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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 8, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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the intelligence community for the republican and democratic presidential candidates alike. and serving for the first presidents bush, he is a 50-year veteran of public service in the united states air force. with all of what that entails, including staying away from politically charged conversations. however that may change. this was said about the trump/russia story. >> i think you compare the two that watergate pales, really in my view, and compared to what we're confronting now. >> well, that watergate comparison made headlines tonight, reacting to james comey's testimony. and only here on cnn he took criticism of the president a little further. i spoke to him earlier this evening. >> earlier this week you said that watergate pales to what we're confronting now.
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i wonder from what you saw today and heard today did it disabuse you of that notion now? >> no, on the contrary it reinforced it. just to understand the context of my comment, but the big difference in my mind between watergate, which i lived through and this is the back drop of the russian interference in our political process as opposed to a burglary, a break-in, to me that is hugely different. i thought jim comey's testimony was riveting, compelling. and to me reinforced the comparison at least in my mind between watergate and what we confront now. >> in what way does it reinforce the seriousness of what the u.s. is confronting right now? >> well, i think the director --
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former director comey's testimony about his interactions with the president and what the president appeared to be trying to get him to do, i thought was quite damning and very disturbing. >> have you ever seen or experienced a president acting in this way, talking in this way, interacting with the director of the fbi or the other intelligence officials this way? >> no, i have not. not in my experience of 50-plus years in the intelligence community. >> there have been some defenders of the president who have sort of given the explanation well, the president doesn't have experience in these matters. has not served before, may not know about the separations or to the degree a more experienced practiced government figure
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would or politician would. is that essentially that he is sort of naive to the ways of the separations that are supposed to exist. do you put any credence in that? >> well, i'm not sure that is a valid excuse for someone who sought to be president and then to turn around and say -- and assert that he was so ill prepared for the office, which itself is kind of ad damning acknowledgment? >> former director comey said he was also concerned the president would lie about their very first meeting. and that is why he took those notes immediately after he left trump tower. the white house quoted, they said definitively they could say the president was not a liar. i wonder if it came down to a he said, he said, whose word would
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you trust? n >> there is absolutely no doubt in my mind i have and always will trust the word and the integrity of jim comey. >> and from what you heard today, from what has been going on over the past several months how much concern do you have about the integrity of the u.s. institution, institutions that are the foundation of any solid democracy? i talked to general michael hayden several weeks ago who talked about the thin veneer of civilization and having real concerns about that? >> mike hayden is right. my concerns about the assaults that our institutions are undergoing, from external sources, meaning russia, and an internal source, i thought that jim's impassioned discourse on the real deal here, the big story is the russian interference in our process. and they exceeded their wildest
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dreams and expectations, i am sure, by the discord, doubt and the disruption they have caused in our political process. and by the way, they are emboldened now to be even more aggressive. they're not going to stop. >> you talked about threats, you talked about external sources, obviously russia, and internal sources. what is the internal source? >> well, as i indicated i think the president himself has und undertaken, whether intentionally or not, assaults on our institutions. and mike hayden is absolutely right. there is a thin veneer there which can easily be jeopardized to the detriment of the country. >> i don't want to put words in your mouth. are you saying you believe the president of the united states
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is a threat to democracy? >> well, to our system, you know, the assaults on the institutions starting with my own, the intelligence community and his characterization of us as nazis. the commentary he has made about the judiciary, and individual judges. the assault on the bureau are examples which are not constructive for our country. >> general clapper, i appreciate your time. thank you very much. >> thanks for having me. >> very tough words from general clapper there. if you are just joining us now, let's quickly lay out the top story tonight. the riveting testimony, did he make the case for the obstruction of justice? and we'll get reaction from the
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intelligence community, and first, dana bash with all the key moments. >> reporter: the former fbi director under oath and unvarnished, called the president who fired him, a liar. >> the administration then chose to defame me by saying that the organization was in disarray. that it was poorly led, that the work force had lost confidence in its leaders. those were lies, plain and simple. >> using the l word more than once. >> i was honestly concerned he may lie about the nature of our meeting and thought it would be really important to document. >> with a flair for the dramatic that he is known for, james comey tried to describe the fateful moment with the president, when the president kicked everybody out, and had a conversation with comey. >> my impression was i needed to document every word spoken, my
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sense is the attorney general felt he shouldn't leave, i knew something was about to happen that i needed to pay very close attention to. >> and although comey testified that the president did not explicitly order him to lay off flynn, that is exactly how he took it. >> i took it as a direction. it's the president of the united states with me alone saying i hope this, i took it as this is what he wants me to do. i didn't obey it, but that's the way i took it. >> reporter: he took criticism from others saying, why didn't you fight back? >> why didn't you say mr. president, this is wrong, why couldn't i discuss this with you? >> a good question, maybe if i was stronger i would have. >> reporter: after he was fired, comey testified the president said you better hope there are no tapes about our conversation, before this is leaked to the press.
