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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  August 3, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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there's breaking news tonight. on multiple fronts on the russia white house watch. cnn has learned new details about how special counsel robert mueller are following the money between the president and his associates and russia. we'll have much more on that in a moment. we begin, though, with a new step in the investigation. grand jury subpoenas were issued. pamela brown has the latest on that. what have you learned about this grand jury and the subpoenas? >> anderson, we've learned that the special counsel has issued grand jury subpoenas related to that donald trump jr. meeting in trump tower in june of last year. this is according to a person i spoke with familiar with the matter and they seek both documents and testimony from people involved with the meeting. as we know, there were eight people in that meeting and it's
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unclear exactly who special counsel wants to testify. but given the wide range of the investigation, it's expected that special counsel subpoenas will be or have been issued pertaining to other parts of the investigation just beyond that meeting. anderson, this development does tell us that mueller takes the trump tower meeting seriously and he's doing things by the book making sure a grand jury signs off on any records request and any testimony. >> was the grand jury just recently impanelled? do we know the timeline? >> i was told -- well, we know it was impanelled in d.c. after the special counsel was appointed, which was last may. so it had to have been the last couple of months. the subpoenas relayed into that meeting at trump tower were issued in just the last couple of weeks. and it showed that the special counsel probe that began in may is really entering a new phase of this investigation. as we reported before the probes in other aspects of this
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investigation such as business associates of michael flynn, former national security adviser. at that time, investigators were using a grand jury in northern virginia but now everything is coming out of d.c. and that's where the special counsel's office is. >> that's obviously closer to where -- to where mueller's office. what's the reaction tonight from the white house? >> so the president's lawyer ty cobb reacted to this. this is what he told reporters. he said grand jury matters are typically secret. the white house favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly. the white house is committed to cooperating with mr. mueller. former fbi director james comey said three times the president is not under investigation, and we have no reason to believe that has changed. and anderson a, one white house source says that the legal team is, quote, highly content about this development, which this source says is not causing any anxiety within the president's legal team. anderson? >> pamela brown with the reporting. paul begala, alice stewart and
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gloria brown marshall. gloria, just from a legal standpoint, the formation of a grand jury, it allows them to do subpoenas. but it doesn't necessarily mean that they know there is wrongdoing. >> they are trying to find out if there's been wrongdoing. i mean, there are millions of dollars of resources at hand. so it's not as though they don't believe that there is anything going on here but they have to get to the actual evidence. that means they have a chance to call witnesses to subpoena documents and to make sure that people are testifying and when they're testifying, they are not testifying with the lawyers in the room. they can go out in the hallway, talk to a lawyer and come back in but the lawyer is not in the room. it's not the testimony. it's whether or not they lie under oath. this is how people have gotten trapped before. it's perjury. it's obstruction of justice, intimidation of witnesses. all the things that the special counsel has authority to investigate. >> alice, as a supporter of the president, does it concern you? to you, does it seem like a bad sign?
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>> i think this is what everyone expected would happen. this is the natural course of events. i was encouraged by the president's attorney saying we will fully cooperate, we will help in any way we can, which i think is a far cry and a welcome direction from calling this a witch-hunt. but i think it is important to fully cooperate, put all of the information out there because more than anything we need to put this behind us and i think the president has always had it in his mind any questions about russia, russia collusion, questions whether or not he won or not and that's certainly not the case but it's important as they are doing now, fully cooperating and this is an important step. this isn't, as you indicated, not an evidence of wrongdoing but it's part of the investigative process in order to get to the bottom of it. >> what does this do in a white house when there's this kind of an investigation and a grand jury? >> it's not crippling but close to it. by the way, when this happened in the clinton administration, we were in our second term, we knew what we were doing. we had a really tight team. there had been factions. earlier in clinton's presidency. at this point there were none.
