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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  March 2, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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house. what are you learning from trump campaign advisors meeting with the russian ambassadors at the rush convention. >> that's right. in addition to this previously undisclosed meeting, we're learning trump campaign advisors met with the russian ambassador over the suppmmer at the republican convention. this meeting occurred at case western reserve university and involved j.d. gordon who we've known been involved in washington and advised various campaigns and advising the trump campaign and he says he and another advisor named carter page and tferris met with the russian ambassador during the convention taking place in cleveland over the summer last summer. now that is is important because it was at the convention where j.d. gordon tells me and we spoke on the phone he sought on behalf of the campaign a change in the gop platform that was
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against arming the ukrainians and obviously a hot top pick at that time. now i'm told by j.d. gordon at no point during their conversations with the russian ambassador, was there offer of a quick quo pro in the battle against hillary clinton, but what j.d. gordon does tell me is that he was trying to pursue the views of the candidate himself, donald trump that were expressed at another meeting back in march that was presided over by jeff sessions, the then senator from alabama, now the attorney general and during this meeting at the under construction trump hotel here in washington where trump said at the time that he did not want to go to world war 3 with t iii with the russians and j.d. gordon felt when pursuing this, he was honoring the candidate's wishes. that is important because on "meet the press" paul manafort said that no, the trump campaign did not seek that change, but
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j.d. gordon says yes, in fact, he was doing that on behalf of the trump campaign. now we should point out the white house is very interested in what all of these associates are saying about previous contacts. j.d. gordon tells me he was on the phone with sarah huckabee sanders white house spokeswoman about this meeting with the russian ambassador earlier today they were on the phone earlier today talking about this and goes to show you the white house is very, very interested in finding out and getting to the bottom of associates, advisors and so forth that have had contacts. keep in mind, we learned today "the new york times" reported this and we confirmed jared kusnyer, the president's son-in-law and resigned national security advisor met with the russian ambassador in new york. that was not discloseed to reporters during the campaign and just tonight, the president released a statement saying that he defends jeff sessions. he's backing his attorney general but he does say in this statement that when jeff
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sessions told al franken on capitol hill at that confirmation hearing, that he did not have communications with the russians, the president saying tonight in a statement he could have stated his response more accurately so it's a drip, drip, drip situation for this white house, once again, on the subject of russia, john. >> jim acosta at the white house, thank you. as we said, it far from the only russia headline tonight. this next one dominated the day, first with the revelation that attorney general jeff sessions met twice with the russian ambassador during the campaign previously undisclosed meetings, he failed to say so during the confirmation hearings and this afternoon, the next's top law enforcement official recused himself from any existing related to president trump's 2016 presidential campaign. >> i believe those reck m recommendations are right and just. therefore i have recused myself in the matter that's deal with the trump campaign. >> that announcement came as a growing number of republican
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lawmakers joined democrats calling on the attorney general to recuse himself and calling from the flat out resign. this is unfolding tw weo weeks after michael flynn resigned also over russian related meetings. pamela brown joins us with the latest. pamela, the attorney general that recused himself, why now? >> that's a good question, john. the only new data point between the time he became the top cop three weeks ago and today is the fact that the washington post reported last night, broke the story, he had two meetings with russia's ambassador and did not disclose during his confirmation hearing before the judiciary committee but today, he said that look, this is something that he's been having meetings about for weeks. he's tried to distance himself from any sort of controversy having to deal with the russians. basically saying that this decision came about because he was connected to the trump campaign as a surrogate and
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after talking to his staff, he felt like he had to recuse himself from an investigation involving the trump campaign but did not mention undisclosed heatihea meetings as a factor into this decision, despite weeks now, john, of politicians on capitol hill as we've heard calling on him to recuse himself from the fbi investigation, looking at trump's associates, president trump's associates during the campaign and russians, john? >> pamela, democrats are calling for a special prosecutor but the attorney general made no mention of that, did he? >> no, it would be unusual for a special prosecutor to come in and oversee this investigation. typically what happens is the deputy attorney general would be the one to oversee the investigation or the attorney general could appoint a u.s. attorney. so typically, that's what happens. now right now it's a little bit unusual because we have an acting deputy attorney general because the one that the president would like has not
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been confirmed yet. we'll have to wait and see how this proceeds but of course, you have heard politicians as you pointed out on the capitol hill calling for a special prosecutor. it could happen. it wouldn't be as common or unusual. >> pamela brown, thanks so much. want to get our panel's reaction. cnn political analyst kirston powers and also cnn political analyst and investigative reporter carl bernstein and john king and david axelrod who hosts the pod cast the ax files. the words of the night are previously undisclosed, previously undisclosed meetings. the previously undisclosed meetings between jared kusnyer, michael flynn and russian ambassador, the previously
