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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  May 16, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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it. this is something that he's reporting in a due diligence effort. it's not clear whether this was a serious attempt at blackmail or extortion. that wraps us up this hour. thank you for your patience and staying with me. i'll see you again at 11:00. coming up right now, more news with hallie jackson. i'm hallie jackson in washington where it's a whirlwind wednesday starting with the breaking news, secret congressional testimony from donald trump jr. now public. what he says about that trump tower meeting with the russians, what he said or did not say to his dad about it, and what democrats say it all means and how it fits into the special counsel investigation ahead of the one-year mark for robert mueller. chuck grassley just speak, we'll bring that to you in a second. also right now on the hill, a cambridge collapse. that data firm in the spotlight with reports this morning the fbi and doj are investigating the now defunct company. we're also talking about what could be a no go with north
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korea threatening to call off that summit. kim jong-un not so hot to give up his nukes. the new response from the white house this morning. we've got a lot to get too. our team is set up across the country and around the world on this wednesday. but we want to start with the breaking news of that document dump about that now notorious trump tower meeting in june of 2016. it's been almost a year since we found out that happened. donald trump jr. was there at that meeting, so were jared kushner and paul manafort who was campaign chair at the time. british publicist rob goldstone set up the whole thing. then on the russia site you had an attorney, two lop byists and a translator. he says this meet was primarily about adoptions. turned out that was not the case as he acknowledged a few days later, remember that? that's when he said it was about getting dirt on hillary clinton with e-mails showing it was part of a bush by the russian government to help the trump campaign. lawyers for the president's son said it was pretty clear pretty quick that the russians had nothing to offer in that meeting and trump, by the way, has said
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did he not know about the meeting until it was reported in the news. we want to get to ken dilanian who has been leading the team sifting through these 2,500 pages of new documents, transcripts, statements, notes that are out there. let's go through what stands out to you. >> well, hallie, we have sort of competing narratives here by the republicans and the democrats on the jaw dish airy committee. republicans put these transcripts out because they believe that they show that there was no collusion here, that the stories we've been long reporting about this meeting are exactly the stories that all these participants are telling. frank lit democra frankly the democrats do agree, that the stories are consistent. that this russian lawyer came to the meeting essentially offering some information about the magnitsky act and alleging that they committed tax evasion and gave non democrats and that the trump team was not very impressed with this. if this is dirt it wasn't such great dirt. what was interesting is donald
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trump's junior reaction. he was trushingly disappointed according to these transcripts after rlgsiealizing that the russians didn't have much to offer. the democrats say that's not the end of the story. there's a lot we don't know. in particular, what we don't know is exactly what donald trump knew and when he knew it. candidate trump i'm talking about. now his son is saying clearly i did not discuss this meeting with my father. now that's very interesting because while he wasn't under oath in this interview, it's a crime to lie to congress. and democrats point out that right after the meeting, he made the a call to a blocked number that democrats find suspicious because they know that candidate donald trump was ieusing a blocd number. >> we want to know whether or not he told his father were we have the graphic the question was "the washington post" reported that your father was involved in drafteding that july 8th statement. you know the one, the one that was put together on air force one as the president was coming back from a trip. donald trump jr. said i don't know, i never spoke to my father
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about it. then later when he was asked do you know who drafted that statement sne said there are numerous statements drafted with counsel and other people were involved and opined then there was a question to the best of your knowledge, did the president provide any edits to the statement or other input? and trump junior says he may have commented through hope hicks. and, ken, this seems significant and it is consistent with what we've reported in the past that hope hicks was almost a conduit between jump junior and his father. while donald trump jr. may not have spoken with his father directly, is it fair to say says from the statements that we're getting today that per haeps did indirect -- perhaps he did talk to his dad through hope? >> i think it's favor. it's deeply suspicious. why would a father and son not want to communicate about a basic thick th basic thing that happened? is is it because lawyers were telling them it was dangerous to do that at that point in time? this is why robert mueller cares about this meet, not so much what was proffered at the meet,
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but what donald trump and his staff did afterwards to offer essentially a misdirection to the news media to stay was about russian adoptions and not fully describe what it was. why did they do that and does that fit into a pattern of obstructiontion t obstruction of justice. >> we have rob gold stone who's a british public la cyst who set the meeting up. he said this is a bad idea, we shouldn't do it and i gave the reason being that i'm a music public la cyst and i don't know much about politics. what do you make of that? >> i think it's hard to believe because he's the man that sent e-mail saying this is about the russian government effort to help your father, very specific. that goes to the heart of the investigation, was there such an effort. later he said i'm just a public la cyst, i was puff, i didn't mean that, i don't know where i got that information. now he's suggesting in a self-serving manner that he thought this was -- this was a mistake all along. it's hard to believe.
