tv Meet the Press NBC April 15, 2018 8:00am-9:01am PDT
this sunday, attack on syria. >> i ordered the united states armed forces to launch precision strikes. >> the u.s. and its allies strike syria for last week's suspected chemical attack on civilians. >> these are not the actions of a man. they are crimes of a monster. >> the president declares mission accomplished, but is it? what's the point of doing something if it accomplishes nothing? i'll ask the republican senator from iowa. is mueller closing in? a new report says the special counsel has evidence confirming part of the infamous dossier that the president's lawyer may have lied about a trip to prague during the 2016 campaign. i'll ask former cia chief john
brennan whether he sees evidence of collusion. also, paul ryan calls it quits. >> today i am announcing that this year will be my last as member of the house. >> today my sitdown with the outgoing speaker of the house. when people write the history of this era, it will be the triumph of trumpism over ryan international. that's got to be bitter pill. and our "wall street journal" poll on president trump and the enthusiasm gap in the vote for congress. joining me for insight and analysis are nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker, mark leibovitch, chief national correspondent for "the new york times" magazine, nbc news national reporter kara lee and to republican strategist al ca cardanis. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." good sunday morning.
this is one of those times when we'd really like to look into the future and see how historians judge this week. james comey's new book attacks the president as untethered to truth and institutional values. the speaker of the house, paul ryan, decides to retire rather than face a possible future in the minority. the u.s. and its allies launch limited air strikes on syria in retaliation for president assad's use of chemical weapons. the fbi raids the offices of president trump's personal attorney, michael cohen, sufgtingsufgt i -- suggesting a new pathway for special counsel robert mueller. and mcclatchy reports that mueller has evidence michael cohen made a trip he's denied ever taken to prague during the 2016 campaign. if proven, that could be the evidence that leads to collusion. all this comes as our new "wall street journal" poll shows president trump's approval rating slipping a bit. the approval number is actually
down four points and the disapproval up four since last month, but interestingly enough, today's numbers are the exact set of numbers that our poll showed in january. it's more evidence that the president's approval numbers move up and down within a very narrow trading range. we'll have more on our poll later in the show, but we'll begin with a week that started with a raid on the offices of the president's lawyer and it ended with a military strike on syria. >> i ordered the united states armed forces to launch precision strikes. >> on friday night, the u.s. and european allies launched coordinated air strikes on three of assad's chemical weapons facilities after a suspected chemical attack last week. the president even ratcheted up his rhetoric. >> we are prepared to sustain this response until the syrian regime stops its use of chemical agents. >> the pentagon made it clear
the strikes were limited. >> right now, this is a one-time shot. >> the air strikes come as mr. trump is mired in multiple domestic political crises and he and his surrogates are launching a campaign against law enforcement. earlier on friday, the president attacked fired fbi director james comey as an untruthful slime ball and the name-calling kept on coming. >> comey will be forever known as a disgraced partisan hack. >> disgruntled ex-employee who after the fact wants to clear his conscience. >> james comey is a dirty cop. >> the republican national committee even rolled out a website called lyin' comey b, attempting to discredit him with talking points and digital ads, all in reaction to his new book, a portrait of a president obsessed with disproving a dossier filled with salacious and unproven claims and unconcerned with the russian threat. >> no one to my recollection asked so what is coming next
from the russians? it was all about what can we say about what they did and how it affected the election we just had? >> mcclatchy reports that special counsel mu special counsel robert mueller says michael cohen made a trip to prague. nbc news has not confirmed the report. on monday, cohen's office was raided by the fbi, a move that unnerved mr. trump, who has always considered an investigation into his personal business deal ags red line. some allies used the raid to say that rod rosenstein should be fired. >> rod rosenstein is so
incompetent, compromised and conflicted that he can no longer serve as the deputy attorney general. >> and joining me now is republican senator joni ernst of iowa. a member of the armed services committee and a veteran who served in the middle east during the iraq war. welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning chuck. good morning, chuck. >> let me start simply with your reaction to the missile strikes from friday night. >> yes. i am glad that the president has joined with france and great britain and took these strikes. i think it was important that we destroyed that infrastructure that bashar al assad had used to deliver chemical weapons against his own people. so i am glad that we've taken this step. of course, we need to now have discussions what should happen in the future. you supported the strike last year, as well, but i spoke to you right after that strike and here's what you told me about the next time president trump did this. here's what you said to me.
