Attorney General Bill Barr sits down with Senator Ted Cruz and Michael Knowles to reveal the Trump administration’s plans for dealing with the riots afflicting America, lay out what we can expect from the Durham probe into Obama-era corruption, and explain why he was crazy enough to take the job a second time.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
As riots vandalism and even all out autonomous zones combined The calls to defend the police. We sit down with a nation's top cop attorney. William BAR. This is verdict with TED Welcome back to verdict with TED crews. I Michael Knolls. We will get the attorney general just one second, but first I want to thank all of you who have listened and watched the show we ve now hit over ten million views that is More than I think we thought was going to happen, so thank you so much if you have an already, please go over to apple podcast or wherever you listened Abad guests, labour, five star review and subscribe now, We are in a new location today, not our usual studio, senator have brought a friend. Thank you, Mr Attorney, or for being here. You know the news broke just moments ago that you testify before the House Judiciary Committee next month, so we are
that you would sit down with us first and very much appreciated. I want to get right into this. Obviously, there's so much going on and it occurs to me. We have a man who writes the laws. We have the man who enforces the laws and we have popular calls utter lawlessness in the country. How do restore order? Well, it's going. It's gonna, take both state and and local government, as well as federal government, the federal I've is best positioned to address this kind of violence and lawlessness after it occurs because don't have FBI agents walking the B and, in fact when, when the real violent started around, maybe me fifty six and so forth We started using our joint terrorist task forces around the country.
And that their thirty five m around the country. It involves all states, local and those jurisdictions and all the federal agencies and it's the system we designed to follow terrorists and now they are starting to go full bore, cranking out investigations indictments against the people who were involved in this violence. If we ve had scores of indictments already fraught with such things as arson, destruction of federal property, things like that and we have right now about five hundred investigations under way. So it's picking up pay and we are committed to holding accountable. The people are engaged in this, but we still have to try to stop it before it happens and that's where the burden is. Right now and state and local and in many places the not stepping up to the plate. They're they're, not when their job, so it's early but but how much indications of our Ya'Ll saying of
nation and planning rather than spontaneous acts of violence. We are, we are seeing her strong Evidence of of coordination and many of these violent episodes fundamentally what you have here, as you have demonstrators, some of them go. There were the intent of demonstrating, but you have a group of provocateurs and the sometimes just african group. It try to convert them violent activity, and they seem to be very well coordinated when they show up a number of more sociate with the movement called Hand Pisa, but they go by various names, but frequently artistic. They want to tear down the country, the different in many traditional groups and frequently, the signs of coordination and activity are very close to the event itself like the morning of the day before and think very fast. Moving, but
definitely see signs out on the street of Community nation innovation of pre planning. Pre positioning of things, so it's definitely organised act and will, if, if rolling in the terrorism task force. That means presume that we're dealing with terrorism here I know the president came out and said just a couple of days ago, but this will not be tolerated on federal land. You cannot destroy federal property in here, authorizing the government to go and hold people accountable What will this mean in terms of a change of policy or an acceleration of a policy that was already in place? Well is the time it's not a change in policy in the sense that we have always had the obligation is the federal government to protect federal facilities and federal land action and monuments and so forth. But now because its places, the local police, are not to an adequate job. We're gonna have to step up the federal effort to do that and so
two aspects to it. Obviously we're gonna prosecute. Right now, all the videos invite of the attack on the budget to urge President Jackson's statute being carefully reviewed and and we will go after people. So a few attack amount meant on federal property, you're gonna get prosecuted, that's right! Failure but were also been an the criminal statute as has serious jail time. I know that thing you, ten years and years and the other thing is. We have to do a better job of trying to stop these groups before they are able to do damage to these monuments and and that's fine, to punish them afterward. But I think a lot of us would like the statues to remain up right. Well they were saying a lot of local, whether its mayors, police departments or governors that may agree with the political agenda of the rioters. Standing by and allowing them to destroy
down monuments. They don't like in- and you know it started with with confederate war generals, but now now tearing down or defacing Ulysses grants that are heard there. Defacing Abraham, Lincoln Casino Lincoln was was famously they're going after Saint, who need arrows Sarah Cervantes ideas about it. It's it's anarchy is what it is, and ended it off from people who are very ignorant, don't care about history at all. Imagine they looked at? U S, grant statute did know. We really was wasn't sure what society was on. Of course, all guy with a beard he's gotta be about is a terrible. He was a great republican president who did more for advancing the right of african Americans in this country, probably than any single presently crush the coup. Klutz clam came down crush the clan
