tv Americas Newsroom With Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith FOXNEWSW April 10, 2019 6:00am-9:00am PDT
>> my son matthew is raising money for childhood cancer. i wrote about it. he is so -- go to fox news.com to donate. >> i know you're proud of him. >> bill: good stuff. good morning. fox news alert. president trump will leave the white house in a moment. he has a fundraiser in san antonio, texas. there is a good chance he may talk with reporters on his way out of the white house and there is plenty to hear about. so we'll take it to you if it happens momentarily. meanwhile the a.g. bill barr back on the hill day two of testimony. 60 minutes from now. face-to-face with senators on the mueller report. yesterday house members, today the senate. he revealed a lot of things yesterday. a lot of headlines out of that as we say good morning. hump day, i'm bill hemmer, how are you? >> sandra: good wednesday morning to you, bill, good morning, i'm sandra smith. barr is scheduled to testify before a senate subcommittee this morning on the justice
department budget. but like yesterday's hearing with house lawmakers, the conversation is expected to turn to the mueller report. >> it is extraordinary to make definitive legal conclusions in less than 48 hours. >> the thinking of the special counsel was not a mystery to the people at the department of justice. >> would strike a serious blow to our system and yes to our democracy. that report is not fully seen. >> within a week i will be in a position to release the report to the public. >> will we have the complete report? >> the unredacted report? no. the first pass at this is going to produce a report that makes these redactions. >> sandra: those were the big headlines from yesterday. catherine herridge joins us live. what should we expect from today's hearing? >> sandra, good morning.
the thing to watch is whether we get more information about the ongoing investigations and reviews looking at the genesis of the f.b.i.'s russia probe. we've been reporting at fox news for weeks if not months there is a parallel set of investigations being run by the justice department's inspector general and yesterday for the first time the attorney general said he expects one of those reports as early as may or june of this year and confirmed he is personally reviewing the genesis of the f.b.i. probe and he warned lawmakers that he would open additional investigations if the evidence is there. he also testified that he will review criminal referrals from the house republican that go to conspiracy, media leaks and lying to congress. >> i haven't seen the referrals yet from congressman nunes. but obviously if there is a predicate for an investigation it will be conducted. >> the genesis of one of the most important investigations
was actually the clinton emails and inspector general michael horowitz from that evidence decided to open an investigation that also looked at so-called fisa abuse. whether the surveillance warrant system and the courts were abused in the process of the 2016 election when the f.b.i. and justice department obtained a surveillance warrant for a trump campaign aide. here is the attorney general. >> the office of the inspector general has a pending investigation of the fisa process in the russian investigation. and i expect that that will be complete in probably may or june, i am told. so hopefully we'll have some answers from inspector general horowitz on the issue of the fisa warrants. >> we're also expecting some sort of conclusion from horowitz on two other issues. one is the leaking of classified information from senior f.b.i. officials as well
as their receipt of gifts which is in violation of the ethics code. >> sandra: what sort of talk is there about a grand jury material? >> what we learned from the attorney general yesterday is that there will be redactions. one of the categories is grand jury information and if democrats are very serious about getting that information released to them, not publicly, they need to go to the courts to do that. he also indicated that there will be redactions in the report in the next week and they will be color-coded like a legend so the public can understand what they are and why they were withheld. here is the attorney general. >> right now the special counsel is working with us on identifying information in the reports that fall under those four categories. we will color code the excisions from the report and we will provide explanatory notes describing the basis for
each redaction. >> this is one of those situations where we paid a lot of attention to the words the attorney general is using. he said within a week. that gives us tuesday if not sooner. >> sandra: thank you. >> bill: want to bring in alan dershowitz harvard law professor emeritus. in a broad sense what did you hear yesterday? >> he very much wants to depoliticize the department of justice and bring it back to its origins as a nonpartisan, law enforcement agency. he wants to have credibility. he wants to produce the report according to the law. see not going to be pressured by the president or the democrats, not going to be pressured by the republicans. he will do it the right way. that's the projected image that he wants to convey. he is the right guy to do it. >> bill: he said it wasn't -- not a mystery was his quote as to what they would receive from mueller. he said they had an inkling as to what the special counsel was
thinking. why would that be important? >> well, because you don't want to fall into the situation where you have to make an important decision within 48 hours without having some advance knowledge. so i'm sure that barr knew from mueller what the thrust of the report was going to be. had time to think about it and time to talk to his aides about it and time to make the decision that attorney general is making. the special counsel works with the attorney general. it is the attorney general ultimately responsible for deciding how much of the report to release and how to act on it. it is the attorney general who has the authority to indict, prosecute or not prosecute. so i think he is doing exactly the right thing. >> bill: two more questions here. he said mueller declined to review his summary. is that significant? >> i don't know why he would have declined to review it. he wanted to be able to have denyability. mueller has to go back to his own staff. he has worked closely with them for a long time.
a lot of people on the staff will be upset and already leaked to the "new york times" some of their upset. those who dissented from the decision not to prosecute for obstruction. i still stick to what i said a long time ago. it will be a critical report of the president when it comes to obstruction. there will be a group of people who say he obstructed justice. one key issue that nobody raised, will we know the names of the people on each side of yes, we should charge him with obstruction, no, we shouldn't charge him with obstruction? will we know the individual names of the prosecutors on the team so we the public can assess whether it's a partisan political decision or a neutral prosecutorial decision. the democrats are calling for complete transparency. i haven't heard them call for the names of people on each side of let's charge him and let's charge him debate. that will be the headline. >> bill: would it help us sort out the political nature of the
decision? >> yes. for me somebody who has done criminal law for 50 years it's a terrible question to ask about the partisan nature. justice department shouldn't be partisan or divided over whether you're a pro-trump or anti-trump person. you should apply the law to the facts. i'm doing an introduction to the mueller report. i'm dying to see what it says. i want to get into it in a detailed way and figure out who is right and who is wrong on the issue of obstruction of justice. very difficult and complicated issue. >> bill: we'll hear more from him in an hour when he is before the senate committee. >> sandra: now some -- we have a fox news alert on the latest coming from the "wall street journal" on hush money. what we're learning about new evidence gathered over the course of that time. trump's inner circle is what the "wall street journal" is now reporting was questioned in the hush money investigation.
the manhattan u.s. attorney's office has gathered more evidence than was previously known in its criminal investigation of those hush payments to two women who alleged affairs with donald trump including former members of the president's inner circle. this is just coming into us now. we continue to learn more about it. we're learning federal investigators interviewed hope hicks and former security chief keith schiller as part of the investigation into the hush money payments. that is the news for now. more changes at the department of homeland security. acting deputy secretary claire grady handing in her resignation just days after kirstjen nielsen stepped down. president trump insists he is not overhauling the entire department. >> president trump: i never said i was cleaning house. we have great people over there. kevin will do a fantastic job.
homeland security, that's what we want. no better term or name. we want homeland security. that's what we're going to get. >> sandra: doug mcelway reporting live from the white house this morning. the president says he is not cleaning house. the turnover at dhs certainly continues. >> that's right, sandra. the night before her last day as secretary of dhs kirstjen nielsen tweeted that the acting deputy secretary claire grady is also asking for her resignation. she said in that tweet and i quote, for the last two years claire has served at the dhs with excellence and distinction and a great asset a steady and knowledgeable voice. nielsen is going out as she will be remembered to put children in cages. the president talked that fake
news. >> president trump: the cages that were shown. they were inappropriate and built by president obama's administration, not by trump. president obama had child separation. take a look. the press knows it, you know it. we all know it. i didn't -- i'm the one that stopped it. >> the president also blamed the immigration mess on decisions from the ninth circuit court of appeals. a separate decision where a federal judge blocked the trump administration's policy of returning eye asylum seekers to mexico and blamed democrats for not addressing loopholes. >> president trump: they could spend 20 minutes and fix the problem. you have people coming in claiming asylum. they're reading exactly what the lawyer gives them. they have a piece of paper. read what that s. you're entitled to asylum. >> it has been speculated that former kansas attorney general kris kobach might be in line for the top job at dhs.
he was asked about that last night. >> that's the president's call obviously. it would be an honor to serve him. i served on his transition team. if the president decides that's the way he wants to go of course i would be honored to help him. >> he has been an advocate of using fema trailers that are unused to use as processing centers to allow immigrants to be comfortable while asylum claims are processed. last month 103,000 people were detained at the border. expected to go up this month. back to you. >> sandra: we could hear from the president shortly as he departs the white house. appreciate it. >> bill: michael waltz is coming up in 30 minutes. an issue we have to solve quickly. all right. here we go. overseas appears israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu will win a fifth term. what that means for u.s./israeli relations.
governor mike huckabee is coming up live on that shortly. >> sandra: new charges in the college admission scandal. what more than a dozen parents are now facing. >> bill: bernie sanders set to unveil his plan for medicare for all. what that means for this crowded democratic primary. who is on board? we'll ask the former education secretary dr. bill bennett about that in moments. >> we're going to create a medicare for all single payer program. healthcare is a human right, not a privilege. i look forward to work with you to create that goal. when you retire will you or will you just be you, without the constraints of a full time job? you can grow your retirement savings with pacific life and create the future that's most meaningful to you.
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>> bill: it sounds ex -- expensive. two hours from now, got it. democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders will reveal his medical for all plan. bill bennett, host of wise guys on fox nation. good morning to you. mitch mcconnell said this about that. he tweeted this. he said democrats
medicare for none would slap a $32 trillion tab on americans, a rough estimate for the first decade and competing private insurance policies that the ones 180 million americans use would be banned outright. we know where the senate majority leader is on this. where are you? >> well, you know, as ronald reagan would say about bernie sanders' view, there you go again. more movement to the left among the leaders in this democrat party. runners for presidential nomination. look, it's a $32 trillion bill
at least and i don't know if you made the connection but bernie sanders has not released his tax returns. maybe he has $32 trillion in there that can cover this. i kind of doubt it. >> bill: a nice bonus for america. he says he will do it by april 15th. what's interesting, i want to get your relax to the bill barr stuff. who has announced already and on board with bernie's plan and who is not? quick comment on that. >> well, you know, harold rosenberg said a herd of independent minds. we could say that of the liberals now. they'll all follow him. he is the pied piper and they'll follow him. this idea has initial approval from the public about 50% when they first hear about it. when they hear that they'll lose their individual insurance plan it goes down in the 30s. when they hear what it will cost it will go down in the 20s. it's a non-starter.
something donald trump can use to great advantage in a campaign. >> bill: i see that the numbers are higher than that. americans who support the idea. when you dig into details we'll see how they react. the bill barr testimony from yesterday. he will be in front of the senate in 40 minutes. what did you think of yesterday when he said he will give a report within a week and there will be redactions? >> impressive. alan dershowitz was my professor, i was his students. he said i was the best conservative student he ever had. i said he only had four conservative students in harvard law school. ted cruz was one of them. that aside, look, barr was very impressive. this is a real guy. and nice to see a grown-up sitting there. the democrats have a growling bear with a brain in bill barr.
he turned the tables on them by pointing out not only was he going to make a decision about the mueller report, and by the way, by law he is not required -- this needs to be underscored, he is not required to release that report to anybody. not to the public and not to the congress. what he is doing is above and beyond the law. now the people want it, donald trump wants it. that's fine. but there is no legal requirement. a lot of the talk yesterday was as if he was holding something back which he was legally required to do. not true. but i think more interesting in some ways is his plan to double down on what the inspector general is doing, which is looking at the f.b.i.'s activities in 2016 and he will do that with his own investigation. couple that with lindsey graham's investigation of what happened in 2016 and as catherine herridge was saying it could be a very big deal. they have a real substantive guy her.
>> bill: a growling bear with a brain on him is what you said. >> a growling bear with a brain. even better. >> bill: thank you so much, bill bennett. thanks for coming back here. you mentioned bernie sanders. next monday, april 15th. he will talk about healthcare and his taxes. a whole lot more. it is our fox news town hall. bret and martha your moderators at 6:30 eastern time on the fox news channel. don't miss that. >> sandra: fox news alert. any moment now president trump set to leave the white house heading to texas for a fundraising trip. there is a good chance he will speak to reporters on his way out as we await that, we'll bring that to you live when it happens. with amazing amenities like movie theaters, exercise rooms and swimming pools, public cafes, bars and bistros even pet care services. and there's never been an easier way to get great advice.
