tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC June 7, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
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
investigation as a private citizen than he had as fbi director. comey might have been fired by donald trump but before that day came, he wrote a lot down. we've been reading reports of it but today we saw what comey plans to say tomorrow because it's been posted by the senate committee on intelligence for all the world to see. it show as man who took copious notes, something he says he hasn't done before but he immediately started after talking to this president. a man who was made to feel uncomfortable by donald trump, who was asked to drop an investigation and asked for his loyalty to the president. this was day 139 of the trump administration. the theme again was supposed to be infrastructure but instead it was another day dominated by investigation and the run up to tomorrow's testimony. about the comey notes, the introduction we expect him to
read in the morning to the committee, there's a lot. but here now are the highlights. beginning with comey's one on one dinner with the president in the formal green room at the white house on january 27th of this year, comey says he did not expect that to be a dinner only for two and quoting now my instincts told me that the one on one setting and the pretense this was our first discussion about my position meant the dinner was in part an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship. that concerned me greatly. the president said i need loyalty, i expect loyalty." i didn't move, speak or change my facial expression in anyway during the awkward silence that followed. more from that green room meal. near the end of our dinner the president returned to the subject of our job and said i need loyalty. and i replied "you will always get honesty from me."
and he said "that's what i want, honest loyalty." the president thanked him, said he wanted to speak only with me. the last person to leave was jared kushner. the president then excused him saying he wanted to speak with me. with the room cleared, comey's testimony went on to say the president went on by saying "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. and as a reminder this is what the president said on this topic last month. >> did you at any time urge
former fbi director james comey to close or back down the investigation into michael flynn and also as
-- >> no. no. next question. >> "dateline" now, march 30th, the president calls comey to talk about quote lifting the cloud of russia from his administration and getting out the fact that trump is not under investigation himself. the president's references claims that in that now unsubstantiated dossier about him and russia quote he said he had nothing to do with russia, comey writes, 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. moving now to april 11th of this year. according to comey the president again calls him following up on his request to get the word out
he's not under investigation. comey quoting the president. i have been very loyal to you, very loyal. we had that thing you know. i did
not reply or ask him what he meant by "that thing." comey concludes that was the last time i spoke with president trump. tomorrow's testimony comes at bad time for this new administration but especially when viewed with the latest round of poll numbers on this president just out from quinnipiac. job approval down 34%. 59% say the president is not honest. 58% say he does not have good leadership skills. 58% also say he does not care about average americans. 64% say the president does not share their values. and 55% say president trump is abusing the powers of his office.
at this point let's bring in our starting panel tonight. two of the very best print journalists, both at the washington post, white house reporter, ashley parker. also back with us, jeremy bash, chief of staff to both cia director and defense secretary during the obama years, former counsel to the house intelligence committee. well, robert, obviously this was a fraught relationship for both of these men from the very start. what are you hearing in light of this tonight? >> i've been meeting with white house officials and people close to the president and they're prepared for comey to make the argument tomorrow that he felt uncomfortable and throughout these exchanges and he w not happy with the way some of these conversations proceeded. it's coming from the top, i'm told. the president himself is telling his aids and surrogates at the republican national committee to punch back, to not hold back, to
question the former fbi director's credibility. they see this as political war. >> the republican party's talking points for tomorrow for their surrogates, for team members are already out, including instructions on what they should say on social media. let's talk about this relationship. the first meeting they have, comey gives the president all these salacious details from that russian dossier. it is possible donald trump never met or dealt with anyone quite like jim comey in private life. >> when you read comey's testimony, it sort of feels like great riveting memoir and half a bad romance novel but it's clear from the very start this relationship was fraught. what you can tell from eesken the fact that comey writes after
the first meeting with then president elect at trump tower, he portrays himself immediately racing to his fbi vehicle and trying to chronicle everything. it seems almost just in case something like this happens. he clearly felt uncomfortable around the president repeatedly over the course of these nine meetings and the president as you pointed out, felt a little uncomfortable with him. someone who didn't pledge his loyaltand ood up to him, as awkward as that was. >> your numberne take ay from what we read today and take a wack at the question why did drop tod? why give us hours or so to read on it, talk about it, chew it? >> number one take away was the reason we have a 10-year term for an fbi director is to avoid a situation where a new president can pressure the fbi director to do something in the president's interest. if the entire structure of the comey testimony was that comey
felt he had to re-audition to his job. that's contrary to the statutory regime. the threat hanging over his head during all these conversations was if you don't do what i want, if you don't shut the flynn investigation down, if you don't lift this cloud, you're going to get fired. and guess what? he got fired. so the entire structure of the testimony show as threat. the statutory language of obstruction of justice says whoever uses a threat to influence a federal investigation is guilty of an offense and that's exactly where i think bob mueller is going to go monopoly. >> why put it out today? >> i think it was sent to the committee in advance and often times they put testimony out a day in advance. it gives people an opportunity to hone their question.
