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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Trump Now Says He Challenged Putin On Election Interference; U.S. Now Says It Will Not Allow Russia To Interview Diplomats; Trump Questions Defending NATO Ally Montenegro; Source: Suspects In Skripal Case Left For Russia; Israel Passes Controversial Nation State Law; Senate Votes To Prevent Russia From Questioning Americans; Senate Votes To Prevent Russia From Questioning Americans; Conservative radio Host Slams Trump Over Helsinki Summit; Butina Involved With U.S. Gun Rights Movement; Director Of National Intelligence Speaks Amid Russia Backlash. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired July 19, 2018 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani.
Tonight, another day, another back track about that Helsinki summit. Now Donald Trump says he does oppose the Russian leader's request to
interrogate Americans. This as new polling shows the majority of Republicans think the U.S. president did a good job with Putin. But we'll
talk to one conservative radio host who says he's ditching Trump for good.
And Israel has passed a new and very controversial law that has its critics labeling it racist. We'll have a live report from Jerusalem.
The great Irish play writer, George Bernard Shaw, once famously said, if you can't change your mind, you can't change anything. Donald Trump seems
to be embracing that idea, at least today, as we enter day four of the turmoil surrounding his summit with Vladimir Putin.
Mr. Trump's version of what happened at that summit just keeps changing and changing. The U.S. president now says he forcefully confronted his Russian
counterpart about interference in the U.S election and added that he holds Mr. Putin personally responsible for it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say you agree with U.S. intelligence that the Russians meddled in the election in 2016?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I have said that before, I have said that numerous times before and I would say that that is
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you haven't condemned Putin specifically. Do you hold him personally responsible?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I would. Because he's in charge of the country, just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in
this country. So, certainly as the leader of a country, you would have to hold him responsible, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, there's that, about holding Putin responsible. But even as Trump and his advisors try to calm the anger over the summit, it seems that
the American president is eager for another meeting with Vladimir Putin tweeting that he cannot wait for their next summit.
For the first time since the summit, we're now hearing from Vladimir Putin as well, he praised the success he and Mr. Trump had in their talks without
saying what they talked about and he said the uproar over the summit is nothing but politics as usual.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We see that there are forces in the United States that are prepared to casually sacrifice
Russia's U.S. relations to sacrifice them for their ambitions in the course of an internal political battle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's talk more about all this with CNN political analyst, Josh Rogin, and CNN national security analyst, Sam Vinograd. Thanks for being
So, Josh, let me start with you. So, initially, the White House not ruling out this Putin proposal that Russia interrogate Americans, namely Michael
McFaul, the ex-American ambassador to Russia. Now another walk back on this saying through Sarah sanders, saying that the president does not
support the idea. We're getting whiplash here, Josh.
JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, well in my discussions with administration officials over the past few days, I have heard a constant
theme and that is that they don't know what happened inside that one-on-one meeting between President Trump and President Putin and they're trying to
figure it out and it's a problem.
So, part of it is that they realize they have a political problem, as evidenced by congressional reaction, et cetera, to what President Trump
said at that press conference in terms of backing Putin.
But another part of it is that they're trying to figure it out just like everybody else. And the read out from President Trump are not
comprehensive and President Putin is adding information, and perhaps disinformation into the mix to confuse everybody more.
So, first, they have to figure out what the hell they talked about and then they have to figure out what President Trump actually agreed to and then
they have to figure out exactly what they are going to do about it.
GORANI: And we don't know what was said. It hasn't been made public. There were only translators in the room. We haven't see a transcript, Sam
Vinograd, but a remarkable idea to even consider, right? I mean, when Sarah Sanders was asked yesterday, you know, that this proposal that
Vladimir Putin put forward, like we'll let you interrogate some of these indicted Russians if you let us interrogate Americans including Michael
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It's just nonsense, but if President Trump had done any basic prep for this meeting with President
Putin, he would have known that President Putin was going to try something like this. I served with Mike McFall at the White House from 2009 until
2012 when he went over to be ambassador to Russia.
[15:05:01] Vladimir Putin has had it out for Mike McFall for years, that is absolutely nothing new ditto on Bill Browder because of their work on the
Magnitsky Act. So, going into this meeting, I am certain that the National Security Council would have flagged that President Putin is obsessed with
anybody that had to deal with the Magnitsky Act.
And to watch for it and to say he's going to bring this up, you should be prepared. Michael McFall is a U.S. diplomat serving in Russia, under
diplomatic immunity, by the way, and don't fall for this nonsense.