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tough news here. the pentagon has identified the three marines killed in afghanistan. 31-year-old sergeant benjamin hines of pennsylvania, 43-year-old staff sergeant christopher sluton of delaware. he is being hailed as a hero by the department in new york. >> today we hear with heavy hearts not only for the entire country, chris was the epitome of what it means to be a new york city firefighters. he was brave, dependable and always rose to the occasion. chris would want us to mention the other victims of this tragedy. please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as well. >> bill: ladder 27 and engine
46 putting a bunting by the firehouse where he had served. >> sandra: actress lori loughlin and her husband facing additional charges in the college cheating scam. prosecutors announcing new indictments for the actress, her husband and 14 others on conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering. let's bring in carley shimkus. they face even more jail time than originally thought. >> lori loughlin and her husband were slapped with an additional money laundering charge because she tried to hide that $500,000 bribe by making a donation to rick singer's fake charity. she was making an illegal payment. she tried to pass it off as clean. money laundering. this is so fascinating how this is all playing out. felicity huffman pleaded guilty and released this remorseful statement saying she is so
sorry she embarrassed herself and her family and her goal is to get the least amount of prison time possible. that is what will happen. she could get a couple months if that. lori loughlin was always facing more time because she made a bigger payment, $500,000. it sounds like she may be interested in going to trial. >> sandra: the statement from felicity huffman sounding remorseful and regretful. she says i'm in full acceptance of my guilt and with deep regret and shame over what i've done. i accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions. fair to say we're seeing a different response from lori loughlin? >> totally different. this proves that the feds are really putting the pressure on parents to cooperate. they want to see what felicity huffman is doing. they don't want to see what lorely loughlin is doing saying you're rich, famous but not getting special treatment anymore. legal experts were saying that
lori loughlin could have been getting the one to two year range. now fighting it she could be facing maybe 5 to 10 years. although overall. >> sandra: it could be more than that with the overall charges. >> overall she is facing 40 but could be getting 10. >> sandra: conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, 20 years, 250,000. and the other has 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000. >> we have to talk about her behavior. signing, smiling autographs. waving with fans. somebody has to tell her to stop doing that. if she goes to trial prosecutors will say you have never looked sorry in your life for these serious allegations. so she might be just trying to cope with this in whatever way possible but it is not a good look. her behavior is something that -- >> sandra: she was photographed coming and going from her yoga classes and other things.
carley, thank you. we'll continue to follow it. bill. >> bill: another alert. waiting on bill barr. he will be before a senate panel today. senate today after fox news confirms he has a team looking into the f.b.i. actions in the trump campaign of 2016. what will that reveal? mike huckabee with some answers coming up as we await that live testimony here. >> sandra: surprise move by magic johnson. what he did yesterday. >> somebody will have to tell my boss. but i know i have to tell him face-to-face. ♪ applebee's bigger, bolder grill combos. now that's eatin good in the neighborhood. every day, visionaries are creating the future. ♪
because the future only happens with people not to worry about changing their minds in retirement. you may have always imagined your dream car as something fast. then one day you decide it just needs to be safe enough to get her to college and back. principal. we can help you plan for that. >> sandra: we're waiting president trump's departure for san antonio, texas. we know that he just walked out of the white house a few moments ago and he did stop to talk to reporters. that is on camera. so when he concludes there we'll get that tape and play it back for you. of course there could be some
news from that so we'll bring that to you as soon as we have it. >> bill: fox news alert. middle east news, benjamin netanyahu appears to be headed to a historic fifth term as israel's prime minister despite a neck-and-neck finish with his big challenger. trey yengst has more from jerusalem now. >> official results released this morning do indicate that israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu will serve out a fifth term as the country's leader. his party last night did stay the largest beating their main competitor the blue and white party by more than 10,000 votes. netanyahu has a large advantage in forming a coalition government over the next month and a half since all parties to his right would like to see him stay in that position. the prime minister will have 42 days to join with smaller parties here in israel to try to form a 61-seat majority in the israeli parliament that has 120 seats. >> bill: what about the latest on the criminal charges amid the results on netanyahu?
>> well, the prime minister is facing charges on both bribery and corruption. set to have a hearing later this year to see if he will be formally charged. but this election is good news for him. seen as a large victory for the prime minister and his party. it was seen as a referendum for netanyahu by both his supporters and his opponents. one major netanyahu supporter we haven't heard from and maybe that talk with reporters on his way to marine one the president may have stopped by but we haven't seen anything official yet from the white house whether or not president trump has called to congratulate the prime minister about what looks like a major election victory for him in israel. >> bill: trey yengst, the latest from the middle east. >> sandra: for more on this let's bring in mike huckabee. former governor of arkansas. you travel to israel often and you've been watching this story closely. he is set to win his record fifth term as the israeli prime minister. your thoughts and expectations for what is to come.
>> all of his elections have been close. this one gave him in some ways a little better majority than some of the others but he has a clear majority in terms ever forming a government in that parliamentary system. i think it's a reminder that no matter what people think of him personally. when a person has been there that long he has lots of critics. here is an example similar to what we see in the u.s. they can't say his policies don't work, because they do. they haven't been able to beat him politically, and they've tried relentlessly. so they engaged in personal attacks and tried to smear him from every kind of charge of corruption and most of it is pretty weak if you really look at the details of it. so he has survived the onslaught. it is important not just for israel and the middle east. it is important for the rest of the world because he has extraordinarily strong relations with leaders from china, russia, europe and of course the united states. >> sandra: we will continue to watch that. governor, meanwhile what we're
learning as the second day of hearings begins for william barr, the attorney general, we do know that he will likely get grilled again on the release of the mueller report. meanwhile we now know that he is looking into the f.b.i. actions surrounding the trump campaign and the launch of the investigation into the campaign. what do you expect that he will find? >> well, i think if some of the evidence we've seen come forward, it looks like he will discover that people at the highest levels of our government, including the highest levels of law enforcement, not only conspired to meddle in the election and make sure that hillary won and trump lost but after at the election continued to conspire to stage what essentially was a coup against a duly elected president. and if he discovers that -- i think it's critical that he look for it and discover it if it's there and prosecute it if it's there. then we have one of the darkest chapters in american history. >> sandra: here is jim jordan on that.
>> he said the summer of 2016. he is going to the start of this. that's what was so important. this is when christopher steele starting to give the installments on the dossier. they take this dossier to the secret court and they don't tell the court who paid for it or that christopher steele is biased against the president. >> sandra: anything you want to add to that? we know lawmakers including jim jordan have been asking for this for quite some time. now barr is doing it. >> i think some of the democrats who have been screaming and yelling they want transparency and full disclosure may rue the day they asked for it. i think some will be very embarrassed and major news cable networks that might as well turn off the lights because they will have been proven not just wrong, but maliciously wrong for about
three years. >> sandra: meanwhile, this was senate minority leader chuck schumer's response to william barr's testimony from yesterday. listen. >> don't think barr has conducted himself in a manner that earn's people's trust. we'll rate to see the report. color me dubious that he will be fair. >> sandra: we're awaiting barr on the hill. interesting to say he'll decide whether or not he trusts barr based on what actually comes from that report, redactions and all. >> the democrats behavior the last couple of days have been beyond shameful. what chuck schumer said is absurd. i thought that the hearing yesterday was absolutely embarrassing for the democrats. they are supposed to be talking about his budget. they ignored his budget. all they wanted to talk about is making charges against him and the department. it is really a theatric display
but more like a christmas pageant. they embarrassed themselves yesterday. i think what the american public was a confident william barr. the most outrageous moment came when they were attacking him for the affordable care act, obamacare. why would you attack it? he said because the law is not constitutional. they never even got the irony that they are the lawmakers. they made a law that was unconstitutional and rather than fix it, they blame him for defending the constitution. this is really an outrageous kind of moment. i think we'll see it in campaign ads next year. >> sandra: we're about to see william barr. he is testifying again on capitol hill today. we expect more of that, this time before a senate subcommittee. we'll be watching for that and watching for the report. it is expected, as he said yesterday, to be released within a week. governor mike huckabee. always appreciate your time.
thank you. >> bill: thank you, governor. stunning move now. magic johnson is gone from the l.a. lakers resigning last night as president of basketball operations. he told reporters about it before he told his boss. lakers owner jeanne boss. he says he wants a simpler life in california. >> i had more fun on the other side than this side. now tomorrow i would have to affect somebody's livelihood and their life. and i thought about that. that's not fun for me. i want to go back to having fun. i want to go back being who i was before taking on this job. >> bill: how about that? organization released a statement that said there is no greater l.a. laker than magic johnson. we thank him for his work for the last two years. he will always be not only a lakers' icon but our family. >> sandra: wants a simpler life. >> bill: other issues inside that organization. the magic is gone in l.a.
okay. >> sandra: now on to this. new york city declaring a public health emergency. the measles outbreak continues to grow. dr. siegel on what the city is doing now. >> bill: story grows by the day. congresswoman ocasio-cortez out with her theory on what is behind the border crisis. she blames it on climate change. michael walsh responds. >> president trump: they want to have open borders, they want to have crime and drugs pouring into our country. they don't want to act.
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a cfp professional is trained, knowledgeable, and committed to financial planning in your best interest. find your certified financial planner™ professional at letsmakeaplan.org. t-president has finished speaking to reporters on his departure from the white house. he is heading to texas for a fundraising event in san antonio. he hit on a wide variety of topics. we'll have that for you in a moment. he spoke extensively on the mueller report. he talked about the economy doing very well. he congratulated netanyahu on his victory there. he said everybody said you
can't have peace in the middle east. i think we have a chance and the president talked tax returns, he talked immigration. all of that we'll have for you in a moment from now as the president departs for texas. stay tuned. >> you know, the blame is equal here. i want to make a genuine effort to find a way to change the law, to stop the attraction from central america, regaining control of our border. i am willing to do a deal with democrats and we need the president in the arena here. >> bill: lindsey graham saying a lot. how to deal with the crisis. agents apprehended or turned away more than 100,000 migrants last month alone. mike waltz, a republican from the sunshine state. good morning to you. what is your resolution? >> well, i want to get us back to where we were just what, 18 months ago when we were talking a package for border security
in exchange for dealing with the daca issue, the president offered 1.8 million, a million more than president obama did, a pathway. then to also deal with the chain migration, with the lottery system, and the merit-based system. my point continues to be until we secure the border, we can't get to legal immigration reform because otherwise you will find yourself even if we deal with it you'll find yourself in the same problem over and over again. senator graham is absolutely right. >> bill: let me be clear. he said we need to stop the attraction from central america regaining control over our border. explain that. >> well, right now there is just a massive tractor beam. there is very little down side except for the trek, once you set foot in the united states with a child, basically you are going to be assimilated and be able to stay in the united states. the administration is damned if
it does or doesn't on this one. because of the flores agreement, the court agreement, children can't be held longer than 20 days. the administration has tried to keep children with their parents to avoid family separation, which they are getting beat up for, but if they do, then they're in violation of the court agreement. this is a legislative fix, congress needs to do its job. the president has been reasonable in putting deals on the table. and if the democrats are serious about helping solve the problem they'll take him up on these offers. >> bill: the flores agreement has been there for 20 years. ocasio-cortez said the far right loves to drum up fear and resistance to immigrants. have you ever noticed they never talk about what is causing people to flee their homes in the first place? maybe because they would be forced to confront one factor, climate change is the conclusion she draws there. what do you make of that commentary and we'll get into
upted by the president here. i want to get a chance for you to respond. >> let me say what is causing migration. i just sat with the ambassador from columbia and the venezuelan maduro regime with aoc seems to support, the socialist regime has caused over 3 million venezuelans to flee. let's get to that root of the cause. >> bill: my apologies. we'll come
back to that. >> president trump: the economy is doing very, very well. we have numbers coming from companies that are beyond expectations. the tax cuts are working very, very well. so we are very proud of the economy. job numbers are as good as we've ever had. more people are working right now than ever worked in our country before. we're doing really well. i would like to congratulate bibi netanyahu. it looks like that race has been won by him. it may be a little yearly but i'm hearing he has won it and
won it in good fashion. he has been a great ally. he is a friend. i would like to congratulate him. that was a well fought-out race i can tell you. but it looks like bibi has won that race. [inaudible question] >> president trump: the fact that bibi won i think we'll see some pretty good action in terms of peace. look, everyone said -- i never made it a promise -- but everybody said you can't have peace in the middle east with israel and the palestinians. i think we have a chance. i think we have now a better chance with bibi
having won. yes, major. [inaudible question] >> there is no law. as you know, i got elected last time with the same issue. and while i'm under audit, i
won't do it. if i'm not under audit i would do it. under audit i wouldn't give my taxes. there is no
law whatsoever. i will say this, i would love to give them but i'm not going to do it while i'm under audit. very simple. remember, i got elected last time the same exact issue with the same intensity which wasn't very much. frankly the people don't care. what i have done is approximately a 104-page summary and really in great detail of assets and values and nobody wants to go over that because it's so good. i built a great company, one of the best companies. i have some of the greatest assets in the world. i did a good job and now frankly i don't care about them. i only care about the united states. but i have no obligation to do that while i'm under audit and no lawyer would tell you to release your tax returns while you're under audit.
