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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  August 17, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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how is paris doing? >> he said i'm not going to france. >> paris is no longer paris. >> france is no longer france. >> when asked by bloomberg about all of this quote, the white house did not respond to a question for comment. brian will be back on monday. thank you for being with us. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. we here on this show are having a big news night tonight that we have been prepping for for the past two days. we have for our special guest tonight former cia director john brennan. director brennan is the first in what the president has threatened will be a long line of current and former senior law enforcement and intelligence officials whose security clearances the president plans to revoke. almost all of the officials he has put on his list thus far are perhaps coincidentally people who might be in a position to conceivably testify about what
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they observed during the russian attack on the 2016 election, including potentially ties to trump campaign officials and reaction to the investigation from inside the trump transition and the trump white house and the staff itself. after the president yanked the form are former cia's security clearance, and the president told "the wall street journal" bluntly in a sort of impromptu interview according to "journal," that he reason he went after the cia director in that way, the reason he revoked the security clearances is specifically because of the russia investigation. the president drew a direct link telling "the journal," quote, i call it the rigged witch-hunt. it is a sham. and these people led it. no president is ever known to have ever personally intervened to revoke the security clearance of any official or former official. let alone for the reason this
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president explained in this case. when you're on unchartered territory, you don't always know what will come next for us as a country, but when you're the person in the middle of uncharted attacks like this, you have to wonder what it feels like. this interview tonight with john brennan will be his first live tv interview since the president took this action. director brennan, thank you very much for being here tonight. i know you have choices about where to be. thanks for being here. >> thanks, rachel, for having me on. >> so, you were cia director from 2013 to january of 2017. >> right. >> you were president obama's counterterrorism and homeland security adviser. you were 25 years as a cia officer before that. you have been through some stressful situations in your life. how has it been the past couple days since the president singled you out for attack and punishment in this way? >> it's fine. as far as i'm concerned personally, i'm fine. it's not unexpected. he had signaled something like
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this was going to happen. no one got in touch with me from the white house or cia since it was first noted that my security clearance was under review. i learned about it when somebody called me to say that sarah huckabee sanders was announcing that these clearances were revoked. i was not shocked for a couple reasons. one a heads up and, secondly, i'm not quite shocked at all the appalling things mr. trump has done. so, i think this is an egregious act that flies in the face of traditional practice, as well as common sense, as well as national security. i think that's why there's been such an outcry from many intelligence professionals. not to support me, but to support the principle that security clearances are stung that's very, very solemn and sacred and they never, ever should be used for political purposes. either to grant friends those clearances or to revoke clearances of your critics.
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>> with three decades experience at the cia and all your other government service, clearly you're familiar with clearances and the processes around clearances and the processes for revoking them for cause. when the president first signaled that he might go after your security clearance, did you expect that the cia would then be put through its paces in terms of the normal procedures for how these things go. that they would write a memo and evaluate whether you had behaved in any way that would justify this action. did you expect it to go through channels? >> well, if these were normal times, i would have expected it. these are not normal times. these are, quite frankly, very frightening times. i did not expect any adherence to process and any adherence to the steps and measures and regulations that exist by executive order. i think mr. trump has demonstrated time and time again that just because he has the authority to do these things that he has the right to do it irrespective of what is truly
