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Another Man Close To The President Quitting His Job Under The Weight Of Domestic Abuse Claims; President Said No To Letting The Public See A Congressional Memo That Democrats Say Answers A Republican Memo; American Spies Paid A Russian Man $100,000 After He Claimed To Have Hacking Tools Stolen From The NSA; North And South Korea United Under One Flag At The Olympic Opening Ceremony; Two Ohio Police Officers Were Ambushed And Killed Today After Responding To An Odd 911 Call; Defense Secretary James Mattis Says The Pentagon Is Preparing Options For A Possible Military Parade. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired February 10, 2018 - 20:00   ET



[20:00:14] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Hello. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in new York. Great to have you with us.

President Trump's personnel problem that blew up in the middle of the week didn't get better. Two people who worked close to the oval office suddenly quit their jobs. staff secretary and a speechwriter. Both men accused of violent behavior and domestic abuse. Both accusations coming from their ex-wives and both of these staffers are now out. The President coming to their defense earlier today.

CNN Ryan Nobles is at the White House with more on that - Ryan.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Ana. This is another example of the White House being forced to deal with a crisis. One that they didn't seem to expect and also did not seem prepared to handle. And so far the President is being rather defiant in response to these accusations against two of his now former staffers. The latest being David Sorensen, a speechwriter who actually approached the White House. Said that he knew these allegations were in his past and he offered his resignation and what he said was to avoid being a distraction to the administration. He also put out a lengthy statement where he forcefully denied the accusations against him and even claimed that he himself was the victim of domestic violence.

But listen to what the President wrote this morning on twitter essentially talking about both of these gentlemen.

He said quote "people's lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true. Some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovering from someone falsely accused. Life and career gone. Is there no such thing any longer as due process.

And it is interesting that in this case the President is talking about due process because when he goes on the attack rarely does he concern himself with due process. Of course, this is the man that during his campaign led the chant lock her up as it relates to Hillary Clinton.

But this is not the only issue that the White House is dealing with this weekend. They are also dealing with the fallout from their decision not to release the Democratic memo that was in response to the Republican memo that had to do with the investigations and the concern about the FISA court. And the President tweeting a response about that this morning, pushing back on some of the criticism that the move to not allow the memo was political in nature.

The President saying quote "the Democrats sent a very political and long response memo, which they knew because of sources and methods and more would have to be heavily redacted whereupon they would blame the White House for a lack of transparency. We told them to re-do and send back in proper form.

Now of course Democrats are concerned there is a bit of a hypocrisy in this statement by the President. He released that Republican memo against the recommendations of the department of justice and the FBI. In this case he is leaning heavily on their recommendations in deciding not to allow it.

Now the White House has said they are inclined to release the memo, but there will be some redactions. Democrats are concerned those redactions will be politically motivated as opposed to protecting those sources and methods. We will have to see what the response is if and when that memo comes out possibly as early as next week -- Ana.

CABRERA: We will be watching. Ryan Nobles at the White House. Thank you.

Now, the President's defense of Porter on twitter echoed what he said yesterday about his former aid in the oval office.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was very sad when we heard about it and certainly he is also very sad now. He also, as you probably know, he says he is innocent and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he is innocent. So you will have to talk to him about that. We but absolutely wish him well.


CABRERA: It might be a little jarring to hear the President defend someone accused of beating two of his ex-wives, but it is not entirely surprising. The President has a track record of men accused of abuse or harassment. For example, listen to what he said about his former campaign manager when he was accused of grabbing a female reporter's arm so hard he left bruises.


TRUMP: He is a good person with a wonderful family. Four beautiful kids and they are destroying that man over nothing. You take a look at that tape and she's grabbing me. Now maybe I should press charges against her. She is not supposed to be grabbing me. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CABRERA: Now, here is what he said about former FOX News chief Roger Aisles after he was accused of sexual harassment.


TRUMP: I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them.


CABRERA: We are not done yet. The President also defended former FOX News personality Bill O'Reilly when he was accused of sexual harassment.


TRUMP: He's a person I know well. He is a good person. I think he may -- you know, I think he shouldn't have settled. I don't think Bill would do anything wrong.


