‘WaPo’ reporter Shane Harris discusses handling of whistleblower complaint

Harris discusses the handling of a complaint regarding Pres. Trump’s communication with a foreign leader.
4:31 | 09/19/19

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Transcript for ‘WaPo’ reporter Shane Harris discusses handling of whistleblower complaint
Shame this is sunny Hostin can you explain to people who the DM night reports to. And who he is and who could possibly give him the order to kill it. Yes annually did I reports to the president minutes and to fairly new position and the spy agencies it was created as a result of the 9/11 attacks. When congress and experts believe that we needed one official to look over all of these different now seventeen different intelligence agencies that want all playing like a team for nine elevenths. So that person is supposed to have kind of oversight of the whole apparatus of American espionage. So we talk about somebody hired at a higher authority than that. You're talking about the president are certainly people very close to him in the White House that Susan. And a lot of people in the intelligence community answer to the DNI. Now in reading this story I was it made it seems to me that the Justice Department. Got involved in instructed the O role in this isn't this the job of congress Adam Schiff is calling this eat legal and a cover up it is he right. Well it certainly seems like Adam Schiff has a point here in so far as the Justice Department does not traditionally impact I'm not aware ever. Of them having weighed in on something like this but I think it's also tells it how unusual this is a complaint that involves the president. It doesn't make sense if you think about it if the here's a whistle blower complaint about the president and the communication with a foreign leader. We needed the NI don't have authority over the president he has authority over us so we have to go maybe to another organization. That weighs in on. Legal options and analysis for the whole of government wall that's the Justice Department and potentially the White House Counsel's Office as well. But today is say that this thing has to be sort of covered up and not transmitted to congress. That creates a real problem there probably have to be ways Adam Schiff would say for us to be able to find out about this information. And still protect whatever privilege or prerogative the president might had you can't just simply area. Because my reading of the law says it that the DNI shall. Not not store or could or would shall reported to congress is that correct. Yeah that's exactly what is said and already some legal experts are saying the analysis the DNI is offering up just doesn't compete with what the law says. Hi this is make and president trump is. Going a little crazy on Twitter about that's another fake news story it never ends. Firstly any time I speak on the phone to a foreign leader I understand that there may be many people listening from various US agencies not to mention those from the other country itself. I know I know that we have heard president promising things to foreign leaders before like when President Obama was caught on a hot Mike telling and then the Russian president that it bed. That he would quote have more flexibility after the elections so. Can you tell our viewers why there's difference between that and that's. It's a great question so I think when we saw a conversation about my Medvedev you're kind of seeing you know the horse trading in the deal making. Campbell we don't know exactly what the substance was of the car the it was enough that this roots fairly experienced intelligence official we think looked at it and said. This isn't just normal negotiating this is a kind of the given taken a back and forth there's something happening here that rises to the level of some kind of abuse. And the inspector general look data in the found at least according to the definition under the law that that was a credible allegation. Just last week I'm CNN CNN's Disney was slammed for erroneously reporting at thinly sourced story that the CIA had to remove a spy from Russia because of trump sharing intelligence to could possibly have endangered and I think the question we all had this warning is Arab rushed to report on trump because people want to pin things on hand. And just because he does so many things that as you Saturn deeply unconventional fray US president. Yet and it's a fair question to people often and they've been asking me today like you know why didn't you wait and find out more about the information of what that the substance of the call was. In this case we had known about this with civil our allegation for some days and already it was a huge story an extraordinary just because the nature of that. And members of congress including Adam Schiff had been kind of implying that they deduced it was probably the president who was involved. And we felt that knowing that the president himself was the subject of this complaint. And the nature of and a communication with a foreign leader that was significant enough to report and let the American people know about.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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