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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  April 18, 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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and blunt in public. what you see is what you get with barbara bush and in both of the cases with geraldine ferrero and donald trump, they were people that had attacked her son and her husband and therefore she was pretty fierce in protecting her family. >> momma bear. susan page, looking forward to the book. that is it for "the lead" and now turning you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news. russian relief. the white house telling moscow embassy here in washington, there won't be any new sanctions. even as president trump's ambassador to the united nations was on national television vowing the opposite. what caused the disconnect? face-to-face, president trump gives new details of the secretary of state nominee secret meeting with kim jong-un saying mike pompeo got along, quote, really well with the north korean dictator in pyongyang. is kim on a charm offensive ahead of his meeting with president trump?
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con job. president trump dismisses a sketch of the man stormy daniels says threatened her after her alleged affair with mr. trump more than a decade ago. saying the man doesn't exist and the news media is being played. i'll talk about the twitter attack and the stormy daniels case with her attorney. he's standing by to join us live later this hour. and the mysterious death. another critic of vladimir putin meets a premature demise allegedly falling from his fifth floor apartment. we're learning new details today of the controversial stories he was covering, did they wind up costing him his life? i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> we're following breaking news. president trump voicing confidence that his pick to lead the state department will be confirmed and giving new details
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of mike pompeo's extraordinary secret meeting with the north korean dictator kim jong-un. also breaking, a senior administration official confirms to cnn that the trump administration told the russian embassy here in washington that no new sanctions were in the works after the u.n. ambassador nikki haley said the opposite on national television. we'll talk about that and more with senator ben cardin of the foreign relations committee just announced he's voting against mike pompeo's nomination and our specialists are also standing by. but let's begin with the chief white house correspondent jim acosta, covering the president down in florida. jim, the president is meeting with the japanese prime minister and we expect to hear from him later tonight. >> reporter: that is right, wolf. and a senior administration official as you just said confirmed to cnn the trump administration informed the russian embassy on sunday that there would not be an additional round of sanctions aimed at moscow, part of the reason for that call we're told is some of the confusion that was created
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by the u.n. ambassador nikki haley on sunday when she said another round of sanctions against russia were on the way. that confusion comes as the white house is trying to make preparations for a high-level meeting between the president and kim jong-un. all of that likely to be subjects for this press conference with the japanese prime minister shinzo abe in about an hour from now. doing some golf course diplomacy to score a foreign policy hole in one, the president is talking up his administration's efforts to land a face-to-face meeting between mr. trump and north korean dictator kim jong-un. >> we have had talked at the highest level. and it is going very well. but we'll see what happens. >> reporter: a big part of the talks, the president confirmed his pick for secretary of state cia director mike pompeo secretly flew to north korea to meet with the dictator over easter weekend. >> he just left north korea, had a great meeting with kim jong-un, and got along with him
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really well. really great. and he's that kind of a guy. he's very smart, but he gets along with people. >> reporter: the president took time out of his schedule to continue hammering at former fbi director james comey. he was on the talk show circuit promoting his new book. mr. trump tweeted, slippery james comey the worst fbi director in history was not fired because of the phony russia investigation, whereby the way there was no collusion except by the dems. but that can't possibly be true as the president told nbc last year he in fact did fire comey over the russia probe. >> and when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story -- >> reporter: appearing on the view, comey wasn't buying it. >> i think that illustrates part of the problem i'm trying to bring up. it matters that the president is not committed to the truth as essential american value but so i don't know what to make of it. >> reporter: despite the president's comments, republican
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leader don't sound rs to pass legislation to protect the robert mueller investigation. >> i don't think he should fire mueller and i don't think he's going to so this is a piece of legislation that is not necessary in my judgment. >> reporter: the president is also busy feeting some political red meat to the base with california and sanctuary cities that don't share information with federal authoritying and tweeting there is a revolution going on in california and so many want out of this ridiculous crime infest and breeding concept. that comment about unauthorized immigrants, quote, breeding, harks back to his claims that millions of undocumented people are voting illegally. >> in many places like california, the same person votes many times, you probably heard about that. there was -- they say that is a conspiracy theory. not a conspiracy theory. >> reporter: and the white white house is still cleaning up between ambassador nikki haley and larry kudlow.
