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President Trump Comments on House Intelligence Committee Memo on FBI's Russia Investigation; Some Republican Lawmakers Defend Continuing Mueller Investigation; Stock Market Futures Down; Trump Claims GOP Memo "Totally Vindicates" Him; Democrats Push To Release Rebuttal To GOP Memo. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired February 5, 2018 - 8:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOSH CAMPBELL, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT QUIT BUREAU ON FRIDAY: I'll just say that from a practitioner's standpoint throughout the organization, FBI agents and professional staff, as I mentioned we just want the temperature to come down. If we need to have an important national discussion on certain actions that took place in the FBI it's something that we'll certainly welcome and we can do. We just want the temperature to come down so we can have an effective dialogue.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Josh Campbell, we're sure happy to have you. We are really happy to have you tell the story about what the FBI is doing and what it's really like inside there every day. So thank you and we look forward to more analysis from you.
CAMPBELL: Thanks, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: We're following a lot of news. Let's get to it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Democratic memo puts into context new unseen evidence that bolsters the FBI's credibility.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a Russia investigation without a dossier. I support Bob Mueller 100 percent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This could precipitate a constitutional crisis if the 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, but we 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 rebel, I'm mad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is New Day with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.
CAMEROTA: Is that how you're feeling this morning?
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: That was actually you. That was video of you just before coming on air.
CAMEROTA: That is what I do every morning.
Good morning everyone. Welcome to your New Day. It is Monday, February 5th, 8:00 in the east. Chris is off, and just feel for John Berman. He has had a rough night.
BERMAN: You're helping me work through. Thank you. Thanks for being here for me.
CAMEROTA: You do see less despondent than at 6:00.
BERMAN: I've seen the replays 18,000 times.
CAMEROTA: Fantastic. Let's move on. Democrats are pushing to release their rebuttal to that controversial GOP memo. The House Intelligence Committee is expected to vote on this today, so will Republicans on that committee vote in favor of the release for what they had called more transparency.
BERMAN: Meantime the president claims the Republican memo totally vindicates him in the Russia investigation, but some Republican lawmakers are distancing themselves from the president, saying the memo does not undermine the Mueller investigation, not at all.
Joining us now CNN is political analyst David Gregory and CNN legal and national security analyst Asha Rangappa. Asha is a former FBI special agent.
David Gregory, I want to start with you here. You hear the president say it totally vindicates him, and then you have Trey Gowdy who was the one Republican who saw the underlying data, feel the need to go on TV and say really, no, Mr. President. Listen at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TREY GOWDY, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: 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 obstruction of justice. So there's going to be a Russia probe even without a dossier.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[08:05:00] BERMAN: So one of the key authors, one of the key figures behind this Republican memo is telling the president, David, not so fast. You should not be using this like you are.
DAVID GREGORY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I think that's significant. And other Republicans said the same thing. I would ask Congressman Gowdy who's not running for reelection, former assistant U.S. attorney down in South Carolina, why then he participated in drafting a memo that purported to show that this was a kind of garbage in, garbage out investigation and was a predicate for the president to make this unprecedented attack on law enforcement, on our institutions, and to try to muddy the water on a serious investigation based on a very serious event that happened in our election because of Russian interference.
So this does undercut what the president is saying. Maybe the Democratic memo will come out. I just think there's a lot more to this. And this is the -- you know, this has been part of the president's playbook from the very beginning to try to delegitimate this election going back to his provable lie that the former president Obama was wiretapping him and this is from deep state effort to get him. When we just look at the facts as we know them and go through that to see what's true and what's not and even to hold some people accountable if necessary for how some of the FISA warrants were arrived at.
CAMEROTA: Asha, you are a wonderful guest to have. You're a former FBI agent and you had applied many times, multiple times for FISA warrants and successfully so. So what misconceptions do you see in this memo, or what's gotten your attention?
ASHA RANGAPPA, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: I think there are a few things. So first, there is a misperception that the Steele dossier could have been the only piece of relevant evidence to get this. And what that misses is that there are active investigations behind every FISA application. Investigations that have gone on for a long time. So that just wouldn't be the case.
There's also very long vetting procedure for everything that goes into a FISA application, so without looking at the full picture that was presented to the court, you simply cannot come up with the conclusions that the memo did.
CAMEROTA: But when the Republicans in the memo say that this was all based on this flimsy, dodgy dossier as they call it, that is not possible in your experience?
