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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  May 16, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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contemp raenious notes. so it does present a chal mpg for this white house to respond and continues to pose a problem for allies on capitol hill have expressed the fact that they're troubled by a development like this and they want more inform ayes about it. so we can be assured there will be more news coming on this in the coming days and weeks. >> stand by everything within. i need to reset at the top of the hour. again breaking news at first report bide the new york times and the cnn also crockerating the -- corroborating the report that james comey wrote a memo saying trump asked him to stop investigating flynn. ana, i want to get your response now. kevin said it's not out of the
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realm of possibilities that someone who's a career person would take notes. >> i think this is frankly at this point very serious. i just came out of the annual dinner. international republican institute where john mccain was and we talk about this now being at a point where it's the scale incise of watergate. there were four or five other senators in the audience. congress people in the audience. i spoke tosome of them and each one told me how tiring and exhausting how taxing how distracting this has become. i think it's reached a point where republicans who wanted to give him the time to find sea legs, to get his bearings are
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coming to the conclusion this goes beyond finding your bearings. this goes to having no moral compass and they cannot be complicit in this. you're reaching a point where more and more republicans are coming to the table and saying we cannot continue to pretend to be deaf, blind and dumb. >> ana is asking part of my question because a senior aid is saying the time has finally come to distance themselves politically from trump. quote gross incompetence is not an impeachable offense. is this president competent to lead? >> of course president trump is reedy to lead and he's done a good job when he worked on the things he ran on. knocking the hell out of isis,
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immigration. and if he wants to get capitol hill republicans back on board, he's got to get back to those issues. >> some of his core supporters? >> i think some of the supporters on capitol hill are frustrated, definitely and i think one of the things the administration is starting to realize is these hold overs who plan on being here long after president trump is in office and the ones leaking illegally a lot of this information, the administration can't spend as much time worrying about what they're saying. >> house speaker paul ryan and leader mitchell mcconnell have stayed away from multiple controversies. we have to see. do you think they're going to
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stick by this president? >> i think there's a lot of truth in what jason said. the president ran on very different issues. but let's remember this was a self inflingtcted controversy. he fired the fbi director and started a lot of this. but as far as speaker ryan and mitch mcconnell, they have an important duty not only to the party but to the institutions that they lead. so i think they're going to work with their members, the members of the house and of the senate to fulfill the duties they have with getting more information about this. but clearly they also want to giving back on an agenda focussed on taxes, health care, things related to the economy that their voters care most strongly about. >> i'll give you the last vote because you said you're at a republican event tonight. you seriously believing this is
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a turning point? >> i do because is there anybody out there who thinks this is the end of it? more shoes will continue to drop. this is a ball of yarn which continues to unravlg. we have not heard the end of what went on with michael flynn, what went on with james comey. he is going to have to testify probably in public. senator lindsey graham told me he was going to invite him to testify in front of the judiciary committee in public and he's going to have to say why didn't he do something at the moment and he's going to have to tell the truth. i don't know if it's a special prosecutor, a special committee but at the end of the day, it's very hard in a country like america where there is a free press where there are law enforcement officials who are loyal to the constitution and the country to keep things
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hidden. so this is going to come out one way or the other and my advice to republicans is let's get it all out now for it good of the country, the good of the party, the good of the agenda and eesken of this president. >> thank you, all. when i'm watching this white house, especially the briefings i often wuntd wonder if they forgot they actually work for the american people and not the other way around. want to get everybody up to speed. this is cnn tonight. i'm don lemon. bryan stelter. i'm going to begin with pamela because she has been working her sources. she broke some of this news. what are you learning about the comey memo, pamela? >> we're learning when president obama met with comey in the
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oval -- president trump with comey in the oval office, he was -- at the time during this meeting the president allegedly said to director comey at the time "why don't you let it go." something to that effect. and so comey wanted to memorialize that. he felt it was momentous and wanted to write it down quickly before his memory faded and this was not the only time. i have been told by my source that he would often memorialize conversations, one on one conversations with mr. trump. i want to read from a source flar with this matter as to why he felt it was important. "there is no need to document conversations with people that are truthful or situations that there routine. it's when you have situations that there not routine and people that are not truthful he would have a memo to file."
