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tv   Smerconish  CNN  February 24, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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this is cnn breaking news. >> you are in the "cnn newsroom." i'm ryan nobles in for ana cabrera in new york. the breaking news tonight, the latest chapter in memo wars. democrats and the house intelligence committee publishing their rebuttal to a document prepared by the republican majority. you'll remember the president said the memo released weeks ago by devin nunes vindicated him in the russia probe. that memo accused the obama justice department of using information from the infamous steele dossier for a super secret warrant to spy on carter page. now democrats said that story was misleading and today after redactions were made we found out what democrats say really happened. joining me now, cnn justice correspondent evan perez and boris sanchez. lay out for us what this document says. >> well, i think the importance of this memo is that it adds at
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least a significant new information about the time line of when the justice department and the fbi went to the secret surveillance court to get this very intrusive surveillance warrant to be able to surveil carter page who at the time if you remember in 2016 was named as a trump campaign adviser. national security adviser to the trump campaign. the time line is like this. in july, late july of 2016, the fbi opens a counterintelligence investigation into russian meddling in the election and possible contacts with the people in the trump campaign. it's not until seven week of that investigation is open that the first iteration that the first memos from steele make its way into the hands of those investigators. so people very small -- a small group of people at the fbi headquarters who were doing this very secret, top secret information into the trump campaign. sevens week passes before that information ever gets to them
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and then in october of 2016 is when they go to the court and ask for permission to be able to do the surveillance of carter page. importantly according to the democratic memo it suggests that that surveillance began in october of 2016. and continued into september of 2017. it's also important here, this memo sort of suggests that in addition, ryan, in addition to the investigation into carter page that the fbi opened four sub inquiries. four additional inquiries to people who are connected to the trump campaign. it doesn't identify who those people are. let me just correct myself really. they redacted a number of people who are -- who are under investigation in this memo. it doesn't say the number. we have previously reported there were four people that the fbi was interested in as part of its investigation. this memo redacts that and that might be one reason why you have heard adam schiff be a little
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bit sort of disappointed at the redactions that were made here before this memo was finally made public today. it makes clear that at least according to the democrats they say that the fbi has information that contradicts some of the testimony that carter page gave to the house intelligence committee. that's important because that means they believe he perjured himself and so we'll have to see whether or not they ask the fbi to bring charges against carter page for what they say is testimony that is contradicted by the fbi information. importantly in this document, in this memo, they say that the information in the dossier, the steele dossier only made a small part of what the fbi used to get permission to surveil carter page. they say that none of the salacious parts of the dossier were used.
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only a small reference to meetings that carter page had and it's important to remember that page had been on the radar of the fbi because of his contacts -- repeated contacts with russians over the years. >> right, okay, evan, i want to make this point as well. you tweeted a short time ago a reminder that not only did the fbi not want the republican memo released but they didn't want this memo released. this is a point you have been making all day during our coverage. why? what are their coverages? >> look, it's important because this -- the first memo, the nunes memo was first time that an arm of the u.s. government had ever made public details of a fisa -- of a fisa application and an application for this type of surveillance. this type of surveillance is done in secret. most times nobody ever knows that it happened. the government even if they try to use information, they have to go to other means to be able to use some of that in a criminal case. and it's also important to remember that carter page is -- has not been accused of any
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crimes. he has not been formally charged with anything. there is no crime that he has been accused of by the fbi or the justice department. so all of that is important to remember that the fbi believes that there's damage done by the release of the nunes memo and they believe that this memo is also doing damage to national security. that's why they were opposed to both being released. >> evan perez live for us with his analysis of the newly released democratic memo. let's move to the white house that's where our white house correspondent boris sanchez is standing by. what is the white house saying about the release of the memo? >> hey, there, ryan. sarah sanders put out a statement shortly after the memo was released saying this is a political document that aims to undercut the president. sanders then goes on to reiterate several claims made in given nunes' memo specifically looking at portions that argue that the basis of the russia
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investigation was this steele dossier, going as far as to cite the director of the fbi, andrew mccabe saying there would be no russian investigation without the dossier, something that the schiff memo contradicts. it's not surprising that the white house is pushing back. the president was let's say let than enthusiastic about the release, at least compared to the enthusiasm behind the nunes memo. shortly after the state of the union he was caught on a hot mike telling lawmakers he 100% backed the release of the nunes memo without reading a word of it. as evan noted a moment ago, he went against the advice of his own fbi director someone who he appointed who sources tell us tried to argue to the president that this would be damaging to the intelligence community, damaging to national security. it took only a few days for the release of the nunes memo in contrast. it's taken about two weeks for
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the release of the schiff memo. the white house blocked the release, demanding redactions. the president tweeted that it was a political document. and ultimately this boils down to the belief among the president and some of his supporters that was stated in between the lines of the nunes memo that there's a deep state out there. there's collusion between democrats and the intelligence community to try to derail donald trump's presidency and his agenda with a document like the schiff memo that aims to try to argue against many of the claims made against devin nunes. it is only natural that the white house would argue that it's inaccurate and doesn't paint a fair picture of the basis of the russia investigation. ryan? >> all right, boris sanchez, thank you. i want to bring in congressman eric swalwell, a member of the house intelligence committee. he's on the phone to talk about the release of this democratic memo. congressman, can you hear me? >> yes, i can.
