tv Meet the Press MSNBC March 5, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PST
this sunday, this sunday connecting the dots between the trump campaign and russia. after telling the senate this. >> i did not have communications with the russians. >> attorney general jeff sessions concedes he did meet with the russian ambassador. >> i have recused myself in the matters that deal with the trump campaign. >> the growing evidence of the trump/russia con nenection threatens to consume trump's presidency. plus, what happens next? many democrats are calling for sessions to resign. >> the attorney general is the
top cop in our country, lied under oath. >> attorney general sessions would resign. >> my interview with chuck schumer. also, did obama white house officials leave a bred crumb trail to make it easier for congress to investigate russia and the election? i'll ask a man who would know, the former director of intelligence under president obama, james clapper. and president's trump tweet claiming president obama tapped his phones. can the white house provide evidence? or is the president just trying to get people to stop talking about russia? joining me for inside and analysis are tom friedman, columnist for "the new york times." kim strassel, kor nell belcher and danielle pletka of the american enterprise institute. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history, celebrating
it's 70th year. this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. >> good sunday morning. it is a pretty good bet that the white house hoped and expected the big story this week would be president trump's initially well received speech on tuesday night. instead, the white house was back in a defensive crouch, forced to fight off a parade leaking the trump campaign to russia, perhaps to distract everyone from this drip, drip, drip, president trump tweeted yesterday without any evidence that president obama had his phones tapped. quote, how low has president obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process? this is in addition son water gate. bad or sick guy. the revelations this week added a growing list of people to the trump campaign whose contact with the russia came to light after reporters broke the story. attorney general jeff sessions who was forced to recuse himself to any investigation involving
the campaign and many episodes traced a familiar path. full denials followed by, oh, yeah. i forgot about that meeting. >> i have recused myself in the matters that deal with the trump campaign. >> that statement by the attorney general on thursday came after the washington post revealed that sessions set twice last year with russian ambassador. sessions cramabled to clarify. in retrospect i should have said, but i did meet one one time. >> he met with him on july 18th after speaking to him at the republican convention and again on september 8th, three days after president obama took a hard line on russian sanctions in a g-20 meeting. trump has repeatedly denied any contact between the campaign and russian officials.
>> i'm just telling you, it is all phony baloney garbage. all the contact by the trump campaign and associates was with the american people. >> so you are not aware of any contacts during the course of the election. >> how many times do i have to answer this question? i have nothing to do with russia. no person that ideal with does. >> but the sessions reversal is one example of a growing list of admissions dragged out of the trump administration after reporting on contact between trump associates and russian officials. there is now former national security adviser michael flil who publically denied he had discussioned sanctions with kiss lee yak in december. but after reporting detailed transcripts of those phone calls, he reversed himself and was forced to resign. there is the president's son-in-law. he was part of a december meeting with kiss lee yak at trump tower. then there is paul manafort. in july he denied that to
appease the russians the campaign fought to have the republican platform not include weapons for ukraine. >> i don't know who everybody is, but i guarantee you -- >> nobody from the trump campaign wanted that change in the platform? >> no one, zero. >> but former trump policy adviser j.d. gordon tells nbc news that manafort was not forth wright with us. gordon says he was in the room and told the committee chairman that the amendment was a problem for the campaign. gordon also met with the russian ambassador at the convention. and then there is another person at that meeting. he has change his story. >> i had no meetings, no meetings. >> but on thursday, paige's answer changed. >> did you meet sergei kiss lack? >> i am not going to deny i talked with him.
