tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN March 16, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
president trump's false allegation of wiretapping. this is cnn tonight. i'm done lemon. the press secretary sean spicer refusing to concede that the accusation against president obama is flat-out wrong. testy words exchanged with reporters inside the white house briefing room. we'll show you how it all unfolded. on capitol hill, top republicans including paul ryan and the head of the senate intelligence committee they have seen no evidence of wiretapping. manu raju, it was quite a day on capitol hill. take us through all of the developments and the president trump's unfounded claim he was wiretapped. >> hey, don, it's pretty clear here president trump stand-alone on his claim that he was wiretapped on the order of
president obama that's because top officials that have access to classified information have no evidence of that claim. paul ryan, i asked him directly, do you believe that president trump was wiretapped by obama and his administration. he said no, no such wiretap existed. two top republicans on the senate, richard burr, mark stone said there is no surveillance of trump tower. during his feisty press conference sean spicer cited devon dev devon nunes suggested that perhaps during broad surveillance some of donald trump's communications were
picked up. i asked devin nunes if there is any chance that president trump's communications were picked up, and he said no and he doesn't believe that donald trump was wiretapped under the orders ever president obama. >> you said i don't believe. >> i don't believe that the president ordered a physical wiretap of trump tower. >> what do you make of the -- >> if it's a physical wiretap or other surveillance activities, which is the question. >>ed to is -- >> we want to make sure no surveillance activities were used for purposes. >> do you have any reason to suspect that any of these picked up any communications at all. >> other than general flynn, we don't. >> don, this comes ahead of a very, very highly anticipated meeting here on monday. james comey, the fbi director, will be among the witnesses testifying in the first public hearing of the first meeting of the house intelligence
committee, which is having an investigation into meddling by russia, trump campaign, during the elections. james comey will get asked about this wiretapping question. and adam schiff, the top democratic on the committee, telling me today that he is -- he believes that comey will back down this question, rebut president trump on this issue, and say that there were no wiretaps of trump tower under the orders of barack obama. so we'll see what comey eventually says. but a lot to look forward to next week as the story continues to linger. done. >> manu raju, thank you very much. before we go down this rabbit hall of people pretended that the president said are intending something other than said, let me be clear. the president put out false information and over the last few weeks, fewer and fewer people have been willing to defend him. for those remaining who are
inclined to make excuses for the president or buy into his miss interpretation, let's put the president's words for everyone to see, for you to see. tweeted, terrible, just found out that obama had my wires tapped just before the victory. nothing found. this is mccarthyism. it refers to a former senator joseph mccarthy what bock in the 1950s systemically accused people of subversion, of being communists without evidence, destroying countless lives. mr. trump then wrote, is it legal for a sitting is president to be wiretapping a race for president for a new election. turned down by a new court order. new low. accusing the president of a federal crime. then he writes, i bet a good lawyer could make a good case out of the fact that president obama was tapping my phones in october just prior to election.
