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Democrats Warn White House Against Firing Rosenstein or Mueller: FBI Director Addresses Staff in Internal Video; Interview with Rep. Mike Turner; Uma Thurman Reveals Details of Weinstein Attacks; Republicans, Democrats Have Different Views of Nunes Memo; Father of Abuse Victims Lunges at Larry Nassar; Super Bowl to be Coldest in History. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired February 3, 2018 - 15:00   ET


[15:00:13] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for joining us. I'm Ana Cabrera, in the NEWSROOM.

Trump supporters billed it as worse than Watergate, 100 times bigger than what caused the American Revolution. Democrats called it a shoddy second-rate hit job and an excuse for the president to clean house at the Justice Department.

Now that the Nunes memo is out, there are very different opinions about what it delivered.

If you are the president of the United States, it's nothing short of absolution. He tweeted this morning, "This memo totally vindicates Trump I 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."

That memo accuses the FBI and the Justice Department of abusing their surveillance powers to spy on former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page. And as we have been reporting, the president saw this memo as a way to discredit the Russian investigation. He OK'd its release despite, quote, "grave concerns" from the FBI and objections from senior members of his own Justice Department, and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.

We have live team coverage. CNN's Boris Sanchez is live in West Palm Beach near the president's estate in Mar-a-Lago. And also with us, CNN crime and justice reporter, Shimon Prokupecz.

And so, Boris, Democrats are warnings the president not to use this memo as a reason to fire the special counsel or even the deputy attorney general, who is overseeing the special counsel investigation.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. And the president isn't doing much to temper down those rumors or that speculation. Yesterday, the president, when asked by reporters if he had confidence in the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he said, quote, "You figure that one out." He was also asked about his feelings regarding the Nunes memo, and he said it was a disgrace and a lot of people should be ashamed, but he did not get into the specifics of what in the memo upset him or who it is that "should be ashamed of themselves." That led to questions about whether or not that comment was directed at Rod Rosenstein.

Later on in the day, we heard from several White House officials, including Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah, who was on CNN, saying that the president does have confidence in his deputy attorney general. This is more from Raj Shah now.


RAJ SHAW, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: What I'm saying is on behalf of the White House, and that's that 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.


SANCHEZ: Now, sources familiar with the president's thinking confirmed to CNN that, at this time, there has been no consideration of firing Rod Rosenstein.

We should point out though that, Ana, several times in the administration, the president or others have voiced confidence in a number of officials, only for them to be shown the door shortly after.

Sources familiar with the president's thinking on this also tell us that he is hesitant to fire Rod Rosenstein, in part, because he fears that prolonging the Russian investigation. And as we have seen with the president on previous occasions, whether it was the firing of former FBI Director James Comey or the reports that he has been angry at Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation or just last week reports that he wanted to fire Robert Mueller before eventually talked out of it by his attorneys, the president is frustrated by his lack of influence over the Russian investigation and he wants it over immediately.

CABRERA: And we also know that he is unpredictable.

Shimon, the FBI Director Christopher Wray had urged the president, we know, not to release the memo and he said that he had "grave concerns" and that omissions made it inaccurate. And we know that Christopher Wray was handpicked by the president, and so he had his best interests in mind. And after this memo came out, he put a video message out to the employees of the FBI. What did he say?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. Certainly, the FBI director realizes what a week this has been for the FBI. What a time just in general this has been for the FBI that is the continued attacks. So we are told that he felt it necessary to address the troops, the men and women of the FBI, in about an eight-minute video released internally.

What we are learning is that he really told them to keep doing the work, and they have his full support. No signs that he plans to leave or resign from the FBI. And here are some of what he said. And let me read it to you: "The

American people read the papers and they hear lots of talk on cable TV and social media, but they have seen the actual work that you do, keeping the communities safe and the nation secure, often dealing with sensitive matters and making decisions under difficult circumstances. And that work is going to matter more." And then he went on the say, "Talk is cheap. The work you do is what will endure."

No doubt, the FBI this week has felt beat up. People I've talked to inside of the bureau say they are feeling that morale is somewhat down. But words like this, Ana, helping them. They feel like now, with the FBI director and the statement that he put out against the release of the memo, certainly, they are feeling a little bit more upbeat in that they have at least someone behind them. Their leader is speaking publicly in the statement, and internally in the video.

[15:05:30] CABRERA: All right. Shimon Prokupecz, in Washington, thank you.

