tv Washington Journal Todd Shepherd CSPAN October 8, 2017 10:10pm-10:43pm EDT
c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> now a look at initial findings of the senate intelligence committee investigation into russian interference in u.s. elections. this is 30 minutes. newsmakers today at 10:00 a.m. eastern. joining us is todd shepherd, who is the investigative reporter with "the washington examiner," here to talk to us about the various investigations into russia's reported meddling in the 2016 campaign, which was brought more into focus this week by comments from the
chairman and ranking democrat on the senate intelligence committee. in termsthings stand of that particular investigation? caller: i -- guest: i think they wanted to do some sort of update because they started this investigation in january. they did a press conference similar to the one we saw this week in march. elapsed, six months you got a feeling that the ranking members needed to give an update to the press and the american people. that said, a lot of the deliveries we got mainly from reached aurr, we conclusion in this area, but that is not to say we will not someck and do more if piece of evidence should come forth. for example, one of the big items is the comey
investigation. it is at an end, but it is not closed. host: the reason why he was fired? is that what you're talking about? guest: a little bit. some of the comey investigation, more having to do with the russia meddling. he was cleared to reporters, if you are interested in the president's firing of james comey, i would urge you to direct us weapons to the special counsel. as we both know, the special counsel is very tightlipped. we will not get anything there. a lot of what we heard from the chairman, where do things stand, we have reached a conclusion in this area, but we are open to continuing. host: we're talking about the senate intelligence committee, the robert mueller special counsel investigation but there are other investigations going on.
guest: there is still the house intelligence committee. the senate intelligence committee has taken a much broader view of the russian meddling. the house intelligence committee has investigated things at a more granular level. you also have the senate judiciary committee, committee chairman chuck grassley, ranking them a credit number dianne feinstein. -- ranking democratic member dianne feinstein. aside separateet committee goals with separate committee staff. large, it is accurate to say the judiciary committee is doing its own parallel investigation as they continue their oversight of the fbi and doj. host: what is the focus of the robert mueller investigation in
particular? guest: from what we know of assembling all the various media sources, so far the focus has down on paulven manafort and a lot of his business dealings with foreign entities like russia and ukraine. obviously, there will be a lot of investigating and research into michael flynn, his activities, is disclosures, and his foreign contacts with turkey. investigator, folks can read your reporting on washingtonexaminer.com. do you focus your part of the story? what are you trying to find out? guest: one of the things i have been able to follow in the last six months -- fight is the wrong
word, there is a little struggle going on at the secretaries of state level, your top elected officials, and your department of homeland security. two weeks ago we got this eye-opening headline, 21. i would encourage people to dig deeper into that. there are three states that have really pushed back on the conclusion of dhs. they disagree with the conclusion, california, texas, and wisconsin. au have a deep blue state, deep red state, and a purplse state who disagree with the conclusions. host: we had a caller who pointed out the fact that their 21ertion was that there were states but no evidence that
there was any impact on any votes changed in any of those states. guest: that continues to be the line from dhs. that whens believes they say it. secretaries of state have tried to verify their information against what they've been told by dhs, which is why you have that these three states push back. a lot of what we have heard is that those hacks, you could call them doorknobbing attempts. if you imagine a thief walking up to a home, he is going to shake the doorknob to see if it is locked or unlocked. a lot of those attempts were doorknobbing. no one has provided any evidence that those election systems were penetrated, any votes were changed. host: in those 21 states. fromshepherd is our guest
"the washington examiner." (202) 748-8001 for republicans. democrats (202) 748-8000. independents and others (202) 748-8002. i wanted to play the comments from chairman burr, the senate intelligence committee chairman from this past week. here is a look. [video clip] >> i'm not even going to discuss initial findings because we have not any. we have a tremendous amount of documents to go through. to put it in perspective, we have done over 100 interviews over 250 hours. for thecurrently booked balance of this month 25 additional interviews. that may not be the total, but as of today there are 25 individuals booked to meet with our staff by the end of this month alone pertaining to the russian investigation. we have more work to do as it
relates to collusion, but we are developing a clear picture as to what happened. intelligence service is determined, clever, and i recommend every campaign and election official take this very seriously as we move into this november's election and into preparation for the 2018 election. host: the last comments by senator burr, he seemed to indicate real evidence. what did you hear in that? guest: clearly, the senate intelligence committee has really taken more of a look not just backwards as to what russia did, but this forward look as to how we are going to get our election house in order. how we're going to have dhs communicate with the states. there is also the social media aspect where in the press conference vice chairman warner
