tv Deadline White House MSNBC October 4, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
parents and spouses used their own bodies as shields to protect their loved ones. americans dashed into a hail of bullets to rescue total strangers. joining us today are many of the heroes who were here during that horrible moment, that horrible night, including las vegas metropolitan police officers tyler peterson and tanner gurley and civilian aaron stocker. officer peterson was on his second day on the job when the shooting began. i just visited him in the hospital. within minutes, he joined a group of officers rushing between flying bullets to clear the fairground and save lives. officer gurlay was off duty
attending the concert. although she was unarmed, as soon as the shooting began, she threw on a yellow police vest and began evacuating victims. and aaron stocker, a veteran, rushed to the scene to search for his loved ones. when he couldn't find them, he began helping every person he could. as he recounts, we used the plastic barriers as gurneys to carry the injured to transportation. i made splints out of whatever i could find and used anything to stop the horrible bleeding. among the wounded was the mother of aaron's girlfriend. she is still in the hospital, and we are all pulling for her. to every hero we helped, every hero saved so many lives. and believe me, a grateful nation thanks you.
the example of those whose final act was to sacrifice themselves for those they loved should inspire all of us to show more love every day for the people who grace our lives. in the months ahead, we will all have to wrestle with the horror of what has unfolded this week. but we will struggle through it together. we will endure the pain together, and we will overcome together as americans. may god bless and watch over those who protect us. may god bring healing to the families of the wounded, the injured and the fallen. and may god bless our great country, america. thank you very much. thank you. thank you, governor. thank you very much.
>> hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. 1:00 p.m. in las vegas. it's day two for president trump as consoler in chief speaking there in las vegas with local police and first responders. let's bring in the panel today. msnbc contributor, and author charlie sykes, eugene robinson from "the washington post," nick, "new york times" political reporter, also an msnbc contributor and jonathan lamere, white house reporter for the soerktsed press and msnbc political analyst. gene it struck me watching those remarks how much more comfortable and how much more adept the president was in consoling this community as he seemed to be yesterday. >> entirely different approach. he was -- today he's being empathetic. he is feeling the suffering along with the community versus yesterday, when he sort of said, you know, the death toll in the
caribbean is 34 or something like that. and he said, gee, that was nothing compared to a real disaster. a real catastrophe. and he didn't show that sort of empathy. it was more fun and games almost yesterday which was totally inappropriate. >> george will said on this show that he hadn't yet shown an aptitude for the pastoral aspects of the presidency. to the degree he achieved that on that telefrompter speech, i wonder if that may be one of the variables between what we saw off script yesterday and what we saw just now. really a beautifully crafted set of remarks there in las vegas. >> the first thing i noticed was him reading off a prompter and reading a speech. still speaking as though he's speaking a foreign language. he doesn't quite have the rhythm of it. president trump is very good at feeling voters' anger. he's not very good at feeling your pain. it doesn't seem to be his natural language. i'm not sure why. i can't speculate why. we saw in puerto rico him
throwing paper towels like it's a sporting event or rock concert. what do you make of what the white house set out to do? i know over the weekend the coverage of the president's response to puerto rico was really under their skin. he was in a war of words with the mayor. this unthinkable tragedy, the largest mass shooting in american history transpires sunday night. a president who consumes a lot of media hears all of us talking about how an outside event and the prlt's response to it can transform's one's presidency as it did with bill clinton after oklahoma city, ronald reagan's, one of his defining speeches was, i believe, the one drafted by peggy talking about the "challenger." >> george w. bush in the rubble. i was not a fan of george w. bush, but i was very proud of that. >> and obama. "amazing grace" and after
newtown. so what do you think went into today's trip and today's remarks? >> the white house certainly managed this one differently. they knew that they had fallen behind the narrative. as well as the humanitarian crisis in puerto rico. this was managed carefully from the get-go with john kelly being the one to inform the president what happened in las vegas. he's not seeing it on twitter or waking up to see it on television. he's informed by his chief of staff. the president did strike the right notes in the initial hours after this tragedy. he delivered a fine speech that was again read off a teleprompter. he led the moment of silence on the white house lawn afterwards. contrast that to watching the coverage of the hurricane and his response being to lash out on twitter against the mayor of san juan. and i think some of the other differences we've seen here today in las vegas as opposed to what we saw yesterday in puerto rico, some are logistics. today the teleprompter speech as opposed to him ad libbing remarks and throwing paper towels to the crowd.
