obstruction of justice. >> i read this and i wanted to rinse myself off afterwards. i felt completely disgusted. >> it is obstructive and looks like abuse of power. >> that is exactly what jim comey does. he is a grandstander. >> he has a right to say you will not investigate. >> if that is not obstruction of justice, i don't know what is. >> this is "new day" with chris cuomo and alisyn camerota. >> a beautiful morning in washington, d.c. as we look at a live shot of the capitol. welcome viewers from the united states and around the world. this is "new day." a dramatic day ahead on capitol hill with fired fbi director james comey taking center stage there. highly unusual move. the senate intel committee released comey's prepared remarks a day early. telling trump to lift the cloud of russia hanging over the trump
administration. he is asked for loyalty and drop the flynn investigation. >> he told president trump he was not under investigation, but comey says he refused the president's request to say that publicly. several big questions in play today. do the president's actions amount to obstruction of justice? whose word will america believe? james comey or president trump? how will the president respond to comey? will it be in real-time on twitter? let's begin our coverage with cnn's jessica schneider live on capitol hill. jessica. >> reporter: chris, james comey will start with seven pages of opening statement in his testimony. in the statement, we know he document and recount five of the nine encounters with president trump. encounters that comey felt necessary to document. it is something that james comey said he never did with president obama.
concerning, awkward, inappropriate. these are the words fired fbi director james comey describes to use with interactions with president trump in the seven-page opening statements. chronicling the efforts to drop the michael flynn investigation and clear his own name. after an oval office meeting on february 14th, comey describes the president clearing the room. telling advisers he wanted to speak to me alone before turning the conversation to flynn who he fired the previous day stressing that flynn did nothing wrong in his contact was russia. although he misled the vice president. he is a good guy and has been through a lot. i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go. to let him go. the president denying this took place. three months later. >> did you urge former fbi director james comey in any way to close or back down the investigation into michael flynn and -- >> as you look back. >> no. next question. >> reporter: comey doesn't say
this is an attempt to obstruct justice, but says the request concerned him given the fbi role as the independent agency. after that meeting, comey writes he asked attorney general sessions to prevent any future direct communication between the president and me. he did not tell his boss that the president broached the investigation into general flynn. two weeks earlier on january 27th, the president summoned comey to the private dinner at the white house. asking if he wanted to stay on as fbi director despite the ten-year term. moments later, the president said i need loyalty. i expect loyalty. comey writing, i did not move, speak or change my facial expression in the awkward silence that follow. we looked at each other in silence. you will always get honesty from me. to which the president responded. that's what i want. honest loyalty. >> we had a nice dinner. at that time he told me you are
not under investigation. >> reporter: comey corroborating the president's claim that comey assured him three times he was not under fbi investigation. describing three occasions where he offered the president this assurance. the first during a meeting at trump tower on january 6th. he briefed trump one-on-one about a dossier of allegations of the then president-elect. the dossier coming up in the phone call on march 30th. then the cloud of the investigation want impairing him the ability to act on behalf of the country. he had nothing to do with russia and had not been involved with hookers in russia. he assumed he was recorded while in russia. during that call and another on april 11th, comey said president trump pressured him to say he was not personally under investigation. he told me we need to get that fact out. in the final conversation, the president again emphasizing loyalty. i have been very loyal to you.
very loyal. we had that thing you know. that cryptic comment. he will say he did not know what he meant when he said that thing we have. james comey saying if he did make that announcement that it would create a duty to correct if the circumstances changed. alisyn. >> jessica, thank you. president trump's lawyer says the president feels quote completely and totally vindicated by the prepared testimony of comey. it has been 24 hours since mr. trump tweeted. how will he respond today to what comey said? we have joe johns at the white house. we know there are people saying put down the twitter. >> reporter: that is right, alisyn. the white house certainly will be closely monitoring all of the action on capitol hill today. the pre-reaction from white
house deputy press secretary sara sanders came last night. she indicated in part that the white house wanted to focus on the fact that the prepared remarks of james comey came out on the heels of the testimony on capitol hill by the intelligence chiefs. as you said, the president's long time attorney mark kasowitz released a statement. driven on one of the many take aways from the comey prepared remarks. that says the president is pleased that mr. comey finally publicly confirmed his private reports that the president was not under investigation in any russian probe. the president feels completely vindicated. he is eager to continue to move forward. meanwhile, the republican national committee is firing up the message machine to help the president on this day. it is natural they do that simply because the chief of staff reince priebus is a former
chairman of the rnc. also the rnc has a whole network of surrogates to defend the president around the country. also lends itself to arguing this is a political as opposed to legal matter. we will see the president today around 12:30 eastern time. he will be appearing at a faith and freedom conference and later with mayors and governors to talk about infrastructure. chris and alisyn. >> joe, thank you. let's bring in the panel. david gregory and jeffrey toobin and phil mudd and matthew rosenberg. gentlemen, we got senator warners on the intel committee. democrat. his opening comments. one paragraph is relevant. we should start the discussion there. throw up the paragraph from warner. you don't have it? all right. this is important point he makes.
