tv New Day Weekend With Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul CNN March 23, 2019 5:00am-6:00am PDT
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presidential election process. >> it could be rush. it could be china. >> some of the president's inner circle and those who ran his campaign were found to break the law. the president remained defiant. >> i did nothing wrong. there was no collusion. >> i never said there was collusion between the campaign or the people in the campaign. i said the president of the united states. >> i hope he will reveal the entire report so the public has a chance to see what's in it. donald trump has done whatever he can to almost create a game of political hack a mole. >> for two years we have gone through this. there was no occlusion. you know that better than anybody. there was no obstruction. good saturday morning to you. the headline after nearly two years, special counsel robert mueller's report is done. >> yeah, attorney general william barr says, he could brief congress on the report quote principle conclusion as werl as today or tomorrow, which
means after charges against 37 people and entities, seven guilty pleas, one trial conviction, there will be no more indictments. no sit-down interview with the president. the president huddled with his team at mar-a-lago. several are declaring victory. democrats say, not so fast. >> i don't think anybody should jump to any conclusion about what is in the report or any kind of celebratory notion that this is the end of something. this is just the giping. >> also declaring victory, u.s.-backed syrian democratic forces after they say the final isis stronghold in syria has now fallen. the fight against the isis ideology, that, of course, continues. we have a live report from syria. first, we got a team ready to break down what could happen next. we have with us, on camille, cnn
reporters and saw san malveaux near the president's report. >> we have a congressional reporter shan wu and former prosecutor and josh campbell and fbi supervisor agent. josh worked for the fbi directors robert mueller and james comey. so let's start with cnn reporter for the latest, get us up to speed and a peek at where we're going next. >> that's right. so just around 5:00 p.m. on friday, william barr received the report from robert mueller. now all the attention will shift to capitol hill. he notified the house and senate judiciary committees. he will be able to brief them as soon as today or tomorrow, but much faster than people expected. now, the report is in. we don't know what it says, the questions remain what will it say about collusion between the trump campaign and russia and what does it say about the big question of did the president obstruct justice? now, there are no criminal charges, we went from a senior
justice department official that there will be no more indictments be threw is still a lot that the not known. this is where the battle will shift to capitol hill and we are expecting there to be a lot of negotiations and discussion, because we heard that there is a lot-of-bipartisan calls for transparency here. that's where the question will remain. >> and questions about whether mueller will be called to testify to congress and ag bar every as well? >> that's right. i think we can see the congress exercise their oversight responsibilities and want to call in either mueller or barr or both of them and really dig into the contours of this report and what their conclusions are. we are also seeing an expectation that there will be a desire for more information, a lot of democrats are saying they want to see not only the report, but the underlying materials, the investigative materials behind it. so they want to draw their on conclusions and exercise that oversight authority that they have over the executive branch. >> we'll see if that desire
graduates to a demand, to a subpoena. thank you so much for that. the president is spending the weekend at his resort in palm beach, florida. he has aides there, several members of the his legal team there as well. susan malveaux live in west palm beach. the president has had an awful loot to say over the last couple of years when it comes to this investigation. and yet, we have heard nothing from him this morning. are you hearing anything from where you are right now? >> reporter: awfully quiet. we are waiting to see his twitter account. we are all eyes, of course, on mar-a-lago as well. this is an unusual weekend. usually he is just here with his first lady, melania and their son baron. they are here. also with him a full entourage, a compliment of his legal team as well as strategic team and two press secretary all here at mar-a-lago. essentially, he has not yet said anything after, you know, the
announcement of the report. they do not have the report as of yet. certainly, there is a strategy and they have been working and gaming this out for weeks prior in terms of how he would come out. so far no response. we did see yesterday, however, a pig republican fund easyer. a lot of headliners there, the president stopped by. he did not say anything about the report. he did introduce his friend, senator lindsey graham works went all in, referring to one of the main documents integral to this investigation as a piece of gar badge. he also mentioned hillary clinton as well as classified information. >> that got the crowd, some in the audience chanting that familiar lock her up, lock her up phrase. we did see the president yesterday when he left the white house very defiant about this investigation as he has been for the last two years. take a listen. >> i don't think anybody knows it was russia that broke into the dnc. how many times do i have to answer this question?