a good lawyer implies that he has a legal case, some facts implied. the word fact implies that he has the goods to back it up. he wrote, tapping my phones, not surveilling my people. he wrote "tapping my phones." then he writes, "how low has president obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process? this is nixon watergate, bad or sick guy." he compares president obama to a president who was impeached in one of the biggest political scandals ever, and he did it with no proof and now has the gall to say it with a straight face that he said something other than what he said. maybe you want to believe the president because this is america and in america this comes with a sacred trust. we respect the trust and the holder. but do they respect the office,
do they respect us to give us the truth? here is sean spicer, the president's press secretary today. >> yesterday you said you were extremely confident that the house and senate intelligence committees would ultimately vicinity indicate the president's allegation of trump tower was wiretapped. as i'm sure you've seen the senate intelligence committee said they see no indication trump tower was the subject of surveillance. that seems to be a pretty blanket statement. what's your reaction? >> well, i think there are several things. i would also -- it's interesting to me that just as a point of interest when one entity says one thing that proves -- that claims one thing, you guys cover it awed ad nauseam. when devin nunes said there was no connection to russia,
crickets. >> now the house intelligence committee and the senate -- >> here is a direct quote, jonathan. i think it's very possible, end quote. that's what he said that the president's communication could have been swept up in collection. >> he said i saw no indication of wiretapping. >> i think the president has been very clear when he talked about this last night, when he talked about wiretapping he meant surveillance and there have been incidents that have occurred. devin nunes couldn't have stated it more beautifully. you choose not to cover that par, when tom cotton went out, burr went out and devin nunes -- you. >> you said -- >> where was your passion and your concern when they said there was no connection to russia, crickets from you guys. at the end of the day -- hold on. hold on. i'm making a point. the point is this, number one, it's interesting when evidence comes out and people briefed on russian connection come out and
say there is nothing that they have seen that proves a connection, you choose not to cover that, you don't stop the narrative and you continue to perpetuate a false narrative. when he said quote, i think there is no evidence this happened. when he said -- you don't cover that part. but let's go through what we do know, okay? hold on, hold on. let me -- i'm trying to answer your question, jonathan, if you can calm down. if you look at what the "new york times" reported on january 2017, quote, in its final days the obama administration has expanded the power of the national security to share global information with the government's other 16 intelligence agency before applying privacy laws. the new rule -- nsa gathered by the most powerful surveillance administration largely unregulated by wiretapping laws. when sara carter reported, the intelligence gathered in secret,
separately the obama administration amended a longstanding executive order allowing information intercepted through fisa warrants to be shared by a wider audience and 16 intelligence offices, it was spread throughout briefings to scores of workers and leaks began to appear in news media organizations often in stories lacking context of how national investigations are actually concluded. fox 3rd, fox chief anchor bret bier said, quote, intelligence surveillance court to monitor communications involving donald trump and several other campaign officials. then they got turned down. then in october, then renewed it and a wiretap at trump tower with some russian banks. surveillance courts get shut down --
>> i want to -- >> jonathan, you can follow up. a judge says no go to monitoring trump tower. they go back in october. >> they get a fisa grant. this is a monitoring of communities that they believe leads to russian leads. the investigation continues and we don't know it. on november 11, 2016 days after the election, heat stre"heat sto sources with links to the intelligence community that the fbi was sought and granted a fisa in october. sean hannity said on fox, protections are put in place to protect americans that are not under warrants, and, by the way, their identities are protected. their constitutional rights are to be protected. this was not the case with general flynn, because it was given to intelligence officials and releaked this information, which is a felony to the press.
which is a felony. >> so, sean, despite the findings of the senate intelligence committee -- >> there is not a finding. there is a statement today. two days ago the department of justice asked for an additional week. the statement clearly says that at this time that they don't believe that. they have yet to go through the information. the department of justice as you know has not supplied this. but i just read out to you. it's interesting when the "new york times" reports -- hold on. >> i let you do the whole answer. >> thank you, i appreciate it. >> are you saying that the president still stands by his allegation that president obama ordered wiretapping or surveillance of trump tower despite the fact that the senate intelligence committee says they see no indication it happened? does the president stands by the allegation. >> no, first of all, he stand by it. but you're mischaracterizing it and what happened today. >> that's exactly from the statement. >> i know that.
