tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN March 26, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
russian diplomats are being kicked out of the united states for brazen and reckless attacks. why is the trump administration suddenly getting tougher with the kremlin and why isn't president trump talking about it? and surprise visit. there's intense speculation tonight that kim jong-un may have psychly left north korea for china. we're digging on what would be an unprecedented trip if confirmed. is there any connection to plans for kim jong-un to meet with president trump? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the situation room. breaking tonight, stormy daniels is suing the president's personal lawyer michael cohen for defamation, escalating the legal battle over her alleged affair with mr. trump and a hush money deal to keep her quiet. this as the white house is denying her claims about sex and
threats in a national tv interview seen by millions of americans. also breaking right now, the trump team is trying to play up an unusually tough move against russia saying the door is open to new sanctions against vladimir putin. we're getting new reaction to both stories. i'll talk to former director of national intelligence, james clapper. peter stris is also joining us, the lawyer for the former playmate, karen mcdougal who claims she, too, had an affair with mr. trump. and correspondents and analysts are standing by. first, let's go to michelle kosinski. the u.s. getting ready to expel 60 russian diplomats. >> this was a big coordinated effort, wolf, and the scope of it surprised many. we know some u.s. allies thought maybe the u.s. would match or nearly match what the uk did by expelling 23 russian diplomats and the attack happened on their soil but instead we saw this administration nearly triple
that number and they hardly did this in the kindest, gentlest way possible flat out calling these russians intelligence agents saying this is going to significantly hurt russia's ability to spy on american soil. 60 russian diplomats. according to the trump administration, aggressive spies, have one week to pack their bags and get out. a dozen russians will be kicked out of new york at the u.n. 48 others at embassies and consulates around the u.s. the russian consulate in seattle will be shuttered. administration officials saying it's too close to a u.s. submarine base. a sharp u.s. response to the nerve agent attack poisoning former russian spy sergei skripal, his daughters about others in the uk. >> i think this is a good move by the president and his administration. i'm glad to see it. it sends two strong messages to putin. one is we'll hold you accountable for your crimes and
number two that you won't divide and sew chaos and discord in the west. >> this move cuts the number of russian diplomats in the west by 13%. officials saying this will make the u.s. safer from russian espionage. more than a dozen u.s. allies also expelling diplomats. and russia already warning it will do the same right back. >> the united states for did a very bad step. i'm sure that the time will come they will understand what kind of grave mistake they did. >> reporter: it's a much harder line than previously seen from this administration, especially from president trump who only days ago defied his national security team's warning in all capital letters to not congratulate vladimir putin on his election victory. on a phone call with putin, donald trump didn't bring up the attacks or election meddling which lawmakers -- both democrats and republicans are
worried this administration is not tackling. now trump will have a new national security adviser in john bolton. >> the director -- >> reporter: a new secretary of state in mike pompeo. both of whom called for strong action against russia, though in 2016 bolton criticized president obama on fox news for taking the same action in nearly expelling diplomats. >> that is utterly useless. so if you make them feel pain and others feel pain, then the possibility of deterring future conduct like this increases. that's what we need to do. >> reporter: today former cia operative bob baer agrees. >> you go after putin's money. you go after the oligarchs. you hit them in their pocketbooks. bolton is right. i don't usually agree with him but he's right on this. you have to make him feel pain and expelling 60 diplomats doesn't go far enough. >>. >> reporter: russia have been trolling the u.s. online for days. today they tweeted out a poll
asking people what u.s. consulate in russia should be closed but the trump administration issued its own stark warning to russia saying that if russia does retaliate -- which we fully expect it to do -- then the u.s. could take further action. wolf? >> michelle, thank you. michelle kozinski at the state department. while the trump administration is talking about the expulsion, president trump is silent on the subject today. let's go to chief white house correspondent jim acosta, we heard from raj shah, he was repeatedly asked why the president didn't bring up the poisoning of that former russian spy and his daughter when he had the phone call, that congratulatory phone call with vladimir putin. >> that's right and as for the president's tweets, he tweeted about the stock market and his dissane f disdain for the news media but nothing about expelling those 60
russian diplomats. as you said, the white house didn't have an answer as to why the president didn't bring up the poisoning of that ex-russian spy in his conversation with russian president vladimir putin last week despite the fact the white house said the president has been intimately involved in the planning of these actions that the administration announced today but in addition to that raj shah at the daily briefing at the white housed the point that vladimir putin could be sanctioned in the future, he didn't rule it out. here's a bit of that exchange i had with raj shah about this earlier today. if you listen to national security experts, diplomatic experts on what happened with russia, they will say you have to hit russia where it hurts. you have to sanction them economically. you have to go after putin's cronies, you have to go after putin himself potentially. would this president consider sanctioning vladimir putin or his cronies to punish him and the russian government for what happened in the uk and for