also today he was more in his comfort zone. he knows las vegas. has a hotel there right off the strip. feels a connection there. also, this event allows him to praise law enforcement. this is something people he is always -- he's spoken very highly of throughout his life. talks about how many of them, in his estimation, supported him in the campaign last year but these are people that he does view were heroic and valorous and this gives him a chance to praise their efforts. >> and i'm hearing that -- while he was reading from prepared remarks, it's not clear there was a teleprompter in front of him but clearly reading from a text. let me get you to weigh in on what i think you are alluding to which is comfort zone. this part of the job that george will referred to as the pastoral part of the presidency isn't about that which makes a president comfortable. it's about that which he does to make others who are suffering comfortable. how does it always come back to him? >> well, first of all, yes, this was a beautifully crafted,
scripted speech. and so he was scripted today, unscripted yesterday. which was real, which is not? yes, you had the president going into his mode as healer in chief. but give it a minute. give it a day. we've seen this president before -- >> that's what i'm afraid of. as the word beautifully crafted came out of my mouth i thought -- >> but, yes, again, remember, that we're about to go into the most divisive political issue in our culture right now. this is at the center of the culture war. the issue about guns. so again, this is not the pivot. this is not the day the president becomes presidential. but i do think that, you know, this is a president, and i think this is what george was getting at, who seems to lack at fundamental empathy gene. he doesn't -- he has that inability to go into this situation and in a genuine, authentic way, show that he cares and understands. now you are absolutely right. this was his comfort zone to be able to wrap himself around law enforcement, to be in las vegas.
and this was a good speech. but it was written by someone else. it was not donald trump himself looking at people who are suffering and who are dying and who somehow he regards as props in his particular reality tv show that he lives in. we won't really know how this plays out for at least 48 hours. >> gene? >> it's true. watch the twitter feed. what does he go on to next? is it a feud with the evil media? is it -- >> well, that's not next. here's the other thing. he juggles, you know, plates. that's how he started his day. let's just be honest. i don't want to sugarcoat. >> he walked into puerto rico having been criticized for his government's response to disaster. having been criticized by the mayor of san juan. but there wasn't anyone out there saying he had messed up a federal response to this mass shooting. he didn't walk in there spoiling
for a fight, but he often does. >> and on the flight to las vegas, he spent that not tweeting condolences or thoughts and prayers to las vegas. he tweeted attacks on the news media about the rex tillerson story from earlier today. >> that's a great point. here is a president who likes to pick fights. who thinks that he feels strong -- looks strong eer and more powerful the more scraps he gets into. there's the cognitive disside e dissidence. you saw that played out today. >> do you start a fight with the mayor of a city that's just been destroyed by a hurricane? most people would say no. >> let me put you on the spot and ask you, this is the biggest mass shooting in american history. there's some tweet that's been haunting me all week. someone in their 20s said i read this headline three times. it's been retweeted a million times. but i wonder if his response to this shooting, which is
dramatically different from his response to the two mass shootings carried out by people with ties to islamic extreme simp curious to you. after the pulse nightclub and san bernardino attack, he immediately sought to advance a policy near and dear to him. he was calling it the muslim ban then. he now calls it the travel ban. but there was no policy to advance so that was the reason that there was no policy debate permitted by sarah huckabee sanders in the wake of this shooting. i wonder if the white house will get pressed for the double standard they have on the advancement of policies when he likes them and they're relevant after a shooting versus the advancement of policies he doesn't want to talk about after a mass shooting. >> i think people on the wrong foot on a policy always want to avoid the policy when it's most rel vept and that includes gun control or gun safety, whatever you want to call it. a crisis is a great time to talk about policy. it's when failures of policy are most evident. if that shooter had a muslim
name, what conversation would be happening right now? would the president have been tweeting about it? orlando, we saw that. which conclusions would he have jumped to? >> jimmy kimmel spoke to that. he's become the conscience of the nation. he said just that. would we be having a different conversation. would they have been comfortable politicizing this mass tragedy if the shoot ear. >> we know the answer. it happened in orlando. it happened in san bernardino. we know the answer to that. >> sure. period. yes, he would have. and that's not right, but, yeah. he would have. >> and it just casts a moment like what we saw, which you have to give him the benefit of the doubt that a beautifully written speech in the moment he read it, he meant it but there's no string you can pull through anything that this president does. not even a mass casualty shooting. >> that's right. i mean, look. i think we said earlier that this event has not forced him to
sit there with victims and empathize. i think every good politician that i've ever covered, at some point learns or was born with that ability to reflect back at people what they are feeling and need to feel. it's usually an essential skill in politics. i have not seen -- i have not seen him doing it except in the context of anger and rage at his own campaign events. >> with steve bannon agging him on. the story that put the president on the defensive today that got him tweeting before he was out of his jammies. nbc news reporting of the secretary of state calling donald trump a moron. we'll talk with a former white house insider whose boss was in the middle of the trump/tillerson meltdown. also the russia investigation. after interviewing more than 100 witnesses, what senate investigators say they've learned about collusion and parts of that salacious dossier that are holding up under scrutiny.
