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Mueller Indicts 12 Russian Military Officers for Election Hacking; White House Rejects Calls to Cancel Putin Summit. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 13, 2018 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:13] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.

When President Trump meets Vladimir Putin in Finland on Monday, he'll be more prepared than ever, armed with more evidence than ever to confront him over Russia's attack on 2016 presidential election, if he chooses to, which keeping him honest, is a very big if.

Today, Robert Mueller's grand jury handed up indictments that for the very first time directly connect 2016 campaign interference to the Kremlin itself.

And the response so far from the White House, it doesn't mention the attack. It doesn't mention the Kremlin. It does not mention Vladimir Putin. It does not mention the Russians at all, in fact. All the White House did say was essentially nothing to do with us, nothing to see here.

And I'm quoting now. Today's charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result. This is consistent with what we've been saying all along.

Oh, it sure is. And what they haven't been saying as well, that this was, you know, a direct attack aimed at the heart of the country's democracy.


ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: The indictment charges 12 Russian military officers by name for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. According to the allegations in the indictment, the defendants worked for two units of the main intelligence directorate of Russian general staff known as the GRU.


COOPER: The White House says nothing about that. It's just stung. Eleven defendants are charged with conspiring to hack into computers, steal documents and release them with the intent of interfering in the election. One of the 11, along with the 12th GRU officer are charged with conspiring to infiltrate computers of organizations involved in administering elections.

According to the indictment, the two-part operation began with a spear phishing attack in early 2016 to gain access to the computers to accounts of more than 300 people connected to the Clinton campaign and Democratic political groups including campaign chairman John Podesta. Now, starting that June, the defendants allegedly distributed stolen documents through a bogus website that they created called, a Facebook page and Twitter page, claiming they were in the words of the indictment, American hacktivists.

Once the Democratic National Committee announced it had been hacked, the Russians used the online moniker Guccifer 2.0 falsely claiming to be a lone Romanian hacker.

Now, the indictment does not allege crimes by any Americans nor that the conspiracy altered the vote count or changed any election result. However, as we'll be talking about tonight, it hardly slams the door on question of American collaboration. But just the mere fact of it is striking.

A dozen Russian military intelligence officers charged today, which if you're keeping track makes it 191 criminal counts since the Mueller investigation began, 32 individuals, and three companies charged. And perhaps more striking than that is this, the entire time that President Trump has been overseas attacking our allies, but not criticizing Vladimir Putin, he presumably has known what would happen today.


ROSENSTEIN: I briefed President Trump about his allegations earlier this week. The president is fully aware of the department's actions today.


COOPER: So just think about that. When he said this as he left for his trip, he may have already known.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So I have NATO, I have the U.K., which is in somewhat turmoil, and I have Putin. Frankly, Putin may be the easiest of them all. Who would think?


COOPER: Who would think? It's a funny question to ask considering he may have already known that a dozen of Putin spies were about to face charges.

I mean, keeping them honest, he also definitely knew about it when he was attacking America's NATO allies and when he was standing next to British Prime Minister Theresa May saying this --


TRUMP: I think I have a very good relationship with President Putin, if we spend time together. We may be wrong. Other people have said that, didn't work out. But I'm different than other people.

I think that we're hurt very badly by the -- I would call it the witch-hunt. I would call it a rigged witch-hunt after watching some of the little clips that I didn't get to watch too much because I'm here. It's a different time zone to put it mildly. But after watching the people, the man that was testifying yesterday, I call it the rigged witch-hunt. I think that really hurts our country, and it really hurts our relationship with Russia.


COOPER: Again, just to be clear, that witch-hunt, as the president called it, has now yielded 191 charges against 32 individuals and three companies. And the president knew about it.

Certainly, it hasn't stopped him from talking or tweeting about the search for women wearing pointy hats wearing broom sticks. By our count, the president has now tweeted 84 times using the phrase "witch- hunt" to describe the Russia probe or questions about Russia. His first tweet all the way back in May of 2016.

[20:05:02] There's something else that happened in 2016. You might remember that today took on new significance. Here it is.


TRUMP: I will tell you this. Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let's see if that happens. That will be next.


COOPER: Ha ha ha ha ha. That was July 27, 2016.

Now let me just read from today's indictment. Quote, on or about July 27th, 2016, the conspirators attempted after hours to spear phish for the first time email accounts at a domain posted by a third provider and used by Clinton's personal office. At or around the same time, they also targeted 76 e-mail addresses at the domain for the Clinton campaign. Now, neither the indictment nor any reporting we have thus far explicitly connect what's the candidate said with what the Russians did.

But the timing of it? I mean, it certainly raises questions, because not to put too fine a point on it, the president asked for Russia to get involved on the same day the indictment says the Russians got involved.

Reaction now from someone who knows more about -- most about the Russian cyberattack, former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook.

Robby, what's your reaction to the news of these indictments?

