tv Morning Joe MSNBC March 6, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PST
and spent his first day on the job on friday. he's expected to kick off a listening tour in select communities in the near future. that's a wrap for us on this monday. i'm alex wit alongside ayman mohyeldin the president leveled an extraordinary accusation against his predecessor. >> claiming president obama tapped his phones. >> the president opened a whole new set of questions. >> whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016. >> this was unleashed a storm of reaction here in washington. >> where did you get the authority to run those taps? >> no place. i just did it. >> it was preliminary. we had cause, but no case. >> do you think you have a case now? >> prove it. >> prove it. that is where we stand after yet another remarkable and unprecedented weekend in american politics. the sitting president of the united states in another unchecked saturday morning tweet storm accusing his immediate
predecessor of tapping his phone. this leaves two possibilities. either one, commander in chief falsely accused another of one of the most scandalous acts in political history but president obama did tap calls of his most loath loathed political rival. we are speak with general michael hayden. it is monday, march 6th. along with joe and me, we have veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnicle. senior political analyst for nbc news and msnbc mark halpern. msnbc political analyst and professor at the university of michigan school of public policy, harold ford jr. and in washington, reporter for "the washington times," michael schmidt. when this started i had hope and
open mind and i'm losing hope and my mind is closing on the potential we will have any potential for this presidency at all. >> a lot of people looked at tuesday night's address and thought that maybe this is when donald trump could turn the corner, start being more presidential. he even had van jones over at cnn saying this is the moment that donald trump becomes president of the united states. now he has been president of the united states and he is president of the united states because millions and millions of voters made him that. but there was a belief that maybe he could turn the corner. certainly by a lot of people watching on tuesday night, but as we all said wednesday morning, well, it's fine for now but let's wait and see what tweets come next. what donald trump did on saturday morning has shaken this government and the confidence of its people to the core.
it is hard to overstate how reckless that tweet was. the 45th president of the united states accusing the 44th president of the united states personally tapping his phone and calling him sick. for people comparing this to the birther controversy, context is necessary. it is one thing when a reality tv star accuses a president of a sleazy conspir torial authority but when the president of the united states accuses another president, the context changes and it becomes dangerous. mika, "the wall street journal's" lead editorial today is fitting. washington goes nuts. >> yeah. >> is its headline. right off the top, they say we have reached a point where basic questions about u.s. institutions and trust in government are now at stake.
there is a full fledged war now between the president, past presidents, the intel community, the fbi. >> and media. >> the fbi trying to get the justice department to condemn these lies. the justice department in the hands of jeff sessions and the president of the united states refuse to go condemn these lies so far. just -- we are in crisis. >> yeah. an administration that has lost all credibility at this point. let's lay it down and then mike barnicle wants to jump in. fbi director james comey has the latest high ranking national security official to push back against president trump's allegation of politically motivated of trump tower. a cnn u.s. official tells nbc news that comey asked the justice department to publicly refute trump's claims as false and needing correction.
he reportedly made the request saturday but, so far, no official statement by either comey, the fbi, or the justice department. meanwhile, white house press secretary sean spicer released a statement, quote. reports concerning potentially politically motivated investigations immediately ahead of the 2016 election are very troubling. president donald j. trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016. neither the white house nor the president will comment further until such oversight is conducted. >> well, mika, that is actually the proper way, i think, at this point, to go. the president has made charges he is not going to be able to prove because he will never prove that barack obama ordered the tapping of his phones in trump towers. mike barnicle, we may be
looking, if not at an independent counsel, we may be looking at at the senate intel committees to step in as "the wall street journal" says today, behave like the grown-ups that we so badly need to behave right now. >> joe, this is an extraordinary weekend. it's been extraordinary week. i was off for a few days last week on basically a reporting trip, so from tuesday night to the president's speech in which many people thought was the highlight of his early young presidency, this was the return to normalcy, as -- his normalcy, as you indicated, on saturday morning. he basically accused a former president of the united states of committing a felony and that was followed by the director of the fbi asking the justice department to tell the president of the united states, donald j. trump, to stop lying. this is going to have to play out. i mean, we can say whatever we say here but this has to play out irnl in the house or the
senate intelligence committees or a special prosecutor. i don't know. i don't know that michael schmidt and the "the new york times" and "the washington post" knows how it's going to go but we have to let this play out because this is a true crisis of confidence in this young presidency. >> sean spicer said the white house would have no further comment, but then his deputy spoke out. >> we are taking the reports that places like "the new york times" and fox news and bbc, multiple outlets have reported this all were saying let's take a closer look. let's look into this. if this happened, if this is accurate, this is the biggest overreach and the biggest cancelled. >> the president of the united states is accusing the former president of wiretapping him. >> i think that this is, again, something that if this happened, martha -- >> if, if, if! >> i agree. >> why is the president saying it did happen? >> look. i think he is going off of information that he has seen that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential.
>> what the -- what the hell? i'm sorry. >> on how do they go out and say if this did happen. they might have said if george w. bush helped o.j. simpson kill nicole brown. that would be the biggest scandal of all time. if barack obama had something to do with jonbenet ramsey's death, that would be the biggest political scandal of all time. she might as well have gone out and said that. there is no evidence, mark halpern, nor will there ever be any evidence that barack obama, himself, ordered the tapping of donald trump's phone in trump tower and let us not be too clever here. >> no. >> and try -- and try to save the president from his own words. that is exactly what he stated happened on twitter saturday morning. not that the fbi went to the and
they investigated the russians and maybe intercepted some calls. no. donald trump said barack obama in the closing stages of his political campaign intercepted his phone calls in trump towers. where do we go from here? >> the irony i think has set the president off as much as anything else is the feeling there are anonymous sources in washington fueling news stories that are putting him on the defensive. now you have the fbi director, people saying anonymously on his behalf, that he wants a statement saying that this isn't true. i agree that it will play out over time with the intelligence committees and play out over time within the white house staff as they try to figure out how to deal with this and try not to answer questions about it. i think that immediately today, the question is this challenge basically, almost semipublic challenge, the director of the fbi said to the justice department, say this isn't true. if they don't act today, it will be fascinating to see what comey does. this is the exact situation that steve bannon, the president, and
others in the white house, really bristle against which is anonymous powerful washington figures going after him. >> mark halpern, though, what does the white house gain by the -- by steve bannon, most likely handing the president of the united states a breitbart article and talking about what a rabid right wing talk show host has been theorizing? why does the president of the united states use those sources instead of his intel sources and goes out and starts a tweet storm that actually has washington, d.c. at war with each other? >> why he does it, again, i think it's because, like all presidents we have ever covered, he doesn't feel people are defending him. he has got the power to defend himself. and it leaves the white house with less credibility on capitol hill, less credibility clearly
with the media and amongst a lot of republicans and distracted from a very complicated legislative agenda. the after action report in the administration, i can't find anybody who is happy that this happened. they are trying now to contain the damage and see if it's possible that that spicer statement allows them to move on. but it's a suggestion is not an extraordinary donald trump tweet storm but one that will have implications for a while. >> he tweeted about arnold schwarzenegger late. again, you can just talk about how unig difficudiggived and un that is. that doesn't matter next to charges against the 44th president of the united states and the fbi and everybody else. this is completely reckless and i could not find one person inside the white house -- and i spoke to many this weekend -- that defended donald trump. they were all scratching their heads saying they had no idea
what this man was thinking. >> behind the scenes -- >> also. we haven't talked about this. he left in a rage on friday afternoon. nefs he was in a rage reports all weekend have it. >> because his attorney lied? >> yeah, because it was discovered that his attorney lied. so he is mad that -- maybe if his people -- >> this is a very small man. so -- >> maybe if these people would stop lying about their contacts with russia, maybe he could get out of the way and get some good press but they can't stop lying. >> president obama's response in a moment. harold, there is a lot of reporting i have behind the scenes that reince priebus is flailing, to say the least, that his job -- i'm hearing that from bob costa who is coming on later
to talk about all of the different source he has on a story that is similar. i don't understand why the former head of breitbart appears to be handing the president some fake news and the president is just rifting on it wildly with no sense that he is president of the united states, no respect for the office, and calling a former president of the united states unbelievable names. we are at a low point in american history and i don't know how anybody can defend this president, even if it's their job. like you've got to have a job after this. you've got to look in the mirror after this. sarah huckabee or whoever is speaking out next. you have to look in america and think about this country after this is over. you need to think of the end game here, because there is one at the rate we are going. harold? >> i agree with you. to everyone's point, this is a historic affront to the sdeptsy.
you have to have some evidence and support that if you're putting this kind of charge out. two, e.j. dion writes in the post or maybe over the weekend two things could happen here. this is either a spectacular charge by this president or there is actually grounds for surveillance against president -- i have no idea. this is just, obviously, speculation here. the flip sized this, i disagree slightly with some around the table in which the speed this will be resolved. mark has been saying throughout when congress made a mistake and correct something that day, i think we are going to see some movement on this today. if what michael schmidt is reporting from the fbi and comey is not doing this to protect obama but the fbi and his own integrity. we have seen dr. comey's personal reputation at stake he will respond more phil.
loves public service, i couldn't agree more with what has been said around the table. think about the last 45 days. the president has challenged the wisdom of the executive branch and i'm not sure if he perjured himself but the attorney general misled the united states senate and recused himself into whether or not there was communications with russia that might have allowed them to meddle in our elections. we are really at a low point. for those who think that the press and those who cover the press may exaggerate, this is not an exaggerated moment. to joe's point this is a low, low moment for washington and low, low moment for politics. >> mika, i do want to say this too. what is disturbing to me is that while the ship is sinking, and when you have the president of the united states doing what he is doing, while ship is sinking, maybe not in the polls, but will
allow the president of the united states to work with congress to pass legislation right now it's a big question. when will they get past this and start passing legislation. you have people inside of the white house, instead of being worried about donald trump's wrklewr recklessness and unevenness you have stories coming out people getting the knives out and attacking reince priebus. this is not a reince priebus issue. they are leaking to newspapers that reince priebus is failing? no, this is not a reince priebus issue. this is a steve -- i'm sure steve bannon is doing this and i'm sure he is going to be on the cover of "time" magazine talking about reince priebus next week. how sick while the ship is going down in the way it's gone down this weekend, you have reince priebus being attacked? reince priebus isn't the one who tweeted out what was tweeted out
saturday. reince priebus also wasn't the one who handed him this article. any guesses who handed them this breitbart article that made him go crazy? >> maybe who served as the head of breitbart who is itisitting there with the president. there are talent that can't get to the president and the feeling of frustration that many in the administration have. about what is going on here. for whatever it's worth. let's get to michael schmidt. i do want to read president obama's statement. a cardinal rule of the obamacare administration was that no white house official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the department of justice. as part of that practice, neither president obama nor any white house official ever ordered surveillance on any u.s. citizen, any suggestion otherwise is simply false.
