tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN July 11, 2017 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
>> do you tell your father anything about this? >> no it was such a nothing there was nothing to tell. >> so let me ask everybody at home this. why should you -- why should any of us believe that? this interview is like his fifth attempt to defend the indefensible. don junior is the latest person to mislead you about the russian dealings. michael flynn, attorney jeff sessions, his own son-in-law and now the closest yet, his name sake, donald trump jr. so no one knows exactly where this investigation's going to end up, what it's going to uncover. the president and his supporters have said time and time again this is fake news, it's a witch hunt. please, it's time to end that garbage. read the e-mails and ask
yourself who do you believe, the people that misled you over and over and over or do you believe your own lying eyes. let's start our show. bringing in cnn's correspondent jim action. michael ryan. and cnn commentator david. david i'll start with you. two key things about this exchange today. rob gold stone, the publicist who set up the meetings e-mails, donald trump jr. says this this is very high-level and sensitive information and part of the russian its government for donald trump. with donald trump jr. implying this is what you say i love it. here's what donald trump jr. said today. >> things a going a million miles an hour again and hey, came i've heard about all these thing and maybe this is something i should hear them out. this was basic information that was going to be possible. i didn't know these guys.
if the talent manager from miss universe had this thing. i wanted to hear them out. >> did you tell your father anything about this? >> it was such a nothing there was nothing to tell. i wouldn't remember it until you start skouerring through the stuff it's literally a waist of 20 minutes which is a shame. >> he only released this stuff after the "new york times" had published them now he's telling the media it's a wasted 20 minute. david what's your response? >> i remember when i saw the initial story over the weekend when he was saying we met and talked about adoption. i was saying why would you have a meeting about adoption with this connected russian lawyer and why bring in jared kushner and paul manafort two leading figures in the campaign for a triviale meeting. it didn't make sense this. then as the story evolve that's
not what the meeting was about. they got a terrible credibility problem on this. it's beyond credibility now, this is something that's in the hands of special counsel. obviously the congressional committees are torqued up to drill down on all this. and we have entered ana phase of this investigation, no question about it. >> general i want to read this, maggy habermann and peter baker this is the "new york times," here's what they're reporting tonight. as air force one jetted back from europe on saturday, a small country of mr. trump's adviser in a cabin helping to craft a statement for the eldest son, donald trump jr. to get to the new york types to explain why he met last summer connected with russian government. participates on the plane debated about how to be transparent. ultimately the people said the president signed off on a statement for donald trump jr. for the times that were so incomplete that it required day
after day of follow up statements. each more revealing than the last. did the white house mishandle this? i hate to ask you that question but what's your answer? >> well, as they were working with the president's son to craft some sort of statement to explain all this they did a pretty poor job of it. they've had to revise the statement a couple of times, or at least donald trump jr. has over the last supple of days. don, we're running out of white chalk to dry the lines on the t.v. screen on whose connected to on on all this. i think the idea at the white house, the sense is that they were running out of good answers for these questions, i think that's why you're seeing these briefings off camera. i think that's why you're seeing people like sarah huckleby sanders giving statements like we saw earlier today which she
essentially was sent into the room to read a two answer segment from the president. she really didn't have much more to say than that. and i think what we're looking at here is a situation where the white house and the president, his team and his defenders can no longer repeat what they've said for months now, which is that there were no contacts between trump world and the russians. that denial is now out the window, that cannot be used anymore in light of these e-mails. the one thing they can attempt to say is that there was no collusion but it appears there was teamed collusion if you look at the e-mails from the president's son. my guess is that the president will be asked about this on thursday, scheduled to hold a join news conference with emmanuel macron, the french president over in paris. don, to give you an indication of how locked down things are over here at the warehouse.