GORANI: Right. Meantime, and this is what I think some people were surprised by this, Josh and Sam, Donald Trump saying he's very much looking
forward to the second meeting between the two men, even though the fallout from the first meeting hasn't gone away. Josh, what do you make of that?
ROGIN: Well, that's right. It's because President Trump has now invested his own personal, political capital into this relationship, into this
warming, into this process. It's just like he did with North Korea, that gives him an incentive to paint a rosy picture about what happened.
And B, to insist that it continues in spite of all the backlash and all the evidence that it's a mounting disaster. Of course, that's in President
Putin's interest too. So, you're going to have now this protracted fight between not only establishment Washington, but also Trump's own team with
the president over how far we really have to go with this thing.
And what he's presenting which I think is pretty shocking actually, is that anyone who is against this process, must be for war. That's what Rand Paul
said on the Senate floor today, but that's a pretty serious accusation.
GORANI: Go ahead, Sam.
VINOGRAD: I was just going to say the president presents these false choices if you're not for his awful engagement with Vladimir Putin, you're
for war. There is a lot of road between being at war and directly confronting Russia through conventional means.
And where we are today, and the fact of the matter is I don't know the right word to describe where we are right now. We're under live attack
from Russia right now. So, this is not a peaceful state of affairs.
And to Josh's point, I think the president wants to try to fix this. But we also can't discount the fact that when he's in a world stage with
Vladimir Putin, he's with someone who is purposely flattering him just like Kim Jong-un did.
And he's able to feel good about himself and just paint himself as this historic figure who is going to bring the world to peace. Putin does that
purposely so does Kim Jong-un because they know that it gets under his skin in a positive way and it helps manipulate him.
GORANI: And Josh, you're in Aspen where intelligence officials and national security officials and analysts and experts are gathered. The FBI
Director Christopher Wray spoke today, and he did address this proposal by Vladimir Putin to interrogate Americans. What did he say?
ROGIN: Yes, I'm here at the Aspen Security Forum, an annual gathering of all the people that Donald Trump is attacking, the intelligence community,
the FBI, and the journalists. And all of us are asking any Trump official who will be brave enough to show their face here, what they think of what
President Trump is doing this week.
And all of them are basically saying the same thing, that they agree with the intelligence community, but they won't criticize President Trump.
That's an unsatisfying answer to the crowd here, but that's about what we have here.
We have a Trump administration that is constantly trying to explain and rationalize the behavior of the president with a wink and a nod, because
you know they don't believe what they're saying, but they can't actually say it because they want to keep their jobs. That's where we are here in
GORANI: Sure, but these are officials, they're experts, they're intellectual elites of the country, but this poll just came out, Sam, which
is interesting, 63 percent of Republicans, 63 percent think Donald Trump did a good job in Helsinki, 68 percent, misread that. That's a landslide
figure there, Sam.
VINOGRAD: It's almost inexplicable to me, particularly when you look at the fact that on a bipartisan basis here in the United States, in Congress,
which is divided on so many issues, countering Russia is actually something that Republicans and Democrats have agreed on, whether it's sanctions
against Russia or even enlarging NATO as part of an effort to constrain Russia.
So, I don't really understand these numbers, based upon again the Republicans wanting to work with Democrats to contain Russia. And coming
out of the summit, there was not one actual deliverable that anybody can point to as something that's positive for national security. So, the poll,
honestly, Hala, is really beyond the pale for me.
GORANI: All right. Go ahead, Josh.
ROGIN: I would add here very quickly, that over the next two days, all of the elites that you mentioned are going to sip champagne and eat fillet
mignon on a beautiful mountain resort and wonder how did we lose control? How did we lose touch with the common man? That is the puzzle.
GORANI: All right. I'm heading out there, Josh. Josh Rogin, Sam Vinograd, thanks very much.
[15:10:09] And by the way, I want to show you one of the day's most arresting images of this story, it's the new "Time" magazine cover. You'll
remember the one of Donald Trump with that little endearing girl and the headline "Welcome to America."
Well, this is essentially the morphed picture of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. So, the two men's faces merged together, and the headline there is
as you see it, the summit crisis. So, it's interesting.
It was done (inaudible) last year in March slightly differently, with Vladimir Putin's face and Donald Trump's hair, but in this case, you have a
merging of the features. And it's been one of the most shared images today on the internet.
Now to NATO and the question of whether Donald Trump truly believes the idea that an attack on one is an attack on all. Tiny Montenegro, the
newest member of NATO, today said it was a peaceful nation and a stabilizing influence in that part of the world.
Well, you may recall that Tuesday, Mr. Trump questioned whether the U.S. should defend Montenegro at all describing its people as aggressive and
saying a war there could start World War III.
