tv MSNBC Live MSNBC July 5, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT
director combing coming in, he will not take questions. that is the extent of what we have at this point. obviously, it comes just a couple days after hillary clinton submitted to a voluntary interview with investigators after a year-long investigation into her use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state. and the handling of classified information. director comey has a long history in the department and has the respect of both the republicans and democrats. this also comes after the very controversial meeting between former president bill clinton and attorney general loretta lynch. lynch has said she will accept the recommendation from department of justice and at the same time, that is not a recusal, because she will, in fact, be briefed about the findings of this investigation. but the expectation is she will go along with whatever the career prosecutors and investigators have determined after completing their investigation. we don't know if there's any additional work that will be
done. we don't know if this is a conclusion to the process. the timing is interesting, because secretary clinton will travel on air force one today with the president for their first joint campaign appearance at this campaign season, heading to a battleground state, north carolina. so tamron, we wait to hear from james comey. >> and, again, as you pointed out, kelly, we are not sure if this is a connected to that e-mail investigation. although we know that hillary clinton was interviewed over the weekend and it was indicated that she perhaps would be the final person interviewed by those investigators and agents. >> reporter: that was our understanding, that the normal course of an investigation would be that the person at the center of it, not necessarily a target of the investigation, but a figure head like a secretary -- here's director james comey.
good morning. i'm here to give you an update on the fbi's investigation of secretary clinton's use of a personal e-mail system during her time as secretary of state. after a tremendous amount of work over the last year, the fbi is completing its investigation, and referring the matter to the department of justice for a prosecutive decision. what i want to do today is three things. i want to tell you what we did, i want to tell you what we found and i want to tell you what we're recommending to the department of justice. this is going to be an unusual statement in at least a couple of ways. first i'm going to include more detail about our process than i ordinarily would, because i think the american people deserve those details in a case of intense public interest. and second, i have not coordinated this statement or reviewed it in any way with department of justice or any other part of the government. they do not know what i'm about to say. but i want to start by thanking the fbi employees who did
remarkable work in this case. once you have a better sense of how much we have done, you will understand why i am so grateful and so proud of their work. so first, what we have done. this investigation began as a referral from the intelligence community inspector general in connection with secretary clinton's use of a personal e-mail server during her time as secretary of state. the referral focused on whether classified information was transmitted on that personal system. our investigation looked at whether there is evidence that classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on that personal system in violation of a federal statute that makes it a felony to mishandle classified information, either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way. or a second statute, making it a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities.
and consist, we have also investigated to determine if there is evidence of computer intrusion by nation states or by hostile actors of any kind. now i have so far used the singular term, "e-mail server" in the referral of our investigation. it turns out to have been more complicated than that. secretary clinton used several different servers during her four years at the state department. and she also used numerous mobile devices to send and to read e-mail on that personal domain. as new servers and equipment were employed, older servers were taken out of service, stored and decommissioned in various ways. piecing all of that back together to gain as full an understanding as possible in the ways in which personal e-mail was used for government work has been a painstaking undertaking requiring thousands of hours of
effort. for example, when one of secretary clinton's server was decommissioned in 2013, the e-mail software was removed. that didn't remove the content, but it was like removing the frame from a huge unfinished jigsaw puzzle and dumping all of the pieces on the floor. the effect was that millions of e-mail fragments ended up in the server's unused or slack space. we searched through all of it to under what was there and what parts of the puzzle we could put back together again. fbi investigators also read all of the approximately 30,000 e-mails that secretary clinton provided to the state department in 2014. where an e-mail was assessed as possibly containing classified information, the fbi referred that e-mail to any government agency that might be an owner of that information, so that agency could make a determination as to whether the e-mail contained
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classified information at the time it was sent or received, or whether there was reason to classify it now, even if the content had not been classified when it was first
sent or received. and that's the process sometimes remember referred to as up-classifying. from the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the state department in 2014, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. eight of those chains contained information that was top secret at the time they were sent. 36 of those chains contained secret information at the time. and eight contained confidential information at the time. that's the lowest level of classification. separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were upclassified to make them confidential. those e-mails had not been
classified at the time they were sent or received. the fbi also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not among the group of 30,000 e-mails returned by secretary clinton state in 2014. we found those e-mails in a variety of ways.
