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tv   Outnumbered  FOX News  March 20, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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intelligence said that that was the consensus view. did they have draft of the january 6 occupant? >> i'm sorry. >> did those writers from "the washington post" help you write the january 6, assessment? >> no, they did not. >> i'm wondering how they got the exact language on december the ninth. >> it had not been written yet. i do not know. this is the peril of trying to comment on newspaper articles. i cannot say much about them. they are often wrong. >> you mentioned earlier in one of our hearings that when anybody uses the, i cannot talk because i am bound by a position of an amenity, that that is code for breaking the law, generally, right? when somebody says that i am talking to a reporter, secret information, you cannot tell who
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it is, that as mr. gowdy was saying earlier speaking on anonymity, that that should be interpreted as breaking the law, i do not want to be outed? is that fair? >> sometimes. i think there are other motives on anonymity. >> you are saying if the fbi was consistent in his assessment that they hurt hillary, her potential candidacy, and current across all of that that they helped trump, that is your testimony? >> correct. >> okay, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. if you can yield me a few minutes, let me think director comey and admiral rogers for being here today, this is a cooperation that you have given this committee. thank you for your service. director comey, aware of their predicament, i understand your situation where you cannot comment on the investigation.
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and we can have various scenarios laid out, which came more into months and months without anyone being able to disprove them until the investigation is completed. i like to use the example, we could have said that in 2012, president obama was overheard and a microphone saying that if i am reelected, tell vladimir that we can work out better arrangements. we know that he read a cold romney in the 2012 election when he said that he thought that russia was a threat. and in 2013, we saw president obama invited the russians into syria when they pretty much had been removed 40 years before. and also, as far as aid to ukraine, the obama administration always refused to give aid to ukraine. in 2016, actually stronger and the democratic platform. so if there was investigation of the obama administration, we can
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say that it might prove something. until the investigation is completed, that type of almost slanderous comments can be made. so i am not asking you to hurry the investigation along. you have to do what you have to do. but i guess i would ask you just in the remaining moments that i have in this round, i know that two weeks ago director clapper said that as far as he knows, all of the evidence that he has seen there is no evidence of any collusion between the trump campaign and the russians. obviously the detailed exhaustive report was put out talking about russians influence of the campaign, all of the intelligence apparatus had put into that. so if you are admiral rogers have any disagreement with the conclusion of general clapper that there is no collusion between the russians in the trump campaign. >> that is not something that i can comment on.
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>> likewise, i'm not going to comment on an ongoing investigation. >> again, you are not going to disagree, you are just not going to comment. the reason i am pointing it out, it is the situation on the other end. you cannot comment on something, and inference that because a person's name is brought up, you may have worked with somebody at a certain time that there is a guilt. this is the problem. i am not at all being critical, but this is a situation that i think can be damaging to the country. it does advance the russian interest to destabilize democracy. with that i yield back, mr. chairman. >> the recognized -- shift to schiff. >> it was not simply that the russians had a negative preference against secretary clinton, they also had a positive preference for donald trump, is that correct? >> correct. >> i want you to ask about saying if this is a character
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characterization of mr. term, i will not put you in that position, but -- >> you are not going to put me in that spot you said. i am happy without. >> i'm not going to put you in the spot of answering whether this is an accurate characterization of mr. trump, but it would be accurate for the kremlin to want something with nato. >> that is not something that i should be answering. that is beyond my responsibilities. >> well, what is the russian view of nato? do they like nato? do they want to see it strong? >> again, i am sure that you have already spoken to people who are at greater experts than i, but they do not like nato. they think that it threatens them. >> what they have a preference for a candidate that has distinctions over ukraine? >> i do not want to get into commenting about that. >> let me ask you this way, what
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they like to see the sanctions on ukraine go away? >> yes. >> what they have a preference for a candidate that gave open admiration to putin? >> i hope you will reformed the question, mr. putin like people who like him. >> what they have a preference for a candidate with with other departures away from britain? >> yes. >> and have the russians in europe given a preference for people as political leaders with the hope that they can entangle them in financial interest or that they may allow their financial interests to take precedence over the interests of countries in europe where they represent? >> we reported that president putin has given preference to business leaders and leading other governments. he mentions schroeder and stony,
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because he believes that there are people who are more open to negotiation and easier to deal with. >> lets me yield now to sewell. >> i would like to continuing my line of questioning on michael flynn. i'm sure that you can understand my concern that mr. flynn not only failed to disclose the contacts with the russian ambassador, but he also said that he did not remember whether he discussed sanctions against russia without ambassador. i find that really hard to believe. we do not think that at the height of our concern about the russian hacking that mr. flynn would have remembered meeting with the russian ambassador and would have told him to stop meddling in our affairs? but that did not happen, did it? >> that is not something that i can answer. >> not only did mr. flynn not to remember talking to the russian ambassador coming and not to remember what they talked about, but he also appeared to have lied to the vice president-elect all about it.
