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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  June 14, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing this big news day with us. a breaking news day. that big investigation on how they handled the hillary clinton e-mail investiation. it happened when the president fired james comey. the president wants to use that as the reason. tweets and tantrums. we'll show you the numbers. it's also a big policy fight. republicans loyal to the president see the big issues very differently than more traditional members of the gop. and brilliant diplomacy or an affront to american values? he praises kim jong-un and makes light of his human rights record. >> he's a great guy and i think we understand each other. >> he's still done some really bad things. >> yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really
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bad things. i could go through a lot of nations where some really bad things were done. >> a busy day here in washington. we expect breaking news throughout the hour dominated by anticipation and anxiety over this. a 500-page report of the handling of the hillary clinton e-mail probe. it could answer some big questions. here's the biggest one. did politics drive decisions made by james comey and other high-ranking officials inside the fbi? some staff members and key members of capitol hill are being read into that report. rod rosenstein is at the white house right now. it's his job to brief the president on the report. the president's attack plan is well known and on display already today. the president tweeting about what he calls the witch hunt and now, quote, a pile of garbage. this is triggered by the
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democrats, he said. the report may be a new chapter in his fight with robert mueller. now sessions says today's report is thorough and makes a road map of the criminal justice department. but the attorney genera says the facts may not always support the president's take. >> i think it will be a lengthy report and a careful report. it will be released soon. and i think it will help us better fix any problems that we have and reassure the american people that some of the concerns that have been raised are not true. >> not true from the attorney general. there are a team of reporters working this story across the capitol. manu raju, you're on capitol hill right now. the report delivered moments ago. take us through what's going to happen the next few hours.
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>> behind the scenes right now, members of congress and the key staff and key committees are reviewing this 500-page report, john, and already both sides of the aisle are picking out things that advance their arguments. democrats saying it shows that perhaps president trump may have been helped by the fbi's actions in 2016. in fact, a statement just released by two prominent democratic congressmen, jerry nadler of new york and cummings said this. we draw, as we review the report, that it helped donald trump become president. republicans see some missteps by the way the fbi handled that clinton e-mail investigation, and some are already calling for a second special counsel to be named to investigate this matter further, including senator lindsey graham who said this earlier today. >> if he finds systematic abuse at the department of justice and
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the fbi, then who is going to do something about it? i think you would need some independent eyes, and to me that's got to be somebody out of the department of justice, somebody we all trust. mueller was the right i think he's doing his job in a professional manner. pick somebody like him. >> and this is not going to end this fight over this investigation. on monday the senate judiciary committee plans to have a hearing on this issue. the chairman of the committee, chuck grassley, wants to bring in the deputy director andrew mccabe. you'll recall he has asked for immunity to testify, and grassley told me early this morning that has not been decided and they may subpoena him for a further time to come before the committee. a lot more questions that members of congress have despite this roughly 500-page report, john. >> as members dissect this report, if you have any new nuggets come back to us. abby, i cannot get over the irony. the attorney general may be
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angering the boss again about what he says about the report. and deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, who oversees and supports the mueller probe, is the one who briefs the president on this ig report. what do we know about that meeting? >> reporter: just a few minutes ago, top of the hour, rod rosenstein arrived at the white house to brief the president on this report. rosenstein himself has been at the center of president trump's ire over this special counsel probe. but based on what we know so far, it is not entirely clear that this ig report is going to produce the results the president is looking for. it may well fall to kamz comjam, the former fbi director, but not in the way the president expects. the president believes was part of the protsz of him firing comey, but of course the president has been looking for
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ways to -- it's not clear this ig report will do that. in addition to the findings, there are employees who the president has accused of having bias against him during the investigation. all of that, of course, john, the president is coming back to -- as part of a way to undermine the special counsel investigation. it's not clear that rosenstein is going to give him that ammunition. today is the president's 72nd birthday. he has said he. but again, these findings seem to be fairly new and already democrats believe that what they do is, in fact, shown that the fbi may have had helped trump and not hurt him, john. >> same request i gave to manu. if you learn more, come back to me within the hour. here we have julie hirschfeld,
