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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBCW  June 14, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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new york. first week of april the washington post broke this very strange story. they got u.s. officials, officials in arab countries confirming this strange thing that on january 11 and january 12 this year less than a week after the intelligence community put out its damming report on the attack on the election less than a week after that report came out there was a to-day long
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meeting held just off the coast of kenya. it was two days of meetings for a representative from vladimir putin and envoy from the trump administration. according to the post eric prince maintained that he was authorized to act as an unofficial surrogate for the president-elect. his host at that meeting believed that to be true about him. he got that meeting and he spent two days in january in an island paradise meeting with a representative for vladimir putin. what did they meet about? what did they talk about? what took two days to get through? why did they have to meet in this far away place? they had many matters of mutual concern to discuss. here is the detail that carry forward to today. the person who set up that
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mysterious meeting in january, the person who set up what is basically reported as a back channel meeting between the trump folks and the putin folks, the guy who set it up and hosted the meeting was this man. m.b.z. they call him m.b.z. he is the crown prince of abu dabi. he is next in line to the throne. the "washington post" reports and pictures confirm that mbz met multiple times with vladimir putin last year and further report that mbz flew into the united states in december without notifying the obama administration. that is weird because national leaders like the crown prince of a u.s. ally would usually notify
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the u.s. government when they were coming into this country for any reason. in december he flew into new york without telling the obama administration and the u.s. government that he was coming. they later figured out he was here because his name turned up on flight manifest. when he was coming to new york was to pick a meeting with mike flynn, steve bannen and jared kushner. he met with them in december and then the following month in january he set up and host in these two days of meetings between eric prince and a russian there on behalf of vladimir putin. that was the host of the meeting, mbz. guess where mbz turned up today. >> great honor to have you with us today.
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a man that i have known, very special person, highly respected and loves his country. i can tell you that. i think loves the united states which to us is very important. thank you very much for coming. >> very good. >> the crown prince has a very specific role in the trump russia story. to the extent we know about any back channel meetings after the election between the trump side and the putin side, it was organized by and hosted by the crown prince of abu dhabi. there he is in the oval office today. hi.
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while the president answers questions about firing the fbi director who was leading the investigation into his connections to russia. you know, the day after he fired the fbi director who was leading the investigation into trump and russia, the day after that firing the administration welcomed to washington the russian foreign minister so he could throw the firing of the fbi director in the faces of american reporters with a sneer. >> welcome. >> thank you very much. i want to welcome foreign minister lavrov to the state department. we can continue our dialogue that began in moscow with the dialogue he hosted from a very broad range of topics. thank you. >> does the comey firing cast a shadow of your talks?
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>> that same day the russian foreign minister turned up in the oval office, as well. u.s. reporters and photographers were not allowed any access to that meeting. we got these photos of that meeting because the russian foreign minister brought with him a photographer from a russian state run news service. that is how we found out they did let a photographer in there, just not an american one. that is how we found out that the russian ambassador was in on that meeting, too. this is the same russian ambassador who michael flynn concealed his meetings with and who jared kushner concealed his meetings with. i'm not sure we would know the president was meeting with him but the russian state run news agency photographer let loose in the oval office, that guy ended
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up confurchliirming the news. the white house explained the presence of that russian photographer in the oval office by saying this. quote, they tricked us. we didn't know they were bringing a photographer. former national security council official followed up with this, quote, deadly serious question, was it a good idea to let a russian government photographer and all of their equipment into the oval office? former deputy director of the cia responded with this. no. no it was not a good idea. but they did it anyway for some reason. and that was one day after trump fired the fbi director who was leading the investigation into the trump russia question. and that is unsubtle enough. then we learned the very unusual origin of why that meeting happened. we learned who asked for the
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president to let those russian officials into the oval office. we learned who asked for that personally. >> when i spoke with putin he asked me whether or not i would see lavrov. i said i will see him. >> just put this together for a second. this is not like about the campaign and like carter page and moscow in july and the republican convention and what was going on. it's now mid may. on april 30 -- this is happening now. on april 30 trump goes on cbs and reverts to his old line that maybe russia didn't hack the election. two days after that he has a personal call with vladimir putin. putin he says asks him directly i want you to bring lavrov into