senator burr is not allowing a second round of questions which is concerning many of the democrats on the committee. >> there was a theory floating ound that it was put out today just in case a truly unpredictable president wakes up in the morning and feels like throwing the switch on executive privilege. >> i don't think he can do that with the former. but the sleeper issue is that the president could exert executive privilege with regard to the other individuals in the comey firing. and this is where it may go to the courts. because if the president tries to stop the other witnesses from testifying, that's what bob mueller needs to spark a case of motive. >> so we're looking at another one of those television days tomorrow. where i suspect, as we get
underway, someone drops pen in this country, you're going to be able to hear it. millions of people are going to be watching the coverage. the viewers are very savvy knowing instantly those republicans that got the facts or the email and are going to ask the party questions. sometimes pursuing subjects not germane to the conversation. who are you going to be watching? and tell the audience why john mccain, not a member of this committee is going to figure prominently in the questioning tomorrow? >> that's a smart point about senator mccain. he is the heavyweight within the senate. a long-time presence on national security issues. he's seen as a patriot by many of his republican colleagues and his democratic colleagues of course. he's not seen as an ally per se of president trump. and so his pointed questions to director comey, people will be paying close attention.
a lot of democrats are looking to senator warren of virginia. can the democrats, if they only have one round of questioning be coherent and sharp in how they go after comey in what they're trying to get him to reveal about president trump. >> any republicans you expect to be closer to independents in their questioning? >> i think most republicans know this is a delicate situation and that president trump does not have this network of allies inside of the capitol that are there to do the bidding. this is why the white house tonight is somewhat uneasy about how this will all proceed because the republican national committee and the advisors in the west wing are working on the president's behalf but these republican senators are not serving trump. they swore an oath to the constitution and they're not there to expose comey in the same way some of his political critics in the white house are trying to do. >> ashley, i want you to react to something we heard today from
colon powell's former chief of staff, the retired colonel wilkerson. we'll talk about that on the other side. >> this seems to be indeed probably is the nature of the trump administration. it's like a mafia family. i mean that's essentially the way i view president trump now, as a god father. a member who orchestrates everything in his team and expects loyalty, honest or otherwise. >> not the first corleon reference that has occurred to people in this presidency thus far. but look at the timing of tomorrow, look at the poll numbers we talked about in the top of the broadcast. another number from this poll. 54% of people think this president is friendly to russia. the pollster said quote there is zero good news for president trump in this survey, just a continual slide into a kazof
doubt and his very fitness to serve. that was a trip we're looking at. the president afterall went to ohio today, ashley. very minimal traction on that event and i know you were around vice president pence today. >> i was. a couple things there. one thing is what's getting lost in all of this, this was actually, believe it or not supposed to be infrastructure week. so going back to the godfather idea. you have a president who is sort of acting as a patriarch, running the white house liking a family business. aids say that can be a positive thing but in this case, a lot of the so-called family i'm talking to is not very happy. some of the best you can say about them is they're resigned. they understand they begged the president not to tweet. his lawyers have told him he can literally cause himself serious legal problems by tweeting and he's just not listening. so they're readjusting the skillset to manage the fallout and understanding that he's uncon trollable and what does it
mean to them? do they need to be subpoenaed. should they start shopping their resumes around? it may be a family business but right now it is quite a chaotic one as well. >> jeremy ba, what would your advi be to comey as a witness? and i've heard the following predicted. people have said they're going to be on guard for the too cute by half strategy where he says i'm an evidence witness, i'm a fact witness. i can't make any judgment as to the president's thinking. that will have to be up to you. that's not going to go down well times 20 if it happens tomorrow. what would your advice be? >> i got to say my advice would be to stick the facts because other people are going to have to opine motive by the president. i think comey can play an important role in painting a broad picture in all the
interactions and how they weave together for the president. you first briefed the president on the dossier on january 6th. interesting comey says in his testimony i told the president if it these were salacious, unverified allegations. he didn't say they were untrue. basically we're looking into them. that's why the president kept telling him to lift the cloud and he knew that comey was looking into him. the president had not risen on the level of being under investigation. he had not met that threshold but he worried comey was looking into that. and i think if comey shows that's what they were looking at and the president was concerned about that, it will explain exactly why the president fired him. >> and also one more point before i got to squeeze a break in here. the comey notes indicate it
meets the threshold that broadly read three times he was told he was not under investigation. but even comey is cautioning that could have changed at any time, correct? >> he basically said the fbi had not opened a counterintelligence investigation on president trump. that is a true statement. doesn't mean the issue isn't being investigated. comey basically said we have to not state anything publicly because we may open an investigation on you in the future. >> on an eve where everyone needs rest, we're going to start with our panel of three, fit in a break and on the other side the other testimony today. it was notable. with the legal and intel chiefs appearing before the very same committee we're going to be watching tomorrow. lot more to talk about as "the 11th hour" continues.
