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tv   Wolf  CNN  May 30, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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. hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. in washington. 8:00 p.m. in moscow. wherever you're joining us, thanks very much. we begin with exclusive cnn reporting on the investigation into russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election including another member of president trump's personal circle, now being asked to provide information to the u.s. congress. plus increased scrutiny of the president's son-in-law and his ties to a russian banking executive. and some perspective on the president's mood in the midst of the russia investigation with one source telling cnn gloria borger, he now lives within himself, which is a dangerous place for donald trump to be. he doesn't have anybody whom he
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trusts. end quote. all this adds up to some very tough questions for the white house press secretary sean spicer. he'll be going to the lectern not that far from now. within an hour or so. less than an hour i should say. his first on camera briefing since president trump returned from his overseas trip. we will of course have live coverage right here on cnn. but first let's bring in cnn's chief national security correspondent jim sciutto and our senior white house correspondent jim acosta. i know you've got some breaking news, some new reporting on the president's personal attorneys now being asked to provide sensitive information to the u.s. congress. what can you tell us? >> that's right, wolf. another person connected to president trump being drawn into the russia investigation. this time it is president trump's personal attorney michael cohen who is a fixture of course throughout the campaign cycle frequently appearing on cnn and other networks as a surrogate to donald trump.
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he has been requested by the house and senate intelligence committees to provide information and testimony. i just got off the phone with him a few moments ago. he says he has respectfully declined to cooperate, wolf, and he also offered some pretty scathing quotes about how he feels about this investigation. he called the inquiry a, quote, total fishing expedition. he also said, yet, they have yet to produce one single piece of credible evidence that would corroborate the russian narrative. he also referred to the investigation as a rush no judgment. that basically sums up where michael cohen is in all of this. but obviously when investigators up on capitol hill want to talk to the personal attorney of president trump, bring that person in, talk to him, see what kind of information that he has, this is an investigation that is getting closer and closer to the president of the united states, wolf. >> it's a sensitive new development. we're going to follow-up on that. bring in jim sciutto as well.
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you got some exclusive reporting you and the team have been doing on russian officials discussing t derogatory information. what are you learning? >> sources tell myself and dana bash that intercepted communications show that russians were speaking to each other in these conversations claiming to have derogatory information not just on president trump but on his aides and describing how because of having this derogatory information they believe that they might have leverage over the trump administration going forward. now, to be clear, as a caveat here, u.s. intelligence officials as well as congressional source tell us it is possible that they were exaggerating the information they have or even possibly making up that information. but the fact is u.s. intelligence intercepted these communications and they claimed to have this information of a financial nature both on the president and on some of his top
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aides. >> do we know the specifics of what the alleged der rogatory information was. >> we don't know except it would be financial in nature. that is one thing. we also don't know the specifics of what particular trump aides were involved. they spoke about having this information about the president as well as senior trump aides. the reason for that is the identity of these individuals were masked in the intelligence as they would when you have a u.s. person captured in intercepted communications. >> let r let me go back to jim acosta. what's been the reaction to the white house from this report, jim? >> so far the reaction has basically been what it is all along. the white house continues to say there's no evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and russia during the election psyc psyccycle and one thing we should say is this white house is in the
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process of putting taogether a war room operation and respond to all these stories. just yesterday the former campaign manager, corey li lewandowski, deputy campaign manager david bossie were both seen leaving yesterday. they were inside talking to people inside the west wing about all of this. they are some of the names surfacing as part of this war room operation that's being set up at the white house. the question is whether or not corey lou d corey lewandowski takes a position at the white house. that would be something that would need to be passed by the president's family. you'll recall during the campaign he was fired by the campaign and first among the people inside the president's inner circle who were concerned about corey lewandowski were the president's it daughter ivanka trump and the son-in-law jared kushner. of course jared kushner is keeping his head down is the way sources close to him describe it because of the russia news that
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cropped up with respect to him last week, but he's summer still a very influential adviser to the president. >> lots of questions coming up for sean spicer. his briefing is scheduled to begin with less than an from now. we'll of course have live coverage. jim acosta, thanks very much. jim sciutto stay with us. joining us gloria borger and dana bash. the news about michael cohen, the president's long time personal attorney from the trump organization now being requested to do an interview to answer questions for members of congress. he polite lly declines. >> michael cohen has been with the president for more than a decade and has been his personal lawyer apparently involved in helping him figure out who should be on his legal team as he goes forward. his personal legal team. so it really is no surprise in a way that the congressional
