tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN November 1, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
happening now. breaking news. case for collusion. newly revealed e-mails show long time trump adviser roger stone talked to then campaign chairman steve bannon about wikileaks about stolen e-mails. was stone a conduit for the trump campaign? president trump speaks from the white house, stoking immigration fears, hinting a change of asylum rules. instead of a policy announcement, the president launches into a divisive anti-immigration stump speech. divide to conquer. mr. trump wrapping up rhetoric, hammering away at immigration hoping to help republicans.
critics are blasting a video. the president retweeted it. one senator calls it sickening. the president questioned about false and misleading statements says he wants to be truthful when i can. i tell the truth. what about when he can't? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i am wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we are following major new developments in the special counsel robert mueller's russia investigation. newly revealed e-mails show then trump campaign chairman steve bannon talked to long time trump adviser and political operative roger stone about wikileaks and the plan to release e-mails stolen by russia before the 2016 election. sources tell cnn that mueller's
team has copies of the e-mails, we know investigators interviewed multiple associates of roger stone. i will talk about the breaking news with congressman andres carson of the intelligence committee, our correspondents, analysts and specials are also standing by. first, more on the breaking news now. our political correspondent sara murray is joining us. more than ever, looks like roger stone could be key to any collusion charges in the special counsel russia investigation. >> he certainly is key now, wolf, to mueller's investigation into whether there was any kind of collusion. now we're getting a glimpse of the fact that roger stone was in contact with at least one senior campaign official about wikileaks documents. new e-mails reveal roger stone was in touch with a senior campaign official, steve bannon, about wikileaks wikileaks during the 2016 presidential race. mueller's team has copies of the e-mails a source tells cnn, part of its investigation into
whether stone had an inside track with wikileaks. and whether he shared any of that information with members of the trump campaign. in an e-mail on october 4th, 2016, bannon, then the trump campaign ceo wrote what was that this morning? stone published the e-mails in a column thursday for the right wing daily caller. bannon's e-mail came shortly after julian assange delivered a speech billed as an october surprise. >> i understand there's enormous expectation in the united states. >> but he didn't unveil new information, angering trump supporters that hoped for a bombshell on hillary clinton. stone explained the delay, fear, serious security concern. stone says his e-mail was based on public information. during his media event, assange promi promised more information was
coming. at least one campaign official told investigators stone told campaign officials he had ties to assange, according to a person familiar with the investigation. while stone made a show publicly and privately bragging about ties to assange during the 2016 campaign, he has since revised his story. stone says he relied on publicly available information, tips from journalists, and a back channel source. progressive new york activist. he denies he acted as a back channel. >> then of course there's the mueller investigation. poking into every aspect of my private, personal, business, social, family and political life. >> stone hasn't been contacted by mueller's team, nearly a dozen of his associates have. it is unclear what charges, if any, stone could ultimately face. "new york times" also published
e-mails showing stone asking bannon to help get funding from rebecca mercer, to cover a story that bill clinton has a love child. the request could run afoul of federal election laws. stone said he never received money from the mercers and maintains he is innocent. >> no crime in connection with the 2016 election or anything else. >> even though roger stone says he is innocent, he also said he wouldn't be surprised if the special counsel brings charges against him. stone insists those would be trumped up charges, designed to get him to flip and cooperate against president trump. >> stand by. mark mazzetti is with us as well. cnn national security analyst. you have been reporting on this story as well. tell us more about the e-mails that clearly are of great interest to robert mueller and his team. >> the significance of e-mails
first and foremost is on the same day julian assange makes a big announcement in early october of a big document dump ahead, steve bannon e-mails roger stone to ask what it is about. clearly the chairman of the trump campaign saw stone as some kind of conduit. we reported today that several witnesses have told the mueller investigation who were in the trump campaign that they saw stone as some kind of conduit or he represents himself as such. the big question is was he. this is where you get into the murkiness of roger stone's public and private comments. e-mails are significant, and they are of really interest to the mueller investigation. >> could the e-mails and roger stone, sarah, be potentially what mueller is looking for and his team as far as collusion is concerned? >> certainly one of the things they're looking at is whether roger stone was legitimately getting some kind of information from wikileaks and whether he
