tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN December 4, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
must be a democratic cork. new york. >> all right. no comment. thanks for joining us. don't forget you can watch the show any time as we awake the mienl flynn filing. ac 360 starts now. good evening from washington as the deadline for robert mueller's prosecutors to submit sentencing recommendations for president trump's national security adviser michael flynn. midnight is the latest it can happen. may happen over the course of the next hour. when it does we should know details of general flynn's cooperation with the russia investigation which we don't know of as yet. and how the prosecutors believe it could reflect on his sentence. we've been waiting for in much of the day. as we did we got a piece of breaking news about another figure in the trump aire. long time associate roger stone. stone appears to be of interest to investigators in connection with where he fits in the chain
of events and where the emails were delivered by wickty leeks. stone tease the them before they released. trump delighted. presumably rodger stone might have a lot to say about in including possible ties between the campaign wikileaks and russians. later today we learned he wouldn't be cooperating. he is taking the fifth, invoking fifth amendment protection against self-discrimination. refusing a request for democrats from the top democrat on the house judiciary committee. claims hes done nothing wrong. the letter was sent shortly before the president tweeted this. prufgt of stone. saying i will never testify against trump. the said this statement was made by roger stone essentially stating he will not be forced by the rogue out of control prosecutor to make up lies about president trump. nice to know that some people still have guts. stones attorney told cnn his
client was i'm quoting surprised by the president's tweet. that may or may not be. keeping him honest. this much is true. the president didn't always believe in people's right to plead the fifth, at least when the people pleading the fifth were not connected with him. >> have you seen what's going on in front of congress? fifth amendment, fifth amendment. fifth amendment. horrible. horrible. >> the mob takes the fifth. if you are innocent why are you taking the fifth amendment. >> when you have your staff taking the fifth amendment, taking the fifth, so they're not prosecuted, i think it's disgraceful. >> easy him to say back then not easy to say when his close associate is on the hot seat and he might have something to say. joining sus senator ron widen member of the intelligence committee in the house. thank you for being with us. >> thank you anderson. >> roger stone took the fifth in september when your committee
requested documents. why do you think he refuses to talk in. >> to me, roger stone is taking the fifth so he doesn't have to lie under oath in order to protect his longtime friend. and people were asking on the hill, what does roger stone know? i think the question is, what does roger stone not know, because you think about wikileaks, think about russia, think about financial issues. these are two people who have been very close personal friends for decades. we have always been reading the stories about these late-night phone calls. i think the reason he is taking the fifth is you don't want to lie under oath and he is protecting his longtime friend. >> so the -- senator feinstein does not have subpoena power to force him to hand over documents. did he actually need to plead the fifth in order not to hand over documents?
i thought the fifth was about public statements not necessarily covering documents. >> what he was trying to make sure of is that he wasn't going to incriminate his friend. this is part of a pattern. we have seen all these individuals with close relationships with donald trump who have been involved with the russians. and all of them either have lied or stone walled or in some way were covering up. so this is a pattern. >> is there anything -- you know, anybody in congress can do about it? >> you bet. i mean i'm working very hard for example on following up in other areas, particularly the relationship between the nra and the russians. we are getting some documents now, emails and the like. i intend to follow up so we get the financials, mar ray batinez has been indicted. i'm looking at the request of
the moscow hotel because i think there are questions about whether the foreign corrupt practices act was violated >> how much do you think we will know by the end of the week from the mueller team? i mean obviously tonight there is a deadline on michael flynn, maybe more this week on manafort on others. >> bob mueller is author methodical. we were waiting by the hour to get a sense of what was happening with michael flynn. that's one of the biggest boots to fall. this is hugely important. because what we want to know is what michael flynn was talking to the russians about before the president was sworn in. we can only have one president at a time. it was a key time because what was at issue was what was going to happen with the russian sanctions. i also have some questions about whether michael flynn was talking about potential personal favors for the president to be. >> it's also -- i mean, michael flynn was really one of the
