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tv   The Mueller Report Special Coverage  CNN  April 19, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PDT

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jerry nadler has issued a subpoena for the full report saying bill barr is in nadler's word, an agent of the president who misled americans. one of the issues, barr's conclusion there was no obstruction by the president even as the report clearly states the special counsel could not definitively rule out any criminal conduct. now nadler said mueller gave lawmakers a road map that he intends to follow. >> based on the reading 188 pages of evidence or so on obstruction of justice, do you believe the president committed obstruction of justice. >> i believe he committed obstruction of justice, yes. >> and that is only half the report. the other deals with collusion between the trump campaign and russia. while team trumped believe it would benefit from the russia actions, no one took criminal steps to help. for his part, the president is railing against the entire thing calling it crazy b.s. and something else unknown since he didn't finish his sentence, leave that up to your own
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imagine. manu raju is on capitol hill. so you have the subpoena today, and bill barr testifying in a few weeks. what do we expect in the meantime? >> reporter: democrats have said the deadline for the justice department to turn over this information, the full mueller report by may 1st. there is an expectation here on capitol hill that will not happen and then they will lead to a court fight, both to get the full information as well as to get a court order to release the grand jury information that the justice said it would not provide to members of congress in a limited fashion. now at the same time, the house judiciary committee has authorized five subpoenas for former white house officials to be issued and records that these officials may have gotten from the white house as a plan to testify before the mueller investigation and that includes the former white house counsel don mcgahn who the mueller report said clearly the president ordered him to fire
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the special counsel and mcgahn ultimately said no. now in the meantime both the house intelligence committee and the house judiciary committee want robert mueller to testify, too, sometime in may. they have not settled on a date yet but they are optimistic that will happen. at least one of those will be in a public setting and, anderson, the investigation on the democratic side in the house will start to pick up some steam. nadler wants to have what he had or major hearings into the obstruction of justice matter. they have a lot of records requests out and the house intelligence committee wants to pursue an issue about finances, the president's finances and whether he has any ties to foreign interests. that is something that appears, according to the redacted mueller report, that mueller did not dive into. there is a lot to investigate there going forward so expect more investigative activity and a fight in court over the full mueller report. >> are you hearing from democrats on capitol hill concerned about the scope of further investigations, the length of them, how many they're
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there are going to be in terms of the upcoming election and what impact it may have on democrats? >> reporter: yes, definitely. democrats are trying to be judicial and there are a lot of things to look into and they believe they can walk and chew gum at the same time but there are some that with worried about the push to look into virtually everything which is why you're seeing that divide play out over the -- the debate over impeachment with some on the left saying it is time to go forward and others worry this is a fruitless attempt that republicans would capitalize on and help the president at the ballot box. so those divisions are tarpting to play out but democrats believe they're on firm political ground by demanding the full mueller report and investigating things they say that the special counsel made very clear, such as investigating obstruction of justice which they say the ball is now in their court. >> manu raju, thank you very much. from interviews to tweet storms and news conferences with fellow world leaders, president trump took many opportunities to
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paint the mueller investigation over the time it has been running and the media coverage of it as well and charging media coverage is false or fake saying often and including a "new york times" piece that he wanted bob mueller gone. >> mr. president, did you want to fire robert mueller? >> fake news, "new york times" fake stories. >> turned out it was true. that was just one of many trump claims that the mueller report has proved to be untrue. sarah murray is here now. to look at others. >> reporter: well it is not illegal for the president and the white house to lie to the american public and for that president trump is very lucky because the mueller report certainly exposed a number of falsehoods. remember all of the times that then candidate trump said he had nothing to do with russia and no business deals in russia and we learn they were pursuing the trump tower moscow project for far longer than anyone was willing to talk about and the infamous trump tower meeting and