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undisclosed meetings with the attorney general. how big of a problem is that for the trump administration? >> the biggest question here is what was discussed? we don't know that. we need to be clear about that. the fact that we continue to drip, drip, drip, find out about the meetings at a time when this is in the news for a long time, when the new administration knows this is a huge issue and knows there is an fib brkfbi investigation and let's not forget 42 days into office, the president is trying to pass an agenda. he went on the road to sell it. that story is blown out of the water by this and so there is a lot of questions, a lot of questions, republicans are very happy the attorney general made the decision to recuse himself. they think that turns the volume down a bit and can publicly can say the democrats should calm down and let the facts be gathers but behind the scenes, senior republicans are very nervous and says administration is having a case of armature
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hour, they should get it out o proactively and daily or hourly negative news stories and have a credibility crisis the trump white house does because these leaders have said help us, we get asked these questions, what do we need to know. make sure we don't get embarrassed. we're trying to get your agenda passed, sir. they are wondering if they can trust what they are told by this white house because they have been told repeatedly there is is nothing there and you have a long list of previously undisclosed tonight. >> how big of a crisis and did the recuse l of the attorney general take some of the air out of the balloon? >> it did for today and the reason it happened even though the president said he didn't think he had to recuse himself, so many republicans on capitol hill joined with others to call for it. one of the reasons they did is they knew where this was going and thought they could lance the boil by coming out and urging
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the white house to do what they did. it is remarkable on john king's point that two nights ago, the president was standing there in the house chambers giving a speech that was well reviewed and the story was well, this is a page turning and now he's got some forward momentum and he can go out on what he did and look where we are 48 hours later and this is a self-inflicted wound. i'm sure many people are wondering now what is it about this guy that causes everyone to forget meeting with him in the trump administration? [ laughter ] >> and i don't think this thing is going to die. i think this is building momentum. >> i want to play you gauys wha the president said about this. he was looking at an aircraft carrier. jim acosta caught up with him and fired questions at him. listen to how he responded. >> do you still have confidence? >> total. >> investigations --
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>> i don't think so. >> when did you first learn session spoke to the russian ambassador. >> i don't think -- >> when were you aware. >> i wasn't aware at all. >> should he have spoken truthfully about -- >> he probably did. >> so there is a lot there, david gregory. the one line that i keep seeing again and again and is i wasn't aware at all. he wasn't aware at all he was supporting his campaign and a chief campaign advisor jeff sessions met with the russian advisor. >> who met with any russian counter parts or any russian officials in the course of campaign or subsequent to that but they have been spending the first 40 days of the administration and transition saying there is no story here and not just that, the democrats were making it up and intelligence acting like nazi germany in leaking this
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information about these contacts. now all of a sudden they are worried about where all these meetings about. i'm also surprised that the attorney general didn't see fit when mike flynn was going through all this to say over here, just to let you know, in micah past y capacity, i was a . the notion he's asked these questions in the confirmation hearing about contacts and he doesn't say, he says well, i just answered that in terms of continuing conducts as a surrogate so i wouldn't have thought about that. when he had contacts as a senator, which may have been completely appropriate, there is a cascading effect of why this wasn't kind of put together. this is an ugly backdrop of a campaign and of this new administration. these questions are not going to go away and it seems unforeseen to this administration that the russians might be trying to
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manipulate them or might have tried to manipulate them in the past. this is not new behavior by the russians and that part seems to be shunned to the side. >> democrats calling for resignati resignation. chuck schumer today had a somber face and said it was a sad moment for america but you could almost see him jumping out of his skin. >> reluctant recalling for him to step down. keep in mind, this is somebody who got no -- one mention was the only democratic senator to even vote for his approval as attorney general. we've got a democratic party that's going to try to follow the lead of their base which is out in the streets, calling for massive resistance, crowds went to chuck schumer's home calling for the same thing. this is a golden opportunity served up on a platter. the larger question if they want to get to it is what is this doctrine toward russia going to be from this administration? we get mixed signals. we see nikki haley saying one thing at the united nations and the president going back to
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wouldn't it be nice if we could work with russia to deal with syria and battle isis? that seems like less of a priority. what's it going to look like? we have the fact well questions about what went on during the campaign but a forward looking question that this administration is not answering which would actually take them a couple of steps possibly in the direction of putting some questions to rest. >> and carl bernstein is a question of what is the status of the various investigations going on now because the ranking member adam shift today said he was briefed by the fbi and he wasn't satisfied with how much he was being told and he felt that the fbi director was holding out on him. >> let's use the dreaded word coverup because what we have now seen are the two closest national security advisors in the campaign to donald trump lied and tried to cover up their own activities. that's what we have seen with sessions. that's what we seen with mike flynn.
