Former FBI Director James Comey Senate Testimony

Former FBI Director James Comey testified at a Senate hearing about Russian involvement into the 2016 Presidential election, Michael Flynn, Hillary Clinton emails and President Trump private meetings. 


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I appreciate your willingness to hear what the committee today and more importantly I thank you for your dedicated service and leadership to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Your appearance today. Speaks to the trust we have built. Over the years. And I'm looking forward to very open and candid discussion today. Like to remind my colleagues. That we will reconvene. In closed session at 1 PM today. And ask that you reserve for that venues in the questions that might give him the classified information. The director's been very gracious with his time but despite Sherman and I have worked out a very specific timeline. For his commitment to be on the heels so we will do everything we can to meet that agreement. The senate select committee on intelligence. Exists to certify for the other 85 members of the United States senate and the American people. That the intelligence community is operating lawfully. And has the necessary authorities and tools to accomplish its mission. And keep America site. Part of our mission. Beyond the oversight we continue to provide to the intelligence community and its activities. Is to investigate Russian interference in the 2016. US elections. The committee's work continues. This period represents part of that effort. Jim allegations have been swirling in the press for the last several weeks. And today your opportunity to set the record straight. Yesterday I read with interest your statement for the record that they could provide some helpful details surrounding your interactions with the president. It clearly lays out your understanding of those discussions. Action you took following each conversation. And your state of mind. I very much appreciate your candor. I think it's helpful. As we work through to determine the ultimate truth behind. Possible Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Your statement also provides texture and context. To your interactions with the president and from your vantage point. And outlines are strained relationship. The American people need to hear your side of the story just as they need to hear the president's. Descriptions of events. These interactions also highlight the importance of the committee's ongoing investigation. Or experienced staff. Is interviewing all relevant parties. And some of the most sensitive intelligence. In our country's possession. We will establish the facts. Separate from rampant speculation. And lay them out for the American people make their own judgment. Only then will we as a nation. Be able to move forward and put this episode to rest. There's several outstanding issues not addressed in your statement that I hope you clear up for the American people who don't. Did the president's request for royalty. Your impression. That. That the one on one dinner on January 27 was and I quote at least in part. An effort to create some sort of patronage relationship. Or is march 30 phone call asking. What you could do to there. Lift the cloud of Russian investigation anyway. Alter your approach for the FBI's investigation into general plan for the broader investigation into Russia and possible links to the campers. Your opinion. The potential Russian efforts to establish doing with the individuals. In the trump orbit rise to the level we could define as collusion. Or was at a counterintelligence. Concerns. There's been a significant public speculation about your decision. Making related to the Clinton email investigation. Why did you decide publicly to publicly announce FBI's recommendations. That the Department of Justice. Not pursue criminal charges. You have described it as a choice between a bad decision and worst decision the American people need to understand the facts behind your action. This committee is uniquely suited to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 elections. We also have or a unified bipartisan approach. To what is a highly charged partisan issue. Russian activities during 2016 election may have been aimed at one party's candidate but as my colleague senator rubio says frequently. In 2018. And 2020. It could be aimed it anyone at home or abroad. My colleague senator Warner and I have worked in import to stay in lockstep. On this investigation. We've had our differences. On approach at times. But I constantly stressed that we need to be a team. And I think senator Warner agrees with me. We must keep these questions are above politics and partisanship. It's too important to be tainted by anyone trying to score political points. With that again I welcome you director. And I turned about your recruit army achievement. Vice your bank or Warner of Virginia and you start by again perhaps it thank you all the members of the committee. For the seriousness. In which they've taken on this task. Carmen thank you for green to come testify. As part of this committee's investigation into Russia. I realize that this hearing. Has been obviously the focus of a lot of Washington. And the last few days. The truth is many Americans who may be tuning in today. Probably haven't focused on every twist and turn of the investigation. So I'd like to briefly describe at least from the senators standpoint. What we already know and what we're still won't investigate. To be clear. This so investigation. Is not about re litigating the election. It's not about who won or lost. In insurers text not about Democrats vs Republicans. We're here. Because of foreign adversary. Attacked us right here at home. Plain and simple. Not my guns and missiles but I want operatives. Seeking to hijack our most important democratic process. Our presidential election. Russian spies engaged. In a series of online Cymer rates. And a broad campaign of disinformation. All ultimately aimed at sowing chaos to undermine public faith in our process. In our leadership. And ultimately in ourselves. And that's not just this senator's opinion. It is the unanimous determination. Of the entire US intelligence community. So he must find out the full story. But the Russians did. And Kimberly some of the colleagues have mentioned. Why they were so successful. And more importantly we must determine the necessary steps. To take to protect our democracy and ensure they can't do it again. Termination elections in 20182020. In my home state of Virginia we have elections this year in 2017. Simply part we cannot let anything or anyone. Prevent us from getting to bottom this. And it's coming let me say at the outside. We haven't always agreed on every issue. In fact I've occasionally questioned some of the action should take. But I've never had any reason. To question your integrity. Your expertise. Or your intelligence. You've been a straight shooter would this committee. Have been willing to speak truth to power even at the risk of your own career. Which makes. The way in which you were fired by the president. Ultimately shocking. The call we begin this entire process. With the president and his staff. First denying that the Russians were ever involved. And then falsely claiming that no one from his team was ever in touch with the election. We know that's just not the truth. Numerous trump associates. At undisclosed contacts with Russians before and after the election. Including the president's attorney general. His former national security advisor. In its current senior advisor mr. Christian. That doesn't even begin to count. The host of additional campaign associates and advisors who've also been caught up in this massive web. We saw. Mr. Trump's campaign manager mr. man for forces stepped down over ties to Russian backed entities. The national security advisor general Flynn had to resign over lies about engagements with the Russians. And we saw a candidate in spratt himself. Express an odd an unexplained affection. For the Russian dictator. While calling for the hacking of his opponent. There's a lot to investigate. And after the fact it then director coming. Publicly acknowledged that he was leading in investigation. Into those links between mr. trump campaign and Russian government. As the director of the FB IMR. Khatami was ultimately responsible for conducting an investigation. Which might explain why you're sitting now as a private at a but we didn't know. Was at the same time this investigation is proceeding. The president himself appears to have been engaged in an effort to influence or at least co op the director of the FBI. The testimony that mr. commie is submitted for today's hearing. To register. For example on January 27 after summoning prep coming to dinner. The president appears to have threatened director's job while telling him quote I need loyalty I expect loyalty. At a later meeting on February 14. The president asked the attorney general to lead the Oval Office so he can privately. Asked for a coming again quote. He way clear to lighting Flynn go. That is a state with a trip to commonly interpreted. As you as a request that he dropped the investigation. Connected to general claims false statement. I cannot. The president United States. Asking the FBI director. To drop an ongoing investigation. And after that the president called the FBI director on two additional patients march 30 and April 11. And asked him again. Quote the lift the cloud. On the Russian investigation. I'm drug for coming. Denied. Each of these improper requests. The loyalty pledge. The admonition to drop the for the investigation. The request to lift the cloud on the Russian investigation. Of course after his refusals. Structure coming aspire. The initial explanations for the firing. Didn't pass any smell test. Sinatra to come who fired BC didn't treat Hillary Clinton appropriately. Of course. An explanation lasted about a day because the president himself then made very clear that he was thinking about Russia when he's cited. If fire draft coming. Shockingly. Report suggests. That the president admitted as much in an Oval Office meeting with the Russians. The day after a trip to come who was fired. Disparaging our country's top law enforcement official. Is a quote unquote not chipped up. The president. Allegedly suggested that his firing. Relieved. Great pressure. On his feelings about Russia. This is not happening in isolation. At the same time the president was engaged in these efforts which wrecked economy. He was also at least allegedly. Asking senior leaders in the intelligence community to downplay the Russian investigation or to intervene with the draft. Yesterday. We had. And a director at Rogers. Who were offered a number of opportunities. To flatly denied. Those press reports they express their opinions but they did not take that opportunity. To deny those reports. We cannot take advantage of that opportunity. My believe that's not how pretty nice steak should be safe. Regardless of the outcome of our investigation. Into the Russian links. Tractor commerce firing. And asked testimony. Re separate and troubling questions. That we must get to the bottom. Again the senate the outside seen firsthand how seriously. Every member of this committee is taking his work. I'm proud of the committees are for so far. Let me be clear. This not a witch hunt. It's not fake news. It is an effort to protect our country from new threat. That quite honestly why not go away any time soon. So mr. coming your testimony here today will help us move towards that goal I look forward to that testimony thank you literature. Thank you know Sherman. Director. As discussed. When you agreed to appear before the committee it would be under oath I'd ask you please stand. Raise your right hand. You solemnly swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth so you've got. We appreciate it. We're coming your now under oath. And I would. Just note to members. You will be recognized by seniority for a period up to seven minutes. And again it is the intent to move to a closed session no later than 1 PM. With that director can be you were recognized you have the floor for as long as you might need. Thank you mr. chairman and ranking member Warner members of the committee thank you for inviting me here to testify today. I've submitted my statement for the record I'm not gonna repeated here this morning. Thought I would just offer some very brief introductory. Remarks and then I would welcome your questions. When I was appointed FBI director in 2013. I understood that I served at the pleasure of the president. Even though I was appointed to a ten year term. Which congress created in order to underscore. The importance of the FBI being outside of politics and independent. I understood that I can be fired by a president for any reason for no reason at all. And on Martin made that night when I learned that I've been fired for that reason I immediately came home as a private citizen. But then the explanations the shifting explanations. Confused me and increasingly concerned me. They confused me because the president that I have had multiple conversations about my job both before and after he took office. And he had repeatedly told me I was doing a great job and he hoped I would stay. And I have repeatedly assured him that I did intend to stay and serve out the remaining six years of my term. He told me repeatedly that he had talked to lots of people about me including our current attorney general. And had learned that I was doing a great job and that I was extremely well liked by the FBI workforce. So confused me when I saw on television. The president saying that he actually fired me because of the Russian investigation. And learned again from the media. That he was telling private lead other parties. That might firing at relieved great pressure on the Russian investigation. I was also confused by the initial explanation was offered publicly. That I was fired because of the decisions I have made during the election year. That didn't make sense to me for a whole bunch a reasons including big time. And all the water that had gone under the bridge in those hard decisions that had to be made. That didn't make any sense to me. And although the law required no reason at all to fire an FBI director. The administration bench shows. To defame me and more importantly the FBI. By saying that the organization was in disarray. That it was poorly let that be workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those relies. Plain and simple. And I am so sorry that the FBI workforce had to hear them and I'm so sorry that the American people we're told them. I worked every day at the FBI to help make that great organization better. And I say help because I did nothing alone at the FBI there are no indispensable people at the FBI. The organization's great strength is that its values and abilities runs deep and wide. The FBI will be fine without me. The FBI's mission will be relentlessly pursued by its people and that mission is to protect the American people. And uphold the constitution of the United States. I will deeply miss being part of that mission. But this organization and its mission will go on long beyond me. And long beyond any particular administration. Have a message for foreclosed for the my former colleagues who the FBI. But a first or want the American people to know this truth. The FBI is honest. The FBI is strong. In the FBI is and always will be independent. And now to my former colleagues if I may I am so sorry that I didn't get the chance to say goodbye to you properly. It was the honor of my life to serve beside you. To be part of the FBI family and I will miss it for the rest of my life. Thank you for standing watch thank you for doing so much good for this country. Do that good as long as ever you can't. The senators a look forward to your questions. Director thank you for that testimony both oral and written testimony that you provided to the committee. Yesterday and made public. Two the American people. You're listening to live CBS news coverage of former FBI director James CoBiz testimony at the Senate Intelligence Committee. Director of the special counsel's office review and or edit your written testimony now. Do you have any doubt. That Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 elections non. Do you have any doubt that the Russian government. Was behind the intrusions in the DNC in the you have any doubt that the Russian government was behind the cyber intrusion. In the state voter files. Now. You have any doubt that officials of the Russian government. Were fully aware of these activities no depth. Are you confident. The no votes. Cast in the 2016 presidential election were altered I'm confident by a time when I left his director right seen no indication of that whatsoever. Burke on the did the president at any time. Ask you to stop the FBI investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016. US elections not to my understanding now. Did any individual working for this administration including the Justice Department. Ask you to stop the Russian investigation. Now. Director when the president requested that you. And I quote lets win go. To planned. Head. And under reported contact with the Russians. Which is who have an appearance. And if press accounts are right there might have been discrepancies. Between facts and his FBI testimony. In your estimation was general Flynn at that time in serious legal jeopardy. And in addition of that. Do you sense that the president was trying to obstruct justice or just seek. Four away from my plan to save face given he had argued in part. General and at that point time was in legal jeopardy. There was an open FBI criminal investigation. His statement in connection with the Russian contacts. In the context themselves. And so that was my assessment at the time that I don't think it's for me