tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN April 17, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
mueller report revealed, the president is speaking out tonight in a new round of interviews. will he make a formal statement or even take questions once the report is public? white house consultant. there's a new report out that justice department officials have had numerous conversations with white house lawyers about the special counsel's conclusions in recent days. how much did they reveal to the president's team? two reports. the justice department reveals that some members of congress will get to see a less redacted version of the mueller report than the one that's made public. will that satisfy democrats demanding to see everything. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're many t you're in "the situation room." we're following a lot of breaking news on the trump administration's roll out of the
redacted mueller report from now. the justice department confirming that william barr will hold a news conference at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning to discuss the report and will take questions. tonight president trump says he may hold his own news conference after barr speaks. the justice department revealing that a second less redacted version of the report will be provided to some members of congress. this as the new york times reports that justice department officials have spoken to white house lawyers about the special counsel's conclusions in recent days. i'll get reaction from democratic congressman. our correspondents and analysts are standing by. laura, tell us more about this news conference the attorney general is planning to hold tomorrow morning. >> much is at stake for william barr, deputy attorney general
rod rosenstein who has been overseeing the investigation and the institution of the justice department. we know they will face cameras and take questions at 9:30 tomorrow morning. i'm told barr will make a statement and he's going to really explain his thinking. he will provide an over view of the report and address potential process related questions. the big question on everybody's mind is when will we see that report. the justice still being tight lipped at this hour about when it will go to congress. when lit go to the republic. all of those key details we are still pressing for. we know barr will take questions. >> we're also learning that there will be two versions of this redacted mueller report. one that will eventually go to a limited number of members of congress with fewer redactions. tell us about that. >> that's right. this came in a court filing just minutes ago in the case of roger stone. that former confidant of the
president. in the filing justice department lawyers provided a road map of what we'll see in the coming days explaining the report with fewer redactions. we'll go to select members of congress. we can assume that may mean the gang of eight but they did not specify. we're trying to confirm that. it really puts congress in an interesting position as we know they have been pressing for days to see the full mueller report. this only says they will see it with fewer redactions. as the attorney general has explained, it's being redacted for grand jury information as well as ongoing information. that would pertain to the case of roger stone. they are saying they will get a report with fewer redactions on ongoing investigations. >> interesting. pamela, you think the president and the attorney general are trying to control the narrative once we get to see this redacted version of the report by having these news conferences? >> it seems as though the president is at the very least trying to do so. he's been doing it for days
leading up to tomorrow with his tweets saying no collusion, no obstruction. there's the question about the attorney general. as we know nebrasmembers of mue team felt he wasn't forthcoming in the four letter page to congress because he shaped the perception to the public without including more damming information about the president regarding obstruction. the president said in a radio interview that bill barr will be holding this press conference. it raises the question are they trying to control the narrative. this was bill barr's decision alone to hold press conference. we don't know if this will be before or after the report's release. there won't be a lot of time to digest it before the press conference. >> mark, you have some major new reporting just posted in the new
york times moments ago. the white house has been in direct touch with justice department officials about the mueller report. tell us about your latest information. >> reporting that there has opinion numerous conferences in the last couple of weeks between justice department officials and some lawyers at the white house. these would be members of the white house council's office. not the president's personal lawyers. it's some discussions about some of this content of the mueller report and some of the conclusions that mueller team's came upon. this has led the white house team to be able to develop a little bit more of a refined strategy for this rebuttal that they are planning to put out, we assume, not long after the mueller report comes out. >> you're also reporting there's a sense of pair nranoia among s white house officials. tell us about that.
