tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN April 19, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
>> or remember, you don't need to personally know your hero to nominate them. you can do it right now at cnn heros.com. i'm anderson cooper. i'll see you again tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on "360" and also 11:00 p.m. edition for a live edition. "the lead" right now with jake tapper starts now. >> robert mueller has left a decision on congress' doorstep. what will they do? "the lead" starts right now. president trump cursing and ranting about the, quote, crazy mueller report, after the special counsel painted a picture of a president saved from himself by disobedient staffers and a white house culture dominated by dishonesty. breaking today, a top democrat issues a subpoena to try to get the full mueller report. he calls it a road map to investigate this president. might this lead to impeachment? and is that wise for democrats. plus, 14 investigations. what legal perils lie behind
those redacted lines for president trump and his associates? i'm jake tapper. if you thought the mueller report was the end, it really might just be the beginning. house democrats have issued a subpoena today to obtain the full report. all the underlying evidence and zero redactions. the democrats are now faced with the question of what to do next, after robert mueller made it clear he found no direct evidence of any member of the trump team conspiring with russia to criminally interfere with the 2016 election, while also describing numerous incidents of potential obstruction of justice by the president. and simultaneously, painting a devastating picture of a white house and a presidency beset by chaos and prevarication. a president saved, perhaps, only by the doj guidelines to not indict a sitting president, and the president's own staff's refusal to carry out his direct orders sometimes. as one senior administration official put it to me this
morning, reacting to the report, quote, that the president makes absurd demands of his staff and administration officials, who are alarmed by them, and reluctant to follow them, is not only unsurprising, but has become the norm. today, an angry president trump called the statements made about him in the, quote, crazy mueller report fabricated and totally untrue, and quote, total bs. although he didn't say bs. it's a report that we should note was, in part, based on interviews with true trump insiders such as hope hicks, reince priebus, and on and on. those insiders telling the special counsel under oath, a special counsel who sentenced people to jail for lying to him, about all the times that president trump lied to the american people, to you. reports president trump tried to brand as fake news, reports that were 100% accurate, all along. so while the president has been cleared of conspiracy with
russia, his white house has been exposed for other misdeeds. cnn's kaitlan collins kicks off our coverage now from the white house. >> it was a complete and total exoneration. >> from total exoneration to total bs. president trump changing his tune on the special counsel's report one day after its release. tweeting that statements made about me by certain people in the crazy mueller report, in itself written by 18 angry democrat trump-haters, which are fabricated and totally untrue. the president adding a warning to watch out for people that take so-called notes when the notes never existed until needed. because i never agreed to testify, it was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the report about me. some of which are total bs. the president didn't use that short hand and didn't finish that thought, but at the eye of his tweet storm is former white
house council, don mcgahn, who according to the mueller report, took detailed notes of his conversations with trump, including one where he asked, why do you take notes? lawyers don't take notes. mcgahn responded that it was because he's a real lawyer with a legal responsibility to keep an accurate record. trump responded, "i've had a lot of great lawyers, like roy cohn. he did not take notes." the report details a troubled relationship between mcgahn and trump, but reveals the former white house lawyer was a major player in stopping the president from influencing the investigation, potentially protecting him from an obstruction charge. the report reveals a president who lied often to the public and his own staff. >> what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening. >> reporter: including claiming he never tried to fire mueller, which the report says he did. >> did you want to fire robert
mueller? >> fake news, folks, fake news. typical "new york times" fake stories. >> reporter: he claimed he wasn't pursuing business in russia, but the report says he was. >> i promise you, i never made -- i don't have any deals with russia! >> reporter: he insisted he knew nothing about wikileaks, though the report says he directed campaign associates to find hillary clinton's deleted e-mails. >> i know nothing about wikileaks. >> but the dishonesty from the white house didn't stop there. press secretary sarah sanders now under fire after admitting to investigators that she wasn't basing this claim on anything. >> so what's your response to these rank and file fbi agents who disagree with your contention that they lost faith in director comey? >> look, we've heard from countless members of the fbi that say very different things. >> reporter: today, sanders defended making false statements to reporters. >> i'm sorry that i wasn't a robot like the democrat party that went out for two and a half years and stated time and time
