tv Morning Joe MSNBC March 2, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PST
line up the bytes like that. does anyone get it? maybe? no? >> did attorney general jeff sessions commit perjury. that's the serious question this morning. the washington post is out with major revelations about undisclosed contacts that sessions had with a high ranking russian official last year. we are speaking to a man whose question may end jeff sessions career as attorney general if you can imagine. senator al franken will join us first thing on "morning joe." he asked a question. a follow-up in writing and this doesn't look good. at the same time "the new york times" went up with a piece entitled "obama officials race to preserve russian trail." in a few moments we will speak live with one of the times reporters who broke that story. good morning, everybody. it is thursday, march 2nd. it doesn't stop, does it, halpern? >> no. >> with us is political analyst
and executive producer' co-host of showtime's "the kircus" mark halpern." author of the new book a world in disarray, american foreign policy and the crisis of the oldored, richard haass. along with willie, joe, and me. finally back together! >> this is -- >> this is bad. >> as you know whether from jimmy carter forward, just saying for the presidents that we know and have watched, it's like, okay. so this is really bad. yesterday was really good. and richard is laughing because i am justified what being president of the united states is. >> awful? >> it is. because one day you're on top of the world. the next day, boom! a blindside.
somethi something like this comes. >> mr. president, good morning. he is tweeting. not about russia but the stock market. >> 2.3 trillion dollars in gains in the stock market! how about a russian tweet, mr. president, so we can clear that up? >> we will get to russia in a second. real quickly. i was talking to business people yesterday. why wouldn't the market explode? he gave a great speech. >> it exploded. one day gain in the trump era. >> it exploded and why wouldn't it? everything they want he is talking about. >> infrastructure, spending, deregulation and lower corporate tax and lower individual taxes. it's all priced in. the only danger for a president tweeting about this days will come when the market goes down 300 points and doubt we see tweets about that. >> they can use the leverage of
the market to get these complicated initiatives to pass to say to members of congress this is what people are counting. >> we talked about people who held their nose to vote for donald trump. the business community held their nose yesterday. deregulation and lower corporate taxes was good for them and for the country. >> steve is coming. we are not being distracted by this and get to the sessions story. >> he did tweet that. >> i will tell you this is for millions and millions of americans with retirement accounts for big states. this is a huge deal. you look at all of the money that has come in. i heard this. a lot of people held their nose to vote for trump and evangelicals. nobody i'm talking to that i keep talking to is holding their nose voting for donald trump. evangelicals and business -- the business community. those two groups especially are like, yeah, i voted for him and i'd vote for him again. despite all of the chaos, we are going to read this story. >> we got to get to the top story. >> this is a massive story.
>> get to it. >> a check for people in the bubble neither evangelicals or the business community is going to care about this. they will probably say sessions needs to resign or he needs to recuse himself. whatever they say. they are still on donald trump's side. >> let me get to the top story. "the washington post" was first to report that attorney general jeff sessions met twice last year with russian's ambassador to the united states. including a meeting in sessions senate office in september. weeks after u.s. officials were briefed on rusch's attempts to interfere in the presidential election. a spokeswoman for sessions acknowledged the meeting, as well as another brief meeting at an event during the republican convention in cleveland last year. in a statement last night, the attorney general said i have never met with any russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. i have no idea what this allegation is about. it is false. so he clarifies that he didn't talk about the campaign, but
then, given the fact that we have sessions as the first u.s. senator to endorse trump last february, advising the campaign on immigration and other matters and while testifying under oath at his confirmation hearing on january 10th, sessions had this exchange with democratic senator al franken about reports on russian ties to the trump campaign. >> these documents also allegedly say, quote, there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between trump surrogates and intermediaries for the russian government. if it's true, it's, obviously, extremely serious. and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? >> senator franken, i'm not aware of any of those
activities. i have been called a surrogate at a time or time in that campaign and i did not have communications with the russians. and i'm unable to comment on it. >> very well. >> a spokesman for the department of justice says there was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer. quote, he was asked during the hearing about communications between russia and the trump campaign, not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the armed services committee. and his office points out that he met with many other ambassadors as well. seven days after sessions testified, he issued a written reply to the judiciary committee member patrick leahy who asked have you been connected with anyone in connection with the russian government about the 2016 election either before or after election day? sessions, one word response, was no. >> so if i'm sessions lawyer,
i'm actually far less concerned about the leahy response that was asked specifically. >> right. >> about the campaign. >> it was asked two different ways. >> he can say that. what is interesting about the al franken response, mika, was the fact that he answered a question that wasn't asked. he brought himself into it and while he was doing that -- this is the lawyer in me saying only answer the questions that you are asked -- by going a little bit further. he then volunteered the information that he had never spoken to anybody in the russian government. >> if you're going to the presidential campaign and you're a supporter, can you say this is me acting as a senator and, therefore, i can never have to answer a question pertaining to this meeting? >> you can explain it even though it's far too legalistic given this environment. but you could explain it in the leahy answer and say that is not
a lie and you could do that with a straight face. but mark halpern, again, what is going to cause jeff sessions much more a problem is when he volunteered the fact. hey, i was considered to be a surrogate for the campaign and i never spoke to any russian government official. that will be the biggest problem. >> i wonder if he thinks his overnight tweet will solve this. i hope he doesn't. he has to speak out and explain this in great detail. it's uncomfortable because he is a former senator and they are inclined to give him deference. he has a lot of explaining to do. i actually think as big a deal this is "the new york times" story may be a bigger deal. >> that the obama administration was spreading intel around? >> that is a huge deal but two things about the story that relate to the sessions story that make it a huge deal. one, there continues to be a war of current executive intelligence officials and fbi officials going after the trump
administration. there is a war going on. >> pretty unbelievable. >> that with detailed leaks. >> which, by the way, donald trump must have known about when he said last week obama is orchestrating a lot of this stuff. >> they continue to make that accusation. the other thing is another report of not just conversations but meetings between associates of the president and russian officials close to putin -- >> and foreign government is picking this up. >> if that been denied by the president. reince priebus said he looked into it and it's not true. if that is true and continues to be investigated that is a major ongoing problem the administration is going to have to deal with. >> willie, let's say on sessions for a second and then get to this explosive "the new york times" story. but what do you see as the biggest problem? we have people calling for his resignation. that will never happen. it seems at this point in the russian investigation, even fox news is saying recusal is the
bare minimum. >> right. >> and i don't know really how you don't have a special prosecutor. >> in a vacuum there is nothing wrong with united states senator and a senior member of the armed service committee meeting with an ambassador to russian or any country but this was happening in a vacuum. this was happening in july and the official meeting in september when all of these questions about russia were happening. in the answer to al franken, richard, he identified himself as a surge surrogate. so he can parse it out. he was a surrogate. a reason "the washington post" reports that no other member they spoke to, 19 of the 26 they heard from of the armed services committee would meet in the middle all of this with the russian ambassador. >> this is the gift that keeps on giving. it fans the flame what explains the benign sangin attitude toward russian.
it excludes the executive branch to do their investigation. there has to be something independent, bipartisan. can't be the intelligence committee or the justice department. >> democrats are pouncing. nancy pelosi and elijah cummings and elizabeth warren have spoken out about this pushing for more questions. >> before yesterday, who knew about these meetings that jeff sessions know? did the president know about them? the chief of staff? >> it's possible he wouldn't remember because i think everybody would check their schedules and make sure -- >> it happened actually the day after donald trump praised vladimir putin on television. >> not good. >> it was on the front page of the newspapers the day this meeting took place. so if he doesn't remember, then we would have to fear he might not be up to the job of being attorney general. >> if he didn't tell people that them if i was the chief of staff
i would be annoyed. >> let's get to the other big story. >> pelosi and warren called for sessions to resign. "the new york times" reports the obama white house spent final hours in office scrambling to spread and preserve information about russia's flun influence campaign. officials were worried that intelligence could be covered up or destroyed by the incoming trump administration. joining us from washington is one of the coauthors of this "the new york times" piece michael schmidt. good to see you this morning. flush this out a little bit more for us. what exactly about the obama white house do and why did they do it? >> there was a fear at the end of the administration that when trump came in that all of this information developed by the russians had done around the election would be looked past, would be destroyed or done away with and what they try to do is declassify as much of it as possible, lower the classifications levels, push it out, get it up to congress so in the future when the next election comes, the united
states would have something to look back at and share with european partners who have elections coming up later this year. >> michael, you also said the report also shows that they would start asking pointed questions of state department officials because they knew intel officials when they ask those questions, they had to be archived and nobody that followed could destroy any evidence and those questions would lead basically a trail of crumbs. >> this was probably the most interesting thing. it was senior officials saying get me a report on this subject and the intel community producing it and there just being more and more documentation. there was a real fear towards the end. they knew about the calls with the incoming security adviser and other meetings that had gone on in europe and had been reported back from our allies there. and they were really didn't understand what the president was saying about russia. they saw them coming in and they
said, well, we only have a few more days left and have to get as much of this out as possible and create as much as possible to hope to prevent this again and also leave a trail for the vaerlgs, especially on the senate side who are going to be digging into this. so they can try and get to the heart of this because the obama administration couldn't answer the question by the time they headed out the door. >> white house press secretary sean spicer responded. quote, the only new piece of information that has come to light is that political appointees in the obama administration are making an excuse for their defeat in the lex. there continues to be no there there. richard haass, do you think there is no there there there? >> people ask me six times a day what accounts for the fact this president, before he was president, and since has had this sustained exception when it comes to wrusrussia? he has been an outlier and flynn
and others have been outliers and taking benign approach to russia against the context of all they did in ukraine and their use of military force among other things and syria. some people can't explain why this -- why this equal at that time -- what explains a an anomaly they singled out this issue and their take on russia is different. >> be as precise as you can about the meeting that describes in what you call associates of the president and russian officials. on the associate side do you know, are these people associated with the campaign? are they business associates? what do you know? on the russian side, are they intelligence officials, are they diplomats? what do you know about the identities of the people meeting? >> well, we reported about today is about folks in trump world. this is something that the fbi
is trying to figure out is who are these people in trump world? are they people that were working for his companies? were they people that were related to him? were these people on the campaign? and disentangaled that is not easy for them because the lines in the trump world are not that clearly defined and type type of surrogates and different type of people providing them with advice. on the other side it's hard to figure out because the united states only has so much visibility into the russian government and who these people are on the russian side. the intelligence community there is enmeshed in everything they do and makes it unclear whether it's someone is a government official, or are they working as an intelligence official or a former intelligence official? are they reporting up through the intelligence community? on both sides it's been hard to disentangle that. >> michael schmidt, you, of course, are one of the lead reporters from the failing "the new york times."