Let's try to unpack the memo. It reveals a couple of things that should not be overlooked. One, Carter Page was not under surveillance while working for the Trump campaign. He was not wiretapped until a month after he left the Trump team. Even though what is becoming known as the Russian investigation was underway long before then. Which brings me to this next line in the memo, on the last page of the memo. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counter intelligence investigation in late July of 2016. So that refers to the campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, who has sense pleaded guilty in the Mueller probe and is cooperating with investigators. And according to "The New York Times," in May of 2016, he told an Australian diplomat over drinks that Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton. And that conversation began the Russia investigation. The memo, itself, now confirms that. Meaning it confirms that the Steele dossier was not the basis of the Russian investigation.

The memo does allege that the dossier was part of serious abuse at the highest levels of the FBI in obtaining a FISA warrant to surveil Carter Page. It even says that, then-FBI Director Andrew McCabe testified before the House Intelligence Committee in December of 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISA court without the Steele dossier information. Except we have not seen the transcripts of the testimony. And not everybody who was at that hearing agrees.

Listen to the ranking Democrat on the House Intel Committee who was in the room for McCabe's testimony.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D), CALIFORNIA: What it ended up delivering is criticism of a single FISA application involving Carter Page and its renewals that cherry picks information that does not tell the reader the whole of the application. And as the DOJ and FBI have said, deeply misleading and factually inaccurate. You can cherry pick any search warrant application or FISA court application and do the same thing.


CABRERA: And joining us now is Ohio Republican Congressman Mike Turner, a member of the House Intel Committee who supported the memo's release.

Congressman, thank you for spending the time with us on this weekend --


CABRERA: behind releasing this memo.

What was the intention of publicizing this?

REP. MIKE TURNER, (R), OHIO: Well, Ana, an excellent description of all of the different interpretations of the memo, and I appreciate this chance. And the headline is the foreign intelligence FISA Act abuses. And it is the material ps from the Hillary Clinton campaign used to obtain the FISA warrants against members of the Trump campaign or affiliated with the Trump campaign which is inappropriate. It does not matter if you are a Democrat or the Republican, and that is why the crux of it should be sent out and why it should be part of the debate. And never in a situation of the campaign-funded material are used in this way as evidence in the court. In your broadcast, if you used campaign materials that were commercially given to you by a candidate as news, that would be wrong, and similarly in this instance, the FBI and the Department of Justice is taking campaign- funded material from one presidential campaign and introducing it as evidence in a court case is similarly wrong. It is a threat to democracy, and I could certainly hope that I want to join with the director of the FBI in certainly commending the work of people who are at the FBI in their great sacrifice, but I hope that this is something that he steps forward to say, this is wrong, and we will not do this and make certain that it does not happen again.

CABRERA: I hear the concern. And I know that a lot of the Republicans who are supportive of the memo have talked about the transparency and putting it out there, in an effort to be transparent, because Andrew McCabe's testimony seems to be a big part of explaining or believing that the dossier was key in the FISA warrant of Carter Page, should his testimony be released so we can find out exactly what he said?

TURNER: Well, there may be a process for that, but I think that misses the point, and the point is not really what weight it had in the FISA process, but the point is that it never should have been in the FISA process. If we don't say it is wrong, and certainly Comey believed it is OK, and if we as a nation don't come together to say it is wrong for the campaign-funded materials to find their way as evidence in a court by an administration, then, in the future, we could be dealing with it again. We certainly would not expect that President Trump would be permitted to --

CABRERA: But -- TURNER: -- hire foreign nationals and investigate the upcoming opponent and have that information translated to the FBI and used similarly. If we don't believe it is OK in the future, it is not OK in the past, and we need to identify it and make changes.

[15:10:28] CABRERA: I want to understand more of the thinking behind that, because I don't think that anybody agrees that some allegation of somebody made with a political motive should be made as fact, and, then leading to what believes to be acceptable for surveillance of an American citizen, and that does not add up in anybody's mind. But have you seen the FISA warrants and all of the classified intelligence and the underlying evidence the that went into obtaining the surveillance of Carter Page and then, of course, was the base of the memo?

TURNER: No, the basis of the memo is not just that, but it is direct testimony, and I was present, and I have read the transcripts of the direct testimony, and there is no debate of whether or not campaign- funded material of the Hillary Clinton campaign was put into the FISA application and offered in court. That is the whole issue.

