tv Meet the Press MSNBC June 19, 2017 1:00am-2:01am PDT
this sunday, the russia probe grows. is president trump under investigation for possible obstruction of justice. the president says he is a victim of a witch hunt. >> do you believe you're under investigation now. >> how serious is the threat to mr. trump's presidency. we'll get points of view from all sides this morning. republican senator marco rubio, and senator angus king. plus that shooting at a republican baseball practice reminds us that toxic rhetoric
can turn to real violence. both parties say it's time to tone things down. >> our job is to serve and represent the whole of the american people. >> and george on our minds, why tuesday's special congressional election is the biggest test yet for the trump's presidency. joining me is david brooks, amy walter, and danielle pletka. welcome to sunday, it's "meet the press. >> the longest running show in television his celebrating it's 70th year. good sunday more and happy father's day to all of the dads out there. we want to update yo on the progress of one father in particular, congressman steve alise who was shot at the republican baseball practice on
wednesday, his condition has improved from critical to serious. the hospital says he is more responsive and peaking with his loved ones. now, back to our main focus this morning, president trump has been in office for a few months and now they are under fgs for obstruction of justice. >> she was seemingly acknowledging that it was true, he said i am being investigating for firing the fbi director, that was not an acknowledgment that he was being investigated. another strange twitter turn. they are preparing for historical implications.
they are increasingly developed on all this week punctuated by a frightening attack that shows how thin the line can be between anger and violence. >> we represent the whole american people. >> on a week when political rancor turned to tragedy. the horrific shooting of members of congress is a reminder that our toxic politics can turn violence. >> we do well to mremember that we love our country >> but he under call his calls for unity. on thursday, they called the
investigation the single greatest witch hunt in american political history led by bad and conflicted people. >> do you believe you're under investigation? >> friday he doubled down saying i'm being investigated for firing the fbi director by the man that told me to fire the fbi director. an apparent reference to deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, and it contradicts what trump himself told lester hold. >> regardless i was going to fire comey. when i decided to do it, i said to myself, you know this russia thing with trump and russia is a madeup story. >> he added a power house lawyer to his legal defense team. they are also investigating
son-in-law jared kushner. they said we do not know what this report refers to. ironical ironically, trump warned it would be should trobl. >> hillary is likely to be under investigation for years. now they are lead by a special council. is it a witch hunt? >> welcome to "meet the press, happy father's day. >> happy father's day.
>> let me begin with getting clarification here. the president tweeted "i'm being investigated for firing the man that the director told me to fire." >> he is not under investigation by the special council. the tweet from the president was the five anonymous sources that was great able leaking information to the president. as we know of today, the esident not under investigation. >> why did he say he was? i mean i this just mistweeted? the president's tweet was in response to the washington post story. they had five anonymous sources,
and they did not identify what agencies those sources were from. let me be very clear here as it has since the beginning. the president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction. >> so why is he confused. why is he not taking your legal advice saying you're not under investigation. why tweet this? >> i think your reading more into the tweet than what is there. the president sent out that tweet in response to the washington post story with the five anonymous unnamed sources from unnamed agencies. that's why he put that in the tweet. as you know he has been very effective at utilizing social media. he is not under investigation.
the tweet was in response to a washington post story concern. >> he said by the man that told me to fire the fbi director, i assume that is a message to the attorney general. he said he was going to fire the fbi director regardless of what the attorney general said. so who made the recommendation to fire james comey. was it the president's decision or the recommendation of the deputy attorney general. >> he is president of the united states. there is a very thorough process. i'm holding in my hand, the letter sent from the attorney general of the justice regarding
the situation involving former fbi director comey. in tt recommendation is a recommdation for removal. as y know they have the ability to think about these not in a vacuum. there is a process. when he met with his deputy attorney general for what they thought the appropriate course of tax should be, they were convinced that james comey should be ri moved, but if the leaks were correct about the investigation, and we have no knowledge of an investigation, here is what the legal ththeory case would have to be. you would have had the president of the united states reviewing a letter and recommendations from his department ahead, that would be the attorney general of the united states and others.
that is the nature of the issues, and he made a determination based on that determination and dlib eliberat process -- >> the president said to lest to hold that he already made the decision. you said he asked for the consultation. in his prepared statement, in his testimony to congress, he said my memorandum is not a statement for reasons to justify a for cause determination. so i'm confused by youruation rl he rationale here. >> he said i must recommend you remove james comey. that is pretty unqualified.
