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tv   Conflict Zone - Guest James Comey  Deutsche Welle  July 2, 2018 1:30am-1:59am CEST

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i think you're so. smart. what you. hope to do extraordinary. smart. as an f.b.i. director james comey was always pretty well known but when donald trump fired him last year it boosted his footprint to measure a place this week he's my guest here in berlin where he's promoting a book even as he faces a new challenging series it's supposed to nation and violating procedures and the run up to the twenty six again presidential election so what's the truth. james comey welcome to covering some thank you for having me when you all touring
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europe selling your book there's a storm of criticism in washington over actions that you and the f.b.i. took in the run up to the presidential election in twenty six the most from the inspector general at the justice department where you are likely very politely told to get lost you didn't miss anything and you didn't apologize for anything are you white or the way. that i am a flawed human i hope like we all recognize that we are and i think i meant what i said about the inspector general i respect their work i respect their criticism you just don't agree with me well that's a fair number of things i said i agree with but the two big criticisms are about the two most important decisions i made and i'd be lying if i said that i think that criticism as accurate i do think it's fair though and reasonable. what about the criticism that really jumped off the page was the bonus revelation that you used a private e-mail in violation of official protocol from maryland who spent
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a year and a half investigating hillary clinton's handling of her own e-mail so this partially it's not but it does reflect the fact that folks don't realize what clinton investigation was about it wasn't about her use of a non-governmental e-mail system it was about her handling of classified information and that's a very important guest again from a totally different from whether you're using her g. mail which i was using to e-mail drafts of speeches to myself was never any accusation that i used any system to communicate classified information and it was inconsistent with justice department policy that's what they said that's what they do you broke the rules thanks well that's a good question and i think they actually say it that way they say it was they believe it was inconsistent with the policy the policy does allow what we say de minimus use of a private e-mail system to communicate actually think mine was consistent with that but i'm not going to talk about that the important thing and there's
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a difference between using a system to communicate classified content and using a system and i really don't see it i really don't see it as a conflict with the clinton investigation but i get why the inspector general included it well not just the inspector general chuck grassley for instance chair of the senate judiciary committee june eighteenth he said it's disturbing that f.b.i. and police tasked with getting secretary clinton including the former director appeared to think strikingly similar comment that you know that part of that was on five occasions you had the draft or the official messages all of forward in e-mails to your personal account. right i was there for four years and i would draft speeches for public distribution send them home to myself like work on the my laptop and send them back to my government account when i was completed anybody who thinks of that is the same as the conduct we investigated in the clinton case was not paid attention but there is also an investigation into how you did handle plus fund right now it seems in memos that you sent outside the f.b.i.
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according to a washington post report shortly after you will find many of us to be i review concluded that some of the information two of you about most was classified and that the f.b.i. felt compelled to retrieve that information you gave it to the information was not confidential the lowest category of classified but it was classified you prepared to be investigated oh sure you have fact i've cooperated with them and talked to them and i eagerly await their report i think you broke the rules no no no no no and i think for you wait for the report i think what you'll see is i don't know what you i'll get the answers right the answer is i did not in any way and it's the reason i want the review done and one of the review don't want to report how to so that ends the silly that's about me mishandling cos i think that if you got it wrong then well the f.b.i. is going to review the f.b.i. reviewed and declined to investigate for mishandling of classified information
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that's obeying the rules and following procedure which is what they criticized you for violating well there's no doubt that i deviated as they say from norms but there was nothing normal about the investigation of one of the two candidates for president of the united states during the election but it is not an excuse for insubordinate and extraordinary actions which is what they used to know certainly not it's and it's an explanation as to why how we saw the decisions and why we chose bad over worse in each of the key circumstances they don't accept that choice that done. well they do they just between speaking or not speaking and i should have not spoken i get that and i respect that i think that underway is the damage to the institution that would have flowed from not speaking about something that was hugely important and would have otherwise covered up a lot and that had become no longer. that would cover up
