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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  February 2, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PST

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be there for you, and them. ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, remission is possible. thanks for watching 360. i'm john berman. go patriots. time to head it over to jake tapper for a special edition of "the lead." thanks. i'm jake tapper in washington in for don lemon. don is spending time with his family tonight as they mourn the loss of don's eldest sister. all of our thoughts and prayers are with don and his family. we're thinking about you. i'm here with a special edition of "the lead." on a day of huge developments in the russia investigation. that heavily hyped memo from the republicans on the house intelligence committee finally dropped. the big question tonight is, will another shoe drop? the president today declassifying the explosive memo, spearheaded by devin
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nunes, formerly of the trump transition team. it's the most explicit official republican effort yet to try to undermine the fbi and mueller russia investigation. it was released despite warnings from the president's own hand-picked fbi director and justice department officials. the president touting it as evidence of anti-trump bias at the fbi. >> i think it's a disgrace what's happening in our country. when you look at that and you see that and so many other things, what's going on, a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves. >> are we on the eve of a saturday night massacre? will president trump fire his deputy attorney general rosenstein, who is named in the memo as having approved one of the surveillance warrants of a trump campaign adviser? rosenstein supervised things, too. >> do you have confidence in
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him? >> you figure that one out. >> do you still have confidence in rosenstein? you figure that one out. a ringing lack of endorsement, especially from a president who has already fired fbi director james comey and forced out andrew mccabe and threatened the jobs of sessions and robert mueller. sources are telling cnn, the president is, quote, unlikely ever to get beyond his anger at rosenstein. the white house is saying that there will be no changes at the justice department. that as christopher wray gave bureau employees what's being described as a pep talk saying the american people read the newspapers and watch tv, but your work is all that matters. actions speak louder than words. joining me to discuss this, we have gloria borger, evan perez, and kara skinel. evan, what has emerged as the most significant legal question
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based on this memo? >> look, i think if you talk to republicans, they say that this memo raises real questions about what they say is a breakdown of the legal process. the fruit of the poisonous tree, so to speak, that launches all of this investigation is what they say was a dossier paid for by democrats and hillary clinton campaign. they say that there were four memos -- four fisa applications to do -- >> the initial and follow-ups. >> to do surveillance on carter page. they say that because there was information used from this so-called dossier, that it really wrecks all of this. it makes it illegitimate. if you look at this memo, it doesn't back that up. in fact, it undermines some of the central points. it says, for instance, that there was other intelligence beyond the dossier, beyond the information that came from
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christopher steele, the british mi-6 agent who prepared it, that was used to get the warrants. if says that christopher steele had provided previously credible information to the fbi on other investigations. let me tell you, when you do a fisa application, i think one of the members of congress tonight on our air said there were 50 pages in it. when a judge looks at it, the fact that christopher steele provided credible information on previous cases would be very important for that consideration, for that judge. probably more important than the fact it was paid for by political operatives. >> the memo goes on to note at the end that there already had been a counterintelligence investigation into the trump campaign starting in july, not because of carter page but because of george papadopoulos. >> what's left out from the memo -- we know from our own
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reporting, going to 2013 and 2014, carter page came on the radar of the fbi because of an investigation of a russian spy ring in new york. he was interviewed. he was told then that the russians were trying to essentially cultivate him to be a source -- >> that's not in the memo. >> that's not. that is an important thing that would have been included in this application. >> what also isn't in the memo, by the way, is the reasons that the judge might renew a fisa application, which is you have to prove that it's working. you have to show, we have gotten a bunch of information here, and that is why we need to continue -- >> every 90 days. >> every 90 days to continue to watch this person. so we don't know what the judge was actually looking at. >> devin nunes was on fox news. here is what he says about the steele dossier. take a look. >> the dossier was presented to the court as if it was true.
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the court was not told that the democrats actually paid for this. just step back for a moment. this is not trying to go after some terrorist. this is about -- they opened -- the fbi opened a counterintelligence investigation into the trump campaign in the summer of 2016. that's what happened. and then they got a warrant on someone in the trump campaign using opposition research paid for by the democratic party and the hillary clinton campaign. that's what this is about. it's wrong. it should never be done. >> what are your sources telling you about the accuracy of what he is saying? >> in terms of everything that's been sort of what he has been saying, as evan pointed out, there was other evidence in the fisa. we have done stories about that, how there was other information, other intelligence, human intelligence, human sources.