meddling in the 2016 election? >> well, the united states has issued sanction on key russian oligarchs in response to the meddling of the 2016 election. >> what about putin himself? >> i wouldn't close any doors but the president doesn't telegraph his moves. >> now of course the trump administration may never sanction vladimir putin but it's interesting the deputy press secretary didn't rule it out another interesting thing, you'll recall last week the president said he may sit down and have a meeting with vladimir putin in the near future, raj shah was asked about that and didn't sound committal saying no such meeting has been planned at this point so wolf the president floated that out there last week. doesn't sound like it's happening any time soon. >> jim acosta reporting from the white house. thanks. breaking news just coming into the situation room multiple suspicious packages have been
intercepted at military installations in the washington, d.c. area. let's go to pentagon correspondent barbara starr. what are you learning? >> good evening, the fbi has control of the suspicious packages delivered throughout the day to several military facilities across washington in the national capital region. at ft. mcnair, not a facility a lot of people would know about, a suspicious package was found to contain black powder and other elements that could be used in some sort of potentially explosive device. the fbi has it, it was rendered safe. also at ft. belvoir, south of washington, d.c., and we've just gotten word also at dalghren naval base in southern virginia but is considered part of the national capital region, that's a navy facility. these places may not be known to the public but to the u.s. military they are the backbone of the military presence in
washington. that one facility, fort mcnair, a number of senior officers live on the compound, the national defense university is there so a lot of concern about who may be behind this, whether there are more packages out there. there was a breach at travis air force base in california, someone went through the gate with their car on fire. it was deemed to be some sort of attack, they're not sure what. and earlier today at mcdill air force base in florida there was a potential breach. it was turned out knob to the the case but nerves were running so high the faa closed the airspace over that florida air base until the matter could be sorted out tonight. the fbi analyzing all the pa packa packages, devices and components found. wolf? >> very suspicious, very worriso worrisome. i know you'll update our viewers once you get that information. thanks very much. joining us now the former
director of national intelligence, james clapper. let me get your reaction to this move by the trump administration in coordination with other u.s. allies in europe to expel 60 russian diplomats from the united states. is that a strong enough message to vladimir putin? >> that's a strong message. when you say "strong enough" do you mean will this be sufficient to stop the meddling, the information warfare campaign that he's waging? no, i don't think so. but i think it's very significant that we stand with our allies. i'm in london now and i can tell you that the people here are gratified that the u.s. is standing shoulder to shoulder with our british allies. but is it enough to stop the nefarious behavior in total?
absolutely not. >> is it enough to convince the russians to stop using a poisonous nerve agent to kill individuals who may be enemies of russia right now? >> well, it may well do that and certainly there but for the grace of god it could have been us on our soil. so hopefully this has been a compelling message not to do that in this country or others and i also think it's very important that other nations. i think some 13 european union nations in addition to canada are also expelling russian operatives. so that's a very powerful message not to do that. really an egregious act they did in the uk. >> putin will almost certainly retaliate by expelling a bunch of american diplomats from russia, some of whom might be under cover intelligence
officers. you're the former director of national intelligence, how much damage potentially does that do to u.s. intelligence gathering capabilities in russia. >> well, i can't comment specifically on that one, wolf, other than to say if, you know, we lose -- we have one less intelligence officer anywhere, that's harmful but beyond that i can't -- i can't say anything about what -- the extent to which that would harm our efforts elsewhere. >> in august of last year, general, following the expulsion of a whole bunch of american diplomats from russia, president trump had this to say. listen. >> i want to thank him because we're trying to cut down on payroll and as far as i'm concerned, i'm very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll. there's no real reason for them to go back. so i greatly appreciate the fact that they've been able to cut
our payroll for the united states. we'll save a lot of money. >> what does that tell you about his thinking when it comes to russia. >> i thought at the time he made the statement, boy, he's making a silk purse out of a sow ear ear. how could you contort yourself to make that development something positive? and i think it reflects his almost aggressive indifference to the threat posed by the russians and i'm waiting to see what he says in a tweet about this action, just exactly how he feels about it even though clearly the government bureaucracy below him has conveyed a pretty pointed and clear message to the russians. >> according to the national
security agency chief admiral mike rogers, the president still hasn't ordered direct action against the russian agencies responsible for election meddling in the united states. what needs to be done? >> well, everybody's kind of doing their own thing. i think director wray when he was asked about that before the senate intelligence committee, he's doing -- the fbi is doing certain things and certainly the department of homeland security is doing certain things, what's needed is leadership which i believe can only come from the white house and specifically the commander in chief and it isn't just a government-wide effort. it needs to be society-wide so what i would hope for is the president would make it very clear and unambiguous, unequivocal statement that the -- about the very profound threat russia poses to the united states. and we can start with that and that would set the tone for what
i think is needed here which is a sense of urgency across not only the government or our society. >> general clapper, thanks for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. just ahead, the breaking news on stormy daniels and her interview about the president. i'll get reaction from the lawyer for the former playmate karen mcdougal who also claims to have had an affair with mr. trump. the two women telling similar stories about mr. trump, likening them to his daughter. >> he's like, wow, you are special, you remind me of my daughter. he's like you're smart, beautiful and a woman to be reckoned with. i like you flonase relieves your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances. most pills only block one. flonase.
