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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  May 8, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT

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and say, that's the kinds of professional i want to be. not just expert but also the deep conviction. and i agree with my colleagues that say there ought to be anened commission, that can produce recommendations and a report. but i also believe that there has to be a special prosecutor. because what i hear from people in connecticut, and from my colleagues in their town halls and meetings, is that people want the truth uncovered about how the rusans sought to interfere and undermine our democracy and our electoral system and they also want accountability. not only the russians to pay a price but anybody who colluded and abetted.
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there are criminal statute that's prohibit that kind of collusion and impose serious criminal fines and imprisonment for people who might have done that. and we know that the fbi is now investigating. the potential collusion with the russians as director comey has told us and made public. so there's no classified information there. the meeting the fbi conducted on january 24th preceded by one day, the first meeting with donald mcgann. isn't it a fact that michael flynn lied to the fbi? >> i can't reveal the internal
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fbi investigation even though that would not be classified. it is an ongoing investigation and i can't reveal that. >> did you tell donald mcgann that then national security adviser flynn told him in. >> he asked me how he had done and i specifically declined to answer that. >> because it was part of an investigation. >> that's right. was that intended to indicate to him that michael flynn had a problem in that interview? >> no. i was intending to let him know that michael flynn had a problem on a lot of levels, but wasn't necessarily with respect to how he performed in the interview. i was intentionally not letting him know how the interview had gone. >> and lying to the filibuster is a crime,correct? >> it is. yes. >> violation of 18 united states code 1001 and it is punishable
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by five years in prison? >> yes. >> so if he lied to the fbi, he had a ton of legal trouble facing him. >> co-face criminal prosecution for lying to the fbi, yes. >> if he became a foreign agent for another country, for turkey, which he was a foreign agent for, without getting permission from the department of defense, he faced criminal penalties form, and still faces them, correct? >> yes. it is certainly fair that violations can be criminally prosecuted. >> if fact it is a violation of 18th united states code 219 and that's punishable by two years in prison, correct? >> uh-huh. >> and his failure to disclose payments there foreign sources, which also he had done before he went to donald mcgann is also criminally pshable, correct? that was not a topic i discussed with mr. mcgann so not something i can discuss here today. >> but it is in fact from your
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violation of criminal law. >> to not disclose payment, yes. but i'm not speaking to his specific conduct. just generally that it is, yes. >> if michael flynn is prosecuted for any of these crimes, isn't it possible the united states might be a witness? >> i guess it would depend on the crime. >> if writ a false statement to the fbi about his conversations with the russians, wouldn't the vice president potentially be called as a witness to corroborate that false statement? >> certainly that's possible with you i would be speculating how such criminal prosecution would come together. >> where i'm going is the need for a special prosecutor, they are responsible for appointing the united states attorney general, they're all potentially witnesses and even targets.
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corrt? >> potentially. >> so a special counsel to hold those government officials or others responsible really has to be independent, correct? >> well, department of justice lawyers pride themselves in being able to be independent regardless of whether they're appointed as special counsel. >> but the decision whether or not to prosecute for the sake of appearance, as well as in reality, should be made by someone who is unquestionably independent, objective, and impartial. >> senator, i absolutely understand your kernels here. but the fact is that particularly as someone lou just departed from the department. justice, i'll just not going on wade into whether or not they should have a special counsel or an independent coin in this matter. i don't think they need formers telling them how to do their jobs. >> well, i'll going to be very
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unfair to you and and you as a private citizen, wouldn't you like the see a special counsel appointed on under these circumstances in. >> not going to go there either. >> as an expert witness for our committee, i'll qualify you as an expert. let me close by asking you my colleague, senator franklin made reference to the warnings given by president obama to then president-elect trump about hiring michael flynn. that's a public report which i and be entered into the record. and i also and be entered into the record the february 9th
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report from the "washington post." inthere's been a reference to it. without that published report and without the free press telling us a lot of what went on, michael flynn might still be sitting in the white house. because by january 30th, you are forced to resign. you were fired. >> yes. i was fired. >> so nobody was around to tell the white house as you said that our national security was in danger. >> well, there were still the career officials in the national security division who had been with me on this matter. that were there and were certainly conversant in the facts. >> but the ultimate decision to go to the white house was yours. >> yes, it was. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in spite of trump administration's ongoing efforts to convince all of us that there's nothing to see here with
