tv Face the Nation CBS June 11, 2017 8:30am-9:31am PDT
captioning sponsored by cbs captioning sponsored by cbs >> dickerson: today on "face the nation", president trump tends most controversial week of his presidency with a promise testify under oath. >> no collusion, no obstruction. he is a leaker. >> dickerson: a defiant president trump claims he is vindicated by former fbi director's comey's testimony but the investigation into his campaign's ties to russia continue. we will sit down with republican senator lindsey graham, who is leading the senate judiciary probe into the kremlin's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. plus the senate intelligence committee republican james lankford, he questioned former fbi director james comey this week. and next week, he will question attorney general jeff sessions. we will ask the senator where the intelligence committee investigation goes next. and how are the democrats respond something. >> a cloud hanging over this
administration has just gotten a whole lot darker. >> dickerson: senator minority leader chuck schumer joins us to discuss the russia investigation and a big story that has been out of the spotlight. the republican promise to pass a healthcare overhaul in the senate by the 4th of july. plus we will talk with our politics panel about the infighting in the administration and mixed messages on the diplomatic crisis in the middle east. it is all coming up on "face the nation". >> good morning and welcome to "face the nation". i am john dickerson. in washington this week it came down to credibility, with two very powerful men accusing each other of lying. >> i was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting. some of the things he said just weren't true. >> >> dickerson: during thursday's blockbuster congressional hearing, the former fbi director testified under oath that the president told him he hoped he could drop the investigation into his former national security advisor general michael flynn.
and asked him to pledge his loyalty. the next day in rose garden press conference president trump hit back. >> i didn't say that. so he lied about that? >> well, i didn't say that. i mean, i will tell you i didn't say that. >> dickerson: the president said he would be willing to repeat those statements under oath in front of the special counsel, and once again raised the prospect of audio recordings of his conversations with comey. >> do tapes exist of your conversations with him? >> well, i will tell you about that maybe some time in the very near future. >> dickerson: it was the latest round of peek-a-boo about the a tapes which the president first tweeted about on may 12th, it was that tweet comey told congress that prompted him to leak his written memos of his meetings with the president to the press. >> and we start with our first guest this morning, senator lindsey graham, welcome, senator. >> thank you. >> dickerson: let me ask you, the president was called a liar by mr. comey, the president today has called mr. comey a coward. where are we with this? >> more like a wrestling match than anything else here is what i would say. the president got
elected by being a fighter, disrupter, people wanted him to come to washington and change the place, turn it up snide down, i have gotten to know the president better, i like him, he has good agenda but here is the question can you be a street fighter on all things, all the time and still be a good president? my advice to the president is every day you are talking about jim comey and not the american people and their needs and their a desires, their hopes and their dreams you are making a mistake. >> dickerson: is he getting in the way of his own agenda? >> yes, totally at the end he he has a good agenda and he is getting in the way of it, the hearing was good, to collusion with the russians yet, i don't think obstruction of justice exists here but every time you tweet about comey it is almost like wait for the next wrestling match between comey and trump. it should be about what can donald trump 0 do to help the lives of american people and sort of get out of the way here. >> dickerson: do you think the president was vindicated, he thought he was vindicated. >> i think it is true he is not under investigation for colluding with the russians and i don't think what was said amounts to obstruction of justice, what the president did was inappropriate, but this is
what is to frustrating you may be the first president in history to go down because you can't stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that if you just were quiet would clear you. it is frustrating for me to want to help a man who i think will do big things, no other republican would do like immigration, believe it or not, president trump may deliver us from a broken immigration system, this is not helping, in should be the judiciary committee, the i hear them on the show earlier today you had comey suggest the current u.s. attorney general and the former attorney general were playing politics with investigation, lynch and sessions, that needs to be in our committee, let me tell this to the american people, if the attorney general's office is a political office that is bad for us all so i want to get to the bottom of that and it should be in the judiciary committee. >> dickerson: what do you want to know from attorney general session. >> is it true what comey said, did you create an atmosphere there that people believed you could not fairly render judgment on the president's interactions with comey, i want to hear from loretta lynch, did you say
