tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN February 13, 2020 9:00pm-10:00pm PST
good evening. we begin with what sounds like a very public declaration of independence from attorney general william barr along with questions about his motivations and how much credence to give his statements because there's new reporting casting doubt on what mr. barr is saying which hit almost the exact same time he was actually saying it. first, this is what the attorney general told abc news's pierre thomas about being his own man and making his own calls. >> i will make those decisions based on what i think is the right thing to do and i've not going to be bullied or influenced by anybody. and i said whether it's congress, newspaper, editorial boards or the president. i'm going to do what i think is right. >> he also took issue with the president tweeting about
department cases which the president continued to do today concerning his friend and convicted felon roger stone. he appeared to suggest any connection between the president's tweeting and his own decisions, well, that would be just a coincidence. >> you know, the fact that the tweet tweets are out there and correspond to things we're doing at the department sort of give grist to the mill. that's why i think it's time to stop the tweeting about department of justice criminal cases. >> he says it makes it i am possible to do his job, which, of course, raises the question, what job and for whom? is he staking out his independence here or merely begging the president not to say the quiet part out loud or a public relations attempt to appear independent after actions put into question barr's handling of the role. he's acting more like the accused attorney the country's attorney general. there is new reporting in "the new york times" raising serious
questions about the work the attorney general is doing behind the scenes investigating what the president calls the russia hoax. it's also we should mention what the u.s. intelligence community including the . 's hand picked top officials called russia's interference in the 2016 election. quoting now from the lead in "the new york times," trump administration officials investigating the government's response to russia's election interference in 2016 appear to be hunting for a basis to accuse obama-era intelligence officials of hiding evidence or manipulating analysis of moscow's covert operation according to people familiar with aspects of the inquiry, which is precisely what the president wants to hear and has been talking, tweeting sometimes ranting about for months. something that, again, stands in contrast to what attorney general barr said just today about, quote, not being influenced by anybody, unquote. the times as adam goldman shares the by line on this story. he joins us now. can you walk us through this? what more have you learned about the focus of this investigation
by the department of justice? >> hey, thanks for having me. well, john durham, the prosecutor who barr appointed to look at the origins of the fbi's russia investigation and the intelligence community's assessment of russian interference is basically picking apart the analytical analysis that went into this assessment that said russia interfered in the election. and it's really, in many ways, extraordinary. durham is now investigating the people who sounded the alarm about russian interference. >> and the whole investigation according your reporting, it rattled current and former intelligence officials. what is their concern? what are they assuming based on the questions that durham and others have been asking? >> it seems to be that he's picking apart analytical disputes that went on, disputes between the nsa and c.i.a. about providing information that the c.i.a. was supposed to give to
the nsa about an informant who had helped the c.i.a. figure out putin's intentions. and a couple of other things. and, you know, he's really, you know, we have not seen this before, that a criminal prosecutor is going to pick apart an analytical assessment based on the work of three, three intelligence agencies, the nsa, the fbi and the c.i.a. >> and in particular, one of the particular cases that you write about is that the nsa wanted more information about the source of some information the cia had, a source who was in the kremlin at the time. cia, as is often the case with all intelligence agencies, was concerned about revealing the identity to the nsa or spreading the information too widely, eventually, according to your article, they did give more information to the nsa and in the final draft, the cia and i
think one other agency both said they had high confidence in the material, the information. and the nsa, they had an alternative, which is they had only moderate confidence. >> that's right, anderson. so, the agency had -- the cia had a well-placed agent/informant in the kremlin providing the cia information about putin's intentions. and so they were reluck opportuni reluctant to provide information about that because the source would made public. it was and had to be resetled in the united states. the cia relented and gave the nsa that information. so what happened was the cia had high confidence in their source. the fbi had high confidence in the cia source. but the nsa, which devotes its life to signals intelligence, right, it wants to see or hear things, right. doesn't rely on human intelligence, had moderate confidence.
