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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  March 29, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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any better. craig, thank you. >> thank you. and thanks very much to all of you for joining us, don't forget, you can watch "out front" any time, anywhere. just go to cnngo, "a.c. 360" s.t.a.r.t. starts right now. and good evening, thank you for joining us. we're waiting to hear from fbi director james comey who's going to speak at a dinner for the intelligence community. we'll bring you those answers to questions live when they happen. earlier today, the top two members, the senate intelligence committee spoke to reporters in advance of their first public hearing tomorrow into all things russia. and while it's obviously too soon to draw any conclusions as to the shape of their investigations, the shape it's going to take, it's hard to miss the sharp contrast between today's rollout between straight
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forward, devoid of policy, a train wreck over on the house side. both the house and the senate intelligence committees are supposed to investigate russian meddling in the last election as well as political collusion between the trump campaign and moscow. and the house committee is on hold while chairman devin nunes is facing collusion with the white house itself, claiming to giver president trump cover on his claim that the obama administration wiretapped him. it's really a tantalizing piece of information from ryan lizza who first wrote about it for the new yorker. it's an important piece of the information that adds to the timeline of what chairman nunes did last week that's brought the house intelligence committee to a halt. and it also adds to the suspicion that nunes colluded in some way with the white house,
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helping to make each domino in this story knock down the next. and here's what lizza wrote in the new yorker after mike rogers testified last monday. last monday morning, shortly before the start of the hearing, a senior white house official told me, this is ryan lizza speaking, you'll see the setting of the predicate, that's the thing to watch today. he also said and i quote, watch nunes today, again, this is a senior white house official telegraphing a strategy that would become clear in the hearing, telegraphing a purnch, if you will. even telegraphing what type of punch is coming after lizza read what went on at the hill a full nine days before the hearing. quote, intelligence agencies could have inadvertently collected and then searched donald trump's phone calls and
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then searched trump's phone calls. that's a senior white house official telling ryan lizza of the new yorker to tell us more after this hearing about this inadvertent collection of information from trump, here is chairman nunes in his opening remarks. listen. >> where the communications -- the intelligence community has extremely strict proceed yours for handling information for any u.s. citizens who are subject to even incidental surveillance and this committee wants to make sure that all relevant activi activities have followed all relevant laws, rules and regulations. i have been saying this for several weeks, we know there was not a physical wiretap of trump tower. but we know that it was still
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possible that there were other wiretapping being used between trump and russian associates. >> it sure seems like the white house official who spoke to ryan lizza either knew or made some type of guess about what nunes was going to be focusing on in his initial comments. and you add that to the fact that before this hearing, the president himself, president trump, has said something and he made it seem it was like coming from the white house. listen to what president trump said in an interview with tucker carlson, keep in mind this is 11 days after his wife tapping claim, four days after that hill article, and five stdays after e house hearing. >> we will be submitting certain things and i will be perhaps speaking about this next week. but it's right now before the committee and i think i want to leave it at that. i think you're going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.