russia is a ruse, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. >> the entire thing has been a witch hunt. >> the russia story is a total fabrics. rush did not help me. okay. i call at this time russian hoax. >> they made up the whole russia hoax. that was a democrat hoax. >> it's a democrat hoax. >> despite the fact that he continues to say this is an illegitimate enterprise, this investigation. he did prays his attorney general. >> that is someone he has to be working with, white house lawyers working with to see what gets in this report or perhaps what is taken out of this report before it go es to public, sarah sanders, press secretary, tweeting this out the state of play saying the next stems are up to attorney general barr. we look forward to the process taking its course. the white house has not received or been briefed on the special counsel's report. the president also saying
yesterday daring democrats if you will that they will not move forward with impeachment hearings, saying that would cost them politically. this gives you a pretty good soevens where the president in the white house is going -- good sense of where the president in the white house is going. >> susan, keep watching twitter for us, let me know, give me an alert. thanks, so much. so 3:00 this afternoon, house democrats are having a conference call for their entire caucus. >> sundit came in with democrat lawmakers calling for the full report released from mueller, also the underlying documents. now you know there is a call happening today. tell us about that. >> reporter: that's right, victor, this is essentially democrats on capitol hill getting ready, not only preparing themselves to potentially learn this weekend some new information from the attorney general gearing up for
a long and likely tense battle ahead. they will be convening at 3:00 p.m. eastern time. they will hop on that call. where certainly members will be hearing from the leadership, from chairman of the important committees, given an expectation of what is coming ahead in the next 48 hours for them. certainly we have seen democrats be very aggressive and very public and lean nook this idea that they want and going to battle for the information here. they want the entire mueller report to be made public to, excuse me, to be made available to not only them but the public and they are pushing for them to see all the details, as mentioned the underlying details in the investigation. this is something we expect to hear from democrats in the next days and weeks. this certainly came from senate minority leader chuck schumer last night. >> now that special counsel
mueller has submitted his report to the attorney general, it's imperative for mr. barr to make the full report public. and provide its underlying documentation and findings to congress. attorney general barr must not give president trump his lawyers or his staff any sneak preview of special counsel mueller's findings or everyday. >> reporter: an attorney, according to attorney general, bill barr in his letter he supplied congress last night, he says he expects he could be giving congress some of the principle conclusions of the investigation potentially as early as this weekend. we do not have a timing update, lawmakers and staffers are seemingly very unclear on what form that would come in and when exactly that will come in, notably, many members are still at home in their home districts as this was. everyone waited on baited breath for more information on capitol hill. >> all right. we'll what it to see what comes out of this call.
sunlen serfaty there on capitol hill, thank you. we will examine a lot of what we have learned next with our guests in just a moment. . but first, there is the breaking news out of syria this morning, where u.s.-backed forces say the isis caliphate has been defeated. that's the territory. but what about the ideology? that lives on. our ben wedeman is live near the front lines in syria. we'll talk with him next. so recently my son's band was signed by a record label. while we're on the road, i can keep my parents in the loop with the whole facetime thing. i created a rockstar. (both laughing) (vo) there when it matters. get iphone xr on us when you buy the latest iphone. on verizon. what if you had fewer headaches and migraines a month? botox® prevents headaches and migraines before they even start. botox® is for adults with chronic migraine, 15 or more headache days a month,
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more breaking news, the isis caliphate is crumbling. the last isis strong hold in syria has fallen. that's according to u.s.-backed democratic forces. you will remember at the height of their power, isis controlled, look at this map, the area the size of portugal across syria. the final battle took place. centered near banks of the euphrates river.
