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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  June 8, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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>> very dramatic material all through the day. we're going to stay on top of it all through the night as well. that's it for me. thanks for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room room. our special breaking news coverage continues right now with erin burnett "out front." >> this is cnn breaking news. >> good evening. i'm erin burnett. welcome to a special edition of "out front" live from washington, d.c. breaking news, the bombshell testimony. the keyword this evening "lie. "the fired fbi director pulling no punches, accusing the p of the united states of lying, questionable the credibility of trump repeatedly in nearly three hours of testimony before the senate sbhejs committee. >> saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the work nors had lost kwfd in its leader.
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those were lies, plain and simple. i was obviously concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting. >> the president said he wanted to have dinner because he wanted to stay on. is this an accurate statement? >> no, sir. >> the president said in one case i called him and in one case he called me. is that accurate? >> no. >> did you ever call the president? >> no. >> in his press conference on may 18, the president was asked whether he had urged you to shut down the investigation into michael flynn. the president responded, quote, no, no, next question. is that an accurate statement? >> i don't believe it is. >> it couldn't be more clear. another explosive revelation and there were many of them today, comey admitings that he engineered the leak of his memos about a meeting with the president. and he did it in order to force the names of a special prosecutor. he brought this up himself. >> i asked a fledged of mine to share the -- friend of mine to
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share the ceontent of the memo. i thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. so i asked a close friend of mine to do it. >> of course, it seems to have worked. now special kwounl robert mueller has those memos. the big question is whether comey made a case that donald trump, the president of the united states, obstructed justice, which could be an imbeachble offense. dana bash, it was a stunning day on capitol hill. >> you can say that again, erin. james comey said he has absolutely no doubt that the president fired him as fbi director in order to try to change the way that the russia investigation was being conducted. and the irony is that the president got what he wanted. it did change but certainly not in the way the president intended or hoped. >> you solemnly swear to tell the truth -- >> the former fbi director under oath and unvarnished called the president who fired him a liar. >> the administration then chose
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to defame me and more importantly, the fbi. by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the work force had lost confidence in its leader. those were lies, plain and simple. >> using the l hch word more than once. >> i was honest lip concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so i thought it really porch to document. >> the flare for the dramatic that he is known for james comey described that february 14th moment in the oval office when the president kicked everybody out but comey and asked him to lay off the investigation of his former national security advisor, michael flynn. >> my impression with was something big is about to happen. i need to remember every single word that is spoken. >> although he testified that the president did not specifically order him to lay off flynn, that's exactly how he took it. >> i took it as a direction. this is the. of the united states with me saying i hope this.
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i took it as this is what we wants me to do. i didn't obey this that but that's the way i took it. >> he came under scrutiny from lawmakers for not pushing back in the moment. >> why didn't you say mr. president this is wrong. i cannot discuss this with you. >> that's a great question. maybe if i were stronger, i would have. >> after he fired comey last month, the president tweeted that comey better hope that there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. >> i've seen the tweet about tapes. lordy, i though there are tapes. >> stujingly comey revealed that trump's tweets caused him to dlimp con tenths of memos he had to the press. >> i woke up in the middle of the night monday night that there might be corroboration for our conversation. there might be a tape and my judgment was i needed to get that out into the public square. i asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter.
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didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons. i asked him to because i thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. >> that comey, now a private citizen, deliberately used the press to force the appointment of a special counsel is a stark re6 las vegas of how seasoned he is in washington. the president asked an fbi director for what he took as a loyalty pledge. >> i could be wrong but my common sense is he's looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay in the job. >> throughout his nearly three-hour testimony comey revealed several nuggets about the fbi criminal probe now in the hands of special kuhnel robert mueller like this about flynn. >> he says that the president was trying to obstruct justice or just seek for a way for mike flynn to save fashion, given he had already been -- face, given that he had already been fired.