just fyi. when you are out speaking for president trump, i would urge you not laugh at yourself because this is not funny. this is really bad. just for the record, we are all really nervous. so if people out there feel nervous, we do too. we don't think this is funny. michael schmidt is with "the new york times" and he is reporting on this. michael, what do you have? >> there were two things that really bothered the fbi. the first one was the president's use of nixon and watergate because it basically insin situated the fbi who had dodge this service had broken the law. off the bat they said you are coming off the integrity of the fbi, of the intelligence community. the second thing it set expectations for the public that by october of last year, this meant that the fbi had cleared the high bar to get a wiretap that basically a judge had said
that there is enough evidence that donald trump is the agent of a foreign power and that just shows a level of evidence that the fbi certainly does not have, and it certainly ratcheted up the dialogue on all of this russia stuff and make it more difficult for the fbi going forward. those are the two factors that pushed come ynchy to do what he this weekend. >> can the president of the united states order a wiretap on an american citizen? >> no, he can't. it has 20g through the lawyers of the justice department who have to go to the fisa court. this was stuff changed after nixon that put safeguards in place to prevent something like this and something the obama administration folks have repeatedly said over the weekend. what it also does is for, you know, guys like comey that have been at the justice department for a long time it calls into question all of these processes that they follow and basically insinuates to the public you can go out and do these kind of things and they really want to
knock that notion down. >> michael, if the nsa picks up an intercept of a russian official calling the united states, whether it's in new york, at trump tower, or chicago or anyplace, what happens after that intercept? does it go to attorney general and the justice department or the desk of the president of the united states? >> i don't believe it goes to the desk of the president of the united states. the only time that it ends up at the white house is when the intelligence community believes there is information that the decision makers there really need to know. but it's not like on every intercept is just reported back there but there is stuff that goes there that they believe is important to the decisions that they have to make. but a lot of times americans names are blacked out. when they go to white house because they are trying to protect their identities. under the law. >> joe? >> mark halpern, there was some legal writers over this weekend that were actually digging into this. and september commelegal writer
fans necessarily of donald trump. i'll post some of those later on this morning on twitter, their articles. but they kept commenting about highly legalistic the obama administration's denials were, especially josh earnest. do you believe -- have you heard the suggests that perhaps there were some conversations that were intercepted when the fbi, the fisa court agreed to let them conduct surveillance on, let's say, russian agents that they believed were acting against the united states' best interest? >> there were speculation about that even before the weekend. then as you pointed to, josh earnest's legalistic responses on a sunday show who raised the suspicion that people have that that is what is going on here. and you could imagine, if somehow the president trump knew about that, that he was
responding to not what he said on twitter but just the notion that conversations were intercepted. and that is a complicated situation. michael schmidt, i'll just go back to you on this question of director comey doing what he did, kind of throwing down the gauntlet and speaking first to "the times" then to nbc or other news organizations or someone on his behalf, what happens today if there is no statement from the justice department? what options does comey have to react next? >> comey could unilaterally put out a statement, but what i believe the fbi thinks on this is that the justice department, they are really the ones that go to the fisa court and their lawyers that do this. the fbi is one of the law enforcement agencies that works for the justice department. other agencies like the fbi and dea can get such wiretaps. i think the fbi here is feeling, look. justice. this is your issue. you need to go out and resolve this. i think what comey could doo
here is he could go up to the hill and brief the intel committees and tell them, hey, this isn't true and then allow the head of the intel committees to come out and say it themselves. >> michael schmidt, thank you very much for your reporting this morning. we are just getting started here this morning. still to come, former nsa and cia director michael hayden will be here on set. plus, "the new york times" reporting helene cooper and representative jim himes. and we are joined with new reporting on a president, quote, steaming raging mad at his inner circle. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back. various: (shouting) heigh! ho! ( ♪ ) it's off to work we go! woman: on the gulf coast, new exxonmobil projects are expected to create over 45,000 jobs. and each job created by the energy industry supports two others in the community.
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always asking why there seems to be a difference between donald trump privately and donald trump publicly. i always say that when donald trump goes public, he play the reality tv show president who always has to be tough. >> yeah. >> always has to be tough, so everything he does feeds into his belief that the tv character he plays for all of us at president of the united states and that is frightening, is this tough guy that never backs down. well, mark halpern, we heard that on friday, donald trump left the white house in a rage and heard that he left the white house in a rage, in part, because jeff sessions recused himself from the investigation. he believed that that made him look weak. you have some more reporting on this trump obsession where always appearing strong and it driving him to his crazy behavior on saturday morning.
>> you want to think about the environment in which those tweets went out and where the president's mind was at. he does always want to project strength and that has served him well when he was a businessman and served him well as a presidential candidate. you think about what is going on in his life right now. first of all, hours after he said sessions shouldn't recuse, sessions recused with little consultation with the white house and a show of weakness. like presidents we have ever covered he thinks the white house staff is behaving weak and not defending him enough. finally this executive order on immigration. the redo from the first one which is going to have in its elements a lot of things that are going to appear and be cast as backing off from the very, you know, aggressive initial order. and so these are all things covering the president as someone and his administration has behaving in a weak fashion and that is not something that sits well with him and we have seen this before when he is being cast as weak. people talk about this is an attempt to distract but according to people i've talked to it's also an attempt to reassert the notion he is in
charge. he's on offense. he is not going to sit back and let the people around him behave in a way he considers to be, again, i'll use the word, weak, as opposed to strong. >> but, of course, mika, here is the problem that donald trump doesn'tnd and what we have bluntly warned him on this television show about from the very beginning, everybody around the panel. you go to washington, d.c. and get elected as president of the united states and you think you have power but in fact, you're one the most picked upon creatures in all of washington, d.c. the courts check your power. congress checks your power. the press checks your power. the intel communities check your power. we have said this time and time again and he like a blind boxer in the middle of the ring who is punched from all sides. he doesn't realize he needs to sit down and start rationally approaching this. he isn't capable because he gets hit, he has to hit back. the more he hit back, the more
he is going to get hammered and this ends very badly for him. >> it looks on like he is trying to deflect from something much bigger and probably pertaining to russia at this point. who knows. the people close to him, the people guiding him, this all ends up the buck does stop with the president. i know he doesn't think so. but it does. but the people around him are so poorly serving him. steve bannon, i get it. everything this nks reince is disorganized. but people clos to him and always there are not teaching him anything what is going to happen if you do a, b, or c. they are pushing a strange far right agenda that is going to threaten everything that this president might want to do if he has any positive intention. >> mika, it's not a far right agenda. it's steve bannon's agenda. steve bannon has told us.
by the way, steve bannon is not a conservative. cozying up to russia is not conservative. putting out a budget that will blow an absolutely hole in the national debt another $10 trillion is not conservative. there is nothing conservative about any of this. >> why don't i rephrase myself and saying they are pushing a very dangerous agenda, an extremely dangerous one. whatever it is that is being pushed on president trump, it has nothing to do with respecting the constitution and respecting the office. it just doesn't. i don't know what happened saturday morning. i don't know what was going on in his head. as you pointed out weeks ago, president trump's saturday morning routine also involves spinning out of control and sending out tweets that then ricochet around the world. there was the saturday before he was sworn in when he tweeted that congressman john lewis was all talk and no action or results. john lewis, on saturday, january
28th, he attacked "the new york times" and "the washington post" calling them dishonest in all caps. it was saturday, february 4th when he called the federal judge who halted his travel ban, a, so-called, judge. he attacked the media on saturday, february 11th, over his daughter ivanka's clothing business. this is where we are. it kind of speaks for itself, does it not? >> of course, mike barnicle, this saturday, it's hard to say the worst of all -- well, actually wasn't also a saturday or was it a friday where he called the media the enemies of the people? i think that may have been a late friday, but it is always going into the weekends. as i said before, especially when jared kushner and his daughter ivanka are away for the sabbath, this all begins.
and his staff that he is kicking around spends the rest of the week trying to clean up after the mess that he makes on friday nights and saturday mornings. >> joe, the president of the united states, we are now in the 45th day of his presidency and he has, in sequence, tried to destabilize or delegitimatize, not necessarily in order, the fbi, the cia, the courts, the congress, the media, the regulatory agencies. >> schwarzenegger. >> and arnold schwarzenegger. and all of this at the price of moving forward on anything that he proposes in any engaged he has ever set out. >> it's the behavior of an -- >> that's where they are this morning 45 days into nis preside his presidency. >> harold ford, where does this leave us 45 days in and what
does congress do? what do americans sitting at home do? >> you hope that smart people swarm around him and that he listens here shortly. i do think that comey is -- i don't know him but i sense that he may want to say something today or at least figure out a way -- i think michael schmidt gave an option he may go before the intelligence committees and i know jim himes is about to come on. i think the larger point you and mika are make there is no adult in the white house. you would imagine if a president wanted to make statements like this and level accusations like this at a white house counsel, an attorney general, a senior adviser to the president, might be able to caution him differently. but, obviously, a 45 day record of this. a year and a half record of this, almost two-year record of this that mr. trump considered running for president and ran for president and now is president. so i hope the answer is one that all of us around this table the country deserves which is some maturity. >> mike barnicle, i know we have
to go to break. >> right. >> but harold brought up the white house counsel. one of the most disturbing developments was that the white house counsel was rooting around trying to get information from the justice department about an investigation that may involve his own president. you want to talk about watergate, that is straight out of watergate. >> yeah. the white house counsel. harold said, a point of contention with you there is no adult in the white house staff. there is at least one adult in the white house staff. i don't know mr. bannon. from what i've read, i respect his intellect but this is a man who seemingly sees with unearned resentments against a system that we all live under and he is trying to, quote, deconstruct the administrative state, unquote, whatever that means. that is steve bannon. that is his intent and purpose every single day.
