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tv   Wolf  CNN  June 14, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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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 political bias.
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comey was one of the major players in all of this along with a former fbi deputy director andrew mccabe, hillary clinton, of course, and the president of the united states. the major questions are simple. was proper protocol followed by the then fbi director? we now know the answer there. did forces within the fbi compromise the investigation? and was any campaign aided by the inclusion or exclusion of critically important investigation? let's bring in shimon prokupecz and manu raju. he's up on capitol hill. shimon, what do we know already about the report that's supposed to be publicly released within the hour? >> certainly some key findings by the inspector general here. the idea that the president has been touting this notion that the clinton investigation was rigged, that there was bias somehow by the fbi in favor of hillary clinton, and that they
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didn't bring charges against her, well, now we have our answer here from the inspector general who has been looking at this now for over a year, wolf. and he's saying essentially in his report, we're told, that there was no pro-clinton bias. there was nothing to indicate that anything that the fbi did in their investigation would give any credibility, anything to the idea that as the president has said, that this was somehow rigged. we've also learned here that comey error -- he made errors here in his decision not to coordinate with superiors at the justice department, a key moment in the clinton e-mail investigation, and that relates, of course, to that press conference he held where he announced a decision in the result of the investigation. it also relates to essentially when the fbi, when james comey decided to reopen the investigation just days before the election in november 2016. we all remember that.
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that happened as a result of e-mails that were found on the anthony weiner's laptop. it was a letter that he had sent to the hill to lawmakers, essentially saying that a new review was underway, and that certainly was controversial. now we have the inspector general here saying that these moments, these key moments in the investigation, it appears that comey made some mistakes. >> yeah, it certainly does. manu, i know members of congress are getting briefed on all of this. what's the reaction so far up on capitol hill? >> well, actually you're hearing people from both sides picking out things that advance their narratives about exactly what happened in 2016. the democrats say that, in fact, what comey did in his mishandling of the e-mail investigation actually helped trump become president. this is a statement from jerry nadler and elijah cummings, two top democrats who reviewed the report. they say the stark conclusion
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they've come up with after reviewing the report is that the fbi's actions helped donald trump become president. now, republicans see it differently, including darrell isa, a republican that was in that briefing with officials from the inspector general's office. what he heard was major problems in the way the justice department handled this investigation, james comey's handling of this investigation, and other members, too, on the republican side of the aisle say there need to be further investigations perhaps by a second special counsel to look into exactly what the fbi did wrong in 2016. here's senator lindsey graham just earlier today. >> if we find systematic abuse at the department of justice and the fbi, then who is going to do something about it? i think you would need some independent eyes. if he suggests that the doj and the fbi got after the rails and did inappropriate things when it came to the hillary clinton e-mail investigation, who is supposed to go to figure out
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what should have happened? to me that's got to be somebody out of the department of justice, somebody we all trust. i think mueller was the right guy. i think he's doing his job in a professional manner. pick somebody like him. >> and, wolf, the release of this report will only intensify this debate going forward. come monday the senate judiciary committee will have a hearing about this 500-page report, and mccabe himself is facing a separate criminal investigation, and he wants immunity to testify at that hearing. the senator of the judicial committee says he does not expect immunity to be dealt until monday, and they're looking to compel his appearance, and maybe monday. democrats have a lot of questions, wolf. >> stand by, and i know you're
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working your sources. ment a lot of the supporters of president, his top aides, they've certainly been hoping this long-awaited report would give them some ammunition to derail the overall russia probe that robert mueller is leading. >> right. and, you know, where you stand depend on whes on where you sits investigation. as manu said, everybody is going to find something. the point here is that comey misbehaved. he didn't behave according to justice department norms, and he wants to say, see, i did a good thing in firing him. he wanted to fire james comey. but they also did not find any evidence of a conspiracy at the heart of the fbi to hurt donald
