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GOP Montana U.S. House Candidate Accused Of Body Slamming Reporter; DOJ: Sessions Did Not Disclose Russia Meetings And Other Foreign Contacts On Security Clearance Form; Comey Notes Not Turned Over To Congress; New Arrests In Manchester Bombing Investigation; Melania Trump On The World Stage. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 24, 2017 - 21:00   ET



[21:00:00] TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even so today, the story lives on.

REP. BLAKE FARENTHOLD, (R) TEXAS: There's still some question as to whether the intrusion at the DNC server was an insider job or whether or not it was the Russians.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What evidence -- I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. The insider job, what are you referring to here, because I hope it's not this information that Fox News just refused to be reporting.

FARENTHOLD: Again, there are stuffs circulating on the internet.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: There is stuff circulating on the internet, an elected official representing us.

It's the top of the hour bringing you breaking news from the campaign trail. The alleged assaulted reporter by one of the candidates in what could be a bell weather special election for Montana's single House seat.

Greg Gianforte, the Republican hopeful in Montana allegedly body slamming "The Guardians" Ben Jacobs. That's according to Ben Jacobs. Here is the audio posted by "The Guardian.


BEN JACOBS, "THE GUARDIAN" POLITICAL REPORTER: -- the CBO score, because, you know, you've been waiting to make your decision about health care until you've saw the bill and it just came out.

GREG GIANFORTE, (R) MONTANA HOUSE NOMINEE: I'll talk to you about that later.

JACOBS: Yeah, but there's not going to be time. I'm just curious --

GIANFORTE: OK. Speak with Shane, please.

I'm sick and tired of you guys. The last guy who came in here you did the same thing. Get the hell out of here.

JACOBS: Jesus.

GIANFORTE: Get the hell out of here. The last guy did the same thing. Are you with "The Guardian?"

JACOBS: Yes, and you just broke my glasses.

GIANFORTE: The last guy did the same damn thing.

JACOBS: You just body slammed me and broke my glasses.

GIANFORTE: Get the hell out of here.

JACOBS: You'd like me to get the hell out here, I'd also like to call the police. Can I get your guys' names? He just body slammed me.


COOPER: Well, just moments ago, the candidate's spokesman issued a statement that read, "Tonight, as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, "The Guardian's" Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face and began asking badgering questions. Jacobs was asked to leave."

You heard the questions, he was asking about the Congressional Budget Office score. The statement continues, "After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground." The statement concludes, "It's unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer barbecue."

CNN's Kyung Lah is in Montana. She joins as now. You interviewed the candidate just a few hours before this confirmation. How did he seem to you? I mean, this whole issue of the Congressional Budget Office thing, the reason it's timely is because he had resisted making a public declaration about it until the CBO released their score. That's what the reporter was asking about it.

KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And I actually asked him the exact same question. I interviewed Mr. Gianforte about three hours before prior to this confrontation with Ben Jacobs that (inaudible) reporter. I met with him, spent some time with him. He answered several questions.

He did talk about health care. He said that he needed to study the CBO score. He needed to look at the further details. This is a difficult dance for him. But he seemed very willing to talk about it.

I'd interviewed him about a month prior as well, Anderson, and his demeanor seemed very similar today as it was a month ago. I mean, certainly, he is under pressure. He -- it is the day before the special election. His campaign is on overdrive. He is trying to hit as many spots as possible, so that is certainly wearing on him.

But, he didn't seem any different than he was a month ago. His demeanor very similar and you heard his voice, his elevated voice. That was definitely his voice. I mean, he has a very distinctive, loud voice. That was certainly him on that audio recording. But, as far as whether or not he seemed more aggressive or any different, he didn't seem that way to me, Anderson.

COOPER: We should also point out "The Guardian" had previously published an article that basically stated that this candidate held, I think, more than $100,000 or something in an investments in two index funds that were, I guess heavily invested in Russia or Russia Index Funds. And I guess did not like that article.

You're about to interview the Democratic candidate, Rob Quist. He is certainly the underdog in this race. Have they -- how are they responding to this incident?

LAH: I went in and just try to speak to his press person and she said that they were going to refrain from commenting on this right now. They really want to just see this play out on the national level.

Here in Montana, they don't think it's beneficial at all to have this sort of thing come in on the local level. We have gotten a statement from the DCCC, the national Democrats, the campaign arm of House Democrats. And what the DCCC is saying is that Gianforte needs to pull out of this race. Certainly, we're not getting any indication that that's going to be happening.

But, Rob Quist is expected to arrive here shortly. He will be meeting with campaign supporters in his very last campaign event before the special election, before polls open at 7:00 a.m., Montana time.

[21:05:08] And, you know, from the indication I got from his campaign, he's just going to try to get through the day, try to be pleasant, try to get Montana people to vote for him on local state issues.

