tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC May 17, 2017 6:00am-7:01am PDT
what it wants to do with its leverage. it does have a role in the senate regarding the new fbi director, it has a role in the briefing tomorrow with the deputy attorney general about how important these inquiries are going to be. >> raw politics is never an excuse. this is a moment to be a patriotic, law-abiding, constitutional american. gentlemen, that does it for us this morning. tomorrow the show live in washington and we'll be joined by senator john mccain. stephanie rule makes up our coverage right now. good morning. i'm stephanie rule. we have breaking news. vladimir putin adding a new twist this morning saying he will provide president trump's meeting with the russians where classified information was allegedly shared. >> the last thing the president probably needs right now is for vladimir putin to be vouching for him. breaking new details on the comey memo. the former fbi director put in writing that president trump asked him to end the russia investigation. was it obstruction of justice?
>> i think you're getting very close to the legal definition of obstruction of justice. >> the country is being tested in unprecedented ways. overnight, the white house pushes back amid bipartisan calls in congress for comey to testify. >> if mr. comey is alleging the president did something inappropriate, there's an open-ended invitation to come to the judicial committee and tell us about it. >> president trump any minute now about to leave the white house for a graduation ceremony at the coast guard academy in connecticut, and he's making this trip under a cloud of controversy. less than 24 hours after that comey memo was revealed, and now vladimir putin stirring things up yet again. you're in luck because we have the best team and guests here to break it all down for us. i want to take you first to that breaking news from, of all people, vladimir putin. i want to take you live to nbc's keir simmons in our london
bureau. keir, what can you tell us? vladimir putin coming to trump's rescue? come on now. >> yeah, this is a pretty stunning intervention by the president of russia in effectively u.s. domestic politics. unusual for him. oftentimes he will avoid a question that asks him to comment directlyn what's happening in the states, but here, at a news conference alongside the italian prime minister in russia in the black sea resort of sochi, vladimir putin talking about that meeting president trump had with foreign minister lavrov and saying that they do not believe, the russians, that they were passed any sensitive intelligence in that meeting. president putin saying, i spoke to lavrov, his foreign minister, today. and joking in kind of a deadpan way that president putin does, i'll be forced to issue him with a reprimand because he did not share those secrets with us, not
with me, nor with russia's intelligence services. it was very bad of him. but then president putin goes on to criticize the criticism of president trump unfolding there in the u.s. president putin saying, it's hard to imagine what else can these people who generate such is nonsense and rubbish can dream up next. what promises me, the president of russia says, is that they are shaking up the domestic political situation using anti-russian slogans. either they don't understand the damage they're doing to their own country, referring to the united states, in which case they are simply stupid, or they understand everything in which case they are dangerous and corru corrupt. so strong words from russia's president intervening in the controversy swirling around president trump. stephanie, whether it's a useful intervention for president trump is a different yquestion. >> vladimir putin saying dangerous and corrupt? brother, please. we're turning to the memo that
former fbi director james comey wrote of trump asking him to let the flynn investigation go. peter, it's got to be a party inside that place right now. what are you learning about this memo? >> reporter: this white house is lurching from one disaster to another. this memo, we understand, from multiple sources with firsthand knowledge of that memo was written after a one-on-one meeting that president trump had with james comey in the oval office on february 14, just one day after the national security adviser michael flynn was fired. and these sources confirm the contents of this memo to us, basically saying that the president, according to comey, told him, asked him to drop the investigation into flynn, who had been accused of misleading officials about his conversations about russian sanctions with the russian ambassador to the united states. this happened during a meeting
