Trump declares "I never worked for Russia" as transcripts show FBI debated if he followed directions of Kremlin; Trump declares "I never worked for Russia" as transcripts show FBI debated if he followed directions of Kremlin; Washington Post: trump detail
Happening now, it's a disgrace. After first refusing to answer, President Trump says he never worked for Russia following the very idea a disgrace. But stunning new disclosure show. The FBI had looked into whether the president was following the directions of Mosca matter of interpretation the president reportedly acted to keep us talks with veteran. Putin secret, even confiscating as interpreters notes leaving top US officials in the dark about his conversations with the Russian leader will democrat lead committees. And now subpoena the interpretive setting the bar. The president calls the whole Russia investigation. Big fat hoax, but his nominee for attorney general. William bar is promising like, the special counsel finishers probe and says the results should be made public and shipping. The blame post show. The public clearly blames the president and the Republicans for the government shutdown, but the president won't budge on his border wall playing. Democrats for shutdown that he promised own. I'm wolf Blitzer. You're in the situation room. It's come down to this the US president publicly declaring that he quote never worked for Russia. Trump took that extrordinary step today after studying revelations raise new Preston's about his seeming reverence for ladder Putin. They in food disclosures at the FBI opened an investigation to determine if the president was secretly working at direction of the Kremlin. And that he'd went to great lengths the high the details of his private talks with the president today called the rush investigation a big fat hoax. But as a three general nominee is already pledging to let special counsel, Robert Muller finishes investigation and says he believes the results should be made public hospital congressman Joaquin Castro of the intelligence committee, and our correspondents and analysts are also standing by with full coverage. Let's begin with our chief White House. Correspondent Jim Acosta. Jim it has to be I R US president denying that. He's worked for Russia. That's right wolf. It's a jarring thing to hear from commander and chief of the US President Trump did that responding to series of bombshell reports on the Russian vestich in insisting he has never worked on behalf of the Kremlin. The president is facing new questions in the Russia probe just as he is refusing to budge from his demand for border wall in order to reopen. The government. President Trump's response to the question as to whether he has been working on behalf of Russia can be summed up in one word yet. Never worked for Russia. Not only did I never worked for Russia. I think it's a disgrace that you even ask that question because it's a whole big fat hoax. It just hawks president push back on a series of hair-raising reports on the rush investigation. Both the New York Times and CNN reported that be I agent launched an inquiry into the president's decision to fire the bureau's director James Comey in twenty seventeen to find out whether Mr. Trump had done so directly benefit the Russian government presidents still defends that decision. I guess they started it because I fired Comey which was a great thing I did for country. So the people doing that investigation people that have been caught that are known scoundrels there in I guess, you could say that thirty top president initially justified the Komi firing by saying he. Had an ax to grind Gicquel Russia pro when I decided to just do it. I said to myself, I said, you know, this rusher thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story over this past weekend. The president didn't give a direct answer when he was asked. Whether he was working on behalf of the Russians are you now or have you ever worked for Russia? Mr president. I think is the most insulting thing I've ever been asked. I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written. And if you read the article you'd see that they found absolutely nothing. White House is also scrambling for answers after the Washington Post reported Mr. Trump tried to conceal his private meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin by taking notes from interpreter and instructing that person to stay quiet after one face to face encounter at a summit in Germany and 2017 age. The president say he was just worried about leaks on the president at that time in two thousand seventeen with suffering from a great number of leaks. We're always concerned about leaks, obviously, particularly national security Democrats are seizing the new revelation saying they may explain why the president seems eager to accept Putin's denials that Moscow interfered in the twenty sixteen election like he did in Helsinki last year have great confidence in my intelligence people. But I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this. I don't see any reason why. It would be Hillary Clinton. Democrats say may have been onto something after all. Well, that's because he'd rather have a puppet as president and no day. No pun. It's pretty clear. It's pretty clear you won't admit the Russian president is also digging in his heels on whether to reopen the government still insisting on his border wall, though, we seem to rule out to clearing a national emergency to force the military to build it. Gency? This is so simple. You shouldn't have to new polls continue to show the public blames the president more. So than Democrats for the shutdown. That's not how the president laid it out. What he spoke to a group of farmers in New Orleans. The government