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the appropriate thing to do. >> and appropriate is a general word there. congressman elijah cummings suggested and other observers have suggested that even the president does have the right to handle security clearances as commander in chief, there are executive orders that supposedly guide the way these things are handled. congressman cummings suggested overtly it may be illegal what the president has done. congressman schiff has suggested the same thing. are you considering legal action or do you think you have a legal right to exert against the president's actions here. >> as you can imagine, a number of lawyers reached out to say there is a very strong case here, not so much to reclaim mine but to prevent this from happening in the future. so, i am thinking about what it is that i might want to do. at this time, i'm trying to make sure that the principle is what is going to be defended d
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supported and defended and that this is something that should not be repeated. the other people on the so-called enemies list now, i think this is just another example of mr. trump trying to frighten and intimidate others. but i can tell you, having worked in the national security and intelligence, these are not the type of people who are bullied or intimidated by the likes of mr. trump. >> there is a list. they are former senior, one currently serving justice department official and there's actually some news about him tonight that i want to get your reaction to. this just broke within the last hour or so. but among this list, you appear to be first. the president is threatening to revoke everybody else's security clearances. he acted against you. do you have a sense of why the president thinks you're so special? why he has, why he's started with you? and i don't know, i guess i don't know if i'm asking about something personal. i guess the way i imagine this might go is that there might be
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something that you know or he knows that you know that might be making him particularly angry or particularly nervous. >> i don't know what it is that is motivating mr. trump to focus on me at first. i met mr. trump only once at trump tower in early january 2017 when we briefed him on the intelligence community assessment on russian interference in the election. that's the only interaction i've had with him ever. i have been outspoken and i'm sure that my outspokenness and some of the things that i have said have, you know, irritated him. i wish i didn't have to say these things. and it's one thing to have policy differences or substantive differences with presidents and i had them in the past with previous presidents. what really gets under my skin is mr. trump's lack of decency, integrity, honesty, and his lack of commitment to this country's well-being and national security. mr. trump is motivated by whatever is in the best interest of mr. trump. that has been his modus operandi
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for many decades. i was hoping that he was going to change once he assumed the solemn responsibilities of the office of presidency. that's why for my first year i sometimes spoke out when he was in front of the agency's memorial wall and spoke about the size of his inauguration crowd but i did it very, very selectively. i gave him a year. i said maybe he is going to adapt and change. but it seemed like day after day, week after week, month after month, things just got worse. he did not live up to what americans expect of the president of the united states. to speak with great forcefulness but to do it with integrity and honesty. mr. trump, time after time, i think has really just disappointed millions of americans. which i'm trying to give voice to. so, i know a lot of people think a former intelligence official shouldn't do this. i don't consider what i'm doing as political at all. i never registered as a republican or democrat for my entire life. but i feel such a commitment to
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this country's security and its reputation. and i'm the son of an immigrant and my father taught me and my siblings early on just how important it is that we take as very special the privilege of being born an american citizen. and, so, when i see what mr. trump is doing, basically trashing the reputation of this country worldwide and the way he has treated americans. fellow americans. how he refers to them. the divisiveness, the incitement, the fueling of hatred and polarization. this is not what this country is about. >> presidents over the centuries, over the generations, some of them have been terrible jerks, if you read the right history books. some have been deliberatively divisive and some had terrible ideas or treated people in their personal lubes or even in political life in egregious ways. your criticism of president trump rises above that type. despite what you just
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articulated here. you've gone further than that. after helsinki, you were stark and even a little bit scary in your criticism of his behavior. you said it rose to treason. >> i said it was nothing short of treasonous. >> in this current controversy that specific comment has been singled out by a number of people as a comment that may be by you crossed the line. that was maybe. >> crossed what line? freedom of speech? >> no, i'm not saying you don't have a right to say it. >> do you stand by that consideration and can you explain, can you elaborate what you mean by treasonous? it's a serious allegation. >> i know what the russians did in interfering in the election. i have 100% confidence in what they did. for mr. trump to stand on that stage in helsinki with all the world's eyes upon him and he basically said he doesn't understand why would the russians interfere in the election.