quote
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kudlow apologies for saying she was confused -- >> absolutely. so you will see that russian sanctions will be coming down. sect mnuchin will announce those on monday. >> reporter: haley fired back saying with all due respect, i don't get confused. a source close to haley tells cnn she's willing to stand up to mr. trump, saying, quote, she resprekts the presidency more than the current president. haley insists the relationship with the president is just fine. >> how is your relationship with president trump? >> it is perfect. >> reporter: and as for the potential for that meeting between president trump and the north korean dictator kim jong-un, senior administration officials, white house officials, they are all pointing to this trip that mike pompeo made to north korea to sit down with kim jong-un as evidence to democrats as to why his nomination should be approved and in the senate. >> and you're in the grand ballroom at mar-a-largo. the president's resort in palm beach florida and that is where he's holding the news conference
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with the visiting prime minister. >> reporter: that is right. and i suspect the news that we're reporting now that the trump administration informed the russian embassy on sunday there would not be an additional round of sanctions on moscow is very likely to come up. that is just breaking at this hour. we're told the president apparently changed his mind over the weekend on this subject. i talked to a senior administration official earlier today who simply sounded puzzles as to why the president changed his mind. so it sounds like for a period there this white house president -- the president appeared to be at one point supportive of new sanctions on russia but that is not the decision that was made and that was communicated to the russians on sunday. >> very intriguing. jim acosta will have live coverage of the news conference. stand by. and more on the breaking news. our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto is with us and alise labbin with us. and so happened because nikki haley was saying the opposite of
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what they were telling russian diplomats here in washington. >> the trump administration delivered a clear message to russian diplomats than to their own secretary -- u.n. secretary. and ambassador rather. that seems to be the clear message here. and that is not just a communication failure, because this is the latest of the number of indications of what appears to be a real division, not just within the republican party but within the administration itself on a approach to russia policy. you have folks -- many, it seems outnumbering the president who want a harder stance and sanctions -- >> nikki haley included. >> nikki haley included, who want tougher sanctions and stiffer military response and the president almost alone -- there is new national security adviser bolton is a russia hawk and the president alone on the other side and encouraging and not just this weekend but for many months a softer take on russia and that is a -- that is a division that has to be
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resolved but also one that has serious dysfunctional issues for the functioning of this white house. >> because you would think that before the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. goes on talk shows and makes statements like this, she would have been well briefed on what exactly the u.s. policy was. >> and look, nikki haley got screwed and left this meeting at the white house thinking sanctions were in train and everybody was in agreement. i don't know that monday was a set day to roll out. she might have went too far -- she definitely is going to have a note to self, never predict a date when it comes to this president. even if she felt it was a date, maybe she have hesitated because this president is always changing his mind. but president trump over the weekend kind of ruminated on it and changed his mind. nobody told nikki haley and then called the russians after she went out and said this and kind of said, listen, there are no new sanctions for now.
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i don't think the way the russians are putting it out is exactly true. i don't think the russians are off the hook but not any new sanctions for now but they will still deliberate. >> and a question for the special counsel is another instance where it is -- there is some evidence that the trump administration delivered a message to russia that there would not be additional sanctions or penalties that goes back to the transition, december 2016 when michael flynn had conversations on the same day that the -- the obama administration imposed new sanctions on russia for election interference and did he deliver a message saying hold off and if you remember russia did not impose its own retaliatory measures to the expulsion of diplomats. >> this is about sear. >> i know it is about syria. >> and what kind of message does it send to the syrians. >> the same recipient of the message, russia. >> and what do we know about mike pompeo's visit to pyongyang
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where he sat down and met with kim jong-un? >> historic meeting. it is the first cabinet official go there in years. and the u.s. wanted these assurances from kim jong-un himself that certain things were on the table and he was well received. that denuclearization is key for the united states is on the table. and i think where they are hung up now is what the venue is going to be. the north koreans want to have it in pyongyang and there are a handful of other venues discussed in europe and asia. president trup said they are limiting it to five locations and they don't want kim jong-un to travel very far because he doesn't leave the country very much but this meeting with kim jong-un has given the u.s. more confidence that these talks are serious. >> he's only left the country we think once since becoming the leader of north korea when he took that train ride to china. >> well he's worried about getting killed.
