tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN January 2, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
given their lives to make aviation safe. >> when the president says he's been, quote, very strict on commercial aviation, what is he exactly referring to? what is the evidence of that? >> i have no earthly idea. the evidence that we see is the president would like to turn air traffic control over to the airlines and special interests and privatize it. this is a system that isn't broke, why are we trying to fix it? and if the president cared a lot about the faa he might want to nominate a new faa administrator, the current administrator his term nends about a week. so i see nothing but just the opposite. >> all right. myles o'brien, appreciate that. we have breaking news at the top of the hour. here's what the president tweeted just a short time ago. north korean leader kim jong-un just stated that the nuclear button is on his desk at all times. will someone from his depleted and food-starved regime please inform him that i too have a nuclear button but it's a much bigger and powerful one than his
and my button works. sara is at the white house for us. as the white house followed up on this at all? >> we haven't heard more from the kmous white house on this. but this is a tweet from the president. it's essentially an official statement from the white house and it does mark sort of a change in rhetoric. we may have seen calm recently. but remember this is a president who has decided he's going to push the envelope when it comes to kim jong-un. he's not going to shy away from comparing this size and effectiveness of buttons i guess in this case, but also from personal insults in the past. remember when the president was abroad on his asia trip he treated why would kim jong-un insult me by calling me old when i would never call him short and fat. not exactly the kind of diplomacy that we're used to seeing but perhaps not a surprise from a president who billed himself during the campaign and certainly since he's been in the white house as someone who is going to be unpredictable. and i think that's what we've seen. >> it is certainly a ratcheting up of the rhetoric when it comes
to north korea. >> reporter: especially when you consider what we've heard from rex tirps. we've heard from him a number of times that the u.s. might be willing to come to the table and have conversations with north korea. and we've seen north korea say maybe they're willing to have talks with south korea. but the president, the white house, they've basically contradicted tillerson on that saying now is not the time for this. when you look at tweets like this and rhetoric like this, it doesn't look like the u.s. and north korea are going to be coming together for one on one talks anytime soon. but this is coming from the president on his twitter feed. it will be interesting to see how the people who are in charge of our diplomacy are grappling with this tonight and in the days that come. >> sara murray, thanks very much. we have mark hurtling with us now. former principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for asian affairs. what do you make of this tweet tonight? >> anderson, i'd suggest that
it's not good to address complex, international engagement issues on twitter. diplomacy is not meant to be done on that kind of a device, and especially when you're talking about posing the world's most powerful man, president trump, the leader of the free world, with a guy who's really a third-rate dictator. you're putting them on an even keel and allowing them to be seen by the entire world going at this school yard bullying fight. having conducted exercise on the korean peninsula, if this comes to a catastrophic war or some type of conflict, it's going to be like nothing we've ever seen before, especially if it's some type of nuclear exchange which is what's been in these tweets. i don't see any of this as contributing to a diplomatic solution to what's been going on in the korean peninsula. and that's my primary objective as a former soldier hoping that
diplomacy wins out. >> some say this is a sign of strength by the president who doesn't use the kind of diplomatic language that's been used in the past to not great effect. i wonder what you make of that because general hurtling is saying this is president trump lowering himself to the level of kim jong-un and sort of getting into this war of words on the same level. >> yeah, i mean frankly when i saw the tweet tonight i was pretty shocked, you know, as a national security professional that has dealt with north korea for many years. i personally just was agassed at what was said on twitter. i assist that secretary mattis and the trump security team is pondering what do about it. i think the general is right. the chances for miscalculation right now on the korean peninsula are very, very high. i think trump's tweet like this is not very helpful, certainly coming especially on the heels of the news of potential south korean diplomacy. it could potentially undermine that. it could also potentially goad