The former Supreme Allied commander of NATO said Trump's comments play right into Vladimir Putin's hands.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, this is the worst nightmare for the Montenegrins. They thought they were safe. They got into NATO. They rely on NATO to
give them the assurance to be able to build a democracy and move their economy forward, and now the president of the United States, the leader of
NATO says, maybe we're not going to help you. It's an open invitation to Putin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And also, it was brought up by Tucker Carlson, a Nox News anchor, seemingly out of the blue saying why should my son go to fight to protect
Montenegro if it's attacked.
Well, Nick Paton Walsh is in Montenegro and he joins me now live. What reaction have you heard there to what the president said about their
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Officially, I think that the bid here is to try and use some elements of humor, speaking
to the foreign minister just a moment ago, he said there was sort of a reaction of amusement when they heard these comments.
I think they feel officially here that this is more about the spending commitments NATO allies are supposed to have and boosting that and they
sort of feel that Montenegro has been used as an example thereof.
But also, too, I think the acceptance that may have played well into Russia's agenda. Music to their ears was one phrase in fact used. This is
a very complicated situation for Montenegro because they joined just in June of last year when Donald Trump was president.
But behind me in parliament, they nearly had a coup in October of 2016. Russian intelligence officers fomenting radicals on the streets, the plan
being to take over government buildings, sow chaos, ruin the elections, and therefore make Montenegro not a country NATO would really want to have
under its fold.
The point is, though, Hala, the Article 5 collective security of NATO is really about as Tucker Carlson suggested sending troops to a country to
fight and defend them. That's the ultimately final thing nobody would expect to happen.
The idea behind collectively security is that nobody messes with all of you, with all 29 NATO members. The issue here, I think for many
Montenegrins, is the idea that perhaps that may somehow be an undermine that you can no longer count on Article 5 and not here in a place where
Russia's really trying to retain its influence but failed. There's still a big Russian influence in the population is a serious issue, not an offhand
comment in the interview with the friendly news network -- Hala.
GORANI: Right. I mean, because Montenegro is not just any country, it's the newest NATO member. In 2016, as you just explained, there was
essentially a pro-Russian coup to get rid of a government that wanted to join NATO.
I wonder what it is in Montenegro to their country being brought up. I mean, their country and theirs alone in an interview with the U.S.
president, do they believe that his was just one example out of many they could have chosen to illustrate a point about NATO and Article 5 or that
they were targeted specifically?
WALSH: Yes, I mean, they're the newest member, possibly, you know, maybe Donald Trump somehow remembers how the Brussels summit just 10 days before
they joined up pushed the prime minister out of the way and it seemed to be a photo opportunity.
You know, lots of potential reasons, but you have to think in the back of your mind was there something discussed potentially in Helsinki between
Vladimir Putin who's still obviously very angry at the increased role of NATO particularly the Balkans.
[15:15:02] Maybe one official I spoke to here said he didn't even necessarily think it was brought up in Helsinki. This is really actually
about NATO contributions. I'm not so sure frankly does smell a little bit like Kremlin talking points to some degree and that has to make many around
the White House deeply uncomfortable.
Tucker Carlson, a very sort of conservative host could end up engineering a question with President Trump that essentially makes the most vulnerable
country in NATO feel even more vulnerable. It isn't a joke. Ukraine and Georgia wanted to join NATO and they were invaded by Russia, and they most
likely won't for the foreseeable future. This really is real in this part of the world -- Hala.
GORANI: Nick Paton Walsh live in the Montenegrin capital, thanks very much.
Two developments and another major story concerning Russia now albeit a very different kind. The sources telling CNN that British police have now
identified the suspects in the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter here in England.
The source also says the suspects left for Russia after the attack in March. But in a twist, Britain's security minister has dismissed reports
that they have been identified, although, he refused to comment on CNN's reporting specifically.
Nina dos Santos has the latest from Westminster. So, have they or have they not identified the suspects in this poisoning case?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you look at Ben Wallace, the security minister's tweet, Hala, where he saying this is from the realm of
wild speculation or the wild speculation folder. It is slightly ambiguous because we have repeatedly asked the home office various other agencies
that are involved in this investigation whether or not these two identities have been known to authorities.
We have not had this denied. We have been greeted with a no comment. So, his tweet there is slightly ambiguous, sources in the security world tell
me. What we understand is that there were two individuals that have been identified thanks to CCTV footage.
