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Trump Shared Classified Info with Russians; UK's Prime Minister Confronted; French President Meets Angela Merkel in Berlin; Trump and Erdogan Meeting. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired May 16, 2017 - 00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:01:29] ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles.

Ahead this hour --

The President of the United States accused of sharing highly- classified information with the Russians at the White House. It wasn't illegal but many feel it was (inaudible) at least poor judgment.

Trump is set to meet with Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid rising tensions between the two countries.

And his first full day in office complete, French President Emmanuel Macron alongside Angela Merkel pledging to save European unity.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I am Isha Sesay. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

Breaking news -- let's start there with the shocking waves that are going through Washington right now. The "Washington Post" is reporting U.S. President Donald Trump shared highly classified information with Russia. According to the Post the President shared the information with the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador to the U.S. during a meeting at the White House last week.

The paper says Mr. Trump went off script and described details of an ISIS terror threat. The intel reportedly was gathered by a U.S. ally and was not supposed to be shared.

Current and former U.S. officials told the Post Mr. Trump's disclosures have jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on ISIS. The White House is knocking down reports calling it false.

Take a listen to this from a short time ago. The U.S. national security adviser H.R. McMaster made the statement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Good evening -- everybody. I just have a brief statement for the record. There's nothing that the President takes more seriously than the security of American people.

The story that came out tonight, as reported, is false. The President and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries including threats to civil aviation. At no time, at no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed. And the President did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.

Two other senior officials were present including the Secretary of State remember the view (ph) the same way and has said so. Their on the record accounts should outweigh those of anonymous sources. I was in the room. It didn't happen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there a message --

MCMASTER: Thanks everybody. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: All right. So that's the administration pushing back. This is what journalist Greg Miller who broke the story for the "Washington Post" had to say. He was speaking to CNN's Erin Burnett who asked him if it's correct that Russia might be able to figure out the source of the intel -- or the intel from the disclosures allegedly made by the President. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREG MILLER, WASHINGTON POST: I think that's right. And I think that the White House is playing word games here to that effect to try to -- to try to blunt the impact of this story. Nor do any of these White House officials who are denouncing this story, nor have any of it mattered, any explanation why that this was also above board and not problematic in any way.

Why did the National Security Council coming out of this meeting feel it was necessary to contact the CIA director and the Director of the National Security Agency to give him a head's up on what Trump had just told the Russians?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: All right. That was "Washington Post" reporter Greg Miller talking with CNN there from a short time ago.

Our senior congressional reporter Manu Raju has the latest now on the reaction from Capitol Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: They have news that President Trump may have given classified information to Russian officials in the White House coming as a shock to members of Congress.

[00:05:05] Even senior Republican leaders who sit on key committees including the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, the chairman of that committee who gets briefed on highly-sensitive matters said he did not know about this and was looking to read more about it.

And soon after this story broke, Senator John McCain, I had a chance to talk to about this, said that it is very trouble some if this report is true. But he did not know if it were true. And some Republicans were just flat out frustrated including Senator Bob Corker who's the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee saying to reporters that it quote, "creates a worrisome environment" that one controversy after another continues to hamper this White House.

So Republicans want answers to this. They do not believe this has been good for their party particularly coming after this Comey firing, this tweets from President Trump going after James Comey. They want to get back to talking about their agenda, trying to put together a health care reform package, a tax reform package. But these types of things continually distract from their agenda creating a lot of frustration among Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Manu Raju, CNN -- Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Well, joining us now: CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem; Gayle Tzemach-Lemmon, a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations; Democratic strategist Matthew Littman; and CNN political commentator and Trump supporter John Phillips. Welcome to all of you.

Juliette -- let me start with you.

According to this "New York Times" and "Washington Post" reporting the President shared code word information. Give us some perspective on the sensitivity of the information shared here.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Ok. So code word would be the highest classification for intelligence. And what it essentially means is this is intelligence operations or the sharing of intelligence that is essentially not disclosed to a large group.

So you can have a group of people working on (inaudible) ISIS strategy. But there would be -- maybe more insular group that is working on, let's say for example, some asset that's in an ISIS cell that's giving us information.

