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Trump Lashes Out at Allies During NATO Summit; Russian Company Had Access to Facebook Data for Millions of Users; Senate Expresses Support for NATO, Pushes Back on Trump's Tariffs. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired July 11, 2018 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, summit scolding. President Trump upends the NATO summit, castigating allies and going off on Germany in a display one Republican lawmaker calls damaging.
Kremlin Facebook access. A Russian Internet firms with ties to the Putin government collected data on millions of Americans from their Facebook accounts.
Congressional pushback. Lawmakers rebuke President Trump's tariffs and his hostility toward NATO and bipartisan votes.
And creature comfort. Prosecutors reveal details of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's VIP jail accommodations, but now he's going to get a new lock-up.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
A combative President Trump unleashing an extraordinary stream of criticism on allies at the NATO summit in Brussels, slamming them over defense spending and singling out Germany, which he called -- and I'm quoting him now -- "a captive to Russia."
One senior European diplomat says the president's performance was, quote, "beyond belief." And here in Washington members of Congress are expressing shock and concern.
We'll talk about that and much more with Congressman Adam Schiff. He's the top Democrat in the House Intelligence Committee. And our correspondents and specialists, they're standing by.
First, let's go straight to Brussels. Our White House correspondent Jim Acosta is on the scene -- Jim.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this is exactly what U.S. allies feared this week. President Trump ripping into the NATO alliance just before he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The president is asking what good is NATO as he describes Germany as a captive of Russia because of its dependency on Russian oil and gas. The president sounds as if he's trying to say he's not the one with a Russia problem.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good morning, everybody. Good morning to the media. The legitimate media and the fake news media.
ACOSTA (voice-over): It was an unsettling scene in Brussels as President Trump picked a fight with NATO, accusing longstanding allies in the decades-old partnership of taking advantage of U.S. military might.
TRUMP: Many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money for many years back for their delinquent.
No other president brought it up like I bring it up.
ACOSTA: In harsh language that has Europe fuming, the president lashed out on Twitter asking, "What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy?" A message he relayed to the NATO secretary-general.
TRUMP: If you look at it, Germany is a captive of Russia, because they supply -- they got rid of the coal plants. They got rid of their nuclear. They're getting so much of the oil and gas from Russia. I think it's something that NATO has to look at.
ACOSTA: The president seemed to surprise NATO by calling on alliance members to dramatically boost their defense spending to 4 percent of their GDP, double the current goal. The U.S. is at 3.5 percent, while Germany is way behind at just over 1 percent.
The NATO secretary-general explained unity is also needed when it comes to standing up to Russia.
JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL: When we stand together, also, in dealing with Russia, we are stronger. I think what we have seen is that --
TRUMP: No, you're just making Russia richer.
We're having a great meeting. We're discussing military expenditure. We're talking about trade.
ACOSTA: For all the president's tough talk, he didn't raise the issue of Russian energy in front of the cameras with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you discuss the gas pipeline?
ACOSTA: When Mr. Trump met with the French president --
TRUMP: A friend of mine.
ACOSTA: -- Emmanuel Macron made it clear he doesn't agree with the president.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Macron, do you agree that Angela Merkel is beholden to the Russians?
TRUMP: Oh, I'm glad they asked you that. Thank you. Thank you very much.
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: No. I think -- we just discussed. We work together.
ACOSTA: Merkel, who grew up in East Germany during the Cold War, insisted she understands Russian aggression all too well.
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): Because of current events, I want to add that I myself lived through a part of Germany being controlled by the Soviet Union.
ACOSTA: The melodrama at the NATO summit played out just days before Mr. Trump is set to hold critical talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The president's sharp words for Germany appeared to be in response to criticism that he's too cozy with Putin, a tactic he's used before, dating back to the 2016 election.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, that's because he'd rather have a puppet as president.
TRUMP: No puppet. No puppet.
CLINTON: And it's pretty clear.
TRUMP: You're the puppet.