>> mika, he actually says that he wants to bring everything crashing down and wants to destroy the american government. that's who steve bannon is. >> he appears to be doing a very good job. he is very good at what he does. >> he has a good vehicle for doing it, the president. >> he has got somebody who is easily influenced by emotional reactions especially. very small person reacts the way the president has been acting. small minded. still ahead, congressman jim himes said hillary clinton would be facing calls for impeachment right now if her administration acted anything like president trump's. he joins us next with msnbc political analyst elise jordan. >> you know, i tweeted today? at real donald trump, i tweet. you know, it solves it. don't worry. i'll give it up after i'm president. we won't tweet any more, i don't
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jeff sessions. i'm the attorney general of the whole united states. i got to meet the president and everything. he shook my hand like this. this is my best good friend kel kellyanne. she ain't got no legs. why ain't got no legs, kellyanne? we are about as close as peas and carrots but they don't let her talk any more. i miss you, kelly! >> wow. coming up, general michael hayden who led america's top two spy agencies. he joins us just ahead on "morning joe" to break everything down. we will be right back. boost
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was behind that accusation. i've never heard that before and i have no evidence or no one has ever presented anything to me that indicates anything like that and, obviously, in the days to come you guys are going to ask him and i imagine they are going to answer it. >> i'm very worried that our president is suggesting that the former president has done something illegally. i would be very worried if, in fact, the obama administration was able to obtain a warrant lawfully about campaign activity with foreign governments. >> with us now we have got the member of the permanent select committee on intelligence, democratic congressman jim himes of connecticut. also with us is contributor to "time" magazine and msnbc political analyst elise jordan. congressman, let me begin with you. "the wall street journal" this morning, in an editorial appropriately titled "washington goes nuts."
concludes with this statement. political collusion with a foreign power and abuse of intelligence collection to smear an opponent and threaten the integrity of democratic institutions. let's hope the intelligence committees rise above their party leaders and tell americans what really happened. are you confident that your committee, as well as the senate intel committee, can do just that? >> i sure hope so. i've thought all along this is really not a job for the congressional intelligence committees. all of us are a party label and we are in the political fray. and so, you know, any conclusion that i come out there with, the criticism is, oh, he is just a democrat attacking the president. this always should have been an outside 9/11 style commission where people wouldn't have their conclusions impugned because of the party label they wear. i'd still like to see us get there. in the absence of that i will tell you coming from the inside, so far we have been making some progress and, of course, now with this absolutely wild
allegation we have got more work to do. >> let me ask you about that, what you just called a wild allegation. marco rubio on the senate side, obviously, the senate intel committee, they see an awful lot of information, as do you in the house. marco rubio says he has never seen anything to suggest what the president said on saturday morning was true. have you seen anything that would allow the president to draw, even begin to draw the sort of conclusions he draw on saturday morning in your work on the intel committee in the house? >> no. like marco rubio, i've seen nothing on. like marco rubio and like jim comey and jim clapper, we know on the face of it the tweet is either wrong or points to a scandal unlike we have ever seen. the president cannot order a wiretap. of course, former president obama made this very clear about what the policy was of his white house. but -- this is the interesting thing to me. you know, talk about walking yourself into a box canyon.
the president either lied with the most wild conspiracy theory apparently out of breitbart did that in front of the whole world, set the fbi director sort of against him, or if there is something here, what it is likely to be is that somebody -- well, the fbi, most likely, at some point had probable cause to go on to a judge saying we have probable cause against somebody in trump tower and give us a warrant. that judge would have been made by a federal judge and that, of course, points to the possibility, if any of that is true, that there is probable cause for law enforcement to say there is something wrong at trump tower. >> elise jordan, what is the possibility that this behavior is something beyond being unstable? like for perhaps deflecting from other shiny objects that might lead to some sort of connection with russia that the president does not want the country to see? >> well, you know, i find it interesting that in president
trump's announcement speech, he famously said that mexico sent over rapists. and then as the course of the campaign came out, he was, you know, numerous women came forward with allegations of harassment, just a partner of affairs that really pointed to him having some issues when it comes to being predatory with women. i find this interesting now because it is a pattern that he deflects when he doesn't want to talk about something. the problem, i think, is that what actually -- no one knows what the facts are right now. so both sides are swirling around somewhat conspiratorially because we don't know because this is so highly classified. we need some facts. the fbi didn't come out this weekend and refute, even though in "the new york times" director comey let it be known he felt the allegations were false. i think having this debate right now is so damaging to our institutions. >> and the media. >> to have a real investigation it's ban while. you need the minority staff to be able to be involved in
subpoenas, strategy, questioning of witnesses. is the republican majted letting your party participate at the staff level and at the member level full fledged partners let's get to the truth? >> inside, they have. there has been concern, obviously, about the chairman devin nunez who is a friend of mine out' out there before flynn designed devin was saying this is a swamp, that flynn did nothing. three hours later, flynn resigned. so outside, it's been concerning because, of course, a story about both nunez and burr doing what the white house asked and trying to knock down a story. inside, yes, we are gathering documents and we have additional budget and we have staff, things are moving forward. >> if you make a suggestion to the majority of the chairman and say let's subpoena this better than or talk to that person does that suggestion get taken up? >> good question. if you look at last week, you look at the difference between what adam schiff and devin nunez
said with respect to the fbi director testimony last week ranking member schiff was concerned that director comey did not answer a lot of questions put to him and didn't seem to bother devin nunez that much. when we feel it's necessary to subpoena somebody as the minority we can't do that on our own. we need a majority. does that support materialize? as a minority we can go on tv and say this is critical and the majority is not helping us here but that is when it's going to be clear whether we are getting a real investigation. >> joe? >> mike barnicle, you know, the more the drip, drip, drip comes out where you have one administration official after another lying about contacts with the russians, you're going to have americans wanting a special prosecutor more and more. new poll just come out this morning. 65% of americans support the setting up of a special
prosecutor to investigate this russian debacle. >> that is only going to increase given the fact that over the weekend on twitter, the sitting president accused the former president of committing a felony. >> and called him sick. >> and congressman, my question to you is, any president receives a notion of intelligence on a daily basis. you people on the house intelligence service committee, intelligence committee receive some of it. is it possible that the president, in a tweet on saturday morning, perhaps unknowingly, unwittingly, exposed classified intelligence information in a tweet, in the tweet about wiretapping? >> well, it's possible. remember, that the president is the ultimate declassifying authority. so the president, unlike the rest of us, can come out and disclose anything that is classified because he has the authority that has the power to do that. i think that is unlikely. think of the context here.
mike. from before the moment this guy was inaugurated he was attacking the intelligence community and flippant about accepting briefings from them. i'm pretty sure that on friday, he didn't see some intelligence that he decided he was then going to out the next day. i think he read the breitbart report that some staffer handed him and the breitbart report is rooted in pretty much nothing so i think it's him declassifying intelligence. i think it's him acting in a pretty crazy way. >> that's not encouraging. >> >> no. >> congressman jim himes, thank you. coming up, politics can be scary thing especially if you're prone to conspiracy theories and you're ultra paranoid. stephen king said obama should never know he never left the white house. he's in the closet. he has scissors! our next guest is former cia director michael hayden is our guest. we will be right back with more "morning joe."
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it turns out his organization seems to be doing a lot of the organizing to some of the protests that a lot of these republicans are seeing around the country and against you. >> right. >> do you believe president obama is behind it and if he is, is that a violation of the so-called unsaid president's code? >> no. i think he is behind it. i also think it's politics. that is the way it is. look.
>> but bush wasn't going after clinton and clinton wasn't going after bush. >> you never know exactly what is happening behind the scenes. you're probably right or possibly right but you never know. no, i think that president obama is behind it because his people are certainly behind it and some of the leaks, possibly come from that group. you know, some of the leaks which are very serious leaks because very bad in terms of national security. >> that was president trump last week blaming president obama for protests at town halls across the country. on saturday, he upped the ante claiming the former president wiretapped his phones. if president trump wanted to change the conversation, he did, but he might not like what he is hearing. his flurry of saturday morning tweets only cemented concerns about a white house in turmoil and disarray and perhaps even his stability in question. welcome back to "morning joe." it is monday, march 6th. mike barnicle and elise jordan are both still with us.
joining the conversation, former director of the cia and nsa now a principle at the chur took group. his book "playing on the edge american intelligence in the age of terror," is now out in paperback. also joining us on capitol hill, a political reporter for "the washington post" and msnbc political analyst, robert costa. joe, take it away. >> general hayden, so much to talk to you about. but before we get into the obvious questions, i just want to underline for americans watching who see this as political intrigue, the stakes involved. north korea has fired another missile. the danger they present to the united states is growing greater by the day. in their first meeting, barack obama and donald trump spoke and barack obama said the greatest
challenge that you face is not obamacare, it is north korea. they have got a missile that may be able to reach seattle in four years within your presidency. and now you have the president -- this president of the united states, the 45th president of the united states unable to draw upon the wisdom of the 44th president of the united states because he is involved in petty twitter battles with him. talk about from your vast knowledge of how the government works, how this break between two presidents in the middle of a war that we are fighting against as the president would say islamic extremism, how that is undermined every day from the petty attacks by this president. >> joe, there is an awful lot of continuitity between administrations despite what folks say during the campaigns simply because the problems don't change because we have an election and the choices are very limited. so i take the point that you've now cut off a source of wisdom
that late afternoon/early evening phone call just checking in with your predecessor to get some sense as to how they did or didn't play that particular hand. joe, i think even more important, we have been in continuous crisis now for 45 days. >> right. >> and none of it has been externally stimulated and this is a mural game within our own government. no one has tiblegckled is from abroad so i can only imagine what would will happen when events start to happen has do require that sober methodical response from a government that doesn't appear as if it's gont got itself organized yet. >> yeah. >> so based on what the president of the united states tweeted saturday morning, what has been said all weekend, educate us. what is possible for a president to do, what is not possible? and what is your take on this entire episode? >> so, joe, if you take
literally what the president tweeted it could not have happened the way the president said it, that the president of the united states directed surveillance on someone. he hasn't been able to do that since the mid 1970s. you've got to go to an article iii judge and you got to have problem cause that is a target of the surveillance is either an agent of a foreign power or it's very likely involved in criminal activity. so on its face, that is just incorrect. now, did that happen in another way? now we have had the two agents that would have made it happen, jim clapper, the director of national intelligence, personally and explicitly saying he didn't do it. and indirectly, you've got the director of the fbi through "the new york times" saying he didn't do it either. so there may not be much there. >> so i need some -- i'd love to hear your gut on this. i've got a sound bite here from
sarah huckabee sander. here is how she explains this behavior. take a look. >> we are taking the reports that places like "the new york times," fox news, bbc, multiple outlets have report this, all were saying is let's take a closer look. let's look into this. if this happened, if this is accurate, this is the biggest -- >> but you're not saying -- let's look at this. the president of the united states is accusing the former president of wiretapping him. >> i think that this is again something that if this happened -- >> if, if, if! >> i agree. >> why is the president saying it did happen? >> look. i think he is going off of information that he has seen that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential. >> information that he has seen that has led him to believe. this is the deputy white house spokesperson. your gut? >> my gut is i think the
president forgot for a moment in the morning saturday that he was actually president and that he actually could have called the acting director of national intelligence and the director of the fbi and asked them questions if the breitbart article or the other articles, which frankly didn't say, which they have alleged to have said, he simply could have asked. >> he could have. i am going to make the leap that he knows he could have asked. so why would he do this? >> well, now you're getting me out of my background lane. but if you're asking me why, he is trying to distract attention from what was a very, very bad news circle and let me go very dark on you, mika, all right? the president of the united states put his own reputation, the reputation of his predecessor and the reputation of his nation at risk to get at least a draw out of the next 24 hour news.
