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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  March 25, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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crafts and so many lives were lost. that's rondo. hi rondo. the enormity of the men. how small it made for me the news on friday actually feel. >> greg: "special report" is up next. hey, bret. >> bret: hey, greg. thanks. this is a fox news alert. i'm bret baier. michael after that they the exlawyer for stormy daniels has been arrested on federal charges of extortion, bank fraud and wire fraud. president trump has not yet tweeted any reaction about his old rhetorical nemesis. we will bring you the details of those charges in a moment. first, the robert mueller investigation is over producing a clear political and legal win for the president and his team. but the fight over the russian probe is not. democrats want more information from the report and an explanation of the decision by attorney general william barr to not proceed with obstruction of justice charges. president trump wants an investigation of his own
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into what he calls a witch-hunt, saying people have done evil and treasonous things. correspondent gillian turner looks at the portion of the barr letter that did not talk about the president, the detailed conversation confin that russia worked to interfere with the 2016 election. reaction from the 2020 candidates. we begin with chief white house correspondent john roberts on the north lawn where the president continues to declare victory and readies a full-scale counter attack. good evening, john. >> bret, good evening to you. with the barr letter to congress, president trump auto would appear to be out of potential legal jeopardy, but there may be some political liability contained within one ambiguous statement in that letter. the white house came out swinging today. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> in the oval office, with israel's prime minister today, president trump seemed boyd by robert mueller's finding of no collusion and an end of an investigation he long derided as a witch-hunt. >> it lasted a long time. we are glad it's over.
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it's a 100 percent the way it should have been. i wish it could have gone a lot sooner, a lot quicker. there are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things. very bad things. i would say treasonous things against our country. >> in addition to proclaiming the president exonerated white house staffers were eager to mete out punishment as well. >> democrats and the liberal media should be absolutely embarrassed by their behavior over the last two years. it's not just that they reported and spread a slanderous, malicious lie, but they hoped for the takedown of the president of the united states. >> one democrat, house intelligence committee chairman adam schiff was singled out for special mention by counselor kellyanne conway. >> he said, quote: he believed that the scandal was of a size and a scope probably bigger than watergate and that there is plenty of evidence of collusion. he ought to resign today. >> fox news has learned that mueller told attorney general barr three weeks ago he would not be able to decide whether the president obstructed justice. in his letter to congress,
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barr wrote, quote: while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. >> the president and his people are saying it's a total exoneration. that contradicts what the special counsel found. it's a lie about what the special counsel found. >> democrats are eager to conduct their own investigation to find out what happened. in a joint statement, senator chuck schumer and house speaker nancy pelosi saying the fact that special counsel mueller's report does not exonerate the president on a charge as serious as obstruction of justice demonstrates how urgent it is that the full report and underlying documentation be made public without any further delay. >> we were all here, saw with our own eyes all of the steps that trump took to sometime me in investigation. >> south carolina senator lindsey graham wants to bring the attorney general in front of his judiciary committee but was inclined to accept the findings at face value. >> i will say this: if
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mr. barr had reached a different conclusion, and he had reported that there is evidence of trump coordination with the russians, i would have believed it? >> the attorney general and his deputy today began the process of finding out how much can be released. president trump today said he would be okay with putting the whole report in the public domain. >> it's up to the attorney general but it wouldn't bother me at all. up to the attorney general. it wouldn't bother me at all. >> much of the underlying documentation that democrats want to see would be subject to executive privilege, including 30 hours of interviews with dan white house counsel don mcgahn and many other top administration officials. democrats say they are willing to fight all the way to the supreme court to get their hands on it. bret? >> bret: john, the president still faces some legal threat not only from the investigations open on capitol hill but the ones we know are open in the southern district of new york. what is the white house saying about that? is it moving past that?