to say whether the conversation I have a the president was an effort to obstruct. I took it as a very disturbing thing very concerning. But that's a conclusion I'm sure the special counsel will work towards a trying to understand what the intention was there and whether that's an offense. Directors of possible that is part of this FBI investigation. The FBI could find evidence of criminality. That is not tied to two to the 2016. Elections. Possible collusion. Or coordination with Russians. Sharp. So. There could be something that just it's a criminal aspect of this but doesn't have anything to do with the 2016 election cycle. Correct in any complex investigation. When you start over Iraq sometimes you'll find things that are on related to the primary investigation that are criminal in nature. To cart director crummy you have been criticized publicly for the decision to present your findings on the email investigation directly to the American people. Have you learned anything since that time. It would have changed what you said or how you chose to inform the American people. Honestly no me cause a whole lot of personal pain for me but as I look back. Given what I knew at the time and even when I've learned since I think it was the best way to try to protect the justice institution. Including the FBI. In the public. Domain is this question of the steel dossier. A document that has been around now for over a year. I'm not sure when the FBI foolish to possession of it with the media had it before you added in we had it. At the time of your departure from the FBI. Was the FBI able to confirm any criminal allegations contained in the steel document. Mr. chairman I don't think that's a question I can answer an open setting. Because it goes into the details of the investigation. Director. The term we hear most often is collusion. When people are describing possible links between Americans and Russian government into these related to the interference in our election. Would you say that it's normal for foreign governments to reach out to members of an incoming administration. Yes. At what point does the normal contact crossed the line into an attempt to recruit agents. Or influence. Or spies. Typical to say in the abstracted depends upon the context whether there's an effort to keep it Covert. And what the nature of the request made of the American by the foreign government are at it's a judgment call based on a lot of facts. At what point. Would that recruitment. Become counterintelligence. Threat to our country. Again difficult to answer in the abstract but win win a foreign power is using a specially coercion. Or. Some sort of pressure to trying cooped in American especially government official act on its behalf that's a serious concern to the FBI at the heart. Of the FBI's counterintelligence mission. So if you've got. A 36 page document. Of specific claims that are out there. The FBI would have to do. For counterintelligence reasons. Try to verify. Anything that might be claimed in there one. And probably first and foremost is the counterintelligence. Concerns that we have. About what it. Would that be an accurate statement. Yes the FBI receives a credible allegation. That there is some effort to co op coerced direct. Employee Covert league and American MB after the foreign power. That's the basis on which counterintelligence investigation is open. And when you read the dossier. Uh oh what was your reaction given that it was 100% directed at the president elect. Not a question I can answer in open having mr. chairman. When did you become aware of the cyber intrusion. The first siren goes all kinds of cyber intrusions going all the time the first Russian connected cyber intrusion. I became aware of in the late summer of 2015. And in that time frame there were more than that the NC in the correct there was a massive effort to target. Government and non government on your government only agent the agencies like and nonprofits what would be the estimate of how many entities out there the Russians specifically targeted. In that time for an. It's hundreds. Expose it could be more than a thousand but it's at least hundreds. When did you become aware of that data had been at school treated. I'm not sure exactly I think either. Late fifteen early sixteen. Then did did you with the director of the FBI have conversations. With the last administration about the book. Risk that this post yes and sure whether it's if you will what actions they took. By the FBI had already undertaken an effort to notify. All the victims and that's what we consider the entities that were attacked as part of this massive spear Phishing campaign. And so we notified them in an effort to disrupt what might be ongoing. Then there was a series of continuing interactions with entities. Through the rest of fifteen into sixteen. And and throughout sixteen the administration was trying to decide how to respond to intrusion activity that it saw. And the FBI in this case unlike other cases that you might investigate. Did you ever have access to the actual hardware that was hacked or did you have to rely on third party. To provide you the date of the they had collected. In the case of the DNC and I believe the deep triples Steve and I'm sure the DNC we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got. Relevant forensic information from a private party a high class entity that had done the work but we didn't get direct. Access but no armed him. Correct. Didn't content an important part of the forensics. From a counter intelligence standpoint. It is so though what was briefed to me by my folks. People were my folks at the time is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand intrusion. Bite the spring of 2016. Let me go back to affect him very briefly. To. The decision to publicly go out. Whiff of your results on the email. We your decision influenced by right. The attorney general's tarmac meeting with the former President Bill Clinton. Yes and inept. Ultimately there conclusive way that was the thing that captive for me that I had to do something separately. To protect the credibility of the investigation which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department. Whether other things that contributed to that that you can describe in an open session. There were other things that contribute to that. But one significant item I can't I know the committee's been briefed on. Has been some public accounts of it which are nonsense but I understand the committee's been briefed on the classified facts. Probably the only other consideration. The guessing and talk of an open setting is it at one point the attorney general directed me not to call it an investigation. But instead to call it a matter. Which confused me and concerned me but that was one of the brick in the load that led me to conclude. I have to step away from the department were to close this case credibly. Director of my last question. When you're not only a seasoned prosecutor. You've lived the FBI for years. You understand the investigative. Process. You've worked with this committee closely and we're grateful to you because I think we've we've mutually build trust. In what your organization doesn't and what we do. Is there any doubt your mind that this committee. Can carry out its oversight role in the 2016. Russian involvement in the elections in parallel. With announce special counsel it's been silent. No no doubt it can be done it requires lots of conversations. But Bob Mueller has won this country's great great pros and I'm sure you'll be able to work it out with them to run it in parallel. I want to thank you once again and returned by sure. I just German mark mortar with a second set of questions. You are. Comments. To your FBI and no more heartfelt. Note that. You know there are some in the administration tried to smear your reputation. You had acting director McCabe. And public testimony few weeks back and public testimony yesterday. Reaffirm. The vast majority FBI community. And great trust in your leadership. And obviously trusting your integrity. I wanna go through a number of the meetings that you referenced in your testimony and let's start with the January 6 meaning in trump tower. Where you went out with a series of officials to brief the president elect on the Russian investigation. I'm Jenny Asia remained afterwards to brief him on again quote some personally sensitive aspects of the information relayed. Now you said after that briefing. You felt compelled. To document that conversation. That she started documenting it and as you got into the car. Now you've had extensive experience at the department of justice and the FBI. He worked and presidents of both parties. What was that about that meeting. That led you to determine that you needed to start putting down a written record. A combination of things I think those circumstances. The subject matter and the person I was interacting with. Circumstances first I was alone with the president of the United States the president elect soon to be president. The subject matter was talking about matters that touch on the FBI's core responsibility and that relate to the president president elect personally. And in the nature of the person. Amazon is a concern he might lie about the nature of our meeting and so I thought really important to document. That combination of things I never experienced before but it led me to believe I got to write it down and it generated data very detailed way. Think that's a very important state he just made in my understanding is that. Then again unlike your dealings with president of either parties. In your past experience in every subsequent. Meaning conversation. This president. You created a written record did you feel what you needed to create this written record of these memos because they might need to be relied on some future date. Sure I created records after conversations I think I did it after each of our nine conversations if I didn't I did it for nearly all of them especially the ones there were substantive. I knew that there might come a day when I would need a record of what had happened not just to defend myself but to defend the FBI. And and our integrity as an institution. And the independence of our investigative function that's what made this so so difficult as it was a combination of circumstances subject matter and the particular person. And so on all your experience this was the only president. You felt like in every meeting you need to document because at some point. Using your words he might put out and non truthful. Representation of me. Now we're all right senator and I right. They said my written testimony as FBI director I interact with President Obama by a spoke only twice in three years. And didn't documented. When I step feature in general at 11 on one meeting with President Bush about a very important and difficult national security matter. I didn't write a memo documenting that conversation either send a quick email to my staff to let them know there was something going on. But I didn't feel with President Bush the need to documented in that way. Speak again because of the combination of those factors just wasn't present with either President Bush or President Obama. I think that is very significant I think others were probably question and our chairman and I requested those mostly it is our hope. That the FBI won't get this committee access to those members of the again we can read that contemporaneous. Renditions of the week. Got your side of the story. Now I know members of setting process and that if you were. A great deal been made of whether the president you were asked in effect indicate whether that present was subject of any investigation. And my understanding as prior cheer meeting on January 6 he discussed with your leadership team. Whether or not you should be prepared to assure. And present electron. That the FBI was not investigating him personally. Now my change of leadership team agreed with apple was that a unanimous decision was there any debate about that. Wasn't unanimous. One of the members of leadership team had a view that although it was. Technically true we do not have a counterintelligence. File case open on then present like trump. His concern was because we're looking at the potential. Again that's the subject investigation. Coordination between the campaign. And Russia because it was president trump pres elect Trump's campaign. This person's view was inevitably his. Behavior his conduct will fall within the scope of that work. And so he was reluctant. To make the statement that I made I disagreed I thought it was fair to say what was literally true there is not a counterintelligence investigation. Of mr. trump. And I decided in the moment to say given the nature of our conversation at that newness and a live coverage of the company testimony on WW well when sessions. With the FBI leadership team short and and the the leader had that feeling didn't change. His view was still that it was probably. Although literally true his concern was it could be misleading. Because the nature of their investigation was such that it might well touch. Obviously it would touch the campaign and the person ahead of the campaign would be the candidate and that was his view throughout. We moved to the January 27 dinner. Where you said quote the president began by asking me whether I wanted to stay on his FBI director. He also indicated that lot of people in your work one of the job. You want to say that the dinner shelf was seemingly an effort. To quote. Have you asked cam for your job and create some sort of political patronage relationship. The president's. Teams from my reading of him. To be holding. Your job or your possibility of continuing in your job. Over your head in a fairly direct way. What was your impression what did you mean this notion of patronage relationship. Well if my impression I get it's my impression I could always be wrong but my common sense told me there what was going on is. Either he had concluded or someone had told him. That you didn't you birdie ask me to stay and you didn't get anything for. And that the dinner was an effort to build a relationship effect yes specifically. Of loyalty. In the context of asking me to stay. As a several was not about that is we dirty talked twice about a by that point and he said. I very much hope you'll stale feels they effect a just remember hitting your third when you've seen the picture me walking across the blue room. And what the president whispered in my ear was I really look forward to working with you. So after those encountered and that was just a few days before you know that was on the twenty the Sunday after inauguration. The next Friday I have dinner. The president begins by wanting to talk about my job. It's I'm sitting their taking away emit three times we've birdie. You very asked me this day or talked about me standing my comments I think I could be wrong but my common sense told me what's going on here is. There is looking to get something in exchange for granting my request to stay in the job. Again we all understand that I was a government people work for me but this constant quest and again quoting you. And saying that he. Despite you explain your arm in independent he kept coming back to need oil to expect loyalty. I had you ever had in those kind of request before from anyone else should work foreign government. No and what made me uneasy was I'm at that point the director of the FBI. The reason that congress created a ten year term. He's so that the director is not feeling as if they're serving at. With political loyalty ode to any particular person. That this statute justice has a blindfold on occasion not socially peak and out to see when your patron is pleased are not with what you're doing. It should be about the facts and the law that's why I was. That's why I became FBI director to be in that kind of position so that's why it was so uneasy. Let me let me move on time for me September 14. Again it seems a bit strange remaining. And you're truck's a period the attorney general was in that meeting as well as yet the president asked everyone to leave. Including the attorney general. Before he brought up. No matter. General Flint. What was your impression of that type of action and you ever seen anything like that before. No my impression was something big is about to happen I need to remember every single word that is spoken. And again I could be wrong from 56 years old I've been seen a few things my sense was the attorney general knew. He shouldn't be leaving which is why he was lingering and I don't know mr. Kushner well but I think he picked up on the same thing. And so I knew something was about to happen and I need to pay very close attention to. And I I found it very interesting that in the memo. That you wrote after. This February 14. Policy. He made clear. That he wrote that memo in a way that was unclassified. If you affirmatively made the decision to write a memo that was unclassified. And was that because you felt at some point. The facts that meeting have to come clean and come clean air and actually be able to be cleared the way that can be shared with the American people. Well. I remember thinking this is a very disturbing development really important to our work I need to document and preserve in a way. And and that this committee gets this but sometimes when things are classified. It tangles them up it's hard man to share. With an investigative team it's you have to be very careful about it and look for good reason. So my thinking was it by writing in such a way that I don't include. Anything that would trigger classification. That'll make it easier for us to discuss within the FBI and the government. And to hold onto it in a way that makes it accessible to us. Well you know it's our hope particularly since you. Pretty knowledgeable guy and you wrote this in a way that was unclassified that this committee will get access of