>> as this becomes closer to release, there's a concern about possible retaliation by the president. if there's a kind of road map in the report about who said what, how damaging it was, who knows what the president might do. that has created this concern. it's been there before but i think the closer it comes to release, and perhaps the more the white house itself learns what's in the report, that has fueled this paranoia. i want to two back to add this issue with the justice department talking to the white house is of a piece with some of the kind of more controversial actions that attorney general barr has made in recent weeks and statements he's made going back to the four page letter. adding to that the statement he made last week during the congressional testimony. sort of saying there's been spying on the trump campaign in 2016. he's under a lot of scrutiny as
well. >> what do you make of the fact it was president trump just a little while ago who announced that the attorney general will be having a news conference tomorrow morning instead of the justice department would normally make an announcement like that. >> it's hard to know, at this point, how much to make of it. suggests there was a degree of coordination going on which isn't entirely abnormal. this is obviously an unusual presidency. it does show there is, at least an effort, to have a coordinated message tomorrow when the report comes out. >> what do you think about that, laura? >> it strikes me, it's sort of unorthodox. it's not surprising they are having conversations about the roll out. i think we need to learn more. i would not be surprised if the attorney general addresses this at the top of his remarks. i think a lot of people were sort of curious why he didn't address it head on at his
testimony last week. he said previously the white house would not do a privilege review of this report. fine, fair enough. when asked about whether the white house had been briefed on the report, he deferred on that. part of what leads to all of this speculation about white house and doj communications is the secrecy. if every one would be up front with what's happening because there's nothing wrong with it, perhaps there wouldn't lead to all of this enormous sort of combustion of curiousty about all of their conversations. >> pamela, what's your analysis? >> as soon as i heard bill barr in the hearing last week, he was being very cagey on this issue and said he wasn't going to talk about discussions even though he said he wouldn't consult with the white house on executive privilege. some white house sourcesens didn -- sources didn't know. others were cagey. this whole secrecy and not being forthcoming and transparent
leads to this perception that there's something going on behind the scenes that may not be buttoned up or could be nefarious. there's nothing precluding them from talking. you would think they would have gotten out in front of this and saying this the what we're doing. there's nothing to hide. the democrats have said they don't want the white house to have any part of this process because the concern would be the white house would be trying to shield information on an investigation that has to do with the president. now we're learning from mark's reporting in the new york times there's been this back and forth, several conversations over a couple of weeks. it raises the question why are we learning about this from the new york times and not from officials. not from bill barr or anyone from the white house. >> it's interesting because the former fbi director james comey was criticized for having full scale news conference as he was announcing no criminal charges would be launched against hillary clinton. did barr and rosenstein
potentially risk that kind of criticism? >> they risk it. they will have to tread carefully tomorrow. the letter that rod rosenstein, that memo that was used in justifying james comey, mentioned the fact he held this press conference about hillary clinton that violated doj protoc protocol. you don't hold press conferences when you decide not to prosecute someone. there will many other things they can talk about tomorrow. the process. how they decided to redact what. his thinking. addressing this back and forth with the white house. a lot is at stake and he'll have to be very careful. >> everybody stick around. we're following all the breaking news. i to go to capitol hill where some members of congress will be able to review a second version of the mueller report with fewer redactions and the version that will be released publicly tomorrow morning. our senior congressional correspondent is working this part of the story. the justice department revealed the second version is coming.
what more can you tell us about that and how is this likely to play with democrats? >> reporter: in that court filing, it says a limited number of members of congress could review the less redacted version of the mueller report after the redacted version becomes public. it's not clear exactly who will be able to see that on capitol hill. if it will only be limited to the so called gang of eight. the people in charge of the intelligence committees, the leadership or extended to more than that. perhaps the judiciary committee, chairman and ranking members of in the house and senate. democrats have demanded the full mueller report. not a less redacted mueller report. they demanded the underlying information. they have demanded a grand jury transcripts as well as threatened to subpoena the justice department for all of that and willing to go to court to fight for all this information. it could be available to some members of congress unlikely to
satisfy democrat who is are vowing to fight for every word of this report. the question is will they get it. >> i want you to stand by. we're getting breaking news on a new test of north korea's weapons program. this is potentially very fantastic. barbara, what are you learning? >> reporter: at this hour the pentagon is looking into these reports from north korean state news service. kim jong-un is reported by the north koreans to have observed today what they are calling a new tactical guided weapons firing test. two very keywords in this statement. tactical and guided. tactical refers to short range weapons. something that would not be a threat to japan, south korea or the united states. precision, guided. that's some kind of weapon that's guided in a precise
fashion to its target. the north koreans are not saying very much about what kind of weapon and all of this still has to be verified by the west that they fired anything at all in deed. kim jong-un saying there were powerful warheads involves. we often see warhead type devices on the front end of short range artillery, rockets. that's ha goes to a target. what are you hearing potentially about kim jong-un's motivation? >> the question here has been is kim jong-un going to test a nuclear weapon or going to carry out a missile test.