some had been deleted over the years and we found traces of them on servers or devices that have been connected to the private e-mail domain. others we found by reviewing the archived government accounts of people who had been in government employees at the same time as secretary clinton, including high-ranking officials at other agencies, folks with whom a secretary of state might normally correspond. this helped us recover work-related e-mails that were not among the 30,000 that were produced to state. still others we recovered from that painstaking review of the millions of e-mail fragments dumped into the slack space of the server that was decommissioned in 2013. with respect to it the thousands
of e-mails we found not among those produced to the state department, agencies concluded three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received. one of the secret level and two at the confidential level. there were no additional top secret e-mails found, and finally, none of those we found have since been up-classified. i should adhere that we found no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort
to conceal them in some way. our assessment is that like many e-mail users, secretary clinton periodically deleted e-mails or e-mails were purged from her system when devices were changed. because she was using a government account or even a commercial account like gmail, there was no archiving at all of her e-mails. so it's not surprising we discovered e-mails that were not on secretary clinton's system in 2014 when she produced those
30,000 some echltd mails to state. it could also be some of the additional work republiclated e were among those as personal by her lawyers when they reviewed and sorted her e-mails in late 2014. the lawyers doing the sorting for secretary clinton in 2014 did not individually read the content of all of her e-mails as we did for those available to us. instead, they relied on header information and used search terms to try to find all work-related e-mails among the reportedly morning more than 60,000 at the end of 2014. it's highly likely that their search missed some work-related e-mails and that we later found them. for example, in the mailboxes of other officials. or in the slack space of a server. it's also likely that there are other work-related e-mails that they did not produce to state and that we did not find elsewhere and that are now gone. because they deleted all e-mails they did not produce to state
and the lawyers then cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery. we have conducted interviews and done technical examination to attempt to understand exactly how that sorting was done by her attorneys. although we don't have complete visibility because we're not able to fully reconstruct the electronic record of that sorting, we believe our investigation has been sufficient to give us reasonable confidence there was no intentional misconduct in connection with that sorting effort. and, of course, in addition to our technical work, we interviewed many people from those involved in setting up the personal e-mail system and maintaining the various iterations of secretary clinton's server to staff members with whom she corresponded on e-mail to those involved in e-mail production to state and finally secretary clinton herself. last, we have done extensive work to try to understand what indications there might be of compromised by hostile actors in
connection with that personal e-mail system. so that's what we have done. now let me tell you what we found. although we did not find clear evidence that secretary clinton or her colleagues intended to violent laws governing the hailing of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information. for
example, seven e-mail chains concerned matters that were classified at the top secret, special access program at the time they were sent and received. those chains involved secretary clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails about those same matters. there is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in secretary clinton's position or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about those matters should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. in addition to this highly
sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as secret by the u.s. intelligence community at the time it was discussed on e-mail. that is excluding any later up-classified e-mails. none of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system. but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers, not even supported by full time security staff like those found at agencies in had departments of the united states government, or even with a commercial e-mail service like gmail. i think it's also important to say something about the marking of classified information. only a very small number of the e-mails here containing classified information bore markings that indicated the presence of classified information. but even if information is not marked "classified" in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still
obligated to protect it. and while not the focus of our investigation, we also developed evidence that the security culture of the state department in general and with respect to the use of unclassified systems in particular was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information that's found elsewhere in the u.s. government. with respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that secretary clinton's personal e-mail domain in its various configurations since 2009 was hacked successfully. but given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess we would be unlikely to see
such direct evidence. we do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial e-mail accounts of people with whom secretary clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. we also assessed that secretary clinton's use of a personal e-mail domain was both known by
a large number of people and readily apparent. she also used her personal e-mail extensively while outside the united states, including sending and receiving work-related e-mails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. given that combination of factors, we assessed it is possible that hostile actors gained access to secretary clinton's personal e-mail account. so that's what we found. finally, with respect to our recommendation to the department of justice. in our system, the prosecutors make the decisions about whether charges are appropriate based on evidence that the fbi helps collect. although we don't normally making public our recommendations to the prosecutors, we frequently make recommendations and engage in productive conversations with prosecutors about what resolution may be appropriate, given the evidence. in this case, given the importance of the matter, i think unusual transparency is in order. although there is evidence of
potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before deciding whether to bring charges. there are obvious considerations, especially regarding intent. responsible decisions also consider the context of a person's actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past. in looking back at our investigations into the mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. all the cases prosecuted involved some combination of clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information, or vast quantities of information, exposed to support an inference of
misconductor indications of loyalty to the united states or misjustice. we do not see those things here. to be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. to the contrary. those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions, but that's not what we're deciding now. as a result, although department of justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case. i know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation, as there was throughout the investigation. what i can assure the american people is that this investigation was done honestly, competently and independently. no outside influence of any kind was brought to bear. i know there are many opinions expressed by people who are not part of the investigation, including people in government. but none of that mattered to us.
opinions are irrelevant. and they were all uninformed, because we did our investigation the right way. only facts matter. and the fbi found them here in an entirely apolitical and professional way. i couldn't be prouder to be part of this organization. thank you very much. >> director comey -- >> fbi director james comey leaving the extraordinary news conference. as you heard him say there, it is what matters here, the facts. and after a painstaking investigation, the conclusion here, according to the director, is that no reasonable prosecutor would pursue charges in this case. however, of the 30,000 e-mails provided by secretary clinton and her attorneys, director comey indicating 110 of those were classified information.
