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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  January 17, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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congressional delegation to ultimately a war zone, to afghanistan. it is day 27 of the shutdown and the latest in this tit for tat from the president is that he essentially pulled the military plane which they were planning on using. nancy pelosi has just responded. you're about to hear more. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. the president of the united states using the u.s. military to get revenge on the speaker of the house. the lead starts right now. nancy pelosi was headed to a war zone but he's going to cancel her military aircraft. rudy giuliani, the president's lawyer, causing a collective double take, admitting there may very well have been cooperation between some people on the trump campaign with russia. so, whatever happened to no collusion? plus the polls are phony and rigged. it turns out that that trumpism
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might actually be true. but now we know it was trump, cohen and the team doing the rigging thanks to michael cohen's stunning admission. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. president trump taking the stunning step to cancel the military aircraft that were to be be used by nancy pelosi and congressional delegation in a trip to afghanistan, publicly announcing ahead of time a secret trip to a war zone. republican member of congress telling me minutes ago members of congress are always told never divulge any trip to a war zone until after you have left the war zone. the move by the president was widely interpreted to a response that pelosi suggesting a delay or postponement of the state of
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the union because pelosi said it was unfair to make security guards work without pay. >> i'm sure you would agree postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate. now first off, we should note that president trump does not claim in that letter that those who would be transporting pell owesy and the congressional delegation are not being paid because they are being paid. the defense spending bill was passed in 2018. now according to a spokeswoman for speaker pelosi, she and the delegation were stopping in belgium and, quote, scheduled to meet with top nato commanders, top military leaders and key allies to affirm the united states commitment to the nato alliance. the purpose of the trip was to express appreciation and thanks to our men and women in uniform for their service and dedication and to obtain critical national security intelligence briefings from those on the front lines.
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the white house official tells cnn that pell owesy and members of congress are welcome to fly commercial to afghanistan, remarkable statement given that the president just announced to the world, including the taliban, that the speaker of the house was headed there. next week, treasury secretary steve mnuchin, mike pompeo, wilbur ross and other senior members of the trump administration are scheduled to head to davos, switzerland. trump administration says that trip is still on. cnn's abby philip joins me live from the white house. abby, also stunning, the president in this letter referring to elected officials meeting with service members in harm's way as a mere public relations event. the president just went to iraq. so did a republican delegation and all of them did during the shutdown. >> that's right, jake. this letter coming as a bit of a surprise today. it unfolded quickly. sources are telling us this really came to shape this morning and when the president found out that this trip was planning on going forward over
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the weekend, he took immediate action, according to a senior administration official. >> president trump's feud with congress i congressional democrats over the government shutdown taking a dramatic turn. late today, the white house issued this new letter, responding to house speaker nancy pelosi's request that trump postpone his state of the union address because she claimed federal workers weren't getting paid and, thus, it could be a security issue. now, the white house using that same excuse citing the 800,000 great american workers not receiving pay in order to pull authorization for pelosi's planned congressional trip to brussels, egypt and afghanistan just hours before she planned to leave. calling the official trip that includes a stop in a war zone a public relations event, even though trump also travelled to iraq early in the shutdown. the letter coming after more than a day of silence from the white house in response to pelosi. >> that's why i said to the
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president, let's -- if you don't open up government, if that doesn't happen, let's discuss a mutually agreeable date, september -- january -- the date of the state of the union is not a sacred date. it's not constitutionally required. >> trump and congressional democrats locking horns for the 27th straight day, trapped in a cycle of stalemate over the government shutdown. >> while many democrats in the house and senate would like to make a deal, speaker pelosi will not let them negotiate. >> what negotiating table are we not at? the last one we went to, i think, was a setup as the president gave himself leverage to leave the room. >> reporter: behind the scenes the president's frustration is growing, according to the "new york times." trump telling aides, we are getting crushed in news coverage of the shutdown, the paper reported. why can't we get a deal, he asked aides, as democrats turn up the heat.
