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tv   Inside Story 2019 Ep 84  Al Jazeera  March 26, 2019 2:32pm-3:01pm +03

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as this latest blackout information minister says the main hydroelectric dam was attacked president nicolas maduro blamed the worst outage in venezuela's history a couple of weeks ago and u.s. sabotage flash flooding in southern iran has killed at least seventeen people dozens of others have been injured in the city of shiraz tens of thousands are thek to by days of torrential rains nasa says it is ditch plans for the first all women space walk because it doesn't have space suits to fit them in and mclean were to conduct the first of its kind all female mission on friday to install new batteries on the international space station but nasa said only one medium size shirt at the space suit was available and koch is who's going to use it for the headlines keep it here on al-jazeera much more news to come inside story is up next.
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no collusion with russia and insufficient evidence of obstructing justice donald trump says the investigation completely exonerates him but does it really and will the for report be released this is inside still. hello welcome to the program has him seek him it's been the biggest question for donald trump during his u.s. presidency so far did he conspire with the russians to help get elected no he didn't is the result of the two year investigation by special counsel robert mueller but investigators cond give
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a definitive answer on whether the president obstructed justice or not trump was quick to tweet no collusion no obstruction complete and total exoneration keep america great but leading democrats say the summary of the report by attorney general william barr raises as many questions as it on says that demanding full access to what else the report says patty cohen reports from washington. it's the investigation u.s. president donald trump has long condemned as a witch hunt in till it was released and now the president is cheering the findings there was no collusion with the russia there was no up structure. and none whatsoever. and it was a complete and total exoneration that's not completely true the attorney general says there is no evidence the trump campaign coordinated with russian officials but on obstruction of justice the special counsel robert mueller didn't decide if he
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should be charged the attorney general made that call and in his letter to congress he made clear this report doesn't find the president didn't possibly commit a crime right in the special counsel states that while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime it also does not exonerate him and that is democrats demanding answers jerry nadler heads the committee in congress that will be investigating turning general clark. who are dishing for his role you don't remember in the suggesting that the obstruction investigation was uncomfortable and that the president and that it was almost impossible for any president to commit a rupturing of justice if he's the head of the executive branch made a decision about that evidence and under forty eight hours this inclusions raise more questions than the answer given the fact that muller uncovered evidence that in his own words does not exonerate the president he's promising to call officials to testify and vowing to get the tens of thousands of pages of evidence that have
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been collected in the trunk campaign was quick to try and use this to bolster his chances of reelection really see in this video evidence is pretty clear that there was collusion in the president's proclaiming victory but as congress pushes to make all the evidence public and with several other investigations ongoing he may want his supporters to believe it's over it isn't political al-jazeera washington. were during his twenty two month investigation will have brought charges against thirty four people including former trump aides who pleaded guilty mainly to lying to the f.b.i. fraud and obstructing justice the list includes michael flynn trump's former national security adviser former can deputy campaign manager rick gates george papadopoulos foreign policy adviser a former lawyer michael cohen and poor man of four trumps format campaign chairman awaiting trial in november is roger stone trump's old friend and adviser has
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pleaded not guilty to lying to congress obstruction and witness tampering that's connected to the wiki leaks e-mails from hillary clinton's campaign and twenty five russians working for either intelligence or internet agencies also charged in addition to a russian aid to poor man a fourth. well let's bring in our panel now to talk more about this in washington d.c. we have j.d. gordon he was the national security director on donald trump's twenty sixteen presidential campaign he was also interviewed about alleged collusion as part of the miller investigation in new york we have jeannie zeno she is a political scientist and prefer fett professor at iona college and joining us from washington as well via skype we have david good friend a lawyer who previously served as the deputy staff secretary to president bill
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clinton good to have you all with us. so j.d. gordon let me let me start with you the special counsel robert mueller did not find the did not find president donald trump was guilty of obstruction of justice but he didn't find him innocent either so isn't all of this celebrating from from people on the trump side a little premature at this point. well i don't really think there's anything to celebrate i mean here you have a stealth coup attempt to remove a president who was elected by the american people you have dozens of people who have had their lives shattered including me i was the director of national security for the campaign i was interviewed for three congressional committees and the special counsel multiple times i had to spend a five figure legal bills to defend myself so i did nothing wrong i wasn't accused of doing anything wrong but yet i was maligned on c.n.n. and m s n b c and international media for the past two years this has been a crime wave of defamation against the president and people who are close to him
