tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN January 12, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
it's an all-american love story. jill once surprised joe by painting hearts on his office windows for valentine's day. and then there are these biden kids and grand kids, they're everywhere. [ laughter ] they're all good looking. hunter and ashley who lived out that family creed of raising good families and looking out for the least of our brothers and sisters. bo who is watching over us with those broad shoulders and mighty heart himself. a man who left a beautiful legacy and inspired an entire nation. naomi and fen and mazy, little hunter, grandchildren who are the light of joe's eyes and gives him an excuse to bust up a squirt gun around the pool. this is the kind of family that built this country. that's why my family is so proud to call ourselves honorary
bidens. [ laughter ] as yates put it, because i had to quote an irish poet. [ laughter ] and shamelessly taken. think where a man's glory begins and ends and say my glory was i had such friends. away from the camera, jill and michelle have each other's backs just as much as when they're out championing our troops. our girls are close, best he friends at school, inviting each other for vacations and sleep overs. even though our terms are nearly over, one of the greatest gifts of these past eight years is that we're forever bonded as a family. but, of course, i know that the obamas are not the only ones who feel like they're part of the biden clan because joe's heart has radiated around this room.
you see it in the enduring friendships he's forged with folks of every stripe and background up on capitol hill. you see it in the way that his eyes light up when he finds somebody in rope line from scranton. or just the tiny est towns in delaware. you see it in the incredible loyalty of his staff, the team who knows that family always comes before work because joe tells them so every day. the team that reflects their boss's humble service here in this building where there have been no turf wars between our staffs because everybody here is understood that we are all on the same mission and share the same values. there has just been cooperation and camaraderie, and that is rare. it's a testament to joe and the tone that he set. and finally, you see he joe's heart in the way he consoles families. dealing with cancer back stage after an event, when he meets kids fighting through a stutter
of their own, he gives them his private phone number and keeps in touch with them long after. to know joe biden is to know that love without pretense, service without self-regard, and to live life fully. as one of his long-time colleagues in the senate who happened to be a republican once said, if you can't admire joe biden as a person, you've got a problem. he is as good a man as god ever created. so, joe, for your faith in your fellow americans, for your love of country, and for your lifetime of service that will endure through the generations, i'd like to ask the military aid to join us on stage. for the final time as president, i am pleased to award our
predecessors reserved for three others, pope john paul ii, president ronald reagan and colonel colin powell. i am please today award this distinction to my brother, joseph biden, jr. will the aide please read the citation? >> vice-president joseph r. biden, jr., in a career of public service extending nearly half a century, vice-president joseph r. biden, jr., has left his mark on almost every part of our nation. fighting for a stronger middle class, a fairer judicial system, and a smarter foreign policy, providing unyielding support for our troops, combatting crime and violence against women, leading our quest to cure cancer, and safeguarding the land mashmark recovery from corruption. with his charm, candor, una barbed optimism and deep and abiding patriotism, joe biden
has garnered the respect and esteem of colleagues of both parties. and the friendship of people across the nation and around the world. while summoning the strength, faith and grace to overcome great personal tragedy, this son of scranton, clay mont, and wilmington, has become one of the most consequential vice-presidents in american history. an accolade that nonetheless rests firmly behind his legacy as husband, father and grandfather, a grateful nation thanks vice-president joseph r. biden, jr., for his lifetime of service on behalf of the united states of america. [ applause ]
mr. president, you got right the part about my leaning on jill. i've also leaned on you and a lot of people in this room. i look around the room and i see great friends like ted coukaufm who has so much wisdom. i look around, i'm so startled, i see people i don't expect. madam president, how are you? i look at my new boss over there. [ laughter ] but you know, i get a lot of credit i don't deserve. i state the obvious. because i've always had somebody to lean on, from back that time in 1972 when the accident happened, i leaned on -- and i
mean this in a literal sense. chris knows this, dodd knows this, mel knows this, ted knows this. i leaned on my sons bo and hunter. and i continue to lean on hunter who continues to, in a bizarre kind of way, raise me. i mean, i've leaned on them. you know, mr. president, you observed early on that when either one of my boys would walk in the room, they'd walk up and say, dad, what can i get you? dad, what do you need? and then jill came along and she saved our life. she -- no man deserves one great love, let alone two. and -- but everybody knows here i am jill's husband. everybody knows that i love her more than she loves me. [ laughter ] with good reason.
