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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  July 13, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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>> yeah, i think they're pretty much on time. just had a note from the palace saying this was the time they're due to arrive. the queen wanted to come out early to greet the president. she will do so personally, as you can see. she's there in the quadrangle of windsor. this is the private quarters of the castle where the public don't normally get in to see. so the president will be welcomed. there's a guard of honor there. the national anthem for the united states will be played. he will be invited to inspect the guard of honor. he can spend as much time as he likes doing that. we don't expect it to be terribly long. then they'll go inside and have tea, wolf. a big moment for the united kingdom, but arguably also for the president of the united states because this is the 12th president of the united states that the queen will actually be meeting and greeting. sometimes in america, sometimes here. but she's a huge historic figure. we know he's a big fan. >> certainly is. this is a moment, though, a
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historic moment to be sure, but also a very symbolic moment, underscoring the nature of the u.s./uk relationship, right? >> it really is. all my colleagues working in uk politics have had an absolutely torrid day. an article that appeared in "the sun" today through a bombshell through uk policy. >> hold on a moment. i want to listen in, max. let's listen in, see if we can hear what's going on.
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♪ >> we're going to continue to watch this historic moment unformiu unfolding at windsor castle. but right now there's other breaking news to get to. we'll continue to watch what's going on in england. jake tapper is with me. jake, indictments filed just moments ago by the special counsel before a grand jury. robert mueller, part of the russia investigation, indictments filed against more russians. >> yeah, it's a remarkable turn of events. it comes just hours after president trump referred to the mueller probe, again, as a witch
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hunt, and just a few days before he meeting with russian president vladimir putin. the president has said he will bring up the election meddling of 2016, but he has not said it in a way that many republicans on capitol hill wish it would be more aggressive. he's said it in terms of almost as if he's going to reluctantly bring it up. he said today he doesn't expect putin -- he doesn't expect a perry mason moment where putin admits doing it. many terms of president trump calling this a witch hunt, before these new indictments, these russian individuals, mueller had already brought forward 79 criminal charges against 20 individuals and three companies resulting in five guilty pleas and one sentencing. so that's before this latest news of these individuals from russia and these new indictments. >> and the formal announcement was set to be made almost a half
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an hour or so ago. rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, is going to be making the announcement. we're standing by for that. let's go to e vanz pervan perez justice department. you have more details. >> that's right, wolf. 12 military members, members of the gru, the military intelligence unit in russia, are charged in this indictment that's been returned here in federal court in washington. it says there are 11 counts, and most have to do with hacking offenses. according to the indictment, these people were responsible for hacking into the dnc, the dccc, the clinton campaign e-mail accounts, and coordinating the release of embarrassing e-mails through websites like d.c. leaks. we expect the deputy attorney general to walk out any minute now. here he comes. obviously the timing here with the president overseas is very, very unusual. >> hold on, evan. let's listen in to the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein.
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>> good afternoon. today a grand jury in the district of columbia returned an indictment presented by the special counsel's office. the indictment charges 12 russian military officers by name for conspireing to interfere were the 2016 presidential election. 11 of the defendants are charges with conspireing to hack into computers, steal documents, and release those documents with the intent to interfere in the election. one of those defendants and a 12th russian military officer are charged with conspireing to infiltrate computers of organizations involved in administering elections, including state boards of election, secretaries of state, and companies that supply software used to administer elections. according to the allegations in the indictment, the defendants work for two units of the main intelligence directorate of the
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russian general staff known as the gru. the unit's engaged in active cyber operations to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. there was one unit that engaged in active cyber operations by stealing information and a different unit that was responsible for disseminating the stolen information. the defendants used two techniques to steal information. first, they used a scheme known as spear phishing, which involves sending misleading e-mail messages and tricking the users into disclosing their passwords and security information. second, the defendants hacked into computer networks and installed malicious software that allowed them to spy on users and capture key strokes, take screenshots, and exfiltrate or remove data from those computers. the defendants accessed e-mail
