tv House Intelligence Committee Chair Schiff on Mueller Report CSPAN July 23, 2019 2:00pm-3:01pm EDT
rest assured it is a primary area of focus for both ars and nifa to give our growers the opportunity to manage their pests. >> okay. thank you very much, i'll submit more questions on the record. >> thank you. >>. >> senator grassley. >> you can fand this on our website, c-span.org and click the congress tab for this and other coverage on the congressional chronicel. take you live to the center of american progress in downtown washington, d.c. and we'll be hearing remarks by the house intelligence committee adam schiff ahead of the mueller investigation hearing tomorrow on capitol hill. >> -- and how donald trump and his allies sought to aid, abet and cover up this operation at seemingly every turn.
the president has lied over and over again and found no evidence of collusion and tomorrow the american people will hear what the special counsel actually uncovered. this time around those findings won't only be contained within the margins of the 448-page legal document. this time around the public will hear the facts directly from robert mueller himself and facts which are utterly and unquestionably damning. the mueller report describes at least 37 meetings and 372 contacts in total between russia-linked operatives and the trump campaigns and those extended to the highest echelons of the trump campaign and trump's inner circle including donald trump jr. in fact, campaign manager paul manafort shared interm polling and political strategies with an
alleged russian agent. any proud and patriotic american should have viewed the kremlin's operation as an outright assault against the integrity of our democracy. idea not a single one of the trump campaign reported it to the fbi. instead, trump himself publicly and enthusiastically encouraged the russians to intensify their attacks and since the election the president has tried to derail any attempt to expose his extensive, pervasive and ongoing relationship with russia. fortunately, the progressive community has remained relentless in uncovering the truth. right after trump took office, our sister organization, the center for american progress action fund launched an initiative called the moscow project which has performed critical research in tracking
the full extent of the president's many contacts with russia. the moscow project has also deconstructed every aspect of this tangled web for elected officials and members of the media and the american public. it has even launched a podcast called the asset that has climbed the ranks of the apple top 100 charts. cap action is proud of everything this team has accomplished under the leadership of senior fellow maxbergman and his colleagues and leading forward the moscow project will continue to pursue -- and pursue its mission until justice is finally and fully realized. tomorrow it will become clearer than ever before that the mueller report did not mark the end of the investigation, but only signaled the beginning of the next phase. now it will be up to congress to hold donald trump accountable for his actions and today we
will hear from one of the leaders standing at the very forefront of this effort. congressman adam schiff. as one of our country's most prominent voices on foreign affairs, congressman schiff has worked to safeguard the interests of america and our allies, to advance human rights across the globe and to expand opportunities for our nation's veterans. he is also a former federal prosecutor who serves as chairman of the house intelligence committee, one of the two committees that will host the special counsel during tomorrow's hearings. we are so grateful that congressman schiff can make time to join us this afternoon, just a few hours before what promises to be a truly pivotal moment in american history. and now i have the pleasure of turning things over to maxbergman, director of the moscow project who will moderate our conversation with congressman schiff.
please help me in welcoming both of them to the stage. [ applause ] >> well, thank you, winnie and thank you all for coming and especially you, congressman. what i know is a fairly busy day for you considering what is going to take place tomorrow. i wanted to start my questioning by actually quoting you and asking a question that you asked yourself on march 20, 2017, that was the day it was the first house intelligence committee hearing, and it was james comey announcing that there was indeed an fbi investigation into the trump campaign's ties to russia and you had given a prescient opening statement in which you
outlined what we knew at the time of march 20th and then you asked, is it possible that all of these events and reports are completely unrelated and that nothing more than an entirely unhappy coincidence and you said, yes, it is possible and it is also possible maybe more than possible that they are not coincidental and not disconnected and that the russians use the same techniques to corrupt u.s. persons that they employed in europe and elsewhere. we simply do not know, not yet and we owe it to the country to find out. so two and a half years later, what did you find out? was this all just a random coincidence? >> no, it clearly wasn't, and if i knew then that we would find evidence in writing of the rugs finding dirt on hillary clinton as part of what was described as the russian government effort to fight mr. trump and that the
trump campaign at the high of the levels including the president's own son would say that they would love to get that help and even suggest the best time it would be late summer and then set up a secret meeting to receive that. if you had told me that this would be in writing i would have thought you were crazy and nobody is stupid enough to put that in writing, but in fact, of course, that's exactly what we would later learn if i knew then that the campaign chairman of the trump campaign was giving internal polling data and in midwestern states, at the same time the russians were engaged in a social media campaign, targeted social media campaign to influence an election, then i wouldn't have posed those questions because many of those questions would be answered. obviously, we know a lot more now and it isn't the least bit coincidental. i do think that.
