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tv   A Higher Loyalty Roundtable Discussion  CSPAN  April 24, 2018 1:34am-2:35am EDT

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returns to continue debate on the nomination of kyle duncan to be a judge for the fifth circuit court of appeals. on c-span three, more of the french president visit to the u.s. with the news conference with president trump. in the afternoon, we take you to capitol hill for a budget hearing on foreign aid and development. at 6:30 p.m. eastern, live coverage of president trump and the first lady as they go to their first estate dinner for the print president and his wife. -- french president and his wife. next, a discussion on the impact of james comey's book. this is just under an hour.
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before we get into the book, congressman, what are your overall impressions of james comey and his public service? >> let's start with james comey the man, because that was interesting to me. i never met him and i don't know him. in the book, he comes off as someone who is very boy scout like in terms of his respect for rules and the rule of law. the first several chapters involve his hatred of bullies and how he was bullied as a kid. he wasn't big, he wasn't tall until he got out of high school.
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you could see how there could be a coming character clash and collision between him and donald trump, who affects the style of a bully, frequently. comey doesn't like bullies. comey's key personality flaw -- there is a certain sanctimonious that he is aware of and writes about. he tends to be holier than thou and is very much by the book. that can rub you the wrong way when you see him making certain decisions that are very questionable, as when he decided to go public with the idea that there were more emails found and he was going to reopen the investigation into hillary clinton two weeks before the election. and that is what caused a storm of protest among democrats. so we can get into the legality of that, but he strikes me as a
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decent person and one who is clearly flabbergasted and dumbfounded by the trump presidency and donald trump as a man. he called the presidency a forced fire and there are funny parts in the book where he reports different things that donald trump says. he clearly has no respect for the man's intellect, and less respect for his character and virtue. the running theme is that trump wanted to make sure first that he was not going to pursue the investigation to michael flynn about his life and connections with the russians and his contacts. and 2, and more obsessively, was trump's concerned that reports that a dossier would come out about trump's contacts with russia and alleges activities
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that enticed him into engaging. i think comey and trump are opposites of each other. he clearly sets up the book in such a way to frame a contrast. >> do you find the book convincing? >> entirely convincing of the facts. i think he is somebody that is zealous about trying to tell the truth areas it is kind of a thin book. there's not a lot of analytical or theoretical depth to it. there are a few points where he tries to show more self reflection. and clearly about the hillary stuff, is extremely nervous. essentially what he says is, he felt he had an obligation to reveal that they were going to go after congressman weiner's laptop, and to go after those emails. and to make it public despite the fact that there were doj regulations disfavoring of the -- publicity strongly in that election period. generally because nothing was found anyway. and he thought was clear hillary
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clinton was going to become president, and the subtext was he didn't want to become responsible for that. because he did not want to be responsible for a, he felt he needed to tell the world that they were reopening the investigation and there might be more emails that could change the outcome of what he had announced earlier in july, which was the end of investigation. usually when prosecutors decide, there is no grounds for prosecution, it will say we are not prosecuting they will launch into an hour-long dissection of the motives of the person and how they showed bad judgment and extreme recklessness and carlos -- carelessness. that struck me as bizarre, and this is speaking as a constitutional law professor that he would entertain such in-depth dissection of hillary clinton. was he seemedoint not to be responsible for hillary clinton winning. in the process, i paying so much
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attention to politics, he may have become partly responsible for a trump win, and as the underlying impulse of the book is to try to kind of exculpate himself and say i didn't do any of this deliberately to make trump president. it is almost as if he wants to blow the whistle on trump that he feels implicated. >> council, your opening statement. >> i just want to make a point to your last statement so that people don't miss it. it was a nuance. comey did not say he didn't want to be responsible. for whoever was president he said i thought hillary was going to be president and i wanted to make sure it was legitimate and if people found that about this investigation afterwards, there might be a problem if i hadn't brought it forward. going back -- this sits in the crawl of comey's personality.
