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deal for you. let me try to ask two or three questions, nailing down the torture memo issue. i want to follow up on what you said earlier. you said in your time in the deputy attorney general's office, you don't recall referring to or commenting on any memo written. and you say you provided general information and legal support regarding the legal standards for interrogation. i want to g you abo-- ask you ae specific memo written by daniel levin. and it says the criminal division and the department of justice reviewed this memorandum
that it occurs below. all of the torture techniques, like water boarding, would still be legal under the new memo, and this it expressly had the permission of your division. do recall reviewing and approving that memo? >> i don't recall reviewing and approving that memo, but we drew a line about what the criminal divisions appropriate role was. that the criminal division should be consulted on the general meaning of the statue. what the elements are, how you define what the elements are. what i did not think was appropriate for the general division, is review of
particular interrogation techniques. that is because even at the time, i believe, we were starting to investigate, and in one case it lead to prosecution, cases where techniques went too far. i did not think it was appropriate for the criminal division to be setting interrogation policy or providing legal advice on a going forward basis. >> the memo does not make that distinction. it simply says the criminal division has set forth this below, which is interrogation techniques. i want you to look at this, i'm not trying to stump you here. take a look at it and see if you can put it in context for me. tell me if i'm missing something about this, but it appears it went through your division, and i would like to hear from you
have you have had time to look at it and respond if that's fair. >> okay. >> two other things, you worked with chris christie? >> coming up on 2:03 eastern time. we're getting to the last rounds of questioning by those who asked for a second round of questioning. we would have thought that the nominee was allowed a break for lunch by now, but apparently they're going to just pitush through. time for us to look at what we have just witnessed in terms of questions and answers and tone. let's do that before we turn over our coverage to nbc's katie ture standing by. let's talk to matt, spokesman to
the attorney general. matt, what were the highlights to you, what do you make of the tone and tenor? >> first, an impressive performance i think. a number of marks that every senior nominee position has to hit. you have to come in and talk about how you will be independent, you will follow the facts where they lead, in investigations, how you will not be bothered by political interference. he hit all of those that would have been news if he hadn't, but it was important to say it on camera. he will be tested by this president. he has tested the previous fbi director and we know he pressured the deputy attorney director rob rosenstein. he said under questioning he did not believe the russia probe is
not a witch hunt if is important that the american people hear that from senior positions. the president of the united states who has been an unprecedented assault on the independent justice department privately through his actions, questioning the department, and publicly by attacking the fairness of it's investigations. at the time when there is a loss of faith in a number of institutions, it is important that they hear it is not pursuing witch hunts in this case. they will pursue it fairly, and will follow the facts and nothing else, so if they decide to bring charges, people have the faith they did that for a good reason. if they decide not to, they have faith in that as well. >> a lot of the questioning to your earlier point,
story of a source by the "washington post" as a category 5 hurricane. trump and his meeting with a russian attorney that promised dirt on hillary clinton. >> should donald trump junior have taken that meeting? >> i'm hearing for the first time your description on it. i gather that -- >> let me ask you this, if i got a call from somebody saying the russian government wants to help lindsey graham get reelected, they have dirt on my opponent, should i take that meeting. >> so should i call the fbi? >> i think it would be wise to let the fbi -- >> you're going to be the director of the fbi, pal. i want you to tell every politician if you get a call suggesting that a foreign government wants to help you by disparaging your opponent, tell
us all to call the fbi. >> to the members of this committee, any threat or effort to interfere with our elections from any nation state, or any nonstate actor is the kind of thing the fbi would want to know. >> where does ray stand on the russian investigation? the firing of former fbi director james comey and whether all of this is a witch hunt. >> do you believe in light of the don jr. e-mail and other agencies that this is a witch hunt? is it a fair description of what we're all dealing with in america? >> senator, i can't speak to the basis for the comments. my experience with director -- >> i'm asking you as the future fbi director, do you consider this endeavor a witch hunt? >> do you have any doubt that russia interfered with our
elections. >> i will tell you have i no reason to doubt the assessment of the intelligence community. >> did the president do something unethical or unlawful. what would you say? >> i would talk him out of it, and if that failed i would resign. >> why did the president fire director comey. >> you know, senator, i don't know. >> can the president fire director mueller? does he have the authority and the law to fire him? >> i don't know the law on that. >> after a day of silence on twitter, president trump who has not been seen since returning from his overseas trip decided
unijunior on the phone to figur out when they can make it happen. i think republicans and democrats got a lot they like today. democrats got to hear some of these essentially guarantees of christopher ray's independence. people who did not win in this meeting are donald trump junior, paul manafort, jared kushner. one of them, senator ben sass says he is a republican, never been a super big trump supporter, but he said it should be americans deciding american elections. so they will still be a cloud, still an issue, and now it sounds like there will be a public or some form of hearing from these people close to president trump in the not too distance future. if chuck grassley gets his way. someone asked will you have to subpoena them, and he said i'm going to get them, it won't come