>> going forward, i do believe that we need that notification coming to congress, and if he wishes to do anything further, he does need to bring that specific plan with his reasoning to congress before we move forward. >> now, president trump did not do that. he acted multilaterally as far as working with britain and france but unilaterally as it comes here inside this country and did not notify congress. are you at all uncomfortable with that? >> well, i am uncomfortable going forward if he wishes to commit ground troops in the area. currently, we do have an effort to fight against isis in the region and that is our main focus. this is secondary to that, but certainly if he wishes to go any further, he does need to work with congress. so the air strikes, i'm comfortable at this point with that, but as many of my colleagues have also stated, we
need a new aumf, we need to address this situation, and the president does need to come to congress and we need to have those discussions. so for now, i am comfortable with the actions that he took with great britain and france, but again, we need to have these discussions because we don't see that bashar al assad will all of a sudden become a real nice guy. >> i know there wasn't an easy needle to thread here about trying to find this balance to send a message to assad so he doesn't do this again and not get drawn in too far. your colleague senator lindsay graham, republican from south carolina, this morning in "the new york times" is worried about the result of the strikes. he says this -- i fear when the dust settles this strike will be a weak military response and assad will have paid a small price for using chemical weapons yet again because we didn't take it all out. he will still have the capabilities. what do you say to that? >> well, i think we do need to
find a way to make sure that syria is rid of all of its chemical weapons. they are not sticking to the chemical weapons convention. we know that for a fact now. so we do need to address the situation, but we need to have a broader discussion. i am pleased that we have partnership with france and great britain, but we do have to, as the united states military, figure out a way forward and make sure that we have destroyed the capabilities that bashar al assad has to take these chemical weapons against his own people. so he is a war criminal, and we need to have a very strong and resolute action in regards to this situation. >> is there an effective way in your mind to deter russia's support of assad or is it too late? >> i think at this point they have been supporting for a very, very long time. it's unfortunate that they are so involved in that region, but we do have to find a way
forward. if diplomacy would work, i would say we always need to start with diplomacy, but certainly there would be military action. that would make quite clear that there would be strikes. we did not see a response from russia, not yet. we do need to keep our eyes open to any sort of retaliation, but it does make this a very tenuous situation. >> let me ask you a couple of separate questions about the russia investigation. first, the legislation that's a bipartisan legislation, tom tillis, lindsay graham and cory booker essentially to protect robert mueller's status as a special counsel, protect him from being fired. and tom tillis making the case this is good for the president to take away this speculation about whether mueller stays or goes. would you support that legislation if it came to the floor? >> well, it is my understanding
that my senior senator from iowa, chairman chuck grassley, will bring this up in judiciary for a discussion. i would like to see the final text of that before i state whether i would support it or not. we'll see where this goes. i don't believe that the president will fire mueller, we'll see, but i certainly want to see that text, and i'm glad that they will have the discussion. >> finally, i want to get you to respond to this criticism. james comey laid at all of congress in his book on the attacks of the law enforcement community. he writes this -- i know there are men and women of good conscience on both sides of the aisle who understand this, but not enough of them are speaking out and they must ask themselves to what or to whom they owe a higher loyalty. their silence is complicit and it is a choice and somewhere deep down they must know that. do you accept this criticism that you and others have not spoken out enough in support of law enforcement as the president has at times rhetorically undermined law enforcement?