That information appears to have gotten to the President probably in his presidential daily brief and then that's the information, right, that the President disclosed which is I know XYZ. We don't know the exact details that's disclosed to the Russians.

So that's why you're seeing this sort of response not only with the, at best, carelessness -- I'll just say that about President Trump -- a carelessness of disclosing it. But also you see the reaction by McMaster and others to immediately call back to the CIA and other intelligence agencies and say, look this just happened. We may have compromised a potential intelligence operation. SESAY: All right. It's an important factor to bear in mind. John Phillips -- to you, the "Washington Post" reporting that this came about as the President was bragging. He was going off script. Again these reports are borne out and are correct. That is not only troubling -- you heard Juliette say "careless".

It does bring to mind the question of his judgment, does it not?

JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The key word is "if". And we heard from General McMaster earlier today who said the report in the "Washington Post" was not true. There were four Americans that were in that room when that meeting took place. It was General McMaster, Dina Powell his assistant, Rex Tillerson the Secretary of State and Donald Trump.

They say the report is false and they aren't the source. Well, if those four are ruling themselves out, it was either the Russians, the lamp post or someone who wasn't in the room.

So I'm not going to be so quick as to just believe the "Washington Post" when they say we have a source that said this. Well, which source and where they there?

SESAY: Ok. But we come back to the point that Juliette has made and is made by the "Washington Post" in their reporting. That they followed on and made calls to the National Security Agency to basically give them the head's up -- Matt.

MATTHEW LITTMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, it's been corroborated by more than just the "Washington Post". At this point it's been corroborated by the "New York Times", by Reuters. Others have said that this is true at this point.

And I think the problem here is why did Donald Trump do this -- right? He did this because he's juvenile basically. He's saying -- he's like a five-year-old who needs approval. And he wants to think that he's the cool guy and he gets to tell people -- he said to them I get the best intel.

I mean this is the President of the United States so I don't think -- at this point, no one's really going to be arguing about whether it's true. The question is at this point, what are the Republicans going to do about it in Congress because at some point, this Trump thing is a disaster?

And at some point the Republicans are going to have to go to Trump and they're going to have to say to them, you've got to step aside. I mean Donald Trump should not be President of the United States.

PHILLIPS: First of all, I don't believe the report. I'm not convinced the report is true. I think that most Republicans --

LITTMAN: There are several people who have reported this -- John.

PHILLIPS: But again -- we don't know if the source of the story was in the room. There's a lawsuit going on here now in Los Angeles. Richard Simmons is suing the "National Enquirer" because --

[00:10:01] SESAY: I think we're going off track but ok.

PHILLIPS: -- they published a report saying that he was transitioning into a woman. Now, they had a source, who was close to him, who said that. The source turned out not to have accurate information. And now there's a lawsuit that's going forward.

SESAY: So you --

PHILLIPS: The source wasn't in the know.

KAYYEM: Can we get back to the subject?

SESAY: Juliette -- you weigh in.

KAYYEM: I just want to say something. It's just -- yes, so ok. So the White House denied one thing, right, which is that Trump did not disclose sources and methods. This story does not say that's what Trump did. They say he disclosed information.

So what's the difference? Trump could have easily disclosed -- look there is an asset that has infiltrated ISIS in city A -- we're not even going to say the name of the city. "Washington Post" did not say what the name of the city is.

That's information that's disclosed but it does not disclose sources and methods. So the denial by the White House --

(CROSSTALK)

KAYYEM: -- is a denial of a story that the "Washington Post". And to add to this as it's been reported in the last hour -- on the President's schedule tomorrow, at 9:30 a.m. he is calling King Abdullah of Jordan. That call was not on the schedule before. So it may be that the White House disclosed actually what actually happened.

SESAY: All right. Let's bring in Gayle. Gayle -- this is highly classified information pertaining to ISIS, according to the "Washington Post" and the "New York Times" as we've been reporting, the story has been picked and widely disseminated.

What -- so ISIS, what is the benefit here from where they're sitting? What are they thinking? What does it mean for them?

GAYLE TZEMACH-LEMMON, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Well, I mean I think any time you can sow confusion among the coalition is, you know, certainly not a bad moment.

But I think the bigger questions, if you talk to Special Operations folks, what they were saying, you know, is that people are -- about the ISIS campaign more broadly -- is that this is a critical moment.