to that. >> kelly o'donnell in that white house press briefing room. the president tweeted this morning, let me read it to you my son donald did a good job last night. he was open, transparent, are and innocent. this is the greatest witch hunt in political history, sad. kelly, christopher ray said he does not believe this is a witch hunt. >> that really undercuts one of the president's frequent criticisms. so the selection of the president to be the next fbi director, certainly has taken away that as one of the tools that the president can use with impunity, if you will. because ray says that mueller, who is a person who has great experience and is proceeding in a way that he thinks is completely appropriate, and we heard the president say that robert mooul seueller is an hon man, but the president used this to try to undercut the public
perception about what is happening. and perhaps for a period of time that worked even with some of those in the president's base. the president's son being implicated with e-mail, his s l son-in-law as well. he has been seen today by the christian broadcasting network doing a televised interview that will air tomorrow, but we hope to have a clip of that, the president is here at the white house even though he has no public events. >> and phil rucker. i'm thinking you must have an invisibility cloak for the information you always have for what is happening in the white house. you were talking about how the president watches a lot of tv right now. just 30 minutes after you did
that, donald trump tweeted the white house is functioning perfectly, focused on health care, tax cuts/reform and many other things. i have very little time for watching tv. sounds like she is directly contradicting you. you said one person is calling this a category 5 hurricane. the news that don jr. was open and wanted information from russia about clinton. >> yeah, this is a real public relations problem for the white house as well as obviously for trump junior. >> it could be a legal problem as well. white house aides are a little paralyzed by what to do with this. so few of them are willing to get out and talk about trump junior. everyone is looking out for
themselves, protecting their own leag legal exposure. they don't want to be out there talking about russia in case they become a target of the mueller investigation. >> i know they're trying to figure out who leaked the information initially to the new york times kbrp do they believe -- are there people that may be believing that reince priebus might have something to do with this. >> i should start by saying i don't have any idea who the sources are of the information, but there are a lot of people looking to find out, looking at each other with suspicious to figure out who might be trying to do this and it is not just the leak of that information. all of the leaks in general have been a preoccupation of not only the president but his staff.
there is an informativestigatio figure out who is leaking classified information. and why damaging information might keep coming out. >> so why would he want to have a meeting with a russian lawyer. and our next guest might have an answer to that were your latest reporting offers a different expla nay for why they may have lifted sanctions. the project structured as a licensing deal in which they would build the shower with his name on it was abandoned after the economy floundered. there was sanctions imposed following the intervention in you crane, are you implying there was more than just a political benefit?
>> right, we were all focussed when the story first came out about the russian lawyer, it is clear that the overture is coming from those that have this information, provided it by the kremlin, the russian government, and they want to get it in the hands of trump. hay were the business partners of the trump organization. we know about the ms. universe pageant that took place, but at that pay gent, they reached a business deal. a former letter of intent was
signed. iv ivanka trump went there to scout sites for the building. and there is photographic evidence to support this, i interviewed rob goldstone months ago, and he was telling me about these relationships, it was only then, after the imposition of sanctions, the economic downturn in moscow, that the deal collapsed. so that gives you an idea, the people trusted with the he ma s mails -- e-mails, and they were using them to get information
about hillary clinton in the information. >> why would he go through a publicist of a pop star to get to donald trump junior and maybe to trump himself or paul manafort, and they're laying out why that is, they are saying this is absolutely that something president putin would do. thank you guys very much. coming up, a big question for republicans, when is enough enough. what will it take for the party to distance themselves from trump. coming up, how speaker paul ryan addressed the allegations about don junior. once upon a time a girl with golden locks
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>> the republican from south carolina issued that washing to the white house after another day of relationvelations. however, the concern may not extend to the entire party. >> you don't know what is there, and to judge this thing, there is no law broken, jared kushner found it. >> we should say does not extend with that concern. joining me now is tom reis. thank you for joining us. what side are you on right no? are you saying we need all of
the information, or are you saying this is not what everybody is claiming. it. >> well, i think what we have to do is just focus on the evidence. that is always the position that i have taken. swuns goes through the information process, that is what i can speak to, but the top priority of the president is the american people. we have to focus on the agenda that will help the person people to me because this is the top issues that we have to face. what about the new e-mail chain, the information that may be bad for hillary clinton coming directly from the russian government, directly from the kremlin, and it was going to come through a russian government intermediary, a
lawyer. he said i love it, what do you make of that? >> that is where the investigation has to be completed. one e-mail, you have to put it in context. there is a campaign afoot. there are things they're looking for in regards to the information, this is a cut throat business. this is the nfl. working with the administration, that is what the american people want. >> so it is cut throat as you said, if russia called you and said congressman, you have dirt on your opponent. would you take the meeting? >> even don junior indicated that hindsight is 20/20. they will have to go through and answer questioned. what are we here for?