CABRERA: And do you know exactly what was offered as evidence in the FISA court, and have you seen the underlying evidence of what went into the overall application, because when I read that quote from Andrew McCabe, it could be interpreted that the dossier was led as a tip that led them into further investigation that made them believe that they may need a FISA warrant, but it did not necessarily say definitively that the dossier was presented to the FISA court, and they gave it a rubber stamp to give it surveillance?

TURNER: Well, Ana, a good point, but distinction is that it does not matter the weight in the FISA court, it never should have been there. There is never at any point campaign-funded opposition reports should be admitted as evidence. The memo goes on the cite the testimony given and in that expression, it did give the appearance that the weight of this made a difference, but I think that the discussion that we need to have as a country, Republican or Democrat, is that this should not happen ever, and I don't care if it is appended to the entire contents of Wikipedia, it should not be as part of the information precepted as evidence for the court to consider. Not one presidential campaign giving information against another presidential campaign in a FISA court is evidence. It is wrong, and it needs to be addressed.

CABRERA: And why not address it directly with the DOJ then, and instead of putting it out there in the public memo. Why rush to release it and why not bring in the FBI leadership, including Director Wray, and get to the face of it head-on? Why wasn't that done before jumping to conclusions that the abuse of power happened?

TURNER: Well, it is not conclusion, but it is facts. It states that is what happened, and it happened. And so there is no information that is going if be coming out that Hillary Clinton campaign information was used by the Trump campaign. And so this is our job is to oversee this agency and, statutorily, we are doing that. CABRERA: Why not directly ask these questions and do it behind the

scenes before making it public, and to make sure that you have the complete picture? Because according to Christopher Wray, what was put out in the memo it does, in fact, cherry pick some of what was the FISA warrant application and, in fact, creates a misleading and inaccurate picture of what actually happened in that process, and that is what Christopher Wray has said.

TURNER: Ana, there is nothing at all that is going to contradict that Hillary Clinton campaign-funded material is going to constitute evidence, but everything in the Democrat Party and the memorandum, and the FBI might want to become public should be public and part of the discussion. But I believe, and even you and everyone else who looks at this, is going to say, Republican and Democrat, whether it is Hillary Clinton or Trump and whether it is Obama or Romney, no administration will use campaign material from another presidential campaign and use it as evidence in another presidential campaign. It is a threat to democracy and wrong. And we ought to be able to say that.

And another thing that I would like to hear the FBI director to say is that it is wrong for the official of the FBI or the FBI agents to be assigned to a case that has a family member that has a direct interest in the outcome of the case.

Those two things would go a long way in trying to get this resolved to move forward with reforms, because there have to be reforms for us to ensure that this does not happen again.

CABRERA: OK. Let me ask you about the president's tweet this morning. He says that "The memo totally vindicates Trump in probe. "The Russian witch hunt goes on and on. There was no collusion and there was no obstruction." And you can read the rest on the screen. But do you believe that the memo totally vindicates Trump in the Mueller investigation?

[15:15:10] TURNER: No. This memo is not about the special investigation of Trump. But it is about one incident of Hillary Clinton's campaign materials being used as in evidence a court case, and that is it. That is the message out there that we need to address and reform it so that we don't have this happen again. Because when you blur those lines, you threaten democracy.

CABRERA: And when you are talking about reform and accountability in this, what about Rod Rosenstein, because he was listed as one of the people in the memo who reauthorized the surveillance of Carter Page. And what about the future? If the president decided to fire him, would you support it?

TURNER: No. What needs to happen is the discussion of what the content of the memo is with the campaign materials being used. Director Comey, and you know, when he was director, he not only knew, but he believed it is OK. And he tweeted out afterwards when the memo came out, "That's it?" He believes it is OK for Hillary Clinton campaign materials that are funded by that campaign to make their way as evidence into this court case. Now, I think that -- (CROSSTALK)

CABRERA: Let me interrupt you, because Director Comey is not there. Director Comey is gone. There is a new FBI --


TURNER: No. He tweeted that out and he said, "That's it?"

CABRERA: And there are people who have been demote based on the investigations and what has been directed by the inspector general's --


TURNER: There is a culture there.

CABRERA: Excuse me just a moment please. Because I want to get back to it because I am short or time --


CABRERA: -- at the end of our segment. And I want to make sure because we are at the end of the segment here, do you stand behind Rod Rosenstein?