The police and many agencies working on this wide scale investigation, you'll know, Hala, this is the March 14 poisoning of the Skripals, and that
they have 42 hours of CCTV footage helping them, has been facial recognition software that crystallized on the identities of two people in
particular, who it's believed to have now left the United Kingdom.
GORANI: I mean, if they have left the United Kingdom and were caught on CCTV cameras and were at an airport, that presumably means they need a
passport to leave the country, I'm confused as to how you can have all that and not the identity.
DOS SANTOS: Well, remember, we're talking in the realms here of spy craft obviously the United Kingdom has repeatedly accused Russia of being behind
this poisoning. We know that Sergey Skripal had worked as a double agent for both the SSP in Russia and then later on for MI-6 as well.
Sources tell me that they do know the identities of the people on the passenger manifest, those two individuals, but that they believed that
those individuals A, not known to security forces previously, so they have fresh identities, and that they may well have been traveling on aliases as
well -- Hala.
GORANI: Right. Quick last one on these two Britons who were poisoned not far in Salisbury and one of them sadly has died as a result of that
poisoning. Does the police believe the two cases, the Skripal case and that one many months later, are connected?
DOS SANTOS: It's looking increasingly likely that these cases may well be linked that in some ways this container that was found inside Charlie
Rowley's house has been contaminated with Novachok or indeed contains Novachok.
Now three sources have told me that what has been found is believed to have been a perfume bottle. And that Dawn Sturgess, who tragically died as a
result of the high level of exposure she received to Novachok, Hala, had actually believed that this was perfume and dabbed it on her skin,
particularly on her wrists.
And as a result received such a large dose that sadly out of the four individuals, who were poisoned in these two separate poisoning incidents
involving Novachok, she was the one that tragically lost her life, Hala, because she received a larger dose thinking it was perfume and applied it
directly to her skin.
GORANI: Nina dos Santos, thanks very much, live in Westminster, a lot more to come this evening, a new law in Israel, that some say will bury
democracy in that country. We'll be right back.
GORANI: A quick look at what's going on at the White House. President Trump is hosting a special, quote, "Pledge to America's Workers" event. In
it, he's signing an executive order on developing new employment opportunities and setting up a workforce council.
He'll also call on industries and the private sector to promise to help develop the workforce. This is the event happening now. If he says
anything newsworthy, we will bring it to you.
Israeli lawmakers have passed a controversial nation state law that some critics, even critics in Israel are calling the nail in the coffin for that
country's democracy. The law defines Israel as a historic home for the Jewish people.
But it makes no mention of equality or rights for minorities and it downgrades Arabic from an official language to what they are calling a
special status language. On top of that, the law declares, quote, "United Jerusalem" as Israel's capital.
Well, it didn't take long for a backlash to follow the passage of that bill. Two Arab Knesset members compared it with fascism and apartheid.
Oren Liebermann joins us now live from Jerusalem with more. So, what does this mean for Israel's non-Jewish population, the Arab-Israelis, those
bonafide citizens of the country?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's worth pointing out that they were not the only ones who were furious about the passage of this bill. They
may have expressed that the loudest by tearing up copies of the legislation and hanging black flags in the Knesset after this past.
But all of the opposition parties including the Israeli opposition parties were furious about this bill for the reasons you just mentioned. Israel
has no Constitution. It has no document that enshrines basic rights.
Instead Israel relies on what are known as basic laws to guide the legal system and to guide sort of executive principle. This is one of those
basic laws and as you pointed out, it makes no mention of equality, minority rights, or democracy, and it downgrades Arabic.
That is why Arab lawmakers in the Arab population is so angry about this bill, even if much of it doesn't do all that much. It establishes the
national anthem of Israel. It describes the flag and the state symbol. All of these even before this law were known to all Israelis, not Jews and
GORANI: But this goes even against the actual declaration of independence of Israel in 1948, right? So, why do this? The government must know, and
the parliamentarians must know. I know Netanyahu is delighted with it. They must know this is incendiary, that even if it doesn't really have
credible impact on day to day life. They're doing it why? For provocation? For political reasons?
LIEBERMANN: I would say it's political reasons, one of the amendments proposed by the opposition, and they were about 130 of these amendments to
lengthen the debate and delay the final passage of the legislation was to add the words, the purpose of this bill is to appease a right-wing voter
base or electorate before elections.
That was, of course, voted down by the coalition, but that I would suggest is one of the main reasons this was passed. Most of the bill doesn't
[15:25:03] Tel Aviv and Haifa today are just like they were a week ago, except for the downgrading of the status Arabic as an official language.
Instead when it comes to the next elections and that speculation is rampant in Israel as it has been.
