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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  April 19, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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goeng thanks for joining us. the president said he wants the mueller investigation to end. there's a smear campaign against mueller that reached pretty bizarre levels. we're keeping him honest. there's news about another man that thinks he can bring the investigation to a close. saying the probe needs a push. cnn chief analyst with the latest. is it cheer what his role will be? >> according to to our sources. he will be the guy who fwoez in there and says to mueller,
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what's the lay of the land? i was told he wants to cut through the bs. i don't know if there's been any. get the answers to the questions about how long this will go on. and this was what was most interesting. one of my sources says he's going fo find out if we have to fight. then where this leads. they seem to think that he will be the one to do that. where nobody else was able to do that before. >> in some interviews he talked about his prior relationship with robert mueller. it's not clear to me how a prior relationship with mueller would impact an ongoing investigation sfwl he told that in his b interview. i should remind people john doud the lawyer who quit had a prior relationship. with mueller. rudy worked with mueller after 9/11. the mayor of new york and
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mueller was the head of the fbi. at the time. but i think that whole we have a relationship and we get along can be over done. because a lot of people have worked with mull over the years. >> he said today that when she pushed him on a tame frame he said a couple weeks. does it seem he'll be on the legal team long term? >> no. it doesn't. he's taking the lead from his firm. there's some sense that he will go in and going to be the new yorker and say okay put all your cards on the table here. let us know what's going on. let us know what we have to do and miraclously the mueller team will answer his questions. and say okay here's where we are and this will be done in three weeks. >> do you know whom approached whom? he's a friend of the president. spoke out very -- when few people after the access hollywood tape would speak out.
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he went out. >> they're good friends. he recently visited mar-a-lago. at one point he was being discussed as attorney general. if you'll recall. secretary of state. sdp none of that ever happened. so i think there was a little bit of a split there. i wonder if he joins this legal team now whether he could ever become the attorney general. because he might be conflicted because he's represented the president. they're friends obviously. what we know is the president is reaching back to people he feels comfortable with. at this point. >> gloria, thank you very much. the other looming investigation involving another president's lawyer. the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein told the president that he is not a target in that investigation. what more do we know about rod rosenstein said to the president? >> we know that this was a
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result of to some extent the president's anger about the michael cohen raid that occurred early last week. that set the president off. and rod rosenstein came over to the white house. deputy attorney general and basically told the president this meeting that we're that was attended bid other officials close to the president. he's not a target of the michael comen portion of the investigation. i'm told by a source familiar with the conversation that this was not any kind of assurance about the mueller investigation. because the president is received that assurance in the past of course any legal expert had tell you the assurances only go so far and only work for what has been disclosed and uncovered. at that stage of the investigation. but my understanding is from talking to this source earlier today. that the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein did tell the president just recently and believe the meeting happened last week that he's not a target of the michael cohen
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investigation. >> is there any information about how the president reacted to that or subsequently reacted? >> we know he continues to be unnerved by the michael cohen probe. obviously cohen is a long friend of the president. has been his attorney for a long term. described by borger and others as a fixer. for the president. and my colleague jeff zeleny was reporting the president has been consumed by this. and he fix sates on every day. i will tell you i talked to a source familiar with this, these conversations that go on inside the white house about this. the source said earlier today that the legal team with the president at this point is not concerned that michael cohen is going to turn against the president and start singing like a canary. that at this point they expect cohen to to do what he has to do in the investigation.