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remember the fbi was conducting surveillance. they have sources overseas. they know carter page at this point had been to russia several times. they have sources in russia that they are relying on for information. all of that from all the reporting that we have done before even this memo came to light shows that they had other information. it wasn't just a case built on some dossier from a very respected mi-6 agent. he had credibility with the fbi, with our intelligence agencies way before he even put this dossier together. also when the fbi went ahead and opened this investigation in july, we have done stories about this, there was -- they had seen contacts. there was a lot of contact between people within the trump world, the trump campaign, the trump orbit and russians. that concerned them. the intelligence officials at the cia, dni, james clapper,
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these are all these intelligence officials who were concerned about this contact. when you have a u.s. citizen in this country who is also having contact with russians, it's reasonable for the fbi, certainly our sources have told us to go to a fisa court and say we need to follow this guy. we need to see who he is talking to because we are concerned about national security. >> one of the things that's very interesting for people following the story since it began is the idea that the republicans are citing the spying on carter page as evidence that the fbi was biased against president trump. there's a number of reasons why that's interesting. one of them is carter page left the trump campaign in september and the warrant was it in october. the other one is, there used to be a time when people affiliated with president trump said that they barely knew who carter page was. take a look. >> carter page is an individual who the president-elect does not know. >> he is not part of our national security or foreign policy briefings that we do now at all. >> to the best of my recollection, i don't know carter page.
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carter page never had a donald trump e-mail address, had no formal role in the campaign that i'm aware of. >> i don't think i have ever spoken to him. i don't think i have ever met him. >> now all of a sudden, spying on carter page is trying to get president trump. the same people are saying this. it's quite striking. >> it is. it's very interesting, because they're trying to cut it both ways. they're trying to use this to undermine the special counsel's investigation. but in reality, carter page, the fisa warrants -- they came after most of the campaign. these reauthorizations were after the election. it's hard for them to argue it both ways to say it's undermining the investigation and then also using it for that purpose when they are distancing themselves from him. >> evan, earlier today the attorney general jeff sessions, who has recused himself from the russia investigation because he gave misleading statements to
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the senate about his contacts with russians, he was speaking at an event about human trafficking. his deputy, rod rosenstein, is under fire, is beleaguered, is in the president's crosshairs. look what he had to say about ron. >> ron and rachel are harvard graduates. they are experienced lawyers. rod has had 27 years in the department. rachel has had a number of years in the department previously. so they both represent the kind of quality in leadership that we want in the department. >> that's a very nice and off script praise of rosenstein. it comes at a time it's clear that the president is itching to fire him. >> yeah. i think the attorney general says the truth. that's exactly what he says about rod rosenstein i think is what you would hear from throughout the justice
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department. the guy is a career servant of the justice department, served under both republican and democratic administrations. the president keeps attacking him like he is a partisan against him. the bottom line is i think if you look at this memo, a lot of people going into the release of this were very concerned that rod rosenstein was not going to make it through the end of the week. everybody in the halls of the justice department were very concerned the president would use this to get rid of rod. i gotta tell you, it's a dud. it doesn't really deliver in all the buildup that republicans made it out to be. also democrats. democrats built it up to be a grave threat to national security. i'm not sure it does that. i think i can see why the fbi and justice department didn't want it out. after all, this is still under seal by a federal judge. you don't normally release these things. sean hannity said it would make watergate look like a parking ticket.