where following a counterterrorism briefing, we should say, in the oval office where initially the vice president was there, the chief of staff was there, jared kushner was there. all of them apparently left the room before the two of them had this conversation one on one. we are told that comey kept records, kept documents through these memos after nearly every in-person and almost every phone call that he had with donald trump, so we may see more of this. you've heard from the republicans on capitol hill about this topic as well. we'll have more on that in a moment, but the white house, we should note, is pushing back. they put out a statement releasing it to nbc yesterday saying this was not a truthful or accurate portrayal of events. they say the president has never asked mr. comey or anyone else to end any investigation. to be clear, they are not denying that there may be a memo. and as there are many members of congress who want to see that memo, we may see it at some point. they are denying the characterization of the conversation between these two men as a senior aide told me this morning. this is the way the president
speaks. he was expressing his personal affinity for michael flynn, not asking mr. comey to drop any investigation. stephanie? >> we're going to bring my panel in to look at this. jason johnson, politics editor at theroot.com and politics and journalism professor. and we have a republican who served florida's 13th district. also joining us justice and security analyst matt miller who also served as chief spokesman for the justice department. and i'm going to say he's a cla clairvoyant because last week after this broke, you said, watch, wait. james comey, this guy keeps detailed records. alas, the memo is here. >> this is what james comey did. he did it serving as deputy attorney general in the bush administration. i imagine he did it in the obama
administration a administration and we see it now. other outlets who confirmed the memo have only read portions of it and it's been described as a very detailed memo. the second thing is this is only one of many memos comey reportedly had written. there is one after every meeting with the president. that means there's one from the dinner he had with the president where he is asked to pledge his loyalty and asked the status of the investigation. this is just the beginning of james comey's memos, i think. >> i realize we know very little, but based on the information you have, would you consider this obstruction of justice? >> i think it's going to rise to that. it's time for republicans to revisit their grand bargain with donald trump, how they reconcile their own concerns with that. what we saw yesterday, it's a very clear contrast. comey said the president asked him to let the investigation go. the white house issued a statement that i go at no time did the president ask him to let that investigation go. that is clear conflict. now, how does it get reconciled?
i think in june you'll see comey sit before a congressional committee and say, this did happen. two lessons from the nixon pieces. chuck coalson, a steen yenior s to nixon, said he didn't realize he was normalizing legal behavior. he didn't realize that. bill clinton, the way they eventually got bill clinton, they got him to testify before a grand jury. i think a legal analyst can talk about this. is it obstruction of justice right now? it might fall short, many attorneys are saying that. this is the beginning. this is the movement that happened with ken starr as he tried to get bill clinton on the record. watch to see how we begin to get donald trump closer to having to make a statement on the record, perhaps in front of a grand jury. >> i want to stay on the political angle and go to capitol hill where there is not just talk of open hearings but actual subpoenas.
mike vaquera is there. michael, what can you tell us? >> reporter: they had the good fortune of being on recess last week when the controversy began. they're back again for their first full day and it's time to face the music particularly in the last 24 hours. we have seen the ground shifting underneath republicans and they're struggling to keep up. let's start with jason chaffetz. of course, he's retiring, perhaps not incidentally. he is calling for all documents from the administration and from the justice department, the fbi, any communications between donald trump and james comey. the number four republican, and behind me you see the rnc, the capitol hill club dominated by republicans, they're meeting in there for the first time this week. kathy rogers, the number four republican, has called on comey to testify. lindsey graham perhaps not marching in perfect cadence has
called to get eyes on that document, as has jeff flake. adam kissinger, another conservative house member, wants a special prosecutor. so that's really going to be what the question boils down to. does congress want to deal with this in house as republicans in the house and senate lead both those bodies, or do they want to try to get it off their plate and move on to other things? that's the question before house republicans as they meet behind closed doors this morning. >> we're going to talk to alex kissinger in just a few moments. whether or not the president intended wrongdoing, some could say, listen, whether it's speaking to lavrov or comey, this is just trump being trump. does that matter? >> it does, because this is dangerous. we heard allies wer like don't want to share this formatn because we don't know what he's going to talk about. his brazenness, his need to
