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tv   Senate Intel Leaders Promise to Follow Intelligence in Russia Probe  CSPAN  March 30, 2017 6:20am-7:01am EDT

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mentioned names like roger stone or paul manafort, they will be at an appropriate time but they have to be done so that we have the right questions to ask. tomorrow's hearing will be the first in a series. i think it will be interesting because some of the techniques which the russians used in this past election go to the heart of how our democratic process works. technology in politics. and the technology that has made our lives and ller can also be misused in ways to put false information for folks who potentially only get the news off of a twitter feed or a facebook news feed. and that raises serious questions even beyond this investigation. with that, i want to thank the chairman and the cooperation we have had, and i think i speak a half of all of the committee
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members, the most important thing we want you to know is that we are going to get this right and we will follow the intelligence. we will take some questions. >> we just want to set some ground rules. we will answer any questions about the senate intelligence committee investigation. we will not take questions on the house intelligence committee. we referred those to the house intelligence committee. >> the white house said -- has said that any questions about coordination is a hoax and anyone that has seen information on this knows there is nothing there. seen so far, have can you definitively rule out that there was no coordination between the right --the officials? be crazy to draw conclusions from where we are in the investigation. mark and i have committed to let this process go through before we form any opinions. i would hope that is what you would like us to do. as much as we would like to
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share minute by minute, even the snapshots that we get as a team going through it, are not always the nextwhen we find piece of intelligence. let us get a little deeper in this before you ask us to write the conclusions. a letter was sent to you and senator warner urging the committee to look closer at the and russia.mes thehere a sense that committee is not already investigating the financial aspects of this closely enough? >> the committee is looking anywhere intelligence suggests there might have been any type of relationship or effort to influence u.s. elections. that i come up for a long time even before we started the investigation, believed that this president like all prior candidate should
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have in their interest -- >> is christopher steel among the 20 you have identified? the resources to interview people outside of the united states if you need to do that? >> we are not going to get into the names on our list but i can assure you that it is lengthy. mark and i are agreed that we are willing to issue subpoenas. it is tough to make a subpoena go outside the united states we understand the limitations. we arenly say this -- tapping into everything we can to understand how we increase our reach in the ability to investigate and get intelligence that would be pertinent to the investigation. >> have you personally coordinated with the white house at all on the scope of this investigation? how do you prevent it from going off track? >> knows her, i have not.
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sir, i have not. and it is the relationship and trust that we have. >> there have been -- all of the members of the committee -- i ,ave been constantly impressed and some of us want this to go away and someone us to reach conclusions yesterday. but so many committee members on both sides of the aisle have constantly stepped out. it is not only our relationship but the committee has our back and they want to see it through. >> without naming another committee, could you speak to the level of satisfaction on both sides of the aisle within your committee about the integrity of the committee, how it is working, it's functions and so on? >> the first assessment i would make is that not only for the our committee
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gotten access to information from the gang of eight. that is unprecedented. in the history of the committee. i think it starts with the trust that the intelligence community has with the staff, the professional staff and with the membership at large. it would be extremely easy for them to deny us to have access to some of the most sensitive things that deal with sources and methods but they have not. that is what gives us high hopes that we can reach a conclusion that has bipartisan support and we feel confident that we have explored every crevice that we can find. >> part of this is the normal course of the intelligence community having concerns and i think we have earned their trust. >> at her part question. paul manafort -- a two-part question. manafort -- can you tell us if that has already happened?
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--m a logistical sense, there is a bewildering amount of information. is there something being done to help you get through the volume of this information? not sure you are hearing from. it is not the professional staff doing it. is it a lot of information? absolutely. is it clear to know where to go? yes. it is in three binders. in benghazi, our professional staff had to go out and figure out what intelligence they needed to ask for, did not have access to gang of eight, had to figure out who to interview. i am a going to tell you that this one is easier. this is one of the biggest investigations the hill has seen in my tenure here.
