tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN July 12, 2017 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
second japanese blogger who said he found the original photo in japan's library in half hour. the history channel says it has a team of investigators exploring the latest developments. >> we want to follow the facts where they lead. >> reporter: just so they don't lead to gullible's island. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> and thanks for joining us. we'll see you tomorrow. "ac 360" starts now. good evening. a lot on hag tonight, including new video on cnn of donald trump long before he decided to run for president with the father and son who brokered the meeting with donald trump, jr. more on that shortly. the president is heading to paris. his mood said to be of frustration and fury, at times defiance. two officials saying president trump has spent the last few days hunkered down, huddled with
top advisers and watching television news coverage. that's when he's not on twitter denying he's doing just that. "the white house is functioning perfectly, focused on hx, tax cuts and many other things. i have little time for watching tv." he certainly watched donald trump, jr. on fox and tweeted about it. "my son donald did a good job last night. he was open, transparent and innocent. this is the greatest political witch hunt in history." and then -- keeping them honest, it would be better for reporters if every source to every story agreed to go on record. but it didn't bother candidate trump to quote stories that benefited him. in the story, the sourcing "the new york times" had, has all been confirmed by the very e-mails that donald trump, jr. finally released under pressure from "the new york times."
and now he's talked about that meeting on television. >> in retrospect, i probably would have done things differently. again, this is before the russia mania and before they were building it up in the press. this was opposition research that had maybe some concrete stories that i had been hearing about but were underreported for, for years. so i wanted to hear it out. but it went nowhere and it was apart that wasn't what the meeting was about. >> for all the claims, "the new york times" reporting has been spot on. as for the other tweet claiming a witch hunt, we go to the senate confirmation hearings for the president's own pick to head the fbi. >> in light of the don, junior e-mails that this is a witch hunt, is that a fair description of what we're all dealing with in america? >> senator, i can't speak to the basis for those comments. my experience -- >> i'm asking you as the future
fbi director, do you consider this endeavor a witch hunt? >> i do not. >> the important thing to rich about witch hunts is nothing ever comes of them. you never see a witch. but whatever you call the last several months, we've seen new, significant developments every week, sometimes self-days a week, which may explain why the white house is under so much pressure, which is where we begin tonight with dana bash. dana, what are you hearing? >> reporter: what i'm hearing, anderson, is probably best encapsulated by a source who speaks with the president frequently who says that you have to remember that everything should be viewed as the president receiving anything, any bit of news with the record "russia" in it through one prism, and that is the fact that he considers that an attempt to delegitimize his election to the white house.
and so knowing that is the context through which he receives information about anything, even and including information that is in black and white showing that his son was eager to take a meeting from somebody who said that they had information from the russian government. so this is kind of gives you a window into the thinking of the president. and it also explains what he actually said in public to reuters, giving, as you said, a new interview saying he only learned about the meeting a few days ago, but that he didn't fault his son for taking the meeting saying "many people would have held that meeting." you played one sound bite from his own fbi director nominee. at another point, that nominee, christopher ray said, he explicitly would suggest anyone getting a solicitation for opposition research from a
russian national should call the fbi. so his own nominee to head the fbi disagrees with him. but look, there's no question just in terms of the atmospherics that this has had a very big impact on the sort of vibe inside the white house. one source told our colleagues that it was paralyzed. i spoke to a source tonight who said that is diminishing a little bit, as the time has gone on, particularly since they are kind of breathing a sigh of relief that they are hoping to change the subject by the president lifting off to go to paris to have a very important bilateral meeting, and they hope that is going to be a way for them to change the subject. but other times they've tried to change the subject, other shoes have dropped. they're hoping that doesn't happen this time. >> sarah huckabee sanders was asked about this notion of the white house being under political siege. i want to play a bit of that. >> the president wants to be focused on his agenda, and he would much rather be talking about health care, tax reform,
