tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC June 1, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
could not have known we were just moments away from the creation of covfefe as a new word. that is our broadcast for tonight. thank you for being here with us and goodnight from new york. tonight on "all in." >> that dinner was arranged. i think he asked for the dinner. >> countdown to comey day. >> i said, if it's possible, would you let me know am i under investigation? >> james comey officially cleared to give his version of events on live television. tonight, what comey will say and why the white house is suddenly clamming up as hillary clinton comes right out and says it. >> it's a vast russian conspiracy. well, it turned out we were right. >> then the alarming backstory to kushner's meeting with putin's banker. plus -- >> this is not going to be easy. we'll be right back. we'll make a decision. >> the high stakes of treating the planet's fate like an "apprentice" finale. >> so, ivanka, what do you
think? >> i think you have a very challenging decision ahead of you. >> and the truth about late-night gibberish tweeting. >> the -- the -- the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant. >> when "all in" starts right now. good ening from w york. i'm ris hayes. as soon as next weekthe american public will get a chance to hear directly from james comey. the former fbi director fired by the president earlier this month in the midst of the russia investigation, a source close to comey tells nbc news comey has been cleared for takeoff by special counsel robert mueller to testify in an open session of the senate intelligence committee. it would be comey's first public appearance since his abrupt dismissal on may 9th. multiple reports indicate the former fbi director plans to address his interactions with the president over the russia probe, which we now know comey documented in a series of contemporaneous memos. according to one of those memos,
the president asked comey to end the fbi investigation into his former national security adviser, michael flynn, during an oval office meeting in february, telling comey, he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go. it has been reported similarly that senior white house officials sounded out top intelligence officials about the possibility of intervening directly with comey to encourage the fbi to drop its probe of flynn. comey has also told associates that back in january, he was summoned to a private dinner at the white house where the president demanded a loyalty pledge which comey declined to give him. that report stands in sharp contrast to the president's own version of the dinner, which he described earlier this month in an interview with nbc's lester holt. >> i had a dinner with him. he wanted to have dinner because he wanted to stay on. we had a very nice dinner at the white house. >> he asked for the dinner? >> a dinner was arranged. i think he asked for the dinner. and he wanted to stay on as the fbi head, and i said i'll, you know, consider. we'll see what happens. but we had a very nice dinner,
and at that time he told me, you are not under investigation, which i knew anyway. >> if the president tried to block the investigation, critics say it could amount to obstruction of justice. asked today about comey's impending testimony, the white house declined to comment. >> did the president engage in obstruction of justice in repeated meetings with james comey? >> our job -- we are focused on the president's agenda, and all going forward, all questions on these matters will be referred to outside counsel, marc kasowitz. >> according to cnbc, the white house says it will no longer take questions on russia, quote, on all of it, and the policy will remain in place until further guidance. all questions will be referred to the president's outside lawyer. it's unclear whether that policy will apply to the president himself, who continues to discuss the russia probe on twitter. minutes after fox news aired a segment claiming house democrats had delayed testimony by trump campaign aide carter page, the
president himself tweeted, so now it is reported the democrats who have excoriated carter page about russia don't want him to testify. he blows their case against him and now wants to clear his name by showing the false or misleading testimony bhi james comey and john brennan. witch hunt. i'm joined by philip rucker from "the washington post." we just got a story that "the washington post" published not under your byline, but about the trump white house moving to possibly return the russian compounds that were seized by the u.s. as a kind of punitive measure in response to russian active measures and sabotage and hacking during the camign. you know, what's remarkable about th are thections the white house continues to take where they have a choice between something that looks incriminating or not incriminating. they do tend to go towards the thing that looks incriminating whether it is substantively fine or not. >> well, what my colleagues are reporting is that the trump administration is in talks with
