tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 11, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
i am back at 6:00 p.m. eastern time. "deadline: white house" with mike barnicle in for nicolle wallace begins right now. i am mike barnicle in for nicolle wallace who no doubt wishes she weren't on vacation today. a potential new break in the trump potential collusion information. e-mails from a year ago tweeted out this morning by donald trump jr. himself show rob goldstone, a former trump business partner with ties to the russian government explicitly promised russian government assistance to help trump defeat hillary clinton. goldstone writes, quote, the crown prosecutor of russia met with his father aras this morning and in the meeting offered to provide the trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate hillary and her dealings with russia and be very useful to your father. this is obviously very high level and sensitive information
but is part of russia and its government's support for mr. trump. unquote. don jr.'s response, quote, if it's what you say, i love it. unquote. so to review, goldstone tellingdtelling don jr. that the russian government is working to influence the u.s. election. don jr. seems to salivate. the e-mail chain continues as a meeting gets on the books. goldstone identifies the person flying to the u.s. to provide said incriminating information as a russian government attorney. remember, don jr. yesterday denied knowing she had any ties to the kremlin. then finally, don jr. forwards the exchange to none other than paul manafort and jared kushner. again, just this weekend, donald trump jr. said he told kushner and paul manafort nothing of the substance of the meeting.
and we have just received the first comments from the president through his
spokesperson, sarah huckabee sanders. quote, myon is a high-quality person and
i applaud his transparency. unquote. so, is it rookie politics by donald trump's eldest son or a smoking gun in the collusion case surrounding trump and his inner circle? a team of reporters here to help us answer that question. joining us at the table. our panel. donny deutsche, yahoo news anchor, "washington post" opinion writer and msnbc contributor jonathan capehart and republican strategist and former spokesman for ted cruz's campaign, ron nearing. now to hallie jackson at the white house for an update on the latest. >> reporter: mike, good to see you. sitting 30 feet down the hall from you. not at the white house. be there tomorrow. talking with folks and teams in washington because this is a significant moment in time. seeing the e-mails, seeing the release, watching how the white
house and how members of the trump team and people close to the president are handling this. we got our first public indication of this today. there had been a lot of talk we had been hearing privately that the president, as we know and i'll tell you legitimately the west wing very frustrated by the stories coming out. they feel frustrated at the discussion, at the sort of time that the media spends writ large on these stories. and you saw that, i think, publicly expressed today by sarah huckabee sanders when she was talking about how the president sees some of this. listen to what she had to say. >> i think that the president is, i would say, frustrated with the process of the fact that this continues to be an issue, and he would love for us to be focused on things like justin mentioned, the economy, on health care, on tax reform, on infrastructure, and that's the place that his mind is and that's what he would like to be discussing. >> that is the line. it is very similar to a line we hear again and again in the
briefing room and on the road with the president, that the president wants to talk about policy. as you and the panel know, the thing is, when you have the president son releasing e-mails that confirm that he met with somebody who was identified as a russian government lawyer, accepted the meeting, told then the campaign chair at the time and the president's son-in-law and now top adviser about the meeting and they all attended, that is significant. and that is something that is going to be dominating, i think, a lot of the discussion, not just here in new york, in washington, around the country and also on capitol hill. >> the level of frustration as hallie pointed to in the white house is probably palpable in the white house. it is in this newsroom. can you imagine the frustration the president has with the process and with his oldest son. >> if you take the president at his word saying he didn't know about this meeting. we know the president was in new york in trump tower.