attached to that is a memorandum from the former -- the handling of the hillary clinton manner, but let's take a look at what you just said. here is what you just said, the president made the -- the president under the constitution has that authority to see that decision. he has memorandums, here is the theory of this purported case from the washington post. just think about this for a minute. the president of the united states takes action to remove the fbi director, and he has a recommendation from his attorney general and deputy attorney general to take that action. he is now being investigated by the same department that told him to take that action. that is not constitutional.
that is not the way the constitution works. >> but the question will be what was the reason behind the firing. so let me ask you this, was the reason having to do with his handling of the russian investigation? or was it having to do with his handling of the clinton e-mails. the president in his interview with lester holt said it was about russia, which is it? >> the memorandum from the attorney general, it's about the hillary clinton e-mails, that's what document says. but you raid an interesting point, when the president gave that full interview to lester holt that if, in light of all of this, the removal of james comey would lengthen the amount of time this investigate would take, but he thought it was in
the best interest of the american people. he was fully aware that if he took this action, he could see a lengthenning of the process. and you cannot say these things in a vacuum. multiple factors come into existence. that determination is protected by the constitution, period. >> why is the president seeing to act as if he is so concerned about the investigation if he did nothing wrong. if he did -- if this is going to find that he did nothing wrong and he knows it, he should not be afraid of the investigation. robert mueller is not a political guy, not a partisan guy, why doesn't the psident just embrace this investigation if he is innocent? >> because every day the
washington post and the "new york times" are utilized supposed leaked information about supposed investigations about the president of the united states. when you see a tweet, okay, or a utilization of social media, his social media reach is over 100 million. a little bit more are probably watching us today, i know you reach a lot of people. she responding to what he sees in the media in a way that he sees as appropriate for those people that put anymore office. >> but if he is not innocent, why is he afraid of the information? >> he is not aphrase, i want to be clear here. >> there is an information what russia did. >> and he told james comby, and they will testify to this, he said to continue the probe, but
there is not an investigation of the president of the united states. >>ly leave it there, thank you for coming out this morning on this father's day, appreciate it. >> joining me now, senator marco rubio, member of the senate intelligence committee. welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you, chuck. >> let me again with the latest. the president tweeted the "i'm being investigated for fearing the fbi director by the man that told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. diane feinstein said this -- pret yes rough words from her, she doesn't normally use language like that. do you concur with her sentiment?
>> i think everyone just needs to keep watching this and take a deepbreath. the fbi will do their job. they don't sit aroundnd read tweets. they will do their job, the fbi will do their job, and the senate intelligence committee will do their job. the best thang can happen for everyone, the president, the country, the government, is for a full, thorough, and credible investigation. that's the best thing that can happen, and that is what's going to happen i believe. >> he referred to the investigation, i believes with as a witch hunt i want to say six or even times. that is not embracing the investigation and that's an attempt to under mind the credibility of the investigation. >> one thing we learned, i think from the testimony of multiple people now is that the president is pretty fired up about this. he feels strongly that he did nothing wrong and hements people
to say that. i don't think that is a mystery and he is expressing himself in that way, that will not impede any of the work from continuing. you have never seen a single member of law enforcement and i believe all of the truth will come out. >> you don't believe they're intended to send a warning to special council mueller or rod rosenstein. >> i have no way to make a determination on the intent. the president feeting pretty strongly about the fact that he did nothing wrong and he is trying to get multiple people to say that publicly. the work is moving forward, and i think it is important for everyone to understand that, and if that changes we'll have a
different conversation on the air, but that is not happening right now. >> the president's legal team is disputing the notion that he is under investigation for obstruction of justice. do you think it would be appropriate for the special council at this point considering the confusion of the firing behind the fbi director. an investigation doesn't mean guilt, it just means investigate him. >> you said it doesn't mean guilt, a lot of times that's how it is portrayed. no one wants to be under investigation, even if you did nothing wrong because it has negative con stations. i think they should look at everything. i think it will be good for everyone to have a full and credible investigation. i think that will have, and the result of that will be good for america and we can move on to take on some other portiimporta
