tv Lockup World Tour MSNBC June 24, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
friday night. >> i'm ari melber. i have exclusive with yale law professor jack baldwin. says we are not a constitutional rot. he will explain. more importantly, "the 11th hour" starts right now. tonight, the white house issues an official response to the house intelligence committee on the existence of tapes. the answer, it's all in the president's tweet. plus, behind the scenes in the situation room. new attempts by putin to hack the election system. why one former insider says we checked. "the 11th hour" begins now. good evening once again from new york. i'm nicole wallace in for brian who has the night off. day 155 of the trump administration. it was dominated by a rare on-camera interview with the
president sounding off about james comey and bob mueller, going into incredible detail on russia's hacks of the 2016 election. to the president's interview first where he seems to admit his tweet 42 days ago that james comey had better hope there are no tapes of their conversation was all about intimidating comey. >> well, i didn't take him. you never know what's happening when you see that the obama administration and perhaps longer than that was doing all of this unmasking and surveillance and you read all about it and i've been reading about it for the last couple of months about the seriousness and horrible situation with surveillance all over the place. so you never know what's out there. but i didn't tape and i don't have any tape and i didn't tape. but when he found out that there may be tapes out there, whether it's governmental tapes or anything else and who knows, i think his story may have changed.
you'll have to take a look at that because then he has to tell what actually took place at the events and my story didn't change. my story was always a straight story. my story was always the truth but you'll have to determine for yourself whether or not his story changed. but i did not tape. >> it was a smart way to make sure he stayed honest in those hearings. >> well, it wasn't -- it wasn't very stupid, i can tell you that. >> robert mueller, do you think he should recuse himself from this because he's good friends with james comey, he's hired attorneys part of hillary clinton's foundation and given money to president obama and hillary clinton's campaign. should he recuse himself? >> he's very, very good friends with comey, which is very bo bothersome. we'll have to see. look, there has been no obstruction. there has been no collusion. there has been leaking by comey. the whole thing is ridiculous, if you want to know that.
robert mueller is an honorable man and hopefully he'll come up with an honorable solution. meanwhile, the story dropped this morning which shook d.c. to its core, the exhaustive report giving us the best understanding so far of what the obama administration knew about the interference, when they knew it and what they did or did not do with it. first, ann dote on the eyes of the intel being hand-delivered to the president by the cia. that laid out vladimir putin's, quote, specific instructions, defeat or at least damage the democratic nominee hillary clinton and help elect her opponent, end quote. this paints a picture of the obama administration divided and worried putin would escalate. we heard from two members of the trump white house. >> what is the current white house doing about this?
>> well, allyson, the president has said about this previously, he would be concerned about anybody couldn't win here at home. >> you were asked whether the president believes russia interfered with the 2016 election you said you hadn't had a chance to have a talk with him about it. >> i have, thank you. and the only point that i would make just by way of clarification, he commented on january 5th, something like that, that russia interfered and maybe other countries as well. >> he said, i think it was russia but i think we also get hacked by other countries as well. >> is he concerned? >> of course. he's concerned by any country or actor who wants to hack into our election system. >> as for the president, his
reaction came in a tweet. "just out. the obama administration knew far in advance of november 8th about russia meddling and did nothing about it. why? but what has the president done since he's been in the office in the last five months? "the trump administration has taken little meaningful action to prevent russian hacking, leaking and disruption in the next national election 2018 despite warnings that it will happen again. meanwhile, the white house has responded to an inquiry from the house intel committee asking the question, are there tapes of trump's conversations with james comey. this letter contains, "in response to the committee's inquiry, we refer you to president trump's june 22, 2017, statement regarding this matter. the statement, you guessed it, tweets. he claims he has no idea if the tapes exist.
