tv Rep. Jamie Raskin on Meeting with State Department Inspector General CSPAN October 3, 2019 5:04am-5:28am EDT
," he talks about china's efforts to become a superpower. he is interviewed by the former under secretary of state for global affairs. >> everybody is looking at the chinese economic threat. as you mention, the white house was very successful in highlighting this threat. they issued a report with the stunning title called "china's economic aggression." there was a huge policy fight with the bureaucrats saying we cannot say economic aggression. when you read the report, you understand what. >> watch book tv every weekend on c-span2. >> after the state department's inspector general briefed senior members of congress in a closed door meeting, democratic congressman jamie raskin of maryland told reporters about a packet of articles and memos pertaining to ukraine and other matters that the inspector general turned over to congress.
house. it may have come from the white house, it may have not. we don't know. there is a series of folders which all come from. folder after holder. i don't have time to fully scrutinize everything in here. it's essentially a packet of propaganda and disinformation spreading conspiracy theories. those conspiracy theories have been widely debunked and discredited. apparently, the material came in may of this year. it coincided with the moment in which the ambassador was recalled. so it was clearly targeting her as well as some other people. the inspector general turned it over to the fbi and has not done anything else internally with it at the department of state, as far as we understand. when the whistleblower report came out, he felt that he needed to turn it over to congress. we are now in possession of this
packet of propaganda and disinformation that was circulated in may. peopleions a number of we were planning to see, most notably, ambassador jovanovich. secretary state pompeo is trying to block her from coming. we don't think he will succeed, but he wants to prevent her from coming to congress to give her testimony. the existence of this packet and its curious history raises profoundly troubling questions. why was secretary of state pompeo in possession of this packet of disinformation? why did he circulate it? to who else did he distribute it? why was his staff involved in the process? have got to say that -- i've got to say that it raises more questions than answers. i'm not sure it's necessarily
urgent. i can understand why the inspector general wanted to turn it. >> what is the inspector general's concern? >> what is the inspector general's concern here? >> you would have to ask the inspector general. he just realized given the whistleblower's account and reporting suggesting there has been an effort to target the ambassador, and there is the effort to deploy the president's cabinet to go abroad in search of conspiracy theories, that this would be relevant. you have to ask him. he didn't say specifically what -- why he felt he should turn it over. that was my impression. >> is the inspector general alleging the secretary of state was targeting the former ambassador with this document of conspiracy theories? is that what he is alleging? no. he was not alleging secretary of state pompeo did it, but it was all addressed to secretary of state pompeo. this is where it came from.
he made it available to the inspector general. we don't know who else. it is consistent with the conspiracy theories that you see online about crowd strike and about ukraine actually having concocted the whole story about the russian interference in our election. and of course, special counsel mueller found there was a sweeping campaign by a russian -- by the russians to interfere in our election. the intelligence community accepts that fact. there are conspiracy theories that the president has been promoting attempting to undermine the findings about that. given the president was not found by robert mueller to have been conspiring with russia, it raises the question why the white house is still trying to undermine the separate finding that russia engaged in the sweeping systematic campaign to
undermine the election. that can serve only one person, and that is vladimir putin the russian government. >> who is responsible for that document? >> the inspector general has no idea where it came from. on its face, it says it's coming from the white house. this doesn't look like white house stationery. then there are all of these trump hotel folders built into it. it has mysterious and uncertain provenance. >> the attorney general was covering his basis, not alleging any wrongdoing by anyone inside the state department? >> correct. the inspector general was saying we are sitting on this packet of disinformation that came from some uncertain place. this is my interpretation of it. there may be misconduct by the secretary of state or other state department employees in disturbing this if they did know where it's coming from and they had an authentic source in the white house.
