testimony manifest that's same feeling. >> all right. that will have to be the last word. thank you for being here with us. that does it for this hour. i'm nicole wallace. "mtp daily" starts right now. >> well, nicole! it looks like you had a bunch of new york city talk there. tell the governor i miss him. it's been a long time since we talked. >> go warriors sclal. >> go cavs. >> if it's went, the numbers all to go 11. tonight the comey testimony. james comey will tell congress tomorrow that president trump repeatedly pressured him to say he was not under investigation. also, that the president wanted comey to help him lift the cloud. that the russia investigation has created. >> it was inappropriate to so obsessively hound him about making the case against flynn go away. >> plus, the unanswered questions about what's missing
from james comey' notes and how that could play in tomorrow's hearing. and political contagion. how the russia probe is spreading like virus in the executive branch. >> are you aware of any efforts of looking for advice from the other members of the tense committee about how to potentially influence an investigation? >> this is "mtp daily" and it starts right now. >> good evening. i'm chuck todd in washington and welcome to "mtp daily." ousted fbi director james comey is breaking his silence in what is already seen as a blockbuster bit of testimony. we know it will be a block buster because comey's opening statement is out already. he exhaustively details almost every interaction he had with president trump and it is loaded with bomb shells. comey lays it out in chronological order which is how we'll do it for you.
here are the highlights. january 6, two weeks before the inauguration, comey describes meeting with mr. trump at trump tower to brief him on the explosive allegations made in the now infails russia dossier which would end up leaking days later. in that meeting, he offers an assurance. prior to the january 6 meeting i discussed whether i should be prepared to assure president-elect trump that we were not investigating him personally. during our one-on-one meeting at trump tower, i offered that insurance. then one week after the inauguration on january 27th, president trump invites comey to dinner at the white house where he asked comey if he wants to keep his job. comey writes, the president said, i need loyalty. i expect loyalty. i didn't move, speak or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silent that followed. we simply looked at each other in silence. i then applied, you will always get honesty from me.
he then paused and said that's what i want. honest loyalty. comey notes it is possible he and mr. trump had very different interpretations of what honesty, honest loyalty meant. but he says he wanted to end an awkward moment. after that meeting president trump cross as big line according to comey. during a meeting in the oval office on february 14, the president tells him, i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go. to letting the former national security adviser michael flynn go. he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go. i had understood the president to be requesting that we drop any investigations of flynn in question, false statements about his conversations with the russian ambassador in december. here's comey's explanation. the fbi leadership team agreed with me that it was important not to ineffect the investigative team with the president's request which we did not intend to abide.
we decided to keep it very closely held to decide what to do with it down the road as our investigation progressed. the following month, comey describes a president who is growing increasingly uneasy. the president called me at the fbi. he described the russia investigation as a cloud that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country. he said he had nothing to do with russia, had not been involved withing whoers in russia, had always assumed he was being recorded when in russia. he asked what we could do to lift the cloud. and then during that conversation we get what is arguably the single biggest bombshell from comey's testimony. more comey. the president went on to say if there were some satellite associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out. but that he hadn't done anything wrong and hoped i would find a way to get it out, that we weren't investigating him. folks, the president of the united states did not deny to the fbi director that members of his campaign play clueded with russia's interference in our
election. he is arguably building his defense and he argue when i has doubts about whether his own campaign staff are breaking the law. does that not say at all? there's more. on i am a 11, the president calls comey again about russia. he said the cloud was getting in the way of doing his job and add, i've been very loyal to you. very loyal. bed thing, you know, i did not reply him or ask him what he meant by "that thing. "that was the last time i spoke with president trump. this will be rocket fuel tomorrow. not just because of what it says but also what it doesn't. comey said he had nine one-on-one conversations with mr. trump. we can only count six. what about the other three? the president's actions have arguably compromised the fbi, his actions have arguably compromised the government. how can it function in such a state of turmoil?