eight of them chains of top-secret information. 36 included secret information. and eight of them included confidential information, which is the lowest category. as for e-mails deleted from the account or not turned over, some 7,000 of them. the director indicating no evidence of intentional deleting of the these e-mails that were found in a number of other servers and phones used by secretary clinton. msnbc chief legal correspondent, ari melber joins us live. this is where we see the fbi department and its independence -- the agency and independence expressed by director comey. no one heard the information, the president of the united states, not secretary clinton, who will be campaigning with him for the first time. this is information released by director comey, proving, he says, the independence of his agency and its investigation. >> correct. this was a very significant, unusual announcement. the fbi director saying that in
an abundance of transparency, he is basically sharing with the public in real-time what would normally be a private process of information provided to the doj, to those prosecutors, to make a decision. this is significant. this is new. i think they want to make -- >> we have some mike issues. let's go to kristen welker, covering the clinton campaign. are you there, kristen? >> reporter: tamron, i am here. yes, look, this is a bit of a game-changer for the clinton campaign. clearly, fbi director james comey firmly slapping secretary clinton on the wrist for her use of a personal e-mail server. saying that what he found was that there was carelessness, but no willful misconduct. and the headline here is that he's not recommending that charges be brought against secretary clinton. this is something that will undoubtedly allow donald trump to continue to have fodder. but the bottom line is, it will
also allow the clinton campaign to move on from this issue, which has dogged her campaign, tamron, more than any other issue, feeding into those trust issues that voters have with her. and, of course, the timing significant. it comes as secretary clinton is set to hold her first joint campaign appearance with president obama. she'll be riding on air force one with him. she will be landing here in charlotte, north carolina. and trying to rally the democratic base. the clinton campaign believes that president obama uniquely suited to do that, to energize african-americans, young voters, suburban voters who are going to be critical to winning a key battleground state like north carolina. again, though, the timing of this significant. and what was announced today, so significant. i've been talking to the clinton campaign about this issue, tamron. since secretary clinton first launched her campaign. we have weekly discussions, and i can tell you what they have said is that they are eager for this to be wrapped up. they thought this would be the outcome, and indeed it was.
>> we're looking at live pictures. hillary clinton right now with the largest teachers union in the country. a few hours from now, she will campaign for the first time with barack obama. i want to get back to ari melber. are you there? here's a couple things i think people want to know. as you well know on the right, there have been many who bring up the david petraeus case, and they say david petraeus was charged with a misdemeanor, he pled guilty, $100,000 fine for passing classified or potentially sensitive e-mails at the time. what is the difference here when you hear director comey say you have 110 classified e-mails here, while he says there is no intentional misconduct, these e-mails shared by a number of people. he also pointed out he could not confirm -- no evidence that a possible hostile actor, in his words, had gained access to some of this information.
legally, what is the difference here between the petraeus case in which he pled guilty and what we're seeing here? >> the difference, according to fbi director comey, speaking moments ago and explaining why they're not recommending charges against hillary clinton or her staff is intentionality. basically, what we just heard from the fbi direct loar, while there was conduct that was concerning and careless, which isn't good. i think people can agree on that. nothing heroes to the level of the kind of intentional mishandling of classified information, nor the kind of reckless or extremely careless to the degree that bring criminali criminality. for folks who don't always follow this process, this was a little unusual in an abundance of transparency. so we just saw and secretary clinton, president obama, everyone learning at the same time the moments ago, the fbi director saying this is what our evidence showed, this is what we found, and we're making a recommendation of no charges to the prosecutors at the justice department. typically, that would happen privately.