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and it wasn't just specific instances. he would try to grasp everything that happened and put it in the memo to share with friends in his close circle and perhaps down the road is the expectation is they'ller subpoena these records. >> chaffetz released this letter requesting that the comey documents. how do you see this playing out? >> i mean this is an extraordinary letter, an extraordinary step. what happened today is that we started to see -- and even yesterday after it was disclosed that trufrm trump had cis closed this information. there is so much frustration and fatigue on the part of republicans at this point and i think that you're really starting to see people back off and wait.
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it was like crickets tonight calling -- a lot of people not wanting to answer their phone and when they did saying i don't know what to say right now. we don't know enough. there's a feeling this is a much heavier, weightier issue and that they now potentially are facing certainly will be facing calls for impeempment by the democrats and potentially another circus that distracts from their agenda and lessens their chances of holding on to the house in the future. >> remember we were discussing the night that broke the access hollywood tapes. is this going to be like that where it's arbig uproar and then -- >> this has been a one-two punch, hasn't it? the washington post story and the new york times story 24 hours. i think people are probably just catching up to it, realizing the
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gravity of it and it's silent night at the iswho. no tweets from the president, no on camera interviews from his aids. no statements from aids. we have that one vague denial. but it how much credibility really does this white house have left? how much of a denial is this worth? the night of the access hollywood tape at midnight is wh donald trump released a stamnts on camera. i wunlder if we're going to hear from him tomorrow but right now there's nothing on his twitter feed. it almost feels too quiet and this crisis of credibility does deepen by the day. >> you need to be careful who you mess with. did he mess with the wrong person? the president? >> i mean, listen when you go after the intelligence community during the campaign and then in your first couple weeks in
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office and then go after the law enforcement community, specifically someone like james comey. he has his issues and his critics specifically on the democratic side of the aisle but by and large considered a boy scout, that become as problem. and in washington where what is true is that we all live amongst each other. whether you're a civil servient, politician, we all live in the same neighborhoods beutwhen you tong to people in the communities connected to the white house, there is a level of dissat isfaction and frustrationing with how he's handling things right now. one thing was really important and we saw it bouts an hour ago when we had the ohio governor john kasich come on the air and he said it's not time for republicans to hide and it's not time for democrats to exploit.
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i think that's extremely important to highlight because at this time in our nation's history it's not about being a democratic or republican or independence. it's about being an american and i think we need more of that from our law makerser in d.c. >> i heard that james comey did the right thing by documenting this incident and not coming forward. so the question people are asking why didn't james comey tell anybody if he felt the president was trying to interfere in the investigation? but even someone who came on in support of the president said that's what he was supposed to do. >> my colleague jake tapper was talking to his source. first off as one person said what was his obligation to do so? and the source told jake tapper
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that essentially he felt he was making end roads with the white house and he felt he pushed back enough in the meeting and made clear it was inappropriate to ask that. so he felt he didn't need to take any other steps. the big question for me is if he believed this could be obstruction of justice. as we keep hearing legal analysts saying this could be. did he take steps internally to flag it. >> interesting. maybe he thought it would hinder the investigation. if he added this part of it too. and maybe there's much more. let's talk about the politics of this. how much of this is bouts the investigations? how much is about republicans gauge wlg theing whether they'ro take beating in the midterms in 2018? >> i think what we're learning
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today is troubling on an entirely different level for a lot of republicans. but certainly that has been the concerns -- >> pardon the interruption but do you think they're thinking how much more dogic to hold my nose and deal with what's happening? do you think this is that big for them? >> i think that has been the discussion now for weeks and months and donald trump has s survived every controversy he has created. >> and that's because they are behind him. >> right. i think there's a feeling that this week in particular we're talking about something different. we are talking about revelation of classified information that