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but he's not going to be a cooperating witness of some sort against the president. that is how they view things right now. they can't of course see into the future and know what's the unknown. but at this point they're trying to convey to the president hay don't think that should be a concern for him. of course the president from what we're told is very upset and furious that that probe has been launched and the raids took place. the question is at this point what happens in the future to michael cohen and what information uncovered and what case could be brought against him. could that case convince michael cohen to be a cooperates witness. people around the president are not concerned that's going to happen. >> gloria borger is back with us. this notion of rudy coming in in the short term and fix this. essentially. get this to come to a
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conclusion. in a couple weeks. >> pretty arrogant. of him to believe he would be in the position to do so. even if he has a personal affinity or relationship. this is the idea is not been slow simply because the president of the united states hasn't had perhaps competent counsel who can urge the process along. it is slow because it has to be thorough. most people are used to the idea of having immediate gratification in the news and the television program. law and order and hour everything is wrapped up. when it comes to federal prosecution of this magnitude and investigation this magnitude, it will take time to flush out the details. to come in and say let me expedite this process. i'm not a target. is really an odd thing to think. >> david, certainly understandable when they want to do that. >> the mayor you probably have
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come across his path. hees a close friend and confidant of the president. and capable individual of his own right. former prosecutor and mayor. highly thought of individual. a force of personality. a personal relationship with mueller. and he'll try to nudge this along. >> is it investigation like this something that can be negotiated away? >> i don't know if it's negotiated away. you can cut through the weeds. whether the president will answer written interrogatories or testify. i think that can be expedited by having somebody with a forceful personality. >> they have been discussing this as you know, for months. and they were already the legal team that morning of the raid on cohen's office was already to make a proposal to mueller about the president testifying. and then there was the raid of cohens office, his home etc. they pulled back. and had a meeting sp pulled
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back. they're already at the point now where things were moving along. >> they point may have changed. that morning. things may change. and the mayor may have been brought in to piece it all back together again. >> there are two different points in time. whether or not the president will testify. and by the way it's not up to him ultimately. they could subpoena him. right now. >> which he could fight. >> plead the fifth. try to get them to compel him. no president has ever been at the same timed ton compelled by a court of law. or held in contempt. he had the option. the idea of expediting the investigation to a conclusion is a very separate issue. >> one is about detail and the terps and parameters. the other is about trying to figure out what you know the objective. >> there's a political backdrop. upcoming elections this fall. very important. and director mueller is sensitive to that. just like this afternoon we heard director comey is not political but political.
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director mueller knows doesn't want this hanging over as a cloud over the elections as a reason that anybody can blame what happens in the fall on him. he's looking to wrap this up. >> a lot of folks -- if mueller is trying to figure out intent of the president. obstruction of justice. intent is critical in the president's actions. for that you would think they would have to actually interview the president. >> that's the point i think. they would like to interview him. the point from the white house is we have given you over a million documents from everybody that's talked to the president. and the president of course keeps no notes. and does no e-mail. you have all this information. the lawyers i don't think muellers team will buy that. they do understand there are different rules for a president. than for you and me. >> on this rod rosenstein. does it make sense he would say to the president on the end of last week, that he is not the
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subject of a criminal investigation in terms of cohen raid? >> it's possible. it's possible. the reason is because it doesn't actually change the ultimate objection. he could be a target any time. it takes a piece of evidence to do so. remember they have been investigating michael cohen specifically for a number of months. far beyond the idea of -- >> good news for the president. it tells you if that's an accurate report. it tells you at this point the after months of reading his e-mails that -- >> it's a great sign for the president of the united states. it should probably sachuate him. it probably won't. there's so much unknown about why they're after him. what they're investigating. >> back to the point of the obstruction charge. supposed obstruction charge. you're talking about the president's menz ray. if that's what they're hanging
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their hat on. they should move on. >> what i don't understand, i'm not a lawyer. is why would rosenstein val volunteer that to president. he was not asked. is it to save his job? >> there's no requirement. >> or is it something he would to because he knew the president was concerned about it and shouldn't be? >> i think the guy will get rolled here. rod rosenstein the person who is a great character. high integrity. >> why -- >> i don't know. politics. that the three separate branchs are becoming the judiciary. it used to be independent. we hope it remains that way. the executive branch and functions seem to be a little bit politicized. >> the judiciary has already asserted itself by saying they're not going to follow along with the president
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immigration push. and side with somebody -- number two there maybe a reason here that because there was a department of justice essentially ruling and discussion about guidelines about searching an attorneys office, maybe he was trying to explain to hichls not after him as a target as the he is the client of the person. which would have raised questions about the attorney client privilege. telling him this doesn't implicate or make your privilege any less. because we're not after him about what concerns you. that may be a non-nefarious reason. >> rosenstein signed off on the raid. >> perhaps knelt the need to explain that. to the president who was very upset about it. saying this is not part of mueller. he's referring it to -- >> good news for the president. if i was the president i would be concerned if my attorney who has allegedly only had three
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clients. one saying i was never a client. the other seemed to have a short term need for a hush agreement. the president obviously is his longest term client. if i had that relationship with a friend or attorney who is under investigation i would be nervous. >> the key is what you said. friend or attorney. what he was to donald trump is going to be key in what's going to make him nervous. is cohen somebody who works for him or happens to have a law degree. that doesn't attach the attorney client privilege. if the interactions were about business or not confidential. where somebody else in the room. things that haven't attached the privilege. you're asking the same question trump is asking. were you acting as my friend or lawyer? i have a lot of information that could be disclosed and making me or people of my organization very vulnerable. >> i'm sure that most of the conversations are probably blurred. weaved out and out of privilege.
