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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  February 14, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PST

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>> hello and welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm michael holmes in los angeles where it's 9:00 p.m. on itself night. >> in london it is 5:00 on wednesday morning. thank you very much for joining us. >> we are going to the breaking
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news. new controversy for u.s. president trump and his campaign advisers. contacts with russia. multiple officials told cnn aides were in near constant contact with officials throughout the campaign. here's pamela brown. >> advisers close to donald trump were in constant communication during the campaign with russians known to u.s. intelligence. current and former intelligence law enforcement and administration fortunatelies said president trump and president barack obama were briefed on the details of the communications between operatives and people associated with the trump campaign and the trump business. according to officials pardon me with the matter, both the frequency of the communications raised a red flag with intelligence and law enforcement. the communications were intercepted targeting russian officials and nationals known to
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u.s. intelligence among several senior trump advisers communicating with russian nationals where the campaign manager and michael flynn. flynn stayed on and resigned as the national security adviser last night. officials in the communications between the campaign staff and representatives are not unusual, but this stood out due to the frequency and the level of the trump advisers involved. investigators have not reached a judgment on the intend, but adding to concerns were intercepted communications between russians before and after the election, discussing the belief that they had special advice to trump. it is unclear if they were exaggerating, but it came into that they were growing that russians were trying to tilt the election in donald trump's favor. this investigation still very much under way and the fbi in
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the intelligence community. cnn, washington. >> let's get more on this. joining me now from the bureau chief and jill, as we heard from that report, trump advisers were in frequent communications with russian operatives during the trump campaign. having covered russia, would this communication be 2340er8 and routine in a campaign? >> because the reports talk about constant or very frequent as the level of communication and the frequency of it, it does appear not to be your average communication. that's a red flag. what it means is unclear. this is where it gets murky. you can have a benign interpretation perhaps or more benign which would be perhaps it
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was business. some of the people who were in communication have business interests or in the can case of the chairman of his campaign for a while, political consultant who had a type of reason for doing that. because we don't know exactly what they were talking about, that could be a darker scenario that some are alleging, saying interference in the american election. until we know precisely what those communications were, it's impossible to say. the frequency is not normal. not average. >> we will wait to know more about those. one question it does raise is what type of relationship does president trump have with president putin.
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have you ever seen an administration so close to russia? >> no. i haven't. i have to be honest. certainly the comments that president trump has made, let's see the moral equivalents that he made about a week ago when he said that the person who is leading the discussions said putin is a killer and then mr. trump said we do a lot of killing too. that type of thing is very rare. you don't find that at all among somebody who is a candidate let alone a president of the us. there is a lot that is very, very different about this presidency. i think in the kremlin, they understand that very well and they are looking at this daflly. they heard about better relations and can't we get along, but they realize there is
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no policy yet. as we watch the policy develop, the russians are looking at the stronger comments about crimea. look at the stronger comments about ukraine. look at more critical comments coming out by this administration about russia. so it's beginning to look a little bncht than the way it looked during the campaign. russia i don't think has any idea they can predict what mr. trump will say or do. they are standing back hopeful, but concern about where all of this is headed. >> it's too early to find out how the kremlin will react to this. what do we know about michael flynn's connections in moscow. this is just coming before he was forced to step down. woor are we know he was communicating with the
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ambassador who was ambassador to the united states. we know he appeared i believe it was last year at a dinner for rt, russian television. there are other comments he has made. there too, we don't know exactly why he was doing that. we haven't seen that transcript. was it a general conversation? we believe according to reports that it was about sanctions and the russians said it was not. there is a lot of murkiness. until the facts and the actual communications are released, we won't know. i can say one thing. this is such an irony. the president who came into office saying he wanted to improve relations, it may end up
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to be worse than ever. that's ironic. right now you have a lot of knives out in washington for the administration. they are worried and they want to have investigations and they want to have errorings. it will be much harder to have a type of same balanced relationship with russia in that circumstance. >> plenty of murkiness and plenty of unknowns too. always great to get your perspective. >> and joining me here in los angeles, republican pollster justin wallen and strategist. thanks for being here. let's start with you. why would you think that the campaign officials, high level would be in such regular contact with russian operatives in the campaign?
