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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 49  Al Jazeera  February 19, 2018 3:32am-4:01am +03

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ordered an investigation into a plane crash in which sixty five people died yeah some airlines flight crashed in a mountainous region and its destination just sewage in southwestern iran heavy fog has hindered rescue efforts so far donald trump has gone on the attack over the indictment of a group of russians accused of meddling in the us twenty sixteen presidential election he again derided accusations his campaign colluded with the russian government on twitter and even criticized his national security adviser sudan's president omar al bashir has ordered the release of more than eighty political prisoners who were detained last month their families celebrated outside one of the prisons where they've been held the group includes prominent opposition leaders they would arrested after anti-government protests over the rising cost of food turned violent sedans economy has struggled in recent years in january the government devalue the currency and cut subsidies which led to the rise in prices
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those are the headlines the news continues here on al-jazeera after inside story by . thirteen russians have been accused of interfering in the u.s. presidential election to sway the vote in favor of donald trump these indictments do not mention collusion and moscow says the charges are irrelevant but the broader investigation is far from over so what happens next this is inside story.
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hello and welcome to the program today with me peter told me russia's alleged interference in the twenty sixteen presidential election in the united states is long plagued donald trump since he took office and now a federal grand jury has concluded the russians did play a role on friday thirteen russian nationals and three russian companies were indicted for meddling in the presidential campaign quotes russia says there is no evidence to support that but the u.s. special counsel robert muller says an attempt was made to sway public opinion and to promote republican donald trump's campaign ahead of his democratic rival hillary clinton did it have an impact on the election result trump has tweeted it did not we'll find out what i guess think in a moment but first rose jordan with this report. the munich security conference often focuses on weapons of mass destruction regional war and the threat from rogue
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nations and groups but at this year's meeting the conflict is between russia and the us which is now and died thirteen russian citizens for allegedly interfering in the two thousand and sixteen presidential race the russian foreign minister sergey lavrov called the indictments irrelevant. so until we hear the facts everything else is just blather the indictment says otherwise the defendants allegedly were promoting donald trump's candidacy and undermining that of his democratic rival hillary clinton. by one example an anti trump protest march in new york shortly after his election allegedly organized by the defendants and not by ordinary americans the allegation is that the russians were using the anti trump protest to cover their tracks in supporting him the special counsel robert muller
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has indicted thirteen russian citizens and three companies for allegedly interfering in the two thousand and sixteen elections according to the unsealed indictment the accused allegedly conspired from two thousand and fourteen until now to interfere with the u.s. political and electoral processes including the two thousand and sixteen election the special counsel alleges that the group posed as americans and controlled social media accounts focusing on divisive social and political issues one important point the indictment does not allege that anyone in the donald trump campaign colluded actively with the russians the u.s. national security advisor h r mcmaster told conference delegates the rumors of russian interference are now fact the united states will expose and act against those who use cyberspace social media and other means to advance campaigns of the. formation subversion and espionage the former russian ambassador to the
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united states long accused of using his post to interfere in u.s. affairs told delegates the indictments are nothing more than fear mongering and whatever league asians be remanded the. simply fent is is that they're being heels for political reasons inside the united states roslyn jordan al-jazeera washington. so here's what we know so far u.s. intelligence agencies believe russia wanted to ensure the twenty sixteen presidential vote was in favor of donald trump it's alleged russian hackers attempted to undermine the rival candidate hillary clinton by providing her campaign details to wiki leaks thousands of the democratic party's internal emails were leaked several congressional committees were set up to investigate including one led by the then f.b.i. director james comey he was later sacked by mr trump fueling speculation the
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president was trying to interfere with the inquiry robert muller was then appointed a special counsel to find out if anyone from the trump campaign team colluded with the russians it was reported trump would also be investigated for possible obstruction of justice members of the president's inner circle have been questioned former campaign manager paul mann of ford has been charged with conspiring to defraud the united states in his dealings with ukraine two former advisors were also involved george papadopoulos confessed he lied to the f.b.i. and michael flynn admitted making false statements about a meeting he had with the russian ambassador ok let's bring in our guests today joining us from washington d.c. bruce fein a former u.s. associate deputy attorney general in moscow to solve a former russian diplomat and also in washington on skype sean michael cox director of the office of international academic affairs there in the states