was in any way sharing that information with members of the trump campaign or with donald trump directly. so the e-mail shows you he was in contact with senior officials at the campaign. he did have access to these people. the question is whether he shared other information that we haven't seen yet. he is right, that the information in this e-mail is stuff that julian assange was saying, there's no smoking hidden gun in there. but he can get him when he needed him, can get donald trump when he needed to. >> steve bannon has been interviewed three times by mueller and his team. don't know what went on in the interviews, presumably a lot of questions about all of the contact with roger stone, wikileaks, and how wikileaks got the hacked e-mails courtesy of russia. >> right. and in a federal investigation like this, you look to who
hasn't been interviewed yet, who hasn't been called in. best we can tell, roger stone has not been interviewed by mueller or been before the grand jury. if you're roger stone, that means there's a problem. that means there could be -- you could be a target, we don't know. but you're in greater potential legal danger. so as sara reported, it could be any number of things. he said maybe he will look for financial crimes, maybe it will be purge rerjury. if they find me on financial crimes, it will be a low bar. >> how big a deal that no one from the trump campaign called the fbi or other law enforcement authority to say hey, there may be some illegal activity going on, russia through wikileaks passing on information campaign related information, campaign finance laws, stuff like that. >> that's the single biggest question throughout this saga, not just on the stone e-mails but going back to the trump tower meeting of june, 2016,
back to the george papadopoulos meeting a couple months earlier. nobody as far as we can tell in the trump campaign after all this outrage went to the fbi and said you know what, this is untoward, this shouldn't be happening, we want to notify you. this is a foreign power trying to interfere in the election. when the stone e-mails came, it was widely reported the russians had been behind the wikileaks activity. >> what do you expect, what are you hearing from sources, sara, about possible indictment of roger stone? >> look, we're obviously days away from the midterm, we're not necessarily expecting any big announcements before then. afterwards, we don't know. there are people involved in this investigation that say they wouldn't be surprised to see additional indictments, but robert mueller is tight lipped. when they have an indictment, we will all find out about it, but not until they want us to. >> roger stone keeps saying he was hyping information that julian assange had spoken about publicly and he didn't do anything wrong. >> right. roger stone said a lot of things
at a lot of different times, sometimes at odds with each other. he is someone has built a career on making some things that are false look real. figuring out what the story is has been difficult, specifically on roger stone. he said different things about what he thought gussifer, different things about whether he knew assange or knew wikileaks. this is one of the biggest troubles of the investigation, the roger stone aspect. >> imagine how mueller feels searching through the same stuff about what is real and what is perhaps exaggerated. >> whatever he knows, ruobert mueller and his team is a lot more than we know. you and your team are doing excellent reporting on this. thank you very much, sara, excellent reporting as well, getting a lot of new information. let's get more. democratic congressman from indiana is joining us, member of the intelligence committee.
congressman, thanks for joining us. now that roger stone tells "new york times" he was just bluffing about his connections to wikileaks, do you think that's at all a credible explanation? >> you know, time will tell which is why it is so important for the democrats to regain the house so we can reopen the russian investigation. our republican colleagues failed miserably in checking off certain boxes when it related to the interviews. they did so in a very cursory manner, but we need to reopen the investigation to subpoena not only steve bannon but roger stone's activity and their e-mails. >> if people in the trump campaign believe that roger stone had inside information on wikileaks or the hacked e-mails, shouldn't they have alerted authorities, the fbi specifically? >> there are a lot of things this administration should have done and should be doing, but they aren't doing. i don't think it is unreasonable they would be doing something like that. >> they didn't do, if they were
illegal activities going on, didn't steve bannon and others in the trump campaign say someone is trying to pass on hacked e-mails, for example. that's a crime. someone is trying to get involved, foreign involved in a domestic presidential campaign. potentially that's a crime. no one called any of the authorities. is that the information you have as well? >> i think it is troubling. i think you have roger stone and steve bannon who clearly were involved with spedding of hacked e-mails, spreading of misinformation about hillary clinton, along with the web of donors, wolf, some connected to cambridge analytica, responsible for spreading the hakcked e-mais and allowing russia to do this. >> how likely is roger stone to answer whether there was collusion between the trump campaign and russia?