you mentioned petraeus. there was no announcement like this right before the petraeus recommendations were made. this was a different type of case. and so now it is up to the doj. i want to be clear for motion at home saying what does this mean. this means the fbi is basically delivering a clean book of health to hillary clinton and her staff with regard to the handling of classified information. the fbi is saying that they're nonpartisan inquiry, they have charged politicians, they would note in both parties, have done all kinds of cases against all kinds of important people. this inquiry ended with them not finding the kind of evidence to justify charges. now, they hand to that the doj, which makes an ultimate decision. on top of that, i would reference one more thing. not only did the fbi director say all of that. he then said they couldn't find a case in history where this kind of conductor what he called carelessness justified charges. so that really, i think, for the
doj, raises the bar of them saying well, the fbi which is apolitical, comey has a term that will outlast this administration, this party, this president. they don't find anything in history, and now doj would make the final decision. that does mean as a legal matter the doj has the ultimate say. and if for some reason they wanted to go beyond or sound figure else in their own mind, they could do so. >> it's interesting you highlight that part of the remarks from director comey, as he also said that he did not believe that a reasonable prosecutor would pursue this. and it would then, i think, ari, the hours of work. this was independent investigation. i know we focus a lot on the attorney general, loretta lynch and this meeting with bishop mcclinton. but this investigation was far before she was nominated and subsequently became the next attorney general here. this is a painstaking investigation by the fbi, which ends with the director here saying he does not believe a
reasonable prosecutor would pursue this. and the point you just excellently made from his remarks, there is nothing legally in history that he could point to that would have provided a template for a prosecution with evidence and information. >> right. that was so striking, because, again, there is politics throughout this. everyone has been skeptical across the board. the fbi director, though, does serve a ten-year term. this particular one, james comey, who i would say as a journalist, is apolitical, by the way, for folks who remember, a former republican appointee in the bush administration, former deputy attorney general. we know the rough and tumble. there will be people who come out immediately and say, well, this means, quote, unquote, the fix was in or somehow wasn't fair. this is a former george w. bush deputy attorney general and former career prosecutor who prosecuted other politicians and
has overseen inquires. this fbi has done that. that was striking. the other thing i'll say briefly is there is still some bad, nonlegal news here in that the product of this investigation shows criticism of how the state department and secretary clinton did handle information. not criminal level in the view of comey. but criticism of a carelessness. >> he also made the point that in this criticism of the state department, this happened in his description, ari, even before secretary clinton took that position. let me go to nbc's kelly o'donnell, at the news conference there. and kelly, emphasizing or really highlighting here the tone from director comey, going so far as to say in reference to all of the pundits and opinions out there, that none of that mattered to what he called a credible investigation. that had no political motivation here. and you could see he was very strong on that and wanted to communicate that clearly. >> reporter: and director comey
made clear at the outset of his remarks that no one in the administration, at the white house, or the clinton campaign, knew what he was about to say. and that, too, was meant to try to give the parameters of this investigation and to try to separate it from any political influence. he was particularly adamant at the end of his remarks there was no influence brought from the outside, and as you have discussed, he shared in greater detail than he normally would some of the work that was done in describing some of the facts they found in order to try to establish that so that there would be a transparency so in the political world we're living in, voters and even the campaigns have more information to work with. even though no criminal charges will be brought in this case, there were certainly a number of issues raised by director comey that suggest that secretary clinton could have used different judgment and that the state department was not in the best position to protect classified information. and the big unknown, outside hostile actors, as he called
them, hackers from other countries, enemies of the united states ever able to gain any access to her devices. we also learned that there were several servers involved. we have commonly referred to it as almost a singular private server at first kept in the chappaqua home of the clintons and later moved to a storage facility in new jersey. we now know there were several cerners that came on and off line probably as technology advanced. and we learn that her law firm had some responsibility for choosing some of the e-mails, and he indicated that it is clear to them, work e-mails were missed in that process. but again, he found no intentional attempt to hide those from the process. so this is a good news day in terms of criminal penalties that could be directed toward hillary clinton or any of those who worked in the state department. but politically, it still suggests that she showed carelessness and those around her showed carelessness with the handling of sensitive information. it also refutes her public
statements that she never had classified information transmitted based on what the director said. there was information that at the time was considered classified. some others, and he used the term up-classified later. she has referred to that as being retroactively classified. i can tell you from being in the room, it was a somber state. the director used a teleprompter, a giant screen at the back of the room that vold his remarks so he was able to keep eye contact. >> i hate to interrupt you. i've got to go to nbc's andrea mitchell, standing by, actually in charlotte, north carolina, where secretary clinton and president obama will speak. andrea, it's been described as good news in that the director has said he does not see this being a criminal action, that the doj should prosecute, but 110 classified e-mails or