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stunningly, comey's testified showed that he asked about realtime conversations. >> i woke up on monday night, it didn't dawn on me, there may be corroboration for our conversation, there could be a tape. and the judgment was i needed to get that out into the public square. so i asked a friend of mine to share the content with a reporter, i thought that may prompt conversation with counsel. >> that is a stark illustration of how seasoned he is in the ways of washington. what was not standard washington behavior, argued comey, was a president asking an fbi director for what he took as a loyalty pledge. >> and i could be wrong, but my common sense told me what is going on here is he is looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay on
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the job. >> throughout his nearly three-hour testimony, comey revealed several nuggets about the fbi criminal probe now in the hands of special counsel robert mueller. >> do you think the president was trying to obstruct justice or just seek for a way for mike flynn to save face, given that he was already fired. >> general, at that time there was an open criminal investigation of his statements in connection with the russian contacts and the contacts themselves. >> and he hinted at information not known about attorney general jeff sessions. >> our discussions were he was close to and inevitably going to recuse himself. for a variety of reasons, we discussed incidents that i couldn't discuss in an open setting that would make the continued investigation into the
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russian investigation problematic. >> and comey told the president he was not being investigated. comey revealed he handed over his memos about his conversations with trump to the special counsel, which could mean now the president is being investigated for obstruction of justice. >> and dana joins us. now, director comey also had fascinating details and very damning details about then attorney general loretta lynch, and the way she asked him to not reveal the context. >> basically, what he said and remember, of course, james comey was criticized in a big way by democrats and even some republicans for the way he handled the clinton e-mail investigation. he said that the obama attorney general then basically, his boss, loretta lynch, directed him not to call it an investigation, but then call it a matter, which he said confused and concerned him.
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>> he also talked about the matter that the clinton campaign was using to describe. so thecolluding -- >> this is a bomb on lynch -- >> he didn't show director comey in the best light because he agreed to call it a matter. he didn't stantd up and say no, it's an investigation, it makes me queasy but i'm going to do it. >> thank you, dana, i spoke with her earlier this evening. >> senator feinstein, what was the key takeaway from your view on the comey testimony today? >> my key takeaway, the fbi has lost a good man and good leader. that is my takeaway. i think it's pretty clear he
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refused to lay off of the flynn investigation. he refused to raise the cloud or stop the russia investigation. and he refused to pledge loyalty to a president and for that he got fired. and that is really too bad. that is not what the country is about. and the fbi should be separate. and it should function based on law. and not based on the political nature of a presidency. >> i want to play one of your exchanges with mr. comey about that february 14th oval office meeting when director comey said the president asked him to drop the flynn investigation. >> here is the question. you're big, you're strong. i know the oval office. and i know what happens to people when they walk in. there is a certain amount of intimidation. but why didn't you stop and say mr. president, this is wrong? i cannot discuss this with you?