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now mr. comey, do you think that mr. flynn's failure to disclose what he had with the russian ambassador and the topic of conversation along with blatant lies to vice president michael pentz meet the standard for the fbi? >> i have to give you the same answer. i'm not going to comment. >> now i know that you probably cannot comment on this as well, but i think that it is really important that we review a short timeline and that is based on press reporting, because we need to get this for the public record, i think. so on december 25th, 2016, mr. mr. flynn exchanged text messages with the russian ambassador. on december 28th, 2016, mr. mr. flynn reportedly spoke on the phone with the russian ambassador. by then it was pretty clear that the obama administration was going to take actions against russia.
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on december 29th, 2016, mr. flynn reportedly spoke on the phone with the russian ambassador again. that day the obama administration expelled 35 -- and announced a new sanctions. we also know from the press reporting said sometimes in december mr. flynn met with the russian ambassador at trump tower, and that mr. trump's son in law was also there. the purpose of the meeting was to establish a line of communication with the kremlin. i should add that the white house and mr. flynn did not disclose this december face-to-face meeting until this month. on january 20th -- january 12th, 2017, the press reported that mr. flynn contacted the russian ambassador again. and on january 15th, 2015, vice president elect mike speenineteen -- pence said that
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i cannot confirm that those conversations took the diplomats, having nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions. on january 26, the acting attorney general sally gates reportedly told president trump's white house counsel who immediately told president trump that mr. flynn was vulnerable to russian blackmail because because of discrepancies between vice president elect and mr. flynn's actual discussion. on february 10th, president trump denied knowledge of this telling reporters on air force one, i do not know about that. in response to questions about mr. flynn's conduct, the
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white house also denied that mr. flynn and the russian ambassador discussed sanctions, and then on february 13th, 2017, mr. flynn resigned as national security advisor. now, director comey, all of these accounts are open source press reporting. given russian's long-standing desire to cultivate its relations with influential u.s. persons, is in the american public right to be concerned about mr. flynn's conduct, his failure to disclose that contact with the russian ambassador, his attempts to cover it up and what looked like the white house's attempts to sweep this under the rug, don't we as the american people deserve the right to know, and china as our fbi such claims? >> i cannot comment. i understands people's interest in it. and as was said, the speculation about it. but we cannot do it well or fairly to the people that we investigate if we talk about it.
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i cannot can't comment. >> i would like to talk about the failure to disclose until pressure about the house oversight and relations committee. there were payments that he received from russia for the 2015 trip to the tenth anniversary gala of rt. the russian owned media outlet. according to the january 2017, declassified assessment report, the criticism of the united states was the last facet of the broader and to long-standing anti-u.s. messaging likely aimed at undermining viewers trust in the u.s. democratic procedures. this january assessment points out that this is a strategy that russia employed. it goes back to before the 2012 elections according to the ic
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assessment. so admiral rogers, am i right that the rt is essentially owned by the russian government? and how long has the intelligence community been looking at rt as an arm of the russian government? >> we are certainly aware. we have been for a period of time between the russian government and rt individuals with other things. >> how long have you known about that? mom's coming years, how long has the united states -- >> some number of years. >> and my knots right to assume that the former director of dia, the agency, mr. flynn would have been aware that rt's role as an anti-u.s. russian propaganda outlet, when he agreed to speak at the anniversary gala in 2015? is it not reasonable to assume -- >> i am not going to talk about the comments of somebody else
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with another person. >> would it be unusual for a foreign official to get paid by a foreign adversary to attend such an event? would it be unusual and raise some questions with the fbi if that person failed to disclose the payments received for that trip? >> i do not know in general. as to the specifics, i am not going to comment. >> yes, sir. i understand that you cannot comment. but i would like to read and exchange between mr. flynn and a yahoo news correspondent. regarding his trip to russia during the rt event. the correspondent asks, where you paid for that event? then there was back and forth for a bit, and mr. flynn said, yes. i did not take any money from russia if that is what you are asking me. so isn't it true that to the oversight committee last week received information and to
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released publicly that mr. flynn accepted nearly $35,000 in speaking fees and traveling fees from rt, this russian government owned media outlet? >> i believe i have seen news accounts to that effect. >> is it not also true that according to the cause of the united states constitution a person holding any office of profits or trust cannot accept gifts or payments from a foreign country, and doesn't have the dod, the, the department of defense prohibits retired military officers from taking any consulting fees, gifts, traveling expenses, from a foreign government including commercial enterprises owned by or controlled by a foreign government like rt? >> that is not something i can comment on. >> can you speak to whether the clause would apply to something like -- someone like mr. flynn,
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a retired three-star general? >> i cannot. >> i just wanted to be really hard to believe that given the emoluments clause does apply to retired officers like mr. flynn, i cannot believe that mr. flynn, a retired military officer would take money from the russian government in violation of the united states constitution. i believe that such violation and worthy of a criminal investigation by the fbi. what's level of proof do we need in order for us to have a criminal investigation by the fbi of mr. flynn? >> i cannot comment on that. >> shone into the people be concerned i think that it is rey hard for us to fathom that he would e should have disclosed that he received $35,000 as a part of a speaking engagement to rt. at the russian, u.s.