i'm joined by pete williams and ari melber is with us. he chronicles six conversations. do we have an understanding of the other three? >> no. the simple answer is we don't know. we had to guess that he didn't think they are significant enough to write about. >> if in here, when the various times, is james comey intending to describe obstruction of justice or is he just describing everything that's there and letting others decide to take it for what it's worth? >> well, there is no ohert reference in these notes to obstruction of justice. and what we've been told by friends he talked to baltimore he didn't think it reached obstruction of justice. that he thought a lot of this was in essence the necessity, to sort of house break the white house staff and the president about how you deal with the fbi,
that there are certain things you don't say. certain channels that you community through and that he thought co-school the president and then later on, he says, he just decided the best thing is not to have any interactions with the president. asked jeff sessions to prevent them and that sessions never responded. so he's not directly trying to make a case for obstruction of justice here. or if he is, he is leaving to it someone else to conclude. >> all right. let me bring in ari. one of my questions to director comey if i were up there would be, he brought up satellite associates. did that raise a red flag to you? >> i thought that was striking. although anything that would implicate an answer about what was during inside an
investigation, former director comey is likely to resist. i think what jumped south beyond all the legal questions, the story line here which is obviously unusual for dealings between a president and an fbi director is one of president trump being very consumed and intent on certain things. we know a part of president trump from his public discussion, his public demeanor and tweets. here we saw at least according to the director comey's accounts, a private version. he was clearly fixated on the accusations and the dossier. i thought it was fascinating that comey said why don't you start an inquiry to disprove these unsavory and unqualified. and to pete williams' point, the director saw his role of trying to teach. he said if we even went down that road, it would look like an investigation into your personal conduct. that would be bad for you, mr.
president, and number,two it is very hard to prove a negative, even for the fbi. so that would suggest that according to comey's account, that any research would help him which is different than what you think of in terms of obstruction. which is trying to stop an inquiry. but that was on a different topic. when you get to mike flynn, clearly the president thought it would be better if it just went away. >> so a couple things. one is this substantial yates the president's claim in his letter firing jim comey that three times comey told him he wasn't under investigation. according to mr. comey's own prepared testimony, that's correct. there's a very different explanation for the dinner, the loyalty dinner, shall we call it. comey says in the letter that he got the request from the white house that day. that the president called him around noon and said, you come to the white house tonight. comey had thought that he was going to invite his family at some point. the president says, we'll do that later.
during the interview with lester holt, the president said that comey had asked for the dinner because the president thought he wanted to come and ask to keep his job. comey says in the statement that he had talked twice before about the president about staying on and thought that was very odd. and thought in essence, the president was trying to extract some commitment to him about being loyal. >> and that explanation, it feels as if it is a more plausible explanation. the 24th, the fbi interviews mike flynn. sally yates goes to the general counsel and implores the white house on the 26th and even the morning of the 27th concerned about mike flynn and this idea he could get black mailed. and then all of a sudden, the dinner invitation comes. and then all that happened in 72 hou hours. >> the fact law enforcement officials, if they want a formal
meeting with the president, they would do a formal meeting. and then he says in the letter that he only talked to president obama twice one-on-one. and he said what else jumps out? the fbi director felt the repeated could not twrakts so concerned that he didn't want one-on-one contact with the president at all. all of this against the back drop of what we know it was the assertion that he would fire comey anyway, the other leadership, the attorney general and deputy attorney general put together this letter of the handling of the clinton case. so i think what we're seeing as a preview of tomorrow, a time line that's very problematic for the white house. because of the assertions it makes. i don't think it is a federal case, nor is that even for a federal witness. but the sum takeaway is of repeated meddling this fbi director viewed as inappropriate. >> i want to go to a larger
issue here that i think that we've missed today. missed is not the right word. there's so much going on. here we have the president of the united states, no confidence in his current attorney general. the form he fbi corrector in this memo said he didn't know who he could trust at the department to report this. >> although he did report it to someone. >> he does eventually report it but he openly admits, by the way, he knew two weeks before jeff sessions knew that he would end up recusing himself. i think that's an interesting little side note to this testimony. but i want to ask you, what is the state of our justice department? for two very important figures, the president of the united states and the director of the fbi. >> the president's questions about the justice department, have been, have been about why they can't win for him in court on the travel restrictions. you have to remember, jeff sessions is recused.
i'm not actually surprised to hear comey say he would recuse. we got the impression that sessions was already thinking and talking about this internally before he announced it publicly. so that didn't surprise me. the real challenge speaking of news of today, the president has nominated christopher wray to come over and take over the fbi. and he will have to figure out what is his role here in the russia investigation when there is this special counsel who obviously knows the inside out of the fbi better than any other human. >> other than james comey. >> mueller, 12 years. >> hard to beat knowledge. that puts chris wray in a tough spot. >> you're on deadline, pete. ari, you as well. we're going to put the jim comey statement in context. we'll match up his statement to the ongoing russia investigation so you see how it all fits in.
