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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  March 22, 2019 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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>> the history made today and being made as we speak. for as long as he has been president special counsel robert mueller has been investigating him. today that changed. the mueller investigation is over. people here in washington know what he knows and attorney general barr today said congress could get the conclusions this weekend. or tomorrow. we already learned a big one and she joins us now with that. explain what you are learning now and what you learned. what the biggest conclusion is that you learned. >> all signs point to a significant day in the making. >> it was early as our stake out team that's been posted up in front of mueller's office for months now noticed that the special counsel's team of prosecutors arrived to work early this morning and they also left early. an unusual move that got our spidey sense up and we now learned that the attorney general received the report from special counsel robert mueller early this afternoon.
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he got it within minutes of a court security officer delivering it here to the justice department. it was also received by the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. he called to thank bob mueller for his work, i'm told and that the justice department also called the white house. the top lawyer there. working on the russia probe. he was informed they have a report and the white house has not seen the physical report. as for how long the report is, that's one of the big questions on his mind tonight. we do not have a precise page link but i'm told it's from a justice department official. >> but the biggest headline from earlier, the biggest conclusion that you learned about, explain what it is. >> the biggest takeaway for us is that there are no further indictments, charges, coming from the special counsel's office. that had been one of the looming open questions. whether we would see anything
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else. there whether will be super seeding indictments for the key players we have seen thus far but i am told from a senior justice department official that there's no more from the office. that doesn't say there won't be spin offs or offshoots from the special counsel. different u.s. attorneys across the country have had the cases farmed out to them. for instance, roger stone, here in d.c., they're taking the lead on that. of course prosecutors in manhattan taking the lead on michael cohen. the president's former lawyer. >> what are the next steps in all of this? sometime this weekend the attorney general will be sending some sort of a summary, we understand to folks on capitol hill. >> that's right. the next battle on the horizon is between the justice department and lawmakers. of course as soon as tomorrow our understanding is that bill barr will put together what he is describing as his conclusions from the special counsel's report. so not actually the report
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itself but his takeaways, his core conclusions will be conveyed to lawmakers as soon as tomorrow and they'll also be conveyed to the public. so this will not be some sort of secret covert action whatsoever, but it's not the report itself which of course is what congress wants to get their hands on, anderson. >> and do we expect the attorney general to make any remarks? >> we don't expect to see him make a public statement or any sort of press conference or anything like that. i'm told he has basically spoken tonight through his statement to congress but we do expect the principle conclusions, his distallation of what he was to answer a core mission of what he was appointed to do and that's to get to the bottom of whether the trump campaign conspired with the russian government to interfere in the 2016 election and that should be answered by this anderson. >> all right. i appreciate it. i know you had a long day and great work. thank you so much. so the bottom line at this hour
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is good news for the president. no new indictments for anyone. around the president. just outside the mar-a-lago where the president is tonight. has the president made a statement about this at all? what are you hearing? >> there's been the public response and then the private response. sarah sanders said the next steps are up to the attorney general. she looks forward to this process moving forward as it should. the private response has been one of jubilation frankly and vindication as well. white house source telling cnn, quote, the fat lady has sung because as you said, no associates of the president were charged with conspiracy or collusion either during the campaign or during his presidency and they feel this is absolutely embarrassing for democrats and for the press as well. ironically that's coming from an anonymous source speaking to
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cnn. >> is the president's legal team down in florida with him now? >> they were expecting it to be imminent. we got a picture of someone at the mar-a-lago estate. exchanging in conversation with emmet flood. he's the top white house attorney overseeing the response to the russia investigation. we also know that the white house council is here as well so the white house clearly prepared for the results of this investigation. and ready for the weekend for what they may hear from the attorney general. >> >> well, he does have dinner tonight as i mentioned, the lincoln day dinner. it's a fund-raiser. it's possible that he may make remarks there. the former congressman is there.
