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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  March 26, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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welcome back to "the point." the white house, one of the big political stories since the election to be about stopping obamacare instead today the surveillance debacle. still exploding across washington. we have that story. and if president trump hasn't heard enough from fbi director james comey, in a single day, essentially fact check those claims of a wiretapping order by president obama and then confirmed a russia probe regarding trump associates, there may be more. this week comey returned to the hill testifying again before the house intel committee about russia, his time in a closed session. and the committee itself facing its own chaos because as you probably saw, republican chr devin nunes may not have been pang close attention. >> director comey was the present statement that obama had
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his wires tapped in trump tower a true statement? >> with respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, i have no information that supports those tweets. and we have looked carefully inside the fbi. the department of justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the department of justice and all its components, the department has no information that supports those tweets. >> i have seen, i have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were, i guess, at least monitored and disseminated out in intelligence. >> i somewhat do. i must tell you i somewhat do. i very much appreciated the fact that they found what they found. >> under fire, republican house intelligence committee chair devin nunes expressing regret about going public and going to the president. before informing his committee trump transition communications
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were incidentally scooped up by u.s. surveillance. >> it was a judgment call on my part. >> can you explain any reason why chairman nunes would have done what he did yesterday? >> no, i've not seen anything like that. >> very clear on this for many, many weeks now. there was no wiretapping of trump tower. that didn't happen. >> i think that, you know, one of the profound takeaways of the last couple of days is we really do need an independent commission here. >> did that give you whiplash? let's bring in msnbc political analyst joan wah, contributor and forme vermont governo howard dean, michael isikoff for yahoo! news and nbc terrorist analyst malcolm nance. malcolm, we put that together so people could see it lined up. nunes in his own words completely contradicting himself, in scooby-doo you get a -- like, what? so what did we just see?
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>> you know, i was live with brian williams when that was going on and i was flabbergasted and confused then and i had all week to process it and i'm still flabbergasted and confused. the only charitable thing we can say is that he decided to use intelligence information as cover for the president. he decided to muddy the waters even further and give donald trump the ability to believe that he was under some form of surveillance. >> you're saying -- i'm going to draw you out on this point. you're saying the theory of the case is that he misused or allowed a misperception about the underlying facts to do a political favor? >> yes. absolutely. i'm glad you summed it up quite succinctly. that's what it was. the information he was talking about, it didn't have to be brought to him covertly through whoever he claims his source was. they could have just gone onur classified internet, which is
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called intellink, the oldest and deepest of them and, excuse me, and just typed in the names of anyone that they want in the administration and they would see incidental collection that is part of the national intelligence process. what they wouldn't see is targeted collection against counterintelligence targets like russians and other individuals and terrorists where they would have been in communication with them. that would not have been available to anybody. so for him to bring that out, it is just throwing chafe into the air and hoping that it distorts the entire picture. >> michael, what do you take from it? >> well, it is very hard to know because we don't know what it is nunes has seen. he's described it in different i was. he said the names were masked, which is what they were supposed to -- which is what is supposed to have happened, if it is incidental collection. in other cases, he seems to have suggested there was unmasking, which would be -- could be
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improper depending on the circumstances. there are circumstances in which you can unmask the name of incidental targets if it is central to understanding for foreign counterintelligence purposes what the conversation was all about. but since we haven't seen what nunes has said, i was struck by senator warner, the ranking democrat on the senate intelligence committee, he said he had no idea what nunes was talking about and talked to senator burr, the chairman of the senate intelligence committee and he had no idea what nunes was talking about. >> that's where it gets into a metaphysical place, governor dean. mike warner speaking about how he was mystified, this is what politicians say when they're trying to be somewhat nice. here he was on that today. >> i am totally mystified by what senator nunes has said. i talked to democrats and republicans on the committee. it is mystifying if not outrageous he makes claims, then goes down and briefs the white
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house, and i know adam schiff, the lead democrat, wants to keep the investigation bipartisan. i don't think mr. schiff knows today what those documents are. >> governor? >> you know, i think there is a bigger point here, that is how weak the leadership, particularly the republican leadership, has been in congress for a long time. i can remember watergate well. and nixon finally decided to resign when his own people, bob dole and others, went to him and said, mr. president, you have to resign for the good of the country. can you imagine nunes and some people doing that? i can't. they have become so partisan that the good of their party comes before the good of their country. this is a time where the country matters more than the party. and they don't seem to be able to recognize that. >> i have to agree, completely, with governor dean. i think that's the most shocking thing here. i don't understand how devin nunes stays the chair of this committee. i don't know -- i guess he presented his data or whatever it is to paul ryan.