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and people who are not even close to him frankly some of the advisors on the campaign for instance carter page and others were maligned and did nothing wrong so this is a tragedy for the united states is going green what was saying on the radio this morning one of the world's most prestigious progressive journalist he said the whole trump russia issue was a scam and a fraud based on conspiracy theories that were idiotic in moronic while said the great glenn greenwald i couldn't agree with him more could i ask you though j.d. go on about the did the questioning as part of the investigation that you took part in with the miller came out i'm not going to get into the contents of all of it but what was your overall all impression of it impartiality the lack of impartiality was it was it handled fairly from your point of view. well i was interviewed by six different prosecutors and agents and analysts since twenty
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seventeen over multiple times and i would say that five out of six were collegial and professional one was not however what i told them is they've attempted to turn the entire campaign into a crime scene and that's what they did with every e-mail or every communication you could possibly imagine they brought in five hundred witnesses. case over three hundred orders for communications they had some of the subpoenas to people who had to get lawyers to defend themselves because once the f.b.i. is investigating a campaign of which you are a part you don't know where it's going to lead so several people were really shaken down i think it was a shakedown of so many people people are going to jail or are in jail have been in jail for nothing to do with collusion with russia which was the stated purpose for these investigations this was a shakedown in a political scandal like we've never seen in this country before i hope it never happens again but in order to do that we have to hold people accountable who started this investigation in these witch hunts in the first place so was was
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president trump right to spend two years trashing the miller investigation as as a witch hunt and a hoax and fake news and tweeting about it over one hundred times as he did because his critics would say if he was innocent if he had nothing to hide he certainly wasn't acting like it of course he was right to do it because it was an illegal attempt to remove him from office now that said it didn't just come out of the blue in twenty sixteen after the elections hope picks who was his chief spokeswoman told the media that there were no contacts during the campaign with any foreign entities well that was just false she should have said that but she was a communications director who was in her mid twenty's she basically. did did a lot of us a great disservice including the president. dave a good friend for months we've been hearing from prominent democrats and critics of president trumping that let the miller investigation play out in malawi trust than all the rest of it and would take it from now now according to the summary of the
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report the president did not collude with russia so when it democrats go from here first i need to respond to some of the comments that we just heard listen i have a lot of friends from when i worked in the clinton white house who also had to hire lawyers who also had to spend money and time and effort defending themselves and not once do i recall hearing anybody from the republican party saying that that was inappropriate i think it was perfectly appropriate for. the special counsel in that case and the special counsel in this case to do a thorough dispassionate objective careful investigation and i'm really sorry that there are some people who had to spend money on lawyers just as i am really sorry that some of my friends in the clinton white house had to spend money on lawyers that's too bad that's part of our system it's how it works and the fact that we have over thirty let me repeat over thirty indictments with convictions at
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a criminal level of some of the highest ranking people in the trump organization means this was not a witch hunt there were real crimes committed real bad deeds done and there's real consequences for that now the report says they did not find collusion with russia well guess what starr didn't find anything wrong with whitewater but he found monica lewinsky again too bad these are real wrongdoings that real people did and they are suffering the consequences if there is any question as to whether or not this report is accurate let's see the report in fact. we need transparency let's see not only the entire text of the report but all supporting documents all the interviews all the e-mails everything that was collected so that the country can see this was indeed a thorough dispassionate and real investigation i think the more light we shine on this the better when you get secrecy when you get cloak and dagger hiding and
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lying and all kinds of obfuscation that's when people suspicions or raise you want to have a clean slate let's get it out there and frankly i don't think the courts or an impeachment proceeding are the right place to handle this i think the american voters can make a very adult decision next year after they've seen all the facts as whether or not they want to reelect this man as their president but i want to ask you though david good friend despite the fact that the that the conclusion here is the president has and his team did not collude with russia or at least the president did not collude with russia we have the head of the judiciary committee the democratic controlled disarray committee saying that he wants to pursue this further any and that he's not satisfied with what's come out so far what do you say to those who who argue that the democrats are that this is just a fishing expedition here and this this needs to be put to bed. well i say that's
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wrong what congress does in its oversight role is oversee you have a cabinet level official the attorney general and a deputy attorney general who within less than forty eight hours of receiving the report decided that on the issue of obstruction of justice the second issue that was investigated here both collusion and obstruction on the issue of obstruction they said even though the moller report said they were not exonerating the president and not coming to conclusion they the attorney general in the deputy attorney general decided not to pursue it well let's understand the reasoning behind that decision that's perfectly kosher for a congressional committee to ask they can bring up the attorney general and the deputy attorney general under oath in front of the committee in ask how is it that within less than forty eight hours of receiving this multi hundred page report you immediately came to the conclusion that there was no room for an obstruction of justice claim let's understand your reasoning and have it out again transparent