kim jong-un in additional provocations and action. >> do you think this was in some way reaction to north korean move to south korea to have some sort of talks or is that something obviously the language south korea's been using vis-a-vis north korea is much less bellicose that the u.s. has been using as of late. >> it could be a reaction which is highly problematic. i think the most important thing that the trump administration should be doing and the president should be doing is standing by our south korean ally in their efforts on diplomacy. it's very important that the united states and south korea stay on the same page when it comes to dealing with north korea. >> general hurtling, there was a new year's message yesterday from kim jong-un who said, quote, the entire mainland of the u.s. is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office. certainly inflammatory, but i mean i guess some might argue par for the course for north korea's leader? >> yeah, i think it's goading. and kelly would probably confirm that that this is what we're
used to with this guy. he's looking to pull senior level or higher level leaders into a fight with him so he can look -- look really good. here's the other thing, anderson. a smart guy once told me that whenever you're dealing in international relations and you're dealing with one country and you're attempting to keep it transactional, you also have to consider the rule of five. and in this particular case, the other four are russia, china, japan and south korea. and in the case that we're talking about, russia and china want us to look somewhat like the irrational actor. south korea wants our support in what they're doing. we have to consider those things and not be as -- i would suggest mr. trump should not be as transactional one on one with north korea as he should be in considering the entire region and what's happening there. we do not want to be responsible as the ones that start a war that would be cataclysmic in terms of hundreds of thousands
of casualties. >> general hurtling, kelly, appreciate your time. i want to bring in our panel now. gordon, you studied north korea for years. how surprised were you by the language of this tweet and what effect do you think it had? >> extremely surprised. if you go through the policy options that president trump has, those policies he's pursuing and those he could pursue, this tweet doesn't help any of them. you've been asking tonight, okay, previous policies haven't worked, maybe something like this will. but as you go through those options, you can see that it doesn't help. and that's really going to be the test. it doesn't help coercive diplomacy sanctions. it doesn't help trying to talk to the north koreans now. it gives us problems with south korea. and it says so moscow and beijing, look, united states is crazy. so we should be helping north korea. and that is really going to be the test, that we're not going to get moscow and beijing. hard to do in any case, but much
harder now after this tweet. >> it does z seem from the president's tweets that a lot of it is not thought out and general, it's more reactional and general. but for supporters who say there's the crazy man theory, the idea that he's unpredictable is a good thing and maybe this adds to it. >> the crazy man theory works if you're a country like north korea. it doesn't work if you're the united states because the rest of the world looks to you for security. the rest of the world looks to you to enforce the international order. you can't be the crazy one. and so that's really where this breaks down. so if you're north korea, yeah, look a little crazy, it helps. but not if you're the u.s. >> james, you worked in the white house, what do you make of this? >> i think he's speaking to the american people and trying to project strength. i don't know if he's doing it effectively when it comes to diplomacy with north korea, but he's certainly speaking to his supporters, the american public trying to project strength at a time when the north korean leader's taking a shot us us. >> but zbluft life, does anybody in life bragging about the size of anything, does that really
project strength to anybody? i mean, just from like as congressman haass was saying earlier from the school yard bully to anybody who's bragging about the size of anything, doesn't that project weakness really? >> i think it does project weakness. you have to remember that north korea has a history of making provocative comments. they're not just making them now. and bah iraqi obama used to ignore them and that's what most presidents do, they ignore these comments. whereas donald trump is sort of projecting insecurity by having to respond to this and then sort of do this one upmanship of mine is bigger than yours. and putting something in there that is provokative in his own right in saying mine works. so it's almost like baiting him to say yours doesn't, show us that it wrorks. this isn't a game. we're talking about some nuclear war here. >> scott, you were under george w. bush. >> general hurtling said something that remind me of a thought i used to have during the republican primary and that's the thought of president trump then candidate trump