ACOSTA: Back in Washington, the president's rhetoric on NATO unnerved fellow Republicans. Some in the GOP were careful not to criticize the president.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: NATO's indispensable. It's as important today as it ever has been.
ACOSTA: And some weren't.
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: Sometimes it feels like we punch our friends in the nose and hold our hand out to people that are working strongly against us like Russia and Putin.
[17:05:11] ACOSTA: It's unclear how much the president will moderate his tone as he heads to Britain tomorrow. He'll meet with Prime Minister May, who's also had a tense relationship with Mr. Trump at times.
But the president's sense of decorum will be royally tested as he sits down with Queen Elizabeth on Friday the 13th. Then the stakes, of course, get much higher, Wolf, as he makes his way to Finland to hold that high-stakes talk with Vladimir Putin.
Wolf, a lot riding on that summit coming up with Vladimir Putin on Monday.
BLITZER: You're absolutely right. The stakes will be enormous. Jim Acosta on the scene for us, thank you. Breaking tonight, new and very disturbing information about potential
privacy violations affecting millions of Facebook users right here in the United States. CNN has learned that a Russian Internet company with links to the Kremlin had access to the Facebook data of millions of Americans without their knowledge.
Our justice correspondent Evan Perez is joining us now.
Evan, tell us what you found out.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, Mail.ru is the name of the company we're talking about. It developed hundreds of Facebook apps. It's one of the largest Internet companies in the world, and he has close ties to the Russian government.
And the way -- because of the way it developed these hundreds of Facebook apps is the way it got access to the data of millions of Americans, people using Facebook here in the United States.
Now, until 2015, according to Facebook, these apps a lot of them had access to data from their users including their name, their gender, their birth date, location, the kinds of things they liked on Facebook.
In 2015, that changed. Facebook's policy changed. However, a couple of apps that were developed by Mail.ru were allowed to have extended use of that data for a period of a couple of weeks, according to information that Facebook has now provided to Congress.
BLITZER: Any reaction from Facebook or from this Russian company?
PEREZ: Well, Facebook says that they found so far -- they're doing an investigation of all of this. And they found no indication of misuse by Mail.ru. And they say if they find misuse by any of its app developers, that they ban them.
We've talked to Mail.ru, and they say that, other than to promote its games, social games on Facebook, it didn't collect, it says, data on Americans. It also says that Americans' account for no more than 5 percent of its Facebook app audience.
It's important also for us to mention that they say that they did not collect data on the friends of the users who had downloaded their app.
BLITZER: Having said that, could this data have been used by the Russians in the meddling in the 2016 presidential election?
PEREZ: That's the important question. That's certainly a question that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, has been pursuing. The question of whether and how the Russians were able to obtain data of Americans that were used in some of the targeting for some of the ads on Facebook and in other social media.
So the question is, you know, how does this data which is accessed by this Russian company, then what happens to it? Does it end up in the hands of the Russian intelligence services? Now, people we've talked to, former and current officials in the U.S.
government, tell us that that is exactly how it works. That companies like Mail.ru are required to provide access to Russian intelligence.
And so, this is the question. What happened to that data once it got to Russia? We still don't know the answer.
BLITZER: Evan, thank you very much. Good reporting, as usual.
Let's get some more on all of this. The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Adam Schiff of California, is joining us.
Congressman, thanks for joining us.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: Good to be with you.
BLITZER: So do you believe this activity that we just reported on by these Russians involving Facebook is being directed directly by the Kremlin?
SCHIFF: Well, we don't know. Certainly, what Evan said is exactly right and that is, if the Kremlin takes interest in data that any Russian company have those Russian companies are not in a position to say no.
I mean, some may be affirmatively working as arms of the state. But even those that are not have to acquiesce to any request coming from Putin or from the Kremlin.
Now, we have been investigating whether the Russians got ahold of the data that Cambridge Analytica obtained improperly, that its researchers got by using these apps and determining data of tens of millions of Americans without their authorization, whether that ended up in Russian hands. But here's another venue, vehicle in which the Russians might have gotten data on Americans.