Turkey visit is coming this week which is -- and Turkey's already unhappy about what's happening with the counter-ISIS campaign. You have a critical campaign to retake Raqqa which is waiting in the ring. And so it's all an incredibly unhelpful moment to have intel that has come form allies hit the public domain. And so I think that to me is the central question about it is not as one source told me earlier today was it's not a national security threat but it's decidedly unhelpful.

SESAY: Yes. Juliette -- back to you, if you are an intelligence sharing ally with the United States, what are you thinking right now?

KAYYEM: I think I don't want to overreact on this. I mean the intricacies of our intelligence-sharing are very deep and very wide. They're not going to fall apart based on one mistake but it will have implications and we are -- we would I think be delusional not to think that other nations are now assessing what they're willing to share with us.

Number two, our own intelligence agencies may be assessing what they're willing to tell the White House which is not a good place to be.

But the third category is also nerve-wracking for many of our allies. The United States is very good at intelligence gathering. We are sort of the supplier and other nations that are not as strong -- Canada, for example -- are really, you know, they really are sort of, you know, intelligence -- they take our intelligence consumers (inaudible).

So the weaker we are, the weaker a lot of other nations are. So it's going to have an impact. The sky won't fall immediately but each of this pieces begins to have an impact on the apparatus that, as Gayle was saying, is just so essential for all of these big fights right now.

LITTMAN: Well, let me just add to that. When Donald Trump came in, it was reported that the U.S. intelligence agencies told the Israeli intelligence agencies not to share everything with Donald Trump. And now we see why that would be at this point.

But let me just go -- we're missing I think the forest for the trees a little bit here, which is Donald Trump may not be confident enough to be president. There are a lot of problems obviously. It's not like he's fulfilling some big agenda.

We're four months in. Could you imagine having to go through four years of this? I mean it's going to be impossible for the country to go through this. And I do think that the Republican Party needs to step in.

SESAY: So John -- before you respond to that, let's give our viewers a sense of Republican reaction to this. Senator John McCain spoke a couple of hours ago once this news broke. Let's play what he has to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAJU: It turns out, according to the "Washington Post". that President Trump revealed highly-classified information to the Russians last week. What do you-- what's your reaction?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Well, if it's true, obviously it's disturbing. But I think we've got to find out more before I could comment. I just can't comment on every news story, so. But obviously it's not a good thing.

RAJU: Should it be part of the investigation here going forward?

MCCAIN: I don't know. Let's wait and see what this was all about first.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: Ok. Senator McCain saying let's wait and see. But let me read you what Republican Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee had to say. Manu was quoting from him a little bit earlier.

He say "They are in a downward spiral right now" -- referring to the White House -- "and have got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that's happening. The chaos that has been created by the lack of discipline is creating an environment that I think it creates a worrisome environment."

[00:15:01] John Phillips -- to you, is this about a lack of discipline?

PHILLIPS: I think that what you're seeing expressed in those two quotes --

SESAY: And not just this -- but everything.

PHILLIPS: -- you're seeing the frustration among Republicans. This is the first time that Republicans have had the House, they've had the White House, they've had the Senate in quite some time. They have a five-four majority in the Supreme Court.

There are a lot of things that they want to do. And right now they're being chained to the subjects which they view as a huge distraction and they want to move on with their agenda. So I'm not surprised to see John McCain lashing out. I'm not surprised to see a Bob Corker lash out.

But I would say this about General McMaster. He is someone that is widely respected across the aisle. Republicans, Democrats -- he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and his word is out on this subject.

LITTMAN: I don't think that John McCain and Bob Corker are lashing out. Actually they seem fairly reserved. I think that in the days to come, they may lash out.

But where is the White House press team? Where is Sean Spicer hiding right now? I mean I can't even imagine. He should get --

PHILLIPS: Well --

(CROSSTALK) LITTMAN: -- to California. I mean there is nobody at home right now at the White House to talk about this.

PHILLIPS: On that note, this is where Trump being an outsider affects the policy directly. He's participating in a no-huddle offense here, right. So the offensive line and the wide receiver -- people can't keep up with what he's doing. And because of that sometimes there's some fumbles. Sometimes --

LITTMAN: Well, but the problem is that he's creating these mistakes himself. That's the problem.