COOPER: Yeah. It's interesting that in the statement they -- that they put out, they said that this was a liberal reporter. I mean, that's clearly not an accident that they inserted that into their statement. Kyung, thanks very much.

A short time ago, we spoke by phone to BuzzFeed's Alexis Levinson who is standing outside the room had a partial view who's also saw feet flat through the air. Here's what she said.


COOPER: Alexis Levinson, a reporter for BuzzFeed who was outside the room. She joins us now by phone. So, Alexis, you were outside of this room. What did you see or hear?

ALEXIS LEVINSON, REPORTER, BUZZFEED (via telephone): So, we were all -- this was the campaign meet and greet. Gianforte's campaign headquarters in Bozeman and there was sort of a main room where a lot of volunteers were making phone calls, were all is just standing around kind of waiting for a campaign event.

There was a side room where a T.V. crew, I guess a local T.V. crew was set up to do an interview. Gianforte went in there. The door was half open. Ben walked in to kind of listen in. So I had kind of half view. All of a sudden I heard giant crash, saw Ben's feet fly in the air.


COOPER: So, I actually want to quickly read the statement from the campaign. And I want to play you the audio, again, just to -- so you can see if you think it jives. "Tonight, as Greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, 'The Guardian's' Ben Jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg's face and began asking badgering questions."

So you hear the questions -- you're going to hear the questions ask about the Congressional Budget Office. "Jacobs was asked to leave." That certainly seems to happen that they basically were trying to brush him off. "After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined." I'm not sure if I heard that, but we'll listen again to see if we hear that.

"Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground. It's unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer barbecue." So let's just listen to that sound again.


JACOBS: -- the CBO score because, you know, you've been waiting to make your decision about health care until you've saw the bill and it just came out.

GIANFORTE: I'll talk to you about that later.

JACOBS: Yeah, but there's not going to be time. I'm just curious --

GIANFORTE: OK. Speak with Shane, please.

I'm sick and tired of you guys. The last guy who came in here you did the same thing. Get the hell out of here.

JACOBS: Jesus.

GIANFORTE: Get the hell out of here. The last guy did the same thing. Are you with "The Guardian?"

JACOBS: Yes, and you just broke my glasses. GIANFORTE: The last guy did the same damn thing.

JACOBS: You just body slammed me and broke my glasses.

GIANFORTE: Get the hell out of here.

JACOBS: You'd like me to get the hell out here, I'd also like to call the police. Can I get your guys' names? He just body slammed me.


COOPER: So just -- you just heard that. In the statement it says after asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. I didn't hear any audio of that. I don't know if anybody at home did. But, I don't think you did.

"Greg then attempted to grab the phone." That maybe happened. "That was pushing his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg's wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground." Obviously there's no video if they both ended up on the ground and it sound like it.

But, perspective now from our political panel, Gloria Borger, Kirsten Powers, and Matt Nussbaum.

Kirsten, I mean, the statement, how does it jive with what you heard then?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It doesn't sound the same. I also -- like you said, it doesn't sound like both people fell to the ground. And the reporter is saying quite clearly, "You body slammed me," and nobody is disputing it, right? So it sounds like somebody is saying like, "What, I didn't body slammed you. That's not what happened." They're not disputing it.

I will say that if the reporter forced their way into an office, that's inappropriate. That said, the response to that is never physical violence. And I don't think that what the reporter was doing was overly aggressive questioning. It was asking a couple questions that seemed pretty reasonable and should be answered and sort of rage that kind of came back seemed a little disproportionate to what was actually happening.

COOPER: Matt, to you, what it did sound like?

MATTHEW NUSSBAUM, REPORTER, POLITICO: Yeah. I didn't really see how the statement in that audio we heard added up at all. Like you said, that questioning was not aggressive. He asked about the CBO score and then tried to follow up when he was brushed off. And then to -- it didn't sound like there was any sort of scuffle. It sounded like he was attacked.

And like you said, he immediately said, I was just -- you body slammed me. That's not something you just come up with off the top of your head that you make up. And I'll just say the statement tries to politicize it right away calling him a liberal reporter. Of course, he is not. He is a well respected reporter for a well respected outlet. But this should not be a partisan thing.

On the Hill, Republicans and Democrats are interviewed by us reporters constantly with our, you know, phones and recorders in their faces. I have never seen anyone react remotely like that.

COOPER: Gloria, I mean, it is -- to Matt's point, inserting liberal in there clearly, you know, there's a reason they do that.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, there is a reason. And, you know, he is running for Congress and to call somebody a liberal whom you just body slammed is probably one of the best ways to get out of it, I would presume, if there's any way to get out of it.

[21:10:12] Look, he is a candidate who has embraced Donald Trump wholeheartedly and that means that he has embraced his health care package. And the question was about how many -- the CBO score and which showed that 23 million people will not have health care. That's not a good question for him.