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>> you know, they haven't really been talking about that too much today, bret. they are focused on the mueller report and the fact there was no finding of collusion. certainly there is other potential legal jeopardy out there. when it comes to president trump there always is another investigation. bret? >> bret: john, thank you. the democrats looking to challenge president trump in 2020 are calling for the full release of the report but some are already pointing out that the election will be more about different issues than the now completed investigation. correspondent peter doocy takes a look at the candidates' strategies going forward. >> beto isn't ready to let go. >> do you think it's time for the democrats to -- the democratic challengers to put this behind them? there is a lot of republicans suggesting. >> to put what? >> the mueller investigation? >> no. >> but other democrats are warning that it will be tough to win next year if candidates keep clinging to collusion. >> in 2018 the election was about republicans not
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kicking people off of their health insurance for pre-existing condition. 2020 is going to be very focused on economic issues, so, guess what? we can do two things at once. ensure the law is followed and make sure we are focusing on it optimistic, economic agenda. >> the surgeoning south bend mayor pete buttigieg agrees democrats stand a better chance standing on policies not probes. >> this is further evidence for democrats to think this is a way for the trump presidency to end is by way of investigation. that could, of course, happen. but we have got to be paying attention to the kinds of conditions that made it possible for somebody like him to get here in the first place. >> candidates still haven't seen mueller's report, but they are dissatisfied with the abridged version from the attorney general. stacey abrams still considering a 2020 bid set, quote: i tend to think it's kind of like having your brother summarize your report card to your parents. cory booker believes that, quote: the american public
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deserves the full report and finds from the mueller investigation immediately. not just the in-house summary from a trump administration official and elizabeth warren tweeted: congress voted 420 to 0 to release the full mueller report, not a summary from his hand picked attorney general. a.g. barr, make the full report public immediately. the swells gathered to see bernie sanders in california this weekend erupted in cheers at the mere mention of an unredanted mueller report. >> i don't want a summary of the report. [cheers] i want the whole damn report. [cheers] >> the frontrunner is behind the rest of the pack though because we still don't know what potential candidate joe biden makes of mueller's findings. that could change tomorrow. biden has an event in new york. ironically at an restaurant called the russian tea room. bret? >> bret: peter, thank you. the mueller report summary letter cleared the president or anyone tied to him from
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conspiring or coordinating with the russians. at the same time, he confirmed the national security danger from russia. the investigation confirmed russia's effort to influence the election by hacking and spreading disinformation. correspondent gillian turner tonight on the security threat and the response from the russians. >> attorney general barr's memo confirmed serious russian wrongdoing during the 2016 presidential campaign. describing mueller's findings, barr writes that russia's intelligence services spread their tentacles deep into the elections in an attempt to manipulate the outcome. the report documents crimes with persons associated with the russian government. the special counsel brought criminal charges against a number of russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities. according to barr's summary, mueller's report claims a russian organization, the internet research agency attempted to conduct his information and social media operations in the united
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states designed to sow social discord. the report identified the russian government's efforts to conduct computer hacking operations. these findings have wide-ranging national security implications for the united states. a reality that congressional leaders must now grapple with. >> if you just think russia just likes trump and hates clinton, you are missing the point of what they are trying to do. they are trying to divide all of us against each other and done a pretty good job of it. they are still at it by the way. >> these findings also affirm that the intelligence community was right to ring alarm bells back in 2016 as the election cycle hits full stride. the kremlin is punching back today and despite the overwhelming evidence from both branches of the u.s. congress, the intelligence community and now the special counsel, russia is sticking with its favorite tactic. >> our country has not interfered in the internal affairs of other countries, including the united states of america, including in the electoral processes. when it comes to collusion,
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the kremlin's tone has been celebratory. putin's spokesman delighted that mueller found no evidence of conspiracy, chided the u.s. this morning that it's always, quote: hard to find a black cat in a dark room. and despite overwhelming evidence of russia's election interference, he also said "russia is now ready to strengthen the bilateral relationship." >> bret: michael avenatti is back in the news and it looks like he will need a lawyer himself after being arrested this afternoon. the u.s. attorney offices in new york and los angeles filed charges against avenatti for attempting to extort millions of dollars from nike. plus, wire and branch fraud. correspondent laura ingle has the latest from new york? >> this was an old-fashioned shakedown. >> michael avenatti under arrest in new york charged on the east and west coast today for separate criminal acts which could bring him