>> one of the challenges in communicating the seriousness of what the trump campaign did by welcoming it by using it and lying about it and obstructing investigation into it is that the american people have learned about this drips and drabs. if we didn't know about the secret meeting in trump tower until the mueller report came out, you can imagine the explosion. but instead, these pieces that have come out discreetly and so when the report came out we already knew about that, and how does that fact relate to these other facts, but, yes, i looked back at that opening statement, and it seems very innocent compared to what we would later learn. >> i want to talk about the russian interference effort because this is where there is sort of no debate at least from a bipartisan standpoint that russia did interfere in this
election in the 2016 election and ineffectively in the way we described it had a distinct, russian campaign and a political campaign to try to elect donald trump by hacking three russian intelligence and by setting up a different operation by 80 people that was roughly the same size as the clinton digital campaign operation. what impact did foreign interference have in 2016 and is this a real problem going forward into 2020? >> i would take some issue with the premise because not everyone accepts that and the president of the united states doesn't seem to accept that. when he met with the orchestrate of this scheme, vladimir putin. putin's denied it, of course, and the president said well, he denied the strongly and why would i believe the intelligence agencies over vladimir putin?
and indeed, in his last conversation with putin he called this a hoax and when the president calls the -- this a hoax, the russia hoax, he quite deliberately doesn't say is the conspiracy a hoax or is collusion a hoax or is the whole idea that russian intervened a hoax. >> he wanted to cover everything. >> he still went into the idea and we don't really know and it could have been the chinese or some fat guy sitting on his bed. >> so i'm not sure that there is going to be an agreement when the president of the united states doesn't seem to be able to acknowledge this. in terms of the actual impact of it as the report makes clear, that social media campaign reached hundreds of millions of americans and it resulted in people, ordinary americans unknowing that they were being communicated with by not their neighbors in texas or their neighbors in florida, but their
neighbors in st. petersburg and urged to dress up like hillary clinton and go into a cage at a rally or organize a protest. it may have suppressed turnout and the impact and decide the election and we simply never know. there are a lot of aspects of this that were highly influential at the very end of a close election and certainly the cumulative total of the social media campaign and the degree to which the russians were able to force the clinton campaign to continually respond to their hacking and dumping of documents. but the best evidence that it was a meaningful impact on the campaign comes from donald trump himself, from the dozens and dozens and dozens of times in which donald trump trumpeted the wikileaks disclosure and something that he would not have done if he didn't believe that it was pivotal to his campaign.
>> one point that i think is sort of lost is that the russian interference wouldn't have been as effective or wouldn't have worked at all almost if donald trump had disavowed it or had condemned it or had said no, we do not want you to interfere in this election. and scolded reporters for using that sort of material and in fact, something similar happened in 2000 when al gore received a debriefing book or video from the george bush campaign and the fbi and that effort to interfere in the election by stealing materials and injecting it into the political process didn't work and is that how you read it that donald trump had aided the russian attack by promoting wikileaks by promoting the materials that russia stole? >> think without a doubt. i'm often struck in my job with sometimes the wonderful and sometimes the awful fort youity
of things and at a time when russians decided to involve themselves in our election john mccain was not the nominee for the gop and it was donald trump. had it been john mccain. i'm confident that he had the strength of character to say russia, butt the hell out. i don't want your help. i don't need your help. i despise your intervention, but it wasn't. it was donald trump and he welcomed it, and he built it into his campaign strategy. he publicly called on the russians to hack the e-mails and one of the starteling facts in the reports is that within hours of him saying, russia, if you're listening the russians proved they were listening because within hours it was the first time they tried to hack a server belonging to the person of hillary clinton and so, yes, i
think certainly a lot of responsibility goes to donald trump. now i will also say this. when this was happening in real time many of us were urging the press to be more responsible in their reporting, and by that, you know, i mean it is not always the case that documents that are stolen and part of government interference and it is not always the case that the press should report the contents of those. sometimes the contents may be of such overriding public significance that you can't fail to report it, but the context should always be given and often these articles about the drip and drab of the clinton e-mails failed to begin with the most important fact which is we only know this because the russians want us to know. in documents believed stolen by the russians to influence our election and this is what we learned, without that critical context, i think, the press