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>> i'm going to tether you to that camera because i know you'll come back the second you get more uft these documents. i want to keep up the conversation about what donald trump jr. said this morning. he said i appreciate the opportunity to have assist dollars the jaw dish airy commit in its inquiry. for over five hours i answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the committee. we're also hearing from key lawmakers over on the hill where we find garrett haake. garrett, i understand that the chairman of the committee who is behind the release of that's documents just talked with reporters, right? >> reporter: yeah, that's right. i was part of that with chuck grassley a minute ago. and talking to other lawmakers here, i think candid and forthright is not something something that everyone would agree with. i think the sticking point here is what might be incomplete. what we may not know because in particular don junior answered so many times that he doesn't remember, that did he not know specific elements about this meeting leading up to the meeting, conversations that
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happened afterwards. i asked senator grassley about this, if he's satisfied that we have the whole picture. take a listen. >> you know that the public, if they read them will know everything that happened in that trump tower meeting in june of 2016? >> they'll only know what we've been told and that's all we know. >> are you satisfied that you know the whole story now? >> i'm satisfied that we got a lot of collaboration by different people that were there and they seemed to draw the same conclusions. >> reporter: similar kind of answer, hallie, but a different tone from dianne feinstein, the ranking democrat on this committee who we also spoke to this morning. i think we can play some of her feelings about this release this morning as well. >> we have put out some information today as well of what the democratic side has been doing. and so the answer to your question would be, yes. >> reporter: and one of those democrats i talked to just a second ago, which i think the
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miracle of tv we couldn't turn around even quite fast enough, i just talked to richard blumenthal who was in the room for that donald trump jr. interview which he thought was a little bit of evasiveness, that maybe some of those i don't noes were not forthright. that there may be some questions that need to be answered about the lead-up to this meeting and whether junior talked to senior about the contents of that meet pgtd those will be questions that still have to be answered. one of the thing i've been re reading in on on this is the jared kushner piece of this. he did speak with a couple other committees here but not the jaw dish airy committee. what stuck out in his statement, he says he was the person detailed during the campaign and the transition to keep up with foreign governments. >> right. >> reporter: and then he spoke to maybe 15 foreign governments during the process of this. almost all of those interactions had been laid out previously. but what stuck with me is that kushner describes after almost every one of these interactions that there was no follow-up.
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while he mitt sergey kislyak as has been reported, they never spoke again. he was later introduced to a sergey gorkov who's a banker allied with putin that they met once in des during the transition and then they never spoek spoke again. you hear a lot about these cliff hanger meetings and the pushback from democrats is what's going on here? this is your job but you're not following up or are you following up and not really telling us? we're getting a lot of new threads here that i think will continue to be followed. i don't think this wraps anything up particularly today. >> just quickly here when you talk about the interaction yours having with lawmakers with senator feinstein, senator blumenthal, democrats on the committee have their own talking points that are a little bit different than chuck grassley's. the trump campaign was willing to accept russia's assistance. they say they didn't talk about the russia offer, they didn't bring it up to authorities and they misled the public, et
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cetera. there's the addition of facts to the case what each player said to the committee. there's the political overlay as well. >> reporter: there is. and, you know are the democratic talking points on this are kind of interesting because they point out here's what we know. we see this in the transcripts that the trump campaign was willing to accept russian offers of help. they were willing to hear them out, they didn't report it and they were willing to pursue this kind of information. and they see these as sort of damning data points on their own. but my pushback when i talk to these democratic senators what of that did we not know already before todd? these are things we have already known about this meeting. i think that the idea of these transcripts present some kind of specific damning evidence that the trump campaign was willing do these things, this has been fairly widely reported at least on those bold-face data points so far. i think it will be what else we find out around those i don't noes that will be the things that drive the stories in the future. democrats say, look, donald trump jr. in his own words saying he was willing to meet with russian who's might have this information.