>> well, i think that we do stand behind those men and women of our various agencies, those that are truly non-partisan and those that are working for the good of the american people. i have not read james comey's book. i'm sure at some point it will come out and we'll be able to view that. but i would say that as the head of an agency there is a need for a level of respect going both ways. so i respect the men and women that do their job and do it in a non-partisan manner, and i wish that we had seen that a little bit more from some of the heads of our agencies in the federal government as well. >> senator johnny joni ernst, republican from iowa. i will leave it there. thank you for coming on. >> thank you very much. now what could be a huge break in the russia investigation this week. a report that robert mueller has
evidence confirming part of the infamous dossier. mcklatchy reports that he has evidence that michael cohen, despite his initial denials, was in prague late summer 2016. if this is true and cohen was there to meet with an ally of putin as the dossier alleges, it could be a direct sign of collusion by one of president trump's closest advisers. john brennan is now an nbc news senior national security and intelligence analyst. welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning, chuck. i should correct you. i never investigated the dossier. >> itself. okay. let me ask you about michael cohen, then. was he ever on your radar? >> i won't get into details who was or was not on my radar because that's not the cia's role. anytime we collected information, we would share it immediately with the fbi and then it would be the fbi's responsibility to pull the threads and do the follow-on investigation. >> all right. the raid happened to michael
cohen's office on monday, and there was a hearing on friday and michael cohen is trying to file a temporary restraining order on the government's ability to look at what they got. in their court filing, the government made public a couple of facts. the biggest one to me, his main business is not being a lawyer, but the biggest one is he's been under surveillance for months. electronic surveillance. what does that tell you as an intelligence officer? >> well, it tells me that the fbi, department of justice would have had compelling evidence of potential criminal activity for them to conduct this type of surveillance against an individual who has worked closely with mr. trump over the course of many years. and the fact that he was going to be targeted by the fbi as far as surveillance is concerned, again, they would have had to meet a very high threshold for that, and the fact that he was under surveillance for this period of time i think gives the fbi some insight into his
activities. >> they did not use a subpoena. perhaps they believed he wouldn't comply with a subpoena for request for records. does that mean that they would have had to have evidence that he destroyed records in the past in order for a judge to allow something like this to happen? >> i think it would mean that they had evidence of some type of possible criminal activity, whether that was destroying destruction of evidence or something else, but there needs to be a basis or premise for the fbi to do something like this for an extended period of time especially against an individual like this who serves as a lawyer which addresses the attorney/client privilege issue. >> mcklatchy is reporting that mueller does have evidence. that michael cohen was in prague at a time he had denied it very famously posting a tweet of his passport and things like this. but here's what supposedly happened in this prague meeting according to the dossier. it said the agenda comprised questions of how deniable cash payments were to be made to hackers who worked in europe under kremlin direction against
the clinton campaign. and the person there is a gentleman by the name of kosacev, someone close to putin on foreign policy issues. what can you tell us about this kosacev? >> there is a lot of concern that the rugs were working through various channels during the election campaign season of 2016 to try to influence the election and to use people in cutouts that they would interact with u.s. persons. so, again, i'm not going to get into details about what might have happened at the time during my tenure as director of cia, but i can tell you if these allegations are true they are explosive from the standpoint that this provides the basis for conspiracy because you have to conspire with a foreign government in order for these charges to stick. >> the dossier, the salacious parts of it have been reported back and forth.
it's an interesting part of james comey's book, but so far with this dossier, nothing yet has been proven untrue. how significant is that to you? >> it just shows that the mueller investigation has continued apace and james comey said famously that these were salacious and unverified allegations. just because they were unverified doesn't mean they were not true. and so what mr. mueller as well as others have been doing is trying to pull all of the threads, some that may have been involved with the dossier and others that were independent of it. >> during his confirmation hearing to be secretary of state, mike pompeo, still the director of the cia, says he has been interviewed by the special counsel. have you been interviewed by the special counsel? you've been part of the investigations, and i'm curious if you have met with mr. mueller and his team. >> no, i have not. >> does that surprise you? because he seems to have talked to a lot of other heads of the obama-era intelligence. >> no, it's not.