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accounts of volunteers and employees of a u.s. presidential campaign, including the campaign chairman starting in march of 2016. they also hacked into the computer networks of a congressional campaign committee and a national political committee. the defendants covertly monitored the computers and planted hundreds of files malic code and stole e-mails and other documents. the conspirators created fictitious online personas, including d.c. leaks. they used those personas to release information, including thousands of stolen e-mails and other documents beginning in june of 2016. the defendants falsely claimed that d.c. leaks was a group of american hackers and that
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guccifer 2.0 was a lone romanian hacker. both were controlled by the russian gru. in addition to releasing documents directly to the public, the defendants transferred stolen documents to another organization that is not identified by name in the indictment, and they used that organization as a pass through to release the documents. they discussed the timing of the release in an attempt to enhance the impact on the election. in an effort to conceal their connections to russia, the defendants used a network of computers around the world, and they paid for it using cryptocurrencies. the conspirators corresponded with several americans during the course of the conspiracy through the internet. there's no allegation in this indictment that the americans knew they were corresponding with russian intelligence officers. in a second related conspiracy, russian gru officers hacked the website of a state election
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board and stole information about 500,000 voters. they also hacked into computers of a company that supplied software used to verify voter registration information. they targeted state and local officials responsible for administering elections, and they sent spear phishing e-mails to people involved in administering elections, including attaching malicious software. the indictment includes 11 criminal allegations and a forfeiture allegation. count one charges 11 defendants for conspireing to access computers without authorization and to damage those computers in connection with efforts to interfere with the presidential election. counts two through nine charge those 11 defendants with aggravated identity theft by employing user names and passwords of victims in order to commit computer fraud. count ten charges those 11
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defendants with money laundering for transferring cryptocurrencies through a web of transactions in order to purchase computer servers, regist register domains, and make other payments in furtherance of their hacking activities while trying to conceal their connections to russia. count 11 charges two defendants for a separate conspiracy to access computers without authorization and to damage those computers in connection with efforts to infiltrate computers used to administer elections. finally, the indictment seeks the forfeiture of property involved in the criminal activity. there's no allegation in this indictment that any american citizen committed a crime. there's no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result. the special counsel's investigation is ongoing, and there will be no comments on the special counsel at this time.
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assistant attorney general is here with me today because we intend to transition responsibility for this indictment to the justice department's national security division while we await the apprehension of the defendants. ed o'callahan is also with me. he's been managing the special counsel investigation. i want to caution you, the people who speculate about federal investigations usually do not know all of the relevant facts. we do not try cases on television or in congressional hearings. most anonymous leaks are not from the government officials who are actually conducting these investigations. we follow the rule of law, which means that we follow procedures, and we reserve judgment. we complete our investigations, and we evaluate all of the
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relevant evidence before we reach any conclusion. that is how the american people expect their department of justice to operate, and that is how our department is going to operate. in our justice system, everyone who's charged with a crime is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. it should go without saying that people who are not charged with a crime also are presumed innocent. the indictment was returned today because prosecutors determined that the evidence was sufficient to present these allegations to a federal grand jury. our analysis is based solely on the facts, the law, and department of justice policies. i briefed president trump about these allegations earlier this week. the president is fully aware of the department's actions today.
