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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  June 28, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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it will be. you've seen a state department reporting and others that there is some kind of quid pro quo that president trump wants to carve out with president putin over syria. whether or not that's workable, manageable, we'll have to see. but also beyond that, obviously president trump is a believer in the meeting principle of foreign policy. he did it with kim jong-un. we still don't know exactly the substance of what's come out of that or what might come out of that, and we're not sure of the substance of what might come out of the meeting with putin. but it's very clear to the allies that they don't want putin to be any further emboldened to interfere in the western alliance, in the western democracies and in the solidarity amongst the allies. >> christiane, thank you very much. and thank you for joining me in this wild hour. "inside politics" with john king starts right now. thank you, kate, and welcome
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to "inside politics." i'm john king. we begin with breaking news. a remarkable confrontation on capitol hill. the house of representatives, the republican house, just voting demanding that the justice department do a better job of producing documents. that after a contentious house committee hearing, a confrontation between republicans and the deputy attorney general principally, but also the director of the fbi. rod rosenstein locked in a public feud with the justice department over their demands that they requested documents into the trump campaign. republicans say rosenstein, the fbi and the justice department are hiding things. rosenstein pushing back repeatedly, at times angrily, at that suggestion. >> i am the deputy attorney general of the united states, okay? i'm not the person doing the redacting. >> you're the boss, mr. rosenstein. >> that's correct. and my job is to make sure we
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respond to your concerns. i'm telling the truth and i'm under oath. if you want to put somebody else under oath and they have something different, they can respond. >> house republicans also putting the special counsel investigation under the microscope. the special counsel investigation, of course, is secretive. rob mueller speaks in court documents, not on tv, but republicans say they're tired of waiting and they need mueller, in their view, to fill in the blanks and do it quickly. >> we've seen the box. we need to see the evidence. if you have evidence that this president acted inappropriately, present it to the american people. there is an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. i think right now all of us are being denied. whatever you got, finish it the hell up, because this country is being torn apart. >> again, that contentious
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hearing in a break right now. we'll get back to it momentarily. manu raju up on capitol hill. manu, the tempers flaring. we know some of them don't trust mr. rosenstein and mr. wray. tell us what you're hearing in the hallways. >> reporter: this is a partisan fight that is intensifying by the moment, john. just moments ago, as you mentioned, the house passing this resolution by a party line vote, a vote of 226-183, compelling the justice department, actually calling on the justice department to provide these documents about the russia investigation, about the clinton investigation by july 6th. now, what does that mean practically? it's a symbolic threat, because if rosenstein does not provide the documents to the satisfaction of the republicans, expect some punitive steps to be taken by this house, potentially holding rod rosenstein in contempt of congress, maybe even going so far as to impeach rod
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rosenstein as some conservatives have called for, but all this fight between the house republicans and rod rosenstein has just been intensifying, as we saw in this very, very tense public hearing over the last several hours. republicans saying not enough information has been provided to their committees about the russia investigation, about the clinton investigation. rosenstein backed up by fbi director christopher wray said they had been responding to the tune of 880,000 pages of documents. the they say 100 employees have been working around the clock to provide this information, and responding to, quote, legitimate requests from congress. this has just not been to the satisfaction of the republicans on this committee, and democrats, john, saying this is all part of an attempt to undercut the mueller investigation, to undercut rod rosenstein, and that's why they're pushing back and giving rod rosenstein some defense, but
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rod rosenstein not quelling any of his republican critics so far this morning, john. >> we'll be back in that hearing momentarily. in the meantime, let's bring our crime and justice reporter, evan perez. he got a little defensive at some points about the questioning of his own political party. >> john, this is a man -- rod rosenstein is someone who i have known probably close to a decade, and i've never seen him so fiery and so passionate, really, because he was coming under personal attack. again, as you mentioned, the fact he is a trump appointee. he's a lifelong republican. christopher wray, the fbi director, is the same. he's a republican who served in the bush administration. i knew him then when he was in the criminal division at the justice department, and now he even made a joke saying he didn't know in the first ten months of being on this job that he would be staring down the