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>> that is a great question, maybe if i were stronger i would have. i was so stunned by the conversation that i just took it in. and the only thing i could think to say because i was playing in my mind because i could remember every word he said. i was playing in my mind what should my response be and that is why i very carefully chose the words. and look, i have seen the tapes. >> should he have done more in that moment or even in the aftermath, should he have alerted more people about it or come to congress? >> well, i do think he should have said look, mr. president, this is inappropriate, i can't discuss this with you. we can talk about other things but i can't talk about this. >> do you believe the white house has a taping system? >> i would sure like to see it if they have it. and we may do something about
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trying to see if they do. but right now i candidly just don't know. >> at one point your colleague, republican senator tom cotton brought up past statements you had made to cnn about not yet seeing any evidence of collusion between the trump campaign? >> we haven't gathered all the evidence. we're just beginning. there is a lot more work to do. i know there is a rush to judgment but it's going to take time to do it. and the fair thing is not to make a judgment until you can see all the evidence in one place, ask questions, and make judgments and come to a conclusion. and that is the only fair way to do it, in my mind, anderson. and so i would say the same thing today about collusion that i said whatever it was a month ago or so. >> and i know you can't discuss the specifics with what director
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comey told you and your colleagues in the classified section, can you say he gave you more of the detail you were looking for and if it leads you further in one direction or another? >> well, i can say this, there was an opportunity for members to ask questions. and so members ask questions that they had, that they could not ask in the public session. that's really all i can say. >> sure, finally, you heard the president's private attorney say this afternoon that the james comey testimony was a vindication of the president? is that how you see it? is that a vindication of the president? >> not at all. not at all. i actually tend to believe comey. and i think all of this could have been avoided and the tragedy is that the united states government and the people, the 30,000 employees of the fbi lost a good leader over this. and i very much regret that. and i really hope the president
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does too. but i'll say this. if the new nominee wants to pledge loyalty to the president and won't maintain the kind of independence that has been the hallmark of the fbi, i certainly won't vote for him when he comes before us. >> senator feinstein, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you, bye. lot to discuss with the panel, gloria borger, dana bash, mr. fuller, we'll start with you, was today -- was it a good day for the president? >> i think it was a good day for the president, james comey came across as a washington insider, who manages to be spineless. there were moments he admitted he was not standing up and giving the proper advice to the president. he was also verifying that a lot of things the president said were true.
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i think also interestingly he also confirmed in my mind which i believed all along there was no obstruction of justice, no legal case to be made for that. >> he does contradict when the president said, i didn't tell him to stop the flynn investigation, he clear believes that was what he was directed to do. >> look, i found it kind of interesting they were kind of debating how many angels sit on the head of a pin. do they demand his honesty, his loyalty, i don't think any of that matters. the president has the authority under the article two of the discussion to seek the advice. he can fire him, certainly demand his loyalty. i think it's normal for a president to demand loyalty from all of his subordinates. >> do you think he has the right to fire you -- >> there may be a crime there,
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that can be investigated. >> if i don't want any catholics in my investigation, so that's okay? >> yes, there are two separate legal questions, one, can the president constitutionally fire a person? the answer is yes, even if he thinks he smells bad. number two, even if the president fires him and engages in that behavior and we have evidence of that beyond a reasonable doubt, th that coulda separate a crime. could you prosecute the president? could the crime amount to a high crime that will suffice for impeachment. the answer is clearer, it would be yes. >> we disagree profoundly about this. the examples are gave are indicative of how serious what is going on here, if there are crimes committed between the attorney general -- between the director of the fbi and the president you bet that is obstruction of justice.