>> i think he is critically important, again, wolf. my republican colleagues on the intel committee failed miserably. when the democrats regain the house, i think one of the first things on the agenda would be reopening the russian investigation. these things can't be done in a careless manner. my republican friends talk about saving taxpayer dollars, being good stewards of taxpayer resources. this is a first step in making sure we are preserving, maintaining the republic as it were to get to the bottom of this so we can honor our founding fathers, complicated as they were, making sure we have the correct checks and balances to keep the system sound. >> mueller and his team have questions either directly or through grand jury a dozen of roger stone's associates. do you think stone will be indicted after midterm elections? >> we'll have to wait and see. you know, i don't want to say too much before tuesday the 6th. you know how these things can get.
>> do you believe stone was onnest when he testified before your committee, the house intelligence committee? >> one would hope. he was under oath. one would hope. but i still feel as if the line of questioning was too cursory, too surface. i think that in order to get deeper into the investigations, we need democrats to lead the charge. adam schiff has done a great job. a friend of mine. we need chairmanship, myself and others to get to the bottom of this. i think we could unearth necessary truths to make the american people feel safe. >> well, if the democrats win the majority in the house of representatives on tuesday, devin nunez won't be the chairman of the intelligence committee, adam schiff would be the chairman of the intelligence committee. what are the first things you'll want him to do? >> well, i think that a chairmanship will lead the
effort in reopening the investigation. i think chairman schiff will ensure many of the sub committees, one of which i serve on, emerging threats, is given the opportunity to help our intel community and give them the necessary support that they need, and they don't need interference of congress. we want oversight of congress, but don't need congress using intel agencies as a political platform. we want them to keep americans safe and keep global communities safe. we want to restrengthen the relationship with our partners and make sure the global community is communicating and don't have a president or administration constantly minimizing and insulting the hard work that our citizens put into the agencies each and every day. >> let me turn, congressman, to the president's midterm push to create fear over immigration. the president posted a video as you know on twitter today, sent it out to 55 million followers.
it shows someone who is now on death row here in the united states for killing two police officers and then shows selected scenes of the migrant caravan. the video alleges democrats are letting people like that killer into the country. what's your reaction to this effort in the final days of the midterm campaign, this effort by the president? >> i think very sadly, wolf, you remember this is reminisce enlt of fear mongering and racial division that takes place, creating a boogie man or woman of sorts. you have african americans who are target as part of this effort, latinos targeted as part of the boogie man effort, middle easterners, south asians, africans, ethnic groups targeted unfortunately. that's not what this country should be about. we need a president that's going to be a leader. i want to see president trump who has a background as a
developer introduce a public works program, the kind we saw under eisenhower. he can only get that done under the democratic proposal, but he doesn't want to. he wants to conjure up fear in the base. but polls show the basis leaving him, not only having buyers remorse, but feel disgusted. we want president trump if he cares about the country stop the fear mongering, the homophobia, anti-black rhetoric, get to the job, be a president, be presidential, and move america forward. >> the president promised a major infrastructure program when he took office. we haven't seen that yet. as you know, the president also said, congressman, without any evidence at all that there are in his words middle easterners among those in that caravan, a thousand miles from the united states in mexico. he says middle easterners, suggesting presumably
terrorists. what do you hear when he says that? >> i'm saddened. deeply disappointed. but i'm not surprised. you know, it is as if he thinks the american people are stupid. now, there are folks from the industrialized midwest and rust belt states and other states that feel displaced, they feel as if they're hopeless and their jobs have left and are blaming the loss of jobs on minority communities. i think the reality is that his statements have been irresponsible. he's perpetuating negative stereotypes. that's irresponsible. i think if we are concerned about preserving the republic, i urge folks to vote tuesday, november 6th, and vote for democrats. >> congressman, thank you for joining us. andres carson. >> always an honor. breaking news continues next. president trump is stoking immigration fears on the campaign trail. and the outcry over a rather racist video the president shared that has republicans even