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nearly 100 years in prison if convicted on all counts. the investigation into allegations of embezzlement and fraud in california have been going on for a long time. but the case in new york popped up in the past two weeks and advanced very quickly according to the doj official. federal investigators in new york say avenatti met with nike's lawyers last week and threatened to hold a news conference and release damaging information which he claimed would drive down the company's stock price and market value if it did not agree to give him more than $20 million. he has been charged with four counts involving extortion. >> when lawyers use their law licenses as weapons, as a guise to extort payments for themselves, they are no longer acting as attorneys, they are acting as criminals. >> in los angeles, the u.s. attorney also announced bank and wire fraud charges against avenatti for allegedly defrauding a bank through fake tax returns and embezzling money from a client. >> mr. avenatti describes
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himself as, quote: attorney, advocate, fighter for good, unquote. but the allegations in this case describe something different. a corrupt lawyer who, instead, fights for his own selfish interests. >> the office of the deputy attorney general was involved in overseeing both avenatti cases. doj officials tell fox news they could have arrested avenatti last week but wanted charges from both coasts unsealed at the same time and they also wanted to make sure his arrest went smoothly. avenatti is best known as the lawyer who represented stormy daniels, the porn star who claimed she had an affair with president trump, a claim the president has denied. daniels fired avenatti last month. and avenatti had a co-conspiratorrer in the new york case and according to media reports its criminal defense attorney mark geragos known for representing celebrities and
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high profile clients. he was scheduled in the last hour. we have a producer in the courtroom and waiting to hear what happened. bret? >> bret: laura ingle, thank you. ♪ thi >> bret: this is another fox news alert. president trump and benjamin netanyahu shared the spotlight at the white house this afternoon where the president officially recognized israeli sovereignty over the golan heights reversing a 52 year policy. the israeli leader was forced to cut his u.s. trip short after another rocket attack fired from the gaza strip. israel fired back and the threat of a full-scale war rises tonight. correspondent trey yingst reports from the israel-gaza border where it's just after midnight. good evening, trey. >> bret, good evening, despite initial reports of an owe egyptian led cease-fire negotiated inside the gaza strip, rocket fire continues as well as israeli airstrikes inside gaza. here's a look at what
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started this round of violence. >> israel struck multiple targets tonight in gaza after a rocket nearly killed a family in central israel. in response, factions inside gaza fired dozens of more rockets into southern israel. many were intercepted by the iron dome missile defense system. a long range missile fired from the gaza strip struck a civilian home today injuring six people. assessments indicate the rocket traveled more than 75 miles and fired from the southern part of gaza. the family was asleep as sirens sounded. just seconds before impact the father was able to grab his wife and children, pulling them into a bomb shelter. this rocket was not intercepted by israel's missile defense system, the iron dome. you can see the destruction behind me as this house was completely destroyed this morning. crews right now cleaning up the debris. the family that lives here currently recovering in the hospital. at the sight o site of the attaa
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message for hamas. >> hamas needs to see the gates of hell open on it. >> israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu is cutting his trip short and headed back to israel after meeting today with president trump. [applause] during a joint press appearance at the white house to recognize israel's control over the golan heights, mr. trump reiterated his support of israeli actions to fight back against iranian backed groups not only in syria but also gaza. >> the united states recognizes israel's absolute right to defend itself. the despicable attack this morning demonstrates the significant security challenges that israel faces every single day. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu has been delaying his return to israel to partake in security consultation to determine what next targets to strike inside gaza. bret? >> bret: trey yingst live along the israel gaza
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border. trey, thanks. up next, brit hume joins me to talk about the lessons learned in the media coverage of the russia investigation. there are a lot of them. first, here is what some of our fox affiliates around the country are covering tonight. fox 53 in pittsburgh where high school and college students staged walkouts in the acquittal of a white police officer charged in the 27bg 18 fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager. the family of the victim ken will pursue a civil federal rights lawsuit they filed last august. fox 9 in minneapolis saint paul twin cities and surrounding suburbs shut down some streets in preparation for flooding to come. melting snow to the north and west is causing the minnesota river to approach its high water elevation mark set in 1965. and this is a live look at san francisco from our affiliate fox 2. the bigger to there tonight is apple unveiling a new video service called apple tv plus that could compete with netflix and amazon. the billion-dollar
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announcement was made at the tech giant's california headquarters. apple also laid out the details of apple news plus a subscription service or magazines and newspapers and apple credit card. that's tonight's live look outside the beltway from "special report." we'll be right back. ♪we gonna do what they say can't be done♪ ♪we've got a long way to go ♪and a short time to get there.♪ ♪i'm eastbound, just watch ole bandit run♪ whatever party you've got going in the back, we've got the business up front. what do all these people have in common, limu?oug [ paper rustling ] exactly, nothing.
