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Trump Continues to Walk Back Russia Remarks; Trump Launches Unprovoked Attack on Montenegro; Knesset Passes New Law to Define the State of Israel; Rescued Thai Boys and Coach Describe Their Ordeal; Google Faces Another Fine by E.U.; White House Insists Trump Believes Russia Still a Threat; Death Toll Rising In Nicaraguan Crackdown; Woman Accused As Russian Agent Held Without Bond; Statue Marks "Jurassic Park" 25th Anniversary. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired July 19, 2018 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): White House damage control take two. Another day of conflicting messages on the American president's view of Russian interference.

Angry reactions from some lawmakers after Israel passes a controversial law.

Plus why Europe's $5 billion fine on Google might not have much impact on the tech giant.

Hello and welcome to our viewers from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.


CHURCH: Another day, another explanation from Donald Trump about Russia's attack on the 2016 U.S. election. The president now says his warning to Vladimir Putin was very strong. A sharp contrast to his conciliatory remarks at Monday's news conference in Finland. CNN's Jim Acosta begins our coverage.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A full two days after the president's disastrous summit with Vladimir Putin, the clean-up work continues. In an interview with CBS, the president finally says he wants the meddling to stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you hold him personally responsible?

TRUMP: Well, I would because he's in charge of the country. Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country. So certainly as the leader of a country, you would have to hold him responsible, yes.

But I let him know we can't have this. We're not going to have it. And that's the way it's going to be.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Earlier in the day, over the shouting of White House aides trying to drown out reporters, the president was asked whether he believes Russia is still trying to attack U.S. elections.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is Russia still targeting the U.S., Mr. President?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's go. Make your way out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you don't believe that to be the case?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's go. We're finished here.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The president appears to say no twice. But incredibly, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders insisted the president wasn't saying no to that question.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president was -- said thank you very much and was saying no to answering questions.

ACOSTA (voice-over): One big reason for the cleanup, the president's own Director of National Intelligence as well as just about every top national security official in Washington all maintain Russia is still on the offensive.

DAN COATS, U.S. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: The warning signs are there. The system is blinking and it is why I believe we are at a critical point.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The president has been on the defensive ever since he left his summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin, tweeting, "Some people hate the fact that I got along with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this. It's called Trump derangement syndrome."

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), N.Y.: And now, late last night and this morning, the president is back to celebrating his meeting with Putin. He's walking back the walkback.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The White House is still muddying the waters on meddling. After the president suggested Russia is not alone in attempting to interfere in U.S. elections...

TRUMP: I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place. Could be other people also.

ACOSTA: -- the White House declined to offer any specifics.

SANDERS: Certainly the president receives a number of briefings and has talked about this subject pretty extensively. We're aware of others that have made attempts. But I can't get into any of that here at this point.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Aides to the president insist Mr. Trump has been tough on Putin. But consider how Sanders could not definitively say whether the president told Putin in Finland to stay out of U.S. elections.

ACOSTA: Did the president tell Vladimir Putin at their summit in Helsinki to stay out of U.S. elections?

SANDERS: Certainly the president, as both he and President Putin said, discussed election meddling. I think we've made very clear what our position is on that front.


ACOSTA: (INAUDIBLE) saying they discussed election meddling.

But did the President of the United States tell the president of Russia to stay out of U.S. elections?

SANDERS: The president -- the president has made clear to Vladimir Putin that he should stay out of U.S. elections.

ACOSTA (voice-over): And it seems there may be no way to prove it.

ACOSTA: Was there a recording made of their one-on-one meeting?


ACOSTA (voice-over): A week of missteps and walkbacks, calling into question the president's boasts and bluster.

TRUMP: We're doing very well, probably as well as anybody has ever done with Russia. There has been no president ever as tough as I have been on Russia.

ACOSTA: Of course, the question remains whether Russia has a recording of that meeting between President Trump and President Putin. And asked whether the U.S. translator at the meeting could be called to testify on Capitol Hill, both the White House and the State Department aren't saying whether that could actually happen.

One other development worth noting, the White House did not close the door on allowing Russia to interrogate former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, in exchange for allowing the U.S. to question Russians indicted by the Justice Department for meddling -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.


CHURCH: Joining me now is Larry Sabato. He is the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

Always great to have you --


CHURCH: -- on the show.

SABATO: Thank you so much, Rosemary. CHURCH: Let's start with the White House trying to clarify again what the president said. This time it was whether he was saying no to a question about whether Russia is still targeting U.S. elections. You've seen what he said and then what Sarah Sanders, his press secretary, said as an explanation, that he was saying no to answering more questions.

What did you make of it?

SABATO: Sarah Sanders has almost no credibility. She's earned that because she has lied for President Trump over and over again. And the lies are becoming less and less credible. I'm sorry to be so blunt but I really think it's time for everybody to be blunt.

