tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN July 3, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
legal lines than all of them concentrated in washington. there is a call for civility right now. i call for this as a solution to civility by allowing more americans to govern on a local basis. if people from vermont want a single payer medical system, let them do that. they could do that more effectively and quickly if we didn't have to make every decision in washington. >> mike lee, thank you very much. i hope you have an inspiring foi fourth of july. >> thank you. same to you. i turn you over to brooke baldwin in the situation room taking over for wolf blitzer. president trump posts a video of himself punching a cnn logo. his taunting of the press is sending a message to leaders around the world. russian nations. president trump will meet with russian president vladimir putin at this week's g20 summit.
the white house is playing down expectations, saying it won't be different from discussions with any other country. will the two leaders discuss russia's meddling in the u.s. election? growing threat. president trump reaches out to china to discuss the growing threat as they brace for the possibility of another nuclear test. but is the honeymoon with china already over? beach day. governor chris christie orders state parks and beaches closed due to a government shutdown and then enjoys a beach day alone with his family. his time in the sun has many feeling burned. i'm brianna keeler. you're in the situation room. president trump has been working the phones, dialing world leaders ahead of his first meeting with russian president ladder mirror putin. at the same time he's been dialing up his attacks on the news media, raising new questions about what kind of message he's sending abroad.
how that reflects on his presidency and also how it reflects on america. the president of the united states tweeted a video of himself body slamming and punching the cnn logo. the altered video has been traced to a social media user with a history of posting bigoted, racist and anti-semitic content. reacting to criticism of his twitter habits, he says his social media use is modern day presidential. that comes as his trip abroad to europe, the far east and the middle east as well. in germany he will meet face to face for the first time with russia's vladimir putin. but officials say it's unlikely he will raise the subject of the russian's attack on the election. there is also the growing northn threat. president g complained afterward about negative factors affecting
the relationship. i'm going to talk to republican congressman mark sanford and our correspondents, specialists and guests are standing by with full coverage of the day's top stories. with his agenda stalled, president trump has been busy calling world leaders ahead of this first meeting with vladimir putin and the g20 summit. he's finding plenty of time to attack the media. we begin with white house correspondent sarah murray. sarah? >> well, brianna, some people like to spend this weekend having a family barbecue. but president trump is celebrating in other ways, taking aim at the press. durling the meeting with world leaders, president trump is bashing the media. trump taking to twitter showing a video of him punching a cnn logo and using a speech honoring
veterans to lava attacks in the media. >> the sports media is trying to silence us. but we will not give in. the fake media tried to stop us from going to the white house, but i'm president and they're not. >> reporter: trump continued to air his grievances today on twitter saying, at some point the fake news will be forced to discuss our great jobs numbers, strong economy, success with isis, the border and so much else, while some say white house securities and tom bossert suggests it didn't go too far. >> i hope no one would perceive that as a threat, but i do think he's beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to. >> but more. there's more of a toxic tone
toment. >> there is an important distinction to draw between bad stories or crappy coverage and the rights citizens have to argue about that and train about that and try to weaponize messages of distrust. >> but trump defended his twitter habits this weekend. he said, my days oflilily. he spent the weekend and monday by preparing for his abu dhabi trip. the meeting in germany will mark the first time president trump is meeting russian president vladimir putin face to face. trump has lavished praise on putin in the past. >> if putin likes donald trump,
i consider that an asset, not a liability. >>. including disputes in syria and u. now, as for that wrestling video, the anti-defamation league and its analysis drew that back to a red it user and a a. the white house is pushing back on the. >> very interesting. sara murray at the white house. thank you very much. there is a lot riding on that meeting that sara was taubling about. cnn has learned that the meeting with putin rather than riding on
the election. what do you think about this? >> there is certainly a great deal to talk about that's urgent for syria. you have u.s.-russian forces, kurdish forces and others weighing in on syria. they're getting in very close quarters. that increases dangeres but tha also raises questions about after russia falls. who is going to be in charge. >> you'll hear, even from a. the last high profile meeting the president had with russians, t the. he got to talking about why he
wouldn't talk to anyone in the united states. if the president wants to change the focus from that, this would be the opportunity here, but again, at least administration officials are saying no plans to do that at this point. >> and jim, the president talked to the chinese president xi this weekend about north korea, even though there have been some tensions between the u.s. and china. how important knowing that there is this tension is this relationship when it tends. . they have the most hear because china has expressed. but no one has more, and you remember donald trump early in his administration, he says, i'm -- but tweeting, of course, that he's publicly disappointed
with chinese efforts. . how much closer it brings the u.s. to talg sisterly. . . working together it's a real question about how there is a positive resolution. >> ufr a lot of experience having covered china well. jim sciutto, thank you so much for that. joining me now is republican congressman mark sanford of south carolina. i have so much to talk to you about, including these foreign policy issues. i want to begin, though, with the president's recent attacks on the media. we still don't know exactly how this video made its way to the president's twitter account. we know, though, as you may have heard in our report, that it was a response to president trump
not responding to hacking of the website. do you think it's this material or where it came from. why would you retweet something that i think by its very nature is inflammatory. . . i've said significantly that the president needs to back off from the tweets. they are at a minimum distracting to his legislative agenda. we're sitting here talking about it right now rather than health care or taxes or a whole host of other issues that medium.