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paul rhino yan knows what is go on. nunes is part of the transition team. i have no information, he could find himself under investigation or surveillance or mention in some of these documents. it is really unconscionable that somebody with his ties to the trump organization and administration now would be allowed to chair this, this particular investigation. he's in it. >> michael, speak to joan's point, adam schiff makes the same concern, which is this is going to be oversight, it is investigative and it is inherentlied aer havy ed aveadv. which is why rushing over there to do the briefing broke every norm and the only person who seemed confused about that is chairman nunes. here is schiff. >> we can't have a credible investigation if one of the members, indeed the chairman, takes only information he has seen to the white house and doesn't share it with his own committee. i think the chairman has to make a decision whether to act as a
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surrogate of the white house as he did during the campaign and the transition or to lead an independent and credible investigation. i hope he chooses the latter. the country really needs to have an independent, credible investigation in the house. i'm going to do everything i can to get this back on track, and i implore our chairman and the speaker to rededicate themselves to a serious and bipartisan investigation. >> so, michael, how does this square with other investigations you've covered? >> well, look, i think the democrats are in a difficult place here because nunes has obviously jeopardized the integrity and independence of this investigation. but on the other hand, the route that many want to take, which is creation of some sort of independent commission, that is really a, you know, that could drag on for quite se time, it would require passing legislation to do that,
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appointment of commissioners, and agreement on who this is going to be, hiring a staff, all of that could -- >> what you're looking for is governing, it would require governing. it has been done before, about big issues, why is this different? >> it has been done, but to imagine in these circumstances with this president, who would have to sign any legislation. >> or veto it, michael. or veto it. you say, hey, 9/11 was a big deal, a national security event. the foreign adversary coming at us is a big deal, national security event. the fbi is looking at crimes, we as a can country have to look at more than crimes. we have to look at protecting ourselves. we did a segment earlier in the hour on the crazy bot stuff which people barely understand. why not -- i'm not trying to push you, you're a reporter here, why this would be different? >> because just's practical matter, it is hard to see that happening. therefore we're sort of left with, if there is going to be any investigation, it is probably going to have to be these two committees that are standing. because there isn't any other route to get. other than what the fbi -- the
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counterintelligence probe. >> i disagree. i think the investigation is going to be undergone by the press and the fbi is going to be leaking stuff and so is the cia out of frustration. there is no legitimate political process. there is a political process. but nobody has the courage or the nerve to take it on. i think the press is going to continue to do this. this is going to completely destroy the presidency. not the trump presidency, but the entire presidency. it is going to take us a long time to recover from this if we find out what we think we might find out. >> i was struck by senator warner today on "meet the press," orie, sari, saying he h done any more important work in his time in gornment. it really -- he knows way more than we do. it really lent an air of just concern and urgency to the need for all of us, as many of us as possible, all of us eventually, and i hope eventually isn't three or four years to find out what has gone on.
