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tv   CNN Special Report  CNN  July 20, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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his office. >> t not fancy but it's the oval office. >> a russian/english dictionary. >> thank you, pat. >> thank you everybody. strong hands. ♪ winston churchill famously said of russia, it is a riddle wrapped in a mystery, inside an i anything may. prime minister churchill, meet vladimir putin. the israel isn't much of a leader. >> he's done an amazing job. >> so smart. >> definition, he doesn't have a
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soul. >> vladimir putin's a murder and a killer. >> the richest man in the world. hundreds of billions of dollars. >> what does he want from donald trump? >> putin is going to eat him like a sandwich. >> he'd rather have a puppet as president. >> you're the puppet. >> just how powerful is he? >> putin has the authority. >> i haven't seen -- >> so powerful, he apparently tried to rig the american election. >> of course putin want hillary clinton to leave. >> he dispaized hillary clinton. what would you like better? >> vladimir putin is not a friend to kmoksy, it is a crook. >> after the strange summit between vladimir putin and donald trump at helsinki, americans are asking, what did putin get and what more does he
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want. is he really the most powerful man in the world? december 5th, 1989. it was a cold night in east germany. it would change the course of vladimir putin's life. the berlin wall had just fallen. [crowd chanting] . >> all over east germany, angry crowds roamed the streets, lashing out at symbols of communist rule. that night in dresden they found the target. the local kgb headquarters. a mob surrounded the building as
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the hour grew later, the crowd grew larger. inside, peering through the curtains, was a young kgb lieutenant colonel named vladimir putin. >> he was terrified that they were going to storm the building. >> putin was a general officer, but the boss was away. he was in charge. >> he called for instruction. >> desperate temporary help, putin dialed kgb headquarters in moscow over and over again. finally, one official told him simply, moscow is silent. >> and i think it felt like a deep beindustrial trayal to him. >> vladimir putin was on his own. he went down into the bowls of the building and fired up the
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fur necessary. >> he finds himself in a basement at a fur furniture us shoveling documents. >> the f ur nis is blaring. >> putin torched thousands of pages of kgb documents and secrets as the crowd closed in. with the fire still raging, putin went outside and faced the mob, by himself. there are armed guards inside he told them, they will shoot you. >> and he's able to bluff his way out telling the crowd, you're going to get hurt. >> putin's threat worked, the mob dispersed. this is the drama that stays with putin all the time.
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>> the fear. ♪ >> vladimir putin quells that fear with absolute control. this is what control looks like. in one of the world's busiest cities, the streets are empty from vladimir putin's motor cave. 12 million people disappears on vladimir putin's inauguration day. [speaking foreign language] >> in may with his usual
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grandiosity, putin assumed the presidency of russia for the fourth time. he won the way he always does, overwhelmingly. putin's chief opponent was otherwise occupied. opposition leader alexa that value di was arrested while leading protests against the russian president. most of this was not seen on television. >> for 94% of returns their main source of news is television. if it didn't happen on television, it didn't happen. >> putin controls television. >> there's absolutely no critical words about vladimir putin on the russian air ways. none. not one word. >> putin controls everything in russia. >> putin has an untrampled
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authority. i haven't seen the checks on his power. [speaking foreign language] >> he is able to make singular rapid decisions. the absolutism there is unlike anything i've seen the russia. >> all that power is propped up by an approval rating, over 80%. and that's according to american bolsters. >> donald trump wins the presidency -- >> but when the united states elected a new president. it looks like russia had fallen for a new leader. [speaking foreign language] >> there were toasts all over moscow. at the parliament. on talk shows. and at bars.
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but one man seemed to utterly unsurprised by trump's victory. >> he's happy to take credit. and that means that he won the u.s. election, the man who is simultaneously in charge of russia and the president of the united states. >> at the heart of all this are some deadly serious questions. does vladimir putin have some kind of hold over donald trump? we simply don't know. but one reality is now critical clear. american intelligence has established that putin interfered with our election in order to help donald trump. mr. putin did not agree to answer questions about this, but his closest aid did.
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>> the answer is very simple, no. you are humiliating yourself saying that a country can intervene in your election process. america, huge country, country number with the most powerful country in the world. this is simply impossible. >> we will get at the truth of all this. but to do that, we need to go back to the final days of the country vladimir putin love. >> i think that down deep in putin, there is the sense of extraordinary humiliation over the clash of the soviet union. but it wasn't just the soviet union, it was the russian empire. >> putin returned home from his kgb posting in 1990 to a country he did not recognize.