[20:05:07] CABRERA: It doesn't end there. The President also defended and endorsed Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore after he was accused of inappropriate behavior with teenage girls, including child molestation.


TRUMP: If you look at what is really going on and you look at all the things that have happened over the last 48 hours, he totally denies it. He says it didn't happen. And, you know, you have to listen to him also.


CABRERA: And when then candidate Trump was accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and assault, here's what he said about his own accusers.


TRUMP: They just come out. Some are doing it through probably a little fame. They get some free fame. It is a total set-up. People that are willing to say, I was with Donald Trump in 1980. I was sitting with him on an airplane, and he went after me on the plane. Yes, I'm going to go after you. Believe me. She would not be my first choice. That I can tell you.


CABRERA: Joining us now CNN political analyst and Republican strategist Alice Stewart and "Washington Post" columnist Catherine Rampell. So Alice, what is the first word that comes to your mind when you hear

those sound bites I just played?

ALICE STEWART, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Disgusting comes to mind. Disturbing also comes to mind.

Look, I think we are not surprised that the President, being loyal to friends and people that are loyal to him that he said that Rob Porter is innocent and stood by him. That's fine if that's what he wants to do, but as President of the United States he should have followed that up with, however, domestic violence is abhorrent and there is no place for it in our society.

But as you just outlined, Ana, it is a pattern. Whether he is talking about friends or colleagues or others in public service, he has -- they have always tried to down play these kind of allegations, whether we are talking about domestic violence or sexual harassment. They down play it. They defend the men and they try and discredit the women. And that is really, really troubling.

And in this case, what is even more troubling is when you have someone that has such a personal abhorrent behavior, that should be disqualifying for public office and public service. And I think we need to really take a close look at the standard that's being set here and make sure that we really speak out against domestic violence.

CABRERA: Catherine, again, the question why. Why is the President's first instinct to believe the men and not the women?

CATHERINE RAMPELL, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: Presumably projection. You know, he has to protect his own reputation. And if he blends any sense of credibility, greater credibility to these women accusers, these female accusers of other alleged predators of various strikes, then maybe people will start to believe increasingly the women who have accused him. I just can't think of any other reason.

And perhaps, you know, maybe he just doesn't see women in general as credible. He has made lots of misogynistic comments about women in general. So maybe that transfers to his likelihood to believe women when they are accusing his friends and associates as well.

CABRERA: He was quick to throw Harvey Weinstein under the bus when the accusations get him came out.

And yet Alice, the other thing that stood out about his tweet today was the President asking if due process still exists. This is coming from the same person who accused Ted Cruz's father of assassinating JFK, not to mention some leading the chants of lock her up during the campaign as Ryan Nobles mentioned. How do you square it?

STEWART: I think look. He looks at due process with regard to people that he aligns himself with and who he likes. And the sad reality is that domestic violence is not partisan. It is nongender. It does not race color, creep (ph), sex or national origin. This is a true problem. And we need to look at it that way. And I think we need to listen more to the people who are victims of domestic violence than those who are accused of it and not just by one ex-wife but by two and someone else. I think we need to take a step back and give these women a voice. Let them not be afraid to come out and speak and let them know that we are really taking a serious look at this. I'm encouraged by vice President Pence, who has said when he was over at the Olympics that there is no place for domestic violence and he is committed to taking a closer look at this when he comes back. I hope this is a time that we make some changes with regard to this.

CABRERA: Republican congressman Charlie Dent is one of the few Republicans. You mentioned Mike Pence as well, who is speaking out about the Porter abuse controversy. Let's listen to what he told our colleague, Fredricka Whitfield, today.


REP. CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: There has to be a zero tolerance toward that type of domestic violence that is being discussed in these two situations. That's very clear. And of course we should be very sympathetic and empathetic to the victims, to the women who have been violated here, subjective of violence. That said, I think it is important for the President to acknowledge the victims.


[20:10:16] CABRERA: So now we have 12 Democrat senators who have written the White House asking for more information about Porter. Whether he disclosed these allegations.

Catherine, Alice hit on this earlier. Are you surprised that there aren't more Republicans, the party of family values, also a party that's struggling with female voters that aren't speaking out to rebuke this.

