Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Nunes: 'Dossier Was Presented To Court As If It Were True'; Father Of Survivors Attacks Disgraced Doctor In Court; Man Behind Missile Alert: 100 Percent Thought It Was Real. Aired 12n-1p ET

Aired February 3, 2018 - 12:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Super Bowl Camp on a kickoff in Minnesota. CNN Bleacher Reports Special hosted by none other than this man, right here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: J.J. Watt, NFL's superstar talks about racing $37 million for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, but we almost left out the drinks, my friends. This might give you a hint of who we're taking in the Super Bowl. I've got the midnight green punch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I have the wicked red. I'll take whatever they're drinking up there in New England because they're going for a sixth Super Bowl Championship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheers to (inaudible)...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheers to that.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, ANCHOR, CNN: All right, hello again, and welcome this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The memo is out. The assessments are under way and what does this all tee up? What divisions might have it -- might it have sowed between the White House, Congress and top law enforcement? The President now at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida home, claiming today the memo proves his innocence, tweeting this, "This memo totally vindicates Trump in probe, but the Russian witch-hunt goes on and on. There was no collusion and there was no obstruction. The word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding nothing, collusion is dead. This is an American disgrace." This from the President.

The White House declassified the controversial three-and-a-half-page document, allowing the memo to go public, despite strong objections from the FBI and Justice Department, calling the memo misleading.

The Republican document alleges leaders of the FBI and DOJ abused surveillance laws to spy on former Trump campaign official, Carter Page. Democrats claim the memo is incomplete and partisan.

Critics of the memo worry the White House will use it to discredit the Russia investigation and use it as an excuse to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

CNN White House correspondent Abby Phillips is joining us now from Washington. So, Abby, you know, what is the White House saying about whether this memo justifies any sort of changes at the FBI or DOJ overall?

ABBY PHILLIPS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Fred, the White House is saying essentially a lot of words like troubling and concerning when it comes to what the memo says about the Department of Justice and the FBI, but they are pushing back on this notion that President Trump is poised to make big moves at the top echelons of those agencies, specifically the fate of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, according to the White House is pretty much safe.

Listen to Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah speaking last night on CNN about the rumors that have been swirling over the last 48 hours about whether Rosenstein is on the chopping block.

(VIDEOCLIP STARTS)

RAJ SHAH, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I'm saying it on behalf of the White House and that's that, you know, no changes are going to be made at the Department of Justice. We fully expect Rod Rosenstein to continue on as the Deputy Attorney General.

(VIDEOCLIP ENDS)

PHILLIPES: Now, all of this is happening as there is an ongoing campaign among some conservatives and grassroots groups to push Rosenstein to either resign or for President Trump to fire him. We also note according to sources that we've spoken to at CNN this past week that the President has been increasingly angry at Rosenstein, seeing him as someone who enables a probe that he has repeatedly called a witch-hunt.

At the same time, the White House is pushing back in part because a lot of Republicans and Democrats have made it very clear that if there is a move to remove Rosenstein from his position, Rosenstein is in charge of overseeing the Mueller probe, that could be a really catastrophic move that would prompt Congress to really step in and pushback on efforts to undermine the Mueller probe.

At the same time, the President this morning, from his Mar-a-Lago resort, has been tweeting all about his poll numbers saying that they are closer to 49 percent now. His poll numbers have gone up, but they're not quite that high according to the polls that we go by here at CNN. The President seems to want far more credit for the improvement in his public standing that he's been receiving from the news media, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Abby Phillip, thanks so much. All right, so because of this memo, morale at the top law enforcement agencies just might be suffering. The document is very critical of the leadership of the FBI and the Justice Department. The FBI Director was adamantly against releasing the memo and now Christopher Wray, FBI Director, is telling his staff to stay focused, not be swayed by the political fallout.

CNN justice correspondent, Jessica Schneider is following this for us now. So, Jessica, what did the director say and how did he convey the message? JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Fredricka, the FBI director,

he put out a video message to the 35,000 members of the FBI. This was just after that memo was released yesterday and really was Christopher Wray's way of showing support for the Bureau that has come under this constant attack from the President.