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prokupecz. we know he will find fault with james comey. the question is does he find a political bias? that's what the president hopes, that james comey was somehow motivated by ambition and desire to help hillary clinton. do we have any indication that the report comes down on that question? >> we don't have any indication, but that is the key thing here, whether or not there was some political bias, as the president has said. there are a lot of things the fbi contends and will say that went wrong here. now looking back -- and they're hoping this is sort of a restart for them. this report would allow them to move on from this era. there will be a lot here about james comey, loretta lynch, other people who were certainly in leadership. the big other question here that i learned in talking to some
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people, they're worried about the line assistance, some of the worker bees that i doubt will hold out. >> now they were holding out on this ig, and now what happens if they wrote a report saying comey made mistakes, that comey was not motivated by clinton. will they believe that? >> no, the president himself was questioning whether this report has been watered down since an original draft. the first reports came out about this ig report, and already it's matt gates and ron desantis from florida. >> house conservatives who are trump allies in what other republicans have called the conspiracy theory crowd, but
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they allege deep-seated corruption. >> without having even seen the report, they are accusing the justice department of watering this down and are seeking drafts of the report. we haven't seen an actual -- you know, the copy of this report yet. i would be shocked if there is not something in there for trump and his allies to grab onto. but so far, this is not exactly what trump was hoping for. >> anything that can undermine comey's credibility will help him say, look, if he's any part of a plot that you have, he's not credible. let's go through some of the questions. there's going to be a big political debate about this. it's going to start today and go on for lord knows how long. is there any evidence the fbi was motivated by political bias in clinton's favor? does the ig question comey's conclusion clinton did nothing
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criminal? what does it say about the lynch-clinton tarmac meeting? what did mccabe do wrong? anything more than we already know? and does the ig conclude that comey should not have considered in making his judgments whether or not he thought clinton was going to win the election. this is over, the leelection is over, but it's important for the credibility of the fbi going forward, but it's also, facts aside, going to be part of this new political debate. >> absolutely, and it's 500 pages of fodder for both sides to pick through. we've seen repeatedly this has happened by republicans and democrats, that they will take what's in favor of their narrative and run with it. that's already happened on the democratic side. they already found evidence or material in the report to say, this actually shows that the handling of the clinton investigation helped trump, didn't hurt him. no doubt in my mind that the
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president will find things to grab onto to, a, undermine the credibility of comey, b, undermine the mueller investigation, which is the larger, i think, pursuit here. he's beginning to see this more and more as a political debate whether people believe what mueller is going to say or not. this is going to be a key part of that. >> today they are meeting today and they're going to digest this report. we've already seen -- you mentioned the house conservatives who are saying this is bogus and watered down before they have a chance to read it. the democrats say this helps us know that james comey elected donald trump. within the republican family argument, listen to attorney general jeff sessions. the attorney general saying, i don't think there will be enough of a report here for the, i got
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this. we have a new attorney general. we don't need, as you heard lindsey graham say, a special special counsel, who will be making this report about mr. mccabe who was deputy director of the fbi. i did act on that and he was terminated. and if anyone else shows up in this report to have done something that requires termination, we will do so. >> it is remarkable. this was a hero of the conservative movement during the trump campaign, even before the trump campaign. he's an attorney general now. if you listen to him now, he says, i got this. i got this. i helped fire james comey, i helped fire john mccabe. he goes on to say in that interview, chris is a good
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physical. >> jeff sessions will be split. we saw attacking the report -- >>. i think the special counsel question is a big one. some republicans have said they want a special counsel who interview fbi agents who have moved on and are no longer in the bureau. some republicans will want to move on. it's going to be awkward. >> we're continuing to wait for more information. before we go to break, i want to read this tweet from the president of the united states to get a sense of how he feels like this. what is taking so long on the
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general's report on crooked hillary and slippery james comey. numerous delays. hope report is not being changed and made weaker. there are so many horrible things to tell, the public has the right to know. transparency. also a new lawsuit from the democratic attorney general in new york, saying the president's family foundation, the president of the united states and his children, the lawsuit says are corrupt, using their foundation for political gain. and shrimp you crave, together in so many new ways. there's new cedar plank seafood bake. tender maine lobster and shrimp, cedar roasted to perfection. or new caribbean lobster and shrimp. sweet pineapple salsa on grilled rock lobster, paired with jumbo coconut shrimp. and wait. there's lobster & shrimp overboard! it's a seafood party on a plate. so hurry in. 'cause lobster & shrimp summerfest won't last.