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>> well, five days later, the house hearing, chairman nunes does what the senior white house official predicked to ryan lizza. then the very next tuesday, white house press secretary sean spicer said this. >> can we expect the president to present evidence that he was wiretapped by barack obama or will he speak about it? because he didn't mention it last night in his rally. >> let's see how the week goes. >> we now know how the week went, in fact it was the next day that those dominos started to fall. the day after last wednesday, when sean spicer spoke about it. the same talking points that ryan lizza's senior white house source boasted about before the fact. >> i recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community collected information about u.s. citizens involved in the trump transit n
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transition. >> from there he went to the white house and briefed the president on what was troubling to the white house. >> does this seem to describe what the president was talking about the quote wiretapping that was talked about as broader surveillance? >> you -- what i have read seems to be some level of surveillance activity, perhaps legal, but i don't know that it's right, and i don't know that the american people will be comfortable with what i have read, but let us get all the reports. >> chairman, was the president involved? >> it is possible. >> bear in mind that chairman nunes spoke to the press, paul ryan and the press again. and then the president makes a public statement saying he feels somewhat vindicated, even though
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the whole issue of inadvertent collection had nothing to do with president obama wiretapping his phones. nunes has not giving who -- the chairman has not told anyone else those details. his white house is referring questions back to nunes, and perhaps the most important work of all, the work of the house intelligence committee seems to have ground to a halt. you caught up with chairman nunes today, and pressed him on more details about the investigation, what did he say? >> reporter: he doesn't really want to talk much about that information that you discuss that he reviewed last week, the information he got from that white house source. that question continuing to linger, how did he get on white house grounds, who cleared him and who allowed him to see this information, including who the source is. i asked specifically, did anyone at the white house give you permission, authorize you to review classified information. he refused to say, he said i am
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not answering that question anymore. but i also asked him about whether he communicated with the white house before actually talking to donald trump last week in that private meeting, if he had any communications about the information that he had reviewed, also would not answer. take a listen. one thing that i'm curious about, the surveillance information you did see, did you talk to anyone at the white house before talking to donald trump? >> we have already talked about all this, ad nauseam, and the issues are really, really critically important when it relates to american citizens who could have been picked up in incidental collection and you guys should all take that very seriously, because it's part of our oversight duties. >> did you're see the information? >> that's the hope. that's what we're trying to get, that's what we have been trying to get since march 15. >> what's been the holdup? >> that's in the march 15 letter
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that i gave to all of you. >> what can you tell me about being on white house grounds. >> hoping to get this information to us in a timely manner. >> reporter: its unclear how that evidence in that march 15 letter, they asked for a bunch of information from the intelligence agencies. and it's unclear about how that equates to what he saw privately from his secret source, but that -- devin nunes is willing to have some after -- he first needs to get an agreement with the ranking member and somebody on the committee, that has not happened quite yet, anderson. >> so he said there's not going to be public hearing until after recess in april? >> we asked him point blank, when you do you expect to have
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those public hearings, before recess? he said he highly doubts that will happen, so anything public will have to wait for at least a few more weeks. >> yesterday chairman nunes told the new yorker that he would have to -- even though he cancelled yesds's public hearing. the fbi is pushing back on that, right? >> reporter: yes, say, there was no agreement for him to come forward and devin nunes made an agreement with adam schiff, the top democrat on the committee to agree for comey to come forward, otherwise comey would not do that without that bipartisan agreement. schiff has resisted because he wants to have that public hearing, he wants clearance for a private meeting as well as a public hearing with sally yates to talk about some of those
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conversations between between trump associates and russian officials. and adam schiff telling our own wolf blitzer just a few minutes ago. >> let's get delayed reaction from jim acosta. the white house press secretary sean spicer was asked who let chairman nunes on white house grounds, did he actually have an answer? >> reporter: the short answer is no, anderson, this has become a daily ritual where reporters ask white house officials, namely sean spicer, the press secretary, for any new information on how the house chairman devin nunes made his way to the white house for a secret meeting. and spicer earlier this week said he would look into all of
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this and try to provide some answers to reporters later on this week, that simply did not happen today and i will tell you, i did press sean spicer specifically on whether he knew who the source of this information was, that was involved with devin nunes and provided him with this bombshell information and sean spicer's one-word answer to that was, no, he did not know who this mysterious source is and so we'll continue to ask for these answers, it's not all together clear where we're going to get those answers. keep in mind earlier today, sean spicer, while he was sounding somewhat willing to get to the bottom of this earlier this week, he was criticizing reporters earlier at the briefing today, saying that reporters were fascinated with the process of all this. >> it's not difficult information to find out, who signed in the chairman of the house intelligence committee, if the white house wanted to give out that information, you know, it's on white house grounds, i'm
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sure there's a book or computer they can just look at. >> reporter: that's right, there is such a thing as the white house visitor logs that track the visitor who is make their way in and out of the white house, i swipe my badge every day, the u.s. secret service has records of coming into the white house, whatever time that was earlier today. members of congress, dignitaries, peerm who have appointments inside the white house with various officials, they have to go through the secret service. and those white house visitor logs while they are maintained by the secret service, it is the white house who basically keep the keys to the castle here, they are the one who is can decide whether or not this information is going to be made public, and as we have been saying all week, the obama administration made these visitor logs public, you wouldn't be able to search this information in real time, but you would be able to go back and
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look at that information later on. the trump administration is just not doing that. >> now on today's hearing on the senate intelligence committee and how sharply different it appeared, in terms of everyone surrounding the house committee. for that let's go book to the hill and cnn's jessica snyder, what details did the senate lay out about their investigations because their meetings are going to be behind closed doors? >> reporter: they are, anderson, but the intelligence committee moving full steam ahead on this, the chairman saying he has a full staff already knee deep in these documents and senators burr and warner, they also say they have 20 witnesses they want to interview, they have set up interview weather fiiew with fi. we know that former trump campaign manager, paul manafort, he has agreed to talk to the committee and jared kushner has oft offered the same.
