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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) are Interviewed Regarding the Mueller Report; Trump-Russian Contacts and Efforts to Obstruct. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired April 19, 2019 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[08:00:00] ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you both very much for all of the expertise.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, up next, we have two of the president's biggest defenders making their case. What do you say? Let's get after it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): The facts established by this report are damning.
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: The report really displays that this is over. They just don't know it yet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The nature of Trump's actions, his obstruction, (INAUDIBLE), is making Nixon look good.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: There were guardrails inside the White House that wouldn't do stuff that the president wanted them to do.
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I acknowledge a slip of the tongue when I used the word "countless," but it's not untrue.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: It was an active attempt by the White House to create a false narrative for why James Comey was fired.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd like to impeach but the Senate Republicans are mostly without a spine and do not have conviction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.
CAMEROTA: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Friday, April 19th, 8:00 in the East. John Berman is off this week. Chris Cuomo joins me. It's going to be a very busy hour that we have ahead.
CUOMO: Yes, robust.
CAMEROTA: Very robust. We have lots of good guests coming up. Great to have you here.
CUOMO: Good to be here.
CAMEROTA: We begin with breaking news.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler is issuing a subpoena this morning to get the full, un-redacted Mueller report. About 36 pages out of the 448-page report are blacked out. The highly anticipated report says it did not find sufficient evidence to charge the president with criminal conspiracy following the Department of Justice rules, and that means the president and his team, they -- Mueller found did not actively work with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 elections.
CUOMO: Now the not so good news, Mueller laid out at least ten episodes of potential obstruction by President Trump, but he did not make a determination to bring a case, leaving that instead to Congress apparently. And there is evidence the president and members of his inner circle repeatedly lied to the American people on a range of issues. The president's supporters in the Republican Party say the report is total vindication, clears the president's name.
And joining us now are two of them, Congressman Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows.
Gentlemen, good to see you both.
REP. MARK MEADOWS (R-NC): Good morning.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Good to be with you, Chris.
CUOMO: So let's start general and we'll get into more specific. Main takeaway from this report? Congressman Jordan, I'll start with you, and you guys answer as you like.
JORDAN: Nineteen lawyers, most of them Democrat, and out to get the president, 40 FBI agents, 500 witnesses, 2,800 subpoenas and what was their conclusion? No new indictments, no sealed indictments, no collusion, no obstruction, the Trump campaign and the Trump administration completely complied with everything and they didn't exercise any type of executive privilege. So I think it is pretty darn definitive when we look at the full thing and we look at the conclusions.
CUOMO: Now, congressman --
MEADOWS: Yes, and I --
CUOMO: Go ahead.
MEADOWS: Yes. And I think probably the biggest thing is, is for two years the American people have, you know, viewed your show, other shows and what they've looked at is, is there was supposedly this big collusion narrative out there and that was dispelled not only a few weeks ago, but again yesterday where we know that indeed that the president, his administration, did not collude and coordinate with the Russian interference in our election.
CUOMO: I think we know half of that. So let's start to unpack this stuff.
MEADOWS: Yes. OK.
CUOMO: And, obviously, we're trying to do a service -- we've got to figure out what to do with this information and how to act on it, what it matters to Congress. We'll see. But let's just be a little careful.
JORDAN: Well, the American people want to move on.
CUOMO: Well --
JORDAN: The American people want to move on. That's clear.
CUOMO: I think people want clarity and that's how you move on. The way you move on is by gaining clarity.
MEADOWS: But we had 448 -- hey, we had 448 pages of clarity in the last few days here. And so as we've seen this --
CUOMO: Yes, we got them yesterday. Have you -- have you read all of them?
MEADOWS: Actually, I've gone over all 448 pages of this report. And as you mentioned, the vast majority of it was not redacted. And when we look at that, that's very different than a number of other reports that we've actually had from DOJ and FBI and --
CUOMO: But --
MEADOWS: And, listen, the president could have claimed privilege and we've seen -- we would have seen none of this and yet this president, and this administration did that.
CUOMO: Yes, I know, but I don't think that's a bar of responsible behavior for a president to just stymy an investigation. And the idea that he completely cooperated --
JORDAN: They completely cooperated.
CUOMO: Jim, he didn't even sit for an interview. One of every three of his answered was seen as inadequate.
JORDAN: He answered every question he was -- he gave -- he answered every question he was given. He allowed everyone from the White House who -- who --
CUOMO: One out of three was seen as inadequate.