again that there was definitely russian collusion between the president and his campaign. >> reporter: so today, jake, she characterized it as a slip of the tongue, even though it was a remark that sarah sanders made multiple times over the course of those several days. in another interview, she was asked if the president had ever asked her to lie. she said he had not and that he had also never instructed her, jake, to break the law. >> all right. kaitlan collins, thanks so much. let's chew into this with my experts. let's start with sarah sanders, admitting to the special counsel that something she said, she had claimed, that fbi agents were contacting the white house and telling them how happy they were about comey being fired. she told the special counsel under oath that that wasn't, quote, founded on anything. scott jennings, she's been trying to spin that since the release of the report. you heard some of that. at least she wasn't talking like a robot, like democrats, she said. wouldn't the decent thing to be,
just to admit that she shouldn't lie to the american people and apologize for it and then move forward? >> yeah, look, i don't condone lying, i don't condone asking other people to lie. in this particular case, just a little bit more precision would have made it true. i've read op-eds from former senior fbi officials and fbi agents showing their displeasure with jim comey. so there was actually a way to make a true statement there. but the reality is, that there is some lying in this report, there are some reports of telling other people to lie, and we shouldn't condone it. we shouldn't condone it on any side. i don't condone this anymore i condone a political party going out and telling the american people for a whole year, saying their taxes were going up, when instead they were going down. i don't think we should put up with lying. i think the tab ought to be evenly dispersed across the political spectrum. >> i want to be clear, jake. as a communications professional, this should be career ending for sarah huckabee sande sanders. she should never set foot on that podium again. as a comes person, and amanda,
you know, all you have is your word and what you say. and the fact that on more than one occasion, this is just the occasion that we're highlighting today, but there are more than one occasions sarah sanders did not tell the truth from the podium, namely when she said that president trump knew nothing about the payments to stormy daniels, when, in fact, we authorized and signed even one of the checks. she would not be able to continue on this capacity. it is really just a middle finger, if you will, for lack of a better term to the respect that should come from that podium and so to all the folks that have come before her. >> i think their lies have cost the taxpayers -- these lies have cost the taxpayers $25 million. the truth is, there was attempted collusion. there was attempted obstruction. and because they lied and lied and lied at every turn, we had to go have this 22-months-long investigation. this report can be summed up in two volumes. it's not obstruction and collusion. it's dumb and arrogant. the whole first volume is filled
with dumb mistakes that this campaign made. they took all kinds of meetings, and then they lied about it in stupid and dumb ways. and then the second part is about covering up for those lies, because donald trump didn't want anyone to know that these meetings happened. and why? i think the stuff with mike flynn has really been undercovered and i really want to know what robby mook has to say about this. because donald trump tasked national security adviser flynn with going out and trying to find these e-mails on the dark web. and then they talked to some senate judiciary staffer to say, hey, maybe we could get the russians or the chinese or maybe the iranians to reassemble these. this is bonkers stuff. no wonder trump wanted to cof e it up. >> robby, more broadly, you were hillary clinton's campaign manager. what's your reaction to the mueller report and what you read in it? >> the first thing that stands out to me in all of this,
mueller was indicted in the very beginning that he couldn't indict anyone. he was never allowed to indict the center of the investigation, first off. second, what's been remarkable to me in all of this is what's not illegal, okay? so as we were just discussing, the report says that there were no crimes, supposedly, as it relates to russia. but to me, it's remarkable that the president of the united states or a candidate running for president of the united states as a major party nominee can call someone up and say, hey, these e-mails that were stolen by a foreign adversary's intelligence service and given to a rogue actor, who has probably, through the leaks from our intelligence community, literally gotten people killed around the world, people in service of our country probably died as a result of what wikileaks has done. that you're allowed to dispatch someone to contact that
organization about e-mails stolen from the opposing candidate, and that's not a crime. i mean, i think that's what we need to be spending more time talking about. i'm convinced at this point, we're never going to get to the bottom of what happened in 2016. the president is going to stonewall, they're going to create all of these false equivalences to say, he does that, the other side does it, both sides are bad, both sides are not bad, but it's insane to me that you can do these things and not commit a crime. and i think that has to change. >> so just in point of fact, i know that the national security community has warned that wikileaks leaks, especially about afghanistan and iraq, would lead to deaths. i don't know. i haven't seen any evidence that that happened. i understand that people warned that it would. but let me ask you a question, robby. because the mueller laid out that president trump had a reason to obstruct or obfuscate. pardon me in the letter, barr says that the evidence did not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to russian election interference. but he left out that the