His opponent, Rob Quist, who by the way is an underdog and I would argue still remains an underdog in this race, has embraced Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. So, health care is kind of a hot button here, which is why the reporter was asking the question about it. It was a natural question to ask.

And I think that in the last hours of a race with this score coming out, you had a candidate who for whatever reason had no answer to that question. And the candidate should have had an answer to that question.

COOPER: It is -- I mean, it is -- I mean, Kirsten, you raised this point earlier of kind of the environment now of, you know, this antipathy toward reporters and this sort of license to just act out on it. I guess that some people may feel.

POWERS: Well, I think the fact that they put liberal journalist in the statement just underscores that point. If there's something almost in the eyes of some Trump supporters that so-called liberal journalists, which is anybody who's not a -- who's not Sean Hannity basically, right, you know, is a liberal journalist or somehow a subhuman or something.

You know, it's not -- and I have been doing this for a long time and I have -- look, there's always been this sort of sense of people maybe conservatives feeling that journalists are little too liberal. But it's never been the way it is now. There is just such anger and hostility and rage that is directed at journalists and that flows from Donald Trump (inaudible) great line.

COOPER: Right. And if this was some Democratic candidate --

POWERS: Right.

COOPER: -- doing this to a conservative reporter, it would be the exact same -- I mean, it would be as inappropriate.

POWERS: It would be total -- yes, of course. We would be saying the exact same thing. We will not be --

COOPER: The story is not --


COOPER: -- the politics of either side.

POWERS: Right.

COOPER: It's the fact that this is a candidate --

POWERS: Yup. But I can almost guarantee you that there are going to be conservatives that come out and defend what he did. I can almost guarantee it.

BORGER: And, you know, at this point in the election with little time left, it's all about getting out your voters. And so they're, you know, Montana is Trump won by 20 points. But it's kind of quirky. And it's a quirky state. It has a Democratic governor. It has a Democratic senator.

And so if you're trying to figure out a way to turn this around, if you're Gianforte and you're trying to turn it around, you're going to turn it into some liberal journalist and I gave him what he deserved which is, of course, ridiculous. But, that's the best spin he could put on it. And it may motivate some of his people to come out and vote.


BORGER: And Quist is trying to get his voters out there and it could motivate his. You know, you never know what happens in the last hours of the campaign.

COOPER: Matt, (inaudible).

NUSSBAUM: Well, I mean, there's nothing normal about this. Even with the rhetoric being as charged as it is against reporters. You know, we've all had tough interviews. We're used to being booed at rallies and having candidates berate us. That's part of, I guess, the back and forth. It is more charged now.

But, this sort of physical altercation is the next level. For all Donald Trump has said about reporters, I think to tie these two things together is a little unfair, because this is really just so out of the norm. And I will say, I don't see any way this helps the candidate.

COOPER: So, it sounds like if somebody going from 0 to 60, you know, somebody might busting out in anger. Anyway, we're going to leave it there. We'll obviously be interested in talking to the reporter and obviously the candidate as well.

More breaking news, CNN has learned about something Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed to mention during his security vetting, namely contacts with a top Russian diplomat and suspect intelligence figure, Sergey Kislyak. That same Sergey Kislyak we all know the name by now. Manu Raju has the latest joins us once again. So what have you learned on this?

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, tonight the Justice Department is acknowledging that justice -- that Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not these disclosed meetings he had last year with Russian officials when he applied for his security clearance.

Now, this is the latest example of Sessions not listing contacts he had with Russian officials. Remember earlier this year, he endured sharp criticism from Democrats after it was revealed that he did not disclose these same contacts with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, during his Senate confirmation hearings.

Now, Sessions met with Kislyak at least two times last year, including at the Republican National Convention. And he did not note those interactions on this form, which actually requires him to list any contact he or his family had with a foreign government or its representative over the past seven years.

And you'll remember, Anderson, that Sessions failed to disclose those meetings during those proceedings that led to Sessions recusing himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation.

[21:15:05] COOPER: So, how is the Justice Department responding to this tonight?

RAJU: Well, tonight, the Justice Department says that Sessions met with hundreds of thousand -- if not thousands of foreign dignitaries. And they said they were advised by an FBI investigator not to list those meetings given that he is a sitting senator.

But I can tell you, Anderson, that not everyone agrees with that interpretation. One legal expert we quoted in this story said that he has advised other lawmakers to fully disclose all foreign government contacts, even if it was done in an official capacity. And tonight, some Republicans are even saying that given all the questions over Russia, perhaps he should have disclosed even more than he did earlier this year.

COOPER: So just to be clear, though, Sessions -- it wasn't just that he didn't disclose meeting with Russians, he didn't disclose meeting with any foreign dignitaries. So I think that's an important detail.

And also, how is the FBI responding, because if Session -- the Justice Department has basically says -- saying with some FBI agent told Sessions he didn't have to do this. Do we know if that true?

