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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  March 24, 2019 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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barr denied being critical of mueller but it was enough to leave many to wonder how he'd handle the final report. randi kaye, cnn, palm beach, florida. the news continues and we turn it over to don lemon in cnn tonight. >> this is a special edition of cnn tonight. i'm don lemon. here's our breaking news. the attorney general william barr publicly releases his four page letter summarizing the principle conclusions of bob mueller's report. the news is huge. mueller did not find donald trump's campaign or his associates conspired with russia. he also did not exonerate the president of obstruction. there is a whole lot to dig into. dig into the attorney general's letter here. let's take a look at exactly what he writes about collusion. here's a quote. the special counsel's investigation did not find that the trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with russia in its
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efforts to influence the 2016 u.s. presidential election. as the report states the investigation did not establish members of the trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the russian government in its election interference activities. that is clearly good news for the president. but when it comes to obstruction, things are very different. the attorney general writes this. he says the special counsel did not draw a conclusion one way or the other as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the special counsel views as difficult issues of law and fact concerning whether the president's actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. the special counsel states while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not
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exonerate him. what does that mean? that is a very very important conclusion. mueller, report does not quote exonerate the president of obstruction. mueller left any demeanor nation on obstruction to willi william and he specifically conclude there's not enough evidence to prove the president committed obstruction, which is long way from exoneration. the president falsely claims he's been totally exonerated even though that's the opposite of what mueller said.
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>> it was just announced there was no collusion with russia, the most ridiculous thing i've ever heard. there was no collusion with russia. there was no obstruction and none whatsoever. and it was a complete and total exoneration. it's a shame that our country had to go through this. to be honest, it's a shame that your president has had to go through this before i even got elected, it began. and it began illegally. and hopefully somebody's going to look at the other side. this was an illegal take down that failed. and hopefully somebody's going to be looking at the other side, so it's complete exoneration. no collusion, no obstruction. >> okay, hold that illegal part
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but the exoneration part. the complete exoneration, this is his hand picked attorney general. the special counsel states while this report does not conclude the president committed a crime it also does not exonerate him. now to the legal part he's talki talking about. mueller's appointment, authorities and actions were upheld by seven federal court decisions. the rulings made by judges appointed by both political parties, even one appointed by the president himself. there was nothing illegal about mueller's investigation. but arriving back at the white house tonight the president was in a really good mood. >> i just want to tell you that america is the greatest place on earth, the greatest place on earth. thank you very much. >> now, that, i think all of us can agree with.
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so let's bear in mind what we got today is a summary of robert mueller's findings. it is not the entire report. and what we have learned, quite frankly, it raises a lot of new questions as we move forward. one of the biggest questions tonight, why did robert mueller not come to a conclusion on obstruction himself? why did he leave that to rosenstein and barr? because we should remember it was william barr in an unsolicited memo that brought him to the white house, and said, quote, the obstruction claim is entirely dependent on first finding collusion. so what barr was saying there seems to be if there was no collusion, there was no obstruction. we'll dig deeper into all of this with our legal experts in just a moment. so i want to turn now to questions about collusion. so make no mistake, this is a good thing that mueller found no
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collusion with russia by trump or his campaign. that is a very good thing for the country. but the fact remains. russians did interfere in our election. they spread disinformation on social media, and they waged a hacking campaign that included stealing e-mails from hillary clinton's campaign and from democratic party organizations. the special counsel determined that, and the attorney general acknowledged that in his letter. so why has the president repeatedly deferred to vladimir putin, who's an enemy, who waged an attacken o on our democracy? why did he publicly take putin's word over that of his intelligence chiefs? >> my people came to me, dan coats came to me and some others, they said they think it's russia. i have president putin. he just said it's not russia. i will say this. i don't see any reason why it would be. >> our intelligence community warns putin is still attacking