evidence does point to a range of other possible motives animating the president's conduct. these include concerns that would call into question the legitimacy of his election and potential uncertainty about whether certain events could be seen as criminal activity by ft. his campaign, or his family. does this explain the president's conduct, he wasn't afraid of anything being found when it comes to conspiracy with russia, because there wasn't anything criminal that happened, but he was worried about other things coming to light. >> well, i think, again, he's been lying this whole time. skpf i assume, at some point, those lies are covering up information that i guess we're just never going to know. and i think this gets back to the issue that the president effectively stonewalled this investigation. he refused to speak to mueller. and as you can see in there, take the example of sarah huckabee sanders, she said something publicly, it was based on absolutely nothing. we would never have known that unless she was under oath,
unless she was under threat of going to jail. and i think the same would have been true with the president. i think we would have learned a lot if the president had been compelled to speak. and i think it also speaks to why we need mueller and others to go to congress, where they can be asked questions openly, by members on both sides. >> and i think that's going to happen. scott, mueller seemed to leave open the possibility that president trump could be charged after he leaves office. former fbi deputy director andrew mccabe even said, he absolutely interpreted this as a road map to either begin impeachment proceedings or pursue charges against donald trump after he's no longer president. what do you make of that, scott? >> well, first of all, andrew mccabe is not a paragon of credibility in my opinion. however, i do think that's possible. and i think the southern district of new york clearly wants to do something to donald trump on campaign finance issues. i think it's ridiculous, of course, but it strikes me that that's also hanging out there. so, yeah, i fully believe that he might have legal issues
lingering from some of this. i think it would be bad for the country. i think it would continue to tear the country apart. but, yeah, i don't dispute that that's a possibility. >> i think it's pretty simple, if donald trump runs his business like his campaign or the white house, he's in trouble. >> everyone, stick around. we've got a lot more to talk about. one top member of the senate just now calling for house democrats to start impeachment proceedings. the chairman of the house oversight committee will join us next. stay with us. most pills don't finish the job because they don't relieve nasal congestion. flonase allergy relief is different. flonase relieves sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose, plus nasal congestion, which pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances. most pills only block one. and 6 is greater than 1. start your day with flonase for more complete allergy relief. flonase. this changes everything. new lower price. wow. that's a lot of asparagus.
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report, detailing trump's efforts to thwart the russia probe. >> i believe he committed obstruction of justice, yes. >> reporter: first, the house judiciary committee issued a subpoena pto the justice department, demanding the full mueller report and underlying evidence by may 1st. next, democrats plan to soon issue subpoenas for records from five former white house officials, including former white house counsel, don mcgahn, who was ordered by trump to fire mueller and disobeyed the president's demands. democrats say the mueller report gives them a road map to investigate the president for obstruction, since it's states that congress may apply the obstruction laws to the president's corrupt exercise of the powers of office. and that it accords with a constitutional system of checks and balances. and the principle that no person is above the law. but republicans said, it's time to move on. >> frustration is not obstruction. i think for those who are pursuing this, i think the american people are exhausted by
it. >> reporter: the mueller report also suggests the probe did not dive into the president's finances. an area that house intelligence chairman adam schiff wants to investigate to determine whether the president has any financial ties to foreign interests. yet some democrats are trying to tamp down calls from the left to pursue impeachment proceedings, saying they ultimately will be unsuccessful because of gop opposition. >> we need to see that the republicans actually have an open mind about the situation, rather than acting like members of a religious cult. >> now, as elizabeth warren is calling for impeachment proceedings to begin in the house, the man who was in charge of that, jerry nadler, the house judiciary committee chairman, made clear that this is not his initial focus. he said that that is not the debate they're going to be having as part of their investigation into obstruction of justice. he says he wants to figure out who did what and then we'll decide what to do about it. then we'll decide what route to go down. so he wants to pursue the investigative route about obstruction of justice, not necessarily impeachment, yet.