RAJU: Well, we asked the FBI for comment and they have not yet responded. They actually declined to comment. Now, Capitol Hill is also ceasing on this report, particularly Democrats perhaps not surprisingly jumping on this report, including the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, who says it's time for a thorough investigation into Sessions.

And now lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee had previously said to me that it's possible that Sessions could be questioned about those meetings that he had with the Russian officials during the course of the campaign. And a big question for lawmakers as well that they have about Sessions over is his role over the firing of FBI Director James Comey, even though he recused himself from the Russia investigation.

That question was brought directly to Rod Rosenstein, the deputy director -- deputy attorney general in these closed door briefings with House members last week. And, Anderson, he did not comment about Jeff Sessions' role. And so I guess that could be a question for Bob Mueller, the special counsel to look at. So expect those questions to continue going forward, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Manu Raju. Manu, thanks.

More now on the larger Russia investigation that state has played now that a special counsel is part of it. CNN's Jessica Schneider reports on how it's affecting the efforts to obtain James Comey's memos of conversations with the president.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, lawmakers are waiting for the FBI to turn over memos that fired Director James Comey wrote documenting his meetings with President Trump, including one where the president allegedly told Comey, "I hope you can let this go," referring to the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

The House Oversight and Senate Judiciary Committees demanded that acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe submit any memos or tapes that neither committee has received them.

Meanwhile, Capitol Hill investigations in the contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russia continue to ramp up. Former Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort, just submitted 300 documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee containing drafts of speeches, calendars and notes from his time with the campaign.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): But so far, Michael Flynn isn't cooperating. Flynn plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination and hasn't complied with subpoenas from the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. That refusal has prompted the Senate Intelligence Committee to send two new subpoenas to businesses run by Flynn for records with a May 30th deadline.

SEN. RICHARD BURR, (R) CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: If in fact there's not a response, we will seek additional counsel advice on how to proceed forward. At the end of that option is a contempt charge. And I've said that everything is on the table.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): While President Trump travels abroad, his legal team is assembling here at home. Marc Kasowitz is expected to lead the team of outside lawyers offering legal counsel into Russia probe according to a senior administration official. Kasowitz has represented Trump for more than 15 years. But he also represents a Russian bank and a Russian business tycoon with ties to Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile, the White House is resetting its search for an FBI director after wide ranging dissatisfaction with the leading candidate, former Senator Joe Lieberman. All while Paul Ryan put forth a muted defense of fired Director James Comey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know the former FDI Director Jim Comey. Does it concern you that the president referred to the former FBI director as a nut job?

REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: Yeah. I don't agree with that. And I -- and he's not.


COOPER: Jessica Schneider joins us now. Do we know what the appointment of Robert Mueller, special prosecutor will have any affect on what happens with those memos by Comey?

SCHNEIDER: Well, Anderson, first off, we know that Mueller has been briefed on these memos from James Comey. But, of course, they have not been handed over to Congress just yet.

House Oversight Chair Jason Chaffetz said today that the FBI contacted his staff and said that the memos would not be handed over today. That was the initial deadline. It's unclear when the memos might be handed over if at all.

And to that end, Senate Judiciary chair, Senator Chuck Grassley, has said that he is considering calling a meeting with Robert Mueller along with Senator Dianne Feinstein. If the FBI doesn't ultimately handover those memos, Senator Grassley said he wants to know whether or not Mueller's investigators might actually keep those memos for their own investigation and not ultimately hand them over. Anderson?

[21:20:13] COOPER: Jessica Schneider, Jessica, thanks.

Next, the panel weighs in. Just ahead have the incidents of the president revealing sensitive intelligence to foreign officials done damage to U.S. relationships with allies? We'll explore that ahead.


COOPER: Before the break, we were talking about Attorney General Jeff Sessions not disclosing contacts with Russia's ambassador during his security clearance vetting. Back with the panel, Jeffrey Toobin, Mark Zaid, Philip Mudd, Steve Hall, and Gloria Borger.

Jeff Toobin, I want to ask you about this. But, I do want to -- you wanted to follow up with something you said in the last hour about the allegations against the Montana campaign -- candidate for House allegedly assaulting a reporter.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Right. The story broke when we were on the air and we listen to the audio once. And my reaction was sort of no big deal. They'll make a federal case out of it. And I really think I was wrong. I mean, this is a big deal.

If the facts are as the reporter alleged, which is that he asked a perfectly reasonable question and the response from the candidate was to body slam him, that's a matter for law enforcement and that's a serious thing and I regret making light of it.

COOPER: On this other story, the fact that Sessions didn't disclose meetings with the Russian ambassador. We should also point out he is arguing the Department of Justice has some FBI agent told him he didn't need to disclose any meetings with dignitaries in his capacity and he didn't. It wasn't just the Russians. What do you -- is this something?

