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tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  June 18, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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'a bit of this. why not? your hotel should make it easy to do all the things you do. which is what we do. crowne plaza. we're all business, mostly. >> hey there, i'm alex witt here in new york. it is high noon in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. president trump's legal team is pushing back on that stunning
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tweet by the president on being investigated, although at one point appearing to acknowledge that there is in fact an investigation. here's attorney jay seckuxts lo as he made rounds on the talk shows this morning. >> let me be very clear as it has been since the beginning. the president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction. >> that response on social media in response to the "washington post" piece. it's that simple. the president is not under investigation. >> i want to be very clear about this, the president and has not been undinvestigation. >> he's investigated for taking the action that the attorney general recommended him to take by the agency who recommended the termination. that's the constitutional threshold question and that's why as i've said no investigation but -- >> what's the question though? you stated some facts. you now said he is being investigated after saying -- >> no. >> you just said, sir. >> did not. >> just said he's being investigated. >> chris, i said that any -- let
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me be crystal clear so you completely understand. we have not received nor are we aware of any investigation of the president of the united states. >> you just said two times that he's being investigated. >> no, the context of the tweet -- i just gave you the legal theory of how the constitution works. if in fact it was correct that the president was being investigated he would be investigating for taking action that an agency told him to take. so that is protected under the constitution as his article one power. that's all i said. >> got that? okay. also new today, house intel ranking member adam schiff made the case for an obstruction investigation. >> the same people that say there's no evidence of collusion say there's no evidence of obstruction and the president indeed cannot commit obstruction. i don't buy that. if you look at james comey's testimony and we were trying this in the court of law, no judge would exclude that, that would be relevant evidence as to potential obstruction. >> let's go to the white house now and kelly o'donnell.
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another in day to you. all of this reaction to the president's claim that he's under investigation and then the pushback by his attorney, can you make hide nor hair of it? >> reporter: it comes under the headings of tweets that cause hatles for the white house. the president put something out on twitter and then when the legal team or the white house is trying to decipher how it fits into the larger issue it's problematic. we reported yesterday that the sources close to the president's legal team say he had not been notified he's under investigation. it is their belief that he is not under investigation. they think that he was referring to the reports that talk about him being under investigation. it's a difficult distinction. when you walk through it that is their case to make. when you see jay seculo, not part of the criminal defense of the president but i expect we'll see him in this sort of public
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role, he's effective on television and often been pt kind of person who would offer guidance for a president about selecting supreme court picks for example, like neil gorsuch. in the president's universe in that way. he's trying to say that if the president has got normally notified of the investigation, there isn't anything for the white house to be concerned about right now. so this is a sense of how he is trying to handle this despite the president's tweets, look at the specifics of what we know now. here's jay seculo. >> the fact of the matter is, you have a former fbi director -- think about this for a moment, who leaks information that he obtained, he had a conversation with the president of the united states and writes it down on a government computer and puts it in his government desk then when he's terminated, leaks it to a friend to leak it to the "new york times" for the sole purpose he testifies under oath, for the sole purpose of obtaining a special counsel. that's what needs to be
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investigated here. >> reporter: so there you get the sense that the trump legal team and jay sekulow making the public case they will argue against james comey, his testimony and conduct based on what we all heard with that highly watched appearance before the senate. so the president in his tweets is creating issues for his lawyers. we've seen that the president's tweets have gotten in the way before. that's where we are right now. typically when a person is under investigation, there is a point in that investigation when they are notified, are they a witness, a subject or a target of the investigation, three very different classifications. so we can -- if we take them at their word there has been no such notification, it does not mean the special counsel is not pursuing it. it's just it hasn't reached a point where there would be a specific notification. alex, as you know, the whole russia thing is many different buckets of issues from interference with the election
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in 2016, hacking into computer accounts for members of the democratic party to questions about were there improper contacts between people in president trump's circle as a candidate and russia. lots of different areas that fall under the big umbrella of the russia investigation. >> an excellent job of getting through all of this for us. let's look ahead together to former homeland security secretary jeh johnson who will testify on wednesday before the house intelligence committee. any indication to the white house that they are worried what might come out? >> reporter: they are not discussing the incremental steps who's coming forward but jeh johnson who served under the obama administration as homeland xurlt and previously general counsel to the department of defense, he would have been one of those officials who would have had knowledge about russian interference during the election as the 17 agencies of intelligence in the u.s. government say has occurred.