>> we contacted paul manafort last night and he told us he has also been honest with us and he had no knowledge of the change. he couldn't have authorized the change. joining me now is senator marco rubio, republican of florida. welcome back to "meet the press," sure. >> thank you. good morning. >> so you traveled with the president on friday down to fl flr on air force one. on saturday morning, the president went on a tweet storm, including accusing former president obama of illegally having him wiretapped. do you have any insight, first of all, did the president talk to you about this on friday? and do you have any insight on what precipitated all this? >> we never obviously discussed that, number one. and i have no insight into what exactly he's referring to. i would imagine the president and the white house in the days to come will outline further what was behind that accusation. i have never heard that before, and i have no evidence or no one has ever presented anything to
me that indicates anything like that. but obviously in the days to come, you guys are going to ask him and i imagine they are going to answer. >> for what it's worth, as a member of the senate intelligence committee, if there was a wiretap on donald trump's campaign, isn't that something you would have been made aware of? >> i think the term wiretap was thrown around very loosely and by a lot of people. so we have to understand exactly what they're talking about. i don't have any basis, i have never heard that allegation made before by anybody. i have never seen anything about that any where before. but again the president put that out there and now the white house will have to answer as to exactly what he was referring to. >> it's such a serious allegation. i mean, it is either if it's true, it's an extraordinary political scandal. and if it's not true, it is an extraordinary political scandal. fair? >> if it's true. i hate speculating about these things. >> this is the president of the united states that's speculating on our behalf. >> clearly, i don't think anybody -- if that were true,
then there is no doubt it would be a very newsworthy item with a lot of discussion about it. and if it's not true, then obviously one would ask themselves why did you put that out be to begin with. but, look, i didn't make the allegation. i have already told you, i have never said that before. i wouldn't say that to you today. i have no basis to say that. if the president or white house does, he's going to lay it out over the next couple days and we will see what they're talking about. >> are you concerned that the president has a credibility problem? we can go back three to five million illegal votes, now this wiretap thing you say you're not aware of. this is the president of the united states. can we take him at his word? >> first of all, i would say the president had gotten elected and he in many ways is doing exactly what he told people he was going to do. a lot of this outrage is because donald trump said he was going to do when he was elected. you see that reflected in the
public polling where a large number of americans are saying he's doing exactly what he said he's going to do and that's what i think people are mostly focussed on. is his style different than mine? absolutely. but that's what people voted for. that's what they wanted in this election. he is doing what he said he is going to do. >> you don't think voters want to be misled and have their president intentionally mislead them, do you? >> the president has a unique style of communicating that is different from the way i would do it. and he won. he was elected. people voted for donald trump to be president of the united states, and they want him to be donald trump, and he is doing what he said he was going to do if elected. >> let's move on to this investigation. are you concerned it seems as if people associated with the trump administration who were also associated with the campaign, they seem to deny any contacts with any russian officials during the campaign. then there is a report that comes out. then they sort of reluctantly
admit, oh, yes, i forgot about that meeting or i forgot about this meeting. it is turning into a pattern. we have three and four and five different officials that has happened to. are you concerned about this pat learn? >> ultimately what i would be concerned about. what i'm concerned about the most is what the active measures undertaken by the russians to interfere with, participate in, steer and undermine our elections, what was that composed of? now there are facts that may e le -- emerge as a result of that and we will put that in our report. we are rathering facts so we could be prepared for the future of what th could mean. i returned from france and germany where they have pending elections. they are seeing these measures undertaken. so we will gather facts, put them in a report to the senate and american people so we know what happened and so that we could deal with it in the future because this is going to be an
ongoing thing. incidental to that, there may be facts that people look at and say this may require further attention from someone else. i'm not saying that's where it is going to lead. if that happens, that will be the job of someone else to pursue that. we will gather the facts and put them out there wherever the facts lead us and allow people to make judgments based on those facts. >> given there has been reports that the white house reached out to your chairman of this intelligence committee, some democrats are concerned, including mark warner, that the investigation is now at peril because of this. is there a point, and i know you believe you guys can do this. you have tweeted about you guys could do this yourself in the intel committee. is there a point it might be better for the mitt cal process to take politics out of this, have a special prosecutor and put this sort of out of congress right now? >> not now. i certainly don't think we're at that point in this moment.
