tv MSNBC Live MSNBC May 31, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
today's briefing is off camera, but we will be listening and bring it to you live when the questions begin. this briefing comes amid new palace intrigue. word that the west wing shakeup is reaching all the way up, right up to the president's chief of staff. who could replace reince? and could we never have paris? sources say the president is leaning toward pulling out of a sweeping global climate deal. >> i would hate to see us harm our own economy by agreeing to something that other people who we're agreeing with aren't going to follow. >> this is disastrous. every other country in the world, i think, except for syria and nicaragua steign on to this. >> but our word of the day -- do we even have to ask, guys? >> the garbled tweet from the president left up for hours causes confusion. >> leaves questions with who is monitoring president trump's
prime way of communication. >> those liberals make mistakes when they tweet, too. >> we begin with breaking news out of washington this hour. sources are telling nbc news that former fbi director james comey could testify as early as next week. those sources also saying he has been cleared to testify by special counsel robert mueller. nbc's kelly o'donnell is at the white house, msnbc justice correspondent pete williams is also in washington. i'm also joined by "new york times" reporter james savage and jonathan swann, correspondent anne thompson. pete, let's start with you and that news about james comey. what do you know? >> reporter: i just know what others have reported, that it's been worked out that he will testify, that he's talked to bob mueller, the new special counsel, and they've worked it out. i'm actually here, katy, to talk about the arrest of somebody at the trump hotel earlier today. this happened around midnight
last night. two things happened at the same time. the police got a tip from someone in pennsylvania that a man named brian moles from edinborough, pennsylvania was on his way there and was going to stay at the trump hotel. at the same time we're told when moles checked into the hotel, he told the valet parker, by the way, i've got some guns in the car. the police searched, they found weapons. they knocked on his door and said, do you have guns? he said yes. katy? >> kelly, back to that breaking news about fbi director james comey. what is the white house saying at this hour? are they saying anything? >> reporter: no comment yet from the white house, but this is one of the most high stakes, high visibility potential witnesses that washington has seen in a long time. now, james comey, the former fbi director, fired by president trump, has appeared and testified a number of times. he's done things that have attracted enormous public attention. i was in the room with him july
1 a year ago when he was talking about the hillary clinton e-mail investigation and laid out all the information from that time period and then gave us the result that he would not be recommending any kind of charges. now we're into the russia investigation, and we know based on our reporting of the contemporaneous notes that former director comey took alongside his meetings with president trump, those still reside in the department of justice. what we understand is that robert mueller, former fbi director himself, served a long time, about a dozen years, i believe. he, of course, is now rung the russ -- running the russia-related investigations appointed by special counsel. what is new is mueller and comey have connected, have disclosed the parameters of what can be discussed in public. comey has, through his associates, made clear he wants a public airing of whatever it is he has to say, now sort of
liberated from the bonds of public life but still held by what is classified. trying to navigate where can he illuminate the situation and how can he do it publicly? so we have known that the intelligence committee on the senate side has been eager to find a forum for comey to testify. this is a key piece with mueller who is running the investigation. his concern, of course, would be that nothing be made public in advance of the process that's happening behind the scenes. nothing to interfere with the investigative work that is ongoing. so the headline, comey and mueller spoke, comey is clear to speak out in public, and boy, will we be watching. katy? >> kelly, is there a protest going on there? >> okay, it is coming through our microphones. yes. the prime minister of vietnam is expected to meet with president trump in a short time, and there are several hundred protesters at the north lawn gate here. they have been chanting, banging drums, using megaphones for the last half hour or so.
