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tv   For the Record With Greta  MSNBC  March 28, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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republicans might find themselves more boxed in next time. we saw how much power these republican governors had in medicaid expansion states over this process. so, if you're in a state that didn't do it, rsht you now incentivised to do it before the rules change? yet, another piece of the fallout from the health care debacle. that's all for tonight. back tomorrow with more. for the record with greta starts now. >> thank you, chuck and tonight, he is not backing town. the chairman of the house intelligence committee. he is under intense pressure to recuse himself from the investigation. >> why not recuse himself? >> i still don't know why. you guys give me a reason, i might consider it. >> will you share your source, reveal your source? >> we will never reveal sources? >> even to member of the committee? >> nope. >> here's what democrats are
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saying. >> chairman nunes needs to recuse himself. >> it's time for him to leave this investigation. this is a what a cover up to a crime looks like. >> for him to step down. >> i think it would be best for him to step aside. let someone else handle this veinvestigation. >> it's not just the democrats. late this afternoon, the first republican came out public ly t say chairman nunes should recuse himself. shafs walter jones of north carolina, who does not serve on the intelligence committee, but several republicans on the intelligence committee now jumping in, defending chairman nunes and they are not the only ones. so is paul ryan. >> should nunes recuse himself from the russian veinvestigatio and do you know the source? >> no, i don't. >> also today, a forceful pushback from the white house on this story. the post reporting that the trump administration tried to block sally yates from testifying on capitol hill about
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russia. >> the white house did not respond and took no action that present pre vented miss yates from testifying. that's the story. that's what the documents show. the view here was great. go share what you know. so, no and that's why "the washington post" should be ashamed of how it handled this story. it was 100% false. >> we're taking what you're saying as assurances that chairman nunes' decision to call off that hearing did not have anything to do with any pressure from the white house. >> no. >> with me, democrat from the great state of california and he is calling for chairman nunes to leave the investigation. nice to see you, sir. >> you, too, greta and i was hoping right now i'd be report ing to you what we heard earlier today from sally yates, directors clapper and brennan. unfortunately, those hearings and any future hearings on russia interference in our elections have been canceled. >> why? what did chairman nunes tell you the reason why?
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>> no reason. that's what is so frustrating and why i believe our committee has lost its independence, credibility and able thety to make progress. for the sake of the committee and his future duties on other non russia matter, i think he'd serve us all well if he recused himself from the russia issue. >> did you receive a call from him or a staffer? how did you learn these hearings were canceled? >> we were told by our staff. >> so could you pick tuiasosopo t up the phone and call him and say what's up? >> i spoke with him earlier and asked if he would be willing to sit down with democrats and republicans and talk about what he learned who gave it to him so we could let the steam out of the pot. i hope he considers doing that -- >> tell us our source, tell us your source, what you know. because everybody in that committee is security clearance, right? >> he didn't seem open to it.