SESAY: And Juliette -- in fact let me go back to Gayle. Sorry, Gayle -- to that point of just the confusion that's around this and this mood music now of this White House creating these missteps, we know that the Turkish president will shortly be in Washington, D.C. and will be meeting with the President.

Will this have an impact in that meeting?

LEMMON: I think what you see now, Isha, is this, you know, the free- wheeling style of the campaign meeting the very carefully worded world of national security. And particularly -- look you have wars that we're talking about -- Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and particularly the ISIS campaign that is, you know, really revving up in Syria.

And so these are all very critical moments facing American wars. Some that have gone on for more than a decade and some that are really just entering, you know, critical periods. And so I think every visit, particularly the call with Jordan tomorrow as Juliette was talking about, the visit from Turkey which Turkey is already a NATO ally deeply unhappy with the U.S. decision to use the local forces on the ground in Syria and Kurds.

So I don't think any of this upheaval is helpful for a White House that really has a great amount of national security work ahead of it.

SESAY: Matt -- Alan Dershowitz, a famed lawyer and legal mind, made the point that, you know, Democrats, you know obviously going to see this moment. They're going to seize on it, that they will be making the mistake he says to conflate it with the allegations or the speculation about the Trump campaign having ties to Russia. Do you agree?

LITTMAN: These are two different things. I mean this is about Donald Trump's personality, what's going through his mind. Donald Trump -- could you imagine what they're doing in Moscow right now in the Kremlin. They're dancing perhaps like Mardi Gras in there because they come to the White House and Donald Trump just gives them classified information.

It's unbelievable and what's going through Donald Trump's mind is really the problem here. And this is why I say the Republican Party at this point -- Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell -- they need to step in. It's not like they're accomplishing -- as John mentioned -- the Republican agenda is not getting accomplished. But Mike Pence maybe would if Donald Trump is not going to.

SESAY: Juliette -- 30 seconds to you because I want to talk about the foreign policy side of this.

KAYYEM: I think -- I don't think -- yes. I don't think Alan Dershowitz is correct in that. I think that there is a casualness that the President showed in front of Russia that is consistent with all of these concerns about why is he so friendly with Russia.

You know, the Russians are in the room and he's sharing classified information with them. He's treating them like an allied country. So I do think that Russia does circulate around all these stories in a really sort of inexplicable way still.

SESAY: All right. Juliette Kayyem, Gayle Tzemach-Lemmon, Matt Littman, John Phillips -- we're going to keep this conversation going in the next hour. We've got to leave it here for now. Thank you.

LITTMAN: Thank you.

SESAY: All right. Quick break here.

And policy in Syria has two NATO allies at odds -- ahead, a look at whether the first face-to-face meeting the Turkish and U.S. presidents will ease the friction.

And a busy first day for France's new president -- Emmanuel Macron is hard at work at home and abroad.

[00:19:25] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: Hello, everyone.

Washington's policy in Syria will be on the table in what is expected to be a strained meeting between President Trump and his Turkish counterpart. Recep Tayyip Erdogan will push for a reversal on Mr. Trump's decision to arm Kurdish fighters battling ISIS.

And Becky Anderson reports that's not the only area of potential disagreement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): We have to move on from making phone calls to one another and instead get together face to face.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And now they're going to do just that. Turkey's newly-emboldened President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet America's new president on Tuesday. The biggest thing they've got to talk about is surely Kurdish forces like this in Syria, America's main weapon on the ground against ISIS.

Washington is moving in to protect them but Turkey can't stand them, bombing them, brandishing them terrorists. In a worldwide exclusive, Turkey's president told me why. ERDOGAN: In order to hit a terrorist organization such as Daesh, using another terrorist organization such as YPG or PYD, it's not right. It's a terrorist organization. And the other one is a terrorist organization as well.

ANDERSON: That is putting Washington in an awkward position. Its two main partners in a deadly war triangle and many have fled conflicts like that.

ERDOGAN: There are three million refugees in Turkey right now. And last July, the E.U. echelon pledged three million euros to Turkey and then a second three billion euros is pledged. But so far only through UNESCO have we received 725 million euros.