said there was a 77% increase in political advertising through social media channels from 2012 the 2016. we expect those trends to continue to rise. ande don't take some action cooperate with social media entities, we will just replay this mess again. we're determined not to have that happen. host: let's hear from anthony in las vegas, democrats line. caller: good morning. how are you doing? host: good. caller: this is an issue that perturbs me, the russia issue. honestly, if the media was honest, this could be put to bed. i am in an online group with elizabeth voss of disobedient media, and she is the first one who actually broke the story
mcgovern, carter, ray these retired nsa agents who actually analyzed the guccifer 2.0 metadata, and they came to the conclusion that the files were copied locally in the eastern time zone. don't cut me off. just entertain here. those were copied in the eastern time zone, the same time zone that the dnc's office is in. here is what is interesting about it. i will give you a little credit, c-span, because in our group we actually circulated an article that you had. you have an article that you could put up for the people right now if you want it. you have an article online that shows ray mcgovern confronting adam schiff about how the media
is being dishonest on this. you could pull that article and show the people now. host: we will see what we can do for you, anthony. thanks for the call. todd shepherd. republicans are frustrated with a number of issues about how the russian investigation began. we saw a lot of that one friday, late in the day, chuck grassley, chairman of the judiciary committee, issued a press release. he is continuing to press the fbi for documents that would judiciarynd the committee exactly how the fbi first laid their hands on the russia dossier. i know that is not exactly the evidence you are bringing in your call, sir. the issue that chairman grassley was bringing up is that christopher steele, the author of the dossier, there were reports that he shared that
information to british intelligence services, and then the dossier winds up in the hands of american intelligence services. if the american intelligence services then hear from their british counterparts core operating information covers -- information, it looks as if it is corroborating, but it is actually the same information from the same source. it is the chamber. if the dossier is what launched the fbi's look into the russia matters, if that is the snowball that got all of the russian investigations going, then rtainly republicans have something to be concerned about. on a numberntiated of numerous unsubstantiated claims. host: that caller mentioned the
name guccifer. remind us who and what that is. guest: it is an online persona for the phrase now is hacktivist. it would be similar to a wiki leaks style entity. it is more of a persona then an entity -- than an entity. guccifer released some emails from dnc and other entities. roger stone made a tweet directly to guccifer 2.0. there are now allegations that roger stone colluded with guccifer 2.0 in the release of emails. host: we go to ohio, republican mine. guest: hello. caller: hello. i have a question. i want to know why "the
washington examiner" is not investigating the dnc. guest: what about the dnc in particular? caller: the hacking. the one girl, i forget her name, but she was dealing with the ukrainians. they were dealing with the ukrainians, and stuff like that, why aren't you investigating the democrats? host: do you know anything about that? guest: i cannot speak to that woman you mentioned. i can tell you that for all media companies, and have worked in radio, nonprofit journalism, ,nd now i work for the examiner resources are very thin. i don't mean that as a criticism. it is just the media reality.
not everything can be investigated. some of these things that i know the public is clamoring for investigations on, it would honestly take the resources of two or three people doing investigating for an entire year without publishing anything really. that is a lot of resources for a media company, even the size of the washington post to be able to invest in a story that may not even cannot in the end. -- pan out in the end. host: what are the sorts of pressures as a journalist that you need more time, how much leeway do you get? guest: they give me as much leeway as the story requires to be journalistically sound. if we need to reach out to more people, we reach out to more people. at the same time, there are daily pressures. i don't have the freedom, and most don't have the freedom of investigating for a month or two
months at a time. you still have to go to the press conference, as i did with the viceburr and chairman earlier this week. host: that committee is the senate intelligence committee among other committees looking at the russian influence on the 2016 election. what they are focusing on is reviewing the intelligence and intelligence community assessment of active measures directed against the u.s. they are invested getting any links between russia and individuals associated with political campaigns. conference, the vice chair, democrat mark warner -- we will show that in a moment. we will go to bakersfield, california. caller: thank you.
god bless, c-span. -- hasd to ask you about never really been pursued. during the election, jared kushner was ragging about hiring a team of silicon valley whiz kids. they were looking at the same kind of data you would use if you wanted to create gerrymander districts. they were looking at specific people to target, people who might be receptive to tainted stories through facebook, twitter, and other mass media. is there any proof yet from robert mueller or any of the other investigative committees that he and his team of whiz kids from silicon valley might have worked with the research group out of st. petersburg, russia?
