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tv   CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow  CNN  January 30, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PST

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you know what's not awesome? gig-speed internet. when only certain people can get it. let's fix that. let's give this guy gig- really? and these kids, and these guys, him, ah. oh hello. that lady, these houses! yes, yes and yes. and don't forget about them. uh huh, sure. still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. this is cnn breaking news. >> all right, good morning, everyone. john berman here in washington.
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just hours from the president's first state of the union address, breaking news is this, house speaker paul ryan is speaking right now to reporters. he will answer questions very, very shortly. he says that the republican memo produced by the house intelligence committee, he is in favor of releasing it. this memo, of course, alleges fbi abuses, but in a twist, the house speaker says he wants members to keep it separate from the special counsel's investigation. don't use it to criticize robert mueller. the memo now in the hands of the president, who made it very clear, he wants this memo released. this morning, a source familiar with the president telling cnn it is very likely he with will release it, no surprise there. this is happening in the midst of the former deputy fbi director andy mccabe announcing he's leaving. the democrats in the house may be briefed very shortly by the justice department, inspector general, michael horowitz, who
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was investigating fbi activity in the 2016 election, both the hillary clinton e-mail investigation and the early stages of the russia investigation. joining me now, cnn's kara skinell for an update. >> we're waiting word to see whether the ig will meet with democrats on the house oversight and judiciary committees following the meeting that was canceled with the republicans yesterday. we reached out to the inspector general's office this morning and they're declining comment. so we'll have to stand by and see if that meeting does take place. of course, the inspector general's report is looming in the backdrop of mccabe's abrupt exit. we know that fbi director christopher wray sent an e-mail to the fbi staff yesterday in which he hinted that the ig report may have played a role. according to sources who saw the e-mail, wray said he would not comment on the ig report and would not be swayed by politics. of course, mccabe's exit was a surprise to many staffers who learned about it from news reports. mccabe had a planned retirement scheduled for march.
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and instead he left suddenly. what we also know is that the sources tell us that mccabe felt that pressure from wray because he was bringing in his own team. and so that was part of the reason for the sudden exit. it is also reminiscent of james comey's exit when he was abruptly fired as fbi director while he was on the road visiting the field office in los angeles. and last night comey tweeted out his support of mccabe, someone who he's worked alongside with for a long time. in the tweet, comey said, special agent andrew mccabe stood tall over the last eight months when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. he served with distinction for two decades. i wish andy well. i also wish continued strength for the rest of the fbi. america needs you. now, the white house, john, has not really commented on mccabe's exit other than to say they did not play a role in the decision. >> all right, kara covering that
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angle, thank you so much. as we await speaker paul ryan, i'm joined by republican chris stewart of utah, a member of the house intelligence committee. great to see you in person. i know you're surprised how tall i am when you finally meet me. we did hear -- reporters heard earlier from house speaker paul ryan who is in favor of releasing the memo from your committee. i don't think it is a surprise. it wouldn't have been released without his support. other thing is more nuanced, doesn't want it used as a means to criticize special counsel robert mueller's investigation. the two need to be kept separate. how is that possible? >> they should be kept secret -- i'm sorry, separate, i think they will be kept separate. robert mueller is continuing his investigation. i support that. i want him to continue. the house has a responsibility to do what we have been doing and from time it time report the findings and the things we think are important. and we have to be able to separate those. but, look, we can't subordinate ourselves from mr. mueller, say,
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well, he's doing his investigation, therefore we're going to pause. i don't think that's appropriate either. >> one of the things that is allegedly in the memo, i haven't seen it, you obviously have, is criticism of rod rosenstein for recommending the extension of a fisa warrant. rosenstein oversees bob mueller right now. he oversees the special counsel investigation. if you're going to criticize rod rosenstein for something in this memo, how do you keep it separate? >> when you see the memo, i hope you see it quickly, we don't point fingers at mr. rosenstein or any one individual. we are very analytical, very factual, not an emotional document, as we said, we don't accuse, we lay out the facts and he's not identified with any specificity at all. you know, if i could talk about mr. comey's remarks, because i think it kind of ties in here, it is important to note, he talks about small people who are trying to tear down the fbi. that's not what we're trying to do at all. the fbi is full of public servants, we recognize that. but we have to be able to hold some people accountable.