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the u surgicssr had been transf. >> a lot of things happened very quickly. >> a romance with things western. [crowd chanting] . . >> freedom came fast and exposed the rock of freedom come nichl. across the soviet union, hundreds of thousands of people began demanding democracy and international independence. it was one again what people feared most, the people rising up.
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and finally, the people won. >> tonight in moscow at the kremlin, the red flag is a failed soviet at last came down, and the flag of russia rose. >> 300 years of history erased. >> soviet institutions like the kgb simply ceased to exist. >> vladimir putin fews the break up of the soviet union as he said himself, to be the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century. >> it was a traumatic time, and it sparked a profound change in vladimir putin. he became a politician, deputy mayor in his hometown of st. petersburg. it was not a big job but putin clearly had big dreams.
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he commissioned this rarely seen documentary about himself, presenting vladimir putin the crediting read, in power. >> weirdly the sound track from the broadway show "cats." >> the ambitious putin already may have been looking towards moscow, because the return people were desperate for strong leadership. under the current president, the new democracy was a mess. >> the entire soviet system just collapsed. >> the oligarchs, the men who profited on the soils of come nichl became fantastically rich. >> selling all top carcasses in runner and all the rest of europe.
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>> all russians were seeking into desperate poverties. there was dire food choi choices, even starvation. >> i don't know how to feed my kids without milk. i just don't know what we're going to do. >> the current president was in charge, but he seemed increasingly unstable. >> his drinking, was barely being propped up. >> russians began calling for a new leader. >> they were tired of the embarrassments of the current leader. >> waiting in the wings was vladimir putin. he had taken a job in moscow in the kremlin hierarchy and he'd
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driven through the ranks with lightning speed. he had just become acting prime minister when it became blindly clear the country needed a new president. >> somebody else who was ready to topple over. they settled on putin because they new the current president could retire and not be put in jail. >> the current president was corrupt, but kremlin workers wanted to protect him. >> the deal was made. the deal was made. >> december 31st 1999. >> the surprise announcement from boris, that he's resigning as president and turning of power to his prime minister, vladimir putin. >> in the very first moments of the 21st century, vladimir putin became president of russia.
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his first words -- [speaking foreign language] >> we live in a competitive world and we are not among its leaders. and right away, putin began to change his country. he joined soldier on the front line of the war. he reassured russians that better times were ahead. >> translator: i think we'll get paid and we'll have work -- >> i think we'll get paid and we'll have work. >> the country quickly fell in love with vladimir putin. the number one song in russia was called "a man like putin." ♪ >> he's just very -- he's beautiful man, you see. >> but the biggest surprise, america also love vladimir
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putin. president george w. bush thought he found a kindred spirit. >> i looked the man in the eye, i found him to be very straightforward and trust wore think. i was able to get a sense of his soul. ♪ >> even hollywood fell for the new russian president. ♪ >> he bonded with stars at a charity dinner. ♪ >> but the honeymoon would soon come to a crashing halt. >> he was a kg brk agent, by definition he doesn't have a
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soul. next, when vlad mir met hilla hillary. >> how much he despised hillary. [ engine revving ] take me to her! ♪ coming, flo! why aren't we taking roads?! flo. [ horn honking ] -oh. you made it. do you have change for a dollar? -this was the emergency? [ engine revving ] yes, i was busy! -24-hour roadside assistance. from america's number-one motorcycle insurer. -you know, i think you're my best friend. you don't have to say i'm your best friend. that's okay.