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we really got along. it was very tight, and thank god. this team is brand-new, which my heart goes out to them. it's a hard job to learn. and on top of that, some of them are going to be hauled into the grand jury. >> and nobody knows who is being hauled in or certainly what they are saying. >> they certainly don't know what they're saying. they're likely to know who. but they have real exposure in a way that we didn't in the clinton white house. i didn't fool around with an interns. this wasn't ever going to get me, but it still stressed me out. this could impact a whole lot. whatever young talented aides helped craft the statement that later proved to be misleading about donald trump jr.'s meeting. >> which the white house now admits say the president weighed in on that dictated it. >> the young people are going to get dragged in. they are going to have legal bills. they're not going to be able to talk to each other what they said in the grand jury, lest they be accused of witness tamper organize witness intimidation. >> and they have to pay for legal fees? >> they do. i have friends with hundreds of
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thousands of dollars of legal fees. i'm with alice. i like to hear mr. cobb saying we're going to cooperate and it's an expected sign and maybe it's hopeful they get it wrapped up quickly. i don't like other trump surrogates saying it's not a big deal or i think they are laying the predicate to fire mr. mueller. if you listen, i was talking to jason in your earlier hour, they said they are leak which is not true. and they're violating the scope of their investigation by looking at financial things, which also is not true. i think they're laying -- either they are going to go with mr. cobb who is saying they are going to cooperate or with others or laying the predicate to fire mueller. >> there were leaks, just not in story. the big leaks were in the other stories today about president trump's private conversations. >> we'll talk about that. >> and that's problematic and they'll try to conflate that. this week, the stock market hit a record. >> 22,000. >> tonight the governor of west virginia switching from a democrat to a republican. you've got a new chief of staff. so you've got a lot of good things happening if you're donald trump and if you're
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watching another network, maybe that's all that you're hearing. probably that is. but on the other hand, you have all of these other major problems. it's not a leak, it's a sieve. and you've got the fact that the government has unlimited resource, unlimited time. and somebody is going to go down, i think. >> there's no telling where this goes too. as it starts off with clinton, it starts off with whitewater and ends up with lewinsky. >> and the president is out there in west virginia once again calling this a witch hunt, saying it's fake news, saying they should have been focusing on hillary clinton's e-mails. and this continues to fester for the president. this is constantly his go-to excuse. he has vilified and gone after republicans in his own party, everyone else, the media, except for vladimir putin, and look where it's gotten him. he can't learn his lesson. all he had to do initially was say, yes, i agree with my intelligence agencies and make sure russia doesn't do this again and we may not be in this situation.
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we may be talking instead about the stock market and infrastructure. inste instead, the president seems to be shooting himself in the foot every single day. >> anderson, i was in little rock as a journalist covering whitewater when all this was going on. i see some similarities, and paul is going to come unglued. you also have to remember that yes, that started offs a land deal investigation and it led to monica lewinsky. but also going back to that time, as you recall, the clintons and the democrats really attacked ken starr. >> sure. >> and the way he handled it and called it a vast right wing conspiracy. and we're seeing some signs of that with regard to this administration discrediting mueller and the way the investigation is going. but i do think it's important to take more of the cobb approach to this, and let's fully comply and let them do their job. >> there is a big difference. i need to defend myself and my colleagues. when whitewater first had a special counsel, the counsel was appointed just like mr. mueller by the attorney general and it was a guy named robert fisk, a
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kroor career prosecutor out of new york, a registered republican, but a career prosecutor. we never criticized mr. fisk. and cooperated fully. he was pursing this and then a three-judge panel led by a guy that was sort of a jesse helms protege fired fisk. we didn't. and then put in ken starr, a man who had never prosecuted a case in his life. and we still were silent. carver wanted to attack him. we told him not to. we didn't start attacking starr until it became obvious he was obsessed with clinton's sex life. if mueller starts digging into trump's sex life, too creepy to think about, i'll be the first to attack robert mueller. >> going back to how a grand jury works, there is i talked to jeff toobin in the last hour who said they probably already have and would want to have a certain amount of documents, documentation before they actually interview people, before they haul people in front of the grand jury because they don't want to -- it's not like in front of the senate where they're just kind of asking random questions. they want evidence that they can
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specifically tailor their questions. >> yes, but they also want the substantiate what they already have. they can call people in as witnesses. they can call people in as targets. you don't know which one you're going to be. >> they don't tell you? >> they don't tell you but you have an idea. if they're calling in the brother-in-law, you know that's a target. but here's the issue at hand. if once they get into that room and they start to testify, there's going to be a thread and if you go back to vince foster and the suicide, there was a thread that they were investigating in the clinton years, the suicide, which then leads a thread into whitewater and leads a thread into -- you know better than i do. but each time someone would testify, there was a thread leading to another bigger part of the investigation and when you look at what bob mueller is able to do and it says and matters, in all matters that stem from this investigation. so despite what donald trump is saying, there is no red line that says that bob mueller has to stop at any particular place.