BLITZER: Were you or your committee aware of this Russian company, what we've just been reporting on, what they were doing involving this data?
SCHIFF: No. We were not. And it's certainly something that we need to look into. We have learned a lot in the last few weeks about Cambridge Analytica, its ties to the Russians, its ties to those involved in Brexit, the connections between the Brexiteers, Steve Bannon and the Trump campaign. A lot of parallels there. But this new potential for Russian gathering of American data was not brought to our attention, no.
[17:10:07] BLITZER: So you want to reopen the House Intelligence Committee investigation on this and see if the Russians used this information as far as meddling in the U.S. presidential election?
SCHIFF: Well, actually, Wolf, we've never closed the investigation. We've continued it. The Republicans walked away. They're not interested in learning the answer to these questions, what data on Americans did the Russians get, so they've walked away. But we've continued unabated. And a lot of the most important information we've learned in terms of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica came after the Republicans walked away.
So we're going to continue, and we will certainly be looking into this issue with Facebook.
BLITZER: So do you want to bring Facebook back for a hearing, question the leadership there?
SCHIFF: Well, we've been having, you know, ever since the hearing in which their chief legal officer testified, we've been in constant communication with Facebook, requesting new information from them, engaged in a dialogue about what they are learning, what we've learned. So that's going to continue. Whether this will merit its own hearing, we'll have to analyze.
One consequence, frankly, the majority abandoning the investigation is it will not allow the minority to use the committee resources to even conduct hearings like that. So we have to find other ways of doing the same thing.
BLITZER: There are real restrictions when you're in the minority.
What kind of damage, Congressman, can the Russians do now that they have all this data, all this information on American citizens?
SCHIFF: Well, you know, what they can do is they can better target their clandestine social media efforts.
What we have seen since the last election is that the Russian efforts on social media never stopped. They merely have changed in terms of what their targets might be. A lot of the same fault lines they continue to seek to exploit.
So even after the election, they were exploiting divisions over the take-a-knee NFL controversy. They were weighing in on Roseanne Barr. Wherever they could find an opportunity to divide us, they seem to have been willing to do it. That goes on.
And with the more data the Russians have, the better they're able to target that kind of campaign.
BLITZER: Let's talk about the NATO summit. Russian aggression, as you know, obviously on the agenda at the NATO summit in Brussels this week, but President Trump is focusing in, instead, on spending targets, tweeting things like -- and I'm quoting now -- "What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy?"
Does that kind of language, Congressman, make you worry about the entire future of the alliance?
SCHIFF: Well, it makes me worry about our participation in the alliance and what our allies, what their response to us will be, whether they'll seek to make friends elsewhere, because they can't rely upon the United States.
That a president of the United States could say, "What good is NATO" in the context of any question is just breathtaking. I mean, NATO was there for us, doing flyovers after 9/11. NATO soldiers have fought side by side with us in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. NATO countries have contributed members to those fights.
NATO has been responsible for the collective peace in Europe and the prosperity we have enjoyed and the security we have enjoyed at home.
The question is not "What good is NATO?" The question is what's wrong with a democratic leader who doesn't understand NATO's value?
BLITZER: After the NATO summit, the president will meet, as you know, on Monday with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. They're going to have a one-on-one meeting, we're told. Only interpreters present. That means there will be, apparently, no official record of what was discussed.
Should the president be holding, do you believe, this kind of private meeting with the Russian leader?
SCHIFF: Well, of course not. And I think it's quite obvious why the president wants a private meeting. He doesn't want there to be any witnesses. He wants to be able to leave the meeting and, frankly, represent whatever he wants took place, regardless of the facts.
So he wants to be able to go out and say, "Oh, I pressed him," or "I asked him about his interference in the elections," whether or not that's, in fact, true.
Sadly, that's the practice with this president. And for a U.S. president to be castigating our allies, like Germany, and embracing our foes, like Putin; to be ignorant of the fact that all around the world there is a really rising tide of authoritarianism, and far from standing up and championing democracies, our president is aligning himself with the autocrats. It is a head-spinning development that threatens not only our security and our democracy but liberal democracy around the world.