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barrel of a contempt citation, because that's what the republican members of congress, at least some of them, are saying needs to be done. but i think part of the issue here is that members of congress have an expectation that they are -- they're frankly moving the goalpost, right? they have produced, as manu pointed out, 880,000 pages of documents. a hundred staffers are working as hard as they can, according to the justice department, to produce these documents. and every time they meet a certain requirement, the documents that they've asked for, the republicans come back with some new request. there is a new letter that just went out in the last few days, and so there is a moving of the goalpost that the justice department is trying to figure out how to meet, while at the same time protecting this ongoing investigation by robert mueller and the russia investigation, which is still ongoing. one last thing i would point out is that trey gowdy and really his soliloquy that he went on there against rod rosenstein, it wasn't much of an exchange, but
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gowdy was railing about how long this investigation has been going on, which is just over a year. if you remember, trey gowdy oversaw the benghazi investigation which was for a couple of years. it cost about $8 million. he also was saying that members of congress on the democratic side are frankly just -- you know, assuming that president trump is guilty of something. and if you look at the coverage of trey gowdy during the benghazi hearings, that's exactly what republicans were accused of doing. so it looks like partisan politics is at play in some of these hearings today. >> don't try to apply consistency here, that's not allowed especially in an election year in washington. here with me, jackie kosinich with the daily beast, michael shear with the bloomberg times. rod rosenstein tries to keep his cool. during his remarks, he essentially went out of his way, and you have to read into this because he doesn't say it
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directly, but he's essentially saying, i'm the deputy attorney general, i have to follow the law. i'm not a republican member of the house who can say whatever he or she wants on television. >> i've devoted almost 30 years to the service of my country. my line of work, we keep an open mind, we complete our investigations before we allege wrongdoing by anybody. our allegations are made under oath and supported by credible evidence. ignore the tyranny of the new cycle, stick to the rule of law and make honest divisions that will always withstand fair and objective review. >> his own understated way, but that's rod rosenstein essentially telling republicans to take a hike. but they kept asking the questions. >> well, they kept asking the questions because in part what they want is not answers, what they want is coverage of themselves asking the questions. because in large part, this is part of -- this hearing, as all these other hearings have been, is part of not a kind of genuine
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search for answers but rather a kind of consistent and methodical effort to undermine the legitimacy of an investigation that they fear, if it leads to a place -- it could lead to a place of real political damage to the president, to the people around the president, and ultimately to the republican party. so this is a big show, and you saw, i think rosenstein getting really upset finally and breaking through a little bit of that anger at the show as opposed to the fact that it's not genuine. >> that's right, and for those who don't remember, it's the attorney general, jeff sessions recused himself early on. it was rod rosenstein after the james comey firing who appointed robert mueller as the special counsel. rod rosenstein says he's followed all the practices, he's checked with the justice department as to whether he should recuse himself. he says he's following the rules. he talked with rob desantos running for florida. the deep state, the trump
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justice department, is trying to undermine the trump presidency, asking rosenstein, why are you still here? >> it seems like you should be recused from this more so that jeff sessions. why haven't you done that? >> if it were appropriate for me to recuse, i would be more than happy to do so and let somebody else handle this. >> as michael said, a lot of this is theater. you know, you heard rosenstein at one point say, these are trump appointees doing this, trying to really hammer home that this is not -- because initially you heard a lot of obama's deep state, blah, blah, blah. he made the point of noting that these are troubled appointees who are making these decisions. several members of congress do not care. this is much more for the clip factory than the actual, you know, house of representatives. but as you said, i really can't expand on that. he didn't think he would be here. you have to really remind
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yourself that this is a republican official that republicans are going after. >> members of congress see themselves getting closer and closer to an election where this is looming large. they want to find evidence. they want these documents so they can look at them and find evidence to advance their narrative about their investigation being, in the words of the president, a witch hunt. trey gowdy talked about this "finish the hell up." whitewater lasted seven years, watergate lasted several years and benghazi lasted a few years. i don't think this has gone on long enough, frankly. >> they want to talk about the clinton e-mail investigation where the republicans do have legitimate concerns about some of the fbi agents, particularly peter strzok who was on the clinton investigation and went over for a short time to the mueller investigation.