please call it a matter, not an investigation. and i want comey to come to our committee because i know on two separate occasion occasions he told members of the house and senate that the main reason he jumped into the election last year and took over the job of the attorney general is because he believed there were e-mails between the democratic national committee and the department of justice that compromised the department of justice and he thought the russians were going to release these e-mails. that's why he jumped in and took over loretta lynch's job, i want to know is that true. >> dickerson: now that e-mail, in has been some reporting that was a fake e-mail or dorkd doctored. >> when he told the house and senate he never mentioned it is fake, i don't think if it is fake but the fbi called me about this and they said they wanted to brief me because i have got some of this wrong. i saw the "washington post" story. i doubt it is fake. maybe it is but i don't want to be briefed by myself. i want democrats and republicans on the judiciary to be briefed together, our committee has been together and we are going to stay together. >> dickerson: so since we will stay in the past here for a moment, moving to the present,
but you would have former attorney general loretta lynch come before the committee. >> absolutely. >> dickerson: to answer these questions. >> absolutely, and sessions too. >> and, you know, i think it is inappropriate for the president to testify publicly, but if you are so obsessed, and i know you are frustrated, he doesn't believe he did anything wrong with the russians and i tend to believe him. he can't collude with his own government why do you think he is colluding with the russians, so there is a part of this that genuinely frustrates the president but mr. president let's not make a circus out of your presidency, if you want to come to the judicial i didn't committee and testify under oath we will put comey by you and the highest rated tv show in the world but bad for the president. >> dickerson: the colonel, no not the cool lucian question but the -- >> mere is what i think. i think the president believes if we pursue how russia interfered consider the election, we are suggesting he did not win fairly, i see no evidence of a president's campaign colluding with the russians, i see all kind of evidence of the russians trying to destroy our election, and destroy democrat situate
throughout the world, in will be, a bill .. passed to measure russia for interfering in our elections, they hacked into the dnc, and the podesta e-mails, they are arming the taliban to kill american solutions and complicit in the attack of chemical weapons bias saddam hussein on the children in syria, any member of the congress who doesn't want to punish russia for what they have done is betraying democracy and if the president doesn't sign this bill to punish russia he would be betraying democracy he. >> what do you think he will do. >> i think he will sign it and if not override the veto, mr. president, they are doing this all over the world, providing arms to the taliban to kill our soldiers, you are the commander in chief and stand up to russia and never reset our relationship with russia until we punish them for trying to destroy democracy and that starts with more sanctions. >> dickerson: the rnc chairwoman, mcdaniels said the congressional investigation into
this question of collusion should go away, they are a fishing expedition, what is the your response? >> that is none of your business. >> dickerson: we are going to do what we think is best. the russians interfered in our election, they are doing it all over the world, no evidence yet that the trump campaign colluded with the russians. i don't believe the president colluded with the russians just because of the way he behaves there is zero evidence president trump did anything wrong with the russians there is overwhelming evidence that russia is trying to destroy democracy here and abroad and if you forgive and forget with putin you will get more of the same and entice iran and klein to come in in 2018 and 2020, so to any republican that believes russia didn't do it you are wrong, to any democratic who wants to impeach president trump because of russia you wrong, all i can say is there a is a lynch mob mentality about the trump administration .. this the press, they are about as fair as a lynch mob but these tweets he does feeds the lynch mob, you are your own worst enemy, mr. president, knock it off. >> dickerson: let me ask you a question about healthcare, which
is moving through ten, i don't want to leave without talking about this. >> we are good for seven minutes. >> dickerson: mitch mcconnell has said he wants to get something passed by the 4th of july on healthcare you have said we are trying to do too much too quick as republicans and running through stop signs. >> yes. >> is by july 4th running there awe stop sign. >> we need to bring this to an end. the house bill is dead in the senate, the ten percent of support by the american people for the house bill, the house members are mad at us for not taking up healthcare. send us a bill that will get 12 percent of support, the bottom line the senate? divided behind medicaid expansion states and nonexpansion states, it is going to be tough, my advice is if we can't replace obamacare by ourselves, to go to the democrats and say this, ten percent of the stick people in this country drive 90 percent of the costs for all of us, let's take those ten percent of really sick people and put them in a federal managed care system and get better out comes and save the private sector market if we can't do this by ourselves
is a good place to start a. >> dickerson: we will have to end it there, senator, thanks so much for being with us. we turn now to senate intelligence committee member james lang for and joins us from oklahoma city, good morning, senator, i want to start with, director comey's testimony, now that it is done, is the committee's work in looking into whether the president tried to influence the investigation, is that done now? >> oh, no, far from it. this is one interview of about 36 we already have done. we are not complete yet, we have gone through thousands of pages of documents, if in any way we left the impression this is the culmination of our process that would be incorrect. this is only the midpoint of it, we are trying to get all the facts out both on russia trying to interfere with our election, if any american tried to be able to reach back to them to be able to assist russia in enter spearing with our election and how public documents got in the public severe and we are in the middle of that. >> dickerson: and does that include looking into the president and what he may or may not have done with respect to the ongoing investigation? >> sure, that is just part of
