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tv   House Intelligence Committee - Mueller Report on Russian Interference  CSPAN  June 14, 2019 12:52pm-3:45pm EDT

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8 p.m. eastern on c-span2, online at, or listen live on the free c-span radio app. >> up next the house intelligence committee looks at some of the lessons learned from the mueller report with a focus on russian election in a fierce. we will hear from former fbi officials and a former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. california congressman adam schiff chairs the committee. >> the committee will come to order. without objection the chairs permitted to call recess at any time. in april of 2016 as u.s. presidential race was getting underway, an individual with links to the russian government reached out to the trump campaign to telegraph the kremlin preference for mr. trump. a london-based maltese professor told george papadopoulos, a member of trump's foreign policy team that he recently met with high-level russian officials who
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the russians have dirt on hillary clinton, colluding thousands of e-mails. pahpa davos was also informed that the russian government could assist the trump campaign to the anonymous release of store material. at the time mr. papadopoulos was given this extraordinary information, , the american pubc was unaware that the dnc and clinton campaign had even been hacked, , let alone that russia was behind the attack and plan to weaponized the data that it stole. in july of 2016 the russian government begin dumping the stolen emails in precisely the same fashion it had previewed for mr. papadopoulos. it was at this point informed of the russian at reached the papadopoulos and aware the russians were actually meddling in our electricity anonymous release of information that the fbi opened up its investigation but has james comey would explain in the first public testament on the mat and
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march 2017, and before this committee, the investigation began not as a criminal probe but as a counterintelligence investigation. what does that mean wax how does the counterintelligence investigation differ from a criminal investigation? what does it mean that the u.s. person may be acting as a witting or unwitting agent of a foreign power? and how could the russians use the compromise of u.s. persons to influence u.s. policy in a that jeopardizes our national security? these are the questions that we hope to and today during the second of a series of hearings the committee will be conducting to explore the special counsel's disturbing findings in volume one of the report. and to examine what steps are necessary to protect the public, our democracy and our national security. we will hear from two former senior fbi executives who oversaw the counterintelligence division of the bureau, who will help us better understand the
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counterintelligence implications, of the range of contacts between the trump campaign and russia directly or indirectly tied to criminal intelligence services. volume one of the report outlined the sweeping a systemic effort by russia to interfere in the 2016 election of the benefit of donald trump. it establishes that the trump campaign welcome the russian interference because it expected to benefit electorally from information stolenan and releasd to the russian efforts. it shows how the trump campaign built that that and dumping of russian russians don't document into its campaign messaging and strategy. and special counsel made clear, it sits out in great detail why the context in his report should concern every american. the report details well over 100 contacts between the trump campaign and agents and officials of russia. some of this outreach was conducted in public as when the president called on russia to hackon his opponents emails, and only hours later a unit of the
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russian military intelligence, the gru, attempt to do exactly that. of the contacts took place outside of the public view as in the case of the june 9, 2016 meeting at trump tower in new york between a russian delegation and the presidents eldest son, donald trump, jr., his son-in-law jared kushner, and paul meant for, trump's campaign chairman. that meeting was part of the plan to secretly receive help in the form of dirt on hillary clinton from the russian government. still of the context because of encrypted apps, district medications and deception remain shrouded in secrecy, such as manafort's meetings with constantine clinic, some of the rvss ties to russia's intelligence, manafort's provision of internal polling data and a discussion of the campaign strategy for winning democratic votes in midwestern states. most americans consider the solicitation of foreign help during a presidential campaign
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the off-white assisted in the campaigns to accept that offer quote, if it is what you say this, i love it, to constitute plain evidence of constitute not to mention the sharing of data and strategy by the chairman of the campaign with a four nation which at that very same time is intervening to help thent campan when. - nevertheless, and contrary to the presidents often repeated mantra and the many misrepresentations of the attorney general, the special counsel reached no conclusion as to whether the trump campaign smitty russian contacts constituted collusion since the term is not defined in criminal law. for those of not yet read the mueller report, and most have not, it might be astonished to learn that a finding of no collusion much less a finding of no obstruction is nowhere to be seen on any page or in any passage of the mueller report. instead, in making its charging decisions the special concerts and only whether they could meet the justice department's high bar of being able to prove the
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on a reasonable doubt at trial each element of the crime of conspiracy. and found that it could not even as it emphasized that the failure to establish conspiracy did not mean the absence of evidence of conspiracy. volume one of the mueller report is therefore by its very nature counsel'secial mandate a report about the exercise of prosecutorial judgment, who should be charged and into should not. it does not contain the fbi's counterintelligence findings, that is, that trump campaign admissions figures including the president acting as agent of a foreign power wittingly or unwittingly. with the advancing russian or oi the fort interest by virtue of financial incentives or compromise, whether or not such actions were a crime? these ofth the types of concerns that the fps counterintelligence division works to expose, prevent and investigate using an array of investigative and
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intelligence capabilities. as will hear from our witnesses today, the primary objective of the counterintelligence investigation is not to target an individual for prostitution but to protectnd the nation by developing information about the actions and intentions of foreign powers and to thwart them before they can act against us. the president's efforts to make money from a real estate project in moscow, and to conceal the transaction from the public, are a quintessential example of a counterintelligence nightmare that may or may not include criminal activity. it may not be a a crime to bele trump tower in moscow or for michael cohen to seek the clemens helped to do so. may not be a crime to try to enrich yourself with different business deal even while running for president would you like about it to the american people. but it is deeply compromising. not only because of the inducement of hundreds of millions of dollars, that is only part of it. it isg also deeply compromising
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because theds russians were on e other end of the transaction and expose the presidents duplicity at any time. in fact, when the trump organizations efforts to enlist the crimmins help inn the deal were finally exposed, dimitri pesco trump/putin spokesman, told the international media that the kremlin never responded to michael cohen's outreach. ..
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>> providing no evaluation (mark) raised by these facts and others. he left many critical questions unanswered. what happened to the counterintelligence investigation. where there other forms of compromise like money laundering or referred to by other offices. where individuals granted security clearances that should not have. are there under visuals opindividuals still operating tt leaves america vulnerable. we are determined to find out. any opening remarks that you would like to make. >> thank thank you, chairman. more than two years for circumstantial evidence. more than two years since i read
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both allegations into the congressional record into the committee. the media, democrat. seemingly every day the media triumphantly publish a bomb cell story peso classified documents, reporters had not actually seen. reportedly proved that president trumper some trump associate was a treacherous russian agent. democrats join the news pundits and announcing the traders. finally rid them of their sinister president the audacity to beat hillary clinton. the entire scheme has now imploded. exposed as a hoax. one would think the democrats would simply overpriced.
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the conclusion defines the party a governing philosophy. a construction division for a country. a political hit piece known as the report. once championed by democrats on this committee. by which they rarely mentioned. a hoax. unfortunately the molar dossier, as i call call it, either debunked many of their theories or did not even find them worth discussing. these include the finding that michael cohen did not travel to prague to conspire with the russians. no mention of paul manafort
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visiting julian a size in london the trump tower commuter. no mention for the suppose it knowledge. through the nra for the trump campaign. insinuations that mitchell originated, these insinuations originated with fusion gps chief first made public in a document published by democrats on this committee. the real purpose, however, was to help democrats impeach the president and absence of any evidence of the report concludes a long whitney of ordinary contacts between trump associates and russians as if a certain number of contacts indicate a conspiracy even if no conversation actually created or discuss the conspiracy. excerpts within a voicemail to selectively edit it to make it seem threatening. no comment on the close
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relationship to the democrat operatives and fugitive. participating in the junejune 9, 2016 meeting at trump tower. no mention or comment on fusion gps at all. no useful information on figures that played key rolls in the investigation. or the australian diplomat or the democrat paid operative, former spy, christopher steele. no useful information about the many irregularities of the rush investigation. furthermore, dozens of articles from the reporters of public allocations most responsible for perpetuating the russian hoax. producing a perfect feedback loop. intelligence leakers leaking false hope to the media. the media fake outrage at the
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finding. relying on a massive reporting. hacking the elections is false. a trump russian agent later discovered where the democrats. paying for the steel dossier which relied on russian sources. i would like to remind the democrats on this committee that it was created for important oversight for our agency. it is even more crucial now. becoming a mouthpiece of the intelligence leakers. i understand the inability to move past and get back to nevertheless, i suggest they give it a try. i look forward to your testimony >> thank you to our witnesses.
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coming to the committee today. today's witnessesf will be awarded five minutes each with their opening statements. joining us for this important hearing. stephanie douglas currently sees guidepost solutions. part of 23 years at at the fbi in a variety of roles. in national security branch.h. anderson is currently the chief executive officer of cyber defense labs. previously a principal and managing director. mr. anderson served for many years on the fbi rising to be the executive assistant director of the criminal cyber response. i would also like to welcome the
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minorities witness andrew mccord knee. like many of our staff. currently, a senior fellow at the national review institute and contributing editor of the national review. ms. douglas, we will start with you. >> good good morning, chairman, ranking member nunez, and members of the community. itake you for the opportunity o answer questions. regarding russian interference of the presidential election. as was establishing communicated by thesh u.s. intelligence community in early 2017, russian government systematically and effectively used a number of tools to impact the 2016 election. the special counsel's report supports these provide specific and detailed examples which illustrate the methods of russian influence.
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i am happy to answer questions regarding this room or. understand that i have no access , any supporting information or investigative detail other than that is provided in the special counsel report. i am proud to have been a special agent in the fbi for almost 24 years. most of it focus on counterintelligence and national security matters. while the fbi has been the subject of must discussion in the press and elsewhere, i support the work of the counterintelligence professionals who work with a special counsel to conduct this exhaustive investigation. i hope that my presence here and our discussion today will lead to further awareness of preparation for what is certain to be another high threat election in 2020. with that, i am happy to answer your questions. >> thank you. miss anderson.
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>> thank you. thank you for the opportunity to be here today. talking about ndcounterintelligence and cyber threats to our great nation. my background and experience, counterintelligence for the fbi, where was was responsible for all counterintelligence, espionage matters, assisting in shedding some light. intelligence services. highlighted several times by the united states intelligence issue tssian interference. 2016 presidential election which is known now as a molar report. my current role as a ceo of the cyber security i see hundreds of cyber breaches each year. my opinion in the last three years is becoming more
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sophisticated, prevalent and occurred on a much larger scale than before. i think this is extremely important when we talk about hostile intelligence services and their activities of the 21st century. during my career i the privilege to work for three directors. the last position i held as a chair said executive director and services branch. i manage a number of divisions. changing remarkably when i first entered into lawin enforcement n 1987 as a young state trooper. during my career i the privilege to work alongside the men and women of the fbi in the united states intelligence community so i could tell you i work tirelessly. intelligence service activities to our great country.
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the committee knows a number of cyber attacks against this nation's networks and private sector companies and government has increased dramatically. i look forward to discussing these issues with you today and the committee and i stand ready for your questions. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. anderson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for inviting me here this morning. i serve as a federal prosecutor for nearly 20 years. almost all of the united states. i retired in 2003 as the chief assistant u.s. attorney of the southern district satellite office in white planes. since completing government service i've been a writer and commentator.ul i am appearing this morning and my personal capacity as a former government official that cares deeply about our national security and the rule of law. nar most of my first several
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years as a prosecutor, my work focus on international organized crime. after the world trade center was bombed on february 26, 1993, i spent muchec of the last decadef my tenure working on national security investigations. i am proud to have led successful prosecution for conspiring on urban terrorism against the united states. i was privileged in that effort to work alongside a superb team of federal prosecutors, support staff and investigators assigned to the fbi as a joint counterterrorism task force. in connection with that investigation that i became intimately familiar with the fbi's counterintelligence. making available for the execution of that mission. attention of many americans who know the bureau as the nations premier
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law-enforcement agency, the fbi are domestic security. this is the purposeful arrangement to have both the national security and the law-enforcement mission under s. i believe it is a prudent one. the fbi does it, generally speaking -- i look forward to engaging with the committee. i make a few general points to start about volume one of the report. ncit draws three principal conclusions. first, the putin regime and a trumpet victory. conducting its operations accordingly. second, there is evidence at the trump trumpmp campaign hope to benefit from the publication of negative information about the third, there was no evidence of a conspiracy between between the trump campaign and the russian regime.