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our democracy. why has the president kept his own aides in the dark about his communications with putin, even taking away his interpreter's notes? and when will be learn more details about what the attorney general in his letter today describes as, quote, multiple offers from russian affiliated individuals to assist the trump campaign? we might be able to get a lot closer to answering some of these questions if we could see mueller's entire report. a doj official tells cnn the process of determining what else can be released and scrubbing it of grand jury material, that process has begun, but there's no firm time line for releasing more of the report. democrats say that they'll settle for nothing less than the full report. the house judiciary chairman jerry nadler says his committee will-call the attorney general to testify. and he says this. >> it is imperative that the attorney general release the
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full report and the underlying evidence. the entire unfiltered report as well as the evidence underlying that report must be made available to congress and to the american people. >> the biggest unanswered question tonight may be will we ever get to see the full report? abbey philips is at the white house this evening. good evening to you. we appreciate you coming in late on a sunday. listen, mueller found no collusion which is coordination and conspiracy is really what his letter says. we all know how many times the president said that, and according to this letter the report says he is right. but did not exonerate the president of obstruction. despite the second point the president and his allies are taking a victory lap and they're feeling good. >> reporter: that's right, don. the president is having a really great day today, according to our sources that he's thrilled by these results because they believe they can take what's in this letter from attorney
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general bill barr and make these blanket statements about both collusion and obstruction. on the collusion point, you're right, that the president is correct. that the report was pretty clear there was no collusion that was found between the russians and the president's campaign. but on the obstruction point, it was basically a lack of evidence. it was written in the mueller report that this was not an exoneration. but when faced with that question, the principle deputy press secretary here at the white house, he said this. he said essentially prosecutors are not in the business of proving that someone didn't do something. they can't be expected, according to gidley, to exonerate the president. so they're taking it as essentially exoneration for president trump. that he's not going to be charged with this, that basically there's not sufficient evidence for him to be charged with this. and this idea there's no
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collusion, no underlying crime is really critically important, and i think that's what we're going to hear from president trump and his allies. and beyond that they feel this is just an easy thing. no collusion, no obstruction. yes, the president has been saying it for two years. but this time they can say they can make a case that's actually true and they can take that case to the american people going into 2020. >> it's good messaging for them, one must admit that. let's look at all the people that were involved with this. 19 lawyers, fbi agents, forensic accountants, other professional staff obtained more than 230 orders for communication records. nearly 500 search warrants, interviewed approximately 500 witness, nearly 2,800 subpoenas. despite an exhaustive investigation the president continues to attack it. it seems very thorough to me. >> reporter: it does. and you have to think ability just a couple of days ago the president was talking about 13 angry democrats part of
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mueller's investigatory team. and yet today that same investigation in his words totally exonerated him. but you didn't even hear anything about that from president trump today. it was interesting that president trump didn't talk about russian interference in the election, which we know happened, which was part of the mueller report as well. and he also didn't thank robert mueller for his work, for essentially exonerating him on these accusations that have been hovering over him for two years. what this has been is proof that there is a process in place at the justice department, that it was working and that it worked fairly. and i think president trump would even say now that he knows the result that it was fair. but leading up to this moment the president was saying that everybody ininvolved in this investigation was conflicted. and even now, don, president trump is hinting that the next step could be turning the tables
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on the other side, what he calls the other side, which may be a reference to hillary clinton. it may be a reference to people within the justice department who were there at the on set of this investigation during the obama presidency who he believed improperly surveilled or investigated his campaign. so, in fact, the president could be trying to turn the tables on this whole situation. we'll see where that goes. but he certainly hinted at that in his comments to reportsers when he was leaving florida this afternoon. >> listen, it's hard to praise someone that you have criticized so heavily over the last couple of years and thank them as well, even though it seems like he helped you out. can't do it. tough to even for this president. thank you, abbey, appreciate that. i want to turn now to democratic congressman david siilini.
