tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN May 10, 2017 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
♪ whatever it is that floats your boat... ...or tickles your tastebuds... ...or brightens your day... ...even if you've never tried it before... ♪ ...just know that... you can, in portland. this is cnn breaking news. good evening everyone i'm jake tapper you're watching cnn's live special coverage of the fall out over president trump's firing of fbi director james comey. comey's termination is raising questions throughout washington and the country about what will happen now with the fbi's
investigation in the trump campaign and any possible coordination with the russians interfering with the 2017 president trump election. sorts close to comey told me fbi director was fired for two reasons, one, comey's refusal to provide president trump personal loyalty and two because the fbi russia probe is not only disappearing as president trump would like it to, it is accelerating this coming as james comey was seeking more resources for the russia probe. the wall street journal's sources say beginning three weeks ago director comey began receiving daily instead of weekly updates showing potential collusion. unquote. if the firing thought it would go away his logic seems to have
boomerang boomeranged. the first he -- new statement completely contradict others made a few hours ago. first the white house says first the president lost confidence in director comey. after watching his testimony the president was strongly inclined to move him on monday met with the attorney general and deputy attorney general and they discussed reasons for removing
him and recommendations were sent to the president. that very clearly suggest that's this was the president's call. and that is the complete opposite of the story the white house was telling until candidly just a few hours ago when they said the president was merely heeding the advice of deputy attorney general rosenstein deputy conway said that to anderson cooper last night. >> it has nothing to do with russia everything to do whether the current director has the president's confidence and can faithly and capably execute his duties and the deputy attorney general decided that's not the case and presented a long memo to the attorney general who presented it to the president. the president took the recommendations as he says in his brief, very powerful recommendation today, he took the recommendations. >> also sean spicer told
reporters it was all him, him, referring to rosenstien here's what he told fox business news. >> he made a determination that the fbi director lost his confidence, made a recommendation to the attorney general. the attorney general forward that on to the president who agreed with the conclusion. >> the narrative is so 6:00 p.m. eastern now the public is being told the president wanted comey gone. we also know the fbi investigation into possible collusion with russia is accelerating. that also must have something to do with this. speaking of russia the president welcomed russian officials into the oval office and barred american media from witnessing encounter with sergey lavrov and these photographs come from the russian state office and news task they were allowed into the
oval office. unlike the american media. the firing was the woolly mammoth in the room. which put out that curious time line what more are we learning about the official story about what droe this decision by what drove this decision by president trump? >> well for one thing when it comes to one of the points on the time line the second point about how last week during the testimony james comey gave on capitol hill the president grew angers by the testimony especially the comment by director comey was mied nauseous that his actions would have swayed the election. this angered the president. even the success of the health care bill passing the house was not enough to elay his other concerns. so my colleague john king was told by a lng-time friend of the president that he was quote,
white hot over the weekend. really stewing about this. stewing about the comey testimony. my colleague reporting that the president was concerned that director comey was his own man. that he couldn't be trusted to lead this important investigation. this russia investigation that could prove to be so pivotal for this presidency. so there's clear distrust of director comey in the white house but they did not predict this huge backlash. >> all right right outside the white house although the cameras are turned around. you were learned more about the 48 hours leading up to this moment and some of the discussion and debate within the white house about whether or not this was the right move tell us about it. >> jake, i'm told this was incredibly closely held. so many of the president's decisions are out in the open if it is afghanistan or a variety of things, health care, climate change. he likes debate.
this was held very closely by just a handful of people. it's one of the reasons of the bad roll out last evening because the white house communications job gave about an hour's worth of head's up to roll this out. i'm also told there was some disagreement. including chief of staff, ryan who was against this not in favor of this abrupt firing because he was concerned what it would could to the legislative agenda. he doesn't have the juice necessarily to enforce a or to stop the president i'm told he didn't even go that far but initially he was resistant to this. there was not others that may have told him it's a bad idea. i think that's significant >> stunning that the juice master white house staff wouldn't have the juice in this telling.
is maggie we sheard much what president trump thought of comey you have what he thought of comey and what of what comey thought of the president. comey told people that he felt the president is crazy. >> that's just what was communicated. doesn't know if it was his words. he said to aides there's something wrong with him president talking about comey. apz of and the president was very upset watching comey delivering testimony to the senate committee confirming that in russia investigation didn't purse wade people. and was bothered by saying he was mildly nauseous in the
prospect of his role in the election. the president was very upset about it throughout the weekend and by the time this week began this was lred in process. to your point they learned also that there was an issue that he got something wrong. something pretty big wrong. there there was a very long lag to cleaning it up. and that was the bureau's you can't do this without understanding this will set off a massive bomb it is a huge deal.