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if there is insufficient evidence that an enterprise existed, prosecutor has no business speculating on the motive in a politically provocative manner. the report showed that agents -- consistent with the motivation to incite the visions and dissent in the politics of free western nations which is russia's mo throughout the world. russia's goal is toerhi destabie western government which advantages the kremlin by making it more difficult for those governments to pursue their interests in the world. putin tendsds to back the candidates who he believes will loose on the theory that an alienated losing faction will make it harder for the winning faction to govern.
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putin is all about russia's interest. destabilization. it is a mistake, i respectfully submit to the committee to allow him tone divide us by portraying him by one side or the other side. he is against all of us. there is no reason to doubt that the trump campaign hopes toat benefit from the publication of negative information from secretary clinton. that is what campaigns do. not an admiral aspect of our politics. known as opposition research. wherever they can find it. trumps opposition hopes to benefit from the tax information. linkingt campaigns held for elements of the ukrainian government. hiring a british former spy for .kremlin operatives for damaging information about trump. the first amendment makes it difficult to regulate this sort of thing.fa good information will always win
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out against bogus information. we can debate how well that works. we should not pretend that the trump campaign is the first or the only one to ever play this game. finally, as for the conclusion, no conspiracy to commit espionage or violate criminal law, i believe this this had to have been obvious no later than the end of 2017. in september of 2017, carter page, i am sorry? >> your time has expired. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. i recognize myself for five minutes. ms. douglas, the investigation has james comey revealed as he testified before our committee, the first time in open session about the trump investigation,
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began as a counterintelligence probe. the molar report develops only one paragraph to that investigation. in it, mr. mueller says, from its inception, the office recognized it could help identify foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information relative to the broader national security missionri. personnel who assisted the office establish procedures to identify and convey such information to the fbi. it then talks about counterintelligence, fbi agents embedded within mueller's team findings back to headquarters. we have yet to see those findings. can you tell us the nature of that counterintelligence oinvestigation? where those findings would go within the fbi, whether counterintelligence investigations like criminal probes have a formal opening and a formal closing.
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this investigation does not result in necessarily criminal charges. when does it come to an end and where do we need to go to find out answers? >> thank you. i do recall reading that paragraph in the report. based on the paragraph, it sounds like there are dstelligence components sitting within the molar investigative team. reporting other information that may fall outside the purview of the scope of the molar investigation. it could be additional information. counterintelligence aspects to it. the molar investigation. either ate field office or to
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headquarters. separate investigation spun up on something like that. counterintelligence investigations do have anteio opening and closing. they are not unlike criminal investigations and a lot of differentt ways. articulate for an investigation. you have to initially take it through a number of different steps. as you gather information relative to that allegation you may have inability to increase the tools against it. intelligence that you are gathering under that authority. it can be a preliminary investigation. i know you are familiar with some of that. it could be a full investigation
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there can be, there are, the beginning of the investigation. tei hope i explained the intelligence aspects to other components it would actually take the lead and do further work on it. >> thank you. ms. anderson, the molar report focuses really on two things. russian hacking dumping operation and focuses on the social media operation and the question whether they conspired with either. it does not analyze financial motivations. the president's desire to build the trump tower moscow or the paul manafort's desire to make money or the national security advisor's effort to make money from turkey or other motivations to secure financing from trump
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properties. either during the campaign or thereafter. gewould those be in the nature f counterintelligence concerns? what might concern the fbi about persons and administrative information even as a guide u.s. policy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. when it comes to russia, number one, number number two and number three priorities. coming to get to the end of whatever they're trying to do. intelligence are looking into potentially extort somebody into action. it does not surprise me at all that it launch sophisticated cyber operations against our country. looking at it in a report.
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some of the best in the world at this. they will take that information and exploited in any way that it can. when it comes to the individuals that have been approached or talk to, in and around the trim campaign they were going after or at least looking to appear to meet with numerous individuals around and inside the campaign. it is an absolute tradecraft of russia and russian intelligence services. never have one point off failur. looking to try to obtain or pass information with influence information, make sure there are numerous aspects for where they can try to get that done. answered questions specifically about that, definitely situations where in some instances, you would either go out potentially depending on what they saw and talk to the individuals being approached or
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what other information you have, some type of information to look for that. >> what is the concerned when you policymakers seeking to make money from an adversary at the same time >> that, i think think is pretty toclear. there are specific roles regarding all of this. what we can and cannot deal while we are a government employee. there is a one of the most intelligence services. expanded into politics. absolutely understand how to run proactive intelligence and counterintelligence operations.
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i think a high area four. >> current and former officials thinking it's okay to open up the investigation for political campaign. that is really at the forefront. >> are you aware of all your 20 plus years at the justice department #. >> a time of counterintelligence investigation opening up on. >> i am not aware of a specific relationship like that. we do have a history in this campaigns. it is exactly this sort of thing
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it was a notion. the intelligence agencies. the trump team never received a briefing. going to the trump campaign and explained it to them. two former u.s. attorneys on staff. both governor christie and rudy giuliani. the character at the beginning of the saga.
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portrayed them as deep ties to russia. stopping short of a russian agent. the former fbi direct your does, as a russian age met. he knows he does not know. however, my big concern is he was a multi- diplomat.ia he worked closely with the italian government. described as a russian intelligent asset. a guest speaker at numerous e.reign-policy all over the globe. i think the most concerning to
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me, two things are most concerning,, going to trainer train with fbi officials. also, speaking here in the united states congress. not this committee, but the the budget committee we are in. 200 feet away from the house intelligenceer committee. in 2017, this was after he knew all of this, supposedly. invited by our own state department. my question to you is, truly what james comey says. we have compromises. out of government for a very long time. i do know that the molar report is very careful.
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they do not, they say there are deep connections to russia. deep connections to the russian regime. they thought that it was interesting that we learnt that they were interviewed by the fbi. denied having told that they discussed emails. the reason i found that interesting is anything from the molar investigation, it is that mr. mueller was quite good at bringing both statements where he thought he could prove the witnesses they were interviewing had given full sin from a to the fbi. no prosecution was ever brought. i thought that was interesting as >> it one of the footnotes, they refer to a media story.
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in that same media report that they use to justify where he worked, they left out the fact athat in that same media story, he was described as a western intelligence asset. why didn't that makein it into e reportrt? >> you are asking the wrong guy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. highlighting the counterintelligence risk. e the report explains russia to the prior work later through his work. manafort stated in touch with these contacts during the campaign. through constant. longtime employee.lo previously ran the office and
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the fbi assesses to have tied to russia intelligence. we also know from reporting that he money. many of place while he was chairman of donald trump's campaign. updates on the trump campaign including internal polling data. it appears they believe by sharing confidential campaign information, one of the most royal resolving the disagreement originating from several losses filed against manafort. the ranking member, the contacts with russia were ordinary notwithstanding. many respect to your decades of service to this country, that is not what campaigns do. i am sharing internal polling
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data with a hostile foreign power. not what campaigns do. i'm willing to bet you that not a single member of the united states congress, 535 of us ever asked our campaign managers to share our data. how could the kremlin try to exploit the long standing business and personal relationship when the fbi assesses to have ties to russian intelligence. how could they use that relationship? what risks are posed by such a relationship with the presidential campaign. >> they would exploit if they did have financial leverage on that individual. one thing i would tell you about russian intelligence services 1940.
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not a very polite bunch of people. not only what they were exploit financial information in other words,du directly at mr. manafo. other avenues to look towards that. how can russians knowledge, for which it is now a tenant. compromising material. as the russian government took
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in influence effort directed at tthe u.s. public. one of the ways that they did it best, immediately apparent is passing them. developing an asset. donald trump's campaign. they ask him to provide polling data. polling data, the kings to the illustrating his willingness to provide information to someone he knows he would be holy to financially. ongoing lawsuits. he is willing to provide
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internal campaign information and to a person who is closely tied to the kremlin. very, very forward leaning. the experience, the connections. making all all that available in .ddition i thought that was very interesting that they are tasking him and building upon that. if he would've stayed with the campaign, i am am sure they would have continued. >> thank you. the director testified before this committee in open session. with the intelligence the intelligence community with the investigative tech week in its investigations.
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the u.s. intelligence community expanded time and resources. alleged or unfounded collusion with russia regarding 2016 election. nearly a month after the election, finally ordering a review under the election. why would it not conduct this type of review earlier. the fbi regarding russian cyber activity. >> i think that they did take some investigative steps. eyrtainly whether they should have taken more. they would tell us they had to weigh the competing cost between what the reaction would have been if they had appeared to be putting their thumb on the scale and the campaign and then
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investigative way versus how do we stop russia from doing what russia was doing. i think you can certainly argue whether they made the right value judgment. >> outgoing administration to use the resources of the cia. conducting that investment. public reset investment. >> to my mind, the assessment is very peculiar. having mark in the government for a very long time, ordinarily an assessment that you are talking about their would be something that would take well over a year. do certainly very many months to do. the information readily available. in order to conduct the investigation. seems to me, a rush to get that
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out. president obama still president. troubling the top fbi. their attitude towards trump administration. conflict of interest. in place. worried about a commercial transition. between those. folks at the top of the fbi. incoming president. conducting this investigation. the standard for the ei?
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showing those conflicts of interest among the investigation >> any criminal or counterintelligence it should be neutral. a neutral playing field. should be able to stand on its own. i think that that is aware worked it and was involved in cases my whole career. obviously very discerning about different accusations taking place. oty ofs these investigations should have looked at specific facts. let the facts lead you where to go. a republican and democrat. >> what is your experience? >> very similar. we were even talking earlier, we know political
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preferences and we've been friends for two decades. everybody comesai every position. >> how does leadership fail? how does it fail with respect to several of the top folks involved of the campaign? how does that happen where they had clear preferences for trump getting beat. they had some sort of secret weapon. >> i have no idea. we talked about this earlier. my chief of staff. i never saw that side of what i saw in the e-mails. those text messages and e-mails are unbelievably inappropriate. i think the corrective action taken for that was just. i cannot answer your question, congressman, because i did not
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see it. >> mr. quigley. >> thank you. beginning this spring and summer of 2016. the clinton campaign manager john podesta, dnc. systematically released the hacked emails through their online personas. superb d.c. leaks. the effort to harm the clinton campaign to maximize the benefits according to the report the campaign knew about the wikileaks. how to amplify the message as part of the campaign. in fact, donald trump junior communicated directly with
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wikileaks. hacked e-mails at the campaign's ckvantage. the planned dump of emails. seems like an obvious question. counterintelligence perspective. what might the set of facts suggest about the relationship between the campaign and wikileaks. what might you worry about if the presidential campaign had, more broadly what risk is this when the campaign uses this information about a political opponent that was stolen and released from a foreign adversary. >> thank you, sir. knowing they did not communicate this type of information. just because of the facts laid out in the report of what you just brought up. i think also there needs to be a
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heightened sense of counterintelligence relationships as administrations move into the white house. i think in this administration, they have been involved in preparing breeze for the president or whoever to read these and understand the concerns of it. i did not see a lot of people, at least from the lehman's eye, looking in. understanding that these threats were real. i think that there should be a lot of that. when russia is releasing information through what i would call cutouts, wikileaks and otheren platforms, this is not unusual. in a lot of ways they are doing that so broad and wide that it is hard for us as an intelligence organization or group of intelligence organizationss to start looking at who actually got the information. absolutely on purpose. it would not surprise me. a lot of other entities had teed
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up to even maybe displace more itinformation that they never utilized. going back to your original question, that is why it is so important. individuals are being tasked and then receiving information that is the initial way for any asset or information that you are targeting for their unwitting access or recruitment in the future. those actions can take anywhere from a few weeks to years. depending on how that organization will go off to that person. >> out just like like to add, if you are a foreign power and you have a campaign or individuals who are willing to entertain, receiving information that you are collect for their benefit, i think that that is an approval of that action. i think that that is where we
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have to be careful of allowing people to communicate to either a foreign government, a foreign actor about what they are doing. hacking and collecting information and then releasing it. that kind of approval by hadnot or suggestion. is it a tax and approval that kind of behavior. have you read the report in its entirety. >> i knew we would be discussing it today. >> i appreciate that. all the context that took place coming over from the russian side. any of those points there. putting yourself in the place of those that receive those context would you have called the fbi?gs
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>> probably less serious than that. >> however else you feel about the report. you think someone should've called the fbi. >> there is no question. my colleagues work counterintelligence. we always want information. any information that would be helpful to us. the likely intentions of potential powers. where it gets dicey and where you have to be careful is if you are going to be investigating techniques. the intelligence to trigger that technique.
