tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN April 18, 2019 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
about don mcgahn, reince priebus. >> rick deer rn who are the guard rails? because we know the president needs them. >> there is going to be a lot of dramatic developments i suspect in the coming days weeks and plonts. everybody thanks very much. our breaking news coverage continuing with erin burnett outfront right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. good evening, i'm erin burnett, outfront tonight trump said etches f-ed. that's according to the mueller report. and here it is two volumes, 448 pages. this is the double-sided print. including what trump is accused of saying after learning of the special counsel and here is the quote. oh, my god. this is terrible. this is the end of my presidency. i'm f-ed. and he might have been if it weren't for people around him saying no. mueller's team looked into ten specific instances they outlet outline in here where the president may have instructed justice. according to mueller quote, the president's efforts to influence the investigation were mostly
unsuccessful. but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the president declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests. that's an incredible thing that he tried but failed. one example was white house counsel don mcgahn. according to mueller in june of 2017 the president called mcgahn and ordered him to have mueller fired. mcgahn refused. he wouldn't do it. mueller then goes on to give examples of how trump walked up to the wart waters edge on obstruction of justice. and you know take this there is a threat to michael flynn. according to mueller after michael flynn's lawyers refused to share information about what flynn was telling the special counsel trump's personal lawyer responded, quote, that he would make sure the president knew that flynn's actions reflected hostility towards the president. nasa threat and it's damning. pu mueller did not charge the president with the crime of obstruction. instead, he writes, if we in confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts gnat president clearly did not commit
obstruction of justice we would so state. based on the facts and the applicable legal standards we are unable to reach that judgment. so mueller won't say the president didn't commit a crime but won't charge him with a crime. so what's next? well? just a moment i'm going to ask a member of the house judiciary committee what congress is going to do whether democrats going ahead moving ahead with the move of impeachment due to obstruction ever justice even though the special counsel did not charge the president with the crime. the big question is why trump would put so much effort into trying to fire mueller and trying to get someone like flynn and others not to cooperate if he had nothing to hide, if there was no underlying crime to obstruct. mueller's answer to that question, quote, the evidence does indicate that a thorough fbi investigation would uncover facts about the campaign and the president personally that the president could have understood to be crimes. or that would give rise to personal and political can concerns. so the president may have thought he committed a crime and that is why he was influencing or trying to influence the
investigation itself. katlyn collins outfront live outside the white house tonight. and katlyn, besides a brief comment and a couple of stweets tweets today and he was in public. he had plenty of opportunities. the president is unusually quiet. what's going on? >> yeah, erin, the president went from saying he might hold a press conference to merely waechg at reporters and not answering any questions as he left the wlous. the president knew what was going to be in the report coming out. as barr said this morning his personal counsel got a smek peek knows what was going to be in the redacted version. but a lot of times it depends on the coverage of an event is that shapes the president's mood. and one of the major themes emerging from today was this narrative in in report that essentially the people who have surrounded the president for the three years two and a half years he has been in office were trying to keep the president from carrying out the orders that he wanted carried out. including derailing the mueller investigation. one of the main figures and see
with don mcgahn when it was reported the president tried to get mcgahn to fire mueller refused. and when the president wanted him to deny the president tried to get him to do that said he wouldn't because it was accurate. and it was an event reflective of what had actually transpired. now the president does not like in narrative that he is being managed by staff. and that's essentially what this mueller report today paints that picture. that's the emerging narrative out of here. so that's the question, how is he going to respond to that? now, speaking of staff one member who did travel with the president to palm beach is the new white house lawyer who has been there taking over i believe since last fall. that's not someone who typically travels with the president for something like this. i believes in the only the second time we have seen him in palm beach with the president. the last time he was there was when they announced the special counsel ended its investigation. >> thank you very much katlyn. perhaps hes listening to taking to the counsel of his counsel and staying quiet for now. mueller lays out in detail
ten actions. ten actions that mueller says the president took to hurt and end the mueller probe. sara murray is outfront. >> attorney general william barr mafd li pave cleared the president of the obstruction. >> i concluded that the evidence developed by the special counsel is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offense. >> but special counsel robert mueller, he clearly refused to do so writing in his more than 400 page report, the president's actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. mueller's report covers in pains taking detail a potentially dachling list of at least ten ways trump repeatedly tried to curtail the investigation. mueller writes that the president was only unsuccessful because the people around him declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests. like june 17th, 2017 when trump directed don mcgahn to have to have mueller fired.