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>> because his attorney is saying they are exceeding their mandate. you're saying the mandate is actually pretty broad. >> it's pretty broad and it was broad in the nixon years and it was pretty broad in the clinton years. it's very broad. once they start to see something -- especially a prosecutor. now here we have an assistant attorney general as well as the former head of the fbi looking at this. the antenna come up and they go okay, wait a minute. i just heard this person testify about this. i'm going to further broaden my investigation. i'm going to follow the money wherever it leads me and you don't know where this money may lead. >> that gets us to our next segment. we have to take a quick break. more breaking news. cnn has learned the mueller investigation is crossing the president's so-called red line following the trump's money trail with potential ties to russia. that may have existed long before the election and had nothing to do with the election. also tonight the leaked transcripts of the president's phone calls that matt talked about with the leaders in mexico and australia. he claims one of the calls was not contentious and called "the washington post" fake news for reporting it. now we know for sure that's not
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there's more breaking news tonight in the russia investigation. cnn has learned how special counsel robert mueller and his team are on the money trail tied to the president and the trump organization and his family. according to sources familiar with the investigation. pamela brown is one of the reporters who broke this story. she joins us again. so what have you learned? >> we've learned several things, anderson. that the probe, the special counsel probe has expanded to look at president trump's finances as well as the finances
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of his family members, his son, don junior, and even the trump organization. as you know, anderson, this all started off as a look into whether there was collusion with the russians and that probe has now expanded a year in to really focus on financial -- the financial avenue. as sources have told us, prosecutors and investigators look at that to be one of the most fertile avenue as to go down if there is going to be prosecution. and two of the main target here is are paul manafort, who was the former campaign chairman, of course, as well as michael flynn, the former national security adviser, anderson. >> this is something that president trump in an interview with "the new york times" said this was a red line in an answer to his past financial records. what has the white house response been to this? >> well, the white house response has been very stern. in fact, i spoke to jay sekulow, the attorney for the president who says that this is basically outside the scope of what they
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believe outside of what mueller should be doing. he said the president's outside counsel has not received any request for documentation or information about this in terms of asking for financial records. he went on to say that any inquiry from the special counsel that goes beyond the mandate specified in the appointment we would object to. so making it clear there, and echoing from what we heard from the president that in their view, this does cross the red line. i should point out, too, that any lead that comes into the department of justice that has to do with any of trump associates, including paul manafort, michael flynn, is directed to the special counsel probe. so even if it has nothing to do with russia or the 2016 election, it will go to robert mueller and there's a couple reasons for that. obviously they want to investigate every lead they can but it could be used as a tool to gain leverage in order to encourage cooperation among some of the subjects, anderson. >> pamela brown, thank you very much. stay with us. we're going to bring the panel back in. joining the conversation is timothy o'brien, trump biographer. you looked into trump's finances
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for years intimately, got sued for it by him. there's an irony here that this is sort of the one realm or this is a major realm that he has always refused to discuss, refused to go into and release his tax returns and this seems to be an avenue that the investigators are looking into. >> yeah. and i think the president can talk about red lines and witch hunts but mueller is within his rights. to probe these issues. it goes to the heart, i think, of any quid pro quos that existed between the trump organization and the kremlin, the trump campaign and the kremlin, the trump white house and the kremlin. these are issues that have to get explored. and i think the reason he's so focused on this on almost a daily basis for months now is because he's concerned about what he might expose. he's got past relationships in his business relationship with the trump organization and relationships that i think came to the fore during the election that are problematic for him. >> so the trump supporters say, look, this goes beyond the scope
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of -- why is mueller looking at, you know, financial transactions that may have occurred long before donald trump was even a candidate. >> i think, look, if there is some sort of a quid pro quo with russia, then that is relevant. it's probably just as likely you might stumble across some financial irregularities that have nothing to do with russia and then what do you do? i tell you, i think the american public, and not just trump supporters but a lot of people, it would start to feel like the deep state. like the game is red. rigged. like this is somebody trying to overturn the election. so, you know, that's where i think it gets kind of messy. >> but what should they do? first off, it's within the scope. the scope is broad. and that was set by the trump justice department by a man trump picked to be the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein. he set the parameters of this investigation. so in a sense mr. trump is responsible. >> right.