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>> the president's own people are saying that gdp will not grow as long as this shutdown is there. >> reporter: but sources tell cnn that white house aides are still unsure of how to proceed, including a campaign-style rally or another speech in the oval office. one trump adviser telling cnn that some around the president expect that pelosi will fold and allow trump to deliver his speech in the house. the source describing the battle between trump and pelosi as king congress versus godzilla. >> and white house officials are saying if pelosi and other leaders go on this trip they will not be here in washington to work with president trump to come to a resolution to the shutdown in time for workers to receive another pay cycle. it's not clear how this trip
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would have affected those plans. meanwhile the president is still planning on allowing his senior officials to go to davos next week, a trip that will require secret service resources. those folks are still not being paid as a result of this shutdown, jake. >> abby philip at the white house. thanks so much. i have to say i've been to afghanistan twice, once with president obama on air force one. once i did actually fly commercial commercially. i can't believe they're messing around with this. that is a serious flight, serious business and i'm not the speaker of the house tochlt have a whole bunch of members of congress going to afghanistan to meet with troops and then announce to the world that this trip was going to happen. did they think this threw when they came up with this scheme? >> obviously the person third in line for the president. >> i right. >> to fly commercially and into the war zone. the white house caught off guard when nancy pelosi publicly released that letter saying don't come address congress january 29th. they didn't know how to respond and were silent over the last 24 hours. if you know this white house or president at all, it's very
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uncharacteristic. we essentially knew they were thinking of something and basically what i'm told from sources is this morning is when they started thinking about canceling pelosi's trip and what that would entail. several white house officials, including new chief of staff, mick mulvaney, made this decision. the president thinks the coverage portrays democrats as getting the upper hand here when he feels he has got the upper hand as well because he hasn't come off anything with his wall. in thinking how to respond to that letter, sauchy move by nancy pelosi, they thought of this idea, they thought it was the perfect response. of course now, the question is going to be what is the coverage of this actually going to be? the white house feels pretty good about this. >> can i say one thing? nobody who has ever traveled with a congressional delegation would think this is funny, appropriate or cool. >> but here is the thing -- >> to a war zone i mean. >> i think you might be wrong. mick m. lvaney was a member of congress and knows exactly what it entails to go on a congressional
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delegation. i don't have his record in front of me. i don't know whether he ever went to a war zone off the top of my head but knows exactly what is entailed when those things take off and all the things that go in to having that many members of congress moving around the globe together. >> rather than getting his head bitten off by his new boss in this new role, clearly he came up with something. think about what message this sends to nato. we've already had a bit of a ruffle with regard to our relationship with nato. if part of the plan was nancy pelosi and this congressional delegation was going to sit down and reaffirm solid commitment and now the president took way the plane that was going to allow them to do that, what message does that send to those leaders? >> listen to house minority leader kevin mccarthy. pay attention to where he focuses his ire and on what. >> i'm shocked that she didn't think she would leave the
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country, why would you leave the country when you're speaker of the house in a government shutdown? because nancy pelosi was where at the time when he went to iraq to visit the troops? i think she was in hawaii. >> why would you leave the country to visit u.s. troops? >> listen, in theory, i'm somewhat open to the idea that grounding nancy pelosi may convince her to get in a room and deal. but this white house has not shown me any evidence that they are making that come true. they cannot solve the problem. so it's much easier to play petty partisan politics, and this is a move that will be effective at convincing the base that they yet again are owning the lens but show me how it gets you to a deal. >> i don't think it will convince leader pelosi to do that at all. think about the pbs meris poll that came out, trump is down with core members of his base,
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suburban men -- >> i'll come back to you. it shows 54% blame the white house, 34% blame others. 55% of americans blame trump, 32% blaming congress. back to you. >> okay. but within those numbers we're talking about republicans, we're talking about white evangelicals, noneducated white male voters. we're talking about this is starting to have an impact on core members of that core base that he has been holding on to and doing all of this for. all of these machinations for. when he's losing like that, why would pelosi, when they've passed the same bill the senators have passed, why wouldn't she just say, you know, mr. president, it's up to you. open the government. there's no reason to hold everybody hostage and we'll talk but let's reopen the governmnt. >> but to step back and look at the bigger picture of this, we are nowhere closer to reopening
