tv Early Today NBC March 28, 2019 3:30am-4:00am EDT
wheelchairs doing better than me.th 's what the fbi did what it absolutely had to do. the american people shouldade it's there and proud of it, and the r is just lying and noise. >> james comey sounds off.e former fbi director sitting down with nbc news for his first interview since these of the mueller report. why he still has plenty of questions. a breakthrough in the boein3 7 max scandal. the new fix that could get the air.led planes back in the one lucky american is three quarters of the way to billionaire status. where the sole winning powerball ticket was sold. and building the wall, not brick by brick but bree by bree. meaning the artist who is using cheese to make america "grate"
again. "earlyhtoday" starts r now. good morning. i'm marlie hall. >> and i'm phillip mena. the mueller report may b finished, but the search for answers is just getting started. while his political rivals fight to seef the full findingse spe special counsel, president trump is touting full exoneration. and during a new interview on fox news, the president turd histtention to the beginnings of the mueller probe, saying it was led by treasonous people. >> just in case lost, they wanted an insurance policy against me. and what we were playing out until just recently was thepo insurancecy. they wanted to do a subversion. it was treason.ll it was r treason. if the republican party had done this to thecr des, if we had done this to president obama, you'dave 100 people in jail right now and it would be treason. it would be consired treaso and they'd be in jail for the rest of their lives. but it worked out the other way, and, you know, it's july -- it's
re horrible situation. >> one of those caught in the president'sai cros, james comey. >> the former fbi director sat down with our lester hol for his first tv interview since the end of the mueller investigation. t here are hisughts on the special uncosel's decision to punt on potential obstruction charges. >> there's the obstruction of justice issue and that tweet from comey just this weekend, anding in the woods. so many questions. questions?ur >> they're all about the obstruction piece. obviously i want and i think thl american p should want transparency on the coso-called piracy piece. but the obstruction piece confuses me. i think both director mueller and attorney general barr are entitled to the benefit of the doubt. >> let's unck it here. mr. mueller decides not to make a judgment onla that parti issue. does that alone surprise you? >> it does. fthe purpose a special counsel is to make sure that the
politicals, in this case the attorney general, doesn't make the ultimate call on whetherhe subject of the investigation, the president of the united states, should be hel criminally liable for activities that were under investigation. and so the idea that a special counsel wouldn't reachhe question and hand it to the political leadership doesn't makesense. i don't -- i'm not pre-judging it. i'm ju saying it doesn't mak sense on its face, so i have a lot of question. >> do you think it was mr. mueller responsibility to come to a determination on that potential charge? >> well, it was certainly his charge in general to investigate fully and come, if he could, to conclusions. i don't know why he didn't here, and i don't know what combination him to that, which is why i'm going to wait and hear the explanation, whichl hope w come. >> and on the issue of whether you need an underlying crime to prove obstruction -- is that a legal principle that you have always understood? >> no. that's part of my confusion. i don't think the a.g. said that was the justificatn. he cited it as a factor, and that's just not been my
experience as a prosecutor for decades. every day in this country, people are prosecuted for obstructing justice to avoid embarrassment, to avoid harm to their business, to avoid threats to their families where there isn't an underlying crime that they committed. and you wouldn' want it any other way because if you had to wways prove the underlying crime, yould create incentives to obstruct because people get away with both if they successfully stop an investigation. >> you want this whole thing out? >> oh, it h to because the bedrock of the department of justice, which bill barr loves and bob mueller loves and i love tis t people have faith and confidence that it's not part of a political tribe. and the only way to establish that and to protect that bedrock of their confidence is to show them your work. and so we have to see it here. >> do you ask yourself why mueller did not subpoena presidt trump tory to get to the heart of this intent question on obstruction? >> yes, i do. ind i don't know the answer to that. ave the same question about
how the attorney general could resolve the question, which he says in his letter turns upon the president's intent, without the president having been asked what his intent is. >> then there was your firing. may 3rd, 2017, you ghe before senate judiciary committee. you talk about a lot of things, the clinton e-mail, serv but you declined to answer questions specifically about evidence of collusion at that point. a couple days later, you're fired. a few days aft that, i sit down with president trump. >> in fact, widn i d to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, thisussia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. >> what did you think when you heard >> i thought that's potentially obstruction of justice, and i hope somebody isoing to loo at that. again, the president appears to be saying --t' i don't know w in his head, which is why i can't reach the conc asion. what hears to be saying is, i got rid of this guy to shut down an investigation that threatened me. >> up until that point, you had en fired, was it possible that
he had fired you simply for the reasons stated in the initial letter, that it was you handling of the clinton affair and nothing more and nothing less? >> anything's possible withhis president. it's possible he was lying to me when he told me earlier in the year h well had handled the clinton thing and that i had taken a beating but behaved honorably. maybe that was a lie, and he really had harbored concern about my violating department of justice norms or something. it doesn't seem likely to me. then obviously his interview with you kind of put that to rest. >> he said the russia thing, and you thought it was because o russia? >> because he said so. yeah, so i did. yes. >> that in your mind would have been obstruction of justice? >> no, potentially obstruction of justice. it'ss complicated when ihe president of the united states given his authority over the executive branch. but you would certainly be irresponsible not to explore whether that is obstruction of justice. >> comey also told lester he is open to testifying publicly before congress about the start of the collusion investigation.