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december 29th, the obama administration imposes sanctions on russia officially in response to the election interference. that very same day michael flynn discusses the sanctions with sergey kislyak. then he travels. then separately he lewinsky briefs mr. trump on a dossier containing salacious and unverified allegations about trump. here, comey says to the president-elect for the very first time and assures mr. trump, there's no open intelligence case on him. he then begins documenting every interaction he has. january 10, buzz feed coverage. the fbi interviews michael flynn
at the white house. two days later, january 26 and 27, attorney general sally yates meets with white house counsel about the calls with kislyak. the next night, january 27th at a white house dinner, the president says i need loyalty, i expect loyalty. three days later, trump fires yates who refused to defend the president's travel ban. then michael flynn resigns after it is report he misled the vice president about his conversations with kislyak. the next day, comey says the president told him, i hope you can see your way clear of letting this go. meaning the flynn investigation. march 2, sessions recuses himself from parts of the russia investigation. march 20, comey publicly confirms the fbi is investigating whether associates at the trump campaign clueded with russia. march 30, comey claims mr. trump says if there were satellite associates of his who did
something wrong, it would be good to find that out. april 11. comey says president trump again wants to know he wasn't under investigation tell him, i've been very loyal to you. very loyal. we had that thing, you know. may 3, comey testifies in front of the senate judiciary committee and says that infamous phrase, mildly nauseous. may 9, trump fires comey. you wouldn't believe what's in this kiester. a farmer's market. a fire truck. even a marching band. and if i can get comfortable talking about this kiester,
then you can get comfortable using preparation h. for any sort of discomfort in yours. preparation h. get comfortable with it. p3 planters nuts, jerky and whaseeds.at? i like a variety in my protein. totally, that's why i have this uh trail mix. wow minty. p3 snacks. the more interesting way to get your protein. welcome back. of course we're calling you the you unofficial mayor of the washington press corps. i didn't know we elected to you mayor. no, no, he's the chief. you wrote a piece today, i think it was headline, it was something, the president is
divorced from the executive branch. we have an executive branch that's not functioning. >> we do. and we have a president who sits above the entirety of the executive branch and is disconnected from it and operates on his own. he undercuts his own people. he is seemingly has no trust in jeff sessions at this point. he went against his national security advisers on article 5 about nato. he is saying one thing about what happened in the gulf states with qatar and rex tillerson and jim mattis are trying to say something more diplomatic. at every turn, he is doing things that are undercutting, harming the normal operations of the white house and the administration. >> michael steele, there are guardrails in our system. dan just laid out essentially all the different ways where the president essentially said, i'm
going to run into the guardrail and take it out. >> that's right. republicans seem to be privately concerned and publicly wary of expressing that concern. >> i'm so glad you are asking me this question. i want to go on the record and say, can we stop being stupid for a moment and recognize exactly what dan just laid out. stop making excuses that somehow, why didn't you expect -- we should have expected. this this is how trump is. we all knew this. we did not expect the presidency to be roiled in this kind of a mess four months in. we did not expect this level of independent investigations to be during. if anyone thought this would be the case back at the time during primary or the gentle election yrgs didn't you step up and say something? you have the house and the senate leadership talking about we have an agenda. we're going to move forward on taxes. you're not moving forward on anything. get a grip and understand that somebody, i've said it before on
this program, need to take their behind to the white house and say it stops now. because otherwise, it is over. you have comey testifying tomorrow. you have all of these investigations that are going on. there is a bottom line here and it is not necessarily a good one. >> if there's anything that we learn from comey's testimony and some of this we already knew from the bleeks the memos, it is that conversation has already occurred and the president has ignored it. to me what is most damning about kl's testimony, i think the first time the president veers into the guardrail. you can ascribe it to the learning curve. maybe he didn't know the guardrail is thereful. >> you can chock it up to new york city talk. he gets that excuse once. >> but he is repeatedly warned, this is not how we do things. not only because we have our washington ways. it is appropriate, we have a constitution, and he repeatedly