maybe it did come from the white house. we just don't know where it came from. i think that's the big mystery. it is clear that it is a package of propaganda and disinformation and conspiracy theories. the real question is where did it come from and how did it end up in our lap right now? >> how did the i.g. become aware of this? it went to secretary pompeo, and ien how did it get to the .g.? >> that's what you have to ask the i.g. i believe it was the council to the state department who turned it over to the i.g. >> is there any other ways -- >> we don't know the answer to that. the whole thing looks rather amateurish to me. it looks like a collection of some newspaper articles
coordinated. a lot of conspiracy theories >> . a false flag operation if it was .one so >> it can be anything at this point. >> there would have been reporting that the urgent matter related to the state department retaliating against career officials who wanted to cooperate without democrats. did that come up? >> that was not the purpose of this meeting. that was not the subject. the whole meeting consisted of the inspector general turning over his packet of information to us. and then people trying to figure out where it came from and what it means. >> what caused urgent concern? why is this considered urgent if it is unclear where this is coming from? >> that was one of the questions people where the president at the meeting had. the inspector general seems to feel he had been sitting on this for months and it may be relevant to the work of the committee. the big story is the president of the united states was involved in a shakedown operation against the ukrainian government attempting to obtain political dirt on the bidens.
he held up hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign military and economic aid to make that happen. they covered the whole thing up. there is not much of an effort to refute that on the facts, but there is an effort to try and go underneath it to say there was a vast conspiracy to make up everything robert mueller investigated. i don't really know the relevance of it, but at some point, it's hard to follow the conspiracy theories. this packet of information is meant to advance the conspiracy theory that the finding there was a sweeping campaign by russian interfering election was specious and fallacious. >> as you go for trying to write political articles, you are on the judiciary committee. how does that play into this? i mean, is this part of -- or did i.g. come forth with this? prompted by the fact where this
deep into impeachment and thought he was compelled to do so? >> there's nothing directly relevant to the president's impeachable conduct. i don't think it relates to the president's high crimes and misdemeanors, but it does relate to efforts to sabotage ambassador jovanovich and to smear a number of employees who perhaps were getting in the way of the president. i think that is really the importance of this document. that there was an organized effort to go after the people who the white house or perhaps mr. giuliani thought were getting in the way of the president. that is my interpretation of the situation. that is totally my interpretation of what this is. here just said he wanted to turn
-- he just said he wanted to turn it over. everybody will have to look at it and see if there is something valuable. >> can you be more specific about the claims that you characterize as conspiracy theories? what are the actual claims? >> i imagine -- the committees i think are going to be discussing what to do with the information. the names you have been reading about in the conspiracy theories are in this packet. in there, are jovanovich, and so on. there has been an attempt to create a narrative that would somehow justify what the president did. from our perspective, everything is totally and completely irrelevant. this is an irrelevant distraction from the matter at hand. what the president did was to try to use the military national security power of his office to extract political dirt from a foreign ally resisting russian
aggression. that's really the only thing america understands and that's all america needs to understand, because the rest of this is a istic extortion, distraction of events. people have a chance to read it on their own to see if there is anything. i think america's eyes are glazing over at all of the propaganda we are getting as an effort to distract from what we know has happened. there is a crucial story everyone needs to understand. >> is it fair to say, is it fair say, is it fair to say -- >> i will come back to you. >> do you offer a reason for why the ambassador was targeted the> way she was? >> he did not really get into the merits of what anyone was saying. >> the motivation behind this effort -- >> the inspector general said it is something that landed in our laps in may, the provenance was the white house. there were trump hotel folders on the inside. they don't know where it came
from. but it's pretty clear, whoever put it together was attempting advance exactly the storyline that mr. giuliani would like to be advancing. i'm not sure of the oversight committee or intelligence committee, but they are looking at it. it is not classified material. >> congressman, is it safe to say that all of this has been -- has in common ukraine, are there theories unrelated to ukraine? >> i gave it my best evelyn wood reading while i was in there. i wasn't able to study it minutely. the focus of it was ukraine. and then to the extent that obviously the ukraine investigation is related to russia. there is some of that in there, too. >> jovanovich was supposed to come today and was delayed. was it partly because the ig was going to talk about this?
