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tv   MSNBC Live With Katy Tur  MSNBC  June 18, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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this division, he believes, has worked for him. so i don't see the argument that he's ever really going to want to roll this back. it is clear they are using this as political leverage for the mid-terms. on melania, i hate to be critical or -- i just don't feel that that statement really does push back. i feel like that's a statement that just kind of straddles both sides. >> she did say that we have to -- both sides have to support the -- you have to keep the law. yeah. >> we'll talk about it more. >> thank you. >> thanks very much. it is 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in washington, d.c. where at any moment, the director of the fbi and the doj inspector general will face questions on capitol hill about their report on the fbi's handling of the clinton e-mail investigation. we're going to bring you that testimony when it begins. but we begin at the white house where this afternoon, the
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president of the united states lied, again, about who was at fault for separating families along america's southern border. >> immigration is the fault and all of the problems that we're having because we cannot get them to sign legislation. we cannot get them even to the negotiating table. and i say it very strongly, it is the democrats' fault. er in's obstruction -- they really are an instructionists and they really are obstructing. if the democrats would sit down instead of obstructing, we could have something done very quickly. good for the children. good for the country. good for the world. >> that is a lie for so many different reasons. remember, republicans control the house. they control the senate. they control the white house. moderate republicans and democrats were trying to get a bill passed around leadership
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because leadership would not bring immigration to the floor. so that is just not true whatsoever. a reminder -- this is not a democratic law. this is the result of the trump administration's zero tolerance policy on immigration. it was introduced in a speech by president trump's own attorney general in may. this story, which we've been covering on this show for weeks, has blown up in the last few days, and this hour in texas, democratic members of congress will attempt to visit two facilities in brownsville. casa padre and casa presidente. they want to see for themselves what's happening to these children. you're looking at immigrants released by the government inside the mcallen detention center. jacob soboroff laid out the conditions clearly -- children
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in cages. mothers, fathers, children, separated, and then caged on american soil. in an extraordinary op-ed, former first lady laura bush likened this to japanese internment during world war ii. she said it was cruel, it was immoral and it breaks her heart. and as the outrage grows, so have the number of children in government custody. doj confirms that over 2,000 children were taken from their parents at the border between may 5th and june 9th. late this morning after tweeting yesterday the policy of separation didn't exist -- didn't exist! homeland security secretary kirstkir nielsen -- >> there's many consternation with many in the press and advocacy groups that we at dhs had intentionally doing things that are unhumanitarian, cruel, immoral and disgraceful. we are doing none of those
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things. we are enforcing the laws passed by congress. it is important to note that these minors are very well-taken care of. don't believe the press. they are very well-taken care of. >> so taken care of. screaming for their mothers. that's so well-taken care of, especially at facilities where people have said people aren't allowed to touch their children. to be clear, the president has the power to stop this right now. he has not. so our big question is -- is the trump administration holding children hostage for political gain? msnbc's jason soboroff and mariana atencio are both in mcallen, texas. also joining me from washington, julia ainsley, nbc's national security and justice reporter. jacob, you are down there. you've seen it. give us a fact check on the president. >> reporter: it's not true, katy. it's not true that this is a democrat policy. it is not true that this is unusual to -- not unusual, rather, as the attorney general
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said. and it is not true that this is anybody else's responsibility other than the president of the united states. this is a policy that was put into place by the white house. it is the policy that has made what's going on in the building behind me, the epicenter of family separation in the united states possible. over 1,100 children since april have been separated from their parents in this building and throughout this sector here, the rio grande valley sector of the border patrol. yesterday we went in there for the first time since this policy was announced. journalists were allowed in. as you said, cameras were not allowed in. everything we were told wasn't going on in there is going on. there are children sleeping in cages alongside other children. there are mattresses on the floor. mylar blankets people are given after they run a marathon or how they're covered up in the evening. but most importantly, the system is stressed. you know who's telling me that? the border patrol agents inside. there are too many people there right now in order for them to do their job efficiently and
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effectively. in terms of when the parents are processed for leaving this facility in order to go to the court when they are separated, there are so many people here, some of these parents are having to do this via video chat with border patrol agents outside of the building itself. and i think most -- the thing that affected me the most is that there are only four social care workers that are contracted by the border patrol, because as you said, border patrol can't control the duties of social care worke erers for all of the children here. as the amount of children separated from their parents increase, there is a 24-hour period those children could be here alone. frankly, there just aren't enough people to care for them inside right now. >> julia, why did kirstjen nielsen go on stage, no, no, no, this is totally fine, and don't believe reporters who are talking about it in negative terms. >> i do find it to be a tough