but at the same time they acknowledge they have not been in contact with the department of justice. but again, i go back to what i said at the beginning -- it's interesting how -- hold on. at the same time where were you coming to the defense of the same intelligence committee when they said there was no connection to russia. you didn't seem to report it then. no. hold on. you want to comment and you want to perpetuate. >> i did report that clapper said that. >> when those individuals gone out time and time again. when chairman nunes said that that didn't exist, that got zero reporting and he went out and said it's possible. you don't include that in the question mark. the bottom line is the president said last night there will be additional information coming ford. there are tons of media reports that something was going on during the 2016 election. where was the question of the "new york times" or other outlets when this was going on. >> do you believe he'll be
vindicated. >> i believe he will. >> you were quoting sean hannity there, and the house -- >> i get you're going to cherry-pick. >> you're citing sean hannity -- >> you tend to overlook all the other sources because i know you want to cherry-pick it. no, no, but you do. where was your concern about the "new york times" reporting? >> we have done plenty of reporting on all of this, sean. >> you want to cherry-pick one piece of commentary. >> of the connection of the president to the associates has been looked at. >> how do you know all this and how are you the expert on this. >> it's been looked at. >> how do you know it's been looked at. i'm failing to understand. can you tell mu how you know that this has quote, been looked at. >> you are asking me -- >> you made a statement, all of this has been looked at. >> all of the out lets. >> when your outlets say -- >> it sounds like during the
context of that intervention there may have been intercepted communications the house intelligence committee said that, we have reported that, and others have reported that on our air and other publications. sean, the question you're refusing to answer is whether or not the president -- >> i did not. i just said it to jonathan. i didn't refuse. >> you have a senate and house intelligence committees, both leaders from both panels say they don't see evidence of wiretapping, how how can the president continue to say -- >> you mischaracterized what chairman nunes said. to suggest that, you're stating unequivocally -- >> you are saying if it's literally -- >> the president said clearly when he referred to wiretapping he was referring to surveillance. >> it sound like, sean, what you and the president are saying, we don't mean wiretapping anymore,
because that's not true anymore. >> no, that's not -- >> what is going to be next? >> jim, i think that's cute. but at the end of the day we've talked about this three or four days. what the president said wiretapping in quotes. he was referring to broad surveillance and you're going back. we talked about this several days ago. the bottom line the investigation has not provided all of the information. when it does -- >> we're talking about the reporters not the conversations with the fbi director. >> the president said more will come out. there is widespread reporting that throughout the 2016 election there was surveillance that was done on a variety of people. >> there was an investigation going on on whether there was contacts between the president and the russian government, of course, there will be some -- >> you believe you have all this information. you've been read in all of this things. >> i haven't read by the fbi -- >> you're coming to conclusions for a guy that has zero intelligence -- well --
>> give me some credit. >> i'll give you some. >> a little intelligence, maybe. >> clearance. i wasn't done. clearance. >> those two -- >> maybe both. >> come on. those two panels have spoken with the fbi director and told there is no evidence of this. >> i think this question has been asked and answered, jim. it's interesting you jump into all these conclusions what they have, what they don't have, and you seem to have all the answers, there has been a ton of reporting. >> in a week or -- >> jim, i think there has been a vast amount of reporting which i just detailed about activity that was going on in the 2016 election. there was no question there was surveillance techniques used throughout there by a variety of outlets concluded. when you ask those two people whether or not -- chairman nunes said, when you take it literally, the president has been very clear, he didn't mean specifically wiretapping. he had it in quotes. so i think to fall back on that
is a false premise. that's not what he said. he was very clear when he talked about that yesterday. >> did anyone see "billy madison" the game show scene. everyone in the room is dumber for listening to that. i hope you're not dumber. we're just providing information. just to be clear, no one mischaracterized what the senate intel said. based on the information we were presented we see no evidence that the trump tower was surveilled either before or after 2016. senator richard burr and senator mark warner. nixon was not impeached. he resigned before he was impeached. i wrote that. i apologize for this. can you do the same, mr. president? up next what was it like
inside the briefing room for journalists today, including senior cnn analyst jim acosta, who will join me. (singing) we're no strangers to love i love that! hey, i know a bunch of people who'd like that. who's that? the internet loves what you're doing. so build a site in under an hour. start for free at godaddy. ♪...run around and desert you
reporters defending president trump's false allegation that he was wiretapped by president obama. i want to bring in cnn senior correspondent jim acosta, and michael c. bender, the white house reporter for "the wall street journal." man, you guys have a tough job lately. jim, i was watching you. it's tough. you're going to have to hire a food taster. what was it like to be there? >> well, you know, it sort of feels like i go in there and i don't know what to expect honestly. i think there was one moment where during the briefing today sean spicer was, you know, saying to me that he has zero intelligence, and then he add on to that, and zero intelligence clearance. which i guess the second part is true. i like to think i have a little bit of intelligence. honestly, don, in all seriousness, we're dealing with an administration unlike any that we've ever dealt with before. obviously you have a president who at times is not dealing with
reality, he is tweeting out things like former president obama wiretapped him at trump tower. this is on top of his false claim about there being millions and millions of people voting illegally in this country. that's on top of the claim that his inaugural crowd size was larger than president obama's and we had this conversation it seems, don, every other week, maybe every other week, what's going on with president trump. and the question that i have, and it really go to the heart of where we are as a nation right now, can president trump do this for another month, two months, three months? can we all do this? are we all going to be chasing down? maybe by tomorrow or on monday, he will pull this back or there will be another explanation, but we all know there will be a far-fetched claim, tall tale news of the week.