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he hates bullies, they are so bad, and what does he do in college? he bullies somebody and went along with the gang and everybody. as he admits. i just wanted to be a part of the gang, and he bullied and trashed somebody's room. that to me is the theme of all of what he says in here. because he says i am not political and yet he does all kinds of things that are political. he says i am not able he and i -- not a bully and i hate bullies, and he became a bully when it was suited to his interests. that is the central thing that i -- central theme that i see in the book. also, you said he was a little bit holier than thou? no, there's a reason he is called cardinal comey. that is because when he was at the justice department, and when lawyers would disagree with him -- lawyers disagree all the time, he would look at them and
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say your moral comcast is askew. people out there did not appreciate that attitude. >> do you know james comey inner -- in your inner circles? >> i have met him but i have not worked -- i know the stories you hear because i lift some of -- lived some of them. i have only met him, and not worked with him. >> is the book convincing to you? >> some of it is. there is a whole segment on scooter libby, and he did not do the facts well in that version. it could have been carelessness, i don't know, but but he didn't know what the facts were. >> i want to read this quote from the book and get your impressions since she worked in the justice department. there is a tension in having political leaders a top the justice department because the administration of justice must be even handed. >> yes, that is true.
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i will defer to smith who i think one of the most underrated and best attorney general's that ever was. and i remember when smith was asked to go to a luncheon, and a -- a bunch of people set it up, and during the luncheon, was at do something for somebody was under investigation. he got up and left a luncheon -- the luncheon and there were a bunch of people who were in trouble for even setting up this luncheon without knowing what it was about. you can be a political person -- he was ronald reagan's personal lawyer. but, you get into the justice department, you better be straight. i have never seen a justice department knows there that went after anything with issues. we rolled eyes a lot when you set up -- but it was issues.
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but it was issues, it wasn't about personality. it wasn't going after somebody. that was back in the hoover days. --we can get back to j edgar j edgar hoover. maybe we should engage in the point about bullying, you are right that he identified in this story, which comey tells where he dishes in the style of rousseau's concessions. he says i always hated bullies, and i let myself down the most when i was in college and i was part of a scene where we were basically ridiculing and harassing a kid on our floor. the kid in the dorm. he raises that himself to say this is something that i hate and i am ashamed about the i was ever a part of it.
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i assume he the present that as -- i assume you don't present that as a revelation that somehow you are puncturing his hypocrisy. he raised that himself that he said all of us can be drawn into bullying and what we need to counter is the political systems -- it bureaucracies that bureaucracies and presidencies that are based on a bullying principle. he strikes me as an anti-bully. he is a bit impressed by his own moral stature. >> more than that, not a bit. >> as much as you like. he is very invested in his morality. it is not the worst thing that you can say about somebody. sanctimony over wife and othere
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sins are vices that are certainly worse than sanctimony. >> when i hear the comey says, well, when loretta lynch called the matter not a criminal investigation -- it wasn't worth the fight. i can't imagine ever accepting that. i cannot imagine that when i was ever there. he says i'm not political, and then he does all these political things. >> i agree with that. he wants to hold himself to what's the importance of day not the legal standard, but there are points he makes concessions. one of them was during the whole anthony weiner episode where he decided he had to go public two weeks before the election with the idea there might be other emails found. and there weren't. >> back up to july. >> and trump fired them, and pope's were all over that too.
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trump debunked that by saying i fired them over the trump investigation. >> bill clinton had a chance meeting with loretta lynch days before hillary was supposed to be interviewed. i don't know -- you were never at the justice department, i know you are a unconstitutional lawyer, but that is appalling to me. and in his book -- are you kidding? if i were the director of the fbi at that time i would have , called in that detail and say, tell me how this happened -- this chance meeting, and white you directing people not to take any photographs? that sets up the july 5 press conference. and again, i am appalled as a former justice department. lawyer, even know he has a law degree, he is the investigator. no chief investigator decides who should be prosecuted and who isn't we prosecuted. that position was contrary to
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any role i know. -- rule i know. >> you and i agree he went overboard in laying out his condemnation of hillary clinton when all he needs to say is we are not proceeding. >> he didn't say that. it is a screwed up justice department. loretta lynch said she is recusing herself, and then the deputy ag to do it. comey was upset about all that and all he had to do was say i am making a recommendation to the deputy attorney general because loretta lynch is wishy-washy. he didn't do it and he did not follow procedures because he thought only he could save the world. that set up the october. because if he had done the first, he didn't have to do the second one. >> at most you could have said