the nsa would have gotten to high if there had been a source who would have cooperated with the cia source was saying. they stuck to the moderate confidence level. so durham has been sort of examining this, this divide, this disconnect between the cia, the fbi and the, and the nsa. >> if you could stay with us. i also want to bring in the former director of national intelligence and retired air force director james clapper. director clapper is joining us by phone. director clapper, first i wonder what your reaction to the reporting by adam and others is tonight. are you concerned about the apparent nokia us apparent focus of this investigation does it raise questions for you? >> obviously yes. i and others, former acting director of cia has spoken about our concerns about an attorney critiquing the judgments of
intelligence analysts after the fact using what prosecuting attorneys -- the evidentiary bar they use, which is probable cause as opposed to the evidentiary bar that intelligence analysts of necessity have to use to, uh, draw conclusions. i have to say that, uh, once the team was put together, the three agencies, nsa, cia and fbi -- and we had about 28 people conclude -- a team of experts on russia from the three agencies, plus a few people from my office. once president obama issued his tasking about the 5th of december, and we formalized our task force, one of my concerns was that there not be barriers or obstacles between and among the analysts who were assigned to this task because they had a very short deadline. and i was not presented with any
evidence of any problems with respect to access -- accesses to all the various compartments that were used to draw this conclusion. i think the important thing here as far as dwelling on how the sausage was made, is consider the product. and at no time was any dissent or disagreement identified to me as we published the intelligence assessment on the 26th of january, 2017. now, i am not aware of any evidence -- of anyone holding back any important information. nor was there any occasion when any of the agency directors applied or directed any windage to the experts who wrote the intelligence community assessment. >> has mr. durham or anyone on his team reached out to you or interviewed you regarding the investigation? >> no. i expect they will at some point, but i have not been
contacted. >> adam? >> since general clapper is accused of being part of the deep state conspiracy to overthrow the government and trump, but, you know, one of the things that was echoed to me that general clapper said, which i believe is correct, that the conclusions reached in this intelligence assessment about russian interference, they weren't pushed down. they weren't pushed down by brennan. they weren't pushed down by comey. they weren't pushed down by general rogers who ran the nsa. these conclusions were reached by the analysts at the ground level. the handful -- >> when you say pushed down, they didn't come from the top, they came from analysts. >> right, right. these were career analysts, right. some senior, some mid level who came to these conclusions on their own and presented them, and presented them to -- to the leaders of these particular organizations. >> director clapper, is that how you see it? >> that is absolutely true. i didn't even meet with the group of experts, the task force
until after the effort was over. after the intelligence community assessment had been published is the first time i met with them as a group. i didn't issue any direction to them other than we need to get this done under the time line that president obama outlined to us. so, that's absolutely true. one other point i'd like to make is i believe the nsa characterization on one of the key judgments of moderate was actually one that was -- came from admiral rogers, the director of nsa personally. rather than perhaps his analyst, which is perfectly fine. having been through prior occasions of group think, is perfectly acceptable and not unusual that you might have a differentiation in confidence level on one key judgment. >> and let me weigh in here on
the analytical conclusions they reach. barr has spent a lot -- excuse me. durham has spent a lot of time trying to understand the data sets that these agencies used to reach their conclusions and he's asked about the analytical process. and it's my understanding that the response he's received is, well, you can read it yourself. you can read about the analytical standards because general clapper's office in 2015, you know, issued these analytic standards. there are actually guidelines that analysts have to follow to produce -- to produce something like the intelligence assessment. and, by the way, these, these, these analytical guidelines to follow are the result of the iraq war, the result of relying on a fraudulent informant made curve ball that drove this country to war. the government realized after that we need to do a better job
