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tv   Bloomberg Markets Americas  Bloomberg  March 20, 2017 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

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before the house intelligence committee and are expected to get a grilling on key topics, rogers involvement in the 2016 election and president trump's claim that the obama administration wiretapped trump tower during the campaign. from new york, i am vonnie quinn. >> live from london, i am mark barton. we will bring you live coverage of today's hearings. abigail doolittle is in new york with the latest on how u.s. markets are trailing. >> good afternoon. good morning to our viewers in new york. today, the major averages are flipping between small gains of loss and losses good not a lot of congestio conviction. where we do have more distant action, tough, is for the commodity complex -- though, is for the commodity complex.
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typically that would give commodities a bit of a boost. it is helping goal. look at oil. oil is down more than 1%, this as u.s. supply worries continue after rig counts continue to increase. all of this is the bloomberg dollar complex is down. a little bit of an interesting dynamic. when we will be keeping an eye on. as for oil, when we hop into the thisberg and take a look, is oil over the last year. in pink, the 50 day moving average. yellow, we have been 200 day moving average. this is support or buying support for oil. we have oil below the 200 average.
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we could see oil dip closer to $40. only time will tell. now, let's take a look at what is moving in the s&p 500 today. this is the mrr function. we see lots of witness here in retail -- of weakness here in retail. up here, at best buy or devices, all these are influenced in a positive way by bullish comments from various investment banks. , that wasicrodevices a three dollars stock at this time last year. was a ride it has been for amd. mark: oil's ride downwards continues. the second day in nine today.
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on friday, we rose to a 15 month high on the stoxx 600. big day tomorrow for the next few weeks for deutsche bank. it will raise a million euros by selling stock at 835% discount to last week's closing price. issuingis doing is 687.5 million new shares. 11.65 euros a piece. existing shareholders will be able to acquire one new share for each two they now hold. the sale will run from tomorrow through april 4. the fourth capital infusion for deutsche bank since 2010. interestingly even after slipping ahead of the capital infusion, the stock is still up 80% since september, since that low in september amid renewed optimism for bankers. investors project economic growth and rising borrowing costs.
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look at the journey since september i's low. a big tv debate in france with the five leading presidential candidates. never before and it are have five candidates confronted each other before the for this round of voting. poron's standing in the ll mean he probably will be the main target among the other four. there is the spread today. 67 basis point. vonnie: first round taking place april 23. we are getting back to capitol hill as fbi director james comey and mike rogers prepared to face questions over russia and wiretapping. for more on what is at stake, let's go to our washington correspondent from bloomberg news reporting from the hill. we are getting some headlines from the chairman saying basically russian hacking is a
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fact and also that we might learn more about it. the committee still investigating. what do you expect from the fbi director today? just moments ago, james comey coming into the hearing behind me in the doorway. he will face tough questions from democrats, but also from republicans on the house intelligence committee. there are questions about exactly what this administration's relationship is with russia. there are also accusations coming from president trump himself on twitter about the previous administration of president obama somehow meddling or surveilling trump tower during the campaign. i anticipate republicans will be pressing fbi director comey about that specific point as well as democrats pressing them about the meddling in the election on cybersecurity issues. like one is ams
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lot more hefty and potentially dangerous, national security lines, and could have -- wise, and could have a lot more consequences. others have said it is not true, the wiretapping claim. how do they resolve the other? >> there aretwo points to make -- there are two points to make. some aides have said there is no wiretapping going on during the campaign. the second point i would make is that that potentially leads to an issue for president trump as he looks to accomplish the rest of his legislative agenda like health care reform. a big vote in the house of representatives on thursday. as well as tax policy. the more they are talking about russia, the more they are not talking about other key legislative issues. was athe fbi director
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the receiving end of criticism by both parties during the election campaign. between he steer a pat both sides -- path between both sides given the history? kevin: i don't anticipate director comey will say something off script today. every interaction he has had with officials on capitol hill and reporters, he has been incredibly scripted. even walking in earlier this morning, he did not take questions from reporters. there is no question this is someone who has found himself on the receiving end of criticism, intense political criticism not only from hillary clinton's presidential campaign, but also from the likes of president trump. that would continue. he has committed to remaining as fbi director, has not stepped down, and will continue to see this through. the intelligence community he is someone
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perceived as being above the fray of politics. kevin, chief washington correspondent for bloomberg news. mark: let's continue the conversation. greg, senior editor for bloomberg news in washington studio in new york is a professor at columbia university, a member of the council of foreign relations, and a leading russian scholar. if i can start with you first, how is this testimony going down in russia? >> the russian government has been unhappy with all of the focus on the alleged russian role. there isan position is no proof of any hacking and they do not meddle in the election. there is growing concern over the last couple of months that focus on russia in washington has distracted or permanent resident trump from delivering on campaign promises of a better
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relationship between russia and the u.s., which is something the kremlin had high hopes for going in. vonnie: professor, we come to you. what is the endgame for russia? what does russia want out of this? does president putin hope it will go away? >> i think we are sort of -- we have to worry about the russia the system of the democratic national committee and all that. i think this is more or less pin-pricking on putin. all the time, he is seeking opportunities where he can do some meddling here and there. in airspace, he sent a russian jet fighter. 's waters, he
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sends a russian submarine. what is his purpose? does he want military action? no. he just loves doing it. vonnie: nevertheless, the u.s. is not lithuania or sweden. it has the ability to impose or take away sanctions on individuals and companies. why would he want to continue to needle u.s. politicians, u.s. parties, and the system? >> that is how he is building up and keeping his reputation and his popularity alive with the russian people. the russian economy is doing very badly. it is in a state of what we call stagflation, meaning the growth is barely 1% this year. inflation is 7% to 9% annual. is at a 2% reserve inflation rate. the economy is doing badly, but
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the russian president is handling all of the geopolitical issues so smartly. lithuania, sweden, the united states, hacking the system. vonnie: just hang on. i will give you one headline because we are hearing from the ranking member on the select committee on intelligence saying the russia-led releases health hurt clinton. and that is the headline from his testimony. mark: i want to get back to greg. the relationship between trump and putin has been of great interest since his election victory in november. path when iton the comes to big things like easing sanctions because of ukraine?
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where do we assume trump an american now stand on these issues? >> that is really a big question at the moment. we have seen a number of statements like the ones trump brought up over the weekend. it has been light on specifics in terms of policy changes. it looks like that has not been any public discussion of the idea of easing sanctions, which is something moscow has been hoping for cooperation on in the fight against the islamic state in syria. these are areas the kremlin had high hopes from the new administration. so far, really have not seen any results. at the moment, the jury is out on that. vonnie: another headline from the select committee on intelligence saying we do not know if americans helped russia.
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what is russia going to get out of this at the end of the day? will russia be any worse or better off in any economic sense? >> no, i don't think so. vonnie: is it all a pr game? >> it is needling on the russian president's side. he loves doing it. viehis popularity with the russn people is 87%. vonnie: is that a rating we can trust? >> ok, it may not be 87%, but over 60%, which is fairly high, right, given the fact that the economy is in a very bad shape. vonnie: rex tillerson, president trump, and plenty of people in the cabinet have had dealings with russia. where do you see u.s.-russia relations? are there still economic sanctions on russia? is there still an embarrassment
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on the part of the president tweeting out, what about democrats? they are not letting the fbi i.? >> the economic sanctions on russia, they depend on whether russia will acknowledge the independence of ukraine. can ukraine, for example, remain completely independent, and maybe at some state three to four years from now, five years from now, join the european union? will vladimir putin allow that? i doubt that. the question of sanctions, therefore, essentially rests on russian president's attitude toward ukraine because over the eastern border of ukraine, there is a russian minority living in ukraine, and they are creating some trouble for ukrainian citizens in that area. that will continue.
