tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN February 1, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
this is a cnn special report just hours from now, the secret memo at the center of an extraordinary clash between the president and his fbi director is likely to be made public. i'm jim sciutto. >> and pamela brown. the memos released could have serious consequences for the trump white house over the russia investigation and even for american security. breaking tonight, a senior administration official says that president trump plans to green light the release of the memo that accusing the fbi of surveillance abuses in the russia probe. and we're told it will probably
happen tomorrow with the release. sources tell cnn that tom white house aides fear fbi director sclofr wray might quit over the memo release after he publicly revealed quote, grave concerns that it's inaccurate and misleading and the president he is's motivate for ignoring the warning is more clear than ever. he has been privately admitting to friends that he believe the memo release will help discredit the special counsel investigation. and tonight the "washington post" reporting that mr. trump never had any hesitation about hellsing the memo and that he hopes it might give him justification to fire deputy attorney general rod rosenstein who he appointed special counsel mueller. jim. it. as the president does battle with his current fbi chief, the director that he fired is speaking out as well. james comey posting this tweet tonight, quote, "all should appreciate the fbi speaking up. i wish more of our leaders would. but take heart, american history
shows that in the long run weasels and liars never hold the feel so long as good people stand up. not a lot of schools or streets named for joe mccarthy." the union representing the fbi rank and file weighed in with this. the fbi agents association appreciate he is the collector chris wray standing shoulder to shoulder with the men and women of the fisher as we work together to protect our country from criminal and national security threats. let's be clear the fisa memo controversy is not principally a battle between democrats and republicans although they disagree. it's a fight between the white house and the nation's law enforcement agencies. in a statement mr. wray expressed, quote, grave concerns, about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy. in a letter to the memo's author, the representative devin nunes, the justice says it quote unaware of any wrong doing relating to the fisa process.
but the president and his allies don't accept the appeals delivered first in private and when that didn't work in rare public statements from officials appointed by this president, mind you, and yet contradicting this president. a public debate about how and when the u.s. surveils intelligence targets, including americans would be fair and warranted. but is that what this president and his allies are after here in keep in mind, the president is attacking those carrying out an investigation which he and his advisers are involved. keep in mind as well that this is just the latest in a series of attacks on the fbi and other individuals and institutions involved in the russia probe, including but not limited to james comey andrew, mccabe, peter strouk and lisa page, the doj and the spernl counsel office and the u.s. intelligence community which the president you may remember compared to nazis. the fisher agents association made this pledge in a statement as well. quote, we remain focused on
important work to protect the country from criminals domestic and international. we tonight hope that they do. >> and our panel joins us now. our panel and experts and analysts a lot to discuss with the impending release of the memo. >> no question. >> it seems all but certain that's going to happen. jason miller i want to start with you on that because the fbi released that extraordinary statement saying that it has grave concerns. this is the man who the president appointed to be head of the fbi. the fbi agents association is of course opposing the release of the memo. that came out today. is the president willing to put the national security concerns aside from the agencies and from the people that he appointed in order to tamp down the russia investigation? >> well, respectfully speaking i think the framing of that is a little bit off because we also have over 100 members of congress who read the memo and believe it should be put out and needs to get out to the public. a couple of things important. we have to remember what the entire memo is about. and that's the potential
illegallity involved with how they got the fisa warrant in the first place. what i want to get to is transparency and openness and make sure we have all the facts out. i also think -- this is where i maybe differ from republican friends. i want to see the nunes memo out. i want to see the schiff memo out and the supporting documents tp there was illegallity going and we obviously brian and my friends on the hillary campaign had a lot of issue was the way comey conducted the investigation into hillary clinton last year. they will point and say that comey cost them the election. now i firmly disagree with that. but i think we need to to get to the bottom. let's get everything out and let the american public make the decision. >> brian to his point it's -- i remember covering the clinton investigation. and you and other democrats were very outspoken about the fbi and what you viewed as mishandling of the investigation. now it seems like things have flipped. >> but it's because of just that that makes this whole conspiracy theory that is the basis for this pent up demand from the fox news fever swamp crowd to