and she gained the most precious gift, the love of my life, the life of my love, my daughter ashley. and i continue to lean on the family. president, you kidded me once. you heard that in preparation for the two debates, vice-presidential debates i had, i only had two, that bo and hunter would be the last people in the room. bo would say, look at me, dad, look at me. remember, remember home base, remember. so, and the secret service can tell you, mr. president, that bo and hunt and ashley continue to have to corral me. at the national parks i was climbing on top of the bridge to jump off the bridge with a bunch of young kids. and i hear my sons yelling, dad, get down.
now. [ laughter ] and i just started laughing so hardy couldn't stop. i said, ways going to do a flip or full gainer. dad, the secret service doesn't want you up there, dad. look at me, dad. so, we've never figured out who the father is in this family. mr. president, you know that with good reason there is no power in the vice-presidency. i did for nancy pelosi's daughter, the reading of the constitution, you probably did one for her, they had me read the provisions of the vice-presidency in the constitution, and there is no inherent power, nor should there be. mr. president, you have, you have more than kept your
commitment to me by saying that you wanted me to help govern. president's line often, people don't hear it often, but someone would say, can you get joe to do such and such? you said, i don't do his schedule and he doesn't do mine. every single thing you've asked me to do, mr. president, you have trusted me to do. and that is a remarkable thing. i don't think, according to -- i see the president of georgetown here as well. i don't think according to the presidential, vice-presidential scholars that kind of relationship has existed -- i mean, for real. it's all you, mr. president. it's all you. the reason why when you sent me around the world, nothing good, as my mom would say, gets missed
between the cup and a lip because they know when i speak i speak true. it's been easy, mr. president, because we not only have the same political philosophy and ideology. i tell everybody, i've told them from the beginning and i'm not saying this to reciprocate. i've never known a president, and few people i've ever met my whole life, i can count on less than one hand, who have had the integrity and decency and the sense of other people's needs like you do. i know you're upset when i told the story about when hunt and i were worried that bo would have to -- they would, as a matter of honor, decide to step down as attorney general while he was fighting his battle because he
had aphasia. he was losing his ability to speak. and he didn't want to ever be in a position where to him everything was about duty and honor. and i said -- and he may resign, i don't know. i just have a feeling he may. hunt and i talked about this. he said, he doesn't have any other income, but we're all right because hunt's there and i can sell the house. we were having a private lunch like we do once a week. and this man got up, came over, grabbed me by the shoulders, and looked me in the eye and said, don't you sell that house. you love that house. i said, it's no big deal, mr. president. he said, i'll give you the money. i'll give you the money. promise me. promise me. you won't sell that house. i remember when ashley, mr. president, we were in the oval and ashley was in the elevator, and the elevator plummeted -- she was with a group of people, i forget which building in philadelphia, it
plummeted to the ground. and immediately the service was worried that she may have been badly hurt. and i got up to take the call and you didn't let up until you made sure your service followed through and made sure everything was all right. but, you know, mr. president, you know, we kid about both about marrying up, we both did that kind of thing. but the truth of the matter is -- i said this to michelle last night -- michelle is the finest first lady, in my view, that has ever served in the office. there's another great first ladies, but i generally mean it. [ applause ]
when i got to meet michelle's brother and he told me about how you guys were raised and i got to know and love your mom, if your mom were 15 years older, she could have been my mom, literally. the way you were raised, the way we were raised, it wasn't any difference. and i knew that this decision to join you, which is the greatest honor in my life, was the right decision on the night we had to go and accept the nomination, the formal -- to be nominated at the convention. and finnegan who is now 18-year-old, was ten years old. she came to me and she said, pop, is it okay if the room that we're in, finnegan, mazy and naomi, that we have the beds
taken out? and i said, why? she said, maybe the obama girls and your brother's children, maybe they can come down and we can all sleep together in sleeping bags. and i give you my word as a biden, i knew when i left to go to the convention, open that door and saw them cuddled together, i knew this was the right decision. i knew it was the right decision. i really did. because, mr. president, the same value set, the same value set -- folks, you know, i joke with my staff that i don't know why they pay them anything because they get to advise me. [ laughter ] let me explain what i mean by that. as the president of the university of delaware where my heart resides in delaware, they
can tell you, i get to give advice. i get to be the last guy in the room and give you advice on the most difficult decisions anyone has to make in the whole world. but i get to walk out and you make it all by yourself, all by yourself. har harry truman was right about the buck stopping at the desk. and i've never, never, never, never, never once doubted on these life and death decisions, i never once doubted that your judgment was flawed, not once, not once. we've disagreed and argued and we've raised our voices at one another. we made a deal we would be completely open like brothers with one another. but, mr. president, i've watched you under intense fire.
