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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  May 19, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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how i carried out might responsibilities the 27 years prior to that. >> you have no regrets? >> no. >> you wouldn't do anything differently. >> no. >> and that's our special report thanks for watching. see you again soon. >> and good evening thaungs for joining us i'm about to utter single shortest lived phrase in newsed to our top story as quickly as we say it tfs obviously obsolete by the next stop story and three more after that for good measure font a good example tonight right now on top of the president boasting to the russians in the oberle oval post office about firing nut job comby in addition to white house lawyers researching impeachment and the elts et cetera bad leaves for yoefr sees james comey will testify again will testify publicly before the senate intelligence committee. for that let's go toen cnn sunlen serfaty at the kpop. >> we know as of now know date firmly has been set. there is that expectation according to the committee that
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in will happen at some point after memorial day. that's what they specifically said in the statement they released announcing this tonight. so certainly the indication is there that -- this will happen sometime in the near to short-term future. there had been some fresh concern up here on capitol hill that this would not end up happening in the wake of the special counsel bob mueller being chosen this week but certainly they're moving ahead and significant that this is going to be happening not behind closed doors, not in a classified setting, but in public on camera and in open setting. something we understand that james comey wanted to do himself. now he's also been invited by two other congressional committees up here, also investigating this. and some registers diz pleasure tonight the senate judiciary committee the ranking member and the chair out with a statement tonight saying they are disappointed that he turned down and declined their invitation to appear before the committee saying they are extremely disappointed and there is no reason that comey can't testify
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at both anderson. >> do we know -- it is director comey going to talk about what -- i don't know if we know what he is talking about but can he talk about the notes the he wrote the memo he what the president said to him his concerns about the president or bus there is a criminal investigation with mueller is that stuff going to be off the table? >> well that's exactly the concern that so many people had up here on capitol hill. this concern that because the special counsel is now investigating and appointed that that might ham string what he is able to say. imprisoning that still is a very open question looking forward to this committee testimony. we have heard from so many members of congress that they want to of course hammer him hard, exactly the details what he said in the memo. who he shared that memo with. of course the details very important. >> that's going to be fascinating testimony. sunlen serfaty thanks. old top story from two top stories ago or two hours ago reporting the president not only boasted about firing director comey that he not only said that it takes the pressure off him in
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the russia collusion probe. but also that he said it to the russians. directly to the russians in the oval office. according to new "new york times" reporting by "the new york times," the president of the united states did just that. en a more. he also insulted the man trash talking him in frenlt of the kremlin frnlts and ambassador to washing the headline and the the sfoer is trump told raasch russians firing nut job comey eased pressure from investigation. that is a headline thp they write president trump told russian officials in the oval office this month that firing the fbi director james b. comey had relieved great pressure on him according to a document summarizing the meeting process the piece quotes the president as telling the russians i fired the head of the fbi a crazy a real nut job. the president also reported assaying i faced great pressure because of russia. that's taken off. end quote. now remember, that meeting also featured the president sharing code word classified information on isis gathered by israel that
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many have put lives -- that may have put lives at risk. the story hit minutes after the president departed for an 8-day overseas trip. it's ufrlding with him aboard affairs 1 on a 14 hour flight to saudi arabia. imagine how fun that flight must be right now stuck on that plain with that story breaking and 14 hours to go. "the new york times" maggy has beenerman and matthew rosenberg join us. this is -- when i say -- it's fascinating reporting what more did the president say in the meeting. >> he said a couple of things but among them as you saw he described comey as a -- a real nut job which is a phrase he used about many people over the last couple of years usually on twitter. but sometimes in other discussions. said that this had taken great pressure off of him he was not under investigation, said that he would like some help on the issue of ukraine from the russians that this is an issue important in america. made a joke that he was the only
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person in the russian ambassador had not reached to a meeting for why didn't you call heim sort of to that effect talked with roeh about his crowd size i believe. >> he was talking to the russians about the crowd size at the inauguration. >> i think -- i don't know if the inauguration. >> just in general. >> i think it was the inauguration. >> but it wassed. >> god knows he's talked about it all. >> look this is a lot of this stuff that we -- he is not saying much there that he hasn't said publicly. but he is saying it there in the oval office with two russian officials. >> and calling the former director a nut job to the russians. >> so that echos stuff is that the president said privately glenn and i reported that after comey was fired and that the president said there is something wrong with him or things to that effect. you can have two interpretations inform you can hear it as adding to the sense that the president fired comey because he was trying to end in investigation. >> right. >> which the president has
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denied. you can take a government official who we spoke to who testified the president's axes saying to a negotiating tactic the president was instilling a sense of guilt into the russian officials given the presidency is everything very personally that's believable. that he would see it that way. his speaking style has continued to get him into trouble. you can again you can take the view that this was done intentionally as a way to please the russians to say look what i did. you know the counterargument is that the pressure on him wasabi democrats because he sayset james comey has been had been a grandstander and so forth. this is going to continue this going on and on and on and on and once again it is information dribbling out contrawhat is the russian foreign minister had said come up he said said the russian nonsense whatever he driebd it as did not come up.