are those two events connected. -- connected? >> i don't know the answer to that. >> you mentioned rudy giuliani a couple of times. >> no, no. that is my interpretation. if you read the packet of information, it's a series of somewhat hallucinatory propagandistic suggestions that are very consistent with the things that rudy giuliani is saying. put it this way. if i had to guess who was behind it, if it did not come directly from the white house, i would guess it was giuliani. but i have no way to know. name are all over it. there are series of memos in their work giuliani -- are a in there wheres
giuliani was present. somebody should ask him whether he knows anything. maybe he doesn't and it is one of his acts. i.g. mentioned giuliani at all? >> no. -- >> did the i.g. mention giuliani at all? >> no. >> you talked about the secretary of state. can you clarify about the role? >> i don't know the answer to that. that's one of the things we want to get to the bottom of at this point. where did this package of material come from that was hand delivered to secretary of state pompeo that was apparently assistant. it says the white house, but who knows whether it is the white house, or that's speaking euphemistically or metaphorically. >> it would be curious to know where it came from and what he knows about its providence and -- provenance and what he did with it. >> was the secretary of state cooperative? >> there is no discussion.
>> rudy giuliani may have been behind this, what evidence you have? -- >> what evidence do you have to that rudy giuliani may have been behind this? >> it is a guess. >> you speculated this may be giuliani. is it reasonable to do. when you talk about being deliberate about the process, is irresponsible to suggest and take that leap of faith? >> it is very consistent with the things he has been saying. i have no reason to think he prepared the documents, but it's consistent with what he has said. he may know something, but he may know nothing. >> were you the only lawmaker at this meeting? if so, why? >> i may be the only local
lawmaker who is available. i was able to comment. i was happy to participate. >> did you do brief your democratic leadership and democratic caucus on this yourge -- debrief democratic leadership and democratic congress on this package? >> i think the -- everybody else present, the other staffers were excellent they were present. i have looked through all of them, but i am definitely going to study it again. >> this is not central to this investigation, it is a distraction, is that right. this is something that -- >> it feels to me like a completely irrelevant distraction from the work at hand. but i will study it more carefully. look, there's been an effort from the beginning to distract the president's misconduct was. it is an unprecedented situation. the president used the military national security power of the
u.s. to shake down and ally the country for political dirt on an opponent in an election. we have never experienced anything like that before. and so if that's true, there's not much of a defense. that's why i think there's an effort to distract us with a lot of other things. this may or may not be part of the effort. i don't know. >> to be clear, sir, there's no evidence that ties it to the white house. other than the words of "the white house, which anybody can write? rep. raskin: i am suspicious of it but maybe it did come from the white house. it didn't say who it came from. other than the fact it said the white house. i think it is likely to go to the next page. that is a xerox of the trump hotels and there are four or five of those built into the package. i can't say for sure. looks like it is about 40 pages. that is the whole dossier. >> what exactly are the documents? rep. raskin: i don't want to get any, get into that any more deeply. i can't release it to anybody
without -- yes, this is unclassified. >> [indiscernible] rep. raskin: the house and senate intelligence on oversight. at least. yeah. no, it looks like trump hotel stationery which were the folders used that the documents were placed in. >> [indiscernible] rep. raskin: sorry? no, looks like the same hotel, same trump hotel stationery. >> do you feel like you are being dragged down a rabbit hole here? raskin: i believe this is an irrelevant distraction from where we need to go. we thought it was about something else. this is why we are reporting something else is at stake but we got this packet of information. >> is there something they would have liked the i.g. to address, as we are hearing about ukraine and pressure put on congress, trump administration officials not to comply?
rep. raskin: this was all we talked about. forgive me, because i have to go now. i have to go. >> [indiscernible] rep. raskin: i am being beckoned by my staff. thank you. [indiscernible] >> live thursday on c-span, a discussion about the diversity of federal judges hosted by the center for american progress at 11:30 a.m. eastern. then at 4:00, remarks by samantha power, former u.s. ambassador to the united nations, followed by a town hall meeting with congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez in queens, new york on legislation dealing with poverty and federal benefits. on c-span 2 at 9:00 a.m. general david berger, commandant of the u.s. marine corps, discusses priority for the indo pacific region.
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