amplified what the russian were doing even as donald trump was amplifying it. >> and you know, one of my frustrations in actually reading volume 1 of the mueller report compared to volume 2 is that in volume 2 mueller puts into context what people knew at the time and when they knew it but in volume 1 he disassembles the context and all of the meetings in context that took place and in the course of your investigation, did you find that trump campaign officials knew that russia was interfering? that they were aware that wikileaks was potentially acting as a russian cut out? >> and at least read some of the press reporting from from "the washington post" in june 2016, was there an awareness on the part of the trump campaign of what was happening at the time? >> of course there was an awareness of the trump campaign, and they were reading the clippings like all the rest of us and they didn't need an intel briefing although they did get a
briefing that the russians were interfering in august, and but even without the briefing it was patently obvious. what was going on and -- but they were delighted to have the help and the ethic was and we don't have to wonder about this because we hear it from the president today, hey, if a foreign government will offer you during an opponent, why not? and even after all we've been through and that question is posed to the president or rooud giuliani or jared kushner, none of them can bring themselves to say that they would refuse it or they were worth the authorities and their ethic is you'd be a sap not to take the help and the only -- the only line that matters is not patriotism. it's not ethics. it's not morality. it's just whether you can escape criminal prosecution. you can do everything up to
escaping prosecution and the standard for the president of the united states and when you have an attorney general that the president of the united states can make any criminal case go away even ones implicating the president if he thinks they're unfair, then it's a license for lawlessness by the president. >> you don't buy jared kushner's obliviousness and his claim that in june he was oblivious in meeting with those russian representatives in trump tower and then again obliviously met with russians in -- in november and december. and they were notified in advance by don junior about what that meeting was about. the reason why jared kushner is they paid to get dirt from the russians on their op bonent and y it wasn't that usable and it wasn't the dirt they really wanted because, of course, they
knew the russians had stolen e males. they had much more valuable dirt and even as early as april 2016 papadopoulos that the russians helped with the release of these stolen e-mails and of course, that's the modus operandi the russians would end up using and it was better for the russians to release the wikileaks than release it and get caught. the wikileaks publication gave them some deniablity even if it wasn't very good denyability and the idea that this meeting which they held in secret and this meeting that they all denied having because of course we never had any meetings and don junior was indignant with the idea that anyone would suggest he met with russians during the campaign and then, of course, when it gets revealed, then they come up with this phony statement that the president dictates that the meeting was
about adoptions. and so the idea that there's some innocent ruse falls completely flat, and i thought one of the -- one of the weaker sections of the report, frankly was the analysis of the knowledge of the participants in that meeting where the report does point out that they couldn't show with admissible evidence what the state of don uniior's knowledge was in terms of the criminality of his actions because he was new to a presidential campaign or that's the implication. there's no discussion about that, vis-a-vis paul manafort. this wasn't the first presidential campaign that paul manafort was involved and the concealment of both the meeting and the concealment of the truth later, most prosecutors would consider pretty powerful evidence of wrongfulness -- of wrongfulness of knowledge of conduct. >> one question on that, on our
podcast, the asset, we actually interviewed a senate judiciary staffer who had deposed donald trump junior, unlike robert mueller. why -- do you know why robert mueller decided that he didn't need to actually ask donald trump jr. questions about that meeting and what particular place? >> well, i'm sure that the mueller team understood the importance of interviewing don junior just as they under stood the importance of interviewing the president and so that's about all i'm going to say on that today. >> i want to shift gears for a second. in 1990 you successfully prosecuted the first fbi agent convicted of espionage. it was the famed case, richard miller that was passing on
