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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  June 11, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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♪ let us be lovers, we'll marry our fortunes together ♪ ♪ i've got some real estate here in my bag ♪ ♪ so i looked at the scenery. ♪ she read her magazine... the all-new volkswagen atlas. covered from coast to coast with america's best bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. at the top the hour, i'm richard lui at msnbc headquarters in new york city. we continue to follow this
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story. news of attorney general jeff sessions set to testify were the house intelligence committee on tuesday. the focus there expected -- expect to hear russia a lot. president trump tweeting this morning and still reacting to fired fbi director james comey's testimony from several days ago. saying this quote, i believe that james comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. totally illegal, very cowardly. this morning lindsey graham expressed his displeasure with the president's approach so far following the comey testimony. >> here's what's so frustrating for republicans like me. you may be the first president to go down because you can't stop inappropriately talking about about investigation that if you just were quiet would clear you. it's frustrating for me to want to help a man who i think will do big thing, no other republican would do, like immigration. believe it or not, i think donald trump may deliver us from the broken immigration system.
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this is not helping. >> nbc's kelly o'donnell is live in branch burg, and senator ron wyden sent out a letter asking for the jeff sessions' hear being made in public that's happening on tuesday. but what are the odds of that happening? >> well, from talking to sources in both fairs it's un -- both parties it's unlikely and that's because much of the work that the senate intelligence committee is behind closed doors. the big tv event that we saw with james comey's testimony was in part because he had requested to be able to speak in public. especially now as a no longer a federal official fired of course by the president as the fbi director. so it was something he requested. typically t committee does its business behind closed doors and richard burr, the chairman of that committee from north carolina is a republican. he works alongside mark warner, the democrat of virginia. much of what they do would fall
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under the ongoing federal investigation they don't feel is necessary for a public display at this point. so unlikely is the answer. now we certainly see democrats who want to see jeff sessions testify at one of the number of committees that might have some jurisdiction. want to put questions to him, especially because his confirmation hearing is where things went off the rails a bit for the attorney general politically. where he had said he had no contact with russians while he was a surrogate for the president's campaign back in 2016. it turns out he had two meetings with the russian ambassador. something he said that was done in his capacity as a senator, not as part of the trump campaign. then there are reports that there was intelligence picked up of russians discussing a potential third meeting that might have included the attorney general. the department of justice says that did not happen. there were no side conversations. no chance meetings with the attorney general in a situation like that. so it makes perfect sense for
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ron wyden to ask for this to be in public and makes sense for the committee to move forward behind closed doors. interestingly, richard, we not have any official word there will be a hearing, that it's happening tuesday, what time it would be happening. all of that probably to be resolved when they're back in washington monday. so far, all we know is that sessions himself says that he will be appearing before that committee on tuesday. richard? >> kelly, thank you so much with the latest on that news coming up on tuesday. the new york based u.s. attorney fired by president trump after refusing to quit took an active role. you remember the name, preet bharara he had nearly a front row seat on thursday. he was there on capitol hill in the room. and in the new interview, he says it's reasonable that special counsel robert mueller
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would look at the possibility of obstruction of justice by the president. >> is there evidence there that for -- to begin a case for obstruction? >> i think there's evidence to begin a case. i think it's all important for all sorts of speculators in the law to be clear that no one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction. it's true i think based on what i see as a third party and out of government there's no basis to say there's no obstruction. this point on whether or not the president has legal authority to fire or to direct the investigation i don't get it, it's silly to me. the fact that you have authority to remove someone from office doesn't automatically immunize that act from criminal responsibility. >> joining me now from chicago, former federal prosecutor. thanks for being with me here, scott. what did you take from what preet bharara said in his interview on abc? >> i think he's exactly right. i think there is obviously -- i
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think to most people some question about whether the president meant when he was repeatedly imploring the head of the fbi to do things like provide loyalty and see his way to getting clear of the russia thing and getting the russian cloud over -- off his head. all of those things obviously can be taken as attempts to try to enterfear -- interfere with the investigation. that said, you have to remember that obstruction of justice cases turn heavily on intent and so the republican side, the trump side is going to be focusing very much on the specific words the president said. and arguing what they meant. >> part of this as you heard senator graham at the top of the show, we were playing a little bit of his interview today on the sundays and he's upset here with the president and what he's saying after the comey testimony and before the comey testimony both through tweets as well as
