tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN July 11, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
could possibly come up. >> do you consider them both, you know, allies, partners of the united states or adversaries? in what way are they similar? >> i was talking about the process, not the two countries. i was talking about the process that had been gone through by both sides. that was all -- that was the only point i was make pfg okay, but i thought you were saying if it was okay for hillary to coordinate with the ukraine or to meet with ukraine about possible informs that might be relevant to the campaign, it would be equally okay to meet with russians about information. >> i was talking about simply the process and nothing beyond that. >> do you still think it was okay, put aside the issue of collusion, is it appropriate to meet with russians about information they might have. >> as i've said earlier, i stand
by the comments i made yesterday. >> two quick questions for you. have you spoken with the president in the past 24 hours? >> yes. >> what was his general reaction
to this story, without getting into an official white house response to some of the questions earlier? did you speak with him about this story? >> i think that the president is, i would say, frustrated with the process of the fact that this continues to be an issue, and he would love for us to be focused on things like justin mentioned, the economy, on health care, on tax reform, on infrastructure, and that's the place that his mind is, and that's what he'd like to be discussing. >> thank you, sarah. i have two questions as well. senator rubio said this morning that the entire matter involving donald trump jr. is, and i quote, mueller territory. in other words, it should be left solely up to the special prosecutor. what's the white house reaction to that? >> again, i would refer you to the outside special counsel, and i think that's something that
they could work on together. >> so they have -- you have no reaction to what senator rubio said? >> no, i don't, john. >> all right. my other question is about personnel. the president has -- and you pointed this out yesterday in the form you handed out, numerous judicial vacancies to fill, including four on the controversial ninth circuit court of appeals. in an effort to speed this up, will the administration waive the blue slip process from senators or, and the opinion of the american bar association. >> i don't know if those conversations have taken place about whether or not to waive that in order to expedite but i'll be happy to check into it for you. >> i have three but i'll try to be quick. >> three? >> secretary mattis said about a month ago that you guys would be ruling out the afghanistan -- my bid-july. does that still hold? >> i know that the plan is to roll that out after there's been a full review process. i don't have anything beyond
that at this point. i know they'd like to do that soon. >> okay, you don't have any idea. be that as it may, what role does the president see for himself in terms of explaining the strategy to the american people? does he plan a primetime address, a press conference, a national tour? how implicated do you think he will be in selling the new strategy to the public? >> i think those things will be determined once the new strategy's finalized. >> last one. whose decision was it to provide really di relatively limited answers today to the don jr.? is it the lawyer? is ate communications decision? who made that decision? >> as i told zeke earlier, all the appropriate parties were part of the conversation. that decision was made internally. >> the administration missed its deadline to make a decision on -- can you give us an update on where that decision stands? >> the report and any recommendations within that report are going to -- going through normal interagency review process, and as soon as
that's completed, that will be released. hopefully in short order. >> is there a reason the deadline passed? >> it's a self-imposed deadline and they're working to get it through the final review process as quickly as possible. >> in the conversation that you had with the president, did he give an indication to you that these stories that we see come out day after day in the "new york times," in any way self-inflicted and after all it's the meeting that don jr. had with this russian lawyer that has precipitated all of this. >> no, and i think the president's made it pretty clear his position on this entire process. >> when you have that conversation with the president, do you ask him, just so you can speak with us and inform us, do you say, what was the nature, from your understanding, mr. president, about the conversation that your son and these other two individuals had with these russian lawyer? >> i didn't have that type of
conversation. the conversations i have are the goal is to get information that i can best communicate to you guys, whether it's on health care or infrastructure or tax reform or any other matter. i'm not -- you know, the way those conversations play out are going to vary from topic to topic. >> on sanctions, i wanted to ask, is the white house suggesting or asking for new language to insert kind of a tweak to give the president the waivers, the national securities waivers that you're seeking or is the white house wanting to see the bill canceled altogether or killed altogether? >> as i said yesterday, the president's committed to maintaining the existing sanctions against russia until moscow reverses the aggressive actions against ukraine that triggered the sanctions, and president trump reaffirmed this position at the g20 last friday. but this is more about foreign
policy and having the flexibility to negotiate with other countries, and this includes working with allies and partners to present a united front to common foes, and we remain committed to working with congress on those issues. >> with the -- >> can you call on me next, sarah. >> sure. >> okay, thank you. >> with mosul now in iraqi hands, is there a -- does the president have a strategy for the future of iraq? or u.s. involvement in iraq? >> you know, those are continued conversations, and as we have announcements on it, we'll let you guys know. >> sarah, i'm going to take this one. >> i promised i'd come to him next. >> is president trump now aware of a russian government effort to influence the campaign in his favor? >> i'm sorry? >> is the president now aware of the russian government effort to influence the campaign in his favor? >> again, i'm not going to answer any questions on that matter. >> and a follow-up on that.