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>> he was at this point in time in legal jeopardy. >> and he hinted at information not yet known to the public about attorney general jeff sessions. >> our judgment, as i recalling, was that he was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons. we also were aware of facts that i can't discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a russia-related investigation problematic. >> and though comey testified that as fbi director he did. in tell the president he was not being investigated comey revealed that he handed over his memos about his conversations with trump to the special counsel, which could mean now the president is being investigatesled for obstruction of justice. comey also dropped a political bomb about the clinton e-mail investigation last year when democrats accused him of mishandling big time. he said that obama attorney
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general loretta lynch said to him he should not call it an investigation but rather a matter, which he said confused and concerned him. erin? >> thank you very much, dana. jim acosta is "out front" at the white house. jim, you know, you hear everything that jim comey said today and yet, the president of the united states, the many white house are dlamg as a victory tonight. >> reporter: that's right. we heard from marc kasowitz, the president's outside legal counsel early today. he gave a statement. didn't answer any questions. he flied to have it both ways at one point saying the comey testimony vindicated the president in that it revealed that the president was not under investigation as part of a russia probe, but daytime kasowitz was pushing back on any notion that the president demanded that kooem make a loyalty pledge. still, the white house legal team feels as though they struck ghoeld with comey's admission that he orchestrated the release of this fgs in about his memos so it would get out to the press
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and are prompt a special counsel investigation. here's more of what marc kasowitz hadded to say about that. >> today, mr. comey admitted that he leaked to friends of his purported memos of those privileged communications, one of which he testified was classified. mr. comey also testified that immediately after he was terminated, he authorized his friends to leak the contents of those memos to the press in order to, in mr. comey's words, quote, prompt the appointment of a special counsel, close quote. >> reporter: now, despite that confidence hearing, the testimony did spark some uncomfortable questions at the white house, the deputy press secretary sarah huckaby sanders took from reporters today. she was asked about comey repeatedly saying the president
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had lied. she was asked point blank asked if the president was a liar. she said no. it was a bad day at did white house when you're asked that kind of question. the white house said they cannot answer the question. so it remains an open question at the white house if there's a recording system, where are the tapes. erin? >> it's a crucial question and they're going to have to answer it. >> that's right. >> thank you very much. "out front" my panel who will be with us for the entire hour, john dean, matthew rose berg, national security correspondent for the new york times and dana bash is with us, of course, as well. we learned a lot of new things today. >> we did. we learned there are a lot more unanswered questions and that this investigation is going to continue. what we did learn and what we knew is comey is a bit of an
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operator. he narnds the politics of washington. he did a very controlled leak to try to help control the narrative from his side of the story, which i don't -- personally i don't think i could blame him but there are some questions about that. we also know that at the time -- and this could have changed since he left as fbi director -- that president trump was never a target himself in the investigation. although comey's very careful in how he splansz to say that at this time he's not a target for counterintelligence investigation. i do think that marc kasowitzst declaring victory a little too early but as his lawyer you would expect that. >> what was the headline for you? >> i think this white house sees it as a battle between trump and comey, right, in this statement, the final lines are essentially trump feels vindicated and that he's gotten this cloud behind him and he can focus on his
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agenda. i think the problem with that construct is that this white house, trump particularly, has a built of a credibility problem. right. his relationship with the truth is an interesting one. he's not always accurate in terms of his depiction of events. i think that's a bit prabatic. it does fit into sort of the insider-outsider narrative that trump likes to construct. >> he used the word "lie." >> yes. >> he used it multiple times. >> yes. >> i want to comment on his appearance. he looked tired. this clearly took a toll on him. when he said somebody's lying, did you find him credible? >> he did look tired. i often look that way and have nowhere near the stress that jim comey has had for the last six months. i did find him believable. i think what you have to do is put it in the context of it's
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not in a vacuum. it's a he said-he said at this point. bob mueller eventually will give us more clarity. at the moment it's donald trump says this. jim comey says that. so do i think he is more credible on this given his background in, you know, in this department, given sort of his track record than donald trump who we know for a fact, that guy has, whether you like him or hate him or feel indifferent toward him, the guy has said a number of things both during the campaign and as president that are just not true. i think when you compare him to donald trump i think yes he came across as believable today and more believable than donald trump. he was under oath. >> right. now the -- the famous image you get. >> this is not just somebody popping off on cable television. this is a serious thing with penalties if you are found to be lying. >> when you read this prepared statement --
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>> right. >> which i the thought it was interesting. i'm not going to waste anybody's time but i have some comments to make. he talked about the pressure he felt. from what you heard, did you change your view of thinking this was obstruction of justice? >> in not at all. february 14th in the oval office, that discrimination was so extraordinary and so dramatic and so real -- imagine the scene. he walks into the oval office and everybody starts leaving. all these people -- the attorney general, his boss fades away. the vice president of the united states fades away. reince priebus tries to come in the door, trump the steers him away. these two guys next to each other. what is so important that trump needs to tell him "believe mike flynn alone. let him be. let flynn --" you know, leave him alone which is as far as i'm concerned evidence of obstruction of justice.
