tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 8, 2017 12:00am-1:00am PDT
>> what we know about everything that happened. vladimir putin met the donald trump behind closed doors. >> it is a forgery. >> the trump/russia fortunateries. happened. and vladimir putin, with donald trump behind closed doors. >> then, springing the trap. the fallout on rachel mad w maddow's report. >> we don't know who is doing it, but we're working on it. >> and the man running ethics for president trump suddenly resigns.
killed about, the american reporters covering their meeting. >> thank you. the two met behind closed doors for more than two hours. afterward, the only other american, secretary of state tillerson, claimed putin was pressed. >> the president opened the meeting with president putin by raising concerns of the american people regarding russian
interference in the 2016 election. they had a very robust and lengthy exchange on the subject. the president pressed president putin on more than one occasion involving russian involvement. president putin denied such involvement as i think he has in the past. >> but tillerson's counter part emerged from the meeting with a very different story. >> translator: president trump has said that he has heard clear declarations from mr. trump that russian involvement has not interfered in the elections and he accepts the things that mr. putin has said. >> he semis this. they said lavrov's comments were not accurate. an unnamed official. while we have no way of saying what was said in private, we can he what president trump said in public.
think it was probably other people and/or countries, and i see nothing wrong with that statement. nobody really knows. nobody really knows for sure. >> that was yesterday. this is giving the russian award. >> i think what the two presidents i think rightly focused on is how do we move forward? how do we move forward from here sf it's not clear to me that we will ever come to some agreed-upon resolution of that question between the two nations. >> many accounts indicate that russian election interference hasn't stopped here or abroad and it doesn't appear to be just elections. we learned yesterday, for example, that russians are suspected of hacking the nuclear sites in the u.s. a top pick did not even come up.
joining me now from iraq, christopher hill. your reaction to the news that came out of today's meeting. >> well, first of all, i think it was a pretty successful meeting by all accounts. i was not very astonished that president trump talked about the hacking and putin denied and it president trump said okay, let's move ahead. what i thought was interesting, it appears that rex tillerson had a good day. he showed that he was able to put his imprint on some of the work they're doing. especially that deal and how it works out in syria. >> the big takeaway, they are announcing the cease fire had southwest syria, if i'll not mistaken. in some ways, that has been a big thing trump has signaled for a long time. working with isis and fundamentally being fine with assad staying. >> i think ultimately, that is the idea. the problem is the trump administration hasn't told us,
what is the goal in syria? they don't seem to indicate, what do we want? do we want a unity state? do we want a parliament system? when they can define that, and maybe harmonize that with other players, including russia, then we have a chance of making the cease fire hold. i think it was small step in a small area in southwestern syria and i think they're trying to see if they can start process there. it was a fairly deafening silence on the issue of north korea. i don't think russia gave us anything at all. if someone pointed a nuclear missile at them, they would know what to do about it. i'll a little disappointed at how that conversation is turning out. >> the other issue i have, and i would be curious to your
response. it seems there's not a particularly reliable narrator for what happened in that room. we have contrasting versions of what happened. the and there is a sort of grain of salt that it appears you have to take all accounts with. >> you've got it. and it is not unusual to get two different readings of a meeting, lavrov and his customary charlieing way, that was quite at odds with what secretary of state tillerson said. that's why there are note takers. they sit on the side of the room and they take notes. apparently president trump didn't want anyone else in the room. i guess he looks at every note taker and thinks of that person as being a leaker. but there are reasons you have note takers.
