tv Americas Newsroom FOX News June 8, 2017 6:00am-7:01am PDT
he will be appearing on capitol hill in one hour. the d.c. traffic is terrible from mcclain, virginia. it's just over the river but it's a long way between there. just maybe five or six miles. >> he is used to big moments. this will be another. >> bill: good morning. the big moment is almost here. fired f.b.i. director james comey will be in that room screen left before the senate intelligence committee one hour from now. the testimony before the testimony already rocking washington, d.c. seven pages of sometimes vivid details in the trump/comey saga that tees up that could be an afternoon of fireworks on a critical day ahead in washington, d.c. as we say good morning in new york city. this is special coverage of the james comey testimony here in "america's newsroom." good to have you with us. we'll find out together what we get today. >> shannon: it will be a great. today's hearing caps off a long drama. it will be former f.b.i. director james comey's first
public testimony since he was fired by president trump on may 9th. his written testimony zeroing in on repeated encounters with the president including a statement he hoped he would back off the flynn probe as well as a demand for honesty loyalty. >> here is a segment. he said this. the president said i need loyalty, i expect loyalty. i did not move, speak or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. we simply looked at each other in silence. he then said i need loyalty. i replied you'll always get honesty from me. he paused and said that's what i want. honest loyalty. i paused and said you will get that from me, end quote. >> shannon: seven republicans, six democrats make up the senate intelligence committee. democrats are expected to have comey give more details about the meetings with the president and whether there is any evidence of obstruction of
justice while republicans may try to poke holes in comey's accounts of his dealings with the president. >> bill: we have a jam-packed hour. we have people standing by with analysis this morning. we want to begin inside the room where it all happens. our chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge is there and let's start with her. >> good morning, bill. there is an extremely excited vibe to the room behind me as security makes the final preparation for james comey's arrival here on capitol hill. based on his prepared testimony, which reads very dramatic and will probably be even more dramatic when he publicly presents it, there were nine conversations between james comey and the president over a four-month period and james comey felt so uncomfortable about those interactions he documented each one. something he says was not his normal practice and he describes one episode where he started taking his notes in an f.b.i. vehicle outside of trump tower. there are many things to talk
about in the prepared testimony. let's take a deeper dive on this this oval office meeting in february where they talked about general flynn after he was dismissed for lying to the vice president. according to the prepared testimony comey says the president declared to him i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go. to letting flynn go. he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go. comey continues, it was very concerning given the f.b.i.'s role as an independent investigative agency. the f.b.i. leadership team agreed with me it was important not to infect the investigative team with the president's request which we did not intend to abide. we also concluded that, given it was a one-on-one conversation, there was nothing available to corroborate my account. at that time they elected not to brief the attorney general jeff sessions on the matter
because, he says, they figured he would ultimately recuse himself and they didn't see any point or any utility into going to the deputy attorney general at that time because he was in an acting position, bill. >> bill: why did president trump go to other intelligence officials, catherine? >> what i learned last night from a source who has been close to these discussions is that after that first initial meeting in january with the f.b.i. director and then incoming president trump and he was told he was not the target or the focus of the f.b.i. investigation, as the months passed the president became increasingly frustrated that wa after the f.b.i. director said in march in this very public hearing on the house side that there was this counter intelligence investigation that was looking at contacts between members of the trump team and russian officials and the meddling. and it was at that point that the president went to the national security director admiral mike rogers and the
director of national intelligence dan coats and said give me some help here. try to go to comey and have him make the information public that i'm not the focus. it was not an effort to kill the entire russia probe which is also corroborated by james comey's prepared testimony sgl. a lot more to go through in time. thank you, catherine. >> shannon: joining us now republican senator james risch of idaho, a member of the senate intelligence committee. he was there asking questions today. he will be back today. thank you for making time for us before the hearing today. >> you should see the traffic here now trying to get into the hearing. >> shannon: not a camera in sight. i want to play a little bit from yesterday's hearing as a setup for today. and your part in part of that conversation. let's play that and we'll talk about it. >> i have never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way.