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then what happens? he doesn't leave him alone and he gets fired for his trouble. >> so john, on this issue there was an exchange with republican senator jim rush over what happened in that meeting and whether the president ordered jim domain stop the investigation or whether he asked him to do so and whether that is a distinction with or without a distinction. >> he did not direct you to let it go? >> not in his words, no. >> he did not order you to let it go? >> again, those words are not in order, no. >> he said "i hope." now, like me, you probably did hundreds of cases, maybe thousands of cases charging people with criminal offenses and of course you have knowledge of the thousands of cases out there that -- where people have been charged. do you know of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice or for that matter any other criminal offense where they said or thought they hoped for an
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outcome? >> i don't know well enough to answer. and the reason i say his words is i took it as a direction. >> right. >> as the president of the united states, with me alone saying i hope this, i took it as this is what he wants me to do. i didn't obey that but that's the way i took it. >> you may have taken it ased a dreksz but that's is not what he said. >> correct. >> he said i hope. >> those are his words, correct. >> is that a distinction that matters? >> i think it is a distinction that does not matter. when you're sitting in the oval office and the president makes a suggestion or has a hope, you as a staffer take it as a direction. i'm sure that's what mr. comey did and i think that's what most people sitsing in the oval office would react to. >> so you are still -- as you were last evening -- saying obstruction of justice tonight? >> i don't think there's any doubt. i don't think the debate moved far forward but certainly didn't retreat at all today but he went under oath and that made it a
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different status. >> it wasn't from leaks -- >> no. >> it was from his own mouth. comey, look, he's a lawyer. he understands the game. we've made that point clear. he offered something without being asked. if some of us did that it might be accidental but not jim comey. what he offered was he building leaked the memos and his motive. he wanted to force the naming of a special prosecutorer. let me play the clip with senator collins. >> the president tweeted on friday that i better hope there's not tans. i woke up in the middle of the night because it didn't dawn on me originally, that there might be a tape. my judgment was that i needed to get that out into the public square. i asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons. i asked him to because i thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. so i asked a friend of mine to
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do it. >> and was that mr. wittis? >> no. >> who was that? >> a good flipped of mine who's a professor at columbia law school. >> the bombshell of his motive. he did it to name a special prosecutor. right now, why is that? because he felt there was something for the prosecutor to see or what? >> we have it that comey is an operator. he's a bit of an operator. every journalist in this is town knows about the sources they're dealing with, there are people in the entire government establishment who see things that are going wrong and the self-correcting mechanisms aren't working. we are that last resort. that's what the press is for. that's what leaks are r to, to change public opinion or policy. he said look this isn't going well in his estimation. we get the public prosecutor, i needed to move the ball that way so he leaked. . >> is this a good day for jim comey? >> i mean, it depends on what
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his actual goal was. if his goal was to leave some pretty remarkable breadcrumbs for the public and for the snoets about things that are going on in tnin the investigat that we should know about, part of the reason is he might not have told the truth to investigators and dropping a not so subtle bomb on jeff sessions by saying, well, maybe he shouldn't have been involved because he was supposed to recuse himself. i don't want to talk about it anymore than that, wink, wink. payback is a you know what? because he was clearly upset that jeff sessions his boss didn't protect him from the president. le. >> right. >> he implored him, implored him not to have them ever be left alone. >> given the fact that he is an operator and given the fact that he understands the sort of way to politically maneuver this
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town, he also wanted to show the president, oh, yeah? you're going to fire me? guess what? i know how to work it, too. the way i work it, i saw your tweet about tapes and i wanted the public to make sure they understood that i have notes, too. >> oftentimes when we see witnesses appear before congress it's very politicized. right. you really see a political angle being pushed forth. jim comey came across as somebody who clearly is an operator and knows washington but he came across to me as sterile, septic in some ways of being somebody who was trying to do good. whether the way he went about it was the right way or not, that's to be judged. whether it was legal or not -- >> the advantage he had is he speaks english. he doesn't speak government talk. >> in waerk -- >> yeah. >> when dianne feinstein asked him why didn't you go to -- go fight back. he said i don't know. that's a good question. like that's how human beings
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speak. >> and the courage -- >> and the other thing was which i found remarkable is that the republicans did not attack him. >> yeah. they were good. >> it took marc kasowitz, 2ru67's lawyer, he was the only one that alleged that comey was lying. all the republican -- >> yeah. >> the legislators were -- >> it's super important. >> typically what you see in these hearings which are not as high profile as this, the democrats -- seems like they're in two hearings. the democrats ask certain questions and the republicans ask questions and it feels like two ships passing in the night. even the people who were sorts of tough on comey, they all started with as i've said before, i appreciate your service. >> right. >> it's certainly different than the average congressional hearing that we have. >> so that left it to marc kasowitz to say, matthew, that jim comey was lying.