TURNER: Well, we have to look at the whole job he is doing. I don't see any reason why he would not be supported, but I don't believe that this memo has anything to do with that. It has to do with the crux of protecting democracy and ensuring that the culture that James Comey thought was OK of using the campaign materials as evidence in court cases stops. And the current director, Director Wray, could come forward to say, I think it is wrong and we won't be using the campaign materials against another campaign as evidence in the future, and we will not have agents or officials on the cases where their spouse has an interest in the case. That would go a long way.

CABRERA: Congressman Mike Turner, I really appreciate you explaining that to us. Thank you

TURNER: Thank you.

CABRERA: Ahead this hour, breaking her silence, Actress Uma Thurman detailing what she calls a sexual attack at the hands of Harvey Weinstein.

Plus --



ROSEMARIE AQUILINA, INGHAM COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE: You know that I can't do that. That is not how our legal system --


MARGRAVE: Well, I want one --



CABRERA: A father's anger boiling over after being forced to listen to details of how Larry Nassar sexually abused his three daughters. We will show you what happened next.

We are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Don't go away.


[15:22:05] CABRERA: Actress Uma Thurman is breaking her silence this weekend about Harvey Weinstein, telling "The New York Times" about several disturbing incidents with the powerful movie producer, one that got physical.

Our senior media correspondent, Brian Stelter, is joining us now.

Brian, Uma Thurman has long hinted that she was a victim of Harvey Weinstein. What is she saying?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT & CNN HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES: Yes. She has not spoken about it now. The first allegations have come out in October. Now she has given an interview to the Maureen Dowd in "The New York Times" in which she first speaks about it. It is disturbing, because she says that she was attacked on two occasions by Harvey Weinstein, once in Paris and once in London. She says that they had a good relationship before this.

And remember that Uma Thurman and Harvey Weinstein are connected in Hollywood for years because, in the 1990s, she was the star of his film "Pulp Fiction." And he celebrated her and helped her career in a number of ways. But at two points, he tried to seek sex from her. She described it as attacks. Here's part of why she says she waited to talk about this until now. And she told Maureen Dowd, quote, "The complicated feeling I had about Harvey is how bad I feel about all of the women who were attacked after I was. I am one of the reasons that a young girl would walk into his room alone the way I did."

She refers to Quentin Tarantino, Weinstein's, one of the producers, and says, "Quentin used Harvey as executive producer of 'Kill Bill' in 2003 in a movie that symbolizes women empowerment, and they all walked in because nobody was convinced they nobody rises in this position that would do something illegal to you, but they do."

So Uma Thurman is saying this happened to her in the '90s, she was able to continue working with Weinstein, but didn't do enough she looks bad wonders if she didn't do enough to try to prevent it from happening to other women.

CABRERA: And one more woman coming forward in the "Me Too" movement that is creating a ground swell. What does Harvey Weinstein say?

STELTER: In recent week, Weinstein and his lawyers have become more aggressive in responding to the ongoing complaints and allegations against him. He's the latest statement about Uma Thurman from Weinstein's attorney. He has a number of lawyers and spokespeople. They say, "Mr. Weinstein acknowledges making an awkward pass 25 years at Ms. Thurman in England after misreading her signals, after a flirtatious exchange in Paris for which he immediately apologized and deeply regrets. However, her claims about physically assaulted are untrue."

And this is the first time this has come to light.

And so, they're acknowledging there were these two incidents, in Paris, one I London. He says he has a different recollection of what happened than she does.

It's notable as well, there are other cases, other recent claims against Weinstein. His legal team has been coming out fighting, swinging in a way they didn't back in October. It makes he think that there is a shift of strategy in Weinstein. The numbers are now in the dozens, high into the dozens of women accusing Weinstein of assault or harassment. And he remains, apparently, in therapy in Arizona.

But I noticed that Jodi Kantor, one of "The New York Times'" reporters, who broke it wide open on Twitter, says on Twitter that we will never know how many women have stories about Harvey Weinstein.

[15:25:19] CABRERA: And also, we learned today in the U.K., they are pursuing more investigations into him, criminal investigation, new criminal allegations coming forward --


STELTER: New York, Los Angeles, London, all criminal investigations.

CABRERA: That's ongoing as well. We will keep on top of it.

Brian Stelter, thank you so much

STELTER: Thank you.

CABRERA: Don't forget, "RELIABLE SOURCES," tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. eastern, on CNN.