you had a lot of people in government that didn't have a communication strategy. . to be fair to sean spicer what are supposed to do with that. >> it seems unmathable to me even a close hold of advisors with not that much experience couldn't understand what everybody understood within 20 seconds of the story being reported which was enormous and when the president fires the guy overseeing the investigation. >> you covered the campaign.
we all know from covering the campaign and now the early weeks and months of the presidency that when this president gets a bee in his bonnett, even a bee as big as the fbi director investigating him it's hard to dissuade him of that. that is as we are hearing that is what set him to of, the bee actually started buzzing in his bonnett last week. during the comey hearings. over and over he would hear him say things that he was upset about. you know, they're saying it was erroneous testimony but that nauseous line goes at the heart of what we have seen as the achilles heel for donald trump over and over which is question about whether he's legitimate president. >> that's it. >> everybody stick around. we have more to talk about when we come back. law makers taking action.
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the fbi probe once the president hand selects the replacement for james comey. let's bring in jim with multiple sources telling cnn that the president had grown increasingly agitated for james comey being quote his own man, god forbid, can the fbi still continue with the russian probe and protect the integrity of the investigation to say nothing of the bureau. >> everybody in the fbi who was below the level of james comey still has their job and we're told they're committed it to this investigation and will stick with it. 'fact is the director has enormous power so the answer is up to who president trump decides to replace firing james comey >> the intensifying probe in the possible collusion between russia and donald trump now has
a growing list of star witnesses. michael flynn trump's fired national security advisor now subpoenaed by the cia demanding documents. also on the list james comey newly fired fbi director led the investigation and called before the committee on tuesday. and acting director mccabe speak thursday. a total of four congressional committees are looking into ties between russia and trump's team along with the fbi and pentagon's inspector general. >> always want to talk about russia, russia, russia. >> yet the white house is talking about collusion closed despite continued investigations. >> the fbi is doing a lot more than the russian investigation that's probably one of the smallest things they've got going on their plate. >> whether tone deaf or just ironic, donald trump met would
two senior russian officials giving a warmp reception to sergey lavrov and ambassador. he has a growing number of law makers demanding special prosecutors to lead the probe. >> were thez investigations getting it autin too close to hr the president. if there was ever a time circumstances warranted a special prosecutor it is right now. >> days before being fired, comey asked rod rosenstien for more resources. an account the justice department denies. senate investigators are looking for financial information regarding president trump top officials and campaign aides and
associates to michael flynn. >> the decision to fire comey raises questions about the appropriateness and timing of firing the person in charge of an investigation that could, i won't say would, but couldim impolitic implicate edim politic on the record from both the republican and top democratic on the senate intelligence committee on that question and i said is the question of collusion closed, both said on the record, back to me, to cnn, the answer is to that question is no they're still investigati investigating. >> thank you so much. we was hillary clinton's running mate so does virginia
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one interesting kwquarry raisedn president trump dismissal letter to comey he said trump was not under investigation a claim that seems quite hard to believe. according to one fbi official who knows comey. more important is the question does the president's discussion of his private conversations with comey using it as a public defense does it put in jeopardy possible future claim to present privilege to prevent those conversations from being made public. back with the panel. there's this alarming breath taking report. every two minutes my phone goes off. the washington post is reporting it was president's decision and then after rosenstein had been
given as the reason cast him aside as the decision. >> if this is true the washington post reporting that rosenstein that's been on job two weeks threatening to resign because they hung the entire justification on him as to why the president fired the fbi director who is overseeing the investigation into him. clearly this helps to explain why we saw if true a shifting rationale starting with the president out of the oval office saying he wasn't doing a very good job. mike pence was on last night's talking point when he was on the hill but the president in the oval office and sarah huckabee sanders with long rational that it was in president trump's mind since he was president. >> i feel so bad that you would all be working your phones to confirm this washington post story but it is a turn of
events. >> it is really stunning, at the white house today there was a changing narrative and time line. when you look at the memorandum from the eputy attorney gej deputy to attorney general. president is the one that talked about russia in his letter. >> right. >> so just an example that things were thrown into together not necessarily planned out. >> and for people who might not be all that familiar with rosenstein he is someone who has had a long history as a career justice department official who has had a very, you know, he's had a lot of applause from de z democrats and republicans alike.
d the white house thinking this will be fine we will have the guy that just got in there that all of tdemocrtartrats s love. he's a career guy. it's not often that trump appointees nominees get wide bipartisan votes and that happened so that's the reason they were trying to hang it on him and the question has been the people who knew him, when is going to speak up. >> but also what was so disengine uous about it is i believe rosenstein's letter he wrote he believed the investigation was pauling i take him at his word. donald trump couldn't careless. his only objection is he didn't throw hillary clinton under the bus.