RAMPELL: You know, I am. And I'm not. On the one hand, this should not be a partisan issue. This should be something that everyone could make even the, you know, most bland of statements just saying, look, domestic violence is bad. It will not be tolerated.

But President Trump could not do that. Why would we expect the people that line themselves up behind President Trump to come out and condemn this kind of behavior. Because there will be guilt by association essentially.

CABRERA: So what benefit is it for them to stay silent?

RAMPELL: I think they don't want to be seen on the side of the people that are bad. And if they acknowledge that there are people who are bad on their side, then they are tainted. So that's why you didn't see the evangelical community coming out against Trump during the election event though we saw more than a dozen women accusing him of various forms ok sexual harassment and sexual assault. That's why you didn't see the evangelical community. And, you know, the family values types coming out against Trump when he has made lots of other comments about women, when he has made lots of other sort of antifamily comments. You know, I think it's not entirety surprising. Our politics are so

tribalistic right now that it is a little bit hard I think for people on either side to be able to consistently hold to whatever principals they espouse if those principals occasionally go against the people on their team.

CABRERA: Or to look inside themselves.

Alice, I want to ask you about the President's decision to block the release of the Democrats memo rebutting alleged surveillance abuses at the FBI. President Trump saying he is just heating the advise of the FBI and the DOJ by not releasing this memo and its current form. But he didn't do the same with the Republican memo. Is this a double standard?

STEWART: Look, I think -- look, clearly it was, in my view, it is better to get more information out there and more transparency the better. And we all knew he was going to put out the Republican memo.

With this one I think we also have to consider this was certainly a more lengthy memo. We have to consider the possibility that Democrats put some information in this memo that was potentially confidential knowing that this would cause the President to refuse to declassify the memo and have it released and that would give them an opportunity to say, look, he's not putting the same standard on us.

If there is some information that's classified in there, hopefully they redact only the classified information. And I'm looking forward to a time when they do release it. I do take the President in his word when he says he will get it out. Republicans on the House intel committee want it released. The only thing we need to do is get out the classified information and put it out fully. I think it is important to have a response from the Republicans and Democrats. Ideally it would be at the same time, but better late on never.

CABRERA: Right. You do bring up the point about the potential for national security method sources. But Republican congressman Justin Amash tweeted that he looked at this memo and he said it doesn't endanger national security, Catherine.

RAMPELL: Yes. There was bipartisan support for releasing this. It is bizarre that President Trump suddenly shows deference supposedly to the FBI and the national intelligence community when it comes to the case of releasing a memo that was authored by Democrats. No so much when it was related to releasing a memo authored by a Republican.

CABRERA: So how do you see the Democrats responding now? Because aren't they just giving more fuel to the fire to the attention of these memos, even the Republican memo which they say is misleading?

RAMPELL: Well, potentially. I think on the other hand, are you familiar with (INAUDIBLE) effect? This is the idea that when you try to sensor something that causes more attention to be aid to it, more demand for information about the thing that you are trying to sensor? I think you could very well see this backfiring against Trump. And that it looks like he had something to cover up. When it looks like he has something to cover up, there will with more grounds full of support for the public to see what the memo is, you know. Release the memo -- #releasethememo couldn't -- now be used against him essentially rather than against Democrats who have been trying to keep a Nunes memo quiet.

CABRERA: Well, I appreciate both of you ladies. Alice Stewart and Catherine Rampell, thank you both.

STEWART: Thanks so much.

RAMPELL: Thank you.

CABRERA: And still ahead, were U.S. spied fooled by a Russian selling secrets? A new report claims just that. You will hear from the author of that report ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[20:19:05] CABRERA: Welcome back.

Did the U.S. get duped by a shadowy Russian? A new report in "the New York Times" claims American spies paid a Russian man $100,000 after he claimed to have hacking tools stolen from the NSA along with compromising material on President Trump. This man, however, never handed over these materials.

According to the paper, the American spies agreed to pay the Russian a million dollars for the intel and they were serious about this offer. At one point the U.S. spies gave the man $100,000 in a briefcase as a down payment. Now according to "the Times," the NSA even used its official twitter account to send coded messages to the Russian nearly a dozen times. But the U.S. spy soon had doubts.

