tv State of the Union With Jake Tapper CNN July 16, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT
trump family ties. >> my son is a wonderful young man. >> president trump tries to defend his son's meeting with russians even as the story keeps changing. >> most people would have taken that meeting. >> did president trump know that the russians wanted him to win? we'll ask a top trump lawyer. plus, smoking gun? what exactly do donald trump jr.'s e-mails prove? >> criminal conspiracy to defraud the united states, plain and simple. >> will he have to testify? >> rest assured donald trump jr.
would be somebody we would want to talk to. >> top democrat on the senate intelligence committee will be here live. >> and health care hustle? republicans taking another crack at repealing obamacare. >> i am sitting in the oval office with a pen in hand, waiting for our senators to give it to me. >> breaking news on the latest development that threatens to derail him. a key senator reveals how she'll vote next. plus, the biggest political minds with insights on what happens next. hello, i'm jake tapper in washington where the state of our union is disapproving. a brand new poll out this morning shows president trump has hit a new low with american voters. just 36% say they approve of the way he's doing his job with 58% of americans saying they disapprove. remarkably almost half of the american people saying they strongly disapprove of the job he's doing. 55% say the president is not
making progress on his agenda. overnight the number one item on president trump's agenda, health care, being stalled again. mitch mcconnell announcing that the vote will be delayed while senator john mccain recovers from surgery. meanwhile, president trump is up, observing the sabbath as only he can, tweeting attacks on the free press and hillary clinton, mounting a defense of his son, don junior, who has acknowledge aid meeting with russians who claimed to want to deliver the trump campaign dirt on clinton. asked about the meeting in this poll, 63% of americans say it was inappropriate. >> joining me now is jay sekulov, a member of the president's team. americans expressed disappointment. dirt on hillary clinton from what he thought would be the russian government. here is what charles krauthammar had to say, quote, the russian
investigation is entering a new if as. this is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks. it may not be criminal but it is not merely stupid. it is also deeply wrong, a fundamental violation of any coat of civic honor. are you willing to acknowledge this was wrong and a violation of civic honor? >> i deal with the law so that's what -- i'm the lawyer for the president and campaigns involve opposition research. and the situation with the e-mail exchange that was released by donald trump jr. and what was described there is -- look at it and compare it to, for instance, ukrainians with the dnc and clinton campaign. >> the moment there's an fbi investigation or senate and house intelligence committee investigations into ukraine and the dnc and the clinton campaign, i'm happy to discuss it. but that's not what's going on right now. >> it's interesting there isn't
one. but go ahead, jake. >> because nobody from the ukrainian government met with anybody from the clinton campaign. moving on from that, you're talking about the legality. i understand you're a lawyer but you're also a man of faith. >> yeah. >> isn't it kind of important whether or not what donald trump jr., manafort and kushner did, isn't it important, whether or not it's legal, whether or not it's wrong, whether or not it's e ethical? >> you're conflating, jake, three perspectives here. the legality. was the meet anding and what took place legal or not? almost every legal expert says it's not illegal. then you're trying to put a moral/ethical aspect to t it's easy to do that in 20/20 hindsight but noe not when you're in the middle of a campaign. i'm not a campaign lawyer, i wasn't a campaign lawyer. meetings were taking place, as donald trump jr. said 15, 20 minutes apart this one went even shorter. everybody looking backwards and saying would've, should've,
could've. but to go back a year later and say this is what should have happened when the meeting was 20 minutes and a series of meetings that took place days and days for months, i don't think that's fair to donald trump jr., jared kushner or manafo trchrt for th matter. republican, democrat, independent, nature of the politics. >> not with the governments of hostile foreign powers, jay. that's not normal. you could talk about opposition research all you want. the russian government attorney, that's what this is billed at, with high-level intelligence on hillary clinton. for all don junior knew, that was coming from the fsb, successor to the kgb. that was coming from human intelligence. he had no idea where it was coming frchlt normal oppo is
legally obtained. >> i go back to the ukrainian example. i know you don't want to discuss it because it's not being investigated, which raises a question. they exchanged documents from a foreign government. >> paul manaforte did work in ukraine. people in ukraine wanted the united states to know. >> yes. >> from a legal and public hearing. >> wait a minute. but, jake, he was running the campaign at the time. so, i mean, we're acting like this is some kind of one-off thing that never happens in campaigns. you just gave the evidence of exactly what took place there. >> no. nobody from the ukrainian government met with the clinton campaign, again, as i said. >> that's not true. representatives at the ukrainian embassy, the political report was clear. >> go ahead. i know you want to change the subject. let's go back to russia. donald trump jr. was asked if he met with anyone else from russia. this is his answer. take a listen. >> i probably met with other people from russia. >> during the campaign. >> not in the context of a formalized meeting or anything like that because why would i?