release this memo so crazy. think about. if you want to believe the in her behind the folks pushing for the release of the nunes memo, what they're arguing is that -- this was this deep state effort to sink the trump campaign in 2016. well, we now know that there were two investigations by the fbi into the two major party candidates in 2016. but we only heard about one. we knew about hillary clinton's email competition v investigation. the investigation into trump and russia still going on and produced two guilty pleas and two other indictments was never breathed a word of during the campaign. the voters went to polls never knowing about it. it was a heck of a dep state conspiracy to sink the trump campaign where they were actively waging the campaign. seeking the fisa approval to get certain people surveilled but they decided to keep it under wrapped wraps and never tell the voter. to believe the conspiracy theory you have to think that donald trump's only political
appointees hand selected fisher director christopher wray, the number two rod rosenstein are part of the same deep state. >> does he have a point does -- if the fisher was trying to sink administration why wouldn't they have come out before the election to acknowledge this investigation? >> well, there were issues in 2016 all the way across the board both in the leadership of the fbi, the doj. we remember the magical tar mack meeting the ag lorta lynch had with the former president bill clinton and again 99 -- i said this earlier today 99 prt 9% of everyone involved in law enforcement from fbi to do judge. to local law enforcement, check their political allegiances at the door and don't let it get in the way. but something happened in 2016 where it became highly politicized. and seeing the way the democrat attack comey now they like comey and they'll be out bying his book. >> same with republicans by the way. >> here is the problem. i don't think any of us can argue against or obviously
everyone has their own opinion that we should be getting to the truth here. and we should be seeing the actual information. we need to find out the exactly what went on. because, again, if say the clinton campaign -- if it was a research document from them to help to go and get a fisa warrant and that's what helped get this whole thing going, i think that's really problematic. >> lara coats is it possible the fisher was doing it'set job in investigating the hilt emails and aggressively investigating a whole host of charges though nothing has come out of it for the president regarding russian interference in the election. >> not only is it possible but highly probable. what you see here is the expectation that a balanced assertion is going to carry weight. that doesn't fly in a court of law. you can't have supporting evidence. it shouldn't fly in congress to have that in a court of public opinion. because if the goal here is transparency and the goal is to
have the american people be able to make objective reading what they're seeing we have to have more than balanced assertions. you have to have evidence that the fisa system was somehow nefariously corrupt. they did not go through all the checks anne balances, every single hurdle that the extensions of any fisa warrant with respect to carter page were not presented with corroborating evidence in the first place. remember, the dossier may have played a role in the fbi's investigation. but to get to that point you're talking about an investigation that was already noticed as a full investigation in the fbi which means the paper trail was very, very long and may have included as a small part the dossier. so i think this is does not pass the smell test if you're talking about transparency. and i just think that the american people deserve more. forgot partisanship i don't understand why you cut off your nose to spite your face. if i can, the fbi investigates white collar crime, public corruption, civil rights violations, human trafficking, violent crimes, a small fraction of the work dpriess this fbi
investigation in the criminal probe. why are we throwing out the credibility of the organization with the political back water. >> liz, i wonder for folks at home following this for some time, there are some remarkable allegations being leveled at u.s. law enforcement intelligence agencies here. right? talk of a secret society, a deep state, treason. these are words thrown at the agencies -- let's be frank, they need oversight. but they're also agencies whose job it is to cope the country safe. >> yeah wsh i think i teach constitutional law there is a problem in terms of the separation of powers here. as was mentioned we have article iii judges making the determineses. they have life appointment. they have tenure for life and salary protection by design. they are afflictle. the federal judges made the determination whatever was in the pack j was sufficient to extend the warrant. judges do this all the time. there are all kinds of situations where they make determinations based on allegedly biased information, in
criminal investigations. and here we are not talking about putting someone in jail. we're talking about foreign belgs. that's what the fisa is about. and the other point is this -- the executive branch leads all the way to the president of the united states. so it's quite unusual to have the president at odds with his own criminal justice system. and i think when we start challenging that and start challenging the integrity of those public servants and whether they're actually doing in re jobs, we all lose, because then it becomes a situation where you are political background is determining the kind of justice you receive. >> by the way, the fbi is not above reproach. nef had a long history of corruption. hoover investigate the martin luther king jr. for 12 years of his life for no reason other than to find dirt on this man and found nothing. it was kennedy who said keep surveilling him and keep doing it. and comey has the memo on his desk as a reminder of not doing this with corruption.