BLITZER: Let me finally get your reaction, Congressman, to the developments in the trial of the president's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
A federal judge, as you know, is now moving Manafort to a different jail despite Manafort's request to stay where he is, due to concerns, he says, about his safety. Do you believe Manafort has good reason to fear for his life?
SCHIFF: Wolf, I would have no way of knowing, except Manafort has proved, I think, not to be a very credible person. If this was somebody who there's evidence was attempting to suborn perjury, then you certainly have to imagine they'd be willing to do say anything, do anything to either be able to change the place of their confinement, release themselves from confinement on their own recognizance. [17:15:16] I do think that the exposure that he has from these charges
is so substantial that he has probably concluded that, even if he were to cooperate fully, he is still facing serious time. So his only hope is to basically plead, beg, audition for a pardon with the president, and given how the president has been abusing the pardon power, that should concern all Americans.
BLITZER: Congressman Adam Schiff, thanks so much for joining us.
SCHIFF: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: Up next, Congress pushes back against President Trump in bipartisan votes. And the U.S. Senate confirms a controversial nominee to a key Justice Department post. What were his ties to a Russian bank?
[17:20:25] BLITZER: Republican lawmakers are joining with Democrats to express their deep concern over tariffs President Trump has imposed in the name of national security, as well as his escalating attacks on NATO.
Our senior congressional correspondent, Manu Raju, is working the story for us up on Capitol Hill. Manu, so what's the latest? What are you hearing?
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, a very overwhelming rebuke of the president by the Republican-led Senate over the last two days.
Yesterday, reaffirming the support of the United States Senate for NATO in light of these attacks that the president continues to wage against the alliance. And today, in a vote by 88-11, broad bipartisan support to try to rein President Trump in on those tariffs that he has been imposing against European allies and against China.
What this symbolic measure does is it calls for Congress to have a role any time the president cites and uses his national security authority to impose those new tariffs. A sign of significant unease, even among Republicans ranks, about the president's steps on foreign policy.
Now this all comes as the president has made those rather pointed remarks against NATO and against Germany today and getting some pushback from Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, including from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker who told me that the president is damaging the world standing by going after NATO.
CORKER: I think at the same time you can want -- you can express yourself without trying to tear down an alliance that's been important to this security of Americans.
RAJU: Are you worried that's what's happening? He's tearing down an alliance?
CORKER: I do worry. I mean, it's -- there's a significant concern that people don't feel like we're committed to NATO.
RAJU: As he damaged the United States' standing around the world?
CORKER: Well, let me put it this way. It's palpable, the concern that people have as to our reliability. I mean, it's real. I believe that America's leadership around the world has made the world safer for Americans. And made the world a better place. And I -- when I see that leadership diminishing and us trying to break apart alliances that we created, it troubles me.
RAJU: And Wolf, Corker's unique in the sense that he is a retiring Republican member. So he voices those concerns publicly, unlike other Republicans, who are not coming out in public.
But voting today and yesterday, there is a real sign of these concerns about the president has been taking towards NATO, to these tariffs. At least they're voting a way that is breaking from this administration even if they're not joining Corker in publicly condemning this president and certainly stopping much shorter than Democrats, who today called on the president to apologize for those remarks, particularly against Germany, calling them embarrassing, disgraceful. No Republicans going nearly that far, but nevertheless a rebuke of sorts by the Senate and these two votes over the last couple of days here, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes, it's pretty extraordinary.
Manu, on another topic, the Senate just confirmed a controversial nominee to lead the Justice Department's criminal division. Tell our viewers what's going on.
RAJU: Yes, Brian Benczkowski, whose nomination had been languishing, languishing for over a year, was nominated to head the Justice Department's criminal division, but Democrats pushed back. They tried to block this nomination because of his role briefly doing legal work for that Russian-linked bank, Alfa Bank, that has ties to the Russian government.
The Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee had called on the Justice Department, called on President Trump to withdraw this nomination. That is what the Republicans resisted. Instead, they pushed forward this nomination. He was confirmed today by a 51-48 vote. All Republicans voted for him. All Democrats except for one voted against him, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, whose spokesman told me that he tends to vote for the presidential executive branch nominees, deferring to the president on that issue.
But at his confirmation hearing, Brian Benczkowski said that he would recuse himself from any matters referring to Alfa Bank that come before him. But Democrats said that is not nearly enough, believing it could be a conflict of interest when it comes to the Mueller investigation or any other Russia-related investigation that is ongoing right now at the Justice Department.
BLITZER: Yes. Head of the criminal division, that's a big, big job.
Manu, thank you very, very much.
Coming up, what affect are President Trump's escalating attacks having on America's NATO allies? Plus, we have details of Paul Manafort's VIP jail experience and why it's about to end for the indicted former Trump campaign chairman.
[17:29:45] BLITZER: Tonight there's plenty of fallout from President Trump's disruptive day over at the NATO summit in Brussels. The president scolded members of the alliance, calling them delinquent and demanding that they start contributing more money immediately. He also declared Germany, in his words, is "captive to Russia" because of its reliance on Russian natural gas.
Let's talk about all of this and more. And John Kirby, what affect does this kind of rhetoric have on America's allies?
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY (RET.), CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: It's not going to shock them. I think they all expected Trump to come in and be tough on defense spending in particular.
I think what this really does, ore than anything, Wolf, is convinces them that they cannot count on U.S. leadership within the alliance, that the United States is going to continue to isolate itself and pull back from its commitments. And I think it's forcing them to galvanize themselves to look at alternative ways to band together for their own common security.
BLITZER: Phil Mudd, does it put the entire alliance in jeopardy right now, as some of the critics are suggesting?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Not yet. Let's look at a little bit of history for a moment. Just talking to John Kirby about this in the green room.
Look, I mean, Vietnam was not exactly a NATO operation. A lot of skepticism about Vietnam within NATO.
Go back just a few years ago. Around this table, you would have been talking about Freedom Fries when the French, a NATO ally, said, "We're not in Iraq with you." And there was a significant rift across the Atlantic.
I think the one question it raises is, if you look at presidents, for example, President Bush back in 2001, presidents when they face crises, particularly military crises, need NATO. Would NATO allies now look at President Trump in the midst of a crisis and say, "This is a guy who will lead us?" And I think the answer has got to be no.
BLITZER: Sabrina Siddiqui, the president likes to think he's the great dealmaker right now. Could all of this be a negotiating ploy to get what he wants?
SABRINA SIDDIQUI, "THE GUARDIAN": Well, I think few policymakers disagree that NATO is in need of reform and that there could be an examination of its role in the world today and what that should look like.
But the president throwing a temper tantrum and threatening to hold the military commitments that are the bedrock of the NATO alliance as a bargaining chip is not the way to negotiate. And I think what it does is it does -- it reinforces concerns, as John mentioned, over U.S. protections toward Europe. And it also amplifies what are some of the European leaders' worst fears going into this summit, that next week the president could, perhaps without the consultation of NATO allies, strike a deal of some kind with Vladimir Putin when he sits down with the Russian president in Helsinki.
BLITZER: That's a good point.
Bianna Golodryga, you're an expert on Russia. How's the Kremlin reacting to what's going on over in Brussels right now?
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I would imagine even Vladimir Putin would approach some of these other countries with more finesse and subtlety than the president has approached them with; and this is what a lot of people had feared going into both the NATO meeting and, obviously, in the meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday. What is going to happen behind closed doors? Why even have a need for a private meeting?
You heard the president say that he was going to end joint military operations in South Korea. A lot of people concerned that you could see that on the table once again with NATO. And the president saying, because as Vladimir Putin has been saying for years, that that's a provocation, in his opinion. President Trump used that exact same word, a provocation for North Koreans, when he decided to end the joint exercises.