>> don junior saying i've probably met with other people from russia. what other meetings or communications with russians have not been disclosed yet? >> none that i know of. i represent the president of the united states. donald trump jr. said not in the context of formal meetings, that he may have met with russian people. as a lot of people meet with russian people. that's not unusual. >> he also said in march there were no meetings at all in the auspices of the campaign. now we know that's not true. >> i thought about that. you and i talked about that the other day on the weekday broadcast. i thought about that. i go back to and look at, jake, in the context of a meeting, and the meetings and series of meetings taking place during the campaigns, there were dozens of meetings every day, hundreds of meetings every week. this meeting lasted, what, 15 minutes? it was short. nothing was produced. it never went any further. it wasn't ever discussed again. let me say one thing that's
important here. the president -- and this has been unko ochluncontroverted, w the meeting, did not know about the meeting. >> we now know there were at least eight people in that meeting, including a russian-american lobbyist with alleged ties to russian intelligence. trey gowdy, not exactly a leader of the resistance, calling the drip, drip, drip about information of this controversy. what other details about this meeting have not been disclosed? >> well, again, i want to say i represent the president. donald trump jr. said he disclosed everything about the meeting. but i am one of the counsel for the president of the united states, who was not involved in the meeting and not aware of the meeting. from our perspective, my answer stands. that is that the president was not engaged in this, with ans not aware of it. donald trump jr. made statements about -- that this was everything. he said that on the area, on
sean hannitty's broadcast and, again, speaks for itself. >> the trump campaign, we learned this week, paid $50,000 to donald trump jr.'s lawyer. they paid this a day after one of the cnn reporters working on the story called to say what can you tell us about this meeting? is that an acknowledgement, that the meeting with the russian lawyer, that he thought was with the russian government, was official business, the fact that the trump campaign paid 50 grand to trump junior's attorney? >> i'm not involved in the discussions with the lawyers on who paid what entity. i certainly don't represent donald trump jr. in a situation like this, not an unusual situation where the individual being questioned or subject to questioning, donald trump jr., retains counsel, involved in an incident that involved an e-mail campaign, while he was doing work for the campaign.
that's not an unusual scenario or setup at all. i don't know the final determination of who is paying what bills to whom. i think that's still in process. >> a lot of people who give money to the trump campaign will be surprised they're paying for legal bills for donald trump jr. jay sekulow, thank you for your time. appreciate it. >> thank you, jake. donald trump jr. said he's happy to share what he knows with the house intelligence committee. will he be willing to testify publicly? um...i'm babysitting. that'll be $50 bucks. you said $30. yeah, well it was $30 before my fees, like the pizza-ordering fee and the dog-sitting fee... and the rummage through your closet fee. who is she, verizon? are those my heels? yeah! yeah, we're the same size...in shoes. with t-mobile taxes and fees are already included, so you get four lines of unlimited for just $40 bucks each. the price we say is the price you pay. ♪
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ready to of your back pain? new icyhot lidocaine patch. desensitizes aggravated nerves with the max strength lidocaine available. new icyhot lidocaine patch. welcome back to "state of the union." ivanka trump and jared kushner tried to escape the heat of washington and heat of congress, setting off to sun valley, idaho, for an annual conference. kushner's distance from the president has not taken the pressure off. democrats in congress are renewing calls fo revoke kushner's security clearance after they found out that he attended a meeting with a russian business lawyer who promised to dish dirt on hillary clinton. the vice chair of the intelligence committee, of course, leading the russian investigation. senator, thank you for joining us, as always.