and here's why. the job of the intelligence committee is not to be a law enforcement agency. the job is to gather facts and evidence, to go through counter intelligence programs, intelligence programs, understand all the evidence and the facts that's out there about how the russians did this, why they did this, et cetera and put all this in a report. i believe that's what we're going to do. i told everybody i am not going to be part of a witch hunt. but i am also not going to be part of a coverup. i believe that is what the senate intelligence committee will do. i will tell you this. that's not what we do. if it is not the kind of product we produced, i will be among the first people out there telling you i did not sign my name to report because i believe it admitted irrelevant facts the american people deserve to know. we are a finder of facts, a collector of facts. we will put that in the report and people will be make to make their own judgments based on the facts. >> right after the fbi director
briefed the intelligence committee, i think it was exactly on february 17th, you tweeted the following. i am now very confident the senate intel committee i serve on will be able toll research this. what gave you more confidence that day to tweet that than before that day? >> well, first of all, because i'm interacting with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the sense i have strongly is that every member of that committee is interesting at arriving at facts and the truth. no one is in there looking at this from a political angle. everybody understands the credibility of the committee is on the line, and we want to arrive at the truth, that everyone in there is prepared to go wherever the facts lead us, irrespective of what the implications may be politically. i'm confident of that. if that changes, then i will be among the first out there to say the committee is no longer
capable of doing its job. but we're not at that point. >> you said earlier in an answer, you are not going to participate in a witch hunt. that is words that the president has used to describe all of this. the more he does that, is that an irresponsible use of phrase right now? >> well, i don't know why. i mean, he obviously feels very strongly that he's being accused of things he hasn't done and there's his ster yeah out there in the media. he has a right to express himself just as people are saying he won his election because of the russians. he has a right to defend himself. i want to go where the truth is. irrespective of its political implications. everyone else needs to be committed to that principle as well. i believe in the intelligence committee that we are. if that changes, as i told you, i'll be among the first out there to say it. >> do you still believe the intelligence commute tee's assessment that the russians interfered in this election and
did so to try to benefit donald trump? >> from back in october, i have been telling people. i was in the middle of my campaign and i refused to talk about wikileaks because i said repeatedly it was the work of a foreign intelligence committee trying to undermine our elections. we need to understand how they did it because they are going to try to do it again and again to influence political debates in washington, d.c. i want us take sure we don't spend so much time focussed on things that may n have happened that we don't focus on the things that have happened because they're happening now in france, germany and it will happen again in this country if we don't learn from it. >> always a pleasure, sir. >> thank you. >> thank you. on thursday before attorney general jeff sessions recused himself, senate minority leader chuck schumer of new york joined a list of democrats calling for
sessions to resume. president trump responded by tweeting this 2003 photo
with schumer and vladimir putin. senator, you tweeted -- >> good morning. >> good morning to you, sir. to finish up this little tweet back and forth, and there is so many tweets to keep up with. you responded happily talk my contact with mr. putin and his associates. would you and your team? that's obviously you challenges them under oath. let me ask you this. this morning the president's press secretary says the following. reports concerning potentially political mow vated investigations immediately aide hft 2015 are very troubling. is that a fair ask of this administration? >> well, look.