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mark: let's bring up some of these tweets the president made today. he has tweeted about five times today on russia. the most relevant he says jens copper and other has stated there is no evidence the president colluded with russia. this story he says is the news and everyone knows it. he said what about all the contact with the clinton campaign and the russians? is it through the dnc would have let the fbi in to look? the real story is congress, the fbi, and others should be looking into the leaking of classified information. must find leaker now. is there a perception in moscow that these other issues will be 's yoused as much as trump a week or so ago that former president obama tapped trump tower? do we think in moscow that there
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will be a fair representation of these other issues trump brought up today in his tweets? the allegations of hacking, which the russians deny, are a part of a political campaign by the democrats to put on trump, to the extent we will see if it will turn into a genuine investigation, whether it spins out of control. that is something the government has been tried to figure out and watching closely mostly because of the interest in trying to determine how much influence this is going to have on trump's ability to deliver on his promises to be closer to russia. and the policy there with regards to sanctions. mark: what is the general impression in moscow right now of trump less than three months into his tenure? has the impression been forged, or is it too early?
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>> before he won the election and in the first few months, a growing sense of alarm, particularly at some of the cabinet nominees starting to take tougher lines in their confirmation testimony, and thee was growing concern hacking scandal spiraled. fromth then prevent trump delivering on what he said he would do. state media highly controlled by the permanent with lavish coverage of trump after the inauguration a few weeks back to dial it way back. there has been much less coverage of him since. they do not know what to make of him and what to make of how much he will be able to have to do
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what they want for u.s.-russian relations. vonnie: professor, you were the u.s. treasury's advisor to the russian finance ministry, so you allright in there where the action happens in terms of sanctions and so forth. what if it turns out there were discussions regarding financials between key figures right now in the administration and surrounding the administration and russian officials? that undermine those individuals's ability to govern the u.s.? >> i don't think so. the sanctions are affecting russian economy, certainly. russian trade, russian imports of consumer goods, russian people are suffering after not getting adequate consumer goods. growingomy is barely less than 1% currently. vonnie: some of that has to do with oil prices, too. >> yes. oil prices. $50, $55 a barrel, at
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that level. the thing is, russia has not really been able to diversify its economy or its export. maybe export something else. maybe some manufactured goods, machinery, or whatever because russia has a very educated manpower. not a country, asia or africa, where it has to deal with a lot of uneducated labor force, but russia has not been able to manage that. the defendants on oil is hurting the economy. lawmakers andr, intelligence experts have said that they are concerned that russia's model of interference , which includes its
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selective leaking of information, attempts to control the narrative in the media, could be replicated in other countries such as the upcoming french presidential election, the first round of which takes place in april. the you believe that is possible? >> the russian leadership will interfere in some way in the french presidential election? mark: yes. tend to exaggerate the role of the russian presidency in these elections. can they really influence election outcomes? come on. vonnie: that is what the intelligence committee is trying to find out today. needling. he is saying i am still around and can create problems for foreign government. i can create problems for the democratic party in the u.s. i can create problems for the french elections. vonnie: how much are you seeing
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his influence on president trump right now just in the way he is thinking that perhaps paranoia, perhaps the idea that he needs to be in the limelight all the time and the love of the people? are you seeing parallels? >> well, i think president trump has a certain approach about how to deal in foreign policy matters. just sort of go easy with our foreign-policy matters. with vladimir putin, oh well. does that mean the russian president is going to relax his troublemaking on the eastern border of ukraine, where the is a significant m russian minority? will he let ukraine be independent? will he let ukraine join the european union? i don't think so. that is where the question of
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the lifting of sanctions is that the russian president has to ease on his troublemaking in ukraine. mark: how big of a role the secretary of state rex tillerson have to play in forthcoming months? >> i think that is the big question a lot of people have. excitement in russia because he is a man the russian government knows well from his role as the ceo of exxon. he actually got a reward from putin, one of the few foreigners to be awarded the medal of friendship. there is enthusiasm and hope that that may bring better relations. so far, they have not see much of him. the meetings would have been in the munich security council last month. concernthere is still
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and a sense that the positions ha have not been settled on the. mark: one of the questions that will be put to james comey today and that will try to be resolved today is, did trump aides collude with russia? did anyone close to trump work with russia in the campaign in the hacking of democrats or the potential dealmaking after the election? what have you uncovered? what is the perception from the russian standpoint on this? >> well, in terms of contact during the campaign, so far there is no evidence or at least nothing has become public so far to suggest collusion or cooperation on that regard, although there is a lot of interest and focus on that. that is one of the areas of attention in the hearings coming up. on the issue after the election, there were brief conversations with the russian ambassador with
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now former advisor flynn, which raised questions. the issue was not so much the conversations themselves as the fact that they were initially denied and admitted. it was the question whether they were being concealed. vonnie: what is more important to the russian people? do they care if there is better relations between the u.s. and russia? or is the sovereignty of russia and what president clinton might do on the ukrainian front more important to them? >> i think the line is foreign-policy is a very important issue for the russians. this stuff plays very well at home. it is important to be perceived as a great power, to be a player geopolitically, and the idea and the russian hackers allegations of the kremlin meddling have gotten so much attention in the u.s. and across western europe is obviously a big boost for the national sense
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of we are back in the game, we are players, we can do with the big powers do. at the same time, economically, painsons are difficult for the people and the economy. is not catastrophic. the economy is bouncing back. a had a recession and are now recovering, but long-term, benefits that some kind of a relationship with the u.s. is something they would like to see. can you deliver that on the terms that be: would terms that the b kremlin would like to see. vonnie: the editing is chancellor angela merkel. she would like to have some kind of a relationship with putin, too, it for no other reason than combating terrorism. is this something that has faced
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over the other allegations, money changing hands, or financial discussions, ethical impropriety? if russia works with germany, the u.s. on combating terrorism imminently. >> russian relations with syria are very close. there are russian settlers in syria. several hundred russian soldiers . vonnie: i am afraid we have to stop there. thank you for joining us. this is admiral rodgers. >> i am honored to appear beside comey,mmate, director call regarding the u.s. election. i want to assure the committee that my team is doing its best to fulfill the various requests of this committee to support your ongoing investigations into this subject. nsa has past weeks,
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been working closely with the committee to provide you the information that you require for your investigation. i can assure you we will continue to do so. wen we last met in january, discussed the classified version of the january intelligence committee's assessment on assessing russian activities and intentions in the recent u.s. election. today, more than two months after we issued this assessment, we stand by it as issued. there is no change in our confidence level on the assessment. of course, the specifics of this assessment need to remain classified to protect sensitive sources and methods. today, i will limit my domain,on to the public that of the publicly released intelligence community assessment. there are issues i cannot discuss in an open session, nor will i be able to provide specifics in areas. the intelligence
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community has a long-standing polic of not discussing surveillance targeting information, as it would open the door to further investigations or the release of classified information, all of which would be harmful to our national security. we are concerned of leaks of classified information, and they can reveal the sources and methods we employ to provide intelligence to policymakers and generate innovators for our nation while protecting its citizens and interests and their privacy. i also want to assure the committee that we take very seriously that obligation to protect u.s. persons privacy. this applies to all stages of the production of foreign intelligence, but i like to emphasize one area in particular, the dissemination. inhave strict procedures place to make sure that our reporting and the contents are disseminated only to those who
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have a strict need to know for valid purposes, would primarily means in support of the development of foreign policy and to protect national security. i do want to specifically mention that among the collection of authorities we have to target foreign actors in foreign spaces, by section 702 order have been helpful in gathering the facts of foreign activity in this election cycle. it would be difficult to overstate the scale of malicious hyperactivity today. our adversaries have not rested in trying to penetrate government systems, steal our --vate we have a hard-working and dedicated team at nsa network.
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cyber defense is a team sport and one of nsa's strongest partners is director jim: he met the fbi -- jim comey's team at the fbi. i'm happy to be here to describe how we are protecting the nation and our allies. in light of the assessment and findings, i welcome your investigation into overall russian activities targeting the previous u.s. elections. an essay to employ rigorous analytics standards, applying them in every aspect of our intelligence reporting. our analysts have consistently proven to be reliable and arrow in their technical and analytic efforts in providing our policymakers and war fighters with ammunition to make informed decisions to protect our nation's freedom and enjoy the safety of the citizens. they continue to monitor.