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a warm welcome to all of you bruce fein in washington first is this just blather or something else. well i think it's something in between on the one sense because all the indictees are russian the companies are russia the likelihood of an actual trial to test the versus the veracity of the allegations the indictment is close to zero there's no extradition treaty the united states has with russia they're not likely to turn over the accused voluntarily they haven't done it with ed snowden they have more reason to be reluctant with regard to their own citizens so we don't know whether the actual allegations will be tested in a fair way to determine their truthfulness or not now it's certainly more than blather when we speak about what its political ramifications are i think that the fact that there seems to be unanimity not only with the intelligence community but in congress that russia did intend rather they succeeded or not to influence the
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outcome of the two thousand and sixteen elections by deceiving social media as the identity of persons who are making comments will result in tighter legislation that will impose greater sanctions on russia make it more difficult to try to reduce the tensions that are leading to something that might be called the new nuclear arms race and i think politically it will be make it make it very difficult not only for president trunk but for a successor president to try to get back to what we call the era of at least a peaceful coexistence detente because the animosity is very very high with regard to the russian attempt to influence whether it's justified or not that's just a reality my own view is that we also attempt to intervene and influence the outcome of elections elsewhere i spoke to someone who actually was involved in the united states effort when he was posted yesterday less than a year ago to moscow to try to influence the outcome of the elections there of
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course the ability is much less. up opportune because they let the freedom of of. the vote there in russia is not at all what is in the united states but this is something that all nation states do that's a whole different conversation we believe that one for another day yes slough off in moscow if it's not blather surely it's something more than that i'm interested what's your thinking on why mr lavrov needs to dismiss this why does he need to get beyond this given what mcmaster was saying at the same security conference it is now an established accepted fact that russia meddled particularly for some people very high up in this us administration. i seeing that russian factor in inside american policy it is not. right but we saw guns throw up international relations relations with russia
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because of course it is prohibited to interference in tunnel affairs especially electoral process for president over the united states or russian federation and they if they are just such a teen person russian region that they will aiding american law and for all documentation wait game and. inside the united states i see it is or are up to all the american car to decide and to judge them were and nobody in russia will be against because it is punished not only in the united states and in russia too but as i referred to that article in bloomberg. the bank is seven. hours and sixteen while it was in las vegas. debate
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a bet when hillary clinton and donald trump and this article shows mad at how donald trump we know the public american public he was supported not the russians sucked in person from coming for a mirage obvious for all documentation as it is laid doll and in the miller. paper i think if they cannot play an you significant role it just broke a step i agree was fully i'm going to just interrupt you there for a second mr myself that the significance of the role is in itself highly significant it's not about percentages it's about the fact that they according to robert muller they did it and they did it successfully that's the key thing here i don't consider that they were concerns or gentleman to say that. i want to add that it's nonsense to say that all the russians want to have a trial if that were true mr putin would be handing over the accused to the united
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states already so that there could be a trial so the assertion ali the russians want there to be a trial to determine whether there was foreign interference in american elections is nonsense show michael cox let's bring you in from washington as well mr trump his first reaction was of course to go into twitter saying there was no collusion that is that smoke and mirrors on the part of the white house because these indictments very carefully did not talk about collusion point number one point number two as mr trump excepted a change to the landscape here because he's now not using the h word he's not talking about it's a hoax he can surely carry that one off and surprisingly the trump camp focused on two parents retirement announcement one that no american willingly participated in activities and second that any of these activities had no impact on the elections so he's claiming a victory there when in fact russian interference whatever it was and will