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president was insistent this was a meeting about adoptions and afterwards he played a role in adjusting the statement so it said the meeting was about adoptions rather than anything on dirt on hillary clinton. we learned from the mueller report and reporting this is a meeting to get dirt on hillary clinton and that the president dictated a portion of this statement to sort of cover up the real purpose. we also learned that the president did, in fact, order don mcgahn to get rid of robert mueller. he also then tried to get don mcgahn to lie about that which is something mcgahn refused to do. and remember, donald trump said over and over again there was no contact between his campaign, his folks and the russians. we see it laid out in painstaking detail, all of the attempts russia made to help the trump campaign and how willing they were, time and time again, to try and accept this help. we heard president trump say the reason he fired james comey was because he got this recommendation from rod rosenstein that james comey didn't handle the clinton email investigation well and wasn't doing a good job. of course we learned it was, in
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fact, over the russia investigation. and it was the president's decision that he wanted to fire comey, not rod rosenstein's at the outset. and we saw, anderson, in that report, numerous times over and over again, the ways the president tried to interfere in the special counsel investigation and limited scope. >> and sarah, it is also fascinating, not just was it not rod rosenstein who wanted comey fired, the president tried to get rod rosenstein to have a news conference in which he confessed that it was him that motivated the president to fire comey and the white house press office did the same thing, trying to get rod rosenstein to put out a statement and rod rosenstein said it is not a good idea because if i'm asked about it i'll tell the truth. the robert mueller states that trump wasn't able to influence the russia investigation and i'm quoting, because the persons who surrounded the president declined to carry out orders or cede to his question and explain who they are and what the
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questions >> what your talk you are talking about with rod rosenstein is the trend in the white house. people over and over again asked to do things they were uncomfortable with and they didn't follow through but the mueller report lays out a number of examples like a meeting with cory lewandowski and an adviser on the campaign and an outsider and he was told to limit the scope of the mueller report. and he didn't do that and punted it over to rick dearborn who also did not follow through on this request. we also asked rob porter to run through the ranks of the justice department and try to figure out if rachel brand was someone who would be loyal to trump. that is something porter didn't feel comfortable with. he didn't follow through on that request. he asks james comey the fbi director to seeing the way to let the flynn thing go. he did not do that and pursued the flynn investigation and he became an important cooperator.
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he said to get rid of robert mueller and mcgahn refused to do and refused to go to the press and say this never happened, you never asked me to get rid of the special counsel because he knew that was a lie. >> sarah, thank you very much. and nelson cunningham, a former us assistant attorney under president clinton and kim whale a former federal prosecutor, appreciate you being with us. nelson, what do you make of the role that don mcgahn played that we now know he played in this white house? >> he seems to have turned out to be donald trump's secret weapon in protecting his presidency. because the president kept on asking him to do improper things, including firing robert mueller, things that clearly would have shaken trump's presidency after the firing of james comey. we all remember the saturday night massacre under richard nixon. don mcgahn refused to do that. he refused to do that and other steps that would plainly put the president in even deeper jeopardy. i'm not sure the president
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understands it right now but don mcgahn did him a solid. >> kim, it doesn't sound like the person understands don mcgahn did him a solid. do you think don mcgahn saved his presidency. >> i think don mcgahn might have saved democracy because if the president had fired robert mueller, that the political process and the american public would have held mr. trump accountable and then we'd be in a situation where you get away with the saturday night massacre. so maybe it is a good thing it was stopped for that broader question. but, sure, there were heroes inside of the government that sort of put the brakes on this renegade president and at this point all in black and white, 480 pages, the question is will there be accountability through the political process and that is something that matters for purposes of our broader democratic process and democratic system of separation of powers. >> and also the portrayal that the robert mueller report gives of how the white house functions and does not function. it is long known that from
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the -- the original setup with reince priebus and chief of staff and this is not an ordinary white house setup but the level of dysfunction, of the president giving orders to subordinates to do things that they just ignore and kind of hope he'll forget about. sand cnn was given a quote by a senior trump administration official, and i want to read it. they tell cnn the mueller report isn't surprising, it has become in their words the norm for the president to make, and i'm quoting here, absurd demands of his staff. how does the white house function like that? >> i worked on the clinton white house, it wasn't perfect but it sure didn't function that way. there you had a president -- and we've had presidents of both parties, frankly until now, who when they are told by legal counsel, sir, this is a line that we should not cross, the presidents understand that. they might find ways to work around it, they might find ways to change the law, but i've