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in his public speeches. would you agree that he is continuously getting himself into more difficulty, the president, through his expressions and his reactions. yeah. >> yeah, i would. if you focus on what the president has said, the republicans are saying all he said i hope you're seeing your way clear. he's not telling him to end the investigation and when he's calling up and asking him to remove the cloud, that's -- they would say after mr. comey had told the president he's not under investigation. so if he's not under investigation, then removing a cloud wouldn't interfere with the investigation they would say. but they're not doing that. he keeps getting himself in trouble. now, the one thing you mentioned that i think is really important is this testimony of the attorney general coming up. because remember that mr. comey said in his testimony in front
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of congress that he had specifically asked the attorney general to tell mr. trump to stop having one-on-one conversations with him. that was the day after the meeting in the oval office. well, we don't know what happened but we do know that the president kept calling mr. comey at least two times more. >> you're really saying did the attorney general then let the president know that or not? and if he did not, why didn't he do that? and before we let you go on this, since jeff sessions did recuse himself of any doj or fbi investigation, he recused himself in first week of march. how does that affect him when he's giving sworn testimony to the senate intel committee? >> well, there's a third rail, an electrified rail sitting there. and if the attorney general in any way got close to that issue he's going to have a problem. if the attorney general says he didn't tell mr. trump to stop calling the fbi director, obviously, that's a problem. if he said he did tell mr. trump
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to stop calling, that's a problem for mr. trump. >> abuse of power? >> abuse of power. >> well, how will that be discussed moving forward? is that something that is in special counsel mueller's purview, which has been mentioned quite repeatedly? >> well, it's an extremely important brick in the wall. another brick in the wall, but it's an extremely important one because it's the first time what we would have is something direct. direct information to the president to stop doing something and he kept doing it. that would implicate everything else he did. before that. >> thank you for your expertise, sir. scott men dell hoff in chicago. let's bring in the white house columnist for the hill and the co-author of the book "shattered" and you heard the federal former prosecution express the question that will come up on tuesday.
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did you or did you not advise the president of what james comey claims he was saying this shouldn't happen, these meetings, these discussions? >> that's right. and of course james comey testified that jeff sessions did not respond or did not reply to that. no the justice department has put out a statement arguing with that saying that sessions did in fact talk about how it was important that the justice department would be careful in managing these interactions. to me, the broader question here is the way this testimony is yet another example of how the russian matter is swallowing up the president's agenda. jeff sessions was supposed to be coming to capitol hill this week to testify about the budget. business as usual so to speak. >> right. >> now we have -- he's back on the completely different topic to the intelligence committee. >> jonathan, what are you hearing about how this came about tuesday, the change of schedule that niles is talking about for the attorney general, just within the last 24 hours.
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what are your sources telling you? >> it's a no brain their jeff sessions who is himself in legal and political jeopardy unlike the president who may face the question of impeachment, he could face both potentially an impeachment process and could also run afoul of laws and potentially be prosecuted if he's done something wrong. he was going to basically turn the appropriations hearing into a russia gate circus. i'm not sure that's going to happen again where rod rosenstein who is also part of this story is going to testify. you know, this -- it will be difficult for almost any administration official to go to capitol hill right now, anyone that was anywhere tangentially related to this and not end up talking about some part of the russian investigation. one last thing, you know, the preet bharara interview today was so interesting. because what you're doing is creating a pattern of behavior
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by the president of the united states where there are multiple people who say they had unorthodox conversations with the president where they felt it was inappropriate, that the president was contacting them one-on-one. >> jonathan, you're reading my notes here. i was going to get to that next. react to what jonathan said that. preet bharara here will he be brought in by the special counsel? bob mueller is saying, okay, help me put this story together and it's clear that preet bharara believes that there's still a case for obstruction and there's also the question, hey, trump towers was within his jurisdiction when he was asked on today on abc whether he thought that was a reason for him being let go. he did not answer that question. he said anything is possible. he's not going to address it. your thoughts here, niles. >> my thought is that this is all more trouble for the president and more trouble for the administration. preet bharara also said in the interview that he was let go. i believe within 24 hours of
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refusing to take a call from the president. and he also talked about how prior to that he believed that president trump had been trying to cultivate a relationship with him. this is bad news for the. in goes to the point that jonathan mentioned a pattern of behavior. you know, if you have people like preet bharara and james comey against you these are serious figures making serious allegations about the president of the united states. that's -- that's deep water that the president is getting into there. >> and that deep water, jonathan, as this president moves forward, this white house moves forward, are they legally prepared, because it's not only the questions that we have been discussing so far in the last five minutes. there's also the trump organization. that is now going to be part of many, many questions and so is this white house ready legally for the number of steps and the number of questions that bob mueller might be asking?