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the oval office. answer apparently is yes, sir. the followingondaye get sally yates damming testimony about mike flynn being compromised by the russians and his unexplained contacts with russian government officials. the day after that the president fires the fbi director who was leading the investigation into possible connections between the trump campaign and russia during the russian attack. the day after that he hosts those russian officials in the oval office. now, today after his oval office meeting at lunch time with the guy who hosted the two days of meetings in january now today the "washington post" breaks this. trump revealed highly classified information to russian foreign minister and ambassador. this story broke this afternoon
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by "washington post" reporters greg miller. it was confirmed by buzz feed news and by the "new york times" citing not only former u.s. officials but current u.s. officials. the post says this. president trump revealed highly classified information to the russian foreign minister and ambassador in a white house meeting. the information had been provided by a u.s. partner through intelligence sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted. quote, this is code word information said a u.s. official familiar with the matter using terminology. trump, quote, revealed more information to the russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies. the partner had not given the united states permission. that country had not given the
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united states permission to share the material with russia. officials say trump's decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to inner workings of the islamic state. senior white house officials took steps to contain the damage. senior white house officials appeared to recognize quickly that trump overstepped and moved to contain the potential fallout. thomas busert assistant to the president for homeland security placed calls to directors of cia and nsa which are services most directly involved. one of the subordinates called for the problematic portion of the discussion to be stricken from internal memos and for the transcript to be limited to a small circle of recipients efforts to prevent sensitive details from being leaked. we know about it now.
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washington post tonight has been very careful to not describe the information that trump descbed, to not describe exactly what information trump leaked. they make clear that they know that information but have been very careful about what they published basically the implication is that they are trying to not compound the damage that he is reported to have already done by giving this information to the russians. and the white house tonight is furiously calling the reporting false although it should be noted thap are not specifically reputing the post's reporting which is that the president described to russian officials something only known because of another country during sensitive intelligence operations that the united states was not supposed to disclose to the russians. why did he tell them that? this is going over exactly how you would expect it to go over in washington. we have even had a peep from a
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republican. republican chairman of foreign relations committee saying tonight the chaos that is being created by the lack of discipline is creating an environment that i think make creates a worrisome environment. he says obviouslily they are in a downward spiral and have to figure out a way to come to grips with all that is happening. a downward spiral. we do not know what this spirals down to. anecdotally discussing this news with people just people in my life this is one of the first stories that has come out where people have responded to this news by telling me they feel afraid about what is going to happen next. in february this year wall street journal reported that u.s. intelligence officials were with holding sensitive intelligence information from president trump because they were concerned it could be leaked or compromised if they
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told it to him. that was incredibly controversial reporting in february. almost unbelievable at the time. the administration said there was absolutely no way that was happening. i, of course, don't know whether or not u.s. spies were keeping intelligence from trump because of leak concerns as far back as february. if tonight's bombshell from the washington post is correct it seems clear that any such concerns would have been very well founded. joining us now is one of the "washington post" reporters who broke the story tonight. congratulations on the scoop. thank you for being here to help us understand it. i'm not going to ask youo talk about your sources. can you tell us a little bit about when you started chasing the story down, how long after the president's meetings with russian officials did the work on the story start? >> not that much long after because the meeting wasn't that long ago. we had been working on it for
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the last several days. >> what is code word information? you cite u.s. official familiar with the matter saying this is code word information from the placement of that in your article and the way you describe it it is clear that that is supposed to indicate to us that this is very highly protected information. for us trying to figure this out can you explain that a little bit? >> very highly protected information that we don't distribute to allies that is even restricted within the u.s. government. this intelligence came from an ally. that made it additionally sensitive because they had certain expectations that we would safe guard it which we didn't deliver on in this case. >> in terms of those decisions how did you as a news organization, how did you make the decision as to what was -- where the line was for what was too sensitive to publish? was it hard to figure out what you could say without