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committee would be asking to talk to michael cohen. i think that it may occur that the committee decides to narrow the scope of what they are asking michael cohen and mike it a little bit more difficult to not cooperate. i wouldn't be surprised if that occurs. >> i wonder if he's going to cite attorney slaclient privile. >> a lot of it depends on what they're asking for and why he is so resistant to talking to them or giving over the information they requested. it's entirely possible that he could claim that. >> you were part of the team with jim sciutto, pamela brown that did this reporting on this alleged russian collection of what's described as derogatory information about the president and his associates. there's some suspicion that maybe the russians were just having some fun, disinformation,
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putting it out there and knowing that u.s. intelligence, law enforceme enforcement was listening in so they decided to talk about that. >> it is entirely possible. the one thing we run into over and over again is growing concern about the russian disinformation campaign. not only during the election year, but also even now as they're doing their probe to try to throw off investigators and frankly journalists. that is entirely possible. the one thing we should say is the reporting by people at this table is that there have been financial entanglements of some people associated with the trump world that the fbi and investigators are looking into. so there is a connection there. >> director clapper was on air this morning -- >> i have a clip of what he said. let me play the clip and then we'll talk. listen to this. >> i will just say that there were a series of communications and dialogues that we grew -- i
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say we, members of the intelligence committee were aware of this were very concerned about. we didn't know the intent. didn't know and certainly didn't know the substance of these conversations and dialogues and so what this merits, what it requires i think is an airing, a transparency and play out this investigation. this is something that the country badly needs to clear up this cloud that's hanging over us right now. >> put this into context. >> here's the thing. you often hear and you heard michael cohen there in response to this request from the hill and you hear this from trump and from other trump supporters, there's not a shred of evidence that has been released. that's not true. the fact is you have former officials like director clapper and current ones, for instance director comey when he was still fbi director referenced communications between trump advisers and russians that were
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intercepted during the campaign that caught their attention. they have not publicized all the contents of those or really any of the contents of those communications because that is truly classified material and they haven't advertised what their conclusions are, but they have made public reference to information, evidence, clues that folks like jim clapper and others have said listen, we don't know what the conclusion is, but this merits investigation going forward. that is a consistent message that you hear from democrats and republicans on the congressional committee, senate and house intelligence. current intelligence officials serving this administration. we don't have the final answer yet, but there's stuff here that we've got to look at at and check out. >> you've been doing some really excellent reporting on what's going on inside the white house right now, especially in the aftermath of the allegations against the president's son-in-law and senior adviser jared kushner. you've written an excellent column on. this update our viewers on what you're hearing. >> i'm hearing that before the president went on his foreign trip he was in kind of a glum
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mood and i think that when he came back it didn't get any better. and in talking to people who talk with the president, i heard that he kind of, and here's a quote, that he lives within himself, which is a dangerous trump -- place for donald trump to be. he doesn't really trust anyone inside the white house anymore. and i think that's a problem when you're president of the united states. there are also people who are outside the white house who have his ear who are quite frankly critical of the way the white house is being run. they believe that it should never -- this russia investigation should never have got tone a special counsel. you may then ask the question why did donald trump reportedly ask three people to shut down the investigation, because that's what led to a special counsel. they believe that people in the white house, as one said to me, these people play checkers, not chess. and that there is more complex political thought that ought to
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go into what the president is doing, including the firing of comey which some of them said was completely ill timed. >> checkers, not chess, but then the question is even if the president had, you know, the jim baker that everyone is looking for, even if it is jim baker himself who went into the white house, would that make a difference? a lot of accounts by your reporting and people i talked to that it is much of this is the president's impulses. he wanted comey to go. now certainly there could be people around him he respects to say no, this is a bad idea mr. president and game out what is happening now real time to make him understand. but i don't know if that's even possible. >> i think this is a president who wants to be his own jim baker. he believes he can be his own chief of staff. he believes he can be his own spokesman as we've seen throughout his career. he may not trust anyone at this point, but i don't think that's necessarily new when it comes to donald trump.
