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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Source: Trump Unlikely To Ever Get Beyond Anger at Rosenstein; Journalist Who Wrote About Page Mentioned In Memo; Journalist Describes Crucial Meeting Cited In Nunes Memo; Journalist Mentioned In Nunes Memo Speaks. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired February 2, 2018 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BERMAN: So that happened. John Berman here in for Anderson. Keeping them on, is the question is why? What's the motivation behind releasing a widely disputed, deeply divisive, bitterly resisted four- page document accusing misconduct by the people running the Russia investigation? Many of them, by the way, Republicans, some of the key figures appointed by the President himself.
How does this memo put out by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes track with the fact that we know. What, if anything, does it omit, blur or distort? How much of it is even news? Does it make the case that its author and, most importantly, the President are claiming it does?
TRUMP: I think -- I think it's terrible. You want to know the truth? I think it's a disgrace. What's going on in this country, I think it's a disgrace. The memo was sent to Congress; it was declassified. Congress will do whatever they're going to do, but I think it's a disgrace what's happening in our country. And when you look at that and you see that, and so many other things, what's going on, a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves and much worse than that.
BERMAN: The President today, on the memo, he wanted release, according to the "Washington Post" before he had a chance to read it, but one that (inaudible), according to our own reporting, he has been telling friends would discredit the entire Russia investigation. But before going down that road, you should know the key items in the memo itself.
The major complaint centers on the FISA surveillance court warrant obtained back in October of 2016 for ex-Trump foreign policy campaign advisor Carter Page. Now, the memo alleges that recently departed Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the House Intelligence Committee that no warrant would have been sought without the Steele dossier information. Now that wording "sought" and :information" jumps out and we'll explore the significance of that tonight.
Christopher Steele, as you know, was hired by Fusion GPS, which was initially hired to do opposition research on Candidate Trump by a conservative media outlet, then was later hired by the DNC and lawyers for the Clinton campaign.
Now, the memo alleges that in lieu of the initial FISA filing, there were three subsequent renewal applications. Was the Clinton connection disclosed? Even though according to the memo this was known to senior FBI and Justice Department officials.
Democrats say the judge was told there was a political connection. Officials identified in the memo assigning one or more of those FISA applications include fire Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Dana Boente who, by the way, was just hired as the new FBI General Counsel, fire FBI Director James Comey, departed Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
The implication that all of these officials -- key officials, including the one currently overseeing the Russia investigation, Rod Rosenstein acted in bad faith, targeting Carter Page by not revealing who was paying Fusion GPS.
Now, first, if you look at the case law, it's not actually clear they had to. Now, that aside, keeping them honest by October 2016, Page already left the Trump campaign. And keeping them honest, as CNN has been reporting for months now, Carter Page was, by 2016, already no stranger to U.S. counterintelligence, something the Democratic vice chair of the Intelligence Committee underscored this evening in the situation room.
SCHIFF: There's a lot that the FBI knew about Carter Page that had nothing to do with Christopher Steele's reporting. Carter Page had come to the attention of the FBI indeed years before he joined the Trump campaign in connection with a Russian intelligence network operating in New York in which Carter Page was very much a target.
BERMAN: On top of that, FISA warrants have to be renewed and a case be made for renewing them every 90 days. The court renewed this one three times. And even if you believe everything the memo alleges about bias with respect to Carter Page, all of it, he was not even the spark for the Russia investigation. How do we know that? It's in the memo. The memo itself says the FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation on George Papadopoulos.
In July of 2016, Papadopoulos, another Trump campaign foreign policy advisor, pleaded guilty to lying about contacts with Russians and is now cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. So the FBI was all-in on possible Trump campaign Russia connections months before asking for a warrant on Carter Page. So if the memo was designed to discredit the genesis of the Russia investigation, that notion itself discredited by the memo itself.
And even setting that aside, it's being criticized for more than just internal inconsistency. The FBI, run by the President's hand-picked director, a Republican, says the document is marred by, quote, "omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo's accuracy." A leading and highly respected member of the President's own party, the Republican standard bearer, just a decade ago, goes beyond even that.
The statement from John McCain is frankly scathing. The latest attacks against the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interest, no parties, no President's, only Putins. He goes on, "The American people deserve to know all the facts surrounding Russia's ongoing effort to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel Mueller's investigation must proceed unimpeded."
He concludes, our nation's elected officials, including the President, must stop looking at this investigation through the lens of politics and manufacturing political side shows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin's job for him.
Yet for all the sound and fury, for all the build-upstream surrounding this memo, for all the distrusted sows of institutions and officials who were formerly held in high esteem by Republicans and Democrats alike, others argue that the bottom line is just how little substance there really is.
James Comey, the fired FBI Director, tweeted, "That's it? Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House Intel committee, destroyed trust with intelligence community, damaged relationship with FISA court and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen. For what? DOJ and FBI must keep doing their jobs.
Keeping them honest, whatever you think of James Comey or his decisions or his firing and subsequent testimony, whatever else you think, those two words "for what" goes straight to the heart of it. And perhaps the best answer we have comes tonight from the one person who can act on the memo that he himself so badly wanted out there.
TRUMP: You -- you figure that one out.
BERMAN: In a moment, Democratic House Intelligence Committee Member Jim Himes. First, his Republican colleague, Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio who is a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Congressman Jordan, always great to speak to you.
JORDAN: (Inaudible) with you.
BERMAN: I want to read you something from a CNN story here.
BERMAN: The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification to win approval to secretly monitor a Trump associate.
Now the interesting thing about what I just read you is that's from an article from April 18th of last year
BERMAN: So what's the big revelation in the memo that was so important to release?
JORDAN: Salacious and unverified hadn't been said by Jim Comey. Salacious and unverified is how we describe the dossier. It's taken to a secret court to get a secret warrant to spy on a fellow citizen of ours. And when they go to the court, they don't tell him that it was Democrat-financed opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign. They don't tell them about Bruce Ohr and now (inaudible) their relationship to Chris Steele and Fusion GPS. They don't tell them critical facts.