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that is where you go from the collection of information to doing something that is more act >> thank thank you, gentlemen, for yielding. volume one of the molar report.m detailing what he calls sweeping and systematic efforts. those details are largely set forth in two separate indictments. identify 12 russian hackers associated with the gr you. three organizations part of russians internet research agency. is that an accurate summary? >> yes. though sweeping and systematic efforts to influence our election begins before or after donald trumps entry into the 2016 presidential field.
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>> if i'm remembering correctly, bahe brings it back to 2014. >> was it also determined that russia sweeping andre systematic efforts to interfere in the 2016, donald trumps entry into the campaign, also included included some actions by the russian government that were decidedly anti-trump in nature? >> i think towards the end in particular. >> was it based on evidence gathered by a team of nearly 60 fbi agents and prosecutors over a two-year period by bob mueller's team to make it evidence-based decision not to charge any american, much less anyone associated with the trump campaign with any complicity with any conspiracy, with any collusion related find in t russia's election interferenc? >> that is my understanding. >> despite the finding that
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anyone associated with this campaign, conspire colluded in any way successful meddling in theth 2016 presidential electio, it is hard. russia was not successful in their ultimate goal of undermining the outcome of our election. sowing the seeds of this board in the american democratic process we need to look no further than this very room to see evidence of russia's success. our country just adored a two-year investigation to determine whether or not the president of the united states was part of a treasonous conspiracy with a foreign adversary to steal an american election at the same democratic party that started the investigation into that alleged conspiracy that the special counsel conclusively and unequivocally establish never existed. this hearing to talk about it more. let's talk about some of the
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reasons why the russians may have been so successful in sowing the seeds of discord into the american public's mind. let me ask you about some factors that may or may not have contributed to russia's success. the obama administration decision not to advise candidate trump during the defensive briefing in early august of 2017 about suspected russian interference or infiltration into his campaign while simultaneously opening a probe of the trump campaign using foreign counterintelligence buying authorities. do you think that that may have been a factor that contributed to russian success? >> selling discord into the body? >> yes. >> i do not know if russia goes tactic to tech. russia succeeded beyond its wildest that is what his intentions were. i do not think that that necessarily means that you are in treaties by russians.
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something that is not alarming. >> let me ask you. the obama administration intelligence community that you referred to earlier, telling the american public that not only did russia interfere with the 2016 election, but did so because vladimir putin was trying to get donald trump elected. it will be compelling given to the evidence. a general approach. people coming out and say it wasn't trumps camp when it appears that if we look at everything putin does everywhere
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, putin is in the camp of the people he thinks are going to lose because he thinks that's good for them. the use of warrants obtained through verified applications based on the unverified steel dossier which the obama justice department and the f vi knew to be an uncooperative clinton campaign opposition research, do you think that was a factor that contributed to russia's success? >> what i have seen of them, i think they should've been more forthcoming. can i have an additional minute to finish? >> we may have time for one last question. >> obviously, five minutesin expired.
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i have run out a time to stop listing all the other things at the obama administration did or did not do to cause or contribute to the success of russia. the 2016 election. the purpose of this c hearing is to learn lessons from the molar report. do you thinker f that it is fair that this committee needs to be asking and understanding to prevent russian success in undermining future elections. >> i think it would be a very good thing for the country if we had a common understanding that putin has it in for us. what his object to this is to destabilize the united states so that we can pursue and protect their interest to the world. i do appreciate the chairman.
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thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you have my expression of gratitude. i now we know that the molar report has no examples of russian interference. we know that the special counsel in his public presentation closed his remarks by suggesting that absolutely every american sign up as i know we all are. addressing what fbine director y described as an ongoing threat. we have the president who has attacked special counsel's investigation. attacked the fbi. try to undermine the molar investigation. >> more to the point of this hearing. the president has called
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russia's attacks on our democracy "a hoax. he has literally cited, as we famously know, vladimir putin over our own intelligence agencies. the path is often prologue. we are all greatly concerned that similar interference will occur in the future. my question, i think i want to start with anderson, ida great privilege to serve as chief of staff. one budget cycle, we did not have the money to propose as high a salary increase for public employees. that difference of opinion became quite manifestly contentious. the governor accepted an invitation to go to our capital where was time to address the public employees for many months when he went out, hundreds and thousands ofgi there.
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they lined the walls on several levels. it was difficult for him to give his remarks because they were expressing their understandable frustration. walking back to our office i turned to the governor and asked , affirmatively defending your point of view. i will never forget what he told me. he turned to me and he said, that is our workforce. if we are going to accomplish anything, it is going to be with that workforce. weu put our heads down and go to work every day. most importantly, our workforce, those dedicated completely from
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those attacks by the president of the united states. i know you are not there now. their reaction that would have been to that. may have been the reaction by thewo workforce. do you think that they would have been concerned about their job or their work in light of attacks. i've never seen anything like this in my was 30 years of law-enforcement. going through a lot of ups and downs. i personally think it is taking a toll. people don't see that. when it comes to russia many other nations, starting this back in 2014.
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they are not leaving. i can guarantee you they are still here looking at the next presidential election and figuring out how they can attack it through. cyber or any other way that they can. overall, i do think think it takes in effect. >> thinking more prospectively. our primary concern here is what we can do to avoid this kind of interference in the future. do you believe that there would be a net gain or a benefit if we created a duty to report. former representatives. >> i think it would have to be very well-crafted given the people all the time. a global world.n?
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>> official representatives for the presidential campaign >> i think even then you'll have to be very careful in how you would do that. i just think that there is so much interaction in the global world. even here in d.c. there are so many opportunities to meet people. they are not malicious, they are are not -- i think that it is probably something to consider. it would have to be very it would be something that you could actually do. be able to hold people accountable. >> my time has expired, obviously. what your recommendations would be to avoid this interference moving forward. thank you. >> thank you,yo mr. chairman.
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take you all for being here. as a veteran, i have always tried to put my country first. i think one of the things i'm most disturbed about is an american political parties,ei higher foreign agent who works with agent of a foreign power, namely russia, to create a fake document to attempt to destroy their american political opponent. yet, many in authority choose to completely ignore that. that isee not part of the conversation. 2018, the committee a committee a majority found no evidence. collusion coronation or conspiracy between the trump campaign in the russian government. we did address russian interference and the tactics and what we would try to do in the future. two years ago on this committee, my second term on this agmmittee, things changed. very nonpartisan. the division on this grill.
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what is going on right now is exactly what mr. putin wants. giving them everything that you workedas for. beyond his wildest dreams. we have.ic through all of that, here we are. with a team of of approximately 19 lawyers .... .... foreign governments, concluded that the i >> members of the trump campaign conspired and coordinated with the russian government in its election interference and activity. special counsel's office was properly resourced to conduct the investigation? >> i think they had more than the resources -- and had appropriate access to investigatory c tools? as i know. i can only answer these
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questions as a person analyzing it from the outside who has, like, some -- >> but you have experience in this arena, and so your perception -- >> i have no reason to think they didn't have everything they needed in the way of access and resources. >> and i would suggest they had more access and tools than any congressional committee had. >> that's on you, doctor -- >> i believe that to be the case. but with all these resources at hand, i find it hard to believe the special counsel's office, if they had all these tools, that they likely would have found more than circumstantial evidence of collusion if it had existed in plain sight. let me asksk you this. how are confidential human sources and counterintelligence investigations vetted? >> the fbi has a, generally speaking, pretty -- i mean, it can vary from person to person. and these are very, the human
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dynamic in my experience of dealing with informants never goes away. so there are peculiarities and eccentricities that you have to deal with on the informant side and and the agent side. often very difficult to work for the agent, the agent has to take the brunt of some of the more crazy stuff so that the prosecutors can focus on the case. >> are they vetted once? are they vetted over and over again? are they vetted every time? maybe someone else would like to answer that question. >> they are vetted more than once, they're vetted regularly. they're tested. depending on what, how you use an asset, there are ways you can crtest your asset to make sure that they're providing credible information. they go through a vetting system on a regular basis. their files are reviewed at a supervisory level. they can be pulled and audited
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for any purpose by headquarters and -- >> my time is short, but i appreciate your answer. so ifia the fbi were to run a confidential human source into a u.s. political campaign or against individuals associated with the campaign, would the fbi notify someone in the campaign to let them know that was happening? and if not, why not? >> ordinarily, no. if you're investigating the campaign, you wouldn't notify the campaign. now, there's a difference -- >> but if it's not, if it's not the candidate, but someone in the campaign, you have no evidence that the candidate is doing this, wouldn't you want to let the can candidate know, the nominee for president of the united states, that someone in their campaign may be doing this? it seems to me, you're in a different position at that time. >> well, but i do think this goes to what some of the members of the committee have mentioned, which is the idea of whether you do a defensive briefing or not.
