tv Morning Joe MSNBC March 21, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PDT
that's a wrap for us on this tuesday. i'm alex witt alongside ayman mohyeldin and louis burgdorf. it's only tuesday and it's a busy week. we'll start the busy show. i have been authorized by the department of authorized by the department of justice to confirm that the fbi, as part of our counter-intelligence mission, is investigating the russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the trump campaign and the russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and russia's efforts. >> you've announced you have this big investigation, but you've got people involved in our government -- secretary of state, for example. these are important players. the longer this hangs out here, the bigger the cloud is. there's a big, gray cloud you've
now put over people who have very important work to do to lead this country. so the faster you can get to the bottom of this, it's going to be better for all americans. >> what a day in washington, the chairman of the house committee. >> what a way to phrase that, a big, gray cloud that you put over it. that would be like bonnie and clyde saying why are you chasing me. >> swiftly with the bureau's investigation. director comey officially confirming that investigation in yesterday's hearing, a probe into ties between the russian government and president trump's campaign. and the white house perhaps seeing where the investigation might be heading suddenly distancing themselves from former campaign paul manafort
and security adviser michael flynn. >> that was baghdad moment saying paul manafort was a bit player. >> we'll start with that among our guests this morning former director of the cia and nsa retired general michael hayden. ranking member of senate intelligence committee will be joining us. welcome to "morning joe." it's tuesday march 21st. we're on capitol hill. we have david ignatius, executive producer and co-host of the circus, showtime and analyst for cnbc news mark halperin. msnbc political analyst and former chair of the republican national committee michael steele and reporter for "the new york times" michael schmitt. >> we're going to take a moment. >> such an embarrassment. >> how do you put in context
what happened yesterday. i saw a lot of reporters covering it almost at a loss for words. >> it's fairly easy to put into context. anybody that goes beyond this, i think for one side or the other is exaggerating. the first thing that came out was, obviously number one, donald trump was lying barack obama with the wiretap. >> we knew it but now for sure. >> we knew it but got confirmation from the fbi and justice department. they have absolutely no information, neither did clapper, neither did the republicans or the democrats that run the committee. you can put that aside. number two, the fbi is investigating donald trump and his team. >> wow. >> that's shocking. number three has to be the follow-up. there was only one person on election day when americans went to vote that was under investigation by the fbi, and it
was not hillary clinton. and history will look back and ask -- >> and wonder why. >> a thousand times over why hillary clinton was the focus of the fbi investigation and the news following that and why the person whose team was actually under investigation, when americans went into the voting booth and selected him as president of the united states, was actually the one under investigation. >> that's the difference right there. hillary was under investigation. while in the case of trump it was trump's team. >> no. they are all under investigation, there's no excuse for that. >> i'm trying to think -- >> we're talking about collusion. it made me sad to see how republicans on the house committee absented yesterday. the fbi director comes and
actually reports, mika, that there's an investigation between the white house, the president's campaign and collusion with russia. and all most house republicans wanted to talk about was how the reporters got the information to get out to america that their president, the white house, and the campaign team is under investigation for collusion. there's so many metaphors that are apt and appropriate. i am glad i know the republicans in the senate will not cover themselves. i'm going to say it and i say this word very lightly, with shame, with shame that was shown by some members on the republicans committee by continuing to go after talking about possibly the felony and arrest of reporters, listed barack obama's name.
he listed lynch's name. i can go on and on. it was one of the most shameful performances at a time -- at a time when america is at a turning point. we're an investigation between active president of the united states, his campaign team, and collusion with russia. >> the entire election in question. >> republicans proving yesterday, at least in the house, not that way in the senate, at least in the house, that they are completely incapable, mika, of actually investigating this down the middle. >> can you imagine being hillary clinton watching the proceedings yesterday? all right. we're going to get to much more of the fbi director's hearing in a moment but first -- >> real quick. >> rapid-fire. >> quick takeaway. >> yesterday was a turning point in this story. it just felt different. comey's calm, deliberate voice going through really much more strongly phrased charges than we
expected, his rebuke of president trump on the question of his accusation of illegal activity by obama, and head of nsa equally rebuking trump for having brought in the british spy service gchq and accusing them of aiding this. i think it will be very hard now for trump and the trump white house to use the same tactics of distraction and throwing out new charges. and i think the period in which they attack the intelligence community and thought they could get away with that, i think that's over now. the country -- this isn't fake news. we all watched it together. we lived this together. it's not something coming at us from some other place. we've now experienced it. we shared the feeling we had during watergate. we're watching with horrid fascination. >> nobody, mark halperin, looked
at the director of the fbi or the admiral up there and thought, this is fake news. those two presented themselves in a way, they had facts, they had details. and it's hard to brush that away. >> it may not be fake news but i continue to be critical of comey unlat legal deciding when to reveal things on investigations. it's completely improper. he did it in the case of hillary clinton, he did it in the case here. >> compelled. >> if the public is interested in something i'll reveal an ongoing probe. i've never heard of this standard and i think it's a dangerous one to set. >> do you think he had any choice but to reveal this yesterday. >> i'd like to know. >> when you have republicans that were on the judiciary committee like lindsey graham saying we expect you to come, we expect you to testify, we expect you to tell us. >> members of congress would like to know a lot --
>> mark, mark, mark -- >> aren't you glad to know? >> americans have a right to know that the sitting president of the united states is being investigated for colluding with the russians. >> but it's been going on for a while. why is he revealing it now? >> don't you think americans have a right to know the president of the united states is being investigated by the fbi for collusion with the russians? >> i don't think it helps the probe to have it publicly disclosed. that's the standard reason. the reason i'm saying, the biggest thing i have is what you said. it makes a mockery of our system to have a hearing pout oversight and investigation where the party that's running the committee is just trying to defend the president. it makes a mockery -- >> who actually prompted this, michael steele? where did it start? did it start with tweets saturday morning that were lies? we can eequivocally say the president was lying saturday morning when he was, i don't know, four or five tweets. i think the former president of
a felony. >> it's one of the problems for sean spicer and everyone else going out there, including members of congress, to your point, joe, going out there trying to put a different angle on this. this began at one time and place with one individual and that was the president with a tweet. the word that struck me yesterday morning more than anything else was tone deaf. the way the members proceeded down -- >> republican. >> republican members was tone deaf. the country is objectively looking at this. the country doesn't want to believe something nefarious happened between the president, the russians, et cetera. they have objectively looked it it from the very beginning. >> if you look at the polls, this is one area where republicans even want an independent investigation. republicans, two out of three americans want an independent investigation on these russian ties, americans care, even in trey gowdy's district they care. yet i was shocked by what i saw yesterday and i was so seldom
shocked. >> that's what struck me because of that very point. >> let's play some of this out. while the fbi hearing was going on white house secretary sean spicer had the task of holding his daily press briefing. when questioned about the testimony up to that point that the fbi is investigating russia ties to the prump campaign, spicer seemed to try and distance the administration from former members of that campaign. >> now that we know there's an ongoing very investigation by the fbi, does the president stand by comments that he's not aware of any contacts his campaign associates had with russia during the election? >> yes. >> and the second one is, has anyone from the white house -- >> can i just amend -- >> sure. >> just to be clear. i'm trying to think through this for a second. obviously general flynn. >> before the election. >> i'm not aware of any at this time. even general flynn was a volunteer of the campaign. obviously there's been discussion of paul manafort who
played a limited role for a very limited amount of time. >> mark, you're laughing. flynn, i was told throughout the entire campaign was the most trusted person close to trump. he flew everywhere with donald trump. he was side by side with donald trump. nobody was with donald trump more than anybody else. >> day and night by the way. >> paul manafort was the genius. he was the guy who was going to get the delegates. he was the guy who was going to help trump win the nomination. i hear this from trump and everybody on the inside. >> flynn in particular, wired by his side. the fact that he's a volunteer doesn't do anything to diminish the huge influential role he had on all sorts of things, obviously foreign policy. it's strange when you're trying to establish credibility on this to make an assertion about flynn and manafort. it flies in the face of the facts. >> david, we were all there. we all saw it. we all watched it.
how does sean spicer do a baghdad bob. >> talking to a room full of reporters who were there. >> and saw flynn get on the plane with donald trump. >> that's what's changed, what's different. we did watch this. nobody it tell us it was fake, created by journalists, we watched it. by the end of yesterday's hearing, i thought even the republicans, even trey gowdy talked in a different tone. there's a large gray cloud over the presidency and us as republicans and it's not going to go away until this is resolved. that was a statement by republicans. it isn't fake. it's going to run its course. we want you to do it quickly and decisively but we know now this can't be changed. >> what did you make of trey gowdy's testimony. >> questioning. >> questioning. >> double that with sean spicer, how did the republicans do
yesterday? >> that's the problem. again, the sense of trying to protect something that really you can't. just let it run the course. be honest and open. i think a lot of folks are saying around the country before hand, just do the hearings and get it behind us. >> so the problem as a politician, like trey gowdy or anybody else who might defend the president just to try and get close to him or get something out of him because you've got actual work you want to do, isn't this president proven as lying repeatedly as someone who can't be trusted. you don't know if he's going to be with you now or later. >> that gets in the way of something the members want to do. big agenda paul ryan and the house team laid out. that type of thing gets in the way. >> not worth it. >> here is the problem. they are playing to a limited, small base of people now. just looking at republicans, not looking at broad, generic republican constitt wauency out there. it's a limited base.