[21:25:08] TOOBIN: Well, it is something. I don't know how big a deal it is. He says he got some guidance from the FBI that the form does not mean what the form says. I mean, the form could not be clear. If the form -- if he -- first of all, it would be interesting to know if he got that guidance.

COOPER: The FBI hasn't commented.

TOOBIN: Right. The more interesting part of the story is, it is yet another example of Sessions and a Trump campaign official not disclosing all of their contacts with the Russian government. That is suspicious. It's important. And there needs to be an explanation why.

COOPER: Mark, you're a national security attorney. Does it make sense to you that an FBI agent would say to Jeff Sessions that he don't need to do any of that?

MARK ZAID, NATIONA SECURITY ATTORNEY: Well, it's certainly possible. I mean, there are some agencies that will either limit or expand the scope of what the form requires. And as Jeff said, the section 20b6 where this would apply can't be clearer that these meetings with the Russians and other diplomats would have to be reported.

But the thing about this is we need more than just this DOJ statement that's been issued. I guarantee you, if this was done in that way, then this is common practice. They're not going to make an exception for Jeff Sessions coming in as a senator to be the Attorney General.

We have lots of, you know, congressional representatives who go into cabinet positions. They even do it for all or they do it for none. So, we should be able to find out if there was something special or unique or really suspicious here.

COOPER: And we should be able, Steve, to find out if the FBI person actually did say that to Sessions. Richard Painter, the former White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush twitted about this tonight saying, "In the Bush administration, someone who lied on a security clearance form would have been out the door within 24 hours." What do you make of this, Steve?



COOPER: Steve, sorry.

HALL: Sorry. Yeah. There's a couple things that strike me about this, Anderson. First is, it doesn't ring true to me that you would have even if there was an FBI officer who said, "Hey, don't worry about this one little bit. You don't have to be as clear as you need to be here. There's all sorts of senior folks or senior staffers that a guy like Sessions has that are going to make sure that everything that needs to be on that form is going to be on that form.

When I went through re-investigations myself or when I had subordinates of mine at CIA who are reapplying for their clearances, occasionally you get a question. "Chief, do I need to put in every single, you know, person that I've ever met?" And my counsel to them was always the same. Look, better safe than sorry.

You know, assuming there's nothing to hide here, yeah, get it all out there because you never want to be in a situation whereby somebody comes back and says, "Wow, wait a minute. Were you trying to deceive? Were you purposely leaving stuff out?"

So it just seems sort of commonsensible that you would, you know, somebody like Sessions would, A, have a staff who would make sure that he gets it right. And, secondly, just commonsensical, yeah, you're going to put every contact that you have on there because you don't want to leave yourself open to criticism about this later on.

COOPER: Gloria, I mean, it seems like there was a lot of confusion from a lot of people. I mean, if confusion is what it is, in team Trump. I mean, you had Jared Kushner not disclosing and obviously the issues of Michael Flynn as well.

BORGER: Right. And, you know, with Jared Kushner, it was his clearance form was mistakenly sent in without any listing of foreign officials with whom he met. And we do know that Jared met with a huge number of foreign officials, including Russians. And that his attorney the next day had to amend it.

It was apparently sent in by someone from the transition who didn't know much. And then the attorney had to amend it. And they are still in the process of trying to get this list together and meet with the FBI about it. So in the meantime, he has an interim clearance.

But, you know, this is a serious thing that people just can't discard. These questions are asked for important reasons, particularly when you're getting a high level security clearance.

TOOBIN: In fact, they're asked for precisely the reason that we're dealing with now.

BORGER: Exactly.

TOOBIN: Which is, did you have contact with a foreign government that was seeking to influence your work?

BORGER: Right.

TOOBIN: And that's what this investigation is about. So the fact that he left it out indicates that, you know, that the form was actually an appropriate form. And the other thing that's worth pointing out is that senators -- every senator, all 100 and all 435 representatives have someone in their office called the scheduler. That's what the person does. And so they have a schedule every day.

It's not that difficult to go through the schedules and see how many times he met with the Russian government. And I don't believe it was thousands of people. It was probably several dozen.

COOPER: Phil, I mean, you've, you know, filled out some forms in your time at the FBI and the CIA. What do you make of this?

PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I have a different perspective. Let me give you two pieces of this pie. Number one, I hope I don't get arrested after appearing on "AC 360." There are a lot of times I didn't declare meetings with foreign officials. This is all about context, Anderson.

[21:30:02] If I saw somebody for five minutes at a Starbucks, for all the people I saw at the FBI and the CIA, especially as I moved up in positions, I was not going to fill out a form every time I passed somebody in the hall in the FBI, British, French, Russian, Chinese. "Hey, how are you doing? You want to have a cup of coffee?" The first measure you have is close and continuing contact. It's not a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

The second and final piece of context you have to think about here is, we're in an environment on the other side of the spectrum where you have Mike Flynn being fired for an inappropriate contact with Russians and Sessions on Capitol Hill during his hearing saying, "I don't remember meeting Russians."

