tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC June 7, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
but i hereby issue the entire country a doctor's note so you can stay home and watch the testimony tomorrow morning by fired fbi director james comey. you can watch it all happen hey, rachel. i haven't been setting my alarm for senate hearings since i worked in the senate. this is becoming habitual. you know, rachel, i was really struck today that it turns out the james comey hearing is a two-day hearing. well get today his written opening remarks, which is really unprecedented. tomorrow the actual testimony. it's very common for senate committees to require a request at least the written opening statements to be submitted a day
ahead of time. 24 hours ahead of time. sometimes noontime of the day before. but it is really unusual for us to get a look at testimony day before like this. especially testimony this important and this suspenseful. >> oftentimes when you get an opening statement in advance, it's on some policy matter. >> yes. >> or it's a statement of general principles or something. usually when they give them out in advance is because they haven't been doing anything dramatic with their statement. in this case it is an unbelievably dramatic statement. it reads like a screenplay. and matt miller former justice department spokesperson made an interesting point. he may be trying to set up senators tomorrow to ask better questions to get beyond some of the surface level stuff and really get to it tomorrow. >> i wondered all day why james comey agreed to have his testimony released today. in effect it seemed upstaging his testimony tomorrow. i think, my guess on this is he wanted to get it out there, that opening statement so he can hear
what the critics say, so he can read some of the op-ed pieces that he might see early tomorrow morning so he can go into the testimony capable of responding to everying the critics have had to say, including responding in some way possibly to what the prest's lawyer had to say today about oh, the president is fully vindicated. >> right. i do think that the president's lawyer, their defense, you can see their tactic sort of changing right now in terms of how they're handling this matter. i think they took the bait a little bit by putting out a public statement in response to the remarks from comey. you don't want the say you feel vindicated before the guy takes the oath tomorrow morning and starts talking about you. i think they may have taken the bait there a little bit and they may regret it. >> 10:00 a.m., be in front of your tv. >> bile there. thanks, lawrence. >> thanks, rachel. thank you. well, today the senate intelligence committee heard from witnesses who refused to discuss their conversations with the president without giving any
real legitimate reason for that refusal. tomorrow the senate intelligence committee will hear from the witness who will discuss in detail his conversations with the president, including the deeply meaningful silences. >> comey's written testimony was released this afternoon. >> he exhaustively details nearly every interaction he had with president trump. and it's loaded with bombshells. >> reads more like a tom clancy novel. >> the president said "i need loyalty. i expect loyalty." >> makes the president sound like a mob figure. >> the only oath that the fbi director takes is to the constitution of the united states. >> the repeated contact were so concerning that he didn't want to have one-on-one contact with the president at all. >> did you urge james comey to back down the investigation into michael flynn? and also, as you look at -- >> no.
no next question. >> comey says yes, he did. >> i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting flynn go. that. >> that is watergate level material. >> watergate pales to what we're confronting now. >> james comey today established himself as the most dramatic writer ever to appear before a senate committee. the senate intelligence committee, in an unprecedented move today released the written opening statement that james comey will deliver to the committee and to the world tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. there will surely still be surprises in the hearing tomorrow. there will be no doubt some surprising moments in the answers that james comey gives to senators' questions. but his written opening statement is as dramatic as anything that has ever been delivered in the senate. he recounts the important elements of his conversations with president trump in
exquisite and important detail. the writing rivals any white house scene written by our best dramatists. in a one-on-one dinner with the president with though one else in the room, james comey writes, "the president said i need loyalty. i expect loyalty." i didn't move, speak or change acial expression in any way during the awkward silence tt followed. he we simply looked at each other in silence. the president is demanding loyalty of an fbi director appointed by the previous president to a ten-year term. and the president gets silence. that scene could not be more loaded. could not be more tense. every actor in hollywood would love to play that scene. every director would love to direct it there is a world to explore in that silence. what did the president feel in that silence? fear? what did he get from james
comey's unchanging face in that silence? did the president realize that in that silence was james comey's refusal to give him the kind of loyalty he just said he needed and expected? and what did james comey think was coming next? was that the moment? was that the actual moment that the president decided he had to fire james comey? was the president's decision to fire the fbi director made somewhere in the middle of that intensely dramatic silence? the president then wandered off to other subjects. but as james comey will testify tomorrow, he returned to what seemed to be the most important subject of the dinner. he then said i need loyalty. i replied you will always get honesty from me. he paused and then said that's what i want, honest loyalty. i paused and then said you will get that from me. it is possible we understood the phrase "honest loyalty" differently.