national security. i think that's his focus, and when he's thinking about those things, that's a good day for all americans. >> how does that pushback square with the optics coming out of the west wing? >> first of all, there's a little irony that not only do we not see sarah huckabee sanders or anybody who does press conferences, this feeds into the bunker mentality when it sounds like they're in a bunker. but at the end of the day, you asked about optics. i talked to people inside the white house, and the reality is that they don't really care about optics. if they did, then they would be approach thing in a very different way. it doesn't really square with the notion of a president who is all about perception. he does watch tv, he understands it. but a, it didn't go very well when they had a series of on-camera briefings at the beginning of the administration. and b, don't really want to answer the questions right now,
don't want to feed the notion that reporters, who are in the white house briefing room, have legitimate questions to be answered. also, the other thing i will say is that members of the white house say that they do go on television and answer questions in other ways. and the last thing is twitter. the fact is, donald trump believes that the best messenger is himself. that's why he refuses to stop tweeting and he can get his message out to his 30 plus million followers and he doesn't need to do it through the traditional means of a white house briefing. >> dana, thank you very much. we have sebastien gorka on the program. thank you very much for being with us. the president's trip to france is very important, also the victory in iraq and mosul. i want to start off with, the president has had four days now without an event on his public schedule. you heard the reporting that there is a bunker mode in parts
of the white house since the news broke. i want you to comment on that. >> oh, absolutely. it's laughable. your kyron talked about a crisis. your reporter talked about a bunker mentality. i work in the west wing, i work in the white house. it is absolutely nothing of the kind. we are pushing the make america great again agenda. the president is a steam locomotive that will not be stopped. it's just fake news. i'm sad to see cnn fall to this. i know you want salacious, sensational coverage for your ratings, so your corporate sponsors and owners will have more money. but that's not media, it's just fake news. >> okay. i'm just going to ignore the insults, because i don't think it gets us anywhere. >> it's not about you, but having journalism back on teach. where are the walter cronkites of yesteryear? this is just about ratings and money. it's quite sad. >> so the president tweeted
today, when you hear the words, sources say from the fake media, often times those sources are made up and do not exist. i'm wondering how the president can make that claim when all the reporting about "the new york times" have been proven by his son's own e-mails. >> is that the same way that all the unnamed sources said that director comey, including cnn, was going to completely gainsay everything the president said about their meeting 24 hours before his testimony -- >> and we corrected ourselves. but i'm giving you an opportunity right now to correct what the president said this morning, because what he's alleging is that the reporting is fake, and in fact, his son's own e-mail chain shows that it's accurate. do you deny that? >> no. i deny the fact that there's anything here that's untoward. this is, again, this is an
obsession -- >> but you do not deny that all the sourcings of "the new york times" was correct on this story and the president is wrong when he says this is fake news. >> i stand by what the president and his son said. we are impressed by don junior's transparency and the fact that he published these e-mails. >> he only published them because "the new york times" got them and was going to publish them and he smartly got ahead of this, and the only reason this story has lasted so long is he wasn't transparent from the beginning. even trey gowdy said, if you had a contact with russia, be upfront about it. >> the story only has legs because the fake news industrial complex is obsessed. nine months of accusations with zero, zero evidence of anything
illegal. on the contrary, the dnc sends its operative onto the soil of a foreign nation to the embassy of the ukraine, not to collect dirt, but to actually use it in a coordinated campaign with a foreign government. that's what cnn should be covering. but why aren't you? >> two things on that. first of all, you're avoiding answering the question about donald trump's lack of transparency. >> total transparency. >> so with him saying this meeting was about adomption issues. >> it was misrepresented. the individual that -- >> that's what he said the meeting was about on saturday when he knew all along that's not what the meeting was about. that's not being transparent, right? >> when he gave as much information as was necessary to be put out there after the -- >> it wasn't correct information. >> it was. absolutely. >> this meeting was about adoption? >> all of it was true.
