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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  July 23, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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week. bill, make sure you watch tonight 7:00 eastern. thank you so much. >> thank you. and i'm brooke baldwin here in new york. thank you so much for being with me here today. let's take it to washington to my colleague jake tapper. "the lead" starts right now. good afternoon. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. again, unchartered territory. the president of the united states this afternoon threatening retaliation against officials from both the obama and bush administrations. why? for criticizing him. this afternoon, white house press secretary sarah sanders announcing bombshell news revealing that president trump is contemplating revoking the security clearance of former officials including former cia director john brennan, director of national intelligence, james comey, susan rice, andrew mccabe
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and former nsa and cia chief michael hayden. by the way, mr. president, comey and mccabe don't have the security clearances and can't be revoked. these officials have been critical of president trump, specifically on the subjects of president trump's relationship with vladimir putin and the subject of why president trump continues to deny what the intelligence community says, that there was election interference by the russian government in 2016 and a denial reiterated this weekend calling it all a big hoax. again, according to the experts it's not. experts say that until this afternoon, there's always had to be serious grounds for revoking security clearances and criticism was not the grounds. after all, remember, former director of the defense intelligence agency, retired general flynn leading the charge to lock uphill hill during the 2016 republican convention. >> lock her up.
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that's right. yeah, that's right. lock her up! >> you will note president obama did not revoke general flynn's security clearance. now, traditionally there has to be evidence of abuse for that to be revoked. the white house cited no evidence of abuse by the former officials. they have said what sanders called today monetizing and politicizing the public service. sanders went on to criticize those former officials for, quote, making baseless accusations of an improper relationship of russia. again, you heard that right. a spokesperson for the most promine prominent proposal of the assassination and doesn't like baseless accusations. jeff zeleny at the white house with the breaking news for us. there's no way to look at it
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other than president trump wants to punish the critics. >> reporter: no question. wants to punish and silence them, as well, perhaps. and sarah sanders asked that, it was an unexpected answer to a question sort of floating out there. senator rand paul was raising the question earlier that perhaps john brennan's security clearance should be stripped. the white house confirmed that the president is indeed looking into that. and watch sarah sanders answering the question on this. she was reading from a prepared statement which means she'd given some thought to this. this is what she said. >> the president is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearance because they've politicized and some cases monetized the public service and security clearances. making baseless accusations of improper contact with russia or being influenced by russia against the president is extremely inappropriate. >> reporter: so then she went on to name the people that the
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president is considering. it is unclear if it happens or this is something the president's simply speaking about. she said there's no set timetable of when this might happen, jake, but it is extraordinary to think about it. as far as we can see it's unprecedented. certainly for one president to do it to former officials from a recent administration, jake. >> as i noted a few minutes ago, comey and mccabe don't have the clearances to be taken away. sanders suggested that president trump could be more involved in the russia investigation. what does that mean? >> reporter: jake, we don't know. the president's been pretty involved. he fired james comey, of course. there's a special counsel investigating so it's unclear exactly what she was meaning. you know, how he would become more involved. would he try to make more changes at the justice department? she said more and more every day he sees evidence this is a hoax. one thing happening, of course, the paul manafort first person to face a jury on this is happening, supposed to be later
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this week. it's next week. clearly, the investigation moving to a new phase. the president watching it saying he'll be more involved. we have no idea what this means, jake. >> jeff zeleny at the white house with the breaking news, thank you so much. cia spokesperson told cnn that the agency has no comment on the threat of revoking security clearances. let's discuss here. david, this is unprecedented. you don't have to defend it if you don't want to. >> listen. so yeah. unprecedented. but, you know, the revoking of security clearance, i know this is a revoking of security clearances. these gentlemen have been retired for quite sometime. i think it is a nicety that they're allowed to keep the clearances to be part of the club. the revocation of a clearance, it doesn't take abuse and not sure why they maintain them. >> we'll go to barbara starr at the pentagon to explain that in one second but first i want everybody's reaction. what do you think? >> the thing is that he's not