JORDAN: Mr. Mueller wanted to interview, he allowed them to be interviewed.
CUOMO: Except the president. JORDAN: And never forget, this -- and, never forget, this is the guy
the whole town wanted. This was Bob Mueller, the greatest investigator of all time.
CUOMO: Yes, he's one of yours, a rock red (ph) conservative.
JORDAN: According to Washington, D.C., the greatest -- the greatest lawyer of all time who hires 19 different Democrat lawyers who were out to get the president and here's the final report.
CUOMO: He didn't hire 19 Democrats and you know it.
Why do you want to take away legitimacy from one of your own guys?
JORDAN: Most of them were -- most of them were.
CUOMO: Mr. Meadows, are you with this argument? Do you think Bob Mueller is not trustworthy? Do you think he put together a dirty team to go after the president?
JORDAN: I didn't say that. I just said that --
MEADOWS: (INAUDIBLE) --
CUOMO: That's exactly what you're implying.
[08:05:03] JORDAN: No, I didn't.
MEADOWS: Well, Jim, didn't -- Jim --
CUOMO: You can say it with a smile on your face, it doesn't change the meaning.
MEADOWS: Well, Chris, if you're going to ask some questions, we'll go ahead -- I'll be glad to answer those. And -- and here's one --
CUOMO: Well, there are two of you there, you know, and you're doing a good job, but, you know, let me ask -- ask some questions also.
MEADOWS: Well, there's two of you there, too, I think, isn't there?
CUOMO: No, this is just a --
MEADOWS: So I mean, Chris --
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: I'm not -- he's not letting me get in on this.
CUOMO: It's just a really big head.
MEADOWS: He's not letting you get in, Alisyn. I mean, come on.
CAMEROTA: He can handle this one.
MEADOWS: Here -- here's the interesting thing is, what we have to understand is the predicate of this whole investigation. And when -- you know, from -- from day one, you know, we had James Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page. And then we had Bob Mueller coming into it right after he gets turned down for a job as the FBI director. And -- and somehow people forget that. And so to suggest that there was no bias at the predicate of this investigation is not accurate.
MEADOWS: And I think we'll see that in the coming days.
JORDAN: Chris --
CUOMO: So apply the same scrutiny to the president of the United States --
CUOMO: Who still insists Russia didn't interfere in our election. Do you agree with that, Mr. Jordan?
JORDAN: No, they -- they -- they tried to interfere. But the question that Bob Mueller was looking at was, was there collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to impact the election.
CUOMO: You're saying -- I know -- I know what he was looking at.
JORDAN: And the answer was no there wasn't.
CUOMO: I'm asking you something else. We'll talk about that also, because I believe --
JORDAN: And I said -- and I said yes.
CUOMO: No, no, no, I'm asking you about the president.
JORDAN: Yes, he (ph) tried.
CUOMO: The president denies it.
MEADOWS: So --
CUOMO: Are you OK with that?
MEADOWS: Well, so -- so what the president -- what the president has said is that it didn't affect the outcome. And I would agree with that because most --
CUOMO: No, that's not what he has said, Mr. Meadows. With all due respect, that's not what he has said.
MEADOWS: But -- but -- hey, Chris, with all due respect, I talk to him almost every day. I promise you that's what he says. And so -- so -- so, hold on, here -- CUOMO: Then why did he stand at Helsinki and say that he didn't know why it would have been Putin and Russia?
MEADOWS: Is this an interview where I get to answer the question, Chris?
CUOMO: Well, not -- but not if you're going to BS me on at question when I ask you a straight question.
MEADOWS: Listen, I don't BS. I promise you, the only person that BSs, occasionally, is this network. And let's be -- let's be clear about it. And so -- so if you want --
CUOMO: Because the Mueller report didn't bear out the reporting?
MEADOWS: Well, the Mueller report didn't bear out the collusion reporting, the obstruction reporting that seemed -- Adam Schiff came on each and every day, you need to hold him accountable as well because here -- here he comes on and says he's got all this evidence that supposedly no one has seen, the vast majority of it has been reported on already, Chris, you know that, you've covered this extensively. and yet here we are knowing that there was no collusion and -- and in that --
CUOMO: There was collusion.
MEADOWS: There -- there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and coordination between the Russians. And it's not just the Russians --
CUOMO: You're confusing two things. You're confusing two things.
