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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 6, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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. . >> by the way, reporters questioning the white house and the timing and all that, finding time to get things done isn't easy. but we've got the digital tools to help. now with xfinity's my account, you can figure things out easily, so you won't even have to call us. change your wifi password to something you can actually remember, instantly. add that premium channel, and watch the show everyone's talking about, tonight. and the bill you need to pay?
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do it in seconds. because we should fit into your life, not the other way around. go to there is a tidal wave of breaking news as the fired fbi director james comey, we are reporting on tensions between the attorney general and the president. we are also now reporting that he offered to resign sometime in the last eight weeks, the "new york times" saying comey asked general sessions fought to leave him alone in a room with the president. gloria borger is reporting on thursday he will dispute the plank et claim he was told he was not under investigation by
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director comey multiple times, now reporting on the same instance, director comey is expected to testify to a day-and-a-half from now. efforts why the president should get his top intelligence law enforcement officials to back off on the russian investigation. according to washington post the director asked the national director of intelligence jack coates to intervene with the russia probe. telling coates later discussed the conversation with other officials and decided that intervening with comey, as the president has suggested would be inappropriate. we will go first to the panel. what do you think of reporting by the washington post? >> well, it's of a piece and that piece is that the president of the united states made multiple attempts to try and conceal what has happened and to make an investigation go away by going to the principle conductors of those
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investigations, especially comey, especially coates and what we will hear before the committee is the testimony of one of those people and a narrative of how that occurred from the point of view of mr. comey. we will also see, i suspect, a rouge effort to impeach, that word, into comey's credible by the republicans on the committee. marco rubio has an opportunity here to maybe be the howard baker similar of the watergate investigation and say what did the president know and when did he know it? president trump said i wish mr. comey luck. it's a strange thing to say about this upcoming testimony. i think we can see a real fuselage of efforts to go after comey and his credibility. >> and the republicans, not the president, more, if he's tweeting this, there are some reports as he may do. >> there are reports there is an outside group, pro-trump outside
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group that's going to be running ads, attacking james comey and i think we saw, we've seen in the past couple days hints that people who support donald trump want to attack and impugn the character of james comey. i think that, ultimately, it's going to be very interesting. i think the nuance will be very interesting in terms of what james comey says. because i think there is a way to portray what donald trump did in the most negative way, that is obstruction of justice, it is this heavy-handed, do you what i want or you will be fired. and then i think there is a way to present it that's like, trump doesn't really know how this works and he's, hey, do me a favor, be news to my friend, michael flynn, hey, could you guys talk to james comey? you know, those -- you know, it's a fine line, but the perception of the heavy hand handedness of donald trump could
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matter in the court of public opinion. >> i think, ryan what do you think of the washington post reporting? it's one thing, obviously, comey was fired, but for him to go to coates to try to get to comey? >> yes, he had this, as carl was pointing out, have you this back pattern. you went to coates to try to influence the election. we went to comey. he ended up firing him to influence the investigation. i mean, trump was obsessed with this investigation for some reason. he just to add one more thing, he asked comey not to lay off of michael flynn as national security adviser. so you had these series of events that comey is willing to layout in a narrative and if his previous testimony is any indication, in a pretty compelling and powerful way, because he's a pretty good story-teller. i think to matts point, i think how he lays that out and the the public and more importantly congress makes of this series of
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events and these facts is the key question after this committee, after this hearing. at the end of the day, we're not talking criminal statute obstruction of justice, right? we're in the realm of -- does congress view this as so serious that it rises to the political nuclear option? right? if president trump -- >> boys will be boys. >> sure. >> how is -- what's congress, how does congress, what do they think of that question? >> but to be clear, there seems to be a strategy here on comey's part, right? if they're reporting like gloria borger and others is to be believed. he very much wants to set himself up as a neutral person in this and have the political actors be the judgment. he's the one to be the story-teller, not being the one making legal determinations, not the one interpreting the conduct. only saying on a factual basis, this is the interaction i had. he may say he was troubled by
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it, all of the reporting we've had and to carl's points, it has all been in the same direction. all of these revelations have been a similar behavior by the president he leans on one person, when he doesn't like the answer he gets, he leans on someone else. it's whether you attribute him. it's telling the most generous interpretation of the president's behavior is he just doesn't know what he is doing. even then he was repeatedly warned. >> i'd like to get your take on the washington post report about the president going to code. >> first of all, the last comments were made were when james comey started to get himself in trouble, contrary to an otherwise pretty solid professional history was about a year ago, when he did start making legal judgments that were the province of prosecutors in the department of justice, when he stepped out and held press conferences that was unprecedented in fbi history. when you had people on both sides of the aisle, myself included, saying that was out of
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bounds for an fbi director. he ought to be fired and resigned. here we go forward almost a year and that happens, but it's time with timing right before russians show up with a meeting with the trump and his administration, the timing was terrible t. rollout was completely mishandled by the white house staff. and so now we're going to hear from comey on thursday, i do agree that i think that he would like to simply be a fact provider and let other people make judgment. i fully expect you will see congressmen on both sides of the aisle asking what i would call leaning questions, saying isn't it true that, trying to get him to confirm a characterization of what he views as the fact. and that's going to be, frankly, it's going to make for a long day i think for james comey, because i don't think that's what he wants to be doing. i don't think that's where he wants to be. he wants to tell his story and step back and let others deal is with it as they may.