more campaign style stump speech on immigration. the backdrop of that is this is a president trying to make the upcoming midterm elections all about immigration. playing up fear five days before the midterm elections. >> they're rushing our border. >> in a talk at the white house billed as a presidential address, but devolved into a stump speech, the president took on the immigration crisis. revealing no new information, proposing no new changes, and claiming he would sign an executive order next week without offering any specifics. it seemed to be another effort by the president to put immigration front and center in the midterm elections. in the final weeks, the president has not only claimed he'll end birthright citizenship. >> now they're saying i can do it just with executive order. >> he promised to deploy thousands of troops to the southern border to stop a
caravan that's weeks away. build tent cities for those seeking asylum, posted an online video showing an illegal immigrant bragging about killing officers. those tweets are considered official white house statements. >> one was willie horton. >> and it has drawn comparisons to the ads supporting george h.w. bush in his campaign. >> getting prepared for the caravan. >> the president back in campaign mode this week, delivering a scorching message last night in florida, hoping to amplify voters' fears about immigration. >> a lot of rough people in the caravans, they are not angels. >> trump trying to make a caravan of central american migrants the central issue in midterms. >> a democratic victory election day would be a bright flashing invitation to traffickers,
smugglers, drug dealers, and gang members all over the world, come on in. >> in an interview that same night, trump claiming to abc news the caravan is bigger than people think and mostly made up of young men. >> they can't invade our country. >> but the president provided zero evidence to back up his claims which he made despite reports showing the caravan has dwindled in size from 7,000 to 3500, and includes men, women and children fleeing violence and poverty. trump who said this on the campaign trail in 2016. >> i will never lie to you. >> was asked if he kept that promise. >> well, i try, i mean, i do try, when i can, i tell the truth. sometimes it turns out to be where something happens or it is different or there's a change, but i always like to be truthful. >> wolf, there the president saying he tries to be truthful when he can, though his statements about immigration are not always honest. but that's a message he is taking on the road not only
tonight in missouri but with nine more stops before voters go to the polls tuesday, wolf. >> rather awkward way of speaking about the truth. kaitlin, thank you very much. kaitlan collins at the white house. we have our correspondents and analysts here now. we have a lot to studiscuss. we'll be right back. with safelite, you can see exactly when we'll be there. saving you time for what you love most. >> kids: whoa! >> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ hi, my name is sam davis and i'm going to tell you about exciting plans available to anyone with medicare. many plans provide broad coverage and still may save you money on monthly premiums and prescription drugs.
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possessi possession of the special counsel, robert mueller, showing that roger stone talked to the trump campaign about wikileaks and stolen democratic e-mails before they were released, just before the 2016 presidential election. let's get more with our correspondents and analysts. mark mazzetti, you contributed to the "new york times" report in which there's a lot of new information about all of the e-mails. what exactly is mueller looking at now? >> well, he is looking at the broad issues as we know. was there conspiracy between the trump campaign and the russians, and the issue of obstruction of justice. a lot of the activity has focused in recent weeks on roger stone, and his associates. and we have said we expected there was going to be a pause before the election of no indictments and there haven't been, but that doesn't mean that behind the scenes there hasn't been a lot of activity. roger stone is a focus. the question is was roger stone somehow a link between the trump campaign and wikileaks, russian
intelligence, et cetera. that seems to be where mueller has put a lot of his effort in recent weeks. >> very interesting. gloria, i want to read one of the e-mails "new york times" got a hold of from october 3rd, 2016, just before the election. one of steve bannon's breitbart employees asked assange, what's he got. hope it's good. stone replied, it is. then he encouraged him to follow-up, saying clearly, he, roger stone, knows what assange has. what do you make of it? >> and let me finish the loop here because then steve bannon yee e-mailed and said i have important stuff to work out. seems like he was dismissive of stone. people in the campaign didn't know what to make of roger stone. one thing ni know from my reporting is roger stone it talk to the president, he presented himself as somebody i believe who knew a lot about wikileaks and when they would release