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. stormy daniels now suing president trump's lawyer for defamation hours after her bombshell tv interview detailing her alleged affair with donald trump. let's go to athena jones. athena, her legal battle is clearly escalating tonight. >> it sure is. stormy daniels is suing michael cohen, the president's personal attorney, for defamation pointing to a statement he issued in february to explain the $130,000 in hush money he paid her. that statement included this line "just because something isn't true doesn't mean it can't cause you harm or damage."
daniels lawyers argue's cs cohe implies she was lying. >> the president strongly clearly and has consistently denied these underlying claims and the only person who's been inconsistent is the one making the claims. >> reporter: tonight the white house is denying claims by stormy daniels, the adult film actress who told millions of people sunday about her alleged affair with donald trump in 2006. but aides are refusing to say whether the president watched daniels' "60 minutes" interview. >> well, the president doesn't believe that any of the claims that ms. daniels made last night in the interview are accurate. there's nothing to corroborate her claim. >> reporter: trump tweeting this morning about so much fake news but maintaining his unusual silence when it comes to the alleged encounter. declining to comment about daniels whose real name is stephanie clifford. >> and you had sex with him. >> yes. >> you were 27, he was 60.
were you physically attracted to him? >> no. >> not at all? >> no. >> reporter: the 39-year-old sharing she once spanked trump with a magazine that had his picture on the cover. punishment she says for gushing to her about himself. >> i said "give me that." he said "you w0uouldn't." "hand it over." so i turn around, drop them. >> you told donald trump to turn around and take off his pants. >> yes. >> did he? >> yes. he turned around and pulled his pants down a little. he had underwear on and stuff and i gave him a couple swats. >> thfis was done in a joking manner. >> yes. >> reporter: daniels's interview, the highest ranking "60 minutes" episode in a decade shared similarities with an account karen mcdougal, a former "playboy" model, shared with anderson cooper days before. both say trump called them special and compared them to his
daughter ivanka. >> he was like, wow, you are special, you remind me of my daughter. you're smart, beautiful, and a woman to be reckoned with. i like you. i like you. >> reporter: daniels says she asked trump about his wife who had recently given birth to their son. >> i asked and he brushed it aside and said, yeah, don't worry about that, we have separate rooms i and she spoke about being threatened in a las vegas parking lot in 2011 after telling a tabloid meeting about the affair. >> i was in a parking lot going to a fitness class with my infant daughter. diaper bag, a guy walked up on me and said to me "leave trump alo alone, forget the story." then he looked amy daughter and said "a beautiful little girl, it would be a shame if something happened to her mom." >> you took it to be a direct threat? >> absolutely. i was rattled.