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we all have the same security clearance that he does and our constituents are counting on us to do this. an independent commission is becoming more and more necessary if we can't do our job and our job to conduct this investigation. >> have you gone to any republicans in the house intel committee and said look, the chairman won't tell us who his source is, what he knows, so will you tell us? >> i have spoken privately with other republicans on the committee. mostly just about how u can we work together because at the end of the day, we have to get to the bottom of what happened, what u.s. persons if any were vofld and how can we avoid being in this mess again. if those conversations continues, democrats are going to pursue this investigation. i just don't want it to have an asterisk around it because it lost credibility. >> if you're supposed to be investigating this together and you're in this room with the chairman, what is your theory as to why he won't give you this
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basic information about what information he has and who his source is? >> i can't speak for his motives. i can only say white house is too involved in this by trying to block what sally yates was going to say. by allowing the chairman to go to the white house and receive classified information that wouldn't be shared with democrats. by having michael anyoflynn lie the vice president b about his prior contacts with russia, by the toernattorney general misle the senate. all of this is a pattern of an attempt to cover up what serious questions we have about russia. >> what i don't get is when you confront the chairman, he must say something. whether he shrugs his shoulders or says i'll tell you later. >> he said he sent us a letter. he told me a letter has been sent to the committee. >> can you go pick it up? >> there's nothing there that a i went there as soon as he said it and again, greta, i like this chairman. we've worked with him on cybersecurity issues. we reauthorized our intelligence
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programs. we have other important duties and so that we can work together on those other duties, i think he should step aside because it's jeopardizing the ability of the committee to function. >> when he says he sent a letter, i mean, you all work in the same building. work in the capitol together. i don't know if you're in the same house building, but you can walk to his office and get a copy or has he offered to have it hand delivered? did he put it in the mail? >> i haven't seen it and this is more important than one person and what we need to do is regain the credibility that we're supposed to have as the intelligence committee. that is always work together in the past. >> you're never going to gain credibility if there's so much weirdness swirling around it. >> it is weird. >> if he says i sent you a letter, i'm not going to tell you why the hearing has been canceled, but yoel get it in the mail. >> again, this is a departure from the chairman that all of us have worked with over the past few years. that really happened once he joined the transition team.
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you can only wear one uniform at a time. either he's on our independent search for the truth or he's helping the white house. can't do both. i hope he steps aside, allows another republican to lead this and we can just get back to work. >> the fact you want to step aside, can't wear two team jerseys, you think he's on team white house and not team house intel committee. >> he won't tell us what he learned at the white house. we've canceled today's hearing. no further hearings this week and no sense of when the next will be. so all the progress we made with last week's open hearing is now stalled. >> congressman, hope you come back. especially when you get that letter. i hope you get it and come back and share it with us. >> i do, too. >> thank you, sir. >> there's so much mystery. what exactly do we know b about former attorney general sally yates and her testimony we were expecting today? here's a look at what went down leading up to those now canceled hearings. >> i hope she testifies.
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i look forward to it. the report in "the washington post" is 100% false. we encouraged them to go ahead, but to suggest that we stood in the way, that is 100% false. >> the white house denying claims it tried to block former acting attorney general sally yates from testifying on russia. "the washington post" publishing letters between yates' lawyer and the justice department. on march 24th, doj writing yates would be limited on what she could y. doj also saying yat needs to consult with the white house. her lawyer responding that it would be unu tennellable not the talk about information and that same day, this happened. >> postpone the previously scheduled march 28th hearing. >> we strongly object to the cancellation of this hearing. i think this is a serious mistake. >> chairman nunes denies he talked to the white house about yates. that committee hearing was supposed to be today with a rhered
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hot spotlight on sally yas. back in january, she refused to defend the president's travel ban. it led to this. >> a major breaking news this evening. attorney general of the united states has been fired. >> after yates was fired, we learned she had told white house con sell she was concerned about then national security adviser, michael flynn's contact with the russian ambassador and believed he was vulnerable to blackmail. today, she would have broken her silence. what does schenn? she know? with me, jeremy bash. nice to see you. first, there's a reference to this "washington post" article. looking at the documents underlying the article, it said yates' lawyer sent a lert to the white house and said he's going to testify unless you object by the certain date. the white house didn't object. so it sounds like the "washington post" article is dead wrong. >> that's incorrect because the nonresponse from the justice department from the white house came on monday.