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we share the information with our ic colleagues and foreign counterparts and produce unbiased, unprejudiced, and timely reporting of facts in their entirety. i look forward to your questions. thank you, sir. >> thank you, admiral rodgers. , you arekobecomey recognized for five minutes. >> thank you for including me in today's hearing. i am on to be here represent the people of the fbi. i hope we have shown you through our actions and words how much we at the fbi value your oversight of our work and how much we respect your responsibility to investigate those things that are important to the american people. thank you for showing that both are being taken very seriously. know, our practice is not to confirm the existence of ongoing investigations, especially those investigations that involve classified matters. circumstances where
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it is in the public interest, it may be appropriate to do so as justice department policies recognize. this is one of those circumstances. i have been authorized by the department of justice to confirm that the fbi as part of our counterintelligence mission is investigating the russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the trump campaign and the russian ether there waswhte any correlation between the campaign and russia's efforts. as with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed. because it is an open ongoing investigation and is classified, i cannot say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are examinin.
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at the request of congressional leaders, we have taken the seminary step in court nation with the department of justice of breathing this congress's leaders including the leaders of this committee in a classified setting in detail about the investigation. i cannot go into those the tells here. i know that it's extremely frustrating to some folks, but it is the way it has to be for reasons that i hope you and the american people can understand. in how is very careful we handle information about our cases and about the people we are investigating. about also very careful the way we handle information that may be of interest to our foreign adversaries. both of those interests are an issue in a counterintelligence investigation. please do not draw any conclusions from the fact that i may not be able to comment on certain topics. i know speculating is part of human nature, but it is not fair
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to draw conclusions similar because i say i cannot comment. some folks may want to make comparisons to past instances with the department of justice in the fbi have spoken about the details of some investigations. please keep in mind that those involve the details of completed investigations. our ability to sho share details with the congress and the american people is limited when those investigations are still open, which i hope makes sense. when you to protect people's privacy. we need to make sure we do not give other people clues as to where we are going. when you can actually do not give information to our foreign adversaries about what we know or do not know. we just cannot do our work well or fairly if we start talking about it while we are doing it. we will try very hard to avoid that as we always do. this work is very complex. there is no way for me to give
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you a timetable as to when it will be done.we approach this work in an open-minded, independent way, and our extra investigators will conclude that work as quickly as they can, but they will always do it well the matter how long that takes. we willomise you follow the facts wherever they lead. i want to underscore something my friend mike rogers said. leaks of classified information are serious, serious federal crimes for a reason. they should be investigated, and where possible, prosecuted in a way that reflects that seriousness so that people understand it cannot be tolerated. i look forward to taking your questions. comey.k you, director admiral rodgers, i first want to hear from you. theanuary 6, 2017, intelligence community assessment assessing russian activities in intentions in recent u.s. elections stated that the types of systems
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russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying. my question as of today, admiral rodgers, do you have any evidence that russian cyber actors changed vote tallies in the state of michigan? >> no, i do not, but i would highlight we are a foreign intelligence organizatio, so it would be very to say we are not the best organization to provide a more complete answer. >> how about the state of pennsylvania? >> no sir. >> wisconsin. >> knows there. >> ohio. >> no sir. >> you have no intelligence or evidence that suggests any votes were changed? >> i have nothing generated by the national security industry. >> director comey? >> no. >> thank you.
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rodgers, i know that there is a leak of information regarding director clapper and former secretary of defense were looking at relieving you of your duty. are you aware of those stories? >> i am aware of media reporting to that. >> those stories were leaked as soon as you have visited with president-elect trump. is that correct? >> yes there. i was asked if i would be prepared to interview with the trump administration for a position, which i did. the leak impact your ability in the assessment you did for the intelligence community assessment on january 6. >> no sir. time worrying about your reporting, i would not get anything done. >> i remain extremely
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concerned about the leak you referenced in your testimonys. just for the record, i want to get this on the record. does the unauthorized disclosure of classified information to the press violate 18usc793, a section of the espionage act? >> yes. >> what an unauthorized disclosure of fisa derived to the press violate 18usc798, a section of the espionage act that criminalizes disclosure of information concerning the communication and intelligent activities of the u.s.? >> yes, in addition to being a breach of our trust with the fisa court. >> thank you, director. tothis time, i will yield mr. rooney for questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i like to direct my questions first and foremost to admiral
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rodgers to convey my thanks to the many men and women for their dedication at the nsa for keeping our country safe as well as i want to talk about the recent media stories that may have led to confusion in the public about what the nsa is it andot legally collecting the safeguards the nsa has put in place to protect personal data. i would like to clarify the chairman of the subcommittee on the nsa. i recently got to meet your deputy admiral last week out of the nsa. we spoke to some of these things. will we can talk about here , i think it is important for the people in the room and listening outside understand. is through the nsa would need a court order based on probable cause to conduct electronic surveillance on a u.s. person inside the united states? >> yes sir. >> just to be clear, the section
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of the fisa that is expiring later this year, 702, which we will be talking about a little bit, cannot be used to target u.s. persons or persons in the u.s.. is that correct? >> yes sir. >> section 702 focuses on non-us persons outside the united states primarily, correct? >> yes sir. >> you believe the section 702 is important and valuable for u.s. national security? >> yes sir. >> it is safe to say that without having this tool, it would be a threat to our national security. >> it would impact the ability to generate insight this nation needs. >> in the media, is a lot of reporting about something called incidental collection. can you talk about what incidental collection is? >> yes sir. it is when we are targeting a valid for a target, for example, in the course of that targeting,
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we either get a reference to a u.s. person or a u.s. person appears as part of the conversation. that is what we call incidental collecting. >> what do you do when something like that happens if there is a u.s. person part of an incidental collection? what kind of safeguards are put in place to make sure? >> it depends specifically on the legal authority we are using to execute the collection. in broad terms, it varies a little bit by the specific authority. you step back and we asked ourselves first, are we dealing with a u.s. person here? is there something we did not expect to encounter that we have now encountered? we will ask ourselves what leads us to believe it is a u.s. person. if it is, are we listening to criminal activity? are we seeing something of imminent threat or danger, for example? or are we just recently something that had nothing to do with any of the above?
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based on that, we will take a series of actions. in some cases, we will personally collect, not make any reporting on it, not retain the data. in some places, if we believe there is intelligence value, for example, whether it is a reference to a u.s. person in our reporting, we will mask the identity of the individual. we use a phrase like u.s. person one or u.s. person to. -- two. u.s. person is defined very probably.that is not just a u.s. citizen. that is a corporation, ship, or aircraft, internet protocol address, so it is not a particular individual. the term for us is much broader. it is designed to ensure our protections of u.s. persons. >> the procedures and
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protections you talked about are required and approved by the fisa court. >> yes sir, and the attorney general. >> you mentioned in your opening statement that for that kind of information to be disseminated outside of your agency and the nsa that dissemination would be on a strictly on a need to know basis. >> we usetw criteriao -- we use two criteria. is there a need to know in their official duties? >> who would that be? >> it could be another element within the intelligence community or within an essay. it could be a military customer. policymaker. i apologize. there was one other point i wanted to make. >> let's get back to masking briefly. you spoke about masking and
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trying to keep a u.s. person's identity concealed. , we it is disseminated often talk about the exceptions how you are mask them -- unmask them.what would be the exception be before it is disseminated? admiral rogers: we use two criteria. the second part was, is the identification necessary? those are the two criteria we use. of a u.s. identity person communicating with a foreign target? is that ordinarily disseminated in the masked or unmasked form? admiral rogers: no, if we make
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the decision that there is value, we will disseminate it. reference, u.s. person one, two. i would highlight if you look at the total breadth of our reporting involving u.s. persons at all is an incredibly small subset in my experience. >> who normally in the nsa would make the decision to unmask? are 20 rogers: there individuals including myself who i have delegated this authority to. >> does the level of approval changed depending on the reason for unmasking? if it was something or somebody really important, with that mask -- admiral rogers: not designated in writing that way, but at times requests will be pushed up to the senior most of the 20 individuals to my level to say we want to make sure you are comfortable with this. >> 20 people. safeguardsures or
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are put in place to make sure that those 20 people are not unmasking wrongly? admiral rogers: they retrieve specific training or controls in terms of our ability to disseminate information out of the database is associated with u.s. persons. >> ok. let's run through the exceptions quickly to a following hypothetical. the nsa collects a communication were a target under surveillance is talking to a u.s. person how would the nsa disseminate whether the information is necessary to understanding foreign intelligence or assess the importance? admiral rogers: first of all five understand the nation of the conversation. is actually something that involves intelligence our national security implications or is this very normal reasonable conversations in which case we have no desire to have awareness of it? in that case, normally, we will purge the data. is theirourselves,
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criminal activity involved? is there a potential threat or harm to a u.s. individual being discussed in the conversation? >> if there was criminal activity involved, what would you do then? admiral rogers: if we decide that, we will disseminate the information.in some cases , i will also generate a signed letter under my signature in specific cases to the department of justice highlighting what we think we have is potential criminal activity, by because we are not a law enforcement or justice organization, we are not at a place to make the that determination. >> if the nsa obtained the communication of general land while he was communicative with a surveillance target legally, would you please explain how general flynn's identity could be unmasked based on the exceptions we have discussed? >> i am not going to discuss
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hypotheticals about individuals. i am sorry. >> if i could make reference to a washington post article that i have from february 9, which states -- let me say what it is and i will ask if you have read it or seen it. in states national security under michael flynn privately discussed u.s. sanctions against russia with the country's ambassador to the u.s. during the month before president trump took office contrary to public assertions by publi trump officials. the article goes on to say that nine current or former officials who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the call spoke under the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. did you read this article? >> i apologize, sir. does not ring a bell.
