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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Russia Meeting Answers Raise Fresh Questions; Trump Jr.'s Attorney Speaks About 8th Person at Meeting; Interview with Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon; Russian Official: "Almost" Deal for Return of Compounds; Calls for Kushner to Lose Security Clearance. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired July 17, 2017 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:08] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
A lot happening tonight, including Republican senators at White House talking healthcare with the president.
Also, new poll numbers and a new record lowest job approval number at the six month mark of any president in polling history. Democrats shouldn't get too quick to gloat. Their poll numbers make them come off as a party without much a plan, except hammering the president. We'll look at the numbers later.
Also breaking news on the Russia meeting and word of an eighth person in the room.
We begin though with strange and conflicting accounts from the White House on that meeting Donald Trump Jr. had with the Russian lawyer. You remember, two Saturdays since the news first broke that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and campaign chairman Paul Manafort met with a Russian lawyer last year. President Trump today again tried to justify and explain away that meeting.
Quote: Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don Jr. attended, in order to get info on an opponent. That's politics, the president tweeted.
Never mind the idea he ran on being a non-politician after draining the swamp of Washington politics as usual. But what makes the statement from the president even stranger is that later today, during another no-cameras-allowed press conference, Press Secretary Sean Spicer gave an explanation for Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting that's flat out false.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president's made it clear through his tweet. And there was nothing that as far as we know that would lead anyone to believe that there was anything except for discussion about adoption and the Magnitsky Act.
(END AUDIO CLIP) COOPER: So, Sean Spicer is saying that there was not that would lead
anyone to believe that the meeting was for any other purpose and to discuss Russian adoptions and sanctions. That answer, it ignores the chain of e-mails that Donald Trump Jr. himself released under pressure saying the meeting was about information on Hillary Clinton provided by the Russian government. Sean Spicer's answer is as if all the revelations this past week about who was at the meeting, who they claimed to represent, and what was said simply never happened at all.
Keeping them honest, that defense didn't even work two Saturdays ago. It started crumbling the next day. Tonight, just demonstrably false.
And the president's own tweet which we read you a moment ago from this morning, even that contradicts Sean Spicer's alternative history. Let's put the tweet up again.
Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don Jr. attended in order to get information on an opponent. That's politics.
The president himself is making it plain -- Donald Trump Jr. wasn't there to learn about sanctions and Russian orphans. Donald Trump Jr. attended in order to get info on an opponent. That's how the president sees the agenda.
And, frankly, he's been saying the same thing for days now, and his son has been talking too, admitting that it wasn't just about adoption and sanctions. As I noted in the email chain he released, the meeting is sold to him as a chance to obtain, quote, official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and it would be very useful to your father.
It went to say, this is obviously very high level and sensitive information, but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump. Just two passages from the mails that Trump Jr. put out on Tuesday and Sean Spicer has no doubt read. And today, he spoke as though those e-mails simply don't exist like we've never seen them. On top of that, Donald Trump talked about it also on Tuesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, JR., SON OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: For me, this was opposition research. They had something, you know, maybe concrete evidence to all the stories I've been hearing about, but they were probably under reported for, you know, years, not just during the campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, as far as the president's claim that most politician would have gone to a meeting like that, the one Donald Jr. attended, that is just politics. Keeping them honest, most politicians insist they simply would do what the president's son did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: You were told that a lawyer wanted to share information with you as part of the Russian government's effort to help you get elected, how would you respond?
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: Well, I would respond in the negative.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Any time you're in a campaign and you get an offer from a foreign government to help your campaign, the answer is no.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Senator, the president today said that anybody in politics would have taken that meeting that his son took with the Russian lawyer. What's your reaction?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't include me.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Would you have taken the meeting?
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R), ILLINOIS: No, absolutely not.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Any scenario under which you would accept that meeting?
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: Absolutely not.
GRAHAM: With all due respect to President Trump, the answer is no. You don't take meetings from foreign governments to help you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You know, maybe these politicians are not telling the truth, even though many of them voted for Donald Trump and support him to this day. Perhaps you might believe the president's choice to run the FBI.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: Well, let me ask you this: If I got a call from somebody saying the Russian government wants to help Lindsey Graham get reelected, they've got dirt on Lindsey Graham's opponent, should I take that meeting?
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR NOMINEE: Well, Senator, I would think you'd want to consult with some good legal advisors before you did that.
GRAHAM: So, the answer is, should I call the FBI?
WRAY: I think it would be wise.
To the members of this committee, any threat or effort to interfere with our elections from any nation state, or any non-state actor, is the kind of thing the FBI would want to know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, it's one thing for the president to disagree with that advice. [20:05:00] It's another to falsely claim that everyone does it. They
don't. Just as it's one thing for Sean Spicer to wish this meeting with the Russian lawyer will only about what looks good or what's easy to explain. It's another for him to speak as though the facts don't exist and that people don't know it.
As we said at the top, there's also breaking news on this and, yes, it also contradicts Sean Spicer's explanation today. So, let's go straight to CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown.
So, you're learning about who was the eighth person in the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and the Russian attorney.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right. There's been so much mystery surrounding this so-called eighth person. This is the only person who -- that we know of who hasn't been named who was in this meeting at Trump Tower, this now infamous meeting.
And I spoke to Don Jr.'s attorney, Alan Futerfas, who says he has spoken by phone to this eighth person who was in the room. He was a representative of the Agalarov family during that meeting at Trump Tower last June. We had reported previously that the individual was there on the behalf of the Agalarovs and he had asked for the meeting -- that family as you know, Anderson, had asked for this meeting to be set up according to two sources familiar with the circumstances.
But Futerfas told me that this person who he declined to name claimed in this phone conversation that he was a U.S. citizen and he also said that he was not employed by the Russian government at the time of this meeting.