let's bring in national security reporter for "the washington post," jeremy bash and carrie, former senior counsel for the dni. ellen, i read your piece this morning before the 4:00 show. i read it again before this show. i can't get enough of all of these little details. i want to start where you started, this eyes-only intel that wasn't included in the president's daily brief. only four people had permission to see it. talk about where the story begins. >> that's right. it begins with this very sensitive, highly classified intelligence that came into the cia last summer and was briefed to president obama and only three other senior aides by director at the time. it was considered so sensitive that it was, as you note, kept out of the president's daily
brief. after the white house and obama read the intelligence, it had to get back in the envelope, send it back with the courier to the cia. they couldn't keep it at the white house. it was so sensitive, in part, because it contained information that was obtained from deep within the russian government that conveyed putin's specific instructions to help undermine hillary clinton's campaign and with the objective of getting trump elected. >> you also have this extraordinary detail about how this information making its way to president changed business as usual in the sit room. the sit room has monitors where you can see but not hear some of the goings on in the big conference room there and those abilities were shut down and the last time it happened was when the raid was being planned to
capture and ultimately kill bin laden. what was the sort of mood down there? is the circle slowly expanding all of that secrecy that was very much adhered to. >> yes. a lot of this information was very highly compartmentalized and often the information flows were from the bottom up. there were mid-level aids that were compiling working on dozens of potential options to respond and punish or deter russia for its aggression last summer and then often get pushed up to the senior levels and up to susan rice, up to obama and then would seem to sort of stop there. the mid-level aides were not getting much feedback as to what was going on with these options and that was, in fact, because there was a great deal offingve
agonizing about what to do for interfering in the campaign and whether to take any action at all. >> and you detail those divisions with a great anecdote about secretary of state kerry who it reminded me of his own presidential campaign where i think two or three days before the 2004 election a tape was released by bin laden and i know that outside events are not something that people inside the government are careful about introducing into the information flow. but talk about the day when they finally got to the point where the intelligence community was going to disclose this information to the public. at 3:30, a statement went out. what happened next? >> this was october 7th, roughly a month before the election. and at that point, they had gotten the intelligence agencies
to agree they had a consensus that russia was attempting to interfere in the election and that they were going to publicly point the finger, do an attribution. the statement came out at 3:30 and notably it did not have the white house or obama's signature on it. the white house did not want to appear at all to be getting politically involved in the situation to avoid appearing partisan and maybe to put their thumbs on the scales in favor of hillary clinton and another person whose name was missing was james comey who was very much in favor of calling out russia. but as it got closer to the election, he said, no, we're not going to identify or associate the fbi with this. so it was the director of national intelligence and the director of homeland security whose names were on this three-paragraph statement and
then about an hour or hour and a half later "the washington post" breaks the story with the "access hollywood" tapes with trump which come pleatpletely d out the story from 3:30 and then the first round of wikileaks e-mails get released. >> i want to travel forward in time. you take us through the point when the intel community started briefing the gang of eight and i was surprised that republicans were resistant to the information and skeptical about it. that wasn't the only place that there was resistance to doing anything. can you talk about where the intel community sort of hit up against resistance to making the information public and doing anything about it? >> well, the white house wanted
to get a bipartisan statement of -- from congress that we come out and say, yes, russia was behind this influence campaign, this effort to interfere in the election. and as you know, ran up against resistance from republican leaders, like senator mitch mcconnell, the leader of the senate, who actually questioned there was evidence for that statement. whereas the democrats wanted t get the statement out and the republicans dn so in the end what you saw was the two democratic leaders of the intelligence committees, senator feinstein and adam schiff of the house put out their own statement at the end of september pointing their finger at russia. >> let me bring jeremy bash back into the conversation. let me ask you about the passage on cyberbobs.
obama also approved a previously undisclosed conversation that if the united states found itself in an escalating exchange with moscow. the plan was still at the beginning stages when obama left office t would be up to president trump to decide whether to use the capability. what's your hunch on those conversations and where it might stand? >> no. my sense is that the administration is not taking tough action against rush shach russia. they are threatening nato. they did not invoke article 5 when the president was in brussels recently. we've allowed russia to have a no-fly zone in the person part of syria. the pressure is now off because
of collung with the russians during the election. it's a long answer, nicole. but the bottom line s.is, i don think russia has taken action for its meddling. the president has said he doesn't think this is a good deal. >> i know you don't do a lot of this, ellen, but what about this transfer? you write -- you guys reported out sort of this period after the election when president obama finally, i guess publicly did something. he made an announcement about sanctions dispelled to diplomats. what do we know was happening on the trump side of that equation but can you talk about this period between the election result and trump's nainaugurati?