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go ahead and do the extremeation of the enough found and if there is reason to believe that the investigation needed to be reopened and there was some problem there, then he could go to congress and say i misspoke before and there may be reason to go ahead and opened a criminal investigation to indict ms. clinton. but he came back and the anthony weiner emotional nothing, and he -- email showed nothing, and he did this press conference and the potential it throughout the clinton campaign for nine or 10 days the last few weeks of the campaign. that is why democrats were so outraged. >> the democrats should not be too outraged because the whole comment was nothing i have ever heard in the just department. he opened it in july of 2015 and he says later, i didn't open a grand jury because -- july 2015 was a whole year of investigation. you open a grand jury, i have
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done many of them. so when you don't open a grand jury, then you don't have subpoena power. the prosecutor of negotiating with witnesses and people -- we look at immunity if you just give up your computer. he allowed hillary clinton to come out and say, i deleted 30,000 of my emails. you never, ever do that, when you say you want evidence, you get the evidence. if there is a question, you have the person getting the documents over give them all to the court or to some neutral party. she got to delete them so nobody could see them to test whether they were verifiably personal stuff and you say nothing was on , the wiener emails. yeah, there were emails on anthony weiner's laptop. that showed that she had not
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turned over everything that was work related. i cannot recognize this as an investigation. >> when james comey writes about doesin "a higher loyalty" he present a strong document to you? >> i am a former justice department person and prosecutor, and he says this is what i did. i taught english before i went to law school and i can say the writing is well done. it is literate, and he may have a good editor, that is the best thing i could say about the book. he doesn't explain. he doesn't go into this is the reason to go into a grand jury. look at how the trump people are treated. they go into lawyers offices and
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take documents. paul manafort's home was broken into by law enforcement. his wife was pulled out of bed, naked. there is very different standard going on. >> comey would disagree with factualsidering no predicate logic grand jury at that point. they had all of the evidence. >> the problem with that you mail server, you need a better predicate. >> i am not following that point. you need a factual predicate. not an accusation. >> like russian collusion? >> that's be specific. collusion is not a crime, lying to the fbi is a crime. >> make up a crime. he had emails in her basement on unclassified machinery. whatever it was. that is a 794 right there.
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>> i think there were a dozen members of the trump organization that have used their private service also to engage. >> classified information? >> we don't know if it is until we launch an investigation. >> they knew it was classified. indeed, it was. >> it feels like old news to me. >> as you both know, james comey has been on a media tour and appeared on "the view." meghan mccain have questions for him. -- had questions for him. >> i want to believe you are not a political person, but you write about how you are on the verge of tears, saying are going to miss robot and you are dreading the next four years of trump. you said something this morning -- i am a republican and have
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issues with trump, and he is not effective of my party as a whole. i want to know your politics, and a lot of the things you are saying are highly political. i don't understand what you gain by trying to clear the desk here and bring things like this up. >> i don't think of it as my politics. i think of it as my values. >> you said with the women's march she is set on election night and wiping the politics now? no disrespect, but your take on the republican party, i want to know your views on national security. >> but i was asked about it. [applause] i get that. that is a good question, republicans are thinking that, but in the book i am telling a story of the decisions. >> i am talking about your interview this morning. ego driven and trumpism reflect that, we sound like a political commentator to me. >> i don't care whether people
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support republican or democrat, i am not either, i don't care who they support. i hope the conversation will start with values and come to policy second because we're going to fight about guns, but we are a collection of values and that is what unites democrats and republicans. [applause] >> what do you think of what comey had to say? >> he had a good answer and is a growing division without the republican party. get the boy scouts in the report can party who believe in the rule of law. despite what, he said, saying he is not political, has been republican all his life until his close encounters with donald trump. now he says he is independent or what have you. he was very clear that he had not voted for barack obama ever, but he grew more impressed over time with barack obama's leadership and his intellect and his character. the first administration in history that produced nobody going to jail.
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there were no criminal prosecutions. you can't name a cabinet member of the obama and the session who who went to jail. >> can i say something about that? >> let's talk about it another time as i don't want to go off on that, i want to stick to comey. comey has been drawn into politics, precisely because president trump tried to demand a personal loyalty test from comey. him. that is what the book is about. trump said i need loyalty. i expect loyalty and i want your loyalty, to which comey, in classic comey fashion said i will give you honesty. and then he said, i won't loyalty, and he said ok i will give you honest loyalty, which is ambiguous. he should have just said i don't owe loyaltylty, i to the constitution of the united states.
