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tv   New Day  CNN  March 31, 2017 3:00am-4:01am PDT

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saying the classified reports given to the chairman. we have a lot going on on day 71 of the trump p presideresidency. we begin with our coverage with sara murray at the white house. >> reporter: another twist and turn of the saga with the ties of the trump campaign. now the former national security adviser's offer to testify comes with fine print. president trump's fired national security adviser michael flynn offering to testify before congressional investigators if he gets immunity. flynn has a story to tell and he wants to tell it should the circumstances permit. no reasonable person with the benefit of advice from counsel would submit to questioning in a
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highly politicized witch hunt. flynn's lawyer saying discussions with the white house and senate committees have taken place. the trump administration is already battling allegations of collusion with probes in the white house and senate about the russian meddling into the election. the white housin white house de comment after flynn's words loom large. >> the last thing that john podesta said no individual too big to jail. that should include people like hillary clinton. five people around her have had been given immunity. when you are given immunity, that means you probably committed a crime. >> then candidate trump echoing flynn's words. >> why do you need immunity? >> reporter: for weeks, house and senate investigators expressed interest in speaking with flynn in addition to three
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other former trump associatasso >> it is safe to say we had conversation was a lot of people. you would think less of us if general flynn wasn't in that list. >> reporter: the retired general was forced to resign a month into the trump presidency after admitting he misled vice president mike pence. after forcing flynn out, the president praising his former adviser. >> general flynn is a wonderful man. he has been treated unfairly by the media. >> reporter: now the white house has been adamant they believe there is no evidence of collusion with former members of the presidential campaign and suspected russian operatives. it is worth noting the heads of the committee will not go too far saying it is too early in
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the investigation to say. back to you. >> sara, thank you. let's bring in the panel to discuss all this. we have david gregory. political analyst. a.b. stoddard and jeffery toobin. jeffery, let's start with you. we heard president trump say if you are not gifuilty of a crime why do you need immunity? >> you have the right not to speak according to the fifth amendment. that doesn't necessarily mean you are guilty. this is a major development. michael flynn was one of the most important people in the country. national security adviser to the president is an important job. he has now taken the fifth. meaning he is demanding immunity. think about what a big deal that is. >> that means -- does that tell investigators i will not talk to you unless you give me immunity? >> that's correct.
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there is a process that prosecutors go through and here we have a complicated situation where you have both congress and the justice department conducting investigations and they may not agree on whether he should get immunity. that came up in the iran contra case where i was one of the prosecutors. oliver north got immunity from congress, but not from the justice department. that scuttled the criminal case against him. you have two groups playing off each other. they are both going to listen to flynn's lawyer. listen to a proffer from flynn. if you give me immunity, i will tell you the following. >> for the record, "the wall street journal" is reporting he is seeking immunity. david gregory, jeffery is talking about the legal reality.
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he touched on the political reality. you have the former national security adviser. the fired national security adviser now talking about and seeking publicly. his lawyer is publicly asking for a deal for him to testify potentially against people in the administration for which he served. >> if we are using the trump stan dafdard of how to talk abo this in the public domain, this must be the centerpiece of the huge criminal enterprise. that is how they spoke about hillary clinton with regard to the e-mail server and the investigation. there were leaks and interviews that the fbi conducted by the fbi. of course, the campaign was all too happy to run with that. leaks are tough things. in this case, i think it is worth under scoring what jeff said. this is a key figure. this is one of the two main senior advisers to the campaign and then the president who has
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been fired over not being truthful about the contacts with russia. if the question is collusion, if the question is improper relationship with russia at a time when russia was actively trying to manipulate your election, you have a key figure who got fired because he wasn't truthful. the administration says this is a hoax and there is nothing there. if they got rid of two people central to it. now you have somebody in the middle of it saying there's more of a story to tell. >> yes. in fact, that is what i would ask you, a.b. about that very phrase which flynn's attorney says. general flynn certainly has a story to tell. that is juicy bait to dangle. that is a good tease. does he want to testify? >> to jeffery's point, this is an unusual process for the lawyer to dangle this publicly when the correct process is
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usually done quietly. if flynn really has a story to tell, it would not be aired like this of give me immunity and i'm going to testify. if he has something and if there is something there, the justice department and fbi will look into it. the committees are responding cool to the offer and not expressing a lot of interest in it because they are not sure they will get something from flynn and the best way to go through the process traditionally is that the prosecutors sit down and they get it. they find out what flynn has before they offer him anything. that is usually done in a sensitive and private way so flynn's lawyer can protect his client. this sounds like a publicity