classified information found on that server. how does the clinton campaign handle this today? >> reporter: it's going to be very tough. i mean, they're going to point to the fact that there is no criminal prosecution recommended. but the fact is, she has been saying for more than a year now that she never sent or received anything that was classified at the time. and his analysis completely disputs that. her main argument. he speaks of the carelessness of it. he also spoke to the fact that it was likely hacked by hostile actors. that would mean russia, china, even possibly north korea. the major internet and cyber war actors. the fact that she used her devices overseas, that it was careless to use -- to have classified information stored, not just on the private server, but the fact that she was passing information back and forth to people in the state department, and they were using the unclassified state department system, not the classified system. so the carelessness and the
criticism of that carelessness at the state department, which he said was unusual in the u.s. government, is also on her watch. this is politically very damaging, not as damaging as a prosecution obviously, not as legally fraught as the prosecution would be, as disabling for a presumptive nominee, just weeks before the convention. but the fact is, this is a big political hit. it is not the complete exoneration they would have hoped for. >> well, what do you believe -- or what have you been told the campaign expected here, given, again, the interview over the weekend and what they also knew was potentially revealed in this investigation of these many months, andrea? >> reporter: well, certainly from the line of questioning in that three-and-a-half hour interview on saturday, they surely knew that the fbi had done a very extensive search. they found fragments of some of her deleted e-mails. they did not find any
intentional coverup or misleading. that would have been obstruction, that would have led to criminal charges. so they did not find the cleaning of her server and her devices and the deletions were untoward. as far as they know, they didn't have suspicions of that. and they also found that the prosecutorial standard here, certainly what her lawyers were telling her, was that you do not bring a case unless you think you can get a conviction, especially not this high-profile case. that the precedence going back to john deutsche, a former cia director and david petraeus, former cia director and other cases of sloppy handling of classified information in the past when they were prosecuted, they involved vast quantities, the petraeus case, or misleading of official inquiries, which was also one of the issues there that was investigated, at least. or in the john deutsche case, bringing things home. so this -- there was a standard that they knew would protect her
from the likelihood of prosecution. i'm not sure that they anticipated the harsh criticism they got from the fbi director. and it's interesting to note, would he have been so forth coming, had not bill clinton met with loretta lynch and exposed department of justice to so much criticism and so much speculation in the last week? that indeed might have precipitated this very unusual statement from the fbi director. >> thank you so much. let me bring in pete williams, nbc justice correspondent. the director, pete, noting the extraordinary nature of detailing the recommendation to the department of justice. and also the great detail and stressing the independence of the fbi and its agents and its investigators. >> well, let me pick up on the point andrea just made, whether they would be making this statement had it not been for all the attention about loretta
lynch's meeting with bill clinton. and i think the answer is yes. because i've been asking the fbi for the last couple of weeks -- well, actually, t last couple months, which is when your investigation is over, we'll know you're going to recommend your charges if the charges are filed. but what if no charges are filed? how will we ever know when this investigation was done? will you make some kind of announcement? and what i was told is, they were already considering that. they were already thinking about that. so i think that that plan to have the director say something like this was already in the works before the controversy about the meeting on the airplane. i have to say a couple things. first of all, as you so well understand, i think, the fact that she used a personal private e-mail system is not the central point here. the problem, according to the fbi director, is that unclassified -- that classified information was put on an unclassified system. we would have had the same problem if they had used the
state.gov e-mail system, which is not classified. so the private e-mail system simply adds the additional problem the fbi talked about here. the fact that it was not as well-secured as a government system would be where there was some regular security profiles, regular maintenance and that kind of thing. but the fact that no charges are filed, i have to say, does not come as a big surprise. as the fbi director here said, unless there is some proof of intentional misconductor disloyalty or revealing vast quantities of information and exposing them to possible mishandling, and without the fact there were no charges, i think is what we were all kind of thinking it would be headed -- this would be the direction it would be headed in the first place. so i don't find this a big surprise. what many of us have been wondering is, why has this investigation taken so long? almost a year. and i think we get a great deal of clarity on that today. especially the rather effective
metaphor that the director used of a huge jigsaw puzzle with no frame and all the pieces dumped on the ground where they were going through several servers and trying to reconstruct to see what other e-mails there might be. so that goes a long way toward explaining why this thing took so long. >> absolutely. when the director referenced servers, and even used the phrase "fragments" and even recovering the deleted e-mails whh he noted were not intentionally deleted to cover misconduct. and poet, you are so excellent at explaining the difference in cases, particularly now when you look at social media and you have a number of people pointing to david petraeus. but this goes back to intent. it also goes back to quantity of this information. that was reviewed here. >> in petraeus' case, he gave to paula broadwell, the woman writing his biography who turned out to be his mistress, he gave over notebooks of information,
and audio recordings, in which he knew there was classified information there. i think that's the big difference. what he is saying here is this was very sloppily, so sloppy that it comes right up to the edge of criminal misconduct. but in their view, is not a prosecutable case. >> let me bring in michael steele, now an msnbc political analyst, beth fewy, covering the clinton campaign for many years. michael, let me start with you. what's your reaction to what we have heard today? >> well, you know, it's in one sense not surprising. you kind of felt that everything was kind of leading up to this point. i think the political fallout from this, however, going into philadelphia in about three weeks, can be pretty enormous. and is how the clinton campaign handles, in light of her stations she never put anything on the server that was classified. that's now been refuted between the ig report and the fbi report. that's very clear.