that. Unclassified document he can be very important to our investigation. Bump me just ask this in closing how many. Ongoing investigations at any time to the FBI have. Pulling in tens of thousands tens of thousands. That the president ever asked about any other investor ongoing investigation. No. I think again this speaks volumes this doesn't even get to that question around them. The phone calls about lifting the cloud I know other members will be to that. I really appreciate your testimony and appreciate your service to our nation. Thank you and work yup I just. I'm sitting here Lou we're going through my context of them had one conversation with the president it was classified. Where he asked about power and ongoing. Intelligence investigation it was brief and entirely professional. They didn't ask you take any dysfunction an unlike what he has done these be mr. Flynn. And the overall Russian investigation correct thank you sir. Sender about twelve minutes so worth of questions from vice chair Mark Warner now. Odd CBS news live coverage of former FBI director James comb Lee's testimony of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Questions you're a Republican James rash of Idaho. It's now part of the record here and of course and I read it and read it again and I'll like it think was number one. How much I hated the class of legal writing when it was Moscow. And you're the guy that probably got the after after reading so. I find it clear finding concise. And it having been a prosecutor for odd number years namely hundreds maybe thousands of cases and red police reports investigative reports. This is as good as again it's in and I really appreciate that not only not only the concise business and the fairness of it but also the fact that you have. Things who were written down contemporaneously. When it happened and you actually put him in quotes so we know exactly what happened and were and we're not getting some. Rendition of let that it's in your mind so thank you that you're gonna be complemented by great parents in great teachers who beat that and to me that that's obvious there. I'm the the chairman walking through a number of things that the American people need to known one. Number one obviously we're all knows what he acted majors at the Russians have taken. I think a lot of people were surprised at this those of us who work and intelligence community. Didn't it didn't come as a surprise but not the American people know this and it's good news is this series and it's a problem. I think secondly. I gather from all this that you're willing to say now. That while you were director the president states when it was not under investigation has had affairs team that's correct are so that's fact that we can realize. The answer. Under I remember. What you you talk without us shortly after February 14 when the New York Times wrote an article that suggested. That the ad trump campaign was colluding with the Russians you remember reading an article when it first came I do was about them. Allegedly extensive electronic surveillance correct communication to an end. That she sent you to the point where you actually went out and surveyed the intelligence community she with a with a you were something that is that correct. It's correct or be careful and opens parliament I'm actually going for than so thank you. In addition to that after that you sought out both Republican and Democrat senators. To tell them that they. I don't know where this is coming from that this is not the case the the this is not factual it do you recall and yes okay. So so against that the American people can understand is that report by the New York Times was not true is that a fair statement. Yeah in the main it was not true with any again all of you know this mayor of the American people don't. The challenge in an epic in our reporters about writing stories across my information is the people talking about it. Often don't really know what's going on in those of us who actually know what's gone on are not talking about it. And we don't call the press to say hey you've got that thing wrong about this sensitive topic we just have to leave it there. Has mentioned the chairman and nonsense around what influenced me to make the July 5 statement. Nonsense but I can't go explaining how it's nonsense that. All right so so those three things we now know regarding the active measures with a presence under investigation in the collusion between India. The Russian the term campaign and corrections. I want that I drove right down as my time is limited. To the most recent dust up regarding. Allegations that the president states that. Obstructed justice. And what you nailed it down on page five paragraph three. You put this in quotes and words matter you wrote downwards so we can all have the words in front of us now. There's twenty words there that are in quotes and it says quote I hope. This is the president speaking I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go to letting lingo he is a good guy. I hope you can let this go. Now those are his exact words is that correct correct and you wrote them hearing you put them in quotes correct okay. Thank you for that he did not directly related to. Not in his words now he did not already utility. Again those words are not in order. He said I hold. Not like me you probably. Did hundreds of cases may be thousands of cases charging people with criminal offenses. And of course you have knowledge of the thousands of keys it's out there that where people have been charged. You know of any case. We're person has been charged for obstruction of justice or for that matter any other trim advance. Where this they said. Or thought. They hoped for an outcome. I don't know well enough to answer. The reason I keep saying his words is. I took it as a direction that. Is the president United States we meet alone saying I hope this I took it as this is what he wants me to do now I didn't I didn't Obey that but that's where it took. You may have taken in his direction but that's not what he said correct I guess he said he said I hope. As the exact words correct. You you don't know anyone that's ever been charged for hoping something is that a fair statement I don't as I sit here and thank you thank you mr. So her front. CBS news live coverage of former FBI director James CoBiz testimony that the Senate Intelligence Committee we have this from correspondent Margaret Brennan who tells us that. The plan is for the trump team to withhold comment until after the hearing there'd been speculation of course. As to whether or not he would live tweet during this hearing so far that hasn't happened. Let's go back and hearing were listening out Democrat Dianne Feinstein questioning FBI former FBI director James call me. Say that. Let me begin with one overarching question why do you believe you were fired. I don't know for sure I believe the press I think the president is word that I was fired because of the Russian investigation. Something about the way I was conducting at the president felt created pressure on and they want to relieve again I didn't know that at the time but I've. Watched his interview I read the press accounts of his conversations. So I take him at his word there now look I I could be wrong maybe he's saying something it's not true but I take him at his word at least based on what I know now. Talk for a moment about. His request that you pledged loyalty. And your response to that than what impact do you believe that has. I I don't know for sure could I don't know the president well enough to read him well. I think it was. There's our relationship didn't get off to a great start giving the conversation had to have on January 6 this was not. This didn't improve the relationship because it was very very awkward he was asking for something and I was refusing to give it. But again I don't know him well enough to know how he reacted to that exactly. Do you believe that Russia investigation played a role. Wireless fire yes yes who have seen the presidency so. Let's let's act goat to. The Flynn. Issue. You senator Reche outlined. I hope you can see your way to letting Flynn go he's a good guy I hope you can let this go. But you also said in your written remarks and I quote. That you had understood the president to be requesting that we drop any investigation. Of Flynn. In connection was false statements. About his conversations. With the Russian ambassador in December and quote. Please go into the app with more detail. Whether the context and the president's words are what led me to that conclusion as I said my statement I could be wrong but. Flynn had been forced to resign a day before. And and the controversy around general Flynn at that point time was centered on whether he had lied to the vice president about. The nature of his conversations with the Russians. Whether he had been a candid with others in the course of that and so that happens on the day before on the fourteenth the president makes specific reference to that. And so that's why I understood and to be saying that what he wanted to do was drop any investigation. Connected to flings account of his conversations with the Russians. Now here's the question. You're big you're strong. I know how the Oval Office and I know. What happens to people when they walk and there is a certain amount of intimidation. But why didn't you stop and say Mr. President this is wrong I cannot discuss this with you. Your question maybe if I were stronger. Than I would have. I was so. Stunned by the conversation. That I just took it in and be on me I could think to say 'cause I was playing in my mind that I remember every word he said was playing in my mind. What should my response be and that's why very carefully chose the words and look back I've seen the tweet about tapes Lordi I hope their tapes. I I remember saying. I agree he's a good guy as a way of saying I'm not agreeing with what you just asked me to do. Again it maybe other people would be stronger in that circumstance but that that was that's how I conduct myself. I hope I'll never have another opportunity may have to do it again I would do it better. You describe to phone calls that you received from president trump. Went on March 31 on April 11. Where he quote described the Russian investigation. As a cloud. That was impairing his ability and quote as president and askew quote to lift the cloud and quote. What how did you interpret that and what did you believe he won he can do. I interpret that as he was frustrated. That the Russian investigation. Was taking up so much time and energy. I think he meant of the executive branch but in that in the public square in general. And it was making it difficult for him to focus on other priorities of his. But what he asked me was actually narrower than that so I think what he meant by the cloud and again I could be wrong but what I think he meant by the cloud was entire investigation. Is is taking up oxygen making it hard for me to focus on things I wanna focus on. The task was to get it out that I the president to not personally under investigation. After my. April 11. We did he. Ask you more than ever about. The Russian investigation. Did he ask you any questions. We never spoke again after April 11. You told the president I wish I would see what we could do. What did you mean. I was kind of slightly cowardly way of trying to avoid telling him we're not gonna do that that I would sue we could do was a way of kind of getting off the phone Franklin and and I turned to and handed it to the acting deputy attorney general mr. Benton. So again I wanted to go in does that who did you talk with about that. Lifting the cloud stopping me investigation. Back at the FBI and what was their response. What the FBI. During one of the two conversations. Not remember exactly I think the first my chief of staff was actually sitting in front of me and heard my into the conversation because the president's call was surprised. And I discussed the lifting the cloud in the request with the senior leadership team. Who in in. Typically and I think in all these circumstances was the deputy director my chief of staff the General Counsel. The deputy directors chief counsel and I think. In number circumstances the number three in the FBI. And a few of the conversations included the head of the national security branch so that group of us that lead the FBI when it comes to national security. OK you have the president the United States. Asking you to stop an investigation. It's an important investigation. What was the response to your colleagues. I think they were as shocked and troubled by it is I was. Some said things that led me to believe that I don't remember exactly but the reaction was similar to mine are all experienced people who had never experienced such a thing. So they were very concerned and in the conversation turned to about so what should we do with this information. And that was a struggle for us. Because. We are the leaders of the FBI so it's been reported to us in that I heard it and I've shared it with the leaders of the FBI. Our our conversation was should we share this with any senior officials at the Justice Department are our absolute primary concern was. We can't infect the investigative team. We don't want the agents and analysts working on this to know the president United States as as fast. When it comes the president I took it as a direction. To get rid of this investigation. Because we're not gonna follow that that request. And so we decided we gotta keep it away from our troops. But is there anybody else we ought to tell the Justice Department has a lay out in my in my statement. We considered whether to tell the attorney general decided that it makes sense because we believed rightly that he was shortly gonna refuse. There were no other senate confirmed. Leaders in the Justice Department that point. The deputy attorney general was mr. Ben Tate who was acting going to be shortly and at sea we decided the best move. Would be to hold it keep it in a box documented as we dirty done. Then this investigation's gonna want forgot what to do with a down the road is their way to corroborate this argue at the time was look at your word against the president's. Is no way to corroborate this. That my view of that changed when the prospect of tapes was raised but that's how we thought about it then. Thank you think it sooner Revere thank you Marco Rubio of Florida now the meeting in the Oval Office where he made the request about my plan. Is that the only time he asked you to hopefully let ago. Yes and in that meeting that you understood it that was he was asking not about the general Russian investigation is asking very specifically. About the jeopardy that Flynn with themselves. That's how I understood yes sir and as you perceived it while it was their request that you hope he did away with that you've perceived as an order. Given his position the setting and the like and in some circumstances. Yes. At the time did you say anything to the president about that is not an appropriate request or did you tell the White House counsel. That is not appropriate request someone needs to go tell the president that he can't. Do these things I didn't now occur why. I don't know. I think mr. as I said early because circumstances were such. That it was I was a bit stunned and didn't have the presence of mind and I don't know I Unita ought to have. Make you sound like I'm captain courageous I don't know whether you know Fred the presence of mine I would have said to the president sir that's wrong I don't know whether would have for been in a moment it it didn't it didn't come to my mind McIntyre minus be careful what you say. And so I said I agree Flynn is a good guy. So on the cloud we keep talking about this cloud you perceive the cloud to be the Russian investigation in general. Yes there. But this specific task was that you would tell the American people when you had Ernie told him. Would you Ernie told the leaders of congress both Democrats and Republicans that he was not personally under investigation. Yes there are always asking you to do what you have done here today correct yes or preparing. And again about setting the Jews say to the president. That it would be inappropriate for you to do so and then talk to the White House counselor anybody's hopefully they would talk to him and tell him that he couldn't do this. First time I said policy we can do second time I explained how it should work that the White House counsel should contacted deputy attorney general. You told residents said OK and I guess we'll all do. And just to be clear for you to make a public statement that he was not under investigation would not have been illegal but you felt that made no sense because that could potentially create a duty to correct. If circumstances change. It's are we wrestled with it before my testimony were confirmed. That there was an investigation. And were two primary concerns one was. It creates a duty to correct which I've lived before and you ought to be very careful about doing that and second it's a slippery slope because. If we say the president and vice president tarter an investigation. What's the principal basis for them for stopping and the leadership at that justice acting attorney general ban they said you're not gonna do that. Now on March 30 during the phone call about that to general plan you said he abruptly shifted and brought up something that you call quote unquote in the cave thing. Specifically the McCabe thing as you understood it was that McCain's wife had received campaign money from what I see. Means Terry McAuliffe. Yes sir I was very close to the clintons. And and so. Why did you have the president any point in time expressed the concern opposition potential opposition to McCabe I don't like this guy because he got money from some of close the Clinton. He would ask me during previous conversations about Andy McCabe. And said it in essence how's he gonna