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Mueller Report: No Evidence of Collusion; May Battles Brexit Coup; Detained Terror Suspects Seek Return to Home Countries; Attorney General release Mueller Probe Conclusions; Special Counsel Did Not Find That Trump Campaign Conspired Or Coordinated With Russia In 2016 Election; Trump Claims "Complete And Total Exoneration"; Kasich: No Collusion Finding Is "Very Good News". Aired 1-2a ET
Aired March 25, 2019 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: We are following the breaking news this hour. The summary of the Russia probe, it is out and the U.S. president says it completely exonerates him. Welcome to viewers around the world, I'm George Howell at the CNN Center in Atlanta.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Natalie Allen. The Attorney General released his findings earlier on Sunday in a summary letter to Congress. While the report did not exonerate the president completely, Robert Mueller concluded there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
HOWELL: The Special Counsel left the issue of obstruction of justice up to the Attorney General William Barr's office which says it will not file any charges against the president. CNN Justice Correspondent Laura Jarrett has this for us.
LAURA JARRETT, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: There's two main takeaways from Attorney General Bill Barr summary of the Special counsel's report. The first one really the writing was on the wall when it comes to the question of so-called collusion or coordination or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
So far at least we've seen nothing just suggests that that was going to happen in any of the indictments, and the Attorney General says it right here. The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.
But on the second question of obstruction of justice, that's really more of a gray area. And on that issue, the Special Counsel Robert Mueller punted to the Attorney General. He'd said there was evidence on both sides. He looked at the facts, he looked at the law, and here's what the Attorney General writes on that.
While this report does not conclude -- meaning Mueller's report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. So while Mueller did not exonerate the President the question of obstruction of justice, Attorney General Bill Barr went on to do just that. We knew for the better part of a year there were ongoing negotiations between the Trump legal team and the Special Counsel's office.
Trump legal team was sort of dragging its feet managing to put them off but we're now learning at the same time as those negotiations were ongoing. There were also sensitive discussions going on between top Justice Department officials and the Special Counsel's office raising the specter of a subpoena. And they decided ultimately that it was not warranted.
Mueller actually never made a formal request for that subpoena. But the fact that it was raised at all is significant and it also means that it allowed the Attorney General. The current Attorney General Bill Barr who wasn't around for those discussions, it allowed him to be able to say to Congress on Friday that Mueller who had never been turned down for any major significant investigative step.
ALLEN: A senior Trump administration official tells CNN the White House is thrilled with the Mueller report findings.
HOWELL: Now that the Mueller probe wrapped up, President Trump is calling for another investigation. This time he says it should be into Democrats.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There was no collusion with Russia. There was no obstruction and none whatsoever and it was a complete and total exoneration. It's a shame that our country had to go through this. To be honest it's a shame that your President has had to go through this for before I even got elected, it began, and it began illegally. And hopefully, somebody's going to look at the other side.
This was an illegal takedown that failed. And hopefully, somebody's going to be looking at the other side. So it's complete exoneration. No collusion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Exoneration, that is up a question. Here's CNN's Abby Phillip with more on White House reaction.
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Complete and total exoneration. That's how President Trump and his aides are describing what the Mueller report found and that was distilled in a letter from the Attorney General Bill Barr to members of Congress and to the public on Sunday afternoon. President Trump spent his weekend in Florida at Mar-a-Lago waiting for
these findings to finally be released. And he was briefed in his private quarters by two of his lawyers Emmett Flood and Pat Cipollone about the findings. And sources tell CNN that the mood both at Mar-a- Lago and on Air Force One as he flew back to Washington was essentially jovial.
This is a President who is extraordinarily happy about the findings that reiterate what he's been saying himself for over two years now that there was no collusion. As for obstruction, the President and his aide say that while Mueller did not make a finding on obstruction, they believe the fact that they did not have enough evidence to charge the president with obstruction is a sign that he was exonerated on that point as well.
[01:05:06] President Trump told his Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley to pass on the message to reporters that he believes this is good news for him. But now the question goes to what is he going to do now? Does President Trump still believe as he said a few days ago that the report should be made public in its entirety.
And when he spoke to reporters upon leaving Florida, he suggested that others should be looked into, that the other side should be looked into. What exactly that means is not clear. But in the past, President Trump has talked about wanting to investigate Hillary Clinton further.
And reporters asked the Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley on Air Force One whether or not President Trump intended to ask his Justice Department to look into Democrats. And Hogan Gidley said that's not something that they had discussed as of right now but it remains an open question for President Trump.
President Trump also has perhaps want more and more decision to make. There were a number of his associates and former advisors who were caught up in this investigation who pled guilty or were found guilty and are facing jail time as a result of investigations related to the Mueller probe.