that base is tied to trump. they don't want the blowback and noise. that was my sense watching a lot of that hearing playing to that particular base as opposed to doing the objective thing and putting it out on the table. >> i've seen it before, i've seen it before, i saw it in 2006, started in 2005. i had a friend in 2005 who said he wanted to run for congress in 2006. i said don't do it, a big wave is coming. republicans have to understand right now if this continues, and this is awfully early to say this, if this continues, at least in the house, and there were a lot of senate seats, they are going to be shocked election night if they don't take care of themselves. if the republican party doesn't start taking care of themselves and stop making fools of themselves for a guy who is going to keep tweeting lies and nonsense. they can't chase that around. they can't defend the
indefensible. >> they can't see what a sad and grave time this is for our country. >> you've certainly seen it in the senate with senate republicans. >> sure, there's some heroes there. >> mitch mcconnell, ben sasse, lindsey graham, john mccain, susan collins. >> ben sasse on the show this morning. >> there are a group of republicans who stood up from the very beginning and said, wait a second, like mitch mcconnell, just volunteered it in an interview. you don't think you're subject to judicial review. we're all subject to judicial review. then he was like wilford brimsly. yeah, they are pretty smart there. there are some other people smart in washington. >> it's a big morning. >> i'm not painting the republican party with one broad stroke. there are conservatives, moderates, independent republicans showing their true
colors and putting country first. >> here is more of fbi director james comey yesterday confirming there indeed is a counter-intelligence investigation into russian influence on the 2016 election and any ties between the russian government and president trump's campaign. >> we have taken the extraordinary step in coordination with the department of justice of briefing this congress's leaders, including leaders of this committee, in a classified setting about the detail of the investigation but i can't go into those details here. some folks may want to make comparisons to past instances where the department of justice and the fbi have spoken about the details of some investigations. but please keep in mind that those involve the details of completed investigations. >> is it fair to say you're still relatively early in your investigation? >> it's hard to say because i don't know how much longer it will take. but we've been doing this -- all
this investigation began in late july. for counter-intelligence investigation, that's a fairly short period of time. putin hated secretary clinton so much that the flip side of that coin was he had a clear preference against somebody he hated so much. they don't like nato. they think nato circles and threat bs them. >> would they like to see sanctions go away. >> yes. >> expressed an admiration for putin. >> i hope you'll reformulate the question. mr. putin would like people who like him. they will be back in 2020, they may be back in 2018. one of the lessons they may draw from this is they were successful because they introduced chaos and collusion and sowed discord and doubt about our democratic process. >> as we go forward here, there's a senate intelligence committee which joe said would probably be more bipartisan
process. what do we know about what they plan in terms of hearings and investigations. comey says this thing is just getting under way. it's many months in. what do we know about what they are actually doing as part of this counter-intelligence investigation. >> counter-intelligence is actually the fbi's second highest priority behind counter-terrorism. we usually don't see them make cases with this. their best wins in that area are done secretly. they are usually not indicting people and bringing them before court. that will be different here fl comey will know they really took a look at this and dug into it. they have been looking at it since july. there's a team of analysts and agents at the fbi put together to especially work on this. as he did say, we are early here. we really don't know what they found. there's no real indication they have gone out and done interviews and really tried to press people, these aides, to try and find out more and use leverage against them. that's that. on the senate side, the interesting thing there will be
to see what burr's tenor is, will he act like nunez. that gives him the opportunity to push more for select committee or independent commission. warner needs burr to put pressure on the agencies like fbi to give them evidence and other stuff they have collected in their investigations. whatever happens here it's going to take a very, very long time because comey is going to want his agents to really, really get to the bottom of this. this is much more complicated than the e-mail investigation. this now involves lots of different players operating abroad. people in russia where the fbi cannot operate openly. so this is not going to be just like, oh, we'll be done in a year here. this is something that can even draw into maybe take three years, four years into the next campaign. >> david ignatius. >> michael, in a typical fbi investigation, you'd seek to go after the lower down people.
you'd try to pressure them to testify against higher ups. you'd flip these witnesses to assemble a criminal case. do you think that's how this will proceed as they move toward the more prominent trump administration and personalities. >> as you your self first reported about general flynn, there's a lot of folks here in trump world who look to have some type of exposure that we know about, different types of contact, different types of violations of different things. people like mr. manafort who there's questions about lobbying stuff that's unrelated to this. so what you start to wonder is whether fbi starts to sit back and say, okay, who can we start picking off here? who can we say, all right, you don't want to go to jail? what can you tell us? how can you operate with us and see whether someone can break in that and see if there's there there. that's what it will turn on. there's a lot of attention to
intercepts and collection and stuff like that. at the end of the day, it's going to come down to whether someone in the inner circle did something wrong and whether the fbi can exploit that. >> "new york times" michael schm schmid, what a year it's been, started with fbi and hillary clinton's investigation. >> now it goes on. >> at best he only has three or four years of work to do on this story. thank you. >> former cia director michael hayden joins us with his reaction to yesterday's remarkable day on capitol hill. plus senators ben sasse, john cornyn, dick durbin, mark warner, a lot to talk about with james comeys bombshell hearing. >> shocking has to be the first -- i cannot remember a time that a supreme court
hearing for a justice wasn't on tv. can you guys? >> never happened. >> my entire life. >> such a big story. >> it was a real side show yesterday. >> i wouldn't call it a side show. also talk about the health care plan. the president is set to meet with republicans on the hill this morning ahead of their vote on thursday. "morning joe" will be right back. you do all this research on a perfect car, then smash it into a tree. your insurance company raises your rates... maybe you should've done more research on them.
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trump under investigation during the campaign. >> same answer as before. i'm not going to answer that. >> is he under investigation now? >> i'm not going to answer that. please don't overinterpret what i've said. as the chair and ranking know we have briefed them in great detail about what we're doing but i'm not going to answer about anybody in this forum. >> joining us now the man you saw questioning fbi member of the house permanent celebrity sometime on intelligence and ranking member of the
subcommittee on cia democratic congressman eric swalwell from california. >> what did you learn yesterday? >> we've long been concerned about donald trump and dots that connect his deep financial ties with russia and now a convergence with the campaign. the director confirmed that saying there is an investigation, there are u.s. persons investigated and they are members of the campaign. >> republicans on the committee seem to be slafishly following the cues of the president while failing to retract the accusation against president obama is seeking to direct attention elsewhere. were the republicans trying to distract from the key point at hand yesterday that russia and the trump administration may have colluded together? >> they came to congress under extraordinary circumstances saying i don't want to be here, i don't want to tell you this but there's an investigation going on and they focused on the
leaks, which are important. but to talk about the leaks while he's saying that the president of the united states and his team are being investigated, another country attacked us with this interference campaign, that was just over their head. i think they are missing an opportunity for us to unite around this and move forward. >> congressman, where does this go now? we all watched with complete fascination yesterday as you listened to comey. comey pleaded for a chance to finish the investigation. the country is intensely interested. what does your committee do and what should we expect from you frf we've heard from easy witness, harder, michael flynn, paul manafort, bringing people in who were actually witnesses while this was going on and finding if there's consensus there bringing in those individuals and bringing in documents that will help us like the president's tax returns. >> what do you think might have happened. >> i think what we're seeing is as the interference campaign is
going on, individuals are going over to russia like carter page, roger stone is intimating that an attack is going to happen against john podesta's e-mails. i think this is convergence not coincidences. >> so yesterday we had this bombshell of the fbi, who clearly didn't want to do it but felt compelled at this point. was it the tweets, joe? if the president hadn't tweeted that saturday morning, would we be -- >> no, we wouldn't have been here. yesterday would not have taken on the importance that it took on. and here is just a note for reporters, stop talking about donald trump's tweets, distractions. donald trump's tweets are the main event in some cases. david ignatius, it was donald trump's lie about barack obama that made lindsey graham demand that james comey come to the hill, testify, and tell them
what they know. lindsey said we actually are the ones that have authority over the justice department. you all come to capitol hill and tell us the truth. so donald trump's tweet three saturdays ago which is what actually led to this. >> i think you're right, joe. i think trump's accusations first against a former president accusing him of illegal activity and then accusations against closest spy ally, britain, those are intolerable in the intelligence committee and broad array of politicians. it was the fact that trump wouldn't back down, wouldn't ease off but kept doubling down. every time cornered he would say that's not true, come up with another reason why it's true, left no alternative but the testimony. >> think about that. >> the problem with donald trump is. donald trump has lived in "new york times" he's had two or
three tabloids entertainment magazines to work. when he had a battle with rosie. >> called her disgusting names. >> he could do what he wanted to do, get to the other side. all news was good news and his ratings went up. what he still doesn't understand, what we've been trying to explain on this show now is, he's in a different league. he's damaging himself every day. yesterday happened because of tweet three weeks ago. >> because of the tweets on saturday morning. think of that, four or five tweets he just threw out there seemingly for no reason turned everything upside down. speaking of tweeting potus twitter account was occasionally posting during the hearings, chaos yesterday, sharing sound bites favorable to the white house including exchange with republican chairman nunez where officials said they had no evidence russian cyber actors changed their vote tallies.
tweeting, nsa and fbi tell congress that russia did not influence electoral process. democrat jim himes asked about the assertion. >> thanks to modern technology i have a tweet from the president an hour ago, is the tweet i read it to, nsa and fbi tell congress russia did not influence the electoral process. is that accurate? >> well, it's hard for me to react to that. let me tell you what we understand the state is, offer no opinion, have no view or information on impact because it's never something we looked at. >> the assertion you have told congress there was no influence on the electoral process is not quite right. >> it certainly wasn't our intention to say that today because we don't have any information on that subject. that's not something looked at. >> congressman, how extraordinary, a false tweet
gets him in this position yesterday. and then in the middle of this, another false tweet. >> what was he doing all day? was he being the president or watching the hearing? >> he was watching the hearing. >> false tweet. i used to tell witnesses as a prosecutor if they witness material lies you can refuse to believe anything, that's an instruction judges give every day. now his ability to say anything on russia, anything going forward the american people are not going to believe. >> what about the fact it's been determined these tweets are untrue. correct? anybody at the table want to say there's a shadow of a doubt, something we need to wait for -- >> barack obama database tap trump tower. >> isn't there something beyond, okay, we're going to move on and follow something else now? isn't there defamation, lying as
president? isn't there something? >> i think you'd have to ask barack obama, but i'm sure somebody, more than one person suggested barack obama would have a pretty good lawsuit against donald trump for defamation. >> see you in court, right? >> yeah, see you in court. mark halperin, let's step back here and look at this from 30,000 feet. what does all of this do to the trump presidency at this stage, two months in, with his ability to move forward with an agenda. >> two things happening this week, gorsuch being confirmed, that will be one of the greatest successes he'll have not just so far but in his term. that's happening tomorrow. health care. the president is going to be up here speaking to the congress trying to wrap up votes for that. i'm told their vote count is not going particularly well. they are not in as good shape as
they would like to be despite making changes yesterday. that to me by thursday night, friday morning, we'll know whether this administration is despite the russia stuff on track or has a really big problem with their legislative agenda. congressman, i want to ask you about what you said. you graciously said republicans had an opportunity they didn't take. i thought you all were on track to have a bipartisan hearing yesterday and investigation. is this bipartisan at all now? will you all proceed minority and majority to try to get to the bottom of this or yesterday ended that. >> there's going to be decision points going forward now. we're going to wan to hear from witnesses i laid out earlier, hear from the president's tax returns. >> does the majority want to do that. >> i hope yesterday was a wakeup call this is real and can bury their head in the sand and hope it's going away. it's not going away. the president is making it worse by constantly tweeting about it. >> it's gotten a lot bigger. congressman swalwell, thank you very much. general michael hayden joins us ahead to talk about
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trump's son don jr. mocked online for an odd photo shoot he did with "new york times." take a look, it's him and a tree stump. the good news it led to a new business opportunity for him. take a look at this. >> are you tired of boring old chairs, does sitting inside have you down? do you wish there was another way? there is. introducing trump stuff. sit, lean on it, play on it. it's the new sensation sweeping the nation. don jr. says get stumped. buy one in stores or just cut down a tree. >> fantastic. >> you can tell, this is a guy of action, right? he does not like sitting down. i'm serious, he likes moving. they showed a lot of pictures of him, memes. he's just uncomfortable sitting down. he's a hunter, a very active guy. >> up next -- >> i will say whoever told him to sit on that stump -- >> they got him as he was sitting down. they have to wait until he sits
down before they take the picture. >> you've got to take control of your photo shoot. anyway, all right. >> don't click the camera until i am fully seated on the stump. >> don't do that. >> last time he was on "morning joe" former cia director michael hayden by his own admission went, quote, very dark. he speculated that 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 hours of news. general hayden joins the table next. >> if he was dark then -- >> wow. knowing where you stand has never been easier.