tomorrow will be the third day in a row where the president will have a public schedule with no public events. the only time we've seen him out in front of the cameras is -- and as -- i don't mean to t him up here it is highly unusual to see three days in a row of just no events on the public schedule. >> yeah, you mentioned sarah muck by -- >> let me just say, not only is it unusual normally but you're in the final weeks before recess of a senate -- of a congressional session in which healthcare is hanging in the balance and their champing at the bit to get over things done, including try to prepare to deal with a debt ceiling. there's weightier issues going on and the president of the united states is sequestered in the white house pinned down by something that's come to his
doorstep. >> cnn is now learning that special council robert mueller will be looking into donald trump jr.'s e-mail with publicist problem gold stone. he's the one that set up this meeting on behalf of the pop star client. then it's his father who had the connection to putin, both of woman had the connection to donald trump. all of this will likely span the scope of this investigation, will it? >> well, it has to. here you have in plain language and e-mails, representations that the russian government was seeking to aid the trump campaign. so that begs all sorts of questions, leave aside how don junior and paul manafort and jared kushner reacted to the meeting. you have rob goldstone who i spoke to for hours back in march, stating flatly that the -- the kremlin through the
aguilar rof business partners of donald trump going back to that 2013 miss universe pageant were seeking to assist trump's candidacy by providing damaging information about hillary clinton. so how extensive was the russian government effort. was this the sole efforts and information to tip the scale or was it it part of this campaign the intelligence community described back in january. >> april, a couple things. if donald trump jr. thought so little of this why bring in the campaign chairman and top adviser? why bring in manafort and jared cu kushner if if he thought so little of this meeting why would he bring in those people who has
such influence of donald trump? >> you said it exactly, such influence with donald trump, the man who they wanted to be president of the united states. don, that brings if the question, how wide will this go and how high will this rise to. who else? what higher heights would this implicate someone else? it's touching a nerve in the press room, afsar ra huckleby -- >> let's play it and then i want you to finish what you're saying. here's huckleby sanders today. >> i have a quick statement that i'll read from the president. my son is a high equal person and i applaud his trarnz parentsy. and beyond that i'm going to have to refer everything on this party to don junior's counsel and outside counsel and won't
have anything else to add beyond that today. >> good april, that was pretty lukewarm though. >> it was lukewarm but the devil is in the details. the president did not tweet this, he gave it to sarah huckleby sanders to read. it was basically almost 140 characters he could have tweeted this -- >> nottin' acamera. >> right. he wanted his spoke person from that wous podium to deliver that statement. we kept peppering her about it. i even asked her, you know some of words now being used. treason and percentajury. and after asking her begun she said the words are so ridiculous. but they were so frustrated with this, like jim said, they cannot say there's no more collusion. when they walked out of that room, someone in that line with sarah huckleby said -- opened that door so hard with
frustration that you can hear the door crack a bit. they were so rangely when they left that briefing room today. the frustration is now evident. there are lengths with this and the lengths come from a person that bears the president's name. >> jim did you want to weigh in on this? >> i think and perhaps the rest of panel will agree, the next terminal on all this is when the republican leaders up on capitol hill will say enough is enough. i talked to somebody from trump world today who was saying this is a minor headache we can recover from this. there is a sense inside the trump team that's well, we survived access hollywood we can survive anything. i just don't know how long they can run with that mind set. i was talking to a senior reporter earlier on capitol hill who was describing this as this
is another term, this is why good people don't go into government. there is gloom hanging over republicans in washington. i think the death watch you have to keep your eye on in washington is when republicans on capitol hill say enough is enough. when do they take it up to here and no go any further. i think that'sst that's one things will star to turn -- >> david i need you to hold that thought. stay with me everyone. much more on our breaking news. a box shell e-mail chain on donald trump jr.'s russia meeting. what was learned when we spoke to the russian lawyer who was in that meeting. wise man, i'm nervous about things i can't control... affecting my good credit score. i see you've planted an uncertainty tree. chop that thing down. the clarity you seek... lies within the creditwise app from capital one. creditwise helps you protect your credit. and it's completely free for everyone.