And Director Wray's words, they were largely symbolic. He said this. He said, "The American people read the newspapers and watch TV, but your work is all that matters. Actions speak louder than words." Implying there, it is the actions of FBI agents that matter more than the President's words, so the President's tweets. Wray did continue in that video saying that he knows it's been a tough unsettling time but that he is inspired by the men and women of the FBI and all of the work that they do.

And when it comes to defense, it wasn't just the FBI director; that also seems to be the mode of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. As this memo, again, came out yesterday, Jeff Session's was at the Department of Justice here in Washington. He was leading an unrelated symposium and here is what he had to say about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, along with the Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.

(VIDEOCLIP STARTS)

JEFF SESSIONS, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Rod's had 27 years in the Department, Rachel's had a number of years in the Department previously and so they both represent the kind of quality and leadership that we want in the Department.

(VIDEOCLIP ENDS)

SCHNEIDER: Ao an interesting stance there by the Attorney General just as this memo is coming out. Sessions coming to the defense of Rosenstein after what is definitely been a rocky week, even a rocky year for the Department of Justice and the FBI, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Jessica Schneider, thanks so much for that. All right, let's get the Democratic response to the release of this Republican memo. Joining me right now is Congressman David Cicilline. He is the Democratic representative from Rhode Island and also serves on the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees. Good to see you, Congressman.

DAVID CICILLINE, REPRESENTATIVE RHODE ISLAND, DEMOCRAT: Good to see you.

WHITFIELD: So, it struck me, you were on CNN yesterday. You accused the Republicans of being accessories to a crime by releasing this memo. You actually say that they are complicit in obstruction. Do you still believe that?

CICILLINE : Yes, i didn't use the word "crime." I think that was the question. I said, look, the Democratic Judiciary Committee members issued a statement condemning the release of this. Let's remember how it was prepared. It was prepared by Devin Nunes who has already displayed such partisan behavior that he was removed from leading the investigation because of his trip in the dark of night to the White House and the charade that followed.

He purports to do a summary of classified documents that he's never even read. The Department of Justice and FBI both cautioned against releasing this because of its material omissions and its misleading nature, omits important facts, critical facts, and it's all designed to undermine the investigation, and they release it, and at the same time, they refuse to release the Democratic memorandum that actually was prepared by someone who read the underlying intelligence reports and actually refutes step by step.

So, you can't help but to think there's something going on here. This isn't about transparency. This is about an absolute campaign by the House Republicans working with the White House to undermine this investigation, to undermine Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, to ultimately stop the investigation, to fire these two individuals so the American people will never know the truth. You can call that whatever you want to call that, it's wrong, they shouldn't be doing this. They should get out of the way.

WHITFIELD: And that was your description...

(CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: ... like being an accessory, also being a participant in obstruction and it was you're your colleague saying this...

(CROSSTALK)

CICILLINE: Well, they're participating in this, I think...

WHITFIELD: Then that would be a crime but, you know, just to press further on that notion because I spoke with a Republican Congressman, Brad Wenstrup last hour about the memo, about what the objective was, the goal, et cetera and this is what he had to say about the whole thing.

(VIDEOCLIP STARTS)

BRAD WENSTRUP, REPRESENTATIVE OHIO, REPUBLICAN: We have been stalled from ourselves with top secret clearances from seeing things. You know, we have oversight over FBI and DOJ. It's not the other way around and they were ignoring subpoenas. That's not right. I'm deadly serious when I tell you if the political roles were reversed, I'd be saying the same thing because it's the right thing to do.

WHITFIELD: So, do you agree with that? Because you know, he's talking about the Congress having oversight. There needs to be more transparency. He says the bottom line is the FISA court is not transparent enough and thereby justifies the memo release of even portions of the process. Do you buy that? Do you agree?