>> i have never been directed to do anything i believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate. >> i understand your answer. i'm disappointed with that answer but i may indicate and i told you i was going to bring this up. >> with all due respect to my colleague from virginia i think you have cleared up substantially your direct testimony that you have never been pressured by anyone, including the president of the united states to do something illegal, immoral or anything else. >> shannon: the ranking member there, senator warner, seemed to indicate he didn't feel like he had gotten good answers from the folks who testified yesterday. is it settled for you from what you heard yesterday? >> it is not settled. this is an ongoing investigation going on for sometime. i think what's lost in all this is that this hearing today is part of that. it was decided to do it publicly to try to answer some questions for the american people. again, with all due respect to my good friend and colleague from virginia, mark warner, he
wasn't listening. those guys said very directly, very clearly that they had never been pressured by the white house or the president or anyone else to do anything illegal, immoral or unethical. now, they don't want to accept that but it was crystal clear what those guys said. >> shannon: what is your number one questions for former f.b.i. director comey today? >> with all due respect you only have to wait an hour for that. but he has laid out his testimony. i think that he has done an outstanding job in those seven pages of putting together what the american people want to hear. i suspect both sides are going to focus on that and talk about what's in those seven pages. it is not hard to wade through, it is plain english and he should be commended for that. >> shannon: a lot of people read through it and a lot of times it depended on what channel you were watching or
who you were listening to. both sides were saying it's victory and like comey provides ammunition for both sides but doesn't make a conclusion. he leaves it there for folks who are reading to interpret and decide as they will. do you think overall it was a positive or negative for the president? >> i think you've hit on something that's a problem in america today and that is particularly with the national media the various networks hear what they want to hear and report it the way they want to report it. i think after the hearing today we're probably going to be able to drill down on that considerably. and the american people are going to make up their mind. when it's all over, there will be people on both sides of this i'm sure. >> shannon: do you see and what we've seen in the testimony today and you'll have an opportunity to question further today, any evidence of a case for obstruction of justice by this president? >> you know, i'm going to talk about that today in the hearing so i'm going to hold that until then. on top of that, i really ought to be careful about that
because i don't know where our investigation is going to go. i'm a prosecutor, former prosecutor. i've been through thousands of investigation. this is not unfamiliar territory to me. i look forward to getting through it and writing an accurate report that the american people can read. >> shannon: are you confident you'll get answers today? >> i think we already have. i think it will be clear today. >> shannon: all right. senator risch, thank you very much for making time for us. as we say in the business, you know, a teasing ahead. you've done that. we'll be watching as we would anyway for your upcoming questions. >> this story doesn't need a tease. >> shannon: it doesn't. thank you, sir. >> let's bring in bret baier, chris wallace and dana perino. it's great to have all three of you with us today. dana, ladies first. former press secretary ari
fleischer said to the "wall street journal." two goals for crisis control for the nation's chief executive. don't make it worse and refocus the nation on a different topic. go inside the west wing. what's the strategy? >> since 1995 i've followed the advice of ari fleischer. conventional in an unconventional time. you have a president today with a very light schedule. he has a little bit of a speech later. i think the white house could actually provide a counter narrative. last night you had his attorney,, the outside legal attorney advising out this putting out a statement saying the president feels totally vindicated. i would leave it at that. i don't know if that will happen. something else the white house could do today, because they are worried about media bias, they could actually today do something unscheduled and take the president to visit a construction site, a local school, a local business. remember, this is supposed to be infrastructure week and
provide a different picture, a different story that shows that he is out there doing the work his voters expected him to do and that he is not worried about this hearing. that would be good advice. i don't know if they'll do it. it is all part of the -- remember, the dramatic hearing that you had today follows on the dramatic firing of james comey and so the congress is going to want to have a bite at this apple. i don't know what will be left after this hearing. yesterday was a little undramatic. >> bill: nothing on his schedule until 12:30 eastern time today and make an appearance in washington, d.c. and give a speech around 12:30 eastern time and we'll have coverage of that when it happens. a split screen opportunity for all of us watching this. britt, james langford will ask questions today. martha had lindsey graham on last night as well. this is how graham characterizes what he knows
about the case for obstruction of justice. >> in the minds of special counsel mueller there is no obstruction of justice case to be made because if he felt like he had a case he wouldn't let comey his chief and only witness go out in public and get beat up. >> bill: on that point it's important to remember bob mueller is doing his own thing right now. what have you learned so far today based on langford's conversation last night and what we can expect? >> i think there are a couple of points here. one is that the most important figure here believe it or not is bob mueller. he is, we're told by sources, that has gone over this testimony with comey and kind of approved it. so in essence you're getting a sense of that investigation even though you aren't seeing it firsthand, two, langford, other senators depending on which side of the aisle they are on, they are talking about this obstruction of justice question saying what is inappropriate and what is
obstruction of justice? jonathan turley, well respected on both sides of the aisle. if it's true and president trump said what he said and comey said he said it is wildly inappropriate. however, talking like tony soprano doesn't make you tony soprano. we have months where we've had leak after leak and we haven't seen substantive collusion evidence. now the shift is to an obstruction of justice case. one senior aide said it would be far sickle for comey to have told president trump he wasn't under investigation. comey said it three times in the testimony released yesterday. >> bill: chris wallace. you've seen a number of events throughout your time in the nation's capital. where are we on this today? >> i think we make a bit of a mistake if we talk solely about the legal aspects of this.