>> certainly wouldn't endear the british intelligence services to continue working with us, would it? >> i believe that the relationship is strong enough this is something we'll be able to deal with. >> it's not helpful. >> yes, sir. >> president trump recently met with german chancellor angela merkel. during a joint press conference the president suggested they both had something in common, they both had been wiretapped by president obama. i'm not going to ask you to comment on whether the chancellor was the subject of any eavesdropping but i would like to ask you whether snowden disclosures that did damage to our relationship to our german ally and whether the chancellor herself expressed concern at the time. >> yes, sir. >> in light of this, is it helpful to the relationship to the chancellor or german intelligence to bring this up again in a public forum? >> it certainly complicates things. again, i'd like to think our relationship is such we're going to deal and keep moving forward.
>> i've got to say trashing intelligence agencies and bringing up an embarrassing chapter for the united states of america just for a laugh line at a press conference last week, we talked about the handshake that wasn't and a lot of other things that he did. that was simply disgusting and showed a man who really doesn't care about the country as much as he does as the general said. >> self-inflicted, self-inflicted, self-in nikted. >> so self-inflicted. >> all started with tweets saturday morning. that was nsa director mike rogers reflecting yesterday on the potential impact that president trump's recent accusations are having on u.s. allies. joining us now the man who used to have roger's job former director of both nsa and cia now a principle at chertoff group retired general michael made. >> general, two headlines, first one no wiretaps. >> i don't know how you get around those tweets being about anything else but that.
>> and "the washington post," the fbi is investigating trump-russia ties. that's pretty staggering. a sitting president of the united states being investigated, along with his team, for possible collusion with if not an enemy, let's just say a heated rival whose interests are not our own. put that in perspective for us if you can. >> one thing that comes to mind more on your political lane than my espionage lane is that the second headline was made more possible, more intense and more immediate by the first headline. >> by the tweet. >> he brought this to the front of the stage. i think it inevitably gets there. a full day hearing actually to give credit called by a republican. >> what mika was saying, this is a self-inflicted wound. he would not have had this
headline. >> president trump would not have this headline. >> he would not have this headline here if he had not tweeted three weeks ago. it's staggering. >> appears to be kind of a silly blurt on his part that has turned into an international scene. >> he obviously doesn't understand the implication of the job he holds or the words he says. so let's talk about the implications. how serious is this? >> the investigation itself, even if it ends up nowhere, even if 12, 18 months, i think that's kind of a realistic time line, that is going on. that is always in the background. news about that is always pulled forward, because that's the way this works. so you know sports, at a minimum you're playing hurt for the next season and a half. then if it leads anywhere, even if it doesn't implicate the president, you know, one of -- i think one real aspect of this, this wasn't a tight ship, and
you know that. people were in and out of the campaign. yesterday he had spicer saying manafort, manafort, i have to check to see -- >> by the way, how does this not lead anywhere? >> actually, one of the most stunning moments yesterday was adam schiff's carefully crafted not overreaching bill of indictment. it sounded a little bit shakespearean in an honorable man. at the end of this, kept saying, this could be coincidence. this could be coincidence. he did lay out all the stuff people like me would look at and go, wow, that's weird. >> that's weird. and everything leads to something. then again, just from a reporter's perspective, we, the media, cob stanley questioned donald trump about vladimir putin. and the answers were nothing short of amazing.
>> his own words, the president's own words are staggering when he actually talked to us in december of '15. we kept saying, wait a second, are you saying it's okay he kills political journalists and rivals. >> he never said that's wrong. >> then in the bill o'reilly interview he actually said u.s. soldiers are killers, too. he said putin kills people but we killed a lot of people in iraq. he compared american soldiers that fought and died in iraq to vladimir putin to defend vladimir putin. >> he compared our intelligence agencies to nazis at one point. i want to ask general hayden about something he said before we went on air. you said yesterday was a good day to be an american intelligence officer. i'd like to ask you to explain what you meant by that. >> sure. i was proud of those guys. jim comey, mike rogers. they were competent. they were calm. >> measured. >> measured.
right. they didn't overreach. they were courageous. they didn't try to answer questions indirect ly or blankl. three big headlines they answered square on and created that. it was an example in -- that's what happens when bs meets competence and integrity and professionalism. that actually might be the long story that's going on here. how does the permanent government, as i refer to it, how does it now continue to react to these kind of facts of the moment that keep getting thrown at them. >> and lies. >> talk about what might have happened from the point of view of russian intelligence. we know russians attempted to interfere with the election. we know there were contacts with trump associates and russians. it's been reported more than we know. >> we know the dnc was attacked. >> what were the russians doing?
what was their game having contacted with people associated with donald trump. >> david asked how did i feel yesterday, i was very proud of those guys. let me tell you another intelligence service that had a good day yesterday, russian intelligence service. they are looking at this saying, my god, we had no idea. this is the greatest w in that column we have ever had. >> is that thanks to president trump? >> well, look, so you've got -- i think you've got three baskets of things. you've got the russians did do this. you had comey and mike rogers stand by the high confidence all the way up to and including to help him win, which is where we were. you've got that. that's fact. that's already accepted. then you've got the behavior of the president and the candidate. that's weird. then you've got this growing body of contacts. now, look, i have to take in something adam schiff did say
yesterday. there could be a lot of coincidences here. there are a lot of international businessmen in this loosely run campaign. >> if we could read the intelligence reports the russians were filing to putin, what would they have been saying during the campaign about what they were doing? how focused, how directed was it to say we're contacting these trump people, we're interacting with them? >> we want them to win. >> well, look. you don't need to be clubbing people over the head to make them useful for a covert influence campaign. the brush pass, the conversation, the visual that shows up in the press at some point. can i have just one shot, as somebody who has done covert action, number one, the biggest w i've seen. the easiest covert campaigns are the ones who try to reinforce pre-existing fractures in a society rather than create a
fracture. we had pre-existent fracture in our political system. it was almost an invitation for a talented security service to really put the wedge in there and keep hammering away. >> wow. this is chilling. >> the only thing about the coincidences and we'll play adam schiff at the top of the hour. when you have carter page misrepresenting meetings. lying. saying maybe i met. paul manafort, roger stone saying i can't remember what i said -- >> not a person. >> jeff sessions the same. no, manafort looked into the camera and said there were no contacts with anybody in russia. you can list everybody, sean spicer on down, i believe sean said it as well. they have continually said things that just are not true.
the question is why? if everybody has these meetings and if this is normal, why lie about something you do not have to lie about? >> one of the problems i think director comey has, in a normal campaign, i think the warning flags are just flapping in the breeze. this is a campaign so disorganized, so accustomed to rejecting any argument with absolutes, without a whole lot of fact base, that we may be seeing a lot of that here, too, as well. >> we're going to hold you to the top of the hour. much more with general michael hayden in just a moment. four words, badda book. badda boom... let it sink in. shouldn't we say we have the lowest price? nope, badda book. badda boom. have you ever stayed with choice hotels? like at a comfort inn? yep. free waffles, can't go wrong. i like it. promote that guy. get the lowest price on our rooms, guaranteed. when you book direct at choicehotels.com.
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except when it comes to retirement. at fidelity, you get a retirement score in just 60 seconds. and we'll help you make decisions for your plan... to keep you on track. it's your retirement. know where you stand. the haters in the campaign earlier, carter page but also a question about roger stone. was he also in that category? is he someone the president is in frequent contact with? he's often called informal adviser and confidante. >> mr. stone is somebody the
president has known for a long time. he worked briefly on the campaign until august 2015, from recollection. they have talked from time to time but i don't think any time recently. >> now that we know there is an ongoing investigation by the fbi, does the president stand by his comments that he's not aware of any contacts that his campaign associates had with russia during the election? >> yes. >> the second one is, has anyone from the white house -- >> can i just amend the first? >> sure. >> just to be clear, i know, i'm trying to think through this for a second because obviously general flynn. >> the campaign before the election. >> i'm not aware of any at this time but even general flynn was a volunteer of the campaign. obviously there's been discussion of paul manafort who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time. >> you know what i wonder. >> discuss in a measured way. >> let me say it, not you.
>> okay. >> i'm going to go back to absence of malice. wilford brimley says to his prosecutor. tell me, what do you plan to do next? it's a good question sean spicer should ask himself. not that old of a guy but i've been around this town for a quarter of a century. i called people in the white house three or four years in, i just want you to know, this guy is going to leave town. when he leaves town, kind of like what warren buffett said in 2008, the tide goes out. you're going to be standing there naked. you're not going to be able to get your self another job. >> i don't know. >> because he doesn't understand what unfortunately too many younger people and anybody younger than 53 is young, don't understand this is not a lifetime gig. >> just for the record general flynn traveled with trump and was with him night and day and
was the guy that kept trump calm. he was not a volunteer. he was trump's wing man. he was the guy by his side for months and months and months. >> he was there all the time. >> we saw it firsthand. >> quickly to sean spicer, this won't be the last job he'll have. >> it might be. doesn't look good. >> he and republicans have to understand they are damaging themselves in a way they can't recover from. >> that was sean spicer distancing from paul manafort who served as campaign chairman and michael flynn who would become national security adviser after top military adviser and also his pal on the campaign trail. perhaps they sense where the investigation the fbi director announced yesterday might be heading. director comey officially confirming a probe between the ties between the russian government and trump's campaign. we have walter isaacson here.