punching down. he could frequently punch down candidates who barely registered in the polls and he's not condition tont to let a dictator get away with an insult. he's not going to let kim jong-un get the last word on ha it means to have nuclear weapons. we can debate and i'm surety media and political sort of opinion leaders are all going to judge this was a terrible idea. here's what i think we should be focused on tonight, and that's what should come next for the purposes of educating the american people. kim jong-un says i've got a nuclear button that works. president trump's tweet suggests that we think it doesn't work, we've all seen the missile tests. what we've not seen is a clear, national address on exactly what north korea can do and what our capabilities are of stopping it. so moving on from this tweet, moving forward, i'd love to see the president here stop punching down and tell the american people whether north korea can actually fire a nuclear weapon at us or not. >> simone. >> i think that education needs to happen is to the president of
the united states on why these tweets are not only problematic but dangerous and what the real life implications are not just for american citizens, but our allies and south korea are with tweets such as. 'and furthermore, i have questions for twitter and the president's tweets, in my opinion, clearly violate the standards. and so how long are we going to allow the president of the united states to act as a just a reckless bully on the internet? a bull that i has the power to bring us into the nuclear war. >> i got to say, if those tweets violate twitter standards, 90% of the tweets i see violate zblem they're removing people off twitter for things every day. but his tweet is a little bit different. he could start if not a nuclear war at least an armed conflict. >> he can't start a war with a tweet. there's a military process and it's ridiculous to think that a corporation should be reigning in the president. >> who then would you like to
rein in the president of the united states? because it seems -- >> rein him in from what? making the statements that he thinks are in the u.s. best interest? you may disagree but asking a corporation to check and balance the president of the united states -- >> but scott -- >> scott, do you. >> why is donald trump any better? >> do you believe that these tweets, a tweet like this is something that he has thought out and maybe run by some folks or is this something that he saw on t vsh or read something or he just got -- whatever, in the moment? >> no, i don't think he necessarily thinks these tweets out. but clearly his posture on north korea has never changed. he doesn't want them to have nuclear weapons. he hates it when kim jong-un or anyone else tounts taunts him and he lashes out on twitter. this is nothing new. his position on north korea is nothing new. i think the concept of rein himming in needs go somewhere else. >> this level of the rhetoric isn't that knew. explicitly raising the level of nuclear war perhaps. he's talked about fire and furry. 'repeatedly doubled down on this rhetoric. it's not new for him to issue
these sorts of provocations. he think he does it impulsively. there's isn't a grander strategy of the pentagon war gaming out what tweets are going to provoke what response from the north koreans. but i find the suggestion that he's speaking to the american people very weird because that would indicate that this is essentially a domestic political play by the president. and if he is speaking to the american people, i think he's scaring the crap out of them. >> let's take a quick break. we'll continue this conversation. obviously it's an important one. we'll be right back. ie callend's roasted turkey & stuffing. with mashed potatoes and made from scratch gravy. spoiler alert, things are about to get good. because me time calls for marie callender's. with expedia, you can book a flight, then add a hotel, and save. ♪ everything you need to go. expedia
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>> before the break general hurtling called diplomacy on twitter problematic. here's the tweet. north korean leader kim jong-un just stated that the nuclear button is on his desk at all times. will? from his depleted and food-starved regime that i too have a nuclear button but it's a much bigger and powerful one than his and my button works. back now with the panel. gordon, to the extent that -- it's hard to predict how north korea responds to anything, but how does something like this do you think get interpreted in north korea? if that matters. >> it does matter because we're trying to influence them into a certain course of action which it is to disarm. i think they're going to look at this and say it elevates kim jong-un because now he's on the same level as the president of the united states. >> which is something they want ford a long time. >> which is something they wanted for a long time. and our foreign policy is to build coalitions. if you look back at prior tweets on north korea, the june 20 tweet, the tweet last week,
those actually were coalition-building messages to build. this one is a coalition destroying message. when the u.s. has been successful when we've gone into battle, it's with a coalition. so for instance the goufl war. that's what we need to do. we need to not only have our allies, japan and south korea, but we have to neutralize moscow and beijing. and a tweet like this does the opposite. he has squandered an opportunity. >> we didn't see that effect with the fire and furry that you mentioned earlier and the rocket man comments before. as a matter of fact, it drew more attention to the issue and the united states stepped up its diplomatic engagements after those comments were made via twitter. and i think most folks are going to say that twitter isn't the best way don duct diplomaccondu. but i think the book's getting rewritten on that.