>> we suspect not much is being done by this administration with regards to russia. they seem to want to anything to do with punishing russia or they are not interested in getting to behind or the influence campaign and try to figure out ways to deter it in the future. what was going on between the election and inauguration day, as we've been reporting, is that there were -- there were meetings between trump advisers, including jared kushner, his son-in-law, sergey kislyak to include conversations about sanctions and apparently was assuring kislyak, once trump came into office, he would try to ease up on those sanctions. so those sorts of things were going on in that period even as
the obama administration was trying to lay the ground work for some measures that would try to deter russia from carrying out another campaign like this in the future. >> carrie, i wanted ellen to bring us through the end of the timetable that the piece covers because i want to ask you, this answered many questions about what was happening during the obama presidency but it's raised more red flags what has happened since the election day forward. >> it raises an issue of -- the piece really demonstrated the intelligence community's limits. it informs the president as sort of its top-level customer and provides information upon which those individuals can make decision. what it showed us is that the intelligence community can be
reporting information through very secure channels to the president and his leadership team. but the intelligence community is limited regarding what it can actually do about any of this. and so that played obviously through this time period in the summer of 2016 and up until the election in november when the intelligence community was providing information but really had to wait for policy makers to make decisions about what they could release publicly, what steps might be taken to respond or not to respond. so we're probably seeing that all the way up to today where even if the intelligence community has information perhaps about future threats or ongoing ability to influence our electoral to take that information and act on it. >> all right. thank you. you're all taking with us. ellen gets to go because she's been doing this all day long.
thank you for being with us. thank you for this extraordinary reporting. you and your colleagues have put incredible new information into the public sphere and we're grateful for that. coming up, how did russia deal with america when congress and the president can't even get on the same page. that's next. , there's no other way to say this. it's over. i've found a permanent escape from monotony. together, we are perfectly balanced. our senses awake. our hearts racing as one. i know this is sudden, but they say...if you love something set it free. see you around, giulia he's happy.t's with him? your family's finally eating vegetables thanks to our birds eye voila skillet meals. and they only take 15 minutes to make. ahh!
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us. tom, let me start with you. i follow you on twitter. i'm a big fan of everything that you muse about all day long. trump repeatedly flattered vladimir putin during not just the republican primary but really throughout the campaign and i wonder if that seems more like an issue to you now in light of what has been posted by "the washington post"? >> it's remarkable because at some point even candidate trump had to have heard the rumbles coming from within the government. it's the one policy that the president has had consistently from the campaign -- through for a campaigner and candidate who has changed his mind repeatedly. russia has been his polar star, his north star. he's never wavered from that position. >> why do you think that is? >> because he genuinely admires
vladimir putin. i don't think he really comprehends the geopolitical repercussions of this. i think that he's just decided that he's going to keep -- as he does with so many other things, he's going to double and triple down on issues that people are opposing him about. >> jeremy, all of the things that cross your desk, how weird is it to all of the people that work in the buildings that we have a president who has such generous things to say about someone who boasts about cracking down on dissonance until he is able to work them
over and win fans. you were talking about his resistance to restating our commitment to defending our european allies. how weird is it for those who work in the national security establishment at the pentagon or cia to have a president who is so oriented the way that tom described him? >> i was at the pentagon all day today. i talk to folks all the time and they are shaking their head at why the president is taking this approach on russia that's been inconsistent with bipartisan foreign policy and is inconsistent with the way that national security hawks has approached this issue. again, just to recap, he has allowed russia to get away with so much in europe and in the middle east and has invited them into the oval office. he's talked about giving back the two intelligence compounds that we took away and based inside the united states.
