tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN April 6, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
tonight for new u.s. sanctions on wealthy cronies of vladimir putin, including his former son-in-law. why is the trump administration taking a tougher stand against russia's election meddling now? seeking clinton's e-mail. a trump campaign adviser thought he had access to e-mails deleted from hillary clinton's server that he wanted to use against her. >> what do prosecutors hope to find after getting access to five telephone numbers from paul manafort? and stormy delayed. the president's lawyer was just granted more time to respond to the porn star's lawsuit as her attorney is taking another shot at trying to depose mr. trump under oath. new fallout tonight now that mr. trump has broken his silence about daniel's hush deal. we want to welcome our viewers
in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> breaking tonight russia is vowing a harsh response to new u.s. sanctions against members of vladimir putin's inner circle. punishment for interference in the election. the white house insisting the sanctions won't affect mr. trump's hope for a u.s. meeting. and stock prices plummet as the president hits china with additional tariffs and the trade secretary admits this could lead to a trade war. i'll speak with our correspondents and analysts who are all standing by. let's go to our senior white house correspondent pamela
brown. policies are riling up russia and china tonight. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. both russia and china ratcheting up their response to the president's actions and china threatening to impose more tariffs on the trump administration. president trump is not backing down, announcing thursday night he is threatening an additional $100 billion in tariffs against china. even if those threats rock an already volatile stock market. >> the easiest thing for me to do would be to close my eyes and for get it. i'm not saying there won't be a little pain, but we're going to have a much stronger country when we're finished. >> reporter: the latest threats taking many by surprise, including some in the president's own party. nebraska senator ben
sass issuing a harshly worded statement saying hopefully the president is just blowing off steam again but if he's even half serious, this is nuts. larry kudlow, the president's
new top economic adviser admitted to reporters he himself only found out about the president's decision to threaten more tariffs thursday night. >> reporter: when did the president first tell you he was going to announce an additional $100 billion in tariffs? >> last evening. >> reporter: kudlow emphasizing though tariffs are merely a proposition. >> this is just a proposed idea which will be vetted and open for condition comments. nothing's happened, nothing's been executed. there's no there there yet, but there will be. >> reporter: but today's stock market plunge accelerated after treasury secretary steven mnuchin said this on television. >> there is the
potential of a trade war. let me just be clear. it's not a trade war. the president wants reciprocal trade. >> reporter: the administration
tr imposing sanctions against 17 officials for meddling in the 2016 elections. >> what we would like to see is the totality of the russian behavior changed and we want to continue having conversations and work forward toward a better relationship. >> reporter: and all this as the president comments on scott pruitt. >> i think that scott has done a fantastic job and is a fantastic person. >> reporter: trump's own chief of staff, john kelly, had advocated for firing the embattled epa administrator before the headlines get worse for the administration. so far that advice has not been heeded. the president is outright defending pruitt implying the multitude of negative stories around him are all made up. tweeting "do you believe that the fake news media is pushing hard on a story that i am going
to replace a.g. jeff sessions with epa chief scott pruitt? do you believe this stuff? >> the president feels that the administrator has done a good job at epa. he's restored it back to its original purpose of protecting the environment. it's gotten unnecessary regulations out of the way and we're continuing to review any of the concerns that we have. >> reporter: and today a white house official says that the president did meet with his embattled epa administrator. the official would not detail the conversations, only saying, wolf, that it was prescheduled and focused on policy. >> pamela brown over at the white house, thank you. we now have exclusive new cnn reporting on the lengths the trump campaign went to try to get dirt on hillary clinton through her infamous e-mails. jim, what more can you tell us? >> my colleague and i were told
by multiple sources a foreign policy adviser to the trump campaign pushed government agencie agencies, including the fbi and state department to review material from the dark web that he thought were hillary clinton's deleted e-mails. his push just the latest example of trump advisers who were mixed up in efforts to find dirt on clinton, including potentially stolen e-mails, all this during the presidential campaign. tonight cnn has learned that a trump campaign adviser played a key role in an effort to find hillary clinton's 30,000 deleted e-mails on the dark web. >> wow. >> and reveal any damaging information con it and within them. >> it's not easy being a whistleblower. >> joseph schmidt, a former inspector general, was a foreign policy adviser to the campaign, seen here seated at the table with candidate trump in 2016, meeting with the intelligence communities inspector generals,
he told them a source called patriot had discovered what he believed were the deleted e-mails on the dark web. smith then pushed for the material to be declassified. all this according to multiple sources with direct knowledge. officials at the state department and inspector general briefly interviewed smids but they declined to review or accept the information. the fbi also interviewed him as part of its ongoing criminal investigation into clinton's e-mails. schmitz then took his information to the house intelligence committee. this is the latest in trump's advisers mixed up in trying to find dirt on clinton. steve bannon said in february the trump staff were repeatedly contacted by people for ways to get the e-mails. a trump official said cnn does not comment on matters of
interest to the special counsel or committees. the material was not verified. "i'm pretty sure they were posted on the dark web equivalent of reddit," he said. i should mention schmidt was one of trump's first five campaign foreign policy advisers, this in the spring of 2016. he counselled trump through the november election, this according to his professional biography and after trump's victory, he considered smichmid as a possible secretary of the navy. but he was certainly no coffee boy. he had a role in the campaign.