a left wing publication that only attacks republicans and this is what upsets me. oh, wait. the two year anniversary of him breaking the clinton e-mail story. can you believe that? >> you will continue to fail, okay? >> you would be doing what tim russert always said. make people on both sides think you're the enemy. >> without fear or favor, we follow the facts. >> well, we are fearful and willie and i will basically sell our souls for a job at goldman sachs but that offer hasn't come yet. we thank you for holding it up for us. m thank you, michael. great reporting, as always. isn't that incredible? he breaks the clinton server story and he has been all over this too. i mean, on both sides. it's pretty incredible. >> mark's question is the critical one. in fact, who irm the associates? were they members of the actual trump campaign or were they golfing buddies, business partners? because there was people from
the campaign who were working on behalf of getting donald trump and getting him elected and working with the russian government. there is your story. >> why the russians? why always the russians? you have senator sessions on the armed services committee. i understand if you're on the armed services committee but not with russians at take point. >> one of those things. also an urgency on this because of the upcoming french and german elections. the russians are doing in europe what they were doing here. this is not just looking backwards about american politics. this is a big part of russian foreign policy right now is to change the political complexion of europe. to get to the bottom of this is not about us but something much larrier. >> and our president's relationship with putin. >> something about timing here. obviously, the obama story was leaked. so the timing was set out. and i don't know if it was to
blunt the impact of the president's speech, but it was leaked. >> even if it wasn't the intention it certainly had that effect. >> come on. people are smart. they have had this information for a long time so i'm sure they leaked it to blunt the impact of the speech. the sessions story, was that also leaked from the intel community? >> it appears to be or from the fbi. >> we are just assuming. from the fbi. so both of these things were leaked and i don't know if they were leaked, when they were leaked, how long. it's just the timing is interesting. it comes a day after his speech and i think churns up more suspicions of this rift between the intel community and the leakers inside the intel community that are actively being involved in -- >> i read the obama story a little bit differently. maybe i missed something here. i thought that could have come from some people in the administration because it was a way to politicize this information and say this is just the obama crowd trying to
discredit us. >> you thought maybe the trump people released it? >> because they knew other -- >> undergirted with at least the feeling this is legit stuff and not it's trumped up stuff. that's why i think it's the other way. >> fascinating. what is fascinating is that both of these, mika, came out within, what? an hour of each other? like this was all -- very planned. boom. it's a one-two punch. intended to have the impact that it's going to have -- >> it appears to be. >> that it will consume all news coverage the next 24 hours. >> ahead, senator al franken joins us for his first interview of the morning and we are joined by kevin mccarthy whether it's time for sessions to recuse himself from any probes into the russian's role in the elections. here is bill karins with the forecast. >> the total is in. thirty tornadoes and 700 wind damage reports and kept going
yesterday from tennessee to the mid atlantic with the strong winds. this from cool springs, tennessee. look at this impressive tornado on the ground. three separate deadly tornado and three fatalities and one from each of the tornadoes we had and mostly in illinois. take you into today. the storm is exiting. the rain just about completely over with and exiting south carolina. it is windy behind this. we are going to have a very windy day. airport delays will be long throughout the northeast corridor. high wind warnings from philadelphia to new york to hartford and nantucket. the wind 20 to 40 miles per hour range and could go slightly higher throughout the afternoon maybe 40 to 50 and die off later on tonight and fine tomorrow. the forecast for today anyone traveling in the southern half of the country no problems whatsoever. and there is a little snow shower activity out there for chicago. pittsburgh, a little shoveling to do this morning with an inch on the ground. washington, d.c. you've cleared out. it's going to be a windy day but nice spring conditions are going to greet you in the days ahead. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back. your insurance company won't replace
the full value of your totaled new car. the guy says, "you picked the wrong insurance plan." no, i picked the wrong insurance company. with new car replacement™, we'll replace the full value of your car plus depreciation. liberty mutual insurance. in my johnsonville commercial we open up in the forest. hi. i'm jeff. i'm eating my breakfast and all of a sudden a raccoon come up and ask me, "what are you eating?" i told him "johnsonville breakfast sausage, fully cooked." porcupine comes in and he says, "does that come in patties?"
you remember this guy named barack obama? he and michelle obama just signed a 60 million dollar book deal, okay? previously, bill clinton got a $5 million advance for his post-white house memoir and george w. bush only got $7 million. meanwhile, tickets are 9 dollars a pop to see hillary's off-broadway production of "into the woods." >> that is just not right! >> come on. >> is he rough. >> just leave her alone. >> she likes to walk in the woods. >> another major milestone yesterday for the dow. the index surpassed and closed above 21,000 for the first time after rising more than 300 points. stocks as a whole posted their best day of the year on the heel of president trump's address to congress on tuesday night. the s&p broke 500 and broke the 2300 broke for the first time
yesterday. >> let's bring in the man, the min myth, the legend. you remember him, of course, the man who brought the new england patriots back from a massive deficit in the super bowl! just this past year. >> i like that. >> your form was extraordinary, steve. we are not talking about football but the economy today. i'm not talking about new york businessmen or businesswoman. i'm talking about people out in the country. it is really pretty stunning how so many people, trump, i guess i'll vote for him. i don't want to vote for hillary. you talk to them now, they love this guy. the tax cuts, the regulatory reforms. they don't care what any of us think. you kind of still holding your nose? no, man. if he does half of what he does, he can tweet to his heart's desire. >> yeah. it's interesting and shows up in the indices. if you look at the index of small business optimism at is a
e15-year high and you look at consumer confidence it's going up. all of these measures of sentiment are clearly improving. >> this is a case -- donald trump, if they get a lot of snow in colorado and the powder base is amazing, donald trump will take credit for that. we all laugh about that, but here, this really is trump-related, isn't it? >> mostly. >> i know that hurts you to say that! >> no. i just got done saying that, in fact, clearly he has had an effect on consumer confidence, another number that is at a recent high. clearly the stock market reaction yesterday after his speech can only be attributed to the fact that he gave a speech that made people feel like he could actually be president. but you also have to recognize two other things going on here. one -- >> i'm looking at that number. 21,000! >> first of all, you should never look at the dow jones.
it's an irrelevant evidence. >> the dow went up three points yesterday! >> we will save that for statistics class after the show. >> willie and i actually look did he dat the dog. >> puppies. >> we want to hear more. >> a couple of other things. joe has got his answer. it's all trump and that is that. >> no. come on, man! >> look. >> make the charts great again and stay with it. >> two important points. one, the economy is getting a little bit better. not because of trump. he has been in office 35 days or whatever it is. but just because it's gathering some strength. europe is somewhat better. china is not falling apart. th is all generallyood news for the world economy. >> how is britain post-brexit? >> britain post-brexit a little bit weaker. it's a slight minus for britain
so far but still a long way to go. but look. the other thing that you have to remember is a key factor here. trump has basically promised business, the sun, the moon, and the stars. he said you're going to have tax cuts, you're going to have deregulation. anything government is not doing you like come tell us and we will stop doing it. >> the third thing you're going to repeal obamacare which a lot of most small businesses will like. >> obamacare is another complexity. the point this is the most pro-business administration, more even than reagan, probably. >> since coolidge? >> probably since coolidge. and so, of course, if your profits -- i have friends who are essentially democrats and run big companies and don't like trump, but they kind of say, steve, look what this guy has done for my stock and what will he do for my business? kind of hard to hate the guy. >> people on hear that and say rich guys are getting rich. can you talk about the effect
that number has, the dow, the nasdaq, the s&p? >> that's the key point, because the effect is approximately zero. there will some trickle down in your iras. this is the trump economics to help us with making the stock market go higher and deregulating our business but yet to put anything forward that will help the people who elected him. >> i don't know about the working class people that elected him but i can tell you as the son of small business owners, this is going to help small business owners in a massive way if there is expansive regulatory reform and obamacare is repealed. i'm not saying it should or shouldn't be. i'm talking purely small business. if there is a cut in the corporate tax rate, a lot of small businesses are corporation, as you know.
all of this i think is helping the stock market but usually the small business owner that is the most pounded by all of these regulations and these taxes. you will actually will see the small business owners who hire the most people any way at the end of the day, i think, who will also -- you'll see a lift from not the bottom but the ground up as well if these probusiness pieces of legislation -- >> that is, of course, one group that helped elect him and another group that helped elect him is the former autoworker from michigan who can't work in the auto business any more and make $25 an hour and working at kinkos and making $12 an hour and grumpy and having social problems and things we have talked about. this is not meant to be a partisan comment but tell me what there is in the trump plan that is actually going to help that guy? >> there could be a substantial middle class tax cut. >> there will not. >> they could change a proposal and make a substantial middle class tax cut. the other thing joe said all
sorts of regulatory relief allow banks to lend more easily and a lot of small businesses would like that and a lot of former autoworkers could go out and benefit from that. >> first of all, we could debate the rest of the morning whether bank lending is truly constrained at the moment. i don't think it particularly is. what you guys are talking about, and i don't mean to sound it come across but another form ever trickle down economics. you make business happy, you make small business happy and eventually it reaches -- >> you said small. that is not trickle down. when you help small business owners somebody who has three or four people and are working out of a garage, that's not trickle down. that is somebody that is an immigrant new to the united states that has an idea that says you know what? i can go out in the garage and i don't have to hire three people to on handle all of the paper work for the other three people that are working in my small business. >> define a small business. >> small business can be defined from 50 to 500 employees. lots of small -- >> i'm specifically talking about -- >> you're talking about --
>> small business people i know that have three, four, five employees. i'm talking about the dentist that has two or three chairs. i'm talking about the doctor that has a small solo practice and has to hire five people just to shuffle through paper work. i'm talking about the regulatory burden and what i heard when i was in congress. business people didn't say i need my taxes cut. they all said i need regulatory relief on. for every two people i hire i've got to hire another person to handle all of the regulations coming at me. >> there is no question that the regulatory apparatus in this country has gotten out of control and not just on the federal level. but if you look at state and local levels. if you look at occupational licensing the number of occupations that have to be licensed, the process have you to go through now has gone up exponentially over the years. we have these processes and regulations on it and i'm in favor of change itting but i
don't think we to do it arbitrarily say pick one here. >> one thing we learned after the crash in 2008 regulatory reform is not created with equally. you can't say we are having blanket regulatory reform for the big banks and wall street entities. if they focus regulatory reform on small businesses, the people that really need the regulatory reform the worse that can't afford the accountants and lawyers and all of this other stuff would have the biggest impact that wouldn't be trickled down and you wouldn't make the same mistakes we made when we let banks do all of the things in -- >> willie? >> dow 21,000 was the big story yesterday. the other big story, steve, the parent company of snapchat priced its ipo at $17 a share yesterday. valuing the company at $24 billion. other tech companies who have yet to place an ipo bid in the tens of billions with ride
sharing app uber reported 66 billion area air bnb 30 billion and office sharing company worth $20 billion. snap is the most valuable company to go public since facebook did five years ago. the numbers are crazy, aren't they? >> the numbers are congregates but make you feel good about america because we are creating companies with these incredibly innovative business models and changing the world. the snap ipo is it facebook or twitter? facebook went public appear 138 and stock -- sorry, 38 and stock now trading at 138. twitter went public at 26 and the stock is now 16 and videotape if i can do a brief victory lap of me on this show showing that the twitter ipo was overpriced and alex can dig it out. >> there is also -- >> that's funny coming from you!