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but with bill clinton, the public stuck with bill clinton. >> and they are not sticking with mr. trump, and that's a really interesting and political problem. because part of this is political should it ever get to up people. . impeachment. >> but prosecutors stumble across some financial irregularity that has nothing to do with russia or even the election, would they pursue it, i mean, from a legal standpoint? gloria, would they? >> it really depends on what it is. what happened with the nixon years is that as they were investigating nixon, they found all of these other irregularities and of course, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice was actually the charge. but the executive privilege issue was the issue that stopped them cold. so this issue of whether or not they could go after a sitting president for any other criminal reason was never decided. it was left in abeyance because they already had what they wanted, which was the tape. >> here's what is likely to happen. the special counsel, let's say he comes across information that
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trump was complicit in the kennedy assassination. that was ted cruz's father. i'm trying to pick something crazy. i don't want to impugn the guy. the special counsel knows this is outside of his mandate. he goes to the deputy attorney general and says, you need to put the u.s. attorney justice department on the kennedy assassination problem. the deputy attorney general can expand the mueller probe to include the jfk assassination, or he can turn it over to a u.s. attorney or doj. you can't just ignore a crime if you're a federal law enforcement officer. >> i just want to reiterate for anyone who joined mid-sentence, you were using that as a ridiculous -- >> as a ridiculous, absurd -- >> but can you indict a sitting president for whatever it may be? that is the issue that is still open because it wasn't decided in the nixon years. so that is a major issue. whether or not they find the smoking gun with anything, whatever it may be, can we indict a sitting president? so far, that's unanswered. the supreme court hasn't gone that far. >> i think it's important and we
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all agree on this point, the mandate is broad. it deals with all matters that arose or may arise. and i think the more the story changes, jay sekulow says oh, it didn't help with drafting the statement and the changing the story, that just gives another stone for mueller to overturn. and the question is will they get their hands on those income tax returns? that will be a big -- that will tell a lot. >> i'm sure he already has his hands on the income tax returns. >> really? >> his base is standing firm. the rally tonight, he brought up this topic. russia did not elect me. my voters and my team, his base is standing firm and they are standing behind him. >> yes, but that's not the public. that's a quarter of the public. and a they're wonderful people and we love them, but they're not analytically as interesting because they're not going to determine the president's ultimate success or failure. >> and the reason why russia is of interest is because there's a real gray area between the private and public sector. in russia. you have billionaires in russia constantly and forever tied to the russian government.
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as the agalarovs are too. this isn't just your typical billionaire from any other country that comes in and maybe has some shady dealings with donald trump. as we know now from the paper trail, connects to the russian government. >> interesting that he continues to go -- today he went after congress, not russia, for the low in what he characterizes the lowest russian relations i think he said in years. i can't remember the time frame. >> one of those tweets today is that the gop congress is why the relations are bad when, in fact, we have bad relations with russia because they interfere with our election and possibly for -- >> which is what russia is trying to seize upon. they're in a bad place and they're trying to make the best of it. what they're doing right now is they're trying to distance this president from congress and trying to drive a wedge and chaos. between not only the president and democrats but now we know the president and people within his own party. >> pamela, the president may not like that mueller is digging through his finances but there's not much he can do about it short of a reshuffling in the justice department?
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>> right. basically, he ecould arod rosenstein, fire robert mueller which will not happen unless there is cause, unless rod rosenstein thinks there's good reason. he says he sees no reason to fire the man that he's appointed to take on this role as special counsel. and i've been told by people in the department of justice and elsewhere in the legal community here in washington that if the president asks rod rosenstein to do so, then he just simply wouldn't and would likely leave the department. and so of course there could be moving parts. who knows. we know the president has been threatening the attorney general. so, you know, barring a seismic shift, as you said, it's likely that rod rosenstein will not be firing robert mueller anytime soon, anderson. >> all right, everybody, we're going to take a quick break. when we come back, what president trump said about the russia investigation and how the western virginia crowd reacted. when we come back. mpstart sales. build attendance for an event.