Will he want to pardon them? That is an open question and it's certainly within the President's authority but in the coming days it's one that reporters will undoubtedly be asking President Trump to weigh in on especially as this turns to a political discussion about what Democrats are going to do with this report on Capitol Hill and whether the general public will ever see the full Mueller report. Abby Phillip CNN the White House.
HOWELL: Abby, thank you there. The White House unsurprisingly, congressional reaction to the Mueller report, the summary it has been split among party lines. The Democratic Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is openly challenging the findings and says that it raises more questions than it answers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: President Trump is wrong. This report does not amount to a so-called total exoneration. Special Counsel Mueller was clear that his report "does not exonerate" the President. The Special Counsel spent 22 months uncovering evidence of obstruction and other misconduct.
Attorney General Barr who auditioned for his role with an open memorandum suggesting that the obstruction investigation was unconscionable and that a president -- and that it was almost impossible for any president to commit obstruction of justice since he as the head of the executive branch made a decision about that evidence in under 48 hours.
His conclusions raised more questions than the answer given the fact that Mueller uncovered evidence that in his own words does not exonerate the president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: OK. On the Republican side, they view the Mueller report summary as a complete vindication and exoneration of President Trump. Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted this. I have just received top-line findings from Attorney General Barr. Good day for the rule of law. Great day for President Trump and his team. No collusion and no obstruction.
Our colleague Anderson Cooper asked Robert Ray who worked with Ken Starr in the Whitewater scandal in the Clinton era and CNN Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin to weigh in on the Mueller report. Some of it is part of that conversation.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: If there's no underlying crime, if there was no collusion, and there was attempts by somebody to obstruct, if there's no actual underlying crime, can there be no collusion?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST JEFFREY: As a technical matter -- no obstruction.
ROBERT RAY, LAWYER: Right, look, nobody disagrees with the legal point. I'm sure you've pointed this out. As a technical legal matter, there's nothing that prevents obstruction charges from being brought.
RAY: OK. But you know what's -- can we talk track you know practical problems here and not you being an armchair prosecutor but you know, from somebody who's actually been in the position of having to decide what to do with the President of the United States. Do you really think that a responsible prosecutor whether it's Bill Barr, or whether it's Bob Mueller, or Robert Ray or whoever would be bringing obstruction charges against a President in the United States in a situation in which what the allegations involving obstruction are with regard to a matter that doesn't constitute a crime. I mean, I just -- you know --
TOOBIN: Wait, they impeach Bill Clinton for lying about something that wasn't a crime.
RAY: Well, that's a separate question about perjury, OK, before a grand jury. And with regard to the question about whether or not false statements were made, I mean, there's another level to this and that is -- I mean, I issued a report in which I found that President Clinton made knowingly false statements but for other reasons even though there was sufficient evidence in that case, chose not to prosecute because there were alternatives to prosecution that I felt vindicated the public interest and that under those circumstances, it was not appropriate to charge Bill Clinton once he left office.
Which gets me back to my first point: It is a significant determination by the Attorney General today in addition to Bob Mueller's determination that there was no conclusion. The Attorney General of the United States, the chief law enforcement officer in the country has made a finding that there's not sufficient evidence with regard to obstruction.
Now, you can disagree with that, you can -- you can choose if the Democrats want you to go down impeachment road, but understand the obstacles that are there. I mean, are they seriously going to go down that road and are they seriously going to go through an investigation again before the House Judiciary Committee where you call what -- issue subpoenas, have you know 500 witnesses appear. I mean, are we going to do -- are we going to relitigate this?
[01:10:44] COOPER: It does seem like -- and that is where the Democrats -- essentially Democrats are wanting to reinvestigate the Mueller investigation.
RAY: Well, but they want to see the Mueller investigation. I mean, that's the point.
COOPER: But those are the underlying documents too.
TOOBIN: Well, but they want to see the report for starters. I mean, you know, we're having an interesting discussion here from based on a four-page summary of whether there was impeachment of whether there was --
COOPER: I get -- I get why they want to see the report. I think the American people want to see the report.
RAY: Yes, and I think that's a fair point. I mean, I don't disagree with that.
TOOBIN: The underlying documents, that's a long shot. Now, you never heard the Republicans complaining about wanting to get the underlying documents when Hillary Clinton was being investigated. They got 302s, they got all sorts of stuff the Department of Justice doesn't give up. But I think everyone agrees in the House of Representatives voted unanimously that the report on which the this is -- the Barr's letter is based, that report should certainly be released. RAY: Now the Attorney General though, to be clear, has you know,
raised already in this four-page letter of things we've already talked about previously but now it's on paper. There are some 6E issues right?