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>> all right, tell me how it's obstruction of justice? >> it's very similar to 1972 -- >> not at all similar. >> where the president said there is a pending investigation. >> nope. >> of his full international securi-- former national security adviser, and he says let him go. that is the use of the fbi for political purposes and it's unlawful and should be prosecuted. >> here is the professor in me coming out. there are two sets of statutes under the u.s. code under title 18. they deal with the obstruction of pending proceedings and obstruction of investigations, there is only one obstruction of justice that would be arguable. that basically requires that there be an act of bribery that prevents a communication to a criminal investigator about a crime. you would agree that neither one
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of those elements have been satisfied. >> correct. >> okay, we move on to pending proceedings. >> that is the relevant one. >> that is correct, 1510 and 12, both have proceedings language in them. pending proceedings is a legal term of art defined in section 1515, and a pending proceeding is a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding, for example that would be an administrative agency that has subpoena power, enforcement power. the fbi does not have subpoena power so does not qualify. every single court that has been asked the question does an fbi investigation constitute a pending -- >> there was a grand jury proceeding in the eastern district of virginia investigating kelly at this moment. >> yes. >> so -- there is your answer. >> let me bring in other folks. >> i know. i know. i like --
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>> i love the detail, though, i do love the detail. >> i'm a geek. >> believe me, this is a panel of geeks. >> this is called network of geeks, this is what we do. paul today -- >> i don't think the president can afford many more days this good. i disagree, good day, okay, you stay with that. my law school dean used to say if you want to hide something, put it in a law book. i'm not going to enter that conversation, but i am a geek, i was a watergate geek, i was too old for little league and too young for girls and i fixated on watergate, the smoking gun, the chief of staff for the president said the way to handle it now is for us to have vernon walters call pat gray, the head of the fbi and just say stay the hell out of this. this is business, we don't want you to go any further on that.
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nixon says, uh-huh. that is all. for that, he was forced to resign, even barry goldwater said you were telling the cia to disrupt an fbi investigation. so if uh-huh was enough to drive nixon out of office, what the hell did we just hear james comey testify on? >> jason, you clearly believe this is vindication for the president, i mean, i'm guessing. >> call me crazy. look, i think the democrats servely over-played their hand today. we waited all day for some big shoe to drop and there just was not anything. once the folks in the media and the democrats get done running through the recap of the news cycle there is nowhere else to go. the biggest news today was the fact director comey cleared the president on a number of fronts. that was remarkable.
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there will be additional investigation on the information on the leakins of the memo, i think that needs additional scrutiny, i think loretta lynch will have a couple of bumpy days in her future. there will be criticisms on other stories. >> you know, it's interesting the idea that you know, there was no big shoe dropping today. in some ways because so much of this information was reported out, leaked out. gotten by our reporters, "the new york times" and "the washington post" and others, it was not as big of a surprise, his opening statement was given out yesterday. >> and the senate intelligence committee posted it to their website, comey wanted it released so they could comb through it and come up with questions. so a lot of gee whiz questions were answered today. so two things happening today, really a problem for the
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president was two big negatives got reinforced. the fbi director over and over again called him a liar, called his administration a liar. that was a negative for donald trump, two thirds of the country thought he was a liar back on election day, two thirds of the electrorate electorate. when comey said, i considered it a directive, a majority of people believe that he did want to interfere. because there was no big new thing to chew on, no big shoe to drop. i do think this day probably was not as bad as it could have been for donald trump but that didn't mean it was not a bad day. >> and comey came out and said i was fired because of the russia investigation, we had not heard that before that he had drawn the conclusion and he said that is a big deal. and so you can -- you can see as you go through all of his meetings and everything else that maybe he was not at
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obstruction on day one, but by the time he was fired for his russia investigation and he would not answer this question today with good reason, but you can see that he was dryiawing - this is why i got fired. >> plenty of the things that director comey said today, though, to jay's point you can point to and say for somebody who was being portrayed as a boy scout, he clearly is a savvy, savvy, political player who survived for a long time. he doesn't confront loretta lynch, doesn't confront the president directly, yet he leaks this document in order to get a special counsel. it's like three dimensional chess. >> he was strategic in the way he delivered his testified, what he said. i mean, there were some questions, senator feinstein hit the nail squarely when she
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asked, you're a strong person, why did you not question or challenge the president at this moment? it was also loretta lynch, i called some people close to her and they said they used the word matter at that time to neither confirm or deny there was an investigation. and then there was this other piece about lordy, i wish that there was a tape. so i called some members of the secret service and they actually said there is no taping devices within the white house. so -- but at the same time -- >> could have used this. >> exactly, yes, exactly, right. and donald trump is known, well, before he was president, when he was a businessman to tape people. so his business meetings, so it is not beyond the realm of possibility. but the question is did it
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happen? so there is a lot of questions i was left with that i believe comey was delivered a strong statement, and he said, he said she says, so it's a long road. >> don't mess with comey. >> well, i think, i mean, i appreciate that it probably could have been worse for the white house, but any day that your spokesperson says the president is not a liar. and needs to say that because the guy that he fired from the fbi says he was, multiple times, is not a great day. >> we have much more ahead including how the white house is reacting to all this, and the president at least not reacting on twitter, and more on the comparisons with three sides of that scandal. the prosecutor and investigative reporter. one of the president's men who paid the price for it.