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anti-propaganda outlet. >> i cannot comment on that, ms. sewell. >> my final comment is about mr. flynn working as an agent a foreign power, following on the line of questioning, am i correct that the foreign agents registration act requires that individuals who will lobby on behalf of a foreign government to must register with the united states government? >> i believe that that is correct. i am not an expert. the reason that i am saying that is i do not know exactly how they define things like lobbying in the statute, but if you are going to represent a foreign government, you should be registered. >> and is it not true that just last november, 2016, mr. flynn was working as a foreign agent doing work that principally benefited the government of turkey, and yet he did not report it until just last week? >> i cannot comment on that. >> is a nontrue that mr. flynn was reportedly paid over half a
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million dollars for this work? >> same answer. >> and is a nontrue the trump white house on at least two occasions was asked by mr. flynn's lawyers whether he should report that work? the work that he was doing on behalf of the turkish government, and they did not give him any advice to the contrary, do you know anything about that? >> i have to give you the same answer. >> director comey, i know you cannot discuss any investigations ongoing, i understand that. i think it is important for the american people to understand the breath of what in public open sourced press reporting of mr. flynn actions that led to his resignation. and while we cannot talk about whether there are investigations, i believe that we here at the house permanent selection of intelligence must put that into the public domain. and they are that mr. flynn lied
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about his communication with the russian ambassador. secondly, mr. flynn lied about taking money from the russian government. and thirdly, that mr. flynn at a minimum did not disclose the work as an agent of the foreign power. and that the white house did not help in this concern. so gentlemen, it is clear to me that mr. flynn should be under criminal investigation. i know that you cannot comment. but i believe it is my duty as member of this committee to come into the american people that his engagement of lying, failure to disclose really important information in context with the foreign ambassador rises to the level of disclosure, and to me criminal intent. so i say this to say that the american people deserve to know the full extent of mr. flynn's involvement with the russians, and where it's influenced the 2016 election. i believe that our democracy requires it.
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thank you, i yield back to my ranking member. >> time has expired. >> as this committee hearing continues, we want to wrap up where we are right now. and bring you some analysis of what we have heard to this moment. also check in on the hearing on the senate side. we can tell you that the big news out of the committee hearing so far, you look look e committee chairman is that the fbi director is confirming that there is an investigation into possible collusion between the russian government and aspects of the trump campaign. he would not get into specifics about who is under investigation or how far and extensive that is. but we did learn that it began in july. we also learned that the fbi director does not have anything to support president trump's tweet that president obama had him wiretapped or that there was actual surveillance of trump tower. that was pretty specific in a
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number of different questions as this has continued throughout the morning. we are back with our panel, lisa boothe, steve hayes, moralizing, and chris wallace. i kind of summarize the headlines there, but that was the shocking moment. actually talking about an investigation, something that the fbi does not do. >> and he said that. they do not comment on current investigations unless there is a matter of overwhelming public interest, and that he believed in the justice department authorized him to say that there is a continued, an open investigation of russia's role in the specific words that he use of any links and any coordination between the trump campaign into the russian government. look, we do not know where this will lead, we do not know if there is going to be anything, but the fact that the fbi director says that the trump campaign, and indirectly, president trump is under current fbi investigation is a pretty startling moments.