the sound bites are now something that politicians and world leaders are using time and time again. >> i agree with the idea that the tweets before did not have the kind of cataclysmic effect that some people predicted. but i think that speaks to a different sort of effect that these tweets are having, which say numbing effect and people starting to ignore the things that are said by the president of the united states. what we're seeing all around the world whether it's our european allies or china or north korea, the president can sort of pop off like this and people just sort of brush it off and that itself i think is dangerous. >> when he's not taken seriously. >> as a spokesperson and a press secretary for people, i want to dispel the myth that all of the sudden all of our messages or moving to twitter 280 characters. that is not how effective principles, candidates and politicians communicate. and donald trump's twitter diplomacy is dangerous. and for anyone to assert otherwise i think is just crazy. >> i think the 2016 election would say otherwise on how effective is it is.
>> twitter didn't get donald trump elected, let's be clear. >> i wonder if this twitter episode there are say question more than a comment. but i wonder if the president believes his messages to north korea are not being received. if he believes his secretary of state is not delivering messages, if he believes his government apparatus as it sits is not effectively showing his anger and so he says to himself, what's the most powerful communications tool at my disposal? this twitter account. i don't know if that's true, but i wonder sometimes. >> it is an interesting question. it goes back to the night we were all in washington for i guess it was the night of the alabama election where secretary tillerson made the speech in which he seemed to indicate the u.s. policy was reversing itself and he was willing to sit down and talk with north korea one on one, could be about anything, the size of the table he said. i mean, i remember when we were announcing this, because it was breaking news, we were cautious in saying, look, we don't know if this is actually white house policy or is this just a government which is not all on the same page. and gordon, it does seem like
that was a -- an outlier comment. >> yes. i mean, the administration's had a real problem with message discipline. and it looked like they actually ghot problem under control when you had secretary mattis, secretary tillerson with that oped in "the wall street journal." that actually looked like they were getting things sorted out. and then you have the incident you talked about where, you know, tillerson says something which clearly is not the president's policy. you know, the people can blame tillerson for this, but really the responsibility belongs to the president because these people work for him. and so when president trump needs to get a message across, whether he -- and i have no problems with twitter. but when he gets a message across, it's got to be clear and consistent. people have got to understand that you will the united states is behind it and it's also got to be a mess thanl goage that gr allies. and this one didn't. >> we're going to have much more ahead tonight including the campaign adviser in the russian probe.
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"the new york times" reporting one driving factor in the decision to launch its proen probe did not come from the steele dossier as the white house claims. instead, it came when an australian officials told american officials about a drunken even drunk adviser george papadopoulos had in london with a diplomat. during which he made a startling revelation to a top diplomat in britain. they were told that moscow had thousands of e-mails that would embarrass mrs. clinton stolen in an effort to damage her campaign. the story cast doubt on the white house's characterization of papadopoulos has a glorified gofer or coffee boy. president trump tweeted this signaling where he thinks the focus should pbt crooked hillary clinton's top aide has been accused of disregarding security protocols. she put passwords into the hands of foreign's. remember the submarine jail. they must act also on comey and
ornls. we're now with someone who was at the center of it all, former director of intelligence james clapper. you were there when this happened. was papadopoulos a major factor in the launch of the investigation? >> well, not to my knowledge contemporaneously. george papadopoulos was a name that was not on my radar scope at the time and the first i knew about him in his role was when the plea bargain was announced. so short answer to your question is, no, that was not a name known to me at the time. >> so there were other factors that launched the investigation were not george papadopoulos if you've never heard of him? >> exactly. i think there were a number of factors that i think probably influenced or stimulated the fbi
