tv Americas News HQ FOX News March 29, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
you can browse through history, looking at images and video of basically anything space related. >> look at that. all you have to do is go to images.nasa.gov. >> melissa: thanks for joining us. "america's news hq" starts now. in half an hour the senate intelligence committee expected to give an update on its investigation into russia's possible interference in our presidential election. the senate intel news conference coming amid growing frustration in the house, as the white house said it sees no problem with devin nunes leading that committee into the russian probe. sean spicer lightening the mood just a little bit as he started that white house briefing today, calling first on april ryan, the same reporter he got so contentious with, you'll remember yesterday. watch this. >> april. >> thank you, sean. >> how are you today?
>> i'm fine. how are you? >> i'm fantastic. >> well, sean, going back to the news. in the midst of all this back and forth, what does the white house say about that? >> there's nothing that i see that is problematic in him conducting an investigation that we asked both the house and senate intelligence committees. >> sandra: mike emanuel live for us on capitol hill with the very latest. what did chairman nunes say about working with the democrats and the status of this investigation today? >> reporter: well, spicer and april ryan can patch it up, maybe there's hope for the house intelligence committee. devin nunes is under intense pressure from democrats on his own committee, calling for him to recuse himself in this russian meddling probe. i caught up with him in the hallway a little earlier and he fired back at the democrats saying, they're not being serious about this investigation. >> we're gonna do an investigation, with or without
them. and if they want to participate, that's fine. but the facts of the matter are pretty clear, that they have no -- we don't even know who the witnesses are who they want to call. so i would encourage you to start to follow them around and find out who they want to bring in and interview. >> reporter: a sign of how things have deteriorated. they like to be bipartisan, do all their work together, but for now it sounds like things are pretty rough. sandra? >> sandra: mike, what are democrats saying in response to nunes? >> reporter: a spokesman for the house intelligence committee on the democratic side says democrats have been looking at some sensitive documents both here in a secure location at the capitol. also at secure locations off campus. minority submitted a list to the majority, the republicans, yesterday. this list represents only the first of many witnesses we believe should be called to testify. additionally, we already proposed days ago that two hearings be scheduled for next week. one is with the fbi director
james comey and nsa director mike rodgers which would most likely be a closed hearing. we will see if the republicans and democrats can work it out to get those two hearings on the agenda for next week. sandra? >> sandra: thank you. >> the fascination is with what door did he come in? who did he meet with? as opposed to what i think it should be and ironically it's not, when the shoe's on the other foot. what's the substance? >> sandra: sean spicer also talking about process versus substance. so we asked our fox news research team to help break down the facts and outstanding questions on the russia probe. it has not yet been reported what was in the documents nunes viewed on that visit to the white house that night or who cleared his entry to the white house. also unclear, who his source is and what the white house knows. another question, did russia interfere with the u.s.
elections? the answer is a clear yes. that was confirmed by the national intelligence director's office back in january. as well as by fbi director james comey in a public hearing just over a week ago. there is still no evidence of any collusion between the trump campaign and russian operatives. director comey also confirmed the bureau continues to investigate that matter. one big unanswered question in all of this, who unmasked former nsa director michael flynn, leaking his name. last month it was reported general flynn discussed u.s. sanctions with russia's ambassador to the u.s. just before president trump took office. last week director comey confirmed certain obama administration appointees did have access to the names of unmasked u.s. citizens. another big question, whether or not former president obama wire tapped trump tower as president trump claimed on twitter. nunes said his panel has november evidence of that. director comey also said he has
no evidence to support that claim. congressman nunes has given a variety of answers on whether president trump's communications were scooped up in so-called incidental collection. here for more on this, eli lake bloomberg columnist. eli, we are trying to set the record straight as to where we are now, because this can be so confusing with all thaoe investigations going on. to be clear, you met with chairman nunes on monday when all of this was developing and becoming a thing. he explained to you why and what he did at the white house that night. what did you make of his explanation of all of this to you? >> well, at this point i think that, you know, there's a little bit of context here. devin nunes before he was chairman of the house intelligence committee had a representation for cultivating independent sources inside the intelligence bureaucracy and he has been talking about this issue unmasking incidentally
collected information on mike flynn and others. now, even before president trump's tweet from almost a month ago at this point. so i think what happened here was that he had sort of a final source, if you will, that was willing to show him on this classified network the actual documents. he read them, copied down their identifying numbers and is now in the process of trying to get access to those reports for the rest of the committee. and i'm waiting to sort of see what the reaction is from the rest of the committee and hopefully we can see them at some point for ourselves and there will be a declassification where we can get a sense of seeing what nunes is talking about. the allegation is extremely serious at this point. while i think it's also important and part of this story that, you know, is there a possibility that this is all sort of orchestrated? he told me that he met with an intelligence official.