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compounding the problem of what the president did? >> it is a decision fortunately that the post has had a lot of experience with over the last decade or so going back to the disclosures and other things. it is something that happens in collaboration with the government, as well. we don't just gather this information and throw it up on line and then contact the government. there were ongoing conversations over the course of today about what would compromise information and what needed to be held back. we held back information about the precise nature of the threat, some of the precise nature of intelligence and how it was gathered and the city involved. >> i noted in your sourcing on this that you mentioned both former officials and current officials as sources for this information. is it fair for us to read into that that there are people who are serving in government now either in the agencies or the
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administration itself who themselves are concerned about this -- about what happened here even though we have the white house calling the story false? >> there are a lot of people who were concerned and alarmed by the lack of care with regard to classified information. and in terms of not sticking to talking points, in terms of just kind of winging it once you get into the oval office. i think that was the nature of the concern that propelled folks to come forward. >> the national security adviser tonight said that that the story is false and his elaboration was that the president didn't disclose any sources and methods. can you just -- i wonder if you can just respond to that. >> the story to be clear doesn't say that the president disclosed sources and methods. what he disclosed was information about the intelligence that we gathered or that had been gathered by one of
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our partners with enough detail about the plot, location of where it was happening and other things that a smart ally or an ally or a smart adversary with sophisticated intelligence service could figure out where it was coming from and how it was collected potentially. that was the nature of the concern. the russians have a capable intelligence service. >> just to be dumb about this on purpose to bottom line this, the concern here is that by having told the russians about isis-related information that was obtained in a specific city which the president actually named, the russians from that disclosure could conceivably discern who operating in that city was able to get access to isis-related information and the russians conceivably could want to disrupt that, could want to
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expose that and use that for their own strategic purposes and exposed the people who gathered that very sensitive information to russia knowing that they are doing it when russia didn't know they were doing it? >> that's right. both the information about where and the nature of the plotting that was going on is potentially troublesome. that's exactly right. in some cases in syria our interests overlap with the russians particularly with regard to isis. in other instances they diverge. that is part of the reason we hold stuff back. >> one of the washington post reporters who broke this bombshell of a story. i know this is a very busy time for you. i appreciate you helping us understand the reporting. so it was -- we crossed a rubicon when this became the first presidency to have the
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president under counter intelligence investigation while serving as the president. he then fired the fbi director investigating him. we have information that he thereafter, the day after hosted russian officials in the oval office and gave them incredibly sensitive and damaging intelligence information that they were not entitled to have and hosted them in the oval office at the express personal request of vladimir putin which she says he didn't feel like he could say no to. we'll be right back. isaac hou has mastered gravity defying moves to amaze his audience. great show. here you go. now he's added a new routine. making depositing a check seem so effortless. easy to use chase technology, for whatever you're trying to master. isaac, are you ready? yeah. ase. so you can.
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so it has been a remarkable day in the news. we are following two major stories. one is a big update on the ongoing washington presidential scandal that we have been covering for weeks now. washington post reporting that the president is the subject of an fbi criminal investigation into potential obstruction of justice. "washington post" first to report that tonight. that is happening on one track. we have this ongoing story, this ongoing reporting about this remarkable attack on congressional republicans. this morning in alexandria, virginia as the republican side of the congressional baseball teams was holding its practice in alexandria, virginia and were ambushed. we will have a couple of interviews on this tonight. we have just received within the
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last couple of minutes received a detailed update from medstar washington hospital which is the hospital where that former congressional staffer who was shot multiple times, matt mika, this is where congressman steve scalise is being treated. the update that we just got is about congressman scalise. he was shot. we knew he was shot in the hip. he has survived. he has been through surgery. we knew that ahead of this broadcast tonight but now we have considerable more details from the hospital and it's not great news. i'm going to read you what the hospital has just released. quote, congressman steve scalise sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip. the bullet travels across his pelvis fracturing bones, injuring internal organs and causing severe bleeding. he was transported in shock to
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medstar washington hospital center which is a level one trauma center. he under went immediate surgery and additional procedure to stop bleeding. he has received multiple units of blood transfusion. his condition is critical and will require additional operations. medstar washington hospital center says he will provide periodic updates. that is the update right now about their treatment. joining us now is amber phillips who has been at the scene of today's shooting all day today. thank you for being with us tonight. >> i got here this morning to find a community absolutely shaking with the terror that is consistent with that report of how congressman scalise is doing.