MEADOWS: No, sir, I'm not -- OK, what two things am I --
CUOMO: I can -- I can pull it out from the report. I can chapter -- I can cite it to you chapter and verse.
MEADOWS: Well, let --
CUOMO: There was no case to be made for criminal conspiracy.
JORDAN: Policy (ph).
CUOMO: There was no proof that our president or his campaign --
MEADOWS: So we're going to change the definition now?
CUOMO: Coordinated with Russians in order to interfere.
JORDAN: For two years you've talked -- Chris --
CUOMO: That's the point you're making.
JORDAN: Chris, for two years you talked --
CUOMO: I accept it. JORDAN: No, for two years you talk about collusion, interchangeable with conspiracy.
JORDAN: And now you're trying to change -- yes, you did. The whole network has (ph). That's what you've done.
CUOMO: Jim, you know I never have. Jim, you know I never have.
JORDAN: Yes, you have.
CUOMO: Never. And you know it.
JORDAN: What did -- I -- as Mark just pointed out, Adam Schiff came on your show and talked about collusion for the last two years and they didn't find it.
CUOMO: I am not Adam Schiff.
JORDAN: They didn't find coordination, conspiracy or collusion.
CUOMO: They found collusion.
JORDAN: They did not find that.
CUOMO: He found instance after instance of this campaign doing things that knew it shouldn't have done --
JORDAN: No --
CUOMO: Hiding it and lying about it.
JORDAN: What they found is multiple times the Trump campaign was -- there were opportunities. They dangled the forbidden fruit in front of them multiple times and they didn't bite. That's what they found. And if we --
CUOMO: They did bite and they sought the fruit they just didn't find it.
JORDAN: No, you know who bought -- you know -- you know who bit on this thing? The people who bit on this thing were the top people at the FBI, James Comey, Andy McCabe, Jim Baker, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok. They bit on the dossier, which was false, which was never true, and they used that dossier to go to a secret court to get a warrant to go spy on the Trump campaign, didn't tell the court that the Clinton campaign paid for it. That's who bit on something. And that -- that is what we really need to investigate, Chris.
CUOMO: You can't read this report and believe that they just went off the dossier. You can argue it, but you can't.
And, Mr. Meadows, just to be clear --
JORDAN: No -- CUOMO: I'm not trying to be disrespectful, I'm trying to be clear.
CUOMO: I love having you guys on.
MEADOWS: And I'm -- and I'm not either, Chris. And I'm not either.
CUOMO: I want every opportunity for you to come on. Jim can tell you, I invite you guys on all the time.
JORDAN: I know.
CUOMO: I get you have a problem with CNN. I suggest you judge me for what I say and how we go back and forth.
MEADOWS: I will. I will. We'll have a discourse (ph). Thank you.
CUOMO: I agree with your analysis of the crime on interference as far as conspiracy goes. I think Mr. Mueller was pretty clear. I don't like that Mr. Barr only used half the sentence saying that you didn't find coordination, but he didn't add the part of the sentence saying that the campaign did expect to benefit from Russia's efforts. I think that matters. On obstruction, very different question, it seems very clear that Mr. Mueller wanted to leave it to you and your male and female colleagues that he sees it as a political case of potential abuse of power, no at crime he can bring because of the DOJ guidance against indicting a president.
Fair point or no, Mr. Meadows?
[08:10:01] MEADOWS: Well, that -- that's part of a fair point. And I'll give it back to you, that is part of the report. And if you look at the section -- the second part of the 448 pages that is out there, it also laid out that based on the merits of the case, that there -- there was ambiguity. And so it's not just the constitutional question, but that's one of the things that should be kicked to Congress. Should we change the way that we look at obstruction? Should we change the presidential powers as we go into this? And so it's more of a legislative question.
Now, everybody wants to talk about Attorney General Barr and his political bias. I think it's highly inappropriate for Bob Mueller to suggest impeachment in coded words within -- within his particular findings because he's there for one thing, is to prosecute and indict, and he did neither of those two things.
CUOMO: Fair point. And it is very unusual for a prosecutor to use the word "exonerate." Prosecutors aren't in the business of finding you innocent.
JORDAN: Of course.
MEADOWS: Right. Right. CUOMO: They have to make a call. And either they prosecute or they don't.
MEADOWS: That's correct.