and, and I expect the protesters attacking him, have no idea of that and don't care, but guess what TED used federal troops to do at the regular army. He brought the regular army to protect the when I play Freeman and any did that before something called the Civic had a whole lot of emerald critically important all in that way. You know on this point of enforcing the law on going after these, these people were causing violence with the play that the president meant announced this policy was, as one might expect, on twitter and then Twitter censored the president's too so the presence and we're going to enforce the law against people committing crimes and There said this violated the policy. I know senator you ve been talking about this kind of thing for years. At this point, I think it ties into another. Some people are asking of the d o J. What are we going? do about abuses at big technology, companies,
a couple of lines being pursued. You know we have anti. Asked investigation of all the major internet platforms most of the major and platforms- and that's very under way. I expect to be making decisions in the next few weeks about actions on that. So I think during the summer will see some developments by this issue of censorship is is very troubling, because if our country was is the framers, as you now believed, in the thing that would ultimately keep us free and keep a majority from repressing a minorities allotted diversity of voices out. There are robust marketplace but but he must have gotten a vast, strong control over expression of views and then public for here in the United States, and they got there- and I have said this is the biggest Baden switch in history. They got
By saying, hey, we're gonna be opened, all views you know come join us because then you can have your view, so they built up this powerful network v. Strong market power based on their based on the representation that they were sort of open to all as a sort of bulletin board. But then, when they, at that hearted power. Now they're censoring views, just like the example you gave, and there now censoring views and their and so were getting increasing increasingly a monolithic viewpoints being presented to the american people rather than the kind of a robust so one thing we're doing there. His words were saying that rule two thirty, which, as a rule that gave immunity to companies for taking down taking down things and didn't therefore convert them into a publisher where they be responsible for everything, appears on the on their site, we want to modify that so that they have to.
Clear terms of service they have do show that what they took down reason Lee had reasonable grounds for saying it violated their terms of service and they have to give notice and processed labels, whose content they take down. That's one of the things that were proposing. This is perfectly right. Simple to me and yet senator I know when you ve brought up rule two. Thirty people have harangued you for and said this is absolutely not the right way to go and just leave twitter alone and leave Google alone and let them control the flow of information on the internet. Well, look there's, there's good news. This and that I think there is growing and even by partisan frustration with big tech that you ve got a handful Silicon Valley, billionaires that that the the new culture, and an end and they are they, hey as if their untouchable and Leslie use the twitter example from this week, internet go back very far. So
president of the United States sent out a tweet that, if violent anarchists, try to set up a lawless, autonomous zone in Washington DC. That long spent will stop them. Twitter, blocked that tweet and said it was abusive for the president to say we're not gonna, let violent Iraq take over our capital an end. This is I assume you know you ve got a Silicon valley billionaire on his yacht. Saying no, no silence little one and by the way, They have the right to do that if they could silence the president if they in silence. Media outlets, why hope. Does an ordinary citizen have made up to the press then at least has a pretty big megaphone, even if they do science and true, he doesn't have difficulty being heard how about the rest of and at an end, the absent
brazenness of it on other, example from this week, Google, when, after the real estate, conservative media outlets call them up and said o k our problem detection, not with your content. They said we're gonna demonetized, because there's some comments on your comments, section that are if they, if they identified the comment, so they're gonna, they're, gonna, take this news organization off of Bee advertising platform, which The advertising is what allows the news organization to exist. If you take them off your bankrupting the new it is, it is doing exactly that is sucking the oxygen out and get our quick perusal of, liberal website- show a bunch of them have come at sites and you can find all sorts of obnoxious noxious and save comments on liberal websites, they're not imposing down on them
and here that this is an interesting development actually for the d o J investigation, one place, you find comments as you tube you tube is a wholly owned subsidiary of Google. It's an incredibly profitable subsidiary of Google, I guarantee you can go right now today on you to take a look at the comments and you will find racist we'll find profane. You will find offensive comments all over you, and that's just what they write to us as to what they say about us. Imagine all the other than and Google is not imposing those terms on its wholly owned. You tube but is instead using- and this is where the censorship and free speech and issues intersect without trust laws big there a monopoly power imposing differ, she'll standards on their competitors and they are on their own wholly on subsidiary and an image so, just think of the hypocrisy, the point that these big companies are saying is look we