>> mika makes an important point that he could have just asked. he asked the national park service about the crowd size of his inauguration. >> yeah. joe? this is really a dark time which could get worse. >> you know, i, unfortunately, have -- i agree with the general. and what has struck me for some time, because people have been wondering for some time, is donald trump crazy like a fox? is he figuring this all out? is he playing us? is he doing things to distract us? what we have learned from donald trump over the last 45 days, but weren't so sure before that time because the man did win the presidency of the united states. his madness was rewarded. was it all part of a mad bigger plan? what we found is that this president does not have a long game. he does not even have a mid game.
he has a short game. he is a day trader. that is why on saturday mornings when things slow down, he churns things up as quickly as possible with the most shocking tweets as possible. so he, ones again, dominates the news cycles. i talked about saturday mornings a few weeks ago. i also brought up and something that i noticed actually going back to the campaign, at the beginning of the campaign, most of his shocking statements were on friday nights or saturday mornings so he would control the news cycles all weekend, what he said shocking would be talked about on sunday mornings, on the sunday morning news shows, and then it would dominate the news cycle throughout the following week. these rarely happens on wednesdays or tuesdays. it's always friday nights or saturdays and it is for a purpose. it is to churn up the press and control the news cycles for the next 24 to 48 hours. >> the general wants to make a
point. go ahead. >> i know michael who worked in the white house with us, a wonderful speech writer and now a commentator for "the washington post" . he used a phrase that trump lives in the eternal now. is there noi future, no past, i is now. >> the eternal now, we need to go to bob costa here. bob, unfortunately, it's not just the president who lives in the eternal now. his staff members live in the eternal now when they talk about foreign policy, they act as if there was no history, there was no u.s. foreign policy before january 20th, 2017. and, bob, you have a lot of reporting this weekend from a lot of staff members around the president about how angry he was starting on friday. tell bus it. fill us in. >> what a weekend. my colleagues ashley parker and
phil rucker and i worked on this story over the weekend about how the president left the white house in a huff on friday, unhappy with his staff, unhappy in many ways with attorney general sessions' decision to recuse himself. he gets to mar-a-lago and plays golf on saturday. he is playing angry according to people who were with him on saturday. fuming about the intelligence community steve bannon flew down on saturday. he has been talking to the president about the so-called deep state, the intelligence community who, in their eyes, is working against them. he wakes up sunday morning, however, and he's in a good mood when he reads the papers and watches the early cable shows because he thinks his allegations against president obama were dominating the news. but he became unhappy later sunday when he sees most republicans and elected officials don't really stand by him and his claims. instead they try to distance themselves. that irritated the president before he came back to washington on. so you have him digesting news
and pushing out information, suggestions and allegations, getting angrier and angrier that he feels he is under siege according to more than a dozen people we spoke to. >> robert, according to your reporting and not just the weekend but the past 45 days, a lot of people in political life and many presidents have a habit, a pretty good habit reaching out via telephone to talk with other people within the government. do you have any knowledge of president obama -- president trump's, does he have a habit of calling mike rogers at the nsa? does he have a habit of calling mike pompeo at cia, to buttress some of the things he might think about or tweet about? is that such a relationship? >> based on my reporting, he has a habit of making many phone calls but not necessarily to government officials. more important in some ways to trump than anything is the network of friends, associates,
former business friends. people who are outside of the government who give him counsel, who give him a perspective on the news. he is not necessarily talking to people in the government, though he is, i'm told, developing a rapport with john kelly, the homeland security secretary, trying to pull out a little bit behind just talking to bannon and priebus. >> elise? >> general hayden, there is just so much misinformation right now. no one knows what really is the truth behind president trump's team and contacts with russian officials. based on what you're hearing from your sources, what really -- is there a there/there when it comes to donald trump and connections with russia? >> so the honest answer, elise, is i don't know and i don't think we know yet, and anyone who says they know, probably doesn't have all of the facts. all right? so, for example, we had quite an uproar that probably prompted the tweet storm on the weekend with senator sessions or
attorney general sessions. sessions has been a good friend of mine and treated me with nothing but politeness and fairness. i get that he misstated but i think in this political atmosphere we blew up what it was that happened and made it appear to be something that it probably was not. and so i guess the thought i'd share is let's calm down. you had the congressman in here in front of me. let's let the facts take us where they will. let's all step back a little bit from this and, unfortunately, what happened on the weekend didn't dampen the fires. it threw gasoline on the fire and it actually made, i think, what the president is concerned about most, i almost said feared most but let's just say is concerned about most, the continuation of the investigations just got a lot more energy. they are going to go on for a long time. >> general ahehayden, stay with. we want to bring in "the new york times" david sanger who is
out with a new piece trump inherits a secret cyberwar against north korea and north korean missiles. bob costa, stay with us as well. the trump administration has been waiting for the perfect time to sign that revised travel ban. is today the best day? we are going live to the white house for reporting on that and we will speak with msnbc chief legal correspondent ari melber on all of this as well. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back. it's beautiful. was it a hard place to get to? (laughs) it wasn't too bad. with the chase mobile app, jimmy chin can master depositing his hard earned checks in a snap. easy to use chase technology for whatever you're trying to master. it's realizing beauty doesn't stop at my chin.
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there is plenty of speculation on where the president may have gotten his information. radio host mark levine talked about it his show on thursday evening, claiming police state tactics and a much bigger scandal, and raising a question over whether the obama administration is your veiling members of the breitbart campaign and then orrin hatch
expressed concerns over whether the obama administration might have monitored trump campaign officials. on friday the story seeped on to fox news when they pressed house speaker paul ryan whether he was concerned about president trump potentially being monitored. >> a report that june 2016 a fisa request to monitor communications involving donald trump and several other campaign officials. then they get turned down. then in october, they renew it and they do start a wiretap at trump tower with some computer and russian banks, and it doesn't show up anything by reporting. have you heard that? >> well, again, like i said, none of us in congress or anybody i know in congress has been presented with evidence to the contrary of what you just said. >> my point is that the obama administration was pretty aggressive. >> i hear your point but i'm
saying that -- i've seen nothing of that. i've seen nothing come of that. that is my point. >> well, general, also, again, i've seen -- through everything i've been reading this weekend, i've seen absolutely no evidence that the obama justice department, the fbi, anybody wiretapped trump tower. what i've seen, and i want to ask you what the most that you have seen. i've seen that they actually were conducting surveillance on russian entities, that they thought might have been dealing with some of trump associates. what is the most that you've gleaned from published reports this weekend on what happened and what might have happened? >> sure. joe. so you need to understand a few words that are very important to make a distinction here opini. to target a u.s. person, anyone in the trump tower, the trump campaign and even the computers in trump tower, you need a
warrant. you do not need a warrant if you're targeting of a legitimate foreign intelligence target. you pick up information to, from, or about what we call a protected person. you can continue the coverage. i mean, that is why you're collecting foreign intelligence. you just have to protect the privacy of the u.s. person that is involved. talking to or being talked about in the conversation and what we do, joe, is we minimize. we remove the u.s. identity. they usually are referred to as u.s. person number one, u.s. person number two, unless, joe, unless the u.s. identity is critical to understanding the meaning of the intelligence and then nsa, at a level well below the director, nsa then hat authority to what is called unmask the u.s. identity. it happens all the time and it's not new. it's not the obama administration. it's how we have handled this since about 1952 when the agency was established. >> well, based on "the new york
times" article on the 19th, three trump associates or former associates paul manafort and carter page and roger stone were, in fact, draw the interest of federal investigators for possible ties to russia. so would they go through -- would the justice department go through a fisa court to be able to have surveillance on those three characters? >> so let's assume that in this collection against foreign targets, this information comes up, purely speculative on my part, joe, but you may then -- you may then get a body of evidence that leads you to believe that either, one, a crime is being committed, or these u.s. persons are actually an agent of a foreign power. then you've got to take your evidentiary stack to a federal judge in the fisa court and prove it to him or her, that that u.s. person deserves to be
targeted and only after that happens can you then begin to do direct targeted surveillance on that u.s. person, which then tells me, joe, that what the president said in his tweets on saturday, that is just not how the plumbing works. >> given that it doesn't work that way and it can't be true, is it overstating it to infer that the sitting president accusing the former president of a felony, and calling him sick, could be anything less than reckless and even unhinged? >> well, i do think it is a reckless accusation. let's assume that something like joe just suggested might have happened. by the way, both jim comey and jim clapper have said it didn't. >> we are stretching. we are benefiting of the doubting here. >> let's assume that it did. what the president then is saying is that a federal judge believed he had probable cause
that someone, the president cares about is involved in a criminal activity or is an agent of foreign power. i don't think that is a good news story either. >> the trump administration is expected to unveil a new immigration order banning travel from several muslim majority nations today. joining us is white house correspondent hallie jackson. what do you know about this new order? >> reporter: it's a long awaited relaunch now. one of the president's most controversial pledges. senior administration official telling nbc news that it is expected that details of this will be unveiled at at some point today over the department of homeland security. the president, himself, i am told, is not expected to be there. a couple of things that we think may or may not be in this executive order. this new one after the original, of course, was tied up in those legal fights now for just over a month. a top administration official saying that iraq, there no longer be a blanket ban on iraqi