and my question is how long can this continue? >> how long can sean spicer keep it up is my thing? >> yeah. >> today his response to your question and the other reporters in the room like mike, other reporters there, was to filibuster and then to read news reports by the away he calls fake news, but then he's using the fake news reports as something is going on so the president who believes the news is fake should believe it. and then accused him of a federal crime because of the news reports. it makes absolutely no sense. as i said before, i feel dumber for having listened to the press conference. mike, you were at the briefing today. what was your impression of what the press secretary was saying and how he conducted himself? >> it just never -- it continues to get bizarre. it's a scary question that jim is asking. i've been covering trump since 2015 and i've been asking that question, how long can this continue, since then.
so i'm a little nervous trying to answer it at this point. but, you know, spicer is up there. one, he's in a difficult job. jim did an excellent job asking the questions, it's not easy to ask the questions. it's not easy to take the questions when you have no answer, right? >> right. >> you're right, that's what they did. he stood up there and he filibustered. he at one point pointed to devin nunes who had tried to defend them against the "new york times" article a few months ago. he had the same sort of read-out that richard burr did today and made this -- and made the same -- and came to the same conclusion. but it was good enough for sean a month ago but not good enough for him today. they're going to have to face the music here at some point. it's possible that trump could shock the world here, right? he's done it before. on this issue if they turn out
to be right, they will shock the world that they are right. but the white house is behaving like an alcoholic trying to drink away the hang over. they'll have to face all this. >> all of these references that sean spicer was referencing fox news. i think you were trying to systemically go through people in the reports and he's like, you're just picking on fox. brett behr, heat stre"heat stre think something on hannity. he said these are evidence but none of these stories have anything to do with the president and what he alleged in his tweets. i have the "new york times" story that he referenced. it says nothing about trump tower, nothing about wiretapping, nothing about the president or any of his people. >> well, it seems, don at this point that the white house is not even trying to prove what the president originally tweeted, that president obama wiretapped him at trump tower.
they haven't presented any evidence that president obama ordered in i kind of wiretapping ala watergate. so they broad end this out to mean other types of surveillance. but you have the statement from the intelligence committee that they haven't seen any quote, surveillance over at trump tower before or after the election. they seem to be targeting this broadened perspective of what the president was trying to tweet about in the original tweets. but i think when sean spicer was trying to go through this list of material and putting aside the fact that he quoted the "new york times" publication that the president has referred to as fake news and the failing "new york times," he was citing fox news. we have friends over at fox news who do a great job over there, some great reporters over there, but the sean hannity program, and i'm sure i'll get dinged by sean and perhaps his followers
for saying this, it is a house organize for donald trump and his administration. so for sean spicer to stand there at the podium talking to the american people, talking to the world and quoting sean hannity and he makes a reference to something that judge andrew nap ole tanno said, he's one of their pundits over there. how the british intelligence service was providing some of the wiretapping services for president obama through the services they have over there, that the judge was talking about that the british -- they sent it to me and jim sciutto that this is nonsense and should be ignored. you have the white house peddling fake news. >> yeah, and so -- i don't think sean or big o'reilly, they're opinion news shows.
