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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  March 20, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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we'll be here again tomorrow night, the confirmation hearings for supreme court nominee neil gorsuch. already quite a day and night. continues now my friend don lemened can with cnn tonight. >>ing news on the worse day so far. this is cnn tonight. i'm don lemon. and comey says he has no evidence to support president trump's infamous claim he was wiretapped by the obama administration. president trump's response, nothing. speaking of a cheering crowd
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ken tucky tonight he completely ignores -- listen. >> i have been authorized by the department of justice to confirm that the fbi as port of our counter intelligence is investigating the russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. and that includes investigating the nature of any lengths between vijs associate would the trump campaign and the russian government and weather there was any coordination between the campaign and the russia's efforts. as with any counter intelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed. >> this is not politics as vulgs. we've said that before, and we're going to keep saying it. it is not politics as usual for the fbi to investigate a prejudice campaign with possible
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ties to a foreign government. and it's definitely not politics as usual for the fbi director to publicly state the bureau is investigating whether any crimes were committed by those associated to the trump campaign. political km political commentator, jason miller and robert mudd and hillary hook. thank you for coming on. danna, you first. i want to respond to what we heard from president trump tonight. but this is also we should not just pretend was business as usual. what happened today was extraordinary. what did we learn? >> well, we learned that the fbi is and has been investigating
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the trump -- the then trump campaign, trump associates and whether or not there was any involvement with regard to russian interference with the u.s. election. and if that been going on, and i'm sure robby is going to do a big gulp right now, since july. what was i think even more incredible that we learned today definitively not just just the fbi director but he said he's also speaking for the trump justice department is that the president of the united states when he tweeted 16 days ago that his predecessor wiretapped trump tower was not correct. he was wrong. and i don't remember certainly in modern times, probably not at all, that kind of testimony from the fbi director about a sitting
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president just basically flat out saying that he is wrong. >> yeah. she brought you up, robby, so let's go to you now. what's your reaction to comey saying this trump investigation has been going on since july. >> well, i think it just underscores why the director throughout this process, of all of these investigations should have just followed protocol. and that's not to talk about these things. i'm glad after taking the unprecedented step of that letter that now he's coming forth to reveal that they have been investigating trump as well. and, look, these are very serious accusations. you said it they have been looking at the question whether trump associates were potentially coordinating with russia for so long. i think it raises a red flag. but i'll tell you what i was
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also concerned about today was i didn't see a single member, republican member of that committee raise up their hand and ask proben questions about what might have happened here. i mean this isn't a partisan issue. this is going to happen again. this is going to hit us all. and i'm just very concerned the republicans continue to make this partisan and continue to raise questions and instead of finding answers to make sure this doesn't happen again. >> and senator santorum it's almost like this -- the other side saying hey, what about the investigation is supposed to be about and whether there was some sort of ties between russia and the trump campaign. is that what you saw? do you agree with what robby said? >> i think it's partisan on both sides. knowing full well comey wasn't going to respond to the details
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of what they were investigating. they could have asked questions about what they were concerned about the russians doing as opposed to trying to get somebody impicated in the crime. but that didn't seem to be of interest to either side, which frankly surprised me. this was a bad day for donald trump no question about it on many fronts. but also it's a day where we have a little bit more clarity. i mean the fact this investigation is underway is out there. as you saw at the end of the testimony both devon mune ezand trey gowdy were clear that it's time to move forward with this investigation. let's get this investigation accelerated. i think there's going to be a lot of pressure to finish the investigation. two, more importantly to announce the investigation has been completed, something the
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fda doesn't always do. >> you don't think this was a bad day for the president? the fbi director, the head of the nsa and also the fbi director came out saying this president has basically lied about the obama administration and wiretapping him. >> don, i think this was a bad day for the fbi and i think it was a bad day for the state of politics in washington. i think a lot of people at home took a look and said both sides are screaming and all we have are these baseless allegations about russian collusion. the fact of theimater is vladimir putin was not walking precincts in washington and pennsylvania. it was blue collar union workers who didn't want to go with -- hold on. i'm just saying that -- >> jason. let's take the politicians out