The paper writes his apparent eagerness to sell the Trump kompromat, a Russian term for information used to gain leverage over someone to American spies raised suspicions among officials that he was part of an operation for feed the information to United States intelligence agencies and pit them against Mr. Trump.

Now there were other questions about the Russian's liability. He had a history of money laundering and a thin legitimate cover business. A nearly bankrupt company that sold portable grills for street side sausage salesman, according to British incorporation papers.

The American spies ended up chasing this Russian out of the western Europe and warned him never come back if he valued his freedom.

I spoke with the reporter behind the story. National security correspondent for "The New York Times" Matthew Rosenberg. Here is part of our conversation.


CABRERA: Matthew, I have so many questions for you about the story, but apparently, first, your reporting caught the attention of the President. And he tweeted this about your report today. According to "The New York Times," a Russian sold phony secrets on

Trump to the U.S., asking price tag was $10 million, brought down to $1 million to be paid over time. I hope people are now seeing and understanding what is going on here. It's all now starting to come out. Drain the swamp.

Is this an accurate characterization of your reporting, Matthew?

[20:21:08] MATTHEW ROSENBERG, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES: It's not. It's not. Look, this is a complicated story, I think that's pretty clear here. The Americans were out looking for this kind of vast trove of hacking tools, cyber weapons that had been stolen from the NSA and the CIA. And the idea here, they weren't going to take it off the market to get them back. They were just trying to figure out what was missing, what was already out there in the wild and what they had to worry about because they didn't even know exactly what had gotten out. And they find this Russian who says I can give you everything. They are like great. We can maybe start unraveling this mystery. But then the Russian says, you know what, we have to include this material on President Trump. I want to throw that in there. And the Americans didn't really want that. They made it clear to the Russian, we want the cyber weapons. Don't sell us the other stuff.

CABRERA: Tell us more. Tell us more because I want to just unpack this first before you go further. They wanted the cyber weapons that had been stolen. So tell us about the guy who claimed to have these cyber weapons. What more do we know about him?

ROSENBERG: So the Russian who I interviewed multiple times in Europe, he is a fixture of sorts for Russian intelligence. He has connections to various Russian intelligence people. But he also has some underworld connections as well. He has done some money laundering. He has moved semiprecious metals around Europe from Russian oligarch. He is a kind of a hard guy to figure out. And that's one of the problems here when dealing with counterintelligence in Russia, is that the difference a Russian intelligence officer and an organized crime figure is often very, very blurry. And it makes it very hard to figure out who is who and what are we dealing with here.

CABRERA: And at one point, a meeting happened inside the Russian embassy in Berlin. So does the U.S. believe this man was being supported by the Russian government?

ROSENBERG: They suspect it was the case.


CABRERA: I'm going to talk more about this secret operation with two people who now how these operations work on both sides. CNN national security analyst Steve Hall is a retired CIA chief of Russia operations and Jack Barsky is a former undercover KGB agent.

So Steve, what stands out to you about what we learned now from Matthew's reporting? STEVE HALL, RETIRED CHIEF OF RUSSIAN OPERATIONS: Ana, if I had to

guess, I would say this is probably one of two things. It's either what we would refer to as an information peddler, somebody who has come somehow, you know, into possession of some interesting information and wants to make some money off of it. And so is either allowed to be in contact with western intelligence services or it could be what Russians refer to as a provocation, which is something that might have been under control of the Russian government, the Russian security services in its continued attempts to sew disinformation and to sort of widen the cracks in U.S. political and societal system. And that would be of course the Trump material that he was discussing. So it's probably one of those two types of things.

CABRERA: Jack, based on what you know of how the Russians operate, how do you think? What do you think was going on here?

JACK BARSKY, FORMER UNDERCOVER KGB AGENT: My predecessor is entirely 100 percent correct. But as I was reading this article, I thought I was getting ready to be on the comedy channel, quite frankly.

This is bizarre. This is completely bizarre. This is a tail of ineptitude on both sides. When you look at the way the Russians operated, this is goonish, boorish behavior. It is very much reflective of how this country is run these days. In my time we thought he had a little bit of intellect and elegance in our operation. This is awful.