i'll ask both of you the same questions. why are you not answering these questions? is there an invocation of the united states of executive privilege or not? >> not that i'm aware of. >> then why are you not answering? >> because i feel it's inappropriate. >> what you feel isn't relevant, admiral. >> a little straight talk from the state of maine. and welcome backing to "the 11th hour." fo of this nion's intelligence and legal chiefs testified in front of the senate intelligence committee. two of them, the director of the nsa and dan coats, former senator, the director of national intelligence really angered democrats on the
committee by refusing to answer questions on whether the president asked them to intervene in the russia investigation. this was truly interesting to watch. burr, the chairman, kind of admonished them in his closing statement today. what was their responsibility coming up there as someone pointed out, i think it was steve schmidt, they work for us, after all? >> i think a lot of senators were frustrated they didn't get more extensive answers from these officials. they were somewhat cagey in the minds of both democrats and republicans. and law makers i've spoken with wonder why. if executive privilege was not invoked by the administration, why are they so reluctant? and most law makers suspect, not always based on much evidence,
but they suspect there's an atmosphere of being cagey in conversations with the president and not lettg it all spill out in a congressional testimony but that irks the senators. >> and i'll show you why john mccain is my vote for the senator to watch tomorrow. here is a virtual ad he put out for the washington post today because he was angry at coats' lack of answers. let's play it. >> you know, it just shows what a norwellian existence that we live in. it's detailed as you know from reading the story as to when you met, what you discussed, et cetera, et cetera, and yet in a public hearing before the american people we can't talk about what was described in detail in this morning's "washington post." >> just because it's published in the washington post doesn't mean it's now unclassified. >> so what's this about it?
are they giving greater weight to the mueller investigation? are they not viewing senate testimony with equal weight? >> they seem to be saying that at one point. as you pointed out one of the issues was the possibility of executive privilege which has not yet been invoked but they did seem to site the investigation by the special prosecutor as a reason why they felt uncomfortable testifying before the panel today. there was an argument you saw did not go over well with the senators and it's unclear to me and again i'm not a lawyer or legal expert, exactly why the senate intel investigation and mueller's special prosecutor can't proceed at pace. but i think what you saw at the end of the day was two intelligence officials clearly uncomfortable with these conversations and this line of questionings and basically wanted to avoid that with whatever way they could today.
>> while it's down the road, this is still moving so fast. just how ugly and how many kaleidoscopic ways this could still get? issues of privilege? power of the pardon? people seeking immunity. it could look a lot like rats on a ship before we're done, could it not? >> it looks like the president is interesting in pardoning, at least mike flynn, maybe others and i believe the big issue is going to be when the president tries to exert executive privilege over these witnesses and others. put a 50 on usc, the national security act which says that congress must be able to get from the executive branch any information and i was underlined, any information concerning intelligence
activities. if it's unclassified to get in open session. i don't know if any legal or traditional basis for them with holding this information from the committee today. >> i appreciate all of you hanging out with us tonight. thank you so much. to robert kosta, to ashley parker, to jeremy bash. i want to show you an l.a. times headline that william randolph hurst himself would look back on and perhaps be happy with. that's how the "l.a. times" is portraying it. trump's loyalty demand.