they are not above reproach. however this is a pretextual reason to investigate the fisher not a realistic one. >> that's woi the first point i made was let's get both memos out. let's get the supporting evidence. let's let the american people see. this is a concern. things got so heated and politicized back in 2016 people have a right if this is -- especially talking about the so-called russia collusion investigation and the fact this is -- constantly leaks every other day and all the nonsense going into it i think the american people have the right to see what's going on. >> that's not the position fts trump administration. they just want the nunes memo to be out there. we've been reporting for weeks now that the president has wanted this memo to be out in the public. the nunes memo, the republican one without -- before he even reviewed it. so do you feel like from the get go he has wanted to put his own personal sort of objectives first before national security. >> it's also cnn's reporting the president wants the memo out there in part to undermine the investigation. >> well i. >> and he said similar things
about other aspects of the investigation throughout. >> i've never heard the president say that. and never heard anyone in the white house say that i can't speak to that. we have aanonymous sources and everything. but we did see from paul ryan. >> remember the history. he said in a public interview he fired james comey because of his handling of the russia investigation. you can't look at this -- the memo in a vacuum. it's part of series of attacks on law enforcement since the investigation began. >> but really simply what i want is the truth. i want to be able to see it. all of us the american public deserves to see it as well. >> at the end of the last calendar year key parts of the fisa law were up for renewal. democrats like ron widen clamor to did he classify more information so the public makes a informed judgment about whether they wanted the elected representatives to renew the law. they are always shut down because this stuff is the most sensitive at a stuff that the government traffics in. the selective reasoning of suggesting that now is the appropriate time to open the curtain and reveal what goes
into a fisa application seems convenient. >> it's a good point but fisa just renewed republican lawmakers had ample opportunity to review the law in congress and yet voted for renull of the 702 protections which is really the background. >> it may be different if we were looking at the actual contents of the application for warrant versus a memo created by a partisan in congress. that's not more information. the other pointed i wanted to -- following up on what you said after the hoover situation that's where we have a ten-year fbi director tenure. in order to create an fbi that's independent of the president. and that are the so of wall has broken down in this dprgs. and that's problematic. >> i think it's also important to point out there are serious players on the houseside pushing for the release of the nunes memo. peter king who i would not call a partisan hack by any stretch opinion. someone who takes his job seriously. speaker paul ryan who i think takes his job seriously. who reviewed this and said we
need to get this out there. i think that really speaks for something. >> all right. lots more to discuss. coming up here on the show more on the memo and why the president hopes that it may discredit the russia investigation. we'll continue that discussion plus the special counsel probe, why one witness may be raising questions about one of -- did one of mr. trump's most trusted advisers if that person was trying to obstruct justice. we'll be back. i'm your phone, stuck down here between your seat and your console, playing a little hide-n-seek. cold... warmer... warmer... ah boiling. jackpot. and if you've got cut-rate car insurance, you could be picking up these charges yourself. so get allstate, where agents help keep you protected from mayhem... ...like me. mayhem is everywhere. are you in good hands? when this bell rings... ...it starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world.
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report tonight. president trump is moving toward releasing a controversial gop memo, hoping, we're told, it are discredit the russia investigation. this as sources have been telling us for quite some time that the president never had any hesitation about making this memo public. here with us again is our panel to discuss this a little bit more. and jason, i just want to start with you, because there are questions tonight that if in memo is released, will christopher wray, the fbi director who sent out the strong statement yesterday, will he resign? will rod rosenstein be forced out? will this memo give an excuse for that? if that happens, if wray leaves or rosenstein is out what happens to the russia investigation. >> well i don't think that either one is going to be leaving their position because of in memo. i think chris wray will stay in his position, as fisher director. and we even saw the speaker ryan came out and said that also nothing this in memo that implicates rod rosenstein.