>> he didn't say that. >> do you really want to -- i thought we were going to talk about real issues, like what we're doing with our allies in france. >> you're not being up front. >> how many -- >> are you a tv producer now? you're -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> you're falling for the fake news trap. it's sad, anderson. >> you're shaking shiny objects trying to divert people -- >> you know why the president's description of a witch hunt is accurate? because there never were witches and there never was any collusion. it's bogus. the dnc -- >> you're claiming that donald trump, jr. was transparent from the get-go? >> donald trump, jr. is transparent, absolutely. >> he didn't just release his e-mails -- >> you're like a broken record. >> i'm not getting any answers from you.
>> i'm answering you every time. >> you're responding, but you're not answering. >> let's let the viewers judge. you're now the 13th place in ratings, behind nick at nite. >> i think it's funny that you have enough time at the white house that you sit around and read nielsen numbers. >> i get a good prep from my team. i don't deal with this stuff, because i do have a day job. >> last night, donald trump, jr. said two contradictory things. he said people were trying to reach out all the time with information like this, which many have said this happens all the time. he also said no one else at any time during the campaign reached out say they had information about hillary clinton. so which is it? >> i will return to what the president and donald trump, jr., and jay sekulow said, that in the heat of the campaign, he took a meeting as a favor to an
acquaintance. that meeting was sold to him on false pretenses. as soon as he was clear that was the case, it ended. >> right. but i -- the surrogates are saying it happened all the time. he said it happened all the time, but he also said this is the only time it happened. i'm just trying to get a straight answer. >> you would have to ask him. i didn't run his day planner. >> lindsay graham asked the fbi director candidate if donald trump, jr. should have taken that meeting. >> if i got a call from somebody saying the russian government wants to help lindsey graham get re-elected, should i take that meeting? >> senator, i would think you would want to consult with some good legal advisers before you did that. >> the answer is, should i call the fbi? >> i think it would be wise to let -- >> you're going to be the director of the fbi. so here's what i want you to tell every politician.
if you get a call from somebody suggesting that a foreign government wants to help you by disparaging your opponent, tell us all to call the fbi. >> to the members of this committee, any threat or effort to interfere with our elections from any nation state, or any non-state actor, is the kind of thing the fbi would want to know. >> do you believe the president's nominee to heed the fbi is wrong about that or is right, that this is something that donald trump, jr. should have called the fbi about and as to your claim about ukraine involvement with the dnc, which they deny if that happened -- >> no, it happened. >> -- that they should have called the fbi about it? >> no, they actually initiated it. the ndnc initiated it. that's the real story, when you go to another government to coordinate dirt on a political campaign. this isn't something we started. >> i know. [ overlapping speakers ]
>> you do know the difference, right? when you initiate it? >> yeah, i understand the word, initiate. >> good. >> we reported on this. politico wrote the article back in january, i'll put it on the screen, so did cnn. the difference is, there is not, as far as we know, an active fbi investigation of any ukraine involvement, and frankly, if there was, i think it would be a much bigger story and i would love to report on it every single night. but there is an active fbi investigation into russian involvement in this election, and any possible collusion with the campaign. so that's why i think there's a difference in the reporting. >> but then why haven't you dedicated ten minutes or another segment, which isment to be about international relations on that story instead of what you do now? >> what i need to do now is take a commercial break. but i would like to ask about the victory in mosul and the president's trip to paris, if
you'll stick around. >> i could be delighted. >> we'll be right back. so, if anyone has a reason that these two should not be wed, speak now. (coughs) so sorry. oh no... it's just that your friend daryl here is supposed to be live streaming the wedding and he's not getting any service. i missed, like, the whole thing. what? and i just got an unlimited plan.
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to the 100th anniversary of america's engagement in world war i, the president is being recogniz recognized, and we want to reassure everybody, as we did at the g-20, and as secretary mattis and the president have done, that we stand by article v. i was with a senior french diplomat moments ago, that we have a very serious common concern, and that's the threat of terrorism to france, and western civilization. >> there was other good news for the white house. the iraqi government declared victory over sooil in moisil in week. the distrust between sunni, shia and kurds that continues and will continue to exist inside iraq, how does that get involved from a political stand point?
