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Eagles Win First Super Bowl; Dems: GOP Memo Full of 'Mischaracterizations'. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired February 5, 2018 - 06:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA: The Democratic memo puts into context new unseen evidence that bolsters the FBI's credibility.

[05:59:18] DONALD TRUMP JR., SON OF DONALD TRUMP: There is a little bit of sweet revenge. If they wouldn't have done this, this would be going on at the highest levels of government.

REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: There is a Russian investigation without a dossier. I support Bob Mueller 100 percent.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: This could precipitate a constitutional crisis. House Republicans believe they've set the stage for this president to end this investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Launching one for the end zone. Time runs out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be part of the first world championship, we're very blessed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We battled as competitive, but just obviously didn't get the job done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know our fans are the rowdiest in the league. If we don't go back to see rubble, I'm mad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States...

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: No, we don't.

CAMEROTA: You don't.

BERMAN: OK, sorry.

CAMEROTA: And we'll get to why you are in a very bad mood today. But he's going to turn it around for all of you.

This is NEW DAY. It is Monday -- it's a NEW DAY, John. But he's going to turn it around for all of you. It's Monday, February 5, 6 a.m. here in New York. Chris is off, and John Berman is in mourning because of this.

BERMAN: I'm OK. I really am. I am. They tried. They tried really hard.

CAMEROTA: They really did try.

CAMEROTA: The Eagles were better. The fact that you're wearing Eagles green this morning is a damn slap in my face. I wasn't expecting this, but OK.

I'm really wearing it for the Puppy Bowl.

But here's what we're talking about. There were wild celebrations in Philadelphia after the Eagles win their first Super Bowl win, OK, John?

BERMAN: Ever.

CAMEROTA: They were the underdogs. And they toppled the defending champion New England Patriots, 41-33. Haven't the Patriots won enough? OK? Philly fans have waited more than a half century for this day, John.

BERMAN: It was a stunning game. It was just amazing in Philadelphia. Great. The most valuable player, Philadelphia's backup quarterback, Nick Foles. This is the guy that nearly quit football three years ago. But last night Foles made the Eagles fly. He defeated five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. Brady threw for more than 500 yards. And even in defeat, he looked handsome.

But it was in fact, a critical play against Brady that sealed the deal for the Eagles. CNN's Coy Wire in Minneapolis with all the highlights.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And time runs out.

COY WIRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Underdogs no more. The Philadelphia Eagles winning their first Super Bowl championship edging out five-time champs the New England Patriots in a thrilling upset decided in the final three minutes of play.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The city of Philadelphia deserved this all along, and we're happy to deliver.

WIRE: With seconds to go, Tom Brady throwing a Hail Mary pass into the end zone, but it falls incomplete. It was a Super Bowl rematch no one expected. After several injuries seeming to dash the team's hopes of even reaching the playoffs.

DOUG PEDERSON, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES COACH: Our character really shone through tonight. So happy for our players.

WIRE: Nick Foles, the backup turned starting quarterback after a late-season injury to Carson Wentz was named most valuable player of the game.

NICK FOLES, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES QUARTERBACK: Just to be part of this organization and to be a part of the first world championship, we're very blessed. It's an unbelievable feeling. And I mean, right now, it's all soaking in. It is unbelievable.

WIRE: Foles pulling off a stunning trick play, catching a fourth-down touchdown pass to end the first half, becoming the first player in NFL history to throw and catch a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl. The Patriots tried to execute a similar trick play earlier in the game, but Brady dropped the ball.

TOM BRADY, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK: I mean, losing sucks. But that's part of it. You know, you show up, and you try to win. And sometimes you lose. That's the way it goes.

WIRE: New England putting the pressure on, taking the lead in the fourth quarter with a huge scoring drive. But the Eagles would answer right back with a game-changing touchdown and this key defensive play. Brandon Graham sacking Brady, knocking the ball from Brady's hand, New England's only turnover of the game.

BRANDON GRAHAM, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES DEFENSIVE END: I'm just thankful for this opportunity. And I'm thankful that we got to beat Tom Brady, and he didn't come back and win. That's all I care about.