Coming up, President Trump saying today the Nunes memo is his vindication in the Russian investigation. Some wonder if the hype over the memo actually outweighs the memo itself. Our panel is here to discuss live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[15:30:21] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. Two very different takes on two stories out of Washington. One is this, the now declassified memo detailing alleged abuses of the FISA process is a scandal of monumental proportions, and it is a partisan attempt within the Department of Justice to tear down a president.


REP. DEVIN NUNES, (R-CA), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: This is not trying to go after some terrorist. This is about they opened, the FBI opened a counter intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016. That is what happened. And then 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 is what this is about. It is wrong, and it should never have been done.


CABRERA: And now the "Wall Street Journal" says biased officials turned the FBI into a tool of anti-Trump political actors. And the conservatives have gone as far as suggesting that the whole special council investigation is fruit of the poisonous dossier tree and there's no way it should be allowed to continue.

The Democrats see something very different.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D), CALIFORNIA (voice-over): This is not about oversight. This is about telling a political story that is helpful to the president. It is about telling a story that is designed to engineer the work of the special counsel and to discredit it, and to call that oversight or calling that transparency is a ruse.


CABRERA: The truth is in the underlying documents and evidence that are part of the FISA warrant application, but that is all classified. And the memo raises serious questions about the extent to which the Steele dossier was used to get a warrant to spy on Carter Page, who, by then, had left the Trump campaign. But the memo leaves more unanswered about what else was in the FISA application, and why is a secret surveillance court judge reauthorized a wiretap three different times.

And joining us now is CNN legal analyst, Carrie Cordero, a former counsel to the U.S. assistant attorney general for national security, and CNN political analyst and senior political correspondent for "The Hill" newspaper, Amie Parns, and columnist for "The Washington Post," Catherine Rampell.

And so, Carrie, what questions does this memo raise for you?

CARRIE CORDORA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the memo is deeply troubling because it is written to fit a specific narrative. And it's obvious from reading it that it does not tell the whole story in terms of the total amount of information that was probably included in the original FISA applications. This is the problem with selective declassification. That is, information that is declassified for a reason to fit a narrative and not because of an appropriate declassification review has been done and a release is done for to better inform the public. So, this release, unfortunately, from my perspective, it does not enhance the public's understanding of what actually transpired with respect to the FBI's investigation into Russian -- the Russian influence campaign. And it actually muddies the public's understanding, because it presents a specific narrative that looks to me, having been involved in the FISA process, to contain some real are serious omissions.

CABRERA: And it is the omissions that I was trying to get at when I was questioning Representative Turner in our earlier block, because that, too, is what, I guess, creates the full picture of what the truth is, what the facts are. He kept on saying that opposition research that is politically motivated should never be used in order to get any kind of FISA warrant.

Does that make sense to you?

CORDERO: Well, I understand his point with respect to political research, but the issue is when information is presented to the FISA court, the FBI and the Department of Justice in making that application will give the court an assessment of the reliability of those sources. And an application in establishing probable cause would not be based on one specific fact that is presented. So if they have presented the information to the court, they would have to say, this is how we assess the reliability of this source. What the Nunes' memo argues and the narrative is, is that the FBI and the DOJ were not forthcoming or truthful to the court. But "The Washington Post" reported today that, in fact, the government did inform the court about their assessment of the reliability of Steele and that information, they did go back to the court and give that information. So, unfortunately, the public is left with a very confusing story.

[15:35:05] CABRERA: More questions than answers, no doubt about it.

And, Catherine, Democrats are saying, on one hand, this memo is a dud and it does not push the story forward, but on the other side, they're calling the memo dangerous. So which is it? Where does it fall?

CATHERINE RAMPELL, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: What is important to remember here is that it is not only the three of us and the American public who have not seen all of the underlying documents that were part of the FISA court warrant application, but Nunes himself had not read that application. So how do you write a book report when you have not read the book? You are summarized the talking points that you are hearing on "Hannity," and from fellow Republicans who are hellbent on tell thing a particular narrative, whether or not it fits the facts that you have not actually seen. So that is part of the reason that this is, on the one hand, confusing and, on the other hand, you know, completely missing all of this context that would be useful to help to us better understand whether, in fact, anybody acted inappropriately.

CABRERA: Right, whether there was an actual abuse of the system.

RAMPELL: Right. CABRERA: Amie, the Associated Press reported this about the hype surrounding the memo and the thinking of the White House when they were deciding whether or not to make it public. Other advisers, they write, inside and outside of the West Wing, questioned why the administration allowed the memo be the dominant talking point during the week when he gave his first State of the Union address, overshadowing the well-received address. What about the timing?

