tv Senate Democratic Leaders Criticize White House Behavior CSPAN May 16, 2017 6:29pm-6:49pm EDT
president told mr. comey that according to the memo. again, that story in the new york times reference by minority leader, chuck schumer
on the floor of the senate just about ten minutes operate earlier, the democratic leader, chuck schumer called for president trump to provide congress with a transcript of his meeting with top russian officials where he reportedly discussed highly classified information. >> good afternoon, everyone. i'm proud to be joined by a large group of my colleagues. all of whom have been active in the issue of what's happening between our countries and russia i will be brief.
>> we democrats are united in believing that the president must make transcripts of those conversations available to the intelligence committees. the president should make full, on edited transcripts available immediately. no if's, and's, no butts. if the president may have put national security and our intelligence operations at risk, congress has the right to know about it. as i believe senator tillis implied this morning, if the president felt comfortable sharing this information with the russians, surely he feels comfortable sharing it with a congress of the united states of america. i am pleased that several of our republican colleagues have also called on the white house to allow congress to access transcript of the meeting. but, we need more of our
republican colleagues to speak out. this is not normal behavior. this is not how white house should operate. firing and fbi director who is investigating the president's campaign, disclosing classified information to a country that wishes us harm and just finish it undermining the integrity of our elections. we need our republican colleagues to join us in standing up, to put country over party, and to work with democrats to get the truth of director comey's firing. to protect the integrity of the investigation into russian interference in our election and to get to the bottom of yesterday's report. searching for the truth is not a part of something
to do. it is the patriotic thing to do. we need more than words from our republican colleagues, we need action. senator durbin.
>> november 8, 2016 that will live in cyber infamy. the russians did everything in their power to invade the government of the united states of america and to corrupt a presidential election. those words are not mine alone, they are words backed up by every major intelligence agency of the united states of america. what have we done? we have initiated an investigation to find out what the day, how they did it, who was involved in it, and stop it from ever happening again. it has been one of the most serious counterintelligence investigations in this nation's history. and we have seen a litany of things occur sense, which are incredible. a national security advisor was forced to resign because of contacts with the russians that were not properly disclosed. recusal by the attorney general of the united states for misleading the senate judiciary committee on his communications with the russians.
just last week, the decision by the president of the united states to remove from office the man in charge of that investigation, the director of the fbi, james comey. then the fumbling that occurred afterwards as they produced memos which were then disavowed, as they backtracked on the real reason for the removal of james comey. then to have a sequel to a, a meeting with a foreign minister of russian as long as well as the ford russia ambassador and for the leader of the united states of america to disclose classified information to those two people in his office. to tell the story as it occurred is almost incredible for us to believe. the question now is what we will do is united states senate. there have been moments in history were senators from both political parties have been called on to put country of our party. to stand up together for the good of the nation realizing the
oath of office that we have taken binds us to the constitution to the law of the land and the integrity of this institution. this is one of those moments. we need to come together to have a special prosecutor so there's no question the person who is conducting this investigation on a criminal basis is one who is trusted. we need to make certain we have a commitment a member together a person with strong bipartisan support to head up the federal bureau of investigation. we need the transcript of what occurred in the oval office meeting that iker too. most of all we need to stand together, senators from different political parties but committed to the same nation. when he pretty good of this country for the senate to come together. >> i have been extremely concerned with the administrations ties with russia.
the acknowledgment that present trump shared with the foreign minister and ambassador from our enemies, the russians, secrets that were classified is just shocking. these were about fighting isis. we should understand, the president should know that russia and syria is not fighting isis, they are fighting for assad. discussion that we're going to join with russia to fight isis is something the president talked with during the campaign, that is never been in the cards and only some a very naïve would say that. we need to see the transcripts
of what the president in that meeting with the russians. by the way, there is no press in that meeting like there is here today. except for a soviet era style which was the only press in the room. not only did he tell the ambassador in the foreign minister, he told the russian media as well. and not all of you. i think it is clear that we need a special prosecutor. i am with dick on this, as with my friends on i asked my friends on the other side of the aisle to see this for what it is. to call for a special prosecutor. thank you. >> thank you.
i'm going to be asking rod rosenstein when he appears this thursday whether he will commit to a special prosecutor. i voted against him, is the only democrat and member of the judiciary committee to vote against him, because he would not commit them. if he fails to do so, i will move ahead with legislation modeled on the law that existed between 1978 and 1999, that we give the power to a three-judge panel to appoint a special prosecutor. the dangerous and reckless disclosure of classified information by the president of the united states to one of our major adversaries shows how we are approaching a constitutional precipitate. it can be addressed only with the special prosecutor who has the independence and objectivity
to assure that there is an aggressive and vigorous investigation. that has the trust and confidence of the public. there is a common thread to all of these. russian meddling in our electi election. possible collusion with the russians by the trump campaign. the firing of comey because of the russian thing, the warning from the deputy attorney general about the national security advisor potentially vulnerable to blackmail by the russians. then, disclosure of highly classified information without any preclearance. whatever you think about the appropriateness of the information going to the russians, there is no effort, none, to make sure the intelligence committee new about it. the only way to be sure that we have the tapes and transcripts
of the russian meeting in the comey conversation is to subpoena the taped transcript and other records. prosecuting on 101. if the party says it doesn't exist in effect it turns out later it does, there are criminal penalties. without the subpoenas, there is no accountability to be sure that we determine and verify whether those tapes and transcripts exist and that we are getting all of them, there needs to be a subpoena. that is my personal view. a special prosecutor is necessary to assure this investigation is independent and it has the confidence of the american people.