but the term honest loyalty had helped end a very awkward conversation. in three years and three months serving as fbi director under president obama, james comey was alone with president obama exactly once. spoke to him exclusively twice. once was in 2015 to discuss policy issues. that's when he was alone with him. the second time he was alone with president obama was very brief and was just to say goodbye to him at the end of 2016. he never -- james comey never spoke to president obama on the telephone, not once. in less than four months as fbi director under president trump, james comey had nine one-on-one conversations with president trump. three in person, six on the phone. president trump certainly needed something from james comey. his first time, james comey's first time alone with donald
trump was at the end of a briefing with the president-elect on january 6th at trump tower which was attended by director of national intelligence james clapper and others. the director of national intelligence asked that james comey brief the president alone about some unverified salacious stories that had been circulating involving donald trump and prostitutes in a moscow hotel room. the director of national television and james comey decided it would be possibly embarrassing to have more people in the room. so it was just going to be james comey doing this alone. james comey wrote during the dinner president trump returned to the salacious material i had briefed him about on january 6th. and as he had done previously expressed his sgusfor the allegations and strongly denied them. he said he was considering ordering me to investigate the alleged incident to prove that it didn't happen. i replied that he should give that careful thought because it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren't.
and because it was very difficult to prove a negative. the president came back to this subject in a march 30th phone call to fbi director comey. 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 with hookers in russia, and had always assume head was being recorded when in russia. he asked what we would do to lift the cloud. i responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could. on january 26th, january 26th, the acting attorney general sally yates warned the white house that michael flynn was under fbi investigation and had lied to the white house about his contacts with russia. january 26th. the very next day, january 27th, the president called up james comey at noon and invited
him to that one-on-one dinner, that very night when he demand james comey's loyalty. and didn't get it. james comey was understandably uneasy. that was his word, uneasy, about being alone with the president either in person or on the telephone. he will testify than tomorrow. and at one point he asked attorney general jeff sessions to intervene. "i took the opportunity to implore the attorney general to prevent any future direct communication between the president and me james comey said this to the attorney general after another dramat scene, a dratic moment in the oval office at the on the other hand of a group meet wleng the president told everyone else to leave the room so he could speak to the fbi director alone. attorney general jeff sessions was one of the people the president ordered out of that room so he could speak to the fbi director alone. the vice president was also ordered out of that room. and as james comey notes in his testimony, the last person, the very last person to leave the room was jared kushner. when the door by the grandfather clock closed and we were alone,
the president began by saying i want to talk about mike flynn. flynn had resigned the previous day. the president began by saying flynn hadn't done anything wrong in speaking with the russians, but he had to let him go because he had misled the vice president. he is a good guy and has been through a lot. i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting flynn go. he is a good guy. i hope you can let this go. i replied only that he is a good guy. i did not say i would let this go. it was after that request that he let this go that james comey asked attorney general jeff sessions to prevent that kind of one-on-one meeting from happening again. james comey told the attorney general what happened. when the president ordered everyone out of the room was inappropriate and should never happen again. and jeff sessions did not even reply. jeff sessions didn't say anything.