to initiate the investigation. so i don't think he -- i think this was certainly a contributing factor, but i don't think it was the exclusive or first reason why the investigation was launched. >> president trump decided the so-called steele dossier as the reason the investigation was launched just last week he tweeted they use this crooked hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the trump campaign. was the steele dossier a factor at all? >> well, not actually it was not. and when i say that, i'm speaking specifically about the intelligence community assessment that we -- i say we, the fbi, nsa and cia along with my office put together the assessment that we published on the 6th of january and then briefed then president-elect trump on. the dossier was briefed to him
separately by director -- then director comey only for the purpose of telling him about it, that it was out there. but it was not an integral part reason an organic part of our assessment. there was lots of other evidence that we use cwhich we had very high confidence in to compile that assessment. >> about papadopoulos, the times report red in part he was brash, boastful yet he exceeded expectations and proved to be a tantalizing project for russia tactics. from what you know, would he be a prime target? >> absolutely. he would be. i mean, the russians would look and apparently did look for anyone they felt they could ingrash eight themselves with by offering whether valid or not information or dirt on hillary clinton. and so someone who professed to be a part of the campaign as a
foreign policy adviser there are would be an ideal target for the russians. >> and from every intelligence official i've talked to, russian specialists, they say they would launch multiple probes, that it wouldn't just be papadopoulos, they would try for as many entree has no a campaign as possible. >> absolutely. it appears to me that's what they did. they would put feelers out to extend their tent tickals to anyone and everything that would stalk to them. >> i want to ask you something else he wroted to. crooked top aide aberdeen who has been disregarding security protocols. she put passwords into the hands of foreign criminals. deep state justice must react on comey and others. the idea of a deep state is another idea the president his family, his allies have been pushing for a long time but lately especially. when you hear about a, you know,
whether it's the deep state justice department, this notion of a deep state. >> well, i think it's -- to me, it's absurd. i guess what this refers to is a conspiracy somehow among careerists in the government who are in opposition to president trump or probably more accurately who are not seen as sufficiently loyal personally to president trump. >> the idea, i mean, that career careerist is used by a lot of trump allies in a negative way. to you, what is the value of having career professionals who have devoted their entire lives to a particular subject working in the government? >> yeah, well at first i guess this qualifies me at least as a former member of the deep state if you buy that absurd proposition. i think there's tremendous value to the career employees
throughout the civil service in our government. this is one of the -- to me, one of the strengths of our government because it provides kont kn continuity, knowledge, and expertise regardless of what administration is in office. and many, many federal -- loyal federal employees who were patriots who were there to serve the country, not an individual. >> director clapper, appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. >> we have yet more breaking news tonight. the founders of fusion gps just weighed in. we'll tell you about that next. next time, i want you on my bowling team. [ laughs ] rodney. bowling. classic. can i help you? it's me. jamie. i'm not good with names. celeste! i trained you. we share a locker. -moose man! -yo. he gets two name your price tools. he gets two? i literally coined the phrase, "we give you coverage options based on your budget." -that's me. -jamie!
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to read you some of the key passages. in the years since the publication the so-called steele dossier the collection of intelligence reports we commissioned about donald trump's ties to russia, the presidents had repeatedly attacked us on twitter. pds allies have dug through or i bank records an sut to tarnish our firm to punish us for highlighting his links to russia. "the wall street journal" have spun sa dashs links to conspiracy theories about our motives and backers. they are going to release full transcripts of our testimony even as they leak details to firms on the right. it's time to share what investigators told our investigator. we area we hired mr. steele, a highly respected russian expert but we did do without telling him whom we were working for and giving him marmging orders beyond this question were why did mr. trump repeatedly seek to do deals with russia. what came back shocked us.
