tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN January 29, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
and no idea. >> wage increases would be more important. >> one time bonuses -- >> also wage increases. >> thank you both very much. and thank you both for joining us. ac 360 with anderson cooper beginning right now. good evening from washington. extraordinarily reckless. a memo. well, just a short time ago, republicans on the house intelligence committee ignored that warning and ignored the request. they ignored that as well. and voted along party lines to release the memo. they voted not to release a memo released by democrats pointing out the false hoods in the memo.
spoke out a short time ago. >> votes today to politicize the intelligence process. and to the house and to selectively released to the public only the majority distorted memo without the full facts. a very sad day i think in the history of this committee as i said to my committee colleagues during this hearing, sadly, we can fully expect that the president of the united states will not put the national interest over his own personal interest. but it is a sad day indeed when that is also true of our own committee. today this committee voted to put the president's personal interest, perhaps their own political interest above the national interest in denying themselves even the ability to hear from the department and the fbi. that is a deeply regrettable
state of affairs >> the nunes memo will come out. i want to give you context here. the republican memo was written for the chairman of the committee devin nunes. shocking facts he just allegedly uncovered about the russian investigation. facts we later found out he had just gotten from the white house. the white house he claimed he had to rush to to brief them on facts they already had. it amounted to a smoke screen. democrats say that is what today's memo is about today. that brings us to tonight's other breaking story.
andrew mccabe is out. you have heard his name before because the president has singled him out for criticism. the kind of public service he targeted the ones investigating him. why did mccabe abruptly leave his job? some describing as a mutual decision and some saying he was forced out. he becomes eligible for full benefits on the 18th of march. so in some ways although the precise timing took official washington by surprise, the fact that it happened was not a shock. >> say definitively that the
president did not play a role in mccabe stepping down. >> i can say the president was fot a part of this decision making process. >> abundantly clear on what the president wanted, wanted him gone. began in july the president tweeting the problem is that the acting head of the fbi and the person in charge of the hillary investigation andrew mccabe got $700,000 from h for wife. the fbi inspector general is looking into it. late today the staff general hinting today that the report played a role in mccabe's
departure. for now, the only thing out in the open is the president's antipathy of the man. tweets how many days until mccabe's benefits. a washington post report. the president denies doing that. the president has also taken aim publicly and in private of deputy attorney general rod rosenstein and threatening to fire him as well. the president has loudly and publicly spoken out against his own attorney general for recusing himself from the ruche probe. >> i am disappointed in the attorney general. he should not have recused himself. almost immediately after he took office. and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me prior to taking office and i
would have quite simply pick somebody else. >> bear in mind the attorney general is one of the president's original supporters and it goes without saying he is a republican as is others. as are a large number of fbi special agents and top brass as an agency he describes as being in tatters. >> ashamed of what has happened with the fbi. we are going to rebuild. bigger and better than ever. very sad when you look at those documents and you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it. >> bear in mind, the president isn't slamming the interior department in here. he is not accusing staffers at the usda of political bias. attacking the public servants
who those who have roles who in the president's thinking should have bigger roles. congressman adam schiff joins us in a moment. and cnn jessica schneider joins us now. >> reporter: it has been couriered over to the white house. the president will decide whether or not to declassify this memo and release it publicly. the president is inclined to declassify and release this memo. this is a crucial five-day window here. we know that the president will be advised during this window and undergo a national security review of sorts and because the state of the union is tomorrow
night not to expect anything before then. we understand this could be a several day process. no word when the exact memo will be released if at all. >> what do we know about this memo? >> reporter: it is shrouded in secrecy. it was written by republican staffers and because it is classified, members have to be very discrete about what they actually release here. they are not allowed to talk about it. we understand from sources it is a four page memo drafted by republicans and it gets to the notion their contention that the fbi abused its power in putting fourth this surveillance warrant application for trump campaign foreign policy adviser carter paige. and we understand from a source this steele dossier was used in
part to get this surveillance warrant and one of the sources is telling us that it was not disclosed properly disclosed to the fisa judge that this dossier was funded in part by democrats. of course this is a republican cry that this investigation was potentially politically motivated and all the right channels weren't checked off. >> thanks so much. >> joining us right now california democratic congressman adam schiff. thanks for being with us. can you explain why republicans voted to release their memo and not the democratic response when according to democrats kind of poked holes or pointed out things were incorrect or fact chul untrue. >> the fbi justice has not read