the than t the president appears to have threatened comey's job while telling him i need loyalty. david gregory, there will be a lot of focus on him asking comey to stop the flynn investigation. that is part of what you will hear a lot of politicians call inappropriate today. the question is what does that mean in censure or legality or illeg illegality. warner says, that means do you want to save your job. is that a fair reckoning of the question? >> i think there is no question the president created this awkward pre-text to get together and comey describes it. he indicated he wanted to stay in his role and it was if they never had that conversation. here trump is setting up a dinner with the two of them alone where they isolated and trump making it clear. it is good. you want to stay in your job,
but i expect loyalty. can you make this investigation go away. it is highly inappropriate leaning on his fbi director to back off an investigation that trump says to him according to comey is creating a cloud and getting in the way of him governing. never talking about the need to get to the bottom of the russian meddling or thinking about how inappropriate it is to do that as president of the united states to show no care for the independence of the institution of the justice department or fbi. >> we have that exchange. this was at the dinner in the green room in the white house. just the two of them sitting at a small table. described in the majestic room. this was on january 27th. the president brings up james comey's job. he says james comey writes my instincts told me the one-on-one setting and pretense that this
was the first discussion of my position meant the dinner was an effort to have me ask for my job and create a patronage relationship. that concerned me given the independent status of the fbi. jefferey toobin? >> it sis a pattern of obstruction of justice. >> you hear that? >> absolutely. if that were the only comment then probably not. you have to put it in context. later on valentine's day, he puts pressure on comey to stop the investigation of michael flynn. that as far as i can tell is a smoking gun conversation. if it is in fact unfolding the way comey said it did. the most important thing of all, which is not part of comey's testimony, is that trump fires him after comey refuses to
buckle and cancel the investigation. if you look at all of the events together, it only seems to me the only reasonable explanation is trump was trying to obstruct justice and end an investigation that he did not want for his own purposes. not for any sort of legitimate purpose. >> phil mudd? >> i see it differently. the reason we are focused on this is because this is all that is available to us. we see none of the fbi interviews with flynn. none of the fbi interview was manafort. we don't know what is happening with the fbi access to financial communication records to other players here. this is unusual. let me give you a different term. this is weird. whether it meets standard of obstruction of justice goes to the special counsel finding in areas we are not seeing. the reason we are talking about this is because it is the only thing we see. >> why is obstruction depending
on other things in the investigation? >> i would say the president of the united states looks at the fbi director and says what about your job? if you want to be courteous, the president doesn't know washington and doesn't realize the fbi director doesn't have to worry about his job. he has a ten-year assignment. the president likes general flynn. he says he is a good guy. can't you see your way out of it? i suppose you could explain it an away if you want. what i look for is what other elements that mueller finds to support jeff's point which we may get to. this is part of a broader pattern of activity that goes back to the fall of 2007 where the president was intervening. >> there is a bigger issue here. the administration and president himself doesn't seem to grasp there are parts of the government that are supposed to remain non political. mostly in the national security world and fbi and law enforcement and intelligence community. we're seeing a pattern of months where the president simply does
not see a line where politics ends and we see that with him trying to get dan coats and mike rogers and director of national intelligence and nsa to come out and say don't worry about the russia thing. he pressured james comey. i think that is a challenge everybody that's think about and how you handle that. like phil said, this president doesn't know washington. the most generous assessment of this is he doesn't understand these things. i think there are people in the administration who do. for them, it is all political for them. these are tools that need to be used to protect themselves and further their agenda. >> david gregory. doesn't in a way one of the things the president has going for him is james comey? all of this stuff is as scary as people may layout. james comey did not think it was scary. he kept his notes, but did not do anything about it.