>> walter, you're right. he not only was his national security adviser, but donald trump, everybody in the campaign, everybody told mika and me through the campaign. >> they fought for him, kept him calm. >> general flynn was the go to go. >> rode with him on planes, stayed overnight in mar-a-lago. >> make the guy national security adviser. >> this isn't recorded by the way. all those so critical of us actually spending time with the president and getting to know the people who worked for the president, this now has the added value of us having seen that ourselves. we saw this to be true with our own eyes because we did our job, got a chance to see everything that happened there. >> we can talk the same thing about paul manafort. david ignatius, we were told nonstop paul manafort, cory lewandowski was okay, paul mannaford was the strategist not only help donald trump win the
nomination, make sure he got all the delegates. this was the indispensable player. >> the closer. >> that's what trump's people told us, indispensable player that would make donald trump nominee. >> closed it with russians. >> now they are suggesting he's a bit player. >> in the moment paul manafort was pushed out of the campaign with reporting about his questionable contacts, to put it mildly, in ukraine, you knew something big was beginning. you know, we didn't give it as much attention as we might have before the election. >> something was off. >> we now know back in july fbi began a counter-intelligence investigation. and all of these people and events that we're talking about way back then were the subject of investigative interest. we're now finding out about it. >> realtime. >> talk about it a lot on the show realtime, russian connection will people kept dismissing it.
you'd get all these weird e-mails saying you're crazy, the russians had no ties to it. all generated by the way the russian sort of blogosphere paid. >> it is different. i think we all feel a difference. >> today is a different day. but today happened because president trump -- you put it earlier, president trump tweeted on a saturday morning. >> this is something that the white house has to understand. >> in a different place. >> this morning. >> this headline. >> the presidency. >> a headline i think is unlike any headline that most of us have seen since watergate. a headline that says fbi is investigating trump-russia ties. we would not have had has headline today tuesday march 21st, 2017, if three weeks ago, general, donald trump had not tweeted a lie about barack
obama. >> it put fire in the belly of the folks you saw. they were angry, they subdued it, they are both happy to be there. they wanted to make those statements. they have been champing to do that. just additional thought. we've got fire in our belly after yesterday. so i'm back getting a government paycheck, i'm telling everybody to calm down now, let the facts take you where they will. >> absolutely right. >> landed in bulgaria to be at shea -- attache. never attribute to malice that which can equally be explained by incompetence. so when they are peeling this back, there are an awful lot of really suspicious things in basket three, manafort and stone and so on. they need to shred out not just the effect the russians were desiring to create but what was the cause -- >> let it breathe. >> was it malice or were these
guys just so naive they were taken advantage of? >> so here is the story speaking for itself. in yesterday's hearing ranking intel committee member adam schiff talked about dossier compiled by ex-british spy. christopher steel using some of it to lay out what a hypothetical case against the trump campaign might look like. >> according to steele's russian source the campaign offered documents damaging to hrk which the republicans would publish through an outlet that gives them deniability like wikileaks. the hacked documents would be exchange for trump policy that deemphasize russia's invasion of ukraine but criticizes nato countries who don't pay their fair share. trump's meeting with angela merkel have now presciently come to pass. >> that's what you're talking
about yesterday. >> all true. now we really are into intent, aren't we? >> we are to the intent part of it. again, if you're investigating. something that pushes you further toward malice instead of incompetence is when you have manafort lying about contacts with the russians. spies are lying about any contacts with the russians. stone -- >> a platform on ukraine. >> i was going to get to that next. you can go down the list. then, walter, they actually change the republican platform regarding the ukraine. can you tell i'm still back in the cold war, i call them the ukraine. but for a republican that was raised in the cold war, it's absolutely shocking that my party is actually fighting to change the platform to take it
easier on russian aggression. >> this is the biggest thing russia wanted was to be able to get away with what it did in ukraine. general hayden was right in sort of saying this is the biggest win -- have you ever seen a bigger win for a foreign intelligence service. >> in the history of covert influence. >> better than anything. >> cold war. >> let's bring in nbc news capitol hill correspondent kasie hunt. what was it like there as this was all playing out? >> i do think michael hayden was talking about the anger coming from the intelligence officials, i was picking that up from members of congress as well, which i think to the broad point you guys have been making around the table this morning, this didn't have to happen for the president. those wiretap tweets, in particular, cranked up the temperature on capitol hill. all of these members just put
incredible pressure on jim comey. he was back and forth, had to have been a half dozen times i was chasing him through these hallways as he's going to these different private meetings. finally it was forced to spill into the open. i do think that you guys are absolutely right that that was the combined political pressure from the tweets, and with everything else going on resulted in what happened yesterday. the big question going forward is what does chairman burr on the senate side do? are we going to see the same pressure from him, see a hearing with comey less partisan? i think that could be incredibly powerful as well. >> kasie, let me ask you about what you're picking up from republicans on the hill. i know during impeachment. i'm not comparing this to impeachment, i just know democrats would all march in front of the camera, they would all defend bill clinton. then when you were in the house gym using bill clinton's own
words they would dog cuss him. they would say what a fool, what an idiot. i can't believe i'm having to defend this guy. if you were in the congressional dining room they would be trashing bill clinton saying we should be worried about getting jobs in this district but we have to defend this stupid behavior in the white house. are you starting to pick that up from republicans who were expressing anger that donald trump put hills and the party in this position by stupid tweets about barack obama three weeks ago? >> look, i think behind the scenes there are a lot of people doing exactly what they described. some people doing it in public. lindsey graham essentially out there saying this whenever you point a camera and ask a question about it. i do think there's an incredible level of frustration. some of it is broader sense with the president as well. there were a lot of republicans that weren't on board with it. in public they don't make noise but if you text with them or
chat with them privately, they are saying what the hell is going on with this presidency right now. i do think that's a pervasive feeling. the other thing i would say on the flip side, democrat going out and having partisan press conferences. one thing that was effective for adam schiff the ranking member yesterday on the democratic side was how calculated and straightforward his opening statement was. i got a lot of notes and had several conversations behind the scenes afterwards. there can be a tendency for democrats to take this farther than the facts should really let them go. adam schiff did not do that and that was remarkably effective way to go about it. there's risk for democrats here i think in overplaying. >> there is one way. >> well said. >> one way for democrats to help donald trump. that's by overreaching. >> getting emotional. >> conservatives and republicans in the blogosphere and on capitol hill actually defending him. >> right. >> they make false statements. kasie, final question. health care. we had heard from the white
house that donald trump said he spread pixie dust across 12 members and suddenly all in sight. >> beautiful. >> reports this morning we're getting from the hill is that actually the vote is in danger. they may not be able to find the 218 votes they need or 216 votes they need to pass this. what are you hearing? >> i think it's balanced on the edge of a knife right now, joe. i think what happened at the white house last week was enough to give paul ryan and leaders the confidence to at least schedule the vote. it took the temperature down a little bit, that meeting. but what you saw play out yesterday, you had mike lee coming out saying he was frustrated. you're starting to see evidence that some of the policies in this bill are actually at odds with what the president campaigned on. older americans, for example, is a key group and key sticking point for a lot of these moderates. the one person we saw come out over the weekend and say no was a moderate member from a suburban philadelphia republican but barely district. so if they have pushed too far
towards conservatives, they still have this problem of, well, they could lose a handful of moderates. i do not think this is a done deal by any stretch. if it goes to the floor, i think it's going to be because they feel like they do have 216 but have warned members it could be a late night on thursday. >> kasie, thank you so much. walter, we've seen this story before, bill clinton in '94, barack obama in 2009. they take on health care right out of the gate. they pay a huge political price. >> why would you start with health care. >> because they are idiots. i'm just going to say because they are idiots. >> that's not right. >> it's not like we haven't been saying on the air the last three months, start with tax reform, infrastructure. you can get democrats and republicans on board, start with this other stuff. i'll actually go a little deeper than they are idiots because it really was one of the stupidest political moves you've seen. have you a president who doesn't care about legislation. he says, paul ryan, you just do what you want to do. so you actually have a president
protecting his base would have taken control of this. he just didn't do it. >> as a thought experiment, say it started with infrastructure, and say he had decided to run the white house as a populist and somewhat independent president who worked for the interest of the people who elected him and decided not to go as far partisan as he did. you would have transformed american politics as opposed to be down to 39%. >> i'll anger democrats when i say this. he's doing exactly what i thought personally, send your hate tweets to me @joe nbc, what barack obama did. the day he got elected president, he invited his people over, they went back and forth and obama said to him, i won, you lost. that was a great way to start a presidency. donald trump has started a presidency with hard right health care bill, a hard right
budget. a budget that's too hard right even for the hard right members in congress. that's because he's deferred, david ignatius, all of his authority to the capital behind us. >> maybe to steve bannon. >> no. this is not steve bannon's blueprint. steve bannon's blueprint is to reach out to union members, to reach out to white working class people. his budget, trump's budget and health care plan guts health care in the appalachia region, guts health care in west virginia, guts government services. >> a very big tax cut to the wealthy. >> wellies. >> this is not the bannon playbook. >> spent six years saying obamacare is poison. then people say, okay, so fix it. i just want to ask general hayden one thing. we have the presidency under a cloud, to use the phrase that
was used yesterday. as you said, this is a big w for russian intelligence service. i want to ask you, if you were cia chairman, adviser advising the president in this period, where we're weakened as a country, what would be your advice to him? >> get access. mike pompeo has gotten increased access to the president. we're probably going to have a little adjustment with dan coates coming on board. what's the division of labor, it's structured to have problems. if he can get them both in the room that's good. the point i would make, david, okay, is when he has to give that speech that starts at 7:00 p.m. eastern time that begins with my fellow americans, his fellow americans have to be willing to believe what he says. for the first time in my life, i've got a lot of good americans, not with the tin foil on their head over here and wingnuts left and right but a lot of good americans are not now willing to concede that
based on the word of the president alone. he needs to get out -- may not be fatal, but he needs to get out of that hole for his benefit and for the success of his presidency. >> so what are the options joe and michael steele of getting out of that hole at this point? does he apologize? does he say something now that he was not telling -- i can't even imagine. >> i've got to say, michael steele, let's look at last night. he gave a speech last night off the teleprompter, shocked a lot of people. he didn't talk about comey, the fbi. >> one way of doing it. >> did not go where a lot of people thought he went, it reminded me of how he acted the last 10 days of the campaign where he actually showed a little restraint out on the stump. >> what does it mean at this point? so what? okay. so you took 30 minutes in front of a teleprompter. you've got our allies, britain and germany who are sitting there going wtf. you've got the hill in a
scramble. >> what's that stand for. >> this is important, listen to him. >> the hill is over a scramble on health care. they are on scramble with national security concerns. so you give the speech. at this point, what do we as the american people come to rely on? you're not going to say i'll sorry to barack obama. you're not going to say i'm sorry to the country for putting us through this mess in the first place. so the expectation should be that it will go back to what it's always been. we'll have a day or two or three of quiet. by the weekend there will be another tweet on something. this rabbit hole chase begins all over again. >> but, but, but, but is there any way to stop that? is there a reason it should be stopped? joe, does he -- >> mika, the only person who can stop that is the president of the united states. >> joe, does he apologize to the country for lying? >> he won't apologize. i think the thing that we've recognized, and i think that a
lot of americans have recognized, anybody that thought donald trump was going to grow into this office, anybody that thought that donald trump -- >> i had hoped. >> would treat the presidency differently than he treated his fights with rosie, anybody thought that donald trump would be anything more than be a reality tv president have found out over the last few weeks it hasn't happened. you look at the speech he gave, so many were hoping beyond hope that when he went to the capital and delivered that speech that this was donald trump making the turn. >> is it up to the foreign policy team to get around him and have an intervention and not let him do anything? >> mika, four days later after that speech he tweeted that barack obama committed a felony as bad as watergate. you can talk about gary coen, some of the really good people
in the white house, they cannot control donald trump. ask them. they will tell you they cannot control donald trump. >> you just said he tweeted barack obama had committed a felony. >> right. >> you also said, correctly, that that sort of caused all this and this headline led to this headline. let's also remember that was deeply destructive to the nation, to tell people that a president can break laws and just decide to wiretap somebody else. that's not the way it works, and he really, really undermined the country with that. >> to make it worse, he undermined the country by doing that. he undermined his predecessor. >> and presidency. >> and when pushed against the wall, after everybody had said, republicans and democrats alike that he was lying, that no american intel agency had done that, what did he do? >> he said, no, no, it wasn't our intel agencies, it was the british. so he chose our closest allies,
the allies we had the most special relationship with, and, general, he trashed them. >> he saw the real anger yesterday when he commented on that. that was from the heart. >> general michael hayden, thank you, as always. >> thank you. >> we have much more ahead on all of these big issues with senators ben sasse, john cornyn, dick durbin and mark warner. you're watching morganza. we'll be right back. >> our senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell. where is he? come here, mitch. thank you, mitch. how are you doing, mitch? hey, mitch, are we going to be okay? everything good? that health care is looking good? good. thanks, mitch. announcer: get on your feet for the nastiest bull in the state of texas. ♪
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focused on potential ties to the trump campaign and russia. while most republicans on the house intelligence committee pressed fbi director james comey on the recent leaks of classified information. joining us from the white house nbc news national correspondent peter alexander. peter. >> mika, good morning to you and joe to you as well. what's really striking, what you just noted is how partisan much of this hearing was yesterday. a lot of the focus by republicans on the issue of leaking, how information, specifically the unmasking, revealing of michael flynn's name came up. white house aides as was evidenced by questioning, they support this idea and the fact this was part of the confidential intelligence gathering that ultimately feloniously released the name of michael flynn, a volunteer for the campaign during the campaign, ultimately the national security adviser. here is part of the line of questioning from trey gowdy yesterday at that hearing. >> in theory, how would
reporters know a u.s. citizen made a phone call to a russian foreign power. >> somebody told them that shouldn't have told them. >> did you brief president obama on any calls involving michael flynn? >> i'm not going to get into either that particular case, that matter, or any conversations i had with the president, so i can't answer that. >> is the investigation into the leak of classified mulchation, has it begun yet? >> i can't say because i don't want to confirm that was classified information. >> i'm just simply asking you to assure the american people -- you've already assured them you take it really seriously. can you assure them it is going to be investigated? >> i can't. but i hope people watching know how seriously we take leaks of classified information, but i don't want to confirm it by saying we're investigating it. i'm sorry i have to draw that line, i just think that's the right way to be. >> just to pull back the curtain
a little bit, i was actually in the west wing during that exchange taking place. you heard audible cheers from president's top advisers behind closed doors as they heard these exchanges. ultimately this is where they think the focus of the story should be right now, not just specifically about the leaks but the idea of those embedded members of the former members of the obama administration who are working against this administration going forward. what was striking, speaking of the obama administration, was a tweet dan pfeiffer, one of president obama's advisers wrote yesterday or said the following, pretty sure the republicans think deep throat was the real villain during watergate. suffice to say the folks closest to the president, some of those close to the president, still strongly believe as a result of the investigation that his claims not about wiretapping specifically but more broadly about the surveillance by obama administration will be vindicated. >> peter alexander, we appreciate it. >> wow. >> walter.