remained shut down for one reason. And one reason only the Democrats will not fund border security now getting back to Russia. President brushed off any worries that he was trying to hide his interactions with Putin talking with reporters earlier today insisting that those encounters with the Russian leader have been what he called successful. But that's exactly what concerns Democrats who also say the president's meetings with Putin can be described as people for the Russians wolf Jim Acosta at the White House. Thank you very much dramatic developments. Indeed, let's bring in our senior Justice correspondent Evan Perez and our Justice reporter, Shimon pro capacity, MMA, why would the president go to these extraordinary links to keep the contents of his meetings with Putin secret, even from some of this. National security advisers who have the highest top secret security clearances, it certainly is extraordinaire when you think about it wolf, how many months we've been talking about this, and we still don't really have direct answers. As to why the president continues to behave like this. And it's caused a lot of suspicion. You can understand why people who are in this space in the national security space have been concerned for quite some time about what was said in these meetings because really the only other person in this meeting is what Putin in all of these meetings. No, other officials are usually allowed in and the only other American official would be the translator. And what we've learned is that even some of the information that translate may have had those notes were taken away from the translator. So certainly a lot of concern among national security people those who have worked who work there now, and certainly lot of people who have left that something is going on. And according to Washington Post, the translator was still don't say a word about that meeting too. Anyone and the president wants your notes, right wolf. And look I mean, I think the president has had a change of behavior since the beginning of his presidency. If you remember early in the presidency, there was some of his some of his calls were leaked details of those caused calls were leak, I believe the Washington Post. And so he has become a lot more secretive in some of his meetings with other world leaders as well. But look there's no other relationship like the relationship with Russia of essay because of their their their their actions during the two thousand sixteen election and a great deal of suspicion about what exactly let him be Putin is up to not only with regard to the United States. But also his actions in Europe, I think this is why it actually needs to dysfunction in the way his own administration is able to function in the way they're able to manage the relationship with Russia and our allies because it's it's amazing that the Russians know everything that happened during those meetings, but the president's advisors on Russia with these topsy. Krit security clearances they're still in the dark. I mean, I've never heard of anything like that before. So now, the leadership the new democratic leadership of the house intelligence committee, the house foreign affairs committee. I take their thinking of subpoenaing the interpreter trying to get a hold of the the notes, maybe even asking Rex Tillerson. The former secretary of state who participated in one of those Trump meetings with Putin also to testify, so here's here's some of the issues with that. I think some people are concerned that bringing in a translator before members of congress would hurt future diplomacy efforts have perhaps because presidents need to know that in these meetings. There is a high level of confidentiality that certain things won't be shared, and perhaps there is concerned that if you do bring this translator before members of congress -cerned information could be released could hurt future efforts presidents may not want to bring certain people into these meetings. But the fact of the matter is we don't even know how much translator. Will know about these meetings? Because from what we're told is that the translators when they take these notes generally words that they just want to confirm some something that they're not sure about what they're translating that. It's not necessarily a readout of what these meetings are about. And the translator may not even remember at this point. What was said in these meanings? We'll see the Democrats have been talking about doing this for quite some time. There are two different committees that want to do this. It would be highly unprecedented for them to do something. Like this. We've seen the Republican certainly do highly unprecedented on president things in subpoenaed information or or putting information out into the public. This would certainly be a somewhat highly highly certainly would be caused a lot of concerns for people within the diplomatic world would be extrordinary. Any of the has learned Evan after the president fired. Then director James Komi, the bureau began investigating the president was taking steps that some ficials thought was Ben. Official to Russia steps that some officials continue to believe he's taking right now. Right. I think some of the some of this testimony, which came from VISA officials to the hill. I think explain a lot of what was going on the alarm that was going on inside the FBI at the time after the firing of James Comey. Look, I mean you talking about a president or candidate who openly was hostile and talking about denigrating our intelligence services. He talked about undermining the importance of NATO, for instance, these are things that the Russians, of course, really liked to hear he praised how Putin manage his own country. So I think