this memo? >> no. the director has. but he is the only one who has been able to see it along with an analyst. we haven't gotten feedback from the department. the fbi director wanted to come before our committee or have the bureau come before or committee and express concerns and they voted that down. they weren't willing to entertain a briefing from either the committee or the house. why did they release one and not the other? these are the people pushing the release the memo campaign. it is political. a continuation of the effort to protect the president's hide. it is a really disgraceful act in my view to make partisan and political the declassification process. and i think it is what you see when you have a flawed president
infecting the whole of government. >> you have no doubt this is a smoke screen, about stopping the russia probe or slow it down. or maybe rod rosenstein being removed. >> i used to be a prosecutor wh when the facts are bad for the defendant you put the government on trial. what did russia do? what do we know about the secret context. the chairman and those who are aligned with him in the white house, their whole goal has been no no, put the government on trial. don't pay attention what russia did or what we need to do to protect ourselves put the government on trial. best way to protect the president. >> can you say who wrote this memo? >> the memo was written by republican staff and here is the thing that the department of
justice acknowledged, they reached an agreement with the speaker's office with the chairman. only made available to the chairman, myself or one of our designates and two of our staff each. so the chairman never bothered to go read these underlying materials after months and months of making the arguments that the fbi and doj are engaged in some conspiracy. >> so deven nunes hasn't read. >> correct. >> the department of justice gave this information, the republicans are saying there is a process for releasing something like that. and they say the reason they want transparency but the reason they are not releasing the
democrats response is because there is a multiday process it has to go through. >> that is a fiction. with the majority vote you can publish to the entire country subject to a presidential veto any classified information. no, what they wanted to do is they knew they were on thin ice. how do you credibly going before the country and say in the interest of full transparency, we want the country to have this full information but not the rebuttal. the best they can hope for is give us a week. why we need a week just to have our narrative out there to set in before the democrats shows how much holes it has. >> are you saying the
republicans have cherry picked facts. >> absolutely. >> to form a narrative that is in your opinion not correct. >> not only not correct, but intentionally misleading. why else would any not want the fbi and the department of justice to come in and tell the members here is where there is a problem with the memo. they don't want their own members to hear that. they want this out in the public to help shape the narrative. >> so they voted against that? >> they voted against that. is it possible, there are reports that rod rosenstein comes under criticism in the memo do you believe part of an effort to pave the way for removal. >> it could be part of an effort to either justify or mitigate the blow back from the president
firing anybody from rosenstein to mueller or anybody else. undermine the department of justice. create uncertainty, doubt of the people of the bureau. if mueller produces something incriminating, they can discredit. if the president tries to do something like fire mueller or rosenstein, this will cloud the issue enough to protect the president. >> what is wrong with investigating the fbi, investigating the department of justice? >> nothing wrong with doing oversight. and we have been doing that every day. we have never voted to make something public. by the way, you don't know about these other facts.
and the fact that they are not interested in that, they don't want to hear that or want their own members to know that, tells you all you need to know about the true motivation. >> in your opinion they are pushing the release of classified information. >> to benefit the president of the united states and to protect themselves. they fear if this president goes down either in credibility or other wise, their majority goes with them. >> you said earlier at that press conference that the committee is investigating the department of justice and the fbi. some on the committee push back on that. we are not launching an open investigation. >> a transcript will be made publicly available. i asked for that to be available tomorrow and you will see the chairman directly assert we are investigating the fbi and we are
investigating the department of justice. >> is this something that began prior to today? >> presumably today. they are required to discuss with us the issue of the investigation. >> you are the ranking democrat on the committee and this is the first time you heard there is an ongoing investigation with the fbi. >> there were reports. but in terms of a formal announcement, we are doing an investigation of them, we are not investigating issues at these places or investigating oversight capacity or requesting documents as part of the russian protection. this is the first time we have heard we are investigating the fbi. >> andrew mccabe sudden
departure, what we know about it the possible timing. and more ahead. # real milk has eight times more protein than almond milk. real milk has naturally occurring calcium, almond milk doesn't. and it also only has 2% almonds, which looks like this. what's the other 98%? get real, get naturally nutritious real milk. when you have a cold,
. before the break you heard from the chairman of the ranking committee. joining us republican committee member congressman rick crawford of arkansas. the fbi director christopher ray said he asked for the opportunity to come before the committee. i am wondering how can republicans say they are for transparency but not want to hear from them. >> i am not sure that is
entirely correct. my understanding is he did review the memo in question. and there was no changes of any factual information so they have had eyes on that memo. >> not true that the fbi wanted to come and address the committee. >> that is not what i am saying. i am saying the director did have an opportunity to review the memo. they were given the opportunity to edit and no factual errors that needed to be corrected. >> but that doesn't necessarily mean that he wanted it to release. he saw it. but why not allow the fbi the opportunity to do that? >> i don't make that decision. i would be okay for them to come and brief us.