And, John, they don't do this once, they don't do this twice, they don't do it three times, they do it four separate times when they go to court and failed to disclose critical information about getting a warrant to spy on a fellow citizen.
BERMAN: All right.
JORDAN: That's what's wrong with this thing. That's what this memo exposes today.
BERMAN: When you say salacious and unverified that James Comey said that he did use those words, but he was referring to part of the dossier. He never said that all of the dossier was unverified. He refused to...
JORDAN: He said those -- he said those under oath...
BERMAN: He said...
JORDAN: ...in front of (inaudible).
BERMAN: ...he was (inaudible) part of the dossier a salacious and unverified. And I think I know -- we all know which party he's referring to. He refused to answer the question if they were corroborated any of it. In open testimony, he told people behind closed doors.
JORDAN: And why...
BERMAN: Unless he told you, it was all unverified behind closed doors.
JORDAN: No, no, no. You know, why -- why he didn't disclose that because he knew they took it to the court. For goodness sake...
BERMAN: Well, well, well...
JORDAN: ...that's why he didn't disclose it in an open hearing.
BERMAN: You say in your own memo, the old Republican memo says minimally corroborated, so there are at least me some corroboration there. But if I can move on because we got a lot of ground. JORDAN: Yeah, that was about Russia and -- and the person that they
were looking at was Carter Page, yeah, so they got the name right and they got the country right. OK...
JORDAN: ...so there's something that were probably accurate in...
JORDAN: ...in the dossier.
BERMAN: ...they got the fact that Russia meddled in the U.S. election, right, and -- and that may be the most important thing. But I do want to move on to this other key point that the memo makes. It states that Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testified before the Committee on December 2017 that no surveillance memo warrant would have been sought from FISA without the Steele dossier information -- sought an information there.
BERMAN: ...McCabe say there would have been no warrant without the dossier?
JORDAN: Look, everyone knows the dossier was the basis for getting the warrant. Andrew McCabe said, "but for the dossier we wouldn't have got the warrant." That's what the memo points out.
BERMAN: That's -- that's -- that's not what the memo says. The memo says we would not have sought the -- sought the warrant without the dossier information.
BERMAN: ...and information. So, when you say dossier information, the implication there is it was corroborated by other research.
JORDAN: Yeah, and the memo points out, well, you know what they used to corroborate, the corroborate was -- was the story by isn't call for Steele, the source, so they use the same number of information presented as a separate piece of information that corroborates the dossier when, in fact, we do the same thing.
BERMAN: Was that (inaudible) -- Congressman, do you know that's all that was used?
JORDAN: I don't -- I know what the memo says, and I'm called for releasing the underlying documents (inaudible).
BERMAN: But you don't know that that's all that was used. All right. Now by your agreement...
JORDAN: But I trust -- I trust -- I trust when -- when Trey Gowdy went to look at the underlying documents and what they put together, I do trust that.
BERMAN: He -- he -- he...
JORDAN: But I'm -- I -- I called for Christopher Wray.
BERMAN: He didn't say -- Trey Gowdy never said...
JORDAN: I called for Christopher Wray, I called for Christopher Wray...
BERMAN: ...Trey Gowdy never said -- Trey Gowdy never said to release this information to the judiciary (inaudible).
JORDAN: I understand you. I called for...
BERMAN: But you state clearly.
JORDAN: ...early December.
BERMAN: Trey Gowdy never said it was the only corroborating information in the memo...
JORDAN: I'm not saying that. I'm saying he's...
BERMAN: ...(inaudible) data.
JORDAN: ...I'm saying -- I didn't say that. I said he reviewed...
BERMAN: OK, all right.
JORDAN: ...the underlying documents.
BERMAN: All right, all right. I want to bring in Jim Himes who is a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee. You're on judiciary. You guys both agree to come on with each other so I'm not -- you know, no one is being...
BERMAN: ...ambushed here one way or the other.
Congressman Himes, to you, you heard Jim Jordan there, just talk about Andy McCabe. The suggestion is that the war ends -- sorry, that the -- that the dossier -- the Steele dossier was the only reason there was a FISA warrant. Did Andy McCabe say that to your committee?
HIMES: Well, I was in the room, John, when McCabe testified, Jim Jordan was not. And I will tell you that that part of the Nunes memo is just flat out wrong. It is not true. That is not what Andrew McCabe said.
And, by the way, I mean, anybody who knows anything about FISA warrants applications know that they are very, very rigorously vetted. They are based on multiple sources. And then they are presented to a federal judge -- a federal judge who is hardly in the business of allowing shoddy work to permit a warrant to spy on a U.S. citizen. So, no, that -- that part is just -- is just outright false.
BERMAN: What did he say?
HIMES: It is -- it is true that elements of the Steele dossier, and let's take a big step back here and remember...
JORDAN: Oh, now it changes, now it changes.
HIMES: ...that the Steele dossier -- no, there's nothing changing. It's a difference between elements of and essential to. There -- and remember, the Steele dossier still, we don't know what's true and what's false. Nobody is saying that everything in it is false, but you can be pretty sure that if the FBI were going to present elements of the Steele dossier to a federal judge that they would have both put it into context and done their work to make sure that they were blind- siding or misleading a federal judge.
BERMAN: Congressman Jordan, to be clear, I read through the articles...
JORDAN: (Inaudible) ...
BERMAN: Congressman Jordan, I read the article from April -- April 18th of 2015.
JORDAN: But let me just say something. Is it -- is it essential to tell the court who paid for the document, to go four times to the court? And my understanding is it may have been four separate judges to go four times and not tell them it's a Democrat Clinton campaign financed piece of -- piece of information that they dress all up like legitimate intelligence. That's a pretty important fact you should have disclosed to the court, not the mention the fact that Bruce Ohr and Nellie Ohr were involved (inaudible) ...