and these things are written down for anybody to see. they're public. >> adam -- >> if i can comment, if i can comment on that. i was the only one of the intelligence community seniors who was involved in the infamous national intelligence estimate of october 2002 dealing with weapons of mass destruction in iraq. that's why i was particularly sensitive about not suppressing dissent and to ensure if there was any, that it was prominently displayed and there wasn't any, so i was very mindful of sensitivity about sources and corroborating information because my fingerprints were on that n.i.e. in a different intelligence capacity in 2002 and i remembered that very well. >> i haven't -- let me make one point. i haven't spoken to general clapper about this, but i've heard that independently, that people who were involved in this intelligence, they curve ball loomed. they were all aware of curve
ball. >> general clapper and adam, hold that thought. i also want to bring in jeff toobin, because i believe this calls for a lawyer. legal analyst jeffrey toobin is here. jeff, what do you make of this? >> you have to remember the context here. the president hates james -- mr. brennan who was the head of the cia. he took away his security clearance. brennan is an analyst on msnbc. he's been very critical of president trump. this durham investigation is designed to get brennan. they want to pin something on him. durham, who is the u.s. attorney in connecticut, used to have a very good reputation, but -- >> he's investigated law enforcement before. >> correct. but when the inspector general's report about this came out a few months ago, he, even though his investigation isn't even over, you know, mouthed the trump line of the inspector general's report is flawed. so, you know, the durham
investigation looks at this point like a hit job designed to get someone, probably brennan, in the deep state as the president calls it, not like a good faith investigation of what went on here. >> so durham has worked for both -- for, you know, different administrations. he's worked under both parties investigating wrongdoing in law enforcement and elsewhere. why would he do this? >> you know, being associated with donald trump is the great reputation killer of our lifetime. i mean, if you look at all the people who have -- whether it's members of his cabinet, whether his chiefs of staff. mr. tillerson was a very respected head of exxon, you know. general mattis, general flynn, general kelly. all of them wind up degrading themselves by their association with the president. >> or -- also then being
degraded by the president subsequent to degrading themselves. jeff, stick around. adam, thank you, fascinating reporting in "the new york times." tonight james clapper as well. coming up next we'll focus more specifically on the attorney general himself and how seriously to take his claims of independence at the justice department. and later the president's attack on mike bloomberg. the ability he has as someone put it to live rent free inside the president's head. top bloomberg advisor happens to have written a definitive book on citizen trump when we continue. confidence. we can spend a bit now, knowing we're prepared for the future. surprise! we renovated the guest room, so you can live with us. i'm good at my condo well planned, well invested, well protected. voya. be confident to and through retirement.
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to do anything in a criminal case. however, to have public statements and tweets made about the department, about our people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department, and about judges before whom we have cases make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the prosecutors and the department, that we're doing our work with integrity. >> that was supposed to be a shot across the bow of the white house. it seems to have landed hardly with a thud. stephanie grisham says the president has the right just like any american citizen to publicly offer his opinions. president trump uses social media very effectively to fight for the american people against the injustices in our country including the fake news. the president has full faith and confidence in attorney general barr to do his job and uphold
the law. back now with jeffrey toobin as well as two people experienced working in the white house, former obama white house director and senior political analyst david gergin. jeff, why is barr doing this today? >> well, i think he's right, it does make his job impossible if the president continues behaving the way he's going to behave. the problem is the statement from the press secretary says he has the right to express his opinion like he's the host of the apprentice. he's not the host of the apprentice. he's the president of the united states and the attorney general's boss. so if, as that statement suggests, he's going to continue doing this anyway, the problem has not been addressed at all nor has the attorney general said why, out of all the sentences handed down in the united states, he decides to intervene on the one involving the president's friend. >> david, just from an optic standpoint, do you think attorney general barr felt he had to speak out now in this way
amid all the scrutiny and resignations and folks in the justice department trying to leave -- get off the case? >> he is certainly under pressure, anderson. given his record, given the way he seemed to be in the tank with the president right from the beginning of his service at the justice department, it's hard not to be cynical tonight about what was really going on here today. it very much looks like he's come out with a statement that he can take back to the justice department and show them he stood up to the president, whereas, in fact, this was a set up deal, might have been a set up deal where there was an understanding with the president, yeah, you can make that case so that things go easier, but on the substance of what you do, you listen to me. >> right. >> it's hard not to believe that. >> and in general the white house is saying the president wasn't bothered by barr's comments. do you believe this was barr gone rogue? it doesn't seem that way. >> it sure doesn't feel that