ROBBY MOOK, FORMER CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Well, Anderson, on the one hand, this isn't terribly new information. We've known for a long time that the Russians and specifically Russian intelligence were behind the stealing of e-mails from the DNC and disseminating them to the media. But when we pull back, I think this is another really important chapter in a pretty serious set of events.

In the life of this investigation, there have been 35 indictments now, including these. We have five people who plead guilty. One person is in prison.

We also learned from this document some interesting timing that the day Donald Trump during the campaign called on the Russians to take Hillary Clinton's e-mails and put them out, the Russians went and tried to do exactly that.

COOPER: Do you think the summit should be canceled?

MOOK: I do. I think it's totally inappropriate for the president of the United States to meet privately with the Russian president when this overwhelming evidence has come out. Specific people have been named as to how the Russians were trying to meddle in this election. This is really hard for Donald Trump to do, but as the commander in chief of our country, he needs to put his own interests aside.

COOPER: Obviously, the White House says that the summit is going to go on. Assuming it does, what would you like to see President Trump say to Vladimir Putin or confront him? How would you want -- what would you want to get out of this?

MOOK: It's hard to see how it can be productive. I suppose if they were side by side at a press conference, the president could -- President Trump could call out President Putin for what he did. Our understanding is this was all done at his direction. That's what has leaked out from intelligence.

He could call on him to immediately extradite people involved. He would call on him to pledge that he will not do it anymore, but it's just hard to see practically how that would happen.

COOPER: I know I heard you say earlier that the past is the past. The fact that the Justice Department alleges the Russian government hacked into not just e-mail servers, but also state voting data. Does that raise any new questions for you?

MOOK: We had a candidate personally targeted. We had a presidential campaign targeted. We had a national political committee targeted. We had the DCCC and House candidates targeted. I don't know that we talk about that enough. That had severe impact on those races.

And then the -- an official from DHS said yesterday he believes that all 50 states were -- that the Russians were scanning them for vulnerabilities. We know they've penetrated 21-state voting systems and actually stole data from one state. So, yes, I mean, this is incredibly alarming. And it's all the more reason that it's disturbing that the president's not only not saying anything about it, he's having a meeting with the aggressor.

COOPER: Yes. And continually says, just to kind of repeat, well, Vladimir Putin says they had nothing to do with this. That's generally what we've heard from the president when he speaks about this.

MOOK: Yes, and it's -- and look, it's not like this is a leak. It's not like it's just some random allegation. This is a very long, very detailed indictment, and it's all the more embarrassing that the Republicans yesterday were trying to beat up on the very investigators that were doing this work.

COOPER: You really think they're embarrassed?

MOOK: I certain -- OK, fair. I hope so. They should be.


MOOK: But sadly, some won't be probably.

COOPER: Yes, Robby Mook, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

MOOK: Pleasure as always, Anderson. Thanks.

COOPER: And this from CNN's Shimon Prokupecz. She's learned that intelligence gathered by U.S. officials picked up some of these indicted Russians congratulating each other during the campaign and also celebrating President Trump's victory when he won, which says a lot about U.S. intelligence capability at the very least.

[20:10:11] Joining us now, CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash, and political analyst and someone who has seen and reported on about everything, especially Watergate, Carl Bernstein. Also with us is chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

So, Jeff, how big a deal do you think these indictments are? And what do they tell you about the direction of the Mueller investigation?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, Anderson, I don't want to sound melodramatic, but I think today is actually a significant moment in American history. We've only had 45 presidents, and here we now know that one of them was elected with the explicit and intentional help of a foreign power in violation of American law with the aggressive and open support of the candidate who was the beneficiary of those crimes. That's a profound thing. I mean, that's something that I think historians are going to be looking at for decades.

Now, legally, I don't really know where the story goes here, because I don't think there is any way these defendants are ever going to show up in an American courtroom. I don't think there is a trial that is coming, but -- and it is true that there has been no case made yet that says the Trump campaign or other Americans solicited in an illegal way, committed crimes in aiding and abetting the Russians, but that may yet happen. You know, this indictment doesn't address that question one way or the other, but just the enormity of what we learned today I think is something we need to ponder.

COOPER: You know, Dana, just -- I mean, earlier today, as we said, the president was calling the investigation a witch-hunt, and Rod Rosenstein already said that he had briefed the president already. So, the president was saying on international television that the investigation was a witch-hunt while knowing there are 12 Russian GRU officials being indicted by his own Justice Department.

I mean, that -- I'm really surprised. I don't know why I'm surprised. But it doesn't make sense.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Because in the realm of what's normal, even to have a baby toe in the realm of the normal, that would be surprising. But we're not there, and as much as, you know, we think that we're getting used to this new normal, it's not.

And you're exactly right, Anderson. The fact that the president said a couple of times that this is a witch-hunt since he apparently was briefed by his own deputy attorney general about these indictments, which we now know is incredibly detailed about what these Russian government officials, intelligence officials, the lengths that they went to, the money that they spent, the people they talked to, the pinprick precision with which they sort of went through releasing this information to be as detrimental and cause as much chaos to the American election, the one that did elect Donald Trump, it just blows the mind.