>> there is videotape of willie and me saying facebook. we got the tape. is a dog. and it will never go above 26. >> okay. bye! on the macro side of things they did tell you for five years that china was a bubble and you're like, no, china, china, china. >> oh, my god. please no. don't engage. don't engage. >> here is the key thing. here is really the key point. facebook is, obviously, dominanting the world. the growth is incredible and share of advertisers is incredible. real doubts about snap. the growth rates are slowing. is it one of these niche products? is it going to become twitter or facebook? i would take the under on that bet. >> we got to go to break. >> we do. >> uber, man, they are getting a lot of really bad, bad news lately. >> it's been a little bit tough. >> it's like i don't know if i'd want to launch my ipo right now. >> they will not be launching an ipo right now. uber is a very tough culture.
these companies a lot of them are culture and they have gotten themselves in a bunch of scrapes that have cost them money. this #boycott uber thing that started jfk has cost them significant points of market share. >> you see the ceo, videotape getting in a fight on video with a driver. out of control! >> the ceo is not the warmest cuddliest guy around. >> is that travis? >> travis kalanick. >> so much for the after glow. president trump drew widespread praise for his speech to congress but did little to help his own party to come together and how to repeal and replace obamacare. that is still to come on "morning joe."
>> silver medal. >> a new slogan. >> partially right! >> i had an independent newspaper and. >> was it called partially right? >> no, it was called "the florida sun." and it was read cover-to-cover and never bound to the trunth. i said, it's a joke. the motion picture academy award says pricewaterhousecoopers accountants who are responsible for the biggest mix-up will never, ever, work in this town again! the academy says the relationship with the firm remains under review. the accountants are still with pwc. the company says they are trying to provide security to protect employees. >> that is horrible. >> personal information was posted. but there were pictures, willie, if you went on the twitter machine yesterday, there were pictures of these guys like tweeting in the back and mixing
up, you know, and eating the jell-o and doing everything than what they should have been focusing on. big hollywood parties and big jell-o. >> variety had photographs. he had two envelopes and then he is taking a picture with emma stone. >> i remember steve harvey getting the scrutiny when he screwed up. >> yes, i feel really badly for the people from "la la land." an opportunity they took to be really gracious. everybody won. they were amazing. >> outside of that, come on. we have a lot of serious things going on in our country. let's not pretend this is big, big news. >> common. >> it's an envelope. hollywood, relax. it is an awards show and you self-congratulate yourself every year. this is what happens everywhere.
>> wear pretty dresses, red carpet. >> just relax. it's party. the only people i feel bad for are the people at "la la land." they were great. >> everyone behaved well. cast of "moonlight" were great and the cast of "la la land" were gracious. >> richard haass, remember in '73, '74 they mixed up the envelope and you didn't win for your supporting role in china town? >> it was best for "morning joe." best guest in a supporting role here. i was this close. >> on a show that is partially right. >> yeah, partially right. hi, mika. >> i realized we are still on the air! >> by the way, the longer we talk about this the more -- >> senator ted cruz is joining us live for an exclusive interview. up next, we will bring in former chair of the dnc howard dean. we are back right after this.
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we have former governor of vermont and former chairman of the democratic national committee, howard dean. a man who can wear a red sweater vest like the best of them. >> like mr. rogers. >> stop it! >> i love that look. i can't do that. but i'm trying. hey, howard, i got a ton of questions to ask you. we could ask you about sessions and we will. but first, i want to ask you about how you feel about the dnc result with tom perez? i just -- i don't think i know. the only way democrats get back into the game nationally is by following your 50 state strategy approach. and i remember in real-time you talked about it and a lot of the elites and the party mocked you, but you're right. you rebuilt the party from the ground up. can they do that again? >> yes and no.
first of all, i think perez will be fine. he's got great credentials. he has run a cabinet office. i didn't support him. i had another guy i was sporting a 35-year-old mayor from south bend, indiana. so the good news is, yes, they can reinstate the 50-state strategy. the buzz nead news it's not eno. times have changed in the eight years since i left the dnc. we have to go out to aur base and they are in the airport and women in the women's march and people going to the town meetings. that is who we have to talk to and we have to let them organize. this is a different generation than we have had ever before. donald trump i think has shocked them into understanding they may have to work with institutions. they are going to do it their way and not our way. that is a problem from inside the beltway. >> i remember your quote, howard. you talked about we can't give up on the issues of gods and guns and i forget the third
thing. god, gun, something else. you were talking about we got to go to rural america and start winning there too. we had, yesterday, on the show, governor beshear and he talked like every democrat in my region used to talk when democrats dominated the deep south and dominated even the border states like kentucky and west virginia. and did it up to 10, 15 years ago. i sat there thing, oh, gosh. those were guys that you just couldn't beat in the south when you weren't running too far left on guns, on abortion. can the democratic party ever have a big enough tent to have people who were a progressive on economic issues and conservative on social issues in their party again? >> no. because the young generation isn't that way.
i think the old left/right it exists in washington and in the media. young people don't think that way. they are not ideological. they are interested in social justice so we are never going back to maybe making promises on abortions and gay rights is another one. they are more -- >> you don't want a democrat in your party if they are for social justice, if they are progressives? if they agree with you on 90% of the issues but they are also practicing catholics who are pro life? you don't want them in your coalition? >> joe, i didn't say that. >> sounded like it. >> well, okay. maybe it did to you. >> and the rest of america. >> what i said -- well, the rest of the america that you're interested in. look. the younger generation roted voted -- >> howard, i'm talking about democrats winning! you guys have lost a thousand seats nationwide. 50% or maybe 40% are pro life. why throw them away if they
agree with you on 90% of the issues? >> joe, i'm not talking about throwing anybody away. if you let me get my statement out, i'll be happy to tell you what i'm talking about. there is no left/right divide among young people. the younger generation, which is now the largest generation in this country, voted 58% for hillary. they didn't turn out. they don't turn out for down ballot issues or off-year elections. the key is not to move to the right or to the left. the key is to energize these voters if you want to win if you're a become because they believe in social justice and more conservative economically than the democratic party. >> if there is a candidate in kentucky and i have a specific story when i was campaigning for republican in kentucky, and i went to him and said how are they on guns? the nra kind of likes him, the democrat. how are they on abortion? really federal funding. no, they are actually they are pro life. i looked at the guy and i said, you're screwed because they are going to vote for the democrat because they give them the
chance, they will vote for democrats if they are socially connected. you're saying -- that was 1998. you're saying those days are gone? that the democratic party cannot support somebody who is, say, pro life in kentucky, but socially conservative, but very progressive on economic issues? >> i think they will support somebody like that. again, the left/right -- we have to stop this stuff about left and right. we have to start thinking about what really motivates people. there will be some people, of course, who won't vote for a pro life democrat but there are probably more people that will especially when we see what i think is ultimately going it happen under trump who promised these folks a lot of stuff and managed to point more billionaires in his cabinet than anybody else in history. >> we will have to see how because that is a whole other section we can get to. howard dean, thank you very much. >> thank you, howard. i want to borrow your vest sometime. >> another shoe drops. attorney general jeff session
denies he misled congress about his contacts with the russian ambassador during the campaign. we are going to talk to senator al franken who questioned during sessions confirmation hearing just became much more significant. plus house majority leader kevin mccarthy with deep visions in the rp party about to overhaul health care. we have this need to peek over our neighbor's fence. and once we do, we see wonder waiting. every step you take, narrows the influence of narrow minds. bridges continents and brings this world one step closer. so, the question you asked me. what is the key? it's you. everything in one place, so you can travel the world better. it's my decision ito make beauty last. roc® retinol, started visibly reducing my fine lines and wrinkles in one week. and the longer i use it, the better it works.
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attorney general for two years, i know and believe very deeply in the rule of law in the fact that honest and testimony is required if we are to have justice in america. i am concerned about a president under oath being alleged to have committed perjury. i hope that he can rebut that and prove that did not happen. i hope he can show he did not commit obstruction of justice and that he can complete his term, but there are serious allegations that that occurred and, in america, and supreme court and american people believe no one is above the law. >> that was jeff sessions in 1999 talking about president bill clinton. now a lot of questions on whether sessions committed perjury himself. >> "the washington post" is out with major revelations about undisclosed contacts jeff sessions had with a high ranking russian official just last year when he was senator. we are going to speak with a man who has questions may end
sessions' career as attorney general. >> that certainly -- let's not get ahead of the story. that is certainly what a lot of people on the democratic side are saying. at the very least, he's got to recuse himself. >> at the very least. >> at the very least, you're going -- you've got to believe there has to be a special prosecutor now that this story goes all the way up to the a.g. i got to say for sessions, himself, if i'm donald trump, i say, you know, if you misled the committee, i can't let you get in the way of what is going on in this administration because, mika, how is this any different than what general flynn did? >> it's flynn-like. >> it is so flynn-like. >> in a way it's worse than what flynn did. flynn lied to the vice president. this guy lied in front of a confirmation -- >> ted cruz is joining us later for an exclusive interview and about the same time this "the washington post" piece crossed last night, "the new york times" put up a piece entitled obama
officials race to preserve russian trail. so we have that reporting. my question to you about jeff sessions is had he just disclosed he had those meetings, would -- i mean, why wouldn't you disclose that -- it's not -- it's not against the law to meet with the russian ambassador, is it? last time i checked? it's not a big deal. >> since he is on the armed services committee. >> now he is. >> if flynn had disclosed and not lied flynn would probably still be there. in this case the fact that he didn't disclose when he had -- he was on the armed services committee, which by the way, nobody else on the armed services committee met, that makes it that much more suspicious. he is lying about -- >> a bunch of different ambassadors. >> let's back up. with us we have the president of the council on foreign relations, richard haass and former treasury officials steve rattner. so let's back up. "the washington post" was first to report that attorney general jeff sessions met twice last
year with russia's ambassador to the united states. including a meeting in sessions senate office in kept, weeks after u.s. officials were briefed on russia's attempts to interfere in the presidential election. a spokeswoman for sessions acknowledged the meeting another brief meeting at the event in the republican convention in cleveland last july. how could that -- okay. in a statement last night, the attorney general said i have never met with any russians officials to discuss issues of the campaign. >> even though he. >> at the convention. no. that is a no. you can't do that. >> i've been doing a lot of research with willie. we dig, we dig, we dig. both are cleveland indian fans. they were talking baseball! the tribe! >> everyone at this table knows when you go into a confirmation hearing the preparation is exhaustive. you know about every meeting. especially you knew russia was coming up. he knew he had the meeting.