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amid all the tragedy, spanning from las vegas to puerto rico, the president today took to wait twitter to bash th media and this network. the nbc news story based on reporting from a dozen sources in and close to the trump white house detailed mounting tensions between the secretary of state and president trump that came to a head this summer with tillerson, quote, on the verge of resigning his post.
and vice president pence being called in to deliver a pep talk to the beleaguered cabinet secretary. it elicited a rare on-camera response from tillerson. >> do address a few specifics erroneously reported this morning. the vice president has never had to persuade me to remain as secretary of state because i have never considered leaving this post. >> can you address the main headline of this story that you called the president a moron, and if not, where do you think these reports are -- >> i'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that. let me tell you what i've learned about this president whom i did not know before taking this office. he loves this country. he puts americans and america first. he is smart. he demands results wherever he goes. >> today's statement from tillerson was not the result of internal alarm about the president undermining his secretary of state on north korea as he did with these tweets over the weekend.
writing that he told rex tillerson our wonderful secretary state of that he's wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocket man. and to, quote, save your energy, rex. we'll do what has to be done. nor was it an effort to knit together two men, one a boy scout, literally, and the other a president who talked to the boy scout's jamboree about hot parties at remarks that were universally panned earlier this summer. today's statement by tillerson in which he did not deny calling trump a moron was in response to a media report that based on tweets and now comments directed at nbc news seem to drive trump bananas. about an hour ago, the president addressed the report in las vegas. >> any response to rex tiller n tillerson's comments? >> i'm honored by his comments. it was a fake story. it was made up by nbc. thank you all. total confidence in rex. i have total confidence.
thank you very much, everybody. >> for the record, nbc has total confidence in its reporting. let's bring in robert costa, reporter with "the washington post" and an msnbc political analyst and chief international affairs columnist susan glasser. let me start with you. it is the worst kept secret in washington that rex tillerson is unhappy basically reporting into the white house through jared kushner, his contacts with foreign leaders, and that the white house is unhappy with rex tillerson for taking so long to staff up, for dragging what they see as dragging his feet to put people at key posts. is this a marriage that can be saved and does anyone want it to be? >> there's a lot to unpack there. first of all, you have to go back to the trump statement you just showed us. full confidence in somebody who is an embattled official can often mean the kiss of death and that's already happened not once but a couple times, even in this short-lived trump
administration. so, you know, i don't think we've seen the end of the story here that, in fact, tillerson's press conference will go down as a very memorable one in the history of the state department. no one, of course, has any precedence for a lot of this. even so, the president is not a moron press conference where he didn't deny it is pretty remarkable stuff. substantively as well as stylistically, rex tillerson and donald trump have not been a good fit for each other. i think that is acknowledged by partisans on both sides and right now we even have a flash point coming up. president trump has until october 15 tot certify this iran deal. he said he wants to blow it up. rex tillerson is out there saying no and we believe we signed this deal and it's in our national interest to keep it. >> robert costa, what are you hearing about the vice president's role in giving the secretary of state a pep talk, one, some instructions on how to be respectful toward the
president and his comments on the air and in meetings and on the insult itself that near the end of july, which was by any objective analysis, a bumpy summer for this president that rex tillerson made the assessment that a president, his boss, was a moron. >> based on my own reporting, i can share that i know people in the white house and who work for the vice president say he has become somewhat of an amateur student of president trump and his method. his personality. and he does at times share those insights with colleagues and members of the cabinet. i'm not able to corroborate what nbc has reported specifically with regard to a conversation with secretary tillerson, but pence is known as someone who believes that publicly showering praise on the president and even doing so privately has its benefits for an administration that is based in many respects on loyalty as much as it is on
policy agreement. >> charlie sykes, robert costa could have been talking about north korea there where people who are in service of the leader have to be trained and flatter the leader. it's remarkable. i never question robert costa's reporting but it's a remarkable state of play that the vice president goes around and tells people how to shower the president with sufficient praise to stay out of this crosshair. >> this is not a rubik's cube. he'll lash out at people who criticize him and that formula apparently is obviously, well known domestically and in foreign policy. and the rex tillerson -- >> what does that say? like eugene, we are facing an existential threat from nuclear north korea and we're worried about the vice president has to run around and teach america's secretary of state how to speak pretty to donald trump? are you kidding me? >> unfortunately, i'm not kidding you. i'm not kidding. >> this is where we are?