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at some point, we are going to be able to beat als. because life is amazing. so i am hoping for a cure. i want this, to uh, to be a reality. um, yeah. welcome back. a remarkable lawsuit filed by new york's attorney general, suing president trump and his children, claiming they violated state and federal charity laws ask campaign finance laws. president trump already responding to the lawsuit quickly taking to twitter saying, the sleazy democrats trying to run me out of town.
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a.g. eric schneider man are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in 18,80 18,800,000 and gaifr out to charity more money that it took in, $19,200,000. i won't settle this case. >> i'm unaware of a case in which the foundation involved was run by a sitting president, but there's no reason why a foundation owned and operated by a sitting president should be exempt from the laws that we routinely apply to other foundations. >> cnn's jean casarez joins us from new york. jean, what do they allege that the president and his foundation have done wrong? >> that's right, it was filed
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this morning, 41 pages long. in essence, the donald trump chartable foundation was a shell, that it was actually to benefit donald j. trump personally and his businesses, and that was truly other moeftis besides a charitabl foundation. it allowed for political formation of the trump campaign. it goes into facts on that. it talks about, you might remember, the iowa fundraiser in january 2016. this was set up in lieu of donald trump participating in the republican presidential debate. it was sort of counterprogramming that night, you might remember, and the foundation asserted that the iowa fundraiser was to benefit the veterans, to collect moneys for them. but the petition says that is not the case. it says, quote, the ivestigation revealed that the
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iowa fundraiser was planned, organized, financed and directed by the campaign with administrative assistance from the foundation. now, we have just gotten a skwa scathing response back to all of this from the foundation itself, and it says in part, quote, this is politics at its very worst. the foundation has donated over 19 million to worthy charitable causes, more than it even received. the president himself or through his companies has contributed more than $8 million. the reason the foundation was able to donate more than it took in is because it had too little expenses. this is unheard of for a charitable foundation. the verified petition does go on to say that donald trump did not contribute any personal funds at all to this foundation since 2008. john? >> jean, appreciate that
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reporting. cal pollen, i have the document here. it's 70 pages. have you had a chance to go through it? is it a credible lawsuit? >> i have had the chance to go through it, and i have to say the president has always been fond of attacking the predecessor attorney general, eric schneiderman in new york who said he sued the president many times. schneiderman was forced out in a sex abuse scandal. however, this lawsuit has been filed by barbara underwood who really is a seasoned and respected federal and former state prosecutor, former acting solicitor general of the united states. she's argued many cases before the u.s. supreme court. these pleadings make some very, very serious allegations. first the president is listed personally as a defendant in the case, so the question arising, will he be forced to now testify in this very complicated case. and secondly, she alleges that this foundation was really an empty shell. there was no supervision, no
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accounting for where the investments went and that it was run, really, as part of the trump campaign. one of the exhibits attached to the pleadings is a picture of a check, purportedly, of the foundation which has the slogan "make america great again" on the bottom of the check just to show the interrelationship in what she says is an improper interrelationship between the foundation and politics. so i think it looks, on its face, to be a dangerous suit for the president. >> dangerous suit for the president. paul callen, jean casarez. something else on the president's plate that could end up in court. the president in the singapore summit ends up in european propaganda.