there is a question of how it would get to what you would expect would be filters to the content to the president? >> i don't think his twitter account is particularly filtered, last time i checked. just a couple days ago we were talking about the firestorm that came as a result of his commentary and his wife or soon-to-be rif. i'm not sure where things stand there. but you had commentary on mika and joe. now i just get. in the american civilization, it has become a free and invite. . the bill in the first amendment
is this notion of free and vibrant press. this notice many. they may prove these stories wrong as a full scale measure to say they're out of line spm. ben sass said the note about institutionalizing distrust, it's something we have to watch for on the eve of july. >> how did you see this posttwe posttweet? did you see it as a threat? >>. >> again, we're going too far down in psychological terms. i think it's strange, weird or different. i don't know of any former president that would be retweeting something along these lines.
again, i was in executive office for eight years of my life. you cannot respond to every detractor out there, because if you do, you will, again, at minimum, give people reason not to focus on the legislative agenda that you want to move forward. >> and to that point, the white house said it wants the media to focus on its agenda. it wants the media to just be talking in very clear, kind of straightforward just the facts, ma'am away about what they're doing, and yet the president then overshadows the message with the tweets. how much of a problem is that for republicans in congress? >> it's big, because last week it was supposed to be infrastructure week, but it certainly was not what we were going to be talking about. that was the talking point coming out of washington, d.c., but instead we're talking about
joe and mika or this now. i did office work out of the republic of north carolina. i had a number of people show up and they were talking about the issues that impact their lives. if we're not talking about that whether the republicans or democrats are from washington or other how many districts, we have a problem going. we have a real problem going because we're talking about this stuff still rather than health care, the budget and other things that impact our lives. >> and health care is such an issue that you want to be discussing as certainly in the senate republicans are trying to figure out how to move forward. the president did not tweet about health care this weekend despite the fact that this plan is, you know, near stalled in the senate, really needs a boost in public support. what do you say to that? >> i would say that major change requires executive branch leadership. the nature of a legislative body
is a degree of, you know, disagreement. that's the beauty of the american system. >> do you think, though, by his twitter behavior, then, that he's not providing that executive leadership? is that what you're saying, that based on his twitter behavior that's not an executive issue. >> any legislative body can focus on one or two things, maybe three at most. if you give them a reason to be distracted by something else or having to deal with something else, oftentimes they will. so what i'm saying is for a major change, and i'm talking major change with regard to health care in this country, it will require not only legislative action, but it's going to require a president and executive branch leadership. i'm just saying the tweet like the one we're discussing is a distraction from the focus that has to be on a change as major as we're talking about with regard to something like health care. >> you certainly have your plates full there on capitol hill. we have much more to talk with
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president trump is preparing for this week's overseas trip. it includes his first meeting with russian president vladimir putin even as his twitter rants raised new questions about how he's perceived abroad. we're back now with republican congressman mike sanford of south carolina, and we should mention he is a member of the oversight committee there on the house side. congressman, we know the president is expected when he talks to putin at the g20 summit this week to focus on the meeting -- focus the meeting on syria, focus it on ukraine but not on russia's meddling in the
2016 election. do you think that is the wrong move? do you think he should focus on meddling? >> i wouldn't say focus. i mean, you know, what's happening in syria is frightening. i mean, aid from the standpoint of just deconflicting the different forces in play in that country is important. i think it's important to sending an absolutely clear signal with regard to the use of chemical weapons and its implications going forward in the civilized world. i think what's happening in ukraine is equally important. 128 ukranian soldiers have died since the beginning of the year based on, you know, the conflict that's taking place there. you could go on up to the baltic states and talk about a lot of things happening. so i think there is a lot of things to talk about, but i think it would be easy to include russia's meddling in our elections. it doesn't mean there was