>> there was a moment i want to play jumped out at me. take a listen. >> thank you. >> that's putin leaning over and saying to president trump, these are the ones that insulted you. pointing to the press core. given that numerous journal the i haves in russia have been murdered in cold blood, and often thought to be partly at the hands of putin or his surrogates, what did you make of that moment? >> to be frank, these two leaders have raised tastelessness to an art form. it is kinds of appalling that putin would do that. i think our president needs to be reminded now and again that there is a little dignity of this business and he'd better lay off the press. it doesn't play well overseas or this country either. in this country, it is a mosh pit on everything. overseas, i don't think he should be playing game. >> the posture from tillerson
and the president, and it seems to be what the russians want as well. let's just cabin that whole unpleasantness around the election. who is to say what really happened. and work together on mutual areas of shared interest. again, fine for the latter part. you do wonder what that means for what other future operations the russians may undertake. >> well, fair enough. there's an old adage that lawyers look backwards and diplomats look forward. and i think tillerson is trying to figure out what can be done as he looks forward. it is pretty appalling issue. where if it is true, if foreign minister lavrov's comment that president trump semied putin's explanation, then you kind of wonder, is he putting more faith in the kgb than the cia? there are big problems here.
and i don't think we can let this go. now, tillerson was suggesting we come up with something and i think he was hinting at the fact we're all a little concerned about what would happen in the 2018th elections, if the russians were just warming up in 2016. i think this is quite an assault on russia's part on our process. and i think we have to be not only extremely vigilant but really, really pushing back the russians. and president obama did that with a few sanctions at the he believed there. frankly, this is a lot more serious than whether or not they get to use a weekend house if new york. >> ambassador christopher hill, thank you for being with me tonight. >> thank you. joining me now, moscow journalist, and the former cbs moscow correspondent, jonathan sanders. i'll start with you as someone who covered russian politics and putin specifically. what do you think he was looking for out of this meeting? >> he got everything he was
looking for. first of all, the sentence, the two presidents. so he looked presidential. he was on the national, international stage as an equal to the most powerful man in the world. his probe to do something in syria has turned out to be quite been official for him. when they sent the russian earl into syria, president obama said it will be a quagmire. that quagmire is leading to a de-escalation and a peace process, and the very steps being taken have three routes. one is a city in kazakhstan where they started negotiating deconflictization. two is what john kerry was doing in the last days of the obama administration. and three is the dialogue after
the shootdown of the syrian plane that went on between the american military and the russian military. that's leading to the beginning of the end of the war in spoir has gone on for seven years exclaimed 400,000 lives. that's a significant step forward. putin didn't get everything he wanted. we didn't hear putin saying anything to mr. trump about american exercises, military exercises in the baltic states. something that has ignored a lot of russians. so wasn't a perfect day for both sides bust it was a big plus for mr. trump, mr. putin, mr. tillerson, and always for sergei lavrov. and this does sflog fierce cold war atmosphere that has been whipping around us for so long. especially whipping around us on cable news programs. >> the idea of meddling, which is this word that keeps coming up. there is an interesting statement that tillerson said, we sort of agreed not to meddle in each other's internal affairs. and this has been something both
the chinese and the russians have been laser focused on. the u.s. should keep its mouth shut about anything happening internalfully russia. and that seemed to me like a takeaway for putin. something that he has long sought. >> i feel like that is a pretty standard response when it comes to russian politics. they like to point to what the united states has done. whether it be meddling and other countries. electoral processes, regime change, things like that. so this was an opportunity for russia to say the same thing. i'm surprised that trump brought up the election tracking issue on. one hand, you have to realize that no matter what he would have done, people here are going to be skeptical of him because there have been so many questions around this administration. so what would have been enough to bring it up in a more
forceful manner rather than just saying, okay, we discussed it. my other question, other point that i want to make, we need to come up with a way of being tough on that issue. sanctions just don't work. and jonathan, you would know this. you spent a lot of time in moscow. the way the russians respond to pressure or childing from the international community, to keep doing it. to turn inward. that may be true with public perception. but the sanctions, after crimea have created significant hardship and upper rungs. it has been clear the russian state wants them lifted. >> and chris, they're on their way to being lifted. if the very smart way we saw tillerson trot out just before the meeting, that they've appointed a special
representative to deal with ukraine on the eastern regions, to begin to negotiate that and the man is supposed to be in moscow coming up, that's a very cher way to push this forward. >> i don't see how -- i don't 19 interrupt you. i don't see how that's possible given the political dynamics that president trump is dealing with at homes. russians went in going that was a nonstarter. >> not today, not tomorrow. but in six months, perhaps. >> that's the question, right? they're sort of concrete things the administration can do that putin would like to see they will do. give back as a starting point, the two compounds were seized as kind of retribution for the election activities. and then eventually lifting sanctions. there's tremendous pressure. at the corner of all this is this very big unresolved issue. that there was a sustained and sophisticated effort to criminally sabotage a campaign in the u.s. and one that has not been resolved or foresworn in any way.