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never seen one who just blatantly seems to do as this president does. i don't care. do it any way. that is extraordinary to me. >> kim, you wrote yesterday that the president's actions seem a lot like obstruction. as you have time to focus on and reflect, do you still believe that? and if that is the case, was it just the fact that mueller's operating under the department of justice guidelines and not only exception to the -- accepts the guidelines and it would be unfair if he can't be indicted and go to court to defend himself. >> absolutely. the obstruction of justice statute is very broad. mr. barr got upset about that last june when he wrote the famous memo to the white house. but the fact is if you endeavor to obstruct an investigation and the steps you're going to take are likely to make an impact and that can be obstruction. here we have for example the president directing the head of the investigation be fired. that would certainly interfere
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with the investigation. so i think that on many levels, there is a case for obstruction and people are talking about well he didn't really mean it or he was upset. those are defense kind of arguments at trial. that doesn't undermine the basic case. but you put your finger on something that is very nuanced constitutional distinction where the -- basically robert mueller said it is not fair as a matter of due process to ping someone for a crime and then not let them defend themselves in court since we can't prosecute the president, he can't defend himself so we're not going to do it which is why the impeachment process, which is a trial in congress, is the place that the president in theory would defend himself. >> and robert mueller seemed to serve it up to congress, saying repeatedly in different ways that he's giving the evidence to those who have a constitutional mandate and a constitutional role to play here if they so choose. we'll talk more. stand by. coming up, bill barr under fire for his handling of the report
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rollout including how he took mueller's words out of context. and plus new today, former vice president joe biden set to announce the 2020 campaign next week. what that means for the democratic race for president. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ i can do more to lower my a1c. because my body can still make its own insulin. and i take trulicity once a week to activate my body to release it, like it's supposed to. trulicity is not insulin. it starts acting in my body from the first dose and continues to work when i need it, 24/7. trulicity is an injection to improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. don't use it as the first medicine to treat diabetes, or if you have type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. don't take trulicity if you or your family
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some democrats are now saying it is time for william barr to go and the way he handled the special counsel report calls into question his impartiality including the spin on the report prior to the release. >> the special counsel report states that his, quote, investigation did not establish that members of the trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the russian government in its election
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interference activities. the special counsel found no collusion by any americans in ira's illegal activities and in other words there is no evidence of trump campaign collusion with the russian government hacking. >> cnn justice reporter laura jared has been all over this. so laura, if you will just walk us through the discrepancies between what barr said and -- or things that might have been misleading and what robert mueller concluded. >> reporter: well, anderson, while barr didn't misquote the report, exactly he did fail to give a nuanced full picture of the mueller findings and that is what he's being criticized for today. so i want to walk through three different examples that lay this out. the first is on the issue of no collusion which barr echoing trump there at the press conference yesterday said three different times, no evidence on the issue of a conspiracy between the trump campaign and russian government. but the report from mueller actually does say this, it says
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the investigation established that the russian government perceived it would benefit from a trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome and that the campaign expected it would benefit elect orally for information stolen and released through russian efforts. and that is a key part of the context and sheds light on what the russians were doing and that did not make it into barr's four-page summary from last month. the second issue has to do with obstruction of justice. and on this issue mueller lays it out very clearly in the very beginning of volume two of the report, he explains that he's accepting long-standing doj guidance that you don't indict a sitting president and he explains it this way. quote, fairness concerns counsel against potentially reaching that judgment meaning one that would have potentially implicated the president in a crime, when no charges can be brought. so essentially what he's saying there, the president can't defend himself in court, as you were talking about with the last panel, so i won't reach that
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prosecutorial role and i will lay out evidence and preserve witness's contemporaneous thoughts. and when i asked him whether that had to do with the mueller reasons, barr sort of down played it and said mueller hadn't talked about it in the meeting but clearly it weighed heavily on mule ear's mind. and as far as the investigation, take a listen to what barr said yesterday. >> nonetheless. >> the white house fully cooperated with the special counsel's investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and white house documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims. and at same time the president took no act that, in fact, to deprive the special counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation. >> reporter: yet, mueller was not so glowing in the report when it came to cooperation.
