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CNN NEWSROOM

Deterioration in the U.S.-Russian Relationship; Confirmation Hearing for Trump's Secretary of State Pick. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired April 12, 2018 - 10:30   ET

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


[10:30:00] DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: The question is how they deal with it. And so far, he has sort of conflated the two in a way that is very uncomfortable for many of his military leaders.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: It certainly -- that tweet yesterday when he suggested, you know, very specifically that so much of the deterioration in the U.S.-Russian relationship was connected to the Russia investigation, the Russia probe that's ongoing here in Washington.

BASH: Exactly.

BLITZER: President -- our relationship with Russia, he said yesterday, is worse now than it has ever been and that includes the Cold War and he said a lot of this is the result of this Russia investigation.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, it's an odd rewriting of history, right? I mean, if you look at what Russia has done prior to all of this investigation and part of the investigation is because they meddled in the 2016 election. They obviously invaded the Ukraine as well. So I mean, that is part of what -- and Russia, obviously, wants to see a declining West. Right?

I mean, that is part of their strategy. And they're obviously active in North Korea in some ways, in Syria in some ways, and that is part of the real tension that the United States has with Russia. But you can see that this is a president who can't compartmentalize in the way that Bill Clinton could when he was under investigation, an investigation that eventually led to him being impeached.

This is a president that sees an attack -- it's not even an attack, that sees it as an attack on the country. Right? I mean, he said that in front of all of those military leaders, essentially said that this investigation in New York represented an attack on the country, which was an odd thing to say, let alone being around all these military leaders. So we'll see. I mean, the president from all the reporting that you and Gloria and our team have been doing, he's more upset than he's ever been.

He's obviously getting all sorts of advice about what is the next course, does it include firing people, like Rod Rosenstein --

BASH: And advice from the outside. HENDERSON: Exactly. From Steve Bannon.

BASH: Blast from the past.

HENDERSON: Yes.

BASH: Steve Bannon trying to go back in.

BLITZER: We're going to get into all of that. We're watching this hearing unfold. We anticipate Mike Pompeo, the nominee to become the next secretary of state will be making an opening statement, answering questions from the senators momentarily. There you see Senator Burr, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, supporting Pompeo.

We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Corker, now making his opening statement for this confirmation hearing for Mike Pompeo to be the next secretary of state. Let's listen in.

(SENATE CONFIRMATION HEARING)