be with me as president I was pretty rough on him on the campaign trail. The rough on McCabe he was rocked by his own account he said he was rough on McCabe and mrs. McCabe. On the campaign trail how's he gonna be. And I assured the president Andy is a total pro. The no issue at all he got to know the people the FBI they are not. So that saw the president turn Stevens says remember I never brought up McCabe thing. Because he's that he was a good guy did you perceive that to be a statement that I took care of you I'd I didn't do something because you told me he was a good guy. So now you know I'm asking you potentially for something in return is that are you perceived. I wasn't sure what to make of it honestly that's possible but it it. It was so out of context that I didn't have a clear view of what it was. You're listening to live coverage of the coming hearing on WWL New Orleans WWL I salmon HD one candidate were. 186 of your testimony you say. The first thing you say is. He asked what we can do to quote unquote lift the cloud the general Russian investigation. And you responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could and that there would be great benefit if we didn't find anything to having done the work well. And he agreed. He re emphasize the problems it was causing him but he agreed that this the president agreed with the statement that it would be great if we can have a investigation all the facts came out. And we found nothing in Korea that would be ideal but. This cloud is still messing up my ability to do the rest of my agenda is that an accurate assessment. Yes are you actually went farther than that he he said. In some in my satellites did something wrong to be good to find that out without the second part of that is the satellites instead of one of my satellites. I imagine by that he met some of the other people surrounding his campaign did something wrong. It would be great to know that as well. Mr. he said are those the other are those the home only to instances in which that's sort of back and forth happened where the president is basically saying and I'm paraphrasing here it's okay do the Russian investigation hoping all comes out I have nothing to do with anything Russia. It be great of an off came out the people around we're doing things that were wrong. Yes as ever recorded it accurately there that was sent me he was expressing this so what do bears it comes down to is the president asked three things that he asked for your loyalty. And you said you would be loyal and honest honestly oil honestly loyal. That he asked you on one occasion to. Let the Mike Flynt thing though is he was a good guy oh you're aware that he said the exact same thing in the press the next days are good guys and treated unfairly etc. ever. I imagine your FBI agents read that. I'm sure they did the different the president's wishes were. Known to them certainly by the next day when he had a press conference the prime minister going back the three requests were number one. The oil. Number two. Let the Mike and Flynt thing though these good guys and treated unfairly and number three can you please tell the American people. What these leaders in congress already know what you already know you told me three times that I'm not under purse personally under investigation. Those are three things he asked mr. you know the investigation is follow leaks left and right I mean we've learned more from the newspapers sometimes we do from our open hearings for sure. They're wonder why of all the things in this investigation the content never been leaked. Is the fact that the president was not personally under investigation despite the fact that both Democrats and Republicans in the leaders of congress knew that and have known that for weeks. I don't know I find matters that are brief to the gang of eight. Are pretty tightly held in my experience. Finally for the senior leaders that the FBI that you share these conversations with. As I said response senator feinstein's question. Deputy director. My chief of staff General Counsel. Deputy directors chief counsel. And then more often than not the number three person the FBI is the associate deputy director and quite often headed the national security branch. Right those questions for Marco Rubio of Florida you're listening to lives CBS news coverage of former FBI director James coal lease testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Questioning continues now with senator Ron Wyden of Morgan. But I believe. The timing. Of your firing. Stakes. And yesterday you put on the record. Testimony. That demonstrates why the odor. Of presidential. Abuse of power. Is so strong. How to my question. In talking to. Senator Warner. About this dinners that you had with president lead January 27. All in one dinner. The president raised your job prospects. He asked for your loyalty. And denied allegations. Against. All took place over one suffer. Night he told senator Warner that the president was looking to quote get something. Looking back did that dinner. Suggest that your job might be contingent. On how you handled the investigation. I know that I go that far right I get the sense my G job would be contingent upon. How he felt. Excuse me how he felt I conducted myself. And whether right demonstrated loyalty. But I don't know whether I go so far is too connected to. Investor the president was trying to create some sort of patronage. Relationship. In a patronage relationship isn't the underlying. Expected to behave in a manner consistent. With the wishes of the boss yes. Release consider how what you're doing will affect the boss has a significant consideration and returned to the attorney general. In your statement you said that you in the FBI leadership team. Decided not to discuss the president's actions with attorney general session. Even though he had not recused himself. What was it about the attorney general's own interactions with the Russians. Or his behavior with regard to the investigation. That would have led the entire leadership of the FBI. To make this decision. Our judgment is our call was that he was. Very close to an inevitably going to recuse himself. For a variety of reasons. We also were aware facts that I can't discuss an open setting. That would make his continued engagement in Russia related investigation problematic. And so we were. We were convinced effect I think we dirty heard that the career people were recommending he recuse himself that he was not going to be. In contact with Russia related matters much longer and that turned out to be the case. How would you characterize. Attorney general sessions adherence to his recusal. In particular with regard to its involvement. In your firing. Which the president has acknowledged it was because of the Russian investigation. That's a question I can't answer I think it's a reasonable question if if as the president's that I was fired because of the rush investigation. Why was the attorney general involved in that chain I don't know and so I don't have an answer to a question. Your testimony was that the president's request about Flint. Could in fact the investigation. Had the president got what he wanted and what he asked to view. What would have been the effect on the investigation. But we would have closed any investigation. Of general Flynn. In connection with. His statements and encounters statements about encounters with Russians in that late part of December. So we thought we would have dropped and opened criminal investigation. So in effect when you talk. About infecting the enterprise. You would have dropped. Something major that would have spoken. The overall ability of the American people to get the facts. Correct and as good as our people our our judgment was we don't want them hearing that the president United States wants to go away. Because it might have an effect on their ability to be fair and impartial aggressive. Now the acting attorney general. Yates found out that Michael Flynn could be blackmailed by the Russian. She went immediately to warn the White House. Flynn is gone. But other individuals. With contacts with the Russians are still in extremely. Important positions. Of power. Should the American people have the same sense of urgency now with respect now. Nicole I can say senator is it took. That the special counsel's investigation is very important understanding. What efforts there were or are by the Russian government to influence our government is a critical part of the FBI's mission. So and you got the right person I'm Bob Mueller to lead so it's a very important piece of work. Vice president. Pants with the head of the transition. To your knowledge was he aware of the concerns about Michael Flynn prior to during. General plans tenure as national security advisor. We don't. You're asking it including up to the time of Flynn was. Forced to resign. My understanding is that he was in and tremor where I get an understanding from I think from. Acting attorney general Yates. So former. Acting attorney general Yates testified that concerns about general Flynn were discussed with the intelligence community. Would that have included anyone at the CIA. Or. In coach's. Office the Vienna. I would assume yes. Michael flu then resigned four days. After attorney general sessions was sworn in. Do you know with the attorney general was aware of the concerns about Michael Flynn during that period. Don't too as I sit here I don't I don't recall that he was that it could be wrong but I don't remember that he was. And finally. Let's see if you can give us. Some sense of who recommended. Your fire inside the letters from the attorney general deputy attorney general. You got any information on who may have recommended or have been involved in your firing. I don't I don't. He was termed those questions from Democrat to Ron Wyden of Oregon now to the Republican Susan Collins. Of Maine and by thanking you for Europe voluntary. Compliance. With our request to appear. But Ford his committee and that has and that's very important. Investigation. I'd want her to ask you about your conversations. With the president. That three conversations. In which she told him that he was not under investigation. The first was during your January 6 meeting according to your testimony. In which appears that you actually volunteered. That insurance is that correct that's correct. Did you limit that statement to counterintelligence. Investigations. Or were you tacky about. Any kind to him Bethea and best case. I didn't I didn't use that term counterintelligence I was speaking to him. And briefing him about some salacious and unverified material. It was in the context of that. That he had a strong and defensive reaction about that not being true. And my reading of it was it was important for me to assure him we were not personally investigating him. And so the context then was actually narrower focused on what I just talked to him about those very important because it was first true. And second I was very very much about being kind of and the that was briefing him on it because we had been told by the media was about to launch we don't wanna be keeping that from him and if there was something he needed to know this is being said. But I was very keen not to leave him with a impression that the bureau was trying to do something to him and so that's the context in which I said so we're not personally investigating you. And then on and that's why you've volunteered. The informants assessment correct. Then on the January 27. Dinners each out you told the president that he should be careful. About asking you to invested K peak has quote. You might create a narrative that we are investigating him personally which we weren't. Again where you limiting that statement to counterintelligence. Investigations. Or for more privately such as a criminal investigation. The context was very similar I didn't I didn't modify the word investigation. It was again he was. Reacting strongly against that unverified material sang I'm tempted to order you to investigated and that in the context of that I said sir. But be careful about that because of my created narrative we're investigating you personally. And then there was a march 30 from Colin with the president in which she reminded him. Bed congressional leaders have been briefed that we are not personally the FBI was not personally. Investigating. President trap and again. Was that statement. Two congressional leaders and to the president limited ticket counter intelligence investigations. Or was that a broader statement. I think trying to understand whether there was any kind of investigation of the president. Under way. No it pumps are exempt in effect misunderstood I apologize. We briefed the congressional leadership about. What Americans we had opened counterintelligence. Investigation cases on. And we specifically said the president is not one of those Americans but. That there was no other investigation of the president that we were not mentioning at that time. What the context was counterintelligence but I wasn't trying to hide some criminal investigation of the president. And was the president now under investigation. At that time appeared to miss old on May not. I'd like to me and it turned to the conversations. With the president about Michael land. Which had been discussed it at great length. And first let me make very clear. Bet the president never should of cleared the room. And he never should have asked you as he's reported to let it go out to let the investigation count. But I remain puzzled by your reach by. If your response was I agree that Michael planets that could track. You could have sat. Mr. President. Is meeting it's an appropriate. This response. Could compromise. The investigation. He should not be making that Serb request. It's fundamental to the operation of our government and the FB IB. Insulated from this kind of political pressure. And you've taught to bid today about that. You were stunned. By the president making the request. But my question TU is later on and upon re election. Did you go tit anyone at the department of justice and ask them. Tip call the White House Counsel's Office. And explain. That the president had to have. Are better understanding and appreciation. His role being to be the FB. In general I did I spoke to the attorney general and I spoke to the new deputy attorney general mr. rose's time when he took office. And explain my serious concern about the way in which the president. Is interacting especially with the FBI and I specifically as a sin might just might ask the toll attorney general it can't happen. That you get kicked out of the room and the president talks to me and poke in the room and and but why didn't we raise the specific. It was of investigative interest to us to try forgot what just happened. With the president's request so I would not want to alert the White House that it had happened until we figure out what are we gonna do with this investigative. You heard testimony was that you went to attorney general has since been at donor for leave me alone. With him again are you saying that you also told him. That he had made a request that you let it go with regard to part of but he. Investigation and Michael planned no I specifically did not I did not. You mentioned that from your very first meeting with the president you'd just decided to write a memo. Memorializing. The conversation. Why was that a pap that very first meeting. That made you write a memo when you were not and that went to previous press. As I said at a combination of things. A gut feeling is an important overlay and that a but the circumstances. That I was alone. The subject matter and the nature of the person that I was interacting with them my read of that person and yeah and and and really just a gut feel laying on top of all of that that this it's going to be important to protect this organization that I make records of this. And finally did you show copies. Of your memos. To anyone outside. Of the Department of Justice. Yes. And to whom did you show cut it. I asked. President tweeted on Friday after I got fired at a better hope there's not tapes. I woke up in the middle of the night a Monday night because it didn't dawn on me originally that there might be corroboration. For our conversation there might be a tape. In my judgment was I needed to get that out into the public square and so I asked a friend of mine. To share the contents of the memo with a reporter into a myself for a variety of reasons I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. It's I asked a close friend of mind to do it. It was that is or where it is no know who who was that. A good friend of mine who's a professor Columbia Law School. Think it sooner congress. Senator Susan Collins of Maine you're listening to I'll live CBS news coverage of former FBI director James called Lee's testimony to Senate Intelligence Committee. Questioning continues now with a New Mexico Democrat mark Heinrich the president of the United States now. The met dinner no. Ahead 21 on ones with President Obama that I laid out in my testimony want to talk about law enforcement issues law enforcement a race which was important topic. Throughout for me and for the president and then once very abrasive and take it by. Where those brief interactions. Know the one about law enforcement and race in policing we spoke for. It's probably over an hour does that to us. How unusual is it to have. 01 on one dinner with the president did that start cues off. Yes so much so that I assumed there would be others but couldn't possibly be having dinner with me alone. It. Do you have the impression that if you had found. If you behave differently in that dinner and I'm quite pleased that you did not but if you had found. A way to express. Some sort. Expression of loyalty war givens. Suggestion that. That's when criminal investigation might. Be pursued. Less vigorously do you think you would have opened fire. I don't