tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC June 6, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PDT
>> the government's position is a 25-year-old contractor cannot make the decision to disclose lawfully classified information to the public whether or not she thinks it is important for the public to see or not. there was things they asked the intercept to redact and they agreed. on the fur face it it doesn't seem materially sensitive, but it is tough to see where we see it. thank you for wchghis hour of msnbc live. right now we're going to burning you to dc for "andrea mitchell reports." >> we're following another possible terror incident in europe in this hour. he pulled a knife from his back pac and t
backpack and tried to kill a police officer. the situation is now under control. the investigation is being handled by the counter-terrorism unit. here is an eyewitness account from abigail miller who was visiting paris from minneapolis. >> it sounded like two gunshots went off and then i saw crowds fleeing. the police responded right away. they were running into the area. there had been large clourowds. firefighters, emergency services within a matter of minutes. and they were very brave. i think they had d a fantastic job. they cleared the area, they didn't yell or raise anyone's fear level. >> joining me now from london, kelly on the phone, chris dicky,
peter alexander, and ken delanian is here with me in the studio. first, kelly to you what we know, and chris dicky in paris. firl first of all, let's talk about how the police are handling this. >> they are handling it very well i would say. everything is very quiet here. it is still roped off. we were waiting for someone to come talk to us and give the official version of what happened. there was no sense of panic in the area. as i was approaching notre dame just after the incident, you saw people going into the sub way and also coming out of the subway. the area roped off.
>> and what do we know, what we're bed told is the counter terror unit is handling this because of articles, incidents, or facts found at the scene. >> right, they're not getting into details in terms of what the facts may be. what they're saying is because of the circumstances surrounding this, at a i have high profile place. that by definition they have to investigate this as a possible terror incident. the motive behind this, they're not saying what the exact motive is, but they are opening a counter terror investigation based on the fact that is happened at notre dame
cathedral. there was a deadly shooting on a aer -- they told us that a man pulled a hammer out of his backpack, his a police officer in a chest and head and his partner open fired and shot this suspect. we're not sure how many times we're not sure how hurt the police officer was. the attacker we believe is not kill killed.
a few witnesses have seen the attack, people were told to stay inside all of the places rounding notre dame and the police tweeted in the past 15 minutes that people would slow i will be a lowed to leave the area once checked. were not sure why they're going to these lents it is perhaps because of something that was said the a the scene. we have not seen people come out of notre damn re dame cathedral. >> i spoke to officials who said they are monitoring the incident in paris.
they have been coordinating with the u.s. embassy in paris, and working through the ore appropriate channels right now as they gather new information. no information if he has been briefed or notified. this is something that the president has been focused on on thcourse othe last 4 hours when he talked about the american need to be smart and vigilant, and he said if we're not smart it will only get worse. >> and the interior minister has just come to the machiicrophone. make sure that we have a translator available. while we wait for that, it is the spreading fear, we don't know what it is, but the fact is that there have be so many incidents that there is a new normal now. and this is clearly a soft target. one of the most iconic locations
in paris and the world. >>. it is the kind of attack that they fear there is a reason they're not letting people leave the tourist area. and there is crime every day, but these kind of attacks raise the question of was there experience and people that live among us in western civil sdags that mean to do us in. that is the real concern here. with easy access to guns, maybe it is a mass shooting and that distuvs the counter terrorism officials that we spoke to. >> you're here on double duty because we want to ask you about the nsa leak investigation. this is the first prosecution of
a expecd leaker. the fact is that is after the white house and the president was making a big deal out of leaks, more political leaks, as well. >> yes, but i don't think that we should read into anything. the profile of this is such that any prosecutor would have prosecuted this case. it fell into their lap. they took it upon themselves to disclear information to the news media. i make a living talking to people about sometimes classified information. this is a 25-year-old contractor, at a facility in georgia, that mailed a copy of a classified document to an intercept. and the intercept, trying to
verify the document, proa vieded the copy. they were able to concern -- the document had been printed and that lead to this -- >> more on that later, chris ki dicky, what more do we know, are people still in notre dame. >> if you're still there, if you could describe the scene there, can you describe the police presence, are they letting people out of the cathedral? what can you tell? >> it is difficult to tell, there have been police going in and out of the main entrance of notre dame for the last several minutes. they don't seem to be in a hurry. i have not seen any civilians come out for quite some time if is hard to know if some are being held inside still, i don't think we have an official statement on that, still.