first people early on. he has been on the hook now with the mueller team a long time and what's fascinating about what we may learn tonight is we really have no idea what information if any he has given to mueller. but in order to get a deal he must have some information that was of interest. >> the fact that this has gone on so long and seems to be a key building block in the home stretch makes this particularly significant. as you know there was discussion about michael flynn having positions in the trump administration, i mean, vice president. enormously important positions. and i have always felt that what bob mueller was doing was very methodically going forward with these individuals. there were indictments, convictions. but now we are building to the home stretch, the michael cohen arrangement last thursday was particularly important. because it showed that the
president hadn't been straight about business connections. we all know he put out all the tweets, i have no interest in russia. finally i guess the last few days he said well maybe i had some light conversations about those matters. >> and they seem more than light clearly. seems like something he was pursuing a long time senator widen thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> a lot may happen coming up. joining us it the yaultss, laura coats. maggie haberman and dana bash. dana whab what do you playbook of what roger stone has done here. >> you heard directly from the senator himself on the committee. there is a lot of skepticism, genuine skepticism among democrats and some republicans about the motives that roger stone has in pleading the fifth. but, low back, it is his right. and i think one open question is whether or not when democrats actually take control of the house of representatives they try to offer him immunity, use
the power of the gavel when you are a chairman in the house with a lot of power -- the intelligence committee or any other relevant committee -- and svee that buys anything, if that lures him up to testify in any way shape or form. >> maggie, do you see that? why would roger stone if he publicly says he wouldn't offer any testimony. which woo immunity make a difference. >> if you invoke the fifth amendment under the auspices of not incriminating yourself. you could do that. but he has set up another condition by which he wouldn't testify. i think at the end of the day he doesn't want to talk about donald trump. i think that is a real thing. whether that means he has something to offer on donald trump as relates to russia, we do not know. we know there is a whole separate issue with roger stone and what he knew about wikileaks. we don't know whether this was part of his conversations with donald trump. we don't know whether roger
stone was getting information or whether it was puffery. a lot of the issue with figuring out what roger stone is doing often depends on figuring out, you know, how much is sort of him making himself -- writing himself into history which he has a habit of doing. but i don't expect this to change when democrats take over. i don't think. i think this is his position and i think we will do this for some time. >> laura in terms of when we may learn from the mueller team about flynn tonight, what's sort of the spectrum of things we could learn. >> well, of course michael flynn had a problem nent role not necessarily in the administration -- he was fired three weeks in. but his role is particularly unique in that he was part of the transition. while we talk about the firing of james comey, the fbi director, remember the important question the president insin eighted, can you see your way to letting michael flynn goes? and see begins the obstruction of justice inquiry perhaps. en also the roll he played
whether . whether or not there was a perception by russia that there was a receptive ear in the trump campaign whether or not there was somebody willing to collude. all that is important. and for me, the biggest question i have is about timing. you mean to tell me with manafort and michael cohen, who pled guilty -- one of them was tried. within months you are talking about sentencing requests. papadopoulos, the same thing. now with flynn we are a year into him having pled guilty. for four separate occasions they requested delay of sentencing. what could have entertained the special counsel for a year? and of course you think about this being a jigsaw puzzle. within days of the president of the united states providing his written answers under the impression i'm sure he had he was stalling to try to gain an advantage over the mueller probe, essentially what he has done is given time for the
mueller probe and the investigation to confirm what they believe are credible truths, and why that can be set against the president's own statement. i'm -- the timing of it is just so peculiar. i wonder next, where is rick gates and dos are where does he fit in. >> also, michael flynn talking about in in the room when it happened. he was on the plane going from campaign stop to stop. he was unusually -- in in unusual position for somebody becoming national security adviser. he was leading chants of lock her up and on the plane going to rallies. >> he was also to your point about transition he was the person who came in to help take over the transition was chris christie was fired. he was the person not recommended by chris christie and jeff sessions who were running the transition together. not recommended as the national security adviser because they thought that that would be potentially dangerous. he put himself in the position that he wanted. when he was put in some more of
a leadership role by the trump children during the transition he put himself in a position to have more influence. i think all of these are factors that will be examined in the coming months. i don't want to go too far in guessing the what the memo shows us from the special counsel. i think only they know the cards they hold. and this could be something of a disappointment. >> what's interesting about it is we have heard nothing about michael flynn. >> yes. >> for almost a year. >> almost a year. it's kind of stunning. >> it is. that's why what laura said is so important. >> yes. >> about the fact that the mueller team has had that long to gather and glean as much as they could from michael flynn and made a very proactive choice to do not once twice, three times, four times to keep talking to him. one thingly add -- although i agree it's dangerous to guess because we really don't flow. >> let's be careful. >> also some of this might be classified and might be redacted. it might be blocked from us seeing it. >> that's right. >> but during the transition the
