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tv   Wolf  CNN  July 19, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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enthusiasm among republican voters and activists. of course, democrats still edging out republicans consistently in the generic ballot. >> big challenge, rebecca, to use that money well in a year when they know the wind is in their face. that's it for "inside politics" today. we're following president trump's call for a second meeting with president vladimir putin. really? wolf brings you that. he starts coverage right now. >> hello, i'm wolf blitzer. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks for joining us. up first, president trump says he's looking forward to his next meeting with vladimir putin and declares his summit with the russian leader a great success. three days after his widely criticized news conference with putin, there's still a lot of confusion. in a cbs news interview, the president did finally say that he holds putin responsible for the attack on the 2016
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presidential election, sort of. >> well, i would, because he's in charge of the country just like i consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country. certainly as the leader of a country, you would have to hold him responsible, yes. >> and two weeks before his inauguration, president trump while he was president-elect was briefed in detail on u.s. intelligence that putin ordered the election attack. the former director of national intelligence james clapper was involved in that briefing. >> before we left the room, they started writing a press release about our encounter, and we're trying to say that the russian meddling, the interference had no impact in the outcome of the election. we didn't say that, but i do think there was skepticism from the get go. from that day to this day, that indicated that anything that attacked the legitimacy or questioned the legitimacy of
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now-president trump's election, he just couldn't get his head around. >> let's bring in our cnn white house correspondent katelyn collins. we have had days of head spinning comments from the president about russia and putin. what's the latest you're hearing over there? >> reporter: well, wolf, we're continuing to see this divide between the president and his own administration officials continue to deepen over russian meddling in the election. the president has been inconsistent at best on his statements about this, now telling cbs he would hold vladimir putin responsible for this even though he declined to do so when they were standing right next to each other during that press conference in helsinki. meanwhile, the president's hand-picked fbi director christopher wray saying there's no doubt in his mind that russia meddled in the election and will try to do so again as well as the dhs chief saying that she also concludes and agrees with the intelligence community's assessment that russia did meddle in the election. now, she expressed some hesitancy over their conclusion that they meddled in the election to help president
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trump. that is what they have concluded, but she did say she does believe russia will continue to target the united states. wolf, that comes after that fallout after the president's remark yesterday during the cabinet room meeting when he said he did not believe russia was still targeting the u.s. he said no in response to that question from a reporter twice. then the white house later had to come out and clear up and say that the president was saying no to no more questions even though he continued to answer questions after he said no, he does not believe russia is continuing to target the u.s., something that's in complete disagreement with the u.s. intelligence community. so wolf, right now the president still maintaining that he is going to be tough on vladimir putin but also adding he doesn't know what all the fuss is about. >> you know, it's interesting because the white house also says that president trump is considering a truly shocking proposal for russia to interrogate americans, including a former u.s. ambassador in moscow, a proposal put forward by vladimir putin. what's the reaction within the
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administration to that idea? >> reporter: wolf, it is an idea that the state department is calling absurd but that the president himself said he believed was an incredible offer from vladimir putin. the russian president supposedly proposed to president trump letting special counsel robert mueller question those 12 russian military intelligence officers who were indicted for interfering in the election in exchange for russians being able to question some american officials who they say have interfered in their affairs. now, that is simply something that is unheard of, wolf, but yesterday when the white house was asked about the idea of this actually happening, sarah sanders didn't rule it out and instead said the president is going to discuss it with his team and they would get back to us. that is an astonishing answer, and it's simply something that's not likely to happen, but the idea that the white house can't just rule it out as the state department has done, of course, the administration's state department, is just simply another confusing event regarding russia here at the white house, wolf.