>> that's where we are. and so, yes, we are at the dear leader phase of america. where he's the dear leader or great leader. those are your two options, and that's the way you have to treat it if you hope to serve in the administration. >> one man isn't having it. bob corker today, do we have that? bob corker today sticking up for rex tillerson talking about how the trio of men -- rex tillerson, secretary mattis and h.r. mcmaster -- project to the world the stability that our tweeting president does not. >> i think secretary tillerson, secretary mattis and chief of staff kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos. and i support them very much. i see what's happening here. i deal with people throughout the administration.
and he, from my perspective, is an incredibly frustrating place where, as i watch, okay, and i can watch very closely on many occasions, you know, he ends up not being supported in a way that i would hope a secretary state of would be supported. and that's just from my vantage point. >> tillerson, mattis and kelly are separating this country from chaos? do you mean from the president's chaos? >> it's just they act in a very -- they work very well together to make sure that the policies we put forth around the world are sound and coherent. there are other people within the administration, in my belief, that don't, okay? i'm sorry. so, i mean, i hope, you know, i hope they stay. >> there's nothing like retirement for a dose of truth serum. nick, what do you make of bob
corker speaking truth about the fact that, and i misspoke. it wasn't mcmaster, although i've heard him put in that category. it's general kelly, secretary mattis and secretary tillerson who separate this country from chaos. >> what we're seeing here is a prominent senator of the president's own party saying he doesn't trust the president to handle foreign policy and is relying on the president's deputies and cabinet secretaries to do it. he's also describing a reality. this white house speaks with four or five different voices on foreign policy and every other foreign policy and you can go down the list and count the examples where the ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley has said one thing and the president has said something else. you speak to diplomats in other countries it's very clear that people look and see what the president says and wonder if it's true and then run around and talk to the cabinet secretaries and their staffs to find out what the real policy is. >> robert costa, let me bring you in and ask you, one of the things i heard really irritated this white house was the reporting on the notion that
tillerson was asked to review nikki haley's job performance. i heard from two white house sources they found that particularly offensive. i wonder, one if you heard any rumblings about that and, two if you have any assessment about how nikki haley ends up staying in the president's good graces, even though she parts with him sometimes, while tillerson seems to have really no running room to ever disagree with the president. and when he does, he gets called out on twitter almost immediately. >> ambassador hailey has become a popular figure in this administration. that's not to question nbc's reporti reporting at all, but she's seen as a confidante of the president and next in line for secretary of state should the current secretary of state step aside. she has a rapport with the president and this mrgss. that means a lot. the idea that mike pence was asking if she was doing a bad job, maybe at the time, but i haven't heard that.