what if he had just said i had two meetings in my role as senior member of the armed services committee, i met with the russian ambassador, we did not talk about campaign business. >> we all went to the convention in cleveland. what was everybody -- was there anything else that anybody, anybody who was there was talking about but the campaigns? anybody? >> and russia. >> and russia. >> paul manafort was talking about ukraine. he accidentally, ukraine had 14 electoral votes. we had to remind him. >> while testifying under oath at his confirmation hearing on january 10th, sessions -- >> by the way. i got to stop you. have you seen manafort, that clip? >> his daughters? >> no, manafort asking a question on whether there is any connection? he said, ah. holy molle! >> alex will send it to you. come on.
get back. >> he was stumbling around like crazy! we will show it to you, richard. you look quizzical. we will show it to you, man. >> come on on back on the track. sessions had this exchange with democratic senator al franken. >> stop it. >> about reports on russian ties to the trump campaign. >> these documents also allegedly say, quote, there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between trump surrogates and intermediaries for the russian government. if it's true, it's, obviously, extremely serious. and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? >> senator franken, i'm not aware of any of those activities.
i have been called a surrogate at a time or time in that campaign and i did not have communications with the russians. and i'm unable to comment on it. >> very well. >> okay. richard haass, this certainly rises at least to the level of general flynn's lie, right? general flynn lied in private to pence. this was in front after committee in confirmation hearings. >> and it was a narrow parsing of the issue. >> but i could go back. >> i know. >> and play it. is there no parsing. you could parse the leahy response. >> no. >> this can't be parsed. >> this will preclude him playing a role what goes forward on this and increases the odds and have a prosecutor or bipartisan special investigation and it reinforces the momentum of this issue that it's just not -- not only is it not going away but it raises, once again, the question why, for the last
year, or two years, has this president and people around him continue to single out russia for what i would call benign treatment? what is motivating that? either you think it's motivated by strategic foreign policy grounds or you think it's motivated by something else and this will reinforce that question. >> like flynn, sessions was always with trump. one of those guys. >> he was there from the very beginning. >> just saying. >> he was flying around with donald trump the entire campaign. he was -- >> he was involved in the campaign in a big way because he knew this job was coming. >> he was deeply involved in the campaign from the start. he was the first guy on there. willie, we also have to talk about as far as recusal, what does it rise to the level of? here, he had two meetings with the russians which he did not tell the truth about in front of congress when they were specifically concerned about these type of meetings. let's forget about him resigning. let's talk instead about k
recusal. compare this to loretta lynch having a 30-minute talk with bill clinton, and everybody claims it was about golf or whatever it was about. she had to recuse herself. >> and that really hurt the campaign. >> this is so much more significant than that. >> we all took it very seriously. >> took is very seriously. >> a strong case that a lot of people have made he should have recused himself before this story came out but he couldn't oversee an investigation of an administration that he worked to get elected. now with this story, i don't know how he stays on. maybe he remains as a.g. but i don't know how he stays on. >> remember, loretta lynch was able to recuse herself to the fbi who could handle this and nobody at the justice department at all at the moment. beds you would question whether a direct subordinate of sessions that does feel like you're heading for special prosecutor territory. i think a slightly broader context to think about this. yesterday on this show, all anybody was talking about was trump's speech to congress, how
good a job he did, how much he pulled himself together, got the country going. and here you have yet another kind of unforced error by this administration that has turned the whole conversation back. >> that wasn't a coincidence. there is some leaking going on, obviously, richard haass, by friends of obama on this obama story, maybe on the sessions story. i don't know how long they had been working on it but i don't think it's a coincidence that this came the day after donald trump got his best press coverage everybody. people go, no. no, that is how washington works. you hold something and then bam, you leak it. >> what is different about this, this is not the first or last day of this story. this is a story that has legs. it's been here now off and on for a year, year and a half. this is not going to be the last day this story is going to interrupt whatever the news flow is. >> what this does, willie, is it just puts the thousandth
question mark out there. why is donald trump seem to make an exception and speak so positively about putin and russia? you know? why did michael flynn lie? his nsa director, why did he lie about meeting with russians? why did his attorney general lie about meeting with russia? >> let's hold the paul manafort thing. i don't know where to begin with that. >> why did he lie about meeting with russia? why do you have paul manafort and everything that is swirling around him, connected to your campaign? people looking back ten years from now are going to go, okay, just how dumb were these people to not pounce harder? >> it starts at the top. why is donald trump, president trump's reflex to give putin the nefit of the doubt when he is askean easy question by you or by bill o'reilly during a super
bowl interview about putin killing journalists, why is there always hemming and hawing. >> what is so hard? >> one other detail. in the initial "the washington post" piece, the justice department said that senator sessions, attorney general sessions had no recollection of what he talked about with the ambassador in that september meeting. but then in the statement that sessions office put out, they said i never met with any russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. so, yeah, they remembered what happened inside that meeting and what you talked about or you didn't. there are two different stories. >> one of them was at a convention. that defies -- >> no way an adult. >> no. >> with all their mental capabilities together for forget a conversation they were having with a russian ambassador the day after donald trump said something positive about vladimir putin and it was all over the front pages of the newspaper. >> "the new york times" -- that
is "the washington post" story. "the new york times" reports the obama white house spent final days in office scramble to go spread information about russia's influence campaign in the 2016 election. the paper says officials were worried that intelligence could be covered up or destroyed by the incoming trump administration. mr. trump had accused the obama white house of hyping the russia story to discredit his administration. setting four current and four officials the report says officials began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings to archive answers in detail making them more readily available. intelligence agencies also processed as much raw intelligence as they could into analyses for low classification level reports available across the government and even european allies to ensure a wide readership and spread other sensitive materials beyond the executive branch into congress. the paper also says they were trying make it harder to find the most sensitive intelligence including the names of sources and the identities of foreigners
who were regularly monitored saying they tightened the already small number of people who could access that information. what were they protecting? >> let's just stop right there. richard. what are donald trump's people doing in the middle of the campaign with russia on the front pages of the newspaper? were the russians trying to influence the outcome of the campaign by leaking embarrassing information about the democrats? what in the world are they doing meeting in european cities with russian officials? >> not just that backdrop given russian aggression in europe and essentially russian war crimes in syria, and iran their intervention. why would they single on representatives of this
government that is increasingly hostile to interest in the europe and middle east what would potentially be motivating these meetings? i haven't the slightest idea. >> it's unbelievable. steve rattner? >> it's unbelievable. >> richard, how unusual is this? the kind of behavior. if this report is true would you, for example, in 2008, summer of 2008 would people associated with president obama and his campaign meeting with foreign governments and discussing agendas? >> you have to govern at the same time you campaign. if you're not the incumbent you would be so careful, that is why they invented 11-foot poles because 12-foot poles are not long enough. you never want to be accused of overlapping foreign policy and politics. i just don't get it. >> especially at the time again when you're having charges that the russian government and vladimir putin are actively
trying to influence the united states of america presidential election and you're meeting at that time? >> the democrats on the hill -- needless to say completely focused on this and not going to rest until they have turned over every rock, called every official in front of them to testify, subpoenaed. this is going to go on for a long time. >> mika, what does this mean for republicans like marco rube yop on the intel committee who has promised a full investigation. john mccain, obviously, has already been very deeply concerned about this. do we start seeing republicans coming out calling for a special prosecutor? >> they are going to have to do the right thing. i can't imagine john mccain would not do anything less than the right thing on this. >> it can't be done within the intelligence committee. >> why? >> it's republican-controlled committees. it's too much careful handling of intelligence material. people are going to argue it needs to get out from under the
intelligence committee to something bigger and more legal. >> again, i don't take back my statement at the top that this could ab career -- >> lindsey graham made that point last night in a town hall meeting at the we may need a special prosecutor and my dear friend jeff sessions has to recuse himself. >> i've known jeff sessions a long time and i like the guy an awful lot on a personal level. i will say this. if my mother did this and testified to this, i would say, mom, i'm coming over this weekend with the kids. love you. you got to appoint a special prosecutor. i'm dead serious. this is obviously. you can love and respect jeff sessions as a friend, as a republican for 20 years. but there is just -- this is just a bright line. >> also vaguely in their interest, right? >> really is. >> there is going to be drop, drop, drop, chinese water, torture. appoint somebody and if nothing there you get it over with. >> you do not want sean spicer to go out and get absolutely mauled every day for the next
two weeks. get in front of this and call for the special prosecutor. >> i can't imagine what that is going to look like. >> let spicer announce that. you do that and you say we don't know what has happened here. but we need to get a special prosecutor to figure it out. so we are going to do that in the white house so we can focus on getting people back to work and there you go. >> let's bring in nbc investigator reporter ken. we have been talking a little bit about the timing of both of these pieces we have been discussing "the new york times" and "the washington post." what more can you tell us about that? >> good to be with you guys. these are well reported stories. these stories are the product of
this. after the election when the intelligence community started realizing the extent of the russian harking and leaking operation and the suspicions that trump associates were colluding with russians, they started scrubbing all of the intelligence and that is really what this "the new york times" story describes. but i'm not sure our viewers are going to understand. you've got the nsa has a vast eavesdropping operation, right? they are scooping up communications and monitoring particularly foreign diplomats and russian officials. a lot of that stuff never gets translated. and even stuff that gets translated never gets distributed outside of ft. mead. what happened is the investigators started looking for specific people and examining conversations and e-mails and they found things and they started writing up those intelligence reports and distributing them widely across the government as "the new york times" described. in a way to preserve them and to make sure that many different officials and members of congress saw them. and we don't know how the sessions information about the
sessions meeting came to the attention "the washington post" but we do know that the fbi was monitoring the russian ambassador. and monitoring his communications. so did he write a memo about this meeting that went back to the kremlin that was then picked up by the nsa and fbi? this is fascinates me. something out of a spy novel and the apparatus that edward snowden revealed to the world' now seeing it income and cher. >> we asked michael schmidt, one of the authors "the new york times" piece about the alleged meetings that were picked up by international surveillance and intelligence communities inside russia between rutrump associat and friends of the putin government. do you have any more reporting or insight as to who trump associates are? were they people from the campaign, friends of his from the business community? because, obviously, that is a big distinction to make. >> it is. and we don't have that reporting. we have reporting that paul manafort is under fbi scrutiny involving his ties to ukraine
oligarch. but in our reporting has always been that these russians were not necessarily russian intelligence officials as "the new york times" originally asserted and scaled back kind of in this story. but merely russians, some with ties to the kremlin and some rur russians official. in the russian state these days a lot of people have ties to the intelligence apparatus. some official, some unofficial. but those questions are the crucial ones and it's not clear that they ever going to get to the bottom of this. former fbi officials have worked russian counterintelligence cases say they can't imagine that a russian intelligence agent would be silly enough to sit down with an american and say, hey, we are going to help you steer the election. that's not how it works. this may be a difficult case to unravel. >> ken dilanian, thank you. let's bring in congressman
eric. should the attorney general resign? >> he certainly should recuse himself. ithink he probably should resign. we have more russian ties followed by more russian lies coming out of this administration. >> it's a little bit of a leap. is there anything i guess we could have the benefit of the doubt here? sessions office saying he was meeting in his capacity as senator. >> he certainly would have been the only senator from "the washington post" report that would have been meeting with the russian ambassador. right after reports had been coming out that russia was actively attacking our democracy. no one else is meeting with the russian ambassador except senator sessions. he lied about it twice under oath to congress. he has lost his independence as the top prosecutor in our country and should have nothing to do with any future russian investigations. >> willie, i mean, that is really at the end of the day,
it's the lie. just like it was with flynn. it was the lie about meeting with russia. you've got to day that nsa chief lied about a meeting with a russian official. the attorney general now has, i'm sorry, in his testimony -- in his testimony before al franken, there is not another word for it. he lied to al franken about not meeting with any russian officials. that just makes the snowball roll down the hill much faster. >> he wasn't asked directly by al franken about that. he volunteered that information. i want to get this in quickly. nbc news has exclusive video moments ago. caught up with attorney general jeff sessions. let's take a listen. >> well, i have not met with any russians at any time to discuss any political campaign, and those remarks are unbelievable to me. and are false. and i don't have anything else to say about that so thank you. >> he did say he would -- he
went on to say he would recuse himself from the russia investigation if it came to nap he would be open to that. he didn't announce he is recusing himself but open to reap accuse himself. >> congressman, as you said before, though, he did in question with al franken he did explicitly say that he was seen as a surrogate of the campaign and he certainly never met with any russian officials, right? >> the russian ambassador is a russian official. it looks looks like he is trying to be cute with his words now when clearly had he a number of opportunities to be truthful about a meeting with russian contacts. this was one of the top concerns about any trump nominee that was going through confirmation processes and for him to not disclose that is very troubling and called into question his independence. >> eric swalwell, thank you. >> thank you, congressman. >> if he wasn't talking about the campaign what was he talking about with the russians? what they were doing in syria, ukraine, what have you?