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ok. and it comes down to, actually, reports in the new york times. let me lay it out. on the issue of leaking the memos. you heard comey say i saw the president's tweet in the middle of the night. i decided to leak the memo. of course the original tweet was james comey better hope there are no conversations of our -- tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking. he says that's a lie. here's what he said. >> although mr. comey testified that he only leaked the memos in response to a tweet, the public record reveals that the new york times was quoting from those memos the day before the referenced tweet. >> ok. so we can lay this out very simply, matthew. kasowitz says there was a story in the new york times detailing the dinner and trump's demands for loyalty on may 11th. the tweet was may 12th. the first time in the times it
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talked about the loyalty flej in detail was on myself 16th and that's the first time a memo as cited. can you tell us as a representative of the new york times, was the memo the source for the story or not? >> i can't get into the source for is this. we had a story on may 11 that trump asked him for loyalty. the that was not information that was only in the possession of james comey. we know in a today. he talked with a number of people about it. kasowitz in his entire statement would say comey said this, that's not true. comey said this other thing about trump not being investigation. that's not true. it's like crazy cherry picking. he can't be serious about this, can he? >> and he threw dan coats and admiral rogers yesterday, the hearing yesterday with the dni and the nsa director about how they answered questions about what they knew about supposedly
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trying to her swayed the fbi to end the investigation. kasowitz today missblerpted the that. >> we're getting a glimpse of what their strategy is going to be. there's a lawyer involved now, sean spicer and folks at the white house aren't going to be peppered with these questions as much as they have been in the past. in some ways this was a little slop sloppy. their statement was full of typos. so, you know, i think they've got some work to do. it's better than drump tweeting but it's not -- >> right. which he did -- to your point, saying that he's a liar and then saying look he told the truth on this is obviously -- >> skifr communications either be called permissive. >> next from our nation's capital, the moment president trump asked everyone to leave the room except for jim comey. what happened next? and breaking news. what comey just revealed privately in the private session with senators about the embattled attorney general.