the process. obviously, if there was any american, including the president, who tried to interfere in the election or do an obstructive should know of justice that would be important to know, obviously there is a criminal investigation ongoing with a special counsel and we have a unique policy role in it and oversight role to make sure nothing is amiss of the special counsel and the fbi, with ego through all the documents and make sure they have seen everything and gone through everything and doing their criminal work but we have a policy, set of issues we also have to go through and don't work our way through everything. >> dickerson: what do you make now it has been a few days of former director comey's testimony? >> it was surprising, a lot of people have asked me lately, even here in oklahoma did you learn anything from it and things that were new, yes there certainly were things that were new, like comey saying yes, i leaked those documents to be able to get the document out of my memos and say the president did ask me about a three times or voluntarily that is said, you are not under investigation, the president of the united states. comey also made it very clear during his testimony in multiple
files that the president never asked him to stop the russia investigation that comments about i wish you would let this go were relayed to michael flynn and never came up again and nobody in the white house brought it up again after that initial conversation on february the 14th. so we are trying to evaluate what really happened, what is the background of it, wha what r information can we gain? we also went into a classified session with jim comey to go into greater detail on the russia part of it so what people saw was the open portion of it and more the palace intrigue of his firing and all of that transition in the private meeting bus with have a lot deeper information to get to. >> dickerson: let me about that question of leaks, you pay a lot of attention of that on the intelligence committee, on the scale of the one hand leaks that are just invee convenient, but nothing illegal to those that are illegal and damaging to national security. where do you put the leaks that, the leaks from james comey on that scale. >> yes, releasing his memos is not damaging to national security, is it appropriate, no, it is not and tell you fbi
agents would tell you they are told they can't take any work product home with me and certainly once they leave the fbi they can't keep some of the documents they created on official computers and take them home with them to be able to do that so that was inappropriate of him to do and still wondering why he prospectively wanted to get out of his site side of the opinion when the president heard he might have recordings if the fear was he might have recordings and get his side out first, my thought is there are recordings on both sides are getting out, we don't know if there are recordings, the president made that tweet and i would assume the same with, as jim comey does i hope there are recordings for jim comey's sake if that is out there but doubt they are there, we tried to push the whit white house to get a fm answer on that. >> dickerson: the president said he would testify under oath. would you like to question the president and what would you ask him. >> the only question i really have for president, the same thing he already answered publicly and put out any cooperation with the russian of any type, obviously he is not under investigation or not under
direct accusation how he pressed jim comey, why that conversation, conversation even came up on a one-on-one meeting but not a lot of great information and there hasn't been a direct accusation from the president actually being involved with the russians, it has been people around him, in his campaign. so for me there is not a lot of questions directly to him. >> dickerson: on the question of influencing the investigation, again, talking about the scale, on the other hand the president might have done something that was a little bit crossing a line but he is a new guy, to the job, all the way to this question of obstruction of justice, where do you put knowing what you know about the president's behavior, where do you put what he did on that scale? >> i would say it is very inappropriate, as jim comey said, it is awkward to have the president of the united states sitting down with someone in the fbi, the leadership of the fbi to be able to have direct questions and for the issue to come up about the michael flynn investigation, it is inappropriate, but the way it was handled with no follow-up, with no other press, with no other return to that topic, it
looks like what i called a pretty light touch, if this is trying to interfere in a process of any investigation, it doesn't seem like it was, number one, very effective and number 2, never came up more than once in a conversation. so this looks more like an inappropriate conversation than obstruction. >> dickerson: next week you will get to talk to attorney general jeff sessions first will that be in public or private and what do you want to know from him? >> we have not disclosed and finalized the public or private, i assume this will be public but we are still in that final conversation time with sessions, the key thing we need to get is his side of the story related to jim comey and some of the conversations jim comey had with the conversation, where jeff session was a participant there or at least around it to be able to get the rest of the story, comey's statement to him, i don't want to get time alone with the president again, and that interaction as well as the accusations flying an about conversations he might or might not have had with russians prior to the election. so i want to be able to get his side of it and gets get the facts out there and a lot of unnamed sources in the media and make statements about jeff