TOOBIN: That's grand juries secrecy.
RAY: Grand jury secrecy issues. That can be overridden if they seek to go to a court to have a court order its release. But you know that presents some concerns and questions. The precedent for that actually comes from the Watergate era which is Haldeman versus Sirica in the D.C. Circuit where essentially that same procedure was employed.
But you know we're in a different world now and you know, there was at least some belief then that you could turn over something to Congress and it wouldn't go out to the public. I think that's in today's world that's just not going to --
HOWELL: And Anderson went on to say that perhaps all Americans should see a silver lining in the Mueller report regardless of any political leanings. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: I understand people who hate the president seemed -- are disappointed by the no collusion finding because they were hoping this -- I guess would bring down the president. But just as an American, this is a good thing that our president whether you like him or not has not colluded --
TOOBIN: Look, I --
COOPER: I mean, I don't know -- I get why Democrats are upset, but overall big picture, everybody should pretty much be happy that the president did not collude.
RAY: Right. And to tease out the President's comment, you know, that is why we are a great country. We are a great country because you can investigate a sitting President of the United States. You can do so with the space of time and resources over a 22-month investigation.
TOOBIN: You can do it with the President attacking the investigator.
RAY: You can do with the President attacking the investigator and you can ultimately you know live in a country that abides by the rule of law and hopefully also abides by and comes to respect conclusions that are designed to bring some finality to this.
Now, whether we have that or not here I suppose remains to be seen. And we do have open issues and Jeff is right to point out. You know, we have the open question of OK we haven't seen the report yet and how much of that are we going to see. But you know, we have reached a pretty significant juncture today and that's why it's historic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: It was nearly two years in the making. Coming up here, a look at the many events leading up to this long-awaited Mueller report.
[01:16:15] KATE RILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN "WORLD SPORT" headlines. One of the sport's most storied rivalries was renewed Sunday's the Netherlands hosted Germany. The latter kicking off their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign, hoping to put their recent forum in World Cup disappointment behind them.
And a German revival look like it was on the cards. Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry, scoring first-half goals. But the Dutch never gave in, scoring two second-half goals themselves to level the score only to see Germany's Nico Schulz, decide the game in the 90th minute. A five-goal thriller. 3-2 Germany, it would end.
Meantime, qualification has officially ended for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted by Egypt in June. That's because South Africa grabbed the 24th and final spot after defeating Libya 2-1. Percy Tau scoring both goals for Bafana Bafana, who had missed out on the last finals hosted two years ago by Gabon.
Finally, more proof that women's football continues to grow with each passing day as the Juventus women's team played their first ever game at Turin's Allianz Stadium and it was sold out. Playing in the same stadium as their men's team the Juve ladies defeated Fiorentina in front of 39,000 fans. That number smashing the previous Italian record of 14,000.
And that's a look at all your sport headlines. I'm Kate Riley.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Recapping the "BREAKING NEWS" this hour. The U.S. Attorney General William Barr has released his summary of the key findings from Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And it found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians. The Justice Department decided not to prosecute President Trump for obstruction of justice, but Barr noted the report does not exonerate him.
Mueller never interviewed President Trump, but a source tells CNN, the special counsel seriously considered issuing a subpoena to the president. The U.S. president who has called the investigation a witch-hunt from the beginning claimed total victory. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was just announced, there was no collusion with Russia, the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. There was no collusion with Russia. There was no obstruction and none whatsoever. And it was a complete and total exoneration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: As expected, the reaction in Congress has been divided along party lines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: His conclusions raise more questions than the answer, given the fact that Mueller uncovered evidence that in his own words does not exonerate the president. We cannot simply rely on what may be a hasty partisan interpretation of the facts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Although we don't know all the details, there are a lot of them of the Mueller report, yet. We do know the events that led up to it.
HOWELL: Jason Carroll has a look back now.
TRUMP: Two years we've gone through this nonsense because there's no collusion with Russia. You know that better than anybody, and there's no obstruction.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Even before Robert Mueller's appointment, it was clear what Donald Trump thought of the Russia investigation and those responsible for it.
TRUMP: The entire thing has been a witch hunt.
CARROLL: January 2017.
TRUMP: He's become more famous than me.
CARROLL: Classified documents are presented to President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower by then-FBI director James Comey. The documents include allegations that Russian operatives claimed to have compromising information about Trump from that explosive beginning came in early setback for the new administration.
As questions are raised about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and contacts he had with a Russian official during the 2016 presidential campaign.
[01:20:07] JEFF SESSIONS, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not have communications with the Russians.
CARROLL: Turns out, Sessions had communicated with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States.