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i think if what you think is you have some people who are in the orbit of the campaign who are problematic, that mightis be manager you'de give the campain a heads up -- something you'd give the campaign a heads up. if you've decided everything in the steele dossier is true and the candidate is the problem, i don't see how you would notify the candidateince is the one person the campaign's not going to get rid of. >> well, if someone in my campaign was doing something nefarious and engaging with a hostile foreign entity, i would sure hope i was informed. i yield back. >> ms. sewall. >> my line of questioning has to doin with the 14 pages in the mueller report that deals with papadopoulos' meeting with -- [inaudible] according to the mueller report, in late april 2016 pop papadopos was told by a london-based professor, joseph misfit, immediately afterer his return from a trip to moscow that the
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russian government had obtained dirt on -- and that's a quote from the mueller report, this is -- had obtained dirt on candidate clinton in the form of thousands of e-mails. one week later, on may 6, 2016, papadopoulos suggested to a representative of the foreign government that the trump k578 pained had received indications from the russian government that it would assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to candidate clinton. mr. anderson, it appears to me that from reading the mueller report that joseph was cultivated and communicated sensitive information to george papadopoulos who, by march 2016, had been publicly named as the foreign policy adviser to then-candidate trump. why might this type of cultivation raise flags at the bureau? i would suggest that the fact
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that he was so engaged with papadopoulos that he was a proxy of the kremlin in that case, in this case. can you elaborate a little bit about your thoughts about that meeting between papadopoulos and joseph and what red flags that would raise? and how a foreign power would seek to leverage a relationship like that to its own intelligence gathering or policy objectives? >> thank you for the question. i think one of the things people need to realize is when foreign powers are actually going at individualsat to try to gain access or potentially recruit or use them unwittingly, it's not like you see on tv. a lot of the times the people that are comingpl at people, thy intentionally -- and i don't know if he was a source of the russian government or not, but they will utilize individuals in academia, they will utilize people in certain social sections, they will utilize people outside of threatening
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environments to where you're meeting with an official of the russian government. and so for people like me that have worked this for a very long time and seen thousands of these different types of cases, that does raise the level of suspicion. now, the one thing that troubles me even more is once the tasking starts, and as stephanie said earlier, i cannot tell you when it comes to validating, vetting, potentially recruiting or just seeing if this is somebody that you should potentially spot and assess for later recruitment, this is a big deal. and and they're going to watch to see what the information is given and then given back to that individual. so from an academic side, i can tell you that the russian intelligence services use this a lot -- >> yep. >> and they also use it in different circles. >> so, ms. douglas, papadopoulos was told by joseph that russia had clinton e-mails, and crucially, of russia's desire to release them anonymously. well before that fact became
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public. why might a foreign adversary like russia want to provide such sensitive information to someone like papadopoulos, a presidential campaign staffer, and why might they -- and what might they seek to gain from having that? >> right. you know, one of the things i thought was very interesting is that papadopoulos said he was of no interest initially when he met joseph until he told him he was involved with the campaign, and then all of a sudden there was this reengagement after he returned from moscow. you know, he is one of the many areas where they're looking for opportunities, and they're looking to establish relationships that maybe are not overly successful on that first once or twice where they actually have conversations, but they want to establish a relationship for the future. george papadopoulos are may -- wasn't a heavy player in the campaign, you know? if he was very early on with his assignment at the campaign when
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they started having conversations. but thegn russians know that, h, he's early on with the campaign now, he could potentially be with thehe administration in the future, and we want to get in good with him now. >> and, you know, joseph and another russian national introduced toas members of the russian ministry of foreign affairs. papadopoulos viewed his relationship with the russian ministry -- used it to push for a secret meeting between donald trump and vladimir putin. what sort of countervailing risk, counterintelligence missing might a secret meeting between a candidate trump and vladimir putin generate? >> well, obviously, free election, trying to set up a meeting between a candidate and, you know, a leader of our most significant adversary outside normal channels. and papadopoulos putting himself in that position where he could actually arrange it honestly
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putsms the campaign in even greater jeopardy. >> thank you. outhank you mr. chairman. m>> many stewart. >> thank you. ms. douglas, i appreciate something you said. i love the fact that you and mr. anderson worked w side by se wewith each other and was not aware of each other's political views. that's the way it should be for law enforcement officials etc. and when i look at mr. comey, director of the fbi, mr. brennan, director of the cia, the director of national intelligence, they sound like political hacks.po and i wonder how in the world could someone so political and so partisan be selected to such position of leadership. you two set a much, much better example of that. mr. chairman, i'm glad you had this hearing. it gives us a chance to tell the american people the truth. it took courage to hold a hearing that demonstrates much of what people have heard for the last two years simply is not true. and to emphasize what the mueller report clearly found, the special counsel did not find thee trump campaign or anyone
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associated with it conspired, coordinated with the russian government despite multiple efforts by russian-affiliated individuals to assist the trump campaign. i'd like to say something that i feel very strongly about, and i think the american people feel very strongly about this, it's unfair -- in fact, i think it's un-american to make act -- accusations about people without evidence. you're going to destroy the lives and the presumption of innocence. they destroy people's professional lives, to destroy them financially, to try them in the media when they don't have the ability to defend themselves. the american people know these things aren't fair, and the mueller report and hearing such as this give us a chance to emphasize that. i'd like to dive what is one of the more troubling aspects of in the episode, and that is the ooh fisa application. fisa application is a very, very substance abuseoff tool. it allows someone to essentially survey your e-mail, your text, your personal contacts, family and friends.
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i'm going to use a word, and heads are going to explode, that essentially allows you to pie on u.s. citizens. -- spy if on u.s. citizens. and yetet knowing the fisa application was based on the dossier, mr. mccarthy, i'll start with you, should the fbi have taken steps to verify the contents of the steeles do offprior including it in the presentation? >> i believe they should have. i believe steele was in the position of not as a source of information, but a -- in this equation he's much more like a case agent than a source. generally speaking, for prosecutors in court in any warrant situation when it's a fisa warrant or not, the source information are the people who see and hear, make the observations that the court is being asked to rely on for purposeses of probable cause. it generally doesn't matter whether your case agent is credible, it's whether the source information -- >> well, this is stating the painfully obvious.
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the fbi should verify information before presenting it before the fisa courts. we all agree on that. >> before any court. >> before any court, absolutely. >> you mean by verify, corroborate, yes. >> absolutely. especially the fisa court, because there's no defender of the person being accused in this case. and i'm sure the three of you are familiar with the steele dossier: is that true? >> i've never read the steele -- >> never read it. mr. anderson? >>ha i've not read it either. >> i've read it. >> okay, mr. mccarthy, thank you. i would challenge you or anyone who's read the steele dossier to tell us anything in there that we now know is true. do you know of any accusation made in the steele dossier that we knoww now is true? >> there are a number of assertions that are made in the steele dossier which are true but of not -- >> irrelevant. >> -- of great importance. for example, we know that carter page did go to moscow in july, for example. >> but that -- >> but what he did there is the
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subject of a great deal of back and forth. whether he went there or not, which the steele dossier asserts, is not, i don't think, in conflict. >> that's not an accusation, because that's notti a crime -- >> well, none of it -- when you're dealing in counteras well as, none of it is necessarily a crime. it's whether he's act as the agent of a foreign power. >> my point being was this thing which was almost entirely the basis for the fisa application, none of those accusations have been true. that begs the second question, and that is, to your knowledge -- and i'll ask any of the three of you -- has the fbi ever used political observation research funded by a u.s. political campaign and including information from foreign agents in a counterintelligence investigation? mr. anderson, are you aware of that ever happening before? >> i'm not aware of anything. it doesn't mean that it hasn't potentially happened before, but i'm not aware.
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>> ms. douglas? >> yeah, i'm not familiar with any prior use. >> mr. mccarthy? >> yeah, may i just say, i've taken information from the worst people on the planet, i've taken information from terrorists, i've taken it from murderers, from swindlers. when you do d this kind of work, the people that you get information from tend not to be, you know, the -- >> i -- >> the question is what do you do with the information when you get it, and the more suspect the source of the information is, the more and higher your obligation is to verify it before you use it in any way that's going to intrude on anyone's rights. >> yeah. thank you. my time's expired. we'll talk again, thank you. >> mr. castro. >> thank you, chairman. i want to ask you about michael flynnia and particularly his relationship ask and his actions with respect to russian ambassador kislyak and his attempt to undermine the obama administration sanctions that
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were put into place in december 2016. michael flynn used secret back channel discussions with the russian ambassador to, in effect, undermine the obama administration's ongoinga foren policy. question is, what counterintelligence concerns arise from this type of back channelre coordination between n incoming presidential administration and a foreign adderer share? -- adversary? why would the fbi be concerned with an incoming national security adviser conducting foreign policy before the new president has ever taken office and also without informing the state department? >> well, first ofho all, one of thene things when it comes to bk channel communications on political or national security issues or or in the white house, one of the things that russia and other significant nation-states, intelligence organizations try to have that created. and the reason they do is they try to get the current administration, whether it's the
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one currently in there now or whenever, having their public face confuse what the state department's saying or people that are saying stuff through a back channel. this is absolutely the exact same thing which was going on with the -- [inaudible] if case four weeks ago at her sentencing. and they will do it at different levels. regardless if it's national security advisers of the president, once an individual moves into office, it's not unusual to talk to a multitude of ambassadors, the key here is russia wants to get the administration -- whatever administration that is -- off balance. what their real political views areal and potential back channe. >> and i would just, obviously, agree that it was immediately put thehe existing administratin in a horribly conflicted position, and they didn't know it. by the back channel in advance of inauguration, it jeopardized how the u.s. was viewed by the
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russians. and also it probably assured the russians that they were going to get a more favored treatment by incoming administration. and even mike flynn says that when he says i didn't put any of this in ap e-mail or motes -- an e-mail or notes because it look like we were undermining the current administration. and, indeed, that's exactly what he was doing. >> the mueller report explains flynn had a pre-existing relationship with russia going back to at least 2015 when he attended an event backed by rt at which he sat next to putin himself. he also met with kislyak at severall times. so my question is what do you make of this relationship in or particular, and given flynn's role as the head of the defense intelligenceit agency and the incoming national security advisor? and how might russia exploit
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this relationship with flynn to affect united states policy? >> i'll just speak from my own personal experience. obviously, having known and worked with mike flynn i would say it was a very surprising position for him to take. obviously, he had very high level access to information, and then seeing that as a close business and personal relationship was concerning. >> anyone else? >> you would just say going back, andls this goes back -- ts all goes back to clearance process above the level of sci, we have very well fined reporting -- defined reporting requirements. director of national intelligence travel thing around the world engaging with foreign intelligence -- hundreds of contacts of vims that would either talk to me, stop by, have
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a conversation. and ist think part of this is wn it gets into the aspect of when individuals aren't reporting t that and the second they start having clandestine or secret meeting, it puts them in a very -- >> it leaves them open to blackmail and -- >>s well, it's definitely a vulnerable position because there's nobody in the room with you that can say, hey, here's exactly how the conversation went. so -- and these are all tricks of the trade when it comes to ichostile adversaries and intelligence services. >> thank you, chairman. i yield back. >> mr. crawford. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank the witnesses for being here today. in 2017 former cia director brennan stated in an open hearing in this committee that russian active measures to impact the u.s. had been going on for decades. 2012or then-candidate for president romney stated he believedpr russia posed the greatest threat to united states to which president obama said the '80s called, they want
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their foreign policy back. in 2014 then-chairman, now ranking member nuñes warned russian maligned influence campaigns. all of this acknowledgment of russia and their intentions, and yet no response from the obama administration. there's a lot of conspiracy theories swirling around about russia collusion, so let's just add this one. is it possible that a group of politically motivated individuals at the highest echelons of national security decided to turn a blind eye to this activity feeling that it would, in fact, enhance their candidate's chancesde of winnin? i don't expect you to answer that, but i do preponderate can you to consider it. and with that, i'll yield to mr. ratcliff the balance of my time. >> thank the gentleman for yielding. i want to follow up on mr. stewart's line of questioning about fisa process and the steele das area's role in that -- dossier's role in that. according to sworn testimony given by former doj associate
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deputy attorney general bruce ohr, he said under oath that he had advised andy mccabe, deputy director of the fbi, peter strzok and lisa page in early august 2016 that christopher steele t was, in fa, motivated and desperate to stop a trump presidency. separate hi, documents that have been made public -- now been made public indicate that a state department employee advised the fbi about concerns over christopher steele's credibility based in part on his assertion that this well-developed conspiracy with russia was being run out of the russian consulate in miami where russia does not have a consulate. so, many mccarthy, want to ask you to -- mr. mccarthy, want
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to is ask you to tell me what you think about that information and whether andnd how that information about christopher steele should havest impacted hw the steele and whether the steele dossier should have been presented to the fisa court. and you mentioned it, but i think it's worth mentioning again to also address as part of that whether or not it was appropriate to o represent christopher steele as a source of information in that application. >> yeah. my main overarching problem with it is that i think it was to taken somebody who was in the position really of a case agent and refer to him and treat him as if he were a source when he did not make the observations that the court was being asked to rely on for purposes of probable cause. now, if you want to take the position that i'm wrong about that, then i think the second thing that has to be said is that the more remote that somebody is from the
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observations you'ring asking a court to rely on, the more you have to do in the way of being transparent as far as whatpe tht person's biases are potentially. it's one thing to say that, you know, somebody who sees something criminal happen brings a lot of baggage to table, but they either saw what they saw or they didn't. and the circumstances surrounding that can tell you a lot more than their bias can. if you talking about somebody who's remote from that, and here we're talking about maybe three, four, five hearsay stepses remote from it, i think you have a higher obligation to be straight with the court about what that person's baggage is in terms of bias, motivation, economic motivation, whatever. and just a rule of thumb and i think any good federal judge would tellon you this, if you nd to write a footnote that takes a
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page and a half in order to avoid writing the sentence and he's connected to the clinton campaign, then you should probably disclose that he's connected to the clinton campaign. >> thank you. ms. douglas or mr. anderson, anything about what mr. mccarthy just related that you would disagree with or want to clarify? the. >> you know, i'll just add that on the counterintelligence and on the counterterrorism side we have, we take information from sources that respect right there. that aren't right there. and it's been critically important in a lot of cases, especially in the counterterrorism world where you have a person who's receiving information or hears of information that you make every effort to validate and corroborate, and is that source trusted. and that's where you really have to look to see has that source provided reliable information in the past. and i am not defending the steele dossier, and i don't even think that comes up in the mueller report actually.
