Transcript for Rep. Adam Schiff talks Hope Hick’s resignation, Russia probes
So our next guest is public enemy number one with the white house right now. As he heads up the house intelligence committee investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. Election. Please welcome congressman Adam Schiff. Congressman, I’ll start. So your committee spoke to hope hicks yesterday I believe. Was it or the day before? Day before. The next day she resigned from the white house. Yes. Saying that she — and she said she had said these little white lies. Number one, can that lead to little white perjury? That’s my first question. The second, the white house says the timing had nothing to do with anything. She just decided the next day. Do you buy that? I don’t know. Was involved in the timing. In fairness to hope hicks I wish the conversations never left the committee. The question that was asked of her was a pertinent question. If a witness is willing to say things that aren’t true on behalf of the boss outside the committee we need to know because it reflects whether to be truthful in the committee. The most significant issue I have with her testimony are the areas she refused to testify on the instructions of the white house. That’s not her fault. That’s the instructions of her employer. And she can do that? Well, she can’t unless we let her do that. This is the issue. Will the congress assert itself? Will the congress insist on answers when Steve Bannon refused to answer along the same lines, the Republicans said, well, we need to demand answers and they subpoenaed him on the spot. Steve Bannon is not beloved in the white house, no longer with Breitbart so my colleagues in the GOP were willing to assert the institutional responsibilities of the committee. Not so with Corey Lewandowski. Not so with hope hicks or any number of witness who is have similarly refused to answer questions. They need to be subpoenaed and compelled. By Robert Mueller. By us as well as Mueller. If there is a legitimate claim as to a small subset of questions that deal with executive privilege, then we should negotiate and respect that. You can’t say we’re simply not going to answer questions about anything that happened during the transition and during the administration, whether it involved the president or didn’t. We have obviously very important questions to ask hope hicks about the preparation of that false statement about the meeting at trump tower with the Russians. With don junior. Exactly. I would like to go a different direction. You are at the intelligence committee probably the institution that has best access to what actually happened with the Russians. And my view is if the Russians did it to us the first time, shame on them. If they do it to us again, shame on us. So what are we doing — What are we doing apart from the investigation of the white house or the transition or any of that? How is the committee pursuing the issue of what they did and how we stop it? I could imagine that Vladimir Putin is ready to go again and we shouldn’t let him do that. I think that’s exactly right. Indeed, all of our intelligence chiefs have said they expect the Russians will be back and they never left. In terms of what’s being done, I have to say not nearly enough. The states are certainly taking action. They are hardening their elections infrastructure to make sure the Russians can’t penetrate it again or monkey around with the vote counts. What we need, because you know how formidable the Russians are is a whole government response where every cabinet secretary is working within their portfolio to establish a deterrent for the Russians. There is still bipartisan sanctions sitting on the president’s desk that he refuses to implement. We need to send a clear message to Russia that any further meddling won’t be tolerated. A heavy price will be paid. What kind of heavy price? The price they care most is a price to their economy. That’s why the top priority for the Russians are doing away with sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine, meddling in our election. Because what Putin really fears more than anything else is not losing an election, if you’re a viable opponent of Kremlin you end up in jail or dead. What he fears though is the power of people to gather in massive numbers and throw out their autocratic government and to the degree the Russian economy suffers and people take to the streets, that’s the threat he fears. Do you think we fully know what happened though? Are you confident that we really understand how the Russians did what they did? We do an awful lot about what they did what they did in terms of the dumping of documents, use of social media and paid media like rt and sput Nick. We don’t know as much as we should about whether they also used financial entanglement which they have used in Europe and elsewhere to exert influence and that’s the money laundering issue. We don’t know the full role of the trump campaign although we know a lot more than when we started. We know enough though to take firm steps to respond to them and to harden our defense as we know enough to know they’ll be back. So let me ask you this because I find it insane that you cochair the Intel committee, nunes is your Coe chair and you’re supposed to be working together and you have two different sides. It’s become more about the politics rather than the job. Which is to do the Intel that answers these questions and I want to know because if this is so partisan, how are we supposed to understand as just a regular person going down the street, who do we believe? Competing memos. Yeah. This is a really central problem and challenge. Yeah. When we had our first open hearing in March of last year, I said at that time that the best service we could offer the public is if we could do a thorough investigation, arrive at a common conclusion and not force the public to choose between a GOP version and democratic version. That was the goal. Now, I’ve been told since that hearing because at that hearing James Comey revealed for the first time he had opened an investigation the previous July into the trump campaign’s connections with the Russians. My colleagues and the GOP felt that was an unmitigated disaster for them. It was the very next day that the chairman went on the midnight run to get documents that he said showed mall fee Sans of the Obama administration and the following day went back and presented those and we would learn the documents he obtained had gotten from the white house and it was concocted with the white house. That’s the point at which the committee investigation really diverged and this memo business, we asked the chairman was this similarly done in conjunction with the white house and he wouldn’t answer the question. It’s very hard obviously to do an objective investigation if the chair views his mission differently as protecting the president. I view our mission as protecting the public. That’s right. And letting the chips fall wherever they may. And I wouldn’t frankly be thrilled, have been thrilled if we could have seen this investigation through on a bipartisan basis and reached whatever conclusion we reached whether it was exoneration or incrimination if we had done it together. I spent a lot of time in Washington and I know you got a really hard job and I appreciate what you’re doing for the country. But I really hope you can wrap it up. The country needs to get back to business. So that’s my greatest hope. This gets done. I just want to say on Robert Mueller this is somebody I know, I worked with him. He was FBI director when I was national security adviser. I have enormous respect for him and he is going to do this in a very fair way and so I just hope we can get it done. Here’s what we know. Here’s what we know thus far. Congressman Adam Schiff is sticking around. Okay, good. We’ll be right back. ???
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.