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he may have real time knowledge of what was known, when was it known, how was that being handled while the election year was unfolding and he's already spoken to staff at the committee and this will be a hearing where he'll be in a more public way. it's another piece of the kind of the puzzle, building blocks of trying to take out this narrative of what went on and in -- we'll also see hearings how to stop it in the future. what can the u.s. government try to do to prevent russia from interfering with future elections because there's always another one around the corner. >> that's true. kelly o'donnell from the white house. let's get reaction, to bring in francis rooney of florida, the house foreign affairs committee and welcome presence on this broadcast. thanks for joining me again. >> thanks for having me back on. >> here we go. you heard it, jay sekulow made all of the rounds this sunday insisting the president is not under investigation by special counsel bob mueller. here's what senator marco rubio
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from your state is saying about that. >> i think they should look at everything. look at it all. i think it will be good for the president, good for the country to have a full and credible investigation so no one can ever say you didn't look at this or didn't look at that. >> do you agree with him? >> i absolutely do. we need to good -- we need to stop the confusion and disinformation campaign that surrounding comey and this russia business. i mean it's almost like a telenovella, you can't make this stuff up. we need all of the information on the table. so far the president is not being investigated for anything, comey said that, we ought to pay attention to the real crimes committed like loretta lynch telling him to call it a matter not an investigation. and focus on the real facts that have been adduced so far. >> how about this from politico which has a new article reading, democrats are uniting behind a simple message about russian hacking during the 2016 election and donald trump doesn't care.
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this article goes on to reference jim comey ace warnings that the russians will be back and new attempts to try to influence our elections, shouldn't the president be taking a harder tone instead of callingth investigations a witch hunt. >> all we know is they hacked the dnc, couldn't hack us. we don't have any more facts than that. other than whirlwind of innew endos. i think comey is the most discredited guy on the stage right now. >> did you really? is it only because of the fact that he gave that information to be leaked to the press? is that the one thing you would be against him for or other things. >> >> there's a few things that bother me about him. i go back to the clinton campaign when he boxed the hillary clinton investigation. i couldn't believe that he fumbled the around the way he did and one time it's one way, one time it's another way. that didn't give me a whole lot
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of confidence in his leadership. i agree with mr. rosenstein he bungled the operation of the department so bad he needed to go. >> let's get to the senate which passed a russia bill this week that would ramp up the sanctions and also limit the president's ability to remove them in the future. first the bill has to pass the house and be signed by the president before taking effect and the house foreign affairs committee has been reviewing this bill to determine the next steps. do you know where it stands now? >> well, i think that no one is under any illusion that russia is our friend. russia has been a hedgemen against us since world war ii and we have taken actions in the last few years that i think em boldened v eed vladimir putin t more actions like in ukraine and baltics. >> what about the white house wants to work with republicans to soften that bill a little bit. is that something you are open
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to? >> i'll have to read it and see exactly how far it goes and talk to chairman royce and the people on our committee. at the end of the day i wrote an op-ed that actions speak louder than words with a former kgb agent like putin. i'm glad to see missiles back in poland and bull gar ya and show putin we're not going to be more flexibility later as was said by president obama one time. >> let's look to our south. a big story would be the president announcing the reversal of cuba policies on friday. i know that you are supporting this move but as you know drawing mixed reactions from both parties. what do you know, sir, that opponents to the measure don't? >> i think the emphasis on travel related aspects is a little misplaced. i mean, to add the requirement that you are part of an official group to go to cuba doesn't seem
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an insurmountable problem. i've been to cuba before that way and not hard to get a license to go. keeps a little bit of formality to our relationship with a heinous dictator. what is important is the dealing with the military company. and i think that's a very important thing that -- i was hoping that president obama would have command demanded that companies working in cuba can play their employees directly rather than this corrupt co-opt and pay the workers in useless cuban pesos. >> happy father's day. >> thanks for having me on. >> an update for missing sailors off the coast of japan. the search for seven missing sailors has been called off after bodies were found. janice is joining me now from