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i owe loyalty to the rule of law. he said i'm going to say the trump presidency is a threat to america and that is how he ends the book. he says it is a forest fire. it is an assault the constitution and how the fbi as government itself. is not doing it for partisan reasons. obviously, he, like attorney general sessions and the vast majority of the people at fbi are republicans. it is not a partisan plot. that we do to me have to look at some of the things that comey did in the lack of investigation and politics. i bring up the irs investigation. i can tell you that the lawyer for many of the victims were never interviewed by the fbi. how is that an investigation? thank you very much, loretta
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lynch, or eric holder, it was 2013. it would have been loretta lynch. the only time mitchell was contacted by that date to interview a victim was after she had been on the hill testifying to investigation was a sham. and then they called her and said we're going to do it. they brought someone there who was harassing the victim from the irs. she had to call it off. we're talking about his investigation, and i don't see the honesty there except where it is convenient for james comey. you talk about the conversation at the white house, you don't know was said. you weren't there. >> would you concede that this is an accurate report, that it was improper of the president to demand loyalty from the director? >> that is how donald trump talks. >> this is how he talks
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constantly, but what i am saying is that there is now a growing division within the republican party. there are those people like mccabe and comey who believe in the rule of law and believe in official neutrality. and there is the roy cohn and donald trump wing which comey describes as a kind of mafia family. you show absolute loyalty to the boss. anybody can lie within the circle. >> i thought roy cohn was a kennedy lawyer? [indiscernible] >> just like your client. he was lying, wasn't he? >> would you like to hear about the case? comey didn't get it right.
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>> james comey writes about scooter libby. crime.e was no i negotiated every single clause and she had to be covered in five years, and she was not, so there was no underlying crime whatsoever. the person named was richard armitage. they knew that from day and yet one. they pursued the criminal system for almost five years of karl rove and scooter libby. go far down the weeds, but a reporter said he spoke to them about matt gruber and judith miller. his notes did not support him, and judith miller recounted. why did she recounted? because patrick fitzgerald misled her about understanding her own notes until she saw
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he had been at the bureau undercover and therefore she recanted and said that i hope that innocent man, and she came out and a plotted, this is not somebody who committed a crime. it is ideally what pardons are for. it is essential. >> we learned in the book that scooter libby at one point was mark rich's attorney. >> and that is what the prosecution was all about patrickjames comey and fitzgerald were together in the southern district of new york when marc rich got his pardon. after getting lots of many from -- money from mark rich's former wife. actually, comey opened up an investigation and is a constitutional lawyer that will give you pause. i have always held the position that it is undeterred authority.
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>> could you bribe the president for a pardon and pay the president a million dollars? >> she did. she gave hundreds of thousands of dollars. i know because i had a representative on the case. >> i don't think it is unfettered authority and you cannot achieve a pardon by corrupt means. >> know, you can. no, you can. >> when james comey tells the story of scooter libby in his book, do you agreed with the book? >> he perjured himself in london he was pardoned. he went through the criminal process and was found a jury of -- by a jury of his peers by a reasonable doubt that he lied. >> he acquitted michael brennan judith miller. you have got a problem there. >> they went to the court and reversed the verdict? >> she recanted. when she did -- you don't do that.
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the court of appeals reversed and give him back his law license based on her recanted. >> the criminal conviction was reversed? >> he had his license taken away. >> we are working for a convicted perjurer. >> for somebody who respects the constitution, shame on you for saying that. >> y? why would he be ashamed -- he was convicted of perjury, wasn't he? >> the chief witness gets them recanted. that should be wonderful. >> her guy was convicted. give him a fair right, let them -- fair break, let him have due process. >> back to "a higher loyalty" this is page 66, james comey
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writes that washington is a city where everyone seemed to question other people's loyalties and motivations, most often when they weren't in the room. is that a true statement about washington? >> washington is a little different. i am not really in the political scene. the hill a little, but i went over to the justice department and practice law ever since then. my world is lawyering. >> but you are active in conservative circles. >> i have a conservative philosophy, but i don't do national conventions or things like that. >> what about washington being a city where everyone questions other people's loyalties? especially when they are not in the room. to distinguish official washington from local washington. there's a big city here with hundreds of thousands of people or the last population of people living in the capital city who are not represented in their own
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legislature, just something of a scandal. that should be addressed. turns on eachlite other and goes after them, that seems to be a pretty fair assessment of the way they treat each other. these guys are republicans they are attacking. james comey has been a respected republican. he has been a respected u.s. attorney. law enforcement is trying to trash his career. they are doing the same thing with robert mueller, a war hero and lifelong republican but because he is outside of the mafia family as comey describes it and they are trying to destroy him. it is a work position of defending these rule of law republicans, so they because they're trying to destroy them. >> congressman, yesterday in the arena for reelection and congress, what you think of james comey's take on several
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different elected officials and several different presidencies critical of dick cheney, alberto gonzales, jeff sessions, george w. bush. a lot of elected officials don't add up for him. >> in the last segment, it was said you are a law enforcement guy and we don't want to hear your reflections and reactions on all the politicians and what they're doing. i think it is a sign of the times and count on trump has rebutted people down into a reality where people are making fun of each other's looks and making fun of each other's dress and making personal comments about people. it is kind of embarrassing for the country where we have gone. he doesn't have to go there and he is clearly anger with donald -- angry with donald trump.