A big concern is whether those joint exercises will be on the table again. Will he forego sanctions on Crimea, in exchange for any sort of help he can get with Vladimir Putin in Syria? A lot of these issues on the table.
And it was cringeworthy to watch him in his exchange with the NATO secretary-general, having to -- having to be told the history of NATO; and talking about trade with Germany, for instance. And the NATO general-general saying, "Listen, even during the Cold War we had trade with Russia, as well."
So you got a sense of the president really having to be told about the history of this very important strategic alliance that, by the way, has saved the U.S. a lot of money.
BLITZER: You know, what's interesting, also, speaking of money, John, the president had been demanding that the NATO allies, all 29, spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense. In 2014, they all agreed by 2024 to do that. Most of them have not even come close. But now all of a sudden today, he says it's got to be 4 percent, and
it's got to be immediately.
KIRBY: I know. It's a ludicrous demand that he's making here. Look, we're not even in 4 percent.
And back in 2010 -- you'll remember this, Wolf -- the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff argued for 4 percent spending of GDP on American defense, and we never reached it.
It is a -- it is a useful metric, but it's not a complete metric on determining what military readiness is. It really matters what you're investing that money in.
And many of these countries, it's going to be a stretch for them just to get, by 2024, up to 2 percent. And right now, the current estimates are Germany won't even make it by then. So it's a ludicrous claim.
BLITZER: Only four -- four of the NATO allies spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense right now. There you can see, the United States, Greece, the United Kingdom and Estonia right now.
The others, you know, obviously, aren't even close to that. Most of them aren't even close to that. What's your analysis?
MUDD: Sure. There's a couple things going on here. First, some of them have a target going out to 2024 to get there.
Also, some of them are looking at the United States, saying, "Look, if you're" -- I suspect looking at the United States, saying, "Look, get -- figure this out. You're telling me that the easiest meeting you have this week, after meetings with the U.K. and NATO, is with Vladimir Putin? Theoretically, he's the threat. Why the heck would we double our target for defense spending against the Russia threat when you tell us the Russia threat is declining?" If I were the NATO allies, I'd say, "We've got a 2 percent target. Why the heck are we going to double it against a threat that's declining? I don't get it."
BLITZER: Interesting, Sabrina, because the Senate has just voted, what, 97-2 to support NATO, sending a very clear message, a message that a lot of people see as a rebuke to the president: 97-2.
SIDDIQUI: It's important to remember that NATO is a treaty obligation that was ratified by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. And any structural changes to the agreement would ultimately have to go through Congress.
So while the president might talk tough about America and its commitment to NATO, I think lawmakers in Washington are sending a very clear message that he does not speak on behalf of the entire U.S. government in this case. It is a reminder to the president that NATO does remain the most powerful military coalition in the world and that that position is not changing, despite what the president might say while he is out there. BLITZER: Bianna, why should people here in the United States care?
GOLODRYGA: Well, if you think about the U.S. having many military bases, and naval and air throughout Europe, these European countries are actually paying us for us being there. So when the president, who's so focused on saving money, keeps talking about the amount of money we're spending, it actually would cost us more to bring those troops home.
Remember, Article V, that was a big debate last year, whether or not the president would once again support Article V of NATO. The one time that it's been invoked, remember, was after September 11.
And so a lot of these issues, Americans don't pay close attention to, because you think of the meetings as a meeting of friends, right? So they come, and whatever differences they have, they talk about behind closed doors and they present a united front.
It seems to be sort of, you know, upside-down world where we can probably go ahead and anticipate that things are going to be different coming out of the meeting with Vladimir Putin on Monday.
I haven't heard one person mention in this meeting, or the president mention the fact that there's been a chemical weapons death on E.U. soil in England. And much of that attributed, most all of the intelligence throughout Europe and the U.S., attributes that to Russia.
So it seems as if Russia's getting off while we are now focusing on these rifts between our very strategic and important allies.
BLITZER: Everybody stick around. There's more we need to discuss, including a brand-new controversy emerging involving a top White House official. Stand by for a newly-found record of his wife saying women in the U.S. military should expect sexual harassment.