citizens. when it comes to refuges from syria they will not be treated different from refuges from other nations and different from what we saw the first time around when this executive order was signed on january 27th. right after that, there was, if you remember, that first weekend, confusion at airports, huge protests around the country. the administration defending itself by basically saying, hey, we had to this as a matter of national security. steven miller going on television and saying that, hey, if they had waited, it would have potentially left the homeland security vulnerable. president trump, himself, tweeting february 4th that he believed that the judge lifting this ban or lifting his immigration executive order meant that many bad or dangerous people could be pouring into the country. we heard from the president on february 10th hinting at a revised executive order the next week and heard from him again on february 16th, the next week, hinting it would be, again delayed until the following week. that week came and went with no executive order. then we expected this thing to
be signed on march 1st. that was last wednesday but that was, again, pushed off after the president delivered his joint address to congress. something that was praised by pundits that the administration seized on and want to have his its moment, essentially. we will get more details on this more-of-more formally at some point toot but nod clear when the president will sign it. >> thank you. we want to bring in msnbc chief legal correspondent ari melber on the travel ban. word given that this one comes out today. where do the all lawsuits stand from the first one? >> 40 plus pending lawsuits. the administration's argument, which they have made in court, is that this new ban will functionally replace and rescind the old one and wipe out the old suits. they literally told the california appeals court has overseen the blockage of the ban don't worry about it a new one is coming and change everything. whether is this a game-changer
will depend on what is in the in the ynew ban. judges will say we will keep it blocked while this case goes to trial. if it's different from the leaks we have heard about green card or affected classes or it doesn't have the havoc we saw at the airports it is possible that judges may take more kindly to it and say a good faith effort to fix the legal problems and separate what you think about the policy and we are letting it play out differently. i think the biggest problem for the administration is surprise. the way they run their mouth. steven miller, for example, said on national television this is only going to be minor technical fixes like the first one which is basically him handing the aclu its best opening argument. >> joe? >> bob costa, we also find out a new dimension from this this morning. reporting from mark halpern that most likely the reason steven miller said that was because donald trump does not want to be seen as backing down. he each is reconsidering whether
they put this out today because it would be a sign of weakness that he was backing down. what are you hearing from inside the white house from trump aides on his state of mind as it pertains to the executive order? >> the big thing to pay attention was this dinner on saturday night at mar-a-lago. it was bannon, miller, homeland security secretary kelly. they are all talking with the president and walking through the executive order. that is why it was that specific group. priebus wasn't at that dinner and others were not at that dinner. the immigration group close to trump. they are trying to talk to him about claim some kind of victory in their view with this revised travel ban and, in particular, with regard to iraq and how iraq is going to be evaluated with the new travel ban. pay attention today. i'm told to the language on iraq and how iraq maybe has worked with the administration since the first travel ban was unveiled in terms of complying with the u.s. demands on
immigration and who can come over. >> general, let's go back to the sound clip that we played a few minutes ago of paul ryan being interviewed on fox about the process involved here. the process of getting the warrant to tap or intercept, whatever. does it begin at 1600 pennsylvania avenue? or does it begin with the justice department? >> oh, no it doesn't begin at 1600 pennsylvania -- that is alien to my life experience. now, mike, i will admit, i had some interest in some fisa against legislate foreign intelligence targets that were politically sensitive. all right? so that if exposed, we would pay a high political cost. i would have a conversation or two about condy rice. not about my legal authority but whether or not i would have her political okay to go against this foreign target that happened to be inside the united states of america that is why we needed the warrant.
but we do everything possible to keep this as far away from the political branches as possible. the permanent government, either an intelligence or law enforcement build the case, give it to an article iii judge and that judge gives the okay. you go ahead and go up on a warrant. it is as deep a poe littliticiz process as we can make it. >> we are listening to the most incredible voice on the process here. what do you make, joe, of what has happened? step back. we have been talking about this all weekend. >> right. i want to step back even beyond this week. general, i want to step beyond the fact pattern of this case. the political players of this case. the politics of this case. and i want to just look at the fbi over the past two years. i want to ask you how comfortable you are or how uneasy you are at the central
role the fbi has been playing in america's political system over the past two years. we had the news breaking of hillary clinton's server. we had the leaks coming from the fbi, going to "the new york times," "the washington post," "the wall street journal" about the deliberations. the information. we would find out from these leaks before the fbi would actually announce it publicly. we had james comey a and the fbi playing a central role who got elected president of the united states by conducting an interview on fourth of july weekend and then deciding not to press charges when the majority of americans thought they should have pressed charges against hillary clinton. and then we had that extraordinary and some would say inappropriate press conference where he doesn't indict her legally but indicted her politically. then ten days before the collection put out a letter i was horrified by and he could
have easily add a sentence that nothing contained in this letter suggests that we have any reason to believe that the facts of this case have moved along legally in any way. we are just reviewing it as we promised the congress we would do. did not do it. then he inserted himself the day or two before the election saying, well, we found nothing there. but there was a political impact to that as well. and now we have all of this happening with the trump administration. and i'm not pointing fingers at james comey. i'm not pointing fingers at the fbi. i'm just asking you, as a man who has dedicated your life to this country, and given a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to upholding the respect for the intel community, how does the chain of events over the past two years make you feel about the intel community's intersection in american politics in such a way that they are no longer umpires, but they
are players in this game? >> yeah. so first thing, joe, leaks, bad. all right? i can be clear about that. but you mentioned a whole bunch of other things that had the bureau playing a fairly prominent role inside the time frame of our electoral process. here i can be more understanding. i can be critical. like you say, i don't think that was a good idea. i don't think jim should have said or done that. but the poor man was operating completely off the map in places we had never been before, and he was struggling because of the unique circumstances in which we found ourselves. chuck todd asked jim clapper yesterday about the dossier and why did you give the dossier to president-elect trump? and jim was heartfelt in sinc e sincerity that we felt we owed it to the president-elect to give it to him, because of russian compromise that it could be used potentially against him. there are no easy answers to all
of this. but, joe, let me add one more thing about the leaks where i began my comments. with what the president said on the weekend, you're going to have the permanent government and the fbi and in the intelligence community go to battle stations now to defend themselves and their integrity against the allegations that the president made. >> general, that is what -- and we have warned on air that when you attack the intel agencies, the intel agencies will defend themselves and punch back, which is what we have seen since he was -- since he got elected president. you're right. if he wanted to throw water on this or to distract from this challenge that he is facing, it's only going to cause the flames to rise higher, isn't it? >> yeah. look. i'm not accusing these guys of leaking but these people are human beings. they have been accused of
something. the natural human response amongst tens of thousands of loyal government employees will be to defend themselves in their institutions. >> robert costa -- >> quick question for the general. >> no doubt about it, mika. >> robert? >> general, call after call over the weekend with top people within the white house, i kept hearing the phrase the deep state. those are the words they used. they really believe inside of this administration, without offering much evidence, if any, that there is a group within the government that they think is embedded of burkeaucrats and people in the ghj beginnings working together against the trump presidency. is this paranoia? is there any kind of legitimacy of argument coming out of the white house, this deep state argument? >> i wouldn't totally dismiss it. deep state i would never use. a fras we used for turkey and
other countries like that but not the american republic. let me rehearse for you, bob, what happened to the cia over the last three administration changes. george w. bush changed no one. when barack obama became president, he changed me and only me. and then made a personal phone call to my deputy to keep him and the rest of my staff on. and in this transition, the only two people who were swapping out are mike pompeo and his deputy. everyone else stays because everyone else are intelligence professionals. they are not political appointees. >> right. which goes to your point the fact of the staffing of the federal government make the deep state talks sound like a conspiracy theory like saying everyone who is a mid level post office employee must be president obama. why? they work there before and after obama. >> right on. you've got this body of folks who have worked loyally for
multiple administrations and previous administrations have not thought they needed to swap o out, other than a thin veneer. 0, 1, 2, over the last transitions. >> because they are called professionals. >> ari melber and robert costa, thank you. comip the white house is reportedly devising its plan for the threat from north korea but kim jong-un isn't waiting, launching four more ballistic missiles just this morning. "the new york times" national security correspondent david sanger joins us with his latest reporting. with e*trade's powerful trading tools, right at your fingertips, you have access to in-depth analysis, level 2 data,
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north korea fired four missiles off of its eastern coast on monday morning. this according to the south korean military. it crashed into the sea of japan. the defense department said it did not pose a threat to north america. acting president says it's a real and eminent threat to our lives and safety and comes after
the dpkr launched a missile in the sea last month amid military exercises. the north has previously conducted missile launches during that time. and that brings us to our next guest. ahead, we are going to bring in "the new york times" david sanger whose latest reporting is chilling that north korea's nuclear capabilities are more sophisticated and resilient than we realized. we are back in a moment with that. ♪ mapping the oceans. where we explore. protecting biodiversity.