know like it is impossible to say looking back I don't know we've felt like those two things were. We're directly relevant here. The kind of relationship that the president was seeking to establish with you. Sure yes. That the president has repeatedly. Talked about the Russian investigation into the US. Or the Russian Russia's involvement in the US election cycle as a hoax. And as fake news. Can you talk a little bit about what you saw as FBI director and obviously only the parts that you could share in this setting. That. That demonstrate how serious. This action actually was and why there was an investigation in the first place. Mr. the there should be no flaws on this whatsoever the Russians. Interfered. In our election during 2016 cycle they did with purpose they did it was sophistication. He did it with overwhelming. Technical efforts. And it was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government there is no fuzz on that. It is a high confidence judgment of the entire intelligence community. And and members of this committee. Seeming intelligence it's not a close call. That happened that's about as on fake as you can possibly get. And is very very serious which is why it's so refreshing to see a bipartisan focus on that because this is about America not about any particular party. So that was a hostile act by the Russian government against this country that are. Did the president in any of those interactions that you. Shared with us today. Ask you what you should be doing or what our government should be doing or the intelligence community. To protect America against Russian interference in our election system. I don't record conversation like that never. Know. Gee do you find it not odd with president trump right attended affair never meetings on that with the President Obama. Do you find it odd that. President. Seemed unconcerned by Russia's actions in our election. I I can't answer back I don't know what other conversations he had with other advisors or other intelligence community leaders. So what type I just don't know sitting here did you have any interactions with the president that suggested he was taking that. Pop style action seriously. I don't remember any interactions with the president of other than the initial briefing on January 6. I don't remember could be wrong but don't remember any conversations him at all about that. At issue are very aware. It was only the to review. In the room for that dinner. You've told us the president asked you to back off the Flynn investigation the president told the report and had dinner. Turn up. Told the reporter he did never did that I use testified that the president asked for your loyalty in that dinner the White House denies that. A lot of this comes down to. Should we police. Do you want to say anything as to why we should believe you. Property and my mother raised me not to say things like that about myself so I'm not gonna. I think people should look at the whole body in my testimony. Because as they used to say to juries though I talked about a witness she can't cherry pick you can't tell like these things he said but on this he's that he's a dirty rotten liar. You gotta take it all together and I've tried to be open and fair and transparent and accurate. I really significant fact to me is so why did he keep everybody out of the Oval Office. Why would you kick the attorney general the president. Chief of staff out to talk to me if it was about. Something else and so that that to me. His as an investigator is a very significant fact and as we look at that testimony or its communication from both the view. We should probably be looking for consists. While looking at any witness you look at consistency track record demeanor. Record over time that sort of thing. Thank you so. There are reports that the incoming trump administration. Either during the transition. And door after the inauguration attempted to set up up. That's sort of backed or communication channel with the Russian government using their infrastructure their devices are facilities. What would be the risks. Particularly for transition someone not actually in the office of the president yet. To getting up unauthorized channels with a hostile foreign government especially. If they were to evade our own American intelligence services. I'm not gonna comment on whether that happened in an open setting the risk is. For terrorist is obvious she's spare the Russians the cost and effort of having to break into our communications. Channels by using theirs. And so you make it a whole lot easier than the capture all of your conversations. And into use those to the benefit of Russia against United States. You're listening to live coverage of the call me testimony on WW well you wrote did you write all mine of them in ways that. What's designed to prevent them from needing classification. No it ends. And a few of the occasions I wrote an emails to my cheapest ever others and some of the brief phone conversations that are call. The first one. Was a classified. Briefing. Lowe was in his gift it was in a conference room at trump tower. It was a classified briefing and so I wrote that sonic classified device when I started typing. In the car that was a classified laptop and start working any reason in a classified environment. And it's gift that this committee. Would it would not be appropriate to see those communications from at least from your perspective as the author now. Thank you mr. chairman some report. Democrat mark Heinrich of New Mexico Missouri senator Roy Blunt is the ninth to fifteen senators to ask questions now the FBI has said and still continue to feel what you have provided. Years of great service to the country I also said that I had significant questions over the last year about some of the decisions you made. It if the president hadn't terminated your service would you still be in your opinion the director of the FBI today Yasser. So you took as a direction from the president something that you thought was. Serious and troublesome but continued to show up for work the next day. Yasser. And six weeks later we're still telling them we're telling the president on March the thirtieth. That he was not personally. The target of any investigation. Correct them marked the thirtieth having again an eight. I think on April 11 as well I told them we're not investigating impersonal that was true. Welcome to the point that to me that concern to me there is that. All these things are going on. You now in retrospect or at least you now that this committee that these were you have serious concerns about what the president. Did you believe directed you to do. And had taken no action hadn't even reported up the chain of command it assuming you believe there is an up the chain of command. That these things have happened do you have a sense of that looking back that that was a mistake. No. Targeting no action was the most important thing I could do. To make sure there was no interference with the investigation. And on the on the plan issues specifically I believe you said earlier. That you believe the president. Was suggesting you drop any investigation of plans that count of his conversation with the Russian investors. Which was essentially. Misleading the vice president and others. Correct and an American into the details whether there were false statements made to government investigators as well. The any suggestion that. That the that that general plan had violated the Logan act dial was fine pretty incredible Logan that's been on the books for over 200 years. Nobody's ever been prosecuted. For violating the Logan act my sense would be that the the discussion. Not the problem. Misleading investigators are the vice president might have been. That's fair Newser and in your head you previously on February 14 discussed with the president in the previous meeting. Any thing your investigators had learned or their impressions from talking to plan. No sir. So he. Said he's a good guy you said he's a good guy and that was no further action taken on that. But he said more than happened there was no. The action was grown up briefed our senior team try to clear what to do with it and made a decision we're gonna hold this and then you we make of it down the road mr. Was that your view that not briefing up meant you really had no responsibility. To report that to the Justice Department in some way. I think at some point. And I don't know what director Mueller is gonna do with it but at some point. I was sure we were gonna brief it to the team in charge of the case but our judgment was in the short term doesn't make sense to. No fuzz on the fact that reported to be attorney general that's why stressed he shouldn't be kicked out of the room but didn't make sense to report to him now. If you said the attorney general so I don't wanna be in the room with him alone again but she continued to talk to him on the phone. What is the difference in being in the room along with them and talking to him on the phone along. Yeah I think are what I stressed he turned Joe's little broader than just the room. I said you I report to you it's very important you be between me. And the White House beat and after that discussion with the attorney general did you take phone calls from the president just there. So right at you just say you need to talk to when you say I'm not taking that call you need to talk to the attorney general. Well I all I did on the April 11 call in a reported the calls the march 30 called your eleventh call to my superior who's the acting deputy attorney general. I don't wanna run out of time here let me make one other point in reading your testimony. January the third. January the 27 and march the thirtieth it appears we have on all three of those occasions. You and so listed by the president made the point to him that he was not a target at the end of an investigation. Correctness or one I thought the march 30 very interesting uses it well even though you don't want you may not have that once that was. 27. Where he said when you look into that dossier thing more you said well you might not want that does and we couldn't tell you you couldn't say with. We couldn't answer the question about you being a target of the investigation to didn't seem to be in answering that question. In the house are revealed one the one unanswered on leak question seems then that. In this whole period of time she said something earlier I don't wanna failed to follow up on. You said after you were dismissed you gave information to a friend. So that friend could get that information into the public media. Correct what kind of information was that was not what kind of information did you give to a different. That the president via the Clint conversation that the president asked me to let both the Flint. Men forgetting my exact own words but the the conversation in the Oval Office. So you didn't consider your memo or your sense of that conversation to be a government document you considered to be somehow your own. Personal. Documents that you could share with the media as you wanted to correct through my friend. I understood this to be my recollection recorded. Of my conversation with the president has a private citizen I felt free to share that's not a very important to get it out. So were all of your memos. That you recorded on classified or other documents. Memos that might be years as a private citizen. The term iPhone a question well I think you said you use classified the classified. We are not a plus by doctors unclassified. I don't have any of them anymore Greg into the special counsel but in my view was that the contents of those unclassified. The memorial is nation those conversations. Was. My recollection recorded so why didn't you give those somebody yourself rather than give them through a third party. Because I was worried the media was camped at the end in my driveway at that point and I was actually going at a town my wife to hide I'm worried it would be like feeding seagulls at the beach. If if there was if it was I who gave it to the media so I asked my friend make sure this gets out. It does seem to me the what you do there is created a source close to the former director of the FBI as opposed to just taking responsibility yourself. For saying here are. These records. And like everybody else I have other things I'd like to get into but I'm out of time. Simmer Missouri senator Roy Blunt you're listening to live CBS news coverage of former FBI director James called Lee's testimony. To the Senate Intelligence Committee questioning continues now with Democrat Angus king of mayor. Mr. Connery a broad question. Was the Russian activity in the 2016. Election a one off proposition or is this part of a long term strategy will they be back. Oh it's a long term practice. Of there is it that stepped up a notch in a significant way in sixteen they'll be back and. I think that's very important the American people understand that this is this is very much a forward looking investigation in terms of how to we understand what they did and how do we prevent it would you agree that that's a big part of our role. Here mr. and it not a Republican thing or democratic thing it really is an American thing. They're gonna come for whatever party. They choose to try and work on behalf of and their and they're not devoted to either in my experience they're just about their own advantage and they will be back. That's my observation I don't think prudent as a Republican. Or Democrat. He's an opportunist. And that's a fair statement. With regard to the next several these conversations. In his interview with Lester holt on NBC the president said I had dinner with him he wanted to have dinner because he wanted to stay on. Is this an accurate statement of her. Did you in any way initiate that dinner. Now he called he called me at my desk at lunch time and ask me. Was a free for dinner that night. Pickled himself and said can you more for dinner tonight. I suggest certain symbols six work and he's had 61. Mean any sort of invite Joseph family but we'll do that next time over and you come over and is that a good time as that or whatever works for you. Many said about 630. And I assume whatever works for you sir and then I hung up and then you call my wife or break a date with our response to take her out to dinner that night. And that's one of the all time great excuses for breaking. In retrospect I would have a lust thing. My wife I was taken that night. That's one question I'm not gonna follow up to him. But in that same interview the president said in one case I called him and in one case he called me is that an accurate statement. Now did you ever called president. No right it I might dollars in hesitating his. I think there's at least one conversation where I was asked to call the White House switchboard. To be connected to him. But I I never initiated communication with the president. And in his press conference on May eighteenth the president was asked whether he had urged you to shut down the investigation of Michael Flynn the president responded. Quote no no next question is that an accurate statement I don't believe it is. Thank you. With regard to the question of him being under personal personally under investigation. Does that mean that the dossier is not being. Reviewed or investigated or followed up on an anyway. I obviously can't come again coming either way I can't talk and open setting about. Investigation as it was when I were us that a the FBI and obviously it is director Muller's Bob Muller's responsibility now so I just I don't know. So clearly your statements to the president back in those these various times when you assured him he wasn't under investigation where as of that moment that correct us for a now on the Flynn investigation is it not true that. Mr. Flinn was and is a central figure in this entire investigation of the relationship between the trump campaign and the Russians. Can't answer that in open settings are. And certainly mr. Flinn was part of the so called Russian investigation. Can you answer that question have to give you the same answer. And will be having closed session shortly so we will follow up on that in terms of his comments to you about I think you're in response to. Mr. rich sun ridge he said he he said I hope you'll hold back on that. But when you get it is when a president the United States in the Oval Office says something like I hope or suggest her or would you. Do you take status as soon as a directive. Yes. Yes it rings in my ears kind of well no one rid me of this metal some priests that I was just gonna quote that in 1170 December 2900 the second set who will rid me of this nettlesome priest and in the next day he was killed. Thomas of Beckett has exactly the same sad situation you're we're thinking you know on the same lines. Several other. Questions and these are a little bit more detailed. What do you know about the Russian bank VB. It's nothing that I can talk about in an open setting. Well I know it makes no Arab NYNEX request noting this officer you know it exists. What is the relationship of ambassador. The ambassador. From Russia to the United States to the Russian intelligence. Infrastructure. When he's a diplomat who is the chief of mission at the Russian embassy. Which employs a robust. Cohort of intelligence officers. And so surely he's waiting of their very very aggressive intelligence operations least some of it in the United States. You know I don't consider him to be an intelligence. Officer himself he's that diplomat. Did you ever did the FBI ever briefed the trump administration about do. The advise ability of interacting. Directly with the best. Your Casilla. You go against a sitting here is there were a variety of defensive briefings given to the incoming administration about the counterintelligence risk. Effective mr. Flynn. Would who would. Closing out the Flynn investigation have impeded the overall Russian investigation. No. It. Up. Unlikely X