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thanks, ryan. >> so just talk to me about the release of this memo. trying to read the response from the ranking member of the committee, your colleague adam schiff. i get the sense he's disappointed as to what's been left out of this memo. is that your opinion as well? do you feel that the redactions go beyond prosecting sources and some were made with a political purpose in mind? >> well, first, it's a memo that we hoped we'd never have to write. because the republican memo we thought was an unfair, unfounded attack on the fbi. and its investigation. so we sought to correct the record with ours. and the redactions that you see are because we asked the department of justice to do something that the republicans did not which is to review it. now, we don't agree with the redactions that they have made. however, we do believe that this was a collaborative process working with them. that enough information is out there now that the public sees
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that the republicans have put out a phony memo. more importantly that this investigation did not start because of the steele dossier. it started because of george pop adon't alouse and that the surveillance of carter page was warranted because of the amount of information that was concerning about his contact with the russians. so i think that's now been put properly into light. and context. and the best thing we can do now is get back to interviewing the witnesses and telling the american people what happened in the last election. >> that sounds like that's the obvious next step, congressman. but i wonder -- you know, it seems as though the relationship that the democratic members of your committee have with the republican members had gotten pretty divisive. do you feel that it is possible for this committee to right this ship? and get back to a bipartisan investigation into exactly the
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role that russia played in the election? >> well, every new indictment or guilty plea that special counsel bob mueller has been able to obtain that my colleagues will see the seriousness of what the russians did and understand that our obligation to make sure it doesn't happen again. the only way to do that is to show unity. disunity is our best shield and i'm not giving up hope that we could still come together and -- in some meaningful way. but putting the government on trial rather than the country that did us -- did that to us is not helpful. >> well, to that point i want to -- you to respond to what the chairman of the committee devin nunes who authored the initial memo what he had to say at cpac today. he accuses you and your committee the members of your committee of colluding with parts of the government to cover up the way that this fisa process was handled.
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that's pretty serious accusation, congressman. how would you respond to that? >> yeah. you have to remember unfortunately we lost our chairman when -- the day after james comey told congress the president's campaign was under investigation. he went over and showed his loyalties working with the white house. that's unfortunate because we needed an independent investigation not to work with them. so i think his credibility, you know, has been lost on this. i hope that mike conaway is able to return as the acting chairman and so -- until we wrap this up. to the point on the fisa process, you know, it is always fair to review the work of the fbi. but this investigation is open right now. what's so disturbing is that they would be -- you know, calling into question an open investigation as it's playing out and also i think what's been lost is that by releasing the republican memo they turned over
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evidence to subjects in the investigation. meaning that the president and his white house counsel are potential witnesses or subjects of the investigation. they have been shown evidence that an investigator would never want to show to a potential witness before they were interviewed. >> i do want to get your response to some other republican criticism that members of the democratic -- the democratic members of this committee have been leaking details to the press and that it is your fellow colleagues that have been getting some of this information out into the public. do you feel that's a problem with this committee and are you hoping that more of this information stays contained within your deliberations? >> yeah, it's a problem throughout government. i happen to disagree that there's any leaking that's coming from our side aimed at, you know, embarrassing their side. and this is, you know, a refrain we have heard from the president