key thing was that michael flynn called the russian ambassador, said, please don't retaliate on these sanctions. the obama administration just put into effect against you. and then went back and told senior officials in the trump orbit that he did that. and was actually told by some officials to do that. so maybe -- maybe we'll learn the question -- osh the answer to the question of who were the officials, and what was the motive? >> right. also of course there is the question of what the white house did when informed by sally yates about michael flynn, because there was a window between the time that sally yates made a point of talking of don mcgahn and michael flynn being fired. >> 18 days trns pierd from the time she ran to the white house to say there is reason to believe that the national security adviser is compromised. and compromised by russia. a geopolitical rival for decades. the notion that that took 18
days to then expand upon and figure out and in the interim a conversation with james comey to see his way to let it go, it's all -- it's more than titillating. it can lead people to believe -- i'm sure mueller is leading to trau the conclusions to get, what was the role of somebody prominent on the campaign to be the ring leader behind the chant of locker up to be told he was compromised and then to be in a collusion investigation. all the. >> collusion and obstruction of justice in one witness. >> dana, maggie, laura. thank you. a lot to watch for. we are watching any filings by mueller. we know it's happening tonight. it's a question of when, whether in this hour or the next coming up next with the cia director told lawmakers today about the murder of jamaal khashoggi including what the administration and the president have been saying someone not telling the truth. we keep them honest.
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i'm calling geico right now. good idea! get to know geico. and see how easy homeowners and renters insurance can be. well as painful as the horrifying details of jamaal khashoggi's must be for anyone who knew and loved him process imagine how much more terrible that people who know and have in positions of power aren't forth come with the true. for a long time. the cia is reporting that mbs, mohamed bin salman. knew about the murder. president trump was briefed so was the secretary pompeo and secretary mattis. our sources told us the assessment. the president's secretaries mattis and pomp yoep tried to tell us something different. the president said the agency hadn't reached a conclusion at all. >> they did not make that assessment. the cia has looked at it,
studied it a lot. they have nothing definitive. the fact is maybe he did, maybe he didn't. >> nef vehemently denied it. the cia points it both ways. as i said, maybe he did maybe he didn't. >> well keeping his honest he might simply have said something along the lines of cia gave me the assessment i won't say whats it was but i'm not persuaded the crown prince ordered this. he may have shade the truth or dodged the question asser presidents have when they know something they'd rather not reveal. instead of president looked the public in the eyen a said what you heard him say about the assessment. from the cia. his secretary of defense reinforced it zbloods right now we do not have a smoking gun. except for the last 24 hours i have seen all the intelligence we have. we do not have a smoking gun. that the crown prince was involved. >> no smoking gun. he has seen all the intelligence. now he might have been splitting hairs on the precise wording.
our own source is senior u.s. official said there was no smoking gun. however according to the curse source the conclusion was based on a recording by the turkish government and other evidence including american intelligence. and two sources says the assessment of mbs responsibility was solid. perhaps secretary mattis was literally act but not faithfully representing the cia assessment. how do we know this was the cia ace assessment in part because of the reliable source and gina haspel has confirmed it. we say airport because her briefing to a select group of lawmakers took place behind closed doors. for all the secrecy about the classified details, key senators who heard her went away convinced about what the cia believes when it comes to mbs's role. listen. >> there is not a smoking gun. there is a smoking saw. you have to be willfully blind mot to come to the conclusion this was orchestrated and
organized by people under the command of m.b.s. and that he was integrally involved. inside reports show he was focused on mr. khashoggi for a long time. it has zero chance, zero this happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince. >> zero chance he says, a smoking saw, he says, a saw as in a bone saw. his colleague senator bob corker chairing the senator foreign releases committee saying a jury hearing what he heard would convict mohamed bin salman in 30 minutes. which brings this back to the administration and the president who rarely fails when the subject comes up to steer the conversation back to what a good ally the kingdom of saudi arabia is. and it's in the president's purview to cultivate the alliances. there are ways to do that that don't involve misleading the american public.