The president has contradicted himself over and over because his advisers are telling him to say one thing and he's determined to assert himself as president and say what he really thinks, despite what they're telling him. So you go back and forth between script, when he's being a good boy, and his own real feelings, when he's being a bad boy.

CHURCH: All right. So on Tuesday, Mr. Trump admitted he misspoke and said the word, "would" instead of "wouldn't."

Then on Wednesday, it's about the president uttering the word "no" when asked whether Russia was still meddling in U.S. elections. Then another clarification that he meant no to any more questions.

So how many of these types of clarifications can any one presidency withstand?

And what do you think is going on here?

SABATO: What's going on is an attempt by the White House to give Trump's base all the information they need to defend him, which means anything. As long as he has an explanation, no matter how strained and no matter how ridiculous, his base, the people in his base, including many in Congress, will defend him on that basis. And that's simply the way it is.

We've had a series now of post-summit public opinion polls. And I had thought for a brief moment that maybe, just maybe, Trump's disastrous performance in Helsinki might, might change some of the polls; that is, lower his approval rating with his base.

Nothing of the sort has happened. Essentially the numbers are the same. He's dropped a point or two. If he doesn't screw up again, he'll be back. He'll have the point or two back in a week or two.

CHURCH: Interesting. And Trump aides, they insist the president has been tough on President Putin. He himself has said no other president has been as tough as he has on Russia.

So why didn't Mr. Trump do that when he took to the world stage, stood right next to Mr. Putin, he had an opportunity to tell Mr. Putin then and there not to meddle in U.S. elections?

He didn't do it.


SABATO: Well, let's remember, first of all, he's not telling the truth. This president has no sense of history, no sense of his predecessors. To say he's been tougher on Russia than, for example, Ronald Reagan, just to cite one, is thoroughly absurd.

Now why didn't he say what he should have said when he was standing next to Putin?

Because honestly I believe that he is cowed by dictators and he also is very fond of dictators. He's attracted to authoritarians. It's what he wishes he could do. He wishes he could govern in that fashion.

CHURCH: And what about calls for the U.S. translator who was in that private meeting with Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin, calls for her to testify and reveal what was said at that meeting?

Should that happen?

Will it happen, do you think?

SABATO: I called for that myself right after the summit, because you have to realize there were apparently only four people in there: the Russian translator, the American translator, Trump and Putin.

So you can't trust Putin. You can't trust the Russian translator. Sadly, I think it's been proven over and over that we can't trust President Trump's account of these sorts of meetings. So the only one left is the American translator.

Is it going to happen?

No. Executive privilege will be asserted and probably upheld. The State Department, which is no close friend to Donald Trump, is insisting that a translator should not come before Congress.

If this were just the White House insisting, there might be a chance. With the State Department solidly lined up with the translator, against the request for testimony, I don't think it will happen.

CHURCH: All right, Larry Sabato. Many thanks to you as always.

SABATO: Thank you so much, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And President Trump has sparked another controversy by calling into question the U.S. commitment to defending NATO allies. All members of the alliance must agree to the NATO charter, in which Article 5 states an attack on --

[02:10:00] CHURCH: -- one member is an attack on all members. It's only been invoked once after the September 11th terror attacks on the United States. But listen to what President Trump had to say about NATO's newest member, Montenegro.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?


TRUMP: I understand what you're saying. I've asked the same question. You know, Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people.

TUCKER: Yes, I'm not against Montenegro or Albania.

TRUMP: No, by the way, they are very strong people. They are very aggressive people. They may get aggressive and, congratulations, you are in World War III. Now I understand that the -- but that's the way it was set up.


CHURCH: For more on this controversy, let's bring in senior international correspondent, Sam Kiley, who joins us live from Moscow.

Good to see you, Sam. So President Trump just signed that communique, endorsing Article 5 of the NATO charter.

So what's the significance of him now rejecting it?

And why is he singling out Montenegro at this time?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's unpick what Donald Trump just said. Actually what he did is reveal a lack of complete lack of understanding of Article 5. There is no provision whatsoever under the NATO treaties anywhere that would support an act of aggression by Montenegro, if Montenegro, a country of some 620,000 people, decided to invade neighboring Serbia, for example. There would be no support whatsoever from within NATO. So no matter how aggressive Montenegro might be, there is no chance whatsoever of NATO being sucked into World War III by Montenegro.

Now on the other matter of the, all for one and one for all, the sort of Three Musketeers principle that underpins NATO much more properly, the real issue here is less about Montenegro and more about the Baltic States, for example, which are areas of traditional Russian influence, as indeed in the past was Montenegro.