that's a typical thing that happens at the white house. they are particularly impactful, shall we say, today. >> it sounds like a hockey game in my ear out there. kelly, thank you very much. jonathan, let's talk a little more about comey. what are we expecting to hear from him? do we think we'll get any major revelations, any details about the memos he wrote after meeting with president trump? >> the most interesting interviews of the last couple months was benjamin wittes, who is a long-time friend of james comey, and he spoke to jacob weisberg, and he predicted all this. he said based on the comey he kno knows, he expects that james comey will testify in public, probably in a congressional setting, and the thing about james comey, his history is a very good guide to what he's going to do. what he tends to do is explain himself very fully, sometimes in pain stakie in painstaking detail, sometimes in
painful detail, some things that are not politically wise because he doesn't think like a politician. for comey almost being tone deaf, he tends to reveal more than the general actor tends to reveal. i think he'll reveal a lot short of private information. they said the disclosure of the investigation smmg from russia's meddling in last ye's electionnd cutting away his staff have driven away possible people in jobs that usually would be coveted. i know a lot of people in the white house have said they hope they don't have to go, hoping
these offers don't come through. if we're talking about potentially getting rid of reince priebus, maybe, if the reporting holds. charlie, what does that mean if the white house can't fill these roles with people who are adequately qualified to hold the positions? >> well, your question answers itself to some extent, but i would also flag that we've seen rumors and chatter about maybe this person is going to go, maybe that person is going to go, and nothing comes of it. a month or two ago, people thought steve bannon, which was divided between the reince priebus faction and the bannon faction. bannon is dead, he's out. he survived, he's still there. so i wouldn't get ahead of this story just because this white house seems to make personnel decisions and float trial balloons capriciously that don't pan out. some of the chatter surrounding
this is whether there will also be more and new lawyers brought in to assist the white house counsel on these burgeoning investigations in dealing with the comey and mueller investigation. i would add earlier to mr. comey going to talk and the special counsel mueller clearing him to do so. there is another factor here. the white house, if it wanted -- and you can be sure behind the scenes they're talking about it -- could try to exert executive privilege to prevent comey from talking. normally an executive branch's official conversations with the president are covered by executive privilege, the communications privilege, and congress does not have a right to, under the constitution, drag that information into the light except under certain circumstances and so forth. so if you see comey come before the committee and talk without anything arising like that -- remember when sally yates, after
she was fired as attorney general, there was all this stuff about whether she was allowed to talk to congress about certain topics? the justice department was suggesting maybe she should hold back. if he talks without any of that arising, it means they made a decision that either they weren't afraid of anything he had to say or that the politics of trying to stop him would be counterproductive from their standpoint. >> a lot of very valid points. a little more on that staff shake-up, though, and charlie, you're absolutely right to say that nothing happens until it actually happens and no decisions are made until they're actually made. and yes, bannon looked like he was on the way out just a few weeks ago. but jonathan, where does the axios reporting stand on who could take over a major role? >> we need to be so careful about this. the way i look at all of this stuff is donald trump has a lot of conversations on the outside. and so we know, for example, that they are considering david urban, who was donald trump's
pennsylvania stake director. trump loves him, they have a very good relationship, he is a lobbyist in town. he's definitely under consideration and he would probably only come in at the chief of staff level or maybe deputy chief of staff. that doesn't mean he'll go in. lots could happen. we saw also with david bossi was going to come inside, and now we're hearing maybe he won't come inside. we know the people who are in the mix, but your point earlier is very well taken, which is that in order to go in, you really need to look at people who are willing to run towards a fire. these people are being counseled not to go in, that they would be putting themselves potentially in legal jeopardy. there are a lot of people around town, republicans, that wouldn't touch this white house with a 50-foot pole. so it takes a special kind of person to run into this situation, and that's why i think you see these people they call street fighters, people
like coren lewandowski, people who are blind to trump and have nothing to lose. >> that's where coren lewandowski got his start and that's where his talents lie. kelly, let's talk about whether or not president trump plans to pull out of the paris climate accord. where does it stand now? >> reporter: we suspect that pulling out is imminent. president trump expects to make a decision within days. white house sources are telling our team that it is more likely that he will withdraw. what is notable when we were on the trip with the president in sicily where he was meeting with g7 leaders that they broke yet her of the traditions of sort ofbal diplomacy where the six other nations signed on to say that they still fully support the paris accord on climate change, and they allowed for the united states to take additional time. advisers told us quite directly at that point that the