russia right now to return these two properties. these are compounds in new york and maryland that are used as retreats, if you will, for russian officials in the u.s. they were seized by the obama administration back in december for retaliation for the election tampering, and trump wants to give it back to russia. it's actually not clear at this point what, if anything, the united states would get out of that deal. there was some talk that maybe they could get clearance to build a new compound for the u.s. in st. petersburg, but that was scuttled in a conversation between secretary of state tillerson and his russian counterpart, lavrov, here in washington a few weeks ago. >> is the white house prepared for comey's testimony? >> that's a great question. i think they would rather he not testify frankly. it's just going to raise a lot of new additional questions. i mean we've all been waiting, and the congress has been waiting to hear from comey specifically about his conversations with president trump about those notes that he took in those conversations. what exactly did the president
tell him? and i think everything that comey tells us that's new is going to create another headache for this white house, which as you know is already enmeshed in its own sort of turmoil trying to figure out how to restructure and revive an agenda that seems to have been stalled. >> i mean i guess the question for you is, as someone who covers that white house day in and day out, how palpable that is. it seems to me the amount of political capital they're expending on this is considerable. it also seems whatever legislative agenda, they're having a hard time sort of spearheader, how much does that read to you in the room as you cover this beat? >> i mean some of the aides are despondent. there's a real morale problem in the white house right now, and that's evident just in the kind of body language and the behavior of the spokespeople that you see out in public. but, look, they're trying to staff up. they're trying to beef up an operation, a war room to deal with these russia questions and revive the agenda. health care has gone nowhere. tax reform has gone no. there's no infrastructure plan.
these are all things that president trump wants to be taking action on, and i understand that the president is quite frustrated with the senate nor not doing more. but he at this point just doesn't have a lot of leverage or political capital left to give this a push on capitol hill. >> all right. philip rucker, thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> i'm joined by josh earnest, former white house press secretary under present obama. josh, there's a bit of news today, which is the house intel committee issued seven subpoenas for flynn and for cohen, and then unmasking requests, sort of looking at that part of the story on the other side. the question for you is can the white house kind of cordon this off and say, we're not going to answer any questions about russia, anything having to do with it. there's an active investigation. go talk to the president's lawyer. how long can you do that? is it a plausible approach? >> well, chris, i think the crux of the problem facing the white house staff right now is there is a pronounced information asymmetry that will be on
display when director comey testifies. director comey is somebody who is a fastidious man, a copious note taker, who will be using those detailed notes to convey to congress and to the american public exactly what he discussed with president trump. it's not clear that president trump -- well, i feel confident in saying president trump didn't take any notes from those meetings. it's also not clear that president trump will discuss in any detail or even be honest with his staff about what he remembers about those discussions with director comey. so that is going to put the white house at a significant disadvantage as they try to determine how they respond to what director comey says in open hearings. >> this is a key point. what you're saying there is that basically if the principle at issue, in this case, the president of the united states, is not fully honest with the people in the staff, there's no way that the staff can actually do their jobs. >> well, it's no way to -- it's certainly not going to be possible to defend him if his staff don't know the facts that
they need to, to clear his name or at least respond to the charges that are delivered by adversaries of the presidency. so, look, clearly sean is in a very difficult position as he answers questions about this at the briefing. is this a tenable strategy? i don't know if it is. when we see this daily briefing that goes on day after day after day and he is subject to these pointed, direct questions that raise significant doubts about the conduct of the president of the united states -- >> yes, like did the president commit a felony for instance? >> right. and his inability to answer that question certainly doesn't make the president look very good. >> hillary clinton gave an interview today, a very fascinating, frank discussion at a conference. she had this to say about the russia story particularly during the campaign. take a listen. >> i think it's fair to ask how did that actually influence the campaign, and how did they know what messages to deliver?