that may include somebody who has details on the national secu with that said, when you're talking about looking for these intelligence report, so much of this is generated, it's like finding a needle in an haystack. you need to have independent sources to tell you what to look for. i think that's what went on here. let's wait to see the reports. i understand looks suspicious, but i think we're jumping the gun, because how nunes will look at this really depends on whether he has the goods here. >> sandra: for now we know, the white house, and we just heard from sean spicer, is standing behind chairman nunes and saying that his critics are wrong and there are a lot of them out there. but here's sean spicer talking about how there is no actual proof of these allegations that stand against nunes. >> i think you're right that there may appear to be certain things, but i don't think there's any actual proof or sustaining allegation about
anything that's done. again, i mentioned this yesterday. if you look at what chairman nunes has done. he has met with people who are clear to discuss classified information regarding a review that he is conducting. that's how it's supposed to work. >> sandra: he was asked a very simple question in that room just a few moments ago. do you have any more information about who cleared him to enter the white house that night? he said on monday he would have an answer to that. he still didn't have an answer today. so who is driving the narrative? and is the white house dropping the ball on having answers like that? >> i don't know who cleared him at the white house. i would say a couple things here. first of all, there is an issue because donald trump himself has tweeted that, you know, that the white house would be submitting things to the committee. he hinted there would be more information coming out. so that looks suspicious on that point. but on the other side of this, it clearly looks like a political campaign from the democrats.
it's incredibly coordinated. i thought over the wbg there was some sort of new video from the next climate change group that's supposed to be dealing with environmental issues that was falling on devin nunes to resign. you're seeing all these different organizations that normally don't deal with the house intelligence committee getting involved. or you're seeing an almost like lock step in terms of the democratic leadership going on. it's a total political football at this point. >> sandra: eli, enter the senate intelligence committee because we are awaiting an update from them moments from now. they've been rather quiet. how significant could this moment be in what they have to reveal? >> well, at this point the senate committee will have more credibility obviously when it comes to the trump/russia probe. as i have been writing now for a couple weeks, it looks like two different investigations. there's the trump russia probe and there is, did the obama
white house keep tabs on the trump transition? as far as that goes, i think that that's the job of the oversight committees to look into that. at least there is some suggestive information. we don't have the proof yet. we're waiting for all the information. the same can be said about trump russia. the senate may be the place where we will have a more definitive report on trump russia, but the house is where we will learn about the facts about this allegation about the obama white house and the trump transition team is true. >> sandra: all right eli lake, thanks for helping set that up for us. we are now just moments away from the senate intelligence committee giving us an update on their investigation into president trump's alleged ties to russia. so far we've been hearing all about the house intel committee's probe. so this should and could get interesting. we'll bring it to you live as it happens. plus, illegal immigrants dodging ice raids. you'll never believe who tipped them off that the feds were on the way. you don't let anything keep you sidelined.