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but, again, i think we knew that before today. >> garrett haake, i'm going to let you go back to your double duty of looking through the documents and trying to chase down senators. come back later in the show, we hope. with us now from new york is daniel goldman, former u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. national security analyst jeremy bash, former chief of staff of the cia and on set our panel for the next 49 minutes, and national security foreign policy reporter for the associated press, josh letterman. friends of the show. daniel, i'll get to you first. these documents now, these 2,500 pages have been out for roughly an hour and 12 minutes. what stands out to you so far the most? what do you mind most significant from a legal perspective? >> well, what i find quite significant is what garrett just ended with. and that's the fact that don junior was interested in dirt on hillary clinton, which we knew. but that paul manafort and jared kushner were also interested enough to attend this meeting. and then what is noteworthy to
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me as a former prosecutor is that they got bored in the meeting because it didn't include dirt. now, it may have been the situation, as it apparently was according to these documents, that the lawyer did not have the information that they wanted and she had another agenda. but then the question that must be followed through and must be asked again and again and again is what other contacts were there in that summer? what contacts did don junior or jared kushner or paul manafort have with russians unrelated to this specific meeting? but if there is a willingness to receive incriminating or dirty information about the opposing candidate from foreign governments, that doesn't just end after this meeting in june of 2016. that willingness will carry through for the rest of the campaign. and then you have to ask your question -- your 70 question, what happened with the platform
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at the republican national convention later that summer when it was changed in favor of russia? what communications were there between the russian government and top level officials with the trump administration? those are the kinds of questions that the prosecutors are going to ask following this information. >> i want to bring in jeremy and alexis and josh because as we're looking forgive me for checking my iphone but this is how we're getting information coming through our teams who are combing these transcripts. there's something interesting here from one of the russians in the roonl, this businessman who is tied to the algora family. he was asked whether this this involved offers of the released of hacked emalds, manufacturing fake news, hacked voter registration systems and discussion anything that might reasonably be considered collusion. he answered no to all of those questions. jeremy. >> well, so this is the big fallacy that somehow in that meeting is when the russian
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government can actually turn over all the denigrating information on hillary clinton. that was not the russian government's m.o. in fact, if you reetd the intelligent community's assessment, they went off hillary clinton's campaign e-mails, they dumped those into the public record and m&e they put denigrating information about her into social media. there was never any suggestion that anybody -- at least from anybody who's investigated this that they were going to show up at trump tower with the documents and throw them object tail. that's not what they were offering. they were offering support. in the meeting about the quid of the quid pro quo, what they're going to get for it, what they wanted in exchange was relief on the magnitsky act. so it was very much about a discussion, an agreement and conspiracy that if the russian government supports donald trump jr. -- donald trump's campaign at the donald trump jr. hosted meet, that in exchange president trump would go easy on russia.
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that's exactly what happened. >> trump junior was asked about whether the campaign or there was any discussion in this meeting about the hacks of the e-mails, dnc e-mail hack, and i want to read a little bit of this interaction because donald trump jr. says no, he didn't recall any specific discussion in this meeting about those hacked e-mails. and then later says, i just don't know that if someone had a passing conversation with me and said, hey, what do you think about that? but, no, there was no substantive conversations that i can at all remember about any of that. >> i mean, claiming that you don't remember is not a definitive know. i think he said i don't know or how i recall 103 times during the interview because he's not being transparent. >> to play devil's advocate, could he really have just not remembered or not known? >> this is a significant meeting you had planned before you attended. if you're sitting there passively not listen, perhaps. but how could you forget the
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significant information you're being told? >> talking about whether people, listening there have been questions about paul manafort and whether he was paying attention, he was on his phone allot during the meeting it had been reported. now rob goldstone is saying in these transcripts that jared kushner actually seemed to grow more and more angry. i think the word is more and more infuriated as this meeting went along. and that's when the russians did not in fact deliver what tlerve from team trump thought they were going to deliver. >> and manafort did not answer questions to this committee. >> correct. >> he's obviously under indictment by robert mueller for another series of allegations. but, you know, the part that we don't know about this is everything that robert mueller and his investigation know. and if there are inconsistencies between everything that's coming out today and what mueller knows, that's going to be really problematic. >> i want to quickly ask you, daniel, how this could relate to what josh just brought up which is the special counsel investigation hitting its one-year mark tomorrow. how does this tie? it it's likely that robert
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mueller already knows what's in these transcripts, fair to say? >> and a lot more for sure. it can tie in in any number of ways. obviously robert mueller is focused on the general idea that there were meetings with high-level russians and wants to explore what went on in those meetings. so he's going to have documents, he's going to have e-mails, he's going to have phone records. he's going to have a lot of the back and forth communications between the members -- or among the members of this meeting but also other meetings. and jeremy makes a good point. it creates the framework for a conspiracy. and then the question just becomes, what interaction did the trump campaign have in connection to the e-mails, the hacked e-mails? what interaction did they have in connection to russian help or involvement during the course of the campaign? so this is one incident of many that robert mueller is going to
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be looking at. and that's exactly the kind of thing that he will be focused on. i mean, just to the point about, you know, the i don't noes and the i don't remembers, as a prosecutor i used to tell witnesses, if you're a boxer and i asked you did you ever punch someone in the face, you you're going to say i don't know, i punch people in the face a lot of times. if you're just a regular human being who does not engage in boxing and you say did you punch someone in the face, you you' yg to remember that. so the question is did donald trump jr. have so many communications about this sort of thing that it makes sense that he wouldn't remember? or should it stick out that a foreign government is offering you assistance to muddy up an opposing campaign during the campaign, that's something that should probably stick out to you. so the i don't noes and the i don't remembers become a little bit more problematic. >> daniel goldman think there you win our analogy award of the morning. thank you for joining us and for your perspective.