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i think that we all kind of took notice at that point. and also, obviously his statement and there were a lot of things that comey could not say that he has no information, no information to support that the trump tweets that indicate that there was any efforts by the obama administration to wiretap trump tower during that campaign. it has been a tough day for donald trump. the only other point i would make is that the democratic side has seen much better prepared. and while they have not had evidence, they have put a timeline out there, there were contacts between trump world officials, associates and the russian government through the summer of 2016, and then into the hacking of the democrats come in, the dnc, and podesta in the fall of 2016. it has been a bad day for the trump white house. >> i would argue that
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congressman gowdy was pretty litigious in the way that he asked questions about the unmasking of people that could have leaked the classified information of michael flynn. the former nsa national security advisor in the conversations that he had with the russian ambassador. >> absolutely. there were three different hearings going on today, one was against the leaks, and as chairman nunes said we know that there has already been a crime. then there was a separate inquiry into russia as the ranking member said, this would be if true, the most shocking betrayal of our democracy if there was collusion between the trump campaign and the russians. that is a subject of an ongoing counterintelligence operation. he said that we have circumstantial inclusion, but we have directed deception of it. then you have the third track, that was about the president's tweets that he was wiretapped.
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i think that one was put to rest. we do not know if the president will give up on it, but everyone said that there was no evidence of that. i think this was a blockbuster day, i really do. it is not everyday that you hear that there is a counterintelligence investigation into the president of the united states campaign and whether they colluded with russia. >> meanwhile as he is running the senate heating demand hearing on gorsuch, tweeting out during this hearing, fbi director comey needs to be transparent and tell the public what he told me about whether he is or is not investigating potus, meaning president trump, interesting tweet here as this s ongoing. >> yes, very cryptic. one can infer from that that director comey may have told senator that he was not in fact investigating the president of the united states. but as we have pointed out, the fbi director saying an
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investigation into the president of the united states associates over people who have worked with him, this makes this by definition an extraordinary day. this is now going to be a huge story. it has been a huge story. this makes the story that much bigger. we note that there are additional hearings coming up, public hearings. it is a service, just send us an aside that senator nunes has agreed to do these. losing faith in the institutions to have this aired out in public when we would not want to have these discussions in public. i think it is important to do that. but the other big explosive revelation is that we went into the 2016 presidential election with both candidates under some kind of fbi investigation. candidates and their and dissociation under an fbi investigation. >> we only knew about one. >> in july when this was ongoing, he announced the
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investigation into hillary, not trump. now comey said that one investigation was finished, one was ongoing. i said the one about -- that was finished. >> you've touched on the broader point in the concern about being an average american, watching at home just the undermining of democracy in the trust in institutions. if you look before all of this, the trust in institutions was already incredibly low. what does that do to most americans looking at this? there are still two truths. one, the fact that the fbi breaking the news that there is currently an ongoing investigation. i think if you are the trump administration right now, you have to get in front of this. there was no way to try and avoid this shift, the ranking member shift. leading an excruciating opening statement, that is going to make news, as well as the fbi's directors saying something.
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>> obviously did not have specifics. a loss was based not on evidence. he was saying if this happens, if this happens, and he was linking things together in the opening statement hoping to get the confirmation from these officials who were testifying. >> still, you can stand with the fact that there is by no evidence admitted for out there that there was actual collusion. i think if you are -- public opinion matters. if people are watching at home, the opening statement in the line from the members of the committee matters. you cannot avoid that if you are the trump administration. they need to get in front of this. i do not know how they do that. but it is problematic that it is not going anywhere based on the fbi still investigating, and then secondly that's just the general line of question that is taking place. >> now you see perhaps why president trump was out with the twitter, the several tweets that he had today about the lack of evidence of collusion and other things that he stated on twitter
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this morning, setting the table for being briefed about what the fbi is or is not doing. >> yes, and i do think that we need to point out in an interview a few weeks ago on one of the sunday shows, james clapper, at the time during obama administration, the director of national intelligence, and he said that there was no evidence of collusion. devin nunes, no evidence of collusion. by now you have comey saying that this is under active investigation, specifically the collusion. and he was asked about how soon he was going to wrap it up coming and he said well, this began in july. for a counterintelligence active investigation, that is a short time. that would indicate that that is going to go on for a long time. you can talk about him saying that he wanted to get out in front of it. you cannot get out in front. it will continue for some time. and we saw how it had damaged hillary clinton. the idea that there is a
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continuing fbi investigation despite the conclusions from the director of national intelligence, the head of the house intelligence, the means -- there is a cloud that will remain. >> i do want to point out that while he could say, because the director said that it was continuing, he cannot talk about the leak investigation about who leaked classified intelligence. he did not talk specifically, but he did say there were 20 people who could have unmasked this person or the name michael flynn as part of wiretapping that happen. >> absolutely. and gowdy listed seven of them dead he thought was consideration for investigation. the fbi will look at that, those were the two tracks, and then you have the whole investigation into collusion, and the mystery about why there is direct evidence of so much dissembling and deception about it.