>> reporter: she did not name trump's personal lawyer michael cohen. still, cohen's lawyer sent a cease and di cyst lawyer to michael avenatti after the airing of the "60 minutes" interview accusing him and his client of making defamatory statements about cohen and saying cohen had nothing do with any such person or incident and does not believe such person exists or ever occurred. the letter calls on avenatti and daniels to retract their statements, to apologize and make clear they have no evidence to back up their claims. >> michael cohen needs to stop hiding behind pieces of paper and come clean with the american public. >> daniels acknowledged he signed two statements denying the affair, one set by cohen, the other by daniels' former manager gina rodriguez saying i am not denying this affair because of hush money. i am denying it because it never happened. daniels telling anderson cooper she was pressured by her manager
and attorney. her former lawyer deny this is. >> you signed a statement saying i'm not denying this affair because i was paid in hush money, i'm denying it because it never happened. that's a lie? >> yes. >> if it was untruthful why did you sign it? >> because they made it seem like i had no choice. >> no one was putting a gun to your head. >> not physical violence, no. >> you thought there would be some sort of legal repercussion if you didn't sign it. >> correct. as a matter of fact, the exact sentence use was they can make your life hell in many different ways. >> "think"ing? >> i'm not exactly sure who "they" were. i believe it to be michael cohen. >> reporter: anderson cooper asked her why she should be believed now. how do we know you're telling the truth? >> i have no reason to lie. i'm hoping myself up for possible danger and definitely a whole lot of [ bleep ]. >> reporter: in the last few minutes we've learned from
daniels' lawyer michael avenatti that they have several leads on who was responsible for that 20 2011 threat in that parking lot. that's according to sara sidner who spoke with avenatti. >> athena jones reporting, thanks. let's get reaction from the lawyer for the other woman who is publicly speaking out about her affair, the former playmate karen mcdougal, the attorney peter stris is joining us, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me, wolf. >> let's begin with your reaction to the breaking news. stormy daniels now suing michael cohen for defamation. does she have a case? >> well, let me say this, like millions of americans, karen watched ms. daniels on "60 minutes" and believed her just like millions of americans last week watched karen's conversation with anderson and believed her and i think it's important as a starting point --
and i tweeted about this for that reason -- to make sure that these women are not pitted against one another, particularly at this public moment. because to do that is to do a tremendous disservice to any other women that nave signed similar contracts and frankly a tremendous disservice to our democracy. >> so you think stormy daniels had a case against michael cohen? >> from our perspective, the most important thing is that people in a circumstance like this are able to tell their story. i don't mean to dodge that question at all. i've been focused 24/7 almost on my client karen mcdougal and i know she has a case and the reason is simple. she was tricked into signing a bogus contract with a quarter billion dollar company that happens to be run by a close
personal friend of donald trump. and so our lawsuit is essentially to achieve a simple goal which is to get karen out of that contract. are there similarities between karen and ms. daniels? certainly. but i can't speak on the specifics of another client in another case. i can tell you that we're very grateful that karen was able to tell her story and we're hopeful that this major company, american media, will come to the table and come to their senses and let her out of this contract. >> the parent company of the "national enquirer." they worked out a $150,000 hush agreement with your client. you heard stormy daniels claim she was threatened by a man back in 2011 telling her to drop the entire trump story. has your client ever received a similar threat? >> absolutely not and i'm sorry
but i have to correct something you just said because it's an impression that i think a lot of people have and it's unfortunate. you described karen as having signed a $150,000 hush agreement and nothing could be further from the truth. american media doesn't even take the position. >> tell us what the truth is. >> the truth is she signed a contract that she believed was a legitimate modeling and writing contract. now, american media to this day insists that it is a legitimate contract but here's what we've learned. we've learned american media was colluding with karen's own lawyer. we've learned that american media lied to karen about the core features of the contract and we've learned that american media then went and effectively attacked publicly karen's credibility but then used the contract to privately bully her into not responding so the
purpose of our lawsuit -- i want to be very clear -- is not to get out of a hush agreement. the purpose of our lawsuit is to get out of an agreement that has been used to silence karen and that transfers her lifer rights, the rights to her story, to a company that has absolutely no business profiting from or controlling that information. it's very simple. >> i just want to be precise. you say she was bullied. was she ever threatened? your client? >> it depends on what you mean by threatened. economically? absolutely. as recently as a month ago when karen spoke twith "the new yorker" for an important story that ronan farrow published about american media and its catch-and-kill practices, in other words buying stories and then never intending to publish them for friends like donald trump. when karen spoke the new yorker,
afterwards american media's response was to say hey, we've decided we're going sell your story, we're in negotiations and further disclosures would breach the contract and cause considerable monetary damages and we all know what that means. stormy daniels knows what that means. it means you get sued for $20 million. so is that a threat? i mean, i think so, absolutely. i mean -- but if you're asking was there an incident where her family was physically threatened or she was, absolutely not. >> did american media incorporated, the parent company of the "national enquirer" which arranged that $150,000 payment to your client coordinate that action with the trump campaign? >> so if we're forced to litigate, which we hope we are not because we have a client who wants out of a duplicitous contract, it should end