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yokosuka, japan, you can correct my pronunciation there. what can you tell us about the story? >> reporter: the uss fitzgerald took quite a hit crushing part of the ship that had sleeping bunks where 100 sailors were asleep at the time of the collision. the boat took on a lot of water and not a lot of time to get out. it was described as a tra mattic situation where the entire crew was scrambling to save the ship from sanking. it took 16 hours to have it towed to port when divers were able to access the damaged areas and that's when they found the bodies of the sailors who had been reported as missing. the seventh fleet allowed us to the port to look at the ship from a distance. there was considerable damage to the starboard side. there's a huge gash and apparent lip the damage below the water
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line is even worse. so there are several investigations that are happening right now to try to determine exactly what happened. the acx cristal is three times the size of weight of uss fitzgerald so it is quite lucky and didn't hit head on because then it could have been catastrophic. >> pretty bad as it was. thank you so much. we're following a terrible story this breaking news from portugal where at least 62 people have been killed, many more injured in a series of forest fires. officials say many of the victims died in cars while attempting to flee. portugal declared three days of mourning. we'll get an update from a reporter in the middle of the devastation. >> president trump's big test, the house race that could be a referendum on the presidency and what's at stake. rfunkel (instru)
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the president is pretty fired up about this, okay? from every pronounce. we have seen, feels he did nothing wrong and wants people to say that because he feels strongly about it. i don't think that's a mystery. expressing himself in that way. that in no way is going to impede this work from continuing. it's going to happen. >> that was republican senator marco rubio speaking with chauc todd on "meet the press." once again calling the investigation a witch hunt. let's bring in sara westwood for the washington examiner and molly hooper, congressional reporter at the hill. thank you so much for joining me. sara, senator rubio's comment is what we're hearing from most republicans in congress. it is a far cry in newt gingrich calling for bob mueller to be
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fired. how big a tipping point might this be for the republican party when you have someone like gingrich who is also criticizing members of his party for not defending the president? >> you do see those close to president trump starting to come after mueller personally not just the allegations and democrats pushing them you've seen roger stone call for mueller to be fired. you've seen congressman gohmert in the house, but at large you don't see that message taking hold with the rest of the congressional republicans. they don't want to get into a fire fight with someone that they've just weeks ago praised. mueller received a lot of bipartisan accolades when he was appointed special counsel because he has such unimpeachable credentials and most republicans recognize if president trump were to remove mueller at this juncture, it would mean the resignation of rod rosenstein from the justice department who would probably refuse to carry out that order. we would be liking at the nixon
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yan saturday night massacre situation and that's the last thing the republicans want when they are trying to get legislative items done here at the end of the summer. >> at some point in the investigation when the legal team has grown to include john dowd, is this more than just the president playing to his base? >> if it was the president playing more than playing to his base he wouldn't be doing these tweets. when gingrich did say on another network, abc, was that these tweets that president trump is sending out, they are just not helpful. and it's not -- sadly it's not in president trump's nation to be more con strained and not speak out. gingrich called him pug nashs, this is something he has this compulsion to counter attack which is not helpful when it comes to these legal issues. as sara said, largely the republicans on capitol hill are not speaking out against mueller
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and not following this line, more conservative circles that mueller is compromised because he's friends with comey and what not. republican lawmakers are more so focusing on the line that marco rubio is taking, we have confidence in mueller and want him to get to the bottom of this quickly. >> let's get to the situation with milwaukee sheriff david clarke who we learned is taking his name out of the running for a department of homeland security position in part because of how long the hiring process is taking. then the "washington post" is pointing out the number of senior level jobs that remain unfilled because republican worry their reputation could suffer if they come on board with this administration. what are you hearing about this, sara? >> certainly the trump administration has had a really difficult time filling these political appointee jobs, that will require senate confirmation, not just the result of people being reluctant
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to jump into the administration but also the fact that the white house has moved slowly to select people that at first they had a pretty high bar in terms of loyalty during the campaign, you couldn't have had spoken out against president trump or they wouldn't consider you for a high level job. now that very careful selection process is slowing them down. they haven't made a lot of appointments, you look at the justice department and state department and the upper esh lons of those agencies are virtually empty. >> go ahead, molly. >> what i've heard from my sources on capitol hill are talking to the people whose names have been mentioned going forth in these positions, the administrative vetting process has dwindled down to one or two people from the trump side. that's why it's taking so long when really they need a team of people who can vet and get these guys up to capitol hill and get them confirmed because the big problem is there aren't people to talk to in the state department about issues happening overseas, there's not