jake? >> all right, manu raju on capitol hill, thanks so much. joining me now is democratic congressman, elijah cummings of the great state of maryland. he's the chairman of the house oversight committee. i want to get to impeachment questions in a second. but first, the mueller report makes clear there is insufficient evidence to charge any member of the trump team with conspiracy with russia. isn't this, "a," good news for the country? and "b," something of a vindication for the president on a vital issue? >> not really. basically, when we look at all the facts that have been laid out in the report, things may not have added up to a crime or something that would meet those standards, but clearly we don't want the president doing -- any president doing the kinds of things that have been laid out in this report. we have a president who not only was he lying, but he was instructing others to lie and to do deceitful things.
and it's just -- it's as if they want us to be blinded by what we see. we cannot allow this to happen, jake, because, think about it. once we find out about all the things, these ten items under the obstruction that was laid out by mueller, now that we know about them, we have no choice but to look into them. and i think basically, what mueller has said, has been clear, is that he wanted to leave it up to the congress. and then, that we have to do exactly what chairman nadler has already begun to do, subpoena not only the unredacted record, but also the underlying documents. jake, those documents are very important. and understand, the republicans who are now running around, talking about, let's get on with it, they are the same ones that a few years ago, when comey said
that he was not recommending indictment for hillary clinton, they had comey in their office within 48 hours, getting every single scrap of paper that was used by the fbi during their investigation. and they got it. they got it! so we've got to move on. when i say move on, we've got to continue our investigations. go ahead. >> so let's talk about this matter of obstruction of justice, the ten points that you mentioned in the mueller report. the special counsel clearly leaves the door wide open for congress to investigate and perhaps take action against the president, writing at least seven times about congress' ability, power, and authority. do you want to move forward on articles of impeachment, as senator elizabeth warren called for today? >> i may, very well. because -- but i want to get -- i want to make sure that i've got all my facts in pa ra row. that's why, i want to hear what
barr has to say when he comes before the judiciary. i want to hear what mueller has to say. there are questions that are still open for him to explain some of his actions, both of them. and then i want to see what these notes are that underlie this very report. and then i'll be in a position to make that decision. but i'm not, jake, going to do what the republicans have done. they've gone out there and they constantly do hypocritical things, and then they expect the american people to have trust in them. the main thing, one of the main things we have to do is reestablish trust with the american people and have them buy into it, and hopefully that can encourage their representatives to go along with a process that will address this president and his wrongful deeds. >> house majority leader, steny hoyer, your fellow democratic marylander told cnn that it
would be not worthwhile for democrats to pursue impeachment. are you at all concerned that democrats trying to impeach president trump, would ultimately hurt the democratic party and help president trump, as happened to republicans in the house impeached bill clinton 20 years ago? >> i am. i think steny makes a very good point, but i also think that if the american people stops and really looks at what's happening, and that is the things that this president is doing to basically harm our democracy, and they realize how valuable our democracy is, i think they will pressure their representatives to do the right thing. we've got to continue to paint this picture and show the american people what is happening. >> chairman elijah cummings, thank you so much. and happy easter to you, sir. >> same to you. >> the mueller report did not find that their behavior was
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ongoing matters. this comes as mueller provides the public with extraordinary new details about the levels of contacts between members of the trump team and russians. and as cnn correspondent pamela brown reports, while those contacts do not rise to criminality, according to mueller, they certainly paint a stark picture of unethical behavior by operatives on a presidential candidate. >> reporter: the mueller report shows a total of 14 ongoing investigations, referred out to other offices, but because of the over 1,600 lines of redactions, only two are publicly known. the prosecution of trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, michael cohen. >> i am ashamed of my own failings and publicly accepted responsibility for them. >> reporter: and the prosecution of former obama white house counsel, greg craig, who was indicted for lying about working for ukraine. democrats are also hoping to learn more about trump campaign associates' ties with the russians, though the mueller