tomorrow. but if we're forced to litigate, that will be at the core of our lawsuit. now it seems like the answer is yes. no normal lawyer, i can tell you -- and i think all of my colleagues will agree to a person, no normal lawyer would keep donald trump's fixer in the loop on a contract to which donald trump is not a party or involved in any way. and it was only last month through reporting from the "new york times" that karen learned that, in fact, that is precisely what occurred. now we set forth a number of other details in the complaint. it's a pretty detailed complaint. and we think the story is is clear. this lawyer brought karen to american media and after american media heard and interviewed her exhaustively and got a whole bunch of information about the trump relationship
that they now have which is very troubling to karen, they told her they had no interest but they went -- and they admit this -- they spoke with trump's people. they suggest it was to corroborate the story and they didn't run it because it wasn't credible. but i'll ask your viewers, this is the company that owns the "national enquirer." i don't need to give examples about the kinds of stories that are published. but those stories are credible and karen mcdougal's story that everyone heard in her voice, in her words, with speaking with anderson cooper was not credible? i think we know the truth. >> peter stris, thank you for joining me. >> thank you for having me. >> you can see the full stormy daniels interview with anderson cooper later tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern ac 360. more on stormy daniels legal strategy as she sues the president's personal lawyer, goes public with her details of her alleged sexual encounter with mr. trump.
could this be a national security issue? our experts will weigh in on the expulsion of russian diplomats and why president trump isn't talking about his surprisingly tough action against moscow. here you go little guy. a cockroach can survive submerged underwater for 30 minutes. wow. yeah. not getting in today. terminix. defenders of home.
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action interview about president trump following up with a new move to sue the president's personal lawyer michael cohen for defamation. let's bring in our analyst to assess jeffrey toobin. i assume you've gone through these multiple pages of this legal document, suing michael cohen. does she have a case? >> well let me tell you what i think is going on here. the problem that michael avenatti has for stormy daniels is that if this contract that she has will with michael cohen essentially is valid, he has to go into arbitration to fight it. and arbitration is a secret process with limited discovery. everything michael avenatti has done has been geared toward getting this out of arbitration and into federal court where he can take depositions. where he can take a deposition of michael cohen and us specially of president trump and
this lawsuit today is another attempt to get out of arbitration, filing a definition lawsuit is something that can only be tried in court and if he gets past a motion to dismiss -- which he may, he is very likely to be able to take at least michael cohen's deaf sigs so all of his efforts from focused that way and initially he seems to be doing well. >> gloria, give us your analysis of the political and legal impact of all of this. >> i'm not a lawyer but i can play one on tv. in a defamation suit -- and correct me if i'm wrong, jeffrey -- but in a defamation suit the issue is the truth. it's not about the arbitration agreement. a defamation suit is about you maligned me and what is the truth here? so you're moving the field a little bit and you're changing the conversation, am i right about that? >> you're right. it's about whether stormy daniels is telling the truth
about what went on with donald trump and who are the main witnesses about that? stormy daniels and donald trump. that's the effort here, to get donald trump under oath. >> david, what do you make of the denials coming in from the deputy white house press secretary raj shah about the continued silence of the president? >> i think one of the reasons you've heard less from president trump on this is that unlike the end of the 2016 campaign where there were any number of accusations against president trump by women for non-consensual issues and he was able t by by saying this is false, this is fake news, he was not able to get by this with the karen mcdougal case and the stormy daniels case. so it seems the president himself realizes the better part of value or for his own sake is to be more quiet on this issue. >> he tweeted today so much more fake news, never been more
voluminous or inaccurate but our country is doing great. >> i spoke with someone who spoke with the president over the weekend and he said the president thinks this is a big nothing and that it will go away and he doesn't understand why the media is so obsessed with it but he's getting a lot of advice not to tweet and he's taking it. >> he's tweeting on a bunch of other things. but is there a national security issue at stake here? >> we knew the president was sleazy when we elected him. we're not seeing revelations that take us into new directions. we know there's been payments of hush money to quiet women. i think there is one angle going back to the fall of 2016 we have to think about and that is did the president do anything in russia that would be
embarrassing and he would like to hide? that takes us back to the infamous steel dossier that takes us back to an officer about allegations to the president's activities in mos w moscow. if that turns out to be true, i could see a national security implication for but daniels i don't know how you can blackmail somebody for something that is public knowledge. >> jeffrey, you went to moscow to investigate all of this. amidst this concern, as phil points out, potential blackmail by a foreign power. >> you know, this goes to the whole question of the mueller investigation which is why the president has been so solicitous of vladimir putin. we have this effort the campaign of the russians to help donald trump get elected. was there any connection between the two. certainly i do not establish
proof of the compromise -- the infamous claims of what went on at the ritz-carlton hotel but this remains a central part of the mueller investigation and we'll see what comes up. >> much more on the breaking news. we'll talk about president trump's message to vladimir putin as the u.s. orders 60 russian diplomats to leave the united states. duncan just protected his family with a $500,000 life insurance policy. how much do you think it cost him? $100 a month? $75? $50? actually,duncan got his $500,000 for under $28 a month. less than a dollar a day. his secret? selectquote. in just minutes, a selectquote agent will comparison shop nearly a dozen highly-rated life insurance companies, and give you a choice of your five best rates. duncans wife cassie got a $750,000 policy for under $22 a month.