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>> well, i think we need to recognize that this is early in a huge train that is running down the tracks, which is mueller's investigation. and this is really the first great event on this train ride. it's not the danger, the end. what comey is going to do, whatever he says and however he is attacked or supported by members of the committee is to set up what this train ride is going to be. and that train ride is going to center partly on the question of whether or not the president obstructed justice. and comey's testimony is going to convince some people, i suspect, that is what the president did. it comes very close or over the line of obstruction, or it fails. he's also going to present a case that some of those on the republicans committee are going to say, wait a minute, mr. comey, isn't the real issue here that of leakers in the obama administration doesn't it have
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to do as well with unmasking and we're going to see a repeat of all of these tropes, there has been a republican effect of trying to make this go away. >> those are tropes. >> that's right. >> let's just be clear. >> i mean, the president was telling the truth when he said that former director comey had been unpopular with both sides. >> that might have been why trump didn't anticipate the firing would cause as much problems. it was true republicans had problems with his failure to charge secretary checkpoint. democrats had him speaking on out on clinton before the election. i think we can expect this to be a larger referendum on the conduct of james comey as fbi director. >> according to reporting for the washington post, i mean, the president with coates is another incident where the president told everyone else to leave the room. it wasn't something the
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president wanted to speak about in front of a large group of people. the cia director was also in the room. >> he probably knew what he was doing was improper or at least out of the ordinary and he didn't want to have coates answer the question in front of other people. because, perhaps, he knew that coates wasn't going to answer the question and that it would cause some kind of a problem. what you have here is a president looking for assurances everywhere that this russia problem was going to be put to rest in one way, shape or form. and that he would, you know, he would not have any liability here, nor would the people on his campaign and he, you know, he was trying to shut it down, i'm sure, and his frustration stems from the fact that, of course, he wasn't able to do it. >> this reporting comes on the heels of your reporting a couple weeks ago, the president also asked coates and nsa director rogers to deny the disputes with
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russia. >> this is the other side. the president's efforts here. he has his private efforts that are already detailed by my colleagues here to get people in positions of influence to stop pursuing this particular investigation. then have you the public push to try to enlist some of those, the same people, to publicly come out and tell the public that there is no "there" there. in each case they refused, appointees of the president dan coates an appointee of the president refusing that request, both in the public sphere and the private sphere. and the other point, carl made a good point of what's tying this together are various efforts to, or at least give the appearance of interfering. the other one, of course, is the obvious one, is russia. in each of these conversations at issue is the question of russian interference and influence in the election in various ways and in a different way. with michael flynn and the michael flynn investigation are under reported discussions that get at the heart of sanctions. with sessions, it's his recusal
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because he did not declare meetings with russian officials. and i would just add, that in addition to the reporting tonight on sessions and hess falling out with the president, just a reminder to our report last week, that there is now another possible third meeting that sessions did not report. so you have many layers to the russia investigation and each of these stories that we have out tonight is tied back again to that russian story. >> there is so much happening. we got to take another quick break for more breaking news on the other side of this we are devoting a lot of this hour of what james comey's testimony is coming up. we will bring new reporting on whether the president still supports director comey's former boss, the attorney general of the united states the spokesman would not say this, this afternoon, sean spicer, see what they are saying now.
