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tv   The Daily Briefing With Dana Perino  FOX News  December 11, 2019 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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>> i want to tone things down a little bit. i first want to express my gratitude for the thousands of men and women who work every day on the front line with the fbi. i come from a background as a prosecutor and our local law enforcement work with the fbi every day in our local office in minnesota and in the senate i have had the privilege to work with many, many people in the fbi. i think the inspector general's job is incredibly important. he keeps everyone honest. i do think it's important for those agents and for those in law enforcement that are watching today that people understand there are people appear that understand that you are simply doing our jobs which i think is basically with some suggestions and recommendations for change what the inspector general found in this report. before i start my questions, i think it's important to put this
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discussion in context with what happened in the 2016 election which is why we are here today. it is now undisputed by our intelligence agencies that russia invaded our democracy. not with bombs or jets or tanks but with a sophisticated cyber mission to undermine the underpinnings of our very democracy. the democracy that hundreds of thousands of men and women have lost their lives on the battlefield defending, both our democracy and democracies abroad. democracy that four little girl's innocence at the height of the civil rights movement lost their lives in a church in birmingham, alabama, because people were trying to hold on to that democracy and make sure it was extended to people in this country. let's remember why we are here today. let's remember the words of dan coats, former director of
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the national intelligence agency who served in the senate, well-respected, by colleagues on both sides of the aisle. he said in fact russia has been emboldened to do this again. i did appreciate senator graham's words that he made clear that it was not ukraine that invaded this election. it was russia. and it was the words of fiona hill and the impeachment hearings over in the house but i thought were important to remember. she said anyone that is repeating this lie is basically peddling in russian propaganda. so let's remember this is not about one election or one party. it's about our democracy. we can be honest and we can stop making political hay out of this and we can actually take some actions with that would protect our election in 2020. that includes finishing the work senator lankford and i have started, not only the money
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which i appreciate help states securing our elections but also get in-place requirements to push those states that don't have backup paper ballots, 11 of them, to get the backup paper ballots and make sure we have audits and make sure we have better communication between federal and state authorities. to do something about the propaganda by actually moving forward on the bill that senator mccain and i had and that senator graham and i now have, the honest ads act which requires those social media companies and i have absolutely no idea why we don't do that, to play by the same rules of the road for paid political ads, which would greatly help us but not completely but greatly help us with this propaganda problem. so here we go. you wrote this report, inspector horowitz, after interviewing more than 100 witnesses and reviewing over 1 million documents. is that right? >> that's correct. >> under department guidelines, and investigation have been authorized purpose if it's open
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to detect, obtain information or prevent or protect against federal crimes or threats to the national security or to collect foreign intelligence. you found that the investigation at issue today was open to determine whether people associated with the trump campaign were coordinating with the russian government. is that right? sticker that's the reason the fbi provided. >> and to be clear, you did not find that the fbi acted improperly when it opened the counterintelligence investigation that you reviewed in writing in this report. >> that's correct. >> the department guidelines require that a decision to open an investigation is supported by, as you describe in your report, allegations, reports, facts, or circumstances that indicate the possibility of criminal activity or national security threats. you found that the fbi's investigation was predicated on a report from a friendly foreign
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government that heard that the trump campaign had received some kind of suggestion that russia could help them by releasing information that was damaging to hillary clinton. is that right? >> that's correct. >> as a former prosecutor, i know that it's critical that the fbi's able to take an action like you did here to investigate threats to our national security. do you think interference in our elections by a foreign government constitutes a national security threat? >> yes i do. >> okay. does anything in your report call into question the finding in the special counsel's report that the russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in a sweeping and systematic fashion? >> no it doesn't. we cite the special counsel's report in a footnote laying out the different reports that have been released on the issue. >> does anything in your report call into question chairman
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berger's statement, republican chairman burr, that russia is "waging an information warfare t didn't start and didn't end with the 2016 election. >> no it doesn't. >> does anything in your report call into question the assessment by fbi director wray that russia's interference in our election is ongoing and that its interference in the 2018 midterms were a "dress rehearsal" for the 2020 election. >> no it doesn't. >> does anything in your report call into question the finding the special counsel's report that "the russian government perceived it would benefit from a trump president same and worked to secure that outcome." >> we don't take any issue with any part of the special counsel's report. >> okay. did you find any evidence that political bias or other improper consideration affected the fbi's decision to open the investigation into george papadopoulos?
