tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN April 30, 2019 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT
much. thanks to all of you for joining us. as this story develops tonight ahead of barr's testimony tomorrow. obviously going to change that, perhaps completely, "ac 360" begins right now. good evening. it is one thing to object to how the attorney general of the united states characterized the mueller report, which president trump seized on to declare himself exonerated in the russian investigation, it's another thing entirely when the person doing the objecting is robert mueller himself. it's the breaking news hitting the night before william barr is set to testify before the senate judiciary committee. for weeks all we had was the four-page summary which looked to clear the president entirely. tonight we're learning the special counsel had serious concerns about that, serious enough to write his own friend the attorney general. cnn's pamela brown has the details. explain what we've learned about the letter. >> reporter: we are learning
tonight, anderson, that special counsel robert mueller sent a secret letter to the attorney general in late march, in the wake of that four-page letter that the attorney general had sent to congress about the special counsel's investigation. as you pointed out, bill barr, the attorney general, provided the principle conclusion saying that the special counsel did not find collusion and that it couldn't reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice and then went on to say there wasn't sufficient evidence to show obstruction of justice. that conclusion reached by barr. now we're learning mueller sent this letter to the attorney general expressing dissatisfaction that that four-page letter from bill barr did not accurately capture the nuance in the more than 400 page mueller report that we have now seen in the redacted version. robert mueller, according to the washington post, saying in this letter to the attorney general who was his boss, of course, is his boss and long-time friend
saying that the redaction process of the mueller report, quote, need not delay release of the enclosed materials. release at this time would alleviate the misunderstandings that have arisen and would answer congressional and public questions about the nature and outcome of our investigations. so the principle concern was that bill barr's four-page letter to congress shaped public perception, public understanding of the special counsel's investigation when, in fact, as we know the picture that was laid out in the mueller report was far more damning to the president, particularly on obstruction, than what bill barr conveyed. even on the aspect of collusion, anderson. as you'll recall, bill barr said there was no finding of collusion but in mueller's report, he said they expected help from russia. he said he included as much of robert mueller's report as he could. that was clearly not the case as
you look through the report. we're also learning there were misgivings on the other side in the justice department about how robert mueller dealt with obstruction of justice, that officials, according to my colleague laura jarrett, were puzzled that robert mueller and his team never reached a conclusion on obstruction of justice. there were misgiving on both sides. this is the first time we've learned about robert mueller sending this letter expressing his displeasure about how bill barr has handled the findings of his investigation and this is sure to only give ammunition to those who have been skeptical and critical of bill barr's handling. he's going to be appearing before congress in a hearing. >> what's so fascinating about it is essentially mueller is saying to barr that he and his team wrote summaries that were ready for publication, wrote summaries that did not need to be redacted that, they had thought was out. redactions would have no impact on summaries they wrote.
those could be released and would give a fuller sense of what was actually in the report. >> that's right. so that was conveyed and bill barr's point of view, according to what we have learned, is that he didn't want to just release information in piecemeal fashion. his perspective was he wanted to release the full report with the redactions. now we've also learned from a justice department official that robert mueller did not tell barr that anything he put in the letter was inaccurate but the concern was more it didn't provide a fuller picture, didn't provide the nuance and didn't provide the summaries that as you pointed out robert mueller's team wrote for public consumption for congress's consumption and that was what robert mueller was trying to convey in this letter to barr in late march, that he could release the summaries to clear up the misunderstanding about the findings while the redaction process was ongoing, anderson. >> has the white house had any reaction to this? this story broke in the washington post a short time ago. >> the white house has not had a
reaction. i reached out to the white house and they say they likely will not comment at this time. that doesn't mean that the president himself will be tweeting. we do know though that before the mueller report was released, anderson, that there were communications between the white house counsel's office and the department of justice and during the time of these communications bill barr would have already received that letter from mueller and so it remains to be seen whether this was ever conveyed to the white house as well, robert mueller's displeasure. joining us, cnn senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin and david gregory and maggie haberman and elliott williams. jeff, i mean, the mueller letter, it certainly indicates and echos what you and others have been saying before the full report was released, that barr was clearly trying to shape the narrative and very obviously had alternatives and ignored them. >> and distorted the meaning of the report.