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trump bias in the texts. he said the fbi said it didn't affect his work. but they have a legitimate issue but they seem to be taking that into some much grander conspiracy theory, essentially saying the deputy attorney jena pointed by donald trump and now the new fbi director appointed by donald trump, part of this somehow nefarious justice department who gave them their jobs. >> it is literally their job to oversee this and it's absolutely essential that elected officials oversee appointed officials, especially law enforcement who has the force of law, the force of imprisonment and the force of violence to go after citizens. that being said, it is a congressional hearing which means it is ridiculous, even though it's essential. that being said, there are real problems. i think one of the issues and one of the sort of dynamic you're seeing here less with rosenstein or comey or others who have testified in the past is this idea that they are above
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having made mistakes, and that law enforcement is full of just nothing but perfect actors who cannot basically be held accountable for what they've done wrong. people do need to be held accountable for what they've done wrong. peter strzok as of now remains in a job. it remains to be seen what happens. he's got three lawyers answering questions for him in front of the people he is to be answerable to. >> to that point, the fbi director was asked which disciplinary proceedings would be taking place and he said, i'm not going to speak about that publicly because i don't want to taint the proceedings. >> it will take another year. >> one of the interesting dynamics is you have democrats coming to the defense of two republican appointees, rod rosenstein and christopher wray here when asked about what's up with the pace of the mueller investigation. a congressman characterizing, is bob mueller someone who is slow walking and going to keep looking until he finds
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something? >> director mueller understands i want him to conclude it as swiftly as possible consistent with his responsibility to do it right. >> has anyone ever accused special counsel mueller of being dilatory, lazy, slow? >> i certainly haven't, sir. >> my own experience and familiarity with director mueller is that none of those adjectives would describe much of anything he's done in his career for this country. >> i think evan perez is still with us. if you are, evan, it's impossible to get director mueller or special counsel mueller to respond to any of this. he does his speaking only through court documents, right? >> that's right, you don't hear very much except "no comment" from the special counsel's office. i do think the problem here, the pete strzok problem, the fbi department sent those inappropriate texts, those things have done a job here to undermine what mueller and what the fbi have been doing. i think you cannot get away from
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those facts. and so the fbi and the justice department are under an obligation to try to answer the questions from members of congress, but i do think that sometimes if you watch these hearings, these are co-equal branches of government. if you want to do a civics lesson, it doesn't mean that congress has super powers over the executive branch, it just means they'll have to duke it out and maybe congress will never be satisfied so long as this investigation is still going on, because they're not really going to get all of the answers they think they're entitled to while this investigation is still going on. >> that's a key point there. we're waiting for that house judiciary committee meeting to get back under way. the fbi director and the attorney general answering more questions. president trump gives president putin two gifts, a summit date and a tweet asking the question whether the russians actually meddled in the 2016 election.
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the white house and the kremlin today maybing e ing mak official, saying president putin and president trump will hold a summit next month. the world will be watching, and here's the question. will president trump treat his russian counterpart better than he does the leaders of allies like france and germany? one possible hint, a tweet this morning just before the summit was announced from the president of the united states saying, quote, russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our election. the tweet went on to criticize james comey and hillary clinton as well. cnn's abby phillip is live at the white house for us. abby, a simple question. why? >> well, john, i think if anybody knew that, we would have some answers by now. this has actually been something president trump has done repeatedly as president when he first met vladimir putin. there was lots of questions about whether he raised the issue of meddling. the second time he met vladimir putin in vietnam. just a few months ago he said to reporters on air force i, he
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said, he said he didn't meddle and i really believe when he tells me that, he means it. nobody else believes that. the president repeatedly cast doubt on the conclusion of the u.s. intelligence community that russia did, in fact, meddle in the 2016 election and that they also plan to meddle again. the president making these comments just as the summit with him and putin is being confirmed by the white house really leads you to wonder whether or not this is something that he is willing to bring up despite what his aides have said, john bolton who was just in moscow a day ago said that the president would bring it up. mike pompeo, the secretary of state, has also said it would be a big topic of conversation. but president trump, every time he's given the opportunity, doesn't want to say definitively, and in many cases, repeets tats the kremlin line w says president putin had nothing to do with this. the president tweets about the russian investigation and he also tweets about russian