i think the politics is going to be stunningly difficult to overcome. because it fuels the narrative, tamron, that's already out there about trustworthiness and creditability on issues like this. for the gop, you know, it's up in the air what the trump campaign will do with it, to be quite honest. they have been very expert in stepping on their own message. i don't know if they'll take their foot off their throat long enough to voice something about this. that people will pay attention to. hopefully, they will. but the rest of the political officials inside the party will certainly be moving in that direction with their campaigns and with their fund-raising and things like that, to reaffirm and re-establish this lack of confidence in hillary clinton in that regard. >> but when you look at the headlines and you and i both know that that's often what people see, so you have the benghazi committee coming out with no evidence of wrongdoing. you have the headline whether you want to dig past it or not, the headline, though, is the fbi
director is recommending that no charges come down in this case. so those are the two bare bones headlines here. does that make this a draw, where people essentially go back to their sides, if you believed there was wrongdoing or a coverup with benghazi, you still believed that, despite the republican congress -- the committee led by republicans saying no wrongdoing. and if you believe that all things are rigged as your gop presumptive nominee says, you believe despite director comey says, the system is somehow rigged. >> yeah, i mean, i don't know if it will be an absolute draw. i think this does hurt the clinton campaign. regardless of that headline, saying there were no charges brought. i still think that that still feeds the narrative, when you -- when they unpack the rest of the narrative. that there were questions -- questionable actions taken by hillary clinton and her team that raises doubts about trustworthiness, or at least reaffirms any suspicions people
may have about that. >> mike, you pointed out you were curious and you'll have to see how the republican leadership and even your presumptive nominee handles this, if they overplay the hand, how they will use this to their benefit going into cleveland. we have a new tweet from donald trump. let's put it up on the screen. it says, "the system is rigged. general petraeus got in trouble for far less. very, very unfair, as usual. bad judgment." this is a criticism of the fbi director, who is nominate the by a republican, and again, going back to this narrative with your presumptive nominee that everything is rigged, if it doesn't turn out the way he wants. >> well, there is a general sense. and i'm glad you brought up the petraeus analogy. while we can argue on the facts that there is a different analysis here, that one was more in the line of intent, as was just noted, petraeus actually did intend to do what he did. knew what he was doing. that's a little bit more
suspect. with hillary, at least, in terms of what the fbi sees. but for a lot of folks out there, there is no doubt. and they do see a very clear distinction in the way petraeus -- the petraeus case has been handled and the way this case has been handled. and they don't like it. and donald trump is tapped into that and will continue to tap into that. >> we have one more tweet from donald trump. this one coming in. fbi director said crooked hillary compromised our national security, no charges. wow. beth, how does hillary clinton now -- she just finished up this speech, with the largest teachers union in washington, d.c. the timing of this, again, making this the most interesting political season, i think, many people can note. within a few hours, will be on stage with president barack obama, he's a 51% approval right now. and they cannot ignore the elephant in the room. >> well, let's wait and see whether they say anything about that on stage. i think really what the campaign is going to expect and should expect is a campaign ad.
if trump had more money, if the super pacs had more money, they would be up immediately with comey. the image of the fbi director saying she had been extremely careless, those were his words. and that -- the suggestion that national security could have been compromised. that is really the argument that republicans can effectively use against her. for donald trump to say the system is rigged, that's going to appeal to certain republicans who sort of believe that about how -- >> aren't we back then -- people believing what they want? michael talked about the facts of the petraeus case. the facts and this is something that director comey pointed out. but these are the facts here. there are no charges. >> no charges. but sloppy, extremely careless. he said -- comey said she should have known. a person in her position should have known. hillary clinton is trying to present herself as the effective, thoughtful, smart, not erratic, the way donald trump often seems. suddenly, she seems sloppy,
sending e-mails that are top secret in some cases over an unskoord server? that is going to raise questions about her judgment, and there are those who are still trying to decide where they want to land. they may not like trump, but they're not 100% sold on hillary clinton. if she's being sloppy with some something as important as classified information, that's going to give people pause. >> how do you see the campaign handling this at this point? >> they will emphasize the fact she's not being criminally charged. once again, the benghazi committee could not come up with anything. those will certainly be the talking points. but it's not going to end there. there's going to be campaign ads made about this. mr. comey's rhetoric is going to continue and haunt them throughout the campaign. >> if you can both hang by, kasie hunt standing by. and she has new reaction from clinton supporters on at least how they are seeing this breaking news of the hour. kasie, what do you have for us? >> reporter: hi, tamron. so hillary clinton just left this speech at the nea. this is the educators' union,
where she was received very enthusiastically. she took the stage just minutes after comey stepped to the podium at the fbi. not that far from here at the convention center in washington. she made no mention of what was going on at the fbi in these remarks. and we just tried to track her down on the rope line here. and is she did not stop to shake hands with supporters here. she often does that after rallies like this, except for one section of the crowd, where it wasn't possible to get close to her with a camera. and so i think that tells you something about how they want to address this at this point. there's really a lot for them to deal with in this statement that we received from james comey. she was here with humana abedin, her top aide, and nick merrell, personal aide. both of them appeared pretty serious, appeared to be on conference calls, trying to figure out exactly what the next step here is going to be. we still don't have reaction from hillary clinton's campaign.