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as well. when many cases it looks like it was his own white house that had leaks. i mean, heck, a whole book, "fire and fury" was writeen on the white house leaks. i think this is more attacks on process and an effort to ignore the evidence. that's what's so concerning. is if you read the indictments that mueller has put together there's powerful evidence of what russia did and instead we are at war with ourselves and not doing all we can to protect the ballot box the next time we go to the polls. >> all right. congressman eric swalwell of california, we appreciate your perspective on this. a member of the house intelligence committee. democratic member of the house intelligence committee. let's get reaction from our panel. joining me now political analyst, a cnn security analyst, and cnn legal analyst. sam, we'll start with you. it appears that my interpretation of how
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congressman schiff is responding is not completely accurate. i got the sense that one -- from the one tweet they seemed to feel that too much was redacted. that's not the sense you're getting? >> my sense is that schiff along with the members of the house intelligence committee want to see the same process applied to this memo, to the nunes memo and any others that come out. the president chose to listen to the doj and the fbi in this case. various things were redacted. he did not listen to the doj and the fbi on the previous memo. they said that releasing it would cause grave damage to -- >> there were no redactions in the initial e-mail. >> it just went out. so i think the issue is we have to apply the same process to memos coming from whomever. look i hope there are no more memos. i do not think it's positive this is playing out in the public light and i think that as was just mentioned the president keeps weighs in on the ongoing
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investigation rather than letting our legal system function. so let's -- let's listen to the doj and the fbi across the board. let's listen to our intel community when they tell us certain people shouldn't have access to sensitive information. the president shouldn't cherry pick to his advisers. >> okay, your impressions of the memo? >> well, look the memo contradicts the pillar of the republican case against the investigation. at least in recent months that the steele investigation was at the heart -- the steel dossier was at the heart of the information. and we have other information that we're working in. the problem is that the introduction itself indicates that this investigation is not going well. meaning the memo wars. the partisan memo wars. it's already now become a back and forth. who do you believe, which memo are you on the side of? and once you have hit that point it's very hard to have that
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investigation feel legitimate to a broad portion of the public. so that's what the investigators are now pushing against. >> right. i should point out that, you know, obviously it's easy to get wrapped up in the political back and forth about the memos but this is ten pages of substance. there's a lot of meat on this bone to do speak. i want you to respond to one piece. this memo suggests that carter page perjured himself during his testimony to the house intelligence committee back in november of 2017. it says in a few spots that the fisa warrants contained information about page that directly contradicts his testimony to the committee. how significant could that be? >> it's very significant because remember page is the central page in the whole dispute. was this surveillance warrant supported by probable cause when it was issued? and now we have yet another accusation that he may have lied before congress. but you know the whole process is absurd when you think about it from the way that the legal system works. usually when a court looks at
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the legitimacy of a warrant it has all of the information in front of it to determine whether the warrant was properly issued, whether there was probable cause. but here we have a partial release of information by the republicans. followed by a partial release of information by the democrats. it's like putting a jigsaw puzzle together with half the important pieces missing. and then saying to the public, make a decision. the process itself is absurd. we need more information but this release seems to indicate that the fisa judges -- by the way all of whom were republicans. four republican appointees had multiple sources in addition to michael steele supporting the issuance of the warrant. >> i believe we have a tweet from the president. >> shocking. >> all right. we'll show that to you right now. this just in from the white house. the democrat memo response on government surveillance abuses is a total political and legal bust. just confirms all of the
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terrible things that were done then and in all caps so illegal with an exclamation point. all right. so we'll continue to unpack all of this. julian, samantha, paul, thank you for your expertise. stay with me. we'll get more of your insight in just a minute. we are getting new information about what the fbi is saying about the schiff memo and hear what the republican chairman of the intel committee, devin nunes had to say about it. that's after this short break.
