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tv   MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle  MSNBC  March 3, 2017 6:00am-7:01am PST

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is a special prosecutor. >> rick? >> i think article v should be revised as something that triggers a defense agreement of nato. >> all right. casey, what did you learn? >> i think jeff sessions has a lot of questions to answer so far. joe? >> thank you, casey. thank you everybody. there are a lot of questions being asked today for good reason. it seems like everything that the trump administration has said the last month about contacts with russians may not be true. well, that's all the time we have for this morning and this week. thank you so much for being with with us. let's stick around and get more news coverage from stephanie ruhle. stephanie? what are you looking at today? >> so, so much. breaking news overnight. president trump firing back, calling accusations against his attorney general a total witch hunt as jeff sessions speaks out in a new interview.
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>> i think it was hyped beyond reason and i think it was unfair. >> undisclosed meeting. the white house now admitting more, you heard me, more key members met with the russian ambassador. this time, jared kushner and michael flynn inside trump tower. here is the question, what happens next amid growing calls for a full-on resignation. >> attorney general sessions should resign. >> new calls for a special prosecutor. >> there ought to be an independent prosecutor. >> we have got to begin today with the state of play here. when it comes to russia and the trump administration with jeff sessions choosing to sit out any investigation into russia meddling. the question is, where do we go from here? guess what? we have every angel of this story covered this morning. i want to start with nbc's justice correspondent, pete williams. you were in the room with jeff sessions yesterday. it seemed like he went out of
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his way to say there's not an official investigation under way, but if there was, how exactly is it going to perceive? >> he did that because the justice department rules sort of dictate that. that was what they call a legal fiction to think there isn't one. we clearly know there is. the answer to how it proceeds is straight forward. when the attorney general recuses, the task falls to the deputy attorney general. jeff sessions is the only confirmed political appointee justice. his nominee for deputy and associate isn't there yet. interesting about dana because he was appointed u.s. attorney in alexandria, virginia across the river by president obama. he's a hold overfrom the obama administration and filled in after yates was fired by jeff sessions after the letter she wrote. why he stepped aside, the rules are clear at the justice
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department. i want to cite to you, the justice department issue that is apply. no doj employee can participate in a criminal investigation if he has a personal or political relationship with an organization that is involved in the conduct of the investigation. it defines that as a close identification with an elected official, candidate, political party or campaign organization arising from services or official. that, of course fits jeff sessions to a tee. he started doing so several days ago before "the washington post" story came out on wednesday night and was headed in this direction and you kind of got hints of that when he was asked whether he was recused and he kept saying i'll do so when it's appropriate. >> i want you to help me with something. so many people want clarity. we know republicans want to take us back two days ago when
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president trump had a well received speech. we know so many democrats simply want jeff sessions head. yesterday, you specifically asked about his answer to al franken during confirmation and here is what he said. >> i was taken aback a little bit by this brand-new information, this allegation that surrogates and i had been called a surrogate for donald trump had been meeting continuously with russian officials. in retrospect i should have slowed down and said i met with the ambassador a couple times. >> for those of us seeking clarify, i didn't get any. do you think he cleared the air there? >> my question was, franken's question was sort of in the context of mr. sessions says here, people in the campaign doing things with the russians, receiving information, sending
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information and the question was what do you know about that? he said i certainly didn't have any contact with russians. his answer was that he was thinking of it in the context of franken's question about contact about the campaign. then in retrospect -- my question to him was, when you answered that question, did you not think your meeting with the russian ambassador was relevant or did it not occur to you? that was the answer he gave. >> hmm. we want to find out more about what the white house knows and when they knew it. on multiple occasions the trump administration clearly dismissed the significance of russian contacts and did it again yesterday. >> for six months now, we've heard the same thing over and over again, unnamed sources talking about nebulous unnamed things and having to say the same thing. at some point, you have to ask yourself where the there is. >> maybe the answer is, right here. hours later, the white house confirmed another meeting with
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that same russian ambassador. this one, including mike flynn and the president's son, jared kushner that took place in december. i want hans nichols to help break this down. what exactly did the white house know about russian contacts and when did they know it? it seems during the mike flynn issue, the white house was saying we didn't realize mike flynn did this. a meeting at trump tower with jared there? >> reporter: the wte house is saying this is an introductory meeting. it was a chance for ambassador kislyak to get to know jared, the son-in-law of donald trump. officials are saying they learned about the meeting when it was first reported in the press. the new yorker had the story last week and yesterday, they confirmed it. they are saying it's one of dozens of introductory meetings kushner and flynn had, sort of preparing to have a transition and a white house that was more
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functioning and in touch with foreign leaders. just to give you a quick example of that, on march 14th, angela merkel will meet here. these are introductory meetings, planning meetings. the white house is giving me one collective yawn about the story. clearly, it's getting a lot of attention and gaining currency and controversy on capitol hill. stephanie? >> i want to bring in my panel. ari, jason johnson is politicsed dor at the root.com and a process sor and matt welch making his debut with us, libertarian magazine. if the white house is delivering a collective yawn today, if the white house would like to point to the extraordinary run in the stock market, the very well received speech president trump gave two nights ago, why wouldn't they be motivated to put everything out there and clear the air?