CICILLINE: Look, there's no question the Judiciary Committee has oversight responsibility. We have begged and pleaded our chairman to actually engage in meaningful oversight. We've had no oversight hearings, but that's not what this is about. We should not mistake the two. This is about a campaign to undermine in this investigation, to undermine the integrity of these extraordinary professionals to prevent the American people from learning the truth.

Remember, this was released -- pieces of it released to favorable news media before it became released. They refused to release the Democratic memorandum prepared by Adam Schiff that actually goes point by point. There's a process in the FISA court. If there actually is any overreach, there's a Civil Liberties Oversight Board. There's a process to return to the FISA court if you have real concerns about it.

That's not what this is about. I only wish my Republican colleagues has much concern about getting to the bottom of Russian interference in our elections as they do and the concern they have about Carter Page. This is -- there is a process in place. There's no evidence that the FISA court did anything wrong. The Democratic memorandum I think will make that very, very clear.

But people shouldn't be confused. This is not about concern about the FISA court. This is a concern -- this is an effort which has been ongoing. I've seen in my Committee virtually every time we have a hearing, where our Republican colleagues are attacking the men and women of the FBI, attacking the Department of Justice trying to undermine their activities.

Why? Because they want to stop this investigation. It's getting closer and closer to President Trump. They think they can stop the American people from learning the truth. It's disgraceful.

WHITFIELD: Bottom line, do you believe that this was just a distraction or do you believe it has undermined or is undermining the Mueller investigation?

CICILLINE: Well, I mean, they're working hard to undermine it, that's for sure. The President actually did a tweet to say, "Oh, this completely vindicates Trump."

WHITFIELD: But any damage done in your view?

CICILLINE: It completely vindicates and it's a -- I think the American people are smarter than that.

WHITFILED: Has the release of this memo done any damage to that investigation?

CICILLINE: I think the American people are smarter than that. I think they recognize that Robert Mueller is a serious man of extraordinary integrity, that the professionals at the FBI are doing important work...

WHITFIELD: Except the American people aren't doing the investigation, the Mueller team is doing the investigation. Do you believe the release of this memo has jeopardized that investigation in any way? Undermined it?

CICILLINE: No. I don't think it has. I think it is an attempt to set the stage for firing Rod Rosenstein or Robert Mueller. I think that's what the President's ultimate goal is. I think they believe the only way to stop Robert Mueller from doing his job and getting to the bottom of it is to get rid of him.

The President has tried in so many different ways to stop this investigation. He fired Director Comey. He's complained and tried to get Attorney General Sessions not to recuse himself. He's called on senators to try to stop their investigations. I mean, this is a pattern of behavior and you have to wonder, why is the President -- what is he worried about? Why is he so committed to stopping this? Let Robert Mueller and his team finish their work. Let it lead where it will lead and let the American people know all the facts and I think hopefully, they'll see a Democratic memorandum that really provides the full context and a lot more information and will really correct the record in terms of any misunderstanding from this Nunes so-called memo.

But I think the American people are smarter than that. They won't be persuaded by this, but this is a very sad day for our country to watch the politicization of a very serious investigation.

WHITFIELD: All right, thank you so much, Congressman David Cicilline, appreciate it.

CICILLINE: Thanks for having me.

WHITFIELD: All right, coming up, the memo creates deeper partisan trenches, but has it also left lasting damage on the intelligence and law enforcement communities at all? Also, ahead, a drive-by shooter in Italy opening fire on foreigners. Why authorities say it is racially motivated.

Welcome back, we're following some breaking news out of Italy where police say at least four people have been hurt, one seriously in drive-by shootings that appear to be racially motivated. Authorities say the suspect had an Italian flag around his neck and reportedly made a fascist salute as he was being arrested. Barbie Nadeau is in Rome for us now, so Barbie, what can you tell us about what happened? And this happening in a town on the eastern coast of Italy?

BARBIE NADEAU, CORRESPODENT, CNN: That's right, you know, this is racially motivated. This is a town that just -- the tension has been elevated recently. Last week, a Nigerian migrant was arrested for the murder of a young Italian woman whose body was dismembered and found in a suitcase and everyone in the town says this was retaliation for that.