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and welcome back. a rebuttal to the rebuttal. mere minutes after the long awaited democratic rebuttal to the nunes memo was released now we have response from the white house and from different sections of congress. this is the president himself via his twitter feed tweeting the democrat memo response on government surveillance abuses is a total political and legal bust. just confirms all the terrible things that were done and then in all caps so illegal. and then seconds ago the president tweeting, dem memo, fbi did not disclose who the clients were. the clinton campaign and the dnc
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and the president's response to that is wow. so to weigh in on this and other things having to do with the rebuttal to the rebuttal we have a very smart group of people with me. samantha vinaigrette, paul callan and julian salazar is a historian and professor at princeton. i'm having a hard time understanding the white house's response to this. the president says the fbi did not disclose who the clients were, the clinton campaign and the dnc. perhaps they didn't explicitly write out the clinton campaign and dnc but on page 5, they talk at length about how the court was very much aware of the political motivation of the funder of the steele dossier. is this an attempt for the president to distract from the substance of what's in this memo? >> his statement is really totally inaccurate in the sense that repeatedly the court was advised that a lot of the information was opposition
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research from the presidential campaign. but at that time the department of justice had a policy that you would mask the name of an american citizen who was not the target of the surveillance. and hence, even the presidential candidates are identified as candidate 1 and candidate 2. they don't use trump's name. now it's obvious to the court who candidate 1 and candidate 2 is. it's also obvious to the court that a lot of the information that's supplied may have come from opposition research from candidate number 2 who happens to be hillary clinton. so it's a disingenuous, ininaccurate and incomplete statement by the white house. >> the other thing worth pointing out the steele dossier was commissioned by republicans interested in opposition research, that left out of the president's tweet as well. this is a political move by the president, isn't it? not so much about rebutting the substance of this memo as much as it's trying to sow discord
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with the american people, isn't it? >> that's absolutely correct. i think there's one way to look at all of the documents from the investigation as legal documents and to understand the legal ramifications, but the other is to remember this is a political process. and for the president what's more important than anything else is not just sowing discord. it's shaping the narrative about every piece of information that we have. and from the beginning, he wants to shape this as a partisan investigation that is ill legitimate. it didn't matter what was in the schiff memo. that tweet could have been prewritten by the president. it's consistent with everything he says and he doesn't care what's in this. he doesn't care. that's what we have to remember. he's making an argument. he's selling a story. and that's what he's basing his political future on. >> but you know what he does care about is timing. and look at the timing of this. what were we talking about before, whether jared kushner was going to get a classified -- you know, get rated for
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classified information. that was the focus. gun control in the united states. children being shot in schools and now all of a sudden he releases this today. very, very suspicious. >> there's another piece of this. that is fitting with past patterns. the president in his tweets -- can't believe we're talk about the president's tweets and not russia, but he knows the outcome of an ongoing investigation before it's finished. we have a justice system that's functioning. bob mueller is conducting an investigation. we see more indictments coming every day and the president is i think to your point, julian, purposefully weighing in to distract from that investigation. pretending he knows what the outcome is going to be, in the same way he cherry picks what when he listens to the secretary of state. >> there's a fair number of trump supporters who will not read the ten-page memo. >> what he's counting on are the
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media outlets on internet and on television that support the conservative point of view so that tweet is intended for them. and the hope is they will share, convey and repeat that message. >> with russian bots reporting it, right? they're going into overdrive right now. >> but it's effective. >> but the substance of the memo is important. >> very important. >> we shouldn't lose sight of that. we'll dig into all of the important aspects that were revealed in the memo because the politics are one thing. but this memo does reveal quite a bit. all right, everyone, thank you for your perspective. we'll take a quick break. we'll have more reaction to the release of the democratic rebuttal to the nunes memo when we come back. [ engine revving ] what's that, girl? [ engine revving ] flo needs help?! [ engine revving ] take me to her! ♪ coming, flo! why aren't we taking roads?! flo. [ horn honking ] -oh. you made it. do you have change for a dollar? -this was the emergency? [ engine revving ]
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it dismantles the republican narrative that the fbi improperly surveilled carter page during the 2016 campaign. joining me on the phone is republican congressman peter king from long island. he sits on the house intelligence committee. the president saying tonight that this memo's release is a total bust. do you agree with the president's assessment? >> basically i do. as far as i'm concerned the democratic memo rebuts almost nothing. the fact is that -- go back to the start. the whole allegation, no allegation, it's been proven at all or suggested that there was collusion between the trump campaign and the russians. as far as the wiretapping, the warrant against carter page, it's obvious that the trump dossier which was paid for by the democratic national committee and the hillary campaign committee was a prime reason why they got the warrant. and they never told the court that. i know there's all this misleading language at the end
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where it says that this could have had partisan purposes. it's much different if you say that it was done actually by the presidential opponents. that was left out. other than that, if they had so much evidence on carter page why do they have to wait till he got the dossier before they applied for the warrant? carter page -- i don't know anyone takes him seriously as a russian agent including the russians or the fbi, because he worked against the russians back in 2013 and he never played a real role in the trump campaign. >> to that point, congressman king, the fact that he didn't play that important of a role, i mean, one of the major assertions in the schiff memo is that the justice department did not use a fisa warrant to spy on the trump campaign or to spy on donald trump. it did say it spied on page but after he was no longer part of the campaign. do you accept that assessment from the schiff memo? this is from the schiff memo,
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not the republican memo. >> first, the republican memo never said there was spying on the trump campaign. they got the warrant against carter page and they based it almost entirely or largely on the steele dossier. what was the purpose of doing that other than to think if they can pick up conversations in the trump campaign. the fact is that carter page had nothing to do with it. when he was on the campaign he had nothing to do with it. nobody asked him for anything, he never spoke to anyone of significan significance, he never met donald trump. i think it's important to bring it out the court's attention rather than using the interlocutory footnote. >> of course it was funded by the republican -- >> totally untrue. what you're talking about is the washington examiner did hire the research firm to do research on donald trump and other candidates. but they had ended their relationship, the steele dossier came in only after clinton and the dnc got involved.