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>> sandra: a democratic law maker in massachusetts tipping off illegal immigrants ahead of federal raids. she put the warning up on her facebook page. she told people to keep their doors closed. even giving them a phone number to call if they were arrested. molly lyon has more from brock ton, massachusetts. how is this lawmaker defending herself >> reporter: well, we'll see, she is standing by the statement she posted on facebook despite getting considerable backlash. she's the democratic from brockton. she said she got this information from a friend in the latin community that u.s. immigration and customs enforcement would be in the city today. she advised if you are
undocumented don't go out on the street. if there is a knock on the door, don't open the door. i ask you to be careful. take a listen. she has pushed back against any notion that she's gone too far. >> the issue with spreading a rumor. >> no, i don't. it's information in my community. >> do you see how this could be c construed as fear mongering? >> no. >> why not? >> reporter: she merely said she passed along information and let ice know that everyone in brockton was aware of this alleged planned raid. sandra? >> sandra: what's reaction from law enforcement? >> reporter: law enforcement has been quick to weigh in, including local sheriff in bristol county, who just testified before congress on capitol hill. she called for the leaders of sanctuary cities to be arrested, but also believes dubois should step down. >> this is the most outrageous, outrageous thing that i think or
example of what is going on across the united states that is under mining my job and every other law enforcement officer in the united states to keep our communities safe. >> reporter: spokesman released a statement denying the agency conducts raids, saying any person who invites panic or fear of law enforcement is doing a disservice to the communitied, endangering public safety and the very people they claim to support and represent. while some activists have stood behind dubois, there are others who say their facebook post was essentially irresponsible. sandra? >> sandra: molly, thank you. we are minutes away from a scheduled news conference by top senators on the intelligence committee. brand new details on the russia investigation and we'll bring that to you live. and iraq's prime minister says isis will be defeated militarily in a matter of weeks. senator john mccain with a slightly different take. >> i would point out the
>> sandra: coalition forces in iraq pounding isis. over 2,000 precision-guided bombs targeting isis fighters in mosul during march. 500 a week. the top u.s. air force general in iraq calling the air strikes the most kinetic phase so far. iraq's prime minister saying it's only a matter of weeks before they defeat isis on the battlefield. john mccain weighing in on the timeline. >> i am satisfied that we're on the right track. we're using the right assets. we are increasing the latitude
of the military commanders to take action as the situation warrants. we are devoting sufficient assets and a strategy that general mattis is developing. >> sandra: a former member of the white house national security council staff under president bush and predent obama and is a president of jones group international and is a fox news contributor. an all around busy person, jillian. good to have you here. first let's get straight to this. saying mosul air strikes mark the most kinetic phase so far. sounds like progress. >> it definitely does sound like progress. for the most part, i agree with what senator mccain, chairman of the armed services committee just said in that clip. i would just point out to some folks who are probably wondering the same thing when i heard that is, how can general mattis --
general mattis and secretary tillerson are in the process still of putting this anti-isis strategy together. so how can we be carrying out a strategy that hasn't been finalized or approved by the president yet? that was a little strange. >> sandra: john mccain was saying he agrees with what's going on here. we're using the right assets. he had a laundry list of things he agreed with and likes what he's seeing. he did talk about the strategy as not fully developed. >> he said we like the direction this is going. from my perspective it is not markedly different from the obama strategy in the sense that united states armed forces that are there on the ground are really still touting themselves as support forces. trying to shape the battleground inside mosul. they're trying to support the iraqi forces that are there. we're still relying on kurdish forces. we haven't really gone all in on
a ground war which is one of the only ways that a strategy can be markedly different. it's unclear to me where we'll end up. hopefully we'll get to see the strategy very soon. >> sandra: when you bring it all back to the timeline especially the one the iraqi prime minister is laying out here, saying it is a matter of weeks to defeat isis militarily. >> i hope so. we've been going ate in mosul for six months now. it looks like the united states presence there did a lot to help with eastern mosul. we're now focused on western mosul. isis is remarkably adaptive. what they're doing on the ground now is largely responsible for these huge civilian casualty numbers i saw you were talking about earlier. we're seeing so many civilian casualties because they're making sure it happens. they're constantly figuring out new ways to make sure that the most vulnerable members of society are targeted and killed. that's kind of their calling
card around the world. >> sandra: let's talk about the changes we are seeing under president trump. he's added this well respected russia scholar, fiona hill. she's joining the white house national security council as senior director for europe and russia. senior fellow of the brookings institute, former member of the national intelligence council. she was first recruited for the nfc job under michael flynn and frequent critic of president putin of russia. jillian, what do you make of this addition? >> i feel really good about it. the first sort of tip of the hat to her is that she has remained for most of her career very critical and skeptical of the putin regime. as well she should be. in the midst of all the scandal and controversy about trump's administration, potential ties to russia, it is nice to see them bringing in somebody who is very much not in that camp and will provide an alternate point of view or her own point of view to the president. i will say it's also interesting that she's going to be the
senior director for russia in europe. in previous administrations bush and obama, that was not the case. those were two separate positions. i think there's a bit of an acknowledgement here that the two issues are interrelated, we'll have to work closely with europe, with the e.u. and the u.k. and nato in order to combat the threat that russia us. so i like all of that. i would also add that it looks like she had previous experience at the national intelligence council. anyone who comes out of there is a-okay in my book. >> sandra: jillian turner gives her a thumbs up. thank you for joining us. a woman is in custody after a frightening scene on capitol hill ground. an officer tried to pull over a driver who took off after ramming into a capitol police cruiser. authorities say the driver tried to make a u-turn and nearly ran over several other officers who were on foot. police have not yet released the suspect's name and say there appears to be in link to
terrorism. all right. a fox news alert. we are pheupb minutes from an update on the senate intelligence committee on their part of the investigation into russia, president trump an the 2016 election. and senate democrats are circling the wagons when it comes to supreme court nominee neil gorsuch. will they filibuster? we'll break down the latest odds.