given the context why someone affiliated with the campaign would have taken the risk at that in a moment? this wasn't against a backdrop of nothing. this was against a backdrop in russian interference in the campaign. >> it is surprising to say the least. again, we are going to get al franken next and show you, ones gwynne the question and question with al franken where he says he volunteers the information, not that he never spoke on issues of the campaign. that was more leahy back and forth. this was just a point blank denial he ever spoke with any russian officials. >> senator al franken will jin us li join us live. >> about the campaign. >> with franken, it was straight out. >> so he'll join us live. plus this. i think the way we proceed is pretty simple and straightforward. >> but you're not ready to take yes to tax credits quite yet? >> in 2015 they voted to repeal
most of obamacare and i think we should start with that 2015 refeel r repeal language. >> big divisions how to untangle obamacare from the house and skepticism in the senate over tax credits. senator ted cruz joins us live. and house majority leader kevin mccarthy will join us in a few moments. this is the story of green mountain coffee and fair trade, told in the time it takes to brew your cup. let's take a trip to la plata, colombia. this is boris calvo. that's pepe. boris doesn't just grow good coffee, boris grows mind-blowing coffee. and because we pay him a fair price, he improves his farm to grow even better coffee and invest in his community, which makes his neighbor, gustavo, happy. that's blanca. yup, pepe and blanca got together. things happen. all this for a smoother tasting cup of coffee.
these documents also allegedly say, quote, there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between trump surrogates and intermediaries for the russian government. if it's true, it's, obviously, extremely serious. and if there is any evidence that any one affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the russian government in the course of this campaign, what
will you do? >> senator franken, i'm not aware of any of those activities be. i have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and i did not have communications with the russians, and i'm unable to comment on it. >> very well. >> well, i have not met with any russians at any time to discuss any political campaign, and those remarks are unbelievable to me, and are false, and i don't have anything else to say about that. >> what about -- >> thank you. >> recuse yourself from your agency's probe? >> i have said whenever it's appropriate i will recuse myself. no doubt about that. >> joining us is former aide to
the jogeorge w. bush white hous elise. >> everyone knows he has these contacts with russian ambassador twice. why the cover-up is going to be way worse, i predict, than what he actually discussed. it makes no sense. >> like general flynn. why lie about a phone call? >> and there is all of this smoke accumulating about what the trump administration's involvement is with russia. >> all of these these questions that have been swirling and, again, like flynn, this is somebody who was at trump's side from the get-go when he joined that campaign, he was there all the time. >> what does it say, mika, when you lie about something that you don't have to lie about? >> someone explain to me is there any reason why you would have to lie about meeting with an ambassador? >> there is a multiplying effect. >> you might to -- >> when you have your nsa national security adviser lying and having to resign. >> and is gone now. >> and then you have your attorney general lying in front of congress over something he shouldn't have to lie about
because he's on the armed services committee. he had the right to talk to whomever. why lie about it? it adds just compounds all of the questions. >> the question i still can't get an answer did they know about the meeting at the white house? if it's an innocent meeting the one at the convention, if their accounts is correct may not -- not a meeting but light conversation. >> why do you lie about an innocent meeting? >> i agree. the question is if i'm the white house chief of staff today who has gone out and said there were no contacts like this, if i didn't know about that, i'd be pretty annoyed. if i knew about it, why didn't i disclose it? in other words, is this just on jeff sessions keeping this a secret, or is it a wider attempt to not acknowledge a meeting which, if it's innocent, they should have said, oh, by the way, there was one innocent meeting but this was in the context of him being a senator and here is what they discussed. they haven't done that. i still want to know who else knew about this? it's a bombshell and if it's
innocent it could have come out as a as a matter of fact thing. >> with a series of meetings they convention, there are a lot of foreign ambassadors who attend the republican and the democratic convention and it's organized sometimes by the protocol chief at the state department. this is just a normal procedure that we have entertaining foreign diplomats in the country and not a big deal, so why lie? >> why lie about it? why lie about the meeting in your office when he had a right to do that too? >> god. >> but he lied about it point blank. there was no parsing. again, i want to say, again, just as a lawyer and you're looking at the word on the paper, you look at the question and answer from patrick leahy. he can explain that. a little too cute but he can explain it. but when he volunteered the information that, yes, i was seen as a surrogate on the campaign and i can tell you i never met with any russian official, there is no parsing there. that is a straightforward 100% denial. >> let's bring in house majority leader kevin mccarthy of california.
we want to talk about -- >> let's talk about obamacare, second. first, talk really quickly. what is your reaction to the jeff sessions news? should the attorney general recuse himself from any investigation moving forward on russia? >> i think sessions in the little clip i just saw and listening to you said he would recuse himself going forward. i think i'm just now reading about this myself. i could see in his role as senator, yes, meeting with different ambassadors. i just think he needs to clarify what these meetings were and when did he have them. >> if you had a meeting with a russian ambassador and you were supporting a campaign swirling with guess, about russia would you disclose you had that meeting? >> well, in this role, we meet with ambassadors all the time. >> exactly. >> just say -- at a convention, ambassadors all come to both conventions and they try to get as many members as come through and just say hi. i imagine that is kind of a big room. you're really not meeting with one per se. i don't see anything very
serious, i mean, by the standpoint there is an internal meeting here. i just think he needs to clarify from what i read in the paper right now. >> mark? >> he didn't say he would recuse -- he is recusing himself. he said if it comes appropriate to recuse. let me ask you. do you think he should recuse himself from this investigation given this now disclosed meeting? >> i think the trust of the american people you recuse yourself in these situations. >> you would urge him to reaccuses himself? >> i don't have all of the information in front of me. i think for any investigation going forward you want to make sure everybody trusts the investigate that there is no doubt within the investigation. >> does that require his recusal, congressman? >> i think it would be easier from that standpoint, yes. >> yeah. >> so let's ask about really -- again, this is sort of a side issue regarding personnel which very, very serious. but let's talk about policy that is going to impact the american
people at the end of the day. i was sitting, for the first time, i was invited by elijah cummings to sit on the democratic side and i was sitting ownver there. when the president said let's tackle health and all of the democrats around me said good luck. basically said we tried that two years and it's extraordinarily difficult. how are you guys going to tackle this in a way that is not going to destroy your majority the same way it destroyed the democrats in '93 and '94 under hillary clinton's attempt? and barack obama's majority in '09 and '10. how do you guys tackle this without paying a huge political price? >> well, the first thing, as you know, joe, you can't look at just politics when you're trying to solve a problem. obamacare in essence was two major items, the exchanges and the expansion of medicaid. if you look at the changes today one-third of this country, 1,022 counties only have one provider and others are pulling out. we know that is collapsing upon
itself. the 23 coops that were created 18 have already collapsed. so then when you look at medicaid i had 18 governors in in a bipartisan meeting this week. if you look at the expansion of medicaid in the ten-year window it's going to cost $1 trillion for one year. a trillion dollars is the equivalent of about as much as we spend for all discretionary government so that is not spend xenab extendable. protect preexisting conditions and make a ban on lifetime limits and don't allow them to ban that. secondly if you're 26 years old and younger you can stay on your parents' plan. start with a set of principles that government isn't dictating the plan that individuals can go into the market so you build up the marketplace and actually have choice. when you talk to my constituents with medicaid, not every doctor
takes it. and think about how long that waiting list is for specialists and you want to spend a trill n ion dollars. >> do you agree with your former colleague in the former speaker of the house john boehner where he said last week, let's be honest. republicans aren't going to actually repeal obamacare. that is too big a lift. they will fix it and play around the edges and fix pieces of. it, but to fully repeal and replace it one giant omni bust bill is not likely and not the way this will play out. >> i disagree. we will repeal it and replace it but through reconciliation. remember what the aca did. it empowered the health and human services secretary. 1,400 pages just dealing with the secretary of their empowerment. we will repeal and replace it and replace health savings
account and tax credits and reform of medicaid. those type of elements can go through the replacement through recognize sill -- reconciliation. let the american people decide what is best for moving forward. >> house majority leader kevin mccarthy, thank you. >> thank you, kevin. >> thank you. >> still ahead, senators al franken and ted cruz. >> they are actually, willie, they are on a tour right now? >> they are traveling together. >> they are doing separate interviews and we are back in a moment. your insurance company won't replace
up next, u.s. futures are mixed after yesterday's record breaking close over 21,000 and we go live to the new york stock exchange and much news about jeff sessions just breaking news now. house majority leader kevin mccarthy making news moments ago on "morning joe" as well saying it would probably be easier if the attorney general recused himself on the russian variations. >> he is saying he should recuse himself and marco rubio just told npr he wanted to come on this show. he loves "morning joe" and has for a long time. i guess he was just at a station
jogging by. but marco rubio now saying this calls into question whether there needs to be a special prosecutor. this momentum is going quickly. >> we have vintage manafort for you. >> do we really? >> "morning joe" back in a moment. so with our ally cashback credit card, you get rewarded for buying stuff.