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if they have done something we think is inappropriate and wrong. that's all we're trying to do here. >> well, look, i don't know who he's talking about specifically when he talks about small people, do you think a small person would, you know, talk about andy mccabe and note that his wife was running an election, things that the president has done, directly criticizing the deputy director for something his wife did. >> it depends, is it relevant? that's the question. is it relevant. is it important? do you think it is relevant that mr. mccabe's wife was given hundreds of thousands of dollars by a clinton supporter and he was -- >> do you think it is relevant? >> i think it is. how important it is i think is probably in the eye of the beholder. it is certainly a fact toward -- >> do you think it is relevant who andy mccabe voted for in the last election? >> no, i wouldn't suggest that. >> a small person, i'm putting myself in james comey's shoes, when a small person asked andy mccabe who he voted for in the last election -- >> i'm not familiar with that. are you saying someone who -- >> it is reported that the president asked andy mccabe who he voted for in the last election, and then went on to criticize the fact that -- all
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i'm saying is i don't know who james comey was calling a small person. it may very well be he's raising that to talk about the president. >> i think that the more overarching concern is this. no agency is above any questioning. you can't say -- you can't go after the fbi. look, we understand they're important. but no agency is above reproach. if people have done things inappropriate, we have should know that. >> congressional oversight is vital. oversight from republicans and democrats. democrats have now written their own version of a memo. why not release them at the same time? >> we'll go through the same process. that's the important thing to note here. we allowed ours to be read, we allowed the house to see it for a period of time, we'll do the same thing with democratic memo. we'll allow the fbi to come in and vet it. that's important. we did have -- come in with two individuals, is there anything factually inaccurate? having read the memo, it will have to be redacted. it is much longer, much more
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detailed, there are things in there we cannot release. >> why not wait? why not wait, in the interest of bipartisanship and to lift any cloud that what you're doing is partisan or what they're doing is partisan, why not wait and release them at the same time? >> we'll apply the same process. if the timing doesn't work -- i think this, as time goes by, it won't matter at all that one memo was released one week or -- >> i don't believe that. if it is out there for a week by itself, you know, with you speaking on one side and the -- the evidence that exists on paper from the democrats to rebut it, not saying it is true or not, not being released, how is that fair? >> i think they'll have the opportunity to rebut it. in the big picture, months from now, a few days here or there isn't going to matter. we'll lay out our facts. they can make arguments. why would they not -- >> would it matter? if you're saying it wouldn't mat, the days difference wouldn't matter, would it matter a few days to release yours? >> i understand why you're saying that, i do. i think we follow the same
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process, we'll follow the same process with theirs. >> christopher wray looked at this with two deputies. adam shift last night indicated the fbi director wanted to speak to your whole committee after that fact but was not give than opportunity. the chairman said no. is that true? >> we had ample opportunities to speak to the fbi director on multiple things about multiple topics, including -- >> did he ask to speak to the whole committee and was he granted that permission? >> we have him come before the committee frequently. >> before the release of this memo? >> i don't believe that is true. i don't believe he at all said we want to speak to the committee before we release the memo. there is one other thing that is an appendage to that, worth noting. i have been accused as have been other republicans in very personal ways saying you're endangering national security by releasing this memo. that's absolutely nuts. you see my father's air force wings, i was in the air force, i have members in my family deployed now to think i would endanger national security for political purposes is just si y silline
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silliness. that's what many of them are saying. we just want the american people to know. >> have you seen all the classified intelligence that has gone into the drafting of this memo? >> 90 something percent of the memo is not based on any underlying documents, but based on testimony before the committee. >> have you seen the classified information, the other 10%? >> i haven't. but it is not relevant to our memo. that's what i'm saying. the memo is based on testimony before the committee. those other things we had staff go look at it, because as you know it was restricted, we had them report what that information was, and -- >> fisa stuff, the fisa warrants, i imagine, right? >> and other things. >> but the fisa warrants are a big part of your conclusion. you have not seen that classified information yourself? >> we haven't seen the classified information. our memo is faulted in some way. that's not true. 90% of the memo is based on testimony before our committee. there is a small portion that is based on other information. we ask our staff to review that because we weren't allowed to at that point.