collusion. it doesn't mean the trump administration or participants in the campaign were colluding with the russians, but it's unequivocally clear they've tried to have an impact in a whole host of different countries around the globe, and america is on the list as well. so to not bring it up would be strange, i think it would be a missed opportunity, i think it would be important to bring it up. >> would it send a message to other countries or even folks in the u.s. if he doesn't make an issue of it, if he doesn't mention it? >> yeah. i mean, i think that, you know, i think they're both alpha males. the question of this meeting is who is going to out-alpha who? if you don't even bring up an issue that everybody knows about but we can just hide it in the back den, it would seem a little bit strange and it would seem, at least at some level, def deferential to putin or to the
folks on the conspiracy that may have happened with collusion. >> i might steal that. out-alpha. i think that's really interesting. i mentioned that you sit on the house oversight committee and that's because i want to ask you about something that trey goudy, the new chairman of the committee says. he says he doesn't want to pursue an investigation into russian meddling, into election interference. he doesn't want to explore questions about potential obstruction of justice by president trump as well. do you agree with that decision to not pursue that probe, especially considering it was trey goudy who seemed fine to pursue a benghazi probe when there was several probes just in congress already under way and now he's essentially saying there is too many, not another one is needed when it comes to russia? >> in fairness to the incoming chairman, i think when you have a whole host of investigations,
which is what's presently the case, and you have, you know, on both the house side and the senate side, committees at work from the standpoint of investigation, then you've got a variety of different ways of looking at the situation r, i think it makes sense to be sequential. let them do their work, come out with what they come out with, and if there's a lot of red flags raised, it seems murky or smokey smoky, then let's dive back in, but i think that makes sense. that would not be the case if they weren't doing those investigations presently, but they are. >> all right. well, congressman, thank you so much for spending part of your holiday weekend with us. a happy fourth to you. congressman mark sanford joining us. >> as well to you. thanks. coming up, how media bashing fits into president trump's long-term and short-term goals. plus, why governor chris
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trump attacking the media is nothing new, but was this one different? >> sort of, i suppose. i do think that so soon after sarah huckabee sanders saying the president has never condoned violence, to have an edited clip of him giving -- i don't even know how to describe it. vince mcmann, founder of the wwe, with a cnn head, a clothesline? having that tweeted out is not exactly consistent. there it is. so different in that way. not different, though, as you pointed out, brianna, with donald trump's longer scale attack on the media. i hold that if you look at day one of the trump campaign, which was june 16, 2015 until today, the through line, right, the connective tissue there is anti-media. that should have been the one always consistent thing he has returned to in good times and especially in bad. so i don't think we should be surprised that he's doing this. the implication of this tweet
struck me and sort of the -- after the whole debate about was he presidential or not with mika brzezinski and the joe scarborough attacks, the timing was off, but we shouldn't be surprised that donald trump is d d dismissive of the media. >> just the day before sarah huckabee sanders said he didn't condone violence. when we look over the last two years, we find several examples of things donald trump has said in this vein. let's watch. >> maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing. >> so if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of him, would you? seriously. okay? just knock the hell -- i promise you, i will pay for the legal fees, i promise. >> we're not allowed to punch back anymore. i love the old days. you know what they used to do to guys like that when they were at
a place like this? they would be carried out on a stretcher, folks. i'd like to punch him in the face, i tell you. get him out. try not to hurt him. if you do, i'll defend you in court, don't worry about it. >> so is this, brianna, just more of the same, or is this slightly different? clearly we shouldn't be surprised by it. >> well, i think we should get over this notion that the president is going to change or that he's going to be more presidential. he's 71 years old. if there's one thing that has been consistent, it has been his sort of attitude towards the media as a campaigner and obviously as the president. i was struck by something that kellyanne conway once smartly said. she said there is a difference between offends voters and what affects voters. i think now that he's president and continues to offend many people, including, obviously, us in the media, but i think a lot of people you talk to, even