they have briefed us on a number of items there. is an assertion that he did not see it and he did. given the opportunities to make edits but no factual material edited or changed in any way. >> the democrats asked for both memos to be vetted by the department of justice and they say that too was turned down by republicans. >> i don't think that is necessarily accurate either. there is a process by which this memo would be to share with the general membership of congress and before it would be released to public, it would be vetted. ours is viewed by as i said
director. material that might be released. >> the department of justice though, they did warn republicans not to release this memo saying it would be extremely reckless to release it. >> you can see why they might have issue with it being released. >> congressman shiff saying to his knowledge the republicans opened an investigation in the fbi and doj. >> there has been long ongoing investigation. to say you didn't know that was going on, i question that. we have had problems with doj
being forth coming with information that has been requested and subpoenas being ignored. >> you are saying they don't believe it would be extremely reckless, they are just trying to cover their own hide? >> i am not saying they don't believe it would be extremely reckless. what i am saying is we have a mandate, a constitutional mandate a responsibility to the american people to exercise oversight and particularly where there is constitutional concerns. if in fact that is the case, it is our responsibility to make sure we take corrective action and make sure it doesn't happen again. >> if the department of justice wrote a letter saying it is extremely reckless and part of the concern is it gives away sources and methods, why not let the department of justice take a
look at it. >> sources and methods, you are right, we don't want to reveal sources and methods. that is why we dave the direcgar and two of his staff the opportunity to review that. >> so the department of justice is wrong when they said it is extremely reckless. >> that is their opinion. we have a responsibility to exercise oversight over federal agencies. and it may not appeal to doj, but if there is wrong doodoing, have the responsibility to expose that and take action. >> how many have seen the underlying classified information that form the basis for this memo? >> i am not sure about that. an agreement has been reached to allow that. >> congressman shiff says three.
trey gowdy and two other staffers who wrote it. >> i'm not sure. i couldn't give you an accurate count there. >> is it appropriate though, if they themselves haves not seen the under lying classified information. >> in the context of the information we have seen, this memo is factual, accurate. director and his staff have an opportunity to release it. and so, there were no edits made. and look, we have a responsibility that we have to not only do we have to protect as you mentioned, sources and methods, it is important. making sure that all of our equities are protected. at the same time balancing constitutional rights of the american people and if we find a particular u.s. person somewhat
repugnant whether we like that person or not, they are still a u.s. person and entitled to due process. >> the democrats had a problem with the facts that are in this memo and wanted to release their own memo. in the spirit of bipartisan and transparency, why not allow the democrats to release their memo at the same time. >> we are given the democrats the opportunity to do what we did. and it was nunes that gave the opportunity to release their memo >> that is next week. >> he made the motion for that to be released immediately. the members of the house can go in and view those documents as early as tomorrow as i understand it. but we have a procedural path to
follow in that they will review it. and we had a week to ten-days to review our four page memo. and they can read it, come back and re-read it if they wanted to and digest the information. we are giving the democrats the same opportunity as well. we all voted to support that. this was a unanimous vote. we did vote to give them the opportunity to present the minority memo to counter ours. >> as you know, what congressman shiff is saying you want to get your memo and have that be the narrative for a week and there is not a procedure with has to be five days. >> i am not saying it has to take five days for that to sit in and allow members to come down and view it. there is no prescribed period for which that memo is open to
the memo. what i am saying is if we vote as a committee, to release the memo to the public and insert it into the congressional record, it has to go to the president and then a five-day waiting period to be inserted in the next congressional day that is the time line. >> why not let it go to tonight to the president. >> that is a separate vote. we think it is fair that the members get ample opportunity to review it on both sides just as they did with the majority report. >> so you could have taken a separate vote and allow the democrats to send their report to the president at this hour. >> we could have, but they also indicated they wanted to have fbi and doj look at their report and that is fine. >> to look at republican report
as well as the democratic one. >> right. and as i said before the fbi has seen our memo and it was only four pages so he could read that readily and come up with an opinion. as i said, there were no issues factually raised with the con fein -- content. >> a lot going on including a new tweet from james comey. find out what comey has said about mccabe. next. now, she can have her cake and eat it too. nexium 24hr stops acid before it starts for all-day, all-night protection. can you imagine 24 hours without heartburn?
