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GOP Memo; Trump on Rosenstein; Memo Talks about Carter Page; FIB Abused Surveillance Power. Aired 1-1:30p ET

Aired February 2, 2018 - 13:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Hello, I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world.

We begin with breaking news. The release of a partisan Republican memo alleging abuses of FBI surveillance authority. President Trump authorized making the document public in direct defiance of both the FBI and the Justice Department.

And just moments ago, the president spoke about the alleged abuses that are now the focus of this document.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think you know -- I think it's terrible, if you want to know the truth. I think it's a disgrace what's going on in this country. I think it's a disgrace. The memo was sent to Congress who was declassified. Congress will do whatever they're going to do.

But I think it's a disgrace what's happening in our country. And when you look at that, and you see that and so many other things, what's going on, a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves. And much worse than that.

So, I sent it over to Congress. They will do what they're going to do. Whatever they do is fine. It was declassified.

And let's see what happens. But a lot of people should be ashamed.


BLITZER: The FBI expressed grave concerns about releasing this memo. It cited, and I'm quoting now, "material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy." Closed quote.

Our Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto is here to help sort through all of this.

Jim, so, what are the main allegations in this Republican memo?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: There's a lot to digest here. Let's focus on what's new in it.

One headline is that this warrant to surveil Carter Page, an adviser to President Trump during the campaign, was issues and then renewed three times. I'll add some context to that in a moment but keep that in mind. We did not know that.

Let's get to the allegations here. One allegation, the principal one, really, is that the now former director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, told the House Intelligence Committee that that initial warrant would not have been issued without the Steele dossier. This dossier of information about President Trump compiled by a former British agent, initially paid for by Republicans and then by the Democratic National Committee.

The memo also alleges that the judge who issued these warrants was not told that the Steele dossier was, one, paid for by Democratic money and was not made aware of the political origins, as the memo alleges, of this information.

So, those are, really, the central allegations here. It also goes on to say -- to argue that Christopher Steele had it in for President Trump, in effect, that he had an agenda against President Trump.

But now some context. One, we know, and CNN has previously reported, that the FBI had its own corroborating intelligence to call for this warrant to surveil Carter Page.

We also know that the way this process works in the FISA courts, the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said this on our air just this morning. Is that they do not base warrants based solely or even principally on outside information. That there would need to be intelligence to back up this request, particularly the -- to surveil an American. That's important there.

And that's why that initial headline point I mentioned, Wolf, is important. And that is because this warrant was issued and renewed three times.

To do that, the FBI would have to come back to the judge, to the court, and say, it is gaining valuable intelligence from this surveillance to justify continuing the surveillance and the judge renewing that application.

One other point I would just make, Wolf, because it's interesting in here. Is that while the Nunes memo -- the central claim is that the whole warrant to monitor Carter Page, and, of course, the president carries this forward to say that, really, the entire Russia investigation is based all on the Steele dossier.

The Nunes memo, itself, notes that there was also information included in that warrant application from George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign adviser, who months earlier told an Australian diplomat that he knew Russia had damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Information that that Australian diplomat considered important enough that he then shared with his American counterpart. So, in the Nunes memo, there's actually reference to other intelligence that was used to get this warrant here, which somewhat undermines its argument that this was all based on the Steele dossier.

But it's an explosive document here, very political. And as you heard the president there, it fits in with his broader argument that the FBI corruptly surveilled a member of his campaign.

BLITZER: Just -- and I just want to remind our viewers that this is the majority document from the House Intelligence Committee. The minority document, the Democratic document, that has not yet been approved for release.

So, they -- the Democrats wanted it released simultaneously because it rebuts some of these allegations in the majority documents. So, we're standing by.

[13:05:01] Let's see if that minority --

SCIUTTO: That's right.

BLITZER: -- Democratic document is released. At some point, I assume it will be.

Jim, stand by for a moment.

Evan Perez, our Justice Correspondent, is getting more information.

Evan, specifically, what are these warrant renewals for Carter Page, this volunteer foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, by the foreign intelligence surveillance court, what do they -- what do they tell us the renewals?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, you know, to get one of these warrants, first of all, you have to say -- you have to be able to show a judge that someone -- you have reason to believe that someone is acting as an agent of a foreign power.

