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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  December 4, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PST

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watts, columnist and associate editor for the washington post, david ignatius and "new york times" reporter michael schmidt. happy monday, everybody. back in june, we tliel actually debated which of president trump's tweets may have been the most destructive to his presidency. our top five included attacks against the intel community, his accusation against president obama of wiretapping, his suggestions that he has tapes of jim comey, his calls for executive order on a travel ban and that he is being investigated for fire the fbi director. this came after michael flynn, trump's top national security
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adviser, pled guilt toy lying to the fbi on friday. the president tweeted saturday, quote, this. i had to fire general flynn because he had lied to the vice president and the fbi. he has pled guilty to those lies. it's a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. there was nothing to hide! the president's outside lawyer first said the tweet simply paraphrases what white house counsel ty cobb said that the false statements made to the fbi mirrored those he made to the administration officials. dowd later said he wrote the tweet and that all the president knew about flynn and the fbi at the time was that the department was not accusing him of lying. asked for the e-mail for the tweet, he said he dictated it to dan scavino. dowd said it was the first and last tweet he wrote for the
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president. there's a lot of possible lying going on here. i guess we could start with somebody explaining how damaging that tweet was by the president. >> clint, this is your specialty. >> yeah. >> damaging tweets. basically admits to obstruction of justice. and, of course, dowd didn't write that tweet. everybody knows he didn't write the tweet. the language used in there is not the language any first-year lawyer would use. so, how damaging is it that the president just admitted that he knew that michael flynn had lied to the fbi and then he went to the fbi director and told him to back off? >> it's a consistent pattern of inconsistency. that's the only thing you see in trump tweets. when you look at this, the pattern with the timeline, they were notified by yates that something had come up.
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president obama before that warned incoming president trump, have you a problem. if you brought up flynn, you were pressured, fired or then fired. he seemed to have something he knew about or understood or knew about the discussions with russia. every revelation comes to this point and every time he tweets he tells a different version of this story. >> such a shocking admission against his own best interest, his own best legal interest. >> right. >> we don't know whether mueller is going to be able to prove collusion ultimately. it may be too high of a standard. we do know just by the public record there's one piece of evidence for obstruction of justice after another. and this seems to be exhibit one. >> and there's two things happening here. one, we've repeatedly seen the president undermine his own best interests in a number of different fronts on twitter. now we've seen that he continues
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to give mueller potential evidence against him in an obstruction of justice case. and, you know, the idea that his lawyer wrote this tweet, let's just focus on that for a second. >> yeah. >> it's absurd. that's the first and only time he ever wrote -- >> and he dictated it. >> why write it in the first place. if you're the president's lawyer, why would you write something that implicates him in obstruction of justice. >> >> if you're a lawyer you would be clear. if it was a dictated tweet from a lawyer, it would not be obscure. so, he's saying he dictated it. yet they're trying to clarify it. >> i've just got to say, as a lawyer, albeit not a good one, as a lawyer you just would never in a million years write that tweet. you just wouldn't. and the fact that he had to go out and lie is something that
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he's not going to want to say in front of mueller. it's very clear he didn't and it's -- you know, again, these guys are so obvious. they're so bungling. this is like donald trump going on air force one and then saying let's lie about don junior's meeting that it was about adoption when they knew it was going to be discovered -- should have known that president trump's lie would have been discovered 24 hours. >> it points to a shakeup in the legal team. i'm not sure how long dowd can remain his lawyer if the special counsel now has to investigate that he sent this tweet. this could be very bad for dowd and then who is left, it. ty cobb, who was talking with a times reporter nearby?
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>> also the one saying this would be wrapped up quickly. >> i guess it is. >> well, if he continues to admit to everything it will be wrapped up pretty quickly. i did it. i did it. this is not too far from the final scene of every perry mason episode where the person on the stand starts breaking down crying saying i did it, i did it. except here they did it on a tweet. >> they keep getting twisted up because they're not the only party to these actions. they give credibility to everybody against them every time they tweet. i think comey is right on point because his story has never changed. the russians must be drooling. >> i want to frame how big friday is and the big picture. first president trump also laced into the federal bureau of investigation. in a string of tweets over the weekend, writing so general flynn lies to the fbi and his life is destroyed while crooked hillary clinton, wow, that now
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famously fbi holiday sbor interrogation with no swearing in and no recording lies many times and nothing happens to her. rigged system or just a double standard? james comey said they had no basis to conclude that clinton lied to the fbi. trump tweeted more attacks, putting the justice in justice department in quotation marks. and, quote, after years of comey with the phony and dishonest clinton investigation and more running the fbi, its reputation is in tatters. >> all right, all right. >> worst in history. but fear not, we will bring it back to greatness. >> david ignatius, every time the president attack s the federal bureau investigation, i make sure to find a picture of 9/11 and everything those fbi agents did, night and day and night and day, to investigate that and work alongside other intel agencies to track down the people who were responsible for
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that heinous action. i'm proud for the patriot men and women who work in the fbi every day. thank you for your tireless dedication. they keep us safe. you look at bob muchlt eller and the threats bob mueller had to deal with in the days and weeks and months following september 11th. this is nothing less than shameful from the president of the united states, who now owns the, quote, justice department. >> i had the same reaction as you did to the fbi in tatters tweet. watching president trump, you have a sense of someone caught in a trap. and the more he tries to get out of it, the deeper in he gets. he flails one way and then the next. the attack on the fbi and its
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professionalism drew a very quick response from the person who represents fbi agents, who i'm sure clint knows well, drew response from mike rogers, former fbi agent. i just feel as if for trump, though, it must feel as if this is closing in on him week by week. and that's the only thing that can account for these strange tweets. just stand back and look at this. the person who trump tried to protect from investigation, mike flynn, is now been investigated, made a plea agreement and is cooperating with the investigation that trump hoped that comey would, quote, let go. so that's where we are. >> and this is part of michael schmidt's report in the claims that michael flynn acted alone. but "the new york times" reports that e-mails show that flynn was in close touch with other senior
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members of the trump transition, before and after he spoke with russian ambassador sergey kislyak, including an e-mail sent from k.t. mcfarland where she voiced concerns that obama administration sanctions would make it harder for trump to ease tensions with russia adding, quote, if there is a tit-for-tat escalation, trump will have difficulty improving relations with russia, which has just thrown usa election to him. it is unclear if mcfarland was saying she believed the election was thrown. although it kind of looks like that. according to the times, bossert forwarded the e-mail to six other trump advisers, including michael flynn, reince priebus and steve bannon. ty cobb told nbc news that it
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would have been malpractice not to discuss relations internally. cobb defended mcfarland's e-mail, telling nbc she was relatively new to the trump team and at this point was simply referring to democratic arguments. michael schmidt, is that what it looks like when you look at the details surrounding the reporting? >> it's not entirely clear what she was referring to. she's trying to summarize in the e-mail what the obama -- what she thinks the obama administration is trying to do in terms of moving forward with the sanctions. but at the same time, she has this sentence that sort of doesn't really clearly say whether this is what she believes or what obama is trying to do. nevertheless whatever it is, it shows how closely the transition was monitoring the issue of sanctions and how much they were focused on flynn's upcoming call with kislyak.
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they were afraid this would start this cycle where russia would retaliate and it would stop whatever momentum the incoming trump transition team was going to have with russia to build a new relationship. they thought that russia could unlock all of these problems that they knew they were going to have, with syria, with north korea and such. they were very concentrated on stopping russia from doing anything more in response to obama. >> you know, nick, the argument now that trump will make after michael flynn admitted to lying to the fbi, well, it's no big deal. we should have talked to kislyak and the russian at this point. but if it wasn't a big deal, if this is what transition men will say this is what you're supposed to do, why did every single one of them lie about their contacts with russia? why did they not put them on
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their disclosure forms? why did flynn lie to the fbi? why did jeff sessions lie repeatedly about contacts with russians? why? if it's not a big deal. >> it's the big question at the heart of this investigation. and why so many contacts with so many different people who are directly or slightly connected to kremlin interests over the course of many months, meeting at the seyshelles. meeting at trump tower. i can't quite understand -- maybe david can tell us more about this. it seems like an awful lot of focus on one country and one set of issues. yes, it's a big important count country, with a lot of problems, russia. but they were extraordinarily focused on this question of sanctions and everything else flowing from it. one question you wonder, are they worried about russia imposing sanctions back or doing something else that might impact their own interests here in the
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u.s.? >> donald trump's own interests. exactly, david. has anybody come forward and said, well, because it would be the perfect defense. well, of course we talked to the russians but look at all these times i talked to the ambassador to luxembourg or argentina. of course, you don't find t i'm being facetious there. geopolitically the most important country. >> to tell the story, as i understand it, there were early contacts in the transition with china, japan, certainly saudi arabia and the uae, which helped to set up what were really the central accounts for the trump administration foreign policy. the mystery is the one that nick is pointing to. to make a defense the day i first wrote about the flynn/kislyak phone calls on
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january 12, i noted this may be something that could be easily justified as being in america's interest. why didn't they just say that? why the elaborate efforts to conceal this? what is it that they were worried was at the bottom of the series of contacts with russia? >> david, putting it in context -- >> we still don't know. >> putting it context, yes, they reached out to the uae and different countries during the transition. putting this in proper context, you had papadopolous in march saying we're going to set up a meeting between putin and trump. you had other contacts moving forward, carter page, national security adviser getting paid by, you know, russia, to sit next to vladimir putin at rt event, something he didn't disclose, something that he didn't disclose. you had all the jared kushner
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meetings that he didn't disclose and bizarre meeting at don junior's office with the campaign manager, the son-in-law and everybody else. again, that's the pretext to this fbi lie. >> yes. and each of those -- most of the meetings you describe, importantly, involve discussion of material that russia might make available to the trump campaign that would be damaging to its adversary, hillary clinton. i think that's the consistent theme in the early context, april, may, june, on through to the release of the wikileaks material. i think that will get more and more focus as we go forward. and, as you say, that clearly distinguishes the russia contacts from contacts with china or any other country they might have had. >> or even the way he talked about russia right on this show was just out of the bounds of
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normality on any level. >> that was in -- remember -- >> we were awe struck. >> a lot of timelines you start, let's say, in march. in december of 2015, several months before any republican went to vote, clint, donald trump came on this show and was talking about what a great guy putin was, what a strong leader he was. he said but he assassinates political opponents. he kills journalists. and then donald trump felt like he had to defend vladimir putin and said well, we kill a lot of people, too. we're not perfect. and went on and on. >> insults mayors and governors. >> that was december of 2015, before -- two, two and a half months before the iowa caucuses. >> the first article i picked up on watching this was from august of 2015. is trump the man to mend fences with russia? that came out in sputnik news.