mcgahn declined to do so saying he would resign rather than trigger what he would regarded as a potential saturday night mark and two days later in a previously unknown kpfrpt in the report. trump met with cory lewandowski in the oval office and dictated a message intended for jeff sessions. in the message sessions was told to publicly announce the investigation was very unfair to the president. and he should not be subject to an investigation because he hasn't done anything wrong. the message was never delivered. and when trump asked then fbi director james comey to end the investigation of his former national security adviser michael flynn, the report says comey did not end the investigation of flynn which ultimately resulted in the flynn's prosecution and conviction for lying to the fbi. trump later fired comey. still the redacted report concludes the trump campaign did not criminally conspire with the russians. but trump had other reasons to dread the investigation. according to the report, the evidence does indicate that a thorough fbi investigation would
uncover facts about the campaign and the president personally that the president could have understood to be crimes or that would give rise to personal and political concerns. mueller's team also answering a question are key question why didn't they interview the president? well they believed they had the authority to subpoena trump and found trump's written answers inadequate murm's team believed it would delay the investigation. writing we had self sufficient evidence to make assessments without the president's testimony. now bill barr offered a rosy view of the president's activities in his press conference conference today. obviously mueller's report was much tougher. so no surprise the hill wants to see robert mueller the man himself testifying on capitol hill. bill barr says he will not stand in the which of that. >> that was obviously a crucial ask. he said i'm okay with that. he will we'll see what happens. sarah stay with mo. joining to us talk with me is shimon. and josh campbell who worked for
robert mueller and james comey. and harry sandic. annan ann james trusty pb former chiefs of the organized crimes section of the department of justice. long-term friend of rod rosenstein love to know what he was thinking standing there today. let me start with you we have the ten actions that mueller lays out, right. he gives each example. he then provides analysis of it, all the detail is here. how damning are those ten points of possible obstruction? >> i thought they were devastating for the president. what mueller lays out and describes it as a pattern of conduct but lays out countless instances where the president is engaged in conduct trying to change the pattern of the investigation. get people to not cooperate, have people fired. we have the president lying, engaging in conduct where he tries to even fire bob mueller, the special counsel himself and taking a lot of efforts to make sure that the investigation isn't damning to him. the one thing i would disagree
with and see i think mueller made a decision not to make a call here solely out of a sense of fairness and respect for the institution of the department of justice but my read when you read the ten -- the ten examples fourth of july is that i think he goes really specifically through the facts and the elements of the controls crimes and makes a compelling case and a compelling case in some instances that the president engaged in obstruction of justice. >> harry, look, don mcgahn refused to do what the president asked him to do, to order the firing of robert mueller. cory lewandowski is involved. and the president talks to him, according to the mueller report, says you better pass along in to jeff sessions. >> yes. >> he better unrecuse himself or else, right? cory lewandowski won't do it. he tells someone else because cory luna downsizing doesn't want to do it and the other person refuses to do it. >> right. >> if these people had not said no, you know, if they had not -- if they had acceded to what the
president asked, would the president be guilty of obstruction. >> well i'm not sure based on how mueller framed it that he was very influenced by the doj policy in terms of his ultimate decision to charge or not charge. but i'll tell wlau, based on the report i think those other people lewandowski, or don mcgahn or the -- it was chief of staff i think to sessions, those people could well have been charged with obstruction had they agreed to go with what the president asked them to do because they are not the president. they don't benefit from the doj policy. it was wise of them for the president's sakes and their own not to follow the instructions. >> devastating, jim. >> i'm not sure it's devastating. it's not a pretty picture. it sounds like a testimoniestous workplace where the president gets frustrated rattles off demands and people say, he will calm down in five minutes and walk away from it. the public part of the alleged obstruction would be extremely hard to ever prove beyond a
reasonable doubt as a prosecutor. obstruction works in the shadows kwh when the witness don't testify, is hurt or prescribed. you have very public tweets and obvious and must towards the investigation coming out of the president's lips. it's new territory. but it's pretty uphill to say that's proof beyond a reasonable doubt of willful intent for obstruction. >> shimon there is a few questions. one of them is why the president of the united states would obstruct if there was no underlying crime. later on we're having a discussion about this whole issue of collusion in collusion mueller concluded there was no prosecutable evidence of collusion, right. so why would the president obstruct an investigation into that in mueller writes, quote, the evidence does indicate -- i want to read this again a thorough fbi investigation would uncover facts about the campaign and the president personally that the president cover understood to be crimes or that would give rise to personal and political concerns. in other words, the president thought he committed a crime. so that's why he was -- >> perhaps that could be. >> doing it. >> we could also think of it