we reportd on an extensive and confirmed effort by the creme tloin help elect mr. trump president. they saw this as a crime in progress and decided he needed to report it to the fbi. it also says we don't believe the steele dossier was the frigger for the fbi's investigation into russian meddling as we told the judiciary committee our sources said the dossier was taken seriously because it corroborated reports the bureau had received from other sources including one inside the trump camp. founders of fusion gps back with the panel joining us is jeffrey toobin. what do you think of this statement? >> think this is the defense of that they have put out before. i think what's news in this oped piece is the idea that one person, it says a person in the trump campaign who was cooperating or talking to the fbi at this very early stage. >> right. i want to read -- our sources say the dossier was taken so seriously by the fbi because it corroborated reports the bureau had evidence is from other
sources, including one inside the trump camp. >> i'm certainly unaware of who inside the trump camp was dealing with the fbi. but certainly i think we all would want to know today who was talking to the fbi within the trump campaign. >> we don't know that that's actually occurred, this is just based on sources, unnamed sources to the founders of fusion gps. >> correct. and so we don't know if there is such a person. but if there is such a person, we'd want to know who it is. and why they felt compelled to go to the fbi in the middle of the presidential campaign to talk about possible relationship between the trump campaign and russia. >> well, and in light of the papadopoulos news that we've been talking about as well, it raises more questions about when this investigation got under way and how and how extensive it already was long before the election. >> well, and also i think what it's focusing on is the republicans lack of interest in really investigating this with the we see the president doesn't want any kind of investigation,
and then have you republicans on the hill who are, you know, have spent all this time was it 21 hours worth of, you know, transcripts or of time in hearings and yet they're not following any of the leads that fusion gps people are suggesting that they follow. >> they're suggesting that they get records from deutsche bank. >> they suggested that they pursue deutsche bank records which mueller has since subpoenaed deutsche bank records, i don't know if that's the same thing. >> they also talked about questionable property deals. >> yeah. and instead of investigating what they're telling them to go after, they're just basically going after fusion gps and this has been something that we've seen republicans doing over and over, attacking the steele dossier even though by all accounts he's a highly respected person and is very trustworthy. everyone's focused on delegitimizing, you know, the people doing the investigation. >> another, you know, large question that is raised by this, the fbi was obviously deeply involved in investigating the trump campaign during the trump
campaign. the public was advised that the fbi was investigating the clinton campaign but we never were told that they were investigating the trump campaign. given the incredible political damage done to hillary clinton by the fbi and by its investigation dollars a investigations and jim comey, the idea that this investigation was going on so extensively for so long and we knew nothing about it, that's a real important post script to the 2016 campaign. >> as a pr professional, i read this oped and i wonder what the fusion gps people are going to do next because clearly it is how they want it framed exactly. they say they want the full transcript of their interviews released. if the congress won't release them it makes me wonder are they going to hold a press conference and submit themselves to media scrutiny it? that might be a wise tactic if their lawyers would allow it with the one thing we have to think about as republicans, however it turns out out, the
issue of meddling versus collusion. mueller is investigating the collusion. i think the republicans would be wise here to acknowledge and get their arms around meddling occurred. it's fine to think no collusion occurred, but acknowledge the meddling and then set forth some parameters on how we're going forward in the future. that's the responsible governing move here. if you're looking for a positive outcome out of a congressional investigation, that would be it. >> so if that is then the case have there a chance that the meddling lends itself to attempts to collude? that's a very interesting semantics. it's about the types of words that you're using. i don't think the congressional investigations should limit themselves to one particular area of which they should look at. i think our tax dollars have been spent on a very extensive investigation so i think anything that comes before the committee that is credible should be investigated. how -- investigated had the how far down does the rabbit hole go? so if they find collusion, if they find attempts to collude,
if is it is just meddling is meddling then attempts to collude. it's very confusing, as you can tell. we should not be suggesting that the congressional committee should limit themselves because that's not what's in the best interest of the american people find thing the truth, that's actually just in the best interest. president. >> james, does anything stand out if this oped from fusion gps? >> i think it advertisement, if you will, is their 'tempt -- they entered the fray of politics. this is the game that they're involved in. this is the business they're involved in. it's a high-profile business and they got -- they got caught and congressional -- members of congress, chairman of the judiciary committee, the chairman of the intelligence committee are asking questions. >> got caught -- >> ha did they get caught doing? >> they didn't do anything. what did they get caught doing? her opposition rezblerth they got caught in the fray of this -- >> it's not illegal or unethical, it's just normal behavior. i don't understand.