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meddling in the election. in the president's mind, it seems those two things are very much connected. he went on this morning to issue several other tweets, attacking robert mueller. it seems that the president believes that if there was any credibility given to the idea of russian meddling in the election, it only gives more credibility to that russia probe that he has called a witch hunt, john. >> stunning, stunning, stunning. abby phillip live at the white house. let's bring in david sanger at the white house, our national security analyst. david, oouyou've talked to the president about this. why is he inclined to believe vladimir putin over every single official in a senior position in u.s. intelligence? >> that's exactly what i asked him, john, and as i relate in the book, his answer to this was he believes the intelligence reports that were written from this at the end of the obama administration were so politicized -- he specifically
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mentions james clapper, the director of national intelligence, and john brennan, the former cia director, that you couldn't possibly believe him. so you say, well, sir, it's also been signed off on by every one of your intelligence officials, including mike pompeo, now the secretary of state, who presumably will be accompanying the president to the meeting in helsinke. he just ignores that, because he so associates any recognition of the russian role here with the questions about legitimacy of his own election. even though right now we don't have any concrete evidence that the russians actually moved any votes. they might have, but we can't measure it. >> and as this meeting will come after the nato summit. the president has lectured the nato allies, he's now in a trade war with many of the nato allies in a separate european union, fights over steel and aluminum
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tariffs. what's the big secret about the coziness with vladimir putin? >> two worries, john. the president has suggested ahead of the g-7 meeting a few weeks ago, just before he went to singapore, that russia should reenter the g-7 and that we should forget about ukraine, and basically the reason the russians aren't in the g-7 is it's part of the sanctions for ukraine. so nato ever since has been gathering themselves to have a common front against the russians to keep them from expanding the ukraine operation to some of the nato -- new members of nato in eastern europe. their big concern is that the president is basically going to give putin a free pass and say, it's fine that you took crimea. we're done with the sanctions. we don't really care about what you're doing to destabilize ukraine. i think the second big concern is the president is going to go
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into the nato meeting, clearly beating up on them, maybe rightly so, for not raising their defense budgets enough, and then he could go off and have as friendly a meeting with vladimir putin as he had with kim jong-un. and that you'll have the optics of fighting with his allies and then embracing an adversary. >> david sanger, appreciate the insights. let's bring the conversation back into the room. our elise laffit, state department, they said nato is as bad as nafta. i won't try to translate that face. >> difficult. yeah, no, he's talked about this throughout the campaign. one of his more concerning talking points was about nato and then he seemed to get his mind right after the election and has people surrounding him who thinks that's deeply important, but he can always turn on a dime. that's who he is.
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>> can i just say i want to underscore david's second point which i think is really important. aside from just the substance of where the united states is vis-a-vis russia, ukraine and some of these other issues, the feeling -- i was at the g-7 in charlevois in canada when he blew up essentially of what was already two days of intense meetings and then he blew it up after he refused to sign on to the agreement. the feeling that president trump is literally blowing up the alliances of united states allies all over the world, the g-7, the g-20, nato, and the contrast between what you do and what you say if you're the president of the united states with our allies vis-a-vis our adversaries is really traumatic. i have a feeling that this sort of several days of meetings is going to be really traumatic. >> he lectures them on trade, he lectures them on defense spending, although he gets it wrong and the president never
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can seem to figure that out. he lectures them on immigration and then he calls kim jong-un admirable and then he'll sit down with putin. sure, talk to putin about syria, but -- >> it's at a time when all of our views of these things is democrat versus republican. this is upending decades of american foreign policy that has been shaped by democrats ask republica -- and republicans alike. it's not a partisan thing. >> what is he going to get out of this? is he going to go into this meeting with a strategy to try to detract concessions with putin? they have been at odds over assad. russia is clearly not happy about ukraine. does president trump intend to go in there and ask putin to make concessions on these things? we know that the president loves the stagecraft of this. he loves the theater of it, he loves being in this big meeting that the entire world pays
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attention. as he did in north korea, he didn't get any tangible concessions, but he kind of said everything is going fantastically, there is an empire dedicated to amplify his message. is the same thing going to happen here or will there be tangible movement? quick break for us here. when we come back, back to capitol hill. the house committee has the deputy attorney general and the fbi director. they're in recess right now. we expect more fireworks. "inside politics" will be right back.
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we let you keep an eye on your business from anywhere. the others? nope! get internet on our gig-speed network and add voice and tv for $34.90 more per month. call or go on line today. the swing vote on a supreme court is divided in an election year. so brace yourself for a summer of raw politics and also consider the enormous policy stakes. justice anthony kennedy was the swing vote in up holding roe v.