you can see why there are certain people at the FBI who had some concerns and so the sided to launch us investigation. What we don't know wolf is the answer to that. Whether those those initial suspicions have been confirmed in the year and a half or so of investigation. That's what Robert Muller is going to tell us eventually when that when his report is finally complete very significant. Ari guys. Thanks, very. Much joining us now democratic congressman walking Castro, Texas. He's a member of both the intelligence and the foreign affairs committees. Congressman thanks for joining our says, you know, FBI officials apparently debated a range of possibilities as they opened the investigation into the president's behavior. They consider the possibility that the president was completely innocent. But also entertain that theoretical worst case scenario that the president was acting at the behest of the Russians based on all the evidence you've seen where on that spectrum. Does the reality? Obviously wolf that's a tough question. You know, when this story broke last week in many ways, it's jarring story for any American to read the idea that the person at the very top of American government. The president of the United States would be an agent of the Russian government or somehow helping Russia particularly given the history between the United States and Russia, but on the other hand for those of us who have watched Donald Trump's words and actions over the past three years in some ways, it's not a surprise at all because he's been very friendly to Russia. He has never said a bad word about Ladimir Putin. He's done things that are essentially what the Russians would want in terms of foreign policy. He's undermined our lions with NATO. He he said he was going to pull out of Syria and a half hazard way. He's basically aligned himself with with autocrats around the world and weakened our relationship with our long standing allies. So Russia could not have asked for. A friendlier United States president. When did you first learn congressman about this investigation into the president? That's something that obviously because I'm on the intelligence committee that I can't discuss. But I can also say that it's something that at least in terms of our work. We've not gotten a conclusive answer to the committee that was run under devenue new nez was run in such a way that it was a take them at their word investigation. We would bring in witnesses ask them questions for a few hours. And basically there was no follow up. There was no there were no subpoenas issued for travel records or Bank records our phone records to verify anything that was told us or to go deeper and try to get the answer to one fundamental question. Which is what leverage if any does Putin or Russia have over Donald Trump, his family and his businesses. Let's talk about the bombshell report in the Washington Post about the extraordinary lights, President Trump has gone into in order to try to conceal the contents of his meetings with Putin including taking possession. Interpreters notes after that meeting with Putin and Hamburg, Germany, should lawmakers are subpoena the interpreter from that meeting another great and tough question. Ordinarily, I would say no because of professional ethics under the law, for example, a wife cannot be made to testify against a husband, a psychologist can't be made to testify against a patient and so forth. Ordinarily, you would think that you would wanna put interpreters in that in that batch of people. But this is not your ordinary case usually any American president would have not only an interpreter with them. But a whole range of other aides and assistance there would be a transcription of the meeting. What's remarkable is that Donald Trump insisted on going into this meeting with nobody else in the room except somebody that could obviously help he Putin communicate. So with that said, I think all options should be on the table because the American people deserve to know, what was said by their presence. And somebody who's the head of an adversarial nation who interfered with twenty sixteen presidential election, the president's nominee for attorney general Bill bar. He's been critical of the special counsel's investigation that times wrote a very very lengthy piece months ago about some criticisms that he had. But now he's taking pains to ease. Those concerns about how he plans to handle the pro ahead of this confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary committee tomorrow, do you think his prepared remarks effectively addressed some of the questions that democrat Democrats have raised about his nomination. You know, I trust that Senate Democrats will continue to ask him tough. But necessary questions for information that they need to know in order to make a vote or decision on whether to confirm it or not. Because he now says he believes the report that Robert Miller and his team comes out with should not only be made available to congress says it's vitally important. It'd be made available to the American public. I. Assume those are reassuring words to you. Yeah. They are wolf, but I also don't think that's much of a concession. This report is owed not to congress. Yes. But most of all to the American people, I see this as a report to the American people. All right, congressman Castro. Thanks so much for joining us. Thank you up next extrordinary turn of events as the president of the United States denies working for Russia are experts any by to weigh in on a series of scudding revelations and the president calls the Russia breath of big fat hoax, but his nominee for Torney. General already volatile at Robert Muller complete investigation and says the results should be made public. You