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and those -- he met with that state run russian bank, back in the summer at the height of the transition, the senator saying they're pleased that jared kushner has made that offer, and then of course there's the issue of general michael flynn, it was talked about a little bit at the press conference, however i did talk to general flynn's lawyers, his lawyers say they have spoken to the committee, flynn has not spoken to the committee. but at the same time, senators warner and burr, they say they will be working hand in hand on really a bipartisan basis. >> the circumstance with which you wouldn't share with are warner your sources the intelligence on this investigation? >> he usually knows hi sources before i do. >> i have also got his cell phone, which means he hears from me more than he would sometimes like. >> really a change in tone, from
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a bit of a partisan finger pointing we have seen on the house side of things, these two senators coming out wsaying the want to work together on this and not get into petty differences. >> they were also asked if there was any involvement with the campaign and russia. what did they say? >> reporter: they say they will not be revealing any of them. they are telling the public not to expect any information. that this information is under wraps. >> reporter: can you definitively rule out that there was no coordination between trump officials and russian officials? >> we want to let this information go through before we would form any opinions and we would hope that that's what you would like us to do. let us get a little bit deeper
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into this before you ask us to write the conclusions that's clearly what we intend to do down the road. >> we and the members of the committee are going to get to the bottom of this, if you get nothing else from today, take that statement to the bank. >> this is quite a different scene than what we have seen at the house intelligence committee, where we have seen that drip, drip, drip of information and those competing partisan press conferences. >> just at the end of the senate intelligence investigation, is it clear what they will make public? i mean obviously all their meetings are behind closed doors, so that they can ask, you know, information about thing that are classified, but what do they actually end up making public or do they not? >> it's interesting, anderson, tomorrow is the day of some of those open hearings, so the public will be privy to that tomorrow, but it's unclear what they might reveal to the public.
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we understand that it might be in private although it might be under oath. >> coming up next, democrats in the house intelligence committee, does he think that the chairman is actually sabotaging the investigation. and later fbi director comey, we're waiting for his remarks, apparently he's going to be answering questions, we want to know will he touch on the russian investigations? we could find out momentarily, stay with us. knowing where you stand. it's never been easier. except when it comes to your retirement plan. but at fidelity, we're making retirement planning clearer. and it all starts with getting your fidelity retirement score. in 60 seconds, you'll know where you stand.
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then, i decided to have my dna tested through ancestry dna. it turns out i'm scottish. so, i traded in my lederhosen for a kilt. breaking news tonight, ranking member adam schiff will meet tomorrow night with chairman devin nunes.