there is also a political aspect of this. you've often seen that in hearings. i was looking back some of these -- i witnessed some of them and read about and the 1950s mccarthy hearing where he was pushing the idea that there were communists in the army and the lawyer, the counsel for the army, said have you no sense of decency, sir? the air went out of the mccarthy investigation. go to watergate and john dean talking about the cancer on the presidency and alexander butterfield talking about the secret taping system. go to the famous hearing the confirmation hearing for clarence thomas for the supreme court. anita hill made a very impressive performance but in the end clarence thomas called it a high-tech lynching. it often doesn't come in the opening statement or any kind of prepared remarks. it comes in the give and take
of a multi-hour hearing. but that could have a dramatic effect politically and i think we have to watch for that today. the president's numbers are already very low. latest poll he is down in the mid 30s. there may be no hard evidence of an obstruction of justice but it could be damaging to the president as james comey, who is a very experienced, very savvy and very dramatic witness on capitol hill tells his story. you have to remember, he got fired by donald trump. he has no interest at all in protecting the president. he has primarily an interest, my guess is, in redeeming his own reputation. >> shannon: i want to bring you in and ask you, dana. separate branches. all eyes accost the country and world are focusing on the hearing today. there is still business at the white house. how frustrating is this trying
to push a message and you have a real issue to deal with in the legislative branch. a number of this investigation and this hearing. >> it's the nature of the white house after the democrats took over congress in 2006 when they won. the next two years were difficult for us in the white house because the democrats wanted to haul us up for hearings all the time and you try to continue an agenda. right now the president benefits from having republicans in the majority in the house and senate. it doesn't mean it will be easier. these are the cards you're dealt with at the white house and so i think that they're doing the right thing. they basically have several different things going on this week. they're talking about the fact that in the next eight weeks you can expect in the senate that a healthcare bill will be introduced and voted on. they said that yesterday. you'll have a debt ceiling bill. infrastructure week. we haven't seen too much of that because of this coverage there is stuff happening out
there. yesterday mike pence the vice president meeting with healthcare -- people concerned about the healthcare situation in this country. so they're going about their business the best they can. i do think that the statement last night by the lawyer saying that the president feels totally and completely vindicated shows the white house wants to take the posture that we're not bothered by this. i don't know if that will continue because as chris was saying it a perilous time for the president. you see some support slipping not from his core but the strongly approve is starting to slip a little bit and big legislation that's coming up, there is not a lot of focus on it on the hill. at least on the media side of things. underneath the republicans are moving forward at a fast clip. i think that the democrats, because they're very focused on this russia issue, are ceding a lot of policy ground on healthcare, debt ceiling and tax reform that will be taken up in the fall. >> shannon: one of the loudest voices that we heard yesterday
and most passionate was senator warner, the ranking democrat on this committee. we have a look at some of his statements that we'll get from him today. we have a bit of a preview. after going through the seven pages of what we'll see from comey in his opening, warner said i want to emphasize what is happening here. the president of the united states was asking the f.b.i. director to drop an ongoing investigation into the president's former national security advisor. he continues in further violation of clear guidelines put in place after watergate to prevent any whiff of political interference the president called him on two occasions to talk about the cloud that lingered over him. it seems like the way that comey has laid this out you can interpret it two ways. and it looks like it will split on party lines. >> i'm pretty sure it will, shannon. i think that hearing yesterday is very indicative of it and you talked to senator risch who made the point with all due respect to my colleague from virginia you aren't listening to these intelligence officials that are saying i have never felt pressured to stop an
investigation, to get in the middle of it, to do any imoral or illegal. yet they want to know the specific conversation that each one of them had had with president trump. something that those officials were not willing to do. how willing is james comey to get into it? well, i think just by the dramatic writing that we've seen in the prepared testimony, the fact that he was down to the grandfather clock on the wall and his facial expressions at certain moments, i think you'll see some pretty interesting testimony today, well beyond the prepared testimony that we've already received. >> bill: chris wallace, the president has done a lot of interviews. he has been asked a lot of questions that relate to this. i'll play one for you, may 11th, nbc news and lester holt when he said the following. >> president trump: i said if it's possible would you let me know, am i under investigation? he said you are not under investigation. i know i'm not under