classified information to soviet officials on to the kgb. do you see any similarities and lessons learned from that case that you see sort of coming back all these years later and how the rugds operate? >> i do, and this is certainly for me my life coming full circle. 30-some-odd years ago prosecuting an fbi agent for spying effectively for the russians, and you know, i'll tell you one thing that came out of that. i must have worked with dozens and dozens of fbi agents and even though it was an investigation into one of their own, i created a life long respect for the professionalism and they're just a cut above, but what i learned in prosecuting that case was a lot about russian trade craft and how do the russians use their assets in this country. svetlana who was the seductress,
for some reason they're always named svetlana. so be careful out there with svetlanas. she was a russian asset and she emigrated to the united states which is an act that the russians consider as a traitorous and was unhappy and wanted to go back and had to earn her passage back. i learned how the soviets used their assets in other countries. i learned how they targeted people that had access to classified information, how they could identify people about financial troubles or people with infidelity in their marriage and richard miller was a good target for them, and the inducements were sex and financial. those are sort of age-old inducements and if you look at the investigation here, who were
the weak links in the trump organization that the russians might identify? well, carter page screams out at you and george papadopoulos and paul manafort. paul manafort had a pre-existing relationship with people affiliated with russian intelligence. paul manafort was driven by the desire to make money and paul manafort wanted to be made whole for work he had already done and wanted to be able to monetize his work on the campaign, after the campaign. >> you know, all of those factors make them ripe for potential targeting and what the russians do is they'll ask you for something relatively innocuous and then they'll ask you for something a little less
innocuous or maybe they'll give you a certain gratuity and they'll being pose what you've done and certainly a lot of the facts look very much like russian trade craft. you know, begin by -- and i don't even know if they had to ask manafort for briefings about the campaign. how about polling data and how about strategy in these key states? so here they had someone who they'd been willing to offer without being asked and we don't know the precise xun kalgz and some of the players were using encrypted apps and other communications were destroyed and of course, other players are not the least bit cooperative. >> and you know, when i entered the state department the process
of getting top-secret security clearance of going through the sf-86 background investigation was incredibly extensive and one of the major things that investigators are looking at is to determine whether there's issues in my back ground and finances, foreign contacts that could make me compromised. as part of the investigation, the fbi didn't announce it, it opened a counterintelligence investigation after james comb was fired. do you think -- what's the status of that investigation and do you think that the president is is compromised? >> the status is one of the big unanswered questions publicly and privately, we have been getting information about that and just to back up a bit, this
all began not just as a criminal investigation, but as the counterintelligence investigation to determine whether people were acting as witting agents of a foreign power and when they were engaged in influencing u.s. opinion leaders and policymakers and campaign people. the mueller report, though, is a criminal report. we decided to prosecute these people and we did not decide to prosecute these people. here's why. it doesn't say anything about these counterintelligence findings and that is who is a risk and how does that risk mitigate it? >> the result of the counterintelligence is not necessarily prosecutional and sometimes it becomes that. there are other ways to mitigate the risk and like flinn, for example, as sally yates testified, the concern with flinn when he lied to people administration like the vice president and then the president and the vice president misled the country about whether he was discussing sanctions with the
russian ambassador, the risk that sally yates explained is that the russians knew what they were talking about and they were misrepresenting this and it could expose it if they chose and that means they had com from myself on mike flinn. well, we also know that the president was seeking to make the big real estate deal in moscow and he was denying it to the country. no business dealings with russia is what he was telling people, and his associates like michael cohen were coming before michael cohen and the russians knew those were lies because the russians were on the other end of that transaction. when michael cohen had a lejty conversation with someone who worked for dmitri pescov and someone very close to putin, and the russians knew in great
detail about this and of course, the trump people knew the russians knew and that gave the russians leverage over donald trump and over michael cohen and everyone in the administration and what is so compromising about this about when it was revealed a year after the fact that the negotiations on the building won't long after people had said and went on to the middle of the campaign and that the campaign had e-mailed the kremlin and called the kremlin, dmitri peskov issued a statement and said we never responded for that and that was a lie. he was cover will up for his own business. and hard to imagine something more compromising except this. when this was found out he said well, i might have lost the election and it's not a crime. there again is the standard for