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tray gowdy. lindsey graham is there as well. the senator from south carolina. it's unclear what he might say behind closed doors. his no public appearances on the schedule tomorrow though he often goes golfing on saturday and then he starts watching cable news so depending on what he sees we may get a tweet storm from the president as often does happen here. at mar-a-lago. >> thank you very much. democrat richard blumenthal sits on the senate judiciary committee. he has quite a weekend ahead of him. joining us now. do you know at this point exactly how members of congress may be receiving this this conclusion from the attorney general this weekend? >> we have no idea the procedure he's going to adopt in presenting his conclusions or version of the mueller report. one point is certain, but we need to see the mueller report and not the barr report. the american people paid for the mueller report and they deserve to know all the findings and evidence.
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not just conclusions and there as much as the president maybe exulting in the lack of indictments, there are other potential facts and evidence of wrong doing that may not be chargeable criminally because bob mueller may have concluded that the department of justice policies have to be followed. sitting president can't be indicted or there may be lack of proof beyond a reasonable doubt but there still may be solid powerful evidence of wrong doing that congress and the american people should see. the public has a right to know. >> i understand the argument of seeing the actual mueller report and the american people getting to see it. is it a step -- it's another step to actually get all the underlying documents. congress is able to investigate and part of the investigation i understand the desire to see the underlying documents. that seems -- is that overreaching on the part of
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democrats? isn't that going to be -- if there is to be a court battle wouldn't that be one of the big issues in it? >> congress has an obligation to do oversite. there may not be overt chargeable criminality beyond a reasonable doubt. >> there may be evidence and facts and findings and that may lead to changes in our laws and there are likely to be other indictments in the southern district of new york and the eastern district of virginia. as an act of ongoing counter intelligence investigation. r remedy for those violations. but think how much it's already produced. not only the 37 indictments and seven convictions of individuals around the president. the facts that we know now.
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for example, polling information was provided at the president's direction to russians while they were engaged in a social media manipulation campaign. that the president himself was engaged in negotiations on trump tower moscow. while he was campaigning for president. the help the russians provided the campaign. all of this evidence goes to the heart of our democratic process. the russians attacked our democracy and bob mueller produced really compelling evidence of the effort engaged in during that effort. >> just in terms of whether or not the president and his campaign colluded with russia whether or not the president and obstructed justice by firing jim comey, it's possible that the report's conclusions won't answer those questions, isn't it? >> they may not answer those questions and that's why we need
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to see the facts and evidence that underlies the conclusions, the documents, the interviews, the grand jury material. this case is precisely the kind of case where a judge should wave grand jury secrecy under rule 6-e. there are all kind of evidence that the american people really need to see. and if the president is serious and he's in favor of transparency, he ought to back my bill that i introduced to require that the report and all the facts and findings be made public. it's bipartisan. it has two republicans and two democrats including myself and senator grassly and it would eliminate the near complete discretion that robert barr has. it's near complete. >> isn't that though, getting underlying documents, that's getting interviews of white house officials and isn't that
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going to trigger a huge legal fight that will go on for sometime? >> not if the white house cooperates and avoids invoking a fake executive privilege. there's no executive privilege under these circumstances. to conceal evidence of criminal wrong doing or law breaking. >> you don't think they have any argument for executive privilege? there may be some conversations that had nothing to do with, or all the conversations, they had nothing to do with actual criminal activity. >> there is no grounds for prereview or a sneak preview by the white house and the facts and evidence made public. there's no claim to executive privilege for a special counsel investigation that produces evidence of wrong doing. there maybe a court fight. anybody can go to court. the courthouse doors are open to the white house and to the
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president's lawyers and my hope is that it will be expedited and that any congressional subpoena which there should be if necessary, will be quickly resolved. >> i appreciate your time. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> i'm not sure where to begin. so much is going on. >> this is a historic day for the president. this has gone on but if you think about it, it goes beyond that. i remember. we were part of the team that told you that the fbi had fbi director james comey had briefed the incoming president days before he took office. about this russia dossier. and despite the fact we didn't know and the fbi didn't know whether any of it added up to
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anything. >> around the time officials all denied that reporting and it turned out to be true. >> they denied it happened. so it sets us up for what we experienced over the course of the last two years or so and i think it will explain a lot of what happened here. a lot of suspicion. the inuendo. you had 16 trump associates, at least 16 associates had contacts with russians that were suspicious to the fbi during the campaign or transition. and that propelled this investigation that has hung over this president but without a doubt, this is a big deal for the president. he can say there's no more indictments and so far in the indictments and public documents that have been released, there's been nothing that looks like collusion.