>> and he had impressive credentials going into the campaign. how were they able to determine all of this from the so-called dark web was fake? >> when schmitz brought knowledge of this to the inspector general and the office of national intelligence, they didn't really want to touch this. it came from the dark web, it could have been stolen. they were not interested in going there in effect, although they did to cursory interviews with him. we spoke to somebody who reviewed the material at the time. he said he looked at the material based on both the prove nan -- provenance, where it came from, but the way it looked it did not appear to be the real deal, authentic e-mail from a private server. >> now to the breaking news of new u.s. sanctions against
wealthy russians very close to vladimir putin. we're learning more about what this wealthy cronies is been up to. these russian oligarchs have money and power that are clear will using. >> they're spending billions buying up properties in europe and u.s. and they go to incredible lengths to hide it. according to the treasury department, one oligarch under sanction is alleged to have brought $24 million at a time into one western country in suitcases. these are men with close ties to vladimir putin who love their money but not the attention that comes with them. tonight deripaska is one of the
men under scrutiny. >> his allies, his oligarchs, his chiefs of police in the military pillage the country and then store those assets in the west. and they're committed to do so by vladimir putin, as long as they get loyalty in return. what they give putin back in return is enthusiasm, support, a cut. >> reporter: putin denies that but a financier who has exposed much of putin's alleged corruption and successfully pushed tough sanctions laws in the u.s. says putin's cuts of the oligarchs' deals are legendary. >> vladimir putin, i believe he's worth $200 billion. that money is held all over the world and banks in america and all over. the purpose of putin's regime has been to commit terrible crimes in order to get that money. >> reporter: cnn can't
independently verify these assertions. >> i think he owns a flat in moscow and st. petersburg. >> reporter: experts tell cnn, once they build up their cash in russia, they're eager to bring it to the u.s. >> there's a lot of cash under the table and private jets flown all over europe and the u.s. that's hard to keep track of. >> reporter: oligarchs by mansions in london and florida, yachts and even sports teams. in 2008, dmitri bought a mansion in palm beach from donald trump for $95 million. oligarchs buy up these properties to park their money outside russia and protect it. >> the great money of moving your money into the west via anonymous shell corporations, you own high value assets, in
countries that will defend your legal rights to keep these things in a way that russia won't. >> reporter: and an added benefit to owning those properties, a sense of session acceptance. >> it makes them look glamorous, on the social scene in new york, they can engage in philanthropy, funding art galleries, museums. >> reporter:. the oligarchs under sanctions have denied any nefarious deeds and the kremlin is denying their existence, saying there are no oligarchs in russia. as for bill broderick's claim that putin has amassed huge personal wealth, putin has called that accusation garbage. wolf? >> thank you. let's talk about this with bill broader. thanks for joining us. how does vladimir putin view
these latest sanctions? >> i think this is a shot right between the eyes for putin. there's been numerous attempts to respond to his bad actions that have all missed the mark but i would say this particular action going after these super rich oligarchs that look after his money is a shot right between the eyes. >> what sort of role do these singsed people sanctioned companies and people play in america? >> you have effectively these businessmen who are sort of quasi government officials, they are merged into the interests of vladimir putin and senior members of his regime. his billions of dollars, not all of it is theirs, a lot of it involves to putin and other officials. they're involved in elections