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>> the challenge has been that -- any of footnote the individuals out in the -- we have to know what the right questions are to ask and to do that you have to have the documents. mentioned that it is so challenging to get information from the ic. are there particular agencies that are being challenging? >> i want to make sure the intelligence community knows that some have been very responsive, some less so, but to do our job, we have to have this information. >> let me answer on behalf of the agencies. not every document that an agency holds is the product of that agency. so, it is impossible from a legal standpoint for one agency
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to provide us another agencies document. the faster we can work through who has ownership rights, the quicker we can ask the appropriate agency for a specific document. your part of investigation, are you asking the house chairman to share yours -- his sources with you? we are not asking the house to play any role in our investigation and we do not plan to play any role in their investigation. >> for senator warner, are you confident that the white house is not going to interfere in the integrity of the investigation and for both of you, is the ultimate aim to write a bipartisan report? >> absolutely. starting with the second part of your question. in terms of bipartisan. if we do not come to a , with the manipulation that took place with the election and the spirit of the american people saying
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"what is going on here? " we are not fulfilling our duty. thatnk one of the things mr. kushner volunteering to testify was a good sign. but i have said repeatedly and i think the chairman agrees, this is the right venue that if we see any attempt to stifle us with information or to cut off the intelligence professionals giving us the access that we need, you will hear from us. will you be looking at the rewards to russia for changes in the republican party platform? that is not in the scope of the investigation. i will leave that up to you guys to report. >> has the white house or the doj or any part of the implement -- of the administration,
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blocked --? yatesould like to see ms. at some point. i did see her comments yesterday. they would be happy to have her testify. that is something we will have to jointly decide on. >> they have not blocked her from enabling her to come before your committee? >> no. of americanslot want to know if the president himself had anything to do with this. we have a government trust issue right now. is there anything you have seen that would raise any direct links to the president himself with what happened last year? >> we will take a snapshot in we cannot take any snapshot in time and make
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observations that we know our challenge is to answer that question for the american people in the conclusions of our investigation. the white house has complained at times that the intelligence community has linked -- has leaked intelligence or communications -- does the scope of your investigation include any of that? >> the normal scope of business for the intelligence committee is about leaks. that is one of the many processes we are going to look at. we will try to assess leaks if they take place during the investigation and if we find
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them, we will refer them to the appropriate law enforcement agency by requesting a crimes report. >> have you seen anything demonstrating that the intelligence community did anything improper? >> my answer would probably the know but again, we are so early in the investigation i am not sure we have triaged everything. beleaks can sometimes extraordinarily damaging. an editorial comment here -- if the administration has said they did nothing, i would hope they would continue that there is nothing to leak. on the other hand, the more cooperation we can get, the sooner we can move forward. fbi has a
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counterintelligence investigation. has that caused you to change your investigation at all in terms of not trying to step on their toes or do anything that might undermine a potential criminal investigation? >> i will leave it to the fbi to make any comments on the cia investigation. we are also -- we are always conscious that we could go down a road where we would be in lawlict with the enforcement process at which time we would work with the appropriate people to try to remedy that. >> there is a historical precedent. watergate had an investigation. we are very sensitive to that. >> can you give us a sense of the scale of the russian involvement in terms of the number of people or the capacity of the attack? >> let me start on that. andnow about the hacking the selective leaking of information.
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but, from a tech guy, what really concerns me is that at least some reports, and we have to get to the bottom of this, that there were upwards of 1000 paid internet trolls working out of a facility in russia and in effect, taking over a series of computers. they could then generate news down to specific areas, it has been reported to me and we have to find this out, whether they likein effect in areas wisconsin, michigan, and pennsylvania where you may not informationl of the regarding trump versus clinton in the last few days of the election. fake news. we have also seen as well the fact that if you think about -- -- youlook for example
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have proven election hacking in the timeframe leading up to the election and in the immediate afterwards, you would not get fox, abc news -- what you would get is four at a the first five new stories that popped up were russian propaganda. let me be clear. i am not here to read litigate the election. litigate the election. we need to put the american public on a higher alert. this time it was russia. it could be other nations as well. huge threat to american democracy. ofwe are on the brink potentially having to european countries where russia is the disruptor of their leadership. assess as amight covert effort in 2016 in the
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united states is a very over effort as well as covert in germany and france. already been tried in montenegro and netherlands. part of our responsibility is to educate the rest of the world about what is going on. because now, it is into character assassination of candidates. >> as the committee working with the administration -- how we really think proactively about the potential offensive strategy we have to take. we cannot allow this to happen again. this last time, it favored one party. russia is going to act in russia's self-interest and not america's. >> from npr. question for you sen. burr: i ask this with no disrespect. >> he disrespects me all of the time. >> having served as an advisor on the trump camping, can you
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say can't over heart, that you can be impartial? >> absolutely. i will admit that i voted for him. who we vote for, that is part of the democratic process. but i have a job in the united states senate and i take the job extremely seriously. it overrides any loyalties i might have. mark and i might look at politics differently but we do not look at the responsibilities that we have on the committee differently. and that is to earn the trust and the respect of the intelligence committee so they feel open and good about sharing information with us because that enables us to do our oversight job that much better. >> i have confidence in richard burr that we together with the members of the committee are going to get to the bottom of this. if you get nothing else out of today, take that statement. >> have you had any context with