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nothing that looks like a conspiracy between people associated with the president or the president himself to collude with the russians to throw the election. >> at least nothing that rises to a criminal level or even if it did because he's the president he can't be indicted. >> exactly. but that's a big moment for the president to be able to take stock and to say that it's what i was telling you all along. >> he can say it louder. >> he can say it without a doubt and it's time for people to give him his due on that. there's a lot we don't know about what bob mueller found in this investigation. there's a lot of information on this report possibly that will explain what they did find and i think that remains a big open question that it's up to congress to help us find out. >> but another victory for the president and his legal team is that they are watching mueller conclude his investigation without president trump ever
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sitting down with an interview. he filled out answers to questions. with the help of his lawyers. they only had to do with russian collusion. the president didn't have to answer any questions about obstruction of justice and now it will go forward and become a fight in congress and become a political battle in large part. that could have gotten him in a lot more trouble. that's why his lawyers agree. that's why they were fighting it so hard. forcing him to answer questions truthfully. so the fact that he made it out of this investigation without having to do that is a big deal and the other thing he had to answer to congress was was there anything that he wanted to pursuit that the leadership at the doj said you can't do that? we'll tell you this is inappropriate? you have to stop here. and they answered the question. there was never a moment that the investigation was impeded. which i think was obviously a big concern for people watching
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this play out. >> also to the point that you just made, if there was nothing that mueller wanted to do that department of justice says you can't do. that means that mueller did not try to or ask about subpoenaing the president and forcing him to sit down for an interview. >> that was one of the questions that if mueller were called before congress. or the attorney general. that would be a question they have. was there a discussion? about subpoenaing the president. why didn't you do that? but that would have been specific in particular and that would have been the charged conduct that pertained to the president's intent. that was the specific issue that maybe statements would have been most relevant. that particular crime goes to intent. when we're talking about collusion, we're talking about whether or not the special counsel could charge conspiracy to defraud the united states.
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that is a high bar, whether or not americans could have been charged in that conspiracy which the russian intelligence officers were doing to effect the u.s. election. what i think congress and the public are probably going to be most interested in is what is it that they investigated which would have fallen under the big umbrella or conspiracy that they looked at facts and they could not end up with a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits in terms of a criminal prosecution. if they decided they couldn't prosecute on those specific things that is still going to be of interest to congress in terms of the conduct that went on behind the scenes during the campaign. >> when you hear democrats in the senate and the house talk about not only getting the full mueller report and the underlying documents, does that seem like to you they're moving the goal post? >> certainly there's some of that.
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because this began as a counter intelligence effort, let's not forget. there are 25 individual russians actually indicted for interfering in the election. the material and information that the special counsel obtained related to those charges and anything like it are the things that are most likely to be when he would because of the intelligence value of them and then there's also the question of unindicted folks who the department of justice has traditionally not outing when they aren't going to indict them. i think that's where congress is going to push the hardest if such folks exist and we're going to learn this over the next couple of days and into the beginning of next week. the attorney general is very committed to moving very quickly on this which is surprising how forcefully he advocated for that
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for himself. the ball is in his court now. but i do think they moved the goal post a little bit but i don't think anybody is going to pay attention to that this weekend. >> you said this before. this is a good night certainly for the president and his family, you know, for don junior was in the meeting at trump tower. he's not going to be indicted. jared kushner. he's not going to be indicted. >> it's a really, really good thing not to be indicted. that's true. and you know, there's been all sorts of accusations swirling around donald trump junior and jared kushner and the conservative writer even presented with a draft indictment and they have now backed away.
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it's also a tribute to rob rosenstein that they let him do what he had to do. there were no conflicts that rose to the level of that had to be reported. on the other hand, i do think it's important to slow our role a little bit and say what are the facts that he found. if there is a narrative in there, let's see what he found. the idea that donald trump wasn't indicted and that's a vindication for him. he can't be indicted so that in itself isn't a huge victory. so the question of what was the relationship between the trump campaign and russian interests? unresolved. presumably we'll learn that. that was the focus of the investigation. and that was the focus of the investigation.