>> i saw somebody tweet yesterday this is like people inside of a house that's burning down, because of arson. >> everybody is talking about and they seem to be outraged about is the fact that michael flynn lied to the vice president and lied to the american people about whether or not he had contacts with the russians. that leaked out. now a whole lot of people in the white house, including the vice president, were briefed on that. >> right. >> if you think you're going to know where the leak comes from, it's not an intelligence official leaking it to the papersish it's a lot of people in that trump white house who know that this was wrong. of course that's how it leaks. if you're deciding you're going to form a plumber's unit to do leaks when the house is on fire, that's really ridiculous. >> it's a real problem.
another problem, again, trey gowdy not concerned, based on his questioning, on collusion between the russians, russian intel agencies and the president of the united states's team, going after reporters instead and talking about these leaks and cheering from the west wing while he's asking these questions, as if the white house -- which white house's do -- basically put questions into his hand and had him basically do their bidding and worry about that instead of worrying about the fact that there may be ties between russia and donald trump? >> trey gowdy was beating on the press as the president has done almost every day over the last few months. let's face it, it's a better adversary for donald trump to have, let alone trey gowdy, to be going after the media, which the public doesn't like. but going after james comey, fbi
director. >> people in south carolina, i know people in south carolina. they are not fans of vladimir putin. they are not fans of russia. >> by the end of gowdy's questioning yesterday was striking. he spent the first half talking about leaks, leaks, leaks, leaks, leaks. by the end, i thought i saw somebody who knew he had to say i take the issue of russia seriously, even though i asked about leaks. >> his questioning didn't show. if i'm his constituent in south carolina, i am deeply disturbed that my congressman is more concerned about defending the president of the united states. >> in the midst of a lie. >> and his lies. than finding out -- >> i think he knew at the end of the day that that was the headline. >> the headline is the fbi is investigating trump-russia ties. i know the people of south carolina, maybe not as good as trey gowdy, but i know pretty damn well. they don't want president of the united states colluding with
vladimir putin. >> they don't want a president who lies. no obama wiretap. nobody wants a president who defails a former president and brings down his presidency. >> you look at the last five minutes of trey gowdy, and you hear a different voice, where he gets -- he understands what he's heard through those five hours. >> took him a long time. >> something said by james comey he has to deal with. >> david ignatius, thank you. still ahead on "morning joe," hearing for supreme court justice happens and not taken live, does it make a sound? senator ben sasse there for day one of neil gorsuch's hearing that really got overshadowed by the fbi directors unbelievable testimony. senator sasse joins us next. >> of course i make my share of mistakes, too. as my daughters never tire of reminding me, putting me on a robe does not make me any smarter. at angie's list, we believe
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covering two time zones and 20% of the continental united states. but in the west, we listen to one another respectfully. we tolerate, we cherish different points of view, and we seek consensus whenever we can. >> wow. joining us now, member of the judiciary committee republican senator ben sasse of nebraska. >> ben sasse, a very bad day yesterday. he told me when he first came to washington, i came here to be on tv. i want to be on c-span. you missed your big day yesterday. >> i have a face for radio, brother. >> so before we get to neil gorsuch, we have to ask, what are your thoughts about. >> the big story. >> the president's lie, first of all, about barack obama, should he apologize to him? secondly, this headline, boy, that's a big one that the fbi is investigating trump-russia ties. >> it's not healthy for america to have that headline. we have to back up and recognize
that america is a republic, can't work if we don't have shared facts. we need to have a conversation in the city that's less urgent about everybody trying to -- >> does the white house looks like it wants to improve upon that? especially when you look at what sean spicer said yesterday? do they want the truth to prevail? >> i don't understand what the white house is doing right now. what i would love is if president trump backed up and said 10 or 15 or 20 years from now when i'm convallesing on the front porch of the nursing home i want to ask the question did i advance the republican -- >> he's not, is he? >> i don't think ted cruz's dad had anything to do with killing kennedy. we have a pattern of these and it doesn't work. >> let me ask you about other republicans. what i've picked up is in the
senate there are five, six, seven, eight republicans like your self that are willing to stand up for what's true and what's not true, willing to stand up to the president, john mccain, lindsey gracham, other independents. are there five, six, seven republicans that will stand shoulder to shoulder with you? >> well, i don't know how to do the counting but there are lots of good people here. this town is filled with people that are obsessed with short-term issues. they want to get re-elected and want to get through media cycles. washington doesn't work and america doesn't work if there aren't a whole bunch of people thinking a lot more like you want your grandparents to be thinking about their grandkids health. >> tell us now the neil gorsuch, how did the hearing go? >> neil gorsuch is a really impressive guy, a shame it got overshadowed by other things, he's the kind of person who can give people hope in their government, understands what a
calling is. comes to the tenth circuit wearing referees jersey, not broncos or packers jersey. he's what we need in a judge. >> he was very impressive and what you need in a justice as well. do you think the fever can break now and after starting with robert bourque to the president it's been escalating saying let's get this one passed because there's no reason to vote against him. >> i hope so. it's going to depend on democrats. i'm conservative guy voting record but not partisan. i don't start with republicans are right, democrats are wrong, both are unimpressive. it's going to hinge on democrat. there's no reason anybody should vote against the guy. he should be confirmed 100-0. you have people hyperventilating saying he's kicked a puppy somewhere.
there's no there there. of the cases, decisions 97, 100 of the team. >> yesterday you saw the prickly partisanship rear its head in the way democrats had opening salvo. today the questioning begins. how do you see republicans approaching the questioning here to sort of, to your point, walter, bring this into a space where we can get a fuller picture of this nominee as opposed to a partisan picture of him. >> we ended up stopping voting a day early last week, so i traveled across nebraska doing town halls and rotary club speeches. i happened to meet with a bunch of different civics teachers. they were talking about how they plan to use these hearings in high school classes. what we need is kids understanding why we have a bill of rights, kids understanding why we have limited government, three separate but equal
branches that check and balance one another. i know some of my questioning for the judge is going to focus 30, 40 years when you're retiring and look back on your career, how will it be different to spend 30, 40 years on supreme court versus 30, 40 careers as colorado senator. i hope we can do basic civics because our country needs it. >> senator, it's interesting you said that. it's what we've been thinking for sometime. we find ourselves where we are because we in colleges have stopped teaching western civilization as much, stopped focusing on the foundation of the country, stopped focusing on physics, allows the president to called the press enemies of the people, something said but khrushchev wouldn't follow. allows a president to lie about his predecessor. what are you hearing from the people of nebraska? is there a disconnect from our heritage? is there a disconnect from our history? do they understand that what's
happening now is not normal? >> yeah, they do. absolutely. so the people that i represent, the 1.9 million nebraskans i'm privileged to represent, their moms and dads and worshippers and workers before they are people who want to consume partisan politics and scream about it. we do a lot more screaming than shared deliberating right now. it reminds me of what general hayden said in your last segment, influence campaigns don't try to create entirely new problems for civilization. they try to exploit fissures that exist. that's obviously what's happening we don't have a shared sense. >> how do you recover from a lie that's put a stain on the presidency? should president trump apologize? would that help at this point? >> i don't understand what motivates the president. i hope the president will take a long-term view of what the country needs. when people look back on his administration.