>> this is what opposition research firms do. they hire opposition research. sometimes you have a research person on staff and they go out and find information about your opponents. usually, caveat, you don't get that information from a foreign entity and you don't meet with the russianors anybody else to get it. i'll just trying to figure out, i think it's reckless four to suggest that they got caught doing something wrong. >> i didn't say they got caught doing something wrong, i said they got caught in the fray of a political campaign that's now being exposed and questions are being asked and they're not happy about it as a business, so this is what you see. >> i have heard a lot of republicans say essentially what scott was saying, which is the president could take the high road here. he could say, i depolar any attempts to meld if they occurred. we are going to get to the bot to of this and make sure it doesn't happen again. >> have you been following the president? >> are you waiting for that? >> i'm not. but he takes this issue so personally that he can't do that and that's caused a lot of this mud willing that we're having
now. >> i think ultimately we're wondering i know we have reports today we're going to see dueling reports out of democrats and republicans, that's the way they go. but to me could you get ahead of this thing if you're the congrectional republicans by showing the american people a forward looking way to stop meddling into the future. can they do this ghen a midterm or presidential? >> don't waugh tonight see the transcripts? why can't they just release the transcripts? if they spent 21 hours with them why can't we see the transcripts? >> however, if releasing that information would impede mueller, which is something we don't snow and i think jeff could weigh in on that. if there's some inner connectivity there we don't know about you wouldn't want to mess up something mueller's doing. >> that won't take long, no. >> i think you should remember this is i question about -- like russia clearly did med he will in our election, that's not a democrat or republican issue, it's an american people issue that we should be concerned about. and folks have said that russia
can and probably will do this again. midterm elections coming up and i think we should all want to know what happened and, as you said, how to prevent this in the future. >> going to take a quick break. more ahead. we'll be right back. safely navigate around so n this broken-down rv. really? a road flare? it's my new year's resolution. now i'm all about safety and stuff. you're not even going to try to catch something on fire? no...no i'm not. i'm going to miss you, man. yeah. i'm going to miss me too. ♪ we believe in food that's anaturally beautiful,, fresh and nutritious. so there are no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives in any of the food we sell. we believe in real food. whole foods market.
a nice break in the news. the founders of fusion gps speaking out tonight and the question of collusion something they talk about in their oped. the intelligence committees have known for months that credible allegations of collusion between the trump camp and russia were pouring in during credible source dollars in the campaign. they continue to wage a cynical campaign to portray us as the unwitting victims of criminal investigation. back to the panel. >> i think they raise a very good question of why haven't their transcripts been released? you know, usually when a witness testifies before a committee under seal it's to protect either the individual's privacy or classified information. they obviously have no option, there's no privacy interest
here. and also they have no security clearances so there's no issue of classified information. i think they are calling out the committees for a certain degree of hypocrisy because it is true they have leaked certain parts of their testimony to sympathetic news outlets. but why not let the chips fall and let's see if they -- if there were any laltions of impropriety and they were challenged how they responded to it in front of congress. >> who has access to transcripts of testimony? i mean, i guess anybody on the committee, right? >> committee and staff. >> and staff. they wouldn't have a coach their own transcript? >> no, that's -- they've asked for it. >> right. >> but they have not gotten it. >> the only thing i wonder about is clearly these guys know stuff. i don't know what they know, 21 hours of stuff. if i were another independent investigators and i were questioning other witnesses or targets about what they may know, i'm not all together certain i would won't everything they know out in the public
domain. clearly they wasn't it out there because it's good for their own pr. as an investigatory matter wouldn't it be better for the other independent investigators to keep some mystery about what fusion gps told congress if you're trying to trap people into obstruction? >> they're trying to gather facts and evidence and that's when you'll see the reports come out and that's when you'll see some of this become more public. >> would there be any legal jeopardy if these held a press conference and just regave their testimony? >> that's what this oped piece is. i think they're saying -- >> but in a greater level of detail than this oped. >> these are available people. they are not hiding. >> would they be in any kind of legal jeopardy? >> not at all. even in the grand jury, grand jury proceedings are secret, everybody knows that. but if you ar i witness in a grand jury, you can walk out in front of the courthouse and say i told the grand jury the following ten things. there's no prohibition on individuals talking about their own testimony. they simply would like the full transcript because they feel