the interior minister is speaking. i'm not close enough to hear what he is saying, but i imagine that will be out on the wires fairly soon -- >> chris, if i can tell you that we're told that the interior minister said the attacker said this is for syria. so there is clearly a connection from this eyewitness accountant whether or not it came from the police or something else. >> one thing that i think is important to kp in mind, is that notre dame was the target a failed terrorist attack last year where a group of women, as a matter of fact, were trying to set off a car full of bottled gas containers. they failed in that, but it was obviously a serious scare.
then there is a question of what people can do, if they walk into the church. i think the attacker at this point did not walk into the church. the attack was on the outside the ka ththedral, you start to see the -- the attack on manchester was the on the outside of the venue. it is something that we have an identity card from an nigerian student. joining me now is senator angus
king, he serves on the intelligence committee. obviously a lot of focus on paris, especially so soon after what happened in london and manchester. these attacks on soft targets, different types of weapons, we don't know it is counter-terror or not, but that is the focus of the investigation by police. >> ken it a a few minutes ago. these are the attacks that give everyone nightmares. there is no plot, nothing to intercept, you have 20 people involved and you can talk about e-mails and that sort of thing. this appears to be a lone wolf attack where someone is self radicalized. we don't know anything about the attacker or what his motivations were. he was maybe a refugee out of syria, and he was angry from the
french involvement. it is impossible to know motivation, it is very hard to prevent something like this in a free society. the only way to be fully secure is to lock everybody down and i don't think any of us want to live in north korea. >> onef the issues erging in the k. is that the prime minister is the home secretary and is up for reelection in a matter of days dealing with the signer threa cyb cyber threat. they don't have the constitution that's we have, the major companies of course, google, aing, and the like. so how do you get your arms around the cyber threat? >> as a matter of fact, in 24 hours we'll be having a hearing talking about this cyber threat and how we can defend ourselves and about what tools we have in
our arsenal to deal with this. if you have the first amendment, if you have free speech, you can't shut down websites, take down the internet, or sensor television commentary. for that reason, a lot of what we have to do is be smarter about what we're hearing and learning, and try to understand it better. these idea of these lone wolf people that may be citizens of the country that get radicalized online, it is a real problem. the hardest thing for law enforcement to deal with, and i have to say that the fbi for my knowledge is doing an amazing job nationwide of dealing with these kind of threats, fortunately most of them don't happen, but this is a situation where if you're only 99% efficient, you still have a tragedy. >> your academy is going to hear
from director pompeo. are you going to if they felt pressured in their communications with the president? this is 24 hours before the big event. >> i expect the questions will come up as to whether or not they were asked to loyal or asked to curtail an investigation of the russian involvement in the election. i think that will come up and that will be a major focus of the hearing with director comey on thursday. that is not the sole subject, we'll be talking about other intelligence manners, but i'm sure they will come up. >> from what you know, is jim
comey going to be able to talk about the underlying investigation, or will he have to talk about his relationship and conversations with the president? >> i will be surprised if he talks about the under lying investigation, which he has now been out of for a month or so since he was fired, but knowing him as the kind of person he is, i don't think he would talk about that investigation, but we have learned that director mooul sere not going to curtail his testimony about his engagements with the president since the inauguration or perhaps before the inauguration. that will be fair game for questions and i'm suspecting that director comey will give us direct answers which he always hasn my experience. >> there has been comments and tweets from the president and now comments from his sons about the russia investigation.