this way. when you read threw the report, the president is concerned about how he is being viewed politically, because of the russia question. and time and time again while he may have been concerned that he was going to be criminally prosecuted for doing something it was always politically. how was he being viewed in terms of did he get cheated somehow? he didn't want people to think that the russians in any way still to this day that the russians in any way helped him. this was the big concern. and the other thing is when you read through this and what mueller could be getting at here is the president wanted loyalty from people. and he wasn't getting that. >> right. >> from people like sessions and former fbi director james come in. a and that could have been some of the reasons why you can argue why he did the firing or why he wanted certain people fired. >> josh. >> i have two problems with in. the first of which beings in exactly the opposite how we expect our leaders to operate. now, as you go back and look at the original mueller investigation -- and even before that the fbi investigation. government agents were trying to determine whether there was a threat to national security and
whether those in trump orbit played a role. as the cht of the united states what we expect is that person to cooperate. is there a threat? was there someone in my campaign operating perhaps at the behest of foreign government or working with them. we would expect cooperation what we got what was appears to be obstruction. throwing sands in the gears at every opportunity. the second issue we haven't hit on but i want to mention it the attorney general's role in in and the way it was rolled out. i think the american people got taken for a ride here by the way it was rolled out. we had nearly four weeks of the american people after barr's letter believes that the president, the final conclusions of mueller was the president didn't collude and the attorney general determined there waents instruction of justice. what he left out is what the report shows, the pattern of activity where you had the president attacking investigators trying to control the investigation telling witnesses fallout to cooperate. that was left out of the original explanation of what was in -- >> so jim mentioned flynn. i want to go back to that one
sarah. i briefly mentioned the headline, the threat that was clearly made by the president's counsel. and i want to read what mueller said when he detailed this threat made to michael flynn from the trump team. after flynn with withdrew from a joint defense agreement with the president and began cooperating with the government, the president's personal counsel left an attorney message reminding thechl of the warm feeling for flynn which i says asking for a heads up if the flip new information implicating the president process president when the counsel said he couldn't share information pursuant for the joint agreement the personal counsel said he would make sure that the president knew thatlynn's actions reflected hostility towards the president. it's damning. and then in the analysis, sarah, mueller goes on and says because of privilege issues he couldn't determine if the president of the united states himself knew about that threat, asked for that threat, it was privilege, he said that got in the way. >> yeah, i mean i think that's right. it was the president's attorney not the president who made in
phone call to michael flynn, so i guess good job lawyering on that one. but it also kind of runs in the face of what we saw this very rosy assessment from bill barr saying, the white house made everyone available. they said hand over all the documents. be as helpful as possible. sit for the interviews. meanwhile, behind the scenes we have in conversation between one of the president's lawyers and counsel for michael flynn saying okay you're helping them and not tell us what kind of dirt you're giving. not telling the dirt they have on us. i guess you're hostile to the president of the united states. it was a very different conversation going on behind the scenes than what the president's lawyers tried to convey publicly which is we are being as cooperative as possible. they're not going to uncover any damaging information on us. obviously that's also very different from how we know the president actually felt about the investigation which is my god this is the end of my president. >> when he said i'm if iffed whether it was related to russia or other crimes they would find in investigating russia who knows. we don't know. but when you hear of a threat
made from a president's lawyer to michael flynn's lawyer, flynn is cooperating with the government in the russia investigation which should be good and the threat is the president would be made aware that flynn is hostile. good lawyering as sarah said or any chance the president didn't know about that. >> i don't know whether the president knew about it but it looks like witness tampering because you make an implicit threat to the lawyer and the way it would be wrong and illegal if a witness is tampered which directly by trump it's wrong to do it through a lawyer. asking your lawyer to do something that you yourself can't do is not okay. it dpoents comply with the law. and it looks like an act of obstruction and that's why it's in the report the way it is. >> so another incident is what happened on air force one. we no he this. we have been talking this o about in incident for a long time, the meeting in trump tower and the subsequent statement and the president's role. but today we found out what he changed in the statement, the
specific words. okay. and here is what we find out from mueller. before the emails became public refrpg to the emails between donald trump jr. and people involved with the meeting with the russians in the tower. the president edited press statement for trump junior by deleting a line acknowledging the meeting was with an individual who trump june carrier was nold might have information helpful to the kban and instead said only the meeting was about adoptions of russian children. that's a huge change. >> it's a huge change. >> that's huge. >> that's not small. that is we were intimating perhaps not fully that there were things going on things offered. and replacing that with something else. >> and there is two parts. the first is that it completely changes the spin on the meeting, right. and in the original version it would have been clear that the campaign was seeking to learn about this information that was potentially damning but would have put it out public lynly annan o and been transparent by traeg it out it made it look like it was about russian adoptions which we know from all