know, what smart kicking off twenty nineteen by planning out, which rolls you need to hire. For and you can start by using the smartest way to hire. Ziprecruiter. Ziprecruiter's powerful matching technology finds the right people for you. And actively invites them to apply. It's no wonder that ZipRecruiter is rated number one by employers in the US this rating comes from hiring sites on trust pilot with over one thousand reviews and right now listeners can try ZipRecruiter for free at ZipRecruiter dot com slash situation. If you love this show show your support to it ends up recruiter by going to ZipRecruiter dot com slash sl. T U A N. Ziprecruiter, the smartest way to hire. President Trump again is denouncing the Russia investigation in the wake of this weekend's disclosures, including revelations FBI actually opened investigation to look at whether he secretly was working to benefit Russian interests, the president declared to reporters this morning, and I'm quoting him. Now, I never worked for Russia. Let's ask our political and legal experts about this and more, Gloria, we're learning more and more about the FBI's inquiry. It's investigations what are you hearing? Well, our colleagues Jeremy her Pamela Brown, and and Laura Jarrett have been reporting the con- the the on the transcripts of some folks from the FBI who testified before congress, and what they are saying is that that they were wondering, whether in fact, the president was completely innocent or whether he was actually executing the will of Russia, and this testimony comes from James Baker who was then the general count. Sel of the FBI. And so I think the questions they were raising are. In fact, the questions we were raising which is why did it seem, and why did it appear and still continues to appear that this is a president who cannot say a bad word about Vladimir Putin, and is this because he was in effect working for them. And and the president you have heard over the weekend and today say that's ridiculous. But it is ridiculous that we actually have to ask that very question. Every we would have to ask president United States that you working for the Russians. It's hard to believe, you know, Laura, you're part of the CNN team that's been going through some of the new information, including some transcripts of F, B, I and other Justice department officials they're closed door testimony to members of congress, Gloria said, you know, you have the testimony of James Baker who's the top lawyer at the FBI, it's pretty extrordinary for the man who's the general counsel saying we were worried about whether the president wanted to execute the will of rush. I mean his words are quite strong. But you also have another lawyer Lisa page for a lot about her. Text messages sort of disparaging the president. And she said they were actually considering opening the investigation before Komi got fire. They were looking at all the presents behaviors running, Michael Flynn and other issues. And so they were sort of puzzled by it. They're trying to figure out what's going on. But comas firing is the capstone at it creates a sense of urgency and remember there's still a great deal of mistrust at the time between the FBI and DO. Jay because rod Rosenstein, who has a Trump appointing wrote the memo that sort of is used as the pretext for commes firing initially as you have the tension there between rod Rosenstein and the man who becomes the deputy of FBI, Andrew McCabe. And so all of this is sort of playing out. But what we know is this all of intially gets transferred to Muller and the question is what is going to do it just on the the the tests. Remember at the time Donald Trump the day or the day after he fires James Komi. We learn was in the Oval Office talking. The Sergei laugh Laver off in three Kislyak two high ranking Russian officials saying there's a tremendous weight off me Lor mentioned the the attribution defying combing the Rosenstein memo. Yes, but Trump told Lester hope this whole Russia thing, and he was gonna fire before. So the thing glories point is ridiculous is the right word. But only in not in regards that that we're asking this question in the fact that we are to the point where this is a credible question that can and. Should be asked. You know? It's interesting a Saturday night. He was going doing an interview on Fox News, April any was asked about these allegations was the agent of Russia, and he started dodged any really didn't answer this morning. He was very forceful and he answered it directly. Why didn't he do that Saturday night? Well, you know, it's interesting. The president did not say something, you know, typically, he has these knee jerk reaction Sikkim in trouble this time. I guess I guess he's learning how to keep quiet. So what they did since that interview coalesced come together and figured out. What to say Kellyanne Conway was the first one to test out their new talking point this morning, talking about the reason why they have not given things out or talked about it. It's because they didn't want it leaked so now. Okay. So they didn't want leaks. So what are you going to do? Now. That's the question transparency is very important especially for a president who was a civilian who did do business with Russia prior to try head some fail. Bist business attempts with Russia and Russian officials. So this is very important. The question is, you know, wolf if he does release formation the question is can we believe it, can we believe it? And that's another sad thing in two thousand nineteen for US president to wonder about the credit. Ability of anything says or anything he releases the first time Chris that the president has defended his relationship Putin. Listen to this exchange twenty sixteen in