And then on the other hand, if, indeed, what "the Times" writes is true, the eagerness of the CIA or NSA to just buy stuff from what we would expect to be crooked people is just on the other side. It is inept on both sides.

[20:25:02] CABRERA: I mean, that's what I was going to ask you about, Steve, because you know how these intelligence operations work in the U.S. again, these officials made a million dollar deal, even paid out hundred thousand dollars for what? Do you see any mistakes in how they handled this situation?

HALL: What I would say, Ana, is this. What we see is probably from Matt Rosenberg's excellent work is probably 10 percent, maybe 15 percent of what actually happened. There is probably a lot more that was going on behind the scenes. It's the nature of human intelligence collection that you have to talk to a lot of people, many of whom appear to be whack jobs, to try to get to the bottom as to whether or not what they have is worth it. I mean, a counter terrorism example is perfect (ph). You meet a lot of really strange people but you can't just send them packing because they are acting strangely and you are not sure about the information. You have to get to the bottom of it.

So my inclination, because I have been on the other side of this where people look at an operation and say in the press or in the open discussions say what the heck were they thinking, that sounds stupid. And the fact is there is a lot there that's simply classified you don't know about. I'm not saying that it is impossible for intelligence officers or intelligence organizations to make bad judgments but it is pretty complicated as we saw from Matt's article.

BARSKY: Yes. I just want to throw in if you don't mind.


BARSKY: There was background on this individual. And the background was really, really bad.

CABRERA: He was shady.

BARSKY: That's when you start asking some questions and being really, really careful because he could have been a planned, possibly was a planned.

HALL: What do you think about that, Steve? I mean, is this sort of deal making common?

HALL: Well, again, when you have a lot of these complicated operations out there, yes, you have to do your best to vet the individual. But the funny thing is that a lot of times individuals who have a very torrid past who don't, you know, come through and are not the best citizens in the world oftentimes have access to interesting information.

Now, whenever you are dealing with the Russians, though, you also have to take into consideration that it's possible that the Russians are trying to manipulate this situation. And so, that's why I was saying it is either one of two. It is either a peddler or the Russians are trying to mess with out. Either way the intelligence officers in the field who I will defer to have to make that judgment themselves. They are the ones who are closest to it and have the best feel as to what is actually going on. And you can never simply have one meeting with an individual and say, yes, this isn't any good. You have to get to the bottom of it before you can say, OK, this doesn't make any sense.

CABRERA: Because what if he had something legit.

Jack, "the New York Times" says the U.S. spies became worried this Russian was trying to pit U.S. intelligence agencies against the President and try to really stir up America's society, institutions, democracies. President Trump now tweeting about this story today saying drain the swamp. I mean, does this tweet actually help Putin?

BARSKY: Which swamp is he trying to drain here? I mean, the swamp is really at this point is a Russian swamp. I mean, the tweet shoots right passed the target. It has nothing to do with what exactly happened. I think the President is always trying to find an angle to, you know, produce his message, so to speak.

CABRERA: All right. Gentlemen, thank you both so much for joining us. Interesting conversation.

Jack Barsky and Steve Hall, good to see you both.

Drawing the parallels between President Donald Trump and President Richard Nixon. A new CNN op-ed cowritten by Carl Bernstein says Trump's Russian response is eerily similar to Nixon leading up to the Saturday night massacre. Carl Bernstein joins me just ahead in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[20:33:20] CABRERA: We are here again. That is the opening line of a new CNN politics piece written by the two journalists who broke the Watergate story in the '70s. Now in their article, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein revisit what happened when Richard Nixon fired the special prosecutor investigating his White House.

Earlier this evening, I talked with Carl Bernstein about how what happened 45 years ago is similar to the presidency of Donald Trump. Here is our discussion.


CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: We have no reason to believe almost anything that Donald Trump says. What is so extraordinary about him and his presidency is the incessant, compulsive, continual lying. And this is not me sitting here as a commentator saying this. This is demonstrable reportorial truth. The number of lies, the consistency of lying by the President of the United States, which ought to be concerned particularly to Republicans who are looking supposedly to see what the facts are here and instead seem to be forming a body guard around the President to protect him instead of protecting Mueller's investigation, it's extraordinary. We have never had a President who lies like this certainly in the modern era, even Nixon.