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but ipa would just say that the fbi did have reliable reporting, excuse me, from steele in the past, and, you know, maybe that gave them some assurance to it. and then also i think it's important for everyone to know the steele dossier wasn't 125eu7inged to a coffer sheet for the fisa -- cover sheet for the fisa application. the fisa application has more information than just the steele dossier. and i do think that this is important to know. >> real quick. >> sir, just two things. one is the court needs a complete transparency in any fisa or title iii, any information, full stop. it should never be anything that.than and the last thing i would say is after a fisa or title iii is running -- and you can use either nowadays in counterintelligence depending on what you're doing -- if you find out something about the information, you supply it to court after it's running and it is inaccurate, it is incumbent
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on us to explain plain that to court. that's the only other two points. >> thank you. appreciate the gentleman yielding. i yield back. >> mr. malloy. >> thank the witnesses for being here. just to return for a minute to issue of paul manafort sharing internal polling data, consider the following from the mueller report. quote: because of questions about the polling day -- data after it was -- [inaudible] further, the report notes that, quote: gates believed manafort sent polling data to -- [inaudible] would not move forward with his lawsuit against manafort, close quote. manafort also briefed ca ca lemm nick including michigan, wisconsin, pennsylvania, or minnesota. what are the counterintelligence concerns about that, that the chairman of a presidential
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campaign would be providing that kind of information? >> i think paul manafort is trying to sell himself, right? so, i mean, he clearly talks about his time on the campaign being good for his business. his plan was to go out and monetize his expertise after the campaign. >> and i'm -- excuse me -- >> no, i'm just saying i think he is providing polling data, he is talking to clem nick, he is doing everything to put his name out there with the russian oligarchs -- >> this is the senior person on the trump campaign at the time. and i'm intrigued by your point about task, and i'd like to get you to return to that for a minute. isn't that really the magic moment? isn't the magic moment when you've done all this work and you've been cultivating and you tiptoe up to them and use all these unoffensive contexts to get near them, and then you give them something to do that's
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wrong -- >> right. >> -- that's inappropriate, and they know it's wrong and they do it. >> [inaudible] >> is that when you've got them? >> yes, of course. and it just continues to increase. and, you know, that's why i said, i mean, the trump administration is so lucky to have paul manafort outut of the, because manafort was not going to stop at polling data. >> because it's a test, right? if he'll do that, he'll do the next thing, and the deeper you get in, the more they've got to keep going, right? >>ad yeah. >> it'ssk fair to say, had he stayed on as chairman they would have kept asking him -- >> i would definitely assume that. >> and you get deeper and deeper and deeper. wouldn't just be him, there'd be others that they were endeavoring to do this with. >> i mean, it was very apparent that the russians were in contact with a number of trump associates and tried to establish these relationships, you know. >> whoou knows how far they woud have gotten, but man that
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fort -- manafort made himself available. he thought it could get him out of hock financially with some of the debts that were already owed as far as this lawsuit. and, you know, he continue -- he continued to advertise his availability to them. >> wouldn't you say it's a counterintelligence nightmare, many anderson? >> maybe not a nightmare, but it's something to be extremely concernedas about. that tasking will continue to whoever until you say no, and that's when the extortion start. >> right. mr. mccarthy, i'm very struck by yourom answer to mr. quigleys question, that you would hope that someone in the position of the trump campaign officials would come to fbi. you said you wanted them to come to fbi, right? and, in fact, one of the reasons you said you want that was because you wanted the t information. i understand that. isn't it also the case the
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reason that person comes to fbi is to inoculate themselves against the very charge that they're playing footsie with a porn intelligence service? isn't thatn' right? >> yeah. >> and, in fact, if they did that, you wouldn'tt with need a counterintelligence operation because you'd beg working in pt in concert with the americans against that government of interference, isn't that a fair? >> well, yes. on the government side you also haveve to be very careful that they're not playing both sides. you can get played that way, and -- by whom? >> by the person who comes in to report to you. >> fair enough. but in this case it was true. [inaudible conversations] >> you just told the fbi, that you yourself said you wished they had, this wouldn't have been a counterintelligence investigation at that point. >> what you're saying is true. i'm having trouble following because i've read the report. there's -- we're skipping a step
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here. i don't think that there's evidence that colimb neck is a russian advocate. there's a lot of reason to be concerned about -- [inaudible conversations] >> you guys are saying he was tamped. how do we know he was tasked? >> i'm not asking him. excuse me, my time's expired. the trump tower meeting or any of thehe imp proper contexts tht we now know were part of the russian -- my point is, sir, if the trump campaign had simply picked up the phone and called the fbi and said we're board about this, it would have gone a long way to inoculating them against the concern that they were working in concert with a foreign intelligence officer. >> i couldn't agree more with that, and and i think anybody who thinks that they've been a approached by a russian asset should notify the fbi. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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>> i just want to take time to clarify a few things. is it a crime for any american to appearen on rt, take money from rt? not aware that it is. >> no. i >> i'm a little confused as le -- i don't want to put words in any of the witnesses' mouth, but we have numerous former government officials and current government b officials that appr on rt all the time and take money from i'm a little alarmed that people would make some type of reference that, ahead -- the tformer head of the dia who gos too dia to tell them, hey, i'm going to go and meet with putin, get paid to be on rt, then reports back that somehow i don't know other former government officials are doing the same t thing when they take
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large sums of money? i don't want to put words in any of your mouths, but i thought that's what i heard, that it wasn't okay for the former head thof d irk a to go ask and givea speech like all former politicians and presidents do. did i hear that? is that okay for general for fln to go to rt or not? >> i think people coit all the time in the private sector. i think as long as that's what it is, it's fine. ne a , friend of this committee, i do not know he was paid by rt, but he did many appearances on rt. the other thing that is alarming to me is this talk that general flynn, by talking to the russian ambassador when he is the incoming national security advisor, would be somehow targeted by the fbi or any counterintelligence capability in this country when he is talking to the russian ambassador, even if he does not agree with the obama administration on sanctions, because if that is the case, john kerry should be under a full-blown criminal investigation for violating the logan act.
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should john kerry be under investigation right now for violating the logan act? mr. anderson: i have no idea what john kerry is doing. >> it has been widely reported that john kerry has had numerous meetings with the iranian regime during the trump administration. mr. anderson: i would have to see a lot more about that. as far as going back to your original question, as far as the incoming national security advisor talking to the russian ambassador on it >> i would have to see a lot more about that, sir. i have no idea. ie mean, as far as -- going bak to your original question, as far as the incoming national security adviser talking to russian ambassador on its own, that's not something that's going to raise a counterintelligence flag. you have to look at the totality of what's going on. i don't understand anything that went on with mike flynn, who i alsoso know, and the ambassador that would onng its own triggern
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investigation. >> it may not trigger an investigation. i think you have to be mindful of how that looks to russian government. and that's why i it could be a counterintelligence concern. >> i just think it's preposterous to think that a three-star general, the architect of killing terrorists, really bad al-qaeda terrorists is somehow connected to the russian government. and, you know, for him talking to russian ambassador i just think is -- >> [inaudible] >> i would expect no matter if it's democratic or -- whoever the national security team is, that they would talk to russian ambassador or any ambassador, for that matter. i also don't think that john kerry should be investigate for violating the logan act right now just to get that on the record. however, from this side of the aisle and the left and the media continue to bash general him
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from, thames, they say nothing about w secretary kerry meeting with the rain sheins. difference. general flynn reached out in an official position prior to the inauguration of the trump administration and decided to do foreign policy work in the midst of another administration. >> that is no different than what john kerry is doing. you would like to investigate john kerry. ms. douglas: i'm not saying anybody gets investigated. but i am saying is a counterintelligence concern. it is like we are saying that no criminal charge has been filed relative to robert mueller's findings. it still does not mean there's not a national security threat. >> i do not think i would be putting john under counterintelligence investigation anytime soon. one more question on tasking. you mentioned paul manafort was tasked to deliver polling information.
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i'm troubled as to what the difference is between someone asking for polling information versus a political campaign hiring a former british spy to go out and meet with what we now know to be, supposedly, reportedly, meeting with high-ranking former officials in the russian government to get dirt on trump. that is a campaign paying for it. how is that any different? i would say the other is worse. we may not like how political campaigns are run but i do not think that is illegal. any response?
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>> i think it is disturbing that the clinton campaign used steele. it is disturbing that the russians reached out to the trump campaign. there's a lot of talk about what a terrible guy he is. steele worked for him. we are in a situation where for 30 years, since the fall of the soviet union, this government, bipartisan, has taken the position that russia is a country we can work with. the bush administration used to call them a strategic partner in connection with certain things. the obama administration wanted to reset relations. trump wanted to change the panacea of having better relations. if you're going to have that approach, you're going to have to have a lot of people having contact with russians. we have a lot of people having contacts with russians and a lot of it is inappropriate.
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>> i yield back. >> mr. welch? >> thank you very much. i thank the witnesses. the robert mueller report describes efforts by the kremlin to establish a back channel. you spoke about how they are always looking for many points of contact so they do not have a single point of failure. for example, in january 2017, mr. demetriev, the head of russia's sovereign wealth fund -- later relayed what demetriev told him to stephen bannon and begin communicating with a friend of jared kushner. over the next few months, demetriev worked on a plan of reconciliation between russia
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and the united states which was funneled to jared kushner. the mueller report sugges >> the mueller report suggests that this memo, which was essentially drafted by the russian government in which dem try yous said was approved by putin, may have influenced trump's first phone call as president. can you explain this concept a little bit more of back channel and what sorts of counterintelligence risk can arise from such back channels? the reason i ask, we're having a back and forth high understandably about political motivations. and in campaigns, campaigns tend to push the limits. but what appears to me to be unique about this is that russians have information which
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becomes a tool for them to advance their policy interests as opposed to ours. mr. anderson? >> yes, sir, thank you. two points. one is, you're absolutely right. for them to be put into a position to advance whatever they're looking to gain from the united states. but two, it's also there to cause confusion and discord, right? as different, opposing policies or back channels start to go up, it causes discord within those organizations and eventually to whoever's trying to get the official policy through whether it's at the state department or at the white house. the one thing you will see, and i've seen it in this report, is with russia going back to point about looking at different channels to try to make those things happen, you actually start putting people against each other even inside the same office because they don't understand that what is the official channel versus what
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we're hearing from the back channels. >> whenn you say within an office, you mean the c irk a -- >> bigger. office of the president, the state department, other areas within our country. and they'll do it not necessarily right around the individuals who are located within their making the policy, but they'll also do it outside of that. and the last point i'll make is one thing i think we really needed to do is look larger also when its to russia attacking our political infrastructure than just whatfe we're looking at ate at right here. >> ms. douglas, thank you.