JALEN MILLS, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES CORNERBACK: Philly, this is for you. You guys stayed behind us 100 percent. We love you. We're bringing the trophy home. Philadelphia, top dogs, baby.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WIRE: What an incredible historic night here in Minneapolis. And it' s funny how things work out. This NFL season started out in Philadelphia with the NFL draft being held there for the very first time. And now it will end there with a championship parade for Philadelphia's first ever Super Bowl title. That will happen on Wednesday. I have a feeling they're still partying in Philadelphia.

CAMEROTA: I think that's a safe bet, Coy. Thank you very much.

John, I think these are really going to help you.

BERMAN: I'll keep these...

(CROSSTALK)

CAMEROTA: ... today over there.

OK, thousands of fans taking to the streets of downtown Philadelphia to celebrate the Eagles' big win. People pouring onto Broad Street and partying deep into the night, the scene turning rowdy at times.

CNN's Alex Marquardt is live in Philadelphia with more.

Alex, how is it looking right now? ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn.

Well, things have certainly calmed down. That party has come to an end. But just a few hours ago, this was the heart of the celebration. Thousands of people converging down here in downtown Philadelphia in front of city hall. You can see that the city sanitation workers have done a fantastic job cleaning it all up. You can barely tell that there was a party here last night. Most people have gone home. I'll imagine they'll be waking up a couple hours, many of them with some nasty hangovers.

Now, after this historic victory, the mayor of Philadelphia called on the city's residents to go forth and celebrate but do so in a way that will make Philadelphia shine.

[06:05:05] For the most part, that held true. This was a -- their first Super Bowl victory. So you can imagine it was a very raucous party. People out in the streets chanting, shouting. Many of them, as I mentioned, drinking.

Now, there were a few pockets of violence. A car was overturned. The windows of a Macy's here in downtown Philadelphia was smashed. Several light poles were knocked over.

But I want to show you one of the most dramatic scenes that happened in downtown Philadelphia. This is the awning of the Ritz-Carlton. People were jumping up and down on top of that. I think we have some video. This is the aftermath, this sort of twisted mess of metal.

There were several injuries. We have heard from the city, from the mayor's office this morning. There were three arrests overnight. But the mayor's office telling us it is important to note that tens of thousands of fans came out to celebrate peacefully but for a few bad actors. This morning, this cleanup effort continues ahead of that victory parade on Wednesday.

BERMAN: Alex Marquardt for you in Philadelphia. Congratulations to the people of Philadelphia. I do hope you all get to enjoy this moment. What a game and what a moment for fans who have been waiting for this for a long, long, long time.

CAMEROTA: Very gracious of you.

BERMAN: Again, can I have the tissues back? Thank you.

Now to our other top stories, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee expected to push for a vote today to release their memo, which they say rebuts the controversial Republican memo, alleging FBI surveillance abuses.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins live at the White House with what we can expect -- Kaitlan.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, the president spent the weekend insisting that that Republican memo vindicates him in the Russia investigation. But his fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill outright rejected that claim and even sought to distance themselves from the president's position. And all the while, on the other side of the aisle, Democrats are hoping to convince the House Intelligence Committee to release a memo of their own.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), RANKING MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: The interest wasn't oversight. The interest was a political hit job on the FBI in the service of the president.

COLLINS (voice-over): Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee demanding the release of their rebuttal to the controversial GOP memo alleging FBI surveillance abuse, arguing that the Republican document is incomplete and full of mischaracterizations.

REP. DEVIN NUNES (R-CA), CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: They've 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.

REP. JIM HIMES (D), CONNECTICUT: What we will learn is that it is not true that this FISA warrant was awarded solely on the basis of the Steele dossier. We will also learn that the FBI, because they are very careful people, didn't mislead the judge.

COLLINS: The Senate minority leader urging the president to support the release of ranking member Schiff's memo, saying that blocking the release will confirm the American people's worst fears, that the Republican memo "was only intended to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation." Mr. Trump himself taking a victory lap, insisting that the memo totally vindicates him in the Russia probe, an idea rejected by multiple Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee.

REP. CHRIS STEWART (R), UTAH: This memo has, frankly, nothing at all to do with special counsel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this is a separate issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The memo isn't about the special counsel's investigation.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: So you don't agree with President Trump when he says this vindicates him in the entire Russia investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't.

COLLINS: Even Congressman Trey Gowdy, who helped draft the memo, defending Mueller's investigation.

GOWDY: There is a Russia investigation without a dossier. The dossier has nothing to do with the meeting in Trump Tower.