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and the way that devin nunes in this particular case is being allowed to tamper with this investigation, paul ryan blew his job as speaker on friday, with the terrible bill, he's blowing it again. >> right. at a time when it shouldn't be this hard, given you have political control, which means you control the agenda, just like you control the hearing schedule, just like you control the house floor, so these are really unforced errors because you could do things more deliberately by unilateral choice. malcolm, reince priebus asked about this today, the white house perspective. give me one sec, they're going to play it. >> i think we let the house committee do its job and see what they come up with. i mean, and by the way, they're not going to come up with everything. we have been told. i have been on the show. i'm not making this stuff up. >> malcolm, is that appropriate, a, is it true, b, that reince priebus from your intel experience would have been told
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the outcome of an fbi inquiry and other inquiries that are not over? >> no. th is absolutely outrageous. i didn't see that this morning, otherwise i would have been -- >> you saw it more. >> a little more involved. >> it is wild. >> what this essentially has done and perhaps this was nunes strategy, it eliminated the house intelligence committee as a credible investigative body altogether. and if they thought this was clever, it is clever by half, because they are now, you know, despite what some people think, there will have to be a special investigation to this. let me tell you, this isn't a regular old, you know, political witch-hunt like you always see. this is a counterintelligence investigation. that is spy talk for a spy hunt. they are on the hunt for people who have been in league with russian intelligence. and if the fbi is continuing that, and they have to get to the bottom of that, this is going to -- as you said this
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could break the presidency. if his ties are close enough where his aides have close enough ties to russian intelligence or involved in the bot trolls with breitbart as you played in the earlier segment, this is extremely damaging and this is not business as usual. it has to be brought up to a higher level. >> and finally looking ahead to what is on the docket here, michael, you've done a lot of reporting on this, you have a news storying saying paul manafort's agreement to testify, which got some attention, has offered to cooperate in the probe, less than meets the eye, briefly. what is your new reporting? >> well, a lot of people get very excited when manafort, when nunes announced that manafort made that offer. but just to be clear, when you look at the statement that manafort put out and i talked to people, what he's talking about is going in and talking behind closed doors, not under oath, it is no crime to lie to congress, but -- and very limited, he's talking about only questions about russian interference in
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the election as he defines it, off what is not on the table, all his work for the pro putin oligarchy, all his work, and, you know, a lot of questions about manafort's business dealings and lobbying work that he's not prepared to testify, the key question that everybody is looking for is is he going to ask for immunity when he finally goes in there and that, i didn't get an answer to and i don't think they have given an answer to. >> i'm eager to hear where your reporting leads on the immunity question and in covering the fbi hearing and other issues whether these folks are going to have a big ground for taking the fifth now that it has been confirmed there is an open inquiry, which is where the fbi and the congressional inquiry such as they are intercede. joan walsh, governor howard dean, michaeli ivsikoff, malcol nance, thank you. when james comey testified and
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confirmed the fbi is inveigatinrussia's involvement, hisesmony answered key questions we were just discussing. it also opened up a kind of pandora's box. up next, we take another look, a different angle on what is unknown about the relationship between russia and the trump campaign and how these intel investigations end. how does it work? what is the long game? where does it go? that's next on "the point." then, as promised, our special report on nepotism in american government, ivanka's promotion and what it means for national security. ( ♪ ) i moved upstate because i was interested in building a career. i came to ibm to manage global clients and big data. but i found so much more. ( ♪ ) it's really a melting pot of activities and people. (applause, cheering) new york state is filled with bright minds like victoria's. to find the companies and talent of tomorrow, search for our page, jobsinnewyorkstate on linkedin.