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>> i mean, the biggest question i have is when are we going to see the full report. i think it's very curious that the special counsel spent 22 months in a very exhaustive investigation that you just described and laid out the evidence with respect to obstruction of justice but didn't make a conclusion about whether the president in fact had committed a crime. but he went to the pains of saying but this report does not exonerate him. after that lengthy collection of evidence and the lengthy recitation of the facts, the attorney general, mr. barr in 48 hours says oh, no we can do that work for you. there is no obstruction of justicemism i think a real effort to try and shape the narrative. we should remember that mr. barr essentially auditioned for the job of attorney general by writing a memo unsolicited that basically argued the president could not be charged with obstruction of justice because he's in charge of the justice department. that caught the attention of the president, he made him the attorney general, and now it
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looks like he's delivered on that legal theory. >> let me ask you this -- there's a lot of ground to cover so if we could do these questions quickly i'd really appreciate it. if robert mueller had been more emphatic and come to some sort of conclusion about obstruction of justice, would you have been happier then, because then it would seem that the democrats would have no recourse in any of this? >> well, no, i mean we would be happier because we want the person who has the independence from the president. that's the purpose of having a special counsel make that determination based on the law and the evidence rather than the political appointee of the president. that's the whole idea, is the special counsel is protected, his independence is protected. that's why we charge him with making these difficult decisions so that he won't have to answer to the president of the united states like the attorney general does. so, yes, there was mr. mueller's responsibility, frankly. >> okay, do you feel similar to comey and clinton, when comey
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said, well, she didn't break any crimes but they were reckless. and mueller is saying there was no collusion but this doesn't exonerate him for obstruction of justice? >> exactly, this is why it's so critical we see the report in its entirety and its supporting evidence because we need to understand what the evidence was that caused mr. mueller to not make a judgment, why did he not make a judgment, but what's the actual evidence? i think we need to have mr. mueller come before the committee and walk the american people through his report, explain the context, explain the judgments he's made, the decisions he's made. then i think we need to have bebarr before the committee so he can explain the judgments he made, based on some quotations from the special counsel's report this is why we don't need the barr report. we need the mueller report. the american people should see it and so should congress.
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>> what about rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general? should he have been involved in the decision to clear the president of obstruction of justice given his original involvement drafting the memo about comey? >> yeah, i mean i think it raises real questions as to why he was parts of that deliberation. was he in fact or did mr. barr simply reference him to spread some of the responsibility? i think that's why we have lots of questions about mr. barr about that decision, how it was made, who contributed to that decision. but all of this has to be done once we have the report because that may be raise additional questions, and it's important to remember this report belongs to the american people. it was generated as a result of an investigation by an attack on our democracy by a foreign adversary. everyone in this country has a stake at understanding what happened here, what the facts are. and certainly members of congress that have additional oversight responsibility have a right to see this. >> listen, quite honestly if there are sources do you want
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the entire report unredacted? >> no, of course -- >> if there are people out there who have been implicated but did not break any crimes, why would you want their names out there so that their reputations would be impugned by this? >> i think you can scrub those kinds of things to protect third parties and obviously classified information. but the balance of the report can be release today the public, can be released to congress. we have to be able to have confidence that this investigation has been completed properly, that we've taken corrective action when appropriate, and that the american people know the truth. this democracy belongs to all of us. we all have a stake in protecting, what happened to the american presidential election and the president's effort to obstruct justice. and we have a responsibility to make sure the american people know the results of this 22-month investigation. >> thank you, congressman. i appreciate your time. >> my pleasure.
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>> plets brilet's bring in some folks who are here often. appreciate all of you joining us. the special counsel did not find the president's campaign conspired with russia. to put it simply as trump shorthands it, no collusion. >> this is the question that's consumed a large part of our justice system, a large part of our politics for more than two years now, was the president involved? and the special counsel and keep in mind this is part of the report where we have the special counsel's language here, not barr interpretation of it. and you quoted it earlier in the broadcast, no evidence that trump or members of his campaign colluded with russia. that's despite what we already knew came out in trump tower offering dirt on hillary clinton. or recent revelations about the president's campaign chairman sharing polling data with russians. but with all those resources, the 40 fbi agents, the hundreds of interviews, determining that