even fox news, they don't see them as journalists, right? they see them as opinion. >> entertainment. >> it's under their entertainment banner. mike, i have to ask you. and how do you guys sit there, how do you know what to believe and not to believe coming from that podium, which is, you know, of course, that's what they do, they're going to -- everyone who works for the president, they're going to try to spin it the president's way. how do you guys know what to believe every day? >> it's hard to know what to believe. to your point earlier, their using these sources, sean hannity says he's not a journalist. spicer was trying to accuse jim of asking cute questions while he tries to defend trump's tweet by saying the president of the united states put quote marks around wiretapping. it just goes to show. cnn is still showing sean spicer's briefings from start to finish, right? something that's normally
reserved for a -- emergencies, moments of urgency, when americans need to know moment by moment what is being said. but people are tuning in, not for news, not to hear the debate on healthcare, tax reform, infrastructure, whatever issue that the republicans are letting slip away by the day, but to watch what sean spicer will say next, to be entertained by what is happening in the white house press briefing room. >> i wonder what happens when they realize that there is a life after there and there are other jobs and there is also credibility and you can look this up in the mirror every day. >> i think what michael bender was making there, i think the reason why the briefings have been must-see tv -- >> because they're "snl" at the middle of the day. >> it's hard to figure out whether this is "snl" or real life. i think what we're watching unfolding here, don, and i hate
to say this and not to sound over the top. i think we're watching a crisis of confidence in the white house and in this president. and he causes this crisis on an almost daily, weekly basis through his unfounded claims, whether they're tweeted e spoken or otherwise. and that is what draws everybody in. because the press secretary has to come out and defend the indefensible, and then we all have to sift through the morass. as i was saying today, we're staring into the abyss, look for the truth and not finding much, don. >> jim, stick around. mike, thank you. the white house attacks press reporters of using a double standard. can't the administration be accused of the same thing? we're going to talk about that next.
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the white house digging in its heels, defending president trump's wiretapping allegation. the republicans in congress say they've seen no evidence to support that claim. i want to wring in kristen powers, jack kingston, cnn political reporter, nia-malika henderson, former communications director in the white house, and andre bower, a former lieutenant governor of south carolina. and jim acosta. i think we have enough people. >> jim had enough face time. >> i'll get out. >> they kicked him off. don't believe that. i'm kidding. let's talk about sean spicer's wild and angry press conference. this administration has gone out of its way to attack the media
and then provides a laundry list of reports to try to prove the case. are you kidding me? >> it was bizarre, ironic. if you print out that whole page of filibuster it's four pages long, 1,600 words, going on and on, quoting from the "new york times," quoting from an outlet called circa ne"circa news", bb. as jim acosta and sitting there in his cool way pointing out to sean spicer that none of this backs up donald trump's original claims about wiretapping president obama supposedly wiretapping trump tower. here we have a white house who is in many ways the least curious party in this, right? at any moment president trump can pick up the phone, call doj, call the fbi and get information on this. they have passed the buck obviously to congress. congress came back and said they found no evidence of
surveillance of trump tower. so there he is relying on media reporters, some of which are from the "new york times," which jim has pointed out this white house has insisted is fake news, a failing paper. very bizarre. >> the reporters don't actually back up what they're saying. go on. >> exactly. exactly. which is what jim pointed out in his exchanges with sean spicer. i think this is ripe for "snl," sort of parodying this with jim acosta sitting there so smooth and cool. my mom always calls him george clooney. >> oh, no. >> it's almost like he could be sitting there with a -- >> listen, it's not -- i always say, it's laughable, but not funny. this goes to credibility. but kirsten, i want to bring you in here. this white house has spent weeks condemning it, spicer pointed it out after listing the news articles. just to be clear, you're good