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a law that had hidden from the american people that we have restarted that investigation ok i'd like to come on and talk about that look at the movement but the accusations first of all centered on the news conference you came in july twenty sixth which you enter the f.b.i. would not recommend criminal charges against hillary clinton you announced it separately from the department of justice you told them just a few few minutes before you did so i thought of my entire leadership team saw that was the way best calculated to protect the institutions of justice incredibly unusual fact i'd never heard of it before the f.b.i. announcing separate from the department of justice but given the situation of the attorney general was in my view that what situation she was in that the attorney general was in the view of a reasonable american compromised at that point and couldn't credibly announce the closure of the investigation so i think she implicitly acknowledged herself by saying she would accept my recommendation and my view was and honestly it still is
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even though i understand the criticism that if i denounced it with the attorney general the american people would not have had confidence in the result and the best although still a bad choice but the best of the choices was to announce it separately you said mrs clinton's handling of her e-mails have been extremely candice my question to you since when is it the job of the federal law enforcement officer to judge whether politicians indeed any citizens behavior is careless our job is to investigate the conduct of the subject of the investigation and decide whether it warrants recommendation for prosecution if you had to know you would be seen by the other side and used in this is for instance disadvantage but i had to know that my words would be seized on by everybody which is why i thought so long and hard about how to describe the conduct in a way member the goal in a way that the american people have confidence that it was done in a competent independent way many came to that july twenty sixth in press conference the inspector general said we found none of his reasons to be a persuasive basis for deviating from one step mr policy or that. this was
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showboating on your part so i think something president trump has accused you about this was a show about you know this is great for me don't you think i knew this was going to be bad for me personally this wasn't about showboating i did one press interview and one president of the f.b.i. had my final year and a half and it was that one it had i mean you would get busted problems of course we're investigating one of the two catman inspector just eleven days before the twenty sixth election even arms that the investigation was only getting a few more e-mails on a laptop but also the husband clinton aide a laptop that the f.b.i. had located weeks earlier and not bother to look at why why the gap in term why wait so long to another if this was such important information why wait a month. let it out at us you know i don't know the reason for that i know that it
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was discovered in the new york office some time of the under september and the people didn't bring it to me to ask me to make a decision until the end of the third week of october and your decision and for a man who has always said you want to stay clear of politics your decision to reopen the investigation at that late stage eleven days before the election wasn't influenced by politics wasn't it i don't remember thinking about that but i'm asking myself in my book given the whole world thought she was going to be elected president could that have influenced you and of course it could i don't think the decision want to been any different of donald trump was up twenty points in the polls but i'm asking myself given the assumption that she was going to be president could that have had an influence on you sure sure it could have again we tried very hard there's a difference reconsidering what the public thinks and electoral prospects i don't remember thinking about electoral prospects explicitly i just don't you were worried about her becoming a legitimate of the job if you didn't. we open the investigation and the result of
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that is donald trump is in the white house dryly and lawsuits directed at him its foundation just recently as university key members of his campaign staff indicted and you're worried about mrs clinton entering the white house illegitimate. those other things really are not a concern of mother and they are as an american citizen but not when you're director of the f.b.i. making a decision about investigation concerned that she might win the election you know she looked as though she was and that was one of the factors you know decision making process you know i hope i was clear on this i'll say it again i don't remember ever thinking i have to make this decision because she's going to be elected the question i'm asking myself in hindsight is given that everyone thought she was going to win and could that have influenced me and they answered of course it could have i don't remember it influencing me but again there's a danger of being reflective i don't think it would have changed the decision i
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think the f.b.i. had to speak and by the way to correct another thing he said everyone agreed that we had to reopen the investigation that was not the controversial decision he was telling everybody exactly it was less than one what do you do eleven days for the election do you speak about it or do you conceal it and my judgment was the institution would suffer horrific damage if we concealed that it was suffered just bad to have much if we spoke about it but the effect of your. let me put this to justify the risk of toby doing. well again you have to consider where you were on top of the twenty eighth the department of justice and the f.b.i. had told the american people repeatedly we finish this investigation there's no prosecutable case there you can rely on that american people and that is no longer true and not in a frivolous way in a highly significant way which is why the department of justice thought we had to reopen the investigation so what do you do we will people can see it differently but my view is you can and not having spoken about it both the attorney general and