>> dickerson: joining us now is senate minority leader chuck schumer, you heard james comey testimony, did he make the case for obstruction? >>
look, when it comes to something like obstruction, there is a serious legal standard, a good prosecutor looks at the facts and sees if it meets that standards, i am not going to speculate about that. that is in prosecutor null her's hands. >> dickerson: the president said he would testify in front of the senate, i assume you are all for that. >> [muller] >> well, i would like to invite the president to testify before the senator. i think we could work out a way it could be dignified, public, with questions, with leader mcconnell, of course we would have to consult with prosecutor
mueller before doing it, i would like to make a broader point here that relates to that, this is such serious stuff, john, 17 intelligence agencies said the russians did interfere in the past election but if people think it is past us, they are preparing to interfere in all of our elections. that goes to the wellspring of the democracy. and this is serious stuff. we have the former director of the fbi under oath saying one thing, president trump is saying another. there is a cloud over the presidency, the president said and that is rightly. so there are two ways to clear up that cloud. one, if there are tapes, he alluded to the fact that there are tapes, maybe as a threat or taunting comey, he should make them public right away, if there aren't tapes he should let that be known. no more game playing. and a of course, he said he would testify, so i am inviting him to come testify and we could work that out. and one final point here. there is serious stuff. and the president seems to be
taking it almost a little bit lightly. it is sort of hike the tax returns. you know, in the middle of the summer last year, he said he would release them before the election. then he said there is an audit. then he said he is never going to release them. well, when it comes to the tapes and it comes to testifying, he ought to say what he means and if he does, we will take them up on each case. >> dickerson: let me separate these two issues. first on the question of enter feerntion, interference with director comey or anybody else, what about paul ryan's argument which is basically, speaker ryan said the president is new at this, and new to government, and so he probably wasn't steeped in the long running protocols. what do you make of that defense? >> well, you know, comey said that he cleared the room, the president did, before he talked to him, that doesn't indicate a casualness but there is a deeper point here. the president is the most powerful man in the world, his words really, really matter. whether it comes to foreign policy, with nato or with
australia, or saudi arabia and i can't at that, whether it comes to domestic policy, whether it comes to this investigation. the fact that he is new, the fact that he may not say things so seriously, that is not an excuse. he is the president of the united states, and he has got to step up to the plate. >> dickerson: what -- jeff sessions is going to testify next week, what do yo do you wao hear from jeff sessions? >> well, first, i think he should be sworn under oath, second, i think it should be public. there is very little that is classified, anything that is classified they can do in a separate classified briefing. there are some questions about sessions that have to be asked. first, did he interfere with the russian investigation before he recused himself? second, what safeguards are there now so that he doesn't interfere? third, it says he was involved in the firing of comey and the president said comey was fired because of russia. how does that fit into his rekiewfl? it doesn't, recusal, debt usn't
seem to stand up to me. and fourth he has been involved in the selection of the new fbi director. did he talk about the russian investigation with them? all those are important questions i hope they will be asked. >> dickerson:. >> in public, with sessions under oath. >> dickerson: let me ask about the previous attorney general, lindsey graham suggested she should come and the testify, do you think she did anything wrong based on what comey testified? >> i look i heard what comey said and he said he was troubled by it, i respect him a great deal but i haven't heard loretta lynch's side of the story so i won't come to a conclusion as to whether he is right or wrong or should testify. >> dickerson: in the political back and forth democrats look at not getting exercised about loretta lynch and what she may have done to be possibly meddling in that investigation into hillary's e-mail server and the republicans didn't, take everything he said about the president as gospel. doesn't that just kind of put this into the normal partisan sorting and people kind of look
at this and people just say well, it is just democrats and republicans bickering again? >> well, for one thing, the investigation that is surrounding this into hillary's e-mails has had lot and a, long, long history, lots of congressional investigations and fbi investigation. and all i am saying with loretta lynch is before anyone jumps to any conclusions we ought to hear what she has to say and let her state something privately and see if it makes much of a difference. i don't know that it will. >> dickerson: on healthcare, 4th of july, mitch mcconnell says. >> >> yeah, look. with mitch mcconnell, mitch mcconnell is the leader of the senate, and to have this issue, which affects a sixth of our economy, 10s of millions of people, millions would lose coverage, lose preexisting conditions, hurting the elderly, hurting women, to do this in private without hearings,
without amendments, it would be one of the most outrageous examples of legislative malpractice in decades. i am appealing to leader mcconnell, once you have your bill, once you have your bill, put it forward in public, like we democrats did, there are amendments on obamacare that are native as part of the bill. >> dickerson: senator, i am sorry, we have run out of time. >> go forward that way. i am