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why deceive people about whether or not you met with the russians if the meanings and the context was completely innocent? >> we should make clear that when we say wiretap, intercepts, all of that it deals with some other elements going after someone else, and americans like michael flynn michael flynn, and whoever else are swept up in that. not a targeting of the original met american person. >> their name should be protective and not released. >> that is why the republicans spend so much time focusing on unmasking, a term of hours because of incidental collection. and that means that michael flynn could have gotten caught up in listening in on other conversations. republicans, gowdy push that line of questioning fairly effectively. you do wonder if republicans will at some point ask about the russia question. these are big questions. we should know more about it regardless of ideologically and political affiliation.
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that should be a partisan issue. and i would say the same thing for democrats. they could spend more time wondering about the leaks. >> in the republicans question about boats after state after state, and the answer was no. i want to turn now, because at the same time that this is going on, obviously the confirmation hearing for neil gorsuch is happening over on the senate side. now it has been opening statements all morning, shannon bream has been on entering at all. we should hear from neil gorsuch a little bit later this afternoon. shannon, how's it going? >> well, it has been as expected. a crowded room. a lot of people with a lot of things to say. we will not hear from the nominee until much later in the day. he is sitting there stoic, taking it in. when he came in, you know how it is in d.c. through the rock star paparazzi for hearings like this. this is the guy that would get this in washington. he seemed a little bit overwhelmed at one point, laughing at the photographers, because they were so closing in
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on him. he cannot even see the bench where you are going to see the senators. he made light of it. he made some time introducing his family, his wife, others who are here. they have been recognized and thanked for their support of being here today. each of the senators is going through an opening statements. they are doing this through seniority. they are alternating between democrats and republicans. a number of democrats while saying that they acknowledge the credentials that judge gorsuch has, they are angry about the fact that marek or lynn was never given a chance to go through the process. they have brought that up repeatedly. they also say that he is not listed in the name strain. it is interesting because the aba, not a conservative organization has given them the highest rating that they could possibly give saying that he is a judge of the highest caliber. i want to hear from senator, he said that the senate republicans are giving the nominee by the
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extreme interest group by a president who lost the popular vote. so if anybody thought that this was going to be kumbaya, kiss and make up on the senate side because they have a nominee that agrees on paper as being qualified, that is not going to be the case. democrats have signaled that they are going to be critical. they are still smarting over the fact that judge garland never got his shots. >> do you think that they will still force the issue in the republicans will have to use the nuclear option and pass gorsuch with a majority vote as opposed to 60? if that happens, it changes the dynamic going forward? >> it does. and you and i have heard from democrats and republicans all over the hills that do not want it to come to that. that is both of us thinking that you should not change the threshold. a democrats would have to come over to side with republicans on that. and there are a few that have publicly said, listen, we could let him get to a vote. we should not block him. that's the way that elections
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work. we will see if come together to overcome that, but at least on the judiciary, the tough hurdle for him, they are talking tough up front. we will see when it gets into the tough questions in in the t hopefully next couple of days if it softens. >> obviously will we hear from gorsuch as he speaks in the opening statement. we should point out that at 9:30 is the time for the hearing to start tomorrow. he will be question. as we wait for judge gorsuch to speak, we go back to the house side, and the house intelligence committee that is still ongoing questioning the fbi director and the national security agency director. >> so, we saw cyber used, we saw the use of external media, we saw the use of information, we saw the use of leaking of information, much of which was not altered. we saw several common traits that we have seen over time as well as i would argue the difference this time was the
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mention and the fact that the release of so much information that they had retracted to vs cyber is a tool to drive an outcome. >> can you talk to us at all about what kind of tools they used? >> i'm not going to go into the specifics of how they executed the hacks. >> we will try to get into the classified. we will hold off for now. >> yielding back, mr. schiff is recognized for 15 minutes. >> thank you, i had a couple of follow-up questions, director comey, can you tell me what sf 86 is? >> it is the standard background clearance form that all of us who are hired by the federal government and want to have classified information fill out. >> would someone who is in incoming national security advisor have to fill out this form? >> yes, i think so. >> would that sf86 say that
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applicants will disclose any payments given by a foreign power? >> i think so. and foreign travel as well. >> i make a request through you to the justice department or whatever components would have custody of mr. flynn's sf86, and make a request that that be provided to the committee. and i yield now to mr. carson. >> thank you, ranking member, i would like to focus my line of questioning on the abuse to ukraine. russia illegally annexed the ukrainian territory of crimea, beginning a conflict that has effectively had to be resolved. admiral rogers, can you please briefly describe as you understand it, sir, how russia took crimea?