COLLINS: The president's son who is at the center of the firestorm over the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, with Russian promising dirt on Clinton, applauding the memo.

TRUMP JR.: There is a little bit of sweet revenge in it for me and certainly the family in the sense that, if they wouldn't have done this, this stuff would be going on.

COLLINS: The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate warning Republicans against using the document to fire the man heading the Russian investigation.

DURBIN: To say that that's the end of the investigation, that this is all Donald Trump needs to fire Rosenstein or to fire Bob Mueller, I'll just tell you, this could precipitate a constitutional crisis.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: Now, the White House maintains that Rod Rosenstein's job is not on the line here. But the president, who is traveling to Ohio later today to speak at a manufacturing plant still has not said whether or not he has confidence in the deputy attorney general, John and Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK. Thank you very much, Kaitlan.

Let's bring in our guests. We have CNN political analyst John Avlon and associate editor of RealClearPolitics, A.B. Stoddard. Great to see both of you guys. I'm sure -- I see you wearing your green, John. That's really hurting.

BERMAN: Et tu, Avlon.

CAMEROTA: All right. So let's talk about what was so interesting this weekend, a bunch of Republicans came out and said that the memo, the Nunes memo does not vindicate the president, most notably Trey Gowdy. So he helped draft it.

[06:10:05] So let's play a longer version of what he said about the memo and its effect on the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOWDY: The dossier has nothing to do with the meeting at Trump Tower. The dossier has nothing to do with an e-mail sent by Cambridge Analytica. The dossier really has nothing to do with George Papadopoulos's meeting in Great Britain. It also doesn't have anything to do with the obstruction of justice. So there is going to be a Russia probe even without a dossier.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: John, what he means is that, if the memo -- sorry, if as the memo alleges, the dossier was the basis for the investigation, he says that's just B.S.

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. He lays it out really clearly. That there would be a Russia investigation regardless because of e-mails from Cambridge Analytica, because of obstruction and on and on. Look, to some extent this is Republicans gaining spine when they're on

their way out the door. We've seen this before with criticism of Trump. But Gowdy has unusual authority, because he worked on this. He chairs Oversight, and he is a guy who puts the justice, you know, process ahead of politics, which is one of the reasons he says he's leaving Congress.

So for all Trump spinning off his tweets over the weekend, Trey Gowdy kind of put a dagger in the heart of that logic.

BERMAN: Don't forget: Trey Gowdy was the Republican on the Intelligence Committee who saw the underlying intelligence behind what became the memo. I was shocked that he laid out the case as he did just there for the special counsel to look into everything the special counsel is looking into there. Those are not, you know, words that Trey Gowdy had to say.

He chose to say them, A.B., which seems to me to be a message to the White House and political allies of the president say, "Hey, you guys better be careful about this right now." You have taken this memo way too far.

A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, REALCLEARPOLITICS: I agree, John. It was not subtle the things he listed. Obstruction of justice, the meeting at Trump Tower. Cambridge Analytica and on and on.

He was making clear that the grounds for special counsel are fertile. And that the investigation is into is things that likely have nothing to do with Carter Page. I thought it was also interesting -- Speaker Ryan and Trey Gowdy have seen the underlying classified intelligence and, you know, are both saying this has nothing to do with Bob Mueller's investigation, and they are defending Bob Mueller's investigation.

It's not clear whether the rest of the rank and file will follow. But the two things to watch, I think, are this. Whether or not those comments from Congressman Gowdy and other Republicans yesterday will lead to support enough Republican votes tonight on the House Select Intelligence Committee to support release of the Democratic rebuttal.

The other thing to watch -- the only thing of consequence in this memo, which was not a bombshell by anybody's definition, was the comments -- the description of the dossier as essential to the application -- the approval of an application for a warrant.

And then you have Democrats saying that's not true. That's not what deputy attorney general -- I mean, deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe said in his testimony. We have got to see that testimony.

It would be really staggering to me if Republicans on the committee were actually not telling the truth about his testimony, mischaracterizing what he said, and describing in the memo that it was the backbone, the essential evidence for a warrant when, indeed, it sounds like it wasn't, according to Democrats.

So that's going to be very important to see if, A, the committee will support its release and President Trump, as well, by the end of this week.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I mean, that is -- how can the Republicans say that they're for transparency and that they released their memo in the interest of transparency if today they don't allow the Democrats to release their memo.