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i have seen plenty of media reporting, but i will not comment on specifics. >> basically under the breadth of that article, when we hear that nine former or current officials had spoken to the press under the condition of anonymity and we heard director comey and the chairman speak of this as a potential crime, serious crime under the espionage act, assuming this article is accurate, who would have the position, would be in would be in to the position to request the unmasking of general flynn's identity? admiral rogers: we are talking about nsa reporting. >> with people like director comey me able to request that?
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admiral rogers: yes. >> and the attorney general and director clapper? those type of people are also on this list? admiral rogers: again, in general, yes. >> generally speaking. admiral rogers: i will not talk about specifics of individual or hypothetical scenarios. >> here is what i am trying to get at. if what we are talking about is a serious crime as it has been alleged, in your opinion, would leaking of a u.s. person who has been unmasked and disseminated by intelligence community officials, with that leaking to the press hurt or help our ability to conduct national security? admiral rogers: hurts us. leak,it hurts, this which through the 702 too with , which we agree is vital, you
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think it threatens our national security? if it threatens a crime and unmasks a person and can jeopardize this tool when we have to try to reauthorize it in a few months, if this is used against the ability of us to reauthorize this tool and we cannot get it done because whoever did this leak or these nine people that did this leak create such a stir whether it be in our legislative process or whatever that they do not feel confident that a u.s. person under the 702 program can masked successfully, doesn't that leak hurts our national security? admiral rogers: yes, sir. >> can you think of any reason why somebody would want to leak the identity ofa masked person -- of a masked person?
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>admiral rogers: no sir. i have raised this to everyone as part of our ethics, not just a legal requirement, but the ethics of our profession as intelligence officials. we do not engage in this activity.i have thended emitted women of nsa if i become aware of any such conduct, there is no place for you on this team. -- it isctable unacceptable to the citizens of this nation. >> as we move forward, what you are speaking out is the sacred trust that the intelligence community has with the american people, with the people that are representing them here on this . for those who break that sacred trust, if they are not held accountable, whether by the nsa internally or by the fbi through conviction or investigation of that crime, it
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is difficult for us to be able to keep that trust to know that what we are doing is valid and what we are doing has no nefarious motivations and to us to be able to keep america safe without violating the constitutional protections that we all enjoy. mr. chairman, i am not sure how much more time i have left. admiral rogers: can i make one comment? i want to remind everyone and in general, fisa collection on targets in the u.s. has nothing to do with 702. i just want to make sure we are not confusing the two things here. 702 is collection overseas against non-us persons. >> what we are talking about here is incidentally if the u.s. person is talking to a foreign person that we are listening to, whether or not that person is unmasked. admiral rogers: i just wanted to
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make sure we understand the context. that is all. >> whether we put the trust in is going to leave that -- leak that information to the press for whatever reason, and i am not even going to get into the virtuous what that reason may be , but it is really going to hurt the people on this committee and you all in the intelligence community. we try to retain this tool this year and convince some of our colleagues that this is important for national security, when somebody in the intelligence agency says i will release some persons name because i will get something out of it, we are all going to be hurt by that if we cannot be authorized this tool. you agree with that? admiral rogers: yes sir. >> do i have enough time to talk about the letter the committee sent? the committee sent to you on march 15 a letter to admiral rogers and director comey.
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have you had a chance to look at this letter? admiral rogers: yes. i have given you a reply on the 17th. >> just real quickly because i don't want to take up any more time, can you give us a sense how many unmasked u.s. versus were disseminated by the usa from june 2016 to june 2017. admiral rogers: no sir. we are in the process of compiling the information. >> can you tell us whether any of those dissemination's broadly will involve u.s. people relating to presidential candidate donald j. trump or hillary clinton and their associates in 2016? admiral rogers: i will not answer until i complete the research. >> assuming the nsa disseminated unmasked persons relating to the trump orphans and campaigns, without have any reason for such unmasking? admiral rogers: i apologize, i don't understand the question. >> let me move on to the next one. lines, if the
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nsa had wanted to disseminate unmasked u.s. persons identification, who in the nsa would have approved such dissemination? admiral rogers: it would have been one of the 20. i provided that in my initial response to the committee and have outlined the procedures, the specific 20 individuals. >> thank you, admiral. i look forward to working with you on the subcommittee moving forward. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director comey, we will begin this line of questioning that will finish at the next round. fisa and other similar related counterterrorism programs have been described even this morning as vital, critical, and indispensable to our national security. many of us on both sides of the aisle believe fisa and similar counterterrorism programs prevent terrorist attacks and save american lives, but fisa in other surveillance programs are intentionally designed to
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preserve the privacy of u.s. citizens. they are intentionally designed to ensure the information is forected and used only legitimate national security and criminal investigative purposes. there are statutory safeguards. there are warrants based on probable cause. there is a private court that is involved -- fisa court that is involved. there are audits on the backend. we think so highly of this material that it is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison to unlawfully disseminate it. to makehis was done sure this information gathered remains protected as a it relates to u.s. citizens. the way i view it, the american people have an agreement with the government. we are going to give you the tools to keep us safe, even if
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it infringes on our privacy some. we are going to give you the tools, and government in return promises to safeguard the privacy of u.s. citizens. when that deal is broken, it jeopardizes american trust in the surveillance programs. let me ask you, do you agree fisa is critical to our national security? director comey: i do. >> you agree programs like fisa were intentionally designed to safeguard the identity of u.s. persons? director comey: yes. there are other important elements of it, but that is the primary goal, i believe. >> it was not an afterthought or accident. these are intentional safeguards we put in place to protect u.s. citizens. director comey: correct. >> you agree much of what is learned from these programs is classified or otherwise legally protected? director comey: all fisa
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applications reviewed by the court, collection by us is classified. >> the dissemination of which is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison? director comey: the unauthorized dissemination. >> unauthorized dissemination of classified or otherwise legally protected material punishable by a felony of to 10 years in federal prison. director comey: yes, as it shou. . in january of this year, the washington post reported according to a senior u.s. government official, a named u.s. citizen and i will not use phoned a russian ambassador several times on december 29. in february of this year, the washington post reported nine current and former officials who were in senior positions at
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multiple agencies, at the time of the calls spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters and that officials began pouring over intelligence report, intercepted communications and diplomatic tables. in february of this year, the new york times reported a u.s. citizen whose name i will not use discusses sanctions with the russian ambassador in a phone call. according to officials who have of thetranscript wiretapped conversation. year, they of this new york times reported on a phone call involving a u.s. citizen, including significant discussions of phone records, intercepted calls, intercepted
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communications and reported the nsa captured calls and then asked the fbi to collect as much information as possible. my time is up, so i will say this for this round. i thought it was against the law to disseminate classified information. is it? >> yes, it is a serious crime. i will not comment on those articles because i don't want to compound a criminal act by confirming that it was classified information. in general, it is a serious crime and should be. >> we will take it back up, next round. >> high-yield 15 minutes to mr. ship. >> director comey, i want to begin by putting to rest several claims made by the president about his predecessor, namely that president obama wiretapped his phones so that we can be
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precise. i want to refer you to what he said and ask you whether there is any truth to it. the president claimed quote, terrible, just found out obama had my wires tapped in trump tower just before the victory. nothing found. this is mccarthyism, unquote. director comey, was the present statement that obama had his wires captain trump tower a true statement? >> with respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, i have no information that supports them. we have looked carefully inside the fbi. that department of justice has asked me to share that the answer is the same for the department of justice and all of its components. they have no information that supports those tweets. the president accused mr. obama and presumably the fbi of it -- of engaging in
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mccarthyism. as you understand, the term, do you think the president or the fbi was engaged in such conduct? >> i will not try to characterize the tweets themselves. all i will say is we have no information that supports them. >> were you engaged in mccarthyism? >> we try very hard not to take part in any isms of any kind. >> the president stated is it legal for a sitting president to be wiretapping a running president prior to an election? can you answer the president's question? woodhead -- would it have been legal for president obama to wiretap president trump? >> i will not respond to the tweets themselves. there is a statutory framework in the u.s., under which courts grant permission for electronic
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surveillance, in a criminal case or national security case. that a rigorous process involves all three branches of government and one we have lived with since the late 1970's. no individual in the united states and direct electronic surveillance of anyone. it has to go through an application process. ask a judge and the judge can make the order. >> president could not order a wiretap of anyone. >> no president could. -- president obama could not order a wiretap of anyone. >> no one could -- no president could. >> mr. trump also asserted that the application or the president's order was turned down by a court. was there a request made by the fbi or justice department to wiretap donald trump that was turned down by a court? >> i cannot comment on that one way or the other.