cnn's ben we'dman has been fear the front line for those weeks. no one knows this story like ben. he'll join us later this hour for a full report from syria. i want to get back to breaking news regarding the mueller report. we're' grateful to have you here. i want to start with you, i'm wondering if with all of the casualties f calls for mueller or the attorney general to release the full report, there anyway the report can be seen as fully legitimate if he does not do so? >> i don't think that you will actually see the democrats be quiet and take that sort of a gesture sitting down. i think there will be political fights regardless of how much reports get out because democrats want to see underlying droumts as well, th documents as well. i think it's clear that unless barr puts everything out that he
has seen, at least in terms of the printed report mueller gave him, they will not be satisfied. there will continue to be political questions around this no, they won't see it as a legitimate report. it doesn't mean that's the end of the story. will you see all kind of political experts on the hill look at it mostly because the justice department policy is not to indict a sitting president so if there is not information regarding trump, they may say it's because they kept it out because he wasn't indicted. as a starting point in order to maintain trust between capitol hill and doj, yeah, they need this trort to come out. >> josh, there is a step before we get to this full report getting to congress, that is the white house expecting that they'll get an opportunity to assert executive privilege over certain elements of this report. is it your understanding, knowing bob museum ter way you do, having worked for him, or do you expect he wrote this report
with that consideration in mind? >> i think that's certainly a possibility. by the way, i think it's appropriate for the white house to have some you know type of view or insight into this. i don't think they should be able to change or edit anything. we can be certain if bob mueller comes to testify or those on the team were suspended to testify. if there is one word that is changed and inconsistent with what they came up with. we will know about that what i suspect, you will see, again, we have to have a dose of humility here. knowing the intense public interest surrounding this investigation, i think we can expect some type of narrative from the team explaining what it is that they found and what did they not find. again, this isn't yourti typica prosecution. it isn't typical anything. i think we're going to have at least some type of narrative again explaining what it is that
they found. >> one of the things we do know is that the attorney general says there were no requests from mueller to the justice department that were denied. questions whether you know mueller was going to subpoena the president, that was something that a lot of people were concerned about. apparently, no, it didn't happen. so if he was never told no, did that signal to you that mueller actually got all the answers that he wanted? >> no it just means he wasn't denied the opportunity to inquire on certain evidence. i think one of the really interesting fights that's going to be looming if, for example, congress subpoenas mueller, they're going to want to ask him, what was your thinking? why didn't have you the president come in and be interviewed? doj will fight tooth and na ill to stop that inquiry. i think that letter rosenthal wrote to grassley, he draws the line in the sand. he is like any shots prosecutor, subject to the ag subject to the -- they will not want that
inquiry. if you want to put out what we did, that's in the narrative. we will tell wow we interviewed, what documents we v. that thinking, that decisions goes to the heart of did he get his answers? did he have the opportunity to dig down deep? they will fight hard about that. >> shan says if robert mueller is suspended, democrats so resisted to any distilled version of the mueller report. have we now passed the point of if they will subpoena him to when they will subpoena him? regardless of what bill barr releases, are we expecting that democrats want bob mueller there to testify, anykwai? >> way -- anyway? >> i think so. i can't believe a two-year long investigation. we had the house say we have been waiting for this report. we will make our decisions af the report. if they're not satisfied by the report and you know we still don't know what it actually says.
we have this one page note to the hill. you know, i think they will want to hear from the man that conducted the investigation. but they will run into these issues that shan is just explaining of mueller is known for being a very by the book guy. he's not going to fly off the seat of his pants when answering questions. so there may be a lot of frustration from his testimony when he goes to capitol hill. >> you know, we had a gal on a couple of hours ago. she says no further indictments equates to this president is not an agent of the russian government s. that true, shan? >> no first of all if you pars that one pageer, it says no further indictments from this special counsel, which leaves opposite from the u.s. attorney in d.c. and southern district. but certainly because there are no more indictments from the special counsel doesn't answer the question of what kind of involvement the president had with russia. >> that really is going to be a question for the congressional investigations. it had a really different motive
and pore specttierspectives. they want full far range criminal investigations, very narrow, very focused. they're meant to be opaque except when you get to court? hopefully, they don't have to get to court. they're speaking to public opinion and whims as well. nothing that they can sell more than a talking point in 2020. the word impeachment, none of the democratic leaders want to utter yet. they want something indisputable. they are looking at corruption of justice, mishandling of your office, that's much broader than a prosecutor has to prove to get a conviction if court. >> josh, back out to you. what do you glean from the speed at which barr said he will get these principle conclusions to congress the follow-up. we will give both at the same time. what is then the wait for the