But this particular young man, 28-year-old, had been part of the Northern League far right party here that's campaigning out of elections in March and they're campaigning on an anti-immigrant, anti- migrant platform in which they vow to rid the country of 100,000 or more Africans who are living here waiting for their asylum requests and so forth to be heard.

The administrators of the town have said that obviously the retaliation for such an act is not acceptable. Those members of the party have said that they distance themselves from this man, but he searched out African migrants, pointedly shooting at them, six -- five men and one woman, two of which were very seriously injured in this event, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, Barbie Nadeau, thank you so much, from Rome. All right, back to this country and the focus of that memo released yesterday.

The release of that GOP intelligence memo threatens to fracture an already frayed relationship between President Trump and the intelligence community. Some Republicans allege the controversial memo shows abuses at the FBI and DOJ.

(VIDEOCLIP STARTS)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Let me say that I've had a chance to see the memo and our administration believes the memo raises serious concerns about the integrity of the decisions that were made at the highest level of the Department of Justice and the FBI.

(VIDEOCLIP ENDS)

WHITFIELD: All right, joining me now to discuss all of this, Steve Hall, CNN national security analyst and retired CIA Chief of Russia Operations and Shawn Turner who is also a CNN national security analyst. Good to see you both. All right, so Shawn, you heard the Vice President there who said, you know, it really raises questions about the abuses or integrity of decisions made at a very high level, is that how you interpret that memo or the messaging being underscored by way of that memo?

SHAWN TURNER, NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST, CNN: Well, I don't think that you can draw that conclusion from simply reading the memo. You know, we have to understand that what we're talking about here is the FISA process. It's a classified and exceedingly complex process.

This really puts the FBI in a tough position because if the memo as Christopher Wray and the FBI suggest contains fundamentally misleading information that impacts the accuracy of the memo, the problem for the FBI and the problem for the intelligence community is that the FBI simply must let that inaccurate information stand, because this process is classified and because they can't simply come out and say, "Here's the other mountain of information that we have led to..."

WHITFIELD: Too risky to dispute it even for the FBI.

TURNER: Yes, it absolutely is, it's too risky to challenge it.

WHITFIELD: So then, you know, Steve, this memo for people who are still trying to understand what it is, the memo really constitutes a conclusion based on information that these House members were able to look at, extrapolate and then, you know, kind of put together a finding of what their discoveries were, but it doesn't tell the whole picture.

Senator John McCain has weighed in on this while he is in Arizona and he is saying -- and he is, you know, battling, you know, his health issues and he says these latest attacks on the FBI and the DOJ serve no American interests, only Putin's. Do you see it that way? STEVE HALL, NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST, CNN: Yes, absolutely. I mean,

there's no doubt that this is basically what you're seeing is the results of a successful operation by the Russians who were seeking to exploit the differences, and the fissures really and that meddling within our political system, but in the society in which we live.

The memo was really just a tiny piece of probably hundreds of pages of information that went through a very complicated and very thorough process, having seen some FISA warrants myself. I mean, I think you'd have a lot of people who have explained, you know, how it would have to happen that somehow bad information, you know, managed to hoodwink four different federal judges. The thing that concerns me...

WHITFIELD: And a number of, you know, deputies, because it wasn't Rod Rosenstein who's the only one who signed off, but his predecessors as well. And it's new evidence that's presented at each time of renewal every 90 days, so continue your thoughts.

HALL: Yes, I know they have to start from zero every time they go back to the judge. It's not like you know hitting update your apps on your phone. You have to start something, you can't just say yes, I agree and on you go. You have to prove it all over again.

So, it is a very complex thing. The thing that concerns me most, though, about this memo, is that it's a little bit reflective of some Russian tactics that I've seen. So, you put out a memo and you say, "Well, this is what I'm alleging," but to get to the bottom of it, you would have to declassify all of those hundreds of pages that we were just talking about to somehow get a clear idea.