RANGAPPA: Well, unless that was what was in the dossier is corroborated. Now, remember, they're not going to take a ten page dossier from some human source and staple it to a cover letter and hand it to a court. What they're going to do is look at the full scope of their investigation, and if there are things that seem to mirror each other coming from an independent source, that could be relevant to say, look, somebody completely separate also came to this conclusion or heard this.
So if it was used I actually think it undercuts what the claim is to begin with. It suggests that it is probably corroborating or verified in order to go into that application. BERMAN: It's interesting because some of the language on this memo,
and I've gone through a whole bunch, is fascinating. One of the things the memo says is efforts to corroborate the memo were in its infancy at the time, which isn't saying that nothing was corroborated. It is saying that actually some things had begun to be corroborated, and suggesting it was in its infancy tells us that maybe they corroborated more on later on. And that's what I hear in the memo in the actual wording of it in and of itself.
David Gregory, the Democrats are going to have their chance to get their own memo out to the public. The House Intelligence Committee votes on it today. Then it's really up to the president whether or not he wants to treat this the same way he treated the Republican memo, so the ball's back in his court. It feels like there's pressure on him to respond now.
GREGORY: We'll see if he responds. I don't have much confidence in it. The president is really remarkably consistent in trying to delegitimize this investigation, trying to either fire in the case of James Comey or sully the reputation of Rod Rosenstein or pressure the deputy FBI director at the time Andrew McCabe, asking who he voted for and so forth.
And I think that people do need to take a step back. No matter where you are on what we know of this investigation, whether you think it's unfair or the like, this is a political process that's going on in Congress in terms of an investigation here. But we don't know what damage is done and what our country looks like unless we lose the independence and the strength of these institutions. And it's very easy to take them for granted and push them around until they're not there anymore, and then we slip into a very dark place in our society.
The president in his effort to delegitimize this investigation doesn't care one wit about any of that, the strength of these institutions and the impact on law enforcement. He's just about trying to kill this investigation. And people need to take a hard look at that and think if that's what they want from their president, Republican or Democrat, because there will be days after Donald Trump, but these decisions have a profound effect in terms of our country.
CAMEROTA: Asha, the president has tweeted about all of this in just the past hour. Let me read it to everyone. "Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan, and Clapper," that would be all the people who have come out and said that this is a violation. "Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped." There's so much to parse in this. But all sorts of, as you know, the FBI and the DOJ didn't want the classified information in the memo to come out.
RANGAPPA: That's right.
[08:10:00] CAMEROTA: So the president often picks which leaks he likes. RANGAPPA: That's right. He's also recycling nicknames I see. But
listen, one thing to understand is whatever the president does, and this is to David's point, this investigation will go on. This one FISA is one investigative tool in one case.
CAMEROTA: So what if fires Rod Rosenstein?
RANGAPPA: He can fire Rod Rosenstein, he can fire Mueller. This investigation will continue, just like it continued after he fired James Comey. These balls are rolling legally, the FBI is mandated to continue to investigate any national security threat until it comes to its national conclusion, until its resolved. There are many cases. Some are in the judicial system at this point. We have intelligence coming from other countries, CIA, NSA.
CAMEROTA: There's no stopping it.
RANGAPPA: There's no stopping it, and it's all now archived. It's there. He can burn down the FBI building, and all of the evidence has been collected so far will still exist. Director Hoover kept his files from 1908 and those still exist now. It's not going away no matter how hard he tries.
GREGORY: I think the other piece that we have to recognize is that it's remarkable from a political point of view how the president has unified his party against this investigation and certainly unified his supporters against this investigation. Not a new playbook. Bill Clinton and his allies certainly used that to try to delegitimize the Ken Starr investigation during that impeachment proceeding. So it's a familiar playbook.
But the president has united the party to a remarkable degree on all of this and has done a lot to try to invalidate whatever the findings are by the Mueller team. And to be sure, people I know at the FBI who have worked at the FBI think that this entire episode, the text messages back and forth, you know, the handling of this, and of course going back to how Comey interfered in the 2016 race has really set the FBI back years.
CAMEROTA: And as we know the inspector general is looking into all of that, and some point soon, I think in the next few weeks, we will have some answers about those findings. David Gregory, Asha Rangappa, thank you both very much.
So we do have some breaking news right now on the markets. DOW futures are down sharply this morning. This is ahead of the open. This comes at Wall Street suffered the worst day of the Trump presidency on Friday. So chief business correspondent Christine Romans joins us with more. What are you seeing?