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they report back on what that is and we integrate that into the memo. we don't -- look, i can't see all of this information. there is tens of thousands of pages of it. you have to be able to rely on staff and others to evaluate -- >> just to be clear, you're saying your father is in the air force, you were in the air force, be no of russ questius a questioning your patriotism. house speaker paul ryan speaking right now. let's see what the speaker says. >> this is the department of defense funding that equips our service members with the resources they need to protect our country and the threats that it faces. this is not the first time the house has voted on this bill. this is not the second time the house has voted on this bill. this is the third time the house has voted to fund our military. you heard it from paul cook straight. why is this the third time that the house will have voted to fund our military? because the senate democrats continue to hold that funding hostage. they threaten to filibuster the legislation which makes it impossible for the senate to pass and for the president to sign it into law. senate democrats are playing politics with defense spending
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and that is so vital to our national security needs. so we just don't see this as irresponsible, it is dangerous. you do have training accidents happening more and more these days. we had more people die in training accidents last year than in combat last year. these crs, the reason we have all these crs is because of the filibusters of these vital appropriation bills. so as we saw last week in paul's district, the consequences are very real. our men and women in uniform depend upon the resources to keep themselves safe and to keep us safe. so i urge the senate democrats to do the right thing. drop the filibuster, process the legislation. we want to find a daca solution, we will find a daca solution. don't hold up our military funding hostage for this, let's move forward. on a positive note, i'm excited to hear president trump's state of the union address tonight. honestly, the state of the union is looking up. it is really an encouraging to be able to come and hear an upbeat tone at a state of the union. this was my 20th of these that
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i've sat in. and i've got to tell you, to be able to hear a state of the union as bright as it is right now is something that is very encouraging. wages are rising, economic confidence is coming back to america. tax reform is now the law of the land and it is playing a huge role on this transformation. as steve just mentioned, just yesterday, we heard from another major employer about investing another $50 billion into this economy because of tax reform. just a couple of weeks from now, 90% of american workers, 90% of american wage earners are going to see their paychecks get bigger as the irs new withholding tables are put into effect in february. this is a big deal. look, jan and i were working the concession stands at our parish on sunday for our kids' basketball games and a friend of mine who works at the home depot in janesville could not wait to tell me about the bonus he had gotten, about the wage increase he had gotten, what it is going to do for his life. wherever you go, you have people coming up to you saying, this is a new car payment for me. this is working.
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and what those of us who worked on this issue for so many years thought and suspected was if we do tax reform in america the right way, it will unlock a lot of economic potential. it is unlocking so much more economic potential than we even imagined. so we're very excited. economic confidence in america is at a 17-year high, unemployment in america is at a 17-year low. these are good things, this is a big deal for americans across the country. we got a lot more work to do, and i'm looking forward to the president's speech tonight to find the way forward and get more done for the people in 2018. questions. >> regarding the nunes memo, why is it okay for republicans in the house to release the republican memo and not the same time as the democratic memo to give the america public a full picture, both sides, of the argument that is underlying this intelligence? >> we have to follow the process as the process is laid out and that's precisely what is happening. i would remind you the democrats tried blocking the rest of the
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members of congress from even having access to the memo that the majority wrote. yesterday, the majority voted to provide access to the democrats memo. the process is this. it is an 11 g process, you probably all reported on it, a memo gets released to the broader members, they read it, then you scrub to make sure that no sources and methods are compromised and then go through the process of releasing it. that process is under way. this memo that we just got popped on us yesterday is now going through that process. i would tell you, unlike the democrats on the intelligence committee, who voted to deny access to this memo to the broader members, republicans supported doing so. so now -- devin made the motion. so now it will go through the 11 g process like this other memo did. >> why not hold that back and release it at the same time? >> yeah, the -- as kevin was mentioning, the chairman went to the fbi to go through the memo to make sure that we were