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and what was the nature. and whether that mounted to obstruction of justice. those are key questions and unresolved and at the heart of mueller's investigation. let see what he found. >> that's probably why at this hour we have yet to hear from the president. we have yet to hear public statement from the white house. saying no collusion. because it seems like they don't exactly know what the details are in the report. >> i'm not sure that's the reason we haven't heard. >> i suspect we're going to hear a lot through the weekend. we do need to know what all the underlying facts here are and we have to remember what we know so far and we have valuminous evidence including guilty pleas about lying in this investigation. about them obstructing justice. so we could not find out what
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happened including around the president of the united states. so mueller, i am going to make one speculative notion here and that is, especially given the watergate special prosecutor there doing a road map. he layed out fact upon fact upon fact without making any judgments i'm going to assume mr. mueller has done the same thing here. that's what we need to see. we need to see the road map. i earlier referred to connective tissue. there's a story here. that story was that it would be totally exonerating of president trump and those around him and what did the president say? now is the time to release all of that connective tissue? i don't think we're going to see that. but that's what we need and we have -- remember, this began as a counter intelligence investigation and that has to do with what did the russians do? who did they do it with?
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who did they try to co-op. et cetera, et cetera. we'll find out some of that. there will be decisions for national security. sources and methods that you can't disclose but we have a long way to go to find out what all of this has been about and what his investigation has been about. >> do you think it's going to be that road map that carl described? >> no and the main clue on that point to me is its two part. the department of justice, special counsel made it clear there was no impediment. and they didn't make a run at sitting down with the president. president which the legal authorities suggest they would have succeeded on that and they didn't even try to do that. if it was going to be a road map type of report, they surely would have gone down that path.
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i just have a hard time seeing the absence of that effort when we know it was unimpeded opportunity and yet an expectation that there could have been a road map. i do not see that coming out of here. there's plenty of ugliness over the past two years prt president's team. and it does appear pretty clear that he is going to come out of this with as much of an exoneration as happens when you, it's always a good day not to be indicted. but they didn't even make an attempt to get the information that would have set up an impeachment process. >> everyone stay with us. >> an astonishing new claim from steve king about the survivors of hurricane katrina. he made a comparison and it's nothing like any of us saw, the people that survived the storm were left to fight and endure. we're keeping them honest, next. ♪
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>> we have yet to hear from president trump about the mueller report. we are hearing things like we won because there haven't been any charges related to conspiracy or obstruction. a white house official said the fat lady has sung. it is interesting you were saying how much of this was raised by the president himself. >> right and people around him. let's keep in mind. he hired a campaign chairman that was deep in business with russians. causing a will the of suspicion for the fbi. they didn't have enough time to have gotten to the bottom of this. it was 16 trump associates that had some kind of dealings with
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the russians during the campaign or the transition, at least. so we have to step back and look at how much of this was brought on by the president. the president fired james comey and talked about one reason he fired comey was the russia investigation. breeding more suspicion that really propelled this investigation. i'm not saying that it's all his fault in that way. but, you know, it kind of is. he did so many things and people around him did things that caused suspicion and made this investigation even more difficult than it needed to be. the president he and his team and his family should feel vindicated but we had the example of the trump tower meeting that happened in the 2016 period and they talk about getting dirt on hillary clinton. these are things that normal campaigns don't do.