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>> they were trying to do that last night. we have a rush of disclosures, not just with kushner, but paige and the bizarre interview he gave with chris hayes last night where he didn't exactly confirm or deny he met with the russian ambassador in the city of cleveland. they are clearly trying to close disclosure at this. there's an unmistakable pattern on this. they ask them first a question. jeff sessions said that sentence, i didn't have communications with russian officials. it's a bad sentence for him, it doesn't look good. it's in the pattern with michael flynn now carter paige. it looks funny. you are right, they should, if they want it to go away, come out and have everyone who had meetings say this. it doesn't yet have the feel of we have full disclosure out here. >> matt is talking about disclosures or qualifiers. sean spicer making the statement, then journalists said
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how about this meeting jared kushner had? the meeting jared kushner had with mike flynn in december took place at trump tower. we know, dur thag transition people went in the front door of the trump tower. the press pool was there. cspan aired it. they saw, they waved, they smiled, they kissed. you see the russian ambassador go through the back door. there are legal issues but ethical issues. from an ethics perspective, does this raise a red flag? >> the disclosures here are problematic. what's going to happen now, we can put up on the screen, just to be clear, jeff sessions stepping out. that means dana boente is in until rod rosenstein takes over as attorney deputy general. that is tuesday. he has a confirmation hearing
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this coming tuesday. we are going to see more fireworks on what happens, how would he approach this job and, can he, as he'll have to explain on tuesday march 7th, can he do it independently as he works with sessions in the white house or a more independent special prosecutor. >> take the outrage, the fireworks, the hair set on fire and set it aside. so many people are tired of that and can't hear it anymore. what has teeth here? >> what has teeth, it goes back to the video of jeff sessions and al franken. franken is like if you found anything out, what would you do? he gave the answer like i didn't smoke weed and hide behind the bleachers. there's a constant tendency to lie about basic things. he could meet with someone. he's a senator and on committees. the idea they lie about campaign events, it's the lie that makes people think it is a preview of the americans next week.