>> wouldn't it help if he kind of got real with everybody and said, i'm sorry. >> yes. yes. listen. >> okay. >> russia has tried to do terrible things not just to america but to nato, the most successful military alliance in two millennia. the president should, if he had nothing to do with russia, he should care deeply about saying, hey, i'm the man that has the sign that says the buck stops here. i want to figure out everything that happened and i want the exhaustive investigation to clear the decks. >> i don't think he can do that senator ben sasse, thank you very much. this morning -- >> thank you, senator. >> parade of high-ranking senators, dick durbin, john cornyn and mark warner will all be our guest. next, nbc's mike hayes joining us on capitol hill. you're watching morkz. we' "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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msnbc's "all in" chris hayes. he's out today with a new book, a have you an board. >> up early and happy to be here. >> tell us about the book. >> it's about the way policing works in this country and the different regimes of justice we created. one of the things a book does is goes back to our own history, our colonial history. one of the fascinating things i learned is the revolution is about policing. we think of it about taxes. they were collected by customs officials. how did they do that? they searched you. when the british crown wanted to cover the war debts, they started the stop and frisk era. every ship could be pulled over anytime and things could be searched.
thomas jefferson said he -- that is about the cops. that is the american founder saying, do not stop and frisk us and we see that. that is part of our national inheritance. how do we go from that, the fourth or fifth amendment to a system now where so many americans feel they are under aversion of occupation. >> talk about the fourth amendment, that phrase, unreasonable search and seizure, it seems brilliant to me because you can figure out what does that mean in an age of gps. how did you deal with that in the book? >> i think that, you know, one of the things that comes through in the stop and frisk case in new york, certainly, is that we have slid from the idea there has to be a reason you are doing it to searching is pretextable. one of the things we have seen in the research is there are police who stop people because they genuinely suspect they have
done something or seen evidence of law breaking. then there are stops like in ferguson, a taillight is out. you are not stopping a person because you are concerned about the infraction of the taillight. the taillight being out is not the reason you are stopping them. what you want is the taillight to be the pretext to look into them. that looks more like the regime the founders rebelled against. you have these ways you can hang a search for legal purposes, but really what you are doing is something that is much more widespread surveillance of a population. we have seen that in city of city after city. >> what is the answer? what do you conclude? >> a big part of the answer is for people, as voters and citizens to take a step back and think about what we vote for when we vote for law and order. i think that's jermaine right now. the president of the united states ran on a platform. he recalled the words of nixon
in 1968. the law and order, very often means, when we vote for it, a kind of order is imposed on people. >> how bizarre. 1968 was 1968. it was one of the most chaotic moments of american history. my parents and millions and millions of parents across the country were scared to death by the chaos that they saw all across the country. we have historically low crime rates right now. >> this is such an important point and something i talk about in the book. in '68, the country is in the midst of insane increase in crime. from 1968 to 1991, crime goes up 400%-500%. i'm commuting to high school in new york city. there's 2500 murders a year in the city. there's 330 now. we are talking about a real thing that happens that creates dislocation and panic among the
populous in the way you are talking. what's amazing is that appeal is so encuring and detached from the reality someone like donald trump is able to channel it in the year of 2016 where after 40 years of diminishing crime. >> you set this up in a broad sense of the colony of the nation. in the book, you are talking about white folks of the nation, white folks of the colony. what's up with that? i don't know about a colony. what colony do you mean? >> the idea of colony is the idea of whether you feel subjectively like the people you interact with from law enforcement perspective, the agents of the state are accountable to you in some ways. one of the things i saw in ferguson that was so intense and kinettic and explosive was talking to people who felt like the cops were an occupying force. they felt they had no leverage or restraint. when they came out, you found a
police department that was operating that way. that's not completely ridiculous. there are lots of police departments that operate that way. i think there are people who experience the law and experience police officers, millions of whom work every day extremely hard and make judgments and show bravery. then there's a whole system that those police themselves have been thrown into where they are expected to, in the words of a police officer in the doj patterns of practice in baltimore do not treat criminals like citizens. think about what that sentence means. the foundational commitment is we are all citizens. >> there you go. chris hayes, thank you. the book is "a colony in a nation." thank you, chris, so much. still ahead, james comey says if he could do it again, he would have gone and banged on the door of the dnc himself to alert them of the russian hack
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investigation by the fbi? >> no! >> think of the trauma that would do to this country. >> if you have people questioning your fitness to lead, urnds your second fbi investigation in a year, you have a problem, a corruption and ethics problem. >> the new revelations about hillary clinton from the just released fbi documents make more clear than ever that she fails to meet the minimum standard for running for public office. if she applied for a low level job at the state department today, just a low level job, she couldn't even get a security clearance based on what she's done. her conduct is disqualifying. >> i have been authorized by the department of justice to confirm that the fbi, as part of our
counter intelligence mission is investigating the russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. that includes investigating the nature of any lyninks between individuals with the trump campaign and the russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and russia's efforts. >> so, you have a lot of republicans actually during the 2016 campaign saying that hillary clinton was not qualified to be president of the united states because she was fbi investigation. of course, the money clip there was donald trump saying that hillary clinton couldn't even get a low level security clearance if she were to work at the state department. a fact pattern that fits neatly for our current president of the united states, who is under fbi investigation for ties with russia with questions of
collusion swirling around this city and, of course, will be discussed again today in the capitol behind us. welcome. >> under a dark cloud. a very, very dark cloud. with us, we have white house correspondent for the associate press, julie pace. michael warren. columnist for "the new york times" david and former chair for the republican national committee, michael steele. david, you have a piece in the new york times you write called "all the president's lies." >> i think it's relevant today because, let's face it, as we have been saying all morning and for people waking up on the west coast. >> this is not over the skis. this is just fact. >> u.s. u.p.sa today saying theo
wiretap. that was a lie. that unnecessary tweet led to this headline and a hearing yesterday. lindsey graham demanding and other republicans and democrats demanding that james comey comes and testifies before capitol hill. this is what they call in tennis, mika, an unforced error. it's not just hitting the ball out of bounds. this is when a bomber sat down on the court but his dad bet a lot of money on him. that's what this tweet was like. ift was like the bomber. >> we have a presidency that is in question. >> anyway. >> david writes, in part, i have argued not every untruth deserved to be granted with the "l" word. george w. bush didn't lie when he said iraq had weapons of mass destruction and obama didn't lie when he side people who like
their current health insurance can keep it. they make statement that is prove false and deserved much of the criticism they got. the current president of the united states lies. he lies in ways that no american politician ever has before. he tells so many untruths that it's time to leave behind the parsing over which are unwitting and deliberate. our president is a liar and we need to find out how serious his latest lies are. >> david, context is so important. you are right, it's the thing we are all trying to figure out as we move forward. which tweets matter? he said the ones about meryl streep, we figured out. >> arnold schwarzenegger. >> undig anified. they don't really matter. the ones attacking australia, an ally for 100 years or the ones attacking other allies, the ones attacking federal judges, those matter. you are taking this to the level of lying, which is, for
instance, let's talk about two lies that matter the most. lying about barack obama. >> yep. >> suggesting that he committed a felony, and -- because that obviously it's not about barack obama, it's about our democracy, our constitutional republic and the message he sent the world. secondly, almost more disturbingly, lying about our ally, great britain. these lies, we have to sort them out. which lies matter the most? >> i think there are two things to think about here. general hayden said we should be conservative on the russia story. we don't want to start assuming and speculating about things happening we don't know about. we don't know what's going on with russia. i want to state that clearly. what we do know is the current president of the united states has a terrible pattern of constantly lying. right? it's about the murder rate. you were just talking about the murder rate. he said it's skyrocketing. wrong. it's about the unemployment
rate, isis, hillary clinton, thing after thing after thing. his whole political career started with a lie about where barack obama was born. >> right. >> the thing we want to say is we don't know what is going on with russia. whatever he tells us, we don't want to take it seriously. >> it reminds me about what my mother said about my sister's friend, she lies about telling the truth. keep her out of here. she always lies. >> look at the mess he's made not only for himself but this presidency and sean spicer and anybody trying to speak for americans. >> julie, you had the question today, speaking of which, i hate to sound like we are piling on them, but there are a lot of leaves to jump in. >> no, we are not. >> you had the question today, when you asked sean spicer about fbi director comey's confirmation they were investigating the campaign. let's go to that clip.
>> now that we know there is an ongoing investigation by the fbi, does the president stand by his comments that he's not aware of any contacts that his campaign associates had with russia during the election? >> yes. >> and the second one is, has anyone from the white house -- >> can i -- >> sure. >> obviously, just to be clear, i know that i'm trying to think through this for a second because obviously general flynn. >> during the campaign, before the election. >> i'm not aware of any at this time. general flynn was a volunteer of the campaign. obviously, there's been discussion of paul manafort who played a role for a limited time. >> again -- >> remember we called him lurch. >> that is a lie that is verifiable. you all heard, we all heard, reporters all heard during the campaign, i heard it from the people closest to trump and trump himself that general flynn was his most respected go-to
guy. he would fly with him everywhere because he kept him calm. >> they liked to be together. >> paul manafort. they said manafort was going to get him elected. he knew how to run a campaign professionally and he could count delegates. >> what's so disturbing about what happened there is, it's so unnecessary. it's everyone knows that michael flynn was traveling on trump's plane with him during the campaign. he gave that speech at the convention. he was named national security adviser at the white house. paul manafort was with the campaign from march to august including campaign chairman. they are fact checkable items and unnecessary. everyone knows the reality. sometimes the white house gets in this position where they are creating more problems, creating more lies and untruths. >> right. >> when they don't have to. >> right. there are a couple times, michael, some people showed their hands. yesterday, james comey showed
his hands on the investigation of roger stone and that line of inquiry. i thought yesterday, sean spicer showed the white house's hand knowing this investigation is going to revolve around the national security adviser who really wasn't that close to the president and the campaign chairman who really wasn't a campaign chairman. >> right. >> seems like they admitted by their lies, they know manafort and flynn are going to be the center of this investigation. >> you have to be careful here. the investigation needs to happen. you can't jump to conclusions. you look at the activity from the white house. the actions that they have been taking. look at the president's tweets yesterday morning, knowing what was coming in this hearing. you think, these are not the actions of a white house of a president who has nothing to hide, who thinks there is nothing going on here. it's the actions of somebody trying to distract people from this issue. so, we don't know what the facts are quite yet but what we know is the white house is acting
fishy if there's no big deal here and there's no there, there. >> i talked about what my mom said about my sister's friend who lied and telling the truth is easier. when my children, they would never lie. when children tell a lie about something that they shouldn't have to tell a lie about, that's time for dad to start digging. something is up. so, i have said this time and again, maybe all this is innocent. if it's innocent why has the white house lied about no russian contacts. if it's innocent, why is manafort lying about no russian contacts. why is trump lying about no contacts? why did jeff sessions lie about not meeting russians? why did carter paige lie about not meeting russians? you have enough of these examples that after a while, it starts to seem like a stretch to suggest these are just five,
six, seven, eight, nine people who just co-incidentally lied about the same thing. >> that is what was so powerful about congressman schiff's speech. he said could they really all be coincidences? >> the thing that was so disheartening is the extent the republicans have no interest in this. they are members of congress. they are a co-equal branch with the presidency. yet they are acting like sean spicer, saying none of it matters, it's about the leaks. i hope we see more spine from republican senators and stand-up for their brand. >> really, i think we have all seen it. republican senators have actually shown a lot more spine and stepped out more whether it's sasse or lindsey graham. we had this hearing because lindsey graham starts raising hell last week. john mccain raising hell all the time. >> there's four people and that's great. >> no, there are more than four
republicans. i have talked to a lot of republican senators who are not as worried about their small districts where donald trump gets 70% of the vote. >> there was grand standing on both sides with democrats asking questions just for show and republicans trying to focus on the leaks. at the core of this issue is the fact that russia found a way, whether it was through trump associates or not, found a way to meddle in this election. i remember marco rubio making this point when the po december toe e-mails were leaking. take it seriously, they could be the next victims of this. >> that's what republicans need to worry about. it's what i said during impeachment, hold president clinton to the same standard. >> we need to hold the president to a standard as well. joining us now, member of the judiciary committee on intelligence, republican senator john cornyn of texas. good to have you on the show.
