nominee in 2020, but he obviously has been one of the vocal trump critics, and we've seen in history how, if there is a primary challenge to a sitting president, how much that can weaken the incumbent president going back to george w. bush. >> keep an eye on the world leader in new hampshire. wolf starts right now. hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 12:00 noon in austin, texas, 1:00 p.m. here in washington, 8:00 p.m. in saudi arabia. wherever you're watching from around the world, thank you very much for joining us. unleashed. the president of the united states launching direct attacks to the special counsel of the russia investigation, and they may be getting closer to a constitutional crisis. the ceo of facebook under
fire. who is policing facebook if facebook can't police itself? another explosion in austin, this one potentially tripped with a trip wire. a possible serial bomber on the loose. the president capped off a weekend barrage of twitter attacks against the special counsel robert mueller with this tweet this morning. quote, a total witch hunt with massive conflicts of interest, closed quote. in his weekend tweet storm, the president also targeted andrew mccabe, the newly fired deputy director of the fbi. he also took aim at the fired fbi director james comey, the fbi itself, the justice department and the state department, and he escalated his attacks on the special counsel robert mueller, calling him out by name. let's go to our white house
correspondent jeff zeleny. >> the president, of course, watching as well and he knows more of what's going on than we do. there is no question he was set off over the weekend with a whole flurry of events, the developments that have been happening here with the russia investigation. but certainly escalated the confrontation with bob mueller, the special counsel. but stopped short, of course, of saying what he would do about it. the president a short time ago left the white house flying to new hampshire to do an event there this afternoon. we asked the president several times if he still has confidence in his special counsel, if he plans to get rid of the special counsel. the president very quiet about that today, simply smiling and walking with the first lady on the south lawn of the white house, wolf, but he certainly wasn't quiet over the weekend, and it has given many advisers here at the white house, many
republicans across washington, they're certainly wondering what his next steps are going to be. finally last evening, after all of this, a white house lawyer put out a statement trying to put sgf thome of this to a rest. he said this, wolf. the white house yet again confirms that the president is not considering or discussion the firing of the special counsel, robert mueller. but there are conversations privately about that very thing. so as we start here on a monday, wolf, who knows what this week might bring. >> yeah. who knows, indeed. thanks very much. jeff zeleny at the white house. joining us to discuss all of this, legal analyst michael zelden. he was over the department of justice. jennifer tubb is with us. and mia malika henderson.
there must be a tipping point but a reason that the president is going after robe eithrt muel. >> he thought in the beginning he might not go on the attack. but something has changed. we know in the terms of the context where these attacks by mueller are coming from, he has subpoenaed documents from the trump foundation related to russia and other things, right? we don't know what those other things are. can you imagine if you're president trump, you're talking to your lawyers, you're talking to your lawyers about what mueller is after during the scope of this investigation. you're also hearing from your lawyers about what bob mueller wants to ask you. his lawyers are saying they don't necessarily want him to sit down with robert mueller. i think that's where all of this is coming from. there is sort of a cumulative effect where this investigation is not only not going to wrap up
soon, which is different from what the president thought originally, and it seems to be inching closer, closer, closer. >> the special counsel's team have provided trumped. if they had only done that in recent days, that might have be been. >> you have first ty cobb and the other lawyers telling. now we're in march and it doesn't seem that we're anyplace near the end of it. then as the new times reports and you just -- those topics include the mueller investigation. i think the president wanted a