CUOMO: We all agree. Amen. On Good Friday, we'll take it.
However, then we get to the secondary part of the analysis, Jim, which is this, there was a lot of wrongdoing that went on here, not crimes, but, you know, Jim, I know you better than I know you, Mr. Meadows, but I know you both as men who believe very deeply in the integrity of your service.
CUOMO: And that's something we have to maintain. And I think it is pretty clear in this report, this campaign did not maintain the standard of integrity we should expect.
JORDAN: The campaign?
CUOMO: They sought opportunities where they should not have. Whether they were successful or not I think is secondary. And they lied to us a lot about the same things, Jim. And I can't believe it doesn't bother you. Or it shouldn't.
JORDAN: Well, I'll tell you what bothered me. Look, I'll tell you what bothers me is how this whole thing started, the false premise, the faulty foundation how this whole thing began.
CUOMO: But why doesn't that bother you?
JORDAN: So --
CUOMO: Why do you care about but one and not the other?
JORDAN: This -- it start -- because you have to go back to the beginning. If something starts on a false foundation, that is a problem.
Remember, in May of '17, when Jim Comey gets fired, we deposed Jim Comey. He told us at the time, when he was fired, they had zero evidence -- and they've been looking at this for almost a year -- zero evidence of any type of coordination, collusion, conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to impact the election. But what did Jim Comey do when he got fired? He leaked memos that he wrote to "The New York Times" for what? To manufacture the need for a special counsel. That's what we have to go back and look -- and it was all based on what? This false -- this false premise.
CUOMO: But why can't you do both? I am -- I am not rejecting your premise. I am not arguing back at you about Comey.
JORDAN: Because the --
CUOMO: I'm not. JORDAN: Because the start impacts --
CUOMO: But I'm saying this other stuff matters also.
JORDAN: Because, Chris, the start impacts everything else. You want to know why the president was so upset, because he didn't do anything wrong.
CUOMO: I know, but you're not being fair to what the start was.
JORDAN: He didn't do -- the start was completely false, completely built on this false premise and you know it.
CUOMO: You can't say they didn't do anything wrong. You can say they didn't do anything illegal. And I think it's an important distinction.
JORDAN: You know what happened here, Chris -- Chris, here's what happened here.
JORDAN: Go clear back to January of 2017, when it's President-elect Trump, Chuck Schumer is on one of the Sunday shows and he says this -- now, remember, this is Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the United States Congress at the time, he says, when you mess with the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. That is exactly what happened. And that's why what Bill Barr said last week, when he said he's going to go back to the beginning, look at this spying that too place and get answers is so important because it is never supposed to work this way where one party, the Clinton campaign hires Perkins Coie Law Firm --
CUOMO: Oh, come on.
JORDAN: Who hires Glen Simpson, who hires a foreigner and they use his work product --
CUOMO: So that bothers you?
JORDAN: The false dossier --
CUOMO: That bothers you?
JORDAN: Of course. It should bother every single -- it should bother every single American, Chris.
CUOMO: Taking a meeting at Trump Tower that was set up for the exclusive purpose of getting information from the Russia doesn't bother you?
MEADOWS: Yes, and so --
CUOMO: Asking Flynn to work with anybody he can find to find Hillary Clinton's deleted e-mails, that doesn't bother you?
MEADOWS: Well -- CUOMO: Act after act of doing things that were unethical and then lying about it doesn't bother you? How can you be consistent?
JORDAN: I am bothered by -- Chris, I am bothered by the FBI doing --
CUOMO: I know. But only that.
JORDAN: The -- the Comey kobal (ph) at the top --
CUOMO: Only that. You won't even look at the president --
JORDAN: This is our government.
CUOMO: Who lied to us again and again about Russian interference.
JORDAN: This is the FBI, Chris.
CUOMO: And I don't understand it because you're supposed to be someone of integrity.
JORDAN: Oh, come on.
CUOMO: Mr. Meadows, get in on it.
MEADOWS: Well, you know, so I think probably the big thing, Chris, is, is what we have to understand is, is, yes, did the Russians try to interfere in -- in our election.
JORDAN: Of course.
MEADOWS: And they did. But it wasn't just the Russians. It was the Turks. It was also the Ukrainians, other (INAUDIBLE) --
CUOMO: But why spread the blame when you know who did it in earnest?
JORDAN: And it was -- and it was the FBI.