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joining us now, a democratic committee member, congressman smallwell. the fact that a source in the white house, a senior white house official as described with ryan lizza, gave ryan lizza a heads up on things he would talk about or focus on in his remarks at last monday's hearing, is there some way that could have been worked out between the white house and chairman nunes or is sit possible it's just a coincidence? >> chairman nunes has shown that he's too close to the white house that makes any credible investigation make progress, that's why it's time -- and this is bigger than any single person. and for that reason, as well as going over to the white house the day after our open hearing, i'm very concerned that the
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public is losing their trust in our ability to conduct this investigation. >> do you trust chairman nunes, that he's not colluding with the white house? >> well, i like chairman nunes, and the committee has worked with him in the past in a bipartisan way, and to keep the him as the leader of the committee on nonrussian issues, he should step aside. i think that this white house, its behavior is consistent with trying to cover up what happened and i'm talking about michael flynn lying to the vice president. and i'm talking about jeff sessions misleading the senate committee about its contact with russia and now to have chairman nunes come to the white house grounds to receive classified information. it would be easier for someone on the white house grounds to bring the president to capitol
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hill, than it is to bring chairman nunes to the white house. >> it certainly seems like it is at a stand still. >> it looked just like the press conference that you saw today, with senators burr and warner, that's what an investigative road when you have republicans and democrats going down it together. unfortunately last week, it was stalled when chairman nunes went over to the white house. we can get over that moment, but the only way to have credibility and progress is for the republicans to have a new leader on their side. >> but is there an investigation ongoing, i mean are people actually investigating from your committee or are things just stalled? >> it's stalled. we're still receiving information and able to review documents, but right now, as far as the public is concerned, there's no public hearing, our hearing yesterday for no given reason was cancelled. we still want to hear from nsa
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secure advisor yates and othebop officials either colluding with russians. >> so you don't believe that chairman nunes is actually trying to sabotage the investigation? >> i can only point out what he's actually done, the fact that he cancelled a hearing for no reason, the fact is that he went over to the white house, on tuesday and wednesday, both days after the public hearing. to me it just looks like there's a conflict of interest. and whether he thinks it's a conflict of interest, the perception of a conflict of interest undermines our duty to have a bipartisan investigation. >> and the ranking member on the senate intelligence committee, giving that press conference
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today, didn't you think that's the way it should be? >> we have seen chairman nunes and ranking member schiff work together in the past, but there was a sense of betrayal when the chairman went over to the white house and didn't share it with us. and, anderson, what's so concerning is that he said he had this information long before the president's wiretapping claim and to me that means there was deliberation and thought, and it was intentional that he went over there that he had the opportunity to read us in and he chose not to. and right now it looks like he's wearing ing ing a uniform that white house on it not the uniform of a white house intelligence committee. >> this committee has worked so well in the past, and maybe that's because we work often in secret, three floors below the capitol, we know that national security is on the line. and right now it feels like all
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of is that work is in jeopardy because we have a chairman who seems more loyal to the white house right now than the investigation we're charged with doing. just ahead, we're going to get the panel's take on all of this, plus we'll bring you fbi director james comey live as he takes questions at a dinner. and relieve foot, knee or lower back pain from being on your feet. dr. scholl's. hidden in every swing, every chip, and every putt, is data that can make the difference between winning and losing. the microsoft cloud helps the pga tour turn countless points of data into insights that transform their business and will enhance the game for players and fans.