and the reality is, the top line, of course, positive for them. the no charges are recommended by the fbi. some of the details difficult. hillary clinton saying repeatedly she did not send or receive classified information or information that was classified at the time she sent it. and comey's extensive discussion of what she did do contradicts that. pretty directly. and, of course, also saying she was careless in her handling of this. so you can see the clinton campaign starting to grapple with this in many ways. it allows them to move forward overall. positive. but still difficult details for her team today. >> mark halperin just tweeted out something interesting. he says get ready for dems to circulate past, vouching for comey. tough choice for republicans, now repudiate comey or just go with his criticism. your thoughts on that. >> you know, i don't think the repudiation of comey is going to work as an effective tool in
this effort. i think in many respects, the attorney general -- excuse me, the fbi director has been above reproach here. he's been very transparent. that has been his nature, that has been his history. and i think a republicans know and respect that. so i don't think piling on him in this regard. he looked at the bright line between a petraeus case and this case. he looked at the facts. he looked at the intent. so he came to a different conclusion. so i think that is what it is. i think for republicans, though, to go with the indictment that he did lay at the feet of the clinton campaign, and clinton herself, about trustworthiness, and her effectiveness in handling the sensitive information that she had, i think that's a more powerful argument for the party to make right now. >> let me bring in ari melber, standing by. to make this point clear, this was also criticism of the state department as a whole, which the director actually pauseded, ari, to make that point. the sloppiness, not only with
secretary clinton, but with the overall state department. he also noted there were many who knew of this server, which we have reported before. but to hear the fbi director of this investigation say it brings it also clear that this was not a secret server. a number of people knew about it. >> right. and that casts aspersions on sort of what is the accountability of compliance process in a nonpartisan important -- national security-related agency. and when he talked about a quote culture there, he's talking about things that are concerning from both a security and law enforcement perspective, even if they don't rise to criminality. more broadly, you've been speaking with your guest, tamron, about where hillary clinton starts in this, and while there is politically still bad news to have an inquiry like this under thegs that are critical of your management, your work here, her most recent executive job, i would also note we are now coming off two consecutive weeks where two branches of government have conducted very lengthy, very expensive, very intense investigations of hillary clinton's tenure at the state
department, right? the benghazi committee was not the first or the second, but one of several committee investigations from the legislative branch, including some, of course, political ingredients with republicans. this second investigation here on the e-mail conduct is a nonpartisan one from law enforcement, the most serious investigation you can run into. and both of these ultimately are essentially, i would note, clearing hillary clinton of intentional wrongdoing. doesn't mean her tenure was perfect, doesn't mean there isn't reform. doesn't mean there aren't attack ads to be cut from the political side of the equation. but for guests saying as we unpack the news this hour, there are still bits and pieces here against hillary clinton, i think that's a fair, true thing in politics. but that was not what folks who were rooting for some sort of, quote, accountability or an attack or whatever you want to call it were rooting for. they weren't rooting for another set of statements about the fact that some e-mails were mishandled or missing. and other secretaries of state have had some of those problems,
and state.govs unclassified. what folks were saying is this inquiry might lead to the recommendation of charges. by the way, not only against her, but perhaps misdemeanor charges against someone who worked closely with her. and so what we're hearing from the fbi is, no recommendation, no evidence for that, and no other case in history where these facts led to charges. and as i mentioned earlier in the hour, we're hearing from a former federal prosecutor who knows what it takes to make charges stick. so i think all of that, plus the benghazi committee not releasing -- there was no wrongdoing, suggests the part of this campaign that involved government investigations and open questions appears to be drawing to a very firm close. without a glove, really, being laid on hillary clinton. >> let's -- >> and a lot of voters are going to assess them. that's an important development. >> ari, quickly here, time line wise, making it clear the fbi is making this recommendation of no charges to the department of justice. what is the time line or likely time line that we'll see here with the doj? >> i would expect justice department prosecutors to take
this. there may be a written form, there may be in-person briefings. obviously, this was the unusual press conference part of it. and then i would expect it to be addressed with all deliberate d week or two, not something longer than that. unless, again, else in they've somehow go in a very different direction and find something they have more questions about. this has been exhaustive political investigation. we would expect the prosecutors to restrew, discuss it, reach their conclusion, and when their conclusion, if it did match fbi, then that would be the end of an inquiry like this. that's pending the discovery of new facts. if you're talking about being clear, we're talking about the 90, 95, 98% confidence range that this is growing without charges. >> we'll enter the convention in philadelphia and the odds of now bernie sanders or someone else coming in after hillary clinton was brought up on charges as
some believed or fantasized it would happen is just not the case now. now she deals with how to explain this, the 110 e-mails that had classified information, and the sloppiness at a time when she is trying to paint the republican no, ma'am neat as someone who cannot handle the big job. >> exactly. i don't expect bernie sanders supporters are going to make a big issue of this, republicans certainly will. legally, yes, she's out of the woods, she is now out of the woods political oi on this at all, it calls into question her judgment and republicans, if they're smart, will make that be the point of their ads and critici criticism. this notion that the system is rigged hard for anybody to agree to that after you see what james comey just did and how clearly and nonpartisan he took this matter. nobody knew he was going to speak. nobody from the campaign, certainly not the department of justice as he told us. he went through all the steps in a clear way. it's hard to argue that it's rigged. donald trump appears to be going
down that route now. remains unclear if he continues that way. more sophisticated people in the party are going to make more of the issue that she used very bad judgment. >> again, endorsement from the largest teacher union happened in washington, hillary clinton did not comment. she didn't know what was happening with director comey, but michael, let me bring you in, it's so interest, fourth of july celebration here in new york. i talked to a former bernie sanders supporter. talked to a typical new york, former police officer who doesn't know who he wants to support here, but both of these people had this one line in common, these are the two choices, two hugely unpopular candidates, and today, hillary clinton is dealing with yes, the headline of no charges, but another blow to her campaign, donald trump over the weekend saying that the star of david and a tweet that upset a number of organizations, people was in fact a sheriff's star and trying to get out of that hole.