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with russia's ambassador. if true, this would be yet another meeting sessions did not disclose. our chief national security correspond jim sciutto just was breaking this story. he's "out front" now. this is hugely significant, jim, because of the meetings we know about. he failed to disclose those originally. now this would be a third meeting he failed to disdisclose. >> reporter: that's right. the first two led to his recusal from the russia investigation. we learned that comey said during the reason during the public session that he couldn't speak about sessions more was that they're investigating the possibility he had a third undisclosed meeting with the russian ambassador. this is based on intercepted russia-to-russia communications. i should note that cnn was the first to report last week that congressional investigators were looking into this possibility. april 16th at the may flower hotel here in washington, d.c. when there was a larger meeting. the question was after that larger meeting where
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trumppresident trump gave his first poips of the speech of the campaign, first major foreign policy speech of the pam contain, did sessions have a private pull-aside with the russian ambassador. last week, the department of justice gave us the following statement. the facts haven't changed. the then senator did not have any plooift or side conversations with any russian officials at the may flower hotel. we went back to the department of justice and they say they stand by that statement despite what we're learning in comey tonight. >> all right. thank you very much jim sciutto. i wrants to go for reaction to democratic senator richard blumenthal. i want to get your reaction, of course, to the breaking news that jim absoluto was sharing. the context is crucial. if there was a third meeting it wasn't disclosed. the first meetings were not disclosed. he then was given a chance to disclose them when they leaked and he did. third, evenly when given a chance to disclose, he did not do so, does that change the game
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here when i would comes to the attorney general? >> you know, what we have here is a pattern and i can't confirm what may have been provided in a classified setting, but with a third meeting and even without it, what we have is a pattern of contacts with the russian by flynn, by sessions, by kushner, secret and then concealed. in fact, denied possibly in violation of the law that denial adds former -- >> could be perjury? >> could be perjury and that may constitute a separate violation of law that brings together the liability that director comey referred to today. >> do you think attorney general sessions will be attorney general sessions if he's going to -- he's going to stay in that job? >> he's emerging more and more as a key figure here. >> uh-huh. >> today not only because of this problematic thing with the russians and comey used that word in public today but also because he failed to safeguard
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and protect the fbi as a part of the department of justice when he learned about the meeting in which the president of the united states in effect had inappropriate conversations with director comey. he failed to take action with the white house and otherwise. >> the fbi director said he implored him to protect him. ogsly, they were meeting subsequent to that and the meeting in the oval office about flynn where he left the room. >> i think he ought to be called before the kbheet to testify under oath along with rod rosenstein as to why they failed to protect the fbi. it ought to be public and under oath. >> you were in the room today for the open session. did you hear a case for obstruction of justice? >> there's definitely a mounting case. because there's accumulating evidence of obstruction of justice and the special prosecutor is going to make the call based on pursuing all the evidence and jim comey's absolutely right, that it's his
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job to do. i think there is a mounting indication on the key issue of intent or motive. and the real question is what did michael flynn know about donald trump that the president wants to keep secret. >> so to be clear, given your legal background, if the president of the united states wanted to stop the investigation but wasn't under investigation himself and did not do anything wrong himself, you still believe that that could be obstruction of justice in the impeachble sense? >> let's leave out what the remedy would be. >> uh-huh. >> first, the question is could it be an offense even though the president's not himself a target? yes. because if the president of the united states takes action -- >> yeah. >> -- that on instructs either by destruction of documents or telling the fbi director not to pursue relevant and material evidence or otherwise impeding a lawful investigation, that could be obstruction of justice. but there has to be intent --
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>> intent matters. are director comey said the president fired him because of the russian investigation. senator john cornyn raised a fair question as to whether the president would have fired jim comey fundamental he wanted the investigation to go away. it would seem like a silly thing to do. here's part of the exchange. >> let me ask you as general proposition. if you're trying to make an investigation go away, is firing an fbi director a good way to make that happen? by that i mean -- >> yeah. it doesn't make a lot of sense to me but i'm hopelessly biassed given that i was the one fired. >> nothing's happened that you've testified to here today has impeded the investigation of the fbi or director mueller's commitment to get to the bottom of this from the standpoint of the fbi and the department of justice. would you agree with that? >> correct. especially with the appointment of director mueller is a critical part of that equation.
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>> he admits he has a dog in the fight but he says the investigation itself was not impeded. if the outcome was no impeding of the investigation, again i ask you, obstruction of justice? >> the investigation was not impeded only because a special prosecutor was appointed. that's the reason why i have called for a special prosecutor for months. i was one of the first to do so. i voted against rod rosenstein, only member of the judiciary committee to do so because he failed to commit to a special prosecutor. he is the key investigator here, not the fbi director, and so whether firing the fbi director was a smart thing to do to impede an investigation is really beside the point. it's whether that's part of a pattern. again, the patterns are important. the russians -- >> yes. >> -- and other kiepds of motives that have to be established. >> you're here along with our panel. i want to get to the issue of what comey did. what comey did, john, in order to get the special prosecutor was leak the memos.