i will venture to say that no president in history has had as many novel crises land on his desk in all of history. the civil war was worse, world war ii was worse. but, mr. president, almost every one of the crises you faced was a case of first instance, case of first instance. and i watched that prodigious mind and heart as big as your head, i've watched you. i've watched how you've acted. when you see a woman or man under intense pressure, you get a measure and you know that, michelle, and your daughters know it as well. this is a remarkable man. and i just hope that the asterisk in history that is attached to my name when they talk about this presidency is
poet. [ laughter ] jill and i talk about why you are able to develop the way you developed and with the heart you have. michelle and i have talked about it. i've confided in michelle, i've gone to her for advice. we've talked about this man. you've given me insight. and i think it's because, mr. president, you gave me credit for having understanding other people's misery and suffering. mr. president, there's not one sing single solitary ounce of entitlement in you or michelle or your beautiful daughters. you girls are incredible. you really are. it's not hyperbole, you really are. not one ounce of entitlement.
and shamus haney, one of those poets said -- [ laughter ] when you can find someone who says it better, use it. he said, you carried your own burden, and very soon your symptoms of creeping privilege disappeared. you carried your own burdens and very soon your creeping symptoms of privilege disappeared. mr. president, you have sometimes been like a lone wolf, but you carried yourself in a way that is pretty remarkable. the history of the journey, your journey, is something people are going to write about a long time. and i'm not being solicitous
when i say this. and you are so fortunate, both of you, to have found each other because all that grounding, all that that you have made this guy totally whole. it's pretty amazing. mr. president, this honor is not only well beyond what i deserve, but it's a reflection of the extent and generosity of your spirit. i don't deserve this.
but i know it came from the president's heart. there is a talmudic saying that says, what comes from the heart and is the heart. mr. president, you have creeped into our heart, you and your whole family, including mom, and you occupy it. it's an amazing thing that happened. i knew how smart you were. i knew how honorable you were. i knew how decent you were from the couple years you worked in the senate. and i knew what you were capable of. but i never fully expected that you'd occupy the bidens' heart from hunter, ashley, my sister, all of us, all of us. and, mr. president, i'm indebted
to you. i'm indebted to your friendship. i'm indebted to your family. and as i'll tell you on a humorous note, we're having lunch, lunches, mostly -- whatever is in our minds. we talk about family an awful lot. and about six months in, president looks at me and he said, you know, joe? you know what surprised me? how we've become such good friends. [ laughter ] and i said, surprised you? but that is candid obama. [ laughter ] and it's real. mr. president, you know as long as there is breath in me, i'll be there for you, my family will be there.