BERMAN: Well, let's take -- let's take the first part -- let's take the first part because I think that's an interesting question.
Congressman Himes, should the FISA judge have been told that the Steele dossier was funded by the DNC in Clinton campaign?
HIMES: Well, interestingly enough, so let me get to that. But remember that the work of Fusion GPS and the work of -- of -- of Christopher Steele started out funded by a Republican entity.
BERMAN: Congressman Himes, I think we believe you.
HIMES: And so...
BERMAN: I think we believe you, sorry, I have to stop you.
HIMES: Yes, yes, it is...
BERMAN: I think -- I have to stop you. I think we believe Fusion GPS was hired by the Washington Free Beacon first.
HIMES: Yes, they were -- they were funded. But Steele did not come on, we believe, until the Clinton campaign and DNC started (inaudible) ...
JORDAN: That's $12 million from the Clinton campaign (inaudible).
BERMAN: Hang on, hang on, Congressman. Let Congressman Himes finish that. The question at hand here is whether the FISA judge should have been told about the source of the funding/
HIMES: Well, so this is other -- another misleading element of the Nunes memorandum. The notion that the judge was not told the context in which this information was developed is incorrect. Now whether individual Americans were named specifically is a different question. Remember, when you are applying for a FISA warrant, you would typically mask the names of U.S. citizens. But the FBI did, in fact, and that application indicate the context in which this information was developed. So the notion that they hoodwinked the judge which, of course, is the core here is -- is just not supportable by the evidence.
BERMAN: Was the judge informed it was a democratic source or just a political source, Congressman.
HIMES: That I do not know. Like Devin Nunes, I have not actually reviewed the FISA applications themselves. Adam Schiff and Trey Gowdy have, but -- but what I am told is that the judge was not hoodwinked. And remember, it's not just Democratic. That work was originated by a Republican opposition research effort.
BERMAN: And, Congressman Jordan, you haven't seen the underlying -- underlying intelligence either, have you, sir?
JORDAN: No, we're not permitted to. I'd call for -- I asked Christopher Wray, "Director Wray, show us the application. Show us what was put together to go get this warrant to spy on a fellow citizen at a secret court. Show us that information (inaudible).
BERMAN: He was -- the warrant -- the warrant was -- well, he was suspected for an agent that was why they were asking for a warrant to surveilling them.
JORDAN: Then why -- if you had -- I heard -- I heard Congressman Schiff say on the previous segment, if you had other information on Carter Page, why didn't you use it? Why did you rely on the dossier?
BERMAN: So, Congressman -- but, Congressman...
JORDAN: Well, why he didn't rely on the dossier and why didn't he...
BERMAN: Let's ask -- let's ask Congressman Himes... (Crosstalk)
JORDAN: Congressman Himes -- Congressman Himes is clear...
JORDAN: ...they didn't tell the court that the Democratic National Committee paid for it. That's an important fact.
BERMAN: OK, OK. Did they rely exclusively on the Congressman Himes?
HIMES: Like the Nunes memo, that's a complete misrepresentation of the facts because FBI has been keeping our eye on Carter Page long before Christopher Steele was in the picture. And remember this, Congressman Jordan said that four times they went to the FISA court and that's exactly right. Four times in which they went to the FISA court, and under the rules, each of those times when they -- when they apply for a renewal of that FISA warrant, they would have to convince the judge not just that the original information was solid, but that the surveillance that had been authorized was, in fact, producing a new evidence.
So as much as Jim Jordan holds up four times in front of the FISA judge as a problem, that's actually indicative of the fact that these wiretaps or whatever they were we're developing new and -- and -- and different evidence quite apart from the -- whatever was used out of the Steele dossier.
BERMAN: Congressman Jordan?
JORDAN: I -- I hold up four times where they didn't tell the truth. They didn't tell him that that who would pay for the dossier. They didn't tell them about Bruce and Nellie Ohr, and they didn't tell them that they had terminated the relationship.
BERMAN: Congressman Jordan -- Congressman Jordan...
JORDAN: They didn't tell them they terminated the relationship with Christopher Steele...
BERMAN: ...every time -- every time...
JORDAN: ...after he -- after they -- he got plot...
BERMAN: Congressman Jordan?
JORDAN: ...disclosing to the press (inaudible) the FBI.
BERMAN: Every time they go to a judge they have to make the case a new time. They have to present the evidence to a judge. In your own memo...
BERMAN: ...your own memo, hang on, your own memo suggests here that it was an essential part of the application. You keep saying it's the exclusive part of the application. There's a difference.
JORDAN: I'm saying what Andrew McCabe said.
BERMAN: No, no.
JORDAN: In the memo it says -- Andrew McCabe said, "But for the dossier we wouldn't have sought the warrant."
HIMES: No, he didn't. He absolutely did not say that.
JORDAN: The dossier was critical. We know this.
HIMES: I was in the room.
JORDAN: Yes, I did. What I'm saying -- I'm saying what the memo discloses, which is Andrew McCabe communicated that this was an important reason for seeking the dossier but for of the warrant -- but for the dossier, they weren't going to go for the warrant.
BERMAN: That's pretty (inaudible).
HIMES: Which is not Andrew McCabe said.
BERMAN: What did he say one more time?
HIMES: Again, what the -- what the Nunes memo alleges Andrew McCabe said is not accurate. It is true that information from the Steele dossier, which is the wording of the memo, was part of the application. These applications contain all sorts of information, but this notion that they never would have gone after Carter Page is just inaccurate. And -- and as we know, Carter Page has been of interest to the FBI...
HIMES: ...for years prior to the application (inaudible).
JORDAN: And why didn't they do it before? Why didn't they do before? Why didn't they do it before? Why was it the dossier that prompted it then?
JORDAN: ...Clinton paid for the dossier.
HIMES: The dossier didn't -- the answer to your question, Jim, is that the dossier did not exist when the FBI first started investigating Carter Page.