this is evidence he's moving in that direction. in what state media is saying out of north korea today, he's expected and directed a new tactical guided weapons test. this may not be the most provocative thing that he could have done at this moment in time. it sure is provocative and it will require a response from the white house who has time and time again despite the slow down in correspondence with the u.s. and north korea after the failed summit in which neither party walked home with any wins. they have said that north korea is no longer testing its nuclear weapons or its missile program. this would be evidence that kim jong-un is pushing in that direction and so that line will no longer stand just as steady as it once did. >> in the aftermath of the failed summit in hanoi, is the north korean lead eer deliberaty
beginning the process of provoking president trump? >> that's what it looks like. as barbara was saying earlier, we're yet to hear what the u.s. intelligence has said about this and how they are look at this launch and what it specifically it was. that will matter and that will also guide the u.s. response to this. there's also options that north korea had in launching sat l ii satellites that are not tied to its nuclear program. that's something administration says would have solicited less of a response. it's important to point out that a special representative for north korea, from the state department, he's in russia right now. it is expected that kim jong-un will be heading to meet with
putin at some point over the next two weeks. that's what sources told me just today from russia. they were meeting and he was still upbeat and optimistic about getting back to the table with the noerns. we'll have to see how this impacts his posture. >> there's a lot going on. let me go back to barbara starr at the pentagon. what else are you learning? >> we are indeed. we have learned the u.s. northern command and strategic command, they both monitor satellites. intelligence gathering satellite and both are saying that there was no indication of a ballistic missile test. that's important. it means that u.s. intelligence satellites did not see the infrared or the heat signature of a ballistic missile lifting off a launch pad. nothing that would threaten the united states, south korea or japan. it's still extremely significant
because what it does mean now, kim jong-un, who is no slouch in crafting his strategy against the united states, has put president trump in a bit of a box here now. the president, of course, for months, has been defining the initial success against north korea that they have not tested any nuclear weapons. they have launched nothing. now apparently, they have. they have kept it below the threshold of a provocation on the level of threatening the u.s. or other country fies in t region. they keep it below that level of a provocation. this is short range, guided. it may or may not be something that's new. that's not really what's significant here. it's the statement that kim jong-un has made tonight in north korea that he is firing something. he's capable of firing it. he's not afraid of donald trump and now that ball literally is in the president's court. he has to make a political
decision. how he's going to play this. what he's doigoing to say. the u.s. feels strongly. we heard this from senior leaders behind the scene that kim jong-un does not want a big provocation. his aim is to get sanctions relief. he's not going to do anything. nobody expects him to do anything to over step that. by firing this weapon off, keeping it relatively low level according to the initial report, not a big provocation. he's still put the president in the box of having to say something about it and having to reconfigure u.s. central, how they will deal with the north koreans on this key point. >> even if it's not a ballistic missile and not a nuclear test, that's important, that's good, but it is an opening shot. a new tactical guided weapon that could represent a threat,
if it's used along the border with south korea, there's still close to 30,000 u.s. troops there. >> that's right. the reports coming out of north korea are calling this a historic event which is bolstering north korea's combat capabilities. that is also a line that can play directly into kim jong-un and how he's viewed domestically as we're talking about walking away from the hanoi summit with trump. kim jong-un didn't have any deliverables at home. this is up with way for him to cater to his base in the same way that president trump has been trying to cast the diplomacy between the u.s. and north korea as a win even when there isn't tangible movement by north korea as a result of those conversations that's been going on. both sides here are looking at how they can domestically play this. they will have to make a decision about how they play it on the world stage as well.
>> we'll get back to you both as more information comes in. thank you very much. i want to go to our chief white house correspondent. jim, there's a lot of breaking news unfolding. let me first ask you about this weapons test. is the white house saying anything at all about this in. >> the only thing they'll say now, i talked to a white house official who said they have seen the report, but they won't have any other comment about it at this time. it does go back to this issue as to how the president has been boasting in recent weeks. he's gotten kim jong-un under control. he's gotten the north koreans to behave themselves. this flies in the face of that. it's something the president will have to deal with.