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it looks more like a parking ticket. >> gloria, there was an expectation that this would be used -- this memo would be used as pretext by president trump to fire mueller or rosenstein or possibly both. now that it's out, was that political end achieved? >> well, i think you heard the president today, he is not happy. he is itching to fire rod rosenstein. i think there are people around him -- our reporting shows -- that are trying to strap him in his seat and say you cannot do this, you cannot do this. and i think you heard white house spokesman say he is not going to it. but i remember he wasn't supposed to fire james comey and he went away for the weekend to bedminster and he came back and by the way, he fired james comey that monday. anything can happen. with this president. i think the feeling just looking at the president today and -- is that he believes that this memo did what he wanted it to do, which was to contaminate the
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mueller investigation. >> not pretext, just muddying? >> muddying. if he is called to testify -- don't forget, we have an inspector general report coming out in march on a bunch of other stuff on the hillary clinton e-mails. all he wants to do is contaminate the investigation so if they ask him to testify, if mueller says i want you to testify and he fights that, he can then say to the american public, instead of just no, he can say, why should i. >> it's rigged. >> there are a number of republican congressmen who are saying that tonight on twitter. we should point out, not tray gowdy who actually looked at the fisa application and not speaker paul ryan. gloria, evan, simon, kara, thanks for being here. coming up next, lee zeldon called for the release of the memo. i will ask him what he thinks
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abused their surveillance authority. president trump released it. democrats are blasting it as an attempt to undermine the russia investigation. joining me now, lee zeldon, a new york republican and also is a war veteran. always good to see you. thanks for joining us. >> good to see you. >> there are a lot of disputes going on about the memo. i just want to go over some of the questions i have so maybe you can help clear them up. the nunes memo released says christopher steele, the former british intelligence agent who wrote the dossier, they say he was terminated as an fbi source for leaking to the press. but glen simpson, which hired christopher steele, simpson testified about steele and said this. on october 31, "the new york times" posted a story saying that the fbi is investigating trump and found no connection to russia.
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it was a halloween special. the fbi, i understand chris severed his relationship with the fbi out of concern he didn't know what was happening inside the fbi and there was a concern that the fbi was being manipulated for political ends by the trump people and that we really didn't understand what was going on. he stopped dealing with them. congressman, did glen simpson get it wrong when he spoke to the judiciary committee? or is the nunes memo wrong? which happened first? steele left the fbi or the fbi got rid of him? >> the fbi got rid of steele. as a matter of fact, i'm sure steele, if you wanted to leave on his own terms, would have wanted to get paid the money he was owed by the fbi. he was terminated and never received that payment for what he was offered. the other issue with it is that, it was known by the doj and fbi
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way before he was actually terminated that he was a compromised bad source. you reference the yahoo where they tell the fisa court that the -- that steele was not a direct source to yahoo when it turns out in fact he was. talking to yahoo and other media outfit, which is why he doesn't receive the payment. >> i want you to take a listen to nunes, the chairman of the house intelligence committee said on fox news tonight. >> i don't believe that somebody like mr. page should be a target of the fbi. >> i know you are aware of this. carter page had previously been a target of the fbi. he had been surveilled in 2013 and 2014, suspected of being swept up by a russian agent. i'm wondering if it's not possible that there are other reasons besides the dossier that would prompt the fbi to want to keep an eye on him given they
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already had. >> well, it should also be noted that the fbi and carter page develop a cooperative relationship with each other when that outreach is made to carter page where they are working together for a period of time. fast forward to the fall of 2016, carter page, who is a united states citizen, ends up becoming the target of a secret warrant from a secret court. the way that that warrant is obtained is that you are using this unverified, unconfirmed salacious dossier targeting then candidate donald trump, paid for by the democratic national committee used by a bad, compromised source as identified -- >> what do you mean the doj and fbi? >> the dossier. >> the dossier was targeting
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donald trump? >> i'm saying -- correct. >> i'm sorry. i misunderstood. you are using that dossier in order to go to this secret court to obtain the secret warrant against this united states citizen. but going all the way back to the beginning of time, it's important to note that there was a -- there was cooperation that ended up developing between the justice department and carter page directly. >> do you think that this memo, the nunes memo, undermines the mueller investigation? do you think as some of your colleagues have tweeted this evening that the whole thing should now be scrapped? >> i believe that the best course of action on the mueller investigation -- i have said this the entire time -- is for it to come to its natural conclusion by cooperating with
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the special counsel, the white house has provided tens of thousands of documents. there have been a lot of different depositions that have taken place. the best case scenario i believe is not to have an investigation that goes on for many years. just to help bring it to its speedy conclusion as naturally and as effectively as possible. that's the best case scenario. >> there's speculation, some fed by president trump's remarks, about whether he will fire the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, who is listed in the nunes memo as one of the individuals who approved of one of the carter page fisa warrants and also has general supervision over the mueller investigation. do you think president trump should fire the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein? >> no. from everything i'm hearing, he is not going to. what i think needs to happen is that there are members of congress who have some follow-up questions to mr. rosenstein.