prove how toughest -- >> but people thought he could be dangerous, they knew he was brash, but they voted for him, anyway. does this lead to impeachment? >> impeachment isn't going to happen because this conversation isn't going to do it. if the republicans end up losing in georgia, if the republicans end up losing in montana, if they keep losing in special elections, you will see a push if not for impeachment then for a serious commission because they don't want to get dragged down in 2018. >> are republicans going to do it, though? yesterday john mccain said the trump white house is reaching, quote, a watergate type scandal in terms of all the activity swirling around. that's pretty nasty. >> the republican agenda on k t capitol hill is dead. the only way they can recover the actual agenda is to actually
ask for an pinned he nindepende. they're saying we need an independent commission. we don't need an independent commission of congressmen, we need an independent counsel of justices. here's why it's good for republicans. if you can put it on the shelf over here and say, let the investigation occur over here, they can recover their republican agenda. the capitol hill report, i've been in those meetings. one, it's across the street so they're talking about how much money they have to raise to recover from their high negatives right now. you can only talk about that outside the capitol. but they're also talking about how do they handle this, and you have a lot of republican members scared to death not only about their own agenda but about reelection. >> what position is james comey in here? when we look back, should james comey have resigned? he thought he could write these memos and manage the situation. as we dig into it, will more questions arise saying, if this
is what the president did at the time, how could you stay in that seat? >> it depends on what jim comey is doing. i think there is a good possibility that jim comey was having these conversations with the president because he was actually building an obstruction of justice case. when we see this evidence come out, it's possible he was building this up to bring them maybe to a special prosecutor and maybe the congress in the question of impeachment hearings. >> the questions i've seen on twitter from conservative bloggers are, where are the memos on barack obama or hillary clinton? >> there may be, but there is no evidence that barack obama told him to shut down an investigation. and he certainly didn't fire him. >> if i may, that argument from conservatives is revenge politics and it's garbage. apply the same accountability standard to donald trump that republicans applied the last eight years to barack obama and let's see what happens.
it's a garbage argument to say, what about hillary, what about hillary? the election is over. donald trump, you won. you're the president of the united states and you're doing a disastrous job and conservatives should not be sticking with you. next, will there be hearings with comey and will they accept vladimir putin's offer? i can't believe we're listening to this, vladimir putin's offer to turn over their records? please! joe manchin joins me next. his. what!? here come the accents. blueberries and pumpkin. wow. that was my favorite bite so far. not even kidding. i mean that was... ...oh! spinach! mmm. that's like three super foods. pretty, uh, well...super. now i got kind of a pumpkin, chicken thing going on... ...whoop! time to wrestle. (avo) new beneful grain free. out with the grain, in with the farm-raised chicken. healthful. flavorful. beneful. ♪
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welcome back. you're watching msnbc. we have a live shot of the president arriving at joint base andrews in marine i. he's about to get on air force i where he is headed to new london, connecticut to give a commencement speech at the coast guard academy. so much happening. all of this while the president is under a cloud of controversy tied to the james comey memo as well as sharing information with sergey lavrov in the meeting in the oval office last week. i have to take you back, though, to the breaking news. reports this morning that vladimir putin, that's right, is willing to give congress transcripts of president trump's talks last week in the oval office with his foreign minister. but will the senate be interested in this information from russia? i'm joined now by senator joe manchin, a member of the senate intelligence committee and a
democrat from west virginia. senator, would your committee seek those records from russia? does it not seem like vladimir putin is taunting us? while offering the records, he's also calling americans dangerous, reckless, stupid. >> let me just say first of all, it's good to be with you, stephanie. and i would say this to president putin. if we want your records, if we think we need your records, we'll ask for them. i'd like to see the american transcripts first. i'd like to know what went on there. i'd like to see those transcripts, and if there's any tapes, to hear them. that's where we'll go first. i don't think we're going to rely on the russians. and i've said this. the russians do not have the united states of america's best interests at heart. for anyone to believe that is absolutely absurd. do we want to work with them and live in a civilized world with the two most nuclear armed countries in the world, finding a pathway forward without
