tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC January 3, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST
11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. at the white house, where a trump friend may now be a trump foe. explosive quotes from steve bannon in a new book, "michael wolf's "fire and fury." we got an early copy of it, and it reads exactly like something that will draw fire and fury from the trump white house. especially on this. bannon, the former white house chief strategist, called that now infamous 2016 meeting at trump tower between donald trump software jr. and the russians "treasonous." a reminder the president has claimed he knew nothing of the meeting at the time but bannon appears to suggest otherwise. "the chance that.net jr. did not walk these jumos up to his father's office on the 26th floor is zero." and according to the book, bannon didn't stop there. he said of the president's namesake, "they're going to crack don junior like an egg on national tv." he also had thoughts about son-in-law jared kushner. wolf has more writing that
campaign staff believed "not only would donald trump not be president, he probably should not be." and to say that trump knew nothing, nothing at all about the basic intellectual functions of the job was "a comic understatement." and of inauguration day, nearly one year ago, "throughout the morning he was visibly fighting with his wife, who seemed on the verge of tears." the white house is now firing back that bannon has "lost his mind." but not everything in this book appears to come from bannon. we're one hour out of the daily briefing at the white house, and that could be interesting to say the least. let's get right to it with our team of reporters. nbc news intelligence and national security reporter ken dlanian joins us from our d.c. bureau. nbc's hallie jackson is at the white house. also in washington white house bureau chief for the "washington post" and msnbc political analyst phil rucker. ken, let's start with this don junior meeting. this idea that bannon says it was treasonous for don junior,
jared kushner, paul manafort to have a meeting with a russian national inside trump tower, what is that going to mean for the russia investigation? >> i think it could mean quite a bit, katy. let me just read you the key quote you're talking about. this allegedly from bannon. "the three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside trump tower in the conference room on the twenty-fifth floor with no lawyers. they didn't have any lawyers. even if you thought this was not treasonous, unpatriotic or bad expletive, and i happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the fbi immediately." now, what's interesting about this, katy, is this happens to be the reaction, as you probably well know, of every campaign professional, every fbi official, every intelligence official i've ever talked to about this meeting. of course you wouldn't take this meeting. you would call the fbi. but the fact that it's coming from one of donald trump's formerly closest advisers may be relevant to the mueller investigation if he ever has to convince a jury or the congress that this was something donald trump wanted to cover up.
because remember, there's no allegation that trump knew about this meeting when it was happening, but there is a question about how he characterized it later. he wrote a statement saying it was all about adoptions, which it plainly was not. and we think, we believe, we've reported that this was part of the obstruction of justice inquiry that mueller is conducting. so the fact that bannon thought this meeting was treasonous i think could loom significant as this investigation moves forward. >> the president himself said at one point, and hopefully you can correct me if i'm not getting the nuance of, this but didn't the president at one point himself say of course you take a meeting like that? >> steve bannon definitely wouldn't have taken a meeting like that, katy. he in fact said in this book that if he did it was sort of this convoluted connecting the dots, he'd take it at a holiday inn in manchester and have a lawyer talk to another lawyer and print it out in breitbart or someplace like that. bannon is making clear when he talked with ken where he is on that. at least publicly and on the record. you're right a lot of this comes from steve boone on the record but a lot of if does not. there's other source that's wolf
clearly talked to. although what we have heard from the white house in the last 30 minutes here was michael wolff did not have access to anybody who knew anything at all inside donald trump's inner circle. so i think we have a piece of this remarkable statement, the pushback coming out from the president himself. the president in his own statement essentially saying that when bannon lost his job he also lost his mind, saying "steve bannon had nothing to do with me or my presidency." he continues, bannon was a staffer who worked for me when i already won the nomination by defeating 17 candidates often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the republican party." steve bannon did have something to do with donald trump and his presidency. number two, the person who wrote this statement, and we're working on nailing this down, this sounds straight from the mouth of donald trump. i spoke with a couple of sources in the last 45 minutes or so. donald trump is angry, livid is one word that was used to describe him, on the phone today
