tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN March 6, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PST
that's why you have got u.s. officials saying they expect to see more launch inside the future. they are observing activity at a launch site and also as you mentioned an underground nuclear side. >> thanks very much. that's it for me. thanks for watching. i am i'll be back at 5:00 in the situation room. the news continues on cnn. good afternoon, i'm dana bash in for brooke baldwin. thank you for joining us. president trump signed his revised travel ban prestrigting u.s. entry from six predominantly muslim nations. that's down from seven as iraq has been taken off the list we will dig into the details soon including how the only image of the order signing seen there was taken by somebody from the white house. no one from the press corps was allowed in to document the critical part of this agenda.
let's first start with another presidential conspiracy theory, perhaps the most serious yet. president trump's baseless al gang that former president obama wiretapped him during the 2016 campaign. today the white house is defending the need for an investigation despite the fact that former president obama denied it and the fbi, according to two sources has asked the department of justice to publicly refute president trump's claim. here's what white house spokesman sarah huckabee sanders said early whier. >> sasha, the president made these allegations 48 horse ago. has he called the fbi director since he made those allegations and asked if they were true? >> i don't know that he has talked directly with the fbi director. all we are asking is let congress do its job. let's let the intelligence committee review it as they committed to do over the weekend. >> the context is everything. the president's early morning weekend twitter frenzy about this came on the heels of the president lashing out at his staff for missteps with the
russia investigation and other issues going on inside the administration. and i'm told the president has been voicing concern to friends questioning the competent ten of his own white house aides. let's tornado now to cnn's senior washington correspondent joe johns at the white house for us. joe, you have been covering this white house. you have been talking to aides inside that building. how much do you think all of this is a distraction? and how much do you think that this is trump just trying to take matters into his own hands? >> as you know, dana. on the other side there are people who argue that the whole point is ace subtraction. an attempt by the president, the administration, to try to change the sub from people looking -- the subject from people looking into contacts between the staff and russia. but on another level they also admit here inside the administration people like kellyanne conway, that covering this story and having to deal with this story, especially the
president's tweets over the we can also create a distraction. today they were rolling out their travel ban. and the first question and the second question to members of the administration was always about the tweets. the president's assertions against president obama. and when you ask and try to take it to a deeper level, what they will tell you is, well, we know there is no evidence right now, or there is apparently no evidence right now. but donald trump is president of the united states, and he knows things that other people don't know. so the argument turns kind of a circular and we've heard that argument before. a big distraction for this administration as they try to push through a number of things on their agenda. dana? joe, and you make a good point. the distraction isn't just from things necessarily that are not good for the white house, but thing that are parts of their
agenda, like their travel ban that is actually getting some kudos from republicans who didn't like the first one. we will talk about that later. joe johns thank you for the report. i want to turn now to john negro ponte who served as the director of national intelligence, america's first dni and is also the former u.s. ambassador to iraq and mexico. mr. ambassador, thank you so much for joining me. i want to first start by getting your reaction to what you thought when you heard the president of the united states make the kind of accusation he did against his predecessor, offering no proof. >> well, i found it surprising, to say the least. then i heard what general clapper, one of my successors as dni had to say. and i found that reassuring when he said that he thought there was no basis in fact for that assertion by the president. on the other hand, you might ask, well, could mr. clapper know all the different circumstances under which some
kind of warn might have been issued? since most of those are issued by the fbi or by the nsa. but you know, i have confidence in him and now we have the fbi director saying he wished the justice department would deny it. so i'm reasonably satisfied that it hasn't happened. there is just a certain reluctance on the part of an administration official to come out and say no it hasn't happened. i think more out of fear of contradicting the president than anything else. >> you said that you breathed a sigh of relief hearing one of your successors, james clapper saying he sees no evidence that former president obama called for and asked for and got a wiretap of the current president in trump tower. but the whole concept of relief, i think would probably be surprising to a lot of people who are more concerned about the allegation in the first place from president trump. did that concern you? >> well, yes, it did.