the admin stralgz and it can be proven without a reasonable doubt and then he said why should i miss out on those opportunities? and we still don't know whether the president intends to build moscow trump tower when he leaves office and it may very well be his opinion to this day that i may lose my reelection on those opportunity and it's hard to imagine something more compromising than the project worth hundreds of millions of dollars and that ought to concern every american to paraphrase bob mueller and reporting on other aspects of the russian activity. when mueller outlined the russian interference campaign and he sort of identified two lines of effort. there was a hacking campaign and there was a social media campaign, but one of the things that we've started to see in europe is that there's usually a
financial component to russian interference. there's been financial ties from a russian bank to mario le pen to the bank in france and recent stories in italy connected to far-right parties of dangling of russian money. it seems to me rather odd that there wouldn't be a russian financial component to interfering in u.s. elections. it is, after all, what candidates need and what campaigns and politicians are constantly asking for donations and asking people for money, the easiest way to support a campaign is, in fact, to fund it. >> did moore look into the finances and do you have a sense that money have -- have mueller gentleman ined whether rug money laundering somehow made its way into the trump campaign. >> the shore worry is we don't know. we don't know what the scope of
mueller's investigations was and we don't know those imposed on help by the acting attorney general or the attorney general and we don't know the answer for that and this is why we placed such a high priority about following the money and it was done as part of the criminal probe and then someone needs to look at whether there was financial compromise and the report makes clear that mueller considered his mandate to be very narrow. as you point out, he considered his mandate to be investigating the social media operation and investigating the hacking and dumping operation and determining very narrowly whether he could prove of the elements of conspiracy of the trump campaign with either of the two lines of effort. in terms of whether there was an investigation interest whether there were other means of influence and we don't know -- we don't know and we are
determined to find out and we are determined to find whatever necessary to compromise so we can protect ourselves and have you had financial records that you've been after. >> they're willing to cooperate and they're being sued by trump to prevent them from cooperating and this is why we are litigation and so far we're winning the litigation and they have no longer ruled in our favor, but also gave such short schrift to the trump arguments. the opinions of the courts that looked at our deutsche bank case and looked at our oversight committees and the accounting case and we are doing ours jointly with the financial services committee, and we're sort of the legal equivalent of
get out of my court is what they told the trump organization and your arguments have no merit and they don't even have colorable merit and so we feel pretty optimistic, but the goal, i think of the trump administration and organization even what i think are arguments are to drag this out as long as they possibly can. >> do you have an idea of how they concluded that the firing of jeff sessions of something on trump's mind because they can exert control over the investigation and then trump lo and behold fired jeff sessions and appointed matthew whitaker who seemed to have no qualifications and appointed bill barr and that's not in the mueller report when he fired jeff sessions and maybe nothing happened, but do you have concerns over how the investigation concluded?
i have continuing concerns the continuing concerns about the mueller investigation and we have very little if any visibility into why the special counsel decided not to pursue, and the president played rope-a-dope with the special counsel for a long time and i can understand from a personal point of view why the prospect of entering into lengthy litigation to finally get that interview before you concluded the investigation wasn't attractive to people who had devoted their whole lives living in a bunker working on this investigation, but nonetheless, was there no way to get a better answer to those questions and the questions that were of the greatest importance in terms of the president's state of mind were the ones that he precisely refused to answer even in writing and those that went to
obstruction of justice. so i am concerned into whether the personal desire to have the investigation over with and whether there was pressure them from just toys bring this to icn end and when barr thought the president was unfair and he could make it go away any time he wanted and he could make anier of these other implications including the southern district of new york go away and bee awe are determined right shotgun to the best that we are able to find out and there is any improper political influence over any of these other cases and at the end of the day to find out whether there was any improper role of bill barr or matt whitaker or anything else in any of the key points in the main investigation. >> so at this time tomorrow you will be presiding over a hearing