investigation. me personally. i'm not talking about campaigns or anything else. >> bill: we'll go through all these comments as we continue our coverage here. and we're going to look at the testimony that james comey is about to deliver. and he says over a period of four months they had nine interactions, i do believe, three in person, six on the phone. based on the testimony that was released yesterday in written form he detailed three in-person and two by telephone which would seem to indicate there are four other encounters we haven't heard from. is the math right and is there a certain mystery behind that? >> i didn't know there would be math on this test. i'm a little upset about that. i will say this. that when donald trump in his letter firing comey said and thank you for three times telling me that i am not under investigation, a lot of us skeptics and cynics in the press corps said i don't believe he said that. comey as he details it and
tries to sugar coat it but he -- comey did tell the president three times over the course of all those conversations that he was not a target, not a subject of the investigation, at least at the time that he talked. so the president has been borne out there. on the other hand i want to say about those interviews, the president can get himself in a jam in those interviews because if you remember, just before the lester holt interview which was the day after comey was fired, the story that was coming out of the white house and the president cited was it was a response to the unhappiness with comey inside the justice department. specifically the tough memo that had been written by the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. in his interview with lester holt the president said i was thinking about russia when i made the decision. so boy, we can talk about what crisis management there should be for the president. i disagree respectfully with
dana on the idea that comey -- the president should go out to a construction site. that's what her role was as a press secretary. my role as a white house correspondent is trying to distract attention from the hearing. >> the picture is the only thing that matters. the visual. the whole communication, remember ronald reagan. >> we would trash the picture. i don't know about that. in any case, if i were going to give one piece of advice and i'm not supposed to as a reporter to the white house it would be stay off twitter, don't make any comments today. i agree with you completely the lawyer's statement taking yes for an answer saying he was completely exonerated by comey. that's the way to go. if the president tries to fire back all he does is enlarge the testimony and give even legs to a story that is already a centipede. >> bill: interesting stuff. stand by the judge is coming up in a moment to talk about the legal aspects. john roberts on the north lawn
there. let's go for the latest in what we're getting from the west wing. there are no public events, right, scheduled during the first, what, 3 1/2 hours of this hearing, is that right, john? >> nothing until later. he has a schedule where he is leaving the white house for an event. good morning to you, bill. the people here at the white house and folks here will be watching very closely what happens there in the senate intelligence committee. the back story. the president and his team were prepared to aggressively push back and correct the record i'm told on anything that james comey might say during his testimony today. they weren't about to let him say one thing one day and then say something the other. there is also a massive rapid response operation being put together by the republican national committee to basically respond at a moment's notice to anything that comes out of the former f.b.i. director's mouth. after reading yesterday through the testimony and getting some analysis from his attorney,
mark kasowitz, the president's team said to be enormously relieved at what they saw. in a statement mark kasowitz, the outside attorney, said the president is pleased that mr. comey has publicly confirmed his private reports that the president was not under investigation in any russia probe. the president feels completely and totally vindicated. he is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda. while comey does corroborate the president's claim he was not under investigation personally in the russia probe, there is still a couple of other issues out there, don't forget comey did say he felt the president was trying to get him to drop at least part of the russia investigation, the part dealing with flynn's firing and false statements he made about phone calls that he had with kislyak. then this idea that during the dinner that they had here at the white house the president asked him for a pledge of loyalty. comey says that happened. the president in this interview with judge jeanine from may 13th said it didn't happen that
way. listen here. >> did you ask that question? >> no, i didn't. i don't think it would be a bad question to ask. loyalty to the country, loyalty to the united states is important. it depends on how you define loyalty. number one, number two, i don't know how that got there because i didn't ask that question. >> he said he did not ask that question. i think there is a quote that's relevant to the proceedings today and dana perino will remember this well. donald rumsfeld -- it's the unknown unknowns that the president and the white house team are watching for. because that's what could crop up under questioning after the opening statement. >> bill: thank you, john. scaffolding going up at the white house in the background. >> always. >> bill: making america great. >> it is infrastructure week. joining us with more on this judge andrew napolitano, fox senior judicial analyst.