like they have nothing to hide. >> i also think they feel like the republicans aren't taking the investigation seriously, right? so they want the transcript to come out so they can -- we can all see, i mean, just taking what they wrote in this piece, that so -- so everyone can see what they have shared with congress and that congress has not really been taking things this seriously, even though that they've given them a lot of evidence an things to follow up on. that was a point they were trying to pak. >> as a pretty amazing fact in here which again assertion. i don't know that it's a fact, that the only bank records subpoenaed by the entire house intelligence committee are -- gps's bank records, not donald trump's bank records, not jared kushner's bank records, not paul manafort's bank records, but gp -- global gps's. that suggests that they are out to get these people, not out to get the facts of the underlying investigation. >> but i think it's been clear for a while that this committee was not going to be the
>> i think it's been clear for a while that this committee was not going to be the one that got to the bottom of the russia investigation. there has been concerted effort for quite some time, and we've seen republicans become uncomfortable with the extent to which it's gone, that the house committee is seeking to shoot the messenger and discredit a lot of the investigation or turn it towards the democrats. and the mueller investigation, that is going to be, to my mind and most of the people watching this, the most serious and non-politically -- >> the only person that has the full picture of this is mueller. the senate committee, the house committee -- >> when the president or the -- >> i think the only person who knows is robert mueller. you can surmise based on information they requested and how
the white house lawyers -- the first round of interviews has concluded the white house has produced all the documents they have requested. but that just means a first round has concluded. >> there'll be other rounds? >> presumably. i worked on the iran contra investigation. just because you interviewed some people once does not mean you're not going to interview them again. >> look, the democrats motivation on the house and senate side are the upcoming elections. they want to continue to drag this out as long as they can to try to impact the 2018 elections.
>> are you sure that's true, any of the actual focus groups i've been in, no one has said i'm going to the polls on russia. i think the democrats on the house and the senate side are interested in the investigation because we need to know what happened. >> i'm sure it's all moral high ground. >> there's got to be politics involved. >> we've got to take a quick break. everybody on the panel, brace yourselves. the unforgiving cold striking much of the u.s. could become more miserable this week. a monster storm threatening a large part of the u.s. a weather system called the bomb cyclone. i feel leak the weathermen make this up. we'll tell you what that means and get the latest forecast from the cnn weather center. that's niagara falls. be right back. but that's not all, because we topped it with crispy hunks of protein-packed chicken.
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download the xfinity my account app or go online today. the punishing chill that's impacting much of the country is expected to get even worse in some areas later this week. the brutal cold is even tormenting parts of the south. here's a water fountain frozen in pensacola, florida. it's not the balmy weather you expect to see in the sunshine state. and later this week it could strike the east coast from georgia to rain with freezing temperatures, ice and snow. so much so it would resemble a winter hurricane, returned to a rare weather phenomenon known as a bomb cyclone.
tom seder joins us now with more. tom, what are we expecting in the coming days? what is this bomb cyclone thing? >> this is when a pressure of a storm system actually drops 24 millibars in 24 hours. every state in the u.s. hit the freezing mark today. all of the lower 48 had wind chills in the teens. notice in white, anderson, these are the departure from normal. to nearly a 30 degree temperature, off what is average
>> time to hand it over to jake tapper. "the lead" starts now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. good evening, and welcome to a special prime time edition of the lead. president trump this evening responding to the nuclear threat from north korea n way the world has never heard from an american president. north korean leader kim jong-un said, quote, the entire mainland of the u.s. is within range of our nuclear weapon and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office, unquote. and that's a questionable claim in terms of north korea's actual nuclear capabilities. but regardless president trump took to twitter this evening