scope of interview on collusion. now they have his private dealings, which is a so-called red line. i think it's too much for him and he's exploded in this. they decided to go with business dealings and no collusion on russia. >> on the president's or campaign's motivations here. we've seen several back channels accident attempted to be set up. and the other side, look at the president's business and look at the debt he may owe to russian nationals. >> it's interesting that pretty high-profile republicans, they're warning the president, don't even think about firing robert mueller, even though
there are a whole bunch of other president supporters who say, yeah, this guy is on a witch hunt. >> people like lindsey graham saying if he moved to fire the special counsel, it would. but there isn't, by any means, any sort of chorus or recommend many of the president's reactions toward bob mueller. a very small group of people, jeff flake, for instance, isn't going to run for office again. trey gowdy launching criticisms against the president. he's not going to run anymore. but yeah, there is a -- if the president find someone to fire
bob mueller. rachel brand, the number 3 person, has already left the justice. if he finds someone to fire mueller, then he's got to appoint a new deputy attorney general and make the decision about who to appoint. if he appoints somebody to replace mueller, which he has to do under the regulations, that is seen as sort of a crony or lackey, someone who is not logical to discuss. >> listen to this tape. he has some advice for the president and his lawyers as far as mueller is concerned. >> given the independence to do his job, and if you are innocent, if the allegations
colludes you with the russians, if you're innocent of that, act like it. >> does he have a point? >> trey. . i think if bob mueller is fired, it goes up to a block party. if that happens i think republicans will get the political will and understand that they're at great risk in november. >> what the president is going after, he calls it the mueller team. why is does the mueller team ha have. does anyone think this is fear and yet there's no collusion. >> it's factually incorrect, of course. robert mueller is a registered
republic republican. >> rod rosenstein? >> rod rosenstein is a registered republican or appointed by a republican. chris wrays mueller has to go to get his mandate expanded or e l evaluated. and these nine that are registered as democrats, they're not going to let their party affiliation interfere with their fact-finding mission. so just because you're registered democratic or republican, it goi's going to de your view or elements of the law. it just defies reality. lawmakers want answers now
from facebook following allegations linked to the social media juggernaut. they have risen their interviews to 15,000 people. >> the leader of cambridge analytica says he's willing to speak to the special prosecutor and the fbi. the information comes from his own e-mail sent to his fellow colleagues at cambridge university. colin montgomer cogen's company provided all kinds of data.
the data gathered through a personality test facebook application that he built. when facebook users took this test, they gave kogen access to all their data, and even some of their friend's. during the campaign donald trump's election team used facebook almost exclusively to target messages and voters pre um. it violated the privacy now of tens of millions. does kogen address any of that in this e-mail he sent trying to defend himself? >> yes, in fact, he said
facebook knew what he was doing, didn't challenge him on any of it. in the e-mail he says we never claimed during the project that tf it was for academic research. in fact, we never claimed during t -- we did our absolute best not to have the project have any entanglements with the university. facebook at no point, he says, raised any concerns at all about any of these changes. on friday, as you said, facebook suspended both kogan and cambridge analytica. kogan said rk, i've been asked quite seriously by reporters from the "new york times" and the guardian if i am a russian spy. i really tried to explain that one seems just silly.
if i am a russian spy, i am the world's dumbest spy. there was research that also involved social networks. wolf? >> all, all, all very disturbing. thank you very much. a democratic senator and a republican congressman are both standing by to join us live on whether or not they think the president. john, to save his pension. on arnl city right now, a high alert after yet another explosion in austin, texas. we're told all four bombings have similarities. you're going to find out what police are pleading for the public to do.
