Please welcome Mark Mazzetti.
-♪ -(cheering, applause)
-Welcome to the show.-Thank you.
What a time to be alive, uh,
especially as partof the failing New York Times.
-Thank you, Paul.-Sad.
Sad. "Sad."Is that, like, your slogan now?
-You guys, in the office? Sad.-Sad. We're sad, yeah.
You're not sadright now, though.
Um... you'reone of the reporters
who's been talkingabout what has been happening
in the intelligence community.
This is a story that everyoneknows a little piece about,
but no one seems to knowthe full story about.
What makes this story so unique,
with Trump,the Russians and Flynn?
I mean,you'd probably have to start
by looking at what happenedduring the election.
This conclusionof the intelligence community
that the... with pretty,uh, overwhelming confidence,
that the Russians hackedthe election,
through hacking the DNC,through social media, et cetera.
If you take that,then you also have to look at,
what are these strange contactsthat were going on
between the Trump team and, uh,
and Russian officials.
And that'swhat the FBI's looking at.
And then you have,on top of that,
these phone calls that formerNational Security Advisor Flynn
made in December to the Russianambassador in the U.S.
-Yeah.-And all these things together,
um, they don't add upto anything yet,
in terms of any kindof collusion
or any direct, uh...
proof of anything.
But it's something that the FBIis looking into,
and... and it already cost,uh, General Flynn his job.
But now, if it's not a storythat means anything just yet,
or something that we're not ableto understand,
why is it such a big deal?
It may be innocent,and we don't know.
You're right.There is nothing wrong
with a campaigntalking to leaders
-or officials from othergovernments. -Yeah.
The one question is whothey were talking to,
and what they weretalking about.
And that's one of the things
that this investigationis looking into.
And you have to add on to thisfact though, that there is,
as I said, this, you know,mountain of evidence
that a lot of-- we should say--
that nobodyhas seen publicly, right?
It's still the intelligencecommunity evidence
about the hack that the Russians
basically tried to sabotagethe election.
And they concludedthat they were trying
-to turn it towards Trumpin the outcome. -Yeah.
So, so these areall things that--
they're different piecesof a puzzle
that hasn't been puttogether yet.
And so we're tryingto go as far as we can
just any day at a time.
If you are someonewho's keenly watching this,
or even in your situationas a journalist,
what would you say is the bestand worst case scenario
for Donald Trump in this?
Best case would be, I guess,there is nothing untoward,
and Flynn resigned merelybecause he led to Mike Pence.
And then what would theworst case scenario be?
Well, certainly, right,if on the Flynn story
is that he-- just that he liedto the vice president,
-then that would be a containedissue, right? -Yeah.
I think that the bigger issue
is what may be going on
in an investigation into--
which is a pretty wideinvestigation--
into Russian activityin the election,
contacts withAmerican officials,
with campaign officials.
And remember,it's not just the FBI.
The senate is now looking at itas well.
If anyone was ever to putthese things together,
and to show real, uh,real ties over the hack,
or any kind of collusion,
that would be a very, veryserious thing.
But I should caution,that nobody's there yet.
And as we sayin our story today,
nobody has seen any directevidence of collusion
between the Trump campaignand the Russians.
So at this point we're sayingwhat we can,
but we're continuingto follow the story.
When you report these stories
do you have a "to go" bag ready?
Because you knowthere's a chance
Trump's gonna come after you,right?
Do you have, like, a bag packed
of all your stuffand then, like, a passport?
Are you ready to roll?
-I mean... always.-I'm just saying.
Always ready to roll.
I mean, and it wasn't likethe previous administration
was all that friendly tojournalists, either, right?
Or the administrationbefore that.
It's somethingthat we're finding--
it's not a Republicanor Democrat thing,
or a Trump thingor an Obama thing.
It is just that you are seeing
a real effort by the government
to go after leaks, to go aftersources for journalists,
and it's going to continue.
And so it's one thing that,
I guess, Republicans andDemocrats can agree on is that,
you know, they don't like leaks,
and they're goingto blame the press.
So we're-we're-- you know,
we're dealing with it withTrump, but we're used to it.
-Well, good luck with that,my friend. -Thank you.
-Thanks for coming on onthe show. -Take care.
Mark Mazzetti, everybody.