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>> reporter: yeah, it's truly shocking that they would even consider recommending that mike mcfaul, the former u.s. ambassador to russia, be allowed to be questioned by the russians. kaitlin, thank you very much. we have lots to discuss. joining us right now, the staff writer for "the new yorker," a former member of president george w. bush's national securities council michael allen, former u.s. assistant attorney, and our chief political correspondent dana bash. the white house is considering allowing mike mcfaul, the former u.s. ambassador to russia, he served for five years in the government, to be questioned by putin's regime. what's that all about? >> i don't think it's the white house considering it. i don't think it's the administration considering. i think it's the president of the united states not saying no. and his press secretary, because of that, not being able to say no because she speaks for him and he's watching the press
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briefing. in about 45 minutes, a little under, the united states senate is going to pass a resolution that has been proposed by the democratic leader saying under no circumstances would or should or could a u.s. ambassador or a u.s. member of the diplomatic corps be allowed to be interrogated by vladimir putin or anybody in russia. the fact that the republican leadership is allowing, as toothless as it is, a resolution for the congress and for the senate to be on record saying this tells you all you need to know. >> you're a former assistant u.s. attorney. have you ever seen the white house considering allowing a form former, a retired diplomat to be questioned by a hostile government? >> it's absolutely astonishing. it's beyond comprehension. the question really now has to do with how is the system going to hold people accountable for this kind of compromised position with respect to the interest of the united states. the fact that congress is stepping up publicly in
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connection with some of the things the president's doing, the statements he made in helsinki in addition to this resolution, frankly gives me some hope that our system is actually going to function to hold people accountable in a situation where clearly, clearly there's no question this president is not putting the interests of the united states and american citizens first. hopefully it won't break under the weight of these kinds of problems at the upper echelons of government. >> my only suspicion is the president doesn't like the former ambassador because he appears a lot on tv and makes comments critical of the current president. that may be one of the reasons he's open to this possibility. >> i think so. i think putin put this to him in part because it seemed to have some political attractiveness to it. hey, you know what, obama's people made a mistake, don't you want to let us question the obama people? but i think it couldn't send a worse signal to the u.s. government.
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it would akin to us sending a war fighter, a u.s. troop over to a rogue regime for a show trial. it has to be knocked down by the white house today. i'm so glad the senate is going to knock this down probably 99-0 here in a few minutes. people wonder when the other branches of government will start to perk up. i think you'll see it today. >> adam, you want to weigh in? >> i think what putin was doing in some ways was taking advantage of trump really just not having the experience to know that this is a nonstarter. there's such deep distrust between our intelligence and law enforcement agencies and their agencies. even though we cooperate in some ways, there's a fundamental distrust. we're not going to be allowing them to question one of our former ambassadors. it's something that would never be accepted, but frankly, maybe trump, you know, because he talks about getting along with russia just didn't really understand how deep that distrust is. >> you say he took advantage.
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he's playing the president. that is really one of the many reasons but one of the main reasons why the president's fellow republicans are so upset about that performance in helsinki, never mind what we absolutely know nothing about with regard to the two-hour private meeting. they're concerned because of the naivety, the inexperience, or the desire that the president has made very clear to be so solicitous to this dictator in russia that he gets played. >> adam, i quickly want to go to this "new york times" report that two weeks before the inauguration, then president-elect received this highly classified briefing from the top leaders in the u.s. intelligence community at the time about russia's involvement in trying to penetrate to attack the u.s. election, the presidential election. you reported that president obama received the most sensitive information.