i know it is reciprocal. and i want to thank you all so very, very, very much, all of you for being here. [ applause ] >> vice-president joe biden, he's being greeted there. i think that's his son hunter. is he done talking? it's not clear yet. he's calling up members of his family. president obama surprised him. there was a farewell ceremony that the vice-president knew about, but what he did not know was that president obama would be presenting him with the highest civilian honor there is, the presidential medal of freedom. president obama saying that picking joe biden was the first
decision he had made as a democratic presidential nominee, the democratic presidential nominee, and the best one. joining me to talk about this and obviously if somebody returns to the microphone to speak, we'll go back to it. joining me is political chief gloria borjer, dana bash, and we have with us white house correspondent michelle kosinski. gloria, this seems a rather unprecedented move. but then when they were bestowing the honor on the vice-president, they referred to him as wung of the most consequential vice-presidents in american history. >> i think it is an astonishing move. you look at the surprise from joe biden. i think his staff was keeping it from him. and i think these two, when you think back on t they're such an odd couple. and they kind of grew together over the past eight years, particularly after bo biden got
sick and barack obama and joe biden developed a bond as fathers. and i think that when you hear joe biden talk about barack obama, it's almost as if, of course, he's talking about the commander in chief, but it's almost as if he's talking about somebody who has become a brother to him, somebody he admires, respects, has grown close to. and, you know, it wasn't always that way at the beginning of their tenure in office together. and i think the story that he told, that he told me actually awhile ago about how the president said, don't sell the house in delaware, when he thought he had to earn some money, get some money to pay for bo biden's health care, it's really an astonishing story about the closeness between these two men. not only on a political level, but on a really personal, and again brotherly level that it's
become. >> douglas brinkley, some time the president, vice-presidential pick, their marriage is of political convenience. as gloria recalls, there were complaints about david, the campaign manager in 2008, the bench picking for vp wasn't that great. but truly as dplgloria says, i can't recall a president and vice-president who are ending their time together so close. certainly clinton-gore, there were lots of tensions, bush-cheney, many tensions. i could go on and on. this really does seem like two men who are going to keep in touch. >> there is no question about it and there is nothing like it for the reason he said. it's usually about political expediency. kennedy picking johnson, they don't get along. you know, linden johnson, hugh bert humphrey didn't get along all that well, although not too bad. this is totally different. this is a love relationship. often we talk about barack obama not having a lot of friends in washington, d.c., not you know, running around capitol hill or
georgetown. he has forged a deep personal friendship with joe biden. he may actually be a member of his family in his own mind. in fact, president obama in chicago at his farewell address, jake, said that, that he's like a brother. a kindred spirit. this is a remarkable tale and their friendship is going to continue as they leave washington this january. >> michelle kosinski, at the white house this was a surprise, this bestowing of the highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom, by president obama on his vice-president joe biden. how much of a surprise was it for others at the white house? >> well, among staffers, i mean they're not saying anything about it right now, but beforehand, i mean, it was a surprise announcement that this was going to be a farewell event. we knew that there would be a lot of people in there, but the way that the chatter was, we expected to be a very nice
speech, it would be emotional, maybe along the lines of what president obama said about joe biden just two days ago in his farewell speech in chicago. so, to see, then, this turn into the awarding of the presidential medal of freedom, i think that's what makes this so special. nobody here expected it. obviously joe biden was surprised. and you could see it in his face and the emotion in his eyes as this came about. i mean, i think it speak to the relationship not only in the words that were said by president obama, but the i impromptu speech by biden after the award. he didn't have any of that prepared. that's where the real feeling behind this shines through. >> dana bash here with me in studio. one cannot talk about joe biden without talking about the tragedies that he has overcome. >> unbelievable. >> in 1972, having just been elected to the senate, his wife
and small daughter were killed in a car accident. and his two sons were injured. they recovered. he remarried, and then just about a year and a half ago he lost his oldest son bo biden, the attorney general of delaware. and it's not just those tragedies that give him the sake of a larger than life character with a larger than life shakespearean almost story behind him, but the fact that he has overcome so much and that he has been such a source of comfort, you meet people in washington, d.c. who have on both sides of the aisle who have experienced personal loss and they have stories about vice-president biden reaching out to them, sharing his grief with them and only in a way that somebody with that grief can understand. and it's really remarkable. >> it is remarkable. i don't want to giveaway confidences, but just a couple weeks ago i was having a conversation with a washington
figure who had just -- who was almost shaking, had just come in from that very conversation with joe biden about a sick relative. biden took five minutes to talk to them, how to talk to the relative, what was going to be the relative's final days. you're right, you hear that all the time. the fact is you can see behind us the capital. after he had those tragedies, he wasn't 30 when he was elected. he was 30 when he was sworn into the senate. he did not ever stay here. he went home on amtrak every single night that he could. >> probably the reason amtrak still has funding, to be honest. >> actually it's true. to delaware to be with his family because he understood because of the tragedy that he faced so early, how precious it was to be able to spend time with his babies, not to mention his family as he grew as he got older. but the other thing is you and i covered him before he was