and all sorts of other tasks that they're being assigned by vladimir putin using the money they've illegally and illegitimately amassed in russia. >> russia is promising a very harsh response. "we would like to advise washington to get rid of illusio illusions." what do you think that response will look like? >> it can't be a symmetric response. whatever that response is going to be, it going to have to be asymmetric. as far as the asymmetric responses go, they've used up a lot of their so-called asymmetric responses in emotional outbursts in the past. after 2014 sanctions on crimea, after the 2012 magnetsky
sanctions. i've think they've exhausted most of their sanctions. >> could putin target the president's son-in-law, jared kushner? >> he can target him all he wants but i don't believe he owns property in moscow so it not going to impact him or anyone else in his family. >> but a lot of them rely on loans and some of these loans come from ololigarchs, right? >> if they can prove that. i have a hard time believing all of a sudden we're going to see massive bankruptcies of jared kushner as a response to this. it doesn't seem in what's going on that's going to be what's going to happen. >> despite these pretty tough
moves, president trump continues to speak warmly about putin. is that something putin will try to preserve? >> well, i can't explain what i would call this schizophrenic behavior of the trump administration. on one hand you're absolutely right, trump says always sorts of nice things about putin. on the other hand, the administration itself, as we saw today, is very, very tough on russia. they did this, they did a magnitsky sanctions, they supplied weapons to ukraine. i don't know exactly who is playing at what, but i am very satisfied with this set of sanctions and what they're achieving. >> we're told that the former russian sky, sergei skripal is improving. you have suggested you feel threatened as well in the past. do you feel safe now? >> well, i don't ever feel safe being one of putin's top
enemies. however, i feel safer when the west, the united states and hopefully great brittain respon forcely forcefully to bad actions. putin understands barriers and constran c constraints. that's the kind of thing that putin will think about the next time he tries to do something terrible. >> bill browder, thanks for joining us. >> coming up, a judge gives president trump's lawyer more time to respond to a lawsuit by stormy daniels, but did the porn star gain an advantage once the president broke his silence about it? power.
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russian oligarchs and all are connected to the president's associates in some way. in fact, one even attended the inauguration. mueller's team has already indicted 13 russian nationals for their role in the election meddling during the campaign and now as these new sanctions are announced, the question is could these oligarchs also be in the special counsel's sights? tonight several prominent russians sanctioned by the trump administration have ties to president trump's associates and could be of interest to special counsel robert mueller. on the list, billionaire oleg deripaska, who agreed to invest $19 million with paul manafort and his deputy, rick gates. >> is it true mr. manafort owed you millions when he was head of the trump campaign? >>. >> reporter: he won't answer questions when asked by matthew
chance last year. manafort agreed to provide private briefings when manafort was trump's campaign chairman. and actilexander torshin may ha used the nra to illegally funnel funds to the trump campaign. torshin reportedly played a role in an effort to arrange a meeting between trump and putin that same year. and viktorvekselberg as well.