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this just in to us, the white house adding a briefing at 2:30 this afternoon. of course, that's being added after the president is being briefed on that inspector general's report about the clinton e-mail investigation. also some questions likely to come up about the president's singapore summit with kim jong-un. some fascinating behind-the-scenes video about that summit we're getting today from european state media. the video shows president trump saluting a three-star north korean general in what appears to be a meet and greet between korean officials. this is north korean state tv, kim jong-un's propaganda machine. you see the president shaking hands and he extends his hand to the general. the general salutes and the president salutes back before shaking hands. admiral, you find this problematic. why? >> i think there are two valid concerns here, john. the first is the level of deference and respect it shows
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for an officer in the military that not only brutalizes its own soldiers but its own people and still possesses a missile and nuclear program that could blow up the world. it's shown on north korean tv for a reason, because it shows the narrative of the summit that kim jong-un wanted out there, that they are now at co-equal status as the united states on the world stage. i find it abhorrent that the presidential loud himself to be involved in that. he would say, if it means i got to shake the hand of an admiral to try to get denuclearization, then okay. >> we'll see how that one plays outgoing forward. appreciate your insights there. back in the studio, perry bacon with 538 joins our panel.
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the president is saying he's trying to keep the mood going, it was an impromptu moment, everybody lighten up. then america would say, when he was a businessman, why did he pillary president obama when he bowed to world leaders? >> that will be on fox news until the end of time. that said, where are we going in policy? are we getting north korea to denuclearize? we still don't know. we're four days in, but i still think ultimately the policy is what matters here. if the bowing led to the end of the nuclear program, i would be okay with it, and i think most americans would, too, but i doubt that's the case. we just don't know what the results are right now. >> it's a great point. i just want to show you the time cover, the riskiest show on
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earth, trump's impromptu diplomacy. we'll get to more of what he said to kim jong-un in a moment. it was part of a 40-minute state broadcast tv in north korea which they do use the word denuclearization. they do it in north korean terms, they talk about the entire peninsula. they did say the president put more sanctions on the table and the denuclearization would be step by step and simultaneous action in the process, which seems to suggest denuclearization will happen over time in accordance with some sanction rs relief. their perspective seems a little different than the united states. >> i think that's part of the reason they're seizing on this video so much, that they were worried they would go into this room and come out together and come out with very different versions of what was agreed to, what was discussed, what was on the table. but north koreans are going to
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play it in a way advantageous to them and are happy to see the world's president saluting one of their generals. it's also counteractive to the fact that donald trump thumbed his nose at allies, canada and european allies, so the juxtaposition is very shocking for some people to see. it also underscores the fact that in going into this meeting person to person before any of the groundwork was being laid for a deal, this president is not used to these kinds of confrontations. this is the sort of thing that can happen when you're in a room alone with a leader of a country that's an adversary and his military leaders, they're going to want these kinds of encounters and you have to guard against that. clearly this president was not prepared for that. >> and remember, gave the russian foreign minister and russian minister kislyak some
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attention. >> i was pointing out that the president agreed to basically a step-by-step process where they would do sanctions relief as denuclearization was happening, but pompeo has actually pushed back on that. we heard a few hours ago him saying, no, no, no, no, no. in accord doance with how democs ask republicans feel in this country, we have to do sanctions immediately and then denuclearization will take place. >> and the president was dismissing the human rights record of kim jong-un. instead of saying something tough about it, he said, well, his dad did it. some numbers to show you. republicans saying right now the cult of donald trump is the republican party. it's actually more complicated than that. the new trump republicans and the old republicans disagree on some big issues.
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there is a history of injustice in this country that goes back to the very first day. but there's also a history of people pushing for justice. when we think about fighting the injustice that is this president, i think we should take pride in trying to be part of that tradition. we have a president that has lied over and over again. you know, donald trump is not a law-abiding citizen. president trump has made an abomination of the office.
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welcome back. there are a vocal group of republicans that say the party has become the cult of trump, abandoning its old principles on taxes and spending issues. it's a bit more complicated. one, when they say republicans are afraid of the president, there is reason for them to be afraid of the president. this is the five-day mark, all the way back to harry truman, how they stood in their own party. 77% still supported lbj. look at donald trump. only george w. bush had greater support within his own party at the 500-day mark.