[inaudible question] >> president trump: i think that the whole asylum rules, laws, and regulations have been taken advantage of by people that are very bad people in many cases. these are the people running the cartels. they are gaming the system. they have been for years. the only difference is our economy is now so strong that more people come up. we have done a great job at the border with bad laws. it is very important that the democrats in congress change these loopholes. if they don't change them, we are just going to be fighting. now the other thing, we built a lot of wall, a lot of wall. and it -- when we rip down an old wall replace it, it is called a new wall. that's what we've done. a lot of wall is going up. every place we build a wall it is less and less.
but the power of the economy is like a magnet. it is bringing more people than we've seen in a long time. [inaudible question] >> president trump: well, the mueller report is interesting. after $35 million with 18 angry democrats, people that truly hated donald trump, truly hated trump, they found no collusion whatsoever with russia. but i could have told you that and so could most people and so could have everybody that voted for me, which was a lot of people. so after wasting all of this money and all of this time with people were raters, people that worked on the hillary clinton foundation, people that were absolutely haters of trump,
they found no collusion. what has been found during this period of time are the illegal acts of getting this whole phony investigation started. and hopefully that is where people are going now. that's where people are going. and it is very interesting. it was an illegal investigation. it was an illegal investigation. it was started illegally. everything about it was crooked. every single thing about it. there were dirty cops. these were bad people. you look at mccabe and comey and you look at lisa and peter strzok. this was an attempted takedown of a president and we beat them. we beat them. so the mueller report, when they talk about obstruction, we fight back. you know why we fight back?
because i knew how illegal this whole thing was. it was a scam. what i am most interested in -- excuse me, what i'm most interested in is getting started, hopefully the attorney general, he mentioned it yesterday, he is doing a great job. getting started on going back to the origins of exactly where this all started. because this was an illegal witch hunt and everybody knew it. they knew it, too. and they got caught. and what they did was treason. what they did was terrible. what they did was against our constitution and everything we stand for. so hopefully that will happen. there is a hunger for that to happen in this country like i have never seen before, including all of the millions of people that voted for me. what they did was disgraceful. there has never been anything like it in the history of our country. [inaudible question]
>> president trump: i like herman cain. herrmann is a wonderful man. a supporter of mine for a long time. he ran a good campaign. it's up to herrmann. he already sat on one of the fed boards. he is somebody i like a lot. as to how he is doing in the process, that i don't know. you go through a process. but herrmann is a great guy and i hope he does well. [inaudible question] >> president trump: stephen is an excellent gie. he is a wonderful person. people don't know him. he has been with me from the beginning. he is a brilliant man. and frankly, there is only one
person that is running it. you know who that is? it's me. [inaudible question] >> president trump: i have not seen the mueller report. i have not read the mueller report. i won. no collusion, no obstruction. i won. everybody knows i won and the it was illegally started. i have not read the mueller report. i haven't seen the mueller report. as far as i'm concerned, i don't care about the mueller report. i've been totally exonerated. no collusion, no obstruction. and i'm off to dealing with china, i'm off to dealing with north korea, i'm off to dealing with venezuela and all the problems in this world. i am not worrying about something that never, ever should have taken place. [inaudible question] >> president trump: i did not see what happened. i did not see what happened to
candace owen. i did not see what happened to candace owen. [inaudible question] >> president trump: i think that's a terrible thing. i think it's a terrible thing that he would do that. i find her to be a -- i know her. i think she is a fine person, a fine young woman. i think it's disgraceful they could say that. [inaudible question] >> president trump: i don't hear you. [inaudible question] >> president trump: i have no idea. i respect him. i like him and he is somebody that i have a lot of regard for. [inaudible question] >> president trump: my finances
are very clean. i don't think there is an investigation. if you say it, i don't know. i don't think there is an investigation. my finances are very clean. [inaudible question] >> president trump: i like him a lot and he is doing a very good job. it could happen. we'll make a determination. we have others, but right now he is the man. he is doing a great job. thank you, see you in texas. >> bill: off to san antonio we go. the
president about nine minutes there. a couple things here, tax returns, will not do it. he is under audit. you could make them public. a few more things here, sandra, about the attempted coup that he described. we now know based on bill barr's testimony of yesterday he is investigating what happened inside the f.b.i. in the summer of 2016 on the trump campaign. stephen miller, excellent guy, wonderful person and emphasized there is only one person
running it and that's me with regard to the mueller report, i have not seen it, i have not read it. >> sandra: on his tax returns i would love to release them, he said but i'm not going to. on bibi netanyahu he said it is a bit early but believes he won in good fashion. it was a well-fought race and more. doug mcelway standing by as the president departs for the fundraiser. doug, makes his way to san antonio. certainly a fired up president trump just left the white house. >> grab bag of questions and a grab bag of answers as we see at this impromptu press conferences he departs. one thing that stuck out in my mind here among all the answers and questions but the reference to stephen miller. it become a narrative we're seeing in mainstream media, he is the guy, the wizard of oz behind the curtain pulling the levers on immigration reform. it has been said that the president is cleaning house at
the department of homeland security. and he denied that was the case yesterday in another impromptu press conference in the oval office but he is making changes there. we've seen several changes in recent days. there was an off the record or background briefing at the white house yesterday. i did not attend it. john roberts did. also blake berman from the fox business channel were there. blake told me just this morning there was lots of mention of stephen miller at that off the record -- at that background briefing. among the things that they are trying to do, i'm told, at the department of homeland security is increase the level of rulemaking within that department. they know that they are stymied by court decisions. they know they are stymied by the democratic house and refusal to change immigration law in any way, shape or form but one thing mentioned there is an excessively high fear
rate granted by u.s. immigration service. it is a big problem. the threshold at which people are admitted into this country. excessively high credible fear rate to climb asylum to get removed from their home country. an example of that, 90% of central americans are granted credible fear. individuals conducting the exam are apparently part of the problem. it is the belief -- this administration that there are a lot of people who are conducting those examinations and those questioning of people seeking asylum who are holdovers from the obama administrations and asking the wrong questions or accepting at face value the answer to the questions that they are given. they want to change that. it may be a limited avenue this administration has to try to stem the tide of immigration, illegal immigration in this country but one of the ways they want to do it. back to you, sandra. >> sandra: a live shot of air force one about to depart there on his way to texas. doug mcelway outside the white house for us.
thanks. >> bill: meanwhile day two for bill barr. he was on the hill today. senate democrats have their chance to put him on the hot seat and begin in a matter of moments. lawmakers, american public eagerly awaiting the release of the mueller report. yesterday he said it will happen within a week. quote, within a week. the a.g. facing a senate subcommittee for the second time. mike emanuel is watching all that outside on capitol hill now. mike, good morning. >> the republican majority should be more receptive. top republicans continue saying they have great confidence in attorney general barr's handling of the mueller report. >> i feel very comfortable with the bottom line conclusions that he has given us and will be supported by the report. i don't think he is lying to us. i have no desire to retry the case here. it is over. it's over for me.
>> democrats continue pressing a.g. barr to give them the unredacted mueller report with the underlying documentation with some proposing new legislation to do just that. >> our legislation would require all the report would be provided to congress and then we can judge whether any of it should be redacted and it would be only very minimal portions before it is made public. >> barr testified before a house appropriations subcommittee yesterday. he said when he makes redactions to the mueller report he will use a color-coded system so people will know why it was redacted. barr said soon lawmakers will get to read the 400-page mueller report for themselves. >> i think that from my standpoint, by -- within a week i will be in a position to release the report to the public and then i will engage with the chairmen of both judiciary committees about that report and any further requests
that they have. >> just getting underway in the senate this morning. mid april for release of the report. monday is april 15th. we'll see if he has any further teases for us today. >> sandra: the table is set. let's bring in the a-team. leslie marshall, progressive radio host. brad blakeman and judge andrew napolitano. judge, your expectations barr back in the hot seat before a senate subcommittee. your expectations for today? >> similar to yesterday. he will make a very credible defense of the obligations that the law imposes upon him to keep four categories of materials that are almost certainly in the report secret. he cannot lawfully release those. only a federal judge can
authorize their release. the flip side is my colleagues are more adept at this as i. the democrats want to see what he is redacting because they would like to be in a position to second-guess bob mueller whether or not there is enough evidence to charge the president or anyone else. and second guess bill barr on the same thing. prediction, this will end up in the courtroom of the chief judge of the united states district court for the district of columbia and she will call it. it will probably happen soon. >> bill: to brad blakeman as we set the table for day two. >> what the hearing should be concentrated on is the budget of the justice department. you are talking about almost a $30 billion budget. the need for 100 more immigration judges. the crisis that is happening on our southern border. that should be the topic. unfortunately it will no. it will be second guessing of barr. not giving him enough time to create a report for congress.
disregarding the law. releasing grand jury information, classified information, personal information of people caught up in their investigation, which is unlawful. congress should know that. it will be a side show when it should be an oversight hearing, a budget hearing. and concentrating on the real problems that face america, our southern border. >> sandra: that didn't happen yesterday and not expected it will happen today. senator lindsey graham ahead of this will be in the room saying he would not be bringing up the mueller report. will they stay on topic? >> they'll talk about with the exception of lindsey graham about the mueller report and i agree with the judge. i think it will be like a testimony take two but in the senate. yesterday we had democrats saying things like why are you covering up for trump and russia? yesterday we had republicans saying things like why are you covering up for hill tree and the red state? this is exactly what we'll hear in the senate. we'll see the political realities which are very different on the left and right.
to the judge's point regarding the democrats. the democrats do want to see if there is something more with regard to obstruction of justice and they do want the attorney general to bring this to a judge and to a court. that's where i do believe also i agree with the judge there that's where it will end. they don't want to have pages and pages of lines through information. they want to get as much information as possible that they can make their own determination on a political level with regard to obstruction of justice to determine if they go forward in the house with impeachment. >> bill: two things stuck out at me. one thing ken starr and one alan dershowitz. starr said his summation of what bill barr said yesterday is that no surprises was his quote. today alan dershowitz said will we get the names of those on mueller's team who reported the way they did? i said why would that be important? he said because so much of this will be viewed in a political
lens. it would be important dershowitz argues, to know who those people are so we can get a more fair assessment. have you thought about that? >> i haven't honestly, bill. the report i would imagine is signed by bob mueller. and it would be impossible to determine, other than by interrogating mueller under oath who contributed what parts to it. i don't think you'll see the names of any of the 17 or 18 or 19 lawyers that worked for mueller or 40 or 44 depending how you count them. some were part-time and some full-time f.b.i. agents who worked for him. over the weekend, some people in this team leaked to the media their displeasure about the flavor, the color of the four pages that bill barr released. that said you'll get a different flavor once you see the 445 page report depending upon what is redacted. that's -- those are probably the people that professor
dershowitz is talking about. there is no certain way to know who they are. >> bill: just to follow up on that, his point is that so much of this will be shaded in a political lens and what we'll see once the mueller report goes up there how we frame this. as for ken starr's point, come back to that. he said no surprises from barr yesterday. there will be no surprises in the mueller report. do you agree with starr's assessment? >> i have argued for a couple of weeks that the barr summary, the four-page attorney general summary did not say no evidence of conspiracy. it did not say no evidence of obstruction. it said not enough evidence to establish the crime. establish is lawyer speak for prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. there must be some evidence of something in there. if there was no evidence of any criminal activity whatsoever then the attorney general would have said that in his four-page summary and he didn't. >> sandra: just to give you an idea. brad, i'll bring you in what
we're seeing now. some of the guidance being given. the democrat from new hampshire the ranking member on this subcommittee. we saw the chairman of the subcommittee give his opening statement. when we get through these questions will begin. among those on the committee senator graham says he doesn't expect to dive into the mueller report here. senators on the committee who are also on the senate judiciary, kennedy, feinstein and kunz. they said all the democrats will bring up the report. possible more fireworks in the room this morning, brad. how do you think today will differ from yesterday knowing there are several different characters in that room? >> well, i think they'll try and pin the attorney general down and seek promises that the attorney general is not quite ready to deliver. he has told congress that his report is coming. it is coming soon. he has kept to his timetable and his promises.
