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tv   MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle  MSNBC  March 30, 2017 6:00am-7:01am PDT

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h.w. bush challenged reagan in the primaries and bush, to exacerbate the age problem of reagan, was jogging everywhere, photographed jogging in his sleep for heavens sake, jogging in boston and new hampshire in the frigid new hampshire, george bush was in shorts, makes one question the sanity, but this age was such a big issue, so reagan had to react to it which was basically overcampaign to prove that he was up to the presidency. but it showed up in polling data, it showed up in reporters' questions, it showed up in town hall meetings, everyplace. >> craig shirley, we've only scratched the surface here. if you can, come back to talk more about your book later this week. "reagan rising the decisive years 1976 to 1980." now tomorrow on "morning joe," of course, much more but for now, craig melvin picks up the coverage. craig? >> joe, thank you. craig melvin in for stephanie
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ruhle this morning. joint investigation. and so it starts, the senate intelligence committee holding its first hearing on russian meddling shortly, unlike the confusion and distrust in the house, both sides in the upper chamber vow to work together. >> i have confidence that we, together, are going to get to the bottom of this. >> vladimir putin speaking out this morning, calling all of the allegations lies. making it official, ivanka trump's new role in the white house has a lot of folks crying conflict. new questions this morning about mixing family and government business. is it ethical? is it smart? and going it alone, on health care, house speaker paul ryan in a brands new interview says he's worried president trump may work with democrats. but we start today with the russian investigation, a senate intelligence committee set to kick off a new hearing, roughly an hour from now. this while just moments ago,
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russian president vladimir putin telling cnbc he had nothing to do with the u.s. presidential election. >> i just want to be very clear about this, you and the russian government did -- never tried to influence the outcome of the u.s. presidential election and there will be no evidence found? >> translator: ronald reagan once debating about taxes and addressing the americans said, watch my lips, he said, no. watch my lips, no. >> actually george h.w. bush said that, but nonetheless, start with nbc's capitol hill correspondent, great panel lined up this morning, kasie hunt kicking us off. kasie, walk us through what we can expect to see roughly an hour from now and does this hearing itself, does it become a test for bipartisanship? >> craig, when this hearing kicks off in a little while you will see something pretty different from what you saw on the house side a week or so ago,
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where you had big-name government officials, jim comey, the nsa director, coming to testify which was splash reand ended up being a partisan affair. instead what you will see today is a series of experts talking about russian meddling in the election overall, with a particular focus on fake news and propaganda, something that the senators on this committee say is still going on today, even after the election, and is still going on in western europe in addition to here. and i think what you've seen over the course of the last 24 to 48 hours, is a very serious push by the senate intelligence committee to demonstrate that they are bipartisan and that they are capable of conducting this investigation. i think that's, in part, to put off calls for an independent commission or independent prosecutor. but take a look at how senators burr and warner, the chairman and vice chairman, of this committee, put it when they appeared publicly together, kind of kumbaya moment at a press conference yesterday.
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>> i've got a job in the united states senate, and i take that job extremely seriously. it overrides any personal believes that i have or loyalties i might have. >> i have confidence in richard burr, we, together with the members of our committee, are going to get to the bottom of this. >> reporter: so i think you saw there, pretty public commitment to the two of them standing next to each other, focusing this in a bipartisan way. and i think as this investigation has continued, you've heard increasingly strong language from members of the senate intelligence committee, they, obviously, are seeing information that the rest of us don't have access to, they've been going down to the cia, to other intelligence facilities to review this information. they have called several of them today, just this morning, on "morning joe," called putin a thug and james langford, republican from oklahoma, talked about the need to make sure that there wasn't any coordination between any trump associates and the russians. pretty noteworthy statement there as well all unfolding on capitol hill. >> how long do we expect this
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thing to last? what kind of witnesses can we expect to see, kasie? >> so, again, the witnesses are going to be experts in the various topics. think tanks, intelligence officials, things like that. not anybody that you would necessarily recognize. again, they will be going through this kind of information about the particularly the focus on propaganda and hacking of the u.s. election in general. they want to make sure they're focusing this in a broad way so that it doesn't seem as though they are particularly partisan. as for the length of time, i would expect this to last about the same kind of long stretch of hours that most senate hearings last. i think we could see a couple hours of this today, craig. >> kasie hunt for us on capitol hill, we will be spending a fair amount of time with kasie today. joel benson the former senior adviser to the hillary clinton campaign, and ceo of the benson strategy group and msnbc political analyst caitlyn hughey burns is a political reporter for real clear politics and ari