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the government. >> farther away. >> we're really -- >> hold on one second. house majority leader steny hoyer talking about what's going on. >> where things stand? >> look, we have been saying this all along. shutting down government is a policy that is irrational, harmful and inappropriate in a democracy, to take hostages to say if you don't do it my way, i'm going to take hostage. not only 800,000 people who are working for us and not being paid or half of those that are furloughed and not allowed to work. that is creating an environment which is really very difficult. and the only reason this government is shut down is because the president of the united states is stamping his foot and saying unless you do what i want, i'm going to shut down the people's government. that is the policy that should never be accepted. matter of fact the majority leader said it was unacceptable that 800,000 people were not
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being paid who work for the federal government. and mitch mcconnell said this is a failed policy. both of them are right, that they would only vote that way and lead that way and we would be better off. next question. this is the second question. >> when the president says, though, this is a public relations and cancels this by the speaker how is it not a partisan tit for tat that will go back and forth with no real resolution? >> i will say and have said again -- i think i've said it to this group. the actions of the president were petty, mean spirited and beneath any president of the united states to take. after all, nancy pelosi is the third in line to be president of the united states under our statutes. and doing this small, petty act is, unfortunately, all too
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regular for this president. thank you. >> all right. that was steny hoyer, house majority leader. we'll keep bringing you live reaction from members of congress, democrats and republicans, as they come and speak to us. there is one thing, let's talk about, which is this word petty. we heard it yesterday. republicans talking about nancy pelosi, speaker pelosi essentially canceling or delaying at the very least the state of the union i know a lot of republicans and even some independents and democrats who feel that that was petty. is this tit for tat in your view, even though they deny this has anything to do with it, or does this one up it? obviously this involves visiting nato and u.s. troops. >> it makes it more serious. >> adam schiff now talking. >> the president's action in attempting to cancel a congressional delegation to visit service members in afghanistan as well as a visit to nato to reassure our nato
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allies. we think this is completely inappropriate by the president. we're not going to allow the united states to tell the congress it can't fulfill its oversight responsibilities, it can't ensure that our troops have what they need, whether our government is open or closed. that work must go on. and i think it's vitally important now, in particular, that the president has announced withdrawals from syria and afghanistan that we understand the situation on the ground. we had anticipated important defense intelligence briefings in afghanistan. we were looking forward to the opportunity to reassure nato allies, undoubtedly shaken by reports that the president has questioned his staff or opined about leaving nato. we're determined to make sure our nato allies understand on a very bipartisan basis that our commitment to nato is strong. we think this is a completely
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inappropriate action. and the president's concern about a war zone apparently doesn't apply to a delegation of the administration going to davos the following week. we got confirmation that is still planned. so, this is obviously an action directed at the speaker. and we think as far as we can tell this has never happened in the annals of history. we will continue no matter what the president's actions r it's important to make sure that our service members have what they need and that our nato allies are reassured at a time when there are increasing questions about the president's commitment to our alliances. >> are you implying the trip in some ways is still on?
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>> i'm not going to comment on the speaker's travel plans. frankly, there has been far too much said about that already. and i think the president's decision to disclose a trip that the speaker is making to a war zone is completely and utterly irresponsible in every way. sfwlt speaker cancels or suggests a delay of the state of the union and he respond business canceling this overseas trip. what does it say to the country, all the concern about what's happening here in washington? >> i can't say whether this is related to the government being closed. it doesn't make much sense. the president has acted like
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he's in the fifth grade. to have someone who has that kind of character running the country is an enormous problem at every level. we see it now and over the last two years and my guess is we're going to see it in the future. but regardless of what the president's motivation is for this, one thing we are adamant about, that is, we are not going to allow the president of the united states tell congress you cannot do your oversight. that appears to be what's going on here. we're a co-equal branch of government. it may not have been that way over the last two years when he had a republican in congress willing to roll over any time he asked but that is no longer the case. >> does any of this bring the two sides closer to ending the shutdown? >> certainly the speaker's office has been in communication with the defense department about this and as far as we can gather, because we've been in communication with the defense
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department until very recently this came as news to them. it certainly sounds like it was another impet use act. >> does any of this do anything to bring either side closer to solving the shutdown? >> well, look, none of this has to be related to the shutdown. the shutdown is completely unnecessary from beginning to end. disputes do not require us to shut down to completely resolve. whether this fifth grade conduct is going to continue, it's hard to see how it's rather constructive. at the end of the day, whatever his motivation is, we'll do our oversight. >> are you still personally going? are you still personally going?