the answer to it all. ♪ we want to need each other. ♪ breaking news tonight, donald trump jr. speaking out tonight trying to explain his campaign meeting with the russian attorney who promised dirt on hillary clinton. the panel back with me. david you want to weigh in. jim was saying how much longer republicans in washington will put up with this. go on. >> yeah, and i want to offer a bit of right lane check. the fact is that as we sit here today donald trump's numbers overall aren't particularly good but the numbers of republicans have been really strong. they've been pretty consistent, throughout the base they've stuck with him. there's been more of an inclination to believe his story
and there's much more of an interest in other things that he's doing supreme court aappointments and trade and immigration and some of the issues that fire up that base, fighting obamacare. so the real question is, i think there are plenty republicans on the hill who are dismayed and would like to walk away from the president, but they're not going to walk away from a president who has 85% approval numbers among republican voters. if those numbers change or if they start walking up to the midterm elections, i don't think they're going to walk away. >> now, i want to play more of donald trump jr. tonight. watch this. >> when all of this is going on, someone had information on our opponent, and this is 13 months ago, i think the rest of world was talking about that trying to build up this narrative about russia. so i don't think my sirens went up because it wouldn't the issue it's been made out to be over
the last 9 months, 10 months. >> jim, earlier i asked him then why would you invite manafort and kushner to the meeting. what's your reaction to that? >> yeah, i mean i think -- i heard this from someone who was a trump adviser during the campaign who was saying they were getting all sorts of officer resrmg coming in. and this person was saying, you know, maybe donald trump jr. was acting as sort of a poly-annie here, not fully understanding what the i wamplications were o having the russians come in and sit down for a meeting. but that does not rey answer the question as to why paul manafort would come in and sit in for a meeting like that. why jared kushner, the president's son-in-law, why all
three of them would get in a room with a russian lawyer, with these e-mails coming from the rob goldstone character. it does sound like at this point, don, that we have evidence of teamed collusion or at least the -- an effort made to begin the process of some kind of collusion and coordination. you know, remember dwom jr. only released four passages of e-mails today, that's what he released to the public. we don't know what other e-mails are out there. during the course of the campaign we remember this very well. there was all this talks about servers and preserving the servers and where are these missing e-mails, i don't want to start imagining what thor side is going to say in this in the weeks to come, my guess is you're going to hear a lot from the democratic aisle saying where's the e-mails, where's the
server, is that server going to be sent over to mueller's office. >> did you want to say something michael? >> well, i wanted to just talk about the story we posted later this afternoon, because i think it explains a lot about understanding the context of what was released today. i mentioned before that i had tone at great lengths, some months ago to rob goldstone long ago before there were any hints of these e-mails. i want to understand the events in moscow in 2013 when trump went there for miss universe contest. in fact, there was talk then of business deal, a trump tower in moscow, kind of something dismissed that never got off the ground. in fact, there was a lot more to that than was commonly understood. first of all, the trump organizations and the agler rofs
signed a letter of content to con true and correct the trump tower in moscow. donald trump jr. was put in charge of the project. ivanka trump flew over in moscow in 2013 to site spots for the trumps. and a photo was scouted of ivanka trump confirming what goldstone told to me. significantly, gold ston said why the tower project collapsed. it happened in 2015 when the russian committeconomy took a d because of the the -- in eu. i think when you see that you begin to understand, number one, trump's hostility or interest in lifting sanctions. this were those sapgs that
screwed up his business deals in russia. number two, when you see these e-mails and you see how close they were to the krim len and they're being used to pass along this information from the russian government, it shows just how close these relationships were and i think helps shed light on what was going on here. >> april, cnn spoke with the russian lawyer on natalia about this meeting, take a look and then i want your response. >> translator: when it was suggested that i meet with donald trump jr. i met him in a provide situation. it was a private meeting not related at all that it was the son of the candidate. the information i had was spell out it was the same for even including donald trump jr., who had listened to my story, didn't understand based on our conversation how he could help me. >> when you hear what she's
saying and what donald trump jr.'s saying his explanations, what are you thinking? >> what he said in that e-mail, if it's what you say it is, i love it. the question is what part did he not love or did he take the information and want to hold on to it, not give in saying that this was what he wanted. there are a lot of questions still about what's going on. but, there is a lot of smoke around here when it comes to these e-mails, and at issue -- and i'm going back to something david said. when you look at the support for donald trump, president donald trump right now, yes, his base is supporting him still but there is a little bias, some republicans on the hill that are looking at this askew. but tame you have rob there are people who are putting a lot of stock into this investigation, mueller. and if mueller sees the smoke