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>> -- and let me just say that we can say enough what the mission of the senate committee is. which is to look at all activities that russia might have taken to alter or influence the 2016 elections in the united states. in addition to that, the mission of the committee is to look at any campaign contacts from either committee with russian government or russian government officials that might have influenced in any way, shape or form the election process. we take that very seriously. it's not something that can be done quickly. and when you look at our committee, it is, in fact, the oversight role that we function in every single day. this is just on a little larger scale. for those that might think or have suggested that this is outside of our expertise, let me
remind you the last public investigation we did was the senate investigation into ben ghazi. we devoted three professional staff to that investigation. it took one year. and in comparison to the public hearings that happened in the house, our report and findings were out much quicker than what they were. and i think are consistent with, in fact, what the house process looked like at the end. so let me share with you what we've accomplished to date. we have devoted seven professional staff positions to this investigation. these are staffers who already had the clearance and already had the knowledge of the materials that they were gonna look at. it started on day one. now, what was day one? day one was the first public hearing that the committee held with director clapper, director
comey, admiral rogers and director brennan when they came to the united states senate to testify on the completion of the ica. the report of the last administration on russia's involvement in the elections. the full committee had an opportunity to ask every one of the four ic members initial questions, things that we knew to ask as of that time. as this investigation continues, we will certainly give those individuals at least once, if not more, opportunities to come back, either in official capacity or in a retired capacity, to come back and share with us answers to questions we might have. the staff has been provided an unprecedented amount of documents. those documents include documents that up to this point
have only been shared with the gang of eight an staff directors on the house and senate side. it's safe to say that our staff currently is working through thousands of raw intelligence and products to, one, determine whether the process that the reviewers went through to compile their report we're in agreement with and to see if our competence levels on their ratings of low, medium or high confidence, in fact, match. to date, as i said, they've been provided thousands of page of documents and have reviewed, to date, a majority of those documents. we are within weeks of completing the review of those documents. i might say that we're in constant negotiations with the intelligence community about access to additional documents,
to where we access those documents, to how our staff notes are kept, and whether, in fact, we have the capabilities within the intelligence community spaces to use computers. this is not abnormal. it's been involved in every investigation i have seen in the 17 years i have been on either the house or the senate committee. so i don't find this to be unusual, but it is challenging, to say the least. it does not yet include the additional documents that the committee has requested and others that we will request to enable us ultimately to come to some finality, findings and conclusions of the mission of this investigation. this week we begun to schedule our first interviews. to date, we have made 20 requests for individuals to be interviewed by the committee.
as we stand here today, five are already scheduled on the books, and probably within the next ten days, the remaining 15 will have a scheduled date for those individuals to be interviewed by our staff. we anticipate inviting additional individuals to come and be interviewed and ultimately some of those interviewed individuals may turn into private and public hearings by the committee, but yet to be determined. there have been a number of individuals who have volunteered to be interviewed. let me assure you that they will be processed as the committee determines we're ready to conduct those interviews or if they're even pertinent to the issues that we need to look into. the only individuals who publicly have been identified to
date is jared kushner. the committee will conduct an interview with mr. kushner when the committee decides that it's time for us to set a date because we know exactly the scope of what needs to be asked of mr. kushner. tomorrow's hearing, which will be the first public hearing that we've held, is to examine russian capabilities, their capabilities to influence elections globally, what russia has done in the past, which is important for us to bring to light for the american people. what they're doing today, both here and throughout the world. and more importantly, what we should expect for the future. we've got two panels, two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon, to look at specifically the policies that we think russia is implementing and to look at the technologies that display their capabilities.