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nunes had arranged for the hearing to be canceled last week, so there was nothing for them to cancel. >> because the hearing was already canceled, you think this was just the white house playing the yates. >> if they hadn't canceled, she would have testified today. as that he say in the law, the thing speaks for itself. if she were testifying today, they wouldn't have canceled it. the fact she didn't, means they did. >> i buy that. that's persuasive. all right, what is it that they want from sally yates? >> it's about 17 days, greta. the days between the time that she warned white house counsel who then turned around and told the president that mike flynn had been talking to the ruggen ambassador about sapgss, the time between that date and february 13th. what happened or was fired i should say. what happened during those 17 days? doesn't take 17 days for the white house to figure out this guy's either off the reservation, he's lying to the vice president or he's doing
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something worse under national security. >> what's to stop her tonight coming out of this show and say ing well, nunes canceled me, but here's what i i would have said. >> nothing is stopping her, however, she's a public servant. she started her career in republican administration as a career prosecutor. she's not a partisan person. she doesn't want to come off. >> here's the point. she wants to be told to testify. ask question by a dually authorized congress congressional committee. she's not looking for fame or attention. she will answer questions if if asked by a committee that's investigate iing this, but here the point. the chairman has shut down the investigation. he has slammed the brake, not just on this hearing, he's canceled two hearings. two briefings. >> why? >> because last monday's hear ing was a huge setback for the white house. the b fbi director confirmed the trump inner circle is under
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investigation for the kexs to russians and second, they flatly reputeuated the president's claims that obama wiretapped him. that hearing last monday was such a setback for the white house, they said what are you guys doing? stop holding hearings. >> if that's true, i mean, if he's bought by the white house, he has just thrown his career away. his credibility. >> he could clearly explain if there were another rationale, but he's -- >> what could it be. give me a hypothetical. what could be an innocent explanati explanation? >> he said he didn't have enough time, but he's been on o'reilly, other shows. >> a staff, he's the one who set the dates to begin with. >> i can't credit it because it makes no sense! can you come up with any hypothetical, any explanation for why canceling those hearings, that there was a reason to. >> no. >> that's the problem. >> i agree. >> because i'm thinking why in the world would he have canceled
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those. >> it's really clear and all you have to do is listen to the concerns raised by other committee members. there's a, there are three federal investigations. one's by the fbi. one's by the republican-led senate committee. these are not inventions of democrats. these are republicans investigating ties. >> you say look, let the senate republicans investigate it. it's just overlap. that would probably be the best excuse. >> that is an abdication of duty. the house selecting on intelligence -- yes, i adwree grooe. any port in a storm. but he shouldn't put the committee and congress and people's representative in that position. they should conduct an impartial investigation. >> there was one report that before he went to the white house, he spoke with speaker ryan. speaker ryan today was asked that he did not think that chairman nunes should step down.
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that was jeremy's phone, not mine. why do you think the speaker is standing by him? >> i think the speaker is reluctant to get into this. when he answered the two questions from the reporter today, no and in, he answered in about quick a fashion as one can answer a question in a press conference. usually, he likes to give long answers. >> he may not want to dwell, but she's speaker of the house and he's got a situation where a very influential committee is having a very difficult problem. >> this is a crisis of confidence. not just in this committee's oversight, but oversight in general. if there's one thing we've learn it's ha in a series of checks and balances, there needs to be oversight. if congress is not going to conduct the oversight, the courts and agencies will have to do that. >> nice to see you. more breaking news. nbc news is now reporting that tom perez has beasked for
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resignations from all current staffers by next month. it is part of a major overhaul after last year's loss athat th dnc favored hillary clinton over bernie sanders. we'll talk u about that tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. eastern. still ahead, intrigue. new mystery about the identity of the intelligence source and who did he meet with at the white house and how did he access the white house grounds? and now this, should congress investigate him? i'll talk to gop chairman jason chaffetz. and another problem, a new demand for president trump's tax returns. we learned today that issue is far from over and democrats say those tax returns could shed light on the russia controversy. i'll talk to that lawmaker and a new report tonight on former trump campaign manager, paul manafort. we went to cyprus to get a look
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and we are back with breaking news. moments ago, nbc catching up to house intel chair nunes pressing him on his investigation into russian meddling. >> just wondering on camera, so you're not going to tell the committee who your source is. >> we never talk about sources. i wouldn't expect you to do that either. you guys are so infatuated with sources. >> and you're waiting to hear back from comey before you schedule yates? >> yes. we have a lot of, we have the witnesses that we want. and but we don't know who the democrats want to bring in. >> okay.