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mueller in a weekend twitter tirade. the president said the mueller probe should never have been started and questioned the makeup of the team, suggested that it is politically biased against him. joining us now, senator chris holland of maryland. senator, thank you for joining us. >> good to be here, wolf. >> just this morning the president went one step further saying on twitter, a total witch hunt, in all caps, with massive conflicts of interest. what's your reaction to the president's direct attacks on the special counsel and his team right now? >> well, it's very alarming, wolf, because earlier the president and his team had said they wanted to allow the mueller investigation to run its course, that they wanted them to get all the facts and that at the end of the day, you know, it would prove trump innocent, according to trump. now you see this stepped-up attack, and congressman trey gowdy asked the question just
yesterday in connection with trump's lawyer, if you have an innocent client, act like it. that's what he was saying to trump's lawyer. the same should be said to the president, right? if you're innocent, if you've got nothing to hide, for goodness sakes, act like it, because president trump is acting guilty as hell going after mueller, trying to short-circuit this investigation, trying to discredit this investigation. it's an alarming development, but we need to make sure congress on a bipartisan basis stands with an independent investigation and makes it clear that getting rid of mueller would generate a constitutional crisis. >> several higher profile lawmakers, including several republicans, are warning the president not to fire mueller, but they're also pushing efforts in congress right now in a legislative way to protect him, but those efforts seem to have stalled. would you support legislation to keep the president from firing mueller? >> i do strongly support that
legislation. back in january when republican leader mitch mcconnell was asked about that legislation, he said, there's really no need to do that at this point in time, and he cited the white house statements which, at the time, said, we're going to keep hands off this investigation. things have changed with the president's tweets. so i think republican leader mcconnell now needs to step up and work with us to have a vote on that legislation. if republicans agree that that would be unacceptable, they should join us in passing that bill of the united states senate. >> let's talk about the firing of the deputy fbi director andrew mccabe, less than two days before he was set to retire a and? >> for weeks and months, he was going after andrew mccabe, calling on him personally and
calling for his firing. then you have the attorney general, who the president also threatened to fire, then firing mccabe just 48 hours before his planned retirement. we just saw the reaction of putin in russia yesterday. this kind of thing that we saw with respect to andrew mccabe is something you would expect putin to do. you would not expect the president of the united states to be reacting in this way. >> but the attorney general in the office of professional responsibility, they recommended that he be -- we haven't seen the full reports, but according to the attorney general jeff sessions, they made the recommendation that he should be fired. >> i recognize that, wolf, and i look forward to reading the report. but that report was developed in a context, in an environment where the president of the united states was essentially going after mccabe every day and calling for his firing. so let's look at that report.
but if that report was not in any way tainted by the president's remarks sfrrks. if it was a totally independent effort, then the president instead of himself jumping on again in a very personal, nasty way. someone who served the fbi for 20 years, this is not respectable conduct here. the president never should have jumped in the way he did. >> but if mccabe was involved in unauthorized leaks to the news media and if he lied about it under oath, those are serious allegations. >> those are serious allegations, and it's important to get to the bottom of it. i think, as my republican colleagues have said, let's take
a look at that report and let's make sure that it's based on fact. let's see a form coming from the president. this is supposed to be an independent investigation. by having the white house interfere and the president interfere directly, it could really raise doubts about the integrity of that process. >> getting back to proposed legislation to protect robert mueller and his special counsel investigation of the whole subject matter. . . to keep the government funding but also at the same time to protect mueller. you've heard of those proposals? >> yes, wolf. and those are the kinds of
provisions that we could attach to the omnibus processions if r that will shut down the investigation of the president. but if people will agree to the mueller investigation, that's what we need to do. i've heard some republican voices supporting that legislation, but what really matters at the end of the day is going to be whether or not mitch mcconnell and paul ryan, the republican leaders, are willing to stand up to protect the rule of law, to protect the independent investigation. >> senator vchris van holland, thank you very much for being with us. police in austin, texas say they have a serial bomber on the loose after a fourth explosion rocks the city. what police are telling residents to do. plus, we believe the
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comparable bundle, for less. call today. the city of austin is on edge right now for the fourth time this month. an explosion has rocked the capital of texas but this blast was different. police say the explosive device was placed on the side of the road and may have been triggered by a trip wire. two men were injured. three other packages were left outside of homes killing two people. police say they're dealing with what they describe now as a serial bomber. for some insight i'm joined by former assistant director of the u.s. marshal's office art roderick. art, give us your assessment of these four bombings now. >> it gets scarier and scarier all the time.