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the safest energy company in the nation. welcome back to our broadcast. when you think about it, prior to today we were going on leaks, which became pres reports about what james comey saw and said and was told during his meetings with the president. what he rushed to write down afterwards. now we have james comey's words and memories on paper. by this time tomorrow night, if it we're still standing, we will have heard james comey in his own words under questioning from the senate intelligence
committee. so we have brought in the big guns to game out what the questioning might look like in the morning, perha wt it should sound like. former chief spokesman for the department of justice, a justice and security analyst, mikko, back with us, former staffer on the house intelligence committee and house armed services committee. and look who we were able to talk into sticking around, our msnbc security analyst, jeremy bash. okay, mr. miller, you're here in our new york studios. you're in charge of distributing questions, maybe to the chairman. what would you ask director comey tomorrow? >> in addition to all the obvious ones, more details about the meetings described in the testimony released today. i would want to ask him what other conversations did he have with others at the white house and not just that he had but that his deputy andrew mccabe had. there were reports in february that after the new york times reported there were contacts between trump campaign officials and russian intelligence services that the white house asked the fbi to publicly knock that down in a conversation, several between reince priebus and andrew mccabe. i would want to know the details
of those conversations and any others. it's not just the president's conduct at issue, but his aides' as well. >> same question, jeremy bash. >> why do you think the president asked the attorney general and jared kushner to step out of the room. i think we got to get inside jim comey's state of mind. why do you think the president fired you? do you think he was holding your job in peril as a threat over your head? >> didn't the president tell lester holt pretty much why he fired jim comey and i've had heard it say the particular part of this story where the president empties the room, that really gets the attention of guys like you. >> it does. it shows that he didn't want any witnesses there. as for his public statements, they've been all over the map. he said i was going to fire him all along. obviously the official explanation was that it was about the hillary email issue. i think we know now that's not accurate. he told lester holt i had the russia issue in mind. only jim comey can say what he
felt, what he felt the actual body language to mean in practice to him. >> there are plenty of still good questions remaining. what are yours you would like to ask jim comey tomorrow? >> i would like to ask them about a very curious parent athletic cal that said the reason he didn't want to issue a statement is that they didn't want to create an obligation to change that later if the president were to become under investigation. the question is how long was jim comey thinking that the president might actually be the subject of the investigation? what concerns did he have about the president's behavior that led him to think aha, i have to start documenting every conversation i have with this guy which i've never had to do with a president before. you've got to get into this
guy's head and what made his spidey sensing off that this is not business as usual? >> you have members of congress going into actual hearings. it seems more than a little bit of a test tomorrow. they're dealing with a first class lawyer and a smart guy with their witness. but they're also dealing with huge viewing audiencthat speaks english. how do you go about prepping a member of congress for tomorrow? >> you want to make sure they're very fluent with the timeline and understanding what the legal issues are at stake here and then for the partisan members, you want to make sure you understand what the narratives are that the other side is trying to get out and see if you can ask your witness questions that will help either rebut those narratives or shed light on those narratives. there is a pac ad that attacks comey. i've been watching some of the trump surrogates on cable calling him slick.
and other words. so what are they going to be watching for at doj and how is he regarded going into tomorrow at doj? >> he has tremendous respect at the fbi. among most people there was concern about what he did last year. the hillary clinton press conference and the letter he sent was a big departure from doj rules. a lot of prosecutors didn't like that. but there's no one that's worked with jim comey that doesn't think he's a man integrity. and when you see him detail the conversations with the president tomorrow, conversations the president has said on the record didn't happen, it's a test of his integrity versus the president's integrity and i don't know there's anyone that's going to believe the president's side of the story. >> is it clear to you the president never encountered a jim comey in private life prior to coming to government?
>> he never encountered someone like this. >> i found it so interesting in reading comey's written statement how the president kept returning to his own personal peril. please, mr. comey, tell the public that i'm okay, that it's not about me. a very self-absorbed set of conversations. it's not i'm worried about russia, i know you are too. one key question is jim comey do you think the president shared your concern about what russia was doing? i think the answer's going to be no. >> you said something at the end of nicole wallace's 4:00 p.m. broadcast that stopped me in my tracks. about the part of the testimony where comey is talking about his discomfort around the president. >> when you read comey's testimony and you see he doesn't want to be alone with the president, he asks sessions not to do that. he's uncomfortable with him. you see this of the video of him shaking the president's hand. he doesn't want to be near this guy.