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he's given them a pass time after time after time and keeps referring to this whole investigation as a witch hunt and bogus and to me, this was an attack against the foundational principle of our republic which is the right of all-americans to choose their elected leaders. for mr. trump to so cavalierly just dismiss that, yes, sometimes my irish comes out in my tweets and i did say that it rises to and exceeds the level of high crimes and misdemeanors and is nothing short of treasonous because he had the opportunity there to be able to say to the world that this is something that happened. it should never, ever happen, again. if russia tries at all to do it, they're going to pay serious price for it. i don't expect mr. putin to acknowledge it. he is going to deny, deny, deny. but for the president of the united states to continue to
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prevaricate on this issue i think does a great injustice and disservice to the men and women of the intelligence and law enforcement community and does a great disservice to the citizens of the united states. and that's why i said it was nothing short of treasonous. i didn't mean that he committed treason. but it was a term that i used, nothing short of treasonous. >> but you didn't mean that he committed treason, though. >> i said it's nothing short of treasonous, that's the term i used, yeah. >> if we diagram the sentence, nothing short means it's treason. i mean, the reason i'm bringing this out is because when you say, i know what the russians did and when you knowing what the russians did observing the president's behavior, you go to the word treason, it suggests that you think that the president may be serving a foreign country rather than our own. >> well, yeah. i think he has crossed the line repeatedly in terms of his failure to fulfill the responsibility of the office. and to look putin square in the eye and say, this should never, ever happen again. >> do you think that he is knowingly serving the interest
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of the russian government instead of the u.s. government? >> i scratch my head a lot. i'm puzzled over why mr. trump acts this way with such obsequy ness to mr. putin. i don't know. and i'm not going to try to pretend that i know. but there is something that is very disconcerting, very worrisome about how an individual who occupies the oval office interacts with mr. putin. and i'm a great advocate of improving relations between moscow and washington, don't get me wrong. i was a strong supporter of that during the obama administration. i stuck my neck out a number of times particularly on syria. to say no, we need to be able to work with the russians to be able to bring this mass carnage to a halt. but time after time the russians would feign sincerity
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but i do believe we need to get this behind us. i don't want this to, you know, roil the waters forever. but we need to have a president who is going to acknowledge this and make sure that he is able to then move on. >> how do we get this behind us? i mean, you're suggesting that there's things that we do not yet know that have not yet been adjudicated or laid fairly before the american people to the president and his connection with what happened to russia. do we need to know that to move on or should we decide to move on before we know? >> it's called the mueller investigation. it's called the duly appointed special counsel who was given the mandate to investigate what russia did in terms of interference in our presidential election and who might have been working in support of russian objectives. and who might have committed a crime in that process. and that's why robert mueller is a real national treasure. he needs to be able to continue with this investigation unimpeded. >> mueller's indictment about the russian military intelligence lays out in black
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and white in great detail an alleged criminal conspiracy to sway the u.s. election. it's named conspirators and names what they did. an agreement among multiple actors and they took actions in pursuit of that name. >> on the part of a foreign government, which you need. foreign government. yes, excellent. >> but because that conspiracy has been defined, what would an american have to do to be considered part of that conspiracy? all right, if you've got a foreign conspiracy orchestrated by a foreign government, what does it mean to have an american abettor? the word collusion has become refrigerator poetry. oftentimes used incoherently. but what would amount in your mind, intelligence terms, to an american being a part of that conspiracy, the one that has been defined by robert mueller already. >> i will leave it to the lawyers and the courts to decide whether something is criminal or not. in my mind, it requires someone to knowingly support the efforts of a foreign government to interfere in u.s. domestic
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politics and especially an election. so, any american who was working with the russians, or working with intermediaries who are working with the russians and those americans who knowingly tried to collude, conspire and to work with them in order to advance their political objectives here in the states, i think that rises to the level of conspiracy. now, a lot depends on what robert mueller has been able to uncover. maybe there's none of that. and in my op-ed in "new york times" when i said mr. trump's claims of no collusion are hogwash is because there is collusion in open sight now. so many things i learned since i lost office because of what has appeared in the press. the trump tower meeting with don jr. and others. and also when i was cia director, i didn't know it was the day that mr. trump basically gave a public call to the russians to find hillary clinton's e-mails, it was that
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same day that the gru was actively looking for it. so, there is collusion in plain sight. but i don't know whether any of that rises to the level of conspiracy and whether that conspiracy rises to criminal liability for that conspiracy. >> you described in detail before congress an open setting congressional testimony last spring that in the summer of 2016, you at cia were alarmed by, said your radar went up about the number of contracts between russian officials and u.s. persons at a time that russia was mounting this interference campaign. when you say that your radar went up about that, did your radar go up about that because it appeared that the russian operation had as a component the engagement of americans towards that end or was it specifically because of the people, the americans, the specific u.s. citizens who those russians were targeting? what was it that put your alarm up? >> first, i knew it was a very intense russian effort to interfere in the election, number one. number two, i am well aware and have a lot of experience in observing what the russians will