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trump. in fact, i think it's just the opposite. what donald trump has always been saying, it's the same people working on the e-mail investigation to the russia investigation, that there was a conspiracy against him, and the whole russia investigation is, therefore, rigged against him. this clearly does not support that point of view. they'll use it to say comey is a bad guy and i believe the investigator will say he didn't behave like he should have. >> the president said the whole world will eventually stand up and agree that i should have fired comey. >> we know what the president is hoping for, wanting all these
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months, is some sort of a recommendatio recommendation. you know, if you've listened to comey, either if you've seen this, he indicated there wasn't a rule book for what he did, sort of stepping out of the norm and firing james comey. the fact there is no partisan putting the thumb on the scale is going to make it difficult for the president to get what he wanted to out of this. >> evan perez, our justice correspondent, is getting more information on this, specifically, evan, if more criminal charges are likely to emerge from the inspector general's report. >> wolf, i think that's one of the things the president has been pushing for. certainly we have already a criminal referral that has come out of this against andrew
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mccabe for lying to investigators, and that's the one we still look at by prosecutors in washington. as far as james comey, or perhaps hillary clinton, and you've been hearing from the president in particular, the president is probably going to be disappointed, but i think the president will certainly be able to use some of the findings in this report to claim that he was right to fire james comey, r rod's -- the reason why james had lost confidence in the justice department led to him being fired. there is a lot of prices against comey and other people, i think
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he's going to be very disappointed when he raeds this report. >> there are apparently some new trance skriblts, there was some personnel who were involved in the investigation which shows a pretty negative attitude toward donald trump. >> we're talking about two fbi employees, pete struck and lisa page, whose years-long affair and apparent texting that was going on for years, was revealed as a result of this investigation. a lot of inappropriate texts were sent, including some which showed some definite political biases -- clearly i think there is enough here for the attorney general and the fbi to take action against those people. i think the attorney general in
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he expect he might. look, i think those text assess ma majz. even though you had these inappropriate messages being exchanged by people who were involved in this litigation, it did not affect the ultimate outcome. by wait, wolf, the people controlling this investigation were way above these two, and the inspector general found there was no political bias in the way the investigation was. >> good point. correspondent for american urban radio networks. the inspector general, how
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sessions described what he saw in the report. >> i think it will be a lengthy report and a careful report. it will be released soon. 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. >> it's unclear what exactly he is referring to, but he's suggesting that, you know? he has total confidence in this inspector general's report. >> it sounded a little bit like he could have been taking a jab at the president as well. over the years, his reputation has be -- the fbi's reputation has been sullied. he's trying to fix that reputation by.
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was it the right timing, though? i talked to someone who is a high-ranking official in the justice department and they said, he should have kept his a-s-s off the podium. strong words. what did loretta lynch have to do with that? what did she play in that. i don't think so. it seemed like it hurt her. this report is critical it's recused him from the russia investigati investigation. y >> you understand how all this works. the fbi does the investigating but they leave it to the deputy attorney general or attorney general or u.s. attorney to say
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there is enough evidence for criminal charges to be filed or not. he himself did that as the fbi director and that was seen as inpro inproet. i would be fine with an investigation by prosecutors and the prosecutors make a decision. the fact he went front and center were. what strikes me also sfum, this information in this 500-page report is unfounded. new york state suing the president of the united states and his children, alleging they illegally used money from their charity for the political campaign. how serious is their legal trouble right now? plus, north korea releasing
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video of one of his generals. it was here.
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sto north korew york's attorney is suing president trump and his family for using the tax-exempt funds of his non-profit to pay off his business creditors, promote his hotels, decorate a trump golf club and even stage a multi-million-dollar giveway at a campaign event in iowa just days before the crucial caucuses there. let's go to jean casarez. she's joining us from new york. jean, walk us through these allegations. >> and there are many. this is a 41-page allegation.