>> he did some things about it in raising the issue and later when he gets the call. can't we get out the fact i'm not being investigated. why didn't he ever hear back from the deputy attorney general on that? this is the fbi director asking. i'm sure that will come up today. he asked the attorney general to make sure he was not left alone with the president. i do think it is a question why big tough guy james comey did not push back harder against the president and go up the legal chain of command. this is obstruction if that is what he thought or inappropriate tampering or interference. that's why his interpretation of all that, although, it is clear the way he lays it out becomes important. maybe the explanation will be as we discussed this morning, he wanted to froeprotect the investigation and take the incoming because he thought he could handle trump. he may not have known what he was doing.
they felt he could handle it. let's remember this is the intelligence committee. pete hoekstra pointed out last hour. their job is to get at what it is which is getting in the way or what we know about russia meddling. that is their area of expertise and purview. what is the government doing to make sure this never happens again? a point phil made this morning as well. >> phil, as we look at the live pictures of the room. let's see if it is a beehive of activity. not yet. phil, what is the answer quickly to what david and chris are proposing. why didn't jim comey do more? >> alisyn, you finally asked. we missed half the story. i served three attorneys general. as soon as they learn the president of the united states is doing one an one pull asides with the fbi director, comey
shouldn't have to say anything. they are supposed to call the president or chief of staff and say the attorney general or deputy attorney general and say you cannot do this. he should not have made a phone call. the attorney general has to answer for it. >> also, attorney general. mr. toobin. comey gives him comfort on three occasions when he was asked if he was under investigation. and talk about hillary clinton and he went before the entire country. here he saysing in nothing. he has to answer for that. >> chris, it is unfair to say he didn't do anything. he did go to the deputy attorney general. he did go to the attorney general. the final act of what appears to me to be obstruction was the firing of comey. at that point, comey could not
do anything. >> except he says in his own words that he did think he could handle it. just to keep it this way. not let anybody know. that's all right. he did his official moves, but not the urgency like the clinton situation. that's what i'm saying. >> there are a little differences there. i think it is a fair question. it is one of the many that comey will have to answer today. >> matthew rosenberg, we're out of time. we owe you one. sorry. we know that we appreciate you being here with your experience. panel, thank you. james comey's testimony is highly anticipated this morning. cnn special coverage with anderson cooper and wolf blitzer at 9:00 a.m. republicans. this is political. what is going to be their perspective today on jim comey? what will they want to get out of him? what will they want to test him on? the former leader of the house
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room on capitol hill before the senate intel committee in less than three hours. comey's going to say in the opening remarks that he told president trump he is not under investigation. he will reveal that the %-p. what do the republicans want to hear from james comey? let's talk with congress member jim jordan of ohio. he is the member of the freedom caucus. good to have you with us. what do you hope comes out today from james comey? >> we will see. the real talk, i think, is what was in the written statement yesterday from comey. it largely confirms what the president was saying. he wasn't under investigation which you talked about. nowhere does comey mention collusion with the campaign and russians or obstruction of justice in the written testimony yesterday. never forget. a month ago, may 3rd, in front of the committee, mr. comey said he never felt pressured to stop the investigation. i think yesterday's written
statement we got to look at confirms what president trump has been saying for a long, long time. it is interesting that in that written statement mr. comey says that the president told him to continue the russia investigation because the president wanted to be vin difficu vindicated. >> i don't know it is so clear that jim comey was urging him to continue the investigation. he says the exact opposite. >> to here his name. >> he asked him to get the fact out he wasn't under investigation. i don't think that james comey will hear today in his own words. this is the first time he is asked directly about it. he was asked about the doj interference. never asked about the president's interference in the election until today. i don't see anywhere in the prepared statement where he says the president was urging him to continue the investigation. where is that? >> mr. comey talks about that
when michael flynn came up in the conversation to continue the russian investigation. the president was talking about the flynn situation. not the broader russia investigation. there are bad things said about the president in the dossier. the president wanted that clear as well. >> congress member, hang on. he never says the president urged me to continue the investigation. he doesn't say that. he just doesn't. >> but the president wanted that investigation and that part to continue to clear his name and clear things up. >> he wanted the fact to come out he is not under investigation. is that the same thing asking for the investigation to go on? >> the president wanted the truth to come out. what mr. comey testified to confirms what the president has been saying. three times he wasn't under investigation. no obstruction of justice. mr. comey testified under oath no obstruction. the other interesting things in here, too, chris. it is interesting. the only conversations that w e
werebetween mr. comey and mr. trump. how come others were not memorialized? >> do we know they weren't? >> how about when they gave cheryl mills immunity? after key conversation was justice department. how about the day after mr. clinton meets with loretta lynch on the tarmac? were those memorialized? why was this treated differently? >> i think as purview of the senate intel committee on the russia investigation, they should talk about issues that have nothing to do with it? >> no, i think context is important. right? >> come on. that's a political talking point. we know it. it has nothing to do with the russia investigation.
