Minority Leader Pelosi Intelligence Ranking Democrat Adam Schiff CSPAN July 18, 2018 4:15am-5:01am EDT
[laughter] >> good afternoon everyone. thank you for being here. i'm honored to stand before members of the house intelligence committee, past and present. decades of intelligence experience here with us. we will hear from some members thei want to knowledge congressman of rhode island, the congressman of rhode island, the congresswoman from alabama, a georgia, a from congressman from washington from, and a congressman maryland. we are here today, again so
honored. adam schiff are has joined us. u.s. congressman of california and the congressman of illinois. else join us? i will acknowledge and make sure everyone here is acknowledged. there are members tied up who sendommittees now their regards, their concerns, their suggestions on how we go forward. they will provide insight into the deep damage that the president has caused to our democracy and to all western democracies under the threat from putin. it is a most heartbreaking to acknowledge this. in 1975, america and the western world united to counter the soviet threat by forming the helsinki commission.
that was the work of president ford, who was part of the negotiation and signing the accord. as dni dan coats has said, the intelligence community has stated the russians are once again waging a campaign to interfere in our elections. president trump continues to take the word of russians, enthusiastically embracing their excuses and the president gave a green light to continue to
attack our democracy to the russians. yesterday the president sided with the enemy, the enemy who made an assault on our democracy. disturbingly it appears the house republicans have chosen to side with the enemy too. all year the republicans in congress have wasted our time with weak words and sham hearings. today they are pushing to eliminate fundings for states to protect their electoral systems. democrats are moving to force a vote to restore that funding to helping states enhance election equipment, counter cyber attacks, and defend against future intrusions. that will happen on a financial services bill. we also want to protect the integrity of the mueller investigation.
and our colleagues will speak to that as well. we are under the leadership of eric swalwell, who proposed independent commission to review what happened in the last election, finding out to ensure they were not happen again. republicans in congress have resisted that call as well. perhaps republicans will see the light after yesterday and respond to these initiatives democrats have been putting forth for a while, honoring and respecting the competence of the intelligence community and their assessment that the russians were involved in the disruption of our election. the integrity of our democracy is at stake. we must protect it.
an assault on our democracy is assault on our country. we have no time to waste to protect our country. i am pleasedide, to yield to a ranking member on the intelligence committee, a person who has so tall and strong shown us the path to work in a bipartisan way to protect our country, ranking member congressman adam schiff. rep. schiff: as many of you know, member pelosi has a longer tenure in this committee than any other in the house. we are gathering former and current numbers of the intelligence committee to express our support for the men and women of the intelligence community who were denigrated by the president's work. whose often life risking work was undermined by the executive of the country, who disregarded their conclusions, wo
essentially sided with the perpetrator of election interference rather than his own intelligence community. we have worked closely with the men and women of the ic for decades. we have the greatest respect for the work that they do. and, to see that their work product would be so cavalierly discarded was something that shocked us all. but, what the president did yesterday in helsinki went beyond disrespecting the men and women of the intelligence community. it was a wholesale betrayal of the values of this country. ronald reagan said he did not leave the democratic party, the democratic party left him. had there been any doubt that was removed yesterday, the republican party has left ronald reagan. there's nothing left of his
legacy in the gop as represented by this president. this president said yesterday that, as between the word of his own intelligence director and the word of vladimir putin, who strongly asserted he was not responsible for the election whoing -- he did not know to believe except that he cannot imagine why the russians would have done what they did. i do not, for one, believe the president could possibly be so naive as to take the word of this former kgb operative. i believe this president somehow feels this is in his personal self-interest. his only ideology is self. whatever motivation, the result .s clear and unequivocal i denigration of our justice system, its fighters, it's alliances.
he is relying our country not with fellow democracies but with fellow autocrats. as men and women who have served in our intelligence community to help strengthen democracies around the world and to fight military regimes that would undermine regions around the world, that was an unprecedented betrayal. so, i am proud to join with my colleagues in condemning what we saw and voicing our strong support for the men and women of the ic and the unparalleled work product they produce. i thank you madam leader. my great pleasure to introduce a former ranking member and someone who represents more of the ic than anybody else. so, thank you. >> thank you leader closing for bringing this together. the first thing i would
reiterate to all of my colleagues -- that we stand behind the intelligence committee. intelligence has been said to be one of the best defenses against nuclear weapons, terrorism, all of the issues we deal with. ideal for ansa, so lot of time with cyber security. when president trump first was elected, i sent him a letter. as president of the united states, you need to know the threat of cyber attacks. one of the most serious threats we have a other than maybe nuclear weapons. i never got a call back. it was as if he didn't care. i want to talk about the putin suggested about the task force. this task force coming together with our country is clearly an attempt for us to be recognized as an equal peer in cyberspace, which they are not. the united states has nothing to gain in cyberspace with russia, unless the president shows the connections mueller put together friday must be addressed by putin.