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a point person. >> exactly. it's hard to push forward your agenda. >> absolutely. >> we're looking ahead to tuesday's special election in the georgia 4th district. how much might this be a predictor for the mid-terms or do you think it ends up be an outlier in john ossoff wins? >> both want to make this a referendum on the other and race with national implications, ossoff wants to make it a ref referendum on president trump and handel has been highlighting the cathy griffin and julius caesar play. special elections never mean as much as the national media wants them to mean. this is obviously has a lot of local implications. i don't know how much we can read into the result in the end. >> but there are actions here, molly in terms of how far the
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republican party is going to try to go to hold onto the seat. sending out a couple numbers of the trump cabinet. so how much of a litmus test might this be for georgia republicans? >> it's tough to state, this is a republican state, republican district, but as sara said, these are special elections. and it's hard to put them as litmus test especially for this president and this congress when so many people did not predict that president trump would actually win the election, it's just we're living in uncertain times and i think members of congress are looking at this race but not so much in terms of how they are feeling about their own situation back home in their respective districts. >> real quick, the fact they are a bunch of newly registered voters in the fourth district. who do you think that helps? molly, you first? >> possibly ossoff but possibly
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handel, i'm so bad at that. i like covering capitol hill issues on capitol hill. >> sara? >> i think that could be a good sign for ossoff, the high turnout higher than the presidential race, they are predicting that could show democrats who weren't typically registered in the district are now starting to turn out. >> sara westwood and molly hooper, see you again. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> out of control killing dozens of people, the crisis right now in portugal from a forest fire and the work under way to save lives. ♪
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welcome back, i'm alex witt here in new york. at 31 past the hour, here's what we're monitoring for you. breaking news in portugal where
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dozens have died in forest fires. joining me now by phone, she's in the middle of all of this did he have ves tags, what can you tell us? >> hi, it's difficult for me to hear you right now because there's fire trucks passing by but just to let you know the situation is very difficult here in portugal because the fire that led to killing those people is still going on. there are lots of firemen from other neighborhoods trying to fight it. there are also two planes who came from spain and another two from france to try to fight the conditions here, the weather conditions are very, very difficult because the wind is not helping. the temperature is very high. we have more than 30 degrees celsius. so the situation is very
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difficult. they have to take people from their homes and right now at this moment i'm in a place, a football club, small football club here in a small village where lots of people who have lost their homes, they came here to receive help, some food to receive and clothing. and some of them are still receiving the worst of the news. they come here and they discover that their parents have just died in this fire and so the situation is still very critical at the moment. >> it sounds like a nightmare. filipa soarhe is, do stay safe. voters in georgia's congressional district are listening to closing arguments and ossoff leaves handel by two
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points, close race in a district that voted republican for 40 years. joining us from the ossoff campaign office in sandy springs office, good day to you alex. does this feel like this race has the potential to shake up the national political scene? >> reporter: i think voters are definitely exciting here. early voting showed big turnout, 140,000 voting, more than 36,000 more than voted in the first round of this election in april. and they've been getting a lot of knocks on their toorz, the os sf campaign knocked on 80,000 doors and $40 million spent on the race so far. p of that on tv. people are excited and ready to return to their normal life. but that interest is definitely because of the national inpacmp of this race. ossoff got in talked about wanting to make trump furious. he's eased off of that and ran a
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more partisan campaign and karen handel is trying to tie ossoff to nancy pelosi. this is what she said at the rally yesterday. >> this election is close right now but i told you my money is on you and here's why. the people of the sixth district are not about to let nancy pelosi or people of california, new york and massachusetts tell us who our next congressman is going to be. [ applause ] we're going to show up on tuesday and we're going to rock nancy pelosi's world. >> reporter: so this race is very close. of the polls all within the margin of error. both parties going all in. i talked to one outside group preparing for three scenarios, a win and loss and recount and even a fourth, not likely but possible, if no one reaches 50%, we could go another round in this election, alex.