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there is nothing further behind that, which has been a fundamental question here. you know, were these just smoke signals at the top and there's a deeper case behind it? we now know the special counsel with all those resources determined that, no, there was nothing below the tip of the iceberg as it was on that central question. and we should say definitively that is good for this president. it removes a cloud over this president. >> laura, can i ask you a legal question here. i don't know if it was a parsing of words. jim said found no evidence. the special counsel's investigation according to barr did not find the trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with russia. did it find no evidence or did it just not meet a legal bar? >> didn't meet the legal bar. now, that's a distinction to
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make. of course if we had the full report we'd actually know why it didn't do so or definitively if there was zero evidence whatsoever. we know in the public eye, of course, we see at least there was an attempt to benefit what was an influential campaign by the russians at least in respect to the trump tower meeting. we know that took place. we know there was even a call to action like wikileaks to be involved in the e-mail hacking. but one thing is really important here. while barr may through this summary may have provided or removed a cloud from the president on that specific issue, there is still a very heavy cloud over the president right now and over the obstruction aspect of it. because remember the president of the united states is the head of the executive branch, meaning its his job and his branch that actually enforced the laws. and all this time we've made comparisons whether this is president is above the law. well, this decision was made according to barr without
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respect he says in the letter to that constitutional decision about whether a sitting president should be indicted. and so the question is if there is still not an exoneration, what evidence was there to support, perhaps, that there was somebody who's a head of the branch who was doing this? this in fact is why i take issue with the report. mueller, if you needed more time to reach that conclusion, then you should have taken it. if you needed to have -- if you were stone walled through the process reveal that. but you cannot just say did he commit a crime, maybe, you decide. this is not how this is supposed to work. >> give me your take away from this report. what do you think? >> i first of all i think what happened with barr, he put a little lipstick on something that might have been fairly ugly. i have some suspicions of the reason why he boiled this down the way he did is because it's not very attractive, don. while he didn't find -- his words are very different than
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barr's i suspect. so i think he had a heads up on this. i think one of the reasons he backed off on the obstruction issue is there was a fundamental disagreement with the department as to whether a sitting president was capable of obstructing justice. if you read barr's memo, june 2018 he said in essence a president -- he is named in a statute, is not subject to that statute. well, the president isn't name said kban said in any of the obstruction statutes. i think mueller was of a very different school of thinking so he just withdrew, and those issues will be sorted out as this report slowly hopefully surfaces. >> but in the meantime if it is sorted out and the narrative -- barr has already set the narrative for the republicans and for the president. so if it does come out --
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>> he's framed it. >> he's framed it. so it's going to be tough for democrats and others investigating in the congress to change that narrative even if it's something different than what barr says in this letter. >> i think of this almost in terms of journalism, right? people don't remember who was first. they remember who got it wrong and remember who got it right. i think this will be a bit like that, if it turns out there's a significant disparity and we do see the report. it will be a bit like that. but everyone's right, the narrative has been set by this document, and the president is taking his victory lap. and i highly doubt even if it does come out if we do get the report, if there is a big disparity, i don't think the president will ever give an inch on that. i think he will stick to the script that has been set in motion today and so will the rest of his allies in the white house and surrounding the white house. but i do think, you know, even if it comes out that the report
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is very different, i think that the rest of us will be able to assess it, you know, in a reasonable smart way and most people will not be manipulated by smpin. >> the special counsel dedeliberated with the doj about issuing a subpoena to interview the president. ultimately mueller decided not to do it, but was there ever a formal question about doing it, a request? >> at least a debate, not a formal request. and cnn is reporting that decision was made not just on precedent, right, because as you and i have discussed many times before, it is justice department guidelines that a sitting president cannot be indicted. but also on the merits of the case, that the special counsel in conjunction with the justice department determined not only did past practice precludes indictment of the president but also the substance of the case does not indicate we should pursue that as well. and that's key because it means that they took a look not only as precedent but they looked at
