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tv   Senate Homeland Security Committee Holds Hearing on FB Is Crossfire...  CSPAN  December 5, 2020 12:12am-1:58am EST

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responded by voter suppression laws, voter id laws, the tea party and then we elected donald trump, were at a crossroads, who are we going to be, at the heart of it all the joys been a moral question who would be take the choice to be. >> with your calls, tweets, text and febook messas. national review correspondent kevin williamson in his book big white ghetto on the politics in everyday lives of white working-class americans, he is interviewed by washington examiner colonist, watch book tv on c-span2 this weekend. >> the senate homelands a committee held a hearing on the crossfire hurricane investigation into possible ties between the 2016 trump campaign and russian officials.
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after gary peters was a top democrat and deliver the opening statement no democrats took part, this is one hour and 45 minutes. [inaudible] >> they mee hearing is called to order, congressional oversight in the face of executive branch and suppression in the case study the crossfire hurricane corrupt investigation, the hearing is quite a bit broader
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than that but we will certainly focus on that, i became chairman in january 2015 and will compete my six-year term at the end of t this month, we can all be proud than the more than 100 piece legislation we worked on together as a committee that became law, the other more than 200 bills are passed on the committee although not signed intoe law can serve as a basis for future legislation. the subcommittees have broad oversight jurisdiction and responsibilities we have not ignored, we investigated and expose problems within the system, human trafficking, national security elites and systemic violation of the hatch act within the postal service to name a few. morse recently ate hearings on the current administration response to the w coronavirus. it's not surprising are oversight investigation do not receive bipartisan support and particularly the concerning corruption within the obama
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administration and in februar february 2018 reflecting on the eight years in office president obama stated we did not have a scandal that embarrassed us and in 2018 you stated i did not have scandals. not only were they denied by the dformer president, they were largely ignored by democrat colleagues and most of the media. but nothing can be further from the truth, short list demonstrates why they should not be ignored and fully investigated and exposed and for my fullno reinstatement the more detail on these, i asked that my full statement be on the record, let's get on a quick list andnti want to make a couple points why these are irrelevant, fast and furious. we have ms. atkinson, to being spied on was in result of the scandal, he started spying under less. we saw the eric holder was held
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in contempt of congress but never held accountable for. and they have oversight capabilities, we have no method of enforcing subpoenas or prosecuting somebody held in contempt and the member of the administration, itng really renders very toothless and effective oversight. benghazi, i will not go into the detail other than to say susan rice went on sundayig morning shows and said there was a violent protest outside of our nbc sparked by hateful video, secretary clinton was reported to comment to the father of one of the fallen heroes, will make sure that that person who made the film is arrested and prosecuted and it just so happens the producer was jailed shortlyd, thereafter and spend a year in jail and prison for
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probation violation on separate charge. i would be that somebody in power. the irs scandal where the irs was turned into a political weapon against conservatives targeted and not allowed to have taxes and status and in that case they refuse to testify, she for congress,h later she retired with full retirement benefits and never held accountable and never punished and irs with potentially records with many e-mails had been lost due to hard drive crashes, once again no one was heldd accountable. the ukraine interest scandal, the thing i want to point out about this, the press was interested in this back in october of 2015 when the wall street journal inquired the
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office about that conflict of interest with hunter being on burisma's board on the same day that vice president biden decided not to run to the primary with hillary clinton. again in december 2019 politico published a 20 page article and it reveals a lot of the types of financial entanglements for senator grassley in my investigation in the september 2020 report, past that point the press ignored the glaring conflict of interest that george was awkward for all policymakers trying to run anticorruption agenda in ukraine, clinton e-mail scandal. when i took over chairman in 2015 it was in march 2015 that it was revealed that hillary clinton read most of her e-mail through private server, not only
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is this committee the general oversight committee of congress we have specific jurisdiction on federal records, that really vegan my work in this communities work investigating some of the corruption of the obama administration, i think it's important to note that this represents from my standpoint unequal application of justice, hillary clinton wasp exonerated, this e-mail scandal investigation morphed into crossfire hurricane scandal and i want to talk about one of the text the peter strzok texted to lisa page shortly after the exonerated hillary clinton, he's talking about crossfire hurricane. this matters, the other one did too. but that was to ensure that we did not ask something up, this matters because it matters.