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>> should we be surprised that the communications director at the white house all of a sudden announces you know what, i'm leaving? >> absolutely not. he was brought in somewhat late in the game. jason miller who's now the cnn contributor was going to be the communications director. he pulled out around christmas. and then they added him pretty late in the game. they lived for a long time without a communications director. let's be clear. the communications director at the white house is donald j. trump. he is the strategist. a lot of times it works out really well for them. but other times it doesn't. so it's a hard position for anybody. maybe they can get somebody in there who can be more in sync. >> everybody stand by. we're standing by for sean spicer, the white house press secretary. he's going to be having his on camera briefing. that's coming up. also coming up, it's deadline day for the president's former national security adviser michael flynn. how will he answer the senate intelligence committee's latest
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rounds of subpoenas which requested business documents related to the russia probe? we'll be right back. i get back to business. ♪ ♪
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and it's perfect. from l'oreal. we're following the breaking news. within of president trump's long
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time personal attorneys is declining an invitation to provide testimony to house and senate intelligence committee members conducting the russian investigation. cohen says their request was overrule broad and impossible to answer. meanwhile, an important deadline has arrived for former national security adviser michael flynn. today is the day flynn is due to respond to two subpoenas from the senate intelligence committee involving his businesses. he invoked the fifth amendment to an earlier request the committee made for his personal records. phil mattingly is joining us. phil, what do we know about the subpoenas and how do they differ from the earlier request? >> they're more tailored. they're more narrow. that was intentional. one of the reasons michael flynn said he was going to decline to provide any documents in the subpoena was it was overruoverl. there are a lot of concerns given there are subpoenaed that have been issued via a grand jury in a federal investigation
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about getting involved in a senate panel investigation as well, wolf. what these two subpoenas that michael flynn is supposed to respond to today, i'm told he still hasn't responded to this point, would go after doucument after two business entities owned by michael flynn. the idea that michael flip has decided to invoke his fifth amendment privilege would not extend to business documents. so if he were to decline they would seek any option on the table. that includes contempt of congress. when you talk to these members bloo behind the scenes they say they want to figure out a way for michael flynn to help out. immunity is something that has been brooched. but if look at what you've been reporting regarding michael cohen and what's going on with michael flynn, there's a recognition that even as the special counsel staffs up and
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kind of ratchets up his investigation, you're seeing a posture change. they are ramping up their investigations. there are witness lists that have been agreed upon. there are documents that have been requested. you're going to see a lot more things like this over the course of the comings days and weeks. it's worth noting members are home. they're in their recess period this week but i'm told staff still very hard at work. the big question now, is there any way to get any type of cooperation either via testimony or documents from michael flynn? his lawyers still say no. >> let's see what happens during the course of this day. phil, thanks very much. michael flynn is just one person from the president's orbit currently under investigation by the fbi or various congressional committees in the spotlight right now. the president son-in-law and close adviser jared kushner. in december he met a russian banker with close ties to vladimir putin.
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"the new york times" reports investigators are examining that meeting to determine what the two discussed. our justice producer is joining us right now to talk about all of this. putin's allies, key figures close to the president, to the probe of the russian investigation. let's talk first of all about this banker, sergei gorkov. what do we know? >> he first surfaced in naefmar when we reported he meet with kushner. we're now learning that meeting was u.s. government intercepts. there was discussions on those intercepts about what the communications were. what's interesting about gorkov is that he's a close friend of vladimir putin, the russian president. he was appointed to his current position which is he runs a major bank, a major russian bank. he has ties to the russian government. he went to their spy school. so he has this craft in knowing how to sort of lure people in,
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talk to them about different spy techniques that he has from the different spy techniques that he's learned to try and get information. jared kushner initially we were told they met to discuss diplomatic stuff as it related to his position during the transition. the bank interestingly that gorkov works for, runs, said that while the meeting back in december was a business meeting, was a personal business meeting so conflicting views on what the actual meeting was about back in december. >> but the bank is sanctioned by the u.s. government, so you can't do business if you're an american with that bank. >> that's right. >> that's interesting that they say there was some business involved. i'm sure they want to investigate that. white house has a different explanation on that point. let's talk about another sergey kislyak, the long-time russian ambassador here in the united states. >> so he's at the center of everything. he is the ultimate spy here. lives in washington. is on the fbi's radar.