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: We went from a fear of missing out in the markets to just fear in the markets right here. Really ugly start to the day so far. Let me show you, Dow futures down about 246 points right now. That's about one percent, 25,182. You can see the S&P futures and Nasdaq around the world, world markets really tumbled here. If you look at how Tokyo and Hong Kong closed, that was pretty rough, and Europe finished -- starting this week exactly where we were ending last week for the Dow Jones industrial average.
I want to give you some context here. Here's what the Dow looks like over a year. It's been unbelievable. This rally has been unbelievable. This was about a four percent weekly drop here. That is a big decline for a Dow that has basically gone up. I'm going to give you a little bit of a progress report here. The Dow is up 40 percent since the election. That's amazing, right? The Nasdaq also up 40 percent since the election and the S&P up about 30. So those are really big gains.
A lot of people are wondering if this is just a pullback that we really needed, you guys, or if this is the beginning of something else. We are in what I would call the late stage of the late stage of an expansion. It's been 10 years of the market moving higher and we really haven't had much of a pullback at all. So these numbers here causing a lot of people to wonder if this is the beginning of the end of what has been a 10 year expansion.
BERMAN: Some of this is that good news on main street maybe bad news on Wall Street. You might see wages may go up, which is inflationary. It is inflationary which causes interest rates to go up also.
ROMANS: So we've been waiting for wages to rise for years, as you know. So we saw Friday in the jobs report, a solid jobs report, the wages rose 2.9 percent year over year. That's great news for workers, but it's not great news for corporate profits. And so suddenly you see the market taking a turn because the bond market is heating up here. Alan Greenspan last week, the former Federal Reserve chair, he said that both the bond market and the stock market are in a bubble, and that got a lot of peoples' attention too that we're starting to talk bubble talk again.
So, look, I will be very interested to see if it stabilizes it bit. You can have 300 points down on the Dow on the opening bell. We'll see if it stabilizes when the buying comes in.
CAMEROTA: OK, Christine, thank you very much for the preview on all of this.
BERMAN: President Trump declaring the Nunes memo totally vindicates him in the Russian investigation. But Democrats and Republicans rejecting that claim. One Republican congressman joins us next.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Democrats will try again today to get their memo released as Republicans in the House Intelligence Committee back away from the president's claim that this Devin Nunes Republican memo total vindicates him in the Russia investigation.
Joining us now Republican Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania. Congressman, you represent the Lehigh Vale. Congratulations on the Eagles victory last night.
REPRESENTATIVE CHARLIE DENT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Hey, thank you. By the way, Malcolm Jenkins, he just left me his hat. So, I just want you to know we're just thrilled up here. Dog eats goat. Keep greasing those poles in Philly because the parade is coming. Can't wait.
BERMAN: Now that we've got that out of the way for hopefully the last time today. Let me ask you about something the president just wrote because it concerns one of your colleagues in the House of Representatives.
The president says, "Little Adam Schiff who is desperate to run for higher office is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper. Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped."
He's saying the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee must be stopped, Congressman. What's your reaction?
DENT: Well, I think the president should cease and desist from the name calling and insults of all these people. It really doesn't add to anything. He should focus on what the issue is here.
The issue is this memo which alleges that the FBI abused its authority under FISA. I'm not saying they did but that's the whole issue. You know, I have confidence with Director Mueller. We got to let this thing go forward.
I believe in transparency, but I feel this memo was just transparently partisan and political and should not have been released. It's not adding anything to the debate as far as I'm concerned.
If you're going to do something like this, if we're going to have an investigation into an abuse of the FISA process, it should be done in a bipartisan way in a classified setting, probably by the Judiciary Committee because they have jurisdiction, frankly, over the Justice Department and/or perhaps on a select committee, bipartisan, bicameral.
I'm not saying there's any abuse of the FISA process here, but if we're going to do it at least be bipartisan about it and be fair and do it in a classified setting and then issue a real report not some three-and-a-half-page memo that's obviously very partisan.
BERMAN: So, you were against releasing this memo. The Democratic memo goes up before a vote before the House Intelligence Committee today. Do you think that should be released now?
DENT: Well, I wouldn't have released either of these memos. Now that the Republican memo has been released, I suspect it would be very difficult to resist releasing the Democrat memo. The president has to sign off on this. That's really the question, will the president sign off on it? But it almost seems as a matter of fairness you have to release it. [08:20:07] But I suspect -- I read both memos and I suspect that they probably have to do a bit more scrubbing on the Democratic memo before they can release it.
BERMAN: Which do you believe more? You're one of the few people that have read both of them. Which is more credible to you?