i think a little bit of that is the speculation where a little bit -- this is part of the problem where republicans on the messaging side are losing a bit in the fact the longer this drags on schiff even though i disagree with him on every possible issue i think on the planet, i do think he has done a fantastic job of talking about obstruction -- strouking this thing and delay going and so we start talking about process things like who might be mentioned in the memo appear who might not be as opposed to actually getting into dsh geshting this thing out there which it should be. but the longer it goes on then we're talking about things like you know what if, what if, i don't think that's a good look for the republicans. >> jason, is this a winning issue for the republicans to go nose to nodes with law enforcement? >> well, again, your positioning as them going nose to nose with law enforcement. but if we see from this memo that there were illegallities going on, then that is -- that's very important to go and get out there. i don't think this is republicans against law enforcement at all. i think what we want to see is make sure that law enforcement is operating properly, that
there is a proper oversight role that's what we want to get to. >>way if there are any illegallities but it reveals sources and methods and it's a national security risk? who wins. >> that's a very important question. part of what i go to in the last block, the fact that you have had over 100 members of congress -- i wish more of the exact have gone. i'm not sure if the number is still zero. if there are a couple who red it it's a small amount. i wish democrat had read this memo and briefed up to speed on it as opposed to doing the whole stand offish thing. but the fact that you have some serious players who have read this and said it's important we have to get it out. >> quick fact check the democrats weren't provided the opportunity to review it. >> they could go since then initially after. >> but here -- the other thing, jim, they could have gone and seen it. there's plenty of time for them to do it. and some of the serious players are not going out there and put their entire reputations on the line if they didn't think this really needed to get out and people needed to see it. >> i wish i could share jason as
optimism no one is resigning after this. but you've seen chris wray a take principled position. you've scene a rare move of the fib agents association the rank and file bureau standing shoulder to shoulder with the director. i fear we are headed trds towards a saturday night massacre playing out in slow motion. to the point about rod rosenstein has nothing to fear, he reauthorized the fisa application. if the republican conspiracy theory coming out of the release of memo from nunes is that this thing was the fruit of a poisonous tree it would provide a pretextfare donald trump to to say rod rosenstein betrayed me by renewing this. >> and he was appointed by the president. let's hypothesisically look. bra has no wrans we have been told has no plans to resign. there could be implication implications. if wray and/or rosenstein are out what does that mean for the
russia investigation? what happens. >> if it were rosenstein then the other question would be whether his replacement would continue the investigation or not. certainly after this particular presidency is over, there could be under a different president -- a different president a renew -- a remued look at the same issues the with respect to a private citizen trump. that's entirely possible. but i worked with rod rosenstein in the white water investigation. and you know this is- these are career public servants who uphold the rule of law and believe strongly in the constitution. i think that's what you're seeing pushback is the structure of our government crumbling and serious concerns around a situation where it's not the judge or an appellate court saying, listen was this fisa decision proper, a judge making the doctors determination. it's not the president making the determination as to whether he wants to keep the chain of command. it's congress leaping over the fence and doing things not within the constitutional
mandate. is it legally? no. neck have hearings they can have hearings on whether it's proper to continue the fisa. broad hearings on the propriety of the fisa in contained circumstances where the national intelligence information issant maintained. but in this instance the congress does have the authority to release in coined of information if it makes the determination that the public interest outweighs the national interest. here we have the fbi and doj saying the opposite and they have the expertise. >> laura i don't know if there is a hopeful message. you have had a series of instances where the president -- i don't know if interfered is too strong. but he fired the fbi director because of the investigation. the new fbi director is in effect defying the president. the attorney general when i fired comey appointed a special counsel waist which is not what the president wanted. do you see her the institutions in effect standing up to this pressure. >> i certainly hope so because
institutions are vital to our justice for me. past it owe is prolog in all these things. just last week there were reports christopher wray was trying to resign or threatened to if if he tried to force andrew mccabe out as well. at his hearing when he was talking about the firing of jim comey made the statement the fbi will continue without the leader. because the work of the men and women is so vital and essential that you really can't cut off the head of that six-headed hide ray and have it go away. that's the beauty of people who are targets of the investigation, the burden of the investigative process. what you are seeing a trend a president who according to the reporting is trying to influence the hemiare spear heading an investigation around people who are in its inner circle and his orbit. all that does in both the court of public opinion and also for mueller's investigative team is put a magnifying glass like a beelgts in the summer heat.