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>> so, you know, we're still waiting on them. >> we spoke to congressman chip a little while ago and he indicated that you trying to bring in comey was a cover to cancel yates. >> okay. >> no reaction. >> i'm not going to react to anything like that. it's not like you remember i said the same thing. this is no new information. >> and you did not tell the president -- >> i think it was pretty obvious after there was 100 questions. that we need to get -- >> why not schedule it at the end of the hearing on monday? >> look, there's a lot of questions that they've got. >> okay and so you have not hed back from him? >> we have a lot of concerns. with the questions that were unanswered at that hearing. and that is a consensus amongst our members. and it was our members, republican side, who really wabted to make sure that of those questions were answered before we get to the rest of our
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witnesses. >> can you tell us who signed you in at the white house? >> we're not going to ever talk about any of that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> good luck though. >> did you tell mr. president -- >> i never ask you your sources. >> did you tell president trump your sources? >> you're going to drop that, man. we've answered all the questions many times to you guys. >> that one specifically. >> yes, we have. thank you. >> with me, michael isakoff, chief investigator correspondent, a new report focusing on michael ellis, a lawyer who worked for chairman nunes. also, director for president obama's national security counsel, analyst at the cia. he resigned because of president tru trump. let me ask you this, michael. is what chairman nunes says is is that we don't discuss sources
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and methods, that all the questions have been answered, but there's one sort of gaping hole in this is that he hasn't answered to his own committee to republicans and democrats. we just had a congressman on who knows nothing. supposed to get a letter in the mail with this. he hasn't told us, but more importantly, hasn't told his own committee. >> chairman nunes may or may not have a legitimate point to make about the incident collection. we don't know because nobody has seen the documents he's referring to. but we know that he's clearly compromised the perception of any kind of bipartisanship or independence about this investigation. first of all, by going down there and examining the documents without informing any of the democrats. he could have taken adam schiff down with him to see the material. >> briefed him later. >> you know, i think schiff probably would have wanted to see the material himself, but the fact is that if they're
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supposed to be working on this together, cooperative investigation, then you add on that hooer that, he's going to the white house and at least in part, this investigation is what did the white house know and when did it know it, when did, what did it know about mike flynn's actions. were there links between the campaign and the russian government. so, it feeds the perception that nunes is basically working with the white house instead of investigating the white house. >> two questions. ned, first, what do you have to do at the white house. how do get cleared, can't just sort of walk in. that's the this finckfirst thin. >> you cannot just walk in. what this boil down to is the fact the white house either was the source or played match maker between nunes and source. we know that because you need access by a white house staff member to gain access to the compound. >> it's not easy to get into the white house u.