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this is all problematic for the president. >> matt, i mean the white house press secretary sean spicer isn't denying the president said those things correct. >> no he is not. a note about the 14 hour plane trip we have a colleague on that plane in the final minutes we're getting ready to get this story out one of our editors was like oh oh we got to call that guy and they're taxis on the runway saying this is going to pop after you get in the air. so i mean i don't know what's going on on that plane but it can't be a happy place at the moment. yeah no i think the white house they kind of went with what maggy llo maggy laid out saying it was a negotiating tactic. and that they -- spicer kind of went off to us about how -- this is the real problem are leakers leaked classified information. that's their view. and you know i think at this point they're having trouble because throughout the week they denied multiple stories that turned out to be totally accurate. that started with our excellent
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colleagues at the "washington post" reporting about trump giving up israeli intelligence in this meeting with the russians. and the first response was totally untrue. which is absolutely -- it was absolutely totally true. >> yeah, i mean any deny -- i mean i don't know why anybody really -- i mean when i hear white house statement now. >> right. >> i don't know whether to believe it or not. because there is time after time after time you know the president has done something in a private meeting with somebody it's clear he doesn't even tell his own people what actually happened and nonthey're told to go out and sell one story. a then the next day the president starts revealing a whole other side to the story. >> right. there is a credibility issue. the -- you know to be clear people are not there -- this is not compulsory work people don't want to stay in the white house they don't have to. but it is true a lot of people are there the right reasons they get send out to defend the president changes his story the next day as we say l saw in the case of rod rosenstein the attorney general pb.
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the president changed his storiment then he said he did it because of the russia investigation and then he said actually yesterday he said actually no it was because of the rosenstein recommendation. this is hugely problematic because again anderson these are self-inflicted wounds. i mean essentially -- he could have even fired comey a lot of his critics say and still been able to do it had they had an effective plan in place had they had ha consistent explanation a replacement lined up. >> had they not said things which were true about why they did it. >> so a lot -- this really is a self-inflicted error. had he not bramd it on rod rosenstein who then felt the need to appoint a special counsel, i am told in large measure because of that because it eroded confidence. this is all self-inflicted. at some point the president is now on the first foreign trips it there is going to be an issue the wlous is going to need the american people to believe what they say they will say well his supporters believe him but his
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hard base is about where his priefl rating is rountd less than 40%. >> you know matt you think about all the generations of russian spies worked to try to get into the head of the president who tried to figure out what the internal worngsings of white house are. this president essentially gives them this information in a meeting in the oval office like you know what, the president -- did they go back and say you know what the president sfr called the fbi director was a nut job and that this frees him up. it's kind of amazing you think about all the spying that's gonen on for decades and decades to get information like this. and now it's just handed out you know on twitter. >> i wonder if they sit around in moscow chort willing but about how easy this is for them but joking aside there is an issue here. where the president came into office already somewhat at war with the intelligence community that quieted down a little bit but wean receive the succession of events culminated in the past 10, 12 days that have infutured
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people in the intelligence community fbi and cia and elsewhere. and he needs those people. he needs them to give him information. he needs them to tell him when he is wrong. and at this point many of them don't believe a word that comes out of the white house just like many in the public don't believe it. and -- and they're coming to people like us. i know a lot of people say these are just people with axes to grind leaking. they're not political appointees career people but what they are are people who aren't particularly partisan. they're not pushing an agenda in in case. these are people seeing things they think are wrong and are horrified by them they realize internally there is no way to top it they're doing the last resort coming to the press trying to playbook it public hoping that will stop it. >> maggie taking a step back how significant is this considering everything that happened over the past week. >> we're grading on the news curve unfortunately with a lot of because there is so much. i think it is pretty significant in terms of the fact the president has to address it.