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of it. let's look at the head of the nsa, the head of the fbi who said i bring this to you from the justice department. so you're talking of course this is politics in washington. that's what they do. >> they have zero evidence of cuclusion. >> the fact that dana said they laid out -- that the president has no proof to back up the claims that he has about obama wiretapping him, you say that's all well and good, that's a good day, i don't think anyone who's of sound mine and voice is understanding what you're saying. >> i think to not have a list of the unmasked names from the fbi and the nsa and cia i think was a travesty for this hearing. and i think through this baseless investigation saying there was collusion through the campaign and foreign officials
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without putting out any evidence -- >> do you remember the calls for the congress to investigate this? it was the president. >> yeah, we still didn't get the info that they asked for. look, i feel bad for robby in this. i understand somewhat what it's like now to have an allegation thrown out and for them to walk out and leave this cloud there. to not put some sort of cap stone on it, i think this throws a cloud on what we're trying to do in washington. i think it's irresposible. >> jeffrey, why are you laughing? >> yeah, he should announce today the results of the investigation and how long it's going to take before he's done the investigation or knows how long it's going to take. i mean, come on this is an investigation. it's very complicated to determine whether the trump campaign was colluding with
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the -- >> no it's not. they haven't found anything in eight months. they never found anything. >> you have the fbi -- the attorney general just a few weeks ago lied about his contacts with the russian ambassador. you have this continuing pattern of trum officials -- mike flynn was just fired for lying about his contacts with the russians. now, maybe it's just a huge coincidence but as adam schiff, the ranking democrat pointed at at the end of this hearing there are a heck of a lot of coincidences where russia is helping the trump campaign, the trump campaign is helping russia but we don't know -- >> i'm glad you brought that up jeffrey, because we're going to hear from adam schiff. but hold up on that.
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the white house still refusing to back down on wiretapping claims which includes a diplomatic incident with the u.k. are they above national security? >> this is a bad day for the american people. thing about national security. the president has suggested that one of our alhigh lies participated in an illegal act. unbelievable. the fbi director setup a series of months, maybe even a year where he will setup an investigation where we as americans will have to wupder st. is there someone in the white house who participated in contacts with russia. unbelievable. i mean this is not about democrats and republicans. as someone who served both, this is about the service of someone montana oval office who
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misrepresented whether his predecessor committed something that was worse than watergate and whether the congress of the united states has said something today that's profound. they did. they said two things. number one, the president fraudulently claimed that his predecessor committed a felony or worse. number two, he said that nothing significant happened today regarding allegations that members of his team contacted russia russians inappropriately. >> all right. standby everyone. we're going to have much more to talk about. we're going to take a closer look at the allegations made against the trump campaign and russia at today's hearing. ♪ announcer: get on your feet for the nastiest bull in the state of texas.
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intelligence committee hearing was disturbing and stunning. how did we get here? why do intelligence agencies believe russia influenced our election. and why are they investigating russia and the trump campaign. the ranking member of the committee adam schiff lays out his time line and his opening statement. here it is, listen. >> the months of july and august 2016 appear to have been pivotal, it was at this time the russians began using the information they had stolen, to help donald trump and harm hillary clinton, the question is, why? what was happening in july/august of last year and were u.s. persons involved? here are some of the matters drawn from pb sources alone that concern us and we believe should concern all americans. in early july, carter page, someone candidate trump id
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nighed as one of his security advisers, travels to moscow on a trip approved by the trump campaign. he gives a speech critical of the united states. for what he believes is a hypocritical focus on according to christopher steele, a former british intelligence officer, who has reportedly held in high regard by u.s. intelligence, russian sources tell him that page has had a secret meeting with igor session. he'sagent and close friend of putins. according to steele's russian sources, he's offered brokerage fees. according to reuters, the sale of a 19.5% share later takes place, with unknown purchasers and unknown brokerage fees. also according to steele's russian sources, the campaign is offered documents damaging to hillary clinton, which the
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russians would publish through an outlet that gives them deniability like wikileaks. policies which even as recent recently as the president's meeting last week with andrea merkel has nufreshly come to pass. the trump campaign manager and someone who was on the payroll of trump interests attends the convention. according to steele it wasmanfort who him.
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sessions would later deny meeting with russian officials during his senate confirmation hearing. just prior to the convention, the republican party platform is changed, removing a section that supports the provision of lethal defensive weapons to ukraine, an action that would be contrary to russian interests. manafort denies altering the platform. with the republican party delegate who offered the language and support was removed at the insistence of the trump campaign. later j.g. gordon admits.