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i cannot comment on anything that relates to the fisa process in an open state -- in an open process. you're a good lawyer. can you make a great case that president obama wiretapped president trump's phones as part of the election in light of the fact that you have said there is no evidence? >> we have no information that supports those tweets. >> in my view, you would not be a great lawyer will -- lawyer to make that case. the president made the following accusation. this is nixon watergate, bad or sick guy. the president has compared mr. obama to nixon and reported wiretaps of trump phones as another wire gate -- watergate. what is the gravity of the
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offense by nixon and his affiliates during watergate? a lot of people watching may not understand what was watergate. kids i recall, and i was a but i studied it. it was an abuse of power, including break-ins, unlawful wiretaps, obstruction of justice , the cycle of criminal conduct. >> a break-in of the democratic headquarters by operatives of the president, was it not? >> that is how it began. >> it also involved a cover-up the president. >> yes. >> hero think you have said there has been no evidence of an illegal wiretap by president obama. is that right? >> the fbi and the department of justice have no information to support those tweets. >> there is evidence of a break-in of the democratic
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headquarters by a foreign power using cyber means. >> yes, there was. the intelligence community reported in january that the russian intelligence services packed into a number of enterprises in the united states, including the democratic national committee. >> there was an effort by russians to cover-up the break-in of the democratic party headquarters by using cutouts like wikileaks to publish the solo material. -- stolen material. >> certainly to cover-up that they were the ones releasing it. >> director rogers, in an effort to explain why there was no evidence supporting the president's claim that obama wiretapped him, the president and his spokesmen have suggested that british intelligence through its nsa wiretap mr. trump on president obama's behalf. did you ever request that your counterparts in gc hq should
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wiretap mr. trump on behalf of mr. obama? >> no, nor would i. that is expressly against the agreement that has been in place for decades. have you seen any evidence that anyone else in the obama administration made a request -- such a request? >> knows her. my view is the same as director comey. i have seen nothing on the nsa side that anyone ever asked us to engage in such activity. >> if you were to ask on the british, that would be a violation -- if you were to ask the british to spy on the u.s., that would be a violation of international law. >> yes it would. the british allies have called the president suggestion that they wiretapped him for obama nonsense and utterly ridiculous. would you agree? >> yes or. -- yes sir. >> does it do damage to one of
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our closest partners for the president to make a baseless claim that the british participated in a conspiracy against him? >> that clearly frustrates a ally of ours. >> it would not endear the british intelligence services to continue working with us. >> i believe the relationship is strong enough that this is something we will be able to deal with. >> it is not helpful. director rogers, president trump recently met with german chancellor angela merkel. during a press conference, he's adjusted they both had something in common, that they were both wiretapped by president obama. director comey demonstrated why the claims by the president about his being wiretapped by obama were unsupported by any evidence. the claim he made about wiretapping directed at merkel referred to something that came up in the context of the snowden disclosures. i'm not going to ask you to
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comment on whether the chancellor was the subject of any eavesdropping, but i will like to ask you whether the snowden disclosures did damage to our relationship with our german allies and whether the chancellor herself expressed concern at the time. >> yes sir. >> is it helpful to our relationship with the chancellor or german intelligence to bring this up again in a public forum? >> it certainly complicates things but i would like to think our relationship is such a can deal with it and move forward. >> our relationships with the british and germans you hope are strong enough to withstand any damage done by these comments. >> by anything in general. we have foundational interest with each other. director comey, let me ask you questions you may or may not be able to answer. do you know who roger stone is? >> generally, yes.
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>> are durant that he was a partner of paul manafort? -- are you aware that he was a partner of paul manafort? >> we are going somewhere i don't want to go, which is commenting on a public person, but i don't want to comment. are you aware that he has publicly ignore alleged having directly communicated with someone the intelligence community has assessed was a person of roger -- russian intelligence? >> i have read media accounts but i don't know if that is accurate. acknowledgedne that -- time in the barrel was coming in august of 2016, would that have been prior to the public release of stolen emails? >> that is correct chronology.
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>> do you know how he would have known that the emails were going to be released? >> it is not something i can comment on. >> do you know that he said at the time he was not even aware of whether his emails had been stolen would be published? >> not something i can comment on. >> i'm going to yield to mr. himes. >> thank you for being with us. when i get my time i will have some follow-up questions, but let me start with a point that the chairman brought out specifically, which is that there is no evidence that votes were technically changed in any of the jurisdictions that he named. say correct that when we
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russian hacking, what we are referring to is the act that the intelligence immunity believes that the russians penetrated the networks of the dnc, of individuals, stolen -- stolen from age and and then disseminated that information. is that a fair characterization of the intelligence communities conclusion? >> yes or. -- yes sir. analysis ofdo an whether the dissemination of that information in a closely. election had any effect on the american electorate? >> the intelligence unity does not do assessments of public opinion. >> that is not your job. that is actually something we probably have a little bit more understanding of. was there any equivalent dissemination of adverse information stolen from the rnc
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or individuals associated with the trump campaign? >> no. >> thank you. , i appreciate your frankness on the topic of andngoing investigation appreciate your inability to go too much further. i do want to ask you a question to try to clear up some confusion. this committee is engaged in investigation about links between the trump campaign and the russians, should there be any possible collusion. we had a number of statements early in the investigation that there was no evidence of collusion. this is still early and our investigation. is it fair to say you are relatively early in your investigation? >> it is hard to say because i don't know how much longer it will take. we have been doing this
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investigation since late july. period that is a short of time. >> you used the word , which suggests you are investigating whether there was coordination between u.s. persons and russians. is it fair to assume that we should not dismiss the possibility that there was coordination or collusion between the russian efforts and the u.s. persons? is what wen tell you are investigating, which is whether there was coordination between people associated with the trump campaign and the russians. >> thank you. >> i will yield the representing to -- the remaining time to representative -- >> with respect to the coordination, i want to continue this line of questioning.