sorry. are you -- >> dickerson: we have run out of time. >> is there a sound problem here. >> dickerson: we have run out of time. thank you so much, senator and we will be right back. >> nice to talk to you. thank you. bye-bye. are you are going to say trump is in the kremlin's pocket? >> why did russia hack the election? >> the putin interviews a format
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>> dickerson: welcome back to "face the nation". i am john dickerson. this was supposed to be infrastructure week. instead, the trump administration had to compete with chaos, mixed messages and infighting. the culprit? often the president, who took to twitter last, last to advance his agenda and to engage in deadened fights and contradict his administration's policies at home and abroad. >> we are under siege. we will come out bigger and better and stronger than ever. >> dickerson: it all started monday with a storm of tweets in the wake of the london terror attacks. in 140 character bursts president trump criticized london's muslim mayor and shamed his own justice department for having watered down his order halting immigration from
countries with terrorist links. and for not calling it a travel ban. on tuesday, president trump sided with the nine arab countries punishing qatar claiming it backs terrorists saying the move showed his diplomacy with those countries was paying off. the problem? his pentagon had just voiced support for qatar, where america has its largest military base in the middle east. and where his secretary of state says the arab blockade of qatar is hurting the fight against isis. wednesday, administration aides were battling back stories of strife, "the new york times" reported attorney general jeff sessions had offered to resign. president trump was reportedly unhappy sessions had recused himself from the russia investigation. for two days white house spokespeople could not confirm that president had faith in his attorney general. and director of national intelligence dan coates was trying to answer for a "washington post" report, saying
the president had asked him to get then fbi director james comey to back off his investigation. >> i don't believe it is appropriate for me to address that in a public session. >> dickerson: thursday, comey himself testified to pressure he felt from the president in nine, one-on-one conversations and the reason he thought he was fired. >> it is my judgment that i was fired because of the russia investigation. >> dickerson: he also defended his actions as head of the fbi. >> the administration then chose to degame me and more importantly the fbi, by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was parley led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. those were lies, plain and simple. >> dickerson: compelling but the president had powerful defenders like house speaker paul ryan. >> the president's new at this. he is new to government, and so he probably wasn't steeped in the long running protocols.
>> dickerson: friday, during a joint news conference, president trump claimed vindication. >> no collusion, no obstruction, he is a leaker. >> dickerson: on friday afternoon, president trump escaped the white house heat and headed for his golf club in new jersey. to discuss all of that and more, we are joined by usa today washington bureau chief susan page. "washington post" columnist, david ignatius, and associated press white house correspondent julie pace and cbs news contributor and "washington post" congressional reporter, ed o'keefe. jewel, i can't i want to start, julia, wayn't to start with you a lot going on .. where are we at the end of james comey's testimony and the president's response in the sorry very i. >> i think we are at a point right now where comey's testimony opened up new lines of inquiry for the congressional have a investigation and points at mueller looking at obstruction of justice as the investigation expands from the perspective of the white house they do have some things from the testimony to latch on to,
certainly the fact that comey came out and said, yes, i did tell the president three times he was not personally under investigation. you are going to hear that over and over and over again from this white house. i think, though, that the white house is coming to grips with the fact that even though comey's testimony is behind them, this is a cloud that is going to hang a over this white house for a long time. this is not going away. and when i say that, i mean that staffers in the white house have a grasp of that. i am not quite sure the president fully understands that this is something that is going to be part of his presidency for a very long time. >> dickerson: david, so this question of whether the president is being investigated as julie said, they really held on to that, but that was when james comey was fbi director that he said that. so where do you think things stand now in terms of the president being investigated and what he has to worry about? >> well, we don't know. i think that is the point, is this is now in the hands of robert mueller, very experienced, very tough prosecutor, and he will explore
these leads .. i thaw thought as julie said, this was not a decisive moment in this story. lindsey graham earlier said it was a wrestling match. it certain her was a match in which there was no knockout punch. each side had its strong points. the picture of president trump that was presented by james comey even senator lankford said was very inappropriate behavior, the kind of but behavior that is just hard to imagine a president saying those things to his fbi director about an ongoing investigation. but not a knockout punch. i think everybody needs to hunker down now for a long process, this is the final take away. watching the reactions from republicans in the senate, i think it is going to be a very hard to pursue this obstruction of justice theme as long as there is a republican congress, so next year's in the midterm elections, i think in some ways it is going to be a referendum
