tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN January 16, 2019 12:00am-1:00am PST
this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. we have a lot of major developments tonight in robert mueller's russia investigation. this is important, and you need to know what we have learned today. so we're devoting this entire hour to an in-depth look at all things russia. first up, this is it. robert mueller seen filing a heavily redacted court document in the case against paul
manafort, president trump's former campaign chief. but what is not redacted really tells us a lot here. mueller says that he has documented evidence that manafort lied when he denied having contact with trump administration officials. mueller says that in may 2018, after he was indicted, he reached out to the trump administration and then lied about it. manafort began talking with konstantin kilimnik. we've learned that rick gates, manafort's associate is still cooperating with mueller's team, which means the investigation may be far from over. and also today, at the confirmation hearing of william barr, president trump's nominee to be attorney general, he told the senate judiciary committee that he would not interfere with mueller's investigation, and that he would not be bullied by anyone, including the president. and in a rebuke to the trump administration, 11 senate republicans joined democrats in a move to stop the administration from easing sanctions on russian oligarch
oleg deripaska, a putin ally. so, again, as i said, there's lots to talk about here. i want to bring in sara murray with more on mueller's court filing against manafort. sara, good evening you. say there are two main filings on paul manafort. the first is about a russian name that keeps popping up, constantine kilimnik. >> yeah, konstantin kilimnik is an associate that prosecutors say has links to russian intelligence. last fall paul manafort spoke to the grand jury about kilimnik. we know mueller has been interested in paul manafort's shady business dealings. he has already been brought to trial for that. so the question is, what do prosecutors still want with this kilimnik guy? how is he still relevant? we know mueller's team only got this mandate to look into manafort's business dealings because the justice department believed it could tie back to the idea of russian interference or russian collusion. i think a big outstanding question is how does konstantin
kilimnik fit into this broader question of russian interference in the election? what more are we going to learn about him in the months going forward? >> sara, the second clue brings questions into the white house. talk to me about that. >> that's right. we learned over the course of the filings that manafort was still reaching out to administration officials, and prosecutors say he lied about some of those contacts when he was reaching out. and some of these contacts continued after he was indicted. but again, we're learning in this latest filing that at one point, paul manafort, according to prosecutors, was not representing correctly his outreach to administration officials. and in a grand jury proceeding, prosecutors confronted him with evidence, documents that showed he was lying. now, don, you have a grand jury proceeding going on because there is some kind of ongoing investigation. we don't know what kind of ongoing investigation it is involving manafort's contacts with the administration, but it tells you that mueller's team is very interested in that outreach and in finding out what was said, particularly after paul manafort was indicted.
why was he reaching out to members of the administration? and is it possible, for instance, that maybe he was seeking a pardon? the documents don't say that, but obviously that's been a question on the top of everyone's minds as they wonder what manafort could have talked to the administration about. >> let's talk about barr today. he was pretty plainspoken. did the guy we saw today match up with what he wrote in that controversial unsolicited memo to trump's lawyers? >> i think people were more surprised going into these hearings by the controversial memo. i think people who have worked with william barr in the past, people who have known him over the years expected him to be the kind of plainspoken family guy, sort of career guy that you saw in this hearing today. i don't think that they expected this would be a person who was going to be eviscerating the idea that mueller could bring obstruction of justice, an obstruction of justice investigation and then sharing that administration with the president's legal team. that memo really shocked a lot of people going into these hearings. i think what we saw was william barr trying to downplay that and say look, it was completely
proper, but this was kind of my view from being on the outside. it's going to be different once i'm on the inside. i'll have to evaluate this investigation once i get there. so we'll see if that's enough to pass by the senators. >> sara murray with the very latest from washington. we appreciate your reporting. thank you very much. here to discuss matthew rosenberg, juliette kayyem, and michael moore. good evening to all of you. matthew, i'm going to start with all of you. on the same day that trump's pick for attorney general is being grilled on capitol hill about his feels about the mueller investigation, we get this new filing on manafort. mueller also asked to delay rick gates' sentencing. i mean, there is a lot more to be done. doesn't this show that? >> it certainly looks that way. you know, i can't imagine that if you're the president, you're up pennsylvania avenue at the white house, this is a great day for you. you know, you've got your attorney general nominee making it very clear that he is not firing bob mueller without cause. in fact, he is talking about how he is friends with bob mueller