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the substance of the charges, they looked at the evidence and the special counsel, again, in conjunction with the justice departments. we don't know how those deliberations were, decided there's not enough here to force him to sit down. and to be clear we know that the president's lawyers view the fact the special counsel did not subpoena him for a sit down as one of their biggest victories in defending the president in this case, not forcing him to face live questions on this, for instance, as bill clinton did. >> let me ask you laura and if you said it, but i'm not a legal person here. the standard for proving obstruction of justice is beyond a reasonable doubt. is that a factor in the decision of not to pursue that charge? >> well, it's a combination. as a prosecutor you're going to look at what evidence you have. is there enough to charge the person with a crime. and the thought is you charge the person with a crime if you can actually prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. it's not an example of trying to throw spaghetti at the wall,
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that sounds good enough, let's charge him and see what the jury may or may not do. if you don't have that you don't go forward because you lose credibility. remember it's the united states in these cases not the individual prosecution. so what one prosecutor does to undermine the credibility of a particular action, actually transfers to all members of the justice department. that's why it's the u.s. versus someone. so it is a very interesting question to raise. the problem, however, is the reason it may almost be a self-fulfilling prophecy. if you do not inderv to try to get information, you may not have information. therefore you could not actually reach that standard to say whether you have it or not. with respect to the president answering questions one of the big questions looming for a lot of people here was why was there no pursuit to get information? why was there no attempt to do a written response, like a take home exam? so that's the question one
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mueller will have to answer maybe through barr, but it's a question that's looming. you never tried to get the information so therefore, of course, you don't have it. >> john, the fact that trump's legal team prevented a sit down interview, made it so he didn't have to answer written questions on obstruction, does that show how seriously they took the threat of obstruction more than the case of conspiracy and coordination? >> it's hard to tell without the full report. what i was struck in reading the obstruction section because i had barr's earlier memo in my mind is the standard that he has for that. and i realized as i was reading this the letter today, that if richard nixon had had william barr as his attorney general he would have never had to resign. he could have stayed in office. because the smoking gun tape that resulted and forced him out of office would not have been considered obstruction of
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justice. so, you know, i'm very troubled by the obstruction section and i don't think it's going to go away. i suspect congress is going to dwell on it, and i think they're going to do it long before the 2020 vote is taken. >> olivia, you heard the president today describe this investigation. he said it was an illegal take down. it wasn't. he also says people were badly hurt. given his view on the mueller investigation do you think we're going to start to see presidential pardons? >> i think it's certainly possible. i think he's shown previously that his pardons of people like sheriff joe arpaio he can be unpredictable. it wouldn't surprise me at all if he were to starts rolling out pardons related to this investigation, no. and i also just think he's never going to stop talking about it. he's so happy today. giving the deputy press secretary told the white house traveling pool that he was
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watching tv and making phone calls on air force one on the way back to d.c. tonight. but i don't think that he's ever going to give up talking about this. i think it'll be like hillary clinton, something he brings up even if he were to win re-election years and years from now. >> jim, let's talk about this because i've said -- i know john dean and laura know this. i've set that all along there were going to be many disappointed democrats around the country because they thought the president is going to be led out of the white house in handcuffs, and that wasn't going to happen, and it wasn't going to completely exonerate the president, which it didn't. not to pat myself on the back but i think this if we could be divided any further, meaning america, this report does that. because on one hand it says he did this but on the other hand it says, okay, he's not completely clear, so what is the take away? >> you're right. the division is so great today no matter what the conclusion was a block of the country would feel the president was treated
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unfairly or fairly, and a block of the country would feel this is proof enough for me, right, if it's not proof enough for the other side. it presents a real dilemma for democrats you could say going forward because they have to decide whether they can pursue this line of investigation given the conclusion of the special counsel. even though he's left open the obstruction of justice, part of this is management. because the initial headline as drawn by william barr has manted it a certain way at least on the question of obstruction. how aggressively do they pursue this one but also the other investigations before they lose a part of the contuntry that sa, okay, we've been down this path for two years. we've talked to folks on the air and in bars and rest rnlts across the country who have lost some patience with this. >> they've lost patience with,
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you know, people who think that the president has done nothing right and the president is completely guilty of all of this. and then on the other side they've also lost patience with people who completely excused everything the president does and become apologists for the president. so, again, i don't know if it solves anything. i think it would have been better even if it would have broken democrats' hearts for mueller to say there's no evidence of obstruction or collusion and be done. >> you're right. there's a portion of the country that wanted mueller to give an answer they want. really that was a false expectation from the beginning. >> laura, i want to get your thoughts on this. and also, how the american people feel if this president, if this president issued a pardon to paul manafort or roger