And there is little question -- I mean, it probably is obvious, but in talking to people who are familiar with this, there is little question that Rod Rosenstein did this today for a reason, and that is because the president is going to be with Vladimir Putin on Monday. This gives him sort of an inability to deny this -- to deny that this happened, inability to say I'm sorry, OK, I'm just going to ask you the perfunctory question, did you meddle, take the answer, and that's it.

COOPER: I mean, why? I mean, it doesn't -- I mean, he can -- why would he be held to that standard at all by any of his supporters?

BASH: Well, right, by his supporters. But the pressure is going to be so high on the president to not ask the question, but to tell Vladimir Putin you did this. You're right, it doesn't necessarily mean he's going to do it, but that clearly was the goal of Rod Rosenstein to pressure the president.

COOPER: Yes, but in any normal world, there has certainly been that pressure, the pressure because of actual facts and actual evidence.

BASH: Right.

COOPER: That we have already known and that hasn't happened.

Carl, the White House, it's just stunning. The White House statement was entirely defensive and made zero mention of any outrage at what these high-ranking Russian intelligence officials are alleged to have done to our country. It's like this president, it's all about him. That's what his focus is.

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Anderson, this was an act of war by the Russians, an act of cyber warfare to underline our most basic democratic process. But it's a profound development today what Rosenstein did on a number of levels, not the least of which he has ensured the sanctity of Mueller's investigation.

[20:15:07] Mueller's investigation after today cannot be shut down without there being a tremendous conflagration and probably move through impeachment --

COOPER: By who? By Republicans?

BERNSTEIN: Well, again, yes. There is now -- we have now reached the point where the deep state narrative has been upended, and what Trump's desire and he has talked openly to people in the White House about it, he wants to fire Rosenstein. That is his way of getting this investigation to go away and for him to get control of the investigation and bury it. He can't do that after today.

Rosenstein --

TOOBIN: Boy, I couldn't disagree more.


COOPER: Yes, I mean, Jeff, because I think I know what road you're going to go down.

BERNSTEIN: Legally he can.


COOPER: But I don't understand. There's not like Republican outrage about the president calling it a witch-hunt today or -- I mean, Jeff, do you think this is some sort of crossing of a Rubicon? Now there is no way the president can't confront Vladimir Putin? I mean, what is there of that?

TOOBIN: You know, if there is anything we've learned in the last year and a half is that nothing changes anyone's mind. No news development changes peoples' mind.

You know, Donald Trump has support of 40 percent of the people. Sixty percent of the people disapprove, and there are a handful of percentage points where that changes. Nothing changes.

And I don't think today's news will either. So if the president wants to fire Rod Rosenstein tomorrow, he's going to fire him.

Look, he called this a witch-hunt after this news broke. He called it a witch-hunt after his own Justice Department laid out chapter and verse how the Russians intervened in this election. The facts don't matter at all --

BASH: But you know what?

TOOBIN: -- and the Republican Party is united behind him. BASH: Yes, the Republican Party is united behind him, but I have

talked to Republican operatives in recent months who have said that -- I know this might boggle your mind -- but the Russia investigation has started to help them in the polls in some of these districts because people were so turned off by hearing about it without any meat on the bones.

Here is the meat. The meat is right here. So, sure, the base, they're never going to change their minds.

But that's not where this midterm election is going to be fought. It's going to be fought in swing districts, in suburban districts with people who go oh, OK, maybe this is something we should pay attention to.

I'm not saying it's a game changer, but I'm not so sure this won't change some minds on the margins.


COOPER: Carl, the White House has not said -- the White House has not said anything about this is outrageous that we were attacked. We're considering delaying the summit.


COOPER: All they just said is, there's no mention of us, no mention of us, so we're good. I mean, I hate to be --

BERNSTEIN: I wouldn't expect the White House to do that. I think, though, that what is now possible, it's very difficult for all the Republicans on the Hill to maintain as they have that this is somehow an illegitimate investigation. Some people in the Republican leadership are going to start to be worried about this, and this is a different kind of development because of the granularity --

COOPER: Under the sheets, and they're talk whispering to their I wives or husbands, but they're not going to -- I mean, who said anything so far?

BERNSTEIN: I -- again, let's give it a few days. I think this is a new element. I could be wrong.

COOPER: They're going to say it to their therapist in the sanctity of a medical office in which nobody, you know, reports on it. I don't know.

BERNSTEIN: I think in certain districts you're absolutely right. But I think there are --

BASH: It gets more likely the bartender than the therapist, Anderson. But --

BERNSTEIN: But we'll have to see but this is different.

COOPER: I'm going to have a couple of drinks tonight. Carl Bernstein, Dana Bash, Jeff Toobin, thanks very much.