>> that's right. i have no idea whether this letter is real or not. every reason to believe the washington post storpy is correct which hints at what people have been hearing which is it had is likely not the former prosecutor's will in quiti qui writing this. >> how many times can they just lie. we're on day 112 they give a reason it's a complete lie and the next day they have to give a complete only reason. >> there's several problems. this begins and ends with the president. however this also loops before it ends with him, through his staff, through what they say publicly day by day. there's a core owesirosive s diy about what they have said. we have yet to have a global crisis not of the public's making where they will have to completely under mine them.
this report is breath taking and you have to ask at what point are republicans in congress going to feel pressure to do something more than say yes we're concerned. only person saying anything new is jason chaffetz who is on his way out. >> these things have real konls consequenc consequences. >> thanks to the panel. more next.
welcome back. more top lawmakers express their concerns about the firing of fbi director james comey a key republican kbresman called for congressman called for internal investigation to include president trump's decision to fire comey. what's the latest. >> lawmakers have tried to grapple with what's transpired over the course of the last 30 hours. we're starting to see major substantive movement with high over sight jason chaffetz. he has now requested they expend
the inquiry into what exactly happened in the lead up to the firing of james comey. the justice department inspector general should they pursue this aspect of the investigation has wide-ranging latitude. this means interviews, access to documents, the lingering questions about how this actually transpired, what actually occurred. who told who what to do. these are the types of things should be uncovered should the inspector general decide to pursue this. this happened the same time the senate intelligence committee took a different posture in their bipartisan investigation issuing a subpoena to michael flynn for documents related to their investigation. rob ninkovi michael flynn said will not provide those documents.
now he's being subpoenaed the first since 9/11 inquiry. historically this is a very important moment something that doesn't happen often and makes clear they're ramping up their efforts in that committee. >> on capitol hill for us, thank you. joining us now tim kaine the vice president running mack of the candidate of the comey e-mail investigation hillary clinton good to see you again. >> yeah good to be with you. >> you don't buy the white house excuse that the president was alarmed by how comey went outside of the realm of standard procedure during the clinton investigation. >> jake, i don't know buy it at all for two reasons, first is, the pattern that is now developing, when deputy sally yates went to the white house and said flynn is compromised with contact with russia trump
didn't fire flynn he fired sally yates. few weeks later flynn gets fired when it hits the press. then sessions recuses himself as attorney general from the most important investigation, into the trump collusion with russia, because 12d jeff sessions misled about his contact with russia and now let fbi director james comey days after asking the justice department for more resources to conduct that investigation. this pattern is very, very troubling. add it to it the wording of president trump's letter. the one-page letter to comey letting him go. he is unusually fixated upon i really appreciate the fact three times i told you i wasn't under investigation. that shows you what the president's concern is. he is deeply, deeply insecure and worried about the investigation into collusion
with russia. >> five days ago you said this about director comey, take a listen. >> director comey testified this week and he made it very plain that he broke the fbi rules with respect to the clinton campaign and chose not to break the rules with respect to the trump campaign and i think will go down as probably the lowest moment in the history of the fbi. >> removing trump in the russia investigation from this for a second frrks what you said there, it sounds like you would applaud his firing theoretically. >> no, jake, you give the fbi pursuant to law a ten-year term for a reason that's to immunize them from criticism i do believe director comey made mistakes and the president should be able to criticize the fbi director.