You shouldn't and don't have to in my judgment declare every five minute conversation at Starbucks. But this gets a little fuzzy when you say the whole campaign was meeting with these people and repeatedly Attorney General Sessions failed to mention his contacts. That's a little funny.

COOPER: All right.

BORGER: Well, the context is what counts here. There's a lot of smoke about Russians.

MUDD: Yes.

BORGER: So how do you not disclose it?

COOPER: Mark, go ahead and then we got to go.

ZIAD: Yeah. I just -- I mean, what Phil is saying the practical reality. There's a lot of substance to that. But I just want to point out -- and this is kind of maybe going into little weeds. There's two questions on the form that this relates to. What Phil is talking about with close and continuing, that's one question.

There's another question that deals with whether or not they've had any contact, any contact. It could be five minutes. Now, is that realistic? You know, probably not. Any contact with a foreign government, especially the military service or intelligence. And as Jeff said, this is why that question is on the form.

COOPER: Yeah. Thank everybody.

Up next, concern that loose lips in the Trump administration, including the president himself, could sink relationships abroad. We'll talk about that ahead.


[21:35:10] COOPER: Well, Washington pundits like to say that the ship of state is the only vessel that leads from the top. On these days, the allegation is that this White House leaks from the very top, which would not be unusual except instead of simply floating trial balloons or planting items in friendly news outlets. This president is accused by critics of handing sensitive information to either friendly or in some cases, hostile foreign powers. Dianne Gallagher has more.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Trump administration can't seem to keep a secret and Washington's loose lips could be creating problems with allies abroad. British Home Secretary Amber Rudd expressing anger Wednesday.

AMBER RUDD, BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: The British police have been very clear that they want to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): After American security forces leaked the identity of the Manchester arena attacker.

RUDD: So, it is irritating if it gets released from other sources, and I have been very clear, with our friends that that should not happen again.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): But, it isn't the first time. Just two weeks ago, sources reported President Donald Trump shared top secret information with Russian officials in Oval Office meeting. Former CIA Director John Brennan testified on Tuesday that the president broke protocol in doing this.

JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: It appears as though at least from the press reports that neither did it go in the proper channels nor did the originating agency have the opportunity to clear language for it. So that is a problem.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): But said the fact it then became public knowledge was the bigger problem. BRENNAN: That was where the damage came from, I think, that it was released in the press.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): But it was the president himself who appeared to accidentally leak that Israel was the source of that sensitive information told to the Russians.

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: I never mentioned the word or the name Israel, never mentioned that during our conversation. They're all saying I did. So you had another story wrong.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Except media reports never stated that the president connected it to Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to take Trump's apparent confirmation in stride.


GALLAGHER (voice-over): But this morning when Israel's army radio twice asked the defense minister if Trump slipped up put the life of an Israeli agent in danger, he would only say, "I will not confirm or deny. We have made a pointed correction. There is unprecedented intelligence cooperation."

And leaked to "The Washington Post" in the intercept overnight, transcripts from an April 29th phone call between Trump and the Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, that showed Trump talking about U.S. nuclear submarines and their location near the Korean peninsula while calling Kim Jong-un a mad man. Intelligence experts say it may seem surprising to the public, but this conversation isn't an issue.

JOHN NEGROPONTE, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: An element of our diplomacy also is to reassure allies by telling them that help is nearby. So in that particular case, he had a diplomatic message. He was sending to the Filipinos, but at the same time he wasn't giving away the coordinates of that particular submarine and they're not that easy to find.


COOPER: That's Dianne Gallagher reporting.

So given all that, what is it say if anything about how this president does business and how much a break is this from the way other presidents have traditionally operated? Excuse me.

Joining us is retired Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby who had an up close view as a naval -- excuse me, naval officer, former State Department and then become press secretary. Also with us, one of President Reagan's lieutenants, if not admirals, Jeffrey Lord is joining us as well.

Admiral Kirby, I mean, there's only two issues here and they shouldn't be completed (ph). One is U.S. intelligence sources or law enforcement sources or somebody leaking information about the Manchester investigation. Then there's the president himself disclosing information to the -- excuse me, to Russians in the Oval Office.

JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: Yeah. I know you're right. Those are two separate types of leaks of information. I'm not saying that either one is a good thing. But, we do need to make sure that we keep them separate.

On the one hand, you do have some -- I would suspect lower level law enforcement officials putting out information to the press about this ongoing investigation which could put the investigation at risk and maybe even potentially put lives at risk as they're trying to prosecute the conspirators of this bombing.

On the other hand, you have the president, you know, releasing in a very unscripted, unregulated way apparently very sensitive intelligence that we shared with us by another nation and then later announcing to the world what nation that was. And that really could have a chilling affect on intelligence agencies around the world in terms of their decisions to help share and continue to share information with us going forward.