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♪ all right. before we get to our next guest, i think this clears it all up. so we can wrap it up for the day here on the whole russia question and sessions and everything. we have paul manafort doing an interview back in july and this should help you all. >> this is about the same time the meeting took place. >> right. it's good. like we will awe get it. >> clarifies it for us. >> if there are any connections. >> to be clear, mr. trump has no financial relationships any rur russian oligarch? >> that is what our position is. that is what he said. >> i'm sorry. i didn't hear that. kou play it again? >> roll it again.
>> i would say just -- >> to be clear mr. trump has no financial relationships with any russian oligarchs? >> that's what he said. that's what i said -- that is, obviously, what our position is. >> i'm sorry. i missed the last part of that. could you play that -- play it one more time. >> so to be clear, mr. trump has no financial russian relationships with any russian oligarchs? >> that's what he said. that's what i said -- that's --, obviously, what our position is. >> was he speaking russian at the end of that? i didn't get it. >> that's what he said. that's what i said. >> it trails off a little bit. >> it trails off a little bit. >> that is what our position is. >> that is the campaign position. >> that is the position. >> i need to hear it again! >> one more time! >> so to be clear, mr. trump has no financial relationships with any russian oligarchs? >> that is what he said. i -- that's what i said -- that's, obviously, what our
position is. >> joining us now university professor and director for the center for sustainable development at columbia university, development jeffrey sachs. in washington, michael. good to have you both. >> jeffrey, your take on the latest developments coming out of mother russia. >> there are so many links of russia and trump, they are going to continue to come out day by day. >> like what? >> one, remarkably wasn't asked by our u.s. congress as they were looking into nominations is the commerce secretary. the commerce secretary is a co-owner of the bank of cypress, a major conduit for russian money, co-chair, reportedly, is a major russian olagark.
why was this never investigated? last week, there were story that is were calling on the senators to ask specifically, they ducked the question. >> this is the first i have heard of this. the senators were being asked -- >> the senators were being advised by investigative reporters. >> about the bank of cypress connection with putin. >> they didn't ask at all. we have another cabinet secretary with close associates of russia. >> mark halperin, perhaps you would like to share with the class. >> we were on side bar, i apologize. we beg the courts indulgence. >> these could be coincidences. >> yeah, sure. >> you could have had your national security adviser lying about a phone call with russia. you could have your attorney general lying about two meetings with somebody in the russian government.
you could have a commerce secretary that is a co-chair of a bank that is vladimir putin's financial conduit to the west. all these could be coincidences. as one shoe drops after another shoe, i'm not good at numbers, but i would guess, if i was a statistician, we would be up in the 10,000-1 range right now. when the next shoe drops, it's 100,000. this is growing exponentially, the questions. >> how many times did we say it's amazing donald trump could get away with so much, break the rules. if i were him in the oval office saying look, this is not working, breaking the rules, denying anything is going on. saying russia is fake news. it's striking to me, a few months ago, in december, when i interviewed him for the first of
the year story, he said he didn't believe russia was involved in the leak of e-mails from the dnc and he thought the intelligence agency was politically motivated. he was declaring war then. if you track between then and here, he's losing that war steadily. he has the attorney general admitting something he didn't admit. he lost the national security adviser. the white house thooz find a way to pivot and get in front of it. it's not a rule they can break. they have to find a way to deal with the facts here. >> jeffrey, imagine a parallel universe during the questioning with senator frank and the confirmation hearing with jeff sessions, he said i did meet twice, last year, with the russian ambassador and i did so in my capacity, which is what he said. my capacity as the united states senator and the armed services committee, is there a story if he said we are talking foreign
policy? >> i think there would be a story. already, we knew there were tremendously important accusations that had been raised and sessions, almost alone if a u.s. senator was meeting a russian ambassador, that would have put a pause on the nomination. so, i do think the significance is not only that he lied, but what is really going on here? we know there's massive hacking. we know the intelligence agencies have drawn connections between the trump associates and russian intelligence. now you have cabinet minister after cabinet department somehow implicated in this. people are resigning like flynn. they tell lies until they are on tape. this is another feature of the washington life. they are caught because there's a lot of surveillance going on. these things are coming out. >> michael, thank you very much.
the new issue of "time" is on today's snap chat ipo. what is it worth? the genius of snapchat. dr. jeffrey sachs, thank you as well. a lot going on today. still ahead, jeff sessions said he took a meeting with the ambassador of russia not as a trump campaign surrogate, but a member of the armed services committee. we are going to talk to another member of that committee, senator ted cruz. plus, senator al franken in his first interview since he was misled by the attorney general when sessions was under oath. "morning joe" is coming right back. my business was built with passion... but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one.
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i want to say one thing to the american people, i want you to listen to me. i'm going to say this again. >> i have been called a surrogate a time or two. >> i did not have sexual relations with that woman. >> i didn't have communications with the russians. >> so, that -- you wonder sometimes why you put something together. you can take it in. there might be a similarity there. >> did attorney general jeff sessions commit perjury? what is your gut, mark halperin, at this point? >> i want to speak about whether he remembered the meetings and didn't think they were important to bring up. who else knew besides him about the meeting? >> "the washington post" is out
with more. jeff sessions had the high ranking russian official last year when he was a senator and a lot of questions about russia were swirling. in a moment, we'll speak with the man whose question may end his career. senator al franken will be joining us, the first interview of the day, here on "morning joe." also x about t, about the same there was this with "the new york times," obama officials raced to preserve russian trail. we'll get to the other explosive piece of reporting in a moment. you know, the fake news meeds ya is so failing, they have nothing to share with us at all, nothing to see. good morning. it's thursday, march 2nd. with us live, we have political analyst and co-host of show time's "the circus" mark halperin. aide to the white house aleaeli
jordan. calling for attorney general jeff sessions to recuse himself from overseeing the investigation. "the washington post" was first to report that sessions met twice last year with russia's ambassador to the united states. including a meeting in session's senate office in september, weeks after u.s. officials were briefed on russia's attempts to interfere in the presidential election. and this morning, the attorney general said this -- >> well, i have not met with any russians in any time to discuss any political campaign. those remarks are false. i don't have anything else to say about that. thank you. >> what about recusing yourself from the agency -- >> well, i have said when it's appropriate, i will recuse myself. there's no doubt about that.
>> joe and willie have updates from around washington on this. while testifying under oath, we'll get to that, at the confirmation hearing on january 10th, sessions had an exchange with democratic senator al franken about reports on russian ties to the trump campaign. listen. >> these documents also, allegedly say there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between trump surrogates and intermediaries for the russian government. if it's true, it's obviously extremely serious. if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump campaign communicated with the russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? >> senator franken, i'm not aware of any of those activities. i have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that
campaign and i did not have communications with the russians. i'm unable to comment. >> very well. >> i did not have communications with the russians. he volunteered that. a spokeswoman for the department of justice says there was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer. he was asked during the hearing about communications between russia and the trump campaign. not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the armed services committee. his office points out he met with many other ambassadors as well. the wall street journal reports federal investigationers examined the contacts. the status and outcome of that is unclear. earlier on "morning joe," kevin mccarthy called for sessions to recuse himself. >> do you think he should recuse himself from this investigation given this now disclosed meeting? >> i think the trust of the
american people, you recuse yourself, yes. >> you said you would urge him to recuse himself? >> i don't have all the information in front of me. i don't want to prejudge. for any investigation going forward, make sure everybody trusts the investigation. there's no doubt within the investigation. it's easier. >> does that require his recusal? >> i think it would be easier, yes. >> jeff sessions said he met with the russian ambassador as a member of the armed services committee, not a trump surrogate or foreign policy adviser. senator claire mccaskill says i have been on the armed services committee for ten years. no call or meeting with russian ambassador, ever. they call members a foreign relations committee. mark halperin, a lot of lawmakers are speaking out on the democratic side. they are calling for all sorts of things. let's try to look at this in
terms of face value. does this look bad for the attorney general? >> it looks bad for the attorney general. he put the president and the white house chief of staff in a position comparable to what mike flynn did to the vice president, they have said, we checked, no meetings from our campaign and russian officials. he was the united states senator but one of trump's prominent supporters, adviser and i still want to know and i can't get an answer from anybody this morning. did they know about the meeting? did sessions dismiss it or not know about it? he put them in an uncomfortable position. >> claire mccaskill's tweet reminded me, not only met with russian ambassadors, but it wasn't really our venue or or space to meet with ambassadors. it was everybody on the foreign relations committee that would
go to the em babassies and meet. we would meet with generals and admirals, meet with people at the pentagon talking about what the defense department does. we weren't doing diplomacy. >> right, okay. >> there's a reason, none of the other members of the armed services committee met with this ambassador. jeff sessions was the only one that met with the ambassador during that time. jeff sessions, when you watch that exchange with senator franken, answered a question he was not asked. the question was what would dwrou if evidence came out showing a link between the trump campaign and russian intermediaries. he said i have never met, so i don't have how to answer that question. >> i think this comes back to your point about how this is so similar to what happened to vice president pence with general flynn. now, this could potentially be putting the chief of staff in a
difficult position as he stakes his own credibility on being told by members of the campaign and supporters they have not had contact with russia. >> reince priebus knew and chose not to disclose it or he knew and chose to undermine. >> they fought absolutely everything that came their way and everything was a battle to the very end or whether they do what a smart white house would do, which you have this speech that -- donald trump's best press reviews, ever. it's the best press donald trump ever had. does he now want to go fight jeff sessions battle or be president of the united states, tweet about the economy, have everybody talking about the massive rally yesterday, stay on jobs, like a disciplined politician would do and have sean spicer go out saying, obviously we are concerned about the developments but we are not
prejudging. we have great confidence in attorney general sessions, but he is going to have to answer some questions and we believe he should recuse himself. boom, it's over. all the microphones and cameras go to the justice department. you don't have to fight every battle for everybody else. >> that's a problem. i think maybe they have learned, let other people fight their battles. >> if they don't do what you said, it will raise the suspicion level they are hiding a larger question about russia and will continue to step on all the morning shows this morning have been on this, not the well received speech or stock market rally or the legislative agenda and promises on health care and taxes. they have to do the right thing for themselves and the country, to say there's no suspicion. there's no more loyal trump ally on capitol him. for him to say there needs to be a recusal, that's a big deal.