these two candidates constantly digging out of bad headlines leading up to conventions that some thought neither would take the stage at. >> yeah, flawed doesn't begin to describe these candidates and how the american people have come to view them. and for both of them going into their conventions, and it goes back to what i said at the beginning, for donald trump, stop stepping on your message, stop stepping on your own throat when it comes to taking advantage of opportunities like this. that are handed to you politically. you missed on the ig report,out missed only the 38,000 jobs report from last month, so, be in the game on this one if you want to score that political point for hillary, you're right, they'll hold that banner up, tamron, about no indictment, no charges, but beneath that they still have to deal with a bernie sanders who's still running for the job that she wants by the way. >> his campaign spokesperson
just said, this does not change that he stands in the race. >> exactly. so she's got that, and then, of course, as beth and others mentioned, the political fallout for her is big on this. you cannot underestimate the impact that it can have on independent voters and others who are looking at hillary clinton and questioning her veracity and preparedness as she sort of lobs those charges out of donald trump. >> thank you very much, casey hunt, kelly o'donnell as well. we'll be right back. lled for hep as soon as i saw her. i found her wandering miles from home. when the phone rang at 5am, i knew it was about mom. i see how hard it's been on her at work and i want to help. for the 5 million americans living with alzheimer's, and millions more who feel its effects. let's walk together to make an even bigger impact and end alzheimer's for good. find your walk near you at alz.org/walk.
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welcome back. let's go back to nbc's kelly o'donnell, she's with me outside the fbi headquarters. extraordinary morning not just for the fbi, but obviously for politics in this country. the big headline is the fbi director saying that the agency will not recommend charges to the department of justice and now the timeline as to when we will hear the next part of this investigation.
i still up in the air, right kelly? >> tamron, forgive me, a little was hard to hear based on the cell signal we have here, but part of what we learned today is that hillary clinton's campaign can go forward with the knowledge that no charges are pending against her or any of her close associates. that is politically very helpful. but what they may not have anticipated clearly have to deal with over the remaining months of this campaign are some of the strong, reprimands inherent in the director's comments about the handling of classified information. especially because he laid out clearly that he found no evidence and those who worked on this investigation of an intention to violate the law, but they felt that there was an extreme carelessness with the handling of some information and a case of a person who would be at this high level in government should have had a greater awareness and expectation of the
risk of transiting information. we live in an e-mail age where so many use multiple devices and we know there is certainly an awareness of a threat of hacking, that's part of what was in his message today, tamron. >> kelly o'donnell, thank you very much. kelly, that does it for this hour for msnbc live. "andrea mitchell reports" reports, we're live in charlotte, north carolina where president obama will make his first appearance with hillary clinton. and right now, on a special edition of "andrea mitchell reports," we are live from charlotte, north carolina, with breaking news. no criminal charges for hillary clinton recommended by the fbi director today. to the justice department prosecutors. >> although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. in looking back at our investigations into the managers handling or removal of classified information, we
cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. >> but the political damage is real from the fbi director's other conclusion. >> there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information. >> all this will as hillary clinton is heading here today on air force one with president obama at her side for the first time in this campaign. and donald trump is tweeting, crooked hillary compromised our national security, no charges, wow. one of the key contenders, donald trump, is trying to turn the page from his latest twitter dust-up to the focus on his veep search, one of the key contenders is trying to deflect questions about the hunt. >> being vice president means, you know, you've got to go to meetings, you have to deal with congressman, i used to be