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in my remarks, i have not identified the victims. when we confront foreign interference in american elections, it's important for us to avoid thinking politically as republicans or democrats and instead to think patriotically as americans. our response must not depend on which side was victimized. the internet allows foreign adversaries to attack america in new and unexpected ways. free and fair elections are always hard fought and contentious. there will always be adversaries who seek to exacerbate our divisions and try to confuse, divide, and conquer us. so long as we are united in our commitment to the values enshrined in the constitution, they will not succeed. a partisan warfare fueled by
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modern technology does not fairly reflect the grace, dignity, and unity of the american people. the blame for election interference belongs to the criminals who commit election interference. we need to work together to hold the perpetrators accountable, and we need to keep moving forward to preserve our values, protect against future interference, and defend america. i have time to take a few questions. >> quick question for you, sir. number one, the timing today on the eve of the president's meeting with putin, can you talk about that? and also, just today the president described the mueller investigation as a witch hunt. your response? >> the timing, as i mentioned, is a function of the collection of the facts, the evidence, and the law and a determine that it was sufficient to present the indictment at this time. as i mentioned, i did brief the president. with regard to the nature of the
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investigation, i only comment on the evidence. the evidence is reflected in our indictments and in our charges, represents a determination by prosecutors and agents without regard to politics that we believe the evidence is sufficient to justify the charges. >> deputy attorney general, i know you've talked about the fact that in your view the evidence doesn't show any votes were changed as a result of this hacking. but you did say that a company used as a pass through coordinated with these defendants to enhance the timing of the release and the impact on the election. can you talk a little bit about what the evidence you have shows in that respect? >> what i've talked about today is what is alleged in the indictment. we know that according to the allegations in the indictment, the goal of the conspirators was to have an impact on the elections. what impact they may have had or what their motivation may have been independently of what's
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required to prove this offense is a matter of speculation. that's not our responsibility. what i said is there's no allegation in the indictment about it, and that's not our charge. >> in terms of the state election information, you said about 500,000 voter information was collected. any evidence what the russians did with that information? and is there information of other states being penetrated? >> i think it's important to understand what i've told you are the allegations included in the indictment. the fbi and other intelligence community agencies are working constantly to defend against cyberattacks in the united states. this case is just about one particular effort that was made during the 2016 election. the efforts of our department, of the department of homeland security, of other federal agencies and of all of the state election boards throughout the country are ongoing. and those efforts preceded this indictment and they're going to post date this indictment. so we have continued to share any relevant intelligence with all of our partners.
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it would take a longer time to talk about this, but there's a concerted and organized effort by the federal government to make sure that we do deter and prevent any sort of cyberattacks on our elections and that we harden our election systems to prevent against any kind of intrusions. >> last question. >> deputy attorney general, you mentioned you briefed president trump earlier this week. did he indicate his support for this action, and what was his reaction? >> i'll let the president speak for himself. obviously it was important for the president to know what information we've uncovered because he's got to make very important decisions for the country. so he needs to understand what evidence we have for an election interference. thank you very much. maj >> major announcement by the deputy attorney general of the united states. a grand jury here in washington, d.c., jake, has just indicted 12 russian nationals, all members of the gru, the russian military intelligence agency, for
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interfering in and hacking democratic national committee, the democratic campaign committee, the presidential campaign of hillary clinton. >> yeah, it's stunning for a number of reasons. one of them is the timing, which deputy attorney general rosenstein was quick to point out had to do with the grand jury's timing and not his own. but president trump is scheduled to meet with russian president vladimir putin on monday in this major summit in helsinki. obviously this is a big bombshell and going to be -- will need to be addressed with russian president vladimir putin. but beyond that, first of all, you might remember throughout the campaign and indeed up until this very day, president trump has referred to the russia investigation as a witch hunt, and he's cast doubt and said it's a joke, in fact, at one point, the idea that the russians had hacked the democratic national committee or hillary clinton's campaign. according to his own justice department, it's not a joke. it's what happened exactly. rosenstein did not specifically
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refer to which third-party group it was, but it's very clear wikileaks is one of the groups in addition to d.c. leaks. i'd like to -- >> and guccifer 2.0. >> whom we know roger stone, one of president trump's confidant and former advisers, had communications with by his own admission. id i'd like to point out at one point in the indictment it says that the conspirators, meaning these russian military intelligence agents, posing as guccifer 2.0, also communicated with u.s. persons about the release of stolen documents on or about august 15th, 2015. the conspirators wrote to a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of donald j. trump. thank you for writing back, do you find anything interesting in the documents i posted? that's a quote from it. there's no allegation in this indictment against any individuals in this country. although, it is very clear from what rosenstein said that
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individuals, americans were in contact with these russian intelligence agents, although it's not clear whether or not they knew they were. here we have a senior individual who was in contact with senior members of the trump campaign. >> and very significantly, not just the democratic national committee, the democratic congressional campaign committee, the hillary clinton campaign. it says they also managed to penetrate state boards of election and maybe stealing sensitive information from 500,000 or so american voters. >> although he did also say that there's no evidence any vote tallies were affected. this is chilling information that the russian military intelligence agents were able to get voter data information. right now i want to bring in evan perez, who was at that justice department press conference. evan, it is a stunning set of indictments and clearly indicates that a lot of what the president and his administration have said about the hacks on hillary clinton's campaign and the dnc simply was not true.