talking about the concerns and sort of the fury about what is happening with this. i think you are seeing unfiltered donald trump there. his staff has come out in the last couple of minutes with their own you could call it pushback, you could call it cleanup. stephanie grisham, who represents the first lady, she's the communications director for melania trump, and sarah sanders, the press secretary of course, who will be holding her briefing in about 55 minutes here talking about how this is something that should be on the bargain fiction shelf and not the journalism shelf. not surprising, though, that the team would push back against some of what wolff claims to say has happened, including that melania trump was near tears on inauguration day, that she was in tears on election night too. >> there's a lot in the book. and we have the book, we've been going through it. there's a ton of quotes in there about how the trump family was feeling on election night, what they were feeling on inauguration day, and what it's like inside the white house. not all of this comes from steve
bannon. hallie, you're right to reiterate that. the president, obviously, though, is focusing on steve bannon because steve bannon seems to be at least the first headline, major headline in this book. but let's remember, donald trump is a fan or at ealeast has beenn of steve bannon. here's what he said about his former chief strategist back in october. >> i have a very good relationship, as you know, with steve bannon. steve's been a friend of mine for a long time. i like steve a lot. steve is doing what steve thinks is the right thing. >> that was after steve was fired. so what does that mean for bannon's credibility here? >> well, look, we know that president trump and bannon actually stayed in touch in the months since he was fired. they've had occasional phone calls. steve bannon has considered himself sort of an outside adviser and has had a line in to the president at times off and on. over these last few months clearly they're at a breaking
point right now. but it's not like the day steve bannon left the white house he o lost all of his influence with this president. he's also been a political force on the outside with some of trump's supporters and his base. and one note, katy, about the sourcing that i think is really important here. at the bottom of the excerpt in "new york" magazine of the wolff book excerpt there's a note about the sourcing, and it says that the president sat for interviews with wolff and that the president encouraged most of his senior staff in the white house to participate in the book and there are a number of senior staffers just in that excerpt alone who are quoted on the record including katie walsh who was the deputy chief of staff of the white house for the first few months of the administration. so it's just not true to say that this is all sort of fiction made up by sources who don't have any access to this white house. >> no doubt about that. i'm just looking at another quote from page 16 of this book saying, quoting sam mumrick who used to work for donald trump, was on the campaign early on but has been for quite some time a close associate of onld trump
talking about how he was trying to explain the constitution to donald trump. he said, "i got as far as the fourth amendment before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head." wolff also talks about why people in the real estate business don't generally get into politics or get into a position of extreme power like the president of the united states, because real estate often depends on government favor and is a preferred exchange currency for problem cash money laundering. ken, listen, you look at what robert mueller is doing right now and the team he's putting in place to look into the president and potentially look into his finances, whether or not they're getting anything from deutsch bank, whether or not they've seen donald trump's tax returns, we don't know that. it seems like this book is going to be -- could be pretty damning. >> yeah, and that was another really explosive quote from
bannon, where he said basically this investigation is all about money laundering and they're going to go through manafort and jared kushner to get to donald trump. now, what's interesting about that is that is a common view among legal experts and intelligence officials i talk to all the time about this case, which is that collusion with russia may not be the most -- the biggest issue here. it's very difficult to prove and continuities even actually a crime. that donald trump may have more jeopardy and jared kushner may in terms of their real estate business and the question of whether they did unsavory business with foreigners, with russians. remember, donald trump jr. said in 2008 a disproportionate amount of our assets are coming from russia. that's never been explained. but the fact that steve bannon is saying it, one of the closest people to the trump world-s remarkable. and i think if you're robert mueller and his team you're wanting to talk to steve bannon today about why he believes that and what does he know in particular about money laundering. >> one little other thing about this don junior meeting and where the present feident fell