barr report? are you expecting days, weeks, months until that full narrative comes out after it goes through the process? >> a lot will depend on what is in the report, itself. i don't think bob barr will want to sit on this for any longer than he has to. there is no reason. he's indicated in his confirmation hearing he is opened to a certain amount of transparency. he understands this is information that the public wants to know, to the extent he can release that consistent with the law and the reg lakes, he will do so. again, we don't know how long or thorough this will have to be depending on what is in the report? is there sensitive information they need to redact? i will say we mentioned as far as how different types will want to spend this as we sit here right now, this is not a time to be popping champagne corks, nor is it time to be pictured the justice department if you think the president is skating free here, we don't know what the report says, the reasony say
it's important not for the white house to celebrate right now. although if you are in trump orbit, you are breatheing a sigh of relief. but the one question we have that we don't have answered yet is will this report say the president was involved in some type of criminal activitiesing mueller and doj refuse to prosecute. >> that does not mean, that doesn't mean the president is incident. innocent. it means the president cannot be indicted. >> that doesn't mean he cannot commit a crime. >> yes, certainly. we are hearing from the president around the president. we won without a single word 23r the report. all right. thank you all. u.s.-backed forces say isis has lost its last strong hold in syria. look at these pictures coming in this morning the cam fate has crumbled. but what about the ideology? that is still alive and well in some pockets.
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♪. >> you hear that, the national anthem, the syrian national forces celebrating a victory over isis, they say the final strong hold in syria has fallen. >> senior syrian correspondent ben wedeman joins us from eastern syria. ben, what do we know about the last moments of this final fight? >> reporter: well, we saw the last moments, victor, christi, of this final strong hold of isis. we watched as overnight there were intense airstrikes by the u.s.-led coalition on the mountainside where we were told by the sdf spokesmen that there
were still hundreds of jihadis and their families holed up in tunnels and in trenches. those air strikes went on well into the night. but in the morning, we still heard the planes overhead, but the bombing had stopped, just a few hours later, we got a page from a spokesman for the sdf saying that the battle was over, isis as a territorial entity had been 100% defeated. in fact, we got that message as we were going into the final encampment, where we saw there were still some gunfire ongoing on the edges of that camp, inside the camp, itself, we saw dead jihadis as well as our camera woman mary rogers found an unexploded explosive vest by the side of the road. what we also saw were dozens and dozens of cars that had been destroyed during airstrikes as well as the tatters of the tents
where people had been living in that last encampment. they've dug trenches inside the tents to protect themselves from the bombardment. but in the end, we don't know what happened to those hundreds of jihadis and their families we seen if recent weeks. many of them, thousands of fighters as well as tens of thousands of isis family members surrendering. we don't know if that last group of holdouts surrendered or were killed in the airstrikes the long and short of it, however, the battle is over and isis as a pseudostate is now a part of history. victor. christi. >> ben wedeman, thank you so much for brigg us the latest there. we appreciate it, as always. a decisive win there over isis if syria. then you got the no new indictments after the mueller report. some people might say, yeah, the trump camp could be very happy
with the headlines this morning. a cnn analyst is with us now. sam, so good to see you again, the let's start with isis. is this a real win for president? >> reporter: christi, this is a terrific day, if the president was strategizing a political one, this is not a victory just for the united states, the territorial defeat of isis and syria is the result of a coalition's effort. there were 79 partners that were responsible for where we got today and the president has not mentioned any of that in his tweets. and having been a part of counter terrorism discussions at the white house, there are unfortunately a series of steps that the white house has already said that they're not taking, which seems to guarantee that this victory is going to be short lived. we are going to use this victory as a predicate for withdrawing our forces from syria. typically, we leave a residual force to help train local forces to prevent terrorists from coming back. second, we have already announce
wed are not giving stabilization funding to syria, which typically is a critical component of ensuring the territory that it has captured from terrorists remains stabilized and safe. >> samantha, let's talk about the mueller report. we spend a lot of time talking about specific names and brush strokes. let's back away and look at the whole portrait here. russia's attempt to undermine the u.s. democracy. how are our national security analysts, like yourself, seeing this report? >> reporter: well, while we all try to digest and comprehend a report that we haven't read yet, let's all be clear on one point. russia is still attacking our country. we learned through the series of indictments with varying nationals that were a part of the mueller investigation, some information, on how russia conducted their attack in 2016. but what a responsible white house would be doing right now is trying to think about how to prevent that from happening again in 2020. we know from the intelligence