>> thank you, jake. >> let's begin with donald trump jr.'s meeting with that russian lawyer. you heard president trump's lawyer, jay sekulow a moment ago, maintaining there was nothing illegal about the meeting. i know special counsel robert mueller is overseeing the criminal investigation. >> we don't really know what happened at the meeting. what we do know is that donald trump jr. did not tell the truth a variety of times. at first he said this meeting was only about russia. immigration policies and adoptions. we know this was a meeting was specifically, in black and white, about the russian's effort to discredit clint sben help trump. i'm not sure why we would take anybody in this administration
at their word. that's why we're going to try to nail down the truth. >> have you seen any evidence that any crime was committed? >> i'm not going to get into any evidence we've seen. there seems to be a convenient pattern where all the senior officials of the trump campaign forget about meetings with russians and don't put it on their forms until information comes out and then they have to amend. mr. kushner we not have one, or two, but three examples where he has had to go back and amend his disclosure forms. i think if i had a meeting that involved russian government efforts to try to help candidate trump and hurt clinton that i would remember that. and frankly it's unbelievable that neither the son nor son-in-law ever shared that information with their dad, the
candidat candidate. >> do you think kushner's security clearance should be suspended? >> i'm giving everyone the benefit of the doubt until we get a chance to talk to them and interview them. it's very bothersome that jared kushner has forgotten not once, not twice but three times to put down this information. we see this pattern. general flynn failed to put down information, he got fired. attorney general had to recuse himself. examples were put out about the firing of jim comey was about. then the president said he fired jim comey because of the russia thing. level of credibility from the senior levels really is suspect and i think suspect regardless of which political party you belong to. >> that june 2016 meeting with the russian lawyer included eight people.
will your committee seek to call all eight of them to testify? >> i would like to hear from all of these individuals. whether we'll be able to get the russian nationals to come over and testify is an open question. i sure as heck want to talk to all of them. >> do you think trump junior and kushner will testify in open session so the public can hear them? >> they have said they're anxious to work with the committee. again i'm going to take them at their word. it will be interesting to see whether they'll be willing to testify in open hearing or closed hearing. end of the day we've got to get the information and then we have to share the information with the american public. the american public deserves to know how the russians attacked our most basic democratic process, how they interfered not just in our country but in france. they're going to interfere in germany and what bother mees, they got a great return on investment. add up all the money on these
efforts to disrupt elections, double it and you're still talking less than 5% of a cost of the new aircraft carrier. russians have found in cyber war fare a very good rate of return on what is, frankly, a in terms of money they're spending. >> any sort of timeline on when we'll have testimony from kushner and donald trump jr.? >> the i think it's important we get documents from these individuals first so we can ask them the right questions. clearly if we don't have all the information, what we'll see and what i'm afraid of is these individual individuals don't seem to disclose everything or tell the truth until evidence is put in front of them. >> the last time you were on this program on june 4th, you said it appeared that russian paid internet trolls, type of
web robot that performs, automatically put forward misinformation, false stories about hillary clinton in ways that targeted, you said, certain states, certain demographics and precincts. at the time you said, quote, we don't have foolproof of this. here we are, investigating six weeks later. have you uncovered any evidence on this front? >> we've got more investigation to look into. i would like to also look into the activityies of the trump digital campaign. facebook, which basically denied any responsibility around our elections by the time the french elections took place this spring, they actually took down 30,000 fake sites. we know it's been estimated that 8% of all twitter accounts are fake. so the ability to manipulate these search engines is real.
it's out there. we need information from the companies as well as the activities of some of the trump digital campaign activities. >> are you going to want people from cambridge analytica, the person who led the trump digital effort and facebook executives to testify? >> i sure want to get to all these questions. not to try to relitigate 2016, but we've got to be ready in 2018. we heard that the russians will be back. because the president won't acknowledge this attack, we don't have a whole government response. for example, 21 states the russians attempted to hack into their electoral system. we hear from secretaries of state that they've not been notified by dhs. i don't think that makes the country safer by not notifying the states that were attacked and not being prepared for 2018.