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this is his ultimate -- it is a security issue and that is -- that is the reason and also what drives his nuclear program. he's worried about an existential strike to end his regime and that is the way he viewed the u.s. and that is the issue the u.s. will have to address if they want to make a deal. and ever course denuclearization is the reason -- the reason to protect himself giving that up would be an enormous concession. >> and mike pompeo only the second american to meet with kim jong-un, dennis rodman the nba all-star the first to meet with kim jong-un. a lot more on this coming up. in the meantime, let's bring in democratic senator ben cardin of maryland. he's a member of the senate foreign relations committee. thanks so much for joining us. >> wolf, it is good to be with you. >> what does this sanctions reversal by the administration say about the trump administration's policy towards russia as far as syria is concerned? >> it is extremely troubling. you have the president concerned
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about what president assad did in syria and the use of chemical weapons, that was facilitated by mr. putin and russia. you had the poisoning in the u.k. you had the activities here in our own country. there has got to be a clear message to mr. putin that that conduct is unacceptable and ambassador haley made that clear on sunday, that additional sanctions would be imposed. and now she's been undermined by the president when he reversed that decision. it is -- it is a signal to mr. putin he could continue to do the activities he's doing now. >> does this undercut ambassador nikki haley's ability to represent the united states effectively on the world stage. >> i think it undercuts america's leadership to stand up to the practices of russia and the attack of democrat institutions not only here but around the world. and the support of human rights violators such as president assad. >> what is your reaction to hearing that mike pompeo, the
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outgoing cia director and the nominee for the next secretary of state secretly went to pyongyang in north korea and sat down and met with kim jong-un? >> i'm hoping that we can get diplomatic actions started to denuclearize the korean peninsula and this crisis. i think the conversations that have taken place between north korea and south korea have been positive. i think a meeting between kim jong-un and president trump could be positive. if it is properly prepared. having a high level cabinet official meet with kim jong-un in advance of that meeting has a very positive impact on trying to make diplomacy to work. so it is controversial because he's also a nominee for secretary of state. and normally we don't expect a nominee to act as if he has a confirmed position but in mr. pompeo's case he is a confirmed cabinet official in the trump administration. >> the cia director, should he have disclosed this secret trip
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to your committee or other committees in the senate? >> i think that information should have been made available to the leadership of the commity so they could evaluate it -- and in this case i don't think that was done. >> you've already said you're going to vote against mike pompeo's confirmation to become secretary of state. what is your biggest concern? >> my biggest concern is that our chief diplomat needs to work with our allies. and mr. pompeo supports the united states withdrawing from the climate talks, being the only nation in the world, not sitting at the table and he supports president trump's policy in regards to iran when we need to work with our european allies and strengthen the transatlantic partnership so i want our chief diplomat to be a person committed with working with allies around the world and i have concerns about mr. pompeo. >> but his positions are in line with the president of the united states, shouldn't the secretary of state and the president be on the same page? >> the president will make the ultimate decisions. i want to have an independent
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voice in the white house, diplomacy is a critical part of our national security so i want our secretary of state to be in that room always advancing how we can advance america's national security interests through diplomacy. >> thank you. we continue to follow the breaking news. lawmakers reacting to the mike pompeo's secret meeting with kim jong-un and will it help or hurt his fight to be confirmed as secretary of state. plus the president tweets about stormy daniels and the search for the man she said threatened her to stay silent about donald trump. daniels' lawyer is standing by. we'll discuss. average "the situation room" with wolf blitzer, brought to you by -- dell technologies. not quite... just the result of dell emc working with callaway to gather
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breaking news. a growing battle among top congressional republicans over whether or not to protect the special counsel robert mueller from being fired through legislation. cnn senior congressional correspondent manu raju is working the story on capitol hill. what are you picking up over there? >> well the fallout came after senator mitch mcconnell made clear yesterday that he would not move forward on a bill -- a bipartisan bill to protect the special counsel from firing giving the special counsel an opportunity to appeal any firing that would have to only occur from good cause within a ten-day judicial review. that bipartisan bill set for action in the committee but mcconnell said he will not take that up even if it were approved by the committee. democrats in particular are incensed but some republicans too say the committee still plans to move forward including
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the very powerful chairman chuck grassley. >> he [ inaudible ] for the senate and that is the way it is. and but we're moving ahead any way. >> reporter: so this bill is on the calendar for tomorrow in the senate judiciary committee but expected to be delayed until next week and at that point there is a good chance it will get approved in this committee given the bipartisan consensus among members on that commity. but given the opposition from republican leaders who say they don't believe that president trump will fire the special counsel, there is no chance at the moment that this bill will pass as republicans seek to avoid what could be a very messy fight with the president if they did november this bill on the floor which is one reason why they are side stepping this because they hope he doesn't fire the special counsel because the republican leadership does not want to move forward as some members of his party does.