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applying it equitable and only to people who have criticized him. people who i have certainly had disagreements with and i'm sure others have and would agree pretty patriotic individuals, some served in the military, they have held positions working for republicans and democrats and so, you know, to make it out like it's not that big of a deal, it is a big deal when the president singles out people criticizing him who are very representab reputable -- >> the one name much more critical than the others. mike hayden comes on and is not as harsh as clapper is. you see i think he is the -- >> well. >> the shining beacon of -- >> who's who of the enemies of donald trump. of conservatives. of fox news. if you looked at fox news over the last couple of days, this is something they have been talking about, too. tucker carlson brought it up specifically. why does brennan have the
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security clearance? rand paul jumps on it, too. it is clearly the president has been back on his heels in some ways even on fox news so i think grabbed on to this idea that has been floating around among conservatives for a while. you hear from clapper and the folks who have these honorary clearances and not going back for clearances every day. susan rice on the board of netflix at this point and moved on from needing or wanting a security clearance. >> falls on the idea that president trump opposed to the idea of people monetizing their government service. if that the case, perhaps you would like to talk to your daughter, your son-in-law, your sons and maybe sean spicer promoting a book right now and has every right to do. >> come on. most draconian lobbying ban -- >> opposing that. but secondly, brennan is accused of divulging classified secrets. i am not aware that that's happened. lots of people say that. i'm aware he said the putin
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meeting was treasonous. >> one second. let's put that tweet up there. brennan said last week about the president's behavior when he stood next to vladimir putin in helsinki, quote, donald trump's press conference performance exceeds the high crime of misdemeanors and treasonous. >> that's an opinion and a right to an opinion and as controversial as it may be and saw that clapper speaking earlier on cnn said i don't need them to comment to the press. so i've been encouraging them to double down on the press, a direct action aimed to silence them. >> clapper called it an abuse of the system. i want do go do barbara starr right now at the pentagon to explain for us because i think there is some confusion out there and at this table why does -- do these officials even have security clearances? is it a nicety? why does this exist? >> reporter: it is neither
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honorary or a nicety or a protocol. senior former officials in the intelligence and military community like you said, general flynn, retain these clearances so that they can be consulted by currently serving officials. let's say there's a terror attack. an immediate crisis with north korea. an immediate crisis with iran. some kind of military contingency. a development with al qaeda. you want to be able to go back to the former officials who dealt with these problems over the years and be able to talk to them in a classified setting. what did you know? how did you deal with the problem? do you have any recommendations about it going forward? given the amount of turnover in the trump administration, it might be nationally -- from a national security standpoint rather valuable for mr. trump to retain these people to have that ability to consult them. that's what this is all about. they don't go on tv and disclose classified information.
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they don't go trolling through files and computer disks. they don't even have necessarily a need to know that would allow them to get into classified information. it's very specific. so current officials can go back to former officials who have decades of experience in these critical matters in a crisis and say to them, how did you deal with it? what can we learn from you? that avenue now may be shut off. jake? >> thank you so much. i want to get the responses from the officials and take a listen to a little clip from the former director of national intelligence under president obama, james clapper reacting to this news. >> if he chooses to do it for political reasons, well, that's -- i think that's a terrible precedent and it's a very sad commentary. and it's an abuse of the system. >> and also, michael hayden, the former head of the cia and nsa
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under president bush, he's on a plane and can't have him on the show and responded to a tweet of mine. he wrote to me on twitter, i don't go back for classified briefings, won't have an affect on what i say or write. that's the reason. >> so again, the notion that somehow the trump administration is going to sit around and say kumbaya with the officials of the obama administration? farcical. >> why wouldn't they? why wouldn't they want to -- >> why not? >> because they have -- they have serious policy disputes with them. >> okay. they have knowledge to be learned from the experience -- >> right. go back and the way, way back machine to president bush, the president carter, pick somebody, right? stan turner. pick anybody. right? >> okay. >> they have the clearance? >> experience just because they -- >> i'm not discounting their experience. i doubt that this administration is going to sit down and take counsel from people who they