the only implication that i can think of with regard to the election is not that he's just not doing anything about it but he welcomes it because it benefits him. >> carrie, let me ask you about that. in the context of this backdrop of an investigation, a special counsel investigation, into potential ties between trump's orbit and russia, how does this play, this additional information about how once the transfer of power has taken place, basically nothing happens. basically, the united states refused to do anything that we know of to stop russian attempts to meddle in our democracy. >> here's what we're seeing at the big picture. a president who has been disjointed from the policies of sort of traditional republican national security positions but also disjointed from his own administration. so a couple weeks ago, the direct for of national
intelligence dan coats testified about the threat that russia poses across a variety of arenas, military, cyber, diplomatic to u.s. national security interests. that is this administration's director of national intelligence, the danger that russia poses to the u.s. when he was asked in that interview, he mentioned something about horrible surveillance. it is this administration's position to support the renal of surveillance authorities that are expiring at the ends of this year. so what we're seeing is a distance and disjointedness between things that the president says, positions that the president seems to take and what the policies of the government seem to be in some areas of national security and foreign policy. >> tom, pick up on that and just the messages coming out of congress which was voted 98-2. i'm sure you're hardened by that
and a white house that, as we've been discussing all evening, is so reluctant to do anything that appears to be harsh when it comes to russia. >> well, i think part of that is that the senate does have, in this case, a larger view of american foreign policy. the white house is seeing everything through the lens of domestic politics and how it affects the president. there's another part, to undo anything barack obama did. it seems like the other constant principle in this administration is if it was an act that barack obama took, it was a bad act and has to be rolled back and if opposing russia was an obama policy, then it's opposite day and we have to do the exact opposite of whatever barack obama was doing. >> it's like a "seinfeld" episode. i think you're right. thank you, tom, jeremy and carrie. coming up, reaction to this from a member of the house.
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it seems like he was in a damned if he does and damned if he doesn't situation. how do you address this? >> hindsight is 20/20. >> of course. >> i think he felt that everything was on line for hillary clinton to win and we'd deal with this russian problem. unfortunately, that scenario did not take place. we've got to fix this problem. the problem is what russia did, when they did it, how they did it and how do we prevent them from doing anything like that in the future. so it's clear from this report that the former president put things in place for the current president to take advange of it if he should choose. >> any confidence that he will -- >> he's not done it thus far. we've seen him joking and giving intelligence information in the white house to the very same
russians. >> let me ask you quickly, what do we do as a country to protect ourselves from russia? >> i think that number one, what we should do is acknowledge first and foremost what 16 members -- 16 intelligence agencies have all told us, that russia was involved. the president of the united states will not admit that russia was involved in this election. secondly, we should listen to them. i think that some of the covert actions taken by the president are things that the president in the executive branch and the current president should -- we have is it at our disposal to utilize. thirdly, we have crippled russia's economy. we've got to make sure that those multilateral sanctions continue until such time that russia pulls back. >> let me ask you, do you think that the president obstructed justice by basically threatening jim comey on e-mail that he had tapes in trying to influence how he would testify about their interactions? >> i think those dots are
starting to be connected. >> for obstruction of justice? >> yeah. i think what we need to do is make sure there's a thorough investigation and i think the president is nervous. that's why you hear him talking about the special prosecutor now and doubting what he wants to do. the president is playing his game show in the white house. and that's what he's trying to do. but this is serious business and i think with the addition of this should be an independent commission and we should be looking at this matter to talk about what we should do to make sure what russia and no one else gets to penetrate our system. >> i can talk to you all night but i want to ask you about the white house's bungled efforts to reach out to the black caucus. rather famously now the president asked april ryan, a fantastic journalist, if she would reach out to you guys. what do you make of the whole
messy picture, the white house's efforts to reach out with the congressional black caucus in a meaningful way? >> well, there's no substance to it. remember, what he did is rolled in a whole bunch of celebrities at the beginning and right after he got elected as if he was going to do something. nothing happened. so it was photo ops. we're not going to be part of a photo op. we're about serious business and serious issues we want to make sure your secretary is accessible so we can talk about what we can do to change the circumstances throughout you are began and rural america that affects african-americans and others because the truth of the matter is, many of the issues that we're talking about, it affects african-americans and affects other individuals. >> of course. >> it affects people in
appalachia and poor people and middle-class individuals and we need the substantive issues to be dealt with, not just a photo op. >> if anything changes, keep us updated. >> coming up, a new morning ritual before president trump heads to the office. drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. she also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. woman: for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function, so i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness,
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chronicling it and joining our conversation, the white house press pool, "washington post" phil philip brucker and matt. i don't know what it's like to work at "the washington post." you could hear me screams as i got locked out of my report but tell me what this morning ritual. >> it doesn't happen every morning. but many mornings he's been getting on the morning early. like 6:30, 7:00 in the morning to call one of his lawyers or maybe one of his outside advisers on this legal team to walk through russia stuff.