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since then, it was a full court press, diplomatically. >> did you say in august 2015? >> august 2015. >> two months after he gets into the race. >> wow. >> this is in the russian state-sponsored media. they're talking about what would this be like? what might we get from this? diplomatically kislyak, information, online and in person. we will provide you with information and online and social media, we're going to help you all the way through. militarily, flynn meeting. flynn meeting rt. he shows up and wants to deal with kislyak. economically, bankers showing up, touching base with kushner. >> so, mika, putting this in context, maybe that -- if you look at everything that happened leading up to flynn's meeting with the fbi, maybe there's something in there that made flynn tell himself, i have to
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lie to the fbi to cover something up. >> we're going to continue to methodically break this down. still ahead on "morning joe," inside the nerve center of bob mueller's investigation. robert costa has new details on what fbi agents and prosecutors are asking about and the name jared kushner comes up a lot. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ it's a lot easier to make decisions when you know what comes next. if you move your old 401(k) to a fidelity ira, we make sure you're in the loop at every step from the moment you decide to move your money to the instant your new retirement account is funded. ♪ oh and at fidelity, you'll see how all your investments are working together. because when you know where you stand, things are just clearer. ♪ just remember what i said about a little bit o' soul ♪ we're on a mission to show drip coffee drinkers, it's time to wake up to keurig.
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>> making fun of the handicap reporter like this? >> no! donald i'm not here for any of that. >> so who are you, jacob marley? you've got a lot of chains on. >> no, i'm michael flynn, the ghost of witness flipped. >> special counselor robert mueller has declined to make any comment about the russian probe but they've offered to lay out a picture of the investigation. in the past two months, mueller and his team have received private debriefs from two dozen current and former trump adviser s. once inside the special counsel office, witnesses are reportedly seated in a windowless conference room where two and three-person teams of fbi agents and prosecutors press them for answers. among the topics that have been of keen interest to investigators, how foreign government officials and their
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emissaries contacted trump officials as well as the actions and interplay of michael flynn and jared kushner, according to the people familiar with the questions. despite white house lawyer, ty cobb, saying he believes the investigation is wrapping up, "the post" reports that mueller's investigation has reached out to new witnesses in trump's circle in the past several weeks, telling them they may be asked to come in for an interview. political reporter for "the washington post," robert costa. >> robert, it looks like, based on your reporting, bob mueller is pot going to neatly -- >> tie this up. >> -- tie this up with a bow by the holidays. >> not at all. in fact, there are many trump campaign associates who are only now being contacted by the special counsel's office to come in for an interview. people who have been asked to provide documents, are still working on that process to submit those documents. just on that fundamental level that the special counsel at this
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moment doesn't have all the documents it wants to review, that's a clear sign that this entire probe is not wrapping up any time soon. >> david ignatius in washington has a question. david? >> bob, i'm just curious where you think this very meticuallows prosecutor is going next. he has got presumably mike flynn's cooperation. he's reached out, as you say, to so many people. do you have a sense of what the next shoe to drop in this regulation is? we have now had four indictments or plea bargains. what's next? >> rather than think about what's the next shoe to drop, you have to think about this entire process as a wide net that's being cast over many different facets of the white house, the administration, of the campaign. and you have different fbi teams coming into this windowless room throughout the day as they bring witnesses in. they're asking not only about foreign contacts made during the course of the campaign but decisions that were made during the trump presidency, looking at
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the potential obstruction of justice. there are different kinds of teams, different kinds of fbi experts, financial experts, the government bureaucracy experts, document experts that are all circling these witnesses as they come through. >> bob, nick contessore here. it's an interesting story. reading it, it seems like you're hearing mostly from people who have been in the room with those lawyers. bob mueller has not done much leaking. tell us what the mood is among those who have been in for those interviews or their lawyers, perhaps, who have watched these exchanges. >> there's a real confidence in this special counsel team, working with my colleagues, we found that witnesses were surprised that this process would go on all day, that the legal teams and the fbi teams were so calm and cool. the way they would work, they would put documents in front of witnesses and say tell us about where you were when you got this e-mail or sent this e-mail. who was talking to you?
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what was the decision process like? it was very methodical. it was very calm. it was not rushed at all. sometimes they would spend the entire day, one witness, with the special counsel's teams. >> carol lee? >> this is a really fascinating story. one of the things i'm wondering, you talk a lot about how questions are focused on the interplay between kushner and flynn. did you get any sense of why that is, what thaerp looking for? did anyone you talk to talk about what specific meetings they were focused on or anything like that? >> kushner's lawyer, abby lowell, has said that he has cooperated and just because questions are being asked about jared kushner doesn't mean he's a target. that being said, people involved with these interviews, that participated either as witnesses or lawyers, questions are being asked about swrard kushner's role with michael flynn. how did general flynn work to set up meetings? what was the process like for
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people to get a meeting with president trump or jared kushner or if they wanted to work with flynn? the special counsel, we're told, is very interested in the process of the process of what gets on the calendar, who controls the calendar and what went on ahead of meetings and after meetings. >> final thoughts. >> jared kushner, the name that keeps coming up. certainly has an awful lot since friday. what can you tell us? >> well, as we saw over the weekend there was a new report about his disclosures on his fs-86, the document he had to put in for his security clearance. questions about his security clearance, his role in this. he has been spoken to. it was only in the context of flynn, as the government was putting together the final touches of the flynn plea agreement. they wanted to speak with him about their interactions with flynn. there were questions about how they were lobbying on israel's behalf before the u.n. voted the end of last year.
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that was something that flynn pled guilty to, lying to the government about his conversations with kislyak. it's kind of a mess and we're still trying to untangle it here. kushner's role is still not clear. >> michael schmidt, robert co costa, thank you both. >> we'll talk to the former chief of staff at the cia. plus, "morning joe" spent the weekend pouring over the flynn plea deal. we'll talk about the notable things that are not mentioned in it and what that could mean for the russia probe. we're back in just a moment. let's get the big guy in place. the ford year end sales event is here. i can guide you in. no, thanks , santa. i got this. santa: uh, it looks a little tight. perfect fit. santa needs an f-150.
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most important parts of michael flynn's plea agreement could be the parts -- actually, this is interesting -- that weren't mentioned at all. former national security adviser had all sorts of trouble hanging over him. in the end, it was only a single charge that mueller's team hit him with. there may be a good reason why. >> the biggest problem with mr. trump is that he tells the truth. >> mike flynn has folded. >> lied to the fbi. >> bob mueller still hasn't laid all his cards on the table. >> very, very, very bad.
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>> flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi about what he told russians during the 2016 transition. >> single charge trump allies say it's much ado about nothing. >> this is good news for team trump. >> what flynn lied about is not a crime. >> the lowest possible charge they could get. >> flynn has been knee deep in controversies. >> president trump's former national security adviser michael flynn. >> mueller's charge didn't even mention flynn's failure to disclose payment from russia's state-owned tv channel, a payment he denied to investigators. >> unbelievable. >> nor did it mention his late filing as an agent for turkey, with the erdogan regime about a big payday for capture and rendition of a turkish dissident residing peacefully in the united states. >> wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. >> not a word about flynn's part
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in nixing help. and adult son reportedly at risk for prosecution for his part in his father's business. >> concerns about general flynn? >> yes, yes! >> friday's revelation had nothing about multiple reports of flynn advocating for private nuclear power plants across the middle east. a plan backed by businesses flynn consulted for just weeks earlier. nor was a strange story of a republican operative who claimed he was talking to flynn in a hunt for clinton e-mails that included outreach to russians or flynn's alleged september 2016 business meeting with pro-russia congressman dana rohrabacher. with so many controversies on the table begs the question, why the slap on the wrist. >> there is many more stories that general flynn will have to tell. >> flynn's cooperation and an
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inside view of trump's rise to power is a message from mueller. your secrets are not safe. wow, you stack that up and it's like arresting al capone for y jaywalking. nick, possibly one of the most devastating charges that mueller has stayed away from, that he could always go back to, was the possible kidnapping of a turkish dissident. a kidnapping that would keep him and anybody else involved in that in jail for the rest of their lives. >> look to the added example here. the allegation is that he met with the former cia director, bunch of turkish business people, officials and talked about taking a man living in the poconos and putting him on a plane and taking him to turkey where presumably he would never
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hear from him ever again. >> right. >> and that was not even in the charges. it's so bizarre and wild, the range of things that flynn got up to that could get him in trouble that are not covered there. >> i saw lindsey graham. it makes me sad because i know lindsay. it looked like lindsey and other people were saying this is much ado about nothing. make mes me sad. carol, anybody that has a law degree -- even that doesn't have a law degree could look at those charges and the fact that it's only for lying to the fbi, the first second i saw that news break i was like ouch. that hurts. and it hurts because they have all of this -- oh, okay. oh, really, you're not going to completely cooperate? all right. let's bring the charge of kidnapping. we're also going to bring charges on the state level, too, so you're going to jail the rest of your life. >> you don't bring him up on
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something so insignificant or small when you have all those other things you very artfully laid out, unless he has a big story to tell. and the only reason you flip someone is to get someone bigger. when you flip michael flynn there aren't that many people who are bigger. >> i heard somebody say you don't flip michael flynn to get hope hicks. >> no, you don't. >> you flip michael flynn to get -- well, on that pyramid either swrajared kushner, donal trump or both. >> or don junior. >> exactly. >> only people bigger are those folks. clearly, you know, there were a number of things that mueller could have brought on flynn that we know he's looking into. and that kt fact that he didn't, should make the trump people nervous. and we saw from trump's reactions on his tweets that perhaps he is nervous. >> there were congressmen i served with that went to jail for golfing in ireland and
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putting a statement in the congressional record. i just want people to understand when they say this is much about nothing. people get thrown in jail for things like that. getting tickets. forget the kidnapping. the plans for kidnapping. here you've got a guy that when he was in office was pursuing the possible building of nuclear plants across the -- that's not around the gulf of ireland. >> no. this is a full buffet of holy cow. >> full buffet of holy cow. >> he would be in charge of counterintelligence for the entire military. he would be the military's expert on how do you counter influence from foreign nations, how do you do counterintelligence? in this there is economic, military, all sorts of influence being levered against him with
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cash payments behind it. i can't imagine what happened with general flynn that he was switched this way. as a young lieutenant he was well known, as a colonel out in the army and well respected. i don't know what happened between then and now. >> national security analyst jeremy bash is a former chief of staff at the cia and department of defense. so, jeremy, what are the chances at this point that flynn has nothing to say? >> zero. i think the only reason he got a light charge, as joe noted, is because he is fully cooperating. often times what happens with that other litany of offenses that joe laid out in his piece is that they will come into play in sentencing. mueller has biforcated the process. michael flynn is now a convicted felon. at sentencing they will come forward. and if they want to write up that sentencing, they will write a sentencing memo where they
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will lay out those other charges. and a 5k motion, memo from the prosecutor saying that this guy has been cooperating, giving us this important detail. let's reduce his sentence. >> david ignatius, i heard over the weekend that somebody who worked with general flynn -- in fact, quite a few high-ranking generals who work with general flynn sort of said the same thing as clint did. they don't know what happened because it might be hard for people to remember but general flynn was one of the best and the brightest at what he did. was extraordinarily gifted and was seen in military circles as a bit of a treasure. gl he is an officer. i met him as a two-star general in afghanistan. i followed his work before that in iraq. he had a reputation for having figured out how to fuse
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intelligence, to drive operations by our special operations forces, just to go night after night against terrori terrorists i have felt looking at flynn for these many months that there is something that happens when people have been in the most secret parts of our government and then come out into this open world. they're not very good at it. when flynn left the dia, management job that he didn't do all that well by most accounts, suddenly he's out and he begins taking on these strange consulting projects. he gets involved with donald trump. he becomes quite intemperate in his public remarks. he sits next to have load mere putin. especially when he comes from this closed, everything is secret world. i'm wondering about what jeremy said and where this is going.