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do to try to sub orrin american citizens to get american citizens to work for them. and this was a very intensive effort and, so, as i said in my op-ed, myself and jim comey and mike rogers say we talked about the importance of making sure that our radar, our collection radar was up so that we had early indications or be able to uncover any effort on the part of the russians to work with american citizens. the american citizens were reaching out to the russians, as well. to see if they could get any dirt on hillary clinton. so my radar was going because i knew the russians were engaged in this effort and i was aware of contracts with american citizens that may have been totally innocent on the american citizens part and maybe they weren't abetting at all. >> was it clear to you that those contacts were part of the operation? that it was part of the way that russia was trying to accomplish its objectives? >> i was very concerned and aware that the russians were trying to leverage u.s. citizens
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in order to achieve their objectives in the presidential election. >> while you were in office as cia director before you left on inauguration day, did you conclude that u.s. persons were successfully leveraged in that effort? >> no. no. and that's why i said in open testimony that i was concerned about these contacts because people will go down a treasonous path sometimes very unknowingly and get into very hot and deep water and they cannot extricate themselves because the russians are very clever at getting people flm positions of potential kompromat, compromising positions that they then cannot sort of turn back. so, when i left office on january 20th of 2017, i had unresolved questions in my mind about whether or not any of those u.s. persons were working in support of the russian efforts. >> and those were referred, those concerns about specific u.s. persons referred to the
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fbi. >> we call it incidental collection in terms of cia's foreign intelligence collection authorities. any time we would incidentally collect information on a u.s. person, we would hand that over to the fbi because they have the legal authority to do it. we would not pursue that type of investigative, you know, sort of leads. we would give it to the fbi. we were picking things up that was of great relevance to the fbi and we wanted to make sure that they were there so they can piece it together with whatever they were collecting domestically here. >> it was intelligence sharing. >> we put together a fusion center at cia that brought nsa officers together to make sure that those proverbial dots would be connected. >> one other thing that happened as your tenure as cia director i don't believe you have been asked about this before. several weeks before the election in 2016, the early fall of 2016, i know personally, that two well represented reporters here at nbc approached you and asked you about a story
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that they were chasing, concerning then candidate donald trump and connections he might have to russian and the kremlin. you were approached by these reporters. they were asking for either on the record or off the record guidance from you on that story and they say you told them, i don't think i can help you with that. i don't think i can help you with this. i can't confirm it. i don't have that for you, i can't help you. you wouldn't confirm any of it, you offered no help. this was september of 2016. it sounds like at that time that su actually did know quite a lot about the russian operation to influence the election and potential connections to the trump campaign. the press was coming to you with these queries. they were coming to you from within this building. was that of interest to you that the press seemed to be on to some of this and how did you handle that press interest? >> i don't think i have been asked this question on a news show. but, in fact, i informed the senate intelligence committee
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about this in my closed testimony over the past year and a half. yes, it was in september. and two journalists can, noteworthy members of the media, asked me if i had heard about a document or a report that contained some salacious information related to donald trump. >> were they asking about the alleged sex tape? >> they were talking about that and they used some of those descriptors. didn't go into great detail but they led me to believe that it was related to some things that might have happened in moscow. i didn't confirm nor deny anything for various reasons. one is that i don't talk to american journalists about u.s. persons ever. number two, much less talk about a u.s. presidential candidate to journalists. and it was later that year when,
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in december, was the first time i had ever put eyes on the so-called steel dossier that i recalled the conversation i had with those two members of the media. and said, oh, this must be what they're talking about because they said this was widely circulating among the media and the press, this document, this report and these rumors and whatever else. i basically told them, i can't help you with that and i'm not going to engage. but it was subsequent to that that i connected the dots then and said they must have been talking about what ultimately was referred to as the steele dossier. i did not see the that steele dossier until december. there are a lot of people out there, including members of congress, who claimed i told senate majority leader harry reid about it in august of september. that is false. i did not have eyes or information on that until after the election. that's right. >> before it was published in
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january, but after the election in november. >> right. it became a hot topic of debate within cia, nsa and fbi and dni about whether or not to take that dossier into account when the intelligence community assessment was done. we decided no because there's no way we could substantiate it. it wasn't an intelligence document. so it was appended to it but it was not taken into account at all as the intelligence community assessment was done and was completed. >> president made a specific on the record allegation against you on that specific topic. also a little bit of breaking news about the security clearance fallout after the president revoked your security clearance this week. please, stick with us. former cia director john brennan is my guest. we'll be right back. will you dr with a lens made by essilor?