DENT: Well, I can't speak to the substance of the Democratic memo because it's still classified. Look, I feel like the Republican memo speak about that. A lot of information seems to be cherry picked. It provides an incomplete picture without proper context. There seem to be omissions of fact and I don't want to say too much else about it. I don't want to get in trouble.
BERMAN: With whom?
DENT: It just seems to me we have an incomplete -- look, I don't want to say what I know from the other memo because I haven't read all the underlying documents. Obviously, there's a lot of classified material here that we're talking about.
The point is, I didn't like releasing these memos because why risk any sources or methods, why risk it? And here we are now, you know, basically casting aspersions on the FBI or the nation's premier law enforcement agency.
I support the FBI and the Mueller investigation, and I don't think that we should do anything that would try to taint that investigation or discredit it or distract from it.
BERMAN: The president says the memo vindicates him. Does it?
DENT: No. No, it doesn't. The memo, again, it's simply deals with a potential abuse of a FISA warrant in the case of Carter Page. That's what it does. It really doesn't speak to the underlying issue of the Mueller investigation which is Russian intervention in our election which is a fact and also whether or not there are any issues by the Trump campaign in terms of collusion or conspiracy or perhaps obstruction. It really doesn't have any material impact on the Mueller investigation.
BERMAN: You say that the Republican memo should never have been released. What does it say about Speaker Ryan's leadership then of your party in the House of Representatives that he has let this go on?
DENT: Well, I don't want to criticize the speaker. He's in a tough spot.
BERMAN: He could have stopped it if he wanted to. He didn't.
DENT: Yes. He could've. Look, I would've stopped it. I could see where this is going. It's all very partisan. I was a chairman of the House Ethics Committee. I ran sensitive investigations.
We had to do them in a bipartisan manner and frankly, there's an advantage of being able to do things behind closed doors because you can have very honest and open conversations, free to spin.
You can do the same thing in the Intelligence Committee and so you have a wonderful opportunity to work in a bipartisan manner and I think that's what's failed here. The Senate, frankly, has done a much better job of their investigation at least trying to keep it on the rails and within the lines and operating in I think in bipartisan good faith.
DENT: So, this is really the tragedy. This is a great committee. I'm just sad to see it's broken down like this.
BERMAN: Very quickly, what message will it send if the president does not approve releasing the Democratic memo?
DENT: Well, this is just again -- this has been a partisan exercise. That's the whole problem. The Republican memo and the Democratic memo and this should have never been released to begin with.
BERMAN: Congressman Charlie Dent, thank you so much for being with us. Enjoy your victory, enjoy the parade. Go celebrate. We're very, very happy for you. Have a great day. Thank you, Congressman.
DENT: Fly Eagles fly. Fly Eagles fly. Thank you.
BERMAN: Go away.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: You sound really happy.
BERMAN: It's been the whole show. Come on. I've been good.
CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, it is the news.
BERMAN: True, there's that. Fair point.
CAMEROTA: There are other headlines. Here it is. Democrats want their rebuttal memo released. Will that happen today? We ask a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee. That's next.
CAMEROTA: The House Intelligence Committee today will vote on whether to release that Democratic rebuttal that counters the GOP memo that alleges surveillance abuse. So, joining us now to talk about this and more we have Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois. He's a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Good morning, Congressman.
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY (D-IL), HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Good morning. Can I begin by saying that there's a whole lot of ranker going on, on a partisan basis in D.C. and I'll say last week was as bad as I've ever seen it relating to this memo and then my colleague, Charlie Dent, comes on a few minutes ago on your station and speaks the truth with a lot of accuracy and courage, so there are moments, folks, when the Democrats and Republicans can speak of right mind together.
CAMEROTA: Guess what? He's retiring.
QUIGLEY: You know the two best things I've heard from my Republican colleagues about the situation we're in are coming from folks who are leaving their legislative bodies. I thought Senator Flake also spoke the truth about what's going on. I'd like to think that all of us can say what's right whether or not we're leaving the House or the Senate.
CAMEROTA: And what does it tell you? What does it tell you that somehow when people are retiring they suddenly feel they can peel off their muzzle and start speaking in not politicalese?
QUIGLEY: I think what the message is, is to the American public, not even so much to the lawmakers, you know. Let your lawmakers tell you what you may not want to hear because the partisan divide is as bad as I've ever seen it and I think at some point in time all of us need to be able to say exactly what we think is accurate and have our public understand that we're just trying to do our jobs.
CAMEROTA: What did you think of what Congressman Trey Gowdy said yesterday on one of the Sunday shows that this investigation is not connected to the dossier, that there are all sorts of threads that are connected to the dossier and that therefore, the president is not vindicated --