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i and many others unspoken about you cannot stay silent in the face of that information i guess ever imagine a situation like this but when i ask people what would you do if you were in my shoes and why at the start of that level prior to the election hillary clinton was ahead in the polls by about six percent in the national polls we will. after your animals for her lead at heart what we also know is the late deciding voters went overwhelmingly towards trump so there is undoubtedly a case even if it can't be proved your action changed the course of the election you can live with well i have to look at that i think you were mildly norcia about the thought you might have impacted the election i wonder why only mildly well i guess we have to weigh our versions of knowledge here but it it makes me slightly sick to my stomach even now to contemplate the notion that we had an impact i hope not but what makes it even more difficult is it wouldn't change how i think about
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it even if i went back in time it just makes it more painful so i hope not i hope someday academics demonstrate their numbers already had it down and had no impact but it honestly doesn't change how you have to think about it sitting in your office are total twenty eight it just doesn't do the exhausting you ought to between it and the senate senator harry reid wrote to you to complain of a disturbing double standard for the treatment of sensitive information is right was the same as you came into possession of the slightest thing you went down related to mrs clinton in your rush to publicize it in the most negative light possible you said and yet you continued to resist this course to inform the public about critical information relating to donald trump that's true isn't it. you were inconsistent no not in any respect in the premise of his memory but over this but i think if i stay silent on things people later say i agree to the notion that all we
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had about hillary clinton was in your window is nonsense but well how about the little show you possessed he said the explosive information about close ties and coordination between don't trump his top advisers and the russian government you know that's not true i really can't talk about anything that might be classified i can just say again that the characterization of the senator's letter is not accurate the decision that president obama had to make was not my decision was he this was whether to say something publicly about the russian interference effort which is a really important close decision the one that was not close is should we say something about it you can so i said president but i don't have the intelligence investigation that has just begun and we don't know what we have so those are two very different questions president obama this is it was a hard money sure by the time that they made the decision in october to say something my view was i can avoid action at this point because the statement is no longer necessary and yet you still thought it was worth zooming in on hillary
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clinton i don't mean by zeroing in he was worth deciding between speaking or concealing on october the twenty eighth and that my judgment was we had to speak because hiding the fact that what we had said in the summer under oath was no longer true was an unacceptable outcome so suspicious with reports to g c h q that the organization flew to washington in the summer of twenty sixteen to brief the cia director john brennan james clapper the director of national intelligence later confirmed this flow i think information and intelligence he said it's sensitive. so there was a lot of sensitive material coming into it that's not that's not classified that's no i can say that i disagree with your preamble i don't believe it to be accurate but i can sort for you know because of the rules governing class sort of racial what's true or not true the whole lot of reporting about this is not accurate but i can't go into it more than that but you didn't worry at all that if the
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investigation into the collusion. so twelve hours of deliberations and just behind me you can now see host zero for who we have been told offices friends ignatius and tonight finally actually coming out to the press and actually going on the record this after his c s u party was torn between backing his tough line on migration saying that it simply wasn't enough of what the german chancellor brought home from that brussels summit and saying that he wanted to see a much tougher line he wanted to be able to reject migrants who were previously
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registered in other e.u. states from the arc saw german border now we're seeing here really a historic moment in the history of the c.s.u. party many delegates left exasperated and unwilling to accept his offer of resignation so all major decisions were postponed until monday also the sea is c.d.u. party of angola machall the german chancellor met in berlin this evening and basically perspire own its liberations as well so it appears that the c.s.u. holds the fate of the government of german chancellor angela merkel in its hands right now depending on whether this will in the end pan out to be an individual decision or whether the sea use you might break the decades old union with anger that machall c.d.u. party. now. this is