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regard to russian interference with our 2016 election and the trump team's connections to these efforts, we need to get to the bottom of this. so i thank chairman graham is our ranking white house members for these hearings. i just had a number of town hall meetings and hundreds of people came. and believe me, they care that we get to the bottom of this. the trump administration blames president obama for failing to suspend general flynn's clearance. in a press conference today, sean spicer said, quote, every one in the gov goes through the same process and quote, he said, quote, there's no difference of a security clearance once it is issued. and basically as far as this administration is kerneled, nothing more needed to be done by them regarding general flynn's clearance. director clapper, isn't it true the fbi has a separate vetting
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process for national security council appointees? and they reported that he never completed process. can you enlighten us? >> i can't speak to specifics to how it was done with general flynn. i know what i the went through as a political appointee twice, in a republican and democratic administration. and the vetting process for either a political appointee or someone working in the white house is far, far more inwill vasive and far, far more thorough than a standard tsc inch clearance process. but i don't know what process was used in general flynn's case. nor did i have access to his complete investigate over the files so it is difficult to speak to what was in it and if any action was taken. >> according to sean spicer, he had a clearance from the obama administration and that was it. and this administration had no
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further responsibilities. so let me go on. others of my colleagues have mentioned, and you yourself said that rt is a russian mouthpiece to spread propaganda and went that general flynn attend ad gala in 2015 where he sat next to president putin and got paid over $33,000 for that. mr. clapper, given the information miss yates provided to the white house, this is during january 26 and 27 time frame regarding general flynn, should he have sat in on the following discussions on january 28. he participated in our hour-long call, i know what president trump to president putin. on february 11 he participated in a discussion with prime minister abe at mar-a-lago to discuss north korea's missile tests. should he, given the information
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that had already been provided, should he have participated in these two very specific instances? >> well, it is difficult for me to answer because i was out. >> let's say you were in. >> a general comment, i don't think it was, i don't think it was a good practice. put it that way. >> so i think this comports with some other concerns that have been raised about the ad gassy of the trump administration's vetting process with regard to various disclosures by other members of his administration. and as i mentioned, the administration is continuing efforts to downplay russia's interference in the elections. after general flynn resigned on january 13, president trump
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tweeted that mr. flynn is a wonderful man and it is very, very unfair what has happened to general flynn. under quote. so is this the kind of statement that would be made of a president aware of serious securities concerns about his former national security adviser in? >> i am loathe to comment on the tweets. i suppose honest expression how he felt. >> well, does it sound like someone who knew there were very serious concerns, that he would say mr. flynn is a wonderful man? maybe i should let people draw their own conclusions. >> i don't know what information was conveyed to the president. i have no insight there. i don't know the extent to which he had an understanding what the
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acting attorney general conveyed. i don't know how much of that made its way to the president. >> precisely. that is a concern that i have. that it sounds like perhaps the president was not aware. and in fact going on in march, the president tweeted that flynn should be given immunity, and the fbi satisfies investigation is, quote, a witch hunt. so i would like the and both of you, should these tweets, these kinds of tweets and other similar assertions by the president have any influence at all on the fbi's ongoing investigation into russian interference in our elections and team trump's investigations into these efforts? >> it shouldn't and i am confident it the won't. >> i hope so. i have a question about the foreign agent registration act. a number of trump administration officials are belatedly disclosing and registering their work on behalf of foreign
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governments tunneled foreign agents registration act. some of which raises serious counter intelligence concerns. i askeder comey about this last week. what are the consequences for white house staffers who fail to reveal their foreign contacts? >> well, you can lose your security clearance, you can lose your job, in certain circumstances you can be criminally prosecuted. >> is it up to the department. justice or the fbi? >> it would all begin on the circumstances of the nondisclosure. whether it was willful and what the circumstances were of the conduct underlying that it is going to be very fact specific. >> i agree that it should be fact specific. but considering the allegations, i hope either the fbi or the department of justice is pursuing an investigation into
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these matters. under what circumstances would the department of justice bring charges? you said it would depend on the facts of the situation. as a president or someone close to him knew that a white house official failed to disclose work on behalf of a foreign government and chose to cover that up, again, can you reiterate the possible repercussions to this person? >> to the individual? >> the individual. >> again -- >> let's stay allegations are proven true. >> that they failed on disclose their activity and that the president covered it up or the individual did? >> let's stay president knew, or the administration knew, and the individual also covered it up. >> well, cover-ups are bad. that's usually evidence of intent. so that's something we look at in whether it is something should be criminally prosecuted.