the attorney general is bound by law. and these folks know that. what they're trying to do is seek something from the attorney general he just can't give or should give. so i think they'll continue to press him. i think the attorney general did a wonderful job yesterday in front of the house. he will continue that in front of the senate because the guy is a professional. he is not a politician. he is not a partisan. he will do the job the way it should be done regardless of political bent. >> bill: leslie, quick comment. >> i think the democrats are definitely going to push. two reasons for this. one, they have to in a sense for their constituents who are expecting this. they expect the hard questions of the attorney general in the senate as was in the house yesterday. secondly, because as the judge said, they really want to hear and they won't hear but they want to hear the attorney general say i didn't say no evidence or suspicion of collusion or obstruction of justice, i just said i didn't have enough to prosecute. nothing there criminally that i could bring forward to
prosecute. they aren't going to get that. >> bill: panel will stand by. want to go to the headliner democratic congressman member of the house oversight committee roe khanna. where do you think we are with bill barr? >> we need to see the report. we need to have bob mueller testify at some point before congress and need bill barr to testify before the judiciary committee. let's see what the report says. he says he will release it in a week. let's at least read it and make determinations. >> bill: sounds fair. >> sandra: that's what bill barr's point was in the room yesterday. we are here to talk about the budget. let's wait until the report is out. will democrats keep pressing today? >> i don't know. it's a week we'll get the report. let's read it. if there are more things we need to get we can pursue it. i have said there can be a
report that jerry nadler gets to see confidently. we can go to court to get an order to see parts that may be redacted whether it's confidential or not. >> you know some redactions will be included in the report. he said that yesterday. i think the question then becomes whether or not you believe these redactions should be made public. redactions that are heavily protected by the law. >> well first let's get the report. and see what is redacted and how consequential the redactions are. if we believe there needs to be more evidence then jerry nadler can go to court and the justice department can go to court and a court can authorize, as they did during watergate, for grand jury testimony to be made public to congress. they can say that it can either be public or it can be in a closed-door setting. let's at first get the report and then we can see what redactions make sense. >> sandra: just a little bit of
guidance from our reporter catherine herridge on the hill right now telling us that in those opening statements senator shaheen said to william barr that he must answer concerns to the four-page letter glossing over damaging actions by the administration. i guess that's just a sign of what's about to happen in that hearing room. and now that we've learned, congressman, that bill barr plans to dig deeper on the actual investigation into the trump campaign, what do you expect we'll learn there and how far this will go? >> well, i have no idea. he certainly has the right to have that investigation. but what we first need to understand -- i think this should be a concern of every american -- what countries have interfered in our election? forget trump's involvement. every american should care that
the russians hacked into our emails and manipulated our election. let's read the mueller report and things we can do to protect our democracy. >> bill: i think you're right about that. we're waiting from dhs to give us a roadmap as to what happens for 2020. back to the question, though. bill barr said he put a team together to look at what happened in the summer of 2016. do you have a problem with that? >> i don't have a problem with him as long as it is done in an objective way and not a partisan way. if he wants to look at to make sure the f.b.i. was non-political and wants to examine this, i don't have a problem with that. >> bill: does it give you pause the fact that came to light so early? >> well, i don't know -- we would have to see what that investigation determines. we know that the mueller report is 300 or 400 pages. a lot of evidence that has been accumulated. if there was serious evidence that comes to light of the poll
itization of the f.b.i., everyone would be concerned. >> bill: chuck schumer yesterday said bill barr cannot be trusted. do you trust bill barr? >> well, i don't agree with bill barr's decision to give a four-page summary. i don't trust his conclusion and interpretation of the mueller report. that's for congress to do. i try to stay away from making personal characterizations of people. >> sandra: to be clear he said when asked do you trust or can you trust bill barr, chuck schumer responded we'll see. we'll see when the report is out. like he will make his decision whether or not he trusts him once we see the actual report. what mitch mcconnell said, that is exactly what this comes down to. whether you trust william barr, the attorney general, or you don't. where do you stand? >> i don't think that's what it comes down to. people who go into public
service is a big sacrifice and i don't like to attack people personally. what this comes down to is let people see the mueller report, let congress make a decision. we don't have to rely on bill barr's four-page summary. we can make a decision ourselves. that's all the democrats are asking for. >> bill: thanks for coming back. the democrat from california. thank you for your time on the hill. >> sandra: we will keep our eye on capitol hill as this hearing is underway now. opening statements being made. we will hear from attorney general bill barr. he is expected to face a grilling yet again on capitol hill facing questions over his release of the mueller report within a week >> bill: day two on that. also the vice president mike pence in a moment here is expected to address the u.n. on the growing matter in venezuela. we'll bring breaking news from that as soon as it happens as well. stand by. we're watching all of this for you on "america's newsroom." i'd like to take a moment to address my fellow veterans,
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just got rescheduled - for today. amanda needs right at home. our customized care plans provide as much - or as little help - as her mom requires. whether it's a ride to the doctor or help around the house. oh, of course! >> bill: bill barr's opening statement on the senate side. >> rather than read a statement to you let me just say i'm here to talk about the department's $29.2 billion budget request for 2020. i believe the budget request supports our priorities. we're seeking $128 million of increases for our violent crime prevention work. we're seeking $291 million enhancements for our drug abuse and opioid efforts. we have $131 million for our national security and
cybercrime efforts. and i'm seeking an additional $72 million for our immigration work. i'm proud of the department's accomplishments and our workforce of more than 112,000 men and women, and i'm looking forward to your support for the resources we need for their important work. with that, i'm happy to answer any questions. >> attorney general. thank you for your brief statement and thanks for the opportunity to ask you questions. i would just reiterate and ask for an answer to the question i raised in my opening statement. i was uncertain as to what you were conveying yesterday during your house testimony about whether you will provide a report of the report or a redacted version of the mueller's -- actual mueller report. >> yes, it is my intention to provide the latter. the regulation under which we're operating did not
contemplate and specifically was meant to avoid these public reports. but i feel i have the discretion in these circumstances to make the report public as long as it is consistent with the law. and as i said at my hearing that i was going to try to be as transparent as possible. and that's what i've been working toward. there are four areas -- i intend to release the report with redactions made in four areas. they were specified in my march 29th letter. the first area is 6e material because -- i'm talking about a report that would be available to the public generally. and then i'll talk a little bit about the report available to committees of congress. the report i'm working on now i would like to make available with redactions that would enable me to make it public generally and there are four
categories. the grand jury material, which by law must be retained within the department absent very specific circumstances, which i do not think exist here. second category is any material identified by the intelligence community that would put at risk intelligence sources and methods. the third category is information that would impair existing prosecutions and investigations that are going forward right now, either by affecting the ability of the department to pursue them as effectively as we would like, or being unfair to the individuals who are actually parties to that prosecution. you will recognize that special counsel mueller did spin off a number of cases, which continue in progress and are being handled in the department. and so we have to make sure
that nothing in the report impinges on those ongoing cases. and the final category is information that imply indicates the privacy or reputational interests of peripheral third parties who were not charged. now, the people who are making these redactions and implementing these four categories are the department working with the special counsel office lawyers and those are the people involved in making the redactions. so as i mentioned yesterday, we plan to identify very specifically which redactions relate to which category and try to explain why that redaction was made. i also said yesterday that when it comes to congress, once i get this done, the public and everyone has the report, i'm willing to work with the committees, the regulation requires that -- doesn't require but it has my notification go to the
judiciary committees and i intend to take up with the house and senate judiciary committees, the chair and ranking members of each, what other areas they feel they have a need to have access to the information and if i can accommodate that. the fact that information is classified does not mean that congress can't see it. i'm willing to work on some of these categories. the category i think is the most inflexible under the law right now is the grand jury material. but even there, once the redactions are completed, i intend to read the report and see if there are areas where it affects the intelligence or really has an impact on the report and i'm willing to work with the judiciary committees to see if there is a workaround
that could address any concerns or needs that they have. >> under the assumption your answer was of interest to my colleagues i'll continue with another question beyond my time. i want to talk about grant funding that has been delayed due to litigation surrounding sanctuary cities. so in the past the department has tried to enforce federal immigration law by imposing special conditions or bonus points on recipients of federal grant funding. these conditions restrict grant funding to jurisdictions that certify they're in compliance with federal law stating that they are not sanctuary cities or states. that's not something that i'm complaining about in this question. what i'm concerned about is the money that has been held up as a result of that litigation because of pending litigation in regard to burn jag grant funds. we've had success in that occurring but unfortunately
that hasn't been the case in the fy18 cops hiring grants. these solicitations were pulled and applicants are still unable to apply for cops hiring grants. >> sandra: the hearing on capitol hill. let's bring back in our a-team judge andrew napolitano is with us. i want to ask you about something we heard from william babb. as far as the redactions. grand jury information. he went on to say that he is willing to work with judiciary on other ways around some of the other material expected to be redacted. what did you take away from that? >> well, as you know we were discussing during the break, this is a novel area of the law. i'll try to state it. can the attorney general of the united states reveal privately in an intelligence setting materials that he can't -- to members of congress materials that he can't reveal to the
public? the rule is silent on that. the rule just says shall be kept secret. it doesn't say shall be kept secret from everyone but members of congress. it sounds like he is willing -- my colleagues agree with me. he is willing to push the envelope and at least discuss with senator lindsey graham, chair of the senate judiciary committee and jerry nadler from the house judiciary committee the prospect of revealing some redacted material to them and them alone or to them and their colleagues alone. in one of the secret venues where you can't bring your i-phone or any other writing materials in the basement of the capitol. >> sandra: is that a shift from where he originally stood on this needed to be redacted material? >> my answer to both your questions is yes, it is a surprise and it is a shift and as far as we know, possible this has happened and we don't know about it. this is a novel area of the law
and it will open him up to well, we want more, we want more. how did you decide to show us what's on page 23 but not what's on page 24? he might be opening up a can of worms if he starts this. >> bill: you know what happens in washington, brad. >> three people can keep a secret if two are dead. >> a lot of the people who leak are the members of congress and their staffs. so the information that is released has to be compartmentalized that the information won't get to the public. it is because we have to protect people, sources, methods. i will also say this, i think this attorney general is siding certainly on the part of transparency. he is willing to push the envelope but not willing to break the law. >> sandra: before we go to a quick break, leslie. >> i was shocked. did he just say what we thought
he did? i have to say, he said he would release it to the public first and congress second. i hope he changes that and that he will give it to congress and provide congress with more information than the public. >> bill: this is his letter from march 24. the special counsel investigation did not find the trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired with russia in its efforts to influence the election of 2016. that was -- that's rather declarative. stand by and we'll come back in a moment. >> sandra: we'll get back into that as necessary. the shake-ups continue at the homeland security department. first secretary kirstjen nielsen. now another high-ranking official heading for the exits. >> president trump: i never said i'm cleaning house. i don't know who came up with that. we have a lot of great people over there.