ignored the warnings. it's not that no one has told him this isn't how you do it. he has ignored it. >> and i think there are people on the white house staff who have tried to say this. if you talk on people close to the white house, they will say, it's not as though there are not people at the white house who are trying to -- >> the gravity of the situation, how do you impress the gravity of the situation on the presses if he is be listening to counsel, if he not listening to people in the white house. where do you go from here in. >> i'm only going to listen to mitch mcconnell and paul ryan. that's the only time he will think it is real. >> that's right. which begs the question, have they had this kind of conversation with him where they say, guess what. it's real. this is happening right now. it is having a very negative impact on not just your leadership but any agenda items. >> i don't think he almosts their opinions more than anyone else's. if there was anyone he would listen torsion it would be someone like a jeff sessions who handle extremely loyal to the
president. >> he respects the institutions. it is very interesting to me and this gets it, where i think the president has set himself up to lose all his allies. if you turn on jeff sessions, he stood by you when nobody else would. jeff sessions won't cable tv, he went on cable tv to defend him on the "access hollywood" time. and the president is turning on him. >> he is evening raising the possibility of turning on his own family. that's a remarkable level of isolation for any human being, much less the president of the united states. >> i had a conversation with someone today, if you are somebody in the administration, or perhaps being recruited to come into the administration in a senior job. and you see the president will not return the loyalty that he has gotten from jeff sessions. you have to be extremely wary about being anywhere close to the administration. >> why isn't there more talk of how shockingly inappropriate it
is and bad for the system that a super pac is running attack ads on the former director of the fbi? >> it seems to me this is a horse's head in a bed. this is what will had a that to anybody's reputation that crosses me. we'll destroy you. a private citizen, mind you, who has not ever run for office. >> there is a water's edge for politics. >> there is? >> there is. >> it used to be there. >> why do i have a feeling charlton heston will go -- >> can you imagine if there had been a nationally televised campaign ad against anita hill? >> that's a very good point. and i think when you're bringing the party apparatus into this process, again, not only are you short changing the very things you talked about but you are undermining the ultimate goal the president wants to establish. his legitimacy as president. and everything to this point i think has hurt that.
and this ad running tomorrow, they should pull it, step back and let dom his thing. >> within the administration, there is a belief starting with the president that nobody is defending me. and people need -- >> i think it is also a strategy, right? if you partisanize the debate, then automatically anybody who is not on your side is just an opposing partisan. so the goal there is to turn jim comey who was hither to seen as apolitical, if not, as the president said unpopular with both parties, to turn him into a politician who is opposed to trump and therefore -- >> weaponize the process. >> but that is the nature of the politics that existed before donald trump came in. they are continuing. >> at a high stakes level. >> no doubt. they didn't invent this. >> we've escalated to it destructive methods. and this is what we brought.
congratulations, washington. you guys are sticking around. msnbc will have full coverage of the comey hearing tomorrow of we know there are bars opening up early so get them to turn it over to your favorite cable channel. the other big news from today, the headlines on russia from today's senate intelligence hearing. every to be heard... ♪ to move...
today's test. and up ahead next hour, my colleague, greta van us sustere with paul ryan. stocks on wall street closed higher. investors hoping james comey's testimony will be less damage than the president previously feared. oil, tumbled more than 5% due to an unexpected jump in u.s. inventories last week. the third round of layoffs happening at home improvement retailer lowe's. the company says it will cut about 125 information technology workers. lowe's says it will relocate some of the jobs to india. that's it from cnbc. first in business worldwide. award winning interface. award winning design.