attorney general william bar will be holding a news conference tomorrow to go over what's being released from the mueller report. the president teased he might hold his own news conference. i talked to an administration official just in the last half hour who said you can basically take that from the president. he's going to be talking to reporters tomorrow. if you take what's already provoking him right now with the mueller report and add in this provocation from kim jong-un, we have the makings who are pretty lively discussion with reporters over here at the white house as the president often has. one thing we should point out when it comes to the mueller report, the president was sounding off on this probe during this interview with the local washington, d.c. radio station. at woone point he was raising questions about barack obama's role in the investigation. a possible early warning he's not going be pleased about what's going out. as the president tried to stay on script, the former and
present trump aide are nervously awaiting the findings from the mueller report. one scoffed at the notion the president koulcould be upset wi what comes as some trump aides were told they had to cooperate and their e-mail addresses are handing over. democrats wonder why there's so much anxiety. >> we know the mueller report doesn't exonerate the president. the mueller report doesn't make a conclusion. we should see whoo evidenat evi mueller team collected. there could be embarrassing details about the report. this cautions the president is impossible to embarrass. despite the fact he's welcomed mueller's findings of no collusion with the russians during the campaign. the president is still trashing the probe tweeting the witch hunt has been a total fraud on
your president and the american people. the president sounded off in an interview with a washington, d.c. talk radio
station. >> this should never happen to a president or this country again what took place. you'll see a lot of very strong things come out tomorrow. attorney general barr will be giving a press. maybe i'll do one after that. we'll see. he's been a fantastic attorney general. he's grabbed it by the horn. >> is there any doubt in your mind that president obama had knowledge of everything going on? >> we're talking about pervasive, horrible things that were happening and it would be hard to believe that he didn't know what was going on. we're going to leave that for another day. >> as he awaits the findings, the president is weighing in on the democratic field for 2020 tweeting i believe it will be crazy bernie sanders versus sleepy joe biden as the two finalists. i look forward to facing whoever it may be. may god rest their soul. sanders fired back.
looks like president trump is scared of our campaign. he should be. in an interview, the president relished the idea of running against a self-described socialist. >> our country is doing so well and if we became a socialist country, you could write off this country. this country would go down so fast. >> reporter: the trump administration is finding new ways to crack down on the border with detaining migrants instead of releasing them. top republicans say they are willing to accept the tough policy. >> we need to address the problem. let's send billions down to repair the economy of central america. that's not going to happen. we have to address this problem. >> reporter: as for the mueller report, the former administration official who spoke with me earlier told me it may have been better the talk to the grand jury instead of the investigators with the probe as the grand jury proceedings are expected to be redacted.
the lesson learned after talking to mueller's team is do not cooperate. getting back to what the president said in the interview here in washington, earlier today, the president said that you're going to see some strong things or strong tough coming out in this mueller report. it's not exactly clear what the president is talking about but i did talk with administration official about that who also picked up on that president, on that comment from the president and this official said that's an indication that perhaps yes, there's been conversations going on between the justice department and the white house as to what's going to be in the mueller report. i will tell you that reporters here at the white house have spent the last couple of weeks asking the officials every day has been been any conversations going on and it's been curious because what they've been saying over the last week to two weeks about all of that is we can't tell you the answer to that. obviously, they know there's a
huge sensitivity especially up there on capitol hill among democrats there might be any kind of koorcoordination betweee justice and the white house oifr what is released by this mueller report tomorrow. >> the new york times noting there's been in the words of new york times, numerous conversations in the past few weeks with justice department officials and white house lawyers on the mueller report. jim acosta, thank you. congressman, thank you. jerry nadler tweeted that congress won't receive the report until 11 or 12:00 tomorrow afternoon. let me read the tweet. i'm deeply troubled by reports that the white house is being briefed on the mueller report ahead of it ts release. now we will not receive the report until 11:00 or 12:00
tomorrow afternoon after all barr's press conference. this is wrong. what's your reaction? >> i think the attorney general is doing any job. not the job as attorney general but the job as special counsel to the president. to protect the president politically, to protect the president legally. to be his press adviser, to shape the message. i'm not a journalist but i have a pretty good idea it's hard to ask the right questions when you haven't seen the report. >> he also tweeted the chairman of the judiciary committee, a man you know well, he also tweeted this. attorney general barr wrote to me on april 1st, i do not believe it would be in the public's interest for me to attempt to summarize the full report, closed quote. nadler says i agree so why is the attorney general holding a press conference to go over the mueller report. i mean it's pretty unusual to
