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tv   Happening Now  FOX News  May 3, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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understood the problem, but most do not. has the fbi ever talked with the tech companies about this need in particular? >> yes, senator. we've had a lot of conversations and as i said earlier, and my sense they are getting more productive because i think the tech companies have come to see the darkness a little bit more. my concern is that privacy is really important, but they did not see the public safety cost. i think they are starting to see that better. and what they don't want to something terrible to have been in the united states and be connected to our inability to access information with lawful authority. they should have the conversations before that happens, and the companies more and more get that. i think over the last year and a half, but it is vital. we were not picking on apple and the san bernardino case. there were real reasons we needed to get into that device. that is true in case after case after case which is why we have
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to figure out a way to optimize those two things, privacy and public safety. >> to be candid, my understanding about some of this was that the european community had special concerns about privacy and that some of the companies in our country were concerned they would lose business. that european concern is changing. i think what i read about the u.k., what i understand is happening in france and germany, increased sharing of intelligence, the realization, i think, that if they have very dangerous people in large numbers, possibly plotting at any given time to carry out an attack and have some palliative effect. there may be a change in people and so it may be helpful if our
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law enforcement committee could help us. this is not to monitor. this is something that is very basic. if there is a piece of evidence that says hey, there may be a cell or another individual out there, you have the chance to get into that piece of evidence to see if that is true. >> with a judge's permission. >> with a judge's permission, that is correct. so i thank you for that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator has not had first round, so i have to go to senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. director for being here in your service to our country. i wanted to talk about something that one of my colleagues raised about electronic transaction records. would it be fair to say that electronic communications transaction records include such things as browsing history, one's history of websites that one might have visited on the internet? >> yes. >> would it be fair to say also that what one views, web pages
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one has visited might in some ways be indicative of what one is reading? >> potentially. even if you don't see where they went on the page, if they went to espn or a fishing magazine, gives some indication of their interests, yes. >> individually and collectively come you can find out a fair amount about a person especially if you're able to review what they've been lead 8 reading for a certain period of time. >> right. the only reason i'm hesitating is as i understand it, we cannot look at -- all we can get is websites visited, not where they went on the page or what they clicked on but it does give some indication of your interest just like some indication of who you call. >> where they went on the website is indicative of what they did? if you can get the granular information about what subpart, not just they went to espn, but they went and read this or that article. >> my understanding is that we cannot as we understand the
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statute get the sub content. we can get the web page visited, we cannot get where they navigated within the website. i may be wrong about that but i think that is where we are. >> within the existing confines of the law. >> correct. >> for those proposing that we change loss he can use the national security letter to go forward as was suggested by one of my colleagues earlier today, that would allow you to get this more granular information. >> i'm sorry, i may have screwed this up. if i understand the way it was intended to be used, and are in sl authority under what we thought it was and what we hope, it is limited to the top level website address so even if it is changed, we don't get any deeper into what you look at on a page. it is as if we are able to see what sporting goods store you called, but we cannot tell from the call record what you asked about. we can see what sporting page you visited, what website, we cannot see where you went within that. based on the legislation i have
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reviewed. >> it is not regulation that is the case. i was told it would not be the policy of the government to use it to go to that level of granularity, but the language itself would allow it, is not inconsistent with your understanding? >> it is. my understanding is we are not looking for that authority. >> you don't want that authority. >> that is my understanding. what we want is the functional equivalent of the dial-in information. the address you emailed or the web page you went to, not where you want within it. >> even if you look at it at the broad level of abstraction suggesting it would be used only at the domain and name level, someone went to, if you follow someone's browsing history over a long period of time come you can found the mack find out eight fairmount about that person, could you not? >> you can. and i keep saying this and i mean it, as you can from their telephone dialing history. >> let's talk about section 702 for a minute, the foreign
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surveillance amendments act authorizes the surveillance, the use of u.s. signals surveillance equipment to obtain foreign intelligence information. the definition includes information that is directly related to national security, but it also includes "information relevant to the foreign affairs of the united states." regardless of whether that foreign affairs related information is relevant to a national security threat. to your knowledge as the attorney general or has the dni ever used section 702 to target individuals abroad in a situation unrelated to a national security threat? >> not that i am aware of. i could be wrong, but i don't think so. it's counterterrorism, espionage, counter proliferation, those are the buckets. i would say cyber, but that
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fits. >> that is where it is typically used, those things. so to your knowledge, it is not currently used section 702 to target people abroad in instances unrelated to national security threats? >> i don't think so, like a diplomat to find out how they feel about a particular foreign policy issue or something, i don't think so. >> of section 702 were narrowed to exclude such information, exclude information that is relevant to foreign affairs but not relevant to a national security threat, would that mean that the government would be able to obtain the information it needs in order to protect national security? >> it would seem so logically. she may come of the value of 702 is exactly that, where the rubber hits the road and the national security context especially counterterrorism and counter proliferation. >> went section 702 is used, what we are talking about here is not metadata, it is not that