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stunt. it doesn't sound like it will go anywhere. >> i don't know about that. i think it is worth remembering. responsible prosecutors, responsible congressional investigators, they look at the other facts first. they look at e-mails and intercepts show. what the other evidence shows about the involvement and then decide to give him immunity. that shows how long this could go on for. this is an investigation involving the most sensitive secrets in the country involving the national security agency. they won't want to turn it over. none of this will happen fast. >> they need to know what they don't know before they give immunity. immunity doesn't cover perjury or lying. michael flynn has been accused of in the past. in this case, what crimes would he be immune from? >> i'll give you the most
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relevant one. if, in fact, he had involvement in aiding and abetting the hacking of the dnc by russia, that is a crime he could get immunity from. >> nobody has mentioned that. >> that's the core of this investigation. he hasn't been accused of that, but the idea of collusion between russia and the political -- >> the green light or go ahead or this is a good time. >> right. again, we need to emphasize. just because you take the fifth doesn't mean you are guilty. >> can they compel him to testify? >> that's immunity. >> no, meaning without immunity ? >> no. that's the whole point of the fifth amendment. you get to refuse to answer questions. immunity takes that privilege away. >> david, one reason you give one person immunity is that person rolls on another in a
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bigger investigation. you are high up. if you are dealing with the national security advisor and you want him to roll, it has to be a big fish. we don't know if there is a big fish here. >> what we don't know is flynn is probably angry with how he was treated. if he didn't come clean with the vice president, i can only imagine the vice president said you can't put me in this position. this guy has to go. you don't know how that internal dynamic played out although the president praised flynn after the fact. the other key point about flynn is he has the relationship with russian television. propaganda arm of russian information. he has this interfacing with putin. he is advising trump about policy at the time. he has contact with the ambassador at a time when sanctions have been levied by
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the administration because of the evidence of the meddling. all of that is a trove of information that congressional investigators want to know more about. >> guys, stand by. this is not the only head scratching, mind numbing development from washington in the last 12 hours. another firestorm. several media reports that staffers in the donald trump white house shared intelligence files with the embattled chairman of the intelligence committee, devin nunes. nunes took that information back to the president rather than the committee. that is fueling a lot of speculation and accusations of coordination and collusion. cnn's suzanne malveaux on capitol hill with more. >> reporter: good morning, john. the white house said thursday that its staffers uncovered materials regarding the surveillance in the campaign of 2016 leading up to questions whether or not trump aides actually used the chair of the house intelligence committee to
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back donald trump's claim he had been wiretapped. house intelligence chairman nunes facing allegations of collusion with the white house. multiple media outlets reporting that white house official s provided nunes with reports during the secret visit to the white house grounds last week. >> i briefed the president on the concerns. >> reporter: a bizarre development considering that nunes went back to the white house the next day to brief president trump on material he allegedly got from the president's staff. >> was this an attempt to find justification for the president? we don't have answers because as usual the white house doesn't really answer questions. >> reporter: nunes's previous statements contra ddicting the report. >> by holding the meeting on the white house grounds, makes it appear someone was coordinating the release of the information to you. is that not the case? >> that is not the case. >> reporter: the new york times
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and washington post reporting that one of the individuals who let nunes into the white house was brought on by former national security adviser michael flynn. both those papers reporting that flynn's successor general mcmaster wanted to fire that person. only now as the white house extending an invitation to the house and senate intelligence committees to review classified information. >> the timing certainly looks fortuitous and probably more than fortuitous. per the letter, it said the ranking member had been asking to review materials, which of course i have. that suggests these are the same materials the chairman reviewed f. that is the case, it begs the question why all the subterfuge? maybe there is an innocent
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answer. >> reporter: sean spicer refusing to confirm or refute the report. >> i'm not commenting on the reports. >> reporter: the latest development coming two weeks after president trump suggested more information would come out to support his still unproven wiretapping. >> we will submit things before committee soon. that hasn't been submitted yet. i think you will find some interesting items coming to the forefront. >> reporter: all the speculation of collusion with nunes and the white house overshadowed the start of the senate intelligence committee hearings which began yesterday. they delved into the intricate russian hacking and disinformation campaign and efforts to get into your systems. >> suzanne, thank you. the question is, can the house intel chairman nunes oversee that investigation on any trump russia ties given what we know today?