SESSIONS: It's good to be with you.
CARROLL: March 2017, Sessions recused himself from overseeing the investigation. SESSIONS: They said that since I had involvement with the campaign, I should not be involved in any campaign investigation.
CARROLL: May 9, 2017, a startling development, a bombshell at the White House's Trump fired FBI director James Comey, the man charged with overseeing the investigation.
CARROLL: What's more? Trump told NBC News he was considering the Russia investigation when he was deciding whether to fire Comey.
TRUMP: I said, you know this Russia or thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.
CARROLL: May 17th, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announces the appointment of Robert Mueller as the special counsel. And with each passing month, the investigation moved closer to Trump associates.
October 2017, Paul Manafort and his business partner and former Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates are indicted on charges of conspiracy, and money laundering. Gates later pleaded guilty to two counts and became a cooperating witness in the investigation. Manafort was tried, convicted and sentenced to a total of seven and a half years in prison. Trouble for Trump reached his innermost circle.
MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER UNITED STATES NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Donald Trump as the next president of the United States of America.
CARROLL: December 2017, former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the FBI regarding his conversations with Kislyak. Flynn also agrees to cooperate with the Mueller probe.
TRUMP: Well, I feel badly for General Flynn. I feel very badly he's led a very strong life and I feel very badly.
CARROLL: February 2018, Mueller indicts 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for interfering with the election through social media.
April 2018, things took a dramatic turn.
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER TO DONALD TRUMP: Do you want to get my best driver?
CARROLL: Acting on a referral from Mueller to prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, FBI agents raided the home, hotel room, and office of Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen.
Cohen pleaded guilty in August to eight criminal counts including campaign finance violations.
COHEN: And acted loyal to a man when I should not have.
CARROLL: November 7th, the day after the midterm elections after months of publicly attacking him, Trump fires Jeff Sessions. Sessions' chief of staff Matthew Whitaker, who had been critical of the Mueller probe took his place.
MATTHEW WHITAKER, FORMER ACTING UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: I have usually been the only one that says there is no evidence of obstruction of justice or collusion.
CARROLL: As the Trump investigation appeared to be winding down earlier this year, longtime Trump associate, Roger Stone is indicted. In January, the FBI raided Stones Florida home. The special counsel alleges Stone coordinated with senior Trump campaign officials and sought stolen e-mails for WikiLeaks that could damage Trump's opponents.
Stone still awaits his fate on the charges he faces and has proclaimed his innocence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Justice Department is telling us that Attorney General Bill Barr has now received the report from special counsel Robert Mueller.
CARROLL: It will be up to Trump's new Attorney General William Barr to decide how much of the report will be made public. Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.
HOWELL: Jason, thank you. How the former Ohio Governor John Kasich, says that it is good news that President Trump is not implicated in collusion. But he noted that more details will eventually come out. They called for an end to the country's deep political divides. He spoke with my colleague Anderson Cooper. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KASICH, FORMER GOVERNOR OF OHIO: Thank goodness that we don't have the president in somehow implicated with the foreign power. That's a reason Trump's celebrate.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: That's good news for everybody.
KASICH: That's very good news. We got some good news today, doesn't mean we're through all this. There's going to be a lot we're going to learn, a lot we're going to see. But we can't run a country where we are so divided, it will -- it will keep us from doing what we want to do which is to make this country -- you know as strong as it possibly can be.
COOPER: Yes. Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Stay with CNN as we continue our coverage of the summary of the Mueller report. We'll be back with much more right after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
[01:28:06] HOWELL: THE MUELLER REPORT. Welcome back to viewers around the world. I'm George Howell.
ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. "BREAKING NEWS" this hour, yes, on the end of a two-year investigations.
HOWELL: That's right. After nearly two years of this investigation, the conclusions, the Muller report are now public.
ALLEN: Attorney General William Barr wrote a summary of the report for Congress Sunday. Here's the key conclusion, "The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."
HOWELL: That means, as the U.S. president has said many, many times, there was no collusion with Russia. But, as to the issue of obstruction of justice, the special counsel left that up to the Attorney General to decide. And William Barr writes that he doesn't see enough evidence to file such charges.
ALLEN: Well, all of that may sound like good news for the president, Special Counsel Robert Mueller provided his own conclusion to the obstruction question. He writes this. "While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.
HOWELL: Sources tell CNN, the mood on Air Force One from Florida to Washington was jovial. Even so, Mr. Trump remained defiant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It's a shame that our country had to go through this. To be honest, it's a shame that your president has had to go through this for -- before I even got elected, it began. And it began illegally. And hopefully, somebody's going to look at the other side. This was an illegal takedown that failed. And hopefully, somebody's going to be looking at the other side.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Joining me is Elie Honig, a CNN legal analyst and former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Also Brian Karem, a CNN political analyst and host of the podcast, Just Ask the Question.