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the focus for me is not campaigns pushing the limits, but candidates becoming compromised by some of the actions. >> for instance, having a transaction involving multimillion dollar potential profits obviously creates an incentive to protect that investment. do you want to comment on that? >> i mean, i think it's important and i think the report laysys out how well putin really puts to work all these russian billionaires. with outreach and connections to a number of associates and friends -- family and friends of friends. and that's a good example. the reconciliation plan really is kind of a strategy document by dem try jeff who i think referreds to putin as his boss and a friend of jared kushner's. and putting those two people together to come up and work on this plan which they did -- >> yeah. >> -- internal to bemy used for this cause. >> met me just follow up on that. it was my understanding that it
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was our official policy during the obama administration to oppose expansion into the ukraine, and there was an on you going debate about whether to provide significant new armaments for the ukraine fighting the russians. so the two seem to be in conflict. >> yeah, i mean, just -- i think just having that kind of external input into a very early stage administrative strategy appears to be very unusual. >> thank you. i yield back, thank you. >> mr. carson. >> thank you, chairman. thank you all. the june 9, 2016, meeting at trump tower was proposed to donald trumpnd jr., he was told that the -- [inaudible] and information that would incriminate hillary and her dealings with russia. as part of russia and its government support for mr. trump. his response, if it's what you
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say, i love it. in other words, the son of a u.s. presidential candidate agreed to accept assistance from a foreign add -- adversary to adermine his father's political opponent. what counterintelligence risks doeswo this set of facts pose, d what would russia's subjective -- and lastly, what other similar techniques used, if at all, were effective and why might they be affected. abile administration. that's where it starts, right? you're talking to people that are around the president or potential president of the united states. from that point on, you have a voice inside that you can filter information to. the second point is i think russia looked at this way in
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advance on how to potentially target these different incoming administrations. in the current president's administration, the people that were around him were not savvy at all, in my opinion, to counterintelligence threat to national security issues. they are coming from the private sector and corporations and i think they took that. in a lot of these senses, i do not think the russians in any way needed to recruit anybody. they needed to be able to get in front of somebody and supply information so that information would be conveyed to the president. mr. mccarthy: i would just add i think, by taking the meeting and , i don't think you need a lot of training for this by taking , the meeting, you made yourself beholden to putin in terms of however he wants to characterize it down the road so that even if nothing inappropriate happens at the meeting, you have that
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vulnerability as well. mrs. douglas: it tells a great story how the russians work. it shows the prior relationship that the trumps had, basically, worked with another prior relationship to reach out directly to donald trump jr. and dangle this potential piece of information. now, the meeting resulted in nothing, but the fact they used connections that they knew that trump had in moscow through business dealings to basically weave their way to get in front of very, very senior level people in the campaign, manafort, trump jr., and jerry kushner, kind of shows how they work. they use personal relationships, business relationships, and then they try to piece it together. and like bob said, i think the one thing that's illustrated is the fact they were able to access such a high level.
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>> thank you. one of the topics of the discussion at the june 9 meeting were the u.s. sanctions imposed under the magnitsky act. how might russia have leveraged trump campaign's acceptance of help to attack hillary clinton as an opening to and influence trump and his associates in order to affect u.s. policy regarding sanctions? that is morert of of the same. i think the biggest is access. the biggest part of these situations, the acceleration of access to someone as high as these people were, as stephanie just said, does not happen as quickly. a lot of what you are seeing here is, as i said before, i think will are not looking at it as a counterintelligence threat, a national security threat. the reason i am saying this is
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because i think that accelerates the process. how this usually works, it takes months to years to get access to individuals who will eventually get into a level where someone can relay information. i think one of the biggest things about this is the acceleration of this process because they were able to get so high so quick. >> >> thank you for your service. i yield back, chairman. >> mr. ratcliff. >> thank you, chairman. mr. anderson, i both appreciated and agreed with your comments during my last round of questioning about the need to update and correct ongoing fisa applications. isa want to ask you about the obligation as it relates to exculpatory information. as you know, in the criminal case we have what's called the brady rule where the government has an obligation upon request request to provide any exculpatory information to a defendant that the government may have.
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obviously, in the counterintelligence or title iii it's a different proceedings where the defendant isn't represented. but we know that in this case the fbi has asserted that the underlying predicate for this counterintelligence investigation was george papadopoulos and the conversation that he had with an australian diplomat. if the fbi had exculpatory information or contradictory information, information that contradicteded that underlying predicate, would you agree with me that fbi had an obligation nott to withhold that and to ovprovide that to the fisa cour? >> i think the fbi wants you to vet both the information as best they could and, two, i think there should have been discussion with the doj and the fisa court about that information. >> andnd what if there was no discussion, would that have been improper? >> i don't know if it would have been improper, but i don't think that would have been the true transparency that those type of
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hearings need, especially as i think one of the congressmen brought up earlier, this is a significant power when you're looking at fisa or title iii >> mr. mccarthy, what's your take on that? >> you know, in our world -- ooh i'm in the same world you were in for a long time, which is criminal investigations -- there's some laxity involved in how much you have to disclose with respect to exculpatory information, for example, in the grand jury. but i think the big difference here is that the criminal process has a way of keeping people honest that, unfortunately, the counterintelligence process doesn't. so even though when you go to get a search warrant or an arrest warrant from a judge, you know, regular criminal case, you get to go in secret in the sense that they're sealed proceeding, and there's no one there representing the defendant. knows or assume in the equation that this will individually be a prosecution in
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which everything's -- complete discovery of what you represented to the court, and they'll be able to go to work on it. in the fisa process, the only due process an american who is suspected of being an agent of a foreign power ever gets is that the fbi complies with its rules and procedures, and the fisa court hold them to it in that proceeding. i shouldn't confine it just to fbi. the justice department as well. to my mind, and i think this is reflective of what most people in that equation think and what the fisa individual judges seem to think, there's a higher obligation to be transparent knowing that that process that you get in the criminal thicket where everybody's going to get discovery of what you did in the court is not going to happen. >> let me, in my remaining time,
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ask you, mr. mccarthy, you've had a number of questions about the need or the desire or whether or not it was appropriate to advise donald trump about russian efforts to interfere in his campaign during a defensive briefing. we know that was conducted by the fbi on august 17th and -- >> yes. mean, if i may, i've heard that before. i happen to have to have been in a meeting at trump tower that day, with a runs of of other people that candidate -- >> candidate defensive briefing. >> right. but it was not the targeted do defensive briefing that they were talking about in this committee's report that lynch and comey and mccabe were talking about in the springs of 2016. >> okay. but to my question, you said reading at whatever time candidate-trump may not have received a briefing about
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russian interference efforts. if they had determined that the teal toss year was true or that he was the subject of a criminal information. but we know that wasn't the case, because we know the fbi director told the president, alt president trump well into early 2013, that he was not the subject of a cl information. >> he was not around -- not under investigation. the fbi haveould had in 2016 not to a vise candidate trump or president-elect trump about cerussian interference threats? >> i don't think they had a good reason. i think until have been preferable if they had done a he fence i have briefing. i'm familiar with former
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director well's -- i think it was in testimony to this committee that not everybody on his advise deny advisory team of telling the president or the president-elect that he was not in a suspect simply because in a technical sense his name was not on any file. and the point that was made to him which he ultimately rejected, as i understand it, was that the way the information was stuffed. of they were looking at the campaign and talking overred, and since it was trump's campaign, obviously, he was a subject of what they were looking into. so to tell him that he wasn't a subject seem like it could be misleading. and so i think they should have been more forthcoming with him about his status in the yooftion, and i think will the
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have been preferable. >> agree with you. i reeled back. >> ms. demings. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to our witnesses today. mr. anderson, page 10 notes that the potential counsel's office learned some they interviewed deleted relevant communications or communicated using applications that feature encryption or that do not provide for long-term retention of data. in such cases the other wasn't able to corroborate wbt states or fully question person -- appeared inconsistent with other known facts. given these identified gaps, the office was unable to rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would she would additional light on or
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cast in a new light that events described in the report, yes, or and special clown dold noter inly -- [inaudible] and coming from a law enforcement are background, this is particularly concerning to me. how might a foreign power like russia leverage knowledge of a u.s. person deleting communications with an at or other individual working on behalf of the russian government? >> thanks for the question. finish i think this is a huge part of our new world we live in. there's numerous different encrypted apps that people use in the private sector. nowadays there's hundreds of millions of people that use those a a.m.s. i think from a counter-intelligence, hostile add certificate share point of
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you -- adversary point of you, there's an issue. because that person is not going to delete the information. that person is going to keep the information and most likely put it into a pool of information where it's correlated and they can useti it. in myunately, though, career in the last probably 6-7 years this has become a much bigger issueth because you cannt go back when it's a person in a criminal information, in a drug case all the way up to a serious espionage investigation. .. >> you talk about this earlier but in its hay day. the soviet kgb collected reames of information on surveillance targets. do you believe the kgb
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successors, such at ffb or fdr or the gru continue these practices? >> yes, and i tell you from my own experience, 30-some years ago when i started in law enforcement, the an way to find about something was hard footwork knocking don -- on doors and now days social media ask cybertechniques and artificial intelligence available to not only the open public but more sophies tick indicate versions to -- sophisticated services, they have a pretty good idea what you like, don't like, who you hang out with go for coffee and makes it an easier target. the modern-day version of what some was done 25-30 years ago provides much more available information to target somebody. >> thank you. and finally, we discussed concept of blackmail at several points today. can you explain how the use of
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blackmail or leverage including financial leverage, over government officials, by foreign powers, can pose a counterintelligence threat -- danger, and i believe that should be of importance to all of us in this room. >> now, it is very much so. russia and there's a few other services that use this extensively, and they'll use either financial blackmail, personal relationship blackmail. blackmail about potential criminal violation that nobody knows about that they know about. in the hearing i said one thing you notice with these progressions, starts off almost incidenta. asking, tasking, access, phone books and, move through the continuum. the blackmail doesn't really start until you say. no once you say no depending on what they have, they'll use any means possible to include destroying your life. they could care less but anybody in this room's life because we're in an american and they
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will use those opinions to target subjects. >> thank you. mr. chairman, yield back. >> thank you, chairman scheff. if want to ask "mr. mccarthy regarding the opening of the counterintelligence investigation and protocols of notifying congress. protocols that were not followed. we know now that the fbi opened its counterintelligence investigation into the trump campaign in july 2016. but they did not brief the gang of eight until march 2017. just days before former fbi director comey publicly announced the investigation during a march 20th, 2017, opening hearing before the committee. so my question to you, mr. mccarthy, conveying sensitive investigation such as the opening of a counterintelligence investigation into a political campaign is exactly what quarterly briefings from the fbi
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to the gang of eight are intended for. is that correct? >> i believe. so i don't see what would be the point of having the gang of eight. >> i agree with you. do you think that the fbi director, in this case director comby, should have been allowed to decide when a ci investigation, i quote-unquote too sensitive for the gang of eight? >> i don't think the fbi direct scholar do that because otherwise you can't have congressional oversight. >> i agree with that has all. so you would agree when i say the fbi should not get to pick and choose which investigations particularly those focuses on the u.s. political campaign, are briefed to the congress. >> i think that's true and i think from what i understand from director brennan he thought he was obliged to comply with his gang of eight disclosure requirement is it appropriate for the fbi to publicly announce the subject of an ongoing counterintelligence investigation in an open setting before fully briefing congress on the matter?