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our panel tackles that next.
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now to another firestorm in washington. several media reports say officials in the trump white house gave classified reports to chairman nunes that showed surveillance of trump an sois e associates. is the trump white house colluding? we want to bring back david gregory and a.b. stoddard and jeffery toobin. on march 13th, wiretap evidence may come up two weeks. then chairman nunes visits the white house coming flexion. on march 22nd, nunes briefs and goes back to tell donald trump something that he apparently learned the day before, maybe at white house. on march 23rd, sean spicer talks about information from inside the white house. he says that doesn't pass the smell test, he said. on march 30th, yesterday, the new york times says chairman
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nunes got intelligence from the white house. peculiar, david gregory. a peculiar timeline there. the president seemed to know something was coming. chairman nunes went to the white house to get something. then told the president later on about that something. >> the president said that there was illegal spying and he was wiretapped at trump tower and laid it at the feet of president trump. that's criminal activity. he was alleging that no one supported on. there is no substantiation for that. now, you have the intelligence committee chairman making contact with white house officia officia officials reportedly someone in the nsa staff office handing him this intelligence of contact. i bring jeff in right away presumably there is a fisa warrant and names that are swept up into that that were not
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redacted and revealed. that's what they're claiming for justification of something proper. that is where the timeline fits together. it strikes me as irregular and improper for white house staffers to be engaged in this. the chairman is undermined the investigation. he achieved that point which is to try to change the subject to an area that a lot of people will be upset about. that is the leaking of the information while the investigation is going on. >> what do you see, jeffery? >> the whole thing is bizarre. you have nunes, the chairman of the intelligence committee, going on a clandestine mission himself to the white house where he gets information from the white house that he claims exonerates the white house. he then gives to donald trump. why doesn't donald trump get it from the white house? the idea of using nunes is a
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cut-out to supposedly exonerate trump da-- by the way, another s aspect of the story, this doesn't exonerate the white house. this is the spin they are putting on it. it shows more evidence of how nunes is in way over his head and is not capable of running this investigation. shouldn't be involved and they should get another republican in there to work with adam schiff, the democratic leader or better yet, give this investigation to an independent investigator. they don't appear to do that. >> jeff, if they picked up other information, incidental to the wiretap, that is above board. >> that happens all the time. >> not if the names are unmasked. they saw something very troubling, devin nunes claims, that maybe names were revealed. that is what he thought he needed to alert.
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>> if names revealed in the documents, that would not be surprising. when let's say the nsa taps the russian government in the united states which is what the nsa does. sometimes the russians talk to americans. >> aren't those names redacted in the paper work? >> not within the intelligence community. that is the point. they want to know what it looks like. this is all inside the government. >> three points. no matter what, this does not prove that president trump ordered wiretaps on trump tower. which is what the president. number two, none of this gets to any issue whether or not russia was involved in the election in 2016 or trump associates colluded. and number three, chairman nunes seemed to deny the facts of the new york times report when he talked to wolf blitzer a few
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days ago. >> did you meet with the president or his aides there that night? >> no. in fact, i'm sure people in the west wing had no idea i was there. >> by holding the meeting on the white house grounds, it makes it appear someone in the administration was coordinating the release of the information to you. is that not the case? >> it's not the case. >> those are flat denials, a.b. if you read the new york times report and other reports, it seems to not be true. >> it's really breath taking that devin nunes came up with the james bond plot and pulled it off and paint it as something else, but he lied to ely lake. he said his source was not a white house source, but intelligence community source. he lied to wolf blitzer. look, he once had a great reputation. he has taken a baseball bat to it. that ship has sailed. as for coordination, it was
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reported on monday by the new yorker. march 21st, a conversation with ryan and white house source revealed they knew he was gon goi going to talk about incidental collection. these three white house aides and devin nunes worked hard to help donald trump out of a hole with the false allegations of wiretapping by confusing the incidents of collection calling it surveillance. that is the entire things that nunes talked about with the hearing with comey. the white house aide said to ryan. watch nunes today. they were working together the whole time. the fact that nunes would not only do this running this committee's probe, but sort of brazenly say that to wolf blitzer and ely lake is stunning. >> you do not lie to wolf blitzer.