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>> no, we don't. >> did you find any evidence political bias or other improper considerations affected the decision to open the investigation into paul manafort? >> no, we don't. >> did you find evidence of political bias or improper considerations affected the decision to open the investigation into michael flynn? >> we did not. >> did you find any investigation that political bias or other improper considerations affected the decision to open the investigation into carter page? >> no documentary or testimonial evidence or other evidence. >> did your report uncover systematic political bias at the fbi? >> as to what we looked at in the openings, we did not find documentary testimonial evidence to support a finding of bias. >> can you comment why it's critical the american people have confidence in the rule of law and the independence of the justice department? >> absolutely. i also was a former prosecutor
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and federal prosecutor previously. the whole foundation of the justice department on law enforcement on the federal level and at the state and local level is apolitical, nonpolitical decision-making made by prosecutors and agents working together to protect communities. >> very good. i want to follow up on your discussion on the issue you briefly discussed whistle-blowers. with senator feinstein. it is so important i know senator grassley also cares a lot about this issue. can you speak generally to how often in your career information provided to whistle-blowers has proved important and lead to uncover wrongdoing? >> i will speak to my experience in the seven years as ig. fast and furious, critical that the agents came forward there. we found numerous instances in our audits and reviews with
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whistle-blowers coming forward and reporting evidence going back 30 years to my career as a prosecutor in new york, doing police corruption cases. we had an incredibly brave and courageous police officer who saw corruption in his midst and came forward and reported it. it allowed us to make a very substantial police corruption case that would have continued but for that courageous officer. >> thank you very much. that's really helpful. after your report was released on monday, attorney general barr stated his opinion that the fbi launched in intrusive investigation of a u.s. presidential campaign. on the thinnest of suspicions. when the fbi decided to open its investigations, a u.s. intelligence committee was already aware russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 election, is that correct? >> i'm not sure what the intelligence committee knew at the time. >> it was in that context that
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the fbi received information, i'm just going to... move forward. that the fbi received information from a foreign government between reports from an australian diplomats. reported that he trump campaign official suggested that the trump campaign had received some kind of suggestion from russia that would assist the campaign by releasing information that would be damaging to hillary clinton's campaign. >> that's correct. >> your report quoted then chief of the national security division who said that would have been a "dereliction of duty and responsibility of the highest order not to commit the appropriate resources as urgently as possible to run these facts to the ground and find out what's going on." is that correct? sticker that's correct. >> in light of all that was occurring at the time and it's always easy in hindsight to look back but at that time do you agree with attorney general barr
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that the investigation was predicated on the thinnest of suspicions? >> well, i'm not going to get into a comparison. he is free to have his opinion. we have our finding and i stand by our conclusion. >> your conclusion again. >> sufficient predication to open the investigation based on the low threshold required by department and fbi policy. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. we have talked a lot about page, briefly about papadopoulos. i don't want anyone to believe that anyone named the initial investigation has been convicted of being an agent of the russians. anybody associated with the trump campaign been charged with the crime of colluding with the russians? >> not that i know of. >> i think we would know by now. mr. papadopoulos was being surveilled by the fbi, is that correct? >> if you are talking about the confidential human source operations, yes. they consider but did not
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proceed to seek a fisa application. >> he was being wiretapped and he didn't know it. >> he was being -- an undercover operation, having a wire. >> he is talking to somebody that's got a wire. >> i just want to be careful. you do a wire, you think of a court order. >> trust me. this is done because they can do it. they can do it. they don't have to get anybody's permission. >> they need supervisory approval. >> page 3:30 one. i want you to know what papadopoulos said when he didn't know he was being wiretapped. no, we don't want to work with the russians basically. i am summarizing. that would be treason. >> senator sasse. >> thank you. mr. horowitz, thank you for being here. thank you to all of you. there are a number of things