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has been monitored probably since he became ambassador. he is someone who has met with trump officials, people tied to the transition. people tied to the white house. he himself went to the white house. remember there was all that controversy surrounding his appearance, his visit into the oval office. he has met with almost everyone who was at the center of the fbi investigation now. michael flynn, carter page, we now know kushner. and he was the one we're told who introduced gorkov to kushner as a way to possibly communicate about russia and what the president, president trump going forward sort of maybe perhaps build some sort of back channel way to communicate. >> and now paul manafort who had been the campaign chairman for the -- campaign manager for the president's campaign, all of a sudden his name has resurfaced. >> that's right. the thing about manafort is he
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has a long history of business ties to the ukraine. has done business there. he is cooperating. he has turned over a burn of documents, financial documents, to the senate intelligence committee which is investigating the russian meddling in the election. so then there's -- also we have carter page who we all now know he's the one who's kind of -- he's outspoken. he's been on tv. he's been talking about he has denied any kind of relationship with the trump campaign. he did do some work for them. he's denied any kind of relationship with the russians. he too is the subject of an fbi -- the fbi investigation and they also have been monitoring his communication and the russians interestingly enough lastly on carter page talked about using him. there were intercepts that the u.s. government communications intercepted where the russians were saying oh, we can possibly use carter page to influence donald trump. >> you know, it's interesting because the new special counsel, the former fbi director robert
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mueller, he is only just beginning his investigation and i'm told that investigation, who knows how long it's going to last and where it's going to wind un. doing very good reporting for us as always. coming up, the president not backing away from a fight with one of america's closest allies. if the president's america's first policy creating a rift with germany and other friends abroad? finding time to get things done isn't easy.
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but we've got the digital tools to help. now with xfinity's my account, you can figure things out easily, so you won't even have to call us. change your wifi password to something you can actually remember, instantly. add that premium channel, and watch the show everyone's talking about, tonight. and the bill you need to pay? do it in seconds. because we should fit into your life, not the other way around. go to . hello, i'm wolf blitzer in washington. once again we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. take a look at this. some live pictures coming in
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from inside the white house briefing room. sean spicer expected to come out within the next half hour or so for his first on camera briefing since the president returned from his international trip. we're going to have live coverage of that coming up. stick around. it will be interesting. president trump earlier today not backing down from criticism he's receiving from various quarters. he's leveling some criticism at germany taking a swipe at that country saying germany is bad on trade and not fulfilling nato obligations. is the president's america first policy creating a rift between the u.s. and its closest strongest allies? joining us now david sanger of the "new york times." what's your reaction to the president's latest tweet going directly against germany? >> wolf, it's a little bit of a strange fight to pick because the germans are on a schedule to get up to the 2% of gdp
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contribution that they and other members of the nato have committed to. they're not supposed to reach that level now for six or seven years. that was the agreement. it's not a binding treaty. he is right, i think, to keep pressing this issue as president obama did and president bush did before him. the question is, by putting on all of these additional discussions of burdens and not discussing the u.s. commitment to europe, the european experiment, the european unity, or everything the united states and europe have done together since world war ii, is he actually undercutting part of the america first element? because you can't do america first by yourself. >> he also complains that there are too many german cars here in the united states. i want you to listen to angela merkel responding earlier to her comments explaining why she's losing confidence in this connection with the united
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states. >> translator: the discussions with the united states of america of course important. just as the discussions with other partners. the trans atlantic relationship is of incredible importance and what i said is really just to point out that at the current point in time there are more reasons than there even were before to take our fate into our own hands within europe. >> meaning not necessarily with the united states. she's not apologizing. she's sort of just clarifying what she had said. >> if we were in her position, wolf, i think we'd probably be saying the same thing. the president came out, made a perfectly reason case for why europe should be spending more not to defend us but to defend themselves, described as a partnership. but then he missed the next line
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which is of course the united states stands with its nato allies under article five which is basically an attack on one is an attack on all. it's what the europeans invoked the day after the september 11th attacks to give support to the u.s. many of the nato forces were in, not in a huge way, but they were in iraq and afghanistan in a significant way. i think they're feeling as if that is not acknowledged and that the american withholding of the commitment to the underpinning of nato makes them wonder do they need defenses that would operate separately from the united states and ultimately, though no one has said this yet, do they need a nuclear weapons force that is separate from the united states? because right now they depend on american nuclear weapons. >> it's a very sensitive moment in this u.s. alliance. >> it is.
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>> thanks for joining us. today also for the first time the pentagon will test its ability to shoot down an intercontinental missile. the test comes amid new threats from north korea which launched its ninth missile test this week. the test is not just about pyongyang. what more do we know about this new system and the timing of this new test? >> hi, wolf. all eyes will be peeled between 3:00 and 7:00 today east coast time. it will start if it as give as planned an intercept or missile will launch from an air force base in california. a test missile mimicking a north korean icbm will launch out of a remote island in the far pacific.