BERMAN: Guys, hang on for one second. Gentlemen, Congressmen, sirs, if I can, this is a great discussion. I'd like to take a quick break and continue this discussion in just a minute.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BERMAN: We're back talking about the Nunes memo with two congressmen
really have graciously agreed to appear with us both at the same time -- Republican Jim Jordan of the House Judiciary Committee and Democrat Jim Himes of the House Intelligence Committee.
Congressman Jordan, there's a fascinating part of this memo put out today, which says that the Russian investigation that the FBI launched a counterintelligence investigation back in July of 2016, which is months before they saw the FISA warrant on Carter Page here.
So, the Russia investigation per se writ large wasn't based on the dossier, correct?
JORDAN: Well, John, it's one thing to start investigations entirely different matter to go to a secret court to get a warrant to spy on a fellow citizen and understand who was the agent behind launching the investigation when Papadopoulos shut his mouth off at the bar in London -- Peter struck. I mean, holy cow, he was -- this guy has no credibility left. We've seen the text message.
BERMAN: He was assigned...
JORDAN: ...so Peter Struck is the agent...
BERMAN: Two things, he was assigned...
JORDAN: Come on.
BERMAN: ...the investigation. He was assigned the investigation.
JORDAN: He's the agent. He's agent who's -- who was the -- I said we're going to launch this investigation...
BERMAN: I don't -- I don't think...
JORDAN: He's the agent.
BERMAN: ...I don't think the agent get to the decide...
JORDAN: ...his credibility.
BERMAN: I don't think the agent gets to decide that he launches the investigation here.
JORDAN: Oh, (inaudible) -- he's only deputy head of Counterintelligence, and in July of 2016 they launched a counterintelligence investigation. Peter Struck is the agent that cited in the memo about Papadopoulos. OK, that's fine so they launched the investigation in July. They went and got the warrant using the dossier, and they didn't tell us -- here's another thing they didn't tell the court. Christopher Steele's relationship with the FBI is terminated because he's broke a fundamental principle. He's went to the press and talked about the relationship and talk about how we're working for the FBI.
He broke a fundamental trust and yet they still use his work product, the dossier...
JORDAN: ...to get that warrant. That is a big concern.
BERMAN: I'll come back to that -- I'll come back to the point.
Thank you, Congressman Jordan.
Congressman Himes, if I can, if you can comment on the Papadopoulos revelation in this memo and admission really by the House Intelligence Committee because we've heard for a long time, and Congressman Jordan, including directly from you, you feel like the Russia investigation was launched by the dossier in this memo itself that makes clear Congressman Himes that there was an investigation pre-dating the dossier
HIMES: Well, look there's no question that that is true. And what is sad in this instance is that a small group of -- actually not a small group but a meaningful group of Republicans are seizing on things like Struck's text back and forth.
Despite the fact the Struck had absolutely nothing to do with this -- the initiation of this investigation, at a time, John, where I feel obligated to point out that a lot of Republicans who are deadly serious about this nation's national security, John McCain, who called this a memo Vladimir Putin's work, Lindsey Graham who said this is a profoundly partisan exercise, Mike Rogers, the former chairman -- Republican chairman of the Intelligence Committee weighing in and saying he has profound concerns about this.
You know, the good news is that while too many of my colleagues are to cease on irrelevant misstatement rumor to try to do the work of damaging the FBI in order ultimately to put pressure on Rosenstein and to put pressure on the Mueller investigation, a lot of icons of Republican national security are calling this the effort what it is, which is designed to create chaos and deeply deeply partisan.
BERMAN: Let me ask you this specifically on that point, Congressman Himes, if I can because, look, if it says things that this memo says things about the FBI or the investigation that are untrue, I can understand why the FBI and the intelligence community object to that. But if the concern was sources and methods and revealing sensitive intelligence here, you know, having read this now multiple times, did the sky fall in here with anything revealed here that hurts the way the FBI does business, whether or not, you know, some of the charges in here are true?
HIMES: Well, by and large, I -- I would say that perhaps in this instance not because it's not been a particularly well-kept secret that Carter Page was of interest and -- and he himself said that he was being wiretapped. What is really concerning though is the president and the president established by this memo is that in a deeply partisan move -- now, by the way, those are John McCain and Lindsey Graham's words, not mine.
A congressional committee acting to support the president's notion that this investigation is a hoax declassified without any review by the agencies concerned -- none -- no inter agency review declassified something that in another instance might actually be very, very dangerous. So now we have a President that in a deeply partisan move a committee of Congress can just say, "Hey, we're going to declassify this and that ultimately could lead to real threats to our sources and methods and to our national security.
BERMAN: The FBI director did -- did get to see it before it was released.
BERMAN: And he may objected to it strenuously.
HIMES: Well, of course, he objected. You read the memo that the FBI put out.
HIMES: He was afforded an opportunity to look at it and the memo -- the FBI put out a blistering memo and, you know, the FBI doesn't usually do that saying this is -- you know, basically saying this is a terrible -- a terrible thing to do.
BERMAN: Congressman Jordan, I want to get to the people named in this memo. And I think that was a big part of it -- a big part of the reason for putting out this memo, I assume, was to name names here. Those people who approved...
JORDAN: ...used to define the process.
BERMAN: OK. By the people mean in this of whom are...
BERMAN: ...still in power. If Rod Rosenstein who was named here approved of this FISA warrant or at least one of them, did he abuse the FISA process and does he belong in the Justice Department?
JORDAN: I mean, look, here's what we do know, Comey is gone. McCabe is leaving. Jim Comey's former staff -- Chief of Staff is leaving. Jim Baker, the Chief Counsel has been reassigned. Peter Struck has been reassigned. Lisa Page has been reassigned. Bruce Ohr has been demoted. So those are the top -- when you talk about the FBI, I don't know...
JORDAN: ...they're doing a great job. I'm talking about the top people at the top, they key people, the top at the FBI we've seen them, we've been demoted because they did things wrong. BERMAN: I asked about Rod Rosenstein. I asked about Rod Rosenstein.