And so, that -- it was first granted, and then after 90 days was renewed, three additional times. It tells us that the FBI told this judge or presented to this judge information that indicates that they believe that the surveillance was yielding fruit, was showing valuable, was yielding valuable information that supports this idea that Carter Page, or whoever you would have in a surveillance, is acting as an agent of a foreign power.

Again, today, the president tweeted about the sacred investigative process. And, Wolf, what we're seeing from this document is a little bit of a picture of how messy investigations are.

Yes, you know, sometimes you use information from informants that are not clean. Obviously, when you're investigating criminal organizations, you use criminal informants, people who are murders and thugs and other things.

And so, in this case, you know, what the FBI would say is that, look, information that we use, sometimes it's raw intelligence, and if after 90 days we don't see any indication that someone is acting as an agent of a foreign power, then we have to stop that surveillance.

And so, what we -- again, we don't know everything here. We don't see the supporting documents from the FBI, the FISA application.

But, at a minimum, a judge would have to be convinced that, after 90 days, the FBI was getting value intelligence and information that indicates they had the right to continue this surveillance.

BLITZER: But, Evan, in fairness to Carter Page, he's been investigated for a long time and all these --

PEREZ: Right.

BLITZER: -- warrants to get approval for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor his activities.

Four other Trump campaign officials, they have been charged with criminal wrongdoing. As far as I know, he hasn't been charged with any criminal wrongdoing, right?

PEREZ: That is exactly right. And the FBI had him on his radar -- on their radar, as far back as 2013, 2014, in a case involving Russian spies. And they actually came to him and talked to him about the fact that they believe the Russians were trying to cultivate him as an -- as an agent.

And so, that would also be information that the FBI would have and would probably be used in an application to support the idea.

In other words, they would tell this judge that, look, Carter Page, we talked to him in the past, and we told him that the Russians were trying to cultivate him as an agent. And he has continued this contact with who we believe to be Russian foreign spies.

SCIUTTO: Well, Wolf, one more point, if I could add just from the memo. As you know, it's been a central argument of the president that Republicans, Nunes, et cetera, that the Steele dossier is unverified. It's salacious. It is debunked even, when, in fact, CNN's reporting is that portions of it have been corroborated.

It's interesting that there were two references in this Nunes memo that refer to corroboration of information in the Steele dossier. Not complete corroboration, by any means.

But there's a line in paragraph four saying that the corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its infancy at the time of the initial FISA application, granting there that least some, although in early stages was corroborated.

It went on -- goes on in the next line to say that Steele's reporting was described as minimally corroborated.

Again, not entirely or even principally corroborated. But two references in the Nunes memo to at least some of the information in the Steele dossier being corroborated by the FBI, which as Evan reported and we've been told multiple times, is the way the FBI operates.

When it gets information like this, it doesn't take it at face value. It works to corroborate it to see what's true. And it's interesting that there are two references in this document here, the Nunes memo, to some of that information being corroborated.

PEREZ: Wolf, one last -- if I could just make one last point. I mean, look, I think the fact that this is a politically-motivated document, perhaps according to what the Democrats are saying and I think some of the criticism of the document, doesn't mean that we shouldn't read this and, perhaps, ask some questions.

And I think that's what's important here. I think some of the allegations that the Republicans are making is concerning.

And so, the question is, are there underlying documents that show exactly what Nunes is saying in this? If there is in the application for a FISA warrant, did they disclose this was a political document? Perhaps that's a question that the judge might have for the FBI.

And we don't know what will happen following the disclosure of this document.

BLITZER: And did Andrew McCabe indeed tell the committee that the warrant would not have been issued without the dossier? That's the central -- that's the central assertion here.

[13:10:06] And that raises, as Evan says, some serious questions.

BLITZER: And we're, obviously, anxious to get the minority opinion, the Democratic memo that still has not been released.

Stand by, guys, for a moment.

The decision to release this memo certainly highlights the very troubled relationship between the president, President Trump, the Justice Department and the U.S. intelligence community.