the emails with donald trump jr. was not accurate but the second piece is that when the president is later asked whether he had any role in krafting the statement he lies and said he did not have any role. so i think both of those pieces really are part of what we are talking about here. >> what do you make of that? right he takes the truth a positive spin on the truth instead of saying they had information about damaging about hillary clinton it was positive to the campaign. replaces it with adoption of russian clirn. don junior goes in and wants to change it, tone it down. right he wants to put the word primarily about adoptions because he thought he would be outed as a liar if he let it go out the way his father put it. >> but backing up to the point made before, we are throwing around the word obstruction like a easy case to make that everything dishonest or political or has a bad motivation rises to the level of a federal felony. it doesn't. so you make political considerations if you are angry and saying i'm f-ed because there is a two-year probe going to drag me into the mud maryland
two years that may be outrageous we may not like the languages may not like the emotionality behind it but it's not the same as a crime. so i think this falls in the same category. political considerations in a weird way are almost a confess to the obstruction charge here saying it's not about the investigation. it's not stopping mueller and his people. i want the frustration with something that he questions the beginnings of and hates the daily reality of. >> josh. i understand from a legal standpoint i think there is a difference between obstructive behavior's the lay person looks at this and say sure the president was frustrated as anyone might be if they are under investigation that doesn't give you license to then go and do the things that are laid out in this report. to attack the investigators as we mentioned to try to control the investigation, tell witnesses not to cooperate now that. >> that guy in the charge of the. >> to fire the guy running the investigation, correct my former boss after he was told that he wasn't going to let the investigation go into his national security adviser. that may not reach a threshold under a legal stood.
obviously didn't the president won't be prosecuted perhaps for other reasons based on the nature of his position but the american people looking at this and congress looking at that when they see obstructive behavior that's a lower bar. we should expect more from the leaders we shouldn't expect what we reed in the report. >> it's not good. >> quickly, the point i think we also in reading the mueller report on in obstruction issue, i think it's not very clear cut legally why the president was doing what he was doing. right. there is a lot of gray jair. that was the things they were hung up on whether or not they can prove certain things. we saw that a lot time and time again. however, it's still problematic politically and it's still an issue for him and could be an issue for him before congress. >> and we're talking more about that because there are you know when you say what was the motive and intent to what he did, mueller raises that point. by the way, you wow, did we find out about a lot of other investigations. let's put that on hold for a moment. because there is a big question on this whole issue of obstruction of what exacts in congress will now do.
sources are telling us tonight gnat house judiciary committee will issue a subpoena as soon as tomorrow for the full mueller report. any also authorized subpoenas for five former white house officials mo of course will give their side of the story. on what they think happened, motives of the president whether the president obstructsed justice or not in the political sense of the world. okay that includes don mcgahn, former chief of staff annie donaldson within. hope hicks, reince priebus and steve bannon. outfront dop a member of the housed judiciary committee. congressman i appreciate your time. one of the first things i noticed about in report was -- i'm purposely showing it to everybody -- there is not a lot of redactions in here. there is a few sections but not a lot. and a lot of the ones that are in here are for ongoing investigations. do you think seeing the whole thing would change the outcome? >> well, i think that we're going to see the whole thing or at least certain committee
chairs are going to see the whole unedited unredacted report. and we should able to do that. >> minus frank, you're presuming that would stay redacted? >> well, you know, in past cases when independent counsels and special counsels have prepared a report, everything has come to congress, including the grand jury material. and we have done the redactions. so there is no reason that congress can't see it. and i think that at least the committee chairs will see it if not every member of congress. and that's the way that it should be. we are the law making branch of government. we have the constitutional oversight function. >> so why subpoena -- and i asked this because obviouslies there's been analysis to show if attorney general barr wants to fight you on the grand jury stuff you he can and you might to initiate formal grand jury proceedings to get that. but he has said he might be willing to unredact parts of it but by going straight to subpoena it sounds like you are going nuclear, not willing to
discuss with him. am i wrong. >> we're fallout going to straight to subpoena because we made the request a long time ago. in fact the entire house of representatives on a bipartisan vote of 420-0 asked for the complete unedited report. and so that's a matter of just separation of powers and respect for congress as the law making branch of government. so far from rushing to a subpoena we authorized the chairman to issue a subpoena a couple of weeks ago now. and he has been keeping it in his back pocket. and so i think -- i don't know whether he made the decision to go ahead and do it. but we're going to see the unedited report as is our right. >> on the merit of what you saw in there today, which as i pointed out -- there is really frankly very little redactions. i'm not saying it's not important. i'm just saying you can't look at this and say he didn't put a lot out there. >> correct. >> do you see from what you read a pathway to sprusing
impeachment right now, congressman? >> well, nobody is pursuing impeachment right now. so, look, we are at the very beginning of in investigation. remember, for the two years of republican-controlled congress there were no investigations going on in the house judiciary committee or in the oversight committee on this. there was just a complete silencing on the issue. and they said let's wait for the special counsel. let them do their report. of course, they heckled and harassed them along the way. made up this phoney deep state conspiracy and claimed that f t peter strzok and lietz is a page were organizing. but now are the report is here. we have a chance to read and process and analyze the report. ten episodes of presidential obstruction of justice is pretty extreme. and so in leads us on some fruitful paths for investigation. >> okay. >> but we have to deal with it.