>> horrible approval ratings for donald trump but also 62% of the people polled think that the democratic party mainly stands for opposing trump than standing for something substantive. is there a risk for democrats to be seen in this light? >> listen, i think we need to try to work with our republican colleagues on tax reform, health care reform. but that means that republicans have to give up this notion they're going to change these laws with just republicans. i wish mitch mcconnell would take the advice of my friend, republican senator from maine, susan collins, and let republicans and democrats sit down together the way the constitution said, and work out bipartisan solutions. that would help the republicans, democrats and candidly the president's approval ratings as
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senate health bill is in limbo once again because of a medical emergency. senator john mccain announced he will not be in washington when the vote was planned because he is recovering from surgery to remove a blood clot from behind his eye. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has delayed it until mccain can return. he needs every last vote given that republicans are waivering or hesitant on voting yes on the
bill, including my next guest, republican senator susan collins from maine. thank you for joining me. >> thank you. >> has president trump called you? is he still hoping that maybe he can win you over? >> he talked to me at the white house at a meeting of the republican caucus a couple of weeks ago, but i've not heard directly from him. but i have heard from members of his administration, including his chief of staff. let me just quickly say that all of us are concerned about john mccain and wishing him a speedy recovery. he's very tough and we hope he will be back soon. >> he tried to alay any concerns about what this bill will do with medicaid, health care program for low-income americans and others. take a listen. >> let me be clear. president trump and i believe the senate health care bill
strengthens and secures medicate for the neediest in our society and this bill put this is vital american program on a path to long-term sustainability. >> do you agree with the vice president? is he telling the truth, that this bill would strengthen the medicare for the neediest? >> i would disagree with the vice president's analysis. this bill would propose fundamental sweeping changes in the medicaid program and those include very deep cuts. that would affect the most vulnerable in our society, disabled children, poor seniors, rural hospitals and nursing homes and they would have a very difficult time even staying in existence. i see it very differently. you can't take more than $700
billion out of the medicaid program and not think that it's going to have some kind of effect. >> one of the major changes to the health care bill was offered by senator ted cruz that would allow cheaper costs to offer fewer benefits. wouldn't it make it possible for some people who can't afford to buy coverage able to buy coverage? >> i do want to see more flexibility in the insurance market but senator cruz's proposal is not the answer. it's rare for consumer groups and insurance companies to agree but they agree on this. it's unworkable. it would result in undermining those with pre-existing conditions and create two separate groups of individuals and some of them would have very skimpy insurance coverage at a
low price. but it might not help them when they get sick. then there's the grooch people who have serious medical problems and their premiums and deductibles would go sky high. such that insurance would be unaffordable for many of them. there is a way to deal with this. that is by creating a reinsurance pool for people with pre-existing conditions. we did it in maine for 18 months before the affordable care act went into effect and it was highly successful. >> you and senator rand paul, for very different reasons, are opposed to this latest piece of legislation from the republican leadership in the senate. republicans, as you know, can't afford to lose any more votes from the republican conference on this. do you think that the bill will pass or do you think there are enough other waivering republicans that it will not?