i just don't think there is any doubt now that we have read the vast majority of it, that mueller was right. barr put out a misleading summary designed to spin it in a much more pro trump direction, shape the public perception of the mueller report forever because for weeks there was no alternative view out there and what we know until today, mueller was pissed. he saw what was going on and was powerless to do anything about it. >> maggie, it's obvious the attorney general of the united states was trying to make things look better for the president of the united states. >> it's hard to come to any other conclusion than he was putting the best possible face for the president. the argument is well he was frustrated mueller did not come to a conclusion and he had to handle this himself. the argument that mueller makes is that the letter from barr
cheri picked from the report and it basically, you know, plucked certain clauses out here, certain steps there all of which painted this medley of donald trump being more or less exonerated, even though the letter acknowledged that there was a sentence in the report saying it didn't exonerate him. mueller seems to have learned a lesson of a lot of people who have been around donald trump, mueller learned because they were witnesses from him, you have to put everything down on paper. this was not enough just to voice his concerns privately to barr. there had to be a letter documenting it. it's a stunning zblert david gregory, if mueller were upset by the four-page letter, hours before his release the way he characterized it then? >> right. i think there's no question that bob mueller was upset about that. the fact that barr took it upon himself toy think execute on what was the original strategy of the white house, which is to get this report and pounce on it
to create the narrative of what the response would be, what the reality of it would be such that they have their own counter argument, the rebuttal that they never released because they had bill barr to do that work for him. he did in that four page letter say what i think is a crucial sentence, which is the president was not exonerated on the department of justice. lacking the context which was so much more powerful when we were reading the report is what mueller was upset about. now here's the problem for barr. mueller is much more likely to testify on the hill and they haven't been able to secure a date and i bet they secure one now. i talked to somebody who was a friend of mueller walking over here. suggesting what they ought to do is call him first. let him on capitol hill, set the phone for how he characterizes it. >> if the reporting is correct, they were taken aback by the tone of mueller's letter and it
came as a surprise that he had such concerns. how could everyone not be on the same page? >> how could everyone not be on the same page? the interesting thing is mueller frames his concerns as looking out for public interests. he's looking out for sort of how the justice department comes out of this. i think a lot of guest whose have come on talks about how bar seemed to be protecting the interests of the united states not the justice department. this whole exercise was a fool's errand to try to summarize a 440 sum document into a cliff notes version. as jeffrey toobin knows, they will have paragraphs upon paragraphs and you can't do anything else without getting in trouble. it's not a function of inaccurately doing it, he went into it with a bias and an attempt to benefit the president
of the united states and it completely backfired. so, you know, today we can thank robert mueller for looking out for the interests of the general public and the justice department because it looked that the leadership of the justice department wasn't quite there. >> jeff, what does this say about the attorney general? >> the reason this is such a big deal is that william barr will never do anything as attorney general remotely as important as that four-page letter. that was the defining moment of his duty and the defining moment of the mueller report and he misled the public. >> wasn't that why he was hired? wasn't that his audition? >> depends how cynical you are. that's not what he's supposed to do. he's supposed to be an honest broker. he is supposed to be someone who is not the president's lawyer, who is not roy cohen, who is someone responsible for the entire department of justice of
government and he led and shaped the perception of this report forever in a way to benefit the president. >> can i just offer one contrary view though? i think there is a fair argument to be made that 24 is a special counsel that works for the attorney general. the special counsel concluded that he couldn't conclude. the boss gets to decide and he gets to conclude there was no obstruction of justice. releasing it to congress. i think there's an argument in defense of barr that says he was doing what he was supposed to do and, yes, you can argue with how he characterized it publicly. >> he did characterize it, to your point, literally repeating the words of the president. >> right. >> it seemed as much of a love letter to the president from an attorney general. >> he included the key line which is that he couldn't
establish obstruction nor exonerate him. if you were doing the sound bite you would get that. >> his press conference was the same way. he used the term collusion. mueller went out of his way in the report to say collusion isn't a term. it is a pr term that people are using and the president has used. he amplified a lot of the president's language about the report and about the investigation and that i thought went farther. to your point when jeffrey is talking about what barr's intent was, it's hard to come away from that press conference thinking of what was he trying to do? >> maggie's exactly right. remember at that press conference he said the president was sincere in his upset about being thought guilty. i mean, how does he know? i mean, that wasn't part of the report. that just -- it was entirely