annihil annihilating anyone? sure. but don't think they're going to help us. that's not their game plan. we will get down to this. we have the most intelligent people in the community i've ever met, ever been around, ever watched and observed the work they do. i believe in th. i knowur interaction with other countries, our allies that have fought with us side by side in every war and conflict we've been in, they've been willing to fight, they've shed blood, they've lost lives on our behalf and their behalf for a free world. and we're going to continue to rely on them, too. that means the president has to basically respect the intelligence community, the intelligence gathering community that we have around the world and start working with them in a more productive way. >> you'd like to see those transcripts. how about the james comey memo? your committee chairman richard burr, republican, told them
yesterday he's skeptical about the memo. does that mean they plan to subpoena the memo? i know jason chaffetz is. >> i think we'll definitely get those. i am not skeptical. richard burr is a great man, a good friend of mine. he might have his opinions and they might be different. we have subpoena power if we need it. i've been told that former director comey is willing to come before us. we've got to figure out in what venue, stephanie, he's going to come. is it going to be in an open meeting? that would be great, the public can see and hear as much as he can say, and then go into a closed classified, which basically allows us to get into a more serious discussion. and i've always said, intel will present the facts as they gather, and then the facts basically should take you where the truth is. that's what we've got to do. >> you've said the president needs to patch things up with the intelligence community. realistically, patch things up? can he really do that at this
point? >> well, when i say patch things up, i'm just saying you've got -- you know, the president of the united states has to understand that the intelligence community has kept us safe from having the biggest target on our back in the world, and they have done this under extraordinary conditions around the world to gather information that we can intervene, intercept or protect this country. we do that because of the quality of people we have in intelligence, and we have many, many people involved in this, in the united states, working for the united states, and then we have many of our allies doing the same. if the leader of the free world doesn't believe that this is accurate, factual or they're doing the job they should be doing, it's hard for them to be able to get that communication and basically be able to be accepted as the people they are. >> since you have so much confidence in the intelligence community and you don't have
doubt about james comey's memo, do you consider it an obstruction of justice what the president asked him to do? >> well, we have to see that, too. object construction struction o was the governor of west virginia, i was instructed early on if there was obstruction of anyone, i could not interfere in the investigation because i could be charged with obstruction of justice. i'm not going to condemn and convict. it's not a witch hunt, i don't par partake in that. i'm a senator of west virginia. i'll protect this country and i do not protect any one political party. i'll basically try to protect the state of west virginia and all the great people who live in this country. >> we are looking at the president getting off marine i. he is at joint base andrews where he is about to board air force i heading to new london,
connecticut for a commencement speech. senator, you also loaded with president trump's agenda about 58.5% of the time -- that's according to 538 -- you're not a mana fray afraid to cross party. there are people you've worked with in the past. how are you giving them advice on how they should approach all of this? >> the way i evaluate my colleagues, these people are americans, they're the stalwarts to this whole system we have in the democracy. i would like to believe and i do believe that more of the majority, a supermajority of all of the senators will vote for their country first, will put country ahead of party or individual politics. when push comes to shove, we're still able to govern in a crisis. and we have a crisis coming upon us if we don't get in front of this and take the politics out of it, stephanie. i believe, and my colleagues,
democrats and republicans that are here for the right purpose and the right reasons, and they had a chance to show it now. you get a chance to show your moxie, as they say back in west virginia. show what you're made of. >> i'm from the state of new jersey. we're not afraid to show our moxie, either. thank you so much for joining me. the president has now just boarded air force i. that's reince priebus who appears to be following him. he, of course, is headed to new london, connecticut where he's going to give the commencement address at the coast guard academy. we're going to take a break. next, president trump calling israeli president netanyahu after reports that israel was the party involved in president trump's reveal in classified information to russia. will this make president trump's impending visit there a bit of an awkward one?