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joe? >> david sanger, obviously, frightening reporting and, as we have said here, that was what barack obama said would be donald trump's chief concern. we have heard some intel people that over the next four years, that they would be able to arm with a nuclear weapon one of these missiles and possibly reach the west coast. what are our options if cyberwar fare doesn't do the trick? >> well, joe, what our reporting showed is that cyber war fare will help but what brought about
the american program to try to go after the north korean missiles was the discovery by president obama or the conclusion that he reached that the traditional missile defenses that we have talked about before, those big bases in alaska and california, work about 44% of the time under ideal conditions. and if the north koreans shoot off an international continental ballistic missile or several headed toward us, you won't have ideal conditions. the president secretly ordered that the united states turn more of its cybercapability against the missile program. you'll remember. i've been on shows where we have discussed this with both you and mika, that we have seen a lot of north korean missiles go into the sea and we spent some time trying to figure out, months actually, how many of those are attributable to the cyber program. you can't really figure it out. but this we do know.
the in the end the north koreans seem to be on the american program and they were months ago and seem to be able to succeed with more of their launch. >> trying to get china to do more. what is china's current posture what is now a looming threat from the north korean nuclear weapon program? >> they are made uncomfortable by this too but not so uncomfortable they take that step function action and do something that would cause the north koreans to reconsider. and, mark, we have got to think through. there might not be anything that would cause the north koreans to reconsider. jim clapper, director of national security, in open testimony said it's perfectly logical and almost inevitable that these guys have to get a nuclear capability. they are looking around the world. they are taking a look at what happens to country when they don't have them. and they look at iraq and they look at libya. they may not be deterrable in
terms of the policy options that we are or even the chinese might have. and especially the chinese can slow them down, can make it more costly and more isolated it mord more isolated. i think they are determined. sooner or later, they are going to get it across the line. >> extraordinary detail and clearly an enormous amount of work in your report yesterday, but it raises the question, i think, among a lot of people, after so many years and so many billions spent here within our intelligence community and the pentagon, why is it? what is the biggest obstacle as to why we can't counter their missile program? >> mike, it's a great question. i would be interested in hearing the other mike at the table on this issue as well. >> me, too. >> look, since eisenhower's time, we have spent $300 billion by the calculations of bill and
my co-author on that. we came to trying to figure out how to hit a bullet with a bullet. it's a hard physics problem. you know, we have not been able to cure that one. cyber gives you an additional way or defense. a way to try to stop these in what the pentagon calls left of launch before the launch happens or in those first few moments. if you can interfere with the launch command and control in some way and if you can send different kinds of symbols or if you can somehow or another affect the software, then you have an opportunity. but, obviously, in this reporting, we kept all the details of how one would do that out of the paper on our own judgment and at the request of mike's colleagues. but, the key here is there is no 100% guarantee. mike had it just right. the north koreans would be, if you are sitting in their chair, they would be crazy to give this
upright now because if they did, they know everyone around the world is going to forget them except on world food day and there's question about that. >> joe. >> general hayden, you said it is obvious that at some point they are going to get the ball across the goal line, which means they will have nuclear capability. if that is the case and if they have the ability to reach the united states, doesn't that put millions of americans lives in danger? doesn't it pose an immediate threat to the united states of america and doesn't that, at some point, require some military action to stop it? >> well, joe, i take your premise up to the last conclusion until you get to the therefore. a military action to stop it carries with it its own tremendous danger. i have two tours in korea, the last is in seoul.
in seoul, i stretch out my legs and have my gear. my office in downtown seoul was within range of north korean artillery, a city of 14 million people within range of literally thousands and thousands. this is a wicked problem. if there was a solution, somebody would have enacted it in the past 15-20 years. david suggests, i think he's right, slow them down, make it more costly, hope we created enough space that there are changes in north korea that might make it my digestible in the future. this is dark. there are no good or easy answers. >> general hayden, if you had to pinpoint a point in relations with negotiations with the north koreans, with the international community trying to slow down their program, what would you say? would you say the invasion of
libya was a real turning point? the decision for nato to oust gadhafi? >> yeah. we have had on again/off again talks with the north koreans. every administration talked with them. every administration has gotten a deal that doesn't have them back anything, they stop in place. all those things have broken down. sometimes we haven't delivered as much as they thought we were going to deliver, but i think inevitably, they knew where they were going. they had to get to this place for reasons i think david agrees, are lanlg cal. if you were them, you would get the weapons, too. >> david sanger, thank you so much. the new reporting is in the new york times. general michael hayden, you have been a basket of fun this morning. thank you so much. you cheer us all up. the book is "playing to the edge american intelligence." it's out now in paperback.
still ahead, top white house officials are out bright and early trying to speak for the president, apparently without speaking to the president. >> just so we are clear on this one specific point, is his information that president obama tapped his phone based on something he read in the media? yes or no? >> i haven't had the chance to have the conversation directly with the president. he's at a higher classification i am. he may have documents that i don't know about. >> he is the president of the united states. he has information and intelligence the rest of us do not. that's the way it should be for presidents. again, if we don't know, let's find out together. >> let's find out together? they are out speaking for the president of the united states. i have heard from insiders, nobds knows where he got this information from. let's find out together sounds like democrats saying, let's pass obamacare so we can find out what's in it.
his own spokes people are going out this morning saying they don't know where he got his information. i was hear thing that saturday morning. >> those aren't spokes people, joe. >> three days later, they don't know where he got the information to make this up. it looks like it really is from a website and a talk radio show host. >> not proud to be a wok looking at that. the white house is now looking to congress to get the president out of this latest tweet storm. we are back in a minute. internet dial up sound hi, i'm the internet. you've got mail! what did you think i'd look like? i'm wire-y. uh, i love stuff. give me more stuff. (singing) we're no strangers to love i love that! hey, i know a bunch of people who'd like that. who's that? the internet loves what you're doing.
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♪ the president leveled an extraordinary accusation against his predecessor. >> claiming president obama tapped his phones. >> the president opened a whole new set of questions. >> whether the executive branch executive powers were abused in 2016. >> this unleashed a storm of reaction in washington. >> where did you get the authority to run those taps? >> no place, i just did it. >> it was preliminary. we had cause, but no case. >> you think you have a case now? >> prove it. >> prove it. that's where we stand after yet another remarkable and unprecedented weekend in politics. the sitting president of the united states in another checked saturday morning tweet storm accusing his immediate predecessor of tapping his phone. this leaves two possibilities,
either one, commander and chief falsely accused another of the most scandalous acts in political history or president obama actually did authorize tapping the calls of this most loathed political rival. we are going to break down the possibilities to this story. it is monday, march 6th. along with joe and me, we have mike barnicle, senior political analyst for nbc news and msnbc, mark halperin. msnbc political analyst at the university of michigan public policy and democratic congressman harold ford jr. joe, help me out here. i had hope and an open mind. i am losing hope and my mind is closing on the potential we are going to have any potential for this presidency at all. >> you know a lot of people look at tuesday night's address and
thought this is when donald trump could turn the corner, be more presidential. you had van jones saying this is the moment donald trump becomes president of the united states. he's been president of the united states and he's president of the united states because millions and millions of voters made him that. there was a belief that maybe he could turn the corner. certainly by a lot of people watching on tuesday night. but, as we all said wednesday morning, well, it's fine for now. let's wait and see what tweets come next. what donald trump did on saturday morning has shaken this government and the confidence of its people to the core. it is hard to overstate how reckless that tweet was, the 45th president of the united states accusing the 44th president of the united states of tapping his phones, personally tapping his phones, calling him sick.
for people comparing this to the birther controversy, context is necessary. it is one thing when a reality tv star accuses a president of a sleazy conspiracy theory, but when a president of the united states accuses another president, the context changes and it becomes dangerous. mika, "the wall street journal" editorial today is fitting, washington goes nuts. that's the headline. right off the top, they say we reached a point where basic questions about u.s. institutions and trust in government are now at stake. there is a full-fledge with the president, past presidents, the intel community, the fbi -- >> the media.
>> -- the fbi trying to get the justice department to condemn these lies. the justice department in the hands of jeff sessions and the president of the united states refusing to condemn these lies so far. it just -- we are in crisis. >> yeah. administration that is lost all credibility at this point. let's lay it down, then mike barnicle wants to jump in. james comey is the latest, high-ranking security official to push back against president trump's allegation of politically motivated surveillance of trump tower. a senior u.s. official says comey asked the justice department to refute trump's claims as false and needing correction. he made the request saturday. no official statement by comey, the fbi or the justice department. meanwhile, white house press
secretary sean spicer said quotes concerning it are troubling. president donald j. trump is requesting part of the investigation into russian activity, they exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016. neither the white house nor the president will comment further until such oversight is conducted. >> well, mika, that's actually the proper way, i think at this point, to go. the president made charges he's not going to be able to prove. he will never prove that barack obama ordered the tapping of his phones in trump towers. mike barnicle, we may be looking, if not at an independent council, the senate intel to step in as wall street journal says behave like the grown ups we so badly need to
behave right now. >> joe, this is an extraordinary weekend. it's been an extraordinary week. i was off a few days last week. tuesday night the president's speech, many thought was the highlight of his early, young presidency. this is the return to normalcy, his normalcy, as you indicated on saturday morning. he basically accused a former president of the united states of committing a felon. that was followed by the director of the fbi asking the justice department to tell the president of the united states, donald j. trump to stop lying. this is going to have to play out. i mean, we can say whatever we say here, but this is going to have to play out either in the house or senate intelligence committees or special prosecutor. i don't know. i don't know that michael schmidt and "the new york times" knows how it's going to go. we have to let this play out. this is a true crisis of
confidence in this young presidency. >> sean spicer said the white house would have no further comment. then his deputy spoke out. >> we are taking the reports that places like "the new york times," fox news, bbc, multiple outlets reported this. all we are saying is let's take a closer look. let's look into this. if this happened, if this is -- >> you are not saying -- the president of the united states is accusing the former president of wiretapping him. >> i think this is, again, something that if this happened, martha -- >> if, if, if, if. >> i agree. >> why is the president saying it did happen? >> i think he is going off information he is seeing that led him to believe this is a very real potential. >> what the hell? i'm sorry. >> how do they go out and say if this did happen? they might as well said if
george w. bush helped o.j. simpson kill nicole brown tharks would be the biggest scandal of all time. if barack obama had something to do with jonbenet ramsay's death, that would be the biggest scandal. if. she might as well have said that. there is no evidence nor will there ever be evidence barack obama, himself, ordered the tapping of donald trump's phones in trump tower and let us not be too clever here and try to save the president from his own words. that is exactly what he stated happened on twitter saturday morning. not that the fbi went to the fisa court and they investigated the russians and intercepted calls. no. donald trump said barack obama in the closing stages of his political campaign intercepted his phone calls in trump towers. where do we go from here?