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this call was made from this number to this number, this is content. so if we were talking about two u.s. persons, american citizens, if i were calling you, that is typically not something section 700 she would be used to collect, but if it is me calling someone else, and if that person is not a u.s. person, they end up being an agent of a foreign government, someone has determined that communications involving that person might be connected to a national security investigation, there is a chance that communication could be intercepted, not just the fact the call was made but also the content of the call. >> correct, that is what we call incidental collection. >> that incidental collection is aggregated, you have databases that store all of these things. there are lots of u.s. persons who have had communications, conversations that themselves have been recorded that are out there. in a database. can you search that database for
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communications involving specific u.s. persons without getting a warrant? >> yes. >> the fact that these communications were intercepted without necessarily any showing of wrongdoing on the part of the u.s. person, without necessarily showing that the u.s. person had anything to do with the foreign -- the national security investigation at issue, does that because you concerned that that could involve almost a backdoor way of going after communications by u.s. persons in which they have a reasonable expectation of privacy? >> it does not cause me concern but that may be because of what i can see from where i am. i understand the question, though. but it is true, whether it is 702 or other court authorized domestic surveillance in the united states, if we are covering a particular embassy of a foreign power, and americans call in and speak to them, we record that because we are authorized to collect the communications in and out of that embassy.
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we store all of those in a database. we have lawfully collected those even though the american who called was not the target. same happens with 702. if you contact or call a terrorist or someone we are targeting overseas, you are an american, you have a conversation even not being the target, that's collected and stored in the database appeared what matters is how we treat the data and that we are careful with it and do not use it willy-nilly, we protected it in important ways. that's true whether it is 702 art collected domestically. i don't know how we would operate otherwise. i don't know how we would operate otherwise get i think with the american people want us to do is make sure we hold it so that we can connect that's if there is something that in there, but treat it like that personal information it is, protect and make sure it is handled in a responsible way. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. director, let me -- let me tell you a story.
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about 100 years ago, literally, my italian grandparents and my irish grandparents faced discrimination because of their religion. that discrimination was nonviolent, it was economic. not unusual in this country at that time. i like to think that is gone. i like to think of my grandparents, italian grandparents, irish grandparents, discrimination they have faced because of both their race and religion is not here. but now we see an alarming rise in hate crimes among minority communities. yesterday, this committee heard some important testimony from the department of justice, from the international association of police, our nation's largest civil rights organization. the law enforcement and political leaders sent a message
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that toxic, hateful rhetoric would not be tolerated, must announce bigotry wherever they encounter, even as a child, i was taught that. we are never to discriminate against anybody because of their race or their religion. now what bothers me -- let me show you this. on the campaign trail, president trump promised his supporters a muslim man. campaign press release entitled "donald j trump statement on preventing muslim immigration" as a tall do not call for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. i can understand that dumb things are said during a campaign. that is on his website today. that goes beyond being stupid. do you agree with me that messages like that can cast
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suspicion on our muslim neighbors, can perpetuate division and hatred? and if it does, does that make america less safe? >> senator, thank you. i'm not going to comment on the particular statement, but i do agree that a perception or reality of hostility toward any community, in this particular the muslim community, makes our jobs harder. because as i said in response to an earlier question, those good people do not want people engaging in acts of violence in the name of their faith or in their neighborhood, and so our interests are aligned, but if anything gets in the way of that, it chills their openness to talk to us and to tell us what they see. it makes us less able to find those threats, so you are right about the increase in hate crimes. we've seen those numbers start to go up in 2014, they've been climbing since then. to redouble our efforts to get those communities and show them our hearts and what we are like to encourage people not to fear
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contact with us. >> director comey, i don't ask this to make a political point. i ask this as a united states senator. i believe the united states can be, and sometimes has been, the conscience of the nation. we are a nation that are adherents of the first amendment, we trust and believe in all religions, allow you to practice any religion you want or none if you want. i worry, whether it is the muslim religion or any other, the religions that people believe in it, they should not be condemned. for the actions of a few. i worry very much that the rhetoric and the hatred can bring about things that neither you nor i ever want to see in this country. i think we would agree on that.
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hate crimes, i don't care who it is against it. against someone because of their race or religion, you as the head of the fbi, any one of us who have been prosecutors, we abhor all hate crimes, and i believe you do. >> that is for sure. >> i worry that we also give the impression that citizenship alone might be a reliable indicator of the terrorist threat posed by an individual to the united states. i think of the oklahoma city bombing. one of the greatest acts of terrorism in our country done by an american citizen that had served, i believe honorably, in our military.