and finds the fire, we'll wonder will things change. will there be people saying there is something serious, not just owner the democratic side by the republican side. and for both donald trump jr. and this lawyer to say what they're saying, something is there. we have to wait to find out what is that something. >> yeah, it's interesting because everything that michael said now that will expand this investigation, what happened with the real estate deals and on and on. >> but there was never a trump name on the building, that's the crazy piece about the whole thing. they worked up to all this and trump's name never wen on a building in russian there. >> interesting. tax returns. >> yeah, i want to ask jim something. jim, you covered the trump campaign from start to finish. knowing the relationships that you do, is it credible that that
group could have gotten an emil like that, had a meeting like that and never mentioned it to -- none of them ever mentioned it to donald trump? >> you know, david i asked a couple former campaign advisers earlier today and they were telling me they had not heard about it. how extensive that goes i think that's going to take more digging. i don't think that holds up, i think it's very possible someone did know about this. but as one person said to me, and this has been throwing it out there in a line of defense is that if the trump campaign wouldn't organized enough, you know to win this length, remember people were saying they weren't organized to win this election, how can that i have been orpgdsed enough to collude with the concerns. that's not a good argument now i suppose. i get the seasons they're
looking for a way to explain this way. donald trump ran a very hierarchy campaign, this was very much run by the inner circumstance l. him, his family and a few close advisers, it is possible they were able to keep this under wraps. i find it amazing that the president himself did not know this until a couple days ago. that is the story they're giving us right now and that's something the president's going to be asked about i would think lair on when he holds this news conference. what did he know about these e-mails? did his son tell hip about this before earlier this week? did he foobd out earlier this week or has he non this for sometime? if he has known this for sometime then it does call into question with the comments he made for many many months now about no contact or collusion. >> we asked that question david,
about whether or not donald trump jr. would have a meeting or e-mails like this and not tell his father. we had some people respond -- >> and the other guys -- >> just in e-mail, it says what do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to emin about it directly. i can also send this information to your father. but it's ultra sensitive so i wanted to send it to you first. i got to go you got to make it really quick. >> okay the e-mails were discovered by jared kushner's lawyer in lay june. so it's been known inside the white house for three or four weeks now. >> god david, quick. >> the other question is what signal did they send to the russians by taking this meeting? did they signal to the russians that they wanted to play ball with them. >> yeah. thank you all.
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president trump breaking his silence on his son donald trump jr. and his bombshell e-mails about a meeting with a russian lawyer. what does this mean for white house? dan raters here. good evening sir. >> good evening don. >> you said this, these e-mails are unlike anything you could have imagined. right? did you say that? >> i did say that because that's been my experience. i haven't seen anything but this is absolutely unprecedented in the history of the country. we've never had any president in the history of the country that had such wide belief in the country who couldn't be trusted.
andrew jackson was not elected president but andrew johnson was scolding throughout the country. but even johnson didn't have many americans on the -- base. what we've seen today is shakes spear yan and tragic terms for the country. because the presidency is frozen, that this -- exposing this e-mail on the president's son just puts a freeze in the stomach of everybody whose in the white house, whether they admit it or not. and with that as the operative narrative for the moment, nothing is going to get done. healthcare isn't going to get done, tax reform will not get done. so what you have is a president who seems to have been disintegrating from the very first. we're only six months in with
this presidency. we've never had a presidency begin disintegrating from day one and continue to do so for six months. it's tragedy for trump presidency and the country. >> let's talk about this. because as you know, it's a wind chill hundred, fake news. and i addressed that at the top of the show. the news media and senate didn't write the e-mails, it was written by a friend of the trumps, right, who said that they had connections to the russian government and donald trump's own son responded this is a problem of their own making. >> yes. when the original contact was made, keep in mind there's a russian government operative making this contact saying i have dirt on hillary clinton. in fact, the response was i'm going to have a meeting and i love it. this was very serious. i will say the person who seems
most vulnerable from a legal standpoint would be jared kushner, the son-in-law -- >> yes, he works for the -- >> he's inside the white house and as far as we know we still have a security clearance. what you've got here, the information so far has been dug out by great investigate reporting. what reporters, they don't have the paint of the perjury. rot mueller, the special prosecute and the prosecutors they have the threat of perjury. they will get all these people in by themselves to get testimony and compare the testimony. and if anybody held an untruth it'll go to a permission. by the way, i haven't heard something mentioned very often, there are laws against foreign governments about involved in american election campaigns, there are laws against that.