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>> oh, no. >> can someone tell me how he got into the system? >> a russian cyberwar might sound like a james bond movie. and later this hour, we'll be talking movies, but this week's blockbuster was very real. a historical first when you think about it, the fbi director confirming an inquiry into ties between russia and the trump campaign. >> that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the trump campaign and the russian government, and whether the was any coordination between the campaign and russia's efforts. >> that unusual testimony sparking more questions, who is the target, how high does it go and, of course what did the president know and when did he know it? we can answer another that comes up a lot, how do these intel inquiries work? the answer could determine when
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and whether there are consequences in court or at the voting booth for what comes next. here is what we know from similar hacking and espionage inquiries. they can take years to complete. consider the recent indictment of russian government officials who work for a soviet spy agency that grew out of the kgb. you might not recognize the defendants, but if you use ya o yahoo, you may remember the alleged crime hacking 500 million accounts, a large net cast, according to prosecutors, the real goal was to target business men, diplomats and selected reporters that could advance russia's interests. that may sound familiar right now. what happened in the investigation, well, it took almost three years to go from the incident to that indictment. take the u.s. inquiry into chinese linked hacks on american corporations. incidents that led to an indictment in 2014, or the bizarre but effective attack on sony pictures which u.s. officials pointed the finger at north korea all over that film,
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the interview about a fictitious plot to assassinate north korean leader kim jong-un. they both underscore why the types of inquiries are often long and more complex than a normal criminal investigation. the alleged crimes, they happen far away, sometimes out of u.s. jurisdiction. the evidence is virtual, sometimes more inconclusive than physical evidence here in the united states. and time not usually a friend to investigators. it is tough on anyone whose name is caught up in an inquiry as a cloud can hang over their innocence or political allies until these years long inquiries end. to dig in to how this will all work in the russia context, we have a panel of expert s expert quinter. starting with how the investigations work, why does this take longer? >> it takes a long time because
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you're dealing with a whole other country and dealing with a very sophisticated country such as russia. they're on the same level when it comes to espionage as we are. you have to dig. it depends on whether the fbi is going to get permission as far as being given subpoenas to investigate. as you get subpoenas, if you get the subpoenas, then it will open up layers and layers, like any investigation, you're going to come up with surprises as you move along. the more surprises you have, the more people that you find, the longer it can go. it can go for many, many years. >> three years. >> you can maybe do the same thing as they did with north korea, point the finger, but not have tha hd -- the hard facts you need to this is how they did it, this is how the whole thing was schemed out. that can be problematic here. >> right. and, neil, i'm focusing on what the fbi is going to do, but with senator feinstein, you have experience in a lot of intelligence related inquiries and oversight. talk about how the theory of the
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case can evolve, the point that she was just making. >> like any investigation you have to go where the evidence and the facts take you. it is an added complication here because you are dealing with classified information. and when you deal with classified information, and the classified -- and investigation of classified materials, you have to go through a process where you get permission to share the classified information with the people that you're asking questions to, so you can ask questions about it. now, that is another time consuming process. and another factor that is important here is that this is taking place in a fundamentally political context. unlike the other investigations that you mentioned, which took several years this is an investigation of a political campaign. not just any political campaign, but a campaign for president of the united states and of the winning candidate. >> let me bring in john carlo on that. we have discussed on this show before, the inquiry into this scooter libby situation, valerie
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plame and how much politics there was, which cuts both ways. it makes it complex, people who are the targets say, wait a minute, we're getting extra heat because of our political activities. the flip side being obviously, u know, if russia did this to an election you can't just bow out because there is politics on the brain. donald trump's position was, everyone already knows everything, so it is cool. i don't think that's born out to be the situation. here is donald trump talking about manafort and the links. >> i have nothing to do with russia. to the best of my knowledge, no person that i deal with does. manafort has totally denied it, now, people knew he was a consultant over in that part of the world for a while, but not for russia. i think he represented ukraine or people having to do with ukraine or people that -- whoever. but people knew that. everybody knew that. >> anytime you have a legal investigation, where politics is involved, you've got the legal criminal justice element and you have the political pr element. and almost across the board, republicans, whether the president of the united states, whether it is devin nunes or