on what we heard this week. >> dickerson: susan, david makes the points that is a political court, this isn't about whether the president can be prosecuted in a court of law so those initial reactions, while people might not have joined in in the white house's complaints about james comey, there was nobody saying well, you know, the president is really in trouble, so isn't that the best news for him of all, that republicans aren't, you know, talking about impeachment or still seem to be behind him? >> i guess i wouldn't see it in that sunny, in that sunny way, because while of course it is true that this week did not settle what is going to happen in this investigation, what it did make clear was there are multiple strands of ig not just russian collusion but obstruction of justice that it touches the president, the president easton law, his top aides, his attorney general, that these investigations are going to continue, via cloud, sap his ability to get other things done and while republicans didn't break with him, remember, it was
just last month that comey was fired as fbi director, this investigation and this controversy is moving very, very quickly compared to wate watergi mean think about the months and months and months that proceeded with water date before we got to the point now where the president said 100 percently testify under oath. that is extraordinary. i think that donald trump has been so unprecedented in so many ways, in office and as a candidate that we risk losing sight of how historic this pro session of events is going to be and how much it is likely to define his presidency. >> and, ed, susan points out that, you know, senator lankford said the president's obstruction question is still a big, being investigated by the senate committee, in testimony james comey said he was sure that is what the special counsel would be investigating. so while the president is focusing on comey telling him he is not being investigated he seems to be facing a lot of this now. what is the reaction up on the
hill that was not being said talkly? >> i think there is just this understanding as lindsey graham so presciently described it, that he is just self-inflicting himself with these wounds, and the more he stays quiet and just allows the legal process and the committee process to play out at this point, the better for him, and the more focused the white house can remain on the policy that congress is is trying to enact. it is important to remind the folks at home despite what you say on tv and read in the newspapers there is big rock on rolling back regulatory reform in the in the obama area, the republicans are struggling to get a healthcare plan and may not be able to do it and as senator graham alluded to there is bipartisan work to get bills pass that finish russia and iran, originally it was just iran and stops republicans and democrats insisted on pushing russia and they have a real
chance for bipartisan work but all of that gets clouded by what happens tuesday when the attorney general testifies to the intelligence committee and i think equally dramatically his deputy goes talks and to the appropriation it is subcommittee to explain himself as well. every week there is probably going to be something like this, some public forum where it gets raised again and attention is put on it, committee rooms and closed door meetings will be the center's of the drama on the hill in in the next few weeks. >> deputy rosenstein. >> right. >> dickerson: let me ask you a question on the rosenstein question here because james comey testified one of the most striking lines from him was that he said that the administration line that the fbi was, morale was bad and that he had somehow been a bad leader he said was just an absolute lie. rod 0 rosenstein the attorney to in the letter to the president in explaining why james comey didn't do his job well talked about those things, the credibility of the fbi suffered damage, that public trust about the fbi suffered damage, so james comey when he said he was
lying just wasn't talking about the president buzz the deputy attorney general. >> it is clear there were a lot of questions raised about comey's behavior as fbi director. he doesn't come to this with a reputation that is unsullied, especially when it comes to his handling of the hillary clinton investigation and his the public comments about that. that said, -- very strong. so this may be a case where rosenstein is correct in saying there was sommer interrogatories of public confidence in the fbi by democrats, and also when comey says that it is -- i think he said a lie, pure and simple that he was leading an agency that somehow had been crippled because of his leadership. >> dickerson: another challenge for james comey, david, is the fact that he leaked his own memos through a friend to the papers. have we seen a bank shot like that before and what do you think of a bank shot like that? it is -- >> it shows you that james comey
plays hardball. his decision after he had been fired to take this information and use what intelligence, is known as a cutout, give it to a lawyer who will give it to the press, shows that he was going to put pressure, turn the screws for the appointment of a special counsel, and he got what he wanted. i don't think there is anything illegal in what he did, but i think it undermined his credibility if he is going to be a witness in this, he said, he said drama going forward, it probably hurt him a little bit. everybody is playing hardball now. the president is, the president has hired one of the toughest, you know, roughest, toughest lawyers around to argue his case, so we are going to -- hunker down, this is just beginning, beginning and it is going to be a tough fight. but not illegal to leak it and not unusual. in fact when i read that, a