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convicted in 2013 for giving classified documents to wikileaks. at least two people are dead and 25 injured after severe storms ripped across the midwest. that storm system spawned 27 powerful tornadoes across the state of oklahoma, texas and wisconsin. at least nine people were injured after violence broke out. look at this video during protests outside the turkish ambassador's home in washington, d.c. yesterday. the demonstration erupting just hours after turkey's president met with president trump at the white house. and, god, i love this game. the golden state warriors beat the san antonio spurs 136-100 in game 2 of the western conference finals last night, putting them now within two victories of their third straight nba finals win. they were on fire last night. now we're going to take you to some breaking news in the markets. the opening bell has just rung.
markets are open and they're down. futures were down 170, but there you go. the markets are down. is this belief? markets are getting concerned that all the news, the controversy around president trump is only distancing the president and his administration further from their pro-business agenda. are we even talking about health care reform, tax reform, team regulation? not even in the conversation right now. that has markets a bill roiled. not a good start to the day. we're going back to the president and his controversy, the controversy about him sharing highly classified intelligence with russia. nbc news now confirms president trump spoke with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu by phone last night. three government officials tell nbc israel was the partner who provided the u.s. with the classified information. nbc's hans nichols is with the president this hour in new london, connecticut. hans, president trump is set to visit israel in just days.
this foreign trip is expected. when i speak to people inside the white house, they want this to be a big win, a turning point. we know jared kushner has a very good relationship with netanyahu. what do we know about this call? >> reporter: well, we don't know whether or not president trump apologized or explained or what he actually said to netanyahu in terms of revealing code word information, code word intelligence to the russians. i think that's one of the urgent tasks, trying to figure out what was said in that conversation. there is another avenue for reporting here, stephanie. we learn this because overnight the russians said they may have released a transcript of this conversation with lavrov where this conversation happened. so there is a possibility that their media give us a readout. taking a step back, stephanie, we know this is a president that likes to negotiate and he likes positioning of power. he is heading off on this trip. first stop is in saudi arabia. he's heading off at least in terms of israel not in a
position of strength. he may have some negotiating to do, some explaining to do. but we don't want to put too much on all of this. remember, this is an administration, a president who signals he wants closer ties with israel. we heard netanyahu say that as well, they look forward to working with this president. when i was just in the mideast in tel aviv with secretary mattis, he wants a redo. so there is a threat of the raw and sort of growing threat of isis. one quick note, president trump will be the first sitting president to go to the western wall to potentially say a prayer, write a note. remember, president obama went as a senator, wrote it on the western wall. we eventually figured out what his prayer was. >> all right, hans nichols, we're looking at air force i taking off right now heading your way. the president will be with you in just a few. hans nichols in new london, connecticut where the coast guard academy is about to have
their commencement address. up next, obstruction of justice or not? greta van susteren and adam join me on whether the president is implicated in a crime. let it sink in. shouldn't we say we have the lowest price? nope, badda book. badda boom. have you ever stayed with choice hotels? like at a comfort inn? yep. free waffles, can't go wrong. i like it. promote that guy. get the lowest price on our rooms, guaranteed. when you book direct at choicehotels.com. book now. dry mouth can affect how your mouth feels and how you feel. discover act dry mouth, specially formulated to soothe and moisturize your mouth. and try new act dry mouth spray for relief when you need it. hi, i'm frank. and try new act dry mouth spray i take movantik for oic,
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considered an obstruction of justice. you're in luck. i have two legal experts with me now to break this down. i saw them last night and begged them to come back because i want you to hear from them now. greta van susteren. she's host of "for the record" at 6:00 p.m. on msnbc and adam, professor in a law school. would you consider this to be an obstruction of justice? >> i would consider going further. i haven't seen this memo. i've only read the "new york times" report. i certainly would look at it. the question is does it meet the elements of obstruction of justice. if i saw the memo, if i heard comey in public and he provided enough context, the question is what can be done with it. alan will talk to you about the separation of powers and what can be done, but it certainly would be material for an impeachment proceeding if all this happened.