JORDAN: The question is about Rod Rosenstein, we'll see if it goes forward. The attorney generals have now said the inspector general is going to look into this. We called for it six months ago, a second special counsel.
BERMAN: He wanted to go.
JORDAN: I don't like special counsel.
BERMAN: He wanted to go.
JORDAN: But I want (inaudible) I want a second special counsel to look at all these issues...
BERMAN: Dana Boente...
JORDAN: ...and figure out exactly what happened.
BERMAN: Dana Boente was just hired as the FBI special counsel -- our general counsel, I should say.
BERMAN: If he signed off -- if he signed off on one of these FISA warrant and you've got a four-page memo here saying that it's awful.
JORDAN: Is that the general or is that...
BERMAN: But I'm asking you.
JORDAN: ...the special counsel? We'll get to the bottom of it.
BERMAN: You don't wait for the inspector general put out this report to put out this four-page memo, so why wait to tell me if you think it's a good idea to have been still working at the FBI?
JORDAN: I have a (inaudible). We called for a second special counsel six months ago. Congressman Meadows, myself and a whole bunch of other members called for a special counsel because we don't -- and Mueller can't expand this probe. I think he's inherently compromised.
Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself. So I know of no other remedy where you can get to the bottom of all this...
BERMAN: Hang on, hang on...
JORDAN: And the American people might accept.
BERMAN: You said Mueller is compromised. Is he compromised by this memo because -- because I was told by Trey Gowdy gallery and everyone else is commenting on the city, it's not about Robert Muller.
HIMES: Speaker Ryan...
JORDAN: No it's not about Robert Mueller, I'm talking about a second special counsel to look at the FBI. That's what I'm saying. I'm not -- I'm not talking about his currently what he's doing. That -- he's got that investigation going on. What I'm talking about...
JORDAN: ...is for this entire matter.
BERMAN: Congressman Jim Jordan, Congressman Jim Himes, really gentleman, thank you very, very much. I appreciate you agree to appear together on the show.
Next, what will the president do? He's got the week into Mar-a-Lago to think about it. We'll talk to one of the spokes people and hear from our panel shortly when 360 continues.
[20:31:58] BERMAN: The President is in Mar-a-Lago perhaps weigh a personnel decision having read the Nunes memo which as we were first to report. He has been telling friends would discredit the Russia investigation. As you know Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein oversees the probe and as the president make clear today, services of the President's pleasure.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does it made you more likely to fire Rosenstein? Do you still have confidence in after reading the memo?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You figure that one out.
BERMAN: Joining us now Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley. Hogan it's great to see you, I haven't seen you since you have a new job at the White House, congratulations on that.
HOGAN GIDLEY, DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: Thank you so much.
BERMAN: Does the President plan on firing the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein?
GIDLEY: There are no conversations or considerations about firing Rod Rosenstein. Not at all.
BERMAN: Were there conversations or considerations about firing Rod Rosenstein.
GIDLEY: No, not to my knowledge.
BERMAN: There have never been such conversations?
GIDLEY: Not to my knowledge. We have this conversation today based on all -- obviously the memo that dropped and everyone went into a frenzy, saying Rod Rosenstein is gone. This President is going to fire up Rosenstein, there's going to be some constitutional crisis. We huddled up, we had a conversation, and it's been very clear throughout the process in the White House, there are no conversations and no considerations about firing Rod Rosenstein.
BERMAN: Does the President have confidence in Rod Rosenstein?
GIDLEY: Look, we said many times, if the President doesn't have confidence in you, you won't be around any longer. We all serve all the pledge with the President, and we as please with you you're still around.
BERMAN: Is that yes?
BERMAN: He has confidence in Rod Rosenstein.
GIDLEY: Yes, like I said, if he didn't, he wouldn't be there.
BERMAN: All right, the reason I'm asking is because, again, he said this today. Let's play it again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does it made you more likely to fire Rosenstein? Do you still have confidence in after reading the memo?
TRUMP: You figure that one out.
BERMAN: So you figure that one out Hogan, you just told me yes. The President said you figure that one out.
GIDLEY: I guess the media couldn't figure it out. So, I guess that's why I'm out here tonight to tell you exactly what he has been talking about. There have been no conversations, I'm telling we haven't even considered this move. So Rod Rosenstein is in place, he's not going anywhere.
BERMAN: If Rod Rosenstein tomorrow morning called the President say, hey I'm out. I'm submitting my resignation. Would he tell him not to?
GIDLEY: Now that I don't know, I met I have a conversation with the President about.
BERMAN: Do you think he'd be about that?
GIDLEY: I can't speculate what the President would or wouldn't do especially how we would feel emotionally about someone tendering a resignation.
BERMAN: If Nikki Haley quit tomorrow, do you think the President would be happy about that?
GIDLEY: Again, I can't get in his head. Nikki Haley was my governor, I'm from South Carolina. I'd be sad to see her go if that helps. That's not my decision.
BERMAN: Would you be sad to see Rod Rosenstein go?
GIDLEY: I wouldn't be sad to see him go at all. I don't know Rod Rosenstein, I mean I can't --
BERMAN: You wouldn't be sad to see him go?
GIDLEY: No, I'm saying I don't know -- I don't know him. I wouldn't be sad -- I wouldn't be sad, I don't know him. You just brought up Nikki Haley and my point is I know Nikki Haley, so I'd be sad personally. I don't Rod Rosenstein, I mean, if he left tomorrow, life goes on and we'll continue to make the country again, but I mean the President has no desire to fire Rod Rosenstein.
[20:35:02] BERMAN: All right. So the President put out that statement. We played it a little bit earlier talking about the memo. He says it shows a lot of bad things are going on in America. And then this morning he put out a statement that said the top leadership and investigators of the FBI and Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process, who? Who the top leadership at the FBI and Justice Department he talking about?