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that it becomes something we will see how consistently he explains what it was does it match up with what you know the government official defending it explained it to us as. we don't again -- he we don't know what it means pup. but on the business level it is as you said it's fascinating this incredibly unusual and surprising -- look the president made clear he was coming to washington to drive a wrecking ball through a lot of things. to that extent it is not a surprise. he and supported by certainly his son-in-law jared kushner and other white house officials has sort of had disdain for some of the conventions and form of diplomacy. i think they would argue some of this falls in that thp that's not what it is it's an active investigation. he has been either unable to or untology mod late his behavior accordingly. >> again, matt, as we mentioned it can't be lost this story kiem came out after the president took off this afternoon can you say anything about the timing of the release was that's when you
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were able to go with the story. >> that was happenen stance we're not looking to time story to a trip or anything like that in this case it's not like we were writing about his trip. but it's going to create a awkward question for him i imagine he'll get on well to a degree in saudi arabia. in israel there are going to be a lot of tough questions not about the meeting where he gave up intelligence. there have been statements from white house officials this week that have ultimates the israelis immensely about the western wall maybe not being part of israel things like that. this upset that pattern this kind of going out to the public without a plan, not having worked out -- it's boring we all get annoyed most white houses obama's white house and the bush white house to a degree they're disciplined and kind of dull at times. but there is a reign dishneau dsh there is a reason they do it it's because if you don't you just crate problems for yourself. and you take away from the -- your actual job having to govern the country. >> remember there was talk -- what was it 24 hours ago about
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this -- you know the -- you could look at the appointment of special counsel as almost an opportunity for this president to like say you know what that's the investigation it's ongoing. focusing on my agenda but here we are. >> anderson it was an opportunity for him to do that especially because things moved so fast these days he could have done it that but he can't stop talking about it because as you know when he field personally aggrieved he fakes 80s on something obsesses about it and per sever 80s on it it becomes cyclely and can't stop bach if incredible reporting thanks very much reaction from cnn sahr are murray at the white house. the president left for a 14 hour trip just the story break i'll say again cannot imagine what's going on inside that plane right now. is any information come out taufrl from air force one. >> >> look matt rosenberg pointed out we would all love to know what the discussions are like on the plane. i have to imagine the president is doing more prevent venting how the russia story will not go away that's certainly what we
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heard from him earlier this woke. other than the statement that we initially got from sean spicer we really haven't heard much from them in the wake of in reporting. but one ning is clear it's going to be very difficult for them to leave the stories haunting them in the american press behind. even as they had hoped to embark on this foreign trip. a five nation foreign trup, a very ambitious agenda particularly for a newly minted president and really refocus what the president wanted to talk about. there were a number of things he considered good deals he could get done while abroad. but it's pretty clear the controversies at home are still going to haunt him even while overseas. >> when the president lands what are his immediate plans? >> well he is going to be doing some ceremonial things bilateral meetings. but the attention is focused on the spe speech in saudi arabia on sand we're told by excellent russ producer kevin liptak has landed in riyadh that as of right now in the current form the draft of in speech the president is slated to driver
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will not mention radical islamic terrorism which of course is a huge shift from what we heard from in president on the campaign trail. you remember him out there berating former president barack obama saying if you can't even name the threat how are you going to combat it? these remarks could change this is a draft we know president d aides twiet things tweak things. this speech could be a very different tone from what we heard from him for really over a year on the campaign trail deshz. >> it's hard for the president of the united statesen on the campaign trailed talked about radical islam to go to saudi arabia and blast radical islam. >> yeah it is difficult. we saw him at one point on the campaign suggest there should be a complete ban on on all muslims entering the u.s. he said a lot of things that would be jarring given the setting he is about to deliver the speech in his aides are encouraged by one thing the president has met privately with a number of saudys that jared
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kushner his son-in-law and senior adviser has met privately with a number of of you had saudis and both sides want the trip to go moth smoothly that could end up being the president's saving grace in something like this if there is a missteep meem might grin and bear it like they wouldn't otherwise. >> thanks for the jeff kooben mary cathy wap op op sed column charles below is here. jing us as well is jeffrey lord. jeff i got to start with you. sean spicer didn't deny that the president said these things about director comey. do you defend the president on this one? >> no i think it's perfectly within his rights to say them i mean he is the president of the united states. he can say what he wants. >> say what he wants is it smart? >> well, sure you can get subjective about that. >> i'm something you to be subjective is it smart? >> is it smart? well i don't think it matters. either way in truth i really don't. and anderson i just want to see.