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mel burn, msnbc's chief political correspondent. joe, does the burden on the senate change at all, considering what we've seen play out in the house? >> no. i think what the two senators indicated yesterday is they have a free lane here to establish themselves as a panel with integrity. i think that's what that was about. less about bipartisanship actually, and more about saying we're going to get to the bottom of this no matter what it takes. imagine how different the whole conversation would be if someone in the white house, any day of this, had said we want to get to the bottom of this, we want the investigations to go wherever they lead. it's the first time we've heard that. they're establishing a stake in the ground about their integrity. they've got to live up to that now day to day. >> caitlyn, maine republican senator susan collins said, quote, i worry that the chaos on the house side has affected the public's view on whether congress can credibly investigate this matter. what do you say to that. >> oh, sure it has increased calls among democrats for an
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independent commission to look into this. republicans don't want to go that route. what you saw yesterday was very deliberate in terms of warner and burr showing that they are working together, and they made a point to say they have confidence in one another. warner even patting senator burr on the shoulder to show they are working together in unison. they very much have to restore the faith in this probe, and this also comes as burr had said, look, we're looking into everything, we're following this wherever it may lead, and he wasn't ready to draw the conclusion that there was not collusion between the trump campaign officials and the russian agents, which is very interesting, saying i'm not making any conclusions until we reach the end of this investigation, which could go on for several months. >> we also learned from senator burr, at least he admitted yesterday, he actually voted for donald trump. ari, what are you listening for and watching for from this hearing this morning? >> a couple things. first of all, it's not like the public has any faith in congress
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to do any other part of its job all that well. i don't know why this would be some special exception. there is a precedence for more bipartisan collaboration on these issues but the public doesn't have high hopes nor should they based on what we've seen coming out of the house. the reason this is more sensitive than normal. three theories of the case, one is nothing that much bad happened in the u.s., meaning this was all russian in and no bad action here. right. and that's what the white house would like this to ultimately result in. number two option is, some bad stuff happened at some lower or medium level, right, and politicians often get hung up with hangers on and donors and i'm sure joel benson on the clinton side, you can think of people who said they were tight with hillary that did bad things and you say we didn't know them, but you can find that, that's fair? >> i don't know. >> okay. well, you know, that was a big -- >> people claim -- >> no that i -- >> people that say i am a close associate of so-and-so and they're not -- >> a big democratic donor who were friends with hillary and
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the hillary clinton campaign said he's not our buddy. we're hearing about volunteers and unpaid people. door number three, that's the big show in town and that's was there high-level or nominee level collusion? was there to use an old-school legal word, treason? that's a big question hanging over. i don't think people think if you get to that level, that the party in washington, the republican congress leadership, is necessarily comfortable with where that leads so there is an obvious political conflict of interest which is not to prejudge where the investigation goes. >> that's one big story happening right now in washington today. here's the other big story. ivanka trump has a new job and it is drawing some fierce criticism. the president's eldest daughter now set to become an official government employee. let's go live to the white house. nbc's peter alexander standing by for us there. what have you learned about all of this good sir? >> we know she's already moved into her office here in the west wing and that office comes with a title, officially becoming, quote, assistant to the
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president. no longer just first daughter. this is notable because ivanka trump, you'll remember, before her father took office had said she wasn't going to play any role in his administration or in his staff in any form. she simply wanted to be a first daughter. it became clear she heard a lot of criticism about the idea of being an informal adviser, there were concerns that would allow her to circumvent and get around the rules and some of those rules particularly pertain to disclosures and the likes, so she put out a statement ultimately trying as those close to her describe it, trying not too cute about this and said, i've heard the concerns some have had with my advising the president in my personal capacity while voluntary complying with all ethics rules and i will serve as an unpaid employee in the white house office, subject to all of the same rules as other federal employees. her attorney says, in effect, this is a commitment by her to show compliance with all of the federal ethics standards that would apply to anybody else in
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this office. we know that she will be sworn in. that has not happened yet. no date has been set for that. another thing that's caused a lot of concern, though, is the fact that she is going to be getting security clearance here, i'm told by sources close to ivanka trump, that one of the reasons for this is not that she had or has any interest in being involved in any decision making around issues of national security, but given the fact that most senior staffers have that clearance, she wanted to guard against, as it was described to me, inadvertent disclosures. craig? >> peter alexander, from 1600 pennsylvania this morning, thanks as always. caitlyn, peter alluded to it. i want to play for our viewers and listeners as well on satellite radio precisely what she said to lesley stahl on "60 minutes." here it is. >> people think you are going to be part of the administration, ivanka no. >> i am -- no. i'm going to be a daughter, but i've said throughout the campaign that i am very passionate about certain issues