mr. mueller would have had access to cia files that he needed. and cia's role is to not look at activities of individual americans by any mean, but there is a full record there and they can provide what they need. >> i want to switch to syria. you were the head of the cia during the obama era, during this time when the president almost conducted similar military strikes to try to punish assad for using chemical weapons in 2013. instead an agreement was cut with the russians to get rid of the chemical weapons. were we -- in hindsight, was the obama administration extraordinarily naive to think that the russians would do this? did you guys know then that they were hiding chemical weapons at the time that they claimed they were destroying them? >> it's not they were hiding chemical weapons. the ability to reconstitute the chemical weapons program is very
easy, and just the way the trump administration and the continued use of the strikes. i'm sure the strike which was a tactical and surgical success, has been a step back, but that does not mean they won't use chemical weapons again. >> what were the point of the strikes if it's sent to try to deter but it actually won't deter? >> well, it may deter. i don't know if it will or not. it sends a clear signal to damascus and moscow, you cannot do this with impunity. and in will be limited and tactical and surgical. the next one may not be. >> was it a mistake not to follow through on the threat? did president obama make a mistake then or is president trump making a mistake now? >> i don't think either was a mistake. i think this administration's actions against syria were appropriate. i tend abkrit -- to be critical of this administration, but the way they handled this was exactly right. it was proportional and
necessary in order to send that signal, but there's going to be great difficulty in trying to resolve the syrian situation. it's a very, very complicated one and there needs to be a strategy for it, but there's not an easy solution so we need to continue to put the pressure on the assad regime and not get involved in another full-scale war in the middle east. >> you have taken to twitter and sometimes your language is pretty tough particularly with this current president, and you got criticism from a former moscow cia chief. his name is daniel hoffman. he said -- brennan's public statements carry weight and he was doing putin's bidding to driving divisive dialogue, and he was not trying him, essentially that your criticism is too harsh and it's too tough and it only feeds into trump's critiques. what do you say to that? >> i disagree with that. i believe that i have a responsibility as an american citizen to speak up when i see some wrongdoings, and i have taken issue with a lot of things that donald trump has done. i'll continue do that.
for every comment like that, i hear many other comments saying, thank you, john, for voicing some of their concerns that they have. the fact that i'm critical of donald trump does not mean in any way that i'm trying to support vladimir putin. the exact opposite. i want to make sure that donald trump will take a tough line toward russia and against vladimir putin and i will continue to put that pressure on him publicly if i feel he's falling short of his responsibilities as the president of the united states. >> former cia director john brennan. thanks for coming in and sharing your views. much appreciated. >> thanks. when we come back we'll go over all of this and the latest on syria and the investigation with the panel, and later, my interview with paul ryan who is stepping down as speaker of the house. when you called president trump, what did he say? >> he was disappointed, but he understood. disappointed, but he ♪ (music plays throughout) ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> nbc news white house correspondent kristen welker. nbc national political reporter carol lee and republican strategist al cardenas. we've heard from the president doubling down and saying mission accomplished. it was a limited strike. i know they believe the tactical mission was a success, but do we know what the strategy is on syria going forward? >> well, the administration would argue that the policy hasn't changed. they still want to defeat isis and they still want to stabilize the region. they want to ultimately see assad removed by political means, but when you ask members of congress if they have clarity, they don't, and you heard senator joni ernst say that. we want a briefing from the administration what constitutes the necessity of another viek and when will they bring in congress into the process? if it accomplishes nothing what was the point of the something?