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that are really troubling but some have been unpacked pretty fully so far. i'm going to pick up some loose ends. bruce ohr, who is he and what is his role of the department? then let's ask some questions about the bizarre pathway by which he became involved in this investigation. >> at the time of these events he was an associate deputy attorney general ahead of the crime drug task force. >> and that is connected to the russians interference how? >> it is not. >> what the hell is he doing here? stick with that was the concern that we lay out. he had no role in all of the cash in any of the election interference matters. >> have a bunch of people in the media who wanted to read this as a rorschach test and they wanted to have a predetermined answer for exactly how to interpret each piece and so is the chairman began today, he said
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predicated of investigation appropriate but some minor mistakes and errors were made. you've outlined in this report 17 significant errors in this investigation. bruce ohr who has a very significant senior role, the office of deputy attorney general has primary oversight of all law enforcement agencies in america. if you're in the fbi and you might make a mistake in your investigation, the people that you would be in trouble with normally or in the deputy attorney general's office. here's a guy in the deputy attorney general's office who ultimately gets involved, inserts himself into this investigation and i think it's pretty important to recognize we have got a massive cultural systemic failure if a guy who should be doing oversight in the case, if you weren't off on another assignment about organized crime and drug trafficking, if you were going to get involved in this, he should be checking the work of the people who were doing the work and there are a whole bunch
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of department particles and provisions violated throughout this. bruce ohr ultimately decides to get extra information out of christopher steele after christopher steele or his employer, fusion gbs, had been cut off by the fbi. why did the fbi decided to no longer listen to christopher steele? >> he was closed in november of 2016 after the fa learned of his disclosure to mother jones magazine that he had been working with the fbi previously. >> and we know from the evidence that senator cruz went through, there were whole bunch of sub sources that christopher steele was summarizing and the fbi at that point was believing he might be a credible guy and they ultimately realize this is a bunch of b.s. and his sub sources are saying i said some of it in jest and some of it is stuff that i overheard in a bar. none of it is information i have first-hand knowledge of and so the fbi decides reasonably that
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mr. steele's information isn't credible. >> actually that isn't what caused them to cut him off. he had talked to the press and mother jones magazine. they had that other information and didn't tell anybody. >> okay, seo you are disagreeing to say only the problems with mr. steele are twice as bad as i summarized. >> i am saying that isn't why they cut him off. >> bruce ohr who doesn't have any responsibilities in this area decides that he will insert himself into the investigation go get additional information from or about christopher steele and the people funding christopher steele. can you remind us, who is bruce or mary to? >> bruce ohr's spouse, nellie ohr, had formerly been at the time he started interacting in november 2016 with steele, had been a former independent contractor for fusion gps. >> in other words, bruce ohr decides to insert himself in an investigation after the professional agents involved
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said mr. steele isn't reputable, isn't credible and has been talking to the media. we are not going to talk to christopher steele. actually bruce ohr meets with these people funding, the employers of christopher steele who is also bruce ohr's wife's source of compensation. >> had been. as of september 2016, she had no longer been an independent contractor. i think it's important to be clear because it's relevant to the significance of some of the inappropriate actions, the fbi was not a reluctant participant in this relationship that was a conduit from bruce ohr to steele. i want to be clear. they are not saying we don't want to deal with him. they are saying essentially if you have something we would love to hear from you. >> i want to say i wish likely weren't two people away from me
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because as the national security hawk, i have argued with mike lee in the years that i've been in the senate that stuff just like this couldn't possibly happen at the fbi and at the department of justice. if somebody who is embarrassed on behalf of the fbi about your report because i believe it's critically important that we have the fisa statute. i think it's an important court. the approval rating of applications that come before the fisc are off the charts. a couple years ago it was like 97.9%. is that fair? >> roughly 98%. >> 98% approval ratings. why would it be that high? people would normally say. >> dana: will take you back in a moment but officials giving an update on the investigation into the deadly shooting yesterday in jersey city, new jersey. >> jersey city police chief
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michael kelley. yesterday when two gunmen opened fire on civilians and police officers, we saw the very worst of humanity. in the response, as law-enforcement worked to address the threat and as the community came together to grieve and care for survivors, we also saw the very best. yesterday could have been far deadlier. the reason it was not is due to the heroism of the men and women of the jersey city police department. it's also due to the close partnership you see on display behind me between federal, state, county, local law enforcement in new jersey. i would especially like to organize chief kelly who oversaw the response yesterday. i want to thank all those who supported him, including the fbi, atf, state police, many other local and county law enforcement agencies that rushed to the scene. as i stated last night, this is