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protecting any sources and methods and we're confident that we are. none of that work has been done on this new memo that no one has yet read, but the republicans voted to allow the rest of the members to read it so it can go through the process. >> why not hold back? >> you asked enough. >> why not ask the republicans to wait and release their memo at the same time as democrats release theirs to -- >> look, we're going to go through the process as the process is laid out and it is ironic that the majority voted to actually give access to this memo while the minority voted to deny that access. i think the irony is a little rich here these days. casey? >> based on what you learned, do you believe the fbi and the doj used their power in a partisan way? >> let me make four points here. i think there are -- as we think about all of this. i wrote some of this down. first, there are legitimate questions about whether an american civil liberties were violated by the fisa process. we are the legislative branch of government. it is our job to conduct
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oversight on behalf of the american people of the executive branch in case any powers were abused and civil liberties abused by the executive branch. there is a very legitimate issue here as to whether or not an american civil liberties were violated in the fisa process. that's point number one. point number two. this is a completely separate matter from bob mueller's investigation. and his investigation should be allowed to take its course. point number three, there may have been malfeasance by people at the fbi. and -- let me just finish my point, there may have been malfeasance at the fbi by certain individuals. so it is our job in conducting transparent oversight of the executive branch to get to the bottom of that. what we want is all of this information to come out, so that transparency can reign supreme and accountability can occur. there is a fourth point i want to make. that is the institution of the doj, of the fbi is very
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important institution for american life. it is a very important institution for keeping the rule of law in tact. the men and women -- the vast number of the men and women over at doj, over at fbi, are professionals doing their jobs and doing their jobs well. the people over in the field office in milwaukee, the fbi office, are helping keeping heroin and opioids out of our schools. so we want the people of the fbi to know that we respect their job, we respect who they are and what they do. and all of the more reason why we need to have transparency and accountability to hold people accountable if they violated the rules, if they acted in a wrong improper way. and that is what we're doing here. >> all the other conclusions that are being drawn by this investigation in the house are being held until the end. why is it important to get this conclusion -- >> it would have been great to have all the documents we requested months ago but we did not. as you know, the congress has been asking for all of these
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documents from the executive branch so that we can do the executive branch oversight. it is the inspector general who just told us a couple of days ago that all of a sudden they found the 5,000 text messages that were lost. so it would be nice if all of this information that congress had requested would have been delivered when we asked for this stuff last august. so we have not been getting the information until fairly recently. that is why this is taking so long. >> last question. >> there has been some reporting that the president wants to fire deputy ag rod rosenstein. do you think that would be a wise decision? >> i think rod rosenstein is dong a fine job. i have no reason to see why he would do that. rod rosenstein was hired after this last election. i think the people at the fbi, at the doj, need to clean their own house if there are problems in their own house and i think that's really important. he came in after this last election. >> bob mueller -- >> you've been listening to house speaker paul ryan. last question means last
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question. paul ryan spoke in support of releasing this memo from the house intelligence committee. he said a number of things, which are quite interesting. he says that an american civil liberties might have been violated in the fisa process. he also said that there may have been malfeasance at the fbi. chris stewart, republican congressman from utah, has been watching this with me. he sits on the house intelligence committee. and i know you have to run, so let me ask you about one of those things that he said, which was pretty startling, there may have been malfeasance at the fbi? >> yeah, no question about that. that's why we feel it is so important to release this information to the american people. and it doesn't matter who they're targeting, a political figure, private citizen, we all have those -- the expectation of privacy and our civil rights would be defended and, again, that's why we want to share this with the american people. >> what is this malfeasance? >> well, we see the memo, i think it will give you some insight into that. by the way, this memo isn't the last you're going to hear about this. we're going to have to report to the american people more broadly as well. i think this is the first
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installment of us being able to say to the american people, these are our concerns, these are the individuals that we're concerned with, and this is how we think it should be fixed. >> we're talking about the text messages between peter strzok and -- >> imagine this. imagine as i alluded to earlier, imagine that you had a political party pay for a dossier, use foreign agents to collect that information, and did the -- the question is this, this is what the memo centers on, did the fbi exercise due diligence and judgment in evaluating that dossier? were they honest in how they presented that information before the fisa courts? did they cast aspirations on people? in some cases accusing them of traitorous activity with legitimate evidence. those are the questions that we're trying to answer. >> i know you have to run. is the answer to that question in your mind no? >> there is very, very deep concerns right now. >> chris stewart of utah, thank