MEADOWS: And so here -- but -- but here's -- because -- because I have -- I've seen documents that would indicate that those other two countries actually did. And for us to only focus on Russia would be a problem.
CUOMO: Well, then why would Mr. Mueller and our intelligence community zero in on the Russians and all the names and the different ways and the manifestations of dissemination of disinformation that's in this report --
MEADOWS: Because --
CUOMO: Why would he make it up?
MEADOWS: Because -- because of -- because of the -- no, I didn't say he made that up. I'm saying the dossier spelled out a Russian connection. But I'm saying that there were other countries trying to influence. I've worked with my Democrat colleagues on election security to make sure that what we do is we actually address this problem going forward.
[08:15:08] CUOMO: Good.
MEADOWS: But when you look at it, Chris, it is important that Congress actually make sure that every vote counts and only those votes count.
MEADOWS: And -- and if we're willing -- if we're willing to do that, Chris, and I can tell you, I've got liberal Democrats willing to work with me on that because this is not about this president. This is about our democracy. And if we're willing to focus on that, we have to address that.
There is the other part that Jim mentioned that we have to address as well, do not let -- allow a few people at the FBI and DOJ start a narrative that actually has -- has dominated your coverage for the last two years. And not just yours. Every cable news network.
CUOMO: Well, look, I mean the questions -- the questions have mattered. What Jim's being unfair about, and knowingly unfair, is the idea, Jim, that I was front running that there was Russian collusion.
JORDAN: I didn't say that.
CUOMO: And that -- you said it. You said it. And I get why you're saying it. I just think it needs to stop. I invite you guys on because I believe in your perspective.
JORDAN: I -- I said what? I said what?
CUOMO: You know, this idea that there's some grand conspiracy at CNN to come and get you. These were legit questions.
JORDAN: I didn't say that.
CUOMO: They're borne out by this report.
JORDAN: I didn't say that, Chris.
MEADOWS: Well, Chris, I've actually -- I've actually used you --
CUOMO: Well, then agree with me that almost all of the reporting is borne out here.
MEADOWS: Hey -- hey, Chris, I've actually used your comments, I took your clip between you and Michael Cohen where you were talking about whether he wanted a job in the White House --
JORDAN: Yes. Yes.
MEADOWS: And whether you said 100 percent. And so I've actually used that to show that actually Michael Cohen lied in front of Congress. So, you know, I've -- I've been dissecting and following your coverage probably more than a conservative should. CUOMO: I -- so you listen. All right, that was a good one, Mr.
Meadows, I'll give you that, but I'm punchy, I've been up for a long time.
Look, what I'm saying is --
MEADOWS: Yes, all right.
CUOMO: Here -- here's my concern. We have real joint issues here, left, right and reasonable when you look at this report. I think they need to be addressed. You want to look at what started the investigation, I think that's fine. I think that's a part of your oversight. I just think that you should be consistent. You want to open up FISA documents. We shouldn't have had such a fight over the transparency with this report.
JORDAN: I agree.
CUOMO: I think you have to be consistent about it.
MEADOWS: I agree.
JORDAN: I agree.
CUOMO: You want to call out people for their basis of judgment and how they tell the truth --
JORDAN: Chris --
CUOMO: Jim, you keep ignoring what this president has done --
JORDAN: Chris, I --
CUOMO: And I don't understand why.
JORDAN: Chris, I've said -- I've said if Bob Mueller -- if they -- if Jerry Nadler wants to bring Bob Mueller in to testify, let him come in. I'll be happy to ask him questions. Let him come in. I'm on for definitely erring on the side of transparency. But I do think it's important when the FBI goes to a secret court to get a secret warrant to spy on the other party's campaign --
CUOMO: That's what FISA is.
JORDAN: And the -- and the basis -- but -- but the --
CUOMO: And spying is a pejorative, it's called surveillance and you should know that. Respect the system.
JORDAN: OK. When they go to the secret court to surveil the other party's campaign and they don't tell the court the -- the -- the document, who paid for it, they don't tell the court that the guy who wrote it was deeply biased against the president, Chris, when they don't tell all those things, that's scary.
CUOMO: I've always agreed with you on that. I've always said, let it come out so we can look at it. I'm with you.
Let it come out and let's look at it. But when the president goes to Don McGahn and says, you need to do this to stop this, and the guy has to threaten to resign or leave for it not to happen --
JORDAN: But -- but he didn't do it.