i would conclude with this, and then i'll turn it over to mark. we will always say to you this investigation scope will go wherever the intelligence leads it. so it is absolutely crucial that every day we spend trying to separate fact from fiction and to find some intelligence thread that sends us to the factual side of all the names and all the places that you in this room have written about. just the fact that you say it doesn't mean it's fact. it's incumbent on our staff and our members to, in fact, connect that intelligence thread to that for us to make some determination as to the relevance of it in our investigation. so mark and i work hand in hand on this and contrary to maybe popular belief, we're partners to see that this is completed
and that we've got product at the end of the day that we can have bipartisanship in supporting. mark? >> thank you, richard. let me repeat many of the same, many of the things the chairman has said, but i think it's important that you hear it from both of us. obviously, there's a lot of drama out there about the stories that all of you are running down. i think echoing what the chairman has said, it's important for all of us here to remember to not lose sight about what this investigation is about. an outside foreign adversary effectively sought to hijack our most critical democratic process, the election of a president. and in that process, decided to favor one candidate over another. i can assure you they didn't do it because it was in the best interest of the american people.
russia's goal, vladamir putin's goal is a weaker united states, weaker economically, weaker globally, and that should be a concern to all americans regardless of part affiliation. we're here to assure you and, more importantly, the american people who are watching and listening, that we will get to the bottom of this. richard and i have known each other a long time, and chairman and i both have a serious concern about what the russians have done and continue to do around the world. i'll come back to this in a moment when i talk about tomorrow's hearing. but some of the techniques that russia used in this election, as we find more and more, i think would send a chill down anyone who believes in the democratic process in this country or around the world. and echoing what the chairman has said, the committee will follow the intelligence wherever
it leads. we need to get this right, and sometimes that means -- especially for somebody like me, who wants things done yesterday. but it's not gonna happen as quickly as i would like or many members of our committee would like. getting it right is more important than to get it done quickly. i want to echo again something the chairman has said. what i have been remarkably proud of is that the committee on both sides of the aisle, every member, a level of seriousness that they've put into this work, the attention that they've given and the commitment as well to follow the intel wherever it goes. over the last month we've seen some progress. our staff have been out reviewing these thousands of pages of document, trying to look back at the source materials. we also, the chairman mentioned, are starting to talk to some of
those analysts who helped put together this report and in many ways we want to find out what was potentially left on the cutting room floor. it might not have met the full levels of confidence, but still might be worthy of further looking. as the chairman mentioned a number of those interviews are scheduled. the intelligence community, for the most part, in terms of access to people, has been very cooperative. on some of the documents with some parts of the intel against community, we still have a challenge. but we cannot do this job, we cannot tell the american people our conclusions unless we have access to all the pertinent information. one of the things i really appreciate is the chairman and i are committed to getting that. and i know the patriots that work in the intelligence community want us as well to go wherever the facts lead.
as has been mentioned, the only person that we've announced the jared kushner. we will schedule that when we have the facts so we can ask the appropriate questions. also richard said, there's a lot of names, chairman mentioned some of the folks like carter page, paul manafort, roger stone. there will be the appropriate time, but it's got to be done in a timely way, so that any individual, and there will be others, that we have the right questions to ask. tomorrow's hearing, as chairman mentioned, will be the first in a series. i think it will be interesting because some of the techniques which the russians used in the past election, really go to the heart of how our democratic process work. the very technology that has made our lives simpler can also be misused in ways to put false information for folks who
potentially only get the news off twitter feed or facebook news feed. and that raises serious questions even beyond this investigation. so with that, i again want to thank the chairman for the cooperation we've had, and i think i speak on behalf of all the committee members. the most important thing we want to let you know is we're going to get this right and follow all of the intelligence. happy to take some questions. >> let me set the ground rules real quick. we'll answer anything about the senate intelligence committee's investigation. questions on the house intelligence committee. we would refer those to the house intelligence committee. >> the white house said that any discussion about coordination between the trump campaign and russian officials is a hoax, anybody who has seen any information knows there's nothing there. from what you have seen so far, can you definitively rule out that there was no coordination whatsoever between trump officials and russian officials
during the election? >> i cannot draw conclusions from where we are in the tphfltation. mark and i have committed to let this process go through before we form any opinions. and i would hope that that's what you would like us to do. as much as we'd like to share minute by minute, even the snap shots we get as a team going through it are not always accurate when we find the next piece of intelligence. so let us get a little deeper into this before you ask us to write the conclusions. that's clearly something we intend to do down the road. all the way in the back. >> general biden sent a letter to both you and senator warner urging the committee to look closer at the financial ties between trump associates and russia. is there a sense that the committee is not already investigating financial aspect of this closely enough? >> i think the committee's looking anywhere intelligence