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as it relates to this fisa abuse that took place. there are questions that we have specifically. my biggest concern with this entire issue is specifically as it relates to fisa abuse. it's an awesome, powerful tool to make sure that it's never getting weaponized in any form or fashion. so the process of obtaining a fisa warrant, which is almost always granted when you get to those judges for the application, the process has as much integrity as possible protecting it and also that there's a paper trail, a record, a thorough record so if you have questions after the fact it's not that hard to put these pieces together. >> congressman, thank you so much for your time. always good to see you. >> thank you, jake. democrats on the house judiciary committee issuing a
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scathing statement saying president trump made republicans in congress accessories to his continuing obstruction of justice. one of the democrats behind that rather jarring statement joins me next. stay with us. having their seat kicked on an airplane. being rammed by a shopping cart. sitting in gum. and walking into a glass door. but for everyone else, there's directv. for #1 rated customer satisfaction over cable, switch to directv and get a $200 reward card. call 1.800.directv
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breaking news. washington roiled after the release of the nunes memo. that alenell ledges abuse by
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officials. democrats slamming it as inaccurate and misleading in an attempt to undermine the investigation by robert mueller. joining me to discuss is congressman david siscilini. he's a rhode island democrat. thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> the house judiciary committee released a statement saying, with the release of the nunes memo that distorts classified information in order to discredit our law enforcement agencies, president trump has added the republican majority in congress as accessories to his continuing obstruction of justice. congressman, is your committee really accusing the republican majority in congress of being accessories in a crime? >> i think there's no other way to say it than the republicans in our committee and the republicans on the intelligence committee who have been part of this have been part of a very disappointing set of actions that is intending to undermine an ongoing investigation.
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these are individuals we have been pleading with on the judiciary committee to give us a hearing on many of the important issues that we have an oversight responsibility for. nunes was removed from leading the investigation because he was partisan. you remember the charade in the middle of the night. he purports to draft a memo that purports to be a summary of classified documents he has never read. the trump justice department and the trump fbi leadership says is misleading, has major omissions, designed to undermine the investigation to set the predicate for the firing of rosenstein or mueller. this has been -- the republicans are assisting this white house who have done everything they can -- the president in particular -- to stop the investigation, to prevent the american people from getting the truth.
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we haven't heard anything from our republican colleagues about the collusion between the trump campaign and the russians, about the ongoing obstruction of justice. but today they complain in a very misleading, lots of omissions, then object to the release of the democratic memo which sets the record set. the american people see through this. this is an effort to stop this investigation. >> i hear what you are saying. i'm wondering about the statement that the judiciary committee gave. are you actually accusing republicans of being accessories to a crime? do you mean that more hyperbolically in a political sense? >> i think they are being accessories to this ongoing effort to obstruct justice and interfere with this investigation. >> but that's a crime. >> well, there's no other way -- look, there's no other way to explain the creation of this memo which is misleading, which has gross omissions, which is false in many ways.
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adam schiff who read the underlying documents -- i read both memorandums. i hope the democratic memorandum will come out which will make this all very clear. this is very disturbing behavior to have republicans in congress trying to protect this president, circle the wagons and do everything they can to impede, slow or stop this investigation. they have done no oversight. now they are really doing the president's bidding to undermine the fbi and the leaders of the investigation. this is very alarming. i think everyone should be concerned about it. let's not forget, we are investigating russian interference in our elections. the conclusion of our intelligence agencies. lots of information about collusion and contacts between the trump campaign and russians. this is the heart and soul of our democracy. what the republicans should be doing is getting out of the way, making sure mr. mueller is protected. we should be passing the bill so that he can be protected from being fired.