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>> manu raju on capitol hill. coming up, stormy daniels lawyer joins us live. is the porn star playing the media as president trump alleges?
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washington that additional sanctions against russia are not in the works, despite earlier promises from nikki haley that the treasury department was preparing a new round of punishing sanctions targeting russian businesses. let's get more from sara murray. why the sudden change? >> it sounds like the president is the one who changed his mind in this. and that apparently they did not feel the need to loop in the u.n. ambassador about the sudden change in policy that they were essentially coming up with on the fly. we know that nikki haley has been very careful about her public image and she's not the kind of person in this administration, which is known for plenty of people freelancing, to go out there and say something like that and a prediction without being briefed on that, but it seems like the president -- he did classic trump move and changed his mind. >> you would think they would tell her before she goes out on the sunday talk shows. why can't the administration
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speak with one voice on sensitive issues like this? >> it is donald trump. he is the one here that seems to be unable to have a consistent take on russia. have have been times when this administration has been tough on russia. you think about the ejection of the 60 russians in the wake on the attack on british soil, on the double agent. but he even seemed to be a little dissatisfied that so many russians got expelled. he was looking at european nations and saying they only ejected a handful. why was america so tough. so this all comes back to donald trump. i think the administration is on one place in this and much tougher and much more hawkish and republican in terms of tone and response and engagement with russia and donald trump is completely somewhere else. >> phil mud, what kind of muddled message is now being sent to the russians? >> well the same one we've had since day one. we had a president who i thought was a ceo who could manage a
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meeting in the west wing and tell people what the heck the policy of the u.s. government is. we can't figure out ho to do that with the intel committee because the president said one thing on russia and the intel guys say another thing. we couldn't figure out how to do that on north korea because the secretary of state now gone, rex tillerson said we'll talk, but the president publicly says we're not going to talk and then as soon as rex leaves said, actually i'm going to sit down for the first face-to-face with the north korean leader. we can't do that on russia sanction because the former secretary of state and now nikki haley have been tough on russia and the president said i forgot as the great ceo to coordinate and i'm going to do exactly opposite of what my u.n. diplomat said. this guy was supposed to be the ceo at the head of the table and whether it is intel, diplomacy, he can't figure out how to coordinate the government. it is not that hard. sit down in "the situation room" and tell people whatt -- what te heck we're supposed to do. >> that is what he's supposed to
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do. jeffrey, you want to make a point. >> but in the big picture, this is yet another example of donald trump sol is tude for vladimir putin. why does he always choose not to confront putin? why has there never been any real response for the fact that they interfered with our election? this is the great question hovering over the trump administration. this is why he's being investigated in significant part. and it continues even today. the fact that donald trump will not con front vladimir putin the central fact of his presidency and it was of his campaign and we still don't know why. >> do you have any clue why? >> well that is certainly why robert mueller is investigating. did the russians help him get elected president? do the russians have some sort of compromise and incriminating information about trump. this is the question that has hovered over his presidency and
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time after time he does nothing to get rid of the questions, only reinforce them. >> stick around. there is more coming up, including the porn star stormy daniels released a sketch of a man she claims threatened her to stay quiet about an alleged 2006 affair with donald trump. trump is calling the sketch a total con job. daniels' attorney michael avenatti, he is now here in washington and on the set here in "the situation room" with me momentarily and we'll get his response.