issues. >> there has been some concern that the administration is not taking seriously what russia did. it was quite stunning, here is what it is. >> i know nothing but what i read in the paper. i never received a detailed preefing on how a hacking occurred, or the information -- >> did you fend it startling that a member of the national security council has not had a briefing on what russia did to -- in the election. what the negligence community said? it seemed to be stunning to me that a member of the president's national security council. that would imply their not even discussioning this issue. >> the initial reaction people have is wow. an attorney general has not even been briefed, but you realize if
he had been briefed what we would be talking about today is whether or not that is appropriate because he is recused. it is a catch 22. as far as the general theme of their interference, the president says he doesn't believe it, i know it. >> think about what you just said. the president said he doesn't believe it, you believe it, you have seen the evidence, how stunning is that to you that the president of the united states disputes the evidence of 17 intelligence asigencies in this country. >> at the end of the day, he has a right to his opinion on these much issues. i believe there is sufficient votes in place to encourage him
to do so, but in the end we'll do what we believe is right, we'll have disagreements from time to time, and hopefully his conclusion on that will change. >> the more the administration tries to soften the angsts in the house, at any point do you understand if people see that as circumstantial evidence in the probe. >> i can tell you that as i believe at the core of the resistance is the president. i think the concern comes from the state department. i think they want the russians to be more cooperative. it is a legitimate argument. i thought about it, and i don't agree with it. the majority of my colleagues didn't agree with it. >> happy father's day. >> thank you. >> when we come back, we will hear from the third side, if you
will, senator angus king of maine. and a call to turn down the rest rick after the attack that injured congress nan steve scalise. >> an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. attack on all of us. >> you will hear me ray's alwa. last year, he said he was going to dig a hole to china. at&t is working with farmers to improve irrigation techniques. remote moisture sensors use a reliable network to tell them when and where to water. so that farmers like ray can compete in big ways. china. oh ... he got there. that's the power of and.
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>> thank you, your colleague, i asked him, i asked him to react to that answer that the attorney general gave to you, and while he acknowledged that might be stunning or surprising to some that the attorney general did not get briefed, that it was a catch 22, and that if he were, he would have been rescuesed and -- >> i don't think so, i don't think he recused himself until some time in march. we're talking about when he was a senior foreign policy advisor. from january to february. the narrow engagement in the election and not digging into it. i believe it is one of the most serious ataxes on our country
that we have had in years. mr. comey said he had nine interactions with him before he was fired. in none of those did he say what did they do, how do we know they did it, and what can we do about it. this is serious stuff, and it is on securing what i believe is the under lying story. >> do you believe that kus yosty is circumstantial evidence in and of itself? >> i just think that the president has it in his nand it is not real, and i wish he would just sit down quietly with some professionals, mike rogers, or the f,000,000,000 i that did the investigation, or jim clapper, and get the facts. quit denying it. i think he thinks it undermines his election, and weave to put that aside. the russians are not going away.
they're going to come after us in 2018 and 2020. and as marco rubio keeps coming, it could work in the opposite way, putin is not a republican. >> i won't repeat some of the tweets again, but the idea that he is upset with the attorney general and his managing of the special council, do you think he needs to rescues himself because he was consulted on the comey firing? >> i think definitely he will be interviewed by the special council because of his involvement with the president. >> can kro you oversee an investigation that you're going to be a witness on? >> well, you know, i don't know quite what oversee means in that context, bob mueller has
independence, it is just a matter of time. we don't need to decide or argue about it today whether or not the president is under investigation. mueller will investigate what he thinks is important and we'll find out in a manner of time whether or not he is following up on the question of on instruction of justice. >> the president indicated that the collusion aspect of the investigation is over and they're coming after him. where is the senate intel committee on this. i know you don't know the exact end day of when you think you can draw a conclusion, but give me some sense of where you are. >> first i can sigh that the collusion or cooperation is not over. >> and i would say that we're 20% into it.
i think we'll be done maybe at the end of the year. this is a very complexion manner. there is aot of witnesses and investigation yet to go. >> what is the difference in your mind twine collusion and cord nation? >> i think that is a crucial question. i think the ke -- well both of those are disturning if even exist. let's take coordination. were there people in the trump campaign, not necessarily the president or the candidate, that were in contact with the russians and sharing investigation and cooperating in terms of how they were acting in the latter stages of the campaign. that's what we're looking at, but don't forget that the under lying question is they tried to screw around with our elections and also with a state election system that i find really scary.