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argument to follow, but what they would say is there is not a new policy to separate women from their children that exists in a vacuum. but they are simply deciding to prosecute everyone who crosses a border illegally. that would be people who don't present themselves at ports of entry and turn themselves in. anyone crossing the border illegally, they're prosecuting all of them now. and because we separate people who are prosecuted, then this is just a very sad byproduct. but there are a lot of problems with that argument. first of all, in the u.s. penal system we do not separate children from people who have just been referred for prosecution. that wouldn't start until you are incarcerated, because if you were just accused of a crime and someone takes your child away immediately. also it just seems that the numbers here are so incredibly increasing, it just seems there has to be a message of deterrence that they want from this. over 2,000 children separated over six weeks. if you go back and look at how many children used to be separated under policies, and
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also prosecuted people crossing illegally, it was only 18 children over 17 months. so the increase here makes it really hard to square what the secretary is saying. >> talk to me about the past administrations and why this is not a policy that's been implemented before. this is a policy that was rejected by both the bush administration and the obama administration. >> that's right. i have been speaking to former administration officials from both administrations, bush and obama, and they say any time this even came up, it was immediately dismissed. the only reason you would talk about this is because you would run into this snag because of a 1997 court decision that said that you can't keep children in federal detention facilities like i.c.e. facilities for more than 20 days. if you have a mother coming with her child, you would naturally release that mother over 20 days, too. there was a problem that some of these mothers were not coming to show up in court. the way the administration got around that is they started putting ankle bracelets on the mothers. some people would say that's not as effective as keeping them in
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detention. but what the trump administration decided to do is say, great, we can keep these mothers for as long as we want. we just have to separate them from their children. that's not something any of the previous administrations would have thought about because it obviously just sounds's agree just and inhumane. >> mayor ya >> mariana, you've been talking to mothers who have been re-united with their children. can you tell us what they're telling you? >> reporter: katy, the psychological effects of being separated from their mothers, even for just a couple of days, is heartbreaking. so it gives you a window as to the long-term trauma that these almost 2,000 children that we have been reporting on are going to face because they've been separated for these longer periods of time. i want to give you some context as to where we are. this is a shelter where undocumented immigrants who crossed the border illegally are released by i.c.e. after having been in detention centers.
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these are the few immigrants who are not being prosecuted because zero tolerance is still not operating at 100%. but, as julia was explaining, unlike what happened during the obama administration, mothers like consuelo here and her son, who is 15, are being separated inside these facilities. this is something new that is happening with this administration. and even though in their case, for example, they were separated for six days, when you talk about what they're living through inside, it again paints a picture of the trauma these other children inside that facility where jacob is at, for example, are experiencing. i want to talk to consuelo first. when they took your child from you, did they explain why? did they tell you when you were going to be able to see him again? [ speaking spanish ] >> i spoke to an official. i said i want to see my son [ speaking spanish ]
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i was very worried because they told me they were going to separate him from me. what did they tell you was going to happen to him? [ speaking spanish ] >> i was told that i was going to be deported, he was going to remain in the united states. [ speaking spanish ] >> i was so sad and worried. now to you. you are 15 years old. you went through this harrowing journey from guatemala fleeing gang violence to make it here. [ speaking spanish ] how were you treated in there? [ speaking spanish ] >> i was treated badly. i thought i was never going to be able to see my mom again. >> where were you sleeping? what were the conditions like? the food? we've seen pictures but we haven't been able to talk to people who are in there like you. [ speaking spanish ]
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what was the food like? [ speaking spanish ] >> i was only given an apple and just some water. where were you sleeping? [ speaking spanish ] >> it's a mattress on the floor? was it cold in there? [ speaking spanish ] >> it was really cold in there. he also told me he was given those tinfoil blankets that jacob was referring to. were you ever told when you would be able to see your mom again? [ speaking spanish ] >> in there, nobody tells you anything. thank you for telling us your story. one last question for katy tur. we've been talking about this issue, is this really deterring
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my grants from co migrants from coming to the united states. you fled guatemala. if you would have known your son would be taken from you here, would you still come? [ speaking spanish ] >> if i would have thought he would be taken away, i wouldn't have come. but since we're fleeing violenc violence -- a lot of violence in guatema guatemala, our life was threatened and we were told we were going to be murdered. >> i was told my son was going to die so we're doing whatever we can to give them a better life. just looking for a better life for our children. we don't want them to be taken away. thank you, consuelo. thank you. consuelo, as we've been reporting throughout the day, is
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wearing an ankle bracelet, katy. we can't show it to you, but she now has to head to an immigration court with her son. she says she came here with the desire to seek asylum. but that's what she told border officials when she was detained crossing the border. that's what she plans to do. but the only certainty right now is that ankle bracelet on her leg and her court date and the certainty, of course, that if they go back to guatemala, you just heard what they were facing. very worrying to her. >> some folks are out there who would question why a mother or father would put their kids through what an extraordinarily harrowing journey, a dangerous journey, and to bring him here illegally and they question the parental judgment on that. i would just say as somebody who has kids and if you have kids of your own, you know kids, your nieces, nephews, family members, friends' children, consider what it would take to do that.