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that is is wrong. >> that is no immunity. >> where is the control in the white house? if i am the chief of staff reince priebus, if i'm the national security adviser mcmaster, i want to get to the bottom of why people working here are conducting themselves this way. they don't have control in the white house. maybe because from the top down they want to scuttle the investigation. somebody needs to get control over there and keep their people in line. this is outside the bounds. >> panel, thank you very much for being here. explosive testimony in the senate detailing measures that russian hackers took to meddle in the u.s. election. russ russia's president sees things differently. we have a live report from moscow about what he is saying next.
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u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson denouncing aggression in ukraine. russian officials responded moments ago. cnn's matthew chance live in
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moscow. >> reporter: these are rare comments of rex tillerson. he has been seen a friend of the kremlin. he was award the medal of friendship by vladimir putin when he was the ceo of exxon. he said he is attending the nato meeting in brussels today. one thing he wants to talk about is the posture of nato in europe. particularly to russia's aggression in ukraine and elsewhere. there is reaction to the foreign ministry by secretary of state rex tillerson. we don't want to see -- sorry. we want to see u.s. foreign policy. not just quotes. that's the spokesperson for the russian foreign ministry. they want to see action, not words from the u.s. secretary of state. >> matthew, thank you very much for all of that breaking news. they are some of trump's supporters. up next.
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part two of my panel with trump voters. are they concerned about ties to russia? you'll see next. look closely. 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. the microsoft cloud turns information into insight. why are you checking your credit score? you don't want to drive old blue forever, do you? [brakes squeak] credit karma, huh? yep, it's free. credit karma. give yourself some credit.
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now to part two of my trump voter panel. how do president trump's tiehard supporters feel about the ties with russia and team trump? we gathered some at the old statehouse at hartford, connecticut to ask if they think russia meddled in the election. >> how many of you are concerned about the russia implications and allegations you heard? why aren't you worried about any possible ties between the trump team and russia? >> that's what they're supposed to do during campaigns. dozens of diplomats who meet with senators and congress member. a lot of people misunderstood. if you look at putin, although we don't agree with what he does, as far as his agenda, he has done a good job of accomplishing it in russia. people on the left misconstrued
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that like trump wants to be like putin. >> lots of people meet with russian diplomats. why did michael flynn and jeff sessions disclose it? >> he came forward after and said he met with 10 or 12 other diplomats during the course of the month. it is what they do. >> you have the phobia in place. the united states has surveilled hundreds of millions of its own citizens via the nsa that edward snowden revealed years ago. we are pointing our fingers of how bad this person is. >> do you think we are as bad as russia? >> not even close to it. i don't know enough about russia. when is the last time russia actually did something terrible to the united states? >> do you think that ronald
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reagan suffered in russiaphobia? >> that is a different time. you had communism. that was a different time in the world. >> does anybody here think russia meddled in the election? >> possibly. >> i think we have to be very careful with russia. there needs to be a mutual respect with the united states and russia. i think i am concerned, but i think we should listen to history in regards to russia as far as walk softly and carry a big stick. >> what does that look like? >> building up our military and negotiating place of strength and power. >> look what happened when we went looking for trouble in the middle east with weapons of mass
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destruction. we start meddling at our expense. the instability is grave and consequential for us. >> the issue is did they meddle in our sovereignty. >> they have no impact on what happened here. >> everything we heard is a dozen intel agencies said they meddle. they are still investigating this. >> comey said there is no proof. >> they did hacking. >> comey said there is no proof any change in the outcome. >> are you comfortable they tried? >> the chinese tried. the north koreans tried. >> we just accept that? >> no, no, no. >> it is the collusion with trump and russia is what is false. >> they are basing collusion on carter page, paul mianafort and michael flynn. what if he did something before