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so glad to be on this voyage with you. and yet we have the inspector general when he reviewed the pfizer abuse in his report and claimed there was no proof that political bias affected any actions. i would challenge us statement. the final one what we uncovered in the july 2017 report on leaks in the overall summary that report shows 125 leaks in the first 126 days of the trump administration, 62 of them would've been defined of harming national security according to the obama administration definition and that compares with eight or nine during the bush and the obama administration, an explosion of leaks and by the waysh those les are what drove and sustain the false narrative of russian
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collusion with the trump campaign, proven totally false but was a center of a hurricane investigation and the special counsel in morphed into an impeachment trial in the senate. a common element of the scandals is an abuse of an executive branch power, if this remains hidden or goes unpunished and represents a serious threat to individualex freedoms and our democratic republic.o i do not make that statement lightly. i would also say they demonstrate a pattern of bias than unequal treatment, certainly bias inls the media ad the social media and the censorship we witnessed over the last few months but also a pattern of bias than unequal treatment in the justice system. i would also say a pattern of unequal treatment loyalty and bias within the executive bran branch, i find it shocking
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within two weeks of president trump earring office, two of his phone calls to world leaders were leaked to the press, this is unprecedented, this is what spawned our investigation the 125 leaks in the first 125 days, this cannot go on it is dangerous troy democratic republic. i'm forcing my efforts who have been instructed by the agencies involved by bureaucrats that have every incentive to keepen t hidden, this is true during the obama and trump administrations, for example the fbi did not meaningfully produce records about crossfire hurricane investigation until i subpoenaed them in august of this year and even then documents are heavily redacted i have a quick example of this, on the report to the transition in the process, this is an e-mail the gsa produced to us, we can read the whole thing
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except for the mobile phone number of the sender of the e-mail, this is the exact same e-mail produced by the fbi, as you can see almost everything is redacted, there is no reason for things to be redacted there is nothing involving a harming national security, it might embarrass the agency but does not harm national security, this is the resistance we have encountered in ourse investigatn into abuse of power. in may senator grassley and i requested a list for obama officials who unmasked the trump campaign, that has been compiled but is been provided the committee because their stock between the innocent and the department of justice, we havetw not interviewed the officials involved in those unmasking's. finally justice to the state department introduced an
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unclassified the senator grassley and i had several reductions, i was able to review the army ducted reversion and can only say what remains classified should not be classified. the information will not harm national security but it would reflect on vice president biden, that is not a valid reason for classification were indefinitely holding the information from congress. these investigations have also been hampered by false allegations made against me and senator grassley by senior democrat leaders including this committee's ranking member. in letters reportedly classified staff memos leaked to the press and statements on the floor into the media they have accused senatorff grassley receiving russian disinformation, this is patently false and easily proven by a careful examination of our report. no matter how many times we
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issued denials a compliant media repeats the false allegations. this is the exact same playbook used for the steele dossier in the russian collusion hoax, these claims are especially galling because in both enter most cases democrats were the real paddlers of russian disinformation. the purpose of today's hearing is to examine two timelines, one that is more condensed and more general about all of our investigations and one that is specific and far more detailed on crossfire hurricane investigations to help places scandals and perspective, we will release new documents we obtained related to the crossfire hurricane and demonstrate how much is been withheld and how many questions remain unanswered, i ask all this information be entered into the record. the volume of information that should be considered cannot be
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covered in a single hearing i've invited three witnesses to talk about specific assets of thennte scandals in which they have detailed knowledge. i think the witnesses for the time they taken to prepare and repare before this committee and i look forward to the testimony i want to think the witnesses for your time and your appearance and without all turned over to senator peters pgh thank you, mr. chairman and i just want to start by saying i certainly appreciate the bipartisan work that we have accomplished together during this congress under our leadership in this committee has advanced important legislation to strengthen border security to safeguard critical facilities and h institutions from terrorit attacks, streamline government efficiency and in the process save taxpayer dollars and ensure strong oversight of the coronavirus of emergency spending, this committee does the best work for the american people when we come together in
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areas that we can mutually agree on. i regret that today's hearing unfortunately does not meet our best traditions of nonpartisanship and bipartisanship. this committee has held a hearing t on oversight of crossfire hurricane investigation, we heard testimony from the department of justice inspector general horowitz about the heirs ofinom misconduct that his nonpartisan independent investigation found. inspector general horowitz interviewed more than 100 witnesses and reviewed more than 1 million documents over the course off nearly two years to come to his conclusion i asked that the executive summary of this report be entered into the record. >> without objection. >> all remind the chairman thatt mr. horowitz found that opening the investigation was in compliance with department and
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fdi policies and found no eidence of political bias in its opening or any investigative step taken by the crossfire hurricane team. ". you know the inspector general did find problems so with this investigation and the fbi has already implemented those changes to prevent the heirs from happening again. in addition to her own committees hearing the senate judiciary committee which has jurisdiction overr the fbi and the department of justice is undertaken his own investigation, john durham is also continuing his own investigation at the department ofof justice, the senate intelligence committee has also investigated and its bipartisan report included the trump campaign manager paul manafort's willingness to share information with the russian intelligence services was a grave
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counterintelligence threat. i asked of the findings of the grsenate intelligence committeee entered into the record without objection. >> without objection. >> in addition to her own today's hearing seeks to rehash the same matter in more partisan way, to reach conclusions determines has announcedt publicly. the panelists are not witnesses to then a underlying events, thy are public commentary has been extremely partisan and in some cases just as disputing the result of the most recent election entirely divorced from reality. the strength of american democracy and a peaceful transition of power depends largely on the american people's trust that our elections are free and fair. there was no clock against president trump when he won the
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election four. years ago or when he lost the election last month. . . . lost the election last mo. promoting a demonstrably false narrative erodes trust and prevents our country from healing. our committee has a real responsibility to conduct oversight in the federal government's role in pandemic response and so many other matters impacting national security, and given the dangerous world that we live in we simply don't have time to indulge and hyperpartisan investigations that simply don't advance the interests of the american people. therefore i do not think today's hearing is an appropriate use of our committee's credibility.
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i look forward to returning to our strength to work together in a bipartisan way to address the devastating public health economic and security challenges with facing as a country. >> in the tradition of this committee to swear in interest on - - witnesses raise your hand committee to swear in interest on - - witnesses raise your hand do so solely so the testimony give is the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? pleasee seated. the first witness is ms. ackeon and investigative journalist and host of national tevision program for measure. correspondent and ankara cbs news, pbs, cnn and local news has authored several books on us politics and the media and
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government abuses has received five and an ambulance and the edward r murrow award for investigative reporting i thank you. good morning. nonpartisan journalist nearly 40 years with local news pbs and national station group st. clair i witnessed a dramatic evolution is also be transformed into corporate interest pushing narratives with the news online and seeking to shape public opinion rather than reportus back this means the media landscape is one of the biggest and most important stories of ourio time to be covered in a fantastical and in often inaccurate and incomplete way while important violations of constitutional right go unchallenged we have to confront the fact our structure and agencies have proven more powerful thanwe the judicial branches were influential media and
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oversight with egregious violations from prosecution even the president of the united states play second fiddle to the structure because the news media has dropped to the ball operating in the extraconstitutional fashion that exist to the administration meaning this is not a partisan issue. one example can be found as a government spies on journalist after an incredible series of revelations beginning 2013, nobody will is held accountable. government agencies initiated subpoenas against associated press reporters. pbs publicly announcedes in 2013 my computers were remotely hacked and monitored in the cbs news system a was accessed as well.