who told them? >> yeah. >> who were they coordinating with or colluding with? the russians, in my opinion and based on the intel and counter-intel people i've talked to, could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided. and here's -- >> guided by americans. >> guided by americans. >> that's quite a claim. >> that is a very serious charge. one of the troubling aspects of this story is there are some indications that there may have been people on president trump's campaign or people that advised president trump who were aware of what was happening. there is the infamous tweet from roger stone, a close adviser of the president even though he didn't work on the campaign, but somebody who president trump trusts a lot and gave him a lot of political advice, who tweeted in advance, basically suggesting
that john podesta's e-mails were going to be leaked by wikileaks. the tweet was something like, john podesta better look out. that indicates some foreknowledge that is deeply troubling and does certainly seem to give -- lend some credence to what secretary clinton there is saying, which is it's difficult to imagine that the russians could have been this effective without at least some help. >> i should say roger stone says that he didn't have any foreknowledge although there's new reporting from the new yorker today saying stone has been talking to the president even after comey's firing, which some people blamed on stone. so that's sort of to flesh out the record there. josh earnest, thanks for your time. >> thank you, chris. >> let's bring in rebecca ingber and paul butler, former federal prosecutor of the department of justice. paul, let me talk to you first. there's so much anticipation for comey and there's a question about what will he be able to say or not say? i guess from a legal perspective, what's your anticipation of the breadth of what you would imagine he can talk about?
>> chris, it could be really boring, or it could be really juicy. boring would mean he talked this over with special counsel mueller and mueller said, don't say too much. it would be kind of like when rod rosenstein went before the senate intelligence committee they were like, well, why did you even come if you weren't going to say anything? but he's doing that to preserve our criminal case. the juicy part could be, you remember trump called mueller a show boat. he is a little bit of a drama king. he loves a moment. and the good thing here for the juiciness is that this isn't a criminal trial. it's a senate committee hearing. so the criminal rules of evidence don't apply. so they'll be able to ask mueller things like, well, when trump told you to lay off flint, what did you think that means? they can actually answer that. >> that is a great point. rebecca, comey is such a strange, unique, in some ways solitary figure here. he has this strange role in terms of the level of independence he has.
what do you expect of the latitude he himself feels he'll have to speak in this hear something. >> i think when you said he's sort of a strange -- you know, comey has a history of acting independently far beyond what we typically see from an executive branch official. i mean in part, i think he occupies sort of this rare position, this exclusive club of officials who sort of cut their teeth as career officials, right? he was a career prosecutor, not unlike sally yates, maybe not unlike rod rosenstein. we have yet to see the extent he's interested in speaking truth to power. but these are officials who are not entirely any longer career officials, but they're also not purely political animals. so they have sort of the institutional prerogatives of the executive branch as a whole at stake, right, in their hearts to some degree. >> in some ways, that precisely, like career versus politicals, which is a distinction in d.c. that makes a lot of difference. people who are career, which civil service and protected,
people who are politicals, who are appointed, that's a huge division. in some ways, one of the subtexts of the story of this administration so far that might cut to the bottom of obstruction of justice is kind of that battle. >> yes. so one of the many sort of executive branch norms or governmental norms that this administration has continuously broken is this den i grags of the government itself. so the president has continuously denigrated his own people, the career bureaucracy. and it is that bureaucracy and the sort of independence of that bureaucracy that is the reason we have so much information about what's going on, right? it's not the sort of traditional checks and balances that you see. it's not because of congress. it's not necessarily even because of the courts although the courts are obviously engaging. it's because of the bureaucracy, and it's because of the press. and so we see how important those institutions are, and it's interesting -- >> that's a really great point. they have been this huge bulwark.