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that probably creates -- >> also if he's recorded conversations with other people. with third parties. who knows what's in those conversations. reasons for the president to still be concerned. >> and the president came out on air force one and said cohen is my attorney. talk to my attorney. that's sort of cut and dry. >> thanks very much. up next breaking news on the new pecking order in the west wing of the white house. two senior staffers getting the green light to by pass john kelly. memos written by james comey. his controversial conversations with trump. we'll talk that and more jake tapper. fell interview tonight in this hour. it took guts to start my business.
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at lincoln looks like. complementary pickup and delivery servicing now comes with every new lincoln. i won. giving you, the luxury of time. that's the lincoln way. >> changes that could signal that chief of staff john kelly is losing some clout. what have you learned about the president's top aids here? >> well, anderson. dramatic new changes to that pecking order in the west wing of course with the addition of the new national security adviser and the new director of the national economic council. he's been praising them including his trip here and though the president hasn't told them that they're reporting directly to him, that is certainly the sense of functionality in the west wing that they are reporting to the
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president and not the chief of staff john kelly which makes that interesting now they have been on the rise for the last few days. we saw that obviously there with with kudlow. his scuffle with the united nations ambassador nikki haley. some saw that as a sign of his asendance. some thought it was over confidence. she does outrank him being a cabinet member and then he is asserting his authority by hiring and firing and clearinghouse with the national security in particular one aid in particular that homeless security adviser that recently left the white house and i'm told by sources that when he told him he was dismissing him, he was stunned and said he wanted to speak to the chief of staff john kelly but bolton made clear this is his decision to make and not john kelly's. >> what does this mean for kelly's future or lack there of in the west wing?
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>> well, that's the question. what does it do to his standing in the west wing? because whenever he became chief of staff everyone was reporting directly to him including ivanka trump and jared kushner and now we're seeing the change and they're reporting that john kelly is what aids see as a downward slide in the west wing because he used to hold staff meetings three times a week. now he only does them once a week. he used to travel with the president on every trip and now he does not do that and he used to have a toe in every decision but we're seeing people be able to overrule john kelly by getting rid of staffers like the deputy national security adviser who john kelly wanted to keep in the administration but bolton has dismissed him. it does raise a lot of questions about how much longer john kelly will be in this administration. >> fascinating. another development tonight the justice department has handed over to congress the james comey memos. they detail conversations in the months before he was fired.
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the house judiciary committee was threatening to issue a subpoena for the memos. now that they have been sent to capitol hill, we're waiting to see if members of congress released them can you explain why they're demanding these documents? >> sure. the memos provide an incredible glimpse into james comey's mind set leading up to his firing back last year and many of these issues are in dispute. for instance the loyalty pledge and allegation that president trump asked him to essentially let go of the investigation into former national security adviser michael flynn. now members of congress had seen some of the memos in redacted form but recently demanded they be unclassified and unredacted in full. in explaining the reasons in why they're release lg them now. the justice department official, steven boyd in charge of
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legislative affairs explains it this way. in light of the unusual events occurring since the previous limited disclosure the department has consulted the relevant parties and concluded that the release of the memorandum to congress at this time would not adversely impact any on going investigation or other confidentiality interests of the executive branch but he goes on to explain, anderson, this is an unusual move. >> did the special council's office object at all to the doj releasing it? >> no, in fact, i'm told according to a source familiar that the justice department in fact consulted with the special council's office and mueller did not have any objection which is is interesting considering earlier this year cnn and other news outlets tried to sue in court to get access to the comey memos and a federal judge blocked it saying they were part of the on going investigation at mueller's request. >> thank you very much. jake tapper asked comey what he thought about congress seeing his memos. you'll hear what he said coming up later this hour.