Coming up next, more reaction from the White House and all the president's people to the charges today and what they mean for the summit on Monday. Two top political strategists join us as well from both sides of the issue.

Later, the tears of a 6-year-old finally give way to joy. We'll show you the reunion of the little girl that really the country and the world got to know. She was celebrated from her mom a month after she got to be reunited with her mom after being separated a month ago at the border.


[20:22:34] COOPER: There are two main threads in the Russia story. One a milestone, the other a stonewall.

Now, the first explicit criminal link between the campaign hacking and the Kremlin and the ongoing resistance to saying so from the White House. As we mention at the top of the broadcast, the White House reaction fails to even whisper about the attacks but speaks loudly about the campaigns and on collusion in those attacks.

Again, from the statement: Today's charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign, and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result. This is consistent with what we've been saying all along.

So, the president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani went further, tweeting essentially, case closed. The indictments Rod Rosenstein announce ready good news for all Americans. The Russians are nailed. No Americans are involved. Time for Mueller to end this pursuit of the president and say President Trump is completely innocent.

So, while the White House and his legal team were tweeting the top Democrat calling for the president to cancel his summit with Putin, that starts Monday morning which the president rejected and said the summit is on.

More on all this from CNN's Jim Acosta who joins us now from London.

Is there any second-guessing tonight that you were hearing from the White House about still going forward with the second summit? Or is there any possible moment when they may actually comment and express some form of outrage about the attack on the United States of America?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That would be something, Anderson, and that is something we have not heard up until this point. I talked to two White House officials, including the White House press secretary earlier this evening who said, no, the summit is still on. No second thoughts about that.

And, you know, the one thing that I did ask the president earlier today is whether or not he will tell Vladimir Putin to stay out of U.S. elections. He did say, yes, he would do that. He said as he was leaving that press conference with the Prime Minister Theresa May here in Britain.

But Anderson, I think the big question going into that summit on Monday with Vladimir Putin is whether or not the president will insist that Vladimir Putin turn over the 12 Russian agents who were named in that indictment today. Of course, that is not expected to happen. The Russians obviously would probably not turn them over. But it might be refreshing to a lot of Americans to hear the president at least issue that demand.

But no sense whatsoever as to whether or not that's going to happen.

COOPER: Right. I mean, as far as we know, the president's never really issued any demand to Vladimir Putin in the times that they have met.

ACOSTA: That's right. Yes, Anderson, you heard all this week, you heard the president in Brussels saying that he wishes he and Vladimir Putin could be friends. He said earlier today at this press conference with Theresa May that, you know, the witch-hunt that he calls it, this Russia investigation, he feels it complicates his relationship with Vladimir Putin.

[20:25:08] He wishes that it was out of the way. And the president is pretty up-front about that.

The question is -- and it's the question that everybody has in Washington and all over the country, and many people around the world is whether or not the president can actually stand up to Vladimir Putin in some kind of public setting. Now, Anderson, we understand they're going to be behind closed doors and it's essentially going to be mano-a-mano.

The question that we have I guess from what's going to happen on Monday is whether or not the president comes out of that meeting and says to the world, I challenge Vladimir Putin on these points. He just simply has not done that up to this point. You heard him say earlier today that he expects the outcome to essentially be that he'll ask Vladimir Putin, did you meddle in the election and that Vladimir Putin will say no. He said there won't be a Perry Mason moment as he described it as the press conference earlier today.

So, the president seems to be already forecasting the outcome he expects to happen on Monday.

COOPER: Right. If memory serves me correct, and I don't visit in front of me, but I'll double-check this, he's been musing and fantasizing about being best friends with Vladimir Putin I think since the Miss Universe pageant. I think I remember a tweet I wonder if we'll become best friends, or I can't remember the exact wording. I'm going try to find it right now.

I mean, the fact that the president was briefed by Rod Rosenstein before the indictments were announced, and yet he still called the investigation a witch-hunt at an international press conference today in Britain, what does that say? ACOSTA: Well, this is why there are so many politicians in both

parties, Anderson -- remember, John McCain put out that statement earlier today saying under the circumstances perhaps the president should not have this meeting with Vladimir Putin. Of course, a lot of Democrats were saying the same thing, but fellow Republicans were saying, yes, people have been critical of the president, but fellow Republicans were saying it.

And it is this concern, and, Anderson, I've talked with some diplomatic sources for last week going into this foreign trip for the president. They are very concerned behind the scenes. They will say this privately. They will not say this publicly, that the president is just going to go into Helsinki on Monday and give away the store, that he is going to have this moment not unlike what we saw in Singapore where he wants to have this reality TV moment with Kim Jong- un as he had out in Singapore. This time he wants to visit with Vladimir Putin and essentially say to the world and say listen, I met with a dictator. This is what happened.