stepped to the extent is always a possibility if you have a criminal case against someone. And you bring in squeeze him you flip them and give information about something else. But I saw the two as us. That touching each other but separate. The good with regard to your memos. Isn't it true that an act in a court case when you're weighing evidence contemporaneous memos and contemporary contemporaneous statements to third parties are considered probative in terms of the the the validity of of testimony. Yes. Thank you thank you mr. chairman. Sooner gotten all right that's and Angus King from Maine. Now we go to Republican and coming conceive again. We've admiral James like for it from Oklahoma on this zionist us and I appreciate you know service and what you have done enough for the nation for a long time which contender. I told you before we need of last year we had the opportunity to visit personally. That apart for you and for your family because you do carry tremendous amount of stress and that is still true today and to the media who knew walk through a couple things with him. You know trumps exceptionally important because they give a very rapid account of what you. What you wrote down what you perceived happened in those different meetings. Have you had a opportunity of referenced those notes when you were preparing a written statement that you put force today. Yes I miss. Yes I think nearly all of my written. Recordings of I conversations had a chance to review them before. Filing my statement. Give a copy of any of those notes personally I don't I turn them over to Bob Muller's. Investigators the individuals that you told about your memos. That pin position on to the New York Times today have a copy of those memos are they told orally of those moment had a copy had. At a copy of the time today did they still have a copy of those moments too good question. I think so because I can't say for sure sitting here but I. Who right I guess I don't know but I think so so the question is did you estimate and that copyright back to you she could and the mode of this committee potentially. I would like to move them from potential to him we can ask that question so we can have a copy those obviously those notes are exceptionally important to us. And to bear go through the process so we can we can. Continue to get to the facts as soon as we see as you know. The written documents are exceptionally important but there are other documents that we need to be aware of that you used your preparation for your written statement that we should also have. That would assist us in helping with us. Not that I more now. Past the February 14 meeting which is a very important meeting on issues we discussed. The conversations are about Michael plan. When the president askew. About he hopes that you would like Disco. And their conversation back forth about being me being a good guy after that time to the president ever bring up anything about Michael Flynn against it. It multiple there to the conversation Jim document with the president. No I don't remember him ever bring it up for it any member of the White House staff ever come to you and talk to you about letting go of the Michael Flinn case or dropping it or anything referring to help they'll. To the Director of National Intelligence can be and talked about that now. Did anyone from the attorney general's office the department justice ask you about that now. Did the head of NSA document that now. Did the key aspect here is it if if this seems to be sowing the president's trying to get you to drop it just seems like a pretty light touch to drop it. To breed up at that moment the day after he had just fired planned to come back and say I hope we can what Disco but then it never reappear again. Did did it slowed down your investigation or any investigation that may or may not be occurring Michael's plan. No although I don't know there any manifestations. Are manifestations of the investigation. Between February 14 when I was fired so I I don't know that the president of any way of knowing. Whether it was effective or not can't turn off if if the president wanted to stop an investigation. How would he do debt. Knowing it's an ongoing criminal investigation or counterintelligence investigation. Would that be a matter trying to go to you you perceive and to say you make it stop because he doesn't have the authority to stop. Or how how will the president make an ongoing investigation now. But I am not a legal scholar so smarter people answer this better but I think as a legal matter presence ahead of the executive branch. And could direct. In theory that we have important norms against this but direct could anybody be investigator a body not be investigated the key is the legal authority. As all of us ultimately report an executive branch up to the president would that be to you wouldn't be an attorney general would that be to do that would do that. Suppose you do it ticked he if you want to issue a direct order to do it in anyway could do it through that. Attorney general issued directly to me what do what is or any question. That the president is not real fond of this investigation. I can think of multiple 140 word character expressions. That he's done publicly. To express he's not fond of the investigations are reduced share before in this conversation that you try to keep the agents that are working on it. Away from many comic the president might have made. Where frankly the president is informed around six billion people that he's not real fond of this investigation. Do think there's a difference in that. Yes. What really is a big difference in. Kicking superior. Officers out of the Oval Office looking the FBI director in the science I hope you let this go. I think if our if the agents as good as they are heard the president had tasted that you there's a real risk of a chilling effect on their work. That's why we kept it's a tight fit. You'd mentioned before about some news stories in news accounts. Without having to go into all the names in this specific times and to be able dip and all that have their been news accounts. About the Russian investigation about collusion. About this whole event. Or accusations that as you read the story you were stunned about how wrong they got the fax yes there have been many many. Stories purportedly based on classified information about. About lots of stuff but this is your Russia that are just dead wrong. I was incision your comment that you made as well that the president said do you if there were some satellite associates of his that did something wrong. It would be good to find that out. But the president seemed to talk to you specifically marked the thirtieth since I am frustrated. That that word is not getting out that unknown a investigation. But if there are people that are in my circle that are. Let's finish the investigation is that how you took it is now there yes. And then you made a comment earlier about. The attorney general previous attorney general. I'm asking you about the investigation on the Clinton emails saying that you've been asked not to called investigation anymore brits call it a matter. And you had said that confused you can you give us additional settlement. Or if. Concerned me because we were at the point where. We refused to confirm the existence as we typically do of an investigation for months. It was getting to a place where that looks silly because the campaigns were talking about interacting with the FBI in the course of our work. Beat the Clinton Campaign at the time was using all kinds euphemisms. Security review matters things like that for what was going on we were getting to a place where the attorney John are both gonna have to testify and talked publicly about it. And I wanna know what she gonna authorize us to confirm we had an investigation. And she said yes but don't call it that call it a matter. And I so why would I do that. And she said just call it a matter. And again you look back in hindsight you think should I've resisted harder I just said Merritt isn't worth this is an oil worth Diane on and so I just said okay. The press is gonna completely ignore and that's what happened when I said we have opened a matter they all reported the FBI has an investigation open. And so that concern me because that language track the way the campaign. Was talking about the FBI's work. And that that's concerning. He gave the impression that the campaign was somehow use in the same language the FBI because you were handed the campaign language. Until they would use the camp. I went at and I get out of weather was intentional or not but he gave the impression that the attorney general is looking to a line. The way we talked about her work with the way political campaign was describing him activity which was inaccurate we had a criminal investigation open. With as some for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We had investigation open at the time until that gave me a queasy feeling thank you. And Richard thank you mr. chairman thank goodness we just heard from Republican James Lankford of Oklahoma this is Democrat Joseph mansion West Virginia at the twelfth of fifteen senators questioned FBI's former FBI director James Kobe at the Senate Intelligence Committee you're listening to live coverage on CBS news. And there's quite a few of them were quite detailed why ask in our class fight here I want to thank you first of all for coming and agreeing to be here. Volunteering but also voluntary Tuesday into the classified here I don't know if you had a chance to watch or hearing yesterday. I watched part of it yes watch and it was quite troubling. My colleagues here have some very pointed. Questions they want answers to they were classified the convention is open setting they refuse to do so so. That even much makes us much more appreciative of your cooperation. Serve the surge of the Russian aggressions in our past elections and knowing that it'll be ongoing as Senator McCain had alluded to. Does what what your concerns there I mean what what should American public understand people so this is a while we worried about this swimming just a big deal on this Russian investigation. Can you tell me what your thoughts as CNN the final thing is on this same topic. The depression ever shown any concern or interest or curiosity. About what the Russians were doing. Thank you senator is a center I don't remember any conversations with the president about the Russia. Election interference that he ever asked him questions concerns. Well there was an initial briefing of our findings and I think there was conversation there remembered exactly. Where yes questions about what we've found and what our sources were work confidence level was but after that I don't remember anything with with the reason this is such a big deal has. We have this big messy wonderful country where we fight we each other all the time but nobody tells us. What to think what to fight about what to vote for except other Americans. And that's wonderful and often painful for we're talking about a foreign government. They're using technical intrusion lots of other methods tried to shape the way we think we vote we act that is a big deal. And people need to recognize that it's not about Republicans or Democrats their common after America which I hope we all love equally. They wanna undermine our credibility in the face of the world they think that this great experiment of ours is a threat to them. And so they're gonna try to run it down and dirty it up as much as possible. That's what this is about and they will be back because we remain. As as difficult as we can be with a each other we remain that shining city on the hill and they don't like it does. Extremely important is extremely dangerous what would what we're dealing with an as needed switchers Yasser. Do you believe there were any tapes. Or recordings of your conversation with the president. It never occurred to me till the president's tweet I'm I'm not being facetious I hope there are not consent to the release of the both of you both of you in the same. Findings here you both hookers tapes and recordings. I mean you are all I can do is hope. That the president surely knows whether he taped to me and if he did I my feelings aren't hurt release the entire release all the tapes I'm graduate country. Sir do you believe there Robert Mueller the army special and an investigator. On Russia will be thorough and complete without political intervention. And give you confidence on these findings and recommendations yes Bob Mueller is one of the finest people in public servants this country's ever produced he will do it well. He is a dogged tough person and you can have high confidence that when it's done he's turned over all the rocks. You can ask a wide variety of crush of questions today and then we're going to be hearing more and Sharon are. Call us right here in something oft asked folks when they come here. What details of the disorder would be. Should we be focusing on what would you recommend that's you differently. We're adjust our perspective on this. I don't know. Right and one of the reasons that I'm pleased to be here is doing this committee has shown the American people. Although we have two parties and we disagree about important things we can work together when involve the core interest of the country. So I would hope you just keep doing what you're doing it it's good in and of itself but also a model especially for kids that we we are a functioning adult democracy. And you also mentioned you meant. I think court to six. Six meetings three times in person six on the phone nine times. And conversations the president if he ever had at that time elude that you were not performing adequately. Every indicator at all. And in fact the contrary quite often. They call me one day I was about to get on a helicopter. Headed the DEA was waiting and helicopter for me. And he just called to check in coming I was doing an awesome job and want to see how I was doing that's him doing fine sir. And then I finished a call got on the helicopter. Mr. coming do you believe you would have been fared if Hillary Clinton become president. That's great question I don't know. I don't know. Any thoughts of them I might have been I I don't know look I have before. That was an extraordinarily difficult and painful time. I think idea what I had to do I knew it was going to be very bad for me personally and with the consequences that might have been Philly Clinton was elected I might have been termed it I don't know. Really don't. My final question will be after February 14 main Oval Office you mentioned has turned general sessions and short. They were never left alone with the president. Did you ever consider why it's. Attorney general sessions was not asked to stay in the room. Oh sure. They did in and have an ad in that moment dying you're talking about no. You never discussions with Jeff Sessions on this no not at all on any your meetings. No. That he inquired he didn't show any inquirer whatsoever what was the meaning about. No update you right if I did say to him I'd forgotten is when I talked him and said. You have to be between media and the president and that's incredibly important and I forget my exact words. I passed along the president's message about the importance of aggressively pursuing leaks of class of information which is at the goal like share. I passed that along to choose the attorney general if it was the next morning. In arm in a meeting and but I did not tell but the Flynn part. Do you believe this arises church and justice. I don't know that if that's Bob Muller's job to sort that out. And. Democrat Joseph Manchin from West Virginia with the of that round of questioning this hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Is about to enter our number three FBI director the former FBI director James Komi is testifying. Arkansas Republican that atomic cotton resumes questioning here on CBS Naples. Issue amendments. Sure. You said that they're you did not record your conversations with President Obama our President Bush and it matters did you do so. With attorney general sessions. Or any other senior member of the trop Department of Justice now it's your ticket and sir. Did your record conversations memos with attorney general lynch or any other senior member of the Obama Department of Justice is known a bitter cold. In your state for the record you cite nine. Private conversation president for meetings and to come calls their four phone calls that are not discussed in your statement for the record what happened in this uncles. President called me I believe shortly before is inaugurated. As a follow up to our conversation. Private conversation on January the sixth. He just wanted to reiterate is. Rejection of allegation and talk about it thought about it more and why he thought it was in truth that via the verified unverified and salacious parts. And listener to WWL New Orleans WWL last I'm an HD one candidate warrantless and I told them that I intended to. There was another phone call that I mentioned I think was M. Gravity wrong march the first recall just to check in with me as I was about to get on the helicopter. There was a secure call we had about an op and operational matter that was. And not related to any of this that's something the FBI was working on you want to make sure that I understood how important he thought it was a totally appropriate call. And then the fourth call. Then probably forgetting. May have been that I may have meant the call when he called to invite me to dinner. I'll think about as I'm answering other questions I think I got that right. Let's not turn our attention to the underlying activity at issue here Russia is packing those emails are releasing them and allegations of collusion. Do you believe Donald Trump colluded with Russia. Of course I don't think I should answer. In open setting as I said we didn't know when I left we do not have an