>> marco rubio talking about the same thing. >> joining us now from capitol hill, democratic senator al franken of minnesota. thank you for being on the show this morning. >> thank you. >> if you look at the conversation you had with senator sessions a bit differently this morning whar, is your take? >> yes, i do. i asked him, there had been breaking news, as we were recessing for a while in the hearings. when we came back, it had broken that members of the trump campaign had met with russians and i asked him since he was -- they were hearings from the attorney general, what would he do if he learned that members of the trump campaign team had been meeting with the russians. he didn't answer my question, which probably should have been i'd recuse myself. what he did was, instead he
pivoted and said, i was a campaign surrogate or considered one and i never met with the russians. >> right. >> that is, at best, extremely misleading and here we are. >> let me ask you this, you say it's at best, extremely misleading. i don't want to be too harsh here, but if you just look at it on the page, saying this as a lawyer, i mean looks like a lie. it looks like perjury. it looks like whatever you want to call it. >> what is your gut? >> he volunteered the information, which seems all the more damming. >> yeah. that's why i mentioned that. when i say the most charitable interpretation of that would have to mean either he forgot or didn't remember meeting with russian ambassador.
now i have learned its twice is hard to believe or was saying well, i did but not about the campaign, which is what he is saying. in between saying i didn't talk about the campaign, what came out was, oh, yeah, i talked to the russian ambassador, but don't remember what i talked about. which of the three things is it? do you not remember what you talked about? if you don't remember, you don't remember you didn't talk about the campaign. >> senator franken, it's willie geist. if we rewind the tape and senator sessions said, actually, i did meet last year, twice, with the russian ambassador, once at the republican convention and once here in washington. i met him as a senator, as a member of the armed services committee and we discussed foreign policy and affairs, would that have raised flags to you or sound like a routine meeting? >> i'm not on the foreign
affairs committee, but i think we learned today, "the washington post" asked a lot of members of the foreign affairs committee, none of them, including chairman mccain have met in the last year with the russian ambassador. he met twice. this is pretty suspicion. i certainly would have said you need to recuse yourself should there be an investigation of this incredibly serious interference by a foreign government, electronic warfare against the united states of america by this other superpower. >> senator, where does this go from here now with the new revelation? what is the next step in your mind? >> in my mind, jeff sessions should clarify some of this. as i said, this is now a contradictory statement. i think that he should immediately recuse himself from
any of this. i think that we should have a special prosecutor that is appointed by not only not by jeff sessions, but not by anyone with any ties to the campaign. we need an independent special prosecutor. >> senator, your colleague, elizabeth warren and also nancy pelosi called for attorney general sessions to resign. do you think that? >> what should be forthcoming is the attorney general coming forward, asking questions about this and coming forward with the truth because, again, he's contradicting himself and for him to say or for their spokesman to say he had no recollection of his conversation and then later to say, well, i did talk to him and we didn't talk about the election, that's
contradictory. his responses to me weren't accurate. so, i would like to see him answer questions, answer questions at a press conference and i would like to see and then we can decide whether he should resign or not. he's certainly at the very minimum should recuse himself. this makes common sense. recuse himself from any investigation the fbi is doing, from any investigation at all into the ties of the trump campaign to the russians as the russians were interfering with our democratic elections. >> senator, you talk to your republican colleagues and look at their statements publicly, do you get the sense they have a zeal for getting to the bottom of a relationship between the trump organization and the russians during the campaign or trying to protect the administration? >> i think it depends on the member. you know?
i think some of them have a zeal and some have less than a zeal. >> elise? >> senator franken, elise here. >> some are zealless. >> that's a word, low in zeal. >> i'm curious, what would it take to end all this speculation about president trump's administration ties to russia, ultimately? >> oh, it would take, i believe an ind pendent investigation, the president should turn over tax returns. the excuses for not turning over his tax returns during the campaign were bogus. you can open them if you are under audit. i don't think he was under audit. it's easy to prove you are. you produce a letter from the irs saying you are under audit.
we need to see his tax returns. we need to see that we have heard his son say that there was a tremendous amount of russian money in their business. we have seen wilbur ross, who when i met him, i liked him, but he was a major staeak holder ina firm. this is hinky. >> on that note, senator al franken. thank you very, very much. >> the two words we learned this morning from senator franken -- >> zealless and hinky. >> with that, sir, you have done your job. >> there's more reaction coming in. >> jason chavitz said sessions
needs to step forward. >> clarify his testimony. >> clarify the testimony, recuse himself. >> recusal -- >> by the way, you have kevin mccarthy, the majority leader in the house, the conservative house and jason chavitz saying that. >> recusal believes to a series of questions, a special prosecutor, career justice officials take over. who decides? senator franken says this decision should not be tied to anyone with donald trump. when he gets to that point, it's a series of questions. >> understands the law, right? >> now a significant portion of the portfolio is, he can't touch it. it's problematic this attorney general is so embattled three, four weeks into the
administration. people are already calling for his head. >> his meetings were being investigated, doesn't say by whom. is it by the justice department? his own justice department or the intelligence community? >> so much you can see. so many layers to peel back on this story. we are going to get to "the new york times" reporting on this as well. >> so, general flynn was the question, the distraction. general flynn leaves. the white house does the right thing, they get mcmaster and they get great press for it. i'm just wondering, do they go back down the bunker or do, again, what they need to do and immediately move on it, move forward quickly, put it on sessions and say, your testimony, you clean it up. we are over here creating jobs. mark, that is the question. have they learned? they should learn, you get rid of flynn, you get rid of a problem, you can trade up. >> harder to get rid of the
attorney general for a variety of reasons. i agree, he needs to answer. i'll say again, did the white house know or not? if they didn't, they should be annoyed. it begs the question of why they didn't disclose it. as suspicious as it looked, it's more suspicious. it's another thing we are learning because it was leaked. >> if they didn't know, annoyed is not the word i would use. >> right. >> it starts with a "p." >> mine would be -- >> just ahead, senator ted cruz joins us to respond to all the news. you are watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ sfx: engine revving ♪ (silence)
[ alarm weather.eping ] ♪ [ laughter ] cartoons. wait for it. [ cat screech ] [ laughter ] ♪ [ screaming ] [ laughter ] make everyday awesome with the power of xfinity x1... hi grandma! and the fastest internet. [ girl screaming ] [ laughter ] to be clear, mr. trump has no financial relationships with the russians? >> that's what he said. that's what i said. that's obviously what our position is. >> i assume they are willing to plea bargain, is that correct,
gentlemen? >> yeah, you know, yeah. >> well spoken. >> that's good. alex, that was a very good -- >> he looks a little like manafort. >> okay. go ahead. >> the other big story is from "the new york times," they are reporting the obama white house spent final days in office scrambling to spread information about the russian influence in the 2016 election. officials were worried intelligence would be covered up or destroyed by the incoming trump administration. they accused them of hyping the russia story to discredit his administration. citing officials, the report says they began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings, making them more readily available. what were they protecting? >> british and dutch officials provided information describing
meetings between russian officials and others close to russia's president, an associate to president trump. the author who co-wrote it spoke earlier on "morning joe." >> this is something the government, the fbi is trying to figure out, who are these people in trump world? are they people that were working for his companies? were they, you know, related to him? people on the campaign? disintangling that has not been easy. the lines are not clearly defined. >> white house press secretary sean spicer responded writing the only new piece of information that's come to light is political appointees sought to create a false narrative as an excuse to their own defeat in the election. there's no there tlrks. let's bring in ken. you are reporting a connection between that story and the one we have been talking about in the "washington post"? >> hey, willie. i spoke to a source last night
close to the investigation. think of the stories as related. they came from an effort to scrub the intelligence after the election when it became clear how serious the russian hacking was and the allegations trump officials might have been connected to it. the u.s. intelligence community examined intelligence intercepts. the nsa is listing them as monitoring e-mail and diplomats in the united states. not all of that gets looked at and transcribed. once they started looking for keywords and names of people, they began to see things and there was this human intelligence reporting that the times referred to. they found evidence of contacts and overheard russians discussing contact between trump officials and russians.
we don't know how "the washington post" learned about these sessions meetings. we know the fbi is monitoring russia because of the flynn conversations. one can speculate the russian ambassador may have written a report that went back to the kremlin, somehow the u.s. intelligence learns about it and it leaks. i would like to draw your attention back to why we are talking about all of this. you know, this former british intelligence officer wrote something, this past week we learned the fbi was prepared to pay this former officer, christopher steele to continue the investigation. don't forget, this alleged a conspiracy between the trump campaign and the russian effort to hack the election of donald trump. it's unproven. that seems to be what the fbi is trying to investigate here. >> all right, ken.
thank you so much. greatly appreciate it. >> wow. >> we got "time" magazine here. i just wanted to -- >> oh! >> they have a write up on bill paxton. great actor. what a great guy. passed away at a young age, 62. >> 61, i think. 61, 62. >> the reaction, too, from peers, people in hollywood. i always liked him as an actor, i department know him, but overwhelming of what a great guy he was, a great actor he was. >> you know, you meet -- i only met him 30 or 60 seconds, but he was, you could tell immediately, a down to earth texan. good guy. coming up on "morning joe," democratic senator, debbie stabenow says all the news about russia wants her to see the president's tax returns now. how she plans on getting that.
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the dow continues to rally in the new trump presidency, yesterday, hitting an all-time high reaching the 21,00 mark for the first time, ever. sarah joins us live from the new york stock change with more. sarah? >> it has been a tremendous rally. the dow is up 15% since the election. the broader s&p 500 is up more than 12%. the games came in strong. yesterday was the best day of the year, a rally of 300 points for dow, led by goldman sachs. the bank is doing particularly well. it's the theme, a confidence boost for the policies. traders talking about how the president struck a more conciliatory tone as you have been discussing over the last 24 hours. that made it more likely we will
see this agenda take shape, namely tax cuts for businesses, infrastructure spending that boosts the stocks like caterpillar and deregulation of obamacare and the banks. that's lifting that group, in particular. not a bad time to go public. that's the story here on the floor today. snap, the parent company of snapchat will make their debut. it's the first social media ipo since back three and a half years ago when twitter went public. there is high demand. there's anticipation for the first new hot thing going public. there are questions about whether this is going to be a good investment. just to run you through numbers about snapchat, 158 million daily active users. instagram stories, the feature is the biggest competitor, they have reached 150 million and is considered a big threat. the idea is making money off
advertising and growing that revenue. it's not a profitable company. it will be interesting to see if we get a pop and what the future looks like, open the floodgates for more ipos in a very strong market. >> sara eisen, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> just ahead, republican senator ted cruz, democratic senator debbie stabenow will be our guests. back in a mochlt. this is the story of green mountain coffee and fair trade, told in the time it takes to brew your cup. let's take a trip to la plata, colombia. this is boris calvo.