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so would you agree that citizenship alone is not a reliable indicator of a terrorist threat posed by an individual to the united states? >> correct. most of the people i talk to you -- we have open cases o citizen. >> thank you. the department of homeland security, we have heard from them. they have an assessment in the office of intelligence and analysis that concluded that citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity. do you agree with that? >> yes. >> another matter that chairman grassley and i have worked to address the concerns related to the fbi's analysis testimony has been flawed, we all accept, in the past. it began in 2012 after three men
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were exonerated here in washington, d.c., as the fbi gave inadequate testimony. in order to review more than 3,000 cases, the fbi has reached out to officers originally to prosecute these cases, and i appreciate that. i'm remain a concern that cases remain closed if you do not find the transcript right away. i have asked you this question in writing. in cases where there is a missing transcript, do you commit to have an fbi conduct an in person visit to attain whether there was information that was used possibly or faulty analysis by the fbi that might have brought about a conviction? >> i'm sorry, and in person visit? >> to the prosecutor's office or whoever else may be involved, you don't have a transcript, and person visit to say, okay, what
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do your records show? did you use analysis that may have been faulty from the fbi in bringing about the conviction? >> i see. i don't know enough to react to that now and commit to it now. can i follow-up with you to see how we are thinking about that? >> will you follow-up? >> i will. >> thank you. >> senator lahey, senator whitehouse? >> thank you. a couple quick matters for starters. did you give hillary clinton "a free pass" for many bad deeds? there was a tweet to that effect from the president. >> now, that was not my intention certainly. >> did you give her a free pass from bad deeds, whatever your intention may have been? >> i conducted a confident, honest and independent organization, investigation, closed it while offering transparency to the american people, i believe what i said, a prosecutable case there.
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>> with respect to the question of prosecution for classified material, is the question of the consequences of the disclosure, i.e., the harm from the writ release or the actual secrecy of the material considered in a prosecute of decision? >> and my experience, it is, yes. >> there is a great deal of material that while technically classified as widely known to the public and because of a classification is a very significant problem within the executive branch, correct? >> correct, and doj reserves prosecution for the most serious matters in my experience. >> that would have been evaluated also in looking at secretary clinton's emails. >> yes. >> so though they were classified, they may not have caused any harm in terms of who saw them. let me not make it specific to that, there are emails that could be classified and cause no harm if they were disclosed. >> yes, that is the case.
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>> it has been disclosed and publicly reported that there was a two day interval between the fbi interview of michael flynn related to his conversations with ambassador sergey kislyak and then deputy attorney general's report to white house counsel about those calls. did you participate in conversations related to this matter during that two day interval, and what can you tell us about why that interval took two days? was there some standard operating procedure that needed to be vindicated? you would think that could have flipped over to a conversation with the white house a good deal quicker than that once the agent report came back from the interview. >> i do not know whether the two days is right. i think it might have been a day, could be wrong, could have been two days.
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i did participate in conversations about that matter. i think i will stop there because i don't know the department's position on speaking about those communications. >> as you sit here come you don't have any hesitation about that delay, about it representing any kind of mischief or misconduct? >> no. given your experience, you know how this works. an agent conducts an interview, they write up the 302, show it to their partner, make sure they get it right then produce the 302 so sometimes it is the next day before it is finished. >> so the deputy, sally yates would have seen the 302, that process would have taken place by the time she went up to see white house counsel donald mcgahn. >> that is right. >> onto the anthony weiner laptop. as i understand it, you were informed by agents in the fbi
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office that there was potentially related or relevant information in mr. weiner's laptop. on the basis of that information, you then sent a letter to the members of congress before whom you had committed to answer if there were any changes in the status of things. you also then authorized the agents to pursue a search warrant which then gave them access to the content which allowed them to do the search that you then said came up with nothing so that you could then undo the letter and say, actually, we took a look, there is nothing there. do i have the order correctly there? >> right here they came to me and briefed me on what they could see from that metadata, why it wasn't significant. they thought they should seek a search warrant, wanted my approval to do that, i agreed, authorized it, so did the department of justice, then they