community that russia, iran and china tried to interfere in our 2018 elections. as we look ahead to 2020, there are some bake steps that aren't being taken by several candidates, including protecting their e-mails and social media accounts that almost guarantees that countries like russia can try to manipulate candidates, manipulate their campaigns and interfere in our next election cycle. >> i want to ask you about north korea before we let you go, president trump prompted some confusion yesterday apparently ordering the withdrawal with new sanctions on north korea. he did this via tweet. how important are those sanctions to the u.s. in terms of strategy? >> reporter: well, aside from the major process and the entire world saw, we have to think about the practical implications of putting sanctions on ice. sanctions need maintenance, kim jong-un like other bad actors is creative. he figures out ways to evade sanctions, the ones coming next
week do they find ways to punish those third parties, those subsidiaries that kim jong-un uses to get around sanctions so by failing to implement the next round of sanctions and to designate the subsidiaries what we are really doing is letting kim jong-un continue to get elicit revenue, which we know he has been using for his missile program and his nuclear weapons program. >> when asked why the president withdrew those sanctions, sarah sanders says because the president likes kim jong-un. thank you so much for be with us. >> thank you. up next, the special counsel's russia investigation is over. but the president's legal troubles, they are not. we will look at the other investigations still ongoing. i've always been amazed by what's next.
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the special coin sell's russia investigation complete. more legal troubles ahead, though, for the president. maybe those around his circle. >> yeah, ongoing investigations surrounding president trump is the topic right now. cnn reporter, erica, talk to us about how many related investigations there are right now. how long are they expected to continue? >> reporter: well, there are multiple investigations. several of them are out of the u.s. attorney's office for the southern district of new york. but there are other investigations out of the new york attorney general's officer, the new york department of financial services and an array of other agencies and prosecutors offices. and some of them are new, have been started in the last couple weeks. others have been going on for several months. so it's not exactly clear when
any of them will wrap up or result in charges. it's sort of an array of different options there. >> so, we know that trump associates, michael flynn, rick gates, michael cohen, have cooperated with several investigations. do we have a clear picture? i think we are learning more about michael cohen, but the others, how helpful they have been in these probes? >> reporter: well, prosecutor versus indicated through filings that all of those men have been helpful to a degree. it seems as though, based on again based on court filings and some other reporting that it is actually rick gates who has proven probably the most helpful to not only the special counsel's investigation, but other ongoing investigations, including the probe into the trump inaugural committee, which is being run out of the southern district of new york. >> all right. erica, thank you so much for the
update. >> thank you. >> so the legal battle to release the entire mueller report, that is what's just beginning. >> we'll speak with a representative of the organization behind the first lawsuit demanding that the public gets to see the entire mueller report. that's when we come back. my experience with usaa
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well, the first lawsuit has been filed seeking the public release of the mueller report's findings. >> yeah, the senior counsel at the electronic privacy center also known as epic is alan butler. he is with us now via phone. thank you for getting up to talk to us. i know your company is suing the justice department. what specifically is it you want
to see happen? >> epic filed the first lawsuit seeking the public release of the mueller report. >> what specifically do you want to see in the mueller report? what are you searching for? >> we believe the public simply has a right to know what is in to the report. what conclusions counsel has reached. what facts have been determined and what recommendations have been made. we already know members of congress have called on this report to be released and there are efforts under way for this report to be made available to congress or some report, we believe the public has a right to know what's in the entire report and it should be publicly released. >> there was about a month ago, deputy attorney general rod rey rosenstein said at an event. there are a lot of reasons not to be transparent in government. what is your reaction to that
statement considering the suit you filed? >> we file cases all the time. we very frequently are able obtain records that the government agencies are holding and the law protects the public's right to know. and so really there are some circumstances where some information can't be released. most of the time, most records from government agencies can be obtained bety public interest groups like epic. >> all righty alan butler, thank you so much for being with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> absolutely. so, i know you are probably sitting at home thinking what are the next steps? where are we going with this? i want to bring our expert back here for a minute. >> we know there will be more lawsuits, right, this isn't the first one? >> and there are other investigations already in the works as well that are already in process.