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it seems dishonest. the trump administration makes it worse by attacking the press rather than being forthcoming. >> the larger context is broader than a piece of testimony or awkward interview or other, as you pointed out, disclosures that should have been made. the larger question is, did a foreign adversary interfere in our election? if so, did they do it alone or did they do it by hook or crook with help from any americans? you want to get to the bottom of that regardless of party or ideology. i think the administration has a legal and optics problem, as we say in the business. it's looked, at times, it's looked at times like maybe they don't want to get to the bottom of it. why not? >> i want to share a bit of what jeff sessions said in his interview on fox. >> i don't recall any discussion of the campaign in any significant way. it was in no way some sort of coordinating effort doing
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anything improper. >> so, the words that he didn't discuss anything regarding the campaign, are we going to take that at face value? if you back up, in any significant way, if you back up and look at the timing, this took place in september, just before the election, in september, when the heat, the tension between the white house and sanctions with russia were as high as they have ever been. is that a good enough answer? >> i have to presume there's a recording of this conversation. is there not? it's hard to imagine jeff sessions is going to be so reckless as michael flynn was to mischaracterize the contents of that conversation. doesn't mean it's not possible, but it would be a reckless move on his part to do that. it's important to point out in the middle, the context is foreign agent who has ill intentions toward the election. the underlying content and
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conduct we know about right now is mostly dissembling meetings. the underlying conduct is not really that wild or interesting and i think that's what republicans are pointing out now and a lot of people who are baffled by the hysteria of this saying what is this thing that you think happened and we don't have a thing yet. >> take the hysteria out. it's transparency. >> we do have something. people have been convicted on less. we know the russians hacked the dnc. we know that kept magically finding its way into wikileaks. we know the drops of information from the dnc always seem to help the trump campaign and we know members of russian intelligence and russian state department members were meeting with the trump campaign. itis a clear path. if the republicans -- it is a clear path to coordination. look, if you keep getting caught
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with the playbook of the other team, we think you are bill belichick and you are cheating. if they said, look, the meetings were about sanctions, okay, that's fine. if you are having meetings during the republican convention and in your office. if you remember going to russia in 1991, but don't remember meeting a guy last summer, that's why people are concerned. it looks like coordination. >> we know what you did last summer. you get that? whatever. we are going to take a break. much more on this coming up. we are going to talk to one of the president's biggest surrogates during the campaign. why does he think the trump team is so forgetful when it comes to russia. then the chronic, widespread pain drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. she also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. for some, lyrica can significantly relieve
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. you are wchin msnbc. the steady drip of news connecting the trump campaign. calling for an independent investigation into trump's campaign ties with russia. some republicans are saying that the issue is being overblown. joining me now, the chairman of the american conservative union and surrogate for the trump campaign, matt. thank you so much for coming. >> thanks, i appreciate it. >> i want to play you some of the various trump sataffers and what they have said. >> sure. >> are there any ties between mr. trump, you or your campaign and putin and his regime? >> no, there are not. it's absurd. you know, there's no basis to
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it. >> i hear people saying it like it's a fact on television. it's not only inaccurate and false, but dangerous. >> can you say mr. trump or anybody in this campaign had no conversations with anybody in russia during the campaign? >> no. i mean, i'm just telling you, it's all phony baloney garbage. >> did any adviser or anybody in the trump campaign have contact with the russians trying to meddle in the election. >> of course not. >> i have nothing to do with russia. to the best of my knowledge, no person that i deal with -- >> nicolle wallace said on the "today" show earlier, the trump campaign is either the most forgetful in history or the most intimately tied to an adversary like russia. what do you make of that? >> she's a great friend. she and i worked for president bush. this is what happens, oftentimes, to republican presidents. i'm not going to tell you the trump campaign and now the trump
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administration handled this perfectly from the communication standpoint. that whole ambassador thing -- i gave a speesh. they are treated cordially. they got on planes and went to philadelphia and had the same meetings with democrats. you know why? ambassadors to america, their job is to meet with as many officials as you can and use diplomacy to improve relations. when you are on foreign affairs committees, have as many meetings as you can. nobody did anything -- >> let's accept that. >> sure. >> there are just so many questions being raised. i'm not saying accusations. why not, especially on the heels of mike flynn having to resign, why not come forward, clear the air? >> well, i think they are trying to do that. this is where the coverage is, why haven't they had this
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perfect communications rollout on russia? we could spend a lot of time on that. what's more serious are the calls for resignation, a special council. it was smart for jeff sessions to recuse himself. what is the under lying charge? is it that they did something illegal and criminal? that's where i think we are getting way ahead of ourselves. >> say the truth is in the middle. say it's not -- let's not whitewash this. the president, himself, said the russia thing is a rouge, there's nothing to see here. then you have others saying he has to resign. say what the american people want is transparency in the middle. >> i want transparency. i want to know what happened and all these big questions. guess what's happening. the proper committees in congress, the intelligence committees, which handle confidential information -- >> run by republicans.