and i hate to jump way ahead of it, but i want to see the memo, i want to hear from comey, but there certainly is enough for me to be very suspicious. >> alan, last night i saw you on greta, and you said if the statements trump made to comey were light suggestions, then it's not obstruction of justice. but if it were a command, it would be. i have not honestly heard the president with any polite suggestions, ever. but if there are any mothre mem, which we believe there are, that would tell the story, wouldn't it be hard to deny the president saying, i hope you let this go, or, i hope you let this go. >> a polite request from the president is like a polite request from the godfather. i'd like you to do me a favor, an offer you can't refuse. when the man who has the power to fire you asks you to do you a
favor or let it go, that's more than just a request of an american citizen. that's the part that cuts g against the president. the part that is for the president, he can, under this theory, tell the fbi director what to do. certainly thomas jefferson told the justice department to prosecute aaron burr. we know president kennedy and president johnson had very direct relations with j. edgar hoover who was a director of the fbi. but things have changed since watergate. we now have erected walls of separation between the president and the justice department and the fbi. but those are internal investigation rules not on questions of law. i think on balance it's going to be a very hard sell to say that -- >> it looks like we've lost alan so that's good for me. i can move in on this. there are two different forms.
i'm grabbing this one. there are two different forms. when you think of obstruction of justice, you think of court. but because of the nature, the president has the right to fire the fbi director, the question is probably not a court issue, not a criminal issue. but is certainly is material. it doesn't have to be a crime to be material for impeachment. for instance, i gave the example last night, if president trump said, i'm going to move to canada and i'm not coming back at all, that's not a crime, but that would certainly be probably in a constitutional sense high crimes and misdemeanors because he's not able to perform his job. you have to at least live here and have some interest in the country. that would be material for an impeachment proceeding. likewise, if he is doing undue influence on the fbi director, whether or not that actually meets the statutory definition or courtroom definition for obstruction of justice, it's not significant. what is significant is that the congress gets to decide what is deplorable behavior to the level
of high crimes and misdemeanors which is the constitutional standard. if all of this stuff is true, and if after we read the memo and hear from comey, and if congress is convinced that something really sinister is going on, it certainly would not be unreasonable for them to dig a lot deeper into it. as they are, by the way. >> beyond the comey memo and the white house denying it, how do we get into the facts and out of a he said-he said? unless you've got tapes. >> the thing is you hear from everybody. for instance, what i would do is i would hear from comey -- >> greta, i'm sorry, i need to interrupt because chuck schumer is on the floor speaking about trump. >> we tried to close a position from a close political ally. we already know the russian investigation was on his mind when he fired mr. comey. we now know it may not have been the first time the president has taken an action to impede an
active investigation of his campaign or associates if the reports in the "new york times" are true. concerns about our national security. the rule of law, the independence of our nation's highest law enforcement agencies are mounting in this land. the stated explanation for these explanations from the white house have been porous, shifting and all too often contradictory. the country is being tested in unprecedented ways. what are now required are facts and impartial investigations into these very serious matters. first, the white house should make available to the intelligence committees the transcripts and any related summaries of the oval office meeting between president trump
and the russian foreign minister and ambassador. we can then assess exactly what was said and understand the consequences of any intelligence that was shared with the russians. and, on the topic of mr. comey, if the president has tapes of his conversation with mr. comey, we ought to be able to review those tapes as well to see if the president pressured the fbi director to shut down an active investigation. "the times" reported that comey kept contemporaneous memos of his conversations with the president, and mr. comey has a reputation for accuracy in those memos. those memos should also be provided to the congressional intelligence and judiciary committees, and mr. comey should testify before those committees in public. indeed, providing the congress the tapes and memos may be the
only way -- excuse me. indeed, providing the congress the tapes and memos may be the only way for this administration to credibly make a case to a justifiably skeptical american public about its version of the story reported by the "new york times." the president says what comey said was wrong. prove it. it's easy to prove. as long as there are tapes or transcripts of what happened. if the president is right, he'll have no problem releasing memos, tapes, transcripts that corroborate his story. but if he fails to release them, the american public will justifiably tend to side with mr. comey, not what the president had to say, particularly in light of so much backtracking, backsliding,
factual fabrication in this white house. finally, the events of this past week only heighten the need for a special prosecutor who is truly independent to run the department of justice's investigations into the potential collusion between the trump campaign and russia. the american people must have faith in the integrity and impartiality of this investigation. we have learned, if the reporting is accurate, that the president is willing to directly interfere with an active investigation. whether it breaks the law or not is not the point here. the point is, he was trying to interfere with an investigation. how can anyone trust someone in the president's chain of command, someone who the president has appointed after those actions? the only way out is a special