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open in the light of day everyone can see let's hear their reasoning loud and clear and perhaps at that point everybody says ok that makes sense you made a reasoned judgment i will point out however that the special counsel referred this case to multiple u.s. attorneys offices and that you have multiple attorneys general throughout the united states still investigating the president this is not the end but i think we've learned anything it is that keeping things in darkness in secrecy is a bad idea we should have it out in the open we should release the full text of the report we should release all the documents that were collected i mean these are taxpayer dollars we spent doing this investigation let's see what our money paid for and the more that's out in the open the better all right kinney's i know let's get your take on they so i mean as we said this is being seen as a. as a significant victory for president trump and some would say lifted the cloud that's been hanging over his presidency but are there other questions that remain
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unanswered. there are i mean we need to be clear it was probably close to a best case scenario for the president this weekend except for the fact that and again we have not seen the report so we're going this on this based on what barr has said except for the fact that muller did not come to a conclusion he sort of kicked the can down the road on this issue of obstruction so we do need to see the full report because let's not forget barr famously before he even went before the senate committee in terms of his nomination and confirmation had made it very clear for what many lawyers think is very odd reasoning that the president simply could not obstruct justice so that was a foregone conclusion for barr and within less than forty eight hours after getting the miller report in some very you know what we think would be you know very
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difficult circumstances he comes to that conclusion again so we do need to see the full report in order to understand what muller found that said we can't deny that this was except for the obstruction issue the best case scenario for the president he didn't see his son he didn't see his son in law or others close up in higher ups in the campaign indicted that was very good news for him but i think we need to take a step back here and remember what muller did find that everybody agrees with and that is the fact that russia meddled in the two thousand and sixteen presidential election in the united states we had over twenty indictments we still have over twenty indictments on that front now he did not find that anybody in the trunk campaign conspired with the russians but he does find there were many attempts to reach out to the campaign and indeed contact was made again they didn't conspire but there was meddling in the campaign we are a year and
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a half from the twenty twenty campaign and as some. he who deals with election administrators all the time i can tell you nothing in this country of substance has been done to address this issue we are still as vulnerable and insecurity to day as we were in twenty sixteen and if there's anything that comes out of this investigation it should be that we need to do a better job of securing our elections before two thousand and twenty we have a federal system these are fifty separate elections in fifty states and these election administrators they need the money and the support and the know how to secure these elections because this is a huge problem in the united states and remains so all right we'll put some of that back to j.d. gordon in a moment but i just want to come back to what you said earlier genies i know that about the full report the need for the full report to be released that is something that at the moment is largely up to attorney general william barr what is your take on how he's handled this so far can he be trusted to handle this subjectively and
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not be influenced by politics because he he has said that he will release as much of it as he can within the law. yeah i mean i think that bill barr has handled this well so far it is a little bit again i think going to raise suspicion which is what we are trying to fight against that this was done so quickly in forty eight hours the obstruction conclusion that said he said he is going to go over the report with a fine tooth comb remove anything for instance the grand jury testimony that cannot be released and release the report we need to see that happen i do think anything not released we will see a court fight and we will see an attempt and i think ultimately the release of most of this report that is what let's not forget the president asked for the administration asked for republicans and democrats in the house all asked for so this is something that the american public deserves to see and we also need to
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remember the whole reason for this investigation was to assure the american people that they can have confidence in our system our election system the outcome and there would be a thorough investigation to not release the report again excepting anything that damages national security or ongoing investigations as we know i'm in the southern district as are going on now anything except in that we need to see the full report and i do think we will and i think bill barr will try at least as far as we know his reputation to do that and we're going to have both and i hope republicans and democrats in congress push for that sooner rather than later oh it j.d. gordon what about releasing the full report and if nobody did anything wrong here what's wrong with releasing the whole thing and is if as you said earlier president trump was legitimately elected by the american people what's wrong with letting the american people decide for themselves and see all of the evidence laid out before
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them while the problem with that is about five hundred people were interviewed by the special counsel and if you see the whole report you're going to see all five hundred so what will happen is the media will pick through all five hundred try to defame each. one and will try to say this person did that this person may have done that look i've been defamed for the past several years now by c.n.n. m.s.n. b.c. they kept putting my picture on the screen constantly to say i had secret contacts with the russians and when you peel the onion back they're talking about a handshake with the russian ambassador in a group of fifty ambassadors at the orange sea national convention in cleveland in july twenty sixth i was a guest speaker at a u.s. state department program for over fifty four and passengers i shook all their hands because that was my job and later on at an evening reception i chicken say to the russian ambassador search a kiss and a few other investors in a small group for a few minutes but the mainstream media in the united states labeled it as j.d. gordon had to secret meetings with the russian ambassador is entirely false i don't