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it will be very fact specific. it is hard to gave hard fast answer. >> senator -- >> i'm sorry. thank you very much. >> we're going to do a second round and it will be quick. there are votes at 5:30. i know senators have questions starting with me. i'll have four minutes myself. general clapper, during your investigation of all things russia, did you ever find a situation where a trump business interest in russia gave you concern? >> not in the course of the preparation of the intelligence community assessment. >> since. at all. any time. >> senor graham, i can't comment on that because that
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impacts the investigation. >> wasn't enough to put into the report. >> that's correct. >> okay. the rule of law, you cannot allow people to leak classified information because they want a particular had outcome. is that correct? >> absolutely. >> i think you both agree with that concept. were there reasonable questions asked about your concerns? >> i didn't have a judgment about whether they were reasonable or unreasonable. but i do think mr. mcgann was trying get to the bottom of it. i don't know any way of knowing. >> he said he wanted to and you tried set that up. >> that's right. about surveillance. this is very important. an american citizen cannot be surveiled in the united states for colluding with a foreign government unless you have a warrant. is that a true statement.
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law? >> that's right. >> is it fair to say that incidental collection occurs even in the united states? >> that's correct as well. >> so there are two sbagss we would have found out what general flynn said to the are russian ambassador. if there was a fisa warrant focused on him, was there? >> are you asking -- >> either one of you. >> i'm not going to answerful? f he wasn't talking to the russians, we've had a hearing for no good reason. clearlily he's talking to the russians and we know about it. so if there's to fisa warrant, i'll going to find out about it, by the way. the other way is if he was incidentally surveiled. so those are the two options. do we know who unmasked the conversation between russian
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ambassador and general flynn? was there unmasking in this situation? >> are you looking at me yes. >> i don't know. >> can i try to clarify one point on this unmasking thing? >> very quickly. >> as a consumer of intelligence, for example, i would receive intelligence reports from various agencies. >> i get that. >> oftentimes the names are already unmasked by the intelligence agency. >> the bottom line is i want to know how it got to the "washington post." somebody had to have access to information. and they gave it to the "washington post." is that a fair statement? >> that's right. that's what it looks like to me. >> is that right? >> yes. >> and neither one of you did it. >> that's right. >> that's right. >> how many people can request unmasking of an american citizen in our government? general clapper? how many? >> i don't have an exact number.
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i think fairly limited because it is normally a fairly high level officials. >> how did you know that general flynn was talking to the russians? who told you? >> and i can't reveal that in an open setting. but what i was trying to say was, that oftentimes we receive intelligence reports where the nail of the american citizen is already unmasked. and it is unmasked by the intel agency because, not based on anybody's request but because the name of that citizen is essential. >> is that the situation here? >> senator, i cannot -- >> thank you both. i want to know answer to these questions. senator whitehouse. >> two things. there are multilevels of security clearance and they're issued by different agencies, correct? so having one from dod doesn't necessarily make you good for all positions in all places. >> it does not.