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after the april the government was responsible they had a keystroket monitoring program ask for traded files listened and went to my work photos and with through the computer logs and try to the researchy tracks. to this day i'm still sitting in civil court to force the justice department to enforce accountability to stop it from happening to others for seven years later is an uphill battle is the justice department defense those agencies and so those continued when top intel xp officialsit s what has happened that i gave information false aboutti that was forgiven and
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james comey for criminal charges the justice department says no need he meant no harm with the fbi director falsely testified to congressdeea there has been no similar to surveillance abuses despite filings from the fisa court nobody says a word with government officials and mass the names ofry citizens when congress makes dozens of referrals regarding alleged misbehavior requesting documents or federal agencies requesting to oversee fbi cell phones with corruptionn when information is illegally leaked nothing the people responsibled, were confused didn't understand the question or the bruiser did not mean harm it was an accident that is not on the team are never afforded the same benefit of the doubt this is a crisis of confidence in public institutions. lack of trust in congress and
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the justice department and elections process now you in congress does the public good they may be telling the truth may be giving good advice may be doing the right thing or the elections are not fraudulent many do not buy the story. we created this environment over decades and when we look at the public with the double standard and we ask why they are mistrustful like it's they are ministering when it is hours we can only accept more of the same going forward. thank you expect the next witness mr. brock worked as an fbi agent after 9/11 he served
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as the first assistant director for intelligence and we became the first principal deputy director of the national counterterrorism center. now working in the private sectorr said good morning members of the committee. thank you for the invitation today i have submitted a detailed prepared statement which i will summarize now. during my 20 for your career i investigated and managed counterintelligence cases specifically russian counterintelligence. is a senior fbi executive island initiatives because we to a close with i would've just as to why new fbi policy changes with the attorney general guidelines as a result i had a deep knowledge and understanding of the guidelines throughout my career and while certain changes may have occurred to the guidelines since my retirement i understand a solid understanding of the core protections of americans from inappropriate overreach by the fbi as a former executive private citizen i've offered op-ed articles critical of comey and peter
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struck and injured became of the mishandling of the crossfire investigation and the harm to the trump campaign. in addition i have is a really critical of the inappropriate actions a former director comey that impacted the hillary clinton campaign leading up to the election in inmp short i was picking up a some personal risk out of my concern the integrity ofso the fbi that they have placed to be imperiled by the faulty and reckless actions of those leaders. i do not speak on behalf of the fbi or any current or formerck employee, only myself i have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from personnel with concerns for the future for the fbi. i will be as clear as possible the disgraced former fbi openedve membership
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the crossfireos investigation hurricane. they do not have adequate predication to start that intrusive investigation of us citizen. the fbi a documents at the end hurricane crossfire investigation of publication that an experienced and knowledgeable counterintelligence agent will deem adequate and in fact it contained exculpatory statements that should have chilled any lingering impetus. the inspector general's assertions based solely on the interview of the crossfire hurricane team not surprisingly claimed they had sufficient reasons to investigate the trump campaign and i respectfully disagree i can answer questions where believe the ideas mistaken. the report documents darling comments by executives that
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have investigations against us citizens based on speculation unsupported by any fact pattern. they articulated a concern a presidential campaign may have received or accepted this information from russian sources thereby endangering national security and election integrity ironically the same executivesfo less than two months later received a dossier determined to be russian disinformation the clinton campaign not only accepted but paid for. in the indefensible double standard the crossfire team chose not to have the same investigation to the clinton campaign use the salacious and unverified dossier as justificationn for fraudulent surveillance of us citizen in effect the use of a operation became its own threat to
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national security and civil liberties the crossfire investigation it was an abuse by the fbi by a world the end of reckless executives. because of the duplicity of thehe disgraced leaders many americans have lost trust and faith in the fbi the greatest wreckage of theor entire debacle we i rely on laws by the fbi and that has been eroded the shameless executives continue to click significant sums of money from teaching gig single friend me scams and routines americans like to see accountability to weigh the efforts of this committee to shed light that will help prevent something like this from crossfire hurricane ever happening againgho any
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american or future presidential ninee. >> the final witness mr. smith working in the press for more than 30 years for policy national security and media wrten for "the new york times" the "washington post" and wall street journal and the new york among other puications also authored several books on politics in the middle east and the new york among other publications also authored several books on politics in the middle eastn aon thank you very mh. thank you for the invitation to speakefore the committee and thank you to coittee members and staff nearly four years ago a series of crimes were committed in fu view of the public and today no one has been charged. the one sete of crimes with crossfire hurricane with ruian interference in the 2016 election and the possible
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invoement of the trump campaign.. with bk classified intercept between then president-elect incoming national security advir michael flynn and ambassador to the united stes the "washingt post" published stories intercepted fln's vocals and speculated the three star general cld have broken the law and the to be the beginning of a twisted judy fced upon him with professional rivals. and as one of the most remarkable cri speed sprees info history. and with that warfare against a sittingt president.
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th rarely ever saw the classified documents and relied on what was sent to them by a circle of intelligence sneakers. that was used todvance the narrative that trump had been compromised by russian spies. t they knew they were not only breaking the law the marketing ally and with it originated. and then briefed president barack obama late july 2016 and then to improve the plan to vilify donald trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by russian insecurity services.