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that includes others. steve scalise was shot in the hip and on the ground bloodied trying to lay flat but drag himself from infield to outfield to get away from the shooter. senator jeff flake said he was in the dugout but couldn't do anything and seeing a trail of plood in his wake and was really a horrific situation. and the lawmakers were completely shaken up. it was a single rifle shot. it can do incredible damage. they are saying the bullet entered his hip and injured multiple internal organs. he under went severe bleeding and had to have surgery
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immediately and additional procedure to stop bleeding and will require additional operations. it is a very serious situation that they are describing. was it clear to the other members of congress and other people who saw just how serious congressman's injuries were? >> they gave no indication that he lost so much blood and caused multiple blood transfusions. the lawmakers said they ran up -- one of them is a doctor from ohio. they ran up to scalise after the gunman was knocked down. they started trying to cutaway his uniform. senator jeff flake was using his hands to staunch the bleeding. someone brought over gauze. they said they found the bullet hole going in the hip but couldn't find the bullet, the exit side of the other hip. he was conscious, asking for
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water, clearly in a lot of pain they told me, but i don't think they knew it was this serious more than 12, 13 hours later he would still be in the hospital gravely wounded with a lot of procedures and a lot of recovery left to go. >> still in critical condition. just a remarkable tragic story, amber phillips covering it all day with the "washington post." thank you. i know it's been a very very long day. thanks for being with us tonight. coming up, we will be talking with somebody an interesting witness given that the fbi has now put out a request to the public in general for information for anybody who knows anything about the shooter in this case. the shooter has been identified by the fbi. he is deceased, appears to have been shot by police at the scene of this attack and died today in hospital. the witness we will talk to next is actually the former mayor of alexandria, virginia, he says in the weeks leading up to today's
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the fbi earlier today made a general request to the public for information about the shooter who shot at republicans at baseball field in alexandria, virginia.
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the shooter is deceased, identified by the fbi as james t. hodgkinson, a 66-year-old illinois resident. investigators are asking the public for information about him or anybody who might have known him or asked for or talked to him in recent months. the shooting happened in alexandria, virginia, but he is not from there, from belleville, illinois, 800 miles to the west, an outside suburb of st. louis. he is believed to have been in virginia in the alexandria area since sometime in march, possibly living out of a cargo van on a local alexandria street by the baseball field also next to the local ymca. the alexandria ymca is so close to the ball field a bullet from today's attack went in one of the gym's windows of the
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swimming pool. and one person remembered seeing the suspect and talking to him frequently just about every morning in the recent weeks. joining us is the former mayor of alexandria, virginia. he works out at the y and said he had several conversations with that suspect in recent weeks. thank you for being here. >> glad to be with you. >> how did you recognize this manu encountered at the local y might have been the shooter in today's attack? >> i was on the y this morning to do my daily workout from monday through friday. prior to leaving home five minutes before i started getting text messages from folks saying, are you all right? i said, why? what's wrong. there's a shooting incident near the area of the y. i got on my phone and called the
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y and they said they're on lockdown. a couple hours later i get a text message from one of the staff members informing me that -- he said you and i know the killer. i was shocked so i called them. i said, what do you mean? he said, he's the guy that's been here every morning on his laptop. more than a month and half ago i encountered him as a new member of the y. as i talked to him citizens said, hey, mayor, we miss you. he said, can i talk to you about a problem i have? and the next day he approached, are you really the mayor? i said, yes. we got to know each other from that point. where are good places to dine and eat in the area? and i need to find a job, can you help me find a job? i helped him find the vacancy
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position and i e-mailed him a job for a home inspector. everyday routinely i would encounter him having his coffee on the laptop, sit at the table next to him and be doing my thing on my iphone and coffee and occasionally encountered him coming out of the sauna but never witnessed him physically working out. i concluded this is odd this gentleman is here everyday and seems like a loner and in the locker room last week when his gym bag was wide open when he was in the shower area, it looked like all his personal belongings and clothes and books were in his gym bag, which is unusual. in my own mind i concluded, maybe he is someone that's homeless. never approached him to talk about it. we never got into heated political conversations other
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than the fact there's a tv when you walk in the main entrance of the y. other folks including myself, we would be having conversations about whether the president was doing or whether it was the right thing he was doing and congress needs to get their act together and start working on behalf of the citizens. he never chimed in pro or con other than to simply say, i agree. i agree. i've been telling folks all day, he seemed calm very well organized. he spoke very well. he was very respectable. he a couple weeks ago started bringing donuts and cookies into the y for others to share, as they were walking by. my conclusion was this was someone that was troubled.