and bob mueller is a straight shooter. meanwhile, you do have this new information about manafort. you know, the great thing about a redacted document is there is less to read, but what's pretty clear is there is a lot of information that we don't know that they do know. and that can't be a good feeling up at the white house. >> michael, when you hear that mueller has evidence that manafort lied about his contacts with the trump administration, and let me repeat that, his contacts with the trump administration in 2018, one thing that this tells us is this investigation isn't just about what happened in 2016, in the 2016 campaign. it's current. >> i think that's true. what we're really hearing is every time we talk about the administration and manafort and russia, those are the three common threads that seem to be running every time this suit gets together. when something quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's a duck. what it tells me is there is much more than sort of a collateral or casual relationship between manafort, trump, and the russians that he is talking to. i mean, it makes me think that there is more to the meeting in trump tower than just they were there to break bread together. there is more to the fact that the russians were in the oval
office than they were to bring trump a house warming gift there in the white house. but that there is significance in the fact that even facing prison time, each the fact that he was under investigation, he had been indicted and had multiple cases, that manafort continued to push things like a peace plan that he was forded out to kilimnik and apparently communicating back and forth with the administration. so it just puts more meat on the bones about the fact that interwoven in this administration we're finding manafort and the russians even going forward. >> let's talk more about that communication with kilimnik, juliette, because -- and then when we find out in a filing that manafort communicated with kilimnik beginning the august -- i think it's august 2nd, 2016. does that timing seem strange because it comes soon after candidate trump said this at the end of 2016? watch this. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.
>> the timing of all this. >> yeah, that was one busy summer of 2016, and i think the timing that we're starting to see unfold is -- exposes two things. one is the extent to which the russia/manafort/trump campaign alliance, and you have to call it that at this stage was happening before the general election in a really meaningful way. the second we learned from the documents today is that it's happening once he is president in a very meaningful way. and so just taking a step back, this is all about the what. take a step back, the why. manafort knows when he is talking to mueller that there are a couple dozen people already indicted, that he is facing two lifetime, you know, jail sentences, that mueller has a team that's much smarter than
presumably manafort's team, and yet he continues to lie. so the why is, is it self-protection or is it something bigger? and that i have to assume is what is underlining the redacted things. i don't think -- this isn't just arrogance that manafort is lying. he is protecting something. and that -- what he is protecting i think is the core of both the counterintelligence investigation as well as the criminal investigation. >> so juliette, when you look at that, you say he is protecting something bigger. do you get a sense from this document what that bigger is? >> you know, people like me, we're putting different public pieces together. so i'm very, very careful about what -- putting pieces that, you know, a "new york times" reporter is not going to be comfortable doing. so i won't do it on air now. but i do want to say one thing. if you look at the connective tissue of what's going on, and especially what happened on friday with the release about the counterintelligence investigation, what you're
starting to see is that the criminal investigation are just data points, and there is some connective tissue around all of this stuff, whether it's collusion or, you know, i tend to use the word the president is compromised because of either family dealings or monetary dealings, but there is a connective tissue here. and the criminal cases end up just being sort of evidence of this overarching theme that we're starting to see unfold and in particular because of this counterintelligence investigation. >> and that's why you're the security analyst. that was very smart what you just said that. so matthew, we also saw senate republicans break with the trump administration on russia sanctions. 11 senate republicans joined with democrats to advance a measure that would stop the treasury department from relaxing sanctions on three russian companies with ties to oligarch and putin ally oleg deripaska.