>> you don't think the american people would like to know key conversations with mr. comey and senior justice department officials that took place around the event of loretta lynch meeting with bill clinton on the tarmac three days before the scheduled interview of secretary clinton? >> i certainly think it is important. i covered it to death. what i'm saying it is comey has talked about it. he came in front of the country and said that meeting pre-accept tated the need to come out and protect the investigation. you know that this is supposed to be about the russia investigation. it is interesting, congress member, you are choosing to prioritize something that doesn't have to do with the russia investigation and ignoring statements from the former director of the fbi where he says the president asked him if he wanted to keep his job. we know he has a ten-year term. he then said he needs loyalty from him. when he was told he would get honesty. he said i would get honest
loyalty. he asks i hope you see your way to finish this flynn thing. none of that concerns you? >> what concerns me is the truth needs to get out. that is what president trump was trying to accomplish. >> how do you know that? >> yesterday confirmed that. he said three times i wasn't under investigation. did mr. comey's testimony confirm that? it confirmed it yesterday. >> what does that have to do with loyalty and end the flynn probe and asking if he wants his job. >> he wants to get to the truth. that is why he was asking. >> how do those statements speak to get to the truth. drop the flynn probe. that says get the truth to you? how so? >> it is funny, chris, even if that discussion and mr. comey's testimony yesterday, mr. comey says mike flynn's a good guy. that was the context of the conversation. he already fired mr. flynn. you don't think he understood he did something wrong? he fired the guy. comey testifies that mike flynn -- when president trump said mike flynn is a good guy. mr. comey said yes, he is a good
guy. right? >> very interesting read. >> it is not an interesting read. it is accurate read. it is in the testimony. >> it is your reading of what's in the testimony. if you want to talk about context -- >> it's not my reading. it is what is in the testimony. >> the context of it is a communication and dialogue. >> you are talking about context. >> context matters. >> of course it matters. >> you want to bring up what happened in the campaign. >> no, i don't. >> that conversation is a function of the document that james comey prepared because he was worried about the conversation. you are making it sound like it was a good conversation. >> chris -- >> he was so troubled by it. he asked not to be left alone with the president. >> if he was worried, why did he say no one asked him to stop the investigation. come on. >> you are right. he has to answer for that. >> of course he does. >> if he was so concerned he had to put it all in a document and
memori memorialize it. >> you don't think the attorney general meeting with the former president three days before the secretary of state is to be interviewed by the fbi. you don't think that is important enough to be memorand memorialized? maybe that is why people lost confidence in comey. maybe that is why the president got rid of comey. that is context. that is all important. >> the fact that comey was fired after saying he would not be loyal and would not drop the flynn probe. very, very relevant. i agree with you. what is your take on that? will you be loyal. will you drop the flynn probe? no, no. yo you're fired. >> i said what mr. comey did last july was wrong. i was one of the few republicans
to say what he did in october was wrong as well. right before the election. i thought he screwed the investigation up. i took a lot of heat. i'm being consistent. context is critical throughout mr. comey's tenure. that is why he was let go by the president. >> i hope he is asked about it today and we discuss after. congress member jordan. thank you. >> thank you, chris. and we will get to the other side next. a senator on the intel committee joins us live next.