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it includes donald, donald jr., ivanka and jared kushner. it says that his foundation is merely a shell to protect donald trump and his businesses. it does say in part, quote, the petition filed today alleges a pattern of consistent illegal conduct occurring over a decade that includes extensive unlawful political coordination with the trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions to benefit mr. trump's personal and business interests, and violations of basic legal obligations for non-profit foundations. and there was a fundraiser for veterans, and mr. trump participated in iowa, collecting those moneys in lieu of a
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republican presidential debate. well, they say that the foundation raised the money for veterans organizations. but the verified petition says that it was planned, organized, financed and directed by the campaign, a violation of new york state law and charitable laws. we now have a response from the trump foundation, and it is very strong. it says in part, 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 little to no expenses. this is unheard of for a charitable foundation. and trump, what they are asking the court to do, is to close
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down this foundation. they want it done under the responsibility and observation of the court, and they are saying that donald trump should no longer be able to participate in any form or fashion of a charitable foundation for the next ten years, and his children who are also, as i said, those co-defendants, they cannot involve themselves with a charitable foundation under new york state law for one year. >> they also want the president to pay $2.8 million and additional penalties as a result of this as well. jean casarez, thank you very much. the president indicating he plans to fight this lawsuit. he says, and i quote, the sleazy new york democrats and their now disgraced and run out of town a.g. eric schneiderman are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in
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$18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in. i can't settle this case! . >> here we go. the sleazy new york democrats and now their disgraced and run out of town a.g. eric schneiderman are doing everything they can to sue me for a foundation that took in $18,800,000 and gave out to charity more money than it took in, $19,200,000. . i won't settle this case. >> this was not a sleazy or political action, nor was it brought by mr. schneiderman. this is a straightforward case of violation of the laws governing charitable foundations
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and non-profit organizations in new york. >> so you're saying it was not brought by mr. schneiderman. but the tweet goes on to say, sni schneiderman, who ran the clinton campaign in new york, never had the guts to bring this ridiculous case, which lingered in their office for almost two years. now he resigned his office in disgrace, and his disciples brought it when we would not settle. >> we brought this case when we had evidence and the legal article um arguments to back tup. it obviously was not settled. that's usually how cases are brought. there's nothing unusual about that. >> barbara underwood, the attorney general of new york, speaking with cnn's anchor
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christiane amanpour. let's get back to the panel. you've looked through this document. all of us have read the document by now. how strong of a case does new york state have against the president and his children? >> well, it seems very strong, but let's be clear at the outset there is a difference between a civil case and a criminal case. at the end of this civil case the a.g. has brought, the worst thing that can happen to mr. trump and his family is a monetary fine. nobody can go to jail for this lawsuit. on the other hand, as i've sn d understood it, when he signed foundations, he signed it and said all the money that comes in will be used for charitable purposes. if he lied, that is a federal crime. if there is money going to a
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charitable purpose, and it's diverted to a personal account be it for political campaigns, dressing up a golf club, whatever, that can be fraud. and under the federal law, wire fraud, which is a 20-year penalty in jail maximum. to me what is most concerning about the president is he'll have to pay any fines. there could be a criminal referral to a criminal allegation. >> it was made to general margaret that they used this charity in the days lending up to the iowa caucuses and they've got sext messages from representative corwin lewandowski explaining what should be done with this money that's raised. charitable foundations are not to be involved in politics.
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>> and it would obviously be a huge story at that point, but there is a softer impact to this right now that is potentially real also. and that is that it goes to the credibility and the trustwort trustworthiness of the trump organization in general and charitable claims. remember the president is not just involved in this, and among some segments of his base and supporters, his ability to trust his word and know that when he says he's trying to help coal miners, he's trying to help veterans who are home and looking for jobs, there is this parallel track of potential impacts. one deals with the unknown, and something we haven't seen yet is whether there will be a criminal aspect. the other just goes to this question of trust and credibility. >> the president, in his tweets a couple times, april, he said, i won't settle this case. he said the former new york attorney general schneiderman had resigned his office in
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disgrace and his disciples brought it when we would not settle. he has settled cases in the past after declaring he won't settle. the trump university case, for example. he wound up settling. >> there are a lot of other cases he hasn't settled out of court, people who are building buildings for him and he is tied up in court forever. the bottom line is you don't want to hear the president of the united states saying, i'm not going to wire anything that has credible implications. everybody has to follow the rule of law, follow the pattern of justice, and for him to say i'm not going to settle, it doesn't bode well. if anything you would want to kind of work this out. the one thing that sticks out about this case to me, just like what's happening with mueller, they're following the trail of money. there are trails of money everywhere that's pointing to the family. it just screams to me -- all of this is about money from a
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charity that's gone to different places that weren't supposed to happen. then you have what's happening over here with mueller. they're pulling records and pulling computers trying to find out the trail of money, because that all leads to whatever the end case is. >> it's just another legal, the u.s. attorney general for the district of new york. there is a lot of legal stuff going on right now that the president of the united states. >> it's not necessarily a nice birthday present from new york state to the president. releasing new video showing president trump saluting one of kim jong-un's generals during the summit. we're going to get white house reaction. stick around.