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>> normally a russian offering dirt on opposing candidate, you contact the fbi. you don't say let's schedule a meeting. >> they never did those things. a lot of this stuff we had to drag it out of them. they denied they happened until they were forced to admit that it happened. again. going into this two years later. i think you have to understand why there was so much suspicion. >> how likely is it that the democrats would be able to get underlying documents to the mueller investigation? >> first, i want to say, they didn't just deny, they affirmatively lied about the things related to the investigation and contacts with russians and the trump tower meeting. but on the point of what the congress will be able to get regarding the investigation this is going to be a process. the first step is we'll see -- >> is that what you call a lawsuit? >> no, before we get to a lawsuit. first there's going to be an administrative process. a process between the two
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branches. so first when we get attorney general barr is going to provide whatever he's going to provide to congress. then they're going to say we want more. then he's going to give an answer whether or not he can give more of the report. then they're going to call the attorney general and or the special counsel to testify and then we'll be very revealing which one testifies or both and what type of setting. a lot might get revealed through that back and forth. then the actually documents. i think there will probably be some sort of subpoena served and lawsuit. over some subset of documents. >> is that how you see this playing out? >> i don't think there will be that many back and forth. we'll, like so many other things. we'll know in the next couple of days how drawn out this is likely to be based upon what the attorney general provides to congress and publicly.
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thus far, the president, the house, the senate, and the attorney general prior to confirmation and his statements in the letter today to the ranking members of the judiciary and chairman. made it clear he intends to be very open. he left justice department type room for himself. i mention an item earlier. it's not the practice of the department of justice to reveal the names of unindicted individuals for reasons that i hope are obvious to everyone but other than that we're going to see an awful lot of disclosure. which is what i have been advocating. if it helps the president, the more of it that comes out the better. >> we'll see. >> the part that the attorney general is going to hold the line is the issue on what are the declarations. what are the issues the spesh counsel investigated by decided
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not to bring charges on. he's going to hold firm to that. process and tradition. >> the difficulty is you have what comey did and you have how congress just proceeded after james comey said he was not going to bring charges against hillary clinton. up until a couple of months ago we have seen congressional committees hauling people in to continue to ask questions about hillary clinton and her e-mail server. they continue to ask the justice department to provide information about her e-mail server. so to say that was okay with hillary clinton even though she didn't face charges and now we're not going to do that with president trump for instance, even though he can't face charges. they put themselves in a little bit of a box. >> i think there is no way the democrats are going to get fbi 302s underlying documents. the justice department does not give those up routinely in normal investigation. >> they did for hillary clinton investigation.
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>> they did in the hillary clinton investigation and they won't do it again. >> but here's the thing, even inside the justice department, senior officials were very concerned that the precedent being set under that investigation was going to have to be something they were going to have to live with going forward so i can see that you're right. the justice department is going to insist that but they may decide otherwise. >> i'm sorry. >> go ahead. >> remember one thing about all of this. remember one thing about all of this. it was said a moment ago when the fbi decided not to prosecute hillary clinton, think about that statement and that was the story for several years. only just in the last few weeks has that story come unfolded and it now looks like the department of justice instructed the fbi to
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say that or at least that's plausible. they're police officers. they don't make prosecution decisions unless you're hillary clinton. so the precedent had already been broken with respect to how that was conducted and how that was handled so it's never been done that way again since then. since july of 2016. including this investigation. >> let me make an important point here about what is gettable and necessary and what is very logically going to come forth. let's take the example of rick gates who is central and his testimony is central to the investigation. he was paul manafort's partner in their consultancy in the post communist world. he's the essential witness that stands out from the rest. there's no way the congress of the united states is not going
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to want to see what his testimony was and is not going to call him before those committees to find out what he knows and what he said. that is with a kind of connective tissue that is necessary for all americans to have confidence in what has occurred here. and there's a road map for it. >> thanks. i appreciate it. going to dig deeper into the partisanship surrounding investigation from the beginning. a question, will any consensus emerge? we'll take it up when 360 continues. (indistinguishable muttering) that was awful. why are you so good at this? had a coach in high school. really helped me up my game. i had a coach. math. ooh. so, why don't traders have coaches? who says they don't? coach mcadoo! you know, at td ameritrade, we offer free access to coaches and a full education curriculum- just to help you improve your skills. boom! mad skills. education to take your trading to the next level.