>> mission accomplished is a short-term declaration and when you tweet about it this is not a substitute for a message or a strategy and we had, what? like a five-part tweet being defensive about mission accomplished and the thing is this is a situation on the ground that is developing, and i mean, this could be completely different tomorrow, next week and so forth. that's why you need a strategy. >> well, look, what's a gas weapon consist of? chlorine which is commercially available around the world, and sarin and in a few weeks assad could have these weapons readily available again. we have considering victory since carey. i supported it on humanitarian grounds. the world leadership can't stand back and allow the genocide to occur and i was encouraged it was done with the uk and france collectively sending a message, but this had very little, if any, military significance and for us to think it may have
would be wrong. i -- you know, look, every day i grow in sympathy with the syrian people, the kurds to fight this regime and the suffering that their immigrants have around the world is sad, and there are other ways to do this, and i hope we can do more for the syrian people, but this had no military significance. >> well, the thing of it in terms of humanitarian ground, if the president was concerned about humanitarian issues, it wouldn't just be about chemical weapons because assad still has very lethal capabilities of in terms of barrel bombs and those things. here is the question. why is the line? he's trying to walk this line of dealing with chemical weapons and yet also not getting sucked into the war. >> right. every time we talk about syria it reminds me of the gun control debate and it's only an event that's focused. the concerns being aired are
regardless. they're members of congress who show no will to vote on anything in terms of military action. going forward with this, will the president outline a strategy because right now it's purely isis focused. >> the president is divided in his own mind, he said i'm going to get out of syria and then his military advisers convinced him that the u.s. can't just pull out right now because it would create a huge vacuum. so he's been pulled back in. where does it go from here? >> it's like it's okay to slaughter people conventionally. and that is over time a tougher and tougher stance to take. >> yeah. >> i want to switch to the cohen raid and what happened on monday. the president's reaction to it, the federal court filing, and it's an significant investigation. adam davidson of "the new yorker" believes it's more important, cohen knows everything. he recorded much of it and now prosecutors will know it, too. there will be resistance and denial and counterattacks, but it seems likely that when we
look back on this week we will see it as a turning point and we are in the end stages of the trump presidency, carol lee and michael cohen, always been important. do you think the mueller investigators see this, too? >> absolutely. there were few people who know as much as mike alley coen does, and even what we know publicly which i always presume it's less than actually known. it shows how he was the president's fixer and he was the guy who went and took care of things and so the fact that he had all of his information, all of his contacts potentially recordings of his conversations is you can see how its become an exist earn threat for the president and you can see it just in the way he's reacting about it. >> i want to play something, the allegation about him being in prague, when we look back at his initial denial he put up a tweet with his passport at the time when the news came out. i've never been to prague.
fake news and president trump as president-elect at the time actually talked about it, too. take a listen. >> i want to see your passport. he brings his passport to my office. i say, hey, wait a minute. he didn't leave the country. he wasn't out of the country. they had michael cohen of the trump organization was in prague. it turned out to be a different michael cohen. >> in hindsight it seemed to be too enthusiastic of a denial. >> this is so strange because this investigation of michael cohen was transferred to the southern district of new york and the folks in charge of that are in charge of the economic crimes division, and now there's such a theory as the fruits from the poisonous tree, so whatever they find goes to mueller's investigation and investigators which i think is what they're trying to do. it's easier to -- it's easier to get court approvals for evidence
for the economic crimes than it is if the potential collusion where the evidence is not yet, perhaps, as complete. i understand their theory. >> right. and the investigation process, but they're going down this rabbit lowell, as well. we'll see where it goes. >> it's more than a rabbit hole. first of all, in the piece i read it was terrific, maybe people should read it, but i also think it's not just adam davidson saying this. alan dershowitz has basically not in the same words, but they've said that this is a huge threat that people might be underestimated and they could be more concerned by this. >> news came out on the court filing that michael cohen has been under surveillance for months. it is notable the president spoke with michael cohen on friday. >> very notable. the white house was asked if the white house continues to be in constant contact with michael cohen and they dodged that
question. the president saw this raid as crossing a red line and we know that in the wake of it, the talks carol and i reported on this earlier this week. the talks between the president's legal team and the special counsel's team all, but collapsed over a potential interview with the president and mueller. when you look at the significance of this week it can't be overstated. >> let me make this explanation point that part of scooter libby in this particular week was no accident. >> yeah. >> there say message there. >> we keep talking about the red line. the president doesn't get to decide the red line, and if he wanted to enforce the red line he could fire someone and that may be the next thing we talk about. >> it may be too late. it may be that mueller has everything he needs. >> my interview with the outgoing speaker of the house. paul ryan. [burke] at farmers, we've seen almost everything so we know how to cover almost anything. even "close claws." [driver] so, we took your shortcut, which was a bad idea. [cougar growling]