there is no good reason to send the cabinet out to say things like this when you know what they are saying isn't true. >> i have read every piece of intelligence in the possession of the united states government. and when the it is done, when you complete that analysis, there is no direct evidence linking him to the murder of jamaal khashoggi. that is an accurate and important statement, it's the statement that we are making publicly today. >> well, keeping him honest doesn't seem as accurate then, don't seem accurate now. now influential lawmakers say that as well. more on how the white house is choosing to frame the issue. jim acosta joins from us the white house. has the white house responded to statements by the senators. senator grams and senator corker statements pretty extraordinary. >> extraordinary. but extraordinary silence here at the white house. they have not responded to what the senators said following the briefing with gina haspel.
the national security adviser said at an event in washington that they still don't believe there is conclusive evidence showing the crown prince was behind jamaal khashoggi's murder. so anderson, at this point it appears maybe he didn't, maybe he didn't is the official stance of the administration. >> again you have the cia assessment along with bipartisan agreement from senior centers. any idea why the president continuing to downplay this. >> one thing to point out, as you know, the cia doesn't put out smoking gun evidence or direct evidence as the secretary much state and the former cia director mike pompeo said. they deal with assessments and it's up to policy makers and presidents and administrations to deal with the assessments. and they are choosing not to do anything with the assessment. we heard the president say time and again, and i suppose it's his feeling tonight, that the business dealings with the saudis trumps any concern about what happened to jamaal khashoggi. and you have to wonder, anderson, if the cryopresented
smoking gun, conclusive evidence that shows the crown prince was behind the murder and that was put out publicly to the entire world it begs the question would the president do anything about that anyway, anderson. >> jim acosta. appreciate it. i want more perspective are phil mudd a form cia official and counterterrorism analysts and max boot, author of the new book the corrosion of conservativism. why i left the right. max is there any other way to put it other than the administration is trying to ignore the murder of khashoggi in order to maintain what they feel is an important replace. >> i think that's an accurate summation, anderson. but i think in the process they are carrying out this very clumsy cover-up, which is back firing. if they had been more honest as you suggested at the top of the show they might have more credibility with laurms if they said, listen, we understand that m.b.s. did this, we are going to pressure him but you can't cut off the relationship entirely.
if they had been more honest they would have credibility. but instead president trump and his aides have engaged in this cover-up which was inevitably going to fall apart as soon as the intelligence was presented to lawmakers. and you saw that today. in the process of course people like jim mattis with sterling reputations are theeing their reputations undermined because they have had to carry water or felt compelled to carry water for this dishonest president. >> phil do you see this as a cover-up. >> i sort of do. but let me explain what's happening to take you behind the scenes, because i have seen this game before. we saw it for example looking at the iraq war intelligence. let me tell you why both sides are technically right. the intelligence guys like any jury in america is looking at information. a jury might look at a murder trial and say the murderer -- the murderer defendant never said he killed anybody but he was around the scene of a crime.
his friends talked about his nchgt relationship with the individual killed, we have information on his cell phone about communications before the murder. that indicated that he had a relationship, the murderer did with people around the murder. we're going to make beyond a reasonable doubt a judgment that despite the fact we do not have the income tax that murderer commit add criminal. let me look at the intelligence here a second. i'm betting the crown prince shockingly is not on the phone saying kill that guy. but he is in connect connectivity with the people conducting the operation. he has had a close relationship with them historically. the back drop is that people in the kingdom don't conduct operations without the support of the crown prince. so the secretary of state and the secretary of defense can say we don't have definitive intelligence, that is we don't have the crown prince on a phone. but any intelligence person and any person in a court of law today would say, really, but if you are a reasonable person you'd say they did the deed. that's what's going on here, anderson. >> well, max, lindsey graham,
who also said about mattis and pompeo said if they were in a democratic administration i would be all over them for being in the pocket of saudi arabia. i mean, that's again -- he is the same person who said there is not a smoking gun but there is a smoking saw. >> right. well you would hope that lindsey graham would be dedicated to his job enough as a united states senator in the oath he took to uphold the constitution that he would be all over them even though it is a republican administration. lindsey was better than a lot of republicans on the hill and calling out the white house and leveling with the american people about what the intelligence actually says. but, you know, i think this raises interesting questions. we just had the revelation from michael cohen about how donald trump was pursuing a business deal with russia in 2016, as he was talking in glowing terms about vladimir putin. and i think it's imperative now to ask what is behind the prosaudi scenes of the administration?