Now, I talked to a source in the intelligence community today just to kind of to take the temperature on this. And he told me that so far they haven't seen that chilling affect take affect that other intelligence agencies around the world. While they took notice of this, they're not necessarily making any decisions going forward, specifically about sharing intelligence with the United States.

[21:40:08] However, he did say a common question that they are getting as a result of that Oval Office leak is trying to figure out what the state of the relationship is between the U.S. intelligence community and the White House. They're really more interested in where that relationship is going. And, of course, we know that relationship has already been quite strained.

COOPER: Yeah. Jeff, I mean, do you think that is what is at the heart of this? I mean, again, not-- you know, the release of information about the ongoing investigation in Manchester is one thing. And that's one thing that the president and others have talked about and you have talked a lot on this program about releasing information that shouldn't get out there and where are the leaks coming from and there should be stopped.

JEFFREY LORD, TRUMP SUPPORTER: That's the problem. Let me just start with one light-hearted reference here to, of course, President Reagan. Allies do disagree when the president invaded Grenada, which was, of course, a British Commonwealth state. He didn't tell Margaret Thatcher. She called him, she was very angry. This is recorded by the way.

And he said -- he began the conversation by saying, if I were there, Margaret -- he was in Washington, she was in London. "If I were there, Margaret, I throw my hat in the door before I came in." Well, that of course immediately melted her a bit and she was very kind, et cetera. But she was very frosty.

My point is, allies can have disagreements and get along. That said, this is a bad thing when you got people in an administration leaking stuff like this. And frankly, I don't care whether its national security things like this or whether it's some bureaucrat in the EPA or the Justice Department or whomever, wherever it might be.

We have elections for a reason. And the bureaucracy per se, should not be there to undermine the president. If they don't like the president, that's fine, quit. But don't be doing this because this can have enormous consequences, unintended consequences and do real damage.

COOPER: Admiral Kirby, do you see this what's going on now as a different situation than has happened in past administrations? Obviously, I mean this president has criticized the intelligence community early on in a way that was, you know, at the time kind of considered very surprising and people warned, you now, "You do that, you're going to end up with people annoyed and may end up leaking information."

KIRBY: Yeah.

COOPER: But is this a lot different, because clearly the Obama administration went after leakers --

KIRBY: Sure.

COOPER: -- you know, more strongly than past administrations.

KIRBY: Sure, they did. They absolutely did. I mean -- I have been in Washington too long, I guess. I mean, leaks are just a part of the fabric of everyday life here. And I agree with Jeffrey.

Look, there are leaks and then there are leaks. Leaks of classified sensitive information absolutely against the law shouldn't be tolerated and frankly should be investigated and prosecuted. I totally support the administration with respect to that.

But this does feel different to me, Anderson, in terms of the speed and the frequency with which leaks are happening under this administration so early on. Yes, President Obama struggled with it, so did President Bush before him. This does feel different. It feels more aggressive and much more vindictive.

COOPER: All right. Admiral Kirby, Jeffry Lord, thank you both very much.

Coming up, the latest from Manchester where there have been raids and arrests following the deadly bombing.


[21:45:41] COOPER: More of the 22 people killed in the Manchester bombing have been identified tonight. One, we do not have a picture of, her name is Jane Tweddle, a mother of three. Also confirmed by their families and schools who have died in the attack is 29-year-old Martyn Hett, Marcin and Angelika Klis, Nell Jones, a teenage student and Michelle Kiss also a mother of three. And we're just getting word tonight of another young couple confirms to be among the victims, 17-year-old Chloe Rutherford and 19-year-old Liam Curry. In a statement, their families say they were inseparable that they wanted to be together forever and now they are.

There have been a number of new raids and arrests in the case, including the brother of the suspected bomber in Libya. He was arrested on suspicions of links to ISIS. His older brother, the Manchester bombing suspect, also had been in Libya for three weeks, returned to England days before the attack according to U.S. military officials.

Also new tonight, these pictures published in "The New York Times" reportedly showing what could be parts of the device that was used, the explosive device that was used, fragments, even of a backpack use in the bombing. The photos appear to have been taken by British authorities.

CNN asked the Greater Manchester police about the photographs. They had no comments. Our Senior International Corresponds Clarissa Ward is in Manchester. She joins us now. What is the latest on the arrests Clarissa?

CLARISSA WARD, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Anderson, what we know is that there have been a series of raids taking place across Manchester today. All together now, seven people have been arrested as authorities continue the work of really trying to drill down on whether there is, indeed, a larger network or ISIS cell potentially still active here in the United Kingdom.

Now, you mentioned we're getting some interesting information from Libya, from a militia in Libya. We can't obviously confirm their claims, but they claim to have arrested the brother of the suicide bomber.