>> look, it is a massive event, you're right. because this isn't just the second biggest city in iraq, it's also the city where the isis, the islamic state declared caliphate in 2014. so when prime minister abadi says the caliphate is destroyed, he's right. when it comes to the long-term victory, it's not just about body bags or high value targets being killed, but the political end state in iraq. i think there's a very simple formula here. all of these individuals, whatever clan, whatever religious group you belong to, whatever tribe, there's one simple question -- will your future, the future of your children and grandchildren be served by continued fighting, continued sectarian violence or by iraq coming back together as a nation? i don't think that's a hard sell logically. maybe emotionally. but that's what we're going do
with our allies and partners, to create an iraq that functions against as a unitary state. >> there have been reports that the leader of isis has been killed. has the united states been able to confirm that? >> so right now, we treat all of these reports with great skepticism. remember for how long, anderson, the reports were that bin laden is dead or he was on dialysis in a cave. totally bogus. we have the most powerful jerns communi -- intelligence community in the world, but we are not going to verify. >> "the new york times" says the president reached out to the president of dime corps, asked them to devise alternatives to the pentagon's plan to send thousands more troops to afghanistan. a, can you confirm that is the case? and that the white house did reach out to them? >> i'm not going to confirm or
deny what meetings we have in the white house or elsewhere. but we are very open to outside ideas. we see the last eight years as having brought disastrous national security decisions, whether it was in libya, in syria, in iraq, or elsewhere. so this is an administration, this is a president who wants new ideas. we're not going to stay in the washington bubble, we want people who understand the threat, who have been there in the field, and just people who have new ideas. because the last eight years, in fact, the last 16 years have not brought security to america or our alelies. >> deputy assistant to the president sebastien gorka, thank you. joining me now is my panel. dana and gloria, first of all, you heard him pushing back on this idea that the white house is under siege in any way.
he says things are going swimmingly, nothing to see here. >> right. look, it seems to me it depends on with whom you speak at the white house. i spoke with somebody last night who said that it's quieter inside than you would think. and that obviously today is a lot better than it was yesterday for the white house. but there are still defactions there that remain. the president, i have been told by somebody who talks to him quite regularly, that the president believes that the media is creating a conspiracy that does not exist, and that is what you heard from sebastien gorka. and that he intends to continue fighting back this way, and that is, again, what you heard from mr. gorka. >> dana, we hear though from john mccain on capitol hill today who said this has sucked all the oxygen out of the room, this drip, drip, drip.
even trey gowdy saying look, it's a drip, which is it's hurting the president's agenda. >> no question about it. as much as the president and the advisers who come on television want to argue that there's nothing to see here, there's no distraction or just work, work, working like normal, it's just not reality. and even if they can walk and chew gum at the same time inside the white house, what you talked about from john mccain and virtually every other republican who will even stop and talk about it on capitol hill, is a bigger dose of reality. and that is that they're the ones trying really, really hard to, for example, come up with 50 votes to the bill the republicans promised to repeal and replace obamacare. and even though they're trying to sort of stay tunnel vision on it, it isn't easy to do when you have a lot of incoming, and sort
of loud noise that you cannot ignore, which is pretty consequential. and by that, i mean the continuous drumbeat of the russia story. >> it's interesting, kirsten, that the president has reverted today to going back to the old, you know, the old chestnut of fake news, don't believe sources, when for days the white house has been quiet and unable to push back or figure out a way to push back, because all the reporting has been completely accurate, as born out by donald trump jr.'s own e-mails. >> this isn't open to interpretation. it's not an anonymous source, it's something tweeted out by the president's son. everybody can look at it. so it's not something that the media has come up with, and you can do the normal questioning that they do. none the less, he's still going with the #faknews. we saw sebastien doing the same