you go from there. thchairmanf his campaign. his son. his son-in-law were all at this meeting. it's kind of hard to imagine, especially given what we now know through this e-mail, that the president was not made aware of this either, before or coming out of the meeting. >> ken, i don't mean to pick on you right out of the box, but how long can republicans hide from this? >> i have a little bit different take on this issue. so, were the russians involved in trying to influence the u.s. election? absolutely. no doubt about that. was this part of that? i am really doubtful about that. you read this e-mail from this music promoter. this is not how the fsb or the russian gru operates. this guy looks like a clown, right. he sends this e-mail to don trump jr. saying, hey, we have access to these russian state secrets. do you want some? this is not how the russian intelligence services operate. i think there is more information to be known but this seems like an amateurish attempt by a couple clowns to curry
favor with people they happen to know through donald trump's business dealings. you talk about goldstone as a former business partner of donald trump, that kind of evokes the image that this is someone with his act together. >> that's not the issue whether there was gravitas attached to the person or what we've previously talked about. this is the president's son, the president's inner circle. possibly the president, understanding the intent of the meeting was to get a contribution, not a contribution of money, but a contribution of information, damaging information, against his opponent from the russian government. that is against the law. so regardless of where it's coming from on the outside, the intent on the inside and the actual action and their explanation of well, first that it didn't happen and secondly nothing came of the meeting is irrelevant. how many more days are we going to open a show at 9:00 or 4:00 or 6:00 with the next russian drip? i mean, how -- before we just kind of go, this is pretty clear what's going on. >> the drips will keep coming
because the president and his administration will not sit down and do what hillary clinton did back in, what, '92/'93 with her pink press conference. with all the questions about the law firm and white water. she sat for more than an hour and answered every question posed to her by the press. if the president were to do that and to honestly sit and -- to the american people through the press and do it live and have people listen to the president talk about these things. maybe the white house and the president would not be so frustrated, and maybe the white house could have the nation focused on the things they want them to focus on. but they're not as long as the "new york times" and the "washington post" every day, seemingly hourly, come out with one more drip, one more shoe. >> back to the basic, the root of this latest story, the release of donald jr.'s e-mails. ron, i know your view, you just expressed it. but there is another view out there that this is exactly how the russian intel operation operates. holdn to your thought, because
ken delaney at nbc intelligence and national security joins us now. ken dilanian. the russian lawyer comes over here for a meeting with donald trump jr., joined by paul manafort and jared kushner. is it possible, in your view, based upon your experience as well as your reporting, that she is just there to troll whatever interest there might be in the trump campaign about colluding with the russians to get information? >> well, mike, i mean, first we need to take a step back and remember what we're dealing with here. for months the trump campaign -- the trump administration has been saying there is no evidence of collusion, show us evidence of collusion. now we have for the first time in black and white evidence that they were put on notice back as far as june of 2016 that the russian government was interested in getting donald trump elected. that is really important. i think it's a game-changer in this russia saga. now, to your question, former
intelligence experts i have talked to today, former cia officers who have served against the russia target say this is exactly how the russian services operate. >> right. >> they send people who may be dupes, who may not understand exactly what they're doing, to see whether they can infiltrate. it could have been a dangle, an attempt by the russian intelligence services to see how the trump team would react. they took the meeting. they react with open arms, said they loved it and said they wanted more. >> it wasn't such a dupe. vladimir putin and this lawyer have one thing in common. they want the sanctions to be lifted. that was the premise for her meeting to come here. that's where the orphans and adopting russian babies came into the conversation. this is one of the biggest thorns in vladimir putin's side. i understand your optics. but you won't have sergey lavrov coming to trump to your. putin has plausibility deniability. they have one intent and that's
lifting the sanctions. >> the notion that this person was at the head of russian intelligence and puts in an e-mail, i have state secrets, do you want some is highly unlikely. from the stapt standpoint of a presidential campaign, people come forward all the time. i have information. >> not on russia. >> paul manafort should have known better. >> what should they have done? called the fbi. >> that request for a meeting goes into a drawer and is never heard from again, oh, we just can't do the meeting. then you're supposed toen ca ta -- contact the fbi. if you are a seasoned political person you should know that. the other two people may not know. >> let me disagree on two levels. number one, i have never run for office. as you well know -- >> you never will. >> certainly not the brightest guy in the room. i would know if our number one
geopolitical enemy was reaching out with dirt, i know it's wrong. the trump dna, they say we play above the law, above the rules. one interesting quote, six weeks later when don trump jr., just another lie, was asked about the clinton's campaign claims that the russians were helping his father, this is his quote. it's disgusting. it's so phony, i can't think of bigger lies. five weeks later. >> bringing in chief white house correspondent from the "new york times" and nbc analyst peter baker who has been sent around the world by the "new york times," including time spent as moscow bureau chief. peter, let me ask you. is vladimir putin in moscow tonight saying this is just an incredible success beyond our wildest dreams, we have the entire american political system in chaos? >> well, i do think, to the extent that he has sewn disruption in our system and confusion and have us, you know,
turning on each other, yes, i think that is in fact a goal that vladimir putin has sought over the years. to the extent that he wanted or his people wanted to create a political environment in which russia might actually do better in terms of american policy, then he failed because the political atmosphere here is so toxic there is no way president trump could ever think about lifting the sanctions imposed on russia in the current environment. what he is working on right now is to beat off an effort by the congress of the united states to force sanctions over his objections. a bipartisan effort. so in that sense it's sort of a win/loss depending on how you look at it. >> peter, according to your sources and your reporting, what can you tell us about the level of not support but the level of backing they might think they're getting in the white house from the hill? do they think it's receding?
