tv House Intelligence Committee Chair Speaks to Reporters About Russia Probe CSPAN March 20, 2017 3:37pm-3:50pm EDT
>> i'm telling you that because so if you have evidence, you can get it to us. we're conducting an investigation, we're looking for facts, we're looking for evidence. believe me, we could find evidence on any one of these folks in the administration, we would love to have it if they're colluded with the russian intelligence officials. >> you're looking a the same intelligence? >> well, it's possible they would have different -- the evidence that woer looking at the agencies is all the same. >> chairman, can you -- >> i doubt the fbi is briefing us differently than they would be briefing the senate. >> can you comment on the -- >> extra characters you're talking about? >> well, they brought up many characters. i don't know who those people are. when i say they, the democrats brought up these cast of names i don't know who they are. >> you talking about roger stone here? paul manafort, who? >> manafort i know for a short time he worked on the
convention, i don't know the other people. >> you're saying the rest of them are irrelevant to -- >> i don't know if they are or not. but they're not in the administration. they don't work in the administration. but that's the major concern that i have right now. is people that are -- until this gets cleared up, we have this problem. >> congressman, some saying republicans on this committee care more about ton masking of flynn's identity and incidental collection than the russian's hacking our democracy. what do you say to that balance? >> i say there's been one crime that's been committed and that's the leaking of someone's name. everything else we're conducting oversight on, this committee and the republicans led by me said a year ago this is the largest intelligence failure since 9/11. i warned about it. i begged them to do something act it. the last administration, i begged the intelligence agency to do something about it, they did nothing. so to sit here -- yes, it's a crime. it's a crime. >> mr. chairman. >> it's a crime that was committed.
>> isn't the hacking of the dnc and the release of dnc e-mails also a crime? >> it's a crime but not one that we -- >> we know it was committed. >> they can attribute that to a foreign power. that's what they said today. >> right. but that was a crime that was committed that received relatively less attention from republicans on the dias today than -- >> this is from earlier and currently the chair of the intelligence committee is speaking outside in the hallway. here are his remarks now. >> we have no evidence of that and i doubt that evidence exists. i mean, personal attacks on the secretary of state. i mean, this is a little bit farfetched here. and this needs to be cleared up quickly. >> this investigation was going on since july, yet during the election comey revealed one investigation. the investigation into hillary clinton. should he have acknowledged that james comey, that donald trump also was under investigation? >> i think there was a question about eight, we saw we may have
to change procedures. so that's what that's reffing to. >> you weren't aware of this last year that president trump and his associates -- >> no, i was not. i do think i should have been. the gang of eight should have been. >> when did you learn of it? >> i didn't learn about it until i don't want to give exact date, recently. >> are you still considering? -- >> not yet. see if they get the information to us. [ inaudible ]. >> are you pleased -- director comey and admiral rogers say i can't comment on this, i can't comment on this, many people are waiting on that, are you pleased with that? >> i am not. that's why this has to go under a court oerd. i think this is very problematic moving forward, you can't say whether or not people in the white house or the administration are under some type of an investigation.
i think that's very problematic. >> director comey said it's possible the russians could work to influence future elections. >> the russians have always tried to influence our elections. and they will continue to as long as vladimir putin either decides to change his ways, which i doubt that he'll do, or he's out of office. >> mr. chairman, do you think it's proper for an independent council to be called on to look into this now that the investigation has been publicly acknowledged? >> i would have no -- what are they going to go look up? what's an independent council going to look at? >> take over the investigation -- >> take over his investigation? to take it away from the fbi? i don't know. i would have to think about that. i mean, as long as they keep -- continue -- the fbi is an independent organization. they should be suited to do this. if i see any -- if i sense any problems with the investigation, then i would recommend that. but i don't see that as of now. >> you yourself said there were
issues he couldn't answer. >> i don't think an independent council will do any less than what director comey said today. like i said, there's this -- until this gets cleared up, you guys are going to continue to have these questions. i just don't have evidence of people within the white house or the administration have any ties to russian intelligence services of any kind. that even hanging out there is bad for democracy, bad for america and clearly it helps our adversaries, especially the russians. >> what was the reason why director comey did not -- told you why he didn't tell you last year in his investigation was happening? >> i don't know. i would like to know that answer myself. >> you say recently, this is in the last couple weeks you learned? >> yeah. >> it was. >> he said it was due to the sensitivity of the investigation. do you ak sthaeccept that?
