tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC June 8, 2017 9:43am-10:00am PDT
wallace. what did we just with the jns. >> listen, everyone is going to head to their own forest and stare at their own trees and tell you who they thought the winners and losers were but the two things that strike me the ex-director of the fbi said i know i was fired because of the way i was handling the russia investigation. he also said, i think, he details six incounters with donald trump. and not one of them did the american president ask the fbi director where things stood in terms of russian interference in america's democracy, in america's election. so, we have a president who wanted the fbi director to let his good buddy mike flynn off the hook. we also learned that mike flynn is probably in pretty deep stuff. we also learned there's more that we don't know why sessions recused himself. but at the end of the day, the fbi director talked about how he lost his job because he was investigating russian interferen in our democracy, in our election. and he worked for a president,
the leader of the free world, never once asked him about russia's role in that election. >> one of the most powerful quotes about the russians, they're coming after america. if any americans were helping russia do that to us, that is a very big deal. ari melber from the legal side, same question. >> this is not a drill. this is not a tv show. this is a former fbi director laying out in very clear factual detail that he says he was fired, as nicolle was mentioning because of the russia investigation that the white house lied and defamed him. in the fbi, a legal word "defamed." and fired him at the heart of this. and ironing wh think what jim c is provide more basis for that, without using that word.
he basically gave two types of evidence, testimonial evidence in his view what was done in terms of the investigation. and factual information. including president trump's interview with lester holt on the firing to build the kind of things that an investigator looks at it finally he said it's his legal view that special counsel should look at obstruction. >> chris matthews, watching and listening with us, chris. >> i think the headlines in terms of wire service coverage he called the president a liar. i think that's a headline. the reason he memorialized everything, he thought the president would lie about it. he also said i'd like to see any tapes played. if there are any white house tapes he wants them played. the bigger story, nicolle touched on it there, the assumption of the president's
critics, his pursuers, the president had something to do with colluding with the russians to feeding their desire to affect the election in some way. some role they played. some conversation with michael flynn or paul manafort. but yet what came apart was that theory. two regards, the president said according to the written tell me of mr. comey go ahead and give anybody satellite to my operation and nail them. i'm with you on that, that would mean manafort, carter, page, somebody like that. and then what was fascinating, comey said that basically flynn wasn't central to the russia investigation that he was touching on it. of course, flynn wasn't honest in the answering of the official forms to become national security head but they only touched on that that it wasn't related to that but that he could be flipped for that. in other words, they could flip him because they had him on something he dishonestly
answered but it wasn't central to the russia thing. i always assumed what trump was afraid of he had something to flynn and fnn could be flipped on that, and flynn would testify ainst the president that he had some conversation with flynn in terms of dealing with the russians affirmatively. and if that's not the case, where's the there there. if it isn't manafort because he wants to throw him under the bus where is the concern that trump has that has put him on defense for these months. >> kelly o'donnell over at the white house, the president shortly before noon, before that, he was reportedly sitting and watching the coverage. >> well, we don't have a straight answer on that, brian, we had what we call a gaggle which is a journalism form of art for an off-camera briefing with sarah huckabee sanders while sean spicer traveled with the president to the speech.
i asked about the president watching it. she gave a number of things the president was doing during the hours of the hearing, dealing with north korea and qatar and saudi arabia. and meeting with secretary of state rex tillerson. i asked more than once if the president was watching she could not say. at the same time, brian, you know the hallways, tvs ever on above everyone's desk. that's standard. they have the news cable chances playing. of course it was one sound in unison, so it recechoed through the west wing. so i asked the mood. she said they're trying to focus on the president's agenda. and the marc kasowitz, the president's personal counsel will be making a statement. but the white house posture is to say the president's working on the things that are important to his agenda. and trying to suggest that this
is not somehow taking over the white house. she also took questions about a recording system since that came out through the questioning today. with director comey, the former director. she said she does not know of any recording system and in a lighthearted way said she'll look under the couches. also newsworthy is the discussion of attorney general jeff sessions, for days, we're told that the top people had not spoken with the president about his level of confidence with the attorney general. today, sarah huckabee sanders said the president has absolute confidence in his cabinet, inclusive of the attorney general. so, that's a bit of a change with the trump white house backing up sessions. >> thank you. nicolle wallace, just another thursday at the white house. >> yeah. >> i would love to know what the president's dealings with the situation between qatar and
saudi arabia was today because he almost set the region on fire on twitter. a person familiar with his thinking told us both yesterday they're not sure the president knew sure the president knew there were americans stationed in qatar. >> if fairness, presidents deny on their national security team to brief them on the details of a crisis and a new prede trump especially gets to know his national security team in the moment of a crisis. so i don't have any reason to suspect that he is the cause of what is happening in qatar, but i think that it is fair to say this was the first time that he was briefed on where our bases are in the region. a source close to the president who understands what he was looking for today felt that there was not -- that the fire -- or the people in the most trouble were session and flynn, not him. he does not process the russia probe in sort of a big picture way. he does not process it in temps of the man that represents all