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wade, a candidate donald trump promised if given the chance to stack the high court with conservatives. he was also the one to recognize the right to same-sex marriage. president trump's court pick in just his second year in office could reshape american law for decades. >> the travel ban ruling underscores just how critical it is to confirm judges who will support our constitution, and i'm very honored that he chose to do it during my term in office, because he felt confident in me to make the right choice and carry on his great legacy. that's why he's there. so we have a pick to come up. we have to pick a great one. we have to pick one that's going to be there for 40 years, 45 years. >> the timing adds to the already overwhelming drama here. midterm election years are
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usually bad for the party in power, but it motivates a conservative base that, so far this year, let's be honest, has been less than engaged to the democrats. the court fight will give fits to vulnerable democrats in the states that president trump won. so the man responsible in getting the first pick says the vote for the second will be this fall. >> this is not 2016. there aren't the final months of a second term constitutionally lame duck presidency with a presidential election fast approaching. we are right in the middle of this president's very first term. to my knowledge, nobody on either side has ever suggested before yesterday that the senate should only process supreme court nominations in odd-numbered years. >> now, the democrats say that's hypocrisy. they cannot, cannot stop this, correct? >> they cannot stop this. assume john mccain is is oout,
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have 50 members. they all seem open to evaluating this person on the merits. it's going to be very difficult for them to block this one. having said that, the enormity of the stakes here, it's just hard to overstate. kennedy has sided with the left on issues like same-sex marriage, and abortion could be the one to flip roe v. wade affirmative action. and he sided on gun rights, on voting rights. that's going to be cemented with another conservative justice for a long time. they flipped the senate, they lost two supreme courts for a generation. >> and the money that is already -- are we even 24 hours out from his retirement and there is already judicial crisis network, $1 million. one nation, which is a mcconnell hifr hifrmcconnell-affiliated nonpro. that is all good for republicans. they already have a better map
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in terms of the senate than democrats. that makes it harder for these nominated democrats to vote no, because their states in particular will be flooded by all this outside money that most likely would not have been there otherwise. >> to the victor go the spoils and this is the consequence of an election. mcconnell will not be at all not receptive to this. and republican voters are supreme court of the united states voters. they are interested in it, and if yesterday was any indication, they were very excited about it. it's basically the one thing that brings the two sides of the coalition together anymore. and many of them who were not trump voters go, geez, maybe that was worth it. >> democrats say it will be different this year. they say on immigration, which republicans have won in the past as a motivating issue, and in the court which republicans have won in the past is a motivating
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issue. democrats say this will be different. this is the 2016 election poll. in your vote supreme court voters were the most important factor. 21% on election day said the supreme court was the biggest factor in their vote. of those voters, 56% voted for trump, 41% voted for clinton. this is an intense issue, and heidi heidkamp voted for gorsuch, but they don't want the voters to think about that when they decide if their democratic senators should be reelected. >> heidi will vote no to any pick we make for the supreme court. she will be told to do so. maybe because of this she will be forced to vote yes. who knows? but i will tell you she'll vote no the day after the election on everything. justice kennedy's retirement makes the issue of senate
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control one of the vital issues of our time. the most important thing we can do. >> he is correct. >> he is correct, but it is interesting, the dynamics of the timing here are interesting. because the republicans want to wrap up this vote before the voters go to the polls. for obvious reasons, they don't want to chance the fact they might lose control of the senate and have it be in a different posture. so is it harder to say to voters, republican voters, conservative voters, come to the polls because of the voting issue, because of the supreme court issue when the supreme court issue is essentially resolved at that point? and remember, the reason people were so intense about it in 2016 was not only because conservatives hadn't yet been able to shape the court, but because there was literally a supreme court justice seat open. and so you could make the argument to voters, it's important that i get the chance to do it. by the time the voters go to the polls, this could be done.
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>> and because of that open seat is why you're hearing, particularly progressives, tell dell kra democratic lawmakers, even though there's not particularly anything they can do, they want them to fight this. >> do they fail their democrats? do they make the argument more than ever before that the president wants to overturn roe v. wade, and i think it would be in his character to preserve that ruling, but shutting down as many abortion clinics as possible. texas and mississippi have tried this before. there is a lot more a five-majority supreme court can do to roll back roe v. wade. >> in a more conservative world even though republicans don't like the obama vote. kennedy was actually voting to take away obamacare, so we'll
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see if it swings that way again. when we come back, rod rosenstein and chris wray waiting to go to that hearing rahm on capitol hill. we'll be back in just a moment.