And they are extremely paranoid. There are extra NATO troops in those nations, small nations, precisely to prevent an invasion, to try to signal to the Russians not to destabilize them in the way that Russia has destabilized Ukraine. Now from the Russian perspective, the flirtation of Ukraine and before

that of Georgia with membership of the European Union and membership of NATO, neither have joined either the E.U. or NATO, remember the Russian took proactive military action to push away NATO nations from where it considers the areas of traditional Russian influence.

Similar thing happened in Montenegro with allegedly a Russian plot to have a coup there and more than a dozen people currently under investigation and on trial for an alleged coup, sponsored allegedly by the Kremlin against the Montenegrin government, precisely because Montenegro, back then. planned to join NATO.

So it's a point of extreme friction and very destabilizing for the NATO alliance to see Donald Trump, A, not understand the basic principles of that alliance and then, B, suggest that even if he was -- even if Article 5 was invoked, he would not participate.

We've seen this frequently before coming from Donald Trump and that satisfies only one person and that is, I'm afraid to say, Vladimir Putin, his rival, or the man who in, certainly for other member states within NATO, Rosemary, would wish to see a much more of a sense that Mr. Putin is a rival rather than something very different from Donald Trump.

CHURCH: So, Sam, what impact might Mr. Trump's comments have on other NATO members?

How might they respond?

KILEY: I think they've already been very rattled by his visit last week to NATO headquarters, where he was pretty rude to them. Certainly, sources I've been speaking to are pretty shocked about the sort of way that he behaved, particularly. Then subsequent to the NATO meeting, claiming that he had extracted an extra $33 billion or $34 billion in defense spending from them, which was simply not true.

That was commitments made long before he was even elected president, even before he started campaigning for the presidency, during which he has been consistent in his criticism of NATO, it has to be said.

So I think really the NATO alliance is already rattled; this would just be a further shake to the already troublesome environment that they find themselves in.

But they also are aware that the United States shoulders most of the burden for the funding of that organization. And they are trying to make efforts, they claim, to catch up with military spending.

But countries like the United Kingdom are starting to kind of put all sort -- to do some creative accounting to make their defense spending look a lot higher --


KILEY: -- than it is because, of course, the economy is shrinking, particularly in the face of Brexit -- Rosemary. CHURCH: Many thanks to our Sam Kiley, joining us live from Moscow, where it is 9:15 in the morning.

Israel's parliament just passed a law that defines the Jewish state. It establishes Israel as the historic home of the Jewish people with a united Jerusalem as its capital. Our Oren Liebermann has more details and is gauging reaction from Jerusalem.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: After an emotional hours' long debate that went into the early hours of Thursday morning, Israel passed into law what's known as the nation state bill. This highly controversial bill enshrines in law that Israel is the home, the nation state of the Jewish people.

Critics slammed the law because though it makes extensive reference to Judaism as a core principle of the state, it fails to mention equality (INAUDIBLE) is mentioned in Israel's Declaration of Independence. The law also fails to mention democracy or minority rights.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed for the legislation all along, hailed its passage, calling it a defining moment in the history of the state of Israel. Long live the state of Israel, he said.

Most of the law deals with small factors that have little practical impact. For example, one section says the national anthem, another describes the Israeli flag. These are things that every citizen here knew, Israeli and Arab.

But one of the most immediate effects of the law is to downgrade the status of Arabic. Since the foundation of the state of Israel, Arabic was an official language. Now it's been demoted to a language with special status.

Members of Knesset and the opposition slammed the legislation with politicians from the Joint Arab Party calling it the last nail in the coffin of the so-called Israeli democracy, which has been dying in recent years from racist diseases.

Israel is one of the few Western-style democracies without a constitution. Instead, the country's executive and legal system are guided by what are called basic laws. They require an absolute majority of Knesset members to pass and they're harder to change. This nation state law has been passed as a basic law, giving it added significance in Israel -- Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.


CHURCH: It was a rescue mission that captivated the world for days. Now the boys who were trapped in that cave in Thailand are telling their story.

Plus a record multibillion-dollar fine levied against one of the biggest tech companies in the world, all over how its smartphones are marketed. We'll have that for you when we come back. (MUSIC PLAYING)




CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone.

After spending days trapped in a flooded cave, 12 Thai boys and their coach are going home. Their story captured the world's attention. So as they left the hospital, they stopped to describe what they went through. Jonathan Miller has the details.


JONATHAN MILLER, JOURNALIST (voice-over): Fond farewells at the Chiang Rai hospital to those who have been looking after them since their dramatic rescue. What a journey this has been. The boys are back in town.

Amid concerns of media intrusion, a joyous news conference was organized, so that the world, hungry to learn their version of events, could hear directly from them.

First to speak was Adun (ph), the stateless tribal teenager from Myanmar, who described the magic moment when the two British divers first emerged from the murky water.