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an active, ongoing criminal investigation and as i indicated last night, our office is serving as the lead investigative agency alongside the u.s. attorney's office, hudson county prosecutor's office, fbi and other partners. as we speak right now, we are working to learn more about the shooters motivation and whether anyone besides the two gunmen may have been involved. we recognize that many in the community are anxious to learn about what happened, to learn more about what happened. we are committed to providing additional information as soon as we can confirm the accuracy of that information. at times like this, it's especially important that the press and the public stick to the facts as they are officially reported by our offices. during the early stages of an investigation, others may have incomplete or inaccurate information. it cannot only create unnecessary panic in the
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community but also undermined the integrity of an ongoing criminal investigation. here is what we know. it is believed that at some point yesterday two individuals encountered and killed josie city police detective -- jersey city police detective. david n anderson, date of birth october 201972 and francine graham, age 50, date of birth april 28, 1969. both of them are deceased. thereafter at approximately 12:21:00 p.m., a white u-haul van driven by mr. anderson parked directly across the stret from the supermarket which is approximately 1 mile from the cemetery. within seconds of arriving,
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mr. anderson exited the driver's side door of the u-haul with a rifle in his hand. he walked towards the jc kosher supermarket and innately began shooting. ms. graham, the passenger, followed mr. anderson into the store. from that point on until the conclusion of the event, the two suspects remained inside the store. inside the store, the suspects encountered four civilians. three were killed and one survived a gunshot wound. those killed were mindy ferenz, age 32. date of birth, december 23, 1987. miguel douglass, age 49, date of birth february 8, 1970. mosha deutz, date of birth ally
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seven, 1995. the survivor was able to escape the story at the beginning of the incident and we are not providing his name at this time. at approximately 12:38 p.m. the jersey city police department received nine loan call from an individual who discovered the body of detective seals. minutes later at approximately 12:43 p.m., jersey city police rep and personnel arrived in the vicinity of the jc kosher supermarket and engaged with the suspects inside. a long, protracted shoot-out followed and approximately 3:25 p.m., police armored vehicle broke through the entryway of the supermarket. at approximately 3:47 p.m. the law-enforcement incident ended when the officers discovered the bodies inside the supermarket. i soon as the shoot out ended, law-enforcement began processing the scene, including numerous
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items of evidentiary value. among others, we have obtained digital and documentary evidence which we are currently reviewing for indications about the suspects possible motives. we know that there is significant speculation about the shooters' motives. we are not in the position at this time to say definitively why the suspects decided to stop in front of the supermarket and began firing immediately. we have recovered numerous firearms from the scene and we are processing ballistics evidence. we also recovered a pipe bomb. i will let the fbi partners speak to that. that's all the information we are ready to provide at this point. we plan to provide you with additional updates tomorrow at noon from this same location. let me address a few other points. first, we are in the process of identifying all available video footage from yesterday's incident. we hope to release it to the public as soon as possible.
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last week our office updated our rules regarding the release of such footage. we intend to comply with those rules in this particular case. as is standard practice, we will release the footage once we have completed the interviews of all available material witnesses and gathered physical and documentary evidence most relevant to this case. second, as is the case in any investigation we look to the public for further investigative leads. if you have information regarding yesterday's shooting, please call the new jersey state police at 609-963-6900. members of the public especially in jersey city should be vigilant about scams that try to take advantage of yesterday's tragedy. u.s. attorney will speak about that further. we ask that you report this activity to the fbi. finally, and on a more personal note, let me say that all of us
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in law enforcement stand with jersey city, city that is still reeling today. this is the city where i was born. this is the city where so many people from so many corners of the globe first stepped foot in this extraordinary country. this is a city where the kosher supermarket stands proudly across the street from a catholic school down the block from a dominican bodega on a street named after dr. martin luther king. it's a city of chinese groceries and indian shopkeepers and recent college graduates all striving for a better life in the shadow of the statue of liberty. jersey city is an american city, a city that reflects the values and the strength of our nation and the state we all probably call home.