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>> and indeed they operate at multiple levels. >> right. but i think the key point here is that as i indicated earlier, the requirements for a tssci versus requirements for occupying aensitive position in the white house as a part of national security counsel -- >> way higher. >> and as i can attest, much more invasive and aggressive than the standard. in terms of compromised trade craft, if you have somebody and you have them compromised, it is pretty standard compromise trade craft to and them to do some little thing for you under the threat of having the compromising information disclosed. and if you succeed, you now have two things on them. and you work that it way to get somebody more and more enmeshed in compromise until they're more
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or less owned by the intelligence agency, is that a fair description of how you can develop compromise? >> yes, yes. >> just wanted to make that clear. we're talking about it. last thing. my list. so i went through the list. i looked at propaganda, fake news, and bots. we can confirm they were used in the 2016 election. hacking and theft of political information, the hack into the dnc and the podesta e-mails. i think we can all agree that's a yes. timed leaks of damaging material. that appears very strongly to be a yes because of the timing of the release smack after the "access hollywood" release. i believe that the answers were correct, no, as to in country assassination and political violence by the russians, here in the united states. would you both agree with that? >> i don't think we turned up
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any evidence of that. >> and controlling investment control in key economic sectors. there was no evidence of that either, correct? >> that's correct. >> so the question of shady business and financial ties that not only start out as bribery, perhaps, or as higy favorable deals, secret deals wh russians, but that in turn can turn into compromise. >> it could. >> and it is not just the carrot of, i'm continuing to bribe you. at some point you have a stick over the individual, i'm going to out the deal that we have unless you do this. correct? >> that's classic. >> and we do not yet know the extent to which that has played a role in the 2016 russian election hack, correct? >> i don't. >> and in terms of corrupting
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and compromising politicians, same, we don't know the full extent of whether or not politicians have been corrupted. >> i certainly don't. i did not and don't. >> so if we were to go down this. yes, yes, no, no, question mark, question mark would be our tally at the end. are we agreed on that? >> yes. >> anything else? >> not from me. >> terrific. yield back my nine seconds. >> you're trend setter. >> mr. clapper, you said yes when i asked you if you ever unmask ad will trump associate or a member of congress. but i forgot and which was it? a trump associate, a member of congress or both?
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>> over my time as dni, the answer would be both. just to make a point here. my focus was on foreign target and the foreign target's behavior in relation to the u.s. person. >> okay. how many instances were there, or was it just one? >> i can only recall one. >> could you -- >> it could have been more. and the best accounting of this would be in accordance with the procedure, the collecting agency. that would be a better source of records off the top of my head. >> could you provide us more details in a classified setting? >> i could. >> okay. miss yates, the same question. you said, i don't know what you said to answer my question about, if you were involved in any unmasking, were you involved? >> no.
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i've never asked for anyone to be unmasked. >> senator graham, both you and i and maybe other people have said that we need a classified setting to get some answers here. i assume you're going to pursue that. >> yes, sir. >> okay. i have time for a couple more questions. regardless of any disagreements that we have about allegations of collusion, the fact russia tried mettle in our democracy is an afront to all americans twoefl punish russia and deter all nations from these shenanigans. do you two believe the government's response so far has been enough to deter future attacks of this kind? and fnl, what else would you think we should be doing? miss yates, would you start out? >> i think they're coming back and i think we have to do a whole lot more. both to harden our election
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syste systems, to ensure folks out there know when they're looking at news feeds, that it may not be real news that they're readi reading. i think we have to do more to the russians and it wouldn't hurt to prosecute a few pokes but i don't think we can prosecute out of this one. >> as much as he love the congressional hearings, i think the most important thing that needs to be done is to educate the electorate. as to what the russians' objective is and attacks and procedures they have and will employ. and i believe it will be against all parties. so i think education of the public is the most important
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thing we can do in this hearing. grudgingly though i admit it. served that purpose. i think that there needs to be more done in the way of sanction to the russians or any other government that attempts on interfere in our election process. >> i'm done. >> senator? >> we thank you both for being here again. i think senator graham asked if you would want to come back, director clapper, and we were very glad that you're here. so when i asked my questions before, i asked about this general fact if a high ranking national security official is caught on tape with a foreign official saying one thing in privatand then says something in public that is different, and if that's material for blackmail and you said that it was. can you give me examples from your experience, director
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clapper, when russians have used, for want of a better word, sex, lies and videotape against people as blackmail? >> well, i don't have a lot of direct knowledge external to russia. this is a classical technique, going back to the soviet era, that they would use to co-opt compromise political opponents, and of course the current administration in russia is even more aggressive than that. where they just bought out people for being opposition. so there are examples of that. i don't have them off the top of my head. i have read and seen it during soviet era internal to the soviet union. that this is a common practice. >> what about our election infrastructure as we move forward? you said one major thing we need to do is to educate the public. and i am very concerned, while
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we have different states with different election equipment, we're working on a bill on this, how important is to it frequent integrity of our election? >> it is quite important. and speaking now as a private citizen, not my former capacity, i do think that our election apparatus should be considered critical infrastructure and should have the protections that are attended to that. a lot of the states pushed back when jay johnson engaged with officials about having that designation and having the federal government interfere in the election process. but as a citizen, i would be concerned with doing all we can to secure that apparatus. part of the, attended to the community we put out, dhs put
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out a paper as best practices as an advisory on how to secure election am rat uses at the state and local level. >> do you think we're doing a good enough job now, back to the propaganda issue? >> no. >> and how do you suggest we can improve that? >> i've been an advocate for a usia on steroids. i felt that way in terms of encountering the message from isis, who was very sophisticated at conveying messages and pros l, pros la tiesing people. i would seriously consider the notion of -- >> what would that mean exactly?