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later injuly and after the convention the first stolen e-mails detrimental to hillary clinton appear on wikileaks. the leading private security firms reviewed the evidence of the hack and conclude with high certainty that it was the work of apt 28 and apt 29 who are known to be russian intelligence services. the u.s. intelligence agency also confirms that the documents were in fact stolen by russian intelligence and he too acted as a front. on august 8th, roger stone, a long time trump adviser boasts
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in a speech that he's communicated with assange and more documents would be coming, including an october surprise. in the middle of august, he also communicates with the russian cutout, gucifer 2. and offers a breakthrough bart piece that denize russian intelligence. later in august, he does something truly remarkable many he predicts that john podesta's personal e-mails will soon be published. he said trust me, it will soon be his time in the barrel. #crookedhillary. in the weeks that follow stone shows a rashlable confidence. i have total confidence that wikileaks and my hero assange will educate the american people soon. payload coming he predicts and two days later, it does. wikileaks releases their first batch of podesta e-mails. the release of john podesta's
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e-mails would then continue on a daily basis up until the election. on election day in november, donald trump wins. he appoints michael flynn to be his national security adviser. michael flynn has been paid by the kremlin's propaganda outfit rt in the past, as well as another russian entity. in december michael flynn has a secret conversation with ambassador kislyak, about sanctions imposed by president obama over russia designed to help the hacking and the trump campaign. michael flynn lies about the secret conversation. the vice president assures the country that no such conversation ever happened. the president is informed that flynn has lied and pence has misled the country. the president does nothing. two weeks later the press reveals that flynn has lied and the president is forced to fire mr. flynn. the president then praises the man who lied, mr. flynn and castigates the press for exposing the lie.
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now, is it possible that the removal of the ukraine provision from the gop platform was a coincidence? is it a coincidence that jeff sessions failed to sell the senate with his meetings with the russian ambassador. not only at the convention but his more private meeting in his office? at a time when the u.s. election was under attack by the russians? is it a coincidence that michael flynn would lie about a conversation he had with the same russian ambassador about the most pressing issue facing boast h both countries at the time they spoke. the u.s. in position of sanctions over russian hack can i of our election designed to help donald trump? is it a coincidence that the russian gas company sold a 19% share after former british intelligence officer steele was told by russian sources that carter page was offered fees on a deal of just that size? is it a coincidence that steele's russian sources also affirmed that russia had stolen documents hurtful to secretary clinton, it would later come to
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pass. is it a coincidence that roger stone predicted john podesta would be the victim of a hack. and have his private e-mails published and did so even before mr. podesta himself even before mr. poe december de was aware his e-mails would be exposed? is it possible that all of these events and reports are completely unrelated. and nothing more than an entirely unhappy coincidence. yes, it is possible. but it is also possible, maybe more than possible that they are not coincidental, not disconnected, and not unrelated. and that the russians used the same techniques to corrupt u.s. persons that they employed in europe and elsewhere. we simply don't know. not yet. and we owe it to the country to find out.
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we're back and as you heard some of the extraordinary testimony at the house committee haring today just before the break. comey revealing that the white house is investigating connection between the trump campaign and russia. you, sick, you heard the house ranking member there adam schiff laying it out today. awful lot of smoke. when you're watching that, what are you thinking? >> i'll take the resolution that supposedly the russians got out of the flatfirm. the platform of the republican party is much tougher on russia than the democratic flatfirm. this was not in the platform. this was something that was
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prupodes to go in the platform and taken out. why? because donald trump was probably much weaker from my perspective, much more hawkish than we've had in a republican president in a long time. >> there wasn't a change iphis platform, correct? >> we are much tougher on the russians than the democratic platform. so that one provision was taken out. that's number one. number two, on the issue of roger stone and having information about john podesta's e-mail, i work on a cybersecurity company. and i talked to some of our analysts there. i was getting information on what was out there on the dark web, this was coming nebs, that next up was going to be this, this and this.