But Futerfas acknowledged that he didn't know his entire history. And, of course, we still don't know his name. The Agalarovs and their attorney have not publicly explained who this employee was who attended. But the attorney tells me, based on his conversation with Agalarov, that he was also there to help that the Russian attorney who was mentioned in the e-mail exchange get to the meeting.
COOPER: What I don't understand about this is I talked to the attorney for the Agalarov family early last week, and he never mentioned that there was a representative for the family at the meeting. In fact he said that the Agalarovs really knew nothing about this, that the younger son, who -- the pop star -- simply was doing a favor for an acquaintance in making the introduction to Donald Trump Jr. And that was basically it.
It seems to contradict what the Agalarov's own attorney said early on.
BROWN: Well, this was really fascinating because I thought the same thing, Anderson. And I had spoken to the Agalarov attorney, Scott Balber, on Friday, and it seems like he was trying to figure it out because we actually were the first to report that there was a representative on behalf of the Agalarov family. And I called him shortly after that last Friday, and he was trying to figure out who was this. In fact, it seemed as though he didn't even know that there was a representative in this meeting. And so, now, he apparently is representing this so called eighth
person. So, it seems to me the attorneys have been trying to piece together themselves who was at this meeting, why they were at this meeting.
I can tell you Alan Futerfas, Don Jr.'s meeting, has been talking to the people. Don Jr.'s attorney, I should say. He's been talking to the people trying to piece together what happened. And he tells me, Anderson, that this person who we can't name, we don't know the name, who was there on behalf of the Agalarovs, corroborated what has already been out there about what occurred in this meeting, that there were pleasantries exchanged, that the Russian lawyer discussed the information she allegedly had about Russia donating to the DNC and Hillary Clinton before moving onto the topic of adoptions.
So, that too just -- you're talking about Sean Spicer, that also flies in the face of what Sean Spicer said today, that this is only about adoptions and there's no reason to believe it was anything else.
COOPER: Did -- Donald Trump Jr.'s attorney who spoke to you give indication as to if or when Donald Trump might testify in front of Congress.
BROWN: So, that is the big question. All he would tell me is that they are in discussion with the various committees and apparently, there's more than one committee wanting him to come and testify. And so, they're trying to work it all out.
He really wouldn't go any further than that because, of course, the big question is, if he doesn't voluntarily testify, then we've heard today, there have been discussions about issuing a subpoena for him to testify. And so, he would only say there were discussions.
I also want to mention this. I found this really interesting, in regards to how this was handled early on with the statements surrounding "The New York Times" article about the meeting. His attorney, Alan Futerfas, said Don Jr. and his counsel were fully prepared and absolutely prepared to publish or make a statement that was a fulsome statement about the nature of the meeting, what led to the meeting, what the conversation was in meeting.
If you'll recall, Anderson, that didn't happen. There were various statements initially. One, only about adoption and a follow statement saying, actually, it was also about the incriminating information. And so, what you infer from this statement is Don Jr.'s lawyer at the very least was not part of the initial discussions with the statements that came out.
COOPER: So, wait, so Donald Trump Jr.'s lawyer is saying they were ready to make a more fulsome statement on that Saturday and the initial statement that Donald Trump Jr. made?
BROWN: So -- right. So, this is what I found so interesting, too, just kind of read between the lines. He said Don Jr. and his counsel were fully prepared and absolutely prepared to publish or make a statement that was a fulsome statement about the nature of the meeting, what led to the meeting, what the conversation was in the meeting.
So, clearly, that's not what actually happened.
[20:10:00] There were contradicting statements, there was -- as you'll recall in that 48 hours, there were various explanations and then, finally, Don. Jr. released the email exchange. So, what he's saying, what I believe he is trying to insinuate here is that, clearly, Don Jr.'s attorney and perhaps Don Jr. were not fully involved in that initial statement. My colleagues Evan Perez and Sara Murray, they had reporting last week that it was the president and his aides that first -- that crafted that first statement aboard Air Force One.
So, it appears that Don Jr.'s attorney wasn't fully involved in the initial statement.
COOPER: Right. Maggie Haberman from "The Times" also broke that story, that it was worked on on the plane on the way back from Paris, and that the president signed off on it. Jay Sekulow, the president's own attorney, has denied I believe if I'm correct, if memory serves me, from last Friday, that the president signed off on it, that this was something that Donald Trump Jr. just worked on with his attorneys, I think, is what Jay Sekulow. So, that again seems contradictory.
Pam Brown, I appreciate the reporting.
Ron Wyden of Oregon is one of the senators investigating Trump Russia ties, or alleged ties. He's a Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. I spoke to him earlier this evening.
COOPER: Senator, what was your reaction when you heard Sean Spicer say today that leading up to Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Russian attorney, that there was nothing to lead anyone to believe it was anything except a discussion about adoption.
Does that make any sense to you?
SEN. RON WYDEN (D-OR), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: None at all. And it's hard to see how Spicer could say that with a straight face because the subject line, Anderson, makes it clear that it's private, that it's Russian. It's confidential. That is not adoptions.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, is it -- I was trying to imagine -- is it just -- I mean, is it anything other than a lie? Is it -- I mean, it can't be they are misinformed or it is a strategy to just try to misinform other people?
WYDEN: My sense is we have so many different versions of the stories and then they come back and somehow try to find a path to correct it, and it short of reminds me of lather, rinse and repeat. This is what they do again and again. And they just upended the theory that it will be hard for the truth to catch up.
And that's why it is so hard -- important that Democrats and Republicans now come together and focus on making it clear that collusion is not acceptable. And that oversight is not just for the party who's not in control.