what i do know is that haley is seen as someone who has trump's blessing to -- even if she sometimes steps further out on a limb than other officials, she's pretty safe because she has the president's personal support. >> and susan glasser if you can just weigh in on style. so much of this, i doubt that nickkkki haley and rex tillerso have policy disagreements but can you weigh in on how this president portrays style, press aptitu aptitude. i understand the white house to be not happy that it's not at their direction that rex tillerson doesn't bring press with him on the plane when he travels around the world. he's coming up short in the view of the white house on some style points that nikki haley is doing very well in. >> well, i think that's an important point. if you think about it, it's very amazing that listening to secretary of state tillerson today, you realize he never gives a press conference really
that is in the middle of news stories. he's been very rarely accompanied by cameras on some of his trips in a striking departure from what other secretaries of state and you have a president who sees himself as the communicator in chief, and i think he has loved the attention that nikki haley has brought to the u.n. just a couple weeks ago in new york, trump was bringing haley around at his side. she was there and tillerson was almost nowhere to be found. that's a striking difference from how it normally is. but i would say there is an interesting policy difference, too, in this current fight, and it has been, i'm told, a real fight in the administration on the iran deal and whether to certify or not. nikki haley has been reported by multiple sources to be strongly in favor of desertifying and moving against the deal and rex tillerson has been almost left hanging out there semipublicly as one of the only guys, until yesterday, with jim matt whois was in favor of sticking with it. that's a big disagreement that's been playing out right now.
and i assume that's some of the context for the very strong nbc report. >> robert costa and barbara glasser, thank you for spending some time with us. when we come back, the white house insider whose boss was right in the middle of this all between donald trump and rex tillerson. when we come back. at ally, we offer a credit card with unlimited cash back. but if that's not enough, we offer a 10% deposit bonus into an ally account. and if that's not enough to help you save, we could help you cut the cord. that's right. cancel it. what about my reality shows? ok, if that's not enough, we'll give you reality. this is too real! maybe a comedy? alright, how about a comedian? arsenio? ain't nothing funny about laundry! we'll do anything, seriously anything, to help your money grow. people just walking in my house... ally. do it right. (avo) but you also have a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. non-insulin victoza® lowers a1c, and now reduces cardiovascular risk.
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we are back now with mark water, the former press secretary for vice president mike pence. the vice president features prominently in nbc's explosive report on rex tillerson. cureding to multiple sources it was the vice president who acted as the adult in the room trying to ease tensions between the secretary of state and president trump. thank you for being here with us. >> it's my understanding that the vice president plays this role often, translating donald trump to his former colleagues in the house. translating donald trump in this instance to another cabinet secretary. >> the vice president meets with
the cabinet secretaries and other senior members on a regular basis. he plays a big role on the policy and in the communications and messaging role for the president around -- >> but is part of that role absorbing frustration with the president? there is solid reporting that no one has denied the president brought jeff sessions to near tears in the way he lambasted him over recusing himself. solid reporting that no one in the white house, the former colleagues refuted that john kelly was screamed at in a manner he'd never been screamed at in his career. does the president play a consoler in house kind of role? >> what the vice president does -- >> people don't go to him? >> he helps to make sure that our cabinet secretaries know how to operate in the framework that moves the president's message forward. >> what does that mean? you mean with a tweeting president? >> in terms of making sure you're communicating, working through the proper channels to make sure when you're out there speaking on behalf of the administration that you're echoing the message of the president of the united states. >> sounds like you're confirming the nbc report that he talked to
tillerson about being respectful in his on-air appearances. >> i'm not going to confirm the contents of the conversation. >> you won't deny after tillerson seemed to part ways with the president after his charlottesville response he said the president speaks for himself. >> the vice president and secretary of state did speak. and they did speak about the need to come together and make insure that everyone is moving forward with the message in the framework that is echoing what the president of the united states wants to have communicated. it's not -- shouldn't be characterized as a pep talk. shouldn't be characterized as -- >> what's your word? >> i would say advising. >> advising. how is that different from a pep talk? >> pep talk or woodshed. those are the two choices. >> i'm not going to get into putting the definitions and where that was. but what you are seeing is from the president, the vice president, general kelly on down, you're seeing that this president, he's result oriented. he wants results and wants them