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>> it's interesting because what's amaze being this story is how much we don't know. what we know is there seems to be a lot of activity. it seems to be more than previous administrations. the administration does things differently and the campaign did things differently. when people were talking about five or six calls made. were they calling back? we have russia involved. >> we have michael flynn during the campaign. the guys like this, why would they be in regular contact? what would be a reason? >> it could simply be an intent to establish a relationship or it could be sinister. the president doesn't like to think the russians are not our friends, but they like to destabilize. they are masters at it and no reason why they wouldn't be doing it to both sides. we don't know if they were call backs and what we don't know is
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conte content. none of us have seen what was said. >> they are asking for that. >> there is a lot of what we don't know. this is stunning and unprecedented. the cover up on its own is major. the trump spokes woman said there was no communication between trump's campaign and russia. that was a lie. sean spicer said the same thing more recently. that was a lie. michael flynn said he didn't remember if he talked about sanctions. that was a lie. there must be something pretty serious with a cover up of this size going on. >> or it could be minor. i don't jump to the conclusion that people are lying. people may -- flynn especially may say this man has done important global things. >> certainly he was lying. >> he may not have found it important enough. >> the day of the sanctions, you
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call the ambassador and none of us as private citizens think a major event just happened. i think i'm going to interfere and tell them that. >> there is a question being asked and it was about trust. the president lost trust in michael flynn. he knew about this. >> why was it not until they broke the news that trust became a reason to resign. >> that comes back to content again. that's dangerous. what it it take for someone who has been in his kosher. flynn is not an easy person to get along with him. he put up with him and what would get the president to say we have to jetson this. you will see at the very least something that said he was disingenuous with the pice
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president and that doesn't fly. >> we heard for more calls for kellyanne conway to resign. she was rooting for ivanka trump's line. >> go buy ivanka's stuff. i'm going to go shopping and get some myself today. i own some of it and i will give a free commercial. go buy it today. >> there is a call for her to face ethics charges. you have flynn resigning and this happening with kellyanne conway and a scrutiny of state with mar a lago with the japanese prime minister. donald trump said the real story is about the illegal leaks. that's not the really story. surely there is a sense of chaos there. we are three weeks in.
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park are not just calls for kellyanne conway to be censured, but that would be the biggest scandal of the year in a normal administration. letting someone who is paying your company money take a selfie with the nuclear football would be the biggest scantal. those were not even the biggest scandals of the week. we may have an administration who is collaborating with russia. this is providing aid and comfort to a foreign power. there needs to be an independent investigation and i'm thrilled a lot of republican senators said the sim thing. >> when it comes to the investigation and russia, the republican party is being the most hawkish. we are not hearing a lot of that. >> on the question of there has been a lot. in any other administration, there is an extraordinary amount of activity, you have to look at
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it and say these people are intend on accomplishing their agenda. with all of that, they are all new, you are going to have mess ups. these are embarrassing. with russia, once he got his cabinet more and more and nikki haley said things that are firmer and speak to serious problems with russia, particularly in crimea. we will see more and more of that. >> and sean spicer touched on that. he was talking about russia today. let's have a listen. >> the irony of the situation is that the president has been incredibly tough on russia. he continues to raise the issue of crimea which the previous administration allowed to be seized by russia. president trump made it very clear he expects the russian government to deescalate and return crimea. at the same time he fully expects to and wants to be able to get along with russia.
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unlike previous administrations so we can solve many problems together facing the world like the threat of isis and terrorism. >> sean spacer saying that the president has been tough. he hasn't. his people have. nikki haley was strong about russia before the security council. president trump has been warm the whole time. >> we know about president trump is that if he doesn't like what you are saying, he throws you under the bus. if she said something out of line, i guarantee and i think you agree within maybe five minutes, we would see a tweet that pus her in her place. >> there is a lot of open questions. does russia have something on him? the fact that there is a story about flynn talking to the russian ambassador, we have known about the conversation for two months. did trump not care that he called the russian ambassador? did he know what michael flynn
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said or did he direct him to talk about the sanctions? he sat on it for two months and took no action until it was a media controversy. >> he is aware of the dynamics of power. there are three powerful entities. america, china, and russia. he said whether you agree, it behooves us to move forward in areas of danger with those that have power and are willing to use it. and i suspect that this is all part of somehow the new york will deescalate certain things and reprioritize. >> it's all well and good, but a lot of folks would like to see better relations with russia, but there is a difference between collaborating and good
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relations. he called on his opponent to hack between the campaign and the russians. we don't need a smoking gun. we have it. did he shoot the gun? it could have just been put in his hand. >> the world is more nuanced than that. you do not perform effectively on the global scale without making bed fellows that aren't pret. that's the reality of life. >> right. before we go, i have to get this in. we will be talking with rick later, but there was a comment that struck me. the head of u.s. special operations command said this about the white house at a conference. our government continues to be an unbelievable turmoil. i hope they sort it out soon. we are at nation at war. they are saying that in a conference setting. that is extraordinary. >> it's terrifying and there is not a lot of folks outside the
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white house itself and folks going on who know what's going on. we have folks in the u.s. senate, mitch mcconnell and richard burr calling for investigation because they have not been kept in the loop. until we have an independent investigation not including jeff sessions and a private committee investigation, we will not know what happened. >> we have to leave it there. we are going to have you back next hour. we are not done by a long shot. so much to talk about. >> still to come, another provocation from russia and how the kremlin might be testing the trump administration. >> a new policy and what to expect from the trump-netanyahu meeting at the white house. intr.