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they are actively interfering with the ongoing investigation, trying to undermine the investigators. whether you think that's a crime or not, it's not appropriate conduct. >> one of the things that we were told by democrats before the release of the memo was there were national security issues at stake, that the sources and methods would be compromised with the release of the memo. have you seen any evidence since the memo was released that national security is actually being threatened because of the release of this memo? have you seen any evidence of sources and methods being exposed by the release of this memo? >> i don't think we know that yet. that was the conclusion of the fbi. there was a letter from steven boyd that made that assertion. i think that was the department's position. it was the department of justice and the fbi's position that the intelligence experts and our law enforcement personal, i think we have to do everything we can to protect sources and methods. they were concerned about that
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and objected. these are trump appointees who objected to the release for those reasons. we have to defer to them. hopefully, there will be no harm to our national security or to any of our intelligence gathering operatives. that was obviously a concern to the intelligence committee as well as the department of justice. as i said, the president's own leadership made that claim but despite that the republicans voted and the president agreed to release this. does it help the president? does it protect the president from being held accountable and from this investigation proceeding? sadly, rather than assessing what's in our national security interest or how do protect the men and women doing this very dangerous work at the fbi, the real measure is, is it good for the president? does it protect him? i think that's a terribly sad state of affairs. >> congressman, thank you so much for your time. we appreciate it. the nunes memo isn't give a full picture of carter page.
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more memos, more problems. nunes is hinting there could be more memos to come. nunes says, the investigation is
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ongoing. democrats charge the memo is misleading and omits key facts. joining us, sean turner, national security analyst, laura coats and walter schaub. walter, let me start with you. you called this a dud. why? >> i don't think there was anything in there that we haven't been hearing as party talking points for the past several weeks. there's nothing in there that contradicts the idea that it was papadopoulos talking to an australian diplomat that triggered all of this. >> in july 2016? that's in the memo. >> right. it is. of course, carter page had been under investigation before this started as well.
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or at least under surveillance. you know, we had been promised a bombshell that was going to make watergate look like a parking ticket. there really wasn't anything there along those lines. when i reached the final page, i kept thinking maybe i hadn't printed out all of the pages. >> you said there's context missing. give us some examples. >> they fundamentally are undermining it. they're saying you have to discredit any investigation. there's a material misleading of fact. it doesn't -- it leaves out whether or not there was anything else, anything at all that would be considered by an article 3 judge over a course of -- >> that's a fisa court. >> over the course of probably several months to a year long investigation of carter page. are you telling me the american people that we're to believe that this judge said, a yahoo news article was sufficient and a dossier is all that was used? the material omissions are everything. what else was used to support and substantiate? it may well be that there are lapses in judgment or there are huge areas that were not
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investigated or vetted. that would belie the entire process of going through a fisa court and a fisa warrant. it has to be a full investigation. it's not based on one or two documents but the compilation of context and vetted information and a lot of accurate facts that are there. to suggest we should discredit one organization or agency because they leave key things out, doesn't that tell me i should do the same thing with this? we were promised a kraken and out pops a minnow. >> they say it was obtained using just this dossier and a yahoo news story that talked about carter page's ties to russia and he had been under investigation. is that possible? >> this is not a partisan
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statement. it's impossible that the dossier alone could have been used as the justification. >> the dossier with the yahoo news story. >> even with the news story. you have to understand that the bar for getting a fisa warrant is extremely high. the reason that most fisa warrants are granted is because the fbi and the intelligence community know how high the bar is. when they go to the court, they present a wealth of information. it is the case that you must have multiple sources of information in order to get that warrant granted. those sources of information necessarily in some cases must be from u.s. intelligence. the process is very complex and detailed. this puts the fbi in a tough spot. if there are material omissions of fact from this memo, if that's the case, then the fbi necessarily has to let those