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>> i would argue to the insertion of military force, they occupied it. they removed it from ukrainian control. >> sir, we have heard terms like little green men, hybrid warfare, can you please explain how these relate to russia and ukraine? >> so on the ukraine side, what we saw was over time instead of the overt activity, we saw it as such activity on the crimea side, what we saw was a much bigger efforts on the influence and the attempts to distance russian actions from any potential blowback to the russian state, if you will. hence the use of the little green men surrogates in military, unmarked military uniforms. the flow of information, the provision of resources to support, separation of the ukraine.
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>> has russia returned crimea back to ukraine? >> no. >> do they have intentions to? >> they have publicly indicated that they will not. >> why does russia even care about ukraine? >> i'm sure that they view that it is of primary national interest for them. it is on the immediate periphery of the russian state. >> and my right, sir, that they see it as a part of their broader objective to influence and impact russia's desire for self-determination? >> yes, i think that is part of it. >> has russia claims: territory in ukraine, the u.s., and the rest of the world saw the nx station for what it was, crime. shortly after russia invaded, the united nations essentially declared it a crime in a nonbinding resolution. in our own governments, recognizing the seriousness of
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the event instituted new sanctions against russia? >> yes, sir. >> this is a time where much of the world was united. russia invaded another country, and they illegally annexed its territory, and we all stood shoulder to shoulder with ukraine, one person who did not see it that way, however, that was president donald trump. on july 30th, and an interview with abc news, mr. trump said of putin, he is not going to go into ukraine, okay. just so you understand, he is not going into ukraine, all right. now admiral, had not putin already gone into ukraine two years before and had not left? e crimea influence on the ukraine generally, yes, sir. >> and he still has not left? correct? >> now we are getting intensive very technical questions if of them being in the ukraine, they outright invaded with armed
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military force, and have annexed it? >> are they still in ukraine? >> they are supporting the ongoing effort in ukraine to split the country. >> we will get back to mr. trump in a minute, tell me what it would mean to russia and to putin to have sanctions lifted. >> and easing of economic impact. more resources. >> according to nato analysis, the russian economy shrunk by as much as 3.5% in 2015, they had no growth in 2016. this was a big part because of western sanctions. especially those against the oil and gas industry. we are talking about a loss of over $135 billion. just in the first year of sanctions. if that is a huge sum of money. and sanctions are not meant to push their economy over a cliff, but to put long-term pressure on putin to change his behavior.
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putin said himself in 2016, the sanctions are served really harming russia, so we know that they have had success in putting pressure on the kremlin, admiral, what would it mean to you geopolitically? would it help? would it help the illegal landgraf? >> i am not in a position to talk about the geopolitical implications. we have stated previously that we have tried to outline the policymakers the specifics of the russian invasion of crimea, the russian support in the ukraine, the russians continue to attempt to pressure and keep the ukraine week. >> would it help leave the united states from her allies? >> if we remove the sanctions. >> there is a lot at stake here for russia, this is big money. it is strategic implications.
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if they can legitimate into the annexation of crimea, what is next? are we looking at a new iron curtain just sending across eastern europe? you know, most in our country recognize what is at stake and how the united states as a leader of the free world is the only check on russian expansion, so back to mr. trump and his cohort. at the republican convention stated, page, and trump himself change the party platform to no longer eat arm ukraine, so the same month that trump denied putin's role in the campaign, his team weakened the party platform on ukraine, and as we have and will continue to hear, this was the same month that several individuals in the trump orbit held secret meetings with russian officials. some of which may have been on the topic of sanctions against
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russia or their intervention in ukraine, this is no coincidence in my opinion. in fact the dossier written by former mi6 agent says that he wanted this to be a campaign issue, effectually for vladimir putin. there is a lot in the dossier that has yet to be proven, but we will care throughout the day, allegations are checking out. and this one seems to be as accurate as they come. in fact, there is also one pattern that i want to point out before getting back, paul manafort has been fired paige fired. flynn, fired. why? they were hired because of the russian connections. they were fired, however because their connections became public, they were effectively culpable. they were also the fall guys. so i think that after we hear
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the line of questioning, we might guess who could be next. mr. chairman. i yield back. >> i yield the balance. >> thank you, gentlemen for your services to our country. i think that it is really important as we sit here that we explain to the american people in a way that they can understand it. why are we talking about all of this? so my first question to each of you is russia our adversary? >> yes. >> yes. >> do they intend to do us harm? >> they intend to ensure that they gain advantage at our expense. >> director comey? >> yes. harm can have many meanings, they are in adversary. they want to resist us, oppose