AMIE PARNS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, think about what happened this week. There was the State of the Union and also the Republican retreat. The Republicans had gathered to actually put forward their policy and their agenda, and every question that they fielded was from reporters on this very topic. So they kind of didn't do themselves any favors. You know, they could have been pushing what Trump was talking about during the State of the Union or what they wanted to see going forward but they kind of missed the opportunity here, and that is pretty key. A lot of Republicans are quietly admitting this, and saying, yes, this was not executed in the right way, and it was kind of cherry picked, and there was a lot of the information that was missing that they could have used. So even the Republicans that are being honest with you will tell you that it was sort of a missed opportunity.

CABRERA: And, Catherine, when it comes to the politics of this and the Russia investigation, which is, of course, the bigger investigation -- and we don't have all of the answers in that -- President Trump is saying that this is indication in the bigger investigation, the Mueller probe.

RAMPELL: In what sense? That is what I don't understand at all.

CABRERA: And, in fact, Paul Ryan, who is members of his own party, says the two don't have anything to do with each other.

RAMPELL: And the memo does not allege that anything that was provided to the court was false. It just says it might have been tainted because it came from Michael -- not Michael Steele, excuse me, but --


CABRERA: Well, it is a copy of the reporting. Yes.


RAMPELL: Sorry. It came from the Christopher Steele dossier. Thank you. It came from the Steele dossier. But the information in the Steele dossier about Carter Page, Carter Page has acknowledged it's true. It said that he did have meetings in Moscow, and he said, yes, I had meetings in Moscow. So it does not prove anything or allege anything in that the memo itself was false, or the dossier was false. It just says, well, everything was politically motivated. Let's throw a lot of the smoke and mirrors up, and hope that everybody doubts the entire investigation overall.

CABRERA: And, Carrie, the president gave a cryptic answer when he was asked about the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's future. Some say it was pretty simple.


ANNOUNCER: Rod Rosenstein, a careerist at the Justice Department, protecting liberal Obama holdovers and the deep state instead of following the rule of law. It's time for Rod Rosenstein to do his job or resign.


CABRERA: Carrie, first, do you see any mishandling that would force Rosenstein to recuse himself from leading the Mueller probe?

CORDERO: Sure. That commercial, by the way, and this is a very ugly thing to direct at somebody who has spent their entire career in law enforcement. He was a distinguished U.S. attorney, Rod Rosenstein, and whether or not one criticizes the tenure as deputy attorney general.

I think that the point of this memo release, if we can try to discern why was this memo released, and I think one consideration is its goal is to encourage the removal of Rod Rosenstein from his position. There are only certain individuals who approved the FISAs of Carter Page as laid out in the Nunes memo. Only two are left in government. The rest are out of government now. And those two, one is now the FBI general counsel, and the only other one left is Rod Rosenstein. So to the extent that there would be any political interest in trying to infer that something or trying to argue that something was done wrong in the applications, that could be left at the feet of Rod Rosenstein. I don't think there is anything that's come out through the memo, given the omissions, that makes the case that Rod Rosenstein did anything wrong in the Carter Page surveillance. And, in fact, there was a clip you played earlier with Representative Nunes saying that the FISA targeted the Trump campaign. It did not. It targeted Carter Page based on --


[15:40:34] CABRERA: Who was no longer a member of the Trump campaign at the time --


CABRERA: -- they got the warrant.

CORDERO: -- the counter intelligence investigation of him.

CABRERA: Carrie Cordero, Amie Parns and Catherine Rampell, thank you, ladies.


CABRERA: Up next, the father of three daughters who were sexually abused by Larry Nassar lunges across the courtroom at the attacker, and the message to the disgraced doctor next.

You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


[15:45:01] CABRERA: Welcome back. I'm Ana Cabrera. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

This was a moment in a closely watched trial that stunned the court.






CABRERA: A distraught father whose three daughters were abused former USA Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar, lunges at him in an attempt to attack him.

CNN's Kaylee Hartung is watching the developments for us.

Kaylee, an intense moment there in what has been really an emotional intense trial.

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Ana. Randall Margraves says that he lost control. After the fact, he was remorseful and embarrassed. But the reaction my many was to call him a hero. He says he is no hero. He says his three daughters and the survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse are the real heroes.