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you for being with us. appreciate it. joining me to discuss this further, kaitlan collins at the white house, manu raju standing by on capitol hill. kaitl kaitlan, first to you, we have an update on the status of this memo, the president has to approve its release, but that seemed like a foregone conclusion frankly a while ago. >> reporter: that's right, john. the president is very likely to advocate for the release of this memo to release it. a source familiar with his thinking tells me, that comes after the memo is brought over here to the white house last night after the house intelligence committee voted on it. but it is still unclear if the president has even actually seen this memo yet. so even though he's advocating for its release, he's ready to release it, it is unclear if the president has even read it yet. we know he has five days to review it, to decide if he wants to release it fully, take parts out of it or not release it at all. we're told the president is very likely to release this memo here, john. >> all right, kaitlan at the white house, thanks so much. one other thing, manu raju joins
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me now, the president hasn't seen the memo, chris stewart told me he hadn't seen the underlying classified intelligence that went into the memo. he says that's not the majority of what's in there, but it is interesting, different people haven't seen different parts of this. manu, you're at that news conference right there. paul ryan went in with a list of points he wanted to make on this memo. that was very interesting. >> reporter: yeah. clearly was prepared for that question. you knew this was going to dominate this news conference. trying to make the case that, look, there may have been some malfeasance at the fbi, if there was some, they need to figure out a way to move forward. but he also was prepared to defend this process, the process of giving -- getting -- allowing the republican memo, the nunes memo, to be released before the democratic memo has been released. tried to ask him at the beginning of this news conference why is it okay to move forward with the republican memo but not the democratic memo and not give the american public two points of view about the
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underlying intelligence? his argument is that this is the normal process. full house gets a chance to read this memo in a classified setting and then the committee can agree to vote to release it publicly. and that's going to take some time. but i would add, john, this is the first time in the committee's existence that this rule has been used. 40 years this rather obscure rule has not been used by this committee to declassify information and allow the president, give the president an opportunity to object or allow for its release. so there is no normal process here. and we try to pin him down about exactly why not hold back on the republican memo, allow the democratic memo to come back at the same time. he tried to make the argument that, look, we just got the democratic memo, people are just reading it now. and they try to make the case that they're the ones being transparent because they voted to release the memo while democrats on the other hand tried to block the memo. not a real clearancer from the speaker about why not hold back the memo's release, release them
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at the same time, but that's one one line of argument, they have to defend going forward, and allowing one point of view to help drive a narrative with the american public about exactly what happened here. but clearly, john, paul ryan sees some wrongdoing here, although he did not want to seem to want to pin the blame on rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who has been singled out in this memo. he said he's doing a good job and does not think it would be necessarily wise for the president to get rid of rosenstein, even though rosenstein will come under probably considerable pressure if this memo becomes public. >> may have been fbi malfeasance, american civil liberties may have been violated. those are significant charges. he also said there is irony in asking to wait to release the democrats memo at the same time, significant statements from paul ryan. manu raju, thank you very, very much. appreciate you being there for us. some democrats now saying that they don't want to, quote, honor the president by attending the state of the union address.
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they say that the president is destructive and divisive, but is their action, not showing up, is that too divisive? i'll speak with the democratic congressman who plans on skipping the speech. when i received the diagnoses,
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ask your doctor about victoza®. the surrogates in a already know in the state of the union address. the president hosted them at the white house yesterday. joining us now to talk about other things, cnn's steven moore and jason miller with me now. this meeting was off the record. neither of you can confirm nor deny whether in fact you were there. so let me ask the question, in this way, jason miller. were you to attend a private meeting with the president on the eve of this first state of the union address, what would be the one thing you think he would be most excited about.
