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Trump Jr: 'Happy' To Tell Senate Intel 'What I Know'; WH Briefing Amid Questions Over Trump Jr's Meeting. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired July 10, 2017 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Vermont Law School and author of "Other People's Houses." She joins us as well as Matthew Whitaker, CNN legal commentator executive director at the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust and former U.S. attorney in Iowa. Also with us John Nixon former CIA senior analyst and author of "Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein". And of course my colleague Gloria Borger, CNN chief political analyst.

And I want to go to you first Gloria. I just want to break this down for us because it is not unusual for a campaign to want the dirt on the opponent.


BROWN: So what is significant? What is unique about this situation?

BORGER: Well, what's unique about this situation is not the fact that you want dirt on another campaign. OK. We've all been there, done that, campaigns do that all the time.

What's significant is that is from a foreign national from Russia, from somebody where this meeting was set up in a chain that apparently people in the Trump campaign knew this person, who knew another person. And this meeting was setup to provide this dirt.

Donald Trump Jr. in his statement said that he was not told her name prior to the meeting. And that's also because when you're the son of somebody who is likely to be the nominee of the party at that point. It would seem to me that she would only be meeting with people with whom you knew or had some interest in or why would you waster your time.

BROWN: Right. And not only it wasn't just him and with him it was Jared Kushner --

BORGER: Exactly.

BROWN: -- the president son-in-law, Paul Manafort, you know --

BORGER: Chairman of the campaign.

BROWN: -- the chairman of the campaign.

BORGER: Exactly. BROWN: So John on that note you were formally with the CIA.


BROWN: So what would be your concern given Russia's ammo when you find out that a Russian national was offering to help the campaign with incriminating the information? What would stick out to you? What would be your --

NIXON: Well, first at itself is enough. But also the fact that he doesn't -- the president does not want to take the word of the intelligence communities who are there to serve him and give him the truth. And instead he seems to take the word of President Putin who is a former intelligence officer. As well as somebody who is a kind of a brutal dictator in his own right.

And I find that very, very shocking. And I think it speaks to this larger issue of this administration that doesn't seem to be ready for primetime on one hand. And also it doesn't seem to want to trust the experts and wants to do things their way, but their way seems to be a very prone to error and away of just doing things that is very, very unsophisticated and lacking in any sort of skill or political know how.

BROWN: Gloria this raises the question of, A, why didn't Don Jr. -- why would he transparent about this earlier knowing that there was so much focus on Russia meetings with the campaign, this FBI investigation, investigations on the Hill. Why he deny it? And then this comes out, you know.

BORGER: Right.

BROWN: And why did they change the story?

BORGER: Well, he is -- first of all, he is, you know, he doesn't have to fill out the SF-86 form. He doesn't have to fill out the form which Jared Kushner does --

BROWN: Right.

BORGER: -- have to fill up because he has a security clearance inside the White House. So Donald Trump Jr. did not have to do that.

His story evolved. He says that this isn't different. But what it is was in the first statement that he made to the media on Saturday he did not include that this was suppose to be because he could get some campaign infos, some oppo research from the Russians.

He said it was about the adoption of Russian children and this human rights issue. In his second statement he elaborated and said, yes, it was because I thought we could get some information. But I go back to again what are all these people doing meeting with somebody whose name, who Donald Trump Jr. had never ever met. Why was it considered so important?

BROWN: Yes. And what do you make John of this Russian lawyer, this woman who claim to have incriminated information about Hillary Clinton and then went to talk about adoption.

NIXON: She's an -- if you were ask me, I would say she's a native (ph) of influence, number one. Number two she's a cutout. You know, she's there to kind of incriminate -- first of all, she managed to get to speak to not only the head of the campaign but to the president's son.

And that I think again gets to this point of just of sort of being not understanding the political ramifications of such a meeting.

BROWN: Do you think it's naive.

NIXON: Absolutely. Absolutely. And also if I can also address this issue about the joint cyber operations that came out of the Geneva meeting, he wants to have -- he wants to work with Putin on this. This is sort of like going to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi the head of ISIS and saying, I want to work on Islamic outreach with you, you know. It should -- it's crazy. Its --

BROWN: When of course now he's backtracking --

NIXON: Of course. Yes.