paul, there's a development. as someone who has worked in the sort of public corruption office at doj, there is an interesting little news item today i thought i would get your reaction to. andrew weissman, who is a fraud investigator, is joining mueller's russia investigation team. he's the head of the justice department's fraud section. his specialties have included corporate wrongdoing. i thought if i saw that news in the white house, i wouldn't be super stoked. >> yeah, that's right. i mean among the other things, we now know that jared kushner has graduated from being a person of interest to probably being a subject of this investigation. so, you know, everyone's concerned about collusion, properly so. but there are also some financial dealings with regard to russia and trump operatives where they could very well face criminal exposure. those are off the radar, but probably just as alarming as the collusion. >> thanks to you both. still to come, why jared kushner met with a sanctioned
russian bank that is essentially an arm of the russian government. new questions surrounding that already suspicious meeting after this two-minute break. ...positively radiant® 60 second in shower facial. works with steam to reveal... ...glowing skin in just one minute. aveeno® "naturally beautiful results®"
it was reported this week that both federal and congressional investigators are now looking into a pair of meetings that president trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, jared kushner, had with russian officials during that presidential transition period between election day and inauguration day. it includes a meeting with this guy, sergey gorkov. he's the head of a state-controlled russian development bank which is known as veb. on its face, it's a weird meeting. i mean why after a campaign in which russia quite openly intervened to boost president trump's chances was the president's son-in-law meeting with the leader of a russian bank? but the whole thing is actually way shadier than it looks on the surface because veb is not a normal bank. it is far closer to an arm of the russian government. it was sanctioned by the u.s. and the eu for essentially underwriting the war on ukraine. according to one observer,
vladimir putin effectively runs the veb as his private slush fund, using it to bail out oligarchs and fund pet projects. the bank pumped millions of dollars into ukraine at a time when putin was seeking to move the ukrainian government closer to russia. putin appointed gorkov to lead the bank, and gorkov is a graduate of fsb academy. that's the russian school for spies. last year, the man seen in this sketch, who has been posing as a veb employee in new york, pleaded guilty to spying against the united states. in other words, he was working for the bank as cover. yet jared kushner meets with gorkov anyway and then did not disclose that meeting on his security clearance forms under penalty of perjury. as atlantic counsel fellow anders os len told foreign policy, veb does not do any ordinary banking business. therefore, it is so remarkable that jared kushner met with the head of veb. joining me now, yahoo! news
finance anchor bianna golodryga and elias grohl. elias, let me start with you. you wrote a really good piece about this bank. this bank is sort of a kind of a functionally a part of the government projecting financial power for the kind of strategic interests of the russian government. >> that's exactly right. it's used to advance the foreign policy agenda of the kremlin. it's used to pump money into pet projects. it's used to support kremlin-friendly oligarchs. as you mentioned, it's been a key tool in the kremlin's efforts to bind ukraine more closely to russia and to try to keep it out of the west's sphere of influence if you will. >> there's a sort of amazing story you tell in the piece about basically propping up some steel factories in ukraine, sort of against economic interests but just to keep people employed as a sort of propaganda victory that then had to be bailed out. >> exactly.
it's one of these steel mills in question, and i think the most interesting one of these. in fact, since that piece ran, "the wall street journal" revealed that when veb purchased its stake in the mill in 2010, it did so from a man who was investor in a trump project. alexander schneider. he then took the proceeds from that money and funneled those funds into trump's development in toronto, which has become defunct, and that money was use ed to bail out that project. >> you know, the broader picture here is that this bank is under sanction, and one of the things i think it's easy to lose sight of, the sanctions have taken a bite out of russia and they do want them dropped. >> it's one of the priorities for vladimir putin, that's for sure. i remember when the story first came out earlier this year, i thought, wow, this is coming on