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he gets it in through lots of humorous episodes. there's one scene in the book where he is invited for a one-on-one dinner with the president, and he talks about how he got to see president obama twice over the period of on boat trips, he had four or five calls because trump was concerned about the leaked tapes and russia prostitute comments coming out, and he wanted to make sure that get was what to do anything they can to stop the leaks, although comey explained it wasn't a leak because it wasn't topic document, it was a avid document circulated. they had dinner together, and it is a funny story because they have little nameplates there that had been hand-drawn. and the president system and he -- sits down and he was showing off to comey and saying, these are hand drawn. and comey says to him, yes calligraphy, and president puzzled and said hand-drawn, as if he did not , understand the word calligraphy.
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he gets swipes in there about trump, who obviously irritated him a lot. it is the difference between somebody who tries to stop bullies and people who traveled the rule of law, people who don't respect the rule of law,. -- law. there is a sea of litigation engulfing the president from foreign stars and models as well as people in the political spectrum. >> you are bringing up the tapes and prostitutes as another example of comey's tortured faking. i don't know if it is in the book or in interviews talking about -- my husband would be upset if there were allegations with prostitutes and so forth. and of course it was not his mind to do so, and trump said if there is a chance that my wife believes this, i really need to get it straightened out. comey comes out and criticizes
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him for saying my wife would have had even a 1% chance to read as a wife, i thought that was a caring, to about i got want my wife to hear these things. commies tortured thinking process is there's a 1% chance, that must be weird. >> read that passage, because it struck me too. for all my flaws, there is a 0% patrice would credit an allegation that i was with hookers peeing on each other in moscow. what he was commenting about there was the president cap calling him up -- cap calling him up to say we have to get to the bottom of this golden and comey had to explain to him that it was not a government document, and it came
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from other sources and from a british intelligence officer. >> and from hillary clinton's campaign that was paid for. >> alleged. >> did opposition research on donald trump, but it had been taken over by the dnc. >> same thing. >> it is not the same thing. very different. waso you do not think there opposition research on the president? >> it had nothing to do with the dossier. people going into a campaign with opposition research all the time heard --. >> the quote by martin luther, here i stand, i can do no other. people going into a campaign with opposition research all the did you see that? did that make an impression on you? >> no. none of his quotes made an impression on me whatsoever. he does one thing and then another. i like reading the quotes for me, but i don't follow along with him.
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>> he wrote his senior thesis at william and mary were he where he in 1992 talked about two different kinds of religions. one is a religious philosophy that calls people to moral imperatives and tried to act morally the best they can in an imperfect world. versus the exploitation and mutilation of religion, which is what he says jerry falwell did and he thought it was a fraudulent exploitation of religion. and he cited himself in the other direction and we can see almost from this college thesis the growing split within the republican party. those who would basically say and do anything just to win and be on top. and those who didn't want to adhere to a more old-fashioned idea of the rule of law. >> you're saying only republicans go out there and fight. please, don't do that. there's a lot of really good republicans and good democrats
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that are out there and doing a nice job. let's not discount that. >> i'm talking about the conflict comey sets up about what he says is an old-fashioned kind of republican principle, and what he described as the mafia family model. >> let's go back to "the view." >> president trump actually told lester halt that he had russia on his mind in having the decision to fire you. he recently tweeted this morning that actually the russian thing wasn't a factor. he said james comey is the worst fbi director was not fired because of the phony russia investigation. >> but he said it. we have it on tape. >> why you believe you were fired? >> i don't know. i took him at his word when i
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read in the media that he said privately to the russians the next day in the oval office, so i took him at his word. today's tweet, which i have seen, i don't follow him on twitter but i have seen the tweet. both of those things can be true. i actually think that illustrates the problem i am bringing up. it matters that the president is and theitted to truth central american value. i don't know what to make of it. >> victoria, what did you hear? >> there are those of us in washington's bidding on the white house door sync get rid of comey because he should not be fbi director and we did not trust him. from day one. my criticism of the president is that he did not find them and they want someone who was not from the swamp what not to do so. i called a dear friend of mine who had to work with comey, and i said, watch your back, because he is continuing.