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>> wow, actually that could happen, right because it is so tight? with just less than 2 point lead for ossoff right now, that's tight. >> reporter: it's extremely tight. that's why you keep seeing this arms race of both parties going all in, increasing spending. everybody feels they have to put ifr dollar, every ounce of energy because when it's so close a tiny number of voters can make all of the difference. in general i would say the republicans have a little more margin of error and outnumber democrats 2-1. their voters tend to be more reliable to turn out older demographic generally. democrats really have to maximize every single little pocket of voters and going after all of them. it's going to be very tight on tuesday. >> i'm curious, alex, there's a notable uptick in the amount of newly registered voters. is there any indication which party is benefitting from that? >> yeah, the general consensus
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is that benefits ossoff because this district is trending more democratic. it's a long time republican strong hold newt gingrich and tom price who vacated the seat. but more young aer people have been moving in. the assumption is it benefits ossoff but it's hard to tell. we don't have the data and that's another x factor that will make it so as you ssuspens tuesday. >> thanks, alex. >> how much can an investigation rely on presidential tweets? i'll ask a former congresswoman who voted to impeach nixon. allowing draeamers to stay at least for now.
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impeachment of president nixon. mr. trump's lawyers say it was in response to a "washington post" article. he claims mr. trump is under investigation for obstruction. rather claiming that. is that a plausible explanation here? >> no. definitely not. i think the president understands very well that with bob mueller there, he's going to try to get to the bottom of the claim of obstruction and so whether the president has been formally told or not formally told, there's no question that bob mueller is questioning the witnesses one by one to establish whether a crime was committed in the firing of comey. >> so if the president were to be investigated, he doesn't have to be informed about that from the beginning of the investigation. that would be completely under the purview of the fbi or special counsel or -- >> right, whatever the federal standards are. i never was a federal prosecutor
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to i'm not exactly with what those rules are. you don't have to tell a person they are being investigated but i think the president has a pretty good -- whole country knows that's going on. >> out of respect of his presidential campaign would naturally be investigated as a result of something that happened within the confines of that campaign. does it not necessarily mean that he is potentially being thought of as being guilty of something but side bar an attachment to it? >> would he have >> one is you have the firing of comey and what was involved in that then go back watergate for a second the firing of archibald cox, was an effort to obstruct an investigation. that was a separate matter and i think we can consider that as a separate matter and donald trump was definitely involved in that because he fired comey, ordered him to be fired. so other part of this is the
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russian investigation. and that's what comey was really looking at, whether the campaign of donald trump was colluding with the russians -- the democratic national committee's internet operation. and why the campaign -- why the campaign could have been involved or what donald trump's role in that was, that's still a product -- that's still under investigation now. >> okay, let's look at then versus now. how much do you think presidential tweets, which you do not have to deal with with regard to president nixon and watergate, how much do they compare to tapes that were made by president nixon? >> well, kind of the same thing. president nixon ultimately was brought down 100% by the fact he had a tape recording system in the white house and said he didn't know anything about the break-in and cover-up. and the tapes out of his own mouth show he was orchestrating
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the cover-up. the tweets are unfiltered coming out of his mouth, words from donald trump and they establish a lot of things that are not helpful to him. it's very bad for somebody who potentially could be or is under investigation to attack the prosecutor, to attack the investigation as a witch hunt to suggest he wants it stopped. i mean, he's president of the united states. he took an oath of office to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, including the criminal laws. he's not doing that. paying attention himself. those tweets are like an unfiltered tape recording that richard nixon put out. >> can you imagine as his attorney, you would say please stop. is there any reason why his attorneys have not been able to put this rational to him, please stop. >> he likes to tweet. >> he said in his tweet he was being investigated for firing former fbi director james comey