over the last eight months when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. the tweet comes as we have been discussing shortly after the house intelligence committee voted along party lines to release a memo coming by republicans. mike rogers, also phil mudd corey ka derro. >> toward the end he said they could have voted a second time and released it. >> there is no requirement for the house to see anything in that regard. if the house committee that controls the classified information which is the intelligence committee in this particular case decided they wanted it released they would vote on it at the same time. >> when the congressman says
chris wray looked at it and didn't have any changes does that mean the fbi reviewed it. >> no the director reviewed it and said i am going to have to take this back to the folks who do this every day to look at it. you want to give the people who do the classified restrictions on all of this type of material you want to bring them in and have an opportunity to look at it. what frustrates me most about this is getting a fisa order is a complicated process and it involves a lot of people. the agents working their sources and sources of information. could be signals collection or a human source that brings this together. they may or may not have used that dossier. there is lots of corroborating information there. and it goes to an fbi senior and
another senior and a judge and rewrites. so unless they looked at all of the files containing that source information, i argue this memo is probably not reflective and that will come out at some point. and so i think this is a big mistake for them to rush to this to try to kind of control the narrative on what they want to have happen. if they believed that the fbi did this which i argue as a criminal offense if you purposely misled the judge in a fisa court, somebody needs to go to jail, releasing a memo is almost farcecal. if that is what you believe, you launch a full investigation. >> phil mudd, you were saying if fbi director christopher wray had put pen to paper, that would
have been a ridiculous start. >> as soon as you start editing, you add legitimacy to the document. let me say you are accused of a crime by the fbi or state local police officials, they write out the report. you look at the report and say this is 180 degrees off, nothing happens. would you consider editing the report? as soon as you put pen to paper, you allow members to come out, they must believe a substance of it is right because they helped to change the language in the document. >> is this partisan politics? >> this is a low mark for this house intelligence committee. this is a low water mark for them. the way normally either in the house intelligence or senate
intelligence side, they either question the legality, the factual accuracy, any of that, they would go back to the intelligence agency. and having that person review this memo if in fact they want it to be released publicly and then actual serious review of what of this memo is classified information should be reviewed for classification purpose so no harm to national security. and there is a process. the house intelligence committee did no the have to invoke this historic historic historical procedure they never used. the only reason to do that is if the product they are trying to get out to the public is a politicized product and not something that accurately reflects the investigation. >> michael is this about
obstructing the investigation or delaying it or putting question marks on the fbi, on the department of justice? >> an effort to put an alternative narrative out in the public domain. and hope that they can somehow gain the advantage if you will. but they, i think as chairman rogers says, they are going to lose on this. a fisa warrant is approved by two of the three branches of government who has done extensive reviews of this information have gone forward with it. now you have a congressman who didn't read the material and write a summary of it. it is wrong and the executive branch should say you know what, you have nothing to do with classification. that is the executive branch's prerogative, stay out of the way. down the line, the president has said that congress gets
declassifies things and endeavors to release it. >> republicans are not willing to meet with the fbi director to hear the bureau's concerns about the nunes memo. >> you may recollect that the senate put you out a lengthy document on how the fbi treated calling it torture. they did that simultaneously. they never spoke to any of us. never spoke to any of us to speak. do you know what it is like to be attacked by the member of congress. and the american congress has never said you are named in this document, what did you mean by this memo. how can you investigate someone if you never spoke to them about what you meant.