But, Anderson, if past is prologue, we have no indication whatsoever from the president based on his experience that he is going to stand up to Vladimir Putin. I think what we're seeing is what's shaping up to be perhaps one of the biggest and most critical moments of his presidency because you have the fact that Rod Rosenstein briefed him on these indictments. They now have evidence that the Russians were hacking into the Democratic Party during the election, and now, it's up to the president to take that information to Vladimir Putin, put it in his face and say listen, don't do this again.

The question is whether or not the president is going to do that, Anderson.

COOPER: I'm told by the way it was June of 2013 that tweet was sent, and the words were basically anticipating, hoping that he was actually going to come to the Miss Universe pageant and then saying something to the effect of, if so, will he -- this is a quote, if so, will he become my new best friend?

Jim Acosta, thanks very much.

Joining us now Paul Begala and Jason Miller.

Jason, so, the president was briefed about these indictments earlier this week. Twelve Russian intelligence officials charged with not just hacking into various democratic email systems, but into state voting data, and yet he stood there today on live national/international television and called the investigation a witch-hunt. Is that appropriate?

JASON MILLER, FORMER SENIOR COMMUNICATION ADVISER, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: Well, I think there are a couple of different things that are going on here. First, we're talking about the witch-hunt, we're talking about this continued allegation that there is some sort of coordination between the campaign and a foreign entity, which I think the president is spot-on -- COOPER: No, no, he is calling the witch-hunt is the Mueller

investigation, the whole Mueller investigation is a witch-hunt. And the Mueller investigation is more than just looking into any possible Trump involvement.

MILLER: But I think with the president this is what it started as. What it started as is the so-called coordination between the campaign and a foreign entity. And now they're way off the reservation at this point, talking about -- going into other people and other things. So, as we're talking about the Russians to interfere with an election, then yes, that would be part of it.

But we're talking this continued effort to go after the president, people that seem to be around the president. So, yes, deep sea fishing expedition.

COOPER: But what you're saying is he's calling -- right, you're saying it's a deep state fishing expedition. He is calling an attack on the United States, an investigation into what is an attack on the United States a witch-hunt. I mean, that's what you just validated.

MILLER: No, I would disagree with you on that. What they're supposed to be looking at, again, is this so-called coordination between the campaign and a foreign entity. But I think this investigation is going in so many different directions, I think it is fair to criticize where this investigation is and where they are a year, year and a half into this process.


COOPER: So you think it's unfair that they have indicted these Russian intelligence agents for this attack? Do you think that that's an unfair aspect, that that's part of a fishing expedition that they're off the reservation? That that's not part of the program?

MILLER: No, not at all. And I think it's absolutely terrible that some foreign entity or the GRU, these Russian intelligence officials were trying to meddle in our election. We should definitely hold them accountable. And I hope the President raises this to Vladimir Putin when he sees him.

COOPER: You just said the Mueller investigation has gone off the reservation. And I think it's another term I would normally use, but where they're at right now is indictments of Russians for cyber attacking the United States. That's not a good thing? That's an inappropriate use of the Mueller investigation is what you're saying. Unless I heard you wrong.

MILLER: I think -- again, I think what this investigation was started was the allegation that there was some sort of coordination between the campaign and a foreign entity, which I've said several times. Clearly as they're starting to look, there is nothing has been proven in any way, shape or form that the campaign coordinated or colluded or did anything with a foreign entity to impact the election. So what they found in this process is that clearly there were some foreigners who were attempting to meddle in the election. COOPER: So they should stop now, you're saying? They should stop that investigation because they've found --

MILLER: I'm saying that's the focus -- the focus of this should very clearly be to what extent was a foreign entity trying to impact or influence the election, and that's where it should be focused.

COOPER: Paul? I mean, does that make sense to you?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Not a lot. I kind of tell you, Anderson, the one thing -- well, everything about the indictment has shocked me. People should read it. It's in pretty plain language. It's only 29 pages. We know that Donald Trump on July 27th had a press conference in Florida during the Democratic convention. Politicians do that all the time to try to affect the news coverage.

In that press conference, the last press conference he had in the campaign, by the way, he looked right in the camera, famously said, "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you can find Hillary's e-mails." Now we know from Mr. Mueller's indictment today that on that day, the Russians tried to hack Hillary Clinton's and other people close to her e-mails, 76 different accounts they targeted on that same day. That is literally collusion. It's just done out in public.

Now whether it's criminal I have no idea. There is no charge yet. And I think Jason makes a good point that we've got to be careful not to get ahead of ourselves. But it is plain that Mr. Trump personally and many people around him asked Russia to help them in the election and Russia did help them.

COOPER: But Paul, you know --

MILLER: Hold on. Hold on.

COOPER: And what the President's supports have always said about that well, that was a joke. He was being sarcastic.

BEGALA: I guess they didn't have a sense of humor at the GRU, the Russian military intelligence. Donald Trump was a terrific salesman and a real estate guy, a talk show, whatever it was, reality show host. He was never a comedian. He wasn't joking, and the Russians knew he wasn't joking. And he -- he didn't say, by the way, oh, hey, anybody good with computers, ha, ha, maybe you could -- he asked Russia to do it. And he thinks that's not only the time, though?