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the washington examiner -- no republican had anything to do with the steele dossier. >> that was the washington free beacon, not the washington examiner. that is a conservative outlet. but i guess the point i would make -- >> no no no. this is wrong. this is part of the misstatements that are being put out about the trump campaign. the fact is that when you talk about preliminary research which had been ended. the steele dossier -- steele was not in the picture until the other investigation was totally over. the steele dossier came about and it was paid for entirely -- every word in the steele dossier was achieve and accumulated and put together after the clinton campaign and the dnc got involved. >> you make the assertion that the fisa court did not have enough information about the political funding and the political leanings of the funding of the steele dossier. but this memo does address that point. you're right they don't specifically use the term dnc or
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the hillary clinton campaign. but it's their assessment that the court was very much aware of the fact that this was a group with the goal of digging up opposition research on then candidate donald trump. he's referred to as candidate one in the memo. isn't that true? >> that's true what adam schiff is saying. i practice law. if you have something that's clear cut as the democratic campaign committee and the hillary clinton committee paying for that put that out. not this round about language where it could be just somebody who has a political interest. somebody who has a partisan interest. that's different that could have been a commentator or a columnist. that could have been anyone out there. but it's different if it's actually paid for by the person's an point and by the -- opponent and the democratic national committee. why did they go to such efforts for me if they were serious they would have included it in there. many legal scholars feel that way. again, when they talk about --
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again in the memo about carter page being a russian agent listen, i don't know how anyone can take page seriously on anything and the fact he went to moscow -- he spoke at a public graduation over there. but carter page was never ever any kind of player in the trump administration -- the trump campaign. he never spoke to trump or any of the top people in the campaign. there was no evidence that he spoke to anybody in the campaign about the trip to russia. why did they go to this effort several weeks before the election day based on a trump dossier to be wiretapping carter page. listen, i have no sympathy for page at all. i don't atree with anything he says but from all the testimony i have listened to that carter page had no real involvement with the trump campaign before or after his trip to moscow which was a public record. >> to that point, this memo essentially accusing carter page of lying to your committee.
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do you think that happened from your perspective? >> no. i don't. i think he was all over the place. page, he didn't meet with people like on the stage when he was over there. and this was a -- if you're involved in espionage, you're not announcing you're making a speech. and he was involved in a case back in 2013 when he worked with the fbi against a russian operation and the fbi also knows that their investigation in that case said that carter page is an idiot and can never be used for any type of espionage. i can't believe they were taking him that seriously and again, if you're doing espionage you're not appearing on a stage at a major university in moscow. so again, to me this was some kind of an attempt by the fbi to use this as a way to investigate and i go back to -- i want to make it clear, after this investigation there's not one hint yet of collusion between the trump campaign and russia. >> now, but one other key point
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that the dossier makes that i want to get your response to. >> sure. >> you know, the nunes memo essentially says that the foundation of the investigation was the steele dossier but according to what this memo reveals the investigation began seven weeks before the steele dossier became a part of their research. does that square with your understanding as to how this investigation began? >> yeah, and that if anything weakens the fbi's case here. they based that investigation on a 28-year-old person on the staff, papadopoulos, who in a drunken conversation to an australian diplomatic said that the russians came to him and said they had evidence on hillary clinton. there was no evidence that any -- anything was ever given to papadopoulos, that papadopoulos presented to anybody on the trump campaign. again, papadopoulos was never any kind of a major player. he had one picture taken on in the campaign and after that he was not involved at all. if that was the basis of an investigation which then
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ultimately led to a wiretap, that's to me pretty flimsy grounds. >> well, papadopoulos has pled guilty for his role in all of this with the special counsel. >> he pled guilty to lying to the fbi. certainly not involved as far as any collusion with the russians that's for sure. >> last question for you, congressman king. we appreciate you joining us on a short notice. in the footnote to the schiff memo it uses language from the fisa warrant application itself. do you think we're getting closer to seeing the full fisa application and do you think this should happen? this is something that republicans have had for for a long time. >> i think so. again, unless there's some something in there that really would hurt national security. now i'm being serious about this. that if there's anything in there that could disclose a source or the method that the fbi uses that should be taken out. but unless it's something that directly involves national security, it should be made public. especially after all the talk that's gone on over the last 18
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months absolutely. >> all right, peter king, thank you, on the news that the democratic memo to the nunes me has been released. we'll speak to mike quigley and he'll join me and i'll ask him what he thinks about the schiff memo release. that's coming up after the break. stay here.
