Alex Witt   |  April 28, 2013

Rep. Schiff confirms 'wire intercept' between Tsarnaevs

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., joins MSNBC’s Alex Witt to respond to his colleague Rep. Mike Rogers’ claim that more arrests will be made in the Boston Bombing investigation.  Rep. Schiff explains the role of the CIA and Russian intelligence in the investigation of the Tsarnaev family.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> good day to all of you. it's just past 1:00 p.m . on the east. we'll get to what's happening out there. we'll begin with any video today, this of the boston suspect's mother , in her native tongue , she thanks people who have supported her, while appealing for donations to help her family and her son dzhokhar tsarnaev.

>>> he is being held in a small cell with a solid steel door in a federal medical detention center . a facilities spokesperson says they have an observation window as well as a slot for passing food and medication.

>>> also new today, mike rogers is following up on comments he made saying he believes there will be more arrests on the case.

>> there are still interests z persons of interest, and the big unknown is still that six-months -- allege over six months in russia.

>> mile while lawmakers continue to demand answers.

>> i think it's important to know, are there other people involved, are there others still out there. it's very important to find out. what also does call them to radicalize? what caused that to happen? how can we stop it in the future? also ask why the fbi is not cooperating more with law enforcement . wee didn't they give vital evidence to the nypd about another possible attack.

>>> joining mess is adam schiff . always good to see you. thank for joining me.

>> good to see you.

>> you heard mike rogers say more arrests are forth coming. do you agree with him?

>> i'm not sure i do. really the investigation is just getting started, in particular we want to need to know what happened when he was in dagestan, but to stay there will be more arrests i think is jumping the gun a bit. there are persons of interest. were there people in the united states who helped with that process? was it done mostly online? how much of that radicalization took place in dagestan, but i don't know that we can conclude from this there will be more arrested?

>> there there are some reports out that nbc has yet to confirm, but they suggest russian intelligence wiretapped conversation between the mother and tamerlan in which they discuss jihad. can you tell me if those tapes existened and if so what is speaking on them?

>> i think it's been disclosed that there was a wire intercept, that was the basis of why the russians provided this lead to us. we don't have much more than that, and my guess is the russians do. if they were eve dropping on the mother or some other suspect that the mother was in contact with, there had to be reason why they went up on those people. they don't choose them at ran democrat. so the question is why were they listening to her conversations. we republican haven't gotten that information yet, so i think there's more to this than they've been willing to share. so the whys we don't know yet, but do you know whether the fbi has listened to those tapes yet?

>> i don't know that they were at least shared the basis of their suspicion was an intercepted phone calls, you know, my guess is that the russians like our own intelligence agencies are protective of their sources and methods. plus if they were to disclose more -- if they were to disclose more on the basis of their suspicion, then people will rightfully ask why weren't they more forthcoming.

>> we also know that russian intelligence told the cia that both tamerlan and his mother were showing some signs of radicalization. do you know anything that involved the mother , and that has she been involved in any way?

>> i think that all we know at this point was that she was certainly part of the russian suspicion, i don't know that we have any independent evidence that the mother was radicalizing influence or that the mother was involved in the plot. that is certainly something we're trying to find out and that i think is one of the key remaining parts of the investigation.

>> what do you think about your colleague peter king , who said he believes the boston bombing was an absolute intelligence failure . do you agree with that?

>> i don't. i think there's a temptation to say whenever something bad happening, someone must have failed, otherwise how could it have happened? the reality is we are a big open society . if we were intent on preventing any violence, we would have to be in such a survail police state , none of us would find it tolerable. no one failed here but still something happened, and we have to accept a certain amount of that if we want to be in a free society .

>> i've said obvious in the wake of this and terrorist attempts, you know, the police are intelligence have to be 100% of the time rights and we're still vulnerable.

>>> right. i want to look at they gallup poll numbers. they were released after they conducted a poll of the boston bombing, finds that a 1% of americans believe a terrorist attack in the u.s. could be imminent, not the kind we saw from what we believe at this home, you can categorizes them as home-grown terrorists to some degree, but something larger, imminent from across the seas.

>> can you say something to the nation listening that relieves them of that concern?

>> i think the good news on the terrorism front is since 9/11, we have dramically improved the ecchanges of information among or agencies, seriously degraded the core of al qaeda and made it much more difficult for them to perpetrate the kind of vast attack they did on 9/11. instead we're seeing this proliferation of more one-off smaller attacks that still can be devastating, as boston was, and of course we have seen multiple efforts to bring down airliners, which would be devastating, but to have the coordinated attack on 9/11, we have so degraded al qaeda , though still possible, i think it's unlikely.

>> bottom line, you're comfortable with how the fbi handled things?

>> yes, i am, but not ready to state a final conclusion. i have asked the fbi to go back and see based on what we knew at the time, based on what was online at the time, did they miss things they should have seen? the fact that they went out and looked and didn't find anything doesn't mean that there wasn't something there to be found. so we need to be self-critical, but we don't want to leap to the conclusion that somehow someone dropped the ball.

>> adam schiff , thank you for coming in on a sunday.

>> great to see you.