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>> that's right, jake. the thing that the deputy attorney general kept stressing is that there's no proof here that any americans knew that they were talking to or interacting with russian intelligence agents. he also stressed that he briefed the president. it was important for the president to know that this information was coming forward, what evidence they had. obviously this is an investigation that's still ongoing. obviously the deputy attorney general who is the senior most person here at the justice department who's overseeing this investigation that the president keeps calling a witch hunt and keeps accusing of essentially being rigged and wants it shut down, he is walking a fine line, trying to make sure he's defending the work of his prosecutors, people here at the justice department who are now going to be pursuing these charges against these 12 russian military officers, while also the special counsel just a few blocks away continues its work trying to figure out who else
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might have been involved in this campaign that according to the intelligence agencies helped donald trump in his election and hurt hillary clinton in her campaign. so look, the deputy attorney general is walking a fine line in his announcement. you saw what he was trying to do today, but it's clear that they believe that the focus -- he certainly believes that the focus should be on the russians and what the russians were doing, the people who participated in the hacking, in whatever illegal activities were taking place during the 2016 election. obviously there's still a lot more that we do not know. we do not know whether there's any americans who are still under investigation, who may yet face charges in the special counsel's investigation, which is now going on 14 months. obviously that's something that very much is still hanging in the air, even after this press conference today. >> and the timing, once again, so, so significant on the eve of the president's meeting with vladimir putin in helsinki on monday.
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all of a sudden, 12 russian military officers, members of the gru, the military intelligence agency, indicted by this grand jury. i want to bring in our cnn legal analyst, former special assistant to robert mueller, michael zeldin. michael, give me your analysis. >> well, it's part two of what was part one, the social media campaign. we saw in that indictment mueller saying that the russians, through the internet research agency, interfered with the election. we were all waiting to see whether or not the hacking was also going to be charged as a crime. now we've seen part two. that's the hacking. now we've seen the total picture of what the russian organization did with respect to the american election. what we haven't seen is whether or not there was any knowing participation by americans in those efforts. we know as to both indictments there was unknowing, unwitting participation by americans so far. whether or not that remains to be the case is what mueller, i think, is still going to look at. what's interesting to me as well
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is that this case, as well as the internet research agency, are essentially being transferred out of mueller's team into the national security division of the department of justice, which means it's going to be a longer, broader investigation that they will take over. mueller handed them step one of this in ira. step two in hacking. now i think doj is going to take this and run with it and mueller will focus on whether any americans were knowingly involved. >> and that's the key. that's collusion. that's really -- i mean, this is a huge deal, what we see today. that actually speaks to the question of what the president is going to do with putin. but first, the whole question is americans. he's laid out -- he, robert mueller, and rosenstein have laid out what the russians have done, and they aren't charging any americans today, but it doesn't mean they won't be charged in the future. and that's really important. but just to your point about the timing, the president has said,
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i'm going to ask vladimir putin. i don't know if he's going to say anything. what rod rosenstein, his own deputy attorney general, was saying is that's not good enough. that's what we've heard from republicans and democrats. you can't just say, please don't do it. this is a major, major diplomatic breach. this is a major crime perpetuated by the man that the president is going to go and meet with. so to just say, did you hack? no. did you meddle? no. okay, well, don't do it again. this is a very detailed account of 12 members of vladimir putin's very own government, proof according to his own justice department, that they went in a very strategic way into the american political system, into key political committees, and that is something that should be and would be under any other administration a diplomatic explosion.