trump supporters, even republican congressmen like you just spoke with, congressman sanford, i think going past that, once you're president, you have to start focusing on what's going to affect you, and people are really now focused on health care, people are focused on tax reform, people are focused on infrastructure. people, i mean, other than the president of the united states who is not talking about it nearly as much as he's talking about bashing the media. if i could say one more thing about the media, i think it was very wise and needed to hear from senator sass and from congressman sanford to talk about the importance of the media and the importance of journalism in a democracy. but i think they preface it too many times by saying, yeah, there could be bad stories or inaccurate stories, but you still can't bash. i think for the most part, the media has done an incredible job of fact checking, of vetting, and of those that haven't obviously paid the consequences as we've seen with your own network as well. so we have to be careful about how we preface this issue at the
forefront. >> and phil, senator sass brings up this concern about the idea of weaponizing, right? weaponizing words against the media. the president's homeland security adviser says no. no one would perceive this wrestling tweet as a threat. no one should. do you perceive it as a threat or is it lesser than a threat? >> i mean, the senator is half right on this. we have an overweight, out of shape 71-year-old with a security deal for manhattan who hasn't seen violence since his lunch box was stole n in fourth grade, and that's a threat? you've got to be kidding. i'd be happy to mud wrestle that guy. the other half is this is a numbers game. if you have tens of millions of followers on twitter and one out of 10,000 of them looks at this and says the president is validating my anger against somebody at a demonstration or somebody who is a democrat or somebody who is a liberal, the
problem is not whether the president threatened somebody. he doesn't have the capability to threaten somebody. the problem is whether there is a tone and i think that's the serious conversation here where followers say, i'm validated to go hit somebody at a baseball bat at an event that i attend. that's where i would be concerned if i back up the fbi because i'm sure there are people who think like that. >> chris, it did hefies reason the president does this, especially when there is so much on the table right now with russia and this meeting coming up, health care nearly stalled in the senate and the white house complaints the media covers the president's tweets instead of their agenda, yet it seems like he doesn't really give the media a choice when he's making what are official white house statements from his twitter account which are so outrageous. >> correct, you make the exact point, brianna. the white house has said these are official statements. you don't get the good that donald trump gets from his twitter feed, which is adulation, which is energy and intensity from his base, as he
says end-run the media which not take the bad, which is we take these tweets seriously. what else should we do? should we assume every one of them is a joke? how would we decide between what's a joke and what's serious? this is the thing -- phil is exactly right. this is what i find frustrating. the idea that everyone knows that donald trump is joking. in all those clips that you played, the knock the hell out of them and i'll pay for his legal fees, the explanation is always, he's kidding, everyone knows he's kidding. did they talk to every person at the rally who knew he was kidding, because i saw lots and lots of video at the election of people giving the finger to reporters, people yelling at reporters. luckily not a lot of actual physical violence, but the point is this assumption that everyone knows he's joking, particularly whu when you have a twitter feed of 30 million-plus people, i don't know if you can make that claim. >> guys, stick around for me
because i want to talk to you about what is really this weekend's glaring example of -- what can we call it, questionable political stagecraft? if you're going to close a public beach, maybe you don't want to lounge around on that crowded beach. we'll talk about that next. no go. but i didn't back down. i talked to my doctor. she said: one, movantik was specifically designed for opioid-induced constipation- oic. number two? with my savings card, i can get movantik for about the same price as the other things i tried. don't take movantik if you have or had a bowel blockage. serious side effects include opioid withdrawal, severe stomach pain, severe diarrhea, and stomach or intestinal tears. tell your doctor about side effects and medicines you take. movantik may interact with them causing side effects. don't back down from oic. talk to your doctor about movantik. remember: mo-van-tik.