donald trump did say in july in paris, donald trump the president, not donald trump jr., "most people would have taken that meeting." also describing his son as a wonderful young man. again, the president of the united states saying most people would have taken that meeting. that meeting that his own chief strategist called treasonous. a big question is why did steve bannon stay in the white house after that? we're going to get into that. ken dilanian, hallie jackson, and phil rucker. guys, thanks so much. and kirk lidell is a former spokesman for bright b.a.r.t. news. you know steve bannon really well. the president says he's lost his mind. has he? >> the crazy calling had each other crazy right now. in august when steve bannon left the white house he said publicly, "the presidency we won and fought for is over." if you pay attention to what steve has been saying, it's not that far off where it's got-tone
this point where they're at war with each other. trump is right that steve is all about himself, he's all about advancing his own agenda, he uses the platform of breitbart to prop himself up, the brand of steve bannon. on the flip side of it, bannon, he doesn't have loyalty to anybody. he is free to do and say whatever he wants. he has a daily platform to espouse the direction he thinks this administration should go. and really he has his platform to weaponize and settle scores, which is a lot of what sounds like happened here was him settling scores against jared kushner and trump junior who he's been at war with since he joined the trump campaign. >> given that he has no -- there's no love lost between steve bannon and jards kushnc j and ivanka, we've known that for some time, people in bannon's world will call reporters and try to denigrate ivanka and jared often, and will try to do so by saying they're doing this or they're doing that. it happens. that's the reality. given that, does that eat into
bannon's credibility within a number of the things coming out of this book right now? >> i think that bannon's making the calculation that he'll outlast his detractors, he'll even outlast perhaps the president. he clearly believes there is some real significant jeopardy as he aused to in the book, that the mueller investigation poses to trump and his presidency. talks about it being a category 5 hurricane coming at them and they don't seem to recognize that or their public posture doesn't seem to recognize the severity of it. i think steve is speaking so brazenly because he thinks he's going to outlast all of these guys. >> why did he stay in the administration if he thought that meeting was treasonous? >> i think steve also realized it was good for him, good for his proximity to power, good for his public standing, the idea -- >> what does that say about the administration, that you have a bunch of folks in there who are just there because it's good for them, it's good for their proximity to power? and i guess don't really want to blow the whistle on something that they believe is treasonous. who's in the white house? >> well, i think that tells you you get your cues from the top and ultimately this is a president who has zero
credibility. this is a president who's given more than almost 2,000 false statements in less than a year. so i think people take their cues from leadership. and when they see this president doesn't care about truth or fact, it gives license to everyone below them to operate under their own agenda and not worry about the greater good or serving the country. >> a note on that. in chapter 3, and i can't read all of this on air because i'd get fired. but there is a quote from sean spicer, "donald trump did not give an f about being factual." that's regarding that first news conference or first briefing where sean spicer came out and talked about -- >> he's lived up to it. >> -- the inauguration crowd size. former breitbart spokesperson kurt bardella. thanks so much. >> thanks, katy. >> and my button is bigger than yours. the president is locked in an escalating war of words with north korea's kim jong un. we didn't think anything was going to bury this story from the lead today but apparently this book was even crazier than this. kim jong un, what are the
real-world consequences of their feud? plus the new year comes with a jam-packed agenda for republicans. can they avert a government shutdown and will they get help from across the aisle? democratic congressman joe crowley and republican leonard lance will both join me here in the newsroom coming up. rheumatoid arthritis? do what i did. ask your doctor about humira. it's proven to help relieve pain and protect joints from further irreversible damage in many adults. humira works by targeting and helping to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira has been clinically studied for over 20 years. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b,
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with the specter of nuclear war looming over their standoff. no, seriously, he is. two days ago during his new year's address kim jong un boasted about having his own button and the entire u.s. mainland within striking range. cue president trump more than 24 hours later he tweeted, "will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that i too have a nuclear button but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his and my button works." it kind of reminds me of the post-debate spin room where i asked donald trump about his hands in detroit 2016 and he said his hands were very big and powerful. i don't know if you guys remember that. last hour former vice president joe biden voiced his concern about the escalating rhetoric. >> i'm disappointed because i think it's -- look, the only war that's worse than one that's intended is one that's unintended. this is not a game.