president's views were evolving. that would almost suggest that after campaigning against the paris agreement that perhaps he was hearing some input from other world leaders about a way for the u.s. to remain in that pact. we're days after that trip. other people of influence have been allowed to weigh in with the president, including some notable cfos and so forth. elon musk has tweeted that he advised the president to remain in the accord, and if they go away from that, he will pull out from the council. the news we are getting is it is more than likely he would withdraw. like it is said with public staffing, we don't know for sure until it happens. >> that's right, you don't know what to think no matter what his
aides say. talk about the jobs impact this could have if americans decide to pull out of this deal. >> the cfos that kelly was referencing in her report, they're going to put out a full-page ad in the "washington post" and the wall street journal tomorrow urging the president to stay in the accord. microsoft, apple, brand names along with shell and adp. they said it would reduce business risk, make companies more competitive and create jobs, said the administration. donald trump has been very protective of coal miner jobs. they have decreased dramatically in the last several years largely because utility companies are just using less coal. they're using less coal because we have more natural gas and natural gas burns cleaner than
coal. and the cost of renewables have come down so coal miners haven't been affected much, they're really affected by forces. pulling out of the paris agreement isn't going to change that. >> last thing, charlie, let's talk about donald trump's tweet overnight. i'm not even going to try to pronounce the word that appeared on his twitter because i don't think i could. people mocked him on twitter for leaving this tweet up for so many hours. that's not the point i want to make. talk to me about the security concerns, the implications of what it means that donald trump has a way to communicate with america and the world that is not monitored, that is not checked? what message could get on there that -- maybe a hacker could get on there or what message could get on there that they might need to take away? does anybody have access to this account other than donald trump? >> we do know that sort of anodine statements come out of
that account and we think those are written by his staffers that don't have the same tone as sort of the trump tweet that really gets attention. you're right, though, a lot of people had fun with that bizarre tweet he put up last night and left up for many hours, but it does sort of raise -- there is a serious side to it, and part of it is just sort of what's going on inside the president's brain. but another part of it is also, we are still in this unprecedented territory where normally this extraordinarily powerful person is surrounded by these layers of aides and advisers and filters to the world, and donald trump is a very different kind of president and has insisted on keeping this unfettered check to the internet -- >> what if he gets hacked? we a what if somebody said, we are aiming nukes at north korea? can anybody go in there and say,
no, take that down? is anybody monitoring this through the night? how does the president get embarrassed like that for six hours? >> we need to do a better job of monitoring president trump's twitter account, even in the middle of the night. i was thinking of another scenario which was less alarming but just as realistic. what prevents a hack in pulling down a stock? you can think of many things that could be used for. >> reporter: in my work with the two previous administrations, there were times when they would make me put my personal company cell phone in a lead box because they were concerned about the ability of professional hackers from u.s. adversaries getting into the phone, turning on the microphone, things like that. so lead boxes exist around the white house to try to prevent that. i don't know if there is one in
the residence, but there is certainly an awareness in this part of washington of how high value the targets are. what a rich environment it is for any kind of porous surveillance, where you could get and have any kind of access to an official of any type or even journalists here on the grounds at the white house. that reference i made was from the previous administration, both obama and bush. but perhaps there are those concerns here in the trump world as well. >> all the more relevant because this is what much of the 2016 campaign was based on, this careless use of classified information on private servers, on things that were not secure, and on phones that could have been hacked. that's all the more relevant. a reminder we're also waiting for the white house press briefing. it's audio only today, but we're going to be monitoring it. and charlie, i have to note that behind you, for the past few minutes, i've seen glen thrush,
i've seen peter baker,' se i'ven matt rosenberg -- either you're in a very interesting part of the world today or should we watch for something breaking? >> i think it's also important that you stay abreast of what we're about to publish. >> great answer. thank you to all my panel. after the break, we head to the hill where the russian investigation is moving ahead. ahh. where are mom and dad? 'saved money on motorcycle insurance with geico! goin' up the country. love mom and dad'
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just a reminder we're waiting on the white house press briefing which is expected to begin in a few minutes. today's briefing with sean spicer is off camera, but we'll bring the audio to you live when the questions begin. meanwhile, lawmakers are off this week which means they're free about facing questions about the russia investigation. at least on capitol hill. senator bill cassidy found out earlier today, they're facing them at home. >> the president is a traitor.