distorted. now at least the press conference was followed immediately by the release of the actual report, you know, by a matter of hours so we could see how misleading it was but the problem with the letter was it was only a mag of whatever we could see. >> i want to push back on david's point a little bit. it's not just a question of deciding or not deciding on the obstruction question. it was literally misrepresenting the findings of the report. again, you cannot reduce -- you can't reduce a legal finding to one sentence or a sound bite. that's why the whole thing is 400 pages long. it's not 400 pages of fluff. it's legal analysis that lays out the arguments and defenses. the arguments of here's where we could reach the elements but our views of indicting a sitting president, this is where our
views got in the way. it's far more complex. i think we should be a little more cassius of giving barr a bit of a free pass. he was summarizing the findings. the facts have borne out. it's clear that the letter didn't just define the report. moreover, now we know the person who drafted the report disagreed with the, quote, unquote, summary of it. for those reasons we should be very cautious in the amount of latitude now we're extending to barr as to how he crafted what he crafted. >> maggie, what does this do? barr is set to testify tomorrow in front of the senate. he was supposed to speak in front of the house tomorrow on the next day. what does a lindsey graham do? it's sure to make this a lot more busy. this was always going to be an interesting dynamic.
barr has made clear he feels safer testifying in the senate than he does the house. there's been all of this haggling about the house. i think it was clear jerry nadler was going to be more contentious with barr, shall we say? but there's going to be a lot of pressure on folks like lindsey graham, a lot of folks to be perhaps tougher than they might have been. it's also, you know, complicated for them because the white house has embraced this report as the gold standard. it cleared him and so when the person who authors this report is saying that there was a misrepresentation, you can't keep cheri picking. there are enough people. >> i don't think lints say graham is changing his questions. he said over the weekend this is done for him and i don't think bob mueller's misgivings are going to change that for him. there's going to be more pressure from democrats but you want to put it squarely in the political range, i don't think
anything has changed. >> julio castro has said barr should resign or be impeached. that's indicative of what you're going to see in the house if he shows up on thursday. even tomorrow in the senate. >> i want to thank everybody. next, new details just emerging. we'll be joined by one of the senators who will be questioning the attorney general. richard blumenthal is here. feel the clarity of non-drowsy claritin and relief from symptoms caused by over 200 indoor and outdoor allergens. like those from buddy. because stuffed animals are clearly no substitute for real ones. feel the clarity. and live claritin clear. is your floor's best friend.
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we're just now learning some late details about a breaking story. robert mueller's objections. laura jarrett joins us. what have you learned? >> reporter: anderson, we're getting more color and details on what exactly transpired in that week after barr released his four-page summary. i'm told by a source of knowledge and a letter that here's what happened. on wednesday, march 27th the attorney general received a letter from the special counsel's office essentially laying out his misgiving with that four-page summary that had come out the previous sunday. upon receiving that the deputy attorney general's office, it was a page in length, they then
transmitted to attorney general bill barr. he sees it and he immediately calls mueller and he essentially says words to the effect of, bob, we've been friends a long time. let's hash this out on the phone. the call was described as polite and cordial but there was clear disagreement on the two men on what should be done next. mueller and his team clearly wanted more context to come out, more analysis to come out but barr really didn't think that should be done piecemeal. he wanted the report to come out in full and was not interested in just putting out the summaries as we have previously reported. there's a part of that letter, that short letter that had come out just a day before that wednesday mueller's team had actually provided redacted copies of the introduction and the summaries that we ultimately saw in the full report. the problem was those hadn't yet been deconflicted with the intelligence community. again, barr and other justice officials surrounding him didn't
think they could put it out. it does show once again that there were some clear miscommunication and significant disagreement between old friends and justice department veterans about how the significant report should be handled. >> laura jarrett, thank you. all the breaking news tonight means that tomorrow's scheduled testimony will have at the very least some extra residents. joining us is democratic senator richard blumenthal and jeffrey toobin who has some questions for the senator. senator blumenthal, what is your reaction about the letter from mueller to barr and the phone call from mueller to barr? >> this letter is unquestionably an stunning rebuke of the attorney general of the united states. very significantly under mining, devastating his credibility and likely tomorrow in our hearing. there is going to be some tough questioning of him tomorrow