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♪ ♪ we do know that donald trump sr. has lied throughout this investigation. >> this goes to the heart of everything we have been talking about for the last couple of years. the collusion and the coverup. >> i also think there is a very strong argument to be made that this is a high crime or misdemeanor for which impeachment may be a possibility. >> the president's tweet couldn't have been scripted better if it was written by putin himself. >> donald trump is going there to meet with his handler. the republican party has surrendered to russia. >> bret: well, just some of the reporting leading up to the mueller report was quite wide off the mark. senior political analyst brit hume is here with some lessons learned, perhaps, it's been a long year and 10 months, brit. brit brit it has, indeed. if you think about it, brit. this investigation actually goes back to the middle of 2016. it's been going on for quite a long time. and this endless speculation
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about it indeed the accusations about it that came out of many mouths on cable television and in the public prints, the list of people who got it wrong is really quite extensive and, you know, to include many news organizations that got the prospect of donald trump being elected in the first place badly wrong. and seemed not to learn very much from that. one hopes and expects, perhaps, that after this debacle and that's exactly what it is in the worst journalistic debacle of my lifetime that there will be some serious soul searching. unfortunately so far, bret, i'm not seeing a lot of it. i noticed a lot of our cable news competitors have moved seemlessly on to obstruction of justice following so often as they seem to do the democratic party script. remarkable. >> bret: you think it was worse than the iraq w.m.d. coverage? >> i do because i think the iraq wmd coverage was driven by intelligence failure. it was not a failure by
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journalists and people believed saddam hussein had wmd because, you know, every intelligence service in the earth basically thought the same thing. every voice in congress said the same thing. and you know, and he never really quite denied it in fact, he behaved as if he had them all along. and so, i think that, you know, so reporters and reporters mostly reported what officials were saying about it the officials turned out to be wrong because the intelligence was wrong. a lot of what we saw here was not just reporting. >> bret: yeah. you had so many anonymous sources flying all kinds of things, it seemed, up a flag pole every day in different papers and then you had former intelligence officials who were hired by cable outlets like the former cia director brennan. the former negligence director, clapper who will were saying extraordinary
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things on the air. >> brennan apparently said something to the effect of well maybe he was misinformed and this didn't turn out quite the way he expected it to. well, i guess. and, you know, those guys have a lot to answer for too it seems to me. so do the news organizations that credulously put on the air what they had to say over and over and over again without any evidentiary support. it was really quite remarkable, bret. >> bret: last thing, quickly, speaking of over and over and over again, how about this news about michael avenatti, after he appeared over and over and over again on some of those channels? >> he certainly did, bret. he was by one count, he was on cnn and msnbc 108 times between march and may of last year and he was being taken seriously on the air as a presidential candidate. and you would have thought that a guy like this with the dodgy accusations that he made and so on that somebody in those organizations would have smelled a rat and thought maybe we shouldn't be publicizing this guy. maybe we shouldn't be having this guy on all the time.
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but he had one thing that they wanted and that was he was very much anti-trump and they were, too, and the result was what you see another embarrassment for the media. >> bret: brit, as always, thank you. >> you bet. >> bret: up next, the first court appearances for some of those charged in the nationwide college admission scam. beyond our borders tonight norway opened investigation why a cruise ship set sail despite storm warnings. anchor to avoid being dashed on the rocks in an area known for shipwrecks. almost 500 passengers were taken off the ship by helicopter. the rest stayed on the ship until it limped into port. nine people hospitalized. one in critical but stable condition. at least 17 people are dead because of flash floods in southern iran. according to state tv there, another 74 injured and 50,000 are affected across the region. a local governor has asked
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people to stay in their homes. u.k. prime minister theresa may says she does not have enough support to put her brexit deal to a third vote in parliament. britain has until april 12th to come up with a new plan such as leaving without a deal or canceling brexit all together. the european commission says it had completed planning for a no-deal brexit, an outcome it called increasingly likely. just some of the other stories beyond our borders tonight. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ (vo) parents have a way of imagining the worst... ...especially when your easily distracted teenager has the car. at subaru, we're taking on distracted driving [ping] with sensors that alert you when your eyes are off the road. the all-new subaru forester. the safest forester ever.