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you only put your kid in a boat if the water is safer than the land. and i think that's what you're seeing there, mariana. >> katy, we've seen babies in this shelter as young as 45 days old. to put a child through that at that age, a journey that takes a month, month and a half to get here, it is precisely what you were saying. fleeing extremely high levels of violence, but then being put in an impossible situation when they get here. >> geoff bennett, i want to bring it back to the political side and the president. we're hearing these emotional stories from families. we're seeing what it is like inside despite what the administration is saying. we're seeing these cages. our big question at the top of the hour is, is the president using these children as political leverage in order to get his way on an immigration bill for political gain? what have you been hearing interest your sources inside the administration? >> well, katy, here's the thing.
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usually i would cite conversations i had with white house officials to give you an answer to this. but i don't need to because we know the answer is a resounding -- yes, based on the president's comments today in the east room, the things he tweeted earlier today, and what he said friday just here on the north lawn, the president making clear that he believes that this policy gives him an upper hand in negotiations with members of congress, namely democrats, to get the things he wants in an immigration deal, namely border wall funding. also a cut in legal immigration and stricter border enforcement. so you see this blow-back that the president is getting from a coalition of people who are really condemning him. it is not just politicians. it is pediatricians. now three former first ladies, to include michelle obama, laura wi bush and hillary clinton. i spoke with a handful of republican political operatives, a couple of whom happen to have the ear of the white house. they made the point that, look, the gop can get behind the president if he wants to target
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sanctuary cities. they can get behind the president if he wants to claim falsely that mexico's going to pay for this border wall. as you see these images and the reporting by jacob and mariana, that that really leads to a negative, visceral reaction that really is no match for the president trying to tee up irrational fears around ms-13 and gang violence as he did today. >> i'm not trying to explain this away, but in talking about the president and when asked why he was doing this, what does he have to gain by doing this, i think it is important to look at how he won the white house. and that was by division. that was by categorizing some immigrants as "the other," and saying mexico was sending rainists and criminals, saying that he wanted to build a wall to keep people out. saying that there should be a ban on muslims. these are things, despite the overwhelming backlash from democrats and some republicans even at the time, these are the things that worked for him,
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regardless of what you think about it. these are the things that work for him in the election. so i think it is pretty clear from what we know about the president that this is a political calculation, as you have been saying, geoff. julia ainsley, stay with us. next up, another forgotten meeting with a russian offering dirt on hillary clinton. former trump campaign advisor michael caputo joins me right after the break. introducing e*trade personalized investments professionally managed portfolios customized to help meet your financial goals. you'll know what you're invested in and how it's performing. so you can spend more time floating about on your inflatable swan. [ding]
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now to a 2015 meeting between a trump associate and a russian op serative offering di on hillary clinton. not the same man, a new one. he offered incriminating information to the trump campaign for $2 million in 2016. a meeting setadvisor michael ca. >> i have never seen any documents. >> i spent my time detailing to the committee i've never heard anyone in the trump campaign talking with russians but i was never asked questions about my time in russia. i never even spoke for anybody about russia. i never heard the word russia and we did not use russian dressing. >> that "never" doesn't really mean never. those men are saying they forgot that meeting because they didn't think it was really anything. they were suggesting it was a
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russian sent by the fbi, an informant, a "set-up." a suddenly remembered meeting, the number of trump associates who had contact with russians in 2015 now stands at 12. joining me now, former trump campaign advisor michael caputo. michael, thanks nor cfor coming. >> i want to play something you said to me last november. >> you said you had no contact with russians. you said you never heard of anyone with the trump campaign talking with russians. you never even heard the word "russia," and that there was no discussion of russia on the trump campaign. is that still how you cries your time with the campaign given what we know today? >> absolutely. no question in my mind. >> michael, were you lying to me then? >> no, katy, i wasn't. i didn't recall a minute-long telephone conversation where somebody named henry greenberg, an fbi informant, called me to offer information to the trump