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he admits to doing so. he brought that up himself. that is something that president trump's attorney says should be prosecuted. here he is, marc kasowitz. >> we will leave it to the appropriate authorities to determine whether these leaks should be investigatesed along with all the others that are being investigated. >> director of the fbi, a guy who's supposed to crusade against leaks leaking himself, should that be investigate snds. >> we don't have an official secrets act in this country. so leaking per se is not an offense. if it's classified information, that puts it in a different level. >> which, to be clear, these memos were not. >> they were not. he's a private citizen. so i don't think there is anything -- he also wanted to prosecute for revealing a presidential conversation. there is no privileged presidential conversation involved. there's no executive privilege
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just to speak with the president. i don't think he knows what he's talking about. >> i don't see a -- >> may i? >> yes. >> the justice department b official who knows james comey today said in his opinion, backs up what you said, it's not a problem in that it was his own recollection of his own discussion that he took contemporaneous notes on and he had the blimt to release its. now, there's an open question whether it was a rank and file fbi agent, whether they would get in trouble for it. maybe. i think according to evan perez's reporting people at the fbi think that's exactly what would happen to them. according to the fbi director, he certainly has a lot of support for what he did among the rank and file. >> listen to this conversation. we're talking about whether jim comey committed a crime. why is that -- this is exactly why kasowitz made that statement. i mean, jim comey is not only not president of the united
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states, he doesn't even work for the government anymore. this is a classic distraction. you know what jim comey was doing? he was talking to a journalist. that's what journalists do. we talk to people who have stories to tell. that's not called leaking. that's called journalism and it's not illegal for either the subject or the journalist. >> i want to talk an the loyalty pledge. we know this is a crucial part of this and it's going to be a crucial part of what's next. we learned a lot about it today. comey talked about the one-on-one with trump saying i need loyalty, i expect loyalty. he expanded on that. here's what he said. >> my impression, i could always be wrong, but my common sense told me that what was going on is either he had concluded or someone had told him that you didn't -- you've lsh asked comey to stay and you didn't get anything for it. and that the dinner was an effort to build a relationship, in fact, he asked specifically of loyalty in the context of
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asking me to stay. as i said, what was odd about that, we'd already talked twice about it at that point. and he'd said i slech hope you'll stay. my common sense told me what's going on here is he's looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay in the job. >> you heard the bottom line. he's looking to get something regarding my request to stay in the job. the implication to you? >> the implication to me was that he was putting pressure on director comey to do his bidding, to bend to his will. and when jim comey says common sense told me, i could be wrong, he's being very careful here. this is the kind of argument that you make to a jury. common sense. use your common sense. and if you're a director of the fbi and the president of the united states is saying i expect your loyalty, not to the united states, but to me -- >> right. >> -- it has an important
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meaning. by the way, on these memos, he wrote them so that will they would not be classified. >> yes. he did make that point, absolutely. >> just context. jim comey mentioned the word context. context matters here. republican -- the republican pushback, the white house pushback would have been, well, of course, all presidents expect loyalty out of the people who work for them. sure. if you say, hey, chris, do youing like being on the show? yeah, erin, i like being on the show. why don't you get me a cup of coffee? in the context matter, you just can't -- >> it's a good anecdote. can i ask you -- >> it's anent dote for real life. it happened just now. it didn't exist in a vacuum. it was a conversation that things happened before it and things happened after it. right? >> people might say if he felt so pressured, if hi felt so
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beleaguered, why not offer to resign. he offered to resign over 10 years ago because he thought the integrity of his job was in question. he didn't do it this time. here it is. >> tnt in the three and a half months you were the fbi director during the trump administration did you ever write or sign a letter of recommendation and leave it on your desk? >> letter of resignation, no, sir. >> letter of resignation. >> no, sir. >> should he have resigned in i -- a lot of people actually don't want to leave because right now they feel that the executive branch is in a perilous time right now. they feel like if they leave that the check on president trump will be lost. i'm not saying that's what he is saying right there but it seems to go to his biography. >> you know another reason he didn't resign? because he was fired! this idea that he should have left in a -- >> he was fired weeks after a
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lot of these conversations. >> weeks. this all happens pretty fast. this guy's only been president for 130 days. the fact that he didn't resign immediately, i mean, he was trying to keep his investigation together and he just gets fired, which is -- >> it's like a bad -- you don't want to -- >> obstruction of justice. it's just -- >> get me a cup of coffee. >> we'll take a break so you can go get coffee for all of us if you know what's good for you. >> why this could be key to special counsel's investigation. >> it's my judgment that i was fired because of the russian investigation. >> and paul ryan is the speaker once again making excuses for trump? >> the president's new at this. he's new to government. garden weeds are scoundrels. with roundup precision gel®, you can banish them without harming plants nearby. so draw the line. give the stick one click, touch the leaves and the gel stays put
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hey you've gotta see this. cno.n. alright, see you down there. mmm, fine. okay, what do we got? okay, watch this. do the thing we talked about. what do we say? it's going to be great. watch. remember what we were just saying? go irish! see that? yes! i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing.