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do you think there's any chance that the plea agreement, in effect, with flynn is so light is because his lawyer, bob kelner, bargained that hard, that he would only agree to cooperate with the government on this very narrow range of things? >> i think that's possible. also the prosecutors thought that their most air-tight case against him was this lying charge. the fbi takes most seriously. last week i attended an annual event at fbi agent association dinner where they honor the service and sacrifice of fbi agents. chris wray, democrat he can'ter, andy mccabe was there. to a person, they are horrified and offended at the way the president is rolling out this attack against the bureau. they thought comey was very popular. one of them said to me he was almost wildly popular and remains so to this day.
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and their view of the president's attack is -- again, they're beside themselves and they don't understand why the president of the united states would attack a bureau that plays such an integral role in protecting our nation. >> carol? >> jeremy, what is the process next? we saw, obviously, michael flynn in court on friday and you have the plea agreement. now what happens? >> first, the special counsel has a number of tasks before him. first of all, they have to get ready for the trial of manafort and gates, no small issue. they'll be rolling out a series of motions and activities to prepare for that trial. second is they have to work with pap papadopoulos and get ready for his sentencing again similar to flynn. that will impact his sentence, his cooperation. i think the whole weight of the special counsel will turn to the issue of obstruction. what you saw in the president's tweet this weekend was, in effect, a confession. this is a confession by the president that when he fired jim
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comey, he knew a felony had been committed. he knew that flynn had lied to the fbi and the president, in effect, said i fired comey not just because i was worried that flynn was a good guy and i want to say loyal to him but i knew a felony had been committed and want to stop that investigation. >> jeremy bash, thank you. controversial tweet about michael flynn's firing over the weekend, senator richard blumenthal said obstruction of justice in the oval office was unfolding before our eyes. member of the senate judiciary committee will join the table this morning. now within striking distance of a tax reform bill that may help the rich more than the middle class, two senior gop senators may have had their own let them eat cake moments.
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it's the night we're going to be voting on the tax bill. i just got the tax bill 25 minutes ago. this is the tax bill. see how thick it is? i want you to take a look at this. this is your government at work. here's the bill, and it's written. here's the modifications that are in it. i can read one word. it's called add this language. can you tell me what that word is? if you can, you got better eyes than me. >> that is quite -- >> isn't that unbelievable? writing in the margins in we're going to talk about that story in one sec. we have a bit of news here. it looks like based on a tweet you just read me -- >> is it the president? >> it looks like the president. >> it looks like -- >> trying to distract beautifully. >> a full endorsement of roy moore. >> that's right. it hasn't got the word endorsed
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but it says democrats are bad on tax cuts and we need more on the boarder wall, military, judges, second amendment and more. no to jones pelosi schumer pickup truck. >> how is that not an endorsement? >> he says we need republican roy moore. that is donald trump, the white house, on december 4th that's come out in support of roy moore. >> on that note, republicans, republicans pass tax plans in both the house and the senate, but now they have to get their plans on the same page. party leaders say they are confident it will happen. the senate version cleared in the early hours of saturday morning in a 51-49 vote along party lines. the big criticism of the tax plan is that it favors the rich over the middle class a narrative only reinforced by two senior republicans. senator chuck grassley said he would support the losing the
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federal estate tax, a tax generally aimed at the wealthy. he said i think not having the estate tax recognizing the people that are investing as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have whether it's on booze or women or movies. >> okay. >> and during the debate -- >> wait. hold on here. you have a guy who is a chairman of two committees saying the rich can handle tax cuts but the working class can't, because they spend, quote, every last penny on booze, women, or movies. this is -- this is straight out of -- this is really straight out of sort of the welfare queen cartoon that right wingers put out in the early 1970s. >> season one of "madmen".
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1950s era kind of talk. >> joining the talk, senator orn hatch discussed a program that congress allowed to expire. >> nobody believes more in the chip program than i. i invented it. i was the one who wrote it. chip is having trouble because we don't have any money anymore. i have a rough time wanting to spend billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won't help themselves. they won't lift a finger and expect the federal government to do everything. and unfortunately, the liberal philosophy has created millions of people that way who believe everything they are or ever hoped to be depends upon the federal government rather than the opportunities that this great country grants them. i think we'll get chip taken care of.
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and hopefully a number of other things too. but we're going to have to resolve some of these big problems around here, it seems to me, even before we get the problems solved. >> david ignatius, what makes this so much more unsettling is that when senator hatch delivered his comments, he said there was not any money left to fund a children's health insurance program that he helped start because all of those welfare recipients seizing all the money. it's what basically what he said. nothing about federal debt or what drives it. this is just blatantly false. also he said we don't have any money for children's health care insurance on the same night he
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put america $1 trillion deeper in debt for tax cuts aimed primarily at the rich. these are -- if there were a hollywood movie painted republicans this way five years ago, a movie that painted republicans this way, or a west wing episode that painted republicans this way, my head would blow up. because i would say look at them. there they go again. making us villians, making us cartoon characters. those guys just said it on the floor. >> well, looking at the grassley and hatch comments, i september thinking this is like hillary clinton talking about the deplorables. this is categorizing most people on the other side as being unable to deal with the money they might get from tax cuts. i think the republicans really
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are painting themselves into a corner. it's such a rush to achieve this bill and get it done. they're going through every red and yellow light from even conservative economists that are warning about the consequences. when everybody wakes up after this pill is finally passed and signed into law, i think there's going to be a real hangover. maybe the financial markets will be on a sugar high thinking of all the additional money that will flow in, but i even wonder about that. >> all right. still ahead on "morning joe." >> well, the president is the president of the united states, so they're considered official statements by the president of the united states. >> right. that was sean spicer talking about president trump's tweets. but does the white house still consider them official statements when one is a potential smoking gun for obstruction of justice? you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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given to vice president pence who was with us today, and i was not happy with the way that information was given. he didn't have to do that, because what he did wasn't wrong. i fired him because of what he said to mike pence. very simple. my white house counsel came to me. they had, i believe two meetings, and we ultimately fired, but we fired far different reason. >> you're talking about general flynn? >> yes. >> because of lying to the vice president? >> yeah, but everything plays into it, but we fired him because he said something to the vice president that was not so. >> president trump speaking earlier in the year as to why michael flynn was fired. no mention then of knowing flynn lied to fbi agents. welcome back to "morning joe." it is monday, december 4th. with us this hour we have political writer for the new york times nick confessore.
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national reporter for nbc news, carol lee. special agent clint watts. associate editor for "the washington post," david ignatius, and joining the conversation, former justice department spokesperson now an msnbc justice and security analyst, matthew miller. >> matthew, tamerlin tsarnaev a -- i have to ask you off the top. when the president of the united states says he had to fire michael flynn because he lied to the fbi, what did that immediately say to you? >> it immediately said he's admitting to obstruction of justice. it's important the important was admitting when he asked jim comey to back off of mike flynn, it wasn't just because he was a good guy or because he thought flynn hadn't broken the law. it was because he knew at the time that flynn had committed a crime. and that's damming enough. it's also damning in context.
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sally yates was clear. she didn't tell the white house that flynn lied to the fbi. she refused that answer that question. for the president to know at that time that flynn lied to the fbi, it wasn't because the fbi had told him or the justice department. he only could know because mike flynn told him, and that gets you into an entire conspiracy to impede and obstruct this investigation, and i think a pretty damning moment for the president. >> john dow, he was baffle heg said he wrote that tweet. on his face, that appears to be false. he also claimed the president cannot obstruct justice because he's the chief law enforcement officer under the constitution article 3 and has every right to express his view on any case. let's stop there for a second
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this sounds like steven miller saying the president is not to be questioned. the president's lawyer is saying the president cannot obstruct justice. this sounds like maybe a statement that erdogan's spokesperson would say, but in america. i mean, what's your reaction to that remarkable claim? >> look, joe, they might as welcome out and say the president is above the law. that's the take away from that statement. that the president can do whatever he wants. he can shut down investigations into himself and his friends and allies. and there's no recourse. i think there is a legal argument over whether the president can be indicted. it's never happened in our history, and there's some debate over it. but there is no question that the president can obstruct justice. if he can't be indicted for it, he can be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors nature statement is troubling and it's an admission that if you're down to arguing the president can't
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obstruct justice, you're almost saying he did. >> exactly. david ignatius, so let's key in on this reporting by mike allen. the president's lawyer saying the president cannot obstruct justice. your thoughts? >> well, it's a breathe taking statement. in the end it does put the matter four square. this investigation that mueller is conducting will affect the president to the extent that the house of representatives decides that there are high crimes and misdemeanors, impeachable offenses that are conveyed by the information mueller gathers. we don't know how mueller will make his report to congress about any unindicted co-conspirators or others he finds. that was never specified in his appointment. while it's technically true that he didn't obstruct justice and get prosecuted in a criminal
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way, i think we are moving much more quickly now. just look at the comments of diane feinstein, for example. moderate democrat using the phrase obstruction of justice to talk about the president's actions. this set of things that he has done that derail the investigation are now at the center of the investigation. it is going to be resolved through our political mechanism of impeach m if it's resolved at all. >> i'm wondering, how do you not call the president pressuring the fbi to drop an investigation against somebody that works for him, his national security adviser who lied to the fbi? how do you not all that obstruction of justice? how do you not call the firing of james comey anything but obstruction of justice when the president admits to lester holt, the president spokesperson admits to the press corps.