about not only his four-page summary, which then mueller said in effect mischaracterized his report, but then why he doubled down three weeks later in a press conference and in effect lied again to the american people. i realize that characterization sounds harsh. we said it at the time. now we have bob mueller himself saying in effect that william barr's characterization was deceptive and misleading, in effect a lie to the american people. that's going to be reframing and adding a new dimension entirely to the questioning tomorrow. >> it certainly only raises the interest, i'm sure, by democrats at the very least to hear directly from robert mueller in hearings and also i assume as part of that to get hold of this letter that he wrote. >> no question that we need to hear from bob mueller who, as you know, is the penultimate in
discretion. he conducted this investigation without any public disclosure and now really strikingly puts in the file, writes to the attorney general, memorializes his objections and rebuke to his superior. i can think of no prior instance of this kind of very severe rebuke to the attorney general of the united states from a career prosecutor with this kind of respect within the department of justice. >> it's one thing for him to put out the summary and then to have mueller respond with the criticism that he does and then to choose not to put out the summaries that the -- the explanations that mueller and his team have already sent, which according to mueller don't need to be redacted and are free from that pressure. for him to then go on television again the day the report is released and to shade the truth even more seems even now particularly more egregious. >> shading the truth is a very,
very kind and chart ablg way to put it. he in effect lied to the american people saying that bob mueller concluded there was insufficient evidence of obstruction. the fact of the matter is bob mueller said nothing of the kind. in effect he said that this report is an indictment in all but name. if donald trump were any other official, if there were no office of legal counsel memorandum saying a sitting president cannot be indicted, he would be under indictment right now. and, in fact, he is an unindicted co-con spiritor in the southern district of new york prosecution. you're absolutely right, anderson, that three weeks after this rebuke from bob mueller william barr went again before the american people and distorted, deceived, misled them. >> senator, julian castro, who's one of the democrats running for president said in light of this, barr should resign or be
impeached. do you agree? >> i voted against william barr. i said then he was unfit to be attorney general. i believe he is unfit even more so today. there's more evidence of it, and what the remedy should be i'm going to be talking to my colleagues tomorrow about his explanation or attempted explanation of this kind of misconduct. in effect he harbored obstruction of justice and he is continuing to do so. he is also belittling and dmeening the real threat from the russians. he is downplaying the kind of continuing attack that we're seeing from the russians. playing into the hands of donald trump and jared kushner, who have adopted a similar tactic. >> fwu what accountability is there? what you're seeing from the white house is they're not producing witnesses. they're suing to stop a bank.
what can you do about that? i mean, is there anything that you can do? >> enforcement of those subpoenas. the ones that have been issued and the ones that will be issued by the over sight committees in the house. we should have in the senate robert mueller and others testify here. i might just add in terms of accountability, the court ruled in the emoluments lawsuit that i brought with jerry nadler as a co-plaintiff, that we were right on the law. the president can be held accountable for his acceptance of payments and benefits from a foreign government and we're going to be pursuing discovery and there are ongoing investigations, as you well know, 14 of them that may also expose the president to legal
accountability, including one in new york where he was as an unindicted co-con spiritor. >> can the white house claim executive privilege to stob robert mueller from testifying? >> absolutely not. because the executive privilege applied r plies to and may agree to consult. bob mueller is as far from that status as there is no tomorrow. >> but these legal remedies you talk about, trying and even if you win it will be months and months from now? >> the timing is going to depend on the courts. remember, you well know, the watergate issue came to the supreme court on a very fast
track. if the courts decide they want to hold the president accountable, if they really believe the president is not above the law, they can fast track these subpoenass as well. you're absolutely right, courts determine their own timing. i think a court ought to be absolutely outraged by this defines def defiance of rules and norms that have prevailed for centuries and that also demean the importance and status of the other government. he's saying he has power. up next i'm going to get reaction from two key figures from the watergate era. john bernstein and john dean. really?