we know he has done something unconstitutional. >> that has not been established. >> right. i think we actually have common ground here. what i'm saying is let's see if he has or not. >> it comes as a former trump campaign surrogate, boris epstein, says he has been contacted by congress in connection with the white house investigation. and as mike flynn tells nbc news, he will hand over some documents to the senate intel committee. nbc's capitol hill correspondent kasie hunt joins me now. kasie, boris epstein is a new name we're hearing. haven't heard that name so far. tell me why the white house may want answers from him. >> reporter: i would think of this as casting a wide net. there is a group of people on this pretty long list, we're told two dozen plus, potentially, that these committees are interestein speaki to, and this is somebody who may have some
knowledge or information. if you look through our nbc reporting, it's not clear there would ever be a subpoena or anything like that if, in fact, he decided not to cooperate with this. i think you're seeing a lot more high-level focus on some of these other members of the trump inner circle. michael flynn obviously someone we've talked a lot about. i spoke to a source close to flynn yesterday who said they are going to start producing these documents on a rolling basis. the deadline for them to start doing that is on june 6. then you have jared kushner who said, okay, i'm willing to talk to these committees. a little more private, but clearly has burst into the headlines in the last week, and is going to become a point of increasing scrutiny, katy. >> there's another name we have heard before that the white house was trying to distance itself from. that is carter page. but donald trump brought him up today unsolicited in a tweet. he said, so now it is reported that the democrats who have
excoriated carter page about russia don't want him to testify. he blows away their case against him and now wants to clear his name by showing, quote, the false or misleading testimony by james comey, john brennan, dot, dot, dot, quote, witch hunt, explanation point. kacie, this is unusual. they said he's never arou. why is donald trump bringing him up in a tweet? >> katy, we have a statement from the house democrats saying they're not at the interviewing phase yet, they're still collecting documents and will start interviews shortly. i think if you talk to anybody here on capitol hill in either party, they feel like carter page has basically been throwing himself at the committees to try to talk to them. it seems like something he's more interested in. he sent a resume or something over there along those lines. it's almost funny when you talk to these members behind the scenes, so i do think it's a
little bit of an interesting and remarkable shift. i never got the sense that specifically democrats still want to speak to carter page. there may be some evolving dynamics on the outside, but i don't think this is somebody that these committees feel like it's going to be difficult to get information from if they want it. >> it does make you wonder if carter page has a lawyer advising him. why does he keep going on television and talking about these things? there is an odd thing going on there, i have to say. kasie hunt, thank you very much for trice to flush that out for us. thank you. >> thank you. >> jared kushner did not acknowledge questions asked by nbc news this morning in washington. politico reports the president's son-in-law and senior adviser is also not bringing up the recent reports at work, writing, quote, kushner seems to operate as a faculty mber with tenure in an otherwise insecure work environment. here now, author of "to plot
america," former fbi agent. wouldn't addressing this and making it a big deal make it a big deal? >> i think it's in his interest not to say anything about this at all. anything he says could be used in some house or senate intelligence committee's hearings, or worse yet, the fbi investigation that's going to be conducted by director mueller. he has a lot of questions to answer, that is without a doubt. >> jack, talk to me about why a back channel might not be normal in this circumstance. >> well, to the extent i know back channels have been used extensively in special situations, but not to establish sort of a generic communication channel with what is
fundamentally an adversary. i mean, the whole idea sounds like, you know, it was cooked up by amateurs, and if, indeed, mr. kushner was involved in this, he is an amateur on the international scene and is ill matched against the players on the other side. >> play devil's advocate with me for a second because something hasn't made sense to me. if kislyak is conveying that jared kushner wants to have a back channel, the russians obviously know their communications are being monitored. would they have it in their interest to say something -- i know we're getting into other territory here, but would they have the permission to make a claim like that? >> i think if you can play the other side, you will. the more confusion you throw into the picture, the better.