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and harry reid with information drawn from the dossier played for one - - paid for by the clinton campaign. he also shirts the information with the trumpets and russian officials th the bureau so they could take it. inworn testimony before the former cia director so the information he gave tfederal law enforcement serves as a basis for the fbireor investigation. and then to the classified inrmation like the flu and intercept. none have beenen charge. and the "washington post" and new york times awarded a joi pulitzer prizelassified information leak to advance a fraudulent narrative. because of the services them all enforcement authorities arhalf of the public programs and tn to keep citizens safe and those that
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were simply prticing their right to participate in our political process. >> and to mark a news transitional moment. i live in and report for the decade in the shape of the fbi joint operations and is unmistakable with the ministry of interior for domestic spying and the ministry of information responsible for manufacturing propaganda and a combined effort to destroy anyone it perceiveas an opponent and with crossfire hurricane major american institutions to adopt the processes on - - the practices of the thirdorld is not clear how we return from that territory. is not just that the press and intelligence servicesfr with
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large parts of the public but have injected the public sphere a conspiracy theory what they have done is the equivalent of dumping mercury into every river and lake and reservoir. riank you. with large parts of the public but have injected the public sphere a conspiracy theory what they have done is the equivalent of dumping mercury into every river and lake and reservoir. thank you.>> mrs. information we have had years ago but it was revealed reporting back on july 26. had approval by hillary clinton on july 26 a proposal from one form policy advisor to vilify donald trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by russian security services.
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with the unequal application and an equal treatment by the fbi of the clinton campaign versus the trumpnun campaign. this is exhibit a. and the time kennedy trump tuition inclusion that explains the whole steel dossier, doesn't it? the fbi that was bought and paid for by the clinton campaign and they knew the primary sub source of that dossier was investigated in 2009.ri they knew all of this by the end of january 2017 for some of this was known in july and october.
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and i agree that this is not an adequate predicate for investigation. to speak to the fbi guidelines en you have all the exculpatory information. >> one of the mostuzzling aspects ofe this national tragedy for the fbi certainly as we look back and see the thinasis for launching an investigation like this. when you juxtapose the reasons the fbi stated in the openi communication and the comments the inspector general lat why they were compelled to instigate the trump campaign, they don't add up with the logic that should have been applied and the connection to the clinton
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campaign. if they apply the same project on - - logic then they would have had toor open up a separate counterintelligence investigation and at they didn' didn't. >> i can close down the trump investigation it is predicated on the false information. >> predicated not >> only fourth and hearsayut also the statements they relied on with those exculpatory statements that there is no indication they have the suggestion damaging to very clinton. and e russians are prepared to release the matter withhe trump campaign did orhe not.
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that right there for an experience counterintelligence leader should have been enough to say we don't have enough to open the case. >> my next question to the two journalist, the ability has been the unholy alliance between liberals and democrats and the media. that is completely on an equal treatment by the media democrat versuse republican. exhibit a is how they treated the whole russian hoax. is our report showed, 125 leaks in the first 126 days to fill the false narrative. what duty do reporters have to reveal their sources when they gave them false information? >> it is case-by-case there is no standard.
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in fact one of the things that are criticized with the beginning of the trump administration, many news organization announced they are suspending the standards to dictate how they deal with use of anonymous sources. they were suspending these because they needed to suspend the standards with uniquely dangerous president. i think there is no more important time to keep the standards and ethics that if we have strong feelings about that is what they are for and instead we saw this listing and the changing of everything the way we use to cover things and a cbs news we went to use anonymous sources as a last resort with very specific caveats and disclosures and all that has changed.
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and there is no overarching board on - - body this is how it has to be handled. >> trying to have these investigations i have determined the inquiry press that has access. little trust congress to keep those identities secure confidential so the press finds out a lot sooner than congress does or department of justice officials so any member of the press protecting the sources is there an obligation to protect the source that has given you false information? >> i see it a little
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differently. what i tried to describe it is a partnership between the press and people who are providing false infmation to prosecute thcampaign against the trump administration. i am very familiar with th left-wing bias of the media. my family my grandfather worked in the press w literary editor at the village was thfirst alternative weekly in america cofounded by norman mailer. i am familiar with lt-wing bias. i come from the lef. we have seen has nothing to do withi left-wing bias. is not about partisanship. we have seen is something very diuptive and dangeus. how this started was in part because of the financial collapse of the perceived press with the advent of the internet as a consequce the
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moral and professional collapse of the press. this is not a normal media. it is a platform for information operation. it is not about partisanship. >> senator peters? he is off. senator lankford. >> thank you to our witnesses. going back to that last statement you made about journalism and media is a platform for disinformation. how does that i turned around in your perspective? you en around media your life? that is the p question i am asked by people in oklahoma. >> the are different
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complains that wreally have about the internet and social media there are different trends as well. there are different alternative outlets tre are different journalist answers is for people to follow. and those that i have talked to any opening statement these names will continue to exist for as long as they have people who own theif they don't care how much money they make how to make these responsible and accountable again for the american public that needs sou information to my don' know but there is real news out there and there are people w gather news and disseminate news. if you aren't courage to with the asking out oklahoma local this is very important i'm not
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sure anyone needs to compete entirely with the poster the times are cnn. local news ismportant to make those decisions right there the national news we get to them as well. >> what you experience personally and multiple journalist there is the ap story in 2018 i will read the clip of this. asking the question trump may use rhetoric for trust in the press that obama argue went further using a strong reaction to block the flow of information to the public the obama administration used in 1917 espionage act with vigor prosecuting more people under that law for leaking sensitive information than all previous administrations combined the obama justice department dug
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into confidential communications as part of the effort and then discuss the four lines as phones and cell phones as part of an investigation and then what happened to james rosen as well a fox news you experience this as well as cbs. what should be done to the entityty or agency? they were never held to account to intimidate the press or investigating journalist through the process? what should beone in that situation to hold the administration to account? >> at a minimum there should and apology that they should ever be in a position to overlook one - - work in the government again.