Let's go to our Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta. Jim, the president, he gave a very cryptic remark today about the future of the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Wolf. When the president was meeting with some North Korean defectors in the Oval Office just a short while ago, he was asked about whether he had confidence in Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general. And he told reporters, you figure that one out.

That is not an endorsement. That is not an expression of confidence in Rod Rosenstein. Although, he only figures briefly or is featured briefly in this Nunes memo that was released a short while ago.

We should also point out, Wolf, that, in addition to that memo, there is a letter from Don McGahn, the White House Counsel, essentially justifying the president's decision to declassify this memo.

The letter basically states that there is a, quote, "significant public interest in the memo" and that is why it is being declassified.

But, Wolf, we should point out, and I think we're going to be hearing this throughout the day as Democrats are seizing on all of this, you know, what we're hearing from Democratic sources and what the Democratic side of that Intelligence Committee is saying -- and I think you were just underlining this a few moment ago with Jim Sciutto and Evan Perez. Is that there is more to the intelligence that went into this FISA procedure that was undertaken than just the Steele dossier.

That is what the Democratic members of that committee are saying. And that seems to be omitted in what the Republicans are putting out today.

Now, the White House, we've been told over the last several days, they've been working with, basically, the intelligence community in putting this out and that accommodations were made.

But it doesn't appear, at this point, that that's going to rise to any kind of level that's going to satisfy people over at the FBI.

And now, that you have the president, essentially, disregarding pleas from his own hand-picked director of the FBI. I think one of the big questions moving forward here, Wolf, is what is going to happen with Chris Wray? What does he do next? That is certainly uncertain, at this point.

And, Wolf, I think the other thing that needs to be stressed is that as we're, you know, looking into this all day long today, is that when the president says there's no collusion with the Russians. There's no obstruction of justice when it comes to the Russia investigation. There is more to it than just this Nunes memo.

When the president's own son has a meeting at Trump Tower that involves the campaign chairman, at that time, the president's son-in- law, and a Russian attorney, promising dirt on the Hillary Clinton campaign, you know, none of that is, really, at issue here in this Nunes memo.

And so, there's more to the Russia investigation story than what's contained in this memo today -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And just to remind our viewers, very important, Jim. The FBI director, Christopher Wray, and the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, they went over to the White House earlier in the week.

They met with the White House chief of staff, John Kelly. And they appealed to him, don't release this memo. Is that right?

ACOSTA: That's right. That happened on Monday.

And, from what we understand, you know, the president had not even read the memo when he made that comment at the State of the Union speech Tuesday night. That 100 percent this memo is going to be released.

So, when the president made that comment, he had already, essentially, made the determination that this memo was going to be put out, before he had even read it or had his team review it.

We understand in the last 48 to 72 hours, the White House legal team has been reviewing this, going over this, along with members of the intelligence community.

And I've been talking to a source familiar with that process over the last couple of days, who was saying that redactions or accommodations were being made. That things were being scrubbed to make sure that sources and methods were not revealed in the release of this memo.

They feel pretty satisfied that that's the case over here. Although the White House was saying, this morning there were no redactions.

So, there's, sort of, a difference of opinion as to what a redaction is. If it's a White House-initiated redaction or if things were changed as a result of comments coming from the Intelligence Committee. That is uncertain, at this point.

But, Wolf, make no mistake, when the FBI -- and I think this is just -- can't be underlined enough. When the FBI puts out a public statement appealing to the White House to not release a memo, not authorize the release of a memo, and then it's done anyway, I think the only thing that you can conclude is that you have a White House that is just hell-bent on having some kind of hand in this investigation. And that's just -- that's just not how things typically work here in Washington.

And I think most people realize, if they're not looking at it through jaundiced eyes, that that is what's going on here. That there is just an attempt to get their hands in the middle of this investigation.

[13:15:04]. And by releasing this memo, they have had an influence on the investigation -- public perspective of that investigation, Wolf.

BLITZER: They certainly have.

I want to get back to you. I know you're getting more information over at the White House.

Jim Acosta, thank you very much.

We also have a statement from the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes. He says, the committee has discovered serious violations of the public trust and the American people have a right to know when officials in crucial institutions are abusing their authority for political purposes.