one of the other comments is the fake news story about the gunner from las vegas watching rachel hers, or being a fan of wasn't that also from the internet research group? i will take your answer off the air. host: that was a little off-topic. guest: with regards to has the special counsel make any comments about this jared kushner and the group of technology whiz kids, keep in mind the special counsel is such a rare prosecutorial process and american politics that they are going to be as tightlipped as they can possibly be. gumhey got a free stick of with their cup of coffee in the morning, they are not going to say as much as that. they're not going to comment on much at all, honestly. as to the other investigations,
have they looked at this? i will confess my ignorance that i have not heard this story at all. i am sorry you dropped off the air because i was about to ask if you could cite where you first heard that. i am not aware of this attempt by jared kushner to do this. keep in mind can this kind of analytic data mining has been 100 years as people try to determine republicans and democrats by zip code, by mailing areas. this is just a newer more sophisticated derivative of that. from the basics of what you're saying, it doesn't sound like what jared kushner might have been doing, if he was doing it at all, would have been illegal. we know barack obama was able to target americans through the use of data in an expert way, in
ways we had never seen in the 2008 and 2012 elections. all that was legal, and just brilliant campaign. host: the washington journal wrote that facebook cut references to russia about manipulation of its platform concerning the 2016 election about the same time the intelligence committee announced they will hear from officials with facebook and twitter, set to testify for congress in the coming weeks. what do they want to know from these social media platforms/ guest: i think they want to know a lot more about the safeguards that they hope the social media companies will voluntarily implement on a going forward basis. rather than looking back. let me give you an example. right now, google is able to
fasteru outbreaks much than the centers for disease control in america. the reason why is google can see where there is a spike in searches about the flu. if they see that spike in searches in augusta, georgia, they say we must have a flu outbreak there. i think a lot of what the senate intelligence committee would like to hear is if social media companies and search companies have enough sophistication to be able to predict flu outbreaks before the cdc can, why don't we have the sophistication to determine when there are these untoward activities from actors outside of the united states? host: we hear from christine next in richmond on the independent line. caller: good morning. our elections will be coming up next month. my theory is, i don't know
whether you can confirm this, is the hacking is ongoing, and i think they are trying to manipulate the registrations. guest: are you speaking about virginia specifically? caller: yes, sir. each county has its own equipment. i have been told they had been moving away from the touchscreens. my thinking is maybe they were trying to manipulate the voter registration. do you have any evidence of that? guest: i don't. i can tell you that while these were not the clips that made the nightly news or widely circulated in whatever newsfeeds you subscribe to. on a couple of occasions, the chairman and vice chairman talked about the 2018 election cycle, but especially, as you can imagine, vice chairman
warner said i am very concerned with have an election that is just before days away in my home state of virginia. he did not say that there were ongoing attempts or that he has seen any evidence voter registration files have been compromised in any way. you mentioned the counting process. this has been the argument by the secretaries of state over this whole year. it is actually the decentralization process of the election system that keeps it safe. i think a lot of states -- i cannot speak to virginia specifically. a lot of states keep their registrations offline so there is no internet connection such that they might even be hacked. i don't have any evidence of what you are asking about. clearly, officials are at the highest level of awareness at
that, and not just officials in virginia, but officials with the department of homeland security as well. host: our guest todd shepherd covered the news conference this week with the chairman and vice ,hairman from virginia senator mark warner. here is what he had to say. [video clip] into political files, released those files in an effort to influence the election. tried tothey actively at least test the state'silities of 21 electoral systems, and we feel they used social media firms both in terms of paid advertising and what i think is , they createdic
false accounts and others that would drive interest towards stories or groups, and generally those stories or groups were to sow chaos and drive division in our country. host: todd shepherd, the headline of your piece earlier, portion of this investigation is likely over if not closed completely. hearing from the the social media companies obviously. guest: we know there is still an open hearing they will have with the longtime friend and lawyer for president trump. why does his name escape me now? cohen.michael that is slated for october 25. burr than that, chairman
said we completed maybe 100 interviews. they have about 25 more booked now. you get the sense that a lot of this is starting to wind down. he said we interviewed all seven actors that were involved in the mayflower hotel meeting, a meeting where some members of the trump campaign were in a room, and surrogate his land was also in that -- sergey kislyak was also in that room. he said every member of the trump campaign we have wanted to interview, we have been able to interview. you get the sense that they are at the end. those things that might still be lingering, you get the sense it might be from recent raking reports. it was only about a month ago we learned jared kushner had kept this off-line, nongovernmental
in all account -- email account that he had used. quickly after that report, the senate intelligence committee said they would be interested in learning about that. you get the sense they are wrapping up loose threads. host: republican line. caller: hello. guest: good morning. caller: good morning. i used to be a democrat. i was so happy i did not vote at of during the second term obama because it had been newspersonrough a that in fact obama is so good of an actor he fooled a lot of people come and the greenwashing is still going on. the fact that comey did not handle the hillary matters, that
was real important to us, and now i believe the republicans are being crucified by that, not only the news media and the stars, but all the attorneys up, they arespoken part of the problem. we have some money attorneys. goal when they go into politics is to continue to get their greedy money. i have met many attorneys. in the state of south carolina, it is true that they are absolutely outrageous. there are not many republicans ever on tv. some of them are on cable news, on cnn, all over the place, and their goal is to get that greedy money. i think a lot of people ought to but this russia
matter is all about hillary losing the election. it is so sad because we are being targeted. i am white, but i go to church that is all callers. i love everybody. -- all colors. i love everybody. host: janet, we will let you go in south carolina. what do we know about where the house intelligence committee is and their focus? caller: it would be nice to have that guest: it would be nice to have a similar sort of press conference. devin nunes doesn't say he has recused himself, but since he has stepped aside from leading the house intelligence investigation, but he still is chairman. has stayed out of the media nearly as much as robert mueller has.
keep in mind, the one thing that the house intelligence committee seems to be looking into that the senate intelligence committee is not are these issues of unmasking, specifically as it relates to obama era officials like susan rice. host: what does that term mean? guest: it is a little bit of a complicated term. the u.s. government conducts foreign surveillance. occasionally, if a foreign person is having a conversation with someone in america, and that is a surveilled conversation, intelligence agency is supposed to redact or subtract the name of the american so that when the intelligence agency officials are going through the product, they are not researching about you or me, they are only researching the foreign entities.