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>> well, someone that we can message or counter message. and our efforts to counter violent extremist ideology. particularly that from isis. we were very skilled at this. and i don't think we do as a nation, we do a good enough job. i think counter menning the russians, giving them their own medicine. and that should not be tagged on to the intelligence community. something i see would support but should be separate from that. >> one last question. miss yates, you brought a lawyer with you, a career lawyer to the meeting at the white house? is that right? >> yes. >> about when you were given these barngs the knowledge you had on general flynn? is that normal practice? why did you do that?
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>> well, this was a person who was the career lawyer who was assume vising this matter. first of all, she had been the one who was most intatel familiar with it. second will you, we knew my tenure would be short and wanted to make sure there was continuity there. >> you didn't know it would be that short. >> right. >> let's do three minutes. >> i can be very quick. >> mr. clapper, does mr. putin have any assets in the united states? >> i don't know the answer to that question. >> who would know that? >> well, some proponent of the intelligence community might know it. or the fbi. but i don't know. >> do you know if any of mr. putin's friends might have assets in the united states being held for mr. putin? >> that's a possibility, yes. >> who would know that? the same person?
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>> i would guess the fbi. >> if the intelligence community and the attorney general knew all this information about mr. flynn, how did he get a security clearance? >> knew what? >> that he had a conversation with the russian ambassador about sanctions? >> well, that was the 29th of december. >> january 19th i think the president was sworn in. 17th, something like that. how did he get a security clearance? >> well, he had one for a long time. as he career military intelligence officer. i don't know the specifics of when his fell due. the system every five years, the current system every five years you're supposed to get a
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recurrent investigation. i don't know the details of that. it would probably be done by his old agency. >> don't you have to give some additional double secret security clearance to serve in the white house? >> well, yes, you do. as i indicated before -- >> could i and you -- >> the process, i don't know how it is double in this administration. >> okay. but my own knowledge of how it was done, when i served in the bush administration and again in the obama administration, there was an extensive vetting process by the fbi. >> let me stop you because i only have 15 seconds. miss yates, are there any reasonable arguments that can be made in defense of president trump's executive order? >> i don't believe that there are reasonable legal arguments that are ground in the truth that can be made in defense of his argument that the travel ban
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was not intended to have an impact, a religious impact into d disfavor muslims. >> so you believe the arguments made by the lawyers who are now defending the executive order are unreasonable. >> i believe the department of justice has a responsibility the uphold the law and to always speak the truth. particularly when it is about something as fundamental as this executive order was. that deals with religious freedom. let me say this. i have tremendous almost for the career men and women. including the lawyers in the civil division handling this. but their obligation was different than mine. they must make an, a fumt they can make a reasonable left field argument. my responsibility was broader than that and i had to look beyond the confines to look at
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the president's statements and other factors to determine what was the actual intent here. that was the base for my decision. >> for the record, it's a different travel ban. there was an official order and then a second one out there. >> thank you. >> so far, the concerns you've expressed have been upheld by the urts, is that right? >> that's right. >> second, director clapper, on the issue of possible use of the far right websites by the russians, you were asked earlier whether you have any knowledge good that potential cooperation or involvement. do you have independent knowledge of the use of those far right websites? >> i don't. i don't have, at least off the top of my head, specific
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knowledge or insight into that. it could have been. i just don't know it directly. >> but you made reference to published reports. you made reference to what you read in the newspapers. >> of course that specifically regarding what happened in france. >> and those same dwromts used, or rrtdly used in this country. >> that's correct. >> i would like the put in the record one republican report, there are probably others, a mcclatchy report of march 20, which begins with the lead, federal investigators are examining whether far right news sites played any role in the russian cyber, some fictional stories that favored donald trump's presidential bid. it quotes two people familiar with the inquiry and it goes on to mention among those sites
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breitbart there and enfoe news. do you have knowledge of that investigation? >> i don't. if i did, i couldn't tell you about it. >> i thought that mean your answer. finally, miss yates, you said we won't prosecute out of the russian continued attack on this country. but putting americans in prison if they cooperate, collude, aid and abet, or otherwise assist in that ill legality. >> yes. >> and there are criminal penalties existing on the books. we don't need new laws, which involve criminality and potential criminal prosecution for those acts, correct?