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>> i would -- guessing, of course, i would say the president is very excited about the economic numbers that we have seen so far with this first year. and in particular when you stack up the first year of his presidency really against the first year of any presidency that we have seen in modern history, you can make the case in just about any president in history. there are pretty darn good accomplishments. i expect the president will talk a lot about his record and the great things we have seen. i think also too, one important thing to keep in mind, this president is very aware of the response he got to his speech at the joint session this last year. that was arguably one of the best new cycles that he had. i think you're going to see the president look to try to build some consensus on the things he wants to get done in 2018 and in for a good show tonight. >> in the abstract, he likes the response he gets from speeches like he gave to the joint session in davos. that is something he actively wants to repeat. >> if you look at the president's style, he's a game
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day player. he shows up for big speeches or back during the campaign during the debates, we needed a big performance from the president and the second debate, he showed up. you can say he's the tom brady of the big speeches. he shows up and he absolutely delivers. i think that's what you'll see tonight. >> i appreciate you sucking up for the tom brady reference. but i do remember the giants super bowl as well. in the abstract here, have you ever heard the president be reflective in a self-critical way to look back on the last year and say, you know what, i want to do this differently or better? >> that's not donald trump. but he will -- look, i can tell you definitively, he'll take a victory lap on the economy, jason is right. a lot to boast about. this is a strong economy right now, all the -- even the opinion polls are showing, you know, 67% of americans think the economy is -- you know, the campaign, as jason knows, you worked on the campaign, all about the economy and jobs. sometimes we forget that, we
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focus on -- here at cnn on russia and steve bannon and issues like that. look, he's going to say, stick with the program, it will be interesting how he -- i'll be paying attention to how he addresses the democrats in that room. so far the democrats have been resistance movement, against everything he's been for. i would like to see him really reach out to the democrats and say, hey, let's get immigration reform done, let's do infrastructure together, let's work on the trade deals, we'll see if he does. >> you would like to see more? >> i would love to see that. it is possible he does that. reaches out to nancy pelosi, and chuck schumer, not very friendly to him, and vice versa and say -- i think the american people would applaud that. one other quick thing, jason is so right. last year, he gave the speech to the -- it wasn't the state of the union, but a de facto state of the union, i remember being on the set, that was the greatest speech i've ever heard, that's the way donald trump is, he's a great speechmaker. >> it wasn't just that it received that response, it is
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that the president liked that response and wants to repeat it. i think that was notable. >> one small note, one thing that the president is really aware of is there is a disconnect now between the democratic leadership in washington and democratic voters around the country on issues like the economy, the shutdown, coming up with the solution for dreamers. and i think the president -- >> maybe, the democratic voters have spoken loudly in special elections in wisconsin, elections in virginia. so, you know -- >> every week goes by, you see the increasingly good numbers on the economy, it helps. >> again, in the abstract, again, you can't get -- does russia and the russia investigation seep into the president's thinking and conversations he might have with supporters in a room that are off the record? >> i'll say this, you know, i've seen donald trump several times lately. he's in a really good mood. he's feeling jubilant about things. i don't get the sense at all
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he's fretting about the russia investigation or that it is keeping him up at night. i think he's so excited about the way things are going in the country that he's not being -- his attention isn't being diverted by the russia scandal. >> chris christie said that the president should not testify, should not speak to special counsel robert mueller's team. do you think he should answer questions of the investigators? >> i'm not a lawyer, i'm not a prosecutor, but -- >> you're a shrewd political adviser. a lot of this is politics. would you advise him as a political adviser to sit down with the special counsel? >> if his legal counsel views this as a fishing expedition, don't give them a brand-new fishing pole. >> you think there are risks here? >> i would say i would agree with governor christie. >> jason miller, steven moore, thank you for meeting with me here on the record and speaking in these huge abstractions. i do appreciate it. there is much more ahead. there are developments, again in the russia probe, on this memo. what speaker ryan thinks about it and what the president will do about it all just hours from his first state of the union
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address. stick around.