yesterday, you were asked when the president learned of the donald jr. meeting, and your response was, i believe in the last couple of days is my understanding. is there any reason that we should think that answer would change today? have you learned anything new that would change your response there. >> no, i haven't. thanks so much. i'm anderson cooper. you've been listening
to the white house briefing or lack of briefing, not a lot of new information, sarah huckabee sanders repeatedly saying, i'm not going to get into the back and forth, i have nothing now add, i stand by the comments i made yesterday, not going to get into the details. this all after the bombshell development in the investigation and whether the trump campaign colluded with the russians. donald trump jr. has released an e-mail chain detailing the plan for a secret meeting he had with a russian lawyer last summer during the campaign, a meeting that was clearly set up with the intent of getting incriminating evidence against hillary clinton from the russians, a meeting that we're told the fbi did not know about until now. the first e-mail from rob goldstone, who's a confidant of
the trump family, sent june 3, 2016, reads, in part, "the crown prosecutor of russia met with his father this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate hillary and her dealings with russia and would be very useful to your father. this is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of russia and its government support for mr. trump. i can also send this information to your father, but it is ultrasensitive, so wanted to send to you first." trump jr. then replies, "thanks, rob, i appreciate that. if it's what you says, i love it, especially later in the summer." it appears former presidential campaign paul manafort and donald trump's son-in-law, jared kushner, knew about the e-mail prior to meeting with the attorney because trump jr. forwarded them the e-mail. joining me now is cnn political director david. it's interesting to hear sarah huckabee sanders refer all
questions to the attorney. >> we know that's nothing to applaud because "the new york times" was going to release these e-mails, but yes, the other thing i thought was interesting that sarah huckabee sanders did in the brief, anderson, was this commitment to saying that there's no distance between the vice president and the president. she was asked about that, because the vice president has issued a statement saying, you know -- >> yeah, i have the statement here. let me read it out. this is from mark lotter, vice president pence's
spokesman and says, "the vice president is working every day to advance the president's vaend, which is what the person people sent us here to do. the vice president was not aware of the meeting. he's not focused on stories about the campaign, particularly stories about the time before he joined the ticket." >> it's not every day that a vice president's office reminds people of a time when he had absolutely nothing to do with donald trump. so -- >> this is not exactly an embrace of donald trump jr. or the president. >> this really isn't an embrace tore a full throated defense. this does seem like a little bit of keeping his distance from the story, despite what sarah
huckabee sanders is saying. the other thing i would just note. i think it lingers as a question. why could she, from the podium yesterday, definitively say that there's no collusion, but then when today, she said, i stand by that but you have to ask all those questions to outside counsel. why was she able to take that question yesterd and not ae to take it today? the only thing that changed is this huge fact pattern that we have it in black and white in donald trump jr.'s e-mail that he did accept that meeting knowing that the russian government was wanting to help his father's campaign. >> and believing that this russian attorney was in fact a russian government attorney, whether she was or not, which is something she denies. i want to bring in gloria, jim, and dana. jim sciutto, you heard from sarah huckabee sanders there. this is certainly probably the biggest development in this russian -- alleged russian coconclusic collusion story that we have
seen this far. >> we've been covering the story since the very beginning. the senate and house intelligence committees have been digging on this question for weeks, months now. fbi, now the special counsel. that collusion question, and it's still a question, has been based purely on the fact that meetings took place. a number of meetings, a frequency that caught the notice, we have reported, of the sbenls community and law enforcement, particularly the fact that it was with so many russians, both here in the u.s. and conversations and meetings in europe as well. this is the first time we have the substance of the meeting. the impetus behind that meeting, what, in fact, was offered for the son of the president to take that meeting and very explicitly, in black and white, damaging information to the hillary clinton from the russian government with the intention of helping donald trump. that last detail particularly important because whenever the intelligence committee's assessment is mentioned, its assessment not only that russia meddled in the election but that they did so to benefit donald
trump, donald trump world, his advisers and so on, have called that craziness, fake news, witch hunt, et cetera, so here we have now in black and white the son of the president being made aware that this was the russian government's intention by a lawyer connected to the kremlin, and keep in mind, this is what the kremlin does. the kremlin uses a lot of unofficial people to convey messages, set up meetings, develop relationships, et cetera. >> jim, before we move gone to gloria and dana, i want to ask you one more question. in this e-mail exchange t idea that this is -- that the russian government is supporting or wants donald trump to win, it doesn't seem like it is a first time this is being mentioned. or it may very well be, but it almost seems like it could be a second reference. do we know anything about the phone conversation, and is it possible that the u.s. government has recordings of the phone conversation between donald trump jr. and this russian pop star, which was