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(team member) this is wells fargo. ♪ >> bret: a dozen athletic coaches, test administrators and others charged in a nationwide college admission scam appeared in court on charges of racketeering, conspiracy. correspondent jacque heinrich reports in federal court in boston. >> at federal court in boston, 12 defendants and prosecutors crosshairs and during their pleas in the first cases in the sweeping college admissions investigation operation varsity blues. prosecutors allege dozens of wealthy parents from ceos to celebrities paid bribes to get their kids in school. today those who took the moby in court test administrators accused of cheating entrance exams and college coaches accused of selling off spots on rosters. among them water polo coach
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of university of southern california accused of accepting 1250 grand for two spots on his team. and wake forest head volleyball coach william ferguson. >> bill ferguson does not belong in this indictment. today he will enter a plea of not guilty and we will begin the legal process of clearing his name. >> of the 50 people ensnared in the scandals, 33 are parents including actresses felicity huffman and lori loughlin both are due in court next week. likely more charges to come. >> you get desperate defendants trying to mitigate their own sentences and how do i do that? i go in and i cooperate about my next door neighbor who also did this who is not on the indictment. >> william singer the ringleader has already pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors. they say his sham consulting business took in 25 million in bribes. sometimes funneling the money through a fake charity. >> defense experts say it's likely some of the celebrity
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parents may see jail time in this case as it is unlikely see probation or hefty fines as harsh enough sentences. the judge may be harsher on those claimed the bribes as charitable donations which is tax fraud. bret? >> bret: jackie, thank you. mixed day for the markets today. the dow rose 15, the s&p 500 lost 2. the nasdaq dropped 5. a second survivor the parkland school shooting has committed suicide. the local community held a meeting with government officials, parents and police to address the issue. the priorities to alert parents of the danger signs such as personality changes and talk to their children about whether they are having suicidal throughout. the parkland mayor says that while there is concern the two suicides could lead to more, it is more dangerous not to discuss what happened. too many migrants and not enough beds has ice officials asking local charities and churches to
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assist with the transition from custody to being released into american life along the border. news correspondent william la jeunesse reports on the border at capacity and the calls for help. >> an arizona church answered the prayers of these migrants over the weekend giving them shelter after their release from ice. >> five months ago, six months ago we starve with 300 people a week. and little by little 700 people a week. but now it's about a thousand people a week. >> overwhelmed by a surge of central americans, ice released more than 120,000 families since december. dropping many at bus stations when shelters were full. >> we take care of them here in the church because if they release the people in the bus station without cell phone, without communication they can be victim of crime. >> people think it's, you
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know, a victimless crime that these families units are coming for a better life. criminal cartels in mexico control the northern border of mexico. >> desperate to escape poverty, many migrants are willing to accept indentured service to the cartels for the promise of freedom and near certain employment in america. experts say the surge will continue. since president trump took office apprehensions climbed almost every month since april 2017 and could soon exceed 100,000 a month. >> the congress, they have to act. >> the backlog of some 800,000 cases seeing an immigration judge now takes almost two years. the america american bar associn says the current system is irredeem mannably dysfunctional and under the brink of collapse. >> while the u.s. doesn't have an open border say it feels that way with ice busy on the border there is little deterrent to entering illegally. bret? >> bret: william, thank you. president trump and his team are taking a victory lap and seem to be prepping to turn
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the russia investigation into a political weapon against the democrats. will that work? i will talk to the all star panel next. ♪ to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. ♪ do you ♪ love me? ♪ ♪ i can really move ♪ ♪ do you love me? ♪ i'm in the groove ♪ now do you love me? ♪ do you love me now that i can dance? ♪ applebee's 3 course meal. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood.