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>> that's the chairman of the intelligence committee, adam schiff. he said nancy pelosi, speaker of the house and congressional delegation could not use military aircraft for this trip this is the bus that members of congress and their staffs were going to take, i believe, to andrews joint air base. and then off to -- i think they were going to stop in brussels, refuel, meet with nato leaders and then fly to afghanistan. we don't know much about it because this trip was, until president sent out a letter, a secret. and we were not told about it. usually we don't find out about these congressional trips, or presidential trips for that matter or administration trips until after they're done or at least until the individual is safely inside the country much let's talk more about this. we were just talking about the charges of petiness going back and forth. you heard adam schiff, chairman
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of the house intelligence committ committee. trying to go to afghanistan to talk to people about what's going on there, that it was irresponsible for the president to reveal that the speaker of the house was going to the war zone. >> to this point i think you could say only government workers are bearing the brunt of the government shutdown. now you can add to that nato allies. everyone keeps looking at this, wondering why trump won't do this, why he won't deal even though his poll numbers are going down. he knows he must make progress on the wall to secure his base. it's a pure campaign promise. that's the only people who have stuck with him through all this, through russia, through the insults, through everything. and so we are in a particularly dangerous moment because i don't think he's going to budge. he's not going to budge now. and at some point it's easy to play politics. it's very hard to make a teal
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and end this thing. i don't think anybody has any idea what they're going to do. >> tweeting is easy, governing is harder. everyone, stick around. i know you're bursting at the seams to say something. we have to squeeze in a quick break and bring you any new live action from capitol hill. stay with us. ... ♪ ♪ means to fight the hardest battle, which any human being can fight and never stop. does this sound dismal? it isn't. ♪ ♪ it's the most wonderful life on earth. ♪ ♪ life isn't a straight line. things happen. and sometimes you can find yourself heading in a new direction. but at fidelity, we help you prepare for the unexpected with retirement planning and advice for what you need today and tomorrow.
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we're back with breaking news, president trump denying house speaker nancy pelosi a military plane for a trip to afghanistan, at least a perceived retaliation for pelosi telling the president to postpone his state of the union address. >> the president is clearly -- these are bargaining chips, this sort of petty back and forth. it's very clear, once again, he is not making a deal, recognizing that there are real people who are facing real congress. this is a deal where there's real pain actually for people who are out of work. we've been seeing the stories over the past few days about food pantries and donations and
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all kinds of ways people are trying to -- >> yeah. >> if you think about how it's going to -- i get that bill schein is probably thinking how does this play on tv to the republican core base? >> communications director. >> fox, actually. you may know someone a w.h.o. is a government worker, contractor or whose business is being impacted. >> restaurants and cab drivers are going broke. >> right. >> and for pelosi to say hey maybe this isn't the best time to do a state of the union and by the way the security people who are not getting paid, i don't think, should have to come in. >> you don't buy it's that innocent. >> no. she has a very strong argument saying people shouldn't work without pay. we can't keep the capitol secure, i don't like that one. i don't believe it's true and i think it's a bad public relations message to tell the world that, that we potentially are not safe.
