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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Report: Top Secret NSA Document Details Russian Hacking Efforts; Contractor Charged with Leaking Classified NSA Info on Russian Hacking; Former FBI Director Comey to Testify Thursday. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired June 5, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:12] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Thanks for joining us.
It is a busy night that begins with breaking news. A leaked NSA memo revealing new details of Russian attempts to hack voting software just days before the election. And now, the alleged leaker is facing charges. "The Intercept" website broke the story.
CNN's Jim Sciutto has more. He joins us now.
So, it's not often that an NSA report makes its way into public view. What does it tell us and what doesn't it tell us?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, let's start with what it doesn't tell us. It doesn't tell us that there is hard evidence that Russia hacked voter tallies. Actually voting counts during the 2016 presidential election. What it does, and this is a classified report, dated just a few weeks ago, May, 2017. It gives more details of Russian probing attacks of voter registration systems, even some election officials.
We knew about some of this before the election in states you may remember. We reported this in Arizona, in Illinois, in Florida. But this gives more details about that.
The NSA has been looking into this. They found more information, and they compiled a report to say: here's where we saw attempts at penetration, rather, of these voting systems, registration systems, et cetera. It gives them more information, but it does not change their assessment that you'll remember from January, Anderson, that said that while they did steal e-mails, et cetera, they did an influence operation. The Russians were not able and did not attempt, it appears, to actually change vote counts during the election.
COOPER: And in terms of the person accused of leaking the document, what else do we know, other than her name, which is apparently: Reality Winner.
SCIUTTO: That's exactly right. And we're seeing the first photographs of her now. CNN has spoken to her mother. So he's a 20- something contractor, working for the NSA. Keep in mind, to folks at home, there are millions of people with top-
secret security clearances, many of them contractors. And what she did is she printed out a classified NSA report, and she shared it with "The Intercept", this news organization, which says that they received it anonymously. That reporter took that report, showed it to another contractor, and said, hey, is this report real? That contractor shared it with someone else in the agency, who noticed, and this is just the great police work here, you could say, Anderson, noticed that the image of the report had a crease on it, which they then judged that it meant that it had been printed off and that someone had taken a photograph of it.
They looked at the records and found only half a dozen people had printed out this report and one of them, Reality Winner, had shared it via e-mail with a journalistic site. That's how they were able to find and fairly quickly find the leaker of this information.
COOPER: So, essentially, I mean, the reporter, unknowingly but from "The Intercept", when he showed the document to somebody else at the agency, that's what started this -- the dominos that led to her apprehension.
SCIUTTO: That's exactly right. Shared it and frankly, I mean, we should acknowledge here, some good detective work on the part, fairly simple detective work on the part of the agency there to detect where the report allegedly came from.
COOPER: Yes. All right. Jim, stay with us.
I want to bring in former senior CIA officer in charge of Russia operations, Steve Hall. Also, our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.
Steve, just on the substance of this NSA report says, that the hacking was the work of Russian military intelligence. Is that consistent with what you would expect from an operation to interfere with the U.S. election? And could that happen without the knowledge of Vladimir Putin?
STEVE HALL, FORMER CIA SENIOR OFFICER, RUSSIA EXPERT: To answer the last question first, Anderson, because it's the easiest -- no. Vladimir Putin would have known about this and probably would have been, if not getting daily briefings on it or even hourly briefings, been directly involved, because, you know, he is a former intel guy and this is a big deal. So, absolutely, he would have been, you know, at the very least knowledgeable of it and probably much more.
Is it consistent? It's very consistent with what the Russian intelligence services would want to try to accomplish, as they tried to manipulate the elections, get the outcome they wanted, but also sew just a whole lot of discord and a whole lot of, you know, up in the air uncertainty about the American democratic system.
So, it's consistent. I was a little surprised to hear it was a GRU intrusion set. If I had been a betting man, I would have been guessed FSB, because they have a bigger, better resourced operation, but -- (CROSSTALK)
COOPER: GRU is military intelligence? It's military intelligence?
HALL: Military, sorry. Military intelligence. The FSB being the internal service. The external service, the SVR, also has the capability. But bottom line is, you know, any of those organizations would have been would have wanted to do this and had the capability to do it.
So, yes, it's very consistent.
COOPER: Jeff, as for the alleged leaker, Reality Winner, what kind of trouble is she actually in? I mean, she seems to be the first major example of President Trump's vow to crack down on leaks.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: She's in the -- she's in a world of trouble. The law is very clear here. For a government employee or a contractor who has access to classified information, to share it intentionally with someone who doesn't have a security clearance, including a reporter, is a crime.
[20:05:00] And it's a very serious crime.
What makes this awkward for journalists is that we encourage leaks like this. And we rely on leaks like this. But we recognize and as do the leakers recognize, that they're taking a chance.
Here "The Intercept" says, this was all done anonymously. They didn't know who their source was. That's why they were checking it out.
But, I mean, there's just no doubt that this kind of leaking, if this is how it unfolded, is clearly a very serious crime.