remember the republicans impeached bill clinton for one lie about sex. >> look, i understand the point you make. but you are being clear that you are using the i word for investigation and not impeachment. and this is going to be the big issue for you all. i mean democratic congresswoman alexandria oxio cortes. >> he says i take no pleasure in discussions impeachment but this puts on our doorstep. let me finish because he told cnn earlier today based on what we have seen to date after the report came out, going forward on impeachment is not worthwhile. you have a problem in your party, don't you. i mean you guys are not on the same page. >> no, we have a problem in the country. we have a president who is manifestly unfit to conduct the powers and duties of office and has a spectacular contempt for the rule of law. and i think everybody recognizes
it. and nobody quite knows what to do with it at this point. you know, the attorney general's defense of the president was, well yeah, there are the ten episode he appears to obstruction justice but he was frustrated and angry. any lawyer can tell you that most criminals are frustrated and angry and doesn't create a defense to the crime. maybe it creates, you know, some kind of consideration in snng sentencing if you are frustrated and angry. unless what the attorney general is saying is what a number of officials have said and the president has tried to bury as quickly as possible, which is the president is not fit under the 25th amendment to conduct the powers and duties of office. so if you want to throw impeachment out there you may as well talk about the 25th amendment too because the whole country has to geel with in problem illustrate not a problem for my caucus or the congress of the united states it's a national problem. >> congressman, i appreciate
your time thank you. >> thank you. >> i referenced this problem in the mueller report. but in this tone he found evidence of other crimes. in fact 14 investigations we found out today have been referred to other prosecutors. 14. do we know anything about them and how threatening they are to the president. plus attorney general bill barr going out of hisway i to defended president and make trump the victim. >> the president was frustrated and angered by his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency. >> frustrated and angry. one of barr's main talking points. >> the special counsel found no collusion no underlying collusion, no collusion. >> that's not how former nixon white house counsel john dean seeing it. he will explain coming up. >> announcer: erin burnett outfront, brought it to you by principal, investments, retirement, insurance. we can help you plan for that.
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when you rent from national... it's kind of like playing your own version of best ball. because here, you can choose any car in the aisle, even if it's a better car class than the one you reserved. so no matter what, you're guaranteed to have a perfect drive. [laughter] (vo) go national. go like a pro. see what i did there? okay. tonight at the very end fortunate mueller report when you get there, there are some really important questions that are raised. we're talking about the last few pages. 14 instances where mueller identified potential criminal evidence that was outside the scope of his investigation. so evidence of crimes and then said, okay, outside my scope i'm referring it to other branchs of law enforcement. so of the 14, 12 are redacted we
don't know what they're with. the two not redacted to give you context are michael cohen trump's former attorney prosecuted by the southern district of new york and going to prison. and greg craig, the former obama white house counsel indicted for lying to the department of justice about work he had done for ukraine. knows are very serious charges. those are the two we know about. 12 we don't. what are they? >> back now sahr are murray. shimon, josh campbell, harry anne millgram. what do you make of this, josh. >> look, in any investigation if you come across information or allegations of another crime, whether or not it pertains to the matter at hand. >> yeah. >> you don't turn a blind eye you have to investigate. he know that was the second ten et in the mandate was any ear crimes he comes across. >> anything coming up in the context of the investigation into russia. >> that's right. exactly. although this work is done now with the report it's now out, that doesn't mean people in trump world are necessarily out of -- or in the clear right now.
because we have seen the referrals some redacted we don't know what they are. >> were you surprised? 14 >> i was surprised that number is high. again, in goes to not necessarily crimes nothing proven yet but the fact that investigators and fbith as and prosecutors looked at information coming down the transom in all directions and said this might violate a federal law and we are farming it out to another u.s. attorney office should be concerning. >> sarah and shimon you have been covering this pru surprised 14. >> "i" surprised. you're asking what could they be? that's what we have been asking ourselves today. there is only one you know clear outstanding question. jerome coursey they prepared in indictment against jerome coursey for allegedly lying to investigators and he is a conspiracy theorist associate of roger stones deciding to leak alling the information. he wasn't taking the plea deal and nothing happened to him. he is the only sort of obvious bucket you look at this and think okay. >> that would be one.