vice-president in the senate behind us. and he was that same guy. he definitely had a reputation, love him or hate him, for not knowing when to stop. he was a classic senator. >> talk a lot. >> because he knew how to talk. but also somebody who understood how to shape legislation. and just beyond the personal, i was thinking about mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader republican who gave his farewell address. there have been a lot of farewell addresses to joe biden, a couple of weeks ago in the senate saying, my staff knows when i say get joe on the phone, it means it's time to do business. time to make a deal. so, he knew how to make deals. he mentioned that, that president obama lived up to that promise, that he was going to actually be able to get stuff done and legislate. and he did. >> a master of the senate in many ways. and gloria borjer, you just received reaction from someone who works for the vice-president. >> i did. i was texting with someone. the staff knew but of course the vice-president didn't, as you saw with his reaction. and i'm told this was the
president's idea, that he decided that he wanted to give this to biden, that he knew how meaningful it would be to the vice-president. don't forget, the vice-president has been a creature of washington and been at many of these ceremonies himself. and the president said to his staff, i would like to do this and i would like to present this to joe biden. so, some members of his staff knew and they set up this artifice that he was going to go to yet another good-bye ceremony and instead the ceremony was about him. >> very moving celebration of the vice-president and his decades of public service. thanks one and all for talking to me about t. we have some more breaking news about the vice-president joe biden who is now weighing in what he and president obama were told about that intelligence briefing having to do with donald trump in russia. that story is next.
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the story topo fishlz provided information to president obama and trump about this uncorroborated dossier written by an intelligence officer. they provide aid two-page synopsis of it. in the synopsis, russians claim, and this is claim, to have damaging information about the president-elect and also that there were extensive exchanges of information with the trump campaign last year. again, uncorroborated information. but the intelligence officials thought the source was credible enough to tell president obama and president-elect trump about it. just a few minutes ago, vice-president biden confirmed our story. >> that's right, jake. vice-president joe biden is confirming that he and president barack obama were briefed last week by intelligence officials on substantiated claims that russia may have compromising information on president-elect donald trump. cnn first reported that the nation's top intelligence chiefs provided both the president and president-elect with a two-page synopsis of these claims which came from a 35-page report compiled by a former british
intelligence operative based on russian sources. intelligence agencies appended a two-page summary of the unverified allegations to documents that were prepared for the briefing on russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. joe biden's office confirmed that the vice-president told reporters this afternoon that he and obama were briefed about the claims, but that neither biden or obama asked for any more information about them. biden's office also said that the vice-president told reporters that intelligence leaders felt obligated to tell obama simply because they were planning to on informing mr. trump as well. biden also said he read the entire 35-page report. these comments by the vice-president are the first by any top government official confirming that they were told about these allegations as part of their intelligence briefing. on wednesday night director of intelligence james clapper tried to call trump to diffuse tensions after they accused them of leaking information.
clapper issued a rare public statement after his call with the president-elect expressing dismay at the leaks and making it clear that he did not believe the intelligence community had anything to do with what he called a private security document that contained these claims about trump. he add that the intelligence community has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions, clapper said. however, part of our obligation is to ensure that the policy makers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security. jake? >> all right, evan perez, thank you so much for that update. for more i am joined by cnn national chief correspondent jim sciutto. jim, as evan just said, the vice-president is not the only public official who has essentially confirmed our story. >> i think we should note the importance of this and the rarity of this. two people were physically inside these highly classified briefings, one the vice-president, two, the director of national intelligence are now confirming
what until earlier were people commenting on background in light of the classified nature of this information. but they have now come out on the record to confirm that this was brought up in those briefings. not that these allegations are true, but they were brought up, indicating that they were important enough to bring up. but also i should note contradicting what the president-elect has said about these briefings and many in the trump team. the same day that president-elect trump accused cnn of reporting fake news -- >> it's all fake news. it's phony stuff. >> the nation's top spy confirmed cnn's report that the intelligence community presented trump with information on claims that russia has compromising information on him. director of national intelligence james clapper saying in a statement, quote, part of our obligation is to ensure that policy makers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security. director clapper also told mr. trump that the intelligence community is not to blame for
leaking the allegations, saying in the statement, kwoelt quote, i express mied profound dismay at the leaks appearing in the press. i do not believe the leaks came from within the intelligence community. apparently an effort to diffuse tensions after trump accused the intelligence chiefs wednesday of leaking the claims intentionally. >> i think it was disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out. i think it's a disgrace. and i say that and i say that, and that's something that nazi germany would have done and did do. >> trump tweeted about his conversation with clapper saying, quote, james clapper called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated, made up, phony facts, too bad, exclamation point. that is actually a contradiction of clapper's public statement. intelligence community has not made a judgment, it says, on the veracity of the allegations.