BROWN: -- from that. But do you think that that's a reflection of he doesn't know, he doesn't care in terms to the threat that Russian poses.

[15:35:00] NIXON: Can I tell you this. I had dinner the other night with a friend of mine who works at the agency and fairly high level position. And I just was talking to her about certain issues regarding the Middle East and she just said, listen, all your questions very irrelevant. And I said, why are they relevant? And she said, every day we have to change things because this White Houses always, you know, we think we understand what the president wants and we start working towards something.

And then he tweet something or he says something and it stops everything in its tracks and we have to go this back to square one. And that to me is a -- like as I said, presidency that's not ready for primetime. And normally I would say look to people like Tillerson or McMaster or Mattis to get their queues. But even they are undercut by the president's inability to say a message and all of this really amateurism.

BROWN: All right. I'm going to get some legal analysis here from Jennifer and Matt just to get your perspective. Jennifer to you first, as we were just discussing its not unusual for a campaign to one opposition research on the opponent. But is there anything legal about this now that we know that Don Jr. did meet with the Russian national during the campaign and this person was offering essentially opposition research.

JENNIFER TAUB, PROFESSOR, VERMONT LAW SCHOOL: So I think Gloria is absolutely right. This is not your garden variety meeting to get opposition research from somebody. You know, look I don't know who Don -- Donald Trump Jr.'s lawyer is. But the defense that he is offered us so far sounds a lot more like a confession. And what I mean by that is that it really looks like there's a possible conspiracy here to violate federal law because taking anything of a value if you're campaign from a foreign national is unlawful. And to the extent that Don Jr. agreed with anybody whether it is the go between or setup the meeting or this Kremlin length lawyer to have that meeting to get that information of a value about Hillary Clinton that looks like a conspiracy which is a federal offense, punishable by up to five years in prison.

BROWN: OK. That's a strong claim. Let's just -- I just want to be clear that he claims here didn't know exactly who he was meeting within that nothing came up and he actually wasn't giving anything. But Matt why do you have to say to Jennifer's claim --

TAUB: Can I just actually jump in here.

BROWN: Go ahead.

TAUB: This is really important. The fact that he even assuming that what he's saying is correct that he did not receive anything of value, remember that conspiracy is itself a crime even if the object offense is not completed.

So in this case if the object offense was could have been if this did happen, violating campaign law by taking something of a value from a foreign national even if nothing of a value came up from this. We've heard Don Jr. actually say that he thought that the meeting would include obtaining, you know, dirt on Hillary Clinton. And he knew the meeting was with the foreign national. So I think we need to really look at this closely.

BROWN: So Matt she's saying that --


BROWN: -- he was involved in this conspiracy to defraud or commit an offense against the United States, your response.

WHITAKER: I disagree with that analysis. As a former U.S. attorney, we did conspiracies all the time and prosecute conspiracies. I mean what happen here is this lawyer used a pretext to get a meeting with, you know, some important campaign officials to really talk about the issue she wanted to talk which is getting rid of this U.S. policy regarding adoptions and used, you know, quite frankly here in Iowa we can call it a B.S. excuse of saying that she had opposition research.

And listen nobody's talking about what that opposition research is because we all agree it's ludicrous. I mean that the fact that Russians are funding the DNC and, you know, helping Hillary Clinton. No one's advancing that. And Don Jr. when he heard that certainly dismissed it quickly as base on what he said. And I think, you know, sort of to suggest that there's a conspiracy here.

I mean you would always take meeting. You would have somebody from your campaign-- BROWN: What? You would always take that meeting? So --

WHITAKER: -- take the meeting to try to get the information.

BROWN: -- would you take that meeting when you're that high up two weeks after your father was just nominated with someone that you claim to not even know. I mean would you really take that meeting because speaking to other people in our panel they said that's not something that's typical.

WHITAKER: If you -- you know, if you have somebody that you trust that is saying, you need to meet with this individual because they have information about your opponent. You would take that meeting. There's no suggestion that at the time Donald Trump Jr. knew --

TAUB: Really you would advice?

WHITAKER: -- one Russia national --

BROWN: Finish Matt, them I'm --

TAUB: -- advice right now.