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by the man who told him to fire comey. how do you interpret that? was that a form of bullying for attorney general rob rosenstein? do you think he's just throwing him under the bus and making way for someone new. >> i think this is a big problem for trump because he's essentially intimidating people responsible for the investigation. intimidating rod rosenstein and mueller by calling the whole operation a witch hunt and saying it should end. i think these are things that are not appropriate for a president who is sworn to uphold and faithfully execute the laws and not appropriate definitely for someone who could be facing impeachment. it's an abuse of power for a president of the united states to shut down an investigation because it touches him. the country is more important. >> if you look at those who bob mueller assemble ld as part of the legal team, the kinds of attorneys he's got here, experts in criminal law, cyber crimes and also in watergate. do you think this is moved from
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being counterintelligence investigation to a criminal investigation? >> i believe they are both, both are involved. one is the investigation of russia and whether they co-lewded wico-lewd ed with the trump campaign and they are connected in the sense that the trump campaign if it k colluded could have stopped the investigation because of what it could cover. they are connected but they are separate. >> i've seen you all over the air waves this 45th anniversary of the watergate break-in. >> we should have learned a lesson. >> there is that. thank you very much, ma'am. preparing to testify in the russia probe investigation with what the former homeland executi security chief could shed on light on that we have not heard.
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the president wants to take
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down bob mueller. his lawyer wants to take down bob mueller and the question is why. the answer is they want to lay the foundation to discredit whatever bob mueller comes up with. they are essentially engaging in a scorched with. they're essentially engaging in a scorched earth strategy that begins with trying to discredit the prosecutor. that's all that's happening here. >> that was california congressman adam schiff, democrat and ranking member of the house intelligence committee, trying to get inside the president's head in an interview this morning. let's bring in howard dean, former vermont governor, former dnc chair, msnbc contributor. and strategist susan del persio. what is the president trying to do? >> i agree with the congressman, he's trying to muddy the waters up. donald trump works best in his mind when he's fighting someone or something, when he's campaigning. that's what he's doing, he's making this a pr smear campaign against mr. mueller, which is really unfortunate, because if
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there is nothing to hide, he should be embracing it and saying yes, i want this to go forward, i want to to be done quickly, and thoroughly, because there's nothing to fear. >> howard, i'm curious. could the president fire mueller? i know he can do it legally speaking, but could he get away with it long term, given where everything is and the temperature right now. >> it depends on what you mean by getting away with it. if he did it tomorrow, he probably would not be impeached but his presidency would be useless and destroyed. he would have no authority. the vast percentage of the public, apart from his rabid base, would discredit him. it's a big mistake. you can't bring real estate ethics when you're buying a building with somebody else's money, to washington. it's a very different business. this is a bad idea for him to try this, for his own benefit. >> a man who is highly celebrated upon his appointment
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previously, just a few weeks ago, he was riding high on that sort of publicity wave. >> right. >> just to follow up on governor dean's point here, i think it makes a lot of sense here, yes, he's not going to be in trouble right now, but will members of the house and senate stay behind him. >> right. >> that's a really interesting thing, will they start to peel away. maybe playing on top of what the governor just said, that's another thing to recognize. >> as you know, this morning the president tweeted yet again, susan, about this witch hunt out there. why does he keep pushing this story line, what does he have to gain by it? >> every sunday i say the same thing, why not one simple tweet like "happy father's day to everybody"? just keep it simple. i heard someone say that basically 140 of the 280 characters that he used, because he used it in two tweets, was on message. it talked about infrastructure and tax reform. but then he can't help himself, i just has to go there, and it's