we'll have a hearing on that this week, and that could ultimately be the most dangerous part of this. >> we keep hearing more on that as well. senator king, thank you for coming on, and happy father's day, sir. >> same to you, chuck. >> thank you. on tuesday's special election in atlanta, how the results there could spread far beyond georgia. here is congressman jim heins. >> we had downhall meetings and people shouting, it was a real reminder th
welcome back, david brooks is here. danielle pletka, welcome to all of my guests, you heard all of the interviews, do you any better sense of where the president is on this investigation? >> i'm getting more unmfortable with this whole deal thinking maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves and i'm bothered by the lack of emerging evidence that there was soluti collusion and coordination with the trump white house.
we surrounded the president with a legal mind field, and he steps all over the mine field, but it is becoming an investigation about itself. there is a lot of shady behavior that don't rise to the watergate level, and i'm afraid we're being swallowed by the scandal. >> i thought what was most striking is when they say the president is very effective in his kruse of social media, and what is clear is that his use of social media got him into the predicament that he is in. the whole reason that we're having the discussion in the first place is the fact that he tweeted out the possibility that there are tapes of jim comey, the fact that he tweeted the tweet that you talked about. at the end of the day the evidence there is not as
relevant as what he is doing during the investigation. >> i mean, in some ways there are -- >> there is a lot of fog, but i don't see why we should be that concerned that we don't have the smoking gun yet, we're still clearing away the smooke, it seems to me that the investigation will go on and they will find collusion or they will not. but obstruction of justice is not a small manner. and there are ways to go through a matter without obstructing justice. i can argue that there are more important than the sort of chopped and processed statements that come out of the white house press office or from his attorneys. they come from the mind of the president of the united states. >> danny? >> i have to say something
first, happy birthday sophie. let's talk about what we're here to talk about. all along what you hear behind the scenes in washington is there isn't there there. all we're talking about, all of the time, is donald trump stepping on those mines. donald trump tweeting, his lawyers and staff trying to keep up with all of the things he is saying. or even if the suspect has the right to fire the fbi director. >> that is the president's problem, isn't it? that we should be talking about eastern, instead we're talking about the president's tweets this morning. >> but they are conducting financial dealings with russian
officials colluding with the trump campaign. there is a lot being investigated here, and i think it is just premature. >> i don't think we want to say there was no misbehavior. we know in washington dc that once you have a special prosecutor, it will become about the investigation. no one gets put in prison. here is a headline from the washington post that says this, nixon sees witch hunt. it sounds as if you believe, david, that the president is --
it does seem the more focused it is on the obstruction of justice, is it or isn't it, does it matter? >> the problem for trump is that he is a person whose values and personal mentality is a tribal mentality. so he walks over every single legal structure. i have a thousand problems with trump as president, but the russian collusion is in the 500s. >> it's not just water gate if you go back and look at the monica lewinsky and -- >> you just flip the script, right? democrats were upset about the leaks from ken star's office.
none of that is new. and he comes on there and makes a very good point, let's let this investigation play out, but this president can't compartmentalize. >> i don't think he understands what being president is all about. it is different, and what this is about is golf sentence and he doesn't want to governor, he wants to campaign. if you want to campaign you have to fight all of the time, the other stuff is boring. other stuff is boring. >> with type 2 diabetes other stuff is boring. >> a lower a1c is a lot about choices. but it can be hard sometimes, 'cause different sides of you struggle with which ones to make.