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i'm going to ask everybody else to stick around because we have a lot more to get to including north korea threatening to back out of the talks. why he's taking aim at a specific number of the trump team. plus, the doj launching an investigation into the firm that had access to millions of people's information. that whistle know, christopher wiley just now confirming to nbc news that he has been contacted by the doj and the fbi. we have that next. delivery should look like this. handcrafted layers of clean food you can give your kids. tomatoes. even the picky ones. panera. food as it should be. now delivered.
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we want to take you live to capitol hill where garrett haake is speaking with senator dick durbin. we're going to listen in. >> i think that mueller's investigation and the people engaged in his effort are going to take this to a different level. but we know that that meeting took place. we know as well that there was a limited memory by his son as to what happened at the meet. >> reporter: you guys only got paper statements from jared kushner and paul manafort about this. is this something you'd like to see them come back and sit and answer questions about this? >> at one point the senate of the jaw dish airy committee promised us that and it's still necessary. there's a important role for
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them to play in this not just to find out what happened before. but for mund mentally, our charge and responsibility over the constitution is to make sure it never happens again. to establish criminal penalties and to make certain they're impossed if necessai imposed if necessary. >> is that getting done up here? it sounds like you're suggesting a lot of this is being kicked to bob mueller at this point. >> at this point little or nothing is being done by the senate judiciary committee. i hope that changes. i encouraged the chairman to step out. there's a time when a judiciary committed tee would be the go-to committee for the most important decisions involving our naltion. that's not the case now. >> do you think that work is done here effective li? >> i hope not because the threat to the next election cycle is very real. >> have you been watching senator dick durbin speaking with garrett haake over on capitol hill blasting the senate judiciary committee which just an hour and 20 minutes ago released 2,500 pages of documents related to that fain
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muss trump tower meeting in june of the 2016. we have teams of reporters combing through all of it. we talked about some of the highlights including donald trump jr. saying his father, the president, only learned about that meeting through news reports. we'll keep you updated on that and we'll stay on the other big headline the morning. after president trump praising north korea about the meeting in singapore, there are new talks as to whether it will actually happen. we got a response from the white house a couple moments ago. they're hoping for the one on one even though kim jong-un is threatening to pull out worrying about it's going to be too one sided. listen to what the president said recently about the prospects these talks. >> we're really doing well with north korea. we're really doing well. kim jong-un was -- he really has been very open and i think very honorable. we want to thank kim jong-un who
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really was excellent to release these incredible people. >> chance hans, you had that la and then had you kim jong-un coming out overnight and saying we may not be in this thing. talk through reaction from the pentagon and the white house this morning. >> well, the pentagon sin sifting this morning these drills are defensive in nature. if you look closely at the language from the pentagon, they're preserving the space for president trump to cancel these military operation ps the there's no firm line from the pentagon that these military exercise were under max thunder right now will continue. >> let me just clarify, because it's these military exercises that have angered kim jong-un to this degree that he's now threatening to cancel these talks. >> yeah. >> he's also now saying we may not want to denuclearize and we don't like john bolton. >> yeah. number one, here at the pentagon they thought they had a green light from kim jong-un to go
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ahead with the annual spring exercises. it's a change that they're now objecting to these exercises. in a way it was last night's statement coming out of north korea, it's more troulg than the first. the first is an objection to the exercise. the second one gets to the core of what every administration official has said publicly and privately, that's the goal is complete and verifiable denuclearization. as you mentioned earlier, sara huckabee sanders was asked about this on the white house lawn, she said this was all part of the plan and they always expected it. have a listen. >> this is something that we fully expected. the president is very used to writing for tough negotiations and if they want to meet we'll be rtd and if they don't that's acc too. we'll continue with the campaign of maximum pressure if that's the case. but like i just said, if they want to meet the president will certainly be ready and we willing be prepared but if not that's okay. >> it certainly didn't seem expected here at the pentagon. they didn't know it was coming at the state department.