Let's bring in our panel. Jane Harman is here. She's the director of the Wilson Center, former ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. Our CNN national security commentator Mike Rogers is with us. He's a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Our senior White House correspondent, Pamela Brown, is with us. And our chief political analyst Gloria Borger.

Let's talk a little bit about the future of some of these individuals that the president, for all practical purposes, Gloria, slapped big time by rejecting their personal and public appeals. Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, the number two at the Department of Justice. He's in charge. He oversees it. Because the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has recused himself. He's supposedly not involved at all. The president was asked, do you have confidence in Rod Rosenstein, and he said, you figure that one out, and he had an angry look on his face as he said that.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, that is not a vote of confidence. And our Sunlen Serfaty is just reporting now, the top Democrats on The Hill, are warning the president that if he were to fire Rosenstein or Special Counsel Mueller that it would spark a constitutional crisis. And so they are -- given what the president said today and given the fact that Rosenstein is, of course, mentioned in this memo as somebody who approved one or more of these FISA applications on behalf of the Department of Justice, it's very easy to see that he's in -- that he's in the line of fire.

Andrew McCabe is also mentioned in here, is gone. James Comey, also mentioned in this, is gone. Rod Rosenstein is still there. He pleaded with the president not to release this.

He is, of course, the person, if the president wanted to fire Bob Mueller, he would have to go to Rod Rosenstein to do it. And so what the Democrats are saying here in this letter to the president saying that they are alarmed by reports that you may intend to use this misleading document as a pretext to fire Rosenstein, they are putting him on notice about that they would consider this a constitutional breach.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: But if you read through this memo, what I find interesting is that two of the people who signed off on these FISA warrants for Carter Page were people that Trump himself put in their positions. Rod Rosenstein, for example, he put him in the position or appointed him, nominated him for deputy attorney general. Dana Buente (ph), he was overseeing the national security division, he was brought over from the eastern district of Virginia office. So these are two people that Trump himself put at the Department of Justice.

Something else that just sort of stuck out to me was, this is all about the FISA warrant for Carter Page. Now, if you recall, up until this point, the Trump administration has distanced themselves from Carter Page, saying he wasn't even really part of the campaign. That he was really a nobody. But now they're using this to say that the FBI was targeting the Trump campaign with this FISA warrant for Carter Page. So it doesn't quite square in that sense.

And let's not forget, Carter Page was someone who was under surveillance going all the way back to 2014 for his ties to a Russian mob. He went to Moscow in July of 2016, well before -- a few months before this FISA warrant application -- and met with Russian government officials. He admitted that and e-mailed a Trump campaign aide and said he gained insight into other things by meeting with these Russian government officials.

And so people I've spoken with in the FBI say that was also part of the calculus. It's not just the dossier, although Andrew McCabe said this -- in the testimony that this wouldn't have ever happened without the dossier. I would like to see, as a reporter, what else the FBI supplemented this FISA application with. What other information, beyond the dossier, to make their case for the judge.

BLITZER: To get -- to get the warrants that were renewed several times.


BLITZER: All right, so, Mike Rogers, you've read the four-page memo released unclassified. Now the president declassified it personally. He says all of this represents a disaster. Clearly his goal is to show that the entire Russia investigation, in his famous word, is a hoax. He would like to see it simply go away, and presumably, he believes, that this memo will help in that process.

MIKE ROGERS, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY COMMENTATOR: Well, now we're going to have dueling memos. And out of the classified space, that's never a good thing.

What this -- as someone who did a -- not a FISA application, but a Title III application, which is the criminal version of the same thing, I can tell you that this is not enough to get a warrant from a judge. So this begs the question -- which I always question why. And I think this is why the FBI was as strident about there are omissions in here that would lead you to the wrong conclusion if you just read this memo. That's what the FBI, in my mind, was talking about. That means there's a lot of other information. The mention of Papadopoulos means there is other information. It wasn't disclosed in this very brief memo.

[13:20:25] And these FISA applications are fairly significant. And you have to show that there is some connection to a foreign government. Think of this, the FBI actually went to Carter Page and said, we think you are being recruited by foreign intelligence agents. In this case, Russian foreign intelligence agents. I disregarded. He continued down that path. Three years later, they get a warrant. All of that information that led them to show up at his door, to those three years of other activities is probably in this application. We don't get to see any of it. That's why I think it's a disservice to try to come to a conclusion based on this memo.