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reviewed, just making sure i get the numbers right. during the following week, they reviewed 40,000 emails. i understated how many they reviewed, and found 3,000 of them were work-related. and came from blackberry backups and a bunch of other things. 12 of them were classified, but we had seen them all before. so they finished that work, briefed me on it and said, it does not change our view. then i sent the second letter. >> did any of those classified emails create national security damage? >> that is a hard one to answer by definition. the classification is based on the potential national security damage. >> with respect to our earlier conversation, tons of stuff is classified that is on the front page of "the new york times." >> i'm not aware that any of these emails are any emails in the investigation got into the hands of people able to exploit them to damage our national security. >> so let me offer you this
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hypothetical. they come to you and say the metadata shows that we have potential information here that could be relevant, could cause us to reopen the information. it would seem to me that it would be as sensible at that moment to say, how quickly can you get a search warrant and how quickly can we get any answer to that question because i made a promise to people and congress that i would get back to them with this information, and if there's anything real here, you need to get on that pronto so that i can answer that question so that the search warrant precedes the letter rather than the letter preceding the search warrant, particularly in light of the widely adhered to policy of the department not to disclose ongoing investigative materials, in the truly exceptional nature of disclosures. why not the search warrant first? >> i pressed them very hard on
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that. i found credible their responses that there was no way, no way they could review the volume of information they saw on the laptop in the time remaining. >> except that they did. >> they did because our wizards and operational technology division came up with a way to do that electronically that as i understand involved writing a custom software program that will help us and lots of other areas but the team said sir, we cannot finish this before the election. in my mind, that then made the judgment appropriate, the one i made. not waiting, waiting, waiting to make the disclosure. >> okay, just with respect to your response, secretary, to senator, we can talk about it some other time, my time is expired. but less silence be viewed as consent, i have a different view of what took place. i do not doubt your honesty for a minute, but i do think there were very significant mistakes made through this process. >> in the email case?
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>> yes. in the hillary clinton email case. >> got it. >> thank you to the ranking member and i admire your hanging in there and being made of stone, was it? >> sandstone, i think. >> i just want to clarify something, some of the answers that you gave me. for example, in response to -- i asked you was president trump's tax return the material to such investigation, the russian investigation, and does the investigation have access to president trump's tax returns and some other questions you answered, i cannot say. i would like to get a clarification on that.
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is it that you cannot say or that you cannot say in this setting? >> i will not answer questions about the contours of the investigation. as i sit here, i don't know whether i would do it in a closed setting either, but for sure, i don't want to begin answering questions about what we are looking at and how. >> okay, so i will take that as at least this setting, you cannot do that, and maybe you can elsewhere. we were talking about some of the unusual number of individuals in important roles in the trump campaign or in his life and there sort of unexpected and often undisclosed ties to russia. i would like to focus on one of those individuals, roger stone, and his relationship with
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guccifer 2.0, , and online persa that the ic concluded was used by russian military and intelligence to leaked documents and emails stolen from the democratic national committee to wikileaks, the u.s. intelligence community including the fbi has since concluded that the russian government directed the breach and that russian military intelligence used guccifer 2.0 to ensure that the documents obtained were publicly released. so while guccifer 2.0 has insisted that he or she is not russian, the intelligence community has concluded that the hacker has strong ties to moscow and was used by russian military intelligence to leaked information about the clinton campaign and democrats that was stolen by russia.
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is that, director comey, a fair characteristic? >> yes, our understanding is guccifer 2.0 was an instrument of russian intelligence. >> thank you. a few months back it was revealed that in august of last year, that is a couple months before the 2016 election, roger stone, one of president trump's long-standing political mentors and at one time, a formal campaign advisor, exchanged a number of private messages with guccifer 2.0 via twitter. mr. stone has a sense insisted that his relationship was totally innocuous. in this series of messages, guccifer 2.0 and mr. stone exchanged a number of bizarre pleasantries. guccifer thanked mr. stone for writing about him and mr. stone expresses delight that guccifer's twitter handle was reinstated after having been suspended, but in one message,
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guccifer writes to mr. stone, "i am pleased to say that you are a great man, please tell me if i can help you anyhow. it would be a great pleasure to me." director comey, to me this sounds like a clear offer from a russian intelligence operative to collaborate with a senior official on the trump campaign. is that a throwaway line or an offer to help stone in some respect, do we know whether any further communication between stone and guccifer took place? if you cannot say here or cannot say, but could say in another classified environment, can you make that distinction? >> i definitely cannot say here. i do not think i would in a classified environment because it calls for questions about what we are looking at and how. i definitely cannot say here.