spotted basking on one of them and it was an otherwise deserted state beach. let's go to polo sandoval. he's in new jersey. what's the latest of this story of what seems to be just a major political misstep by the governor? >> reporter: absolutely. the optics here obviously quite bad here, especially the latest information coming from the spokesperson for governor christie who says that that is one of two residences, that beach house is one of two residences the governor can use whenever he wants, and that includes during a state partial shutdown. he took that explanation to some of the folks that haven't been able to make their way onto state parks like this one, and we found it's not sitting very well. new jersey governor chris christie is not backing down after criticism of his decision to spend the day at the beach. >> they caught me doing what i said i was going to do with the people i said i was going to be with. >> reporter: but these photos show the governor and his family soaking up the sun outside the governor's official residence in a park just days after he shut down nonessential state
services, including parks and beaches during an ongoing budget battle. >> this government is not open because i can't constitutionally let it be open. i don't have any money. >> reporter: a reporter asked christie about a sun burn later that afternoon. >> i didn't get any sun today. >> reporter: the photos posted in the star-ledger late sunday show a different story. christie sitting in a lounge chair on a stretch of beach prompted this response from the office. he did not get any sun. he had a baseball hat on. that only led to the frustration of families who were turned away from state parks. >> if the parks are shut down in new jersey, he shouldn't be able to enjoy them, either. >> reporter: christie's office answering the criticism of the photos. >> he had 45 minutes on the beach and then he got back to work. >> reporter: the governor himself went on the offensive in a phone interview way local morning show. >> i said last monday, a week ago today, that no matter what
happens, we're coming here as a family this weekend. this is where we live, one of the places we live. so what a great bit of journalism by the star-ledger. they actually caught a politician being where he said he was going to be with the people he said he was going to be with. >> reporter: back at the parks, new jersey residents say they're more concerned about their own vacation plans, not the governor's. >> it's ridiculous. just figure it out. we pay you guys to figure it out, figure it out. >> reporter: so amid this major pr problem here the governor is currently dealing with, there is still that lingering question, how long will this partial shutdown continue? when will it come to an end? i can tell you after another day that the general assembly session had really little to no progress, they could vote on a budget at any time. the last time this happened, brianna, was the summer of 2006. it took about eight days for something like this to come to a close. so people here hopeful but, well, they're also not holding their breath that they'll be able to make their way onto this park come tomorrow.
>> bummer of a july fourth there. thanks so much, polo sandoval. i want to bring back our specialists to talk about this. chris, phil, brianna to you. what do you think chris was thinking? do you think he thought this was going to be fine or that he's at the end of his term and didn't care? >> it sounds like he wasn't thinking and then he was at a loss for words which he rarely is, and then he sort of doubled down and stubbornly defended his decision. and look, this isn't that big of a deal at the end of the day given all of the other stories that we are covering, but he is a man who is known for talking the talk and being great with words and telling it like it is, and an apology can go a long way. if he had just said, listen, i screwed up, there is no reason for me to take a vacation when we're in the midst of this budget battle here. my family went outside, i shouldn't have joined them, i'm sorry, i know the optics are
bad, i think everyone else would have moved along. but i think this speaks to his high unpopularity within the state now, and i think it's something that could have been avoided, it's just something he's doubling down on in the wrong direction. >> chris, what do you think? >> the wide shot of the beach with chris christie and his family on it, i agree with brianna, this is a story that's not a huge deal, but that wide shot, brianna, do you want to know why people hate politics and politicians? that's it. there it is, that picture, right? so a huge beach with a nice house and only, you know, eight, ten people on it. the politicians think that they don't have the same rules as us, they think they're entitled, they think they can do whatever they want. we hear that time and time again from voters. that's how donald trump got elected. this is a reinforcement of that. chris christie is not going to have a political future before this beach thing and he's not going to have one after that, at least in new jersey, but it already reenacts so many bad stuff which i think is wrong
about politicians and the people who cover them and work for them do their jobs. >> as one of the papers there in jersey proclaimed, let them eat funnel cake. i thought that was pretty apt. thank you so much to all of you. and coming up, why the upcoming liberation of the city that isis calls its capitol could make a deadly civil war even more dangerous, and a bigger flash point between the u.s. and russia. tripadvisor now searches over 200 sites to find you the hotel you want at the lowest price. grazie, gino! find a price that fits. tripadvisor.