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this wi-fi is fast. i know! i know! i know! i know! when did brian move back in? brian's back?
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he doesn't get my room. he's only going to be here for like a week. like a month, tops. oh boy. wi-fi fast enough for the whole family is simple, easy, awesome. in many cultures, young men would stay with their families until their 40's. joining us, once again, for his first sitdown interview since president trump revoked his security clearance in an unprecedented move this week, former cia director john brennan. director brannan, thank you again for being here. i want to ask you about this breaking news we had tonight from "washington post." you can see the headline here white house drafts more
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clearance cancellations demanded by trump. i will just read you the lead. the white house has drafted documents revoking security clearances of current and former officials who president trump, trump wants to sign, quote, most, if not all of them, said one senior white house official who indicated that communication aides including press secretary sarah huckabee sanders and bill shine have discussed the optimum times to release them as a distraction during unfavorable news cycles. here's the part about you. this senior white house official acknowledged that the step taken this week against john brennan had been prepared in late july when sanders first said trump was considering it. but the decision to take that step was taken this week to divert attention from nonstop coverage of a critical book
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released by fired aid only row sae new man. consideration is being given for other prepared documents in reserve for similar opportunities in the future. do you have any reaction learning to that, according to a white house official, that this is why the president took this action against you this week? >> no, other than this is just another demonstration of his irresponsibility in terms of holding that office. just because he has these authorities, and he does. he can revoke and he has revoked my clearances and others and just the way he can give pardons out. i'm not a lawyer, but i know there is a question about whether or not there is corrupt intent in terms of doing this. i think this is a thing that lawyers and courts and others are going to be looking at in terms of whether mr. trump is doing any of this in order to obstruct justice or to try to silence critics, whatever. but the fact that he's using a security clearance of a former cia director as a pawn in his public relations strategy i
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think is just so reflective of somebody who, quite frankly, don't want to use this term maybe, but he's drunk on power. he really is. i think he's abusing the powers of that office. i think right now this country is in a crisis in terms of what mr. trump has done and is liable to do. are the republicans on the hill who have given him a pass, are they going to wait for a disaster to happen before they actually find their backbones and spines to speak up against somebody who clearly, clearly is not carrying out his responsibilities with any sense of purpose and common sense from the standpoint of a national security. >> when you raised that kind of prospect, what kind of disaster are you envisioning? >> what happens if he wants to do something on the foreign front in terms of some type of military adventure. you know, the wag the dog scenario as a way to distract attention. as things get increasingly tough for him and the waters get
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even choppyer, how desperate is he going to become? what else is he going to do to distract attention? i am really quite surprised and very disappointed in many of the republican members of congress. a lot of them who i know well and respect, but for whatever reason, they are turning a blind eye and making excuses for someone who doesn't deserve to be given this type of leash with the authorities of the office of the presidency. >> the authority that he is exerting here is, again, an untested one because no president has been known to use a security clearance in a weapon in this way. one other thing discussed in the breaking news is that there is particular concern expressed even within the white house about the president's statement today that he intends very quickly to strip the clearance of a current justice department official bruce ohr. some people have suggested that depending on what his actual job is at the justice department right now, stripping his security clearance might
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actually effectively be a way of firing him, if he needs a security clearance to do his job. >> absolutely. it would be. >> is the president exercising a new authority here to fire people, disable people from being able to do their jobs even if he's constitutionally unable to fire that official? >> i think he's out of control. he is, has the steering wheel of the american vehicle in his hands. and he's veering wildly right now. he's trying to preserve and protect himself. and, so, what more demonstration do you want? when things get really, really bad? i'm glad if his revoking my security clearance is going to wake some people up. look at all the people who have come and spoken out. the icons of the national security intelligence community over the past several decades saying enough is enough. so when are the members of congress and the republican party going to say enough is enough? this country is more important than mr. trump. this country is more important than party affiliation.