>> senator, you have absolutely nothing going on. we have no questions for you. >> i have a question. >> it's a slow news day. let's start, i guess, let's start since he's been overshadowed with neil gorsuch, tell us your impression of judge gorsuch and is there an opportunity that he may get what i believe he deserves, that is at least 60 votes? >> i hope so, joe. before the bush administration, the second bush administration, it was routine, almost, these confirmation hearings. i guess their started with bob bourque, but they have become so politicized and unfortunately, it's like the hatfields and mccoys, we have been feuding so long, people forgot when and how it started. i think it's an opportunity to examine the man, his record and to say this is a type of person who should serve on the supreme court. you may not have liked the outcome of the election, but president trump gets the opportunity to nominate an
individual and he has. he's made a good choice, in my view. i think this is a good chance to stop the sort of partisan warfare over judicial nominations, at least. >> definitely. >> let's move on to the other big story yesterday. obviously james comey's testimony on the hill. the senate has shown more independence than the house has in these matters. are you confident the intel committee can investigation these trump-russia ties and give the americans a great deal of confidence you are doing it as americans first, not as republicans? >> i think chairman burr and warner have done a good job setting the tone for a bipartisan intelligence committee investigation. it's not just about the election itself, but the events leading up to the election. we know russia has been using covert propaganda campaigns
sometimes called active measures to unsettle elections for a long time. they are going to be doing it in europe in the upcoming elections. they did it in the u.s. election. we need to be careful about rushing to judgment. i heard the folks on the panel say we need to follow the evidence wherever it may lead. i agree with that. it's tempting to reach conclusions before we see the evidence and we haven't. we ought to wait and see where the facts take us. the one thing i can say, if somebody leaked classified information that a crime was committed, if you believe director clapper, there's no evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and russia. again, i think we ought to wait and see where the evidence leads before we reach the final conclusion. >> if you believe the fbi director and clapper, you know the president lied about president obama. i have a tough question on that, sir. i guess, what will it take at this point? the president, obviously is
hurting himself with these tweets and defaming lies about a former president. he's hurting our country, i think that's safe to say. what if a crisis hits? a crisis that calls for an honest patriot to be in charge? what will it take for democrats and republicans to take a full stop and ask the question, is president trump fit to lead? >> well, the voters decided that on november 8 for at least the next four years. so, that is the status quo. i would say, i'm not sure what president trump is talking about when he's talking about wiretapping. we do know that a member of his campaign, general flynn, was information was captured during a fisa warrant tap on the russian ambassador. i don't know if that's what he was talking about or something else. i just, again, don't think we can reach final conclusions until we know where the evidence
leads. >> he didn't say, senator -- i would like to get on with -- >> it doesn't end with the voters, we know that. >> get on with the health care. just to clarify, he did say barack obama tapped trump tower. we do know that's false. >> we know the president himself did not do it. whether somebody in the administration went to the fisa court, got a warrant to listen to the conversations of the russian ambassador that swept up an american citizen like michael flynn. according to published reports that happened. i don't know what else may have happened that the president is talking about. >> aren't you concerned the president is acting this way? i mean, you seem to be almost trying to find ways to maybe defend, if you, you know, get around it somehow. do you really want to do that? >> well, i was a judge for 13 years in texas before i came to the united states senate. i have always believed you ought to wait until you know all the
evidence before you reach a conclusion. i'm not ready to reach conclusions before the evidence is complete. that's all i'm saying. >> even about the president's sunday morning tweet where he said barack obama tapped trump tower? >> again, the president himself didn't do it. somebody in his administration did get a fisa warrant on the russian ambassador. that is within the realm of possibility. that may have been what the president was referring to. >> it is in the realm of possibility, but a dicht thing. the house has a vote coming up thursday. they are getting close to the votes they need but it's difficult. what does it look like in the senate? what is the likelihood of passage in the senate? >> i believe if the house passes the bill, the senate will like wise pass the bill. there will be opportunity for amendments in the senate. i suspect there may be a
conference committee to reconcile that. if we were given the opportunity, we would repeal and replace obamacare, which i believe is in a crisis mode. we would be revisiting that health care legislation, no matter who is president. premiums are sky high and deductibles are unaffordable. this is our effort to rescue people misled by obamacare and we are going to do it with choices, the status quo, which is unacceptable or something better. that is what we are going to do when we pass the bill, along with things dr. price can do at health and human services. hopefully, at some point, get in the mode of bipartisan law making and give the american people the health care system they deserve. >> senator john cornyn, thank you for being with us, greatly appreciate it. >> thank you, sir. >> we have heard a lot this morning but more coming up. rex tillerson is just off a
trip to china and korea. he's going to sit out a key meeting with the biggest allies. >> what is going on there? >> what will he be doing instead? we are going to have that reporting ahead. i don't get it. >> yikes. plus -- >> we need to know what you will do when you are called upon to stand-up to this president or any president if he claims the part to ignore laws that protect fundamental human rights. you are going to have your hands full with this president. he's going to keep you busy. it's incumbent to demonstrate he or she will serve as a check and balance on the presidency. >> senator dick durbin framing the task before the supreme court. he joins us ahead. knowing where you stand. it's never been easier. except when it comes to your retirement plan. but at fidelity, we're making retirement planning clearer.
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the dinosaurs' extinction... got you outnumbered. don't listen to them. not appropriate. now i'm mashing these potatoes with my stick of butter... why don't you sit over here. something for everyone is awesome. find your awesome with the xfinity stream app. more to stream to every screen. joining us now, member of the senate judiciary, dick
durbin of illinois. a lot to cover this morning, senator durbin. how did neil gorsuch do the first day? >> the first day was the introduction of the players. it starts today, the contest of ideas and the important questions that will give insight to neil gorsuch and what he will bring to the supreme court. >> what do you want to hear from him? >> i'm going to ask a lot of questions. questions about his rulings and cases, his philosophy, his values. i think many of the things that were brought up in the opening statements will be flushed out in detail. >> senator, neil gorsuch seems like a decent, impressive, conservative judge. looking at the big picture, the only time we are going to get supreme court justice is when we have a president and senate of the same party? i don't know how they could do what the republicans did with
major garland. >> put it in perspective. you cannot leave his name off the table. we waited for a year with a vacancy on the supreme court. it was orchestrated to make sure the vacancy would be there in the chance a republican would be elected president. this is not an ordinary circumstance. we are trying to give to neil gorsuch what the republicans wouldn't give garland, a fair hearing and a vote. i think that's reasonable. >> julie? >> hi, senator. i want to switch to russia. we have been talking about the investigations, the senate hearings are coming up soon. for democrats wharks are the risks in being too forward leaning on this? do you worry democrats are trying to draw conclusions from what we have seen when we have a lot of smoke, but no evidence of collusion between the trump associates and russia? >> the testimony of james comey yesterday was historic.
he said two thing that is will be remembered for a long time. first, the president misled the american people when he said he was wiretapped. that is a startling revelation and will go down in history and this administration is off to a bad start when it comes to vedibility. the federal bureau of investigation believes there is credible evidence worthy of an investigation as to the involvement of russians in the trump campaign and their impact on the u.s. election. what we, as democrats, need to do is of course call for a thorough investigation, a special prosecutor who will not be moved by politics. we'll get to the bottom of this if criminal charges need to be levied. all of that is a step in the right direction toward handling this responsibly. >> michael warren? >> senator, what is the likelihood this health care bill
can pass the senate through reconciliation and what do you think should be done or changed? what amendments will democrats propose for this bill? >> we are going to take a look at the possibilities. first, we need to see the bill. imagine this, we were criticized for working two years to produce the affordable care act that we jammed it through, didn't give enough time for debate. look at what's happening with the republican rewrite. it's being rewritten a second or third time and there's a possibility they are going to ask for another rewrite in the senate. senator mitch mcconnell used a word saying he wants to move this bill through quickly. quickly is not a word rerecognize in the united states senate. we want to do it deliberately. we want the changes to not disadvantage the vast majority of americans. >> thank you so much. good to have you on the show. david, michael, thank you both as well. just ahead, senator mark
warner, the ranking member of the senate intel committee and what he's going to do next when it comes to russia. i work with people everywhere on sea, on land, and in the air. inspecting towers way up high avoiding turbulence in the sky. personalizing treatments with dna and recommending who should play. a dress that thinks, which crops to grow, tax prep to help keep payments low. you can find me on an oil rig, i answer questions small and big. hello, my name is watson. i answer questions small and big. youthat's why you drink ensure. sidelined. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals.
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just 45 minutes before yesterday's house intel hearings began, president trump tweeted, what about all the contact with the clinton campaign and the russians? also, is it true the dnc would not let the fbi in to look? in the hearing, director comey said the fbi had warned the dnc but could not have been more forceful. >> knowing what we know now, would the fbi have done anything different in trying to notify the dnc of what happened? >> we would have just kept banging on the door. know whag i know now, we made efforts to notify. i might have walked over myself knowing what i know now. >> could have been more forceful. joining us now, democratic senator, mark warner of virginia. good to have you on the show. >> thank you, mika. >> during the break, you said things are crazy.
they are going to get crazier. everyone is feeling very unsettled. yesterday was a new phase. >> we know the russians intervened and they hacked leaks of information to help trump over clinton. we know they had 1,000 internet trolls working to create ways to take over search engines and put out fake news. we have the fbi director confirming something i have known, there are a series of investigations into people affiliated with mr. trump that have some kind of ties with the russians. in the meantime, we have the white house out tweeting these distractions. somehow the distractions become actually destructive because it's, in a sense, destructive to the presidency. >> imploding. >> one thing they focused is the issue of unmasking and how
michael flynn's name got out there. can you clarify how his name became public? was that anything improper in how husband conversations were picked up? >> i think any leak ought to be investigated. i'm not sure how his name became unmasked. we know he resigned. the attorney general had to recuse himself. mr. flynn may not fully have disclosed an earlier filing he was an agent for the turkish government. where does this end? think back to watergate. that was a bungled break in into one file cabinet. here, we are talking about a foreign power massively interfering in our election. who knows how many people the president may have had contacts. the numbers go up every week in terms of press reports. >> i think this is a moment in history where everybody, democrats, republicans come together and try to help figure
out what is going on here. yet, you had some republicans yesterday going look at the bird. it was unbelievable. >> it was a little disconcerning to watch this thing play out and to see folksall into partisan camps i such a quick manner. you had that happen in the comey hearing. in the senate hearing for judge gorsuch. you also had democrats come with a partisan tip of the sphere as opposed to looking at the fact they supported this man almost unanimously before the senate ten years ago. and the fact there is no there, there with him. you begin to look like you are making up stuff to make a case. are you concerned about that and how this will play longer term for democrats, particularly given this isn't the fight or the hill to go up on? the next supreme court nominee is the real hill.