>> it is the greatest hoax of all time. i was there throughout the campaign. we had no iings in russia. >> it reads and smells like a witchhunt. >> you that on top of tweets against the mayor of london, what's your response to this? >> one of those young guys, i think don, publicly said the majority of funding coming into our company right now is from russia. if that's a fact, if they're right, give us data, give us the tax returns, let us see the information to verify. so far all we have is assertions that nothing is going on, but we know that they tried to facility
this election, no doubt about that, and they they were trying to get into state election systems and that is very alarming. what we don't know is if there was coordination between the trump campaigns. i'm not this as a witch hunt, i'm in here to try to get to the facts, i think we will try to do and and to call it a hook and a witch hunt, they ought to start firing people who are conducting the investigation. skblt skblt. >> the top diplomat right now in beijing, they said the state department has only had a hand full of nominations. >> just a deputy secretary, what is going on there and the affect on our foreign policy and
diplomacy. >> it is broader than that. 80% of the positions that are required for senate confirmation have not even been submitted. i just camed from an armed services committee hering where the secretary of the airforce office, i think there is like 7 preside presidential appointments, and only one has been sent to be confirmed. i have not seen lately, but there is no second echelon of leadership in the state didn't. we don't have the expertise if there is a real crisis. so this is this has nothing to do with politics, and this is not the senate holding things up, or the democrats holding things up, the nominees just
have not been submitted and we can't approve somebody that we have not seen yet. this is a real problem for foreign policy, but particularly a problem if there is a crisis. if you don't have that second level of lip in the state department or defense department. >> is this their way of shrinking the budget? >> i don't think so. if it is, i have not heard that. i don't know what the hold up is. as lindsey graham said in our armed services committee just 15 minutes ago, it is june. yet we still don't have the positions filled. it is an important story in a i really worry about it compromising whether it is
foreign affairs, or other work that needs to be done in the federal government. >> angus king, thank you, senator. your committee is front and center and we will continue to monitor the latest news out of paris and bring you any news out of there, and 140 problems as the president tweets are republicans on the hill losing their patience? we'll ask chris collins, next here on msnbc. all finished. umm... you wouldn't want your painter to quit part way,
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we live in a world today when a lot of communication is done with 140 characters, and it's probably important to refrain from doing that on important issues. >> the president's tweet storm against the mayor of london against the latest terror attack in his city. joining us now is chris collins, he was a close advisor to president trump. do you agree that -- >> i could not disagree more. i'm in trump territory.
my constituents like to hear unfiltered onnest conversation from president trump. he does it through tweeting. his supporters love that he does that, he is speaking directly to him. in this unfiltered way of communicating she ghe is gettin message across. i think those that don't like it just need to accept that is president trump. >> what about his effectiveness, is he hurting his own message and presidency? if you look back since he first tweeted about president obama surveyiiurveilling him, which wa fact and they had to backtrack it, now the london mayor is talking about withdrawing the
state visit invitation. and people are questioning the sensitivity. >> we have to go back to things the mayor said about terrorism and other parts of the world. he said we have to get over it, it is part of life. that was a month or so ago. so the mayor has not exactly been forth coming here recently about some of his own interactions -- >> but in the aftermath of a terror attack on his city, he is saying do not be worried, we're flooding the area with extra police, don't be alarmed by that. that was the context, but that is not what the president represented. >> yes, but mayor kahn was poking at president trump well bofr th before that, and we know that if
trump is attacked he will fight back. i would not have used twitter, but this is clearly a person who does not like donald trump, he publicly stated that, he doesn't believe in his principals, so president trump is going to move on from this and keep america safe. he is working on diligently securing our borders, and he is taking to task some of those, even some of our sanctuary cities here. and there are those liberals and the mayor would be one of them that would be first to endorse sanctuary cities and just let anybody in. that is a very different philosophy from our president that is working overtime to keep us safe. >> let me bring you back to the current situation.