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based on everything you know, did the same information reach the president-elect? >> my information is that the same information reached the president-elect. depending on when you talk to trump in some of these private meetings, according to some sources i've spoken to, even though he emerged with the pleating with clapper, also the one comey attended, and clapper felt like he was skeptical or sensed a certain skepticism. i've spoken to other sources that have met with him after briefings in which he didn't sound as skeptical. so i think it just really depends on his moment, you know, after he gets the briefing. maybe it depends on who's doing the briefing. obviously he was very suspicious of the people that he was being presented this information by. later when pompeo presents it to him, i imagine it's something that he would be more receptive to because the people are not posing a threat. the people who are involved in that presentation went on to become rather prominent critics of the president. so you can sort of understand a little bit why his reactions changed depending on who the
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briefer is. >> he's been so reluctant, michael, over the past year and a half to accept the conclusion of the u.s. intelligence community, either the leaders during the obama administration or his own intelligence leaders that he nominated. >> i think he does have a deep skepticism of what he calls the deep state, but it's really just patriots trying to do their job and present the best evidence up the chain of command. i think it hurt a little bit in retrospect to have so many people who were at the top echelons of the obama administration, whether it was deserving or not, come out as such harsh critics of president trump because you can see it through his eyes. he would start to say, see, these people were against me from the beginning. having said that, i think the president's got to accept what everyone in the country accepts and move on. by the way, he can have his bilateral agenda with the russians. that's perfectly appropriate. i might not be in love with it, but that's his call. but we need to get past these
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issues that are plaguing us today, and then he can move forward with putin on normal international relations issues. >> dana, a couple sentences jumped out at me in his tweets. he was on a tweet storm this morning, the president. but this specifically. i'll read it. the summit with russia, he says, was a great success except with the real enemy of the people, the fake news media. so russia is not the real enemy of the american people. it's the fake news media, which is the real enemy of the american people. >> i would say give me a break if that weren't so dangerous. he is -- that sentence could have been written by and uttered by vladimir putin or any other dictator around the world where they don't have the constitutional, you know, safeguards that we in the press have in the united states. and it is dangerous. it's incredibly dangerous. never mind the fact that it's just not true.
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i've now spoken to several sources who are familiar with the president's thinking that he can't get past the fact that this was a deluge of criticism coming his way, and it wasn't the fake news media. it was his friends. it was his allies, his supporters who were aghast at the performance that he gave standing next to vladimir putin. >> and it wasn't the only tweet going after what he calls the fake news media. he's been doing it not just today but for a long, long time. it's clearly having an impact out there amongst some of his hard line supporters. >> that's what's really unfortunate. people are throwing themselves under the bus and letting the structure of our government falter in this way. i would just say, i'm not so sure president trump should get the benefit of naivety in this situation given what's happening in the mueller investigation and the most recent indictment of someone for acting as a foreign agent for russia, the national
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rifle association, members of congress. this is a president who has close ties to russia and has potential conscious points of view with respect to whether there should be diplomatic relations with russia or relations with russia that are not consistent really with the intelligence community's view on what's best for the american public. so i think that conflict is extremely serious. >> michael, just button this up for us because you worked for george w. bush. all presidents, they're critical of the news media. they don't like the articles some of us write and all of that, but have you ever seen a president go after the news media the way he does, calling the news media the enemy of the american people? >> i haven't. i remember growing up and seeing a bumper sticker for george h.w. bush that said, annoy the media, elect bush. however, and i worked for president bush for eight years. sometimes i'm sympathetic to some media criticism. here in helsinki, the two reporters that got up and questioned the president sort of