thing, and doing a lot of gaslighting, claiming that donald trump has been transparent when he hasn't been. >> by every definition of transparency, that is not transparent. >> giving us a bunch of different stories about -- first, it was there were no meetings with the russians. then there was a meeting but it was about adoption. i mean, that's just not transparency. >> even the idea that it was about adoption, adoption is, in russia, it's not about adoption, it's about sanctions. >> the -- it ties into murders and human rights. it ties into what kind of actors we're dealing with when talking about the putin government. that is what makes them an
adversary. there are a lot of different reasons you can characterize russia as maybe not acting in the best interest of the united states. but that is universal, when you're talking about journalists and others turning up dead, that we have sanctions in place because of those. to say that, you know, i took this meeting, even though i have an e-mail showing that the government was out to discredit my opponent, and nothing came of it, therefore it's all fake news. that's not even going to begin to cut it. and the insults and the bullying, just indicates that. >> mary katherine, the drip drip is interesting to me. and trey gowdy today saying, look, if you had a meeting with someone from russia, just tell the special counsel, get it out of the way before "the new york times" tracks it down. >> yeah. i don't think that's in their nature, i don't think that's going to be a shift we see. had we seen it earlier, i think it would have helped. this is the story where, because
it comes from his own son, and because it's getting closer to donald trump, but dealing with his children which makes it more emotional to him because that's who this story touching. i have no doubt the white house is pretty good operating in a chaotic environment. this may be far more chaotic and get in the way of doing things, because there's this real e-mail that says essentially all the things they've been saying did not happen, there's this pin to hang it on now with his own son saying look, yeah, come to me with this. >> and yet on the one hand his son last night says, this happened -- kind of thing happened all the time, and then he says oh, no, this was the only time it ever happened. >> yeah. i just don't think he's a particularly credible source at this point on anything. i think the fact that this -- that he didn't -- the reaction should have been oh, my gosh, the russian government is
supporting our campaign, call the fbi. it's just -- that right there, everything from there on out is problematic. >> the line he said was, people are trying to reach out to you all the time, and then later, hannity says was anyone else at anyone in the campaign have information about hillary and he said no, no. we've heard that time from surrogates saying this happens all the time. >> exactly. that's what i was going to say, anderson. from washington, and from somebody who has covered campaigns for many years, it doesn't happen all the time. opposition research people offering you dirt on your opponents, yes. but this particular flavor of it from a foreign national and from an adversary, not enemy, but adversary of the united states, and particularly a country like russia, which is known and even the president knows, and his
people know, and his family knows because they've done business in russia. they understand some of the kind of -- the craft that they use to get information or to put information out there. come on! i mean, it's not -- this is not what happens. and there is example after example that we know from covering it real time in 2000, the gore campaign got something that they should. have gotten and they gave it to the fbi. i'll go back to what the fbi nominee said today, that is not okay, you must contact the fbi. >> it's also interesting to hear sebastien gorka and others say look, we should be paying attention to ukraine and alleged outreach to the dnc, which the dnc denies. it's been looked into by a lot of fact checking organizations. i certainly believe, you know, if there's wrongdoing, anybody should be investigated. but the fact is, there's not, as far as we know, an ongoing