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the president has always said he is a counter puncher. today you can argue that he got hit. the former fbi director called him a liar, and accused him of obstructing justice, however, there has been a reaction from his person attorney. jim jim acosta has more on that, explain what his lawyer said. >> reporter: yes, the president was not counter-punching, his lawyer was certainly punching back making the case the president had a good day today.
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but he was also trying to have it both ways, at the same time saying that comey confirmed that the president is not a part of this russia investigation. but at the same time, pushing back on the notion that the president insisted that comey sign on as some kind of loyalty pledge. but the white house, the president's legal team really feels like they struck gold with this admission from james comey that he did put together the release of his memos through that columbia professor. and you heard that from the attorney today. he called it a former leaker. >> today, mr. comey admitted that he leaked to friends of his purported memos of those privileged communications. one of which he testified was classified. mr. comey also testified that immediately after he was terminated he authorized his friends to leak the contents of
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those memos to the press in order to, in mr. comey's words, quote, prompt the appointment of a special counsel, close quote. although mr. comey testified he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet. the public record reveals that "the new york times" was quoting from those memos the day before the referenced tweet. which belies mr. comey's excuse for this unauthorized disclosure of privileged information and appears to be entirely retaliatory. we will leave it to the appropriate authorities to determine whether these leaks should be investigated, along with all of the others that are being investigated. >> now the president's attorney, mark kasowitz, has been feeling pretty good about the testimony yesterday. we understand that he was at the trump hotel in d.c. last night
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passing out cigars and claims that the president has already won in all of this, anderson. >> jim, if memory serves, didn't director comey especially say it was not classified? that mark kasow yitz was saying one of them was classified. >> correct, how can it be a leak if it was not classified information? so you see perhaps legal enoughing there from the attorney today, but no question about it this is not case closed for the president at all by any stretch. but given the fact the president was called a liar once again by james comey in his testimony earlier today they are feeling pretty good at the white house. >> jimma acosta, thank you very much. >> reporter: and butler county has been very kind to republican candidates, since 2000 the
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republican candidates won each time, including donald trump who won 61% of the vote. with us now are nine trump voters here in fairfield, ohio at rick's taverna and grill. first thing i want to ask you, it is a crime when you testify before congress to lie. that is perjury, you can go to prison for it. raise your hand if you believe james comey lied. four of you believe he lied. >> yep. >> raise your hand, he says that donald trump quote told lies plain and simple. raise your hand if you believe that donald trump lied at all about the situation. none of you believe it. for those of you who didn't raise your hands, if neither person lied, how can that be possible? why do you think if nobody lied, why did that happen? >> well, first of all, things can be distorted and appeared
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likeliey lies, and i think maybe media may be distorted some things, not getting both sides. >> do you think mr. comey should go to jail? >> i think mr. impression of comey of this, he was kind of l.a.-kind of guy, like martha stewart. especially with his testimony today, he is more like ian flemming where he wants to be the next novelist, a lot of things he came up with things he was more inclined to fiction. >> he was in the room with the president, the attorney general, he told his son-in-law to get on it. he said mr. trump said he hoped he would let it go, meaning the russian investigation. but if your parents, if they say they hope you do something, isn't that imperative that you do it or is that necessarily not an imperative? >> he has been manipulated by
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the clintons, too, when lynch told him to overlooking the meeting. >> hillary clinton is not president. talking about the situation -- so you don't think that comey is telling the truth about that? >> right. >> what do you think? >> i think mr. comey should have said something at that time. >> should have said something to who? >> mr. trump. >> what should he have said to mr. trump? >> i cannot do that, i have to go on with investigations, et cetera. >> be honest. >> we have to do it. >> i was never asked why i didn't think he was being truthful. but i believe he didn't adequately explain, why couldn't he just tell trump this is inappropriate, or tell the chief of staff or doj to tell trump? he continued on with that and could not adequately explain that. i feel the whole thing was wrapped around -- >> mr. comey says he believes he was fired because of the russian investigation, interestingly, the president has said i fired