there is reporting today in the "new york times" that the president is getting concerned and impatient with his attorney general since the recusal. have you heard of any dissatisfaction of the president's of jeff sessions. >> no, jeff sessions was at trump's side from the very earliest days of 2016, we're going on a year and a half -- >> why is why this would be so extraordinary if the president is impatient because of him recusing himself. something that the president very openly criticized at the time, recusing himself from the russian investigation. i'm wondering if there is a strain on that relationship in. >> i don't believe there is at all, i think attorney general jeff sessions say i will take any and all questions off of the table. he has a good staff, and i would
for think there is no issues whatsoever with our president and our toernl general, they're ve -- our attorney general, they're very close friends. >> george conway said the e president is hurting himself. he is kellyanne conway's husband saying the president was hurting his own case in the supreme court on the travel ban by tweeting and the "wall street journal" today saying that in 140-character imkrencrements. that is "the wall street
journal" editorial page. >> i hear you and i do respectfully disagree. as someone that represents ground zero of trump territory in the northeast, he is speaking to his supporters and messaging to the united states his priorities. i don't think there is any misunderstanding where his priorities are. he has the best cabinet ever assembled in the history of the united states. those individuals are working overtime to implement a policy that will bring economic growth and jobs back in this country, whether it is less regulations or just understanding state's rights in the tenth amendment. as one of his earliest supporters, i could not be more pleased about what donald trump, the president, is doing, where he is going, and those of us on capitol hill we just need to do our jobs and i can't -- i would hate to think that anyone would
use, as an excuse, health care, tax reform, or infrastructure, that it has anything to do with his tweeting. thank you for being with us. coming up, more on the breaking news out of paris, a man attacks a police officer with a hammer, he also had knives in his backpack. the calm after the storm right now. a beautiful shot from paris, a live report, next here on andrea mitchell reports. d a safe used . start at the new carfax.com show me minivans with no reported accidents. boom. love it. [struggles] show me the carfax. start your used car search at the all-new carfax.com. ready or not, here i come.ek.) ♪
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turning now to the latest in paris. the man that tried to attack a police officer with a hammer cried "it's for syria" and appeared to be acting alone. the investigation is being handled by the counter terrorism unit. chris, thank you for being with us, this man, the attacker, according to police at least had an algerian student card and it
seems to be connected to some concerned about syria and the civil war. >> that is a standard position of the jihadists, is that this is somehow an attack on the west because the west is victimizing muslims in syria, libya, or you name it. that is standard propaganda for isis, al-qaeda, or any of the groups. i don't think we can read too much into that. what i do know is there is still several hundred people being kept inside of the ka ahead catd not let out because they are afraid that money one money them was an accomplice. that is according to a police spokeswoman a few minutes ago. >> is the area, are people being allowed around the area, is it
all walled off or? >> the area that is quarantined off is steadily shrinking. i'm now on this side of the seine river. the scars that were blocked for a few hours are now rolling along on the street here. it is gradually being opened up. >> thank you so much chris di dickey on the scene today as another issue arises that may or may not be terrorism, may or may not be a lone wolf, but police are investigating there in paris. coming up, the special relationship that the transatlantic feud is escalating. that is next here, stay with us.
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reading from robert costa that the president will not put down his phone, he may be live tweeting in the comey testimony on thursday. >> no, and it would be uncharacteristic of him to back off, but it is another question if the president's lawyers would like him to back off, particularly when it comes to tweeting about russia and director comey. not only will he be tweeting, but he has a speech scheduled with a religious organization that would overlap with director com comey's testimony. so we'll see the white house pushing back and trying to counter on that message and directly from the president himself. >> what about all of the tension between the justice department and the president? he is clearly complicated the
supreme court case with all of the tweeting about the travel ban. >> his tweeting is his greatest asset and his worth enemy. can you imagine him first running for without twitter, winning without twitter, and being in the place he is right knew, which is not a good place, without twitter. if this app had been never invented, there could be no president trump and no president trump with the justice didn department and the investigation. it all goes back to his use of twitter and things he tweeted. >> a lot of these problems stem from some of these early tweets about the president, barack obama, surveillance, if he stopped using social media in that fashion or had it filtered through lawyers or staff. once he became president we would be in a very different
place. >> what you're talking about is a division even money the president's own aides. he thinks lay off of the twitter, it is not helpful, and then there are those that think that it is helpful to him, and it has cut both ways, but the thing that we have seen for sure is that he is not giving it up. he doesn't want to, and in recent days we heard a number of things from white house officials. one, the president's tweets should not be taken so seriously, or people should not obsess about them. we have seen continuously the white house trying to moderate, change, or soften some of the things that the president has said on twitter. most recently, that his comments about the london mayor. so this is an ongoing issue and it is one that frankly is not going to go away. >> we'll have to leave it there, thank you for our inside scoop today. coming up, general discontent, has president trump soured on jeff sessions? more on that here on "andrea