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potentially puts lives at risk. we are talking about potentially ubstruksz of justice. that is different than accidental tweets or the access hollywood tape. >> and what is there that we haven't heard? what else is in the memos that we haven't seen? i suspect there's so much we don't know that are epoureders are trying to dig up we may hear about in the days to come. a lot of people seemingly wanting to share. >> there certainly are more memos because as we were told he documented every one on one conversation he had with president trump and we'll have to wait and see what happens. >> new york times first reported the story and said "alone in the oval office, mr. trump saying
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that mr. comey should consider putting reporters for posting classified information. "according to one of comey's associates. >> putting reporters in prison. i understand. this is just one source saying this. the white house has not commented. pointedly not denying this part of the story. but if this source is correct that the president was talking about wanting to lock up reporters that would be a dark new chapter in these antimedia attacks. normally they have prosecuted leakers but not the reporters that have been given the nrmation. i think it shows his anger and paranoia. he's unable 250 stop them from speaking out. >> we see this with dictators wanting to lock up reporters for
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doing -- >> the amount of hours we're working now, don. >> as i watch this administration come out and respond and these pres briefings i said do these people realize that they are public servants that they work for the american people and not the other way around. it is a privilege they have been allowed to be in those positions by the american people. >> one and this is from a very high ranking republican that has been around this town for a very long time. they said to me literally a few hours ago. the president does not understand the graphvity and th seriousness of his job. and he has forced most of his aids quite frankly, put them in bad positions to have to defend him. in many ways when you get the
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back story, they feel like more than to be there because more than to try to keep the train from going off the tracks. and they become the pinata for the press. but to donald trump to the point of is he a public servient? i can't get inside his mind but i would go on a limb and say i don't think so and the reason is he keeps on pointing to the electoral victories he has made. he almost aktsz like heacts liks a king and he was dethroned this to become president of the yu s united states. >> he's not a ceo of the company and the american people are his employees. we come right back. more on our breaking news. was this obstruction of justice and what happens next?
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thrjs trump administration reeling now from wraking news. source sources say he asked him to step down. and michael moore, former u.s. attorney for the middle district of georgia. i have to start with you because getting this information, cnn confirming the fbi directorer james comey wrote this memo saying the president basically told him back off in i guess no uncertain times, right? is this a clear sign, you say of obstruction? >> i was never a federal prosecutor so i'm not as familiar with the federal statute as possibly i should be but there's no question he was trying to stop the investigation. and one of the things he said to
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comey was i know flynn did nothing wrong. he did nothing wrong. how is he going to know that. he tried to stop the investigation and that's what we saw in water gate. that was one of the very first things we saw in terms of the cover up was richard nixon trying to get the fbi investigation stopped but he didn't directly enthusiastic cia. he had his chief of staff tell the c ierngs a to stop the investigation and then he fired the special prosecutor from going ahead. too many echoes of watergate. >> he said i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, letting flynn go. he's a good guy. i hope you can let this go and he told mr. koimy mr. flynn had done nothing wrong. mr. comey did not say anything saying i agree.
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he's a good guy. so you say it's an impeachable offense -- >> it could be. it certainly falls within what we found to be an impeachable offense with nixon. trying to stop an fbi investigation and abusing his power by firing the special prosecutor. >> if you were in to advice -- >> by bringing the processes of justes to work, it brought it country together. first you have to have a special prosecutor. since there are elements of possibility criminality by the president. we need an independent investigation by an unquestionably honest and impartial person. that has to happen. and new director of the fbi. who's also impartial. >> many people are wondering why jimp kimi didn't report this to
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congress. do you think that diminishes his credibility? >> i really don't. it goes to show he intended to protect the investigations. he felt he could document what happened at the time. that would not be uncommon for a law enforcement officer to do that. and youdver have to look at the memo and give it a great deal of credibility. a lot of times there's a premise in the law that a writing made contemper in aiously is givingen great weight because it's more likely it was accurate closer to the time this conversation with trump. i don't find it unusual he wouldn't have reported it. i think he documented it so he would have a complete fbi file. apparently it's not the only memo out there and it may in fact ultimately be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