Gentlemen, thank you so much for coming in. This is an important topic that we're finally discussing.
So Brian -- I want to begin with you.
BRIAN KAREM, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. ALLEN: This report concludes there was no collusion with an enemy of the U.S., Russia in the Presidential campaign.
That's a very good conclusion for the country and for Donald Trump, isn't it?
KAREM: Yes, it is. It is both of those things. If you are a citizen of the United States, it's good to see that an investigation, even though it was spoken against very vociferously from the President, has shown that the President did not collude or did not contribute to anything with our enemies, Russia.
And at the same time, it is very good for him as he pointed out. And he certainly was giddy when he landed on the south lawn and brought that out rather obviously, saying this is the greatest country and the greatest place in the world.
He was very happy to say that. Didn't take any questions as he came back from Mar-A-Lago. But he came here certainly much happier than when he left.
He was -- that cloud was still over him when he left on Friday. He was not a very happy camper when he left and didn't want to take any questions about Mueller, although many of us tried to ask them.
But now he is a little more happy than he was then, and yes it is very good news for all of this. But there's still a lot of questions.
ALLEN: Right. We will see if that carries on. He is often disgruntled, so we will see if this elevates his mood overall --
ALLEN: -- in the days ahead for him.
Elie -- I want to go to you now. On obstruction, the report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, but it also does not exonerate him. The White House says it does though. What do you say?
ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: No it does not exonerate the President. Look, it's good news. Unequivocally, this letter is good news for the President. But obstruction is a little hard to figure out candidly.
I was really surprised that Mueller punted on obstruction of justice. Look, he made a very specific recommendation on the conspiracy of coordination with Russia where he recommended no criminal charges.
But on obstruction he just said to Attorney General Barr, I don't have a conclusion. You can figure it out. And I'm surprised because prosecutors make those decisions about whether something should be charged or should not be charged all the time.
And I'm sure Robert Mueller has made that decision hundreds or thousands of times in his career. So why did he punt it to William Barr? I do not know. And once it got to Barr, it was a foregone conclusion what he was going to do with it. Before Barr became attorney general in 2018, he wrote this unsolicited memo to the Department of Justice out of thin air seemingly, where he attacked Robert Mueller's theory of obstruction. He called it asinine. And he said it was fatally flawed. So I think once it went to Barr's purview we knew where it was going to come out.
ALLEN: Right. Brian -- the open-ended obstruction question will be an area as we have already seen Democrats on the Hill will pounce on. They want to see the full report. Talk to that and the significance at this point.
KAREM: Well, there is two things that we have to remember. Probably the reason why he punted on obstruction or the speculation from the Department of Justice officials that I've have spoken to in the last 20-odd hours is that he did not get a chance to interview the President.
So that was maybe the reason why they punted, but that is speculation. We still haven't seen the report. No one -- very few people have seen that report. We have only seen what Barr has come up with.
And the other issue really it is not just enough for the President of the United States not to have committed a criminal act. But if you remember back in the campaign, the real legitimate question is the behavior of our politicians.
When a candidate for the President of the United States stands up and encourages our enemy to hack e-mails, as President Trump did as a candidate, that may not be illegal, but is it something that we want as a country in our politicians?
So there is some overall questions about behavior that aren't answered by this report, and has to be answered by each individual voter when they go to the polls in 2020.
The real issue to deal with is not the criminal act, but who are we as a country? I will agree with the President of the United States. This is a great country. But what do we want it to be? And those are the questions that we are going to face going into 2020 that this probe could not answer.
ALLEN: Right. And he never --
KAREM: And I don't think ever will answer.
ALLEN: -- right. He never vigorously went after Russia for meddling in the 2016 election.
KAREM: Still hasn't.
ALLEN: That's the question, why not? Right.
So, Elie -- the President was never subpoenaed. That was a decision by Mueller. And why do you think that was made? HONIG: That's another curious one. And again, look, I am an admire
of Robert Mueller's and I think he handled himself as he had throughout his career, with complete integrity throughout this investigation. But I do not think that specific question on the subpoena came out well for him.
So here is the deal. He wanted to have an interview with the President. The President did not agree, he resisted. He agreed to take these written questions on the what we're calling collusion.
On obstruction, the President called his bluff. The President's legal team said he is not going to sit for a voluntary interview with you. The only counter move by Mueller then would have been a subpoena and Mueller backed down off that.
Now, I have to say though I think Brian makes a lot of good points. I am not buying this argument. And I think you were just reporting something else that had been said.