MILLER: But, Paul, Paul --

BEGALA: Jason, I didn't interrupt you because I thought you were making my case for me better than I could. But let me finish, then. Over 70 contacts between people close to Mr. Trump and the Russians. This is -- but we will know in the fullness of time, right? I actually believe, unless the Republicans can derail the Mueller investigation, we'll know. It may be that Trump and his folks were completely innocent, in which case at best they were the unwitting beneficiaries of a massive criminal enterprise. That's their best defense is that they were useful idiots for the Russian. It's looking more and more like in fact Mr. Trump himself is compromised in some way. That's why he won't stand up to President Putin, and in fact that people close to him were in fact trying to help the Russians take over our elections.

COOPER: Jason, Rudy Giuliani is now calling on Mueller to end his investigation to declare the President completely innocent. But -- I mean, A, this investigation is ongoing, and this investigation has just announced a major step in this investigation. Why should they end it now? Shouldn't they continue to turn over leaves and turn over evidence and see where this leads? I mean, the fact that they already have these indictments?

MILLER: That's been going on for a year now. I mean, the fact of the matter is even with this today, there is nothing that ties in or connects or says that the campaign did anything wrong. And a certain point here, I mean, where is this fishing expedition end? I mean, there is nothing --

COOPER: Getting too many Russians right now, we don't want the get any more Russians? Is that -- I mean, like why would you be concerned about the investigation going on? Because as you say, it hasn't indicated anybody in the Trump campaign, but it has netted -- it has named, you know, more than a dozen Russians so far. Isn't that a good thing? And shouldn't that continue so we get to the bottom of what happened in the attack on this country? How else will we get to the bottom of the attack on our country?

[20:35:13] MILLER: But here is, Anderson, where I'm going to have to agree more with Mayor Giuliani and disagree with -- I think where you're maybe trying to go here is I think some on the political left and some of the President's detractors want this to keep going until they hopefully find something that maybe gets at President Trump directly.

COOPER: I'm sure there are people on the left to do --


COOPER: There is no doubt people on the left who want that, but what they want doesn't really matter. Isn't it if it's bearing fruit and actually naming Russians and there may be more Russian, shouldn't somebody be investigating those Russians? And isn't the Mueller team the ones doing that?

MILLER: But I think what Mayor Giuliani was speaking to is again, nothing is being put forward that ties anything back to President Trump or his campaign.


MILLER: And I think at a certain point this goes back to my --

BEGALA: Did you read the indictment today?

MILLER: Hold on. What's that?

BEGALA: Did you read the indictment?

MILLER: Yes, I read all of it. It was 29 pages and I went through it.

BEGALA: Right.

MILLER: And as we went through, I mean --

BEGALA: Documents people close --

MILLER: -- back in like March or in April, they were pulling records on Ted Cruz from the DNC. They were pulling records on Hillary Clinton. They were going through all sorts of different things.

COOPER: All right, Paul, very quickly and then we've got to go.

BEGALA: Well, if I could quickly jump to the summit then. If our President is going to meet Mr. Putin, I think it's a big mistake. They don't have a real agenda anyway. And now we do. He needs to walk in there, I've written talking points for -- a lot of talking points for a President. And this is the easiest I've ever written. You walk in and you begin by saying, Mr. Putin, you have the right to remain silent, and you bring in Bob Mueller, or at least you say you have 24 hours to turn over those -- I think it's two dozen Russians now that are named in indictments. And if you don't, there will be consequences.

COOPER: But you know this President doesn't like direct confrontation with anybody.

BEGALA: Except for Theresa May and the French and the Germans and the Canadians, and Mexicans and all are friends --


BEGALA: He is going to wimp out.

MILLER: -- help on Syria, Iran, North Korea. You've got to look at the bigger chance --

COOPER: We got to end up there.

BEGALA: We need NATO's help on everything.

COOPER: Paul Begala, Jason Miller, thank you.

As we just heard, some Democrats are calling for President Trump to cancel that summit. And you just heard from Paul of Vladimir Putin and a key Democrat says the President should demand the extradition of the indicted Russians.

Coming up, I'll talk with him about whether he sees any chance of that actually happening.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:40:05] COOPER: Well, we've been talking about the summit and what the President should, might or will say or won't say to Vladimir Putin.

Joining us now is Congressman Jerrold Nadler, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. Congressman, thanks for being with us. Do you believe the President actually will demand the extradition of the Russians as you recall for him to do?

REPRESENTATIVE JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: No, I don't because unfortunately, the President is giving every indication of doing whatever Vladimir Putin wants. If he were Russian agent or if Putin had something over him, he would be acting directly -- exactly as he has been. He has been everything the Russians would want, trying to wreck NATO, wreck our relations with the E.U., and so forth.