COOPER: It does seem that it's gone from their message earlier on, which was there's no evidence of any collusion to, well, collusion is not illegal. And to the president saying everybody does this, or everybody would have done this.
WYDEN: The president himself has gone in effect from saying there was no collusion to so what? And I just don't buy that. I don't know of another instance where a presidential campaign has so embraced the aid of a hostile foreign power. I don't know of another instance where a president excused this sort of behavior.
And now, again, it is important for Democrats and Republicans to make clear that we Americans decide our elections. And we aren't going to let the Russians or any other country use or democracy as a playground.
COOPER: When it comes to Jared Kushner's role, this weekend, his attorney said that his security clearance form had been prematurely submitted, and while it contained errors, it was an oversight and has been corrected. Do you believe that? I mean, could this have all just been an oversight on Jared Kushner's part?
WYDEN: You and I have talked about this before. I have long felt that Congress traditionally isn't in the business of making judgments about security clearances. But as you get more and more information about this, you really are just stunned at how reckless, almost cavalier this White House is with respect to security clearances. And as more information rolls in from Jared Kushner's activities, you just cannot make a logical case that he should keep his security clearance.
COOPER: So, at this point, I mean, have you evolved on that, that you believe he should not now have a security clearance, which seems different than what you were saying last week.
WYDEN: I definitely believe if you look at all of this evidence, he concealed contacts with the Russians on the security clearance reform, and then he attended a meeting billed as a session that in effect would have Russia helping the Trump campaign against Hillary Clinton. Then, there was a question from reports about backchannels and, yes, I just think the evidence piles up and I don't see the case for him being allowed to keep his security clearance.
COOPER: Senator, I appreciate your time.
[20:15:00] Thank you.
WYDEN: Thanks for having me, Anderson.
COOPER: Let's bring in the panel. David Gergen is here, Christine Quinn and Jeffrey Lord.
David, I mean, again, how big of a problem is it for the White House to have Sean Spicer come out and say basically just sort of ignoring all the facts that have been revealed over the last week. And just saying, oh, this was about adoptions?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It is possible, Anderson, that they have adopted a theory that if we just lie and put tissue upon tissue of lies upon each other that we'll get so confused, the public will be so confused. The stories get really down in the weeds about who was who in the public can't follow it. And if they can maintain their base, that they think they can get through it.
Maybe that's what they're doing. I think it's a very mistaken theory if they have that. You know, I think there's a direct line from the kind of lying they have been continually doing, to the drop in his opinion polls down to 36 percent in "The Washington Post", to his difficulty in persuading senators to sign up for the healthcare bill. When you're at 36 percent, that's what the perception is, that you're a weak president in the country. It's much, much harder to ask senators to take hard votes.
COOPER: Jeff? I mean, is it -- I mean, do you agree that Sean Spicer said something that's just factually not true?
JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I will say this: I do think when you're getting your message out, whatever it is, it should be clear and crystal and out there from A to Z.
COOPER: Right, but I mean --
LORD: And everybody should be on the same page.
COOPER: Right. Sean Spicer says one thing, the president tweeted something completely different this morning.
LORD: Right, right. And this -- I have been a press secretary, this can happen. But you want to make sure as best you can that it doesn't happen.
COOPER: But -- I mean, I don't get how -- I get the mixed messages, that I understand how it happens, particularly in this White House, which is, you know, different set up than many. But for Sean Spicer just point blank saying there's no evidence that this had anything to do with anything other than adoptions, when we all have seen the e- mails.
LORD: Well, Donald Trump said --
LORD: Right, right.
COOPER: I mean, he said he wouldn't (INAUDIBLE) email.
LORD: Yes, I agree. There's one point that I want to make, Anderson, which, I'm doing some research today. I found something very interesting. There's a Website called "Law Newz", which is part of Dan Abrams' --
COOPER: "Mediaite". LORD: "Mediaite", right.
And the headline from a lawyer over there, an article, who is constitutionalist, his name is Robert Barnes. He's a constitutional, criminal and civil rights lawyer. The headline says: If Trump Jr. is guilty, so is every Democrat who takes information from DREAMers. He goes on to use the phrase that --
CHRISTINE QUINN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You mean like DREAMers, the students?
LORD: Correct, correct, because they are in the words of the FBI director that you just saw, non-state actors.
QUINN: Oh, that is absurd.
LORD: They are foreign nationals and every Democrat out there --
QUINN: Oh, Jeffrey, that's offensive. You need to stop. That's ridiculous and offensive.
LORD: They are non-state actors.
QUINN: That is asinine.
LORD: They are non-American citizens.
QUINN: Oh, please.
LORD: That's the charge here, right?
QUINN: This is yet a new and offensive spin from Trump attacking immigrants.
LORD: Look, this guy to the best of my knowledge has no connection with Donald Trump. My point is, his point, his point --
QUINN: That's ridiculous.
LORD: -- is a very serious one that every Democrat out there has had these kind of meetings.
QUINN: You know what's a serious point, is that either the Trump White House thinks they can now switch gears from lying to not lying to lying again and America's is just going to stand for it. That's serious. Or there's some tortured game of making Sean Spicer look like an idiot, which if that's the game, they're doing very well, which only leads to America and Americans not having confidence in what comes out of the White House. That's dangerous.
Talking to children and students who have come to America brought here by they parents who want to seek the American Dream.
LORD: They're exchanging. They're foreign nationals.
QUINN: That's ridiculous. That is absurd. A DREAMer comes in and asks for their college tuition to be supported. They're not foreign nationals. It's the most pathetic.
LORD: They are.
QUINN: It is the most pathetic -- one of the most -- pathetic Trump twists I have ever heard.
COOPER: OK, let's move on from this obscure professor who --
COOPER: You know nothing about him. You just read his article today on the Internet.