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ultimately find out where it was had no impact on his being elected president so he thinks he's winning there as for it being a hoax he's been playing a whole long the whole time that is and sacks and construction of the state news media as he calls it and of the democratic party and his camp still is emphasizing that as well that this is actually a very little thing and it's only the democrats and the opposition media that's making it a big deal yes that must serve in moscow if mr miller has got this right this speaks to old fashioned cold war espionage overlaid with a quite unsafe istic eighty two use of technology yes or no well i think that's not from both sides get in your ear. continuing because it's about not from both sides russian and american we cannot concentrate attention on the on russian the spanish deal surely it doesn't it doesn't it's here only matter the
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issue it does not materially matter whether there's espionage on both sides because we're talking here about the us election having been skewed not the russian election or that it's the significant point here well we watched where it tentatively ference of the united states in demonstration then russia in a square for example the us three years ago what they do americans they are it delayed did their being growed in the center of moscow get in or goes to move from one corner of the square to the ennahda from t.v. internet t.v. and people in russian speaking and i think we're sitting in san francisco going on our show michael cox you want to come anything area and that in fact. i want to say that that's not the russia of the issue at hand the issue at hand is talking about the indictment russians of interference in the us elections if any russian
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government organization or court indicts americans and we can talk about that what we're talking about here is the role that russian links troll groups clearly in trying to influence elections going back as far as two thousand and fourteen that's what's important here and the reality surely as well bruce and i don't think i had a lot he has pardon me actual laws have been broken real laws real international laws covering spying covering espionage. well the certainly laws in the united states make it a felony for if you're a foreigner to do anything of value to influence the outcome of an election whether or not you succeed and that's clearly seems to have been done in this particular case and moreover in typical spy contacts you ask you know who benefits who has the incentive to do this we know that mr putin the president of russia was quite hostile to hillary clinton he thought that she had made efforts that were disparaging about his reelection being fixed and had an incentive to get back in
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the theory that she was going to be much more tough with regard to russia if you were elected than donald trump you know her reset button really didn't reset anything except for the worse so why would there be an incentive for just some russian citizen with no connection to putin to come in and try to influence the outcome of an american election i mean there's nothing in it for private russian citizen it would only be the government that would benefit and that's why i think it points the finger right directly at the kremlin just let myself in mosco fuel foreign minister mr lavrov. why does he constantly refer back to this kind of anti russia agenda he says he claims if one reads what he's written or listens to his interviews he claims there is an anti russian agenda say in the vote for the move towards independence in catalonia he says there is an anti russian agenda at play behind the whole brics it vote i'm intrigued to know as to why the foreign ministry in moscow feels threatened by this kind of thing and therefore as
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a consequence of feeling threatened has to meddle with things in russia. absolutely i believe that. all this country can russia for interference based on. internal american policy because democrats lost their. electoral process and done no drama when it it was on the expected this step out of bed until now they cannot come down and they accept this. or are done the drama as a president and responsibility should be. blazed on. the hands that russians are are here responsible for that i think that they lost because of different sayings because hillary clinton the years larry o'connor and. means
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for sure. electoral company and donald trump as as i refer this article in bloomberg because it was workin it was internet all his money he poured upon it i'm going to stop you there because we have another discussion since we have done the discussed in detail and he has not we have done the discussion to death on this child hell as to why hillary clinton lost sean michael cox one point to you keeping it within the context of what we're discussing today for. the white house is the resents that mcmaster might be something of a loose cannon because instead of reacting defensively he's reacting almost very openly very transparently and saying look we've got these indictments there from robert muller you don't want robert mueller going through your underwear drawer or your trash can because he's empowered to do that kind of thing he's very powerful he's got powers of inquiry therefore it must be real no smoke without fire
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transmission starts very build up those that support him and not close down it seemed to be going off the ranch sort of those that are as he said loose cannons so mcmasters followed the line very closely last far and it is actually quite surprising that he is strong supporter of universal work and the indictments. maybe they will just temporarily fall out of favor with and he might move back in line with what the white house one seems to be saying and discussing and so. it is actually very surprising that house after this transfer of bruce fein if these allegations are true so surprising pardon me for interrupting you know again if these allegations are in a different way the trump presidency there for lack lacks legitimacy difficult to quantify how much legitimacy at lax but it certainly goes down a notch or two well maybe a little i don't think that the american people are going to feel that mr trump is