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the president brags to the russian foreign minister, and the russian ambassador to the united states, yes, i fired james comey, and i got the pressure off us? >> when you're reading that quote, it sounded nixon-like. it's not a crime if the president does it. and when you look at the time line of this, why would the president isolate comey in the oval office if he was not worried about that question or that pressuring sort of coming out. he strategically made that decision. it's always been strange to me that this is even up for argument. isolation, pressure, repeated firings all the way down the list. and it really points to the fact that if you look all the way back, this started off russian influence. that's where this thing started and this is almost now entirely about obstruction of justice. >> carol, we showed a time line. what's your take away about what we're hearing? >> one of the things this reminds me of is you remember when the president said he couldn't have a conflict of
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interest because he's president of the united states. you've just seen this is a president and the people around him who think the rules don't apply to him. and you've seen him repeatedly conduct himself in that way, and now he can say and his lawyers can say all he wants that he can't commit any obstruction of justice, but clearly robert mueller thinks he could commit obstruction of justice. that's what really matters. >> there's so much to can on. this tweet is learnly -- certainly a problem for the president, but so too is him telling the russian foreign minister, my god, and the russian ambassador of the united states, yeah, james comey is a real nut job. i fired him today to get pressure off the investigation, to relieve the pressure. >> yeah. >> talking to the russians. not the argentinians, the russians basically saying i got the pressure off of us. nothing to worry about.
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>> this tweet from john doubter reminds me of the o.j. simps back "if i did it". he's not saying i didn't do it, but if i did, it's not a problem. look, the antipathy to comey was totally clear. they were clearly trying from the go to try to stop this investigation, stuff it and get it punched down. and to say that to the russians in an oval office meeting has the connotation that the russians are on our side on this, or are -- >> right. >> -- or kind of aligned with us on this. >> which, by the way u.s. reporters were banned from that meeting but russian reporters were allowed in that meeting. let's talk for people not watching last hour. let's talk about what michael flynn was charged with and what he doesn't charged with. he was only charged with the
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equivalency of jaywalking when you compare it to the possibility of, say, kidnapping? >> right. >> which there's so many things that he could have been charged with, but let's focus on what he wanted to do for turkey. erdogan. >> essentially what he admitted in this plea was to conducting a campaign to discredit a cleric living in pennsylvania in the poconos, and either there are allegations he was meeting with people to figure out how to get this guy sent out of the country. >> who was he meeting with? >> he met with a number of senior turkish officials allegedly at the 21 club. >> what is that about? >> it's a very strange thing. he has denied he was at that part of the meeting. >> the part of the meeting -- >> exactly. just think about this. listen, $15 million. get this guy out of the country.
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everybody wins. that is a crazy thing far guy with flynn's stature to be involved. >> they're talking about getting the guy out of the country, returning him to turkey and getting paid how much? >> $15 million was reported by the journal, i believe. >> and you said, the former cia director was there but claims he wasn't there for the kidnapping part of the conversation. once the same man in lar law go talking to donald trump? >> he was. i want to clarify one thing. there was two meetings. one in september during the campaign that he was at, and then there was a meeting in december that was allegedly at the 21 club that involved senior turkish officials where they talked about the $15 million. it was in exchange for a cleric, but also to let the charges go against the ally of erdogan's who's charged with helping iran evade sanctions. for $15 million in the white house. when you go through that and then flynn pushing for a nuclear
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power plant contract in the middle east that benefitted one of his clients once he was in the white house. he was only there for 24 days. idea that this was a top priority at that time -- >> matthew miller, the fbi, the president hates the fbi. he certainly has good reason to hate the fbi, because the fbi is motivated by the truth. the facts. and the law. and it's going to be shocking to a man who for 70 years was able to bluster his way through, lie his way through, leak his way through one controversy after another just playing tabloids and new york off of each other, or playing fast and loose with the truth. you just see every one of these lies. it's like the bible verse. i mean, they're all being shouted from the mountain tops right now, and it's -- it does
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seem to be closing in on the president who spent this weekend attacking the federal bureau of investigations. and the men and women who served their patriotically every day. >> yeah. it's true. one of the things that trump for all his philandering about, one of the consistent themes of his presidency he always comes back to and has since january is this ongoing campaign to attack the career law enforcement officials at the fbi and the career prosecuters at the justice department. he's done it over and over, because i think as you point out, they're the one -- they are the one agency in his government that has some modicum of independence from the president. they're committed to carrying out the rule of law and committed to investigating his potential crimes. he coils at that when the attorney general and deputy attorney general won't do what
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he wants. he lash out. it's appalling for him to be constantly attacking people that it quite literally put their lives on the line to defend america. >> clint, he does not understand the culture. i remember after firing james comey, i remember somebody in the fbi telling me donald trump is now done. he's done something no one in the history of america has been able to do, and that is you neat the fbi. >> yep. >> we're all together now. we are one, this person told me. >> yeah. it's 10,000 agents that are fighting each other and fighting for america at the same time usually. and what's interesting is when you take on democratic institutions, the two that can check his power are the media and law enforcement. you know, the fbi, the department of justice. he consistently attacks those two because he cannot control them. and they actually can blunt what he does. when i see him go after the fbi which if we remember before the election, there was rumors of it being called trumpville, if you remember after the e-mail
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investigation came forward. so that he would challenge it that way after he corded law enforcement really tells you i think the fear he feels inside of him. >> let's bring in our national correspondent peter alexander live at the white house. peter, anything going on there this morning? >> reporter: yeah. the president will be leaving in a short time. we'll be able to pose questions from him on this topic as we sea him board marine one. he's going to be announcing a decrease in federal protected land. to emphasize why this matters. it's because the tweet deepens suspicions of obstruction of justice an impeachable offense. the president implying he knew flynn lied before he was asked to drop the flynn case. here the president's outside lawyer says he dictated that tweet to an aide telling nbc news he's responsible. the president did not know flynn lied to the fbi when he fired
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him, insisting doud is getting out of the tweeting business for good now. he says he basically he says he wouldn't say whether the president signed off on the tweet but generally according to white house officials we speak to the president and his social media director are the only ones who tweet from the president's account. the aide almost always gets approval before he posts anything. a couple of things that are notable as you look at the tweet from the president, he uses the word pled, not pleaded. you would think an attorney would know that's not the case. that raises suspicions for some folks and raises questions about doud's status in the legal team now that he'll want to speak to him about who wrote it. on taxes the clock is ticking. republicans rushing to put a tax bill on the president's desk before christmas. the senate approved the plan over the weekend. the president tweeting over the
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course of this morning, first tweeting about the need for roy moore, the alabama senate candidate to win because they need votes from him going forward. and also tweeting the following going after democrats. the president just writing putting pelosi schumer liberal pickup truck jones into office in alabama would hurt our republican agenda of low on taxes tough on crime, strong on military and borders. and later he writes with a great vote of cutting taxes, this could be a big day for the stock market and you. >> peter alexander, thank you so much. you know, the impact of all of this is obviously hitting the president hard. >> you can feel it. >> yeah. you can really feel it. and you can also see the approval ratings collapsing. i mean, on friday a daily tracking poll had donald trump's approval rate agent the lowest yet, 33%.
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disapproval was at its highest yet. now, just look at the numbers for a second. this -- barack obama was never at 33%. george h.w. bush was never at 33%. jimmy carter was never at 33%. ronald reagan was never at 33%. you could go down the list. these are low numbers special for the first year. >> i don't know how you spin this any other way but an abomination. >> ron, that's what we've always talked about. we've called it the 33% strategy. this is what he gets. look at the job disapproval rating spiking up over 60% and going down 30%, and i'm sorry, republicans, i think a lot of this also has to do with tax cuts for the rich as trump
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voters think they are where all these programs are being gutted and the very people that voted for barack obama twice and voted for donald trump can't be pleased with what they're seeing in washington. >> joe, that 33% strategy works only has long as republicans remain silent and go along with this president and his policies. the minute they begin to break and say our interests are not served by supporting someone who has this low an approval rating, we're going to be in trouble in 2018 if we stick to the president's positions, i think then you get the real decisive political change moment. but we're not there yet. i continue to be amazed with the news that we've had over the last week, at how few republicans really are prepared to defect from the script. it's astonishing to me. >> it really is astonishing.
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look at the last week, and especially if you measure what they say when the cameras aren't turned on. and they tell you that they believe he's unstable, which they do. i mean, so many people in capital hill say that. you turn the cameras on and have people blindly going out there saying he's the greatest president of all time. we'll see what happens after they pass the tax plan. maybe at that point they'll say, well, we got what we wanted from him. now we'll tell the truth about donald trump. i doubt it. >> matt, thank you very much. >> thank you, matt. >> thank you. >> still ahead on "morning joe." >> the judiciary committee has an investigation going as well. and it involves obstruction of justice, and i think what we're beginning to see is the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice.