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on a busy night, there's more breaking news, fbi director james comey is expected to speak at a dinner in alexandra, virginia. he's expected to take questions after his speech. we're going to go to him live when that happens, see if he talks about russia or anything else, depending on what he is asked. we're getting conflicting verses of whether chairman nunes for naturally invited nunes to testify in a public hearing. a short time ago, congressman adam schiff, that committee's ranking democrat says he will join comey tomorrow. gloria, you see the face-off between nunes and schiff on the
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committee, as we wait to hear from director comey, what do you make of,these key players, whether it's the director himself or sally yates have become sort of chess pieces for the house intelligence committee? >> their have, and they have become completely partisan, it's almost as if you can see that devin nunes didn't want partisan testimony that could potentially be damaging to the administration. we know that, sally yates, for example, who went to the white house council about her concerns about then-national security advisor mike flynn, saying he may well have been compromised in his conversations with the russians, we know that having her public testimony would have been really damaging. we know that comey's testimony publicly was already really damaging to the white house when he said, there is an ongoing investigation publicly. so i think what you see in devin nunes is somebody who wants to
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troo try and push in perhaps to closed hearings and adam schiff says all of this should be out in the open and they seem to be playing off of very, very different pages here. >> jeffrey, i mean when congressman schiff points out that sean spicer said he wants sally yates to testify, spicer said that from the white house podium, don't democrats have chairman nunes kind of backed into a corner on that one? >> i don't know that they have him backed into a corner. one of the things that's not being observed here, all of this imprints t inference that chairman nunes is colluding with the white house, the minority leader of the white house is the leader of the political party that's in the minority, that's in this case nancy pelosi, the question is as we're going down this road, is adam schiff colluding with nancy pelosi, they're putting out statements on the same day on
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the same subject. members of the house intelligence committee are democrats. if you want to go down this road, then we need to go down the road and, you know, in full. and i just think we should get all of this out, every last bit of this out, what the member's responsibilities were. >> but jeffrey, the committee is -- but jeffrey,a committee is not investigating nancy pelosi, they are investigating people who were associated with the trump campaign. >> and they should. she said she never met with the russian ambassador, then there was a picture of her meeting with the russian ambassador. >> but the idea that the white house, or at least a senior official from the white house, told ryan lizza, here's what's nunes is going to focus on today, watch for this and nunes actually does that, and then you have this other series of events and the president himself has telegraphed something's going to come out. it doesn't seem at all --
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>> i'm just saying, anderson -- if we're going to go down that road, you got to be playing fair play here with each side. >> again, nancy pelosi is not the one being investigated, the white house is. >> but she's the investigator and if she's not impartial, then there's a problem, right? >> but she's not on the committee. >> well, if you got the ranking member of her committee communicating with her and taking signals from her, and putting out statements in sync with her, then she is effectively on the committee. >> so is devin nunes talking to paul ryan? >> i'm sure he is. i'm sure he is. >> this between the house and the white house, this is pretty normal stuff, folks. >> shouldn't -- giving the evolving timeline of the intelligence he saw on white
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house grounds, and democrats, that being said have very little procedural leverage to use against speaker nunes, as long as he has president trump behind him-- >> they have argument, and they have you, the media, they have the chance to make their case to the public. let me say this again, as a democrat, we haven't seen any information in public, any evidence at all of collusion between donald trump campaign and russia, but if there is no collusion, the thing that the president needs most is a credible, bipartisan investigation to clear his good name. nunes's conduct has taken that away from him. nunes is seen as neither credible or bipartisan at all. he has destroyed that ability, for the trump white house, nunes
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has to go, and they have to have a credible bipartisan investigation. with some help from the senate. but right now, chairman nunes has destroyed the one avenue to which trump could clear his allegedly good name. >> what do you think of what we have seen over the last few days. >> we are so deep in an expedition for red herrings here, we have forgotten what this is exactly about. as we heard a moment ago, there is a cover-up going on, the fbi knows and i say this as a reporter, that a cover-up is going on, the intelligence committee, both the trump presidency and the obama presidency knows there's a cover-up going on. does that mean there's an active obstruction of justice, laws have been broken by this person, that one and another one, we don't know yet.
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but all ofdefleckive actions by the white house, in the form of chairman nunes, are about a betting cover-up and trying to keep the american people from understanding what the connections are, or might not be. between donald trump and the russians, between his campaign and the russians, between his -- let me finish, please, jeffrey. between his campaign and the russians and between his associates and the russians, we are seeing impediments thrown out by the white house and by republicans on capitol hill, almost every day now, particularly in the house, to keep the truth from being known wherever it goes. this is an extraordinary situation, and the important thing is that the leaders of the counter intelligence investigation by the fbi and the intelligence investigations by the other government agencies, understand there's a cover-up
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going on. >> we have got to take a quick bra break, we're going to continue this discussion, we're also following what director comey says tonight. we'll have that after a short break. kevin, meet your father.
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gloria, there's new information on jared kushner?