he apparently did not ask what did the president say when i left the room. the attorney general wasn't curious about that. the attorney general did not want to know. the attorney general seems to have known or suspected it was something that he did not want to know. jeff sessions wasn't apparently the only one in the justice department who didn't want to know these things. after the phone call when the president asked what james comey could do to lift the cloud of the russia investigation, james comey immediately called the acting deputy attorney gener dana boente who had replaced the fired sally yates. james comey reported the substance of that phone call with the president to the acting deputy attorney general and said he would await the acting deputy attorney general's guidance. james comey never heard back from the acting deputy attorney general dana boente. dana boente is going to be put under oath by the special prosecutor and possibly by the
congressional investigative committees and will be asked why he apparently did nothing about that phone call from james comey. the very same thing is going to happen with attorney general jeff sessions. why did he do nothing about the president's inappropriate direct communications with the fbi director. tomorrow is not the end of the james comey story. his testimony tomorrow will raise more questions than he will be able to answer. questions that must be answered under oath by the attorney general of the united states, and eventually under oath by the president of the united states. joining us now nick ackerman, former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. he also served as an assistant special watergate prosecutor, is now a partner at dorsey & whitney. also with us ron klain, former chief of staff to vice presidents joe biden and al gore and a former senior aide to
president obama. he is also a former chief counsel to the senate judiciary committee. nick ackerman, with your watergate experience, we keep hearing the comparisons all the time. one of the articles of impeachment against president nixon was obstruction of justice. for agreeing to an idea that the cia would ask the fbi to stop its investigation. >> right. >> we now have exactly that story being told about the director of national intelligence, that he refused to comment on today, that the president asked him to intervene with fbi director comey. we have fbi director comey's own details that have been laid out to us now about these conversations. how does this compare to the nixon article of impeachment on obstruction of justice? >> it's right on the money. actually, the facts that we gave, you started off with a wonderful summation. if you were the prosecutor in the case, that's exactly how it would have started off, that meeting in the oval office in which he asked for loyalty, and
then the second meeting where he said that flynn is a good guy and basically drop the investigation. when we look at obstruction of justice, we're looking at a person's intent. did he have the intent to have that investigation, you know, put under the rug? did he have the intent to obstruct and impede? he was asking, the president of the asking, the chief magistrate of the united states is asking the director of the fbi to basically scuttle an investigation into a possible lying by the national security director. you have to ask -- i mean, i think the real question you have to ask here is what was the motive? why did trump go to that length to try and get this investigation dropped? i mean, we know, there is certain facts we do know. we do know that flynn was dealing with the russians, with the russian ambassador in order to try and remove the sanctions that were set up on the ukraine.
and we know that he also lied to the fbi, that he didn't admit to the fbi that in fact these conversations took place. now, you have to ask yourself, did mr. flynn do this on his own? would he have taken it upon himself to actually go to the russian ambassador to talk about removing these sanctions? to me, it makes no sense. it would have to be the only reason that he was doing that was because the president of the united states or the president about to be, the person who was to be president of the united states asked him to do that. and i think that what president trump is concerned about is that if mike flynn is convicted of a serious federal felony, which he very well could be. we're talking about lying to the fbi that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. his only option is going to be to finger somebody else, to get
himself out of jail. and this is exactly what happened in the watergate case. >> he could become your john dean? >> no. he could become the jim accord. jim accord was the guy who was given 30 years in prison by the judge. and as a result, he didn't want to spend 30 years in jail for richard nixon. >> right. ron klain, your reaction to wh we now know to bdirector comey's opening remarks tomorrow. >> yeah, picking up on that, john dean had the famous phrase in watergate, "the cancer on the presidency." and now it comes out of donald trump's mouth, the cloud over his presidency, the cloud over his presidency. and that's what we're talking about here. a cloud that hangs over his presidency of questions about what he was doing to try to pressure the fbi director, pressure the director of national intelligence, pressure the cia director. and then he took it one step further than richard nixon ever did. he fired the fbi director in an effort presumably to try to cut off this investigation. that's at least what he admitted on lester holt. i think the testimony tomorrow