COOPER: Jim, the more intelligence the U.S. government has showing Russian interference, I mean, it does raise the question of why the White House, to our knowledge, hasn't been more forceful with Russia about this.
SCIUTTO: Absolutely. And why the president really, it's been like pulling teeth to have the president just acknowledge and respect the intelligence community's assessment, which is now, now goes back to October 7th, right? They came out a month before the election, that said, Russia is intentionally trying to interfere with the election, sow doubts, discord, et cetera. And many months later, there's only been more information to firm that up.
And in fact, the intelligence community has gone further since then, going to January, the declassified intelligence reports, saying that the intention was not just to sew discord, but to help Donald Trump win. That is uncomfortable information, it seems, for the president and he has not been able to publicly acknowledge that, frankly. And yet, here we have another report, the NSA, documenting and detailing how Russia interfered.
COOPER: And, Steve, the revelation comes right on the heels of Vladimir Putin telling Megyn Kelly over the weekend, that, quote, it wouldn't make sense for us to interfere in a us election. I mean, if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you, too.
And earlier, he had also said about, you know, patriotic hackers may have been involved, but it wasn't the Russian government.
HALL: Yes, this is all -- I mean, this is one thing that I can actually quote the president of the United States, Donald Trump, where he said the problem with the Russians is they lie. This is absolutely -- wherever you've got a covert action like this, then the nice thing about it is that it provides you what's known as, you know, plausible deniability. You can look very convincingly with your deep eyes into the camera and say, absolutely not, this wouldn't make any sense at all, why would I do this?
It's all simply not true. And if I could add on to Jeffrey's comment earlier about the leaks portion. You know, leaks of classified information are a bad thing. And it's all the worse in this particular case, because guys like Mueller who are doing the investigation on this have access to this information, as do both the oversight committees.
So, it's not as though this information was not available to the people who are -- the parts of the government that are investigating this. The fact that it comes out, and this is just part of the tension, right, of an open society and the press and the American people's desire to know classified information. But it gives a big advantage to the Russians to be able to protect themselves better next time around. And it didn't need to happen, because the guys investigating it already would have had access to this information.
COOPER: Jim, go ahead.
SCIUTTO: On the leaking issue, because post-Edward Snowden, of course. Edward Snowden, another contractor who leaked classified information. There's been a lot of discussion inside and outside the intelligence community as to how they can prevent this kind of thing in the future. They've taken many steps, protocols. They've reviewed processes, reviewed who has access to certain classified information.
And yet here, yet again, a contractor getting a very highly classified, in fact, very fresh NSA report. Only a couple of weeks old, and putting it out there, and the fact is, even though she's in great legal trouble, the information's already out there, right? We know the contents of that report.
TOOBIN: If I could just offer one word, in defense of leaking and in defense of investigative journalism. Yes, it's true that Mueller will have access to this material. But I think there is a public value in the public having access to it. And Mueller may not make any of his information public, eventually. You know, the fact that "The Washington Post" and "The New York Times"
and CNN have been so aggressive in getting information about Russian attempts to influence the election, and some of that information has been classified. That's been a great public service. So that's why I find cases like this morally complicated, because, you know, yes, it is illegal, but there is a public value in getting access to some classified information.
COOPER: Yes, thanks, everybody.
Coming up --
HALL: Yes, I --
COOPER: Oh, sorry, did you want to respond to that?
HALL: No, my last comment on that was simply that, yes, it's a morally difficult situation, because, yes, there is public value in these leaks, but by the same ton token, there's a very high public intelligence price to pay and the public is less protected in the future if this stuff gets out. So, it's a really hard one. You know, I struggle with this myself as well.
COOPER: Yes. All right. Thanks, everybody.
Coming up, it is the countdown to Comey on Capitol Hill. The fired FBI director is set to testify Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, as part of multiple Russia investigations. A refresher on all the ongoing investigations, and there's a lot of them, next.
[20:13:42] COOPER: Well, tonight's breaking news: there's another brick in the Russia investigation wall. An NSA reporter is giving new details of Russian attempts to attack voting software in the United States, though there is no evidence any votes were affected by the hack.
Meanwhile, all eyes are going to be on Washington three days from now when fired FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He'll certainly be asked about whether the president was trying to, obstruct his Russian investigation. And he's certainly be asked whether the president did indeed ask for his personal loyalty before he fired him, his personal loyalty.
How he answers will be a pivotal moment in the investigations, plural. If you've lost track of how many investigations are currently going on, well, Tom Foreman is here with a breakdown.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, Anderson. When you talk about this possible Russian connection out there, all of these organizations are either involved in an investigation themselves or cooperating with one right now, and none bears closer scrutiny than that of the special counsel. Ever since Robert Mueller took over here, he made it clear he's going
to be looking at a number of Trump associates. For example, Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman, and not just for what he did during the election, but for his past dealings years ago with Ukraine and with the government of Russia. Also, the now-dismissed national security adviser, Michael Flynn, for his dealings with the government of Turkey and Russia and information he did not disclose in his security clearance.