Now, that's something that Putin did very recently when he said, "What do you mean we meddled in your elections in the United States? Where's your proof?" Russia knows that our proof is classified. So, you know, it's kind of a tricky thing.

WHITFIELD: Right, and Shawn, as you were saying, there's no way, I mean, in order for the FBI or anybody to offer some real clarity here, it mean exposing further and that undermines everything.

TURNER: Right. And moreover, Fredricka, the FBI would have to take that classified information that would help shed light on this memo. They'd have to take it to the President to be declassified. And so, the chances that the President would look at that information that's going to undermine this memo and declassify it to put it out to the public or just very unlikely.

WHITFIELD: Yes, and talk about putting people's lives on the line. I mean, all of these agents and people working in law enforcement who are doing very dangerous work and they don't need to be further exposed. So, former FBI Director James Comey tweeted as a result of this memo -- memo's release, and he says, "That's it. Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House Intel Committee, destroyed trust with intelligence community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen, for what?" I mean this really kind of speaks to, Steve, what you were saying,

this is kind of modus operandi of Russia. This may have been the exact goal and the US did it for it.

HALL: Yes, all of these things, you know, the Russians don't make this stuff out of whole cloth. They take a look and they see "Okay, where are the fissures in society," not just in the United States of course, but also throughout Europe, and how can we, you know, minimize, you know, the efficiency of these democracies? I think they're particularly pleased that the FBI is right now in the crosshairs because of course the Russian equivalent, the Internal Security Service, the FSB, in Russia is a really big deal that operates basically at the behest of Vladimir Putin.

So, the Russians are seeing this through their lens and they are saying, "Wow, look what we just did? We caused reverberations to go through the FBI." Such that you know, Director Wray has to do you know, a video to all hands on the workforce. That's a real measurable success I think for the Russian propaganda.

WHITFIELD: Wow, so Shawn, how comforting might that be, that Wray's message would be sent out, you know, to all of his colleagues, to give some kind of reassurances that, you know, your work speaks for itself, you know, and that is very meaningful? I mean, how is all of this, the White House backing this release of this memo, what is this doing to the psychology of those in the ranks of law enforcement and the FBI and beyond?

TURNER: Yes, you know, Fred, it's a challenging time at the FBI and across the intelligence community. I think that what Christopher Wray did was absolutely the right thing to do, and I think that because of all the, you know, upheaval at the FBI with the firing of Jim Comey and Christopher Wray coming in, I think he's done a good job of kind of refocusing the FBI on their mission.

You know, if I could, Fred, you know, there's been a lot of talk about whether or not Christopher Wray should walk away in light of this, or whether or not Rod Rosenstein should walk away. I think it's important to just point out that it is absolutely not the case that these leaders at the top of these important agencies walk away.

We think about what Christopher Wray did. When he knew that the President wanted this memo released, he had the courage to stand up and say to the President, "I disagree with you." He did his job. He spoke truth to power and what we need right now more than anything is for people in those positions who are willing to do that, not to benefit the left or the right, but who are just willing to call it out when they see something that's wrong. We need those people to stay in those positions and if that bothers the President, if he doesn't want that, then they should let -- they should force the President to fire them, because that says more about the President than it does about the officials.

WHITFIELD: Right, it sounds like perhaps Chris Wray just did that tantamount to saying I'm staying by sending out that video message and saying you know, your work matters. Action speak louder than words, and then perhaps Jeff Sessions did the same thing about throwing his support behind Rod Rosenstein by also singing praises of him and saying this is the kind of quality and leadership that this department needs.

TURNER: Absolutely.

WHITFIELD: Pretty extraordinary. All right, Steve Hall, Shawn Turner, thanks to both of you, I appreciate it.

TURNER: Thanks.