with robert mueller. what are your expectations? you know, it feels like the super bowl when everyone is plotting out how it will go. how do you think tomorrow will -- will unfold? >> i would imagine by this time bob mueller will have cracked and he will have acknowledged that but for the doj approximately see and he would have indicted the president and bill barr told me i could have reached that conclusion and i am now ready to reach that conclusion and i'm joking and well, i hope that where we are at this time tomorrow is with the better public understanding of the gravity of what the russians did, and the systemic nature of what the russians did and the gravity of what the trump campaign did and what our own president did. how unethical it was, how
unpatriotic it was and whether it can beat the elements of the crime of conspire see to willingly invite, make use of, foreign help, and not just foreign help and help from a foreign adversary and a country that wishes us ill and then to obstruct an investigation into the foreign interference for reasons of selfish protection of reputation and a desire to avoid criminal culpability regardless of what it does for the country and how it leaves the country vulnerable. if the country has a better understanding of those facts i'll consider the hearing to be
successful and and i know the people don't have the opportunity to read all 484 pages and this is my language in this report and i understand it, i recognize what it means. if mueller concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to prove each element of the crime of conspire see and he was willing to say so because it couldn't prove sufficiently willful intent on don junior or he couldn't prove the value of the dirt on the statutory threshold, if he could say that there was not sufficient evidence of this but he couldn't say that about be on struck and the negative inference is clear, was there sufficient evidence to prove the crime of obstruction and that's clear to me as a prosecutor and it's why more than a thousand other prosecutors have said if this were their case and if he wasn't the president, any other person
would be indicted, but i think because of the incessant campaign by the president and i give him credit for being ruthlessly on message, he, i think, has endeavored to prevent the american people from understanding the seriousness, the appalling lack of integrity that he demonstrated during his campaign and demonstrates to this day. >> i want to ask you one last question on mueller. you've been asked a lot about impeachment, but one of the major concerns among democrats and progressives and people who voted in november to hold trump accountable to make sure no one is above the law is that it kind of feels like he's been able to get away with so much and continuing to obstruct your ability to conduct
investigations. is tomorrow sort of a big event and then we sort of all move on with our lives or is that going to be sort of the start of some more rigorous process or public process? >> i don't know what the impact of the hearing will be. i think very realistic, in my expectations, people are pretty dug in on not just trump and russia, but they're just dug in on this president. if that appalling display of racism over the last two weeks wasn't enough to move people, is there anything that bob mueller can say that will, and so i am very circumspect about what the impact will be, but at the same time, i imagine that there will be millions of people watching this hearing that has never had the chance to read the report and there is a natural tendency among americans to think god, if
it wasn't true, he couldn't keep saying it, right? he says it over and over again and they're just as untrue the first time he said it as the 1,000th time he said it and for many americans, what is in the report will be a revelation and what the impact of that will be on the congress, what the impact will be on the country, i don't know, but i tend to be realistic about how much the polarized country is used by anything these days. >> one of the things that i think the public doesn't necessarily realize is this is just one slice of your broader job, and i wanted to ask you about the current situation in iran, the seizure of a british oil tanker and how do you see
events unfold or are you concerned about the trump administration's efforts to essentially, the iranians are no angels and to look like they are provoking a conflict and instigate a conflict? >> i think we are closer to a potential conflict with iran than any time since i've been in congress and that's been almost 20 years now and it's not because i think, and it's not because donald trump wants to go to war and it's because the risk has never been greater. the tragedy about where we are right now is this was so imminently predictable and, in fact, we could tell this from our own intelligence is that if we went down this road and if we reimposed sanctions and tried to get others to reimpose their sanctions that iran wasn't going to stay indefinitely within the nuclear deal.