[20:15:04] Same thing for Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, who we also now know did not disclose his dealings with other countries on his security clearance form.
All of which tells us, this investigation is not just about Russia and not just about the election anymore, but could touch on things that Trump associates did over many years. The president may not be involved at all, but it could still be very damaging and embarrassing to him -- Anderson.
COOPER: And, Tom, what about the other inquiries, specifically those in Congress?
FOREMAN: Yes, the congressional part here is also picking up steam here. It's important to bear in mind. Remember, over on the House side, the intelligence committee has now issued its first subpoenas. They want to talk to Flynn, as well. They want him to produce some documents and records that they think could be valuable. They also want to talk to the president's personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
And over here on the Senate side, as you noted just a minute ago, Anderson, this is where James Comey will be in front of the Intelligence Committee answering those very difficult questions, did the president try to intrude upon the process or stop the process? Do you think it was obstruction of justice? The president says no.
But you get a sense now of how many different organizations are looking at this, how many different ways trouble could come at this White House. And important to note, remember, especially up here on Capitol Hill, this is not happening just because Democrats want it to happen. It's happening because Republicans who control all of this are allowing it to happen. And that could be very worrisome for a Republican president -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Tom Foreman, thanks for that.
Joining me now is Watergate special prosecutor, Richard Ben-Veniste, CNN chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, and back with us is chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto.
You're learning, Dana, more details about what we should expect to hear from director Comey?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, my understanding is, first of all, let's just start with what the people who asked him to come believe, and that is the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He says that there are no ground rules. There are no fences, to use his word, around what he, what he Comey is going to say.
COOPER: What does that mean, there are no ground rules?
BASH: Meaning there are lots of -- there are lots of questions, and there still are, frankly, going into the testimony about whether or not he is going say, you know, I just can't talk about this or that.
COOPER: He's probably not going to talk about the active FBI investigation.
BASH: Because Bob Mueller is looking into that. But there's a really fine line between what's being investigated and what he did. And I actually think that if there are those moments that he says I can't talk about it because it's part of the special prosecutor, like, for example, the memos that he wrote, that could be and will be a very big clue into how far Bob Mueller is going to go with his investigation.
Obviously, the most fascinating is going to be, what those conversations he had with the president were separate from the memos that he wrote.
COOPER: Jim, obviously, Comey's memos will play a big role in this. I understand they have not been provided to Congress yet. And they don't haven't expect to see them before the testimony -- are they actually going to see the memos? Is Comey going to be able to read from the memos?
SCIUTTO: It looks less and less likely. The Republican chairman, Richard Burr, and the ranking Democrat, Mark Warner, were asked about this again today. And they say they asked the acting FBI director, Andrew McCabe, about those memos, asked for those memos today, and he told them that was a Justice Department's decision. Of course, therefore, the attorney general's decision, although he's recused himself, but not the FBI's decision.
And we heard from Richard Burr, of course the Republican chairman, say today, that he may not see those memos before the testimony on Thursday. And that's telling in a number of ways. Of course, there's a lot that Director Comey or fired Director Comey can say himself, but the memos are kind of a written document, right, contemporaneous notes, which are admissible in legal proceedings.
And not seeing those, particularly if it's a decision coming from the Justice Department, that would be -- that would be telling as well.
COOPER: Richard, now that Jim Comey is a private citizen, what will he able to say that he maybe couldn't say before when he was the head of the FBI? Does it actually change things?
RICHARD BEN-VENISTE, WATERGATE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR: I think he'll be freeing to talk about what happened in his private situations with the president. If he were still in his position as FBI director, I doubt he would be doing that, for a variety of reasons. But now, particularly since there will be no dispute about his ability to do so, there will be no claim of executive privilege. Very interesting questions will be raised about whether the president
did, in fact, ask him to go easy on General Flynn. And very importantly, I think, whether the president asked him for a pledge of loyalty.
You know, that's such a remarkable thing to be asking of the director of the FBI.
[20:20:03] We pledge allegiance to the flag and to the republic for which it stands. Our country distinguishes itself as not being a monarchy where you pledge allegiance to a monarch. We have a much different setup here. And it's different than any private company that the president had familiarity with.
COOPER: Dana, I mean, Republicans are going to go after Comey's reputation?
BASH: Sure, absolutely. But I actually think that we are in a position, frankly, where even Republicans who would normally you would think would be absolutely, you know, kind of anti-Comey, in the sense that they wouldn't want to defend the president, really want to get to the truth.
I mean, Anderson, just the fact that Richard Burr, the Republican chairman, has gotten to the point where he's calling Comey in the first place, where he genuinely thinks it's important, where he is working hand in glove with the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee kind of gives you a sense that there are still a lot of Republicans who just are going to stay away from this, are worried about the fact that Donald Trump is still very popular with the Republican base.