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>> senator diane feinstein, the top senate on the senate judiciary committee says she believes a case against obstruction of justice is coming together against donald trump. we'll talk to richard blumenthal next on "morning joe." with 5 times more ethnic regions... ancestrydna can pinpoint where your ancestors are from... and the paths they took to a new home. could their journey inspire yours? order your kit at ancestrydna.com
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general, why did president trump send out the videos. >> i know it was his intention to highlight the importance of creating safe and secure environments for our citizens, to make sure we have the right laws in place, to ensure at this critical time when isis is being defeated in the middle east, that there isn't a return of terrorists and extremists who can pose a risk for the person people or our allies in partners. >> that is president trump's national security adviser when
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asked about the president's retweets of several anti-muslim posts made by a far right group overseas. it echoes sarah huckabee sanders' explanation that despite the blunt con tent of the sweets she said -- tweets, she said they should not be the focus. that's our national security adviser. he's not going to say what needs to be said. >> there's a sense among people who have known mcmaster for a long time he's increasingly political and since he's been in the white house has really kind of assimilated. >> so like the entire -- britain can speak out articulately about this, but no republicans can, and nobody in our foreign policy community on the foreign policy team can say the truth? about how dangerous this is? >> by the way, these are neo
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fascist videos by a group that assassinated a member of parliament. there's a reason why both members of the labor party and even people like -- well, even people with good relationships with donald trump said this was an abomination and had to be taken for. here hr mcmaster, people are saying is assimilating into the white house which is defined by lies. >> is he afraid of president trump? >> this is a man who wrote dereliction of duty who said the lesson of the tragedy of vietnam was that you didn't have people speaking up to the commander in chief, speaking up to generals, speaking up to people in power, and h.r. mcmaster just went on tv and tried to explain away a
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neo- nazi video. >> power is a heck of a drug. he's in charge now. >> joining us now, richard blumenthal of connecticut. good to have you back on the show. >> senator, we're going to talk to you about obstruction of justice, but before we get there, i think we have to talk about what we just saw with america's national security adviser, a man who has been well respected his entire career. i was thrilled when he came national security adviser because he talked about dereliction of duty. he had a great career. he was extraordinarily respected. here you have a man going on sunday morning shows explaining away the president of the united states promoting to 40 million people in his twitter feed neo- nazi videos by a group that many
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people believe for good reason, inspired the assassination of a member of parliament. what's your reaction to that? >> my reaction is that we're at a real testing time for this country when people are going to either speak up and stand up and challenge the president of the united states or they won't. the white house is a very heady place, power is a very powerfully addictive drug, and donald trump is a very formidable personality. somebody has to stand up to him. i hope my republican colleagues in the senate will take the lead on this issue and also on obstruction of justice. there is a credible case of obstruction of justice against donald trump. >> argue it for us. what is it? >> well, if you take the president's own statement, his tweet, that he knew michael flynn was lying to the fbi when he fired him, which means that
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he knew michael flynn had committed a felony when he asked comey to stop the investigation of him, and when he fired comey, when he refused to do so, and when he fired sally united states -- yates, and when he called michael flynn to tell him to stay strong. all these acts are to impede and obstruction justice. then when you take the corrupt intent, the second element, just his tweet yesterday, his attack on the fbi. it's evidence of corrupt intent. it was stunning. these words are of a criminal defendant who has something to hide. the president of the united states, and to say that he is somehow above the law and cannot commit obstruction of justice simply because the president of the united states is absolutely absurd. >> let's bring into the conversation law professor at george washington university mr.
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turli, and joyce vance. >> joyce, thank you for being with us. first of all, roll tide. >> roll tide. >> i watched this with him. didn't get it. >> mika had no idea why i scream at the top of my office. >> rolling coverage of people talking about football. >> it was amazing. just amazing. >> joyce, you worked in the u.s. attorney's office back when presidents in the old days when presidents used to appoint women for such positions. they don't do that anymore. but if you could -- if you were there today, and you were prosecuting a case, and the target of your prosecution was donald trump, how would you look at his tweet this past weekend where he said he knew that flynn had lied to the fbi and had to fire him, but then went on for the next couple of months trying to pressure the fbi to drop
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their case against flynn? >> it's evidence. it's evidence against him. it's the best evidence of his state of mind. that's why i think we saw his lawyer john doud jump in so quickly in an effort to say it wasn't the president's tweet. if it is, in fact, his own comment, it's really an admission of guilt, and something that could be very powerfully used against him. of course, with the kacaveat th we don't expect to see a sitting president indicted. there's typically more for an impeachment proceeding. >> what do you think, senator? >> well, the attempt by john doud to take the fall here is really leudacris. when has anyone ever put words in donald trump's mouth? and second, no matter who drafted it, it's still donald
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trump's words, and if john doud truly wants to take responsibility, he has to resign from the president's legal team. he's going to be a witness in a trial at some point, and no telling which side he'll be a witness for. but i think now these threats and intimidation raise the specter of political interference in this investigation, much like the saturday night massacre, and i'm going to press the judiciary committee to move forward with legislation protecting the special council. it's bipartisan, and we have five co-sponsors. we have no choice but to move forward. >> it looks like john doud just made himself subject to this investigation. >> i have a question for jonathan. this is a question that can only be asked in 2017. is it possible that a tweet from the president is going to be evidence or an exhibit in a charge of obstruction of justice
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against the president of the united states? is that even possible? >> oh, of course it is. it can be evidence. it goes to state of mind. it can be evidence of obstruction. obviously the white house is now denying that these were his words. but it creates a series of problems for the legal team. i mean, this is a team that's already had trouble. it's like monte python's crack suicide squad. they show up with an oppressive army and die at your feet. we saw this earlier, a trump lawyer making a public admission of withheld documents by the white house. we now see this. the problem is that there's a crime fraud exception to attorney/client privilege. doud put himself in the middle of this investigation. there's no reason why the special counsel should take the word that the president didn't write or dictate this language. it couldn't be worse.
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it's baffling to see this stumbling by the trump legal team continually. >> it's incredible. >> joyce, if just hypothesizing that doud is right and that he did dictate this tweet and it wasn't the president's words. does that matter? >> well, that's an interesting question. because we've now seen judges in the muslim ban line of cases hold trump accountable for his tweets say thag are public and official states. but i think it goes a little bit beyond that. we're talking about the president of the united states. and when he takes words written by someone else and puts them out there as his own, i think he owns those words, and it's going to be very difficult for him to back away from them no matter who drafted him. >> it's a di stings without a difference. if somebody drafts something for you in your name, you put it out, especially if your hauoffi has said any tweet i give is the
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official tweet of my office. that's what sean spicer did. he said any tweet is the official statement of the white house. then this president -- i mean, the only thing as jonathan said, the only thing they've done by denying it is made matters worse. >> and where is the president saying i disavow this tweet? it was my lawyer. i never saw it. and i'm firing him? if the president really wants to -- >> or delete the tweet. it's still up there. >> it's just hanging out there. >> you're right, joe. that's the critical point. these words are his. it doesn't matter who drafted them or how many drafts there were. he owns the words. he has to take responsibility, and there's no reason they are not evidence in a criminal prosecution against, by the way, someone else as well. i think the question of what did
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they know and when did they know it has to be asked about pence, sessions, kushner, because the flynn statement of facts implicates others in the transition in the campaign as well. >> yeah. boy, you know, jonathan turly we've heard the expression less is more. talked about it last hour. chill, i was chilled by the one single small charge that mueller brought against general flynn. and those going out saying it's much adieu about nothing, i suggest haven't followed these sort of investigations before. as if there's ever an investigation quite like this. but when you saw that of all the things they could have charged general flynn for, they stuck to the least significant, what were your thoughts? >> well, as a criminal defense attorney, you always worried when what i call a matinee defendant takes a plea.
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there are only two reasons why a prosecuter does that. either the charges are too difficult to prove. that doesn't seem to be the case here, or he's able to offer someone more valuable than himself. now, that list of people that he could implicate is getting shorter by the day, because of how high he is. we're not sure if he'll be cooperating against. people talked about paul manafort, kushner and others. but it's speculation. what is clear is that this is a very good deal. it's a very small footprint on the plea agreement. he probably is looking at no jail time or a max of six months under sentencing rules. so the question is why did he offer some deliverables? now, having said that, like the manafort indictment, we should be very careful here. flynn saying he lied or possibly implicating someone like manafort still doesn't make out any criminal aspect of russian collusion. the indictments on the field right now are for collateral
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crimes and lying for the foik. we're still looking for a material change on the collusion front. but that could come. this is a major player and it is significant. >> it's worth noting, again, that if you look at the crimes during watergate for all the crimes it took down the administration, you -- they were for a variety of things not related directly to watergate itself, spear -- they're building a case and getting inside of donald trump's head. >> these are real crimes. lying to the fbi, obstruction of justice, impeding an investigation, especially for the president of the united states or his national security adviser, michael flynn was in charge of protecting with united states of america, the chief national security adviser. and he lied to the fbi about
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russian collusion. it wasn't the logan act that brought him down. it was his lies to the fbi and the judiciary committee really has to now pursue obstruction out of justice with greater urgency. calling witnesses like jared kushner and donald trump junior, and pursuing this obstruction of justice investigation, because we have responsibility in the senate for oversight and protection of the rule of law and the department of justice. >> senator richard blumenthal, thank you. jonathan and joyce, thank you both as well. coming up, we know steve bannon hates members of the republican establishment. apparently he hates mitt romney even more. we'll explain that straight ahead. "morning joe" is back in a moment.
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was, in fact, stacked against everyone else. it's why i left my investment firm and resolved to use my savings for the public good. but here we are nine years later and this president and the republican congress are making a bad situation even worse. they won't tell you that their so called "tax reform" plan is really for the wealthy and big corporations, while hurting the middle class. it blows up the deficit and that means fewer investments in education, health care and job creation. it's up to all of us to stand up to this president. not just for impeachable offenses, but also to demand a country where everyone has a real chance to succeed. join us. your voice matters.
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a new report says president trump is trying to stop mitt romney from running for u.s. senate in utah. according to politico the president has been launching a behind the scenes campaign to encourage senator rahatch to ru again. according to politico sources romney's inner circle is infuriating after hearing the
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president has reportedly told friends he doesn't like the idea of senator romney. and the washington examiner reported that steve bannon is weighing an endorsement of hatch merely to try and block romney. nick, your thoughts? >> it's kind of amazing. this is a guy who they considered for secretary of state, and now he's public enemy number one. romney gave the most full and scathing attack on the now president during the campaign. went after him. said he was unfit. was a threat for the party. >> he was right. >> and if he becomes a senator, that's a big platform. >> romney was right and the president is mad about that. coming up donald trump was not happy two years ago when angela merkel beat him out for person of the year for "time". are either of them in the running for this year's honor? we'll reveal the short list
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straight ahead on "morning joe." ♪ ♪ everyone deserves attention, whether you've saved a lot or just a little. at pnc investments, we believe you're more than just a number. so we provide personal financial advice for every retirement investor.