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something was certainly burning and blowing on the inside of him. upon arriving on the scene this morning my conclusion not knowing it was him this apparently was a targeted event simply because the congressional team has played on this field probably several times a month for the last four or five years and never encountered any problems or circumstances. then i learned he was in the y this morning briefly and as he -- after he left, within a couple minutes, that's when everyone started hearing gunfire. >> mr. mayor, when you say the team has used that field frequently, was it known specifically that was where the republicans practiced? obviously we're looking into motive here whatever the attack was driven by, people were talking about his political views and political expressions to try too figure out if this was a political motivated attack on republicans specifically. was that widely known or ever discussed? >> not with me.
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i don't think he ever had that conversation with me because he knew i'm not only the former mayor, but very -- well placed in the community. probably didn't want to have that conversation with me. but he did have it with, i understand some other staff folks at the y. he inquired about who this team was and he said, are they democrats or republicans? they said, well, they're republicans. again, whatever his anger and frustration was, he strategized today was the opportune time to do what he needed to do. >> one last question for you. obviously the fbi has put out this statement to the public appealing to people who might have information about him. i assume you expect you will be speaking with either local law enforcement or the fbi about your encounters with him? >> i do expect that. not today, i've been doing interviews since maybe 11:00 a.m. but i would expect them to be making contact with me tomorrow.
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i know they were talking with ymca staff as well. >> bill euille, the former mayor of alexandria, v.a. and remarkably had conversations with this man before he carried out these attacks today. thank you very much. >> you're welcome. >> we have much more to come tonight after what has been an unbelievable news day. stay with us. a millie dresselhaus doll! happy birthday, sweetie! oh, millies. trick or treat!
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coverage congressman, expected to talk about a totally different story involving his district. today, you might have seen the headlines the attorney general of the state of michigan announced serious criminal charges in the flint water crisis. involuntary manslaughter charges against high ranking state officials including the head of the state's health department. the state's medical officer charged with obstructing justice. dan kildy represents flint and we planned to talk with him. i have to tell you congressman kildee is also coming tonight straight from a unity dinner held in washington tonight in the wake of today's shooting.
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congressional republicans targeted in an ambushed shooting today at their baseball team practice in alexandria, virginia. congressman kildee playing for the democrats congressional team in playing tomorrow and despite today's shooting, it has not been cancelled. congressman joining us from washington, d.c. thanks for being with us today. i know it's been a difficult day. >> thank you, rachel. it has been a difficult day. >> let me get your reaction to the shooting today. we just got this serious news from the medstar washington hospital center about congressman scalise's condition, remains critical, sounds like he was very seriously hurt today shot in the hip in this attack. let me get your overall response. >> we're stunned and our hearts go out to steve and his family.