this is not about can i puff my chest out bigger than your chest. it's just not -- it's not presidential. >> donald trump is donald trump. the missive from trump camp, the torrent of tweets from the president, 16 in a single day, he not only threatened nuclear war yesterday, he also suggested huma abedin should be jailed, took credit for zero commercial aviation deaths last year even though there hasn't been a death since 2009, announced his own awards for the, quote, most dishonest and corrupt media. that is not to mention his threatening to pull aid from both pakistan and the palestinians. i'm going to speak with ambassador wendy sherman in just a minute about all of that. but let's start with nbc's hance nichols at the pentagon. hance, yesterday we were talking about the north koreans potentially ramping up to test another missile. donald trump since tweeted about his big button. has there been any reaction that? >> in north korea they've opened up the hotline for the first
time in two years. they're contacting. they reached out to test the technical matters. this is a hotline that hasn't been used between the north and the south. donald trump jr. claiming credit on twitter saying that the president's tweets may have forced the north koreans to start talking to their counterparts in the south. you've seen something close to condemnation from the chinese. the chinese said they didn't want to see any brazen language, referring to the president's tweet. i think we should take a step back and think about this nuclear button that the president's claiming he has. it's really something called the satchel, the football that he travels with everywhere. he travels with this football. whenever you travel with the president, you're at the white house, the first thing you do, look for the military aide would looks like he's really flexing one of his muscles. he's carrying that satchel around. now, the same time the president should at all times have in his pocket something called the biscuit. this is basically keeps the verification codes. you put what's in the satchel, you put that together with the biscuit, and then you have the ability to call down range and to call to one of the missile
areas to launch a nuclear missile. the missile yooers, it's all two-step authentication. you also have two people there, you don't have one person turning the key, you always have two people turning the keys. there are a lot of stopgaps in this entire protocol except for one, and that is the president has unilateral authority to launch a strike. katy? >> and daniel dale, i believe, of the "toronto star," yeah, washington correspondent for the "toronto star" mentioned yesterday, no, donald trump doesn't have a button on his desk for a nuclear weapon as you just pointed out. but he does according to reports we've read have a button for diet coke. hans nichols at the pentagon. hans, thank you very much. ambassador wendy sherman is a former secretary for state for political affairs and an msnbc contributor. ambassador, thank you so much. it's been a slow news day, so you're going to have to work with me here. listen, these two men have been trading insults for months now. nothing has happened yet, thankfully.
thankfully. but where do you see this going? >> i don't see it going in a good direction. and it's interesting, katy. put your stories together. they are not disconnected. steve bannon and donald trump are really trying to one-up each other and show who's more powerful. this is well connected to all the sexual harassment stories, bear with me a moment here, that you all have been covering. we've all known guys who think they have to intimidate, use their power, use their prowess regarding women, show how strong and tough they are, and they're usually the weakest guys. we know that the president of the united states, when he was building buildings, always said he built the tallest buildings even if it wasn't. and that's what he's doing here again. but what's different here is this isn't about people living in buildings. this is about the peace and security not only of the united states but the war. this is talking about a country, small but one with nuclear weapons. we're the big country with lots of nuclear weapons to be sure, but it is meant to be a deterrent.
it is not meant to be an offensive capability. it's meant to stop bad things from happening, not create them. and the president's tweet takes us in the wrong direction. >> what does the president of south korea, moon jae-in, think? what's he thinking right now? >> well, he's thinking he's very glad that the north koreans reached out to him, that they now have the hotline back up and running, that there may be a meeting to ensure that the olympics, which will begin, the winter olympics, begin on february 9th, go to the 25th, will come off without a hitch, and having a relationship with north korea again may help to achieve that. but it isn't good for the united states because it is allowing north korea to drive a wedge between south korea and the united states. the president did that when he said the free trade agreement shouldn't move forward just at the same time he was starting to get south korea on board with his north korea policy. >> what's china thinking? >> china's thinking that this is-g that south korea and the
north are talking with each other. president moon was in beijing just about a month ago to repair relationships with china. china's also trying to create a wedge using south korea against the united states. so china feels like they're in a good position right now. they've strengthened their relationship with south korea, which quite frankly not only has a tough relationship with us but a tough relationship with our ally japan. so all in all we're the odd man out at the moment. the others are feeling like they're heading in the right direction. >> ambassador wendy sherman, who is the unlikely person -- or not unlikely person. made the unlikely connection between this fire and fury book, the sexual harassment allegations, and donald trump's button is bigger than what's his face's button. the north korean leader. kim jong un. thank you. ambassador wendy sherman, thank you very much. appreciate your time. and after taking down roy moore in alabama, the state's first democratic senator in decades has taken the oath.