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george w. bush was in the days and months after 9/11. 80% of republicans approve of president trump. that's why other republicans are afraid to cross him. republican voters like this president and support this president. as to the cult issue, that's more complicated. think more of a shotgun wedding or a family feud. these are all republicans. this is nbc "wall street journal" data, republicans who say they are republicans because they support president trump and republicans who say they are republicans because they are traditional. should we continue the daca program? only 15% of the president's supporters in the party say they should. end daca. half of the supporters in the party because of president trump say end daca. only 26% of traditional republicans say that. that's why you have a divide over immigration. climate change. only 5% of trump supporters say there should be immediate action. this is a big problem.
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11% of traditional republicans view that. the concern is unwarranted. almost half of republicans who are republicans because of donald trump say this is a hoax. 41% say it's a hoax. the concern about climate change sun warranted. only 12% of traditional republicans think that. there is a big divide between the new republicans brought in by donald trump and the family of republicans that were there before donald trump. on some action this impacts directly what republicans think of their own leaders. of republicans who are republicans because of donald trump, 21-point net negative review. republicans like mitch mcconnell. not trump republicans. they don't like him and they can't trust him. look at speaker paul ryan. a better grade among trump republicans but an off the chart grade among traditional republicans. there is a difference between the republicans brought in by the president and traditional
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republicans before him. rush limbaugh talks of a cult is lazy and wrong. >> the idea this is some kind of a cult is simply a lazy way of dismissing it, a lazy way of not having to explain why your side keeps losing. because you don't want to get down to the substance that might explain that. that would be painful. so you blame it on a cult. and you claim you don't understand it. yeah, so create the picture that trump is waiting for the next hale-bopp comet to come along and hope they get on board. >> they have brought this president into the party with republicans saying, we don't get along. >> john, you focused on policy. i think there is a policy point where there's tariffs, where
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there is one party versus another party. i would say views on special counsels, infidelity among leaders. there is a shift among the republican party that does seem to have started because of donald trump and has some cult-like elements. if you believe presidents philan der dering is terrible but now it's okay, this kind of policy i'm not sure would have been agreed to in the previous administration in the republican party. the electorate is on the policy that president trump is winning. >> when you look at feethe fear factor, people who are fearful of the president, look at that rating. 80% approval rating within the republican party. listen to this in the last 24
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hours. ronald o'donnell, complacency is our enemy. anyone that does not embrace the agenda of making america great again will be making a mistake. brian walsh said, there's room for negotiation but obstruction will end careers. and senator john comyn said, i think people who lock horns with the president need to understand what the limits are in terms of their ability to win elections. that was john cornyn. >> my colleague who covers the senate basically saw corker and lindsey graham go at it over tariffs where corker was saying, oh, you republicans are afraid to poke the bear in the white house. lindsey graham said, you're leaving the republican party and you don't matter anymore.
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he later apologized to him. but that just shows you how much of a divide there is right now, and right now the trumpers are winning. >> the trumpers are winning without a doubt, right? >> the sanford election last night was a good sign for trump and sort of solidified what you're talking about here in the republican party and was a little bit of good news for trump ahead of his birthday, which is proving to be an otherwise tough day for him with the ig report and the trump foundation lawsuit that we talked about earlier. but i would also bring it back to a conversation we had before. i would point out this divide within the party also shows how remarkable of a character jeff sessions has become. he's shown time and time again despite all the pressure from the -- direct pressure from the president himself, he is with the attorney general's office. >> he's not joining the cult, is
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that it? it's here and now, if you look at the daca numbers and the latino votes and all that support for protecting the dr m dreamers in the suburbs, that's what republicans worry about. he might be winning in the here and now but that he's leading them demographically over a cliff. five years from now, ten years from now, the republican party will be in a tough position. up next, a feel-good moment set for tonight. congressman steve scalise takes to the field after a one-year near tragedy. i'm really into this car,
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itthat's why i lovel the daily fiber wfiber choice,ood alone. with the fiber found in many fruits and vegetables. fiber choice. the number one ge recommended chewable prebiotic fiber. topping our political radar today, the love of the game and overcoming fear and adversity. that man in yoellow right there congressman steve scalise, will take to the field tonight in a baseball game with members of
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congress. if you'll remember, he was shot nearly one year ago as he and teammates were practicing for the big game. he is there for the republicans and we wish him well. the vote was 7-2 saying that apparel violates free speech. jerry cohn said in the "washington post" he sees a trend that could increase america's debt and maybe even trigger another economic slowdown. >> if you end up with a tariff battle, you will end up with price inflation. >> could it wipe out the benefits of the tax bill? >> yes, it could. >> do traders trade on the president's tweets? >> 100%. that first 3, 6, 9, 12 months is very interesting in trying to work with each other. >> do the facts always win?