COOPER: I'm sure he's very --
GERGEN: Let me get back to the other important story today and that was what the president is arguing. That everybody does this. Every politician would take this meeting. That often happens in domestic politics. It's extraordinarily rare that a government like the Russians would come forward like this.
But we don't know of any other president has accepted it. It's been widely reported that same kind of information or something similar happened in the Al Gore campaign. They went to the FBI.
It is widely reported the same thing happened to John F. Kennedy's campaign in 1960. They turned him away. They wouldn't take it. There's just nothing the president can point to that I'm aware of that says --
LORD: Yes, there is, David.
GERGEN: A Russian?
LORD: Michael Reagan wrote a column in December saying that President Carter himself in 1980 sent Armand Hammer to the Russian embassy to speak to the Russians about doing something to encourage the Jewish vote by releasing Jewish refuseniks and that was directly from Carter White House and president himself.
[20:20:04] GERGEN: That maybe true. And that's a good point if it's accurate. I don't know if any place that's been reported other than you saying it right here. And if that's true, more power to you.
LORD: Ted Kennedy --
COOPER: The notion, though -- I mean, David, the notion about just trying to appeal to the base. I mean, I get it from a political standpoint. I mean, that's politics, which is, you know, just -- he won the base and needs to keep them more than anybody else. But just as a practice of actually leading the country forward, that's -- that's a kind of -- I mean, to kind of just paying attention to the percentage of people which voted for you seems --
GERGEN: If -- Franklin Roosevelt long ago said that the presidency is preeminently a place of moral leadership, preeminently a place for moral leadership, and that is the president focuses on what's wrong in the country, what's right in the country, and tries to follow a moral path.
When you demolish, when you get rid of your and destroy your moral capacity to lead, you are a weakened figure for the rest of the time you're there. It's very, very hard to come back from that, and that is -- that's the pit this president and his --
COOPER: It's also should be a scorched earth strategy, which is destroy everything other than -- keep the base and at all costs and destroy any confidence in institutions and, you know, news organizations and other politicians.
GERGEN: That's the Steve Bannon theory of governing, right?
COOPER: Tear it all down.
GERGEN: Tear it all down.
QUINN: But the problem, well, aside from the kind of moral and leadership problem with that, the political problem with that as we're seeing in healthcare is he has no gravitas, no leadership to keep his Republican senators in Congress people with him. If he was a leader, even if one I disagreed, you know, in a great way, he would be able to hold more of those Republicans.
But his numbers are plummeting because he lacks leadership and the Republicans are scurrying away like rats off of a sinking ship.
COOPER: We've got to take a break. Coming up next, a former CIA officers take on the Russia meeting and how it closely fits in his opinion the Russian intelligence playbook for recruiting people. Also, more on the calls to revoke Jared Kushner's security clearance.
And late word on GOP effort to replace Obamacare, the senators hashing it out tonight at the White House. One key senator in the hospital. Did the entire bill just land on the critical list? More on that, ahead.
COOPER: More breaking news tonight on Russian involved talks about returning two of Moscow's American compounds seized in response last year to Russian election hacking.
CNN's Michelle Kosinski is following late developments joins us now.
So, U.S. and Russian officials, Michelle, met at the State Department today, I understand. What have you learned about what they actually -- what went on? [20:25:00] MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONENT:
Yes. Well, this is the under secretary of state meeting with his Russian counterpart about the irritants in the relationship and how to move forward. In fact, this meeting was supposed to happen a month ago, but it was abruptly cancelled by the Russians because the U.S. imposed more sanctions. So, that tells you how bad the relationship is when you can't even talk about what's bothering you in the relationship.
So, it's a big deal that this meeting finally happened today, and what's really been bothering the Russians. They have been trolling the U.S. about it, tweeting about it, speaking out about it almost daily, is that they want their properties back. The sweeping mansions on acres and acres of land on Long Island and on the eastern shore of Maryland that were seized at the end of the Obama administration, along with 35 diplomats kicked out of the country as a punishment for Russia's meddling in the U.S. election.
Well, today, the deputy foreign minister sounded a little optimistic about what happened. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Sir, did you settle the adoption issue? Did you get your compounds back?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Almost, almost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOSINSKI: What does that mean exactly? The State Department is saying zero about what happened in that meeting. We will here from the Russians, but probably not until tomorrow.
But over the last several days, we have been hearing from the Trump administration talking about how they're thinking about returning these properties in the interest of bettering the relationship and maybe getting something from Russia in return, which infuriates Russia. They're calling that highway robbery, calling it unacceptable.
But there's also, you know, this bipartisan effort here in the U.S. among members of Congress urging the White House not to give these properties back, saying it's only rewarding the Kremlin for bad behavior.
COOPER: Michelle Kosinski, thanks very much for that.
Now, the calls for pulling Jared Kushner's security clearance in light of the Russian meeting revelation and all the meetings with foreigners that he failed to disclose until just last year. Before the break, you heard Senator Ron Wyden say he would like to see his security clearance pulled. Now, more from CNN's Sara Murray.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SARA MURRAY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jared Kushner, the president son-in-law and senior advisor, is regularly at President Trump's side, whether the president is mulling national security decisions, meeting with foreign leaders or attempting to strike a Mideast peace deal, a key component of Kushner's White House portfolio.
Without a security clearance, some experts say it would be practically impossible for Kushner to serve in the West Wing. For now, Kushner has been operating with an interim clearance. The final decision could come down to Trump. He can override any reservations from others in the White House to ensure Kushner receives full clearance. But such a move would likely come with a political price, at a time when Trump has little political capital to spare.
For lawmakers, Kushner's repeated revisions to his security clearance questionnaire are raising red flags.
SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), VICE CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: It is very bothersome to me that Jared Kushner has forgotten not once, not twice, but three times to put down this information.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: That's an issue that we need to look at. But right now, we don't have enough evidence.
MURRAY: The first version of Kushner's security document left the question about foreign contacts blank. Kushner has since updated it multiple times, to include more than a hundred foreign contacts. And his meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer peddling dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Kremlin, according to emails about the meeting.
Kushner's team says his original paperwork was submitted in error before it was completed, and that Kushner hasn't intentionally omitted any information. As Mr. Kushner has consistently stated, he is eager to cooperate and share what he knows his personal lawyer said in a recent statement on the matter.
COOPER: And Sara joins us now.
Has Jared Kushner's legal team had any additional response today for calls, you know, by some to be stripped of security clearance?
MURRAY: Well, we went back to them today amid the continuing controversy and instead of weighing in again, Jared Kushner's team just referred us back to that statement from Kushner's lawyer from last week. Now, the White House suggested that anyone who is calling for Kushner's security clearance to be revoked is just doing this to play political games. But, Anderson, it's worth noting these are from both sides of the aisle.
COOPER: Yes. Sara Murray, thanks very much. Digging deeper now to the meeting that Kushner attended, along with
his brother in law and campaign chairman Paul Manafort. A lot has been said by Donald Trump Jr. and his father, the president, to downplay it. Whoever there is no doubt it does fall far outside the campaign norm. More intriguing question, though, is how typical or not it was or appears to be in the espionage world.
Here to talk about it is Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, who is the director of the intelligence and defense project at Harvard's Belford Center. Mr. Larson is a former CIA intelligence officer.
Also with us, Michael Carpenter, former deputy assistant secretary of defense with responsibility for Russia and its neighbors. He's currently a senior director at the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Biden Center.
Rolf, I have heard you said that this meeting with the Russian lawyer looks to you like something taken straight from a Russian espionage playbook. How so?
ROLF MOWATT-LARSSEN, FORMER CIA INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: Well, Anderson, I would say it's not just from the Russian espionage playbook which we know very well. It's from the standard or classical espionage playbook, in that, it's a meeting that involves sizing up your target. In this case, the Trump campaign, with what we know to be the Russian objectives of influencing the campaign and trying to establish connections with the Trump campaign in order to enter into some form of collusion. For which by the way Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Carter Page, now their adviser ultimately all were banished from the campaign and from the administration because of their inappropriate contacts with the Russian.
So having established that as a basis for looking at this meeting, what makes it a classic espionage feeler or you would say trial balloon is the fact that they didn't take too many risks. The Russians would have wanted to take an initial reading, especially coming on U.S. soil. Not being sure how the Trump campaign would handle the campaign.
Supposed instead of meeting them that they robust them, well then, they would know that they were not interested in such an inappropriate relationship, which is why they took such pains to make sure they signal that it was Russian government and it was totally inappropriate information that they were planning to bring.
Secondly, if they reported it after the fact that would be an indication of course that their plan had gone awry. Because the Trump campaign would have signaled that they weren't interested in any form of collusion.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: So the federal said they didn't report it to the Russians that would have been a signal of maybe they're still in play or they're vulnerable.
MOWATT-LARSSEN: It would have to be taken as a signal. That's exactly what we would do if we approach a target. And the target does not report what is clearly something that has been developed to the target as an intelligence approach, which certainly had to look like.
MOWATT-LARSSEN: So one can say that one thought it was this or thought it was that or was naive or innocent of understanding its true purpose. The Russians would not have thought of it as anything other than an intelligence approach and would have signaled the possibility for future relationship with Trump associates when the time came up and pursue it in greater depth.
COOPER: Michael, when Donald Trump Jr. Said -- and again, we don't know the details on what was discussed. We don't know about this meeting but when Donald Trump Jr. says, well, look this person didn't really have any dirt, does that -- would that surprise you that I mean, if this was a soft approach, if this was a probe, would they actually come with information or would that come later?
MICHAEL CARPENTER, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: No, in fact, this is exactly in keeping with how they operate. They dangle dirt on Clinton. And then promise to follow up with something later on. And by the way using a cut out like the one they did with Natalia Veselnitskaya is also classic.
COOPER: You believe she was a cutout that she --
CARPENTER: Well, she's not -- I mean, she would fit the profile of a cutout. She's not a formally affiliated with the Russian government and yet she claims to know the prosecutor general, extremely well. And so that shows that she's obviously linked to the upper echelon of power in the Kremlin, and so that's the perfect way to dangle someone in front of inner members of the Trump circle.
COOPER: Michael, you've also said that the way the Russians, you know, that they may have had some sort of cooperation to kind of figure out where to target social media campaigns or influence came campaigns in the U.S. during the election. Can you explain that?
CARPENTER: Well, when the Russians conduct these sorts of disinformation campaigns and I've seen them all over from Ukraine, to Moldova, to Georgia to various countries in Europe. They inevitably try to penetrate political circles and to seek guidance from parties that are like minded or which they can align. In order to perpetrate what they want to do, in this case, this information about a political candidate.
So to my mind the notion that they would have launched this operation in a distance and everything would have been remotely controlled from GRU or Russian military intelligence headquarters in Moscow just doesn't make any sense. It would have almost inevitably relied on folks on the ground here in the United States.
COOPER: Rolf, do you agree with that. I mean, whether it's American citizens or Russian, or espionage intelligence officials from Russia on the ground here that local knowledge would be key. I mean, for any intelligence service I assume they would have to have local knowledge. Just like the U.S. in Iraq would have to have -- you know, it's better to have locals giving information.
MOWATT-LARSSEN: Absolutely, Anderson. At this point in the campaign we now know that the FBI notified the DNC about the hacking activity that occurred for almost 17 months prior to this meeting in June.