if you deprive iran of any benefit of it why are they going to stay in the deal? and so it was foreseeable that what they would do is to drive a wedge between the united states and our allies, to up the temperature and to up the risk and to use that to get europe to try to help them financially, get out from under the sanctions and this is exactly what's happening. the reluctance of our allies to attribute these attacks to iran and, of course, it's become harder and harder for them to do so given that iran just seized a british tanker and the reluctance to attribute this conduct to iran isn't because of questions to the intelligence. you seldom have video of iran retrieving unexploded mine, but rather reflects the view of the allies that this is exactly what we told you would happen and
this is exactly why we didn't want you to leave the jcpoa and now you want us to lock arms with you and so, where we are, it was tragically predictable and now where do we go from here? i think that we'll need to protect ships in the strait of hormuz and we need to try to coax our allies into working with us to protect that shipping and our efforts should not be unilateral. we should be doing it in concert with our allies, and we need to recognize that the goal here ought to be isolation of iran and not isolation of the united states, and i'm reminded of a comment that tom friedman made during the iraq war when we invited him to speak to our caucus and he was asked what would you do about iraq and he said to quote the new york cop who was asked by a tourist
directions how to get there, the cop says well, i wouldn't start from here, and i certainly wouldn't choose to start from here, but i think that's what we need to do. >> lastly, i wanted to ask you about it was reported recently that devin nunes met with devin nunes now the ranking member on the intelligence committee met with donald trump discussing a replacement for the director of national intelligence dan coates. do you have concerns about that next appointment, about dan coates' future and about devin nunes' conversation and for him being a possible candidate for that role? >> well, let me just say that what you should want in a director of national intelligence is someone that understands what the agencies do and someone that's a good
manager of people and someone who has the strength to speak truth to power, whether that is speaking truth to congress or speaking truth to the president. i think dan coates has done all of that and i hope you will continue. he's been a terrific intelligence head, and i hope that he stays. so that's my feeling on dan coates, and i'm not going to comment on the rest of your question much as i intend to. >> with that, we have time for just a couple of questions. yes? >> amy mack inon, and my question is one of the things that everyone talks about when they talk about the russian
operation is there was so much division and chaos and it's controversial to say that works to a certain degree, and i'm just curious how you plan on continuing your investigations, but without further deepening those divides that have been established. >> great question and one of the issues that we have been exploring on the committee is how the russians might intervene again, but use new technology to be more effective and one of the areas that i'm most concerned about is the development of deep fake technology. this is a technology that allows the technology of compelling video and audio that is utterly fraudulent so you can produce a deep fake of joe biden or kamala harris or donald trump or anyone else, insert it into the social media ecosystem and it would be indistinguishable and for most people viewing it with the naked eye. a lot of the fakes that people have seen thus far have been crude. the fake of nancy policy is
what's called a cheap fake. the one where she was speaking i think here at one of the cap conferences was slow down it make her seem impaired, and you might imagine had the russians had that technology four years earlier during the last presidential election where they were trying to push out a narrative that the trump campaign was also trying to push out and that hillary clinton was in failing health, that they could easily push out videos to make hillary clinton look like she was impaired. so that is of a deep concern so we are looking at not just the last war, but what is the next war going to look like? what is the next disinformation campaign going to look like and how do we prepare against the late distribution of a fraudulent video? so we are also doing our best
and what are the states doing in terms of technology and how is the federal government helping the states prepare? we are doing the work that we would hope that the president would do, but is not and that is in our various committees, it is foreign affairs committee is pressing the state department. what are they doing to communicate to the russians the sanctions they will see if they screw with us again? we in the intel committee are focused with our intel agencies. what are you hearing and what are you learning about russian plans and intentions or anyone else's plans and intentions and homeland security they're focused on what is the department doing, and what states are vulnerable and what states still don't have marijuana ballots or a paper trail and that ought to be led from the top, but it isn't, because for any of the cabinet people who raised this with the president, he considers a threat to his legitimacy and the president himself is not going
to raise it, so we are trying in congress to use our leverage and oversight powers to do that. >> cbs news. mr. chairman, the house judiciary committee has confirmed that mr. mueller tomorrow will be joined by erin z zebley his close aide in the capacity as his counsel. is the same thing going to happen in the house intelligence committee and how does that change the dynamic of the conversation tomorrow? >> i think it is the desire of the special counsel to have one of his team present with him during the hearing. we are in discussions with them about that and what that would look like. but our intention is that mueller do the testifying and not have someone else do it for
him. now, there may be questions that one of his team is better situated to answer of a technical answer. so we're discussing what the format would be and just what the role would be of having one of his team present. this has been a continuing discussion with the special counsel's office and i would expect that he will have someone with him and we are in discussions about precisely in what capacity that person will appear with him. >> richard coleman cbp retired. i'm struck at the power of a memo from the justice department to thwart what appear to be
constitutional rights of the congress to pursue what you are rightly pursuing. just like executive privilege seems to me whatever they want it to mean. can you address the legality and the power and why is this a wall that can't be overcome? >> the administration is making the broadest, most unsustainable claims of executive privilege i think that any president has ever made. it is a stonewalling and delay tactic, but it is one that ultimately we have to litigate. and they know that. so for them, it's a way to stall. they understand when it gets to litigation, it gets to judgment, they lose, except on the narrowest category of documents where there should be a privilege. but this blanket assertion of privilege, this really prophylactic assertion of a privilege to later assert a privilege is legally
unsupportable and, yes, they are going to delay resolution of this. that's their whole point. and what they're doing with the congress is just what they did with special counsel, which is delay, delay, delay and then blame the democrats for the delay. so that's their strategy. we've had discussion about constitutional crises and what not. we will be in a full fledged constitutional crisis if we ever get the point that we have a final adjudication from the court and they still refuse. if this president takes the view -- someone could correct me, i think it was president jackson once took, when the supreme court issued a ruling he didn't like, he said, okay, that's your opinion, let's see you enforce it. if we get to that point, we are in a full blown crisis.