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let's remember sessions was head of donald trump's national security advisory team in the campaign. appointed to that by trump on march 3rd 2016. it is a hugely important fact. both he and flynn were running supervising the national security operation for candidate trump. we know that. we know they have covered up with they did. now the question becomes why haven't others been more forthcoming around trump, around his business organization in his family? himself? also in the campaign about whatever contacts they have had with russians, russian businessmen. it's very easy for the president of the united states to go to his counsel in the white house and say mr. counsel, i want you to have all of those involved in my campaign, in my white house who have been named in this, who have had anything to do with
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activities with the russians, with ethno russians, get their records of e-mails. let's take a real look. i want to know absolutely everything that happened here. nothing like that happened. instead, the president of the united states this evening issued a statement blaming all this on democrats and leakers, that's not going to wash. this is not going away as david axelrod said. >> no. >> and there is the appearance here of a coverup certainly among a couple people very close to donald trump. >> let me ask kirsten powers. donald trump used the word cover up several times. cover up of what exactly. it's a coverup of a meeting that could be benign. every senator and lawmaker told me they have met with ambassadors before. >> you have to consider the context of what was happening in the election.
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that's true under normal circumstances but under the circumstances of where we were having interference by russians in our election and then there is an fbi investigation into it, it does seem like something that would rise to the level of disclosure and if you were prepping him, you would say russia is issue number one. let's talk about the things you may have had. with other people in the trump administration, you can say they are rookies and don't understand the process. he's not a rookie. he's not only a senator, he's a lawyer. he understands how to disclose information, what is important. he clearly does remember the meeting. he's given us a lot of detail about it. it raises questions of how he could have said that and at a bare minimum, not after the fact said if it's true he heard the question differently, which is what he's saying, later afterwards say wait a minute, wait a minute, you made a very declarative statement there. we need to disclose you had this
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meeting. >> great point. he said there were three people in the room. much more to talk about. how is all this russian news being seen in moscow? we'll go there live and later, our legal team weighs in on attorney general to recuse himself is enough. whether the attorney general could face perjury charges. so tell us your big idea for getting the whole country booking on choice four words, badda book. badda boom... let it sink in. shouldn't we say we have the lowest price? nope, badda book. badda boom. have you ever stayed with choice hotels? like at a comfort inn? yep. free waffles, can't go wrong. i like it. promote that guy. get the lowest price on our rooms, guaranteed. when you book direct at book now. don't let the food you eat during the day haunt you at night. nexium 24hr... shuts down your stomach's active acid pumps... to stop the burn of frequent heartburn... all day and night.