if we've seen past shooters or serial killers, they watch the news all the time. so he's changed his method of operation of setting packages on doorsteps and now to trip wires. this individual has a lot of knowledge about how to make these bombs and transporting them and not having them explode. >> the first bombs we thought were racially motivated, but with a trip wire, anybody could have tripped that wire. >> this seems very random which elevates it more in my eyes. how they're going to catch this individual is how they've caught other individual that are either serial shooters or serial killers. number one will be the trip devices, number two will be the phone calls from the public, and number three will be going after all the video cameras, the
traffic cameras at individuals' houses, trying to find a common link. >> how do they think this could have happened? >> they say you can set this up so it doesn't go off until someone trips it. these people know what they're doing. and now we need to find out who has the capability of making, setting up this bomb and tripping this device. >> the fbi wants to speak to the bomber. what are the chances the bomber would get in touch with the fbi? >> it's hard to say. they could do that but everything has been pretty quiet. it was ten days before the
second bombing and the third bombing went off in the same day. then the police came out and made a lplea for him to call in and all of a sudden, a device goes off late at night. so it doesn't sound like this individual wants operation, and that make it. as president trump goes on a three-day. >> conspiracy theory that the justice department or. we'll get republic karn reaction to that and more after this. . . >> go to angieslist.com lap
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thinks the fbi is beiframing th president and the justice department. do you buy any of this theory that joe digenova put forward? he said in january, there was a brazen plot to illegally exonerate hillary clinton and if she didn't win the election, to then frame donald trump with a falsely created crime. make no mistake about it, a group of fbi and doj people were trying to frame donald trump of a falsely created crime. >> that's pretty strong language. i've said before i think a lot of people in the doj and the fbi crossed the lines about partisanship, texted some things they shouldn't have doneci try to keep it safe out there. >> he's now, really for the first time, directly going aft he hasn't generated much so far other than catching a couple people who should have registered under mueller, he said tha a it says the president is not considering firing robert mueller. would you have any reason to believe that? let him get the job done and you say you have confidence in mueller. let me get your thoughts on this whole issue of collusion. they have seen had secret, private evidence they have seen. was it smart for your republican colleagues to issue the statement even though they didn't interview some of the key players at all of this? >> we're in a situation where we can't find out what's fact and what's fiction because it's all classified material. >> but the house intelligence committee has access to that classified material, but it sounded to a lot of the critics, the republican critics, that they just want to end this thing and move on without finishing the job. if you start the job -- i'm sure
your mom and dad always said to you like my mom and dad -- finish the job. >> you, me and the american people are in a position of not knowing what's what and who is saying what correctly or not because it's all classified. when theyie leas released the classified material for the fisa warrants, we could see what was going on. >> would you say the republicans can protect mueller and keep him from being fired by the president? >> i just hope he can finish his job. if you're innocent, act like it. coming up, new revelations about former white house allegations of hope hicks. why she was known as the trump whisperer and why the president apologized to her. stay with us.
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tomorrow the saudi crown prince will meet with president trump over at the white house. the visit comes as the u.s. senate is expected to debate more resolutions to call on the president of the united states to end its involvement in the yemen conflict. they provided their support to a coalition against iranian backed in yemen. the topic the crown prince will have addressed in an interview in "60 minutes." >> the idealogy penetrated parts of yemen. the military were conducting military maneuvers at our
borders. it is truly very painful and i hope this malicious military uses them to their advantage. they block humanitarian aid in order to create famine in a humanitarian crisis. >> crown prince solomon of saudi arabia, thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having me here. >> i want you to listen to senator rand paul. this is what he told me back in 2016 but he still leaves this. listen to this. >> so we supply the saudis with arms, they create havoc and refugees in yemen, then what's the answer? i think we're elevating an arms >> what's your response to senator paul that he wants the u.s. to stop selling arms basically the saudi arabia?