to legislate on behalf of the american people. that's what we'll have to do first and fore most. >> your job is also to protect democracy and respectfully you are a congressman that is a lower position than the president of the united states. you knew that a meeting like that would probably not be a good idea. shouldn't the president of the united states and his team know it is not a good idea? shouldn't they be held to has high of a standard that you hold youfr? >> sure, but this is with hindsight being 20/20. this is just one piece for the puzzle. allowing the evidence to drive the investigation. we can't lose sight of why we're here. talking with the president, i know he cares deeply about the marijuana people, and allevia alleviating the burdens on their
back. >> people can vote soundly and know their vote matters, is that not what president is there for? >> absolutely. that is why going through the process and the information based on the evidence, not on a political witch hunt -- >> do you believe this is a political witch hunt? >> at times, we have seen some of the most heated political rhetoric. i can tell you i have heard folks on the other side that are addiment that this is not my president, that is not healthy. we need to maketure the evidence is followed and that we legislate to american people. >> congressman, thank you very much. >> thank you for having me on. >> you could call it a tale of
two sons. don junior and jared kushner, who of the closest confidents of candidate trump. a meeting set up under the presence of getting dirt on hillary clinton. now one of them is running the family business, the other is still by the president's side. this time, in the white house. a rule that is causing stretch and discomfort for some, at least according to the new york times, trump's personal tors. they have been deeply frustrated by the president, they say that kushner is whip p -- whispering in his ear. more specifically did he know
about the june 9th meeting. he said the president was not aware of the mealing and only saw the e-mails when "everyone else did. joining me now, matt miller, also paul butler, a former prosecutor and nbc analyst. his book is "choke hold: policing black men" is out today. one of donald trump's attorneys said this is just not a problem. take a listen. >> there is nolle g legality. they're investigating what violation of what law? what law was violated here? the truth of the meeting is that the release of the e-mails is not a violation of the law.
>> is donald trump junior in violation of the law? >> i think so, and i think christopher ray supported that today when he said if you gate call from a foreign national with information, you should contact the fbi. here it is against the law to so l licit a campaign contribution from a foreigner like this russian lawyer. so will it count as a a contribution? a thing of value cash money or a service. that same lawyer said that no information was ultimately exchanged. no useful information, at least. that is the case. does it make this matter essentially resolved? >> i don't think that we netly
need to give a lot of credible to the white house or the trump camp. for months he said there were no meetings that he had with russians. he said it was to discussion adoption. then he backed up and now last night in his interview with sean hannity, he said he probably had other meetings. so i don't think that we can take their word at face value that this, what they sna this meeting happened. paul butler is right about the campaign violations, but there is another potential problem with this meeting. this is the first time we know that the trump campaign was informed that the russian government wanted to help elect trump president. if you're the russian government, the message that you got back is we love it, we welcome your help and support. we know what happened after that
in the weeks and months to come. they hacked republican and democratic entities. relaced in e-mails only pertaining to democratic entities. they welcomed their help. >> could it have been a dangle, matt? >> i think that is absolutely right. what director muler will look at now is the fact they were so eager to take the meeting that is was the candidates son, son-in-law, and campaign chairman. three high placed individual who took time at a busy time to have this immediating and they lied about it for so long. that shows they had something to hide. i think you will want to talk to all of these people and you will not want to take their lies -- if they don't tell the truth to
a grand jury they could go to jail. >> what about jared kushner, this is the third time he had to disclose his forms. he still has security clearance, is he in jeopardy of losing it? >> if he was a normal suicide and n -- citizen and not the president's son-in-law, he would have lost it a long time ago. it is not just specifically what that ask. every time, jared is like i forgot about that, let me amend my form. so we will look at lies and obstruction of justice. the big thing here is donald trump jr. who signed off on that
lie by jared. so he was either lied to, he was lying to his dad, or donald trump senior signed off on a statement and that will call a special counsel mueller a lot of concern. >> let's talk about the timing of this. done junior says this information would be very helpful for later in the summer, later in the summer we started seeing more we can i leaks dumps about of hillary clinton's e-mails of john poe did he say at that's e-mails. do you see any potential connection there? >> yeah. again, it sounds like collusion. we have people at the highest levels of the campaign getting information, soliciting information from the russians, information that the president himself wants very badly. again, it sounds to a prosecutor like a conspiracy. >> matt miller, paul butler. gentlemen, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> and we are awaiting an off camera briefing from the white house set to begin at the top of the hour. but next i'll be joined by