what is the message here to trump? >> i think the message here is that, you know, trump may be inclined to kind of see these kinds of people favorably and see vladimir putin, his government and his allies favorably, but that the american political establishment on both the right and left isn't inclined to do that, and that trump has to live in the world that is in washington where russia, putin are not seen as friends and not seen as potential partners. >> interesting. can we talk about barr now, michael, the hearing? >> sure. >> i just want you to listen to what barr said about president trump calling mueller's investigation a witch hunt. he seems to be somewhat contradictory of what -- during this hearing. watch this. >> i don't -- i don't believe mr. mueller would be involved in a witch hunt. we have to remember that the president is the one that, you know, has denied that there was any collusion and has been
steadfast in that. so presumably, he knows facts. i don't know facts. i don't think anyone here knows facts. but i think it's understandable that if someone felt they were falsely accused, they would view an investigation as something like a witch hunt where someone like you or me who doesn't know the facts, you know, might not use that term. >> so is he trying to walk back what he said first? is this the careful threading of a needle here? what do you think? >> absolutely he is walking it back. he is playing to an audience of one at this point, and that's the president of the united states. i can't help but kind of laugh at it a little bit there that he backtracked on it. i mean, let me tell you something. he was artful. and i'll say this. i think mr. barr is probably by all accounts a god guy and a good lawyer, and he served honorably as the attorney general before, but he left so many loopholes to move through in his testimony, you could sail a russian tanker through them. i just think this is a -- you know, when he uses words like, well, within whatever the regulations allow, i'll release
this, or i believe barr -- i mean mueller has authority up to what his charter says. he's written a memo that's essentially told us what he thinks about what mueller is doing on the conspiracy -- on the obstruction investigation. he told us what he thinks about that. so that means he has already given an opinion that he thinks mueller has exceeded that. and so to sit there and say to a panel of senators that well, i'm not going to do anything as long as he doesn't exceed his authority, he's already told you he feels that way. and it's unbelievable to me that he would share that information with the president and his legal team, or at least his legal team, we assume to the president before this. and i find that -- i find it unbelievable that there is even questions about whether or not he would recuse. but that's where we are. and so probably somebody got to him after a break and said hey, you need to straighten up because the president wants you to make sure that you reiterate that there is no collusion. and that may be a discussion they had in the senate room. >> somebody said um, hey, man.
so sit tight, everybody. i want to talk than memo that william barr wrote about the mueller investigation and why he said the firing of james comey was not obstruction. investigation. a great dishwasher needs a great detergent. so ge appliances tested finish on over 5000 dishes proving dish after sparking dish that it's not just clean, it's finished. switch to finish quantum. recommended by ge appliances.
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the first 100 people who call will also receive $250 off any hair loss solution from hair club. call now! william barr got the president's attention with that 19-page memo about the mueller investigation, and now he is the president's nominee for attorney general. back with me matthew rosenberg, juliette kayyem, and michael moore. so michael, on this controversial unsolicited memo that barr shared with president trump's lawyers, it concluded that comey's firing could not constitute obstruction. today he clarified that when he wrote it on speculation. he said his goal with writing it was not to get back at the government. does that add up to you? >> not really. it really doesn't. i don't know why you would circulate to it the legal team for the white house about the time you knew they were looking for another attorney general. i don't know why you would be
putting it out there. i think it's commonplace for there to be interaction between former officials and especially if there is a need to have a sort of some continuity of decisions and discussion, but i don't think that you can take the time to write a 19-page memo and say, you know, i think the guy's doing a bad job and this is why. it's not lawful, and i know you're looking for somebody, but i don't need the job. that defies logic to me. and i just don't know why you would put it out that way. >> yeah. juliette recalled in the conversation he had with president trump, he was asked if he knew mueller, right? barr said that they were friends, that mueller is a, quote, straight shooter. when you hear about how he talked about mueller's character, does that give you confidence in how he would treat mueller's final report? >> i mean, it gives me some confidence, because you have to assume the relationship that barr talks about was mutual with mueller and that they have some