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surrogates on television should be quiet about it. every time republicans open their mouth, they make this thing worse. nunes made it worse this week. on all counts, from legal, legal side, political side, pr side, just be quiet. let the investigation run its course. >> what is the kind of new evidence that can change the direction of an inquiry? >> they're going to start doing wiretaps. going to want to start listening to information, getting the information, getting into e-mails, phone calls. it is hard to tell. they're just going to dig and try to find -- you want to find out who is in the network. we heard president trump say, as far as my knowledge, none of my people are involved, you can't really say that in absolutes because you don't know what all your people are doing. is it something that is nefarious, are these people intentionally doing these -- having relationships with russia or by coincidence, overlapping or through ignorance. i've gone to russia in a government capacity, and you know what, they collect intel on us. >> and, neil, to that point, the
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white house is also said, well, some of the people weren't important, the defense went from they weren't involved to well, they're just rando volunteers. >> sure. it is the chairman if you're a campaign and paul manafort, national security adviser, and mike flynn, really it goes on and on. the idea that paul manafort and michael flynn were not important on the campaign is really quite laughable. and the longer this investigation go on, the more names that comeout. he said nobody, we alrea have a half dozen people associated with the trump campaign that have been linked to russia. and i think that's just the beginning. >> briefly from an investigative perspective, if somebody that you are investigating said that the person who used to be in charge of the campaign was unimportant in the campaign, how would you rate the credibility of that? >> i don't care. as an investigator, the politics have nothing to do with it, i'm switzerland, i'm going to look at the facts and if one fact leads me to the next, to the next. >> you're going to look at the evidence of the command and control over the campaign, not whether a spokesman says, they
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weren't that important. >> people are going to say whatever they want and that's any investigation. you're there to look at the facts and make the decisions and one thing a little negative here as an investigator is russia knows we're doing this, which is -- we like to have the element of surprise and we don't. >> no, there have been some surprises but russia may have had the jump more than we did at first. we as a country. thank you, appreciate it. up next, i'll open up the inbox, take a moment to tackle questions from you. you can tweet and send them at #thepoint, right now, and e-mail me at msnbc.com for next week's show. you don't let anything keep you sidelined.
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and we're back with ari's inbox, i answer questions from you, our viewers. first question, asked by two of you, asking can the fbi subpoena trump's tax returns? comey was asked about that at the hearing this week. >> with respect to your counterintelligence investigations, would it be
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important for you if you were concerned that a u.s. person had financial entanglements with a foreign adversaries to see that person's tax returns? >> that's a hypothetical i want to avoidance eanswering but it depend. >> federal law provides that it can be disclosed to officers and employees of any federal agency for criminal investigations. so, yes, the fbi can work with the doj to legally compel tax returns if warranted in a case. comey didn't tip his hand on whether that has or will happen. our next question comes from carol rose monte who asks is trump a shareholder in energy transfer partners? energy transfer is important because that's the company overseeing the dakota access pipeline. trump's financial disclosure form shows in 2016 he had just about under $50,000 in the
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company, a trump spokesperson, though, told nbc news that he sold his stake in that company, watchdog groups will be checking his future disclosures, i'm sure, to confirm that. and finally, yesterday, i was on twitter myself asking how it is possible that those earbuds you use can get so tangled, that right there, which looks leak a full on boy scout knot happened after ten minutes in my pocket. some of you had great tips from getting air pods like, hey, why haven't i done that yet, to just tying them together in a special way so look at that, though that i think takes more time than when you have to untangle them. front end or back end, folks. thank you for the input. that is all the questions in the inbox. tonight, you can e-mail or tweet at arimelber,se #thepoint. we might be trending this hour. helps get there. up next, president trump keeping it all in the family. his daughter set to take on a
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role, a promotion to adviser. she has no government experience and under normal circumstances wouldn't really be considered for this type of top job with a security clearance, but it is not first time a president has promoted family. we're going to look at the role nepotism plays in american government. grown man now. i don't want to pry... dad. but have you made a decision? i'm going with the $1000 in cash back. my son... ...a cash man.