But I think that we now know from these indictments that the investigation is clearly not a witch-hunt. We now know that Russian -- that our democracy was attacked by Russian military intelligence, and we have to react to that. We should clearly cancel the summit and impose the harshest economic sanctions until and unless the Russians surrender all those people for trial here. Number one.

Number two, it is now very clear that the sideshow that the Republicans are carrying on in Congress, these hearings about the Hillary Clinton investigation and stricken page and so forth is a totally irrelevant sideshow designed to discredit the investigation, which it doesn't. And the fact that the President called it a witch- hunt after we know -- after he knew about these indictments.

COOPER: Right.

NADLER: It shows that we can't trust him. And that's another reason he shouldn't have this summit because we can't trust what he will do, certainly along with Putin.

COOPER: I guess -- I mean, we're coming down a rabbit hole and things that were not normal start to seem normal. But every now and then, I like to step back and just point out it's unbelievable that a White House on the day that details -- indictments are sent out about an attack on the United States on the Democratic process, that the response from the White House is simply oh, well it doesn't -- it shows nothing about the President and they're calling now the investigation should end because it's now -- it's going into areas that it's not supposed to go into, it's not meant to go into. The areas it's going into are actually bearing indictments. I mean, it's actually generating business.

NADLER: They're bearing indictments. This investigation has been going on for about a year and a quarter. It's been incredibly fruitful. Now we've got what, 35 or so indictments. Some of them of people very close to the President, we've got five guilty pleas to people very close to the President's campaign, including his deputy campaign manager. Guilty pleas, I should say, indictment of his campaign manager. We've got the indictments in effect of Russian military intelligence for attacking the United States. This was an attack on our country.


NADLER: And for the President not to react as such is unbelievable and indicates we can't trust the President. My final reaction is that we have to make sure that this investigation goes forward until it's finished. The Benghazi investigation went on for two years and showed nothing. The Iran contra investigation went on for four years. This is going on very rapidly. It's been very productive for the length of time it's been in there.

Maybe it will show that people on the Trump campaign, maybe including the President colluded with the Russians. Maybe it won't. But we need to know that, and we need to let that investigation go and see what the truth is.

COOPER: Congressman Nadler, I appreciate it. Thanks.

As thousands protest against President Trump's visit to England, he called the interview in which he criticized British Prime Minister Theresa May fake news. It wasn't. There is audio. That's just ahead.


[20:47:33] COOPER: Before I get to this story, a lot of the Trump supporters on the program tonight have been saying that the Mueller investigation's gone too far, that it was really just supposed to look into collusion. Actually, if you actually just have it right here on my phone, the Rosenstein's mandate to Mueller from may of 2017, and I'm just quoting, says, "By virtue of the authority invested in me in order to discharge my responsibility to provide supervision, management of the Department of Justice and to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government efforts to interfere in the 2016 Presidential election."

Those are his marching orders. Thousands took to the streets of London today to protest Trump's visit to Britain. This as he gave an interview to the Rupert Murdoch on newspaper, The Sun, where he was highly critical to British Prime Minister Theresa May's tactics in her approach to Brexit, the British withdrawal from the European Union.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would have done it much differently. I actually told Theresa May how to do it, but she didn't agree -- she didn't listen to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did she say?

TRUMP: She didn't listen. No, I told her how to do it. That will be up to her to say. But I told her how to do it. She wanted to go a different route.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Well, later, speaking to reporters, he blithely said he hadn't criticized her one bit, and used a phrase very familiar to his American supporters.


TRUMP: I didn't criticize the Prime Minister. I have a lot of respect for the Prime Minister. And unfortunately, there was a story that was done which was generally fine, but it didn't put in what I said about the Prime Minister, and I said tremendous things. And fortunately, we tend to record stories now, so we have it for your enjoyment if you like it. But we record when we deal with reporters. It's called fake news. We solve a lot of problems.


COOPER: Well, fake news, the President said. And all this just days before the President's summit with Vladimir Putin at the beginning of next week in Finland.

With me now Maggie Haberman and Max Boot.

So Maggie, I just want to get to what happened today in the U.K. in a moment. But just in terms of the Trump-Putin summit, you know how the President operators. Do you think he will actually confront Putin on these indictments in Russia's efforts to undermind the election? Because we've talked about this before, for all his saying, you know, you're fired on television, he does not seem to like face-to-face confrontation?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: He doesn't. I think it really depends on the sliding scale of the term "confrontation" here and how he'll do it, right? I could see him possibly saying something to Putin. I could see him saying as, you know, was that really you guys? No, OK. And then they move on. And we won't really know because there are not going to be aides in this agenda list summit.

[20:50:01] There were reasons why people are calling on him not to go forward with this equally important to what he says in that meeting is what he says publicly, and the White House statement today did nothing to knowledge. The statement doesn't say Russia in response to these indictments. It doesn't have any condemnation about what took place.