it seems hard to move on to other issues to a degree it is left hanging out there. >> chris, when the hearings began, senator warner said, oh, my. this is like propaganda on steroids. what's the surprise? propaganda? or steroids? the russians have been interested in doing things in american elections since 1920. it was ham handed before. now digital technology has changed things. we have to ask the basic question underlying this. why are they so good at hacking? why are they so good at cyber warfare? and why are we not particularly up to snuff and up to speed? the scary answer may be, their math education system far superior to ours. >> i think you have a good point in terms of human resources and people who are skilled at this.
russia is very rich that way. >> true. that sounds -- uncomfortably close to blaming the bank for being ronald. we know that these things can happen. you can penetrate all sorts of inboxes and people get good at this. but there's a violation here that remains massively unresolved. and back to your point, from the context of any political situation that will move forward in this relationship, it can't just hang around as an unresolved thing and expect the politics to change. thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you. ahead, can president trump agree to disagree? the conflicting reports and the reaction from capitol hill. meddling in another election process, we know about russia is trying to meddle with democracies. hey you've gotta see this. c'mon.
no. alright, see you down there. mmm, fine. okay, what do we got? okay, watch this. do the thing we talked about. what do we say? it's going to be great. watch. remember what we were just saying? go irish! see that? yes! i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. >> even house speaker paul ryan can admit that what has been so hard, that russia interfered in the 2016 election, according to the russian version he with what
happened today, the president accepted putin's denial of any involvement in the election. giving equal credence to the u.s. intel xhublt's findings is a grave dereliction. the two -- >> first your response to this idea of a working group between the united states and russia to explore election interference or cyber security. >> well, you know, i hope that the american people won't fall for that kind of putting together of some kind of commission to deal with hacking and that's what they're describing. as a matter of fact, i think americans should be very, very concerned that this president sat down with putin who we know hacked into our election system to the dnc, and to many of the states that are now coming forward with this information. and to sit down with him and not have a real discussion. to delve into real concerns about what's happening and get a commitment from putin that they would never do it again americans want to hear that conversation. obviously, this president brought it into the room. there was. so pressure, from the media and everybody else, he could not afford to go into that room and
not pretend he was dealing with the issue. he didn't deal with it. he took it up first. it was dismissed. it was intractable. now let's move on. and this thing about a commission and also, what they're going to do with syria and having some kind of cessation of the war there. i don't know if putin was in a position to negotiate and make all the differences for syria. not that i care about assad. but i would assume that he would have something to say about it. i think we're getting played by our president and certainly by putin. i don't like the idea that our president, again, would go into
how honored he is to meet with him and how in fact they're going to start meeting together. this is ball sanctions. of course, tillerson was in the room because that's at the top of his agenda. to lift the sanctions so they can drill into the arctic. you have trump who is agreeing to lift the sanctions and tillerson with the foreign minister of russia, of course, who is -- he is supporting whatever mr. putin wants to do and whatever his country wants. that's what this is all about. >> i want to ask but a very strange thing happened right before the meeting. i don't know anything about what the dnc did. but them they fully cooperated with the requests that the filibuster made. so this guy is unhinged. and i think he is under so much pressure from this russian are investigation that when he is in the corner, all he does is he strikes back and he doesn't care about whether anything is true
or not true. >> what did you make of that statement from the president? >> well, he doesn't know the difference between what podesta's role was with the dnc and clinton. what he thought he was setting up was this proof that we have no proof. that's what putin has said. that's what he continues to say. it is almost in your face, you can say what you want but you don't have any proof. i think this president, trump
was playing into that and trying to say, well, you know, they have proof if they wanted to share it but they wouldn't let us see it so they must not have any proof. he thought when he did that, that he was nailing podesta. because he had control of the dnc and the server so we can dismiss that as another trump not knowing what he's talking about, not knowing what he's doing, and trying to give some cover to putin. that's what that is all about. people, we must keep our eye on these sanctions. first of all, the united states senate has passed legislation. very strong lotion sanctions. we must support that. because putin didn't just the want trump elected because he didn't like hillary. it is because he knew that trump would be a part of helping to lift those sanctions. and i call the kremlin klan all of those allies of the president who will benefit from it.