something donald trump jr. asked to have this phone conversation before agreeing to actually sit down with this russian lawyer. >> well, we don't know. the u.s. would not be able to surveil an american, of course, without a warrant and we don't believe, we don't know that there is a warrant on donald trump. the u.s. government does or u.s. intelligence agencies does surveil foreign nationals, whether they be working explicitly for russian intelligence or are -- have a relationship, as many russians do, who are not officially on the government payroll. so, it is possible, it's also possible that partners of the u.s., intelligence partners, the british and others who surveil russians in europe, have contents of conversations as well. just keep in mind, i'll bring it up again, the dossier, of course, which has been dismissed many times by trump world, but as we've reported, parts of the dossier have been substantiated by u.s. intelligence. remember, at the core of the dossier were descriptions of meetings between trump advisers
and russians for thexpress purpose of exchanging information, negative information about hillary clinton, etc. so, now you have a meeting where the president's son has released an e-mail that gives exactly that description of the meeting. so, even without an intercepted communication -- an intercepted phone call, you have an e-mail here that gets right at a very similar point. >> dana bash, reaction from capitol hill, and elsewhere. >> reporter: look, there has very slowly but pretty surely been a corroding, an eroding of republican support for the president on this issue. and an inability to kind of tune it out as noise, which is what a lot of republicans on capitol hill and elsewhere were hoping at the beginning of this investigation, at the beginning of this trump administration, they would be able to do while they focused on, you know, using the fact that they finally have republican government across the board, to get an agenda passed
that they couldn't do while barack obama was in the white house for eight years. that is so difficult to do when you have not just a distraction, you have, you know, a blaring siren going off in your ear. you can't concentrate on health care, on tax reform, on infrastructure. it's just very difficult to do. they're trying. but it's very difficult. and then on the flip side, you have the actual investigation that is still going on. not just a special counsel, which obviously is going to, if they're not already, going to look into this and perhaps try to get more e-mails and more information, but on the more political side of this investigation, is capitol hill, which is working in a bipartisan way. those who are working on it, today we're trying to understandably take a breath and say we're going to try to get information, we want them to come before the committee, we want them to come even publicly, but you know, there's no looking the other way when it comes to something like this.
>> gloria borger, except from the white house spokesperson who was not answering many questions on this at all, except for reading the president's statement. >> the white house spokesperson, you know, she clearly wants to compartmentalize all of this, and they tried to do this during the lewinsky scandal with bill clinton, so sarah huckabee sanders is saying, i can't answer any of these questions, here's the statement from the president and you're going to have to go to the lawyers and now l's move on because i want to talk about what's going to happen to health care, etc., etc. i think it's a very difficult position for her to be in and for the white house to be in right now, because these are very, very important questions. and if i could just go back to your -- your original thought, to jim, it also struck me sort of in this e-mail that don jr. didn't seem at all kind of stunned or shocked or surprised by this revelation in this e-mail that it's sensitive
information, but it's part of russia and its government support for mr. trump. there wasn't a sort of what? what are you talking about? this can't be. or how do you know that? >> or even, like, give me a call right now. you know, goldstone, because i got to talk you about something. >> right. like we shouldn't be discussing this -- what are you talking about? so, to your point about how there may have been a follow-up conversation or maybe a previous conversation, we really -- we really don't know, but as i read through this, i was kind of really surprised by his lack of surprise. >> right. i mean, there could be other e-mails with this guy, goldstone, not related directly to this meeting. i mean, we simply don't know what else there is. >> absolutely. >> i also want to bring in brian stelter, kirsten powers. brian, there's the whole question of where these leaks are coming from. >> right. >> who it is who had access to these e-mails, and was able to give them to the "new york
times," and even tell them earlier about this -- about this meeting. >> there's an implication here that at least some of these leaks are coming from within the white house or right around the white house. and "the new york times" has said as much. advisers to the white house. >> that's how the times described it. >> just four days in a row of bombshells to the "new york times." we hear president trump praising his son as being transparent but as y'all have mentioned, it was only because the times called and asked for comment that the son released these e-mails. we've talked about the white house having a credibility crisis. so i'm struck by how many people are taking the president's lawyer at his word when the president's lawyer is saying, no, the president had no knowledge of this meeting and was not invve in this meeting on june of last year. these e-mails started on june 3, and then on june 7, now president trump speaks at a rally saying, what was the quote, david? something to the effect of, i'm going to be having a speech next week talking about clinton and her e-mails, so he's on camera saying this.