But the sort of evolution of people like Richard Burr, I think, is a perfect example, who frankly was not that thrilled about being the guy in charge of this investigation, to the point where he is now, where he's like, you know what? We're going to do this and we're going to do this right, tells you a lot.
COOPER: Jim, talking about evolution, it shows kind of the evolution of this kind of investigations. You know, the focus on what exactly the president said or did not say to Jim Comey, you know, it shows how these investigations can shift over time. It starts as one things and moves into other areas, you can't predict.
SCIUTTO: No question. I mean, look at this. This investigation started as -- purely really focused on Russian interference in the election -- the release of documents, stolen e-mails, et cetera. That expanded to a number of issues, one, the possibility of collusion between Trump advisers and the Russians. And now, you have the question of Donald Trump's possible interference if that continuing investigation.
And in addition to that, we know that also subject of the investigation is any financial entanglements that Donald Trump or his advisers had and whether that leads you down the path -- we're not there yet -- but whether that leads investigators down the path as to Russia having this famous now kompromat, compromising material about the president.
Again, you know, to be clear, open questions, but questions that are being pursued.
COOPER: Richard, is it likely that Comey in advance will talk to Mueller about what he can and can't say in this public testimony? Because obviously, he doesn't want to do anything that affects Mueller's investigation.
BEN-VENISTE: Yes, I think so. And it's entirely appropriate for special counsel Mueller to be talking to Mr. Comey. And I'm sure he has and will continue to do so. There should be seamlessness between the prior investigation and what's going on. I'm sure Mr. Mueller has hit the ground running and he's picking his staff.
And to Dana's point, there seems to be more and more cooperation of a bipartisan nature. It seems almost as though Mr. Burr and Mr. Warner are both channeling the example of the 9/11 Commission, where Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton worked hand in glove without regard to party affiliation.
COOPER: It's going to be fascinating testimony.
Richard Ben-Veniste, thank you. Jim Sciutto and Dana Bash as well.
Coming up next, a presidential tweet storm from senior advisers to scold people for paying so much attention to, well, to presidential tweet storms. That is after saying for months that we should do the opposite. If you're confused, we're keeping 'em honest, ahead.
[20:27:53] COOPER: Tonight, the White House wants you to believe that when the president of the United States tweets, he's not using Twitter the way your eyes and ears have been telling you he uses Twitter. As you know, he tweets about politics, about policy, about his achievements in office, he tweets about legislation he likes and treaties he doesn't. Supreme Court picks get tweeted about and so do Supreme Court cases. You name it and the president has staked out a position, rallied supporters, or slammed the opposition all on Twitter.
Now, some of his top advisers want you to believe it's really nothing significant. This is, of course, a complete about-face and it comes after a string of controversial tweets Saturday and Sunday and today with seven dead and dozen wounded in the London terror attack, the president used Twitter to push for his legally disputed temporary ban on travel from a number of predominantly Muslim countries.
Quote: We need to be smart, vigilant, and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the travel ban as an extra level of safe, he tweeted.
Also: People, the lawyers and courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need, what we need and what it is, a travel ban. And, quote: The Justice Department should have stayed with the original travel ban, not the watered down politically correct version they submitted to the Supreme Court.
That's, by the way, the one he himself approved.
He tweeted about the ban before he sent condolences and support to the people of London. Whatever you think about the common decency of the timing, legal experts say that the travel ban tweets could actually hand opponents of the measure new evidence to block it.
In any case, he also tweeted this about London's mayor. Quote, At least seven dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and mayor of London says there is, quote, no reason to be alarmed.
Now, as you probably heard by now, keeping them honest, what the mayor who happens to be Muslim, actually said is there is no, to be alarmed about additional police on the streets in the wake of the killings. The tragedy.
When confronted with that fact, the president today amped up his attack on the mayor of a city in mourning, quote: Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his no reason to be alarmed statement. Mainstream media is working hard to sell it.
That particular tweet came just hours after top presidential advisers went on TV trying to persuade us all to stop paying so much attention to anything the president tweets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN GORKA, DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: It's not policy.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Of course it is.
GORKA: It's social media, Chris. It's social media.
CUOMO: It's not social media, it's his words. His thoughts.
GORKA: It's not policy. It's not an executive order. It's social media.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: It's not social media. It's his words, his thoughts.
GORKA: It's not policy. It's not an executive order. It's social media. Please understand the difference.
CUOMO: I think that you need to have a little bit of understanding here.
GORKA: -- at White House --
CUOMO: When the president says --
GORKA: -- know what -- CUOMO: -- this is what I want --
GORKA: -- you're a journalist.
CUOMO: -- what do you saying, we shouldn't listen to what the president says?
GORKA: You shouldn't obsess about it for now 12 minutes, Chris.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: This obsession with covering everything he says on Twitter and very little of what he does as president --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he said that's his preferred method of communication with the American people?