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that information was there, available to a lot of people. so the fact that he may have gotten some information in the dark web, that turned out to be true, again that -- >> he calls assange his friend. part of the time i was watching that, rawy, i was wondering what you were thinking because you lived that timeline. >> i think honestly what's frustrating ubthis situation is there are two things that matter right now. one is as ayou said. there's a lot of evidence that trump aides could have been coordinating with trump associates. and secondally, we need to take action to make sure this never happens again. what is really scary to me is
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that you consistently hear the republican party trying to throw out more questions rather than get answers. troir next. they're next. and any politician, an american in national politics in the united states today who thinks they can speak the truth about russia, that they can speak up just like hillary clinton did to defend human rights, to speak out the dictatorial actions of vladimir putin and not suffer the same consequences is making a mace steak. and i think the entire republican party needs to step back and ask themselves is this the right thing not just for our country but their own political futures to ignore? because this is coming soon. i can tell you that. >> jason, do you get anything out of that? is that -- >> i think there's something we can all agree on and that hacking of any sort is terrible.
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but, again, the fact of the matter is that there was no collusion between the trump campaign and between some foreign officials. that's just ridiculous. and i think robby brought up the losing side of the force through the trees here. i think there's one other aspect of the force we should be paying attention to. and i think people turning a blind eye to the leaking of confidential material. >> john, i got to jump in here. not a single member of the house cared -- nobody said anything about the stream of leaks that came out of that committee. i'm sorry. >> i'm sorry? >> jason, so why are they coming
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to -- now with leaking? >> but the president also said on the campaign trail that he hopes they catch whoever it was that did it, whether it's russians or whether it's somebody else and they should be prosecuted. and i believe that the president still stands by that, as he should. but, again, go to the -- robby's playing a little fast and loose with the wicky leaking here. that is a crime. and if you're doing it and you're caught, you should go to jail. this is very serious. >> and i think if congressman gavy cares about this issue, i think his staff should come forward about the leaking in his committee. >> let me ask you this. if we could agree on it, could you agree that anyone caught leaking confidential information should go to jail? would you agree to that?
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>> what i'm pointing to is that people like trey gowdy in particular -- again, it gets back to this point this is not a partisan issue. this is not about the last election, donald trump, hillary clinton. this is about the russian state trying to intervene in our elections and teardown our democracy. we should come together and resolve this. we should stop trying to nitpick and pull up this detail or that detail. something really rotten happened here. let's get the facts and do something about it. >> dana bash there's nothing new about leaking. what's interesting is that some of the people and praeb a number of them who were speaking out about leakings have leaked information themselves. >> look, the notion of leaking classified information is -- it happens. it has happened in republican
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administrations, in democratic administration wheres by republicans, inand around washington as well. it is problematic when it comes to sources. that is part of the reason why it is illegal to leak information because its to protect the sources of the information. but let's just focus here on what the hearing today should have been about from the perspective of congress. the hearing should have been about from democrats and republicans about how did this happen, this being russia getting involved in as james comey said really dramatically today, the most precious part of democracy.
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which is the eelectoral process. how did this happen, and how do you stop it? i definitely agree with robby on that point. i do also think the democrats in the committee today missed on opportunity to focus on that. also to ask the question of james comey about why the hillary clinton campaign had to endure the public verification of investigation of her whereas the trump campaign did not. even though we now know it's been going back to july. that is not a partisan statement. that is just a fact where you definitely have apples and orphchgs. hey, jeffrey i know you want to get in and philip. i've got to get to a break. you guys are the boss. i'm just the facilitator. thank you all. robby, thank you for coming on. i appreciate it. i'll see you guys a little bit
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theode of the fbi confirming they're investigating connection between trump associates and raugs. we're going to bring in eric. thank you, congressman. i watched you today. my gosh you guys had a busy day. i appreciate you coming on. do you feel, though, you got the answers you were looking for today from director comey and director rogers? >> we did. and with we were also able to tell people about the deep political and financial ties twoon donald trump and his team and russia. and the lingering question has been whether those ties extended to working with the russians as they attacked or democracy. there is an investigation into the president's campaign team as to whether they were doing that. >> you said powerful evidence.