For a few months now, Benjamin Netanyahu's party, the coalition gets to pride themselves on their nationalistic bill, while accusing the opposition
of not being pro-Israel enough when it comes to campaigning.
GORANI: Oren Liebermann, thanks very much, reporting live from Jerusalem.
Still to come tonight, a voice of disapproval, a leading conservative radio host, says he's done with President Trump, a sign of just how bitterly the
Helsinki summit is dividing America. I'll speak to Joe Walsh in a moment.
And later, Mark Zuckerberg's comments on holocaust denial have caused an outcry. How Facebook's founder is responding. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Back to our top story, day four of the fallout from the Trump- Putin summit and some breaking news about how U.S. lawmakers are reacting. Just minutes ago, the Senate of America voted overwhelmingly to oppose a
Russian proposal to question American diplomats about their activities in Russia.
It's a non-binding resolution. Now the American president, Trump, did not reject the idea outright, but there's been an outcry from diplomats in
Let's get the latest from CNN's congressional correspondent, Phil Mattingly. So, this was a resolution proposed by the Democrats to express
disapproval at any attempt to allow Russia to question American citizens and it overwhelmingly passed.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. By a vote of 98-0, you don't see a lot of things in the United States Senate or Congress in
general that passed with both parties almost in unanimous support. Look, anything (inaudible).
You noted, Hala, that this is nonbinding. It doesn't technically have any effect or teeth, but it's symbolic and symbolism matters. Just a few
minutes before this vote was actually scheduled to start, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders put out a statement saying the president disagrees
with Vladimir Putin's proposal to have Russian prosecutors interview U.S. officials including former U.S. Ambassador Michael McFall, and a few
congressional staffers who were involved in drafting the Magnitsky Act that Russia has raised so many concerns over.
That decision, I think, came about 24 hours later than what you heard from Republicans and Democrats that they would have wanted. Stunned is probably
the best way I can describe how lawmakers in both parties, Hala, were reacting after the Sarah Sanders press conference yesterday.
Where she left the door open to this as a possibility, and you know kind of the key reasons why, the idea that foreign service officers or military
officials or intelligence officials that are operating overseas would potentially be given to a foreign government or at least given access to a
foreign gov for interviews is considered severely problematic given how the U.S. operates.
So senators made it clear, they were opposed to it, they decided to do something, it was nonbinding, but it appears to have had an effect even if
the White House just a short while before that vote, Hala, decided that they too were opposed to this proposal. One that the president said was an
incredible offer and one that the White House, in their statement said was made with sincerity by President Vladimir Putin. But they're opposed to it
and so is 98 of the 100 U.S. senators. All of the senators that were present voted in favor of this resolution. Opposing that proposal, Hala.
GORANI: Thank you, Phil Mattingly in Washington. Though it did take the White House 24 hours to clarify their position.
Now, the fallout over the Helsinki summit isn't limited to Congress, even in the realm of conservative radio often considered an echo chamber for the
Trump supporter's voices. The visions are growing. Don't take my word for it though. House and former Republican Congressman, Joe Walsh tweeted,
"This press conference is an absolute disgrace. Trump won't even side with America, what Trump did today was commit treason. He cannot be supported
anymore. He is a clear and present danger to America. Republicans can no longer be quiet, I won't be quiet. I am done with him." And he went
further on air. Listen.
JOE WALSH, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN AND CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST: President Trump sounded like a traitor to this country today. I don't know
what else to say, he was asked what side he was on, are you with us or are you with Putin?
GORANI: And Joe Walsh joins me now live from Chicago. So, do you still feel as strongly as you did when you said those words on your radio show?
WALSH: Yes. And good to be with you. Look, I can't tell you how profound Monday it was. Look, I'm a former congressman, a tea party Republican
conservative congressman. My president betrayed his country on Monday in front of the world. This whole Russia thing is hard for a lot of people to
understand, it's been going on now, the investigation for a while and both sides have gone to their corners. But what happened Monday is easy to
understand, there was a president asked to choose. Do you choose to side with America or with this dictator Putin and he pretty much decided to
stand with that dictator and that was just sort of the final straw with me.
GORANI: But, Joe, I mean, why now, though? I mean, the president has said outrageous things before, I mean during the campaign, he called lots of
Mexican rapists, he said Muslims should be kept out. Children are separated from their parents. This is a White House policy. With all that
sign and this the last straw for you?
WALSH: Yes. And seriously, there's still a lot of his policy I support. Look, I voted for him and I campaigned for him, knowing that I didn't
really like who the man was, but I'm all about the issues all about the policies. I agree with him on a lot of the issues, but this was different.