CONWAY: That's not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Kellyanne Conway this morning all but asking, what is this Twitter you speak of? For the answer, wouldn't it be nice if she and others including the president himself ever said anything about -- he says how important Twitter really is. It would be sure nice to get their take on it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONWAY: Donald Trump's social media platforms are a very powerful way for him to communicate and connect directly with people.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He had this following of over 45 plus million people that follow him on social media that he can have a direct conversation.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENT: It is a very effective form of communication. I'm not -- I'm proud of it to be honest with you.
GORKA: I like the fact that President-Elect Trump feels free to go and tweet and get his views out and talk directly to people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's able to very quickly over and over again to set the agenda.
SPICER: When he tweets, he gets results.
JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I know some people don't want him to tweet, I'm glad that he does, because he does get the opportunity to get right out there and say what he feels on these things.
TRUMP: Why wouldn't I use it if I have all these millions of people? And it's a great way to get a message out.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: So, is presidential tweeting a great way to get the message out, way to set the agenda, a very powerful way for him to communicate and connect directly with millions of people? Or is it as Sebastian Gorka suddenly said today and Kellyanne Conway said this morning, nothing to pay too much attention to. It's hard to tell, because even as they were downplaying the president's Twitter habits, the president's spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, today was touting them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think social media for the president is extremely important. It gives him the ability to speak directly to the people without the bias of the media filtering those types of communication. He's at this point has over a 100 plus million contacts through social media and all those platforms. I think it's a very important tool for him to be able to utilize.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: OK, so, now it's an important tool. Keeping them honest, it is hard to keep this all straight. The president and his advisers seem to want us all to take presidential tweets seriously and listen to them, except when they don't, and only when it suits them.
More now from CNN's Sara Murray who joins us now from the White House. The White House, I mean they seem to be trying having to have it both ways with the president's tweets. What are they saying now?
SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, well, talk about mixed messaging. Today, we did hear both things that the media is too obsessed with what the president puts out on Twitter and also that he thinks it's an effective way to talk directly to voters without having to go to the media because, of course, Pres. Trump hasn't been sitting for very many interviews.
And I think that what you were seeing is a situation top White House Officials where they think that Twitter can be very useful if the president is using it to further his agenda, to drive the message of the day. But, you know, it puts them in a box it makes them feel a little bit awkward when the president is tweeting about something entirely differently. In this case --
COOPER: Right, he often is stepping on the message of the day.
MURRAY: Right and tweeting about a travel ban today in a way that could actually be harmful to the case the government is trying to make defending that travel ban, presumably, in front of the Supreme Court at some point. So he sort of boxes in his own aides with the way he uses Twitter. It is certainly potent, but it can also be poisonous.
COOPER: Right. And I remember having reading lots of articles, even yesterday and today about all how this week is all about for the White House infrastructure. Wasn't infrastructure not the president's tweets what the White House wanted to be focused on today? MURRAY: It's not only what they want to focus on today, it's what they want to focus on all week. And to be sure, in the president's one public event today, he was pretty closely tailored to that infrastructure message, but by then, he had already sent all these tweets into the ether about basically everything except infrastructure.
And I think the other point for the behind this infrastructure push is, look, there's no legislation behind this. There's no firm timeline from the White House on when they want to do this. And we've seen over and over again, their legislative items stalled, whether it's because of the Russia investigation, whether it was because of Pres. Trump firing James Comey, whether it's just because of whatever tweet he puts out in the universe. So, we saw aides trying to get him on a message for the week and then, you know, the president did his thing on Twitter.
COOPER: And the irony, of course, is Kellyanne Conway is out and her husband is tweeting to the president some advise and criticism. So, we'll talk about that coming up. Sara Murray, thanks very much.
Up next, new criticism of the president's tweeting from the last person you'd expect, see what a friend and ally has to and why people are talking about that, tonight.
[20:38:33] COOPER: Talking about what to make of presidential tweets, after a tweet storm that's brought controversy here and overseas, today, on the travel ban tweets, Kellyanne Conway's husband, a Trump supporter and prominent litigator, George Conway, spoke out on a tweet for only the first time in nearly two years. "These tweets may make some people feel better, but they certainly won't help OSG," that's the office of solicitor general, "get five votes in Scotus, which is what actually matters. Sad."
George Conway using the Trumpian sad, by the way.
I want to bring in the panel, Ryan Lizza, Matt Lewis, Dana Bash is back, also with Jeffrey Lord and Brian Fallon.
Dana Bash, I just don't understand. I mean does -- Kellyanne Conway must have spoken to her husband, I mean -- she must have known he was going to be tweeting this stuff. Is this some sort of back-channel direct message to Pres. Trump from Kellyanne Conway through her husband? This is surreal?
DANA BASH, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: I'm not so sure that she knew.
BASH: He seemed to be quite exercised about it, given the fact as you pointed out. I went back and looked at this tweeter feed, the last tweet that he sent out was in 2015 --
COOPER: If your wife is a top council to the president, --
COOPER: -- you would think you would check.
BASH: Except that he also, my impression is understand that he does check with her than she has sort of political culpability if that make senses.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Better to ask for forgiveness --
BASH: -- better to not talk about it, exactly.