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really been a very long evening and enormous delay of before we're hearing anything from horace home for why have things been taking so long. well clearly this was no longer a question of finding common ground we did hear the criticism of. course of migration after she was able to secure more than a dozen bilateral multilateral agreements that e.u. summit we saw a couple of bridges built here from the sea use you side basically saying that she had achieved more than many people had expected and it appears that this became a much more personal fight for almost between america
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and her interior minister the sort of leader of this use you hear in bavaria there was a lot of talk course the office saying that this was also a question of political credibility and certainly it is a fight that. appears to have won for now but the big lingering question both munich and berlin enter this next political week is whether these trembles here in bavaria within the sea use you what kind of effect they will have in berlin whether they have the stuff to become a political earthquake that could threaten the stability of the government of anglo-american in the end potentially chancery itself. china do stand by with me in the studio is our political correspondent nina hazare so nina. as we wait for example for to make his statement what kind of
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a reaction are we likely to get from angela merkel what are her choices if they hope for doesn't fact announce he's stepping down. it is slightly more complicated than that because he can only offer to resign. and then that will have to be accepted by the c.s.u. party leadership and then uncle americal has to let him go she has to sack him which is something that hosty hoover has said he does not want. what is happening there in the very air is something lots of political pundits who've covered german politics for decades have said they've never seen it's chaotic kids to mulch us and we clearly don't know what the motives are because of course the see as you stand a lot to lose if hosty of us steps down as an interior minister and they don't present a new interior minister and they decide to risk the coalition they stand
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a lot more to lose than ungrammatical because she still can look for other coalition partners she won't have the support from probably not from all of her party delegates but still she has other options she can call fresh elections she will be we can that's for sure but this is you stands to lose a lot more i mean china what have you been hearing from other members of the c.s.u. other delegates in response to the over his desire to offer his resignation. but we know that some were trying to hold him back we know that he offered his resignation in the room he just went on the record he came out of the building and basically wouldn't talk about this whole issue of the tension resignation he said there would be another attempt to find common ground with angela merkel c.d.u. party that six members of the leadership of the c.s.u.
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would meet six members of uncle americal zx c.d.u. leadership and that they would both sit together and basically see whether they can find more common ground now what could that mean the initial starting point was that. was demanding something that would have. the same effect as all mean the rejection of previously registered migrants the german border no that didn't happen that's also what he criticised today at the same time we saw parts of the seas you itself recognise that the german chancellor hard brought home quite significant commitments from other e.u. members to work on something that would amount to this potentially and the big question now is what they could pin down as potential common ground and this could entailed an extension of the so-called masa plan or migration that interior minister zero four was stopped from announcing by the chancellor two weeks ago and
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that could see another extension of this deadline that angle americal herself had asked for those two weeks that have now run out to produce something that amounts to the demands of the hoof and his c.s.u. party so for now renewed backing for more still for us possibly tearin minister and a potential crisis postponed at least until monday. well no we do know that polls suggest that the majority of germans in fact favor on the americal of approach to migration and seeking co-ordinated e.u. policy cooperation with your european neighbors so could they all over is decision to pursue and to push this hardline stance and possibly resign over this perhaps backfire for his see if you party that's something that lots of
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people have been wondering ever since this. escalated what does he actually want to achieve because also his long time ally the austrian chancellor. courts has already said that if germany closes the border. i was describing essentially to those asylum seekers then austria would react similarly and so that would backfire because then we would have a really difficult situation at the border austria wouldn't take back those asylum seekers so what do they want is a very big question that we won't hear of apparently in these few hours now our correspondent nina hasa and michelle and occur if not for us at the c.s.u. headquarters in munich many thanks for now we will be checking in with you later on as we await a statement from horst as a whole far ahead of the c.s.u. and german interior minister who according to reports has said he intends to hand
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in his resignation well that's all for us from for the moment you're watching t w news do stay with us.
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. until. this is d.w. news live from berlin it's back from the brink for germany is coalition government interior minister of course they will first says his party will hold another meeting with chancellor merkel's c.d.u. party on monday morning and a last ditch attempt at patching up their differences they have overhead been poised to resign as minister and leader of the cd.

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