who have indicated their connections to russia and to putin and the oligarchs. so they're trying to play us. we should not buy into anything that we've heard happened. because we don't really know. and he does not want us to know. he wants us to be in that position where we're trying to figure out what they said and we can't be certain. it is not substantive and we have to keep our eyes on sanctions. >> thank you for joining me tonight. >> you're welcome. >> the ethics office is stepping down. i'll ask him why he is leaving now.
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i could actually run my business. i could run my business and run government at the same time. i don't like the way that looks but i would be able to do it if i wanted to. i could run the trump organization. great, great company. and could i run the company -- the country. i would do a great job but i
don't want to do that. >> the big question was how donald trump, the country's first real estate mogul president who to this day has not released the tax returns works resolve the vast potential conflicts of interest. they tweeted to then president-elect, it is good for you, very good for america. oge applauds the decision. bravo. og empbl is delighted that you have decided to divest your businesses. of course, he really hadn't decided to do and it the man goading him to do so would become the lone voice in the federal government publicly taking a stand against corruption in the administration and risking his job to do it. after the president announced he would not divest from his business, instead turning over control to his sons, he condemned it in his speech. >> stepping back from running his positions is meaningless from a conflicts of interest
perspective. this is not a blind trust. not even close. the only thing it has in common is the label, trust. nothing short of divestiture will resolve these conflicts. >> that prompted had chaffetz. it drew a warning from the incoming white house chief of staff. >> the head of the government ethics ought to be careful. he is becoming extremely political. apparently may have publicly supported hillary clinton. so i'm not so sure what this person in government ethics, what sort of standing he has anymore in giving these opinions. >> but schaub continues to take on the administration. and forcing the white house to disclose numerous ethics waivers they granted to senior staff. now six months before the end of
now the outgoing director of the office of government ethics. let me start with this. i think it is important to lay this down. what is your job? what are you tasked with doing at oge? >> well, hi, chris, it's nice to be here. the office of government ethics is the prevention part of the government west work the administration, not only presidential appointees but also rank and file employees. we help then disclose their financial conflicts of interest. we're there to solve problems in advance. that's what i've been doing under three presseses now and i've really enjoyed the job. >> my understanding is this grows out of watergate. you are there because there are criminal statutes, conflict of interest laws, that people might violate and you're there to protect them from doing that. essentially. >> that's right. as i said, we're the prevention mechanism so we're really
helping to set people twoe steps back from the line. hopefully, only inadvertent. these are extremely complicated laws. they're nuanced and always past after the last crisis. our job is to serve as the translator and to help find ways to make they will work together. and we have a really big education foundation ensure that federal employees, or political appointees, understand the rules. and we often work very closely to prevent those problems. >> you said you served under three presseses. how different was this than the other two? >> well, i have only got really good things to say about the ethics program that president bush ran and the ethic program that president obama ran. we got off to kind of a good start initial when i this
administration because he had picked an the excellent transition team and we worked an outside nonprofit group to bring the two campaigns transition teams together and work them and help make sure they were ready for the transition. and i have to say a great respect for both teams. i saenlt congratulations e-mail to the winning team and i sincerely told them i was looking forward to working with they will i got a very nice message back saying they felt supported by oge and were looking forward to getting down to the task at handled. and then they were replaced about our current council of the president. since then i would stay ethics program has been a very serious disappointment in the white house. >> what do you mean by that? >> the ethics program, is a compliance based program in many ways. we have very basic bare bones