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story to be the top degs chiefs and his deputy attorney general who had to testify in front of senate intelligence committee. then the jim comey testimony came out today for tomorrow. that said, let's take a step back and recognize the full extent of the extraordinary crisis facing this government. an historic firestorm. russia is a virus for this white house and it reveals an executive branch that looks like it is broken. tensions boiled over today. they appeared to deny allegations that the president pressured them but then they pushed back when the committee asked what did the president tell them. for example, here's the director of national intelligence' apparent denial. >> i have never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any
way, with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relationship -- >> all i -- >> but coats specifically would not speak about his interactions with mr. trump. take a listen. >> are you prepared to say that you've never been asked by the president or the white house to influence an ongoing investigation? >> what i'm not willing to do is to share what i think is confidential information that ought to be protected in an open hearing. so i'm not prepared to answer your question today. >> that actually is a pretty alarming answer, nonanswer in some cases. it was the same story for mike rogers. here is his apparent denial. >> i've never been directed to do anything i believed to be illegal, unethical, immoral. to the best of my recollection during that same period of service, i do not recall ever
feeling pressured to do so. >> the words were careful but he would not speak about his interactions with mr. trump either. >> let me ask you specifically, did the president, the reports that are out there, ask you in any way, shape or form, to back off or down play the russian investigation? >> i'll not going to discuss the specifics of conversations with the president of the united states but i stand by the comment i just made to you, sir. >> remember the key word was directed. everyone who testified repeatedly dodged questions about their interwakss the president or james comey and members were furious their questions were not being answered. >> i'm not satisfied with i do not believe it is appropriate our do not feel i should answer. i want to understand the legal basis. you swore that oath to tell us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. and today you are refusing to do so. >> at this point, you filibuster better than most of my colleagues. so i'm going to move on to the another question.
>> my questions deserve answers and at some point, the american public deserves full answers. >> let me bring in my colleagues who are covering this story from a couple of perspectives. kasie hunt and ken delanian. by the way, wasn't just cra democrats get go their questions answered. marco rubio with the obvious question, when they denied the specific, he went for the general and they wouldn't talk about it. did they do it in closed session? did they get their questions answer in the at least a closed, nonpublic setting? >> it doesn't soumd like it. the reason they had behind closed doors was technical staff today. we do know that admiral rogers had at least one private meeting with adam schiff who is over here on the house side. we don't know about the contents
of that meeting. but the frustration on the part of members from both parties is very real here. and i think represents a real risk for president trump. it is clear that neither one of these men who were in the spotlight today, wanted to be the center of attention in any of this. and they certainly were pretty careful to make sure they didn't give any ammunition to the president's opponents here in congress. but i think that that really sharpened the divide between republicans in congress we characterize as skeptical. most are skeptical privately. but you're seeing more of them being skeptical in public. another example of marco rubio being willing to do. that john mccain has been a critic but he used the word orwellian. i thought that was remarkable. >> i'm glad you brought up the mccain. i don't think we have that fully
here on this front. we've had so much on our plate. can, look, let's go through what the "washington post" reported here. that apparently both dan coats and mike rogers were in some form, the president asked they will, at least with dan coats, were they willing to, i don't know, put in a good word? if they were willing to talk to comey, explain what we know. >> there are two stories. one of which we at nbc news have confirmed. both rogers and coats were asked by donald trump on separate occasions to say publicly that they had seen no evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and russia. and i'm told that both men found request to be inappropriate. and that rogers caused a memo to be written about it. he was asked about it and he didn't comment. what's interesting about today's session is these guys didn't even come to the hearing prepared with a good answer about why they wouldn't talk about it. >> i thought that was
interesting. it was fast they discussed how they would answer. they both answered the sail way. >> but they couldn't say, were they citing executive privilege? was it classified? >> they work for the american that you can as well as the president. and angus king is a pretty mild mannered guy. he was furious. he asked some very good questions. >> i want to go back to what mccain said. he was clearly frustrated with dan coats. not necessarily personally but the whole thing. i said so the "washington post" has all of this detail about what the president asked of uxt what did the post get right or wrong? and it was awkward because coats wouldn't deny a single individual fact in the post story. but then generally character icesed it oddly. fill in the gaps here. >> he was very vague about what details were correct. what were not correct. and he essentially said, i've been in washington long enough that i don't believe every word