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they both climb very rapidly into space. we saw a preliminary test. i think we have video to show. it's essentially a bullet hitting a bullet out in space. they hope this works. if it does, this is going to be a big step down the road to proving that the u.s. could shoot down an intercontinental ballistic missile. remember this is just a test. nobody's really clear at this point what capability the north koreans have in hand. this test a step down the road to try to make sure that the u.s. has the capability to shoot something down if it came to that, wolf. >> very quickly, some new u.s. aircraft carrier deployments in that region. what are you hearing? >> wolf, the carl vinson out there and soops tomorras soon a the carrier ronald reagan may be joining it in the sea of japan for a couple of day of exercises. not that unusual. they'll be several hundred miles
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off the korean peninsula but the north koreans will be watching that and we expect pyongyang to have lots to say about this training. >> meanwhile isis targeting children is the elderly claiming responsibility for two bombings that happened just hours apart in baghdad. the first killed 40 people and wounded others in a street typically filled with young people and families. the second bomb went off as elderly resident waited in line to collect their pensions. 11 people died. another 43 wounded. isis seemingly more aggressive as these incidents follow the deadly attacks in england at a pop concert killing 22 people and the twin bomb s on churches on palm sunday killing 44 people. also coming up the scrutiny surrounding the president's son-in-law and trusted senior adviser jared kushner regarding
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his contacts with russia has one democratic congressman calling for kushner's resignation. we'll speak with him. he's standing by live. that's next. ♪ your body was made for better things than rheumatoid arthritis. before you and your rheumatologist move to another treatment, ask if xeljanz is right for you. xeljanz is a small pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. xeljanz can reduce joint pain and swelling in as little as
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the white house press secretary sean spicer expected fairly soon to come into the white house briefing room to start taking questions from reporters. his first on camera briefing in quite a while. we'll of course have live coverage right here on cnn. sean spicer likely to address lots of questions including the latest scrutiny surrounding the president's son-in-law, trusted senior adviser jared kushner. his contacts with russia. source familiar with kushner's white house duties, that source says he is not giving up any part of his vast portfolio which includes middle east peace, scre streamlining government and
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other issues. kushner, quote, has a strong team around him working on every part of his portfolio, end quote. that information not likely to sit well with democratic congressman from california, a member of the house foreign affairs committee, member ted liu. congressman is joining us. thanks for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> why should he resign? why do you believe there's enough evidence for him to resign? >> it's very clear that jared kushner lied on his security le clearance form. the white house does not deny he omitted multiple russian meetings. now we know those meetings were significant. one dealt with a secret back channel to russia. a second dealt with the head of a bank that was being sanctioned by the u.s. at the time. you don't just forget about these meetings. jared kushner deliberately omitted those on his security clearance form. that's a felony and it also puts in a compromised position. >> his attorney, the former deputy attorney general jamie gorelick who served under bill
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clinton says he's ready to answer all of your questions in congress. he's ready to appear and he has nothing to hide. your response? >> i would love for jared kushner to answer why he lied on his security clearance form under oath. and keep in mind, reuters just broke a story that says that on the second revised security clearance form jared kushner lied again. he omitted two additional contacts with the russians that were not on that form. >> they deny, congressman, that he lied and he did correct that security form a day after, once he got some new information. it was not a deliberate omission. that's what they're pointing out. one day later he fixed all of those contacts. as you point out, reuters is saying there were maybe two other phone calls, maybe three phone calls that he didn't report on. his attorney jamie gorelick is saying he had thousands of phone calls during that year and he couldn't remember all of them.
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>> jared kushner fixed his first security clearance form only because it was pointed out to him that he omitted all these russian meetings. and because these were significant meetings, these were deliberate omissions. you can't actually fix it a a day later because the felony occurs at the time he made the deliberate omissions. and then with respect to his multiple calls to the russians, why was he even making those calls? you would remember those calls to a russian ambassador. it's not as if he was filling out this form about events years later. he was filling out this form within months of these contacts. >> i just want to also point out to be convicted of a felony you have to show intent, that he intended to lie on those forms. his attorneys will argue that. let me get to another issue that's come up, congressman. the breaking news we've been following. one of president trump's long time personal attorneys in new york michael cohen has now declined an invitation to provide information and
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testimony pertaining to the entire russia investigation saying the request was poorly phrased, overly broad, and not capable of being answered. your response? >> i hope that mr. cohen will eventually answer these questions. certainly the intelligence committee committees can give him a narrower interrogatories. with respect to kushner, one of the questions is did he ask his son-in-law to talk about these secret back channel meetings or was this something that kushner came up with by himself. >> does the attorney michael cohen, would he benefit from attorney/client privilege in declining the request to testify? >> yes, he would. as an attorney, i believe attorney/client privilege would actually cover a lot of his discussions with president trump if he was acting in that capacity. >> congressman, as usual, thanks so much for joining us.