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a coordinated smear campaign is underway against robert mueller and james comey. it includes a number of claims that are just plain false. it's weird. stay with me here. two of the oddest are in boston and involve everything from the city's most notorious crime boss and the bombing years ago. in attempt to weaponize both. there's no evidence for either of the claims. we'll start with the boston marathon bombing. the president's former campaign manager said on fox that fired fbi director james comey was somehow to blame.
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>> this is the same jim comey that was in charge of the boston bombing at the time we had a terrorist attack in boston. this was a man that failed time and time and time again to protect american citizens. >> james comey was not the head of the fbi at the time of the boston marathon bombing. the bombing was in april. he didn't become fbi director until september. comey wasn't even in the fbi at the time. he was a private citizen. andrea mitchell the next day. >> i want to ask you about something you said on fox yesterday. you said jim comey failed to protect americans during the boston marathon since he was fbi director. the fact is he was not fbi director for another five months. >> as you know, jim comey served as the head of the boston office of the fbi at a period of time that i think mr. mueller served as the u. s. attorney in the state of massachusetts. >> but not during the boston marathon. >> not during the boston
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marathon but jim comey was responsible, i belief and we can go back and check for the whitey bulger disaster. he was the head of fbi -- >> whitey bulger had nothing to do with the boston bombing. >> there was no admission that he said something untrue. no apology. just moving along and decided to bring in the boston crime boss whitey bulger that had nothing to do with the boston bombing. he is attempting to grab at another straw saying comey was the head of the boston office at the time of the case. he was never the head of the boston fbi office. there's no record of him working in that office at all. now you might wonder where did whitey bulger come into all of this? why are we even talking about him? crime boss and fbi informant. seems as though this may have started with this on a radio show earlier this month.
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not about comey but about special council robert mueller. >> i don't think he cares whether he hurts democrats or republicans but he's partisan. east a zealot. he kept people in prison for many years in order to protect the cover on whitey bulger as an fbi informer. >> two of them died in prison. two others along with the families of the dead men sued the government for $100 million. the now retired federal judge that presided over the case writes in the new york times i can say that mr. mueller who worked in the united states attorney's office in boston from 1982 to 1988 including a brief stint as the acting head of the office had no involvement in that case. he was never even mentioned. as the judge goes on to point out a former mayor of springfield massachusetts that served on the massachusetts parole board in the 1980s saw a letter from mueller opposing the release of one of the prisoners but no such letter has ever been found something the boston globe
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reveals and afterwards he never repeated the allegation but further investigation seems warranted. by then the genie was out of the bottle and the president's supporters took it and ran with it. you know what that means, enter sean hannity. >> robert mueller was the u.s. attorney in charge while these men were rotting in prison. while certain agents in the fbi under mueller covered up the truth. four men went to jail. he was -- mueller was involved in the case. >> we're going to go to crime families. let's look at the mueller crime family during mueller's time as a federal prosecutor in boston, four men wrongfully imprisoned for decades, framed by an fbi informant and notorious ganger whitey bulger while he looked the other way. >> when you're not interested in facts you can blame folks for anything. but they might do a better job of checking their dates and
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getting their story straight. joining me is shelly murphy. co-author of whitey bulger, america's most wanted gangster and the manhunt that brought him to justice. does it make sense to you that he is spreading this idea that jim comey was head of the fbi at the time of the boston bombing? >> yeah, i mean, it's just sirly -- simply not true. the boston marathon bombings happened before comey became director of the fbi. so to try to connect comey to the marathon bombings is just simply not true. >> and the mueller part of this, i mean, the whitey bulger saga is complicated. can you explain to people about it why this allegation is just without merit? >> well, you know whitey bulger was one of the most notorious organized crime figures from this area. he was able to get away with murders for years because he was
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an fbi informant but from 1975 to 1990. he fled boston just before '95, before his indictment. he was on the run for more than 16 years and there's just nothing in this long saga that connects mueller to whitey bulger. mueller was in the u.s. attorney's office in boston from 1982 to 1988 but he did not prosecute organized crime cases. he was an informant for the fbi and there were cases that the fbi was building against the new england mafia at the time but they were under a different prosecutorial unit and i also might add that the whitey bulger story is a never ending saga in boston. congressional hearings, wrongful death suits, criminal trials, numerous hearings dating all the way back to the late 90s. i've covered all of them and not