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stone? >> you know, if he does that, first of all you wouldn't be totally shocked because remember both of those individuals are in the cros hairs why because of the mueller investigation. remember his mandated included the notion of the campaign and collusion, but also wherever he may come across in the process of it. and the president has been very clear that he has call itted a witch hunt and particular that led to manafort was unjiffable. the problem is paul manafort's conduct largely dealt with as far as the guilty pleas and the conviction with things that were outside of his time with the campaign. so the president would actually not have to feel he could get vengeance because those were things he was doing wrong outside the purview of the united states. so he could still look at it both ways and still be a
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winner -- winner is a loose term here, but still be a winner and not actually pursue a pardon. >> do you think, john, we'll ever learn why so many people in the president's orbit consistently lie, and he's going to be going to jail for it. >> i don't know if we'll ever -- you know, it's a mystery, don. and it's one of the unsolved mysteries so far. with the full report we might have a better understanding of why they lied. and i think that if there were pardons that came out for two people that he'd have to pardon everybody as was done in iran contra where anybody who still had jeopardy and where and that was barr's recommendation and that guy got rid of that scandal and the threat it made for the president as well. but i don't know if we'll ever know why these people lied. they obviously made very fatal
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errors, and they were very costly for them. >> olivia, last word. do you think we'll know, ever know? >> well, i think we sort of do have an answer already. like the fish rots from the head down is the saying. i think that leadership sets the tone and we see how the president lies every day. so it's no surprise, even if we don't learn when was prompting people to lie in many instances i think it's no surprise people around the president lie as much as he does. robert mueller did not find trump or his campaign conspired with russia, but next we're going to dig into what the attorney general's letter does and does not tell us about the counter intelligence piece of the investigation. which is doi't to make you everybody else... ♪ ♪ means to fight the hardest battle, which any human being can fight and never stop. does this sound dismal? it isn't. ♪ ♪ it's the most wonderful life on earth.
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180 over 111. switc145 over 92. i had a heart attack, a cardiac arrest, and then a stroke. narrator: this is what high blood pressure looks like. you might not feel its symptoms, but the results from a heart attack or stroke are far from invisible or silent. get back on your plan. or talk with your doctor to create an exercise, diet and medication plan that works for you. go to loweryourhbp.org if i would've followed a treatment plan, i would not be in this situation. robert mueller's investigation is over. the special counsel concluded neither the president nor his associates conspired with russia. but one thing the special counsel's investigation has been made clear, russia did interfere in the 2016 election. joining me now to discuss steve
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hall, josh campbell. gentlemen, good evening to you. what is the letter that we got today from the a.g. barr? what does it tell us about the counter intelligence aspect of the investigation? >> the first one, the headline being obviously if you're the president you're breathing a sigh of relief especially on the issue of collusion. and it's not just good for the president but also good for it country i would argue because we have an independent counsel, a craft team of investigators to determine there was no collusion between the campaign and the russian government. there's that aspects. the there's the issue of obstruction, which i think is still sunsetled. that said there are still unanswered questions. and we haven't seen this report, you know, in its entirety, but there are a couple of questions we still need answered. the continued capitulation, the failure to criticize vladimir
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putin, even when his interests are clearly at odds with our own. and lastly when you go back and look at this investigation, the prelz has tried time and again to interfere into the investigation, throw sand into the gears of the justice department in a counter intelligence investigation that was geared towards protecting this country from a national security threat. so although it's good news for the president from the collusion angle there's still unanswered questions. >> and we'll continue onto figure out how to get answers to them. steve, the attorney general's letter, it lays out how the report finds two different russian efforts to interfere in our election. here's how it reads. it says the first involved attempts by a russian organization, the internet research agency, ira, to conduct disinformation and social media media operations in the united states to sow social discord and found that russian government actors
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successfully hacked into computers and obtained e-mails from persons affiliated with the climten campaign and democratic party organizations and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries and wikileaks. so what can we find from a counter intelligence perspective? >> don, one thing we can sort of reflect on is i think before the break your guests were talking about how divisive this could be for it country. but what you were referring to, the fact everybody agrees with the possible exception of donald trump who apparently still has some doubts in this regard that russia attacked us in 2016, and they did it again in 2018, and they're probably going to do it into 2020 and into the future, this hybrid war they developed.