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want more from your entejust say teach me more. into your xfinice remote to discover all sorts of tips and tricks in x1. can i find my wifi password? just ask. [ ding ] show me my wifi password. hey now! [ ding ] you can even troubleshoot, learn new voice commands and much more. clean my daughter's room. [ ding ] oh, it won't do that. welp, someone should. just say "teach me more" into your voice remote and see how you can have an even better x1 experience. simple. easy. awesome. democrats are insisting that
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the mueller report be made public and the white house may not have an advance look at the contents. maybe just a taste of political combat ahead. joining me now is kirsten powers and former trump campaign adviser michael caputo. and van jones. you don't think this is necessarily great news for the president? >> i don't. nixon didn't get indicted and we know that he obstructed justice. what will show up in the report, it just lays out the facts and lets congress determine whether or not there's a political action to be taken in terms of impeachment because it's generally understood that presidents can't be indicted. it's good news for donald trump jr. and jared but people are saying no more indictments that's such great news but let's not forget there were dozens of
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indictments that happened and six trump associates that were indicted. they were indicted for getting in the way of the investigation, for lying. collusion isn't a crime. to say they didn't find collusion, that's not what people were charged for so i think we have to wait and see what the report says and hopefully the report will be released in full so people can look at it and see what happened. so i think we have to wait for that. >> as far as the white house goes we don't know anything about the details of the report. >> we're stwalt -- still waiting. >> someone says there's no more indictments and we're accepting that as a fact but beyond that we don't know anything at all. i think the reason this is such a big story though is democrats have hung so much on the mueller
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report. i can't tell you how many people have come up to me at airports and shopping centers and wait until the mueller report. he's out of here. he's going to prison. it's coming. now that he's here and that doesn't seem like bob mueller's harry potter that has that one this wand called the mueller report. that's going to fix everything in america. there's disappointment. this is one long step of finding out what happened. we still don't know why trump acts so weird when it comes to russians and putin. we don't know what all of this is ability. why is everybody lying about something if there's nothing to lie about. we're still all confused but tonight is a moment where the -- all the hope, santa claus is going to bring us some gift of a better country didn't come true. there is no santa claus. robert mueller isn't going to save america. we have a lot of work to do to recover from all of this.
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>> you saw the mueller team up close and personal in a way you never wanted to or expected to. just what your feelings are tonight and how you see this moving forward. >> i think i said it first on your show in may when i was interrogated by the mueller team. it's been a long two year proctology exam. it's been horrible. my family has had our lives on pause for more than two years, even before the mueller investigation and today maybe the fat lady isn't singing but she is warming up her pipes and i plan on pressing play on our lives as a result of this report. people are still hopeful something is coming out that will hurt the president. i think those are false hopes. if there's no more indictments.
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i don't think there's a lot of hope in this report for any evidence for conspiracy of collusion or obstruction or we'd see inindictments on that. now we have roger stone still hanging out there and he has a motion to dismiss coming up in april. he'll fight until the end. so this thing isn't over for some of us but for my family, this thing is over. >> do you think the democrats will be successful in actually getting the full report released and the underlying documents as well? >> i'm with the president on this thing. let it all hang out. as far as i'm concerned. i don't think they're going to get the underlying documents. that would be highly unusual. but let that thing out there. transparency is a great thing here. these indictments of 25 russians, let people understood that these russians had nothing to do with the trump campaign.