>> the irony is, what set the president off as much as anything else is a feeling there are anonymous sources in washington fueling news stories that are putting him on the defensive. now you have the fbi director, people saying anonymously on his behalf, that he wants a statement saying that this isn't true. i agree it will play out over time with the intelligence committees. it will play out over time with the white house staff as they try to figure out how to deal with this and not answer questions about it. today, the question is, the challenge, semipublic challenge, director of the fbi at the justice department, say this isn't true. if they don't act today, it will be fascinating to see what comey does. this is the situation steve bannon and others at the white house bristle with, anonymous powerful washington figures going after him. >> so, mark halperin, what does
the white house gain by the president -- by steve bannon, most likely handing the president of the united states a breitbart article and talking about what a rabid right wing talk show host has been theorizing. why does the president of the united states use those sources instead of his intel sources and goes out and tweets, starts a tweet storm that actually has washington d.c. at war with each other. >> why he does it, because like all president's we have covered, he doesn't feel people are defending him. he has the power to defend himself. it leaves the white house with less credibility on capitol hill, less credibility with the media and republicans and distracted from a very complicated legislative agenda. the after action report in the administration, i can't find anybody who is happy this
happened. they are trying now to contain the damage and see if it's possible, that spicer statement allows them to move on. as mike suggested, this is not an ordinary donald trump tweet storm. it's one that is going to have implications for a while. much more on this story, including reaction from president obama's top officials who were not pleased. >> the part of the national security apparatus that i oversaw, there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time, as a candidate or against his campaign. i can't speak for other title iii authorized entities in the government or state or local entity. >> there is no fisa court order? >> not to my knowledge. >> of anything at trump tower? >> no. >> "the new york times" michael schmidt who led the story is joining us. you are watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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welcome back. former obama officials acted fast to try to pour cold water on the story. a spokesman for president obama said, in a statement, a cardinal rule of the obama administration is no white house official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the department of justice. as part of that practice, neither president obama nor any white house official ever ordered surveilness on any u.s. citizen, any suggestion otherwise is simply false. just fyi. when you were out speaking for president trump, i would urge ewe not laugh at yourself. this is not funny. this is really bad. just for the record, we are all really nervous. if people out there feel nervous, we do, too. we don't think this is funny. michael schmidt is with "the new york times" reporting on this.
michael, what do you have? >> there were two thing that is bothered the fbi. the first is the president's use of nixon and watergate. it insinuated the fbi, which would have done the surveillance broke the law. they are saying you are coming after the integrity of the fbi and the intelligence community. the second thing is it set expectation for the public that by october of last year, this meant that the fbi had cleared the high bar to get a wiretap that basically a judge said there's enough evidence that donald trump is the agent of a foreign power. that just shows a level of evidence that the fbi certainly does not have. it certainly ratchets up the dialogue on all of this russia stuff to a point that will make it much more difficult for the fbi going forward. they are the two factors that pushed comey to do what he did with the justice department. >> michael, can the president of
the united states order a wiretap on an american citizen? >> no, he can't. it has to go through the lawyers and the fisa court. this was changed after nixon to put safeguards in place to prevent things like this. this is something they have said over the weekend. what it also does is, for guys like comey that have been at the justice department for a long time, it calls into question all the processes they follow and basically insinuates to the public you can go out and do these kind of things. they want to knock that notion down. >> michael, if the nsa picks up an intercept of a russian official calling the united states, whether it's in new york, trump tower, chicago or any place, what happens after that intercept? does it go to the attorney general and the justice department or the desk of the president of the united states? >> i don't think it goes to the desk of the president of the united states.
the only time it goes to the white house is when they believe there's information the decision makers need to know. it's not like every intercept is reported back there. there's stuff that goes there that is important to the decisions they have to make. a lot of times, americans names are blacked out when they go to the white house because they are trying to protect their identity under the law. >> thank you very much for your reporting this morning. coming up on "morning joe," saturday morning used to be for cartoons. since he's been in office, it's for the president's most colorful tweets that are like very scary cartoons. we go through the history of social media post whence we continue on "morning joe." i can't wait for her to have that college experience that i had.
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as joe pointed out weeks ago, president trump's saturday morning routine involves sending tweets that ricochet around the world. the saturday before he was sworn in, he tweeted john lewis was all talk and no action or results. john lewis. on saturday, january 28th, he attacks "the new york times" and "washington post" calling them dishonest, in all caps. saturday, february 4th, he called the federal judge that
malt halted his travel ban a so-called judge. then about his daughter ivanka's clothing business. this is where we are. kind of speaks for itself, does it not? >> of course, mike barnicle, this saturday, it's hard to say the worst of all. actually, was it also a saturday or a friday where he called the media the enemies of the people? i think it may have been a late friday. it is always going into the weekends. as i said before, especially when jared kushner and his daughter, ivanka, are away for the sabbath, this all begins. it is -- his staff that he is kicking around spends the rest of the week trying to clean up after the mess he makes friday nights and saturday mornings.
>> joe, the president of the united states, we are now in the 45th day of his presidency. he has in sequence tried to destabilize or delegitimize, not necessarily in order, the fbi, the cia, the courts, the congress, the media, the regulatory agencies. and arnold schwarzenegger. all of this, at the price of moving forward on anything he proposes and any agenda he's set up. >> it's the behavior of an awe thortarian. >> what do we do next? what does congress do? what do americans sitting at home do? >> you hope that smart people swarm around him and he listens here shortly. i do think that comey, director
comey is likely, i don't know him, i sense he may want to say something today. michael schmidt said he may go before the intelligence committee. maybe they can speak to that. the larger point you are making is, there's no adult in the white house. you imagine f the president wanted to make statements like this and level accusations a white house council, general to the president might be able to caution him differently. there's a 45-day record of this. there eesz a year and a half record of this, almost two years record of this. mr. trump ran for president seasonand now is president. the country deserves maturity. >> mike barnicle, i know we have to go to break, but harold brought up the white house council. the white house council was rooting around, trying to get
information from the justice department about an investigation that may involve his own president. that, you want to talk about watergate. that is straight out of watergate. >> don, from the white house, there's no adult in the white house staff. there is at least one adult in the white house staff. i don't know mr. bannon. from what i have read, i respect his intellect. but this is a man who seemingly sees with unearned resentments against a system that we all live under. he's trying to, quote, deconstruct the administrative state, unquote, whatever that means. that's steve bannon. >> mika, he actually says he is
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you have this president of the united states, the 45th president of the united states unable to draw upon the wisdom of the 44th president of the united states baize he's involved in petty twitter battles with him. >> joe, there is a lot of continuity between administrations despite what folks say during campaigns because the problems don't change just because we have an election and the choices are very limited. i take the point that you now cut off a source of wisdom that late afternoon, just checking in with your predecessor to get a
sense of how they did or didn't play. joe, more important, we have been in a continuous crisis now for 45 days. >> right. >> none of it has been externally stimulated. this is all an intramural game within our government. no one tickled us from abroad. i can only imagine what it looks like when we get pressure, events start to happen that do require that sober, method cal response from a government that doesn't appear as if it's gotten self-organized yet. >> oh. nothing has been externally stimulated, this has all been from within the white house from the top down. joining us now, pentagon correspondent for "the new york times," helene cooper, the author of "madam president" on sale tomorrow. great to have you on. congratulations on the book. we'll talk about that in a moment. also with us, chief content
officer, joanna coals. good to have you back on the show. >> great to be here. >> i couldn't help but notice the people that are being put out by the white house to clean up this mess doesn't even describe it are women and i'm not proud. take a look. dan? >> just so we are clear on this one specific point, is his information that president obama tapped his phone based on something he read in the media? yes or no? >> i haven't had the chance to have the conversation directly th the president. he's at a higher classification than i am. he may have access to documents i don't know about. >> he is the president of the united states and has information and intelligence the rest of us do not. that's the way it should be with a president. if we don't know, let's find out together. >> are these white house spokes people? i mean, how would you describe
them? joanna, go. >> i watched poor sarah wrestling yesterday, but she was wrestling with martha. you have women interrogating it, too. i feel this is equal opportunity slug fest at the moment. i went to see a horror movie yesterday afternoon, the new one, "get out." it felt like nothing compared to the actual horror show going on in washington. how does popular culture respond at a moment like this. i have no interest in seeing homeland. it couldn't be as interesting as what's going on. how is anyone going to be able to compete with this. >> helene, is this -- when you look at the job of the white house spokesperson and how history has shown them to be, are these two women representative of what we want? are they doing their job and exactly what are they doing? one i won't have on the show.
>> i don't envy them because they have a tough product to try to sell. that's got to be pretty hard. you just noticed that we didn't see her exactly backing up what president trump was saying. that's kind of tough for them as well. i mean, you are sitting -- you keep saying, we don't know what we don't know. the president tweeted he did know. that's a tough one to try to sell. >> clearly, he hadn't included them before he sent the tweet. they had no forewarning or idea what he was basing it on. they are left to clear up the mess. >> it's an acknowledgement the white house convinced the president he went too far. they are not out there freelancing and representing a chance to walk it back against what he tweeted saturday. >> walking it back, joe, sarah huckabee almost laughing at herself when she's speaking. >> what's so disturbing is
saturday morning, you have donald trump saying, i have just learned, i have just gotten information to prove that barack obama tapped my phones. he was very specific about it that obama did it. that trump towers was tapped. yet, in my calling around, saturday morning, everybody that i talk to close to the president says they have no idea what he was talking about. they were chasing it down and they were trying to figure out what his sources were. here we are, what? saturday, sunday, monday, three days later and mike barnicle, they still don't know who the sources are. when i say mike barnicle, you should probably show his face. thank you. that's the second time i said mike barnicle. mike barnicle, here we are three days later, they still don't know who the sources are that
the president used. that's because he's obviously making it up. >> well, joe, this is day 45 of the trump presidency. try and wrap your mind around that. day 45. as general hayden alluded to earlier in this program, he hasn't received a tickle internationally in terms of a real defined crisis, not from turkey, syria, north korea, pakistan. none of that tickled the internals of this administration, yet. here on day 45, we are dealing with self-induced crisis brought on by the president himself. helene, you have spent a considerable amount of time covering the pentagon, getting to know the pentagon and personnel internally. what is the level of concern within the military establishment of the erratic behavior of the president of the united states? >> you know, we have a defense secretary now, jim mattis who i
was with him on his big trip a couple weeks ago to europe and to iraq and to the emirates. all of them, traditional american allies. he spent an enormous amount of time doing reassuring. it was as if this is the shadow government. this is the trump administration that is not president trump. you have trump back at the white house, then you have his government brought by vice president pence who recollects was there at the same time, secretary of state, rex tillerson and everything they said to american allies abroad is don't pay attention to what the president is saying at home. we are not going to pull out of nato. we are not here -- secretary of defense mattis had to say extraordinarily we are not here to seize anybody's oil because president trump, of course, said that before. so, you are seeing, it's almost as if you are seeing two governments. people think don't pay attention to what he thinks.
this is the president of the united states. don't do that. what he says counts. it seems like he doesn't understand when he tweets carries the weight of the presidency of the united states. that's important. >> what he did, joanna, is he accused former president obama of a felony. and called him sick. >> i wonder if he understood the full implications of that when he actually tweeted. it's something, the lack of discipline around how he tweets, the fact he's tweeting early in the morning, the two, you know, jared and ivanka who are supposed to be the two restraining forces of him, we hear, don't pay attention saturday because they are celebrating the sabbath. you see this erratic, reckless tweeting. did he understand how serious it was to accuse the former president of breaking the law? >> what do you think? >> ime not entirely sure he does. he makes a thing of not understanding washington and not
caring. he's here to disrupt. the casualness makes me think he doesn't understand the implications. he understands because he's a tv guy and lived with ratings. i thought michael hayden's point was a very good one, he's in the here and now. he's looking for something to distract now without understanding the full implication. >> joe whar, what do you think? >> mika, i'm curious to know what you think. i think he doesn't care. he wants to blow something up, as big of an explosion as possible, to distract from other things. >> yeah. >> it's just, he has absolutely no impulse control because he doesn't have a long game or a medium game. everything is a short game. everything proves he is a day trader and he does live in the eternal now. he doesn't care. he doesn't care who he blows up
or who he hurts. >> and, as i said at the beginning of this show, i thought this presidency could happen. i thought he could win. certainly not my first choice, but, i wanted to have hope. and i wanted to have an open mind so that, perhaps, the weight of this office, of this presidency, might guide him in a better direction than in his previous life. it is not. it is now -- >> you even had peggy noonen this past weekend, mika, talk about, i think rightly, about the president's speech. talked about how donald trump tried to normalize himself. the president gave an almost traditional presidential speech that had liberals saying he was now the president. and then, orvf course, we were concerned saying let's wait for the tweets and the tweets came. >> the speech, then the tweets.