and the president is good. >> no. when it comes to the russia story and the on the record sources followed by the fbi, you guys fall on the anonymous sources and perpetuate the narrative and when we talk about false reports you then criticize anonymous reports. it's interesting the double standard how you cover stories and how you intend to use them. >> i mean, he's trying to have it both ways? what's going on? they're double standard. >> i don't think the reporters have complained about anonymous sources. i think the white house complained about anonymous sources and we shouldn't pay attention to any time there are anonymous sources. there are people in the white house who are anonymous sources. >> who are anonymous sources. ip think the double standard is from their direction. i think the double is when he
stood up and said, okay, here is the evidence. when you think back to what donald trump tweeted, i just found out. you're thinking oh, you just got briefing or some information, and no, he saw something on "fox & friends" or hannity and that doesn't rise to the president getting new information. >> jack. >> what he did do is go through a litany of open source media from the "new york times," "washington post," to fax and heat stre"heat street". and he said what about this as potential evidence? he said something, as i understood it, he said, surveillance, wiretapping, we have talked about that. >> you watched my old testament statement. >> yes. >> he never said. i put up exactly what he said in the tweets. he never said surveillance. >> no, that's true. >> he was very specific about what he said. he said it was mccarthyism, comparing the former president
to mccarthy and nixon, he wasn't impeached. he said he was a bad, sick guy. this was a personal attack on a former person accusing him of a crime. he said wiretapped my phone, specifically. and then he said, it was a case for a lawyer, the fact that he said that he had proof of it. it was a case for a lawyer. and he has not shown it. please don't sit here and spin something that was not said by the president. >> he did say last night to tucker carlson that you're going to see a lot more in the next two weeks. so we shall see in the next two weeks. >> jack, do you actually think that president obama wiretapped trump tower. >> i don't think president obama did, but i think it's possible that under his watch some of his agencies were doing surveillance which was probably broad and before he left office he did
spread the world throughout 16 different agencies. >> if people were being surveilled under the obama administration, it's common, we've had intelligence experts here, for people who are russian, russian ambassadors to be surveilled. their phone calls to be monitored. the trump people just happened to be caught up in those -- in that surveillance. no one was going after american citizens. >> well -- >> or trump people. they -- flynn was caught up with kislyak on the phone. >> yes, but remember, one thing that sean was very frustrated with today, and i would be frustrated with as well, he said when james clapper comes out and says there is no evidence of collusion, when other intelligence agencies say that, as he said, the press responds with crickets. and i do think that that's true. >> we said on the show, you sat here -- >> you said it on the show. >> you've seen on cnn. there's been no proof so far, there's been no proof so far. we're talking about russia and
collusion. >> the great thing on the don lemon show is you let people like me and bowers like me come and speak. >> i had the "new york times" article. >> the failed "new york times." >> i have the "new york times" article. the reporter was on with anderson cooper. he said nothing in there said to what you're using and other people are using and sean spicer -- >> it was "the guardian," heat stre"heat stree street", and others and he talked about that today. >> those articles don't say what they said. andre, i'm sorry, go on. >> that was jack. >> no, you. >> you -- >> i wanted you to jump in on that. >> crickets. >> i've got the floor now, great. >> now crickets. now is your chance. before we move on to jen. >> first thing i would say we know there was a fisa warrant given in october. but more than that, don, and i
watch a lot of cnn, and i think the average person that's watching tv, no matter what channel they're watching they can't tell you the difference between iran and iran. was it hacked, was there surveillance, i think people are confused to what the real truth is because they've had so much information overload and we're all waiting to see when the other shoe is going to drop. >> who is responsible for that confusion? do you think that maybe you're responsible for that confusion, for trying to make sense of something that doesn't make sense, s for defending the indefensible? do you think that make maybe -- maybe you and other people should come on and say the president shouldn't tweet and there appears no factual evidence, instead of saying there was a fisa warrant and this and that, which has nothing to do with what the president originally ever said.