president obama has flatly designed that he has done this. and either way, chuck, the president is in trouble. if he falsely spread this kind of misinformation, that is so wrong. it's beneath the dignity of the presidency. it is something that really hurts people's view of government. it's civilization warping, as ben sas called it. and i don't know if any president democrat or republican in the past has done this. shows this president doesn't know how to conduct himself. on the other nd, if it is true, it is even worse for the president because that means that a federal judge independently elected has found probable cause that the president or people on his staff have had probable cause to have broken the law or to have interacted with a foreign agent. now that's serious stuff. so either way, if the president makes it worse with these tweets, now, is he trying to
divert things here? yeah. the president denied this. i don't have any doubt to -- i don't have any doubt that president obama has been telling the truth. >> let me -- >> if they want to invest it, sure. but the real point is we need a special prosecutor to investigate what went on in the trump campaign transition and presidency. >> let me ask you. let me start with that, actually. >> please. >> do you no longer have confidence in the intelligence committee to do this on the senate side? >> first, the intelligence committee is congressional oversight. and, yes, i have some doubts about chairman burr. he denied they should investigate and then when pushed he said, okay, we'll investigate. and then of course at the administration's request he went to the press and said something is wrong. that's taking sides in an investigation. the faith i have in the intelligence committee is in mark warner and the democrats. they have been holding burr's
feet to the fire and they have said they will look for another alternative if he doesn't fully pursue this. but there is another point to this. the other of course is whether the law was broken and whether the trump campaign was complicit in working with the russians to influence the election. that needs a special prosecutor. rod rosen steen, he's a career man. he will be before the judiciary committee for his nomination for deputy attorney general. i am urging him at that hearing to say he will appoint a special prosecutor to look into this because it's on the executive side that the full investigation is done and any criminality is put forward. >> let me ask you about this specific charge, what you were just talking about with president trump, this idea there may have been a court order surveillance.
you're one of the gang of eight on intelligence matters, the most sensitive intelligence matters. you're briefed on this. is it fair -- wouldn't you have been briefed if the fbi had gone to a court to get surveillance of a foreign government involving the trump campaign? wouldn't you know this? >> i don't comment on classified briefings. >> so is it fair to say -- why not, if you know this information why not share it at this point? we have a real problem with trust. >> you cannot -- the rules are such that you cannot comment on classified briefings, and i'm not going to violate those rules. >> if -- okay. >> sorry. >> but we are to sit here and wonder and ponder? >> well, no. if we have a special prosecutor, they will get to the bottom of all of this, and that's what we need. a special prosecutor is much better than letting a lying department person do it for three reasons. this is in doj guidelines.
first, a special prosecutor has much more freedom day-to-day, who to subpoena, what documents to look at, the path of the investigation. second, a special prosecutor can only be fired for cause. so if they're hitting some real stuff, they can't just be gotten rid of the way, say, sally yates was gotten rid of by the trump administration when she didn't do what she wanted. and third they have to report to congress. so we really need a special prosecutor and i'm hoping that rosenstein will say he's going to make that happen at the committee meeting. i know our committee members will be asking him about it. >> let me ask you this. the top ranking democrat on the house intelligence committee has implied the f bhrks i has not been forthcoming. you get these briefings. is he correct? do you believe the fbi has not been forthcoming on what it's
doing with the trump campaign? >> let me say this. the fbi is the premiere
investigative agency here in our government. and i believe that they will do their job and get to the bottom of this without political interference. >>
right. but do you believe they are withholding information from congress? >> well, there is certain kinds of information that can't be given to congress or all of congress that's classified or that can't be released. and there is a prosecutorial sort of way of doing things that you don't comment on ongoing investigations. >> so in this case, you wouldn't level the same criticize? >> i'm just saying i am -- i believe they will get to the bottom of this. i hope they will, and if they don't, they will be -- it will be a real dereliction of their duty. >> so you have full confidence in the fbi right now? >> i gave you my answer. >> thanks for coming on. coming up, did the obama white house really leave a trail of bred crumbs about the trump
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welcome back. panelists here. cornell belcher. he is author of the book "a blackman in the white house," dan nell plet ka and tom freeld man, columnist for "the new york times." at some point, i don't know where to begin here. but tom friedman, it is -- it was jarring that president trump accusing president obama and obviously everybody -- i guess it was an attempt to distract, but i don't see how this distracts from the russia story. >> it was beyond jarring, really, when you think about it, chuck. this is such a serious charge.