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who knew that phones would starentertaining us,ng? getting us back on track and finding us dates. phones really have changed. so why hasn't the way we pay for them? introducing xfinity mobile. you only pay for data and can easily switch between pay per gig and unlimited. no one else lets you do that. see how much you can save when you choose by the gig or unlimited. call or go to xfinity mobile. it's a new kind of network, designed to save you money. tonight, president trump spoke at a rally in west virginia where he went on a long riff about russia influence in the election and lack of proof
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and the potential collusion with his campaign. here's part of what he said. >> have you seen any russians in west virginia or ohio or pennsylvania? are there any russians here tonight? any russians? they can't beat us at the voting booths so they're trying to cheat you out of the future and the future that you want. they're trying to cheat you out of the leadership you want with a fake story that is demeaning to all of us and, most importantly, demeaning to our country and demeaning to our constitution. >> back now with the panel, you know, you were saying, gloria, before that, that people don't necessarily know that they are the target of the grand jury. the president's attorney says we have no reason to believe that the president is being investigated and they pointed to the fact that comey had told the president three times that he wasn't targeting the investigation. it's possible that has changed in the subsequent weeks and
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months. is it possible that the president would actually be called to testify whether or not he was a target in a grand jury? >> well, the president could be called to testify. i mean, bill clinton was called to testify. and but what we also have to understand is, this is going to go on for years. it can. the possibility can go on for years. so he might not be the target now but we don't know who's going to testify about what. but also, conspiracy to obstruct justice, conspiracy in regards to witness intimidation. so that could come further down the line when other people are called to testify and maybe donald trump tells them not to or threatens them in some way or somebody around him. i mean, it could go in many different directions. >> it's interesting, with just the cast of characters that the president has had around him who are no longer there and sort of the competing motives and the fact that many times the thing the white house has said or the president has said does not hold up to the light of day when it's actually leaked and then reported and then they have to
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amend their statement. >> and when you go to a grand jury that matters more at a grand jury. that's a sacred place and you cannot lie or mislead there and i think the president is so telling, we always know what is on his mind. he again tonight is pretending that russia didn't play a role in the election. it doesn't mean that he did but russia did and his own intelligence agencies say that and again tonight he's casting doubt on that. it's a huge problem. >> it's fascinating. it's as if he's watching our tape before he goes out. because his message is exactly the same as russia tv, exactly what's being played out in russia. that there is russophobia going on. we know what he is talking about. his campaign lied about meeting russians. exactly. >> you've actually, correct me if i'm wrong, in the lawsuit that you had with donald trump, he actually -- your side deposed him? >> right. we deposed him for two days. >> can you say how he did?
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>> he did horribly. it's a public document. "the washington post" did a front page story about the deposition. i think the headline at that time that donald trump acknowledged lying 30 times in two days. >> under oath? >> under oath. he had to. we had his bank records, his business records. we asked him everything from his net worth to resale value of his apartments. and on and on and on. his speaking fees. he lied about everything. it was really funny. at one point we asked him how he calculated the value of his golf course, but he didn't have any sort of records in front of him. he said, mental projections. that's the term he used. and i think his life has been a series of mental projections. it's one of the reasons he's a survivor. he creates his own realities. i think you're seeing on this speech in virginia he's very scared of the russia investigation. it preoccupies him and so he's using another public appearance to cast doubt on it and he's creating this other reality around it so he can move forward
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but the reality of it is, it's not just going to cause problems for him potentially, it could ensnare jared kushner. it could ensnare other members of his family, don jr. and there is a lot at risk here for him. >> talk about mental projection. he truly believes what he said out there tonight. he truly believes any question about russia is undermining his victory. that's truly what he believes and those around him believe. he went on tonight at this event to say that the russia probe that is distracting the administration is total fabrication. so here again, he's gone back to the total fabrication witch hunt which i think he should get back in line. i think he should, as his attorney is doing, we're going to fully comply. we'll provide all the information we. that is the quickest way to get this in the rear view mirror and move on to the issues that americans really care about. >> the other story today, leaked transcripts of phone calls between the president and the president of mexico and australia.