but i say relief in the sense that it satisfied me that it didn't really happen. and that this was one of these respond tearious tweets by the president in the middle of the night. and there was pushback, and quite quick and convincing pushback. >> just take a step back and tell me about just the notion of the president doing this kind of thing on twitter, given the fact that you have such an understanding of how the systems work, that you were the country's first director of national intelligence? >> yeah, well a lot of people have commented on the issue of whether the president should be commenting on deeply substantive issues through the use of his twitter account. i would also say in my recollection i have worked for several presidents i don't ever remember prior president personally ordering a wiretap
that usually goes through a process. i suspect that was the case in the obama administration. >> and presidents, i think, legally, correct me if i'm wrong, aren't allowed to do that. as you said, there is process, and that is separate from the presidency. >> well, they could conceivably express an interest in it with you ultimately he it has to course itself through process that's carefully spelled out. >> white house spokeswoman sarah huckabee sanders talked about this today and she contrasted the wiretap story with multiple reports about links between the trump campaign and ties to russia. take a listen. >> look, there have been a constant allegations, the hi poe accuracy on this story are outrageous. we dealt with this the last six months. the "new york times" calls this story false. the fbi comes out and it's b.s., the house intelligence committee says there is no evidence. yet the people in the media
falsely report there are connections between the trump campaign and the russians when from simply is not. all we are asking is that the house intelligence committee is given the same opportunity to investigate and review this and see if there is anything there. >> mr. ambassador a false narrative? or is the russia -- potential russia connection between anybody in trump world and russians back in and around the campaign -- should that be investigated and investigated to the fullest extent? >> seems to me two things have to happen. with regard to this latest allegation by -- accusation by the president i think we need to get a statement from the justice department. i realize they have difficulty at the moment because there is no presidential appointee serving at the top who hasn't recused himself from the issue, but we need a clear statement from the justice department. on the question about the interference -- russian interference in the elections seems to me there are a couple of paths that have already been
drawn out for that and that the matter will be investigated. i think that is highly to be desired. i think we ought to leave it now in the investigative hand and see what the outcome is. >> before i let you go, i have to ask you about the revised travel ban. as i said at the beginning of the show, iraq, a country to who you were the ambassador has been taken off the list. aassume that makes you happy. more broadly, do you think that this traffic ban is necessary? >> well, there are questions about what weather it was necessary or not, particularly with regard to -- >> do you have questions? >> certainly with regard to refugees. i think they were already vetted extremely well and they don't have a record of having caused terrorist actions, at least not not united states. but the other point that i would make is that it is a good thing that iraq was taken off.
they are an ally. we work hand in hand with them. we have traps troops stationed in that country. i think it was bad that they were involved in the ban. the last point i would make is that various aspects of the ban have been toned in and it's probably in considerably better shape now than it was before and it has taken into account a number of legal objections that were raised early whier. >> john, thank you for your time and your up sight. appreciate it. >> thank you. for more on this, let me bring in cnn political director david chalian. welcome my friend. president trump calls for an investigation into wiretapping as we've been talking about. he doesn't have many allies in this fight. cnn learned that the fbi asked the justice department to publicly reject this accusation. many republicans, like marco rubio on cnn yesterday, senator ben sass are saying that the president needs to offer more information. just politically speaking is this republicans running from the hills and trying to make
this go away issue? or is this kind of one of those that might have more legs? >> you know, i think we've seen this play out a couple different times now in this young trump administration, where there are issues republicans are willing to go to bat for, and usually on policies that they really want to see implemented. look at the travel ban for one of them. today you are starting to see republicans rally around that because the administration brought them in. on an issue like this, where there is no evidence and the president is off tweeting on a saturday morning you just see they are not interested in rallying around. so a traditional environment where you sort of rally around the president offer own party almost no matter what is not the case with this president. and you can understand if you were marco rubio or ben sass if you had president obama and you have the fbi and you have director clapper, the former head of the shl -- detective director of national intelligence all saying this didn't happen i'm not sure you
want to side up to president trump who provided zero evidence it happened. >> he sure has, or has not, i should say. let's talk about your expertise polling. >> just one of my expertises. >> one of your expertises. that goes without saying, david, right? let's take a look at this, though. about two thirds of americans say a special prosecutor should investigate contacts between russians and trump campaign associates. do you think that this will put any pressure on congressional republicans or do you think that probably as i'm hearing, that the whole concept of a special prosecutor could open up so many different flood gates that public pressure would have to get a lot steeper than that. >> although it is pretty steep, yes i'm hearing what you are hearing is that nobody quite knows what happens when you open up that pandora's box of having a completely independent prosecutor. all of a sudden you are not in control of the process.
