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Spy Working at U.S. Embassy; Ivanka Trump on Media; Trump Continues War on Media; Football is back; Iran Conducts Drills. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired August 3, 2018 - 06:30   ET



[06:33:18] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Here's an interesting story. A suspected Russian spy caught working inside the U.S. embassy in Moscow. She is accused of having regular unauthorized meetings with Russia's intelligence service.

CNN's Matthew Chance is live outside the U.S. embassy in Moscow with more.

First of all, how did she elude detection for so long and what's happened to her, Matthew?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is incredible, isn't it, Alisyn, because this is an individual, a Russian woman, who was employed by the U.S. embassy right here in Moscow. I'm standing in front of the gates of it now. She was employed there for a decade, which is absolutely incredible. She was only, you know, kind of fired, essentially, a year ago and, of course, the details of this have only just emerged within the last -- the last 24 hours also.

Now, we're told that as a foreign national she would not have been given access to any kind of highly sensitive information. She certainly didn't have access to any secrets and would have been concentrated in terms of her work on administrative tasks or translation or things like that.

But we also have learned that she would have had access to the U.S. Secret Service intranet and its e-mail accounts, which could have been, you know, something she may have harvested for information. We know that she had meeting -- passing -- unauthorized meetings, we're told, with the FSB, with is the old KGB. It's the -- it's the Russian security service, in which she passed on information that she should not have passed on.

I mean for some time, according to U.S. officials, they were aware of her activities, and they passed that information that they knew was going to be passed on to the FSB, to the Russian security services, so they could be absolutely sure that she was a security -- a security leak.

[06:35:01] Now, the issue of having foreign nationals working in embassies, which is something the United States does all over the world, is not something -- not something special, although it is known that in Russia these individuals are particularly targeted by the security services as a source of personal information on the U.S., Alisyn, David.

CAMEROTA: Thank you, Matthew.

DAVID GREGORY, CNN ANCHOR: Matthew, thank you very much.

Ivanka Trump breaks with her father, not once but twice. The topics where she disagrees and how the president is responding, when we come back.


CAMEROTA: Ivanka Trump breaking with her father by saying that the press is not the enemy of the people.

GREGORY: Thank goodness.

CAMEROTA: But her words did not stop President Trump from continuing his all too familiar attacks at a rally last night.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Whatever happened to fair press? Whatever happened to honest reporting? They don't report it. They only make up stories. But they can make anything bad because they are the fake, fake, disgusting news.


CAMEROTA: Let's bring in CNN's senior political analyst john Avlon and senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny, who was at the president's rally last night.

[06:40:06] So, Jeff, look, obviously the press and all of us in the free press are not enemies of the people, we're watchdogs of government. And that's our job description. We are tasked with being watchdogs of government, of our elected representatives, to make sure that they're not bilking the taxpayers or being hypocrites or doing some sort of malfeasance. That's our job. I mean that's what we went to school for. That's what we were trained to do. But the president doesn't like a watchdog. The president likes lap dogs. And so he tries to spin it in his own way. And I appreciated that Ivanka Trump -- well, let me just play for everybody what she said so people can hear it in their own words.



IVANKA TRUMP, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S DAUGHTER AND ADVISER: I've certainly received my fair share of reporting on me personally that I know not to be fully accurate. So I've, you know, had some -- I have some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripe, especially when they are -- sort of feel targeted. But, no, I do not feel that the media is the enemy of the people.


CAMEROTA: Jeff, what do you think the significance of her as his daughter and adviser saying that is?

ZELENY: Well, Alisyn, I think it is just simply her opinion. I do not think Ivanka Trump really is anything more than the president's daughter when she says something like that. We've seen time and time again -- we know enough now about how the working dynamic of the West Wing works. Just because Ivanka may say something different from than her father, that does not mean it is going to have an influence or a change in policy.

Alisyn, I was struck last night, being at the rally, the president came to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, for a very specific reason. That was to help campaign for the Republican Senate candidate there. That was the reason.

But his opponent clearly in the arena was the media. Again and again calling it fake, fake, disgusting news. Adding so many words to it, it's going to be hard to fit on a bumper sticker for him.

But the reality here is, I heard last night, Alisyn, more grievances, more of a laundry list of how he believes the media has been unfair to him. But what he didn't point out was this. He didn't point out what was much of the criticism from the Helsinki summit, from the Singapore summit in terms of not getting a concrete deal, was coming from conservative voices. Read the conservative "Wall Street Journal" editorial page, which is largely supportive of his policies. They had some of the most blistering editorials about that Helsinki summit. The president, of course, didn't mention that. He simply said that, you know, everything written against him was unfair.