BLITZER: You've now read -- Jane Harmon is with us. You've read the memorandum. What's your reaction?

JANE HARMON, FORMER RANKING MEMBER, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, let me say that Mike and I overlapped for two years on the House Intelligence Committee. I was already ranking member when he joined. He became chairman during my time, eight years on the committee, serving under two or three chairmen. We had our differences but the committee functioned. The committee is now broken, possibly irreparably and it's tragic because to remind, the committee was formed in the late '70s -- I know this because I served in the Carter White House when the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was passed. It was stood up as part of that to make sure we had oversight over abuses of our intelligence community by presidents, in this case President Nixon.

And, by the way, I was a young lawyer on the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Saturday Night Massacre. So I've lived this history.

And what's tragic here is that the committee is broken. This is a political document. I don't know what the Democratic version will say. But Mike is right to call for a full classified investigation by the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, and all the relevant people should come up there and all of the backup material should be reviewed. And my guess is, it will show a very careful FISA application process.

BLITZER: Right. That may be possible in the Senate Intelligence Committee, where there's still bipartisan cooperation, but that has completely gone away in the House. There's a war going on between the Democrats and the Republicans. They don't talk to each other. They don't want to talk to each other. They're continuing the fight. So to call for them to investigate what is going on right now simply seems, you know --

HARMON: Well, it breaks my heart, but the chairman could be removed. That's been a request. He recused himself. And Mike Conaway, who is number 2 on the committee, seems to me to be a reasonable guy. I mean bring back this Mike. But at any rate --

ROGERS: Without running for office, I'm (INAUDIBLE).


BLITZER: But you have to have leadership, like Rogers.

HARMON: But you -- but you could do this in the Senate then.

BLITZER: Let me -- let me let you weigh in on this. You have to have the speaker of the House, who's the leader of the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, you have to get him involved. He said earlier today he'd like to see both of these memorandums, the Democratic memorandum and the Republican memorandum, released at the same time. They ignored that. They rejected that. They went ahead and simply released the Republican majority report.

ROGERS: Yes. And in fairness, what I -- what they probably should have done is held this until the other -- the Democrat memo went through the process, because that memo came within a day of them voting on this and the long process. So, in fairness, in that argument, they could have held this until the other memo went through the process, now that it's even been approved, but they really probably couldn't have voted on it that day because none of it had been vetted, they hadn't gone through the same process.

BORGER: This looks to me like it's a memo that was written with a conclusion first and then the facts to kind of cherry pick to back it up. And it portrays an FBI very much in the way the president has called the FBI corrupt, but it portrays an FBI, if you were just to read this, that was nefarious in a way, hiding -- knowing they had a biased source in Steele and -- who produced biased information in the dossier, which they hid, you know, which was -- which was hidden from the FISA judge, and they were knowingly trafficking in bad information to come up with surveillance that would lead them to a false conclusion.

And we don't have the information that they received, as we've been talking about around this table. We don't know the list of particulars that was given to the FISA court, said this is what we learned, this is what we learned, this is what we learned. So what we have -- you know, what we have here is a portrait that is troubling. And, again, Evan Perez said this earlier, and I think he's right, and, again, mistakes may have been made. And we -- we should know that.

HARMON: I agree with that. I'm not saying that that didn't happen.

[13:25:02] BORGER: Exactly.

HARMON: The claim could be true. But the process to prove the claim is terrible and it's not credible.

BORGER: Right, it's like a legal brief.

BROWN: It's hard to -- I mean it certainly raises very serious questions --

BORGER: Exactly.

BROWN: About the FBI and this FISA application. Why wasn't it included in here that this was a political document. How much did Christopher Steele really know that this was paid for by DNC and Hillary Clinton's lawyer? Glenn Simpson, who's head of Fusion, testified that he wasn't told that. That he was only told that it was someone political or Democratic.