prosecutor. it's the right thing to do. we know the president is willing to fire an fbi director because of this investigation and his own words. it makes all the sense in the world to have a special prosecutor who can only be fired for cause to lead the russia investigation. that would help protect the integrity of the investigation by insulating it from a white house which, at the very minimum, is overreaching. given the circumstances, these requests are reasonable. they're modest. i hope and really pray that my friends on the other side of the aisle will see that now is the time to put party considerations aside and do what is right for our country. i know that several of my colleagues, senators from maine,
tennessee, arizona have expressed concerns. a few have gone further and endorsed some of the actions i have mentioned. it's a good first step, but it is not enough. in the past 24 hours, there's been more movement among republicans in the house than here in the senate. the senate, by its traditions, should be leading this effort, not following. more of my republican friends should join the senators from maine and tennessee and arizona in speaking out about these events first, but far more importantly, helping us get -- >> chuck schumer speaking on the floor, calling on republicans for bipartisan support, looking into all of the distractions supporting -- surrounding president trump, asking james comey to testify in public for any recordings of meetings president trump may have had with james comey as well as any transcripts, recordings, any
information coming from the united states, not russia, on that meeting president trump had with lavrov. greta, what is your reaction to this? it's no surprise chuck schumer feels this way. >> it's no surprise. he's a politician. politicians on both sides quickly grab the facts they find appealing to themselves and then they push it. lawyers tend to look at exactly what are the facts, what are the real facts, and that's what we should be looking for. look, i share the senator's desire. we need to hear from the former fbi director comey in public. we also need to have all the documents. i would also like to hear even from sessions who was at that meeting and left the room. i find out whether or not he left the room which would tend to corroborate that comey was alone with him. i would want to hear that. there is all sorts of different facts i want to hear. but if you look at this, there has been so much partisanship on the hill right and left, republicans and democrats, with the exception of a very few that
as a citizen, i now would like to see an independent commission. i think sadly the congress has kind of waived its right to show us they can fairly do this. i think we need an independent commission of some convinced w special prosecutor because we haven't met that threshold yet that a crime likely was happened. so i would have an independent commission. if we reach that threshold, then we get a special prosecutor appointed. but in my mind the way that congress is taking sides, right and left on this, is that they have sort of waived their ability to give the rest of america that this can be done fairly. >> if you're a member of congress right now, wouldn't you want to get this off of your plate and say yes, let's have an independent commission look at this because there's so much information. what would be the argument not to do it? >> because it's not in their dna. politicians want to win. you know, it's like, look, americans want to get to the
heart of this to find out what happened. and you know, god love them but politicians want to win. the republicans want to win, the democrats want to win. we hear the francy pretty talk on the near from the republicans and the democrats. but the truth is there's a lot of wanting to win, whether it's to regain the house or not to lose the house or the senate chamber. it's about winning. and this really is sort of a much bigger problem than this. and you know, if it's left on congress, it will be very partisan. and unfortunately we're in a situation where there are so many unanswered questions. and look, take a look at even the "the new york times" article which we did a full hour on last night, even the "the new york times" reporter, they had not seen the comey memo. they had it read to them. we need to see the memo. we need to hear from comey publicly. we don't have the facts yet. there is a lot of information and we desperately need the facts. because if we don't have the
facts we're back in the ugly situation of picking sides and picking sides on things that may be unfair to people. >> well right now the only side that's laughing is vladimir putin's. thank you so much. i know what i'm going to be doing tonight. watching greta, and you should do "for the record" 6:00 p.m. easte eastern. i want to bring in congressman. why do you support a special prosecutor and do you believe that your republican colleagues will come around to your point of view? >> i'm not sure. this is new for me to say it. i've been saying let's let the house and senate committees work their will. with the revelation yesterday -- and greta made a great point. we haven't seen the memo, we haven't heard from comey. but the accusation is serious enough that you couple that with what we've known in the past. and my concern is when all this
is said and done, whichever side is exonerated or not exonerated, when this is over the american people have got to have faith that justice was served. maybe there is aen cospearcy within the government to discredit donald trump. maybe the accusations against donald trump are accurate. we don't know and we need to know. what's worried me out here is in such a serious sometime and serious position, immediately the left jumps on and starts screaming impeachment, some on the right jump on start saying this is nothing but a conspiracy of the media. the truth is probably somewhere in the middle and let's figure out what that is. and unfortunately in the filter of politics right now there's a lot of great people working on this in the committees, they should continue their work but i think we need a fresh set of independent eyes to figure out what happened. >> so to your point, the truth is most often in the middle. if your republican colleagues don't side with you on this, will you try to convince them?