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material omissions of fact hang out there. because the application is classified. it's going to remain classified in order to correct them, you have to provide all of this evidence that shows how they got this warrant. for the fbi do that, they would need to go to the president and ask the president to approve the declassification of the application, which would basically completely discredit the memo. >> walter, nunes claims the dossier written by steele is what led to the warrant. here is what the memo says. deputy director mccabe testified before the committee in december 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the fisa court without the steele dossier information. saying that that's impossible. it's just impossible. but there have been abuses of the fbi abused things in the past. we should note most intelligence agents are honorable. there have been abuses. is it not possible this is
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something that should be looked at more? >> well, you have to keep in mind the context here. we have other members of congress and the minority who said that mischaracterizes what he testified to. >> andrew mccabe? >> yeah. we have the people releasing this memo voting not to release the competing memo by the other side. it doesn't really smack of an interest in transparency. they also recently voted on a number of issues related to fisa and other national security issues. over the years, there hasn't been a consistent concern about abuses by the fbi or the doj. it's very important that overall we look at issues to make sure that security apparatus aren't misused to spy on individual citizens. but this doesn't seem like that. this is coming in the context of what's clearly a partisan attack on an ongoing investigation. >> can i just -- to add, we have to think about what it would have taken for this to be a
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legitimate abuse of power. in order for this to be a legitimate abuse of power, you would have need the director of the fbi, the deputy director, as well as the lawyers who review applications and the judge to all have been deceived and to think that this dossier was enough evidence. or you would have needed a conspiracy on the part of all of those individuals to say -- to stand against president trump and to do that by surveiling carter page. >> let's be clear. the fbi has had a history of undermining civil liberties. google hoover and martin luther king junior and you will find a conspiracy that lasted 12 years. you are right about this sounding like a pretextual reason. we're talking about for a fisa court, for a renewal of an application, every 90 days, they had to show that the rubber met the road. they didn't just have to have hypothesis. they had to show what they found. >> he was never charged. >> the threshold is there's some basis to continue having this surveillance. you are having a fruitful result
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and some need go forward based on probable cause. this was renewed more than once which means it's not one document in a vacuum. the deception would have to take place over multiple different courts, multiple judges, who are looking at it. i just don't feel as though they would have been hoodwinked by this at all. >> that all of the fisa judges have been appointed by chief justice john roberts. not exactly a flaming liberal hillary clinton supporter. thanks for being here. we appreciate it. christopher wray telling agents to stay focussed on their work, on their job. what about his job? wray pleaded with the white house not to release the memo. what does the fbi director do now? stay with us. what's the value of capital? what's critical thinking like?
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fbi director christopher wray is trying to bolster morale. following a tumultuous few days, the president trump's hand picked director telling the rank and file that the release of the
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nunes memo is unsettling after he strongly urged the white house to keep it classified, saying he had grave concerns, wray says he remains inspired by the work the fbi does, adding that actions speak louder than words. joining me now evan mcmullan and an independent presidential candidate in 2016. jum trustee a chief at the organized crime division in the justice department. the memo was released today after the strenuous objections of many in the community. most publicly the fisher director. should he resign? >> well i'll leave that up to him. he drew a clear line in opposition to the release of the memo. i think that it -- he demonstrated some independence though. and i think that's very valuable. i hope he continues on at the bureau and continues to be an independent voice. that's critical. but let me say, jake, something that's happening here is we have two processes that -- that are separate. we have this political, opposition research situation,
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political campaign develops opposition research that's a part of the process. and then we have -- we have got an intelligence process, a national security process, which is the fisa court process. usually those things are not combined. it's unusual for them to become combined. but in this situation they have become combined. and there is natural concern over that. i think that's reasonable. >> you understand why people would be concerned about bringing opposition research to a fisa court? >> i -- it's -- it's an unusual thing. and i understand why some americans might say, well, wait a second, is this the right thing? and this provides opportunity for republicans, who are aligned with the president, to say, hey, this is abuse of power, and i think it's wrong. but i think the point that i'm trying to make here is that it's important for us to remember why these two things have come together. they've come together because we had a president and a campaign that was reasonably suspected of collaborating with a foreign government trying to influence our elections.