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a body without proper footd needssupport can mean pain. the dr. scholl's kiosk maps your feet and recommends our custom fit orthotic to stabilize your foundation and relieve foot, knee or lower back pain from being on your feet. dr. scholl's. given the russian related news and president you would think we're living in the movie "moscow" and covered all the angles tonight and go to moscow and matthew chance is there. what did she have to say? >> oh, i mean, she was absolutely furious and outraged i think at the suggestion that the surrogate, the long-standing
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ambassador has been reported to be linked with espionage activities. that information came from both senior present and former u.s. officials but you're right i spoke to the foreign ministry spokesperson here in moscow and again, she was angry if nothing else about that suggest. take a listen to what she had to say. >> he is a well-known, i mean, world class diplomat who was a deputy minister who was communicating with his group decades on different fields, and cnn accused him on being russian spy, recruiting -- >> wait, was u.s. officials -- >> come on, stop spreading lie and false news. >> lies and false news. it's a refrain that we've herd elsewhere. we're hearing it much more often
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now in moscow, as well from russian officials, john? >> matthew chance unpopular apparently tonight in moscow. thank you. david axelrod, i want to go to you and the white house response so far and you've all used this phrase to the drip, drip, drip of information coming out. how would you grade the response? are they equipped to handle this? >> well, look, you had the president go out hours before the attorney general stepped out to recuse himself to say he didn't think he should recuse himself, so obviously, they are not very much a tuned here to what is going on from moment to moment, and i think this story got away with them -- got away from them and i do think they ought to canvass out there and get ahead of where this story is going and they will continue to look flat footed and
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disingenuous. >> the other thick that's ing t important, in his statement tonight yes, he backs sessions and criticizes democrats and thinks the attorney general should answer the questions more accurately, and i think in this regard, trump is channelling a lot of republicans on the hill or people who aren't lawyers but who are just kind of members of the general pub llic saying yea why wouldn't you disclose that rather than looking at it in a narrow sense as if you're in a deposition saying he didn't specifically ask me in that context as a surrogate, so it wasn't on my mind. i think the president later on in the day is finally saying yeah, he's my guy but he could have handled that better, which i think adds a little more fuel to the fire. >> what's the pressure on republicans right now on capitol hill. paul ryan before the recuse l, he says i don't think he needs to do it.
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it's not up to him. he's not putting pressure on. do you sense any cracks emerging. >> they need donald trump to get their agenda done and so they are finally at the point where they will get this long list of things done they have wanted to do for a very long time and they don't want to alienate donald trump. so i think he's sort of trying to have it both ways. is the same time you have people like the majority leader coming out and being critical and walking it back a bit. >> walking back. that was interesting. >> again, it's the walking back because they don't want president trump retaliating against them and making it so they can't get their agenda done. i think if they were to handle it the way it should be handled, it's enough to do investigations because that's going to be in the private. we're not going to be able to see what they find. what we need is a 9/11 style investigation into russian's interference into the election and it needs to be broad and look at the different things including what happened with
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senator sessions. >> john king, we're hearing for democrats calling for a 9/11 commission or special prosecutor. you are well sourced inside washington. do you have any reason to believe we're anywhere near either of those eventualities? >> are we anywhere near that when you have the majority leader two republicans saying no, there is no indication administration wants to go anywhere near the question of outside independent special prosecutor. the chairman said today and said it's an interesting point if you accept the credibility, it's an interesting point where he says we've been at this for months, why would you start over again and bring somebody else in. do you acre cement tsemt accept democrats are asking questions but for now two intelligence committees will carry the load here. that's the key point going forward. let's be hon northeast and go back in tile before we knew anything about these russia allegations, a lot of
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republicans are not in love with president trump but so they are not just worried about them. and worried about their own base back home. it's only march 2017 and republicans look at a map and find a chance with the republican president on the policy front to pass tax reform, to repeal and replace obamacare. and a policy perspective they believe in they think is possible. they also see a 2018 political i by the luck of the map that allows them to build even though it's a presidential midterm year and you usually lose. there are a lot of republicans watching this stuff just nervous because it's quicksand and unpredictable. every day they are finding out something new and worry there is a trapped door. >> you said we're headed to the 2018 election cycle, everybody will said i got a full ice for