clearly lays out russian efforts to undermine the democratic process. when our president was in putin's palm, he indicated he is unable to tackle anything. we know what happened in 2016. a task force would only bolster the green light our president has by putin by giving them greater insight into our investigations mindset and playbooks. if they want to cooperate in the future, it is a conversation our state department is already having, one which started in previous administrations.
trump should support that effort instead of denouncing it. this is about the rule of law in the united states of america. when you attack our democracy ,we must call you out on the national stage. i would like to introduce terri sewell, who i served with on the intelligence committee. >> thank you all for joining us today. i am honored to stand with former and current numbers of the intelligence community. as a representative of selma, alabama, there is nothing more heartbreaking to me than a president who refuses to stand up for our democracy in the face of overwhelming evidence that our elections were under attack. two years after we first learned of russia's hack of the dnc, we know more about the full breath of russia attack. -- the full breadth of the
russia attack. we know russia targeted our election infrastructure itself and hacked computer networks containing voter information. we know russia's actors posted more than 3000 advertisements on this book in an attempt -- on facebook. they were so bold as to sponsor pages named "black activist" and pay for it in no less than rubles. their sole purpose was to sow seeds of discord throughout our nation. we have to guess that they did so because they knew having a covert influence campaign would have in effect on our -- have an effect on our election. yes, russia's attack was no less than voter suppression. for starters, russia actors paid for ads on social media in rubles and often blatantly stated where their location would be, second-guessing the intelligence agency's report that pressure is -- is no less than ignorant and woefully disrespectful of the fact that these men and women of
these intelligence agencies put their lives on the line to protect our democracy. for the leader of our nation to go against their word, to throw them under the bus, was unconscionable. in this case, the assault comes at the expense of our democracy. and, when trump undermined our intelligence agencies, when he undermines our court and free press, he playing into the hands of a dictator. he is failing generations of americans who fought, fled, and died in alabama for free and
fair elections. now is the time for congress and republicans that lead it to act. that means protecting democracy by passing legislation to secure that robert mueller's investigation against an attack right president trump can continue. that means passing legislation to secure our infrastructure against another psychic -- another cyber attack. we know russian will do it again. more than a year out from the 2016 election, it is inexcusable this congress has done nothing more to make our elections more secure against interference. as we approach the 2018 election, there is no more
urgent need they and to act. -- then to act. than to act. i am proud to stand with current and former members of intelligence community to stand up for our intelligence community and our democracy. this is unacceptable and we should act. now i'd like to bring to the podium a former member of the intelligence community, representative thompson. >> i served on the intelligence community for eight years with many of the people i am honored to join on the stage today. i know from first-hand experience that men and women that serve in the intelligence community are the finest and most devoted americans on this planet. they are professionals and they put themselves on the line for our freedom and for every american every day. and, the president, in his actions and remarks completely disregarded them and disregarded their work on behalf of this great nation. it is because of the men and
women in the intelligence community that we have evidence not only of russia's interference in our election, but also of the illegal annexation of crimea, and the invasion of the ukraine. russian arms transfers to syria, and russia's illegal trade with north korea. putin is not our friend. we cannot trust him, and we must not allow the sanctions against putin to slip in any way, shape, or form. the president missed the opportunity yesterday to stand up to putin and for american values. his behavior yesterday was reprehensible. reprehensible. we need to make sure we stand up strong against putin and keep close watch on our american values and american future. now i am proud to introduce
and ask to come to the podium fromsentative mike quigley the great state of illinois. good afternoon. the russians attacked our democratic process, and they will be back. the real truth is they never left. we have to ask ourselves if we are prepared. the short answer is we are not. 40 states have election equipment that is over a decade old, ill-fit to do with modern anti-hacking software. 13 states use equipment that doesn't even have a paper trail to it. so when you electrically scan your vote, there is no way to audit after the fact exactly, what, if anything, was done to that equipment. we are extraordinarily honorable. vulnerable.