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>> it's not. >> and someone's got to clear you. >> clear you into the white house compound, then clear him into the secure facility where he viewed these documents then he said he accessed a computer where he saw these electronic records. clearly, you need login credentials from a staffer to view this. so if the white house was not the direct source of this, the white house was intimately involved in putting this together and playing match maker between nunes and whoever his source is. >> there's nothing wrong with him looking at documents. he has made this increde bable mist writery. he's the chairman of the intelligence committee. so why is he creating this cloak and dagger? >> and i should say, who signed him into the white house and how he came to be there is not revealing sources amethoded. the source is somebody who wanted him to see this. >> who's michael ellis? >> chief counsel for the house intelligence committee under
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nunes and about a month ago, in the white house counsel's office doing national security matters, so it has led to a lot of speculation. the if swb somebody was going to help facilitate this, he would have been a likely suspect. >> ned, what's your sort of thought and i realize it's a guess, but what's your thought on these documents. piecing everything together. what do you think we're looking at? >> nunes has said a few things and his account has shifted over time, but what he has said is that these documents describe legal surveillance that was court authorized, that may involve incidental collection. he went on to say he wasn't even sure if the documents contain intercepts of people within trump's inner orbit. so what this could boil down to, if this is incidental collection, it could be two foreigners mentioning the name of donald trump's orbit. that's it. >> if that's it, why do we have this explosive secret stuff and
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what i consider odd behavior. i've been here 20 something years. >> because this is what they want us to be talking about. they don't want us to talk about the ongoing russia inquiry. last monday was such an unmitigated disaster for the trump administration. they are looking for anything. as their pawn. >> so young they're being clever in diverting this. it just makes me more interested. >> this clearly hasn't like damped down interest in this whole investigation. >> the thing is, we were talking about this and not russia. >> oh, no, now more committee's are going to get involved. more american people are going to be calling their members of congress. >> and it's led to calls by the democrats on the committee for nunes to recuse himself and that's not good for the white house. because you know, it casts a big, gray cloud over him and his conduct of this. >> it's not good for the white house because right now, they have defender, the chairman of the house committee investigating. >> but not a guy, what he's done
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though is made himself look unusual to be polite and so that's not a great defender. you want someone who looks like you know, mother teresa. >> he can well be the sacrificial lamb the white house is looking for to distract the attention away. >> i think it's become so unusual and mysterious. i don't know. any way, gentlemen, thank you. plot thickens. remember these photos, they created an uproar. his mar-a-lago dining room. the house oversight committee demanded answers and tonight, jason chaffetz will break the news on what he has learned. that's next. i never miss an early morning market.
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associate wd the president's trumped to florida. this comes after a month after questions were raised about his handling of a north korea missile launch while in public view at mar-a-lago. jason chaffetz is chairman of the house oversight committee. back from the white house he wr he got briefed on this issue. >> good to see you. >> we want to protect our president, our first family, where ever they travel. you went to the white house. what did you learn? >> democrats were there. by the way. make sure that's on the record. >> did you invite them? >> yes, of course. >> as a chairman, you invited the democrats. >> it was a good briefing from secret service to the communications team to the military. very difficult job. they have to at a moment's notice, no matter where the president and vice president are, they have to be able to be in a secure communication facility, they have a mobile one that can do that. and they walk this through. we look at these photos, they're up on social media, which is a new phenomenon. president having dinner with a world leader a crisis is happening across the globe, but
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they assureded us -- secret service and a variety of others, i don't have their titles in front of me, that they had done an investigation and there was no classifieded information they were looking at at that time. that if the president had moved slightly, they could have gone to a classified setting. he could have been in classified communications, but they told us the pictures they were looking at were of the prime minister's father who was golfing at some point and so, they walked us through that. >> everyone looking at social pictures? >> they said there was nothing they were looking at or discussing that was classified. >> what does that mean? define that. >> if there was something, you know, one of the accusations was that there was video of a north korea missile launch and that's what they were discussing and looking at. now, that would step over the line. i would think and be classified information. but they assure us and told us
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democrats were asking questions, too, that that simply did not happen. >> so you're sats fied. >> i am. now, how to secure the president, whether he's in new jersey or the white house or in mar-a-lago, down in florida, which he tends to go to regularly, they are able to do that. and whether in hawaii or whatever they do, they're used to doing this and do it on a daily basis. >> elijah cummings is calling for an investigation into chairman devin nunes of the house intelligence committee. >> that's ridiculous. that's a silly season. doesn't even pass the basic sniff test. he may not like the way chairman nunes is doing this or that, he may say he made a mistake on this or that, but nunes is a man of high integrity. he's done a great job chairing a very difficult committee. has the full confidence of the republican conference, leadership and myself and a host of others. >> so, you don't have any --