certain things and what they would release perhaps. he e-mailed his friend sam nunberg, said he dined with assange which would presumably be in london, and then he said i think that was just a joke, but i don't think anyone knows what to make of him and whether he was telling them the truth or not because when you look at the entire history of roger stone, dating back to what nixon days, he is a trickster. >> he is. you're never sure what he is saying is true, could help him probably in the court of law. but yes, steve bannon blew him off. don't bother me, i have a campaign to run. after assange did his thing, they didn't reveal anything. then he went back to roger stone and said what was that about this morning. so the question is, as i see it, is whether that could be
perceived. he was the top guy for the trump campaign at the time. that could be perceived as if he knew that stone or stone told him he had communication with assange that it could be some kind of phishing. that doesn't equal conspiracy, but there's a connection we haven't seen. >> if the trump campaign thought roger stone had information about the hacked e-mails, shouldn't they under the law have at least alerted law enforcement authorities, specifically the fbi? >> i think there's a lot the trump campaign could have potentially alerted law enforcement authorities about during the course of 2016. we talked a lot about the infamous trump tower meeting, and donald trump jr. of course accepted the meeting according to e-mails we have seen under the pretense of receiving incriminating information on hillary clinton, and having been told there was an effort by the russian government to help his father. the obvious question that's come from that exchange, why didn't you alert federal authorities there was a foreign government,
hostile actor in russian, trying to intervene in the american democratic process. this is not any ordinary campaign. and the question really is whether or not they saw roger stone as perhaps a conduit to the russians, and we also know mueller has interviewed now more than a dozen associates or reached out to more than a dozen associates of roger stone to interview or testify before a grand jury. they're interested in the link to assange and what the trump campaign knew and what he may have told then candidate trump. >> it is interesting, i assume this is one of the reasons mueller and his team are interested in stone. on august 21st, 2016, stone tweeted this. trust me, it will soon, podesta's time in the barrel. wikileaks wasn't until october 7 of 2016. >> that looked like he had some foreknowledge of what was
happening. he said he didn't. he was saying he had indications that tony podesta, he didn't know that john podesta's e-mails had been hacked. this is the real mystery around stone and the russian investigation is what he said privately and what he said publicly sometimes are at odds. sometimes things he said publicly are at odds. so the question is did he actually have any direct channel to wikileaks to assange or the russians and did he convey it to the trump campaign. that's what the e-mails don't show and no reporter yet has shown, but that would be at the heart of what mueller is doing. >> it would be interesting if there were tapes, for example, of conversations or anything between roger stone and assange. we don't know anything about them. what we do know is when you get a bunch of people together in a circle and ask them what roger stone told them at a certain time, you're probably going to get different answers from
everyone. and we know that this was his way of insinuating himself into the campaign with this kind of information. >> but you know, dana, at least a dozen or so of roger stone's associates have already been questioned directly by the mueller team or at the grand jury. clearly he hasn't yet been called in to appear. but clearly there's something going on. >> which tells you something, the fact that he hasn't been called in looks like he could potentially be the guy they're going to indict. even he has said that, that he thinks he is going to be indicted, right? so he's ready for his time in the barrel to quote roger stone back to roger stone, based on what you just said, based on the fact there have been so many people associated with him, based on the fact that steve bannon was called back, at least it looks like in large part, because of this very e-mail exchange about roger stone. >> the question is now before mueller's team on three
different occasions, one very recently. a lot of people said we anticipate that shortly after the midterm elections, next tuesday, mueller will announce something. >> and certainly there's been somewhat of a pause. but there's a lot of activity going on behind the scenes. i think one of the things that's important to remember about roger stone is he is someone who connects a lot of dots, he initially suggested, for example, that the trump campaign, paul manafort, he has spoken publicly and privately about links he had to wikileaks and to julian assange and he tried to pass off some of that as having been a joke, but now we have some e-mails that show perhaps there may have been something more nefarious going on and i think that ultimately it is also important to remember although he didn't play a formal role in later stages of the campaign, roger stone has in some ways been the president's longest serving political adviser. certainly discussed politics in formal capacity over the years.