>> there are eight to ten republican senators who have serious concerns about this bill. at the end of the day, i don't know whether it will pass. i do know this. we should not be making fundamental changes in a vital safety net program that's been on the books for 50 years. the medicaid program, without evaluating what the consequences will be. that doesn't mean there aren't problems with the medicaid program that need to be addressed. it doesn't mean that the aca doesn't have serious flaws. it does. it's why we need people from both sides of the aisle with their input. >> you're also a member of the senate intelligence committee, of course also investigating the
russia investigation. president trump came to the defense of donald trump jr. after those e-mails were released. take a listen. >> my son is a wonderful young man. he took a meeting with a russian lawyer. not a government lawyer but a russian lawyer. most people would have taken that meeting. it's called opposition research. >> you've been through a few campaigns. if you were told a lawyer wanted to share information with you as part of the russian government's effort to help you get elected, how would you respond? >> well, i would respond in the negative. and i think i think most would. we need to talk not just to donald trump jr., who has offered to cooperate, for which i give him credit, but to everyone who was at that meeting and who was involved in setting
up that meeting. that may be difficult in the russian nationals but we certainly ought to try. we should also ask for all documents, not just the e-mails that have been released but all the documents that the trump campaign had with the russian government or its emissaries. >> only one of them, jared kushner, is currently in the white house with the security clearance. given how many times he has had to update his security clearance forms and how imperically untransparent he has been throughout this process, do you have concerns about his security clearance? >> there's an issue we need to look at. right now we don't have enough evidence. i don't know who advised him on the forms. i don't know how many meetings he had in total. i don't know whether most of them were listed. those are issues we do need to
review. it's one reason why the intelligence committee's counterintelligence investigation needs to continue. it's on a separate track from the special counsel's investigation which is looking at whether or not there's any criminal wrongdoing. that's not in our ballywick. we need to know prevent this kind of interference from happening in the future. the russians are going to try again, as we know, from their attempts to influence the campaigns in france and in germany and in montenegro. >> senator susan collins from maine, thank you so much for joining us today. appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you very much.
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reasons to be concerned. >> it's certainly problematic, at the very least, it's very damaging. >> this drip, drip, drip is undermining the credibility of this administration. those are republicans on capitol hill, objecting to donald trump jr.'s meeting with a russian lawyer last year, and the e-mails and questioning whether the white house can accomplish anything while siem simultaneously trying to. >> former republican attorney general of the great commonwealth of virginia and
bakari sellers, former south carolina state representative. thanks, one and all, for being here. charles krauthammer, in many ways a very powerful conservative pundit and a leading one, i think it's fair to say, he said that we're in a new phase now. and that this was not acceptable, whether or not it was legal. this meeting was not acceptable. do you agree with him? >> certainly there was nothing illegal about it. but it certainly has raised enormous -- look, it's sunday, the end of the week that has covered nothing but donald trump jr. virtually nothing. the health care bill came out thursday and it was the tail end of any news show. it has distracted, thoroughly wiped off the table other meaningful subjects to people's lives like health care.
donald trump jr. gave them the ammo to do that. >> and you heard the argument from jay sekulow, there was nothing illegal. he didn't answer my question when i asked about was it moral, unethical? >> was it improper? yes, it was improper. and their argument that anybody would have taken this meeting in politics. no. yes, do we take oppo, opposition research on your opponent? when it's the russian government, you say no and immediately call the fbi. that's the problem. donald trump jr.'s amnesia with regard to this meeting. and indignation about russians tipping the scale toward donald trump is discouraging to the american people and i find it insulting as well. >> congressman we found out there are at least eight people at this meeting, including a russian american lobbyist with ties to russian intelligence. as a member of the house
intelligence committee how significant are these other people at the meeting besides the three trump players and the lawyer? >> they're very significant. we want to hear from them and also anyone who may have been involved in setting up the meeting or any post meetings that took place. i don't think this was a one-off. it doesn't look like that. i agree with ken, though. this is costing its everything. look at all the crowds that donald trump has that were really putting their hopes on him to put them back to work, to help them with their problems and their life. this investigation, his -- the continuum of saying no russia, no collusion to where we are saying so what, this is opposition research. the distraction has affected our ability to work for those people and his ability to deliver on the promises that were made. >> do you think democrats are talking too much about the yaush investigation as opposed to other issues such as health care and tax reform? >> no. i heard my friend gavin newsome recently talk about this issue. democrats are perfectly capable
of walking and chewing bubblegum at the same time. i don't hear the outrage from my republican colleagues that i believe this russia investigation deserves. we're talking about a legitimate threat against our democracy. i like to play the what if game. what if barack obama did this or hillary clinton did this? ken cuccinelli would be red in the face and running around with pitch forks in washington, d.c. we don't see that same outrage because it's donald trump and he's able to meander his way in and out of lives. they can talk about the 23 million people that are going to be kicked off health care and also donald trump jr. what he did was a threat to our democracy and borderline treason. >> getting opposition research as somebody billed as with the russian government, you wouldn't take that meeting? >> no, but i don't agree with alice in the sense that -- and i don't think most americans think that everybody in washington who is saying oh, i would never do
this. bullhockey. this is a low form of human life inside the beltway here. and enormous proportion of these folks would take this information if they could get t i just don't buy it. >> from the russian government? >> you bet. i don't buy -- now, again, beginning of your question, i'm troubled by it. i don't like it. but i'm kind of an idealist. and i don't think most people are. and you were talking at the beginning of your show that most democrats stand for just being trump -- >> let's put that poll up. >> it's a problem. bipartisan problem. >> 52% just against trump. >> right. >> we're losing our opportunity here. >> that's okay. like, for example, people -- i'm about winning elections. we want to change the conversation in washington, d.c. we can't do it if we don't get more democrats elected. what did republicans in 2010 stand for?