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>> >> okay we're talking about all in what i'm. >> i'm sorry i believe that's called a punt i don't know much about sports but i believe that's a punt. >> no anderson, anderson look this is not some smoking gun. that's as his honest opinion which lord knows if he hasn't said it to the russian. >> his honest is that the former director is a nut job and that this relieves some of the pressure on the russia stuff? that's his honest opinion no doubt that's his honest been opinion do you think naes smart for a guy under investigation saying that. >> yes i do i'll tell you why i think it's smart remember this statement from president obama. tell vladimir i'll be more flexible after the election quote unquote. to the russian prime minister caught upon a hot mic that is what you call collusion with the russians. vladimir for you a we know was flexible with barack obama to help him be re-elected was there a call for special prosecutor? is there a call for him sno none. >> was there investigation by the fbi was there a special counsel no within and no and no
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i mean i know you got to bring up obama every time got to bring up be else. >> with us us can't really defend it null a fairness you can't defend what the president of the united states just said. >> i don't care. i don't care what he says to the russian -- to the russians. i mean. >> okay. >> he is the president of the united states. if he wants to say that, barack obama wants to say whatever if george bush says i looked in his whos and thought he was say it. >> i don't know what he would do that you would not defend i mean you're a loyal guy. i think that's speaks well of you. >> anderson. this is a offend willing eastern elite media sense abilities right here in america they'll think yeah the fbi director was a nut job and worse. >> he is not wrong some people do think that i got a lot of reader merl from supporter of trump said that's absolutely true. i lot go. >> thank you maggie. >> i also got emails from long-term republican officials in washington who have worked with senators and so forth
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describing as quote unquote unamerican i'm not saying that's my word that was the word any used. so i don't think that there is a ufrltty of opinion here i think we still don't know how this plays. i do think that he is correct that a lot of people because there is so much information coming out at such a high-speed are tuning out most of they hear the words russia and triep. >> how can you be a eastern media elitest when you said take a dump on tv. >> i've i meant dumping documents on the devg that's what i was talking. >> you know can i just -- i mean the whole nut job think okay that's perhaps intemper it language. legally what's much morp significant is him saying that he is relieved that the investigation is over and he is now free tp. there is another quote in your story where he says i'm not now under investigation naefrm. >> that's what he said he said i'm not under investigation. i just want to be career. >> i'm not under investigation. >> that's an important points especially this was a read out
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i'm not clear whether he was making the point he has made a thousand time publicly which is not me under investigation and james comey has told me that. >> but he does say say he is relieved. >> he said the pressure is off of him. >> the pressure is off of him. >> yes. >> that suggests. >> the pressure is off because comey is gone. >> because comey is gone. >> yes and that is what -- that is our understanding of what he said based on the reading of the document and what a defend err of the president argues is what he was referring to the fact -- aband spicer statements says it -- and see comey was a grandstander which all of which the president has said he was politicizing in investigation you know and that made it really hard and in investigation is going on regardless. i'm not saying that is actually what he meant but that is what he said. >> okay let's be clear the president can say what he would like to say however there are also legal consequences to his statement and if you have -- if you have a. >> if you have fired the fisher director leading the investigation into whether or not you or your campaign members
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are colluded, you cannot be skewed simply by the nature of office that you hold. the words still have significance. politicly and especially legally. so give a cart blanch and say i'm the president this may have been pliking may have been something different it's a very different turn and distinction when you have obstruction of justice overhead. interfering with witnesses or tampering or trying to intimidate them in some way these have consequences which is why i think the president should perhaps follow o what the miranda says which is you have the right to remain silent. >> that's -- but to that point mary kathryn it's amazing how many times -- tonight wektd have- had this this not happened we could have talking about the president's foreign trip about the issues he is going to be dealing with instead we're talking about things he himself has said. >> yes. and he probably will not stop talking about it. there is always the hope he doesn't have a global plan on his phone. but the we -- look, i mean -- many of these wounds are self-inflicted i do think to
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jeffrey's point there has been- there have been many who are critics of the president who want say the conclusion is collusion with russia i'm going to walk or run myself to that conclusion or maybe getting interest there ahead of the actual facts. what to me i'm somebody who has been like let's -- let's hold up and take a deep breath. to me this week two things are coming together which is the -- it's the convergeens of the comey story and russia together in the person of the president and in his own personal conduct. and to me that is what has turned a page. i think you're right maggie many people are tuning out some of this a because they think it's people out to get to president certainly there are some because of politicsle reasons b because of so much going on to me that's what turned the page this week this is his behavior two story lines coming together and. and he does do it to himself. >> in the oval office i mean that's the other. >> in and charles, to -- now you were going to to have director comey testifying that now that there's the mueller investigation is this going
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underground we are not going to hear details in if comey testifies as it seems like he is going to after memorial day and if he talks about what his note said, that's going to be another huge chapter in this. >> yeah but that's at least -- we don't know -- the way -- at the pace that things are being revealed, the language itself is losing its capacity to actually register how big each one of these things is. we can't even digest what happened three hours ago. because another thing has stepped on it. and i think that it is incumbent upon us to slow it down a little bit and just make people understand the gravity of what is happening. >> it does after a while to all see seem normal and oh another thing. >> if we allow that to happen that is a disservice to the voters and the citizens of in country. we have to say, wait a minute. this is enormous. this is not a passing -- a passing thing. this is not a simple kind of way