he is someone who had the president's ear. i think that relationship is a key focus for mueller and the team. >> a question of did roger stone go to the president and say hey, i have this stuff. if they were having phone conversations or meeting, i mean, i think obviously that's got to be a key part of the inquiry here, what did the president know about this. >> right. so what mueller does in terms of if he were to bring charges, what kind of charges. as dana said, he indicated he might get indicted, but indicated he might get indicted for tax issues or financial issues, and teeing that up as well, if it is that, then this is clearly a witch hunt. there's no there there on collusion. if mueller does that, it would expose the investigation to that. there may be a strategy of trying to get him on something to flip him, et cetera, but if there is something, it will be very important to see what evidence they have, what charges they bring. >> i suspect shortly after the midterms tuesday we'll be hearing from robert mueller and his team. everybody stand by.
there's more news we are following. outrage over the latest video the president shared with twitter followers, 55 million of them, as he stock exchange fear about immigration ahead of the midterm. your insurance rates skyrocket after a scratch so small you could fix it with a pen. how about using that pen to sign up for new insurance instead? for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise their rates because of their first accident. switch and you could save $782 on home and auto insurance. call for a free quote today.
it is pretty disgusting. he tweeted it yesterday. some are suggesting it is worse than the willie horton ad some supporters of george h.w. bush put out in the 1988 campaign. what does it say that the president thinks doing this is a winning idea? >> this is a president when he launched his campaign in 2015 declared that most immigrants crossing the u.s., mexico poborr were rapists and killers. throughout the campaign, even as he took office at the state of the union address and in other forums he brought out the families or relatives of victims, people killed by undocumented immigrants in an effort to draw a link between immigrants and violent crime, even though the majority of studies show immigrants are less likely to commit crime than native born population. that remained true even as the population of immigrants has risen. so what this comes down to is
the fact that the president is hoping that fear is going to drive voters to the polls. a lot of it stems from the fact that republicans hope that these midterms would be about the tax plan that the president signed into law last year. now the tax cuts have according to most polling be increasingly unpopular, drtrue in the rnc polling. they have come back to embracing the politics of fear. >> and it works for him. it is unfortunate. it is depressing, but it works for him and he knows that. and he has political instincts that are very astute and attuned to his base. he is not the candidate any more, he is the president of the united states, supposed to be the president of all people, and what this video, it is not even an ad, you don't buy anything, this video he tweeted out was showing somebody, an undocument undocument undocumented immigrant that came to the united states, committed a crime.
said flat out it is the democrats' fault. a lot of fear mongering. look, we were talking about the fact that the president is in missouri. it works on the campaign trail. just for example, claire mccaskill, incumbent democrat when i was there with her a few days ago, she brought up the caravan, unsolicited, saying she supports the president 100% on border security. that tells you how strong and how potent this issue is, particularly in these red states where they're incumbent democrats. >> as dana points out, it works in the senate in red states. the problem for the president is that it doesn't work in moderate suburban districts in the house of representatives. clearly the president made a decision. why are you disagreeing with me
on birthright citizenship. his play is for the senate, which he wants to claim credit for keeping, and this is going to hurt him. i talked to republicans that say look, this is not what i want him talking about in my suburban district. i want him talking about the tax cut. i want him talking about what we've done for the economy. how good the economy is. i want him to remind people of these things, you know, and he's not. so the fear doesn't work everywhere, and he clearly made a decision. >> mark, you're also our national security analyst. what do you make of the notion that the president is spreading that there's a crisis on the border right now, even though these individuals in this caravan are still about a thousand miles south of the united states? >> sure. and look at what the moves have been, at least the announcements have been. there's a crisis. people are coming to you. we're going to go send troops to defend you.