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they also seem caught off guard. everyone you talk to in this building said that that campaign is having an effect and forced kim jong-un into the negotiating table. the question is if he walks from that table, what does it is a about the strength of the sanctions and is the pentagon and state department going to have to go back to the u.n. to go for another round of sanctions? >> guys. >> thank you, my friend. back with me national security an left jeremy bash, former chief staff at the cia and dod. we're also joined by evelyn farcus, and former nato editor, evelyn, to you first. the white house is saying we expected kim jong-un to sort of revert to this whiplash rhetoric that we saw several months ago. did you expect that and where does this go next? >> i mean, i expected anything because the bottom line is that there's no way that the north korean government that the moment in timed have to give up its nuclear weapons program. anyone who's --
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>> originally they said that they would. >> of course, they always say that. and this is the thing that's important. so hans talked about the two statements. one had to do with the military exercises. that's not surprising because it's normal for the north koreans to make noises about military exercises. i will say i'm surprised about that because we had heard that the north koreans understood that we were doing the exercises. we did naval exercises in april and they didn't say anything. i think possibly there's something internal going on, mean, that the military inside of north korea got a little bit annoyed because these exercises were a little bit more in the face with the air component. >> right. >> that's a possibility. this leader now, like his grandfather, not his father, has elevated the party over the military so there's some domestic component. but the second part i think is more important, what tom said about kim day kwan who is the long-time negotiator, he's been there the whole time negotiating with us on nuclear weapons, he
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gave the statement today saying john bolton -- basically answering saying we're not going to become like libya. that's a disastrous proposition. and this is the same regime that's called john bolton scum. >> here's the question, jeremy. north korea just released three american detainees, they just freed them just last week. what's the logic there? give this confession, give this confidence beld building move and then threaten to go out altogether? >> it's bait and switch, get the president to the negotiating table, make him feel vested in this and then once the president has committed to it. >> lay down the hammer, right some. >> say now the price has gone up. i say the president is kind of like the guy at the school option with his hand always in the air put know he's going to overpay when he goes on the line. when the president says i want to negotiate with this guy, i want to do the art of the deal, the chinese have come now over the weekend asked for big concession on the zte company. >> yeah. >> and now the north koreans are coming in asking for big concessions saying we're taking denuclearization off the table. one final thing, the south
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korean news agency is reporting that the american military exercise, we've agreed to take b-52s that are based in guam out of the exercise. those are our nuclear capable bombers and if we're not going to participate with b-52s it sends a signal that we will pull back the military exercise have that's troubling. >> i know hans is chasing that down. josh, you cover this every single day in your role as the foreign policy reporter for the associated press. you have admiral -- former admiral who evelyn knows well who was out this morning on "morning joe" talking about where this goes. i want to play that and i'd love to get your analysis on it. >> we can still land this thing if we are taking a relatively nuanced, reasonable approach to the negotiation. and that woin cluuld include ge better intelligence right now, talking more to the south koreans. we spend so much time yelling at the north koreans -- >> so can things still be salvaged? >> i think he's right in the
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administration's officials that i've spoken to have been saying we expected if not this particular hiccup but at some point there would be a breakdown in the is the north korean playbook, this is how it works and that they've built into their planning 8 sthaufrption they were going to have to get things back on track. what they're less confident in is whether the president will be able to restrain himself, play it cool and not overreact in a way that makes it impossible to get the train back on the track. >> evelyn, quick final thoughts. >> this is why you don't have the president starting off the negotiations. the president should be the closer. >> evelyn, thank you very much for coming on. jeremy, thank you. alexei, we'll get in next break. for, you josh, we got a lot more to talk about including a company called cambridge analytica, and you know that guy. the whistleblower at the center of the story is right now talking to lawmakers. we're breaking down the testimony and how it connects with the russia investigation after the break. ghting
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told about it? my colleague has scrubbed all the transcripts to get the answer to that, and the answer is according to donald trump jr., he never talked to his father about this eeth berry or after. and he testifies that he believed his father learned about this meeting when it was reported in the news media. that's hugely significant because, as you can imagine, a lot of people have a lot of trouble believing that, frankly. but donald trump jr. is locked into that story now. he was not under oath, but it's a crime to lie to congress. what he's saying is he never talked to his father about what was a russian government offer on help his campaign on incriminating evidence on hillary clinton and then he never talked to him after the meeting. that's his statement. >> you can explain this blocked phone call issue? you mentioned it at the top of the show interest there was a call between donald trump jr. when this meeting was getting set up and a businessman. then his mysterious phone call lasted four minutes and then another phone call with this guy, right? >> so among all these phone calls, what democrats are pointing out is that both before
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and after the meeting donald trump jr. made calls to a blocked number. now, we have no idea whose [ inaudible ] was but it was well known that candidate trump used a blocked number. one of the interesting kwaquests is going to be dr. robert mueller have the ability to get behind that through his intelligence resources and technical resources you can figure out who that blocked number was? because donald trump jr. testified he did not recall that phone call. >> assume we'll see you again at some point in the next 30 minutes thank you for standing by. we want to go right now to the hill because the man who blew the whistle on the data firm cambridge analytica is testifying right now before that senate committee. cambridge analytica was contact by the trump campaign to do data and voter analysis back in 2016. but business is shutting down because of the revelations the company could have had access to the data of 87 million people who use facebook. now the "new york times" reports the doj and fbi are investigating how the company did its work.