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they were interfering with the american election on their own without colluding or conspiring with anything at all with donald trump. let's not forget here. in my mind want democrats have no expectation they'll even find anything on donald trump. that's the purpose of these on going investigations that are getting started right now. that's not what they're about at all. it's about 2020. it's about trying to keep the russia ball in the air because the air is out of that ball. >> i see it differently. i can understand why you feel that way. some people are that partisan. i do believe there are people that are legitimately concerned and confused about why the president behaves the way he does. and they want answers. so of course there's partisanship in there but it's not just a 2020 play. i don't believe that. >> all right. >> yeah, no, but i agree with that but i also want to reiterate the fact that the president wasn't indicted is really meaningless because the president can't be indicted. so we need to remember that and we need to remember that if that
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was true then nixon would have been free and clear, right? >> got to leave it there. >> that's why we should put it all out there. >> happy birthday. much more. >> happy birthday. ♪ ♪ do you love me? ♪ ♪ i can really move ♪ ♪ do you love me? ♪ i'm in the groove ♪ now do you love me? ♪ do you love me now that i can dance? ♪ applebee's 3 course meal. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
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we want to take a few moments on this very busy day in washington to focus on new cements made by congressman steve king, comments which traffic yet again in racist stereotypes and are simply not true. as you know, there's been a disaster in the midwest. entire towns have been flooded and lives have been lost. iowa congressman steve king,
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whose recent defense of white nationalism drew condemnation in the form of a disapproval resolution from all but one of his fellow house members, held a town hall in his district yesterday. his focus was the flooding there, and in fairness he seemed to be doing all he could to offer encouragement to his constituents, who certainly are hurting. but congressman king chose to compare the suffering in iowa and elsewhere and the reaction of citizens there to the suffering in new orleans and elsewhere after hurricane katrina. he did it in a way that yet again relies on racist stereotypes. what he said was unfair, untrue, and unbecoming of a member of congress. >> here's what fema tells me. we go to a place like new orleans, and everybody's looking around saying, who's going to help me, who's going to help me? we go to a place like iowa, and we go see -- knock on the door at, say -- i'm making up a name -- john's place, and say, john, you got water in your basement. we can write you a check. we can help you. and john will say, well, wait a minute. let me get my boots. it's joe that needs help. let's go down to his place and
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help him. >> now, i'm not sure when comparing one terrible human tragedy to another terrible human tragedy became acceptable for elected officials or for anyone else, for that matter. there should be no sliding scale of suffering. iowans today are hurting. they deserve all the help, all the compassion, all the respect that anyone can muster. but keeping them honest, does any iowa family feel any better by hearing their congressman talk about how supposedly worse louisiana families behaved? congressman king seems to think so. he seems to believe that john or joe would somehow not be moved by someone like herbert getridge of the lower ninth ward in new orleans. when we met him in 2007, he was 83 and in the middle of rebuilding the home he and his wife had lived in for decades. >> how's the rebuilding going? >> it's going pretty good, not as fast as i expected it to go. but we're making progress. >> and people might think that you got some big company working with you, rebuilding. you are in your house every day,
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every night, rebuilding it on your own. >> well, i had quite a few people. i had a bunch of people from kansas city, kansas. >> a church group. >> the national baptist laymen, they call themselves. i've had comic relief, billy crystal. >> came down and helped? >> quite a few people. i can't think of all of them. salvation army. i had quite a few people come down and give me a pretty good elbow. >> herbert getridge never talked to me about handouts. he got help, as you heard, from church groups and good people, and he may have gotten aid from fema as well. he was an american, and that's what fema is for. when i met mr. getridge, he was by himself working on the house he owned, the house that he had paid for, and the house that he had loved. >> so you're sleeping -- you've been sleeping on a cot in your home that you're fixing up? >> i'm moved back in that house in march. i left baton -- i left madison in october of last year, and i moved to baton rouge with a
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daughter, and i couldn't stay there for thinking about my house back here in new orleans. but the trouble was we couldn't get in here right away. they kept us out a long time. i think i got in here in december. >> is it scary? you're virtually the only one in this neighborhood. at night, there's no electricity around here. >> man, i ain't scared of nothing. i've been all overseas. world war ii carried me all over the world. i made it through the japanese and the germans. i made it and i came back. i can come through katrina. >> you're not scared? >> not a big deal. >> he wasn't scared of nothing, he said. not a big deal. mr. getridge had been through a lot in his life, and he was standing tall and working hard. and i can't tell you how many people i met like him in new orleans and waveland, mississippi, and bay, st. louis, and lots of other towns. more than 1,800 people died due to the storm. mr. king made no mention of them nor of the thousands, who in the midst of their grief and their loss, reached out to help their neighbors. our thoughts are with the people of iowa and nebraska and all those who lost so much in flooding.