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our breaking news this evening, memo wars. the democrats released a rebuttal to the controversial nunes memo and its claims of bias in the russian probe. joining me by phone is a democratic member of the house intelligence committee, mike quigley. i want to get your reaction first to what the president tweeted. it says quote, the democratic
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memo response on government surveillance abuses is total political and legal bust. just confirms all the terrible things that were done. so illegal. and then there's this. the dem memo, the fbi did not disclose who the clients were. the clinton campaign and the dnc and the president says wow. your response to the president's reaction to the release of this memo. >> it's a big surprise. delusional from day one. i guess that's the best way the describe it. let's recall a few other things, devin nunes the chairman of the intel committee did not deny he worked with the white house to coordinate on this memo. it is a -- the majority memo and it's a memo that the president said completely exonerates him. he releases it with very, very little scrutiny despite the fact that the fbi had grave concerns
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about its accuracy. the justice department said it was extraordinarily reckless. while on the other hand, our memo is released after working hand in hand with those agencies to make sure we weren't being reckless and this did not release additional classified information. >> you're right in that fact that you did work with the justice department and the fbi after the memo initially went to the white house. but we should point out that the fbi still did not want this memo to be released because of national security concerns. they felt the same way about the republican memo. why do you think it was still important for this memo to be released despite those concerns by the justice department and the fbi? >> well, first i think the first memo shouldn't have been release and the view of the second memo it did not release any additional classified information there's a world of difference. let's understand what the second memo does. it rebuts the majority's point
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by point. including evidence which i think bolsters the credibility of the investigation. what it will not do is undo the damage of the first and the reckless use of revealing sources and methods. and it will not by itself restore the trust between the intel community and congress. and finally, it has been a colossal waste of time. we'll probably know in five weeks where no work was done on this investigation by the house. it is part of a pattern of behavior to deflect, distract and i think obstruct what we're trying to accomplish. >> well, to that point about a colossal waste of time, congressman, wasn't there an argument to be made that once the republican memo was released that you could just give your opinions on it and then just move on as opposed to allowing this drama surrounding the rebuttal of this memo to continue? could you have had the same amount of impact as to the american public's perspective of
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this without releasing this memo and essentially continuing this conversation? >> i think we wanted an academic response, a good, solid, legal response. because just our opinions of this isn't going to do much to help restore the credibility of the campaign. i think the legal experts reviewed both documents and they're being the to side with us. all the while that doesn't mean that we couldn't continue the investigation. but what we're seeing now is a continuation of those distractions. understand the republicans are going along with this white house on a gag order. we had mr. bannon, if we're trying to find out what took place, he says i have instructions from the white house. here are the 25 questions that you can ask me and here are my answers that is absolutely no way to conduct an investigation. >> okay. congressman mike quigley of
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illinois, a member of the house intelligence committee, thank you for joining us. and up next, as we learn more about red flags missed by the fbi about the gunman in parkland, florida, including tips that were never acted upon, some teachers return to school for the first time since the shooting yesterday. i'll talk to a teacher who was there when we come back. - [narrator] at custom ink, we make it easy for you to create custom t-shirts and other apparel for all of life's events. get free shipping and on-time delivery guaranteed. go to to get started today. thisreally passionate about- on-time delivery guaranteed. i really want to help. i was on my way out of this life. there are patients out there that don't have a lot of time. finally, it was like the sun rose again and i was going to start fighting back now. when those patients come to me and say, "you saved my life...." my life was saved by a two week old targeted therapy drug. that's what really drives me to-
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the most trusted name in news. wednesday will be a tough one for students and teachers at marjory stoneman douglas high. it won't be a full day of classes and counselors standing