under normal circumstances it would be a six column headline in my paper. and a serious person would have brought together the congressional leaders, briefed them on it, brought together the intelligence community and brought forth evidence. the fact he just lobbed it on twitter is shocking. the big picture, chuck, is russia is not our friend. slat mere putin is not our friend. he has some very specific goals. he wants to fracture nae toe and the european union. and he wants to destroy the ability of the united states to lead a western alliance. right now in moscow they must be clinking vodka glasses because they have thrown the west into complete disarray. >> i was going to say it doesn't matter what you think of their intentions. look at our country right now. >> what the russians intentions
are and what happened during the election are two very different things. it is not just the russians who want to interfere in our election. lots of countries want to interfere in our elections. do you remember the chinese and all gore? that's not the point. the point is was there somebody inside the trump campaign who was working with him and did the president know about that and were they successful? i think on tho latter two questions we have no idea. >> no evidence. there is no evidence. i just heard chuck schumer suggest exactly what we know that this is the case. look, there is nothing there. especially this e cent discussion about jeff sessions, which the kind of height of the ludicrousness of this. if jeff sessions was a mole working for the rubben government, he would have found a better place to meet with them than his public senate office surrounded by his aids. the meetings are not necessarily what matter. >> but the one thing, i will say this -- >> is there any substance?
>> they have this pattern of, oh, yeah, i forgot i had this meeting. >> as many people in washington have forgot, mr. schumer, for instance in meeting with russian ambassado ambassadors. >> i don't know. >> you don't think there is a difference? >> do you remember every person that you met? >> that i get. meeting in your office is different story. >> you don't know senators if you're saying that. >> but after the mike flynn situation, do you not try to correct the record? >> i agree. there is no evidence, which is why we need a special prosecutor or an independent investigator. >> there is an awful lot of smoke here to not be a fire. the idea that i'm going to forget about a meeting when russians when there are news stories coming out every day saying russia was trying to influence what happened every day in our country. i have to decide with marco rubio about this.
he wasn't going to talk about it because he understood that russians are trying to influence our election and are going to try to continue to try to do it. this is a threat to our country and the idea that russia is different from other countries, russia is very different because we have the history of the cold war that we thought was over because we have a short history, you know, view of the world. putin thought it was a pause and clearly they are trying to influence and dominate the world in a way we haven't seen in a long time. >> i would be a lot more sympathetic to your argument if over the last eight years i have heard that from coming from people in your possession. the problem is when the russians have been exactly the same, putin has been screwing us in the middle east, to put it plainly. he has been interfering. but, i mean, honestly speaking, the problem with this is it is partisan ship. if we could have a normal discussion about putin in the
connect of obama and trump. >> take obama off the table. put it to a special prosecutor then. take politics out of it. >> but a special prosecutor doesn't fix it either. the problem we have is if you did what trump said, there would still be half of the country that didn't believe it was not true. we no faith in our public institutions at the moment. >> how do we restore the faith? >> special prosecutor not a good idea. their goal is to get someone in the end and th will follow any rabbit hole they can go. >> i think you should believe congress at this point. >> maybe we are at a point when you need a rob silver man type commission that we had, iraq intelligence that is bipartisan, you know i don't know what kind of powers it would have, that -- congress would have to decide that. but we need to know whether or not there was, in fact, wiretapping going on. >> just for the record, some of us took russia very seriously during the last eight years like
the ukraine problem. >> not the white house. >> but my point here is government moves at the speed of trust. right now there is like so little trust. we have completely to lar rised environment. and now we have got to restore that because i don't see how the president will be able to solve any of these big issues, immigration, debit, health care at the level of polarization right now. >> we are going to cause the conversation and pick it up on the other side of the half hour, but coming up is a man who may know more than anyone about russia's efforts to interfere with the 2016 president election. it's the former director of national intelligence, name clapper. he joins me next. ooohh!! aaaahh!! uh! hooooly mackerel. wow. nice. strength and style.