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how many times will she leave her mark? how many ways will she light up the world ? this is the woman. >> at the heart of the hacking scandal that rocked the 2016 presidential election. >> ladies and gentlemen -- >> was an old grudge. >> -- my mother, my hero, and our next president. hillary clinton. ♪ >> went beyond ideology, it is personal. vladimir putin was not a mfan o
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hillary clinton. >> of course putin wanted hillary clinton to lose. he hated hillary clinton. >> the tension between the leaders had been brewing for years. in 2001, another american leader, george w. bush vouched for putin. >> i was able to get a sense of his soul. >> but on the campaign trail in 2008, hillary had a different take. >> i could have told him he was a consideration gb agent, by definition he didn't have a soul. this was a waste of time right. >> translator: hillary clinton says you as a kgb agent by definition could have no soul. >> putin's replay, stateman shouldn't be guided by that you are hearts they should use their head. >> clinton has a lot of words
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for putin over the years. >> he's a very air began person. we have to stand up for his bullying. he's someone that will take as much as he possibly can. >> it's what happened in 2011 that marked a point of no return. it began with the arab spring protest early that year. the kind of popular upprizing that putin dreaded. >> he begins to see himself through the eyes of -- >> month baric of egypt was facing prosecution. also assad was on the ropes. a particular gruesome faith for one. brutally killed after begging for his life. putin may have feared the same bloody fate for himself. just a few weeks later,
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rebellion arrived in russia. tens of thousands rallied in the streets of moscow. the biggest protest there since the fall of the soviet union. >> people were hanging off lamp posts, people were in the streets. really shocking. >> putin was now living the same nightmare he had endured as a kgb officer in east germany in 1989. this time, in his own backyard. and he wasn't even president at the time, he was prime minister. having handed the presidency over to his associate, dplitry. >> as the winter went longer and longer, it got colder and colder, the protests got bigger and bigger.
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>> as putin saw people turning against him, hillary clinton weighed in. >> the russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voys heard and their votes counted. >> when putin hears something like that, i imagine he hears bush talking about a guam hussain. he shares that as death coming for me. the tiny dead lead from power, what the hell do you know opinion my people and how they should have their voices heard. i'll tell you if they should have their voices heard. >> russians had a lot of reasons to be angry. that fall, it was announced that putin would run for president again for a third time. that meant he could potentially rule russia until 2024. >> some people said, oh, my god,
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i'm going to die with this guy in power. >> a few months later, the elections for russia's parking lottism were a farce. >> we do have serious concerns about the conduct of the elections. >> the election rigging, how badly that was going to be done. >> with his back against the wall -- [crowd chanting] >> -- putin turned the tables. he blamed the protests on hillary clinton. claiming that she was the one who incited them with her complaints about the election. >> there are growing restrictions on the exercise of fundamental rights. >> quote/unquote, she sent a signaling. that was his words.
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>> putin's strategy propelled him to victory. in march, 2012, he won re-election handily. fighting back tears, after a tense fight to maintain his power. [speaking foreign language] >> he may have won the day, but vladimir putin never forgot about the woman who had kicked him when he was down. >> do you think he was resolved, you interfered with my elections, two can play at this game? >> i think that's the line of thinking that led him to the interveng, beginning as early as 2015. >> putin personally ordered a
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massive influence campaign to sway the 2016 election towards trump, according to the cia, the fbi and the nsa. why? in part, because he holds a grudge against clinton for her actions in 202011. the alleged operation was swift and multifaceted. millions of dollars launch attacks on hillary clinton and social media. >> they're smart enough to know that social media is a way to touch americans personally. >> 30 counsels have been indicted. and leaked hackers linked to russia's intelligence, pillars the e-mails of the democratic national committee and the clinton campaign, releasing embarrassing information with devastating results.
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>> wikileaks has released a n new -->> another round of stolen e-mails -- >> pretty much a dream come true. >> donald trump was delighted by clinton's misfortunes. >> russia if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> donald j. trump will become the 45th president. >> in the end, america's election went putin's way. >> i just received a call from secretary clinton. >> hillary clinton was quite -- her country and attitude. >> it wouldn't be bad to get along with russia, right? >> and to the contrary, the other candidate, donald trump was saying that we have to fine understanding. >> when people like me i like them. even putin. >> who would you like better? >> this is not the outcome we
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wanted. >> hillary clinton suffered one of the most shocking defeats in america history. >> i know how disappointed you feel because i feel it too. >> at least in part because of the the alleged hacking operation. >> this is painful. and it will be for a long time. >> putin had apparently avenged his old grudge. >> so help me god. >> congratulation mr. president. >> and he may have achieved even more. >> the 45th president of the united states. >> if donald trump is in some way compromised, if the russian government has something that it feels has on him in terms of leverage, that's a very serious thing. i don't suggest for a second that i have the answer to this question. we can't just let this matter drop. up next, a prominent russian opposition figure has been shot and killed in -- >> four of the shots in the
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back. >> right out in the open. >> the story vladimir putin might want the world to forget. mitzi: psoriatic arthritis tries to get in my way? watch me. ( ♪ ) mike: i've tried lots of things for my joint pain. now? watch me. ( ♪ ) joni: think i'd give up showing these guys how it's done? please. real people with active psoriatic arthritis are changing the way they fight it. they're moving forward with cosentyx. it's a different kind of targeted biologic. it's proven to help people find less joint pain and clearer skin. don't use if you are allergic to cosentyx.