we've all had a chance to read through it. critics are having to say based on what we see so far in the comey testimony as planned they don't see a prima facie or a basic case for obstruction of justice and counting it as a win. >> i don't see a basic case for obstruction of justice as one would make the case if a defendant were being charged with a crime. this is not a jury. this is essentially a political event this afternoon -- or this morning. in which the democrats will try to make the president look bad and the republicans will try to make the president look good and each of them can find something that is helpful to their case in james comey's written statement. but in about an hour, that statement will be history. and we will be falling on every word that comes out of his mouth in the rough and tumble of questions. so we don't know where the questions are going to go. we don't know what surprises he
may have in store. we don't know if we're going to see the jim comey who used to lecture the congress on the meaning of federal law or see a reluctant, fact witness. i think we'll see a fairly aggressive jim comey who wants to burnish his own legacy in what may be his last great public moment and no wish to help the man who humiliated him by firing him in the manner in which he did. >> shannon: famed attorney and law professor ders wits said they were hoping the comey statement would provide smoking guns. it has weakened and already weak case for obstruction of justice. we have mark warner's statements. he remains unconvinced at this point. you are saying it doesn't matter at this point someone will take it down and file it at the courthouse it's more public perception and comey
knows that. >> it's exactly about public perception. my buddy, chris wallace, has articulated those memorable one-liners from the famous and infamous nationally televised hearings as this one will be. that's probably what will stick. who will have that one-liner, senator warner or jim comey? as for what another lawyer said i agree but remember, this is not an indictment, not an appellate court before which a conviction -- for obstruction of justice is being appealed. did donald trump say what he said to jim comey for a noble or corrupt purpose? on that fine line the truth will rest. >> shannon: we'll see very pointed questioning on that today, sir. thank you, judge. >> bill: great group with us. don't go anywhere, judge. stick with us throughout the morning. later this evening for full coverage of what happens today.
special prime timeline up. a special hour of tucker carlson at 11:00 p.m. eastern time. bret will anchor a midnight edition of special report. more on the big story of the day moments away. we're now 30 minutes away from james comey arriving in that room. how did we get to this point? a look at some of the big moments that propelled us toward today's testimony plus thoughts on west virginia democratic senator joe manchin on what he will ask today, an analysis from jason chaffetz both live minutes away. polident kills 99.99% of odor causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains. that's why i recommend polident. cleaner, fresher, brighter every day. bp uses flir cameras - a new thermal imagining technology - to inspect difficult-to-reach pipelines, so we can detect leaks before humans can see them.
he jumped into the headlines more than once during the presidential campaign. mike emanuel lays it all out for us. >> good morning, shannon. it has been a long road for former f.b.i. director james comey leading to this moment as the nation awaits his testimony. comey lost his job about a month ago after becoming a very controversial figure in the heat of the 2016 campaign. >> we're expressing to justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case. >> from closing the investigation into hillary clinton's handling of classified information. >> a presidential campaign for the ages has taken a more bizarre turn than anyone could have ever predicted. >> to the shocking decision to tell congress days before the election the f.b.i. was opening it again. after a trump victory, questions continued to swirl about ties between the campaign and russia with the director of national intelligence releasing
a report that concluded hacking had taken place, quote, to help president elect trump's election chances. weeks later mr. trump lavished praise on then f.b.i. director comey. >> he has become more famous than me. >> behind closed doors, things soon took a turn. reports surfaced of a meeting between the president and comey in which mr. trump asked comey to drop the investigation into mike flynn who had submitted his rest ignition as national security advisor. a comey memo recalled the president telling him i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, letting flynn go. he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go. in march testimony comey confirmed the f.b.i. was investigating the russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. >> that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the trump campaign and the russian
government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and russia's efforts. >> as the investigation continued, comey came under fire for his decision to reopen the probe into clinton right before election day. >> this is terrible. it makes me nauseous to think we might have had impact on the election but honestly it wouldn't change the decision. >> a week later comey was out. >> bill: the biggest story. president trump firing james comey. >> he wrote, i greatly appreciate you informing me on three separate occasions that i am not under investigation. the very next day the president met with russian foreign minister lavrov and russian ambassador kislyak at the white house. he defended his decision to fire comey calling links between his team and russia a made-up story. >> did anyone from the white house to end the investigation?
any surrogates on behalf of the white house? >> not that i know of. look, i want to find out if there was a problem with an election having to do with russia. by the way, anybody else. any other country. >> the president then took to twitter ramping up his rhetoric writing james comey better hope there are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press and denied reports alleging he had revealed classified information to the russians during their oval office meaning turning the tables back on comey stating, i have been asking director comey and others from the beginning of my administration to find the leakers in the intelligence community. former f.b.i. director robert mueller was appointed to oversee the russia probe. >> there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign but i can always speak for myself and the russians, zero. >> now the president awaits comey's testimony along with the rest of the country.