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once has mueller's name surfaced in connection with those. >> and the four people that were in prison for all of that time, two of them who died there, were able to finally sue and get money back once they were out. but mueller had, as far as you know, as far as your reporting is and the judge in the case said this as well, mueller had nothing to do with that either? >> no, and that's a case that i covered also. i went back and looked through all the old files and that was a terrible case. you had four men, wrongfully convicted in this 1965 slaying. two of them died in prison. the other two spent more than 30 years in prison and it was when the whitey bulger saga erupted. when it was revealed that he had a corrupt relationship with the fbi that there were these -- there was an investigation launched and it was a justice department task force in 2000 that found these old documents,
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hidden documents in the fbi files that indicated that these guys had been framed for a murder that they didn't commit. and that is how this case sort of erupted. so back in the 80s when mueller was in the u.s. attorney's office in boston and there were people that were writing letters, prosecutors, fbi agents, urging the state parole board not to commute the sentences of these guys but we were unable to find any letters that mueller wrote. you know, asking that they be released but i think also you need to understand that at that point in time, some of the prosecutors that were writing letters there's no evidence that they knew that these men were innocent. so, you know, that really, you know, the story sort of evolved years later. >> the idea that comey had any involvement with the boston fbi office and with whitey bulger again is just not true. >> well that is just -- i can't imagine where that came from. it sort of seems to have been pulled out of thin air because
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comey never worked in the fbi's boston office and i can't understand why somebody would -- where this could even have come from. it's nonsense frankly. >> i appreciate your time and your reporting. thank you for being with us. >> thank you, bye. >> up next an inspector general sends it's report to federal prosecutors for potential criminal charges. what his legal team is saying about that when we continue.
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welcome back the department of justice watchdogs has made a referral. last week the inspector general found that mccabe lacked candor on four occasions with investigators. explain what this is all about. >> well, we learned that the justice department inspector general which is the independent watchdog sent this criminal referral to the top prosecutor in the d.c. u.s. attorney's office asking them to consider whether there should be criminal charges, whether they should pursue criminal charges against mccabe, the fired deputy fbi director. so presumably what they're going to look at is decide whether they should further investigate andy mccabe potentially lying to investigators as you know in the
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report the scathing report that came out last week it said that andy mccabe had mislead and had lied to investigators and his former boss james comey on four different occasions including three times under oath. this is something that andy mccabe has denied. he never mislead investigators. they never mislead james comey but so basically now this is in the hands of the d.c. u.s. attorney's office to determine whether it should pursue criminal charges. >> what's mccabe saying in response? >> so his attorney came out with a statement to this saying although we believe the referral is unjustified the standard for a referral is very low. we already met with staff members from the u.s. attorney's office. we're confident that unless there's inappropriate pressure from high levels of the administration the u.s. attorney's office will conclude that it should decline to prosecute. as you know, anderson, mccabe and his team said all along that they feel like mccabe has been unfairly targeted because he's
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the key witness in the comey obstruction of justice probe and they believe as mccabe himself said that he didn't do anything wrong and again just to reiterate just because there's a criminal referral that doesn't mean that there will be criminal charges at the end of this. >> comey weighed in on this referral in that interview with jake tapper. what did he say? >> he did. it's interesting because james comey was the one that brought andy mccabe on board as his deputy director. they had a close working relationship and now months later after this there's this i.g. report saying his deputy mislead investigators. here's what he told jake about that. >> how do you feel about your former deputy, according to the inspector general lying? lying to you. lying to investigators. for a leak that the inspector general said was only motivated to preserve his own reputation having nothing to do with the fbi and the public's right to know. >> conflicted. i like hm as a person.
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even good people do things they shouldn't do. i read the report. i'm not the decision maker in the case. it's accountability mechanisms working and they should work because it's not acceptable in the fbi or the justice department for people to lack candor. it's something that we take really seriously. >> one of the exampled in the report is that mccabe claimed that he told james comey, his boss that he was going to authorize a disclosure, that he had authorized a disclosure of information to a wall street journal reporter about the clinton foundation. comey claimed that wasn't the case. mccabe never told him that. so that was one of the four examples there. president trump no surprised here weighed in on all of this tweeting today anderson, james comey just threw andrew mccabe under the bus. it's a disaster for both of them. getting a little, lot of their own medicine. so you can interpret that tweet how you want. >> thank you very much.