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really, i thought there was breaking news. everyone was talking like it was so important. the college football playoff committee made the final selections yesterday to the coverage. and here to break down the picks, the host -- paul finebomb. >> mika just did not -- >> i was transif i safixed. >> mika had to leave the house before the announcements came in. she left me to scare the dogs with me screaming at the top of my lungs when alabama -- >> mika, i don't know why you didn't understand how important this was. >> i'm working on it. i had a dog sit next to him. the dog found it very important. he's not a very smart dog. but he's a nice dog. >> paul -- >> that, he is. >> you know, there are -- this is so strange. yesterday you talked -- you
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heard everybody talking about the top four in the playoffs. everybody said the best team is alabama. in doubt about it. but the team that's going to get in is ohio state. shocked becau the committee did, quote, the right thing. according to a lot of analysts on espn on picking alabama in the fourth spot. of course georgia, oklahoma and clemson the other three spots. what happened? >> well, the committee actually did the right thing. they used common sense and not to get overly political here on this show, but i was concerned and i think a lot of people were as well that this committee would have alabama fatigue and alabama has been in this playoff for three consecutive years. it's only been in existence for that long. they would cherry pick and put ohio state in. they're from the big ten. from a very important part of the country. power standpoint. they would put a team that deserved to get in based on
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resume versus the best. who really knows what this committee thinks about, but i think in the end, they could not get past one thing with ohio state. and for you nonsports fans. that was the difference on this committee. the powerful big ten commissioner. >> i thought if alabama lost 31 points to unranked conference team, there would be n't be the conversation. you also talked about usc. they won their conference. good 11-2 record. you think we're going to go to eight teams. for people that don't really follow college football much. there's so mump monc much money
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do you think they're going to be expanded out to eight. >> i don't. the people that run college football didn't want this. if 2011, i was in new orleans and all the commissioners showed up and said we are not changing the old bcs. that is when alabama played lsu. sound familiar. two teams from same division in the same conference. such a bad game by the time they left new orleans. they had expanded to four team playoff. if you have an eight team playoff, you devalue conference championship games. which are very beneficial financially to these conferences and these people are very slow to change 6789 ju. just like the world is slow to change. missing the boat. most exciting thing in the sport, but what else is new.
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alabama wasn't going to get in. ten minutes after they got in after the giant killers in clemson, they were already one point favored in vegas. explain that. >> another reason they got in, nick called in favors. he was very political. showed up at espn at midnight on saturday night. can you imagine making a phone call to espn. that's very unnilikely. there was a story in usa today that alabama got in because of brand loyalty. no they didn't. they got in because they were one of the four best teams. they are not one of the four best today, but in a month when alabama gets most of its players back, i think they will be the best team. >> what about oklahoma, georgia. how good are those teams? you think clemson is the best team in america right now. >> i think as of this saturday, alabama has been devalued because they have suffered
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numerous injuries on the defensive side. you know. i think it will shake out. i trust nick with a month to prepare, don't you. >> all you have to do is see what he did with fsu and what he does to every great team they play at the beginning of the year. give him a month. he gets the guys back. i wouldn't want to be clemson. maybe they end up winning, you actually have alabama as you know being able to have some basically locker room separation. >> not to go vegas here, but alabama really has revenge games. doesn't happen when you win every game. they do this time around. >> lost to clemson last year in the championship. >> paul, we'll be watching you this afternoon as always. >> edge of my seat. >> every day. still ahead after donald trump's lawyer seems to be
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making a pivot. instead of just saying the president didn't obstruct, he's now saying the president can't be guilty of it because he is the president. what country are we in? we'll talk to our chief legal correspondent coming up on morning squloe. ( ♪ ) when it comes to holiday shopping, my wife loves style, my son is all about technology and my daughter? she just loves horses.
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welcome to morning joe. with us we have political writer for the "new york times." national political reporter for nbc news, carole lee. flint watts columnist and associate editor for "washington post" david eignatius and "new york times" report. michael submit. happy monday, everybody. back in june, we actually debated which of president trump's tweets might have been the most destructive to his presidency. at the time, our top five included his february attacks against the intel community. wiretapping by the obama, his suggestion in may he had tapes of conversations with james comey that one likely paved the way for appointment of the special counsel. his repeated calling immigration policy a travel band. and acknowledgment in june being
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investigated for firing the fbi director and now there's a new contender for the top five. this came after michael flynn trump's former national security adviser pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi on friday. the president tweeted on saturday, quote, this. later said he wrote the tweet, all the president knew about flynn and the fbi at the time was that the department was not accusing him of lying. as for the e-mail with the
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tweet, dowd said he dictated it to dan scavino. the club guy. dowd said it was the first and last tweet he wrote for the president. that's a lot of possible lying going on here. i guess we could start with somebody explaining how damaging that tweet was by the president. >> this is your specialty. >> yes, i mean damaging tweets. >> basically admits to obstruction of justice, and, of course, dowd didn't write that tweet. everybody knows he didn't write the tweet. the language used in there is not the language any first year lawyer would use. so how damaging is it the president admitted head knew that michael flynn lied to the fbi and went to the director and told him to back off. >> consistent pattern of inconsistency. that's the only thing you see with the trump tweets. when you look at this, the pattern with the timeline.
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they were notified by yates that somebody could come up. president obama before that had warned incoming president trump you've got a problem. you know, you need to deal with it. 1, 2, 3. if you brought up flynn, you are fired, pressure or then fired. so this is a very damming tweet that's come out. and every revelation that comes forward, he seems to have had something he knew about or understood or knew about the connections or the discussions with russia. every revelation goes to this point. and every time he tweets a tells a different version of the story. >> it was such a shocking admission against his own best legal interest. we don't know whether mueller is going to be able to prove collusion ultimately. may be too high of a standard, but we do know just by the public record there's one piece of evidence for obstruction of justice after another and this seems to be exhibit one.
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>> and there's two things happening here. one is we've repeatedly seen the president undermine his own best interest on a number of different fronts on twitter. and then now we've seen that he continues to give mueller promotional evidence against him in obstruction of justice case. the idea the lawyer wrote the tweet. let's focus on that first. it's absurd. that's the first and only time he wrote this and it was dictated. >> okay. why write it in the first place. if you're the president's lawyer, you would urge against it. >> it's obstruction of justice. >> if you're a lawyer, you would be clear and they're trying to walk back the tweet and reshape it. if it was a dictated tweet from a lawyer, it would not be obscure. so he's saying he dictated it yet they're trying to clarify it. >> i just have to say. as a lawyer, albeit, not a good one, as a lawyer, you just would
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never in a million years write that tweet. you just wouldn't. the fact he had to go out and lie, it's something he's not going to want to say in front of mueller. it's very clear he didn't. and this will is again, these guys are so obvious. they're so bungling. this is like donald trump going on air force one and then getting everybody together and saying, hey, let's lie about don junior's meeting and say it auz about adopti was about adoption when they knew it -- should have known that president trump's lie would have been discovered in 24 hours. >> also points to a shakeup on the legal team. i don't know how long dowd can remain the lawyer if the special counsel now has to investigate if he sent the tweet. you can't be a lawyer in the same investigation where you're a witness. this could be very bad for dowd and if dowd has to go, who is
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left? ty cobb, the guy out in the bar talking about the case? >> very costly. >> he's also the one saying that this is going to be wrapped up quickly. >> yes. thank you. i guess it is. >> the other parts -- if they just admit to everything. it's going to be wrapped up quickly. i did it. this is not too far from final scene in every perry mason episode where the person in the stand breaks down and starts crying. here that i have did it on a tweet. >> they keep getting twisted up. they're not the party to all these raxactions. every time you watch the president tweet, you say i do think comey was right on point because his story has never changeds. the russians have sbrer action at each of these. >> how friday is in the big picture, but first president trump also laced into the federal bureau of investigation
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in a string of tweets over the weekend writing so general flynn and his life is destroyed. yeah. >> david ignatius, every time the president attacks a federal bureau investigation, i make sure to find a picture of 9/11
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and everything that those fbi agents did night and day and night and day to investigate that and work alongside other intel agencies to track down the people who were responsible for that heinous action, and, you know, those people, i'm proud and thankful for the men and women who work in fbi every day. thank you for your tireless dedication to america. i recommend every american goes on his or her twitter account and does the same thing. they keep us safe. look at bob mueller and the threats bob mueller had to deal with in the days, weeks, and months after september 11. this is nothing less than shameful from the president of the united states. who now owns the, quote, justice department. >> joe, i had the same reaction as you did to the fbi in tatters tweet. watching president trump, you have a sense of someone caught in a trap. the more he tries to get out of
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it, the deeper in he gets. if he flails on one then the next. the attack on the fbi and its professionalism drew a very quick response from the person who represents fbi agents who i'm sure clint knows well. drew response from mike rogers, former fbi agent and well known as a member of congress. i just feel for trump must feel as though this is closing in on him week by week. that's the only thing that can account for strange tweets. just to stand back and look at this, the person who trump tried to protect from investigation, mike flynn, has now been investigated. made a plea agreement. and cooperating with the investigation that trump hoped comey would, quote, let go. that's where we are.
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>> sand "new york times" report flynn was in close touch with other senior members of the trump transition before and after he spoke with russian ambassador sergey kislyak about u.s. sanctions. that includes december 29 e-mail sent from transition adviser kt mack far land where she voiced concerns that obama administration sanctions could make it harder for trump to ease tensions with russia: adding, quote, if there is a tit for tat escalation, trump will have difficulty improving relations with russia. which is just thrown usa election to him. it is unclear if mcfarland was saying the election was -- kind of looks like that. at the time, forwarded the e-mail exchange to six other trump advisers including michael
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flynn, reince priebus and steve bannon. white house attorney ty cobb told nbc news it would have been political malpractice. cob defended the e-mail telling nbc that she was relatively knew to the trump team and at this point was simply referring to democratic arguments. michael schmit, is that what it looks like when you look at the details surrounding the reporting. >> it's not entirely clear what she was roefri ireferring to. she's trying to summarize in the e-mail what she thinks the obama administration is trying to do in terms of moving forward with the sanctions. at the same time, she has this sentence that sort of doesn't really clearly say whether this is what she believes or what obama is trying to do.