will be very dramatic. as you said, lawrence, the written statement from director comey is terse but powerful. and the only thing about it that wouldn't make a good hollywood screenplay actually that the actions of the main actor, the president are so thuggish, so heavy-handed, so ridiculous that it might be unbelievable as a hollywood screenplay. the whole clearing the room and asking for loyalty multiple times and calling him on the phone and asking him for statements of exoneration. these are extraordinary acts for any president, any one of them. but the summation of all of them paints a very, very dark picture. >> and nick, i played last night on this show, i played it before. the audiotape of richard nixon's complicit agreement in this plot to have the cia tell the fbi to stop the investigation. and all nixon says to what haldeman is saying, all he ever
says is uh-huh. and that was enough. that was a sking gun. >> absolutely. absolutely. >> he doesn't have the declarative statements that president trump has in all of these conversations. >> no. in fact, if you look at one of the other conversations in that -- the watergate investigation, where john dean was present and they talk about paying hush money to the burglars, including howard hunt, and then they're talking about a million dollars in hush money, all that nixon says is "but that would be wrong." >> yes, yes. sometimes it's just a wink, a nod, a little bit of a gesture. but here, i mean, it's so explicit. and on top of it all, you've got his admission on lester holt that in fact he had russia on his mind when he got rid of comey. and you've got the tweet that essentially is an effort at witness tampering against comey by threatening him with a potential tape if he goes out and leaks information. >> it's astonishing. nick akerman, ron klain, thank
you both for joining us tonight. we're going to be back tomorrow night with the actual comey testimony to discuss. the most important questions asked by the senators today in the intelligence committee hearing were not answered. we will be back with why those questions were not answered. for my constipation, my doctor recommended i switch laxatives. stimulant laxatives make your body go by forcefully stimulating the nerves in your colon.
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in his much anticipated testimony today, here is what director of national intelligence dan coats said. when asked if a "washington post" report is true that president trump asked dan coats to intervene with fbi director james comey to stop the russia investigation. >> i do not feel it's appropriate for me to in the public session in which confidential conversations between the president and myself, i don't believe it's appropriate for me to address that in a public session. >> but director coats and national security agency director mike rogers got themselves into trouble at the hearing when after claim thanksgiving could not discuss confidential conversations with the president, they then characterized those conversations. >> to the best of my recollection, i have never been directed to do anything i
believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate. and to the best of my recollection, during that same period of service, i do not ever recall feeling pressured to do so. >> have i never been pressured. have i never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relationship to an ongoing investigation. >> after that, senator angus king of maine challenged their refusal to answer questions about conversations with the president. >> so then i'll ask both of you the same question. why are you not answering these questions? is there an invocation by the president of the united states of executive privilege? is there or not? >> not that i'm aware of. >> then why are now not -- >> because i feel it isn't relevant. >> what you feel isn't relevant, admiral. what you feel isn't the answer. why are you not answering the questions? is it an invocation of executive
privilege? if there is, let's know about it. if there isn't, answer the questions. >> i stand by the comments i made. i'm not interested in repeating myself, sir. and i don't mean that in a contentious way. >> well, i do mean it in a contentious way. i don't understand why you're not answering our questions. you can't -- when you were confirmed before the armed services committee, you took an oath. do you solemnly swear to give the committee the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you do. >> i do. and i've also answered that those conversations were classified. it is not appropriate in an open forum to discuss those classified conversations. >> what is classified about a conversation involving whether or not you should intervene in the fbi investigation? >> sir, i stand by my previous comment. >> mr. coats, same series of questions. what is the basis for your refusal to answer these questions today? >> the basis is what i've previously explained. i do not believe it is appropriate for me to -- what's the basis?