the meeting's on june 9 and then the same day, president trump tweets about hillary clinton's 3 3,000 missing e-mails. there's just, not to beat a metaphor into the ground, a lot of smoke and the timeline here, you got to look at the timeline really carefully, given when these e-mails happened and when this meeting happened. >> kirsten, you and i were on the air last night and before these actual e-mails came out and trump surrogates were saying, look, he didn't know who he was meeting with. he didn't know who this person was. that's just not true. i mean, whether or not this person was as advertised, but she was advertised to him, dangled in front of him, as a russian government attorney and with information coming from the russian government. >> right. and it's also, i mean, it's very hard to believe that this woman now has denied that she has any connections to the russian government. i'm sorry, i don't believe her, and the reason i don't believe her is because her -- she sort of made it her cause in life to go around trying to get sanctions lifted on a bunch of putin cronies who have been accused of human rights violations so is this her hobby
that she just does for fun? probably not. probably she has relationships with them. so she can deny it all she wants. the bottom line is they thought she worked for the russian government, and i think that what gloria brought up is the thing that has really been sticking with me and makes me think is there is more information out there. his reaction, when he was told that the russian government was sporting the candidacy of donald trump was, great. basically, any other person -- >> welcome to the campaign. >> any other person would have been pulled up short and said, whoa? it clearly wasn't the first reference, which means there's a whole bunch of other conversations that have happened leading up to this. that's my guess. >> right, if that's the first time you'd been informed that the russian government is backing your father, you would think you would be somewhat surprised. >> right now, we're looking at this through like a soda straw and there's so much we don't know. we're only seeing this one e-ilexchange. >> right. >> and the question, of course, jim sciutto, and others in d.c., how much information or i think we're clear from the folks in
d.c., i mean, how much information do investigators at this point have? i mean, did the fbi, in fact, not know about this meeting until now? and how much information can they get access to that the "new york times" can't? >> they probably can get access to it and i think the question of, who are the sources for this is a good question. it could be jared kushner realizing that this is going to get out there and i need to make sure everybody knows that i'm not the one who did this and this was set up by donald jr. it could be paul manafort for the same reasons. >> even though they were both in the room for the meeting. >> they're the two people who have the e-mails, right? we know that. >> jared kushner apparently left -- according to this russian attorney, jared kushner left the room after seven to ten minutes. >> the e-mails have been forwarded to them, so if you're them, you might say, we just showed up to the meeting. this was all donald jr.'s show. >> there's a meeting scheduled and the president's bragging about having something about clinton and then wikileaks starts teasing an e-mail dump
about clinton. there's a lot of dots out there. >> yes. absolutely. the context is important. and to what you were saying before about russia and the lack of surprise, remember there's a history of russia business with the trump organization. i know donald trump has denied some of that history, but donald trump jr.'s quotes about it, the relationship with the miss universe pageant, people having real estate deals here in the russian oligarch community through trump, so it's not as if they've never done business with russia. they're not unfamiliar with that. >> that's the other thing that some trump surrogates have been saying, well, donald trump jr. is naive to the world of politics, didn't know -- i mean, he has -- he's on the record talking about the difficulties of actually doing business in russia, knowing who you're dealing with, figuring out what their background is, what they can actually deliver, so someone going, being approached by a russian attorney who already knows, i mean, anybody doing business in russia or involved in russia knows you got to be questioning who you're meeting with. >> if you took this fact pattern and put it on a high school test
and asked, what's wrong with this fact pattern, almost every student could tell you what's wrong with it. >> it's an occam's razor situation. >> something's not right here. the russian government is supporting a presidential campaign. that, to anybody, would be shocking, and i think that the only reaction to that is to kind of be taken aback and to contact the fbi. i mean, those are the normal reactions. >> i'm going to be speaking to carl, jeffery. we're going to take a short break, be right back with more. that's mom taking care of business. but who takes care of mom? office depot/office max. this week, get this ream of paper for just one cent after rewards. ♪ taking care of business. today's senior living communities have never been better, with amazing amenities like movie theaters, exercise rooms and swimming pools, public cafes, bars and bistros even pet care services. and there's never been an easier way to get great advice.