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but 13 or so years after katrina, almost 14 this september, my thoughts are also still with the people of new orleans and mississippi, those who made it home and those who didn't. we are, all of us, human beings and americans, and the words congressman king spoke yesterday say a heck of a lot more about him than they do about anyone or anything else. mitch landrieu was mayor of new orleans from 2010 to 2018, helped the city rebuild and recover. he was also born and raised there. he joins me now. mayor landrieu, when you heard what congressman king said, what did you think? i mean it's -- what did you think? >> well, it makes you furious, to be honest with you. you know, anderson, you were here reporting. after katrina, you were on the ground. you saw everything. you saw bodies in the street. 18 of our fellow citizens were killed. 500,000 homes were hurt. 250,000 were destroyed. and not only were the people here not waiting for somebody to help, although we're thankful for every offer that was made,
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but you could see neighbor helping neighbor and lifting it up. and the resurrection and redemption of the history of the city of new orleans was historical in many ways, and it was because people really worked hard not only to help each other, but to help themselves. and so for steven king to misrepresent that to the country and to the world is very painful. but we've come to expect that from him. you know, the hearts of the people of new orleans go out to the people of iowa. we know what that feels like, and it hurts. and there's no shame in getting help from other folks. that's what americans do. so it was a sad comment from a guy that makes a lot of sad comments, and iowa really deserves better than that. >> yeah. i mean the fact he would sort of choose that opportunity to, you know, to praise the response by his constituents by comparing it to fictional responses, you know, that he's just come up with. he said he visited new orleans
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four times after katrina. i don't know if that's the case, but i can't imagine anyone visiting there -- >> i don't know. >> -- during the storm, after the storm, and not seeing neighbors helping neighbors and people reaching out to one another and, you know, people in boats from local communities coming and doing what they could. you know, it's an insult. >> i think a couple things. first of all, it's a horrible insult, and it's based out of ignorance or really a cold, dark heart. but i'd mention a couple of things to you. first of all in our darkest hour when things were really terrible, the sun came up the next day and the joy in the moment was that people started helping each other out. it was really miraculous to see how much people helped themselves and other people. that's first. second, congressman king's view is worth thinking about, which is the need to step on other people's throats to lift each other up. and that happens to be an ethos in some parts of the country that's really not necessary. that's not what america needs to lift itself up again. you can lift yourself and other people up as well.
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look, the people of iowa need help, and we should be there to help them, just like the people of louisiana went to houston when they were hurt and then went to florida when they were hurt and went to puerto rico and haiti. we've paid it forward many, many times. that's really the american way, not stepping on somebody else to make yourself look good. and that's just not a good view of the world. and he ought to be ashamed of himself. he should apologize. and as i said many, many times to the good people of iowa, they really deserve better. >> do you think it's a coincidence at all that king made these comments in a city that i think is like 99.4% white about -- >> no. >> clearly he's playing in racial stereotypes, this idea of, you know, african-americans asking for help. there were, you know, 60.2% african-american in new orleans. >> not only --
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>> you can't help but avoid the topic of race here. >> not only is it not a surprise, unfortunately we've come to expect these kind of comments from congressman king, and it's happened over the past 15 years. so not only am i surprised, i just continue to be as disgusted about his words today as i have been every time i hear him talk about it. the people of america have got to acknowledge, focus on, and then reject this idea of white nationalism or white supremacy. it leads to very dangerous circumstances. >> just finally, i know congressman cedric richmond of louisiana calls steve king a white supremacist adding that, quote, when people show you who you are, you believe them. do you agree with congressman richmond, and do you think king is a white supremacist? >> i do. but i don't want to get lost in name-calling. i would ask the people of america just to think this. if you speak a certain way and act a certain way, and that is racial and racist, then that is what you are. and i just don't -- we don't have to shy away from saying those kinds of things. it's not being used as a pejorative term. it's very descriptive. like i say, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's usually a duck, and it sounds like it. it's not a surprise. the only question is how long
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are we going to tolerate that from individuals like him? i love iowa. i think the people there are wonderful people. they're great americans, and they just deserve a lot better than him, and i hope they see fit to show him the door at some point in time. >> mayor landrieu, always appreciate talking to you. thank you. >> thank you very much, anderson. >> that's it for us tonight. the news continues. i want to hand it over to don lemon. "cnn tonight" starts now. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. you know, it is impossible to overstate the importance of our breaking news tonight. this is a day really for the history books. one way or another, a turning point in the trump presidency. after 675 days, robert mueller's job, done. the special counsel delivering his completed investigation of russia's election interference, possible trump campaign collusion with moscow, and obstruction of justice, de