the heels of major protests in russia where you saw hundreds of thousands of people in the streets, thousands of people were arrested. they were fighting against corruption. they were fighting for freedom. so this headline coming out that we're just learning that he met with this ceo of a sanctioned bank, he didn't disclose it, raised a lot of eyebrows to say the least. and one thing you have to understand with the russian ceos is unlike american ceos, and unlike american billionaires, they're tied to one person in russia, and that is vladimir putin. if you look back to when business -- by the way, there's no word for businessman in russia because up until the 1990s, there were no businesses, right? so when vladimir putin came into power, he said, here's the deal i'm going to make with all of you oligarchs, all of you who want to go and start your own businesses. you stay in your lane. you stay out of my lane. so at the end of the day, they all answer to one person, and that is vladimir putin. so that's the answer we want to know. why did you not disclose this, and why on earth out of all of the ceos from every country around the world would you meet
with this man? >> also, i mean, there's also the fact that the bank was being used as functional cover for actual russian spies, which should not go unnoticed. but there's also the fact that no one -- there's no agreement between the white house and the veb itself about what the meeting was about. veb said, we were meeting lots of foreign investors as if they were meeting with kushner as the head of the kushner group, which has a massively overleverage the building they were looking for finance for. we don't even know if this was sort of business or pleasure to kind of use the saying. >> exactly. veb and the trump administration, they can't get on the same page as to what this meeting was exactly about, and this is clearly a question for investigators at this point, something that the fbi is probing through its investigation and is also something that congressional investigators are trying to get answers to. >> it also seems plausible to me, bianna, that, you know, there's this question of
collusion, right? but it also seems possible that this bank and putin and the kremlin were just interested in possibly lending money as a kind of, sort of asymmetrical entanglement toward someone who is going to be very powerful in the new administration. >> winning favor. we've done similar stories about china as well. look, i do not think that vladimir putin and donald trump sat on the phone talking to each other about how they would work together. >> yes. >> on bringing their countries together and helping the trump corporation. i really don't think that that happened. having said that, jared kushner, weeks after the election, had said that he was going to disentangle himself from his family company. he was going to focus on moving to d.c. and not his company, not his own company. that's one of the reasons -- that's what veb said they were meeting with him about, was the kushner properties, the kushner business. the u.s. government is saying, no, this had more to do with policy. why on earth would this bank have anything to do with regards to the syrian crisis, and why on
earth would it be such a pressing issue that they had to discuss it right then and there? syria has been unraveling for years. >> again, elias, the question here again, if there's nothing here underlying this, this is just a meeting about bringing peace to syria or a back channel or about how great kushner properties are, you know, prudentially, the choice to take the meeting itself is strange given the environment under which it was taken. >> exactly. and gorkov is not somebody who is seen as somebody who is extremely close to the kremlin. if you were looking for a trusted intermediary with the kremlin or the putin administration, you would probably look for somebody who was closer to the regime. gorkov is certainly an insider, but he's by no means somebody who is in the very inner circle of power. >> but don't forget who is the chairman of the board of this bank, the prime minister of russia. so he could very well be described as close to vladimir putin. >> it's sort of two degrees of separation as i've learned.
just past midnight, a message from the president. despite the constant negative press covfefe. i think clearly coverage misspelled. tweeted out to 30 million followers and the longer the tweet stayed up, the more the internet loved it. by 1:00 a.m. it was trending worldwide, covfefe, spawning memes, video game mock-ups and a
response from miriam webster dictionary. the president resurfaced to say, who can figure out the true meaning of covfefe. enjoy. the president seemed to be acknowledging the silliness in a sort of charming way, i thought, surrounding what seemed to be a run of the mill mistakenly sent tweet. no big deal. but it did come up with sean spicer today in a briefing the white house decided would not be on camera. all sean spicer had to do was the same thing the president did. >> do you think people should be concerned that the president posted somewhat of an incoherent tweet last night and that it then stayed up for hours? >> uh, no. >> why did it stay up so long? is no one watching this? >> no, i think the -- the -- the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant. blake? >> wait a minute. >> blake? >> what does it mean? >> blake?