ANDERSON: It's not clear how much help Trump would be either.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A judge has just blocked our executive order on travel and refugees coming into our country from certain countries.

ANDERSON: And that's not all. Turkey has another big wish.

ERDOGAN: We're going to ask for the extradition of this heinous special leader. The evidence is there. The documents have been unmasked pointing to the number one perpetrator of this failed coup as Fetullah Gulen.

ANDERSON: That's this man, a powerful Turkish cleric who lives in Philadelphia. Erdogan accuses him of mounting this failed coup against him last summer, something he strongly denies.

America's last president wanted more proof before sending him to Turkey. They said Trump hasn't spoken about it at all so far, but Turkey's president is optimistic.

ERDOGAN: I'm hopeful. I'm hopeful. I'm going to preserve that hope.

ANDERSON: But with a number of hugely important issues. It's going to take a lot more than hope to get everything in order.

Becky Anderson, CNN -- Abu Dhabi.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SESAY: Our Muhammad Lila joins us now from Abu Dhabi. And Muhammad -- so Turkey has been outspoken in its opposition to the U.S. decision to arm Syrian Kurds in that fight against ISIS in Syria. Outspoken is one thing but does President Erdogan have any leverage over the U.S. to force a rethink of that decision.

MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isha -- the short answer to that is that he doesn't have a whole lot. Look, Turkey and the United States are key partners, that's a key NATO ally. And we know that on the ground, both Turkey and the United States have said that their goal in Syria and Iraq is to eliminate and eradicate ISIS. But the Turkish military, of course, has launched a number of offensives. They've suffered several casualties. And of course, we also know that Erdogan himself has purged his armed forces of people that he believed were loyal to the coup movement of that exiled cleric who's now living in the United States.

[00:25:07] So what can Turkey do to curry Trump's favor? Well, there is one small card, if you will, in the deck that Turkey has and that is that Turkey has allowed the United States to operate out of one of its military bases, the Incirlik military base, where the United States launches airstrikes on targets in Syria and Iraq.

There would be a symbolic move for example, for Erdogan to turn around and say well, the United States is no longer allowed to use that base. But even if Erdogan decides to do that, the United States has a number of other bases in the region that they could simply deploy to and launch those airstrikes out of. So really I think in this case, President Erdogan's hands might be slightly more tied for this visit compared to previous years.

SESAY: All right. Well, that's just one of the issues on the table. What about the issue of the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, that cleric who is here in the United States that Turkey wants to see extradited because of their belief that he was behind that coup in Turkey last year? Any indications that this Trump administration will handle this issue differently from the previous one?

LILA: Well, the short answer is no. There are no indications. I mean Trump has been very quiet about this, hasn't really said much about Fetullah Gulen. We know from the Turkish side, of course, that this has been a Turkish demand ever since the failed coup took place almost a year ago now.

Since that time, even under the Obama administration, Turkey has been very clear, they have demanded his extradition. They've even sent what they say is a dossier of evidence in which they say is proof that Fetullah Gulen was behind the coup but, of course, the Obama administration didn't accept that evidence. They certainly didn't extradite him.

And there is no indication that the new Trump administration is willing to chart a different course. And of course, that is going to be a very sore spot in terms of the relationship between Turkey and the United States. And certainly as these two leaders meet, Trump and Erdogan, it's bound to come up. It's going to be very interesting to see if Trump does decide to change course.

SESAY: It sounds like it's going to be a very tense meeting.

Muhammad Lila, joining us there from Abu Dhabi. Muhammad -- appreciate it. Thank you.

Quick break here in our breaking news story. We'll have a lot more on that report that President Trump shared highly-classified information with Russia. A CNN security analyst says if this is true, it could severely hurt U.S. relations with key allies. Details next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm Isha Sesay.

The headlines this hour --

Two former officials confirmed to CNN that U.S. President Donald Trump shared highly-classified information with Russian officials.

[00:30:00] The "Washington Post" broke the story and reporting that Mr. Trump made the disclosures during a White House meeting with the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador at the White House last week.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will have its first meeting with U.S. President Trump on Tuesday. Ties between the two countries are strained over Washington's militia-armed Kurdish fighters in Syria. Mr. Erdogan will try to get that decision reversed.