election fraud campaigns foreign government can't give money to support one presidential candidate. as i understand it, it's not limited to money. anything you get from a foreign government design to affect a campaign. >> there's a value to information. >> exactly. therefore already you have -- i'm not saying anybody broke the law, i'm saying it's a real question, meant an ill legality already. >> from the interpretation of that. >> right. i'll be very surprised and amazed if mueller isn't looking into that land of thought. i do agree with what was said earlier tonight on your program, that among the people who voted for donald trump, 85% of them still say that they support him. this reminds me of a time during the worst of the nixon time, almost the worst, not long before president nixon was
forced to resign, there were plenty of people, not all republicans that were saying, you know what i got to tell you, with the people back home -- >> my constituents. >> my constituents there's no republican conservators. i'm saying back home a lot of people don't foe or care about this. we do have to be careful, you, i and others who report on the coast not to be too quick to say this is so terrible it's bound to affect donald trump directly because there are out there today, a lot of those same thought of people sayings, listen it's just the press jumping on trump because he won the election and other people don't foe about it. some that do know don't care. >> right. but we are tasked with telling the truth and reporting the story and it is what it is. whether people don't want to believe that that's their progress tifr.
>> exactly. there's been a litany of newspaper reporters. this is great reporting. when we talk about freedom and the value of the press and ks posing what the powerful wants to keep secret, we're seeing almost every day an example of it. >> since you brought up nixon how do you think this compares? is this comparable to the tapes the e-mails? >> i one say it's comparable yet. the overall questions about who did what, to what end if the trump campaign. this is one of the great scandals of american political history and its potential is to be greater than the watergate, that's a potential. >> i sit here and listen to you and as i listen to you i think about that old saying is that, if we don't pay attention to history we're bound -- >> doomed --
>> doomed to repeat it. >> doomed to repeat it. >> yeah. >> i do think a lot of people are in a position where, i just feed to know the facts. that's the reason i wrote this on facebook today. people want to know the facts, need to know the facts and deserve to know the facts. as you know i'm an optimist by nature and experience and i do think we'll get to the bottom of this. we may very well find out that days like today were only the tip of the iceberg. there's so much yet we need to know, because the central question -- you and i have discussed this before, in addressing trump and trump campaign and what's happening is what are they hiding? now we found out today some of thing that were hiding? details about the secret meeting. >> yeah. >> and the question remains what else are they hiding?
presidents applauding his son tonight for what he calls transparency but team trump has changed its tune on the russian connection. watch this. >> i don't know what you're talking about it's crazy. i can't think of bigger lie. >> did anybody in the trump campaign have any connection with the russians trying to meddling in the elections? >> of course not. >> i have nothing to do with russia. >> there's no evidence of collusion. >> you've got russia. if the president puts russian salad dressing on his salad tonight somehow that's a russian connection. >> we've been going on this russian/trump hoax for the better part of a year now. >> there's nothing between me and my captain but i can always
speak for myself and the russians, zero. >> by the way, donald trump jr. released the e-mails because the "new york times" released them first. >> nick acra minute. rob i'm going to start with you. there's a lot of talk about collusion, let's talk about conspiracy and even treason. but let's break the donald trump jr. e-mail. in promises to provide the trump campaign for criminal dealings with hillary. and donald trump jr. responded, if it's what you say i love it, especially lair in the summer. so i'm just asking this question, does any of this add up to collusion with the russians, influence in the election, is it legal?