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had been rumored for a while that house speaker paul ryan did not want to run for reelection, but would decide to do it out of a sense of duty. so it was a jolt to republicans when ryan confirmed the speculation this week because it seemed to send a message, intentional or not that he doesn't believe republicans will
hold on to the house in november. i sat down with the outgoing speaker of the house in his ceremonial office on friday in the capital, and i began by noting that he looks as if the weight of the world is suddenly off of his shoulders. >> i feel great. you know, just making a decision is important, and when we had our final family dinner last sunday night as a family to talk about it it was just a great feeling. you and i are similar in that we lost our dads when we were young, and it just makes you think a little bit more about phase of life, family and so i'm -- i feel so good because i now know that my kids will not only know me as a weekend dad and that's important for me. >> you retired as a politician? >> you're done. >> i'm going to -- never say never. >> there are causes i care about and there are issues i'll be involved in and i'll find ways of doing that. you never say never, i suppose, but i have no plans to do anything. >> when you called president trump, what did he say? >> he was disappointed, but he
understood. he understood. >> did he try to talk you out of it? >> he was disappointed and we have a good relationship and we've gotten a lot done together and i basically explained to him my family dynamic and i've actually gotten a lot done, and i've gotten much of what i came here to do done. not everything, but much of what i wanted to do. >> let me ask you something, though that you said you've accomplished as much as you could that you came here to do. charlie psyche, you know him well. a longtime wisconsin radio personality said this, you can give him credit for the stiff upper lip, but no he didn't referring to accomplishing what you came here to do. it will be trumpism over ryanism and that must be a bitter pill to swallow. >> i don't see things like that. one of the first things that i did was tax reform and it was not done since i've gotten my
driver's license. i've spent a great deal of time with the intelligence community and i became greatly concerned about the state of our military and so i really focused on the rebuild of the millary and that is you in done and under way and i am very, very pleased with that. enterprise zones. i worked with enterprise zones when i worked with jack kemp. there are so many things and the one thing that obviously i care a great deal about is entitlement reform and in particular health care entitlement reform. since i was budget chair, every term has balanced the budget and paid down the debt, but we've not gotten that through the senate and the white house and i'm glad that we passed it through the house, but it didn't go into law and it failed by a vote in the senate, but one person will not solve all of those things.
i feel like i've done a lot to advance that debate. >> let's talk about fiscal discipline and i you to respond about what you corker said, this congress and the administration
will go down as one of the most fiscally irresponsible administrations that we've had and he's referring to the fact that this tax bill, despite the deficit. it's higher than even what was projected and -- you walk away with trillion-dollar deficits. >> the baby boomers retiring was going do that. these trillion dollar projections will be out there for a long, long time, why? because discretionary spending is going over $300 billion and tax revenues are still rising and income tax revenues, and corporate rate still rising and mandatory, and why does it grow $2 trillion, because the boomer generation is retiring and we have not prepared these programs. so really,
that's where the rubber hits the road. i think the most irresponsible congress is the one that created brand-new entitlement and that to me is the big mistake and we can fix these programs and still meet the mission for them, but
the way they've been designed in the 20th century doesn't work. that's the one thing that i really wish we could get done sooner rather than later and i'm convinced it will happen, why? because it's got to happen. >> let me ask you about jack kemp. believes strongly and inclusive, aspirational politics based on bringing people together and not the brain of visions and that's not the brain of politics. you're mentioned and i mentioned bob corker and jeff flake. you guys all have the same tone. >> jeff is a buddy of mine. >> you all have the same tone, you don't believe the other side is an enemy of the american people? >> i don't. when i speak to young groups all of the time, do not fall for identity politics. that's what i always tell young people not to do and here a's t problem. it was a craft of the left -- >> it's now practiced on the right. so my concern going forward if i have to be one of these people saying here's my concern of our
politics in the state of america today, we should stop playing identity politics. >> james comey, a man of integrity? >> as far as i know. i don't know him very well. >> at his word, would you trust his judgment? >> i'm not going -- >> i understand that, but there's going to be questioning of his integrity and stuff. >> i don't use words like that, and i don't speak like that. you're just going to help him sell books. i've met him two or three times in two or three briefings and i don't know the guy and i'm not trying to be evasive and what i don't want to join some food fight and some book-selling food fight. i don't see value in that. >> do you believe that if the senate passes this bill to protect mueller you'll bring it up in the past.