this is part of the russian game and it hasn't changed since the soviet union. disinformation, we now call it fake news, but the soviets were the originators of this kind of stuff. as we know, the russians are essentially a successor to the soviet union in idealogy. >> what's your take on that? >> jack is absolutely right. let's explore your point. if you have russians who know that they're on an insecure level of communications and they reveal highly confidential information, you have to assume that they want you to know that. and the question is, why do they want you to know it? why would they want jared kushner to know that? maybe as a form of leverage for something they have that's even more in depth? the point is jared kushner's request to use russian secure cryp cryptographic systems that's run
by the ex-kgb, that means he has something to hide, and what he wanted to hide it from was u.s. intelligence. and that is beyond suspicious at this point. anyone else in the united states would have been at least detained, polygraphed and possibly arrested for espionage. >> couldn't ask for two better guests on this topic. appreciate it, guys. we're at the halfway mark heerl on msnbc. sources say president trump is leaning toward an exit from the paris climate accord. the other two countries not supporting the deal are nicaragua and syria. the pentagon revealed video of the test fire of a long-range missile over the pacific ocean. that missile successfully intercepted and destroyed its test target. and in afghanistan, at least 80 people were killed and 30
wounded near tby. this is what's considered a safe area. >> we have now confirmed that 11 contractors were among those injured in this sprawling suicide bombing. it struck the heart of the center of kabul just this morning. authorities still don't know how this bomber was able to breach the very tight security around the perimeter of this area and drive this devastating bomb into a place that many consider to be one of the kabul's safe havens. there's going to be a major question going forward as the dust settles on this, one of the largest and deadliest bombings in recent memory of kabul. the target hasn't been
devastating. this suicide truck bomb hit kabul's shopping district at the holy month of ramadan. so the timing and size of the blast seemed aimed at maximum civilian casualties. the taliban, which the u.s. has been fighting for 15 years, denying any role in is. that means suspicions will likely fall on another american enemy, isis or islamic state. we're just minutes away from sean spicer. we'll bring that audio live. white house palace intrigue and oh, so much more. but first.
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with foreign leaders. current and morforeign official tell the press trump has given his cell phone number to several leaders so they can contact him directly. so far only trudeau has taken him up on this offer, but some are worried about this form of communication, whether it creates diplomatic and service concerns. former u.s. ambassador to russia is here. ambassador, does it potentially run afoul of security concerns, diplomatic concerns? what is the problem if he asks world leaders to call him directly on his cell phone? >> well, katy, i see two or three problems. obviously the security concern is there. i don't know exactly what telephone he's using right now, but cell phones can be intercepted, other people can listen to them. but the second concern i have is
that he would have so much time in his schedule to actually take a phone call out of the blue on his cell phone from any world leader. i worked at the white house for three years on the national security council staff, and the president's time was sparsed out in 10 to 20-minute intervals. it seems strange to me that he would interrupt his calendar for that. then the third thing, i would just mention that, again, different presidents operate in different ways, but for every phone call that i was on with the president, president obama, there was a call package. we prepared talking points, we prepared briefing materials for him so he could prepare for that call to reflect in that conversation what was u.s. national security policy at the time. just winging it without talking points, i think, is kind of dangerous. >> michael, this is a president, though, who says over and over again and proves over and over again that he's not going to do things the conventional way. are there any positives you can
see from allowing world leaders to get as much access as they potentially want to the president of the united states? does it allow us to have more open channels of communications, perhaps buildtrger relationships? could that argument be made? >> i think in theory, yes, and i think it's a nice gesture. i give my cell phone out to people i want to hear from. >> i don't have your cell number. what the heck? >> i'll give it to you. i'll send it to you right now. but in practical terms, it's just knowing the rhythm of the white house, it doesn't seem practical to me. remember, he has a scheduler, he has a staff. they're trying to figure out the times he should talk to whom and when. there is a bit of a competition among world leaders about who talks to the president. he needs a team. he needs a chief of staff to help him manage that. and i think the rhythm of just kind of picking up the phone wherever you want to talk to
people -- i don't know, i think there should be more structure, and above all else, i want the president to think about what is the policy that he's communicating when he gets on the phone and not just winging it. talking about birthdays or anniversaries or things like that, that's one thing. but to talk about policy without talking points, that's not a good idea. >> so we know this president is watching cable tv quite a bit as well because we see the tweets where he's responding to it, and we know he's got a tv block in the oval office, a block of tvs, i should say. how much free time does he have? and if he has all this free time, who is doing the governing here? >> again, i just read what's reported. >> from your experience, who would be -- if the president is not doing all of it, who is getting -- who is being delegated to? >> all i can tell you is this.
you know, when i worked at the white house, every minute of the president's time, that was the currency of the realm. dealing with the president, having facetime with the president, having reading time or briefing time with the president was incredibly finite and we fought over every minute, including over phone calls, by the way. would you call president mendev or would you call angela merkel? there needs to be a process of making that happening in an effective way. >> trying to do a good job of answering the unanswerable. i appreciate it. in just a minute, we're going straight to the white house to get that white house briefing. remember, it is audio only, but we'll bring it to you. sean spicer, coming up.