any decision on the paris climate deal? are you close? >> very soon. i'm hearing from a lot of people, both ways. both ways, believe me. i'm hearing from a lot of people both ways. >> do you believe it's a hoax still? >> thank you, everybody. thank you very much. >> the president seemed to be treating his decision ton whether to pull out of the world's most significant climate agreement ever like an episode of the apprentice. yet administration officials with knowledge of the decision have told various news outlets the president has already made up his mind to do so. if that's the case, he'll have the support of 22 republican senators including majority leader mitch mcconnell, who signed onto a letter to the president last week calling for the u.s. to withdraw from the paris climate agreement. there are dueling contingents in the white house reportedly with epa chief scott pruitt and steve bannon arguing to leave and secretary of state rex tillerson, former ceo of exxon, one should note, and the president's daughter arguing to stay. the option to stay is also the
position of these fortune 500 companies that signed a letter that will appear in full-page ads tomorrow in "the new york times" and "the wall street journal," urging the president not to pull out of the paris climate agreement. a few days ago, the chief executive of exxonmobil, the current one, also wrote the esidena letter arguing h should keep, quote, a seat at the negotiating table to ensure a level playing field. and then there's the entire rest of the world. the paris climate accord has been agreed to by 193 countries plus the eu and palestinian authority. if the u.s. does leave, we would join the two countries on the entire planet not in agreement with the accord. one is syria, which is, well, in the middle of a brutal and ghastly civil war, a a a aaris c non-binding, meaning it's for all intents and purposes a voluntary collective effort to name targets and then hit them by the majority of the world's countries, the overwhelming majority, to try to curb the warming of the planet.
if the president does pull out, it could have severe implications for the world and the u.s.'s role in it. according to the german ambassador, if u.s. withdraws from the agreement, china may become the world's leader. joining me, senator ed markey. senator, what are the stakes here to you? >> well, the stakes are huge. if he says that he does not want to break a promise to the coal industry, that means he's going to have to break a promise which the united states made to the world that we would be the leader. a promise that we should make to every subsequent generation of americans throughout the 21st century, that we solved a problem that could cause catastrophic consequences not just for the poorest countries in the world, but also for the united states itself. it's an economic, a national security, and a moral responsibility of the united states to be the leader, and
what the president is doing is walking away from global leadership and the consequences will be great in terms of how the rest of the world views us in terms of our ability to keep our word to a huge issue, which is at the core of what that entire planet wants the united states to be the leader on. >> i want to zoom in here because what i'm hearing is there's two possible consequences. the sort of catastrophic one to my mind would be that they would unravel the deal. countries would start to pull out. even those this is voluntary, countries announced their targets. they agreed to audit and publish them, so it's all public. but what i'm hearing from you and what i've heard from other people is that it's not going to make other countries pull out. the deal is going to hold whether the u.s. is in or not. is that your sense? >> china has already announced that it is going to produce, by 2030, as much renewable energy electricity as all of electricity that is produced in
the united states in 2017, meaning that china, that india, that germany has a plan. their plan will be to brand made in china, made in germany, the clean energy technologies, the all-electric vehicles that are going to be produced in 2030, and the united states is just going to be left in the rearview mirror of economic history in this clean-energy sector because the president wants to keep a promise to the coal industry that only has 70,000 jobs left while today we already have 350,000 jobs in the wind and solar industries, industries that for all intents and purposes didn't even exist ten years ago. >> you know, you're in the united states senate, and the united states senate is home to a large percentage of the people that don't like this deal. i mean basically the entire world has signed on except for syria and nicaragua.
jonathan chait wrote this, which i thought was interesting. of all the major conservative parties in the democratic world, the republican party stands alone in its denial of the legitimacy of climate science. indeed, the republican party stands alone in its conviction that no national or international response to climate change is needed. is that going to change anytime soon? >> well, the national academies of science of every country in the world has concluded that the planet is dangerously warming. >> right. >> that human beings are principally responsible, and that there is a moral responsibility and a technical capacity to deal with the problem. >> and the conservative parties of germany and england and france and australia and italy all basically sign on to, that but not the conservative party, the center right party of the united states. why? >> because this conservative party in the united states is funded by the koch brothers. it's funded by the coal industry.