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more breaking news tonight, the president will not be attending the funeral of former first lady barbara bush. first lady melania trump will attend the memorial service on behalf of the first family to avoid disruptions of added security and out of respect for the bush family and those attending the service president trump will not attend. we asked what out of respect to the family. and what the security issue is. we know four former presidents would be there. the white house did not give a clarification. up next you'll see the full interview with jim comey. here's some of what he had to say about andrew mccabe. >> given that the i.g.'s report has interactions it had with me and other senior executives i could be a witness. >> he had a lot more to say. the full interview coming up. ♪ directv now gives you more for your thing.
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today, former fbi director sat down for an interview with jake tapper. we're going to play you the entire interview, which began with the news of the day. >> let's talk about this breaking news. cnn breaking the story, the justice department inspector general, sending a criminal referral, recording andy mccabe. they did this after they found mccabe repeatedly lied to investigators and to you, that people leaked to "the wall street journal," confirming the existence of an examination into the clinton foundation. if they bring a case, would you
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be a witness for the prosecution? >> i don't know of it of my own accord. sure. given the interactions that andy mccabe had with me and other executives, i could well be a witness. >> you express horror in the book when public officials or celebrities lie to investigators, whether david petraeus or scooter libby. >> martha stewart. >> martha stewart. i would assume you would be upset at andrew mccabe. i haven't heard you criticize him the way you criticized the others. >> i don't think i criticized them. >> the act, though. >> the act is something i take seriously and so is the department of justice. what is going on so far is the mechan mechanism of the department workling. i don't know what will happen, but that is part of accountability and examination of what the consequences would be if there was material lying. >> how do you feel about your
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former deputy, according to the inspector general, lying for a leak that was only motivated to preserve his own reputation, having nothing to do with the fbi or the public's right to know? >> it conflicted. i like him as a person. but even good people do things they shouldn't do. i read the report. i'm not the judge in the case. i'm not the decisionmaker in the case. the accountability mechanism is working and it should work. it's not acceptable to lack candor. it's something we take seriously. >> the justice department is expected to begin the process of letting congress see your memos, detailing your actions with president trump. is that the right decision to let congress see them? >> i don't know. i don't know what considerations the department has taken into account. it's fine by me. >> you don't care? >> i don't care. i'm fine with transparency. i tried to be transparent
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throughout this. and i think they will see i've been consistent from the very beginning, right from my encounters with president trump and in the book. >> senator grassley, the chairman of the judiciary committee, says there's seven memos. four of them are classified. is that right? >> i don't know because i don't have the memos. i don't know how many they are. some may be memos and some may be e-mails. it may be between five and ten. maybe seven, maybe eight. when i created them, they were classified. i don't know how many in that group. >> the classified one is from when you told president trump in trump tower what was in the steele dossier. what were the other classified ones be about? >> i can't answer that if they're classified. >> you can't even say the subject of them? terrorism? >> a number of conversations i had that related to our investigative responsibilities and that i considered classified
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at the time. if i go beyond that, i will be breaking the seal on them. >> we're just learning that bloomberg news is reporting that rod rosenstein told president trump he is not a target of the mueller investigation, the probe. at this point in the investigation, what might that mean, telling the president he's not a target? >> i don't know what it means. it's a fairly standard part of any investigation, trying to decide if a person you're encountering is a witness, a subject or a target. a target is someone the grand jury has developed significant evidence, evidence sufficient to charge. witness, someone that doesn't have anybody to do with exposure and a subject is everybody in the middle. that's the general framework. >> the president has obviously had a lot of words in response to you, for the last year and change. he's called you a liar and a leaker. a republican that recently spoke
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with the president says, the president feels as though he's weathered your book tour. has he weathered the book tour? as he come out unscathed? >> i have no idea. the book tour is not about the president. it's my hope that i can facilitate about our values. president trump figures in that because he's part of the stories that i'm trying to tell to illustrate ethical leadership. i haven't thought about it in terms whether he's weathering it. >> i read the book. there's a lot in there about your time as a u.s. attorney, your childhood. but there's a lot in there about president trump, especially in terms of leadership. he's an example of how not to be a leader in your view. he's the example of somebody who is a bully. you talk throughout the book how you hate bullies. >> sure, he's 3 of the 14