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new tonight, the president is tweeting about an alleged affair with stormy daniels after her attorney released a sketch of a man they say tried to silence daniels with the threat. the president issued this response, quote, a sketch years later about a nonexistent man, a total con job. playing the fake news media for fools, but they know it. closed quote. we're joined now by michael avenatti, the attorney for stormy daniels. >> thanks for having me. >> and what is your reaction to the tweet. >> it is a gift from the heavens. he has no reason to tweet about me or my client while a party in litigation when it comes to making misstatements about his client. he is now told the american people that she's a liar, that she's a con, and that she has made up this threat and this
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sketch and i'm outraged by it and there is serious consequences for it. >> like what? >> we're likely amending our complaint and looking at doing that to add a defamation claim against the president and ko kons -- consequences and that will flow from that and the fact of his deposition much more likely. this is what happens when you have an undisciplined client like the president who wakes -- wakes up one morning and decides he's going to tweet nonsense about his clients. >> so this defamation claim -- this lawsuit you're going to file, that is a new development. >> that is absolutely a new development. and we're likely to file it in the same case that we are already in and we're going to add a claim. >> and file it in california. >> correct. >> and the argument is that he's defaming your client by this one tweet? >> there is no question that he defamed my client. he's calling my client a liar and stating that she made this up and it is a con. and wolf, the only con that has taken place here is the con that
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the president and michael cohen is trying to pull on the american people by trying to tell the american people that he didn't know about the agreement, he knew nothing about the payment and the cover-up. the cover-up is the con. >> a total con job. that is what the president tweeted. playing the fake news media for fools but they know it. so when he said a total con job, you're accusing the president of calling her a con? >> no, i'm not accusing the president of doing that. i'm stating that is exactly what he did. it is clear as day what he meant by that. >> but you know the president -- a lot of us have been surprised he's been so silent until now on stormy daniels and finally reacting. this is the first time in weeks we've been on the air plenty of time over the past several weeks, she's been on the air a couple of times, including yesterday, all of a sudden he's decided to speak out via twitter. why do you think did he. >> that i think he's in a panic mode because he feels that the noose is tightening around his close friend and attorney michael cohen and he's very concerned about where that is going to lead and he should be
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concerned. because of those fbi raids and michael cohen and the situation that michael cohen is finding himself in. >> give us an update on the man in that sketch allegedly this video a few years ago threatened stormy daniels in a parking lot for -- her child was in the car where does it stand now? you released the sketch yesterday. >> we released the sketch yesterday and received over 1500 leads as of a few hours ago. i would describe a couple hundred of those as credible. we have an idea as to who it might be. we have a handful of individuals who are also running to ground the leads to see if we could tighten that i.d. up. it is going to take some time. we're going to be very diligent and careful before we go out and announce who it might be. >> are you working with law enforcement on this -- the identification of this individual? >> i'm not at liberty to state that. >> why can't you tell us that. >> because i'm not at liberty and respect the process and going to be -- if somebody tells us to be careful or confidential about something, we're going to
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do it. >> if they locate this individual and they identify -- is there a statute of limitations on a threat like this. >> there is but we think the statute has not -- or is not applicable as it relates to criminal conspiracy and a couple of other crimes that could be alleged. >> so in the dozens of names of individuals who have come to you thinking they could identify this man based on this sketch -- >> hundreds -- >> hundreds, are they different name or focus in on one or two or five individuals. >> there is many different names. but there is many overlap. and by the way, i want to make clear i announced on don lemon, it is not 100,000, it is 131,000 and we think that is a good number. >> because she was paid -- $130,000 as part of the nondisclosure with michael cohen. >> that is correct. and we want to get to the bottom of this and we want the truth known. >> let me get reaction, a new
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development and we've been told that the -- according to the new york times, that karen mcdougal, the former playmate has reached an agreement with american media, the parents company of the national enquirer and released her from any agreement that they worked out with her, she got $150,000 as part of the agreement. she could now talk freely. should president trump and michael cohen for that matter be worried about this because she's already spoken to her -- to anderson cooper as you know. >> i don't know. because i don't know enough details about that particular situation. by i think that more information and documents that come to light, michael cohen and the president should be absolutely worried, especially when we get into the documents seized by the fbi. >> the cnn -- we reported that the president is described as apoplectic over the michael cohen investigation and that is now unfolded in the southern district of new york by the u.s. attorney there and he's fixated on this above everything else. including national security issues. what does that tell you?
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>> well if he's upset, wait a week or two. >> why? >> because this will get worse. this isn't going to get better for an extended period of time. more information will come out and tip to be aggressive and press forward as it relates to michael cohen's deposition and the president's deposition. the chickens are coming home to roost. >> have you seen documents that suggest to you that within the next week or two the president's fixation of this will get worse? >> i'm not going to answer that but i'll stand behind my statements and i think my track record of prediction over the last five weeks is pretty good. >> the government said it will start producing documents to michael cohen and his attorneys by the end of next week. president trump's attorneys will see some of the documents as well as part of the criminal investigation that is underway in new york. how do you think the president will react when his attorneys brief him sont -- on the documents that the fbi has collected on the raids in michael cohen's house and his office, his hotel room, his safe deputy box --
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>> well if they already have access to the vast majority of the dom -- documents because other than ten boxes of hard copy documents emoved, the electronic media were imaged on-site in the office and home and the media was left behind so the phones an laptops, that is the representation of the u.s. attorney and what he stated so they have access to the documents and they should be pouring through them and providing an update to the president? >> do you have access to those documents? >> don't have access to them yet but we'll get it. >> why do you say that. >> because i'm highly confident in the discovery process would could subpoena those records or get them from the government. >> welcome to washington. >> thank you. we're standing by for a news conference with the president trump and the visiting japanese prime minister shinzo abe. but first a critic is dead of putin after an apparent fall from his fifth floor apartment? was he killed for investigating powerful oligarchs with ties to the kremlin?