You know, President Trump's go-to during the campaign and I think right after he was elected is, you know, do you think the U.S. is so innocent in this regard as well? We've meddled in other people's elections. And you can say that and you can also still condemn other acts against this country. And the backdrop is not just his meeting with Putin. The backdrop is we're in the middle of a midterm election cycle that's taking place in four months where intelligence community officials have said Russians are already seeking to play a role. And when he doesn't lay down any parameters, he doesn't say that there are going to be consequences, it's clear why Putin wouldn't think there are any.

COOPER: Max, I mean, it definitely seems like the talking point among the President's supporters are OK, we'll now -- now this thing should end because now they're not talking about collusion anymore, and they're actually indicting Russians. And that's really not what they're supposed to be doing, and let's just end this. I seems -- I just don't understand the logic of that at all. It seems to me if they're actually indicting people and they're following a trail of evidence, why would you stop an investigation when they're still following that trail of evidence and still learning things?

MAX BOOT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think the logic is pretty clear, Anderson, which is that the President and his supporters are placing his political well being above the security of the United States. I mean this was a massive attack on America. You had a foreign power meddling in our elections, helping to elect the President of the United States. This is something that is unconscionable and that no President should stand for this.

Any President should call Putin out, should be deeply concerned about the integrity of our elections and the fact, as our intelligence chiefs have testified, that these attacks are not over, that they are planning to attack the 2018 election, the 20 election, and so forth and so on.

But all that President Trump seems to be caring about here is whether this will impugn him in some way or not, whether this will reflect badly on him. And so, you know, as far as I'm concerned, he is not fully discharging his oath of office to protect and defend the constitution of the United States, and I'm sorry to say that he has so many members on Republican Party letting him get away with this shameful dereliction of duty.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, Maggie, it's hard to see in this case to argue that he's putting the country first rather than his own insecurity or his own whatever it is. I can't get into his head. I mean, the fact the President knew about these impending indictments earlier this week, yet he still called the Mueller investigation a witch hunt today.


COOPER: It tells you all you need to know about the way he thinks?

HABERMAN: It does. And if you take that statement and then you combine it with Rudy Giuliani's statement, his main lawyer who has been the spokesperson for the defense -- not the defense, but for the President's legal team at this point, saying and therefore this means that this is a false investigation that shouldn't exist. It clearly has nothing to do with the President. As you say, everything is about what it relates to in terms of him. We've seen this time and again, this President versus the presidency, this President versus his administration. There are tough actions that his administration has taken against Russia, and he is sometimes points to them, but he doesn't use the same language, not even anything close to it, about Putin that he uses about, you know, our allies.

COOPER: Right.

HABERMAN: And so it is jarring to see over and over again.

COOPER: Yes, that's for sure. Maggie Haberman, thank you. Max Boot as well.

Coming up, it was one of the galvanizing moments of the family separation crisis, the audio tape of a 6-year-old girl as she was split from her mother. Just ahead, mother and daughter finally together again.


[20:57:12] COOPER: Well, it was an audiotape heard around the nation. The cries of a 6-year-old girl held at a government detention center after being separated from her mom as a result of the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy. Here's a small portion courtesy online journalist site of ProPublica.


CHILD (via translation): Dad. At least can I go with my aunt? I want her to come --


COOPER: Well, tonight, the girl, Alison Madrid, and her mother Cindy are finally reunited. Gary Tuchman has more.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 6-year-old Alison Jimena walking off her first plane ride ever. She looked out her window and wondered during the flight, played with her doll, colored in her coloring book, getting off in Houston with two social workers, hours after being released from a shelter in Arizona, getting ready to see the mother she was separated from one month ago.

While she waited for her mom to arrive, the two spoke by phone.


TUCHMAN: Mother Cindy telling her she and her lawyer are on a very long drive to the airport from south Texas but will be there soon. After Alison was done talking to her mom, I told Cindy I was on the plane with her daughter.


TUCHMAN (on camera): She was not scared on the plane. You are very strong, right?

(voice-over) At 3:00 a.m., Cindy arrives at Houston intercontinental airport for the reunion she's been dreaming of for a month, finally getting to hold hands with her daughter.

(on camera) Big smiles. (voice-over) The little girl heard the whole over on the (inaudible) ProPublica audiotape back with her mother, a mother released from a detention center in Texas after being approved to proceed with her asylum claim following a journey from El Salvador.

Cindy not even knowing where her daughter was after they were separated a little over four weeks ago. Alison says, I missed my mommy. I was so happy to see her at the airport. I'm happy I will now see her all the time.

Cindy says she isn't going to take her eyes off Alison, and is excited they are now in this country together.

Cindy says everyone knows the United States is a great country. It's safer. There is better education, a better health system, but most importantly, the safety for my daughter.

Mother and daughter will live with Cindy's sister in the Houston area while proceeding with her asylum claim, hoping the sadness and separation are behind them. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Houston.


COOPER: A nice way to end this program tonight. But our live coverage of course continues right now with Chris and "Cuomo Prime Time." Chris?