report says, quote, the investigation did not establish that members of the trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the russian government in the 2016 election, it contains a long list of contacts between members of the trump campaign and russia. quote, business connections, offers of assistance to the campaign, invitations for candidate trump and putin to meet in person. invitations for campaign officials and representatives of the russian government to meet. and policy positions. those contacts included communications between cohen and the russian government, regarding plans for the proposed trump tower moscow. trump campaign adviser george papadopoulos' contacts with associates of the russian government regarding e-mails damaging to hillary clinton. former trump campaign chairman paul manafort's meeting with his business associate, konstantin kilimnik, who prosecutors allege has ties to russian intelligence. and that infamous 2016 trump tower meeting between donald trump jr. and a russian lawyer. >> whether these contacts were
sufficiently illicit or not to rise to the level of a criminal conspiracy, they are unquestionably dishonest, unethical, immoral, and unpatriotic. >> reporter: those contacts continued after the election, including incoming national security adviser's call to sergey kislyak about sanctions imposed by president obama. to the fallout of the report continues today, with not only democrats, but also now republican senator mitt romney releasing this statement today after reading through the report, saying, "i am also appalled that among other things, fellow citizens working in the campaign for president welcomed help from russia, including information that had been illegally obtained, that none of them acted to inform american law enforcement. reading the report is a sobering revelation of how far we have strayed from the aspirations and principles of the founders." now, i've been speaking to white house officials who, of course,
jake, give a counter view. they say, no matter what you take away from the report, the good or the bad, the bottom line conclusions are the same. jake? >> pamela brown, thanks so much. let's chew over this with our panel. amanda carpenter, mitt romney in his statement, also said he was sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the president. what do you make of it, amanda? >> well, i think we all should be sickened, and i think this becomes a question for the democrats. they're talking about impeachment, but i think they would do better to dwell on what everybody agrees on. this is sickening. listen, the bad judgment and the lies made our countries vulnerable to a foreign influence campaign. if the democrats want to take this a step further and they want to go look into trump's businesses, which i think they have every right to do, they can't just prove that he's a liar and has bad judgment and plays dirty. you have to show how that harms the country. and i can tell you right now, for people that play by the
rules and try to get ahead in this country, they don't get to live in mar-a-lago or trump tower or get to the white house. that's where the disconnect is. that's where a really winning political argument can be made. i think they can win on that. i'm not sure on impeachment. >> i just want to know, so all democrats are not talking about impeachment. i think you saw senator elizabeth warren come out and say what she said about impeachment, because it's actually how she truly feels. i don't think she's going to run a campaign on impeachment. i think she's been running a campaign on policy. i think there's a range of emotions and feelings on the democratic side of the isle. democrats didn't run on impeachment on 2016, but what they did run on was to put a check on president trump. exercising oversight is, in fact, that check. and i think that's why you saw chairman cummings just a moment ago say, look, i share concerns about maybe going too far, and i'm paraphrasing, but he said, i share folks' concerns about impeachment, but we have to look
into this, and if there's a case to be built, things to be uncovered, it's our job to uncover them. we can walk and chew gum at the same time. and that's what house democrats have been and i hope will continue to do. >> and scott, let's just take -- go ahead, scott. or was that robby? >> i'll defer to robby. robby had a comment. go ahead. >> i was just going to say that i agree with senator romney that this is sickening, i agree with him that it's incredibly troubling. i agree with him that it shows how untethered we've become, how unpatriotic people at the highest levels of presidential campaigns can be, but i would just add quickly that i don't think this is just russia with this administration. i think there are real questions about saudi arabia and other countries that have influence right now today on our foreign policy. and so, i would actually urge, along with what everybody else is saying, i think we need to do a big step back and look at all the ways that this president's administration could literally be corrupted by foreign influence. and we could answer these