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here is what he wrote, quote, we viewed the written answers to be inadequate and so why didn't he subpoena the president? well he said he had the authority to but mueller writes but at that point our investigation had made significant progress and had produced substantial evidence for our report. so the take home answers from mueller were not that helpful. >> and what is important to point out is the take-home answers were only on the question of collusion, the white house refused to have the president or his attorneys more accurately answer any questions about obstruction of justice or potential obstruction of justice is which is again if you are saying that the white house fully cooperated, certainly that is one example of them not. laura, thanks for that. and back with me now is nelson cunningham and kim wehle and what you do you make of the how the attorney general has behaved in this through his public statements. >> first i'll say he did not
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have to release the report full stop under the special counsel regulations and he deserves credit for making that determination and making that public and we're not in a situation we have to go to court to get the document. but laura is absolutely right. i think it is really unfortunate that he collapsed this concept of collusion and conspiracy. mueller was very clear in the report, this is not about collusion. collusion is a colloquial term, and it is not a term of art. barr is a lawyer and he should have stuck to the law which is conspiracy. we could think this was collusion and it is a colloquial regular term accepting information about your political opponents from an adverse foreign power and we could say that is collusion and in another universe trump and his team could have said i'm not going to talk to the russians and i'm going call the fbi and i'm for america not for russia and that is something that should have played out in the public sphere and it is improper really for mr. barr to have taken that step. it would have been better for
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the integrity of the justice department and whole system to stay neutral and not be trump's lawyer. >> it is interesting how he did it that directly echoed president's language of no collusion which you get a sense that part of his audience, if not his sole audience, was president trump. >> he was a good lawyer for president trump. >> that is not his job. >> some might argue it is his job and my view as a law constitutional professor, i have a book coming out on the constitution and that is that we want a neutral justice department so people don't pick and choose who gets prosecuted based on your political views ant the american public can buy into that -- >> has barr hurt the integrity of the system? >> he is certainly pressed the boundaries in some areas. rod rosenstein read this investigation for two full years. i followed it closely and i've written about it. i cannot think of anything that rod rosenstein did in two years
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other than that memo he wrote, that first or second night when trump said justify my firing of james comey. i can't think of anything in two years that would cause people at the justice department to be anything but mightily proud of his leadership and the way he handled the mueller investigation. in the last month, attorney general barr has made at least four or five critical moves that cause a lot of us who were in professionals in law enforcement to scratch our heads and say, why did he do that and the answer seems to be he has a different notion of who his client is than perhaps rod rosenstein -- >> you say for -- i assume you're talking about the release of the four-page summary and the testimony he gave -- >> and waiting a month for the redactions. >> it shouldn't have taken that long. >> it was very convenient it is released in the middle of a two-week congressional recess on thursday right before easter and passover. so all of this -- all of the senate and house is gone and won't come back for another ten days by that point who knows
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what is on the front pages. it is very convenient to release it now. did he do it by coincidence. i don't think so. and then the press conference yesterday morning, we all have to wonder what was going on in rod rosenstein's mind as he stood there just next to and behind barr mute, unable to say anything given his two-year tenure in cha was incredibly difficult personal and professional cost and yet he acquitted himself extraordinarily well. >> and it is interesting how attorney general barr made a point of embracing rod rosenstein publicly to him basically and one of the messages is that rod rosenstein agrees with everything i'm saying and he agrees with my conclusions and i want to thank him for his help in this. and then he looked deeply uncomfortable. >> and because rod rosenstein strikes me, i don't know him, but a straight down the middle books prosecutor and we'll never hear his version and so barr
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could say what he wants to say. i don't think we'll hear rod rosenstein give the shading he might want to give. >> thank you so much. fascinating. join me at 8:00 tonight on ac 360 joined by ty cobb the white house attorney who decided to cooperate with the investigation and what does he think now? we'll talk to him tonight. sarah sanders trying to defend herself as calls grow among some, democrats, for the press secretary to resign after she admitted lying to the media. and as mueller showed new evidence of russian attacks on the american elections what, will vladimir putin learn from reading this report?