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>> no it's not. they have a ranking democrat. there are almost as many democrats in that as republicans. >> almost. republicans get the final say. >> because that's what the american people decided. they wanted republicans to run congress. they are looking at these issues. i guarantee you, those committees, if there's evidence, anybody in trump world did anything inappropriate, they will talk to you and the press about the fact something needs to be done. don't worry, if there's information, we will hear about it. on the other side, trump got his full cabinet the other day. democrats are asking one by one for them toresign. what is jeff sessions guilty of? doidge his job as a senator? >> recuse yourself, which he has done. to say the trump campaign is cleaning things up, it was sean spicer yesterday who said there is nothing to see here. >> there is nothing to see. >> then the media said what about this meeting --
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>> what is to see here? i agree these conversations would have been cleaner to get them out. beyond that, what happened in those conversations that you are so worried about? >> i want to understand more. mike flynn had to resign over this? >> no, he wasn't forthcoming with the vice president that he might have discussed sanctions. i want to know what are you concerned when an ambassador talks to a senator. >> why wouldn't, on the heels of what happened with mike flynn, the president said, i didn't know this, the white house with was unaware. if a meeting took place during the transition with jared kushner, one of the president's closest advisers and son-in-laws, why didn't we know about that when the president showed the world who was going in and out of trump tower burks the ambassador came in the back door. >> i want to rewind a bit. >> please. >> all the ambassadors had the
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same conversations with the hillary campaign and key democrats. it's what ambassadors do. it's partially paid for by taxpayers. you are transitioning to governing. my guess is they had a slew of meetings. it's good they have as many as possible. just because you have a meeting or conversation, you can't make the leap that person was rigging the elections. >> i don't want to make the leap. i want all the information. >> should we have a camera so everyone sees every meeting. >> gosh darn it, president trump liked the cameras. he loved it in the lobby and at mar-a-lago. why have the russian ambassador come in the back door. kanye comes in the front door. >> this is going to shock you, a lo of people went through the back door. >> it doesn't make you feel like -- >> yes, it does. >> it's another question being
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raised. >> try this again. >> please. >> russia is one of the most important relationships we have. >> russia meddled with the election. >> russia -- russia is not our closest friend and ally. russia has spies in this country. guess what? this is going to shock you. we have them in their country as well. we have a problematic relationship with russia. let me finish. that's why when barack obama ran for president in 2008, he said we should be talking to every country. i'm dpoung to talk to cuba, iran and russia. he sent hillary clinton to russia to reset the relationships. lots of conversations. nobody criticized them for not wanting to make war. they were appreciative they were trying to have good relationships. when you say they meddled with the election, the only thing that is dangerous, yes, russia tries to get intel and spy on us. we do the same to them. i have no evidence they got inside a voting machine and did
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hanky pan ky with the election. were people after them and others? wikileaks after them because hillary clinton didn't disclose e-mails, yes? she paid the consequences of that through people doing illegal things. >> carter paige, paul manafort, there are so many questions. >> yes. >> more questions not just need to be answered after the fact, but when sean spicer says there niece no there, there. >> the there, there, here is what i think y are trying to say, can i use theords? i think the press is trying to say because of the meetings, it shows trump world was working with the russians to rig the elections. i think that's irresponsible. there's no proof of that. it didn't happen. mike flynn did not resign for that reason. he resigned because he didn't give a complete answer to the
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vice president before he went on tv shows. good for trump. good for president trump. we should be forthcoming on the questions. jeff sessions said, look, maybe this answer could have been more complete. i'm going to recuse myself. these are appropriate steps. i think it's wrong for people to say, just because has there been mishandling from communications standpoint? of course. there's rookie mistakes. i totally agree with that. it's unfair to take the next leap that trump world worked in collaboration. >> what you are not going to deet get here is an accusation. matt, thank you. it's more that we have more questions. one that would help if we saw the president's taxes. it would help when don jr. says we have russian investors and ties and the president says no, i have nothing. it's questions we have. we are going to take a break. next, new reports the vice president used a private e-mail server during his time as governor and it was hacked.