it doesn't make sense to me. >> i thought that the torture memo, i thought it took about two years before that was released from the time they initiated the effort and final release. it did go through exhausted review. >> the chairman of the committee, nunes left it up to two staffers and one other member of the committee. >> if there are investigations that are either on going or current surveillances, normally intelligence committees don't review those. now in an extraordinary circumstances if the chairman, or the ranking, if they need to see them, there can be circumstances that they would let them see them. chairman nunes didn't go over and bother to review the underlying materials how does he
know whether the information is accurate. >> this looks like it is laying the foundation for chipping away -- removal of rod ro rosenstein, is that the strategy? >> i don't understand what they are trying to accomplish by a memo and they make great points. mccabe had these biases going. if you want to investigate that, that is fair. i do believe, i am worried about the fbi overreaching but congress as well. and we should be equally concerned about the facts. this picks facts that they like and puts them in a memo and puts them out there. and that is for a political memo. having the vice chairman isn't any better. what happens is they are
destroying the credibility that one committee gets access to information that no other committee on the capital gets. i worry about that. these aren't investigations anymore, they are campaigns, extensions of campaign. if i can give you the five facts to make you think the guy is a rotten dog or good dog, i win. and when you start to attack an institution like the fbi, there may be a few bad apples in the fbi. i don't think anybody denies that. but it is an incredible institution. >> there are inspectors general whose job it is to investigate these types of things within the department of justice and fbi. >> we are going to talk to the republican member -- memo and whether mueller needs protection. weekender you are,
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breaking news tonight a confrontation. republicans voting to publicly releasing their own memo that may accuse the fbi. aside from a few members of congress and the fbi director no one has seen that memo. democrats are outraged republicans are making it public. with me is a member of the senate intelligence committee. when you see what is going on with the house intelligence committee, is this politics. >> i haven't seen the memo out either. we have tried to focus in on the senate intelligence side. to see us all working together is important. we have to put out a common set
of facts and agree on those facts. >> is it important for the fbi, for the department of justice to review this memo. >> sure it is. any time information comes out. it is important that everyone has a chance to look at it and we need to delete this. an individual reading it may look at it and say i don't have a problem with that. and the person that it was gathered from will know how that is. >> one of the republican congressman on the economy says director wray on the fbi had a chance to look over the memo and didn't have factual changes. former chairman rogers saying that is not the way it looks. >> again, the amount of being changed on the facts of it. how those facts are derived and check sources and methods at the end of the day. >> in terms of mccabe leaving,
how much of a surprise is it. and ha do you think went on there. >> it is hard to know what went on. one of the most beneficial people to us is once they leave the administration, they can say whatever they want to say and aren't restrained. it doesn't surprise me. quite frankly he was approaching time to retire. there have been rumors and things coming out. the andy that is mentioned in some of the text messages that are extremely partisan. this gives the opportunity to be able to solve it. >> do you worry about the chipping away at the legitimacy of the fbi. >> 35,000 folks who work for the fbi are fantastic folks. people in leadership or d.c. or in any field office.
the important work nationally and internationally. that is a problem to us. we want to be able to recruit great people in the fbi. >> you were recently in mexico and central america. some of the figures you were giving me what is going on is alarming. >> it is alarming. a lot of people haven't paid attention to what is happening in the counter narcotics fight. 40 to 45% of that mexico is run by the cartel. we don't realize that we have that same experience on the southern borders. growing poppies and producing heroin, producing fentanyl. >> the introduction of the mexican military was supposed to make a big impact on stopping that. >> and they have in areas but still large areas that are still unresolved and in those local
areas, the local police departments and judges and others are not getting the job done and mexico is a long-term ally and good with them. >> i want to ask you tonight, the trump administration would not enact new sanctions against russia. and i am >> i continue to believe russia is very actively engaged in not only undermining our democracy but doing that around the world. it's one of the reason myself and others have done a bipartisan bill on election security. we need to assume what they did in 2016 was a learning experience for them. they're going to accelerate that in 2018. >> why not impose sanctions? >> from the administration? we'll get all the final details. we need to get the full details of why he would not impose sanctions on that, and we'll find out. >> you votes for sanctions?