way, anderson. a lot of his supporters from the outside, people working on his campaign, donors have said something similar. look, it's hard to believe i think that these prosecutors left because they were offended by one of the present's tweets. if that were the bar, there would have been a mass kpoexodu from government. it's not that he disagreed on the sentencing guidelines. he replaced the lead prosecutor with a buddy of his. there are a lot of actions that took place are more concerning and led to the actions by the prosecutors than presidential tweets. >> jeff, does -- what happens now in terms of the investigation? i mean, you have people trying to get off the case, getting off the case, some resigning. >> there are a lot of u.s. attorneys out there. they'll find someone to do the case. the question is who is deciding, and is the president still dictating individual sentences. >> barr said the president has never made a request to him about a criminal case. he doesn't really have to,
though, if he's tweeting stuff out and making clear what he wants. >> exactly. >> barr is no fool. he got the job by submitting a, you know, he wasn't solicited. he submitted his own ideas. >> correct. as long as the president injects himself into individual prosecutorial decisions whether it's in a phone call or in tweets, that's a distortion of how the justice department has worked for decades and we'll see if barr is going to do anything about that. >> david, it's really interesting how time and time again we hear these arguments the president never said to me directly quid pro quo. the president never said directly, it doesn't work that way, it doesn't have to. >> it doesn't have to. winks and nods will work. almost anything will work. barr knows what the president wants. it's been perfectly clear from the tweets and everything else. i think we have to see what happens now. does stone get a much lighter sentence. does general flynn possibly get probation. does president trump wind up pardoning both of them.
you know, all of these questions -- does durham come in with a blasting statement that looks suspicious on its face about brennan. all those things are going on and i have to tell you, i think that barr needs to show much more than he did todayf he's really going to stand up against the president. i think he has to do it on substance and i think he has to be very consistent about it. he can't just have this one-off kind of statement saying to the justice department employees, hey, listen, i'm trying for you, when it's not at all apparent he really is. >> let me add one variable to that. judge amy berman jackson is a wild card here. she doesn't answer to donald trump. she has life tenure. she's going to sentence roger stone. she would be well within her rights to say, i want to hold a hearing about what the hell happened here because this is not the normal process for how sentencing is handled within the justice department, and maybe she will call in political appointees and explain how and why this sentence recommendation
was changed so dramatically at the last minute after the president asked for it. >> jim, you know, there are republicans who have said on our air and elsewhere, look, you know, every president wants an attorney general who is on his team and they say eric holder was a close confidant of president obama. robert kennedy was obviously john f. kennedy's brother. >> sure. the president, any president picks who their attorney general is. they nominate them. but at the same time, there are rules in place in any white house -- whenever the attorney general is in the white house as a political appointee, as a close advisor of the president, i kind of avoided any contact. you don't know when cases are going to be decided. you don't know when information is going to come out, when or how it will come out. you know, that is what is normal. this is crossing some lines that i think go far beyond having somebody you like as the attorney general when you're the
president. >> jen, do you think the president will actually stop tweeting about justice department cases? >> it seems highly unlikely, right? i mean, i don't think -- given he didn't take any offense to it and given he doesn't seem to have any self-control with twitter, i would bet we see some more tweets around his friends who are about to be sentenced or facing prosecution, i suspect. >> we don't have to guess. the press secretary said he's going to continue doing it. i mean, so it's not like, you know, there is some mystery about whether the president learned a lesson. he very explicitly, according to his press secretary did not. >> that's right. >> thanks very much. mike bloomberg took a dig at the president. here's what the presidential candidate tweeted after barr saying it made it hard to do his job. trump's tweets make it hard for him to do his job, too. reaction next from one of bloomberg's top advisors.