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nailed it and sort of revealed this inner thinking that president trump apparently has towards russia. so you know, this probably isn't the week to blame it all on the fake news media when it was sort of a -- it was a very good moment for the news media. >> those white house correspondents did an excellent job. thank you, very, very much. still to come, the white house is weighing a request by russia to interrogate americans, including a very distinguished former u.s. ambassador to russia. but will this really happen? plus, we'll discuss this and a whole lot more with the senator from hawaii. we have lots to discuss with this member of the judiciary committee. like the american red cross,fs and our nation's veterans. we knew helping our communities was important then. and we know it's even more important today. so we're stepping up to volunteer more
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it's very hard to believe, but the white house isn't ruling out the idea of allowing the russians to question two americans, michael mcfaul, the former u.s. ambassador to russia, and bill browder, a putin critic. it's something the president brought up during his private two-hour meeting with the president earlier this week in helsinki. the president later referred to it as, quote, an incredible offer, though not everyone sees it that way. i want to bring in our cnn military and diplomatic analyst, retired admiral john kirby. john, tell us a little bit about these two men and why putin would want to question them. >> thanks, wolf. let's start with mr. browder. in 2009, one of his lawyers mysteriously died in prison, which led mr. browder to
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successfully lobby congress for the magnitsky act, allowing the u.s. to sanction russian human rights violators. putin's government convicted him of tax fraud and sentenced him to nine years in prison. he's still considered under investigation. the second individual is our well-known former ambassador to russia, michael mcfaul, also the author of a new book on putin's government that is very critical. he now is considered a person of interest in the browder investigation. wolf, we have sound from both men reacting to this idea that they could be actually called back to russia to answer to investigators in putin's government. let's give that a listen. >> hand me over to putin is basically to hand me over to my death, and i've been fighting for human rights. i've been fighting for justice for my murdered lawyer, and to
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hand over a human rights campaigner to a murderer to his death would be the most insane thing that this president could do. >> this is yet another tactic to intimidate me like he has done with other people, and i wish -- i just hope my own president, my commander in chief would understand it for what it is and push back, both in public and in private. >> obviously both men clearly are not interested in talking to russian investigators and with good reason. >> you know, the white house, john, and the state department, they were both asked about the possibility of allowing these two american citizens to be questioned by the russians. and listen to this. a very, very different answer to that question. >> the overall assertions that have come out of the russian government are absolutely absurd. >> there was some conversation about it, but there wasn't a commitment made on behalf of the united states.
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the president will work with his team and we'll let you know if there's an announcement on that front. >> obviously 180 degrees difference between what the state department is saying and sarah sanders at the white house. how is it possible that they get such different analysis, different reactions to this extremely sensitive question? >> wolf, it's either a huge disconnect between the white house and state department, not that it doesn't happen, but it could be also a calculated pr strategy to allow the state department to push back on this ridiculous notion of sending these two men back to russia to talk to investigators and allowing sarah sanders not to get crosswise with her boss, president trump, who clearly wasn't interested in entertaining much pushback to this idea itself. either way, it speaks to an administration that once again cannot get on the same page to explain what happened in helsinki. >> my own since is the state department was speaking for mike pompeo, the secretary of state, who recognizes this is a disaster if this were ever to happen. that's why she rejected it
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immediately. john kirby, thank you very much. >> you bet. >> let's get more on this and other related issues. i want to bring in the hawaii senator mazie hirono. she's a democrat serving on both the armed services and judiciary committees. senator, thanks so much for joining us. let me get your quick reaction to what we just heard from john kirby. very different responses from the state department and the white house to this truly shocking proposal to let a former u.s. ambassador, another american citizen actually be questioned by the russians. what do you think? >> i think it's one of the most ridiculous and dangerous ideas from the president yet. a series of these horrendous ideas. the thought we should be turning over our people to putin for interrogation is, to put it simply, crazy and nuts. this is why a little later today i'm going to be on the floor of the senate to vote on our chuck schumer resolution that says we will not be turning over people to russia for interrogation.