>> the question is whether there's underlying criminal violation to investigate. and i have said, i think from the beginning we've discussed this many times now in the past over the first six months of the trump administration, collusion in my mind requires first that you have a high-level campaign official with the trump campaign, okay. so we're -- parental that's been satisfied as donald trump jr. as the campaign manager. second, it requires that you know there were discussions with a russian government official, still somewhat unclear as to whether this russian lawyer is a russian government official. third and most importantly, it's god to be collusion by in which what's dangled out there, the russians say here's what we have to you, 30,000 e-mails. and in change we're asking
something from an actually trump administration. going back to june of 2016, when the trump campaign hadn't yet even received the republican nomination. difficult to add that there'd be discussions about what russian officials will be expecting from trump administration. >> i think you disagree because you call these e-mails almost a smoking cannon, so make the case, more crimes have been committed here. >> there's been several crimes committed. first of all we're not talking about a quid pro quo to have a collusion. as dan mentioned earlier today this evening, it's not just a matter of money, it's a thing of value. it was clear that they were willing, the russians were willing to turn over documents to the trump campaign. it was also clear from these
e-mails that the trump campaign would be promoting trump and working on the trump campaign. so that in itself, taking that and donald junior saying, i love it. the fact that he's accepting it is in itself a crime. i mean, what he should have done the minute that came up was to call the fbi and turn these people in. you don't say when somebody suggs the a criminal crime and legal for a foreign power to be involved in our election and assistance for any campaign to say terrific i love it. you should be calling the fbi, going down your trump towers getting the secret service agents who are all over the place and tell lim that there's a federal crime le wants to report, he did not do that. the real easy one here is jared kushner. it's probably under the worst
possible umbrella here because of this meeting. we know he lied about the fact that the meetingin' took place on his national security form. i just filled out one of those for a couple months ago for a case that i had. there's no way that any normal person would read that firm and not know that you'd have to report aefr single matter, any too many you appellate with a foreign financial, particularly a russian. now you got a high level of material yalt of why he lied. you gotter yalt and motivate. so he's really in the hot se seat -- >> go on quickly. name them what do you see they are? >> there's treason and the logan act. >> how is it -- how is i treason? do you think that's putting the cart ahead of the horse now?
>> not at all. i mean, basically he's giving aid and comfort to the enemy, russia by any standard is our enemy. they're the enemy of not only our country but all of western democracies. >> we're not at war with rush. >> we don't have to be at war. >> that's a ridiculous notion. >> not at all. >> by doing something that would be damaging to hidalgo county's company, that's absolutely ridiculous. the other argue regard to possible violations, yes, it is techly true that you can prosecute a campaign responsible prosecutors understand that generally speak, while you can prosecute in kind campaign contributions, it's much more difficult to do so unless you're talking about something that's a cash equivalent, and it would be very difficult to show that e-mails or somehow or another a cash equivalent to a campaign
contribution from a prohibited party. >> if they profited off of that, i don't mean by winning or what have you because there's a lot that goes with the presidency of the united states. >> you can say, all right, it's a stretch, theoretically, you're right. it's possible. it would be hard to imagine how you'd bring a special prosecution. and the last thing on the logan act, again, june 2016, seriously? we're talking about a violation of the logan act which is to say the conduct of foreign policy by a campaign that hasn't even yet received the republican nomination. you want to talk about a logan act violation if you have facts that talk about the period of the transition after the president-elect has been elected. >> nick, do you agree? quickly, though. >> i don't agree with any of that. you can have a violation of the logan act. they're dealing with this russian representative, this lawyer, who is talking about sanctions she wants lifted. there's subtle reference here to a quid pro quo anyway. and the fact that there's not --
we're not at war with russia doesn't mean that you don't get involved in treason. and thirdly, with respect to the whole business about an in-kind contribution, that does not have to be money. it doesn't have to be anything more than providing aid to the campaign. and clearly those e-mails show that the russians were providing and offering to provide aid to the campaign. >> thank you. thank you both. we'll be right back. airline credit card. lovely ladl so she only earns double miles on purchases she makes from that airline. what'd you earn double miles on, please? ugh. that's unfortunate. there's a better option. the capital one venture card. with venture, you earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, everywhere, every day. not just airline purchases. seems like a no-brainer. what's in your wallet?