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yesterday that city came under attack, not just a city but the values that the city stands for and we will respond as we have responded in the past. we recognize many in the community -- excuse me. by coming together by working together and by grieving together and showing we are stronger than the hate that field this terrible tragedy. i can assure you my office and the offices of everyone standing appear will do everything he can to ensure the safety of the community and to defend the values that made this city a beacon for so many. with that, i want to turn it over to our partner in these efforts, the u.s. attorney for the state of new jersey. >> i want to start by sending my heartfelt condolences of the families of yesterday's victims. yesterday detective seals woke up in the morning to do what he has been doing for the past 17
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years, going out on the street to protect jersey city citizens and he paid the ultimate price. the three civilian victims woke up in the morning going to their jobs to do what every american wants to do. to work, provide for their families and they lost their lives because of the acts of two cowards. i'm not going to reiterate and go through everything governor murphy said or the attorney general said already but what i can tell you is we are working hand in glove, all the partners behind us and i stand behind their statements. we agree with their statements and i hope you can be understanding of the fact that we have to be careful about providing incremental information about sensitive investigations because sometimes incremental and incomplete information and speculation can lead to a very misleading narrative and quite frankly, i think the families and loved
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ones of those who lost all four victims yesterday, the law-enforcement victim, and the civilians, deserve better than to hear leaks throughout the press process of information that may or may not be accurate or misleading. please be patient with us as we work through and we try to get a complete and accurate story before we decide to go public with facts that we know. when i can tell you and assure you is that we are on it. we have been on it for the last 24 hours. we are sharing information cooperatively appear and we are going to get to the bottom of it. when we do, we are going to talk about it. until then, we ask you to be patient with us. i will turn it over to greg gary of the fbi who can give you more information. before i do that, i want to stay one more thing. i apologize. i can't believe what i'm about to say but on top of the tragedy of yesterday, we found out last night that a reprehensible group of people are online trying to profiteer off of the misfortune
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of others. they are creating fake gofundme pages to try to solicit donations reportedly for the families of these victims. to line their pockets. i can't -- no words. i can't find the words of how disgusting this conduct is. i can tell you we are looking at it and investigating it and if anyone has any information about any of these pages or if you have donated money to any pages that were set up last night for any of the victims, you should contact the fbi because my understanding is that of last night there were no official, legitimate gofundme sites or pages set up to solicit money for any of these victims. that's going to happen, i assure you. contact the jersey city pd is probably the best way to make sure that you are donating to a legitimate site. if anyone has any information about that, please contact the fbi immediately. thank you.
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>> good afternoon. my name is gregory yuri, special agent in charge. to echo what you've heard befo before, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families of this tragic event. i would be remiss if i didn't point out our friend and colleague, mike, to end the threat. the fbi will continue to collaborate with our local, state and federal partners as we try to find the motivation behind the event and make sense of what in some ways is senseless. to echo what i heard from the governor, u.s. attorney, i implored of the press. speculation only distracts from the investigation. it takes our investigators off-line. if you have a question or you need factual information, these are the people who should be
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giving it to you. idle speculation is going to distract from what we are trying to accomplish. thank you very much i think we are going to take questions. i apologize. the improvised explosive device following the event, the vehicle that the two individuals arrived to the location in was searched by our state police professionals forensically. they did locate amongst other items that i won't be discussing a pipe bomb improvised explosive device. what i will say as it was examined at the fbi laboratory. it was a viable device. it could be a device that would have exploded. it was of a pipe bomb design. not comp look at a kate about sophisticated in the sense that time and effort went into creating it. i'm sorry. at this time we are not attributing any specific motivation to it. that's what we are investigating right now. >> reporter: law enforcemen
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law enforcement... >> i guess we will take a few questions. >> reporter: is a when a law enforcement contacted gofundme? >> the u.s. attorney has investigated fraudulent gofundme pages in the past and is an experienced expert in this. >> you are going to be unsatisfied with the answer but we are not going to get into investigative steps. we are actively addressing it. >> reporter: the governor has mentioned that there is no credible threat as far as any additional security. i was wondering if you could comment on that. obviously the jewish community in new jersey is concerned about this. what if anything is your office doing working to make security... >> the governor mentioned and