i think every woman in america knows what it feels like to have a man ask her to do something she feels is inappropriate and doesn't want to do. it seems like jim comey is sharing that feeling when he is talking about donald trump. >> matt miller, jeremy bash, really appreciate it. we'll be talking along the way. when we come up, we'll ask senator amy, democrat of the state of minnesota for her preview going to tomorrow. my bargain detergent couldn't keep up. so i switched to tide pods. they're super concentrated so i get a better clean. #1 trusted. #1 awarded. it's got to be tide. discover a new school way to wash! tide pods has 6 times the cleaning power. and new downy protect & refresh conditions fabrics to lock out odors. when you wash with tide and new downy protect and refresh together, they're just better together. that's the new school way to wash. available at walmart.
cialis for daily use treats ed anthe urary symptomsf bph. tell your doctor about your medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have a sudden decrease or loss of hearing or vision, or an allergic reaction, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis. welcome back to "the 11th hour." we welcome senator amy representing the state of minnesota. she sits on the senate judiciary committee which was james comey's last round of testimony on the russia investigation. thanks for coming on. i just want your initial reaction to what you read from comey today. >> well, i think we got a very, very detailed accounting here
and there were some things that people had heard in the news and some things that were unexpected. the fact he had all these repeated conversations with the president when he had very few with president obama, that was news to a lot of people. the fact he felt so pressured and that the president had used those exact words i want your loyalty, i expect your loyalty. the fact he told him, which many of us had read about in the news but never confirmed, that he wanted him to leave the flynn investigation go, which was very significant and finally, the last thing that he had actually askehim to go out there and spin for him and exonerate him. a lot of those things were starting and i would agree with your past panelists that one of the things we want to hear is to get to the bottom of how director comey felt about this. here are the facts, ma'am, guy. i was a class mate and someone i knew him well in law school.
so i know what he's like and i think it will be very important for them to get to the bottom of those other conversations as well as how was he feeling about this and how did he perceive what the president was doing? i think it's pretty obvious from the facts but those are questions that aren't laid out in this testimony. >> i have heard surrogates say he's from the private sector, that's why the american people hired him. he's not a lawyer. he didn't know the ways of washington. is any of that any defense? >> i think the law is the law. and that's something that director mueller, who is the special prosecutor here is going off the to determine. i don't think any senator or politician can define this as what it is. but the law is the law and i can tell you as a brand new senator i knew it was important not to try to influence any investigation.
we saw all of that unfold with the alberto gonzalez episode, what happened when people tried to call and influence investigations and politicize things. you just don't do that. that is a cardinal rule of the justice department and i think any president should know that. >> i want to ask you about john mccain. one of your notable colleagues in the senate. he is not on intel but he is the chairman of armed services. is it senatorial courtesy? he's going to sit in tomorrow and he's going to ask questions tomorrow and i imagine he's one of the senators you'll be watching closely. >> of course. and i will say john mccain rules of the committee is allowed to sit in and ask questions. it is entirely appropriate. one of the things so important is that those senatoave go in there tomorrow not as partisans but atriots and there's no better definition than john mccain. and it's important it's not just
the democrats asking probing questions but the republicans as well. many of them have respect for jim comey. they express that publicly. men of the republicans and democrats when he was fired. and i think you're going to see a different kind of line up here. not just one side does one thing and the other does the other. it's important to get to the bottom of this for american people. >> minnesota has had a 100% level of giving in terms of interviews. it's now incumbent to send each of their senators to the broadcast. >> we'll put that challenge out to them. >> senator amy klobuchar, democrat of minnesota, thank you very much for coming on tonight.
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is any of this shocking to you? >> is that the bar though? to be shocked? >> you shouldn't be shocked. my point is you shouldn't be shocked. who who watched him in the campaign would let him hold him back and have others speak on his behalf. >> chris christie this very afternoon referring to president trump's shall we say tendency to shoot from the hip. while it may work for him, it's an approach that often leaves members of his own staff dramatically out of the loop. he did it on twitter today when he nominated christopher wray to lead the fbi. members of congress all blindsided by that. less than a month ago with sarah
huckabee sanders insisted jim comey's firing was driven by the justice department, only to have the president on the same day say he was going to do it on his own. sh administration veteran, former adviser to mitt romney's presidenti campaign and fun fact, holder of four different degrees from harvard. and white house reporter from the associated press who like me, does not have four degrees from harvard. gentleman, welcome to you both. so, just to reemphasize, two bits of news here. number one, right now it's 11:49 eastern time. it's been 15 hours since the president did anything on twitter. today he did go to ohio, he did talk about infrastructure. quickly swamped by other events. >> infrastructure week has been over shadowed. >> you think? >> and it's amazing how his pick of a new fbi director came and went and it was done without much notice. in fact no notice to most of his
senior staff. the communications team had no idea. there was no bullet points prepared, no surrogates lined up, no one from the hill ready to go in front of the cameras to say has the good pick. i think it was five hours after his tweet before the white house put out an official release with the nomination. >> what does that tell you? >> it tells me there isn't an architecture in place to really do the things that the white house needs to do to communicate a message and to drive policy. you don't have policy of the health care plan, tax reform plan. you have these little bursts and then no real follow through because the infrastructure is not there. there is no one there to back up the message and to really carry what the president is trying to do in the long run which is to propals. ome conservative policy there's no back-up there and that's very, very dangerous for this white house, if they seek to govern.