[01:35:05] I am not buying this argument that the reason Mueller punted on obstruction was because he was never able to have a face-to- face sit down with Donald Trump. I charge obstruction many times as a prosecutor. I never spoke with the person.
You don't need to have the person say yes I had corrupt intent to your face in order to charge obstruction. You can glean someone's intent based on their words, based on their actions. What are the reasonable inferences from their actions?
So I think that -- I think what Brian said was -- is the story that is coming from Congress or DOJ --
HONIG: But I'm not buying -- yes. And I'm not buying what is coming from them based on my own experience as a prosecutor.
ALLEN: And Brian -- we did see many people associated with Donald Trump and the campaign charged and indicted from the Mueller report. So the question is, will the President use the outcome to move forward on pardons?
KAREM: Well, that's the big question, too. He has called this a witch hunt. He has called it a hoax. Yet it bagged 25 Russians and it also backed several other people.
So what was a hoax? And what was -- at some point in time, you think the President of the United States, if he had an ounce of humility, would come out and say thank you for doing what you did, you did your country a service. But I don't think we're going to hear that from the President of the United States.
Yet it isn't -- or never was a hoax and never was a witch hunt. There were 25 Russians who were indicted for what they tried to do to the United States of America in the 2016 election. And we should never forget that and neither should the President. And that more than anything else tells you the weight and the scope of this investigation and the reason why it was important and the reason why we should see as much of that report as possible.
ALLEN: Right. We will wait and see what happens there. I want to ask you Elie -- the President called the investigation an illegal takedown that failed. But you know, the Justice Department took a lot of hits during this. And they have come out of this with this report. Is the President accurate to characterize it as such?
HONIG: No. And I think it just underscores how ill served this entire strategy has been all along of attacking the Department of Justice's independence and integrity. And even from the President's own sort of narrow self interest, wouldn't he be much better positioned today if all along he had been saying, I'm going to respect the integrity of DOJ. I have faith in these career prosecutors to do the right thing. And I'm going to say out of it.
Today's result would have hit even harder in his favor than it already has -- right. It's kind of hard to have gone through a couple years of saying witch hunt and bad motives and evil Democrats, angry Democrats --
KAREM: More than 200 times he said that.
HONIG: Exactly. And if he had just taken the straight line which he should have from the front (ph) I respect the independence and integrity of the DOJ, they're going to do what they're going to do, and I will accept what comes out of it, then this letter comes out today as it has and he ends up even better positioned, and heaven knows DOJ has its integrity more impacted and the public confidence in the DOJ more where it should be.
ALLEN: We thank you both.
KAREM: That's a good point. I just want to say really quick, the biggest point -- takeaway that you have just outlined is the simple fact that they have again muddied the waters, and erosion of trust has occurred in the very institutions that we hold dear. And we've got to change that.
ALLEN: Brian Karem and Elie Honig -- we thank you both. We appreciate your insight.
HONIG: Thank you.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ACNHOR: And now to Brexit. The British Prime Minister fighting for her political survival again. The latest on Theresa May's Brexit battles coming up.
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HOWELL: The breaking story we are following out of Israel. Authorities there say that a rocket fired from Gaza hit a home in central Israel, setting the building on fire and injuring people inside.
ALLEN: The rocket landed in an area north of Tel Aviv, making this the farthest a rocket has been fired into Israel since 2014.
Let's talk about it with Oren Liebermann. He joins us now on the line from Jerusalem. What might have brought this about?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): George and Natalie -- that's a very difficult question to answer right now. Certainly there is lots of speculation about who might have fired a rocket from Gaza and why. But right now there has been no claim of responsibility yet. And very few statements at this point coming from Gaza about this rocket.
There is a lot that's unusual about it. First of all the timing. It was fired at roughly 5:45 in the morning -- first thing in the morning whereas most rockets are fired late at night or during the middle of the night.
And then the power of the rocket market itself is quite unusual. As you pointed out, this is the farthest a rocket has been launched from Gaza since the end of the 2014 war.
It landed in a small village in central Israel, it landed in a small village in central Israel called Mishmeret. It landed on a home essentially destroying the home.
We've seen some video of that home. It looks like the roof itself has been ripped apart. Police have said it then lit on fire. Magen David Adom which is Israel's emergency response service says a number of people were injured inside that house. Two of them were moderately injured from the damage and the shrapnel as well as damage being done to the surrounding area.
In terms of what comes next, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington. We got a notification that he'll soon have a conversation with the head of security here. And then we will see how this escalates.
Certainly, again in and of itself it is exceptional. A rocket to have been fired this far into Israel and to have directly hit a home in central Israel with people who were sleeping inside early in the morning.