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>> and not just members of putin's government. there is no way an operation like this run by 12 members of russian military intelligence to interfere -- >> that's what i mean. it was him. >> without putin knowing about it and approving of it. >> no question. >> it's not just government. it's an operation he had to know about. >> the indictment, the names of these individuals, this is a commander, a major. there are some military officers. there's a senior lieutenant, a lieutenant colonel, a lieutenant captain. there's a colonel. these are senior level people of the military intelligence, this gru. >> this is the success to be to the kgb, and putin was once in the kgb. >> and there's two different units here. one unit was running the malware. they have the government here -- our government has the names of this malware. so it's clear we have very good capabilities and that the fbi and our intelligence folks have been looking at this for quite some time because some of this is even in the intelligence
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report. so this is not new. it's just a question of whether or not they had enough and were ready at a point to bring charges. it is a significant, significant move by the department of justice, by the national security division to bring these kinds of charges for many reasons. certainly when you are charging senior-level people of the russian government, that is a massive, massive move. >> this is a game changer from monday. it is. i understand we had the ira indictment. so there's been a fact pattern here. but this happening just days before -- jake, you earlier brought up what president trump said this morning in the press conference about no perry mason moment do i expect. it's not like putin's all the sudden going to say, gee, i did it, and come forth. but it's not just a diplomatic breach. this is clear evidence, sufficient evidence for the united states government, to bring to a judge here that this is an attack on our country. it's not just a break in protocol.
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this is an actual attack on the american electoral system. i thought hearing rosenstein say that state boards of election, secretaries of state, software companies that create election software were all infiltrated. now, i understand that he said there's no proof that a vote was changed. but it seems to me that that is going to be a bigger avenue perhaps than it has been to explore. if they've been infiltrated, how do we connect the dots to know not a single vote was changed? that's going to be one question. i will say also, as you have been saying, we wait to see if americans are involved. but we should underline and note that as no doubt the president will, rosenstein was crystal clear to state no evidence here today is being presented that any american knew they were communicating with russians, no evidence here today was that americans had knowledge of any kind of involvement with this. and that is key.
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to this point in this entire investigation, that has not yet come forward, which has been the crux of this. >> and then the question is how do you as the president of the united states sit down with a man who your own justice department says launched a cyberattack against what is the most fundamental part of american democracy, which is the vote. how do you do that? how does he sit down with vladimir putin? unless he takes this and brings it to him. you know, you're right. it's cyber war. >> how does putin deny it? >> it has the names of 12 russian military intelligence officers. they've been charged in this indictment. i assume all of them are in russia. they're not going to be coming here to the united states. they'll probably never come to the united states. jeff zeleny is in the united states with the president. any reaction yet on the eve of the important summit with putin? all the sudden russians have been indicted by a grand jury here in washington. >> reporter: wolf, no reaction
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yet from the white house. but certainly something that the white house is watching. there's no question about this. the president was briefed earlier in the week. he left on tuesday to come to his european trip here. certainly this is something he knew about. more interestingly, wolf, as david was just saying, the president said this morning there will be no perry mason moment. he said he's not going to admit, gee, i did it. he already knew about these indictments at the time. we did not know about them, of course. but that adds to the context of that, even more interesting, of course. so it certainly raises the stakes and adds even a different element to that meeting on monday. but the white house we know, this is happening as the president is meeting with the queen. he's having his tea now at windsor castle with queen elizabeth. then he'll be heading to his golf resort in scotland over the weekend. we did see an interesting moment earlier this afternoon here, wolf. this was sarah sanders went up to the president and was telling him something.