suggests that there might have been any type of relationship or effort to influence u.s. elections. >> i'll simply add, i for a long time before we even started the investigation believed that this president, like all private presidential candidates of both parties should have in the best interest of the american people. >> is mr. steel among the 20 you've identified and does your committee have the reach and resources to interview persons outside the u.s.? >> we're not going to get into names that are on our list. i will ensure you that it's lengthy. mark and i have both agreed that we are willing to issue subpoenas. it's tough to make a subpoena go outside of united states, so we understand the limitations. i'll only say this, that he and i are tapping into everything that we can to understand how we increase our reach in the
ability to investigate and to 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? and how do you prevent it from going off track? >> no, sir, i have not. it's the relationship and the trust we have. >> there have been all the members of the committee, i am constantly impressed. we know it's challenging. some folks want this to go away. some folks want it to be done tomorrow, yesterday. but so many committee members on both sides of the aisle have constantly stepped up. i think it's not only our relationship, but it's the fact that the committee has our back. >> yes? >> 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's working, its function. >> well, i think the first assessment i would make is that not only for the first time have our members had access to information. seven of the professional staff slots have access to gang of eight information. that is unprecedented in the history of the committee. and so 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 country's move sensitive things to deal with sources and me thougheds. they have not. i think that's what gives us high hopes that we can reach a conclusion that has bipartisan support and that we feel confidence exploring every crevice that we can find. >> we are going to meet so we make sure we get all of that information. part of this is the normal
source. i think we've earned their trust. >> senators, two part question. one is that paul manafort has write ton the committee and i understand his lawyers are talking tpo your staff to try to set up his interview. can you tell us whether that has happened already? just from a logistical standpoint, we're hearing people on your committee will go and read some of these documents at the cia for instance. they don't even know where to begin, where it ends. is there something being done to try to help you get through this large volume of information? >> i'm not sure who you're hearing it from. it's not the professional staff that's doing it. is it a lot of information? absolutely. is it clear to know where to go? yes. it's in three binders. open the front cover and star reading until you get to the back one. then you work on the second and third. in ben ghazi our professional
staff had to go out and figure out what intelligence they needed to ask for. didn't have access to gang of eight. had to figure out who to interview. so i'm not gonna tell you this one's easier. this is one of the biggest investigations that the hill has seen in my tenure here. >> challenging times. you go to a foot note then you have to get a document that supports that foot note. any of the individuals that are out there, we've got to know what the right questions are to ask. to do that you have to have the underlying documents. >> senator warner, you mentioned there are still challenges getting information from the ic. any particular agencies that are moving slowly? >> i knew you were going to ask that and i'm not going to say but i want to make sure the intelligence community knows 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 for one agency to provide us another agency's document so the faster we can work through who has ownership rights the quicker we can ask the appropriate agency for a specific document. >> as part of your investigation, are you asking the house chairman to share his sources with you? and will you seek to view the white house visitor log? >> we're not asking the house to play any role in our investigation. we don't plan to play any role in their investigation. >> senator warner, are you confident that the white house has not interfered in the integrity of this investigation? for both of you, is the ultimate aim to write a bipartisan roar at the end of this investigation? >> let me start with the second
part of your question. absolutely. in terms of bipartisan. if we don't come to some joint conclusion with the manipulation that took place in the election and with the spirit of the american people saying, what's going on here? i think we would not fulfill our duty. on the first question, i have seen evidence. one of the things mr. kushner volunteering to testify was a good sign. but i have said repeatedly and i think the chairman agree, this is the right venue. if we see any attempt to stifle us with information or cut off the intelligence professionals giving us access we need, you'll hear from us. >> could i ask when you will be looking at the potential reward of russian operatives and changes to the republican party platform? a convention or the way the
president cons to criticize vladamir putin? is that what you're looking at? >> that is not in the scope of the investigation. i'll leave that up to you to report on. >> has the white house or the doj or any of the trump administration blocked sally yates from giving you information. >> i'd like to see miss yates. i did see comments from the white house spokesman that he said he would be happy to have her testify. again, that's something we have to jointly decide on and when to schedule it. >> so they haven't blocked her from giving -- enabling her to come up before your committee or to talk to you? >> no. >> i think a lot of americans want to know if the president himself ha anything to do with this. we have a government that's a trust issue with a lot of americans. is there anything that you've
seen, either of you or your staff, that would raise any direct links to the president himself to what happened last year? >> again, we won't take a snap shot in time and make any observations on it, but we know our challenge is to answer that question for the american people in our conclusions of this investigation. >> do you have circumstances which you would share with mr. warner? >> he usually knows my sources before i do. >> let me assure you, i have all got his cell phone. he hears from me more than he sometimes likes. >> the white house and the president claim at times that the intelligence community leaked intelligence or communications scooped up by members of the trump associates, the transition team improperly. does the scope of your investigation conclude any of that?