ADUN, WORLD BOARS FOOTBALL TEAM (through translator): When they got out of the water, I was alarmed. I just greeted them and they greeted me back. I thought the whole thing was a miracle.

MILLER (voice-over): The boys were asked to flash a V for victory if they felt physically and mentally strong. All did. They have proved unbelievably resilient but child psychologists warn of the lurking danger posed by post-dramatic stress after their ordeal from they moment they realized they were trapped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We were swimming back and got to the three-prong junction. Then one of us shouted that the water had rushed in. So I went ahead to check. I tried digging under the water but it was all sand under there and above, it was all rock. So I went back and I told them that we can't get out this way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I tried to be calm. I looked for a resolution. I tried not to be frightened. I tried to find a way out.

MILLER (voice-over): The youngest, smallest boy, Titun (ph), paid a moving contribute to Samarn Kunan, the former Thai Navy SEAL, who died.

"Thank you," he said, "for sacrificing your life so that we all could live." UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This is the biggest event in my life. I realize the value of life, the value of myself. It made me more resilient, it gave me strength, it made me hopeful.

MILLER (voice-over): Initially, some had accused Ek, the Wild Boars 25-year-old assistant coach, of negligence. But he apologized profusely to the parents of the boys and they absolved him. Now it's thought his calmness and selfless leadership sustained them all, qualities he developed as a monk at Scorpion Mountain Monastery, to which Coach Ek will now return for his recuperation.

Many of the boys said they, too, would join the monkhood, in honor of the memory of the Navy diver.

The Wild Boars dived deep into a dangerous, dangerous world. But they kept their cool and came out the other side. This afternoon, the Wild Boars put Thai Navy SEALs through their paces in the hospital before they left. They can't wait to get back to their football.


CHURCH: A wonderful, happy ending there. That was Jonathan Miller reporting.

The coach explained the order of bringing the boys out was not determined by their health but by who lived the farthest away so they could tell everyone the others were fine.

American tech giant Google says it will appeal a $5 billion fine levied by the European Commission. It's the largest penalty the commission has ever imposed and the second time it's handed the company a multibillion-dollar judgment. Google is accused of illegally suppressing competition by requiring its search engine and apps be preloaded on its Android phones.


EUROPEAN COMMISSION COMMISSIONER: Google has engaged in illegal practices to cement its (INAUDIBLE) market position in Internet search. It must put an effective end to this counter within 90 days or face penalty payment.


CHURCH: Last year Google was hit with a fine of almost $3 billion in a separate anti-trust case.

So let's talk more about this with Internet security analyst, Hemu Nigam.

Thank you so much for joining us.


CHURCH: So what impact will this record anti-trust fine of $5 billion have on Google, do you think? NIGAM: As much as it is a record, $5 billion fine, the reality is it's actually less than 5 percent of their annual revenue, which was over $115 billion, just, I think, last year alone, which has gone up from $75 billion a few years back.

So at the end of the day, it won't change their financial motto. It won't affect their impact on their revenue side or their customer side.


CHURCH: Interesting. We'll get to that in just a moment. But I did want to ask you why the European Union saw a need to fine Google?

And what exactly were those violations?

NIGAM: There were several violations actually. And I think what the European Union Commission is saying is, enough is enough; we need to send you a clear message. They were actually fined, I believe, five years ago for $2.7 billion for having competitive violations.

This time, they were fined for something similar to what Microsoft had been fined years back, when they bundled Internet Explorer with their operating system. In this case, Google is requiring the bundling of their Google Chrome and a download of their search engine as a default setting whenever you want to work with the Android program.

CHURCH: So let's go back to point about the $5 billion. If a fine of that magnitude, $5 billion, it's a lot of money, if that doesn't have much of an impact on a company like Google, what's it going to take to get their attention?

What do regulators need to be doing right now to pass laws that prevent any misconduct and how do they get in front of this rather than always responding and playing catch-up?

NIGAM: That's the greatest question, Rosemary. The reality is, first, $5 billion is actually half of what they could have fined them, which was up to $10 billion, which I find rather interesting that they didn't do that.

But secondly, I think regulators start an investigation. It takes them three years, four years, five years to complete it. By that time, the company they're investigated has actually succeeded by using the very misconduct they're being accused for, in this case, Google bundle, they were accused of that. Five years later they were awfully successful in doing it.

So I think the reality is, if you want to have an impact, think ahead, what are the kinds of things that a company could do that are anti- competitive, that are going to create market dominance to a monopoly level?

And then implement either laws or regulations globally that do that, so that companies don't pick and choose what forum they are going to operate certain types of conduct and other forms or other types of conduct in other forms.

CHURCH: You mentioned that they could have been fined $10 billion but they weren't.