BROWN: Go ahead. Finish Matt, then I'm going to go to you Jennifer.

WHITAKER: No. I've run for public office twice and you certainly want to have any advantage, any legal advantage you can and one of those main advantages is to know what your opponent is either, you know, I mean all sorts of things that could be happen in Hillary Clinton. They were so much smoke around her.

BROWN: But what if the person providing it is a Russian national. Would that create any red flag?

[15:40:00] WHITAKER: And I guarantee you that after that meeting once Donald Trump Jr. realize who that person was that that probably had a dramatic impact into, you know, how he felt that about that meeting --

BROWN: So you buy he didn't know at all that this person was connected on Russian national, given that his contact was from the must -- from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, you said all that stuff.

WHITAKER: Well, we have no information right now that would suggest that he knew who this individual was that he was meeting with or who the three were going to meet. They just knew that they must have been sold the fact that there was some really good information that they needed to hear. And then having been in campaigns, I know what that pitch looks like. And you would always have somebody from the campaign take that meeting and hear that person out.

Now, obviously as it evolves it becomes a little concerning. But I don't think when they went to that meeting for times, they knew that it was a lawyer from Russia that had a issue regarding in foreign adoptions.

BROWN: All right. Jennifer I want you to weigh in. TAUB: So I find it hard to believe. But he can correct me if I'm wrong that Matt would provide legal advice to a campaign right now to go ahead and meet with the foreign national who's promising, you know, bad information about their opponent. But I want to offer add one thing what seems really curious which is this, I'm wondering whether Don Jr. has decided or been asked to take the fall in this situation because what really strange credulity is the idea that Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner joined him in this meeting in Trump Tower not knowing what the agenda at all of that meeting was.

It's very difficult to believe and to the extent --

BROWN: Well, he's --

TAUB: -- that he is not --

BROWN: -- confirm the pretext of the meeting that this person had information on the opponent.

TAUB: Right. But I -- as far as I understand, he said that neither Manafort nor Kushner knew the agenda. And that's really important whether they did or didn't because if they did then they could be called conspirators with him. So I think that's important to know. But even though -- even, you know, sort of curious to me is if he has taking the fall, you know, why would the son of the president take the fall for his brother-in-law. This is a very, you know, complicated not only legal but also family drama here.

BROWN: And we should point out that his brother-in-law -- the attorney for Jared Kushner his brother-in-law did say that he provided this information about the meeting on his updated SF-86. Matt, what do you have to say to Jennifer's claim?

WHITAKER: Well, I mean I am not giving a campaign advice to meet with foreign nationals to get oppo research. And I didn't mean to suggest that. And I don't think I did. That being said, you know, what happened here is what -- I think your previews panels would say it was very, very unsophisticated in taking this meeting and not really knowing what the agenda is and sending some important people to obtain this opposition research.

But I don't think there is anything that I have heard today except wild speculation demonstrates that anybody knew it was a foreign national. Anybody knew that these connections which I still haven't seen a real connection to the Kremlin. And really other than somebody was sold something false and took the meeting base on that false premise.

BROWN: But basically you're dealing with two scenarios here. I mean either he knew it was a Russian national, he was offering up this incriminating information who is willing to take a meeting with someone he hadn't knew nothing about and bring in the president's that this soon to be president son-in-law as well as Paul Manafort he was overseeing the campaign at the time. I mean so that -- so the other version is -- because that is the one that you're saying that you believe to be true, right? That he knew nothing and took the meeting anyway.

WHITAKER: Right. I'm saying that's what --

TAUB: I have to say --

WITHAKER: -- Kellyanne Conway has talked about today and that's what Donald Trump Jr. said today.

BROWN: And you find that acceptable.

WITHAKER: I don't have any evidence to the contrary at this point in time. And I'm sure that people that have the power to subpoena and investigate and do those kind of things are going to ask those kind of questions. But I mean to assume that they're lying to us when that is the only set of facts we have I think is, you know, is taking aside like you would if you're cheering for one team or another.

BROWN: Would it be clear he says he doesn't know who -- he didn't know the identity but that doesn't mean that he didn't know that this person was from Russian. But go ahead Jennifer, I know you wanted to weigh in then we have to wrap it up.