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from the outside, this looks odd. even the whole thing about sending a letter to inform democrats what's going on. his source of information. i guess it's supposed to be classified, too. i don't know why he put it in a letter. you don't find that unusual? >> no, i don't. you're dealing with a committee that deals with highly sensitive and classified information. >> why put it in the mail? >> because they have to deal with t documents there in a secure setting. they're not going down to the post office, but to put something in black and white so they're on the same page, i could see based on what nunes has been through recently, why he would want to do that. >> wouldn't you rather go into a closed hearing with your committee and tell them -- >> and they have had those and are going to have them in the future. z >> so, is he making it up that he hasn't been told? >> i'm shocked democrats want to challenge republicans. that's not breaking news. >> do you believe that nunes has
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done everything he can to brief the members of the house intelligence committee as to what tran pyred? >> he did apologize for it. but he's moved forward. >> he said he saw something. >> and he won't say who showed it to him or what it is. >> not yet. >> i assume that is in that letter, somehow classified so the rest of us can't hear, that gets put in the u.s. mail or something. >> i think you're extrapolating and others are extrapolating. >> he didn't tell us. >> they're in the middle of an investigation. i'd love to tell you every conclusion we've come to on certain things we've been investigating, when you're u in an investigation, you're still learning things. >> you've asked the fbi for -- >> we asked the white house -- even though haee was a former
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military officer, he has to get permission, not just ask, he ha. so we're asking did they grant that approval because as a former military officer, you can't take that money. that goes for any officer. >> apparently, there's a question at least in my mind, whether you got money from russia, in which case, and turkey. >> any foreign nation. >> any other nations where we think -- >> anybody who is a military officer in any branch of government or the military as a former officer, they cannot take direct payment. >> if the defense department says no, we have no record. we have no documents or anything. >> that's what we're checking. that's why we sent a letter. to get their side. >> we need some admission he got that money, right? >> we believe we understand there was money exchangeded. >> from russia and turkey. >> part where we're at and elijah cummings and i both signed these letters.
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wee goiwe're going back to the administration. did the general ask for permission and was he granted that. they're still under the clock and then we'll deal with that once they respond. >> are you going to ask general flynn to testify? >> i don't know we necessarily need to do a hearing about this. >> good source. right from the -- from the horse's mouth. >> i'm sure you'd love it. >> i'd cover it. >> yes, you would. >> wouldn't you like to hear from him? >> i'm not cutting that off, but i'm saying we're going to do a full investigation. we've gone to the next stage where we have sent a letter to the administration, several departments, asking for their feedback and documentation. takes a little while to gather that. >> when do you expect to hear from them? >> in the next two weeks. by the time we get it, digest it and if there's a follow up question. >> if you find out he got money and didn't get permission, then what? >> then you've got to figure out where you might refer that. >> doj? >> potentially, but it could be another department and agency.
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it's not necessary criminal what he did in taking that money. that may not be a criminal offense. >> nice to see you. ahead, nbc news exclusive. new details on former trump campaign manager, paul manafort's business dealings in h cyprus. richard engel on that tonight. just like the people who own them, every business is different. but every one of those businesses will need legal help as they age and grow. whether it be with customer contracts, agreements to lease a space or protecting your work. legalzoom's network of attorneys can help you, every step of the way. so you can focus on what you do and we'll handle the legal stuff that comes up along the way. legalzoom. legal help is here. imy moderate to severeng crohn's disease. i didn't think there was anything else to talk about. but then i realized there was. so, i finally broke the silence with my doctor about what i was experiencing. he said humira is for people like me
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russian banker who has tied to putin. now, kushner has volunteered to answer questions from the senate intel committee and today, the committee chair said a date has not yet been set. with me, reporter from the boston globe and lynn sweet, washington bureau chief for the chica"chicago sun-times." jared kushner says he will speak freely with the committee. >> that's the right answer for him. because this is a issue that is not going away. i mean, you know, i've talked to a number of not only republican operatives, but ethics people who say that the only thing this white house can do to just wash itself clean of this russia cloud is to just shopen the boo and show everything and say hey, look, we have nothing to hide. we did nothing wrong. we'll march in and answer every question you give us and so, i think that is the approach they're taking and the right one. >> lynn, provided there's no funny business, that would be
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expected that a transition team member would meet with russian representatives, i don't know if a russian banker, if there's anything there. it's not unusual to be on a transition team to be speaking to other nation's represe representatives. >> this is a town full of people who work for other governments. what is unusual is the circumstance and the reticence to tell the whole story, put it in context, to explain, to if there's, if there's more to be said to volunteer the information and that's where we're in this situation now because of the chairman new our should have known that he had the conduct himself in a way that would be beyond reproach. >> nunes, got a lot of chairmans going on here. if you talk about kushner, you're not just anyone, you are people who have positions of power, official or unofficial as kushner.