>> i don't think it's necessary. >> insurance isn't necessary, but you buy it. >> first of all, i don't think he should be fired and i think he should be left to do his job and we've had plenty of conversations about this. it's not in the president's interest to do that. we have a rule of law system. no one is above that rule of law system. i don't think he will be fired and i don't think he should be fired and i'll leave it at that. >> before i let you go. there's some chatter that you shouldn't finish as speaker. >> tom graves, a member of the conference supportive of mccarthy. >> sure. >> they make the case that there's uncertainty and it's better for the team going forward. >> we've discussed this and we think the smart thing to do is to stay an intact leadership team and so much more we can do to keep kont necontinuity.
>> we yall think that kevin should be -- >> all? >> -- staff scalise, he thinks kevin mccarthy should be heir arc parent whether leader or speaker? >> that's right. i fully anticipate handing the gavel over to the next speaker of the house. >> and you believe that's going to be -- >> i think kevin is the right guy to step up. one of the reason, let me say it this way, one of the reasons why i was comfortable making this decision is because we have a very capable leadership team. >> why do you think he'll be able to get the votes this time. remember, you're speaker because he couldn't get it last time. what's changed? >> so what's change side we've gotten a lot done. what's change side we came together as a team in 2015, we put together an agenda and ran on that agenda, we won that election and we're executing that agenda and we're getting it done. this leadership team has come together and gelled and this conference has been unified and gotten things done?
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welcome back. it's cote data download time. facebook ceo. u.s. voters had good reason to pay attention because we're online a lot. data from our friends at simmons research shows a full 73% of americans use social media. 45% went online more than 25 times last week alone, and that doesn't count checking email. 43%, by the way, did some form of on-line banking in the last month, but americans hold deep concerns about what happens to our personal information online. 43% of those surveyed said once a piece of personal information becomes available online there's nothing they can do about it, but a majority of these folks, 63% of them wish there was nmor control than they had. americans of different age groups 47% of millennials say
the information about them online is relatively harmless perhaps referencing photos or social media posts while 30% of baby boomers agree with that. older adults could be more concerned about things, say banking records. >> and folks with different levels of education show a split. 25% of those with dip lemm as say they look up a company before giving them information about themselves and when it comes to our politics, americans are likely together on this issue. 66ers of democrats and 68% of republicans say they want more control over the information companies have about them, and neither party trusts the federal government on this issue either although republicans are more skeptical than the democrats, but in the end no one wants to change their roberts 22% use the internet less because of privacy concern. it could be the reason why we see some action on capitol hill.