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know why anybody would want to watch c.n.n. or m s n b c again because they lied to the american people they misled people on a daily basis that's why people think the way they do all right the the media's role in all of this is a subject for another discussion but as far as the reports itself as as genies i know said there there is a lot of there's a lot of evidence that this been uncovered show that shows the russians did something the russians tried to to influence this election as an american isn't that something that concerns you regardless of what party you're from regardless of which candidate you support. well absolutely the russians certainly did meddle in the election it was horrific but there are are you have been reports released about the house intelligence committee released a report the talked about it last year and they said there was no evidence of collusion wow what a surprise we already knew this before at least a year from the house intelligence committee so i think this is a canard it's a sham it's
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a fraud and getting back to what david good friend had mentioned i'm surprised he didn't say the clinton investigation was a witch hunt i think it was a witch hunt to it it's reprehensible that it happened but mine my message for david is two wrongs don't make a right but thirty five people indicted doesn't sound like a witch hunt does it well most of those people were russians will never see the inside of a courtroom as far as the six several americans who have been indicted. and of the president can talk. yeah i know i know well he had business dealings with ukrainians that he was caught because he didn't pay us taxes he didn't register as a foreign agent so i'm not saying that he should have been punished in some way i'm saying that it had nothing to do with collusion the whole the whole narrative which was a false narrative said that the trump campaign and president trump colluded with the russians by rumor and innuendo so yeah six trump associates were indicted but those
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were for things that were process crimes that were they were they were strong armed into getting tripped up for perjury traps in some cases like general flynn and george papadopoulos roger stone appears to be in that same boat his trial is later this year but the other three will go to prison for other things financial crimes and for tax evasion nothing to do with competition which was the stated reason for the investigation they have a good friend how do you respond to that put up with started all of this by mistakingly telling aide australian spy about conversations between the campaign and the russians that's what started this the australian intelligence agency then transferred that information to the us intelligence agencies and that is what i believe george papadopoulos was caught lying about under oath and that's why he was convicted of perjury these are not unrelated strands these are all quite related to the underlying issue and by the way i do agree with you that lots of people are now saying that our intelligence agencies agree there was russian meddling in the
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campaign that seems to be a given fact why is it then that the only person who seemed to be disputing that was donald trump himself who publicly stated that he didn't believe it was so who publicly said that seventeen us intelligence agencies must be wrong because he donald trump was right who insisted on a private no press no advisors meeting with vladimir putin around the same time look you can say that the special counsel didn't find collusion and that certainly is true but i. i think the issue is transparency here when you have a president who is clearly trying to not be forthcoming in the facts this is what you get that's why i think the best and the best antidote to this whole situation is full disclosure get the report out get the notes and the underlying documents out and yes you may have to say that was me with a bunch of other ambassadors but that's what we call transparency that's giving the american public the full picture so that next year when they go to the polls if you
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make an informed decision about whether or not to reelect donald trump all right we're going to have to leave it there great discussion we can certainly spend a lot longer talking about this one fortunately we are out of time j.d. gordon jeanie zaino and david good friend thanks very much for being with us and thank you for watching as always you can see this program again any time by visiting our website at c.n.n. dot com and for further discussion you go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. incised or you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle there is at a.j. inside story for me has i'm sick and the whole team here but for now. april
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on al-jazeera nato leaders will gather just celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the alliance in washington d.c. madam husain engages in rigorous debate cutting through the headlines on up front twenty five years on from the genocide that killed nearly a million people a wonder has rebuilt but how far of its people have been reconciled the emmy award winning show phone lines is back with more investigative journalism and in-depth stories israel is to hold an early election on the ninth of april but with a corruption scandal looming will benjamin netanyahu extend his ten years as prime minister april on al-jazeera. israel war where on
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i'm sammy's a down in dar with a look at the headlines here on al-jazeera now israel's prime minister has returned home after cutting short his visit to the u.s. amid airstrikes on gaza palestinians say there is an egyptian brokered ceasefire but the israeli army says it's been hitting several hamas targets in gaza overnight laura birdman lee has more on the tension since monday morning's rocket attack on a house north of tel aviv. explosions throughout the night as israel launched air strikes. to.

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