He also said, I remember back when I got good press. Of course, that was in the tabloid days before, you know, he had a government in front of him here. But it's clear to me, Alisyn, that he needs an opponent to run against. He wants an opponent to run against. And for now, at least, that is the press.

GREGORY: You know, it's interesting, there's a dynamic here that, there's a lot of people who are looking at this thinking, we've never seen something like this before, you know, and that you've got hostility towards the press at rallies. I mean I had somebody flip me the bird in 2000 at a Bush rally. I mean this hostility toward the media has been there for a long time.


GREGORY: You have a president now --



CAMEROTA: I just -- hasn't it accelerated? GREGORY: I think it's accelerates because he is a kind of reflection of our social media culture and he has taken it to a level that is so obstreperous and so crude. But the reality is still the same, that there is a reservoir of distrust.

And this is not a straight up debate, John, with the president. As Zeleny points out, there is -- you know, on the merits, of course we're not unfair. There are elements of unfairness. There are mistakes that are made. There can be too much coverage around this that can be perceived as anti-Trump. But the reality is that there's -- this is just pushing back against power and calling out his lies, calling out policy.

AVLON: Yes. And that's our job. And that's the job of the media in a free country. And that seems to be the president's fundamental problem. You know, he praised, you know, apparently, you know, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's media, state run media, as being much more sportive. And with any sense of perspective, what used to be called fake news might have been things like "The National Enquirer," which are owned by American media.

GREGORY: Right. Right.

CAMEROTA: Right. Fiction. Things that were made up is the real fake news.

AVLON: The president's -- the president's (INAUDIBLE).

GREGORY: Real propaganda.

AVLON: Right.


GREGORY: Real misinformation is what the Russians planted on FaceBook.

AVLON: Right. Exactly. And so we -- we have -- we have gotten to a place. I mean, you know, the -- anger at the media is partly this sort of populist frustration.


AVLON: But it's also been fueled by hyper partisan media. Ironically what the president wants is more of it.

I appreciate the Ivanka Trump saying that, no, the media isn't the enemy of the American people, but that's also just simply a recognition of reality.

And within her conduct, she's not simply the first daughter. She's also a White House adviser, staffer, on the payroll, paid by the taxpayers. And the thing is she seems to have less policy impact than say Stephen Miller.

[06:45:02] GREGORY: Well, and, see, this is the thing that I think we have to talk about, which is, just as the intelligence chiefs seem to be doing their own thing, independent of the president, I mean it really doesn't matter. I mean it's nice that Ivanka Trump says that, but it just shows you how far off into the corner the president is in his own thinking.

CAMEROTA: Oh, yes. I mean I don't know -- I mean as Jeff Zeleny points out, it's hard to see any impact that she's had on him. Maybe she has. Certainly not in this vein.

And very quickly, Jeff, when you were there at that rally, do his words gin up the crowd? Do you see more hostility? Are people more disgusting and grotesque toward you and saying things that feel -- that feel threatening or -- or not? Are his words now just seen as sort of comedic?

ZELENY: There's no question his words gin up his base of people in the room. No question at all. When he says fake, disgusting news, people applaud, people cheer, of course.

I would point out, though, I've been to dozens and dozens and dozens of Trump rallies over these last several years. We should say, the majority of the voters we talk to across America, regardless of where it is, red state or blue state, the majority of his voters, his supporters, are not the people you see screaming and shouting and yelling. Yes, there are many people yelling that. But I think it is -- it has become just part of his shtick. No question about it.


ZELENY: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, has two daily newspapers, a rarity these days. And I was sitting by a local reporter who was talking about -- you know, I was actually asking, you know, is this -- do you feel under threat here? He said, no. Like, local news and local reporters are respected.

But I think the clear thing here is that the president is doing this for a reason. He needs an opponent. He doesn't have Hillary Clinton anymore.


ZELENY: He doesn't have anyone coming up. So that's why he is doing it.

But, again, I think we should point out, it's not everyone at the rallies --

CAMEROTA: Yes, that's it. No. Obviously, most people are --

ZELENY: And certainly not everyone overall.


GREGORY: There was --

ZELENY: But we did not hear the White House press secretary yesterday -- CAMEROTA: Yes.

ZELENY: Talk about the -- you know, she would not endorse Ivanka Trump's statement from the podium. That was interesting as well.


GREGORY: Ivanka talked about immigration as well. Important.


CAMEROTA: Yes, so let's listen to this because she also broke with her father here.

ZELENY: Right.

CAMEROTA: Listen to this.


IVANKA TRUMP, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S DAUGHTER AND ADVISER: That was a low point for me as well. I -- I feel very strongly about that. And -- and I am very vehemently against family separation and the separation of parents and children.