have a news conference on the mueller report before the reporters in the room can have even read the mueller report and know what to ask. >> it's part of pattern of behavior of the white house been able to co-op the republicans on the intel committee to help hand and glove obstruct this investigation and finally tank it. to not respond to the russians attacking our democratic process, to attract the justice department and the intelligence community. it's a disturbing pattern and what it leads to is something i've said before. in the final analysis, we can insulate ourselves from what the russians did but it's quite possible but what the president's response to this investigation will have far more lasting, damaging impact on the independence, the reputation and the ability of the justice department and the intelligence community. >> you been informed as a member
of the intelligence committee when you will be able to read the mueller report? >> here's what we know so far. we're going to get the same report as every one tomorrow. eventually, we'll get a less redacted report. i don't know that's actually official at this point. we're not even sure who was in congress might get to see that. it's absolutely nonsense. the intelligence committee works on extraordinarily sensitive, classified information. vital to our nation's security. nothing in this report will come close to that. the only reason they would want to keep it from us is to keep it away from our understanding of the bigger picture and understand this began as a counter intelligence investigation. was the president of the united states compromised? was anyone around him compromised? those investigations need to continue. that's why we need the full report and the underlying
documentation that comes with it. >> are you surprised at how this is all unfolding now? >> no. if anyone is disappointed, they haven't watched what's taken place over the last two years. if anyone expects any sort of transparency from this white house, they were expecting santa claus to deliver it. >> you believe that information should be made available to every member of congress, the most sensitive information or do you agree with the justice department that it shoult d be restricted to only certain lawmakers. >> i don't know what we're talking about. if it's classified then just go to the intelligence committees. there's a broad spectrum of information out there. what should be able to each member of congress will depend on what's out there. we're just as in the dark as anyone else. the fact of the matter is certainly the gang of eight and the intelligence committee should get all this information and the oversight committees and
the judicial committees should get the full report because they can receive it in classified form and a classified setting. the only thing that's getting this from happening is the fact that the white house isn't comfortable with getting out to anyone else because as we know, all too well, this won't exonerate the president of the united states. they are obviously nervous about it. >> we know some staffers inside the white house are having deep regrets about having cooperated with the special counsel's investigation. does that tell you anything about what might be revealed in the report tomorrow? >> i think that those who cooperate are probably going to see their fingerprints on this if they're not named directly. orve l obviously they are concerned. the president through tweets and what have you intimidated witnesses, called people rats who cooperated on investigations. it's clear they are dealing with
almost a mob style mentality, the person they work for. >> you expect this report to give you committee new leads to investigate? >> i think if the full report gets to us, it will on a counter intelligence basis and on issues dealing with obstruction. recognize our purpose was not the same as the special counsel. our purpose was to find out exactly what took place and educate and inform the american public. make sure this sort of thing didn't take place before. there's public record of collusion and obstruction. it should be cold comfort for the american public that it wasn't in the special counsel's mind meeting a burden beyond a reasonable doubt on a criminal basis. even that was left to mr. barr. mr. barr had already written a report saying it wasn'tgoing to
happen. >> thanks so nuch fmuch for joi us. >> thank you. >> let's dig deeper into this with our analysts and experts. this jerry nadler tweet that the report will not be made available to be public after the news conference at 9:30 a.m. that's pretty extraordinary. >> it's not going to -- congress isn't going to be briefed on it. when you think of this se sequence of events here. you have an attorney general who has written a four page letter summarizing the report or bottom li lining it. redacted the report, talked to the white house about it, given a press conference about it at 9:30 tomorrow morning. all before members of congress have seen it. i think when nadler says he's troubled, i kind of don't blame
him. the attorney general seems to be doing an an run around the democrats. >> it is pretty extraordinary. he's going to have a news conference that releasing the report but the reporters, if you believe jerry nadler, the reporters will not have seen the report when they are supposed to ask him questions. >> barr is rolling this out like a campaign document. doing it in the way that will help his candidate the most. he's now characterizing it before anybody else has a chance to read it and see whether he's characterizing it accurately. most americans tomorrow will first hear about the mueller report through the lens of barr who already has a clear view of what it contains and his commentary in the four page letter has already shaped
perceptions of it, accurately or not. he's continuing this up to the bitter end. >> i mean it's pretty extraordinary. i've covered washington a while now. they release an important report and he will make a statement and answer questions before the reporters can have a chance to read it. >> it's extraordinary and allowed barr three and a half weeks and tomorrow to set the narrative. you can imagine an alternative universe where tomorrow both the four page letter and the redacted report and the press conference were all happening at the same time then i think the justice department could sort of come out there and say with strength, look, this has been a transparent process but instead you have a situation where they allowed the familiartive to set and now they are sort of back filling with the details of the information and it does allow people to reach the conclusion that the fix was in. maybe not that the attorney general did anything illegal but he did not follow the spirit of