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and i want to fight for them. >> there are a lot of things that i feel deeply strongly about, but not in a formal administrative capacity. >> well, that does not appear to be exactly what happened. >> right? >> what changed? >> she has been playing this kind of role in the administration. this just makes it official. but there's a lot of talk about how ivankas has had, has played a role in her father's campaign and has -- trying to influence or be a calming presence, but we haven't actually seen the influence that she's had in terms of actual policy and that sort of thing. so yes, this now -- this title now makes it official, questions, of course, still loom, but the questions also loom about what actually she's going to do. what actual kind of influence she has on certain policy areas. we haven't seen that yet in terms of what the president has done so far, in terms of the executive orders, in terms of the health care bill, et cetera no what are the other questions, mr. melvin? >> congress barred the appointment and promotion of
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family members to virtually all federal jobs in 1967. the reason was not that it's bad to love your country and your family. those are both two good things. the reason was, it's bad to ask government officials to choose between the two. and sometimes what's right for the country, is firing someone. disciplining them. throwing them overboard. you don't have to be a political expert or watch all that much news to have noticed sooner or later responsible government officials are removed based on their conduct. that is an impossible position to put a father in. >> hard to fire your daughter. >> very hard to embarrass or humiliate your daughter and that is not a bad instinct. the reason the law was passed and you have conflicts rules, in law, medicine, don't operate on your daughter, not because you're a bad dad, because you're a bad doctor, because it's a terrible conflict. the fact that this president is [ inaudible ] is not surprising and promised his supporters he would change things in washington. it does put him in an unenviable
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position, some time in the future by his making he may have to choose what's best for the country and family and that's a no-win situation. >> joe, devil's advocate for a second, and caitlyn sorted of alluded to this i think, considering some of the voices that you have in the white house, considering where they seem to sit and stand on certain policy issues, might it be nice to have someone like ivanka trump to act as a moderating force, a moderating voice, so to speak? >> well, if she's a moderate, which many people think she and jared kushner lean more democratic when they -- before her father ran for president, that would be one thing. the biggest gap in the white house and in the trump administration right now is expertise. like they are suffering from health care, from day one, on every policy issues they're wading into. they're tripping over themselves. i don't see how bringing in his daughter is going to expose him to people with the kind of expertise it takes to run an efficient, effective, white house. i see it a little bit more of a
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siege mentality. the more he feels under pressure, which he's feeling post-health care and his poll numbers going down, he's trying to surround himself with people who make him feel comfortable. he needs people who are willing to make him feel really uncomfortable. i'm not sure she's the right person to do that. >> stick around, guys. more to talk about here. moments ago, president vladimir putin blasting what he calls anti-russian rhetoric in the united states. he blasted it as lies. i'll talk live to the man who interviewed president putin, face to face. also, president trump said that he wants to work with democrats on health care. paul ryan, not so much. a member of the freedom caucus joins me next to talk about the future health care. we'll also talk about this tweet that the president just posted. he mentioned the freedom caucus by name.
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now i think we have this cloud over the investigation in the sense that many people have raised questions, is the chair truly impartial? is there some distaps between the chair and the white house? until those questions are cleared up i don't know how much credibility our investigation is going to have. >> the house intelligence committee's top democrat saying the investigation will go on despite questions about the chairman's decision to keep the rest of the panel in the dark about some key information. a senate intelligence committee set to start its own hearing roughly 40 minutes from now.
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let's bring in florida republican congressman ted yoho, of course a member of the freedom caucus. congressman. >> good morning, craig. >> good morning to you. one of the issues that house intelligence committee investigation -- this idea that what's happened in the past two weeks has damaged the committee's credibility, beyond repair, is that a fair assessment? >> no, i don't think it is. i mean let them go through the process. we have that hearing today, like you said n 40 minutes. things will come out and things will evolve and then choices will be made. i have confidence that they'll get to the bottom of this and i think the important thing is, we need to see if russia was in here and who leaked the information is the thing most concerning to all americans. if you have somebody outside of the committee or outside of the agencies leaking information, this is wrong and we need to get those people and hold them accountable. >> would it speed things up if chairman nunez stepped aside?