but two thirds there saying that is how this should be investigated. and dana, 43% of republicans say that. granted, a majority of republicans still favor congress being in charge of these investigations, but 43% is not small. so if indeed the drip, drip, drip of this story continues you can imagine that number going even higher, that people who already don't really largely the country doesn't have a ton of faith in congress. if allegations keep emerging you can imagine it will be more than two thirds who would like this to be handled by an outside prosecutor. >> no question about it. the drip, drip, drip, are what democrats are relying on to keep the pressure on them. we'll see how this bears out. david chalian, always great to talk to you. thanks my friend. one source says it's the most upset they have seen the president, ever. president trump furious with his staff over recent dramas at the white house. let's talk about what happened behind closed doors next.
plus, from birth certificates to crowd sizes to jfk's killer why president trump continues to embrace conspiracy stories. and cnn watches the new travel ban announcement with refugees currently inside the u.s. hear their reaction straight ahead. sked a group of young peoe when they thought they should start saving for retirement. then we asked some older people when they actually did start saving. this gap between when we should start saving and when we actually do is one of the reasons why too many of us aren't prepared for retirement. just start as early as you can. it's going to pay off in the future. if we all start saving a little more today, we'll all be better prepared tomorrow. prudential. bring your challenges.
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sources are telling cnn that president trump is angry and us from stated with his senior staff for allowing the firestorm involving attorney general jeff sessions to overshadow a shining moment that he had last week, a very well received speech to congress. everything came to a head friday. cameras catching steve bannon in a heated conversation inside the oval office. this is just in to cnn, chief of staff reince priebus had to use this morning's staff meeting to regain control of the narrative
or at least try to do so. that's reporting that comes from sarah murray. let's talk with gloria borger our chief political analyst and phil rucker who is the white house bureau chief for the "washington post," hi guys. gloria, let me start with you and the reporting we are getting here about how the president feels and the fact he left washington for florida on friday really upset at his senior staff about the way last weekended. >> i was told by one source close to the president that he has been pressurious, and that's the word that was used with me because he feels that after his great speech to a joint session of congress the white house staff let him down and didn't keep that narrative running, that he was disappointed in the way the whole sessions issue played out. perhaps he didn't each think sessions should have recused himself at all. but that the white house wasn't
prepared for it witness way or another. and that this is generally the i with a it's been going the last couple of weeks and that the president has displayed more sort of flashes of anger, if you will, at his own staff. and of course because reince priebus is the chief of staff, he probably takes the brunt of it, dana. >> and phil, one source inside the white house described the whole russia situation as a series of paper cuts that they kind of can't get their mojo on their agenda because of so many issues affecting them and taking them off course. is it your sense from your reporting that, you know, reince priebus, would has been kind of caught in the cross hairs now is kind of in the same body along with steve bannon and others who were originally sort of -- looking a of the the palace intrigue here thought of as different chiefdoms, about now it's all sort of banned together all for one and one for all. are you hearing that?