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i think that's the way it looks like it's moving at this point. >> who would he talk to at this point? because sessions recused himself? and why would he bring it up before congress? if he said do you have any memos or meetings, maybe he would disclose this then. >> i don't know he would have brought it umunless he was asked about it directly under oath. but the way the federal investigator work is they pay for a file at nauseum. they document everything action they took, every piece of evidence and that file goes to create an investigative base that they then operate off of and that's presented boo a prosecutor. i agree and ysk rr said this about a half dozen times on your show and that is we need a special prosecutor, an
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independent investigation in the case and ultimately that person, whoorvg it is would get access to that investigative file and they would see in there a memo of the president of the united states leaning on him saying i want you to back off my man flynn and there's a general rule that we think peopleal in positions of power have the ulkt or authorities have the tulkt exert more influence over the people they're in charge of. that's why you have that in places you have prison guards. we don't let prison sgrards relations with prisoners. they don't have the same ability to consent. this is an employer over an employee of his who according to trump wanted to stay in that role. >> and comey is in a meeting he was trying to get him to back off the investigation when it
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comes to flynn. so stewart. this is president trump's word against comey's word and if there are tapes, that ihave now been requested by the house oervg site committee led by congressman chaffetz and it requires them to be turned over by may 24th, which is next wednesday. first of all let me suggest not in theory in the real world the fbi operates memmose files all the time. we either document indirect contact or communications not necessarily evidentiary. interviewing potential witnesses go into what's called an fd 302. if there's an act sk investigation, i'll submit i think the fbi's going to claim a privlgage and not be in a
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position to turn over any of those documents at this point for the obvious reason that it clearly will interfere with the ongoing efforts to in fact establish whether or not a crime has been committed and whether or not it's chargeable. >> so you don't think the oversight committee will get these memos? >> not at this point. if it's made public -- and keep in mind. if it's a charge lk offense will be presented by a grand jury and would kant any investigation right now. trrs. >> there would be a question of whether or not the president could be indicted while in auflsem and andtle ultimately a i think that's a decision congress has made. i don't know can he be thedited
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as a sitting president at this point. >> that's something i'm not sure i agree with because we only have one prosecutor saying that's the case and he's the only wunl who ever made that decision. i'm not sure if it we really resufrm that it would hold up. >> and let me also comment because i have been speaking to some of my former colleagues andthal fallout today is keep enmind that the director in connection with these type of investigations hand select those agents to conduct this type of measured investigation just because of the high profile nature and the potential issues that obviously we are discussing. i mean just with the ramifications. the fallout today is peopleeral very concerned within the fbi
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because these were shand selected agents. if the memo was sent to the file, which is norm that he will course of what hans it's sent to the file but on a need to know basis. so the only individuals would be these hand selected agents. is an absent comey himself leaking this memo -- one of the concerns being discussed within the fbi is who may have gotten access to this memo and who may have released it to the new york times. that is eroding the confidence within the fbi as to who can be trusted and not trusted. >> it's said confidence was eroded because of the administration. they felt they were going beyond the scope. that they were doing on purpose because they didn't agree the administration's doing things as well.
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>> from the men and women i have spoken to is the fbi can threaten you j is a great case but at the end of the day the pissen in charger for? tray decide they want taunt to clean examine. that's one of the concerns the fbi's had with thissed a minutely stragz. . >> it will be interesting if we'll see james comey testify. thank you, there, when we which back more on our breaking news. is it a smoking gun? life. intelligent technology can help protect it. the all-new audi q5 is here. wheyou wantve somto protect it.e, at legalzoom, our network of attorneys can help you every step of the way. with an estate plan including wills or a living trust
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♪ 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. our breaking news tonight. a source says comey wrote an a memo.
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the source says comey was appalled so he waned to document. senior global affairs analyst and douglas brinkly. they all join me. dak u so last tuesday night you were on the show when the president fired comey. you said it would be one of the biggest mistakes. >> everything conspiracy theory is being fulfilld and republicans slowly moving away from the president. this did not eliminate the suspicions, it just intensified it. he could have just let this investigations play out sdwl would not be this issue of obstruction of justice but now there were these conversations, these requests.