Look, Russia attacked our country in the 2016 election, we found out last night, thanks to The New York Times, that Trump knew about it, he knew
Putin ordered the attack two weeks before he was inaugurated. So he's known about it for 18 months and he's done nothing about it. His job is to
protect this country and he's made clear, I think, that he's just not capable of doing that.
GORANI: So this is the only thing you disagree with him on, all the other policies around the world, I'm talking about the immigration stuff and sort
of the anti-Muslimism and anti-immigrant rhetoric and all that you think is fine?
WALSH: No, and that's what's interesting is. A lot of that stuff I agree with him on. I'm probably more hard line on the border than he is. I'm
probably more hard line on allowing Muslims into this country if they won't assimilate than he is. The building problem in my view, and I'm just
speaking for myself. The building problem is, I can no longer believe a word that comes out of his mouth. And again, and you combine that with
there he was in front of the world and he said I won't stand with America?
GORANI: That's why I think, Joe Walsh, you're an interesting person to talk to. Because you agree with him on some of his most controversial
statements and policies. I'm talking immigration and foreign policy and the rest of it. But on this, you think this is not acceptable. So
therefore, my question to you is, do you think other Trump supporters, I mean, your listeners for instance, do you believe that they too could move
away from supporting the president because of Helsinki or not?
[15:35:01] WALSH: Not yet, I mean, based on my list for this past week, most are not happy with me. They probably think I went a step too far when
I said personally, I can't support him anymore. But you're right. Look, I still support a lot of the policies. I probably support the policies more
than he does. But no, most of my listeners, most of his supporter aren't there yet. But I'll tell you what, Monday hurt -- Monday hurt him.
They're confused. The average Trump supporter in this country right now is confused. They don't know why Trump did what he did Monday.
GORANI: Yes. And you know who else won't agree with you at all is viewers around the world because a lot of them are appalled about what's coming out
of the president's mouth about Muslims, about immigrants and the rest of it. That I'm sure though you know. And to your point that most of your
listeners are unhappy with you and probably would disagree with you, 68 percent of Republicans polled believe that -- or approve, I should say of
how the president handled his summit with Putin. So, what do you make of that? Because these are your listeners.
WALSH: Yes. So those are my listeners. Exactly right. Three out of every four listeners that have called in this week have been part of that
68 percent. Now, again, I think I could be wrong, 30 to 40 percent of the American people at large don't support what the president did on Monday.
Again, I think his supporters have so much invested in him. Monday hurt. Monday was like -- I mean, because it was an image again. It's not Mueller
and collusion and all of this other stuff that they don't understand. That was a picture of a president who didn't side with his country. I think
right now, a lot of his supporters are confused. They're not going to bail on him. Not yet. But we'll see where this thing goes.
GORANI: And we know. We've seen on your Twitter page that this has been a progressive sort of stepping away from the president. This isn't the first
criticism you've directed at him.
I need to ask you one last thing about that "Who is America" show. Have you seen -- you were pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen into reading in a
prompter a script supporting the arming of three and four year olds in the school. And they're kindergarten. You said you were tricked into doing
it. You were flown to D.C. and presented with a fake award. Did you end up seeing the program? And how did it make you feel?
WALSH: Yes. I just ended watching the clip of myself and the others on that gun segment. Look, I was embarrassed and I feel terrible about it. I
screwed up. Yes, as you say, I was duped, I was gagged, I was fooled. But at the end of the day, it's still my fault. I said what I said. I don't
believe what I said, but it's there and it looks silly. And all I can do is just say, my bad, I screwed up, I don't mean it, but he got me.
GORANI: Joe Walsh, thanks very much for joining us. We appreciate your time this evening on CNN.
In the last few days, you'll have heard a lot about Maria Butina. She's been accused of having ties to Russian intelligence and is now in jail,
without bond until her trial after a judge in the U.S. calls her a flight risk. Matthew Chance looks into her history and background as a Russian
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She appeals directly to the heart of American conservatism. Combing a passion
for guns, with a youthful charm.
MARIA BUTINA, FOUNDER, RIGHTS TO BEAR ARMS: I'm a representative of Russian Federation here and I am a chairman of the Right to Bear Arms. It's a
Russian non-profit organization.
CHANCE: An online profile says Butina was born in Siberia a year before the fall of the Berlin Wall and spent her childhood navigating the rocky
transition from communism to capitalism. She apparently launched a chain of small furniture stores in her hometown before moving to Moscow where it
says her interest in expanding the rights of average Russian citizens soon caught the attention of the most senior leaders of the Russian Federation.