what are you accomplishing other than raise the profile of the investigation? it has to continue, notes because of partisan reason but because there is a dreskt going on in a parallel inquiry in congress about whether somebody is interfering and who may be at fault in criminal. >> jason i wonder if you will grant that these moves by the president whether it's a firing of comey, his support for the release of in memo, the request from an ag rosenstein for a pledge of loyalty, you know this whole kind of thing, whether it's illegal or not but do you agree that the president is trying to influence the investigation. >> not i'd even push back on the rosenstein and the loyalty pledge. rod rosenstein put up his right hand and said no one ever asked me to take a loyalty pledge. so i would disagree with the assessment. but lara. >> jason answer me. he fired the fbi director because of the russia investigation. okay. he is pushing for the release of the memo pushing for the release of the. >> a president hillary clinton,
the only difference she would have fired him on day one. >> she is not president. we're talking about trump. when you look at the whole range of moves here as well as the personal attacks on individuals involved in the russia investigation and on institutions involved in the russia investigation, will you grant that the president is trying to influence the investigation? whether -- some made the argument that it's his right to push and pressure institutions that he has appointed people to lead them, that that's his right as the elected president of the united states. but will you grant he is truth to influence. >> no. i think what's the folks are trying to influence it are the leakers whether career people at the doj or minority staff. >> or white house leakers, the source of the stories. >> the whole -- aanonymous sources. but look somebody is -- you don't think that so-called rosenstein conversation magically popped out the day. >> i trust who i cnn colleagues reported it based on multiple sources. >> well i'm not. >> one of them sitting next to me. >> it was not planned to come out the day of the state of
union we were working on that. >> influencing the court of public opinion, if you're a supporter of the president you have some real issues with the way that these different leaks have happened. and so i think again going back to the rod rosenstein example, that's one that's that's completely blown out of proportion. >> the leaks haven't come from mueller. >> or nunes. >> let's be honest we don't know where the leaks come from as a reporter who reports on aanonymous -- hocks to aanonymous people, we don't know where the leaks come from it's always a guessing game. you'll never know. >> we can say mueller is a tight box. >> they are a tight box. but i just want to ask you, i want to ask you, jason, because you say you want transparency. this is the public interest to have transparency. and that both memos should be released. but if one memo is released, that the fbi director came out and said is omitting key facts and leads to a false narrative is that transparency? is that really in the public interest. >> well that's why i argue i think both sh should come out. >> but that's not going to
happen. we know that's not going to happen. >> i'm offering. >> one memo is going to be released do you support that? one memo that the fbi director has said omits key facts. >> i think they should both be out that's my opinion. >> that's not happening. >> way can't it? paul ryan said he supports that. >> we're six hours away. >> that's the question if they go forward with putting out one with will you come back on cnn saying that was the wrong notify. >> i think they should put both out. >> but this whole thing is not happening in good faith. there is of an active inspector general investigation happening within the justice department as a tenacious independent watch dog. congress could refer to him and ask him to look into the subject. the fact they do it now amid an ongoing investigation into the president himself tells you everything you need to know. the fact that they won't agree to release them in tandem with the democratic memo tells you everything you need to know. >> right. >> the idea that this is in the spirit of transparency doesn't. >> look at the upside. what if we get the opportunity to maybe get rid of a couple of bad apples or find out. >> you're not going to have all
the material the judge considered so even when you look at the memo you went know whether the judge did his job in approving the fisa application. >> that's -- going to be up to the last word. >> being up to the american people. >> thank you women and gentlemen and forming lawmaker and national security on the war over the movie why so many republicans in congress are rushing to the president's defense. ♪
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download the xfinity my account app or go online today. welcome back. tonight president trump is ready to take the wraps off a secret memo and tear official washington even further apart. mr. trump and his party defying democrats as well as the fbi director and the justice department. we're joined by jane harmon, a prominent former member of congress, a national security expert as well. congresswoman harmon thanks for taking the time tonight. you served many years in congress, including on the house intelligence homeland security security committees. have you ever seen a president, a party at such loggerheads nose to nose with u.s. law enforcement? >> not this way. but as i just told you i was a young lawyer on the senate