i'm not satisfied with "i do not believe it is appropriate" or "i do not feel i should answer." i want to understand a 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. what is the legal basis for your refusal to testify to this committee? >> i'm not sure i have a legal basis. but i am more than willing to sit before this committee and during this investigative process in a closed session and answer your questions. >> joining us now, john mclaughlin, former acting director of the cia. he is an msnbc security analyst. and ned price, former senior director and spokesperson for the national security council and a former cia analyst. he is an msnbc national security analyst. john mclaughlin, i don't understand what they meant by those conversations were classified. i don't understand what could be classified about a conversation in which the president is asking you to intervene in an fbi investigation. and how do you think they should
have answered that question today? >> well, lawrence, you know, i respect both of these individuals. and i understand that on occasion, you don't want to talk about private conversations with the president. i think today with respect to them, i think today they misjudged the gravity of the situation. in other words you have director comey recounting conversations with the president. and these conversations that they had are equally important, and they bear on the case. they're going to have to answer those questions eventually. it was ambiguous whether they weregreeg to answer them in closedessi. that would be one way do it. but sooner or later, they're going to answer those questions. and given the gravity of this situation, i think it would have been best for them to just answer the question today. i learned in lots of testimony over years that nothing messes up your relationship with congress more than refusal to answer questions about important matters. >> ned price, your reaction to that exchange with senator angus king. >> well, lawrence, watching today's hearing and that
exchange in particular, i was remind to have had oath i took as my -- on my first day in government as a brand-new cia officer, namely, the oath to protect and defend the constitution of the united states of america. it's not an oath to protect and defend a president or an administration. it's an oath to protect and defend the constitution. and you got the impression listening to those two individuals today that they were attempting to protect the president of the united states and not fulfilling their constitutional obligation. why do i say that? i say that because as senator king so artfully and pointedly i should say pointed out, they had no legal basis not to answer these very factual cases. bob mueller, the special counsel did not ask them to refrain from answering these questions. the white house apparently did not invoke executive privilege in this.
and of course these exchanges were not classified. that renders them without a justification to answer these simple questions which frankly congress deserves answers to in its oversight role. i want to show another angle in the questioning that came up today. and that is senator kamala harris. and she pointed out that the special prosecutor is not truly independent and actually is still in a posture where special prosecutor mueller could be fired under certain circumstances. she tried to get the deputy attorney general to agree to giving a written guarantee that mueller could not be fired. and she couldn't get that guarantee. let's listen to this. >> would you agree, mr. rosenstein, to provide a letter to director mueller similarly providing that director mueller has the authority as special counsel, quote, independent of the supervision or control of any officer of the department and ensure that director mueller has the authority that is
plenary and not, quote, defined or limited by the special counsel regulations? >> senator, i'm very sensitive about time. and i would like to have a very lengthy conversation and explain that all to you. i tried to do that -- >> can you give me an answer? >> well, it's nato short answer, senator. >> it is. either you are willing to do that or not as we have precedent in that regard. >> okay. >> chairman should be allowed to answer the question. >> i realize that theoretically anybody could be fired. so there is a potential for undermining investigation. i am confident, senator, that director mueller, mr. mccabe, and i and anybody else who may fill those positions in the future will protect the integrity of that investigation. that's my commitment to you. and that's the guarantee that you and the american people have. >> so is that a no? >> john mclaughlin, very important point. she was citing a previous precedent that actually james
comey set when he appointed a special prosecutor that there was the guarantee could not be fired. that seems to be important in this situation. >> i think it is. again, anyone who hesitates to give that guarantee in this situation is misjudging the gravity of what we're dealing with here. this isn't pattycake. this government at its most dangerous moment. it's about an unprecedented situation in many respects, even though there are parallels to some previous scandals. so i think it was a mistake to not just make that statement unequivocally that bob mueller will not be fired. >> ned price, did you have the feeling that these administration officials misjudged what they were going to face with these senators today? they seemed unprepared to deal with senator harris, senator wyden, and others on the committee who were -- who were countering their points with much more force than they seemed prepared to deal with. >> it seems they completely
misjudged it. and the ploy they came in with was as clear as day. they didn't want the talk about facts. they did not want to talk what the president had asked of them or directed of them or ordered of them. instead they wanted to talk about their feelings. these are hard-nosed national security officials, intelligence officials, law enforcement officials and others. and here they are just talking about their feelings. they didn't feel they had been pressured. they didn't feel they were under any obligation to take a particular course of action. those were very pointedly not the questions that the senators asked. and the session, as we've seen become very heated because of that. it was like they thought they could get away with a session with their psychologist, just talking about their feelings and impressions rather than what had actually transpired in the oval office in these discussions with the president where very clearly, according to multiple accounts, including what we saw from james comey today, there were efforts to obstruct justice.