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>> i don't think so at this point. i know devin, he's a man of high integrity and character and i think he will do the right thing. if he feels he's been compromised and needs to step aside, i'm sure he will. until he makes that decision i'm not concerned with it. >> are you concerned at all he was viewing what he said was classified information at the white house and then reported it back to the white house? >> you have to keep in mind who he works for. he works for the president and answers to the president. >> does he or does he work for the constituents of his district? >> you do both. but when in that capacity, if you've got information, i'm okay with what he did. >> let me ask you about what the president just posted on social media a few moments ago. i'm not sure how much time we spend op the twitter, so i'll put it on the screen. >> none. >> i think i remembered that. >> here's what the president said, the freedom caucus will hurt the entire republican agenda if they don't get on the team and fast. we must fight them and dems in
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2018. it would seem as if, congressman, the president has now deemed you an enemy. is that a fair assessment? >> i have eheard about that tweet on the way over here and it's unfortunate. we're not fighting the president. we're trying to honor what we ran on. 100% repeal the affordable care act. that's what we're going to stick to. >> but you didn't do that? >> well that's why we didn't support it. i stand behind mo brooks' bill. a one sentence bill. 100% repeal. that's the bill that needs to come out. because that's what every republican and president trump himself ran on repealing the affordable care act. the other bill did not do it completely. mo brooks' bill, bring that up for a vote. if it passes the house the republicans are good to their word. if not, their constituents will hold them accountable. >> the president of the united states considering you and your group as -- as obstacles, is that something that surprises you, just 70 days in?
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>> no. that's politics. you're never going to have everybody on your side on everything, but the bottom principle that we ran on was 100% repeal. that's pretty clear-cut and dry. we ran on it. the people that voted me in supported me to do that. i don't work for the president. i don't work for the leadership. i work for the people that sent me here. >> congressman nunez does? >> i work -- i work for -- with the president. >> but you just said congressman nunez works for the president but you don't? >> as a congressman they work for their constituents as a chairman of a committee -- >> okay. >> okay. >> i want to play something here. you talked about health care. this is what the president said and then this is what speaker paul ryan said a few hours ago. let's play it and talk about it? >> and we're going to be doing a great job and hopefully it will start being bipartisan because everybody really wants the same thing. >> what i worry about, nora, is that if we don't do this, he'll go work with democrats to try
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and change obamacare and that's not going to -- that's hardly a conservative thing. >> so it sounds as if the president of the united states wants bipartisanship, the speaker of the house not so much. what do you say? >> i agree with the president. you have to have bipartisanship on this. you can't fix health care by a republican plan only, and the democrats found you can't fix it by a democratic plan. and the only way you're going to have a bipartisan effort is to repeal the whole thing. that way republicans and democrats can come together. >> how is that going to get bipartisan support? how are democrats going to repeal it all together? >> if we repeal it it's off the table, no longer the affordable care act. the democrats and republicans have to do what's best not for a party, let's do what's best for america and let the president lead on that. i agree 100%, we can't do this in a partisan effort. again, if we do just a republican bill, when the democrats get back in charge
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again, and they will, history has shown that, they'll do a repeal of our bill and then they'll go ahead and do a democratic lopsided bill. let's get the whole thing off the table. that's the only way you will get democrats to come on board to work bipartisanly. if we get rid of the affordable care act. until then the democrats are going to do everything they can to protect that. our job is to get rid of it so we can fix it. >> congressman ted yoho who works for the people of florida, he's made it clear. >> best district of florida. >> thank you for your time. >> you bet you. >> from florida to north carolina, legislatures reach a deal to repeal their controversial bathroom deal. why are so many folks still upset about the new bill? and just moments ago, vladimir putin denied meddling in the u.s. elections and said he's looking forward to meeting president trump. the cnbc journalist who questioned mr. putin will join me next. kevin, meet your father.