exchange. He had with Hillary Clinton. Listen to this. Eighteen hundred nuclear warheads, and she's playing chicken look might from everything I see has no respect for this person. Well, that's because he'd rather have a puppet as president and day. No, it's pretty clear. Remember it? Well, look if in a vacuum. What April is talking about which is the president United States cutting. Greg Miller, my former colleague at the Washington Post, the president United Sates went out of his way to collect information related to his conversations with Ladimir Putin and keep them from even people within his administration in a vacuum. That would be crumpling given as corny as all of the things that we know seven people have pled guilty in the Muller. Pope Paul Manafort was convicted by jury of his peers one hundred ninety two criminal counts thirty six people or entities, charged given all of those connections, all of these people lying about the nature and breadth of their conversations with Russia. This strikes me as something that if he says he's innocent. I take him at his word. But he's this is the most guilty thing you could possibly do. He said in that interview with Janine. He says, but it was totally fine. I'm it's like meeting with anyone else. But it's not like meeting with anyone else. No one else. Use intelligence community has unanimously concluded sought to interfere in the twenty sixteen election to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton everybody. Stick around. There's more news. We're following more analysis right after this. Tired of spending hundreds of dollars for prescription glasses. Our friends at Xeni optical offer, a huge variety of high quality stylish frames and state of the art optics starting at just six ninety five. You can get multiple frames with this great pricing for less than one pair. Elsewhere start building your eyewear wardrobe from the comfort of your own home at Xeni dot com. With the latest trends in eyewear available in hundreds of frame styles and materials there isn't a better way to change it up for every season. Plus is any offers prescription sunglasses at incredible prices visits. Any today at Xeni dot com slash CNN. That's Z E N. I dot com slash CNN. We're back with our political legal experts at Gloria the Washington Post is reporting that the president took the notes of his his interpreter who who was at that meeting that the president had with Putin and Hamburg, Germany 2017 Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state he attended that meeting as well. Why is the president though trying to prevent top US national security advisers, including his advisors on Russia from knowing what the Russians clearly already know all these US advisors have top secret security clearance. That's the question. We all want the answer to wolf I mean, Tillerson was in that meeting. And if I recall after the meeting he was not particularly forthcoming about what occurred during that meeting and during the Helsinki meetings, the president was alone. So you can imagine after this twenty-seven teen meeting that the president you have a president United States say to a translator here. Can I have your notes please from this meeting and telling the translator who apparently was asked about what occurred during that meeting afterwards telling the translator, you know, what don't say anything to anybody about what occurred? My question will is. Did he also say this direct? Tillerson did Rex Tillerson, then come out and give less less than a robust briefing about what occurred during the meeting because he was asked to stay quiet by the president. We don't we don't know the answer that question this time line that we put together this is. Involving the Trump Tower meeting when the New York Times learned about it. Also, the Trump Putin interactions around the same time morning of July, seventh New York time reaches out to the White House about the Trump Tower meeting midday. There's a meeting between Trump Putin and their top aides in the evening private conversation between Trump and Putin during dinner Trump later told the New York Times they discussed adoptions than on July eighth. President Trump dictates misleading statement about the Trump Tower beating on Air Force One on July eleventh emails show, Don Donald Trump, junior believed the Trump Tower meeting would include Clinton dirt and July eighteenth news reports real Trump Tower dinner meeting, it's there's a lot of suspicious activity going on here a lot of smoke and a lot of smoke wolf that centers around that meeting that we just keep coming back to as a as a, you know, a central part of it, which is that June two thousand sixteen meeting in Trump Tower, the thing that's mentioned there. But I think is really important. Remember with that statement, Donald Trump junior dictates the statement to Donald Trump dick statement to Donald Trump junior. And then the White House, Don, jR, totally opposite skate and do not tell the truth about how much of a role the president had in the statement. He did it is is statement in the words of Donald Trump junior. Why did he feel the need to A B so involved that he had to put words in his son's mouth and be not tell the truth? But let's say that they did not win asked about it. The insisted we may have seen it. He may have a word here there. That's not the case. It was his statement through his son. So there's just so much smoke. Is it possible the smoke doesn't mean that there's a fire? Sure, it's possible. But it seems unlikely given everything else we Laura do house. Investigators have the legal authority to subpoena, the interpreters notes do and I think the question is whether they want to pull the trigger on that. And I think there's been some hesitation