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>> i guess i give a little latitude to someone as a business man from new york. he has not been involved in politics. i'm sure he knows this stuff right now. he's gotten an intense education, but i know assuming that there's nothing funny about the conversations that you know, have at it. >> the thing is, we have to assume that and we assume that whole -- white house spokeswoman coming out saying nothing unusual. nothing of consequence was discussed in this meeting and the problem i have is this is a white house who, it's already eroded its own credibility in the first 60 some odd days. we'd love to believe what the white house has to say, but time and time again, they say things that are not true. i think it is incouple bent on jared to be under oath and show us exactly what was said. >> during the campaign, there
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was a celebrated situation where bill clinton went on the plane of lor ta lynch and talked about their grandchildren. maybe that's what they have have had if they were under oath but the trump team did not give them the benefit of the doubt. this is something that's come up that could be cleared up. for all picks statement, i want to know what they said and let -- >> whatever the facts are. >> as opposed to somebody summarizing don't worry, it's okay. >> we just need the facts. zblmpb ahead, paul manafort, a russian billionaire and following the money. internet dial up sound hi, i'm the internet. you've got mail! what did you think i'd look like? i'm wire-y. uh, i love stuff. give me more stuff. (singing) we're no strangers to love i love that! hey, i know a bunch of people who'd like that. who's that? the internet loves what you're doing.
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we are back with live pictures of the white house where the president and our first lady will host a reception for senators and their spouses, this will be the first time president trump has invited all current senators, republicans and democrats to the white house
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and since the agenda the supreme court and maybe health care will come up. now to an nbc news exclusive investigation. paul manafort is the focus into possible ties between the trump campaign team and russia. richard engel is following the money. >> he's a central figure in the investigations into trump's inner circle and possible ties to russia. >> it was manafort. >> paul manafort. >> long before he was president trump's campaign chairman, he was paid millions by a russian billionaire with close ties to vladimir putin. according to one report, secretly promising to greatly influence the putin government, now, nbc has learned that u.s. treasury officials are following the money trail manafort left behind. it led them and us to a small island in the mediterranean. to find out more, we came here to cyprus to this city which has a reputation for its beaches an
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as a hub for money laundering. the city has attracted so many russians, it's been dubbed -- this is where some of the money manafort got from the russian tycoon banking sources with direct knowledge of the transactions tell nbc news at least 15 accounts were opened here for more than ten companies, all linked to manafort. the sources say that in one case, a million dollars landed in one of these accounts and left it on the same day. >> movements of large amounts of money very quickly in and out of an account is very similar to what money launderers do. >> reporter: and there was a lot money volved, including $18.9 million to buy a ukrainian media company for oleg derapaska who state department officials described as oan ole gark putin turns to on a regular basis. documents show that some of that
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money went to a manafort-linked company in cypress. today, deripaska took out an ad in national newspapers denying the associated press report that he hired manafort to help the putin government, calling it fake news. but eventually even in cypress, manafort's accounts raised suspicions. in 2012, the internal auditing system at laiki bank flagged some of the accounts for possible money laundering according to the banking sources, who also said that when the bank asked for more information, manafort chose to close the accounts without answering the questions. late today, a spokesman for paul manafort sent us a statement saying all manafort's companies were legitimate entities and established for lawful ends, adding mr. manafort has no specific personal recollection of the shutdown of his cypress accounts, which he says took place during a banking crisis on the island. he's repeatedly denied working for the russian government.