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february 27th, 2015. nearly midnight. a man and woman walk across the moscow bridge, right next to the kremlin. a highly monitored area, literally surveillance cameras. all those cameras, and amazingly
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this grain any far away video is the only footage that exists of a critical moment in recent russian history. inside the circle of what a moscow tv station purr sports to be boris and his girlfriend, he was of course the well-known russian opposition leader who led the protest in 2011. the station says that while the snow plow hides the two from camera's view, he was killed. shot four times in the back. >> a prominent russian opposition figure has been killed in -- >> four of the shots hit him in the back. >> right out in the open, blocks from the kremlin. >> who murdered boris? >> vladimir putin condemned the killing, calling it shameful. and five -- were found guilty in
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connection with the murder, but many doubts remain. >> assassination was extremely professional. >>russian-born journalist only says one group could be that professional. >> his girlfriend says she didn't realize he was shot until the carca the carcass was driving off. nobody has that kind of professionalism except the government. >> vladimir putin is a thug and -- >> this is personal insult, this is lousy behavior from a politician. >> that is putin's top aid and spokesmen, dmitry peskov. >> it's none sense. >> over the course of putin's time and regime has
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been accused of many of killings. some russia experts say there are dozens more like them. and then, there are those who live the tell. the man seen in this surveillance footage at a u.k. con convenience story is sergey skripal a former russian spy. he moved here eight years ago where he was convicted of selling secrets to britain's mi-6. in march skripal and his daughter were found unconscious in salisbury bench. they were poisoned with a nerve
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agent. while they survived, it was placed squarely on one person. >> it's tragic that president putin has chosen to act in this way. >> putin shot back calling the accusations complete rubbish. pro-kremlin tv went further, blaming the former double agent himself. [speaking foreign language] >> back to that night on the moscow bridge the allegations that putin might have played a role in boris's murder may stem in part from the evidence that boris had been accumulating against president putin. >> boris was about to reveal information that would prove russia's involvement in the conflict in the ukraine. >> that ukraine report was released a few months after his
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murder. but there was an earlier report published in 2012 that also was embarrassing for putin. he claimed the president had 43 planes, 15 helicopters and 4 yachts at his disposal. including one super yacht. the report also says there were 20 palaces available to putin at any time. one of the palaces known in the press simply as putin's palace, was set to be worth $1 billion. >> this is not true. this is perverted commenting of reality. >> putin's spokesman says every one leader, especially a leader of the nuclear power like russia or the united states, has access to state-owned planes and helicopters that are safe and have secure communications. >> of course he uses these
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vehicles, these planes, these residences but it's not his property. the rumors about his wealth, the rumors about the palaces has nothing to do with reality. it's just lies. >> the rumors of putin's wealth, some of them are simply staggering. >> some people, including myself believe he's one of the richest men in the world. >> bill browder was one of the former investigators in russia. >> you really think putin is the richest man in the world? >> i really think that. >> estimate his network. >> $200 billion. >> really? >> i believe that it's $200 billion. >> that will make putin wealthier than the monowhom forbes says is the world's
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wealthist. jeff bezos. >> all these rumors, this is not true, don't believe in them. >> he's got nothing, he's got what he rides in his financial decoration every year. >> putin's most recent financial decoration says that he personally owns less than have an acre of land. a roughly 900 square foot apartment and a 200 square foot garage in which maybe he puts the vehicles listed in that document. two vintage russian sedans, a russian four by four and a trailer like this one. the document does not say how much putin has in the bank or investments. former top u.s. treasury official, adam talked to the c brk c. >> i'm not in the position to give you figures. he draws a state salary of something like $110,000 a year,
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that's not an accurate statement of the man's wealth. >> we may not know exactly how much putin is worth. but we do know this, vladimir putin is remarkably popular in russia. why? we'll tell you when we come back.