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find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. . welcome back to a very special edition of out front front. the fired fbi director jim comey breaking his silence about his conversations with president trump before the senate intelligence committee today and we're learning that the committee will soon meet with another crucial player in this, jared kushner. manu raj u is out fro"out front this. >> we are expecting a meeting between jared kushner and staff as soon as this month and afterwards we're told by sources fam with the matter that he's actually going to provide records and documents to the committee and then would be willing to meet with senators about his communications with russian officials.
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this comes, erin, as the intelligence committee plans to ramp up its investigation after today's meeting, hearing with gyms comey. planning to meet with bob mueller, the special counsel next week. one thing that the committee and bob mueller want to get hold of is the tape that president trump suggested may have existed, tape of conversations between president trump and james comey. mark, one of the top democrat on the committee told me they're willing to even subpoena for the tape. take a listen. >> we've seen in past history that secret taping systems used by presidents don't end up in a very good position. >> is this something you're discussing in the committee to subpoena them? >> if they exist we want to get a look at them. >> erin, republicans are not ruling out the idea of subpoenaing those tapes even as both sides are raising serious concerns about whether there were any crimes committed here and whether or not any obstruction of justice occurred as well. >> manu, thank you very much.
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out front front, the chairman of the rns rhonda mcdaniel. taking the lead in responding to comey today. no tweeting from the president. your organization tweeted more than 20 times multiple statements defending the president discrediting comey. i want to start with this reporting on the tapes. you heard director comey say lordy i hope there are states in a conversation with dianne feinstein. the deputy press secretary kind of made a joke. i'm looking for them under the couch. are there tapes or not? >> i don't have any information on that. if the committee needs to subpoena it, we'll get to the bottom hoff that but it is that's not something the dnc has any knowledge of. >> he said he called the president of the united states and his team of lying and he used that word. here he is. >> saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the work force
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had lost confidence in its leader. those were lies, plain and simple. i mean, i was honest live concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting. >> the president sewed i had dinner with limb. he wanted to have dinner because he wanted to stay on. is this an accurate statement? >> no. >> if one case i called him and in one case he called me. is that accurate? >> no. d did. >> did you ever call the president? i don't can no. >> on p the president was asked whether he had urged you to shut down the investigation into michael flynn. the president responded no, no, next question. is that an accurate statement? i don't believe it is. >> what's your reaction? >> well, comey's trying to restore his reputation. this is a man who left washington with bipartisan disdain. the democrats have said they lost confidence in him. senator -- republicans have lost confidence in him. this is his attempt to try and
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restore his representedation. that's his statement. what we learned today was that he told the president on multiple occasions that he was not under investigation, that there was no efforts to impied or obstruct any investigation and that there was no evidence of collusion. so the things that we already knew were confirmed again today by this testimony. >> we also -- he made it clear he knows he was fired because of russia, which the president of the united states said it was true. here's what jim comey said and the president. >> there's no doubt that it's a fair judgment, it's my judgment that i was fired because of the russia investigation. i was fired in some way to change or the endeavor was to change the way the russia investigation was being conductsed. >> i was going to >> i was going to fire comey, knowing there was no good time to do it.
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in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a maid-up story, an excuse by the democrats for having lost an election that they should have won. >> do you believe the president fired comey because of russia. he admitted to doing so. >> the president has every right to fire the fbi and director comey said that. this is an fbi director that had no confidence on both sides of the aisle in washington, d.c. we need to restore confidence in the institution of the fbi. you've heard senators on the democrat side and the republican side say we don't trust director comey to be fair and to be not partisan. so now we're going to get a new director. >> cain just ask you an honest thing. how happy are you that he didn't tweet today? >> i'm happy the president is working for the american people everyday. he's talking about infrastructure, talking about the failing healthcare.