we already gotten fired fbi director james comey's opening statement, but lawmakers still have loads of questions. and they will be sitting in that room there. here is a live shot of people preparing. the media getting ready for the testimony. democratic senator joe manchin will be there. he is on the senate intelligence committee. he will get to question james comey. good morning, senator. >> good morning, alisyn. how are you? >> i'm well. you read the prepared statements. >> a couple of times. >> as have i. what questions do you still have for him? >> you know, he was concerned from day one. he said he it is unprecedented.
he never done that before with the previous president or any other time. what brought his interest to that level and what caused him to act on it? >> i'm sorry to interrupt. why wasn't he acted on it. what should james comey should have done? >> did the president know the investigation was going on? was he speculating what he heard in the press or did he know for sure? that we need to know. if james comey was convinced the president knew. that will tell you did james comey have uncomfortable feeling because he thought the president breached oreg gone too far? if so, why didn't he move on? >> isn't it his written testimony, comey, that he did brief the president on the investigation and the fact there was this dossier with salacious material and he felt he wanted to tell the president about this himself. didn't that answer that question? >> i wasn't clear -- i know he
talked about the dossier and how em babarrassing for the preside. i did not see how specifically we are investigating michael flynn who you are considering or name or about to name as security adviser. i did not see that. i could have missed it. i want to clarify that today. >> okay. if the president as james comey recounts said to him i sure wish you could let this michael flynn thing go. flynn's a good guy. it would be great if you could let it go. is that obstruction of justice in your mind? >> i'm not a lawyer. i'm not going to rule on obstruction of justice. james comey should be able to answer that question for us. he's a top law enforcement. we have everybody else. you saw people going mute yesterday. we got very little information. today's different, alisyn. we get two shots at this. we get an open meeting which the entire country and public sees. we get a closed meeting in
intelligence. things he is uncomfortable or breach of security or classified and can't speak about this morning, this afternoon we get another bite at the apple. the end of the day, the senate intelligence committee has to be one committee. we will sign off on a report at some time and we're going to give our findings and why we signed off and the recommendations. before i sign that, i want to make sure the rule of law was adhered to and no person is above the law. not even the president or anybody at the lower end of the scale. we have to abide by the law. i will adhere to it before i sign off on the report. >> you heard what james comey says. he felt pressured. at least he felt the president was asking something that was inappropriate and out of bounds. do you believe james comey? >> well, i definitely believe james comey. if he documented everything, he wanted the world to know it some
time. he will use it for whatever purpose. that's what we don't know. we will find that out. i think chris and you both have been editorializing. why did he operate one way and not the other? there is a foreign investigation done on the campaign before the election. now we have post election and it is completely different. why? we will ask those questions. if he can't answer them in open setting and classified setting, there is no reason he shouldn't answer them. we will press that. >> senator, you mentioned yesterday. you had the chance to interview the top intel chiefs in the country. frankly, they were less than forthcoming. it appeared to be frustrating. many of senate cocolleagues. let me play a moment. >> why are you not answering the questions? is there an invocation by the president of the united states
of executive privilege? >> not that i'm aware. >> why are you not answering? >> i feel it is inappropriate. >> that is not relevant. >> i'm not interested in repeating myself. i don't mean that in a -- in a contentious way. >> i do mean it in a contentious way. i don't understand why you -- you swore that oath to tell us the truth. the truth and nothing but the truth. today you are refusing to do so. what is the legal basis for refusing? >> i'm in tnot sure i have a le basis. >> why weren't they answering the questions? >> i was shocked. i was beside angus king. i was set to ask questions after angus. i came back after angus questioned his. i got no answers. would you have substance in a closed?
>> what did they say? >> they said they would. both coats and admiral. we will see. i said we have an afternoon session. it will be in the skiff. why don't you come down. we had plan on 702. that is our fisa. that was -- >> did they? >> they did not. the chairman said we will have them in. we are trying to get them in quickly to clear this up. mr. rosenstein and mr. mccabe were not anxious to come in and not speak about it because of the mueller investigation. i have confidence in mueller. i do not want to impede the investigation and whatever he has done. however we can comply and help him. we will make sure that is done. >> that would be great to get those answers and have the american public know that. i know we will be watching closely, senator, to see if the questions are answered today during open hearing. >> we will get there, alisyn.