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me, i got to say, as the attorney general
of the united states, to return to the department of justice after 15 years there. it shaped me in so many ways. the job of the united states attorney is just about the best job in
the world. i gotta tell you. >> attorney general jeff sessions this morning hitting a very positive note, despite a "new york times" report that says president trump may be souring on sessions. joining me is the former principle assistant attorney general under president obama and now president and ceo of the leadership conference on civil and human rights. it's great to see you. >> great to see you. >> first of all, the president tweeting against the justice department. the president's tweet the other day, the justice department should have stayed with the original travel ban, not the watered down politically correct version they submitted to the supreme court. he signed that version. and he's now arguing against his own interests as they await a supreme court hearing on this whole issue. >> that's right. i mean it's fairly
unprecedented, i guess the whole situation of a president tweeting as well is unprecedented but the president signed that muslim ban 2.0 which began, numerous courts have found illegal and the justice department, just days ago, asked the supreme court to consider it, to take this up, and the question will be whether the court does. but to have a president kind of criticize something that he himself approved and signed off on seems fairly unusual. >>r concern is also about what you see as a retreat from civil rights enforcement throughout the government not just at doj. >> over the last several months the justice department has over and over again in the area of voting rights and lbgt rights and retreat from police reform has been taking very concrete actions to undo all of the important progress we've made in the country on civil rights. it's not just restricted to the justice department. a couple weeks ago president trump announced an election
integrity commission headed by chris coback who none other single handedly has had an anti-voting rights agenda trying to make voting exclusive and inaccessible. courts found his actions to be unlawful. he is now heading up an effort that is widely seen as a way to legitimize mass voter suppression around the country in the months and years ahead. you know, similarly, "the washington post" last monday knit together a story of the cuts that are being made to federal civil rights offices across all of the federal government which are tasked, career lawyers tasked with ensuring that our federal dollars do not support discrimination. and there are pretty serious cutbacks being proposed to those offices. when you take a step back you look at an administration that is intent on undoing really important progress on civil rights and hurting the core function of the federal government which has been over
decades across political administrations to protect civil rights. >> now you know a lot of the players from the career people, rod rosenstein, certainly, and james comey. what do you expect on thursday at this extraordinary hearing? >> well, you know, i think that on thursday, the american public is going to have a chance to really assess whether the administtion is deaning the rule of law. it has always been vital important in our system of government that the law enforcement function remain apolitical. there cannot be politization of law enforcement because otherwise the american public will start to lose faith in the integrity and independence of those institutions and that is what is going to be laid bare in part on thursday at former director comey's hearing. >> there is a lot of concern, there's a mixed view, of course, among politicians about james comey because of what happened with hillary clinton. so a lot of democrats were clearly concerned about, you
know, the way he handled all of that. at the same time how unprecedented would it be for an fbi director to be told by the president of the united states to back off of an investigation, if that's what he testifies to? >> it would not just be unprecedented, it would be unlawful. i think that it's really important that the public hear from former director comey. the fbi and all other law enforcement agencies need to be -- have a strong independence from the white house in conducting investigations. you know, president bill clinton history says was not always enthralled with the actions that his attorney general janet reno took but the fact of the matter is law enforcement needs to maintain an independence function in order to carry out its duties of upholding the rule of law. if there's an administration and president that is, you know, undermining it through inappropriate, you know, demands for oates of loyalty and such it
undermines everything we stand for as a country. >> thanks so mucfor ingra with us. >> thank you. >> more ahead. we'll be right bk. to dig a hole to china. at&t is working with farmers to improve irrigation techniques. remote moisture sensors use a reliable network to tell them when and where to water. so that farmers like ray can compete in big ways. china. oh ... he got there. that's the power of and.
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on edge. an attack on a police officer in paris stoking fears in a region already on edge over a string of recent terror attacks. was this terrorism? and nsa leaker nab? a 25-year-old government contractor is the first person charged in a leak investigation during the trump administration. how could it happen, and what happens now? and countdown to comey, the senate intel chair says jim comey has permission to talk about everything. this as president trump says he will not be blocking the former fbi director's testimony. what can we expect? we'll get to all of that in just a moment. we start again, we start with that breaking news, in paris, france, this afternoon where a man was shot outside notre dame cathedral. officials say the man yelled, quote, this is for syria, as he attacked a police officer with a hammer. officers opened fire, they wounded that