does donald trump have business dealings with saudi arabia? something he bragged about in the past? he bragged about all the money he has made from saudis and said you expect me to say something bad about them? that is something we need greater insights into. of course it's something i hope the democratic house looks into. but the republican senate should look into it as well. this is not partisan issue. this is a national security issue. >> phil, i mean when the president says, look, the cia -- they haven't made a conclusion, technically that's right. i mean that's not what cia analysts do, is it. >> it's not because typically if you look at intelligence games, especially working against organizations overseas or governments overseas, the north koreans, russians, chinese, sawed as iranians. you don't have direct access to the leader of the entity whether a president, a prime minister in this case a crown prince issuing an order on a phone. do you not get that kind of intelligence. so you are going to rely on things how do we think this organization, this government operates, and what's the
information around the event? for example, what is the rate of communications between the assassination team in turkey and the crown prince's office? we content have the assassination team talking to the crown prince bruise bup we have a burst of activity between them. what does that tell you? as an intelligence professional that tells you i will never see the crown prince on the phone but i can tell you with high confidence based on what i see he knew what was going on there. you never going to get what the secretary of defense and the secretary of state are asking for. that is the crown prince saying go ahead and do it on the phone. >> and, max, just the idea that an assassination team, a hit squad, you know, with a surgeon -- a high-level surgeon with a bone saw could wander into the saudi embassy or consulate in istanbul without the highest level of approval, even just to i have pave the way for them to get into the embassy is -- it's an unimaginable if you know anything about the way
saudi arabia is set up. >> it's ridiculous and absurd, anderson, which is why the cover-up that the administration tried to run on behalf of saudis has been so laughable even before the intelligence came out. it was obvious this cover story that maybe the crown prince didn't know about it, that couldn't possibly be the case. what we need to have now is a serious debate about what should be our policy with saudi arabia going forward? nobody is is saying to jettison the i lines. en but we have to be realistic and secretary pompeo and secretary mattis have been feeding a line to the american people saying we need to preserve the alliance because the saudis are a stabilizing influence. that's true in the past. but under the crown prince the saudis are a destabilizing influence with the war in yemen and the blockade of qatar. we need to think about our relationship. and it can't be as subservient as the administration wants.
>> max, phil, appreciate it as always. we continue to wait for the michael flynn sentencing memo to hit. in the meantime, poignant moments as members of the public paid respects to president george h. w. bush. and remarkable images we saw today taking place in the capitol rotunda. we will talk to former vice president al gore and also two of the form president's grand daughters next.
breaking news right now the movement we have been waiting for. all day. the sentencing memo for michael flynn just hit. we learn he provided substantial assistance, michael flynn has to the special counsel. now we are getting a copy of it. we want to get a tape from sara murray and shimon. >> it's about a 13-page document as you pointed out. the special counsel asking for no prison time. >> asking for no prison time because of the level of cooperation. >> citing substantial assistance. and we should remember we really dent know very much about what was going on with michael flynn. he struck this plea deal in december of last year. and every time they tried to move forward with sentencing, the mueller team said let's kick it back we need more time with him. now they agreed they were willing to move forward. but we have gotten little information about what he was providing to the government that they found to be so valuable.