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right now there are some questions about an encounter between the leader of the free world and the three-star military general and one of the world's most brutal regimes. the president extends his hand, in which the three-star north korean general salutes. president trump salutes right back and then extends his hand. this was shown on north korea state tv. they said the president was briefed on protocol not to salute military officers from other countries, but they are not viewing this necessarily as a mistake. they said it's about showing respect to kim jong-un and his entourage, including his general. let's discuss this and more with my next two guests. lindsay ford is the director of the political affairs division over the asian society policy institute here in washington, and cnn military and diplomatic
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retired rear admiral john kirby, spokesman for the state department. put on your military hat for a moment. is it appropriate for the president of the united states to salute a foreign general, let alone a foreign general of a regime like north korea? >> no, it's not. the very valid concern here was he was showing deference and respect to an officer in the military who not only brutalizes their own soldiers but their own people and still have a robust military program capable of destabilizing the region. then there is the propaganda value. if shouldn't be a surprise to anybody that north korean state tv is airing this thing on a constant loop. it's cannotexactly the image an respect that kim jong-un was trying to seek. >> so would it be appropriate for the president to salute a british or french general as opposed to a north korean general? >> look, there is not strict protocol on this.
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he's the president of the united states. he can return a salute to anyone he wants, foreign or domestic. it's typically not done that presidents return the salutes of foreign military officers, but yes, it would be a lot less problematic if it was someone in an allied nation than it would be for an officer in the north korean military. >> lindsay, the president was strongly defending his decision to say some nice words about kim jong-un at the summit in singapore. listen to this. this is what he told fox news on why he was doing that. >> you know, you call people sometimes killers, he is a killer. he's executing people. >> hey, when you take over a country, a tough country, tough people. and you take it over from your father, i don't care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have. if you can do that at 27 years old, that's 1 in 10,000 that could do that. he's a very smart guy. he's a great negotiator, but i think we understand each other.
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>> but he's still done some really bad things. >> yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things. i could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done. with all of that being said, the answer is yes. >> what did you think of that answer? >> yeah, it's a little disturbing to me that honestly he's normalizing the behavior of a dictator here. he's talking about kim jong-un inheriting the family business as if we're talking about real estate. kim jong-un being tough. what that means? it means otto warmbier comes home in a coma. it means he has 1,000 people in gulags. it means rape, torture, abuse. i don't think we should be under any illusion what tough love means on kim jong-un's part. >> he's trying to prevent a nuclear war, and if it means negotiating and dealing with kim jong-un, he'll do it. >> that's what he'll say, and that's what he'll say about the
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salute, too. foreign policy can't just be transactional. it does have to be rooted in values and who we are as a nation. when he talks about kim jong-un in this way, he demeans the very values that the united states has historically represented on the world stage. >> there is a new poll that's out on how the american people feel about this whole summit. let me put some numbers on the screen along with the university poll. did singapore summit make the president look stronger or weaker on the world stage? stronger 46%, only 13% weaker, 38%, didn't really change, 4%, don't know. what do you think of that? >> i think the president would be really happy to see those results. to me that's not the question we should be asking. the question we should be asking coming out of the summit is did this summit make the united states safer? >> did the summit make the united states suffafer? >> to me the jury is still out, but i don't feel comfortable
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with that assertion. >> do you think it made the united states safer? >> i would say no. we are all hopeful they can get to denuclearization, but we put a lot in this summit and got very little in return. >> thank you both for joining us. there are new details just moments away coming out. james comey the focus of the soon to be released investigator report of the department of justice. how it all started, how the fbi director put himself front and center right in the middle of this investigation of hillary clinton and her e-mail. stay with us. i was just excited for it to be over. harvoni is a revolutionary treatment for the most common type of chronic hepatitis c. it's been prescribed to more than a quarter million people and is proven to cure up to 99% of patients
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we're waiting for what could be either a very damning or exonerating report from the u.s. department of justice. just moments from now, the director of the justice department is expected to release his findings on how top officials handled the investigation of hillary clinton's e-mail server. they are accusing james comey f for botching the election with the way he handled the investigation. >> hillary clinton's investigation of the use of a private e-mail server, that happened in the very early days of the 2016 campaign. hillary clinton was secretary of state under president obama, and
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in 2015 it emerged that she was using a personal e-mail account. so on july 10, 2015, the fbi opened that criminal investigation, code name midyear exam. that's when agents investigated her handling of e-mails and her handling of classified information. and really, by the summer of 2016, this case had become enormously politically charged with then-candidate donald trump making comments just like this one. >> the e-mails, that's bad judgment. it's also dishonesty. that's why we call her crooked hillary clinton. frankly, what hillary has done is criminal, folks. it's criminal. >> so after those comments from then-candidate donald trump, then came another twist. on june 27, 2016, it was then-attorney general loretta lynch. she was sitting on the same tarmac as former president bill clinton.