yesterday. so when he gets the opportunity and we have people that need to be moving that ball forward in the message, in the framework, in the plan the president is laying out, this is the way that you can bring things together. >> you are saying framework. i have a white house official who described the framework which is you're talking about processes. systems, strategies, plans for -- that's what they describe as under the line. things general kelly can control. and then they put the president's tweets, the president's comments and comportment with his own cabinet secretaries and other officials, the things he says to russians when he talks about comey being in that job. they describe those as above the line. out of the control of pence, general kelly. how do you deal with that part of the framework? >> i think at the end of the day, we have to look at the fact this is a president who communicates directly to the american people and directly around the world in -- with the message and in the work that he chooses to use. you have a leader who is saying
we're going to get results. i just saw a -- >> he doesn't have any results. what result does he have? >> i saw a pew study that -- >> let me understand what results you are talking about. >> coverage of president trump has been about style. and that's what -- >> i'm asking you on substance. what results? give me one? >> isis is on the run. record stock markets, low -- >> what is the -- >> low unemployment. jobs growing. >> what is the accomplishment that justifies the framework that includes pence having to take people to the woodshed, as gene said. do you think there's any honorable dissent from the president? do you think rex tillerson had the right as a grown-ass man to disagree with how donald trump responded to charlottesville? >> what i would ask is how would you respond, and how did you respond when the secretary of treasury questioned your bosses, president george w. bush's commission to tax cuts? >> nobody took him to the woodshed and nobody -- if you want to bring -- you want to
bring the way george bush dealt with critics? >> operate in a system where we have an agenda from the american people. the president was elected on -- >> he tweets attacks at his own cabinet secretaries. >> we have people focusing more on style. >> who is focused on style. >> there was a pew study. >> i love pew but what are you -- who focused on style? you have no -- put style aside. your style works for you. i say tomato, you say tomato. but who is the result you're pointing to? >> i'm pointing to many results. i'm talking about a record stock markets, low unemployment, isis on the run. our enemies finally knowing that when the president of the united states, and america says something, we actually mean it. we are not going to just turn around and turn the other cheek and our allies know it. i've had the privilege of traveling around the world with the vice president during my service with him. each worth leader that we met with when the cameras went away and we had the private conversations you know those conversations i'm talking about
are all saying, thank goodness we know america finally has our back again and that when we say we're going to go after terrorists or say we're going to secure borders, say we're going to deal with the scourge of drugs coming into our country, that we finally have a president who actually means what he says and is going to do it. those are the things of things, and the american people are seeing that out there. they are seeing that beyond just the tweet stories of the day and all of the other distractions or style issues where many in the media seem to be focused more on the style. when they are looking at the results. >> i guess my point is we're not focused on the style because it's what we care about. the president started his day, you have to concede that yesterday was a deadly serious day. he was in puerto rico, scene of a humanitarian crisis. today he's with grieving families and courageous first responders yet he woke up focused on style and tweeted three times about the media.
the president himself is obsessed with his own press coverage and tweets about it. >> what i would also tell you is he is focused on getting those results. he is focused on getting the recovery going in puerto rico. to going to -- >> was he focused on it early enough? >> absolutely. there were people on the ground weeks before the storm hit. while the storm was there. this is a unique situation being on an island that we cannot have things just sitting outside the storm zone on a highway ready to roll in as soon as the storms moves away. >> i understand that. >> and you had the back-to-back storms. >> but we're now two weeks in. 95% of the island is without power. >> there are many infrastructure issues there that just simply cannot be overcome in a matter of weeks. >> we go to doha and set up bases in the middle of the desert and build cell tower n roads and -- >> we're also building the cities that support those troops and those things in doha. you're dealing with an existing infrastruct are wiped out by two
hurricanes. >> why can't we go to the airport and build a cell tower and -- >> all eight airports are reopened. 64 of 67 hospitals have reopened. 50% of the population has clean drinking water again. there are steps. there are processes that have to go in place. we have to clear the roads before we can get the supplies in. we have to make insure thsure w those distribution hubs. that's what you're seeing under the leadership of fema in partnership with the department of defense. as we know, it's a much different situation. what we saw in texas, what we saw in florida was and had been sent from the white house before the storms and during the recovery is that the federal government is there to assist local and state governments in areas where they can't and where they are overwhelmed. the entire area in the entire infrastructure of puerto rico was basically demolished. so we had to come in and re-establish all of that at a federal level where you had police, you had first responders