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he left? >> he got rid of him because he was ineffective. >> i'm concerned about that. >> why? >> last time i spoke to you, we talked about general flynn. i said i was a general flynn fan. >> yes. >> i admired his record. three-star general. >> did your impression of him change? >> i still respect that he served the country in the past. i would be lying to say i wasn't disappointed. he made an error. he apologized for it and resigned. >> the way i look at that, to be honest, alisyn, do you remember what you had for lunch last tuesday? >> you think he just didn't remember meeting with the russian ambassador? >> you cannot remember every fine daetail. >> not when it is part of your job. >> if you go to social media, you will see diehard hillary supporters. this is a puppet administration
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of vladimir putin. people think that. >> jared kushner is going to speak to the senate intel committee. they are interested if he was having deals with the russian banker with ties to putin. >> i remember during the campaign, there was mention of that. they were open about it. that wasn't a secret during the campaign. >> i think the number of times he met with them was not disclosed. >> we will see how it plays out. >> vice president dick chaney said there. >> there is a certain level of interaction going with all nations. everyone is vying for power. >> you accept some meddling and spying? >> we were spying on angela merkel. >> why single out russia? >> do you not think russia is worse than germany? >> i'm concerned about my own
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government. russia i don't think is reading my e-mails. russia is not intercepting my phone calls. russia is not listening to conversations. >> russia is putting people in prison without indictment. >> i'm talking about americans. russia. what they are doing to their citizens. >> i think we have to get to the point where we let things like this whole russia thing settle down and move on and let the man be president. >> stunning. you look at voters for republican president in 2016. they are unrecognizable from voters from the past. we will hear from senator john mccain later. the senate intelligence committee seemed to be reaching out to everyone on the panel, except for toni. saying you better be concerned about this. the russians are trying to break into the election, influence the
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election. it may have been the democrat side this time. next time it could be the republicans. this matters and these people did not seem to care. >> if i can sum it up, i think they care more about issues at home. they feel this is a distraction. they feel the media should move on. there are more pressing issues at home. >> fascinating. fired national security advise other michael flynn is willing to answer questions before congress if he gets immunity from prosecution. should he get that immunity? we will ask our security experts ahead. you might not ever just stand there, looking at it. you may never even sit in the back seat. yeah, but maybe you should. ♪ (laughter) ♪
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so believe it or not, a winter storm is headed to the northeast. this is no april fools joke. cnn's meteorologist jennifer gray has the forecast. how dare you, jennifer. >> i know. i'm evil this morning. this is the last thing people in new england want to hear. snow on the way. already some in new york and it is pushing toward boston. that's where we could see anywhere from 4 to 8 inches of snow as we go through the next couple days. because of that, we have winter weather advisories in place and winter storm warnings in effect. farther north you go, more snow we plan on seeing. this is a mixed bag mu. we will see snow, freezing rain and sleet and plain rain. it is a messy, messy couple days
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across northern new england. also because of this, we have some flood warnings in effect we don't need to ignore. john. jennifer, thanks so much. the final four teams hit the floor in arizona tomorrow. who will come out on top? andy scholes has more in the bleacher report. >> john, i was there when north carolina lost at the buzzer tovilto villanov villanova. roy williams said thats was tough to get over. >> in the locker rooms was the most inadequate feeling i've ever had in my life. it's hard to think about it. it's hard to talk about it. what i did is try to tell them focus on using this feeling as fuel and motivation to work hard in the off season. that's what i used it for. >> tar heels take on oregon tomorrow night in the late game with south carolina and zags.