obviously you know he was working with trump throughout the campaign, with him on the trail, with him during the transition when he was having the conversations with then russian actors kizlyak. >> and leading the chants of lock her up, on the plane going to campaign events. >> exactly. >> an unusually high level. >> and outside of the contacts he had with the russian ambassador that he lied about that got him in trouble, there's been reporting since he began cooperating with the mueller probe in the "wall street journal" for instance saying that flynn did have some relationship with this guy peter smith, if you remember this republican guy who was looking for hillary clinton's missing emails. so as we dig through this we try to figure out if if sheds light on what he was providing. >> but shimon, the fact that mueller is recommending no prison time for michael flynn, that's very significant. it shows a level of cooperation that has been in place. >> so the fact -- i've been talking about this all day, the fact that they are saying he
provided substantial assistance, those are key words. you see in in these kinds of cases with cooperators. any time they provide very helpful information, what's not clear is what that substantial assistance is. the impact of the information that he provided to them. did they learn things they didn't know about before because -- because of his cooperation? and i'm not sure they will put all this in the memo right now. because there is the ongoing investigation. >> yes. >> and it looks like there is stuff redacted. there may be a separate letter they are filing under seal, which is -- why give more information on exactly how he was cooperating. >> yes. it does say -- it says part of the filing includes sensitive information about ongoing investigations. and so the public version that we're getting is at least partly redacted. so, you know, again the ongoing investigations into the mueller probe. >> still just one thing how they talk about the -- talk about michael flynn, they say that his military and public service are
exemplary. as a result that's why they recommend in part why he should not serve any jail time. so clearly -- >> the defendant -- we were talking about the substantial cooperation we are just pulling stuff as we read it. the defendant participated in 19 interviews with the special counsel office or attorneys from other d.o.j. offices, including providing documents and communications. 19 interviews that's a lot of time. that's a lot of hours, not only explaining the communications but talking about conversations you had with people, other things you maybe observed. >> you continue to read the document. i'm going to jeff tube understanding by. jeff, what do you make of the fact that because of substantial assistance aerkccording to the mueller team there is a recommends of no jail time. >> well it's very significant. it's good news for michael flynn. i think it's particularly important to remember that other people, like papadopoulos who
pleaded guilty did not get a recommendation of no jail time, even the lawyer, the young lawyer who cooperated -- who pleaded guilty and didn't cooperate, they recommended some jail time for him. this is very substantial cooperation, extremely extensive. the frustrating part of in for those of us who are interested in the case is that the core of his cooperation is blocked out. i mean, there are literally black lines in the brief released to the public. so what he told mueller about -- yeah, there you go -- what he told mueller about the russia investigation as far as i can tell in my first quick review is just not disclosed at all. i mean, you just held up one page there. there are page after page of blocked out -- blacked out material. the part about the underlying
false statement he gave is disclosed, his history as a military officer, as a public official, you know, the fact he serve his country for a long time. that's included. but in terms of what he provided information about to the mueller investigation about the -- the issue of any relationship between the trump campaign and russia, it's just not -- it's just not disclosed at all. >> and as shimon said there is ongoing investigations as we continue to look through it. i want to bring in former director of national intelligence james clapper. laura coates is back. author and analyst retired colonel peters. are you surprised at the recommendation of no jail time. >> no. trump is sending the signal. that shut up and i pardon you. and mueller is saying you cooperate and you might get to go home.
general clapper and i were talking about earlier. i have mixed feelings about this, because as a former officer i'd send imto jail for life. he betrayed his company. but as someone who has known mike since 1985. he has serve his country well. he was a superb officer. he is not a strategic level officer. but in afghanistan, iraq, just terrific work. so, you know, you wind up being torn about it. on a personal level his life is ruined. he is broke. a pursued man has been humbled to the nth degree. but on the other hand this was -- to me, for a former officer of a military intelligence general to have done what he did with the russians -- and we don't know all the details yet -- he maybe pardonable, but it's
unforgivable. >> laura coates what do you see. >> the '19 meeting strikes me as the stark thing. and actually that they incorporate in the statement that they give him this lenience because his early acceptance of responsibility, talking about was one of the reasons they feel people were more willing to be forthcoming and other people more willing perhaps to actually tell their stories and be truthful and cooperate. in many ways they say he was the first domino to fall but it led to a long list of people perhaps who were far more incline to give information. for that reason they were able to extend lenience. >> let me just interrupt we are getting more details from this. i had to add this in. he apparently -- according to document, he has cooperated in multiple investigations, at least one is a criminal investigation including a name or names that are actually redacted. we don't know who the criminal investigation is regarding. but that criminal investigation is separate from the investigation than the one in