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we've been talking about robert mueller's objection to the characterization of the mueller report, namely that barr miss characterized the report. the attorney general was asked, quote, did bob mueller support your conclusion? his answer, i don't know whether bob mueller supported my conclusion. so we now know that wasn't true. he did know. joining me now is legendary water gate reporter, john bernstein and john dean. john, first of all, your reaction to this reporting. how big of a deal is this? >> i think it's a pretty big deal. it certainly shows a riff between the abdomen not their staff, and it shows that mr. barr is going to have some
serious questions to have to answer that he may not have anticipated when he appeared before the senate judiciary committee tomorrow and possibly the house judiciary committee on thursday. >> carl, a, what do you make of this? and the timing of it coming on that testimony. >> the timing is extraordinary as is the substance of the letter. the letter could not be more definitive in saying that mr. barr misrepresented not just the letter of what is -- of the mueller investigation was but the context, the nature and the conclusions is the language that mueller uses in his letter to mr. bar. there clearly is an attempt by the prosecutor, and this action by the attorney general has undermined public confidence in
the special prosecutor's investigation and in fact notes that mueller does, that was the purpose of the investigation was to have public confidence and he accuses even though the language may be poe light later on in the letter, he seems to accuse mr. barf undermining that public confidence. so this is an extraordinary and stunning development, and the other aspect of it is that like those who saw the report when it was released in the press and said, wait a minute. th four weeks earlier mueller seems to be saying the same thing. >> how unprecedented is it that mueller took this step and wrote on the record and leaks the night before he's supposed to
get the motor and they have a little different nuance pointing out that the barr and justice department people were very unhappy with the fact that mueller did not end his investigation with a clear finding of guilt or innocence, rather, he offered this nuanced position that since a sitting president can't be indicted it's unfair to come down one side or the other, there's no way he can respond to it. well, according to special prosecutor, they knew exactly what they were doing and seems that the barr people and mr. barr himself do not like nuance. they wanted black and white and now they have a muddy pile they've produced here. >> it's difficult for barr. they'll face tough questions
from democrats on the hill when he talks to the senate. isn't the public's perception of the report though already kind of baked in at this point? wasn't that the whole point in releasing the information the way he released the way it was. most people haven't read the 448 pages. >> i can't be inside mr. barr's head, but there certainly are appearances that that was the appearance and there were four weeks where a certain perception was allowed to form claiming total exoneration, both on obstruction and collusion. the report goes out of its way to talk about the fact that collusion is not a legal term, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. what we have here is we need to hear from mr. mueller. and i can't predict what the
american people are going to do and how they're going to process the information. we have a polarized country and so far everything having to do with the mueller report has fit into that pattern of polarization, whether this is going to figure in the same way who knows, but what is clear is that in terms of what the facts a are, that the special prosecutor has taken the extraordinary step saying that the attorney general has misrepresented the nature and context of the most important investigation, federal investigation of the last 40, 45 years. and that is going to stick as part of the national record and presumably americans are going to debate it in a serious way. >> john, i mean, the judiciary committee chairman in the house, jerry nadler obviously democrat, tweeted in light of this reporting mueller must be allowed to testify.
do you think that's actually going to happen? do you think congress will get to see the letter? can mueller be stopped from testifying? >> i don't think you can stop him from testifying. i think if the senate, that nadler will invite him and the other one, this mueller is on the high ground on this one and needs to be claire ri fight. >> john dean, bernstein, thank you very much. more on this and a look at william barr himself. the man at the center of a political firestorm. etsy knows that moments, big and small, deserve things that really matter.