AVLON: That's been their stance for weeks now. That's the reason they've been absolutely open to accusations that this is a partisan effort. And that's why, you know, folks are saying -- I mean, this is basically debased the committee, because he's using it for partisan purposes.

If you're interested in transparency, fine. Rubber meets the road today. Put out the Democratic memo. Let's see it in full context. What came out over the weekend didn't help the Democrat -- the Republicans' case at all. Not only Trey Gowdy removing a fig leaf from Devin Nunes, because he's the one who saw the underlying intelligence. But also, "The Wall Street Journal" reporting that the original FISA request had -- did acknowledge that there was a partisan element to the dossier's funding.

(CROSSTALK)

AVLON: How dumb is the judge not to know -- it's one of two folks. And the DNC probably has more of an interest in this. In any case, that was a core claim of Republicans in this memo. And that appears "The Wall Street Journal" says that that doesn't hold up under any passing scrutiny.

BERMAN: I think the Republicans have set a trap for it now, where they now have to approve this Democratic memo. And the president has to either sign off on it or look like he's hiding from it. And if he doesn't sign off on it, the full House votes. The Republicans have put themselves in a position where they will be tested this week on this investigation. It's very surprising to me that they did that.

A.B., there's another element of this, though, which is that the Democrats are falling into a little bit of a trap, too. Which is that they're saying, "Oh, no, no, don't fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Don't fire Rod Rosenstein." I'm not so sure that that's the aim of all of this.

[06:15:09] I've always thought that what he's trying to do here, the president here, is to look for a reason not to testify before Robert Mueller. That seems to the most attainable thing. He'd say look, I'm not going to testify before this investigation which was tainted, in his mind, from the start.

STODDARD: Right, John. I think it's actually a way to meet several goals, which is he probably doesn't want to sit down and testify with Mueller. He wants any findings in the end to be questioned by his base of support and maybe others. And he wants to, I think -- he has his sights on Rosenstein. That's clear.

And he has been talked before by his legal team and his close advisers in the White House, out of firing people. They have been successful in stopping it. It doesn't mean it couldn't happen at some point. Listen to the Republicans who say, oh, he's not going to fire Mueller. Because they're the ones who are obviously, you know -- they're most closely allied with President Trump.

AVLON: Right.

STODDARD: The ones who are naming Rod Rosenstein and saying, "No, no, I think that, you know, Rod Rosenstein's job is safe," are the ones telegraphing to the White House, "You better not fire Robert Mueller."

AVLON: Yes, that's wishing and hoping. I mean, you know, that they're going to take stock of the president's word on this subject. Look, I think, you know, would the president like to fire Mueller and Rosenstein? Yes. Is there a question whether or not the political cost would outweigh the argument? That's the argument being made against him internally by Don McGahn and others.

But the larger effort clearly is to create a reality distortion field so that his base rejects anything that comes out of any independent investigation. And they're both insults to the overall process.

BERMAN: The end goal, you know, wasn't actually releasing the memo. It was the hashtag "#ReleaseTheMemo. And he means were an end in itself there.

BERMAN: All right, guys, hang on. President Trump claims that this memo vindicates him. But what does the Republican memo actually reveal from a legal standpoint? We'll discuss the two experts next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:20:40] BERMAN: President Trump claims that the Nunes memo totally vindicates him. What does this controversial memo actually reveal? Here to break it down for us, former FBI special agent and CNN legal and national security analyst Asha Rangappa and CNN legal analyst Carrie Cordero.

Asha, fascinating. You actually have an op-ed in the "Washington Post" over the weekend which says that what you think this memo manages to do is confirm that the investigation into the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russia has a very solid basis. Explain.

ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That's right.

So I've gotten these FISA warrants before. To get a FISA order on a U.S. person, there's a bit of a high probable cause standard compared to foreign nationals. You have to show that this person was knowingly acting on behalf of a foreign power.

And we know that the FBI approached Carter Page as far back as 2013 to let him know that he was being recruited by Russian agents. So if he continued to be in contact with them, he was doing so knowingly. And if by the time they got the FISA order and were able to renew it three more times, it meant that he kept staying in contact with them even after he left the campaign. He was basically developed as a spy. And what this memo shows is that he was operating in that capacity for the Russians while he was in the campaign.

CAMEROTA: Well, we just don't know if he knew it.

RANGAPPA: Oh, he knew it.