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it's extraordinary that these transcripts actually leaked out. another case in one case of the president of the united states falsely attacking reporters for telling the truth about one of phone calls said then and what the reality. we're keeping him honest. i'm leaving you, wesley. but why? you haven't noticed me in two years. i was in a coma. well, i still deserve appreciation. who was there for you when you had amnesia? you know i can't remember that. stop this madness. if it's appreciation you want you should both get snapshot from progressive. it rewards good drivers with big discounts on car insurance.
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in the span of less than 24 hours we've gone from the white house admitting two phone calls the president said he got he didn't get to transcripts from two calls that did happen being leaked. neither paints a good picture of the president. "the washington post" published two calls that the president had early on in his presidency with president of mexico pena nieto. and australian prime minister malcolm turnbull. we'll start with the mexico phone call. the president argued about mexico paying for the wall, not on plan or principle, but because it would make him look bad. quote, he said this to the mexican president. the only thing i'll ask you, on the wall, you and i both have a political problem. my people stand up and say mexico will pay for the wall and your people probably say the same thing but in a different language. but the fact is we're both in a little bit of a political bind because i have to have mexico pay for the wall. i have to. and why of course does he have to? because he promised over and over. it was a mantra of the campaign a claim shouted cal and response to crowds across this country
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for months. >> we will build the wall 100%. i promise. we will build the wall. and who's going to pay for the wall? >> mexico! >> whose going to pay for the wall? >> mexico! >> who? >> mexico! >> it will be a great wall. mexico is going to pay for the wall. mexico will pay for the wall. and mexico's going to pay for the wall and they understand that. mexico is going to pay for the wall. believe me. 100%. >> well, in the call with the mexican president, mr. trump asked him to stop saying that mexico will never pay for the wall. he said he should say they are working it out. keeping him honest, mexico has never said they will wavered for paying for the wall. president trump has wavered, not just in this phone call but in his promise to tax payers. the funding we'll work out in the formula somehow. it will come out in the wash.
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meaning, it seems, that he wants mexico to officially pay for the wall but they'll get the money back through other means. what's so interesting about this call is how concerned president trump was about how this makes him look. the mexican president says, quote, my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that mexico cannot pay for that wall. the president responds, but you cannot say that to the press. the press is going to go with that and i cannot live with that. the president also expressed his concern about how he appears in his leaked phone call with the australian prime minister the president argues with the prime minister about an president obama deal for the united states to accept up to 200,000 refugees subject to vetting. the president said, this is going to kill me. i'm the world's greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. the president says it makes him look bad and he hates it. quote, look, i spoke to putin, merkel, abe of japan and france today, and this was my most unpleasant call, because i'll be honest with you, i hate taking these people. i guarantee you they are bad. that's why they are in prison right now.
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they are not going to be wonderful people who go to work for the local milk people. the local milk people, we assume, dairy farmers. i'm just assuming. on the call, the prime minister tries to explain that refugees are mostly economic refugees from iran, pakistan and afghanistan and have been under australian supervision pour more than three years and that there was a deal between the united states and australia. the president says the prime minister made a stupid deal. what's so interesting about the transcript is that there were reports published at the time that this call was contentious. and, guess what, at the time, the president tweeted, quote, thank you prime minister of australia for telling the truth about our very civil conversation that fake news media lied about. very nice. once again, something that the president called fake news turned out to be very real. very nice. back now with the panel. how big of a problem -- i mean, alice, do you think it is for the president in just this week, you know, he made up two phone calls or made a mistake about two phone calls he never received from the boy scouts. and what was the other one? i can't even remember.
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>> from mexico. from the president of mexico. >> from the president of mexico, that's right, yes. and now he's made it up about, you know, fake news, lying, going after reporters in a way that's just not true? >> he has a distorted memory or recollection of events, which is unfortunate. the problem with these calls, i view them as, these calls are when he fist took office and became president. these were to test his negotiating skills with his foreign counterparts. and first off, with regard to australia, this was an ally and he was having a confrontational phone call. with regard to the president of mexico, this should have been a call about policy. he was more concerned with his perception with breaking a campaign promise and that's unfortunate. both of these, he was more concerned about his perception than discussing serious policy with these foreign counterparts. and i think that's unfortunate. >> i think the big story here -- and he's cynical, he cares more about appearances, he attacks
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the media for fake news when it's actually true. and i know trump people come on here all day long and all they want to do is say -- they want to misdirect and talk about the leaks. in this case, the leaks is the big story. it's incredibly dangerous that the president of the united states cannot have a private conversation with the leader of another country without somebody in the government, presumably leaking that out. it sends a message to leaders of other countries. and that's incredibly damaging. >> but what leader of another country is going to feel confident having a private phone call or a frank phone call with the president and why would the president feel comfortable having a frank phone call with another leader if they all think it's damaging? >> it's enormously damaging. as a former white house official, it's terribly damaging to our country. not just to donald trump politically who i don't support, but for our country for this to leak. it's a terrible breach.