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welcome back. craig melvin for stephanie ruhle. time for your morning primer, everything you need to start your day. we start with the russian investigation at the top of the hour, the senate intelligence committee will begin its first public hearing on russia's interference in the 2016
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presidential election. a federal judge in hawaii extended his initial restraining order wednesday blocking president trump's travel ban indefl i. the state argues the ban discriminates against muslims and will negatively impact the state's tourism. >> 13 people killed when a pick-up truck and church bus crashed head-on in texas. the truck driver and lone survivor on that bus are in serious but stable condition this morning. severe storms continue to wreak havoc across the south. 9 inches of rain triggered flash flooding. high winds toppled trees and sparked at least one tornado. eight states face a severe storm threat today. and oklahoma city's russell westbrook, still on fire. he dominated the orlando magic last night, scoring 57 points while recording his 38th triple-double of the season. the most points ever for a player achieving that feat. westbrook now needs 39 more
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points -- excuse me, 39 more rebounds and 51 more assists in his remaining eight games to average a triple-double for the season. something that has not been done in the nba in 55 years. meanwhile back to politics withins the past hour, russian president vladimir putin denied, once again, his country medaldl in the u.s. presidential election. >> things are fictional. lies. all these are used for domestic, american political agendas. they're anti-russian card is played by different political forces inside the united states. >> that happened just a little while ago at the international arctic forum. the man who asked that question, cnbc's very own geoff cutmore joins me now along with msnbc contributor and former u.s. ambassador to the russian
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federation, michael mcfall. geoff, let me start with you here, i want to play more of that conversation you just had with president putin. >> i just want to be very clear about this, you and the russian government did -- never tried to influence the outcome of the u.s. presidential election, and there will be no evidence found? >> translator: ronald reagan once debating about taxes and addressing the americans said, watch my lips, he said, no. watch my lips, no. >> to be clear, he got the bushes wrong. it was h.w. bush. nevertheless, geoff, was there an expectation when you asked the question that the president was going to say, oh, you caught me, i've been meaning to talk to you about this, we were, in fact, involved a bit? >> yeah, wouldn't that be great. that would have been the scoop of the century. still, i think i did pretty good and very i think clear from the president that not only does he
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continue to insist that russia played no part in trying to influence the election outcome, but he also, i think, broadly expressed frustration about what he sees as domestic reasons for beating trump and his campaign team with the allegation that there was some russian involvement. but hey, he is the russian president, i'm not sure that he's going to convince a lot of people who have already made up their mind that there was some disinformation and in influence, craig. >> you also pushed him a bit on the climate agreements on the paris climate agreements and the epa chief not really accepting putin's views on climate change. what did you take away from that? >> yeah, that was interesting i think. i mean what i sensed from that was that he was bending over backwards not to inflame further
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rous with trump's m. russia will abide by the paris accord. at the moment we don't know if scott pruitt at the epa or whether other members of the current administration will go down the road on the obama commitments around paris. so i got the sense not only on this, but on other issues of disagreement, that i brought up with president putin, that he was bending over backwards not to stir up another fight. now you can read into that whatever you would like. personally i take that to mean that president is hoping, president putin, that is, is hoping to get some kind of meeting, organized, face-to-face, with president trump soon and he doesn't want to put any further roadblocks in the way. in fact, i sensed while he was on stage with me a number of times, that he was reaching out
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to washington to try and push ahead a prospective meeting because right now, about the only thing that's in the diary is a july meeting in germany of the g-20 and, of course, that's some way away from here. >> geoff, stand by. mr. ambassador, you spent a lot of time working with russian officials. how do you think they are reacting to the chaos that seems to surround these investigations in congress into russian hacking? >> well, a lot of russian officials, including president putin, have this theory of what we've been talking about the deep state. they believe that the military industrial complex, the cia, have a great influence on foreign policy, they believe those entities are anti-russian, and they then, therefore, describe all of this as them blocking trump from being more positive in his relationship with russia. and you heard part of that in the discussion today. the one place i agree with vladimir putin is that we are
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now distracted, we are now turning inwards and we haven't been able to formulate foreign policies, including towards russia. >> ambassador comey said last week, again, that he seems to think that russia is going to meddle in our elections again in 2018, 2020 as well. do you agree with that assessment? >> they most certainly have the capacity, and we've done absolutely nothing, i want to repeat that, zero, to be better prepared in 2018 or 2020. we're not even having that debate. i want to point out, we're not even talking about preventative measures to increase our cyber security. so they have the capacity and i just want to state for the record, mr. putin is dealing in fake news there when he says they did nothing. the intelligence community overwhelmingly has documented what they did, and, you know, let's be clear, that's what he does but it's not true. >> ambassador mcfaul, thank you.