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>> i don't think so. right now you have the president's private lawyer marc kasowitz sort of heading up the response right now. they have had difficulty according to all kinds of sources -- news sources that, you know, filling out that roster, they were trying to put up a war room within the white house. they had difficulty doing that. there are any number of people in washington, d.c. who are qualified and competent to try to make a defense here. and the president hasn't really turned to any of them. so this is another problem that the white house has, it doesn't appear to be equipped to handle that. i don't think they took very seriously the idea that this russia probe would go anywhere at the outset. i think that was a mistake. it could be that the president has absolutely no liability in this in terms of any type of, you know, collusion with russia. some of those matters and he's stumbled into this sort of obstruction end of things that's a never ending type of investigation. we have seen these things, you know, whitewater for the
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clintons was originally about a land deal, several years later it was about monica lewinsky. >> niles, what's your sense of the support for this attorney general with the reporting being that the president and this attorney general may have had some cracks in their relationships? this despite sessions being an early supporter of trump? >> i think it puts it very well, there are cracks in this relationship. president trump has been widely reported to be furious about jeff sessions' decision to recuse himself from matters pertaining to russia. trump draws a line between that and the appointment of the special counsel and of course only very recently it took the white house communications team several days before it affirmed that the president had confidence in jeff sessions. there's clearly ambivalence here. i think this white house has not been -- supportive to say have,
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the very least. >> thank you both. >> thank you. >> with russia dominating the headlines, president trump tries to get his agenda back on track. how much can he get done though? how soon? we'll talk to a republican member of congress on that, next. ♪ art. it can be sculpted, bringing to life beautiful detail. or painted in luxurious strokes. and in rare cases... both. ♪ [radi♪ alarm] julie is living with metastatic breast cancer,
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and a new culture built around customer service. it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. he did say under oath that you told him to let the flynn -- you said you hoped the flynn investigation -- >> i didn't say that. >> so he lied about that? >> well, i didn't say that i will tell you i didn't say that. >> well, he said those things under oath. would you be willing to speak under oath to give your version of -- >> 100%. i didn't say under oath. i hardly know the man. i'm not going to say i want you
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to pledge allegiance. who would do that? >> president trump there disputing the testimony of former fbi director james comey on friday. the question of whether he'll testify is a debate and there's no question that his attorney general will. jeff sessions will go before the senate intelligence committee. he could support ore undermine comey's testimony no doubt. that hearing is expected to take place behind closed doors as nbc's kelly o'donnell has been telling us. for more, we're joined by republican scott taylor of virginia. thank you for joining us. >> good to be with you, richard. >> representative, what is your thought about jeff sessions on tuesday and what do you think your fellow congress members are hoping to learn? what would be the key question you might ask, for instance? >> let me preface it for me to say it's appropriate to be in a closed hearing, not an open hearing.