>> i'm hearing they are working together. they are both under extraordinary pressure. as are others in the white house. the president is frustrated that he is now entering into week seven without any signature accomplishments. he is looking back eight years ago to the things obama bom was able to do in his first month or two in office. the stimulus bill and other big-ticket items. trump just doesn't have anything big that he can claim as a big accomplish men. there have been executive orders, speeches, but no big legislative piece. he is frustrated. he wants health care to move, immigration to get going, he wants the infrastructure plan. he feels like his staff is not moving fast enough and hard enough. >> that is understandable. it has been slow process. gloria, i want to tell you something that sean spicer just told the press corps inside the white house. he said there is no question something happened regarding wiretap claims over the weekend even though he like the
president didn't offer any proof. doubling doesn't, tripping down, does that surprise you? >> no, look. i think if you are in the white house now you are continually running around trying to justify what it is the president has tweeted. for example, earlier sean spicer called for an congressional investigation into this. but we've heard what comey asked the justice to do. the fbi director said tell the department of justice there wasn't any. in letting that be leaked he is saying we never did that. president obama never did that. he never got the approval to do that. so i think you have a white house staff just eternally trying to justify whatever it is that president trump tweets about. >> phil, before we let you go, i have to ask, i was told by a source who is in contact with
the president over the weekend that maybe the president is realizing that he needs a, quote, unquote, james baker type, a senior statesman, somebody who understands washington and who the president had sort of see as somebody who can guide him in a way that he doesn't feel maybe he has are the now. do you think knowing what you know about the white house and the president, do you think that's at all possible? does that person exist? >> you know, i don't know who that person would be. i think james baker is not interested in the job. but there are some people who have been floating around on the outside leigh like chris christie the new jersey governor for example, had lunch with trump a couple of weeks ago and is seen as somebody who as thing got really in a difficult position for trump could potentially come in and help restore some order. i think for now reince priebus is safe as the chief of staff and he is trying to create some order and get these trains running in a smoother fashion on his own with the existing white house team. but certainly the president is
talking to friends about their performance and about weighing some possibilities for what he could do down the road. >> dana, i think that donald trump thinks he's his own jamim bark. i think that may be part of the problem. >> it's hard to keep trains running on time when the president pushing them off track with his early morning tweets. thank you both. up next, reaction is pouring in from overseas on the president's new travel ban. we have got reporters live in iraq, in turkey, and iran. and we're going to take you there. plus, is there anything substantial at all behind trump's wiretap claim? we are going to ask a democratic member of the senate intelligence committee mex. people confuse nice and kind but they're different...
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after the president revised the travel ban and removed iraq from the list. you remember of course that the president's original executive order was rolled out into chaos and confusion at airports across the nation protests endue sued and eventually a federal court blocked it but the new softer order makes clear that lawful permanent residents otherwise known as green card holders or those with a visa are excluded from the ban. we have a lot of angles to talk about on the story. we have them covered across the globe starting with cnn's internal correspond end bed wedeman in iraq. arwa day man in turkey. nick valencia is in clarkson, georgia speaking with immigrant about ban. also we'll go live from tehran, iran. ben, we want to start with you, what is the trump administration's rationale for
removing iraq. as i ask that question i should probably ask what do you think the rational was to put them out in the first place given the fact that iraq has been a partner of the u.s. and the u.s. has american troops there still? >> reporter: the original rationale for the 27th of january travel order was probably that isis did at the time control a large part of the count country. it is where it got its start. but for many iraqis it was beyond comprehension that their country, which has suffered more than any other from isis should be put on the travel ban. so we know that iraqi officials vigorously lobbied washington to get this changed that when the u.s. defense secretary mattis came to baghdad in january that that was one of the main topic of conversation when he was
here, that the iraqis do host more than 5,000 u.s. military personnel who are supporting iraq in its war against isis. when that original travel ban came out, the iraqi parliament voted to implement reciprocal measures against u.s. nationals. of course that was a non-binding vote, but the pressure from baghdad on washington was very strong. now one of the reasons why is u.s. said it had changed it was that there would be for stringent vetting procedures by the iraqis of their own citizens. but we've seen on the front line when people are fleeing mosul that they have their identity cards checked against a vast database which has everybody's file from the intelligence services. so iraq has the resources to keep a very close eye on its citizens and it may share those