HARTUNG (voice-over): This father's anger --

MARGRAVES: As part of the sentencing to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon.

HARTUNG: -- aimed squarely at the man who abused his three daughters.

MARGRAVES: Would you give me one minute?


MARGRAVES: Well, I'm going to have to do --


UNIDENTIFEID FEMALE: Please! HARTUNG: From this angle, you can see the court bailiff quickly get

Larry 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, NASSAR SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM: He said this meant because I had back pain he would need to put the needles on my vagina, with no coverage, no gloves, underwear and pants down to my thighs. My entire vagina was completely exposed to him.

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

MADISON MARGRAVES: To my parents, thank you for all of 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 to hell and back over the last few months of what Larry Nassar did to me and my sisters over the last are years.

LAUREN MARGRAVES: My parents are heartbroken and so filled with guilt. The guilt they have will never go away.

HARTUNG: Margraves' actions prompted praise on Twitter, calling him a hero. Parents swaying they would have done the same thing.


HARTUNG: Compassion and understanding, too, from the judge overseeing Margraves' civil contempt hearing a couple hours later in the same courtroom.

CUNNINGHAM: I cannot tolerate or condone vigilantism. But as for the direct contempt of court, there is no way that this court is going to issue any kind 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 have gone through.

MARGRAVES: I appreciate it, Your Honor. Something that I would like to apologize to you and the courtroom. I'm embarrassed. I am not here to upstage my daughters. I am here to help them heal.

HARTUNG: In a family press conference later in the day, an apologetic Margraves tried to explain his emotional reaction, saying that it was the first time he had heard some of the details on Nassar's sexual assault on his daughters. MARGRAVES: What I had to hear what was said in those statements and I

have to look over at Larry Nassar shaking his head, that is when I lost control.

HARTUNG: 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.


HARTUNG: New reporting from "The New York Times" today that is stirring up frustrations of the institutional failures and the circumstances that allowed Larry Nassar to continue his abuse. It was in July of 2015 that the FBI opened up an investigation into allegations that Nassar had molested three elite teenaged gymnasts. Well, "The New York Times" now says that the investigation moved with, quote, "little evident urgency." And they have identified at least 27 young women who say they were molested between the time that investigation began and September of 2016. That is when the "Indianapolis Star" released its explosive reporting on this scandal, Ana. So there you have Larry Nassar under a federal investigation, USA Gymnastics aware, law enforcement, the FBI and silence that allowed him to continue practicing his uncommon techniques, and even bringing in new patients.

[15:49:57] CABRERA: Uncommon techniques, abusive techniques.

Kaylee Hartung, thank you for that report. Those brave women coming forward.

Tomorrow, Super Bowl, meantime, expected to make history even before the first down is played. We'll tell you why coming up live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


CABRERA: Minneapolis has rolled out the red carpet for tomorrow's Super Bowl, and it is far from warm. Welcoming in the Patriots and Eagles fans. In fact, it's projected to be the coldest Super Bowl of all time. The kickoff forecast just three degrees.

CNN's Andy Scholes is braving the cold for us.

How are you holding up out there, Andy?

[15:55:08] ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPODNENT: Ana, I tell you what, today is not too bad because it's been snowing all day. The temperature has been in the teens. They have about one to three inches of snow. That hasn't stopped thousands of NFL fans from braving the temperatures and coming to downtown Minneapolis to take part in the fun Super Bowl festivities they have going on.

The New England Patriots wrapped up a rally behind us where Robert Kraft was there, and gave away two Super Bowl tickets. So someone was really lucky out here in the crowd. Like you said, tomorrow, the game-time temperature is three degrees

for the Super Bowl. The game, of course, is inside, but the worry is that 70,000 people have to get into that stadium, so officials are concerned about people waiting in long lines. And for actually the first time in Super Bowl history, they'll have a remote security check-in where fans can go to the Mall of America, go through security and pay $30 to get a ride to the stadium past the security checkpoint. That's the first time they're going to do that in Super Bowl history.

Once everyone gets in the stadium, all eyes are on the quarterback matchup. Tom Brady going for his sixth Super Bowl. No player has done that in the history of the NFL, Ana. On the other side, Nick Foles, the backup quarterback. If he can win this game for the Eagles, he'll forever be a hero for the city of Philadelphia.

CABRERA: I'm going to be watching the excitement. I'll be working, but my Broncos aren't playing so that's OK with me.

Andy Scholes, thank you so much.

We're back in a moment.