only tylenol® rapid release gels have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast, for fast pain relief. tylenol® i mean not going to talk about the investigation, which that may or may not be part of when all the facts are known, but i'm not going to go back a day's worth of press leaks and form any conclusion from it. >> you've been skeptical, though, of the issue of collusion. is this possible evidence of that? >> i've never shown a skepticism towards collusion in an
informatio investigation. i just haven't confirmed that we're ready to conclude an investigation. we're very early in the investigation. we've got a long way to go, and they deserve to fully be vetted. >> reporter: -- >> my job is to keep this bipartisan investigation on track and reserve judgment until i see all the facts but as i said yesterday, now the public is for the first time seeing some of these facts, and these facts that have shown in the last 24 hours that there clearly was a russian government effort to discredit clinton and to help trump, and that trump officials at the most senior level were aware of that. how high that goes, we've still got questions to ask. >> the co-chairs of the senate intelligence committee there reacting to this new bombshell that is part of their investigation into potential ties between the trump campaign and russia. donald trump jr. releasing e-mails, detailing the plan for a secret meeting he had a w a russian lawyer last summer during the campaign. joining me now is carrie, former counsel to the u.s. assistant
attorney general for national security and barry bennett. barry, let's start with you. when you see these e-mails, was this wise for donald trump jr. to have a meeting with swhbd who was described to him as a russian government attorney with information from the russian government? >> you know, i've been a campaign manager my whole life. maybe it was like the fourth or the fifth campaign before you figured out that everybody who came to you said they had the dope on your opponent and was completely full of it. so no, it wasn't wise. that was naivete, not criminal. so i would not have held the meetin meeting. i bet now they wish they hadn't use had the meeting either. she had nothing to offer. >> so whether she had anything to offer or not, isn't it -- doesn't it at least show -- whether it's actually illegal or not, doesn't it at least show a willingness of collusion on the part of donald trump jr.? >> i don't know what the legal
definition of willingness of collusion is. i don't think there is one. you know -- >> i'm not asking for a legal definition. i'm just saying, doesn't it seem that he's open to the idea of colluding with the russian government? >> no, i don't think that at all. sounds to me if anything they were naive in trying to get information about hillary clinton. >> naive -- okay, from the russian government. >> well, from this woman who claims that she was from the russian government. i have no idea if she is. >> but donald trump jr. seemed to believe she was from the russian government and that's why she got the meeting. that shows a willingness. >> we need to back up a little bit here. we are now saying that everything in those e-mails, he believed or he knew. we don't even know if he read the e-mails. we've not really heard his testimony yet. we will. but we shouldn't assume all these things. >> i'm just assuming based on his own responses to the e-mail. carrie, how do you see these e-mails? >> so, first of all, the e-mails reveal what everybody else who's been following the story knows but what the trump administration and trump campaign officials have refused to acknowledge, which is that
the russian government was conducting an intentional campaign to influence the 2016 election. so, it's clear, it's in the e-mails, that that is what they are doing. the other thing is that it shows, in the e-mails, that donald trump jr. apparently now, by receiving those, had knowledge that there was official russian government involvement. in other words, the e-mails talk about official information, sensitive information, the involvement of a russian prosecutor in facilitating this information. and also, that there was support from the russian government to the trump campaign, and the described in those e-mails, it sort of begs the question as to whether or not there was other communications or other involvement or back and forth that trump campaign officials had regarding whatever was the rest of that support. >> first of all, in the e-mails,
they were -- they call her a crown prosecutor, which, of course, doesn't even exist. so, this woman was using everything she could to get into the trump -- to see a trump member. >> how do you know that? >> well, obviously, she was saying that they had got clinton information, they got all this stuff, and what she was trying to do was push sanctions against an oligarch. i know what she said. she was interviewed this morning. we know her account of the story plus we know that jared stayed for five or six minutes, paul read his e-mails the whole time. the sin here is one of naivete and having the meeting in the first place but it is all smoke and no fire. >> what i don't get, barry, is on the one hand you discount these e-mails and say you don't know if they're real, you don't know if he read them but then you're always making all these conclusions based on what you read in the e-mails. >> i'm making my conclusions on her interview this morning on "the today show" and the "new york times" piece.