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is reliving 2016. first we have donald trump jr.'s defense. it was the crazy pace of the campaign. he told shawn hannity last night that in part that meeting led -- excuse me, that meeting in part led with the russian lawyer offering dirt up on clinton was because of the crazy pace of the campaign. >> my takeaway when all of this was going on is that someone has information on our opponent. you know, things are going a million miles an hour. you know what it's like to be on a campaign. we just won indiana. things are going a million miles an hour again. maybe this is something, i should hear them out. >> second, what about them? donald trump tweets the scrutiny on his son isn't fair. quote, why aren't are the same standards faced on the democrats. look at what hillary clinton may have gotten away with. disgraceful. 2017, meet 2016. joining me now from washington is trump campaign advisor and
here in new york former clinton campaign senior advisor. bear, it is lovely to see you, my friend. i haven't seen you in forever. let's start with you. talk to me about what was happening inside the campaign at the time. you know, sources were telling me that this was a campaign that was disorlgd, it was naive to a gree and that you were often faced with unplanned meetings with unnamed people that just popped up out of nowhere. >> yeah. well, i think -- you know, i had left the campaign in middle of may before this all took place. but, you know, at this time you had both cory and paul there. the kids were very active in the campaign. so, you know, there was chaos. >> when you say there was chaos, though, is that a fair defense for donald trump jr. getting an e-mail saying the russian government has dirt on hillary clinton and him responding i love it? >> no, no. i mean, you know, it's naive to take such a meeting. i mean, the sad part was there
was nobody at the campaign apparently who told him that this was a bad idea. you know, after the third campaign you stop taking meetings with people who are promising dirt on your opponent because one, it's never true and it's always a waist of time. but this person, this lawyer or whatever that she was used a lot of words to get a meeting, which was pointless, senseless, and shouldn't have happened. and nothing came out of it, it sounds like, except, you know, now we've got four or five days of narrative about this p stupid meeting. >> barry, you say it's unfortunate that nobody at the campaign would have known better. shouldn't paul manafort have known better? he's a veteran of a number of campaigns. >> yeah, he should have. >> joel, how did the clinton campaign -- how does the clinton campaign feel knowing after this e-mail came out? >> well, look, i don't think there is a clinton campaign today, but in clinton world. >> the remains of the clinton
campaign. >> one of the frustrations we had throughout the summer and fall when it became aapparent that russia was interfering with our elections was that we couldn't get people in the media to take it seriously. what we now know is not only should they have taken it seriously, but you had the trump campaign complicit in it. donald trump jr. was dishonest. thankfully chris rate said today this is not a witch-hunt. director mueller's investigation is not. and so sits coming out now with clear facts that he not only had this meeting, he knew that there was a plan in place, because his friend e-mailed him that this is part of the russian government's attempts to help mr. trump. >> i don't accept your premise that the media ignored it because i remember it and i certainly pushed donald trump on russia at press conferences. but more broadly, at the time russia was not -- wasn't -- the word didn't mean the same thing
it means today. there was the concrete proof at that time that was out publicly that russia had been meddling or russia was trying to send out those dnc e-mails. there was rumors about it. we got it from sources, but it wasn't necessarily an official thing. that didn't happen until october 7th. >> which is, again, six weeks before election day or five weeks before election day. >> do you think the obama shoof come out more forceelel. >> no. i think the obama administration did the appropriate things. there were investigations that had begun into it and during the course of those investigations the election transpires. what were they supposed to do? go out and say, oh, russia is trying to help donald trump and then you're going to reveal classified information? i don't think that's the job of that administration, but i do think that everybody understood it. i think the trump campaign, donald trump went out shortly
after that meeting and gave a speech about what he was going to give. >> yeah. >> all the illegal things that were going on. >> barry, i want to ask you, yes, no. do you think there's more out there? >> lord knows. >> lord knows. that's all i've got time for. >> former trump campaign advisor barry bennett, joel thank you guys both. that will wrap things up for me. i'm katy ter. my friend casey hunt picks them up from washington. >> thanks to all of you. christopher ray, the man who would replace james comey today on capitol hill senators got the chance to talk to him face-to-face under oath to pep per him with some tough questions. and this was more than just a job sper view. think about it. he's replacing a person who was fired for in the president's words this russia thing. as you might expect, the latest developments in this russia thing were brought up multiple tiemts. so how did he do? >> i will never allow the