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>> i have been told by someone who's familiar with what transpired, jared kushner is going to say all he was doing with ambassador kislayak and ambassadand get a backdoor deal with president trump and have a backdoor relationship. >> gorkov is the head of this russian bank who's got ties with intelligence officials in russia and it's been reported by the "new york times" that kislayak asked kushner to meet with this guy, and there are conflicts reports that it was just in jared kushner's role who met with many diplomats. the russian bank said he was meeting with him as a member of
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the kushner family, the kushner corporation. >> and this report says it was in jared kushner's role in trying to establish this backdoor to putin, it was not about his business. the question that i asked is why would jared kushner meet with somebody affiliated with a bank at a high level who was -- that was sanctioned by the united states? why would anybody in a trump transition do that? i mean it's a google clerk away to try and figure out who this person was. and i was told by this source, and this is a quote, in a more organized transition, there would have been someone to vet people before there were meetings and that wasn't done, that it was completely disorganized and that perhaps kushner himself should have done it before he met with this guy, but he did not do it. so it's clear, kushner is going to stick to the story, this was about a back channel to vladimir putin, nothing more. and by the way, when rex
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tillerson came on board and clearly had such a close relationship with vladimir putin, jared kushner no longer needed to establish that back channel. >> so they're saying that jared kushner didn't have like an assistant, if i'm meeting with someone who i don't know, usually an assistant would do a quick google search on somebody and give you a one sheet and say here's some background information on this person you're meeting on. jared kushner just found himself in a meeting with a russian banker -- >> right. >> a guy who heads a bank who's under sanctions and also has connection with vladimir putin and russian intelligence. >> whom the russian ambassador suggested he meet with, so yes, i was just as surprised as you are and asked that very question, saying, oh, come on, you can google this person, the answer was that, no, it was completely disorganized and that should have occurred, as it does in most transitions, but it did not occur in this one.
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>> okay, so let's bring in the panel on this. jeffrey, again, could be a completely innocuous meeting, nothing nefarious there at all, but why was this information not made public by the white house long ago? i mean, it's this drip, drip, drip of stuff that just keeps coming out and even when, you know, matthew rosenberg the the "new york times," was asking about kushner's meeting with kislayak, they didn't say, oh, yeah, well, there was this other meeting as well. it's sort of all this stuff that sort of gets pulled out. >> obviously maybe they should have done that, there's no question. but i do want to address what carl was saying here, in terms of a cover-up. the three people that have been prominently mentioned here in this investigation, paul manafort, roger stone and carter paige, and i have heard from carter paige personally on this, they're all dieing to testify to this committee. i mean they want to get out
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there and get their story known in public. so i mean that's sort of not conspiratorial in nature, they want to get out there very much. so i think we need to make that clear. >> there are others as well, jeffrey. th there's a whole constellation of people. >> does the white house want these meetings to continue, and chairman nunes for reasons that are unexplained, cancelled the public hearing that was supposed to take place on fustuesday, an now they're saying after the april break, there will be more meetings. >> i believe not only should the folks on this side testify, but negotiation on the other side who were dealing with classified information that leaked, evelyn farkas, who was a former official in the obama administration, who went on television on another network
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earlier in the month and said in essence that she was helping to leak this information, she should be called, white house officials in the obama era, president obama himself. >> right now they're not calling anybody in any public hearing. we're going to have more with the panel. first daughter ivanka trump taking on a new official role in the white house. she'll be nonpaid advisor to president trump.
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first daughter ivanka trump has taken an official job in the white house as an unpaunpaid. her husband jared kushner is also an unpaid adviser and seen as one of the most powerful people in the president's inner circle. jim acosta joins me. what are the details of this official position? >> reporter: it shouldn't surprise people at home that running the country, running the white house is becoming a family business for donald trump. the white house did kwconfirm tt ivanka will be an unpaid employee with the title of assistant to the president. ivanka released a statement saying she decided to take on
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this government role to avoid any questions about conflicts of interest because they were certainly being raised. we can put that quote up on screen. it says, i have heard the concerns some have with my advising the president in my personal capacity while voluntarily complying with all ethics rules and i will instead serve as an unpaid employee in the white house. throughout this process i have been working closely and in good faith with the white house counsel and my personal counsel to address the unprecedented nature of my role. this may raise questions and this has before of whether ivanka trump will be violating federal nepotism rules as her father is the president, her husband jared kushner is also a white house adviser. the president's lawyers we have heard from the white house counsel office, all sorts of lawyers they maintain the law gives him broad discretion to name his own team of advisors. if this question comes up again, that will be the answer we get. >> jim acosta, thanks very much.