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why should anybody change the way they operate? this rose a legal action but is the prosecutorial authority when those were the ones implicated? and say will do the job for somebody like me to have a case in court to force with the permanent of justice is supposed to do criminally and they are not than they spent taxpayer money to drag it outus trying to get the case dismissed. because there is no accountability time and time again people need more training this happens over and over again and they know the same people nothing ever .appens >> you been around the fbi now retired and that process was
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short and could be done to an agency or leadership individuals when they have abuse of power house of the investigation be handled and why can't we close the loop these investigations? >> and certainly violations of policy and violation of the attorney general guidelines when the executives were fired for good reason and with cause. there was some accountability there. what this committee is doing to shed light on the abuses that took place by the small and blue band of executive the headquarters is vitally important. this is not the fbi i knew or worked in those at work tirelessly every day so that the fbi exist.
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this was a hijacking of the fbi with respect to the inspector general's conclusion , it is clear there was bias involved with those text messages written by peter strack and lisa page and clear of the statements for former director comey and deputy director mccabe that they held the personal animus toward the president there is no dispute on that. so this investigation was a malicious undertaking. >> i know a lot of great fbi agents that were frustrated and disappointed and quite frankly embarrassed for how leadershipw handle these
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investigations. the statement over and over as a line agent did with jones on - - james comey did i would have and should have been fired. but they seem to be held to a different account. i think i know your answer but i want clarification. james comey said before the judiciary he was proud of the work done by crossfire hurricane on president trump at that time kennedy trump for the most part it was done by the book was his iti word for a lot of us we were most shocked to say proud of it and by the book do you agree with either of the statements? >> i would not be proud of crossfire hurricane. this is not by the - - done by the book even remotely. we keep saying it over and over again the fbi cannot walk outside the door without articulating adequate predication to interview us citizen. we should allwa be concerned and
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vigilant the fbi adheres to those policy guidelines and in this case they did not. >> and the center is on me about this is part of the problem. i think you'll understand i haven't got a great deal of support for these investigations the last six years. the attendance of this hearing shows that what i tried point out with the lack of a accountabity with the hi theer in congress. reason they are not held accountable is there is no way to hold them accountable. who investigates the investigator? who prosecute the prosecutor? problem.n enormous and in the six years to do this and get this out, obviously the bias of the media and the attacks i have
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had to put up with it doesn't bother me personally but in terms of the reflection and the impact of democracy and freedoms. this is serious. we have a couple senators attending the hearing and the ranking member says this isn't even appropriate hearing for this committee to have. that is the problem. senator scott. >> [inaudible] i believe we need aull investigation.
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>> and y hear me? >> now i can. >> you hear meefore. >> no i could not. >> americansare and i believe that americans do not want to see their president involved in corruption we need to have a thorough investigatioof hunter biden and his relationship in ukraine. the properties know how vice president of the united states. foreign gornment for investigating a company paying
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his son $83000 a month. i think whenever the facts are, they ought to come out. so what have you learned about and ukraine and why has of the mainstream media cared to assume that joe biden would become the next president of the united states will they start caring? >> i have not done as deeper dive into the hunter biden question is other journalist including west leaning publications starting one year ago this time there were some great investigations of that could be attributed to the fact that the time there must've been people putting up a narrative they do not want biden to be the nominee or wanted someone else so this was debated but then once joe biden became the nominee it was the discussion among the liberal left leaning figures and became a conspiracy theory mother was well documented.
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so there were some legitimate questions to ask about conflict of interest so if you substituted the name biden or trump or trumps children and bidens children undoubtedly use the word have a very different kind of media coverage than the lack of interest with the advocacy from the media trying to squelch the story. and i think it will change? i don't think so there will be some criticism in the press joe biden when he comes under criticism with the left leaningcr press and to come out of the same sort of scrutiny or the one-sided coverage that president trump has gotten
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showing that media mistakes from "the new york times" and the "washington post" and cnn over and over again. and with that campaign that has demonstrated. and with those news organizations taken over by narratives and propaganda in light of those corporate interest and that distributi of narrative storylines and by and large and then to have thategitimate journalis and i ca about this. >> legitimate journalist who want to get to thehe facts and
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th are very clear to hold both sides accountable. how can they continue to not care about hunter biden? >> working with cnn when it was still a news organization we wouldn't dream of covering the stories that now they are horrified at the turn but this organization has taken. and it has been successfully co-opted and then we need to understand when we do the job to put forward the narrative and then the views to be amplifiedot with the social media and it feels like you do everything right your colleagues are putting you on the back in many americans
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been around long enoug it is all being defined right now in change. >> and can they become legitimate journalist again or is it just set up that it ll never go back to a normal investigative a fair media outlet? >> a lot of people weighed in on that including for people who are executes at cnn and where there for e discussion and how it changed into what it is today.
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i'm not an expert but a lot of people think it isot going to be able to go back to what once was even though there is a demand. even as i want to get the news from cnn or fox the nt to place they can go that doesn't ju tell you the story where it leads down the middlhe they don't feel that cnn could go back tohat it was but they don't think they can survive moving forward without donald trump the plan like the last four years. >> about twitter and facebook and censor conservatives and then to allow the ayatollahac what about that impact on our democracy and to say much on twitter or facebook pomodoro and venezuela that they can do whatever they want and the impact on our democracy to do her c job?
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>> and those with death to israel or death to the united states and to the president look at him at his twitter feed now. and it is marked with advisories it is *. it is getting through to pele outside of washington outside of new york or los angeles. not just that i mediaut social media and against them and people get arier and angrier. it is obscene and the islamic republic and it is laughable.
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and off of twitter and americans are seeing what is happening. and off of twitter and americans are seeing what is happening. at this issue quite a bit and there is danger in the notion that those of us that don't like that censorship with a heavy hand, why aren't you censoring this if you censor that? the attack ought to be don't censor anything done except they have that rule they never had a with former deputy director mccabe testified that it is
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just a formality. that they didn't really read the applications will take it that seriously. is that your undstanding of what the certification process amounts to and why it is in the statute? >> it would be startling to me the fbi director tweet a finds application in a nonchalant way. assumed chief of sta of the chief couns world informed them to the deepest degree possible as to the nate and .pplicabilityy wanormal on the inspected intelligence officer that is one thg. fairly routine that's not what we're talking about here.