and by the time he shows up, he's gotten the russia stuff out of his system? that's the goal at least. >> they still find him tweeting and weighing in and i guess it's all relative. >> he doesn't compartmentalize this well together at all. it fuses together. with these twitter posts, he turns into a rant and he's always thinking about russia. it's a cloud, as he puts it, that hangs over his presidency. >> shannon, with pulling out of the paris accord, the establishment folks were on the
dec decline. philip has said that he's constantly mad at his staff and what are you hearing about that internal dynamic? >> i think this who is up and wn, rt of it is by design. and they were putting people in there with perspectives and reince priebus from the rnc and this chaos was created by design. i don't think it's going anywhere. part of the issue is the more the members of the team are attacked, the more the president comes to their defense.
he rallies behind them. at some point, is reince priebus going to be here? maybe not. the president is sticking by his team. that could change tomorrow but -- >> matt, let me get you on the record on not just this question about staff chaos because there's a parallel that we thought once he was president after being nominee that he would change. donald trump said, i'm not going to change. i am who i am. and then they thought once he was under investigation he would change. and then once he had personal lawyers, he might start tweeting. donald trump is never going to chge. is there still an expectation game in washington or on the
hill that anything is going to change? >> you're right. there's been this pattern. people realize now at this point that the donald trump who they see every day, who they see on twitter and at these wild press conferences, that is president donald trump. whenever people think after a congressional address, oh, now he's being more serious and more sober. that's not the day-to-day trump, the trump you see on twitter is donald trump. and for folks on the hill that's a frustrating and worrisome reality. >> investigating all of these questions surrounding russia, basically it includes the language of donald trump's tweet to respond to the question about whether or not there were tapes of the comey interactions. can you talk about that and whether you think that's just another sort of domino in the good old days to fall.
>> well, president trump likes to make history. but look, the staff at the white house are very reticent to get ahead of the president and i think there's a real eagerness to let the tweets speak for itself, which is a phrase you hear over and over from the press secretaries at the white house. so we'll see how this goes. >> it's going to be an emoji by the end of the year. these three are sticking with me. coming up, is the republican health care bill going down thanks to republicans? we're back after this. (vo) pro plan bright mind
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this form i will not support it. >> that was senator dean heller of nevada announcing that he will not support the bill in the current form. he's the fifth senator, delivering a blow to mitch mcconnell who can only afford to lose two gop votes on his health care bill. philip rucker, do you think mitch mcconnell wants this bill to pass or do you think in his mind he got it done? >> well, he's going to be working through the weekend to try to cobble these votes together and bring along some of his members and so i think, yes, he'd like it to pass but, you're right, the hard work is done in terms of just getting a bill out there. i think he's very eager to just get this issue voted on once and for all and move on and if it passes, great. if not, move on to tax reform and some of these other issues. >> shannon, your news
organization has painted a picture of the president completely obsessed with the russia investigation. do you have any evidence that he's involved in any way that's helpful or constructive in rounding up votes for the senate health care plan? >> well, when it came to what happened in the house, there was arm twisting, phone calls, you kno know, pleading members to come on board and they struck the deals and brought everybody together in the house. i think something similar will happen in the senate. the president's political capital is limited. depending on your district, he's the most popular or the most toxic. so i think negotiating and wr wrangling and deal making will be made and mike pence continues to run the hill for this administration. >> let me put up your piece, matthew, on a new challenge from the right coming to senator