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the first time. i think i seem to have forgotten that president trump gave a speech before congress that was well received. today was supposed to be a day he was talking about jobs and manufacturing and the defense budget, you know, he's obviously that story did not get the coverage it would have otherwise because of russia and now we're waiting for the travel ban, the reconstituted travel ban that might come out tomorrow, maybe not. does this environment do you think affect that release? >> well, we already know they delayed it once. this was supposed to be a big national security emergency. they were up front saying that they wanted to baskin the flow of the good reviews they were getting from the president's -- >> gone -- >> glow is long forgotten. so they got something right. they reck nazed they got it right and wanted to try to continue it but there is so many things that have sort of gone wrong. this travel ban is going to have a lot of legal questions shadowing it. the aclu lawyers are waiting to
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run to court. they will be right back in the middle of a controversial and frankly unpleasant and unpopular things they have tried to do in the first few days. there was a lot in the speech that even democrats can sign off on or at least not go crazy about. the travel ban takes you back to fierce political combat. >> important to remember, john king said keep your eye on republicans. the white house is paying attention to them as they come after the media. they pay attention to how republicans are reacting. >> all eyes on them. thank you so much. coming up, some democrats say it's not enough the attorney general just recused himself from campaign investigations. i spoke with senator tim kaine who is really more than just a senator when you talk about the election we'll get his take, that's next. ♪ announcer: get on your feet for the nastiest bull
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democrats including nancy pelosi says jeff sessions recruiting himself of the 2016 presidential election, recruiting himself is not enough. nancy pelosi says the attorney general lied under oath by
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failing to disclose two meetings and she says he has to resign. some republican lawmakers were saying he should clarify his testimony and recuse himself, which he did do late this afternoon. shortly afterward i spoke with the senator from virginia. senator cane, jeff sessions recused himself. was that the right decision? >> partially but not far enough. what the attorney general needs to do is recuse himself in the investigation between connections between russia, the trump transition and administration. he just recused himself with respect to the campaign. he needs to recuse himself with respect to all of it. second, the judiciary committee should bring him back before the committee, put him under oath and in public, have him explain the answers i've read the transcripts, they are collarly m -- clearly misleading and he
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needs to explain whether he was trying to mislead them. >> do you think he was lying? >> i want to see him ask that question and that's fair to him but he should be brought back and have to answer that question under oath of the committee. >> he said in a statement today, he said my replay to the question of senator franken was honest and correct as i understood it at the time. some believe this was a false comment. that was not my intend. before you were a lawmaker, you were a pretty good lawyer. the issue of intent was central to perjury, yes? >> it is critical. here is our context. the chief national security official for the trump administration has already had to resign because of lying to federal officials about contacts with the russian government. and now we have the chief law enforcement official who in testimony to the judiciary committee gave statements that at a minimum were misleading about contacts with the russian government. this is very serious and it's part of a pattern that is deeply
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troubling and so -- intent issues are key but the way you get at that is bring somebody back and look them in the eye and go over those questions and go over since he said he didn't have contact with the russians, they are entitled to ask now you admit you did, what were those about. the meetings happened three days after president obama announced in september that the united states was not going to rollback sanctions against russia. so i'm sure there must have been discussion about sanctions against russia in that meeting three days later, this is really important for us to get to the bottom of. >> you do acre nknowledge meeti do happen between those people. >> they do. >> that heatimeeting should not controversial, should it? >> they happen but the question is when there is an investigation of this kind going on and senator sessions knew that the investigation or at least there were serious questions when he was giving his testimony to the judiciary
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committee for him to deny he had communications with the russians when he did on at least two occasions in the last six months, that's what is causing this concern. >> let's talk about what happens next and you want more from senator sessions. what about a special prosecutor? do you think that's essential right now? >> i believe that is the only way we're going to get to the bottom of this because anybody whose put into the sort of justice department family at this point will be a trump administration appointee -- >> just right now acting deputy attorney dana from virginia -- >> i supported him to be u.s. attorney in the eastern district of virginia. that's true. i recommended him to president obama who put him into that role but i think the key is, the american public has to believe that this investigation is completely independent and objective. this could not be more serious. it's about an allegation of whether the nation, the head of the joint chief of staffs says