investigation focused on president trump. But that's a question that'll be answered by the investigation I think. Return to a couple statements I want my colleagues senator Feinstein. She was the ranking member on this committee until January which means yet accessed information now she and chairman Bert did. She's now a senior Democrat Adam on the Judiciary Committee meaning she has access to FBI and most of us don't. On May third on CNN's Wolf Blitzer Cheryl. She was asked do you believe you have evidence there was and back collusion between trucks or ships in Russia during the campaign she answered not at this time. May taint the same show. Mr. blitzer said the last time we sort of senator asked if you'd actually seen any evidence of collusion between the front campaign and the Russians and said to me and I'm quoting you now. You said not at this time has anything changed since we last spoke senator Feinstein said well no no it hasn't given you reason to doubt the state. I don't doubt the senator Feinstein was saying with what she understood I just ordered down that path for so long because anonymous government anymore and answering in the negative. I just worry leads me deeper and deeper to talking about the investigation and open setting. I don't active I wanna become I always try to be fairly unfair to president trump I'm not trying to suggest by my answer. Something nefarious but I don't wanna get into the business of saying not as to this person not as to that person. On and that are fourteen the New York Times published store the headline of which were struck campaign aides have repeated contacts with Russian intelligence. You're asked earlier if that was and an accurate story and you said in the main. Would it be fair to characterize. That story is almost entirely wrong. Yes. Did you have. At the time source publish any indication of any contact between trump people. And Russians intelligence officers. Other government officials or close associates of the Russian government. That's when I can't answer sitting here. We discussed that plus a settings and or turn attention now to mr. Quinn and allegations of his underlying conduct be specific. This alleged interactions with the Russian ambassador on the telephone. And and what he said two. Senior trop administration officials and impart to us officials I understand their other issues with mr. Lan. Related to his receipt of one monies are disclosure of potential at expected we don't have foreign governments. Those are serious and credible allegations I'm sure will be pursued but I want speak specifically about interactions. With. The Russian master. There's a story on January 23 in the Washington Post that says entitled. FBI reviewed plans poles with Russian ambassador but found nothing illicit. This story accurate. I don't wanna comment on that senator 'cause I I'm pretty sure the bureau has not confirmed. Any time. Interception of communications. And so I don't want part of that an open setting would it be improper for an incoming. National security advisor. To have a conversation with the former ambassador. And it might in my experience no. But you can't confirm or deny. That conversation happened and we were Dana note the contents of that conversation and now what's back to proper I don't think I can talk but an open setting a and again a Panetta government now a month so I don't also don't wanna talk about things. When is now somebody's else's responsibility but maybe in the in the class of its setting we can talk more about that. You stated earlier that it's there wasn't an open investigation of mr. planned an FBI. Did you or any FBI agent ever since that mr. plan attempted to deceive you. Or make false statements to an FBI agent. And when I go too far at. That was the subject of their criminal inquiry. Did you ever come close to closing investigation on mr. plan. And don't forget it harder than an open setting either. And discuss these mourn the close and then. Mr. coming in 2004. You were part of a well publicized event about it intelligence program that had been recertified several times and you're acting attorney general win. Attorney general. John Ashcroft. Was incapacitated due to illness. There's a dramatic showdown at hospital here. The next day you said that she wrote a letter of resignation signed it for me went to meet with President Bush to explain why he refused to certify it is that accurate. Yes I think so. At any time in turn have much fewer than FBI director during the top administration did you ever write and sign a letter ruck recommendation and leave it on your desk. Letter of resignation assert letter of resignation dozer. So despite all of the things that you testified to here today. You didn't feel this rose to the level of and on us but serious. Difference of legal opinion between accomplished in skilled lawyers. In the 2004 episode. That I wouldn't characterize this. Search institute doesn't for that way. But to answer no I did I didn't find encounter any circumstance that led me to intent to resign considered to resign no sir thank you. So murder. Arkansas Republican Tom cotton and now the Democrat Kamal Harris of California. Senate Intel subcommittee. Hearing two in each of us get seven minutes instead of five is yesterday asking questions and thank you know. For and I am between opportunities laid out so easily give you that you are. I'm sure he'll have to adapt to any you know you and iBook and former prosecutors. Not gonna require need anti Islamic the statement that in in my. My eight experience of prosecuting a case is a winner Robert. Held a gun to somebody's head and and I hope you'll give me your wallet. The word hope was not the most operative word at that moment but out you don't have to respond to that point. I have a series of questions to ask Q and and they're gonna start with you aware of any meetings between the top administration officials and Russian officials. During the campaign that have not been acknowledged by it those officials and the White House. That's not it even if I remember clearly that's not a question I can answer an open having. Are you aware of any efforts by trump campaign officials are so it's of the campaign. To hide their communications. With Russian officials through encrypted communications or other means I have to give you the same answer senators are. In the course of the FBI's investigation did you ever come across anything that suggested that communications records documents or other evidence had been destroyed. The again you do the same answer because it it would touch on investigative matters. And are you aware of any efforts are potential effort to conceal communications between campaign officials and Russian official. We got to give you the same answer senator thank you. As a former attorney to out of a series of questions about. Your connection with the attorney general during the course of Europe on ten years as director. What is your understanding of the parameters of general sessions are accused of from the aggressor Russia investigation. I think it's described in a written. Release or statement from DOJ which I don't remember sitting here but the gist was he would be were cues from all matters relating to. Russia and that and the campaign her activities of Russia and then sixteen election I think some like that. Is that is your knowledge of the extent of his refusal based on public statements he's made and correct and connect. So is there any kind of memorandum. Issued from the attorney general for the Department of Justice to the FBI outlining the parameters of his accuse them up in a more. And do you know if you reviewed any FBI or DOJ documents pertaining to the investigation before he was accused. I don't I don't know. And after he was accused him as the same man same answer. And as a aside from any notice or memorandum that was not sent to learn what mechanism our process he's my place to ensure that the attorney general would not have any connection with the investigation. Check out. I don't know for sure. If I noted he had consulted with career ethics officials and no had a runner accuse bush DOJ but I don't know what mechanism they set up. And the attorney general recused himself from the investigation the do you believe it was appropriate for him to be involved in the firing of the and chief investigator of that. Case that Russian interference. At some I can't answer sitting here it's a it's a reasonable question but. That would defend a lot of things I don't know a what did he know what was he told did he realize that the president was doing it because of the Russian investigation things like that I just don't know the answer. You mentioned in your written testimony in here that the president essentially ask you for a loyalty pledge are you aware. Of him making the same request of any other members of the cabinet. I'm not. Do you know what one way or another when he I don't know homer and other a member having about it. And you mentioned that on you have a conversation. Where he hoped that you would let the flight medic on February 14. Aren't thereabouts. And it's my understanding that mr. sessions was accused. From any involvement in the investigation. About a full two weeks later. To your knowledge that was the attorney general. And it did get access to information about the investigation in those interim two weeks. I don't I think in theory sure because he's the attorney general I don't know whether he had any contact with any materials related to that. To your knowledge was there any directed that he should not have any contact with any information. About the Russian investigation between the February 14 date and the date he was ultimately were accused are recused himself on March 2. Not to my knowledge I don't know one way or another. And did you speak to the attorney general about the Russia investigation before his recusal. I don't think so no. Do you know if anyone in that department and the FBI. To forwarded any documents or information or memos of any sort. To the attention of the attorney down before his acute. I don't. I don't know of any remembering sitting here if it's possible but I I don't remember any. Do you know if the attorney general was involved in fact involved in any aspect of the Russian investigation after his accused them on the second of march. I don't I would assume not but I don't I don't let me say this what I don't know of any information or leave me to believe he did something. To touch the rush investigation after the refusal. In your written testimony you indicate that you. When after you left the president. You mention that it was inappropriate Internet never happen again to the attorney general. And apparently he did not replying you write that he did not reply what did he do. If anything. Did he'd just look it's it was or pause for a moment what happened. I don't remember real clearly I've ever recollection of him just kind of looking at me and there's a danger are projecting on to him so this may be a faulty memory but I kind of got. His body language gave me this sense like what am I gonna do. Eighty struck. Night I don't remember clearly I think the reason I have an impressionist and some recollection of almost informant there in perceptible like. What am I gonna do. But it and I have a clear recollection of that he didn't say anything. And none of that same February 14 meeting you said you understood the president to be requesting that you dropped investigation after that meeting however you received two calls from the president. March 30 and April 11. Where the president talked about a cloud over his presidency. Has anything you learned in the month of February 14 meeting changed your understanding of the president's request I guess it would be what you said pup in public. Documents are public interview correct. And is there any thing about this investigation. That you believe is in any way. I didn't. Biased or is is is not being informed by a a process. The truth. No the department of a special counsel should offer great especially given who that person is. Great comfort to Americans that no matter what your political affiliation is. That this will be done independently competently and honestly and do you believe that he should have full authority mr. Mahler. To be able to pursue an investigation. Yes and I and and knowing him well. Over the years if there's something he thinks he needs he will he will speak up about it do you believe he should have full independent. Aria. And he wouldn't be part of that if he wasn't gonna get full independence. Texas Republican John Cornyn is about to become the last of the fifteen senators on the senate intelligence committee to question former FBI director James calmly. After that a possible second round although this is supposed to be over. In about 44 minutes or so we will hang in there and wait and see how a senator John court. Mr. pierce your day voluntarily and answer our questions to cooperate. With our investigation. As a general matter if an FBI agent has reason to believe that a crime has been committed. Do they have a duty to report it. That's a good question I don't know that there's a legal duty to report that they certainly have a cultural and ethical duty to report. You you're unsure whether they would have a legal duty. Now that's a good question enough bottom up or I don't know where the legal is this statute that prohibits miss provision of a felony knowing of a felony. And taking steps to conceal it but there's a different question. It's a look. Let me be clear I would expect any FBI agent has reason information about a crime he committed to report me to but the boat where you rest that obligation I don't know it exists. And let me ask you as a general proposition if you're trying to make. An investigation go away. Is firing. An FBI director good way to make that happen. By that I mean it doesn't make a lot of sense to me but I am I'm obviously hopelessly biased but given that I was the one fired. I understand it's a personal. Now given eight nature of the FBI I meant what I said no indispensable people in the world including at the FBI. That is lots of bad things about me not being at the FBI most of them are for me but the work's gonna go on as before. So nothing that's happened that you testified to here today is impeded the investigation the FBI war director mowers. Commitment to get to the bottom of this from the standpoint of the FBI and the Department of Justice would you agree with that correct expression appointment of director former director Mueller is. Critical part of that equation. Let me take you back to the Clinton email investigation. I think. You've been cast as a kuril. Or villain. Depending on the whose political doc ox is being gored. At many different times during the course of the Clinton email investigation even even now perhaps. But. You clearly were troubled by. The conduct of the city attorney general Loretta lynch when Clinton came to the Clinton email. Investigation you mentioned the characterization. That you have been asked to accept that this was a matter and not a criminal investigation which he said. It was there was the matter of president Clinton's. Meeting on the tarmac. With the sitting attorney general of the time when his wife was a subject to a criminal investigation and you suggested that perhaps their other. Matters that you may each be able to share with us later on in a classified setting. It seems to me that you clearly believe that Loretta lynch the attorney general had a an appearance of a conflict of interest on the Clinton email investigation is that correct. That's fair I didn't believe she could credibly. Decline that investigation. Or at least not without grievous damage to the department justice and to the FBI. And under. Department of justice and FBI norms. Wouldn't it have been appropriate for the attorney general or she had recused herself which she did not do for the deputy attorney general. Two appoint a special counsel that's essentially what's happened now with director more with that have been at an appropriate step. In the Clinton email investigation opinion certainly a possible step yes sir. And were you aware that ms. lynch had been requested numerous times to appoint a special counsel when it refused. Truck yes from I think congress had been members of congress had repeatedly asked to assert yours truly. Did on multiple occasions. And that. Heightened your concerns about the appearance of a conflict of interest with the Department of Justice which caused you to make. What you have described as an incredibly painful decision. To basically take the matter up yourself and led to that July. Press conference. Mr. I can say after the President Clinton former President Clinton. I met on the playing with Tzipi attorney general I considered whether I should call for the appointment of a special counsel. And decided that that would be an unfair thing to do because I knew there was no case there we investigated their very thoroughly I know this is a subject of passionate disagreement. But I knew there was no case there. And calling for a part of special counsel would be brutally unfair. Because it would send a message a hobby or something here that was my judgment again lots of people have different views of if that's I thought about it. What with a special counsel had been appointed they could have made that determination. That there was nothing there. And declined to pursue it right sure but it would have been many months later a year later. Let me just ask you to. Given the experience of the Clinton email investigation and what happened there. You think it's unreasonable for. Anyone. Any president. Who has been assured on multiple occasions that he's not the subject of an FBI investigation. You think it's unreasonable for them to want. The FBI director to publicly announced that so that this cloud. Over his administration would be removed. Yeah I think that's a reasonable point of view the