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campaign, wouldn't tell me what it was and wanted instead to meet face to face. i gave them the telephone number of roger stone who met with them briefly. decided the guy was a crockpot and moved on. what we didn't know at the time was he worked for 17 years as an fbi informant. but we know that now. >> we'll get to that in just a moment. you say henry greenberg, but you did know that he was a russian. he spoke with a heavy russian accent. there are text messages that "the washington post" has between you and roger stone where you ask stone, do the russians have anything? and stone says, no, he wanted money. here it is. how crazy was the russ, you ask? he said wants big money for the info. waste of time. you say the russian way. anything at all interesting, and roger stone says no. so you clearly knew he was russian. >> sure, i told the mueller team when they asked me about any contact with russians offering
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information about hillary clinton. i disclosed this and told them that i thought he was a russian -- i'm sorry, that he thought he was an american citizen of russian descent. you understand my daughter is russian. my business partner is russian. my mother-in-law -- my ex-mother-in-law is russian. i speak with russians every day. when you ask me whether i was talking -- would i have talked to any russians about the campaign, i did not recall any at that time. when the house asked me that, i believe i answered not that i recall. i recall this now while i was being prepared to meet with the senate and robert mueller's team. i was beginning to prepare in late april and in my preparations, i have a very good attorney. he has a process he goes through. it is pretty vigorous. during that time i recalled this brief telephone conversation and he advised me to disclose it to any other investigators and that i needed to disclose it to the house, which had closed its
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investigation by that time. >> here's the thing, michael. it seems like since this has been swirling so much, everyone's been talking about the trump campaign meeting with russians. and this has been going on for over a year now. there are folks out there who will hear this and they won't believe you, they'll say, why are you saying this now? because it is about to come out. what are you trying to preempt? why should we believe now that you don't remember when you were hiding it before, they'd say? >> most of the people who don't believe me watch this tv channel, of course. and if you don't believe that i didn't remember a one-minute conversation in 2016 on a telephone -- >> with a russian operative, going to roger stoern, with follow-up text messages. that's something more than just a one-minute phone call. >> okay. let's say two minutes. i understand that people who watch nbc want to focus on the fact that i didn't remember this. but i hate to tell you, i have
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zero legal exposure. i have fulfilled my obligation to the house of representatives permanent select committee on intelligence, and i have zero criminal exposure. so all the haters who are watching nbc hoping to see a perp walk, you'll be sorely disappointed. here is another kathing, katy. i haven't really heard much talk on msnbc about how this fellow was an fbi informant. this moves the timeline of the investigation up two months. and that's what you really don't want to hear. >> you know, i've been talking to former fbi prosecutors and my colleague julia ainsley has been talking to her sources within the department of justice and the fbi. we're getting a lot off push-back from this idea that he was working for the fbi at the time that he was an informant. i know you're talking about the timeline there, and saying that if this happened in may, it messes up the timeline because the investigation started in july. but couldn't the more simple answer just be that this man was not working for the fbi at the
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time, and that he was freelancing on his own? >> oh, i guess you could believe that he left his long two-decade career as an fbi informant in the country only because the fbi gave him informant visas. you can believe he left that for lunch and came to talk to roger stone on his own but i think that's pretty dubious. >> informants are reviewed every 90 days, their status. they don't just roll over. >> there's no way -- >> they don't have sta ththat s perpetually. >> there is no way this guy's in the country. he is a convicted criminal who had assault with a gun, assault with a deadly weapon charge, found guilty on and sent to prison for it. the fbi threw him out of the country in 2000, deported him. and reported him to the russian authorities that he was there under an assumed name and they arrested him on fbi evidence. so when they arrested him, he
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disappeared a month later and re-appeared in the united states. working for the fbi. so this man is only here because of the fbi. and yet curiously, he's still here. there is no way this man has a visa. there is no way a criminal spent ten years in russia, pulled a gun in los angeles and went to prison for it. there is no way he's in the country without the fbi sponsoring him. if he is, i got a bridge in brooklyn for you. >> we should note the fbi has not commented to nbc news. greenberg, the man that you say you believe is an fbi informant, that the man -- >> it's certain, he's a russian -- it's certain, he is an fbi informant. the question is whether he took the day off that day to meet as a private citizen. >> the man who did try to offer dirt on hillary clinton to you and roger stone said in the text message to the "post" that he had not been acting on the fbi's behalf when he met with stone.