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have opposed opinions with. >> that's incredibly damning thing to say. >> let her talk. >> that's not true. >> sure it is. >> barack obama and george bush never spoke? >> no. >> what barbara starr was talking about is a crisis and the idea in a crisis no one would xhaun kate with someone who has knowledge is wrong. what we see with trump over and over is we're learning a lot about our system. right? that the president can do this. no president ever did do this. that's what happens over an over. our system predicated on the idea to be patriotic, that you're going to put the country before yourself and your petty little problems with other people and that you're going to recognize people disagree with you and that you're going to be
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okay with that. >> by the way -- >> one of the things that -- one of the criticisms is a spokes american for mccabe noting he doesn't have the security clearances suggested this is just the white house trying to change the subject. >> sure. >> president trump reiterating he doesn't believe the intelligence. president obama knew about russia before the election. why didn't he do something about it? because it is all a big hoax. that's why. and he thought crooked hillary was going to win. the suggestion being made by democrats and others is, look, president trump's just trying to change the subject from the fact he doesn't believe the intelligence community and doesn't believe what pretty much everyone else in the country except for the president and some people of a different network think is true which is that the russians interfered in the election. >> i think that's true that he's trying to change the subject and you have seen him do that over the last couple of days, the tweet about iran seemed to be an
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attempt to change the subject in all caps basically saying fire and fury to rain down on iran if they smart talk the u.s. even this stuff about the cohen leaks, the tapes from that, that seemed to be an attempt to change the subject so this, too, is i think in the same category. you saw sarah sanders loaded for bear there with that statement, with all of the names, you know, the most wanted names really on that list that she had didn't do the research. right? enough to know that comey and mccabe didn't have security clearances anymore. i think they thought it was a big bombshell. everybody was going to react and maybe overreact. >> this is one of trump's favorite things to do against the opponents to dangle out -- >> control them. >> may do to them and keep the threat over them. make them react and then pummel again. a classic trick. >> everyone, stick around. we have a lot more to talk about. next guests had a security clearance, one still does. the former head of the house
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we're back with breaking news. white house announcing this afternoon that president trump looking at revoking the security clearances of former national security officials including john brennan, james clapper, james comey, susan rice, andrew mccabe and michael hayden. we should note that comey and mccabe don't even have their clearances anymore and that threat is kind of meaningless. i want to talk about this with cnn's josh campbell, a former house intelligence committee chairman mike rogers also a special agent at the fbi and, mr. chairman, you have the
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clearance security. you don't, josh. you left the agency. chairman rogers, what do you think about the president threatening to revoke the security clearance for criticizing him? >> petty and below the stature of the office of the president of the united states. even to weigh into this. it's with courtesy and kous tom they keep the clearances for the purpose of trying to gather up quarterly or biannually to be able to express in an open way very classified information that may be perplexing the director of fill in the blank agency so that's why they do that. to me that makes sense to continue to do that. that said, i will say one thing. it is also not customary for the former cia director to be off the reservation where he is either. >> he's been -- john brennan making very, very harsh -- accusing president trump of t e
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treason. >> i didn't remember -- if you recall, i was saying comey couldn't be tweeting right after he was dismissed, either. i thought that was inappropriate. this feeds into that kind kind of what in god's green earth is going on kind of a narrative that we're dealing with now. >> josh, let's ask you. you worked for james comey to a degree. has the fact that it's true that we have never had a president threaten this type of thing before. we have also never before had a former fbi director saying the things that director comey has said about president trump, a former cia director saying the kinds of things that john brennan said about president trump. >> no. that's right. i would agree with chairman rogers. this is pettiness. on full display here and i think blowing up in their face and did not do the homework who understand the clearance. as we mentioned both comey and mccabe no longer have them. what i try to do is separate the
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issues. there's one access to classified information and knowledge you take with you when you leave government. i have information in my mind that i know secrets based on my work in government but i also know that it's my solemn obligation to this country to protect that secrets and every one of the officials knows the same thing and the difference of the knowledge on the basis of doing your work and the ability to speak out in a first amendment capacity and be able to criticize some of the actions you see in government. it is not as though the officials aredy -- it is interesting that the irony being you have people now at the white house who spent a career leveraging every relationship and monetizing every experience in order to be swept into office and now criticizing those who spent decades in the service of the public and who are now out speaking their mind and writing