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>> bill: interesting exchange. shaheen with bill barr is talking about the spying issue he mentioned yesterday that will be under investigation here. >> there are areas that shall be looked at. this is not launching an investigation of the f.b.i. frankly, i'm to the extent there were any issues at the f.b.i., i do not view it as a
problem that is endemic to the f.b.i. i think there was probably a failure among a group of leaders there at the upper echelon. so i don't like to hear attacks about the f.b.i. because i think the f.b.i. is an outstanding organization and i think chris wray is a great partner for me and i'm very pleased he is there as the director. if it becomes necessary to look over some former officials' activities, i expect i will be relying heavily on chris and relying on him and that's what i'm doing. i feel i have an obligation to make sure government power is not abused. i think that's one of the principle roles of the attorney general. >> i certainly agree. i think we all have on an obligation to insure government power is not abused. the question i have is what happens when the executive is
potentially playing that role and that's where it doesn't seem to me there has been adequate oversight. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator collins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, mr. attorney general. last june your predecessor announced that the department would no longer defend the affordable care act's pre-existing conditions provisions because they were inexcepterable from the aca individual mandate. two weeks ago your department decided it would not defend any provisions of the aca. this puts at risk other important provisions in addition to protection for people with pre-existing
conditions. such as the medicaid expansion, dependent coverage for young adults on page 26 and coverage for preventive services. now, the individual mandate is a highly regressive penalty and i have long opposed it and congress repealed it. but i disagree strongly with the department's decision not to defend the rest of the aca. in a letter that i wrote to your predecessor last june and to you on april 1st, i made the point that the individual mandate can be struck down and severed from the aca while the remainder of the law can stay in place. and this isn't just my opinion. in 2010 the chief justice roberts said in the pre-enterprise fund case that
under the doctrine of serverability that generally speaking when confronting a constitutional flaw we try to limit the solution to the problem severing any problematic portions while leaving the remainder intact. in 1990, when you were head of the department's office of legal counsel under president george h.w. bush, you authored an opinion finding that the president could enforce the remainder of the statute after an unconstitutional provision had been severed. i agree wholeheartedly with your 1990 opinion. what led you to take a different approach? >> thank you, senator. when i visited with you before my confirmation, i promised you that i would personally take a look at this issue and i did.
and i studied it carefully and i provided my views robustly within the deliberative process that was going on within the executive branch. as i said, when the attorney general is providing legal advice, i think the first obligation is to provide the advice that you think is the right legal answer and how you would decide the case if you were a judge. which is what was the advice i gave. but i also have said that if the other -- if other stakeholders in the executive branch and the people involved, the agencies and so forth end up in a different place, as litigator for the united states the attorney general should be able to advance positions that he believes are defensible and reasonable legal positions even
if they're not positions that the attorney general would adopt if the attorney general was a judge deciding the case. in this situation, the ultimate decision was to support the position of the states, including texas and the decision of the district court judge. the rationale for that is that it is a defensible and reasonable legal position given that that was the decision of the district court and the position of four justices on the original nfib case who felt that if the mandate goes, the rest of the statute goes. i know there is an additional point there which is the fact that congress did take out the penalty from the mandate, and therefore should that act be
viewed as essentially validating the rest of the statute. and those issues were debated but at the end of the day i felt that the position was a defensible position and it was the decision of the executive branch. >> i would just make the final point that congress had the opportunity to strike other provisions and chose not to. >> yes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> bill: senator leahy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. attorney general, thank you for being here. over the decades we've had a chance to talk at these hearings many times. let me go back to this discussion of your march 24th letter. you said the president did not commit obstruction of justice. you said that before any
reference to congress. of course, you have the position that no matter the evidence you don't believe a president can be indicted on an office. you say the mechanism is through the ballot or congress, not a criminal court. did you have any conversation with the special counsel about why he did not reach a conclusion one way or the other on obstruction? >> yes, i did. and he also has a fuller explanation of that in the report that i'll be making available hopefully next week. >> did he express any expectation and interest in leaving the obstruction decision to congress? >> not -- he didn't say that to me, no. >> so he said the obstruction decision should be up to you? >> he didn't say that, either.
but that's generally how the department of justice works. generally grand juries are to investigate crimes and a prosecutor's role at the end of the day is binary. are there charges or no charges, or is this a crime or not a crime? >> i have had some experience in the field. >> i thought you would agree with me. i don't feel, you know, i'm looking forward to explaining my decision that i briefly outlined in the march 24th letter. but i don't feel i can do it until the report is out. because i think -- because i think the report contains a lot of the information that would give meaning and content to the discussion and i really can't do it in the absence of getting it out. i'm anxious to get it out. that's what i've been working toward. i said i come up to the hill as soon as the hill will have me, which i guess is at the end of the month, to testify about
that. >> i want to follow up on something senator moran asked. in determining what should be redacted. have you overruled mr. mueller or his team on any redaction question? >> no. >> one way or the other. >> no. >> have you discussed any specific redactions with the white house? >> no. >> just curious, before this came out, you were at an annual st. patrick's day event with the prime minister of ireland exchanging shamrocks and so on. you had a long discussion and apparently a very -- you both seemed very happy with the discussion you and the president. were you discussing the report?
>> was i? >> no. it was in front of several justices of the supreme court and other dignitaries. i wasn't alone with the president. >> okay. >> you are sure of that? >> what? >> anybody thinking they heard you say anything else would be wrong? >> right. >> you've indicated you redact grand jury material. in both the watergate and ken starr investigations, grand jury secrecy was overcome to allow congressional access. have you asked the district court to release grand jury material to congress? >> did you say were you citing the starr investigation? >> and watergate, yes. >> the starr investigation involved a specific statute.
>> rule 6e? >> no. the starr statute setting up the independent counsel provided for the report going to congress and overrode 6e. so i don't think the starr situation is -- >> but more specifically have you asked the district court to release grand jury material? >> no. the law right now is in the district of columbia that the court can only waive 6e for one of the grounds specified specifically in 6e. there is no inherent power in the court to do that. if someone shows me and i think makes a persuasive argument that it is covered, i'm willing to listen to that. but i don't see it. >> the dollar amount, your
budget. we're told from atf would result in -- could lose 370 positions under the president's budget even though it shows a slight increase because of attrition and everything else. are you satisfied with atf at a time of violent crime and everything else losing these positions? >> are you talking about the 377 positions that mr. brandon mentioned? >> i understood 370. whichever. >> we don't think he will lose those positions. there is some complicated accounting here that i'm sort of a little mystified by myself. but as i understand it, we've been continually investing and
increasing the number of atf agents and they were worried about bringing on too many agents in excess of funds that were going to be appropriated and they had sort of the -- the way they quickly make up for that is to just take out head count rather than make cuts across the board. we don't think that they are. and mr. loftus can give you more of an explanation. >> i really would like more. it's 370 or the administration's 46, either way it looks very much like cuts in atf. >> i can add to say atf has a 4% increase in the budget and i have spoken with the atf chief. i think he is an outstanding guy and worked closely with him over many years. i do know they are concerned about the resources in their budget but we have looked at the 4% increase. we don't think the 4% increase
translates into a loss of hundreds of positions but we're willing to work very closely with atf and make sure that we can protect their -- certainly their agents and again any money that atf receives i think can be put to very good use and we look forward to working with both atf and the committee on this one. >> we have three votes scheduled at 11:45. my intention is to go until the votes are called and don't anticipate coming back after that occurs. senator kennedy is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i don't intend to talk much about your budget. i think we both know that congress will make sure that you are adequately funded. i want to little bit about the mueller report. i think it was inevitable that some people were going to be disappointed in the result or results that mr. mueller reached. you can only be young once, you
can always be immature. there will be some who were so disappointed in the results that they will attack the process in bad faith. i would strongly encourage you to ignore that. just call them like you see them. follow the law. can we agree that if you turned over the mueller report without grand jury material redacted to only members of congress, can we agree that there is a material risk that the grand jury information would leak? >> i think so. >> that's been known to happen. >> yes, occasionally, yes. >> in a sentence or two, why would that be bad? >> well, because we depend on the secrecy for our system of justice. people have to be assured when they go into the grand jury that these will be confidential
sessions. >> i got it. can we agree that if you turned over an unredacted report for the members of the united states congress, that included material that might impair an existing investigation or investigations that there is a material risk that that information might leak? >> yes, senator, there is a risk. >> why is that bad? >> presumably the reason people are interested in seeing the report is because they believe it's important for the criminal justice process to work. allowing this other information to come out would frustrate from the prosecutor's standpoint the system from working in other cases. and from the defendant's standpoint would be potentially unfair to the defendant. >> let's talk about reputational risk. if you turn over a report -- >> could i just add something. in some of these cases there are gag orders from the court
prohibiting this information from going out. >> okay. if you were to turn over an unredacted report containing unredacted information that could raise reputational risk, can we agree there is a material risk that that would leak? >> yes, senator. >> why is that bad? >> well, it goes back to the -- if someone has not committed a crime at the end of the day, and in this context if they aren't public office holders, they're private citizens, the government is not in a position to say they did anything wrong, it would be unfair just fundamentally unfair to put that information out. >> that that be especially the case if someone thought their communication was confidential? >> yes. >> kind of like dr. ford.
who thought she was making a confidential communication. until some member of the judiciary committee or their staffs turned her life upside down and leaked that. >> i'm not aware of the circumstances myself. >> i'm not, either, i wish i were. it was probably the greatest injustice i've seen in the time i've been here. let me talk a little bit in the minute i have left. i'm going to land this plane on time, mr. chairman. i know you are taking a look at the genesis of the investigations with respect to 2016 election. just quickly can we agree that the f.b.i. is the premier law enforcement agency in all of human history? >> absolutely. >> can we agree that we want f.b.i. agents and justice department members to have thought about the world and
thought about socio-economic problems and thought about how to solve those problems. you don't want a dummy working for the f.b.i. or justice department, correct? they aren't supposed to act on those political beliefs, are they? >> no, senator. >> it appears to me. i won't ask you this question. there were a handful of men and women at the f.b.i., possibly at the department of justice, who did act from their political beliefs in 2016. some were for donald trump. if you don't believe me ask secretary clinton. some of them were for secretary clinton. if you don't believe me, ask president trump. and that's not right. and we need to stop this from ever happening again. my plane has landed. >> thank you, senator kennedy, senator reid. >> thank you. let me return to your march 24th letter to the judiciary committee and along the lines
of senator leahy. you quote the special prosecutor -- excuse me, director mueller, with respect to the allegations of obstruction of justice and you say while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. which raises the question in my mind did the special counsel find probable cause that a crime had been committed? >> i'm not going to characterize his report. the report will speak for itself and that's why i want to get it out. >> well then let me just follow up. >> but i think my letter says that he did not find a crime was committed. >> i understand that. but i think it is important to note that you took his language and said i did not find a crime but i cannot exonerate the president. that suggests that there is a possibility that probable cause existed for a crime. however, someone, either
director mueller or yourself, made a determination that the evidence would not be beyond -- could not convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt or that the policies of the department was not to charge the president because of the constitutional issue of impeachment. so this is again i'm trying to understand why not only director mueller said this but you repeated it that the president was not exonerated from the obstruction of justice allegations. >> as i explained yesterday i was trying to state just the bottom line conclusions and not characterize it or try to summarize the report beyond just stating its bottom line conclusions and i thought the best way of doing that was taking that language from bob's -- mueller's report. >> let me turn the question around. if there was no evidence or probable cause, then i would
presume he could have said very clearly that there was no crime committed that he could, in fact, exonerate the president, as he seems to have done with the allegations of conspiracy between the campaign and russia. >> i think that sentence says he is not finding there was a crime and he is not exonerating. i am not going to characterize his reasoning or his report. that's why it's important to get the whole report out instead of trying to read this -- probable cause is a low standard for determining when you start investigating something. a lot of things have probable cause. >> i i grew with you completely. it is important to get the whole report out to the american public. there are serious questions we just go back and forth on and your response is very critical. those questions aren't going to be resolved until the american people see this report, not sections of it. not paraphrases of it.
but this entire report. let me just quickly ask another question which is do you have any specific evidence that there was anything improper in the counter intelligence investigation by the f.b.i. or anything improper in the way the investigation was carried out by the special counsel for the 2016 election? >> it was a compound question. >> a counter intelligence investigation by the f.b.i. with respect to the 2016 election involving primarily the trump campaign. there was an investigation by director mueller into the 2016 campaign and other issues. have you any evidence that there was anything improper in those investigations? >> i have no specific evidence that i would cite right now. i do have questions about it. >> so this panel you are putting together -- >> i'm not putting together a panel. >> you have some interest in this, you don't have any evidence. >> i have concerns about
various aspects of it. >> do you believe that the investigation that director mueller undertook was a witch hunt as asserted by the president, or illegal? >> it depends on where you're sitting. if you are somebody who is being falsely accused of something you would tend to view the investigation. >> you are sitting as the attorney general of the united states with constitutional responsibility. if you could answer in that regard. >> i'm not going to characterize. it is what it is. mueller and his team conducted an investigation and issued a report. >> i will use my own adjectives. >> those don't include witch hunt or illegal. is that correct? those would not be in your answer. >> i haven't referred to it.