questions very quickly, if we could just see the president's taxes and he would just turn over information on the family's finances. because it's also not just him, it's his children, too. >> scott? >> you know, i think we ought to take a big step back and look at russia going all the way back to 2010. why did the previous administration not prosecute julian assange when he engaged with wikileaks against our soldiers and diplomats and allies by leaking our secrets? why did we allow vladimir putin to march into crimea? why did we let him pull our pants down in syria? why did we do nothing about the election interference. everybody in the previous administration and in this administration needs to understand, these russians are not our friends. i don't care what business deals they're offering you, i don't care what they say, they are not our friends. i know you think maybe you can try to control them and get them in the iran deal for obama was a big thing, these people wish us harm. they are our number one political foe, and that's true
today and we ought to treat them as such. >> robby, before we run out of time, i wanted to get your take on something, because mueller found numerous trump campaign officials and advisers had more than 100 contacts with russians. mueller exposed more detail about paul manafort, the trump campaign chairman, you're looking right there at trump associates who had contacts with the russians. paul manafort's ties to konstantin kilimnik, who the fbi says is a russian intelligence operative, in august of 2016, according to the mueller report, manafort met with kilimnik and told him about the trump campaign's efforts to win the battleground states of michigan, wisconsin, according to mueller. trump ended up winning three of those four states, almost won minnesota. not normal campaign behavior. what do you make of it, robby? >> we just don't know. there's also evidence that data was stolen from the dnc or potentially strategic products being created by our campaign in consultation with the dnc.
i just don't know. this is the problem, is we -- even this report that from mueller that was supposed to reveal the truth, so much of it's redacted, the president himself won't speak. i don't know to the extent, that these others were interviewed about the specific topics. so i just don't know is the point. but, again, i will just -- i will just re-underscore, i think it's disturbing that all of this took place, and it's not illegal. and i think that's a really big problem moving forward. it should be. >> so it probably should be. >> so if mitt romney is very concerned, perhaps he and a companion in the house can introduce legislation to make this illegal. i mean, i am just aghast as robby and so many other people about what nefarious activities went on and that the trump campaign literally solicited and tried in many different ways to get help from russia. and no one seems to be being held accountable for it, at the highest level. >> all right. thanks, everyone. robert mueller providing a road map, referring 14 different times to investigations to
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to save 30% on all the medications we carry. so go directly to petmeds.com now. we now mow that special counsel robert mueller viewed president trump's written responses to his list of questions as, quote, inadequate. at least 30 times, president trump responded with phrases such as, i don't know or i don't recall or i have no recollection. i want to bring in two people who worked for the u.s. attorney's office for the southern district of new york, former prosecutor, jennifer rogers and june kim, who was sdny's acting u.s. attorney. jennifer, let me start with you. mueller's team referred 14
investigations to other u.s. attorney's offices. 12 of those cases in the mueller report are redacted. did you see any hints in the report about what those cases might be? >> all i saw were black lines, unfortunately. but one thing we can tell, these were matters described as things that were outside of the special counsel's mandate, so they just uncovered these as part of their investigation, but they didn't have anything to do with what they were looking at. so i do think that whatever they are, they're unlikely to be interesting, as far as the mueller report goes, because they won't have anything to do with the russia investigation or the obstruction leading from it. >> and june, attorney general barr said that by law, he cannot release the grand jury evidence that is part of what's redacted in the report. theoretically, though, he could still ask the courts to change that, right? do you think he should? >> yeah, he is correct in saying, rule 6c does provide for secrecy and the department of justice generally takes the view
that a grand jury material could be kept secret. there's been a recent d.c. circuit decision that actually held that the court does not have the inherent authority to release grand jury material. so, he is correct in saying that there is law that precludes the disclosure of grand jury material. they could, nonetheless, ask for it. they could, nonetheless, ask for it. and the house could siit, as th have, and that's likely to go to court, and the judge -- a court will decide. >> house judiciary committee chairman jerry nadler earlier today issued a subpoena to try to obtain mueller's entire report, including what's been redacted and also, the underlying evidence. theoretically, that could mean more people with access to very sensitive information, and i guess the argument is, against it, is that could be dangerous for these remaining investigations, if something's leaked, right? >> yeah, that's -- >> it could be, but -- oh, go ahead. >> jennifer for a second.