republicans in 2010, they were against barack obama. >> against obamacare. >> they were against obamacare. >> and now we are against repeal and replace, whatever that may be and we are against donald trump. the central theme of the republican party the last eight years, mitch mcconnell said it best, a one-term president. was the man who was president of the united states. it's okay. we can talk about other issues. >> we have a future elections coming up. we have the 2018 mid term and another presidential election. republicans and democrats, i hope, see this as an opportunity to at least say we have a responsibility to secure the ballot box. we know the russians will do this again. other country also see this as an opportunity. >> they've done it in the past. >> yeah. whatever mueller does, we should accept the facts that russia attacked us and we have a responsibility to make sure it doesn't happen again. >> that's part of the president's voter integrity panel, cleaning up voter registration across the country. part of that, they will be able
to determine information about russia's influence and impact on the election. that's important, to your point. we need to make sure this doesn't happen again. if i were advising the white house, which they wouldn't listen to me, get it all out there. tell them everything about all these meetings and let's let mueller do the investigation, house and senate, put it behind us and get to the issue at hand, which is the agenda, repealing and replacing obamacare. >> let's talk about that. president trump is talking with christian broadcasting networks pat robertson about repeal and replac replace. >> they have to get it done. >> what will happen if they don't? >> i don't even want to talk about it. i think it would be very bad. i will be very angry about it. a lot of people will be very upset. >> if it fails to pass, do you think president trump might go after some of his fellow republicans? >> that's always a possibility anyway. i mean, he is very unpredictable in that respect. and he has never been in politics before. we don't know what he will do in this mid term election.
that's a big question mark for how that will happen. it will also matter when we turn the corner into 2018, what's his standing with the electorate, particularly the primary electorate, the source of his leverage to have that impact? that's determined by what goes on here in washington, whether anything gets done, whether he tries and it doesn't, but, frankly, if we have a health care bill that doesn't basically undo obamacare, you know, senate conservatives fund where i work, we don't want it to pass. >> there are two republicans in opposition, colins and rand paul f one more comes out against it, then it's dead. who do you think is most likely to fit that role? there are eight to ten republicans who are wavering. >> postponing this vote any longer because of senator mccain. democrats will ramp up the resistance, as we so eloquently call t i would look at actual governors, kasich and sandoval,
who have a great deal of influence over portman and heller. i do recall when obamacare was being rolled out about this same time in 2008, 2009, barack obama stood in front of the media and did a press conference for 50 minutes and took questions. we're waiting on donald trump to do the same thing. >> what do you think will happen with this bill? >> i think the people are being hurt and i wish we were amplifying these stories two years ago. people coming forward saying this affects my son with cancer. this affects my husband's treatment. don't charge us more. don't take away our care. that energy is going to be leveraged in the senate. it's going to keep them from -- >> obamacare is why the charges are going up. >> we should strengthen obamacare. >> you don't strengthen a failure. you get rid of a failure. >> she was saying i was right. >> we have a reality tv star in the white house. is a rock star in the senate next? stay with us. (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything
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