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>> you have to remember, it's the president, the vice president, the first lady, members of the supreme court, members of the diplomatic -- >> we can secure. they don't want to hear that. i wouldn't say that about the secret service in public. >> can i say something about the public relations of all this? in a week images of steve mnuchin, mike pompeo, wilbur ross, literally with the richest most elite group in the world at davos, switzerland. is that going to jam up what he did today? >> the optics aren't good. maybe that's the part that they didn't think through. the idea that the president is sacrifi sacrificing in the white house with all the time, all the snow, so lonely and all his cabinet secretaries are going to davos? again, that part, i think, may have been left out. but i wonder, i really do wonder at what point members of congress decide to do something on their own, maybe right now
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the images of tsa workers having to go to food pantries because -- >> the lines at airports. >> the lines at airports. but as you said, these are real people who are worried about paying their mortgages, who are worried about keeping their kids in school. >> yeah. and daycare. >> when does that happen? congress could stop this. >> the senate could pass a spending bill tomorrow with 67 votes. it is a co-equal branch of government. >> right. >> let me ask you, two republicans have come on my sunday show and said there's a deal to be had, both scott jennings, daca/dreamer for border wall deal would put pelosi on the spot because she wants to do daca and dreamers but also doesn't want to do what she calls an immoral wall money. jared kushner talked about this. is this being floated at all as a way out of this? >> nothing has gained traction yet. they're trying to float ideas on
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capitol hill. we're largely where we were when this started 27 days ago even though they sent white house officials back to the hill, talks have really broken down. people will say they've hit a wall. now we're in this agreement where words like petty and inappropriate are being thrown out over these actions taken, the president canceling her trip and nancy pelosi suggesting he cancel the state of the union speech. when you step back from who is the latest, who has the upper hand, which is what the white house is paying attention to, and democrats as well, we're in an area where the two people who are going to decide to reopen the government, nancy pelosi and donald trump, are in this crazy fight to where they're even further apart than they were 27 days ago. not only is she suggesting he cancel his state of the union address, suggesting security concerns that the secret service can't handle which dhs pushed back on, the president is suggesting she fly commercial into a war zone. those are the two people in
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charge of reopening our government. it comes down to those two people. right now they are so far apart that we are nowhere near closer to the government reopening and if the white house thinks that nancy pelosi is going to be much more amenable to a wall after th this, that seems pretty unlikely to me. >> what's the way out of this? don't say donald trump is to blame. what can democrats compromise on to get us out of this incredible dysfunction? >> first of all, where is mitch mcconnell and the senate republicans? why aren't they stepping up to the plate to try to help broker some kind of deal? >> he said he won't put anything on the floor unless president trump will sign it. >> that's the other piece of this, what will he actually sign? at times they thought he had something that he would sign and now he wouldn't and now he's dug in about the money for the wall. this idea of a compromise over daca or some kind of leeway might actually start to at least reopen the conversation. but i think the president is going to have to give. and that is not something he seems very willing to do.
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we are not going to get the kind of deal where -- i don't think you'll see leader pelosi say okay, here is your $5 billion. >> tevedefinitely not. >> not first fight as speaker of the house after this new majority she has. we have more to talk about. the president has said countless times, no collusion, no collusion. now his lawyer, rudy giuliani is saying he can't be sure that everyone didn't commit collusion. is this part of a strategy? what's going on? stay with us. ♪ ♪i've been really tryin', baby ♪tryin' to hold back this feeling for so long♪ ♪and if you feel, like i feel baby then come on,♪
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in an act in moving the goal post not seen since the search for jimmy hoffa under giants stadium, the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani made a stunning statement on cnn, saying he cannot say for certain that no one on the trump campaign conspired with the russians, only that the president did not. >> there is no single bit of evidence that the president committed the only crime that could be had here, to hack the dnc. >> a long and winding road of blanket denials. hope hicks in 2016, quote, there was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign. sarah sanders february 2017, quo quote, to the best of our knowledge, no contacts took place. president trump himself in his
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very first press conference as president that month. >> i have nothing to do with russia. to the best of my knowledge, no person that i deal with does. >> of course, we soon learned after he said that that that was not the case when it came to michael flynn and george papadopoulos and paul manafort. in march 2017 donald trump jr. told "the new york times," quote, did i meet with people that were russian? i'm sure. i'm sure i did. but none that were set up. none that i can think of at the moment and certainly none i was representing in the campaign in any way, shape or form, unquote. then, of course, in july of 2017, "the new york times" broke the story of that trump tower meeting with the russian government lawyer, initially don junior in a statement written by his father claimed that meeting was primarily about adoptions. we soon learned that it was because don junior had been promised dirt on hillary clinton by a russian lawyer. paul manafort was also at that
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meeting. the excuses continued to, shall we say, evolve. it goes from no collusion to no evidence of collusion to collusion is not a crime to if it happened, it happened a long time ago to the president didn't commit collusion but i can't speak for anyone else on the campaign. roll tape. >> they never used it is the main thing. they never used it. they rejected it. if there was collusion with the russians, they would have used it. the collusion part we're pretty comfortable with, because there has been none. no evidence of collusion. >> i don't even know if that's a crime, colluding with russians. i never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign. i said the president of the united states. >> now prior to last night, the president throughout has denied any collusion between anyone on the trump team and the russian government. >> there is no collusion between me and my campaign and the russians.