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an internal homeland security memo that goes against the reasoning for the travel ban. what is the future of the travel ban going to be? so tell us your big idea for getting the whole country booking on choice hotels.com. four words, badda book. badda boom... let it sink in. shouldn't we say we have the lowest price? nope, badda book. badda boom. have you ever stayed with choice hotels? like at a comfort inn? yep. free waffles, can't go wrong. i like it. promote that guy. get the lowest price on our rooms,
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. you are watching msnbc and it is time for your morning primer. everything you need to know to get your day started. president trump will leave palm beach, what he calls the winter white house, i'm not going to call it that, mar-a-lago. he will tour a catholic school before going to an rnc dinner. a series of attacks targeting al qaeda and yemen. there have been a dozen air strikes utilizing drones and
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choppers, the first since navy s.e.a.l. ryan owens was killed in a raid. it is part of a gloves off approach by the trump administration. an lgbt community in new orleans is on edge after two transgender women were killed in less than one week. police are investigating but say they do not think the two deaths are related. senator rand paul went on a mission thursday to find the houses obamacare replacement bill after getting word a committee was gathering. the senator brought his own copy machine to obtain a copy of the proposal. a house staffer had to meet the senator at the door to tell him the bill wasn't there. who travels with a copy machine. check this out, players making amazing catches. a mets shortstop prospect did one better, making a casual one-handed catch as a bat went flying toward the dugout, despite the amazing grab, he's not expected to make the big
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league team. that's a bummer. we are going back to politics. you will remember, the trump campaign criticizing hillary clinton for nonstop over and over of the use of private server as secretary of state. guess what? vice president mike pence's spokesman confirms pence used a private e-mail account to conduct business as governor of indiana. that was from the "indy star" saying he used his aol account and it was, in fact, hacked. i want to bring in jason johnson and matt welch. indiana law does not prohibit public officials from using personal e-mail accounts. just because it is legal, if you think abtd the nonstop attacks on hillary clinton, what do you make of this? >> it is, it was legal. but an aol account? >> you've got mail? >> it's silly.
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it's sloppy. it got hacked. that's a problem. i don't think it's a direct analog to what hillary clinton did. she was the secretary of state. >> russians? >> she lied about it a lot. mike pence hasn't lied about his e-mail system. yes, it is sloppy and ironic. >> hypocrisy is the mother's milk of a presidential campaign. so many things people lie about. hillary clinton is secretive. donald trump won'tive tax returns. i don't think it's a big deal. mike pence, if this is an example of him being the honest guy, he may be the only person that comes out clean. >> we are not going talk about breast milling on tv. rachel maddow obtained a department of homeland security intelligence assessment document. i'm not going to make you go through the whole thing. it appears it undercut president trump's rational for a travel
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ban targeting seven muslim majority countries. the document makes the case that most foreign born u.s. violent extremists are not radicalized when they come to the united states, but rather become radicalized after living in the united states for a number of years. the trump administration has pushed back and saying they are going to come out with a travel ban and the revisions. they haven't. when you see a document like this, does it make you believe something is up here? >> i think they are going to come out with something anyway. it's too much a part of what trump believes in and what he's promised out there. this document does tell us something that we already know and should know better. this is also true in europe, which donald trump likes to make sloppy analysis of our situation and refugees here and there. the people making attacks are second generation. their parents simulated. the kids grew up, they speak french and english.
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they are the ones getting radicalize zed later. how do you stop that? >> can president trump walk back from this? when he makes statements about refugees pouring in and americans who might not know hear that and say, yes, make the border safer. we never had refugees pouring in. to this point, the more president trump learns, if he starts to work with the department of homeland security when he has smart generals around him, can he walk back from campaign promises and pledges he's made if they don't actually make sense? >> stephanie, there's two parts. part one is, is he going to actually do something with hs or the travel ban? no. he's been promising a replacement of obamacare for almost a year and he doesn't have that. >> senator paul has a copy machine waiting. >> the second issue that concerns me is the notion of radicalization, this is against everything we know about anti-terror. the police getting killed are
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from white nationalists. it's not keeping us saver, it's promoting racism. >> we are going to take a break. next, a leading democrat says he does not believe fbi director james comey is telling congress the full story when it comes to russia and the president. a member of the house intelligence committee joins me next. have a natural pet food that goes beyond telling ingredients to showing where they come from. beyond assuming the source is safe... to knowing it is. beyond asking for trust... to earning it. because, honestly, our pets deserve it. beyond. natural pet food.