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what's the powerful evidence your seeing? >> he said investigation into coordination was taking place. he said with respect to counter intelligence investigations, with criminal investigations of this kind, this is still very early. but the evidence we put forward showed that these were not merely coincidences. when you put that into perspective never in the history of american elecks have we ever seen a candidate with so many ties to a foreign adversary. look that in a more skeptical light i think what we're finding is that these ties may have been converging with russia as they were attacking. >> i think a lot of people were thinking it, even robby, the
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campaign manager, do you feel you missed an opportunity to ask the fbi director why he would let on the investigation into hillary clinton's e-mails and not acknowledge the trump investigation which started in july? >> don, we're living in the now. as robby pointed out, the russians are charpening their knives and intended to do this again. that was in the intelligence report. other fort foreign adversaries with similar capabilities and looking to see what we do. they're going to see this as open season on the u.s. election. >> longtime associate roger stone and his connection to russia were mentioned several
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times today. he has been blaming you on twitter. what do you think his role is here? would you like to see him testify? >> i'd rather talk to raung roger stone at any of these hearings than on twitter. i think anyone on donald trump's personal security team who traveled to moskow, i think they would all be relevant witnesses and i hope they come forward. >> joining me now cnn national security analyst mike rogers. mr. rogers thank you for coming on. good to see you. >> good to see you, don. >> i want you to listen again to comey confirming for the first time the president's ties to russia. >> the fbi as partd of our counter intelligence mission is investigating the russian
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efforts to intervene in the 2016 presidential election. and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the trump campaign and the russian government and weather there was any coordination between the campaign and russia's efforts. as with any counter intelligence investigation this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed. >> so you're the former chairman of the house intelligence committee. after hearing that from the fbi director, what would you be your first question? >> well, first of all i was a little astonished that they asked the department of justice if they could disclose that. in the same committee hearing one of the members asked are you going to talk about the leaks. i was a little taken aback that he actually confirmed that was
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an investigation. you have to let this thing play out. obviously at some point it went to a counter intelligence only investigation to a counter intelligence investigation. if they're looking at usga citizens towards any criminal links or action, that's a very different investigation than something that would be intelligence related. i would expect the fbi to look at anything russian related. what didn't happen today in the committee is we never flushed russian engagement prior to this. before the russian federation part of the soviet union, they are still doing it. they're doing it in european elections. this is something that would have been great to expose. this investigation changed from an intelligence operation to what the director said today to have some criminal element or the thought of a criminal element. that's kind of a big change. >> in the commercial break the
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representative said both sides were surprised he would admit there was an ongoing investigation. were you surprised by that? >> i was. i used to be an fbi agent, and that was never done. and i'll tell you why you don't do it. just because the fbi is investigating doesn't mean there's criminal activity. what you don't want to do, unfortunately i did see one member of that team trying to make a substantial case in court on public opinion. that's a dangerous thing. it may never come to anything, but that damage isal already done. so i was very surprised. it tells me that if the department of justice agreed to it and the fbi director talked about it in an open hearing. boy, i think this thing went from a ci or to a counter
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intelligence investigation to something different. don't know if they're going to find anything, but that to me a big change. >> michael rogers, thanks. president trump refusing to back down on his claim that president trump spied on him even the fbi director says he has no evidence. stem. where instead of paying for middlemen, we work directly with family farms to deliver higher quality ingredients for less than you pay at the store. get $30 off at
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president trump refusing to back down on his wiretapping accusations and saying nothing about the house intelligence committee hearing. joining me now is brian fallin, a former press secretary for hillary clinton's campaign. we switched him out for robbie. because he's just as good. >> no one ever wants to say the president lied. but he lied about wiretapping,
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he lied about mass voter fraud. he lied about his crowd size. he lied about birtherism. how can he be credible at all now? >> well, i think you asked the right question, i'm so upset, we skipped over this in the past 30 minutes, let me give you three questions we're not addressing. number one, what is the federal government's responsibility in the next election cycle to protect a candidate? who asked that today? number two, as we go into the next 4, 6, 12 months, here's the question, not what happened with general flynn, the question is, will the fbi indict somebody? i think the question can recover from general flynn, i think recovering from an indictment of somebody in his campaign will be difficult. we will see a tragedy, a national security traj by whether you like it or not. when the president tweets i know what happened here, we're going to escalate bombing in syria. people like me are going to say i need to see evidence. i would have believed president bush, president obama. but when you speak, i think we
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need proof. those are the questions i should ask. >> jason, no credibility. >> i think we have to tone down the rhetoric. this is a little too fantastic, it sounds like way too many democrats are trying to hash out november 8th all over again. the fact of the matter is, they lost, and donald trump won. one thing real quick, a couple minutes ago, when you had the congressman on. he -- the allegation that the president has business ties somehow to russia, that's actually a false factual assertion, not the case in anyway shape or form. that was a couple segments back, i didn't want to let an outlandish segment stand. >> i have to ask you, how do we know that for sure? >> because he said it, he said he doesn't have any of the business interests -- >> okay, but he also said there was wiretapping, mass voter fraud, his inaugural crowd sizes were bigger and the president was not born in the united states. those statements were not true, why should we believe him when he says he doesn't have ties to russia?