this investigation. >> if he doesn't explain what he's doing and then takes reporters questions, the first question from a reporter should be with all due respect, why are you having this news conference now as opposed to after we had chance to go through the redacted 400 page report. >> i anticipate that's exactly what will happen. the attorney general will face a number of questions about the process and not just the substance of the report which reporters can't comment on because they haven't seen it. those process questions will not only be about the four page letter in which he summarizes the special counsel's finding but the roll out of the report and the extent to which the justice department has been in contact with the white house. the big question has been whether or not the attorney general is acting in the interest of the president. if he's trying to protect the president in the way that he has shaped the public's understanding of report. the sequence of events, the
actions he continues to take do signal he's trying to frame the narrative before anyone have had a chance to reach these con c g conclusions on their own. >> i love it when we can ask tough, serious questions. i would like to ask robert mueller, who spent two years working on this. his report is finally being released. it would be nice if he shows up and then answer some questions. >> i wouldn't bet on it. you have to ask the question of why the attorney general and the deputy attorney general are going to be characterizing and have been characterizing bob mueller's work without hearing from bob mueller. at some point he may be called
to testify before congress. if you will recall, he did not sign off on the four page letter that bill barr wrote. i think that was probably very smart because that would have looked like endorsement of the way barr characterized his bottom line findings. what we don't know because we haven't seen the mueller report, even a redacted version of it is whether barr's characterization was accurate. we just don't know. all we're hearing from is barr. >> remember, barr will be able to say i read the whole report. every single page. my conclusions are a, b and c. the rest of us are only going to see the redacted report. he has an advantage not only in terms of time because he will be out there first but he'll be able to say, based on the full
report, my conclusions are as follows. you poor people only get to see what i allow you to see. if they are substantial, i think that calls into question the process even more. >> would it be appropriate for mueller or some members of mueller's team to be at this news conference tomorrow to show up because bill barr said mueller and his team were helping him decide what to redact. >> if the mueller team could honestly answer questions and say was -- does the redaction distort the meaning at all. do you think the attorney general has behaved appropriately here. sure it would be good to have them answer questions. if they were just standing there as props then the i don't think it would be beneficial. >> the biggest question is did you intend for him to make a decision on obstruction or did you intend for that to be left
up to congress or the american people? >> i think the answer is yes it would be good to to have mueller there if he would actually answer questions not just stand there as a supporting player. >> david, the house judiciary committee tweeted his disapproval of what bill barr is doing. attorney general barr wrote to me on april 1st. i do not believe it bouwould noe in public's interest to summarize the report. why is the attorney general holding a press conference tomorrow morning to go over the mueller report? >> i think in hindsight that word summarize was a carefully chosen word. barr said my letter on march 24th wasn't a summary. it was a synopsis of the conclusion. >> the principal conclusion. >> not all the details.
that plus what jeffrey was saying is barr has obscured what really matters here. what matters at this point to a large degree, in my view, is not whether or not an indictable crime was committed. it's what happened these last two, three years and at least congress and my view, the american people right to just know what is going on. >> now the new york times is reporting over the past few weeks there's been numerous conversations between justice department officials and white house lawyers. not the president's personal lawyers, white house lawyers about the substance, the content of mueller report. >> that was a big question. to what extent had there been any form of coordination between the justice department and the white house. at a minimum by informing the white house of some of the ub stan -- substance of the report, the white house has given the justice department an opportunity to frame how the public will receive this
redacted version of the report. tomorrow we can anticipate hearing from the president himself. i think ultimately one of the big questions is what the attorney general is going to say about his own rationale and his own thinking when it comes to that letter and why he said that he did not believe the evidence was sufficient to bring obstruction charges against the president. he'll be doing so once again by citing a report that no one else has seen in will be an opportunity for the justice department to summarize the report while every one else is still waiting to see what's in it. >> when barr testified before congress, he wouldn't say what his communications had been, if any, with the white house. you have to wonder why he didn't want to talk about it. now the new york times reporting there has been, it explains a lot. donald trump has gotten more and more frantic, it seems to me, in his tweeting, about the mueller report and also trump told the