Why weren't they, do you think?

NIGAM: I'm not sure about that. I'm surprised they weren't, because the press conference and the news around this and the comments they (INAUDIBLE) European Commission are all centered around a historic fine. But if a historic fine doesn't have an impact, it becomes historically useless.

So I think that's why -- I'm not quite sure why they didn't do it but I think, next time around, there wont be that leeway that the company gets.

CHURCH: All right, we'll continue to watch and see what regulators do going forward.

Hemu Nigam, thank you so much, we appreciate it.

NIGAM: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: There may not have been a fly on the wall but there was a translator in the room when Donald Trump met privately with Vladimir Putin. We will tell you who she is and why there are now calls for her to tell what she heard.

Later, the Russian woman now accused of trading sex for political access. What a U.S. judge has decided. We're back in a moment with that.


[02:30:40] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. Time to check the stories we've been following this hour. Donald Trump says he delivered a very strong warning to Vladimir Putin over interference in the U.S. elections and he holds the Russian president personally responsible. That is a sharp contrast to his remarks at Monday's news conference with Mr. Putin in Finland.

Israel's parliament has passed a law that establishes Israel as the historic home of the Jewish people with a United Jerusalem and as its capital. But it downgrades the status of Arabic from one of the state's official languages to one with special status. Arabs make up approximately 20 percent of Israel's population and almost 40 percent of Jerusalem.

While the big headline from the Trump-Putin Summit is what the U.S. president did or didn't say about Russia's attack on the U.S. election is also this. Russia said it wants to interrogate a number of American citizens including a former U.S. Ambassador to Russia. That would be in exchange for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office being able to question some of the Russian citizens indicted in the special counsel's probe. The State Department calls the idea, "Absurd." The White House response was quite different.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- named several Americans who they want to question they claimed were involved in illegal, "Crimes in their terms including a former ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul." Does President Trump support that idea? Is it having U.S. officials question in Russia?

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president's going to meet with his team and we'll let you know when we have an announcement on that.


CHURCH: Well, another name you heard there is Bill Browder. He is an American-born financier now a British citizen. His Russian associates uncovered a massive tax fraud scam in Russia that was prosecuted in U.S. courts. But Putin accused Browder of perpetrating the fraud and was tried in absentia and sentenced to prison in Russia making him a fugitive in Russia. Browder's lawyer was Sergei Magnitsky who died in a Russian prison. That led the U.S. to adopt the Magnitsky Act authorizing sanctions against Russia for human rights abuses and corruption. Here is how Browder responded to the Kremlin's offer and the White House's decision to consider it.


BILL BROWDER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HERMITAGE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: Well, I think it's absurd for him to even entertain that proposal. It's -- Vladimir Putin hasn't just asked to interview me. He's asked to interview a number of U.S. government officials who are involved in getting the Magnitsky Act passed. He wants to interview Ambassador Mike McFaul, the U.S. Ambassador -- former U.S. Ambassador to Russia. He wants to interview Kyle Parker who was a senior congressional staff member who wrote the Magnitsky Act. He wants to interview Robert Otto who worked in the State Department.

And probably most heinously, Vladimir Putin wants to interview three members of the department -- two or three special agents from the Department of Homeland Security who are prosecuting money laundering of Russians in New York who are involved in the Magnitsky case in taking money from the crime that Sergei Magnitsky had exposed. And so, I mean the whole thing is as corrupt as you could possibly be. The fact that the people who passed the Magnitsky Act and the people who are investigating money laundering are being targeted to be interviewed and the President of the United States thinks that's an interesting idea. This has got to be one of the lowest points in his presidency for him to even have that reaction.


CHURCH: Well, there's another big question hanging over the Trump- Putin Summit, exactly what was said during their private meeting with only translators present. That has led to cause for the U.S. translator to appear before Congress. Our Alex Marquardt has that. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When President Trump faced off with Vladimir Putin in private right at his side was someone few knew. Marina Gross, an interpreter and his only aide in the room for no more than two hours one-on-one meeting. With Trump siding with Putin over his own intelligence agencies on allegations of Russian hacking --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.

[02:35:05] MARQUARDT: The calls are growing to find out what happened behind those closed doors.

REP. JOE KENNEDY III (D), MASSACHUSETTS: This is a serious national security issue on a roll up to another serious in midterms and all that I'm asking for is that we understand what our president agreed to. And if he won't tell us then we should try to find some other way to figure it out.

MARQUARDT: That other way maybe testifying in front of Congress with talk now of subpoenaing Gross.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: This is a moment where we should have access to what went on that private meeting.

MARQUARDT: Some Republicans also joining the chorus.

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: So I'm not saying it ought to be done in a public hearing. We at least ought to get access to the notes that the translators keep.