GIDLEY: Look, I think we've said this many times, and the President has been very clear. He has extreme confidence and respect for the rank and file members of the FBI and the DOJ. But subsequent reports and reviews have come out and we've now seen that's been an apparent clear political bias against Donald Trump --
BERMAN: By whom? By whome?
GIDLEY: Peter Strzok for one.
BERMAN: Beyond Peter Strzok he was in the leadership of the FBI. You know, people who were named in the memo include Rod Rosenstein, before you mention Rod Rosenstein and Dana Boente among other people who was just hired of a general counsel by the FBI. A they the leadership of the FBI and Justice Department who politicize the stake (ph) or investigated process as the (INAUDIBLE) said?
GIDLEY: Listen, this House intel memo raises serious concerns about the integrity or the decisions made at the highest levels of both the Department of Justice and the FBI --
BERMAN: Are they at the highest level?
GIDLEY: When they can use the most intrusive surveillance tools against American citizens, I think American people should be concerned and I believed they are.
BERMAN: Should they be concerned that Rod Rosenstein signed that FISA warrant, that Dana Boente, the general counsel help the FBI signed that FISA warrant?
GIDLEY: That's up to the American people.
BERMAN: Is the President concern they did?
GIDLEY: Look, the President has confidence on Rod Rosenstein, I said that multiple times on your show.
BERMAN: So lastly, Speaker Ryan, House Speaker Paul Ryan, says that the memo does not impugn the Mueller investigation ordeal (ph), he said the deputy attorney general. Does the President agree with that assessment?
GIDLEY: That what?
BERMAN: That this memo which I'm holding on my hand, this four pages, that it doesn't impugn the Mueller investigation.
GIDLEY: Look, we're not talking about the Mueller investigation. The President has no plans to fire Robert Mueller either. But the fact of the matter in the height of a Presidential campaign, the FBI and the DOJ signed FISA warrant applications bought and paid for using information bought and paid for by the Democrats and did not tell the judge about it. Again, should be very concerning to most Americans.
GIDLEY: And I believed they are.
BERMAN: Just the last point here. You said they hire -- they hire in the campaign here, it was three weeks before Election Day when the FISA warrant was signed and the American people never knew. So if they wanted to do something bad in the campaign, you know, they certainly didn't tell the American people what was going on and this is the same the FBI by the way that repeatedly told, the American people was going out in the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation.
GIDLEY: Repeatedly, I don't think so. I mean look, most the media were --
BERMAN: Twice (INAUDIBLE) they left.
GIDLEY: We're falling all over themselves to release this bit of information about the dossier with no sourcing whatsoever. You guys ran it wall to wall. It was the biggest news story in the world.
GIDLEY: And for whatever reason --
BERMAN: January. GIDLEY: You guys didn't want to talk about this and release this information at all. And I tell you Democrats have to pick a lane here.
BERMAN: January -- that was January. You just said height of the election campaign.
GIDLEY: Right but listen --
GIDLEY: Listen, Democrats have to pick a lane here. Yesterday we were hearing if this memo comes out, the whole world is going to fall apart. American defense system are going to fall apart. The American people are going to be at risk. Now they're on your show saying there's nothing to see here. So which is it? They saw the information, they knew it, they were being speculative and now we are where we are.
BERMAN: Look, you know, I agree Democrats may have raised the alarm there. The counter to that is there are some conservatives who appeared on other networks who said this is bigger than Watergate. Is it bigger than the Watergate?
GIDLEY: They did, but listen I want to be clear about this process. The President obviously has concerns about some of the reports that have come out, they show clear bias against him. But more than that, this process, the President wants sunlight here. He wants people to see just what's going on with the FISA warrants. So much so that Sarah Sanders put out a statement today that pointed out should the Adam Schiff memo make its way to the White House, we're going to have the same process, we're going to treat it with the same respect and we're going to through it all over again.
BERMAN: Hogan Gidley, great to see you, thank you for coming on tonight. I appreciate, look forward to speaking you again.
GIDLEY: Thanks John, appreciate the time.
BERMAN: We got a political and legal panel to envy tonight. David Gergen, Carl Bernstein, Carrie Cordero, Maggier Haberman and James Gagliano.
Maggie, I want to start with you here. You know, the memo is the memo and people have argue about that back and forth. The bigger issue ultimately might be what happens because of it. And the question stands is Rod Rosenstein's job in jeopardy and we heard Hogan say it six times to something, no.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right, look, I -- my reporting actually does not have it that Rod Rosenstein is in, you know, in a danger being fired. This is how far something that the President was talking about with people last year, now --
BERMAN: Right, he just denied that.
HABERMAN: Right and that's fine. But it was something the President was talking about last year with the number of people and he'd ask about, you know, how it work and Rachel Brand and number three of justice would be -- if she presumably stepped up Rosenstein's job. He was thinking at all kinds of scenarios.
[20:40:11] I think he recognizes there's a danger in doing that and he's not looking to do that now. And I think he likes the -- you know, sort of we'll see what happens or you figure it out as sort of part of his tag line and, you know, stay tuned to the next episode. So I don't think that's where this memo goes, but I do think is going to be something that's now going to dominate the conversation for several days. There's a lot going on in this memo in terms of -- first of all, this was not just a dossier that was paid for by the DNC. And, you know, it lures for Hillary Clinton.
It began with the "Washington Free Beacon" which is a conservative website. And then it was taken over. The memo does not mention the fact that Carter page had been under FISA warrant prior to this. And so there are -- it is basically what we have seen repeatedly from certainly the President which is a lot of facts that get presented a certain way devoid of context. That does not mean there was not a real discussion that how about FISA. That there's a very real conversation to have.
That the White House was not in lock step about how to approach this. Some of his advisers believe that both memos should be released this one and the Democrats that may happen next week. What was going to happen now is this is going to be what everyone is talking about as opposed to say his state of the union address which feels it was a century ago, but it was three days ago. And that is what Republicans and Congress who have to run this year for the most part, would rather be talking about, rather than having a war on the FISA system.