that is written in the "washington post." but at the same time, he wouldn't say which of these words were to be not believe, which words were to be actually believed. clearly what we have since learned in the intervening hours of the afternoon is that quite a bit of detail that was reported in the press has now been corroborated on the record by the former fbi director. so kind of a difficult back and forthwith the two of them there. mccain has been around a long time. the one thing i will say to ken's point, he is somebody that i always watch in these hearings. this is not the first time he's made news in a session like this. and he does come across as kind of a mild mannered guy. i've been on the receiving end of this. if you have your facts wrong and you ask him a question, he will snap at you right away and i think he'll be somebody to watch tomorrow as well. >> that's a fair point. it want to go back to another person that got a little bit lost, andrew mccabe, the acting
direct ofrt fbi. two things on note. he was pressed about, look, comey had, we had known he had briefed mccabe on his interactions with the president. mccabe testified before the statement came out. but he refused to talk about his interactions with comey. he was a third individual that would not answer any questions. and wasn't executive. wasn't because it was classified. we'll let comey speak for himself. >> he said it could fall under robert mueller's investigation. it could. if robert mueller is investigating the president for obstruction of justice. james comey has assured the president that he wasn't a target of the investigation. we don't know whether that's still true. >> we don't. and the other interesting thing is that it was on president trump's mind according to comey in his memo when he associated mccabe immediate when i terry mccall you have, the governor of
virginia. explain why. >> mccabe's wife -- >> ran for office. >> the democratic 55th. >> ran for office in virginia and somehow it is connected to clinton e-mails. if you connect the dots somewhere in richmond. >> donald trump would raise this. >> he raised it with comey. >> anyway, thank you both. wait until tomorrow. today it is only wednesday. >> up next, wait until you hear about the big news we didn't get to get to tonight. you were made to move. to progress. to not just accept what you see, but imagine something new. at invisalign®, we use the most advanced teeth straightening technology to help you find the next amazing version of yourself. it's time to unleash your secret weapon. it's there, right under your nose. get to your best smile up to 50% faster. visit invisalign.com to get started today.
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welcome back. tonight, i and many other journalists in town are obsessed with things we haven't had time to obsess with today. considering the news we haven't gotten to. the new attorney general, chris wray. how about the surveillance of foreigners even if it sweeps up americans in the process. there was an isis attack in iran. and the growing crisis in the gulf over qatar which involves iran. the fact that tomorrow's u.k. election could hung up in a hung parliament further fracturing europe. and then how about a guy no one ever heard of hit four home runs in one game last night after having hit 38 in his career. that wasn't big news. what may be the biggest news
time for the lid. we just got a statement from president trump's outside counsel reacting to the james comey testimony. quote, in full, the president is please that had mr. comey has finally publicly confirmed his private reports that the president was not under investigation in any russian probe. the president feels completely and totally vindicated. he is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda. the panel is back. okay. the president is, he does not deny a single thing in the comey
testimony and cherry picks what he wants out of it. wow! dan? >> well, they're always entitled to their own view of the world. as we've seen throughout this administration, overwhelm them. and we'll have another day of this tomorrow. people will draw their own conclusions. they will try to do what they want to do, but people are going to come to different conclusions than that. it's not a full exoneration. >> it's not at all. the president is singularly focused on himself. >> the key thing, and ha has been from the very moment apparently from that first conversation, has been oh, you said i'm not under investigation. okay, that's all i've heard. i don't hear anything else. i'm not under investigation. and this is further confirmation of that singular-minded perspective of this whole affair. everything else may be crumbling around you, but i'm not under investigation. >> if i can just be a little bit skeptical, however, i wonder if the president is actually pleased. i am looking forward to reporting from the white house about whether donald trump is actually in a good mood, having
read this statement from jim comey. he actually legitimately sees this as a wonderful thing and is skipping off to work tomorrow morning. i mean, this seems like spin. if i were donald trump, i would not be pleased, and i think the important thing to remember, too, is the statement from jim comey is only the starting point. the hearing tomorrow, this is the thing that everybody goes into it already knowing, and the questions go on from there. >> i think there are two points, two quick points. one, he has been looking all along for ways to say there's no evidence that we colluded or that my campaign colluded. and, again, with what we've found today in the comey statement, there is no specific hard concrete evidence of that. there is still a lot of smoke. there's investigation going on. we'll get to the bottom of that. but the other is just in the way he thinks about these things. he's walled himself off from all
of the other aspects of it, and that continues to overwhelm him. >> let's take the president at everything the president said at his word. he knows nothing about this, he did nothing about this, and he's just fuming. he now at least at one point admits to comey he's maybe somebody associated with me did something. you need to find that out. it's possible, like take him at his word, that he's sitting there going, everybody is dee legitimatizing me. i didn't do anything. >> right. >> and he's lashing out. >> right. >> but he's now realizing this is not being dropped because maybe there is something out there that he had nothing to do with. >> this speaks to the importance of counsel and taking that counsel to heart. so, when you're thinking about the precipitous firing of the fbi director, when you're thinking about the next tweet that you're about to send out, all of this plays into the narrative that, you know, which at the end could be just smoke. that could happen.