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>> yes. that's right. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. we're at the end of the day and you've been great. i think the public is better educated, i hope about, what russia did. there seems to be bipartisan consense us that russia interfered with our election. for some housekeeping, you will provide to the committee if you could, mr. clapper, he know you're a private citizen now. but if you can help determine the pool of people who could do unmasking, we would appreciate it. when it comes to incident cloaks 2016 campaigns, i'm a little confused but i think we found least one person where that did happen. is that right? >> yes. >> do we know of any other candidate on either side of the aisle? >> i don't know. there could have been other
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unmasking requests. >> there's a way to find that out. >> yes. the best way would be the original collection agency. >> finally, the current deputy attorney general, do you know him? do you have confidence in him? >> yes, i do. >> thank you all. final comment? >> absolutely. >> during the last hearing we had the author of the kremlin play book as one of our witnesses. and we had the very well regarded kenne as one of our witnesses. and they both agreed that the united states is leaving itself vulnerable to this kind of influence if we continue to allow shell proliferation. so i mentioned that. chairman grassley and i are work o'a piece of legislation to help
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solve that. but i think it is very important in this area and i wanted to flag it and express to chairman grassley. and of course, my appreciation to chairman graham for his work to make this hearing a success. so interesting and meaningful. >> thank you. >> thank you both. the hearing is adjourned. >> apparently the senate has to go vote. we went 3:10, or thereabouts. the hearing that featured the former head of national intelligence, the hearing that featured the former acting attorney general, sally yates. sally yates started the story by saying, we went to the white house to tell the white house they mayave a problem. the national security adviser may be subject to blackmail.
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at least vulnerable on blackmail by the russians. let's talk about what else we learned. ari melburn is here. malcolm is here. tell the good people the title of the book you've written? >> plot to hack american. how putin cyber spies and wikileaks tried to steal election. >> what did you know rest of us didn't know? >> when it came out last september, i just did an analysis the same as the cia the same as the cia dlifrld theirs. the information is out there. it was very, very clear. the evidence was overwhelming. it is how russia attacked american democracy. so no big deal for the russians. they do this on a day-to-day basis. we're just having a hard time
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wleefg that in this country. >> so sally yates goes to the white house and says you have a problem. what did we learn beyond that? >> the tension at the heart of the query. was this an outside in issue of russia in the united states? or people in the united states or the united states government, flynn being a key individual, who were somehow either trying to assist the russians. so number one, that sally quinn was compromised to the degree that they wanted to intercede. something we heard before but never on the record from her. that flynn lied to officials. and number three, she declined to say, and this is the only sliver of good news for the ump whi house i whawas i think a difficult hearing for them. she declined toay whether he
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committed crimes and whether in her view she would issue a recommendation on terminating him. she cited all the reasons would you relieve him of duty. the white house has a decision to make. >> jeremy, same question. what did you learn? >> three conversations between them. wasn't a mere heads up as was stated from the podium it was. three subsequent conversations. on the 26th of january, the 27th of janel and a phone call on the 28th sheflt laid out in granular detail, his lie, the fact the russians knew about it, that the vice president was misleading the that be. she said i'm telling you so you can remove this clear and treatment dags. and within statement by jim clapper if ever there was a clarion call for vigilance, this
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is it. >> if ever there was a clarion call for vigilance, this else is it. perhaps hearing that from a former head of national intelligence we can agree to operate from a central fact. the fact is that russia in several forms and ways, mettles with our election process this time around. mike viqueira? >> reporter: i think it can be summed up in one statement what we heard over the last three hours. i spent the bulk of the time in the hearing. when she said you don't want your national security adviser compromised by the russians. i think that pretty. put a fine point on it. from democrats but increasingly,
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a the hearing went on from republicans as well. we heard the sally yates recounted the tick tock around the end of january when she received this information. she went with him. was one of the national security experts from the department of justice to have that conversation in mcgann's office. a secure room withot the white house where she laid it all out. a subsequent meeting and then a phone call as jeremy pointed out. more than just a heads up as the white house previously characterized this. there were republican who's wanted to talk about the situation with leaks. they wanted to talk about the unmasking. we even had senator cruz go down the hillary clinton e-mail for a