that were -- didn't have homes. they were dealing with their own issues. we had to provide all of that as opposed to just stitting on top. >> seems like the kind of thing they could have seen coming down the pike but we'll pick up this conversation. thank you for being with us. when we come back, the intelligence community that donald trump maligned before he took office turns out they got it right when it came to russian meddle, and trump's pro-russia platform. that from the senate intelligence committee's republican chairman. we'll tell you what it means for the investigation after this. (vo) more "doing chores for mom"
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of temporary finding on that until we've completed the process. though we have been incredibly enlightened at our ability to rebuild backwards the steel dossier up to a certain date, getting past that point has been somewhat impossible. i recommend that every campaign and every election official take this very seriously, as we move into this november's election and as we move into preparation for the 2018 election. >> the senate intelligence committee telling the public that russia's meddling campaign was massive and sophisticated and their investigation is still very much under way. and that after nine months, over 100,000 pages of documents and over 100 witnesses, the committee cannot yet rule out collusion between the trump campaign and russia. joining us now, former federal prosecutor renatto mariati. i'm addicted to your twitter feed. if i wasn't on tv, i'd be
searching you. what do you make of today's press conference? >> well, it was interesting. it was very interesting. and i think that the way i would read it, nicolle is they were trying to, first of all, i think give a responsible warning to the public about the dangers posed by russian meddling and bringing people together on that. i think there was also a message of trying to calm the republican base a little bit. i think there was a concern by some in the republican side that this was an investigation seeking to overturn the results of the election, and i think the chairman tried to reassure the public. i will say, you know, the news all week long has underscored the seriousness of what the russians tried to do to undermine our election. and i think that's something that should be a bipartisan issue. >> i wonder what's you make of news about the dossier. when the dossier came out, and it was that wedge between jim comey and donald trump from the first time, i think, the two men were ever in a room together,
jim comey telling donald trump of its existence, not of its veracity, then donald trump losing his marbles when a news organization, not this one, reported on it and put it online. the fact that that is now slowly, little pieces of it being corroborated by the republican-led senate intel committee blew my mind. >> i agree with you on that. i will tell you that when the dossier first came out, i was skeptical of it. anybody that's a former prosecutor like myself would be. you often get intel background from sources but that's different from, you know, hard evidence or testimony under oath or testimony to an fbi agent that you could use at trial. what i've been seeing over the last several months is i followed this on twitter and also here on msnbc and elsewhere, i have seen piece after piece of that dossier get corroborated and here we have a bipartisan congressional committee saying that portions
of it are corroborated and anyone who has looked at that dossier that's floating around online, there some are explosive allegations in there. >> and the reason that it was explained to me is that it was originally worked on by a very well respected, perhaps award-winning former journalist from "the wall street journal." it was not ever, you know, thrown together. and that there were some theories that hadn't been corroborated at the time. some of the most salacious things. i remember ken delaney says forget the sex, follow the money. is that what investigators are doing in following the parts of the dossier about financial ties? >> i think that's always part of every white collar investigation. i think every time i investigated somebody, i always was getting tax returns and going through their bank records. that's just part of a good federal investigation. but i will tell you also, nicolle, another thing they'll be looking at is the public statements of these individuals which as you know from reading
my twitter feed i've dissected those. you look at michael cohn, the president's former lawyer, he's very cagey about what he denies about meetings in europe with russian representatives. >> you couldn't have in susan page, usa today washington bureau chief. susan, let me ask you react to this republican led committee saying they're working backward to corroborate pieces of that dossier and really sounding alarms to anything getting ready to run for election or re-election in the next cycle about russia's continued devotion to meddling in our democracy. >> yeah, definitely some red flags there about what could happen in next year's midterm elections and concern, i think, that not all states, not all agencyerize taking seriousliness. the opportunity to affect voter rolls or voting returns. those will be the most serious forms of hacking.
the other thing that really struck me about the press conference we saw today is senator burr did not exactly go into this as an enthusiastic participant or leader of this investigation, but what he said today was that they are kind of in for the long haul. he had previously said he hoped to wrap it up by the end of the year. he basically indicated at the news conference that is not realistic. his new deadline is to try to wrap it up by the 2018 midterms and that he refused to rule out the idea that they're going to find collusion, although he said they don't have any evidence of it now. all those things seemed important to me and worrisome to the white house. >> and one of the tells that this investigation is gnawing at donald trump is sort of his twitter rage. we saw an uptick this morning, and it might be tied to what we have been talking about, that the republican-led senate intel committee making clear today that the issue of collusion is still open. the issue of business ties in trump tower moscow, which mike cohen, i think that's what he was alluding to, is still open.