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it's no secret president trump wanted one of his democratic rivals and mike bloomberg are political foes. he's been getting under his skin a lot lately. at 8:23 this morning he started off tweeting mini mike is a 5'4" mass of dead energy who doesn't want to be on the debate stage with politicians. he hates crazy bernie and will with enough money possibly stop him. bernie's people will go nuts. 20 people later, we know many of the same people in new york. behind your back they laugh at you.
they know you inherited a fortunate and squandered it with stupid deals. i have the funds to defeat you and i will. bloomberg offered this to reporters. >> somebody said that he's taller than me, calls me little mike. and the answer is, donald, where i come from, we measure your height from your neck up. [ laughter ] i am not afraid of donald trump. donald trump is ahead of us -- afraid of us and that's why he keeps tweeting all the time. if he doesn't mention you, you've got a big problem. but the president attacked me again this morning on twitter. thank you very much, donald. he sees our poll numbers and i think it's fair to say he is scared because he knows i have the record and the resources to defeat him. >> joining us now is timo brian, advisor to the bloomberg campaign, before that biographer. good to have you on the chg program. >> thanks, anderson.
>> to me that response by bloomberg, the tweet, i've been fascinated by president trump's they are laughing at us constant refrain. he said that about obama all the time. other countries are laughing at us. that seems to be one of his greatest fears. >> yes. >> which is people are laughing at me making fun of me, and that bloomberg went right after that. it seems like he kind of knows the buttons to push with president trump. >> he knows how deeply insecure donald trump is. he's a classic bully. he uses twitter to work these things out. it's almost like therapy for him. it's a sideshow for us. i think mike knows how donald trump operates because he's watched donald trump operate this way in new york for years. mike is secure about who he is. mike is everything donald trump aspires to be and isn't. and i think we've discovered we can just bounce him around like a beach ball day to day and it keeps him distracted. we'll stay focused on the stuff voters care about, health care,
education, jobs, and keep trump off balance. >> how much of the animosity do you think the president has toward him and vice versa? is it about policy, how much is just a dislike of each other? >> well, i don't think mike dislikes trump. he knows that trump's a con man. i don't think he thinks about trump that much. i think donald trump is obsessed with mike and he's obsessed with mike because mike stands on a stack of achievements that makes him 10 feet taller than trump is even though trump wants to make fun of his height. >> mike bloomberg does not come from a huge fortunate like donald trump does. >> no, mike is authentically self made. he worked as a parking lot attendant. he earned every dollar he made. donald trump was born with a silver foot in his mouth. his father was self-made. that hangs over donald trump's consciousness all the time. >> it's fascinating. i've done interviews with you. you were sued by trump. >> right. >> you deposed trump. i mean, you actually have seen
more of trump's financial records and everything than anybody else. >> well, the thing about donald trump is he is the most successful con man of the modern era. he has conveyed to voters he's a successful businessman when he's not. sear a serial bankruptcy artist. he's conveyed to voters that i am going to serve your interests and bring back jobs to your broken communities and he hasn't. and in mike bloomberg is someone who has done all these things for people. >> the whole thing trump ran on, i'll hire the best people. every one of the things he has said, it's just not true. we have seen time and time again the kind of people -- i mean, rudy giuliani is his personal attorney. i mean, that -- >> he's never attracted a-list people because donald trump himself is not a-list. he's not intellectually disciplined. he's not emotionally disciplined. he can't add well. he's not a reader. and he tends to attract other people who are carnival barkers. >> what is the lane for mike
bloomberg? obviously this is a situation nobody has ever seen before given his resources, given his late entrance into the campaign. what is the path ahead? he's going to be in the debates the first time coming up in vegas next week. >> the path, there's clearly a lot of voters who feel let's see right now. that's why the democratic field has been fragmented. mike is somebody who can unify most of these disparate branches of the party. he's a unifier. we're willing to get in the trenches and bat donald trump down. we respect the other candidates. we are not making fun of them on twitter or anywhere else. we do feel mike has the most governing experience of anybody running. he's a pragmatic progressive who has deep appeal independence, the business community, moderates and on and on. >> he has been, you know, one of the criticisms of him is going to be on that debate stage he essentially bought his way into the election. he's outspending everybody. i talked to bernie sanders last night on the program and, you