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welcome back. earlier this week "the new york times" reported white house officials took steps to spread information about russia's attempt to undermine the presidential election to make it easier for government investigators, in particular congress, to uncover that truth. well, james clapper, a career intelligence officer, was the director of national intelligence for more than six years under president obama. he spearheaded the report that concluded that the russians hacked the e-mails and interfered with the 2016 election. mr. clapper joins me now. welcome, sir. >> thanks, chuck, for having me. >> let me start with the president's tweets yesterday. this idea that maybe president
obama ordered an illegal wiretap of his offices. if something like that happened, would this be something you would be aware of? >> i would certainly hope so. obviously, i can't speak officially anymore, but i will say that for the part of the national security apparatus that i oversaw as dni, there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president elect at the time as a candidate or against his campaign. i can't speak for other title three authorized entities in the government or state or local entities. >> if the fbi for instance had a court order for surveillance, would that be information you would know or not? >> yes. >> you would be told this? >> i would know this. >> all right. >> something like this, absolutely. >> at this point you can't confirm whether that exists. >> i can deny it.
>> anything at trump tower? >> no. >> that's a big revelation. let me ask you this. does intelligence exist that can answer the following question, whether there was improper contacts between the trump campaign and russian officials? >> we did not include any evidence in our report, and when i say our, that's nsa, fbi and cia with my office, the director of national intelligence, that had anything that had any reflection of collusion between members of the trump campaign and the russians. >> i understand that. but does it exist? >> not to my knowledge. >> if it existed, it would have been in this report? >> this could have been unfolded or become available in the time since i left the government. but the time we had no evidence of such collusion. >> there is a lot of smoke, but there hasn't been a smoking gun yet. at what point should the public
begin to wonder if this is all just -- >> that's a good question. i think it is in everyone's interests, in the current president's interests, in the democrats interests, in the republican interests, and the country's interests to get to the bottom of all this because it is such a distraction and simply the russians will have to be truthful about the success of their efforts to sew distension in this country. >> so you admit your report you released in january doesn't get to the bottom of this? >> it got to the bottom of the evidence to the extent of the evidence we had at the time. whether there is more evidence that's become available since then, whether there are ongoing investigations will be rev la toir, i don't know. >> there was a conclusion that said it's clear that the russians interfered and did so
in an attempt to help donald trump. did you still believe that? >> yes, i do. >> but what's not proven is the idea of collusion? >> that's correct. >> when you see these officials associated with the trump campaign denying any conversations. now we're hearing more. does that add to suspicion? or do you think some of this is circumstantial? >> well, i can't say what the nature of those conversations and dialogues were for the most part. again, i think it would be very healthy to completely clear the air on this subject, and i think it would be in everyone's interest to have that done. >> can the senate intelligence committee -- what are we going to learn from their investigation, do you think, that will move beyond what you were able to do? >> i think they could look at this from a broader context than we could. and at this point, i do have confidence in the senate intelligence committee and their effort.
it is underway in contrast to the house intelligence committee which just last week agreed on their charter. importantly, in the case of the senate intelligence committee, this appears to be a truly bipartisan effort. so i think that needs to play out. if for some reason that proves to not be satisfactory, then perhaps then move on to a special prosecutor. >> "the new york times" earlier this week, as i was introducing this idea they left a trail, maybe lowered classification. can you walk us through how that would work? did they lower classification levels on certain information? what -- is that a -- was that a fair read of what was done in the last few weeks of the administration? >> actually not. because of the sensitivity of much of the information in this report, our actual effort was to protect it and not to spread it around and certainly not to dumb it done, if i can use that phrase, in order to disseminate
it more widely. we were under a preservation order from both our oversight committees to preserve and protect all the information related to that report in any event. >> let me ask you one other final question on the infamous dose ya put together by this british operative. why did you feel the need to iethe president on that at the time? >> we felt it was important that he know about it, that it was out there. and that -- without respect to the veracity of the contents of it, that's why it was not included as a part of our report, because much of it could not be corroborated. importantly, some of the sources that mr. steel drew on, we could not validate or corroborate. so for that reason, at least in my view, the important thing was to warn the president that this thing was out there. the russians have a term, an