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can you say with any specific , what kindcificity of coordination or contacts you are looking at, generally when confronted with something like this? >> i cannot. >> can you discuss whether or not there was any knowledge by any trump really did person -- related person and the russians? >> i can't. >> with respect to any investigation, ongoing cannotgation, you comment on any of that. >> correct. >> can you characterize what the nature of your investigation generally, when you do an investigation of this sort, can you talk about the process, generally? >> not a whole lot. use great you we people.
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week award in it with other parts of the intelligence community to see what they may know from around the world. we use different tools and techniques that we use in all of our investigations. i'm not sure that is useful, but that is the most i can say. >> how long does an investigation like this usually take? >> there is no usually. it is impossible to say. >> i yield back my time. to mr. gowdy.ack you and ir comey, were discussing the felonious dissemination of classified material. is there an exception in the law for current or former u.s. officials request anonymity? >> to release classified information? >> yes. >> no. is there an exception in the law for reporters who want to break a story? >> that is a harder question.
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lawyer as mr.d a schiff said i used to be. >> the statute does use the word published, doesn't it? >> that is a question i know the department of justice has struggled with. >> the departments struggle with it, the circuits struggle with it but you are not aware of an exception in the current dissemination of classified information statute that carves out an exception for reporters. >> i'm not aware of anything carved out in the statute. i don't think a reporter has been prosecuted in my lifetime. >> there have been a lot of statutes in this investigation for which no one has been prosecuted or convicted. that does not keep people from discussing the statutes, namely the logan act. how would reporters know a u.s. citizen made a telephone call to an agent of a foreign power? >> how would they know, legally?
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andt was declassified discussed in a judicial proceeding or congressional hearing. >> and that of that -- assuming that of those facts are at play, how would they know? >> somebody told them who should not have told them. a legitimate way, through an appropriate proceeding, where there has been declassification, but in any other way, a illegitimate way. >> how would reporters know if a transcript exhibit -- existed of an intercepted communication? >> same answer. the only legitimate way is through a proceeding. what does the term mask mean in the terms of pfizer and surveillance programs? -- fisa andzer surveillance programs? -- it means -- there is
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no further edification on a document. >> at hal rogers say there are 20 people in the nsa that are part of the unmasking process. how many people within the fbi are part of it? >> surely more given the nature of the fbi's work. we come at the contact with u.s. persons a whole lot more than the nsa does because we only conduct our operations in the united states to collect electronic surveillance. i can find out the exact number, but i don't know as i sit here. >> given the fact that you and i agree that this is indispensable, a similar program is coming up for reauthorization, it would be nice to know the universe of people who have the power to unmask a u.s. citizen's name,
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because that might provide something of a roadmap to investigate who might've actually disseminated a u.s. mast citizens name -- masked citizen's name. >> the number is important, but the culture behind it is more important. the training and discipline. fisae obsessive about the at the fbi for reasons i hope makes sense to this committee. everything has to be labeled such a way to warn people that this is fisa. i want to assure you the culture of the fbi and an essay about how we treat u.s. person in relation is obsessive in a good way. >> i am not arguing with you and i agree the culture is important. if there are 100 people who have the ability to unmask and the knowledge of a previously mast is 100 masked name, that
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different potential sources of investigation. the smaller the number is, the easier your investigation is. the number is relevant. i concede the culture is relevant. what other u.s. government agencies have the authority to unmask a u.s. citizen's name? >> all agencies that collect information or servant to fisa have standard minimization procedures which are approved by the court to govern how they will treat u.s. person information. the nsa, the cia, the fbi. i don't know for sure beyond that. >> how about main justice? >> main justice does have standard minimization proceedings. >> that's four. does the white house have the authority to unmask a u.s. citizen's name? >> other elements of the
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government that are consumers of our product can ask the collectors to unmask. the unmasking resides with those who collect the information. if mike rogers set data collected information and sent it to me and it said u.s. person number one and it was important for us, to know who that it -- who that was, the request go back to them. they can't on their own collect, so they cannot on their own unmask. >> you say it is vital and critical and indispensable. we both know it is a threat to the reauthorization of 702, this fall and it's also a felony punishable by up to 10 years. how would you begin your investigation assuming for the sake of argument that a u.s. citizen's name appeared in the washington post and the new york times, unlawfully? where would you begin that investigation? >> i'm not going to talk about any particular investigation. you would start by figuring out
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who are the suspects. who touched the information you concluded ended up unlawfully in the newspaper. you use investigative tools to see if you can eliminate people are include people as more serious suspects. >> the you know whether director klapper knew the name of the u.s. citizen that appeared in the new york times and the washington post? >> i cannot say because i don't want to confirm there was classified information. >> would he have access to an unmasked name? >> i cannot say. would national security adviser susan rice -- susan rice u.s.access to a unmasked citizens name? >> any national security adviser would as a matter of ordinary course of their business. >> would former white house
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adviser ben rhodes have access? >> i don't know the answer to that. >> would loretta lynch have access to an unmask u.s. unmasked u.s.-- citizen's name? >> yes. >> did you briefed president obama-- brief president -- i will just ask you. did you briefed president of -- on anyresident obama calls involving michael flynn? >> i'm not going to get into that particular case or any conversations i had with president. there has been speculation, this morning on motive. i'm not all that interested in motive. it is hard to prove and you never have to prove it. i get that people want to know. the jury always wants to know
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why. -- you and i can agree there are a couple of reasons you would not have two late, feloniously disseminate classified material. it was not done to help an ongoing criminal investigation because you already have the -- the information. >> i cannot answer in the context of this matter. >> how about in theory? is there something a reporter would have access to that the fbi would not? >> i would hope not. >> i would hope not, too. i would hope you had access to everything as the head of the world's premier law enforcement agency. i would hope you have it all. if you had it all, the motive could not have been to help you, because you already had it. rogers, the motive could not have been to help you because you already had it. in the universe of possible motives for the polonius
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dissemination of classified material, we could rule out wanting to help the intelligence amenities and law enforcement. those are two motives that are gone. that leaves something more nefarious. is the investigation into the leak of classified information -- has it begun? >> i can't say because i don't want to confirm that was classified information. >> i don't want to quarrel with you. i understand you cannot ordinarily confirm or deny the existence of an investigation, but you did it, this morning, citing doj policy. that you not agree surveillance programs that are critical, indispensable, vital to our national security, some of which are up for reauthorization that save american lives and prevent terrorist attacks also rises to the level of important? >> i think those programs are
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vital and leaks of information under those programs are terrible. as i said, it should be taken seriously. what i don't want to do is compound what that people have done and confirm something in the newspaper. sometimes the newspaper gets it right. there is a whole lot of wrong information about allegedly classified information. we don't call them and correct them, either. we don't go anywhere near it because we don't want to help and compound the offense. >> i understand that. some of the words that appeared in this public reporting include the word transcript which has a very unique use in the matters that you and i are discussing. that is a very unique use of that word. wiretap has a very specific meaning. the name of a u.s. citizen that was supposed to statutorily be protected is no longer protected.
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some of this reporting -- let's assume 90% of it is inaccurate. that other 10% is still important. to the extent that you can rely s, we are talking about february of this year, when the reporting first of place. -- first took place. we are two months into something that you and i agree is incredibly important and happens to be a felony. i'm asking you to assure the american people, you have assured then you take it seriously. can you assure them that it is going to be investigated? >> i can't. know howople watching seriously we take leaks of classified information. i don't want to confirm it by saying we are investigating it. i have to draw the line. i'm not going to argue with
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you. do this -- too discuss a lot of important things today, whether russia attempted to influence our democratic process is important. whether they sought to influence it, and credibly important. incrediblybehindour u.s. respo, important. some of it may rise to the level of the crime, some of it does not. one thing you and i agree on is the felonious dissemination of classified material most definitely is a crime. would ask you, and i understand some of the procedures you are up against, i would humbly ask you to seek authority from whoever you need to seek authority from. i will finish the same way i started. this is an agreement between the american people and its government.