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investigation into russia and the trump campaign. joining me snou, congressman from arizona, a member of the house intelligence committee. you yourself said you would like to see jeff sessions recuse himself. he did. is that enough? or do you need a special prosecutor? >> no, it's not enough. with each passing day in this administration, we learn about more russian ties followed by more russian lies. it's clear this administration cannot be independent when it comes to looking at what russia did in the past presidential election. i'm calling for an independent commission, bipartisan appointed to take it outside congress. with respect to criminal activity that may have occurred, yes, special council should be appointed to make sure attorney general sessions has nothing to do with the investigation. >> somebody that knows about russia ties and potentially russia lies, james comey.
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he talked about russian interference in the election. you were at that meeting. since then, we heard from adam schiff who said i'm not sure james comey is telling us everything? >> adam schiff is doing a great job pursuing this investigation. i appreciate director comey coming to brief us. follow the evidence. it's in the president's interest to welcome that. right nour, there's clouds swirling around his administration whether there were political, personal or financial ties with the team and russia. we want the director and his agents to follow the evidence. i trust they are doing that right now. if there is something there, pursue it as aggressively as they would any case. if not, the american people would want to know that, too. >> is james comey not answering questions you have and do you believe he knows the answers? >> i'm not going to go into anything discussed in a
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classified setting except it's in our country's interest to get to the bottom of what were the personal, political and financial ties between our president and russia. right now, all the arrows are pointing in the same direction. you see consistent prior contact from flynn to sessions followed by lies which is a consciousness of guilt. then you have roger stone and carter paige advising the campaign with prior russian business dealings. we want to know, was there collusion with russia as they were attacking our democracy? also, if you take a step back, after russia attacked our democracy, why did they think it was appropriate to meet so many times with russia's ambassador? that calls into question their judgment. >> what levers can you pull to help pursue this more, given the disadvantaged position democrats are in? >> the american people are with us. what we need in congress are for courageous republicans to put country over party. walter jones is one of those.
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he stepped forward and signed on to support the independent commission. we need others to come forward. the american people want to know how are we so vulnerable. they understand russia intends to do this again. if any u.s. persons were working with russia, we want to know who were they and what are we going to do to make se they are held accountable. >> thank you for joining me this moing. appreciate your thoughts. >> thanks. next, alberto gonzalez joins me on if he thinks jeff sessions recusal is all a democratic witch hunt. f? american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at open.com.
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attorney general jeff sessions is out of the picture, at least when it comes to any investigation into links between russia and the 2016 presidential campaign. on thursday, he said his role as a trump surrogate means he should stay out of it. i want to bridge in former u.s. attorney in the george w. bush administration, general alberto gonzalez and the dean of college of law and the author of "true faith and allegiance." good morning. thank you for joining me. we have to get right into this. do you believe a special prosecutor should be brought in here? >> i think it's too early to tell. we need to let the investigation, fbi, assuming the investigation is ongoing, which i think we a believe it to be true. we need to move forward on that. congress will do its work as
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well. i think at the appropriate time, that's where we may end up. i think it's far too earl tlou tell if we need a special commission at this time. >> if it were the deputy of jeff sessions, do you think he could be impartial given that jeff sessions is his boss? >> yes. i do believe it. that's the way the department of justice is structured. everyone is expected to do a job. i have every expectation that the deputy attorney general would act impartially and follow the evidence and do the very best that he could on behalf of the american people to find out the truth in this particular case. >> the truth is what so many americans are looking for and the questions we have. i want to play a built of how attorney general sessions adjusted answering about the meetings with the russian ambassador, starting with his testimony in january. take a look. >> i have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and i didn't have
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communications with the russians. >> i have not met with any russians at anytime to discuss any political campaign. >> this wasn't any of thatnswer troubling to you? >> i've been in the chair where you go through a grueling session, someone asks you a question and you think you're going to be responding to the question you think you were asked and afterwards you realize perhaps i wasn't as clear as i should be. i think he has admitted that, he's going to clarify his response and supplement the record. that supplemental is also subject to laws, as i recall, that penalize a misstatement.