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new reaction from the president's son, donald trump jr. in a new tweet he references steve bannon. this follows michael wolff's new book and the revealing interview he had with former white house strategist steve bannon. "wow. just looked at the comments section on breitbart. when bannon has left breitbart he's left with, um, nothing." we've got a white house briefing at the top of the hour. we'll carry that live. the senate returned to work today too with two new members. >> do you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> i do. >> congratulations. [ applause ] >> better late than never, right? democrats doug jones of alabama and tina smith of minnesota. jones won last month's special election to fill the seat once
held by attorney general jeff sessions. smith succeeds al franken, whose resignation took effect yesterday. today's ceremony brought together three vice presidents. vice president pence's office released this picture of a meeting with predecessors joe biden and walter mondale. biden escorted his long-time friend doug jones into the chamber while mondale escorted his home state's new senator, tina smith. jones and smith took office on what is shaping up to be a busy day on capitol hill. about a half an hour from now congressional leaders will meet with white house officials in the house speaker's office. and on their agenda is a potential government shutdown later this month. msnbc's garrett hague joins me now here in the newsroom with more on this this. garrett, eyes are on doug jones. it's a slight shift but a shift in balance of power. republicans now only have one extra seat in the senate. what's this going to mean for the republican agenda? >> it's going to be a lot more difficult to get big things done for the republicans. really now the margin of error
shrinks significantly. tough rand paul on a bad day who decides he wants to vote against something or john mccain or thad cochran or someone else who has health problems who's out, all of a sudden you can't get those votes across. it also gives doug jones a lot of leverage here to be a very important player in a lot of these decisions. he could be the conservative democrat that chooses to work with the president or work with republicans or issues that he cares about. he will ultimately have to be re-elected in a very red state, presumably against a stronger candidate than roy moore. so he could choose to deal or he could choose to be in more lock-step with the rest of his party. he gave a little bit of a preview of his thinking on this when our teams talked to him on the hill today. i think we can listen to that. >> i want to be a good senator. i don't think that's a hard resolution. i think being a good senator is a bipartisan one. that's what i want to be. >> he said he wants to be a bipartisan senator. every senator says they want to be a bipartisan senator. we'll see which way it goes when the votes really start happening. >> the other meeting on the
hill, the big meeting with white house officials. what's going to come out of that? >> that's a good question. democrats have been frustrated, especially senate democrats, that they don't know who they're negotiating with on any of these big issues. do they negotiate with the white house? do they negotiate with mitch mcconnell? who is speaking for the republican party? democrats want to get the biggest deal they can get out of this meeting when you've got government funding on the table, when you've got potentially a fix for the dream act coming up, the deadline is in march. the bigger the deal you can get all at once, the more democrats can maximize the small amount of leverage that they have. again, particularly in the senate. but this is probably the first of several such meetings. when everyone left town for the holidays, my sources said, particularly on this issue of spending caps and where the government was really going to fund down the line. the sides were not particularly close together. there's a lot of work that still has to be done here before our next government shutdown deadline, january 19th. >> msnbc's garrett haake, thank you so much for being here. rare appearance in new york
city. joining he m now, who might have some insight on wa garrett was just talking about, new york democratic congressman joe crowley and new jersey republican congressman leonard lance. gentlemen, you were listening to garrett right across from me over here lay out the priorities for 2018, the potential challenges for 2018. is there going to be a government shutdown? first to you, congressman. >> no. absolutely not. i don't favor it. i didn't favor it when barack obama was president. i don't favor it now that donald trump is president. i voted for funding until january 19th, and i hope and expect that there will be an agreement and i think the meeting today will be a step in the right direction. >> what are the democratic priorities? >> first of all i would like to say the democrats are not in support of a government shutdown either. democratic priorities are certainly the dream act, a clean dream act. we want to see pension protection. we want to see the chip act fully funded, an agreed funding mechanism. we want to see puerto rico and
the virgin islands are made whole again. those american citizens are made whole. that's just a few of the issues that democrats are concerned about. we certainly have an agenda. >> and what are the priorities of the republican party? >> the priorities are to make sure that government continues and that our troops are funded in the field. and i certainly want a daca compromise. and i think that that is possible. and i think the white house and the administration are working on that. and that might involve greater border security, but it doesn't necessarily involve, katy, a wall. >> well, i mean, it's great to have both of you on together, by the way. thank you both for coming on together. we so rarely see both sides of the aisle standing next to each other or sitting next to each other, let alone talking about ways that they can compromise. but let's talk about that. if daca is something republicans, at least a good portion of them, want to get done, and it's something democrats want to get done, what can you as a democrat concede to the republicans in order to make sure that that happens and those 800,000 dreamers are protected? >> i think there's a false premise here. in other words, equating
security and border security with the daca individuals themselves. they are not a security risk to the american people. they love this country. this is the country they know and love. and they are now in a state of limbo. and unless the president, who has promised to address this issue, works to make that happen in a clean bill, that's what democrats are looking for. a $40 billion wall is a waste of government money. and i think lance would have to agree and some of my republican colleagues who are more conservative in terms of spending. you can't drive on it, you can't live in it, you can't do anything with it, and it really just is a waste of government resources. we have the security along our border that he with need. we can certainly talk about addressing some of the issues that need to be addressed. but let's not conflate the two issues together. >> but if the president says i'm not going to make a deal, i won't stand for a deal that doesn't involve funding my wall, what do you as a republican do? >> i think we can have a compromise in this area, and i don't think there's going to be the funding for a wall.