ALLEN: That had to be quite terrifying. We know that they are injured. Oren Liebermann following it for us. Thank you so much -- Oren.
It is shaping up to be another crucial week for British Prime Minister Theresa May and Brexit -- we have been saying that for years, but we really mean it. We'll be watching to see if ministers try to oust Mrs. May.
Senior conservative party members were seen arriving at the Prime Ministers country estate on Sunday. "The Times" reports she is clinging on and defying calls to set her exit date. That's despite reports 11 cabinet ministers were planning to threaten a mass resignation if she doesn't step down.
We are also looking to see if Miss May tries to put her deal up for another vote. If she does, there's been no indication that it will pass.
We also want to see if parliament votes for a second referendum. It would be nonbinding, but it is among several alternative options that lawmakers could decide on this week.
With the Brexit process in clear chaos, there have been some things that they have come up with something. Calls are growing to hold a new referendum and send Brexit back to the people. This was the scene on Saturday. A huge rally in London calling for another public vote.
Let's get more now from CNN's European affairs commentator Dominic Thomas. Dominic joining us this hour from California. Good to have you -- Dominic.
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Hi -- George. Good to be back.
HOWELL: Good to be with you to talk about this.
Look, the decision for the U.K. on Brexit is certainly upon us now. But also the Prime Minister's leadership on the line. Does it appear that there is enough support among her cabinet to oust the Prime Minister?
THOMAS: It's a very complicated question -- George. Clearly one of the mechanisms that can be put into place would be, you know, mass resignations or for a large, significant group of them to go to her and suggest that the best at this stage would be for her to step away.
But let's not forget that only back in December she faced a vote of no confidence from her party and was able to survive that. And in theory is free from being ousted in such a way from her party for another year.
But it is clear that as this process comes to an end, and because Theresa May failed to deliver Brexit as she promised on the 29th of March, that folks in her party are beginning to strategize what will happen should she not survive or should she face a vote of no confidence tabled by the Labour Party
And that, of course, exposes her to all kinds of sort of questions and to even greater vulnerability than she finds herself in.
[01:44:58] Just a few weeks ago, several members of cabinet defied her on a vote. And clearly this latest kind of development must make her very concerned.
But let's not forget, this has also been the story ever since Theresa May took over from David Cameron. We have always been talking about the sort of when would be the day in which she would exit from the cabinet? HOWELL: Right. So if Theresa May survives, look, as for the Prime
Minister's deal -- do you believe that she could try to put this to parliament for a third vote? And even more importantly, do the speakers rules preventing her from doing so -- can she put it up for a vote?
THOMAS: Well, this is going to be a really interesting question because of course, you know, what the speaker did last week has in many ways saved her and give her a few extra days to go back to the E.U. and to sort of map out the road ahead.
The question is whether the parliament has to use a range of regulations to be able to bypass that or whether the speaker will consider the fact that the European Union has weighed in once and for all, essentially saying to her, either you pass your deal and come back to us by April 12th and we give you an extension in order to pass the adequate and the necessary legislation. Or your deal is essentially done and we are going to have to move to a negotiation about a no deal, a greater extension, or even revoking Article 50.
There's a lot at stake here and clearly the sooner she places this vote, the sooner we get the decision on whether or not it makes its way through and she survives it. At this particular juncture, it just simply does not look like the arithmetic is there to allow this deal to go through.
And so the likelihood is that she will delay this and engage in further discussion with parliament over a range of options that they could potentially explore to get us out of this situation.
HOWELL: All right. Dominic -- we appreciate your time. And we will just have to see what happens next.
I do want to ask you briefly though, the idea of a second vote, a second referendum. Do you think it's possible?
THOMAS: It is possible. And I think there are a couple things about this. First of all, it is true that we have seen these petitions on these large demonstrations. Let's not forget that the large demonstrations took place in London, and this is one of the largest areas of support for remaining in the European Union, so the problem is not solved as yet.
Another way to look at this is, it's not automatically a second referendum as such in the sense that the exact same wording might not be there. By going back to the people, the big question is what is the question that the people will be asked to vote on? It's a between Theresa May's deal and a no Brexit? Is it between a hard Brexit and remaining in the European Union?
So there's a lot of flexibility there and there is likely to be tremendous debate as to whether or not this vote can ever take place, particularly over the kind of the language of this.
But it's clear that the parliament has failed. Theresa May has not delivered by the Brexit deadline, and it makes perfect sense now for them to go back to the people and to ask for them to weigh in on this.
HOWELL: Glad we could get that insight from there. Dominic Thomas -- again thank you for your time.
HOWELL: Thank you -- George.
ALLEN: We will wait and see what happens this week.