CUOMO: And you ignore it, I think that matters, too.
JORDAN: He didn't to it. He didn't fire Mueller. He didn't -- I mean, the president's pretty good at firing people. If he really wanted to, he would.
CUOMO: He asked McGahn to do it.
JORDAN: He didn't do it.
CUOMO: They asked McGahn to recede from his recollections. That's the language from the report.
JORDAN: But, Chris, they didn't. They didn't do it.
CUOMO: No, but asking matters, Jim.
JORDAN: That's the bottom line. And he complied that --
CUOMO: If I ask you to punch Mr. Meadows and you don't do it, the request was still wrong.
MEADOWS: Yes, the request may have been wrong, but it's not a crime unless he assaults me. So, I mean, you know, it's --
CUOMO: I'm not -- but is that our -- is that our standard? Is that why you got into public service was to prove you're no at felon?
MEADOWS: No, I think -- I think our standard is this, we need to make sure the Department of Justice and the FBI has a blindfold on when it comes to justice. And -- and when we look at that they --
MEADOWS: They should look in and go in and prosecute to the fullest extent.
MEADOWS: One of the problems that -- one of the problems -- and I'm all for transparency. Actually, I was the first Republican to say, put out the Democrat memo, put out the Republican memo, put out everything.
CUOMO: Good for you.
MEADOWS: Because I think the American people should judge that.
In this -- this particular report, it becomes difficult when you're looking at a prosecutorial document which hasn't had the benefit of cross-examination or anything else.
CUOMO: Fair point.
MEADOWS: We're -- we're -- we're looking at this. And so what we have to do is -- is take this and say, all right, what legislative action should Congress take? And I think there are a number of things that we could do to strengthen our election process, to protect it, and also perhaps identify some of those areas where a -- an administration should go and shouldn't go. But let's use this as a learning language -- a learning time and not go into this and say, let's prolong this investigation another two years. I mean, I think the American people, your viewers, my constituents are tired of it.
[08:20:00] JORDAN: Well, but that's exactly where the Democrats are going to go, Chris. They're going to keep investigating.
CUOMO: Well, and so are you.
JORDAN: And, yes, as I said before --
CUOMO: And so are you. It's tit for tat all the time.
JORDAN: Well, I want to be investigating -- I want to --
CUOMO: Why do you think there's so much disaffection? Why do you think the American people expect so little from our elected men and women?
JORDAN: No. Chris, we haven't -- we haven't had the Justice Department look into the premise and how this whole thing started. That's what Bill Barr indicated last week.
CUOMO: Well, the IG's been looking into it.
JORDAN: And we'll get that report in six weeks. But Bill Barr hasn't -- the Justice Department hasn't looked into it.
CUOMO: Well, then don't say that isn't not being done. It is being done. Bill Barr starts it into surveillance what he has his own IG looking at it. Bill Barr shapes this entire report to help the president when he's supposed to be a fair broker.
JORDAN: Bill Barr doesn't shape the IG's report. The IG's going to write that. And we're going to get that in six or eight -- six or eight weeks.
CUOMO: No, no, no, but he started his own -- he started his own team to look at it at the same time the IG is. That's not in the regs.
JORDAN: And thank goodness for that. Thank goodness for that.
CUOMO: He gave a conclusion about the teams working before the investigation is done. That's not in the regs. He called it spying, when we know it to be surveillance, that's not in the regs.
MEADOWS: Well -- well, but, Chris --
CUOMO: Mr. Meadows.
MEADOWS: Chris -- Chris --
JORDAN: Oh, come on, Chris. Come on.
MEADOWS: Chris, let me hit two points, because there's -- there's one reason why the AG does need to get involved, and I think that we can probably agree on this. The IG is looking at behavior between the FBI and DOJ. That's all they can look at.
MEADOWS: To the extent that other intelligence agencies were involved in this process, either with false positives or with information --
MEADOWS: That has to be looked at as well.
MEADOWS: And so that's why the AG looks at that.
MEADOWS: Here's where we need to go beyond this, Chris, is I think as we start to -- to look at it -- at the body of the work, here's where we have to come up with, what is the foundation that it all sits on? And -- and fortunately for us, we -- we have history to look at and say, what happened two years ago was wrong with the Russians interfering in our election. How do we stop that?