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wouldn't producing his tax returns show that? >> you're trying to pull in the whole tax issue. >> no, what you're telling me what the president says -- we're talking about the credibility. you're telling me what the president says, we should believe it. we're talking about credibility. he's said a number of things that are not factually correct, they're lies, they're not credible. why should we believe him? all i'm doing is asking you that. about his ties to russia, when he has produced no evidence of no business ties? >> because he doesn't have any. and you're throwing that charge out there, and trying to -- >> i'm not saying he does. why should we believe him? >> you're trying to set up a scenario where trump people are trying to disprove something. there's nothing that's ever going to be presented to democrats to go and convince them. i think the president's doing a good job representing us on the international stage. at a certain point we have to tone it down, and i think some
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of this rhetoric is getting a little too fantastic. >> is this too fantastic? am i setting up a straw man here? why should we believe the president when he hasn't told us the truth all the time? >> well, don, this was unquestionably one of the worst days of donald trump's presidency. but what i was struck by, how much of this problem is entirely of donald trump's own making. it's by virtue of his credibility problems that we have this hearing today. most of the smoke that exists, is by virtue of misstatements or outright lies in some cases that have been told by donald trump and his associates who have forgotten meetings they've had, when it's been reported that the meetings took place, they offer benign explanations for what was discussed in those meetings, they have a habit of covering them up. on top of that you have donald trump suggesting that president obama directed wiretapping of him. he himself called for a congressional investigation.
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that's why we have this hearing today. this is a republican chaired committee, the intelligence committee in both the senate and house is chaired by republicans. i can promise you on the week they were bringing out neil gorsuch and rolling him out, and trying to pass health care later this week, the last thing they wanted to do was have a hearing on this issue. >> i have to get rick in. rick, i mean, he did call for this investigation, which now turns out is not credible. we're talking about wiretapping at trump tower, let's talk about his credibility. republicans behind the scenes have concerns about this president? >> look, i mean i -- >> quickly if you can. the president tweeted out something that was wrong. does it have an impact? yes, it does. just like when barack obama said if you have an insurance policy, you can keep it. republicans bounced on that over and over and over. >> you have three, four, five in a row. >> one is a felony. >> i keep hearing one, everybody -- i'm not making
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excuses, the former president did say that, and it turned out not to be true, in the course of politics and you're a politician. you said some things that have turned out not to be true. in back to back to back to back to back to back when there is no -- there's absolutely no proof. that's all i'm saying. >> everyone keeps pointing to that one thing. do you have ten others i can put up against this current president in the first 45 days of a presidency? just complete factual errors, lies? that you can point to. >> he knew at the time it wasn't true. >> that's really the question. >> you have others? >> i'm sure -- if you gave me a minute i'm sure i could think of others. that's not the point. i'm going to agree with you, the president going out there and tweeting these things that are not really backed up by a lot of facts. well, i read this, we expect more out of a president than just reporting to us that he read something, to repeat it out there and throw it out there for whatever reason he is it.
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the president is hopefully learning a lesson today, that that kind of activity is not going to be a good thing for him or his administration. as someone was saying, i didn't see who, this should be a great week for donald trump. gorsuch is going to knock it out of the park tomorrow. the house will pass a bill that moves health care along. this could be a great week for his administration, it got off on the wrong foot because of tweets that frankly should have been thought through before they were put out there. >> brian, i have ten seconds if you want to say something else? >> do you want to respond to that? >> i agree with senator santorum, the thing that's going to be interesting to watch now, don, at the conclusion of this hearing, devon nunez was loathed to suggest he was going to go along with it.


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