Butina's gun lobbying also got her privileged access in the United States, including to the National Rifle Association. John Bolton, then an NRA
official, now U.S. national security adviser, appeared in a 2013 video used by Butina's organization to encourage the Russian government to loosen gun
JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR OF THE UNITED STATES: Should the Russian people have the right to bear arms? I can share with you a word
about what this particular freedom has meant to Americans and offer you encouragement as you consider embracing that freedom.
BUTINA: I'm visiting from Russia. So my question --
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Oh, Putin. Good friend of Obama, Putin.
[15:40:59] CHANCE: But it's now known Butina's gun lobbying also brought her into direct contact with Donald Trump. The Russian asking the then-
presidential candidate at a public libertarian event in 2015 about Russia and sanctions.
TRUMP: I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin, OK. And I mean where we have the strength. I don't think you'd need the sanctions.
CHANCE: While Butina has denied the allegations against her, comparisons have been made between her and Anna Chapman, the flame- haired Russian
agent who gained notoriety and celebrity after being arrested in the United States as part of an illegal spy ring in 2010. According to U.S. court
filings, Butina offered sex in exchange for a position in a special interest organization during her work in the U.S. It all raises questions
about whether Butina really was just a Russian gun lobbyist or if she had her sights set on another target.
Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, beaches in Lebanon are a bit of a mess, literally, we take a closer look at what is an ecological disaster. We'll
be right back.
GORANI: Welcome back. The director of national intelligence in the United States, Dan Coats is at the Aspen Security Forum with Russia being in the
news in Helsinki summit and what was said by the president in recent days. Let's listen to what he has to say about Russia.
DAN COATS, U.S. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: So therefore, it was a part of my role. And I felt that it was important that I do that. It has
been said, it has been discussed personally with the president and I think it's time to move on.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Well, except that the president has made so many conflicting statements. He has switched from one position to the
other, even in the same day, as recently as yesterday. And I'm wondering, when you watch that, in Helsinki, what was your gut reaction watching him
validate Vladimir Putin's assessment over yours?
COATS: Well, my thoughts there were that I believed that I needed to correct the record for that and that this is the job I signed up for. And
that was my responsibility. Obviously, I wished he had made a different statement. But I think that now that has been clarified, based on his late
reactions to this. And so I don't think I want to go any further than that.
MITCHELL: So in the cabinet room, one of the statements that you referred to, his clarifications, he said I accept our intelligence community's
conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place, could be other people also. Could be other people also? What does he know that you
[15:45:11] COATS: Well, could is not a definitive word here that -- could someone else be looking at how to do this relative to our elections,
possibly rogue states, whatever. We know others have essential capability. But it's undeniable that the Russians are taking the lead on this.
Basically, they are the ones that are trying to undermine basic values and divide us with our allies. They are the ones that are to wreak havoc over
our election process. We need to call them out on that. So critical that we do so, and then take steps to make sure that they are not able to do
this with election coming up. We learn the lessons from the past. Put in place, things that we need to in place in terms of making sure that we can
guarantee to the American public when they walk in that voting booth and cast their vote, however they cast it, is a valid vote. It will not be
And whatever result comes from these elections, is something the American people can have confidence in that it was not manipulated by anyone,
whether that was externally or internally. We know politically there have been times when parties have tried to manipulate the votes one way or
another. That just simply is not acceptable. The very pillar basics of democracy is the ability to have confidence in your elected officials, that
they were elected legitimately, and we have to take every effort to ensure that that makes -- that happens in this upcoming election and future
MITCHELL: Just to nail this down, the 2017 intelligence assessment of the community, the finding said Putin and the Russian government developed a
clear preference for President-elect Trump. 18 months later, has anything changed that would make it more or less certain that it was Vladimir Putin
in charge of that?
COATS: Well, I don't want to get in too far into what the investigation that's going on and what they may produce from that.
MITCHELL: But in terms of the intelligence assessment.
COATS: Well, we just continue to provide intelligence that we achieve relative to our customers, which is the President, which are the policy
makers in the White House, which is our oversight committees in the House and Senate, and that basis, and that's available to them. And we will keep
Relative to what's coming in 2018 as Director Nielsen said this morning, DHS does not have evidence of the fact that anywhere near what happened in
2016, however despite that, we absolutely cannot just rest on that assumption. As I mentioned in my speech at Hudson just a week ago or so,
it's just one click of the keyboard that could change this narrative. And so we have to be ever vigilant on this, and I think we have to be
relentless in terms of calling out the Russians for what they've done. We have to be vigilant in terms in putting steps in place to make sure it
doesn't happen again. More transparency we can have relative to this issue, the better.