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with that whistleblower christopher wiley confirming that he has been contacted by both of those agencies. joining us now, roger. now the manager director of the venture capital firm elevation partners, alexi and josh are here as well. i want to be get to you in a second, roth, he, but i want to start with alexei and josh here because we want to started with the investigation. we don't know a lot about it but we know that our partners overseas are looking into this as well. what allegations are they trying to find? where does this go? >> i know that we just learned a week ago from christopher wiley that steve bannon wanted to use cambridge analytica to sort of target the far right crowd. that's something we'll need to know. and it is under intense scrutiny not only in the u.s. as you just mentioned but in britain as well. there are a lot of things we don't know. i don't know the specific questions they're going to ask christopher wiley we're finding it out now as it's live. but i think he's more than willing to participate and give information that we have not heard before. >> and wiley briefly spoke with
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reporters on his way into this hearing. that's him by the way live on capitol hill again confirming when he was asked have you been contacted or interviewed by the department of justice, he says he's met with them and he's been contacted by the fbi. i think we have a little bit of sound we want to play from wiley. >> i -- i've met with them and i'm going to continue meeting with them. >> do you have a date for [ inaudible ]. >> not yet. >> have you [ inaudible ]. >> i think we just walked straight in. >> i've been contacted by the fbi. >> so, roth, he let's take a second and step back and look at the big picture because what christopher wiley blew the whistle on is what led to the revelations of data misuse for millions and millions of facebook users. facebook is now under pressure and has been under pressure do something. we've learned they've suspended more than 200 apps for
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potentially using data badly. they've deactivated 500 million fake accounts. is that progress do you think? >> it's definitely progress. the problem for facebook is that the system is so large with 2.2 billion active users that there's no way for them to prevent the kind of disinformation, the kind of voter suppression techniques that cambridge analytica did during the 2016 campaign. and the scary thing is even though cambridge analytica itself is shut down, the people have reconstituted the business under another name. all that data is still out there, all those techniques can still be done. facebook's make something important steps, but there's nothing they have done yet that is going to actually protect us in 2016 -- or 2018 or 2020 because the problem is just -- it's too complicated. it's built into the nature of how facebook works and there is no easy solution for this no matter how hard they try. >> roth, he that are then begs the question, right, does the government need to get involved?
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is there some component of this that congress should step in on, should regulate when it comes to social media? we had this focus group at nbc news and we talked about voters out in the milwaukee about this. they were asked whether the government should do something more. i want to play it for you. >> i'd be fine without them getting involved. >> no government. >> that's what i'd say. i don't think it's that big of an issue right now for me. >> i don't have any concerns of the government needs to get involved with. >> why do voters think that way? >> i don't think they understand the scope of the problem and at the end of the day it's going to be hard for the government fix this. it would be really, really good if facebook and the other internet platforms made the changes in their business model that would be necessary to prevent manipulation of democracy. they don't have an incentive to do that today. the reason you want them to come in, you want them to change the
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rules and basically make sure that these companies have an incentive to do the right thing. the pressure from the public, it really matters. people saying it doesn't matter to me, that suggests more that they don't yet fully understand the scope of the problem. because this is our democracy at risk here. and we've already seen it work very badly in the united states and in brexit and we're going to see it a lot more going forward because the threat evolves. it's getting worse. it's getting harder because the artificial intelligence built into these systems is -- it's just too toes manipulate. >> thank you for coming on and joining us for this conversation. >> thank you for having me. i appreciate it. >> i want to ask alexi and josh to stick around a little longer. just a minute ago the senate intelligence committee voted 10 to five to advance gina haspel's nomination to be cia director. she's faced questions about her
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role in the cia's interrogation program after 9/11 but in the past 20 hours or so she's won over some key democrats. plus, scott pruitt facing more fireworks on capitol hill on spending, ethics concern, and epa policy and the investigations against him are adding up. 12 now, guys. but does any of this matter to the white house? we're talking about it all with ryan cass tel ryan castillo, next. this is a financial transaction secure from hacks and threats others can't see. this is a patient's medical history made secure - while still available to their doctor at their fingertips. this is an asteroid live-streamed to millions of viewers from 220 miles above earth. this is ai trained by experts in 20 industries. your industry. hello.