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. the core conclusions from the robert mueller final report prompted the president to declare victory but democrats say they now have even more questions about the president's behavior while in office. specially when it comes to instances where he and aides and lawyers lied or misled the public. while most democrats are doubling down on the continuation, some lawmakers say it will be left up to voters to decide the president's fate. presidential candidate julian castro is serving me, served as hud secretary under president obama. thank you for joining us. do you think this report as the public sees it now is making any 2016 trump voters change their minds? >> well, i wouldn't be surprised at all if it is. it will give anybody who follows these issues pause and one of the things that just as a regular person that somebody wants as a voter is when they put their trust in somebody as an elected official, they want
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to know whether that elected official is being straight with them. and this is the most compelling evidence we have so far that donald trump has not been straight with the american people, including with people who voted for him. so, yeah, it wouldn't surprise me at all if there are some folks who voted for him in 2016 that thought perhaps at the time that he was going to level with them and they see in this report very clearly how much he's gone out of his way to lie and to try and put his interests above their interests. >> although, voters have, if they are following events, that have seen that time and time again in terms of reporting and in terms of what has emerged and starting with the last two years, there is an argument that because a lot of this had been reported out and accurate, that it doesn't have the same impact now that there has been this kind of drip, drip, drip of the president lying, and being
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turned out by reporters. it doesn't seem surprising to people even though arguably you could look at everything compiled in the mueller report and some would be stunned by it. >> well, i don't disagree with that. i do think, though, that the amount of attention that this report is getting is probably means that more people are paying attention than have necessarily to one bit -- or piece of information along the way. i think putting it together in the way this report did and all of the attention it is getting now and it will probably get in congress in the months to come is going to permeate the american people's consciousness more than one single bit of information has over the last 18 months or something. >> what should democrats do, particularly like yourself and others who are running to get the nomination for the democratic party, for the presidency? do you think there should be
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impeachment proceedings? >> i think it would be perfectly reasonable for congress to open up those proceedings. and it is clear that bob mueller in his report left that in the hands of congress. they're going to decide whether they go down that route. for me, i'm running for president and there is an election in november of 2020. and one of the things i believe the american people want is somebody that will restore honor and integrity to the white house and i have a track record in public service of integrity. i'm going to go out there and argue to the american people what i would do for them and for their families. and so washington, d.c., i think, will handle this mueller report. i'm out there every day making my case to the american people of why i should be president. >> so that is what -- when you're out there, do you talk about president trump, did you talk about this report, about the -- how the white house is run or are you focused squarely
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on tabletop issues on the economy and health care and things of that nature? >> well, i talk about it when it comes up. and sometimes people ask about it but mostly people are concerned about what they have to grapple with in everyday lives. whether their kids are getting a good education and job opportunities and their health care. but the thing is that there is a lot of disappointment out there with how this president has performed on those issues. more than a million people have lost their health care coverage under this administration because they are trying to sabotage the affordable care act. people don't believe that this president is doing the right thing when it comes to education out there. this president promised the sky when it came to job creation and placen places like wisconsin and instead we see employers are laying people off. so he's failed not only in terms of whether he's honest or not, but also in terms of creating
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jobs and in terms of improving education, improving health care. there is a lot there to work with, anderson, for sure. >> just talking about 2020, today cnn is reporting that joe biden will make his formal announcement this week. you have spoken -- he's your former boss. you have spoken to him or president obama about what it would be like to run against the -- excuse me, you have spoken to your former boss president obama, about what it would be like to run against the former vice president? >> i haven't. i have spoken to president obama before i decided to get into the race myself. i was very appreciative of his advice. we didn't talk about any other candidates -- >> does this change the race for you. >> not at all. i mean, we have, what, 18 or 19 candidates in this race. i'm going out there and i'm making a case for my vision for the country's future that we need to be the smartest and the healthiest and the fairest and more prosperous nation on earth in the 21st century and i'm laying out a blueprint of how we
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get there and i'll do that and focus on what voters are concerned about in terms of how they could do better in this country regardless of how many candidates get in or who they are or what is happening in washington, d.c., i'm going to get out there with a strong, positive, compelling vision for the future of this country. >> julian castro, appreciate your time. thanks for joining me. >> great to be with you. we're learning about threats against candidates and sarah sanders admitting she lied to the press and now she's trying to spin her way out of it. that's next. we're carvana, the company who invented
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so ditch the old way of selling your car, and say hello to the new way-- at carvana. it comes to the investigation into this president? do you really believe attorney general barr read a nearly 400-page report in one day? and that his 4-page summary is the whole truth? i'm tom steyer, and i'm organizing an effort to to release the full mueller report now and let the american people decide. if you think we have a right to read the report for ourselves, you can call the attorney general at this number. our tax dollars paid for the report. don't let him cover up the truth.