>> if i'm devil's advocate i want to ask are you that good? can you be your own war room? national security adviser? press secretary? is it sustainable? >> the short answer is no. this goes back to 1939 the commission said the president needs help. he didn't have a staff around him. that's why we built up the infrastructure around the president. it's not for fun and games. it is there to support the governance of the country and there to support the executive branch. without that it is very difficult for this president to be successful in the long run. >> i guess we have seen the white house come around and admit i guess what he says on twitter is official policy. we mentioned the bot on twitter that is putting the president's tweets in the format of an official white house statement. that in mind, he has nothing on his schedule until noon eastern tomorrow. is it possible that someone has instilled new discipline in him? is it possible that he is going
to just watch and hold his fire? >> we will find out tomorrow morning. it certainly has not been a frequent occurrence that he has maintained discipline on twitter. this is the most active and watched twitter feed in washington obviously if not the world. the hours tomorrow between 10:00 and 12:00 when the former director takes the oath and when the president has to leave for this speech i think all eyes will be glued to that twitter account. we may have a spliscreen experience where we have the fbi director testifying and then donald trump responding in real time on twitter. perhaps, even as has happened before, director comey might be asked a question about a tweet that the president just put up. >> in real time. there is also legal exposure to what the president is saying on that phone. >> that is why you recall the tweet from george conway who was in line to be solicitor general,
someone who is very well respected in legal circles basically begging and pleading with the president to not compromise his own legal case. >> thank you very much. we are leaning on you both as we go forward. an interesting discussion setting up the parameters of tomorrow and what we may or may not hear from 1600 pennsylvania avenue. appreciate it. another break for us. when we come back a moment that happened during that other hearing today with the legal and intelligence chiefs that needs a proper re-airing tonight.
trying to get rod rosenstein of the justice department to answer questions about how much leeway this mueller investigation will have. before you see this exchange two things to note. the senators were under time limits to get their answers and the witnesses were not in a sharing mood today candidly. >> senator, i am very sensitive about time. i would like to have a lengthy conversation and explain that to you. >> give me a yes or no answer, please? >> it is not a short answer. >> either you are willing to do that or are not. we have precedent in that regard. >> chairman, they should be allowed to answer the question. >> it's a long question you pose and i fully appreciate the import of your question. i'll get to the answer. >> are you willing or not willing to give him the authority to be fully independent of your ability statute orly and legally to fire him?
yes or no? >> he has the full independence that is authorized by those regulations. >> are you willing to do? >> will the -- the chair will exercise its right to allow the witnesses to answer the question and the committee is on notice to provide the witnesses the courtesy which has not been extended all the way across, extend the courtesy for questions to get answered. >> mr. chairman, respectfully, this witness has joked with the ability to filibuster. >> senator harris will be back ot comey hearing tomorrow with the same committee. we will be back on the air in a scant few hours 9:00 a.m. eastern time for the start of our live coverage here on msnbc. for tonight for now that is our broadcast. thank you for being here with us. good night from new york.
flynn go. >> the fired fbi director's sworn testimony about his conversations with the president is released. >> he said he had nothing to do with russia, had not been involved with hookers in russia. >> tonight, based on what comey says, did the president commit obstruction of justice? plus, the white house responds to the direct contradiction of the president. >> a dinner was arranged. i think he asked for the dinner. >> and what we know about what james comey may be holding back for tomorrow morning's hearing. all that and the incredible scene at this morning's hearing. >> why are you not answering our questions? >> because i feel it in inappropriate, senator. >> what you feel isn't relevant, adral. >> when "a