But it certainly raises a lot of questions. But, honestly, if you're trying to make the case that the FBI is biased, I think they're actually doing a disservice because I am more skeptical about this not seeing all the information. It's why I'm sitting here thinking --

BLITZER: And you know what -- and what's -- what's fascinating is that even the members of the House Intelligence Committee -- and, Mike Rogers, I want you to weigh in on this -- except for two of them, they didn't even have a chance to review all the raw intelligence. Trey Gowdy, the republican did. He's a member of the Intelligence Community, and Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrats did, but Devin Nunes, he himself did not have access to all the raw intelligence upon which this was supposedly built.

ROGERS: And I think this is a huge mistake. If I were on the committee and not chairman, didn't have the absolutely to say yes or no immediately, I would object vociferously if I could not read the application of the FISA and then ask questions on the -- there's -- even information underneath the application of the FISA that the judge could ask for at any time. And so it -- without having that full context picture, I don't know --

BLITZER: Yes, what I don't understand, maybe you can explain, maybe, Jane, you can explain, they let a few staffers go through all the raw data. They let two members go through it. But no one else. Why?

HARMAN: Well, there's a gang of eight process where just the chairman and the ranking member -- I was in the gang of eight, so was Mike when he became chairman, are allowed to see things that the rest of the committee can't. And I assume that's the process that was followed.

But let me just say, not specifically about these four pages, we've done careful oversight over the FISA process for years. In fact, until about 1990, I was not in Congress yet, but each FISA application was reviewed, or at least shown to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees because there was a limited number of them. The thing has ballooned. But we appended FISA in 2008 very carefully to set up section 702 and the telephone meta data program, and there's sophistication in Congress about the fact that it works well. And the FISA court is picked by the chief justice and is a people with life tenure who were qualified.

So to claim in a four-page simple memo that there were massive abuses just doesn't pass the smell test.

BLITZER: But the criticism of the FISA courts, Mike Rogers, and you've heard it, is that they almost always authorize whatever the FBI and the Justice Department, as they rarely reject a request.

ROGERS: Yes, that's a --


ROGERS: So that's really inaccurate.

HARMON: Right.

ROGERS: And we went through this process.

HARMON: Right.

ROGERS: And we went through this process and we went through the very careful process, by the way, in the committee a few years ago to bring in a FISA judge --

HARMON: Right.

ROGERS: Not as a witness. Not as -- we didn't -- we -- this was all negotiated to come in and talk through how all of that process worked because we kept getting these allegations that as an FBI guy I can tell you I know weren't true because what happens is, I write the application and it gets signed off through a whole bunch of people, check-offs, agents, agent's supervisors, the legal department in the FBI, then DOJ, then it gets to the judge. And the judge sometimes or the clerk says, you know what, I know this judge. That isn't going to fly. Why don't you go back and do your homework? And that process goes for a while.

But can I tell you one other thing real quickly. I'll tell you who else is going to be honked off at this memo, and that's the FISA court, because what you're saying is, I signed off a FISA and then they take this as seriously as any because they know it's classified and it's not like any other judicial work that they do. And so they are going to be -- I know them. They're going to be really honked off that they're giving the implication that this three-page memo is why I signed a warrant on targeting an American citizen? Are you kidding me?

BLITZER: There's a lot of information that's missing.

BORGER: But who also is going to be honked off that they didn't know things.

BROWN: Right. Exactly. Well, and let's not forget that the context of -- you know, there's the initial application, which included, as we know, the dossier and other information. And we don't know what that other information is. But, again, every 90 days you have to go back to the judge and say, as a result of surveillance on this particular person, we are able to -- we believe we need to continue it because it's warranted. This information to support this person is acting as an agent of a foreign power. That is critical and that's missing in all of this. What was the information that the surveillance of Carter Page warranted for this to be renewed three times?

BLITZER: And a key question right now is, what is Christopher Wray going to do. He's been slapped big time by the president of the United States. He's the FBI director. He was approved, what, about six months or so ago. And what is Rod Rosenstein, also named by the president to be the number two, the deputy attorney general, can they stay on the job after being humiliated so publically by the president of the United States after they expressed what they call their grave -- they use the word grave concerns about releasing this memorandum.

[13:30:08] Everybody stand by.