HOWELL: Right. It's going to be a crucial week.
ALLEN: It's one to focus on -- absolutely.
Well ISIS has lost all of its territory in Syria but it hasn't lost all of its supporters. Next, we hear from some detained ISIS suspects.
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ALLEN: Welcome back.
Alleged ISIS members are still surrendering in eastern Syria. The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces say between 60 and 90 ISIS fighters turned themselves in on Sunday.
ALLEN: This comes after the U.S. and its allies announced the terror group's territorial defeat on Saturday. The ISIS captives were reportedly hiding in tunnels and caves. The SDF are hoisting their flag over the last ISIS enclaves and vowing to fight on against ISIS sleeper cells. Many ISIS fighters and their families are being held by Kurdish forces in Syrian camps.
HOWELL: CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has toured some of these detention sites. She has this report on foreign-born ISIS suspects, desperate to leave Syria.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is not any refugee camp. Roshe (ph) is where some of the women of the caliphate and their children end up. For them, this is how ISIS' perverted promise of a Utopian state ends. They have traded one miserable existence for another.
ISIS' so-called brides like American Houda Muthana (ph) and British born Semima Begum (ph) are now housed in these blue tents.
We have been told that we cannot speak to any of the women here. There are about 2,000 women and children. These are ISIS family members.
Certainly as we are walking around, you feel that no one really wants to talk to us. The women seemed to be hiding in their tents.
But at the sprawling Alhol camp, they do.
She says the Islamic state will be back. Only a fence separates these defiant true believers from the tens of
thousands of refugees whose lives were shattered by ISIS. Some of the women claim they were naive victims who were only chasing the dream of a true Islamic state, oblivious to the reign of terror upon which that so-called state was founded.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the people just realize that all the people here are not good.
KARADSHEH: This woman declined to give us her name, but she has been identified by Irish media as Muslim convert Lisa Smith, a former member of the Irish military.
She says she came to Syria an ISIS bride. Now she's a widow left alone with a two year old daughter.
But you might be prosecuted if you go home. You may end up in jail. Are you read for that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know they stripped me of my passport and I wouldn't travel and I'll be watched kind -- prison. I don't know. I'm already in prison.
KARADSHEH: And that may be the point. Prosecutions by home countries could be complicated by a lack of evidence. Officials here worry that foreign an ISIS members are being left for them to deal with.
"Is that responsible?" The spokeswoman says. "Especially from countries that are part of the international coalition."
The mostly Kurdish Syrian Democratic forces are now holding thousands of women and their children.
People are asking this question, they are saying that you all have the opportunity. You shouldn't have been here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course you won't listen. When you marry someone and then halfway in the marriage you realize this is not the guy, you try to get out. But if it's abusive marriage, can you get out? Even in the west? Nothing in life is easy to walk away from.
KARADSHEH: "Some of the women have been duped by ISIS. But when those women joined and saw some of the events, why did they not try to escape? She tells us. "They could have it, but they chose to remain under the control of ISIS."
But perhaps the riskiest burden is that more than 1,000 foreign fighters from 50 different countries now in SDF custody. We were granted access to one of those detainee who agreed to speak to us -- a Canadian recently captured during the battle for Baghouz. The Vancouver native, like so many others, claims he was not a fighter but a humanitarian who joined the terror group to help refugees.
So many people in the west don't want to you back. People in this part of the world don't want you because you are a reminder of the heinous crimes that took place. What do you think should happen to you? You must have thought about this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought about it. I thought, I would just like to, even they put me in prison at home, it's better than being here.
[01:55:01] KARADSHEH: There are signs of permanence pushing into the camps. The school, satellite dishes, and concrete foundations. And a warning from officials here, the longer these sites remain packed with those indoctrinated with ISIS is toxic ideology, the more likely they become a timebomb for a generation trapped here paying for the wrongs of its parents.
Jomana Karadsheh, CNN -- northern Syria.
ALLEN: That was a report by Jomana who went with her team to those camps.
Well, finally this hour, a math and physics teacher from Kenya is the winner of a $1 million teaching price. Wait until you hear about this teacher.
The Barclay foundation prize was awarded to Peter Habiji in a ceremony in Dubai.
HOWELL: Habiji is a Franciscan brother who givers away 80 percent of his monthly income to the poor. He teaches in a rural village with only 1 computer and a poor Internet connection, he goes to internet cafes to get content for its classes and brings that information Back to the students.
ALLEN: Probably give it to her student.
HOWELL: That prize He'll probably give it to his student.
Thanks you so much for being with us. I'm George Howell.
ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. Another hour of news is next with Rosemary Church.
Thanks for watching CNN.
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