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so we're getting another look at that congressional testimony from donald trump jr. that's coming out now, these 2,500 pages our team's sifting through all of it. and i want to bring in alexi and josh because, guys, we're now getting word about donald trump jr.'s questioning of dirt on hillary clinton. he was asked, did you or anybody else encourage russia or anybody else to hack hillary clinton's e-mails? and donald trump jr., according to his transcript said i certainly didn't, i don't remember if anybody else did. i remember somebody else who called on russia to hack hillary clinton's e-mail and it's the president of the united states. >> that's right. he did it very famously at a rally on national television. >> at a news conference, it was in front ever reporters. >> if you're listen, get the
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e-mails, russia. and so for donald trump june dwror say he's not aware, but he's not ruling it out, seems to create more questions than it answers. >> i'd like to raise another inconsistency with donald trump jr. saying he didn't tell his father about the trump tower meeting before it happened. there's speculation about this mystery blocked phone call that came into trump junior's phone. but on june 3rd, trump junior received a phone call from rob goldstone about the meeting. june 7th he made a speech saying i'm going 0 give damaging information about hillary clinton on monday. june 9th was the trump tower meeting. it doesn't add up in addition to this blocked call. >> there's this other piece and forgive me from reeting from my iphone here, but this is literally just in. which this russian businessman who was there, we've been showing the graphic to the people in the room. one of the russians in the room says donald trump jr. asked the lawyer and this lobby whoift was there if they got anything on hillary. and the response was why don't you do your own research on her,
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we gave you the idea. >> right. what we see even from that e-mail from donald trump jr. setting up the meeting is at least there was an interest in receiving this e-mail. whether he played an active role in trying to it and make it hapn is another story. legal issues aside, i think for most voters the idea that there was a hunger for information that could be coming from that kind of source is a problem. >> there's also the question of -- that's raised earlier in the show by reporters of credibility and there is the question that he was asked that we're just getting. donald trump junior was asked has your father ever expressed to you his frustrations with an investigation of russian interference? and donald trump junior says no. now, flash forward to where we are in may of 2018. you would have to be living under a rock to say the president has not expressed frustration. i pose the question to you, is it possible that back in 2016 the president was not frustrated
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with the investigation? he didn't know about it until the transition. >> i mean, sure. he's clearly frustrated now. perhaps back then when it hadn't heated up as much as it has now, he wasn't worried about it. we see clearly through his tweets or the comey memos where we learned the president is obsessed with the investigation and character rising it as a witch hunt, it's getting under his skin. i think that's evolved and he see that publicly how much it's evolved since then. >> let me read you this exchange. trump junior was asked if you discussed the fbi's investigation into russian interference? he says no, not that he remembers. has your father expressed his frustrations with that investigation. junior says no. donald trump has tweeted publicly about his frustrations with what he's called a witch hunt for many months. >> and we hear from everyone around the president. from his aides and cabinet officials and friends that he's
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frustrated with this, and the recent days we've heard officials in the administration calling for this to end as we hit the one-year mark. >> and we know it's going to ramp up. josh, thank you. alexi, thank you. we want to talk about what else is happening on the hill. there's a lot of headlines from the hill today. senators are going after scott pruitt. this is live. he's appearing before the senate for the first time since that cascade of reports of excessive spending by the agency. we want to show you pruitt just moments ago responding to critics on what he's doing to prevent more bad headlines. listen. >> at the house meet, chairman, is instituting a memo for the agency that any expenditure over $5,000 that impacts my official duties has to be approved by the cfo, the deputy and the chief of staff to ensure that all processes are being checked and proper controls are in place. some of the criticism is unfounded, and i think exaggerated. i think it feeds this division that we've seen around very
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important issues affecting the environment. we can achieve both good environmental outcomes and pro growth policies. >> that's scott pruitt a couple of minutes ago in the capital. also there is ryan costello. congressman, thank you for joining us. you were one of the people who questioned scott pruitt over when he was on the house side just recently. you have chuck grassley who seems to be frustrated with the epa administrator. i want to play a little of what grassley had to say. it's about pruitt's policies. listen. >> right. >> i think a person appointed by the president that told us in january that he was going to be for ethanol. he got the message from the government. he was in our office last november. he said he got the message. and if he got the message, you don't do things that detract from the message. >> senator grassley's fired up talking about the frustrations
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of some midwestern members of congress. are you similarly frustrated with pruitt's policys? >> interestingly, i would be on the other side of that. we have local refineries in south eastern pennsylvania. i do take some issue with some of the administrator's 30ipolic. i don't think we should have gotten out of the paris accord. the other piece of what the administrator said. he said some of the criticisms are unfounded. okay. but some of them are founded. and i hope today that the senators will probe this a little deeper. we tried to do it in the house. we didn't get too far with it. but i would also say this. to his credit, making sure that any expenditure over $5,000 which should have been done before is a step in the right direction from internal accountability moving forward. >> let me ask you this. you were on with our pal chuck taud todd a couple weeks ago. i want to remind you and the