>> the very first a bill passed in united states history was called the oath act. it mandated that members of congress solemnly swear to support the constitution of the united states. today we are called to fulfill that oh three go this of what party we belong to, we have an obligation to that oath. we must protect the country. there is no doubt of the danger the russian foreign minister and ambassador now have information that they should not have. it is time to do something about it. let today be the day for republican courage, because it wasn't yesterday, and we cannot wait until tomorrow. but we need need is courage and patriotism from the republicans. what we cannot have it is mumbling in the direction of being concerned, trouble, or wanting more information. what we need is true patriotism
from republicans. that comes in actions and not words. >> president trump is tearing down our national security and intelligence protections 140 characters at a time. president trumps decision to relay some of our most sensitive intelligence to representatives of the russian government betrays an astounding lack of judgment. president trump may say his for policies america first, but his actions really say russia first. by revealing codeword information to russia, president trump may have compromised key intelligence sources, endangered the fight against isis, and undermined the trust of our international allies and partners which would make them more hesitant to give us the
intelligence which we need to protect our fighting men and women and our citizens here in the united states. the senseless act by the president comes just days after his firing of fbi director comey. every time you think president trump cannot engage in a more blatant affront to our democracy, he tops it. these two actions alone bring us closer to a constitutional crisis. whenever the ongoing investigations may lead us, congress must act to restore the faith of the american people in our republic. it is incumbent upon republicans to join democrats and calling on congress to immediately investigate this latest irresponsible action, as well as support the appointment of a special prosecutor.
we need the white house to make the transcripts of the meeting with the russian foreign minister and ambassador available to the house and senate intelligence committees as soon as possible. we must ensure that president trump does no additional damage to the united states national security in his dealings with russia. it is time for the republican party to put country over party. and to remember their country is the united states of america and not russia. >> we have young men and women in uniform all across the world today representing our nation. even the most junior of those young officers and men and women know that you do not leak a classified data to the russians.
russia is not our friend. our intelligence committee has made it clear that russia seeks to undermined our confidence in our democracy and to undermine our role as a leader of the free world and western-style democracy. instead of having a commander-in-chief who would uphold the goals and protections of this country, we have instead a trump white house showing reckless instability. if verified, the president's decision to shared highly classified information with a foreign adversary is deeply troubling. it is a serious threat to our national security, to the safety of our families, and to everyone of our troops in harm's way right now. it also puts our nations intelligence officials at greater risk and undermines our credibility with our allies. it's even more stunning considering how often the president himself has complained about leaks.
to be clear, russia is not america's friend. the president should know that highly classified intel is not something you use to impress people. the white house needs to immediately treat share the transcript with appropriate members of the intelligence committee. the american people deserve to know what is going on here. it's becoming clearer by the day that only an independent special prosecutor can get the answer that american people need and deserve, thank
you. >> i'm just so proud to be a member of this caucus. they are great. [inaudible question] >> the answers to get the transcript. there are different nuances. last night when general mcmaster said that the president revealed
no sources, the whole reason so many things are classified when you know the specific fact if you are good intelligence agency, the russians are, you can find those sources. we need a transcript and thorough analysis. [inaudible question] >> on the first issue we have directly communicated with the white house. we have not gotten any reaction. on the second, i will not,. >> yes. i want to read the transcripts before coming to any conclusions. [inaudible question] >> look, the bottom line is we are hoping our republican colleagues rise to the occasion.
we look forward, i was gratified when senator mcconnell met our request to bring deputy attorney rosenstein before the full senate. there will be a lot of very sharp and tough questions there. we are discussing in our caucus the best ways for further action. the one point i would make your is that there has been just one vote against all attorney general nominees thus far. rand paul voted against i'm sorry, fbi. there has been just one vote against all fbi director nominees in the history of the united states of america. it has always been a nomination that gets virtually unanimous support. we are hoping the white house moves in that direction. [inaudible question] >> from the reports i saw, the
intelligence agencies were quite shocked when that information came about even in the act of doing so the president unilaterally, and quickly declassify them. it doesn't seem like there is thought or discussion about that. then there is a rush to the agencies to silo off information. they did not seem to be aware of that either. all of that is extremely troubling. the damage that is done, even though the president has the right to declassify, remains just as strong. last question. [inaudible question] >> every member is entitled to his or her own opinion, house and senate. my view is, we need a thorough investigation