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we would have never support ed him basically because of what he did with the hillary investigation. coming out in violating justice department rules. i thought it was a disgrace the way he handled the whole thing. whether it was working for us or working for you. >> when you work for the fbi, you are not working for democrats or republicans. you are hopefully working for the american people and the government. that is the bipartisan attitude that i think comey is rightfully acting against. there are a lot of problems, by -- but i think he is trying to that if you idea are the fbi director, you are -- you or your personal loyalty to the president of the united states instead of the rules of law and constitution. >> do you owe your loyalty to the president? you owe your loyalty to america.
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standing up to the front of the jury and saying herbs that the united states gives me flutters. >> doesn't help? i'm not phrasing this very well, but did james comey come across to you as a good bureaucratic insider? and is that important in this city? >> that is important in this city. i don't know that he was. rod rosenstein is a very good bureaucratic insider. i never looked at comey that way. i just thought he had poor judgment. i thought he had tortured reasoning. i thought of several of those instances today. i just didn't think he was a good fbi director and nobody who worked with him trusted him. people at the justice department thought he was a drama queen kind of person. he would say traumatic things. i see him continue to do that.
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>> this is a quote from james comey talking about president obama. i can't believe someone with such a simple mind actually got elected president. president obama is about the only president who doesn't get criticized in "a higher loyalty." >> he talked about how he had very little interaction with the president which is tradition and the way it should operate. on the director is not white house staff. the fbi director is not an intern for the white house who can be told that he owes 100% loyalty to the president because he has law enforcement not to do that. that is the essential difference between an authoritarian state and a liberal democratic eight. in a liberal democratic state we , have due process and law
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enforcement that is trying to uphold the values of the society, the rule of law at the same time that it pursues justice. you know, credit where credit's due. he didn't vote for obama. he's a republican. but he thought that obama ran a very honest administration in that perspective. within a few days of trump being president he was caught in the meat grinder what he essentially describes as the trop crime family. that is a republican speaking, that is not me. >> do you agree that president trump should have fired james comey on day one? >> no, i mean, it's a 10-year appointment. i think there had only been one removal ever before in the middle of a 10-year term and that was some -- >> the fbi to build a fence or something. >> there was an ethical bond or
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something. but otherwise we should stick with that idea. a 10-year term means he goes beyond that a president could serve which means eight years and it helps hold the nonpolitical nature of it. i think what is unfair is that people at the department of justice didn't respect comey. i think he was very well respected. you know an inside group. but if you speak to the f.b.i. -- fbi agents that i get to know at the judiciary committee, they love the guy and they thought that he really upheld the basic values of the institution. >> there's been one assistant director after another calling out comey's conduct and it's in the book and in the tour being one of the biggest critics is jim krauston, why is comey writing a book when there's some -- there is an investigation about some things that he's involved in? >> he says there's no classified information --
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>> prepublication review board. >> but look, i mean, the trump administration and their champions are the last people who should be saying that public officials or former public officials shouldn't be speaking out of score. assistant of the fbi. >> the point i'm making is donald trump sacked him, he fired him. he has got the right to speak. obviously, he's mad. those who say we have to stand up for the rule of law, "a higher loyalty" is what his book is called. i get that. those are two different value systems. >> nobody is complaining that he doesn't have the first amendment right, it's a matter of protocol and policy about speaking out when investigations are still going on that he was involved in. >> do you have an issue with the
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former director of the fbi writing essentially a tell all book? >> depending on the timing and what he's talking about. i mean, there are still investigations going on. that's what the former assistant directors are criticizing him for. >> i think it's unbecoming. this is the political culture we live in during the trump era. everything is immediately dragged into this celebrity culture. >>st it is trump's fault -- it is trump's fault. >> you know, what i wouldn't run away from it. trump seems to have driven him crazy with anger about the way that he is maligning public officials and trashing the rule of law. and he's mad. there's no doubt about it. for those people who want to read an interesting book about a guy who is mad at his former boss, check this one out. >> a lot of things went on when