So the Russians have been gathering book, they're been gathering -- what they consider to be compromising material on the candidates. They have been hacking into the DNC.
So now they're thinking about how are we going to use the information, how is the best way we can use it to influence the campaign. Do we have a whiting and we -- can we develop a witting partner in the Trump campaign to utilize this information. So I think this meeting was key in assessing the prospect for future cultivation by the Russian. So I absolutely agree with that comment.
CARPENTER: And --
[20:35:00] MOWATT-LARSSEN: And the fact the meeting was not reported, is also hugely significant potentially because the Russians would have had to go back and conduct another entire risk versus gain calculation. That if this was reported to the FBI and the FBI can factor this into its ongoing investigation.
MOWATT-LARSSEN: Perhaps it would stop the meddling in its tracks.
CARPENTER: Anderson, I was just going to say, this is not the only contact that Russians had with political operative in the United States. Not only did the Guccifer 2.0 persona reached into inner members of the Trump circle and a political operate in Florida, but we also know that Mr. Gorka, a former intelligence agent who is now the head of Vnesheconombank, the largest Russian development bank also met with Mr. Kushner, with different stories as to what they discussed when they met. So there are many contacts that we already knew about publicly, where the Russians tried to make entrees into political circles here in the United States.
COOPER: Right. Another meeting that wasn't known about at the time wasn't reported and differing explanations why a meeting with that and for the Russian bank.
CARPENTER: By the way I'm hearing from payable sources as well that at the g G20 in addition to the meeting that President Trump had with Mr. Putin the formal by bilateral. There was a leaders' dinner after wards. And apparently during that leaders' dinner, Mr. Trump and Putin conversed for the better part of an hour. And I don't think there's been any reporting on that.
So all of these meetings, all of the contacts which are being underreported and under readout to the American public, it leads to a string of data points that sort of point to some degree of obfuscation of what's really going on here. COOPER: We going to leave there gentlemen, I love to have you back to discuss this more in the future.
Coming up next, the White House celebrating Made in America Week, but Trump family products don't exactly set the best example. We'll tell you how.
COOPER: Speaking this afternoon's Made in America Week celebration in the White House. President Trump called for an end to what he called unfair trade practices from other countries and return of American manufacturing, which is a common refrain during the campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Clearly it's time for a new policy. One defined by two simple rules. We will buy American, and we will hire American.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, behind that proclamation however is the Trump family history of out sourcing almost all of its own products manufacturing. Randi Kaye tonight has more.
TRUMP: From this day forward, it's going to be only America first.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From the day he became President that was his promise. But what about all those Trump products apparently out sourced to more than a dozen other countries, including Bangladesh, Turkey, India, and Vietnam. Even countries that Donald Trump himself has railed against. Like Mexico and China. It's an issue he's been called out on before.
TRUMP: It does.
[20:40:04] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ties are made in where? China. The Ties are made in China.
KAYE: Not only clothing but other items too. Like his brand of eyeglasses and hotel pens, vases, mirrors, lighting, shampoos, bath towels. All of it made overseas. Back during campaign 2016, Hillary Clinton made sure voters knew it.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Trump ties are made in China, Trump suits in Mexico, Trump furniture in Turkey, Trump picture frames in India, Trump barware in Slovenia. And I could go on and on but you get the idea. I'd love for him to explain how all that fits with his talk about America First.
KAYE: And the outsourcing runs in the family.
IVANKA TRUMP, PRESIDENT'S FIRST DAUGHTER: Hi everyone. I'm Ivanka Trump and thank you for tuning in. I'm incredibly excited because I want to share with you today my favorite styles from fall.
KAYE: Ivanka Trump no longer runs her company but she still owns it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations Mr. President.
KAYE: Last January as her father was being inaugurated, the Washington Post found a container ship carrying around 500 pounds of Ivanka Trump branded blouses was arriving in California on a ship from Vietnam. Another 10 ships, the paper says, later brought to the U.S. shoes, cardigans and handbags branded with Ivanka's name from places like Japan and South Korea.
Ivanka's brand won't disclose the countries or factories that make its goods but the post traced clothing labels on her products. In doing so, it logged more than 2,000 shipments of Ivanka's goods from foreign ports in the last seven years. Donald Trump says it's cost prohibitive, with too many regulations to manufacture some goods in the U.S. White House Communication's Director Sean Spicer was asked about Ivanka Trump's outsourcing at today's press briefing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- is it appropriate -- if there's no -- in the case of Ivanka Trump businesses handbags, shirt, purses, whatever -- if there's no capacity, is it appropriate to make those things overseas?
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Obviously we want to create an environment which more things are made here, more things are exported from here.
KAYE: So does that mean Ivanka Trump's products will soon be made in America?
SPICER: There are certain things we may not have the capacity to do here in terms of having a plant or factory that can do it.
KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN Atlanta.
COOPER: Joining me now is Washington Post reporter Drew Harwell along with his colleagues who wrote the piece Randi mentioned, revealing that Ivanka Trump's clothes are entirely made in foreign factories and imported to the U.S. Drew, you'd been working on the story for months. Ivanka Trump's company really did not -- they met with you but was not -- in fact, they wouldn't tell you where their products are actually made or under what conditions. It does seem seems like there are other countries, even small companies, who -- even if they're manufacturing overseas, try to ensure that the workers in those factories are well treated and well paid.
DREW HARWELL, NATIONAL BUSINESS REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: That's right. That's one of the big surprises that we found with the Ivanka Trump company is that, you know, there are a lot of clothing companies that don't share which factories they work in or which countries they work in. And there are a lot of countries obviously that outsource and get stuff made overseas. Ninety seven percent of the things we buy every year in the U.S. are made overseas. But we were surprised that there was such a level of no transparency with the Ivanka Trump Company and that they wouldn't really say which countries they work in, which factories they work in. They said they had a code of conduct for their factories but wouldn't share anything about it.