investigation into ukraine involvement in the election. there is one into russia. >> right. and that is sort of the knee jerk reaction, which is to deflect everything to hillary clinton. it starts at the top. the president does this. and then it flows down, and everybody else says the democrats did this. the democrats met with ukraine and plotted, and that has not been proven at all. what we do have -- >> there was a contractor who worked for the dnc who met with people from the ukrainian embassy. there are hints of things. but there's no -- >> but people around the dnc didn't know about it, and it kind of unravels as you go along. as you point out, if it were -- if it had happened, and if the fbi were to take a look at it, they obviously should. but what they do is they say, you guys are forming a conspiracy against us, but you're not -- but in a way
they're setting up another conspiracy, which is the media conspiracy against them. and that's how they have decided to fight back on this. rather than on the substance, it's about something else. >> right. i want to thank everybody. coming up, some lawmakers in the president's own party are demanding answer. and new video shows the president, rob goldstone at a private dinner in 2013. new aspects of their relationship when we come back. ♪ it's not just a car, it's your daily treat. ♪ go ahead, spoil yourself. the es and es hybrid. experience amazing. heri think i might burst..... totally immersed weekenders. whatever kind of weekender you are, there's a hilton for you. book your weekend break direct with hilton.com
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the trump campaign's meeting with a russian lawyer are not helping already fragile party unity. now even republican lawmakers are demanding answers. so gop lawmakers being very vocal 5babout this latest controversy. >> reporter: they're growing weary about this controversy after controversy coming out of the white house when the republicans realize they have little time to pass what they viewed as a rather ambitious legislative agenda. not only are they concerned about the meeting, the merits of the meeting and whether or not donald trump, jr. should have take that be meeting, but undercutting their message at a crucial time on the hill. take a listen. >> sucking the oxygen out of the room, everybody knows that. it's very difficult when you have this overwhelming barrage of new information that unfolds every few days. >> obviously i'm concerned. fundamentally, americans are supposed to decide american
elections. and the american people and anybody running for office knows that you don't take foreign campaign contributions, either monetary or other sorts. >> there's a common perception we're not doing much when we're doing quite a bit. most people back home aren't aware. they're caught up on the daily distractions that go on, coming out of the white house. >> reporter: anderson, the one thing republicans are trying to do is try to pass a new health care bill, one that will be introduced in the senate tomorrow, but one thing the republicans are concerned about is that there's virtually no white house messaging operation at the moment to back them up because the white house constantly has to deal with these controversies day after day, making it much harder to do their job up here. >> manu, thanks. this all started when a music promoter e-mailed the president's son with information that came from a russian pop star and his father. a video shows these men at a
dinner party in 2013 when citizen donald trump met with them. pamela brown has more. >> reporter: the video obtained exclusively by cnn shows then businessman donald trump in las vegas in 2013. at self hanging out with the men now at the center of the newest development in the russia controversy. the men, russian pop singer emin agalarov and his father, aras, were helping trump hold his miss universe pageant in moscow later that year. and n the video, trump is seen having dinner with the agalarovs, along with their publicist, rob goldstone. on tuesday, donald, junior, released e-mails that pitched a meeting with a russian lawyer,
promising she would deliver damaging information. according to the e-mails -- >> reporter: the exclusive footage provides a closer look at the friendship between the two families and could help explain donald trump, jr.'s willingness to take the meeting arranged by gold stone. at dinner, trump could be heard boasting about his work on the miss universe pageant. the next day in front of reporters, trump spoke grandly about the promise of taking miss universe to russia. >> i think it's a great thing for our countries. >> reporter: trump predicting his pageant could bring russia
and the u.s. closer. investigators plan to examine the trump tower meeting and the e-mails. on fox news tuesday, donald trump, jr., who does not appear in the 2013 video, said he had limited knowledge of the russian family. >> i met with them once or twice and maintained a casual relationship there, talked about some potential deals and they didn't really go anywhere. >> reporter: but new video and others show the president's own connections. >> what's wrong with you? >> reporter: in 2013, trump appeared in one of emin's music videos. >> you're just another pretty face. i'm really tired of you. you're fired. >> reporter: and wished him happy birthday in a video posted on emin's instagram. >> emin, i can't believe you're turning 35. >> reporter: on cnn's "new day," the lawyer said the e-mails don't add up. >> it's just fantasy world,