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i'm waiting for it. i'm hoping for it and i truly hope that it's going to happen sooner rather than later. >> because the president has overtly today raised this prospect of going after this current justice department official and raised the question for me as to whether he might do that to the attorney general, who he has criticized in unsparing terms this week calling him not a real attorney general or to the deputy attorney general who oversees the mueller investigation or to fbi director chris wray. >> or bob mueller or the team of investigators there. >> that was raised publicly by former dni james clapper this week. i wondered what you thought about that. >> it demonstrates that anything is possible with mr. trump in the oval office. he has the authorities. he can yank the security clearances of basically anybody he wants. i think it is subject to challenge. but if he decides to yank the clearanced tomorrow or the investigators who are working on the special counsel's effort,
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they're not going to be -- have access to classified information they need to do their jobs. so, again, how desperate is he going to get? and do the republicans really want to have to clean up after a disaster or do they want to stop this before it becomes disastrous? it's their choice. and if things become disastrous, it's going to be on their shoulders on their conscience. >> you have said that since you left the cia, you have returned to the agency several times, specifically to review materials in order to prepare yourself for congressional testimony for questioning by congressional staffers. will the loss of your clearances affect your ability to do that? >> i've returned to the cia twice to talk about, well, in support of my congressional testimony. i had to go back and reread the files. just 0 make sure i was able to respond to their questions. one other time a cia official asked me to come in to talk about things and that was with
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using my security clearances, so i could talk freely about things. another time, director pompeo when he was there. every year the director of cia invites back former directors to give them updates on what's happening in the cia as well as some substantive tub briefings. and i have never gone into cia to ask for any type of briefing. i've never gone in there to access any type of computer. so, again, i'll be fine. and i don't want to get anybody in cia in trouble, you know, in terms of their reaching out to me. i think there has been a chilling effect on the part of what mr. trump is doing and his characterization of me that, i think, cia officers are pretty reluctant to be found out that they, you know, consulted me about a matter. >> with now nearly every living director and former director of the cia speaking out in support of you today -- >> support of the principle of security clearances not being political tools. >> and in support of you personally. personal praise and support for
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you there, too. even among former officials who say they don't always agree with yourcrit sux of the president. they support you and reject any -- with 60 former cia officials joining their own letter today, this is becoming a larger issue, not a smaller one in terms of the public debate on this matter. speaking of the public debate on this matter, can i chain you to the desk for one more segment? >> sure. we'll be back with former cia director john brennan. thank you. i didn't believe it. again. ♪ ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth? ♪ i want to believe it. [ claps hands ] ♪ ooh i'm not hearing the confidence. okay, hold the name your price tool. power of options based on your budget! and! ♪ we'll make heaven a place on earth ♪ yeah! oh, my angels! ♪ ooh, heaven is a place on earth ♪ [ sobs quietly ] chair, new laptop headphones, on earth ♪ with free 24/7 tech support.