>> there may have been back channels used by oligarchs to fund the trump campaign and perhaps the inauguration as well. >> reporter: cnn reported that mueller has pinpointed at least three russian oligarchs whose identity was unknown. one was stopped when his private plane stopped in the new york city area and agents searched their electronics. >> now mueller is looking at the oligarchs directly and interviewing them in an effort to understand from their point of view what happened here. so it's a widening net for mueller and a tightening noose for manafort. >> reporter: manafort has pleaded not guilty to criminal indictments in virginia and washington, d.c. stemming from the mueller probe. now cnn learned mueller is using information obtained during the
manafort investigation to continue to look for criminal activity. they have a warrant for five at&t phone numbers related to paul manafort. and they've hinted extensively that this case is far from over. now, meanwhile mcclatchy is reporting the special counsel's team has questioned a trump organization associate who has worked on overseas deals with the president's company in recent years. the outlet reports that investigators showed up unannounced to that associate's home and were particularly interested in getting more information about interactions involving michael cohen. of course that's the president's long-time personal attorney. it was just a few weeks ago when we learned that mueller's team had subpoenaed documents from the trump organization and the family business does have dealings all over the world. now the question is if mueller is looking into the family
finances of the trump organization beyond what they have in russia, trump is warned that might be crossing a red line. what could happen from there? we'll wait and see. >> thanks very much, jessica schneider. >> just ahead, more breaking news. russia is vowing a harsh response to the new u.s. sanctions. why did the trump administration act now? and a judge issues an important ruling in stormy daniels' lawsuit against president trump. what does it mean for her case? almost $800 when we switched
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we have breaking news in the stormy daniels case. a judge has granted a request to extend the dead loline to respo to the lawsuit. our national correspondent is following all these late-breaking developments. the president's remarks were new fuel apparently on this firearm. >> reporter: absolutely. look, there are new incremental wins for donald trump when it comes to the court. however, the comments that he made for the very first time on stormy daniels could cause new problems for him, too. porn actress stormy daniels is performing in the midwest this weekend taugouted as "infamous"d
a cartoon of president trump right next to her picture with the words "alleged affair," this as attorney ofavenatti is vowin to refile his suit against president trump. >> reporter: did you know about the $130,000? >> you'd have to ask michael cohen. mike sell my attorney and you'll have to ask michael. >> reporter: do you know where he got the money to make that payment? >> no, i don't know. no. >> reporter: daniels is suing to get out of the agreement, which she claims is void because trump never signed the agreement himself. trump steered reports are to his attorneys instead bolster stormy daniels' case. >> you can't have an agreement if one party claims they knew
nothing about one of the principle terms of the agreement. so the president has just shot himself in the foot, thrown his attorney basically, michael cohen, under the bus in the process, put him in dire straits with the state bar of new york, because according to the president now, mr. cohen was negotiating this agreement and doing this all on his own without consultation with the president. >> reporter: late today a federal judge granting trump's attorney's request for more time to respond to daniels' lawsuit until a decision is made on whether the case is moved out of the courtroom and into private arbitration. daniels' former attorney, keith davidson, represented her in that agreement. in an exclusive interview with cnn, davidson after he was fired with the case, michael cohen was encouraging him to spill his guts about the daniels case and the case involving playboy play
mate karen mcdougal. >> what did he say to you? >> he called to offer his opinion as to whether or not ms. daniels and ms. mcdaniels had breached the attorney/client privilege and thereby waved it. it was his assertion that each of them had. he was encouraging me and informing me as of his opinion and suggested it would be appropriate for me to go out into the media and spill my guts. >> reporter: are you here at the behest of michael cohen? >> no, no. no. not in any way, shape or form. >> but he did tell you to go out and spill your guts? >> yes, right. >> reporter: why do you think that is? >> well, you'd have to ask him. >> reporter: cnn is learning after the daniels deal was done, cohen referred a client to
davidson, it was chuck labellea. he had an issue with actor tom arnold, who tweeted several times last fall that labella possessed damning information about trump that arnold claims involved russian president vladimir putin. davidson says he wrote a cease and desist letter to arnold's attorney on labella's behalf. labella said a friend did call davidson on his behalf but he never considered davidson his attorney because he never paid him. then just last month arnold commented on twitter that michael cohen had chuck labella hire keith davidson to try to keep me quiet about trump, russia, miss universe 2013. >> now, labella has called those slanderous and outright lies. michael cohen has not commented and donald trump has repeatedly through the white house said that no affairs ever happened.
wolf? >> thanks very much. let's quickly get to our analyst, joey jackson. how long do you think the president can and his team, legal team, delay a deposition? >> i think they're going to want to delay it indefinitely, right? they're going to take the position he's the president of the united states, certainly more pressing matters that he needs to accomplish. why should he be deposed? he's not a party to the contract, he knows nothing about the contract. not so fast, mr. president. in a deposition, the judge will generally allow if you're going to get relevant evidence, is a fact more provable or disprovable as a result of a deposition, you get to depose someone. is it useful, what we lawyers call probative to the case. if so, you get to depose someone. i certainly think whether or not he'll be deposed is within the legal limits, right? we start with the proposition that no president, no person is above the law.