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he went to call stephen hatfield and -- an anthrax terrorist. that made people really upset. when he went after catrox and new york and rebuked by the court of appeals for having pursued him. those are things at not mentioned in the book, by the way. so we have a lot of things -- you're wrong. >> there are many things in the department of justice. one of the things i liked a lot about the book is that he said we've got to be realistic about the real history about the justice department. he kept on his desk copy of the fbi memo which allow for the totally outrageous wiretapping of dr. martin luther king. he said and every day i would force myself to look at it to remember that there's a lot of power here and can be used in an abusive fashion. >> i have to wonder why he
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allowed the fisa applications based on the dossier. and there if i do dossier was allowed to spy on americans. >> this is really getting into the weeds. but i'm going to challenge your telling of the facts here. for one thing it goes to a fisa court. and you have to demonstrate to a judge that there is reason to issue a type of warrant. >> i've done them, jamie. >> don't leave the impression that that somehow is some kind of -- that he can make on his own. >> don't tell the court that -- >> ok. in any event, all of the investigation about russia began before there was any evidence coming from the dossier. the dossier is just extra. it's just icing on the cake. nobody's relying on the dossier. we've got criminal convictions. we've got pleas based on other people's concessions of dozens
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and dozens of contact between people in the trop campaign and putin. >> tell me one. >> michael flynn. convicted. >> mccabe sent -- >> this is why we can't get any place. because even if you got a conviction if they discredit the conviction and they say so and so lie they wouldn't never accept -- >> i think you're going to find things that come out about that. >> manafort? >> i don't even know -- i don't know him. but they're financial crimes that were committed before he even met donald trump. that's why i'm poo-pooing this stuff. >> before we went back to run out of time, -- before we run out of time, i want to make sure we get this quote in. this is from page 172. i don't know if -- actually leona blakey our producer pointed this out because i missed it completely.
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pardon me. this is about loretta lynch. at that time we were alerted to some materials that had come into possession of the united states government that came from a classified source. the source and content of that material remain classified as i write this. had it become public, the unverified material would undoubtedly have been used by opponents to cast serious doubt on the attorney general's independence in connection with the clinton investigation. >> i'm glad you brought that up. i was just appalled and i'm not a big fan of loretta lynch. i would stick up for her. but how can you sit there and say i've got information about you jamie and it is classified but if people heard about it it would be really bad. i think that's appalling that that was in the book. >> yeah, that peeks my interest but there's so little detail -- >> exactly. >> loretta lynch was not happy.
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>> and he clearly doesn't like loretta lynch. >> he didn't want to be hugged by her. that was one. >> yeah, and he didn't want to be hugged by the president either because he wanted higher loyalty as well as attorney general. >> well, i don't know if we have time to go over that one scene. after he did all this stuff that she would be opening in october opening the investigation again that she called him into her office and then she gave him a big hug which he's very uncomfortable with. i guess he's not a hugging guy. and said congratulations or that was a great job or praised him for going through this hole up and down with the hillary thing. and then when he left, he said just pretend like you got chewed out. i just thought that was bizarre, you know? if i were loretta lynch, i would be out there. blasting him. >> any comment? >> i mean, there's clearly this
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performative dimension to public office that comes through where different people are putting forth a pretense when they're doing something else behind the scenes. i think the fear criticism of him is that he is sanctimonious and he is overly convinced of his own rightness. when he decided to tell the world two weeks before the presidential election that there's more potentially damning information coming out about hillary clinton through this scandalous anthony wiener affair it turns out to be nothing the, but in the meantime, everybody's left to think with this pregnant pause we're going learn all that stuff. and certainly hillary clinton blames that single event as her key moments when her big lead in the polls vanished. be that as it may, he should have been thinking what's going to happen in the election. he said hillary was so far ahead i thought she would become president.