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books and moving into the next chapter of their life. it's stunning. >> chairman, to play devil's advocate for a second, i think what you were say would clapper or hayden the others here saying, yes, it is unpress department dented and unpress debitcedente president unable to accept the intelligence and for there to be a national security investigation into whether or not that president's campaign in any way, shape or form conspired with a foreign country in that cyber attack and we are in unchartered territory in many ways. >> completely. completely. by the way, they have the right to speak their mind publicly. they have that right. what they can't do is disclose classified information. for the president and his team to go back, they would have at least clearly demonstrate where they disclosed classified information. having an opinion doesn't mean you've exposed classified information. the whole process of this seems unseamly and i don't like that
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it's pitting republicans and democrats and conservatives and liberals and every spectrum on the political scale against each other on i'm for the fbi and where i used to not be for it. that is really dangerous. and that's what i worry about and that's why i think by past and custom most of the directors didn't come out in the way. you know, they had opinions. they expressed the opinions, talked about national security and didn't have that really aserbic tone that you have seen. i think it's starting to divide americans in a way to harm them to do the work they have to do. >> josh, as we said in the first part of the show, michael flynn, former director of the intelligence agency, defense intelligence agency, led a chant of lock her up at the republican convention in 2016 and kept his security clearance even though obviously that was incredibly tough thing to say about a
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former secretary of state. >> that's right. i think shows that this is pure politics what we see on display. there's a distinction of losing security clearance doing something wrong. so with the case of mccabe at the fbi and fired and now is going through a legal issue himself, there's no question, we understand losing the clearance and michael flynn. he got to keep his. acting unbecoming someone in the position and i'll say this to echo barbara starr earlier. this is a disservice to the country because if you're an analyst at cia and nsa and think the person is someone with knowledge one of the former directors, i can no longer tap into the people without the clearance. >> all right. josh campbell, mike rogers, thanks so much. a judge delaying the trial of president trump's former campaign chair paul manafort. does this help or hurt the government's case against paul manafort? stay with us.
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work before he joined the trump campaign. let's bring in our reporter. why the delay? >> well, jake, the attorneys for paul manafort came in to court today asking for this delay because they said they needed more time to review documents and information that they had just recently obtained as it relates to rick gates and he is cooperating with the government. he is expected to testify at this trial. and so, the judge listening to this argument from the defense tones this morning came back and decided it was appropriate to delay the trial to july 31st. we will be back here tomorrow because some of the jurors are expected to come in where they'll answer some questions on a questionnaire and also we may get more rulings from the judge today as attorneys are back in court at this hour arguing some other motions and they're trying to get the judge to grant them permission to do certain things.
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>> earlier, the judge made big news granting five of mueller's witnesses immunity but the judge is also making them -- making the prosecutors reveal who they are. >> reporter: that's right. that's something that the special counsel's office did not want. they didn't want the judge to reveal who they are. these are the five witnesses that we have previously reported on, these mystery witnesses who were granted immunity this morning by the judge. the judge signed off on that. allowing them to come in and testify now against paul manafort. and it appears once their names were released this afternoon we learned that they're associated with the financial dealings. james brennan, donna duggin, cindy laportea and dennis raico and testifying against paul manafort. >> thank you. there's more breaking news dealing with the case against the president's former fixer michael cohen and learning that
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prosecutors in that case have their hands on a dozen audio recordings found in raids on michael cohen's apartment, office and hotel room. we knew one recording of the future president discussing payments to silence a playmate over an alleged affair. do we know how many of the dozen tapes have donald trump on them? >> yeah. this is a very interesting development. in the michael cohen criminal investigation as you said investigators now have their hands on 12 new audio recordings, these were recordings that were seized by the fbi as a part of the raid earlier this year and the 12 were actually interesting, marked as privileged and what happened is that the parties involved in those recordings decided that they did not want them to be privileged and marked as privileged anymore and that's why now the government has access to them and to answer your very important question of how many of the 12 actually involve president trump, the answer, jake, is one.