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>> so you were right? >> i do think it was an enormous -- >> chaffetz has a piece in the new york times comey's memo is a smoking gun -- new york magazine, sorry. you agree with that? >> we haven't seen the memo. donald trump completely misjudged james comey. he invites a boy scout into the white house and givings him the chance to have sex with his wife. he wanted to compromise comey and my theory is what comey wanted to do was have a really good russian investigation and he wanted to complete it and he was committed to doing it and felt it was important to the bureau and for his own reputation anyway. he kept a record of it to protect the bureau and himself.
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it's not the first time. in 1972 when the nixon white house started to put pressure on the cia, they started keeping records. the fbi has done the same. smoking gun? not yet but president trump has managed through his misuse and mishandling of james comey to have turned a scandal into a presidential crisis and to have put himself in the center of the. up to this point he could say it's all fake news. there's no evidence of this. now we know that he talked to the head of the fbi about this investigation and tried to put h limits on it. >> you're talking about the head of the director in 1972 also wrote memos after meetings with the white house and at the time it proved -- >> they leaked -- they got to the senate.
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the difference here. it's really important. richard nixon was smart enough not to make these demands himself so what you had was evidence that the white house had engaged in obstruction of justice. donald trump, apparently, if the memos prove correct and comey's memory is correct, donald trump made these requests himself. so the walters memos make it very clear. it's only the tapes them selve that proving ningsen himself was involved. >> donald trump misjudged his target and he's trying to use maybe his negotiation skills that he's used as a business owner but he completely misread his target at this point. >> he completely did.
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enthe new york real estate world. you nod and wink and go in a different direction. comey is a different breed of american. he is a true law enforcement officer and that trump didden know the difference. and it's arfrightening misread and you can see donald trump thinking heat would be able to keep him at his job. try to get him on his side and that would have been, in trump's view thrn view, the simplest way to put it behind him. butthal fact flynn gets fired by trump and trump is saying he's a good guy. it shows just how out of touch with reality the president of the united states is and we are in a true crisis of confidence in our country and words like
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impeachment are being floated about. i don't think this is the smoking gun but it's getting really hot out there right now. >> so weesk rr been talking about -- what was that? i can't -- was that last week? >> that was last week's crisis. >> now we have the memos. if there are tapes. ? and because the white house has been awfully quiet tonight and they listen to those tapes and said oh, boy. >> the question is what do they do with them? what's extraordinary is jason chaffetz has already requests to see the memo. would the white house be foolish enough -- >> if there are recordings, legally can they get rid of them? >> no. did he do this alone? this is where people break away
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from the president. because he did say possibly there were tapes and so if there are, it's interesting to me the white house is being quiet. >> this is the beginning of a long political -- >> what does it mean if jeff sessions and attorney general knew about it when they signed off. >> it's russia, russia, russia. why is he involved in any way? that's the drip, drip, drip that continues. we're talking about it earlier. it would take twoisk republicans to bring impeachment proceedings on the president. we're nowhere near that and this is a surb stubborn president.
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so this could go on for a long time. it could be very long. >> it's a fascinating conversation but i have to go. mump more on the breaking news. this is the latest crisis to hit the whiesz just this week. it's tuesday. is this president in over his head? umbrellas!!
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trump white house battling to contain the fallout in the wake of a political bomb shell one after anothinger. here to discuss senior investigative reporter for senior national affairs and senior -- and naval war college and cnn military analyst, lieutenant colonel. good to have all of you. just yesterday we were talking about the president giving classified intelligence to russians. the president admitted he did share information with them but
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he doesn't believe he did anything wrong and here we are just the next day, the former fbi director wrote in a memo that president trump asked him to end the how damaging is this? >> it seems to me to be extremely damaging. it's amazing how busy this administration is keeping us. you're right. yesterday the story was all about sharing classified information, sharing information that was obtained from another foreign intelligence service without clearing it from -- getting permission from that service. but i'd like to think how are the russians seeing all of this? because that's my area of expertise. and the russians must be simply flabbergasted. in a positive way. if you think back, they're the ones who were trying to tip the scales in donald trump's favor during the campaign. so that worked out well for them. slight setback when the question of collusion came up with regard
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to the trump campaign. but now we have this sort of slow motion train wreck of american democracy that plays right into the russians' strategic goals, which is to show the rest of the world, hey, this isn't really a democracy, this isn't a shining city on a hill, this is simply, you know, as corrupt as anybody else in the world. so when the americans come to you saying how great their system is and how wonderful their intelligence service is, by the way, because they don't share anything, they don't tell anybody about anything, it makes a mockery of all of that, which you saw in pictures with the sort of backslapping that was happening in the oval office. >> right in the oval office. yeah. >> if you compare that with the merkel pictures, i mean, it's amazing. and sergei lavrov's sort of mockery of what, the american fbi director was fired? you're joking. it's just -- they're just feeling their oats and i think extremely pleased with what's happening in the united states. >> michael? >> yeah, i'm glad that steve asked what are the russians thinking because i spoke today to a former russian diplomat. i said exactly this.