meanwhile, president trump is taking a victory lap through the midwest today. will hold a campaign rally in grand rads, michigan, tonight, in his first major event since the release of the mueller report. nbc's tracie potts joining us from washington, d.c. with the very latest. we're likely to hear quite bit about the mueller report today. >> reporter: yeah, the president's not mincing words about this investigation, the investigation being over, himself being cleared of collusion, but also these re ining questions about obstruction. the president says he was cleared. we don't know yet exactly what the report says, but we know that it wasinconclusive. president trump continues toe critiche reason behind the investigation. >> this was an attemptedta over of our government, of our country, an illegal er take and if it were the other way around, where i was doing it to president obama or a democrat, it would be virtually the
haximum sentence you can find no matter where you look, in whatevereg book. >> reporter: now, democrats and the president and lots of other people too want to see thatreull rt. democrats are demanding it by tuesday. it doesn't look like that's going to happen. the latest from attorney general barr is that it could take weeks to eract any possibl classified information from that report. but we areeeearing from t lawmakers that there are key committees looking int whether or not to subpoena robert mueller to testify herepi on l hill. phillip? >> in the meantime, the president claiming total exoneration. thank you. o secreta education betsy devos is under fire this morning forsi pro deep budget cuts that would reshape her department. the idea drawing the most outrage, cutting off funding for the specialympics. >> i have two nephews with autism. what is it thate we h a problem with, with children who are in special education? why are we cutting all of these
programs over and over within this budget? >> well, sir, we have ctinued to retain the funding levels for i.d.e.a. >> i believe i brought up special olympics -- >> i will address the broader question -- c >> or if yould actually address the question i asked. that's even a better way to answer aquestion. >> under the trump administration's plan, the special olympics would lose nearly $18 million in federal funding. despite the steep cuts to special needs progms, the wisconsin congressman also pointed out the education department requested a 15.5% hike in executive salary the lawmakers who ultimately decide on funding say the cuts won't happen. breaking news out of guatemala. e beenst 30 people h killed after a truck plowed into a crowd. this happened in the town of solola nearly 100 miles from the capital of guatemala city. the volunte fire departmentar ed this video here of the afte sath. the trutruck a group of people who had walked into a
road to check on a neighbor who tid been hit by a car. the cause is under investigation. right now police are trying to i.d. victims. the government has declared three days of mourning for the victims and theirfamilies. we now know the punishment a teenager will face after pushing her friend off a bridge. taylor smith pleaded guilty toc reless endangerment for shoving jordan holderson off a 60-foot bridge in washington state. smith has been sentenced to two days in jail, 38 days on a work crew, and a fine of $300. also she must have no contact with her former friend for two years. holderson suffered six broken er ribs, and lungs were punctured in the fa . if you are just waking up in wisconsin, first of all, good morning. you may want to check yourrb pol tickets too because lottery officials say a single jackpot-winning ticke sold in the badger state and is worth an estimatedn. $768 mill there's your winning numbers, 16, 20, 37, 44, 62, and the magic powerball will make
you rich, 12. janessa webbs here. are we winning with this forecast, though? >> it depends. if you likeh the rain w warmer temperatures, the tradeoff here is kind of dicey. we te going to sees line of storms really start to establish across the midwest. this is round one currently making its way into st. louis. so this wl be consecutive rain for at least the next 48 hours. forecasting potential two to three inches fmt. louis to kansas city. that's a look at the big weather story for today. here's a clor look at your day ahead. so we're seeing that freeze slau thaw effect from nebraska, uppei west. you're dealing with those flood prone areas. some slight freezing but pretty quiet day for the northeast. highs are warming back up to 60s, mid-50s. not a bad spring day here. unfortunately going to lose that sunshinehe compared to warmer temperatures. >> that's something. we'll take it. >> its. wo a pair of rescued baby sea otters have been adopted.
mara andibson found a new home at the georgiamar a iu ercafornia coastline. the aquarium was chosen because of its ability to provide 24-hour care. the infants will spend some time getting used to their new surrounding before joining the otters. s other sea >> so cute. just ahead on "early today," a giant i politics. now tell you which state has bragging rights for the tallest lawmaker. and boeing takes another step toward getting the troubled 737 max back in the air. ok, i'm ready...