the campaign. that's what we are learning. >> that's important. because remember, you have a year of this person being on the hook, four separate instances when mueller's team said we do not yet want him sentenced because ultimately he is useful and willing to cooperate. and it's in his interest to do so. and i would note that at each of the instances it was unopposed by michael flynn's team that he will extend generously over and over again. you have the person so critical in the transition, now you know about the comments in the actual writings. they mention the logan act for those who can't remember, that was early on in the firing and early on in the investigation about whether or not he was trying to usurp the role of the president of the united states by essentially acting as a diplomat without authority in terms of israel, in terms of the of course russian sanctions. he apparently gave a heads up to the russia. s, sergei kizlyak about this being forthcoming and vladimir putin not wanting to retaliate. and the president of the united states tweeted about vladimir
putin being a smart guy about this issue. you have it back as far as that. and mueller is essentially as you talk about, rewarding the cooperation as a perfect foil to the president's perhaps dangling of a pardon, should essentially suggest yet again what mueller said, that he is rewarding those who came forward to encourage others to follow in investigation and be cooperative. >> director clapper, your thoughts. >> we are scrambling here to squeeze insight out of the filing, the purpose of which as i understand it was simply to characterize his performance during in year-plus engagement with the mueller team. and so like ralph, i'm ambivalent about mike. >> because of what he did in the field in and afghanistan and iraq and then also what he did here. >> the contrast between his long and distinguished service in uniform and then what happened
afterwards. and i also think about his family. i think part of in was his son, which he -- he was also under scrutiny by mueller. but, again, so much of this apparently -- i haven't seen it -- has been redacted. the actual substance of what he may have shared with the mueller team, i -- probably not a lot of light on that. >> we are also just getting some word in my ear also that part of the cooperation again michael flynn -- that michael flynn is giving has to do with the transition team and russia. so that it happened after the campaign itself. >> well, exactly. and this is why i think mike is so crucial, not only for the reason laura outlined, the first domino to fall, but the key role early on. he latched on to candidate trump very early. so all of this debate about
collusion or not, you know, if anybody has insight into that i would think it would be mike flynn. we don't know that. but the fact that he was all during the campaign he was there asset now president trump's side and then you know briefly at least, 23 days, into the new energies. he was there for the transition period. >> right. >> as well. >> a transition period that was probably unusually -- i mean they are all chaotic this was more so given the makeup of the trump organization and the characters involved. >> it was. you know, i was part of the obama team that met with them. and we had a different cast of characters every time. and they weren't very well organized. >> at some point, and jump in here if you learn anything new do you have something. >> i think the substantial assistance part is the most important aspect of this document. the government does not put words like that in a sentencing memorandum without someone's really extensive and very
impactful -- we are going to learn probably later on how impactful his cooperation has been to the special counsel meaning how important it's been. loo being, i mean they are talking about learning about interactions between individuals, in the presidential transition team and russia. this is at the heart of the investigation. so we have yet to learn a lot. and the other thing this tells us is that this may not be over. as much as we are thinking perhaps this is coming to an end, the fact that this information is redacted means other people are probably going to be charged, meaning that there are still many people perhaps under investigation. >> but i think, you know you were talking. >> i want to show the viewers. this is the page you are looking at. >> sample redacten. >> these are multiple redacted pages here. it's. >> it looks like a redacted intelligence document. >> there was a whole criminal investigation it refers to and the entire explanation after the words criminal investigation is redacted because they don't want you to know what's going on.
but when you talk about why flynn's cooperation was so important and may have led other dominos to fall. it address that is. it says it was particularly valuable because he was one of the few people with long-term and first hand information about events under investigation. and says the decide to pled guilty and cooperate likely aircrafted the decisions of other witnesses to be forthcoming. essentially by his cooperation it put pressure on others to participate and tell the truth. >> paved the way. jeff tuben there is there is something you wanted to say. >> i wanted to call attention to two sentences that jumped out at me. one is -- this is talking about flynn as the person. they said the defendant's record of military and public service distinguish him from every other person who has been charged as part of the special counsel's investigation. and here is the key sentence. however, senior government leaders should be held to the highest standards. >> yes. >> as we think about how mueller is going to characterize what
went on in the trump white house, the fact that he is saying senior government leaders should be held to the highest standards, i would be a little nervous if i were the people involved in the obstruction of justice investigation, starting of course with the president of the united states. that statement that senior government leaders should be held to the highest standards, i don't think that is just filler material. i think that is a statement of how mueller is going to approach the remainder of his investigation as he starts thinking about the people in the white house. >> and, colonel peters that was something you said earlier that he should be held to a higher standard given his background. i mean, i'm sure books will be written about this. but i'm sort of fast nature with the idea of what happened to michael flynn? sort of what did from going from somebody who was universally described as a operational,