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how are the russians responding, what is moscow's reaction to in? let me quote to you what he said to me. "it's treated here as just another attack on our dear friend trump, a true partner in fighting terrorism by the liberal mainstream media and u.s. intelligence services. they defend trump's courage to do this on russian tv, but it's messaging to the domestic audience. trump is a true friend and putin was right in backing him. trump does not watch russian evening news, of course. but overall there is a sense of relief in watching the u.s. government tear itself apart." son only was this a material boon to the russian intelligence services by disclosing information by which the checa, the security services might be able to glean sources and methods leading to the possible capture or the jeopardizing of life of an israeli undercover spy in isis-held territory, but it is also a symbolic boost to the russians because now the united states looks like venezue venezuela. we're at war with each other. >> how do you then -- how do you make an excuse for that?
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>> very, very difficultly. but i have to say i'm seeing all the trumpkin republicans, many of whom i used to respect, by the way. i thought they stood on principle about going after obama on the middle east and policy. now they're saying, well, the real problem here is not that trump might have blown an israeli spy, meaning blew his cover that is. it's the "washington post's" fault. it's the media. that awful media which is reporting on leaks coming from the u.s. security services, which are i mean chewing the carpet in frustration and distraction because they think the president doesn't know what he's doing. that's the best defense that washington has got, the white house has got. don't blame him, he's a special needs kid, he doesn't know what he's doing. he's kind of slow. you know, this is a learning curve, he's incompetent. when that's your fallback for the president of the united states, where does that leave the country? >> yeah. i have to bring lieutenant colonel rick francona. what do you make of this conversation we're having? i have to bring you in on this. >> i'm very concerned about the release of classified information, whether it's to the
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russians or whether it's to the "washington post" and "new york times." there are culprits here. maybe donald trump spoke out of turn when he talked to the russians about the sources and methods. you know, i've been involved in these kinds of things for a long time. and it's not unusual that we talk to other services about what we know. but we never talk about how we know. it's the how we know that's the important part. that's the sensitive part. that's the sources and methods. so i'm very concerned that that might have been released to the russians. but the russians have a vested interest in not having an israeli spy in isis be killed because they're also fighting isis. so i think our relationship with the israelis will be healed in time. we have a very, very close relationship with the israelis. we always have. we always will. and they get much more out of this than we do. so we'll be able to smooth that over. but i want to go back to the -- i want to go back to the leaking here. you know, the leaking of this into the press does us no good. this all could have been handled between us, the intelligence
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services of the united states and the intelligence services of israel if in fact it was the israelis. >> okay. so you don't think it does any good that the american people know about this, know what their president is doing, that their president inadvertently leaked classified information to people who are enemies? >> and that's all -- well, in some instances they're the enemy but they can also be an ally. remember, we worked with a lot of people that are very distasteful. we provided intelligence to a lot of people that we would not have normally had diplomatic relations with. my personal experience with the iraqis in the 1980s. you know, so there's history here. that we can't ignore. >> but don't we usually think these things out before we blurt it out? >> that's what i'm going to say. if the president misspoke we need to know that. but we don't need to know the exact details. we don't need to say oh, he put the israeli source at risk. i don't think it was actually a person. but he put a person -- he put a source and a method at risk. that's all we need to know. we don't need to know who it