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a person communicates. there is an actual criminal investigation now under way. collusion -- if he had just held his peace and said go out and hang yourselves on the collusion thing because nothing happened and let the investigations proceed apace. he would have done himself a big favor. . now collusion is only one of the issues at stake. now it is witness tampering. now it is possibly treason on the case -- in the case of flynn. now it is obstruction of justice. and these things now seem to have even more weight depending on what we know at this point than the collusion. >> you know steve hall, you worked -- you investigated -- the cia worked on the russians for a long time it wanton can't be lots that certifying akizlyak the who is the country eternity learned the president's true rationale for firing comey what appears to be the rationale for firing comey even before the
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american people did when the president did that interview with nbc and was privy to classified information according to earlier reporting this week. when you see this from the intelligence background what goes through your mind? >> well i liked your comment earlier anderson. i think you'd have been a case officer if you wanted to be. this is something russians usually have to recruit agents for inside white house to try to get secrets how about who doesn't like who who the president is mad at. >> just interrupt -- this is actually what cia officers try to recite agents for to find out what's happening inside the -- internal workings in putin he is a office this is what russians -- dsh this is what cia officers and intelligence officers do overseas in recruiting people this is the information they want. >> every single intelligence service in the world i think probably has number one on its list of things to find out about is find out the plans and intentions of x leader in whatever country it is you're
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targeting for the united states it's going to be -- it's going to be russia and what's going on inside the kremlin. the chinese it's going to be the iranians. everybody wants to be the proverbial fly on the wall everybody wants a recruit the spy sitting at the table telling them my god can you believe represident trump is so mad at comey np everybody wants that. in this case the russians didn't need it because the president provided it himself. here is one group of people not tuning this out anderson. that's the russians. if you look how they say l see all this. they don't see it through the western lens they see it mp they are any remember candidate trump still a candidate saying things well the sanctions maybe we can lift them crimea not a big deal so forth so on. fast foort he wins the election says i'll i'm not sure about the whole russians being should have been a fat guy in his basements could have been the chinese. how do we know? now he is in the oval office with guys by the way the previous administration purposely kept out of the oval office because of the bad things that russians have been doing
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the past couple of years. he invited them in the oval office and it sounds very much like he is trying to reassure them i'm coming back to you. i couldn't before because i had all of these political pressures domestically. but you know -- now i've gotten rid of comey the nut job the pressure is off. i can get back to the things that i was hoping to do during my campaign. i'm not saying that's what trump is doing. that's the way the russians are seeing it. >> we have much more to talk about, much, much, mouch more tonight including late word even as the president departs on the first yoefr seas trip some legal team has begun preparing in cases impeached 37 we have reporting on that late absenting reaction to all that from the house zbelgs committee as news continues to break tonight in washington. not dandruff.
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geef we've got so many breaking stories to the comey testifying to the president boasting to the russians about firing him or characterizing him as a nut job on top of that there is this wp word that white house lawyers have begun possible preparations impeachment proceedings or looking into eve van perez joins with us details on that what are you learning evan. >> well anderson we are learning that white house lawyers have begun researching impeachment proceduring process this is what they stl believe is still
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unlikely and distant that he would have to fend off efforts to remove him from office. the research efforts are informal and being done out of abundance of caution. the the white house believes that the president has the backing of the congressional republicans. we should note that even democrats have tried to calm some of the this impeachment talk out of concern that it is premature law but lawyers in the white house counsel office have consulted experts in impeachment and begun collecting information on how such proceedings would work. a white house official tonight denied that lawyers are actually doing any of this by the way anderson. >> does this mean the president actually needs to hire an outside lawyer or do we know has he? because i mean some legal experts said he certainly should. >> right well that is a discussion that's actually being had at the white house. there is a broader internal effort to bolster the president's legal defense which is become a lot for complicated with the justice department appointment of a special counsel
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to procures this investigation into thor 2016 election. close advisers to the president including two lawyers who have served as surrogates for the president michael cohen and jay sec low visited the white house to discuss his need to hire some attorneys for the zbloopt evan thanks very much. want jeff lord i was pennsylvania little crude before i aapologize. you know i like having your voice on here i think an important voice to have. >> no offense taken. >> you defend the president well that's juror job. one can read into this oh you know that impeachment word gets thrown around certainly by democrats a lot this week. but it would certainly seem to be prudent for the president to tlaeft or have people looking into this kind of stuff. >> yeah, i think in the modern era every president i think the last thing thats got when he wound be was he would indiana you you can beached impeached i think it's o since watergate i
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think in true this is always hanging out there for modern presidents because they make so many enemies. et cetera. i don't see anything wrong or abnormal about it in legal sense. politicly speaking anderson i notice that nancy pelosi of all people said don't go there yet. i do think that there is a potential mammoth political backlash to this let's suppose for the sake of the argument that he were actually subjected to a vote of impeachment in the house or hearings on this. i can only tell you the thousand frs of people that showed up hair in harrisburg the other week who a local reporter said to me from a paper that endorsed hillary clinton, that they were more enthusiastic than ever and almost defiant and was texting me this while i was in black tie at the white house correspondents dinner where the attitude about president trump was considerably different. i mean if i were in the white house i'd almost say please do. help me. >> jeff i mean jeff raises an interesting point there is a potential huge backlash for all of this if there is no