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that's what brought those two things together. not -- not the justice department or the fbi acting inappropriately. and i just -- that's -- i think we have to make it clear. >> you're saying president trump is the one who brought politics and surveillance together. >> that's right. >> i hear you. jim, i want to ask you. you know rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, you worked with him at the justice department. the memo mentions him as having been one of the people to sign off on one of the fisa warrants against carter page. all indications are that president trump is itching for rosenstein to leave. if he fires him or not. what counsel would you give him tonight? >> rod? >> yes, not the president, rod rosenstein. >> because that would be a tougher job. >> rod rosenstein. >> rod is a principled and objective guy. i've known him for a long time. i think he know what is the job
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should be, and he excels at it. i also think he doesn't get distracted by the politics of the moment. there is more to dig into the the whole situation. nobody should stop at one memo and feel they've answered all the questions around fbi abuse, omissions, what it means for court proceedings. there is a million questions. but on rod's mind, i think he's probably just doing his job. he may have all sorts of internal communications with mueller that we don't know about, in terms of where this investigation has been and where it's going. but i just don't think he is the type of person that crumbles under pressure or concern about the future. >> evan, you tweeted this out today. i know and respect some of the house republicans on the intelligence committee which is why it's so disappointing they would intentionally mislead the public on a national security while aiding ongoing purge of senior law enforcement leaders. if that's what they're doing, why do you think they're doing it? >> i think they're doing that because -- there are different reasons for all of them. some of them are in vulnerable positions and depend on leadership money to compete in
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their districts. that's part of it. some don't want to fall out of the good graces of the chairman, devin nunes. if they want to pass legislation through the committee, they depend on the chairman to allow that to happen. if you can't pass legislation you run into problems getting re-elected. so there are a lot of serious pressures that come on members of congress when they don't toe the party line. but this is such an important issue. you know, they really are misleading with this memo. i read the memo a few times. it does cherry pick information out of what would be a normal fisa request. >> um-hum. >> and there are clues about that in the memo. they talk about the dossier being essential, an essential part to the memo, suggesting there are other parts. >> there are other parts exactly. >> things like that. it's just a real disservice and i'm disappointed by what i see there. >> jim, you have some concerns about things that you read in the memo? >> well, look, jake, all of us
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are speculating as to what the affidavit actually says. i'm amazed to hear people pronouncing it a nuclear bomb or saying it's a dud or attributing it to a "game of thrones" episode with trump as the king. i mean the reality is there is ongoing investigation, criminal cases coming out of it. there is the unusual circumstance right now of what appears to be if you take the memo at its face an exclusion of material evidence by an fbi agent possibly with other people in higher positions knowing it. >> by not including the information this was funded by democrats? >> well, not just that. that there's issues of credibility. every affidavit whether for wire tap, search warrant, arrest warrant, you establish as the affiant that there is something credible about the information. and so if there is a whole bunch of sources that's great news for that aspect. if there is five people that say we need to look at carter page and here is why. that's great. if it's literally what the chairman said that it's one person and then shopping their own story to the media that's
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unusual and troubling. >> the media part i never saw in 27 years. >> we need to find out if that's true or not. evan mcmullin and jim thank you so much. be sure to tune in to the state of the union this season my guesting will be on this sunday 9:00 a.m. a special edition of lead. jim sciutto next with the special edition of the report the russia investigation. thanks for watching. ♪ that you'll ever need ♪ staying ahead isn't about waiting for a chance. it's about the one bold choice you make, that moves you forward. ( ♪ ) the one and only cadillac escalade. come in now for this exceptional offer on the cadillac escalade. get this low-mileage lease on this 2018 cadillac escalade from around $879 per month. visit your local cadillac dealer.
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report, "the russia investigation," breaking news tonight, and this is big. president trump declassifies that explosive memo written by republicans on the house intelligence committee. the memo released to the public over the objections of the president's own fbi director and justice officials. i'm jim sciutto. >> and i'm pamela brown. the partisan memo from the committee chaired by former trump transition team member devin nunes alleges serious abuses by the fbi of the foreign intelligence surveillance act. democrats say it's misleading, that it omits key facts and accuse republicans of using this memo to try to undermine special counsel robert mueller's russia invest


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