>> i did, and i would again because i think russia has been a bad actor for us and continues to be. >> appreciate your time. thank you very much always. here to discuss tonight's eruption between republicans and democrats over the memo, gloria borger, jack kingston and bakari sellers. gloria, what's happening with this committee? >> well, i think it's kind of stunning. i think it's sort of devolved into partisan wrangling, and i think you have a president right now who is taking on his own department of justice, including the fbi. i spoke with a friend of the president's today, who said to me -- and maybe you can confirm this -- said that the president believes that his fbi is corrupt, period. flat out, that's it. and i think what you saw going on today was devin nunes and many of the people on that committee were basically saying the same thing. and that even though the head of the fbi said, please don't do this right now. can i come up and talk to you?
they said they want it released. and my next question is, what is chris wray, who runs the fbi, do next? >> that's what's so interesting. we had a congressman on the committee saying chris wray looked at it and didn't have any changes, but everyone else we talked to said, that's not how it works. of course chris wray is not going to take out a pen and starts making changes. he wants his own people to review it. is it appropriate to release this kind of information without having the department of justice, without having the fbi actually review it? >> well, they've had an opportunity to review it, and they've had an opportunity to help supply this information. >> they say they haven't. the department of justice wrote a letter saying it's extremely reckless. that was there term. >> i can't react to that letter because i just heard about it tonight. but i do know talking to members that it's been available to members of the congress. 200 members of the congress have read this, and it's interesting that if there's anybody who has let it become a partisan issue, it's the democrats because they should have been there reading the memo and saying, look, this is not right.
>> well, they did. they wrote their own memo pointing out what is inaccurate in that memo. >> they did not read it. they did not come out with what's wrong with it. >> they did. it's in their memos. >> i'm talking about rank and file members could have done that. i think the democrats on the committee felt like there was a line in the sand. >> factually what you're saying, you said they didn't point out inaccuracies, but they did point out inaccuracies, and now you're saying rank and file people -- >> i think the rank and file members have had the opportunity to read the memo and come back and push back on it and they haven't done that. and i think it's going to be an interesting debate because, you know, we haven't read the memo yet. when we read the memo and when we have an opportunity to say, okay, are the democrats right, or are the republicans right -- >> but wait a minute. you're doing double talk. what you're saying makes no actual, logical sense. we won't know what the democrats say because the democrats who did write a memo, despite your saying that the rank and file didn't push back -- >> once this memo is released in
public, the topic's on the table for people to say, this is wrong and here's why. i think the democrat memo in its -- >> i really don't want to jump in because representative kingston, congressman kingston is actually showing why this is nothing more than a partisan football and the conundrum that the -- >> let him -- >> but i do believe what we're starting to see is, one, we're seeing chairman nunes completely in over his head. even more disappointingly, the person who does not show any courage or valor during this moment when he needs to stand up is paul ryan. the fact of the matter is if richard nixon was president and paul ryan was the speaker of the house, then he probably would nominate richard nixon for a nobel peace prize. he has done absolutely nothing to stand up for the foundation and the tenets of our democracy. the big news today, though, and you spoke about it briefly to senator lankford, is the fact that the president of the united states will not implement sanctions on russia, who we know is a bad agector.
if we're waiting on a response to why the president chose not to take this act tomorrow in the state of the union address, then that is just wishful thinking. i am so distraught not as a democrat, not as a south carolinian, but just as an american today because the republican party has let the tenets of our democracy just fall at the wayside. right now people are saying donald trump is above the rule of law, and that simply is not the case. if somebody wants to stand up and fight back and fight for what our democracy means, then so be it. but republicans right now are just cowards. >> just look at how this occurred, though. you see the president, who's been griping about andrew mccabe. he's been tweeting about him for months. then you see jeff sessions, the attorney general, says to chris wray, the head of the fbi, get rid of this guy. chris wray doesn't want to do it. he goes to the white house counsel, don mcgahn, and says, please don't make me do it. and now suddenly he's gone. >> i got to jump in. >> we were getting warmed up. >> i know. >> i need to respond to one of them. >> very quickly.
breaking news, the republicans seem to have found their counter to the russia investigation, and it puts the fbi and the democrats in the crosshairs. the memo they plan to release is just the setup for what they hope will be a mass conspiracy of wrongdoing at the highest levels of law enforcement. all an alleged plot by the enemies of president trump. that's what they're selling. tonight i go one-on-one with minority leader nancy pelosi, who has seen this memo.