TAUB: Sure. I mean, you know, the thing about the facts that are in evidence right now just what Don Trump Jr. has admitted himself. I couldn't even put this on an exam for my white collar crime class because all of my students will get an A.

BROWN: OK. We got to go to the briefing. Thank you so much. Standby our panel.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: he's not always here and he's a fellow Arkansan, Frank Lockwood.


SANDERS: Because I get to pick.

LOCKWOOD: The President, today, tweeted that it would be unimaginable, he can't imagine that Congress would go home from Washington in August, take the month off if they haven't dealt with the repeal and replace of Obamacare. If Congress does the unimaginable and goes for a month, is the President prepared to ensure that there are consequences for those vacationing lawmakers in 2018?

[15:45:21] SANDERS: I don't know that he's going to lay out a list of consequences. I think he's focused on the positive component of this, and that's the hope that all of the members of Congress will come together to repeal and replace Obamacare. That's his focus, is making sure it gets done. Not on what happens if it doesn't.

LOCKWOOD: If I could ask on one more tweet. The President also tweeted this morning about Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton said that she was giving away the country, I believe. At what point is the President going to put Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Bill Clinton in the rearview mirror? He won the election. He won it fair and square. When does he just let them go and look forward?

SANDERS: I believe this tweet was a response to the attacks on his daughter taking his seat, if I'm correct. Is that the one you're referring to, Frank?


SANDERS: Look, this wasn't about putting them in the front. This was about responding to an outrageous attack against a White House senior advisor. And it's pretty standard protocol that when the leader gets up, someone takes their seat as Chancellor Merkel also pointed out and said that this was perfectly standard protocol.

In fact, I think that we should be proud to have Ivanka sitting in that seat, considering particularly the topic at hand was part of her portfolio. If she didn't have the last name that she has, I think she would be constantly celebrated instead of constantly attacked. And I frankly think it's a sad thing that they chose to go after her in that moment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sarah, first, just a quick clarification from the meeting with Putin in Germany, did the President say that he accepted Putin's denial of any involvement in election interference, as Putin said in his press conference? Have you had a chance to ask the President about that?

SANDERS: The President was multiple times asked Putin whether or not he was involved. It took up a great deal of the conversation that they had on the front end of their meeting, and the President heard Putin's denial and also realized they had some very important topics they needed to cover, Ukraine, North Korea, Syria. And decided to move on from that point of the conversation and focus on those issues. And that was the purpose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he didn't accept that denial or did he?

SANDERS: Look, he heard Putin's denial and he knew that at the end of the day the important part was them being able to have that conversation, him to directly ask him. He heard his answer and he moved forward with places that they thought they could work together. The President has been clear from his statements back in January and even in his tweets over the last couple of days, his opinion on that matter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the question I wanted to ask was the reports on this meeting that took place at Trump Tower last June with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner. When did the President learn that that meeting had taken place?

SANDERS: I believe in the last couple of days is my understanding.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he concerned about that that the top leadership of his campaign would take a meeting with a Russian lawyer promising to give negative information? SANDERS: No, I mean, I've been on several campaigns and people call offering information. As I know many of you receive similar calls of people offering information. Don Jr. took a very short meeting from which there was absolutely no follow-up. Frankly, I think something that may make sense is looking at the Democrat National Committee coordinated opposition research directly with the Ukrainian Embassy.

This is not an accusation, that's an on-the-record action that they took. So if you're looking for an example of a campaign coordinating with a foreign country or a foreign source, look no further than the DNC who actually coordinated opposition research with the Ukrainian Embassy. And no one in this room to my knowledge really had a big problem with that.

The only thing I see inappropriate about the meeting was the people that leaked the information on the meeting after it was voluntarily disclosed. At this point, I'd also like to add, Donald Trump Jr. has made a statement on this, the President's outside counsel has made a statement on it, and now I have as well and I'm not going to add anything further.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Sarah, just to follow up on that, if this sort of meeting is normal and standard practice in the campaign, do you know if there were any other meetings that either Donald Trump Jr. or other representatives of the Trump campaign had with other Russian officials or any other foreign agent to collect information about Hillary?