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>> okay, well at the very least, stones conversation with guccifer demonstrated, once again, that the trump campaign officials were communicating with russian operatives. what is less clear, however, is whether the trump campaign ever provided direction to russian operatives or where that specific action was being carried out to influence the election. for example, it has been suggested that last year, the russians used thousands of patent trolls, human trolls, and we know this, and bots to flood the internet, particularly social media, with fake news aimed at influencing the election and favoring president trump. i'm curious whether such actions were part of a coordinated effort? is there any evidence that the trump campaign assisted or directed those efforts? >> that is something i cannot answer here. i would refer you back to what i said was the purpose of the investigation, to understand whether there were any
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coordination or collusion between elements of the campaign and the russians. >> of course. i would point out, too, that right before the podesta emails came out that roger stone said, it is soon going to be time for podesta's time in the barrel. so i think there may be a little bit of there there. i just want to -- i only have 30 seconds. i want to say this. i know senator cornyn is not here. i think it is a shame that he said that hillary yesterday and this forum blamed everyone but herself. she took a lot of blame on
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herself in that forum, and i think when she referenced what you did 11 days before the election, which has been a subject here, that and also the russian interference, i think she was only saying stuff that other people have said. i don't think she was saying anything that a lot, a lot of people also think had an effect on the election. i just think it was a shame that the senator from texas, i don't know if he meant to leave that out deliberately, but she did not lame everyone but herself. thank you, mr. chairman. >> before i call on the next senator, there are two things i would like to say. one would be for what you
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promised senator ted cruz about a briefing on the garland situation that you would include any of the staff or the committee in on that briefing as well so we can have a committee briefing on it as well, at least at the staff level. would you do that? >> assuming they have the clearances for it, i don't think that is a problem. i can do that. >> i guess that is obvious. the second thing is after we have two people, have second round. before they get done, i have to go, and i want to thank you for being here senator feinstein will close down the meeting, thank you. >> thank you. >> i think under the previous order, the senator must before you. >> mr. chairman, i am happy to follow the senator. >> thank you. as mentioned earlier, director, and marge, president trump
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issued a revised refugees and visa ban executive order that suspended entry into the u.s. from six majority muslim countries. the suspicion was this suspension was largely premised on the claim that "more than 300 persons have entered the united states as refugees and currently are the subject of counterterrorism investigations by the federal bureau of investigation." can you provide any additional information on whether the persons under investigation are from the six countries subject to the suspension? and are these persons exclusively from the six countries subject to this suspension? and if not, what other countries are represented among the population that is currently under investigation. >> i am sure we can provide you -- what i can tell you here is i think about a third of them are from the six countries, so 300, about a third of them are from the six countries. i think two-thirds of those were
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from the seven country, iraq, that was not included. i will make sure that my staff gets you the precise number, senator. >> so iraq was the only other country that was not among the six targeted countries? >> i think that is right. obviously, as you ask it, i'm wondering whether i am wrong. i will get you the precise numbers. i think it was refugees, about 300. about a third from the six countries, two-thirds from iraq is my recollection. >> thank you, you can provide that information later, thank you very much. can you provide additional information on their percentage of these individuals who came to the u.s. as children? >> i cannot as i sit here. i am sure. >> can you check that? thank you. and provide additional information on the percentage of these individuals that were radicalized after having been and our country for a long period of time.
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however way you would describe it. >> that is a harder one because it is hard to figure out when someone is radicalized and when it happened. i will ask my folks to think about what information we can get you on that. we will do our best. >> yes, probably during the course of the investigation come you can ascertain when they became radicalized. turning to the death threats against certain judges. we have an admission that challenged federal judges who disagree with president trump's views. we have seen this in the campaign and during his presidency. following judge derek watson's ruling blocking the president's revised travel ban, judge watson sits on a district court, he began receiving death threats feared understand u.s. marshals have primary responsibility for their protection of federal judges, but that the fbi is poised to step in if necessary. is the fbi investigating the threats made against judge watson? >> i believe we are.
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last week, we visited the honolulu field office and got briefed on our work to assist the u.s. marshals and trying to understand the threats and protect the judge. i believe we are. >> in february, the three ninth circuit judges who ruled against the president's first travel ban also began receiving threats. is the fbi investigated those threats? >> i do not know that one for sure. i bet we are, but i cannot answer with confidence as i sit here. >> can we say that anytime a federal judge is threatened that the fbi would likely be involved in investigation, investigating those threats? >> most circumstances, the marshals have the primary responsibility. in my experience, they vary very often ask us for assistance on whatever information we may have, some of our technical resources. they are pretty darn good, but in most cases, we offer assistance. >> are the president's continued attacks on the judiciary emboldening individuals to make
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these sort of threats? or an environment where some people might think that it is okay to issue these kinds of threats against judges who disagree with the president? >> that is not something i think i can comment on. it is concerning whenever people are directing threats at judges because they are independent, and insulation from influenced whether fear or favor is at the core of the whole justice system which is why we take them so seriously. >> yes, so speaking of the independent nature of not just the judiciary, but i would like you to clarify the fbi's independence from the doj apparatus. can the fbi conducted an investigation independent from the department of justice? or does the fbi have to disclose all of its investigations to the doj? does it have to get the attorney general's consent? >> we work with the department of justice, whether that is main justice or u.s. justice offices on all of our investigations.