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only one of the 12 we are told actually involved michael cohen speaking to donald trump. of course, this is a recording that we reported on last year involving their discussions about the payment to the former playboy model karen mcdougal. 11 other recordings we are told are michael cohen speaking to members of the media and perhaps other people and we don't fully know the details of the other recordings and the headline is one of the 12 recordings that were previously marked as privilege 1 involve them speaking about this payment to karen mcdougal. >> also, mj, you have information, a scoop about michael cohen bumping into michael avenatti, the attorney for porn star stormy daniels in new york last week. tell us more about that. >> that's right. if it's a coincidence, it is pretty great. i'm told that michael cohen was dining with his son at a restaurant on the upper east side last week and in walks michael avenatti, this is, of
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course, the lawyer for stormy daniels. and what i'm told is that michael avenatti essentially said to michael cohen, we should work together to take down donald trump. this is a paraphrase but this was sort of a gist as it was described to me and what i'm told is that michael cohen sort of stunned. he was taken aback and told michael avenatti, you should talk to my lawyers. michael avenatti today reaching out to him for comment he denied the descriptions and if you recall last week michael avenatti talked about run-in saying a lengthy, open and frank discussion that he had with michael cohen. jake? >> all right. thank you so much. the justice department taking the rare step of releasing top secret documents about carter page. was the former trump campaign aide a russian stooge or is he set up by the deep state?
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president trump on the rhetorical warpath again. over the week, the justice department released a redacted version of the fisa application to conduct surveillance of former adviser carter page. the application and three renewals accused him of collaborating and conspireing with the russian government and it contradicts the president's claims that the steele dossier was the lone piece of evidence that led to the warrant and renewal. cnn's manu raju reports from capitol hill. >> reporter: tonight, newly redeesed documents detailed the fbi's suspicion that former trump campaign adviser carter page was an agent of the russian
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government. undercutting house intelligence chairman new necessary's claim that the intelligence used to obtain a secret warrant was biassed. >> this is outrageous. >> reporter: this year, new necessary armed president trump with ammunition to attack the russia probe with a controversial memo faulting the tactics to surveil page. in the memo, new necessary fails to disclose that the fbi sought to monitor page because it believed he was the subject of targeted recruitment by the russian government and for allegedly collaborating and conspireing with the kremlin. page addressed the allegations with jake tapper on sunday. >> i've never been a foreign agent of a foreign power by any stretch of the imagination. >> did you advise the kremlin. i want to make it clear you did advise the kremlin in 2013 orr 2012. somewhere in there? >> jake, it's really spin. i mean, i -- i was sat in on some meetings but to call me an
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adviser i think is way over the top. >> reporter: instead, new necessary claimed the fbi used the dossier compiled by former spy steele as a justification for the warrant. and the gop memo? faulted the fbi for not disclosing it was funded by a law firm funded by the clinton campaign. in february, new necessary charged the democrats lied when they said that the fbi did disclose a political motivation behind the steele dossier. >> they tell so many lies you can't keep track of them? >> that's not true. >> no? >> the court was not made aware. >> but the fbi does make clear in the newly declassified and highly redacted document that the information likely used to discredit candidate one's campaign. referring to the trump campaign. the new necessary memo suggest a yao hoo news article to
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corroborate the dossier but it cited the article to allege that page falsely denied having meetings in moscow in july 2016. page on sunday insisted he did nothing wrong. >> jake, this is so ridiculous. it's just beyond words. >> reporter: jake, new necessary did tweet saying that the redactions should be -- public should see what's behind the redactions and asking about the contradictions between what the fisa application says and he said in the memo, the office sent back a statement krit sidesing us for asking the question rather than engaging on the substance. we'll have to see if he has more to say on the particular topic and meeting in a few moments here at the house intelligence committee, jake. >> thanks so much. lots to talk about. amanda, i want to play something that senator rubio said to me about the russia investigation.