remarkable story in "the new york times", oh comey gave his memo to leak, i thought possibly comey leaked it himself, to somebody close to comey i suspect all of us the at this table have done. i think what is important for readers and viewers leaks of classified information, which is something that the administration has been hammering, which is illegal, and political leaks, essentially, which is what washington a really thrives on, i mean, what comey did was pull back the curtain on something that is a fairly regular process in this town. it is not clean, it doesn't look pretty but it is what happens day to day. >> but this is what donald trump has been running against, and he has a lot of people out there who share his view that there is something wrong with it., you know, we journalist don't think there is anything wrong with it and part of how information -- but there are a lot of people in the country who don't like it. >> but no clean hands at the white house for leaking either. >> understood. i am just saying again, we are heading into a messy season in
which the charges are going to go back and forth and there are so many people in the country, look at washington, and a lot of people don't like it. >> and this is a battle for public opinion, and so because if anything is going to a happen to the president it is going to have to happen in congress, so people who don't like it although it doesn't fit the technical definition of something that is the to be violated. >> and i thought it was fascinating how quickly everyone in trump's orbit seized on the idea he is a leaker, there is nothing inherently illegal about somebody sharing information with a reporter or leaking it, unless it is classified, and it looked looks like there may be an fbi policy he violated by taking his work product home and sharing it with a reporter, but regardless it wasn't classified information, this is how washington works. at least the old way. and i thought that was one of the most brilliant moments of the whole thing because it was really transparently describing to people at home, literally, this is how this works, you state in the paper this is what
i died make this happen. the and the other important thing is here he put in the public record here months of reports of how the president behaves as a boss. he i don't about this for the atlantic, this was an hr document, essentially, and he was confirming a lot of what we heard about the way the president works. and the idea that people are fearful of confronting him in the moment about this stuff. for whatever reason he is intimidating, or he, you know, somehow exudes something that stops people from telling him, sir, that is not a good idea. >> dickerson: we are going to take just a break here. i will tee you up when we come back on the other side. everybody sit tight and we will be right back. >> be the you who doesn't cover your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin.
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>> dickerson: and we are back with more from our politics panel. susan, you were going to say something before we left. >> you know, i was going to say one of the big discloargz in the comey testimony is that he in fact leaked this document to "the new york times" and it struck me this is exactly what happens when you have an investigation. and especially when you have people testifying under oath. the senator collins asked him the question, not even realizing to her surprise that he would turn out to be the leaker and it turned out to be perhaps the most damaging single thing for his part that he said during this hearing. this would show the risk for instance of donald trump's 100 percent guarantee that he is willing to testify under oath about this whole affair. >> dickerson: julie, do you think she going to testify, the president. >> i think if the president's lawyers have anything to say about it he will not but the president is someone who throws these things out there on the table, and then we watch his staff and presumably his lawyers in those cases start to walk it
back. >> dickerson: and we are going to step back and look at all of the other things that happened this week, but ed, do you think, everybody on the hill wants him to testify. i don't think. >> i don't think that is going to happen. >> not to the senate, i don't think. more likely he talks to robert mueller, i can't imagine a form he would come and talk to the senate as senator schumer offers, i don't think that is the way it will happen. >> dickerson: before we move on to the rest of the world, attorney general lynch from the obama administration also not good news for her out of the comey testimony, this idea that basically she told comey to refer to the investigation and hillary clinton as the matter as opposed to an investigation. >> yes. she seemed to be be trying to trim this for the political benefit of secretary clinton, and i think that harmed her reputation. and comey was very firm in saying, this was a criminal investigation, it wasn't a matter. he mushed back pretty hard on that. so i think she will be called,
as senator graham said and she will get real. >> dickerson: sessions will be appearing next week, susan, what do you think of the attorney general, what do you think about -- what is next week hold for him? >> and senator lankford said in the interview you just did, it is his assumption that will be in public. we all hope that will be the case because there is nothing more interesting than watching these hearings. it is important, because one thing we have the question about that was it that prompted james comey as director t to conclude well before the fact that session would have to recuse himself from the russia investigation. it will be interesting to hear what is going on and the question about after why after recusing himself he felt free to participate in the firing of james comey as fbi director. those are both big questions. >> dickerson: david i want to ask you a question about this international dustup here. you have got the president praising the arab nations that have cut ties with qatar and secretary of state and secretary of defense backing up qatar because that's where the u.s.