BERMAN: You know, David Gergen you were in the Nixon White House during the Saturday Night Massacre, and that's the Democrat -- that that argument or the history that Democrats are sort of preemptively citing here that could happen if the President forced out Rod Rosenstein. Do you get the sense based on what you're hearing from Maggie, based on what you're hearing from the White House, and based on just your sense of things that the deputy attorney general's job is safe?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't think we can assume that. We remember that White House told us almost a dozen times that no one in the White House that ever talked to President, never talked about firing Mueller. And now that, you know, we now have verified reports that the President has been talking about and that was a pack of lies, and there were no conversations. So when we heard tonight repeated claims that no ones ever talked -- no one has been talking about Rosenstein going, why should we believe that?
And -- now, so I don't -- I don't believe that. And I do think there are some differences now that are emerging from the Nixon time which are troubling. Nixon tried to use the powers of the existing law enforcement agencies to protect himself. Trump by contrast is trying to destroy the credibility of our law enforcement at agencies in order to protect himself.
You know, frankly, I think that the effort to destroy to discredit is doing a lot more damage in some ways to the institutions than what Nixon did even though Nixon's crimes were far obviously far bigger.
BERMAN: Carl, is this all part of the lawn game ultimately this memo which the President was telling his friends would discredit the Mueller investigation. Is this all part of an excuse not to testify to the special counsel and then later on when the Mueller report comes out to say that this investigation has been tainted from the start?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that question is a little too deep in the weeds, because the larger picture is that Donald Trump is doing, has done for a year everything in his power to cover up and to make this investigation go away. What we are seeing today, this great day for the Russians, as great a day as Russia and Putin could have as witnessed by the food fight we just saw by the two congressman on this television show, the destabilization of our institutions that has been accomplished while the President of the United States continues to try and undermine, impede and obstruct this investigation. And now has a Republican Party that he is manage to go up.
To go along with this with the kind of red herrings that we have been seeing in front of our faces with this so-called memo that's going to -- that really is about some deep state stuff going on really. Let's look at the big picture which is about a President who is trying to overwhelm, demean, undermine and make an investigation into him, his family, his conduct go away. And if there is nothing there, there is every opportunity for the President to cooperate in a meaningful way with this investigation and let's see it.
BERMAN: The President obviously using the deep state to scramble your picture Carl Bernstein. Right now.
Carrie Cordero if I can bring you into this conversation. You know, Maggie among others that said look, there are questions about the FISA process that are raised here. This memo suggest that the FISA judge, not one, not two, not three but four different judges or the same judge four times was never told that the Clinton campaign and the Democrats were funding the steel dossier which a visa part of the evidence use to get the FISA warrant. Should the judge have been told that?
[20:45:17] CARRIE CORDERO, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, here's the issue. Look what has happened John, as a result of this selective declassification, you just had on your program two congressman who can't agree upon what was in this information, what was presented to the court and we really don't know. The memo that was written and released by the House Intelligence Committee has so many glaring omissions that I can't tell you whether or not there was a specific fact that was told to the court. And in fact what I know is that the normal process is that once the FBI changed its assessment of steel as a source, that what they should have done and what the normal practice would be is that they would go back to the court and inform the court.
And so the amount of information that they originally in the first application would have need to be provided to the court depends on all of the other information that was in there. So it depends on how critical his information was to the application and we just don't know that. And the members that you have had on haven't read the application, haven't been briefed on them. And because the House Intelligence Committee release this memo, and clearly picked and shows what information they wanted to put out to support their narrative. The American public is less clear about what transpired, not more clear.
BERMAN: You bring up Jim Himes and Jim Jordan say they couldn't agree on the facts behind this memo. I mean they can't agree is brown. So I'm not sure, that's surprising it of it.
So -- but I do see your point, the point here is based on this memo, it's not clear what happened. It doesn't lay out the facts per se. It doesn't put in quotes the idea that Andy McCabe said that the only reason they got the warrant was because of the Steele Dossier, James Gagliano, you know, former FBI agents that decade in a service. Yes I know you were waiting to see this document come out. I know your awaiting to see what they came out with. We talked about the question that might exist on the FISA, but is it as damning as the Republicans were suggesting it would be.
JAMES GAGLIANO, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: John, call me a healthy skeptic on this. And the dangerous hyperbole on both ends is it is unconscionable. Last night on Chris Cuomo show, we heard the Congressman King state that this was deep with the Watergate. Trey Gowdy said that, you know, Adam Schiff was going to be hugely embarrassed by this release.
I cautiously awaited this today and I had it printed out because I'm old school I like the eight and half by 11 paper, and I read through the three and half pages. And John, I got to describe it as are there unsettling things here, absolutely. That deserve more scrutiny. Did the FBI make some mistakes and some missteps? Absolutely. Are there connections that need to be sorted out, absolutely. I read this and what I came away with is they're trying to shoot a cannon out of a canoe. They just didn't hold up what I thought it was going to be. I thought this would truly be and I hate to use this metaphor, the smoking gun. There are troubling things here and I've been harshly critical of an organization in the FBI that I believe blue and gold were spent 25 years in it. And there was some things that need to be looked at. I'm confident right now. I think we have special prosecutor fatigue. I'm confident need Department of Justices, office of inspector general, let them do their job. Let's wait the Democratic rebuttal to this, but it wasn't what I thought it was going to be.
BERMAN: And Maggie, do you think the Democratic rebuttal is going to be release? I mean the White House says they want to see if Speaker Ryan says yes. But could this get caught up in the political process.
HABERMAN: Everything going to -- was going to caught up in a political process as we have seen. I think it is likelier than not that it does get released and then you're going to have these two competing pieces of paper that say as we understand that again we haven't seen the Democratic one, very different things. And I want to point out to your point, we heard all kinds of things about what we're going to be in here. I heard it from White House sources, I heard from people outside the White House.