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>> thank you. >> we're only moments away from the white house press briefing. there you see live pictures coming from the west wing of the white house. sean spicer will likely face some serious questions for the first time in nearly two weeks on camera. we're going to have live coverage of that when we come back.
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you're looking at live pictures from inside the white house press briefing room. sean spicer's first on-camera briefing since the president's first international trip. he will face several questions about that trip, the activities of his son-in-law, senior adviser, jared kushner. i want to bring in mark preston. mark, lots of questions. you're looking at three big questions that are likely to come up. tell our viewers what they are. >> i am. again, there are so many questions that he's going to get today. first and foremost, what does president trump know about jared kushner's meetings, you know, as a representative of him, specifically with the russian bank executive sergey gorkov as well as the russian ambassador sergey kislyak. and the reason being, this
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brings it so much closer to president trumpb th than the li of paul manafort or michael flynn. what does he know about these meetings and was he supportive of them. secondly, we saw mike dubke resign. is this the beginning of a big wave of people leaving? we've heard about sean spicer leaving or moving into another role. what is going to happen to reince priebus? could we see someone like david urban, who is a contributor at cnn but is well liked and corey lewandowski has been seen at the white house in the last few days. it's been said that senate should change its rules to get 51 votes to pass legislation on taxes and health care.
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a couple things are in play here. one is, he's trying to throw out the government system that has been in play now for a very long time and really has run our democracy very well. he also seems to not understand what the separation of government is. there are three branches of government. also, mitch mcconnell has said it never, ever is going to happen. and as our phil mattingly points out, the bottom problem is, trump's problems are not on capitol hill, it's people within his own party. >> they had the nuclear option for federal judges, for supreme court judges and cabinet members. but to do it in a whole host of other legislative issues, that would be an enormous change. you're correct, the majority leader says no. he tweeted this at 9:59 a.m. today. "the u.s. senate should switch to 51 votes immediately and get health care and tax cuts approved fast and easy. dems would do it, no doubt." but even if they did that, there's no guarantee there would be three republicans who would go along. the republicans only have a
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52-48 majority. you need 50 if the vice president is going to break a tie. so if three moderate republicans refuse to go along, the democrats win. >> the democrats win. and some of them, such as susan collins from maine and lisa murkowski of alaska has concerns about his legislative proposal. it's not going to happen. >> he was busy tweeting on germany. we have a massive trait deficit with germany and, plus, they have paid far less for nato. this will change. he's been busy, once again, tweeting. guess what -- >> he did it. everybody, stand by. mark preston shall appreciate it. i'll be back at 5:00 p.m. in "the situation room." sean spicer should be coming out in any moment. our own brooke baldwin will pick up our special coverage right after a quick break.
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we're going to take it a little early today. i i'm brooke baldwin. sean spicer will be giving his first briefing since before the president's big trip overseas and, of course, since the avalanche of news into the investigation of donald trump's campaign, ties to russia and the events leading up to the president's firing of fbi director james comey. of all of the things here, the most pressing headline is the reporting that russia had derogatory information about president trump and his campaign aides, according to two former
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intelligence sources. the information was financial in nature and centered around whether the russians had leverage over him and his team. a lot of players standing by to go through this as we have our eyes on the podium. jim acosta, let me begin with you there in the briefing room. this is a huge briefing. this is the first time we've seen sean spicer at the white house in some 15 days. >> right. >> what do you expect? >> reporter: well, there's been a lot of news this morning on the russia investigation, brooke. there probably will be, judging by the pace of things, russia news during the briefing today for sean spicer. so we'll have to see how fast he can keep up. it is his first briefing in a couple of weeks since the president went on that foreign trip. i suspect there will be plenty of questions about the foreign trip, the staff's perception of it. there was a tweet from the president this morning about germany after so much conversation last week about how
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the president was dealing with european leaders, with nato leaders. i suspect that will come up but, of course, the russia investigation hangs over so much here and we understand that in just the last hour or so, that the president's personal attorney, michael cohen, has been asked to cooperate with senate investigative communities. i contacted michael cohen and he respectfully declined to cooperate, he said to me over the phone, and described the conversation as a rush to judgement and said not a single piece of evidence has been put forward to corroborate the russian narrative. another person connected to the president and campaign has now been insneared into this investigation. at the same time, there's a whiff of a staff