that doesn't mean we can't have greater border security. and we certainly want to address this issue by the first week in march, which is the six-month deadline. and i would prefer to address it sooner rather than later, including perhaps by january 19th. >> we'd like to do it by january 19th as well. >> and i want to work in a bipartisan capacity, and i think that that is possible. >> you hail from a blue county. let's be honest. are your republican colleagues who hail from deep red counties, ones who voted for donald trump because they wanted the wall, because they were into immigration and stopping immigration, are they going to be as amenable to a compromise? >> katy, i hail from a red county, huntingdon county, new jersey. new jersey is a blue state. secretary clinton carried new jersey. but i want to work with colleagues like my friend joe. we are the co-chairs of the rare disease caucus in the house of representatives. we've worked well together in the past. and i'm sure we can fund the government and i'm sure we can address the daca issue. >> the other big elephant in the room and since you guys are here
i'd like to get your comments on it, this new book that's out "fire and fury" by michael wolff. it details what's been going on inside the white house and what was going on at the end of the campaign. steve bannon has some explosive stuff in here, talking specifically about the don junior, jared kushner, paul manafort meeting with the russian national, the lawyer back in june 2016 where she purported to have dirt on hillary clinton. steve bannon calls that meeting treasonous. do you think that meeting is treasonous? >> i certainly think it should be vegds investigated by the sp counsel. i was the first republican in the house to say jeff sessions should recuse himself. and i support the appointment of the special counsel and support his work. let me say that i don't think steve bannon gives good political advice. i would not have voted for roy moore. i think senator shelby was right, writing in the name of another republican. so i think that all should be placed in the context of this situation. >> what do you think? >> i think it really shines a light on what is a very, very troubling issue for this
administration. it was during the campaign. if steve bannon can call it collusion, i think is what he's saying, that it's treasonous, that is -- >> he's going a step farther. >> -- that is really bad news for this white house right now. >> he's somebody that somebody should have alerted the fbi. >> should someone have alerted the fbi? >> and he. and i would have done so had i been in that situation. >> congressman lance, congressman crowley, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. we appreciate it. it's still the million-dollar question. the thousand dollar question, really, in utah. will mitt romney run to take orrin hatch's senate seat? and what will it mean for the president who romney called famously "very, very not smart." the white house to react to the explosive quotes from steve bannon for the first time on carnell. sarah huckabee sanders is expected to brief the press at 3:00 p.m. you'll see it here live. . all because of a burst water pipe in their house that ruined the hardwood floors in their kitchen. luckily the geico insurance agency
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and then there's trump magazine. and trump vodka. and trump steaks. and trump mortgage. a business genius he is not. donald trump is a phony. a fraud. his promises are as worthless as a degree from trump university. [ cheers and applause ] >> mitt got up, and he really shouldn't have done it. it wasn't becoming. you have the airline that i sold. i mean, what's wrong with selling? everyone says you can sell something. you have the wines and all of that. and trump university we're going to start it up as soon as i win the lawsuit. >> he settled the lawsuit and he has not start td up again. just a small point there. after the election the two tried to bury the hatchet with the president considering romney to be secretary of state. romney ended up, though, empty-handed. evan mcmullin is a former independent candidate from utah. evan, after that meeting where romney was maybe potentially going for secretary of state and he walked out with nothing, a lot of folks said that donald trump was just playing him for a