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if you are just joining us, the breaking news this hour, multiple sources sold cnn that aides to then candidate donald
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trump said they were in communication with russia during the campaign. normally that contact is not unusual. >> here's the thing. these talks stood out for a few reasons. the frequency with which they happened and the high rank of the people involved. just yesterday you remember michael flynn resigned due to his contact with russian officials. >> let's get more on all of this. we go live from moscow. it's early there. any reaction from the kremlin with regards to this breaking news? >> it's very early here in russia and quiet on this front. the issue of contacts between the trump campaign and russia was something we heard about in the past and the days after the election. the it deputy foreign minster told the agency that there were contacts between the trump campaign and russia.
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he didn't elaborate, but he came back to the topic in january before the innaugzration that the u.s. media was whipping up the fever around these contacts and using it as a way of sparking fears of a so-called russian threat. we have seen the security adviser leave his position because of mishandling his contacts with russia. this is something that russia will be concerned about whether or not it will make president trump make a hawkish stance towards russia than he has been is a way of falling in line with many in his party. something that had a lot of focus in the russian media are those comments we had by sean spicer saying that trump expects crimea to be returned to ukraine and that is something that is of concern here. >> on the comments, what was the reaction? >> it's getting a lot of
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attention. we have seen that president trump has been not going out of his way not to criticize or insult president putin. if he corrects crimea to be returned, that would echo the comments from nikki haley a couple of weeks ago when he came out in harsh terms and said sanctions would not be lifted unless crimea was returned to ukraine and blamed them for the escalation of tensions. a few days later, we saw president trump in the interview with fox news tell bill o riley in response to his response to putin being a killer, he said the u.s. is not great in that department either. this is of great concern in moscow. >> you were mentioning the security adviser michael flynn. what more are you learn something we did see a video of
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him on an event funding russia. besides this video, what else do we know in terms of collections? >> that was an event that happened in december 2015 for the 10-year anniversary that the kr kremlin news channel. he admitted to being paid for holding a q&a session during those commemorations where he talked a lot about the middle east and cooperating with russia on fighting international terrorism. we know he appeared as an unpaid analyst a number of times. he is very well-known with a face that people would recognize. >> for us in moscow. thanks very much. >> we are going to have much
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more on the breaking news this hour as troubling communication with russian officials may not have stopped the fashl security adviser. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ anyone ever have occasional constipation,diarrhea, gas or bloating? she does. she does. help defend against those digestive issues. take phillips' colon health probiotic caps daily with three types of good bacteria. 400 likes? wow! try phillips' colon health.
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. we are following breaking news out of washington where the trump administration is facing questions about its contacts with russia. multiple intelligence and law enforcie enforcement said the communication between the u.s. and russia was almost constant. >> u.s. intelligence officials have concluded that russia interfered in the presidential election. >> military analysts joins me from california. here we go again in a way. how troubling is it to you that while the country is fighting isis and you have the conflict
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in u rain that we keep having these interactions? >> it's one thing after the other. talking to people back in washington, it's like drinking from the fire hose. there is something going on and the new @mip station doesn't seem to be able to handle more than one thing at a time. with the conditions as they are in the world today, we can't have that. we need to have policy goals set out and something like this comes up and we have to stop what we are doing and address this. >> what was your reaction to the latest news that senior officials are in what appears to be regular contact as russian operatives during the campaign. >> i used to do this for a living and a lot of intercepts myself. i'm struck by the amount of communications and i would like
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to know not only whose, but were they russian or russian and american communications or talking about the communications? just what communications are we talking about? any time you have russian intelligence officers in constant contact with american politics, you have to wonder what they are doing. we know they were trying to influence the election, but were they trying to do that by influencing people in the campaign? it's all speculation. we don't know the content and until we do, we are not going to get to the bottom of it. i suspect we will at some point. >> when you look at everything that happened over three weeks. i wanted to ask you about the head of special operations on tuesday.