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there's also a question of timing. there are those who will wonder if this is coming out now because of what happened with the ig report and what happened with this spygate theory not being anything there, and that this would help bolster the president's argument that the fbi is corrupt and trying to investigate -- and trying to set him up. >> well, i can tell you the timing of this story was decided entirely by roshelderman of "the washington post" who is one hell of a dogged reporter. she was all over me for a month about this. it was during the mueller investigation interview where i recognized after i disclosed this that i had really disappointed them by not falling into the perjury trap that the investigator's face fell like a cake. it was very obvious he was hoping i would give the same answer i gave in the house. he was reading from the house testimony. but the fact of the matter is, it became very clear that day that they knew more about this
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man i did, and i decided about a week later, after the go fund me, caputo legal, had reached a point where i could afford it, i hired investigators in the united states and investigators in russia to get chapter and verse on this guy. and we soon found out that he is an fbi informant. now that information came together right about the same time "the washington post" story did. ros helderman and her team over there, you hear the term "fake news" a lots. they're real reporters. i'm not entirely pleased with the story but i thought it was important for people of the united states to know that an fbi informant, former or present, came to interact with me as a trump campaign employee and roger stone as a long-term advisor. >> he's, at least, a former informant back in 2013. they cannot confirm -- >> i implore you, take a look,
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katy. >> you can't confirm he is still an informant. i'm sure we'll find out more about it. michael, one last question for you. any other contacts with russians? any other meetings that you're now remembering? >> not that i recall. >> michael caputo, thanks so much for being here. back with me is julia ainsley, national security and justice reporter for nbc news. matt miller, msnbc justice and security analyst. mimi rocha, former u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. julia, what struck you about michael caputo's story? >> first of all, great interview, katy. that really got to a lot of the questions that i've been asking my sources about this same meeting. i think what i've been hearing throughout the day and really is something that michael caputo was not able to answer to is whether or not this man was still an fbi informant. it seems that there's no evidence and the "post" presents this as well, that there is no
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evidence that he was an fbi informant past 2013. people i have spoken to say it is very common for someone to be an informant for a period of time. they're still acting within their own self-interests. they can be paid for that information. they can have other motivation. it doesn't necessarily make them one of our guys, katy. it doesn't make them a good guy. it doesn't mean they are on our team. they can very quickly go back and start working with the russian intelligence services. that doesn't mean that they continued that relationship up to that point. and so to try to make the argument that this brings back a timeline or that this shows more of a deep state within the fbi that was against the trump campaign is a really hard argument to make when you just look at the relationship between the fbi and their informant and the fact that this doesn't seem to be much of a relationship within three years of this meeting. >> what do you know about this man, henry greenberg? did you know his name while you were at doj? >> no. even if he had been an fbi informant, it is not likely i would have. it would have been thousands of
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informants the fbi uses on so many cases. just because someone spends time being an informant for the fbi or other law enforcement agency doesn't mean that's their sole focus of their career. they have other activities they do. all the evidence in this case shows us that in may, 2016, there was not an open fbi investigation so there is no reason to believe he was working on the fbi's behalf. >> i think the thing i just heard in that michael caputo interview is the same pattern that you hear from everyone in the trump orbit. there are two things that happen with relation to their contact with russians or russian officials. one is they lie about it or fail to recall. the attorney general, donald trump jr., jared kushner. now with michael caputo and roger stone. the other thing is they never take responsibility for their actions. no one ever says, you know what? it was a mistake for me to take this meeting with a russian official, or to take this meeting with a russian
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intermediary or russian sint ci who's peddling information about our campaign. that's not what you heard. you hear them peddle conspiracy theories. >> you heard them defend the meeting saying it is their due diligence to talk to anybody who's offering any sort of information on the political opponent. there is a distinction that should be made while the don junio me junior meeting was offered as coming from the russian government. there is no indication right now that this man, although he had a russian accent and was a person of russian descent or russian citizen, this person was coming directly from the russian government in the way the don junior meeting seems to have transpired. mimi, how significant is this likely to be? michael caputo says he was questioned about this quite a bit by mueller's team, that it got heated at times. how big of a piece of the puzzle could this be? >> i think it could be very big. first of all, we have caputo saying nothing came of this, it
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was one minute. you did a great job of pointing out, well, there was actually more substance to it. you have some back-and-forth, not an easy meeting to forget, as he claims. but right now we have this series of games between caputo, roger stone, many people in the trump orbit with various russian actors. we don't know -- but mueller does -- what came of those meetings. so first of all, if we are talking about crimes, crimes of lying about the meetings, but then, yes, is it possible that there are crimes in and of themselves that are chargeable from having taken those meet beings and not reported those meetings to the fbi at the time that they happened? yes. and part of that will be dependent on what was -- what came out of the meetings. i don't think we know the answer because we're only hearing one side of it right now. we're only hearing it from the trump side. >> there is definitely a pattern though of the number of trump staffers, trump orbit folks, saying that they never had any meetings with any russians, and then coming out later and saying
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they did. >> exactly. that's, one, could potentially be a crime if they said that lie under oath. two, it shows consciousness of guilt. if this is a nothing meeting -- is it plausible that they'd forget it? no. you forget what you had for lunch yesterday. you don't forget that someone reached out to you about dirt in a campaign, whether you think they were a russian living here or a russian living there. it was -- it was someone with at least connections or ties to a foreign country. that's unusual. i mean that's just not normal campaign conduct. so, no, you don't forget about it. if you're lying about it, it means you are covering it up for a reason. i think they said they thought at the time he was an fbi inf m informant. that's not true. in they thought that, they would have said that after he testified. this is a way to try to deflect an incriminating meeting they were about to take and lying