resources more fully with the united states. >> ben, there was a huge backlash among the president's fellow republicans here for putting iraq on the list. and i'm sure that is a big reason why it is no longer on the travel ban list. i want to turn to arwa. you are in turkey. the country is not on the list. but may be the most indirectly affected about this whole crisis than any other because as you have been reporting for so long turkey now hosts the most syrian refugees worldwide. they banned indefinitely under trump's order. has the fact that that has not changed -- how is that sitting with people in turkey? >> reporter: you also need to think about this, for the syrians, even though they are not going to be indefinitely band, if fact that there has been so much uncertain surrounding their status, for
those who were already in the middle of the process of trying to apply this gives them no guarantees that once the temporary ban is lifted in about four months they will be able to actually continue with the process. they don't know what other surprises may be lying around the corner. also the underlying message to this to the remaining six countries that are part of the travel ban that is still the same. that is basically america saying to war torn poverty stricken countries we don't necessarily want you so we are going to make your vetting process of you because we think you might be dangerous -- what it does to america's image, it's been devastating for many people who despite how they may feel about america's policies at the end of the day did still view america as a being a country where the
american dream did come true where you could arrive as an imgrant and begin building your life once again. and now many feel as if this their chances at that have been taken away from them. >> i want to turn back here in the u.s. to nick valencia. you are in georgia, as we said. you have been speaking with syrian and somali immigrants about the ban. what are you hearing now. >> reporter: here in clarkson it is a suburb outside of atlanta, population, 13,000. half of the residents here are foreign born a. majority of them are refugees. it was designated as a good place to reselling refugees about a generation ago by the state department. one of those people who was resettled here is this doctor. his story is a summation of the american dream. you came here as a dishwasher, you are now a cardiologist fellow at emerson university. you watched the announcement,
what are your thoughts? >> i would have been devastated if somebody told me i could not come to this country. this country is great because we accept refugees and immigrants what won to come to the country and make it better place. >> you have relatives. >> i have some who have been killed by the war, and i want to protect the others, and i can't apply for them. i'm a muslim a syrian, also an american serving a the v.a. hospital here in atlanta. that speaks for itself. >> you have been the mayor here the last four years. you are a critical role here in welcoming refugees. what is this impact to clarkson, georgia? >> it's known as the ellis island of the south. our economy is revolving around refugee resettlement and
welcoming in new americans. this sort of hold the last 30 days is causing vacancies and affecting the economy. >> thank you gentlemen for joining us here. to follow up on that point, the mayor here actually says as refugees were starting to surge into the community crime actually went down. here that announce men of the executive order is not going over very well with the residents. >> thank you, nick. i want to go back to the middle east to ramine, you are in iran, which is still on this list, it is one of the six countries that the u.s. is severely restricting travel from. i'm assuming that the government is tehran is not surprised. >> reporter: not surprised. and almost one hour before midnight we haven't seen a serious reaction. except today morning a spokesman
of foreign ministry reacted to it in a wait and see policy. he said that we would wait and see the items and provision of the new executive order, and in proportion to the items we will reciprocate and decide what to do. and he also insisted that we have already taken our stance against the first executive order so everybody now is believing in what is our stance. also he added that iran has prepared the list of american companies and individual under iranian sanctions in reciprocity to the executive order. but the content of that list will not be revealed until they
deem it necessary, and then they will reveal it. it seems that iran wants to take a wait and see policy and wants to look a at the new items in the new executive order and is not in rush or wanting to do things very quickly. wants to be cautious and on tip toes. >> that makes sense a cautious response from the iranians. no question. ramine, thank you so much. ben and arwa, the three you giving these reports from these important kins countries late at night. nick to you as well from here in the united states n georgia. thanks to one and all. up next, it is a familiar cycle, president trump floats a conspiracy theory, the white house can't provide evidence, so they call for an investigation to look into it. i'm going to speak live with a democratic senator about trump's
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welcome back. i want to go straight to manu raju on capitol hill with some news about congressional investigation into russia. >> reporter: that's right. the house intelligence committee stepping up efforts to get records and documents are the intelligence community, from the trump administration on the issue of russia and russia meddling. this is a letter sent on friday from the top two chairmen, mean