>> that's possible. that could be one. when you look at the list of the other ones you know it really does show you first of all the scope of how much work mueller and his team did. and how many unanswered questions there are. and we don't know if these are investigations that could potentially relate to other people in the president's inner circle. we don't have any insight into that. >> that's the key. how does it relate to the president? and what kind of. >> and does in relate to the obstruction, right when they say the motive. >> there could be other -- other. >> other things he thought he was. >> correct. >> helping by hurting. >> correct. the big thing is what's going on in the southern district of new york here in new york. and the other thing is we have seen a lot of activity out of washington, d.c. there are still cases ongoing there. but from everything we can tell right now the biggest cases where the president still has a lot of problems, where his organization, his company, the trump organization still has a lot of problems would be here in new york with et southern district of new york. the hush money payments.
>> yes. >> that is very much ongoing. that investigation has not ended. remember they released search warrants. >> which he is individual number one. >> implicated in the kriemt unindicted could dpirter for lack of better word at this point and the department of justice said he directed michael cohen to make the payments. >> you got these 14 two of which we know. and no references in the report tonight to trump's taxes. to anything financial. right. the only refrps to anything financial is michael cohen tryinged in deal with the trump tower in moscow. that's it. right? so we don't even know if mueller looked at trump's taxes, right? >> we don't know. there are a couple of points worth making. one is all we know and see mueller addressed the two prime questions that were given to him, the 2016 russian hacking into the election and the e-mails and whether the president obstructed justice. and mueller did those cases. what we saw is he farmed out other things that were peripheral, even if there was some piece -- he got onto
michael cohen as parts of the investigation. we saw cohen testify about trump tower moscow. but when it became clear it was related to other things he farmed it out. i would suspect nothing goes to the core of mueller's mandate that these are peripheral things. that doesn't mean it doesn't relate to taxes por financial questions. >> of course it doesn't mean there couldn't be very serious crimes, right, we don't know. >> no. >> i think people were surprised to see 14. >> we don't. on behalf of a weary nation i hope it's not caseens on michael cohen or michael avenatti some of these are paths we've been down too much recently. but it's interesting to know in terms of how cases are farmed out what's within the scope of the investigation? the scope starts off limited on paper to the russia probe. but rod rosenstein was in a position during the supervision to expand it upon request. so we don't know whether the tenticles went preponderate cohen thing was fascinating that this they farm it out to the
southern district. saying they have a cooperator. a failed cooper. but president concept they could overlap calls into pretty serious question what the scope limitations were and were they observed. it's curious over time to see if any of these cases public publicized and we can see what the handoff was and the decision making was. >> harry, if you're trump and being a little quiet tonight. >> yes. >> certainly for him. >> yes. >> these other cases, i mean, is it wide open? i mean what i'm getting at is when people say okay, don jr., is it possible that don jr.'s name is in that from what you read in the report would someone that significant not be involved in these other cases. >> look, it's definitely possible that it's connected to the president directly. and the reason i say that is because michael cohen is one of those cases and we have seen the campaign finance case. trump is right at the center of that case. it's just that as jim was saying it's outside the scope of the mandate that rosenstein gave to mueller. mueller being cautious not
wanting to become ken starr investigating a mill different things. and also wore there was litigation early on in the case. paul manafort filed a lawsuit and argued this is all beyond the scope. so mindful of that he referred these things out. but they could refer to the president. >> which obviously is the wig question. all right thank you all very much. and next attorney general bill barr claim the white house did all that it kwo to help bob mueller. >> the white house fully cooperated with the special counsel's investigation. >> so why didn't the president sit down with an interview with mueller? and why did he say he couldn't recall in the paper answers he submitted more than 30 times? and sarah sanders admits she lied to the american public when she said this. >> the rank and file of the fbi had lost confidence in their director. allergies with sinus congestion and pressure?