But, look, but at the end of the day, he obviously did it in a very aggressive way and in a very overt way, but he didn't do anything that Kellyanne Conway in a much more kind of under the radar way and other people who want to affect Donald Trump do by using Twitter and television to try to send messages to the president, because they understand that that is how he consumes information.
[20:40:18] COOPER: Matt, is there hypocrisy for Kellyanne Conway and Sebastian Gorka to come out on television and say, look, these are not policy, don't pay attention to them. I mean there's quote after quote of them for months extolling these tweets, and setting the agenda as a direct way to communicate.
MATT LEWIS, SENIOR COLUMNIST, THE DAILY BEAST: Absolutely, they can't have it both ways, right? Twitter can't be a brilliant way that Donald Trump gets his message to the masses and also him just using social media for fun.
I think this story shows us two things. First, Twitter is really big, right? I mean, here we are, on a big important show talking about Twitter, on two consecutive segments. And we're talking about Kellyanne Conway's husband tweeting about tweets, which is pretty meta. The second thing it shows us, though, I think is that Twitter is bad in a sense. It's inherently skewed to do a couple of things, one, to be impromptu. I think a lot of the trouble that people get into is -- the president for example, it's a medium that lends itself to, oh, I'm just going to tweet right now.
BASH: Well, it's bad if you don't have that -- the impulse control, --
LEWIS: Yes, that helps --
BASH: -- which you would hope that a president of the United States has.
MILLER: Which he doesn't. But the other thing is the 140 characters, which I think the brevity of the tweets lends to misunderstandings and also being provocative, when a few more words might allow for nuance. RYAN LIZZA, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORKER: I think to me, this was a man just -- it was desperation. And if you know George Conway, and I know Dana, you did a big piece on Klellyanne, I did a big magazine piece on Kellyane last year. One of the things I learned is that her husband is very shy. I'm assuming he likes to stay in the background. He's a very important lawyer. Has been involves is conservative --
LIZZA: -- politics for a long time, but he is not a public person and does not like to be in the middle of controversies. So this was, to me, like an -- and I was talking -- I was doing some reporting on this talking to some other Trump people today and they found it totally out of character that he would do this.
So, a sign of desperation of just thinking, you know, someone who cares about this case before the Supreme Court, wants --
MILLER: -- it to succeed and it's just desperate to get a message to Trump, stop doing what you're doing.
BASH: When I went to their house in New Jersey and did a profile on her, he hid upstairs.
MILLER: Yeah, same thing.
BASH: He wanted nothing to do with it, not because of her, but because he does not want to be in the spotlight.
COOPER: Jeffrey, the president's tweets attacking the mayor of London, in a way, taking the mayor's comments completely out of context. I mean he was wrong about what he claim the mayor said. How do you do that on a day when there's been a terror attack against our greatest ally?
LORD: A couple thing, well, first one, let me just say I'm not sure what Kellyanne Conway's former husband --
BASH: Current husband --
LORD: No, former husband after this.
LIZZA: Right, did have --
BASH: All right, easy, easy.
LIZZA: I did have someone tonight tell me, a Trump official says, I think he's going to be sleeping on the couch tonight.
LORD: But when I first saw that tweet, and I understand people are saying, they're misinterpreted or -- you know, that he's misrepresenting, et cetera. Having seen enough out of the mayor of London, period, just in general, I really do think that this is -- I mean, my first reaction was, he's Neville Chamberlin, as mayor of London. And that Trump, in his own fashion, not consciously being Churchillian, but is basically saying, you guys have got to toughen up here. The notion that flooding the zone with what, a thousand police or whatever, is not in response to terrorism? I mean -- and he's not alarmed --
COOPER: You're saying the president wasn't being consciously Churchillian, would mean you believe his tweet was actually like Churchill or whatever?
LORD: I even pulled a direct quote from Winston Churchill. He talked about the weakness of the virtuous and --
COOPER: But did they say misquote people? Did Churchill misquote --
COOPER: -- he is misquoting the mayor said. He's blasting him for something the mayor did not say.
LORD: But the mayor and reading his tweet, the mayor was talking about flooding the zone as it were with a thousand cops. Was that a --
COOPER: And that sounds like Neville Chamberlin?
LORD: Well, I mean why do you have to do that in the first place? Because you're to taking care of the terrorism.
COOPER: So -- when there's any terrorism attack in the United States, that's because the president is not taking care or the mayor --
LORD: That we need to do a better job, that's exactly correct whether it's London, Washington or anywhere else.
COOPER: But when nation is grieving and people have been killed, is it really -- I'm just -- basic, common, human decency, isn't it just sleazy to do this?
LORD: I understand. I just think that the president thinks that the world is more or less asleep on this. And they're not doing enough and that they need some sort of, if you will, shock therapy to awaken them.
LORD: I mean I don't think there's anything malicious about it. I just think he -- that's his leaf here,
[20:45:00] COOPER: Really? OK.