it insists that scott pruitt, the attorney general of oklahoma that actually sued the epa 19 times on clean air, clean water, soot, mercury issues, becomes the head of the epa in our country. >> let me ask you this, senator. wait a second because, look, the fossil fuel industry, exxonmobil wrote a letter to the president telling him to stay into paris. so at a certain point, the framework that it's basically doing the bidding as a front for the fossil fuel companies almost gets stretched beyond belief if someone of the fuel fossil companies themselves want him to stay in the deal. >> some of them may, but the coal industry does not. that's why mitch mcconnell's name is at the top of that letter. and so this is really a campaign promise he made. but that campaign promise is going to undermine american leadership. and moreover, it's going to undermine our national security. part of our plan is to increase
fuel economy standards to 54.5 miles per gallon by the year 2025 to, to move to all-electric vehicles. that's going to back out a lot of oil which we now import from saudi arabia, oil that we import from the middle east. so the president was just over there last week and dancing around, and the saudis are very happy because that's one country that is definitely hypocritical about this whole climate change issue. they want to be selling more oil in the years ahead, and the united states instead is going to be sending over young men and women in uniform to protect the tanker ships coming to our country from saudi arabia and other countries when we should be telling that we, with a climate plan, with a clean energy plan, with an all-electric vehicle plan, are going to back out all of those issues that compromise our national security, compromise our ability to step back and be
neutral in terms of our attempts to bring peace to the middle east. >> all right, senator markey, thanks for joining us. >> you're welcome. thank you. coming up, the bizarrely over the top praise of president trump that steps outside of white house spin and into the territory of something more like propaganda. plus a gripping thing 1, thing 2 starts after this break. when it's time to move to underwear toddlers see things a bit differently thanks to pampers easy ups while they see their first underwear
thing 1 tonight, an update on president trump's odd overly aggressive handshake he uses to dwreet people, the yank and pull which he doesn't just reserve for staff members, but the power grab is used on unsuspecting world leaders like that one. what happened today with the prime minister of vietnam met with president trump? actually, a pretty normal, mutual, consensual, respectful handshake. no one was pulled out of their chair, which just makes you
think, was this an anomaly, or has something changed since the president's first foreign trip? that's thing 2 in 60 seconds. ♪ ♪ let your reign begin. evony, the mobile game. download now. for 10 years my tempur-pedic has adapted to my weight and shape. so i sleep deeply and wake up ready to perform.
now through june 11th, save $600 when you buy select tempur-pedic adjustable mattress sets. find your exclusive retailer at tempurpedic.com. during president trump's first foreign trip when his hands weren't secured on a glowing orb, he got a taste of his own medicine when it came to shand shakes. the strongman leader of tajikistan exhibited a show of force during their greeting but it was the french president emmanuel macron who stole the show with a white knuckle grip trump tried twice to pull away from before macron let go. now, back in february when canadian prime minister justin trudeau forcefully grabbed trump's arm to block the legendary yank and pull, there was speculation that trudeau had studied up on some game tape. however, we learned days after that macron handshake from the french president himself is not on an acknowledgement but macron actually did prepare for it. in an interview, he called the handshake with trump a moment of truth, saying the handshake with
president trump has wrapped up his intense nine-day overseas international voyage that by all accounts was a home run. our commander in chief, the pillar of strength and a true advocate for america. >> fox news hosts aren't the only ones praising president trump despite historically low approval ratings for a president during his first months in office, there are people whose job it is to talk about the president, who speak of him as if he is nearly perfect. >> he just absorbs information. i've never seen a more brilliant communicator, a more natural connector. >> there is no one y j j.