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we, the american people, give certain powers to government to keep us safe and when those powers are misused and the motive is not criminal investigations or national security, but i will bet you my fellow citizens are rethinking their side of the equation. because that u.s. citizen could be them next time. it could be you. it could be me. it could be anyone until we start seriously investigating and prosecuting what congress thought was serious enough to attach a 10 year felony to. add a response to what you said? i agree with you, mr. gowdy. two things folks should know. and on authorized disclosure of that is an unusual event. we will take that seriously.
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is vital. second, this conversation has nothing to do with 702. folks mix them together. 702 is about targeting non-us persons overseas. pursuant to the statute, the fbi can file to collect electronic surveillance within the united states but it is a different thing from 702. the conversation you and i were having is about this. which is vital and important. >> director comey, you are 100% correct and i am 100% correct in saying that is the sanction that doesn't make a difference to most of the people watching television. what we are reauthorizing this fall has nothing to do with what we were discussing other than it is and other government program where the people can consent to allow the government to pursue certain things with the explicit promise it will be protected. you are right, they are different. but in the eyes of people watching it is the u.s. government officials leaking the name of a u.s. citizen. if it can happen here it may
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happen there. want to seeu and i it reauthorized. it is in jeopardy if we don't get this result. >> our time is expired, i will reveal that i will yield all 15 minutes. with ant to follow-up few questions about roger stone that i started earlier before i pass it to my colleagues. are you aware that roger stone played a role in the trunk campaign? >> i am not going to talk about any particular person here today. i am going to continue to ask these questions because i want to make sure you are aware of these facts so whether you are able to comment on them or not -- have you read press reports of him proudly engaging in political dirty tricks? >> i give you the same answer, sir. >> he was in direct communication with russian jr you, which intelligence talked
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about, the role of him. an -- ae received communication that said "i am pleased to say that you are great. please tell me if i can help you anyhow." are you aware of that communication from russia through to mr. stone? samehave to give you the answer. >> are you aware that mr. stone also stated publicly that he was in direct communication with julian assange and wikileaks. >> same answer. >> mr. stone also claimed he was in touch with an intermediary? >> same answer. >> this question, do you know whether the russian intelligence services dealt directly with wikileaks or whether they use an intermediary. >> they did not deal directly with wikileaks, in contrast to d.c. leaks.
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>> in early october, are you aware that mr. stone tweeted "i have confidence that my hero julian assange will educate the american people soon." are you aware of that? >> same answer. >> are you aware that wikileaks released the podesta emails? >> yes sir. >> i will yield now to mr. himes. >> i know that we are going through the 90 minute mark on this hearing so let me step back a second and just review the topics because there is a lot on the table. friends on the republican side will get no argument from this side on the importance of investigating prosecuting leaks. to ourre a threat national security whether they were perpetrated by edward snowden or people outside the white house or perhaps as we have seen in the last 60 days, maybe from people inside the white house.
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i can use yourif phrase, intense public interest, there is intense public interest in the fact that our new president will attack anyone and everyone. he will attack the cast of "hamilton." he will attack chuck schumer, our allies, mexico, australia and germany. intelligencek the community, associating you with mccarthyism and not see as him. whichere is one country is immune and inoculated from any form of presidential attack no matter what the behavior, no matter if there is a violation of the nuclear treaty, no matter if vladimir putin kills political opponents. the new president defends, obfuscates, does not attack. people around the presidents, michael flynn, jeff sessions, paul manafort have an odd connection to russia, a series of connections.
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i don't think any of our campaign people have connections with a foreign power, much less one that is an adversary to the united dates. and apart from these weird links , without exception, the individuals i have quoted have dissembled or misled or maybe even lied about the nature of those connections until the political pressure has gotten to a point where they had been fired or recused, in the case of the attorney general. so i want to look briefly at one of these individuals. director comey, i understand your constraints but i want to ask a couple of questions regardless. paul manafort, who is roger stone's business partner and former -- trumps former campaign aboutr -- i want to ask him. can you tell me what the foreign agents registration act is? >> sure. not in an expert way but it is a statute that requires people who were acting as agents of a non-us government to register with the united states.
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>> so the national security division of the department of es isce rights -- writ to ensure that the government and the people of the united thees are informed of identity of persons attempting to influence u.s. public opinion, policy and laws, and would you agree with guarding against foreign espionage or foreign influence measures falls under this heading? >> yes. is willfulral, violation or failure to register pursuant to this law in some circumstances a crime? >> i am not an expert but i believe it is. >> and it could lead to counter intelligence concerns, right? >> yes. >> all men of reported in the new york times and other outlets that his deputy ran a campaign in washington to lobby government officials and pushed prosody of -- push positive
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ukrainianerences of officials. he worked with the former president as far back as 2007. the lobbying was only discovered by ukraine's new national anticorruption bureau which found secret letters in kiev indicating almost $13 million in undisclosed cash they meant to paul manafort for lobbying done between 2007 and 2012. director comey, did paul manafort ever register as a foreign agent under the law? >> that is not something i can comment on. >> whether he registered or not is not something you can comment on. >> no. was, however,rt donald trump campaign manager in july of 2016, correct? >> i don't want to answer about any individual u.s. person.
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it is obvious from the public record but i don't want to start down the road of answering questions about somebody. >> well, i think the fact would show that he never did register. but as the ranking member pointed out, it perhaps should come as no surprise that the republican platform which was drafted at the republican convention in july of 2016 underwent a significant change with respect to the american response to russia's illegal invasion of ukraine and their aggression in the country. it appears from our standpoint that we had, perhaps, somebody who should have registered pulling the strings. but there is more. i don't know how much you will be able to comment on but i want to explore for a second, the nature of the russian government. often, the question becomes what their contact with russian officials? i want to read you a brief quote on britain's
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government -- putin's government , which said "instead of seeing it as a system being pulled down by history, accidental autocrat, popular inertia, your credit and butense -- incompetence, putin sought to create an authoritarian regime ruled by a cloak -- close knit cabal who used democracy for decoration rather than direct and." it fair to say that the line in the united states between government officers and government officials is blurred in russia? be oligarchs or other individuals who appear to be private citizens but have connections to this close and it doingwho might be agents the kremlin's bidding in contact with others? is fair to say and one of our missions is to understand who those people are and are they acting on behalf of the russian government.
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>> is it true there is a category of russian oligarchs that are likely part of this close-knit cabal? >> in a general sense. >> and if they go way back with vladimir putin do the chances increase that they might be connected with the kgb? >> the longevity of the association can be considered. >> and the kgb was the russian intelligence service under the soviet union and the ukraine was part of the soviet union. >> yes. stealill just observe, a and iron ore magnate or oligarchs is the richest man in ukraine and a small putin ally. he recommended paul manafort. mr. comey, the last set of questions for me, i have a report that appeared in cnn yesterday and the headline is "former trump campaign chief paul manafort wanted for questioning in ukraine corruption case."
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i raise this because the story is told that paul manafort acted on behalf of ukraine's former justice minister. who was the justice minister under the previous pro-russian regime who, and i will read a segment from the story, -- "who was involved in jailing the former prime minister who was the main political rival of the kremlin backed president who manna fort advised until he was deposed in 2014." he was released from jail at the same time that he was ousted. saw her sentencing as politically motivated by the pro-russian governments. in response to the deteriorating in the international climate, ukrainian prosecutors say he drafted a public relations strategy that included hiring an
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american law formed to review the case and show the conviction had a sound legal basis. the story goes on to talk about the transfer of over a million dollars, potentially illegally from ukrainian coffers. and the reason i bring this up with you is because the story also says and it appears to have been confirmed by the department of justice that the current ukraine regime, hardly a friend of the russians and very much targeted by the russians, has made seven requests to the united states government for assistance under the mla treaty in securing the assistance of paul manafort as part of this anticorruption case. in fact, the story says you were presented personally with a letter. my question is, is that all true? have you been asked to provide assistance to the current government with response to paul manafort and how do you respond? >> that is not something i can comment on. generally, we have a strong
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relationship and cooperation in the criminal and national security areas with our ukrainian partners but i can't talk about that matter. >> the story says the doj confirmed there have been requests for assistance on this matter. you can't go as far as confirming that there have been these requests made. >> if they have done that i would need to do it again. i can't comment. >> i appreciate that and with that i will yield back the remainder of my time to the ranking member. >> i yield to terry sold. >> my question this morning really revolves around the resignation of the former national security adviser michael flynn. has beencomey, much made about russia's historical interference with political elections around the world. it was meant to cause discord and disunity, especially in western alliances.