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is america's principle advers y adversary, what they did to impact the outcome of the american presidential election and try to impact policy in the trump administration. >> senator schumer, you're a leader in the senate called for his resignation, the attorney general's resignation, at this point, do you think that's necessary? >> i don't want to do that until the judiciary committee brings him back. it's fair to bring him back and put him under oath and ask him about his testimony and ask him to explain these interactions with the russian ambassador. i think you should do that first but if he refuses to do that or if his answers aren't satisfactory. >> thanks for being with us. >> you bet, thank you. joining me now, richard painter, former white house ethics lawyer from president george w. bush and senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin and former u.s. attorney general mukasey. the recusal of jeff sessions today, was it necessary and is
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it sufficient? >> it may have been necessary if there is a criminal investigation pending, which we still don't know. there is very clear regulation that says that if you work on a political campaign and that political campaign comes under investigation, you can't participate in the investigation. it's cut and dried. so to the -- if there is a criminal investigation now or in the future, he can't participate in it. that means he has to recuse himself and he did. >> do you think he lied under oath? >> no. >> why not? >> look at the question. look at the question. did you play the segment -- >> we played -- i played it earlier. >> the full question -- >> the full question was -- >> from al franken. >> if there were russian contacts during the campaign, let's watch it, actually. >> the full question. >> cnn just published a story alleging that the intelligence community provided documents to the president elect last week that included information that quote russian operatives claimed
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to have compromising personal and financial information about mr. trump. these documents also allegedly said quote, there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between trump surrogates and intermediaries for the russian government. now again, i'm telling you this is as it's coming out, so, you know, but if it's true, it's obviously extremely serious, and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? >> senator franken, i'm not aware of any of those activities. i have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and i didn't have communications with the
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russians. and i'm unable to comment on it. >> if any trump campaign officials coal mmmunicated with russians, what would you do? he was not asked if he had contacts and he volunteered he had not had contacts. >> that question was a discussion of what -- of information released. it included there had been on going contact. that was the key, i think the key phrase in terms of contact with the russians. there is on going contact between the campaign and the russians with surrogates and so what he said was okay, i was a surrogate. but i didn't have that kind of contact. for him to have remembered and had recalled at that point of the fact that one of the -- something like 20 or 25 ambassadors that he met with was the russian ambassador, i think is expecting something that in response to that kind of question, when he's trying to
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follow what the chain is of the senator's point is completely unrealist unrealistic. >> mr. painter, i'm not sure you see it that way. >> well, no, he said that he had not had contact with the russians. that's what he said. and he met twice with the russian al bam basketball t amb. if one can't remember, one is not fit to be the attorney general of the united states. it's a serious problem. it's not a sessions problem or trump problem. i'm a republican. i'm concerned about it. democrats are concerned about it. the problem is russian interference in our elections and russian interference in the elections of other western countries and doing it right in in france. this is a serious threat to western democracies. they have been doing it since the 1920s supporting communist parties. if we can't take it seriously
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and confront it and confront it with our allies, western democracy is in very, very serious trouble. so we've got to stop bickering about this and stop making republican versus democrat issue and we also have to be truthful and the attorney general, senator sessions answering those questions, when he makes a statement that he did not have contact with the russians, he should know better. that statement was not true and that does not help us combat russian submersion if we can't be truthful with each other because of partisan politics, amnesia or whatever else it is. we have a lot of work to do and thus far, it's vladimir putin who is winning. >> when we come back, this question to jeffrey toobin, why did you have sessions go out of his way to say as i understood and at the time i was telling the truth. that question, jeffrey toobin, next.
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breaking news tonight, jeff sessions recuses himself into the trump's campaign relationship with russia, whatever that may be as more reports of meetings continue to come in. back with richard painter, former white house ethics lawyer
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for president george w. bush and jeffrey toobin and former u.s. attorney general michael mcelder. a good lawyer with vast experience as a lawyer seemed very careful to point out that he feels he told the truth as he believed it at the time to the senate judiciary committee and it was not his intent to mislead them. why do those words matter? >> because it is not a crime to misunderstand a question and give an incorrect answer. it is not a crime to have a bad memory, and simply not remember something. it is only a crime if you intentionally make a false statement, and that's what is important to determine right now and if i can just make one point about that, you know, judge mukasey wants to be his successor's defense attorney and mr. painter wants to save western civilization. i'm only interested in what happened here.