CAMEROTA: I mean, obviously, he knew that he was going to Russia. He knew that he had contacts with Russia. But you're saying that he was knowingly a spy while he was on the campaign?

RANGAPPA: Well, when the FBI would have interviewed him back in 2013, they would have warned him. They would have said, look, we think that you might be being approached to -- these are people affiliated with intelligence.

The FBI does that to -- to try to neutralize their adversary's operations. The idea is if I come to you and say, "By the way, you might be targeted as a Russian spy," you may not talk to those people again. You probably wouldn't, you would think. And the idea is that messes up the Russians' game.

So for him to continue to do that implies that he was willingly and knowingly participating in those activities. And they would have to keep showing information after the FISA started to keep it renewed every time, four times.

BERMAN: So Carrie Cordero, the two big "gotchas" from the standpoint of Devin Nunes and his colleagues are that, No. 1, the Steele dossier information was used in the FISA judge, you know, four times was not told that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee were funding the Steele dossier. That's what the dossier [SIC] claims.

The other thing is that, without the dossier, this memo claims that no warrant would have been sought without that information. Having read the memo now does it, A, prove those two things; and B, if it does prove those two things, do they matter?

CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Having read the memo, unfortunately, it does not prove those things because the memo has a number of omissions. So unfortunately, the way that the committee and the majority of the committee went about releasing this memo is it appears because so much information is missing, the way that it's characterizes, I'm not convinced that it actually is an accurate representation of what was in the applications and what the Department of Justice and the FBI actually reported to the court.

And because also FBI Director Wray issued that strong statement saying that the memo was misleading, I suspect what he was most concerned about was that the FBI and the Department of Justice had, in fact, been forthcoming and truthful to the court about the reliability assessment of Steele, about what they knew about how his investigation was funded.

We don't know what level of detail that they provided, but I think based on the strong reaction from Director Wray, the conclusion that I draw from that is that the FBI and the Justice Department were more forthcoming with the court than Chairman Nunes and the White House would like us to believe.

CAMEROTA: Asha, the bottom line is that you have applied for a FISA warrant multiple times. Would these FISA judges ever have allowed just the dossier to be the basis for issuing a FISA warrant? Is that how it works?

[06:25:09] RANGAPPA: That is not how it works. There are years of investigative activity that goes behind a FISA warrant. So you not -- you can't rely just on one human source to tell you something. You have physical surveillance, intelligence from other sources, evidence that you've gathered through records, financial records. The judges need to see all of that. They need to see how all of these put together corroborate each other and paint a picture that meets the probable cause standard.

And just remember these were four different judges. And every judge that is selected to be on the FISA court is selected by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Currently, Republican appointee John Roberts. So hard to believe that they are biased against, you know, any political party.

CAMEROTA: They're not Democratic plants?

RANGAPPA: They're not Democratic plants. And they are -- I can tell you federal judges are not easily duped.

BERMAN: That's a great point. No matter who these federal judges were appointed by and the course they were on to be on the FISA court is the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, who puts them there. So there's that filter, beyond everything else.

Carrie Cordero, the one concrete thing that was confirmed in this memo by Republicans is something that sort of has been denied, at least directly to me, by some of these Intelligence Committee members that the Papadopoulos investigation was what started the Russia fascination for the FBI. Counterintelligence investigation was launched because George Papadopoulos had been bragging that the Russians were promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.

CORDERO: So, John, I'm a little bit cautious about drawing the conclusion even from the memo that Papadopoulos was the sole trigger for the FBI counterintelligence investigation. It may be that he was a significant factor. It may be that he triggered the opening of an investigation.

But I think it's important that we keep in context that. in June and July of 2016 other things were going on. Namely, WikiLeaks released the DNC e-mails that had been hacked. And the president was making numerous public statements, happy about the release of those e-mails. We don't know what the FBI knew about the June 2016 meeting at the time.

So I would suggest that it's possible that the issues surrounding Papadopoulos were the trigger for opening an investigation. But I also think that there was a lot else going on at that time that would have played into the FBI's counterintelligence interests. CAMEROTA: All right. Carrie Cordero, Asha Rangappa, thank you so

much for all of your expertise on this.

So now to this story. Another deadly crash for Amtrak. This time, the train was on the wrong track. It slammed right into a parked freight train. Could this tragedy have been avoided? We have a live report next.