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he got word that they were there and he boarded a plane at the phoenix airport. he said nothing about hillary clinton's nomination was discussed, but of course the republicans seized on that meeting that the investigation was fixed. he told loretta lynch that he planned to bypass the justice department and hold his own news conference announcing the results of the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. so there it was on july 5, 2016 when comey made this surprise public statement. >> although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. >> so with that statement, the case seemed to be closed. but then just a few months later, in late september 2016, yes, an even stranger twist. federal prosecutors began investigating former new york congressman anthony weiner for sexual communications he had
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with a minor. of course, weiner was the husband of top hillary clinton aide huma aberdeen. then about a month later, 11 days before the election, james comey wrote a letter to congress and he alerted them, announcing that e-mails investigators found on weiner's laptop could potentially be relevant to their old case. hillary clinton has pointed to this exact announcement as ruining her chances to win the white house. it was just days after that deputy attorney general andrew mccabe recused himself, and then on november 6, just two days before the presidential election, director james comey sent a second letter to congress where he concluded that, based on our review, we have not changed our conclusion that we expressed in july, again, closing out that hillary clinton
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investigation. she said the damage is done. two days later, president trump was elected president, and now we use this timeline and draw some conclusions on how the investigation was handled. wolf? >> jessica, thank you very, very much. important stuff. some members of congress have already seen it. they're going through the document right now. i'll speak with one lawmaker when we come back. [music playing] (vo) from day one, we always came through for our customers. it's how we earned your trust. until... we lost it. today, we're renewing our commitment to you. fixing what went wrong. and ending product sales goals for branch bankers. so we can focus on your satisfaction.
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right now we're only moments away from getting the inspector
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general's report in the investigation on how hillary clinton used her servers. some lawmakers have been reading it from the briefing room inside the capitol. congressman, thanks so much for joining us. we have now learned that the report finds then fbi director james comey did violate fbi norm, protocols, but those actions weren't necessarily politically motivated. your reaction? >> the investigator general's report is always good for transparency. if this is being used to in any way discredit the very important special counsel investigation, the mueller investigation, it's really being used for the wrong end. we need to make sure of course every investigation is done right, including the mueller investigation and we need to retain his independence. >> do you think there could be some negative spillover from the release of this report on the entire mueller investigation? >> i sure hope not. that would be the wrong message. we want to make sure every
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investigation is done right. and frankly the hillary clinton has had more scrutiny. i wish my republican colleagues cared as much about the integrity of the mueller's investigation, to make sure there's no motivation to let anybody off easy. >> where are we headed? >> bargainplea bargains. the very fact that it might involve the president of the united states involves the republic itself and the integrity of the republic. it's very important we don't have any interference, nor does this inspector general report give any reason for that. it's got to maintain i. >> what do you think about
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messages about people having an affair and they were very, very critical of then-candidate donald trump. >> fbi agents, law enforcement agents are people, they never expected private e-mails to be made public. what's important is that people don't let their political beliefs influence their professional work. i think that's what there will be an accounting for. it's the same with the mueller investigation. we need to make sure people's personal or political beliefs, whether they like trump or don't like trump, make sure that there was no interference with the law. >> the report and the white house briefing only moments away. stand by. ancestrydna told my dd he comes from the southern coast of ireland. i think it's why we've been doing this...forever. my dad has roots in the mountains of northern mexico. home to the strongest runners in the universe. my dad's ancestors were african bantu. i bet they told the most amazing stories.
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i'm a small business, but i have... big dreams... and big plans. so how do i make the efforts of 8 employees... feel like 50? how can i share new plans virtually? how can i download an e-file? virtual tours? zip-file? really big files? in seconds, not minutes... just like that. like everything... the answer is simple. i'll do what i've always done... dream more, dream faster, and above all... now, i'll dream gig. now more businesses, in more places, can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. this is cnn breaking news. >> hi there, i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being with
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me. here's the breaking news on the justice department's internal report into how the fbi handled the hillary e-mail investigation. the official report is expected to be released to the public at this hour, but we are learning from our sources that the inspector general here concluded that fired fbi director james comey was not biased in his handling of the investigation but that he did in fact deviate from department norms. this sweeping 500-page report is expected to detail a series of failures by top federal officials, including comey, ahead of that crucial 2016 presidential election. a lot of democrat, including hillary clinton herself, blame her election loss on comey's decision to reopen the investigation just days before that election in 2016 and a lot of republicans felt comey gave