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there needs to be an investigation. was anyone else present during this conversation? who -- how long did it take place? are there any notes? did -- are there e-mails that set it up? were the surrounding circumstances? this is what the justice department and the fbi does. they do investigations. i don't know if jeff sessions committed a crime but neither does anyone else at this point, that's why there needs to be an actual investigation. >> jeffrey toobin, with sharp elbows on both sides right now, judge mukasey to you, because jeff sessions there needs to be an investigation. the question is into what? >> precisely. there has been no showing that anybody committed a crime. there is no showing that certainly no showing that the attorney general committed a crime or no suggestion there is an investigation of him. there is no ugh jesuggestion of criminal investigation. there has been some indication
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that this is an intelligence inquiry as opposed to criminal investigation. the fbi used to just investigate crimes. starting in 2008. we put in guidelines that allowed them to gather intelligence. the other night on adam schiff of california blurted ought that he as member of the house intelligence committee was interested in hearing from the counterintelligence agents at fbi about this meeting. i think what that discloses is that there may very well be a matter of fbi intelligence gathering. in that case, there's no criminal investigation. >> want to get answer from both of you. jeffrey and richard, is he right? is there a crime to investigate here? jeffrey? >> of course there is. this was at minimum a false
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statement under oath. question is with as it intentional false statement under oath? i don't know, that's why you need investigation. when you have the attorney general of the united states on the single most controversial issue in all of american politics at this moment saying something that is demonstrably false, that's why we have criminal investigations in this country. >> and beyond just that hearing are there possible crimes to investigate? what would they be? >> the standard for attorney general of the united states is not whether they've committed a crime. we should never have to even question whether the attorney general of the united states has committed a crime. if that is a serious question then the occupant of the office is unfit for office. the crime that's clearly been committed has been committed by russian operatives inside the united states.
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i'm not trying to save west rn civilization but protect my own country from russian subversion that's going on for decades, now going on in france. we need to work together to solve this problem. can't have attorney general saying false things under oath and arguing about whether it's a crime. it's irrelevant to the problem we confront and serious threat to your democracy. that's what we need to focus on. >> i feel well represented tonight. thanks for being with us. new details on the information retrieved in the deadly raid in yemen and how put into action. (man) hey, uh, what's rootmetrics? it's the nation's largest independent study and it ranked verizon #1 in call, text, data, speed and reliability. (woman) do they get a trophy? not that i know of. but you get unlimited done right. (man 2) why don't they get a trophy? (man 3) they should get something.
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it provides relief of symptoms that can be triggered by over 200 different allergens. live claritin clear. new details tonight about what intelligence was retrieved in raid in yemen that killed u.s. navy seal ryan owens and how it's now being used. barbara starr. >> reporter: tonight the u.s. military and intelligence community working in overdrive trying to locate and monitor contacts found in the troph of information retrieved in yemen where navy seal william ryan owens died. >> timing linked to broader offensive we're pursuing in yemen. >> reporter: many of the contacts monitored appear to be located in the west but not in
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the u.s., officials say. as cnn has reported, laptops and cell phones grabbed during the raid, yielding terabytes of data. multiple officials tell cnn the intelligence recovered is vital and is in fact being acted on. >> you can get lots of different use from this information. some are cell phone numbers or specific locations that you can take immediate actions on to strike specific targets, get intelligence from individuals using certain phone numbers for example. >> reporter: all this intelligence is classified and won't be made public because future operations could be put at risk. there's no independent verification but senior u.s. officials say they've learned new information about al qaeda's strongholds to lead to more raids, training and targeting intelligence and how al qaeda in
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yemen manufactures nondetectible bombs. all of which might intense if i u.s. campaign in yenl. more than 20 u.s. air strikes targeting al qaeda. the worry is al qaeda in yemen will launch new attacks. >> problem is if you leave it alone right now, get bigger, capabilities get larger. this has been about the most competent organization in terms of its bomb plotting and among the most innovative, trying to take down airplanes coming into the united states. >> reporter: and increasing threat from al qaeda in yemen and possibility of attacks by that group leading to stepped up u.s. military effort. >> thanks so much. be right back. first the stroke, now this. so we asked my doctor.
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thanks for watching "360," our coverage continues. "cnn tonight" with don lemon starts now. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking news, attorney general jeff sessions speaking out moments ago on the political firestorm on his preelection conversations with the russian