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we heard from paul ryan, he supports the release of this memo from the house intelligence committee. that alleges misdeeds, abuses and politization of the fbi investigation, both on the hillary clinton e-mail deal and also the early stages of the russia investigation. joining me now to talk about this, jamie gangel, cnn special correspondent and jonathan martin cnn political analyst. it is no small thing when the house speaker says out loud in prepared talking points there may have been malfeasance in the fbi. >> right. and we heard a lot of what he said about two hours ago from other sources who are familiar with the committee work. i think the first thing we have to say when we talk about this over and over again is this is a
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political document th. this is a republican memo and has to be looked at in that context. that said, a republican source of mine who is very familiar with what's going on in the committee said that someone might say this is sloppy trade craft, this source thinks it leans toward abuse and the quote is this. it calls into question the methods and tactics that the fbi was using and they were not as independent of thought as they should have been. the other thing is the source said that sources and methods were not compromised in this. >> again, when the speaker of the house says there may have been malfeasance at the fbi, it carries extra weight. when he's doing it at the same time as trying to suggest i think we should keep this separate from the mueller investigation, that's a type of, i think, political and
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rhetorical gymnastics. >> because of the idea among political partisans is that you link it to the mueller investigation so you can lessen the impact of whatever mueller comes up with. i mean, it is politics that is being practiced by politicians. it is a shocking to find there is gambling in the casino. this is an effort -- i'm not sure i put ryan in this group, but outside partisans, especially on fox news, who are trying to basically create a scandal to muddy the waters of the mueller investigation. and, by the way, keep in mind, when mueller was named counsel, huge praise from folks across the republican spectrum. it is not, by the way, just the province of the republicans. 1990s, you were around back then
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as a kid. relentless in trying to undercut ken starr's investigation. this is what partisans do, they try to muddy waters, confuse the electorate, allow washington back and forth. >> it is notable that the republicans are not going to wait to release their memo for the democrats to release theirs at the same time. he said it is ironic somehow that people are asking that question now. i want to play some sound from former new jersey governor chris christie this morning. i want your take to see if it plays in. he was talking to george stephanopoulos, he asked him outright if chris christie thinks that the president should talk to the special counsel's investigators. listen. >> should the president sit down with him face to face? >> no. >> why not? >> i don't believe so. listen, i don't think there has been any allegations, credible allegations against the president of the united states, and i don't think the president of the united states, unless there are credible allegations, should be sitting across from a special counsel. >> okay, so take what chris christie, friend of the president, who i think doesn't normally say things in a vacuum,
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maybe he does, but, you know, i don't believe in coincidences in politics, he's saying that this same week that there is this memo from other people coming out drawing into question the investigation at the same time, might the memo be used as a predicate for the president, his legal team, to say we can't speak to the special counsel. look how messy this investigation is. why would we sit down? >> that was absolutely chris christie friend of donald trump. you can be sure that as a former federal prosecutor, that would not be what he would be saying. but i think, just to put it into categories, yes, this is absolutely political. but on the other hand, let's assume there is something in that memo that does show abuse. it can't help but muddy the waters because it is going to discredit some part of the investigation and that will fall over.
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>> chris christie, is, a, a lawyer, and b, somebody who k w knows intimately the mind of donald trump. he's speaking from that perspective. that why he doesn't want president trump to sit with robert mueller. he knows as an attorney how those kind of conversations transpire and knows trump very, very well. he knows what he will be inclined to say out loud in the meetings. i'm think he's trying to save trump from himself. he's offering his advice to the president right there. >> jonathan martin, jamie gangel, great to speak to you in person. appreciate it. just hours away from the president's first state of the union address, and some democrats will not be there, including my next guest, democratic congressman earl blumenauer of oregon. you were first to announce you are going to boycott the state of the union. why? >> well, i respect deeply the office of president, but over
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the course of the last year donald trump has demonstrated he doesn't respect the office. he's lied repeatedly to the american people, he's sewed discord, he's failed to take advantage of opportunities to bring us together, and simply doesn't appear to even know his own mind, confusing his own staff. i don't think there is anything to be gained by my dignifying a performance of a reality tv star. i'll be here in portland with my constituents, hearing about their concerns about the state of the union. >> you call it a performance. we're told by the white house that he wants this to be a speech about the economy, which he sees as improving. we just talked to a couple of his biggest supporters who think there will be outreach to democrats. you know, is it possible, i know, look, there say lot of history you see with the president and the past things he says and you have to take those into account, but this speech in and of itself, is it possible that you will approve of what he says in this speech? >> well, the point is what he
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reads off a teleprompter tells you nothing about what is in this man's head and in his heart. you might read through the summary of his tweets that dana millback had in "the washington post", the things he burst forward with at 3:00 a.m., i think, are much more accurate reflection of who he is and what he believes than what is scripted here. you saw him at davos, lying about the size of the tax cut. i voted for five tax cuts in my short time in congress that are larger than what he claimed were these biggest tax cuts in 40 years. words aren't going to matter. what matters is what happens with this administration, are they going to help the millions of people that are in chaos because of what has not happened with the dreamers, crisis that he created.