radio interviewer they will be very strong things in the mueller report. what that means, we don't really know. you can tell from the president's behavior that he's been increasingly upset about what might be in this mueller report. maybe barr feels the need to explain it. >> the president satd the witch hunt has been a total fraud on your president and the american people. it was brought to you by tidirt cops, crooked hillary and the dnc. >> i think i've read that tweet about 30 times. sdplp. >> that was today. >> it's not like this view is new. i think that's a greatest hits version of the tweet on this subject. it's got everybody in there. >> a few weeks ago right after that four page letter released
by the attorney general , he wa asked if mueller is honorable, he said yes. >> that before. sd sd >> you explain the thought proce process. i can't go into donald trump's head here. it's above my pay grade. >> i agree it's a repeat. the dirty cops jumped out at me. that's a notch past. that's the kind of thing that, i'm sorry so say, a common street criminal might say if they thought they were being railroaded by the police. it's clear from the conclusions of attorney general barr, they are not indicting for a crime. the president is certainly tweeting as if he feels like he has something to hide. >> i think that's a reaction to barr saying they were spying and the president then take it one step further saying dirty cops because who spies when they're
not supposed to? dirty cops. >> do you think he's doing to start talking about quote spying? >> i'm sure he will be asked to explain in more detail why he would make that statement which came off to many as being unequivocal about the fact something illicit happened. he did try to walk the comments back by saying he didn't have any evidence to suggest the spying was illegal but he was talking about what was authorized surveillance and whether or not something impo improper occurred. he called the special counsel an honorable man but he has intent the last two years trying to discredit the entire investigation. i think you'll see the president strike that same tone as the public has the chance to consume what's in the report. remember, after the attorney
general's initial four page letter you did have some members, not all, but some members voice frustration through the media that they felt that letter significantly down played what they had found during the course of their investigation. another question will be, what you might hear from some of those same members of the special counsel's team with respect to the redacted version and to what extent mueller embraces the redactions. >> for 22 months that team was very silent. there weren't in leaks, if any at all. >> none that i'm aware of. zero. despite the fact the president kept calling them 13 angry democrats led by an established republican, which he never seemed to mention. i don't think the president worries about being contradictory. two things he's certain to say tomorrow are this is a complete exoneration. complete proof. no collusion. big waste of time. second, anyone who says anything
negative about him in there is a liar, a terrible person. i think that dual message while internally contradictory is something that's pre-ordained with donald trump. >> we're learning several current and former white house officials are nervous they decided to cooperate with mueller. let me put up a picture of some of the trump officials who were interviewed. they volunteered. they were told, there's nothing wrong. you have nothing to hide. go ahead and tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. now they are deeply concerned in this report what they said about the president may come back and the president might retaliate against them. >> sure. if you're still a trump loyalist and value your job in the administration or someone close to be president, you probably would be nervous. at tend of the day, any of these people are better off if they just told the truth to
investigators. down the troed they could be caught in a situation where they will be indicted. >> let me say about their concern, so what. they work for the taxpayers. they don't work for donald trump. the idea they didn't want to cooperate because donald trump would retaliate gents thagainst maybe you shouldn't work for donald trump. one of your responsibilities when you work in the white house is that you cooperate with law enforcement. >> you know you make a good point. when the new york time phrased it, a sense of paranoia is taking hold of some the president's aides. >> they know he's going to punch back. what is he going to say? let's play this out a bit. these are people who testified under oath. they are not just talking to a journalist. they are testifying under oath. donald trump did not testify under oath. he did not go in and sit down with the special counsel, which
is something that his lawyers were very smart to do, i might add. but what is he going to say about them? they lied under oath. it's fake. what these people are saying is fake because they lied. well, they were under oath. i'm not sure what the president can say. maybe they afraid they will get demoted or he will hate them. many of those people are no longer in the administration. what are you afraid of? >> retaliation down the road. >> retaliation and the fact they spoke the truth. one also important aspect of this is we have seen some of the indictments against the former and current trump administration or campaign officials. up until now a lot of the public's understanding of the witnesses who have cooperated with the investigation and what they may have talked about with investigators have been based on reporting. solid and thorough reporting by members of the press. i think it takes on a whole new meaning when you will have a
report and voice of investigators recounting who these witnesses were and what they were able to share in terms of the actions both of the trump campaign as well as the transition and the administration. sfr you think tomorrow is part of this 400 page report, we'll see the q and a that the president . >> wolf, you ask good questions that's why you have this job you have. i don't know. >> that would be significant. >> it would be very appropriate. >> here is the questions that we asked. here is the president's response, publish the whole thing. >> or -- i mean that would be ideal. but i would imagine that in the narrative the president's view as -- as expressed in his answers to the written questions would be summarized or quoted in some way. but the full text, i mean, it should be. >> remember, the answers were only on collusion. not about obstruction.