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does the fbi generally assume that russian ambassadors to the united states like ambassador just react are at least overtly collecting intelligence on influential americans, especially political leaders? >> that is not something i can answer in an open setting. >> am i right that in the russian playbook, it is in the russian playbook to use to clement and business people and russian intelligence officers, whether declared or not, to collect intelligence on influential americans for the purpose of affecting u.s. policy? >> as a general matter, nationstates that are adversaries of the united states use traditional intelligence officers, sometimes use officers under the dramatic cover, sometimes people we call co-optees, may be private citizens, students, academics,
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business people, all manner of human beings. i am a going to talk about the particulars. someone like the ambassador play that type of role for russia? >> i can say. >> the report that your agency helped draft, the report is entitled "assessing russian activities in the recent u.s. election" specifically states the recent u.s. election" specifically states that "since the cold war russian intelligence -- and priorities." and what we know about russia's efforts and the role of the russian ambassador, director comey, would you be concerned if anyone of your agents had a private meeting with the russian ambassador? a if the fbi agent had private meeting with a russian government employee of any time it would be concerning and i
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assume it would be not disclosed. >> would you expect that agent to report that meeting? .> yes >> admiral rodgers, would you be concerned if one of your intelligence officers had a private meeting with the russian ambassador and would you expect that officer to report that meeting? >> disclosures of interactions with the foreign governments is a requirement for all of my employees including myself. >> i ask because on at least occasions, mr. flynn, a three-star general and former intelligence officer, someone with influence over the u.s. policy and someone with knowledge of state secrets and the incoming national security adviser, communicated with and met with the russian ambassador and failed to disclose it. i ask you directors, if you wouldn't stand for your own staff to do this, why should the american people accept michael
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flynn doing it? i will let mike rogers take it next but i can't speak to what disclosure obligations are for other people in the government so it is hard for me to answer. i have answered accurately with respect to one of fbi special agent's. >> i would answer the same way in terms of the nsa. >> that owen's time has expired. i yield myself 15 minutes. director comey, you announced the investigation into trump associates possible in president trump and anyone around the campaign having an association with the russian government, if this committee or anyone else from the public comes with information to you about the hillary clinton campaign or their associates or someone from the clinton you add that to your investigation? if they had ties to russian intelligence services, russian agents.
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would that be of interest to you? bring us information about what they think is improper lawful activity of any kind. of any evaluate kind. we will evaluate it. folks sent us stuff all the time. about the particular campaigns. but the russians in general are always trying to understand who the future leaders might be and what levers of influence there might be on them. doeshope that information surface about the other campaigns, not even just hillary clinton's but any other campaigns, that you would take that serious also, that the russians were trying to influence those campaigns around them. >> of course, we would. >> thank you for being here.
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rodgers, you mentioned analytic standards. are those standards the same for all intelligence analysts across agencies? >> there is a broad sense for all of us. there are specific issues associated with the particular authority you are using to collect the information. would haveagency similar types of standards? >> that is one of the good things that has happened since the adoption004, of a common set of trade provisions. >> i am a cpa and we have generally accepted accounting standards. are those things publicly propagated or disseminated through all of your analysts? i would say some sort of a test knows those standards. >> when the ic attributes a hacking to a particular actor you do that
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through forensic evidence. but when it comes to trying to determine intent, foreign leaders, can you walk us through how the nsa or at the eye does that? >> we assessed the range of information that we have collected in an attempt to generate understanding as to not only what has occurred but part of the intelligence profession is also trying to understand why and what was the intent. we will use the range of information we have available to us. well we are primarily single source, that is one of the reasons why organizations like the cia, the defense intelligence agency, take multiple sources to put together a complete picture. >> director comey, anything different? >> it is putting together a puzzle, sometimes from forensics alone. you can get a good indication. other times it requires human sources and additional signals and intelligence to give you that sense.
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>> but it is really a precise art, or a precise science, determining intent in any form. >> all of the work requires judgment. >> in some cases it is much clearer than in others. >> that depends on the sources you have inside the particular foreign leaders shop. >> i am not going to get into the specifics. -- never mind. give it to january 7. and intelligence communitarian desk community assessment. the goal was to undermine the u.s. public's faith in the democratic process? >> yes. toand russia's goal was denigrate secretary clinton and harm her electability and potential presidency and that putin wanted to discredit secretary clinton because he publicly blamed her since 2011
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for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012. would you agree? >> yes. >> and it went on to say that president clinton -- putin and the russian government tried to candidate trump's election chances when possible by discrediting secretary clinton. you had a lower confidence level. is that still the case? >> yes. i am not going to get into the specifics of the classified form but for me it boils down to the level and nature of the sourcing of that one particular judgment that was slightly different to me than the others. >> to be clear, we all agreed with that judgment. but you really agreed and he almost really agreed. >> i got you. terms ofor comey, in
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laying out those three assessments, and whether or not the ic was consistent in its view of those assessments across the entire campaign, we walked through the fbi's walk down that path. as of early december of 16, did the fbi ss that the active theures were to undermine face in the u.s. democratic process? >> i think that is right, december of last year. we were at that point. >> and that was conducted against secretary clinton to denigrate her for her campaign and also undermine her presidency. conclusion that active measures were taken specifically to help president by earlypaign,
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december you have that conclusion. >> correct, that they wanted to hurt our cup -- our democracy. i think we were confident in that at least as early december. >> the paragraph that leaves me concerned in terms of timing of when all that occurred -- i am not sure if we went back and got that in january six months earlier, it would have looked further because when we assess prudent and the russian government, the clear preference for president-elect trump -- any idea where that clear preference and analysis went into that when you are talking back and forth among yourselves? i i don't know for sure but think that was a fairly easy judgment for the community. hated secretary clinton so much that the flipside of that
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coin was he had a clear preference for the person against the person he hated so much. >> that might hurt when the raiders are playing the longhorns -- but all the rest of the time, the logic is that because he really didn't like candidate clinton, he automatically like trump. --t assessment is based on what? is logic. it whoever the red raiders are playing you want the red raiders to win. by definition, you want their opponent to lose. theyut this one says wanted her to lose him him to win. >> it is a two-person event. >> so when you decided you wanted him to win -- i am wondering? >> logically when he wanted her to lose.
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>> i am not talking about him. -- go throughn is that sentence about the clear preference for donald trump that we don't know exactly when you decided that was the case. then it says, when it appeared to moscow that secretary clinton was likely to win the election, the russian influence campaign then focus on undermining her expected presidency. so the russian government conspired to help president-elect trump's election chances. so when did they not think she was going to win? >> the assessment was as the summer went on and the polls appeared to show that secretary clinton was going to win, the russians sort of gave up and simply focused on trying to undermine her. to people onf hope the other team will get hurt so they are not such a tough opponent down the road. the fbi waslieve
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consistent through early december and on that that was the case? that they want to trump to win? >> yes. our analysts have a view that that changed from late fall through the report on january 6 that had those elements. >> so on december the ninth, well in advance of the january post put washington out an article and their leading sentence was concluded in a secret assessment that russia intervened to help donald trump win the presidency rather than to undermine the confidence in the electoral system. rather than just undermine it. they don't mention mrs. clinton at all? the u.s. senior briefed on the intelligence position, the official brief by the senators
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said that is the guy guy -- written by a mark: you've been watching live of the house intelligence committee. a quick check on the markets. european benchmark is down for only the second day. let's not forget he rose friday .o a 15 month high let's get back to capitol hill. a i can'tybody uses talk, that is really tone for breaking the law, when someone says i'm talking to a

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