you sort of noted it this week against zuckerberg. elected officials know the public wants them to do something to protect the privacy and the question now turns to what is that something? >> endgame, and the voter enthusiasm gap that could make the difference in november. coming up, "endgame," brought to you by boeing continuing our mission to keck, protect, explore and inspire. needles. essential for the cactus, but maybe not for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
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back now with endgame and a few more details from our new nbc news/wall street journal poll and what it says about the midterm election. 47% say they would like to see the democrats control congress while 40% would like to see republicans take control. a month ago we had it 50-40, but look at this, 66% of democrats say they're highly interested in the midterm election while 49% of republicans say the same thing this year's midz terms and to show you that the news god his a sense of humor in 2010. those same numbers conducted
about the same period of time were exactly reversed. it was 66% of republicans in 2010 who were showing a high interest had the midterms compared to 49% of democrats and remember this, in 2010, republicans gained 63 seats in the house. al cardenas, this is why the ryan retirement was seen as sort of another piece of evidence, another shoe to drop. i know that wasn't his intention. is that the way you read it if is. >> yeah, you look at that number. 7% is not that much and most of us believe that you have to get into double digits for the generics to make sense in terms of the landslide and when you start looking at the specifics which are a turnout and independence, then it start, the case so far starts getting overwhelming, and that was the imperical proof in front of us. >> i want to talk about trumpism versus ryanism, steve hayes, editor in chief of the weekly standard always a big defender of paul ryan writes this,
republican officials take on trump because the base still likes the guy. this is the harsh reality for movement conservatives and mark leibovitz, his obituary for the ryan years. >> think it's 100% correct. when you try to merge the two things together. trumpism is about tone. trumpism is about identity politics which paul ryan explicitly said he hates more than anything. donald trump gave a voice to a lot of the rank and file republicans who felt alienated -- >> steve sen saying ryan never fought back and that's been the frustration. >> i agree that that will be a huge part of his legacy when people look back at these next two years. >> you're nodding. >> yes, because it will be. >> and you saw him in that interview doing the same dance that he and other republicans have been doing for the last year or so. you know, ryan is just a different kind of brand of republicanism, and i think that he -- if he could -- it's hard
to imagine if entitlements were in the offering for him to achieve and the dynamics were different that he would be stepping down. >> i asked him the president marco rubio president, and he deflected. i want to move to the james comey book, kristen. the president you covered full time, president trump, has had seven tweets this morning, five on james comey, one on syria and one alluding to the michael cohen raid. one of the tweets he writes about includes basically is about one portion of the comey book where comey writes this about the hillary clinton investigation. it is entirely possible that because i was making decisions in an environment where hillary clinton was sure to be the next president my concern by making her an illegitimate president bore greater weight if donald trump were ahead in the poll, but i don't know. obviously, he -- trump's all over that to say aha!
proof that he was playing politics. >> what was so fascinating about that revelation or so many things is when you talk to the president, white house officials or those on the campaign are equally infuriated by the -- >> wait a minute, politics was at the root of this. there is an effort by the rnc and the president to kind of smear him in this moment, but it's clearly just feeding off of all of his impulses to lash out and there are a lot of people who are concerned that this may push him over the edge when it comes to lashing out at special counsel. >> the portrait. the portrait that's painted of him by a former fbi director basically saying the president is unethical and unfit to lead. >> it's a devastating portrait. >> it's not a surprise at all that they'll lash out and discredit him and there are only so many people you can discredit -- >> first of all, donald trump hired jim comey or re-hired
james comey to be his fbi director. he hired rod rosenstein and hired jeff sessions. there's only someone who he can discredit that are in their chain of command. >> the truth of the matter is there is an ongoing effort where the white house encourages emissaries and disparages comey and all of this is part for an ultimate decision that if the president's got to go nuclear on this whole investigation that the approval rates and the public's image of these people has declined enough that he will survive the tempest, and so this is all predictable, but it's part of a larger picture. i think -- i -- i think comey's gone through a lot. i think he, by and large this whole life has been as a patriot. i've read excerpts of a book. some of it is very interesting. i thought he got petty at times which devalued the message he's
trying to bring, but we'll see what happens in the days ahead in his interviews with you all. >> the pettiness, a lot of people pointing that out. >> he takes these shots at trump about his hands or his height or that he's orange and that kind of overshadows his larger message to some extent and frankly, it is those kinds of comments that have not worked for anyone that's tried to take on trump. they've only worked for trump. >> trump gets away with it and everyone gets punished. you have to remember that. >> wow! that's all we have for today. thanks for watching, by the way, happy birthday to my son, and thank you for making april 15th more than tax day at my house. if it if it's sunday it's "meet the press."
"press here" is sponsored by. this week with a start up ceo turns down $2 million. mcafee's ceo ponders facebook security in a facebook world. and bitcoin causes problems for taxpayers who have never heard of cap caital gains. our reporters for "associated press" and martin giles of m.i.t.'s technology review. this week on "press here." good morning everyone. i'm