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the director and i were asked, the interfaith advisory council meeting this morning, to speak with our faith communities across the state to inform our faith communities that we are here as partners if there are concerns particularly at this time of year as their more religious gatherings in that type of thing, to reach out and report anything suspicious. if they are the victims of any bias or hate to reported through the appropriate channels and that we will follow-up on any and all of those leads. i think those are some of the steps that we will take and continue to have engagement with all faith communities across the state at this difficult time. >> reporter: [indistinct question] >> dana: federal and state authority in new jersey trying to give some facts that they have to the public about the shooting in jersey city, new jersey, yesterday. rick leventhal has been following the story for us. we were listening to them. maybe you could take us back and explain how we got here and all that has unfolded about 24 hours
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ago. >> what we are hearing is that there is in fact clear evidence of a targeted anti-semitic attack that took place on this kosher grocery store behind me which has just been boarded up by workers after a bearcat smashed through the front to take out the shooters inside. according to authorities, the started afternoon. a cemetery a mile away from here. a police officer was investigating a prior incident, approached a u-haul van, a rented u-haul van and the suspects inside identified as david anderson, 47, and a female, francine graham, 50. open fire. apparently anderson shot that officer, killed him. the officer, detective joe seals, 15 year veteran of the jersey city lease department, killed at the cemetery. those suspects drove directly here in that rental van, right up front here in front of the store. they got out and made their way
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towards the store. we have seen the surveillance footage that shows the suspects ignoring other people on the street and walking inside the grocery with a apparently, according to authorities, open fire and killed three people inside the store. those victims. the wife of the store owner, and a store worker, douglas rodriguez. they were killed. another person was wounded and a gun battle ensued. all sorts of police officers swarmed the scene from local and state and federal agencies. eventually some police officers in a bearcat armored vehicle drove in the store and officers apparently told the suspects inside the store. >> dana: rick leventhal, thank you. let's bring in former fbi supervising special agent and former u.s. attorney. jack, one of the things the fbi representative at the press conference that is in regards to
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the pipe bomb, it wasn't sophisticated in terms of they knew how to put it together. it could have been used and it showed intent. >> is a special agent in charge mention, that bomb is being examined at the fbi laboratory, being looked at forensically to see how it was put together. if they can identify similarities to other previous incidents. take a good look at the whole case. they are not going to release details. i listened to them saying they don't want to release any details to compromise the investigation where they're at. my understanding is this will be investigated jointly with all partners, as everyone at the press conference mentioned. joint federal and state investigation. there's applicable federal charges here as well as state charges on law enforcement will continue to work together on this until i come to a conclusion. >> dana: we are sitting here covering the hearing and
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andy mccarthy. knowing that there is so much surveillance data, video available to the u.s. attorney and to investigators, how does it change things in terms of that being able to piece it together because his and he was saying, a few years ago you wouldn't of had that. >> yeah. it's a different environment now to investigate these crimes. even if the shooters, if they are killed, there's a lot to investigate. there is the potential lines of inquiry, how did they get the guns they have, where did they come from. was there anyone else involved in or participated and surveillance is going to be key because it's going to tell us her actions were leading up to this tragic event. >> dana: let me ask you, jack, rick leventhal -- we know the authorities don't want to speculate. rick leventhal does report that they have information that this could have been a targeted anti-semitic attack. where does the fbi go from there? >> the fbi is looking for any
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potential coconspirators, looking for anyone who may have assisted in the investigation. previous online statements to social media that might've been made. the fbi and state and local authorities are going to pull their life apart. find out what they were up to and their entire life and find out who they associated with. bank records, phone records, search warrants. individuals they've been known to associate with. many, many interviews will be done. they have a lot of work in front of them. >> dana: can i ask another question before we have to take a quick break. the fake gofundme accounts and the u.s. attorney saying his experience and being prosecuted. how prevalent is it? what can people do to make sure that if they are going to give. >> make sure that you do your due diligence. check out the site. you will see online people will talk about whether or not it's real or fake. you can reach out to the state
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or the feds. this is a problem, it is sad to see. it's a problem that happens in a most every tragedy. be vigilant and avoid it where you can. >> dana: thank you. we appreciate it very much. we will bring you more when we have it. we will squeeze in a quick break and then go back to the continuing coverage of the horwitz hearings on capitol hill. ses, we're a reliable partner. we keep companies ready for what's next. (man) we weave security into their business. (second man) virtualize their operations. (woman) and build ai customer experiences. (second woman) we also keep them ready for the next big opportunity. like 5g. almost all of the fortune 500 partner with us. (woman) when it comes to digital transformation... verizon keeps business ready. a former army medic, made of the we maflexibility to handle members like kate. whatever monday has in store and tackle four things at once.