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we just signed off on tt is a rubberstamp manner. that's hard to fathom. >> and with the fisa court says because of the misinformation that the bureau submitted to the fisa court as part of the application process and to trust the fbi commission to the nothing to do with crossfire hurricane. have you actually heard of this happening what about the credibility of the fbi? >> the wake of the damage left
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with every other's application for vitally important cases of counterterrorism life and death investigations. it is tremendous damage i don't think the quote was strong in the frankly of this activity the directors own words that the dossier was salacious and unverified and two times after entering the words he signed off on the phase application by the pi own admission dependent on the dossier for probable cause. is difficult to square with their thinking was and why they went forward like this other than the ulterior motive somewhere. >> let's talk about your itten testimony of insufficient evidence to
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justify opening the crossfire hurricane investigation tell us more about that. >> you want to be clear. obously am taking a different position than the inspector general wrote in his report but if u read that carefullyaclre. he interviewed m members to investigate russian interference with the ection. that is clearly the fbi responsibility russia always tries to interfere with eltions and other parts of ctivities. nobody is disputing that crossfire hurricane was the case open against us citizens and members of a presidential campaign unprecedentedever done a before. you think it would be handled with care and it esn't appear that way. they literally took firsthand information receiving information from a foreign
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government now we know as australia in turn had a convsation with george topless and received information that the russians had suggested they had information damaging to the clinton campgn. i'm not sure how you rally all of that together to mak sufficient predication even with the pliminary investigation they opened a full investigation to give them thebility to use all powers against citizens not only relying on hearsay but embeedn those statements were excultory statements that should have stopped the show righthen and did not. >> a now we know the steel dossier the principal source for the fisa warra and we
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saw>> testimony it would not have issued if not for the stee dossier that was a corrupagent subject to counterintelligence agent by the fbi. you cannot make this stuff up there was a movie you would say it's false but t fact that actually happened that's why i continue to believe this is potentially the biggest scandal and fbi history to talk about t care with which this investigation was handled it was by a small group of people at fbiha headquarters spearheaded by peter struck and mccabe that is unusual for an unusual this nature with a very small group of people so
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why that procedure and initiation unusual? >> it's hard to overstate. the fact that first of all they would open up counterintelligence investigation into a presidential campaign without substantial justification and then secondly to embargo that investigation on the seventh floor of the fbi running that out of headquarters. the reason why they run investigation is because it's to the political flame of washington dc. they are there for a different purpose the field office in investigations that is their experience and sobriety to makeie a attorney general guidelines they took this out of the directors office and ran i wrote investigation and i would be willing to speculation to wager that many
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executives involved in the investigation never read the attorney general guidelines and d not understand them. thank you for your testimony based on the testimony this committeesy has committed and pursued and from the judiciary committee i think it's clear there was an enormous amount of care taken to open this vestigation and for political purposess it becom increasingly clear for all the reasons tlined in the violation and procedural norms and the outright lying, it was done deliberately by people who doot want donald trump to the president and did not want the results to stand to weaponize the fbi and they succeeded that will go down in
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american history in the seventies to make sure it never happens again thank you for yourork. >> stick arounds i want tourn you into a witness but i want to make a point because you said it is completely appropriate for the fbi to vestigate russian interference going to there was russian interference goingit on in the clinton campaign dnc paid for the dossier information and this shows the jaw-dropping bias and unequal treatment of justice continuing to pursue the trump campaign but had no evidence and they didn't lift a finger to investigate what was happening with the steel dossier and the clinton come on - - campaign going to talk about the difficulty here in congress to investigate these
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things. the resistance i have had to even under the trump administration. you had the ability to interview both mr.omey and mr. mccabe. by theay you did an excellent job with . zuckerberg because you had whistleblower information and documents and could ask simply hard questions andevealing questions. myet big problem of any of these characters is we haven't had the documents. can yospeak for that judiciary hearing interviewing both? there were some interesting revelation because you didn't have documents or say what did you mean in this e-mail? how much of that hampers the ability before the the committe? >> no doubt the stonewalling
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and that's the only word youem can use by the fbi with the investigation to crossfire hurricane has hampered the investigation and that has been delivered they have withheld information. they have withheld documents, we had to threaten and control then you know you've been doing. so not to have that source material and also we been told over and ove so the senate has the oversight responsibility and has the right to know when the presidential election has been interfered with and the fbi has been leveraged by a
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political party, in this case the clinton campaign leveraging the most powerful want somebody in the world to interfere in a presidential campaign and they successfully did it, that is something they mustid investigate and has a right to be a part of the process which to this day still will not turn over documents and a stonewalling it is confirmed to the conclusion the fbi needs fundamental reform the political atmosphere has clearly taken over in the upper echelon which is a greater disservice to the men and women who are out there every day enforcing the law bringing criminals to justice you have a political group in washington dc and what they are doingg, is dangerous. >> you set me up for next questionge i appreciate you participating int this hearing.