acronym which they will either generate -- if it's truthful or if it's contrived. and it's important, we felt, that he knew of the existence of this. >> have you done this with other presidents? have you had to brief them about unverified intelligence? >> yes. i had occasion in the 16 and a half years i was dni to tell president obama certain things we could not corroborate or validate, but we just thought he ought to know it was out there. >> all right. i have a feeling -- do you expect to have to testify on capital hill on these things? >> oh, i don't think there is any doubt. >> okay. i have a feeling we will see you soon. thank you for coming on. >> thanks very much, sir. >> when we come back, we have seen almost weekly demonstrations against president trump. will it turn out to be nothing more than feel good noise on the
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that's next. ♪ ♪ welcome back. data download time. can all of the anti-trump momentum that we're seeing on the left result in actual election victories for democrats this year? well, there are three special elections coming up. two of which may help us answer that question. the montana at large congressional district vacated by the new secretary and the georgia six district, which includes the northern suburbs of atlanta that's been vacated but the new secretary tom price. let's take a look at montana. this should be trump country. those are all groups that president trump performed well with across the board in november. plus, this is a house republicans have held since 1977. while republicans hold the
senate seats. the governor was re-elected with donald trump on the ballot. so the democrats can win here. that might give them hope for other rural places f. the republicans win, it might be evidence president trump's army is still with him. georgia is more diverse, higher educated and well to do and it has been trending more and more blue over time. tom mccain and mitt romney won the cricket with double digits. 2012 donald trump only beat hillary clinton by one percentage point in 2016 even though price won his re-election by 23 points. it is the find of place that might be showing signs it is slipping away from trump's version of the republican party. so if the democrats win there, it will say something, but if they can't, it starts to raise questions whether they have any hope at all in 2018. if they win one or both, that will suggest they have real momentum going into next year's
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clapper says not to my knowledge of anything at trump tower, no. how big of a deal? >> well, i think him denying there was a fisa order is a big deal. why are we talking about this? we're talking about it because donald trump tweeted it out in the same breath he tweeted out about arnold schwarzenegger. >> i know. say no more. >> don't let us get distracted by that as well. i have to ask myself, would we be talking about this at all if he hadn't tweeted it out? wouldn't we be talking about sessions? >> he made two pieces of news here this morning. not just there was no court order and assuming he wasn't being careful with his words, it sounded fairly categorical to me. but the other was there is simply no evidence of collusion, at least while he was there, which was until very recently between the trump campaign and the russians. so what have we been talking about for the last three weeks? >> waking up at 6:00 a.m. in the
morning, tweeted out one of the most damning accusations one president could make against another and then talking about arnold schwarzenegger, that is not presidential behavior. that is juvenile behavior. and the fact we have a president that engages in that is deeply disturbing. we will have to go to europe and interact with other world leaders. what would you think if you are a world leader going into a meeting with him? what should i say to this guy? he is everywhere we looked. we talked about this before. i quoted my friend who makes the point there is a big difference between formal authority and moral authority. this president has formal authority. >> it's like a circus. you have to wonder, is he playing us? so he spend all this time
talking about it. is he really bait and switch? is he diabolical in the way he plays us? it is hard to think that this was not thought out. so is he trying to play the american public and the media like a fiddle. >> we now have some reporting. so tuesday night went well for him. wednesday seemed to be going pretty well and then he apparently is angry that sessions recused himself. this is the part of the donald trump that never give an inch. >> what i don't get is how he can't look at the reaction to that speech and understand how much it helps him to stay on script. and sometimes -- >> and not tweet about arnold schwarzenegger. >> there were polls after that speech. 82% of those who watched it felt he looked presidential. and the words that were in it, i think it was uplifting. it was a very good speech for him and laying out his policy agenda. putting the burden on democrats to work with him and get some of his agenda done and then now yet now we're talking about twitter