>> thank you. mr. chairman. >> senator mckoskie. >> i want to start my questions with the issue of marijuana. senator gardner has really taken the lead on this issue over here in the senate. i have been supportive of his efforts. he is trying to move forward with the state's act. i'm co-sponsoring that. when we visited and during your confirmation process you explained that you believe that the current conflict between federal and state marijuana laws is untenable was the words that you described. you also explained that you will not upset settled expectation or the reliance interests that have developed because of the policies from the prior administration. but you did state that you believe the current situation really has to be addressed.
i know and understand that you don't support the wholesale legalization of marijuana. you make it clear we face a choice between the federal prohibition and a federal approach to correct the disconnect between the state and federal laws. so i think you committed to me and to others that this is something that congress has to address the right way, which is through legislation and we would agree with that. i think we think the states act is an approach that does what you have recommended. it adjusts the federal law the right way to create a federal approach to marijuana. i think the president has expressed some support for it. so can you share with me, share with the committee, where you are on this approach that has been outlined in this states act and whether or not we can
work with you on this issue? >> yes, senator. the situation that i think is intolerable and which i'm opposed to is the current situation we're in. i would prefer one of two approaches rather than where we are. personally, i would still favor one uniform federal rule against marijuana. but if there is not sufficient consensus to obtain that, then i think the way to go is to permit a more federal approach so states can make their own decisions within the framework of the federal law. and so we're not just ignoring the enforcement of federal law. i haven't studied specifically the states law but i just circulated to the department for comment. i think that's the process it's in now. once we get those comments, we'll be able to work with you on any concerns about the states law. but i would much rather that
approach with the approach by the states act than where we currently are. >> i think you will have a group of folks over here that would like to work with you, would like to work with the department on that. let me move to special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction. in the 2013 reauthorization of wawa we recognized tribal domestic violence that allowed tribes to -- this was for a limited class of offenses. so just last week the house passed its reauthorization vehicle that expands this jurisdiction to a broader class of sexual assault and domestic violence offenses as well as crimes against children and assaults on tribal police officers. the vehicle there, the reauthorization vehicles also allows for a pilot project that
is specific to alaska native villages that have 75% or greater native population to exercise this jurisdiction. i think all these provisions in the house bill are a step in the right direction. you and i have had discussion about the issues of just protection in general in outlying areas of very remote parts of my state where we really -- >> bill: a couple of big headlines. spying 2016 campaign. the a.g. bill barr said probably a failure among leaders of the f.b.i. i think there was spying during the campaign. a couple questions about the mueller matter about obstruction. he says a binary decision is it a crime or is it not a crime? the democrat from rhode island asked about evidence that relates back to the spying. he said no specific evidence but i have concerns about various aspects of it. >> sandra: he went on to talk about his responsibility there on possible fisa abuses. i feel like i have an
obligation to make sure government power is not being abused. that's one of the principle roles of the attorney general. this hearing will continue and we'll continue monitoring it for you. >> bill: we're doing a little dance there. we'll take you back when barr talks when it relates to mueller stuff here. catherine herridge, i want to check in with her now. >> thank you, bill, good morning. a couple of major headlines so far in this hearing. the first is really quite extraordinary about a half hour ago we had an exchange between the attorney general bill barr and democratic senator shaheen. she had a specific line of questioning about why the attorney general was personally reviewing the genesis of the f.b.i. counter intelligence investigation that opened in late july of 2016. and for some context the reason that's important is because that investigation is the foundation for the special counsel case and that investigation also took the
extraordinary step of securing a surveillance warrant for a trump campaign aide carter page. so listen to this exchange and pay careful attention to the language that is being used. >> i think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. i'm not suggesting that those rules were violated but i think it's important to look at that. i'm not talking about the f.b.i. necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly. >> so you are not suggesting, though, that spying occurred. >> i don't -- well, i guess you could -- i think spying did occur, yes, i think spying did occur. >> the attorney general went on to say that what was important to understand is whether there
was an evidentiary basis that justified that warrant during the campaign. the second thing we also learned this morning is there will be two phases to this process. the public report, which will be color-coded in terms of the redactions and then he said he will move into a second phase with congress to find out if there is additional material that they want that he will be able to provide specifically to them. so sorry for all of this. a jumble right there. we have a key point on the spying allegation and then the second on two phases of the mueller report, sandra and bill. >> bill: to emphasize that, he is trying to say is there enough evidence to support the action of spying from 2016? stand by. >> sandra: here is martha maccallum. revealing moments. >> this has been fascinating testimony this morning from the attorney general william barr. as catherine was just pointing out he was asked the crucial
question whether or not spying may have been the predicate for the beginning of this investigation and i think it's really worth pointing out and emphasizing something that catherine just said. he said well, i guess spying did occur. yes, i think spying did occur. the question is whether or not it was predicated. i am not suggesting it wasn't adequately predicated but i need to explore that. i think it's my obligation. he is referring to whether or not anyone was sort of dangling information in front of george papadopoulos or carter page, whether or not it's possible that he was planted in front of those individuals in order to trap, for lack of a better word, them into having an exchange that would then be the basis to begin an investigation. so that is a big piece of information but william barr is very careful. he has been attorney general
before, a very wise person. he is saying -- i think spying occurred, but it may have been legitimate, in other words, but he said i need to know the answer to whether or not it was and that's why he has assembled this team that he announced late yesterday which was also big news that he is putting together at d.o.j. >> sandra: it won't be limited to the f.b.i. but includes the intelligence community. another moment earlier when it boils down to how exactly the mueller report will ultimately be released with redactions. democrats are in this room pressing for as much of that report to be made public as possible. obviously there are four categories that redactions are necessary. he made news at the top of the hearing by saying that the most inflexible of the four categories is, of course, the grand jury information. when it comes down to the other categories, he says he is working with judiciary on being more flexible possibly, i'm
paraphrasing, but it seems like he is going to make some sort of accommodation to the growing demands to see more of this report. >> sandra: the other three parts are the intelligence part. you know, disclosing any intelligence information. i think that will be a pretty high bar to cross. the other one is ongoing investigations. mueller moved some of these investigations to the southern district of new york. anything that would affect those would be redacted. the third one i think in some ways bleeds over to the grand jury testimony as well. it has to do with the testimonies that were given by various members of the trump administration and anybody else related to this investigation where they talked about everything that they testified to and then were not indicted. it was discovered there would be no charges against them. it is not proper to put those people's private stories and private testimony out into the public sphere unnecessarily. in fact, that's exactly what
james comey was criticized for doing when he detailed all the things he said were egregious behavior on the part of hillary clinton but no one would bring the case. william barr is trying to avoid that. >> he is explaining his letter. >> i don't feel, you know, i'm looking forward to explaining my decision that i briefly outlined in the march 24th letter. but i don't feel i can do it until the report is out because i think -- because i think the report contains a lot of the information that would give meaning and content to the discussion and i really can't do it in the absence of getting it out. i'm anxious to get it out. it's what i've been working toward. >> sandra: he is being very careful about not wanting to characterize the findings of the mueller investigation. he was pressed further and more beyond that. he just said we have to wait
and that's why he wants as soon as possible to get that full report out. >> it is worth reminding everybody at home. the purpose of this testimony is issues at the department of justice. they can use their time however they like. as he made clear after the report is released and he expects that will happen within the week, then he is coming back for the specific purpose of answering questions about what is in the report once the report is out. it seems quite logical to say that i don't feel timely or necessary or appropriate at this point to dig into a lot of detailed q and a about the report before everyone has had a chance to see it. >> sandra: want to also ask you about what we heard from the president earlier. he left for the fundraiser in san antonio, texas, a short time ago. upon his departure he talked to reporters. he spoke at length about the mueller report ahead of this hearing happening this morning. he said that he has not seen this report.
he has not read this report. obviously that has been a question through this process. there are questions to william barr whether or not he has had a direct conversation with the president about this today. he said no. he was asked about being at the white house over st. patrick's day, interesting back and forth there. he said the president hasn't read it or seen it. >> that percolated up based on a back and forth yesterday in the hearing where he was asked did you share this report or its contents with the white house. he said i don't want to go into that. today we get more clarification on the fact that the president said this morning that he had not seen the report yet. and the attorney general clarified that today as well. so it's worth also remembering the president said through william barr in his letter that he was going to leave the discretion up to william barr when it came to the release of this report and redactions and all of that and that he was
relying on the attorney general's experience in order to do that. it appears based on what both men are saying today that that's the case. >> sandra: we all had a chance to learn more of the presidential candidates starting out with howard schultz. your town hall was awesome. we look forward to another one with bernie sanders. >> it will be monday night in bethlehem, pennsylvania talking to bernie sanders, a great place to talk to any potential presidential candidate. pennsylvania is a swing state. one of the states that swung the election to president trump back in 2016. it is a place where these democrats are going to want to try to pick off some of the voters and convince them they aren't better off than they were a couple of years ago so we'll ask bernie sanders to make that case. he is a democratic socialist. the first socialist leader in the country as the governor of vermont and now senator from vermont. fascinating to talk to him about his arguments. >> sandra: looking forward to that monday, april 15th, 6:30
p.m. >> bill: we may have the mueller report by then. he said within a week. we're watching the clock on that. a few more things here. have you spoken to the white house? no. as you ladies mentioned there. have you overruled any redactions with the mueller team? no. did you speak to bob mueller about obstruction? yes. how it's a binary decision. is there a crime or is there not? that's the duty of prosecutors and that's what they're charged with looking for and looking at. back inside the hearing in a moment. a quick commercial break on "america's newsroom." back after this. you see clear skin. cosentyx can help people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis find clear skin that can last. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting, get checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor about an infection or symptoms, if your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms develop or worsen, or if you've had a vaccine or plan to.
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>> tech vo: ...so she can save the science project. >> kids: whoa! >> kids vo: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ >> can we agree if you turned over the mueller report without grand jury material redacted to only members of congress, can we agree that there is a material risk that the grand jury information would leak? >> i think so. >> it has been known to happen. >> yes, occasionally, yes. >> in a sentence or two, why would that be bad? >> well, because we depend on the secrecy of the grand jury for our whole system of justice. >> bill: that was about 20 minutes ago. chris van holland doing questioning. >> i won't comment until the report is out and everyone -- >> but i'm not asking you for
what is in the report. you sent a letter to the united states congress that included something which was a principle conclusion which was not a conclusion reached by the mueller report. you indicated that they did not exonerate the president. you did. and so i'm asking you whether you agree with mueller that there were difficult issues of law and fact in making that assessment. >> that's not a question i can really answer >> but you looked at the report, right? and you looked at the evidence of the report and you made a decision and you said that the president is not guilty of criminal obstruction of justice. i'm asking you in your review of the report did you agree with mueller there were difficult issues of law and fact? >> i'll give my reaction and comments about the report after the report. >> but you put your view of the report out there on this issue of obstruction of justice, right? nobody asked you to do that.