what do you make of that? >> you know, each member makes their own decision. you know, i think as this progresses -- look. obviously the immediate reaction is not to do this. maics the narrative bigger. >> why would the immediate reaction to not want to do this. there is so much noise here, what would be the reason besides putting party over country? we're just asking for information. >> there's two big issues. number one, there are two informations going investigations going on. there are people turning this into politics. that's what i want to get away from. the natural reaction from some folks out here. i've seen some people say it privately, what's the political implications of this. i want to get to justice and answers on this. i think jumping to saying let's jump to impeachment as i've heard some people do and then
some on my side saying there's nothing here but a media conspiracy. i can't answer for any other colleagues. they have to come to decisions on their own. they represent 700,000 unique individuals in their districts. where i'm standing as an american, the american people deserve to have faith in whatever is adjudicated at the end of this. >> eric erickson wrote conservatives might want to reconsider backing the president here, self inflicted wound after self inflicted wounds. you've got mick pence waiting in the wings. save your credibility and look towards pence. what do you think about that? >> that's put politic into the wise of it. i think we need answers. and the answers are it's going to take a an independent commission or a special prosecutor. chr whichever is the best vein ynue. again with the comey situation, this broke yesterday.
we have excerpts read to a reporter. i have no reason to doubt those are true. they probably are true. we need to see the memo and i desperately think we need to have director comey come in and testify to the people's congress. we have a responsibility as a legislative branch to have oversight of the executive branch and we need to exercise that. >> congressman, thank you so much for you time. thank you for keeping your mind open. appreciate it. and any minute now speaker paul ryan is holding a news conference after a closed door meeting with republicans. we're going to wribring that tou live. so well that is feels like he's a part of our team. with one phone call, he sets me up with tailored products and services. and when my advisor is focused on my tech, i can focus on my small business. ♪ ♪
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that wraps us up this hour. so much to cover. i'll see you all day long on twitter. i'm following markets down the 20 already and i'm sending you to d.c. to the white house lawn where my league hallie jackson has more. we are on the front lines this morning live from the white house. a building besieged and right now a gut check for congressional republicans. any minute house speaker paul ryan is set to take questions. house democrats take their turn later. some lawmakers want jim comey to hand over a memo he wrote, a request from president trump to lay off mike flynn. the white house says that's not true as we wait for word of the president's side of the conversation. he's mum at least on twitter right now. he's on his way to the coast
guard academy right now where he will speak to cadets. peter alexander at the white house, pete williams in the washington bureau, lucy cavanaugh in london, michael allen, here with me at the white house today margaret senior correspondent for bloomberg news and the white house reporter for the associated press. mike, let's head over to you first. you are where the action is. paul ryan has tried to stay out of the fray on these trump controversy. how do you see his move here with these calls for action growing on the hill. >> well he's in a tough spot and i think the key is, the reason we're here at the republican national committee at the press conference is because they're talking about the campaign, the open races in montana and georgia. many of the members that came out of this meeting on the comments, everything is fun, no problem, everything positive and upbeat. clearly they're concerned. when you say jason chaffetz expressing concern, calling for hearingswa