it might be in the narrative on collusion. >> right. right he refused to any questions about his -- >> whatever it is i'm interested in read going. >> the questions the lawyers wrote. >> the reporters in the one or two briefings tomorrow, that should be one of the top questions asked. will we see the president's written answers to the written questions? if not, why not. >> gloria makes a good point, to sabrina, the lawyers of the president vetted and fine tuned every answer. >> absolutely. we no he that one of the issues that they were concerned with was the prospect of the president committing perjury. but as we digest the redacted version of the report tomorrow when it arrives it's important to remember that there is still a lot of unanswered questions in part because of the redactions which frankly will hold a lot more information, particularly with respect to the counterintelligence information. and one of the bottom lines as william barr put it is that investigators could not find a
criminal conspiracy between the trump campaign and moscow. we are going to have a lot more we won't know about the pattern of context between the trump campaign and moscow or members of the trump administration and the russians. a lot of the questions won't be answered until the members of the congress get their own version where they get to see the redactions as the attorney general promised. >> i'll be interested tomorrow and you will as well, jeffrey, the behavior of the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein at the 9:30 a.m. news conference. he will show up. will he stand there? will he make a statement? will he answer reporter questions even if we haven't seen the report yet. >> my money is on standing there. >> yeah. >> i think that's the -- rod rosenstein has been this peculiar shakespearen character but with a very important role, he is the person that wrote the memo that led to firing of james
comey. he named robert mueller. he supervised the mueller investigation. he has been off -- he has been nearly fired apparently several times. he is on in very long farewell tour where he appears to be finally leaving as deputy attorney general. but he has resisted being center stage. he will be only too happy to allow william barr to be the spokeman. >> this may be his last appearance. >> i suspect he has a book down the road at some point if he is interested. everybody stand by. more on all the breaking news right after this. what if i wielded the power of the infinity gauntlet...? i could bend reality to my will, with a snap of my fingers! i just saved money with geico. i saved hundreds of dollars! nice! that is a lot of money. the power is exhilarating!! hahahahahaha! hah. ha. just got something in my throat. yea... marvel studio's "avengers endgame." in theaters april 26.
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we're following another important story this one in colorado. where an fbi official this afternoon said an investigation continues in order to identify any possible accomplices who could have helped a florida woman who they considered a credible threat to schools in the denver area including the columbine high school. the woman was found dead today. cnn martin savage was at the news conference. joining us live from denver, martin, tell us the latest. >> well, wolf, they are definitely runsing down leads to make sure sol pace was acting alone. as you say her body was found this morning.
located on the mount evans area, 60 to 70 miles from columbine. the fbi says she died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and the weapon was the same weapon she purchased after arriving in denver. here is what they want to make sure. was there any other plan that maybe she had accomplices? was this an extravagant suicide attempt? or did she are other ideas of attacking the school and change her mind? or are there other people waiting out there today other things? they can't have the lucks which of waiting especially on this the 20th anniversary of the horrible attack at columbine, wolf. they continue to look to see if there is anything else. >> that's saturday 20 years since the massacre occurred. what are you learning about her mental state, martin, and the activity leading up to her travel from florida to colorado? >> and that's the key here, wolf. that is everything. it appears when she disappeared on sunday -- the week of of course the lead up to the
terrible tragedy, it is when the fbi and authorities began asking questions. there were people they talked to said they was in a dark frame of mind and did seem to have this fachgs with columbine. online they found a journal. they found very direct connections to images and words she was using, talking about columbine. she has gone missing. she buys three one-way airline tickets for the 15, 16 and 17 to come to denver and then the fisher learns online she bought a gun. here is the troubling thing in all of that scenario, wolf. every time the fbi learned something it had already happened. the fbi here didn't know that she was here until she was already in denver and had already purchased a gun. and that's when the alerts went out yesterday, districtwide, to all the schools in the denver area. they went into a lockout. and today they just completely shut down. was it worth it? the fbi says if you ask any person pern parent any will tell
you it was. >> the full story, martin savage in denver opinion. thanks and don't forget the cnn special coverage of the release of the mueller report begins tomorrow morning 6:00 a.m. eastern. join jake tapper and me at 9:00 a.m. eastern. erin burnett outfronted starts now. >> outfront next breaking news, the attorney general to address the nation tomorrow morning. hours before he releases the redacted mueller report according to a top dem ab"the new york times" reports tonight the white house and justice department have been talking about the report conclusions for days. plus for a paranoia reportedly taking hold of the white house. why? what are they afraid of? and more breaking news. kim jong un tests a taqle guided weapon, the first test since the failed summit with trump. let's go outfront. good evening, i'm erin burnett. outfront, the breaking news bill barr won't release the mueller report until h