but i think at this point they're just using this to stall. i would like to see us revive our inherent contempt power where we can try people within the house and we can levy daily fines until they comply. so i'm urging that we do so. it seems to me if there was ever an administration deserving of congress's use of inherent contempt, it's this one. we are already writing our own post watergate reforms. i don't expect most of them to pass because the gop in congress has turned into a cult of the president. they are not acting like a responsible political party. when he is gone, when trump is gone, when they no longer need to fear an angry tweet from donald trump, then maybe they will find their sense of obligation and we will be able to pass these reforms, i think, on a bipartisan basis.
but they're unwilling to stand up to him. so some of the corrective action will have to wait until this president is out of office. >> if i could use the power of the moderator to just follow up on that question, russian interference, the hacking of voting systems in 2016 was a tremendous concern. the senate intelligence committee did a lot of investigation on this point. do you have concerns about the security of the election, the actual voting systems going into 2020 and what do you think the chances are of legislation actually becoming law getting through the senate. >> i do have great concerns about the voting technology. both because the vendors of this technology are unwilling to share their software so we can examine vulnerabilities. people that i respect in the silicon valley who are far more
expert in these matters than i am are convinced of the vulnerability of the technology because many of the states and localities have not had sufficient resources. they haven't even upgraded the software in these systems. some are using systems that have software that can no longer be upgraded. so i think it is negligence per se not to have a paper trail. the russians actually don't need to change the vote count. they just need to create a doubt among our people as to whether we can rely on the vote count. so that's a pretty low bar to have a hugely disruptive impact. image going through a bush v gore electronic dangling chad situation in a country as polarized as we are today. so i'm desperately concerned about this. i do think as i felt in 2016, though, that the less risky,
more effective vector for russian interference may not be to change the votes, but to change the voters and do so by use of things like deep fakes. and a deep fake that is design ed to tap into a narrative that one side or the other has about a candidate could be enormously effective. if 20 million saw the cheap fake of nancy pelosi, experts will tell you that a fraction of those 20 million will later learn that it was doctored and even though who do learn it's doctored will never completely lose the impression they have of seeing that misinformation. i tend to think that also because of there's less risk of attribution inserting in multiple places on the planet a
deep fake that it's a more attractive way to be disruptive for our adversaries. >> on that cheery note, i want to thank chairman schiff for coming here today, but not just for coming here today. i started the questioning by quoting you from march 20 t. i think over the last 2 1/2-3 years, our leadership on the threat of russian interference, on the threat to our democracy, you have shown tremendous leadership. i want to thank you for that. please join me in thanking chairman schiff. >> thank you very much. [ applause ]
in about two hours a house veterans affairs subcommittee will be hearing from whistle blowers testifying at live starting at 5:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span3. robert mueller it was to congress on wednesday about possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power by president trump and russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. our live coverage starts at 8:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3, online at c-span.org. before the hearing hn to the
complete mueller report at c-span.org on your laptop or mobile device. type "mueller report audio" in the search box at the top of the page. the audio is courtesy of timber lane media. watch our live coverage as the nation's governors meet in salt lake city. friday at 9:15 eastern recognizing america's space program. then at 9:30, a conversation about safer and smarter roads. just after 1:00 p.m. eastern, improving infrastructure with maryland governor larry hogan. live friday on c-span 2 and c-span.org or listen with the free krc-span radio app. i was on an airstrip in the remote jungles of guyana having just concluded a congressional delegation tour with then