>> he is the ultimate deal-maker i've ever seen. >> i want to recap what the president and first lady just concluded. it was an extraordinary week for america. it was an historic turning point people will be talking about in many years to come. >> the president in just ten days has changed the geopolitical reality wherever he went. >> in a corresponding leading publication said in a short space of 10 days, trump carried out a revolution. >> is that normal? from the center of american progress joins me next.
i just want to read you a statement from white house spokeswoman, hope hicks. president trump has a magnetic personality and exudes positive energy which is infectious to those around him. he has the ability to speak to three or 30,000. he has built relationships throughout his life and treats everyone with respect and he has the amazing ability to make people feel more special and aspire to be more than even they thought possible. joining me, the white house reporter from the "washington post" and the center for american progress and worked in the administerings of barack obama and bill clinton. you have been writing on the intrigue there.
it does seem the performance expected of people is talk about the president in terms to me in an aesthetic sense is past the normal degree of puffery and spin. do you think that's fair? >> i think that's fair. remember, trump has always loved receiving praise. those around him have long praised him in an effort to win his trust and his loyalty and things like that. this is coming at a time it's clear the president is not happy about his communications staff and not happy how the message is going out, that this russian investigation is taking over the narrative. there has been talk of maybe sean spicer taking less of a role, kind of shifting around the way that they do things. as that's happening, you're seeing his spokespeople coming
out and being very trumpian in the way they talk about their boss. >> it does seem to me the way to his heart is to talk -- the thing they think he will like the most is speak like him. he has a particular cadence, like lots of hyperbole particularly. >> the word "historic" was used six times in the nine minute monologue sean spir gave t other day about the president's trip overseas. there are successes in that trip the white house could be rallying around and promoting and talking about. instead, by trying to cast this as this historic trip, more historic than all these other trips in history it kind of overshadows that and brings attention to the weaknesses of it. >> sort of the boy who cried wolf. there's a psychodrama i hate following and can't look away from. even in normal times a white house is a vortex of intense
pathos and envy. it is. those are intense places to work, the pressure is intense and psychodynamics are intense. >> probably what you don't want is an incredibly insecure leader of that institution that demands intense -- or much like what you would expect the north korean leader to expect from his staff and the kinds of things that they say. it is an intense place. the fact that they are saying incredibly over the top things obviously stretch cred duality adds to the fact we can't trust a lot of what they say today minute by minute and second by second. >> what do you make, as someone who worked in white houses and know white houses and campaigns can be disfunctional and sort of necessarily always disfunctional because of the amount of
pressure and scrutiny they have. what is your read of what's happening there? >> what was actually refreshing about the white houses i worked with particularly, i would say president obama was a person who kind of had a b.s. detector. people who overly praised him he tended to kind of be overly suspicious of. he wanted the straight facts. that's a great quality in a leader. you don't want a competition for the most psychofantic staff member because you won't get the honest facts about what's happening. you won't get bad news delivered to you or the straight take delivered to you. i think this is a dangerous sign there is a rush or competition to be the deliverer of good news because things like your bad poll numbers because you're not doing a good job, no one's going to tell him that. >> jenna, i do wonder about the
kind of advice he's getting and to the extent people who can tell the president hard truths very important in any organization particularly in the white house. right now he seems to be doing things utterly reckless from the legal standpoint, he keeps contacting people witnesses in an investigation or tweeting about it and it does seem there is no one to stop him from doing that. >> here's the thing. the number one person donald trump listens to is himself. he thinks he's his own best spokesperson, his own best strategist and his own best pollster. he has said because of that, that's why he's in the white house and went against the grain and did it totally different. he is the president now and hillary clinton is not and he's continuing to trust his gut and go with what he thinks this is right thing, even if people around him are saying, stop, don't do this, get your tweets vetted before you send it out.
>> the electoral college confers inphaly billity. >> thanks. tonight jim comey has been cleared for take off. set to testify before the senate intelligence committee. plus new subpoenas issued for trump's attorney and michael flynn. also the washington post reporting the trump administration may return to suburban u.s. compounds to russia after president obama threw the russians out back in december. meanwhile, the president back on twitter previewing a big announcement tomorrow but we still want to know what was going on with him last night. "the 11th hour" begins right now. and good evening once again from our headquarters in new york.