MARQUARDT: Gross is a highly experienced Russian interpreter at the State Department where she served for a long time. This photo taken in 2008 with First Lady Laura Bush, appearing again last year in Moscow with then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. For interpreters, discretion is paramount expected to not reveal, what they say, or hear. So talk of a subpoena is not just uncomfortable but uncharted territory.

JUDY JENNER, AMERICAN TRANSLATORS ASSOCIATION: When in doubt, we keep it confidential unless a judge orders me to talk about it. I probably wouldn't. And this is a legal issue, not so much an interpreting issue, right? If we get subpoenaed by Congress, I don't think there will be any code of ethics that would supersedes that obligation.


MARQUARDT: No one we've spoken with can remember a situation where a government interpreter has been asked to testify before a Congress. In fact, the State Department has said that they're looking into whether there's precedent. Then there's the question of whether the White House could use its executive privilege to block it. Interpreters are supposed to be extensions of the people they're translators for. So many are arguing that it should be the president and top officials who likely debriefed Gross and may have even seen her notes who should be the ones answering the questions, not the interpreter. Alex Marquardt, CNN Washington.

CHURCH: Which leads us to what's being called among other things, the White House walk back, Donald Trump went from floating on cloud nine after the Helsinki Summit to being forced into day after damage control. And Jake Tapper walks us through it.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've said I -- I'm saying wouldn't, not would, a double negative.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: A double negative. That's the hard to believe explanation that the White House is sticking with as President Trump attempts to explain away this widely criticized remark in Helsinki.

TRUMP: He just said it's not Russia. I will say this. I don't see any reason why it would be.

TAPPER: By saying this.

TRUMP: I said the word would instead of wouldn't.

TAPPER: It's an explanation that doesn't really make much sense.

TRUMP: I accept our intelligence community's conclusion.

TAPPER: Given that President Trump's continued express doubts about the intelligence community's assessment that Russia interfered in the U.S. election was clear as soon as he deviated from the prepared tax.

TRUMP: Would be other people also. It's a lot of people out there.

TAPPER: So why say something he clearly doesn't believe, pressure.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ANALYST: On Capitol Hill, outside advisers, within the White House people said you have to address this.

TAPPER: Official tells CNN the criticism was carefully fielded by Vice President Mike Pence who was tasked with tapping down the negative feedback from Capitol Hill Republicans. Sources say there was also mounting concern that President Trump looked unpatriotic.

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: There's probably a cadre of guys, men and women around the president where they said, look, I'll be honest with you, you got to walk this thing back because you love the ranking file people in these intelligence agencies.

TAPPER: On Tuesday, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser John Bolton met with President Trump at the White House along with Adviser Steven Miller and Chief of Staff John Kelly. Top priority, removing the knife, many in the intelligence community felt to had been thrust into their backs in Helsinki. When the president equated what they asserted with what the former head of the KGB claimed.

TRUMP: My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me, and some others. They said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin, he just said it's not Russia.

TAPPER: Sources tell CNN that officials at the White House feared U.S. Intelligence Chief Dan Coats, and other top intelligence officials would resign after Coats issued a firm defense of the intelligence community and its assertions about Russia on Monday. And he'd say it was Bill Shine, the White House's new deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, a former Fox News Executive who was pivotal in convincing President Trump that a change was needed and fast. According to The New York Times, the president's prepared statement drafted by Steven Miller was rewritten several times.

HABERMAN: This was more a statement frankly our allies overseas. This is about sending a message that there is a broader U.S. government that is going to take action if something untoward happens going forward involving Russia.

TAPPER: But even then, the president could not help but push back on the nation's top intelligence chiefs who say Putin interfered with the 2016 election undermining the whole walk back. Although, many out there seemed determined to ignore his adlibs candor.

[02:40:13] TRUMP: It could be other people also. There's a lot of people out there.


CHURCH: And that was our Jake Tapper reporting from Washington. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May endured a brutal day of criticism over her newly hatch Brexit strategy known as the Chequers Agreement. Boris Johnson who resigned as Foreign Secretary over the new approach delivering a blistering critic in his resignation speech. He praised the prime minister's original vision for Brexit but says her government has become plagued by self-doubt.


BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS: It is not too late to save Brexit. We have time in these negotiations. We have changed tap once and we can change again.


CHURCH: Some of the harshest words for the prime minister came from so-called Brexiters within her party. They complained the Chequers Agreement is Brexit in name only.


ANDREA JENKYNS, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR MORLEY AND OUTWOOD: The prime minister inform the house at what point it was decided that Brexit means remain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prime minister.

THERESE MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Can I -- can I say (INAUDIBLE) I absolutely no point because Brexit continues to mean Brexit.