don jr., i don't even -- if i was guilty of having to know everything that was e-mailed to me, good lord. that's not possible. so, we'll find out. he'll testify. we'll find out. >> carrie, in terms of don jr.'s credibility, for his story to have shifted from, oh, this was a meeting about adoptions, to now, once "the new york times" apparently has the actual e-mails and contacts him, letting him know they're going to release them, he then releases at least part of the e-mail chain. i don't know if there's the full e-mail chain, but releases the e-mail chain. does he have credibility on this? >> well, it obviously damages his credibility, because he said one thing and then the e-mails show another. but this white house has a constant credibility problem. and the president has continued to say that he doesn't believe that there was russian interference in the election when here you have an e-mail that went to his senior campaign officials and they actually did have the meeting with this individual that indicates that
they did have knowledge that there was a russian influenced campaign. so what i think these e-mails do is they shift what we describe in sort of the political terms of collusion to the open more avenues for potential investigation regarding cooperation with either intelligence gathering activities that the russian government may have been involved in, potential issues with respect to interpretation of the campaign finance laws, and whether or not the russian government was providing other things of value or whether or not, what was the other types of support that is mentioned in the e-mails. what is that support? was it simply opposition research or is there more to the story that perhaps involves other types of assistance or financial assistance. >> barry, you know, just finally, yesterday, there were a hello to the of trump surrogates who were saying this is a common thing, people often offer opposition research to campaigns, this happens all the time. there's nothing unusual about this meeting. now that at least, whether or
not this woman worked for the russian government or not, that she was at least presented as a russian government lawyer and that this information came from the russian government, is that common in campaigns? >> not that i'm aware of, but, you know, every day, someone would come to me when i was running the carson campaign, and they said they had information on, you know, ted cruz or donald trump or john kasich, and you know, they all got the same response. whatever. but let's go back to this alleged violation of campaign finance laws, which is kind of hilarious. at the same time, we know, by press accounts, that the ukrainian government was working with the dnc, developing a dossier on manafort. so, would that not also be, in the words of tim kaine, treason? and a violation of campaign finance laws. of course not. that's ridiculous. >> but it's not normal for a foreign government -- >> abnormal is not illegal. >> it's not normal for a foreign government to be involved in a
campaign. that is not normal for an american campaign to accept -- >> wrong, wrong, wrong. teddy kennedy lobbied russia to get involved in the reagan campaign. this has been going on for decades, if not hundreds of years. >> but you just said it's not normal to have this kind of meeti meeting, if r campaigns -- >> a sophisticated campaign is going to refuse this meeting. >> appreciate both your perspectives. coming up next, i'll speak live with carl burn stein and jeffery tuben for their reactions.
we continue to follow the breaking news, donald trump jr. today releasing e-mails that led up to a meeting with a russian lawyer. i want to focus on what else was going on the day of that meeting, looking back, june 9, 2016. the day begins with then-president obama finally endorsing hillary clinton. >> i don't think there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office. >> president obama's endorsement
was followed at 10:50 by a clinton tweet boasting that she had the president's support. also that morning, donald trump holds a fund-raising meeting at the four seasons in new york. trump is seen here leaving that meeting, which was also attended by paul manafort, who was still the candidate's campaign manager. now, if you move forward to 22 minutes after 2:00 p.m., trump attacks clinton in a tweet, saying, obama just endorsed crooked hillary. he wants four more years of obama but nobody else does. five minutes later, clinton responded with a three word tweet, delete your account. at 4:00 p.m., donald trump jr., his brother-in-law, jared kushner, campaign manager paul manafort, meeting with the attorney donald trump jr. believed was a russian government attorney. we learn that had today in the newly released e-mails. 40 minutes after that meeting began at 4:40, donald trump responds to clinton's delete your account tweet from earlier, with his own dig. he tweeted, how long did it take for your staff of 823 people to think that up and where are your 33,000 e-mails that you deleted.