WHITFIELD: All right, still ahead, partisan bickering reaches new levels over that Republican memo. Why fighting the fighting is being fueled over what it says and what not might be in it?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Hello, again, everyone. Thanks so much for being with me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

The memo is out, the assessments under way. The just released GOP document on the FBI surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page claims partisan interference. House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes accuses the government of using the infamous Trump dossier to obtain the FISA warrant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R), INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: The dossier was presented to the court as it was -- as if it was true. The court was not told that the Democrats actually paid for this. They got a warrant on someone in the Trump campaign using opposition research paid for by the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign. That's what this is about. And it's wrong. And it should never be done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right, joining me right now, former majority staff director for the House Intelligence Committee, Michael Allen and CNN legal analyst Page Pate. Good to see both of you.

While that was a fairly simplified answer from Devin Nunes, we know that it's really not that simple, because there were a lot of component, right, Page that this FISA Court entertained. And Carter Page was being looked at for a very long time because of his dealings with Russia as far back as 2013.

There were warnings from the FBI about what are you doing, you might be, you know, a candidate that the Russians are looking for to recruit. So then fast forward, bring it to this, Nunes says, this memo helps demonstrate that the FBI, the FISA Court, was bending a lot of rules in order to make things happen based on partisan lines.

Is -- does that explanation, that oversimplified explanation, make matters worse? Does it undermine the ongoing Mueller investigation? What does this potentially do to the ongoing Russia probe?

PAGE PATE, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't think it undermines the investigation in any way whatsoever. Now, we've seen President Trump is already using it to try to, you know, cast some doubt on the credibility of the folks who are running the Russia Investigation. And why don't we go ahead and shut it down, you know, it's a witch- hunt.

But in reality what we've seen here in this memo is just a glimpse, just a little bit of the picture that the FISA Court considered when issuing these warrants. I mean, when you're a FISA judge, you don't just listen to part of the evidence that the government brings you. There's going to be a totality of circumstances, all different types of information.

And without seeing the underlying documents, without knowing exactly what this judge relied on, we have no idea what part this dossier may have played.

WHITFIELD: Which likely nobody will ever, the general public will never see. Because that would compromise so much about FBI investigations, FISA Court, et cetera. So then, Mike, Congressman Adam Schiff had a different take on what's behind the memo's release and why?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: What it end up delivering is criticism of a single FISA application involving Carter Page and its renewals, cherry-picks information that doesn't tell the reader the whole of the application. And as the DOJ and FBI have said, deeply misleading.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So, Michael, was this all a distraction? Does it change anything as it pertains to the way the FISA Court works or the way the Mueller investigation will precede? Is there an impact?

MICHAEL ALLEN, FMR. MAJORITY STAFF DIRECTOR, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, time will tell. I mean, I'm unexcited about what's happened in the last couple of weeks because I worry it delegitimizes or seeks to delegitimize a perfectly legal process that we need in this country to eavesdrop upon Russian spies, Chinese spies and the rest.

But let me just say about the Nunes memo. To me, it would bother me if true. There's so much more we need to know. As Page said, we want to be able to find out what else accompanied the filing. I suspect the FBI had other sources, human intelligence and signals intelligence, to help bolster the case that they needed to surveil Carter Page.

WHITFIELD: And that's the presumption based on precedence because that is what's required in order to get that kind of warrant. That's what you're saying. ALLEN: The court has a very, very high standard. You have to have probable cause in order to listen in on someone's conversation. It's a rigorous standard because we don't treat that lightly here in the United States in order to eavesdrop upon a U.S. citizen.

So you have to have a serious, you know, in other words we have to plead this with particularity. They aren't just going to append a dossier to a particular application and say, all right, let me eavesdrop on this guy.

WHITFIELD: Right. Yes. So Page, you don't just get caught up as an American simply because you had some contact with an adversarial, you know, country or a player with an adversarial country. It now has to go through this FISA Court. There has to be all kinds of evidence presented to help substantiate why the FBI or any other intelligence agency wants to look further at this particular American who had contact.