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we have a lot of differences here in congress. we fight about the issues but we're people that work together. i see steve everyday. the republican members at that practice, many of them are really good friends of mine. so all the partisanship and differences is completely meaningless in a moment like this. we are really pulling for our friends and hope they will be okay. >> the decision was made, this symbolic and inspiring decision that the game should go on, that an attack like this shouldn't stop what is after all a good fair play exercise in partisanship that is the congressional baseball game, a charity event. you play for the democrats. how do you feel about the fact that the game is going to go ahead tomorrow? it seems like it's sort of a nice thing but also it's going to be difficult. >> it will be hard but hard for a good reason. we have to show everybody that we can come together, that we can still pull together and do this event to raise money for
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charity. this game means more than just a single game. throughout the whole year, it's one of those things that allows us to talk to one another than our differences. we tease one another about the game. i think it's really important we demonstrate to the country and the rest of the world that we're not going to let something like this come between us and one another, come between us and doing some good in a way that's unifying. i think in some ways this year's game is more important than any other game we ever played. >> congressman kildee, you are not just any member of congress when it comes to important stuff in the american news. your district, flint, michigan has been going through this incredible flint crisis and this shooting happens when we have the news of the president being the subject of an fbi criminal
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investigation and the "washington post" reporting tonight and comes on the same day you and your constituents getting the news there will be serious state charges brought against a number of high ranking officials because of the flint water crisis and the decision made that ultimately ended up poisoning flint. i have to ask you your reaction to those criminal charges being filed today? >> it is a measure of justice. justice comes in lots different forms for the people of flint. one of the ways that we see justice is when people who did this to flint are held responsible for what they did, but it doesn't make things better for the people. so obviously we want to see this. i will not prejudge the results of these charges. but it's somewhat comforting to know that the system works. that when you see a state government do something as bad as they did to the city of flint, that individuals will be held accountable for it. but we need more.
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we need other forms of justice. well need people to make it right. we need the state government to step up and make it right. i've got to say, rachel, the people of flint owe you a great debt of gratitude. you were one of the very first people to bring attention to this. without national attention, i'm not sure that this day would have ever come or any other help we've been able to get. for that i'm personally grateful to you. >> that's nice to say. i didn't -- the only reason i was able to cover it was because of the activism by people in your district and the way people were able to be so articulate and scream so loud about what was happening so that we couldn't help but notice. congressman dan kildee, you've been through a lot. thanks for your time tonight. >> thanks, rachel. a huge news day. i'm going bring into our conversation next an expert to talk about this big breaking news at the federal level today. the special counsel is according to "the washington post," they have opened a criminal investigation into the president of the united states. president trump now personally being investigated for possible
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criminal obstruction of justice. this is almost unprecedented in american history. expert opinion on what that means exactly next. stay with us. rld in the usual way ♪ ♪ but there were planes to catch and bills to pay ♪ ♪ so i moved my meeting saw him walk that day ♪ ♪ he was talking 'fore i knew it, and as he grew ♪ ♪ he'd say i'm gonna be like you, dad ♪ ♪ you know i'm gonna be like you ♪ ♪ and the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon ♪ ♪ little boy blue and the man in the moon... ♪ and you're about in to hit 'send all' on some embarrassing gas. hey, you bought gas-x®! unlike antacids, gas-x ® relieves pressure and bloating fast. huh, crisis averted.
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in addition to the shooting today in alexandria, virginia, apparently targeting republican members of congress while they were at their congressional baseball practice at a public park, we are still absorbing this additional remarkable news story tonight from "the washington post."
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the report that special counsel robert mueller is now investigating the president himself for possible obstruction of justice. "the new york times" has now reported their own slightly different version of this. "the new york times" headline which is just posted is mueller seeks to talk to intelligence officials, hinting at inquiry of trump. the times is fleshing out the fact that mueller has requested interviews with three high-ranking or former intelligence officials, people who were not involved with the trump campaign. the times describing this as an indication that he will investigate whether trump obstructed justice. the post is reporting that he is investigating trump for that. the times is reporting that it is indicated that he is likely doing that. so there is a slight shade in difference between the two papers. the times, though, also reports that the mueller investigation has asked the nsa for documents and notes related to the nsa's interaction with the white house as part of the russia investigation.