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he said our government continues to be in unbelievable turmoil. we are at nation at war. that was at the symposium. am i wrong? it seems extraordinary that a serving commander would say such a thing. >> what happened to nl generals in the past who made these comments. this is the impression i'm getting from contacts in washington. they are stumbling through this and no coherent policy or direction. a nation at war cannot survive that way. we have to address the policies head on. i am surprised he said it, but i don't disagree. >> when a serving officer or commander says that, do they
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feel a look of direction or chain of command? >> they are happy with the team he is putting in place. they are unhappy with the jump to the white house. they feel comfortable with the new direction they are getting from secretary mattis and concerned about what's coming from the security council. the firing or the resignation if we put it that way of general flynn causes yet more angst among the people. is there guidance coming down from the white house or are we playing this by ear? >> when we go back to general flynn and the resignation, one of the questions that keeps coming up too, would he have had the phone conversations with the russian ambassador of his own initiative. would he discuss sanctions or what's your sense? is that something he would have to have run by others in the campaign?
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in the transition team. >> right. i don't know general flynn. i know people who worked for him. he has that independent streak and he is not easy to get along with, but i can't imagine someone advising someone who take this is on his own to call senior russian officials and the ambassador to the united states being one of them. you have to think that somebody in the campaign at the senior levels would be orchestrating the communications. i suspect we will find that out. >> where do you think this t goes from here. do you think we will be seeing a few months of investigations and inquirie inquiries? what do you think congress said or needs? >> this is important enough to empanel a select committee or investigator to look into this. you cannot let the people that
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are being accused of anything or suspected of something run the investigation. this will be done at a congressional level. we will see flynn being called to testify and find out what went on. the part we are not going to get is a lot of communications themselves. i suspect many of them were not just calls between u.s. officials and russian officials, but intelligence information between the russians themselves that we had access to that we are not going to release because that indicates a capability. >> thank you there from la quinta, california. >> you are watching cnn newsroom. the israely prime minister heads to the white house. a shift on the israeli conflict with his meeting with the president. we will have that for you after a short break. ultra-bold, ultra-saturated. feels great. pro-look, full coverage in 14 brave new shades.
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>> we are following breaking news out of washington as multiple officials confirm president trump's campaign aides
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were in constant communication with russia as he vied for the white house. >> the contact is not unusual, but the frequency of the talks and the high standing of those involves raises concerns. michael flynn and one of his borders resigned. >> we are getting a glimpse into the policy concerning the israeli-palestine yen conflict. >> president trump will meet with benjamin netanyahu and white house officials said he will not insist on a two-state solution which would be an about-face from the previous administration. the leaders are expected to talk about syria as well as iran. >> david from the washington institute for near east policy joins me now. we will start with the new development that the u.s. is
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known to push at least for a two-state solution as part of policy when it comes to israel and the palestinians. it's a major departure from the normal. what's your thinking? >> i agree with you. on the face, it's a huge shift. it could also be done for much more short-term tactical reasons and that is to help netanyahu with the domestic conunt rum. he was under pressure renouncing the idea of two states. netanyahu doesn't want to do it, but the journalists will say to reaffirm it. the trump people seem to be wanting to get the issue out of the way. we were not going to be able to implement the grand deal tomorrow morning anyway. make sure this is yesterday's news so we can focus on the reset and not be distracted by what seems to be a very big
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headline. it might be a tactical move. >> it could be a temporary thing. eight years of difficult relationships with president obama and now mr. netanyahu feels he has a friend in washington and is going to get a different reception. optics are important to menj min netanyahu. how much is he wants the world to see that new administration greeting him warmly? >> extremely important. he takes a lot of pride. he is only the fourth visitor to the new washington after traditional american allies like britain, canada and japan. he felt he was marginalized and he is suddenly a very wanted visitor. the symbolism is critical for him and also for trump who campaigned on a reset with israel as well. here the message is the music. it's a new tone. and despite that in the obama
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years, there was close security relations and many ways unprecedented. there is no hiding the bruising policy disagreements that existed between washington and jerusalem over iran and differences over the palestinian issue. >> this is the reality that benjamin netanyahu heads up a very right wing government and a lot of members say no two-state solution ever. donald trump campaigned on a confident tone and said he would do the ultimate deal in the mideast. what chance that? >> in a weird way, this statement tonight might put more pressure on the president. the world might interpret this not as a tactical way to help netanyahu with his own politics. they may wonder is this a huge shift? now your commitment. you keep saying it over and over again, i'm going to do the ultimate deal. how are you going to do the deal