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we didn't have a lot of participation some democratic senators think on and playing golf the don't ask any questions. as part of the problem. made this point when it comes to investigations of wrongdoing in the political realm we do it completely backwards take a look at the corruption we know about and how long that took to get to this level of knowledge. by the way we are a long way from fully understanding this because of the resistance and obstruction. but i would argue the order of investigation not to star start, pitch and start with congressional investigations. congress ought to have access to all the information. i cannot tell you how many times excuse has been given to
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me when you request things even under subpoena we have to have a special counsel or john durham he doesn't want you interfering the way the should work from myha standpoint, is so far more important to expose this so the public understands what happened to provide that accountability as a deterrent as opposed to a criminal prosecution to put somebody in jail. rarely happens anyway.ts congress needs to first investigate to have access to all the information and then if we see potential criminal activity we refer those cases to the justice department. if there is a conflict there
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then we go to special counsel. we have this backwards and here we are four years later and only now do we and cover the extent of the corruption that is incredibly troubling that should cover every member of this committee but obviously does not because apparently corruption is partisan if it's corruption on the side of your party, not worried about it. i'm worried about it regardless. so how much would that hamper if congress had the same information? >> i associate your frustration, senator. i think all of us are looking for a deep level of
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cooperation and transparency from the fbi are not here to second-guess the decisions they make i can mitigate certain decisions that are made that the nation is creeping transparency right now i think is better for the fbi to rip off the band-aid if there are things that are embarrassing that have to be revealed, then let's get it over with. the bureau has taken a beating the last three or fourng years at the hands of some bad actors. there is no shame. there were poor decisions made politically biased or not poor decisions that dramatically impacted the american trust of hethe fbi. let's restore that with complete transparency. i would encourage that. also this is a challenge to
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congress, we have an adequate description of what political corruption means right now federal law is fairly narrow with the entire primary laws and beyondalru that it is hard o get at corrupt activity. maybe we need a new definition if family members are enriched from being in officer loans forgiven of political officers and is difficult to prosecute maybe we need a new definition of corruption and new laws and may be difficult for congress to pass that legislation the right now it's frustrating for the fbi to see and not take that action against it other criminal violations wound to the flesh
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corruption wounds the soul of the nation. it is eating away at us right now in a very partisan way as you point out. i would encourage you to look at different activity to decide if we can tolerate that in the country. >> i was surprised to find out in these investigations with a conflict of interest with hunter biden to be on the board is we have no laws but we have regulations from the state department against conflict of interest but they just don't apply to the vice president president. maybe we should change those regulations is not right the law but i want to drill down with harm on the prosecution. and again and never investigated anything in my workplace so it makes sense if
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you do truly want to go after the kingpin you interview people in the organization you want the kingpin to know you are finding out. so to me that is the greatest hard that could occur against a criminal investigation if this is made public in congress but i would argue this is well worth then harm to potential criminal maybe the kingpin will learn more how we lie to investigators by whatno he's hearing. but facts are facts. you can successfully prosecute somebody and convict them just with the facts. in my right? is a the way to have congress access this information and have the public aware that
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could cause a criminal investigation for my standpoint? that's not worth withholding information from the public or four years. >> thank you for that clarification. there is a traditional concern that when you bring criminal charges against someone, they have the opportunity for a fair trial because that person may be acquitted are found in a center not guilty so there is the concern a presumptive or premature release of information there is a risk it could be leaked out somehow and with the potential prosecution with the guilt or innocence. i would agree with you there are circumstances that has been proven through the committees so if there is a mechanism to be put in place
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to extend the assurance. >> i'm willing to sacrifice the conviction and the wrongdoing of the political realm. you say a lot of this doesn't rise to a criminal act but assuming ron doing that is a conflict of p interest and is a problem with counterterrorism issues, potential extortion the whole reason the fbi and political figures say we have to investigate these ties to russia and trump imagined the black male perpetrated the same thing there in terms of a biden administration as well and then some. we found out about connections to see fc and the chinese government and a large company.
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the face of years ago it is troubling and it amazes me how the press just turns a blind eye to it. now to drill down on the fbi, i'm disappointed. i hate to say this i'm disappointed in the director's ability to restore the body and integrity to the fbi. i just am. the only way that can happen is totally transparent and he has abi plan. i know the director before the committee tell him i asked him a couple questions and the questions i had for him this happened because before i became director, a lot of this and happened under his watch the ticket being we found out that the fbi knew the primary sub source was a suspected russian agent and the clinton campaign had the steel dossier
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and russian information in that they knew that as ofth january 2017. they knew all of that as yet march 2018 i believe, members of the fbi with the documents pay for the senate intelligence committee and saying that the steel dossier was reliable. how can that happen? do understand how that could happen? >> this is more than one year later after the fpa - - fbi knew full well james comey said it was salacious and unverified. >> senator i will choose my words carefully. obviously my interests are to restore the credibility of the fbi and the american people.
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christopher ray i think has done a very good job of advancing the level of trust. agree and i think the frustration among retired agents and those currently in the fb fbi, there should be an urgency to be transparent. as nearly as possible but again i say i don't know all the facts. looking into some of those sources si that are entirely viable so i cannot second-guess that. i do think it is irresponsible to hear calls for director raise removal unless there is specific cause like james comey. i don't see any of that. there may be frustration with the pace of how they are
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responding and pressure should be kept on the fbi is used to that they should be called to testify and explain themselves. but there are factors that can come into play here. >> let me show you these again is this acceptablee? >> what you are running into their senator, frankly this is what they should be called to accountt for, you have a unit or a section inside fbi headquarters doing that redacting followingea protocols these are lower-level employees making these decisions. i don't know to what extent that is reviewed by higher-ups , but when i see something like that, my first instinct is that is somebody following the rulebook. >> that's a convenient excuse for people at the top to continue to obstruct.
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>> excuse me i would be happy to talk about directory from my reporting. >> okay. i have one final question for the journalist. >> director ray has been withholding documents is virtually the time he started i know from my time i started that rod rosenstein and director ray asked the then speaker not to give away anynd documents he did the same thing in the spring and summer regarding the michael flynn case. director raise anything else but the exemplary of transparency there is a problem there. >> that i know. my final set ofs questions. and with the drumbeat. senator grassley has been accused falsely.
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accepting or soliciting nothing could be further from the truth as a weapon they are using. that has worked unfortunately they keep the drumbeat up. it was talk about russian interference in the 2016 election which by the way i do not deny or condone. that was way ahead of the curve with the subcommittee sarah on - - senate foreign relations committee held hearings on russian interference in montenegro in
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europe we always have to be on guard. they want to ask a journalist putting things into perspective, i don't know how much russia paid for facebook ads when you know what in impact attacking the dnc server with those true accurate e-mails by the way i don't know what impact that had but i would say it feels in our politics and elections, pales in comparison to the impact that jack dorsey denies the twitter of his censorship and facebook censorship and the extreme bias in the media. do you agree with that assessment to impact politics and elections vastly, vastly top forms anything that russia orti foreign policy can do?
