a national security official, the secretary of state, someone along those lines, the u.s. ambassador to russia, for example. to go in without someone who
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could take notes and brief everyone else, he says that was wrong. >> right. again, it's because it really hasn't been done before. usually someone, the secretary of state, someone is in there with the president. also we know this president really didn't prepare pfor this. that was evident at that podium right after. if this happens in the fall right before the midterm elections, you could have vladimir putin coming into the country as the russians are continuing cyber attacks on the midterm elections, perhaps even in the balloting. >> maybe he'll come to watch the military parade on november 10th. >> all of a sudden the russians today released some new video showing what they call their latest generation of nuclear and con veventional weapons. putin says these weapons are invincible. take a look at some of the video they're releasing. >> funny timing, right, coming after helsinki?
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and on the same day where putin is talking to some of his own ambassadors about how political discord here in the united states is working to undermine a good future u.s./russia bilateral relationship. i will say we did reach out to the pentagon for comment. there was no comment yet this afternoon. but defense secretary mattis back in march said, hey we're aware of all these systems, we're tracking them, there's nothing new here. >> he publicly stated he doesn't know what was agreed between putin and the president as far as syria or the middle east is concerned. he's waiting for some briefings. >> he's only the man running the war on syria and the efforts in afghanistan. it's not like he should know, right? >> you know him. >> of course i do. you won't find a better leader to have in command of the central command. again, this just points to the
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le ludicrous level we have reached. you can't get a straight answer out of the state department or the white house about it. >> who would they debrief? the president of the united states, who has sometimes a strange relationship with the truth. >> meanwhile, the russians are putting out their own versions. >> the russians are putting out their version of the meeting. sarah sanders yesterday gave a list of things they discussed but absolutely no details. we know that the president now has backed off on what he thought was an incredible proposal to have the former ambassador interrogated by the russians. but the president said it is a proposal that was made in sin sirty. it was a proposal that was a trap. it was not made in sincerity. if you're going to debrief donald trump and you're the secretary of defense or you're the dni, do you know what you're getting?
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>> also, do you know what the goals are? the russians can point out their talking points because they have goals. what is the goal of this administration? they haven't made that clear. >> we're getting reaction from the american public. new polls are emerging now. much more on the breaking news right after this. ♪ ♪ ♪ let your perfect drive come together at the lincoln summer invitation sales event. get 0% apr on select 2018 lincoln models plus $1,000 bonus cash. when we switched our auto and home insurance. with liberty, we could afford a real babysitter instead of your brother. hey! oh, that's my robe. is it? when you switch to liberty mutual, you could save $782 on auto and home insurance. and still get great coverage for you and your family.
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breaking news tonight, the white house catching everyone off guard by announcing plans for a second trump/putin summit,
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this one in washington in the fall, even as the president and his team struggle to contain the fallout from this week's meeting in helsinki. let's get back to our analysts. gloria, there's a new cbs poll showing how the american public reacted to the first summit, trump's handling of putin. 55% disapprove. 32% approve. look at how it's broken down among political parties. among republicans, 68% approve. among democrats, only 8% approve. among independents, 29% approve. >> first of all, donald trump is very popular with the republican party. you know he's got a 90% approval rating. but the independent number there -- and we know -- so the 68% number is not a surprise. so the independent number there is what's really interesting to me, the 53% disapproval. when you look at how people identify in this country whether they're democrat or republican,
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27% say they're republican, 29% say they're democratic. but 45% or so say they're independent. and those people, those people are important and those people disapprove of this summit. so trump can say he's keeping his base. his base is small. his base is a small part of this electorate, as is the democratic trump believes as do a lot of republican strategists that this will help him. this will galvanize his base because the more the media complains about what donald trump did in helsinki the more the establishment republicans complain about what trump din in helsinki, the more they will rush out there to defend him. that is a proposition i think that needs to be proven, but there are republicans who believe that is the case.
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>> i don't disagree. i think for republicans they are looking at judges. they are looking at the tax cuts. they are looking at the things that are actionable that the president has done. they probably think he is not getting a fair shake on tv. he was obviously reacting to that as he lashed out at the media to what he saw staring back at him. i don't think we will know how people truly feel until the mid term elections because there hasn't been any sort of reaction where he can actually see the people disapprove. polls are one thing. polls move but a mid term election will last a couple of years. >> it's one thing to talk about how the president is doing in the economy. republicans are obviously very happy and democrats are pretty happy. the justice nominees, second amendment, gun rights. this is a national security issue involving u.s./russia
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relations. >> if you look at the 53% of independents who didn't approve of his handling on this issue, if they break away over an issue like this that could spell a little bit of trouble. even though the president is not a policy wonk he can read a poll. he looks at the average of his overall approval 43, they say we have our base and we are where we want to be. they will go ahead with this regardless of what they get. >> everybody stick around. there is more on the breaking news we are watching, more on president trump's latest reversal on russia, why the white house is still struggling to get its story straight. til d this morning. having it problems? ask a business advisor how to get on demand tech support for as little as $15 a month. right now, buy one hp ink and get a second at 30% off at office depot officemax (birds tweeting)
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director of national intelligence left in the dark about this week's trump putin summit. and now talks are for a summit this fall. what do you make of the fact that the intelligence chief is trying to figure out what happened during the first summit and was surprised to hear from a reporter that there is a second reporter in the works? >> andrea mitchell sitting on stage at the aspen institute when this comes off.
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there is poor coordination there. it is more of a cult of personality than a fully functioning executive branch of what we are accustomed to. it is just not how they get it going down there. it's not a surprise that coats isn't in the loop because this all starts top trickle down. there is no plan. there is no formative strategy. what do you see with the putin summit that will happen in d.c.? that is doubling down on dumb. you don't have this kind of situation on the heels of a mistake with the same person but you do in trump world because he believes you stick with where you are. you keep spinning it and eventually it becomes what you want. i believe this moment in helsinki that you and i witnessed together is different. i think it reverberated in different ways. i think it taps into deeper concerns than what we have seen in the past.
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but i'm always ready for disappointment. >> the white house also reversed course today on an offer from putin to interrogate american citizens including a u.s. ambassador to russia, mike mcfaul. why did it take three days to reject the proposal? >> what i have been told is essentially because you guys were pushing her too hard because you thought you had us in a bad situation and that this is what happens in the trump white house when they feel that they are on weak ground. they stop access to the press. i can't get any people in the white house on my show. they will go on fox at the mothership and talk to them. they will talk about us, not to us. i think in this situation, wolf, it is easily diagrammed. they were caught in a bad position. instead of owning it they went quiet on it. we are not going to do this.
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if anything they need to give us their people. it didn't happen. it was misplayed and it has been a week along of that. >> we are looking forward to anthony scaramucci joining you later tonight. be sure to tune in 9:00 p.m. eastern tonight. erin burnett upfront starts right now. the director of national intelligence learns about president trump's plans for a second putin summit on live television. and yes plans are underway right now. plus the white house back tracking three times in three days. why is the damage control causing so much more damage? and the accused russian spy, how she allegedly used a romantic relationship to launch a sophisticated operation against america. let's go out front. out front the breaking news in the dark. president trump's director


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