>> i wish him luck, thank you, everybody. >> critics have suggested james comey is a showboat. the stage is his today. shannon. >> shannon: the world is watching. mike emanuel live for us on capitol hill. >> bill: let's bring in joe manchin on the hill. you are asking questions, good morning. thank you for your time before this hearing begins. good morning, sir. >> a busy day. >> bill: yes, it will be. the room was buzzing 90 minutes before it began. this is what you have to walk into. sir, what is your first question? >> my first question is mr. comey, what would you recommend us do? what direction would you take on this and why were you fired? >> bill: okay. your expectation goes where? >> i don't think we're going to get many answers in an open session, i'll be honest with you. i think we'll get more in the closed session this afternoon
and we have to give the people confidence this committee of ours, the intelligence committee, is going to get to the bottom of it. >> bill: if that's the case, how much does today matter? >> today does matter. there will be his testimony. his opening statement has been unprecedented given a day before. i haven't seen that happen before. that might set the stage. who knows, he might go further into his thought process, what he was thinking. the question was asked by people back in west virginia, if you were concerned, if you had all these concerns and unprecedented, you start writing all these notes, why didn't you act upon it? why did you just hold it away and file it away? for what purpose? a lot of questions need to be answered. >> bill: bob mueller is doing his own work. how much does today matter when you know mueller is doing that? >> mueller, i think we all have confidence. democrats and republicans are all agreeing on bob mueller is the right person. he will do his job thoroughly.
he won't let this whole charade or this whole circus that we have right now going on interfere with his doing his due diligence. >> bill: does this look like obstruction of justice to you? >> i'm not going there at all on such. i want to see the facts and make sure that people know that we have a legitimate government. our president is looking out for the well-being of our country. we all understand the rule is law is something we have different. the constitution is something we take an oath to and everyone will be held accountable and make sure that's done. this is not a witch hunt. i won't partake in that. there will be a time, bill, intelligence committee of the senate i have to sign off on a report. after we're finished i have to sign off is it factual and accurate and reflect what we know. if i think it's done in the proper manner i'll sign off, if not i won't.
>> bill: andrew mccabe a month acting f.b.i. director whether or not anyone was getting in their way including the white house. he said this. >> there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date. simply put, sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the f.b.i. from doing the right thing, protecting the american people and upholding the constitution. >> bill: no effort. what does it tell you about the big picture then? >> it tells me what i've always believed about our intel community. they'll do their job. these are professionals. let them do the job. we have everybody else weighing in that doesn't a access to the same information. there is an ongoing investigation. russians have been involved. that's undisputed right now. to what extent they tried to intervene in our election and we want to know why. was anyone else involved and was the president involved? he want to get this cleared up
and go on to more important things we have. >> bill: i have to squeeze in one final question. you've seen a lot more than we know. based on what you have seen was there collusion in this election of 2016 or not? >> you mean directly from the president? >> bill: yes. >> we have not seen that. >> bill: we'll see you in the room in 18 minutes. joe manchin from west virginia. >> shannon: we're moments away. the former f.b.i. director fired by the president begins his testimony on the events that led up to that dismissal. >> bill: we'll talk to house oversight committee chair congressman jason chaffetz on what he thinks today's dramatic day will bring. this is the new new york. we are building new airports all across the state. new roads and bridges. new mass transit. new business friendly environment. new lower taxes.