And later, prosecutors reveal surprising information about what Paul Manafort's life in solitary confinement is really like.
[17:42:24[ BLITZER: CNN has exclusively uncovered some controversial remarks by the wife of the new White House communications chief, Bill Shine. CNN K-File senior editor Andrew Kaczynski is joining us right now. He's been working this exclusive story for us.
Andrew, you reviewed, what, hours of audio from Darla Shine's radio program. What did you learn?
ANDREW KACZYNSKI, CNN K-FILE SENIOR EDITOR: So, Shine pushed some controversial views on her radio show, "The Darla Shine Show." That was a show she hosted in 2008 and 2009. It aired on about 100 stations on the Talk Radio Network.
And she said basically that, you know, vaccines were a hoax, and she made some really -- made light of sexual assault in the military. Let's take a listen to what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DARLA SHINE, WIFE OF WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Why on earth would you fight to go on a submarine ship for months on end? You know, there was just a story with these girls, these women who are upset that they're sexually harassed in the military. What do you think is going to happen when you go on a submarine for 12 months with 4,000 horny soldiers?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Pretty shocking remark when you hear that. The -- her husband, Bill Shine, as you remember, he was pushed out of FOX over his handling of sexual harassment allegations. Remind our viewers about that.
KACZYNSKI: Yes. So he was pushed out of FOX, basically, over allegations -- he was a very high executive there -- that he had mishandled the sexual harassment allegations against, you know, the host of many, many FOX News figures that had been accused of sexual harassment. And so he was pushed out. probably last year. And now he's with the White House.
BLITZER: Darla Shine, his wife, also, as you alluded to, had some rather controversial remarks on vaccinations. Tell us about that.
KACZYNSKI: So she made a lot of, you know, controversial remarks about vaccines, things that have no, you know, medical basis. She said vaccines cause autism. She said children's bodies can't handle a large number of vaccinations. She went as far as to say that possibly, there was a conspiracy between the government and pharmaceutical companies with the -- remember, the outbreak of the flu pandemic in 2009 to make money for the pharmaceutical companies. And very strange comments, she also said that sunscreen was a hoax.
BLITZER: Andrew Kaczynski, thanks so much for that report.
Coming up, more fallout from President Trump's scolding of NATO members and especially singling out Germany.
Also coming up, surprising revelations about the conditions of Paul Manafort's solitary confinement as he awaits trial on charges filed by the special counsel, Robert Mueller.
BLITZER: This afternoon, a judge ordered former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort moved to a different jail, rejecting Manafort's request to stay where he is because of worries about his safety.
[17:50:03] Also today, court papers filed by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's attorneys shed more light on the rather unusual conditions at the jail where Manafort has been staying in solitary confinement.
Let's bring in CNN's Brian Todd. Brian, tell us what they reveal. BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, they reveal conditions which
prosecutors say are much better than those of other inmates at that jail.
Now, last week, Manafort's lawyers claimed he was in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for his own safety, and they requested that he be moved. A judge this week granted that request.
Manafort's lawyers now say they want to keep him in place. But now that judge has simply had enough and ordered him to move two weeks before his trial.
TODD (voice-over): Tonight, Robert Mueller's office seems fed up with the head-spinning moves of Paul Manafort and his lawyers.
In a new court filing, federal prosecutors go into detail on the cushy conditions they say Manafort enjoys at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Virginia. That's where the former Trump campaign chairman is awaiting trial for obstruction, fraud, and other charges.
According to prosecutors, Manafort is being held in a private living unit at Northern Neck, larger than where other inmates stay. His unit has its own bathroom, shower, telephone, and workspace, they say.
Manafort has a laptop with an extension cord that he can use in his room. He's been able to send e-mails and make more than 100 calls to his legal team.
According to prosecutors, he doesn't even have to wear a prison jumpsuit. And on the monitored prison phone calls, they say, Manafort's mentioned he's being treated like a VIP.