CAMEROTA: So, John, she's talking, obviously, about the kids who were separated there at the border.


CAMEROTA: Now, what's interesting is that today, as we speak, there are still something like 540 --


CAMEROTA: Or 570 --


CAMEROTA: I don't know what the latest numbers are, 572 I'm being told, kids who are without their parents. Whose parents have been deported. And so I, again, appreciate Ivanka saying that that -- she feels very vehemently against that. Can she do anything?

GREGORY: Well, let's -- let's go back and wonder, at least, or ask out loud, whether she had any influence on him blinking when they did blink to reverse the policy.

CAMEROTA: And changing the policy.

AVLON: Well, you know, it -- look, what we know, first of all, this is not a past tense problem. She used the past tense. This was a low point. No, it's ongoing. Second of all, we know that this policy -- other advisors carried the day. And, again, it's not her personal sentiments. I believe that that's sincerely her position, but this is not simply sentiment. If you're working in the White House, then you've got an obligation to try to push your agenda forward. And she seems to have not been successful in that. And this is a matter of life and death. So, you know, let's focus on that, folks.

GREGORY: Jeff and John, thank you very much.

Sports news coming up next. Football is back. The big name rookie who took the field of the first -- in the first time in the NFL's pre- season opener, coming up next.


[06:52:28] GREGORY: We're still getting into baseball, right, but football's back, sort of. The NFL preseason kicked off last night with the Hall of Fame game. Coy Wire has more in the "Bleacher Report" this morning.

Hey, Coy.


It has been five months and 30 days since the Eagles beat the Patriots at Super Bowl 52. Football is back. Baltimore taking on Chicago in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. And former Raven great, Ray Lewis, he's busting out his iconic pre-game stomp. He's excited football's back. He's one of six new Hall of Famers that will be inducted into The Hall this Saturday there in Canton. The shelves await those busts.

Fans for the Ravens, they've been waiting for this guy, Lamar Jackson, their first round draft pick and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback who threw his first touchdown pass as a pro in his debut. Their other Heisman winner, Robert Griffin III there, he was excited to see that and impress. Jackson threw 40 percent of a completion. He did have an interception as well. He and AG3 will hope to take down Super Bowl camp Joe Flacco as the starter there in Baltimore. Ravens hold on to beat the Bears 17-6.

I know you, Alisyn, thought that John Berman was on vacation --


WIRE: And he is, but he took off because today is Tom Brady's birthday. He turned 41. And he is probably in New England stalking him to celebrate.

CAMEROTA: Probably he is, Coy. Thank you very much for that tip because I mean we know that John Berman does think that's a national holiday, so he does officially observe it. But we'll find out where he is. Someone quick monitor his Instagram.

GREGORY: Yes. Yes.


GREGORY: He could have been watching -- I was the Red Sox were -- did the Red Sox beat the Yankees, ultimately? Yes. So that was a big game for Berman. Berman's happy. He's got to be happy this morning.

CAMEROTA: Very good. Excellent.


CAMEROTA: All right, U.S. officials say a huge military drill is happening in the Persian Gulf right now. What is Iran's navy doing?


[06:58:22] CAMEROTA: Iran is conducting navy drills in the Persian Gulf amid tensions with the U.S. What are they up to at this hour?

CNN's Nic Robertson is live near the Strait of Hormuz with more.

What are you seeing, Nic?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Alisyn, the Strait of Hormuz is where about 20 percent of the oil -- the world's traded oil passes through. A hugely important, strategic pathway. Just out of the port facility where I'm at, there's about 140 vessels that anchor. And this is the area, out there at sea behind me, is the area where these Iranian massive naval military exercises are underway. U.S. defense officials say that this involves dozens of small boats that normally they would expect this type of military excursive later in the year. That it is coming now is a surprise and unexpected. Iranian officials are not saying -- are not saying anything about it publicly. But in recent weeks we heard from the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Crops who are commanding these military exercises. We've heard from the president of Iran and the supreme leader of Iran all echoing the same words, which is, if Iran cannot sell its oil, if Iran cannot pass its oil through the Straits of Hormuz, they're saying no one else can. So are these military exercises then putting flesh on the bones of what appear to be threats. Is this because the -- the sanctions are going to start kicking in again on Iran now that President Trump has taken the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal? None of this is clear. But all the countries around this region right now are watching Iran and these military exercises very closely with a lot of concern.


[07:00:00] CAMEROTA: OK, Nick, thank you very much for that reporting. Obviously we'll keep an eye on that.

Meanwhile, thank you to our international viewers for watching. For you CNN "TALK" is next. For our U.S. viewers, NEW DAY continues right now.