CHURCH: The government proposed parliament began its summer break five days early but didn't get support to bring it to a vote. Ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, the Nicaraguan government sends overwhelming force to crush a rebellion south of the capital. We will explain what's fueling the unrest. We're back in just a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. State-run media in Turkey report that a nationwide state of emergency has been lifted. It was imposed two years ago after a dramatic coup attempt failed to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and left at least 290 people dead. The move comes nearly a month after Mr. Erdogan was re-elected.

[02:45:04] International condemnation is growing over Nicaragua's deadly crackdown on anti-government dissent. Security forces crushed a rebellion in one town, hundreds were killed. The organization of American States condemned the bloodshed and called for an early presidential election. But the government rejected that proposal. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has the latest.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was the day a dog in people's resistance was met with overwhelming state violence. Months of rebellion in Nicaragua focused in the small town of Masaya was confronted brutally. Its authoritarian ruler Daniel Ortega looked to silence dissent.

Pitting gun firing snipers against ramshackle locals in construction helmets fashioning crude rockets out of plumbing materials. Videos which we can't verify ourselves shared on WhatsApp by local bloggers. One here seeing a friend shot.

"Will be strong my friend," he says off-camera. Local said, by dawn hundreds of police was swarming the streets. Sweeping away what was left at the rebellion. The siege had built over the past week. Police surrounding one church as they moved in and the death toll rising with 10 killed in the past week and over 270 dead since the unrest began.

President Daniel Ortega has led Nicaragua to the brink. Accused of who bring up its wealth and a corrupt nepotism that has even seen his wife sponging up power and key positions.

Pension reforms to try and keep the pilfered state coffers afloat were eventually scrapped after protests of the collapse continued. The U.S. has sanctioned key officials for corruption, repression, and extrajudicial killings, and pulled his diplomats out.

Central America's poorest country now facing the question of whether the brutal crackdown will end the violence or ferment longer angry unrest. Adding to the regional turmoil that has sent thousands north through Mexico to the U.S. border.

Yet, another reason Central America is slowly emptying northwards and spiraling towards greater suffering. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.


CHURCH: U.S. prosecutors say a 29-year-old Russian woman arrested as a foreigner agent last weekend, attempted to exchange sex for political access.

Maria Butina pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges she tried to influence American political leaders on Russia's behalf. Prosecutors say she is a flight risk and was making plans to leave Washington. The judge ordered her held without bond. Russian officials say, her arrest was timed to disrupt the Trump-Putin summit.


MARIA ZAKHAROVA, SPOKESPERSON, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY (through translator): According to a statement on the web site of the U.S. Justice Department, she is charged with acting as a foreign agent without registration. This far-fetched accusation of our citizen just looks strange.


CHURCH: Well, Maria Butina has a long history of political activism during her short stay in the United States. CNN's Jessica Schneider has the details.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: This 29-year-old Russian redhead who came to Washington under the guise of being a graduate student after she founded a gun rights group in Russia --

MARIA BUTINA, FOUNDER, RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS: This is are all Russian public organization, we promote gun rights.

SCHNEIDER: Isn't who she claimed to be. Court papers paint Maria Butina as an illegal agent of Russia with ties to the Russian Intelligence services whose plan was calculated, patient, and directed by a Russian official.

Butina even allegedly offered sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization here in the U.S.

ROBERT DRISCOLL, ATTORNEY OF MARIA BUTINA: She's not an agent of the Russian government, the Russian Federation. She's innocent in the charges brought against her. SCHNEIDER: She allegedly kept in touch with members of the Russian FSB, the spy agency that succeeded the KGB and prosecutors say, Butina was well-connected to wealthy businessmen who were Russian oligarchs.

And sources tell CNN, she had a romantic relationship with Paul Erikson, a former board member of the American Conservative Union who attempted to make inroads with the Romney and Trump campaigns but was never particularly successful.

While the court filing did not name Erickson and referred to him only as U.S. person one, the details matched Erickson's activities. Butina allegedly leaves with him but treated the relationship as simply a necessary aspect of her activities, since Erickson previously told McClatchy News, he co-founded a company with Butina to help fund her graduate studies.


CNN affiliate, KIRO-TV asked Erickson if he tried to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin.

[02:50:02] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was wondering if you would be willing to talk to us about what the New York Times is reporting. About you, setting -- trying to set up a meeting between President Trump and Putin.

PAUL ERICKSON, CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL OPERATIVE, SOUTH DAKOTA: Oh -- I -- yes, it did exactly happen that way.

SCHNEIDER: The man who mentored Butina, Kremlin-linked banker Alexandr Torshin who has been sanctioned by the U.S., messaged her on Twitter one month after that breakfast exclaiming, "You have upstaged Anna Chapman." Referencing the Russian spy who was arrested and deported in a prisoner swap in 2010.