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there are 23 districts where a republican won the house seat, but hillary clinton won the presidential vote. if ossoff wins here it suggests that republicans in those districts have a lot of the temperature ton districts, democrats won nine of them. georgia's six was the only ones they lost. if they can't win swing districts like this the chances of taking back the house are slim. a few reasons why it may be a outliar. first, nearly $40 million has been spent on tv adds alone in one house race. that's $10 million more than the most spent on the most in american history. it's unique. there is no popular incumbent running. tom price won 62% in november, but 118 congressmen did better in their district. and don't forget, with all of
the national attention on this race, turnout is likely to be higher than a average midterm race. there is no telling what fall of 2018 will look like. no matter who wins tuesday, there will be a lot of spin from both sides, don't be surprised if the big news comes out of the scare fifth congressional district. what are the chances the awful shooting ♪ surfing is a sport that takes a lot out of you physically. from the moment i wake up on my tempur-pedic mattress i feel like i'm ready to take on the day. i don't have aches and pains from the previous day's training. and i feel like myself. i wake up feeling stronger, a better surfer a better me. ♪ find your exclusive retailer
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we are back now with the panel, amy, you do house races more than anyone at this table, it's how you started your career here, why does it matter and what is hyped? >> this is the district that democrats need to win. they are competing in 2018. if they don't win, it's going to be a big depressing moment for them. but, you're right, i think we have overhyped a lot of this. a lot of it is about the psychological impact that the race has. raising for the party committees, or if they lose is it a way to tamp down that
enthusia enthusiasm. >> people have been looking at the russia problems, and health care's future for e republicans feels like maybe what is on the ballot. >> yeah, the question is why are you not getting anything done for us. the health care, the other stuff, you're not getting them done for us. what issues do they actually have? >> the reasonable care issue, it is interesting, will they pay a price for doing this under a way they criticized democrats for? here is a montage of that. >> the democratic leadership working behind closed door. >> being written without impact
from anyone in an effort to jam it past for the american people. >> there is no conservation and no one knows what's in this by but one senator. >> that was in 2009, but democrats are throwing it. will voters punish republicans for that? >> i'm not sure, i don't know. i don't know if they will punish republicans for that, for the house bill that is wildly unpopular throughout the country. and i don't know if some republicans will be published for not getting anything done if it doesn't go through. and it is hard to see how anything they do really helps them a lot politically. >> a bigger problem is not simply the health care vote, but
effectiveness. at the end of the day, they have not done anything. if they accomplish something, they will have a good argument. >>. >> it is just accepticly unpopular. >> we know what happens when you take major legislation and shove it through, you lose politically, it bad. it was built into the business models, and i'm not talking about democrats that are in a panic, i'm not going to tell you, but i'll hit you, and you
realize you got hit, it might as well have it out in the opening. >> when he met, when the president met with the senate republicans, he called it mean. and it's just like is that how you win over the freedom caucus? >> yeah, now we're back to tweeting about what he tweets. >> we want to talk about whether or not washington will change or not. we'll come back in 45 wrinkles? your time is up! new neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair with the proven power of retinol. reduces wrinkles in just one week. neutrogena®
back now with "end game." david, after this shooting, eight members of congress have been shot in the history of congress, two in the last six years. gabrielle giffords, steve scalise, a democrat, a republican, and the immediate reaction by nonpartisans is "has our politics gotten too vitriolic." >> no, i don't. i saw a poll that shows would you be happy if your child
married someone from the other party. it is about tax rates, not your soul. it is not just the issue, we pulled apart on the policy where we pulled apart are the politics on each other, and the president said that what they bring to washington is their love of country and that is fair, we may love our country, but we don't love each other. >> i wonder if he has done enough, here is ted nugent pledging to change his tone. take a listen. >> the reason i point this out is that ted nugent said it, he
is in the hall of fame of incendiary rhetoric. president trump never said he would tone things down. would it help? >> i guess it would help. >> i think what the under lying force is more important here. we have self sorted by political views and geographically we tend to live around people that think the way we do. as that continues, i think we become more tribal and that is just where we are. >> donald trump gave a good speech and comment this week and he deserves credit for that. there are larger things growing in our party. it is racial, class, income, education levels, and that amplified by social media and the people that people have they're in the game against
others are so toxic. >> think about the adds run by the people denouncing all of the incivility in washington, only 20% of all ads run are positive ads. >> if you're outraged by it, it was disgusting, put it in a paid ad? >> violence doesn't come from bad sads, it comes frpeople who are isolated and they just want to shoot somebody to prove they exist to someone. >> how many presidents did we lose in the 20th century. even though this is the public face, this anger a disagreement, the truth is there is a lot of civility in washington. they talk all of the time -- >> and i think this is real in
congress we how could it not, so regardless of whether or not we change, i feel like this is going to change congress a little. >> when you spoke to members on wednesday, thursday, and friday, it was a very different tone. and i don't think that was artificial. >> i get the sense that if you see something, say something, say "tell them no" and i think they may do that. >> okay, you can, i'm going to go back to our old ways very, very soon. >> i'll say very soon, not very very. thank you for watching. happy father's day to both of you, and to all of the dads out there, back next week. if it is sunday, it is "meet the press."
breaking this morning, another terrorist attack in london. we'll have a live report after -- >> plus, when is an investigation not an investigation? we'll dig into the confusing language from one of the president's growing team of attorneys. >> later, how did a ship collide with a $1.5 million navy destroyer off the coast of japan leaving seven americans dead, and why did the ship make a u-turn just before they hit? good morning. it's monday morning, june 19th. we're following some breaking news out of londo