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we don't know what. it was shortly before he arrived at windsor castle. she seemed to be briefing him on something. he clearly is following the news very carefully here, including those hearings yesterday. so we will wait and bring any reaction from the white house as soon as we get it for you, wolf. he'll be on the ground here at windsor castle for a while and then head scotland and preparing for a putin summit, which is even more important now, wolf. >> certainly is. you know, jake, the president at that news conference earlier in the day today with the british prime minister theresa may, he was sort of belittling the entire russia probe, once again calling it a witch hunt, saying it undermines what he hopes to be a good opportunity to befriend putin when they meet on monday and have some serious diplomatic achievements. >> that's right. which has been his m.o. from the very beginning, to talk about how there's no there there, suggesting during a presidential debate he didn't know that the russians were responsible for the hacking. it might have been some 400-pound guy in his living
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room, i believe he said. also, we should note first of all that the fact that he did not bring an indictment against any americans today, i wonder what the significance of that is. first of all, does it mean that they're not going to bring any indictments against any americans, or does it just mean in this particular indictment, all they have is against the russians and they are going to continue to explore what americans knew. that said, when you think about the fact that there's been this narrative created by the president that this whole theory that the russians interfered in the presidential election, that the russians hacked the dnc servers and hillary clinton campaign staffer servers or spear phished them or whatever they did, which by the way a great number of republicans have been suggesting that there's no evidence that happened, that the russians weren't responsible for it. because of robert mueller, we now know it's true. so however much people want to focus on peter strzok and lisa
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page, the bottom line is we know that the russians did, according to this indictment, hack and get e-mails that damaged hillary clinton, and according to this indictment, released them through a third party, unnamed in the indictment, although we know it to be wikileaks as well as d.c. leaks and guccifer 2.0, that those were released to damage hillary clinton. there was discussion about when they would be released. we know that to be the case. there's also evidence in this indictment that somebody who had a relationship with senior members of the trump campaign was in contact with guccifer 2.0, which we know not to be one hacker but the russian military intelligence. so these are the facts as presented by robert mueller and the justice department. these are the assertions that they're making. there was election interference. they don't know if it affected the count, but all the theories, the crazy things from the fever
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swamps about the deep state, the crazy things about seth rich, none of that's true. i want to go now on the phone to jeff toobin to get his reaction to this indictment. jeff? >> well, the first thing to recognize, i think, is that as a legal matter, this indictment is probably all we're going to learn about this side of the case because these defendants are in russia. we don't have an extradition treaty that would cover this kind of behavior, so there is unlikely ever to be any sort of trial. obviously the great unanswered question is were there americans who were involved in this activity in any way that indicates the collusion with the trump administration -- the trump campaign.
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if you read the indictment carefully, it's clear that organization one is wikileaks. it is somewhat surprising that wikileaks was not indicted. there's also a reference to a person in touch with the trump campaign, and that certainly fits the description of roger stone. i think both wikileaks and roger stone will be relieved to know they were not indicted today, but i don't think they are necessarily out of the woods. the extent of this is really extraordinary. i mean, the extent of the russian effort to help donald trump win the election is extraordinary, but what remains a mystery and unresolved by this indictment is whether there was any participation or even knowledge of the trump campaign that this effort was taking place. >> jeff, one of the things we know is we know that while the russians had this information and the russians hacked the dnc
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and phished and got information from john podesta, hillary clinton's campaign chair, there were attempts at outreach to the trump campaign by the russian government. there was the professor with kremlin ties who reached out to george papadopoulos, who was a trump campaign adviser. there was that individual who reached out to donald trump jr. and said the russian government has damaging information, dirt on hillary clinton, and donald trump jr. said if it's what you say, i love it. given that information as well as the time during the 2016 campaign when donald trump said russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing, the hillary clinton bite. i think we have that sound bite. i'd like to play that if we can. here's donald trump in 2016 asking russia to release e-mails. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.
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>> that's in july 2016. that is during the democratic national convention. given all of that swirl, do you really think, jeffrey toobin, that this is the last we're going to hear when it comes to the role that any americans might have played when it comes to talking to these individuals? >> the answer to that, i'm afraid, jake, is a ringing i don't know. because this indictment does not disclose any connections to the trump campaign that were not known previously. roger stone has acknowledged that he was in touch with someone he thought was guccifer, but he had no knowledge that any illegal activity was going on. certainly wikileaks has acknowledged that they released the e-mails. there's another reference in the indictment which was news to me
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about a contact between russians and some american journalist. that i had not been familiar with, and it will be interesting to tease out who that might be and what went on there. but it is certainly accurate to say, as your question implies, that there is a tremendous amount of smoke indicating that there was some sort of trump campaign knowledge or involvement with this. but criminal cases are not built on smoke. they're built on fire. certainly in this indictment, there is no even allegation, much less proof, that the trump campaign was involved in this hacking activity. >> if you look at the indictment, paragraphs 43 and 44, i think, are what we're talking about here, which is the description by the prosecutors of the individuals who had communication with guccifer and
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d.c. leaks. they are reporters. they are state registered lobbyists. they're an online political news source. they're individuals connected with the trump campaign. it is this that becomes the follow-on work of the prosecutors to determine whether or not this was an innocent receipt of information, unknowing that it was stolen or whether or not the prosecutors can say, you should have had knowledge, you were willfully blind, and therefore you're legally chargeable as an accessory. >> a major development today in the robert mueller investigation, the russia investigation. we're going to have much more on the breaking news right after this quick break. [music playing] across the country, we walk. carrying flowers that signify why we want to end alzheimer's disease.