be held responsible for third party content on our website, so Youtube says if people things that are defamatory on our website. We shouldn't be held accountable for that, because it is good, have this kind of forum for people to come in. And yet, when someone comes in on their website, their say The rules that we want applied asked Don, apply to you, you're responsible for, what's on your comments, section right, it's hard to have those both at the Sheraton because you know senator you mention the autonomous zone before Mr Turner I would like to ask you about that, but perhaps I should stead ask the Secretary of State, because, these zones in Seattle and in Washington DC, they declared themselves fully autonomous, separate from the union. States as a legal matter? How the OJ look at such a claim, but obviously the right a separate from the United States. There are a bunch of fur
agitators who planted themselves in the middle of Seattle and are bullying the people who live there and the businesses that are there and the Seattle government is not protecting its people, its not enforcing It's not it's not protecting the federal rights of their citizens and the police, Do not seem to be enforcing the law there, but of courses another question that has come up on the shore quite a bit that this matter of least reform its talked about from the question of police on the grand I'd like to talk about it from a higher particularly in your role when people talk about corruption in the OJ. I am reminded of your predecessor Loretta Lynch, who sat on a tarmac with Bill Clinton. Three days before Hillary Clinton was going to speak to the FBI I am reminded of her predecessor Eric holder, who referred to himself as Barack Obama's women in twenty thirteen while he was in office
I am reminded of Loretta Lynch again, who wrote the description, the James Coma used of Hillary Clinton, email server, how politicized was the d j before you got there. Like I, I think there were many examples of political decisions, but I think one of the things that perplexed me about this is that we we we had one of the the largest fraud and injustices in american history conducted during the tooth sixteen election by the justice to power men- have the F B, I right in the centre of it and It was turning the law enforcement intelligence agencies of the government against, and opponents political campaign. As far as I know, never happened before, and it's one of the ultimate dangers in the Democratic Republic like ours and the things that I have been criticised for generally are coming in and trying to get to the boy with that and hold accountable the people that were involved, I
I know there was just a development on this said over the past couple of days. Two in the case of Michael Flynn, Michael Flynn, who was entrapped, when he was coming in its the national security adviser and d J t Dover, I believe it was exculpatory to use them rays of Flint lawyer memory from an anti trump of official name it or struck. Now a judge has told the other judge to drop, Where does this all stand? Well, we moved to drop. The prosecution general Flynn, because we investigated, investigation and prosecutors decision- and we had determined, and felt that there is strong, indications and evidence that the decision to move against flame, was not bonafide.
And that they didn't really have a basis for a counter intelligence investigation and we just stir The doktor filed a document in court yesterday that hasn't seen before their handwritten notes of the January fifth meeting in the White House between the President vice President James call me Anne and others, and in there, call me in response to a question from president obama- seems there. I mean he says according to the notes that the calls between Flynn and firstly at the russian ambassador appeared legitimate food just a few days later, they begin the basis of a counter intelligence, investigate repeater structure. Yes, who was enough, Who was the F intelligence agent running so he's admitting it, appears legitimate and then all of a sudden we're
told it isn't legitimate and refugees who got be prosecuted. The notes also indicate that it was vice President Joe Biden, who suggested the Logan ACT could be used to target general plan well No show is that advice. Raise the Logan ACT acting connection. It appears with e that the calls made by Flynn the casually act, which is a ridiculously unconscious, national statute. I'm I'm no expert, but it certainly seems unconstitutional domain and under way no one has been convicted by the Department of Justice and it purports to prohibit any one from conducting foreign policy. I I promise you. John Kerry today is violating the Logan ACT because, into the Iranians are to somebody because John Kerry does that every day trying to undermine the administrations, foreign policy- and you know what John Kerry, An american citizen has every right to do it and end the fact that Biden,
and Bhamo were willing and and deal J and end. The intelligence agencies were willing to go along with it to weapon eyes, law enforcement. After Donald, had been elected to go after the next president, I think, is absolutely scandalous. It is an abuse, the power at a level that then, I think, makes Richard sons, abuses and Watergate pale by comparison and- and I gotta say bill the job. You ve done is Agee too simple. Be willing to speak the truth, to bring transparency to what happened. Has been historic. And you ve done it. Knowing that the tire world would descend upon you that you would be politically targeted that you'd be vilify, that the media would go after the political process would go after you
and I got to say you know, there's a pillar video on the internet of the honey batch, I gotta say you have been the honey bad. I thank you thank you and to become and in this year, does everyone gets this wrong. You have not been a reply Looking general, I don't want a republican attorney general. You have been an attorney general Derek aid to following the law and in particular- reopening some of these prosecutions. Going back and looking at and bringing in? U dot S attorney's to say good, let's go assess what happened to your. How did General Flynn get targeted? What was a basis for it? I think it is incredibly important can. I have to say I was telling you your staff right before we started.