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>> dana: taking your back now to the hearings. senator blumenthal. >> did you find any evidence that the fbi tried specifically to entrap any of the individuals who were the focus of their
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investigation, namely manafort, flynn, papadopoulos, or page. >> we didn't see that. >> there's no evidence here of entrapment. but the president has claimed there was entrapment, that is phones were tapped. that carter page may have been used as a spy. did you find evidence that the fbi put spies in the trump campaign? >> i'm going to speak to the terminology used at the department that we oversee which is confidential human sources. we did not find evidence that the fbi sought to place conventional human sources inside the campaign or plant them inside the campaign. >> would you agree with the contention that the russia investigation, including the mueller investigation, was a
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quote-unquote bogus narrative? >> we don't address the russia investigation or take issue with handling it all in this report. >> in fact you found or agreed with me learn that russian, the russian government attacked our democracy and a sweeping and systematic way, correct? >> we have a couple pages and here is background to reference on the mueller report and other reports including congressional reports. >> did you show this report to attorney general barr before it was released? >> yes. a standard process we provided it to the attorney general and to the fbi director. he didn't suggest changes. >> he didn't -- >> he found a few typos and other things that he suggested that we might want to think about. >> you must've been surprised by his attack on you and your team. >> no, i had some idea he wasn't
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completely supportive of that. >> do you think he was fair? >> i've had situations where there's been disagreements between my self and leadership. speak i want to give you a chance to defend yourself and your team who have done a highly professional job here, 19 months, one hundreds of witnesses, do you think this atk on you and your team is fair? >> my defense of our team and our work as we stand by the report. nothing i have heard changes our vigor -- view. anyone is free to disagree with our conclusions. i didn't take the job to be popular or not have my feelings hurt. >> i assume you would agree with the characterization that the
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agents involved in this work on this investigation of the russian attack on our democracy were quote-unquote scum. >> i wouldn't say that. >> i welcome my colleague's parent indignation about the potential reform of the fisa court in the process and you well know i'm sure that reforms have been suggested. i authored the fisa court reform act in 2013 with 18 cosponsors. that legislation would've created a special advocate and other checks because the fisa process a secret.
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ordinarily we don't want our adversaries to know that we are investigating them. correct? but there still needs to be checks and balances, scrutiny to make sure that accurate information is presented to the fisa judges who work in secret. unfortunately a great many of those proposed ideas do not become law. i know it's not your job to make recommendations about fisa court reforms but do you think that your report indicates the need for the kinds of reforms that i proposed in the fisa court reform act of 2013? >> i think it's very important to have consideration of reforms like that. we don't make the recommendations but we are always available to help with legislation drafting. >> i hope we can make use of your expertise i hope my republican colleagues who have been so vocal and vehement about
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the dangers of potential fisa visas will join me in looking forward in reform of that court. did you show this report to united states attorney durham? to go in november he received a copy of the report. during our factual accuracy review process. >> there urban public reports that there were references, at least one to united states attorney durham in this report. is that correct? >> not going to get into what was in an earlier draft or comments. the whole reason we do this with the drafts is to allow for us to engage with individuals, the department, the fbi. we make changes only get things wrong. we make changes if we think we need to clarify. i would rather not get into what our draft reports might or might not have said. >> did he make requests for
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changes? >> he didn't. he told us what he disagreed with. we considered his comments and what you see here is our final report that we stand by. he disagreed on the predication question. i mentioned earlier the nature of our conversation. >> did you remove any reference to him at his request? >> again, i don't believe i can get into or should get into what our drafts did or didn't say. there are edits made through the review process and there are many people who ask us to make edits. we don't make many but i think if we start talking about what various people gave us comments on, it would be a challenge to do these reports which is why early i was surprised by the press release. >> did you conclude in this
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report that your findings showed a grotesque abuse of power? >> we did not say that in the report. >> would you agree with that characterization? >> we did not reach a conclusion like that so i wouldn't agree with that at this point. from my standpoint. people can have that viewpoint but that wasn't our conclusion. >> one last question. those fisa warrants, they were renewing a number of times, correct? >> three times. >> based on your experience and maybe your report, there's a reason why warrants are renewed. they are renewed because they are producing useful information, correct? they should be. and your review of those warrants would indicate that they were producing useful information, correct? >> i'm not sure that's entirely correct and i don't know how much i can say about it in this