judiciary committee during the saturday night massacre. that night i i came out on my porch in gorge town expected to see rifle fire. the next knit night all the democrats brought one person each to the secret meeting to talk about how the country would survive. i was the only one i had a one week old son and the country survived. i was in the carter white house when the church committee, a congressional committee, bipartisan reported on ways to fix the abuses by the nixon administration of our intelligence. and that is when fisa passed by a large bipartisan vote. and it set up the two intelligence committees were set up. the whole process worked for decades until it didn't. and this -- you know, i was -- i had adam schiff's job as the ranking democrat on the house intelligence committee for four years. i served on the committee eight years. i was in the so-called gang of eight. we had disagreements. but the committee somehow got
through them. this is the first time i have seen the absolute you know, destruction of the house intelligence committee. and it's heart breaking. and it's a huge loss for the country. >> i want to take a step back, look big picture. because you know we were just talking about this. democrats claim there was bias in the fiv during the clinton investigation. they blame the cia during the iraq war. you know saying that the basically the intelligence was cherry picked. so in light of that, do republicans have a point that, look, we need to keep our intelligence gathering in check as well? like we have a right to do that? >> we do need to keep it in check. and we have had two massive intelligence failures in centerry. one was the 9/11 and one was the wmd when the intelligence got it wrng. we reformed our system in 2004 on a bipartisan basis and set up the director of national intelligence, a joint commander across the intelligence agencies, including the fbi. so, yes, there needs to be
vigorous oversight. the right way to handle this is for christopher wray and others to testify before the house and senate intelligence committees and present their evidence in a classified setting. that's apparently not being permitted. >> can i ask you this? can a president, whose advisers are under investigation in an ongoing investigation, be the champion credibly be the champion of reform of that investigation? and the institutions carrying it out? >> well, i -- the president is the president. he is entitled to declassify information and state his opinions. but in this case, first of all, i have enormously high confidence in robert mueller whom i know, who was the fbi director while i was the ranking member on the house intelligence committee. >> and who was welcomed by republicans. >> and christopher wray whom i don't know is highly regarded by the rank and file. what what's important to think about is not just the top layer
but what about the cia agent in some -- some undisclosed location out in the field or even the fbi agent who is doing something that his family doesn't even know about to protect our national security? is that person going to be demoralized, not do his or her job as well or quit the agency? if we lose those people, the middle of those agencies, the committed middle with huge experience, we lose the tip of the spear? that's how we find out about the next terror plot ppt one more point we collaborate with foreign intelligence agencies. that's a good thing. they tip us off on things like the plastic bomb explosive in the cartridge in the uae and about to be shipped to the u.s. and blown up an aerp. if we lose confidence in their ability to keep secrets then we lose cooperation. >> it makes you wonder how foreign countries view this. >> we know they raise questions.
thanks very much. house speaker paul ryan defending the expected release of the gop memo. is he contradicting the president in the process? on every purchase, every day. not just airline purchases. think about all the double miles you could be earning. (yelling) holy moly, that's a lot of miles! shh-h-h-h! ( ♪ ) shh! what's in your wallet? man: shh-h-h!
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so long as we're not revealing sources and methods to protect our national security. the more transparency the better, so that the people of in country can see that their civil liberties are protect the, the constitution is being followed. that's why we think some showing of transparency and accountability is the correct antidote for this. >> that was house speaker paul ryan defending the release of the controversial gop memo. president trump is likely to sign off tomorrow. we'll have to wait and svee that arizona happens. let's bring in the political team. david chal oni want to start with you waus you heard paul ryan say this is about fraerptcy. in the public interest. wouldn't that involve releasing more than just one partisan document that the fbi director has come out and said publicly omits key facts. >> certainly would. at the very least it would involve releasing simultaneously the other partisan document just so that everybody -- if that would be true sort of transparency if you want to see how everybody is responding.
but what you see the house speaker doing is clear. he has found a rationale so he can wake up in the morning and feel that he is not doing the political bidding for president trump here. >> but is he. >> the way devin nunes is. but obviously this entire episode is clearly about president trump eager to discredit the mueller investigation in any way he can, eager to prove his year long point that this is a witch hunt, a hoax. and he feels that in this nunes nunes memo he will have ammunition for that. that means paul ryan is clearly aiding and abetting the president's political goal here. but you hear he is coming up with a different rationale. >> paul ryan also very nobly told his colleagues to not let this color the mueller investigation. that's not the business we're in. i mean, that's a little rich, is it not, when the president pretty clearly is trying to undermine the mueller investigation.