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>> breaking news in this special hour on james keepy's testimony
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at the hearing, one of his original supporters, jeff sessions, we have word he offered to resign. they were asked about the general standing with the president. how would you describe the president's level of confidence in the attorney general? >> i have not had a discussion with him about that. >> i saw you said that, there was a development. >> i'm answering a question, which i have not had that discussion with him. >> you have confidence in the attorney general? >> i said i had not had a discussion with the president. if i hadn't had a conversation with him, i tend not to speak about it. >> jim accost surface i understand you have some new reporting on that. >> that right, anderson, here it is a quarter after 9:00 n. nation's capitol, a white house official could not answer the question as to whether or not the president has confidence in the attorney general, jeff sessions. this is obviously a major -- >> wait, still tonight?
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>> they're still saying that tonight. this official said it was still necessary to go back and check with the president to ask him whether or not he still had confidence in jeff sessions. >> that question has not been answered over the last seven hours. i asked this official why is that? why are you being so cautious about this? this official said, point-blank, we don't want another situation like we had with the national security adviser michael flynn when he eventually stepped down. earlier in that dame, kellyanne conway was on national television saying, yes, the president has confidence in michael flynn and hours later, he stepped down or forced oust. ultimately, we found out he was fired. so this is a situation where the white house is basically afraid of being undercut by their own president at this point. they don't want to say definitively the president has confidence. i spoke with a spokes woman about an hour-and-a-half ago, the attorney general has not resigned, he is not stepping
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down. he has not been fired. all of these questions are swirling, anderson, because the president has not told his teal at the white house whether or not he has confidence in the attorney general which is a rather remarkable thing to have going on for several hours here in washington. the other thing that is remarkable about all of this is that we're two days away from jim comey testifying up on capitol hill, undoubtedly, a lot of these questions may be about jeff sessions. it may be about what the president knew and when he knew it. yet we have there big mystery hanging over the air. as to what was going to happen with the attorney general, i was questioned we may get a clarifying statement whether or not to president has confidence in jeff sessions. at this point here we are 9:19 in washington we don't have that answer. >> it's fascinating. thanks, very much. back with the panel, stoov, we haven't we heard from you in a while. i guess a credit to the spokesperson for not wanting to
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say something they don't know whether it's true or fought. the fact that they don't know where the president stands on this, to jim's point, it was at seven hours ago that they haven't asked is telling. >> yeah. anderson, you may say the silence is deafening. it's remarkable to think the white house isn't in a position to say the president has confidence in any of his cabinet officials, let alone someone as invisible and closely connected to him as jeff sessions. i don't know if it means jeff sessions' days are numbered. i think what director comey's hearing on thursday, don't forget the director of national intelligence coates is going to testify tomorrow. we will hear a lot. not just thursday but tomorrow about exactly what kind of high level conversations are happening within the administration about who's in charge and about what the future should be going forward with regard to the president's relationships with the senior advisers. >> the former state tomorrow,
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how strange is it for the white house not to know the president has confidence in jeff sessions? >> well, i certainly think this whole situation is peculiar. if you are jeff sessions, you know, you've taken your position with the president. you go to work. you do your job. if things change, you deal with it at that point. i don't know that the president has shown any long-term inclination to be rid of jeff sessions t. evidence is generally to the contrary, even if he'd like him to carry more water for him, if you will. nonetheless, he was an easy pick for the president. while any of his picks are challenging, especially for that position, would have been challenging to get through the senate. i think he's on solid ground now, while that can go away quickly in this administration, until it does, if you are jeff sessions, you have to keep
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pressing ahead and doing your job. >> that by all observation is what he is doing i don't think the testimony by director coates is going to change that. i think you may hear tomorrow when questions arise about what do you and the president say to one another, i think you may hear coates' demurrer on those. i don't know he will answer those questions at all. >> you just said it, tim, carrying water. what i am told by people in the white house is that if the president is in a rage at sessions and it's because sessions did not carry water for him. >> that sessions did not insulate him and stay involved in this investigation, instead he rekuszed himself, as the "new york times" reported in that recusal. that opened the flood gates for the appointment of mueller after comey was fired so he had depended on sessions, according