Much of that did not live up to what was actually in there. So I would like to wait and see what the Democrats actually provide. But I think absent producing the actual testimony, absent producing what McCabe actually said to the committee. You are seeing a host of people talking about testimony, they weren't even in the room for. When not even members of the committee. And so we are at the moment basically just going further and further down at rabbit hole. To your point, there are legitimate concerns, there are real issues, the FBI has clearly made a number of mistakes in a number of ways. But I'm not sure this gets any closer to solving this.
CORDERO: I don't think that is clear at all. I don't think you can say based on this memo that they clearly have made mistakes --
HABERMAN: No I'm saying in general based on previous reporting which has been vastly more extensive over the last two years and what you get in these three and a half pages. That's what I'm talking about.
BERMAN: Carrie, why don't you think it measures up?
CORDERO: Well, because the memo doesn't say in terms what the FBI did in terms of what they actually did report to the court about the sources. It not -- it doesn't have an affirmative statement about what they said about those sources. It doesn't talk about what other bases for the probably cause within the application.
[20:50:11] There could have been a whole host of other types of intelligence information that form the basis for that application. It doesn't say the memo doesn't say whether or not the FBI and the Department of Justice went back to the court and said court, we've changed our assessment of steel as a source and court will you reauthorize the surveillance again anyway since they had three more renewals.
So I just think it's premature. It maybe true -- you know, there may need to be -- there maybe an inquiry that reveals that there was something done wrong, but I think it's premature to draw that conclusion.
BERMAN: Carl Bernstein, time for 20 second, last word.
BERNSTEIN: We have plenty of organizations, inspectors general, and oversights committee to look at the FBI and what they have done in this investigation. What we really need to be looking at is the President of the United States, the Russians, what occurred, and whether the President is part in presiding over a cover-up and obstructing justice. That's what's been lost all day in this just as the President of the United States intended.
BERMAN: All right, thank you so much, everyone.
Coming up, it's not just Carter Page mentioned in the memo, but also a journalist who wrote about him, Michael Isikoff wrote about page's trip to Moscow and an article that is cited in the memo. I'll speak with him next.
BERMAN: The Republican memo features a cast of characters that include two journalists. The memo cites a Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff and a Mother Jones article by David Corn. We're going to hear from Michael Isikoff in a moment.
First here's the reference in the memo. This is a quote, "The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23rd, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff which focuses on page's July 2016 trip to Moscow. This article does not corroborate the Steele Dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News". As I mentioned David Corn's work is also cited in the memo. He and Michael Isikoff are also the authors of Russian roulette, the "Inside Story of Putin's war in America and the election of Donald Trump" that comes out on March 20th. Michael Isikoff joins me tonight.
So, Michael, first of all, did you have any idea that your name was going to appear in this memo?
MICHAEL ISIKOFF, CHIEF INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT, YAHOO NEWS: Absolutely not. I was as stunned as anybody. Look, clearly I did -- the story I wrote for Yahoo News in September of 2016 was the first story to disclose that there was a U.S. intelligence investigation into anybody associated with the Trump campaign. But what kind of stunned me when I read the memo is it asserts that this story was then used as -- extensively cited as corroboration for the FISA warrant against Carter Page, which baffled me because the story was based -- reported that there was already an investigation, and it was based on information that the FBI already had. So it's not quite clear to me why they would have needed to cite my story to corroborate their allegations. They had -- it was about the information they already had.
BERMAN: Let's break that into parts if we can.
BERMAN: What the memo says is that on the FISA warrant, it used your article as corroborating information to the Steele Dossier, basically --
BERMAN: Let me just read this to you. The article does not corroborate the Steele Dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News.
[20:55:07] ISIKOFF: So now, a couple things. First of all, what the memo doesn't say is what they were citing in my story because my story was -- had far more information than that which came from Christopher Steele. It cited other sources, a U.S. senator, congressional sources, U.S. intelligence sources, background on Carter Page and his earlier trips to Moscow. So they may have been citing other aspects of the story. We don't know because we haven't seen the FISA application.
BERMAN: You're not denying that Steele was a source for the story?
ISIKOFF: Christopher Steele said in a court filing that he talked to a number of journalists when he came to Washington in September of 2016, and he named the news organizations that he spoke to, and Yahoo News -- that's me -- was one of them. So, yes, I'm not giving anything away here. Yes, Christopher Steele was somebody I spoke to when I wrote that story.
BERMAN: In the implication, though from this memo put out by Devin Nunes, the intelligence committee, is that he was the only source for your story.
ISIKOFF: Well, that's not the case.
BERMAN: I mean you corroborated --
ISIKOFF: All you have to do is read the story and you'll see there are moment sources who are cited.
BERMAN: And you corroborated the things that Steele said with other sources?
ISIKOFF: Well, what I corroborated was that the FBI -- that the information had been provided to the FBI, that they were taking a serious look at it, that they were investigating. Now, the underlying allegations about the specific meetings that Christopher Steele asserts in the dossier that alleges that Carter Page had, that remains an open question.
BERMAN: Did you reach out to Steele, or did Steele reach out to you?
ISIKOFF: On our podcast, which we did today, skullduggery, I laid it out that Glen Simpson, an old friend of mine, longtime journalist turned private investigator, invited me to a meeting at a Washington restaurant to meet Christopher Steele.
BERMAN: And that was the first time you had met him in.
ISIKOFF: That's the first time I met him.
BERMAN: His credentials seemed legitimate to you?
ISIKOFF: Yes, I checked him out. He clearly was who he said he was. I talked to people who had dealt with him. He had then a -- he was MI6, MI6 is the British intelligence agency. He'd been their chief Russia specialist. He had been a source for the FBI on one of their main investigations into corruption in the world soccer league, FIFA. And so he was a known quantity to the FBI and to the U.S. State Department.
BERMAN: Michael Isikoff, great to have you.
ISIKOFF: Thank you.
BERMAN: Coming up, much more on all this. The latest from the White House and what Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, has to say about the memo and the repercussions when 360 continues.