CABRERA: So when you write in your piece that was just three days after the Saturday night masker, 44 separate Watergate related bills had been introduced in Congress, 22 calls for impeachment investigation. You know, 44 bills. How do you think this Congress, both Houses, Republican controlled, would react to a situation in which the President fired Robert Mueller?

[20:35:05] BERNSTEIN: I think there would be inevitably move to impeach the President. But I think also Trump would expect that and Trump is banking that he could stop impeachment, defeat impeachment, certainly defeat conviction in the Senate for anything.

Look. I think what we are seeing here now, what we know that Trump told his council, his White House council that he wanted the council to have Mueller fired and the council said he would quit rather than fire him. Trump is determined to make this go away. But one of the things that's going on right now is the leaving of the justice department, of the number three person there, Rachel Brand. It is hugely significant because if Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general in-charge of this investigation were to be fired by the President, the next in command if Rachel Brand is going to leave, is this solicitor general of the United States Noel Francisco. And there is every expectation I'm told by people in the White House that Francisco is and would be very sympathetic to President Trump's view that he, Trump, is the victim in this investigation. CABRERA: But let me stop you for just a second, Carl. Because we

also know he would have conflicts of interest based on what his law firm's work is doing connected to the Trump White House, the administration. So it doesn't sound like it's that clear-cut, right?

BERNSTEIN: It is not that clear-cut. He would have conflicts of interest. But the most important potential conflict of interest, and let me say something that's a little new here, is that run of the reasons or factors that may figure in Rachel Brand leaving the justice department is that her husband is a partner in the Sidley Austin law firm. And that law firm is going to take over the defense of Rick Gates who has been indicted with Paul Manafort.

That means and the White House has been aware for a while that Rachel Brand was going to have to recuse herself from any oversight of the investigation should Rosenstein be fired. And the White House knows this, has been operating under the knowledge that she would not be in- charge of the investigation. And so their strategies have included that fact or a while now. That she would have had to recuse herself because of the conflict with her husband's law firm.

Look, so far he has been hugely successful, the President of the United States, in getting 35, 40, 45 percent of the people in this country, if we are to believe the polls, to support him in both his presidency and in his view of this investigation, which is to make the conduct of the press, to make the conduct of the FBI, to make the conduct of the intelligence community the issue instead of the conduct of Donald Trump, his family, his businesses, et cetera, et cetera. It is extraordinary and it's been based on a kind of body guard of lies so far.


CABRERA: Our thanks to Carl Bernstein. You can read his article co- written with Bob Woodward right now on

I'll be right back.


[20:42:28] CABRERA: Defense secretary James Mattis says the Pentagon is preparing options for a possible military parade following reports that President Trump asked for a parade that would rival France's bastille day celebration which he attended last year. Secretary Mattis says this reflects President Trump's respect and fondness for the military.

I asked former defense secretary Leon Panetta if he agreed with Mattis' assessment.


LEON PANETTA, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: I think both Republicans and Democrats have commented on this, that -- and I believe it. Look, the United States is the strongest military power on the face of the earth. And we have never had to put that on display because we know how strong we are. So I would - I would be a little concerned about putting on some kind of display similar to what the Russians do or what North Korea does because that's not what the United States is all about. I think we know who we are. We know the strength we have, and I don't think we have to resort to that.

At the same time, if the President wants to have a parade that pays tribute to our men and women who serve this country, pays tribute to our veterans, then that certainly can be done. But if we are talking about some kind of display of all of our missiles and equipment, et cetera, I think that's where I would draw the line.

CABRERA: Why is that concerning to you?

PANETTA: I think it's concerning because in many ways when people put on that kind of parade it is because they are insecure, because they have got to show the world that somehow they are really tough. We don't have to do that. That's not what the United States has to do. We have the confidence to know that we are strong, that we are tough and that we are the best fighters, warriors, the best defense system on the face of the earth. I don't think we have to resort to kind of putting that on display in order to show others who we are. We know who we are, and that should be enough.

CABRERA: Finally, "the Washington Post" is reporting that the President skips daily written intelligence reports and relies an oral briefing alone breaking from his predecessors. You saw this is risky. Why?