secretary johnson testified before our committee, mentioned the fact that most entities don't know they have been hacked. most entities have to be told by someone else they have been hacked. normally it is a year to two years before they knew. they range from municipalities the sides of mayberry to boards of election. dozens of them were tracked in the past election, including my -- dozens of them were hacked priority the last election, including my own state of illinois in august 2016. in an attempt to address this the last time, this government spent $3.5 billion after bush-gore. why? because we treasure the democratic process. and, no matter who wins we want to make sure it was a fair game. we are not in that position anymore. in 2018, we spent $380 million out of the appropriations committee. the decimal point was in the wrong spot.
every state of like for that money. -- applied for that money. most states maxed out because it is not enough to handle the equipment and training they need. this year we attempted to put another $380 million into that same pot. zero dollars from our republican colleagues on a partisan vote. this week, republicans will get an opportunity to show which side they are on. after the extraordinary performance by the president and helsinki, the most question is, what do you want the republicans to do? they can do something this week. they can vote for a very simple amendment that restores that 380 million dollars. they are distancing themselves from the president, but a tweet is one thing, actions are another. in this committee, we will have a vote on whether or not the
republicans want to support the critical funding we need to defend our election infrastructure. let's find out which side they are on. i am proud to bring on a colleague that has served well on this investigation, representative castro from texas. rep. castro: thank you. like millions of americans, i was stunned yesterday to watch what was essentially a treacherous act by the president of the united states. first, he should never have gone to helsinki to meet with vladimir putin, especially after the latest round of indictments of 12 russian intelligence officers, whose our intelligence community knows tries as hard as they could to interfere in our democracy in 2016. once the president made the decision to meet with vladimir putin, the first thing he should have demanded is those 12
individuals, as well as the folks indicted before from russia russian, should have been made available for extradition to the u.s. rather than trying to come up with a plan for syria or anything else, that should have been a precondition for the president of the united states. you know, along with adamant mike and others, air, along with others on the intelligence committee rate now, we spent many hours listening to testimony from a variety of witnesses. during all of that testimony, not once during this investigation did the republican leadership uses subpoena power to subpoena travel records or anything thatr do would verify the information that was being told to us. this congo also has not done anything to make sure that our election systems are secure.
many americans are surprised to realize there is not a single federal law and not a state law i can find it requires any level, even a basic level of election security protection for our voting systems. there are no standards in place that say what an election administrator and a certain county has to do to protect our elections. that is astounding in 2018. interferedat russia in our 2016 elections and the president, by his presence at that summit, by his unwillingness to ask for the extradition of the 12 russian to different with our elections, he has given vladimir putin, russia, and others within the united states the green light to interfere again and 2018, 2020, and beyond. we have to do everything we can assure oury to
elections. and we need a sort of cyber nato. nato deals with the defense pact when you have a physical intrusion. the nations joined together. clear the times demand we make that happen in cyberspace. thank you. introduceill congressman himes. >> thank you. i'm delighted to enjoy -- join my colleagues to reflect on this disgraceful performance of the president in europe and in helsinki and in particular. we don't do that with any partisan intent. traditionally the department of the united states has been an advocate and supporter of u.s.