But all of that being said, the president still tweeted this morning, as a result of this memo released, and said totally vindicates, that he is totally vindicated now, totally vindicates Trump, he says, in this probe, which he again continues to call a witch-hunt. But then listen to what the House Speaker Paul Ryan had to say about it and whether a democratic version memo would be released and should be.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: This memo is not indictment of the FBI, of the Department of Justice. It does not impugn the Mueller investigation or the deputy attorney general.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: So Ryan advocates that there should be the democratic version. And he also says that, you know, the objective is not to undermine. But in the end does it?

PATE: I think it could. Especially if the president is going to continue to criticize the special counsel's investigation based on a FISA application that has really nothing to do with the special counsel's investigation at this point. I am all for transparency. And there's legitimate criticism that the FISA process is not transparent at all. No one literally --

WHITFIELD: And what do you mean when you say you're all for transparency? How transparent are we talking?

PATE: Well, and that's the problem here. You either got to be completely transparent or not transparent at all.

WHITFIELD: Which means all of it?

PATE: Exactly. And so, if you're just going to have the Republican spin on it, then the Democrats spin on it, we never going to really know what the judge considered before issuing this warrant, then it's transparent at all. It's misleading. WHITFIELD: So it also means, just never have anything classified.

PATE: Right. I mean.

(CROSSTALK)

PATE: It really doesn't make sense. So respect the FISA process. Congress authorized the FISA process. There's special prosections for American citizens in that process. But that process is classified. And so as putting your spin on it, issuing a memo about what you think may have been considered by the judge I think is more misleading than promoting transparency.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll leave it right there. Page Pate, Michael Allen, thank you so much to both of you. Appreciate it.

All right. Coming up next, the father of three daughters who were sexually abused by Larry Nassar, lunges across the courtroom, the dad's message to the disgraced gymnastics team doctor.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RANDALL MARGRAVES, 3 DAUGHTERS ABUSED BY DR. LARRY NASSAR: I believe in God Almighty. I believe in heaven and hell. And I can only hope when the day comes that Larry Nassar has ended his days on this earth, that he will be escorted to one of the deepest, darkest, hottest pits in hell.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: That's the father of three girls who were abused by Larry Nassar, delivering that message about the disgraced doctor. That father tried to attack Nassar in court, but was quickly restrained. His violent outburst came after more than two weeks of detailed accounts from young women who were sexually assaulted by Nassar over the past two decades.

People heard that in court. This father was moved by it. CNN correspondent, Kaylee Hartung joins us with more details. There were a lot of people who are so emotional disturbed about what so many of these young ladies have been through. And hearing it during court and then now sentencing phase, this dad just snapped, right?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Randall Margraves says he lost control. Now, many people are calling him a hero for his attempted attack on Larry Nassar. But he says he disagrees with that characterization. He says his three daughters, the many victims and survivors of Nassar's abuse, they're the real heroes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

R. MARGRAVES: You son of a --

HARTUNG, (voice-over): This father's anger. R. MARGRAVES: -- as part of the sentencing, to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon.

(voice-over): Aimed squarely at the man who abused his three daughters.

R. MARGRAVES: Would you give me one minute? Well, I'm going to have to --

(voice-over): From this angle, you can see the court bailiff quickly get Nassar out of the room. More than 200 survivors in two different courtrooms over the past two weeks have provided victim impact statements in the case against Nassar. Enraging and disgusting the country.

On Friday, Randall Margraves listened to two of his daughters publicly share details of their abuse.

MADISON MARGRAVES, LARRY NASSAR VICTIM: You said this meant because I had back pain he would need to put the needles on my vagina, with no coverage, no glove, underwear and pants down to my thighs, my entire vagina was completely exposed to him.

LAUREN MARGRAVES, LARRY NASSAR VICTIM: When I was 13, just a kid, lying on a table at NSU, and you put your ungloved hands all over my rear and slipped your thumb into the most private area of my body.

M. MARGRAVES: To my parents, thank you for all your love and support through all of this. You have done everything that a parent could ever do.

I really feel that my entire family has gone through hell and back these last few months because of what Larry Nassar did to both of my sisters and I years ago.