[15:50:02] SANDERS: Right. I don't know of any other meetings with Don Jr., but I also haven't had an extensive conversation with him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has anyone looked into whether there were any others?

SANDERS: I'm not sure, Phil. I'll have to check and get back to you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, Sarah. I have a quick question about this cyber taskforce with Russia. Yesterday, the President tweeted about the cybersecurity unit being put together, and then about 12 hours later said that it would never happen. What went down in those 12 hours that so drastically changed that situation?

SANDERS: This was part of a discussion in that meeting. And, look, we recognize that Russia is a cyber threat. But we also recognize the need to have conversations with our adversaries. And when our adversaries see strength like they did with the President in the meeting, they can look for other ways to work on shared interests and look for positive places where they can move the ball forward. Particularly on things like the ceasefire, and that became a greater focus and something the President chose to stay focused on is that front.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sarah, just to clarify, that idea is dead?

SANDERS: Look, I would say that discussions may still take place but that's as far as it is right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And I know you just said a minute ago you're not going to make any additional statement. But there's a history. And we have been asked by you and others at the podium to respect the statements you make there. So, there's a long history of blanket denials, during the transition and during times of this administration about nobody within the campaign having any meetings under any circumstances at all with Russian officials.

And now one was disclosed this weekend. The original characterization of that meeting was amended within 24 hours when new information was placed before Don Jr. How are we to take all of these blanket denials that occurred through the transition and now when it has been proven and recognized by the President's attorney and Don Jr. that those blanket denials were not factual?

SANDERS: Look, I think the point is that we've tried to make every single time, today and then, and we'll continue to make in those statements is that there was simply no collusion that they keep trying to create that there was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But that's a different question than was asked at the time and different than the statements were about. The questions originally, as you know and I know, were about contacts, and those were blanket denials. And then when the contacts became confirmed, then it was, well they were infrequent. Well now we have a whole pattern of lots of different meetings that have to be confirmed later. And those original questions were not about collusion, Sarah. They were just about contacts.

SANDERS: They were originally about that. That's the whole premise of what you're asking the question is whether or not the campaign colluded with Russia. That's the premise of the entire scope of your questioning. And the point we've tried to make over and over again and will continue to make is that there wasn't. And beyond that, I really can't offer you anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sarah, back to yesterday morning's tweets. Can you tell us what it was or what is or what was going to be a cybersecurity unit and how this was going to work?

SANDERS: I'm not sure there were specific details discussed. I think it was simply just a discussion on cybersecurity threats and potential options. Not necessarily a formal kind of structure in place.

Jon Decker.

JON DECKER, FOX NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Thanks a lot, Sarah. After this two and a half hour meeting with President Putin that the President had in Germany, how would you describe the state of U.S. relations with Russia. Do you view Russia as a partner? Do you view them as an ally? Do you view them as an adversary?

SANDERS: I would want to have further conversations with members of the Secretary of State, National Security Council. But I think we saw that there were places of shared interest that we can work together; specifically, things like the Syrian ceasefire that we both can agree on in order to move forward in some places. I don't think that's going to be the case on everything. But there are certainly certain instances where we can work together with Russia to make every part of the world a little bit safer.

DECKER: And does the President trust President Putin?

SANDERS: I haven't asked him that question.

DECKER: Can you please ask him that question?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Sarah. I have two questions. We know there was no note taker in the meeting. But did you make an audio recording of the meeting or did the Russians?

SANDERS: Not that I'm aware of. I'd have to ask. I'm not sure.


And the second question is, Director Comey was under oath when he said that the memo that he gave to his friend did not include classified information, and the President tweeted this morning that he did leak classified information. Is he accusing Comey of perjury?

SANDERS: I think there are a lot of questions out there and a lot of reports where it indicates that Director Comey may have leaked classified information. That certainly is a threat to the national security and violates policy and law.

[15:55:11] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You believe he leaked classified information?

SANDERS: I think it is something that should be investigated thoroughly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But the President stated flatly that he leaked classified information.

SANDERS: He's got a much higher clearance. He may know something I don't.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sarah, I want to go back to a couple of questions. When you talk about the issue of Don Jr., you talk and you said leakers. What do you think about the word whistleblower?