>> i didn't put my view of the report. >> you put your assessment on, you made a conclusion on the question of obstruction of justice that was not contained in the mueller report and i'm simply asking you when you looked at the evidence, did you agree with mueller and his team that there were difficult issues of law and fact? >> as i say, i am going to explain my decision and to the extent that requires any assessment of the mueller report, i'll do that when the mueller report is out. >> did your decision require you to look into the intent of the president of the united states with respect to obstruction of justice? >> i'm not going to discussion my decision. i will lay it out after the report is out. >> you put this out there. the president tweeted the next day he was exonerated. not based on anything in mueller report with obstruction of justice. that was based on your assessment on march 24th. now you won't elaborate at all as to how you reached that
conclusion. i'm not asking you what is in the mueller report. i'm asking your conclusion. let me ask you this. >> it was a conclusion of a number of people including me. i am the attorney general. it was also inclusion of the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. and i will discuss that decision after the report is out. >> did bob mueller support your conclusion? >> i don't know whether he supported my conclusion. >> in your june 2018 memo you indicated a president can commit obstruction of justice in truth finding functions. did you see any evidence in this report about whether or not president trump committed what you call a classic sense of obstruction of justice? >> i'm not going to characterize or discuss the contents of the report. the report will be made public next week and i will come up and testify at that point about
it. >> but the thing about it is, you put your conclusion out there and now you refuse to talk about any basis of your conclusion. i'm not asking you what's in the report but how you reached your conclusion. last question. can you assure us that the key factual evidence relevant to charges of obstruction of justice will be included in the public report? can you assure us the key factual evidence in the mueller report related to charges of obstruction of justice will be available in the public report? >> i believe its it will and i want to review it when the redaction team is done making the redactions to make sure there is nothing in there that would prevent that. and by the way, redactions can cut both ways. >> my understanding from your house testimony was you are
allowing the mueller team to make the redactions in three of the four areas you mentioned, all of them except for intelligence, is that a correct understanding of your testimony yesterday? in other words, you are leaving the discretion to them on the three of the four criteria that you mapped out. >> i have stated what the categories are and the people implementing it are the justice lawyers with the special counsel's lawyers. they are implementing those categories. >> you are not going to overrule the special counsel's judgment with respect to any of those categories, right? >> i haven't. >> can you tell us you will not? >> if an issue comes up i don't want to pre-judge it but it is not my intention. my intention is to allow the team to make the redactions and the people in the department are making those redactions. >> senator bozeman. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you very much for being
here. we appreciate your service. we have talked about a lot of things that are very important. i want to talk about one that is sweeping the country as we mentioned briefly before. that's the opioid epidemic. not just that. we have an opioid epidemic but an addiction epidemic. arkansas we're number two prescribing. we've had hundreds of millions of piles prescribed last year. your team i understand you've ranked that very high or -- >> bill: all the report issues. we're trying to figure out how much and how far bill barr will go on the mueller report. >> sandra: the news continues. let's bring in ari fleischer, want to get your thoughts as this hearing on capitol hill continues and what you've heard so far. >> big day, big deal, sandra. the shoe moved to the other foot.
after two years of breathlessly covering every accusation against donald trump no matter how absurd or outlandish or hysterical it moves to the obama administration. the press already is starting to make excuses for why the obama administration should not be looked into. i was watching on a different network earlier this morning. it's a big deal what the attorney general is doing and saying. and his belief that spying took place. >> sandra: what an exchange that was with senator shaheen. spying on a political campaign is a big deal. shaheen said are you saying spying occurred? he paused slightly and said spying did occur. need to know if it was properly predicated. this is something that we already knew ahead of the hearing that he will look further into. what exactly was wass happening there. meantime on the mueller report itself what is your take away so far ahead of the actual
release of the redacted report, ari? >> i think the attorney general is do it by the book guy and doing it by the book. when he says i will let the mueller report speak for itself, i will not categorize it, isn't that exactly appropriate for the attorney general? attorney general's job is to decide whether or not charges get filed against people. the work of mueller is independent and should stand on its own and speak for itself. we all want to read it and we'll get to. i think what you've got here, sandra, frankly, are a bunch of democrats who can't give up the conspiracy theories. for two years they put the nation through misery and turmoil, divided and hurt us by alleging donald trump colluded with russia. now they want to allege that bill barr the attorney general is doctoring the mueller report. won't make the full mueller report public and hide parts of it. it is nothing but conspiracy theory democrats who don't know
how to get it up. they should give it up and get back to legislating. >> sandra: what was your takeaway about potential changes or accommodations he might be able to make with judiciary on when talking about the color-coded redactions and the most inflexibility he said with the grand jury information but would meet with judiciary to see if there were any further information in the report that fell under those categories that he would be able to make public ultimately. >> he said the exact thing yesterday about the color coding as well as meet with judiciary to help them through this. that's called good government. that's called the executive branch and legislator trying to cooperate to figure things out. if you're the attorney general you're bound by the law. you cannot release things no matter how politically expedient or how congress would like you to, you have to obey existing laws. for those who saying release it
all regardless of the law. they are calling on the foreign general to disregard the law. he cannot do that. and so i think the process he has outlined is a respectful and proper one. the one missing ingredient here. bob mueller owes it to the nation after it comes out for him to shine some light to reflect a little bit. i think that would assuage what the attorney general. i always respected him. he is the missing voice and he needs to be heard as well. >> sandra: we'll get back to the hearing. i want to run two sound bites for you from the hearing from the past few minutes and get your reaction to each. first is barr on obstruction. >> did he express any expectation or interest in leaving the obstruction decision to congress? >> not -- he didn't say that to
me, no. >> so he said the obstruction decision should be up to you? >> he didn't say that, either. but that's generally how the department of justice works. generally grand juries are to investigate crimes and a prosecutor's role at the end of the day is binary, are there charges or no charges? >> sandra: he went on to say he looks forward to publicly explaining his decision. as we know, that's going to happen. he has been invited to appear may 1 and 2. we'll hear more from him on that after the release of the report. your thoughts. >> i think that's exactly the job of the attorney general. what the senator is getting at is can i impeach him? based on what mueller wrote, can that be something congress can use to impeach? that's the senators' decision. it starts in the house. if the house wants to impeach the president, try. bring forward the evidence you have and try to impeach him. if you think it makes your case
from the mueller report, proceed. that's what the senator wants to hope is in the report and why he asked that que. it is a different job he has than the attorney general. does the justice department prosecute or not? he said no. >> sandra: senator coons is talking now on capitol hill. we want to get back into this. >> information to congress about the specific justification for redactions you imagine a situation where congress under the appropriate safeguards could verify the redaction categories weren't abused. tell me something about the safeguards you have in mind. >> you know, i don't know how detailed the descriptions will be. some of them may be generic. some of them may be able to provide additional information. for example, if there is a gag order in a case that says, you know, apart from whatever we
feel about impinging on the case there is a gag order that would be imme indicated by release. >> are the safeguards likely to be worked out for the chairmen? >> the safeguards, an easy one in my view is the classified information. i would just want to make sure there were adequate safeguards and shared with a limited number of people. that kind of thing. the thing we would normally do in this situation. >> i was struck the district court of the district of columbia reported the grand jury convened by mueller hasn't been discharged and continuing its investigation. did anyone pressure the special counsel to conclude his investigation and submit his report before it was complete? >> i didn't. >> did anyone else to your knowledge? >> not that i'm aware of. >> there are press accounts that members of the special
counsel's team, his investigators prepared summaries for public release of sections of the report. why did you summarize the principle conclusions reached by the special counsel and results of the investigation rather than releasing some of these prepared for public release summaries? >> actually, deputy attorney general rosenstein and i were expecting a report that would make it very easy for us to determine what had to be taken out and what wasn't. and that's not how the report came to us. so i immediately recognized that there was going to be some significant lag time between our receipt of the report and when we could actually get it out. and decided that none of it was releasable as i received it. none of it had been vetted for stricken material but every
page on it said it could contain 6e material. >> every page had a warning and you were certain the mueller team had not vetted it. there weren't summaries. let me get to two other questions. >> i'm just saying that i felt it was important to just advise the country as to what the bottom line conclusions were. i was not interested even if i had summaries available, which i did not on sunday that were vetted, i wouldn't have put out summaries because i think summaries no matter who is preparing them will be subject to criticism. what people have to remember that generally the department of justice does come out with binary conclusions. just stating the bottom line on each of those i think was entirely appropriate. >> who outside the justice department have seen portions or all of the special counsel's report? has anyone in the white house seen any of the report?
>> i'm landing the plane right now and i've been willing to discuss my letters and the process going forward. but the report will be out next week and i'm not going to get into the details of the process until the plane is on the ground. >> at what point will you allow congress to know whether or not the white house was given the full report, briefed on the report, shared sections of the report? it is striking the president claimed complete and total exoneration if he didn't either see the report or was briefed on the report. >> as i said, you know, once the report is out i'm happy to discuss the process. >> i very much look forward to that. given your unsolicited june 8th letter to the justice department regarding obstruction of justice, did you ever consider recusing yourself from making a conclusion about whether a charge of obstruction of justice should have been made? >> well, i consulted with the
career ethics officials at the department. >> they concluded that your memo on the topic did not require your recusal. >> that's correct. >> chairman graham. attorney general has been very faithful to his insistence he not disclose anything of significance until he is in front of your committee. >> great. you cannot possibly be surprised that president trump would claim exoneration without having read anything. i hate to talk about appropriations in an appropriations committee. but i will. if sequestration goes back into effect and is due to do that, how would it affect the f.b.i. and your ability to defend the nation? >> i would turn that over to my trusty side kick here. >> did you pick the winning lottery ticket to be here with him. >> the hard ones. >> i can tell you the last time we had full sequestration in
2013. >> the democrats will all center their questions on the mueller matter and that is so far pretty much true to form there. the hearing itself is based on the budget for the department of justice and what lindsey graham is going back to. i want to bring in rick scott, the republican from the sunshine state waiting to comment on this. i don't know how much you've been able to watch right now. what do you think of bill barr and what we have learned so far, senator? >> i enjoyed seeing bill barr before we had the opportunity to vote on him. he is an honest and sincere person trying to do a good job. i look forward to the report coming out. all this we're talking about now is sort of -- doesn't do anything. let's get the report. let's make it as transparent as we can and make a decision how to go forward. this to me is all process. >> bill: there were a few questions about why you arrived at the conclusions you did. he wasn't taking the bait saying i'm not going to answer the question until the report
is out. it will be out within a week. a moment ago he said the report will be out next week. i don't know if that was the slip of a tongue or maybe it's a better clue as to next monday or tuesday when it comes out. >> nice when the report is out. we can all read it and firg out what happened and figure how to go forward. all the rhetoric talking about all this now is just -- doesn't add anything. what we ought to focus on are some of the big problems we have. secure the border, fix immigration problem. control healthcare costs, let's get on to the things that the american public wants to get done instead of talking about some report that will come out. >> bill: we also know now he is looking at the campaign of 2016 and will conduct an investigation is what lynndie graham is talking about now. give our viewers a chance to listen >> the target of foreign influence, is that correct? not a prosecutorial function, is it? >> no, unless espionage or some violation of espionage laws develop. >> would it be odd that the candidate was never really
briefed by the department of justice that your campaign may be targeted by a foreign entity? >> that is one of the questions i have is i feel normally the campaign would have been advised of this. >> and can you think of a good reason right now where they wouldn't have been? >> i'm interested in getting that answer. they had two former u.s. attorneys in chris christie and rudy giuliani involved in the campaign. i don't understand why the campaign was not advised. >> apparently when senator feinstein had a person on her staff that was supposedly connected to the chinese government she was briefed. is that the normal way you do things with a counter intelligence investigation? >> i think -- >> she was briefed about a staff member that they thought might be connected to chinese government and she took action and fired the guy. is that what you are supposed to be doing? >> that's what i would -- if i
were attorney general and that situation came up i would say yes, brief the target of the foreign espionage activity. >> so you are pledging to this committee and i guess to the country as a whole to find out what happened with a warrant application, find out about the counter intelligence investigation to make sure the law was followed and if there was any abuse of the law to report to the congress and the public, is that accurate >> that's accurate. i just want to satisfy myself there were no abuse of law enforcement or intelligence powers. >> i'm glad you're doing that. when it comes to mr. mueller, are you talking to him about the 6e material? >> i haven't personally talked to him about the 6e. >> people are sitting at the same table. >> when it comes to ongoing criminal investigations you make sure prosecutors, they
have a say about what is released because it may jeopardize their cases? >> that's right. the people involved in the cases. >> when it comes to classified information you're talking to intelligence community to make sure they're okay? >> yes. >> senator schatz. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. attorney general for being here. i want to give you a chance to rephrase something you said because i think when the attorney general of the united states uses the word spying it is rather provocative and in my view unnecessarily inflammatory. and i know what you are getting at because you have explained yourself in terms of answering senator graham's questions and the questions of others. do you want to rephrase what you are doing? because i think the word spying could cause everybody in the cable news ecosystem to freak out. and i think it's necessary for you to be precise with your
language here. you normally are. i want to give you a chance to be especially precise here. >> i'm not sure of all the connotations of that word that you are referring to. but unauthorized surveillance, i want to make sure there was no unauthorized surveillance. is that more appropriate in your mind? >> this is your call. i wanted to give you a chance to say how you wanted to say it and didn't misspeak. you talked for a long time, you had yesterday. i want to make sure you use the word you want to use. on the mueller team summaries within the report i get on every page there was an admonition it may contain 6e material. the question i have relates to your desire to make sure the whole thing is intelligible. are these reports going to be -- are these summaries, when
the report is released, going to be intelligible? there may be some redactions or none. are we going to get the gist of this or will it be on january of 2015 and then you have to flip 15 pages to find the next text. >> you will get more than the gist. >> thank you. i want to ask you about the cole memorandum. in your confirmation hearing you said i won't go after companies that relied on the cole memorandum. are you planning on restoring it, establishing your new guidance? i heard what you said about marijuana generally but those are public policy questions. assuming we can't come to an agreement on a new statutory framework, what is the plan for the department of justice? >> i'm going to have to make some difficult choices.