president obama was also presented with the claims and reportedly dismissed them. today vice-president biden telling reporters, quote, what does that have to do with anything? biden said? neither of us asked for any detail. >> look, there are a number of serious things that have taj enplace. >> president-elect trump has chose tone lead the cia said they would pursue the allegations. >> i will pursue the facts wherever they take us. >> still they question what constitutes credible information. >> leaked by wikileaks. >> he pointed to this tweet in which he equates wikileaks with proof. >> do you think wikileaks is a reliable source of information? >> i do not. >> and the fact that you used the word proof, need proof, that would indicate that you did think it was a credible source of information. >> i have never believed wikileaks was a credible source of information.
public comments we've heard from the president-elect. >> thank you, jim sciutto. editor at the federalist, usa columnist and editor and columnist at real clear politics. thanks one and all for being here. molly, let me start with you. some points of divergence as jimmie num rated having to do with general mattis and pompeo up for cia director with others, president-elect trump. it's interesting, in one way i suppose it could be seen as a sign of confidence and strength, to surround yourself with people you don't necessarily agree with. >> people are getting an idea of what donald trump believes based on what he says. you can't say what his views are based on when he flies off on his twitter handle. in fact, it is very comforting to see the people he's surrounding himself with. these are conventional picks, people who are tough on russia, don't think anyone worries about general mattis being tough on russia. when you listen to their testimony when they're talking about how they of course concede
that russia was meddling and they show awareness of these other problems, sort of reminds me of teddy roosevelt's big thing about speak softly but carry a big stick. he negotiated peacefully but had a tough military stick to threaten with. nobody could accuse donald trump of speaking softly, but maybe speaking sweetly to russia, but carrying a big stick. >> interesting if there is a rhyme and reason behind it. donald trump perceives himself as the good cop surrounded by bad cop, bad cop. >> at least in this case. >> policy is dictated by the president, not by people he appoints. that's the question. the question is, is he expecting these people to fall in line once they are working for him? he likes lots of things about them, maybe he thinks they're good leaders they have good judgment, they have good relationships, these kinds of things. does it really mean -- i think we have to go with what donald trump says versus what his -- what the people he puts in place. do we really believe his view is the view -- the same view on russia as james mattis? i mean, it doesn't seem to be. >> of course, this will come up
probably the first time if the senate passes a bill to impose new sanctions on russia for the alleged cyber attacks on the united states. and also there are all these questions right now going on capitol hill because of what the intelligence officials are saying about what the russians are claiming, uncorroborated reports about their relationship with donald trump. >> right. and pursuit of that is going to color everything. donald trump took great pains to filibuster during his press conference and he's very effective at it to make sure he didn't answer the sanctions question. tillerson, we all heard he is worried about sanctions, having adverse effect on american business. he doesn't seem supportive going further. that question is up in the air. so, while molly is right, the word comforting comes to mind, republicans have so comforted what they heard from tillerson, pompeo and mattis. they're trying to pretend this didn't happen anyway. democrats are going to oppose these people probably in large
numbers. on the question of russias there is more comfort than a week ago. when it comes to sanctions, when it comes to us moving troops into poland and strong sharp response from putin, what will be the response of the trump administration? what will be the posture and ultimately we still don't know. >> fascinating. molly, kiersten and aim i, thank you one and all. internal watch dog a nountsd they're looking into how the justice department and the fbi handled their inquiry into former secretary of state hillary clinton's private e-mail server during the presidential campaign. that investigation, of course, a big political story in the 2006 election. the justice department, inspector general says he will review whether the fbi followed policy in the probe. the republican chairman of the house oversight and government reform committee congressman jason chafe its of utah joins me now. thanks for jouning us as always. >> glad to be here. >> what do you think of this move by the justice department, inspector general, to look into how justice and the fbi handled these matters involving hillary clinton last year? >> i wholeheartedly support it.