if that's the case, he certainly should be able to sit for a deposition and not be able to delay it in a fashion that's unreasonable. so some latitude but at the end of the day the judge may say, mr. president, answer some questions, raise your hand and swear to tell the truth. >> we'll see if that happens. what does it say that the president has remained silent on the stormy daniels matter until last night when he was aboard on air force i when he denied having any knowledge of that $130,000. >> it's plausible, as michael of a -- as we've seen, the big
movement away from and the open whether it extends to the blue collar white women who are so important to his victory, a lot of that is based on his behavior, his values more than his agenda with the exception with the attempt to apperepeal aca. >> what are you hearing from republicans if you believe this could have an impact on the upcoming 2018 elections? >> so far not hearing that concern among republicans. the bigger concern is that this will, as ron suggested, contribute to a larger issue that voters have with donald trump and contribute to his unpopularity. that's the big concern for republicans. how do they get their candidates
to win whens president is so unpopular. >> how angry is vladimir putin tonight? and now that the trump administration ordered new sanctions against some of his cronies. me. trying something new can be exciting. empowering. downright exhilarating. see for yourself why chevrolet is the most awarded and fastest growing brand, the last four years overall. switch into a new chevy now. current competitive owners can get five thousand dollars below msrp on this 2018 equinox when you finance with gm financial. find new roads at your local chevy dealer. a trip back to the dthe doctor's office, mean just for a shot. but why go back there, when you can stay home, with neulasta onpro? strong chemo can put you at risk of serious infection, which could lead to hospitalizations. in a key study, neulasta reduced the risk of infection from 17% to 1%, a 94% decrease. applied the day of chemo,
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achieve world dominance as it takes a tougher line against moscow for its election meddling and other hostile actions. let's bring back our analyst. how much are these new sanctions going to anger putin? >> i don't think putin is happy. if i were vladimir putin, i don't want to be advising the russian president, but i'd spend less time with these false statements about the united states and do a little damage control. the truth is what's really going to hurt vladimir putin is if european countries follow suit and take similar actions to what we did today. these oligarchs' assets are primarily in europe. for these sanctions to really bite, the united states should try to lead an international coalition likes we did on iran that would freeze assets in places like cypress and greece and the ability to invest in the british real estate, for example. if i were putin, i'd be calling counterparts in europe rather than issues these ridiculous
statements about the united states. >> as you know, sam, the white house is connecting these sanctions to russia's election meddling in the united states, among other things. when you look at the details, what's your analysis? >> something feels really fishy to me here, wolf. i worked at the treasury department and the white house on sanctions. the white house did say these designations are because of election meddling. when you actually read the announcement, reference with how these people are designated have everything to do with ukraine and syria, in stark contrast to the designations made in march that had to do with malicious cyber activity. i'm not clear why we're talking about election interference today and that's not reflected in the actual treasury regulations. >> is this a cold war?
>> no. the ussr was a global competitor to the u.s., one with an ideology that had adherence and drew support from around the world. there are very few people around the world who are raising the banner they want their society to be more like vladimir putin's russia. it's a ma -- malevolent force and it has to be clearly viewed as kind of a hostile force at this point but it gives putin far more credit than he deserves to equate what he is doing with the kind of global reach ideologically as well as materially. >> very tough new sanctions against putin's cronies, the oligarchs as they're called. the president doesn't tweet about it and doesn't talk about it.