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holiday. kushner is a quiet but pivotal figure in the white house whose portfolio includes a lot of foreign and a lot of domestic issues. but now he finds himself at the center of the controversy between alleged ties at the trump campaign and russian officials. kushner is also the subject of a new politico magazine profile about how he is much tougher than he might look. joining us now is the author of that profile, veteran journalist and political columnist david fr freelander. david, thank you very much. you are the expert on this. i want to read a portion of this profile you did. you said, those who know him from his days as a young new york real estate magnate and a real estate publisher, america is just getting to know the jaredushner they have always known, that underneath the unflappable, golden exterior is someone ready to counter punch when he is slighted.
tell me more. >> that is jared kushner in a nutshell. that clip you showed, silent behind dark sunglasses as reporters call out questions is very jared kushner to me. in the meantime, while he doesn't speak much publicly and he's there holding ivanka's hand, he is there at every meeting and every decision. it was the same in new york city. he came out of a horrible scandal involving his father, a scandal that was lurid even by new jersey political standards, but he came out sort of on top in a way and tried to rebuild the family name. and he succeeded at it. >> sean spicer is running through a lot of logistics and sk scheduling right now. once he starts taking questions we'll bring that to you live. no doubt sean spicer will be asked about this again today. the white house obviously doesn't want to confirm the news reports that there may have been a back channel between jared kushner or that he might have
tried to establish a back channel between the transition and russia, but it's a big story. does that news jibe with the reporting you've done on this character, somebody who would go to great lengths in order to find a way to communicate with somebody, in order to propel the interests of somebody eahe's working for, his own business, or t trump campaign transition. >> i think he really does. soon after he took over his father's real estate empire, he bought a new york society "newsweenew news weekly called the observer. he kept his information intact in many ways, but he sort of redirected a lot of coverage toward commercial real estate, toward his own family's business interests. it became sort of a society newspaper for the real estate community in new york city, which is just a way of going
around the accepted channels to try to create his own reality, in many respects. >> anything you learned about him that really surprised you? >> i mean, you know, there was a lot. i think there was sort of just some new thinking about him. i think a lot of people were surprised when he married ivanka, when he became so close to the trump family. but i think that the way in which that whole gambit, in a way, worked out for him, and now here he is next to the seat of power, which i think in many places is where he always wanted to be. >> david, what does he believe in? is he democrat, is he moderate, is he a republican, does he believe in policies? what does jared kushner believe? we don't hear from him, ever. we barely know him. >> we know about certain things, right? we know that he's fervently pro-israel, we know he believes in this new technology, new way of thinking that will sort of
unleash american innovation. but in terms of a lotf his politics, i agree, they are sort of a mystery and he really doesn't talk about them much. he and his family were major ma donors and fund-raisers for democrats when they were in new jersey. i think it surprised a lot of people who knew him in new york that he has become so close to such a right wing populist administration. >> did he ever express any interest in being a diplomat, in being in the position that he is in, other than the desire to be close to power, other than his interest and support of israel and the new technology, as you just mentioned, do you know what he's interested in? what he is knowledgeable about beyond that? >> you know, i think that also is unknown. >> now he's a staffer of one. >> i'm so sorry to interrupt
you. the questions have started. my apologies. >> a decision in the next few days stand. >> will he have a formal cabinet meeting or a formal review before he makes decision? >> that will obviously be up to the present to decide. >> thank you. do you think people should be concerned that the president posted somewhat of an incoherent tweet last night and it stayed out for hours? >> no. >> why did it state up so long? is no one watching this? >> the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant. >> blake. blake. blake. >> is it fully removed? fully staying in? or is there a middle ground that the president is willing to negotiate? >> i think some pieces cut out.