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this would put a cloud over the presidency and all of that. all that stuff should be irrelevant. as a prosecutor, you should be looking at the facts of the case and whether they merit a prosecution and whether you should be going public. that's an extraordinary and extreme thing to do to tell the story of what we have found some other evident and we might be going forward with it. i think she's rightfully mad. a lot of the democrats are rightfully mad about it. i think it was a terribly strategic misjudgment to his part. it has led a lot of people to question his legal judgment. having said that, i do think he at least believes in the rule of law. he thinks he was right about that, although he is wrong. >> he believes it, he just kind of violates it ever so often. >> i agree with you on that. >> now that the book is on the market are they rallying around , a bit around james comey? >> i don't think so. i don't think so. a lot of them are still mad
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about what he did. we do think that donald trump is completely transformed the culture of law enforcement. so you have people in law enforcement who come under attack by people in their own political party because they're not towing the line with the president. and the may have to defend themselves and their wife goes to the women's march. suddenly they have to defend what their wife does and their daughter does. there were millions of people who went to the women's march but they want to sell polarized america and you can't even lead a normal life without coming under attack for it. that is really dangerous. to that extent -- look, comey made some mistakes. he should not be hounded and vilified because he stood up for the rule of law against donald trump. >> lanny davis is blasting him. all over the place. lanny is a long-time clinton supporter. >> victoria, you're in the legal circles here in washington.
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you have represented both republicans and democrats, is that fair? >> i have. i have vigorously. is lanny davis a friend of yours? >> oh, sure. i mean, we know lanny from way back. >> before we run completely out of time, what is the status of you and your husband joe degeneva working for donald trump? >> there wasn't really a conflict but the way the press , treats a whole lot of stuff because we represented three people who had been interviewed by mole or. mueller. we all discussed it could be a distraction. many talked to him on matters. >> if the president and robert mueller play as pretty large
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>> he's not going to fire robert mueller. the but would it be if he did? >> of course. i get tired of the press making it an issue. putting microphones in everybody's -- >> is making it up, it is coming from things that president trump is saying about rosenstein and muller. >> rod rosenstein is a different animal. >> oh, me might fire him. >> no, no, no, i have a question. the congress is after him. republicans in congress. how can rod rosenstein oversee a case where he's a witness? you just don't do that. he wrote the memo for the member -- for the president -- and talked to the president about firing comey. and now he's overseeing the investigation that is looking into whatever was behind the firing? now i happen to say it's not as a constitutional scholar but i do argument constitutional
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issues, that, again, is unfettered, that the president can fire whoever he wants to. and that's not obstruction. but that's being looked into by -- into by mueller and how can rod rosenstein overlook that investigation? >> first, i can't resist on what they call the unitary executive point the president can fire anybody. we wouldn't have a civil service in that case. that can't be right as a constitutional proposition and invite us back to talk about that because i would love to dispute that view. in any event, if there was any news made here, it is the suggestion that rosenstein could be fired -- >> i didn't say that. don't put words in my opinion mouth. i said rosenstein is not in the same category as muller -- rosenstein would be a massive -- >> and unfortunately, we are out of time. he's a member of the judicial committee.
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and victoria lansing and former reagan department officials. >> thank you so much for being with us. >> thank you so much for having us. >> c-span's "washington journal," live with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tuesday morning, we will talk about some of the asllenges facing mike pompeo he seeks confirmation to become the next secretary of state. joining us will be kenneth weinstein of the hudson institute, and tomorrow's supreme court oral argument on president trump's travel ban. we will have professor joshua gelson. and vanity fair writer tom sanctum will discuss his profile of french prime minister emmanuel macron. watch c-span's washington journal live at and :00 p.m. eastern on tuesday morning.
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-- at 7:00 eastern on tuesday morning. >> here is a look at our live coverage on tuesday. agriculture's secretary testifies before the senate agriculture community about the -- committee about the state of rural america. by legislatived business at 2:00. on the agenda, legislation dealing with syria and new sanctions against iran. the arrivalree, ceremony for french president emmanuel macron at the white house. at -- the senate returns to debate kyle duncan for the fifth circuit court of appeals. and on c-span3, more of the french president's visited u.s. with a news conference from president trump. in the afternoon, we take you to capitol hill for a budget hearing on foreign aid and development carried starting at , presidentastern trump and the first lady host their first state dinner for the
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french president and his wife. >> next monday on landmark cases, "new york times" the in 1971, "the new york times" and "washington post" published a classified information -- history of the military in vietnam. it broadened journalists first amendment protections. our guest to discuss this landmark case is floyd abrams, one of the top first amendment and media litigators. he worked for the new york times in the nixon administration. "landmark cases" on c-span and join the conversation. and follow us at c-span. we have resources on our website for background on each case.


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