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he's laser focused on the american people. this is a distraction. back home where i live in michigan, people are thinking about how am i going to pay my healthcare and my rent when my premiums are doubling? how will i afford my taxes? i need help, i need washington looking out for me. this is a washington story in the middle of the country and they want washington to work for them. >> i appreciate your time. let's go to president obama special advisor, van jones and jack kingston and rosenberg. dana, this is a story when you look at the president's approval ratings that does matter across this country. >> yeah. it certainly seems to. it's unclear if it's this particular issue or if it's healthcare or if it's people getting annoyed that he hasn't at least done at least some of the things he promised he would come here to do, maybe because of what he said allegedly to
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james comey, there's a cloud over him and he can't get stuff done he needs to do. what i think is really fascinating talking about raw politics here is the way that the trump white house and now more and more hand in glove with the rnc are working very hard to keep the base happy and make sure the republicans who sent him to this white house understand that he will pull out of the paris climate accord and work for the things he promised to do with regard to his fight against abortion and other things that are -- things that make republicans happy. it's still below the danger line. he's in the danger zone with regarding to republicans, not just the general public but republican support which is why i think this is important politically. >> i want to ask you about an exchange that happened with senator rubio.
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senator rubio said he found it odd the leaks coming out were all damaging to trump but something favorable to him, which as was mentioned, the fact he wasn't under investigation personally did not leak out. here's that exchange. >> you know, this investigation is full of leaks left and right. we learn more from the newspaper sometimes than our open hearings for sure. you ever wonder why of all the things in this investigation the only thing that's never been leaked is the fact the president was not personally under investigation despite the fact that the republicans and democrats have known that for weeks? >> i don't know. i find matters that are briefed to the gang of eight are pretty tightly held, in my experience. >> i mean, look, there's any number of stories where we have said president trump is not a focus of the investigation as far as we know. beyond that statement there isn't much to report. there aren't any new details of
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somebody not under investigation. you are or aren't. there's no details about it. it's a strange amount of questioning about not reporting something when there are no new details to report when we put it in stories. >> i will tell you as a republican and trump supporter, the reason why it's important because it's now officially on the record. for the nth time, maybe it has been reported. the whole premise was comey was closing in on the president therefore he had to be fired. i think the fact he showed he's not under investigation disproves that. >> he said he leaked the memo because he wanted a special prosecutor. if he really thought there was nothing there would he have wanted a special prosecutor? >> i think we live in different universes where the republicans put up straw person arguments, say all democrats were concerned about that donald trump was under investigation and he wasn't. that's not all democrats are concerned about. democrats are concerned about mike flynn, concerned about sessions, concerned about trump, concerned about a bunch of
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stuff. none of that was resolved today. >> and derail donald trump. >> they're saying even if there wasn't an underlying crime for donald trump he could be guilty of obstruction of justice. >> there wasn't a criminal investigation at the time, i think senator rice from idaho made this point i hope has the not saying -- the president has the right to say, stop the investigation. alan dershowitz said that. >> you really think there's a difference when the president tells you i hope you will do right. >> it actually came out in the new york ci "new york times" and said it publicly the next day. >> about the investigation -- >> he was uncomfortable. he had five months to do something about it and he did not. why did he not do anything? >> context matters. when bill clinton went onto an
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airplane and talked to loretta lynch about golfing, whatever it was, i have no idea what it was, they went totally nuts. the context of clearing a room -- this guy acting almost like a mafia crime boss and he's the president of the united states, that is why the word hope hit so hard, i hope maybe you lose your job. >> everyone leave the room. >> and he lost his job. >> thank you all for joining us. ac "360" is next with more of cnn's special coverage. you know who likes to be in control? this guy. check it out! self-appendectomy! oh, that's really attached. that's why i rent from national. where i get the control to choose any car in the aisle i want, not some car they choose for me.
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good evening from washington where we are just learning some of what the fbi director told senators in a closed session and where james comey called the president of the united states a liar and made out a case, a hotly disputed one for accusing him of a crime. his testimony today before the senate intelligence committee did many things making it clear the fbi was not investigating the president when director comey was running the bureau. the white house is seizing on that item, however his testimony tells a story some argue adds up to the president obstructing justice. before going any further and hearing from legal experts who sharply differ on this question laying down the law as it