relationship, but none of it makes sense if you sort of look at this sort of time frame here. if barr, as he claims now wrote this memo to help educate, essentially, all the president's lawyers, because it was the internal ones. it was the external ones about a theory of the case that made no sense to him or that he viewed as unconstitutional, why would he actually send that to mueller? that's the thing that doesn't make sense to me. if you're actually, right, want to advise the lawyers, the lawyer is not trump's private attorneys. it is the person who may be pursuing a theory of the case that you view as unconstitutional. and so when he said that today, i said that makes no sense to me, and therefore i think -- i think it just proved that the memo was how he got the job and why he absolutely must recuse himself. you can't do both. you can't write the memo to get the job and then say oh, i was only helping in theory. if he were helping, he would have gone to the special counsel and said as a top lawyer of my generation, you have a bad
theory of the case. >> matthew, i'm going to ask you about the former fbi general counsel james baker. under criminal investigation for leaks, that's according to new information released by republicans on the house oversight committee. what's the significance here? >> we're going to have to see. we don't know what the leaks are. we don't know if this is pertaining to things around the russia investigation or something earlier or some other facet of his work. i mean, i think there is something to be said here too. this came -- was released by house republicans who clearly now are in the minority, are feeling the pinch. and baker is has been one of a number of names sorted painted in this deep state conspiracy that is feeding this russia narrative. and it really looks like they were trying to push that a little further along. >> but matthew, baker was mentioned in a few bombshell reports in the last few days. "the new york times" report on friday about investigating the
president and whether he had been working on behalf of russia. cnn confirmed that he confirmed this to lawmakers last fall. what are we seeing now? is this retaliation? >> i don't know. i didn't work on that "times" report so i don't know who the sourcing was on that, to make that clear. i don't know. i don't want to speculate, but at the time it doesn't look great. >> what do you think, michael? what do you think? do you get -- do you get the sense that this investigation into baker is retaliation against people involved in investigating the president? >> i mean, it looks that way. the reason it looks that way is every time that there is some negative information that comes out from somebody who is involved with the investigation
into the president, there seems to be a fire hose of a story that comes out, sort of spray them down with the dirty water and look, this person is bad. and we can debate conduct, and i think there are legitimate debates to have about whether former fbi agents did things right, whether they exercised good judgment. we can debate that all day long, but the bottom line is this has been sort of a pattern from the administration that in order to try to discredit the investigation, what we think will likely come out at the end of the mueller investigation, they try to discredit the investigators. they try to discredit the lawyers. whether we talk about how much money somebody gave to a particular candidate or where somebody plays golf or whatever the case may be, they have made a pattern and practice of discrediting the investigation or attempting to by discrediting the people who have been involved in the investigation. >> that's was my question to you, juliette. we don't know what evidence they have or what's going to come up, but do you think, do you get the
sense this is an effort to tarnish baker's credibility? >> i'll give you two names, jim jordan and mark meadows are the ones who released the names. you know, the house freedom caucus, they are now in the minority. they are huge defenders of trump and anti-mueller. so this does look like it is a way to expose jim baker. there may very well be a legitimate investigation. he's not been from -- he hasn't been indicted. so it might just mean investigation based on concerns that he did have access to a lot of this information, and then a lot of this information became public. but i -- this is really hard stuff right now because there are people in power, and then also people who leave power who know things that really cut to the core of our -- of a clear and present danger for the united states right now. we're having this debate about, you know, people like me are saying where is mattis. why isn't he speaking out right now. why isn't mcmaster speaking out right now. people leave, they have a lot of information, and maybe they do have an obligation to say something to reporters, face the
consequences, but nonetheless, feel that their duty and their oath are bigger than satisfying the concerns of jim jordan and mark meadows. and that's annett cal and existential question, but it's just worth raising here because this is what we're facing. the people know things and have deep, deep concerns about the president. >> i have a very serious question. where is jim jordan's sport coat? [ laughter ] either a suit or a sports jacket or something. i'm just joking. but it's true. i have often wondered. he never has on a blazer. >> i think it's the same place where the president's comb is. >> oh, my gosh! oh, my gosh. all right. we're just having a little fun. thank you, all. i appreciate it. the shutdown, brexit, president trump trashing nato. is vladimir putin checking off every item on his wish list?
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the defeat of the brexit deal. i want to bring in catherine rampell and rick wilson, the author of "everything trump touches dies." in the u.s. we got about 800,000 federal workers going without pay. tsa workers calling in sick. in the uk, lawmakers have rejected theresa may's brexit deal. the largest defeat for a sitting government in uk political history. all this upheaval. what is going on here? >> i think there are a number of world forces that have been unleashed. we had a major world financial crisis ten years ago exactly, and you're still seeing that work its way through the system politically. that's led to populism on the left and the right.