criminal laws, civil laws, administrative regulations, that say here's the absolute minimum you're going to do. that's just the skeleton. and the meet of the program has been the ethical traditions and the norms that has evolved over 40 years. and we're able to say, in most cases, that we have the gold standard of ethics programs internationally. and that federal employees are not just merely not criminals. that appointees are not just avoiding violating laws but they go further and come apply with those traditions. an example is that with presidential nominees, the primary criminal conflict of interest statute says you can't participate in something where you have a conflict of interest. so you can come into government and keep all of your could not
financial interests and not run afoul of that law if you were will to put your feet up on that zpeks read your newspaper all day and do your job. that's unworkable. we take a risk management approach. we set up other mechanisms to prevent conflicts of interest and we are two steps back from the line. the consistent approach that i'm running into has been, if it is not illegal, we're going to do it. if there's an argument, we're going to do it. that has undermined the program that has existed for four decades. >> what i'm hearing is they have taken an aggressive posture in terms of where they can set up with respect to the line on conflicts, particularly. this is a really important question. your job is to certify that there's no conflicts. i want to talk about, i want to you give me this. can you definitively say that everyone in the white house including the president, free of conflicts of interest? >> well no. we've received very little
information about what the individuals in the white house do on a day-to-day basis for a living. they've negotiated ethics agreements and they've refused to even let the office of government ethics see it. we've asked for information. it is like pulling teeth. weeks go by before we get answers in many cases. after i issued a data call for all the waivers and notifications that were issued at the end of april, they refused to anxious any questions from my staff whether any individuals had received waivers.
>> our vice president cares very deeply about space policy. vice president pence promised that our administration, because mike's very much into space, would revive the national space council. >> that's from an executive order signing last weekend in which buzz aldrin was present. buzz didn't seem equally enthusiastic. keep an eye on his expression. >> everybody wants to be on this board. people that you wouldn't have believed loved what we're doing so much they want to be with some of the most successful people in the world want to be on this board. i felt very strongly about it. i felt strongly about it for a long time. i used to say before doing what i did, i used to say what happened. why aren't we moving forward. at some point in the future, we're going to look back and say how did we do it without space. >> yesterday while president trump was in germany, vice
mike pence sounded pretty excited about the future of space exploration while speaking at the kennedy space station yesterday. >> here from this bridge to space, our nation will return to the moon. and we will put american boots on the face of mars. [ applause ] >> boots on the ground on mars. it was during the tour, though, that pence really showed off his space fandom. when he saw this sign, oh, you bet it wasn't going to happen him from slapping a land on that critical piece of space hardware, despite a sign reading do not touch. pence embraced the moment today tweeting out an apology saying marco rubio dared him to do it. nasa issued its retroactive blessing. it was okay to touch the
did you watch rachel's show last night? she led it with a 20-minute exclusive report about what appeared to be a top secret nsa document sent into the tip line that purported to show that a member of the trump campaign was working with the russians on hacking during the election last year. but after maddow and her staff consulted experts who have worked with documents like this, the conclusion was based on several telltale signs the document they received was a fake. >> the big red flag for us is that the document we were given -- this is part of what made it seem so red hot -- it names on american citizen. even if the typos and the weird spacing and the other odd stuff had snuck through for some reason, an american citizen's name would not have snuck through. not at this level of an nsa report. that our document contains an american name spelled out, that says to experienced people who've worked with this stuff that what we got is forged. it's fake.