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us, and that's a many different ways. >> one of the terms that we hear often is hybrid warfare, and i would like to just give a short definition of what it is. it blends conventional warfare, irregular warfare, and cyber warfare, the aggressor intends to avoid attributions for retribution. so would you say that russia engaged in hybrid warfare in an effort to undermine our democratic process and engage in our electoral process? director comey? >> i do not think i would use the term warfare, i think you would want to ask experts in the definition of war, they engaged in a multifaceted campaign of active measures to undermine our democracy and hurts one of the candidates and hope to help one of the other ones. >> i would agree with the
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director. >> all right, thank you both. i think that their engagement was an act of war. an act of hybrid warfare. i think that is why the american people should be concerned about it. in terms of trying to understand this, i think a spiderweb was -- with a tarantula in the middle. and the tarantula in my view is vladimir putin. who is entrapping many people to do his bidding and to engage with him. and i would include those like roger stone, carter page, michael cavuto, ross, paul manafort, and rex tillerson. i would like to focus first on rex tillerson in the 3 minutes i have here. he was the ceo of exxonmobil, and in 2008 he said that the
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likelihood of u.s.-russian businesses was in fact a poor investment. that russia was a poor investment climates. that was in 2008. in 2011 he closed $500 billion deal with ross nest oil. the ceo is sessions, who is a confident of president putin, second most powerful man in russia, and probably a former kgb agent the deal gives exxon access to the black sea and siberia for oil development. they get exxon oil in texas in the gulf rex tillerson calls session a good friend. and in 2012, mr. jeff tiller sin
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and sessions go on a road show here in the united states to talk about this great deal that they are just consummated. also in 2012, there is a video of president putin and rex tillerson toasting champagne at the deal. and in 2013 mr. rex tillerson receives the russian order of friendship. and he sits right next to president putin at the events. so my question to you, director comey, is it of value to president putin knowing what he knows -- you know of him and doing harm to us, is it of benefit to mr. putin to have rex tillerson as the secretary of state? >> i cannot answer that questio question. >> admiral rogers? >> i am not in the position to
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answer that question. >> so in 2014, igor session is sanctioned, and he laments that he will no longer be able to come to the united states to motorcycle ride with mr. tillerson, can you give me an understanding of what are some of the reasons that we impose sanctions? >> on sanction? >> just in general. >> you would have to ask an expert, but from my general knowledge it is to punish activities that are criminal in nature that involve war crimes, violations of u.n. resolutions, or united states law and some other way. it is to communicate and enforce foreign policy interests and values of the united states of america. that is my general sense, but an expert might describe it better. >> admiral rogers? >> i would echo those comments. it is a tool will be used to
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drive and shape their choices and actions of others. >> so in the case of the sanction by the united states imparts to draw attention to the fact that russia had invaded the crimea it is an effort to try and send a very strong message to russia, is that not true? >> i think that is right. >> all right, without i will yield back for now. >> yielding back. i yield myself 15 minutes, i yield to the general lady from florida. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. it is never acceptable, we can all agree for any foreign power to interfere with our electoral process. in this committee has long been focused on russia's reprehensible conduct. and we will remain focused on the threats emanating from
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moscow. and i agree when you say that this investigation that is ongoing, we will follow the facts wherever they lead without bipartisan level. if there be no sacred. there are many important issues at stake as you guys have heard. there is bipartisan agreement on the danger of illegal leaks and our ability to reauthorize important programs upon which our intelligence community relies. but i want to assure the american people that there is also bipartisan agreement on getting to the bottom of russian meddling in our election. and that will remain the focus of our investigation and yours. so admiral rogers, i agree what you said. a public acknowledgment of this foreign meddling to be a problem as we move forward. in spotlighting on the
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congressman beyond the questions and based on this theme, i would like to ask you gentlemen if you can describe, what if anything russia did in this election that tear knowledge they did or they did not do in previous election elections? how were their actions different in this election than in previous ones? >> i would say that the biggest difference from my perspective was both the use of cyber, the hacking as a vehicle to physically gain access to information to extract that information and then to make it widely, publicly available without any alteration or chang change. >> the only thing that i would add, they were unusually loud in their intervention. it's almost as if they did not care that we knew what they were doing or that they wanted us to see what they were doing. it was very noisy. there are intrusions in
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different institutions. >> and what specifically based on this loudness did the fbi or the nsa do to prevent or counter this russian active measure that we read about in the intelligence community assessment, as loud as they were, what do we do to counter that? >> well, among other things, we alerted people who had been victims of intrusions to prevent him and tell them to tighten their systems. and the government supplied information to all of the states so that they can equip themselves to make sure that there is no successful effort to affect the boat. if there was none as we said earlier. and then the government as a whole in october called it out. and i believe it was director clapper and secretary jay johnson issuing a statement saying that this is what the russians are doing. a sort of an inoculation.