Investigations into the world's largest cyber attack showed possible links to North Korea. Experts have found similarities between last week's WannaCry virus and programs created by North Korean hacking group. This doesn't necessarily mean that Pyongyang is responsible but it gives investigators a way to compare past samples used by hackers.

Well, for more on the report, President Trump reveals highly classified information to Russian officials, I'm joined by CNN political and national security analyst David Sanger.

David, thank you so much for being with us.

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Good to be with you, Isha.

SESAY: Now, first of all, what do you make of these reports by "The Washington Post" and also your paper, "The New York Times" that the president share this highly classified intelligence with two senior Russian officials.

SANGER: Well, on the one hand, the president has the authority to declassify anything he wants. He is perfectly within his legal right to say this. He's the only on the U.S. government that can really do that, that he has got that power.

That said, there's a question of whether it was wise to do because in this particular case, the intelligence came from a very sensitive source through a partnered intelligence service that's made it clear to the United States that the information leaked out, how they were getting this so forth, that that could dry up future cooperation with the U.S.

So while it was legal, it may certainly have been unwise. We've heard from the White House that the president didn't discuss ways and methods, but it does appear that he discussed enough details including the city in which they had get the information from that the Russians could figure this out pretty fast.

SESAY: Yes. And to that point, they send out, as you know, H.R. McMaster, the president's national security adviser. He was the man who faced the cameras. Take a listen to what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

H.R. MCMASTER, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Hey, good evening everybody. I just have a brief statement for the record.

There's nothing that the President takes more seriously than the security of the American people. The story that came out tonight as reported is false. The President and the Foreign Minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation.

At no time, at no time, where intelligent sources or methods discussed, and the President did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known. Two other senior officials, who were present, including the Secretary of the State, remember the meeting the same way and have said so. That on the record account should outweigh the anonymous sources. I was in the room. It didn't happen. Thanks, everybody. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SESAY: David Sanger, is that the definition of the non-denial denial?

SANGER: Well, it's pretty close. The critical words in there were as reported. And I think he added in some thoughts that I didn't see in the original "Post" piece or in "The New York Times" piece and so forth.

So "The Post" never alleged and "The Times" does not that the sources and methods were discussed. The question is all really in how he presented this data and whether he presented it in a way that would have enabled them to get and figure out the source and method pretty quickly.

Usually there are at least careful notes, if not a recording of this kind of conversations, in this case probably there were no takers there. So it should be a noble fact. It looks like those notes are being pretty closely held right now so whether or not we'll be able to get at those facts is hard to say.

SESAY: What is this going to do -- I mean, again, if this reporting is born out from "The New York Times" and "The Washington Post," and this is indeed how it played out, what will this do to first of all the relationship between the U.S. and the ally who provided the information and other allies that the U.S. shares information with.

What's the fallout here?

SANGER: Well, it will certainly strain the relations with them. It's not the first ally who's discovered intelligence information that's been revealed, what's note and walked off with documents four years ago out of the NSA. Many of the documents belong to GCHQ, the NSA's equivalent in Britain. They were pretty frosted over that. It happens with other ties.

But every time it does happen, it's a bit damaging to American intelligence relationships and it maybe a little bit damaging to the president's relationship with his own intelligence briefers who may worry that things that they tell him will get repeated to foreign visitors or adversary visitors.

And certainly in this case, it was an adversary, the Russians who showed up in the Oval Office and in sort of department of bad timing they showed the morning after he had fired Jim Comey.

[00:35:27] SESAY: I mean, there is -- you are force -- one is forced to pause for a second when you realize it. This is the president who built his campaign around the central idea of -- one of the central ideas that Hillary Clinton mishandled sensitive information, classified information with her email server. And repeatedly said she was unfit to be president because of that. And in fact, put out this tweet which I want to read for you. You may remember this.

"Crooked Hillary Clinton and his team were extremely careless in the handling of very sensitive, highly-classified information. Not fit."

And here we are. I mean, some would say, again, this is just highly ironic.

SANGER: So remember with that (INAUDIBLE) from Jim Comey, the man he ultimately fired, but there he was endorsing his words describing Hillary Clinton's handling of the email that went through her private server last July. By comparison, we haven't seen a whole lot, or heard of a whole lot that was in those emails that was as sensitive as what he appeared to have been discussing the Russians.