>> michael, as somebody who has been accused of being part of every gang that exists on the hill as a bipartisan, i'm concerned when both sides go red team, blue team. one thing i can tell you is we have been very bipartisan. susan collins, roy blunt, marco rubio. we are going to follow the intelligence wherever it leads. if there's nothing there, if that's the case, the trump administration would want to help the investigation. i'll be the first to say there's nothing there. if the intelligence leads into something where some of these investigations are headed, i think we are going to stay -- >> that would be an incredible coincidence. >> are you condent that, say, paul manafort could be subpoenaed before your committee and you and chairman burr would work together to make sure that happened and carter paige got subpoenaed, roger stone, all the other names we are hearing?
>> we have our first public hearing next week. we think it's important to lay the predicate to show what russia has done not just to america, but europe as well. we are going and starting interviewing people right now. we have a number of the names you have talked about. i imagine we will be hearing testimony from. we saw in the case of mr. stone, for example, he hit the trifecta. he had been in contact with wikileaks. he knew about podesta being in the barrel and acknowledged recently, he had contact with a russian agent. >> i mean -- >> i want to go to the president's tweets. the white house is playing a semantics game on this. the president was talking wiretapping, maybe he didn't mean wiretapping and leaving open the possibility there is other surveillance of trump tower that comey and rogers weren't ruling other surveillance out. have you seen other evidence of
wiretapping in trump tower? >> this is the president of the united states. when he first made the tweet, i was astonished. then you heard that first day, it seems like director comey was trying to push back. the house committee and the senate committee, we gave him two weeks. he's the president, i owe him that respect. then the house committee, democrat and republican, the senate committee, democrat and republican, said we have seen absolutely no evidence. we have had the fbi director -- >> no wiretapping or other surveillance. >> no kind of, take comey's words yesterday, no surveillance. the fbi director spoke for the fbi and justice department. we had the head of the nsa. the president needs to acknowledge he made a mistake, apologize to president obama and move on. i think, you know, he's got a health care bill, he's got a number of other things. candidly, he ought to be concerned and we all ought to be concerned where the next
investigation heads as there are a host of people around the president that have a cloud over them. >> i hear what you are saying. what would be the argument or the logic for senator cornyn to come on our show as he did and to say, despite everything that has been laid out and look add the headlines across newspapers around the world, that there's some shadow of a doubt there might have been wiretapping somewhere and the president -- why would he do that? why at this point? >> the white house, at this point is saying and backing up as quickly as they can, well, he was never -- the president never suggested barack obama did it directly, which he was. >> he did. >> i'm saying what the white house's message to members now is. it's what senator cornyn said, they may have picked up
surveillance through the russian ambassador and gotten information from that. that's a completely different thing. >> here is the problem, joe. god forbid we have a national crisis and the president says based upon intelligence and this guy who has disrespected the intelligence committee for months, based on intelligence, we are going to take this action or his spokesman says something. >> what are we all going to believe? >> what are allies going to believe. why would cornyn do that? what is the value for him at this point? there's nothing, is there? >> he said he wanted to sit back and wait and see regarding the trump-russia ties. i think that's what everybody is saying, be conservative with a small "c." i certainly understand on that front. it is safe to say what the usa today's headline was today. >> that's all i was asking him. >> no obama wiretap. that's cut and dry. that tweet was a lie.
everybody said it now. >> you have the intel committee, democrats, republicans, the head of the fbi, the justice department, the nsa, all aspects of the government have said nothing. >> there's maybe another curtain to look behind, the picture gets uglier. senator warren, thank you. >> we'll bring on the only reporter allowed with rex tillerson on his recent trip to china and south korea. we'll be right back. various: (shouting) heigh! ho!
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if you want a tennis analogy, this would be the better one. >> 72 unforced errors for richey. he's playing the worst tennis of his life. what is he feeling? >> i don't know, there's something wrong with him. he's taking off his shoes and one of his socks. actually, i think he's crying. >> i think you are right. >> i have never seen anything like this. >> neither have i. strange day out here. >> that's actually perfect. up next -- >> that's the sort of unforced errors we are talking about at the white house. unnecessary. >> up next, who said it? i'm not a big media press access person, i personally don't need it. that's what rex tillerson told the only journalist allowed to
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italy in april for a g-7 meeting before heading to meetings in russia. the spokesperson would not address the reason he is not attending, but he is meeting tomorrow with officers from 26 of 27 other nato nations, all but croatia. under secretary of political affairs, tom shannon will represent the u.s. at the april nato meeting. ranking member of the house intel committee, adam schiff says this sends a bad message. >> we have already sent a terrible message to nato, the only message that has gotten through is not that we support you or value you or thank our nato allies for coming to our assistance in iraq and afghanistan where nato soldiered stood by, fought by and died by our troops, but pay up. that's the only message we have delivered.
>> joining us now, white house correspondent erin mcpike. she was the only reporter allowed to travel with secretary tillerson during the recent extended asia trip. first of all, what was that like? it was unusual. how did you feel about that? did you feel bad? >> how did it come about? >> it came about because i asked for an interview. i asked if i could interview the secretary of state after he took office, then had another conversation. when i looked at the president's schedule and saw he was on it and had been on the president's schedule a number of times, more than any cabinet secretary. what is the deal here. why is he talking to the president so much. what is he trying to get out of him. in those conversations, i asked for an interview again. they said we'll give it to her. that's why i went on the trip. >> i totally understand. i'm glad you went. glad a reporter was on the trip. what about other reporters being
baed fro it? that's unusual. >> we support more access. i would have liked other reporters to be there as well. i talked about this a number of times with mentors and the editor that i deal with every day. we spent a lot of time going back and forth over how we should deal with this. should we file our own reports. that wasn't the right option. we put a lot of thought into how we went about it. >> why wasn't that the right option? we get into situations where the white house is trying to limit access, keep certain news organizations out. we are going to do the right thing for everybody rather than our own organization. why wasn't it the right decision? >> i was on the trip for five days. we were in three other countries. i can't say it was necessarily the right decision, but it's the decision we made. >> why did you make the decision? >> i was going to have the
interviews. i had two interviews, split into -- i did talk to him again on the way home from beijing. i wanted to focus on a bigger story. >> do you think it hurts the case for access around the secretary of state going forward now that they know they are willing to take -- >> i don't know if that's fair. if you had the opportunity to get the first interview with secretary of state wouldn't you have taken it? >> not on a plane with the exclusion of other reporters. >> every bureau chief in washington would have said get on the plane and interview the secretary of state. somebody should. >> there's a difference between the interview and the traveling press core. an interview is separate than being the only person to see the daily ins and outs of what the secretary of state is doing, to know who he is meeting with. that's a different set. >> julie, it seems to me, the choice between one person being
along with the secretary of state and no one, you want somebody on that plane. >> you absolutely want somebody. >> i guess, the biggest difference is, if they had decided for her to send press pool reports, do you think that would have made a difference with your organization? >> i think absolutely. i think that's the difference for us. sometimes you end up in situations where you are going to have a limited pool, sometimes one print pooler. the expectation is that because the space may be limited, because the plane may be small, that person is going to be there on behalf of thentire press corps. >> you made a different choice. >> yeah. we just made a different choice. >> part of the overarching effort, listening to two reporters go at it. this is part of the deconstruction and creating the tensions within the media, unnecessarily. the excuse the white house gave about, oh, we want to save money. well, the press pays for those seats on the plane. >> yeah, i can think of other ways they can save money.
>> for me, taking apart what the particulars are with the industry, to me, i saw this as one more wedge that's placed in between now separating a reporter out from the rest of the pool. >> when i did make available the interview transcripts i did, a lot of reporters didn't pick it up. if i had filed them, they might not have been accepted by the press because of a principle issue. >> let's talk about the substance of the interviews, what you found. there are a lot of questions on whether rex tillerson is up to being secretary of state, whether he has the confidence of the president. he seems to be excluded a good bit. we heard he was exhausted in south korea. did you pick any of that up? >> he did say to me that the issues are more complex that he's dealing with now. he enjoys what he is doing. he's glad he did it. i think more of that will come out on a story i will file
toght that you will see, about my follow up conversation. i think he is glad he took the job. i don't know that his access is limited to the president. he speaks to the president every day. >> what about -- >> the nato meetings. >> i would like to tell you about a question i asked him about nato. i wond how the president is going to go about incentivizing other countries to pay 2% of gdp for defense spending. the thing he told me is, look at what the president did. this is interesting. he embarrassed the other countries into spending more. he's defending the president's style on how he's going about embarrassing. >> on the world stage. >> how has he made the transition from being ceo to secretary of state? did you sense there was a problem with that transition? there's a lot of criticism he's acting more like a ceo than secretary of state. >> i don't know that i want to say it's a problem. i think we need to cover him in
the way he's choosing to be secretary of state. i think he's bringing a lot of business background into the job. he talks about doing deals. i think that's something he and donald trump have in common. they are business guys that talk about how they put deals together. >> all right. thank you so much. >> we need to cover him together. tomorrow on the show, republican senator jeff flake and rand paul. homeland security jay johnson. first, it's another huge news day in washington. president trump heads to capitol hill to meet with congressional republicans on the health care bill. day two of the neil gorsuch confirmation hearings kick off in a half hour. today is the day senators will ask him questions. brian williams picks up the coverage right now. brian? >> good morning, joe. good morning, mika. thank you so much. most of the attention focused on the large building with the dome behind you. we are waiting to catch a glimpse of the president who
will motorcade from the white house to capitol hill. he is meeting with the republicans in the house about the health care bill. let us not forget that as we talk about the wiretapping debate, the russia debate, the gorsuch confirmation hearings, there is a vote scheduled thursday night of this week on the gop health care plan, which, of course faces an uncertain future shall we say in the u.s. senate. we will cover the departure of the president from the white house, his arrival on capitol hill. then, in about a half hour, we will see judge neil gorsuch take his place in front of the committee for the first full day of question and answer period in earnest of his confirmation hearings, which, if you recall, if you were watching yesterday, were rather overwhelmed by the testimony on wiretapping, on russia, on leaks to the press. a lot going on on capitol