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(danny) every day you're nearly fried to a crisp, professionally! (vo) you earned it, we're here to make sure you get it. quickbooks. backing you. ♪ ♪ >> a long time. we are glad it's over. it's 100 percent the way it should have been. i wish it could have gone a lot sooner, a lot quicker. we can never let this happen to another president again. i can tell you i say it very strongly. very few people i know could have handled it. we can never ever let this happen to another president again. >> president trump is wrong. this report does not amount to a so-called total exoneration. special counsel mueller was clear that his report, quote: does not exonerate, closed quote, the president. >> bret: there will be much to mull over in coming days
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about the robert mueller report and the attorney general's four-page letter about it. but it's clearly a political win and legal win for the president and his team. the mueller report by the numbers, 19 lawyers, 40 fbi agents, intelligence analysts interviewed 500 witnesses, issued more than 2800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants. in the end 34 individuals and three companies were indicted on 199 charges, more than two dozen of them russians in an internet farm. in total, the 675 day investigation cost more than $25 million. let's bring in our panel. kimberley strassel, a member of the editorial board at the "wall street journal." charles ellayna, opinion writer for "the washington post." and victor david hanson a senior fellow at the hoover institution and author of the new book "the case for trump." victor, first to you, wrap up this weekend and the news about the report as you see it. >> well, i think we have to realize that if hillary clinton had just won the
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election and she had not hired a foreign national to collect dirt on her campaign opponent, we wouldn't be talking today. the entire collusion narrative grew out of the disappointment of trying to explain the inexpick cable why she lost and then the dossier trans insurance into a way to abort the trump presidency. second thing i think they thought collusion was separate from all these process claims and obstruction. once the collusion left most people thought it didn't exist. once it failed how can you obstruct justice for a crime that didn't exist? if donald trump said something about the futility or the waste of the collusion narrative, it would be seem post facto as wise jurisprudence, trying to warn people not to do something stupid. it's not obstruction to do it. finally everything that begins badly ends badly, bret. the idea that rod roinge steirosensteinhad filed one of a
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court writs that was misleading and given the rationale to fire james comey and been in this tragic circus before was appointed was going to be disinterested in a way that jeff session was not as the overseer was crazy. and finally when this team was appointed the left and the never trump right said they went giddy. it was the all-stars, the dream team, the untouchable, the hunter killer team. the reason they did that is that robert mueller didn't exercise just basic caution. he could have just said whatever the law, the protocol is i want to equal mixture of conservative and liberal lawyers. i want to make sure that nobody on this team has given either to the trump campaign or to the clinton campaign. i want to make sure that none of you on government devices, if you were working for the government have said anything pro-trump or anti-trump and then finally, he could have said just don't -- i don't want anybody in my team that's donated to either campaign. had he done that, at the
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very beginning, it would have been different. now he has got a reputation of a captain ahab or respecter right out of less miserables. >> bret: chuck, i referenced it with brit earlier the former cia director john brennan interesting things just days ago to say about all of this and then talked today on msnbc. take a listen. >> friday is the day that the grand jury indictments come down. i don't think robert mueller will want to have that dramatic flair of the ides of march when he is going to be delivering what i think is going to be his indictments. the final indictments. >> i don't know if i received that information i think i suspected that there was more than there actually was. and i am relieved that it's been determined that there was not a criminal conspiracy with the russian government over our election. i think that is good news for the country. >> bret: chuck, i said earlier the legal threat is not done for the president with the southern district of new york and the investigations on capitol hill. there will be a lot of
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battle over what obstruction means on capitol hill. but your thoughts? >> well, i don't know what the cia director was talking about the first time and i don't really know what he is talking about the second time. he didn't really know what he was talking about. and that's too bad. i think that was probably a mistake on his part given the prestige of the former office that he carried. i do agree with him that it is to the extent we have now shown there was no criminal conspiracy, that ought to be something that everybody can agree on is a good thing. it is not a good thing that russia did attempt to distort, disrupt, however you want to call it, interfere with our election through using social media and accentiating the divisions in our country. and i guess i have to disagree with what victor davis hanson said which is i don't think mueller has -- i don't think mueller's reputation has been damaged here and i don't think the fact that his team was, perhaps, filled with a bunch of people who were supposedly democrats is in
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hindsight a black mark. if anything, that fortifies the president's position right now. which is like, you know, even this guy who is expecter couldn't find collusion on him. the dangling piece here is the no exoneration on obstruction. democrats have to think really carefully about pursuing that that gets into relitigating the whole comey firing which is supposedly the source of the obstruction and that leads down a very, very deep rabbit hole. and i think speaker pelosi has said we are not going to impeach. if you are not going to impeach, what's the point of pursuing that obstruction. that's a tough one for them. >> bret: kimberly, we found out today that the attorney general found out three weeks prior to the report coming out that mueller was not going to reach a conclusion on obstruction. that surprised both barr and rosenstein. we heard alan dershowitz and others say they should have yes or no come to a conclusion instead of putting things in that report. your thoughts? we have other panel after