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joining me is norm oisen, and jeffrey and gloria are with us. what have you been learning? what's she going do? >> i think that in the ivanka camp, they were troubled by a letter that norm sent along with fred wirthheimer to the white house counsel -- norm, you can talk about suggested she did this to get around ethics rules. and as a result, she now has to file her own form 278 as it's called. so she is legally bound now by the ethics rules in the white house. >> ambassador, as gloria said, the letter you sent to the white
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house influenced this decision reportedly. are you satisfied with the steps they have taken here? what does that mean that she will have to follow all the rules of a federal employee? is she still going to be involved with her company? do we know the details on this? >> thanks for having me, anderson. we do know that she will like her father maintain ownership interest in her company, although, she's stepped away from day to day management. anderson, i do appreciate that mr. trump has responded to the letter by admitting that no american is above the law. not even the daughter of a president. so you shouldn't have to litigate that issue in order to have a concession that the law applies to you. we're a government of laws, not of people. that's the fundamental idea of the united states. what disappoints me is that this
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step leaves so much else undone in this white house. there is an ethics crisis in the white house. and it starts at the top with the president. who claims that the law does not apply to him, even the constitution, which prohibits many of the foreign government benefits he is getting, for example. until the president gets it right, the white house is not going to get it right. we do have, despite this positive step, a white house in ethics crisis. no wonder they're under investigation for russia affair. >> ambassador, you are a former white house czar. in terms of the nepotism law, does it apply? >> the question of whether ivanka was an employee was a clear one. she was. i'm glad they conceded it. my view -- it's a bipartisan view. the bush ethics czar agrees with me. nepotism statute does apply.
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in both the bush and obama administration for decades the justice department held, yes, the nepotism statute does apply to the white house office. it's a murky area, reasonable minds can disagree. president trump got an opinion from the justice department that the nepotism statute doesn't apply to his white house. we disagree with that opinion. but we recognize that reasonable minds can disagree. >> jeff, obviously, there's a lot of ways to look at this. the president should have the people around him who he wants to have who he feels comfortable getting advice from. do you have any concerns though that you now have two of the most powerful positions in the white house are filled with relatives of the president, people who have a direct line to him in a way that maybe other people in the white house don't? would you want to work in that office environment? >> anderson, i will tell you why. ten presidents of the united
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states have had family members as senior aides, cabinet members or they position them at senior aides to other members of the administration. that includes john f. kennedy, andrew johnson, abraham lincoln, franklin roosevelt. >> in modern times. >> this has been going -- >> with security clearance? >> anderson, none since the anti-nepotism was passed after rfk. and it's called the bobby kennedy statute because there was such profound concern in this situation -- this situation raises those same concerns. when we have the most critical questions of domestic and international security, do we really want people whose first loyalty is to. >> daymeon: -- is to the president or to the country? >> we have to take a break. >> related or not, have been in
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every single white house. >> just ahead, latest on the trump russia investigation and the meltdown of one of the committees carrying it out. $25 million settlement in a trump university lawsuit is hanging in the balance. one of the plaintiffs is holding out. she might torpedo the deal. details ahead.
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call it a tale of two committees. the senate intelligence committee launches hearings on all matters trump and russian s tomorrow. it's a contrast, two committees. >> reporter: tonight, the top democrat and republican on the senate intelligence committee say they are pouring through thousands of intelligence documents as part of the bipartisan investigation into russian meddling during the election. >> this was one of the biggest investigations that the hill has seen in my tenure here. >> reporter: standing in contrast to the house