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without drawing a drop of blood, again and again. the most personal technology, is technology with the power to change your life. life. to the fullest. again, breaking news. special counsel robert mueller wrote a letter to attorney general william barr expressing concerns about his four-page summary about the russia probe findings. turns out they're already divided over the handling of it. a new cnn pole conducted before the blockbuster report shows 44% approve of what barr did, 43% disapprove and 13% are unsure. look at the path to the center of a political controversy. here's cnn's political analyst gloria borger. >> i want to wish our new
attorney general great luck, speed, enjoy your life. bill, good luck. tremendous reputation. >> reporter: bill barr came to the trump administration with a long resume dating back to the george h.w. bush administration. >> he was deputy attorney general and he was attorney general. he's had quite a career in addition to being a partner at a substantial law firm. >> reporter: now a political lightning rod, largely because of the way he handled the release of the mueller report in a way that pleased the president and angered democrats. >> was he putting his finger on the scale for the american public? >> he was putting his fist on the scale. it was more than a thumb. >> when he said this. >> zpieg occur. >> he made the president very happy. >> i think what he said was absolutely true. there was absolutely spying into my campaign. >> reporter: now barr, a republican with establishment credentials, faces congress at the center of a political
firestorm. it started with his decision to summarize the special counsel's 448 page report into a ler so i thought if i downplayed or mi mischaraterized them. he wrote up a spin letter and he went before congress and spun the spin letter. he did a press conference where he used it as many times as he could and there was no evidence of the trump campaign collusion, no collusion. >> no collusion. >> reporter: barr also cleared the president of obstruction even though the special counsel maybe no decision. >> i don't think he should have participated in the decision. to have substituted his legal judgment for bob mueller about the appropriate legal theory i believe was a significant
judgment and i don't think it reflected well. >> did you get that sense from barr, he wished mueller had made a decision? >> sure. and so the only person left to make a decision was barr and he did. >> what if he failed to make a decision? >> not impossible, irresponsible. >> and he expressed it before anyone had read it. >> the president was frustrated and angered by his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency. >> could that be interpreted as excusing the president's bad behavior? >> i don't -- i don't think it should be interpreted that way because i don't think he was -- he was trying to excuse the president's behavior bad or fore otherwise, i think he was trying to explain the basis for a decision he as a prosecutor was
reaching. >> he didn't explain it, he was justifying. he wasn't serving as the president's attorney general, he was a guidance counselor. >> reporter: he had already made his views of his own in an unsolicited 19 page memo sent to the justice department in june of 2018 saying among other things that the theory of the obstruction investigation against the president was fatally misconceived. >> reporter: is this something people do all the time? >> you mean former government officials who produce lodge, legal memoranda on pending issues? and ask people to look at them? >> know, no, that's not what i mean. i think it's a reflection again. >> do you think it was an audition for a job? >> definitely not. >> how do you know? >> definitely not. the idea of being attorney general or taking any job with
the administration was the farthest thing from his mind. >> really? >> yes. >> he didn't get this job by accident. he got this job because he promised in advance essentially that he wouldn't find the president guilty of obstruction so he did exactly what he said he was going to do. >> reporter: back in a 1998 interview unearthed by cnn's k style, barr was much more sympathetic and she wasn't doing enough to connect ken star and yet he has remained silent as the president continues to lob grenades almost daily at the mueller team. >> we just went through the mueller witch hunt where you had really 18 angry democrats that hate president trump. >> barr's loyalties are bound to
be questioned once again. >> fighting all the subpoenas. look, these aren't like impartial people. >> and he could well have barr on his side. in 19 8g9 in another memo barr w5r7bd against what he called congressional encouragement. >> i think bill's view is a constitutional one. it's grounded in the separation of powers and if one of the branches over steps its bounds, he will call that branch on it. >> it would be really disappointing if he enabled the president to pursue a theory like the one that has been articulated, which is that because the house that is asking for this information, he is not going to permit anybody to testify. that is a lawless position. >> lawless? >> lawless. utterly lawless. >> reporter: and a matter ultimately that another branch
of government, the courts, could decide. >> that was cnn's gloria borger. joining us by phone is senator amy klobuchar. member of the senate judicial committee. i'm wondering what your reaction to this letter is. you're going to change him when you -- this is one more example of how this four-page letter he september out was political. this is not about politics. this is about protecting our democracy. this is someone who has just pointed out, tried out for this job with a 19-page memo that was executive summary of what he thought should be about a broad, broad interpretation of executive power. he gets into the job and no surprise he is political. what really bothered me about this is that this is about protecting our country.