you get ten years to do your job this is completely without precedent for a president to fire an fbi director in the middle of an investigation in the white house itself. only thing close is nixon administration to fire many cox special prosecutor for watergate. this is a very, very serious matter. last week hillary clinton asked why she lost the campaign here's part of what she said i w. >> i was on the way to winning until a combination of james comey's letter on october 28th and russian wikileaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off. >> secretary clinton clearly seems to blame comey significantly for her loss, do you? >> you know, i think the fbi letter there were million
factors and it's hard to untangle them. the fbi letter was russia was nate silver's done an investigation of that and come to the same conclusion but there were other factors too. bottom line, i'm a united state senator on two committees, armed services and for eeign relation where our posture was critical my son was on the campaign as the united states marine with his entire battalion. we cannot be involved in making decisions about russia who the head of our joint chiefs of staff said is our principle state adversary with doubts about the white house. not just the campaign but then the transition and administration itself whether there's collusion with the russian government over the election or anything else so we got to get to the bottom of this. this is not about 2016 it's about what or who is in the
white house right now. >> jeff sessions attorney general recused himself from any matters having to do with investigations into any president marshall campaign. do you think he violated his recusal in forwarding his deputies memo about comey. session's own recommendations that comey be terminated and now session it's heading up the search for the next fbi director. >> i definitely think toirattor general -- definitely -- when he declared he would recuse himself from this matter. that's why the democrats today basically have asked for two things. we think it's time for a special prosecutor to be appointed. . it should not be politic am. political appointe who was
nominated by president trump. there needs to be a special prosecutor to give people confidence. the second thing we've asked for, we need to have jeff sessions, rod rosenstein and james comey back up to the senate to answer questions about this. in sessions indication particul in sessions case particularly there will be pointed questions given the fact he recused himself. >> given the termination of comey are you worried that the fbi will no longer be able to pursue a fair and impartial investigation into any possible trump campaign coordination with russia? >> jake, i am concerned about it. now, look, down the line with the fbis, i was mayor and governor and worked with law enforcement agencies including the fbi i think this is a effort
by the president himself to thwart the investigation i know folks in law enforcement feel the pressure they really redouble their efforts but if there's leadership at the top trying to under mine them that leadership can do a lot of damage. obviously the nominee to be the nest director of the fbi is of critical importance and i think what you will see in the senate is that nominee will probably get the most searching examination that any nominee in this body has ever gotten with the possible exception of supreme court justices because we'll have to make sure the fbi director is someone who will independently get to the bottom of this story and the democrats and republicans need to assure ourselves of that. >> senator tim kaine of virginia thank you so much for your time. >> thanks, good to be with you. sources telling cnn president trump felt former fbi
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continuing coverage of president trump firing the fbi director comey. joining me now is political round table. just before the break we heard senator tim kaine talk about his feelings while he disagreed with what comey did he never called for him to be fired and thought he should serve out his ten year te term? the rational for the firing didn't look good and many reasons it doesn't look good for the trump white. they may have paid a price to convince people comey is a bad dude now that he's fired many will go, who are not paying that much attention to all of the ins and outs here will go is that a good thing, i thought it was a good thing. >> it's interesting because when steven koeshcollberbert announc
audience applauded. they didn't know they were supposed to be opposed. in fact president trump sent out a tweet that called for comey to be fired. >> we didn't know that comey had gone to the justice department few days ago to ask for more money to expand the investigation in russia so we didn't know that, you know, whether or not the president actually knew that. so there are so many unanswered questions here. i don't think we should be lionizing james comey, i have no interest in doing that, i suspect he handled this bad-year badly, but i don't think that changes the under lying bad behavior of the president and trying to stiflingle this recreational marijua
investigation. >> does it take the sails out of the investigation. there are some seeming surprised there's so much democratic push back. nancy pelosi saying he should seek another job. >> we certainly had on the clinton campaign we had a lot of issues with the way james comey handled the investigation of hillary clinton's e-mail server, at the end of the day who actually believes trump fired him because of the way he handled the investigation in hillary clinton's server such a joke that anyone would actually believe that. lots of unanswered questions exactly why we need a special prosecutor and independentp commission to look into this. >> the trump administration said this is the firing because of toirattorney general rosenstein
said when he felt he was being thrown under the bus yesterday he threatened to quit. >> i think i lot of people in this term and in the white house felt comey's term was time to go. he was a politic at he was a loose canon. the democrats really don't have credibility at this point to be complaining. it's a double-gift to the democrats. they got rid of somebody they wanted to have fired. and now, they get to complain about it. >> come on, jack. >> it's a present to them. >> this has nothing to do with the democrats. >> right. >> wait, wait, wait. >> this has zero to do with democrats. this is about an fbi director who said he's investigating the white house, the campaign and president trump's behavior and then he gets fired. the hillary clinton investigation is long past gone. this is about whether or not the president is acting this way.