we will get there. that's all i can tell you. tell the american public we will get there. it is not as quickly as i would like. this is painstaking. we are giving them every chance in open hearing. we cannot force anymore than that. we can in a closed hearing. in a classified closed hearing, we will get that. before i sign off on the report, we will have the answers. >> we appreciate your optimism. senator joe manchin, thank you. >> thank you. >> chris. >> we will see where it leads today during the question of comey. you get to see how democrats and republicans prioritize and scrutinize. next, the debate. live-stream your favorite sport,
on demand laughs, during long bubble baths. tv on every screen is awesome. the all-new xfinity stream app. all your tv at home. the most on demand, your entire dvr, top networks, and live sports on the go. included with xfinity tv. xfinity the future of awesome. today is the big day. fired fbi director james comey is going to talk to senators directly and tell them what president trump demanded of him and how he felt about it and what he thought it meant about the president's disposition toward the russia probe. so, what will come out of it? a lot of political posturing there. will there be any heavy, heavy
signs of proof of any crime? let's debate with cnn contributor and former white house ethic s czar evan izen. and former communication for the trump campaign jason miller. we are assuming that the main focus of legality will come down to james comey's suggestion that the president asked him to stop the flynn probe. obstruction of justice is the crime that gets thrown around. a tricky one. ambassador, it is intent crime. you need official proceeding going on. you have to prove intent. what do you see? >> chris, good morning. thanks for having me. we already have seen a narrowing of the possible obstruction case thanks to having director comey's testimony. the focus has become the flynn
conversation. i do believe that prima facia case has been made. affirmative case has been made by asking director comey can you see your way clear to dropping the flynn investigation. comey makes clear and comey knows what he is doing. he makes clear he felt that was a request that was to drop an active investigation. that is affirmative case. there is more to go. i don't go as far as some saying the case is proved. open and shut. cut and dry. no. we have miles to go to turn that affirmative case into something more. >> jason miller, what do you think? >> chris, if director comey wanted to say obstruction of justice, he would have written in the opening statement obstruction of justice or gone to attorney general sessions oregon to white house counsel don mccabe. don't take it from me. look at respected legal scholars like jonathan alan
dershowitz. the only thing we heard about russia yesterday was the fact that president trump was proven right. three different times he was told by comey he was not under investigation, but still director comey would not lift the cloud. >> what do you make of that? that is about politics, not legality. ambassador, how do you respond? >> first of all, it is not the director's place to make the final legal judgment. he understands that. it would actually undermine his credibility if he said i conclude this as obstruction. he laid out the elements. not just the affirmative case that the president had asked him to drop an investigation and benefit a friend. that's corrupt intent. this is not intent crime. he explained why he did not do those things that jason is asking about because he didn't
believe that he could trust the justice department and he did document it. he wrote a memo. he reported it to his internal staff and said we'll see how the investigation unfolds. >> norm, why didn't he take it to attorney general sessions? why didn't he take it to white house counsel don mccabe? why not hold the press conference like anthony weiner and the laptop? if there was this activity he was seeing and concerned about it, i don't understand why it wasn't elevated and made a bigger deal at the time. >> jason, he knew as a matter of law that the attorney general needed to recuse himself because of the campaign activity. that would be inappropriate. sally yates took concerns about flynn to don mccabe. i think he was right to report it to senior staff and let the investigation unfold.
i want to focus on one thing jason said. this is supposed to be about russia. it is. one of the most appalling things reported about donald trump in this memo is the dog that didn't bark. he is only concerned about himself in the cloud over him and friend flynn. why isn't he asking comey what about the russia attack on the democracy? it should be in there. >> the president is trying to do the job that the people elected him to do. i know the media loves to focus on the testimony today, but most folks around the country are not worried about the taxes. get obamacare repealed and replaced. everything is back to the cloud that is artificially held over the president. he is told three times he is not under investigation. he wants to do the job people elected him to do. >> you know, jason and the president knew that other people are involved. it is not just about him. that is why he was asking about flynn and the american people. every time they are asked about
this they show overwhelming concern of the collusion probe and wanting to know the answers. you don't think they care about the answers? >> i think there are two things here. i think the initial case we are talking about the allegation of some coordination with the campaign and foreign entity. at this point, there is not one shred of proof or piece of evidence to substantiate that claim. we learned from director brennan back during his thaecforeign ens are trying to get into the campaigns for decades. this is not anything new or specific to last year. >> anybody involved in the ko d coordination of this is unprecedented. they came out saying it was russia and it needed to be addressed. here is what we know. comey will be asked to answer the questions that you put out there and then we will have a better context for discussio
attacking james comey. being released today timed to comey's testimony. >> james comey put politics over protecting america. after the fbi banned terms like radical islam for political correctness, comey allowed the attacks to continue. 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. >> the creators of that ad wanted cnn to run it with a commercial without discussion. we thought it better to invite the people to talk about it. joining us now. >> hi, how are you?