about what kind of precedent that sets not for president. Trump. But for future presents down the line does this chill, you know, diplomatic conversations that you you want them to have sort of, you know, open rain to have recon sations without worrying that they're going to appear on the front page in the newspaper as much as we'd like to know, everything that they say, so I think that that's sort of the concern that you see some house lawmakers weighing. But Adam Schiff, the top democrat on the house intelligence committee was tweeting out yesterday that you know, they they voted this down last time around. But now Democrats controlled houses different ballgame very intriguing during the campaign back at twenty sixty seems like a long time ago, the Washington Post unearths of audio from a private meeting where the house majority leader. Kevin McCarthy was heard saying these words, quote, there's two people. I think Putin pays Rohrabacher dinner Roebuck or a member of Congress, Republican and Trump. It's very interesting because the Washington Post said the Paul Ryan, the speaker, then said this is off the record laughter. No leaks, blah, blah, blah. It's it's very intriguing. What McCarthy said then even though it may have been said at least in part as a joke. You know, sometimes there's truth in jokes. One thing that we did know before this president became president. He has international dealings. We know that he hit made attempts to have business with Russia. We didn't know the extent an and this also goes back to showing your taxes showing just being transparent in your financial dealing. So so all these questions won't be so big this president has to deal with issues of transparency. You've got this joke that could be have a little tinge of truth. Well, about a little tinge, let's say some truth in it. And this is about transparency at this point two years in and you go back to two thousand sixteen but it still plays twenty nineteen at this point the learning curve is over the naievety is over the American public needs to know, this is serious. This is about the United States of America. And the influences the continued and more serious influences that Russia may have on our governing of this. Nation the attorney general nominee Laura Bill bar. He goes before the Senate Judiciary committee tomorrow for his confirmation hearings. He's now saying what the I'm sure a lot of Democrats and others wanna hear that. He thinks the Miller report should be made available to congress and to the American public. Well, we have to remember Bill bars been through this rodeo before. Right. So if if confirmed this'll be his second stint as a general, and of course, I think it was pretty smart strategy to get out ahead of the question that we know every single democratic impossibly Republican Senator wants to get out there. What are you going to do to make sure Muller can complete his worm? What are you going to do about? This report. Are you going to let the public see it? He doesn't say we will let you know congress and the public actually see the reports he says, we'll make sure the results are made public to the extent that that's legally allowed. And it's within my discretion. I mean, there's a lot of talk around think tomorrow, you're going to see the senators try to really pin him down on this because they want to know, not only what are you? Gonna do about Muller. But I think they want to know what exactly precipitated that memo that he wrote that was so controversial explaining that. The president could not have obstructed Justice in the firing of James Komi, and they're going to want to know who did you send that to? How did this come about? What did you talk to about it? What did the president think when you raise this? And why why did you send it that's gonna call dish inning? There's more news. We're following. We're getting some new fallout right now from the bomb shell report on President Trump's efforts to keep from revealing what happened during his meetings with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Remember to create an ad like this one visit pure winning dot com slash CNN. Tonight. We're looking ahead to a high stakes vote. That's sure to have very dramatic impact on some of the United States is closest allies the British of Commons votes tomorrow on the terms of the United Kingdom pull out from the European Union. That's bringing CNN business editor at large. Richard quest. Richard. Is there a chance that Brexit may not happen? It's a possibility if as expected to resume loses the vote tomorrow, then they'll be a strong argument that somehow should all be put off until it be can be sorted out. But the prime minister today was very full threat in how last minute appeal Bellingham, she's likely not likely she's almost certainly going to lose this vote. But she still went anyway. Is on all sides of this house. Whatever you may have previously concluded over these next twenty four hours give this deal a second. Look. No, it is not perfect. And yes, it is a compromise. Not compromise will be accepted by Ps on our own side. And frankly, the issue is what happens tomorrow, such, but what happens next in one of those options, very much is the idea of delaying Brexit putting it off to the future and so forth. Now world the one comparison that everybody is making it the commentators talking about is the similarity at the moment between the United States and the United Kingdom who will both United tonight in seemingly paralyzed government. The US because of the shutdown and all that's going on the UK because of Brexit, and the irony here is not lost anyone. It was the pope Yalies vote that propelled both Brexit twenty sixteen. Donald Trump later in the US put it all together. And