fool. is romney going to be apt to work with this president, or is he going to be an anti-trump republican along the lines of john mccain? >> well, first of all, i would say that i think there's a lot of misunderstanding about that meeting between mitt and the president-elect at the time trump. the reality is that mitt went into those meetings with his eyes very wide open. he was trying to be a statesman. he was trying to acknowledge the -- and i think did successfully acknowledge and respect the office of the presidency of the united states. but he knew at the time why thae did it anyway, which i think was the right thing to do. as far as wa kind of senator mitt would be, i think mitt would be a senator who would put the interests of the state of utah and the country first. i think he would uphold the constitution. i think he would work with president trump and other republicans on policy issues that make sense for utah and the
country. but i also think that he would hold the president accountable and he would hold the executive branch accountable, as is required by article 1 of the constitution. and i think he wouldn't be afraid to speak his mind when necessary and to stand up tore fundamental american values. >> let's talk about what the priorities of utah might be. we have orrin hatch, who emphatically voted yes for the tax bill and then stood by the president and lauded him for getting that through. would mitt romney have voted for the tax bill? >> well, i think i should let mitt speak for himself on that. i don't know what his view on that would have been. but i will say that mitt romney is a republican, he wants the party to succeed. he wants the party to do well. he's concerned about the direction of the party at this point under its current leadership. but he still believes that it can be saved. he wants to help save it. so i think you can expect from him -- i think you can expect him to have his own voice on traditional policy issues. but to be supportive of a
republican in general agenda. but i think what's important here and what i think we can't lose sight of is the fact we need our congress after 2018 or sooner ideally to hold this president accountable. this is a president who i believe is deeply corrupt and even dangerous. we need a congress who will hold him accountable, who will make sure that our democracy is independent and free from foreign interference. and that i think is something that mitt will help achieve. >> well, mitt -- and he'll tell you this himself. mitt romney i should say. will tell you this himself. will say that russia was one of the biggest threats to stability in the world years ago. given wa we'hat we're seeing noh the russia investigation into the donald trump campaign, given what's come out of this book, where bannon was even saying it was treasonous to have that meeting with the russians, if mitt romney does win, is he going to come in and be a protector of the special counsel, be a protector of
whatever they end up finding, and not be a protector just of the republican agenda? >> no, i think he'll put the country first. that's what he'll do. and i think he will protect mueller. i think he will probably be one who will say that we need to see what the results of the investigation are. he will probably be a strong voice of support for the congressional investigations as well. and then we'll see where things go. but i think that's what his approach will be. there's a process. there's a special counsel. there are two intelligence investigations going on in congress. and i would expect him to be a supporter of our as a nation following the facts, learning what they are, and then taking appropriate action politically, legally, or whatever it may be. >> in the past 24 hours donald trump has tweeted about his big nuclear button, bigger than kim jong un. he has tweeted about pulling aid from pakistan. he's tweeted from pulling aid
from the palestinians. he's tweeted trying to take credit for the airline industry not having any fatalities last year. is the current republican party that's in office right now, lawmakers, enabling this behavior from the president? >> well, i'm sad to say that i think there is a lack of leadership in the republican party that is committed to accountable government, ethical government, and to our foundational american principles and values, namely equality and liberty. i do think that many republican members of congress, not all but many have lost sight of the fact that they have a constitutional responsibility to hold the president and the executive branch accountable, even if the president is of their same party. and i think, you know, even if several months ago, within a few months of the president's inauguration you heard members
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because it's my vision. preservision. yet even more reaction from the president's son don jr. mentioning steve bannon in a tweet following michael wolff's new book "fire and fury." the new tweet, "andrew breitbart would be ashamed of the division and lies steve bannon is spreading. we expect a good chance this book and steve bannon will come up at the press conference today. we'll carry that briefing live.