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a shame. >> howard, what about the other bombshell tweet from the president that claims he's under investigation? we don't know that for sure. even rod rosenstein is not going to admit it. so why go out there and say it? why say that it's true? how can the president think that's going to help him? >> he doesn't think about this stuff. he doesn't think. that's the problem. ed he just does it. he probably was informed by his attorney that he's under investigation and he puts that out there because he's outraged and incensed, without thinking about the liabilities. this is a guy whose chief lawyer until recently was a real estate lawyer from new york. this is insane. i'm looking at this self-destruction, it's incredible. >> jay sekulow this morning say he's not under investigation. >> he's twisting himself into a
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pretzel, explaining how the president's tweet was responding to a "washington post" story, which is absurd. it shows, the fact that his attorneys were trying to walk it back, they were very concerned. >> how long after representative adam schiff saying this morning that the mueller investigation is only getting started, how long do you think other republicans are going to stand by the president, if all of these questions drag on? >> well, it depends how these hearings turn out. it depends what the news of the day is. republicans know that this is going to take probably about 18 months to two years for the mueller investigation to go on. what the senate should be doing is refocusing their hearings on what happened with russia and our elections, what were they able to penetrate through, where there issues where they manipulated, and how can they stop it for 2018? is the house members stay focused on that and let mueller keep doing what he's doing and the president not talk about the mueller investigation, then at
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least republicans could stand strong and let them face one issue at a time. >> we do have an election, 16, 17 months away. howard, you have the president blaming james comey, robert mueller, now rod rosenstein over this whole russia mess. who is left? >> well, look, the russia mess, the president should shut up about russia. we said that before, and he keeps doing it. here's the number you should watch. the president still has a base. and in that base, there's some strong approval. when the strong approval, strongly approve numbers start to go down, then the other republicans are toast. and they're not going to be able to run away from trump during the election. they're going to pay for this big time. nixon showed that. it just doesn't work this way. and that strong approval number, there was one poll where it started to drop. i don't know if that will have to be borne out by other polls. in that number starts dropping, trump is a dead president walking. >> let's look ahead to wednesday.
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what do you expect, susan? >> i think we'll hear that he told president obama that the russians were trying to meddle in our election, and that they were looking to take steps. i don't think it will be terribly eventful. i don't think it's going to hurt or help anybody. >> how about you, howard, any game changers from the former secretary of homeland security expected? >> there is some possibility. i've been following various websites this morning, hopefully sane ones. and there is now some talk that the russians in fact were actually trying to fiddle with individual voting machines in precin precincts. >> i read that. >> did you read that? i read one web report on that. what that does is gets "the new york times" and "washington post" and all of the majors involved in investigating that. if that turns out to be true, then we have a really big, big story that is going to get some traction. right now it's a diversion from mcconnell's stealth attack on america's health care, which i
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think is going to be actually the story of the week, when he tries to bring that to the story. >> happy father's day to you, howard. >> thank you! >> yes, of course. have a good one. positive sign. a congressman shot at a baseball practice undergoes another surgery. but what doctors are now saying about his condition. oscar mayer deli fresh ham has no added nitrates, nitrites or artificial preservatives. now it's good for us all. like those who like... sweet. those who prefer heat. (blows a breath of air) and those who just love meat. for those in school. out of school. and old school. those who like their sandwich with pop. and those who like it with soda. for the star of the scene. cut! and the guys behind it. all the taste you want, nothing you don't. oscar mayer deli fresh. sweet! and you're about in to hit 'send all' on some embarrassing gas. hey, you bought gas-x®! unlike antacids, gas-x ® relieves pressure and bloating fast.
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hello, everyone, i'm alex witt at msnbc world headquarters in new york. here's what's happening right now. we have new reaction from president trump's legal team, pushing back on that stunning tweet by the president saying he's being investigated in the expanding probe into russia's election meddling. here is how his attorney responded when pressed by my colleague chuck todd on "meet the press." chuck tried to have him clear up what prompted president trump to fire james comey. >> let me be very clear here. as it has been since the beginning.

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