i think that's part of it. we also have a uniquely upheaval causing president in the white house right now who is causing all sorts of self-inflicted wounds, whether it's about international affairs or economic affairs or what have you. so, yeah, there are no adults in charge, basically at this point. >> it just seems like the world is kind of teetering, rick. here we have trump trashing nato. the u.s. is withdrawing from syria, all while the president of the united states had to deny that he doesn't work for russia. all of this unrest play right into vladimir putin's playbook or into his hands? >> oh, you know, donald trump does everything for vladimir putin except volunteer to wash his car. and so putin loves this. he loves the fact that donald trump is this corrosive force who is pairing the old russia and soviet lines and wanted to get out of nato and retreat behind an imaginary wall. putin loves this. in part what you're seeing in the brexit situation and in the election of donald trump and in the continued role that the russian intelligence services are playing in the u.s. political space is part of
vladimir putin's desire to disrupt and to divide the western nations that he sees as his natural opponents. and he is doing a great job at it. and unfortunately, in the case of britain, he's got unwilling partners, and here he's got a willing partner. so putin is winning a lot of these hands right now, and no one is really there to oppose him yet. >> well, in the case of brexit, to be fair, it is believed in fact that russia was involved in advocating on behalf of the leave campaign. so he had some willing partners potentially, at least a couple of years ago. they may have changed their minds, of course, since then because they realize that nobody knows what brexit actually means, and whatever deal is not on the table, everybody hates it. but at the time, at least, there was, you know, a willing partner amongst more than half of the population.
>> it's interesting when you say that. >> sure. >> and i digress a little bit. it's interesting when they were interviewing people about brexit, much obamacare and the affordable care act. they just thought it was something good. they didn't know. >> i think they knew they wanted to give the middle finger to europe. i think that's basically all it was. what that actually meant in practice, what that would mean for the free movement of people or of goods or the ability to fly on to the continent. >> they didn't think i through. >> they didn't think it through. that's in part because nobody thought it would pass. in the same way people didn't actually expect trump to win the white house. so people didn't think through what was actually going to come after election day. >> so the president says that no one has been tougher on russia than he has, right? but in actuality, it's congress who has been tough on russia. some of these things, some of these sanctions they had to put into place. >> obviously. trump had to be dragged kicking and screaming essentially to implement some of these sanctions.
some of them he is now obviously trying to roll back. but, no, he is not tough on russia. any chance that he has he praises dear leader putin, and, you know, has exhibited no interest whatsoever in staying anything that might cross putin, and we don't know why. and i think that's very troubling. >> trump's nominee for attorney general, william barr, vowed to protect mueller's investigation today saying he is committed to transparency, doesn't believe mueller would be involved in a witch hunt. could the president end up turning on barr the way he has on so many others? >> he could, don, but i have to tell you, i think there are a lot of people in d.c. tonight who are wondering about the divergence between some of barr's written testimony and some of the answers he gave today. and i think that there is a very great sense of caution that on
the side of folks who are favorable to the mueller investigation, that barr was saying just enough of the right things to get through the vote and that he may have some other intention here, and he is carefully parsing his language in some of these questions today. i think one would be wise to be cautious about this given the how close we are to some very critical inflection points in the mueller investigation and how nervous the president is about anything, you know, that gets closer to him than it already is. >> rick, barr described turning down an earlier request to join trump's legal defense team. here's what he said. >> i said at my point in life, i really didn't want to take on this burden and that i actually preferred the freedom to not have any representation of an individual but just say what i thought about anything without having to worry about that. and i said that i -- my wife and i were sort of looking forward to a bit of respite, and i didn't want to stick my head into that meat grinder. >> rick, you know what you say. everything trump touches dies.