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if you are not committed to two states? it could create pressure on him going forward. the most important thing is to find a way that even if you don't get to the final moment, what are the steps to keep the door open to two states in the future that doesn't shut the door? here it's important that the u.s. and israel synchronize the position on settlements and there is no blind siding. >> in east jerusalem and elsewhere, the two-state solution gets further and further away. we haven't talked about the palestinians. what do you see as the risk? more violence? >> yes. >> or the option where the palestinians could have their nuclear option which is to say fine, one country. one ban. one vote. >> right. you put your finger on the right point. there could be violence and they
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could throw in the towel and say we give up. we want to be israelis. give us the vote. those are the two polls of danger. for me, i don't believe there can be tomorrow morning. it's key to say okay, give me a sense of how you leave the door open. this is about 75 to 85% live in an area known as the security barrier. 92% is outside and almost all the palestinians live there. it's important that all sides know what's coming and don't blindside each other. israel doesn't build outside. if you do that, you do start closing that door on the two states. it's not about implementing it tomorrow. it's more about how do you leave it open for the future? that requires synchronization by
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all parties. >> the washington institute for near east policy. thanks so much. >> any time, michael. >> the man once considered to be once in line to lead north korea died mysteriously. he may have been forwarded with poison. we will have that next from cnn. it's on all my mobile devices, so it suits my mobile lifestyle. and it keeps my investments fully mobile... even when i'm on the move. sign up at and get up to six hundred dollars. [ distorted voice ] progressive their competitors' rates alongside their direct rate to save you money. but what's really going on? when played backwards at 1/8th speed you can clearly hear... what could that mean? woman: tom? tom! they're just commercials. or are they? you're waking the neighbors. well, mom, maybe the neighbors need to be woke.
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if you're just joining us, let me update you on the breaking news. high level advisers to donald trump were in constant contact with russian officials during mr. trump's presidential campaign. multiple law enforcement and intelligence officials say they were concerned about the frequency of the communication as far as the approximatety of those involved to mr. trump. >> among those talking with russian nationals, the former campaign manager paul manafort and former national security adviser michael flynn who resigned on monday. manafort told "the new york times" he never knowingly spoke to russian intelligence officers. >> now another story we're following. south korea says the man who was
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once considered to be next in line to lead korea has been murdered with poison. the half brother of kim jong-un fell ill on monday. he was critical of the dynasty and living in exile. let's get more from matt. matt, this is quite a revelation. do we know how he was poisoned and by whom? >> reporter: this is an extremely complicated story. we're plushing out the details. let's start with what we know. there was a meeting morning, a briefing with the national security council here in south korea. they met this morning and after that briefing, there was a short press briefing given by the chairman of the national assemblies intelligence committee. in that very short briefing he said that it is the opinion of the south korean government that kim jong-un was murdered in
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malaysia due to being poisoned at the airport. he later died after being poisoned at the airport en route to a hospital according to malaysian police. now, the national intelligence committee here provided no proof to that assertion. they didn't tell us how or why they know it, and they also couldn't say how he was poisoned specifically, how that poison ended up getting into kim jong-nam's body. they said there are two suspects. they say both suspects are women of asian dissent that could possibly be north korean. again, they provided no proof for that assertion. they did not say how they know that assertion, but that is the assumption the lawmakers are going on after the briefing this morning. cnn has learned from malaysian police it was on monday morning that kim jong-nam went to the airport in cakuala lumpur.
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it was shortly after he was put in an ambulance and died enrout of the hospital. we know malaysian authorities are anticipating an autopsy to be done later on today by a medical examiner in malaysia. we don't know exactly when that autopsy will be done, and we don't know when the release of that autopsy, the results of that will be released. obviously this is a very complicated story, something we're still following very closely. as you can imagine, there is a lot of intrigue given that this is kim jong-un's older half brother living in while for some time. >> let's talk about what we do know. the facts here. when did he actually leave north korea? i mean, was he banished by the regime? >> reporter: yeah. it was sometime in the early 2000s. we don't know exactly when he was banished, but it appears he fell out of favor. his father, the late leader of
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north korea, he died in 2011. kim jong-nam was expected to be the heir. he was the oldest son. but he fell out of favor with the regime. since then he's been building a reputation as a playboy and gambler and someone who has spoken out against the regime and said he didn't think his little half brother would succeed. some serious intrigue there. >> matt, thank you very much. good to see you. we'll have much more news after a short break. . >> we'll be right back after this. americans - 83% try to eat healthy.
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this is cnn. breaking news. thank you for joining us. i'm ee have a soares. >> i'm michael holmes. it is 10 p.m. in los angeles on the u.s. west coast, and we are following breaking news for you out of washington. the trump administration is facing new questions about its relationship with russia. a number of officials telling cnn top trump aides were in regular contact with russian officials throughout the presidential campaign. here's pamela brown. >> reporter: well, high level advisers close to donald trump were in