>> do you care to elaborate? >> reliance suggests people who have already taken action based on the cole memorandum. one open question in my mind is if states continue to pass these laws will we continue to forebear in those new states? i would like to see congress address this issue. >> is there any internal guidance regarding these sort of difficult questions? >> none that i've given. >> so the department of justice is operating without guidance? >> the department of justice is operating under my general guidance that i am accepting the cole memorandum for now but generally left it up to the u.s. attorneys in each state to determine what the best approach is in that state. i haven't heard any complaints from the states that have legalized marijuana. >> a year ago attorney general
sessions said we're moving forward and we will add fairly soon additional suppliers of marijuana under the controlled substances act. i've sent two follow-up letters. where are we on this? >> rick scott is listening to this. the question came back from the senator from hawaii about a spying clarification. he said want to make sure there was no unauthorized surveillance. earlier in the hearing an hour ago he said is there evidence to support the action behind the spying in 2016? we'll use that word for now. >> the way i look at it is you can't solve a problem if you don't do the investigation to figure out what happened. maybe nothing happened. maybe nobody did anything wrong. how will you find out or fix it? if there is a chance something went wrong why not investigate it and find out and make sure it doesn't happen again. >> bill: what he said just to take his words, i think there was spying during the 2016 campaign, senator.
>> that's pretty scary. i would think in my office if the f.b.i. or justice knew of somebody that was doing something wrong, i hope they would come and tell me. i would want to fix it. i'm sure that anybody running for president would want to do the same thing. and so there shouldn't be spying, they should have done what they did with dianne feinstein. tell her somebody was in her office possibly doing wrong things. >> bill: a question prior to that from a different senator why the campaign wasn't advised about the surveillance. barr went on to describe former prosecutors giuliani and christie on board the campaign. have you ever been able to assess a fair answer on that? >> i would hope and hope there was not spying. i hope there was no unauthorized surveillance of a campaign. that scares you in this country if these things happened.
it will be -- my goal is let's get as much information out and find out exactly what happened and do everything we can to make sure none of it happens again. >> bill: do you know if much will be settled even after the mueller report is delivered to the hill be it this week or next week as bill barr said with his words? >> i think clearly democrats are anti-trump. they hate trump. whatever they can do to disparage him to make him appear illegitimate they'll try to do it. i'm hopeful. i've been here for 90 days. i hope there are other people who said we got elected up here to get something done to deal with the big issues of the country and enough people will say let's get something done. >> bill: they're back on obamacare now. senator feinstein has the gavel. >> justice roberts opinion said it can be upheld as a tax even though it couldn't otherwise be upheld. but for finding it a tax you
would have had five votes against it. once the penalty was removed, the financial penalty was removed that provision could no longer be justified as a tax which means that it would have to fall. so the mandate fell. mandate in my opinion -- i don't think it's a closed question, the mandate was unconstitutional because it can no longer be upheld as a tax. then the question becomes if the mandate falls even though there was no penalty attached to it, what is its impact on the rest of the statute. four of the justices in the nfib felt that the whole statute had to fall. so as i said before you arrived, senator, at the end of the day i felt that this was a defensible legal position to take. >> in my experience, which i guess i've been here 26 years,
i've never seen this before that a decision like this would be made by one individual on the basis of what has been a huge decision legislatively and signed by a president based on -- i'm not sure quite what, despite what you said. >> who was the one individual, me? >> no, no. you misunderstood what i said. it is not important. it is -- so you are saying despite the fact that supreme court of the united states upheld what has been a major law duly passed and signed by the president, that you are just not going to defend it. >> that does happen. it happens occasionally in our
system. i think the principle over at the department of justice is that our default position, our preference, is to defend statutes even if we don't agree with the statutes and even if we think the argument is a weak argument. for example. last time i was in the justice department i thought the flag statute was unconstitutional but we defended it, the no burning of the flag. we defended it and we lost. >> why wouldn't you defend this? >> because occasionally the administration determines that another position should be taken. >> is this determined by the white house? >> it's determined by the process within the executive branch. there are a number of agencies, a number of different players even in the white house that get involved in these things. >> well, i assume you wouldn't take this position unless this is what the president wanted.
>> well, that would be -- >> this is a mega law. it effects pre-existing conditions and everybody in the united states. it went through a great deal of hearing and testimony and amendment and passage. >> it was a very controversial law. >> exactly. but it is a big law. >> right. >> and it has been operational for a period of time and people depend on it, millions of people, for their healthcare. and so all of a sudden along comes -- and i guess this is just my way of saying it -- somebody and oh, i'm going to take this whole thing on and -- >> there are 20 or more states that were challenging it. there was a lot of opposition
to it. a lot of states have weighed in and i think the administration is on the side of those states. as i said yesterday, i think people should sort of take a deep breath. if this is such a whacky position that the administration is taking, there is nothing to fear. right? then the law will be upheld. >> in 26 years i've never seen this kind of thing. and i -- >> we mentioned doha before. it happens rarely in each administration but i would be surprised if most administrations have from time to time declined. >> i don't want to take the time. maybe we can discuss this. this struck me like lightning that one person decide -- i assume the president wants you to -- made this decision and everything that was done by way
proper legislative action has been taken and signature of a president, i just don't ever recall anything like this happening in the past quarter of a century. thank you, mr. chairman. >> attorney general, we're about to conclude. i have a follow up question and so does senator shaheen and we'll wrap up. something you said in your testimony that you've indicated that there is the possibility that unauthorized surveillance or spying occurred. and my question is maybe two-fold. my question is what is the basis for reaching that conclusion, or a belief that something like that occurred? and what are the consequences for those who committed unauthorized surveillance? >> did you say that i said that it occurred?
>> you indicated i think -- i tried to at least reflect on what your quote was. that you thought spying on a political campaign occurred in the course of an intelligence agency's investigation into russian interference in 2016. >> i thought the question was did i have any basis for saying that? >> i'm asking what the basis is or what the facts are that lead you to that thought. >> okay. i felt -- i am concerned about it and i was asked about whether there was any basis for it. i believe there is a basis for my concern but i won't discuss the basis. >> what is the potential consequences for those who violated the law? >> it depends what the facts prove to be. >> which would be determined in a prosecution? >> possibly. but, you know, there can be abuses that may not rise to the level of a crime but that people might think is bad and want to put in rules against it.
i remember when there was a lot of -- people upset at the f.b.i. spying on or surveilling civil rights groups or anti-war groups or nuclear freeze groups and so forth and as a result of that there were a lot of safeguards built in. there were also concerns about surveilling reporters and safeguards have been put in. it doesn't necessarily have to result in a criminal investigation or a finding of a crime. but part of my responsibility is protect the civil liberties of the american people and i think something that is important is that the law enforcement and intelligence agencies respect the limits on their powers. >> i share that view with you, mr. general.
and of the same generations in which those things occurred or alleged to have occurred. >> mr. chairman, i remember that too and i remember when j. edgar hoover's f.b.i. surveilled student groups, having been in one that was surveilled. i want to ask a couple of what i hope will be very short questions. over the past two years the subcommittee in congress have provided record levels of funding for violence against women. that's true about the recent omnibus as well. we have not yet reauthorized the violence against women act and i want to be reassured that the justice department, despite this last authorization, will continue to provide the funding that's been appropriated by congress. >> absolutely. >> i support the reauthorization of the act. >> thank you. i hope you will share that with some members of your administration. >> i haven't seen any specific
vehicle for that but in concept i certainly support it and would like to see it done. >> thank you. the other question i have is that the prior attorney general issued a number of memos and during his tenure that provided guidelines from everything from sentencing for u.s. attorneys on drug offenses to immigration policy and the protective detail for secretary devos. do you intend to review those memos and expect there might be a different outlook from that? i have a particular specific question. >> sandra: as the hearing continues on capitol hill as we approach the noon hour on the east coast let's bring in congressman brad wenstrup. congressman, good morning to you. what do you think of what you've heard this morning? >> i'm glad i had the opportunity to listen in with you. i think the attorney general is doing an outstanding job of
answering all the questions that have come his way and doing things professionally. he has that reputation and has had that for a couple of decades really. and i think he is probably the right man for the job right now. one of the things that we've learned is when he is going to put this report out he will color code the redactions and explain why parts are redacted. i think that's huge. in the last couple years as we tried to get information and memos from the f.b.i. and department of justice we would sometimes get whole pages blacked out and no reason why. later we would find out there was no reason for it to be redacted. i think he is doing a great job and i hope that continues. >> sandra: so he says he believes that spying did occur on the trump campaign. assembled a team to look further into that. we await the actual report to be released with redactions. he is talking about some sort of accommodations perhaps working with judiciary to change the ability to show more information in the report. we'll see. but here he is talking about
releasing factual evidence. here is william barr. >> landing the plane right now and i've been willing to discuss my letters and the process going forward, but the report will be out next week and i'm not going to get into the details of the process until the plane is on the ground. >> sandra: he really has reiterated throughout this process he does not want to discuss the report, the findings behind the report, the evidence until the actual report is released within a week. >> i think that's completely appropriate. he is trying to stay within the law and is staying within the law when you talk about not releasing grand jury evidence and classified information and he is doing it methodically and appropriately. i did find it interesting in the house side yesterday when one of the democrat members said how she hasn't seen the report except that she hasn't sen the report and accused him of cherry picking information.
how does she know? she hasn't seen the job. let him do his job and has been as transparent as everybody has as we deal with the federal government as a member of congress. >> sandra: lindsey graham had his moment just a few moments ago. here he is. >> you cannot possibly be surprised that president trump would claim exoneration without having read anything. so -- >> sandra: that was lindsey graham making the point that the president has said that this report exonerates him but it was made very clear through this hearing process william barr stating the white house has not seen the report. the president himself saying earlier he has not read the report. congressman, final thoughts. >> well, the president will know what he did or did not do. that's one thing that i think he is trying to stick with. the other thing that has come forward in this and so glad it finally is, we have to look
what all took place that led up to this whole investigation and were proper procedures followed. he said that today when talking about surveillance or this and that. maybe things weren't unlawful but the traditional and done appropriately. we'll decide later whether something is to be prosecuted or if we need to change the way business was being done. >> sandra: all right. we appreciate your time and sticking with us through this congressman brad wenstrup from ohio. thank you, sir. >> bill: the hearing continues. feels like they're about to wrap here. point out a few things before we hand off to our to her colleagues at "outnumbered." yesterday he said within a week and today he said next week once, maybe even twice. perhaps the timeline has shifted a little bit since yesterday. i think most people are going to hang on throughout the entire day, "i think there was spying during the 2016 campaign." where that goes we wait to see. >> sandra: that is it for us.
thank you for joining us this morning. see you back here tomorrow. "outnumbered" starts right now. >> melissa: fox news alert, big narrative elements from attorney general william barr as he went back to capitol hill today testifying before a senate committee facing new questions over the pending release of the special counsel report. the attorney general raising eyebrows as he discussed concerns over the genesis of the fbi's investigation into the trump campaign. this is "outnumbered" and on melissa francis. here today, fox business network anchor, dagen mcdowell. town hall editor and fox news contributor, katie pavlich. fox news analyst and cohost of "benson & harf" on fox news radio, marie harf. joining us on the couch, "fox & friends weekend" cohost and fox news senior analyst, pete hegseth. and he is "outnumbered." but you are bright blue and matching. >> pete: i'm starting off with a bipartisan town! >> melissa: let's keep