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him because of the russia investigation, is there a problem with that? >> i don't have a problem with that. first of all, mr. trump represents the united states of america. president trump is our president and sets a standard. >> but he had commented many times that he liked the job mr. comey was doing. >> i think he tried to be uplifting and encouraging to your quote unquote employees. but also he sent mr. comey several opportunities to be f t forthright and honest on some questions. >> let me ask you, a show of hands, how many of you feel better about donald trump, your president, after this hearing? how many of you feel worse about donald trump? i guess y'all would have raised your hands the first time. you think it was a success for mr. trump, not for mr. comey? >> absolutely. >> nine ohio voters on an
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historical day here. >> thank them very much for not only watching with you but also coming back, long day for him. appreciate that. gloria borger, dana bash, dana, it's always interesting and valuable when you hear from trump voters in an important state like that. clearly, they saw it as a victory for the white house. >> you know, there is certainly a constituency, and we've known this for the arguments that the president makes, which is that you can't trust your lying eyes, you can't trust your lying ears, you certainly can't trust the media or the elites, or all the questions conspireing against me. there are people who actually believe that. by the way, that is the same open door that the russians pushed, with attitudes about hillary clinton and the elites, and all the rest. that is possible, there are historical parallels to this, there are a lot of people who supported nixon through watergate. and no, i'm not comparing all this fact pattern to the watergate, but what i'm
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comparing is how nixon would rail against elites and the media and those conspireing against him. trump lifts from that playbook, and there are others who support him. >> the trump team, and getting help from them in a robust way this week, are trying to lift from. bill clinton's, they believe his people were masterful at keeping their base happy during the whole impeachment saga, and during the monica lewinsky -- it's probably not an accident that the president was with the evangelicals, saying we're under siege. you can sort of look at the list of things he has done on and on and on. it's not an accident. that is how they hope to survive the mid-term elections, and make sure the house of
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representativ representatives, or any impeachment proceedings, stays in the hands of the republicans. >> if it's the president fighting jim comey, or it's the president fighting the democrats in congress who want to impeach him it really is easier to rally your base than it is to say oh, by the way, i'm not on the same page as paul ryan or the freedom caucus. that confuses people. so in a way this fight is something that i think trump is probably hankering for in an odd way because it will help him with his constituency. >> and there was a lot that happened in the committee with republicans, too, posturing, saying well, this is a great day. you can't prove he committed a crime. when they are excusing such disregard for the proper conduct of the president of the united states. in dealing with an fbi director this way and insinuating himself
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into a criminal investigation. and the fact -- look, a lot of his supporters don't want to face up to facts here. the president wants to make this a credibility fight between him and jim comey, president trump who rose to national political prominence off a racist lie on president obama, accused obama of wiretapping him. i mean, come on. >> which is why -- not one republican questioned the veracity of what james comey was saying, it was he said, and nobody said what comey was testifying -- >> and came the closest, why didn't you challenge the president, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, complemented comey on his testimony and writing skills and how clear he was. because they really could not challenge what he was saying directly. >> but to the original point, if the republicans are still strongly behind the president
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which they appear to be, you know on the hill the republicans are not going to break away from him. he demonstrated how politically important he is. as long as that is the case you will see them hold together, even though his popularity is plummeting at large. >> we all heard the watergate comparisons that are being ba bandied about. i will speak with three key figures in the watergate hearings. how if guests book direct ater, and stay twice