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intelligence committee. sources close to the president report the following. the president has read the comey prepared testimony. seven pages in length. disputes key elements of that testimony, which elements we don't know just yet. we do expect a statement from the president today after the hearing wraps. what time is that? we'll have to find out together. congressman jason chaffetz with us here in new york. sir, good morning to you. you've been in these hearing rooms of great significance in our country's history over the past several years. where do you think we are now as we go into the testimony to be read by james comey? >> i think the president is in pretty good shape. yesterday had four top intelligence officers say there has been no political pressure. mr. comey in may testified there had been no political pressure. the acting director of the f.b.i. has seen no political pressure.
the testimony corroborates the president in what he said in the past than not. >> bill: what is your expectation if that's your read today where we are on this story tonight? do republicans believe the white house and democrats believe members of the committee? >> i think democrats are desperate to create some sort of firestorm. they've been claiming for months as has the mainstream media there is all kind of scandal and throwing out words like watergate and what not. where are all the corrections in the newspaper? how many times did we read comey would say or do something only to have it blown out of the water by comey's own written word that came out yesterday? i think they are going to struggle with this. they don't have many facts on their side. >> bill: according to the testimony that james comey will deliver he contacted the then acting attorney general for guide ons on this and waited a minimum of 14 days for a response.
never got one. that is him going to the department of justice looking for an answer or some guidance and that guidance did not come. i believe it was two weeks after that. you have a period of four weeks, up to a month he requested guidance and it was not given. what does that mean in terms of urgency that he was looking for to give him an idea of how he should conduct his job? >> first thing where are all these memos he supposedly wrote. if you do proper questioning you need to look at the memos. because that is supposedly what is happening in realtime. we haven't yet seen those memos yet. number two, who else did he tell within the department of justice? why didn't he come to the house or senate? there are plenty of avenues. who did he talk to within the organization if this was so problematic? again, at the end of the day you go back to the may testimony and say well, there obviously wasn't much of a problem and now we have somebody who got fired from his
job. >> bill: what was the may testimony, mccabe? >> it was when you actually had the f.b.i. director say there was no political pressure put on. he was asked very specifically and if you go back and actually play that video, look at the tape. he basically says it would have been significant but it didn't happen. >> bill: senator mark warner is arriving now, so is senator marco rubio, the republican from florida and will both be asking questions today. when you're in this arena as a lawmaker, how do you best prepare to capitalize on your set of questions? >> you really need to listen to what he said. it is usually not the written testimony. mr. comey is an expert in opening statements. he usually does it without a single note in front of him. he is very precise in his questions. the follow-up questions have
the biggest opportunities to capitalize and look at what is happening and go back and say didn't earlier you say this? that's the second and third round questions that i think are really the most interesting. >> bill: last question for you. what are you listening for specifically when we begin? >> well, again, i want to know where those documents are. i think the tone and tenor he approaches this. how did he take what the president supposedly said to him? even if it's exactly verbatim the way mr. comey wrote it out, i don't think the president did anything wrong. he should have maybe done it differently. did it rise to the level of obstruction of justice? no, not at all. >> bill: jason chaffetz, thank you, sir. >> shannon: the all-star team is back. bret baier and chris wallace and dana perino. chris, i want to start with you. there are a number of lawyers on this committee today. you saw them in action
yesterday. we talked to jim risch, gop senator earlier who was a prosecutor. the way they'll go after this today could be very precise. we know a lot of strategy. james comey also a very skilled attorney himself. who will you be watching for today? >> both sides. again, as we've been saying, you just don't know that moment. it is like a presidential debate. it is very seldom planned but there is one moment that will be the main news clip today and that could have a lot of impact on how the story plays. i will say this about james comey. he is a very effective witness. one case back in 2007 he testified about an incident that had happened three years earlier when the domestic surveillance program, the wiretap program was about to expire and people in the justice department did not want to renew it. the attorney general john ashcroft was in the hospital having gallbladder surgery and turned over his job to his deputy, james comey. there ended up being this
confrontation in ashcroft's hospital room between the white house chief of staff andy card for the george w. bush administration, alberto gonzalez and comey. comey and ashcroft prevailed. three years later gonzalez is now the attorney general. three years later comey tells his story about a senate committee and ended to being gonzalez forced out as attorney general. there will be a test of will. republicans and democrats we've heard from so far today and they'll be asking very different questions pushing very different narratives. don't expect james comey to be pushed around. he will tell the story he wants to tell. >> shannon: bret, you brought up something earlier today we talked about. the fact there was a so-called comey associate who said shortly after he was fired that