americans. and by that i mean he doesn't listen to somethinglike this and say america was under attack. i thought it was such a dramatic moment when comey said i see america as a shining city for the hill and the russians came for that shining city on the hill basically. donald trump didn't watch this as the prekts tootect tore of t shining city, he was looking out for his personal and professional legal equities. and i think he saw sessions and flynn as being in deeper dchlooo than him. >> and you were watching just as carefully. what is your takeaway? >> i thought one of the most significant things is judge are comey explained why he wrote those memos. it wasn't just that he thought there was inappropriate activity, but he thought some day this would be public and the nature of the person he was dealing with, being donald trump, was someone that would not tell the truth. and since these memos have become public, since his accounting of it has become
public, in fact the president has denied what i think will be a press conference we will see many times where he said no, no, next question, about whether he asked him to suspend the flynn inquiry. jim comey has now testified under oath under penalty of per injury. one of the big questions is will donald trump ever give his account not to reporters but under oath. and if you look at what jim comey said when he said -- with us to obstruction of justice, i'm sure that is a conclusion that the special counsel will look towards. i think he's giving you go pin his opinion as an attorney that he was investigate that and also his take as someone who has talked to bob mueller. >> here is the chair hand vice chair of the committee. >> it also enabled the american people to understand the massive amounts of stories is is that has been out there and to sort through those and to have an individual who can lay factual kofrn text context to it. this is nowhere near the end of
our investigation. and i think it's safe to say that next week we hope to work with special counseli mueller t work out clear pathways for both investigations, his and ours, to continue. to work on deep con fliks of witnesses. but we are more confident that we can work through a bipartisan and thorough investigation that at the end of it answers many of the questions that the american people might have today. >> and i simply add i was very proud of how all of the members conducted themselves today. i thought it was very important that the american people get a chance to hear jim comey he's statements about what all has transpired. the one thing even if we may have different views on where some of these questions may lead, the one message that i hope all americans will take home is recognizing how
significant the russian interference in r electoral process was, how it goes to the core of our democracy and that we have to be prepared to pimak sure we are in a better defensive position in aboabout 8 and 2020 and even next week. >> the chairman and top democrat on this committee again all these concurrent investigations, that was a part of what they were saying there, they feel buoyed that they can all go on at the same time. we are joined by former federal prosecutor paul butler, a veteran of the justice department who is now at georgetown law. and kouns lacounselor, what dide of what you heard? if. >> if i'm a prosecutor investigating trump for obstruction of justice, i just found my star witness. when comey testified that he
interpreted the president's words as an order or a directive to stop the investigation of michael flynn, that is the president attempting to impede an official investigation. comey would be a flawed tacular judgment. when the president asked for his loyalty, he should have said no, he should have left the room. he did not have a compelling explanation for why he talked to the president one-on-one nine times in three months when president obama had two one-on-one conversations with comey in three years. but he came across as a man of integrity enwith bad judgment. so i think this substantially moves the case for obstruction of justice forward. >> ari melber, i came away
thinking that his overare ar ar explanation for all those different encounters was that this was as presidents go someone all-together different who didn't know the rules of the road going in. >> and very different and reading between the lines that jim comey might bend donald trump toward the way the doj and fbi to things. and donald trump apparently had a different idea which is that he would bend about these institutions towards him or change them. and that according to on comey is what he's done. the firing over russia. so it is a broader question about what it means to bring an outsider into government and what kind of norms people want changed, and norms are candiddit than laws. i think well see on the trump side, i spoke earlier about the case comey made against trump, on the trump side i think we will see a real seizing and emphasis of satellites being something away from him, so maybe other people but not him,
and they will be able to credibly say that jim comey didn'tly reference donald trump pnd a whether it was an order or not. so jim comey was so detail oriented that some of the quotes seem to potentially be invoked by the president to say, well, i hope all kinds of things, they coulpoint to the part of his opening statement that said he was interested in a potential investigation into the dossier but didn't ultimately order it. the president does say thing that doesn't result this orders. the problem i think mueller now apparently according to jim comey may be investigating is whether the firing is connected to that. was it words plus deeds. >> and we have no reason to doubt that as the president looks at it, i want all this, you work for me. >> exactly. and their defense has been the ignorance defense. he just didn't know any better.
when the two stories broke about the back channels and jim comey addressed that today, why would someone have a back channel with russia and why would the communications take place at a russian installation and he said basically it cuts down on the russian's work, they don't have to eaves drop because we're right there. and the idea that yesterday the administration's defense against stories about dni coates being asked to participate in knocking back stories about the russia investigation or helping to sort of rapidly respond to the press narrative, we know that this president is obsessed with his own press coverage. the defense was that they didn't feel pressure. it wasn't that they weren't pressured. now, not being pressured and not feeling pressured are two totally different things. but if the trump administration is going to defend acts that are outside the norm potentially unethical, potentially possible illegal with well, our people
didn't feel pressure, today we learned that the fooiblg director took it as a direction. he felt that he had been directed to drop the 234riflynne and he said he understood why when he saw the comments with lester holt and others. so the white house has to decide whether feelings matter or not because their defense when asked or when presented with press accounts, dni coates saying oh, no, i didn't feel any pressure to do what the white house wanted me do was that, well, we weren't in the wrong because they didn't feel any pressure to go along. well, director of the fbi felt a lot of pressure and discomfort. he made that abundantly clear. he felt like he had been hung out to dry by the attorney general sessions. and so i think that there are a whole lot of questions. now, started by saying everyone will head to their force and point at trees in moments. i think another one that you will see republicans cling to and probably a cable chann