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these calls are on the record and the other head of state knows that. but in that, we have no takers. we have transcribers. the president knows that. it's a very on the record event because that then that record is shared throughout the government. you talked about trade with the mexican government, presumably. the u.s. trade representative needs to know than so when he is negotiating with his mexican counterpart, your president promised x, they'll know. it goes to state department, defense department, homeland security possibly in the case of the mexicans, cia, all around the government. an these happen all the time and they never leak. these are people with great integrity. somebody really betrayed the country with this. >> i do think you're right. this is important. >> i think there are occasions when civil disobedience could should be called on. >> say the call with putin. >> sometimes you're a whistle-blower. sometimes you're a leaker, right? but this is not that occasion.
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look, this is embarrassing to trump. it shows he is very cynical. this does great damage to america. this is not the most important component. but one of the things it does, just showing what is happening in west virginia. >> it plays into the message that he's saying to his base. >> the game is rigged. >> and they're out to get me. >> that's very damaging to america. >> they're out to get me. >> they are not just out to get me but to get you. >> i don't think that's the most important story but it's part of the story. >> he's in charge of the government. needs to police and inspire and intimidate. he needs to stop this. and this does say something about trump. ultimately, it says more about the leaker. but it is the president's job. he is in command of this government. >> and they've had these problems from the beginning with leaks. he has a poorly managed west wing. there is very little loyalty. he's not skilled or capable -- >> is this a precedent -- i'm sorry. >> not to excuse it because you're absolutely right, but the
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president has sort of over the past few months leading us down a different path saying that, no, all of these conversations didn't happen the way it's being reported but they did happen the way they did. my advice to him would be to stop lying or stop tweeting about things that didn't happen. that doesn't negate the point you're trying to make as well. this is very damaging. >> my concern would be, i think everyone here is right. obviously donald trump has been kind of uniquely bad in a lot of ways and it very well could be that he is like lost the faith and trust of people who work for him and that they were good soldiers that were lifetime bureaucrats, did what they were told and now they feel like it's their responsibility to leak. but does this set a precedent? what about the next president? >> right. >> do they leak on the next president? >> and he had a conversation with vladimir putin. if there's one takeaway here. >> if there was ever a situation that was going to finally be the buck stops here with the leaks, this has to be it. and to matt's point, this is damaging to the president and
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from our national security standpoint we're not going to -- foreign leaders aren't going to have these conversations. they are going to have one-off like he did with vladimir putin. no one will ever know what was talked about in the conversations. >> get another quick break in. in one of the phone calls president trump said new hampshire is a, quote, drug infested den. we'll hear from the senator and governor in a moment. but they're different. it's nice to remove artificial ingredients. kind never had to. we choose real ingredients like almonds, peanuts and a drizzle of dark chocolate. give kind a try. ♪ you're searching for something. whoooo. like the perfect deal... ...on the perfect hotel. so wouldn't it be perfect if... ....there was a single site... ...where you could find the... ...right hotel for you at the best price? there is. because tripadvisor now compares... ...prices from over 200 booking... ...sites save you up to 30%... ...on the hotel you want. trust this bird's words.