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ever since the president fired james comey as director there have been a lot of comparisons to watergate. as we showed you earlier, yesterday former national intelligence director james clapper said watergate pales in comparison to what is going on right now. i asked him about that, and he said here is another thing to
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look at. from what you heard today, did it disabuse you of that notion at all? >> no, on the contrary it reinforced it. and just so understanding the context of my comment, the big difference in my mind between watergate which i lived through, and this is the backdrop of the russian interference in our political process. as opposed to a burglary, a break-in. to me, that is hugely different. and i thought jim comey's testimony was riveting, compelling, and to me, reinforced the comparison at least in my mind, between watergate and what we confront now. >> so we have three people who would know more. carl bernstein, john dean, and
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the director of the task force. carl, is this bigger than watergate? >> i don't question if it is bigger, i said this in some ways could be worse than watergate because it is about undermining our electoral process by a hostile foreign power. and destabilizing our most basic institutions which are free electionin elections. but also watergate itself was about undermining free elections. because the objective of the nixon conspiracy was to interfere in the democratic party's primaries and see as nixon's political opponent in 1972, to see george mcgovern be the nominee of the democratic party rather than senator edmond muskie, who was the frontrunner, and through a vast campaign of espionage, the nixon white house succeeded in helping mcgovern be
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the nominee. so there are the parallels, but this time it is a hostile foreign power that has intruded and undermined our election process. >> he also says it's -- it is a domestic force, which is the president of the united states undermining the institution. >> well, exactly. in both cases. >> right. >> john dean, in terms of the larger arc of these kind of investigations where is this investigation as compared to you know, the arc of watergate? >> very early, very early, if you go from the june 17, 1973 arrests that the democratic -- '72, excuse me, to the end of the last trial which was january 1 of '75, that is about 928 days. and that first eight, ten months, there was almost no attention to it at all other than carl and bob and "the
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washington post." but cbs, a few stories but really no coverage at all. >> and the supporters of nixon, how long did -- i mean, i know -- you have often credited, it's republicans who finally went to nixon. but rank and file citizens, were they still backing nixon all the way to the end? >> not quite to the end. what happened is, they overwhelmingly reelected him. he carried every state but massachusetts and the district of columbia. in the '72 election. slowly but surely there was an attrition in his support. you can see it in the polls. and it really is not until the discovery of the tapes and the fight becomes about whether to turn over his tapes and he finally gets caught in too many lies. and then he starts losing his orders. >> and just between the interiorplinterio interplay, and the iran contra
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investigations, how does the interplay work? >> well, i had the same problem, cox tried to block my testimony. >> it was not archy cox's finest moment, but we were the beneficiaries of a lot of work done by the senate select committee on watergate. but as we've been saying, watergate really puttered along, john and his friends did a good job of keeping a lid on watergate, putting out the story, third rate burglary, et cetera. it wasn't until the saturday night massacre that was a turning point in watergate, when people began to pay attention, because something extraordinary happened. not only did nixon fire the man who was investigating him, but the attorney general of the united states and the deputy attorney general resigned
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because they wouldn't fire cox as nixon had ordered. now, what happened to us as the members of the watergate special prosecution force was an extraordinary military type operation, where the fbi on nixon's orders came into our offices and took them over. took over our files, and took over our offices. now, what's extraordinary about what we're dealing with, and where i see a potential poor analogy is not now, but this is a curtain raiser. this sets the tone for an investigation by mueller, who is extraordinarily well wall fqual to lead the investigation. people are thinking and talking as they are in congress, some of them, about the possibility that