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nevertheless, it shows how closely the transition was monitoring the issue of sanctions and how much they were focused on flynn's upcoming call with kislyak. they were afraid this would start the cycle where russia would retaliate and stop whatever momentum the incoming trump transition team was going to have. they thought russia could unlock the problems they knew they were going to have. syria, and north korea and such. they were very concentrated on stopping russia.
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this is what transition manuals say you're supposed to do. why do they lie? why do every single one of them lie about their contact with russia. why did they not put them on all they disclosure forms. why did jeff sessions lie repeatedly about contacts with russians? why, if it's not a big deal. >> big question of the investigation. why so many contacts with so many different people who are directly or slightly connected to kremlin interest over a matter of months. nra conference, meeting at trump tower, there are so many layers to this. it's so thick with discussion. it seems like an awful lot of focus on one country and one set of issues. yes, the big important country with a lot of problems, russia, but they were extremely focused on questions of sanctions and everything else flowing from it. one question you wonder is are
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they worried about russia imposing sanctions back or doing something else that might impact their own interest here in the u.s. still ahead on morning joe, bob mueller isn't just a figure head in the russia investigation. he's often in the room as prosecutors grill their witnesses. robert costa has new details from inside the special counsel nerve center. straight ahead on morning joe, but first, bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill? >> i don't know if you saw the show last night, but the super moon rise was pretty cool. so here's what we actually saw. this was the most visible super moon of 2017. it appears closer and brighter. it's about 14% brighter and 30% brighter when the moonlight. 30% brighter and 14% bigger. pictures to prove it. looks great. right over the horizontal. near any structures like trees or buildings and especially any mountains like that. absolutely guilt or innocence right there. don't despair, on january 31, we
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will have another super moon and at the same time, a partial lunar eclipse. daily double. a take that. snowfall, snowstorm in the northern plains. 2-4 inches of snow in windy conditions. blizzard warnings. big story on the map. rain today wisconsin. clear on the east coast. no problems on the west coast. let's fast forward through the week. take the storm today. by wednesday start to clear out the east coast. plan on early wednesday, wet morning on the eastern sea board. better during the day. then just a cold air mass takes over. national weather service in buffalo said someone could get 1-2 feet of lake affect snow by the time we get to thursday and friday. that will be the big story towards the end of this week. soov overall, cold erier condit
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for only $34.90 more per month. comcast is building america's largest gig-speed network to give small businesses more. call 1-800-501-6000 today. special counsel robert mueller has declined to comment, but "the washington post" is working to law out a picture of the investigation. according to the paper in the past two months, mueller and his team have received private debriefs from two dozen current and former trump advisers. once inside the special counsel office, witnesses are reportedly seat in a windowless conference room. where two and three person teams of fbi agents and prosecutors press them for answers. the post writes, among the topics that have been of keen interest to investigators how foreign government officials and
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their emissaries contacted trump officials as well as the actions and interplay of michael flynn and jared kushner. that according to the people familiar with the questions. despite ty cobb saying he believes the investigation is wrapping up, the post reports that mueller's operation has reached out to new people until trump's circle in the past several weeks, telling them, they may be asked to come in for an interview. bring in co-author of "washington post" article. political reporter for "the washington post," robert costa. >> robert, looks like based on your reporting, bob mueller is not going to neitherly tie -- neatly tie this up with a bow by the holidays. >> not at all. many trump campaign associates only now being contacted by the social counsel's office to come in for interview. people who have been asked to provide documents are still working on the process to submit
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documents. just on the fundamental level the special counsel does not have all the documents it wants to review, that's a clear sign this entire probe is not wrapping up any time soon. >> david in washington has a question. david. >> i'm just curious where you think this very meticulous prosecutor is going next. he's got presumably mike flynn's cooperation. he's reached out as you say to so many people. do you have a sense of what the next shoe to drop in this investigation. we had four indictments and or plea bargains, what's next. >> you have to think about the entire process as a wide net being cast over many different facets of the white house, administration, of the campaign. you have different fbi teams coming into this windowless room throughout the day as they bring witnesses in and asking not only about foreign contacts made during the course of the campaign, but decisions that
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were made during the trump presidency look willing at potential obstruction of justice. there are different kinds of teams different kind of fbi experts. financial experts. kboft bureaucracy experts. all circling these witnesses as they come there. >> bob, nick here. this is a fascinating story. reading it, it seems like what you're hearing from mostly people who have been in the room with nose lawyers. bob mueller has not done much leaking. tell us what the mood is among the people who have been in for the interviews or lawyers who have watched these exchanges. >> there's a real confidence in a special counsel team working with my colleagues. we found that witnesses were surprised that this process would go on all day. that the legal teams and fbi teams were so calm and cool and the way they would work is put documents in front of witness and say tell us about where you were when you got this e-mail or you sent this e-mail.
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who was oe talkitalking to you. what was the decision process like. very methodical. very calm. not rushed at all. sometime spend the entire day with one witness with the special counsel's team. >> this is a really fascinating story. one of the things i'm wondering you talking about questions are focused on interplay between kushner and flynn. did you get a sense of why that is? what they were looking for? did anyone you talk to talk about what specific meetings that he were focused on or anything like that. >> kushner's lawyer says kushner is cooperating and because questions are being asked about him, does not mean he is a target. that being said, people familiar with these interviews, people who have participated either as witnesses or lawyers, they say questions are being asked about the whole process during the transacti transition in particular about the role with michael flynn. how did general flynn twowork t
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set up meetings. what was the process like. essential counsel is very interested in the process. who will controls the calendar. what went through people's discussions ahead of meetings and after meetings. >> michael schmit. final thoughts. >> kushner is name that keeps coming up certainly has an awful lot since friday. what can you tell us? >> as we saw over the weekend. new report about his disclosures on ff 86. document to put in for security clearance. questions about his security clearance. his role in this. he has been spoken to. it was in the context of flynn as the government was putting together the final touches of the flynn plea agreement. they wanted to speak with him about interactions with flynn. questions about how they were lobbying on israels behalf
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before the u.n. voted the end of last year. that was something that flynn pled guilty to lying to the government about, about his conversations with kislyak. it's kind of a mess. we're trying to untangle it here. kushner's role is still not clear. >> michael schmit and robert costa, thank you both. coming up, time magazine reveals short list for person of the year. final pick won't come until wednesday. good news for the runners up, they can always create their own fake cover if they don't make the cut. morning joe is coming right back. so, that goal you've been saving for, you can do it. we can do this. at fidelity, our online planning tools
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discussing how john dowd views the legal landscape. john allen says dowd told him the president cannot obstruct the justice because he is the chief law officers under the constitution article two and has every right to express view of any case. dowd also added, quote, the tweet did not admit ab
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instructi obstruction. this is ignorant arrogant assumption. joining me now, jeff green field and chief content officer for gentleman net and editor in chief for usa today and usa today network joanne litman. author of the upcoming book on closing the gender gap at work. entitled that's what she said. over and over again she said it. yet it's still his idea, isn't it. >> always. >> always. we're getting there. it's hard to look at the developments friday and over the weekend. with the president's attorney. they are trying to avoid admitting to obstruction of justice. >> i think you're right. i'll make two observations here. first on the news then on the law. on the news, if you are accused of something, and you're defense is not i didn't do the thing i'm accused of, but the thing i'm accused of may be turns out as
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okay, even if you've been hearing for hundreds of years it's not, that's a bad sign. it tells you where the white house and some of the communicators are coming off friday when the former national security add sicomes out. that's bad period. on the legal side. they are putting forth a novel theory. i could tell you as a lawyer, sometimes novel theories work 6789 sometimes the lawyer changes. sometimes the court are more or less hospitable to things overtime. it is novel is the nicest word. let's not forget the past. without i'm not saying anything about this president and historical observation. >> look, dowd is the same person who said he wrote the tweet. and i think that tells you a
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lot. right. this is a guy. >> you think a woman originally wrote it. >> that's what she said. >> i do think the bottom line here is what we're talking about all morning and parsing all of this, is we've got to look at sort of the 10,000 foot view of this. which is is this going to get to donald trump or his inner circle. if so, what will that say. impeachment is fundamentally a political issue. and it is entirely possible given the conditions we're in now that when and if mueller
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were able to put something on the table that looked like clear obstruction of justice, the response on capitol hill would be from some fake news, it's all partisan, everybody does it. the notion i think people are locked in kind of watergate frame and viewing everything through a paris mrism. it as fundamentally changed. hard for trump's critics to accept this. his side is winning despite his historic unpopularity: amazing radical changes. the dream on the right for years, they are coming true. so the idea that a mueller finding is going to trickle that. i think is misplaced. >> interesting. exact deal we're talking about here. one end of pennsylvania avenue is a white house being drawn deeper into scandal and the other end is the reward the
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party is getting for putting up with it and letting it happen and dealing with it and making its peace with what the white house is becoming. >> the president endorsed roy moore this morning on twitter. if we can believe those are his words. we can believe those are the president's words, can we? >> i can tell you that this is an administration that has submitted to court that twitter statements are official presidential statements. i've worked for a senator before and there are times where staff are prepared in things. typically when something goes out public include under the name of the person, it's understood whoever prepared it to carry the name of the person. here we have an official binding statement thereof. it's hard to walk back a tweet even in your name if your claim your lawyer helped you with it. donald trump hit send and he's very clear he speaks for himself. >> trump said 33%.
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pretty low. you write act whether or not trump has made approval polls meaning less. at this point, i mean, polling in general is very strange, is it not. >> it is. certainly if you're looking at polls, you should take several tons of salt. the point i'm making is again, so many norms have ended. normally i would have said if you're looking at politics, a president with 33% can't get much of an agenda done. because of this perfect storm of republicans controlling capitol hill and seeing in trump a transaction figure who will let them do and help them do what they've been dreaming of, revamping the federal bench to a degree we haven't seen since roosevelt. the 33% approval rating doesn't tell you what it would have told you in other times.