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i think if you ask yourself, and this is fascinating question for me, what is vladimir putin thinking, what are the ugzs thinking as they're reading through this as we are right now and i think one thing the russian intelligence services are thinking, now we have a much better idea as to where the channel markers are, where their lanes if the road are. and i think actually the russians are a bit surprised how broad they can go. and the next time they go against us in a hybrid warfare type of fashion at the very least in 2020 they'll know they can probably push a little bit further than they thought they could. they can get a little closer to that edge because what they've learned is due to our system of justice, our open society and how things work here, they actually have a lot more room to work with and still people aren't going to be thrown into the jail. >> i wanted to ask you what does that mean for roger stone, but i
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want to play this, the moment between president trump and president putin. >> just now president putin denied having anything to do with the russian interference in 2016. every intelligence agency has concluded that russia did. my first question to you, sir, is who do you believe? >> my people came to me, dan coates came moo me and others and said i think it's russia. i have president putin. he said it's not russia. i will say this. i don't see any reason why it would be. >> skraugs, you said there were a lot of questions which is one is we kwoent don't have any idea why the president acts this way when it comes to president putin. >> it doesn't prove people innocent. they gather information to determine whether there's a crime, whether there's something we can prove. we can all look with our own eyes and listen with our own
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ears to this behavior and how troubling it is from a national security perspective as you have the president continually siding with vladimir putin over his own intelligence community. he can't criticize him for the life of him. and you raise your eyebrows and wonder why this behavior is there, why the president continues to do that. it started as a counter intelligence case aimed at securing the united states and protecting us from a foreign threat, yet you never hear the president talk about that. it's always internalized and about him. i never did anything wrong. by the way, this all started from day one. you back from after the president was elected there at trump tower where you had all the intelligence heads briefing him in how russia interfered in the election. the first question by the trump team is does this change our
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legitimacy, how does it relate to us? again, it's so troubling because all of us silting here watching this behavior that understand russia not only did what they did but are going to do it again would have to have confidence it's going to be addressed. >> believing him over his own intelligence experts? >> i don't know that the letter did, don, but josh raises a good point. why is that? the answer i think is because there's a difference between collusion, cooperating and trying to work with the russians, which the report apparently says did not happen and blackmail. and i don't think there's -- there's certainly no doubt in my mind that the amount of times donald trump visited russia, the business activity that he undertook with russians whether it was in south florida, new york or trump tow, they were collecting on him. and they were looking for
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kompromat, compromising information on him. if they did indeed get information either financial or business related they could use to leverage him, then it doesn't really matter whether trump wants to cooperate or was interested in collusion. it's simply a matter of vladimir putin or his guys picking up the phone and saying, look, donald you've got to do this because remember about this thing we have. so collusion is different. >> can they still have kompromat on him, the kremlin, the russians? >> sure, yeah. >> i just want to make sure that -- because maybe that would explain his behavior but there's no collusion, but the russians could still have kompromat. >> i think they do have it and could maintain that information. >> josh, go ahead. just quickly i want you to answer that if you can do it quickly. i want to mention russia and what russia tried to do. there's been a lot of talk about wikileaks and roger stone as well. so answer the russian part and
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the second part for me. >> i think if you look at the totality we have to separate what the guardrails were on that case. they're looking varnarrowly atikaclusion between the campaign and russia. really opening the aperture, looking at business dealings, looking at tax returns. i think a lot of that without those guardrails in place will perhaps get to some of those questions, what is it that the russians have. >> and stone and wikileaks not part of this? >> you'll have to wait see. did they maybe look it very narrowly as maybe roger stone wasn't employed by the campaign so he doesn't fit under the umbrella of a campaign employee? again, until we actually get to see that report for ourselves, these questions will remain and you'll have a large segment of the conthy that still wants to know what's in it. the battle is heelting up
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the mueller investigation did not find that donald trump or his campaign conspired with russia. and the president is doing a victory lap. now the bat sl heating up over the release of the the full report. van jones is here. the summary with we learned that
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a lot of folks on the lethat didn't happen. we said that. >> i have been trying to tell folks firefighter a long time. and i can't tell you how many serious people have come up with to me when bob mueller is going to get trump i said maybe eight years if we don't starlet working object real issues so there's an honest level. of disorientation i think some of us feel the way we were raised was maybe wrong. that our parents told us work hard, be honest and some people look at the stuff that president
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trump does and says is he going to get in trouble. people are struggling to come to terms. that he's going to continue to say and do stuff. >> but even in the broader aspect, why would he lie to the american people about paying off a porn star or playboy. >> all that stuff goes into the narrative. >> i think republican friends think democrats are just purely partisan. just hate this president and want to do bad stuff to him. there are some people who feel that way, but there's a bigger group of people that are just confused. why is there no consequences?