BRIAN FALLON, FORMER DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE SPOKESMAN: I disagree there. I actually think there is some malicious intent here. So, it's not just showing a lack of fundamental human decency, it's not just a failure to show solidarity with the key United States ally. There's also a troubling pattern here. The president likes to pick on people of color and set them up as foils. If you think of the people he sets out and embarks on Twitter wars with, we have Mayor Khan, we have Kaiser Khan, we have Judge Curiel, he likes these foils that set up a narrative that caters to a certain element in his base that he likes to send dog whistle signals to. And that's a very detestable aspect of what --
COOPER: Why not then defend -- what if he had the tweeted against Ariana Grande for not providing enough security at her venue? I mean would that be fair too?
LORD: -- what he's trying --
COOPER: I guess, would be OK?
LORD: -- sure --
LORD: -- what we're trying to illustrate is, there is a serious problem here.
COOPER: All right.
LORD: And we have collectively in this would not taking this serious enough and people are getting killed.
LIZZA: That would be news to a lot of Brits who have been dealing with a terrorism problem much long domestic terrorism, much longer than the United States has.
They have more -- they have laws that would horrify civil libertarians here in the UK in terms of how you can detain suspects.
COOPER: There are cameras everywhere.
LIZZA: They have cameras everywhere. I mean some of Brits come over here and say, you guys aren't taking terrorism seriously. You should come back and see what we did when we were under threat from the I.R.A. They have a long history, Jeffrey, dealing with this terrorism problem. And to just single out the mayor of the most important city of our most important ally after a terrorist attack --
COOPER: It's like attacking -- there's the saying, keep calm and carry on, it's like -- why not go after that, why not, you know, go after them and say, how dare they keep calm? We should be hysterical.
LIZZA: Blaming the victim of the attack, essentially. Blaming --
LORD: No, no, no.
LIZZA: -- the people of London rather than the attackers. That's what's going on here, Jeffrey. Neville Chamberlin caved into Hitler and gave him an incentive to invade Europe.
LORD: Well, you don't think --
LIZZA: -- this is a mayor who's saying he's flooding with the city with security forces, don't be alarmed at the security forces, because they're there to protect you. He was not saying, don't be alarmed about the terrorists.
LORD: But the need to have them there in the first place --
COOPER: Let me understand, it start with -- the British prime minister had gone after the mayor of Orlando in the wake of the Orlando killings, you would have been fine with that?
LORD: If the people in Orlando weren't getting their job done.
COOPER: No, no, no.
COOPER: So, yes, that would have been fine.
LORD: Anderson, we're allies, right?
LORD: -- so a family conversation --
COOPER: -- after 9/11, if the prime minister of Pakistan had attacked the United States for not protecting the citizens of the United States, that would have been fine? Yeah, Rudy Giuliani? So if the prime minister of Pakistan had attacked Rudy Giuliani for not providing safety for the people of --
COOPER: -- that would be fine with you?
LORD: -- how many decades --
COOPER: -- but that would be fine with you?
LORD: Yes, --
COOPER: So Rudy Giuliani failed to provide security --
COOPER: -- for the people of New York City.
LORD: Anderson, I believe I was on your show during --
COOPER: So, you're saying --
LORD: -- the primaries when I said --
COOPER: OK, but you're saying Rudy Giuliani failed to provide --
LORD: -- of George W. Bush for not protecting America was valid because you're on that watch --
COOPER: -- right now tonight you are saying Rudy Giuliani failed to provide enough security for the people of New York City on 9/11?
LORD: I'm sure Rudy Giuliani doesn't think it's enough, right?
COOPER: That's --
LORD: I mean, there was an attack, the whole point --
COOPER: But is Rudy Giuliani to blame? Do you think he's to blame?
LORD: Anderson, the buck stops here, as Harry Truman said. If you're in charge, mayor, governor, president, --
LORD: -- prime minister, yes, you are in charge.
COOPER: All right.
FALLON: And the president was so distressed by this lack of seriousness that came after this attack, that he went out and played golf with Peyton Manning and Bob Corker on the day that he issued these tweets. I'm not one to criticize presidents for playing golf. But you can't on the one hand go out and suggest that there's a cavalier nature being shown by the mayor of London, and Trump, the irony with the Trump administration officials today going out and trying to poo poo Twitter and suggest that you shouldn't pay attention to the president's tweeting is from all visible outward appearances, that's all he's done in the last 48 hours in response to the attacks on London.
LORD: All visible, we don't know what he's done.
FALLON: Yeah, what's he been up to?
COOPER: Well, he watches on TV. You've got to admit, he watches more TV than any president --
BASH: In history.
COOPER: In history, probably.
LORD: Lyndon Johnson was pretty good at it. He had a three-tiered television set --
COOPER: Yeah, but there wasn't cable news back then, so clearly Donald Trump watches --
COOPER: -- much more television than any president --
COOPER: -- so could you make the argument that there may be more important things for the president of the United States -- I mean, you know, I love cable news, but for the president of the United States be doing than watching the morning shows and tweeting about what he's watching in the morning shows.