so we've got kara back with us. and shan. shan, let me start with you. these lawsuits, the epic lawsuit, will it be successful or will it be necessary what we see for the bipartisan demand for the release of the report? >> i think we will see a fast result and they will fast track over the privilege issues. i think that will be easier in terms of the standing issues then for the private lawsuits. obviously, the big question is executive privilege, some are saying, that's an existing argument, they may have waived that. although, i would suspect that the good lawyers will have made some preservation. we are letting you talk to this person and asserting the right to privilege later. >> that will be front and center. >> i want to listen and make
sure we have the sound of kamela harris yesterday, her reaction the report is finished. specifically what she wants to hear. she says the report needs to be made public. the underlying evidence that supports that report should be made public. secondly, she said attorney general barr should be called to testify before u.s. congress and third the white house shouldn't be allowed to interfere in anyway in interpreting or presenting the information to the american people. what of those three things do you think is most probable? >> oh my goodness. the first question is what will he do? will he give the to make claims of executive privilege or not. and what is in that report? these are all questions that we don't know anything about. i think that if there is any delay or congress sees this second or it's publicly put out
after trump gets a chance to look at it. there will be the argument that maybe he could have influenced if he or his lawyers didn't make those direct changes. i think you have seen anonymity. speaking of this is an indicator of how much this is going to be an issue that will grip us. harris is running for president. she is speaking out now. anybody with a hoax for the future will be talking about this. any any sort of goop in the you know chain of custody i guess in this report, not to use overly technical terms is going to be a potentially exploitable issue for subpoena and i think that will be sometimes real, sometimes political. depending on how long barr takes and how much he puts out will set the tone for the next year.
>> democrats have already set that place at the table. we heard from chuck schumer saying that the white house shouldn't get any sneak peek at this report before it comes from congress. we know from pamela brown's roaring is that the white house expects they will get this to be able to have the opportunity to assert executive privilege. >> right. it's doj practice to give the white house the chance to exert executive privilege over issues. there is -- this has been discussed multiple times. it's been an issue before congress before. you know, is this the moment where it trumps everything else, where you know because of the nature of this report, there is i also have heard multiple versions of it from lawyers that i have talked to involved in the investigation, where they believe that executive privilege was waived when their clients went in and spoke to mueller's team so i think you can see a real fight here. but i also think the doj is sticking by its book here, they are wanting to do everything so
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a coverage of the mueller report continues in a moment, first, here are other major headlines, isis is crumbling. the final isis has fallen. at the height of their power, sigh kiss controlled an area of syria and iraq roughly the size of portugal. the final battled a been centered near the banks of the euphrates river. a man who survived the cyclone in mozambique says it
protect everything. nothing is left there. we know 417 people died after the cyclone devastated a huge chunk of that country. an eyewitness says as many as 400 bodies are lining the banks of the road. flood waters are invisible from space. the red cross says the destruction left by that cyclone is worse than imagined and humanitarian needs will only deepen in the coming weeks. the government estimates merely a million people have been affected by that storm. early this morning, that police officer was shot and killed in chicago. police say two men walked up to two off duty officers as they were walking back to their vehicle. they say there was no confrontation. there were no words exchanged. no carjacking, no robbery, just two officers and to the two others in the car. they shot the officer. one person is being questioned. they do not know what may have been the motive here. up next, special counsel robert mueller's report is in
the hand of the attorney general now. >> president trump is with his team at mar-a-lago, his legal team there. where some have now declared victory. >> a source tells cnn they have a conference call scheduled at 3:00 this afternoon. we begin now with smerconish. i can michael smer wonnico n consmerconish -- michael smerconish in philadelphia. the president's often repeated claim of no collusion will soon be validated and presumably that there will be no case made for obstruction of justice or at least not now. no wonder then that the president was said to be celebrating quietly last night at mar-a-lago. meanwhile, democrats are channeling their energy towards demanding release of the full report and its supporting evidence. here's something about