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senator cruise asked jack dorsey can affect politics he said no. you all agree that russia can use your platform which is why you are on guard with these controls in place you don't agree in using your own platforms and censorship affect politics? they all say no. it is astounding. what do you think of that miss atkinson quick. >> what i read was the final assessment to purchase facebook ads, absolutely. no denying that. the difference is one is considered a foreign national security threat and i assume is illegal although we can
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hang people out of russia and prosecute, but what i don't understand in a legal way to manipulate public opinion are shaping public opinion information is the hard part those that are responsible for convincing big tech to take this rule they were not interested in prior to that and to understand how powerful this is and exploit that in a dangerous way to impact the much everything we seepo and hear. and i do think they are smart people working on solutions to this problem and investors and journalists and technical experts trying to make it so there are platforms using block chain technology and things i don't understand information canan be exchanged you can have a peer review public interest that they don't want you to read so some
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of that interest we will see the next four years but in the meantime we have a very s management control news and internet environment we try to grapple with. >> at all thinking of americans understand the economic powerth like small businesses i've had to intercede a number of times closer been demonetized for facebook or twitter or whatever it's like at&t back in the fifties said you cannot use her phones anymore they didn'tt& do that but the social media companies are. >> how that addresses the news industry i quoted an executiv executive, not by name who gave a very chilling quote who said because of the fear of being the platform by the social media companies and
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coming after you and to report the truth to save all your punches only not to have no outlet at all so if you can imagine what they see is the truth oror honest reporting for big tech companies then you get a sense of how effective this is at managing the need that we see. >> to build onen that point, you know how this works, but apparently found doctor epstein who has been monitoring googl google, for example they allow google to read their gmail so they can
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there in the search results so speak to the point we made of the impact of social media and media have and the new were post reporting. with ukraine and china that this is the election interference talk about 2016 it didn't happen on facebook the election was shaped it is not election misinformation and 2016 it was the clinton campaign disinformation that was the fundamental thing that is what they were trying to do is shape the election and then of course not just the election but the transition team and the presidency as well.
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i want to say two other things i definitely agree with what is happening you see what appears to be random on twitter or facebook or other social media platforms, they will scold someone were spent on - - suspend them temporarily then bring them back so this is to draw the invisible or disappearing redline don't know what they are not supposed to say. effectively they are being schooled to censor themselves this is a dangerous thing. the last thing i want to say chairman is i'm sorry there is not more general interest i know they find this incredibly important s. as a journalist the work that you in this committee have don done, from out that peter struck e-mails and the hunter biden conflict of interest
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document has been extremely important researchers are out there doing real work thank you for the vital work without which there are things we were not know going into your product i commend you for an thank you. >> i appreciate that. >> one final point i learned from doctor epstein after the selection that google was only get outreminders of to vote to local subscribers until he sent an e-mail to the new york post knowing google watch that now all of a sudden they send it out to everybody so they wouldn't get caught. the former soviet union countries one of the main
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things we emphasizes anticorruption of course puts his that we talk about the oligarch ownership of the media. how can we prevent the oligarchs from controlling the political message from ukraine and other countries? it wasn't long before i started to realize maybe it is the part calling the kettle black will call them oligarchs we call them billionaires. isn't that part of the same problem?. our media giants, these are american oligarchs and billionaires andare moguls and they exert way too much power that we need to figure how to rein in. >> i have not explored this i
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know it is a common thought i cannot speak authoritatively to that. my problems investigated are outside influences to understand the first two decades of the century clever ways to get the news under the tent at the news organization to get them hired and then use nonprofits and llc in crisis management firms to shape we do effectively and the terms of what we talk about in the stories we don't report and then effectively control the news landscape to see make it have unfettered access in an organized fashion without source of information as well and that's where we are today. >> you have any final comments? >> no i agree 100 percent looking at the media is not simply bipartisanship it is a platform of the sword and shield for the oligarchs
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looking at the press organization and the "washington post" and the atlantic what is going on. not political partisanship but platforms for the oligarchs. >> any closing comments. >> in general information is promising a urge congress to look at ways to look at controlled information like they look at monopoly in the early part of the 20th century. advocacy journalism is a moneymaker it depends on clicks see you have people exercising over censorship and
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very think so they cannot go viral. for all, thank you for the opportunity senator your work on thehe committee is very important in exposing the bad actions taken by a few individuals with the fbi and the damage they did as a result to us citizens. >> thank you for you do in your careers what you contributed to our republic as benjamin franklin said is a republic if we can keep it. that is a concern with the abuse of power i am highly concerned. it is disappointing we didn't have greater attendance thank you to those who ask questions and thank you for your thoughtful testimony. i will say c what i intend to do we have a pretty good editor that willfu hopefully condense down the best parts maybe we
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get more eyeballs on the hearing with do that from november 19 that wass all about the early treatment of covid and what could make more sense like tamiflu? is just the majority witness had doctors risking their lives treating covid patients and wrote the op-ed to randomly make headlines at the snake oil salesman. that goes with the territory to attack me but the vice chair of medicine from baylor? the professor of epidemiology at yale? those that are treated over 1000 patients?
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i hope all of you don't get attacked for participating in an incredibly important hearing. thank you very much for your patronage thank you for your testimony i ask all the documents from the press release of myself and senator grassley be entered into the record and also to remain open for 15 days through december 18 at 5:00 p.m. for submissions for the record and the hearing is15 adjourned at 5:00 p.m. for submissions for the record and the hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations]
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that would and
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