MITCHELL: Men and women who work for you are working around the clock.
COATS: They are.
MITCHELL: Around the world, and putting their lives on the line in many cases to make sure that our democracy is safe. What do you say to them
when the President disavows their work or others in our government, disavows their work and criticize their work?
COATS: I say to our people most around the world and in the 16 agencies within the United States. I say to them, we are professionals. We are
here to provide professional service to our government. We need to keep our heads down. We need to go forward with the wonderful technological
capabilities that we have to produce intelligence. There's a lot of swirl, political swirl going around. Just do your jobs.
Our goal is to make an un-politicized information necessary for our policymakers to make good decisions. And so try to get up every morning,
go to work, do your job. If you have thinking in one way or another way relative to a plus or a minus, set that aside. Go home and think about it,
whatever. But the work that product that you are putting together has to be absent from any kind of political manipulation.
MITCHELL: In Helsinki the President was alone with Vladimir Putin for two hours, more than two hours with only translators. Basically, how do you
know what happened? You were on the dark side of the moon? Do you have any idea what happened in that meeting?
[15:50:18] COATS: Well, you're right. I don't know what happened in that meeting. I think as time goes by and the president has already mentioned
some things that happened in that meeting, I think we will learn more. But that is a President's prerogative. He had asked me how that ought to be
conducted. I would have suggested a different way, but that's not my role. That's not my job. So, it is what it is.
MITCHELL: Is there a risk that Vladimir Putin could have recorded it?
COATS: That risk is always there.
MITCHELL: Is there a risk that the soccer ball could have been wired?
COATS: Was that a World Cup soccer ball? Was that a -- we have the ability to measure those kinds of things --
GORANI: All right. Really some interesting comments there from Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence in the United States there at the
Aspen Security Forum. The NBC anchor, Andrea Mitchell there asking him questions about what Donald Trump initially said about American
intelligence and siding with Vladimir Putin over American intelligence. Initially, Dan Coats tried to kind of say it's time to move on, next
But to her credit, Andrea pressed him. He then said, I believed I needed to correct the record. Now that it's been clarified, I don't want to go
further than that. The he said Russia needs to be called out on meddling. We need to protect our country in future elections, and people essentially
Americans need to be confident when they cast their ballot that they are protected from attack by any foreign powers.
Then she asked him about what happened in that meeting, because of course, the president and Vladimir Putin were in that meeting room alone with only
translators. There were no other officials. There was no official record released. She said, do you know what happened in that meeting, she asked
him. And he said, I don't know what happened in that meeting, but it's the president's right, it's his prerogative to that do that. I would have
suggested a different way, but it was not my job to do so. There you have it. We'll be right back.
GORANI: It's up there with starry night and the Mona Lisa, almost everyone recognizes the great wave of Kanagawa. As soon as you see it, you think of
Japan, obviously. It's hard to believe it was made almost 200 years ago. How do you modernize something that feels this timeless? One Tokyo artist
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perhaps no artist has had as great and influence on Japan's visual vocabulary as Katsushika Hokusai, the eccentric master of
Ukiyo-e. Japanese woodblock prints that flourished from 17th to 19th centuries. His great wave off Kanagawa is considered one of Japanese art's
most recognizable works.
[15:55:14] Craftsman Urayasu Sota (ph) is working on a replica of Hokusai's famous wave. The process is painstaking and manual. Demanding utmost
Each side of every block represents a different color that will be layered into the Ukiyo-e.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): In the Edo period when there was no T.V. or internet, Ukiyo-e was a tool to spread information. Like which
plays are being performed at which theaters or where you could go to have a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji. It was never considered an art.
We have to succeed in passing down this wonderful technique of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints. The craftsmen involved in this work are trying their
best to teach these skills to the next generation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Working under a pseudonym, Yamada Zenjidou channels the popular appeal of Ukiyo-e by posting his contemporary renditions on social
media. Teaching the woodblocks or digital tools. His work rifts on the awkwardness and humor of modern life.
YAMADA ZENJIDOU, JAPANESE ILLUSTRATOR: That awkward moment when you're checking yourself out in the mirror, and you realize someone's behind you.
Ukiyo-e was mass produced. Quickly made and quickly published with news and information. I think that social media fulfills that same purpose
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. Zenjidou says he hopes that his work, though modern in execution,
will spark renewed interest in the centuries old art form.
GORANI: All right. Well, that's going to do it for us tonight. Thanks for being with us. I'm Hala Gorani, I'll see you same time, same place
tomorrow, but do stay with CNN, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" coming up next.