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chapters. it's an important part of the book. it's not a book about donald trump. and i hope it will be useful long into the future long a trump presidency. >> you leveled a number of charges. you call his presidency a forest fire. you say he's violating the rule of law. do you think the nation would be better off if hillary clinton had won? >> i can't answer that. that's something that hypothetical's too hard to go back in time to try to answer. >> you paint a dire picture of president trump. it's hard to imagine how you don't think the nation would be better off if hillary clinton had won. >> i don't think of it in those terms, jake. we have the current president, who in my view, was legitimately elected. is he adhering to our values? he's clearly not. what do we do about it? the first thing is not to get numb to it. when he calls for the jailing of private citizens in his tweets, that's not normal. >> it's interesting that you won't go as far to say that
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hillary clinton would be the -- the nation would be better if hillary were president because you have called for the nation to respond to the challenge of trump in your view by voting. presumably by voting against what he represents? is that not a fair interpretation? >> i think of it in terms of voting for something else, which is the core values of this country, which are more important than any policy dispu dispute. i don't care if if people find that in a republican or a democrat or neither. it's important that we reflect those values because that's all we are. >> you have spent decades for being known as being evidence-based and nonpartisan. do you worry by painting this stark portrait of president trump and suggesting that the american people should vote for something other than the lack of values that he represents, in your contract, that you are sullying the brand of comey and
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the brand of the fbi? >> i hope not. i'm not criticizing him for anything else but on the grounds of value, at the center of the fbi and something that should be at the center of all of the evaluation of our leaders. it's relevant to politics. but i see it as something more important than partisan politics. >> something stood out. if you've been investigating something for almost a year and you don't have a general sense of where it's likely to end up, you should be fired because you're incompetent. it's you explaining why you wrote the letter exonerating hillary clinton from criminal behavior before you had interviewed her. let's apply that same standard to the mueller investigation. you oversaw the russia investigation for almost ten months. do you have a general sense of how that investigation is going to end up? >> in some respects i did at the
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time. but not completely. i suspect that the team that's investigating it now has a general sense. i have no idea what that is. it's a general feeling that we're likely to end up in this direction or that direction. >> where did you think it would end up? with people around president trump being found guilty of conspiring, siding and abetting with russians? >> i can't say. i left it out of the book for reasons that should be obvious. i can't talk about classified information or sensitive details. >> your sense of where the investigation is headed is not classified. it's just your impression. and the investigation has continued since then. why won't you say? people want to know. you have left the impression that there's something there in your interviews. when asked, do the russians have something on president trump, you said it's possible. that's not a very fbi director answer, don't you think? >> i think it's an honest and
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calibrated answer. i hope that's -- i'm not the fbi director. i hope that's an fbi director answer. >> when you gave the press conference about hillary clinton in 2016, in the summer, you didn't say she lied, you found no evidence that she had lied. you found no evidence that she had that e-mail server knowing it was improper. you're not using the same construct of there is evidence or there isn't evidence. you're saying it's possible. that leaves the impression for people that there might be stuff out there. there might be evidence that president trump is under the thumb of the kremlin. >> you're asking me two different things. i'm not going to talk about the investigation of possible cooperation between americans and the russian effort to influence our election. what you're asking about now is why did i say what i said when people said i thought it was
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possible. i think it's unlikely but possible. >> isn't that construct unfair to president trump in a way because the question was, if president trump was compromised by the russians. i don't think it's likely but it's possible. it's possible there's life on other planets. we don't know. for somebody like you with your reputation, saying it's possible, it's also possible it's not true. isn't that another way to look at the question? >> true. but i'm not looking at the stars saying there's green men out there. i say it's possible because the president is constantly bringing it up with me to deny it. in my experience as on investigator, it's a striking thing when someone brings up something to deny that you didn't ask about. and second, i've always been struck in my encounters with him that he wouldn't criticize vladimir putin even in private, which struck me as odd. those aren't conclusive facts. but the reason i'm saying it's possible