do you ever think that you are contributing to that confusion? >> well, i don't think i wholeheartedly said hey, here is the evidence. i said hey, a fisa warrant was issued. so there was surveillance they were looking at in some form or fashion. whether that's a wiretap, i can't tell you. but what i can tell you is a lot of people are in information overload -- >> does it matter to you that the senate intelligence committee said there is no evidence, they have found no evidence that trump tower was wiretapped or surveilled in any way? >> sure. that is an important fact. but i also have heard for multiple months now that the trump organization and russia were in cahoots, but i've seen absolutely no proof whatsoever. >> what you've heard, you haven't heard definitively they're in cahoots. the question is why was there so much contact between trump surrogates and russian
officials. no one said they're in cahoots. the intelligence community is wondering that. the news media didn't put that out. the intelligence community put that out. we're going with what the intelligence committee said. no news media said they're in cahoots. >> they're meeting with the russian ambassador and who met with the democrats as well. >> the democrats is not in the white house. donald trump is in the white house. there has been much more alleged communication between the trump campaign than anyone else. i've got to get jen sake in. go ahead. >> there are things we know there should be no confusion about. all of the intelligence agencies agree that the russians hacked the united states, there is agreement that they did that with the purpose of electing president donald trump. so there are specific things. there are some open questions that are out there. one of them is collusion. no media outlet organization has
reported that's the case. there are also questions that should be raised about what trump associates knew about the hacking or anything that's happened and all of these conversations raised those questions. so i think there is a lot of information out there, but there are definitely things that we know and we should be stating because the news agencies are not a partisan organization. >> if they weren't partisan, why would they leak that a private american citizen participated in because that is a felony, if they were listening to general flynn, then they were supposed to not share that information. it was a felony. >> they were reportedly listening to the russian. >> there is a felony to leak that. >> this is more of a distraction about the leak. >> hold on, everybody. let's just say it was a felony to leak it when they find the leaker they will convict. let's take that off the table. >> sure.
>> then let's talk about they possibly caught up into it, how this happened. >> absolutely. >> and i think that's fair, and i would say this. and i have to go a little back on my friend jen, that we do not know of surrogates from the campaign who were talking to russia and i can't exactly remember how you phrased it, but there has been a lot of allegations but absolutely no proof at all, just like with the collusion. no proof on that either. a lot of speculation. to me as a partisan, i'd say, hey, this gets back to hillary not getting to wisconsin and the dems are mad and they're throwing a lot of mud on the wall. >> flynn and sessions -- >> yes. >> all of the -- >> never the u.s. senate. >> remember, never ever have i met with a russian ambassador. then there is two tweets where she met with him twice. but had forgotten about it. >> claire mckos kel is not the
president of the united states. but seriously -- >> other senators met with him. >> there were trump campaign aides who met with the russian ambassador during the republican convex in cleveland last summer. >> it was a group of 50 people. >> sir, that is unusual. let me just ask this of andre. let me ask this of jack and andre. if the hillary clinton campaign had advisers and aides meeting with the russian ambassadors during the democratic convention, at the democratic convention, you guys would be howling. all we are doing is doing the same thing, asking questions that would normally be asked if the clinton folks were in the same situation. >> let me ask you the question myself. do you really believe if the republican party or jeff sessions or donald trump was colluding with the russian government, that they would meet with the russian ambassador in cleveland in front of the entire world to see?