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joining us for some perspective on this is msnbc chief legal correspondent ari melber. ari, thank you for this. i appreciate you being here. >> sure. >> i should say first that the president's personal lawyer has put out a statement in response to "the washington post" report saying that this is an outrageous, inexcusable and illegal fbi leak of information. is what "the washington post" reported necessarily an fbi leak of information? is that the only place this information could have come from? >> absolutely not. a lot of the material seems to suggest that people approached by the investigation may be leaking. and that would be understandable if the intelligence agency's leadership is being contacted. the headline here is stark. the president of the united states is under criminal investigation for his conduct in office. there has been a lot of reporting about what happened during the campaign. this touches that and extends beyond it. >> in terms of these intelligence officials who are being queried now by the mueller investigation, the nsa director,
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admiral rogers, it's the recently departed deputy director of the nsa. get back to him in a second and it's dan coats, who is the director of national intelligence. the reason that that recently departed deputy director of the nsa is apparently being investigated is reportedly he is the one who wrote up an nsa memo describing the interacts that the nsa director had had with the president about whether or not he should get involved in that fbi investigation. does that tell us that the mueller investigation is basically trying to corroborate whether the president used other officials to try to block that investigation? >> it certainly suggests that is of investigative interest, to use the term of art. and it suggests that those individuals were potentially memorializing things for some of the same potential reasons that jim comey outlined under oath. they have lawyers. they have a general counsel in every agency, and they have strict rules. particularly because the foreign intelligence agencies know they're not supposed to be
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involved on the home front. all this discussion about surveillance and intercepted communications. they try to stay out of americans' rights and certainly the fbi's inquiries. >> okay. ari, on a legal -- as a legal matter, one of the things that has been raised as we've seen congressional investigations unspool, and different trump administration officials get called to testify is there are these questions as to whether or not the white house will try to stop those officials from appearing, whether the white house will try to block those officials from talking about specific things, communications with the president in particular. it's a different standard when it comes to talking to investigators who are looking into a potential criminal matter, right? you can't assert executive privilege to stop somebody from speaking to criminal investigators. >> the supreme court press on this is united states versus nixon. >> ah. >> it regards president nixon's assertion of what he called an absolute executive privilege. the supreme court rejected that. the area where it is the weakest if you will is in the area of a
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criminal inquiry because then those normal interests that are broad and wide. no one doubts national security secrecy is a national power. but this is the precedent when there are criminal or confidential inquiries because those can trump even the president's power in that arena. i would also note the other huge implication here is the deputy attorney general overseeing this inquiry. >> rod rosenstein. >> rod rosenstein is according to the evidence we have very likely a witness to what we can confirm tonight what we're being -- seeing reported tonight in the firing. he may have to recuse. >> so if -- i'm sorry to interrupt you there with my exclamation of surprise. but you're saying if mueller's investigating trump for potential obstruction of justice in his firing of comey, if rosenstein should reasonably be expected to be called as a witness for that part of the investigation, he can't oversee the mueller investigation at all. he would have to recuse that
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would put rachel brand in charge of overseeing the investigation? number three person at doj? >> exactly. and even according to the white house's official story, the main people involved in the story of james comey are president trump and rod rosenstein. short notice for breaking news. thank you, ari. >> thank you. >> that does it for us. now it's time for "the last word with lawrence o'donnell." good evening, lawrence. rachel, doesn't it drive you nuts where in the last minute of an interview someone, like say ari melber drops a bomb wrote where would you like to do another ten minutes just on that? >> well, you know, and that's -- ari is very good at this. so he realizes we're getting up toward 10:00. he can see the clock as well as i can. he is a pro. and so he is like you haven't asked me about the big thing yet, maddow. i'm going to say the big thing here and squeeze it in before you have to go to lawrence. ari melber is very good at his job. >> i hope he realized he just changed the hour tt

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