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>> no, i don't think -- counterintelligence investigations are classified. i adopt think the fbi, when -- i don't think the finn could ever confirm existence of an investigation, counterintelligence investigationes, classified, like a double no-no and there's no reason i can think of to announce public he the subject of such an investigation or say there would be an assessment of crimes being committed. >> we know now that director comey failed to follow established doj procedures during the conduct of this investigation. in your opinion, why do you believe that director comey decided to publicly announce the investigation in march 2017 instead of following the protocol and immediately briefing the gang of eight during his quarterly briefings. >> i know director comey for 30 years, have a lot of respect for him, and i think he goes without -- in my experience, went about his business in good faith. i'm sure if he had a reason --
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if he did something, the probably thought he had good rep for it. i don't agree whatever i the reason was but i can only assess what he did. i can't get into his head. >> i want to discussion the requirement of briefing of the gang of 8 when there's a counterintelligence investigation of a campaign. is clear in this case in to 16 the express procedures were circumvented. this should have been briefed to the gang of eight and that's a critical question we need to continue asking in our oversight capacity. so with that i yield back. >> before i yield to mr. murphy, i want to mention an -- through no fault -- the -- while i can't content of the gang of eight
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briefings the timeline you have vote out is not correct. can tell you that once james comey was fired, we no longer continued to get gang of eight briefings on this constellation of counterintelligence investigations and have not had one since, which is a real problem. and to this date, we have requested from the fbi and from the director a briefing on the status of the counterintelligence investigations. we do not know to this date whether they are ongoing. we do not know whether any of them have been closed. we do not know what those findings are but we are determined to find out. >> will the chairman yield? >> yes. >> regarding the timeline it christer in opening opening in front of this committee that director comey testified that he chose not to brief the gang of eight on the opening of the counterintelligence investigation. this has been widely reported. an opening hearing and we worked
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across the aisle on languaged to be includes in the intel there's act to ensure they counterintelligence investigation into a presidential campaign is briefed. so i hope you would agree, based upon the testimony of director comey, he circumvented the process and i agree with you, we need to have an update but think we need to strengthen not just the typical way of doing things but put it in law so they're required to brief us. >> i would only say that was not his testimony; that the first time he was briefing the counterintelligence investigation to us was contemporaneous with his disclosing it to the public. >> i did not say that. will the gentlemen yield? i said days before in march of 201. >> the representative is not accurate but i can say that's not accurate. >> i hope the members of the public would go back 0 to director comey's testimony and follow the facts and just look
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at his direct testimony to this committee, which stated he did not follow the proper protocols and procedures of briefing congressional leadership on he opening of the counterintelligence investigation and i yield back. >> mr. christopher murphy. >> thank you for your service. thank you for being here today and thank you, chairman. i want to focus on security clearances. an issue that comes before the oversight committee and i'm shuttling back and forth between the two committee. want to ask you, in order for any person working for the president to obtain access to the nation's most sensitive secrets, that person must undergo an fbi background investigation and obtain a security clearance. and one of thing the fbi investigates is the candidate' contact with foreign nationals and whether the relationships pose any risk that the candidate may be compromised by a foreign power. it has been widely report that
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jared kushner's security clearance was initially denied because of serious concerns about foreign influence, private business interests, and permanent conduct. there's -- personal conduct and also reporting that jared kushner did not record foreign contacts of the fs86 forms. what counterintelligence risks arise when an applicant is not fully forth coming or on in his or her security clearance application? >> thank you, sir. think it's extremely important to have all the documented information and a thorough investigation before issue ago insecurity clearance, especially when wrote gut above the secret level and top secret information. but i think that's very important. i also think coupled with that,
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the mandatory financial disclosures and other information required every five years and some cases in the fbi's organization, there's a polygraph. i've had six of enemy my career. to just make sure that the individual that is entrusted with the ability to see that information is safe for our country. >> okay. but what -- let me ask you. what if they're not forth coming ors on and how can a for power take advantage of that situation? >> well, i don't know all the specifics around mr. kushner's clearance issues but i think there's potential, if you are trying to hide or be deceptive but your conducts that could be something a foreign intelligence agency could take advantage of. right? so doesn't -- those forms are incredibly detailed. it's a global world so people
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have many, many foreign contacts these days, especially somebody like mr. kushner, who has global businesses. right? >> let me walk -- give us a specific example. what would a russian agent try to do if he or she knew that mr. kushner did not report a certain foreign contact -- >> i'll give you information that you're not being truly honest with. if you can be compromised based on your dishonesty about something, that is something a foreign intelligence agency can take advantage of. >> then what is the impact of that if that individual that you are trying to manipulate has access to top secret materials? >> right. you could potentially say that then if that person is compromisable, are they in a position suns they have access to sensitive information, are they willing to provide information to you in order not to be disclosed as being dishonest with the sf86 or
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something? >> have you soon this in your career where such a situation ever developed where a russian entity or even any other foreign entity, tried to take advantage of someone in that type of situation? >> i've seen instances where people have not disclosed sensitive foreign national contacts but not where the form actor has taken advantage of that fact because they don't want it disclosed eshore they're not going to jeopardize that. they're usually in a relationship. >> i've not seen exactly your description of it but i have seen individual inside certain former espionage case is have briefed to the committee years ago that they were looking at aspects on ways to get towards them around their clearance issues. i've not seen them follow through.
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>> what tip of reform would you make in that type of situation to prevent that type of situation from arising? >> well, it's kind of hard to force someone to tell you something if you don't even know it exists. so it's kind of hard to hold somebody accountable to something you don't know about. i think has to be very significant diligence on and it has to deexplained up front so people understand they could be in jeopardy, and i think that's clearly articulated, actually, that you could be in jeopardy of getting a clearance if you're not disclosing a personal or an ongoing and continuing relationship. that should absolutely be a consequence. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. some followup questions.
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on the fisa application. mr. mccarthy, what was the time of the first fisa application? when was that first sought before the court. >> my recollection is i think october 21st which i think comes from a document from this committee. october 2021 of 2016. >> at that point the counterintelligence investigation had been open for several months all right. is that correct? >> the fbi's investigation formally opened, is understand , at the end of july. that investigation certainly was open for over two months. >> the fbi counterintelligence investigation was opened irrespective having nothing to do with the fisa application. had to do with george pap don his receiving information but a stolen clinton e-mail. >> in the parlance of the justice captain and the fbi we
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seems refer to title 3 investigations or fisa investigations as if they were their own separate entity but they actually tend to be part of a larger investigation. >> put this case the their've ocounterintelligence around the president is flawed because theosophies a application didn't take place until months after the investigation was open. correct. >> i don't understand you question. >> some argue that we should erring know everything bob mueller has to say, everything the russians did, because they have problems with aspects of the fisa application. the fisa application was opened months after the investigation began. correct? >> correct. >> it didn't initiate the investigation. >> also correct. >> in fact, carter page was not even with the trump campaign anymore at the time the application was filed.
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isn't that correct? >> i don't think that's relevant but it is -- i as i understand they had formally separated. i assume you know -- >> iting -- >> ow can go backwards as well as forward. >> it is certainly relevant, mr. mccarthy, if you're making an accusation of spying on the president trump campaign, a fisa application of carter payment didn't begin until carter page was no long ever with the campaign. isn't that accurate? >> no. i think that if you're getting access to somebody's communications under circumstances where that access will afford you the opportunity to go backwards so you can read their communications while they're in the campaign -- >> do you know that too be a fact? or are you speculating. >> i know it to be a fact when you get authorization you get to go backwards. >> do you know whether that's the case here or speculating. >> i don't have enough direct knowledge of the investigation. you're quite correct. i'm speck lating from the
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outside. >> host: you think the justice department officials that signed off on the application were acting in bad faith. >> no. i think they've made a mistake. >> do you think mr. rosenstein, who signed off on the application, was acting in bad faith. >> i think he made a mistake. >> you think the judges who signed off, i believe three or four judges who signed off on the applications, we they acting in bad faith. >> i don't think anyone was acting in bad faith on the fisa court. >> so all of them just made mistakes. >> yes. that's right. that happens. >> and the steele dossier, how does that mull mueller rely on the steele dossier in this report? >> it's 200 pages. off the top of my head i can't think of any he relied on it for in terms of any kind of important conclusion.
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>> shooter answer is he does not. >> i don't think so. i just don't want to give you a slapy -- sloppy answer off the top-my heard. >> mr. mccarthy, when did you learn that there was a counterintelligence investigation of the trump campaign? >> i don't know. i'd have to -- i mean, again, i learned as a member of the public. i don't have any inside permanent information so i would have to go back over things i had written and read over time to try to pin it down. >> when did the public learn of the existence of the counterintelligence investigation of the trump campaign? >> i know director comey testified here or before the committee on march 20th of 2017, it seemed to me at that point in time what he was
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directing his remarks to, at least in part, was evident from the intelligence community assessment that came out in january. so it was -- it seemed clear to me reading the public version of the assessment that the intelligence community had not stopped investigating russia's interference in the election. >> you're correct, mr. mccarthy, the first public disclosure of the counterintelligence investigation of the trump campaign took place in mr. comey's open testimony in march of 201 before this commitee. months after the presidential election. >> yes. >> if the personal an is in -- an muss reflected in private i'm others ben mr. strong and miss page reflected official actions to scuttle the trump campaign, wouldn't the trumped investigation haven't been disclosed before the election,
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not after? >> i don't know that the bias you detect from the e-mails would have had anything to do with when the investigation -- the e-mail -- >> if fbi agents would determined to scuttle, act up precisionally and scuttle the trump campaign would they not have disclosed the fact they were investigating the campaign of a presidential candidate for links with a foreign adversary? >> mr. chairman, aisle not trying to be difficult. never have said that they were trying to scuttle the trump campaign. i don't know there's evidence they were trying scuttle the trump campaign so i dope want to be in a position -- i don't want to be in a position of agreeing that's me position because it was not. >> the fbi was very open with the investigation of one of the candidates, secretary clinton. correct. >> that was a public -- it was criminal investigation that cooperate help but be public because of the way it was
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referred to the fbi and the other investigations think counterintelligence investigation, which i classified and they're not allowed to talk about. their different things. >> they're not those speed talk but a criminal investigation either. no you're right. if there's no charges the government should not speak. you're not spoked to talk about investigations until you formally charge someone and then they have the full array of constitutional protections that they get to defend themselves. >> so in terms of public actions taken by the bureau during the presidential campaign had the effect of disclose something -- disclosing the discussing of the investigation of hillary rodham clinton but not donald trump. created? >> wouldn't good that far because in -- beginning in i think it's september you start do get reports that steele and
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fusion are put south and the is cough article i'm thinking about in particular, which is september 23rd, refers not only to information from law enforcement people and counterintelligence people and quotes a letter -- i don't know itself quotes it as a letter but remarks from then-senator reid with respect to the investigation and push egg the fbi to get on with an investigation -- >> mr. mccarthy, there's in public acknowledgment by the fbi of any investigation of donald trump prior to his e. >> as far as a formal public announcement. >> correct. >> no none.