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viewers what you said when talking about calling for scat pruitt's resignation. >> i have not called for resignation at the moment, but it is something that i look at and ask myself that question. i just haven't landed there just yet. >> so congressman, that was april 26th. here we are mid may. have you landed there yet? >> no. because i want to see what happens today before the senate. as you mentioned at the outset, this is the next time he's appeared on the hill to actually answer questions from the senators. there's been a couple other things come to light which i think you reported on as well in terms of the e-mail, in terms of a study that has been not been forthcoming. i still have concerns. i'm not trying to sidestep the question. we haven't heard anymore since then. >> what's your red line, congressman? it's now the 12th investigation, number 12 has been opened into scott pruitt. when is enough enough in your view? >> i'd like to get the answers. i mean, to be clear, we did not -- i do not feel that we got
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the straightforward answers that we should have gotten before the house several weeks ago. what i think the senate is going to do today is take his testimony from several weeks ago and dig deeper and require more. so by my estimations, he's not out of the clear. what's happened him, i think is that the president is standing behind him. that certainly helps him. obviously it's up to the president, but the scrutiny over his spending, over his travel, over some of the decision making that's happened on the management side are still there. and more questions, i think, have come about over the past several weeks to be sure. >> i want to get you on the primaries in pennsylvania that happened yesterday. you looked at the democratic turnout. "the washington post" is reporting democrats in your state of pennsylvania cast about 10 $0,000 more votes than republicans last night. it seems to potentially be a sign of democratic enthusiasm in your state. how worried are you about that? >> well, there is democratic enthusiasm. let's split this out, though.
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you should have had higher republican turnout statewide because you had a competitive governor's primary. on the flip side, there were competitive house races in the southeast in not where you grew up or me, but delaware and montgomery county where you have eight, ten democrats running. that probably juiced up democratic turnout. >> you don't seem concerned? you're not worried about it? >> no. i think if you look at any polling, that the intensity gap between democrats and republicans, there's more intensity on the democratic side of the ballot box to be sure. we still have five months before election day. >> all right. congressman, we hope you'll come back at some point in the next five months. we'll follow up with you after the pruitt testimony to see where you are. thank you. now outside the beltway thousands of teachers are demonstrating in raleigh, north carolina. they want more money for themselves, the schools. big picture, this is part of a national movement that is picking up steam. in just the past few months
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we've seen these demonstrations pop up around the country. you can see them there, north carolina, west virginia, kentucky, oklahoma arizona colorado. >> we want to go to north carolina where we are with the protesters. talk through what you're hearing about teachers. it seems like there's a similar thread you can weave throughout the states when it comes to the walkouts. >> reporter: that's exactly right. and we were on the ground for oklahoma. now what makes north carolina different is that teachers here aren't building this as a strike, per se. they're saying this is the one day rally. a day of action. you have an estimated 20,000 educators and their supporters walking behind me toward the north carolina state capital. to pressure lawmakers for the one day because they're fed up, they tell me with the cuts to education. north carolina has cut more than 12% of its state funds on education. and they're fed up with the salaries they're making. i want to quickly bring in this
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teacher that teaches third grade. >> third grade. >> why are you here today and what are you asking lawmakers? >> i'm here for one reason, for my children. past students, current students and future students. we need to fund education. >> thank you so much. i'm going to let you get back to the rally. average teacher pay in north carolina is $10,000 less than the national average, and as you heard, that's one of the big reasons why teachers are here. >> yeah. thank you. we want to wrap up as always with today's big picture. hawaii, these are people watching ash pop up some 12,000 feet in the air. it's right near the volcano. today people there are learning they are under a red alert, a code red. a major eruption could happen at any moment. we have teams watching this. we're thinking of folks there on the big island of hawaii. we want to hear your thoughts. if you have stories about this,
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pop on. facebook, twitter, snap chat and instagram. i'll see you later tonight. for now, to stephanie ruhle. ali velshiless again today. >> i am. good morning. ali is on assignment. we have a lot to hit. it's wednesday, may 16 th. let's get started. breaking news. we are learning brand new details from just released judiciary committee transcripts into the controversial june 2016 trump tower meeting between trump campaign officials and a russian lawyer. >> what was interesting is donald trump junior's reaction. he was crushingly disappointed according to the transcripts after realizing that the russians didn't really have much to offer. now, his son is saying clearly i did not discuss this meeting with my father. that's very interesting, because while he wasn't under oath in this interview, it's a crime to lie to congress. >> the public if they read


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