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be sure to join us here on cnn at 2:30 eastern tomorrow for all access for the final four. we get you ready for all of the action. this is part awesome and terrifying. a giant swarm of bees in the ninth inning of the padres and rockies game. it looked like a bank robbery was taking place on the field. eventually the bees gathered on the radio and the game was ended peacefully. no reports of anyone stung. bees. one thing i do not like. >> is that the protocol? you hit the deck? >> i guess that's the way to stay safe from bees. hit the deck. >> i'm so glad to know that. >> that is what they teach you in the minors. >> i guess so. that was quite a visual. it looks like that call to devin nunes to look at
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classified documents came from inside the white house. the call is coming from inside. we dig deeper next. when heartburn hits, fight back fast with tums smoothies. it starts dissolving the instant it touches your tongue. and neutralizes stomach acid at the source. ♪ tum -tum -tum -tum smoothies! only from tums
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president trump's fired national security adviser michael flynn says he has a story to tell, but he wants immunity to tell it. let's discuss with analyst and former cia official phil mudd and we have mike rogers. mike, would you give mike flynn immunity? >> not if there were an fbi criminal investigation. i just think you will work at cross purposes to what is probably an already difficult job for the fbi. i would not come out and offer that immunity. i would offer him to testify. >> what if he says he is not going to testify without immunity? how do you get to the story he wants to tell? >> you have to let the fbi have
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the first run at this. if the articles are correct, they also asked the fbi for immunity as well. listen, the more this stew starts to take flavor, it is clear if flynn was lying to the vice president, he percenta jep himself. you know, what you find is that in a lot of the cases, more often than not, the defense attorney wants it more than the defendant. they oversell what they can provide because they are worried about something. there's a lot to this that has to be worked through. when the committee does that, it puts some parts of the investigation in jeopardy. i wouldn't do that. >> to make a point, the wall street journal seeking immunity from the fbi.
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as a former investigator, phil, i saw you smirking. mike brings up a great point. >> smiling. not smirking. >> it is flynn's people looking for immunity. you as a former intel guy, are you skeptical. >> i think mike rogers has taken his polite pills this morning. let me be blunt. no, no, and hell no. if you live in washington, d.c., down the street from the congress is the hoover building. that is the fbi. across the street from the fbi is the department of justice. why doesn't he want to tell the story to the investigators that were investigating this months before congress opened the investigation? there is an answer why. he said something or he wants to say something that is potentially illegal. i think mike is dead on. the senate can continue the investigation. if the department of justice at some point chooses to say that
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they will not prosecute mike flynn, then maybe the congress could come say we'll offer immunity. until then, i have a story for his lawyer and him and for us as the american people. if you have a story to tell, tell it to the department of justice and fbi. don't ask for immunity. >> mike, we heard from general flynn in the past and president trump in the recent past publicly say if you asked for immunity, it means you committed a crime. does that follow? >> listen, as a former fbi agent who has done the cases and tried to get immunity for people to actually testify against other people and tell all of the horrible deeds they have done in the past. not always. it doesn't always mean that. i will say, you know, if you can back up for one second, if you go before congressional committee and mistakenly say something that may not jive with what you told the department of justice, you can get yourself in
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prou trouble. both are crimes. you can find yourself with a criminal prosecution. that's why i wouldn't have him participate subject of the fbi investigation which it is certainly apparent he is at least of interest of the fbi. then i think it would not even serve the committees well to have him testify. >> phil, sorry, mike. the other big story is the white house staffers were the ones that provided chairman nunes intelligence about incidental collection. you worked inside the national security staff, phil. what is your opinion, if this is true, of staffers giving information like they did. >> the questions over the past week have been about the appropriateness of nunes's actions. i think the questions will get tougher, not for him, but the
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white house. if you are serving in the executives office building as i did, you said, i served under president bush. you should not pass information directly to the legislative branch. the question is not only was something done that was inappropriate, but did somebody violate legislations by doing that? i think the white house inviting people in to see the intelligence now is because they're worried they did something wrong and they are trying to paper over it. >> mike? >> i think it was very inappropriate for national security staff to reach out directly back unless there was a whistleblower provision. there is certainly provisions under the law for whistleblowers that would go into the white house if they had some activity they thought was beyond the pale. none of this seems to be any of. that the folks that leaked it at least it was inappropriate
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conduct for them to do that. i think whatever followed from that, i'm still trying to understand. >> gentlemen, thank you for helping us understand this a little better. we appreciate you both being here. thank you to the international viewers for watching. "cnn newsroom" is next. and for the u.s. viewers "new day" continues next. >> michael flynn is taking the fifth. >> refusing to testify without immunity. >> when you are given immunity, that means you probably have committed a crime. >> he has a story to tell. >> did you meet with the president or aides while were you there that night? >> no. in fact, i'm sure that people in the west wing had no idea i was there. >> two white house officials found the intelligence and provided it to mr. nunes. >> we invite the house senate and ranking member to review that material. >>


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