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i remember him telling me when i was a little girl, ivanka, if you're going to be thinking anyway, you might as well be thinking big. >> some key advice there for people who are thinking anyway. ivanka trump's latest big job is not technically a product of her own work, it is the result of her father, deciding to expand her role in the federal government. this week the administration announcing trump will have a new role as a presidential adviser and that comes for her with a high level security clearance, though miss trump has no background in intelligence or foreign policy and a west wing office. but she will not be a formal
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federal employee and will receive no salary. let's stop right there. why would a qualified presidential adviser ever have the combination of a security clearance and one of the most coveted offices in the world but not draw a salary for their obviously powerful work? it is no personal insult to miss trump who may be hard working and loyal to report this illogical blend of responsibility and evasion is a product of her family relationship to the president. which is also known as nepotism. traditionally nepotism is not considered a sin based on malice like greed or violence. it is a sin of bias, of loving someone so much it clouds your judgment about their potential merit. historically nepotism constitutes an abuse of power favoring family or friends, the most classical benefit bestowed is giving them jobs. that'shy congress formally barred nepotism in virtually all federal jobs, translation, if
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trump tried to appoint ivanka trump commerce secretary this week, it would be illegal. the backers of that anti-nepotism law said that rule barring presidents from hiring family members protected against any abuse of federal appointed authority which would serve the public interests. but ivanka trump is not in the cabinet, she is using the same loophole her husband jared kushner got in order to be a white house adviser. and let's be clear, this kind of hiring has happened before. president kennedy, of course, making waves when he appointed his own brother robert to head the justice department and the kennedy brother, the younger brother at that time, rfk was 35 years old. franklin roosevelt depended on his eldest son james. widen out, the u.s. has a ways to go on these issues, no greater experts on clubby power circles in the davos forum ranked global nepotism and found the u.s. came in at a sorry 63rd
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out of 125 in the perception of nepotism trailing authoritarian states like egypt or algeria, which makes it all the more important to deal with nepotism in the garb of equality. >> ivanka has taken on several measures to promote high standards of ethical conduct. she'll follow the restrictions that would apply if she were. she has taken the steps with the advice of council and in consultation with the office of government ethics. >> she followed the rules of the job that she doesn't have if she were having that job. it sounds confusing because it is. now, we want to be clear in this report, there is no evidence mrs. trump has been unethical amidst this promotion, that's not even the issue. the issue with nepotism is the way it undermines a meritocracy and saddled this president with an unenviable conflict of interest should very to choose between the national interest
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and his family. that is not an ivanka trump problem per se. but it is a trump problem. joining us now, brookings institution susan hennessey and nyu law professor burt newborn and perry bacon, who recently profiled the members of what he calls the friends and family circle in an article for 538. you wrote a piece for the washington post about why this is a national security problem. what was your concern? >> nepotism and national security is really two fold. one is we want people who are advising the president on matters that are consequential to u.s. interests to be experts. i don't think many people would argue that ivanka trump is the most qualified person for this kind of position. and the other issue is one of transparency. and really about the preserving that -- the appearances and that basic legitimacy and that's that we want tour we have enough information about the foreign financial interests and business dealings of individuals, in
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order to know they're acting and counseling the president in the best interest of the united states and not sort of in order to benefit their bottom line. >> what you're getting at is that by using this half in, half out employee position, to evade rules that otherwise would bar her completely from federal service, she's actually getting half out of the very transparency requirements that would give us peace of mind? >> well, so one of the issues with her saying she's voluntarily complying with these ethics rules and requirements is that entitles her to then not comply in the future. so really it is inappropriate in the first instance to be taking this kind of position, but if you are going to, we would expect people to bind themselves as a matter of law to abiding by the important protections. >> what do you think of them finding basically one of the handful of jobs that at least according to doj is not governed by what is a pretty wide bar on family employment? >> well, the ban on family employment is absolute. i don't know what the opinion of
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doj was that exempted this job f from it. i suppose they said the white house is not an agency and found a technical loophole. it is clear the reason they passed this statute was to prevent politicians from hiring their family. in these types of settings. this law was passed in 68, in a reaction against the kennedys. president johnson signed it with a great deal of relish. he hated bobby kennedy. and this was a statute that was aimed directly at bobby kennedy's having been attorney general. >> are you saying you think this violates the spirit if not the letter of that federal law? >> absolutely. if it didn't, she would be taking a salary. they know that they can't possibly pay her because it would violate the law. this is just another example of the trump administration's skating as close as it possibly can to every legal line and thinking that no one is going to notice, but this is another example of genuine illegality.