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some pictures here of moments ago here in the nation's capitol. protesters are protesting against the separation of families at the u.s.-mexico border. the activists' message in their view, the separation defies american values. >> here today, because we are in a very dangerous moment, is willing to use the machine of immigration enforcement to
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terrorize our communities, to separate our families and to get votes. this is america. and i ask every american person in this nation, is that the america we know? >> no! >> immigrants' rights protests also happening in wisconsin where the president is holding an event later today. [ chanting ] >> the protests playing out across the country at a time when any hope for immigration legislation this year has collapsed. correct? except for perhaps a stand-alone piece of legislation where republicans give the government the authority to hold families together? >> a narrow piece of legislation that very, very specifically addresses family separation skpal loand allows families to stay together
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as they seek asylum and what have youme. i'm not even sure that's going to happen. yesterday we saw a collapse of legislation that happened on the floor between the centrist republicans. they partnered with the hard right. a lot of them didn't even support the bill in the end. a lot of them are getting hit from home on the left and on the right for committing amnesty. >> one of the things that's going to be interesting, republican candidates are going to want to talk about the judges on the campaign trail because it's a great issue for them, they think. the question will be does donald trump keep this immigration issue alive through tweets, through talk about the border and the wall, in a way that muddies that message. the republicans would be much more likely to want to talk about taxes and judges than the images we just saw. >> it is a double-edged sword on the left for activists as well, because there is energy there,
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but you're reaching a point where the candidates like insurgent 14 is calling for i.c.e. to be abolished. >> they might sell that in the blue coast. much harder to sell that in middle america. now you have the gao and another investigation of the handling of reuniting these families, and so far there's been slow progress in that regard. that issue will stay with us as we go. quick break. when we come back again, we're waiting for that house judiciary committee to resume. the fbi director and attorney general, you see them coming back into the room right now. we'll see if they bring this hearing back to order. let's see. all right, let's keep the conversation here as we keep a camera on the room. i think we have the numbers to show you. the department of homeland security is now asking the pentagon to create shelters for up to 12,000 migrants. this would be to keep families
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together. again, the question is will that hold up in court if congress doesn't act? does the administration have the authority to do that? then there is the question of the reunification. the administration put out a policy statement saturday night essentially trying to say, we have our act together, we're going to do this. only 500 so far, by the numbers given to us by the government, have been reunited with their families and more than 2,000 children are still in the centers as they try to go through this process. so the president likes this iss issue. this accountability piece of it, though, could undermine the government. >> they'll have to certify that these facilities are adequate for children. that is under flores and that will send it right to the courts if they do not. as far as i know, that hasn't happened yet apart from the fact that you would be holding all of these people, you know, in detention indefinitely. >> there are polls that show that conservative republicans are more mobilized by the issue of immigration than progressives are. younger voters, latino voters, tend not to vote in midterms, but this is the type of thing
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that could flip that dynamic. one of the phenomenons of the blue wave right now is not so much younger voters and latino voters, it is suburban professionals, women in particular in these districts that are going to determine, and these numbers do not help. >> watching the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein, still standing. he's going to take a seat. when we come back, republicans raising what they see as bias in the investigation of the president. democrats say it's all conspiracy theory. stay with us. duping us! all around louisiana... you're a nincompoop! (phone ping) gentlemen, i have just received word! the louisiana purchase, is complete! instant purchase notifications from capital one. so you won't miss a purchase large, small, or very large. technology this helpful... could make history. what's in your wallet?
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no one thought much of itm at all.l people said it just made a mess until exxonmobil scientists put it to the test. they thought someday it could become fuel and power our cars wouldn't that be cool?
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and that's why exxonmobil scientists think it's not small at all. energy lives here.