SESAY: Well, this is going to run and run, I'm sure. Let's see how the next couple of hours unfold.

David Sanger, I look forward to speaking to you in the hours ahead.

SANGER: Thank you very much.

SESAY: Still to come, France's new president waste no time sitting down with Germany chancellor. What was on their agenda, coming up.

And British Prime Minister confronted by desperate and angry voters who said she's struggling to make ends meet. See Theresa May's response in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: Well, it's just weeks until the UK's general election. The British prime minister has been forced to defend her policy after an angry encounter with a voter.

A woman with learning disabilities confronted Theresa May on the issue of disability benefits. The prime minister recently refused to rule out further cuts but says the government has plans for people with mental health issues. (INAUDIBLE) didn't appease the voter, who said she is struggling to get by.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fat cats keep the money and us lot get nothing.

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We're going to do a number of things. Let me just tell you one thing --

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know what I want? I want my Disability Living Allowance to come back. Not have PIPs and get nothing. I can't live on 100 pounds a month. They just took it all away from me.

MAY: Yes, you're going to write to me about that. You know, I can help you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And who's going to help me.

MAY: I'm going to help you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[00:40:06] SESAY: Meanwhile, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn is about to unveil his election manifesto. He will do that in Bradford, in the north of England.

Well, France's new president will meet with Olympic officials, Tuesday, hoping to boost Paris' bid to host the 2024 Games. This comes after a busy first day for Emmanuel Macron.

Melissa Bell has the details from Paris.

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MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was Emmanuel Macron's first full day as France's president today marked by two key events. First of all, the appointment of Edouard Philippe, France's new prime minister, man chosen from the main stream Republican Party here in France. And a move that has rather throw the Republican Party into disarray out of next month's parliamentary.

Great divisions emerging about whether or not Emmanuel Macron is seeking to fulfill his pledge which was to reach out to all the political parties here in France, to move ahead with this sort of centrist alliance around a common project or whether some Republicans accused him of, he would simply trying to throw the mainstream parties into disarray.

The other main part of his day was a trip to Berlin. It's become customary for incoming French president to make that trip to Berlin, a key ally of course to France, a key ally within the European Union. The difference this time is that Emmanuel Macron is profoundly pro- European.

There was a great deal of warmth between the German chancellor and the incoming French president. And a great deal of talk also about the need to reform Europe. Both clearly want to move ahead. Both spoke about the possibility of changing European treaties in order if that can happen, with this note of caution on the part of Emmanuel Macron.

He is still on the campaign trail ahead of next month's crucial parliamentary election and he spoke at length about the need, first of all, to reform France, to get it back on economic track, to solve that problem of high levels of unemployment that has so dug previous French government. He also spoke of the need to protect the French.

And that's one of the theme that's emerged on the course of the presidential election campaign. Also one of those issues that has been seize upon by populist around Europe. And one that Macron directly sought to address tonight when he met with Angela Merkel.

The idea here is that they will move ahead but without forgetting that it is important that Europe start to protect those who mostly need their protection.

By Tuesday, we'll have the better idea of the shape of Emmanuel Macron's government. We're expecting about 15 minutes just to be announce by Wednesday morning, just when the first cabinet meeting will be held.

Will Emmanuel Macron manage to stick to his key pledge first of all of bringing in politicians from both left and right, but also renewing the face of France's political elites by bringing in people with no political experience, while he also stick to that pledge of appointing as many women as men. We'll find out by the end of Tuesday.

Melissa Bell, CNN, in Paris.

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SESAY: Well, opponents usually try to intimidate each other in the Sumo ring but over the weekend Japanese wrestlers just wanted to make babies cry. The crying sumo ring is a 400-year-old ceremony across Japan.

More than 100 babies took part in procession at a shrine west of Tokyo. Heads of infants are held up in the ring while Sumo wrestlers who try to get them to ball. Their crying is believed to drive out demons and protect the young children from trouble.

They look very happy.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm Isha Sesay. "World Sport" is up next. Then I'll be back with another hour of news from all around the world. You're watching CNN.

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