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this to talk about it as well. >> yeah, look, i do think there is some interesting questions about how mueller handled this. on the one hand you could say that tossing it to the attorney general was at least putting that question in the hands of someone with some political accountability. and obviously one of the knocks against the special counsel is that not necessarily politically accountable. nobody elected him. nobody confirmed him. you can wonder if it was a bit of a wimpy thing to toss that off to the ag and leave it with him. on the broader point i think chuck makes a good valid one, legally from an be a destruction perspective the president has a win here. no one is going to pursue from a position of authority obstruction charges. now, if democrats want to make the political case for why that's wrong, they are welcome to. but, again, even in light of this news that you just mentioned, one of the complaints, for instance, was that barr had rushed to judgment on the obstruction
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question. well, that's clearly a false narrative because he has been in possession of this information for three weeks. moreover, we found out that he consulted with career officials at the office of legal counsel in making the decision not to pursue obstruction. >> bret: all right. next up, we are going to look at the next steps after the mueller report. what could be coming. ♪ ♪ only dr. scholl's has massaging gel insoles that provide all-day comfort. to keep him feeling more energized. dr. scholl's. born to move. uh uh, i deliver the news around here.... sources say liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. over to you, logo. liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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♪ ♪ >> there is no question that the majority of the american people want the mueller report to be made public. >> the attorney general but it wouldn't bother me at all. >> if the mueller report has evidence that there were certain ties with russia, then it will come out. and, if not, the mueller report is going to be definitive. so that's exactly the reason why we need the mueller report and the documentation released so that the public can make a determination. >> bret: calls for the mueller report to be released in its entirety on capitol hill and eventually to the american people. we are back with the panel. kimberly, will that happen? >> i don't think you are going to get it in its entirety. i do think that bill barr is going to be true to his word in his confirmation hearings that he is going to release as much as is possible under the department of justice guidelines. but, remember, those guidelines exist to protect
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grand jury proceedings, to protect the reputations of individuals who were not charged, so that they are not smeared. i'm of the belief as much as it should come out as possible. but the claim that they want everything and the underlying documents, that's tougher. >> here is lindsey graham about the original fisa requests and all of that. >> when it comes to the fisa warrant, the clinton campaign, the counterintelligence investigation, it's pretty much been swept under the rug except by a few republicans in the house. those days are over. going forward, hopefully in a bipartisan fashion, we will begin to unpack the other side of the story. >> bret: victor, do you truly believe that will happen and if illegality is found that anybody will be held accountable? >> i think it will because i think trump's lawyers will now say that he doesn't have legal exposure in any release of those documents.
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i would like very quickly to reply to charles. i don't think people should show gratitude or relief that an investigation that was not apparently disinterested exonerated trump. what it did was 22 months of damage. it didn't need to exist. collusion was a fabricated phenomenon. what it did is we are not going to see a special prosecutor appointed in our lifetime. that has been disgraced that idea. the fbi office in washington. the cia directors in washington they have suffered a terrible loss of reputation, carter page,ing my call flynn did not need to go through this. and finally it was a fundamental tenet of american foreign policy going 50 years back to henry kissinger that china and china should be no better friend with other than the united states. we lost that triangulating realist leverage. they could have been value in north korea and iran. even though trump was tougher on russia that had been the obama re-set policy, he was hampered by that by this collusion. it did a lot of damage and
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that investigation should have not taken place and the fact that they cleared trump does not mean that we should say, wow, we are so lucky that even an investigation that showed bias into the public perception found him i don't have any cause for celebration. >> bret: chuck, last word? >> i was just going to say that i think the public generally felt that mueller was not a biased observer. all of the polls show that to lindsey graham's point, i think there already is an investigation of the fisa warrant and the things surrounding that going on. it's being conducted by the inspector general of the justice department. he could be reporting on that any day and that in itself might either take care of the concern or simply give more fodder for whatever the senate wants to do. >> bret: it's been amazing two years. thank you very much, panel for the analysis today. when we come back, a moment to celebrate at the white house about something else. ♪ ♪
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♪ >> bret: finally tonight, the stanley cup champion washington capitals have visits to the white house today. >> today we welcome to the white house the 2018 stanley cup champions lead to victory by a very special athlete, a great player, captain team player alex ovechkin. alexander the great, they call him. >> bret: the president called them winners and a chance they'll repeat last season.
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thanks for inviting us into your home tonight and every night. that's it for this "special report." fair, balanced, and still unafraid. "the story" hosted by my friend martha maccallum right now. >> martha: good evening, everybody. so where do we go from here? that's one of the most important questions that needs to be answered. who started all of this and why? the russian interference happened with no assist from the trump campaign, so while it was still happening, our intelligence agencies were still busy going after the now president they failed to stop it. those are facts that are unnerving. here is a president earlier today talking about the impact of it all. >> we can never let this happen to another president again. i say it very strongly. very few people i know could have handled it. we can never, ever let this


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