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illegallity after this you a rnsing with say our agenda had been has been derailed all this focused on there is no there there. >> sure but you know we are at a very beginning of an investigation. and we don't know which way it's going to go. and if it turns out that there are no prosecutions perhaps it will be -- you know it will not be as damages as it appears now. let me correct wung one thing jeff just said. not every president researches impeachment not barack obama, not george w bush. >> no i said they should. they should. >> well jeff no they shouldn't because it's pointless nobody was going to impeach george w impeach not barack obama. >> they were going to. >> let me finish. >> no one is g -- dsh the possibility ever impeachment now exists for donald trump. it's unlikely. but lawyers are paid to worry. and it's appropriate for them to do some preliminary research don't mean he is going to be
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impeached. he should also have a personal laurie. hiring a lawyer doesn't mean you're guilty of anything. but you know this is a real situation there is an -- a special counsel investigating donald trump's campaign, including his behavior including some pretty darn good evidence that trump himself committed obstruction of justice. of course he should have a lawyer. >> and that's why i think we should not even get into conversation about saying, if there is no there there. there is some there there already. whether or not these are impeachable offenses a different issue. but there is there there. with flynn. he was approved as the -- the national security adviser. he was -- you know already kind of compromised by his illegal activities. that's already there there. there is there there from what the president has said himself about how he has dealt with both flynn and with comey. there is there there already. whether or not that rises to
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impeachable offenses whether a republican. >> or prosecutable. >> or prosecutable. whether or not republicans would derivative articles of impeachment based on that that's a different question. but there is already there there. >> the remedy for whatever there there you think is already there is firing of people, as happened with flynn or a midterm election. knows are the remedies we have for that. the next one is impeachment. i do think there is plenty of loose talk about ways to remove a president. i think that has not just plilk political backlash potential it's unhealthy for the country because there were many people who did elect this president and they did it for legit reasons i disagreed with their conclusion but didn't feel they had a better option and this is what happened particularly on the blue wall space that the democrats lost. injury making those folks feel more alienated by jumping to the punch is a very bad idea. this is another self-inflicted white house thing. they're leaky to their own detriment you can look up impeach.
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you can worry about it doenlt tell everybody you're doing it because it gives everyone license to talk more about impeach. which i don't think we're there and igts it's not healthy. >> impeachment is really premature you don't with the other i word the full investigation at this moment in time the reason you have a special counsel the reason you have this talk of obstruction of justice, is because we want to have a full investigation. it's not about is there there there and dr. sues sol i will queue it's about whether or not the investigation is excrete yet. what happened who knew it when did they do it? why is it important there is a fact finding mission of congress. then there is the criminal investigation that tells us excuse me is there a problem? should there be an impeachment proceeding going on? we're not there because we haven't had the full opportunity for an investigation. which is really the key of in entire thing. >> all of which is true certainly. but we do have a special counsel appointed. that's a big deal. and you know barack obama went eight years without anything like this happening. this is 120 days.
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i mean so -- yes, impeachment is premature. >> why is that? >> but this is not just idle talk at this point. there is reason to be very concerned about the propriety of what went on in this white house. >> absolutely but that's -- you know i think we are saying the same thing in the sense i think before you can really have a fruitful discussion on impeachmenten a removal of the president of the united states or any person we had the same deference we give to people not the cht united states you should as a prosecutor right to say what did they investigate what are the facts? he is not immune from being criticized or being speculate the having done something wrong but neither is the common person having the decency to say let's have investigation first. >> i keep thinking about just how rough it must be for people working in the white house as right now as you said there are a lot of good people want to serve the country appear believe in the legislative agenda want things to go well. >> there are a lot of people who believe had nim personally not just there because they want to channel everything he says and
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some of the people are concerned about what et cetera doing. >> just in terms of the pace of things it's got to be -- i mean i sympathize it's got to be brutal. >> i feel terrible for most of the of the people working in the white house. >> just the hours alone, the days must blend into one another. >> i think the hours are terrible. i keep thinking about the clinton process of the special prosecutor. and bill clinton did hire a personal attorney in the summer of 1993. david kendall still works for the clintons as i understand it. that white house was set up like it was walled-off side dealing with that investigation side dealing with the government. this -- this government isn't even near staff to where it should be the white house is not staffed where it should be the extended government is not staffed to where it should be. there are not -- they're not hable to handle all of this. and the amount of time because it has become the really toxic environment a lot of them all do feel angry at the media even if they don't share the president's view that everything is fake
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news. but they are -- some of them spend enormous amounts of time undercutting other people or going on the leak hunts that are incredibly silly a waste of time while dealing with fending off real questions from now a special counsel, from senate investigators from the fbi. this is a long long list. it's alive and you have to for a feel bad for them. >> i keep trying to summon sympathy for people at the white house and i'm failing. i do not in any way feel like i should be sympathetic in any way in any way. >> i think that -- i think that watching people motivate of whom in this west wing who didn't work for him before and yes some of them opposed him before but some of them really want to see the country do okay and some of whom thought there was chance to pass agenda whether people agree with the agenda or not i think on a human level you can feel bad for people who probably see the finances drained now personal all of the people have to get lawyers themselves.