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>> and perry, you've been reporting on the power centers. would any other employee say of steve bannon and other white house aides would be able to on this week with scotus tear off to aspen for a vacation or does that look to you, there is the family picture, again, nothing wrong with family traveling and enjoying this, but do you think other aides would be granted that kind of dispensation? >> very odd to see this because you have on one hand ivanka trump and jared kushner, these two -- these west wing offices, you probably have -- the most powerful family couple advising a president ever, like, not one, but two offices in west wing, a lot of power. on the other hand, in th biggest week of the presidency, neither one of them are there involved in the policy and, yes, reince priebus was there this week and steve
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bannon. it tells me maybe two things, one, not clear to me how much ivanka and jared are involved in big issues, involving congress. and one, and then two, it tells me maybe what the issues they care about are not health care, for example, or issues that are more conservative. ivanka talked about being involved in child care policy or, like, paid leave policy. may tell us that the issues she care about are not necessarily health care or the fbi. >> and if ivanka trump is getting preferential treatment on the vacation policy, that may not be a biggie. what happens if there is mishandling of classified information under her new security clearance? will she get a different treatment for that? >> this is one of the biggest issues. there are legal gray areas in terms of how the president is able to control his own staff. that means the ultimate responsibility falls on the president himself. considering the fact that president trump disregarded advice to discipline kellyanne conway when she promoted ivanka
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trump's fashion line in her official capacity, clearly in violation of federal law, the fact he klined to even discipline that kind of violation really raises the question of if ivanka decides to do something that is not appropriate or potentially is illegal, is donald trump really going to step up and fire his own daughter? >> and, burt, he famously said in a press conference during the transition, the family would work hard or be fired. it was a laugh line and the joke seems to be on everyone else there are now special federal employees who by virtue of blood line look a kingdom are somehow potentially immune from the hiring, firing and discipline that public staff usually abide by. >> saudi arabia does it. it is a family owned business. it is a nation, but a family owned business. i sometimes think that trump is taking advice from the sdis on his own family. but let m say one word in defense of ivanka. that is the only lawsuit under this statute that was passed in
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1968 took a crack at hillary clinton, when she as first lady was appointed the head of the president's health advisory group. and the d.c. circuit said that, look, first ladies are de facto political officials of the united states they don't receive salaries, but they should be allowed to carry out official duties. it is possible to think of ivanka trump as the de facto first lady. she is the female presence in the white house. >> what does that make jared kushner? >> that makes him the second man. >> all right. on that note, with new questions percolating, burt, appreciate all you joining us for this special report we wanted to do. now, something a little different up next, movies and tv shows often shape their characters around real life events after 9/11. we saw, of course, many more middle eastern story lines. before that, though, the russians that were always the staple enemy character in pop culture.
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are russian characters starting to make a comeback and is life starting to imitate art? we have that special next. i noticed it as soon as we moved into the new house. ♪ a lot of people have vertical blinds. well, if a lot of people jumped off a bridge, would you? you hungry? i'm okay right -- i'm... i'm becoming my, uh, mother. it's been hard, but some of the stuff he says is actually pretty helpful. pumpkin, bundling our home and auto insurance is a good deal! like buying in bulk! that's fun, right?