i want to bring in jefferey toobin and carl bernstein. is donald trump jr. in trouble? >> he's going to be under investigation. we alwaysme want to conclude the matters based on one or two pieces of evidence. obviously, all of the trump campaign statements that there were no contacts with the russian government are now false and no longer operative, as they used to say during watergate. but that is not a crime. it's not a crime to lie to the american people, and even collusion is not a crime. certainly the question that's raised by these e-mails in particular is whether there was a campaign finance violation, which is, did the russian government give something of value to the trump campaign, which would be illegal. now, usually, that's the form of money. you know, foreign governments are not allowed to give money to
political campaigns. here, it might be information. that is something that director mueller will want to investigate. another issue, a person who may have even a bigger problem than donald jr., is jared kushner who was copied on these e-mails, who attended this meeting. it seems like it was a pretty big deal, this meeting. they're not -- i can't imagine there were a lot of meetings like this, and it may be that he left off this meeting on the form that he filed to get his security clearance. if that's the case, that is potentially a crime. so, i think jared kushner, who is, of course, a high government official now, unlike donald trump jr., he has something to be concerned about in light of the disclosure of these e-mails. >> carl bernstein, shifting stories from donald trump jr. over the last several days, how do you see the e-mail release today? >> i think what this is about is the son of the president of the
united states and the candidate for the presidency showing a willingness to engage in subversion of the interests of the united states for the more parochial interests of his family and his father. and he also suggests this whole latest batch of e-mails suggests the extent to which the family of donald trump is being investigated, will be further investigated, and how much what we are looking at may be about a family affair and how they were engaged in the campaign as well as other surrogates, but the focus right now, and we know that mueller and we know that the congressional committees will now be focused on jared kushner, on donald trump jr., on the president of the united states, so very much about the family, and this is also a family that is accustomed to
acting somewhat with impunity. >> jeff, if in fact the president -- i mean, he's now the president. you know, as candidate, donald trump was informed by his son or somebody else that the russian government wanted him to win, and in this case, you know, that there was a -- what he believed to be a russian government attorney who was going to be coming, does that -- i mean, obviously the president and the white house has denied that the president had any knowledge of this meeting whatsoever until just recently, but if, in fact, his son, at some point, before or after the meeting informed his father that, you know what, the russian government wants you to win and they're, you know, going to give some information, is that -- does that change anything? >> well, i think it changes the politics a lot. i mean, you know, donald trump has said over and over again that there -- he knew of no russian effort for him to win the election. he didn't participate in any effort. his campaign didn't participate
with the russian government. if donald jr. told his fathe about this overte, copie him on these e-mails, it's a very big political problem, i think. it is not, i think, a legal problem. even if this contact between the russian government -- or russian government officials and the trump campaign is unlawful, and it's not clear that it is unlawful, but even if it is unlawful, simply knowing about it on behalf of the president, i can't imagine that would be seen as a crime. but you know, it's important to remember that as important as these, you know, e-mails are that were released today, we all know that e-mails travel in chains, and lots of people are copied, and lots of people have access to e-mails. and there were probably other e-mails about this meeting. all of which director mueller
will have access to, and we, at this point, don't have access to. so, you know, we have an important part of the story today, but it's only part of the story, and i think that's important to keep in mind as, you know, people go make dramatic conclusions about what is or is not a crime. >> carl, to that idea, that we only have part of the story, which is obviously very accurate and important to keep in mind, it is interesting in the e-mail chain that we do have that there's no real surprise voiced by donald trump jr. by the idea that the russian government wants his father to win. did that stand out to you? >> it certainly is very conspicuous and what all of this suggests is that why we need mueller and a really complete investigation by the special prosecutor as well as by the congressional committees, and no more interference and demeaning and undermining of their inveigations by the president
of the united states and enabling the president of the united states to undermine these investigations by republicans on capitol hill. i think that what today's e-mails show is that it is time for republicans to say, we want this all investigated. we will stop defending blindly the president of the united states and what he says in his tweets and what his surrogat ou here and misrresent on television. we want to get to the bottom of this. this is not about the republican party. this is about donald trump, perhaps his family, his campaign. it's not about us, but we want a vigorous investigation and learn the truth, mr. president. this is a line of demarcation, i believe, today, where republicans may have to start saying to themselves, all right, enough of defending this president in the way that we have. let's move these investigations forward, because there is this suggestion of a willingness to
subvert the greater interests of the united states, subversion by members of the trump family here, and that's what's going to be investigated as well as clearly the finances of the trump family. coming up next, jake tapper joins me and what donald trump jr. told him last summer around the time of this meeting. theso when i need to book tant to mea hotel room,tion. i want someone that makes it easy. booking.com gets it. and with their price match, i know i'm getting the best price every time. visit booking.com. booking.yeah!