there is nothing there. there is no there-there. by your own actions, your own words, your tweets are creating an environment in which you are creating a separate narrative which is driving a story line that doesn't look good for you. >> and i think the other thing that's important to remember is how this story ends because jim comey rather poet cli ends on the note that i never spoke to him again. he got fired. all of the statements he made at the time he was the director are only good until the time that he was no longer there. and the firing is a pretty significant event in setting off this whole sequence. so, you know, that's a big -- >> and in bringing an investigation that in a sense was largely focused toward the campaign and outside the white house -- >> that's to mike flynn. >> there's nothing here, i wish you would clear me. and comey says, no, and there's no evidence of anything
involving trump and everything goes on. instead, he gets rid of him. >> look, again, the most generous defense of the president here, michael, is that, look, he always believes in fighting. you fight everything. >> yeah. >> and he mistakenly views people he's appointed to office, they work for him personally and, okay, this is somebody that hasn't been a career in government. but even in those most generous ignorance of the law, or ignorance of how a process works isn't a defense that usually gets you off. >> it is not a defense that gets you off and it certainly won't get you off when you are presumably the most powerful person on the planet, when you're the president. there is built into that office a certain knowledge that he is clearly not tapping into and he is backing on the heels. >> that says it best, divorce from the executive branch. thank you, guys. and we thought tomorrow was going to be a big day. after the break, fighting for the right to free tweet.
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finally tonight, in case you missed it, those tweets from president trump are more than just a stream of consciousness, or a vehicle for early morning venting. since the president was sworn in they're also part of the public record. his official statements from the commander in chief. in case you missed it official presidential statements come with some constitutional requirements. it could actually place mr. trump in the first amendment cross hairs. here's what we mean. the president's personal twitter account at real donald trump has 31.9 million followers. he followed only 45 people: then
there is an untold amount of people the president has blocked or blocked for him which means he doesn't see their tweets and they don't see his. i know, i know, before you tweet at me you i should point out there are work arounds to log out of the account so you can see the page, blah, blah, blah. he could get in a technical legal fix. the knight institute at columbia university thinks the president might be violating the constitution's free speech clause. the group sent a letter to the president yesterday arguing that the real donald trump account constitutes a designated public forum. so, the government cannot exclude individuals from it just based on their views so, folks, i know from personal experience how much it stinks to be told or harassed or yelled at on twitter and i have to admit at times when someone has crossed the line on twitter with their language or attacking my family i have blocked a few people. but i'm not the president, that's why twitter invented the mute function. looks like the president may legally be required to use it rather than block because he is
now in government. it's fascinating argument. look, i've had it myself. we're advocates of the first me have. who are we to tell somebody whether or not they are allowed to see our tweets? that's all for tonight. back tomorrow with more mtp daily. on another day i would say i would be bugging greta right now for the record about this first amendment question, but man does she have a great interview so it's all yours. >> i don't know, chuck, i must say if it's really obnoxious, block. anyway, thanks, chuck. and chuck is right, it's a bombshell news day. speaker of the house paul ryan will be with me live in a moment. but first former fbi director james comey's explosive opening statement. we now know what comey will say tomorrow morning before the senate intelligence committee, and it is stunning. comey says over the course of four months he had nine one-on-one conversations with president trump and he marches through each conversation in detail. january 6, comey met with then president-elect trump at the trump tower in new york. the purpose? to brief the