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president trump might fire mueller andor rosenstein. what happens then? i lived through the idea of the fbi coming in and seizing our offices. it was not a happy moment. >> but again, you do credit republicans with really kind of driving this? >> that is the difference so far. that the real heroes of watergate, the great patriots were republicans in the house and the senate who did not go along with the president of the united states, and said, this is not about a republican plot or conspiracy, this is about a criminal president of the united states, and we will not stand for it. voting for articles of impeachment, the key members of the watergate committee. throughout the process. and that's what we have not seen
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today, for instance. we look at what the speaker of the house, paul ryan, said in defense of the indefensible today, and said, oh, all this talk that the president was hearing, and that he was saying to comey is just about a new guy in town, and doesn't know how to talk the ways of washington, when in fact he's talking borderline obstruction of justice. so there's a huge difference here. but what we have seen, and one of the reasons it was such a bad day for the president of the united states, you know, first, what comey testified to. he had been told, and how he interpreted what the president was telling him, but also, we get into the notion that this committee in the senate, which we had said, oh, there's nothing, they're not going to do anything, they don't have the staff, they're going to go along partisan lines. it is showing that it is
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determined to be a serious inquiry with whatever the limitations of staff they had, and now the president is being closed in on by the best and most competent investigator in this investigative culture, bob mueller, and a bipartisan committee of the senate of the united states, which is determined to get to the bottom of what he has done. >> carl bernstein, richard, thanks so much. more breaking news. the political drama playing out on the other side of the atlantic. votes are counted in the uk election. back-and-forth all night. for a while it looked like president trump's ally, theresa may, may be in trouble. christiane amanpour joins us now. christiane, what is the latest? >> it has been a seesaw for a long time. it's been many hours, they've been counting the votes. theresa may did not need to call
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an leks but she decided she was going to. now the press are writing in their headlines today, the may gamble backfires, the may gamble has failed. even if she wins by a small majority, they say that this nonetheless will be very wounding. it is an extraordinary situation. of course, we've got the relationship with the u.s. she was the first foreign leader to meet president trump. she has the whole brexit on her plate as well. so at this hour, very uncertain way forward here in the united kingdom. >> if theresa may and the conservative party do not win, what sort of an impact could that have on the relationship with the u.s., and also with brexit? >> reporter: well, it's probably not a massive relationship difference. no matter what party is in power in the united kingdom, that relationship with the u.s. remains. the special relationship. especially now, much more important relationship. because they keep saying, no matter what happens, brexit is going to go ahead. if the uk doesn't have the eu,
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it will at least have the united states. >> fascinating. christiane amanpour, thank you very much. thank you for watching 360. blue moon is brewed with valencia orange peel, for a taste that shines brighter. your only worry...ty customer first guarantee... will be that one... rogue... cloud. get help with hotels, free twenty-four-hour flight changes, and our price match guarantee. travelocity.® wander wisely.™ no need with thending app when on the lot, scan a vin to pull up all the info you need to help get the price you want. start scanning today.
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tthat's why at comcast,t to be connected 24/7. we're always working to make our services more reliable. with technology that can update itself. and advanced fiber network infrastructure. new, more reliable equipment for your home. and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. this is cnn breaking news. two hours and 20 minutes of testimony that had america on the edge of its seat and it all comes down to this. who do you believe? the president of the united states, or the fbi director he fired? this is "cnn tonight."
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i'm don lemon live in washington. thank you for joining us. james comey bluntly saying under oath, the president lied. >> the administration then chose to defame me, and more importantly the fbi, by saying that the organization was in disarray. that it was poorly led. that the work force had lost confidence in its leader. those were lies. plain and simple. i was honestly concerned about the nature of our meeting, so i thought it really important to document. >> the president's response? >> mr. president, any reaction to comey's testimony? do you think he told the truth? >> so the question, again, is a question that could decide america's future, who do you believe? let's get to cnn political analyst mark preston. everyone in the room is laughing at that comment. jason