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to people in the white house, to help protect him from these investigations on top of which sessions is among those whose activities are looked at. not necessarily criminal. they are being looked at. >> but that makes it less likely that he was terribly dependent on that as a firewall. they knew that very early on. they tell me that was a surprise? you have to remember, one more point, that the attorney general is the most independent cabinet member by definition in the cabinet. and the president may want to treat him the same as everybody else in the cabinet but he's not because this outside of policy, near as law enforcement, the attorney general is called on to exercise independent judgment. so far while sessions may have not recalled talking to one russian or another and reported those things. those are all mistakes, i grant you. but he has acted independently in that area of his
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responsibility. there has been no sign to the contrary. >> well you are right in this. sessions did not inform the president of the united states, give him notice that he was going to recuse himself. >> i think this is a positive thing. if you are a hard republican, you care about separation of powers of independence. this is actually a great sign for america with all the horrible things that are happening -- >> i wouldn't go quite that far. >> it is. >> it's a great sign we have people like james comey who were standing up to the president exercising the independence of the fbi and jeff sessions who was a loyal to have supported donald trump and who acted independently and stood up to the president with all the negativity. >> it's facts. >> but before we all jump on the jeff sessions you know has shown nothing but independent band wagon. let's be clear, he was involved in the firing of james comey for
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pre texttual reasons. even though he's recuse, it's not sure he has honored that in all facets. let's play this out. if jeff sessions is gone from the justice department, you know, sometime soon, then what? i don't think the trump administration will be any happier with rod rosenstein as the acting attorney general. you have to remember, it will be hard to find someone to replace james comey. who can get through the senate judiciary committee with everything swirling around right now. >> steve is exactly right, if jeff sessions -- if you don't think jeff sessions is a loyal enough soldier for you at the justice department, there is nobody that will make it in the senate and be in that position that will be more loyal. trump can't do somebody better than sessions. remember, i think the same point you made before, matt, it is a good thing sessions went to the president reportedly and said maybe you have to resign if the relationship was off track or if
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he felt pressure from the white house. that's dpefl a good thing. sometimes i think we are using a low bar for this administration. at the same time, he made a serious mistake in recusing himself from this investigation and abandoning that recuse al a basically recommending to the president. >> i have to take this -- >> at this point does he stay or go in the point is the white house hung him out to dry. as you all said, he is the most extreme trump loyalists, you can imagine. in most people's minds, he has carried the president's water in ways that violated his stated independent and yet that is still not enough for this president. >> seven hours have passed. >> trump has done this repeatedly, he tortures people by putting them out as potential aidses, he doesn't let them out. he leaves them stewing.
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i think it is very purposeful and pinted that these spokes people have repeatedly refused to issue that statement of confident. it's a way of saying you are being hung out to dry. you are getting your turn in the spotlight to be sort of tormented be i the president's lack of confidence. you get a little of uncertainty of whether you get to keep your job, just because you are -- >> you told me the guy who keeps track of how many pieces of ice cream you get as a president might be petty enough to play that game? >> we're going to take a break. we will continue this conversation. next, we will delve deeper into new reporting tonight, exclusive reporting that former director comey what the president said about the conversations. details on that ahead. i've found a permanent escape from monotony. together, we are perfectly balanced. our senses awake. our hearts racing as one.
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>> the president said fbi director james comey told him more than once he wasn't under investigation. on thursday comey will say that isn't true, what are you doing, gloria? >> my colleague jake tapper and
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i are reporting that james keepy will say the president's interpretation of what he said to him about not being under investigation would be incorrect. >> that he will dispute that he ever assured the president that he was not under any kind of investigation, but that these conversations are often quite nuanced as you know in the legal world and the president may have misunderstood the exact meaning comey was saying. comey is a slick guy. i'm sure he wanted to answer the president's question wotd answering it, trump took away from it. which he said, i have been assured i am not under any investigation. he took away this blanket insurance, we believe he will say he did not give the president. >> so just to be clear, he's
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going to try to leave it up to everybody else to decide whether or not this was obstruction of justice? >> comey will present himself as a fact witness. he will say, this is what occurred. we are not sure if he will read through the memos. we know congress has asked for them. they haven't gotten them. he is going to say this is what occurred and leave the judgments legal and political up to everybody else. so he just wants to state the facts. >> carl, does that make sense to you? that he would go that route? >> yeah, he's not going to be a prosecutor in this instance. he's going to construct a narrative na is his explanation of what occurred. the background of that narrative is that there has been a coverup in the white house of whatever has occurred here that has gotten the president and those around him so concerned about disclosure of facts for the last four months.