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. well, i have not met with any russians at anytime to discuss any political campaign and those remarks are unbelievable to me and false. i don't have anything else to say about that. >> what about recusing yourself? >> well, i have said when ever it's appropriate, i will recuse myself, there's no doubt about that. >> do you think he should recuse himself from this investigation given this now disclosed
meeting? >> i think you recuse yourself. >> you said you would urge him to recuse himself? >> i don't have all the information in front of me, i don't want to prejudge, but i think for any investigation going forward, make sure everybody trusts the investigation and there's no doubt within the investigation. it's easier. >> does that require his recusal, congressman? >> i think it would be easier, from that standpoint, yes. >> chair of the house oversight committee said he should recuse himself. joining us now, member of the judiciary and armed services committee, republican senator ted cruz of texas. senator, thank you for being on. >> senator, great to have you here. >> good morning. >> you are an attorney and certainly can read testimony. i was saying this morning, the leahy question and answer was as
troubling because, of course, it was about campaign. are you concerned about the al franken questioning and answering where sessions seemed to volunteer that he had never spoken with any russian officials? >> you know, joe, i'm not concerned about that. what we are seeing is a lot of political theater. could jeff have been more clear in what he said, yes. i think that was unfortunate. context matters a lot. jeff was being asked about the trump campaign communicating with the russians. i think he understood he was answering in that capacity. that is perfectly understandable. the reason i say it's political theater is the underlying meeting, this morning, everyone is in high dungeon about the meeting. the other is nothing. it's what senators do every day, meeting with foreign ambassadors, it's part of the job. jeff is, was a very hard working senator and will be a hard
working attorney general. i think everyone is getting worked up because it's a chance to beat up the attorney general and a chance to beat up the president. i think the underlying meeting is he is doing his job. >> it's willie geist. you sit on the committee with jeff sessions. did you meet with the russian ambassador? >> i didn't. it's interesting, when the story broke, i asked my team to pull up the calendar for january and february. i met with six different ambassadors in two months. that's part of being a senator. a minute ago joe was asking, josh, when al franken was questioning jeff sessions, and jeff sessions was saying as the trump campaign as a surrogate he didn't meet with russia, you know, i'm willing to bet al franken has met with a number of ambassadors. he didn't consider it the hillary campaign meeting with
him. al franken was supporting hillary clinton, he was a surrogate. when he's doing his job as senator, he's not a representative of the campaign. i think the saying was exactly true for jeff sessions when he was doing his job as a senator. >> we are talking about the russian ambassador in the middle of questions surrounding links between the trump campaign and the government of russia. why, speckly, did you and the reporting no member of the armed service committee not seek a meeting with the russian ambassador? >> by and large, i haven't sought meetings with them. typically, they call the office and want to talk to me. if the russian ambassador called and asked for a meeting, i imagine i would have taken the meeting. that's part of the job. i can't recall an instance where i reached out and said let's do a meeting. different countries want to discuss different issues. that's part of doing your job when you are on the armed services xhit tee. i'm on it. i served with jeff.
i'm on the armed services committee and served with jeff. one thing that's important, you see democratic politicians coming out and blasting jeff like this is misleading. you know, many of us served with jeff for years, sometimes decades in the senate. jeff sessions is a man of integrity, candor, i don't know any senator who served with jeff sessions, democrat or republican, who would say jeff has been anything less than totally honest. they don't like that he's a conservative, but he is very open and honest about his views. by the way, jeff has been a serious critic of russia. he's not been shy calling out putin. so, the notion that there was something somehow wrong with a senior senator on the armed services committee meeting with a foreign ambassador, i think it's a nothing burger. the testimony jeff should have been more clear. i think he said he wished he was
more clear. but, at the end of the day, i don't think there's any there there. >> you said repeatedly, the meeting he has is a quote, nothing burger. do you have information about what they talked about in that meeting? how do you know it's a nothing burger? >> i know meeting with a foreign ambassador is routine. i have no idea what was talked about in that meeting. my understanding is he met with 25 ambassadors last year. i don't know what was said in those meetings? >> not the russian ambassador? >> among the 25 he met with was the russian ambassador. >> you haven't met with the russian ambassador? >> my understanding of "the washington post" is six didn't respond. those that responded said they hadn't met last year. i was watching on another show, mike rogers, chairman of the
house intelligence committee, sure he met with the russian ambassador. if you are doing your job, you meet with ambassadors and foreign leaders. that's part of the job. >> senator, it's been reported, i don't have it confirmed, this meeting is being investigated by investigators. there's an appearance issue, even if, as you suggested, it's a nothing burger, stipulating all you said about your former colleague, is it possible that recusal is the right thing in your mind? >> i think earlier on the show, you played jeff sessions this morning saying he would recuse himself where appropriate. if there's an investigation into himself, recusal would be appropriate. i don't have any indication that there would be an investigation because i don't think there's any credible allegation that jeff did anything wrong in meeting with the russian ambassador. he was -- he didn't speak as clearly as he should. i will note, jeff had an all day
marathon hearing where he was getting hammered. jeff was answering as candidly and directly as possible. i think in context, he was answering as part of the trump campaign he wasn't meeting with the russians. my understanding, he wasn't thinking about his role as a senator. i don't see anything for there to be an investigation. of course if there was into him directly, any official would recuse themselves from an investigation. >> senator ted cruz, thank you for your perspective this morning. >> thank you, senator. two days in a row. this is a streak. >> cruising. >> joe, you are a gluten for punishment. >> yes, i am. you, too, especially. thank you so much. appreciate it. still ahead, if the white house thought they settled demands for the president's taxes, they are mistaken. democrats are making it a national security issue. we'll talk to a senator leading that push, next.
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facts. i think that begins with the attorney general answers questions. i he he does that. it's in everyone's best interest. >> senator marco rubio weighing in on a huge story of the morning. he said he's not there, but it may be time to start thinking of another person to handle any russia investigation. here is a quick look at coverage this morning. did attorney general jeff sessions commit perjury? >> i have been called a surrogate at a time. i did not have communications with the russians. >> this is a point-blank denial he ever spoke with russian officials. >> before yesterday, who knew about the meitls jeff sessions had? did the president know about them? >> we have people calling for his resignation. recusal at the minimum. >> recuse yourself. >> he discredits the executive branch to do an investigation. >> how is this different than what general flynn did? >> he should resign. he is a russian official.
looks like he's trying to be cute with his words now. >> i think what we are seeing is a lot of political theater. the underlying meeting is a nothing burger. >> if you don't remember what you talked about, you don't remember if you talked about the campaign. i would like to see a press conference, then decide if he should resign or not. >> final moments in office to spread the russian influence campaign in the 2016 presidential election. >> we have a few days left to get as much out as possible. >> there continues to be a war on current executive officials and fbi officials going after the trump administration. the fbi is trying to figure out who are these people in trump world? disentangling that is hard. the lines are not clearly defined. >> joining us now, debbie stabenow of michigan and former executive director of wmd commission, a senior fellow at
the atlantic council dr. evelyn farcus. good to have you. senator stabenow, we teased it a little bit, but donald trump's tax returns. is that something that could be enforced on him if we are looking at national security issues? >> yes. >> how? >> yes. first of all, mika, let me thank you and joe for a great show today. it's been a power packed show raising a lot of important questions. one way to get a lot of answers is his tax returns. we know, his son said russian money has come pouring in to their businesses over the years and unlike any president, he won't release his business or tax returns. the tax code allows the chair of the finance committee and the senate in executive session to require the tax returns be
given, private session with members so we can see whether or not there's something serious there. if there is, we could have the opportunity to vote to make it public. >> are we there yet? i'll ask evelyn the same question? are we there yet, at that level? >> yes. you know, mika, i think we were there back when he was the first president who never released his tax returns. the truth of the matter is, why, as you have said, why won't this president stand-up t russia? why won't he ptect us from electronic attacks on our country? it's bad enough that it's the elections and our basic democratic process, but financial records, personal records, electric grids like they shut down in ukraine. i think forward and i think, you know, i have been fighting for years with china stealing our patents and taking our jobs. now russia, going forward, can do the same thing. they are in every part of the
economy. this president won't stand-up to russia. i think it's extremely serious and has broad implications. >> doctor, same question for you. >> agree 100% with senator stabenow. the american people need to know whether you are acting 100% in their interest, not your interest. if there are questions about whether he received money from russians to bail him out of debt because that's at the heart of all of this. did he receive money from the russian that is are close to the kremlin and they are hiding that because they influnenced him somehow. he should have, on day one, said i want to get to the bottom of this. i want the cloud to be dispelled. let's put it all out there. now there's going to have to be a big investigation. i don't think congress can handle it. i think it's too hot for the
republicans, especially in the house. they will have to do a 9/11 commission. >> i found ted cruz's dismisal of this to be striking, given his background. >> he said the meeting was a nothing burger. we don't know what happened. senator stabenow, as you put the pieces together now, all this information we learned not just today, but the last months and the last year, what is your suspicion? do you believe the trump campai campaign colluded with the russian government to make donald trump president? >> that's a question to answer. based on published reports that we all know it is very clear there were communications going on. russia's main goal is to disrupt democracies around the world. they hit the mother lode when it was the united states. then they figured out we could affect this election. i think, even bigger is follow
the money, right? it's follow the money. the fact that he won't release his tax returns that we have all kinds of information about business interests, investment interests, when he couldn't get financing because of his bankruptcies in the united states, all kind of public information and connections with who knows who, so the simplest thing, to me, if there's nothing there, if there's nothing there, then show us the tax returns. show us where the money is. >> senator debbie stabenow, thank you very much. >> evelyn, the other story of the day, you actually new about this attempt to get and preserve information and were doing work yourself. >> i was urging my former colleagues and frankly speaking, the people on the hill, it was more actually aimed at telling the hill people, get as much information as you can, as much intelligence as you can before president obama leaves the
administration. i had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior people who left. it would be hidden away in the beaurocracy that the trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about their, the staff, the trump staff's dealing with russians, they would try to compromise those sources and methods meaning we no longer have access to that. i became worried. not enough was coming out into the open. i knew there was more. we have good intelligence on russia. then i talked to some of my former colleagues. i knew they were trying to help get information to the hill. >> a lot going on today. >> yeah. that's why you have the leaking. >> exactly. >> people are worried. >> ten seconds, mark halperin, the news of the day? >> a lot of pressure on the white house and attorney general to say more about what the meeting was ability. >> that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now.
>> thanks so much, mika. there is so much to cover. breaking news. jeff sessions urnds fire. the attorney general speaking out exclusively to nbc. >> i have not met with any russians at anytime. >> the revelations he had contact with the ambassador to russia not once, but twice despite this claim under oath. >> i did not have communications with the russians. >> the response, recuse or resign? a growing chorus of democratic lawmakers forcing him to step back from the russia investigation, even step down. >> certainly should recuse himself. i think he should resign. >> plus, record run. the stock market on an epic rally, topping 21,000 after president trump's big speech. and snapchat going public today. will this push the market higher? >>