i think michael horowitz, the inspector general is a man of great integrity. i think justice is what we all want to prevail. there are questions on both sides of the aisle about timing and who they met with and information that was put out. and, so, it's not just about director comey, this review i think should also look at the legislative liaison, mr. k asl ik giving advance information. it should look into why did the attorney general meet with bill clinton, president bill clinton days before this announcement of somebody that was the subject of an investigation. there are a lot of questions. and then the timing of why all this happened. i think it's -- i think everybody really wants to know. >> and so obviously you think there are actions and behaviors within the fbi or justice department that merit further scrutiny, you just enumerated some. >> sure. >> what are some on the democratic side of the i'll, the announcement by james comey ten
days before the election of e-mails found in anthony weiner's computer, worthy of further scrutiny? >> yeah, i do think that is a legitimate question. if i was on the democratic side of the aisle, i'd be going nuts over that. i think director comey had a duty and an obligation. he made a commitment under oath on the republican side of the aisle if he didn't give us that disclosure. we would have been yelling and screaming about that. but then how do you review literally what i heard in the press hundreds of thousands of documents in such a short amount of time when it took almost a year to go through a much smaller number? so, a lot of questions, legitimate questions. and for the sake of justice, air those out. that's what we do as a nation. we are self-critical. we do take a critical look. i don't think it was the factor in swaying the election, but i think it was a factor and we should look at it. >> you obviously held -- you head the committee, the government reform and house
oversight committee, that tries to offer oversight of the federal government. i'm wondering, there's been so much discussion in the last week about these allegations, that the chiefs of the intelligence divisions presented the president obama, presented to president-elect trump. there's been so much push by the trump camp about the intelligence officials politicizing this intelligence. are these matters that you and your committee will review? >> i really have to leave that to the intel committee. the intelligence committee led by devin nunez out of california, adam schiff on the democratic side, when it comes to sources, methods, the cia, the nsa, those types of things, they really have to be the ones to lead out. you're going to have to look at highly, highly classified information. it's just something that we're not set up to do. we can investigate anything anywhere, any time, but there are certain aspects of sources and methods that they are really. so, us no.
the intel committee, yes. >> and lastly, sir, briefly if you could, yesterday president-elect trump announced his plan to try to avoid conflicts of interest with his business. as you know the director of the office of government ethics called the plan wholly inadequate. is this something that concerns you and your committee might look into either? >> look, we will always keep a watchful eye, but the commitment from the president has to be to abide by the law. under section 208 of the criminal code, the president is exempt from most of these conflicts of interest. so, i know the democrats have been flailing about this, that and the other, but it seems to me that donald trump is bending over backwards to do everything he can. but he has to abide by the law and he's exempt from most of these conflicts of interest. so, i thought it was very premature. the office of government ethics to essentially be in the spin room saying, hey, i hate this. when he hasn't even actually looked at it or reviewed it. this is an obama donor who was very supportive of hillary clinton in some of the actions that he took, and i think that
the ethics office is supposed to be impartial and seems to have a partial bent to it right now. so, very concerned about that. >> congressman chafe its, thanks so much. appreciate your time as always. >> thank you. >> so shall be sure to turn in tonight for a special cnn town hall with house speaker paul ryan. he will join me and a live studio audience to answer questions about the incoming trump administration and congressional agenda. how trump will affect you. you can see it only on cnn tonight at 9:00 eastern. we'll have much more ahead on the breaking news today, vice-president joe biden weighing in on what he and president obama were told about donald trump and russia by the intelligence chiefs. stay with us.
borg m happen now, briefing the senate in a highly unusual secret meeting, the intelligence community briefs the full senate on russian meddling in the presidential election. this comes as both vice-president joe biden and the director of national intelligence james clapper, confirm cnn's reporting. storming the hill, at today's confirmation hearings, three more of donald trump's nominees make their cases, but all three express views contradicting the president-elect's campaign. statements, investigating the fbi. also