>> in yemen we have a terrorist militia. that is backed by the biggest sponsor of terrorism, iran. they decided to take over the country, slaughter their way to the capitol and they have launched more than 95 ballistic missiles. they have killed yemeni people, threatened our security and regional stability and security. >> this is a proxy war that saudi arabia is having with iran. >> if you look at the iran activities we see iran has established a terrorist militia, hezbollah. they have bombed the united states embassy in 1983, marine barracks in lebanon, assassinated the prime minister and killed 500,000 people in syria, committed genocide. they have copied that model to iraq and killed 500 american soldiers, injured a thousand. in yemen they are trying to basically create another hezbollah that will not just threaten our security and yemeni
but regional security. >> this will be at the top of the agenda when the crown prince meets with president trump tomorrow who is considering ending the u.s. support for the iran nuclear agreement. what's saudi arabia's position on that? >> well, we have been focusing on the weapons of mass destruction. what we should be focusing on is the mass destruction being committed in the region that threatens regional and international security. iran, as i said, have been committing genocides in syria, killing innocent people, basically continuing to do this destructive actions with expansionist ideology. we have to work together with our allies the united states and the international community to push back. >> do you think the u.s. should walk away from the iran nuclear deal that was worked out with the security council in germany? >> we think the deal needs to be fixed. we are an auto pilot headed
toward a mountain. we need to fix the deal now, not face the consequences later. >> the crown prince says saudi arabia doesn't want to develop nuclear weapons but would if the iranians achieved that. explain your position on that. >> we'll do what it takes to protect our citizens, our people, our country. >> you are saying iran represents the number one threat to saudi arabia right now? >> iran represents the number one threat to the region, the number one threat to the international security. they are continuing to escalate with their activities in the region and they have currently launched 95 ballistic missiles into saudi arabia including our capitol. it is unacceptable. imagine a terrorist militia in the united states launching missiles at new york, texas. it would be unacceptable to american citizens. >> so saudi arabia and your allies will continue to go to yemen to deal with this? >> we'll continue to protect our security and our neighbors no matter what it takes. >> is there progress being made?
the humanitarian cost is enormous as you know. >> we are deeply moved with the humanitarian situation in yemen. saudi arabia donated to yemen more than any country in the world. we have initiated the yemen comprehensive humanitarian operations lately. that will help alleviate the situation in yemen and all the territories including hudi controlled territories. the reason behind this is the huthis. remember they have started the war. they have started moving from their hometown north of yemen to slaughter their way to the capital, taking over the country. we came to support the government of yemen selected by the people to fine all terrorists in yemen including apap and the huthis. >> no end in sight to the crisis going on. >> we'll continue as we face our threats to support the yemeni
people, alleviate the humanitarian situation and we'll continue to work with our allies to find solutions to yemen's situation. >> are you satisfied with the support you are getting from the trump administration? >> we have always been at the negotiation table. the huthis are always walking away. they want to remain a terrorist militia that uses medium and heavy weapons and ballistic missiles. this is unacceptable. if you look at the latest panel of expert reports in the united nations it states they are the aggressors in yemen. >> you're saying the ballistic missiles were provided by iranians? >> definitely. it's not just saudi arabia saying that. you have the united states -- we have clear evidence on the missiles and the security council. >> are you satisfied with the support you get from the trump administration? there is a big meeting. the crown prince will meet with the president tomorrow. >> we'll continue to work with allies in the united states and the world to increase our
economic cooperation, security cooperation and serve our mutual interests and face our mutual threats. >> when will women have full rights in saudi arabia? i know you are making progress. they are going to start driving cars, but there is a long way to go. >> let me tell you. we have a long-term strategy called vision 2030. we have a fascinating change and transformation period in saudi arabia. we want to reform our economy. we want to modernize our society. we want to empower our youth, including women. on the women issue in saudi arabia we have more percentage of women in our equivalent of congress. in elections women can vote and run. they have ran, voted, won seats. women are allowed to drive. the biggest stock market, the saudi stock market is headed by saudi women. as the crown prince said yesterday on his interview, we have done a lot of changes.
we still have a long way to go. >> very long way to go. good luck with that. the women of saudi arabia deserve only the best of course. >> of course. >> we are hoping for that. ambassador, thanks for joining us. we'll have extensive coverage tomorrow of the crown prince's meeting with the president. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. more on the breaking news on the president hiring a lawyer who has pushed a theory about the department of justice and the fbi framing the president. we'll have that and more after this.
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