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so we work with them, and so in a legal sense, we are not independent of the department of justice. we are spiritually and culturally pretty independent groups. that is the way you would want it, but we work with the department of justice and all of our investigations. >> is the attorney general or senior officials at the department of justice, if they oppose a specific investigation, can they help that fbi investigation? >> in theory, yes. >> has it happened? >> not in my experience because it would be a big deal to tell the fbi to stop doing something that -- without it appropriate purpose. oftentimes, they give us opinions that we do not see a case they are, you should stop investing resources, but i'm talking a situation where we will total two stops sending for a political reason, that would be a very big deal. it has not happened in my experience. >> a number of us have called for an independent investigation or special prosecutor to
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investigate the russian efforts to undermine or to interfere with our election as well as trump teams relationships with these russian efforts. should the department of justice decide there should be such an independent investigator or special prosecutor, you already have an ongoing fbi investigation into these matter matters, how, in the attorney general has already recused himself, so how would te the department of justice conducting or assigning an independent or special prosecutor and then you are already doing an investigation? how does this work? >> our investigative team would just coordinate with a different set of prosecutors. it is as if a case was moved from one u.s. attorney's office to another. the investigative team just starts working with a different set of u.s. attorneys. you do not miss them. >> so that you investigations
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could proceed, but you would talk to each other. >> so it is one investigation, and the strength of the justice system, the federal level of the united states, the prosecutors and agents work together on their investigation, and so the investigators would disengage from one prosecutor and hook up to another and just continue going. >> certainly investigations you are currently doing on russia interference in the trump team relationship, are you coordinating with any u.s. attorneys offices in this investigation? >> two sets of prosecutors, main justice, national security division, in the eastern district of virginia u.s. attorney's office. >> so should the ag decide to go with a special prosecutor, you would end your engagement with the other entities and work with the doj? >> potentially, or it could be in some special circumstances that the attorney general appoints someone else to oversee it and keep the career level
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prosecute of teams of the prosecutors and agents, no change except the boss is different. >> if i can ask one more follow-up question. has this happened before and where you are doing an investigation, in the attorney general appoints a special prosecutor to conduct the same investigation? >> it happened to me when i was and what i thought was my last job ever and the government as a deputy attorney general. i appointed patrick fitzgerald that u.s. attorney in chicago to oversee a very sensitive investigation involving allegations the bush administration officials outed a cia operative. so the team of agents that had been working up the chain that came to me was just moved over and worked under patrick fix harold. >> thank you. >> last but far from least, senator blumenthal. >> thank you, madam chair. to take the analogy that you begin with, i think we are at the end of the dentist visit
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paired or toward the end of it anyway. fortunately, there is no unlimited time that the last questionnaire can take. >> my dentist sometimes asks questions, too. >> to pursue the line of questioning that the senator just finished, there is abundant precedent, is there not, for the appointment of a special prosecutor? in fact, there are regulations and guidelines for the appointment of a special prosecutor. >> yes. >> that has happened frequently in the department of justice. you mentioned one in your experience. also then designate attorney general richardson appointed a special prosecutor, archibald cox who then pursued the watergate investigation, correct? >> yes, there have been many examples. >> this would not be an
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earthshaking, seismic occurrence for a special prosecutor to be appointed. in fact, taking your record, which is one of dedication to credibility and integrity of our criminal justice process, and your family, i would think that at some point, you might recommend that there be a special prosecutor. would that be appropriate at some point? >> it is possible. i know one of my predecessors did it, with respect to a clinton administration issue about chinese interference and election, so it is possible. >> and i take your contention that you do not want to talk about your conversations with the current deputy attorney general, but my hope is that you will, in fact, argue forcefully and vigorously for the appointment of a special prosecutor. i think the circumstances here are exactly parallel to the
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situation where you appointed patrick fitzgerald. fitzpatrick, and others where routinely other special prosecutors have been appointed, and i know that your regulation may never be disclosed, but i would urge that you do so. going back to the questions that you asked about your announcement initially that you were terminating the investigation of hillary clinto hillary clinton, you said that the matter was one of intense public interest and therefore you are making additional comments about it. normally, there would have been no comments, correct? >> correct. >> at most, you would have said, as he did just now, there was no
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prosecutable case, correct? >> correct. >> and you went beyond that statement and said that she had been extremely careless, i believe was the word that you used. which was an extraordinary comment. would you agree that the investigation of the trump campaign potential involvement in the russian interference is also an investigation of intense public interest? >> yes, i agree. >> in fact, there are probably very few investigations that will be done while you are fbi director that will be of more intense public interest. my question is, will you commit to explaining the results of the investigation at the time when it is concluded? >> i will not commit to it,
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senator, but i conveyed to apply the same principles and reasoning to it. i just don't know where it will end up so i cannot commit sitting here. >> but you would agree that as the fbi director, you would need to go beyond simply saying, there is no prosecutable case or there is a prosecutable case. >> potentially. >> when i was a u.s. attorney many years ago, there was actually a rule and the department of justice that there could be no report on any grand jury manner or any investigation without permission of the attorney general or at main justice. i don't know whether that rule still applies, but speaking more generally, do you think it is a good idea for prosecutors or yourself to be able to comment in some way to expand the result of an investigation? >> not in general, i don't.