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listen, i think it's totally unfair for people to call on jeff sessions to resign without giving him an opportunity to explain what he understood and what he intended to convey in answering the question in that hearing. we're in that process now where he's going to clarify the record and people should assess then as to what should be the appropriate course of action going forward. >> do you feel like in that press conference yesterday he did adequately explain things? >> i think he moved it forward but again, he's going to supplement the record with a written response. that's the way it should be. i, myself and others, cabinet secretaries in a hearing often times correct a record. a misstatement is not totally true or complete. that happens quite frequently. he's doing what he should be doing. again, i think totally unfair for anyone to ask for his resignation without giving him an opportunity to explain what he meant to say in the hearing.
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>> you mentioned you've been in that seat before. you, yourself, were accused of intentionally misleading congress back in 2007. there were calls for a special prosecutor and ultimately you resigned your position. is there anything you learned from that experience that might be helpful to jeff sessions right now? >> keep in mind how politicized this is. my statements were investigated by the inspector general at the department of justice. there was a finding that there was no perjury that occurred in connection with my statements. so despite all the hyperbole, all the hype, all the claims of conspiracy and wrong doing on my part, it was all political. >> but you did resign. if it was just political, you did resign. >> again, because it's not about me and it's not about jeff sessions. what is in the best interest of the department of justice. and sometimes all the attacks become so bitter that it hurts the work of the department, where i was out giving interviews about the work of the
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department and all the questions that i received from the press related to the investigation. that's not good for the department. so sometimes people take those kinds of actions for the good of the department, not because they believe that they're guilty or because they did something wrong. in my case that was certainly the case. i did nothing wrong and, again, we need to give jeff sessions an opportunity to express his side of the story before people jump to conclusions and call for a resignation. >> judge, thanks so much for your thoughts this morning. i appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >> next, have the tweeter in chief, you know who i'm talking about, become restrained in using his favorite social media flo platform. we'll look at how president trump's twitter has changed in the weeks since he took office. yeah, with liberty mutual all i needed to do to get an estimate was snap a photo of the damage and voila! voila! (sigh) i wish my insurance company had that... wait! hold it... hold it boys... there's supposed to be three of you...
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are you going to do tweeting when you're president? >> i'm going to be very restrained. >> that was president trump back in november giving us a preview. and restrained would not describe his use. but something has changed.
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in the first month, he averaged an average 45 tweets per week. there were some pretietty memore ones in there. he labeled the media the enemy of the people and criticized nordstrom's. last week we heard from the president with half as many tweets and this week is less, 17 tweets. and the tone has markedly shifted. what is he doing? maybe this explains it. >> i don't like tweeting. i have other things i could be doing. >> there you go. president trump may be changing his tone on twitter. somebody else might have to step it up. it's pretty entertaining. that wraps us up this how for
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the week. i'm stephanie ruhle. coming up right now, more news with hallie jackson. >> hey, steph, tgif. good friday morning from washington. six weeks since donald trump became president. and what a ride it's been. democrats demanding the attorney general back on capitol hill in public under oath. more questions over his meetings with the russian ambassador, but trump says the story is no story at all. the white house and moscow on the same page with this one, both calling it a, quote, witch hunt. also this morning new words about other members of the trump inner circle communicating with russia. this hour we are talking with senator maisie hirono. on set former deputy assistant attorney general thomas dupree and national political reporter
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for "the washington post" robert costa. hans, i want to go first to you. talk us thrgh what'sext first for the attorney general and any investigation into the trump campaign now that sessions has recused himself. where does it go from here? >> reporter: well, there's still fact gathering. gathering facts is part of an investigation. then whatever they come up with would percolate up and get to a decision. what we saw in previous investigations on whether or not to bring charges. we know sessions is going to recuse himself. importantly, though, just for the activity leading up to the actual election. this is all -- think of that election as almost a turning point. and after that i didn't hear a clear recusal from now attorney general sessions. so up to that point, he won't be involved in any of the investigations. any investigations that may happen after that, it doesn't look like he's given himself a blanket sort of a recusal for everything hin

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