L. MARGRAVES: My parents are heart broken and so filled with regret. The guilt they have will never go away.

(voice-over): Margraves outburst prompted praise on Twitter calling him a hero. Parents saying they would have done the same thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to understand --

JUDGE JANICE CUNNINGHAM, EATON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT: Compassion and understanding too from the judge who oversaw Margraves civil contempt hearing a couple hours later in the same courtroom.

CUNNINGHAM: I cannot tolerate or condone vigilanteism. But as for the direct contempt of court, there is no way that this court is going to issue any type of punishment, given the circumstances of this case. And I do -- my heart does go out to you and your family, because of what you've gone through.

R. MARGRAVES: I appreciate it, your honor, something -- I'd like to apologize to you and the courtroom. I'm embarrassed. I'm not here to upstage my daughters. I'm here to help them heal. (voice-over): In a family press conference later in the day, an apologetic Margraves tried to explain his emotional reaction, saying it was the first time he'd heard many details of Nassar's assaults on his daughters.

R. MARGRAVES: When I had to hear what was said in those statements, and I have to look over at Larry Nassar shaking his head, that's when I lost control.

(voice-over): Nassar who was sentenced up to 175 years in prison for similar charges in another Michigan courtroom last week, is expected to be sentenced in this hearing early next week.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARTUNG: New reporting from "The New York Times" out today with more disturbing details of the depth of Larry Nassar's abuse. This report saying that as an FBI investigation went under way looking into allegations that Nassar had molested three elite teenage gymnasts, this investigation beginning in July 2015, moving at a slow pace, as investigators worked between three cities.

Between that time, in 2015, until "The Indianapolis Star" uncovered this scandal with their reporting in September of 2016, "The New York Times" has identified at least 27 girls and teenagers who were abused by Nassar during that time.

WHITFIELD: God. It is extraordinary numbers. And my gosh, what so many have gone through is troubling. All right, thank you so much, Kaylee Hartung, appreciate it.

All right. Coming up, it was a false alarm that sent shock waves across the world. And now the man behind the rogue missile alert in Hawaii is speaking out. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. A stunning admission from the man responsible for sending out the false missile alert last month in Hawaii, he's now saying he was 100 percent sure the missile alert was the real thing and that's why he sent out the alert that caused more than a half an hour of panic in that state.

Our Polo Sandoval is following the developments there. Polo, what's his account of what happened?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, the man won't share his face or his name. But he will share his version of what he believes took place that day. And he says that he was simply following protocol. That he simply did what he was trained to do.

The employee speaking to CNN said he certainly feels terrible about what took place on that day. But he also recalls on what took place January 13th, saying, that that day a phone rang, that he did not hear the word exercise repeated over and over again.

So, I want you to hear how he explains it to CNN affiliate as to why he went to his computer and then pushed that button.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The protocol is that the person answering the call presses the speaker phone button. So everyone in the office can hear the message. But that didn't happen. Someone must lifted the receiver. So the message -- beginning of the message was not be able to be heard.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANDOVAL: Well, the man went on to say that he heard the words this is not a drill so that's what prompted him to go to his computer, use a pull-down menu and send out that alert, that false alert.

The meantime, in the State of Hawaii did fire this man earlier this week, saying, that that day, that he basically froze, that he was not able to really fix the situation, prompting another one of the employees to jump in and resolve the matter.

But this man says, that that is not what took place, that there was nobody in that room that said this was actually a drill, Fred, so this is his story and he appears to be sticking to it.

WHITFIELD: All right, Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

All right, so much more, straight ahead in the NEWSROOM right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right. Hello, again. And thanks so much for joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

The memo is out, the assessments are under way. What does this mean? What divisions might have it created between the White House, Congress and top law enforcement?

The president of United States now in his Mar-a-Lago, Florida home, claiming today the memo proves his innocence, tweeting this, this memo totally vindicates Trump and probe. But the Russian witch-hunt goes on and on. There was no collision. And there was no obstruction. The word now used because --