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it's really untoward we even have to have such a resolution to vote on. >> yeah, it says a lot. truly shocking. i assume the white house at some point is going to try to clean this up, but we'll see. how do you think the inconsistent messages on russian interference in the u.s. presidential election is now being received by u.s. allies around the world? >> i think that it should be expected that the fact that our president cannot seem to be consistent. one thing he is consistent on is his really inexplicable affinity toward putin. but i don't blame our allies at all for questioning our willingness to stand up against putin and to come to their defense, much less to come to the defense of our own democracy, which the president did not. >> lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as you well know, senator, they have no idea what was really discussed between president putin and president trump during that two-hour-plus private meeting with only their
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interpreters present. now there's some growing calls among democrats who want president trump's state department translator to appear before congress. do you support that idea? >> i support the idea of finding out what the heck was discussed between putin and the president. some people are calling it the appeasement summit. it's also very untoward we have to have the translator come and tell us what happened as opposed to the president of our own country telling us what he discussed, what he promised. but if it's going to take the translator to come and tell us because we can't trust the president not to lie to us, then that's what we should do. >> you think that's at all realistic that they would allow her to go and appear before, let's say, your committee or other committees, even behind closed doors? >> for an administration to say that this is not how we should do things, you know, this is the same administration that is actually contemplating sending our people to be interrogated by
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putin. so in the absence of information that we can rely upon as the truth from our own president, then we have to take some extraordinary kinds of steps. these are extraordinary times. we have a president that we can't trust. he obviously promised something to russia, and we need to know what that was. >> i want to quickly get your reaction to this tweet, this sentence the president tweeted earlier today. it is really shocking. the summit with russia, he says, was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the fake news media. so he says russia is not the real enemy of the american people, it's the fake news media which is the real enemy of the american people. when you hear that from the president of the united states, what goes through your mind? >> totalitarianism. this is what dictators do. they go after the free press. that's what erdogan does.
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you jail the media people. or that's what putin does in russia. i'm sure that if the president thought he could get away with it, he would probably want to jail what he calls the fake media. but for the first amendment freedom of the press. this just once again reinforces this inexplicable affinity that the president has toward basically totalitarian dictators, but in particular to putin. this is why there are so many questions as to really what kind of relationship does the president have with putin that causes him to be so much for putin. i served on the intelligence committee for two years. countries develop assets that will help them get news, et cetera. in intel language and parlance, the president is acting like he is the asset for russia. >> what's your suspicion? some have suggested maybe the russians have some compromising
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details, compromising information on the president. what's your suspicion? >> there have been all kinds of information about the president's sexual proclivities, but really, i think there are some major economic ties. that is why the mueller investigation must continue. it must run its course. they need to do their job. that's another issue that i would like to have the senate bring to the floor the resolution or the bill that was passed unanimously -- not unanimously, i wish it had been -- in a bipartisan way that protects the mueller investigation. that has never come to the floor of the senate for a vote, although it emerged in a bipartisan way out of the ju di -- judiciary committee. >> senator hirono, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. still to come, bipartisan support for the intelligence community's findings on russia but rejected on the senate floor just moments ago. we'll tell you what happened. hey dad.
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actually going to vote to rebuke the president in just a matter of minutes here, wolf. a resolution is about to come before the senate floor saying that no american official, including the former russia ambassador michael mcfaul, should be sent to russia to be interviewed, something that the white house left open yesterday. the senate about to go on record opposing that idea symbolically. but other efforts to try to rebuke the president on russia have fallen short amid republican opposition. there was a bipartisan resolution to offer another similar symbolic rebuke to the president about his meeting with vladimir putin, saying that there should be immediate implementation of russian sanction and also reaffirming support for the intelligence community, and jeff flake the republican from arizona offers the resolution, but it was blocked. listen to what they had to say. >> we have indulged myths and fabrications, pretended that it
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wasn't so bad, and our i indulgence got us the capitulation in helsinki. we in the senate have been elected to represent our constituents and cannot be enablers of falsehoods. >> this resolution makes clear that on a bipartisan basis, we intend to defend our democracy. mr. president, russia's attacks on our last elections were attacks on every american, republican and democrat. the threat is grave, it is pressing, and it demands that we act. >> reporter: now, senator john cornyn, the number two republican from texas, voiced his opposition and blocked quick senate passage of that bipartisan resolution saying that there are other ways to go about that, pointing out that the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, earlier today said there should be hearings about a sanctions package on russia, said that was his preferred route instead. and also, there was a separate effort by senator bernie sanders to push forward another resolution and also not only
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reaffirm support for the intelligence community's assessment that russia meddled in the elections but also to make clear that the president should cooperate with special counsel robert mueller's investigation. that was blocked by republican rand paul, who said this. >> trump derangement syndrome has officially come to the senate. the hatred for the president is so intense that partisans would rather risk war than give diplomacy a chance. >> reporter: so some back and forth there you're seeing. there's overwhelming opposition even among republicans to the way the president handled this week's summit. we're going to see that manifest in this vote later this hour, wolf, when the senate votes to say that there should be no americans sent to russia, no former american officials or current american officials to be questioned by the putin government. >> you'll let us know what that roll call shows, manu. we'll get back to you. we're standing by. up next, what happened in that one-on-one meeting between
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president trump and vladimir putin? why aren't we hearing specific details of that meeting? we're digging into that with a former cia chief for russia. stay with us. need a change of scenery?