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by. lots of law enforcement in plain sight. teachers returned to the school yesterday. therapy dogs, two golden retrievers were there to greet them. one of them sara learner joins me now, teaches introduction to journalism. english. first of all, i can't imagine what you and your family are going through right now. >> thank you. >> i have to ask you what was it like to work back into your school first time yesterday? >> it was bitter sweet. i hadn't been back to campus since the 16th, which is when we were allowed to get our cars. so i walked in with a group of friends and we had breakfast in the cafeteria. and it was nice to be back together. it kind of felt like the first day of teacher planning week. but then it felt really odd to be there on a friday knowing there were no students there. >> right. of course, your stud ernts are
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going students are going to return on wednesday. >> yes. >> do you think they are prepared for this step in the process? >> i think they are as prepared as any of us can. it's going to be our new normal for a while. it's very strange being there, you no he, from my classroom, i can see the 1,200 building. i went up to my room yesterday, and i kind of had a little and shiite attack while i was in there. it was just as if time stood still. you know, it almost looked like i had just left my room a mess on friday, and went in monday and was kicking myself for not cleaning up on friday. i think the kids are nervous, but we are all nervous. my principal keeps saying there is no page in the playbook about this. >> right. >> so we are all just figuring it out as we go. >> right. it isn't something that you prepare for. but unfortunately this is
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something that others have gone through before. have you been able to talk to anybody who has been through something like this before, returning to school after a tragedy like this? >> i have not. i know that people have reached out to other teachers and people within the school and the school district. but i haven't spoken to anyone who has been through something along these lines before. >> well, you probably didn't expect this either. but now your school and many of your students are right squarely in the middle of enormous political debate about the future of guns in our country. tan the president has been talking about teachers quite a bit over the past couple of weeks. i want to read to you what he tweeted earlier today. this is what the president said, quote, armed educators and trusted people who work within a school love our students and will protect them. very smart people. must be firearms adept and have training. should get yearly bonuses. shootings will not happen again. a big very in expensive deterrent up to states.
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i wonder if this is a policy that would impact you directly. is this something that you would support? >> no, i'll never support teachers being around. there are too many unknown variables. and i don't need a gun in my classroom. i was on cnn the other night. and i explained if i had had a gun in my room, it would have been locked in my closet. and by the time i got my keys to get the gun, i would have been shot. there is no reason for me to be armed. there is no reason to give me a bonus for giving me a gun. 'utah that money in teachers paychecks and our pockets. put that money in more security and additional law enforcement on campus. don't give me a bonus and don't give me a gun. >> right. you mentioned the idea of a new normal, right. this is -- you are never going to be able to go back in time and have this incident not be a part of your past.
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do you think that's going to be the biggest adjustment trying to find a way to live with the fact that this is now part of your life experience? >> yeah. i mean, i lost two students. one i had as a freshman. and the other one i had this year. and it will be very strange having an empty seat in my classroom. it will be strange not seeing lt teachers and faculty around campus who we lost. i think it's going to it be an adjustment period for all of us. even if you didn't lose a friend in this h you know, none of the classes are back in that building. so everyone is displaced. and, you know, it's going to fb an adjustment period for all of us. but i believe that we have the support of the country behind us and the school district has been tremendous in getting us all of the counseling and help that we need.
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>> right. >> and i have the world's most wonderful principal and administrative staff. and i have told the kids, you know, we went through this together and we'll get through this together. and, you know, there is really no -- as prepared as you think you are, you don't realize how unprepared you are until you step on campus. i felt fine. then i got up to my room and it just wasn't good. >> sarah learner, we'll have you in our thoughts this week. i can't imagine what it's going to be going back to school. we appreciate you being with us. thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> i'll be back 8:00. stay tuned the van jones show starts right now. , the van jone starts right now. good evening. i'm van jones. this is van jones show. i want to welcome