when you look at the 448 page report, it's literally a roadmap to how a foreign country invaded our election. they might not have done it with missiles, tanks, ships. they did it all the same. got all those emails out. that happened in the united states in america. no one should be playing politics with this, and that's why tomorrow i'm going to be asking the attorney general of course about russia and about what they're going to get the election act which is a bipartisan bill and you had a question? >> another presidential candidate, junian castro, that the bar should be resigned. it's clear i don't want them
there. i want to have a justice department that is just and represents the american people. >> how critical is it now? given that we know he wrote to barr and said to barr in conversations that mueller himself testify and how possible will it be? i've had legal people say the white house can't claim executive privilege because of mueller. >> exactly. we can push mueller to testify and allow these other investigations to keep going. the house has subpoena power. and i think it's pretty apparent when you have witnesses like don mcgann, things that were not redacted for security reasons, then we should be able to have those people come in and testify. that's the fight that's going on in the house. meanwhile, in the senate because
we know that the house will pass these bills is to do work to protect our election in 2020 and get these republicans on board because you listen to the words of the fbi director. 2018 was a dress >> why would you not take action? you can't let the president's ego get in the way. >> appreciate your time. thank you. coming up next, exclusive new polling on the democratic presidential primary now that joe biden is in the race. we'll show you how big of a difference his presence has already made when 360 continues.
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with black forest ham. the new hot pretzels, only at togos. how far would you go for a togo? with the former vice president on his first campaign swing new iowa, the first cnn polling shows him out pacing not just his nearest democratic rival but nearest four opponents combined. biden is at 40%. bernie sanders at 15 with the rest in single digits. now the normal caveats apply. it's a long way until the iowa caucuses and a lot can change between now and then. joining us is 2004 democratic presidential candidate, former vermont governor howard dean. just on this breaking news about robert mueller's dissatisfaction with the waybi bill barr
characterized his report. what do you make of how attorney general barr is conducting himself? >> well, you know, trump does not pick cabinet officials based on their merits. he picks them based on whether they are willing to be his flunky. and now he is doing it and should never have been confirmed. there is certainly just in terms of the democrats there's certainly very strong numbers for vice president biden right out of the gate. as we said it is a long, long race and a lot can happen between now and then. this is not going to be -- you see those numbers and people think oh this is going to be a cake walk for the former vice president. >> no, it's not going to be a cake walk. of course there's a lot of talk about that in washington but, what you have to remember is you're exactly right. it's a long, long way to iowa,
first of all. second of all, i'd much rather have joe biden today. i didn't think he was going to go higher but he certainly has. >> he said make america moral again. make america return to the essence of who we are. the dignity of the country, the dignity of treating our people with dignity and he focused and mentioned obviously the president. is that the right message? i mean, he is -- you were saying on the program earlier and others have said that, you know, he is kind of elevating it to make this a direct challenge to president trump but democrats al also, there's plenty of them that believe the candidates need to be talking about health care, the economy, table top issues. >> at this point it's a good broad brush opening stroke.
there's nothing wrong with what joe biden said today. it does cast him in the light of somebody that does believe in morals and a lot of trump's voters are voting for him because he's frank and blunt but he did hit the 10,000 lie mark today which is pretty extraordinary. we'll see. as you said at the top, we're far from getting in to the nitty-gritty here. we'll find out what's going on with two weeks to go before the iowa caucus votes and nevada votes and then we'll find out what people's messages are and they cannot be about trump. trump will remind us that we don't like him every day. we're going to do something about people's health care. we're going to get people jobs again and stop screwing up our trade relations so that we lose dairy farms in wisconsin and factory jobs in missouri.
>> it is interesting because once he starts focussing on the nitty gr nitty-gritty that's when poll numbers start to decline. once you're in the trenches it's very easy to get dirty and get compared to other people's programs. they have to be successful in good times and bad times in the campaign trail. as awful as this process is, its the right process. you know, if you can't get through this process, what are you going to do when putin asks for alaska back. trump of course would say here you go, sir but nobody else is going to do that and you have to be tough. and the toughest person is going to have a big advantage. >> thank you. >> anderson, thanks. >> we'll be right back with more. g couples. then we noticed something...strange. oh, could you, uh, make me a burger? -poof -- you're a burger.
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>> quite a night. i want to hand it over to chris for cuomo primetime. >> i am chris cuomo and welcome to primetime. big news again on our watch. did the democrats just get a clean light from mr. mueller himself to take up obstruction for themselves? the words from the washington post and the new york times excerpted from a letter that mr. mueller wrote to the attorney general that his memo to congress did not capture the context, nature, and substance of the work done by mr. mueller and his team, especially with regard to obstruction. now that shows us that that is not exactly what the man that made the reports felt about his own findings. what does this disagreement mean? we have to get into it deeper? we have one of the reporters