it was literally -- before he even sits down in that chair we have the written testimony where he lays out the three times he told him you are not and the first time he says was completely unprompted by the president. it was comey's decision to do that. the white house feeling very vindicated at least on that point today. >> several others. anonymous sources who reported other things and media rolled with it and said this is what comey is going to say and he doesn't say it in the testimony. i want to point out the president, we're told, is going to watch the testimony in this little room, a dining room off the oval office. he installed a 60-inch television there and it is a place where he is going to watch, with his legal team, his outside legal counsel, the testimony of the former f.b.i. director. this was a place where he brought in the "time" magazine reporters and told them he has a dvr there and the most important invention ever because he can go back and see all these different shows and
watch them. now he will watch realtime. we don't know if he is going to tweet realtime in response to comey, but a couple of sources are saying that just reading the testimony with his outside lawyers that there is already dispute on different quotes. did not say that. and the language used there was not even remotely close. and to jason chaffetz's point at the end of your interview, it is still he said, he said. while comey does write that down as he says after these events and has these memos and he is compiling it for the opening statement, there is still another side to this story on those conversations. it is already being pushed back by the president and his legal team. >> shannon: dana, bret lays out a visual for us of the president sitting in the dining room with the tv ready to go and watch. he is different than any other
president we've had before. this white house is different than any other. they all are. what is the mood like at the white house on a day like this when there is so much potentially at stake? >> i think that one thing you try to do is you wake up every day when you work at a white house and intend to be really proactive for whatever is on your to do list and inevitably something happens and your attention gets diverted. what the chief of staff should have done today from the president is to tell the staff go about your business, we've got it covered on the russia thing. you'll read the hearings and stuff. don't be up set with it. there will be comparison today to previous tweets from the president. when bill clinton met with loretta lynch an the tarmac in arizona. it was big news. it felt so inappropriate. president trump agreed at that time. i'm sure what you'll see today is some of the members of the senate will try to ask james comey about points where he
could show hypocrisy. the democrats know they don't have a smoking gun here. that isn't going to happen today. a democrat described it to me yesterday they feel like this is just putting another log on the fire. they think this is going to be long and drawn out which is not welcome news for a white house. but i think they would have to deal with the cards that they have been given and try to focus on some of the other things. as i said, the senate republicans are actually moving forward on legislation. the democrats are ceding that ground and letting them write bills, get things done and the president will be able to claim some of those victories by the fall. maybe before august recess. >> shannon: dana, bret and chris you'll be part of our extended coverage as we watch it unfold. >> bill: let's go to catherine herridge. what have you heard as of this hour? >> good morning. along with my colleague, chief white house correspondent john roberts we've confirmed through two sources that president trump has reviewed the prepared
testimony for the fired f.b.i. director james comey and he disputes key elements of that testimony. the first dispute centers on this january 17th dinner at the white house at the greenroom where the two men were dining alone and the statement james comey makes is that there was a pledge of loyalty. we're told through two separate sources that the president disputes that he asked for a pledge of loyalty from james comey at that meeting. the second dispute centers around this oval office meeting in mid-february one day after national security advisor mike flynn was fired and the president disputes that he asked then f.b.i. director james comey to let this matter go. what we're told specifically is that quote, the language used was not remotely close to what is in that prepared testimony. and we're told to expect some kind of statement on this matter after the hearing wraps. so the main headline is two separate sources have told myself and john roberts that
the president has looked at the testimony and does dispute key elements of what comey will say this morning in a short time to come. >> bill: we'll be back with you certainly as we watch the room fill up and many of these players, senators, you've seen them on television. in some cases for several years. they'll be quite familiar to you. others perhaps not. but as we go throughout the day here, we will see what the objective is on behalf of democrats and republicans on this committee and what they make their priority. it is 10:00 on the east coast. i'm bill hemmer along with shannon bream and our special coverage continues now here on "america's newsroom." good morning to you. >> shannon: good morning. i would say one of the folks i would keep an eye on is a freshman senator, harris, out of california. the attorney general. she has some tough questioning yesterday and got into a dust-up with the chair of the committee who said you have to let people answer the question. i would think that we'll see and hear a lot from her today.
>> bill: senator feinstein. marco rubio, tom cotton, we'll see what he does. john cornyn, he is on that committee as well. approaching the top of the hour, 10:00 east coast time as our coverage continues right now. this is a fox news alert and we're moments away from james comey entering that room. we believe he left his home in virginia 8:50 a.m. eastern time. an hour and 10 minutes ago. the maps indicate it was about a 37-minute drive. we can do it with technology believe it or not. we believe he has arrived on the hill. he will begin after opening statements by the ranking members here richard burr the republican from north carolina, the chairman. mark warner, the democrat from virginia will read an opening statement as well. then james comey is set to detail the seven-page letter that went public