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>> we should be able to territorial about the elections and the politics and the idea another country gets to come in here and pit us against each other, especially vladimir putin we should be against. >> isn't that really the point here? the russianthis. there's consensus at the national security and intelligence community and we should make sure it doesn't happen again? >> yes. the president and white house not consistent on the message. one point they may say maybe admit that russia meddled but it's a witch hunt, a hoax. we have to deal with did different news stories. trump trashing the russia investigation. carter page, paul manafort, michael cohen. that these are all the result because we never get the straight story on anything from this white house. republicans on capitol hill in a mess because donald trump won't have a clear message coming to russia. carter page in a mess even on sunday can't tell you a straight story of what russians he talked to and when. michael cohen still has not been
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fully honest about what he did to suppress information to voters and paul manafort is awaiting trial because he cannot tell the straight story of relationships he had financially with russian oligarchs. they're very deceitful and causing a mess and we'll get out of it. we'll find out the true story but it's a long and painful process. >> david, i think today's made in america day at the white house? is that right? >> just to quote what amanda says. we know from the mueller -- director mueller himself that in the manafort case that they're presenting zero, big goose egg, evidence of collusion with the russians. >> that's accurate, right. >> so that's -- >> that's -- >> no, no, no. wait. sorry. no. so there's no russian collusion with paul manafort, right? so carter page, go to carter page next. carter page, to paraphrase his own words, to say that he was an adviser to the trump campaign is way over the top. okay? carter page participated in one,
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perhaps one roundtable discussion with a fledgling campaign at best. right? to say that he's some sort of puppetmaster involved in steering the campaign is farcical. so if it's not paul manafort, if it's not carter page, who's the center -- >> no. i'm just asking. as an observer. do you know what talks carter page had with the russians? >> i don't. >> don't you think that -- >> sure. >> okay. so we're seeing that through. >> have at it. >> paul manafort worked for free? >> there are other individuals, donald trump jr., and the truth is we don't know what else there is. >> there's also this real attempt on the part of the white house and republicans to muddy the waters around carter page and nothing there i don't understand what this whole effort has been about. i mean, remember way back like in the place to see with the new necessary memo, the argument is still hearing today which is that the judge was never told
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who did the research that it was paid for by the democrats but in fact at the time democrats responded they said, no, that's not true. actually, the judge given the information and we have more information of how explicitly they were told this. and so, if carter page is irrelevant why are you -- >> the fisa applications made it clear that the person -- the source, christopher steele, looking to discredit and undermining the trump campaign. >> right. and the judges there who were appointed by -- >> all four of them. >> essentially said that didn't matter. looking at that, fisa applications, renewed three times. each time there was more information. right? it wasn't just the dossier. each time, you know, it essentially grew in terms of the information. the story is that the dossier is poisoned because of steele and
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if the dossier poisoned then the whole investigation is poisoned, as well. this investigation began before the dossier. basically began with p papadopoulos. >> who are they colluding with? >> why are there so many -- >> in the meeting -- >> for one -- >> the one meeting with the lawyers -- >> here's the question. senator graham said something that was interesting and get your reaction to, david, about president trump continuing to call the russia investigation -- not just the collusion accusation, but the russia investigation a hoax. take a listen. >> i think the president gets this confused f. you suggest that russians meddled in 2016, he goes to the idea that, well, i didn't collude with them. you didn't or at least i haven't seen any evidence. mr. president, they meddled in the elections. >> why is that so difficult for president trump to see? >> i'm not certain.
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i can't wait for the mueller investigation to wrap up. it's a nothing burger at the end of the day and happy to talk about other things like made in america day. >> probably the russians meddling in the 2018 election. >> i we should forcefully -- right? this administration forcefully and as strongly as possible condemn that and work overtly to ensure it doesn't happen again. >> take a listen to something sarah sanders, white house press secretary, said earlier that raised a lot of eyebrows. >> he is going to continue at this point to remain uninvolved. however, he sees more and more every single day that this is proving further and further to be a total witch hunt, particularly because it was based on a false and unverified and discredited dossier. >> just to be clear, the dossier's not been discredited. some information is verified, some other information is questionable. but the larger point here, it
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sounds like president trump is going to get involved even more in the russia investigation based on what she just said. >> yeah. i mean, i don't know what exactly she meant by that but something problematic with continuing to lie about the root of this fisa warrant. it is not -- it is just not factual what she said. it is not factual what the president is saying. >> started with the george papadopoulos investigation and not carter page. >> even the complaints of dossier, there's nothing problematic about that and wrong with christopher steele. it is not -- steele is a very reputable person and nothing wrong with him being hired by fusion to go and look into -- into this situation and they say fusion, fusion says they didn't say what to find. investigate this and bring it back. >> this is the same play of the possible revocation of clearances. they speak out against the president and may be democrats. same play they do with the
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dossier. a democrat may have funded it and must point out that as originally funded by the freebie con. tossed off to the hillary clinton campaign. >> not the dossier. but the investigation. >> got that whole ball rolling. but this idea that is effective and a lot of conservative republicans are latching on to that you cannot trust any information that comes from anybody who may be a democrat or may have liberal leanings, it's a dangerous time. >> listen. much more persuasive case is both ir relevant in the campaign. >> who? page and pop develop louse? >> let's just -- >> listen. >> that trump is making the argument. >> exactly. i think the notion of chasing this down the rabbit hole of the warrant and the court. i think that's -- >> that's driven by the republicans. >> i'm not disagreeing. i'm agreeing with you. >> those are level people -- >> so -- >> went to the trump white house and said she had evidence of michael flynn was compromised.