and without evidence of there being a crisis. i think for all of the ample evidence of the president being undisciplined in a lot of ways, he can be very disciplined in his message, especially around an election, and i think we probably agree that this is the message until tuesday, right, is sewing fear, this idea that people are coming to the united states who will hurt americans and he, the president, will protect you. and that's consistent to what we've seen for several days. >> the president was asked, john carl of abc news, asked him about his commitment during the campaign to be honest with the american people and not lie. here's what the president said. >> i always want to tell the truth when i can. i tell the truth. sometimes it turns out to be where something happens, it's different or there's a change, but i always like to be truthful. >> when i can. those are the words everybody's -- i like to be truthful when i can. what do you make of that? >> we sit here on any given day
talking about something the president has said or tweeted that is often blatantly false, and he's making these comments on the same day that he held this somewhat impromptu press conference and statement around immigration once again to stoke fears around this caravan where he's made and continues to make many unsubstantiated claims about the nature of the people who are trying to come here. these are people who are fleeing gang violence and poverty in central america. he didn't back off his claim that there might be middle easte easterners in the caravan, even though he acknowledged that he didn't have any evidence to support that claim. i think it's been well established now that the president has a problem with the truth but of course as he sees it, that's the media not telling his version of the story. >> we've come a long way from jimmy carter saying, i will never lie to you. you remember that? never mind. >> we do remember that. >> he remembers that. >> of course. >> we all remember that. we all remember. we all know. >> sabrina and i were covering that together.
he was right in the middle of it. >> first assignment. >> you were doing an excellent job. >> we've come a long way. >> when the president says i always want to tell the truth when i can, i tell the truth. i mean, that says a lot. >> maybe that's the most truthful thing he said. he tries to tell the truth. it doesn't always work out. look, i mean, we joke about it, but it is an -- it's a tough thing, especially for us as journalists, because when we fact check and say, well, what he said is not accurate, even a couple of hours ago when he was in the white house saying things that were just factually wrong about the caravan, it allows him to sort of pit himself against us when we're trying to be the truth tellers and fact checkers. >> there's more news we're following. just ahead, a dramatic shift in relations between israel and arab states thanks to iran. we'll be right back. ree that skills like teamwork, attention to detail, and customer service are critical to business success.
long-time chilly relations between israel and some of its arab neighbors are starting to warm right now because of their mutual animosity toward iran. cnn's orrin lieberman is joining us from jerusalem. we've seen some dramatic developments recently. >> reporter: we have, and the biggest one was the visit by israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu to oman where he met with the sultan just last week but in these two weeks, that is
certainly not the only sign of tectonic changes here in the middle east. ♪ israel's national anthem playing for the first time in abu dhabi as israeli athletes won gold at an international judo tournament. last year, israeli athletes had to complete under a generic flag. now the country's culture minister moved to tears. it's just one sign of warming relations between israel and the gulf arab states. on friday, israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu made an unannounced visit to oman for the first time in more than 20 years. afterwards, oman's foreign minister saying israel should be treated like a state. netanyahu called the trip historic. >> translator: this visit comes against the background of diplomatic efforts that have been promoting in recent years vis-a-vis the arab countries. there will be more. >> reporter: israel's communications minister is now in dubai for a conference and the country's transportation minister is preparing for his own trip to oman next week.
president donald trump's special envoy tweeting, in the last few days, we have seen our regional partners, oman, bahrain and the uae make statements or gestures. a more stable region leads to a stronger and more prosperous region. it is good for all. the warming relations are driven by mutual struggle against iran. netanyahu has been, perhaps, the most vocal critic of the iran nuclear deal, lauding president donald trump's withdrawal from the accord. netanyahu has quietly had the backing of the gulf arab states. the growing relations have come not because of an israeli-palestinian peace process but despite the lack of one. the palestinians aren't happy about the change in relations with israel but haven't been able to stop them. the big question here is are the relations between israel and saudi arabia, the biggest, the most powerful, the most influential gulf state. there have certainly been reports of trade deals for israeli tech but neither side has confirmed there are behind the table or under the table
relations. wolf, the closest they have come, arguably, is an on the record meeting and chat between two former spy masters and that was last year. >> very dramatic developments. historic developments unfold gt right now. orin, thank you very much. and to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, trump gives a campaign speech falsely billed as an official white house policy speech. a speech filled with misleading statements and in some cased flatout lies. plus the president's racially charged closing campaign message and ad, preying on fear of undocumented immigrants. a man who advised the president on immigration and led a prayer at the trump inauguration speaks out against it. reverend samuel rodriguez will be my guest. and the commander in chief says in migrants in the caravan throw rocks at u.s.