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we're following the breaking news on president trump and russia. the white house says it's not closing any doors on new sanctions potentially against vladimir putin as the united states gives 60 russian diplomats here in the united states the boot over the poisoning of a former russian spy and his daughter. did the administration send a strong enough signal? >> not yet, if you want to send a strong signal you have to look at money sanctions, you have to get at putin and the individuals around him, 60 people is a lot, it's more than i would have answer patrioted but before you say the signal is strong, the unity with the canadians, ukrainians is important. if the europeans, canadians acts without a u.s. response that would have been odd. i can't envision that scenario so one of the things that
happened is when the state department and white house heard how many individuals were going to be expelled by other count rise we had to step back and say we better do something similar otherwise it looks like we have a special relationship with russia that's stronger than our relationships with the european europeans. >> they're praising >> i think people are just waiting to see whether there's another shoe that's going to drop. uch two appointments of people who are very anti-putin, aents russia. that may have some influence here. we dn hear it from the president's mouth. you know what, they did it. they did it in concert with the allies. i think it's the right thing. >> when the president called putin to congratulate him on his
re-election, he mefr mentinever the poisoning of this former spy. >> he didn't mention it. the president has been low to say a single bad word toward president putin. he's willing to savage anybody else on twitter or in person, not president putin. it seems he may want to preserve that rhetorical bromance. the idea that the uk, canada, eu would all go out there and expel diplomats and we wouldn't. the blowback the administration would have gotten. >> why is the president silent when it comes to putin whether in his words on tweets? >> this is the president everybody has been asking for a year. the question is what does russia have on president trump or what does the president want from russia? he has tried to do business with them since the 1980s.
why did russia try so hard using the efforts at its disposal. this is a question i can't answer but it's a very important one about where we are at this very moment. >> the british prime minister said today that maybe as many as 130 people may have been exposed to this russian everybonerve ag. how worrying is that? >> i think it's worrying in light of what we seen from russia going back 12 years. now after all that, we have an attack in the uk. i think the message is if the president wants an outreach with vladmir putin, the message is from putin, you know who i am. if you want to cut a deal with the devil do it.
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first time since taking power. it all stems from an old style train that was spotted in the chinese capital of beijing. >> they are investigating this. this adds to the mystery of this train. it's possible that kim jong-un could have been on the train opinion it's possible his sister or other top north korean officials could have been on it. this is an old style green train that pulled into a beijing station today. we're not getting clear information on where the train originated. several media reports indicated it crossed the border between north korea and china. we can also report tonight there
was a large security presence at a guest house in beijing where north korean leaders have stayed in the past and there's video you see here of a motorcade in that area. if kim jong-un is in china tonight, it would be extraordinary. he's never travelled outside north korea since taking power in late 2011. he's never met with a foreign head of state since becoming supreme leader and north korea's relationship with china has been severely strained because of kim's weapon test and purges of top officials who china favored including his uncle. there's speculation he could be in beijing for ahead of his planned summit and a possible meeting with president trump. it's an extraordinary arrangement. when this train was used to travel around north korea, it was flanked by two other trains.
one for security. the other for recon since. it had audio chambers so the leerd could be briefed and give orders. it's morning now. hopefully we'll get information in the coming hours. >> that's it for me. erin burnett outfront starts rite now. next, denial. team trump knocking down stormy daniels story. trump expelling 60 russians after the poisoning of an ex-spy. does it prove he's going to punish putin? diversity is not important. that's what the interior secretary says. let's go outfront. the battle between the president and stormy daniels