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you know, it's important to figure out if there was any role, did he help with the president f they believe that the president was at all acting on the verge of being inappropriate or not. did he -- did comey as well tell the president? let's face it, a lot of folks out there showing shade if you will who are in elected office aren't completely knowledgeable about all ethics rule. they have to have people in place to tell them some of those things so that's important. i'm sure they'll ask those questions but i think it's appropriate to be in the closed door session because of an ongoing investigation of course. >> are you therefore happy then with the senate intelligence committee, as you know on your side of the hill, there's also the house intel committee and it's moving forward. are you happy with the progress of the committees on the hill? >> i don't think that's been much progress. look, you have two investigations, one in the house, one in the senate. you have the fbi and you have the special counsel out there and some of the things have been going on for months about
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months. nothing has come out of it. you know, you guys were talking about the comey video before and the memos and things that are coming out. you know, like, director comey has a lot of service to this nation and he should be applauded by that. but he made some mistakes. releasing those things, i mean, you have a government employee and a government car. and a government computer and you have an official conversation with the president it's not classified but certainly confidential and leaking that out this, that's a problem. i think what's being lost in this thing, according to the fbi and other intel agencies that russia did attempt to meddle into the elections. if that's the case, if you're a republican or a democrat and you're not trying to protect our integrity of the elections for any other kind, we have no policy, what happens if another country does that -- meddles in our election? there's no policy.
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there's proproportional response so that needs to happen. >> legal jeopardy for james comey, experts are saying he's not facing that but we have another election that could be starting right new or certainly within the next three or four months. 201. there's a question of whether a foreign power may be med dlg in our elections. what do you want congress to do to stop that eventuality? >> that's a great question. again, with all of the political football, russia russia russia russia to the left and to the right the reality is that the members of the branch need to see clarity in chaos and protect the integrity of our election. just like president monroe said no foreign troops should be in the western hemisphere, we need to make sure that any country in the world understands what the red line is they understand that they will not mess with the
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integrity of our elections. that needs to happen both at the congressional level as well as the executive branch. that's what we're pushing forward. that's the clarity and chaos of this back and forth political problems with the russia issue. >> it's both going to have to happen together as you know, despite any protestations both of those items that you brought. virginia representative scott taylor. thank you for being with us. >> always a pleasure. >> next could puerto rico become the 51st state? voters head to the polls today. and then later can president trump effectively lead the country 140 characters at a time?
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welcome back. i'm richard lui here in new york city. attorney general jeff sessions will testify tuesday. he'll be going before the senate intelligence committee on its russia investigation. some tough questions no doubt will be asked. sessions expected to take questions on any potential ties he had with russian officials. and in d.c., many people spending their sunday in the
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nationwide march for equality and pride today. it's to prevent discrimination against those in the lgbtq community and highlights disable rights. and we have a winner. the winning powerball jackpot worth a whopping $447 million. i'll just take the rounding error. it was is sold in sun city, california. the drawing was the tenth largest lottery prize in u.s. history. all right. now while attorney general jeff sessions getting ready to appear tuesday before the senate intelligence committee behind closed doors the head of the rnc said today it's time to stop these probes. >> this is a fishing expedition to try to run out the clock for the democrats hoping to make gains in 2018. >> are you calling for an tend to the senate and house -- to an end to the senate and house committee investigations? >> i'm calling for an tend to the investigations about the president -- about president
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trump's campaign colluding on -- with the russians. there's been no evidence of it. i don't think that should continue. >> i want to bring in mike baker, former covert operations officer, of a global and intelligence security firm. thank for being with us, mike. you heard what some of the criticisms are and that is move away from these probes that are happening on the hill. there are four in congress right now. and one of the thoughts here is that it's distracting from what is a major concern and that's our elections and the security of them. this is something you specialize in. what's your thought on the time frame that we really need to start directing our energy towards again preventing any meddling in the election process? >> i think in a sense we're behind the curve on that one and you're right to point this out. the big issue here, if you sweep away the partisan politics of it all is this all started with the concept of, you know, what were