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>> what other examples do you have for that decoration apart from the last campaign? >> i think in -- what i try to direct my remarks to, mr. chairman, was russia's current activities in he west. one trying to be just specific to our elections and i think putin has a pattern particularfully western europe of giving support to upstart, populist parties, which are unlikely to win but could make life very difficult for the -- >> it's not just they're likely to lose. if mr. orbun had a champ length would mr. putin support his opponent. >> i don't know what putin would die. >> really, mr. mccarthy? >> really. >> you don't think mr. putin would have a preference for a candidate who talked disparage leg of nato or wanted to see
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nato -- the united states have no nato. >> i'm not trying to be difficult here. i think putin would be very happy to have the support of a candidate who would do whatever russia wanted, and if he was going to be fortunate enough to get that kind of a candidate into power, sure, i think he would be delighted by that. >> a candidate for u.s. president who was open to removing sanction-or-russia's invasion of its enabling, correct. >> i think soso. >> interested in a candidate interesting in doing business and making money in russia dug the campaign. >> it would defend on whether that was the one issue that would come up if imagine me totality of it, if it turned out the okayed was going to be very -- the candidate was -- if i military spending were ratcheted up and we were more threat to russian interests he
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would like to weigh that like anyone else, the good and the bad. >> but a candidate with all of these attributed, undermine nato, undermine sanctions, make now moscow, that would be a candidate that the kremlin would be very eager to support, it would not. >> i think you would think if that was the only part of the ledger were talking about and on the other side there wasn't another side of the ledger where that would be an increase in military spending and an increase in support of actors who were opposed to russia's interests, you would have to toe eight everything. i don't -- putin as i understand it is a very sophisticated actor and i don't think hing as on one particular aspect or particular item on a menu. i think he looks at the totality of the circumstances. >> do you have any quarrel with the special counsel's conclusion that the -- through the social media campaign and the hacking
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and dumping of stolen clinton and dnc e-mail that put and put the kremlin were attempting to help the trump campaign and hurt the clinton campaign. >> i think that was very clear from the very beginning and i agree this started back in 2014 and the reason -- probable island before then because they were so intent on not having hillary clinton as the president. i think they did it -- end up being very much to the benefit of the trump campaign. >> mr. anderson, do you concur both the assessment of the intelligence community and mr. mueller's report that the russians had clear preference for mr. trump as born out by thed? >> yes. >> let me ask you, about what i started out with think issue of moscow trump tower. here candidate trump was attempting to consummate a deal
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with -- which special counsel estimates would have made hundreds of millions of dollar ford his family business, while claiming no business dealings with the russians. when that transaction was revealed, when the fact that the business deal win on through the middle of the presidential campaign, was disclosed, and e-mails were produced showing michael cohen reaching out to someone close to president putin, mr. peska would issue a statement denying there was any russian followup on the yet rough and that turn out to be fault. the russians did follow up on the trump business outreach. what does it mean that the kremlin -- how do you interpret the kremlin issue ago a false statement in support of the president's own false statements about the deal? >> i think probably the kremlin issues a lot of false
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statements. i think -- >> why would the kremlin have an interest in covering up for the president of the united states in concealing efforts by the president and his business to seek kremlin help during the campaign to make that deal happen? why would the kremlin be interested in covering that up? >> i think that they very much want a good relationship with donald trump. and to that them that means supporting him and the deception that was undertaken on the part of michael cohen when he lied about the length of time that the negotiations were underway. >> mr. anderson, the report outlines a lengthy conversation mr. cohen had with someone in the kremlin to try to make the deal happen. would it be your expectation that the kremlin would be
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recording that conversation? >> absolutely. >> and so during the campaign and after mr. trump became president, if the kremlin had a tape-roared conversation with the president's lawyer in which the president's lawyer is exploring making a deal during the campaign, at a time when the president is denying any business dealings with the russias, were the russias in a position to publish the tape to embarrass the president of the united states. >> i think if it behooved vladimir putin and russia that would do thing, the answer to at the question would be yes, to exploit some type of weakness. >> is that what the russians when when they talk about having compromising information. >> anytime you talk bottomry micing information of the goes back to what we said before, could be financial, conversation, could be a compromising position. they'll use whatever they can.
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>> would it be compromising if a foreign power had recordings of the president's associates engaged in a business deal that the president was denying? >> potentially, sir. i've i'd have to know more but the deal but potentially if they had conversations to exploit. >> how do the russians exploit the use of that kind of information. >> depends. in the paths i've vaccine russia's mailed allow tape oring as to russia has mailed audiotape order pictures financial documents to individuals we have been investigating in counter-gel lens, letting them know they have this information and could use it against them. sometimes they don't they just do it anyway. >> in a circumstance like this could the russians make the president or his people aware they had such record examination were prepared to use them if necessary? >> i don't know if they would do
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that right off the bat. usually that is towards the end of spectrum of trying to obtain what they want. the answer is potentially but not necessarily right off the bat. >> how do the russias use financial leverage to compromise people? >> a variety of ways. a lot of times they'll eve give individuals payment in -- doesn't necessarily mean cash. other could be other valuables. and in some instances try to get them to live beyond their means. so if they cut off the payments, that individual then is in jeopardy of losing whatever is dear to them. >> this existence of the financial relationship in is become a form of compromise? >> it is -- i'd have to know more about that because as was brought up earlier by steph nick think the global business markplace you have to look at the totality and i'd have to
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know more. >> any number of facts in the mueller report but efforts to establish back channels with the russians, discussions about using russian diplomatic facilities for secret back channels. would those serious issues in any kind of security clearance process. >> they absolutely cooker depending on what was being discussed and what the individuals were doing with the information they were pushing, and then obviously depending on the level of the information -- when i mean level, classification level of information they're talking to individuals from foreign country. >> with respect to mr. flynn, if a national security adviser or individualer edition nat is having a secret conversation with a foreign adversary and endeavoring to undermines existing u.s. policy and is dishospital about that, what are
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the counterintelligence implications of that? >> well, obviously the key here is the deception. the deception makes the person vulnerable. it's not even the act. the fact that somebody has multimental dollar business in robert doesn't compromise them. the fact they're trying hide it or be desend testify about the extent of -- deceptive but the relationship could possibly make them vulnerable. just like the case with mike flynn, it's not the fact he had that conversation, whether it was appropriate or not appropriate. it's the fact that he chose to be deceptive about it, that could make him vulnerable. >> if the national security advise talking with the russian ambassador or anybody ems -- let's say the russian
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ambassador -- would wow have to presume the russians might be recording conversations on the russian end. >> of course. >> so if u.s. officials are -- like the vice president are representing certaining things that north true and the russians know they're not true and have a recording, are they in a position to compromise the situation. >> yes, they are, if somebody is not telling the truth but the conversation. if you're honest but the conversation, it's hard to blackmail if you're being honed but what you have done. if you're note being hospital, -- hadn't, that makes you vulnerable. >> mr. none yes, any final questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. one thing that if we go back to beginning, a lot of talk but when the investigation began. it's a open-ended question because we can say this investigation could have number one 2015 because we know some of the same players were having
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run-ins with individuals that have questionable ties to either a western intelligence or possibly political campaign operatives. but officially they've said it started end of july. when the public bake air ware of it, depends whether you believe the weapons weapons and "the new york the anytime -- the wops wops or the u -- you have cliff steele who was an fbi paid informant, briefing multiple news agencies and you've believe the news agencies they had sources win the fbi and the department of justice. now, you all worked there. this normal to have an fbi informant, christopher steele, who has been hired to investigate the trump campaign by the fbi, hired by the clinton campaign to investigate the trump campaign and then talking to media, people within the state department?
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is this normal activity by the fbi or department of justice. >> i think steele was ultimately the reason that was given for his termination as an informant was contacts with the press because that was violation of his understanding what the fbi -- >> we shouldn't just leave it at steele. in he same articles if the recorders are to be believe, there's multiple sources win the department of justice, fib, or senior intelligence officials. >> i thought you were asking me but informants. official shots that shoo not talk but investigates to the media. >> if the stories to be believed, we have an fbi informant, who is both working for the clinton campaign and the fbi, investigating trump, leaking to multiple news outlets, mull poem anymore in the fbi and doj laking to news outletes. at some point here i'm just shocked there's more -- not more former doj and fbi officials who
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are not saying, this is wrong. i don't know how any republican, unless something like ms. stefanek's bill passes, -- this counterintelligence department at the fbi i think is in big trouble. the fact that you guys are sitting here, former fbi officials and not saying that -- making the case it's okay to use these very special powers to target a political campaign, it really troubles me. i'll just leave itself at that. i want to finish up on the trump tower moscow. there's a little talk about trump tower moscow and that concerns some of you. would it concern you that a fusion gps, the democratic campaign operative arm, internet operations arm -- dirty operations arm were also working for russians. were you've familiar with that? >> that fusion gps was forking
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for russians. >> yes, the -- working in connection with a litigation which is forfeiture action brought by the department of justice in connection with the killing of and the fraud that flowed out of that. >> any of you familiar that fusion gps was working for this -- >> s no. i walk focused on the muleert report for this discussion. >> now that you know fusion gps was working for russians the other thing that needs to be put on the record here is that not only was -- were fusion gps hired to dirty occupy bill broader, who mean people know what a friend of mangisky and smear him but when simpson admitted the time he would testify before the committee, that he met with the group that met at the trump tower -- back to trump tower meeting -- met them the day before, the day
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before and the day of and the day after, so you have glen simpson, working for their clinton campaign to dirty up trump and also working for the russians to dirty up anybody who don't oppose in the act, he's meeting with all those individual and you as former counterintelligence people would that raise any flags to you at all? that a clinton campaign operative original who is working for the same russians have to be the same russians meeting with the ash at trump tower, offering suppose editor? >> i think it's not in a vacuum. it's not just about president trump's campaign or secretary clinton's campaign. it's about the context to americans of information. irregardless of whose campaign it was, if there were significant concerns or things we thought that could raise to that i think it would be worth looking at. >> one thing as i state in the my opening, mueller doesn't talk
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about fusion gps at all, even though all their questionable contacts with the russians, including the fact -- i'll just close with this for the records after we discovered all of this we brought glen simpson back and numerous other fusion gps employees and they pled the fifth before the committee and refused to answer questions. so, if that doesn't raise questions, i don't know what does. with that i want to thank the witnesses for appearing and yield back. >> thank you. just remind my colleagues that fusion gps was originally hired in the presidential campaign by the conservative washington free beacon. this concludes our hearing i. want to thank the wisdom for their participation and the committee is adjourned.
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[inaudible conversations] >> on saturday, the virginia democratic party holds its blue commonwealth gal to featuring two presidential candidate senator amy klobuchar and pete buttigieg. >> on newsmaker, house budget committee chair of kentucky will discuss efforts to reach deals on spending bills including funding for the pentagon and the depths of labor and health in human services. watch newsmakers on sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> most of us when we think of winston churchill we think of the older man sending young men into war, but no one knew better and few knew as well that the results reality of war, the terror and
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devastation and says to his mother after his second war, the raw comes through you can't guild it. he absolutely knew the disaster that war was. >> sunday night on q birdie a, historian candice millard talking about the early military career of winston churchill in his book, hero of the empire, and the making of win symptom churchill. >> he says give me a regiment. so he goeses a regiment to pretoria on the day it dispel the takes over the prison and he frees the men who had been his fellow prisoners, he puts in the prison his former jailers and he watches as the boar flag is turn ton and the union jack is hoisted in its place. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on q & a.
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>> die look forward to running against them. >> tuesday, president donald trump holdses a rally in orlando, florida, lawning his run for a second term. watch live at 8 permanent on on c-span2, online at, or listen live on the free c-span radio app. >> the trump administration recently approved the transfer of sensitive nuclear technology to saudi arabia. next a state department official taking questions about the decision and whether other u.s. armed sales to gulf countries are creating unstable in the region. congressman eliot engle chairs the foreign affairs committee. [inaudible] >> the committee will come to


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