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washington, d.c. has just indicted 12 senior russian military officers in connection with hacking allegations against the democrats during the presidential campaign. i want to go to cnn's matthew chance. he's in helsinki, finland. that's where the meeting is scheduled for monday between the president of the united states and the president of russia. so matthew, normally the russians retaliate pretty quickly in the aftermath of something along these lines. what do we anticipate? >> reporter: well, i've just been looking at my cell phone as you speak to me there, looking for reaction from the kremlin. i've been asking about what their response is. they haven't got back to me yet, but i can almost predict what they will say because i've asked them so many times in the past couple of years about these allegations that have been presented about election hacking. they always say the same thing, which is they categorically deny it. in fact, they used the same language as donald trump uses, president trump of the united states, that it's a witch hunt, that it's politically motivated, designed to undermine the credibility of the u.s.
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president, and to undermine russia on the international stage. so that's what i expect will be the reaction this time. in terms of what impact this will have on the summit, which is scheduled to start here in the finish capital of helsinki, in a few days from now, well, under normal circumstances these kind of revelations, this kind of evidence that's been presented would be enough to potentially derail a summit between the u.s. and the russian president. but as you know very well, these are not normal circumstances. and i don't think for a second this is going to prevent the white house or president trump from coming here to helsinki and having that great meeting with president putin. it's certainly not going to stop the russians from coming here and appearing on the world stage with the leader of the united states. so i think the impact of this locally here for this summit is going to be pretty limited, wolf. >> matthew, stand by. jake, it does bring a whole new element to this summit with putin. >> it brings a whole new element to the summit with putin, provokes questions about whether
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or not president trump is going to use this indictment as evidence and present it to vladimir putin, demand he tack action, demand he admit what happened. it also creates a whole new fact pattern for republicans in dong, many of whom have been denying what has been long suspected and now we have evidence of, that the russians interfered in the 2016 presidential election. a lot of people have been calling it fake news. a lot of people, because president trump is sensitive about the idea that some people might think he didn't win legitimately, has been besmirching this entire investigation. there's something that rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, said during the press conference today i would like to play and get reaction to. it's where he's talking about and implicitly discussing how the american people -- and you can't help but feel he's also talking to his fellow
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republicans in washington, d.c., especially and including president trump, as well as those on capitol hill, how everyone should take this information. >> we confront foreign interference in american elections. it's important for us to avoid thinking politically as republicans or democrats and instead to think patriotically as americans. our response must not depend on which side was victimized. the blame for election interference belongs to the criminals who committed election interference. we need to work together to hold the perpetrators accountable. >> we need to work together to hold the perpetrators accountable. your response should not depend on the party of those who were victimized. i wonder if that is going to resonate at all on capitol hill. dana bash? >> it already has. the reason we have seen any bit of aggressive move, which we have -- i mean, remember, the
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united states congress in a very broad bipartisan vote forced the president's hand just to put some sanctions on russia, and it was only because of the message we heard from rod rosenstein. we need to defend america regardless of party. and that's what we've heard from republicans. the other thing i want to say is that it was this week that the president -- a couple of times refused to call putin a foe. he said he's a competitor. the vice president said to me he's an adversary. really? this guy waged cyber war on america. that sounds like a foe. >> here's the indictment. it says foe. >> united states of america and it names 12 senior russian military officers by name. everybody stick around. much more of our special coverage. we will continue after a quick break. ♪ you shouldn't be rushed into booking a hotel. with expedia's add-on advantage, booking a flight unlocks discounts on select hotels until the day you leave for your trip. add-on advantage. only when you book with expedia.
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hello. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we begin with major breaking news. new indictments in the russia investigation,. just moments ago, the deputy attorney general of the united states, rod rosenstein, announced that 12 senior russian military officers have been indicted for trying to interfere with the 2016 presidential election here in the united states. >> 11 of the defendants are charged with conspireing to hack into computers, steal documents, and rele


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