tactical -- i don't know if genius. >> just about a genius. >> just about a genius in the field to then, you know, running the d.i.a. and being -- said to be not much of a strategic thinker or manager. and then leading chants of lock her up for ar high ranking military officer, many were stunned he was going that far to campaign for trump. >>le indeed. but i will tell you with mike we were captains -- we were in the captain's course together in training in '85. if there was one person in the class picked out as a general it was mike flynn. shinniest boots but shiny mind too. as he matured his work improved and improved. he was -- i'm stingy with the word hero. but his work verged on the heroic. and then when -- and general clapper can talk to this better than i can. when mike -- when he was basically fired with velvet
gloves, he got angry and an american tragedy steals the title. for me, the rise and bitter downfall of mike flynn is an american tragedy. to the core of your question, we all come at these problems with background abuse. in washington ethics are in virtual collapse on many fronts. military officers must be held to higher standards. we have to show that somebody has integrity and honor in government. we should be the examples which is why in my early remarks, i came down so hard on it. they were reaching out to a russian government regarding
conveyed to the russian government through that emissary and russia's response and request had to do with the un national security council resolution. he was talking to the emissary and it was about material that was important to the investigation into the nature of any links and coordination and individuals associated with the campaign. they have a ton of other information they are able to corroborate and intelligence they were able to gather. they have michael flynn who can talk about these reach outs. >> what is so fascinating about the dribs and drabs is that there is radio silence for more than a year now. to suddenly see anything, even in it's heavily redacted and more questions than answers, it is fascinating. >> it is. there are only hints of it, but they do talk about how he had
firsthand knowledge and you get hints in this filing. they are not just talking about one or two. they are talking about potential contacts with russians during the campaign and during the transition and obviously we know what happened to michael flynn when he got into the white house and tried to cover all of these things up. flynn i think is a useful witness because he can help show that ark of the story and how they may have start and how they evolved in the transition. one of the things that this doesn't name names of who he was speaking with is a big question. who did he share the information with. we know the senior trump transition officials he shared information with, there was no mention that they made their way to the top. >> director clapper, the fact that sally yates upon gaining information rushes over to the white house and meets with don began and michael flynn saying
he could be compromised and he is not fired or let go for two weeks. that's an interesting time of what was being as in the white house. >> exactly. i think that say very key period of what went on in the white house. what were the discussions with mike and with those around him about what was transpiring during that period. we don't know the substance, but the inference here is that his revelations, i think can prove to be quite significant. >> there is a lot of talk about is the mueller investigation wrapping up? we will hear about manafort and a filing on michael cohen and the trump world saying this thing is wrapping up. i can't remember how long they have been saying this. it seems like every holiday when the time wrapped up.
does this give you a sense of the time frame? >> it does in terms of the usefulness of at least one person. one president responding in writing and you have wrapped up three other cases and moved to the forefront of the court's mind. mueller, cohen and michael flynn. within a week, manafort, cohen, and michael flynn have all been accelerated to the front of the line. and frankly, he has been a recluse for the past year. there perhaps was a linchpin to the president's own testimony. one thing interesting to me about the filings is they point out and go to great length about how they don't believe in the false absence of recollection. the faulty memory of michael flynn was played in issue and how he was making missed statements and lies. we already know that mueller has
a particular version and details in the report that he is saying essentially he impedes the ability of the american people and most importantly, the president of the united states handed him a series of answers with the best election. the notion that mueller's team is not persuaded by those with faulty memories and amnesia when you can corroborate the contrary of how he deals with this. >> do you believe this thing is wrapping up? >> it sure doesn't look wrapped up to me. the very fact that so much of this is redacted. the whole point of redacting something and we are not talking about classified information, we are talking about law enforcement information. the whole point of redacting information in a legal document is not to tip off people who are involved or subjects of an investigation and not to tell
people where he is going. if you're done, you can tell people where you are going. you can tell people what you have done. the only reason to redact all this information is that more is coming. now, does that mean there will be more indictments and the sealed documents that are in washington court related to this case? i don't know. this document does not suggest to me that mueller is done by any means. >> i want to thank everybody for covering this. with me chris cuomo is going to take up the subject. the news continues after a short break.
we are live from washington, d.c. welcome to prime time. we have important breaking news. here's the headline. the russia investigation is far from over. bob mueller said general michael flynn provided such significant cooperation, he should serve no prison time. that is unusual. the special counsel had other people who have given significant cooperation and he has not asked for no jail time in all cases. that tells you something about the scale and the scope of the