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documents. capitol police have a case on him from february when he left harassing messages for nancy pelosi. calls for sarah sanders to resign or be fired after admitting she misled the president about why the president fired james comey and she admitted how the fbi rank and file felt about comey were not founded on anything. that is a quote from the mueller report. not specifically from her. and were, in her words, a slip of the tongue. here is what she told reporters on the day after comey was fired. >> the rank and file of the fbi had lost confidence in your director. >> what is your response to the rank and file agents that disagree with your contention that they lost faith in director comey. >> we've heard from countless members of the fbi that say very different things. >> and now post-mueller report here is what she's saying about the same remarks. >> i said the slip of tongue was
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in using the word countless. i'm sorry i wasn't a robot like the democrat party that went out for two and a half years and stated time and time again that there was definitely russian collusion between the president and his campaign. i said it was in the heat of the moment, meaning it wasn't a script the thing, it was something that i said. the big takeaway here is that the sentiment is 100% accurate. >> well jim acosta is cnn chief white house correspondent. pretty stunning admission from a government official who is paid by americans to tell the truth. and she would say this is under oath and now in television she's no longer under oath. >> right. >> what is the -- you deal with her and that office, what is the mood right now like? >> reporter: well i think in the press corp i think lost confidence would be an expression that might be used by some of my colleagues. but then again, there have been concerns about what sarah has been saying for some time now.
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i think that just goes without saying. and in terms of the calls to resign for sarah sanders to resign, the white house is not responding to that. we've barely heard from the white house today. with respect to what the president is doing down in florida, i could tell you right now that according to the white house press office he is playing golf with rush limbaugh and other friends according to the white house. we believe that to be true. and at this point, that is really all that we're hearing. for some time we just haven't heard from sarah sanders in the white house press corp. she would occasionally come and talk to us in the driveway here after doing an interview on fox news or that sort of thing. and typically she would take a few questions and then head inside. we've only had two white house press briefings in the last 100 days which is a pretty staggering data point, i think, for somebody who is a taxpayer funded public servant, somebody working on behalf of the taxpayers in the role of informing the public and the
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press and i just think at this point what you're going to hear over the next several days until sarah deals with it, i think in a more effective way than this morning, just sort of shouting at news anchors asking legitimate questions, i think this conversation about whether or not sarah should continue is just something we're going to be hearing about for the -- until she really deals with this forcefully and she hasn't done that at this point. >> her own contention that countless fbi agents were reaching out to her, a., highly unusual if fbi agents were calling up sarah sanders to vent their feelings at the press office about the director of the fbi. but what is also interesting about this is that it wasn't just this, the press office, according to the mueller report, they tried to get rod rosenstein to lie. the press office, specifically, tried to get rod rosenstein to make a statement saying that he was the one who came up with the idea and push the idea of firing
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comey justice -- just as the president tried to get rod rosenstein to hold a press conference to take the heat. >> reporter: that is right. and what this points to and something i've heard from trump aides and associates and advisers going back to the campaign, they do not view talking to the public, talking to the press in the same way that they view talking to the fbi or talking in a situation where they could perther -- perther themselves. they don't view it as perjury. they view lying to the press as another day at the office. and i hate to put it in those terms because it sounds rather harsh. but anderson, what sarah sanders is getting raked over for over the last 24 hours in memorialized in the mueller report, sean spicer was doing that before -- the inauguration and crowd size and lie and so on. and that is also in the mueller report. you're right.