and a popular line of defense in the russia investigation has been to attack the controversial trump dossier. now the research firm behind it is firing back. in a new op-ed, defending their work. "we don't believe the steele dossier was the trigger for the fbi's investigation into russian meddling. as we told the senate judiciary committee in august, our dossier was taken so seriously because it corroborated what was going on inside the trump camp." and thanks for being here. you tweeted that the person inside the trump camp was george papadopolos. what are your sources telling you? >> this is basically an attempt by fusion to clear their name. they've been dragged through the mud over the past year or so by these congressional republicans who are allies of the president, who kind of are want to conflate
fusion gps with christopher steele. what they want to michael fly e. steele's work had nothing to do with hiring investigators to look into candidate donald trump, a new candidate. hired at first by a republican then later a democrat took on funding for that. ultimately what they told christopher steele, of course, the british spy who did all the research on trump's ties to russia gave him a basic marching order. why did donald trump want to do all of these deals in russia when normally real estate investors wouldn't want to venture into this, it's so corrupt and a mine field? chris fer steele was given that assignment. what came from that was the steele dossier outlining the potential ties between the trump campaign and russia, and, of course, steele shared that information with the fbi after becoming extremely alarmed by it and did not tell fusion gps before he shared that
information with the bureau. >> any what in that dossier the fbi had before, what was in it that corroborated claims or matched claims they had already heard? >> we know that the fbi received early copies of steele's reports by early august. they had already found out from the australian ambassador, the australian diplomat that george papadopolos, of course, the early campaign foreign policy adviser, had spoken to this australian dip matt and told him drunkenly the russians had dirt on hillary clinton in the form of these hundreds of thousands of e-mails. that was something the fbi already knew. when the dnc was hacked they put two and two together and the australians went back to the fbi and said you should look into this. perhaps someone from inside the campaign has information or ties to russia that could be problematic later on. we don't actually know what role
the dossier played in the fbi's calculation of whether or not to launch the investigation, other than that after they were given the dossier they took it seriously, because these were things, things inside the dossier such as an attempt by the russians to elect donald trump, to undermine hillary clinton. that seems to ally wiign with w was told to the ambassador months earlier. it was a road map as they continued their investigation and continue to do so this year. >> what about this all came about because of this dossier? >> really is undermines it, if not completely destroys it. this was the fault of a young foreign policy advisers trying to supposedly impress the trump campaign and impress a diplomat he met as a bar and made an inadvertent disclosure ultimately used against him and the trump campaign.
this is something that the republicans have been wary of accepting. they say, oh, first the "new york times" is reporting that the dossier was a trigger of the investigation. now reporting papadopolos was. it's important to note papadopolos wasn't the only factor or person who triggered the fbi investigation into the trump campaign's ties to russia. foreign intelligence services of american western european allies telling the bureau and american intelligence services including the cia there were unusual contacts between the trump campaign and russian officials long before the election. dating back to late 2015. papadopolos was a small piece in the much larger investigation and when they received the dossier, that was another element helping them further investigation whether or not collusion actually occurred. >> natasha berttrand. on the record with one thing. paul manafort is now suing robert manafort, rod rosenstein
and the u.s. justice department. more on that as that news develops. that is going to wrap things up for me this hour. chris jansing will pick things up now. chris it is already a busy day, and with this news, it's going to get even busier. >> no doubt about it. by the way, we just got the documents for the manafort lawsuit against mueller. rosenstein doj. so we're have more on that coming up. katy tur, thank you. i am chris jansing in for ali velshi. a particularly challenging day for huckabee sanders. braising news. she'll face breaking news -- face a barrage of questions about steve bannon after that stunning new book revealing life inside the trump white house. the former chief strategist appears to hold nothing back in the book by michael wolff aptly titled "fire and fury." one of the biggest bombshells, bannon allegations he thinks the infamous trump tower meeting was a treasonous act saying no
lawyers. even if you thought it wasn't untruthness, unpatriotic or bad, i lap to think all of that, you should have called the fbi immediately. he also says there's zero chance donald trump jr. didn't take members of that meeting including a russian lawyer, a former soviet intelligence officer and a british music publicist who claimed to have dirt on hillary clinton in to meet with his father. now, remember, the trump team has maintained the president knew nothing about the meeting, and a source directly familiar with the account and key participant on the russian side of the june 2016 trump tower meeting tells nbc the russians did not meet or have any encounter with then candidate donald trump. and this russia blockbuster is just the start of this book. much of it fueled with gossipy palace intrigue. according to the book, ivanka trump thought she, not hillary clinton, would be the first woman president. trump