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we have seen consistently that his supporters hover in that low 30s. absolutely die hard. not going to be moved by anything that he says or does. right. i do think the thing that could make a difference for his supporters and we've seen this, is the tweeting. we've seen it. the usa today network, usa today as the flag ship for the usa today local papers. our audience is half red, half blue. we're in tennessee, we're in florida. we're in arizona. we have a lot of deep red readers and we go back to them. we go back to a regular terms panel and we ask them consistently how are you feeling about the president. the last time we went back to the panel said we would still
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believe in him. still vote for him. fewer think he would be a great president than they did before. if you ask them why, it's tweeting. the tweeting is getting in the way of him. >> the very fact he was behaving in a way that was contentious of people like us, that's an asset. just very quickly. everything that i would have thought was above the donald trump turned out to be a feature. including his content for mornings. >> jeff greenfield. joe joanne litman. thank you. president trump was asked about michael flynn just moments as he departed the white house.
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was that moments ago he was asked. we'll bring you brand new sound. yes, it was moments ago. that's next on morning joe.
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yours. president trump at an event in utah. started talking taxes, but also weighed in on michael flynn. >> mr. president. >> going to utah. we're going to be doing something that the state of utah and others have wanted to be done for many, many years. it will be one of the great brilliant events in this country in a long time. so important for state's rights and important for the people of utah and i know a lot of you coming out with me will have plenty of time to talk. the stock market is going to have a big day based on the tax cuts we're in the process of getting approved, but based on the vote we had last week, the b
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stock market has been reacting unbelievably well. the only thing that hurts it is the fake news. there's plenty of that. we're heading out to utah. again, i know you're coming with me a lot of you. we'll have plenty of time to today. >> when did you'd find out that mike flynn lied to the fbi. >> well, i feel badly for general flynn. i feel very badly. he's led a very strong life and i feel badly. i will say this, hillary clinton lied many times to the fbi. nothing happened to her. flynn lied and they destroyed his life. i think it's a shame. hillary clinton on the fourth of july weekend went to the fbi not under oath. most incredible thing anyone has ever seen. lied many times. nothing happened to her. flynn lied and it's like they ruined his life. very unfair. thank you. >> mr. president, when did you find out he lied to the fbi?
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>> i mean, it's parody. nick, one of the great events of all time today. what is he talking about. >> seems he's on schedule to reduce the national monument out in utah. which may have been called for by some people in utah. i don't know if it qualifies as one of the greatest events in many years. >> my god. i'm just . . . >> let's bring in nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker. >> that was me. my voice a little bit strange right now have. i think it's worth pointing out looking, he answered one question from fox news, what was he reaction to flynn pleading garnishment. you saw hi response there which is sort of taking a page from one of his favorite play books. which is to turn the conversation back to hillary clinton. his rival in the campaign.
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reviving the weekend she went to testify on july 4 and saying he lied to the fbi, of course we've never heard the fbi accuse her of that. it's worth noting there are a number of other questions shouted out. my question when did he find out the reason i asked that question relates to the tweet you've all been talking about throughout the morning. that tweet over the weekend which john dowd, the president's attorney said he authored said the president fired mike flynn because he lied. not only to the vice president, but also the fbi raising some very serious questions about potential on instruction. has the white house given you examples of what lies they claim hillary clinton told the fbi? >> no, i think that's an important point, joe. you heard the president say it
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there. he didn't give any examples. >> so is donald trump now lying about hillary clinton lying to the fbi because i've never -- this is new. i've never heard donald trump say on -- no, listen, we were very critical of the meeting. we were very critical of the interview. >> there's a lot wrong with it. >> very critical of the timing and press conference afterwards. very critical about how they treated she ee eed cheryl mills attorney. there were so many things we didn't like about that. and we were critical for weeks, months, i can't ever remember anybody around this set or anybody around the trump campaign saying hillary clinton lied about anything. in that i think it was july 3 get together. >> you didn't hear anyone in the campaign make that point and frankly you didn't hear anyone in the fbi make that argument either. and, of course, as you point out, the meeting did get a lot
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of scrutiny because it was done behind closed doors. we found out about it after the fact, but you're absolutely right. this seems to be a good talking point. again, taken from very familiar playbook from president trump which is when he's under pressure, he does seem to try to pivot and turn the conversation back to hillary clinton. he sees that as effective method of pivoting and obviously rallying his supporters. rahamii i rallying his base around him. one other point. something else huge happened today. effectively tweeted out full throated endorsement of roy moore. tried to get questions about that. not cheer he heard them. >> the thing you call the 333%. take a step back from the
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president e president's. the monday after the security adviser pled guilty to a felony. not in dispute. no two sides to the story. bob mueller and mike flynn have agreed that mike flynn committed the felony. >> by the way, donald trump this weekend effectively undercut donald trump on the white house because they say it's no big deal. kwhoo what's the big deal. and this weekend he said he lied. i had to fire him. he lied to the fbi. the man is contradicting himself every 24 hours. >> that's exactly right. they have clearly not settled on a professional explanation by which i mean why did someone get removed from their job or a legal explanation by which i mean when and how did we find out that there was this felony that mike flynn admits to. also notice while donald trump says whatever he wants to say. what he just said on the white
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house lawn is totally at odds be mike flynn because mike flynn put out a statement saying he does take responsibility and he does want to deal and he has a plea agreement. there's a lot of contradictions within the donald trump language and within what he's claiming to do on behalf of mike flynn. one more point again on the monday morning joe. we're waking up this morning. you got a guilty plea from a white house aide in first year of presidency. we checked. that hasn't happened in the last several administrations. you have to go back decades and decades. not good for an administration when white house aides are pleading guilty to felonies they committed. >> and his campaign chairman. mika, the thing is, again, the president contradicts himself again today. he just can't keep his mouth shut when it comes to this stuff. he can't stop from tweeting. 95% of the damage that's been done to donald trump has been done by donald trump.
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in tweets, in statements, it's unbelievable the damage the man continues to do. >> can i ask you, you've been such a student of this. when you look at what you just said, this indictment, bob mueller's existence, special counsel. all draw back to behavior of donald trump. does he realize that? does he realize he caused the mueller appointment? >> no. he's got no clue. he's got no clue. he'll probably be blaming jared. he's blaming everybody around him. that's just what he does. >> because blood. >> lives in his own universe. >> time magazine is rolling out finalist for person of the year. likely to draw reaction from the president. angela merkel won in 2015. he tweeted i told you time magazine would never pick me as being the person of the year. despite being the big favorite. they picked the person who is ruining germany. this year's final list.
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jeff bay soz, donald trump, the me too movement. kim jong-un, xi jinping. the dreamers. dreamers, crown prince muhammad bin salem, robert mueller and patty jenkin, again, in no order of importance. >> the top one, the bottom one or the second to the bottom one could be the one, you just -- no order of importance there. >> i think it would be shocking if it is not me too. because i think that the allegations of misbehavior and assault and abuse by men at the highest levels in this society is setting off a second sexual revolution. we're going to be living with in a good way i hope for decades and decades. on the other hand, donald trump is setting off a revolution in government that is also profound. >> i'm thinking it's mueller. i like the me too idea. i wouldn't be arguing with that
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a lot. but i'm thinking it's mueller. up next, abc news had some mistaking reporting on friday and president trump wants to hit them where it hurts. he's encouraging investors to file a massive lawsuit suggesting the bad robert moved the markets and cost americans millions of dollars. we'll check in with cnbc next on "morning joe." just like some people like wet grocery bags. getting a bad haircut. overcrowded trains. turnstiles that don't turn. and spilling coffee on themselves. but for everyone else, there's directv. for #1 rated customer satisfaction over cable, switch to directv. and for a limited time get a $100 reward card. call 1-800-directv
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an erroneous report on friday regarding michael flynn's
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testimony to robert mueller sent stocks plummeting. cnbc's dominic chu joins us now with more on that. >> mika, joe, the market has been fixated on taxes and of course general michael flynn. on friday, stocks tanked. down about 350 points on those flynn-related headlines out of abc news. and if you look at the way the markets played out, they did recover the bulk of those by the close. and that was thanks to in part some of the headlines on tax reform, but overall, we do know that the markets did move. i mean, there are a lot of moving parts overall to the market. but they did swing by many measures on a lot of those headlines from abc news. so whether or not president trump's tweet does have anything to do with, you know, how many millions or whatever people lost over the course of that particular market day remains to be seen but still it's a pretty stark, stark reminder that a lot of these things out of d.c. can really have an impact on the markets overall. speaking of markets, the big
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deal today that everyone's talking about in my world is this pharmacy deal, pharmacy retail and benefits manager cvs health buying health insurance company aetna for around $207 a share. the reason why it's important, it's a transformative merger that speaks to the changing landscape in health care and retail. a lot of it has to do with amazon.com and all the talk they have of maybe them getting into health care and pharmacy. that amazon threat entering the marketplace is driving this deal arguably. this creates a super store for drug, pharmacies, insurance and all of the millions we spend, all of us, to pay for that. it's going to be interesting to see whether trump doj antitrust officials oppose this deal the same way they oppose at&t/time warner. they're both kind of similar in scope. >> thank you so much. on tomorrow's show, we are going to talk to donald trump's former campaign manager lewandowski
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about his new book. among it, when telling manafort, you're a political pro, let me tell you something, i'm a pro at life. that's in the book. we'll talking to corey about that tomorrow. that does it for us this morning, unless anyone has final thoughts. joe? >> no -- i said every thought i have today. >> carol lee, thank you so much for being on. ari, thank you as well. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage in two minutes. i mean wish i had time to take care of my portfolio, but.. well, what are you doing tomorrow -10am? staff meeting. noon? eating. 3:45? uh, compliance training. 6:30? sam's baseball practice. 8:30? tai chi. yeah, so sounds relaxing. alright, 9:53? i usually make their lunches then, and i have a little vegan so wow, you are busy. wouldn't it be great if you had investments that worked as hard as you do? yeah. introducing essential portfolios. the automated investing solution
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hi there, good morning. i'm stephanie ruhle with a lot of news to cover. starting with social distortion. the president taking aim at the fbi and the department of justice. where else, twitter. but did he just admit to obstruction of justice in 280 characters? >> the firing of director comey because he did not agree to lift the cloud of the russia investigation, that's obstruction of justice. >> the president responds this morning as his lawyer takes the blame for the problematic tweet. but those in washington are delivering a harsh warning. >> i'd be careful if i were you, mr. president. >> be careful. and back to work, congress returns from a short weekend, 55 hours after the senate passed a hand-written tax reform

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