why is that? >> the actions themselves speak very loudly for themselves. we here at the table say don't listen to what the president says, watch what he does. as sam was pointing out, there is this ambiguity about why the white house is taking this action now and that's why the president's voice is so important. he could speak and clarify why the united states is taking this action against russia, stand up to russia but the president doesn't do that because he doesn't like to take on vladimir putin correctly. >> look at the way the president talked about mexico, sending troops down to the border and confronting china on trade, even at the risk of an escalating trade war that could as you real problems for republicans. that inward looking, belligerent approach to the world, that is where his energy is. you can see as the shackles come off and the gary cohn and
mcmasters of the world go away, that's what republicans in congress have to realize but they don't really have an easy way to get off this train. >> the reason, of course, that the president focuses on issues like immigration is that he sees the political upside where maybe he doesn't see the political upside in taking on -- >> amidst all of this, joey jackson, the special counsel robert mueller's investigation continues. just last month we're told he got a warrant for five more phone numbers. what does that tell you about where he's heading? >> interestingly enough, when you talk about collusion, right, the nature of collusion deals with relationships. so when you look at phone numbers, what are you looking to do? you want to know who is speaking to who about what and when. and so that would really drive
you to the point of knowing what the interactions are between the parties, and we don't know. are these conversations, are they getting wire taps or other such things? one of the terrible things from our perspective in the media and having walked people through federal and state investigations is you're kind of the last to know even as the lawyer, the prosecutors hold the cards. they know what they're doing but we don't, and that's a frustrating point but it certainly speaks to the issue of progress, and it speaks to the issue of getting to the root of it, which is collusion. what, if any, was occurring and when? >> it's interesting, sam. new sanctions against some of these oligarchs, but mueller's team are going after some of these oligarchs who arrived at the united states and their questioned at an international airport, they take their phones, documents. they're questioned along this line as well. >> and i think they're looking into any campaign violations, but i'm really interested in
whether there is any questioning related to any meetings that we don't know about, or any quid pro quos passed along to vladimir putin. talking to paul manafort, talking to other members of the transition team and asking for policy promises in exchange of laundering of information from the russians or, again, kind of quid pro quo. everybody stick around. days after the president orders the national guard to the mexican border, are the troops ready to deploy? we're going live to the mexican border in arizona. blp
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. tonight some u.s. national guard forces are getting their marching orders two days after the president signed a proclamation directing troops to secure the border with mexico. let's get some details on this breaking story. nick watt is on the border with us not far from arizona. nick, what's the latest? >> the governor is holding a press conference about 7:30 eastern time to announce their plan. we already know the wheels are in motion over there, and we just heard from the arizona government that next week he's going to deploy 150 national guard to the border here between arizona and mexico. and they may come here. we're in a little town on the
border called sasabe. the national guard has been here before in 2007. they've had problems here with drug smugglers, people smugglers, immigrants coming over the border. and here's another reason. it looks like a fence as far as the eye can see, miles into the distance. but, wolf, sometimes the camera can lie. this fence ends right here. back to you, wolf. >> what do we know about the national guard troops who are going there? any specific information you're getting? >> well, what we know so far is that the role they will be playing is a support capacity. there is actually a law from 1848 that forbids them from enforcing the law on u.s. soil, so they will be in some sort of support capacity. in the past when they've been deployed, remember, president bush and president obama both deployed the national guard to the border, and those times they were used for intelligence gathering and for infrastructure
work. they will be here to support the border patrol rather than to, i suppose, lead the charge. >> we don't know if they will be armed, right? >> we do not know if they will be armed or not, absolutely not. but as i say, they will not be engaging with people crossing the border. they will not be enforcing u.s. law. they will be supporting the people who are paid to do that and do it every day. >> nick watt reporting for us along the border in arizona, the border with mexico near that fence which really has some problems, that particular fence over there. thanks very much. finally, you may have noticed that our chief political analyst gloria borger isn't with us tonight. here's why. her first grandchild was born overnight. harper huntsman morgan. a healthy baby girl weighing nearly six pounds. we send our best wishes to harper's mom, mary ann, dad
evan. of course, the proud grandparents gloria and her husband lance. to harper we say this. harper, we welcome you to the situation room. you look beautiful. that's it for me. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. erin burnett outfront starts right now. outfront, next a cnn exclusive. the president has begun preparing for a possible interview with robert mueller and we have new details up ahead. the markets plummet the most since april. multiple scandals as we learn even through its landlord, the lobbyist changed the locks on him. let's go outfront. good evening, im'm erin burnett.