while the obstruction matter is squarely in the bob mueller probe, this question of collusion and whether russians helped tip the election in his favor still very much an open question by a republican-led committee. >> yeah, and as the evidence mounts about how dramatic the russian intervention was, it becomes harder and harder for trump and his supporters to dismiss this as a nonstory. but absolutely, you have to follow the money. and i think that's what donald trump is most obsessed about. knowing that all the family, that the tax returns, the family finances, the business deals are going to be exposed at some point. so the bottom line of this is this thing is not over and in fact it has expanded beyond the original scope. >> jonathan -- sorry, go ahead. >> i was going to bring up the whole question, which may be a central question. you know, all the facebook ad that russians placed, how did the russians know where to place them and how to target, who to
target, how to target them, all that granular data. where did that get that from? >> what are the theories? >> did they get it from the trump campaign. that's the question. >> two theories on that. the first is they actually use their own facebook advertising and their own web pages and tracking bugs on the internet to build a list of targets and then use that and use basically facebook's own tools to find the voters they wanted. the other possibility is that they got a list of voters of targets from some other party, and the ultimate collusion would be from some, you know, somehow from the trump campaign or some coordination there. i think it's unlikely, personally. i think there are lots of sources of that information. if you want to know where to target what states, read the newspaper. >> or watch msnbc. we talk about the battleground states every day. >> we haven't gotten the answers yet and we're right on the bleeding edge of what the senate intel committee is figuring out. >> one of the few predictable
things in an unpredictable presidency is whenever the russia stuff comes up, donald trump kind of losing his mind. >> kind of? >> i think we're potentially facing that again. we co he feels any questions, any suggestions that russia interfered on his behalf undermined the legitimacy of his election. we know how much the popular vote bothers him. this is in the sail category. >> when you call the white house and ask about the fate of jared and ivanka, the status, the answer has been for nine months, they're untouchable. that's not the answer anymore. is part of that what gene is talking about, the potential that the campaign and we know some of the digital campaign was under the direction of jared kushner, something he was proud of. is that's something they're increasingly worried about? >> sure, that is. the president himself has suggested to people close to him he worries about jared and ivanka's future in the white house. there's some suggestion there's a magnifying glass on jared for this data operation which is something close around him were
quick to tout to say this is something they're behind. they're very proud of that effort. it's interesting even as kushner's sort of biggest enemies in the west wing have departed in recent months, he perhaps finds himself ipmore trouble than he was before. >> that's absolutely true. from what i heard, the legal interest of the president and son-in-law are no longer in the same page. they're diverging. and eventually, that's going to come down possibly to a question of who goes. and who is in deeper trouble, and who can this be pinned on. who is there more evidence against? i think the lawyers for these two men have got to be talking about that internally. >> the president's son, don jr., is also part of this. three different camps of family members who may have differing agendas. >> susan page, can you weigh in on this generational question with the investigation. paul manafort and his son-in-law ensnared, donald trump and donald trump jr. ensnared, jared kushner ensnared, mike flynn and mike flynn jr. ensnared. >> the trump campaign turns out
to not be a very big family builder, and one of the troubles they face now is once you have a special counsel investigation, even more than the senate intelligence committee investigations and the other inquiries on capitol hill, it goes on and on. it goes wherever it leads. it seeks to turn allies against one another, father against son. campaign aide against candidate. and you cannot tell where it goes. just ask bill clinton about what's happens once a special counsel is unleashed. i think that's biggest single threat to president trump and he knows it. >> we're going to sneak in a quick break, but we'll be right back. don't go anywhere. fibromyalgia may be invisible to others, but my pain is real. fibromyalgia is thought to be caused by overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. i'm glad my doctor prescribed lyrica. for some, lyrica delivers effective relief for moderate to even severe fibromyalgia pain. and improves function.
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all day and all night. my thanks to charlie sykes, eugene robinson, nick confessore, susan page, and ronoto, that does it for our hour. i'm nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" starts right now. hi, chuck. >> great show. glad to see that the president only took about a minute of it. >> give him more than that. >> he took a minute or two. that was it. not bad. thank you. >> if it's wednesday, the chaos theory meets political science. >> tonight, did rex tillerson disparage the president of the united states? he neither confirms nor denies. >> can you address the main headline of the story that you called the president a moron and if not, where do you think these reports are coming -- >> i'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that. >> president trump defends his secretary of state. but for how long? plus, did the trump campaign collude with russia? the senate intel committee says it's not sure yet. >> i thought i was pretty clear that the issue of collu