>> tell us about yourself and about great america alliance pack. who is behind it. >> sure. during the election, our allied group, we were the largest group that supported donald trump. what we thought was after the election we needed to push on the agenda that trump ran on. that's what we're doing here at great america alliance. the purpose is really simple. there is really two purposes. one, james comey by all accounts is very respected by most of his colleagues and by people on both sides of the aisle but he also inserted himself into the political process and there is no dispute he did that. we saw this and conservatives for a very long time, especially in the last eight years, we saw this with government agency overreach.
bu we felt it was very important to understand that mr. comey's come here today not just as a former fbi director but as someone part of the political process. >> that's interesting because james comey is now a private citizen. he is not running for anything. so we often see negative campaign ads, but you are attacking someone who, as you say, was widely respected as the head of the fbi. what is your goal here? before his senate testimony to try to tarnish him somehow? >> not really. it's just to understand that you have to look at it through the prism of he inserted himself into a political process. there is a lot going on during the election. that needs to be said. it is much like -- again, i don't think testimonies should complain about it when they ran an add against general pa tray yus. from our standpoint, the
election meddling, the second point of the ad was we wanted to see how the media viewed mr. comey then versus how the media view him now. it is a complete 180. the media saw them then as someone inserting himself into a process he didn't belong in and today he's overcredible. we want to point out the facts going into this. james comey told the president three times he was not under investigation. he held a separate press conference in july saying that hillary clinton was not guilty, that she is no longer under investigation. >> we remember. >> and he doesn't have that ability to do so now. it made some news. >> it did. i want to ask you about what you say the facts are because we did some fact checking after your ad. one of the things you claim is terror attacks surged 650% last year and worldwide under james -- well, you don't say
worldwide. you say they surged last year. you don't mention that figure is worldwide and you seem to suggest that was james comey's fault. how is james comey responsible for a terror attack in nigeria? >> this an attack on james comey correct character. you know, the narrative that the media seems to be able to point out is that he was fired so that trump can save himself and that's not the reality. donald trump, president tum, fired james comey because he felt in his tenure -- by the way, many democrats called for his firing prior to the election as well. >> in your commercial, do you think it is accurate to say that terror attack surged 650% under james comey. >> they did. >> worldwide. >> well, prior to james comey, there was a culture in the fbi
that said we are not going to use certain words. that is something donald trump said during the campaign. that got carried out throughout mr. comey's three and a half years. >> that started under robert mueller. >> absolute i. and we made that clear in the ad. >> understood. but just one fact -- hold on, eric. do you think james comey is responsible for terror worldwide, the 650%. >> of course not. of course not. >> so what happens in nigeria, no, even though that's what you are implying in your ad. >> but the fbi has a role in reducing and hopefully eliminating domestic terror im. one of the ways they were able to do that and there is a record under james comey of what that is, our point of the ad is he may have been more concerned about the political process and he was his record against the fbi. donald trump is able to remove the fbi director for any reason. >> did you talk to the white house about this ad?
>> we did not. we're an independent group. we are proud of what we accomplished during the campaign and post campaign. >> you are chaired by newt gingrich and rudy giuliani. thank you very much for explaining the rational behind this ad. all right. we're following a lot of news. let's get to it. >> did you at any time urge former fbi james comey to close the investigation into michael flynn? >> no. next question. >> comey is saying the president of the united states is a liar and the president of the united states obstructed justice. >> that is almost a watergate level effort to interfere with an ongoing investigation. >> as president trump committed an obstruction of justice, absolutely not. >> what it describes is a president who knows no limits. >> there is a lot of unclarity from director comey's comments. we're only hearing one side of