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while. i think the gravity of this situation, what we heard from general clapper, what we heard even from director comey. no one was willing to say whether they attempted to do it. especially on the senate side. this hearing called by lindsey graham, a republican, who it has been pointed out that they don't have the staff to do the investigation. they have called for an independent commission. something not likely to happen any time soon. a long hearing and i think people were walking away from this, shaking their heads of kernel. >> on the hart senate office building. over to the white house we go. and hallie jackson, have you heard them?
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>> not sense the hearing wrapped up in the last couple minutes. we are reaching out to see what they have to say. i imagine it will be along the lines of what we heard prior to this. an attempt on pry to politicize sally yates. paint her as an obama administration appointee. work the question her credibility. i cannot imagine has changed. here's what has changed. the line of questioning that they are getting toward pepper sean spicer with tomorrow. specifically around the questions. why did sean spicer describe what sally yates came and did at the white house as a heads up, she discovers it as two in-person meetings. the urgency to take action. and an invitation to come view the under lying evidence at the fbi about why they have these
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concern that's will flynn may have been compromised. that will be a central line. roughly 24 hours from here. i would opponent out one other theme that you've seen one other theme you've seen emerge during this administration at the hearings related to russia's interference during the 2016 elections. gop republicans talk about focus of issue of leaks and saw democrats focus on the issue of russian meddling. there are some exceptions either side. that is consistently what you have seen the white house revert to when pressed about these questions and asked about mike flynn and potential for compromise or collusion, if you will. certainly, you asked the contributors from your panel what they learned. a learned a lot from what we saw from sally yates and came to this hearing well prepared for questions from senators. >> thank you.
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we have a member of congress standing by. jeremy bash, since your name was invoke invoked, it's fair question, if you want to call it a heads-up or warning from the acting attorney general to the new white house counsel, why then do 18 days to go by before the national security advisor was told his services are no longer needed. >> why didhe president decide the warning from sally yates was insufficient to fir mik flynn? was he freelancing, clearly. and was he authorized to have the conversations with the russians and not the clearance sally yates had and why did the president have that view and what does that tell us about the long arc of russian interest interference and possible connection between the trump white house and russian federation. >> from the house intel committee, congressman, thank
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you for coming on. what did you hear that interested you the most from sally yates and part two of that question, what do you want to hear from sally yates? >> good evening, brian. this is a picture coming more and more into focus. from sally yates we heard just how hard she tried to tell the white house that they had a member at its highest level who may have been compromised by the russians. former dni clapper talking about more details of russia's interference campaign. something that bothered me, the gravity of this attack is also becoming clearer. the republicans on the committee who wanted to talk about anything but russian meddling was very concerning to me. i really hope that we find a way for both republicans and democrats to care about this and make sure we're never in a position like this again. >> you're part of the overall investigation, democrats in the
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minority party right now, republicans control both houses of congress and the white house. are you confident that you have all that you need, all that congress needs to pursue a thorough and fair investigation, people have been saying independent commission, select committee. the argument to that has been, you need 6 to 8 to 10 months to stand it up and staff it up. >> we're doing everything we can on the house side to get back on track and follow the evidence wherever it takes us. i've long believed and why i wrote th legislation with elijah cummings to have an independent commission. i wrote this because i was on capitol hill when september 11 happened and saw it put reforms into place. if you want to go farther back into time, the warren commission looked at the kennedy assassination and helped illuminate what happened there
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and helped lawmakers put into place what they could do for the president's security to make sure something like that would not happen again. we should not run away from having independent eyes and a full time staff devoted to getting to the bottom of this. >> it's interesting you menti mentioned the warren commission, a much more innocent time in our nation's history, different time and different circumstances. their findings were not rock solid, meaning an entire conspiratorial economy has sprouted as a result of and perhaps despite the members of the warren commission. is there a way to cloak whatever the finding is at the end of this investigation, in the most broken our politics have been, the most bipolar in the history of our economy so all people will agree on a set of facts, among them, that russia meddled in our election? >> that's what the goal has to