JOHN DEAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I suspect that the filings by Manafort's attorneys are frustrating, not only to prosecutors for having to crank out paperwork for this but the judge and his clerk. These don't play well in federal courts.
TODD (voice-over): After weeks of his lawyers pleading with judges to move Manafort closer to his legal team from the Northern Neck facility, two hours away from Washington, a federal judge this week said Manafort could move to the Alexandria Virginia Detention Center, closer to D.C. and to Manafort's home.
But within hours of that judge's ruling, Manafort's lawyers said they didn't want that, saying, quote, after further reflection, issues of distance and inconvenience must yield to concerns about his safety.
Is the Alexandria jail unsafe for someone like Paul Manafort?
ART RODERICK, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES MARSHALS SERVICE: He's a high-profile prisoner, number one, OK? There are no safety and security concerns at this particular facility. This is probably one of the more secure contract facilities that the Marshals Service uses across all of the United States. TODD (voice-over): The Alexandria Detention Center has housed high-
profile inmates like 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and Russian spy Robert Hanssen.
Officials there tell CNN Manafort would likely be placed in protective custody with no interaction with other inmates. Even though they had previously requested that he be moved, Manafort's lawyers now say they want him to stay put because of the quote, challenges he will face in adjusting to a new place of confinement just before his trial.
RODERICK: I think he's probably comfortable at Northern Neck facility, and I think he was trying to somehow figure out to get house arrest involved in his particular confinement now at this point in time.
TODD (voice-over): That's unlikely since a judge has already found that Manafort violated the terms of his previous house arrest by contacting potential witnesses and revoked his bail.
TODD: Now, Paul Manafort's lawyers have just responded to prosecutors for what they said about his conditions at that Northern Neck jail.
In a filing this afternoon, Manafort's lawyers seem to be contradictory. They called the descriptions of his conditions, quote, inaccurate, but they also write that the special counsel's office, quote, does not generally misrepresent the confinement conditions.
Strange. Manafort's lawyers also accused prosecutors of being, quote, cavalier about the complexities of preparing for his trial.
A federal judge has just ordered, as we reported, that Manafort will be transferred to that Alexandria facility before his trial starts.
A spokesperson for the Alexandria Sheriff's Office which handles that facility has told us that Manafort is likely not going to get any of the same perks that he has at Northern Neck, except maybe use of a telephone on a limited basis -- Wolf.
BLITZER: You know, Brian, has Manafort also been able to bend the rules of that jail when it comes to e-mail?
TODD: The prosecutors contend that, Wolf. That jail does not allow prisoners to send or receive e-mails.
Prosecutors, they allege that Manafort works around that by reading and composing e-mails on an outside laptop that's brought in and out of the jail by his legal team. They say once his lawyers leave the jail, the e-mails Manafort composes on that laptop are sent.
Manafort's lawyers contend that is all consistent with the rules of that facility. This has all got to be frustrating to that judge.
BLITZER: You're absolutely right. Brian Todd reporting. Thank you. Coming up, President Trump comes out swinging at allies at the NATO
Summit, then takes a pointed jab at Germany. I'll talk about it with the German Ambassador to the United States. We'll be right back.
[17:54:55] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: Happening now, captive to Russia. President Trump accuses Germany of being dependent on Moscow as he opens up the NATO Summit by trash-talking U.S. allies. This hour, angry new reactions from Germany and from Democrats who say Mr. Trump is more loyal to Vladimir Putin than to NATO.
Moscow's meddling app. CNN has learned that a Russian firm with links to the Kremlin had access to the Facebook data of millions of Americans. We have new details tonight about the scope of Moscow's secret snooping.
Senate smackdown. The Republican-led chamber votes to rebuke the President on two fronts, sending a clear message about his criticism of NATO and his policy on tariffs. Will the frustration in his own party matter to Mr. Trump?
[18:00:05] And moving Manafort. A federal judge orders the former Trump campaign chairman to a new jail as the Special Counsel reveals that he has been getting the VIP treatment.