you have both sides of the Atlantic tonight. Looking extremely and Sutton stakes. Clearly are enormous. Richard quest. Thank you very much coming up a closer look at president from his treatment of Ladimir Putin on the events that led the FBI to investigate whether his actions intentionally benefited the Russians. The right sheets can take your sleep and your style to the next level with Boll and branch. The upgrade has never been more Ford -able every set is crafted from one hundred percents organic cotton. They get softer and softer over time. That's why they have thousands of five star reviews and even three US presidents have Boll and branch sheets. Try them for thirty nights. And if you don't love them, send them back for a full refund. Go to bollandbranch dot com today for fifty dollars off your first set of sheets, plus free shipping with promo code CNN to spelled B O L L, andbranch dot com. That's Boll and branch dot com. Promo code CNN too. After a weekend of opening a disturbing new reports about his behavior around Flammer, Putin and the Russians President Trump today made a point of telling reporters and I'm quoting him. Now, I never worked for Russia. Our Brian Todd has been looking over the president's record Brian. What have you found wolf we've gone back to well before the two thousand sixteen campaign and found what appears to be a pattern of deference on the part of President Trump a difference to Russia to flat, Amir Putin and a seeming lack of willingness to publicly go after Putin even when the evidence screams that he should. Tonight, the concerns over President Trump's deference to Ladimir Putin seemed to have reached new levels following new reporting from the New York Times and CNN that after Trump's firing of James Komi, the FBI investigated why the president was acting in ways that seemed to always benefit Russia. This is the first time in American history. You've ever had an American president who is being seriously investigated by law enforcement, given the possibility that he may not be allowed to this country that he may have actually sold out this country. Well, there has been no evidence released publicly showing the president is under Russia's influence. Analysts say Trump has shown a pattern of deference to Russia that is both unusual and heart to explain throughout the campaign. Trump denied having financial ties to Russia. I have no dealings with Russia. I have no deals in Russia. But in two thousand eight his son Donald junior said Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of the Trump organization's assets. And his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to congress about Trump pursuing a deal to build a tower in Moscow while he was running for office, something the president later downplayed, but it's not just business with Russia, Trump openly encouraged Russia to interfere in the two thousand sixteen election Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the thirty thousand emails that are missing and then disparaged his own intelligence agencies over there. Ting's that Russia did in fact interfere. He even parodied Putin's denials of that. I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election at their summit in Helsinki left summer. Trump almost seemed to give Putin's talking points on election meddling for him. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this. I don't see any reason why it would be there have been other alarming episodes just after firing James Comey in two thousand seventeen in an Oval Office meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister and Russian ambassador. Trump reportedly told the Russians he got rid of the FBI director because Comey was a quote nutjob, and because it eased great pressure apparently from the investigation at he reportedly shared highly classified information about a joint counterterrorism operation with Israel, something the president said he had the right to do. The also said he didn't divulge its origin. And the Washington Post now reports Trump has gone to great lengths to keep the specifics of his conversations with the Russian president under wraps, and that there are no detailed records of his five meetings with Putin. Trump denies hiding anything, but experts are warning tonight. This overall pattern signals that Putin a former KGB Colonel now in charge of the Kremlin could have the upper hand in the relationship and may continue to use Trump's deference toward him to his own advantage doing things like stepping up his aggression in Ukraine and in Syria, and he feels pretty safe from American pushback if you look at what Russian TV says, they basically play around with Trump. They make fun of him as being a Russian lackey and analysts are warning tonight. The President Trump's patterns with Putin are sending signals to America's other rivals and two dictators around the world they say his deference to Putin is almost an in. Tation to those rivals to try their hand at interfering with America's elections or try other forms of sabotage. We'll our Brian thanks very much. Brian Todd reporting coming up the president of the United States declares quoting him. Now says he never worked for Russia but stunning new account. So the FBI opened a formal inquiry to determine if President Trump was secretly following directions from the Kremlin, and then he took great pains to high details of his private talks with let. Hey, sake, humid here from the hang time podcast. Join me, and my main man John Shuman every week as we break down, the latest, NBA, news and storylines with. Yes. From around the league, be sure to subscribe to NBA hang time on apple podcasts. Spotify an NBA dot com slash podcast for new episodes every Monday and Thursday this season.