or meet in a senate office with all kind of records? absolutely not. i'm answering your question. >> but, sir, the attorney general was asked during a hearing, have you had any contact -- or what about the trump campaign contacts with the russians and he said i did not have any contact with the russians when that was clearly not the case. he did have contacts. >> that was not the question. it was a convoluted question -- >> he stated there was no -- >> he said what would you do if there was collusion. >> and then had conversation was michael flynn with the ba ambassador around the time of the sanctions. i'm not saying this proves anything and we should be heading him to court but these are questions that should be asked of any president of any party. >> i don't think that because of the republicans are in the
white house doesn't mean we're out to get him. >> you guys are great. we're going to go longer. before we go to break, i want to say this donald j. trump, 7:02 a.m. march 2017, how low did barack obama go to tap my phones. this is nixon or watergate. bad guy. based on the information available to us we see no indication that the trump tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the united states government before or after election day 2016 according to senators richard burr and mark warner. today. that's actually what this is about. not some other backhanded spin that we have been led to believe. we'll continue our conversation after the break. healthy, free, the world before me,
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back now with my panel. so we've talked a lot about sean spicer having an audience of one. he must know the president is watching his performance, but, you know, he's placing the blame, you know, saying, oh, the president did this. he's trying to shift the blame and make the american people understand something that's actually not there. is that his job, kirsten? is he doing his job? >> it does seem to be his job. it feels like he has such a bad hand to play here because really if you have to come out and say the evidence that the president had was watching "fox & friends" and sean hannity, i think you have such a bad hand to play that you almost have to come out and be aggressive. you got to own it. you know what i mean? he's just got to lean into it and that's what he was doing. he was becoming very aggressive, and that's what he has to do because that's what donald trump wants him to do. but he has to know that this is not a good argument. it's just -- it isn't. it's not what we think when we think of the president getting new information, we think of
somebody briefing hip. we don't think of him watching a news program. >> nia, the president said it as if he already knew. >> yeah. >> now he's saying other information they're waiting on or that he has to investigate. just found out that president obama had wires tapped in trump tower just before the victory. nothing found, as if he knew something. it's illegal. is it legal? then he says, it's a great case for a lawyer, as if he had the goods. >> yeah, yeah. and he talks about obama being a bad or sick guy. you know, in many ways this has the same contours of the birther conspiracy theory, and that conspiracy theory, obama was a fraud. obama was hiding something. obama wasn't who he said he was, and trump was the one doing the unmasking. that in many ways i think is what is going on here. it kind of has the same contours of that, and you wonder if this might become donald trump's favorite new conspiracy theory. the birtherism conspiracy
theory, he hung on to it far longer than anybody else. it was essentially for five years. it also had the cliff-hanger aspect to it. every time he would sit down you would wonder if he was going to clear it up and back off those claims. he'll have a briefing tomorrow with angela merkel. he'll get questions about this, i'm sure. he might do the same thing we saw sean spicer do today and essentially say, listen, there are all these press reports out, there and will be more to come later. he did the same thing with birtherism. >> he did the same thing with the crowd. he did the same thing with the crowd size. >> exactly. yeah, and for this, this is trump as a man on an island. a man by himself. he's able to say that everyone else is wrong, not only the republicans, the democrats are wrong. the press is in on it too. i think it serves a real purpose for him. spicer didn't -- spicer isn't knocking any of this down. he's very much advancing this idea that trump has, and we'll see how long trump hangs onto
it. this seems to be the conspiracy theory that he just can't quit. >> andre, sean spicer is saying, you know, accused jim acosta of cherry picking, right? couldn't he be accused of the same thing because no one said, okay, we were wrong about the crowd sizes after the park services came out and said -- and showed the crowd sizes at the same time years apart. millions of people voted. has not been investigated, is not true. no one has said anything about that. they didn't do a peep about that. and now wiretapping. so far, not true. no one's admitting it. andre, is that not -- come on, brother. >> come on, brother. >> again, i got another question for you. when flynn talked to the russian ambassador. >> no, no. answer that question and then go on. don't pivot on me. >> there are been plenty of narratives. the press said that trump had no chance of winning. he was only running to get his name i.d. up. he had never really run. it's been both ways, don.
i mean they said he could never win the primary, and of course he's defied the odds and the press over and over and over again. so i don't know if he has the goods or not. i hope he does. >> stand by, everybody. stand by. andre, we're going to take a break. we'll come back at the top of the hour. we'll be right back. >> i was silent. *trade's powerful trading tools, give you access to in-depth analysis, and a team of experienced traders ready to help if you need it. it's like having the power of a trading floor, wherever you are. it's your trade. e*trade