again. >> no message discipline. it's got to drive the people in the white house crazy because, you're right. coming out of that, most presidents would roll that into momentum. >> you talked about georgia and these districts that are up. you can't beat something with nothing. and unless the democrats have candidates, i believe, that are for pro-growth and want to rebuild the community, i don't think there is any reason they won't take advantage. >> he says this, just in again about the democrat party because democrats and liberals have opposed every appointment and every policy and every word emanating from the trump administration, they have damaged their effectiveness as a political force against it. >> i think the democrats are doing themselves real damage by constantly calling on everybody to resign. they go to deaf con five. >> house republicans did it all
the time and it was ridiculous then. >> it is ridiculous on the part of all of them. congress needs to be taken seriously. congress needs to start passing bills. congress doesn't need to play this game. this is where i don't get chuck schumer and nancy pelosi. don't go against everything the president says. why not try and work with the american people to pass an agenda and get re-elected. >> you could make the statement argument about the tea party and what republicans did. you have to generate energy for fund-raising but also this. the problem in mid-term elections isn't that we have the presidential election voters changing their mind. the problem is they're different electorates, right? you have a 16 to 18% difference for democrats and republicans in mid-term elections. if democrats can shrink some of
that, it is a good thing. >> president trump calling for an end to trivial fights right before starting a political fight. coming up next. >> brought to you by boeing, always working to build something better. you got it. just say show me millions of used cars for sale at the all new carfax.com. i don't want one that's had a big wreck just say, show me cars with no accidents reported pretty cool i like it that's the power of carfax® find the cars you want, avoid the ones you don't plus you get a free carfax® report with every listing start your used car search at carfax.com you may know what it's like to deal with high... and low blood sugar. januvia (sitagliptin) is a once-daily pill that, along with diet and exercise, helps lower blood sugar.
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if you have kidney problems a lower dose may be prescribed. side effects may include upper respiratory tract infection, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, and headache. for help lowering your blood sugar talk to your doctor about januvia. "meet the press" endgame is brought to you by boeing, always working to build something better. >> back now with "endgame" i teased it. let's hear from the president on tuesday night. it was something that's been quoted a lot in the last 24 hours. >> the time for small thinking is over. the time for trivial fights is behind us. >> and then, of course, after president trump accused president obama of wiretapping him he did throw in the arnold schwarzenegger bite, arnold schwarzenegger isn't voluntarily leaving "the apprentice" he was
fired by his pathetic ratings and not by me. the only thing missing from the tweet was #sad from failing "celebrity apprentice." you brought it up. you shake your head at it. >> you shake your head at it. the president doesn't have a message discipline. ink that's what cornell said. we were talking about the democrats before. when you talk about wanting to win again in the midterms they need to do something that will appeal to those people who voted for donald trump. talking about russia, calling on people to resign isn't going to appeal to them. anger, i think, you'll agree with this. anger doesn't actually win lech elections. >> doesn't it work in midterms. >> cornell put his political hack hat. is that the only reason democ t democrats are in washington to win and have power? >> no, no, no. look, they have -- they have promised their voters some things that they would like to get done, and by the way, who better to work with donald trump who loves to make a deal?
this guy is the least ideological presidents that has ever been in the white house. >> a few more mornings of this with 6:00 a.m. tweets and they're not going to talk about taking away his flip ball and i mean the nuclear codes. >> my job is to make sure that president obama is a one-term president. they're kind of here for the power. that's not a good thing, but both sides play this and don't -- >> i'm not suggesting otherwise. i'm just saying if you really did care about some policy goals. >> right. >> you've got an opportunity in donald trump. >> do we have power in anything? >> and i have to turn off the cameras, but you guys can keep debating. i promise you. that's all we have for today. a three-hour show packed into one hour. we're back next week, i promise. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." you can see more endgame in post game on the mtp facebook page.
good being with you. i'm francis rivera. welcome to the pulse of america where your voice could be heard in real-time. the white house now demanding th investigations into russia's role and the election and also looking into president trump's claim that president obama tapped his phones. 52 years after protesters were