So, we were surprised to know that, you know, there are companies -- clothing companies, sort of similar to theirs that are smaller, younger, that were doing these sorts of things, that were sharing these things and sharing more about how their workers are treated overseas.
COOPER: Some companies, even I think a company that Ivanka Trump herself had noted in a book, some companies actually hire or employ outside auditors to ensure that these factories, these contractors, who are not directly working for them, are using best practices.
HARWELL: Yeah, that's right. That's actually becoming really common. You know, two decade ago or something, Nike had this huge sweatshop scandal. And increasingly since then, there's been an interest in, you know, American shoppers knowing their clothes aren't being made in exploited conditions, that their workers are being treated the right way.
So now we're to a point where when you see a company that isn't investing in those sorts of, you know, oversight mechanisms, isn't investing in workers being treated the right way overseas, it's surprising. A lot of the people we talked to were really stunned that Ivanka's Company, even this many years on, is still sort of committing to a level of very low transparency, especially now that Ivanka is in the White House and grazing a profile.
COOPER: Right. Levi's, H&M are some of the big companies that hire outside others. I mean, I guess the irony is that Ivanka Trump, you know, says that the mission of her life is empowering women. It's largely women who are working in these factories in incredibly difficult circumstances in many cases.
[20:45:00] HARWELL: Yes, that's right. I mean a lot of these women in the countries where, you know, Ivanka's clothes are made, Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, predominantly female workforces, very low pay, difficult sometimes unsafe work environments, sometimes verbal abuse from supervisors. I mean, this is the reality of life for women who are making Ivanka Trump's goods. And it's a world apart from the very glamorous life that Ivanka is telling and marketing as part of her Women Who Work campaign, and that contrast is only growing as we see these things being made more and more.
COOPER: And just to be fair, I mean the explanation you got from the company, because you did talk with them, approached them and met with them a long time, I understand they said that the company is -- because it's newer, it's smaller at the time Ivanka Trump was running it, they weren't able to do this stuff. But they're looking more into it now.
HARWELL: That's right. Yeah, they say they're committing to doing these sorts of things, that their interest in having more transparency about their supply chain. But the question is I mean this is company that's been running for several years. Ivanka Trump has said, this is something that she's interested in. She has, you know, made a lot of profile moving -- a lot of moves about her profile suggesting that she cares about these sorts of things. So why is it only happening now? Why is it-- and why did it take so long for this to become a priority for the company?
COOPER: Drew Harwell, really fascinating reporting in the Washington Post. Thanks so much.
HARWELL: Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up next. Breaking news with the GOP senators talking healthcare tonight at the White House. The President got late word. The bill they're talking about is now near legislative death. Live update on that ahead.
COOPER: More breaking news tonight, more like make-or-break news, the Senate GOP bill to replace the so-called Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. It's a setback for the President who has been spending the evening wooing reluctant lawmakers of the White House. CNN's Ryan Nobles has the latest details from Capitol Hill. So, what have you learned Ryan.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well Anderson, basically this is a worst case scenario for Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. Two more senators, in just the last 15 minutes, have announced that they also cannot support the Senate version of health care reform. That is Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas and Senator Mike Lee of Utah. That brings the number of four Republican senators who say they cannot support this bill.
That is not enough for Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to even get this bill to the floor, much less get it passed. He needs at least 50 votes. This would mean there are four senators of the 52 unwilling to support the bill. So essentially at this point, this bill is dead.
And Anderson, I also want to point out the language and the statements put out by Moran and Lee. They don't appear to be in a negotiating mood. In fact, they are very, very disappointed with the progress of this bill. In fact, Jerry Moran is suggesting that they just need to start fresh, essentially start from scratch. He says they need to open the legislative process and that he's not interested in supporting what he calls a stamp of approval for bad policy.
[20:50:06] Mike Lee in his statement said that the bill does not go far enough to lower premiums for middle class families. So, Mitch McConnell has been struggling as you know, Anderson, for the last several weeks to try and get these 50 votes.
Right out of the gate with the second version of this health care bill, he lost two senators right away, Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Now with Moran and Lee out of the mix, those are four votes he had to have. He doesn't have them now. So at this point it's very difficult to see a path forward for this bill.
And it comes, Anderson, as you mentioned as seven senators, most of them in the leadership of the Republican conference, are at the White House right now presumably to come up with a strategy to hold on to those 50 votes. It looks as though at this point they will not be successful.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, is it possible, I mean it could change? I mean, there are a lot of folks who said, look, on the House side that it wasn't going to happen and then it did.
NOBLES: Right. And -- but that was after, you know, a second attempt and it was after a lot of back door negotiating. We've already had a second attempt here. We've already had all the back door negotiating, and the response that we're hearing from these senators is anything but positive.
This language does not appear to open the door to try and take a second run at this. And we've heard senators up here for some time talk about opening up the legislative process. They want more hearings. They want to bring Democrats on board to open up this conversation.
So, it seems unlikely right now that there are some sort of a rabbit that Mitch McConnell can pull out of a hat to try and perform some sort of a magic act to try and get this bill back on track.
This is as difficult a position as he's found himself in throughout this process, and it comes at a time where they're also missing another vote in Senator John McCain and they have no idea when he's going to be able to return here to be a part of this process.
COOPER: Ryan, I mean, obviously his health is a factor in all of this.
NOBLES: Well, it absolutely is. It was a factor this morning. There was a plan to release the Congressional Budget Office score, and their hope was that tomorrow the bill would be up for the motion to proceed which would essentially open up the debate on the House floor and begin the amendment process. That had to be pushed back when Senator McCain's health scare came up and he was unable to come here.