yes, sir and schiff asking the acting director of national intelligence michael dempsey for a range of records related to key issues central to the investigation including any potential links between russia and individuals associated with the campaigns during the campaign season as well as leaks -- possible leaks of classified intelligence information to determine who is actually providing this information to the news media. also, interestingly, dana, they want these answers by march 17th. that's two weeks from now on this range of questions arc range of records. we'll see if the administration, the intelligence community does agree with them on this. but it shows they are still trying to gather information, gather data they don't yet have to assess whether or not certain key thing happened such as these alleged contacts between trump officials and russian officials during the campaign season, dana. >> my experience, and i know yours, too, is that they accept bipartisan letters with
deadlines when they want to make it clear publicly with the slow movement of information that they are getting. thank you manu for the great reporting. as we mentioned earlier, white house press secretary sean spicer says there is no doubt there was some type of surveillance of prfr's campaign. trump is accusing his predecessor of illegally wiretapping trump tower and says he wants to investigate. this is the latest in a series of conspiracy theories he has peddled. >> we also need to keep the ballot box safe from illegal voting. we are going to protect the integrity of the ballot box and defend the votes of the american citizen. >> we had a massive field of people, you saw that, packed. i get up this morning and i turn on one of the networks. and they show an empty field. i said wait a minute, i made a speech. i looked out. the field was -- it looked like
a million, million and a half people. >> i'm the one that got him to put up his birth certificate. hillary clinton was unable to get there. i will tell you she vooid tried. you look at her campaign. everybody knows it happened. i would say that pretty much everybody agrees with me. >> all i did was point out the fact that on the cover of the national enquirer there was a pick of him and crazy lee harvey oz warld having breakfast. ted never denied that it was his father. >> yeah, he did. he did deny that his father wasn't involved in assassinating jfk. ted cruz we are talking about here. let's bring in senator widen. let's start with what white house spokesman sean spicer said in the last few minutes to reporters inside the white house that from his perspective there is no question that something happened. the president called your committee to equity have. do you agree with sean spicer
there is no question something happened, and should your committee look into it? >> i don't know how you can say that without any hard evidence. it's now almost as if you can set your clock by it on saturday morning. you are going to get another undocumented far-fetched tweet. at this point what you have to say is that either the fbi has been communicating with the subject or an investigation or the president of the united states is either either making it up or once again relying on undocumented conspiracy theories. >> you have been very outspoken about fiza, which is the court and the process that allows the justice department and the fbi to obtain warrants to surveil americans. you called it an act rowist innic in the past. would president obama have been able to request is your vie lance at trump tower if he
wanted to? >> let's be clear about the wire. the law does not allow the president to order a wiretap. the law stipulates that the justice department can come in the foreign bill is jens surveillance court. and by the way, the president has very he can tensive authority to declassify matters there. that is the legal standing. >> correct me if i'm wrong, if the president really wanted to get to the bottom of these claims that he's making he would have the authority to declassify any information about these alleged wiretaps that president obama put out there? meaning if they exist he could declassify with it the stroke of a pen, right. >> he certainly could move to declassify. look, here's where we are. we have had the allegations about wiretapping. we have the press swirling around with reports between the russians and the trump campaign, michael flynn matters.
i have been trying for months to get james comey to come in front of an open intelligence hearing, and i think at this point, with all of this information out swirling around in press stories, i think the fbi director ought to at least give a status report on these matters. >> you probably heard over the weekend the former dni director of national intelligence james clapper saying that when he was in office which was up until about two months ago -- less than that, there was no evidence of collusion between the russians and the trump campaign. take a listen. >> this could have unfolded or become available in the time since i left the government. at the time, we had no evidence of such collusion. >> is that still the case based on what you have seen? do you agree with him, no collusion? >> what i can tell you, this is
not some kind of boxing much between james clapper and the president. this is a serious matter. and once again, if you desire to have this resolved, the fbi direct mr. comey could come up -- and again, there have been press reports that he agrees with mr. clapper, but those are just press reports. and if you really want to get to the bottom of it, you bring mr. comey forward and he testifies. >> well, that would be wonderful. we are all for answer testimony from the fbi director on anything, particularly something like this. in the meantime, you are on the committee that is already investigating. given what you just heard from the former dni, do you think that is still the case? based on what you know to date, have you seen any evidence of collusion between trump officials or anybody in trump's orbit and russians?