MEADOWS: Well, what we also know is we're looking backwards and we're -- we're taking everything that happened in the 2016 election and -- and understanding it with a Russia connection today. At that time, the only people that knew that was the Obama administration. I mean we are looking at it in hindsight, so --
CUOMO: Well, he may have reached out to McConnell. He didn't want to move on it either. But I think you're right, I think we slept on it. I think it was a mistake. And I think we need to do better.
Look, let's end it like this, I just think that one of the things that needs to change, one of the things that we can now call closure is, look, the main part of this criminally is over, all right? The presidency is not going to end in a courtroom on the basis of this.
Jim, you know I've been saying this for over a year and getting my head bashed in by the left for it on a regular basis. And that's OK. Everybody's angry. I think the temperature needs to come down. That's why I invite you guys on my show at night.
JORDAN: Well said.
CUOMO: We invite you here all the time. I hope you take the invitations more.
MEADOWS: We'll come back.
CUOMO: By talking and showing even when there's disagreement there's decency, we have a chance of people having faith in the system again.
JORDAN: Thank you.
CUOMO: And we need it as much as ever, I think.
Investigate what you want. Be fair. I'll cover all of it. And thank you for coming on.
JORDAN: You bet.
MEADOWS: Thank you, Chris.
JORDAN: Thanks, Chris.
CUOMO: Gentlemen, be well and enjoy the holiday. Happy Easter.
JORDAN: Thank you.
CUOMO: Rebirth and renewal, let us say.
MEADOWS: I agree.
CUOMO: All right.
Joining us now, CNN law enforcement analyst Josh Campbell.
CAMEROTA: I'm not sure your goal of bringing down the temperature is working.
CUOMO: See -- well, but, listen, I mean we've got to have a goal (ph). CNN global affairs analyst Susan Glasser and CNN White House correspondent Abby Phillip, and former federal prosecutor and former deputy assistant general Elliot Williams.
CAMEROTA: All right.
CUOMO: Look, I mean we've just got to like, enough with the BS, enough with the spin. You know, if they want to make it -- not you. If they want to make a case, make the case --
CAMEROTA: Of course.
CUOMO: But don't ignore the other side of the case. And let's be decent about it instead of everybody saying that someone's out to get somebody else.
CAMEROTA: That's laudable.
CUOMO: It's got to stop.
CAMEROTA: And I think that of course we need to hear how Republicans and conservatives are feeling today. And I want to hear how Josh Campbell, of all people, feels when you hear lawmakers, Josh, say that the FBI, your colleagues at the FBI, made this up out of whole cloth, what happens inside your head?
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, my head wants to explode. And I hear from my former colleagues all the time. When you hear these conspiracy theories, which I think what we just heard -- and that was a great interview -- but they're peddling conspiracy theories.
CAMEROTA: They say that there were these anti-Trump people, and we know from text that there were, and they say that that's how this all began.
CAMEROTA: Why are they wrong?
CUOMO: And the dossier, which was paid for by Hillary Clinton and therefore the only real Russian activity that was going on that was wrong within a campaign was hers.
CAMPBELL: Right, refute. Whoa, you can keep coming up with more and more things that doesn't mean any of that is actually true.
CAMPBELL: I will say, on the texts, the two individuals that were texting, obviously that was abhorrent. And I talked to colleagues that think that those two people caused great harm to the FBI by their behavior. But they weren't part of some cabal deep state. They had personal opinions about the president-elect at the time and then the president.
But what people have to understand, and Mr. Meadows and Mr. Jordan know this 100 percent as lawmakers, is that FBI investigations are not conducted by one or two people, it's a large group, a large gathering. For them to go to a FISA court, this wasn't Andrew McCabe or Jim Comey or any of these people sitting up there trying to conspire, it involves multiple investigators and they're the ones who managed this. So --
[08:25:03] CAMEROTA: You're also dissing the FISA court. I mean can't Congress, if they --
CAMPBELL: They're --
CAMEROTA: If they hate (ph) the FISA court and think it's a secret cabal, a spell (ph) on both sides (ph) --
CAMPBELL: Right, then change the law.
CAMEROTA: Change the law.
CAMPBELL: Change the law.
And so, anyway, it's conspiracy theories. You'll notice, they never actually got to your question about the president's behavior or his campaign in 2016 because all they want to do is focus on that time period inside the FBI, which is fine.
CUOMO: And, look, I'm OK with the suspicion. I'm OK with looking at it. I believe in transparency.