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powerful russians with tied to vladmir putin is dead after a fall at his home. he's the latest the meet an untimely death. part of a pattern that stretches back decades.
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>> reporter: russian officials don't ploobelieve any crime hasn committed. friends and colleagues say that's typical cover up. he thought he was in danger. the friend said borodin called him and said it was a false alarm. tonight borodin is dead having fallen from his fifth floor. friends and colleagues don't believe it was a suicide and human rights observers don't believe it was accidental. >> yet again, a russian journalist who is covering topics the kremlin doesn't want investigated has died.
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>> reporter: just sanctioned by the u.s. treasury department. a billionaire who once had close ties to paul manafort. trump's campaign manager who was indicted as part of robert mueller's russia investigation. part of it involves a self-proclaimed russian seductress. today she spoke out from jail in thailand where she's being held for prostitution. >> i'm waiting for him to come rescue me. >> reporter: maksim borodin has broken a story in syria. men linked to an oligarch who spo supports putin. >> a handful of week ags the russians met their match. >> reporter: exposure of those mercenaries may have gotten him
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killed. >> kremlin doesn't like for its own citizens or for others around the world to know how it uses proxies to prosecute its aims. it doesn't want this to be exposed because it reveals the extent of russia's military involvement in ukraine and syria. >> reporter: putin has always denied targeting journalists but there's a long line of reporters who have been killed while digging on his government's alleged abuses. gunned down after she expose ed human rights violations. >> anybody investigating corruption is taking their life into their own hand on some level. anybody who is investigating military casualties corruption in the military there's a long legacy of people who have investigated this and it didn't end well. >> reporter: the committee to protect journalist say 38 reporters in russia have been targeted for murder sints since
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1992. they are calling for a full investigation. if they don't want such an investigation. it won't happen. >> this young journalist had an attack a few months ago as well? >> that's right. he had given an interview on a controversial movie called matilda. they claimed an unidentified assailant hit him on head with a metal pipe. one said his work was dangerous. he was one of the best. >> thank you. there's breaking news next. we're standing by to hear from president trump. he and japan's prime minister are about to speak with reporters, answer reporters questions at the mar-a-lago resort. gers are pretty much the same. but while some push high commission investment products, fisher investments avoids them. some advisers have hidden and layered fees.
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comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. you're looking at a live picture from mar-a-lago where donald trump is about to take reporters questions along with shinzo abe. he works toward a historic summit with the north korean leader, kim jong-un. the president declaring that mike pompeo had a great meeting with kim jong-un during his secret trip to north korea about two weeks ago. mr. trump may also get some
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questions about russia during this upcoming news conference. tonight, u.s. official says the trump administration called the russian embassy here in washington to resuassure moscowt would not be slapped with new sanctio sanctions. jim acosta is in the brand ballroom. tell viewers what we can expect. >> reporter: we expect the press conference to start shortly. some aides have here told us this should start around on time. we're starting to see top white house officials making their way into the room. we have not seen all the delegations come in. they may be a couple of minutes behind schedule. some of the breaking news coming in this afternoon as the president gets ready to have this joint press conference with
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japanese prime minister. having more to do with russia. whether there would be sanctions against russia and we're told by senior administration officials that the trump administration did inform the russian embassy there would not be another round of sanctions tied to russia support of bashar al assad in the chemical weapons attack earlier this month. those sanctions are off for now. it's partly because of the confusion create bid the u.n. ambassador nikki haley when she spoke on "face the nation" on sunday and said the sanctions would be coming down on monday. apparently because of some that confusion the call was made by the trump administration to the russian em bbassy on sunday to y to clear that up. there's very pressing news on

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