some remain. >> with the president has an announcement, he will make it clear what the basis of that is. >> two quick questions. so to be clear, the president has not made a final decision on the paris climate agreement? >> i obviously don't know whether he's made it. when he's ready to make an announcement, he will make it clear. >> who is he consulting? what factors is he considering? >> he's licensed to a lot of people. here, industry leaders as i think director comey dimensioned last week. he consulted with foreign leaders. he's talked to industry leaders and he'll make the decision. >> thank you. >> two questions. >> yesterday you spoke about human rights. will he bring up his own strong belief in human rights with the prime minister of vietnam? particularly given the very
negative reports on human rights from human rights watch and the state department? >> i'm not going to get into the private discussions the president has had. i think we've talked about this with respect to foreign leaders. he believes a lot of the effectiveness of his actions is done behind the scenes d we' have a readout of that when it is done. >> yesterday you answered my question about the president and president duterte of the philippines and his war on drugs. president duterte has also declared marshal law and has declare marshal law not unlike that of the marco regime. >> i think should you touch base with the state department on that. >> does the president still plan to release waivers snowstorm is
there any information you can get to us on how to access that? >> i should have an update for you on that. i'm not ready to discuss it at this time. >> thank you. following up on the waiver, has the president made a decision? does the president have any update on the timing? >> i expect something very soon on that. >> will the president also give an explanation, that this was a central campaign pledge? >> yeah. i think once we have a decision, we'll put it out. >> thank you. a little while ago, elon musk tweeted a let the to withdraw some of the ceo white house counsel if the president leaves the paris accord. >> i think let's wait and see what the president's decision is. i don't want to get ahead of the president's decision.
we'll let you know and have any further reaction. >> this is someone the press has invited multiple times. is he a trusted adviser? >> i think the president has a lot of people he gets input from on a lot of issues. >> james comey testified the president pressured him to crop the michael flynn investigation definitely the president engage in obstruction of justice in repeated ways with james comey? >> we are focused on the president's agenda and going forward, all questions in this regard will be focused to the outside counsel. >> thank you. the president met with european leaders last week. did those discussions from the german chancellor and others influence his thinking on the
paris climate agreement? >> the president has taken counsel from a lot of individuals to help formulate his decision making. when he mass decision made, we will make it clear. >> there are several ways he could withdraw. >> i don't want to get ahead of what he may or may not do when we have an announcement, we'll let you know. >> thank you. >> i have a question about this kathy griffin incident. obviously her conduct has been widely condemned. it is not a partisan thing to say joking about violence with a president is unacceptable. i wanted to ask about ted nugent who joked about assassinating president obama, who said hillary clinton should be hanged. he was invited to the white house by president trump. do you believe that was
appropriate? if trump is offended by this incident, why was he not bothered by all the nugent comments? >> with regard to the kathy griffin statements, made comment and i'll let that stand. to be honest with you, i would have to look back at what those statements were. i'm not aware of what the reaction was at the time. i know that the statement with regard to miss griffin was acknowledged by both the first lady, the president, and the secret service. >> francesca. >> not to beat a dead horse on the paris agreement, there have been several reports today that said the president is planning to pull out of paris agreement. are you saying those reports are wrong? that he has not made a decision yet? >> what i am saying is that when the president has a decision to make, he'll let people be it
known. and i don't think it is a personnel decision or any other action we tend to get ahead of the president. he is the ultimate decider. i'm sorry for the delay but i'll catch up with you later. >> sean spicer ending quite a briefing, audio only from the white house press secretary. he was discussing whether or not it is true whether the president has decided to pull out. he said he cannot confirm or denial it but that the president will make his announcement about the climate accord the moment he is ready to do so. he was also asked about that late night tweet last night with that word that i can't pronounce, even if i tried. the one that stayed up about five or six hours, between midnight and 5:00 a.m., or
whether or not anyone is monitoring the president's social media account, what it meant. sean spicer said he wasn't concerned by it and he said that the president and a small number of people do know what he meant by tweet. it sounds like the president is tweeting inside jokes at midnight despite the constant negative press, whatever that word is there. i don't want to say it. if i try it, i'll get pressed into a late night montage. i want to say thank you to everybody who stuck with me the past two hours despite this horrible cold that i am clearly getting over. my voice sounds weird and awful. >> say the word. if you have a cold, that's the -- >> i'm not going to say it. i know producers at the daily show are watching and i don't want to -- >> say it with me.
covfefe. have a great afternoon. all right. we are following as katy said a very busy afternoon. a source close to me says the former fbi director is expected to testify next week after being, quote, cleared for takeoff by special counsel robert mueller. we'll bring you all the details. a lot of details. and at any moment, president trump will meet with the vietnamese he president. and we're waiting for hillary clinton to speak momentarily at a tech conference in california. we will air her speech live. she is expected to talk about russia's interference in the 2016 election. also today, new reporting that president trump is leaning toward backing out of the paris climate agreement. something that president trump wouldn't speak about. we don't know i