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geoff, fantastic conversation, sir. fascinating interview there with president putin. thank for carving out some time for us here in the states. >> you're welcome. >> ivanka trump officially a member of the white house team but will not be divesting herself from her company. the former chief white house lawyers under george w. bush will join me. speaking of george w. bush, he reportedly had an interesting reaction to president trump's inauguration speech. fun in art class. come close, come close. i like that. [ all sounds come to a crashing halt ] ah. when your pain reliever stops working, your whole day stops. awww. try this. for minor arthritis pain, only aleve is fda approved to work for up to 12 straight hours with just one pill. thank you. come on everybody. aleve. live whole. not part.
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welcome back. so ivanka trump is now officially an employee of the u.s. government. the president's daughter will be serving as an assistant to president trump. but she won't receive a paycheck. the role comes after nbc news confirmed earlier this week that the first daughter would have an office in the west wing. richard painter was the chief white house ethics lawyer under president george w. bush. always good to have you, sir. thanks for being with me this morning. first of all, just how unprecedented is something like this? >> well, we have not had a close family member of the president serve in the administration since bobbie kennedy was the attorney general for president kennedy. since then the congress did pass the anti-nepotism statute and there is some debate about whether the antinepotism statute
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prohibits the president from appointing family members to the staff. what is discouraging, however, is that they tried to have her be a nonemployee, even though she was functioning as a government employee, and this is a situation where the white house ethics office and the white house counsel's office got the law wrong. she is clearly an employee if she has the office, the e-mail account, the security clearance, doing official government work, and they should have said she was an gemployee from the beginning. now they're acknowledging that fact that she is going to be a white house employee, subject to all of the ethics rules that bond all the other white house staff. what's discouraging about this, however, is that this is the second time in a matter of a few weeks that white house counsel's office has gotten the law wrong. a few weeks ago they sent a
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letter to the office of government ethics saying that the white house staff don't have to comply with the government ethics rules because the white house is not an agency. that's just flat out wrong, and up until yesterday, they took the position at the white house, that ivanka trump could be in the west wing doing all of this government work, with a security clearance, and not be a government employee and that is flat out wrong. ivanka trump, fortunately, had the money to hire very good lawyers and had the best ethics lawyer -- >> same lawyer as her husband. >> well yes, absolutely. probably one of the best in washington, d.c. i believe she also represented rex tillerson. they can afford to hire somebody like that, a top flight lawyer, and i think ivanka trump knew full well that she would be subject to the financial conflict of interest rules, that she was a government employee, so finally the white house counsel's office has come around and they're going to straighten
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out this situation. it's unfortunate that it took this long. >> richard, why should the average person care about this? why is this significant? >> because this white house does not appear to understand the ethics rules or care about implementing them. we've had several violations of the ethics rules by white house staff and the attitude is, these rules just don't apply to us. well that's just flat out wrong. we need lawyers in the white house who are going to tell the white house staff to shape up and comply with the ethics rules and we need to make sure the president addresses his conflicts of interests and the payments he's receiving from foreign governments that illegal under the constitution. we need a lot better lawyering in the white house and we need white house staff that is going to comply. >> legal concerns aside for a moment, what about this idea that if you have a family member on the payroll, scratch that, if you have a family member in a
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position like this where you are extremely close to the president on a daily basis, in on important meetings, security clearance, and all of a sudden things hit the fan, what about a situation where you might have a president having to choose between a family member and what's right for the country? >> well, that could be a very troubling situation depending on who the family member is and who, on the other hand, is advocating what they believe is right for the country. i've got to say, with some of the people there in the white house, and some of the extremist agendas being pursued, ivanka trump may be a lot closer to a middle ground and a rationale approach to matters than some of the white house senior advisors there for the president. so it all depends on the circumstances whether the family member is going to be better or worse than the other advice the president is receiving. but i would rather have ivanka trump than steve bannon any day. >> richard painter, we will leave it there, sir. thanks for your time.
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>> thank you. director james comey speaking out, defending the fbi's actions as nonpartisan. we'll see if my esteemed panel agrees. and what did president george w. bush say right after that inauguration speech? it's time for the your business entrepreneur of the week. niyla inherited a secret family recipe for tea. she bottles her great grandfather's caribbean drink and she's trying to build it into a national brands but she says she needs help. we answered her call and now she's getting a "your business" make-over. "your business" sunday mornings at 7:30. >> visit openforum.com for ideas to help you grow your business. four words, badda book. badda boom... let it sink in.