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is there finally going to be a real infrastructure program rather than talking in bizarre terms and then cutting the budget for infrastructure. it is the actions that are going to make the difference. >> and we may see them, we don't know the details, we may see part of the infrastructure proposal tonight. speaking of afterwards, there are four or five separate democratic responses including the official one from congressman kennedy of massachusetts. when you have that many people giving a response, bernie sanders there, maxine waters there, is this a unified message, do you feel the democrats are sending a unified messages when they have so many different heads delivering it? >> i think it is important to recognize that there are a variety of approaches that can and should be taken. speaking, for example, to people in the hispanic community, in their own language, i think is valuable. we need to start bringing the country together and part of that is reflecting the variety of -- >> but that's -- in this case,
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only one of them is giving a spanish language response. you're getting different responses from the political spectrum, talking about joe kennedy and bernie sanders and maxine waters and -- they're all speaking english. >> that's -- part of that is a reflection of the fact that there is not one single unified leader for a party that is out of power. part of that is a reflection of the notion there are a variety of perspectives that we're in the process of working with, and advancing. and that the united states has a variety of people who want to hear things that speak to their interests and concerns. and i think having different voices dealing with different constituencies, from different perspectives, is not a bad thing at all. >> congressman earl blumenauer of oregon, thank you so much. enjoy the evening with your constituents. >> i will indeed. thank you. >> we hope all of you are watching cnn's primetime coverage of the state of the union address. it all starts at 5:00 p.m. eastern time. we'll be right back. okay folks!
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the world's greatest coach arriving in minneapolis in style. fedoras sold out after bill belichick wore one getting off the plane. andy scholes here without a hat on for the bleacher report. >> we are used to seeing bill belichick in a hoodie. travel attire required him to be more formal. he was rocking a fedora yesterday. at super bowl opening night, he was asked if the hat had special meaning. >> my dad's hat. i thought i would toss that one on today and so i felt good about wearing it so minnesota is a good place to have a hat. >> belichick wouldn't elaborate on the reason for wearing the hat. it probably meant a bit to him that it belonged to his dad. his dad coached at the collegiate level, and served in normandy and okinawa as a member of the navy. he learned how to work hard, do his job and pay attention to
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details all from his father. after winning the 2005 super bowl over the eagles, belichick and his dad shared this embrace while being doused by gatorade on the field. his dad died shortly after that super bowl at the age of 86. nfl network, they had a counter last night for belichick to count how many times it actually happened during opening night. the goal of many reporters last night was trying to get belichick to laugh. and they went and asked tom brady what they thought would work. >> i have no idea. to say navy, lacrosse, lawrence tayl taylor, bon jovi, those four. >> why do you think the coach went to the bank? >> i don't know. >> to go get his quarter back. do you get it? >> you ought to be on tv as a comedian. >> the eagles weren't wearing fancy hats like bill belichick. the eagles will be underdogs.
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oddsmakers have the patriots as 4 1/2 point favorites now. coy wire spoke with the eagles who embraced that underdog role. >> the goal has been the same since day one. we believe in ourselves. it is not about outside noise. we always say we're all we got, we're all we need. >> i've been lucky in two years to be in two locker rooms where guys buy in and really buy into each other. >> so, will you be wearing a fedora on sunday when you're cheering on your patriots? >> andy scholes, thank you for being with us. house speaker paul ryan on the nunes memo. he says keep it separate from the mueller probe. how is that physically possible? all the breaking developments ahead.
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hi there. eye brianna keilar in for kate bolduan. a feverish controversy that is pitting democrats versus republicans and the white house against the justice department. as donald trump prepares for his first state of the union address tonight, a four-page partisan memo alleging surveillance abuses by the fbi is threatening to steal his thunder. the memo by republican congressman devin nunes, the intel committee chairman who is also on the trump transition


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