because the reality is, if there was something important that mr. agalarov wanted to communicate to the trump campaign, i suspect he could have called mr. trump directly as opposed to having his son's pop music publicist be the intermediary. >> i understand we heard from the father of the pop star today. what did he say? >> reporter: that's right, aras agalarov spoke to a russian radio station, and he said he doesn't personally know don, junior, and he said he doesn't know goldstone either. he said it was a "tall tale" that goldstone asked trump junior to tact him about dirt on hillary clinton. so it's clear that all sides are trying to distance themselves from one another. >> the other interesting thing is i talked to that attorney yesterday and he denied there was a phone conversation between donald trump, jr., and the russian pop star. it will be interesting to see if any evidence of that phone call turns up. in the e-mails, it seems as if there was a phone call before
this meeting. >> right. i can tell you that robert mueller will be looking at that. we know we've been told from our sources now this is part of the probe, the investigation. and so you can bet that's something that will be looked at, as well. >> pamela brown, thank you very much. the president in th-- up next, w jared kushner fits into all of this. but with my back pain i couldn't sleep and get up in time. then i found aleve pm. aleve pm is the only one to combine a safe sleep aid plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. i'm back. aleve pm for a better am. the unpredictability of a flaree may weigh on your mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go, and how to work around your uc. that's how i thought it had to be. but then i talked to my doctor about humira,
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the main focus right now is on donald trump, jr.'s involvement in setting up this meeting with a russian lawyer he believed was connected to the kremlin. questions are now surrounding kas jared kushner, who took the meeting as well and still has a valid security clearance, but the white house won't confirm whether he does. kushner and his wife ivanka are in idaho for a high profile business meeting and tech conference. randi kaye has more on kushner's role in the current dust-up. >> reporter: his name is in the e-mail chain. jared kushner. the e-mail forwarded june 8, 2016, just after 12:00 noon. from his brother-in-law, donald trump, jr., to kushner and paul manafort, then head of the trump campaign. now senior white house adviser, kushner was being invited to meet with a russian attorney.
it had been promised she would deliver dirt on hillary clinton. the lawyer told nbc she remembered kushner. >> i could recognize the young gentleman who was present for probably the first seven to ten minutes. then he stood up and left the room. it was mr. jared kushner, and he never came back, by the way. >> reporter: and there you have it. the russian lawyer herself placing kushner, the so-called secretary of everything, in yet another meeting with a russian that was initially left off the forms he filled out to gain white house security clearance. had all those meetings simply slipped his mind? let's review. there was the meeting with russian ambassador serge kislyak at trump power during the transition. that's when kushner tried to set up back channel communication to communication. also the meeting with russian banker sergey gorkov who has
ties to vladimir putin and runs a bank that has been under u.s. sanctions for the last three years. the optics are troubling. >> my dashboard warning light was clear on and i think that was the case with all of us at the intelligence community. >> reporter: and now this latest meeting with russian lawyer natalia veselnitskaya has some others wondering how many other meetings curbner didn't disclose. >> reporter: the application form that jared kushner filled out for white house security clearance is known as the fs-36 form. and you might say kushner's is a work in progress. the first time kushner filled it out, he left the section for foreign contacts blank. the next day he amended that to say he had multiple contacts and would be disclosing them. the same form was modified a third time in recent weeks to include the meeting with donald jr. and a russian lawyer, a source tells cnn.