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the russians doing? were they meddling in the elections and the answer is yes, of course. they have been meddling in our elections for generations. go back to the beginning of the 1940s when they spent time and money and effort here in the u.s. trying to influence public opinion to keep us isolationist. this is what they do they were fighting proxy wars in africa and elsewhere against democracy. so my concern is, you know, i think it's great that we have a special -- you know, a prosecutor. great, let's have robert mueller you know kind of be the funnel for all of this. but at the top line were i'm afraid because both sides of the political spectrum are throwing hand grenades another each other, they're missing the real point here which is we have to -- we have to understand to the degree possible and shine a bright light on it, what the
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russians were engaged. in frankly the russians aren't the only ones out there trying to meddle or understand the nation's politics. we have to say what's a proportional response? whether it's 2018 here in the states or 2020. >> what is a proportional response you believe politically from the federal government? >> well, i mean, we have to be very pragmatic. we have to understand that the russians are going to act in their best interests and right now putin's best interest has been since he's been around is to somehow recreate the influence of the former soviet union. he's stated that very clearly in the past. so, you know, the idea that they continue to want to chip away at the foundation's democracy or discredit democracies. but what's a proper political response? we don't have still in the pentagon an answer for what's a proportional response for a cyber attack? so, you know, the issue of how we deal with this is way above my pay grade. >> are you getting any interest, are they saying to you, hey,
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mike, help us with security because that's where elections are run on the state level? >> yeah, that's a good question. yes, we do look at issues of credibility. we look at issues of security, of systems. we're seeing more of that being, you know, asked -- primarily the commercial side. we don't get a lot from the government side. it's a great deal of concern now as there should be over the impact of outside state sponsored or individual or just, you know, hacking groups attacks on systems. whether they be, you know, the election infrastructure or not. you know, the problem is we have conflated all of this. so we have taken the issue of russian meddling. we have smashed it together with the idea that, you know, well, what was mike flynn doing or paul manafort doing, and was there collusion and we have smush this all together, i'm afraid, that's not an eloquent way to put this. this is what washington always is which is the place that investigation goes to die.
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>> there's a question, is it all smushed together or not. that's what they're trying to determine. thank you. the president's morning tweets a stark contrast from thursday's tweeting hiatus during testimony of james comey. the president continues to rely on the social immediate media tool as a pathway between the thoughts and his world, but causing major concern for his closest advisers because it's memorializing some of his most controversial comments. msnbc's savannah sellers is here to walk us through the noteworthy tweets. what did you pick out? >> so we love to talk about trump's twitter. he loves to use it, and he almost set a new record, you mentioned that twitter drought for the longest time without tweeting, but it came up three minutes short when he tweeted about james comey. now this week the former ceo of twitter, dick costolo, weighed in on what he thinks. >> we have a whole world of
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folks now and journalists like yourself who can say, well, you know, you said something completely different 360 days ago and here it is right here. naturally was can put them side by side and see precisely what kind of person you are. >> so richard, as you mentioned memorializing it. he's putting the statements throughout in 140 cashes or less. so we took a look. back in last year, july of last year he tweeted about hillary clinton saying that she her handling of sensitive, highly classified information was very poor. now we know that trump with lavrov discussed code word intelligence. next up, we took a tweet from when president obama was in office. he tweeted out, president obama, do not attack syria. we now know that last month of course -- in april, trump launched a military strike on the syrian government base. now we put a couple literally side by side. trump had tweeted out at one point we should march on washington and then once he was
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in office he called it very unfair when there were protesters outside the white house. and talking about the electoral college, he said it was a disaster for democracy. but then more importantly he said the electoral college is genius. anyone is allowed to change their mind, but what's interesting we can look back on it see what he thought about it a year ago as compared to now. >> and getting the direct connection to his brain via twitter. one year since the pulse nightclub attack in orlando, florida. the 49 lives lost and the countless other lives that were forever changed? next hour on "the point with ari melber" he looks at the federal crimes that may have been connected in connection with the russia hacking attack.