know, he said he's clearly going to be pointing out that bloomberg not only is a billionaire, but has not spent months and months in iowa and new hampshire and done what everybody else has done. >> mike has spent months and months on the campaign trail. mike has spent decades and decades as a public philanthropist. he's worked very hard to earn the reputation he has. >> even before this, he has been giving huge amounts of money on gun issues in various states. >> in the 2018 midterm he was one of the most generous backers of women running in the campaign who flipped formerly republican districts. you can buy exposure. you can't buy an election. if you can buy exposure, tom steyer -- buy an election tom steyer wouldn't be at 1 or 2%. mike bloomberg is second in a lot of recent polls because people know his story now. the other thing is the amount of money he's spending, we have said if mike is not the nominee, this machine we're building, we're in over 45 states and territories, we have 2100 people on the ground, that will be put at the feet of the party or whoever the democratic nominee
is. but we think mike is the best person -- >> he's going to continue pouring money into this even if he's not the nominee? >> yes, he sees this as the culmination of his life's work. the dnc is $8 million. the rnc and trump combined is about 1880. we anticipate they'll put more dark money in this campaign. the democrats would have been severely outrun financially and organizationally. he's doing what i think is an historic act to right the ship at a time there is a 5-alarm fire in the white house. >> coming up on the debate stage, i'm sure you are prepared for this. there's obviously a lot of the criticism about his policies, stop and frisk. he says he inherited it. but it did grow under him. and even i think 2018 he was still speaking favorably about it. >> the only thing we can say about stop and frisk is that it was a mistake. mike was wrong to embrace it, wrong to embrace it and stand by it for as long as he did. i think he owes it to communities of color for the rest of his career to prove to
them that this is not who he is as a man or as a politician. but stop and frisk also doesn't represent the totality of his time as mayor. he did a lot of substantial things to reach out and empower communities of color. he diversified the n.y.p.d.. the incarceration rate in new york dropped when he was mayor. he had a model program for outreach to young residents of color that barack obama modeled my brother's keeper on. that's why we have current and former mayors of color, elected officials who still support this campaign. that's why mike is still rising in the polls with black voters because they understand the totality of his career. >> a lot of people have left biden in south carolina and have gone to bloomberg. >> indeed. >> appreciate you being with us. >> thanks, anderson. >> timo brian. still ahead more on the colorful history of donald trump, how the two were seen publicly together, golfing, ribbon cuttings, even on the president's former tv
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>> i am not afraid of donald trump. >> reporter: but back in new york, back in the day, a different dynamic. >> i have to say you have been a great mayor. you really have. i mean, this guy is fantastic. >> reporter: that was in october 2013. then new york city mayor michael bloomberg and donald trump lavished praise on each other after trump helped bloomberg convert a trash dump in the bronx into a high-end golf course. >> if there is anybody that has changed this city, it is donald trump. he really has done an amazing thing. this is another part of it. donald, thank you for your confidence in the city. >> reporter: analysts say that partnership could have been the genesis of their falling out because in a 2016 interview with wolf blitzer, trump took all the credit for the project. >> i got it knocked out in one year. michael asked me to get involved. >> bloomberg thought that was an exaggeration, former aides thought it was an exaggeration and it sort of split between them. >> reporter: before then, donald trump and michael bloomberg appeared to get along or at least found each other useful. trump backed bloomberg's effort
to run for a third term as new york's mayor. they golfed together. bloomberg appeared on trump's nbc show, the apprentice. and their daughters appeared in an hbo documentary called born rich. but analysts say in the real world of new york business and philanthropy -- >> in that world it was bloomberg who was the star and it was trump who was the one who was always looking for acceptance and rarely getting it. during all of his life, donald trump has longed for the approval of the new york establishment. mike bloomberg was the new york establishment. >> reporter: now the two are being compared and contrasted under a microscope. both switched political parties repeatedly and were unexpected winners in their biggest elections. and both became billionaires, although on the forbes list of the wealthiest americans at the end of last year, michael bloomberg ranked 8th with $53.4 billion while trump ranked 275th, with 3.1 billion.