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be. we'll never have findings where all people agree, whether whether you're talking about the kennedy assassination or september 11th, most children read their history books and talk about it to their own children have what i think is settled facts about what happened. my goal on the house committee is to make sure school children a decade from now will look back at what happened and will know whether any u.s. persons were involved and see their lawmakers, republicans and democrats, did everything they could to make sure our country was never vulnerable to a foreign entity attacking our democracy again. >> from the house intelligence committee, former democratic congressman eric swalwell, thank you very much for being with us. >> myplsure. >> someone around general flynn and certainly around the campaign effort longer than anyone else here, katy tur has been with us and given your experience having been around all this and witnessed general
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flynn, the interaction with donald trump, what did you make of what you saw today? >> i think it's really notable there still is not an answer why it took 18 more days for the trump white house to dismiss mike flynn. also, confusion about why exactly they did so. you have sally yates coming and talking to don in three separate conversations, two in person and 18 days later, there is a news report and a couple series of news reports that outline those conversations, and then the donald trump white house dismisses mike flynn. initially they said he resigned. the next day they came out and said, no, actually he was fired. then, donald trump is tweeting how mike flynn is a great guy and he didn't do anything wrong and this was all essentially, i'm paraphrasing a witch-hunt by the media. in those 18 day, was there an
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assessment from the white house whether mike flynn was fit to continue serving or would he have continued to serve if those news reports did not shed light on the conversation between the former acting attorney general, samly yates and don mcgann. also at question, sean spicer, as sally noted, calling the question betweeniates and mcgann nothing more than a heads-up. we now know as was shown us to in that testimony that sally yates had three separate meetings, two of them in person and one over the phone. the second one she said she laid out four different topics with don mcgann. they discussed, number one, why it mattered to the doj, don mcgann asked, why one white house official was lying to another white house official. sally yates said that's essentially because he became a security risk, he could have been compromised, subject to blackmail by the russians.
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ultimately, that is a concern of the american people. that was not addressed in the testimony. what the underlying evidence was. sally yates said she was compiling that over the weekend before she was abruptly fired that following monday. >> to your point, one, why would it be of interest to the department of justice if one white house employee lied to another. look who these employees are, the national security advisor and the vice president. the vice president then by extension went on sunday morning television and assured people that after his conversation with mike flynn, x had happened or not happened. >> ultimately, it is important to remember those in the white house work for the american public. if vice president pence is saying one thing on television that it's not true, mike flynn by extension is not just lying to him, he is lying to the
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american public. that is a point that sometimes gets lost in the coverage of this how large an issue this is. lying is not just a matter of what is going on in the white house, what the american public deserves to know and whether or not this transition was trying to supersede the white house in power at the time. the one president at a time rule this country has observed for decades. >> katy tur, thank you and thank you for being part of our coverage. the trump white house, difficult to anticipate how they will react to what they saw today. as witness goes, how do you think yates did clinically? >> clinically, i truly thought she was excellent. she was very clear how she chose her words, what she would not speak to, what was covered and governed by the rules and she did not have a dramatic opening and it was preftory.
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i thought she did well. 27 years atdoj, most of that time in nonpartisan positions. having said that sometimes normal can appear abnormal at time, it is abnormal for the president to cast espursiesse e over a witness but he does have free speech rights as all americans do but you typically let the process play out and speak freely. and as sean spicer said, we look forward to her testimony. she did well and the surrounding energy or attacks suggested a desire for political spin on it. >> we have a moment before we hand off to greta van susteren in our next broadcast. just briefly, what can the russians do if they have so


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