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nbc's gabe gutierrez has more. >> reporter: it was a place called pulse. a symbol of life. >> get your hands off -- >> reporter: but on that night came death. 49 lives gone, countless others changed forever. >> getting that phone call is something my brain will ever erase. >> i got chose tore the hospital and it became real. >> by the grace of god i'm alive. it's a miracle aim here. >> i don't remember what it was like to be truly happy. >> reporter: for these four, the journey has been grueling. has the magnitude of it sunk in yet even a year later? >> it still is surreal. >> reporter: angel colon was shot six times. >> i didn't think i was going to make it out. you know? i couldn't believe it, seeing blood everywhere. seeing the bodies. not many people were moving.
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the shooter was in the room, you know? i had to put my head down and i don't know how i had the strength to not scream, the strength to not move when he shot me again. >> reporter: a year later he's endured four surge ris and a month of rehab. he's found the strength to walk again. but he's also found a new voice. becoming an advocate for tougher gun laws, lobbying capitol hill. >> i just want to represent those beautiful souls that we lost. i want to do the best i can for them. >> reporter: among those lost, 32-year-old christopher lineaanyone. when do you miss him the most? >> at his birthday. i missed him at mother's day. i don't know where my son is. >> reporter: his mother christine was the tortured face of heart break right after the massacre. her desperation beamed around the world as she searched in vain for her only son. >> the harder i would have tried to not feel grief, the more it
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would have destroyed me. i decided to make grief my constant companion. >> reporter: that grief helped her find her voice too. >> even in the midst of evil you have to believe in the goodness of man. >> nbc's gabe gutierrez with that. joining me now is congresswoman val demings, democratic of florida. a former chief of the orlando police department. representative, thank you for being with us. and, you know, that's some of the stories and the remembrances there. you remember that day. now that we're a year later, how is the city, how is the community doing? >> well, i'll tell you what, first of all, thank you for allowing me to share this moment with you. it's still hard to believe. you know, i worked 27 years as an orlando police officer and part of that time as a chief of police.
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i have seen tragedy, but it's still tough and difficult to believe that such a horrific event could happen here in orlando 49 people losing their lives, many others injured and families shattered forever. but i'll tell you what, over the last year, we have seen this community come together. we -- while we i think approached the june 12th of last year with our differences and our challenges, it was really assuring to see this community come together and rally around behind the families and really work together and grieving to make those families whole again. and we still have a lot of work to do, but i really feel one year later that we're in a good place. >> again, as i was saying in the introduction former chief of police there in orlando. what has changed to -- as you well known, as an expert on this, it is tough to prepare for
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such tragedies. for anti-terrorism, and you're one thing i know that. anti-terrorism funding on the level, but what can be done in terms of policing? >> well, i'll tell you our world has changed quite a bit since i was sworn in as a police officer in 1984. 9/11 certainly changed the way we trained. it changed our focus. but i do believe that out of the ashes good things can rise and i think we're much better prepared as first responders working better with our state and federal partners to keep our communities safe. the training's different. the equipment's different. we train together before we really never did. our communications are better. and while no community wants a horrific event like this to occur, i think orlando rose to the occasion in unbelievable
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circumstances and i think many more communities are prepared to deal with tragedies like this. but part of my job and we need a lot of help in congress from others is to do everything we can to prevent incidents like this from happening in the first place and that's to look at sensible, reasonable gun safety legislation. >> 30 seconds here, representative. what conversation stands out to you of these families, of these friends, of those who have lost somebody or who have survived? >> well, to hear the stories of persons who were in the club that night and not so involved in worrying about their own lives, were using their bodies to shield other people's lives, mothers who were walking around, running around searching for their sons, there are so many horrific -- or wonderful stories when you look at people who jumped right in, even under dangerous circumstances to rescue the injured and get them
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to a nearby hospital. the story of angel for example, who was shot six times, but has turned his grief and injury and tragedy into advocating around the country. those are stories that we hold on to. >> they are heroes. they are certainly heroes. val demings, thank you, i appreciate your time. >> thank you. this is the new new york. we are building new airports all across the state. new roads and bridges. new mass transit. new business friendly environment. new lower taxes. and new university partnerships to grow the businesses of tomorrow today. learn more at esd.ny.gov tech: when you schedule with safelite autoglass, you get a text when we're on our way. you can see exactly when we'll arrive. i'm micah with safelite. customer: thanks for coming, it's right over here.