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attorney general bill barr under fire for his defense of president trump today. >> as the special counsel's report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks. >> in other words, trump was the victim. barr's press conference and handling of the mueller report leading democratic presidential candidate and house judiciary eric swalwell to say barr has proved he is an embedded trump ally who puts his political future above the rule of law making him unfit to serve. he must resign. up front you np john dean.
and april ryan and former deputy assist attorney general under president clinton, bob lichlt it john, according to the attorney general, temperature's actions everything he did which the attorney general knew we would see subsequent to the press conference and we would read all the efforts to impede the investigation, and that that was simply due to a quote sincerely belief the investigation was undermining his presidency. angry and frustrated barr says. do you buy it? >> i don't. he sounds more like a personal attorney, defense attorney for the president rather than the attorney general. who has taken an oath to support and defend the constitution. indeed, erin there is about 45 years of norm precedent that says you don't do the sort of thing that barr is doing. it's the post watergate norm he violated and brought us back to
nixonian type relationships between justice and the white house. >> so, bob, there were several instances in in press conference which i have to kelm emphasizing came before we saw the report. but when we got the report it became clear what barr said did not -- was not fully backed up by the mueller report. let me give an example. here is bill barr. >> the white house fully cooperated with the special counsel's investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and white house documents, directing senior aides to testify freely and asserting no privilege claims. >> okay. mueller, though, right about trump's written responses which he did because he wouldn't do an interview, as we know, bob, quote the president stated more than 30 occasions he he does not recall or remember or an an independent recollection of information called for by the questions. other answers were incomplete or imprecise. we viewed the writtenances to be inadequate. s in a guy who brags about his memory constantly.
what do you make of in, bob? that doesn't sound like full cooperation. >> i think that both in statement by barr and the one you just asked mr. dean about share a common problem that ran throughout barr's report. that is that he is cherry picking portions of the report and omitting other portions. so in this case it is true that the white house did cooperate extensively. they didn't assert privileges. any did provide a lot of documents. it's unusual for the white house counsel to testify to the extent that don mcgahn did. >> 30 hours. >> but he didn't go on to say that the president was not cooperative in declining to be interviewed. similarly, the quote you gave before the president's frustration, yes, mueller does say there is evidence that the president was frustrated. but as you read a little bit earlier in the program, mueller also says that there is evidence that the president was concerned that a full investigation might unkwofr embarrassing or potentially criminal information. so i think the the problem is is that barr presented a very
one-sided view of what mueller's investigation and report showed. and this is really not bee fitting the attorney general of the entire united states. >> i mean, april, in the same sort of vain here what have bill barr said today he specifically said this about president trump himself. >> the president took no act that in fact deprived the special counsel -- did. >> that's bill barr, mueller's quote in the report quote the president's efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful. but that is largely because persons surrounding the president drkd to carry out orders or accede to his requests. >> yes. >> you in in case. >> you hit the nail squarely -- >> what barr said seems to be blatantly untrue. >> you know, bob barr's credibility is shot. bill barr's credibility is shot. let's just say that and play the violins. this president tried to do -- what do you call it that
switcher oo game, changing those in charge of mueller. and this report, to try to get him out. there were skerpted attempts. whatever bill barr says at the moment, it's not justifiable. we know we report it. and it's fact. they called us fake. but we know what happened. and we have the tapes to prove it. we have people who have talked to us about it. this president's intent was to break the rule of law. but people did not follow through. and that is the only reason why there is not obstruction ever justice. and that is a fact. so whatever bill barr is saying, you know, he is whistling in the wind. >> john here is what bill barr said about the release of the stolen democratic emails during the campaign. informs also something very carefully laid out in the report. here is the attorney general. >> under applicable law, publication of these types of material would not be criminal unless the publisher also
participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy. here to, the special counsel's report did not find that any person associated with the trump campaign illegally participated in the dissemination of the materials. >> so he is drawing a distinction saying it's one thing to maybe be a part or nurnl or whatever it might have been to get the information. but the crime is actually in disseminating it. someone else does that for you you are in the clear. do you agree with barr's interpretation? >> i don't. and i also was quite surprised that on nine occasions he says -- the president was involved in no conspiracy or collusion. he twisted that around. but with the dissemination issue, it did happen. don junior took a tweet from -- or an email from wikileaks and
at their request he tweet to do and got it out with a url site that they could search the podesta emails. that's part of the dissemination process. so i don't know how you excuse that. >> and, bob, what do you think the timing here? this report comes out today, noon, which is the noon before a holiday, right. easter weekend, passover tomorrow. it doesn't feel transparent in the timing. >> i think the more -- the more troublesome timing question is the fact that barr chose to have a press conference at all at 9:30 when the report is going to be released an hour and a half later. he had no reason to hold that press conference other than to try to spin the report that everybody was going to read an hour and a half later. and i think that that's really troubling as well. >> all right. so all of you stay with me. because, as we know, the attorney general bill barr repeatedly said there was no collusion. so what about all the enkoupters