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>> there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but i can only speak for myself and the russians, zero. >> there was no collusion between the trump campaign and the russian people. >> now, of course, we know at the very least paul manafort shared campaign data with const constantine, and conducted interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. now that we're here not only are we wondering what's next, we're wondering if rudy giuliani is admitting that neither he nor president trump knew about any collusion or conspiracy that may be going on by any member of the trump team does that not justify completely the mueller investigation to get to the bottom of it all? as cnn's jessica schneider reports rudy giuliani is trying to clean up the collusion confusion. >> reporter: some democratic leaders jumping all over the stunning statement from the
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president's lawyer, rudy giuliani on cnn wednesday night. >> i never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign. >> yes, you have. >> i have no idea. i have not. i said the president of the united states. there's not a single bit of evidence the president of the united states committed the only crime he could commit here, conspired with the russians to hack the dnc. >> reporter: seeming about-face comes days after revelations in what was supposed to be a redacted filing from paul manafort that he provided polling data from the trump campaign to a man with ties to russian intelligence. it was a bombshell mistake in revealing how they're finding contact between at least one trump campaign official and the kremlin. >> if the collusion happened it happened a long time ago. it's either provable or not. it's not provable because it never happened. >> what do you mean if it happened? you said there's absolutely no chance it happened. >> i'm telling you there's no chance it happened.
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>> how do you explain manafort? >> i have no idea, never have, what other people were doing. >> conflicting statements now have democrats demanding even more answers. >> it's a tangled web. it just makes no sense. it either reflects his client, who may be leading or misleading him, or his own musings as to what occurred here. i don't see any clear statement from him, credible, consistent statement that i would want to take into a courtroom. >> reporter: and house intelligence chairman adam schiff saying this. >> he had said quite the contrary earlier. this is an attorney who has continued to issue misleading and false representations about his client's actions from the very beginning. >> reporter: meanwhile, sources tell cnn the white house counsel's office and outside groups have started laying the groundwork for a political and public relations response to mueller, including planning to beef up the white house press teams to field inquiries related to the investigation.
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jew giuliani, though, continuing to call for a quick end. >> what's going on here is an investigation that should be reported on now. it's gone far enough. let's see if he has got anything. >> rudy giuliani told our dana bash today that he did not intend to send any new signals about the investigation, putting it this way. saying the president did not, himself, nor does he have any knowledge of collusion with russians. if anyone was doing that, he is unaware of it and so am i, but neither he nor i can possibly know what everyone on the campaign was doing. but, really, even if that's an attempt to clean up his statement, jake, giuliani there still seeming to leave the door open that mueller might find collusion within the campaign itself. jake? >> jessica schneider, thank you so much. i want to get into the broader question about whether or not this was on purpose or not. before i do that, something giuliani said i found really, really interesting and i want to get your legal opinion. he volunteered this about the president's actions. >> there was not a single bit of evidence the president of the united states committed the only
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crime he could commit here, conspired with the russians to hack the dnc. >> that's a very specific statement. is that the only crime that is potentially committed here, conspiring with the russians to hack the dnc? >> no. the hacking of the dnc certainly was a big discreet act that the russians took as part of their broader influence campaign, but their influence campaign on the 2016 election was multifaceted. the hack was part of it. their online disinformation. all of the things they did out of the internet research agency to influence public opinion, online trols, all of that which took infrastructure and money for them to have that effort. that was part of it. whether or not -- i would imagine that might be part of the case that has to do with whether or not foreign money ended up coming into the campaign in some way. we've already seen some cases that involve foreign money into the inaugural committee. i think that's probably an open
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avenue of investigation. so there are ways that the russians potentially were affecting the election or affecting the campaign far broader than the discreet act. and so if that particular piece was intentional on rudy's part to just specifically hone in on the hack, then he is either being disingenuous publicly by portraying the investigation as more narrow than it is, or he has misadvised his client that that's the only thing he might potentially be on the hook for. >> this is the mystery of rudy giuliani. when he dropped the information about stormy daniels, turns out that was intentional and he was getting ahead of it. is he doing that here? >> that's the question. that's why we raised questions like that, when he says things like that. he has done it before. he surprised everyone. he purposely wanted to get it out because he knew that was going to come out. him saying a specific thing right there is interesting. rudy giuliani obviously does know more about this investigation than we do because