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about it. >> julia ainsley, thank you. let's go in to the senate judiciary committee right now. christopher wray is there along with doj ig michael horowitz. they are testifying about the ig report that came out last week. let's listen. >> hillary cover-up operation, end of quote. he later claimed that that was only a joke. but there was no search warrant or subpoena for the laptops used by the clinton lawyers to see what they knew about what he did. he did not get the mueller treatment. no charges for lying to the fbi repeatedly. no pressure to flip and testify against clinton lawyers. quite the opposite. he got immunity. this is a good example of a double standard in these two investigations. and why more and more people are starting to believe the mueller investigation lacks fairness. the report noted that director comey pressured the team to close the case before the party
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convention. and he had already made up his mind to close it before all the work was done. question number one. isn't it improper to set a deadline to close a case based upon -- >> i think if that's the only basis for set egg the deadline, that would be a concern. that was something we did ask about in connection with our report. given the various areas where director comey raised the concern about the political calendar. we had some information from some folks indicating that he separately suggested that in addition to concern about the political calendar, that they also should follow up as need be for their work. so that was the evidence we had before us. >> is it a fair inference, general horowitz, for people to think that the time pressure and the predetermined decision not to charge clinton explain the
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lack of interest in trying to charge a witness? >> certainly one of the reasons given by the prosecutors with regard to certain of their decisions, that they felt two have dragged on the investigation for too long, if that was in fact a factor in their consideration on how to resolve certain issues. >> second point would involve you and the director of the fbi. the report notes that department of prosecutors did not believe there was a substantial federal interest to charge the i.t. worker who deleted clinton's e-mails with obstruction and false statements. however, it was clear that he lied to the fbi twice about deleting clinton's archived e-mails. e-mails had been subpoenaed and were subject to congressional preservation notice. the technician knew that when he deleted them. question number one to both of you. is granting immunity the only way to obtain truthful testimony
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from a witness? and isn't there a substantial federal interest in determining obstruction of congressional investigations? >> it isn't the only way to get testimony from individuals or information from individuals. that just depends on the facts and also as we laid out in the report we found the conduct to be particularly serious. >> director wray? >> likewise, i think there are a number of ways to secure truthful testimony from witnesses, not just one. and certainly, my own view is that efforts to obstruct investigations are something we need to take extremely seriously at the federal level. >> okay. thank you. to the -- mr. horowitz. did the official specifically tell you that obstructing congress was not a matter of substantial federal interest? >> they didn't specifically say that to us. we asked them for their reasons and they explained various other reasons that we lay out in the report. >> former director comey said on
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television that the inspector general interviewed him about the handling of his memos of conversations with president trump. some of those memos contained classified information. comey said he did not expect a report on his handling of classified information because, quote, unquote, that's frivolous. i don't happen to think it is frivolous. question number one to mr. horowitz, are you investigating comey's handling of his memos, and does that include the classification issues? and should mr. comey expect a report when it is complete? >> we received a referral on that from the fbi. we are handling that referral and we will issue a report when the matter's complete, consistent with the law and rules and a report that's consistent and takes those into account. >> in the fbi's response to the
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inspector general report, the fbi said, quote, there is no indications that any classified material ever transited former director comey, his pages miss mr. strzok's personal devices or accounts. i thought never the inspector general or fbi looked at their personal devices. i sent a letter to you, director wray, this morning on this topic, but i wanted to ask you, how can the fbi conclude no classified material was on their personal devices if you didn't even look at their devices? >> mr. chairman, first, as to your letter, i haven't obviously seen your letter of today but i'm happy to take a look at it and make sure we're being responsive to you on that. on the second part of your question, and the words in our response to the inspector general's report, i don't think we're attempting to characterize some independent investigation of our own, but rather to refer
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to the language in the inspector general's report and to clarify that the findings that we're reactioning to did not themselves identify any passage of classified information. >> during the course of the review, you found that several of the people investigating secretary clinton were using personal e-mail, were doing the same thing themselves. each agency and every employee has an obligation to comply with a federal records act. question number one to mr. horowitz -- in light of the law's record keeping requirements, how did you try to get access to their personal devices or accounts? >> one of the challenges we had, as we note in the report, is that to gain access to personal e-mails would have required either a grand jury subpoena or a search warrant given the facts
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of this case, and so we were limited because our administrative subpoena authority doesn't cover this to ask for voluntary cooperation. we were given oral representation. we were not given access to the e-mail account. >> so i don't go over my eight minutes, i think i'll reserve my 24 seconds. senator feinstein. >> thanks very much, mr. chairman. during the 2016 presidential election, in addition to investigating hillary clinton's use of a private e-mail server, the fbi was actively investigating whether the trump campaign was coordinating with russian officials to influence the election. although the fbi revealed the existence of the clinton investigation to the public, it kept the existence of the trump campaign investigation secret. director comey made several public statements about the