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do tapes exist of your conversations with him? >> well, i'll tell you about that sometime in the very near future. >> you seem to be hinting there are recordings of those conversations. >> i'm not hinting anything. i'll tell you about it over a short period of time. >> whl you tell us? >> a fairly short period of time. >> the medication of white house recordings and obstruction of justice brings back thoughts of 1974 and president richard nixon. the details of secretly recorded conversations at the white house. that led to his ultimate resignation in the watergate scandal. nixon stepped away before
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impea impeachment. but in 1998, bill clinton remained in office after being impeached at the white house and acquitted by the senate. at question were his statement. >> announcer: oath when he tried to cover up his affair with monica lewinsky as part of the white water investigation. joining us now is barbara kellerman, lecturer at the harvard kennedy school. thanks for being with us today, barbara. >> my pleasure. >> you're saying what we're missing here is the context we're focusing on too much on the characters. >> there's a lot of leadership work out there and the fixation, our obsession is with the individual players. donald trump is the most obvious example. but in the last week, we could say james comey. quo have said richard nixon and john dean in another era. but i do argue that when you're looking at leadership, you need to look at the context. i'll give you a couple examples. for example, the technology now. the differences in the technology between now and when watergate was taking place are
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enormous and have an enormous impact on how this plays out. the ideology, the rigidity of it all. i call this russiagate. think before this is all over, we're going to see it less as a matter of individuals and more as a matter of med nlgt american political system and what to do about it. >> what we're hearing about some members of congress is that we need to stop looking at the characters and what they're saying day to day. russiagate and what mike baker, former cia operator were saying, we're smooshing it all together. we don't know the answer to that. do we? >> we tend to think that every day so dramatic. we think we're just about at the end of the story. in fact, i think when history is really played out, we'll see that we're really still at the beginning of the drama. our tendency is to be in the technology feeds into this incredibly impatient. now. i'm used to instant responses.
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instant gratification. that's not the way this is going to play out. we know that with the mueller investigation, we've been told it's at least six months if not 12 or even 18 months. >> so what do you make then -- and you say we're focusing too much on character. which character you are thinking has been the most pivotal so far in this question of the russian connection question? >> i can't bear to say it myself if i say donald trump. look, on tuesday we're supposed to be listening to jeff sessions. i think this is a moving target. we don't know exactly what jared kushner's role s every single week there is a different player. obviously trump is at the center of it. again, we need to pull back and look at a variety of other things that are going on. i could answer, by the way, the central player is a man about it name of vladimir putin. >> you think he'll be deposed? >> do you mean putin or trum snp. >> putin. >> of course you would like to do that yourself. you could get some questions.
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but what do your students asking you about this? you have to really put this in historical context right now. they're asking you for that. >> i do. among other things, i teach at the kennedy school, as you said. and a lot of students there at least half are not american. and they're going what is this? well, the americans are doing it, too. but particularly the nonamericans who came here under one set of -- one ideology and one sest expectations and they're finding a three-ring circus. and they can't understand what's going on, any more than you or i can can, richard. >> they're luck dwroi you have, barbara kellerman. thank you so much. great conversation. >> thank you. >> i appreciate it. that does it for us here this hour on msnbc. if i can say it. you can find me on twitter and instagram. "the point" is next with ari melberv a great night and stick around for that. give you bare feet...
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i'm ari melber. welcome to "the point." the point to nishgts jeff sessions ready to talk in front of the senate intelligence committee. will it be public or behind closed doors? and the president's personal lawyer front and sent they are week going after, of course, fired fbi director jim comey. we're going to look at the obstacles you face with a client like this. and "the point" on the numbers. after jim comey and donald trump went back and forth this week by tonight this weekend we can talk about where the public stands with some brand new polling. that is later this hour. we begin with president trump on the attack today. blasting jim comey as a coward for leaking his memo or part of it for their private january dinner even suggesting that the fbi director may have broken the law. former federal prosecutor who was also fired by trump not buying that argument today. >>

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