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a live look any look. any minute now the senate intelligence committee will be holding the first hearing investigating russian meddling in the election. all of this coming as last night fbi director james comey defending his agency after a very long and plil year. >> we're not fools. i know that when i make a hard decision, a storm is going to follow. honestly, i don't care. if i have thought about it carefully and i'm doing the right thing, making the right judgment, it doesn't matter what's going to follow. it's not about that. honestly the death of the independent fbi would lie down the path to considering impact. >> two anonymous sources say comey tried to go public with
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information on russia's campaign to influence the presidential election as early as june or july of 2016. joel benson is still here and ari melbourne. comey pitched this idea of writing an op ed. it was the obama administration that blocked it. had me written that, would you still be sitting here? >> i why wouldn't i be? >> you might be working at the white house. >> i'm too old to work at the white house, craig. i think one of the frustrations during the entire summer after the wikileaks was us trying to convince journalists to take this seriously. the fbi has strict procedures about when and why and where you can go public. we know that director comey violated all those procedures when he spoke out on april 28th
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and sent a letter to congress about opening something up with hillary clinton. we know that caused a spike in negative coverage of the campaign. i don't know what would have happened in july if he would have put that out there then. we don't know what he had yet. there are probably reasons people didn't want him to do it at that moment in time. maybe more hard evidence was developed later. i can't answer that. >> you've met comey. you've worked with prosecutors who worked with comey. do you think he is independent? >> he has been independent brout mo -- throughout most of his career. but i believe we are seeing these leaks of people who are trying to make the argument that he tried to do more. there is a lot to be second guessed there even if it doesn't
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implicate his independence. >> this idea that he wanted to write an op ed last summer, should that in any way perhaps vindicate him? >> what was interesting about -- i covered the hearing last week. but he said he had been there investigating the collusion since july. that really was startling to a lot of people to know that the fbi had been investigating potential tries between trump campaign officials and russian agents since july. >> you do have to wonder if folks had known that -- >> briefly, how do we know what we know? the fbi leaking like a broken water bottle. this is a leak. anthony weiner laptop was a leak. these russian do-overs are a leak. >> an op ed is not the way to release information like that.
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>> the senate intelligence committee meeting to hold that first hearing on what we have been talking about, russia's involvement in our election & when that hearing commences, we will bring it to you live right here. cturing... to stealth bombers... to next-generation fighters... ♪ to landing an unmanned vehicle on a carrier for the first time in history. just wait till you see what's next. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman ♪ can i get some help. watch his head. ♪ i'm so happy. ♪
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>> more than two months have passed since president trump's short and a bit dire inauguration address. but we are getting some new and revealing reaction to it this morning. new york magazine says three people heard former president george w. bush say right after that speech was given, quote, that was some weird -- don't say this word. you'll get fired but you know the expletive i'm talking about. a spokesman for the president declining to comment. are you at all surprised that was the president's response? >> he's a funny guy, right? i still think the pictures from the inauguration of cheney trying to help bush with that clear poncho go down as the best moment of that day. >> i think president bush was speaking for millions of americans who watched that address on tv. >> this is the thing about donald trump. that was by far one of the
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darkest, most odd inaugural addresses in the modern era. and yet he speaks to a large part of the country. that was better than anyone in the political immediamedia acco thought he would do. weird, dark, off, but resonating with a large part of the country. interesting duality. >> great to have you. this was a fun panel. that's going to do it for this hour. right now more news with my friend hallie jackson. good thursday morning from washington, guys pl right now it is all about russia and its role in our election. any minute the senate is starting its investigation into that and any ties to the trump campaign. the house investigation has been paralyzed by politics with
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vladimir putin this morning denying any involvement. the president here trying to move ahead but running over member of his own party, in the last hour or so promising to fight members of the conservative freedom caucus and democrats. plus, happening now in north carolina a live look at the state house. lawmakers are working at this hour to roll back the so-called bathroom law known for restrictions on the transgender community. if it's going away, why are lgbt groups upset? we're going to talk about it with our panel this thursday. james comey wanted to talk about an investigation into russia last summer. let's start with

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