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the michael flynn or represented -- have you had any contacts with michael flynn or representatives from him? would you speak with jared kushner behind closed doors versus publicly? -- i think it is safe to say that we have had conversations with a lot of people. us you would think less of if general flynn was not on that list. from the standpoint of the interview process, if you feel you are being cheated because they are not in public, it there is relevance to them, they will eventually be part of the public hearing. but the investigation of this kind, we will start with private interviews to determine the value of what a witness has to provide to the committee. we feel -- one thing we are very conscious of is that we were not given a free pass to do a
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witchhunt. we were asked to do a real investigation. we will see high profile people and analysts from the intelligence community where we may see a 28-year-old who happened to answer the phone at the white house on the wrong day .hen an ambassador called in mark and i do not want that person to have to get a lawyer to be interviewed. we would like to bring them up and understand what role they played, if any, without any liability that extends to them. ofare really conscious trying to assess each individual buton for what the neatest we do not rule anything out for anyone relative to how public the information might be. i am not going to tell you one way or the other. when will you actually start? >> i think they start as early as next monday but i am probably
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the wrong one to verify that. but they are immediate. these are the people that helped put together the january 6 report. >> when you see a movie, it is roughly two hours. when you see how much film went into the movie, it is probably 50 hours. we do not want to just look at what was in the report. we want to look at what was cut and thrown on the floor either in an analytic process or intelligence. to figure out if the analyst made the right determination based on what we know today. we have time for a couple more. right here. communicationthe and people involved in organized crime in russia. >> i don't think we said anything about organized crime. we said anyone that has contact
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with the russian government. >> but there do seem to be some ties. >> i will let that one be attributed to him. >> are there concerns about attacks in the 2018 elections? >> we hope so. >> tomorrow's hearing is specifically with that in mind that we provide more public awareness, not just in this country, but throughout the world as to what russia is up to. i think it is safe to say that u.s. officials have pushed what we know, not we the committee, at what we the government knows about rush's capabilities and intent. we pushed that out to the countries that are most imminent to have elections. but we are within 30 days of the first french election. four candidates. it goes down to two candidates
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with a runoff in may. i think it is safe by everyone's judgment that the russians are actively involved in the french elections. areas that you are giving o professional staffers -- >> i am not going to be specific as to how we are doing that but there is no save -- shared drive this time around. that did not have a happy ending. again, this gets back to what we said about every iteration is a new negotiation and we are not complaining about that. we think it is really important that we have a clear understanding up front who has access, how do they treat the information, where do they store the information, who is responsible for the security of that information?
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you have to understand. we are going through an investigation that will last x amount of time. after that, we have to perform our oversight job with the same people asking them for documents to do our regular oversight job. if we do not live up to the security that we promised them, then you will have an oversight committee that cannot successfully do its job. >> and one of the things we're doing, and this is where part of the rub comes and i understand that, we are basically trying to get access that even goes beyond what the gang of eight has. sure that every will have thisr information before they sign their name on the finished product. there is a healthy tension there. >> for any of you that have been of the confirmationlthy
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hearing, the one question you have heard directed to every person is -- would you provide for the committee, if asked, raw intelligence data? aere is rarely a time when committee would ask for that. we are in a rare time. and we will test some of the con hearing, the one question you have people to see if their commitment was one hundred percent correct. let me end with how we ended the first part. the committee will go wherever the intelligence leads us. you can continue to ask us 30 different ways about a person. we have beenn scheduled, we will tell you. you will not have to beat it out of us. we hope to make periodic updates when we have them. but we will show you what is educational or a little bit of the roadmap but at this point, we are not there. we will do that based on the changing conditions of the investigation. >> my last comment is that when we saw thethis,
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scope and what was involved. i said it was the most important thing i have ever taken on in my import -- in my public life. nowlieve that more firmly and when we started. we are going to get it right. thank you. >> this morning, the senate atelligence committee holds hearing to investigate russian efforts to influence u.s. elections in 2016. we will be live from the hearings starting at a hearing to investigate russian efforts to influence u.s. elections 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. you can also watch this live on our website, c-span.org, or follow it free on our c-span radio app. >> live sunday at noon eastern, investigative journalist and the selling author andy jacobson is our guest. these pentagon documents what is clear is that it is moving humans in the military
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environment towards it being comfortable with the idea of merging man and machine. >> ms. jacobson is known for her writings on war, weapons, security, and secrets and will discuss her four most recent books. including her most recent "phenomenal." join our live three-hour conversation with annie jacobsen . live sunday at noon eastern on book tv's in depth on c-span2. today on c-span, washington journal is next. at 9:00 a.m. eastern, the u.s. house returns for work on the epa science advisory board bill. the legislation makes changes to membership qualification were germans. coming up in an hour, former senators former medicaid services administrator tom scully.
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he will discuss the future of health care as more states consider medicaid expansion. at 8:30 a.m., maryland congressman john delaney is here to talk about infrastructure spending and tax reform. ♪ host: good morning. it is thursday, march 30. the house is set to gavel in at 9:00 a.m. this morning for legislative business. the senate will convene at 9:30 this morning pre. we will discuss the new opioid commission launched by the administration. it will evaluate the federal .overnment's treatment efforts we want to hear from you this morning about the opioid epidemic in your community. what problems do you see when it me

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