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>> and the loudness to which you refer, perhaps they were doing these kinds of actions at previously and other elections, but they were not to doing as loudly, why do you think that they did not mind being loud and found out? >> i do not know the answer for sure. but i think the number one mission is to undermine the credibility of our entire democracy enterprise. it's trying to be that they wanted us to help them by telling people what they were doing. there loudness in a way would be amplifying it to tell the american people what we saw coming and freaking people out about how the russians might be undermining our election successfully. that might've been part of their plan. i do not know for sure. >> i agree with director comey. while there was hyperactivity in the past, you never saw in
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previous presidential elections information being published in such a massive scale that had been illegally removed from private individuals as well as organizations associated with the democratic process, both inside the government and outside the government. >> and this massive amount and that's loudness, now that it becomes public knowledge, now that we have satisfied their thirst, that it has become such a huge deal, do you expect their interference to be amplified in future u.s. elections? do you see any evidence of that? or do you think that the public acknowledgment would tamper down their volatility? >> i will let mike rogers, i will say that they will be back. they will be back in 2020. >> as it continues, you see
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ros-lehtinen, republican from florida saying that there is concern about interference. that should be job one in the investigation as a house continues. we are going to wrap up our coverage here. and toss to "outnumbered." about final thoughts from the panel? >> pretty quick points, comey says that there was no information to back up the tweets about wiretapping at trump tower. he says that there is an ongoing investigation about the possibility of collusion between the term campaign and russia. but he says that there is not to any, just that there is an in an investigation. and trying to make sure that the leaking's of americans that were swept up in some of this intelligence, bottom line is that this is going to continue. if the white house is going to go away, it is -- >> ongoing investigation, and saying it starts in july.
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and the law enforcement is a grinding process. it goes on and on. but you can see in the white house's reaction on twitter. reacting pretty strongly. trying to find little nuggets of things that are positive for them about a day that was mostly negative. >> we should point out the the assumption was there was an investigation of people in the term campaign, but the person on the fbi director, confirming this and his own words. >> and that of itself is something stunning. also the fact that director comey spoke pretty firmly freely in the opening minutes, and then clammed up when he was asked specifics. trump administration probably not the best day of the trump administration with hearings around neil gorsuch, widrespectl be confirmed. even as democrats take a shot at him. and i think that we will see
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this going down as one of the worst days of the trump administration early on. >> we will see how it plays out. >> i think at this point the only legal activity that we know for a matter of fact is that the leak of information. that being said, the ongoing investigation, you cannot outrun this. as republicans and the trump administration try to move forward with the gorsuch hearing, confirmation, obamacare, tax reform, this is going to make it very difficult until we know something definitively. >> we should point out until there is in it investigation, we are not coming to the conclusion. we are saying that there is a net investigation in collusion with the term campaign in russia, we should also point out the context that the former director of national intelligence says that he saw no in evidence of collusion, and he was the one who put together the report before handing it over to the next administration. that would have included july-december. we have to point out that the house intelligence committee
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chair who has seen a lot of things that are classified, he has said he has seen no evidence of collusion. there is an investigation ongoing. we can say that there is no evidence according to the fbi director and national security investigation agents -- that there is wiretapping of trump tower, and specifically known that president obama alleged to have ordered as president trump's tweets had a couple of weeks ago. panel, thank you very much. we have had a busy day of coverage here at this hearing and over on the senate side, the confirmation hearing continues tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., neil gorsuch taking questions tomorrow. today is just opening statements. you will see neil gorsuch's opening statement just a little bit later here on fox news channel. without, from washington we say good afternoon. we'll see you out "special report." and i will toss now to the ladies
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>> we will pick it up, fox news alert, big showdown on capitol hill we have been watching play out today, pair of critical hearings underway that could have a huge impact on the trump presidency. let's take a look at screen lab, fbi director james comey and nsa director mike rogers testifying for the first time about russian interference in the u.s. presidential election, was there any? screen write, hearing sticking up for neil gorsuch, president trump's nominee for the supreme court. this is tillerson, i am harris faulkner. today, meghan mccain, host of "kennedy," kennedy herself and also from fox business network, melissa francis and today's one lucky guy, sitting member of congress from the great state of wisconsin, republican, rissman sean duffy. he is outnumbered. i like it comedy like it? >> what an exciting day. >> we have spent some quality hours together already. >> more excitin

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