LORD: Anderson, I don't doubt for a second that the message he's giving to his government is, take care of business. I don't doubt that for a second --
COOPER: -- pretty small, because they haven't hired a lot of people. A lot of people haven't been confirmed. And a lot of people --
FALLON: He didn't show enough curiosity about the fundamental facts at issue in the attack to gather the intelligence that is uniquely available to him as the president of the United States and issue a coherent and formative statements that news outlets like CNN and NBC News to rely on. In fact, outlets like NBC and AP had to put out advisories warning that they were not taking the president's tweeting at face value because they couldn't rely on the information.
[20:50:06] COOPER: All right. I want to thank everybody.
Coming up, terror in London, we'll have the latest on the weekend attack that killed seven people and injured 48 others. Police have now released the names of two of the three men behind the attack. What we know about them is next.
COOPER: British authorities have identified two of the three men behind Saturday night's terror attack in London that killed seven people and wounded 48.
Now we usually don't spend a lot of time on pictures or names of attackers on this program. That's our policy. We prefer focus obviously on victims. But in this, we will show you their pictures because detectives want to hear from anyone who has information about these men, anything that can help in the investigation.
These are the two men who have been identified. All three attackers were shot and killed after they rammed a vehicle into a crowd on London Bridge and stabbed people nearby. Dozens of people are still hospitalized, 18 in critical condition according to the National Health Service. CNN's Alex Marquardt has the latest on the investigation.
ALEX MARQUARDT, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, British police revealing the identities of two of the three men who carried out the deadly terror attack on London Bridge.
Twenty seven year old Khuram Shahzad Butt and 30 year old Rachid Redouane were in that white van plowing into passers by on the bridge and into Borough market where they went on a stabbing rampage. The third attacker's name has still not been released.
[20:55:08] Butt was featured in a documentary last year about British Jihadist. He's believed to have lived in this building in East London quickly raided by police along with at least three other properties in this neighborhood and nearby, where police investigators carried out searches and arrests.
The police are now looking for possible accomplices. But tonight, everyone, all 12 people who had been arrested in connection with this attack, has been released.
Today, we met Michael Mimbo who lives steps away from a building that was raided. He says Butt was his friend and had recently started talking to neighborhood kids about Islam.
MICHAEL MIMBO, NEIGHBOR ALLEGED SUSPECT: His views changed not changed but he became more erratic about how he communicated with the kids, and telling them what to believe and stuff like that.
MARQUARDT: And then the kids would go home tell their parents?
MIMBO: Yeah. Yeah.
MARQUARDT: And just hours before the attack, Mimbo saw Butt with a white van like the one used that night flying down their small street.
MIMBO: It's a 10 miles per hour zone, and then you're driving on that thirty. And there's kids playing there with bicycles and they just -- the bends, you're quickly speeding on the bends. It was unusual.
MARQUARDT: Another neighbor told Britain's ITN that when he rented a moving van, one of the suspect's took an odd interest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's caught getting inquisitive about the van. He sent me -- where can I get van from (inaudible)? How much is it? And, just asking where he could get a van basically. And he said to me, I might be moving shortly with my family as well.
MARQUARDT: The police have now revealed more about how they stopped the attack at 10:00 p.m. on Saturday night. Responding just eight minutes after it started. Eight officers firing 50 rounds to take them down. In a hail of bullets described as unprecedented in the UK.
ASST. COMMISSIONER MARK ROWLEY, METROPOLITAN POLICE: The situation these officers were confronted with is critical, a matter of life and death. Three armed men wearing what appeared to be suicide belts. They had already attacked and killed members of the public and had to be stopped immediately.
COOPER: And now Alex Marquardt joins us now from London. These attackers, I mean were any on the radar British authority prior to the attack? I mean one guy had been in the documentary.
MARQUARDT: Well, Anderson, of the two names that were released today and still unclear why the name of the third attacker was not released, only one was known to the authorities. Khuram Butt, a 27 year old British national who was born in Pakistan, in fact, he lived right here in this apartment building in this East London area called Barking.
He was affiliated with a local extremist group that had shown support for ISIS. In fact, they had sent members to Iraq and Syria to fight with ISIS. Their leader was sentenced to prison last year for calling on Muslims to go join ISIS. So Butt was firmly on the radar of the authorities. In fact, the British police putting out a statement tonight saying that Butt was known to the police and the MI5, which is the domestic security service. However, there was no intelligence to suggest this attack was being planned which, of course, is why no action was taken, Anderson.
COOPER: Alex, to person (inaudible) broadcast. And I just want to welcome you to CNN. I've been a huge fan of yours for your reporting. It's just been outstanding over the years. And it's great to have you on the team. So, thank you very much.
Up next, we have breaking news. An NSA report provides details of Russian attempts to attack voting software in the U.S., though there's no evidence any votes were affected by the hack. All the details along with who authority say leaked the report and what happened to them, next.