why would barr even want this job right now? what's in it for him? why go back into the meat grinder? >> it's one of the great mysteries right now. the argument in his favor is he is an institutionalist and a guy who believes in guardrails and systems, and the doj's integrity, and on the flip side of it is this is a guy like everybody else in d.c. has been compromised in some way by trump and trumpism. i think there is really a great question of the jury still being out about barr. i do think he will be confirmed. i think that they're going to have the votes to confirm him because the alternative is what? matthew whitaker, the hot tub time machine guy? i just don't -- i don't see how you have a scenario where the senate does not confirm this guy. >> rick, you have a way with words. thank you. i appreciate it. senate republicans breaking
with president trump to move forward with sanctions against a russian oligarch. we're going to tell you why this is important, who these oligarchs are, and just how connected they are to the kremlin. t-mobile knows dancing is better when you include a partner. singing is better when you include a friend. and unlimited is better with a phone included. it's true. forty bucks with the other guys, doesn't include a phone. so, start the new year right. join t-mobile and get unlimited with a phone included for just forty dollars per line. that was, surprisingly, not terrible. even without scrubbing, lysol power toilet bowl cleaner attacks tough limescale and rust stains to clean 10 times better than clorox liquid bleach. lysol. what it takes to protect.®
a big rebuke to president trump today for senate republicans. they joined democrats with democrats to advance a measure that would stop the treasury department from relaxing sanctions on three companies with ties to russian oligarch oleg deripaska, a close ally of the kremlin. 60 senators are needed to pass a resolution on a vote expected tomorrow. so who is deripaska?
why was he a bridge too far for some republicans? let's discuss now. julia ioffe is here as well as jeffrey edmonds. thank you both for being here. julia, let's talk about oligarchs. most people think of them as powerful businessmen. but they have close ties to the kremlin. are they taking orders directly from putin? >> it's complicated. you know, it's interesting to see people described -- oligarchs described as close to putin, when in fact you cannot be an oligarch and not be in some senses close to putin. you have to play only by his rules, otherwise your days as an oligarch are numbered and are probably in the single digits. sometimes they take their orders directly from him, like when, for example, deripaska was ordered on live national tv to
reopen a factory that he had planned to close, putting a lot of people out of work, and they complained to vladimir putin, and he humiliated deripaska on national tv, made him reopen this factory, and then asked for his pen back. so sometimes they do. sometimes they're asked to foot the bill for big infrastructure projects. it's this kind of unofficial hidden taxation that is part of the job of being an oligarch. a lot of them hold money for putin. we don't know how much. a lot of it is kind of unofficial and off the books. so, again, you have to be close to vladimir putin and to play by his rules to be an oligarch. >> so jeffrey, konstantin kilimnik is a focus of the special counsel's investigation. manafort has been accused of sharing polling data from the 2016 presidential race with konstantin kilimnik who also has ties to oleg deripaska. what does mueller's focus tell you here? >> well, i think the focus is really on the -- manafort's -- in giving polling data to kilimnik, he is giving essential data on divisions in u.s. society to somebody who is tied
to the intelligence services. i think that's really a way to focus on right now because that gives russian operatives an ability to move into those areas and actually widen cleavages in our country. >> so talk about his ties with deripaska, kilimnik. >> i agree with julia. it's complicated. deripaska is a traditional oligarch. now kilimnik does have ties to intelligence services, he's got different masters it's important to remember there are two types of people with power in moscow there are the traditional oligarchs who had ties because they are rich and got rich after the cold war, and those with ties to putin who are rich because they have power. like julia was saying, they all have to take their orders from the kremlin. >> julia, now 11 senate republicans breaking ties with trump to keep sanctions on deripaska's company.
tell us more about deripaska, why lifting sanctions on him seems to be a red line for republicans. >> well, it's also -- the question is also always why lift sanctions on deripaska, why lift them now. deripaska is one of, you know -- i heard one russia expert describe him as the scariest oligarch. he has -- he was involved in privatizing the aluminum industry in the 1990s. that was the bloodiest privatization battle of them all. it was known as the aluminum wars. hundreds of people were killed. to come out on top of that, i'm not saying he killed anybody personally, but to come out on top after the aluminum wars, to own basically most of the aluminum industry in russia, that, you know, that raises some questions about your past. he has been denied visas to the u.s. repeatedly. the only way, in fact, that he can visit the u.s. where he has some property is on a diplomatic passport that the kremlin has gotten for him.