>> the normal course of business with the intelligence committee is about leaks. so that's an on going process that we look at. we will try to assess leaks if they take place during the investigation in the same way. and if we find them, we will refer them to the appropriate law enforcement agency by requesting the crimes report. >> have you seen anything that would suggest the white house did anything improper with information that is collected? >> my answer would probably be no, but, we're so early in the investigation, i'm not sure we triaged every piece of evidence. >> i think we -- one of the things we're both very concerned with. leaks can sometimes be extraordinarily damaging to our pathway into the men and women who serve our country in the ic. i do think that editorial comment here. that if the administration has
said they did nothing, then i would hope they would continue there's nothing. but the more cooperation we get, the sooner we can move forward and get to the end of this. >> so the fact that the fbi has an active counter intelligence investigation, has that caused you to change your investigation at all in terms of trying not to step on their toes or do anything that could undermind a criminal investigation. >> i'll try not to talk about a ci investigation. we're all conscious of the fact that we may go down a road and find that we're in conflict with a law enforcement process, at which time we will work with the appropriate people to try to remedy that. >> there are historical precedence. >> can you give us a sense of
the scale of what the russians allegedly did in terms of numbers of people and different facets of the -- >> let me start off, i think we know about the hacking, selective leaking of information. but what really concerns me is at least some reports, and we have to get to the bottom of this, is that there were upwards of 1,000 paid internet trolls in russia in effect taking over a series of computers. they can then generate news down to specific areas. it's been reported to me. we have to find this out. specific areas in wisconsin, michigan, pennsylvania where you would not have been receiving all of your, who ever your vendor might have been. trump versus clinton, in the
waning days of the election. but instead clinton is this, or clinton is taking money from some source, fake news. we've also seen as well the fact that if you think about -- if you look just for example, you googled election hacking during the period leading up to the election and immediately afterwards, you wouldn't get fox or abc or new york times. what you get is four out of the first five news stories that popped up were russian propaganda. and, again, let's be clear. the fact we have -- i believe part of our responsibility as well to put the american public on a higher level of alert that this time it was russia. could be other foreign nations as well. we are in a whole new realm that there are huge huge threats to our basic democracy. we're seeing it right now.
>> we're on the brink of potentially having two european countries where russia is the balance of disruptor of their leadership. and what we might assess is a very covert effort in 2016 in the united states, is a very overt effort as well as covert in germany and france already been tried in montenegro and netherlands. so we feel part of our responsibility is to educate the rest of the world about what's going on. because it's now into character assassination of candidates. >> and one of the things that i think as the community working with the administration, you know, how we really think pro-actively about what kind of offensive strategy. we cannot allow this to happen again. this last time favored one party. russia will have its own self
interest. we have to be careful in 2018. >> thank you, senator. question for you, senator burr. and i ask this with no disrespect but because it's a question -- >> he disrespects me all the time. >> having served as an adviser on the trump campaign, can you say hand over heart that you can oversee impartial and serious -- >> absolutely. i'll do something i have never done. i'll admit that i voted for him. we always hide who we vote for. that's part of the democratic process. but i have got a job in the united states senate. and i take that job extremely serious. it overrides any personal beliefs that i have or loyalties that i might have. mark and i might look at politics differently. we don't look at the responsibilities we have on the committee differently. and that's to earn the trust and the respect of the intelligence community so they feel open and good about sharing information with us, because that enables us
to do our oversight job that much >> i have confidence in richard burr that we're going to get to the bottom of this. if you get nothing else from today, take that statement to the bank. >> have you been in contact with michael flynn or representatives of michael flynn and can you go into the thought process of why you'd would you have an interview behind closed doors? why you would talk to jared kushner behind closed doors instead of publicly? why? >> well, i think it's safe to say that we've had conversations with a lot of people. you'd think less of us if general flin wasn't in the list. if you feel like you're being cheated, if there's relevance to them, they will be part of