>> i have no reason to disbelieve mr. clapper. let's be clear about that. you know, once again, given the fact that president trump said that his predecessor ordered a wiretap, this needs to be resolved, and it shouldn't just linger for weeks and weeks. mr. comey can resolve it. again. there were press reports that he wanted the justice department to do it. if you really want to get to the bottom of it. every step of the way i have been interested in getting the steps out, make sure it's not swept under the rug. the step now is for mr. comey to come out. >> have you been been briefed on transcripts of any communication between russians and trump associates? >> i can't comment on internal deliberations or documents in front of the intelligence committee. i just am very concerned that
with investigations you would like to have it about a closed box or at least as closed as possible. i think the press and the american people are obviously getting more and more cynical. i would like to see a special counsel named. i think that's in the public interest. but from the standpoint of the next step, in my view, to address the public's concerns is mr. comey coming forward. >> we have to go, but before i let you go, i just have to ask, briefly, are you comfortable with the way that the justice department counter-intelligence agencies are delivering information to you for your investigation? and the house intelligence committee just gave them a march 17th deadline to give them information. is that something that you in the senate would also work along, that time line? >> i think senator warner is doing a very good job. at this point the american
people deserve some concrete assurances. that's why i made the request that i have been making with respect to mr. comey for months now. the american people are interested in matters like open hearings. they are interested in subpoenas. they are interested in a path to declassification. they deserve some concrete assurances. >> senator widen, thank you so much for your time. appreciate it. >> thank you. and more news is coming in from white house president secretary sean spicer including how he responded to whether president trump and jim comey have spoken since the president's wiretapping claim. we are going to have details on that next. you pull out the tube and you spit in it, which is something southern girls are taught you're not supposed to do. you seal it and send it back and then you wait for your results. it's that simple. it's my decision ito make beauty last. roc® retinol, started visibly reducing
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we are near the top of the hour now. i'm dana bash in for brooke baldwin. thank you for joining us. we begin with yet another presidential conspiracy theory. perhaps the most serious one yet. president trump's baseless allegation that former president obama wiretapped him during the 2016 campaign. today, the white house is defending the need for an investigation despite the fact that the former president, obama, denies it, and the fbi, according to multiple sources, asked the justice diplomat to publicly refute president trump's claim. now, we want to go to jeff zeleny to talk about this. and i think, did he have, the most important thing to talk about is the context of this. >> right. >> how it started. saturday morning. early morning tweet storm. after, we know, from our reporting, that the president left washington going to florida, really angry at his
staff. do you think he just took matters into his own hands? do you think he just autosed this as a distraction tool? or a combination of both. >> those are great questions. i think it may be a combination of both. you are so right about the context being so important here. as you know, we were all reporting friday into saturday that the president was furious with members of his senior staff. they believe his good speech to congress last week was overtaken by events. so that was his frame of mind going into florida there. and then he you know level those extraordinary accusations something he might have said while campaigning for president. of course being president it is an entirely different situation there. but the white house press connect sean spicer spent about an hour or so answering questions from reporters. you didn't see that on camera because they held this off camera. they had a briefing off camera today. this is the first weekday of this presidency where we have not seen the president yet on camera. very unusual for him.
they clearly do not want to be talking about this. but they do, they say, want congress to investigate this. but so far they have not provided any evidence to back up those extraordinary claims. >> it's really fascinating. just what you were just saying, jeff, sean spicer not doing the regular on camera briefing and instead doing it off camera. >> right. >> and maybe more importantly the fact that the president finally puts out and signs the revised travel ban and they allowed in cameras inside. there is only one photo taken by the white house. you know, it just -- it's -- you know, looking at this kind of objectively, you would think that this was something that the president would want to get a lot of publicity on because it is something he says is critical to his agenda and he is actually getting praise from republicans from the way that it was revised. >> right. >> what do you make of it. >> indeed, i mean, t