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they're the ones who submitted the president's answers to the special counsel and the special counsel knows more than all of us. that raises questions ato why he would be very specific there, not to talk about the polling data that paul manafort admitted to. those are questions as well. >> this polling datea it's not who is up and who is down. it can be what are effective messages, what's working, what's not working? you combine that with information that's been hacked on modeling, right? the dnc and the campaign modeling on the voters they were reaching out to. if you combine the modeling and the messaging, you have a very powerful weapon around how -- who you need to target, how you need to target them and when you need to target them, and what sort of means. it may be that part of the reason he was trying to step away from one part of it and focus on this other part is that it's the combination of all of these things that we may find out is actually true and may have been where you see the
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collusion. >> i would say yes to all that. here is where i get hung up. when rudy giuliani goes on tv, he wants to pretend he is only the president's tv lawyer but we forget he was a pretty active member in that campaign. >> oh, yeah. >> when he does interviews, he often references i know this because i was there. well, i have questions for you, mr. giuliani. did you not notice when mr. manafort went missing for a couple of weeks to brief people abroad? he was there. he has much more knowledge than he's letting on and i think mueller would be interested to talk to him as a witness and not the president's lawyer. >> good point because the white house regularly refers questions about the investigation, jared kushner and other people who work in the white house to rudy giuliani, not just about the president. >> isis is defeated, the president says, but isis clearly did not get that memo. exclusive report next. (vo) when it's time to navigate in-home care,
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president trump honored the four americans killed in yesterday's suicide bombing in syria. sources tell cnn that isis was behind the attack, according to a preliminary assessment by the u.s. military. the trump administration has claimed at times, including just yesterday, that isis has been defeated. but that declaration belies the battlefield reality. clarissa ward now reports for us from the syrian front lines. >> reporter: the battle against isis is still raging. as the u.s. allied syrian democratic forces known as sdf, push in under the militants'
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control. they move into the village of shaffa, flares turn the dark night into day, aircraft circle overhead, providing crushing air power. by daylight, they push further in. this is where isis ends, sdf commander tells his men. moments later, panic breaks out. isis has launched a counterattack. sdf fire back and shaafra is quickly liberated. we travel to the front line as they approach the next village. our escorts insist on taking an armored vehicle, even liberated territory is far from secure. these roads are still dangerous, especially early in the morning, because there are isis sleeper cells in the area that come out
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overnight and they plant roadside bombs. we stop at a house that the sdf took from isis just days earlier. mortars are fired off at militant positions. the commander takes us up on to the roof to show us the front line. so the next village over is where the front line is now, and they're hoping that they'll be able to liberate that by tomorro tomorrow. american forces provide assistance from just a few hundred yards away. the commander warns the battle is not over. the pressure we had militarily is ending, he says, but the fundamental war is eradicating the ideology of isis. that will be a much tougher fight to win. support for isis still lingers here. on the way back, we pass through
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another recently liberated area. this is what is left now of the town. it's basically been completely obliterated and to many of the people living in areas like this and others, this is what liberation looks like. miles and miles of rubble. many here fear buried in the destruction, the seeds are being sown for another war. >> thanks to clarissa ward in northern syria for that story. more on breaking news. top democrat reacts to president trump putting a stop to speaker pelo pelosi's overseas trip. stay with us. woman 3: this is my body of proof. man 2: proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis... woman 4: ...with humira. woman 5: humira targets and blocks a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms.
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that's all the time we have. you can follow me on facebook and twitter, tweet the show at the lead on cnn. our coverage continues right now. thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news. travel ban. in a move that even the gop ally calls sophomoric, president trump grounds the delegation led by speaker pelosi by preventing use of the u.s. military aircraft to the trip to the afghanistan war zone. are there any limits to this shutdown battle? admitting collusion? as presidential lawyer rudy giuliani acknowledges the campaign may have cloouded with russia, sources say the white house is quietly working to eliminate fallout from robert mueller's investigation, including a move t