They say that he was planning an attack, a terror attack for the city of Tripoli, which is the capital of Libya. They said that under interrogation he actually confessed that he and his brother were both members of ISIS. I should stress again, Anderson, that obviously, we can't confirm these claims, but it is interesting. We're seeing the net start to widen from the U.K., also now possibly to Libya.

And just on the topic, Anderson, of those photographs published by "The New York Times," while the Manchester police neglected to make any comment rather they said, "We will not make any comment on this," British counter terrorism police have not been so circumspect. They have had said that it is damaging to the relationship that exists between intelligence sharing powers, that it undermines the investigation.

And this comes on the heels of Britain's home secretary, which is the equivalent of the homeland secretary, saying this morning that leaks coming from U.S. officials to the media have been "irritating", Anderson.

COOPER: We should also point out -- I mean, when people think about ISIS, they think about Syria, they think about Iraq. But there's a very large and dangerous presence in Libya as well.

WARD: There is a very dangerous presence in Libya and ISIS has been fighting a battle against U.S. led coalition from the air and also various militias and factions on the ground that have been fighting against ISIS particularly in the stronghold of Sirte and they've been quite effectively push back, Anderson.

But what you realized is that in a country like Libya, which is still relatively lawless and chaotic, it's still very easy for smaller cells to form under the radar. And you see how able they are to plan or choreograph these kinds of attacks.

I think that's one thing officials here really want to get to grips with. Was the attack planned in Libya or was it planned here? Is the bomb maker, well, potentially the suicide bomber himself, or was it someone in Libya or was it someone here?

These are the questions that will be crucial to answer as British authorities try to work out if potentially there could be a bomb maker or a larger network still here in the United Kingdom, Anderson.

COOPER: Clarissa Ward, Clarissa, thanks very much.

Just ahead, the impression Melania Trump is making on her five-city, nine-day journey overseas and the reception she's getting on the world stage.


[21:53:14] COOPER: President Trump has one more stop on his overseas trip. He's in Brussels tonight. Tomorrow, from there, it's on to Sicily. It's his first foreign trip, obviously, as president and the first time that Melania Trump, a native Slovenia, is traveling overseas as first lady. She's making quite an impression. Kate Bennett tonight has more.


KATE BENNETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER (voice-over): Without actually saying anything publicly, the first lady has been a hit with international audiences, even joking with the Pope, who earlier today, during a visit to the Vatican, teased Melania about feeding her husband too many Slovenian sweets.

POPE FRANCIS, VATICAN CITY: What do you give him to eat?


BENNETT (voice-over): She also ventured solo in Rome to a children's hospital, where she made a friendly greeting to the children in Italian. Hugging the kids, making drawings, even posing for a few selfies, the first lady connected with one young boy, whom she learned hours later was notified that doctors had located a donor for the heart transplant he needs. Melania tweeting the news.

The trip has been the most the world has seen of the first lady in consecutive days since her husband took office and Melania has made sure she's prepared for the world stage. The White House telling CNN her strategy was to pack a separate bag for each stop on the trip, taking every event on this five-city, nine-day journey as a separate focus.

Every outfit, from the demure black jump suit she arrived wearing in Saudi Arabia, to her white ensembles in Israel, where white is considered by some to be a holy color, a symbol of peace and purity, to the black lace dress by Italian designers, Dolce & Gabbana, that she wore to greet the Pope. Everything was planned down to her Manolo Blahnik high heels.

[21:55:02] She and Ivanka Trump wearing the required black formal wear, long sleeves and head veil for their audience with the pontiff. Part of the protocol she likely studied when she met with State Department officials in preparation for this trip.

But it hasn't all been perfect. There was that hand swat heard around the world. The moment on the tarmac in Tel Aviv when the president crowding her out on the red carpet, reached back for Melania's hand and she didn't take it. That clip going viral, even noticed by President Obama's former White House photographer, Pete Souza, who was quick to troll the moment, posting his own image of Barack and Michelle on his Instagram page, clearly holding hands.


COOPER: Kate, we've seen Melania Trump at every stop, but are we-- are going to hear from her at all on this trip?

BENNETT: We're expected to. At the last stop in Sicily, she's planning on speaking to a group of U.S. military members and their families. It will be the first time that she's given a professional speech on this trip. Otherwise, she's been relatively quiet.

COOPER: Kate Bennett, thanks very much for the reporting. We'll be right back.


COOPER: That's it for us. Thanks for watching. Time to hand things over to Don Lemon. "CNN Tonight" starts right now.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: So here's the breaking news right now. The Republican congressional candidate accused of body slamming a reporter.

[22:00:04] This is "CNN Tonight." I'm Don Lemon. Shocking violence in Montana tonight, a reporter for "The Guardian" allegedly attacked by GOP candidate Greg Gianforte. You can hear it right here.