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i think it is important that there be, as there has been a long time, a recognized exception for the exceptional case. i refer to the irs alleged targeting investigation which was also of intense public interest and then actually someone made a charge. the department has done it infrequently but a dozen or more times in the last 5-10 years. it ought to be reserved further extra ordinary cases but there are times when the public interest warrants it. >> with respect to the investigation ongoing into the trump associates ties to russia meddling, has the white house cooperated? >> with the investigation? that is not something i'm going to comment on. >> have you had any requests for immunity from anyone potentially a target of that investigation? >> i have to give you the same answer, senator . >> would you tell this committee if there is a lack of
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cooperation on the part of the white house? >> i will not commit to that. >> is in there again another reason for there to be a special prosecutor? because who would you complain to, the deputy attorney general? if there were a lack of cooperation on the part of the trump white house. >> if there was a challenge with any investigation that i could not resolve at the working level, i would elevate it to the deputy attorney general or whoever was in charge of it. >> but the deputy attorney general is appointed by the president, correct? >> correct. >> isn't that an inherent conflict of interest? >> it is a consideration, but also the nature of the person in the role is also very important consideration. i think we are lucky to have somebody who thinks about the justice system very similar to the way that i do end fitzgerald does and you do. >> let me ask again just to
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clarify a question that the senator asked. the career prosecutors so far involved in the national security division in main justice and the eastern district of virginia attorney general's office, correct? >> correct. >> but the decision about prosecuting would be made by their boss, i think is the word you used, correct? >> correct. >> that would probably be right now the deputy attorney general, correct? >> correct. in a matter of complexity and significance, the ultimate decision and practice is almost always made at the highest level in the department which would be rod rosenstein. >> and let me ask one last question, unrelated. you were asked by senator leahy about targets of investigation. i think your comment was that there were more citizens currently under investigation for potentially terrorist
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violence or extremist violence than noncitizens. is that correct? >> correct. >> in terms of sources of information, are there many noncitizens who have provided such information? >> yes. >> are a large number of them undocumented? residents of the united states. >> i do not know what percentage. i'm sure some significant percentage of art. >> so cooperation from them is important, and the fear of apprehension, roundups, mass detention would be a significant deterrent for them, would it no not? >> in theory, i don't know whether we have seen an impact in practic i just do not know as i sit here. >> could you inquire or do some internal research to the extent it is possible and report back to us? >> sure. >> thank you, madam chairman. >> thank you very much, senator.
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director, i think this concludes the hearing. let me thank you for your ability to last for many hours. it is very impressive. let me also thank the ladies and gentlemen in the audience who many have been here from the very beginning. thank you for your attention. thank you for being respectful. it is very much appreciated. the hearing is adjourned. >> jenna: thank you as well for hanging in with us at nearly four hours of testimony by the fbi director james comey. this is a rather routine oversight hearing by the senate judiciary committee, but the questions veered to a whole bunch of different topics. if you're just joining us here on fox news, welcome to "happening now." we want to review slightly with you what has transpired over the last several hours as director comey answered a slew of different questions about investigations, ongoing, stuffed the fbi is looking into pre-one of the comments he made at the very beginning of the hearing had to do with his
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investigation, the fbi investigation into hillary clinton's use of private email and a private server. he had a very interesting self reflection, self assessment as to his own actions in relation to that investigation. here's what he had to say. >> this is terrible. it makes me mildly nauseous to think we might have had some impact on the election. but honestly, it would not change the decision. everyone who disagrees with me has to come back to october 28th with me and stare at this and tell me what you would do. would you speak or would you conceal? i could be wrong, but we honestly made a decision between those two choices that even in hindsight, and this has been one of the world's most painful experiences, i would make the same decision. >> jenna: director comey there, karl rove joining us now, at senior advisor and deputy chief of staff for george w. bush and fox news contributor as well. we will talk about a few things including healthcare because there is a lot of interesting action that has taken place