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i think in the same way that people felt sympathy for clinton allies went through the same thing in the 90s it is understand stanl shl for people showed up. >> i'm preserving my sympathy for all of the people hurt by his policies. >> got to pause a moment again yet another breaking stories krn krn exclusive we we come back. are reaction from capitol hill to this friday's well all the headlines we'll hear from a member of the house intelligence committee when 360 continues. what's with him? he's happy. your family's finally eating vegetables thanks to our birds eye voila skillet meals. and they only take 15 minutes to make. ahh! birds eye voila so veggie good
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the shlike a bald penguin. how do i look? [ laughing ] show me the billboard music awards. show me top artist. show me the top hot 100 artist. they give awards for being hot and 100 years old?
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we'll take 2! [ laughing ] xfinity x1 gives you exclusive access to the best of the billboard music awards just by using your voice. the billboard music awards. sunday, may 21st eight seven central only on abc. well there is no such thing at casual friday these day he is just vanch of news. at next story is a big cham changer potentially. cnn learned base intercepted russian communications. the picture they paint of moscow relationship with michael flynn and how alarming it was be it was to the obama administration. gloria borger breaking in story they joe join us now pamela what have you learned. >> tonight multiple sources telling cnn that russian officials bragged in conversations during the presidential campaign that they had cultivated such a strong relationship with former trump adviser michael flynn that they
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believed they could use him to influence donald trump and his team. now those conversations deeply concerned u.s. intelligence officials. and it even impacted what intelligence the incoming administration was privy to because some obama intelligence officials acted on their own to limit how much sensitive information they shared with flynn. >> gloria one form fro -- you talked to one former official what did they say. >> i did anderson one former official told me that the way the russians were talking about flynn was regarded as what they called a five alarm fire from early on. the russian conversations indicated they regarded flynn as their ally sources told us. officials also cautioned that the russian might have exaggerated their sway with trump's team during those conversations. flynn's relationship with russia developed throughout 2016 we're told. months before flynn was caught on an intercepted call in december speaking with russia sergei kizlyak the ambassador
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that let of course as you know to flynn's firing as trump's first national security adviser. anderson, we have reached out to both flynn's lawyers who has declined to comment. and the white house which said this. we are confident that when these inquiries are complete there will be no evidence to support any collusion between the campaign and russia. top former obama intelligence officials and members of congress briefed on the matter have all said the same thing. >> pamela we're also learning as i understand the first time details about flynn's conversation was the russians. >> that's right. one major concern was the subject of conversations between flynn and kizlyak that took place shortly after president obama slapped new sanctions and russia for meddling in the u.s. election. sources tell me colleague jim sciutto that flynn told kizlyak that the trump administration would look look favorably upon a decision by russia to hold off and retaliate wg its own sanctions as you know the next day putin said he wouldn't
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retaliate. sources also say that flynn told kizlyak that the incoming trump administration would revisit u.s. sanctions on russia once in office. as you know trump has angrily denied any collusion with russia this week he deannounced the newest investigation now the hands of special counsel . >> despite all of this, though, gloria, president trump he's remained steadfast in his support, hasn't he? >> yes, he's very loyal. and the most obvious example of this is according to that memo by james comey, which we just learned about where he asked the director of the fbi to let the investigation of flynn go completely. >> pamela brown, i appreciate the reporting. lot to discuss. again, a night of lalot of breaking nusz. let's get some reaction from capitol hill. joining me now gym hooimz. congressman, i want to know your reaction to that news reporting.