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attorney general bill barr taking the words straight from the president's mouth, saying at least four times in a press conference today that the special counsel's report found no collusion between the trump campaign and russia. >> the special counsel found no collusion by any americans in ira's illegal activities. there was no evidence of the trump campaign collusion with the russian government's hacking. no underlying collusion with russia. as he said from the beginning, there was, in fact, no collusion. >> john dean, april ryan, bob litt are back. bob, this is something you find to be crucial to this entire report. the attorney general's office repeatedly said there is no collusion. and look, mueller went through and detailed all kinds of contacts between the trump and
russians. do you agree with that conclusion? >> i don't, and i'm surprised that he used the words he did. i also noticed the special counsel did qualify the original order that looked for links in cooperation, and that shows how effective trump's framing of this as collusion was because when the deputy attorney general later clarified his order, he mentioned collusion. but what happened in the findings, it shows a lot of collusion by the common meaning of that word. >> but not the legal word of course would be criminal conspiracy. >> that's correct. >> you're say saying the collude word would be met? >> erin, we can collude to have a surprise birthday party for april, and it's not criminal, but we still have colluded. >> so which is an interesting point. bob, what's your take on that? because by the way, in this
report, okay, maybe i'm making the point you're making, john, but there is 107 pages in here, bob, which detail the encounters between russians and members of the trump campaign. simply put, we'll put some of them up on the screen. 107 pages is a heck of a lot of pages when there is no there there. >> so i think one of the interesting things is i haven't had a chance to parse the report closely, but i don't think that mueller in fact found that there was no collusion. i don't think he used that term. i think he found that there was no conspiracy and there was no coordination. i think if you just take one of those instance there's, the trump tower meeting in 2016, right. >> and you look at that, what mueller says is high-ranking officials in the trump campaign, including don jr. and paul manafort went to that meeting anticipating that they'd be meeting with representatives of the russian government who would give them information that they could use against hillary clinton in the campaign.
now mueller found that this did not constitute a violation of the campaign finance laws primarily because he couldn't show that those people knew that it was violating the campaign finance laws, which you need to show for a criminal violation. but i think in the common understanding of the term collusion, that could be viewed as collusion, even if it's not a criminal act. >> right, right, which i think you've made the distinction very clear. april, i want to ask you about sarah sanders. that is something new we found here. look, we know there are a lot of things that are said that are not true from the press secretary's podium. but in the mueller report she admitted, mueller says she admitted she lied from that podium to the american people. here's what she said in may 2017 after jim comey was fired as fbi director. >> the rank and file of the fbi had lost confidence in their director. >> so what's your response to these rank and file fbi agents who disagree with your contention that they lost faith in director comey? >> look, we've heard from countless members of the fbi
that say very different things. >> sanders told the special counsel, april, that countless members of the fbi was a slip of the tongue, and then she said her statement in a separate press interview where she said rank and file fbi acts lost faith in comey. she said oh, that was just a comment made in the heat of the moment and it was not founded on anything. okay. so does she have credibility left? >> not only does she not have credibility, she lied. she out and out lied. and the people, the american people can't trust her. they can't trust what's said from the president's mouthpiece, spokesperson from the people's house. therefore, she should be let go. she should be fired, end of story. when there is a lack of credibility there, you have to start and start lopping the heads off. it's fire me thursday or fire me
good friday. she needs to go. >> that won't happen, though, right? >> you never know. the president doesn't want the take the fall. so he may make her take the fall. let me go to something else. let me go to something else. sarah plays a dangerous game in that room, and so has sean. the game is dangerous because she is lying to the american public. everything comes to the white house and everything in between. if you can't trust her talking about that, what can you trust her about? then on top of that, she says the press is fake when she is faking reports from the people's house. she's calling us fake. we've had colleagues who have had to move from their houses because of threats. i have to have security because of being called fake and all sorts of things from that white house. it's time for her to go. >> all right. i appreciate all of your time. thank you so very much. >> thank you. >> and thanks very much to all
of you for joining us. our breaking news coverage of the mueller report continues now with anderson and "ac 360." good evening. the mueller report is out. the good news is that it provides a detailed look at how the russian government interfered in the 2016 election, and after an extensive investigation, mueller's team, quote, did not establish that members of the trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the russian government in their interference. that isn't just good news for the president and members of his campaign, it's good news for the country. the bad news for the president is that despite his claims that he's been completely exonerated, that is just not true. the mueller report explicitly does not clear the president of attempting to obstruct justice. in fact, it details repeated attempts by the president to interfere with the investigation, efforts to thwart a probe that the president saw as an existential threat. reading now from a justice department staffer's account in the report, when sessions told the president that a special counsel had been appointed, the