>> now news organizations can pay a stiff price for running with things they get from questionable tips and sources. as rachel reminded us it was in 2004 that dan rather and cbs news got hold of documents that it's fake. >> now news organizations can pay a stiff price for running with things they get from questionable tips and sources. as rachel reminded us it was in 2004 that dan rather and cbs news got hold of documents that purported to highlight details of george w. bush's national guard business. the comes whose origin was murky. they blew up ending rather's career and damaging that news
organization. it also killed any further reporting into george w. bush's military service during that election year. now someone is shopping fake trump collusion documents perhaps with a similar goal in mind. >> whether or not the trump campaign did it, one way to stab in the heart aggressive american reporting on that subject is to lay traps for american journalists reporting on it. trick news organizations to report what appears to be evidence of what happened and then after the fact blow that reporting up. you hurt the credibility of that news organization. you also cast a shadow over any similar reporting in the future. whether or not it's true. right? even if it's true you plant a permanent question. a permanent asterisk. a permanent who knows. as to whether that too might be false like that other story. whether that too might be based on fake evidence. so head's up, everybody. part of the defense against this trump-russia story includes somebody presenting a classified report and shopping it to other news organizations. >> david k. johnson, next.
and joining me now, david k. johnson, a long time investigating reporter. and i thought of you because you got your hands on this document which was the front page of a donald trump tax return. and i have to imagine when i heard about this, the first thought is, is it a fake and is this -- am i holding dynamite in my hands that if i run with it and it is a fake i'm blown up. >> right. and in that case the white house authenticated the document. but there is a real serious problem we're going to see more of in the future, chris, with fabricating documents to mislead news organizations. it's not entirely new. you may recall in the george w. bush documents case that affected dan rather and cbs that
while the documents were shown to be fakes, kate and another reporter at the "the new york times" interviewed the general's secretary who said well, you know, that's exactly what he was saying at the time in the office and he did have documents though i didn't type them. in that case and others that i'm aware of, there have been cases where you take a document you know is real, and we recreate what will be exposed as a fabrication to discredit the issue. >> so the broader thing to me at this moment is, governor paul lepage in maine, a big trump supporters with tells the media something. let's flood the tip lines with fake tips and times saying the that the white house tried to do this. i know people who have said the white house has attempted to shop them fake story to get them to run it so they can rebut them because it is a valuable,
particularly in the moment in this white house to call this fake news. what do you about that? >> you have to be extremely careful with documents that don't come out of a public report. if you copy it out of the courthouse record, that's one thing. and if it's too good to be true it probably is. when i was exposing the lapd's massive worldwide spying, i got a document one day that was unbelievably juicy and i looked at it and said this is too good, it's too new. and when i -- i came to learn years later from a senior officer that in fact it was planted in an effort to discredit me. you have to be careful when handling documents to authenticate them and you have to show them to the people you're going to write about or broadcast about and get their responses to it.
>> and there is at this point this sort of ratcheting up of the stakes, because of this idea of fake news that if you -- there's a real incentive on the part of the white house to kind of get people to get stuff wrong, even on sort of easy stuff, not big cloak and dagger stuff with documents being fabricated but easy stuff. because at this point it's such a kind of core narrative that they're telling the country about basically them against a duplicitous press. >> let's remember that vladimir putin in his sophisticated operation has an interest to flooding the u.s. and europe journalists with fake documents. it's a fundamental problem with democracy. >> we will see you back in new york on monday night. now, here's rachel.
>> if it's if the illegal we're going to do it np that's a the consistent approach i'm watched meeting of his presidency. but this morning donald trump was focused on someone else. hillary clinton's campaign chairman john podesta. tonight podesta responds. "the 11th hour" begins now np. good evening ink from our nbc news headquarters in new york. in for brian williams opinion day 169 of the trump administration saw the president trump who spent most of the 169 days of his presidency under the specter of the russian role in 2016 election sitting down with vladimir putin. the meeting was scheduled 30 minutes and lasted more than two hours. in front of the ca