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we don't know what the coverup is of, exactly. >> we do not know with any certainty there has been an obstruction of justice or illegal act. what is clear is there has been concealment and all we are talking about here tonight is the president's reaction and inti instinct to conceal and to hide and not have an open investigation in which he cooperates. that's where we are. >> that itself what this hearing is about. this is earlier in the process we have a long way to go and that is one of the reasons that the president is so enrajd. >> you worked for the fbi director for a long time. you know director comey. do you know from trump supporters, on the white house side, they are going to, somebody is going after james comey maybe in a pre buttal or rebuttal to what he says, the
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president himself does a lot of tweeting? >> i don't anderson. if there is anyone built for the type of explosive testimony that's going to happen on thursday, it's james comey. since his time as deputy attorney general and forward, no one is going to doubt the veracity of his comments. no one is going to doubt his more rectitude, no one will doubt he took extraneous notes. no one will doubt that. >> he did say something that was inaccurate the last time, correct it. >> he did and, anderson, the fbi director's job is to go out and investigate crime. when are you on the hill, testifying as much as he does in front of cameras, i understand sometimes you can misspeak. they quickly took care of that afterwards, where he could potentially get boxed in. may 3rd he testified the last time he testified on the hill before his firing maytth. he was asked if there was any type of obstruction efforts from
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the trump white house, his successor, andy mccabe, may 11th, i believe, testified in front of the senate intelligence summit and said no one tried to impoo ed this investigation. if he comes out now and said, hey, it's different than what i testify to and my successor testified to, that's where he will get boxed in. >> would he by not saying it before. >> he would fought have been fired yet. maybe the pattern of facts is different in his mind now since he was dismissed and the next day the president said suggested an interview with nbc it was a dismissal over russia. right. so so i don't see why he couldn't change his mind about the set of facts. i know the people around comey believe, there are some close to comey who leave there is a case for obstruction of justice within it comes to this pattern. >> the president said, he's a
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grandstander, it's very possible we will hear that again, look, here's another example with jim comey a private citizen insisting on it being a public hearing. >> i think the discrepancy is an instance where it will be difficult for james comey to do this adjust the facts, ma'am, presentation. he very much wants it to be and i think his people putting it out there this will be purely factual is, itself, a strategy of him trying to position himself as someone who is future tral. but there is a chance that that gets questioned by questioners saying, wait a minute, you didn't have a problem making prosecutorial judgments when the subject of the investigation was hillary clinton. the last time you were testifying before congress. it may get harder when he is facing aggressive questioning, for him to take this position
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all he is doing is recounting and not making judgments. >> the deputy attorney general of the united states, ron rows enstei -- rosen stein presented the briefs against it, why comey should be hired e fired in that letter to the president of the united states. it's still a case that has some serious stuff in it to think the republicans on that committee will not make hay of that report to impeach comey's credibility is to fool ourselves. >> is it much bigger, though, as a citizen in testimony than director? >> well, for there to be a potential invitation of presidential executive prif leempblg i we heard that discussed. his issue with that. >> the white house says they're not going to. >> that only imploo is to government employees. does it apply to civilians? that's going to be a dicey
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question. i think goods and decent people can say did james comey make some mistakes. there can be an argue for he's a moral upright man. i believe his moral compass points directly towards the nor it's star. i think as he explained on may 3rd in that last appearance before congress, i believe he explained the calculus we went through. this wasn't a decision he made rationally. he struggled with it. >> all eyes will be on comey. >> he's not going to help the president, that itself the bottom line here t. question is -- how much damage is he going to do? >> to take a step back, think of how powerful james comey has come. >> more famous than the president. >> j. edgar hoover. >> a lot of people believe he make the president. he may be the person that unmakes him. >> all eyes will be on him, the attorney general rosenstein in