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clinton investigation during the election. was there any information about anyone making public statements about the trump campaign investigation during the election? >> i'm not aware of any, and we lay out here the discussion about whether or not to speak to that issue. >> there were also several leaks to the press about clinton investigations during the election. was there any evidence of leaks to the press about the trump campaign investigation during the election? >> i don't know as i sit here. >> is there any reason for this disparity in treatment between the two investigations? >> our focus in this review was on clinton e-mail review. we lay out quite clearly why we thought director comey should not have been making the public statements he made back when he made them. >> so i guess what you're saying
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is that the better approach was not to make public statements. and that's goes to everybody. but you didn't specifically criticize or find criticism. >> that's correct. we looked at this one decision and what occurred. we laid out what the decision was with regard to other investigations, both russia and, by the way, the clinton foundation investigation where a decision was made also not to speak about it. >> on october 25th, trump's surrogate, rudy giuliani, appeared on fox news and bragged that the trump campaign had, quote, a surprise or two you're going to hear about in the next few days. i'm talking about some pretty big surprises. and i do think that all of these revelations about hillary clinton finally are beginning to have an impact. three days later, director comey announced that the fbi would be re-opening its investigation into hillary clinton's use of a private e-mail server.
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on november 4, when asked whether he had heard about the fbi's re-opening of the e-mail investigation, giuliani said, did i hear about it? you're darn right i heard about it. he went on to say, i have expected this for the last -- honestly, to tell you the truth, i thought it was going to be three or four weeks ago. were you able to determine how mr. giuliani received this information? >> senator, i'm not going to speak to any of the investigative steps we may or may not have taken for the very reasons we describe in here about what's appropriate to do in terms of following policy. >> well, what actions, if any, have been taken against the individuals responsible for disclosing this information to mr. giuliani? >> as we noted in the report, our investigative work's still ongoing. we put this in here so that the readers and the public could see
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our concerns about the number of contacts with the media and what was going on systemically. but i'm not in a position at this point to speak to any investigative outcomes. >> do you believe disclosures of this sort, especially during an election, are appropriate? are they lawful? >> i don't believe disclosures of this sort are appropriate at any point in time in a criminal investigation. i was a former prosecutor. worked extensively with fbi agents in my prior capacity. and all of us would have thought that was entirely inappropriate. >> the report says that you, and i quote, will separately report on those investigations as they are concluded. does this mean that this leak investigation is ongoing? >> our work remains ongoing. and when we can do that consistent with the ig act, the law, policy, we will do so. >> republicans in congress have
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pressured the department of justice to reveal the details about special counsel mueller's investigation in to russian interference in the '16 information about this ongoing investigation is now in the public domain. for example, a possible confidential informant has been identified. is disclosure of the identity of a possible source in an ongoing investigation consistent with the stay silent principle identified in the report? >> senator, i obviously can't speak to any specific factual circumstances beyond our report. i haven't done any work on it. i would say generally is goes to my prior answer as well. that is if there is an ongoing investigation, disclosing information to that through leaks is inappropriate. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator hatch. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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listen to these findings from the inspector general's report on the handling of the clinton e-mail investigation. error of judgment. serious error of judgment. extremely poor judgment, and a gross lack of professionalism. these are conclusions that were drawn respectively about the conduct of former attorney general of the united states. the former director of the federal bureau of investigation and fbi special agents assigned to one of the highest profile investigations in buthe bureau' history. in my opinion, this is appalling. and the significance of these findings cannot be overstated. the report identifies missteps at every level of the department of justice from our nation's chief federal law enforcement officer to special agents in the field. director wray, i have to say that i was disappointed by your response last week to the inspector general report. and while you admitted that the
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report found errors of judgment, you took pains to emphasize that the report focused on, quote, a small number of fbi employees, unquote. well, let's remember who that small number of employees was. the director of the fbi, the deputy director of the fbi, the leader of both the clinton e-mail investigation and the russia investigation. these were not junior field agents. these were senior agency officials. they were running two of the most important investigations in the bureau's history, and they were insubordinate, grossly unprofessional in their communications and even untruthful. so let's not pretend like this was some one-off problem. there is a serious problem with the culture at fbi headquarters. your statement last week seemed to suggest we shouldn't worry too much about the events detailed in the inspector
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general report because the report focuses on a small group of individuals and events. i think that's exactly backwards. if we can look at only one or two investigations and find this much bias and unprofessionalism, i can only imagine what else is out there and what the inspector general found about senior bureau leadership. i would have to say he found out that it would certainly, in my opinion, be damning. now, how can you assure congress and the american people that you are taking seriously the problems identified in the inspector general report when your very first public response to the report was to downplay its significance? >> senator, i don't intend in any way to downplay the significance of the report. >> i don't think you do, but i'd like to know why. >> and i think the fact that the
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very first press conference i've held in my ten months as fbi director was on this, on a measure of how important i think this is. start with that. second, the steps i've outlined that we're going to be taking are very significant including, just as an example but i could go on and on, convening every single scs employee in the entire fbi to come for a full day of training specifically focused on this is a measure of how seriously i take this. we are going to have the people whose conduct is highlighted in the report handled through our disciplinary process and held accountable as is appropriate. but my comments the other day are a measure of my view of the fbi. i don't have to imagine what happens in the fbi. i see the fbi up close every day, investigation after investigation after investigation, including in utah, including in the states of every state represented.