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right now, there's some dramatic new information emerging about the poisoning of a former russian spy and his daughter in england. sources tell cnn that british police have identified two suspects in the attack.
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cnn's international diplomatic editor nic robertson is on the seen in salisbury, where the poisoning occurred. what's the latest? >> reporter: wolf, right behind me is the house sergei skripal was living in. it's a potential danger to citizens living around here. it has a permanent police cordon. it's still part of an active crime scene here. what the police seem to have discovered could be a very helpful and useful lead in all of this. a source familiar with the investigation has told cnn that the british authorities were able to pick up a coded russian transmission to moscow soon after the attack that said the two attackers had left the country. what police have been able to do after that is sort of work backwards from that, take all the close circuit security
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footage they could find here in sa salisbury and at border crossings and cross-check it, try to narrow down who the attackers could be. they're using high-tech facial recognition technology. they believe they've narrowed it down to two people. having said that, they believe they were traveling under aliases. we also understand that as far as the police are aware at the moment, these two individuals were not previously known to british intelligence authorities, which again although this is an important discovery gives you an indication of how much more leg work needs to be done on the investigation, wolf. >> good point. nic robertson on the scene for us. thank you very much. president trump now waiting unexpectedly to a very, very sensitive arena, making some strong comments about the federal reserve. the president is not supposed to get involved in that. we'll assess, give you the latest right after this. what about him?
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something that presidents are not supposed to do, ripping into the federal reserve, complaining openly, publicly, about their policy interest rates. let's go straight to white house reporter jeremy diamond. tell our viewers what the president said and the controversy that's now emerged. >> reporter: interestingly enough, wolf, the president mentions in the interview he was warned it seems not to talk about federal reserve policies publicly, then he goes on to do exactly that, criticizing the federal reserve for raising interest rates, something they've done twice this year.
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listen to the president's own words. >> i put a very good man in the fed. i don't necessarily agree with it because he is raising interest rates, i'm not saying i agree with it, i don't. i'm not thrilled. we go up, and every time you go up, they want to raise rates again, and i am not happy about it. but at the same time, i'm letting them do what they feel is best. but i don't like all of this work that goes into doing what we're doing. you look at the euro, look at what's going on with the eu, and they're not doing what we're doing and we already have somewhat of a disadvantage, although i'm turning that into an advantage. last year and for years we have been losing $150 billion with the eu nations, with the european union. they're making money easy, their currency is falling, china, their currency is dropping like a rock, and our currency is
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going up. and i have to tell you, it puts us at a disadvantage. i'm just saying the same thing i would have said as a private citizen. somebody would say maybe you shouldn't say that as the president. i couldn't care less what they say. my views haven't changed. i don't like all of this work we put into the economy and then i see rates going up, i see china where, i mean, look at what's happening with their currency. it is dropping like a rock. >> the federal reserve, wolf, is an independent agency, presidents typically don't comment on its monetary policy, so the president straying from that, similar to june before the jobs report came out. he tweeted about that saying he was looking forward to it. that's also not something that presidents typically do. wolf? >> good point. that will cause a ripple effect. a lot of controversy. jeremy, thank you very much. more breaking news now. our chief political correspondent dana bash is with us as we anticipated. another day, another clean up