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was. >> tom, you have spoken before about the president's use of twitter. did you want to say something, tom? was that you? >> i want to go back -- >> that was you. okay. sorry. that was steve. i've goot to bring tom in. you've spoken about the president's use of twitter and the insight it gives our enemies. what do you think about his twitter usage just in the last days pertaining to russia? >> well, i wanted to bring the russians back into this because they're not just sitting back and laughing. they're having a good laugh at our expense and they're enjoying seeing our system be corroded by this ongoing trauma. but they're also actively involved. they're actively egging this on by flooding the zone with bad information. it's amazing how many americans have come around to thinking that the media or the intelligence services or the government itself, which i don't represent in my comments here, are the enemy rather than russian disinformation and propaganda. and they've been really successful at this, particularly
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among -- and going back to michael's point. it's really staggering. among republicans who were once the party who was reliably -- fought the kremlin during the cold war and after and who now is a party of people who basically shrug at the idea of a russian threat even though the russians are directly attacking our political institutions and brazenly bragging about it. >> steve, you wanted to get in? >> don, let me go back for just a second. there may be some confusion here in my mind, at least with regard to priorities. so when we're talking about what the president actually said to the russians, the sources and methods part is indeed important because the russians are very good at putting this type of thing together and reverse-engineering it to find out who the sources are, if they're israeli sources, who the sources-r and that puts people into danger. and that's a bad thing. but the really bad thing here is the corrosive effect that doing that, sharing information with the russians or with anybody
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without private -- previous approval or agreement from the service that you got the information from, what's going to happen worldwide and we're already beginning to see it happen is foreign intelligence services who cooperate very closely with us, our allies, are saying you know, it's a little crazy right now in washington, it's a little crazy in the white house, so let's dial it back, we have to be careful with what we share with the americans. and that makes us fundamentally less secure when you have less information coming to you from your foreign allies, especially on counterterrorism stuff, which is where we get a lot of our counterterrorism intelligence. it really erodes not just the belief in the american system and all that good stuff but also our actual security vis-a-vis terrorists. that's what i think the real threat is. >> okay, michael. >> it's not just sharing it with the russians too. moscow is strategically wedded to tehran and damascus and lebanese hezbollah. look, this is my question. there's a lot that we still don't know about what this information was and the nature of it and what exactly the specifics were that donald trump
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shared. but can anyone in the u.s. intelligence community confirm to me or assure me and the american people that this information is not now in the hands of kasam sulemani, the commander of the revolutionary guard corps of the quds force or the general of nasrallah. or in the hands of bashar assad. that's where the israelis are right to be enerr vaited by this. >> are you concerned with this president's ability to determine what's appropriate behavior and what is not? >> well, that's one of the reasons why i wrote about the twitter feed because it's such a direct pipeline into the president's thinking and a lot of it is really valuable in that sense about the president simply letting off all these unguarded thoughts. when you're president of the united states you really can't have unguarded thoughts because all of that is raw material for people who want to influence us, including foreign governments. and i think that's -- i have a real concern about that because we're not the only ones -- i think one of the things that's happened is we've all become
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obsessed with domestic politics and we forget that we're not the only ones reading the president's twitter feed. we're not the only ones arguing over who leaked what. >> i've got to go. >> the whole world is watching this. >> i've got to go. we're at the end of this broadcast. thank you, gentlemen. i appreciate it. that's it for us tonight. thank you so much for watching. i'll see you right back here tomorrow. good evening. a lot to get to tonight. fired by president trump, former acting attorney general sally yates is speaking out for the first time. her only television interview. she talks about james comey, michael flynn, and president trump. we begin, though, with yet another bombshell story that broke just a few hours ago. it involves the fired fbi director james comey and the memo our sources say he wrote. president trump threatened comey with tapes. now it turns out director comey has notes. notes and memos that document what he says the president said to him in private. statements that might constitute obstruction of justice. sources tell us in a memo describing a meeting in february the president first asked others to leave the room and then once alone with director