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illegitimate because of this particular indictment it's a one man there's never going to be a trial and oftentimes you know anonymous speeches is oftentimes protected under the first amendment in the united states whether it's true or false i think that's a small issue i think number one going back to the very early or observations that what mr macmaster said is basically what everybody outside the white house is saying other than mr trump's inner circle it's not just mcmaster it's all the republican and the republican leadership in congress is the director of national intelligence which trump appointed it says cia director mr pompey oh. which mr trump and pointed all of the republicans are even more forceful then the democrats in condemning russia and demanding that there be additional sanctions now there's one other element that we've overlooked that could be very important that is i think the indictment now almost is a shield for mr molder against being discharged because now if trump fires mr molder it looks like now you're trying to cover up and protect the russians and that's
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a far different thing then try and get mahler because he'd indicted carter pager or mr flynn or someone else who had pled guilty and that i think is an important component of this particular indictment yes lengths of in moscow surely if this now means as well that most school is quotes on notice so what who cares it won't go any place because as bruce fein identified at the top of a discussion there is no extradition agreement between moscow and washington so even if people are indicted they're not going to end up in a court of law in the united states. as this question i prayer all declaration of the on the ground before the election and his policy after election and what we were because he did declare aeration before election where ready of part they demanded to have better relations with russia privately relations wrist put in and that was a subject for democrats who want to not go give charm still don't like drama don't
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do well of this ideas and i seeing that what is good not what now we are watching between russia and you're not just those and the boat don't know the drama in the restricted area not to lead him to fulfill all his promises before elections shows like or sort of selected on his because he is his for example in vietnam he was escaping from even will coming to june he doesn't want to speak but. we we get. well you need to chill michael called lame is it too late for trump to pivot away from the every time i talk to vladimir putin he tells me he didn't do anything wrong therefore i know he's innocent lying because that's a line he's been going with for what three months now four months maybe it's not too late for him to pivot away but what's actually important for him to consider is there are two things one we're ruler investigation lead because it's not over.
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the scene actually said the military and that we have these indictments but the. rest a geisha is created and trump white house he said consider we're going to move and they should probably do some of their own here to aren't trying to predict where you were going with that but the second thing to consider is that this was a relatively primitive attempt to influence u.s. elections and maybe it was just a first strike what has been planned or intended for two thousand and eighteen bittering actions or the two thousand and twenty presidential elections and how will russian interference manifest itself for those bruce fein in washington as well does this undercuts some republicans or does it undercut some of the traction that they want to deploy when it comes to carrying on with their law corrupt folks news we dislike hillary clinton still the democrats whilst propagating the trump agenda well it certainly it undercuts that and i want to underscore contrary to
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your area visitor from moscow the republicans more than the democrats have been vociferous against the russian interference or attempted interfere and through the social media to dictate the outcome of the two thousand and sixteen elections it's not a democratic model anymore it's bipartisan on this score and trumps out there alone the last legislation that called for ratcheting up sanctions on russia was almost unanimous almost unheard of in the united states congress where most of the divisions are quite partisan but there is a consensus on both sides and. i do think trump runs the risk that if he does nothing and remains passive despite the overwhelming evidence that russia continues according to the intelligence community that attempt to influence the elections in two thousand and eighteen like two thousand and sixteen if there is some kind of detection of hacking into voter registration rolls the at the county state or local elections trump is going to take a hit because it will look like it was his passiveness that enabled encourage
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russia to move forward on this so i think unless you retract very much from what he stated about his credibility and mr putin to tell him the truth he will be politically damaged by this particular indictment and its aftermath gentlemen we have to leave it there thanks to all our guests today bruce fein us love myself and sean michael cox and thank you to you too for your company you can see the program again and it's on view the web site al jazeera dot com and for further discussion to check out our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter handle at a.g. inside story or tweet tweet you can act on that it's a double whammy for me please it'll be and everyone on the team here in doha thanks for watching the season of. i.
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