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public, whether or not the president tried to tamp per with the russian investigation. way ♪ ♪ but there were planes to catch and bills to pay ♪ ♪ so i moved my meeting saw him walk that day ♪ ♪ he was talking 'fore i knew it, and as he grew ♪ ♪ he'd say i'm gonna be like you, dad ♪ ♪ you know i'm gonna be like you ♪ ♪ and the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon ♪ ♪ little boy blue and the man in the moon... ♪
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upcoming testimony of fbi director james comey we will see on thursday. there is one to watch tomorrow. for the first time, general deputy attorney rod rosenstein will have to answer questions in public. so your sources are saying democrats are planning to confirm russia and president trump at the center of this hearing. >> dead center. no question about it. it's worth noting. it's dan coates, nsa director michael rogers. this is a discussion you have been having all night in terms of these individuals are at the center of every major russia bombshell story we have seen over the last couple of months, aides tell me they will make that a prominent issue when it comes to dan coates and mike rogers, they want to know what president trump asked them in these private moments. obviously, you guys have been talking about the washington
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post report as well. democrats want them on the record, want to try to pin them down on anything they may have we heard. when it comes to deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, there are similar questions for him. what was his role? what was his influence of the president in his decision to write that three-page memo, many white house officials point to as the rationale for that firing. all of these will be front and center issues. one thing to keep an eye on, these democrats, even some of which they probably won't get many answers to, particularly in a public forum. this is laying the ground for thursday. they are keenly aware all the witnesses are key players. they want to set the tone for exactly what we will see as that super bowl of hearings coming hours later. >> republicans don't have a strategy as well. >> look the interesting part of this hearing, it has nothing to do with the russian investigation. it's about the reauthorization of an intelligence program, a very important intelligence program according to intelligence community that deals with the scooping up of
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communications of non-u.s. citizens, what we seen, anderson, when it comes to this program, it often gets tangled up in the unmasking debate. this is a key issue, obviously, we have house intelligence chairman devon nunez making a large issue of the idea obama officials were requesting, essentially taking offer the redax of names -- redaction. some feel it's an attempt to move the stroer away from president trump. there is a goods chance i am told you will see similar times of inquiries tomorrow. again the hearing is not supposed to be about russia. but everybody that's involved that i have spoken to, they are keenly aware, wliem this is an important debate that is absolutely going to happen, going forward, if necessary, for the reauthorization. russia is where this hearing will be focused. everybody understands what's at stake when it comes to these hearings. everybody understands, anderson, what's coming 24 hours later.
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expect some fee, i am told when these seniors take the stand tomorrow. >> phil mattingly, in a moment, to tweet or not to tweet t. president live tweet during comey's testimony.
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as we continue our special hour devoted to what james comey's testimony is going to bring on thursday, there's also what the president might bring on thursday. according to "the washington post," he might be live tweeting a rebuttal response. also tonight, a pro-trump group is going on the attack, trying to label director comey as unworthy with this ad that will play during his testimony. take a look. >> as head of the fbi, james comey put politics over protecting america. after the fbi banned terms like "radical islam" for political correctness, comey allowed the dangerous practice to continue. when terror attacks were on the rise last year, comey was consumed with election meddling, and after he testified before the u.s. senate, comey's own staff admitted some of his answers were flat-out wrong. james comey, just another d.c. insider only in it for himself. >> joining us now is democratic strategist paul begala and deputy communications director brian lanza.