>> okay. >> oh, sure. it could be, but you know, members of congress handle sensitive materials all the time, so while i think that's kind of a common sense argument, certainly that the republicans like to make, that it will just leak and that will damage everything, you know, really, congress has the right to see these things. they handle classified and other sensitive materials every day. so i don't think that that argument will win the day, as far as a legal matter in front of the judge. >> what do you think? >> i agree with that. the argument about 6c is a very technical rule-based argument, it's not necessarily the case that every grand jury investigation will result in disclosure of information that will be dangerous to anyone or anything like that. the argument is very much based on the rules and the fact that rule 6c doesn't have many exceptions. >> jennifer, mueller gave up on pushing for a one on one interview with president trump, even though he got what he called inadequate written responses. the special counsel's office said, quote, our investigation
had made significant progress and had produced substantial evidence for our report. we thus weighed the costs of potentially lengthy constitutional litigation, that's referring to trying to subpoena trump to testify, with finishing our investigation. in the end, president trump's strategy worked. it's hard to argue anything other than that, but do you think mueller did the right thing? >> it's really hard to second guess him on that. you have to remember that they weren't ready to interview the president for the first few months of their investigation. you always want to gather as much evidence as you can before speaking to a central figure, so you can confront that central figure with what you've determined so far. so by the time they were ready to speak to him, it was so far along in the investigation that i think they just felt the litigation would take way too long and it wouldn't be worth it in the end. i mean, they also were uncovering, you have to remember, nothing that pointed to the collusion side of things, having to do with trump himself. all of the contacts were through other people.
so i think in the end, they just felt like, we're just going to let it go. it's not worth the time it would take. and we're not going to come up with answers that will change the strategy, anyway. >> jennifer, june, thank you so much. happy easter to both of you. last week, president trump said wikileaks is not my thing. now we know that was just another lie thanks to the mueller report. stay with us. you see a small satellite... but draper saw a way to fight disease. ♪ so they're using dell technologies with the power of vmware to bring their idea to life. together, we're powering ai that analyzes satellite imagery to follow the spread of pathogens like malaria so we can stop them in their tracks. and that kind of technology... can make the world a healthier place. vmware, a part of dell technologies. this is the family who booked the trip. ♪ which led to new adventures and turned moments into memories. with flights, hotels, activities and more for your florida vacation,
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very much president trump's thing, but the relationship between the two may have been much more cozy than originally expected. ♪ proud to be an american >> reporter: on the campaign trail, then candidate donald trump made clear what a boost he felt wikileaks was to his campaign. >> wikileaks! i love wikileaks. this wikileaks stuff is unbelievable. >> boy, i love reading those wikileaks. >> reporter: now, new details in the mueller report show the extent to which the campaign was eager for wikileaks to publish the democratic e-mails stolen by russia and given to them. the special counsel writing, the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through russian efforts. campaign chairman, paul manafort, according to then deputy rick gates, expressed excitement. >> hillary clinton is a disaster. she's been a disaster. >> days later, trump publicly called on russia to help find clinton's e-mails. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the
30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> reporter: aides later said trump was joking, but mueller reports that just five hours later, for the first time, russian hackers targeted clinton's campaign. the trump campaign then started planning a press strategy, a communications campaign, and messaging, based on the possible release of clinton e-mails by wikileaks. mueller and in his report says trump told gates more releases of damaging information would be coming. trump friend and associate roger stone who prosecutors say wanted information about the leaks to benefit the trump campaign was allegedly directed by a campaign official to seek out wikileaks. it is not known if stone actually made contact. and jake, when the president was asked specifically by the spa l special counsel's office about communications between roger stone, manafort, and gates about wikileaks, the president answered in writing, "i do not