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while we watch this hearing with director comey. what do you think we learned from director comey today? >> that he is a stubborn guy but has a strong opinions and acts on those opinions. i am one of those rare individuals. i find fault with both his approach and july and his approach in october. in october, i do think it would have been better for him to have remained silent for the remaining days of the campaign, to have gone ahead and conducted the investigation, not to send a letter or make it public for the executive the reason we now see. the democrats have seized upon this as a means of explaining away their election defeat, claiming that he was responsible for influencing the outcome of the election. in reality, the polls show there was little or no movement whatsoever between common hillary contents standing between the 27th of october and the real clear politics average on election day, but i think he intruded into it and made himself an issue. i wish he had not done it. what was even more amazing to me today was the number of people -- you just saw the last senator on the democratic side was a
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former u.s. attorney for connecticut, former attorney general for connecticut, senator blumenthal. in july, director comey took upon himself the right to make the decision as to whether or not there would be a prosecution of anyone connected with the hillary clinton email scandal. that is not his right. he is the investigator. it is up to the prosecutor, the u.s. attorney or u.s. attorney general to make that, and nobody on the democratic side would go after him to say, do you think you were acting within your authority in july to have made on your own determination a decision that does not belong in the hands of investigators? we don't allow the police to make the decision whether or not you're going to be charged. that is up to the local prosecutor or the u.s. attorney. >> jenna: that brings us back. timing is everything, hillary canton, former presidential candidate saying just yesterday making national and international news, blaming the fbi again for her loss. then you have director comey previously scheduled to testify and here we are talking again
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talking about the past. the american people, though, do have the fbi and a president that we hope are working efficiently on our behalf. how do you think those events of the past are hanging over either the administration or the fbi and impacting us? >> the democratic narrative is that hillary clinton did not lose because she was a lousy candidate who stood for the status quo and a year in which people wanted change. she lost because director comey came out on the 28th of october and said he was investigating her, renewing the investigation of her. we are going to keep hearing this. we're also going to keep hearing -- we heard a little bit of the senator from minnesota talked about this, other democrats did, what about the collision between the trump campaign and russia? we're going to keep hearing this. these are going to be distractions, first of all, but more portly, they are going to add to the general environment that is so corrosive to people's trust in our government and political system in our political leaders. i wish both parties would stop
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it. i don't think jim comey, with all due respect to the director of the fbi, helps build trust in our clinical system and the fbi by his actions in july and october. >> jenna: curious what our viewers think about that on social media, look forward to their feedback. quickly here, we have developed this when it comes to healthcare and the g.o.p. trying to move this through the house, apparently some deal worked out where there will be a little bit more backing for groups of individuals with pre-existing conditions. that looks like it is getting the g.o.p. schism to come together. what do you think our viewers should know? will have about a minute here. >> we don't know all the details, but looks like it is more money for the high-risk pools. this is the way for states to step in and create pools to an essence socialize the risk with people with very extensive pre-existing conditions and cover their cost. rather than having it paid for by people who are in the exchanges which is a relatively modest group, we would have it paid for by taxpayers. we will see if this gets more than two votes. it has gotten two important
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votes, former chairman of the energy and commerce committee fred upton of michigan who is well respected, particularly on the moderate side and then billy long of missouri who is an early trump supporter and will have an influence on the conservative side, the fact the white house was able to help flip these to you by agreeing to an amendment jim did up by long and upton is a pretty interesting thing. we will see if it generates enough votes. >> jenna: and see if there is about tomorrow p thank you very much, something to watch. appreciate it. >> jon: fox news alert, and a terrifying morning at a community college in irving, texas. north lake college is the place pre-there was a report of an active shooter on campus. just about an hour ago, the campus was locked down, people told to shelter in place. authorities now say it appears to be the incident is over. it was apparently a murder-suicide, gunmen described as being a white male with a buzz cut wearing an orange tank top, killed someone else and then killed himself. it appears, please say, the
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tragedy is over as well as the danger appeared north lake college, irving, texas. >> jenna: more on the reagan years breath the day here from fox news, thank you for joining us. >> jon: "america's newsroom hq" starts >> sandra: the white house briefing about to get under way after a day of fireworks on the hill. hello, everyone, i'm sandra smith. fbi director james comey facing pointed questions about the russia investigation, new leaks and hillary clinton's e-mail. director comey responding forcefully to questions about the timing of the clinton e-mail probe announcement. >> i'm not picking on the attorney general loretta lynch, who i like, but her meeting with president clinton on that airplane was the capper for me. i then said, do you know what? the department cannot, by itself, credibly end this. the best chance we have as a justice system is that i do something i never


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