[20:45:00] PANETTA: Well, you know, my experience is that the PDB, the daily intelligence brief, that is provided to the President and to other leaders within the administration, is a very important document because it provides intelligence on what threats the United States is confronting in the world. And there is an awful lot of work that goes into putting that intelligence briefing together. And if President doesn't want to read that but just relies on some kind of personal briefing, oral briefing, something is going to be missed. You are not going to pick up all the nuances of the intelligence that is in that report. And in the end, the President is the commander in chief. It is the President who makes decisions regarding how we protect ourselves from those threats. I think it's to the President's advantage to take a little bit of time to look at that daily brief and read it in order to really understand what those threats are that face our country.

CABRERA: I know you were CIA director when President Obama green lighted that undercover mission to take down to Osama bin Laden. How challenging would that have been if President Obama never read the President's daily brief?

PANETTA: Well, it's hard to believe, you know, that you could really fulfill that kind of mission without really taking the time to look at all the factors involved. And actually that's a pretty good example because the reality is that we had to brief the President a number of times using written materials and using presentations in the national security room to really brief the President on what was involved because it was a risky operation. There were risked involved. And, yet, the President having read all of the documents, having heard all of the briefings made the decision that we should go with that operation.

I think to make that kind of decision any President, any commander in chief, ought to look at all of the information that is there and that is presented in order to hopefully make the right decision about what the United States should do.


CABRERA: Again, that was former White House chief of staff, also former CIA director, also former defense secretary Leon Panetta weighing in there on President Trump's handling of DACA. We are going to have that part for you tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. eastern here on CNN.

In the meantime in South Korea, the medals are already going out to winning athletes at the winter Olympic games. And it is Sunday morning already, the second day of competition since the opening ceremony. But what's happening on the sidelines of the games has people talking about possible warming of relations on the Korean peninsula.

The delegation from North Korea invited the President of South Korea to Pyongyang for talks with the North Korean dictator Kim-Jong-un. No formal word yet if President Moon accepted that invitation.

And I want to show you one more image from the South Korean games. This is taken during the women's ice hockey match between the Unified Korea team and Switzerland.

So take a look. This is South Korea's President Moon smiling and chatting with the North Korean head of state. But trapped in the middle there like a third wheel, the IOC President Thomas Bach. These images have gone viral in South Korea. Social media users jokingly calling Thomas Bach the human DMZ.

We will be right back.


[20:53:24] CABRERA: The town of Westerville, Ohio, is in mourning tonight. Two longtime police officers ambushed and killed after responding to an odd 911 call. Authorities say a caller dialed the 911 dispatch center and hung up. The officers came under fire as they responded to that address connected with the call. A male suspect is now in the hospital. The two officers killed where 39-year-old Eric Joring and 17-year veteran of the Westerville police department. The other victim was 54-year-old Anthony Morelli, a 30-year veteran of the department. Westerville's police chief teared up when he spoke about these fallen officers. Watch.


CHIEF JOE MORBITZER, WESTERVILLE, OHIO POLICE DEPARTMENT: First of all, true American heroes. Gave their lives today responding to a call for assistance out of a potential domestic situation. Both officers gave their lives in protection of others. Those are true American heroes.


CABRERA: President Trump tweeted his condolences, writing, my thoughts and prayers are with the two police officers, their families and everybody at the Westerville police department.

Ohio governor John Kasich is also reacting to the tragedy in his hometown of Westerville saying quote "the finest among us are those who risk it all every day for our safety. And officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joring were those people.

We are learning new information about the shooter who carried out the Las Vegas massacre. An autopsy report on Stephen Paddock said he had anti-anxiety medication in his system at the time of his death. It also confirms Paddock died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the head.

Now Paddock's brain remains in a research lab at Stanford University school of medicine as they look into underlying reasons behind his behavior. He opened fire on a country music festival in October, killing 58 people and injuring nearly 500 others.

I'm Ana Cabrera. Thanks for joining me. I will back with you tomorrow at 5:00 eastern right here in CNN NEWSROOM.

Stay tuned for the "Seventies: Terrorism at Home and Abroad" right after a quick break.