>> john mclaughlin and ned price, thank you both for joining us on what has clearly become the most important week yet in this senate intelligence committee investigation. thank you very much for joining us. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, today the president did his best to distract attention from the testimony of the senate intelligence committee, and he did that by rushing his announcement of who he will nominate to be james comey's successor at the fbi. that's next. [radio alarm] ♪ julie is living with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. she's also taking prescription ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor, which is for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor- positive her2- metastatic breast cancer as the first
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the president knew he was going to have a rough day in the senate intelligence committee hearing this morning where dan coats was going to be asked about where a "washington post" report claims the president tried to get him to intervene with james comey to stop the investigation. and so the president did his best to upstage this morning's hearings by rushing his announcement of his nominee to be the next director of the fbi. this morning he tweet lid be nominating christopher a. wray, a man of impeccable credentials to be the new director of the fbi. details to follow. and details followed shortly before james comey's written testimony was released today. that's when the white house put out a statent about the nomination of a new fbi director. rushing the announcement this morning on twitter meant that the president of course ignored the protocol of informing the republican and democratic
leaders of the senate judiciary committee, which will hold the confirmation hearing for the new fbi director. but there is not time for such niceties when you're trying to stay ahead of a bad news cycle. joining us now peter winer, senior fellow at the ethics and public policy center. he worked in the last three republican administration, including as senior aide to george w. bush. peter, your reaction to the president's choice of successor to james comey. >> he seems to be a fine person, but it's irrelevant. this is an epic week. and it's not an epic week because mr. wray was appointed but because of what james comey is going to testify. this is an effort by president trump to change the channel. but it's not going to work. it's an interesting thing. he had some success during the campaign in driving the narrative. what he has found out is the presidency is an entirely different thing. and he has had no success at
driving the narrative as president. he keeps crashing into reality. this is a distraction, and it won't really matter at the end of the day. >> we know how the president talks to an fbi director or even a candidate for an fbi director. because what james comey says is that when he was having dinner with him, he had the feeling that the president was basically in effect interviewing him to see if he wanted to keep him on as fbi director. >> right. >> and that's when he said to him, "i need loyalty, i expect loyalty." that's the way donald trump wants to talk to his nominee as fbi director. obviously, this nominee is going to be asked in his confirmation hearing, did the president say to you i need loyalty and i expect loyalty? >> i think that's right. and we'll see what he answers. you know, this has blown up on donald trump once. if he tries it again, it will probably blow up on him again. he just doesn't seem to be a person who learns. it's an interesting phenomenon. and it's a frightening phenomenon, because the
qualities that one associates with donald trump are not just ignorance and epic incompetence, though there is that. but it is that he is a person who seems to thrive on chaos and disruption and disorder. he draws a kind of psychic energy from it. and we've never seen anything quite like this in american political history to have a president do this kind of thing. this has been a race with people in the republican party and in the administration trying to keep a dysfunctional president from becoming a dysfunctional presidency. and they are losing that. and it was inevitable they were going to lose it. because i think donald trump's personality disorders are so deep that there is just no way to keep him contain and controlled. a lot of us thought that before the election. and i think it's just being realized and unfolding before our eyes. >> peter, it seems reasonabl given what we're now learning from james comey, that the
judiciary committee could demand of this nominee that he pledge under oath to refuse to have any one-on-one communication with the president. >> right. yeah. i think they probably should do it. and i think it would be in the interest of the fbi director if they did that they'd be doing him a favor. because any one-on-one meeting with donald trump is likely to lead to trouble. but i think, you know, the underlying point that you're make sag very good one. trump has mishandled this so badly that he has given an enormous amount of leverage to congress to dictate certain things. but as i say, if i were the fbi director, i think that's a pledge i'd like to take. >> peter wehner, thanks very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, we'll get richard clarke's take on he administration. richard clarke worked in four administrations including as special adviser on cybersecurity and terrorism. he said he had nothing to do (avo) come with us...