There are sort of company without work in other coming after us on every fraught, and I just said, listen take that as a compliment doing the right thing. Has a price and and the job you have done as attorney general is inspiration flat out any kind of important. Thank you, too. That's real important to me that you said that yeah and when the stunning things- and I sure I'm sure you will agree- is that the media, just when here Ben for leather and push This Russia gauge every that tromp was essentially eight agent of of Russia. And they were merciless and up until now, recently, you had former senior judge a government official sort of in knowingly about how the present was gonna, be indicted and so forth, and so on behalf of heat,
Anyone standing up now and saying that President Tromp is an agent of a foreign power, no books, they got it wrong and you wouldn't know the yunkers. There's been no retraction. There's been no readjustment by the media or all the the people have been pushing this story. Acting. There are other just onto the next full scandal, because their purpose debated, cripple this administration and drive from office at any cost is just gone down the memory or we have completely forgotten about. I I do want to get back in a moment to all of the top important questions of state, but Center. You ve brought up something that I think a lot of you curious about. I certainly am what am I supposed to call you is it? Is it switch. General is a general bar. Is it honey badger? What is the proper term to refer to the attorney General United States? Well, people
hey attorney general, but it is also in the United States. We also use general to refer to the attorney general, but that actually is a mistake. I like it, and I think we should still keep this, but actually from the norm in French, which was attorney general, which was then carry over to England by the Normans, and they were to attorney general something general generals. The adjective meant general attorney the general attorney like the General Council and We we just use the term general, but every other English speaking countries to refer to the attorney General says attorney, so the of the four of addressing in Britain is Zealand, Australia and Canada is attorney before Addressing the United States is jammed. Generals in the plural, he's done mistake. A big mistake, unfortunate I dont, like sounds very powerful, and I note that the plural is an attorney
generate honeys badger but has not yet been put it unwell and I'll tell you a funny story set. So the first termite I met bill was was twenty five years ago, and- and I was a law clerk for then Judge MIKE looted and looting at the time was forty one was the strongest conservative pellet judge in the country and with an incredible friend a mentor, but Gloody had been bills, deputy at the Department of Justice and of the year I was cloaking, was Linux fifth year the bench, and so we organised a party, a black tie party to celebrate five years on the bench, In addition to former law clerks, we invited people who'd been important in life and Sobs Leah was their justice. Thomas was there and and bill was there so the first time I met Madame and an judge looted tell stories you work at eighteen hours a day when you click projector with it, but at least six of those hours are just listening stories, and so you here lots of stories, but one
The stories I remember hearing is is when so, Was the head of the office legal counsel, truly storied office at the Department of Justice and Scalia was also head of I'll see. William Renquist was head of a lousy, so he continued. Did a grand tradition and then got gotta promoted, deputy attorney general and that attorney general. Anne and looting told the story of one day and in the agency's office there was, I guess, an army helmet in there. I don't know why, but he described putting the army helmet on and going out to his balcony and saying I'm a general is that true, is that what happened with the attorney general form but had to leave town, and he made me acting attorney General Economic system be made me acting at regional and I put the helmet
took binoculars. My went out on the balcony and ludicrous. What are you doing here? I'm looking for injustice not met. Now you might not be this very strong binoculars. Half the population will without yet also all over, which we have tried to keep a sense of humor just so I will say so what, when I was solicitor general of Texas, it follows the same same hissed, Rywhere, when either of us argue the Supreme Court, the justices will will refer to use general bar, five and a half years, I was S G in Texas, I beg tidy just once. Commagena What company is on a come on? Don't do it for me and that it never one sided admit it is like it s. You know that this story, too, I mean if it occurs to me when you say you were in gulfs between general. This was a while ago
is not just a couple of years ago, three elzevirs thirty years ago, you are, someone is forty, one years old. While bill is only the second person in: U S, history to be attorney. General twice shrunk: John Kryptonite the first is more than a century ago. So I'd be bill, how is it different art year? Forty want a young man, your age, and then you come back the world changed a lot have. How is how is this job different? How is the OJ different? So I would but up by saying things on the outside move. Much fast and things on, the inside move slower and that's a bad. The combination it's more difficult and we have a much different political environment turning to the last time we didn't really had. We had really no internet our cell phones were like world war. Two walkie talkie is in my detail.