>> joe, one of the issues we are talking about here that is now on the table, it's been on the table all morning long and you just defined it. you described a sitting president of the united states totally unprepared for the job of being president. >> totally unprepared for the job of being president, unfortunately, not knowing what he does not know. >> possibly unfit mentally. sorry. i'm just saying what everyone is thinking. >> he will not put around him people around him that can discipline him. in fact, this is the most disturbing part, he selects the most dangerous person, the guy who says he's a lemonist, who wants to destroy the government, who wants to bring everything crashing down. that is who he turns to in his time of crises. th that's exactly what we are getting, somebody who is
bringing down our government. look at the editorial of "the wall street journal" today talking about, there are now basic questions about u.s. institutions and trust in government. >> yep. >> this is, helene, this is as serious as it's gotten since the days of watergate as far as trust in government goes, isn't it? >> um, i hesitate to say that because the second you do, you are going to be -- i'm going to be reminded of another instance, so i'm going to put on my -- >> put it on hold. put it this way. i believe in his ability to communicate with people and i believe in how he won. i get why he won. i don't believe in his ability to be able to do this job well. it's past time that we lower the bar so low that -- >> at day 45. >> -- that we are in the ditch. >> the tweets yesterday and
saturday felt crueller because you have that teaser of the speech to joint congress. you thought oh, maybe, maybe. >> we hear from people from other countries who say this is how it starts. >> right. >> i think we are at that point where we have to have that conversation. >> a lot of people are very worried in europe. britain is watching this like a soap opera. >> others are watching it with historic knowledge of how things go terribly wrong. you wrote this book thinking you would be talking about this book when there would be a madam president. that engraves just how -- what's the word? how much a hillary clinton presidency was anointed in our minds. that's, by the way, why we are here with president trump. tell us about this leader. >> the president of liberia. the first woman elected president of an african country.
this is a book about how the women of liberia actually did it. it could actually serve as sort of a model for an american story as well. i certainly, the whole while i was working on the book, i thought it was going to come out with a female president in the united states. for a lot of women who hope that, i think is bittersweet. this is an extraordinary story of sort of the lengths that liberian women went throw get a woman elected. women who came through 15 years of civil war. it makes a normal war look crazy. you had child soldiers, women kidnapped from mothers and drugged and forced to take up arms. 70% of the country, 70% of the women believe to have been raped. it was horrific. at the end of this, the women having looked over a cliff, just took control anyway they could.
they used many methods. they were completely down and dirty. they got down in the dirt with the men and flung their own dirt. at the end of this, you have this 67-year-old grandmother emerging out of the ashes of this country. it's sort of an extraordinary story, particularly looking at what the women did to get her elected. >> incredible. the book is "madam president." helene cooper, thank you so much. joanna, stay with us if you can. up next, donald trump's worst deal. the new yorker profiles it president's failed attempt to make a name for himself. how that country's ties to iran are raising eyebrows. keep it here on "morning joe." . well, what are you doing tomorrow -10am? staff meeting. noon? eating. 3:45? uh, compliance training. 6:30? sam's baseball practice. 8:30? tai chi. yeah, so sounds relaxing. alright, 9:53? i usually make their lunches then, and i have a little vegan so wow, you are busy.
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we let you know where you stand, so when it comes to your retirement plan, you'll always be absolutely...clear. ♪ time to think of your future it's your retirement. know where you stand. if this happened, martha -- >> if, if, if, if. >> i agree. >> why is the president saying it did happen? >> look, i think he is going off information he's seeing that led him to believe this is a very real potential. >> let's break that down. she thinks the president saw information that led him to believe this is a real potential. so, i guess this is just how things are going to work now. the president once saw a banana with a bruise that looked like a picture he head in a dream and that is why we are [ bleep ] war. >> no, it's funny, but it's not. joe, i'm sorry, but you have to
rip up the script at some point and say i'm not doing this. you have to -- >> it's very important for people to realize saturday morning the president tweets this scandalous charge against the 44th president of the united states. nobody around the white house or around the president knew what his sources were for this information and all said that off the record. then, sunday, the next day, they go out on the sunday shows. they are still in the dark saying if this happened. they didn't know whether it happened or not. this morning, remarkably monday morning, beginning of the week where they have had two days now to try to figure out the president's sources. the president's spokes people are saying on national networks, we have no idea what the president, what information the president was looking at when he
tweeted those tweets. let's wait and see and find out together. that's just, that's disturbing and the fact that this white house is in this much disarray reflects poorly not on the chief of staff or anyone else, but on the president of the united states, himself. >> what are countries around the world thinking. in a moment, donald trump's worst deal on trump's failed attempt to make a name for himself. first, a look at some of the ground we have covered this morning. >> accused a former president of the united states of committing a felony. >> it is hard to overstate how reckless that tweet was. there is a full fledged war now between the president, past presidents, the intel community. you will never prove that barack obama ordered the tapping of his phones. >> the president of the united states put his reputation and
the reputation of the united states at risk to get a draw. >> i could not find one person inside the white house that defended donald trump. >> a chance to reassert the notion he is in charge. he is not going to let mem behave in a way that is weak. >> his own spokes people are going out this morning saying they don't know where he got his information. >> the president of the united states order a wiretap on an american citizen? >> no, he can't. >> the plumbing doesn't work that way. he hasn't been able to do that since the mid-1970s. >> friday, donald trump left the white house in a rage because jeff sessions recused himself. >> he became unhappy when he sees most republicans don't stand by him and the claims. >> it is either wrong or points to a scandal. >> we have been in a crisis now for 45 days. none of it has been externally stimulated. >> for the record, we are all really nervous. if people out there feel
nervous, we do, too. joining us now, staff writer for the new yorker, adam davidson. it's donald trump's worst deal. he described the failed deal with a country with ties to iran's revolutionary iran. >> i want to make clear, it's not that the country has ties to the guard, the trump organization chose to do business with people that are the most corrupt family in the most corrupt country of the world with ties to the iranian guard. there's evidence that suggests the $5 million plus that the trump administration received might have come from the guard. how do diligence and oversight work in the trump organization. they have no idea even though i
had several agents tell me two days and a $10,000 contract to find out. they refuse to do it even though they know it's possible. >> it's the family they call notoriously corrupt. >> who meets? >> ivanka led the deal. she was the person overseeing the deal. it was a large group of people. i don't want to name the lower level staffers, although i know their names. ivanka was the lead person on the deal. >> i haven't yet read the piece. did you reach out to the white house? did you reach out to the trumps for comments as you were writing it? >> i spent many hours on the phone with alan. he was great. he tried to help me. what alan said and very reminiscent of what we are hearing this weekend. he has no idea what they knew at the time and no idea what they
know today. he didn't handle the deal. he wouldn't tell me who did or how they made the decision or what information they have. the white house, i spoke with them and ivanka's people. they declined to comment. i gave them credible evidence that the president's company had close ties to the revolutionary guard. not one person asked for that evidence or asked me to look into it. if someone told me that about myself, i would want to find out. >> did you find evidence along the reporting trail they reached out to try to find out about the people they were dealing with? >> none. none whatsoever. this is not a case of them knowingly going out of their way to make business with the revolutionary guard. it is a case of the trump organization doing business with people widely known to have ties to supporters of terrorism, enemies of the united states and ignoring the most blatant warning signs.
a trump official said we did deals as long as a check was attached. >> was it pure profit play? >> profit play except the iranians. i think they were using it for money laundering. >> adam, thank you very much. we have a minute left. final thoughts from everybody. joe, i start with you, final thoughts this morning? >> i think you said it best when you said we are all scared. obviously, this is, i think we reached a new low this weekend. >> yeah. >> what about you? >> um, i had hope and an open mind and i have lost hope completely and my mind is closed. this presidency is fake and failed. mark halperin your thoughts? >> justice department do today going down the gauntlet saying it needs to be publicly denounced as false. >> mike barnicle? >> as an american citizen, i want an explanation from the
president of the united states why and how he could accuse a former president of committing a felony. >> joanna, you want to join in? >> i'm not sure why we are surprised? there were warning signs. >> i had hope. >> it's hard for somebody who is 70 to change their mind or change their ways. >> adam? >> i think there's more out there. i spent three months looking into this deal. there are dozens of deals. we have a lot more to learn about this guy. it's not good news. >> that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle we have some to cover today.
details on the explosionive allegations from president trump claiming president obama ordered wiretaps on trump tower. >> this would be the greatest overreach and abuse of power we have ever seen. >> fbi director james comey asks the justice department to refute the claims obama intelligence officials are pushing back hard. >> there was no such wiretap activity. >> he's trying to divert attention. they are trying to cover up. >> then, silence. the white house press secretary issuing a statement saying they won't comment again until congress investigates. reordser. president trump expected to issue his revamped travel ban today. after weeks of being pushed back, will he actually sign it? will the new language be different to survive the legal challenges? finding a replacement. e