And this has been a problem for Mitch McConnell from the very beginning, Anderson, because the longer that they've had to debate this bill, the more difficulty the senators have had in wrapping their arms around it and being able to embrace the plan. The more they go back to their constituents when they hear from stakeholders the more problems that come up as a result. This process just continues to get more difficult for Senate leadership.
COOPER: Yes. Ryan Nobles, appreciate it. We're going to have more in our next hour.
Also right now, more on Senator McCain's medical condition, our Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us.
So, what do we know -- I mean, about Senator McCain's surgery? What was it for?
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was -- what the hospital statement basically said is that it was to remove a blood collection from just above his eye. But in more detail, what it was, was an incision in the eyebrow, basically to hide the incision. But then to gain access to the bone if you know the bone right behind your eyebrow, that's the frontal bone and they wanted to remove that bone to basically get access to his brain.
So, Anderson, let me show you this. This is a bigger operation I think than it was originally described. This is the bone that we're talking about in here. You can remove a piece of the bone here, in this area, left frontal area. This is a way to gain access to the brain, and this was the area of the brain that you then gain access to, the left frontal area over here.
And, again, what they said, Anderson, is he had about a five centimeter blood collection. That's about two inches. So you just saw what I showed you from the end of this ruler to my finger, that's two inches, pretty sizable blood collection that was in the brain, but that's what they said that they were removing. They have sent that off to be examined under the microscope by the pathologist, but that's what they said the operation was for.
COOPER: Senators on the Hill are obviously hoping that he's going to be back next week. Is that a realistic time frame based on the surgery?
GUPTA: It seems early. It seems early. Look, again, this is -- I think the initial descriptions maybe minimize a little bit of how much Senator McCain had done. It's brain surgery. It's general anesthesia. He's 80 years old. He's tough, but he's still 80 years old.
So, typically, you know, for most people who had an operation like this, you would say a couple of weeks of recovery. You could be up and about. You could be having conversations, but to really return to some sort of act of schedule, a couple of weeks typically. So, there's no hard and fast rules here, but that's pretty typical.
COOPER: All right. As you say, he's tough. We wish him and his family the best. Sanjay, thank you so much.
COOPER: Up next, a bride to be calls 911 to report a possible sexual assault. They arrived and an officer shoots and kills her. The questions as you might imagine, how could that happen? Details, next.
[20:56:22] COOPER: A yoga instructor at Minneapolis should be planning her wedding right now. Instead, her fiance and her family are planning her funeral. The nightmare began when she decided to be a Good Samaritan and called 911. Her family's nightmare began just moments later. More now from CNN's Ryan Young.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shortly before 11:30 on Saturday night, Minneapolis police received a report of a possible sexual assault. 40-year-old Justine Ruszczyk made the call to 911 telling the dispatcher it was happening in an alley close to her home from the southwest side of the city, a low crime residential area.
Two officers respond and at some point during the night one of the officers fires his weapon, hitting Ruszczyk and killing her. How Justine Ruszczyk was shot dead by a responding officer is a mystery. Police have said little about the incident calling it a "tragic death" and said they are investigating the matter.
The two officers were wearing body cameras, but they were not turned on during the shooting. There was no explanation from police as to why the cameras were turned off and no explanation on what happened with the possible assault that was called in. Justine Ruszczyk was set to be married in August. She's an Australian native who moved to Minneapolis to be with her fiance.
DON DAMOND, VICTIM'S FIANCE: The death of Justine is a loss to everyone who knew her. She touched so many people with her loving and generous heart.
YOUNG: As her family mourns the loss of her life, they also press the Minneapolis police for more information.
DAMOND: Sadly, her family and I have been provided with almost no additional information from law enforcement regarding what happened after police arrived. We've lost the dearest of people and we're desperate for information. Piecing together Justine's last moments before the homicide would be a small comfort as we grief this tragedy.
YOUNG: Minneapolis' mayor also called on police to provide information on the shooting as quickly as possible.
MAYOR BESTY HODGES, MINNEAPOLIS: I am heart sick and deeply disturbed by the fatal officer-involved shooting. I have a lot of questions about why the body cameras weren't on, questions that I hope and anticipate will be answered in the next few days.
YOUNG: In a tweet, the Minneapolis police chief said she asked for an expedited investigation into Justine Ruszczyk's death in order to provide these answers as quickly as possible.
COOPER: Ryan Young joins us now from Minneapolis. So, tell us more about the reaction in the community.
YOUNG: The reaction from the community has been quite strong. In fact, we are surrounded by people who decided to come out here. They've just been standing around. You can look at the signs and you can see their out pouring of their emotions.
Look at the sign right here, "Why did you shoot and kill our neighbor and our friend?" There are candles all over this place. We've seen kids using chalk to write names right in this direction.
And just think about this, this is the alleyway where the shooting happened so just down this direction, maybe four houses down is where she lived. Like we said, we just learned from the medical examiner, in fact, that it was one gunshot wound to the abdomen that ultimately killed her.
We do know the officer's attorney released a statement. I read part of it. It says, "Officer Mohamed Noor extends his condolences to the family and anyone else who has been touched by this event. He takes their loss seriously and keeps them in his daily thoughts and prayers."
You can just feel the pain here. People have been talking, they just don't understand why and how she would get shot so close to her home. Anderson?
COOPER: Ryan Young, we'll continue to follow it. Thanks very much.
At the top of the hour, just breaking news on health care and there's this. It is made in America week at the White House. The questions keep coming by the Trump campaign's eagerness to accept political dirt made in Russia.
There's breaking news on that that still races more questions. And it caps off a day in which the administrations answers clash with each other as well as the facts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[21:00:08] SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The President's made it clear through his tweet.