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trump jr. at the time he met with this russian attorney? >> it was right after the person that u.s. intelligence said there was a russian hacker, or at least affiliated with russian intelligence, released or gave the e-mails to be released to some other group of the democratic national committee hack. at that point i had interviewed the chairman of the clinton campaign, robbie mook, and he had said, before we had any information from the u.s. intelligence community, he said the clintons had been telling the campaign that this was done by the russians. keep in mind when you watch this clip this was several weeks after donald trump jr. had been told that the russian government wanted to help his father, e-mails from his associate, that at least based on the e-mails he seemed to believe and took the
meeting. think of that as you watch this clip. >> it just goes to their moral compass. they'll say anything to be able to win this time after time, lie after lie. we hear experts. his house cat at home once said this is what's happening with the russians. it's disgusting. it's so phony. >> so a very strong rejection in july 2016 by donald trump jr. of the clinton campaign saying that experts are telling them the russians were behind the dnc hack which, of course, the u.s. intelligence community went on to say is the case. it's quite a lot of indidnance from donald trump jr. when you read these e-mails from june 2016 that the russians want to help his father with the campaign. >> and we don't know if that's the first time he was told that because he doesn't reaction to this bombshell e-mail chain that's been released. jake is going to prepare for
"the lead l" which starts in abt four minutes now. jake, thank you. there is so much we don't know and i think it's important to continue to state that. but again, the notion that donald trump jr. is being told for the first time that the russian government wants his father to win and is meeting with the russian attorney doesn't seem to provoke much of a response from him. other than, yeah, let's have the meeting, let's do it. >> this to me is what underscores how significant the development is in terms of the response to this story right now. we are not hearing from president trump, the typical, it's fake news, it's a complete fabrication, this is just the democrats trying to create something. whatever it is, every excuse in the book we hear on every development. not this one. republican allies on capitol hill who usually will go out and say things like, oh, you're just hyper ventilating on all this, wait for the facts to come out. we're not hearing that. the absence of that reaction from the white house, the president and his allies in the republican party on capitol hill
suggests to me that they're all aware of the significance of this development as well. >> even the president of the united states putting out a statement to say, the vice president is working every day on an agenda. the vice president is not aware of the meeting. he's not focused on the particular meeting, specifically stories at the time of the campaign. >> there is nothing in there pushing back on the notion that there may have been some collusion or potential collusion between trump campaign officials and russia. you're just not getting anywhere in the way that we have in almost every other development in this story. >> the russian attorney has given an interview to nbc. i want to play part of that. >> what was the purpose of that meeting? >> translator: i never knew who else would be attending the meeting. all i knew that mr. donald trump jr. was willing to meet with me. i could recognize the young january who was only present in the meeting for probably the first 7 to 10 minutes, and then he stood up and left the room.
it was mr. jared kushner, and he never came back, by the way. and the other one who was at the same meeting was always looking at his phone. he was reading something. he never took any active part in the conversation. that was mr. manafort. >> they had the impression, it appears, that they were going to be told some information that you had about the dnc. how did they get that impression? >> reporter: it's quite possible that maybe they were looking for such information. they wanted it so badly. >> have you ever worked for the russian government? do you have connections to the russian government? >> translator: no. >> she seems to be denying the idea that she was presenting herself as somebody who had information or that's how the whole meeting was set up. the idea that donald trump jr. just wanted to meet with a random russian lawyer to talk about adoption, which is what his initial story was, is not
borne out by these e-mails. >> i did not see adoption mentioned in these e-mails, and to your point earlier, anderson, it's almost immaterial about what she says with her connections. it's almost as if donald trump jr. walked into that meeting and got his brother-in-law and campaign chairman into that meeting because he believed this was somebody who was involved in the russian government's effort to help his dad's campaign. >> the other unknown said the president knew nothing about this meeting, recently learned about it. is it possible donald trump jr. did not inform his father that he's just learned that the russian government is backing his campaign or at some point later on informed his father of that? >> i guess it's possible, but it seems to me that question is not going to die down anytime soon. >> the white house clearly not making much news today in respding, essentially sarah huckabee sanders saying, there's nothing new here, i'm not going to comment, and pushing it to donald trump jr.'s lawyer.
>> and just making a statement backing his son. >> a lot ahead. coverage obviously continues. this is a major development, bombshell, into this investigation. we'll continue coverage throughout the day. special coverage continues right now with jake tapper in "the lead." good afternoon and welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. breaking and stunning news in our politics lead today, the release of an e-mail chain from last june between donald trump jr. and this man, rob goldstone, a british-born reporter, publicist and associate of the trump family dating back to the miss universe pageant in mcow in 2013. the subject line of the e-mail chain, russia climate