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the syrian civil war is back atop the agenda even though u.s.-backed forces may be close to liberating raqqa, the syrian capital. it's what isis calls its capital, in fact. i want to bring in cnn correspondent barbara starr. ending the battle winning the war not the same case, barbara. >> reporter: not at all, brianna. the u.s. could win the combat phase of the war but it's going to open up a whole new set of challenges. u.s. marines in syria firing artillery at isis positions. unprecedented video, much of it shot from a drone overhead, underscoring the growing danger for more than an estimated 700 u.s. combat forces on the ground. the u.s. war against isis in syria is at a critical stage. u.s. forces including snipers are inside raqqa trying to end
the islamic state that baghdad i declared three days ago this month. but tens of thousands of civilians are still at risk from isis and syrian president bashar al-assad. president trump is about to meet with russian president vladimir putin for the first time. and the white house says the war in syria is likely to be discussed. the u.s. goals? >> the need to, to de-escalate the syrian civil war, to defeat isis there, and to end that humanitarian catastrophe. >> reporter: but it's all about to get a lot tougher. >> putin believes he is in the cad birt seat at this point. >> reporter: what the u.s. no longer regularly calling for assad's removal, there is little pressure on putin's backing of assad. and this recent firing of russian cruise missiles also an indication that moscow support for assad fits vladimir putin's own goals. >> he is going to seek to enhance that russian influence because he believes syria is the
jumping off point for further russian activity in the middle east. i don't think president trump necessarily understands that. >> reporter: president trump's special envoy brad mcgart has just been to the outskirts of raqqa to figure out what happens next. raqqa will need money, organization and manpower, but it's not likely the trump administration would supply that full effort. >> once iraq is liberated, we believe it's critical for local officials from the area to take over responsibility, and take over responsibility for post liberation security, but most importantly governance down the road. >> reporter: so, if president trump makes an offer to president putin about syria, or a demand, the real question will be why would president putin agree to anything at this point that the u.s. wants in his sphere? he's in pretty good shape in syria. brianna? >> barbara starr, thank you very
much. coming up, president trump working the phones. ahead of his meeting with russia's vladimir putin. at the same time he's calling out the media with new attacks raising new questions about what kind of message he's sending abroad. >> people from ireland in this country -- a trip back to the dthe doctor's office, mean just for a shot. but why go back there, when you can stay home... ...with neulasta onpro? strong chemo can put you at risk of serious infection. neulasta helps reduce infection risk by boosting your white blood cell count, which strengthens your immune system. in a key study,
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yeah, and i can watch thee bgame with directv now.? oh, sorry, most broadcast and sports channels aren't included. and you can only stream on two devices at once. this is fun, we're having fun. yeah, we are. no, you're not jimmy. don't let directv now limit your entertainment. xfinity gives you more to stream to more screens. happening now, media smack down, president trump's video showing him tackling and punching a cnn logo as he continues slamming the media. he calls his tweets, quote, modern day presidential. is his message creating a chilling effect? meeting putin, the president is days away from his first face-to-face meeting with russian president vladimir putin.
syria and ukraine are high on the agenda, but will mr. trump raise russia's meddling in the 2016 election? laptop ban, hundreds of flights to the u.s. are facing a deadline to enhance counterterrorism measures to meet u.s. requirements. will this lead to laptop ban and voter chaos? 40 states are refusing to hand over personal voter information to the president's voter fraud commission. why is the top commission official who is also a secretary of state refusing his own request? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm brianna keeler. you're in the situation room. president trump is escalating his attacks on the news media at the start of a critical week, just days before he huddles with world leaders at the g 20 summit, mr. trump is drawing fresh criticism