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setting. >> they were producing information. >> they were producing information. i am not sure how i would characterize whether they were helpful or not. >> one way or another, far from being a bogus narrative, the russia investigation produced 37 individual indictments, seven convictions, five prison terms, and hopefully will send a message to adversaries, the russians and other nations, that mr. mueller warned about that there will be action taken against them and i hope we can come together a bipartisan basis to reform the fisa process just as importantly for solving ongoing attack on our democracy. that may be the most important part here, that your report in every possible way ought to alarm americans about the ongoing attack on our nation by
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the russians and other nations. >> senator tillis. how would you describe the behavior here of knowing that the sub source disavows the dossier that was the primary reason that you got a warrant. finding that a lawyer doctored an email to keep the investor going -- investigation going in a way unfair to mr. page. this is not routine, do you agree? >> is certainly better not be routine and i don't know any reason to think it is. >> is it off the charts bad? >> it's pretty bad. >> senator tillis. >> that's a good prelude to her i wanted to add. thank you for being here. you have -- you do great work. i have a lot of confidence in the igs and i commend your staff. i don't think anyone is
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questioning the quality of your work. i'm not an attorney. i have never argued a case before the supreme court. i'm not a prosecutor, solicitor general. i'm a businessperson. i've been trying to figure out how the average citizen would look at this hearing and try to understand what we are trying to get to. you have mentioned once or twice that would people ask you about political motivation, what it has to do with the renewal of requests for the fisa warrant, he said it gets a bit murky. i just decided being someone who used to do a lot of organization charts, i try to explain to the american people why this is a little bit murky. i will focus mainly on the doj chart. let's get some characters not on the chart but actively involved with those who were. this started with a dossier that
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was paid for to be prepared by fusion gps by the dnc. and steele was part of that process, correct? >> correct. >> has primary sub source was someone who said they misstated or exaggerated the statements that the alleged activities were rumored speculation, that the conversations were had friends over beers and so on. that was something, after the dossier was used as a basis for moving forward, it's information that came afterwards that was known to people in this organization chart before they attested to a fisa court that the fbi found the russian-based sub source to be truthful and cooperative. that is an accurate statement but if they had included the truthful and cooperative comments he made, it would seem to me that may have had a different effect on the renewal. it seems to me.
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the omission of something as profound as this. do not infer from that that it was a political motivation. let's take politics out, say an agenda. this is something that we want to get renewed and continue the investigation. i don't understand how that doesn't carry a fair amount of weight. i want to get to this organizational chart. it's on record with the doj. when steele was no longer allowed to speak with the fbi because he was shopping the dossier to make money through the media or for whatever reas reason. then the fbi conveniently accepted ohr's feedback from steele. steele is someone who worked for fusion gps on behalf of the dnc to get the dossier which has largely been proven false. his wife worked for gps, not mishandling the investigation is
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going on but you could reasonably assume she had relationships there. when they cut off steele as a source of information for the fbi, did i hear you that multiple times the fbi seemed to warmly receive feedback from steele through ohr? >> we identified 13 occasions. >> so this guy up here working for the deputy attorney general never committed gated with any of his staff or any of his superiors that he was doing this? >> probably because he asked for approval, he wouldn't have gotten it. >> so he wanted to apologize instead of ask for approval. now i want to go to this part, with the american people need to know is these aren't people walking down the hallway in the meeting with the director of the fbi. lisa page is on this chart. she is the special counsel to andy mccabe. as a matter of fact, it looks like peter strzok and page were in the office in roughly the time frame. this is very important, somebody
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here on the chart, someone who works for the director of the fbi who says he's not ever goine chart with a text message talks about a meeting with mccabe says no, he won't. we will stop him. then he goes on to say, i want to believe the past that you throughout consideration and andy... the office, there is no way he gets elected but i'm afraid we can't take that risk. it is like an insurance policy and in the unlikely event you die before your 40. these are all people walking the hallways involved in this investigation having this sort of discussion with the president of the united states. and then the president of the united states. is that one of the reasons why you are being fair-minded in saying it is murky whether it was a political motiv motivatioh
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the fisa warrants? >> the concern grows out of the fact the failures in information that should have been given wasn't given and the question being what was the intent? what was the motivation and what we have determined was we could not definitively say what the motivation was. >> are these pretty smart people come up fairly well educated? >> well, well educated. >> i was going to say. >> they have law degrees, right? at least some of them do. >> so for people at this level of the organization? >> to be clear, the stuff that didn't happen on the view was basic staff. you didn't need to be deeply experienced fbi agent to be able to do with the right way. >> that is my point. wouldn't you say that would be muscle memory for people going through this process to know that they have an obligation to go through that? >> they clearly should have.


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