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there is a story there. she's not in that white house anymore. so we can talk about these low level people and dismiss them but this is up the chain -- >> but that's not about russia. >> of course it is. >> it's about talking to the russian ambassador. >> right. >> sanctions which all the conversations always get back to sanctions. >> thanks to one and all. shouting racial slurs and pulling down your pants, all of it on camera. hard to imagine doing that, especially an elected official. and he knew it was being recorded? stay with us. liberty mutual saved us almost $800 when we switched our auto and home insurance. with liberty, we could afford a real babysitter instead of your brother. hey! oh, that's my robe. is it? when you switch to liberty mutual, you could save $782 on auto and home insurance. and still get great coverage for you and your family. call for a free quote today. you could save $782. liberty mutual insurance. liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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pop culture lead today, a tv
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show prapginking lawmakers and others has georgia lawmakers calling for the resignation of a colleague. he stripped down to the underwear after he screamed racist slurs. the lawmaker claims he thought he was making an anti-terrorism training video, though that doesn't really explain it, does it? cnn's tom foreman has the story. >> you have three second to attract attention. go! >> screaming a racial slur, mocking chinese tourists. dropping his pants. georgia state lawmaker jason spencer did all that and more as he talked with a supposed israeli anti-terrorism expert. the governor called it appalling and offensive, the state house speaker reprehencible and called for the resignation. he said he was tricked by the behavior of a company that
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exploited my state of mind, his fear of terrorism. because that expert was really comedian sacha baron cohen who's shooting an episode for the new tv show "who's america" and spencer's not the only one taken in. are the stunts exposing truth or pushing an already polarized country further away? many victims speaking out including sarah palin, dick cheney, ted koppel. >> reporter: some said they never knew the true purpose or person behind the interviews. >> he gets people to say stupid things because he lies to them. >> reporter: sarah palin whose episode did not air yet said she was lured by the interview promise of veterans. quote, i joined the long list of personalities falling victim to the sick humor. defending her, james o'keefe, the conservative activist who's used hidden cameras and edited
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videos to embarrass liberals. he tweeted that the past critics to those that praise cohen posing as a disabled veteran, you can go straight to hell. there is a difference. >> people saying and doing really outlandish things while they know there's a camera on them and i think that ratchets up the heat on them significantly. >> just remember to point puppy pistols mouth right at the middle of the bad man. >> reporter: conservatives feel targeted even when they resist. >> say on television i support 3 and 4-year-olds with firearms? >> reporter: and securing progressives, too. >> putting everybody in the 1% they wouldn't be the 1%. >> it would be. >> no. it wouldn't. >> reporter: several of the folks seem to realize that something is amiss and stop their interviews with cohen and even then sometimes the damage is already done, jake. even then, people say, how did
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you not know immediately and stop it? >> easy to say that in retrospect. pretty good makeup. i didn't recognize him. >> he's good at ad libbing through it. mixture of politeness and pushing and before they know it, the trap is set. >> thanks. follow me on facebook and twitter. our coverage continues now with wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now. breaking news, revoking clearance. in what would be an unprecedented move, president trump is considering stripping former national security and intelligence chiefs of their clearances. what's behind the threat? is it pay back for their criticism? twitter tirade. the white house tries to explain away the twitter tirade in which he calls russia's election attacks a hoax and the president himself makes clear he has no regrets for the dire threat at iran. granted immunity. paul manafor