recall." >> as he did about 30 times. alex marquardt, thanks so much. joining me now is steve hall, who was the chief of russian operations at the cia. steve, thanks for joining us. how big of a deal is it that the trump campaign had a heads up on wikileaks, at least according to the report? >> i think it's a pretty big deal. i mean, anytime that you have this type of, either attempted contact with or an understanding of how the russians are doing something, like using wikileaks as part of a much larger campaign of their own to try to increase the likelihood that donald trump would be elected and donald trump wouldn't be, it's a big deal. and that's one of the reasons why mueller looked entitle. it is amazing to me, as some of your previous guests were saying, that nothing that happened as a result of that was deemed illegal. but that doesn't take away the counterintelligence issues that are associated with something like that. >> well, let's talk about that. because the trump team was, we should underline again, cleared of conspiracy, anything prosecutorial, prosecutable, essentially. but do you see any behavior by
any members of the trump team in this report that bothers you as a former u.s. intelligence officer and former station chief in moscow? >> oh, absolutely. i mean, i would not -- if i were in my old job, i would not hire any of these jobs, just based on security issues and counterintelligence issues. just because you don't break the law doesn't mean that there aren't all sorts of counterintelligence issues and security questions that need to be asked and that, you know, dictate as to whether or not you should see classified information. whether you should be involved in, you know, the national security of the united states and all of these people, starting right at the top, but going down through guys like michael flynn, you know, any of the characters that were really involved in this, manafort, page, all of these people failed the counterintelligence test quite miserably. >> reading ing how extensive t issues were by the russians, they used a serve in arizona to interfere in the election, does it surprise you? >> in terms of how -- how, you
know, big and effective their efforts were? is that what you're referring to? >> yeah. yeah. >> you know, it doesn't surprise me in terms of the russian's capabilities and their intentions to go after the united states and to do really what they have succeeded in doing, regardless of what this report says. which is really divide us, find those areas where our society and our political system can be split, because that weakens us, vis-a-vis russia. it so doesn't surprise me. what does surprise me a little bit, since i retired from the cia in 2015, is the fact that they would actually have the wherewithal to pull this off. that somebody would push the button, that somebody being vladimir putin, saying we're going to do this, on the united states starting with the 2016 election. so the boldness of it is mildly surprising to me, and the fact that they carried it off and that nobody apparently is going to suffer legally for it is impressive. >> speaking of putin, last july
in helsinki, president trump stood next to putin, backed him up in front of the u.s. intelligence community. take a listen. >> i have great confidence in my intelligence people, but i will tell you that president putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. >> now, mueller's report firmly concluded, as had so many intelligence agency before, that russia interfered in the u.s. election. the president tweeted this morning, quote, anything the russians did concerning the 2016 election was done while obama was president. he was told about it and did nothing. most importantly, the vote was not affected. you know, critics say president trump is still diminishing what the russians did. what do you think? >> he definitely is in denial, and as to why that is, we're going to have to keep trying to figure out, other counterintelligence investigations will probably reveal why it is he is still
like that? >> you think there are other counterintelligence investigations of the president still going on? >> yeah, i believe there's a good chance that there are, based on the redacted -- the stuff that was redacted out of the report, i think that there are. >> all right. steve hall, thank you so much. happy easter to you. be sure to tune into "state of the union" this sunday morning, my guest, the president's attorney rudy giuliani, at 9:00 a.m. eastern on sunday morning. our coverage continues right now. happening right now, breaking news, offer rejected. top democrat in the house turned down attorney general bill barr's offer to let some members of congress to see a version of the special counsel robert mueller's report with fewer redactions. they're demanding to see the full report and all the underlying evidence, issuing a subpoena that will almost certainly end in court. how long will this new fight last? lone republican. former presidential nominee mitt romney becomes the first gop senator to call out the white e