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parked, ready to go to their customers.ow but as you the entire global fleet is grounded. now boeing iser making a big step, hoping to get a software upgrade fix through so they can start flying again. as m 737 maxes rolled off the assembly line, boeing was giving hundreds of airline pilots and executives a look at the urgent upgrade to fix the software suspected in two fcral hes. >> we're working with customers and regulators around the world to restore faith in our industry. >> reporter: here's what the pilots will see. a simple indicator warning the outside sensors disagree on the plane's angle of .atta if the mcas system pushes the nose down like i theonesian plane, it will stop if the pilots override it. boeing says max pilots can learn the new system in just 30mi tes. meanwhile, the acting faa chief defended the certification hi process, w allows boeing to certify much of its own work. >> our certification procees areextensive, well established, and have consistently produced
safe aircraft designs for decades. >> reporter: the faa still has to approve boeing's software upgrade and its plan to use ipads to retrain pilots rather than a simulator. that all could come within a week or so, but actually getng proval to fly the plane with all the regulators around the world, that could take weeks if no just ahead, why police are saying sorry to justin bieber. and building a border wall costs a lot of cheddar. the artist using cheese to make "grate" agai next. >> get it? without sacrificing results? try olay total effects for a 7-in-1 solution. its unique formu b is packed with vitam e, and c to naturally renew skin cells for a visibly healthy glow.gl in fact, a sindose provides more vitamin b3 than 50 cups of kale which is proven to improve 7 key areas of visibly healthy skin. sar time and money on yin routine with olay totaeffects.
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mc . on march 23rd, the day before the mueller report was delivered, trump was at 41.9%. but today with the collusion cloud lifted, that nber has soared to 41.9%, which is a difference of -- let me see -- nothing matters anymore. >> we've known that for a while. had mueller found collusion, it probably would have been 41.9% physical comedy from colber pop star justin bieber has had his fair share of run-ins with the law but on wednesday he
says he was questioned by a police officer because of his shoes. bieber posted about the encounter. of course where else? instagram. he said a cop stopped him because they thought his tan and oregon off-white nike sneakers were stolen because of its design feature. justin said t officer asked, why do you t still havehat bieber said, hey, man --ere's n? the quote -- bro, not man, bro, it's just fashion. >> thosere some cool kicks, though. >> they are. you know like baseball caps, uople leave the sticker. i don't know what' with that. it's just part of it. >> it's just a thing. >> it's fashion, bro. a l.a.-based artist is taking a cheesy approach to making a statement. he's stacking blocks of spoiled cheese at the u.s./mexico border in san diego county. he says his point is not to be political, but he wants to start a real conversation about problems within the immigration process. the cheese wall has 200 blocks and is 25 feet long. the artist is seeking donations and selling products on
cheesewall.com in the hopes of extending the wall 1,000 feet. i would imagine there's some kind of odor that goes along with a wall of spoiled cheese. good luc with that. just ahead, we'll tell you about a new york city councilman wh is taking the job to new heights. you'on watching "early today" a thursday. ♪ ♪ baby do you like the way i werk it now? ♪ ♪ baby come on and let me show you how ♪ ♪ werk it now ♪ werk it now ♪ werk it now ♪ baby watch me werk it like ♪ werk it now, werk it now, woo ♪ ♪ werk it now ♪ baby watch me werk it like ♪ baby, baby, baby ♪ baby watch me werk it now starting a business means i have to be well rested, every night of the month. always overnight pads have up to a 2x larger back for up to 10 hours of protection. it catches leaks, so you can catch zzzzs. because my morning starts
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new york mets. the team is ready. so is the park. >> we're ready. >> we'bl ready. red,. i'm aaron gilchrist. >> i'll molette green in for eun yang. it not just the team. it is the fans. nats nation expected to come out in full force. >> give me baseball. >> they're going to be cheering on the team. >> and this morning, we will be right there. jim hanley will join us in our 00 hour, with a look ahead to the day ahead. we wanto beg with a check of the commute and the forecast. >> melissa mollet is standing by with the traffic. we're goingo start with chuck bell. >> return of the southerly breeze turns the