>> they both named businesses after themselves, they're both wealthy people. bloomberg came from a more working class background. donald trump inherited a lot of money from his father to run his business. >> reporter: going forward, how nasty and personal will their battle become? >> i think in a head to head battle, mike bloomberg and donald trump will be nastier than anything we've seen in politics, perhaps in 1 00 years. these are two people who are not afraid to fight and they're not afraid to fight in a very personal way. >> reporter: analysts say one reason donald trump fears michael bloomberg is that he realizes bloomberg has the resources, millions of dollars that bloomberg can spend on ads, highly produced ads that he can use to keep attacking trump in the most personal of ways. brian todd, cnn, washington. >> just ahead we'll return to the breaking news and talk with a lawmaker about what he'll ask attorney general barr when barr testifies before congress. ♪ if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, little things can become your big moment.
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we're checking with chris, see what he's working on for "cuomo prime time." chris? >> what's this anderson? it seems the president got popped in the mouth three times in one day. the ag basically telling him to shut up with the tweets. the republicans in the senate voting in favor of eliminating his military power with iran and he punched himself in the face changing his story about rudy being sent to ukraine by him. so we have a house manager here. we have a representative for bloomberg here, who is congressman gregory meeks. we will take it all on, with two ace investigators as well. >> all right. about eight minutes from now, chris. i look forward to it. coming up next, congressman eric swalwell, what he wants to attorney general barr's claim of independence from the white house. i feel like i'm losing my identity.
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to call him up when he is tweeting? >> i'll just say, i don't think the president needs to. we learn from michael cohen there is a code, the president has. he will intimate something, it will be really nice. it's so unfair what's happening to roger stone, and then he's tweeting. so barr gets the message. what's so frustrating here is the president could just pardon roger stone, but instead he has chosen to show all of us that he's got others who will do his hits for him, and he's injected this virus of corruption into the department of justice now. >> you think it's intentional? >> i think it's intentional. i think he wants to show he can actually have the doj do his work. no matter what happens, i think stone is ultimately getting a pardon. >> he was so concerned. he can pardon him right away. >> this is more about a show of power. >> the idea that barr is saying, you know, the president's tweets make my job impossible. it doesn't seem like, i mean, do you believe that this is really him pushing back? because traditionally, if that happens, you know, the president would slam him or the white house would in this case, the
white house is free to have his own opinions. >> i don't buy it. also, tell me the time where bill barr went to a court and said you know what? that young black man who is being overprosecuted for having cocaine on him disproportionately to a white person's, we're going lower the recommendation on that. that's not happening. this is only happening for the president's friend. this is not the first time. they also have changed a recommendation for former national security adviser michael flynn. >> for quite a long time, there have been prosecution, overly zealous prosecutions of people for all manner of very serious crimes or even for not serious crimes and he hasn't intervened. >> no, he hasn't. >> and again, it's because he is helping the president's friends. what is most concerning is he is not only asking, the president is not only suggesting a friend should have their sentence reduced. he is also i think showing that if you're an enemy of mine, i now have weaponized the department of justice, and we can go after you.
not just help our friends, but maybe punish and imprison our enemies. >> barr will be appearing be before the judiciary committee which you're on. what do you want to hear from him? do you expect much to come of him? >> independence of prosecutors is a pillar of our democracy. i think we want to know if that pillar still stands. >> he is going to he will say he does, of course. >> we are launching an investigation immediately into this case and looking at others. i think we will see what we can find. we're not helpless anymore. we won the majority. we have subpoena power, and also we have these brave prosecutors who have resigned. if you are a prosecutor and are you fearful the department of justice is being weaponized, i would hope that more people would come forward that would assist us. >> i appreciate it so much. the news continues, we head over to chris, cuomo prime time. >> thank you, i am chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time." just when it looks like the president has trumped our
democracy, two slaps down in one day. attorney general barr with a slap in trump's pile saying the tweets make it impossible for him to do his job. imagine that. and the senate then slaps down the president's ability to use the military. eight republican senators joining the effort. we have key players tonight on what happens now. what do you say? let's get after it. attorney general bill barr is selling the story to the media that reducing the stone sentence all him. but, he became the first sitting cabinet member to take a whack at the boss in the process. >> to have public statements and tweets made about the department, about cases pending in the department, and about judges before whom we have cases make it impossible for me to do my job and i will make those