heller. and the quote we have from it is that a barrage of attacks from heller, the offensive was announced just hours after heller declared he would oppose the obamacare repeal bill. explain the politics for someone like heller of opposing this bill, which has opposition from the far right as well. >> that changes the dynamic for heller, having this affiliated group run by former campaign aides. >> it's a lot of money in nevada. >> it is. he's facing re-election in 2018 so he needs to be careful if he picks a lot of people off medicaid, that's dangerous for him going into election in the purple state. but the trump folks say, if you don't come on board, we'll show you the power of our base and get a candidate in the primary and knock you out before the
general. heller has political calculus to make there. >> i'm thinking portman is vulnerable to that kind of attack and have serious concerns about the medicaid dollars. what are the other senators that need to watch out? >> he just won re-election so he can wait a while. corey gardener has to be worried about that and then we have these other moderate republicans like susan collinses and lisa murkowski and you have mike lee and ted cruz and rand paul who, if you make it any more moderate, you might lose their votes. they haven't come on board to support the bill as it exists right now. >> shannon, let me get your thoughts before we go. seven minutes before the clock strikes 12:00. what was the week that was in politics? to me, it feels like jenga.
you lose the conservatives or the moderates. where do they go from here? >> there's a deadline of july 4th that's been set. i don't think they'll have the votes by then. i think in the end there will be the negotiating and the deals struck where you end up with a bill that no one really likes but everyone can kind of agree on and it will go to the house and be the same thing and in the end we'll have a health care bill that, again, no one really liket it's the best that they can do and republicans are going to be stuck owning this and the public, i think, will be left looking at this as sort of the classic washington swamp, you know, mentality of having a bill that people could just sort of cobble together and swallow but no one's really proud of. >> and if they're lucky, the president will call it mean or needs more heart. a trump face gets an important white house gig. we're back after this.
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summertime. badda book. badda boom. got you a shirt! ...i kept the receipt... book now at choicehotels.com 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. huh, crisis averted. the trump family hired a familiar face today. the current director of rooms at the trump international hotel in washington, d.c., will become the new chief usher at the white house. obama's usher was fired in may. philip and matthew are still
with me. philip, can i get you on the record on the president's response tonight to your paper's blockbuster story about the russia hacking attempt. he basically said now we know that obama knew and didn't do anything. doesn't that just draw attention to the fact that he's done even less? >> yeah. two things come to mind. one is, if obama didn't do anything, what is trump doing? not really much at all. the other thing is, there's a lot of new information in that story, a breathtaking story, really. we already knew that obama knew before the election that russia was meddling in the election because the u.s. government announced its findings publicly, you know, several weeks before the election. so i don't know what the president was getting at there. >> they sound like alternative facts to me. but i wonder, shannon, if you can make any sense of sort of the inability of the white house to restrain this president from weighing in on topics on which
he's far more vulnerable than the people he attacks. >> i guess as we sort of talked about it earlier, don't expect him to change. he is someone who leans into controversy and shoots from the hip. he's always been that way. it seems to be working out for him so far as he says he's president and we're not. so i know his personal friends have tried to intervene. his staff has tried to intervene and his lawyers have intervened, as other people have said. he's a 71-year-old man now. don't expect him to change. >> matthew, just quickly, do you think there's anything about being under fbi scrutiny that will diminish the way we see him responding to big blockbuster news stories? >> i think he can't resist. he likes being in the spotlight and likes punching back when he feels like he's being attacked. he's going to keep punching back. >> all right. we'll prepare ourselves. thank you, philip, shannon and
matthew. that does it for us. brian will be back on monday. you can catch me at 4:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc. thank you for being with us and good night from new york. due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. a young man plummets to his death when he crashes through a 25th floor window of the a tulsa high-rise. shockingly, his wife, two months away from giving birth, is charged with his murder in i know what happened. i was the only other person there and i will always maintain my innocence. >> now, her future lie in the hands of a judge. >>