concern would be obviously. Because of that boomerang comes back it's going to be very big deal because there will be a duty to. Correct always and we saw that in the Clinton email investigation that's our cola is I know you do. From. So let me ask you for finally in the minute we have left there was this conversation back and forth about loyalty and I think we all appreciate fact an FBI director is unique. Public official in the sense that is the not he's a political point he won since but he has the duty of independence to pursue the law. Pursuant to the cup is caught the constitutional laws of the United States. And so when the president ask you about loyalty. You've got in this back and forth about well pledge you my honesty. And then it looks like from what I've read you agreed upon honest loyalty or something like that is that the characterization yes. Thank you very much it's Republican senator John Cornyn. Now let's listen for sharing this Karen I think it certainly. There have been press reports that the president. In addition to asking used to drop the Flint investigation has asked other senior. Intelligence officials. To take steps. Which would. Ten to undermine investigation rusher. There's been reports that he's asking and I coats and and Rogers to make public statements. Exonerating him alone or taken pressure off him. And also reports about and bloggers and director pump failed to intervene. And reach out the FBI and I asked them. Are you aware of any of these. These questions either from senator Jack Reed here's an excerpt fishy O member. Of the opt intelligence committee he serves on the house ma are on the senate armed services committee of those leaders about that subject. Thank you. You have testified that. Do you interpretive. Discussion with the President Obama plan and they direction to stop investigations that are yes. You testified that the president ash who lifts the cloud of and essentially making public statements there's something him and perhaps others view refute current. It didn't I didn't do it I didn't refused to print their the president a totally would see what we can do and in the second time he called. I told them in substance that's something your lawyer up to take up with the Justice Department. And part of the underlying logic was that we've we've discussed. Many times throughout this morning is the duty to correct. That is one of a theoretical issue but also for a practical issue it is. It was scary if you're feeling at the direction of the investigation. Could in fact include the president. In theory mean as I explained the concern of one of my senior leader colleagues was. If you're looking at. Potential coordination between the campaign in Russia. Person has the campaign is a candidate so. Logically this person argued. Of the candidates knowledge understanding. Who will logically become a part of your inquiry if it proceeds. And so I understood that argument for in my view was. That that what I said to the president was accurate and fair and fair to him I resisted the idea of publicly saying it. Both Justice Department want it to that I would have done it. Because of the Judy correct and the slippery slope from. And again all for you testified that does the president mash U repeatedly to be loyal to him and you responded he would be honest. We oil which is I think your way of saying I'll be honest and I'll be better the FBI independence that fear. Correct I tried honest first. And also mean and you've seen in my testament also tried to explain to them why it's in his interest. And every president's interest to the FBI to be a part in a way because its credibility is important that to a president and to the country. And so. I tried to hold the line of like a very awkward and I then said. You'll always have honesty from me said honest loyalty and and I exceeded to that as a way to end this awkwardness. And the culmination of all the defense he or summarily fired. An explanation right now. Well there was an explanation I just don't buy it well. Yes so your fires that. Do you believe that unified because you you refuse to want you to take the president instructions that the ultimate reason. I don't know for sure. I know I was fired in gonna take the president's words I know it was fired because of something about the way I was conducting the Russian investigation. Was in some way putting pressure on him in some way irritating him and you decide if army because of that. Now like I can't go farther than that. The Russian investigation. As you pointed out and it's all my colleague to reflect is one of the most serious. Hostile acts against his country in our history undermine the very core of our democracy in our elections. Is not a discrete event it will likely occur it's probably being prepared now for eighteen into mourning beyond. And yet the president United States and fire issue because it's your own words some relation to this investigation. And then he shows up in the Oval Office with the Russian foreign minister. First after classify you as crazy in a room not job which I think you've effectively disprove this morning. He said I think it's great pressure because a Russia that's taken off. Your conclusion would be that the president I think is. Downplaying. The seriousness of this threat and fact. To most specific steps to stop. Thorough investigation. Of the Russian invested or Russian influence. And also from what you've sent a what was and so this morning. Doesn't seem to particularly interest in these hostile threats but the Russians that there. Don't know that I can. Agreed to that level of detail there's no doubt that it's a fair judgment it's my judgment that I was fired. Because of the Russian investigation I was fired. In some way to change for the endeavor was to change the way the rush investigations being conducted that is a that is a very big deal. And not just because it involves me in the nature of the FBI and the nature of its work. Requires. That it not be. The subject of political consideration. And on top of that you have the Russian investigation itself is vital because of the threat in a nor should have said this earlier but it's obvious. If any Americans. Were part of helping the Russians do that to us that is a very big deal. And I'm confident that if that is the case director Mueller will find that evidence. Finally. The president tweeted that came to going there hope that there are no tapes of our policy response leaking to the press. It was that or rather on subtle attempt to intimidate you from testifying and intimidate. Anyone else who's seriously courses is that. Not doing. I can American city are trying to interpret the president tweets it. To me it's major impact was as I said occurred to me in the middle of the night holy cow there might be tapes. And if they're tapes it's not just my word against his on on the direction to get rid of the fund investigation. Thank you very much. So Democrat Jack Reed. Rhode Island and we expect Arizona Senator John McCain the chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee who is. An exit fish he'll member of the intelligence committee like senator Reid. John McCain. There wasn't. Sufficient. Evidence to bring suit. Against her although it is good Barea. Terrorists in their behavior what you did reach a conclusion. In that case that it was not necessary to. Further pursue her. Yet at the same time in case. Mr. call me. You said that there was not enough information to make. It conclusion. Telling the difference between her conclusion as far as. Former Secretary Clinton is concerned that and and mr. mr. trump. The Clinton investigation was a completed investigation that. The FBI I've been deeply involved in and right up to and understand all the facts. And apply those facts against the laws understood them this investigation was under way. Still going when I was fired so it's nowhere near in the same place Lisa wasn't when I was. What is still on gold correct as far as I know it was when I left. That investigation is going this investigations going on you've reached separate conclusions. No that was done that I have only had investigation of any involvement. Secretary Clinton or any number associates is completed. Yes as of July the fifth. The FBI completed its investigative work and that's what I was announcing what we have done what we have found. Well at least in the minds who dismembered there's a whole lot of questions remaining. About what we're not particularly. Considering the fact that. If you mention it's quote big deal. As to what went on during the campaign. So. Glad you concluded that part of the investigation. But I. Think that the American people have a whole lot of questions out there particularly since she just emphasized. The role that Russia play. And obviously she was a candidate for president at that time so she was clearly involved. In this whole. Situation where. Fake news. As you've just described a big deal. Took place at you gonna have to help me out here in other words we are complete the investigation of anything that former Secretary Clinton had to do with the campaign's over we don't have to worry about it anymore. With respect to sector enough I'm a little confused senator respect to Secretary Clinton yet we investigated. Criminal investigation in connection with her use of a personal email serve I understand and that's the investigation I announce inclusion of in July 5. So put him the same time you've made the announcement there would be no. Charges brought against. Then Secretary Clinton. For any activities they've involved. In the Russian involvement in our engagement and are election. I don't I don't quite understand. How you can be done with that but not completely done. With the whole investigation on their attempt to it affect the outcome of our election. No I'm sorry if we're not at least when I left when I was fired I made tonight there was still an open active investigation to understand the Russian efforts. And whether any Americans work with them. But you've reached the conclusion. That there was no reason to bring charges against Secretary Clinton so you reached a conclusion. In the case of missed call me. You. Oppression. Call me I think it serves me good case oppression trial you. Have been an ongoing investigation. She got one candidate. We are done with and another candidate that you have a long way to go. That crap. I don't know how far they've the FBI has to go but yes. That the Clinton email investigation is completed the investigation of Russia's efforts in connection with the election. And whether there was any coordination. And if so with whom is getting Russian campaign he just was ongoing and I left. You just made it clear what he said this is a quote big deal quote. That I think. It's hard to reconcile. In one location may reach complete conclusion on the other side you have you have not and you've. In fact that obviously. There's a lot more there is as we know. As you called it in quote big deal she's one of the candidates wouldn't hurt patients say there will be no charges and face. President trump there at your residence at the investigation continues. What has been brought out in this hearing news is more and more emphasis on the Russian engagement and involvement in this campaign. How serious. Do you think this was. Very serious but at. And honestly some meat clear. There was we have not announced and there was no provocation to announce an investigation of whether the Russians. May have coordinated with secretary Clinton's campaign. Secretary Clinton Skelton and. Did they may not have been involved for their campaign they were involved with the entire presidential campaign obviously of course mr. and that that is an investigation. That began last summer insofar as I'm aware continues. So both. President. Trump and former candidate. Clinton are both involved in the investigation yet one of them you said there's going to be no charges in the other when that the investigation continues well. I think I think there's a double standard there and tell you the truth. That when the president said Q you talked about here April 11 phone call and he should quote because I've been very loyal to you very loyal. We had that thing you know. Is that a Rauscher curiosity is what quote that thing was yes. Why didn't ask him. We didn't seem to me to be important for the conversation we're having to understand it I took it to be some. An effort to it. Two. Communicate to me this that there is a relationship between us where I've been good do you you should be good to me. You'll put out I think it would intensely aroused my. I had curiosity if pres United States that we had that thing you know I'd like to know what the hell that thing he has particularly if I'm the director of the FBI. Yeah and I get that senator on a cell tea witnesses speculation but what I concluded that the time is in his memory he was searching. Back to our encounter at the dinner. And was preparing himself to say I offered loyalty promised loyalty to me and all the sudden his memory showed him that did not happen. And I think he pulled up short that's just to guess but I paid a lot of conversations with humans over you. That would have some curiosity if it'd been about me and be honest with you. So are you Wear anything that would believe view to believe that the president. Members of the administration are members of the campaign. Could potentially be used to coerce or blackmail the administration. That's a subject for it investigations. Not something I can come and I'm sitting here. You're listening to live coverage of the commie testimony and WWL. That conclusion as far as Secretary Clinton is concerned but you're not reaching a conclusion as far as this administration. It is concerned. Are you aware of anything that would lead you to believe that information access. That could. Coerce members of the administration or blackmail the administration. It's not a question I can answer senator from Hearst arms expert. Senator John McCain the last to ask questions that in front of the senate intelligence committee of former FBI director James toll closing comments now from chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina and vice chair Mark Warner Virginian. Here in room. We have a vote scheduled for 145. I would suggest that all members promptly. Be there at 1 o'clock we have about three minutes. I like have a quarter. Photographers. Photographers return to where you were placed this here and not adjourn yeah. Here that it will remove you. To members we have about three minutes of updates that we would love to cover as soon as we get into the closed session before you. I have an opportunity to spend some time with director Carl make. Are based on our agreement. It would be my intentions to adjourn that closed here in between two and two Kim so that members can go vote and I would urge you to eat at that time. Jim. Several of us on this committee have had the opportunity to work with huge mutual in the door. Enormously personally on behalf of all this look at all the committee members were grateful to you for your service choose your country. Not just in the capacity as FBI director. But as prosecutor and more importantly. Being somebody that loves this country enough to tell it like it is. I want to say to your workforce. That we're grateful to them with the level of cooperation that they have shown us. With the trust we built. Between both organizations the congress and and the bureau. We couldn't do our job if it wouldn't for their willingness to share candidly would us the work that we need two series. This hearings than mine public hearing this committee has had this year that is. Twice the historical. Year long average of this committee. I think the vice chairman minimized biggest challenge win this investigation has concluded. Is to return our hearings. To the secrecy of a closed hearing. To encourage our members not to freely talk about intelligence. Matters. Publicly. And to respect. The fact that we have a huge job. And that's to represent. The entire. Body of the United States senate and the American people. To make sure of it. We work with the intelligence community to provide you the tools to keep America safe. And that you do it within the legal limit or those limits that are set by the executive branch. We could not do it if you're looking for truth trusted partnership. That you have been able to lead and others before you. So here's here's we depart from their resources a pivotal. Hearing and our investigation. We're grateful for years. For the professionals and you've shown in your willingness I won't turn my share. I simply want to echo. One again thanks. For your parents. And their clearly it to remain a number of questions and the one thing. I don't commit to you and more importantly I think term I want to let them all those who are still potentially watching and following. There's still a lot of unanswered question and we're gonna get to the bottom that's where I get the facts out the American people deserve to know. There's the questions around implications of trump officials. Russians but there's also the macro issue of what the Russians did he continue to do and I think is very important that all Americans realize that threat is real. Is continuous. It is not just towards our nation is all torch all western democracies and we have to come from solution so thank Christian. Director and we thank you once you the committee this year ginger. We have that from sore former rob with that from senate intelligence vice chair Mike Warner and chairman Richard Burr the public portion of the testimony from former FBI director James told me is done a closed door session as soon posters start and just a little while. That's what we've been listening to for the last two and a half hours yourself. Let's turn to our CBS news political analyst Leonard Stein horn Leonard so much territory covered here what your take aways all boil down to five takeaways.