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the possibility that those russians didn't land here by mistake. >> if moscow ever finds out we sat on the hagans, we're finished. >> you're a hero to soviet union. >> i'm not a hero. >> my officers and i request asylum from the united states of america. >> time to teach these tchaikovskies a thing or two about free press. >> the russians are trying to show the world they can do whatever they want, wherever they want and we're powerless to stop them. >> gratifying to know there is still some bad left in the world. >> from cartoons and sitcoms to
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today's many cable dramas, russians often have a place in american pop culture. now that we have investigations into the trump campaign's possible links to russia, will hollywood b doubling down and do you ever feel like life is is imitating art? more russian characters might be on their way to blockbusters at a theater near you, and joining me now to get into it is stand up comedian seth herzog, a friend of the show, michael medved, and our own author and terrorism analyst, malcolm nance. michael, you told us that one movie came to mind that was more sympathetic to trump than any other, tell us about dave. >> yeah. dave is the way that republicans would like to think of trump, he's a simple man with no experience, who ends up in the presidency and uses his common sense and his common touch to suddenly drain the swamp and cut through all the corruption. the problem is the main character in dave who is played by kevin kline, is a humble guy.
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he's not somebody who has been a celebrity and a billionaire and familiar with the power. >> listen in the movie how his outsider status gave him a heart. >> i don't want to tell some 8-year-old kid he's got to sleep in the street because we want people to feel better about their car. do you want to tell him that? >> no, sir. no, i sure don't. >> so, michael, the outsider narrative big in hollywood. >> well, yeah, of course it is. and the other film which is a classic film from 1979 is being there with peter sellers. and this is very relevant to trump because the chauncey gardener character in the movie who ends up in the white house as a key adviser to the president, basically gets all this information from television. he is simple minded, and
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somebody who only watches tv. he watches the shows. and will not read intelligence briefings because he doesn't read. >> and it is great to watch the shows, but you need more than just the shows, right? rocky iv is another one that has come up when you think about the clash with this adversary, russia being a special country in the american imagination. let's look at rocky iv. >> propaganda who support this -- >> we don't keep behind a wall with machine guns. who are you? >> who am i? >> i'm the unsilent majority. >> it is amazing. i feel like when we think of america versus russia in the '80s, rocky iv is the most prominent film that comes up. hits every stereotype of, like, the russias, the ultimate evil
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force and then only thing that rocky can't beat, he's beat everyone here, the only person he has to goinst is this giant force, russia, and this giant blonde aryan dolph lundgren plays draggo. >> did you have a big dolph lundgren thing growing up? >> used to. >> malcolm, go ahead. >> yeah, you know, i forgot about rocky iv. how far back is that? this is the funny part, we're living in a united states where rocky iv, where draggo and, you know, all of these communist trappings are now worshipped by rocky. right. to where rocky would be adorg t the russians and we're in a topsy-turvy world. >> so topsy-turvy and other part of that is how there were
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tropes, some may be unfair, but looking back at the culture about the way the russians figure into the american mind set and all the jokes, you're a stand-up comic, you're not always funny, but try to be. >> try my best. >> you try your best. you try. >> yeah. >> let's look at this clip. >> they tried to bring taco bell, but russian government didn't like the slogan, run for the border. >> pro vladimir putin and donald trump discussing very serious issu. li whether to call themselves vladonna or vrump. >> there is a lot of stereotypes. especially about putin. as putin being sort of, like, you know, the ultimate in any joke or, like, a soulless murderer. >> super villain. real quick, last word. >> if i can jump in, the one
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thing about this, according to all the movies, the pop culture stereotype is the sneaky russian, under the surface. trump was very public about wanting to have a better relationship with vladimir putin. >> that's the end of the show. i'm ari melber. we'll see you next sunday. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you.
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this sunday, president trump's health care surrender. >> i'm disappointed because we could have had it. so i'm disappointed. >> i will not sugar coat this. this is a disappointing day for us. >> the president and his party's core promise promise for four straight campaigns broken. how did it happen and why are they giving up so easily? white house budget director mick mulvaney joins me this morning. plus can a deeply divided republican party ever figure out how to govern? i'll talk to two republican no votes from opposite ends of the ideological spectrum together. senator mike lee of utah and

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