BUTINA: I made this (INAUDIBLE) because I think that freedom is very important --

SCHNEIDER: Butina earned a 4.0 at American University, all while making the most of Washington, D.C. Torshin called her a Daredevil Girl, when she took a photo near the U.S. Capitol on President Trump's inauguration day.

Butina posed with a pistol for a risque spread in G.Q. Magazine. But also buttoned up for political events. She's seen herewith Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker, and sitting just feet away from former National Security adviser Michael Flynn.

Butina also got close to Donald Trump. At the freedom fest event in Las Vegas in July 2015, she announced she was visiting from Russia and then, asked then-recently declared candidate Trump, this.

BUTINA: If you would be elected as the president, what will be your foreign politics, especially into the relationships with my country?

TRUMP: I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin, OK? SCHNEIDER: And Butina and Torshin managed a brief encounter with Donald Trump Junior at a private dinner on the sidelines of the 2016 NRA convention in Kentucky.


SCHNEIDER: And the FBI has been keeping a close eye on Butina for months. She was arrested last weekend after agents spotted her trying to get a U-Haul rental truck and saw her sending a wire transfer for $3,500 to an account in Russia.

Her lawyer says, she's cooperated in recent months with Congress and the FBI and says there's no reason she shouldn't be released. But, of course, for now, she is behind bars until trial. Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: A dozen people are dead and thousands hospitalized. People in Japan are suffering in a heat wave. More just ahead on the searing temperatures.


CHURCH: Well, the hottest temperatures in more than a decade have being observed this week across parts of Japan, and the heat has been deadly. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now from the International Weather Center with more on this. Pedram.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes. Rosemary, you know, the persistence of this heat event is remarkable. When you think about how things have been playing out and about 110 million people have been impacted by it for a course of over three weeks. Japan home to about 130 million people, so we're talking 90 percent roughly of the country's population.

And think about it this way, the human body does a fantastic job acclimating to its environment. People born and raised at high altitudes, their bodies actually produce higher blood cells.

The people that are born raised in extremely hot climates, their bodies produce more sweat and also have a higher concentration of salt in their sweats. All of these really help your body balance out and be able to adjust the environment it is raised in.

But, of course, we know in portions of Japan if too gets hot, but certainly not this hot for this long. Core temperature, the safe level you want to be at, around 37 Celsius. We've had at least 12 fatalities as Rosemary said a few minutes ago.

Upwards of about 10,000 people have been hospitalized, and once you get your core temperature close to 40 degrees Celsius, that is a dangerous spot to be. Of Course, your body again does a great job trying to acclimate to it.

Sweating is your proper response to cooling off. And once that sweat evaporates off your skin, if you're tuned in from desert environments, you know that very well -- you're sweating you're -- and then, a breeze comes by and it evaporates that off your skin, it feels a little bit cooler.

That's great news if you're in a dry environment. Unfortunately, in Japan, it is extremely humid. Of course, you can thank the bodies of water surrounding the region. We've got moisture coming in both from the west and also from the east here.

And really remains to be one of the hotter places in the last couple of weeks across this region. Heat indices for the middle 40s. I want to show you something here because the U.S. offers fascinating insight about how heat is the number one weather killer.

It's not flooding, it's not tornadoes, and this actually plays out for much of our planet and this is the numbers. 130 fatalities per year in the United States.

Of course, again, similar numbers play out around the world with heat as it relates to whether fatalities, a very important note there, and you take a look at the path of the past three weeks. We're talking about 22 consecutive days for temperatures that pushed up over 30 degrees across places such as Tokyo.

And now, you look at the heat indices what it feels like outside into the afternoon hours, 44 degrees, 41 degrees, and Tokyo, 40 degrees into the afternoon hours.

But every single day, this sort of a pattern, Rosemary, of course, really wears the human body down. And you take a look, it actually gets a little bit warmer before by potentially the middle of next week be cool it off just a little bit. But a pretty impressive run here for a lot of folks there, Rosemary.

[02:56:31] CHURCH: Yes, most definitely. Thank you so much, Pedram appreciated what you saying.

JAVAHERI: Thank you for having me. Yes.

CHURCH: Well, it has been 25 years since the first Jurassic Park film shattered box-office records. Actor Jeff Goldblum played a cool, yet nerdy mathematician who warned how chaos theory would or could wreck plans to exhibit live dinosaurs.

Well, now, his character, Dr. Ian Malcolm, has been turned into a risque statue near London's Tower Bridge. The movie wasn't filmed or set in the British capital but fans don't seem to care about that as they check out the Doc's 7 and a half meter likeness.

The sultry statue will remain in London until July 26th to celebrate the film's anniversary.

Thanks for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter, and I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. Hope you can join me. You're watching CNN.