in a statement over the weekend, his attorney explains that his fs form was prematurely submitted referring to his original form. and reiterated that his client is eager to cooperate and share what he knows with congress. while that sounds good, keep in mind that kushner's application for security clearance is submitted under penalty of perjury. that's because unlike his brother-in-law, donald jr., who is not a government employee, jared kushner is. and was required by law to disclose his meetings with foreign governments. randi kaye, cnn, new york. >> i want to bring in our legal panel now, jeffrey toobin, richard painter and jonathan turley. jeff toobin, kushner amended his security clearance forms now not once, but twice. it seems like the second time, only after paul manafort told, according to "the new york times," told capitol hill about this meeting with donald trump jr. at what point should he stop getting the benefit of the doubt, that it was just an
oversight? >> well, you know, one of the things about security clearances is the more powerful you are in the government, the less likely the officials are to give you a problem on security clearance. it is not an equitable system. but what is so troubling about this whole issue of omitting these visits is that the whole purpose of disclosing the names of the foreign nationals you've met with is so that the background clearance folks can investigate these meetings. and look at what the circumstances were. so this is not just some technic technicality. this is something that is actually crucial to determining why someone should be granted or denied a security clearance and he seems to have had a great deal of trouble in getting his form right. >> professor turley, the other part of it is to that the u.s. knows everything that a foreign government, and maybe a foreign
adversarial government may know. if the russians had this information, you know, about this meeting from the time it happened, and yet on the u.s. side, that information isn't sent around, the russians, therefore, have something on jared kushner, potentially. >> no, it's a valid objection. the really thumping heart of that form is, in fact, foreign contacts. i've had to fill out that form many times since the reagan administration, to keep clearances in cases that i was working on. and that's the one that i really, and most of us, really sweat over, to make sure that we list all of the foreign contacts we may have had. so, this is a legitimate ground of criticism, right above the signature block is a reference to 18 usc thousand-one. that's the false statement sections of the criminal code. that's the section that gets most people into trouble in washington. it's rarely the scandal, it's often the aftermath. it's when people make false statements. they try to be too clever by
half, or they omit things. people get charged under that. and as a criminal defense attorney, i have to say, a thousand to one charges are the ones that you really want least to see in an indictment, because they tend to be very easy to prove in a courtroom. having said that, most emissions on sf-86es do not result in prosecutions. it's usually administrative measures, particularly the denial of the clearance, which is unlikely, obviously, in this case. >> richard painter, what do you say to those who are saying that jared kushner shouldn't have a security clearance or it should be looked at. >> well, he has had an awful lot of contacts with the russians, and in a lot of different contexts, it seems like he has the wrong should be jjob. maybe he should be the united states ambassador to russia or the russian ambassador to the united states, i don't know. but the point is that he really has a lot of these contacts and he seems to have forgotten about just about all of them when filling out these forms, in a context where there's enormous
controversy about russia and russian espionage inside the united states and russian meddling in the election. i mean, it's shocking. that's what we have as a consistent pattern, not just with mr. kushner, but others in this administration, lying about their contacts with the russians, up until a day or two ago, they kept repeating the mantra that there was no collaboration, and now we've got smoking gun e-mails, showing that donald trump jr. and the other two, kushner and manafort were eager to collaborate with the russians and running over there to have a meeting with this russian lawyer who was, they were told, was an agent of the government. that's a meeting that no loyal american would attend, unless they're wearing a wire that the fbi had put on them. you know, that is a very, very dangerous situation, when russians are offering you dirt on your opponent. >> we're going to continue this conversation after the break. i want to get your take on what the president said to reuters about whether he knew about this meeting, when it actually happened. we'll be right back.
and adamantly insisting he had no knowledge of his son's meeting with the lawyer either prior to it or recently. his meeting with jared kushner and manafort? >> he is not afraid to take bold stands. he's obviously been wrong, i think it's charitable to say wrong as opposed to lying about the fact that there was no contacts between his campaign and people affiliated with the russian government. we know, now, from these e-mails, that that's the case. what he has to worry about is what are the other e-mails show? i mean, here, you know, these are very important e-mails that were just released. but that's a tiny fraction, obviously, of the e-mails that are going to be available to the special counsel. former director mueller. so, you know, what will the e-mails show about discussions that he may have had with his son and other people about contacts with russia. >> professor -- >> even if the president was informed, at some point, you know, before or shortly after
the meeting, does that from a legal standpoint matter? >> well, it can matter, you know i have a column on this in the hill in the morning, about what a thousand and one investigation means. and the most important thing from the defense side is to maintain the one thing that's alluded the trump white house. that is the consistent, coherent narrative. where you get into trouble with a thousand one is when you have all of these conflicting accounts. it broadens the investigation, it undermines other parties, including this the ing in this n son. so this could be very damaging in terms of the scope of the investigation and adding more questions for your son, who's -- or your son-in-law in this case, who's fast becoming a target. >> richard, can you explain just what kind of teeth federal ethics officials actually have. we saw the director of the office of government on ethics resign just i think it was last week, at least partly because of frustration with the current