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. the post powerful man in the world is also the most popular. vladimir putin's approval rating has soared as high as 86% in recent years. consider that american presidents are happy went they break the 50% mark. how has he done it? partly, it's the cult of putin. he has mastered the art of the
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manly photo op. he rides horse back bare chessed. finds ancient treasures under water. flies planes, fights forest fires. >> there's something ridiculous about a middle aged world leader riding around shirtless on a horse. he thinks this looks good. >> everything that we find ridiculous about vladimir putin is very appealing in a media universe that you control absolutely. >> perhaps the foundation of the putinger naut is a tourism where ever you live. it's the economy stupid. after the years of boris yelledson, putin stepped in and stabilized the country. he rode the wave of ever rising oil prices.
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translated into rising wangs ged soaring sto soaring stock. soon off came western economic sanchezs. vladimir putin has navigated hard times well. allowed the rue baa to fall and his central bank has kept inflation in check. putin is a fiscal conservator. >> aspect of wealth, closer to dubai than moscow 30 years ago. >> add lg to economics, putin's secret's sauce, nationalism. and it surged in 2004, after an invasion that shocked the world. >> bigger
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vladimir putin grabbed a piece of ukraine for russia. the rest were horrified. it all looked very different through russian eyes. >> i never met as russia who accepted the notion of ukraine totally separate. >> many ukraine recented the nation but not russians. they see it as a rival of deep sense of power and national destiny. >> putin have given their pride back. russia is once again a great power. putin is an ideology, above all, he's of national power. putin may say he has made russia
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great again. sounds familiar? >> we'll make america great again. like putin, trump has used nationalism to boost his support but many believe that donald trump is no vladimir putin. >> putin is much more practice and subtle and cunning aplayer. he's playing in poker terms at a couple of deuces at the highest level. he reasserted russia from a world stage of relative weakness like nobody i can think of. that's an amazing feet of geo politics. stadium pa : all military members stand and be recognized. sometimes fans cheer for those who wear a different uniform. no matter where or when you served,
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finally here are my thoughts on he whom we have called the most powerful man in the world. let me explain that title. the united states and china are more powerful country than russia, of course. the power of the head of state is determined by both of the country's strength and the capacity he or she has to exercise that power unilaterally. unconstrained by other constitutions and party political forces and combining those two is easy to see why vladimir putin rises to the top. he's created what he calls a vertical of power. unlike nil we have seen in other great nations. as the grand master have noticed
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a hard critic of putin, the entire structure of russian political power now rests on one man. when the zar died, you knew the process of his successor, his son would be elevated. the soviet party died. the standard committee would select his successor. when putin dies, i almost said if what would happen? no one knows. >> to understand putin, you have to understand russia. we have seen revolution and war and communism and poverty and collapse. and then comes vladimir putin who ushers in of two decades of stability and thanks to rising oil prices increase standards of living and increasing prominence in the world.
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russians do have their national pride. it is the largest country on the planet. 48 times larger than germany and straddles europe and asia and the middle the east. it craves a prominent world space on the world. what did america get from this meeting though? at the press conference after the summit, donald trump gave the most embarrassing performance by an american president i have witnessed or read about. his efforts to talk his way out of his troubles making him seem more absurd. >> the sentence should have been i don't see any reason why it would not be russia. sort of a double negative. what's obscure by this disaster and humiliating performance is the other strain of trump
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narrati narrative. >> would it be a great thing if we can get along with russia? >> would it be a good thing? >> barack obama and clinton both embrace the idea of resetting relationships with russia. >> so glad to see you. >> it was one of many efforts at conciliation including one from george w. bush. >> russia is not the enemy of the united states. but every reset failed. it is time to recognize that russia is not seeking to integrate itself, it seeks to undermine that order. as putin seeks to destabilize the west. he seems to understand the vulnerabilities of free society, he understands the vigilty of institutions like the european
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union and nato and ideas like integrations and diversities. vladimir putin understands us very well. the question is do we and does donald trump really understand him? good evening, tonight of an exclusive interview of maria butina. it is a mystery and the white house won't tell us. we are getting more from russia than we are with washington. we begin with michael cohen, today we learned that he had made tapes with conversations with his clients and others and federal authorities have those tapes. they were seized of one from september of


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