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joining us, once again, for his first sit down interview since president trump took the unprecedented step of revoking his security clearance is former cia direct ker john brennan. in your op-ed in "new york times" you said one of the questions that needs to be answered now how many members of trump incorporated attempted to defraud the government by laundering and concealing the
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movement of money into their pockets? what does trump incorporated mean there? seems like you're making an organized crime reference. >> the orbit of individuals that are associated in one way or another with mr. trump. rick gates has already admitted to doing it. paul manafort, his trial is now to the jury, who is being charged with those types of extensive criminal activities. so, the use of, you know, financial transactions is a way to move money. surreptitiously. you know, i don't know who else that is associated with mr. trump, but you're talking about the former campaign manager and the former deputy campaign manager. i think mr. trump over the years, i think, has associated himself with some individuals of some, you know, questionable business practices. all i'm saying is that as a result of the investigation that mr. mueller is doing, those financial transactions are a critically important part of the investigative process. >> is there a money element to the russia operation to influence the election?
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there are some banking and money-moving allusions seemingly not on a large scale in the mueller investigation. in terms of how the russia operation unfolded, as far as you know and as far as you can tell us, is there a financial component to that that may be helpful in terms of understanding the scale of the crime? >> i know the russians have used financial transactions in previous efforts overseas to influence the outcome of election and i talked about this with jim comey quite a bit to make sure that our radar and antenna were up in terms of what types of monies might be moving as part of this russian effort to suborn u.s. persons. maybe they were not at all in fact connected with the campaign. but, you know, the term follow the money is very, very important one whether you're pursuing organized crime or you're pursuing some type of counter intelligence investigation. so, i wouldn't be surprised at all if the special counsel has uncovered a number of those or some financial transactions that do speak to russia's efforts. >> one last very specific thing to ask you. you were cia director through
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the election and through the transition your last day and ended at noon on inauguration day. there have been published reports that some of the same elements from the russian operation from the campaign weren't actually employed for a new purpose during the transition once trump was elected and serving president-elect and standing up to the new administration. published reports that during the transition, russian efforts were redirected to try to sway the selection of some of the president-elect's cabinets. specifically, basically, the russian bots were repurposed to start trying to black ball mitt romney as secretary of state and cheer lead the eventual choice rex tillerson. you were cia director at the time those things were allegedly happening. can you comment on that at all? >> russian efforts to influence american politics in the aftermath of the inauguration on january 20th of 2017 did not stop with election day in november.
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they continued throughout the course of those months between election day, inauguration day. in order to do whatever they could to ensure that whatever happened in american politics in 2017, 2018 and beyond was going to be as favorable to them as possible. >> director brennan, i just want to underscore one point that you made in our initial segment which is you said you are considering the possibility of legal action in terms of your security clearance revocation? >> it would be with the eye towards preventing this type of abuse by donald trump in the future, not to reclaim mine. this is the first time in 38 years i haven't had a security clearance. i am very concerned about the future generation, the current generation of intelligence officers. it was a privilege every day of my life to be a part of this country that kept this wonderful country strong and safe, and i don't want to ever allow a politician or someone in the oval office to just so cavalierly toss around national security and security
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clearances. so i will fight on behalf of those who still have their cleeshss. clearances. >> director brennan, i have disagreed with you publicly and privately on a number of serious policies, i look forward to talk about this, too. for all my disagreements, i have profound respect for your service. thanks. >> thanks, rachel. >> director john brennan of the cia. 25 years cia officer and four years as cia director stripped this week of his security clearance by the president. something unprecedented happens almost every day. you would think that would be a blessing in the news business, sometimes it feels like a curse. we'll be right back. nick was born to move.