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i can tell you the conduct, the character, the principle that i see in those people every day is extraordinary and would be an inspiration to the members of the -- this committee and that's my point. >> there should be no doubt that these errors cast a cloud over the mishandling of the clinton e-mail investigation and the investigation's credibility. now, even more troubling is the irreparable harm to the fbi's reputation for elusive fact-finding and independence. where do we go from here? you kind of indicated that. >> i think we start by reminding everyone in the fbi, which as i said, i think the vast, vast, vast majority of the people who work there already know this, but i'm not going to leave that to doubt. >> okay. >> that objectivity and the appearance of objectivity have to permeate everything we do. and that starts with, much as the lessons that have been described in this report
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chronicle, that starts in not just the result but the way you get to the result. that means following our processes, following our guidelines, following our long-established norms in the report. >> i want to thank director who wi -- horowitz and yourself to help answer that. i want to point out the critical bias in text messages between the fbi employees. the fbi has a policy that strictly limits the employees who are authorized to speak to the media. this is appropriate for any organization that quietly investigates with an eye towards prosecution in a court of law rather than the court of public opinion. but the inspector general found that this policy was widely ignored by employees at all levels of the fbi. the report goes so far as to
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describe the culture of unauthorized media contacts, including instances where fbi employees improperly received tickets, golf outings, drinks and other benefits from reporters. now, as you know, this is totally inappropriate. director wray, attachments to the report identify more than 50 fbi employees. 50. who apparently had unauthorized contact with members of the media. if the inspector general identified 50 employees in connection with his review of this one investigation, the counterintelligence investigation no less, i'm afraid that the number of employees engaged in such unauthorized conduct across the bureau is likely to be far greater. now, clearly additional action is needed to identify other personnel engaged in leaks and unauthorized media contacts. i'm not interested in hearing about additional training which
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is certainly necessary, but not sufficient. director wray, what are you doing to identify those who violate the fbi's policy, and what consequences will those employees face? >> so a couple things we're doing that i'll mention. first, in addition to creating a new policy to make it painfully and crystal clear so nobody can have an excuse that they don't know what the rules are, i put in place a new policy in november. second, we've created a dedicated leak investigation unit inside the bureau specifically focused to ensure that those investigations have priority. third, we have an insider threat center that we've elevated to the assistant director level that's focused on pulling together all -- because these kinds of issues raised inside are threat-type concerns from my view. i've also asked the head of our opr to report back to me promptly on whether or not there are additional things she would need to make sure the penalties
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are even more severe. and we won't hesitate to throw the book at people who violate our rules on this. >> okay, thank you. i think my time is up. >> senator leahy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this is an interesting hearing and irony doesn't begin to describe president trump and his allies exploiting this report for partisan gain. clearly some of the text messages are inappropriate. but if the fbi were trying to throw the election to hillary clinton, it could not have done a worse job. on the front page of every newspaper leading up to the election, every single misstep by the fbi damaged hillary clinton and helped donald trump. all fbi personnel, including mr. strzok, kept quiet about the russian investigation, as they should. but the same can't be said about the clinton investigation. rudy giuliani, james calstrom,
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apparently even devin nunes, received highly sensitive leaks. leaks to the field office may have even contributed to director comey's decision to send the now infamous october 28 letter. a letter that could not have come at a worse time and likely impacted the election. last year i asked director comey specifically about leaks to mr. giuliani. he acknowledged for the first time that an internal investigation was ongoing. director wray, was mr. comey telling the truth in that? he said here that there was an internal investigation ongoing about the leaks to mr. giuliani. was he correct? >> senator, i can't speak to what director comey was or wasn't -- >> but was he correct that there is an internal investigation ongoing on the leaks to mr. giuliani? >> senator, for reasons


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