CAMPBELL: I do.
CUOMO: We all do. That's what journalism's about.
But do you think it's a coincidence that the president is tweeting the same stuff right now that we were just hearing?
CAMEROTA: But, also, to your point, the IG is looking at it.
CUOMO: I know.
CAMEROTA: There is an investigation.
CUOMO: Well, one aspect, it can only look at his particular bureau. There are other bureaus who want to look. Look. But be fair about it. Don't ignore one side.
CAMPBELL: Right. And I think colleagues inside the FBI welcome this review, actually, because people I talk to say, look, this will vindicate us. You know, obviously, the behavior of, again, these two that were texting each other, that's something that's completely different. But this notion, this corrosive narrative that these people are peddling, that there's some kind of deep state cabal, well, hopefully the facts will bear out that that's not true. It's nonsense.
CUOMO: Show the FISA app.
CAMPBELL: Show the FISA app. Show it all. Let it be transparent. Let the review happen.
CAMEROTA: Elliott, because you're a former federal prosecutor, I want to get to you next. What about what the lawmakers just tried to say, which was, well, just because the president asked for his lawyer to obstruct justice and to fire Robert Mueller, it didn't happen, no harm, no foul. But isn't endeavoring obstruction also a problem?
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes. I mean under every criminal statute that exists in the federal code, attempt is itself a crime and can be sentenced to the same extent as the full crime. So it's an attempt.
Now, maybe, you know, for any -- and we saw in the report they detailed the number of reasons why they chose not to charge, you know, the president or anyone around him. But, you know, look, this all raises the bigger question of how the president treats and thought of his lawyers, right? Quote/unquote, his lawyers, and how he thought of the attorney general and the White House counsel and the FBI director and a number of individuals around -- that sort of should have been maintaining some degree of independence from the president. And he just sort of threw that out the door.
It's -- you know, look, when your attorney general is always carrying around a resignation letter with him, either he's a consummate planner or you've got a problem. Right, you know, I've got one on me right now, just in case, you never know.
But like, you know, either -- you know, so you've got the problem if that's the situation you're in. If you are asking the White House counsel who, you know, can only explain in profanity the kinds of things that you are asking him to do to avoid, you know -- he's choosing not to do them to avoid another Saturday Night Massacre, you have got a problem.
And, again, we've refused this -- and Josh's comments a moment ago are beautiful, we've reduced this to this almost reductive question of, was there a crime or was there not a crime, was there something charged or not charged. Well, what you ultimately have is a president of the United States that regarded all of the law enforcement apparatus as his personal sort of handlers.
WILLIAMS: And to throw away any sort of sense of independence there.
CUOMO: So --
WILLIAMS: Yes, sorry.
CUOMO: Abby, I want to bring you in here. Now, I had been told --
ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
CUOMO: That there was a strategy that once this came out, and obviously they had some reason to believe what was going to be in it at the White House, it was going to be, time to heal, time to figure it out now, let's move together, we've got other things to deal with. No. The president this morning is right on track of attacking everybody who has ever asked a question about him.
What are you hearing down there?
PHILLIP: Well, basically what we're seeing this morning is what happens in this White House, which is that they think that they have a plan for how to respond and how to address the report and then the president just tweets out something else.
I think we've entered the second phase of this for President Trump. The next step for him is undermining the information that's actually in the report and the people who provided that information. This morning in his tweets he's attacking people who he called note takers. Here's a -- he's referring specifically to, in at least one case, Don McGahn, his former White House counsel, who took notes about his interactions with the president and also told the special counsel that the president directed him to fire the attorney general and that he -- and to fire Mueller, and he refused to do that.
So now we're seeing the president just trying to take parts of this that he thinks are unfavorable to him, undermining it, undermining the people who gave that information and essentially saying, you can't trust these people and so, therefore, this part of the report, which paints me in a negative light, just ignore it. I think this is -- this is the next step and I think it's going to happen with a lot of the information that's in here. This is one of the things that we had been hearing from sources all week, they were concerned about, that when the president saw the unflattering narratives that were in black and white, on paper, he would suddenly turn, turn on those people and completely change the way that he interact -- that he responded to this report. We're seeing that may go out right now.
[08:30:00] CAMEROTA: That's interesting.
Susan, you and I have had the opportunity to speak so many times over the past two years. And so now that some of the smoke has cleared this morning, I'm just wondering what your thoughts are.