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he said he had nothing to do with russia, had not been involved with hookers in russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in russia. he asked what we could do to lift the cloud. the russian prostitute story that the president was talking to james comey about was first revealed in a dossier compiled by christopher steel, a former british intelligence agent. we don't know how much of that dossier is true or false, but it was the first attempt at a written description of donald trump's russian connections and russia's interference in our election. this week the intercept reported new details about the russian hacking, including their attempts to penetrate a voting software company. the vice chair of the senate intelligence committee mark warner reacted to that report, telling usa today that russian attacks on the election were even broader than what has been reported so far. >> we need to declassify more of that information so that americans can fully appreciate how broad and far-reaching this
russian attempt to interfere in our most basic democratic process. i don't believe they got into changing actual voting outcomes. but if the extent of the attacks is much broader than has been reported so far, again, i'm trying to work through a declassification process. >> according to a new "washington post"/abc news poll released today, 56% of americans think president trump is trying to interfere with investigations into possible russian influence in the 2016 election. just 34% of americans think president trump is cooperating with those investigations. richard clarke joins us next. joining us now, richard to life beautiful detail. or painted in luxurious strokes.
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your time at the white house. but was the potential for this kind of thing, russian interference in an election, was that something that was anticipated? >> absolutely not and it should have been, obviously. because the russians have been interfering for several years with democracies in eastern europe and former soviet union and now western europe. but we never thought they could do very much here. now we know they were microtargeting voters in the u.s. in a very sophisticated way with fake facebook and twitter accounts, shaping attitudes with a psychological warfare campaign that was far more important than any of the hacking they did. >> and it seems when we listen to mark warner that he is just itching to get more of this story out.
he's obviously -- has access to what is still classified about this, about what they know about the russian interference and he believes the public needs to know a lot more; that the scope is much wider than what we've been allowed to see of it. >> well, thepublic needs to know and state governments need to know because they're living in denial. they all think they can defend themselves against russian aic tas and don't think they were successful. but we have to know how bad it was. and if we do, i suspect we'll want to raise the issue of federal standards for local voting security. why did we have to learn this particular piece of information from a leak to the interse that's something we should have learned about and state government should have learned about in an open disclosure process. >> what would have been the proper presidential response to this information, especially if the president was on the winning end, as it were, of the it
russian interference? >> he should have said look, i had nothing to do with this. i wish they hadn't done it. i would have won anyway and i think this is a real challenge to our democracy. i want an investigation. i want to know how to stop this in the future. i want sanctions on them because they tried to do this and did do some things. he looks guilty, perhaps because he is. but he looks guilty because he wants to sweep it all under the rug and that raises the question was there collusion? we don't know. but boy, if there wasn't, why is he acting this way? >> the dossier that the president talked to james comey about several times and describes this salacious behavior, how does the intelligence community deal with a document like that that comes from the outside they can't completely verify?
>> it doesn't comcome completely from the outside. it comes from a british spy that u.s. intelligence has known and trusted for years. a man who has a great reputation and what u.s. intelligence does is sit down with him and say what can you tell us about your ces? what are you willing to explore here so we can verify it? i'm told most of it has been verified by u.s. intelligence. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight. appreciate it. tonight's "last word" is next. ) listen up, heart disease. you too, unnecessary er visits. and hey, unmanaged depression, don't get too comfortable. we're talking to you, cost inefficiencies and data without insights. and fragmented care- stop getting in the way of patient recovery and pay attention. every single one of you is on our list. for those who won't rest until the world is healthier,
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did director comey ever share details of his conversation with the president with you? in particular did he say the president had asked for his loyalty? >> sir, i'm not going to comment on conversations the director may have had with the president. i know he's here to testify in front of you tomorrow. you'll have an opportunity -- >> one report indicates that andrew mccabe is one of the people that james comey told about those conversations. no doubt at some point will be testifying under oath to the special prosecutor about those conversations. former fbi director james comey
will testify tomorrow. tonight jim comey in his own words the night before we get to hear from him under oath. the testimony that stunned washington. even before comey is scheduled to deliver it. tonight the questions yet to be answered. what else the former fbi director, now a private citizen, may reveal tomorrow. plus the damage assessment in terms of the trump presidency after another bad day. how well president trump responds. 11 hours from the start of the hearing as "the 11th hour" gets underway. and good evening once again from our head quarters in new york. james comey may have more power over the president and the future direction of the russia