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and president -- "the washington post" fact checker say in the number of 10,000 false and misleading and half-truth statements since he came into office. and that doesn't even account for what he said during the campaign. and so we've been sort of battling up against -- and you have as well, anderson, this blizzard of lies. and it has, i think, shaken the confidence in the american people in terms of what they're hearing coming out of the white house and what should be said in that white house briefing room, which should be the truth. it should be reliable information because so much of that is said in that briefing room and what is said by the public officials is so very, very important. and my guess is, anderson, they'll have to do some soul searching as to whether or not they could continue in this capacity. they can't keep gaslighting the american people from their taxpayer-funded positions inside of the white house. i just think it is unsustainable. >> i'm not sure where you get the idea they may do soul searching or for them -- it seems like it is sustainable for
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them thus far. they've been doing it for two years now. >> reporter: i think you have to -- anderson, i think you have to have hope. and there are human beings that work inside of this building and i know that they just went through a very difficult experience with this mueller report because there is so much bad behavior is laid out in this report. but there are human beings in this building. we talk to them all of the time. we have sources that talk to us who try to give us the truth. but it is a very difficult environment and in terms of ferreting out the facts. no question. >> and we saw in the mueller report don mcgahn and others either just ignoring something that the president asked them to do, which would be inappropriate, or just hoping woe forget. jim acosta -- or even considering resigning. jim, thanks very much. president trump loves to talk about how he has one of the greatest memories of all time. why were so many written answers, written by lawyers and looked over by him to mueller
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investigators, quote, i don't recall. we'll talk about the legal strategy behind all of that forgetfulness. to worry about chg their minds in retirement. you may have always imagined your dream car as something fast. then one day you decide it just needs to be safe enough to get her to college and back. principal. we can help you plan for that. for moments that matter tracfone keeps you connected, for less. ♪ our talk text and data plans start at fifteen dollars a month, no contract. all with nationwide coverage... tracfone. for moments that matter. woman 1: this is my body of proof. man 1: proof of less joint pain and clearer skin. man 2: proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis... woman 2: ...with humira. woman 3: humira targets and blocks a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain, stop further irreversible joint damage and clear skin in many adults.
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he doesn't have to say go lie for me to be a crime. you don't have to say let's obstruct justice for it to be a crime. you judge people on their conduct, not magic phrases. >> that was republican senator lindsey graham from the 1990s talking about bill clinton. it is interesting that many republicans seem to be silent over robert mueller's findings on president. one argues that the mueller report should shock our conscious and the idea that anyone is treating this report
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as win for trump given the sheer extent of deceptions exposed demonstrates the bar for his conduct has sunk so low that anything other than outright criminality is too often brushed aside as relatively meaningless. charlie dents is with us. a former republican congressman from pennsylvania. do you agree? is the bar set to low right now? >> anderson, i do think it is set low. i think it is safe to say, though, that this report is certainly a political loss for the president. it is very damaging. no question about it. and you could make the case that this is a legal victory for the president because there is no criminal conspiracy here, and he's not being charged by the attorney general with obstruction and his family has not been charged either. so that is a win for the president on the legal side but politically this is in many respects quite devastating and would have been even more devastating if we had read this for the first time. we've gotten more granular
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detail about like don mcgahn refusing to fire the special counsel, that stuff we knew. but it is a shock -- >> we knew it but they lied about it. we knew it because reporters said it but the white house denied it. it is interesting that you believe it is a political defeat for the president because you could also just argue the counter that he can say no collusion, no obstruction, which is what he has been saying, even though the mueller report does not say no obstruction. he can certainly use this as a cudgel against democrats saying they've been perpetrating this hoax against me and this witch hunt and i was cleared. >> well, okay, look, there was certainly attempts at obstruction with don mcgahn, who, by the way, should be given a presidential medal for protecting the presidency and saving the country from a saturday night massacre and he's an honorable man and clearly
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there was all sorts of issues that were damaging to the president in this report. there is no way around it. to say that you won and asking his subordinates to lie on his behalf, he's asking people to put themselves in legal jeopardy. could you imagine if some of the people had gone to the special counsel and lied to protect the president. they would be the ones being charged with perjury right now. and for what? it is just -- i think it is -- >> the idea that he would ask and try to get the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein to hold a press conference and lie and the white house press office also tried to do that and reince priebus screamed at some public relations flack at the department of justice about it as well. it is -- it is unbelievable and yet, as you said, it is been this drip, drip, drip of unbelievable things so people aren't as shocked all at once. congressman charlie dent, appreciate your time. thank you so much. just ahead, the mueller revelations put a new light on the anonymous op-ed from a trump
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it is the top of the hour. i'm anderson cooper thank you for joining us. the mueller report is out and let the spin begin. on capitol hill democrats outraged by bill barr handling of the release and findings are sowing to get to the truth. today jerry nadler issued a subpoena for the full report on unredacted and saying barr is an agent of the president who misled americans. among the issues, barr's conclusion there was no


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