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there's another nugget in president trump's leaked phone call with the mexican president that caused a stir in talking about the need for a wall to protection the united states, the president said he won new hampshire because it's a drug-infested den. he won in the primary, but i assume that was what he was talking about. the former new hampshire governor and senator, we spoke earlier. >> well, i was outraged and it's just disgusting. we are in the middle of public health and public safety challenge and crisis in our state. it's an epidemic and to hear the president of the united states characterize people with chronic illness and our state this way was just an outrage, and i am
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urging the president to stop just talking about this issue, and actually help us deal with it by helping us get the resources we need to get people into treatment, to get the kind of work force we need. to help people get treated and then understand that this is a chronic illness that will require prevention treatment and recovery efforts for the long-term. and one of the other concerns i have is it isn't just the president hasn't taken action to actually help us with this issue, and it's not just new hampshire obviously. it's across the country, but also his actions as becoming president and advocating the repeal for the affordable care act, that would repeal treatment in new hampshire. and his budget which defunds programs that are also really important for prevention, treatment, and recovery, are really undermining our efforts in new hampshire. i would like the president to stop throwing insults at people
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dealing with a chronic illness, and help us get the resources on the ground that we need. >> back now with the panel. obviously, calling new hampshire a drug-infested den is not the best use of terms. but the supporters, a lot of people like the fact he is plain spoken and, you know, is this a big deal? >> the opioid crisis actually -- if you think about it on a map, trump country harder, perhaps than obama country or hillary country and it's not a partisan disease but it's just the way it is. >> he talked about it in new hampshire. he talked about it -- not in those terms. >> i was watching the campaign. every one of the 30 people who ran learned a lot about the opioid crisis. one of the good things about having a long and difficult campaign. i think it will hurt him in new hampshire where the republican governor also said that was uncalled for. he also said something else to president pena. he described the wall as, quote, the least important thing we're talking about. that is not what his voters say. >> he said it was payment of the
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wall. >> thank you for correcting me, but they cheered that. >> politically, it's maybe the most important, but it's the least important. >> you know what? i'll say that "the washington post," they put up little teasers, you know, of things, and the teaser they said, the wall is not the most important. but my interpretation, when you read the transcript, what he was saying, who pays for it is not that important. i'm going to build the wall. >> that's not what his supporters think because of what he told his supporters. >> the reality is the wall was this metaphor for what he was going to do about immigration, how he was going to tackle immigration and ultimately wall off mexico in the process. and in that call he's backing off of it. whether he is financing it or building it, he is backing off of it. >> in his book about steve bannon, was that the whole wall idea was basically a device for the president to remember to talk about immigration. like they came up that it was roger stone and somebody else, i
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think, came up with the idea of the wall, talk about that and it actually became an actual idea. >> in josh's book, that just a few months before he announced and he announced very controversial things about mexicans, a few months before, he was criticizing mitt romney for being against immigration. i forgot that. >> you can also see the evolution of we're going to build the wall in mexico will pay for it. whenever he would mention it, the crowd would get bigger and more involved. if i can just say something on the new hampshire issue. during the campaign with cruz, we had a round table on this issue, and it's such a serious, heartbreaking issue. the opioid addiction, and epidemic in new hampshire and many of the key states, and i understand what the president was saying. he said it in the wrong way, but if nothing else, hopefully, we can really focus on the serious issue with opioid addiction and the funding of it, if nothing else comes of this. once again though, however, the president took something that
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was an important issue, and his point -- he had a good point, and went about saying it the wrong way. he was trying to say one of the main reasons we need this wall is to stop drugs coming into this country. we have a terrible opioid epidemic. >> he has ideas for what the federal government can do. and declaring it a national emergency. >> jared kushner runs that commission inside the white house. >> unlike cruz, most people never expected donald trump to be an ideologue. he said one thing to the crowds but you and i are going to talk about something else. that shouldn't come off as that big of a surprise. both democrats and republicans thought this was a great way to work with both parties and he is admiring russia and digging himself deeper. i don't think this transcript revealed anything surprising. about what most people expected from him. >> thank you for being on the panel tonight. we'll have more ahead. we'll be right back. to those who know that the essence of integrity is a promise kept. ♪ if you've got the time
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find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. and that's it for us. thanks for watching. time to hand things over to chris cuomo, who is filling in for don lemon tonight. "cnn tonight" is starting right "cnn tonight" is starting right now. -- captions by vitac -- all right, thank you, anderson. we have much more major developments in the russia investigation. this is "cnn tonight." i'm chris cuomo in for don lemon and here's what's happening right now. cnn has learned special counsel robert mueller is crossing the president's red line. remember when the president said it was going too far if the special counsel looked into his finances. well, that's where the russia investigation is headed. the fbi reviewing financial records related to president trump, his family and the trump organization. cnn also learning that mueller has issued grand jury subpoenas


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