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we have to give people a chance to be sad about that, but democrats have to get back to work because this whole thing has taken up too much time. >> i think van hit the nail on the head. i think democrats are so hell bent on antitrump that they are becoming anti-american on this. at theened of the day after this investigation, you have the head of this probe, the head of this investigation telling us that the client here there was no collusion and no obstruction. then he's exonerated. why can't the democrats just acknowledge that fact? >> alice, hold on b a second. i don't think van said that was un-american. >> i don't know where that came from. if democrats are being anti-american, they are saying this was unfair. people are accepting the outcomes, but we're still confused. >> but i think unfortunately they are not. that's why some are saying he
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wants to bring barr before the house panel because of what he calls the, quote, underhanded ness of the way this review was done and the way the investigation was conducted. they are not going to take this lying down. and unfortunately seeing the response by democrats ask those on the heft today, it was a flashback to the election day of 2016. you can almost hear the phone call canceling the fireworks today. if the democrats are going to continue to pursue this line of questioning the integrity of mueller who went from hero to zero in 24 hours and instead of focusing on 2020 and what the democratic voters want, it's going to be not a good outcome for them in 2020. and not to mention the fact the independents who are straddling the fence, if they continue to go down obstructing the process. >> it doesn't exonerate him. democrats i think most people even who are not partisan and
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even if it you are, it says it does not exonerate him. >> maybe we're watching different stuff. i haven't heard people say anything negative about mueller. i think the one good thing out of this is even though trump was tough on mueller, democrats gave him a fair shot ask are accept ing the results. where democrats have a right to ask more questions is in the barr report, he says he's not exonerated on this one point. i don't see it as darkly as you do. i don't see democrats out there trashing mueller. i haven't seen any of that. and i do think people have a
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right to ask more questions. i agree with you that if democrats only hop up and down this pogo stick, i don't know enough about it, but it's been a big distraction. the two mistakes democrats have made. they underestimated trump when he was running and then they overestimated him when he got in office. the only time democrats have done a good job is during the midterms they worked hard and the one who is won focused on real issues. >> you're right on that point. the word impeachment didn't come up during the mud term election. that was a big part of their success and also being able to reach out to an array of candidates was also important. but moving forward, if the dialogue and language we heard out of democrats today is the way they are going to move forward, i think we can all agree that's not a winning formula. >> i don't know what democrats you're listening to.
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grieve, be sad, people were hoping that something would happen and trump would realize he needs to conduct himself differently. it didn't happen this time. but the opportunity now to focus on real issues is ahead of us. i hope we take advantage. >> i think all americans can take some pleasure in knowing that the president of the united states has found that there was no coordination with russians. that's a victory. >> i would like democrats and republicans to be consistent on everything. if you don't want democrats to investigate this, republicans shouldn't have gone so far with benghazi. millions and millions of dollars. so everyone, republicans ask democrats, should be consistent. if you're republican, you should speak out of what happened there. if you're a democrat, you need to speak out for what happened in other situations. so be consistent.
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>> i'll be hosting a town hall with presidential candidate cory booker wednesday night here on cnn at 10:00 p.m. our coverage don'continues.
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if you see wires down, treat them all as if they are hot and energized. stay away from any downed wire, call 911 and call pg&e right after so we can both respond out and keep the public safe. pg&e wants you to plan ahead by mapping out escape routes and preparing a go kit, in case you need to get out quickly.
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for more information on how to be prepared and keep your family safe, visit pge.com/safety. this was an illegal takedown that failed. >> no collusion. no clear answer on obstruction. robert mueller says the trump campaign did not conspire with the russians us be leaves one major question unanswered. victory for the president and his team. welcome to the the viewers in the u.s. and around the world. i'm dave briggs. >> and i'm christine romans. it's 3:00 a.m. in the east. president trump and robert

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