>> far be it from me to call the house speaker naive but it's naive. but yes he is. i think you're right nobly and intensely saying behind the scenes to his members, look, this is what it is. this is -- he says from his perspective, about abuse of something that is incredibly important to keep our eye on, which is civil liberties and the use of the fisa warrant and not the mueller investigation. he says he supports the mueller investigation, that the mueller investigation is credible and the two should not be conflated. the problem he has is he said that again in private to his members the day of the state of the union which was tuesday. he said it to some of us reporters that same day. he said it publicly and even more emphatically today. what happened in between the two days is that the president of the united states made phone calls to his friends and allies according to our sources saying, this is going to be great. because this memo is going to
undermine the credibility of the mueller probe. >> and if it's the latest in a series of steps with that stated -- well stated or railroad clear intention, is it not from the firing of james comey with the president admitted in public was about the handling of the russia investigation to a series of tweets attacking a thousand players and institutions sara, involved in this, right. >> right and it's hard to believe the white house argument that this is suddenly a president who is particularly worried about transparency. because i certainly isn't worried about transparenty with anything else has to do with his government or his personal finances. he didn't release his tax returns. it's the rich explanation from the white house. but i think it's really fascinating when you go back and read the debate that these committee members went through on the house intelligence committee about the vote, the decision to release this memo, because there were so many options thrown out about ways to make this look like less of sort of a partisan document. can you hold the republican memo back while we review the democratic memo? can we release them at the same time? can you have the fbi come in and
brief us? if you don't want the fisher to come and brief us how about one of the other intelligence agencies? how about the inspector general comes in and is an independent party and they look at the memos and brief us. time and time again the republicans shot down these options. it's really hard to make the argument that this is anything other than a political document. >> right. >> especially looking through all the different ways necked have done this. >> these are two different brafrmgts of government legislative, executive branch, should the house speaker, david be exerting more of a check on the president? >> well, you know i do think we see maybe less on the house side, the senate intelligence committee is doing its oversight job in looking into this overall matter. we do see congress still exerting their coequal branch status. what we don't see from the speaker is sort of brushing back the members of had us his own conference who l really want to play politics on this. we don't see him taking a leadership role that way.
we see him stepping aside and let it go forward. that's a political calculus he makes. listen, i don't think anybody here among us would say that the fbi should not be subject to congressional oversight? it should be. of course. that's good government. that is the role congress has. the issue here is that nunes is so clearly taking in issue and not providing just simply oversight so the american people have an answer, but trying to give president trump a -- a calling card, an ability to go out to the public and say, i've said this all along, now you have to believe me this is not on the up and up. >> all right and again the situation so fluid we have to is a situate and see if the memo is released tomorrow. we thought it would be today. and now tomorrow. we have to wait and see. still ahead as we know the president is a master of reality show hype. but what if after all of the build up, the big reveal falls
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infamous gop memo that president trump is very eager to release. tonight weer hearing behind the scenes there is concerns that the big reveal may not play out the way the president wants. dan na, gloria borger was reporting earlier tonight that some republicans starting to worry, in her words, that there might be too much drum roll on this. is there a fear this might be a dud? >> sure. this is the opposite of politics 101. which is that you keep expectations low and then you keep the delivery high. we don't know exactly what the delivery is here. but expectations are super high. so, you know, based on not just how much we're talking about it and how much the fbi is fighting it and how much the democrats are upset, how much the president is saying that he thinks this is really important and explosive for the russia investigation, it better be big considering all of that buildup.
and it's really june cleunclear is. i talked to some people who have read it and say to me over and over again, fisa, fisa, it's really -- before it was changed, it's really 23focussed on the fa courts investigation premueller. >> even if this memo is not bombshell worthy, watching the president's reaction to it may be. if it is to try and put rosenstein in the cross hairs and potentially start talking about whether or not he's going to act on that, which we reported this notion he may not want him around in general, and yet another person in charge of this investigation, where he is saying might need to leave and get rid of that, that to me i'm so much more interested because the memo itself may not amount to much. but how donald trump uses it and how he reacts to it, that could be the bigger bombshell.
>> you get the last word. >> we heard this debate waging with people close to the president about whether or not there will be enough in the memo for him to provide the justification that he can get rid of rod rosenstein. you can bet there are plenty of republicans, paul ryan and others who will be scrutinizing a move like that closely. but it could be license for him to rail against if they were surveilling against this person who knows who else they were surveilling maybe we need to go deeper and release more classified information. it's hard to predict where the president might decide to take it. >> and who's going to come out on the winning end of it. >> and we've been here before with devin nunes on the unmasking that didn't go where the advertisement said it was going to go. thank you all for being here and thank you for joining us. the news continues next right here on cnn.
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it's a new kind of network designed to save you money. call, visit, or go to xfnitymobile.com. good evening. with the president about to speak to republican party function being held, no surprise at the trump international hotel in washington, we begin tonight with the drama over the nunes memo. keeping them honest, it is in many ways a phony drama. it is a forgone conclusion. it is and always has been. we should point out the document in question is not some bipartisan finding of fact from the house intelligence committee. it appears it will be something of a press release. possibly just e-mailed out perhaps under the letter head of the house intelligence committee membership, chaired, of course, by congressman devin nunes. so despite grave concerns from the director of the fbi,