>> no, i don't. i think there's no reason -- and look, maybe i don't think there's any written rules on what the congress should be informed of and perhaps we're going to have to look into what those rules should be moving forward because had we known about this back in july, clearly we wouldn't be in this position today. >> do you need to hear from him in closed session later this week? >> not this week but we will continue to hear from him. >> how you feeling? how are you leaving feeling today? >> i feel just like when i walked in. we're trying to get facts. >> you say the end of the hearing suggest they may be with holding -- the fbi may be with holding some evidence. >> i don't think they're with holding. i don't think they're with holding evidence as it relates to people in the white house. >> you said will they turn over some evidence, whatever evidence you have. what did you mean fwha? >> well, if they have it, i would like to see it. i don't think it exists. anything else, guys? i have to get going. >> they knew about this before they went to vote last year?
>> we won't know that until we get to the bottom of -- i mean, let them conduct the investigation. i think it will be -- i think when that all sees sunlight, i think it will be very helpful to everyone, including you guys. >> what about this had red of the patriots? >> well, that's another issue that i don't care about the patriots or not, but i do think that that metaphor is not accurate. i don't think just because you don't like a team and you root against that team every time that means you like that team. so that would mean essentially that of the 16 games during the year you have all sorts of different teams that's your favorite team. i just don't understand that. i don't understand the logic of that because i still think as you heard today there were -- there was no question i think the russians believe that hillary clinton was going to win, as did all of you here. all thought hillary clinton was going to win. and i think they were doing anything they could to hurt
whoever they thought was going to win. it doesn't mean that they were trying to help the other candidate. and that's where i think there's a big discrepancy. i don't know that we'll ever get to the bottom of that because it's based on an individual's opinion. it's the opinion of analysts who look at this stuff. so i don't know who those analysts were, exactly. that's one of the things we're trying to figure out, who actually did the analytical work to make that change that occurred in january. all right. guys, thank you. bye bye. and the chair of the house intelligence committee there speaking to reporters outside the hearing room. and you can watch the entire hearing with the director of the fbi and the director of the national security agency testifying. it's online at c-span.org. just click the link that you'll find right on our home page. and the confirmation hearing for president trump's supreme
court nominee began today. you can watch the second of what's expected to be four days of hearings tomorrow here on cspan 3 starti:00 starting at 9. eastern time. at today's white house briefing, press secretary sean spicer commented on the house intelligence committee hearing while it was in progress. here are some of his remarks. >> this hearing as chairman nunes noted the first of several the house intelligence committee engaged in and the president is happy they're pursuing the facts in this. as has been previously reported, director comey confirmed that the fbi's investigating russian sha's role in interfering with the election and let me just comment briefly on that. following this testimony, it's clear that nothing has changed. senior obama intelligence officials have gone on record to confirm there's no evidence of a trump/russia collusion. the obama cia director said so, obama's director of national intelligence said so and we take them at their word. however, there was some new information that came from the hearing that we believe is
newsworthy about the intelligence gathering process. and the unmasking of americans identifying in intelligence reports. and illegal leak of such unmasked individuals which is a federal crime. director comey told the house intelligence committee that certain political appointees in the obama administration had access to the names of unmasked u.s. citizens such as senior white house officials, senior department of justice officials and senior intelligence officials. before president obama left office, michael flynn was unmasked and then illegally his identity was leaked out to media outlets despite the fact that as nsa director rogers said that unmasking and revealing individuals endangers, quote, national security. not only was general flynn identity made available, director comey refused to answer the question whether or not he would actually briefed president obama on his phone calls and activities. director comey called these types of disclosures classified information a threat to national
security and said he will investigate and pursue these maters to the full extent of law. he also said that the leaking of classified information to become, quote, unusually active in the time frame in question. it's also important to note that both directors comey and rogers told the committee they have no evidence that votes were changed in the swing states the president had won. that was sean spicer from the white house briefing earlier. you can find that at c-span.org. if you want to see the entire briefing. and tonight live coverage of president trump here on c-span 3 will be in kentucky, speaking at 7:40 p.m. eastern time. next, some of the house hearing today on russian hacking of u.s. elections, the intelligence committee heard testimony from the director of the fbi, james comey, and the director of the national security agency admiral mike rogers.