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welcome back. moments ago we showed you pictures of protesters outside the justice department. it's a busy day here in washington. this is outside the justice department. these are anti-immigration protesters, protesters against the trump administration's policy of separating families at the u.s.-mexico border there. outside the justice department, they say they're going to make their way up capitol hill. we'll keep our eye on that. we're also keeping an eye on the hearing room in capitol hill. it was supposed to be a six-minute break. it's been almost an hour now. you see deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, christopher wray
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as well. the republicans say they're not producing documents they want. they're also questioning the credibility of the deputy attorney general. they're questioning the credibility of the fbi director. it's noted to remember that these republicans questioning the credibility of an investigation led by, in this case, two trump-appointed appointees. i'm constantly trying to figure out if the leadership of the republican party agree with this when they watch jim jordan of lying dand stonewaullling the department of justice. they want them to move quickly. do you think this helps their party is this. >> they are trapped between the passions of their base and the desire to be responsible and not let devin nunez run amok with
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dhhig investigation. they can decide who they want to control the investigation. that means a contempt citation and possibly impeachment when a verdict comes down as to what happened and what didn't. >> with potentially new leaders. paul ryan is gone after this year. so there will be a new head of the house republicans, and who that's going to be, and that really matters. is it going to be kevin mccarthy? jim jordan, who we saw with his exchange with rod rosenstein, he also has thrown his hat in the ring to potentially be speaker of the house. he would run it differently. >> jim jordan is not going to be speaker, but he can prevent someone from being speaker and move it to the right if he wants to. >> this is what congress has been struggling with for a long time, this question of how much do you look responsible, whether that's on budgets, whether that's on shutting the government down versus how much do you play to the sort of --
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the real sort of hard-core base of the party that's both out there this the country and that's represented by this sort of, you know, minority of the republican party in the house, especially, which drives a lot of this tension. >> and rod rosenstein repeatedly saying, sometimes with a bit of a smirk on his face, that he believes the facts are on his side. what everybody knows, what bob mueller knows what this investigation is about, he will be held up to doing his job and doing his job correctly. i think they're bringing the hearing back to order. let's listen. >> -- he is working on the hillary clinton investigation, he was assigned to the russian collusion investigation in late may of 2017, and following your appointment of robert mueller, agent strzok became part of special counsel mueller's investigating team until late 2017 when he was removed and
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returned to the fbi. any disagreement about that timeline? >> i don't have the precise dates, but that sounds generally accurate. >> during 11 hours of testimony yesterday, agent strzok testified at length about his roles during that year from late july of 2016 to late july of 2017 as part of those investigative teams. he testified, in fact, that he drafted the initial investigative plan on the russia collusion investigation, that he made investigative decisions and took action to gather information and collect evidence in both the trump russia matter and -- and the special counsel probe. agent strzok also admitted that before and during that same year -- >> a point of order, mr. chairman? we had a closed hearing on peter strzok. if you want to call his testimony like this, release the transcript. have an open hearing.
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don't characterize and not let him testify. don't take things out of context. release his transcript. >> that is not a point of order. gentlemen, proceed. >> agent strzok also -- >> the general says point of order. >> i assume it is a valid point of order to object to quoting or characterizing statements in a confidential setting. >> release their transcript, mr. chairman. we want to hear peter strzok's testimony under oath. do not hide his testimony. >> the testimony, mr. chairman, as you know from the transcribed interviews can be used for hearing purposes. >> release the transcripts to the american people. >> the transcript will be released at the appropriate point in time, but we can refer
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to it in this hearing. >> we are told that the transcripts are not to be quoted. >> the chair has ruled. >> gentlemen, so agent strzok also admitted that before and during that same year -- all right. agent strzok admitted that before and during that same year, he sent many, many text messages about donald trump, text messages that we've already established and you've agreed -- is the gentleman finished? [ inaudible ] >> so, again, agent strzok sent many text messages about donald
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trump. we've established and you've agreed that those reflect a hatred and bias toward donald trump. now, i reviewed with agent strzok, and he confirmed that he was, in fact, the person who sent the text messages that said "f trump, trump is an f-ing idiot." that talked about stopping trump as agent, that talked about keeping the country from trump and talked about an insurance policy in the trump presidency, to name just a few. those are what inspector horace described as deeply troubling and expressed concern that he might have acted on those in his work on the weiner laptop issue, a matter that he is now investigating. when i asked agent strzok about his communications with special counsel mueller or anyone on his team about his removal, he described the details of a single conversation.
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he said it lasted about 10 or 15 minutes, but certainly less than 30 minutes. he said, special counsel mueller made it very clear that he was being removed from the case because of the text messages, but i was surprised that he said that neither special counsel mueller or anyone on his team asked him about the text or his expressed hatred of donald trump. he said special counsel never asked him what he meant when he sent those texts. he said that special counsel mueller never asked him if he acted upon the bias and the hatred reflected in those texts. i asked agent strzok at least half a dozen times, did special counsel mueller or anyone on his team ever ask you about these troubling text messages and whether any of your actions taken, whether any of your decisions made and whether any of the evidence you collected may have been corrupted or tainted or in any way influenced by the hatred, bias or prejudice expressed in these texts.

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