SANDERS: I'm sorry? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're trying to say people who gave that information were leakers. What about the issue of whistleblower? What do you see whistleblower versus leaker?

SANDERS: I think this is a voluntary disclosure to include some of that information, and I think that it would be inappropriate for that to be shared outside of the scope of the people that should have that information so.

John Gizzi.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sarah, I just have one more question. So on the issue of collusion, are you saying there's no collusion when it comes to the overall arch of the campaign? But what about the individuals? What about individuals that could be suspects of collusion? Are you vouching just for everyone in total or individuals or what?

SANDERS: I'm saying that the President's campaign did not collude in any way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So then when we go to different people, what do you say about that?

SANDERS: To me --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- Don Jr.? Anyone, this is the names that are coming up.

SANDERS: I would certainly say Don Jr. did not collude with anybody to influence the election.


SANDERS: To my knowledge, he did not collude with anybody to influence the campaign. Again, I think I've been very clear. Our position is that no one within the Trump campaign colluded in order to influence the election. I think the bottom line is that the Democrats had a weak candidate, and President Trump had a stronger message. And they're constantly looking for ways to undermine the President and delegitimize his election victory.

John Gizzi.

JOHN GIZZI, CONSERVATIVE JOURNALIST: Thank you, Sarah. Two brief questions. When the President arrived for the G20 Summit, it was widely reported that the Putin regime was cracking down on the opposition candidate Mr. Navalny at the time. This has been just the latest in a series of events in which human rights and dissent have been crushed in Russia. Was human rights raised at all by the President in his conversations with the Russian President?

SANDERS: I'm not sure. I'll have to ask, John, and get back to you on that.

GIZZI: Al right. My other question is --

SANDERS: I knew there was a second one coming.

GIZZI: The President did talk privately with Chancellor Merkel, we know. Days before he arrived there, her party, the Christian Democratic Union, made a much publicized change in its platform and dropped its reference to the United States as a friend and changed that to important ally. Was this something that came up in their meeting and did the President ask why she did that?

SANDERS: Again, I haven't heard that that was specifically discussed, but I'll be happy to ask and circle back with you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two quick questions for you. Did President Trump discuss sanctions with Russian President Putin at the G20 Summit?

SANDERS: I do know that it was mentioned. Specifically, when you ask about sanctions I know there is a little bit of a question there, and there were sanctions specific to election meddling that I believe were discussed, but not beyond that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did the President's views on sanctions against the Russians change at all after his meeting with President Putin?

SANDERS: Not that I'm aware of.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Sarah. This latest meeting with the Russian lawyer, we know have three instances where including with Ambassador Kislyak and a head of the Russia bank where Jared Kushner seems to have met with Russians and not disclosed it during his security clearance check. Is the White House at all concerned about that and do you think it raises any questions about Kushner's confidence or honesty?

SANDERS: I believe, actually, it was disclosed on his security clearance when an updated -- yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His updated paperwork, not initially.

SANDERS: Right. With all of his contacts from during the transition and prior to that, they were all included in the update, not the original.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I'm saying, his omission in the original of all these meetings with Russians, is there any concern about that?

SANDERS: No, because it was just an incomplete form. All of his foreign contacts were listed in the updated version not in the original.

Sorry, Steve.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the subjects President Macron wants to talk to the President about is the Paris climate accord. Is the President willing to negotiate his position on this? SANDERS: You know, I certainly think he likes to keep all things on the negotiating table. At the end of the day, the President is very focused on making sure that he gets the best deal for the American people. He certainly wants to do things to protect the environment, as we have a history of doing in the United States. He's going to continue that practice and continue to encourage it. But also make sure that he's making the deal that's best for the American people.

[16:00:19] Thanks so much, guys.


BROWN: Well, there you heard the White House briefing there off camera. And I want to bring in my panel to discuss everything that was covered in that briefing. Gloria Borger, John Nixon, and Mark Preston with me now, Gloria first to you, what was the headline for you coming out of this briefing?

BORGER: Well, she did say sanctions were discussed with Vladimir Putin specific to the issue of Russian meddling. The president had tweeted recently that sanctions were not discussed. So again, the sort of clarity of what occurred at the meeting it's fuzzy.