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operation at the white house. >> talking about the markets, maybe the president and white house should buy stock and clean up equipment because you're absolutely right. no surprise. we have a new statement from sarah huckabee sanders saying the following talking about this proposal. >> the proposal to let the former u.s. ambassador to russia, mike mcfall be kw questioned by the russians. >> everybody on both sides of the aisle has said is absolutely outrageous. the united states senate is about to pass a resolution saying that. here's what sarah huckabee sanders is saying. it is a proposal that was made in sincerity by president putin, but president trump disagrees with it. hopefully president putin will have the 12 identified russians come to the united states to prove their innocence or guilt. first line. it is a proposal that was made in sincerity by prudent but president trump disagrees with it. this is 24 hours after sarah huckabee sanders didn't say this
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fom the podium, she said we're looking into it which was in direct contradiction from what we heard from the state department which appropriately said this is outrageous, there's no way we're going to do this. now she has been able to clean it up with the blessing of the president, who was the only one in the room. >> the senate is scheduled to vo vote on a resolution that the ambassador to russia be questioned. >> there's so many times in this administration when things happen. seems as though the president and white house have no choice but to frankly do the right thing. they often don't follow it. this one, there was no question. they had to put out the statement and say there's no way, we will break all kinds of protocol and have a revolt in the state department in the
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diplomatic corp across the world if the president of the united states says he will not protect an american citizen serving in the line of duty, which is basically what the u.s. ambassador is. >> it would be like the russians saying, putin saying yes to the fbi, you can question the former russian ambassador kislyak, we'll send him to washington, go ahead and ask him whatever you want. >> not happening. >> not happening. you just don't do that kind of stuff. it was shocking that sarah sanders left open that possibility yesterday. to her credit, the state department, mike pompeo was involved. >> sarah sanders left open the possibility because her boss, the person she speaks for, the president of the united states left it open. >> thank you very much. much more breaking news coming up. we'll be right back. hi i'm joan lunden. today's senior living communities have never been better, with amazing amenities like movie theaters, exercise rooms and swimming pools, public cafes, bars and bistros
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before tuesday most people
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in the united states probably couldn't point out the small european country of montenegro on the map. said it could spark world war 3. the balance cnation is speaking. nick peyton walsh is there. how are folks reacting to the president's comments? >> reporter: speaking to the foreign minister here, he to some degree encapsulated what we hear from many people, slight sense of bafflement. tried to phrase it as a way of donald trump using it as an example why the world or nato members need to spend more towards their nato contributions, the 2% line. he also said how this might be music to russia's ears. this is an incredibly complicated country. i am standing in the capital outside parliament that has huge
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relevance. it was here in october of 2016 that russia was accused, intelligence agencies, of trying for a coup, getting radicals to take over parliament, ruin an election, making sure nato wanted nothing to do with a country plunged into chaos. that failed in the joint nato june last year. when they heard the president talk about the possibility that collective security under nato wasn't such a given, that's chilled many people here. russia wants greater control over the area, wants access to deep sea ports, wanted it to not join nato. now it is part of that. many people are perturbed. i talked to people on the scene never heard of trump's comments, thought it was baffling. one said i'm not an aggressive man. this is about a place never imagined it would see american troops coming to its aid. that's not how it works. it works on collective security,
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don't mess with us all together. that's been on the mind for one of the smallest, newest members, wolf. >> became a formal official member of nato june last year, and the president was donald trump at that time. nick paton walsh, thanks very much. i'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "the situation room." meantime, the news continues right now. hi there, i am brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. known as day four in the trump, putin summit fallout. we have breaking news on a controversial proposal vladimir putin made to the president. the white house has apparently changed its tune. we'll explain that. i want to take a moment at the top of the show to remind everyone how we got to today. let's rewind back to helsinki, finland monday. here was president trump on the world