At one and that's my only access they. So that's the world we live in, and move with the news moved slowly when I got the New York Times, is working articles coming out next week. So now it's Everything is instantaneous. Obviously, so the world moves much faster inside the department, I think is slower, because I think the laws are more complicated people whom he had to dot all of it eyes and cross all the tease and their more rules have been put into effect. That can hold prosecutors in jeopardy. If they make a mistake, so things move a polite slower in the department and you dont really happen, many people on the other side get out who are willing to work with you on, even even when they know that but you on your side and and they would do good for the american people and help law enforcement and no longer willing to work. There are few
but not many. So this leads to what one last question on this exact point before we go, you did the job before you got all the glory you been there done that all that could be left for you to do or the headaches are, or difficulties and, as you have said, the world has gotten so much so much faster and more tents. Why come back and do the job again I didn't want to in an age when I resisted it for a long time and I suggested other people. But at the end of the day, I saw department being used as a political weapon in our system I thought that it was injurious to the rule of law injurious to our important institutions in our country, and I, but there was a account that this idea of resisting a duly elected president of the night stage and using every device to to impair his administration. Was it, disastrous, and I thought that he needed
Turning general at that point, and I agreed to do it well and that the one of the things that I think you have brought to this job is you have an understanding of the legal Authority that the Department of Justice has the obligation to follow the law. One of the latest attacks coming at shoe is: is the firing of Jeffrey Berman? U S attorney in southern District New York. Now all three! Ninety three: U S, attorneys! serve at the pleasure of the president. The president can dismiss any of them, but some voices on Capitol Hill or are reacting as if it is an astonishing thing to ask the US started to step down. So I'm sure is what. Why did? Why did you fire Jeff burn? Well, that particular situation wasn't really move against Jeffrey Berman or be quickly out to get made of Jeff. Burma, and it was really president had not nominated his own. It
in general for that position. Mr Berman had been appointed by the court under reporting the provision of stature. So how does that work had as a core to put their that's unusual? Yet There are certain such Asians, where If fear vacancy in the office and there's no one who has been yet confirmed. The Senate you can be approved, put in place by the court until someone is confirmed by the Senate, and sometimes there put in by the cord and then there's no, the administration doesn't even proceed with a nominee and they can stay in for a while, but the press, then explicitly has removal authority over all? U S, attorneys? U S. Attorneys are assisting the president. Enforce the law of the sea. At the laws are faithfully executed, so they are agents of the president. In that respect constitutionally, and so in this particular case
a very attractive candidate, a very problem enter and distinguish lawyer from New York from one of the great law firms in the world, and well known in New York, and he had just he was the chairman of the Security Council. The commission and, as you know, securities are really important up in New York and we thought he would make a great: U S attorney up there and actually initially you'd and offer Berman. Another position in the administration is yes, we did. We did. But he didn't want to leave that post, but Agatha the letter he wrote, I thought was extraordinary used to step down bicycle It was a lot and I want to drag into this, but it was a level of defiance. The inn. You read that letter saying I'm not going anywhere. It sets off all sorts of warning bells of someone who has their own agenda an axe to grind,
eighty eight, which is why it has become a causal abbots out? I want to ask you to come to that, but I shall say that and and we were that, MR attorney general, I am really for that you came in to do the job a second time and I'm very great, that you came down to speak with us, but we have to let you get back to work. Thank you being here senator, I will see you very shortly. I Michael this is verdict with texts
Transcript generated on 2020-06-25.