interest abroad. it is important we stand up to the president for the men and women of the intelligence community who were disrespected offshore's. it is important our adversaries hear the opinions of the president in respect to the election are the opinion of one man in the united states government. to the russians, i would say we know exactly what you did, how you did it, and we will work hard to make sure you don't do it again. we are at a time when some republicans are standing up to the president, saying this is not acceptable. this is not american. an awful lot of all republicans are saying, but what can i do? you have heard some answers today around cyber security, election protection. at the very top of the list of "what can i do?" is project the -- to protect the investigation that provided so much information about the full depth
of the attack on our election. there is a bill has come out of backed byiciary republicans on democrats that should pass the house and senate this week. it awaits action on the floor, action denied by leader mcconnell. that should pass the house this week. protecting mueller is essential for a number of reasons. number one, the critics of the mueller investigation have been wrong at every turn. whether it was those like chairman units who -- nunes who vouched for mike flynn. an absurd report denying what the senate and intelligence community concluded, which is russia took this attack to install donald trump as president. they have been wrong. they should defer to the fact that others will tell us what happened. two, the president seems to have a profound interest in this investigation. two, the president seems to have
a profound interest in this investigation. there is one thing and one thing only that will clear him if he is innocent of collusion, as he maintains, and that is finishing this investigation. if he is innocent, only this investigation will tell that story. most importantly, as recently as yesterday, we saw the indictment of maria butina. something many of us who appear on this subpoena did not see coming. day in and day out, the investigation provides more details about the mechanics of the attack on the core of our democracy. if this investigation does nothing else, painting a picture of those mechanics so the american people understand how they were manipulated, so rest of us can understand what the appropriate response must be is essential to the integrity of this country and what makes this country exceptional, that power lies with the government and is
expressed through elections. that is how we protect our democracy. with that, we are turning to answers and questions moderated by representative pelosi. rep. pelosi:: thank you so much. i take great pride in our intelligence committee passed and present. i served on that committee myself and was ranking member at one point. i know the challenge member space there. that is why when i have the privilege of making appliances leader and speak right now as leader again, wanted nothing for the best for that committee. as you ever, we have great leadership on the committee. i think our colleagues for talking to us about our opportunities and challenges. i will associate myself with their remarks in indulging the men and women that serve in our
intelligence community. one of the sad part of this has been the seemingly carelessness on the part of the republicans and this administration -- some in this administration -- to make known the names and sources and methods that is so damaging to those people and our national security. i think our colleagues and with that we will take any questions you may have. yes ma'am? yesterday you mentioned charging the students with suspicious activities for russian agents. you mentioned a fear you are likely to -- by that. what did you mean by that? >> well, you may have seen
somebody we had on our witness list we wanted to invite to testify before our committee. others were mentioned as part of the effort to set up a back channel to the russians. listd paul erickson on our to be brought in. he was somebody who had engaged with thepondence russians. this was an area where we had concerned not only in the terms of the potential back channel but in terms of making sure russians were not funneling money through the nra. there is more money to be done never but we are not permitted by the gop in the intel committee to do that work. this is to understand and underscore which in hinds said about the special investigation. toy may have not been able go forward where we could not. there would've been no
revelation that maria bettina was working as an agent for a foreign power. we have to determine if the mueller investigation can determine if there were others acting with her. we have to be protecting this investigation at this point. [indiscernible] -- >> perhaps in the country but in the congress we want to stay protect our mission to our country. protecting our country is always been our first responsibility, and the constitution as well. the constitution, in our view, is at risk in terms of undermining the right to vote which is a sacred privilege in our country.
reporter: perhaps for -- the -- he said yesterday [indiscernible] -- what does that say about the integrity of that report? many of you have the underlying intelligence. what is inadequate tradecraft? pelosi: first of all, we will not tell you about anything that undermines intelligence. i know one of the other members might like to speak. do you want to speak to that? own wordsr's putin's yesterday, when he said "yes i did, guess i did." he said it yesterday twice to reaffirm he had a preference for donald trump.
our intelligence agency, without any conflict, which the senate also believed. again, you have isolated and alienation from donald trump. they are on an island and believe there was no preference but that defies the evidence. and because they believe that, they are doing nothing at inviting a future attack, because they are saying "we will do nothing, we don't leave our intelligence." that is what is wrong with them perpetuating that myth. >> whoever has read the 29-page indictment that was brought forward of the 12 russians, everyone here -- president members, past members, inbreeding net, we understand that it is an absolute
masterpiece of sources and methods. methods, that our intelligence agency was able to go so deep, so far, so broadly, that they could identify the actual individuals that helped damage our democracy by interfering in our national elections. and, to have the president of the united states stand next to an enemy of democracy, agree with him instead of the intelligence community that produces and we have all been responsible for it and have been since 1977 since it was first born, to produce the best intelligence for the president of the united states of america. why? because intelligence is the tip of the spare.