>> if you fire comey -- it will be all over the internet. and now, they're trying to erase these things. >> i was going to confess my unpopular opinion and stick up throughout all this, america put him in a bad position who had two major party candidates, hillary clinton was under investigation, and others who had associates under investigation. i'm not sure there was a good way to handle any of this. you know, that makes -- >> people in the fbi, we interviewed earlier today, ernie babcock, who was deputy counsel under comey, people there revere him. and they think hillary clinton and donald trump and his associates put him in an impossible positions. i take your point on democrats changing their tune. you have to concede that president trump has changed his tune on comey, as well. he loved james comey when it came to the letter october 27th. he said many, many nice things.
do you not think it looks fishy that after comey came out and said there's possible collusion the trump team and russia, that he gets fired? >> i think people wanted him fired in both parties. and there would not have been a time when you could fire somebody like him without having fingers pointed at you in different directions. hillary talked about him wanting more resources. i can tell you this, he was criticized for going slowly. i know the first thing any bureaucracy says when they're accused of going slow, we need more money. surprise, surprise. sometimes they slow down on purpose so they can get more money. so, the fact that he's saying that now but -- we don't even know the department of justice -- >> maybe he was fired because he wasn't moving quickly enough on the russian investigation. >> the department of justice denied it. they would be the ones that would be the appropriate authority to ask an appropriations committee member to ask the president for more
money. i don't think that's legit. if it was, it's probably -- what bureaucrats do. >> everyone, stick around. we're going to take a quick break and have much more about where we go from here after this quick messages. i get back to business. ♪ ♪ so we know how to cover almost alanything.ything, even a coupe soup.
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welcome back to our coverage of the fallout after president trump fired the fbi director james comey. back with me is my political round table. i want to get your thoughts. more than a day out from this bombshell firing. what might happen next? where might we go, congressman? >> you have 150 agents investigating this. this is going to continue to happen. the senate and the house are going to continue investigating it. the white house will continue governing, take on the economy, job degrcreation, isis, and mee with leaders. that's what's going on. >> who knows what's going to happen next? the story keeps changing by the minute. but i know there's got to be a special prosecutor appointed and an independent commission that looks into this. >> do you think it will actually happen? >> who knows? but it needs to happen. that's the only way democracy can move forward? >> i think this was an impulsive
decision. it's a mistake to ascribe too much strategy to it and sometimes not to think it so sophisticated or sinister as it looks on its face. the next step for republican senators and for the white house will tell us more about this current step that we're seeing here because i think many republicans senator -- many of them have questions about the russia issue, will want to play their hand here, instead of on a commission or something and push him to pick somebody that's really a responsible feperson. we'll know what that investigation looks like going forward. >> the white house has had a very messy 24 hours. and we've gotten four stories out of them about what happened. i think we have a president who feels quite unaccountable to the truth. and this white house staff scrambles to keep up with the stories that come out. but the only way we are going to get the truth is if republicans on capitol hill demand it. if they step up and say, this
isn't going to be acceptable. they will only do that if they start to feel like in their districts donald trump is losing popularity, is losing the honesty factor and they need to do something to save themselves. >> adrian, let me ask you because we have about 45 seconds left. sarah hu sarah huckabee sanders said if hillary clinton had won she would have fired james comey. you're on the campaign. i'm old enough -- bill clinton hated his fbi director, louis free a freeh. he would have fired him if he could. >> he would have but he didn't. >> what do you think? >> it's hard to get into hypotheticals. if donald trump had any combination before yesterday of firing james comey, he should have done it the day he stepped into the presidency. the first day he was sworn into the white house. >> just saying, whatever went on here, if the point was to take the eye off of russia and to
tamp this down -- >> right. >> strategically, the incorrect move. >> right. >> adrian, hillary, congressman kingst kingston, thanks. logon to cnn.com for all of the latest breaking news. thank you so much for watching. good evening from washington. there's breaking news here in the russian investigation on top of everything else. when we left you last night, we were struggling to make sense of what had just happened. all of us asking the same key questions. could the firing of fbi director james comey been anything other than the president getting rid of the official investigating him and his campaign? would it be about anything but russia? today from the president on down, the white house tried to explain the president's action. as the surrogates and the spokespeople spoke, the words running smack dab into one undisputable thing, the president's own words that run counter what the white house is now saying. one piece of new reporting after