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his campaign that is worth polling on while we wait for that verdict. today was the deadline for the special counsel's office to file their recommendation for sentencing related to george papadopoulos. he's the trump foreign policy adviser, trump campaign foreign policy advisor who pled guilty to lying to the fbi about his contacts with russian officials while he was working on the trump campaign. he will get sentenced the friday after labor day. but today was the government's deadline to tell the judge how much time they think he should get. since papadopoulos first pled guilty in october he has reportedly been cooperating with the special counsel's office. so the sentencing is recommendation is not just interesting because it will show us how much prison time he might get. it's also an important window into how the government thinks that whole cooperation thing with him went. if he was a helpful cooperator, able and willing to help the special counsel's office with their investigation, they might recommend a shorter sentence or vice versa, right? it is an interesting little tea leaf we have been waiting for.
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the deadline for the recommendation was the end of the day today. we waited all day long. the clock was ticking a little louder than normal because his wife has been talking to reporters and going on twitter this week saying she thinks her husband should fire all his lawyers and blow up his plea deal and stop cooperating with the government. he should suit government instead. we had our eyes glued to the docket in the case all day waiting to see what the government was going to say about him. time, we got their sentencing recommendation for papadopoulos. prumpb for prison time anywhere between 0 and six months. prosecutors telling the judge that the defendant's crime was serious. when he lied about his contacts with russian officials, that, quote, caused damage to the government's investigation into the interference into the 2016 election. prosecutors say because papadopoulos lied about his meetings with a rush union government connected professor,
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that professor "got away." quote, the defendant's lies undermined investigators ability to challenge the professor or detain or arrest him while he was still in the united states. the government understands that the professor left the u.s. on february 11th, 2017, and he has not returned to the u.s. since then. prosecutors say the judge -- tell the judge tonight that even after papadopoulos was arrested even after he was charged with lying to federal investigators, he still was not completely forthcoming with the investigation. quote, the defendant did not provide substantial assistance and much of the information provided by the defendant came only after the government confronted him with his own e-mails, text messages, internet search history and other information it had obtained via search warrants and subpoenas well after the defendant's fbi interview as the government continued its investigation. the defendant also did not notify the government about a cell phone he used in london during the course of the campaign that had on it substantial communications between the defendant and the russian professor who promised
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him dirt on hillary clinton. he did not turn over that cell phone until his fourth and final proffer session with the fbi. the special counsel's office isn't making any suggestion as to what motivated george papadopoulos to lie. to investigators when they first questioned him about his contacts with russian officials while he was working on the trump campaign. but they do say "the record shows that at the time of the interview when papadopoulos first lied he was attempting to secure a job with the trump administration. and had incentive to protect the administration and minimize his own role as a witness. in january 2017 he had several communications with the administration to obtain a high level position with the national security council, the state department or the energy department. on january 27th, so a week after the inauguration, in the hours after being interviewed with the fbi, the defendant submitted his biography and a description of
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work he did on the campaign in an effort to obtain a position as a deputy an sustent secretary in the energy department. after he's getting questioned by the fbi he's asking to become a deputy assistant energy secretary? that's the special counsel's office spelling out when george papadopoulos was lying to the fbi about his time working on the trump campaign, when he was lying to the fbi about that. he was also in talks with the trump transition team to get himself a high-ranking job because how could his fbi involvement and lying to them about russia be an impediment to a high-level job? in this administration, heh. george papadopoulos will receive his sentence from the judge september 7th. again, the government as of tonight asking for 0 to 6 months in prison for him. more ahead. stay with us. wrong. your insurance company is gonna raise your rate after the other car got a scratch so small you coulda fixed it with a pen. maybe you should take that pen and use it
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i have a little equily briiam gift from the universe for you.
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if you live in the united states and you follow the u.s. convention of writing out calendar dates like this, a digit representing the month and then two digits representing the day of the month and two digits representing the year, and look written that way today's date is the same going backwards and forwards. backwards it is also 8-17-18. do you feel the cosmic bliss? tomorrow will be 8-19-18. thank you. 8-18-18, sorry. and then sunday will be 8-19-18. which is also the same backwards. may not be nearly as comforting to you as me. math and symmetry may not be your thing, but in a world that can use some balance, i will take it. happy 8-17-18 backwards.