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they thought they could use michael flynn to influence donald trump. and glorjia borger with the question they might have overstated him. >> yet another day with yet another story originating in the media. it's really remarkable to me how much talk there is that's going to "the washington post," to the "the times," to cnn. it's amazing how much the flow of information the media gets. obviously there's a whole topic there that's of concern. but let me say this about that. i guess it doesn't shock me in the sense that we know that sally yates went to the white house and told don megan, the counsel at the white house that this guy was potentially blackmailable by the russians. and we know from reports that apparently the former president,
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barack obama, warned donald trump directly against hiring mike flynn. and you know there's a number of other issues that have come up around mike flynn. so i guess as much as this is something of a scoop for you guys, it's not all that shocking to me. >> we should also point out, i interviewed her on monday, sally yates took the unusual step of allowing the white house to review the intelligence, to review the information that she had. she made it available to them. i think it took them eight days from the time she made it available or from the time they requested. but nevertheless, they were able to review that. so whatever the intelligence was, the white house would have gotten a sense of it because they were actually able to go and look at it. >> yeah, that's right. and this points to the larger topic of just the sort of bizarre closeness with which the apparently the president continues to regard michael
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flynn, a guy who is very plainly a liability to him for four or five different reasons, some of which we haven't even talked about here tonight. going back to why in god's name did the white house keep this guy on for 18 days after sally yates went went to the white house and said this guy is national security risk? so it's a very weird and one of the unanswered questions in this investigation. >> after michael flynn was forced to resign, sean spicer said there was no legal action, it was just the fact hee he had lied to the vice president but he had done nothing wrong previous to that. but sally yates says there was under lying illegality. do you think he should be granted immunity? >> you know, as these connections and questions about
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michael flynn mount up, the answer to that question more and more is, boy, what else does he know and know? and by the way, it's quite possible -- i don't have any particular insight into the fbi investigation. it's quite possible he's a target of that investigation. if that is possible or certainly if that is true, there's no way congress should grant him immunity. and as you know, anderson, immunity is grant granted when a proffer is made and congress gets comfortable there's a big fish out there to be gotten. obviously, this raises some very serious questions here. but, no, at this point unless there's a good reason to grant him immunity, it's unlikely it would happen. >> congressman himes, i appreciate your time. thank you very much. one has to wonder what's the mood like in the air force one right now.
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just a short time after he left washington word came out from "the new york times" about the words the president said two days after he fired james comey. joining me now is fareed sacchary and david gergen. >> david, first i want to get your reaction from this reporting about michael flynn and russia. >> what we're really seeing is pieces of a puzzle continue to fall into place. and there's a pattern here that michael flynn right from the beginning has been very close to the russians. we didn't know what those conversations were about. what we're learning tonight suggests that they were -- that our intelligence folks were really worried about what he say doing well before he became the national security advisor. it suggests that's the reason that -- and i think i've been
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told this before, that president obama warned off incoming president trump about hiring him. and now he's central to our trying to understand, you know, was there collusion? this would suggest there's more collusion than we thought and is more evidence building up? it doesn't settle things. it's still early. but i will tell you this, that also for a long time we were asking why is donald trump so solicitous of vladimir putin, and now we have the second question, why has he be so solicitous of michael flynn. and we really need the answers to those questions. >> whether it's loyalty or i don't know what, but he continues to think fondly of michael flynn despite his lying to the vice president and despite this underlying acsifbt, which sally yates said there was illegality there. >> and the more you worry about michael flynn, the more you
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worry on multiple fronts. you discuss this russia angle, but there's another entire angle, which is turkey. michael flynn was hired by the turkish government as a paid lobbyist and started to present himself as an independent analysts. asking for the very thing that the president of turkey, erdogan has been pressing which is the united states hand over this clerk in pennsylvania, which is an enemy of erdogan. so flynn writes him off then, not explaining he's being paid by the turkish government to do this. so to the question of could flynn have been bought, could his views have been influenced by cash payments? we sort of have an example in turkey where it does certainly seem like that happen immediate. and we know once he was in the administration, he was advising
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that he be deported. so that seems tee be a worrying connection. this is guy who foreign governments have already hired and passed himself as a national security independent expert, just assessing theimators of this. and then you say then you have the strange reality that trump was not super loyal to people who have not been with him for a long time. think of how he's treated steve bannon recently. but he's been very loyal to michael flynn. >> "the new york times" reporting that the president called him a nut job, he's under great pressure. what do you think of that? is that something the president should be saying to the russians in the oval office? >> well, the nut job is beneath the prez daebs daens. but i think the more significant point is the one jeffrey toobin has been adding, and that is this underlines new evidence tonight. what's the pattern here?
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the pattern here is the president goes to comey, the fbi director and says i need your loyalty. and comey refuses to give it to him. and according to these reports, comey -- the president pressures him to let the flynn investigation go. what does the president do, he can't get comey to drop it so he fires comey. and we know hear him tell the russians openly he's a nut job. the clear implications was i have political pressure coming on me about these investigations. it's something i don't want, and i fired the son of a gun. it was something i had to do. and we find out new pieces on the puzholech it's very disturbing. >> we should point out the dinner, which i believe the night the day sally yates went to the white house and said flynn could be compmized and
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flynn was interviewed by the fbi and didn't do so well, that's the same night the president decides to ask for a dinner with comey about a loyalty play. and also the president had already called up flynn -- had already called up comey basically to ask about being under investigation. >> so i just think the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. we still need to give the president his fair day in court. his side needs tee be able to present the evidence. but nonetheless the way this is breaking with the selected leaks paints a very dark picture. and i already heard the other night we're in itch peachmentatory tear and now we know the white house lawyerers are investigating how impeachment takes place. itch peachment is way down the road, but we're in deep, serious issues now. >> the fact that the white house really isn't denying