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brian, we've seen president trump create many of his problems via twitter. why take the risk of creating more problems? a, do you believe he would live tweet, and is that wise? >> listen, i think he should live tweet. what we're having is a political discussion. it's going to be a political trial thatdy certa discerns whes obstruction of justice. the most powerful weapon is twitter. why would you eliminate his weapon to communicate? >> do you think his tweets in general are successful in terms of what the white house wants to be doing? >> i think they're successful communicating to the majority of americans that voted him to come and bring change to d.c. you have to understand his twitter, like the press likes to dissect it as this is what he's saying, and this is what he means. at the end of the day, his twitter is the voice of millions of americans who support his mandate. when he's tweeting these things, he's speaking out in a very loud way, and they respond and appreciate it. that's why you see his base has
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stuck with him through the course of all these, you know, so-called scandals. that's why it's a very powerful tool as we have this political discussion going forward regarding thursday's hearing. >> paul, what's your response? >> well, you know, i wear so many different hats. as a democrat who's not the biggest trump supporter, i think it's great. as a commentator who's going to cover this, i think it would be great. if i can set those two powerful urges aside, let me disagree as a former white house official. he's often -- look, he's great at distracting, at moving the news away from the story of the day. i'm not sure you can do it on comey day, but maybe. nobody is better at this weapon of mass distraction than donald trump. the problem is he's often very, very tactical and not strategic. when jeff sessions, for example, recused himself, it was a terrible story for donald trump because it got us back to russia. that's when, on march 4th, donald trump tweeted that barack obama had wiretapped him. we know that's preposterous. it got trump in much more
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trouble over time. for the moment it distracted us from the sessions story, but it cost him more trouble. the truth is, honestly, free advice from a former white house aide. he's got something more powerful than twitter. he's got the office of the presidency. what those folks who voted for him voted for was not bitter attacks on james comey, which is what i fear he -- i predict he will do. they actually care about things like jobs, like health care, and like the opioid addiction crisis, which seems like nobody in washington is caring about, certainly not donald trump. those kinds of things. he could actually take the presidency and focus it on the things that matter to the people who elected him, and god forbid, even the people who didn't vote for him who still he has an obligation to serve. he won't do that. he's a narcissist. he's going to focus on himself. >> but, brian, the white house this week was talking this is going to be a week about infrastructure. they're going to be talking about infrastructure. the president -- you know, that's not what he started out tweeting about.
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you would think wouldn't it make more sense for him to, in terms of, you know, his legislative agenda, try to move that through twitter? >> you know, he has multiple fronts that he's fighting here. the most important thing is this sort of russia investigation, the mueller investigation. that is a political investigation. it's going to be a political trial that sort of deals with that, and it goes back to the point like you want to hear what the president has to say. he is the best deliverer of his message. the people connect with his message, and so i'm probably not in agreement with my colleagues in the white house. i'm not there today. but, you know, i do want to hear what his message is going forward. nobody has the strength and the depth of the president when he's talking about these topics. people are paying attention. the media is forced to sort of say what he says and what he means. and i think that's a good discussion. i think leaving comey -- >> you think there's a lot of depth in his tweets? >> do i think what? >> you said nobody has the depth when he talks about these issues. you think there's a lot of depth in his tweets? >> i think there's a ton of depth in these tweets. i mean his tweets are directly
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toward his audience of the 300-plus electoral votes that brought him to d.c. to make the changes that are necessary. when he tweets, he's tweeting to them. he is their voice. that's why they're -- >> the depth of actually what he's talking about, 140 characters -- i mean there's only so much depth you can get. >> i'm just going to disagree. i think words are a powerful medium to communicate your message. >> okay. >> and sometimes less is better. i think we've all seen that over time. >> well, his tweets are like him. they are riveting. you can't turn away from them. but they're very often unfounded, not grounded in fact. they're very often unwise. they hurt his own cause. they're very often unhinged, and i mean that literally. this is a man, i pray for -- >> we've got to leave it there since previbrevity is so import. thank you. we'll be right back. they call. the whisperer? why do they call him the whisperer? he talks to planes. he talks to planes. watch this. hey watson, what's avionics telling you? maintenance records and performance data
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that's all the time we have. thanks for watching. i'll be anchoring from washington for tomorrow's hearings. join me with wolf blitzer thursday morning for special coverage of james comey's testimony. i'm going to hand it over to don lemon with cnn tonight. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. there is so much breaking news for you tonight. we're going to bring you all of it, bring you up to date on all of it. this is cnn tonight. i'm don lemon. here are the stories you need to know about right now. they all have broken within just the last fou hoew hours. james comey expected to say president trump misinterpreted his conversations with him. on top of that, "the washington post" reporting the director of national intelligence told associates back in march that trump asked him if he could convince comey