of your back pain?trol new icyhot lidocaine patch. desensitizes aggravated nerves with the max strength lidocaine available. new icyhot lidocaine patch. donald trump jr. saying in retrospect he probably would have done things differently when it comes to the russian meeting. how are republicans reacting? alice stewart and scott jennings are here and 2016 independent presidential candidate edwin mcmullen. scott, it's hard to overstate how stunning this e-mail chain is. this is the editorial from the "new york post" and they write in part, we see only one truly solid takeaway from the story of the day. donald trump jr. is an idiot. this is "the new york post" which has been very kind and friendly to the trump folks.
what's your reaction? >> it was a stupid meeting to take and i'm sure in retrospect he wishes he wouldn't have taken it. it is time for him to make a strong statement that he understands and acknowledges there was russian meddling in the election. he needs to reaffirm he agrees with the transparency pledges his family and staff have made. they've all said they'd talk to investigators. if he'd take a couple of those steps tomorrow or this week, that would show that the white house is taking this seriously. >> what do you think about the response from republicans today? are you happy with it or no? >> no, i'm not happy with it. i think republicans have got to do more. they have to show leadership. i'm talking about republican leaders specifically. but donald trump is playing the 35% game. he wants to protect his base, protect his core support, as long as he does that by throwing them red meat on policy issues, which he continues to do, he'll have protection in the house. i think this is a bit different, though in the long term because these e-mails are so egregious. they portray activity that's so
egregious it harms his ability to keep saying the russian issue is a hoax. if he can't say that or things like that, then i think it impairs his ability to continue to have his base think that there's nothing to this. over time this has an effect. >> and also to get things done in washington. if this continues on. and this certainly does hurt that. ali alice, you supported president trump all along, and i respect you for that. and you are a straight shooter, but at what point does it become too much for you when you look at this? is this a bridge too far or what? >> this is yet another chip away at the credibility of this administration. i think it may fall short of any kind of criminal wrongdoing or something further as to your previous guests were talking about, but the problem is the denials of a meeting in the first place and then saying it was about russian adoption and explaining away every other version of the truth until we
have seen these e-mails. it's insulting to the american people and the fact that we continue to get misleading statements from the administration chips away at their credibility. and what we're seeing now is the outright new information that the "e" in these e-mails stands for evidence. and it will be used in the mueller investigation. and for him and the administration to say there's a big nothing burger, these e-mails put a little meat on the bones. >> can i ask you something? so you have lots of contacts with the trump folks and with republicans in washington. what are you hearing? what are they telling you? >> they continue to say that there's nothing there. and they continue to say that the meeting was one that now shouldn't have happened. >> what about lawmakers, i mean, in washington. >> they want to let the investigation play out. they want to see where the facts lead. they don't want to jump to conclusions. this is concerning, though. it does make it difficult for them to work together with the administration when they have all these distractions. we're still waiting for some
progress on health care, but this is nothing more than a huge distraction for republicans, and it does make it difficult to work. >> i want to ask about the vice president pence. he said the president is working every day to advance the president's agenda. the vice president is working every day to advance the president's agenda which is what the american people sent us here to do. you can read it off the screen. what does this tell you about even the vice president is distancing himself from this, scott? >> well, it's similar to the posture they took on flynn. they were angry about some of the things they learned after the fact about flynn. n so i think several turns, the vice president's office has sought to distance themselves from some of these drip, drip, drips. it's probably politically smart for him in the long run. maybe doesn't lead to harmony inside the west wing. >> evan, what do you say to that is? >> yeah, i think that's true. i think it's also smart for the broader team so that if they -- if pence has a little separation, then they can use him to advance policy initiatives and whatnot and that
can sort of keep the boat afloat in some way. so i see it that way as well. >> thank you all. i appreciate it. thank you for watching. i'll see you right back here tomorrow. "white house in crisis," jake tapper, starts right now. this is cnn breaking news. >> good evening. this is a cnn special report. "white house in crisis." breaking tonight. what an ally of the trump white house is calling a category 5 hurricane to a new story in "the washington post." the president's son, donald trump jr., trying to defend himself and explain what is arguably the most incriminating piece of public information into russian interference in the 2016 election and whether there was any demonstrable collusion between the trump team and the kremlin. i'm jake tapper, and this is what we know this hour. e-mails, preemptively released by trump