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>> and democrats say making a new push to get their hands on president trump's tax returns. the lawmaker leading that charge will be with me. this one's getting hot. >> he also said that once the election was over, he didn't have to give over his taxes anymore because he won. that's right, he's president today, and we're not. we get that. but he made a pledge. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ sfx: engine revving ♪ (silence) ♪ it's your glass of willpower that helps keep cravings... ...far, far away. feel less hungry with the natural fiber in clinically...
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committee voting down a measure pushed by democrats seeking ten years of the president's tax returns. before the vote, the debate got fiery. >> we're asking for the disclosure because it's relevant to the discussion about the russian connection. >> what you're asking for is not on a tax return. that's why i know it's just a political push. >> mr. pescarel has singled out this issue for political reasons. >> the american citizens request that the president do what he pledged to do in the election. he made that pledge, i would remind the gentle lady from south dakota. >> the president said he has no business deals in russia. >> i have no dealings with russia. i have no deals in russia. i have no deals that could happen in russia because we've stayed away. and i have no loans with russia.
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>> with me, congressman bill pascrell, democrat from the great state of new jersey, who filed that resolution demanding president trump's tax returns. nice to see you, sir. >> greta, how are you this evening? >> now, tell me, sir, looking at a tax return in general, what would you expect or define in someone's tax returns -- let's take president trump's -- that might be helpful to this russia investigation? what are you looking for? >> very little. we need the supplementals. we need all the information that goes with tax reforms. then there's all kinds of schedules, particularly if you have debts, if you have investments in other countries. the rules become very, very interesting. so an ordinary person really could not decide or discern what he would have to do if he owned all of this like mr. trump has 560 investments in all countries in this world. we have a right to know this, i
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believe -- the people to know about their president in order to investigate conflicts of interest. he's talking about tax reforms. the tax reforms need to be for everybody, not just for him. >> all right. so that's on the issue of conflicts of interest. what gives you the specific authority to get those tax returns? how do you get around sort of the privacy interests of a citizen? >> well, we certainly want to -- we don't want to violate anyone's privacy. but the rule and the law of 1924 right after the teapot dome incident, which was scandalous to say the least, the code was changed. so there are three committees in the congress of the united states that have the right to ask in executive session to get the materials if they feel it merits public consumption. then they have the right to bring that the public's attention. >> so is your -- >> that's what we're asking for. if there's nothing to hide, why don't we have this? >> as you request -- and i realize you're a minority party
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in a republican-dominated house. but is your request, then, to the treasury department who i guess would have sort of custody of the returns, or is your request to president trump under that law? >> it goes to the treasury department through the chairman of the three committees, either ways and means, the senate finance committee, or the joint committee on taxation. then they would decide in executive session if that -- if those should be made public. that's what the law says. the law is on our side. plus we need to look at article i, section 9 of the constitution of the united states, gifts to the president of the united states or anybody in the executive branch of government. >> congressman, thank you very much. we'll be watching. thank you for joining us, sir. >> this is going to be a long fight. >> and viewers, thank you for watching. i'll see you back here tomorrow night 6:00 p.m. eastern. we have a big show tonight. among my guests, the also
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fascinating senator lindsey graham. he doesn't take prisoners. and before then, follow me on twitter @greta. be sure to check out my facebook page. "hardball" with chris matthews. starts right now. see you tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. eastern right here on msnbc. the president's man. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris math use. in washington, the chairman of the house intelligence committee, devin nunes says he's not going anywhere. in spite of growing calls for him to step aside, he'll remain at the helm of the investigation into russia's interference in our election. >> are you going to stay as chairman and run this investigation? >> why would i not? you guys need to go ask them why these things are being

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