the kremlin often lobbies personally the foreign minister. putin himself have asked american leaders personally to lift these restrictions on deripaska. the question is what's in it for the u.s. also getting back to konstantin kilimnik, who has these ties to russian intelligence, we broke a story in 2017 about how paul manafort, while he was working for the trump campaign for free, while in debt to deripaska for $19 million, was sending e-mails to kilimnik saying is deripaska seeing how good of a job i'm doing on the campaign? are you sending him clips about how good of a job i'm doing? why are you lifting these sanctions now? why are you lifting them at all, you know? it just doesn't really make any sense. and this is what i think most people in the foreign policy national security establishment were scared of when trump came into office, that he would
immediately undo these sanctions. in fact, michael flynn, in his very brief tenure as national security adviser, was pushing to lift sanctions against russia unilaterally. >> let's talk about a little bit more about this, jeffrey. because after the vote this afternoon, this is what you said on twitter. you said "it looks like legislative is again having to take on russia policy." trump says that he has been tougher than anyone against russia. what is the reality here? >> that's simply not true. what you've seen is the vacuum he's left in his personal role as the head of foreign policy has had to have been taken up by congress. it's congress that passed the countering america's adversaries sanctions act. that's a tough russia act, but that's not something he wanted to do. he didn't want to kick out all of the diplomats after the skripal poisoning. all of the actions he referred to are things he didn't want to do that had to be pushed by
other parts of government. >> and i think what's also interesting, trump -- a lot of his mistruths, let's say, or untruths start with a kernel of truth. and his administration has in fact been tough on russia. his administration has put out even more sanctions against russia, wave after wave of sanctions against russia. the trump administration has expelled russian diplomats and intelligence operatives. however, that wasn't trump. the reason i'm saying trump administration and not trump is because they're often two different things. it's like this two-headed hydra, and our allies abroad, as well as our adversaries in moscow often don't know which head to listen to because there is the trump administration and then trump himself. >> i got to go, julia. >> when trump wanted to veto the sanctions bill, moscow took notice. >> thank you very much. i'm out of time. thank you so much. i appreciate both of you. william barr says he and robert mueller are good friends. the president seems fine with that. will that change? infused with eighty lavender flowers in every bottle. air wick essential oils smells so real we put it to the test with real people. this one smells more like lavender. that one.
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i want you to listen to this because it might surprise you. trump's attorney general nominee william barr said that he is actually pretty tight with robert mueller. barr says he told president trump that he and the special counsel are good friends. >> i told him how well i knew bob mueller and how the barrs and muellers were good friends and would be good friends when this is all over and so forth. and he was interested in that, wanted to know, you know, what i thought about mueller's integrity and so forth and so on. and i said bob is a straight shooter and should be dealt with as such. >> they are so close that he calls him bob. not director mueller, not robert. just my good old friend bob. now, it's not clear how the president feels about their
friendship. he hasn't said anything. but remember, the president has frequently claimed on twitter that special counsel mueller has a conflict of interest because he's friends with james comey, the fbi director trump fired over the russia investigation. and don't forget this outrageous claim that president trump made to the daily caller, and here's a quote. he says, "and he's comey's best friend. and i could give you 100 pictures of him and comey hugging and kissing each other. you know, he's comey's best friend." despite the president's claims there's no evidence of a close friendship between the two, who had worked together at the department of justice. there are some pictures of them in a formal capacity for their jobs. i'm not getting a best friends kind of vibe from those pictures. and a reporter from buzzfeed followed up on trump's crazy claim that there are 100 pictures of robert mueller and james comey hugging and kissing. james leopold sent a freedom of information act request to the fbi asking for the images. what he got back was nothing. zero pictures. the fbi responded to the request saying that they searched and
were unable to locate records responsive to the request, and then they closed the case. james comey said that his wife was relieved that the pictures didn't exist. and the lie from the president about mueller's conflicts of interest was debunked. so last week senator lindsey graham told reporters that a.g. nominee william barr and mueller are in fact best friends and that their wives attended bible study together and mueller attended the weddings of barr's children. so if comey and mueller being friends was trump's idea of a conflict of interest, it seems the president doesn't mind that his a.g. nominee and the special counsel investigating him are actually real-life friends. or he just doesn't mind right now. time and tweets will tell. thanks for watching. thanks for watching. our coverage continues. line. see the world with this guy. and hit the town with these girls. in a clinical study,
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i will not be bullied into doing anything. by anybody. >> bipartisan praise for william barr. the nominee for attorney general vows to let robert mueller finish his work, but will the public see a final report? the calls for the government shutdown is growing rapidly. and uk lawmakers reject brexit plan. theresa may faces another no confidence vote