if you have great intelligence, it informs policy. facts of thating indictment speaks to the work of the intelligence community. the president of the united states trash them along with his oath. >> my name is debbie, i'm from washington state. i serve on the intel committee. congressional republicans are in desperate need of an intervention to get over there addiction to donald trump. this is gone beyond norm-shattering. we are at risk of being at peril. we can take the president aside. lord knows i would like to be able to take the president aside . who knows, is he willfully ignorant on a magnitude of the
scale or has he been completely putin, theadimir deal-maker completely duped. or has been increasingly possible, who has got the goods on trump? whatever the case, it is at the doorstep of congressional republicans who can and should act. some have spoken up. not enough. some of those who have spoken out have been tempered. actthey can and should protecting the mueller investigation. increase election securities. increase sanctions. the list is long and readily available. if ever there were a clarion above party,ountry it occurred in helsinki, finland, and it is at the doorstep of congressional republicans. brian, your question is an
important one. watch remarkable to vladimir putin basically admit he had a favorite in the 2016 election. for vladimir putin to be more honest with his interference with the republican party than that united states president, it speaks to where we are as a nation. two ecowas denney said about people rising up to put country , it is no secret people will do things to preserve their personal careers. it is important that it be said that there is not a single person whose personal career and political rear is more important -- political career is more important than standing up to the president to will not stand up for america.
>> first of all i want to many ofe the comments my colleagues have made in supporting members of our intelligence community. the extraordinary work they do to keep america safe is inspiring, and to have the president disrespect the work unfortunate. to see president trump up there and side with president putin over his own members of intelligence committees was disgraceful. i want to thank john mccain for his courage in speaking out the nothe did and saying it has been a more dismal performance by a president in recent memory going overseas. no american wants to see their
president and perishing themselves and selling out -- embarrassing themselves and selling out the country the way he did in helsinki. this is not just the democratic point of view, this is a condemnation of that performance. the president's own ego is preventing him from acknowledging the clear fact that really everybody knows that russia did interfere with our elections and they would likely do it again. there are two things we need to do. we need to speak with a clear and loud voice starting with the president of the united states and knowledge of what the russians did and condemning it. then, issue a stark warning that if it happens again there will be severe consequences. that has not happened yet by the present. it needs to happen now. the other thing we need to do clearly is take strong steps to
ensure we are securing our elections and being as resilient as we possibly can. the credits in the house have agreed today on an election task force that we have numerous election text force. we have had numerous briefings. fundingse past $3.89 in infrastructure. we have the down payment. we need to do more. i have a bipartisan bill with my republican colleagues mark meadows to better secure our election infrastructure. these are the things we need to do to make sure we are resilient going forward. we cannot defend every cyberattack but we can take
steps to make sure we are as resilient as possible. lastly, we need to make sure we communicate the message to the russians that it they do this again we will be there with a harsh response and serious consequences. the president needs to send that message most especially. want to thank john .rennan former head of the cia he used a word that is starting to pop up now and that word is "treason." i used it in a statement that i made saying -- this goes beyond incompetence and borders on treason. guess what the responses were? they said, what do you mean "borders on treason"? those are the comments i got from people. we have reached a number of points whereints,
we thought something now is going to happen as a result of the reaction to the president of the united states. if we in the united states congress let this moment go by without anything being done about it, then shame on all of us because when the president of the united states speaks, he does speak in the name of our country and we must act, all of us in the country's congress. --. poe: isis along time ago when i first went on the intelligence committee, i worked to prevent hostilities from anybody toward ourselves but also if we were to engage for so many things.
anti-terrorism has taken center stage since that time. all along, members of our intelligence committee have acted with great risk to their personal lives and with great courage for our country. and for our republican colleagues to be frivolous about identifying them is very wrong. since the president made his statement in helsinki, his director of national intelligence said the role of the intelligence committee is to provide the best intelligence in fact-based assessments for the president and policy makers. he said, what the president said denigrated our intelligence committee. he said, we have been clearing and our assessment of russian meddling in the 2016 elections efforts tooing undermine our democracy.
we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security. that was his own appointee is director of national intelligence telling the president's characterizations. as we celebrate our founders on the fourth of july and their success in establishing our great country, i want to join my colleagues in saluting senator john mccain. want to salute him for what he is doing. lifetime, in a family's lifetime. his father before him. he served with courage and determination. so when he spoke out with a clear and respected voice, as one of the long republicans in , one of thethe loan
loan republicans to do so -- one of the loan republicans to do so, his concerned leadership for our country is but a blessing to our country and so it was with great gratitude that i think senator mccain wants again for being there for thethank you al. >> house speaker paul ryan also weighed in on president trump's meeting with vladimir putin. speaker ryan was joined by other house republican leaders.