has a military base. how do we sort through all of that? >> i think this is a real disagreement about policy. i think the secretary of state tillerson, secretary of defense mattis are both concerned about the status of the biggest u.s. base in the gulf, in qatar, they think it is crucial for the fight against isis and they want to see a mediated settlement of this dispute between qatar and saudi arabia and the uae, principally, other gulf states. the president doesn't look at it that way. he sees things, this is an opportunity to push back against extremism, that qatar arguably supports, the ties are closer to iran than most of the gulf states and interestingly i am told the president is backed by hr mcmaster, his national security advisor and probably also by mike pompeo, cia director so a real difference of opinion, this morning, tillerson spoke, i am told with the deputy crown prince of saudi arabia, the foreign minister of to the uae is seeing tillerson, so this
is really rolling, and we are seeing a real disagreement. >> dickerson: and julie, this disagreement, you mentioned the president kind of throws things out there. this came kind of in that fashion and also said his department of justice was pushing a watered down travel ban, an expression they were trying not to use because it hurt him legally. he also picked a fight with the lo london mayor after the the terror attacks there. these don't seem to be in his interest knees actions. >> they don't, and it goes that even within the administration no one is safe, the president is willing to call out his own justice department, in at the willing to publicly disagree with his secretary of state, this dispute on i can't far happened very publicly, secretary tillerson was sitting in the front row of the news conference where the president got up and essentially said, i am siding with the saudis on this, i think this is a good thing that is happening here. again, we have to get over this idea that the president is taking advice. i think from people in his administration. he is his own man, when he
believes in an issue, whether it is going to politically backfire on him or not he believes it, he is going to go out there often on twitter. >> dickerson: what do you think is going to happen with healthcare in the senate, ed. >> they are going to keep talking this week, the goal is to get things done by the august recess and talking about keeping congress around a little longer in order to get it done. they need to get this out of the way, because tax reform is really the one that they really want to get done at this point. i think what they have realized is it is just too difficult to get 52 people, with all of their ideological and geographic differences to accomplish anything. >> i am not counting against mitch mcconnell, this whole furor and it helped mcconnell to make progress legislatively on the healthcare issue without anybody noticing because he nobody paid attention. senate rule 14 which is every kansas schoolgirl knows is the rule that enables you to bypass committee hearings so he can just bring in to the floor and
have the kind of vote without, without the kind of full debate that you would expect. >> but far less ambitious than the house bill, remember that. >> david we can't go without you helping us out, what is the happening in great britain right now? >> what is happening is part of the political reordering that is taking place all over the world, in simple terms, it turns out that theresa may is the worst campaigner than we knew and that jeremy corbin the labor candidate is a better campaigner and i am hearing from some of my virtual content maybe there was a little bit of anti-brexit, some people are saying in is a way to say we are not so happy about leaving europe. >> dickerson: all right, we will have to leave it there. thanks to all of you and we will be right back. stay with us. >>
shakes riding shotgun... whoa yeah. now, the world is your diner. with new denny's online ordering, get whatever you want, whenever you want, now wherever you want. order at dennys.com >> dickerson: how we behave when snoaj watching is the test of character. under pressure, do you do the right thing? that question was at the center of james comey's testimony this week, a washington morality tale with an oval office encounter. high pressure stage, the president once told us the story of a titan of business who was so awed by the oval office he broke down. james comey said he felt pressured in the oval office to
end his investigation into michael flynn. the president said he made no such request. there are many disputed points. we don't know who is telling the truth because no one was watching. this highlights something essential about washington, though, sooner or later, for people in power, it comes back to those tough solitary tests. the founders knew men would fail and designed a system to guard against it. the sinate intelligence committee was engaged in that protective service making sure that when power and ambition are mixed, it doesn't lead to an abuse of power. we have seen it in presidents and fbi directors. there are people in washington who will face these tests or who are nulling ones they have just taken and the question is, how strong are the standards you bring with you to the room where it happens? do you keep your faith with the voters, to your oath, to your institution, to the lessons your mother taught you? standards are what you bring to the character test, those who keep them are admired, trusted
and for given when they falter, but also in washington, while it sometimes might seem that no one is watching the hearing this week reminds that eventually everyone might be. we will be back in a moment. >> can also detect early signs of corrosion at our refineries. high-tech military cameras that see through walls, can inspect our pipelines to prevent leaks. remote-controlled aircraft, can help us identify potential problems and stop them in their tracks. at bp, safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better.
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