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was that your experience? >> i may not comment on that. >> a little humor there. up next, no matter what it says, the president's legal team will make the case the new ig report coming out today is good for them. applebee's 2 for $20, now with steak. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. i just want to find a used car without getting ripped off. you could start your search at the all-new that might help. show me the carfax. now the car you want and the history you need are easy to find. show me used trucks with one owner. pretty cool. [laughs] ah... ahem... show me the carfax. start your used car search and get free carfax reports at the all-new i've got a nice long life ahead.
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learning new details of the justice department ig report on the fbi handling of the clinton e-mail investigation. let's get straight to evan perry who has more details. evan? >> john, the key finding from the inspector general's report which is now being briefed to the president and members of congress as we speak is that james comey violated the norms of the justice department when he held his july 2016 press conference in which he cleared hillary clinton of any wrongdoing in the e-mail investigation. but the inspector general found that he was not acting out of political bias when he did that. that press conference, of course, is one in which he
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detailed all the things that hillary clinton did wrong in which he said, however, that no reasonable prosecutor would be able to bring charges against her. and of course, john, you remember that president trump and a lot of republicans have claimed that the e-mail investigation, the clinton investigation, was rigged, that it was not done properly, that it was done with political bias. according to the inspector general after this 18-month investigation, they found that there is no evidence to show that there was any political bias in the way the investigation was done. obviously, there's plenty here in this report. there's about 500 pages right now that members of congress are being briefed on. the president is being briefed personally by rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, so there is plenty in this report for the republicans and the president to pick up on to support the idea that the president was right to fire james comey. but the top line, the important part of this, is the fact that the inspector general found that
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there was no political bias in the way the investigation was done, which is a key accusation that the president and republicans in congress have been making, john. >> evan perry with the breaking news. come back if we get more. we'll come back to the studio. we can have a separate debate of the president saying it was about the russian meddling investigation, but there was no political motivation, mr. president. he did not do this. there was no pro-clinton anti-trump bias in james comey and the fbi according to this report. will the president accept that fact? >> no, but it's an important fact that we should think about and accept as journalists. no, he's not going to accept it, but i think it still matters that he spent almost a year saying the investigation was wrong and cleared hillary for no reason. we have a report from a pretty serious ig respected by both parties saying it was not politically motivated. will it change the politics? no. >> we have to focus on the fact
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that the same ig that wrote this report, james comey made bad judgment calls but it was not motivated by politics. it led to andrew mccabe being fired. what happened? rod rosenstein sitting there, the president despises rod rosenstein. rod rosenstein saying the president is a bad actor. >> this is not going to make the president like him more. he feels this was politically motivated and he'll keep saying that. we now know that an independent and well respected inspector general has said otherwise. but we know he'll seize on this report where it says comey acted wrongly, because he will use that as a reason to fire him saying, this wasn't an act of injustice, it was an fbi director who was off the rails. >> will he accept that his
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current team can handle the cleanup or will he accept the calls from capitol hill saying three trump appointees are part of the problem now. >> when they started, there was no white house briefing -- they have now scheduled a briefing. i'm sure sarah will be asking for recommendations from the president. wolf picks up coverage right now. thanks for joining us. hello, i'm wolf blitzer in washington. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. we start with breaking news. the imminent public release of the long, anticipated report on the u.s. department of justice and its handling of the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. some details are already leaking, like the determination that the then-fbi director james comey deviated from longstanding protocol but was not motivated by


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