do they think it's there and is stable? what's the mindset, do you think? >> that the white house is getting right now from republicans on the hill? >> yeah. >> i think -- i think right now they're obviously having trouble. they're not seeing a lot of republicans jumping to their defense on this one. very few republicans want to get out in front and say, you know, this is okay, this is overstated, don't make a big fuss out of this because they don't know what the next shoe to drop is. look how this spilled out over the last few days. on saturday, it was this was a meeting about adoptions. yes, that did come up, but it wasn't the main purpose that donald trump took the meeting for. he took the meeting for as we now know, because he thought he would get incriminating information about hillary clinton. and i think republicans are very leery of getting around that. but you saw they still have a legislative agenda. today senator mitch mcconnell, the republican leader, said we're staying for part of the august recess to try to get some
of this stuff done. they are desperate to get some achievements to go home to their districts and states to talk about. >> they're desperate to escape washington. now they'll be as angry as their constituents are at home because they have to stay in washington. peter, stick with us. we're going to play something from lindsey graham who talked earlier about what exactly is going on. >> there are two things. if there was an e-mail suggesting the russian government wanted to help you and you took the meeting, that's problematic. if nothing came of the meeting, i would like to know that because the harm is even engaging with somebody who suggests that a foreign government wants to help your campaign. whether or not it bore fruit, i don't know. >> garrett hague joins us from capitol hill. how many republican senators do you think lindsey graham is actually speaking for? >> probably quite a few, mike. republican leadership has made is pretty clear they'd like to
see this hermetically sealed off as an intel committee matter. mitch mcconnell today was three times asked about this, what his personal feelings were, whether he was concerned about it. every time he said the intel committee will handle this. that's how republicans decided to deal with this at least publicly. try to seal it off. it's pretty clear donald trump jr. will sit in front of the lights at some point. but you have folks like john mccain and lindsey graham who have never been supportive of how donald trump does business. they've been saying there is going to be more shoes to drop and the shoes keep falling. i think they and others like them would like to see the president clear the decks with all these things as jonathan suggested. get everything out all at once. there is no indication the white house will do that, and that slows down the process of getting anything else done here because every day -- and today we should be talking about health care, but we're dealing
with the latest shoe. >> jonathan, it's ironic, it's much more than ironic, that all of this storm that we are all going through as a nation is caused by fake news media. the "times" and "the post," two heavyweights, each and every day coming out with stories that are legitimate, fact-based and in this case provided personally by donald trump jr. >> personally by donald trump jr. that's what makes it so extraordinary. it seems to me that, at least definitely in this case, correct me if i am wrong, donnie, that by trying to preempt the "new york times" by putting the e-mails out there himself, he is playing by new york media market rules. you are -- he thinks he's going to get ahead of the story and beat the "times" at its own story when he is playing on a global scale, a presidential scale, which has completely different rules. new york is checkers compared to the three-dimensional chess that
is washington presidential politics and governance. so i just think it's insane that he did what he did. and again, i go back to the president and his administration will continue to die a death by a thousand cuts if they do not do the ultimate thing, which is just come on out and talk about everything. >> they won't even do daily briefings. they're not going to do that. >> you talk about leaking stuffs. celebrities caught smooching with somebody, you get it out there first. >> i love the way the president applauded his son's transparency. there is starting to come a level of stupidity in the assumption that the entire global american public is stupid. stupidity on the parts of the trumps that they can actually come out with a straight face or straight tweet and say i applaud the transparency when it's coming out in the news. >> i agree with jonathan's earlier point that, look, if you're going to cut the dog's
tail off, you don't do it many times you do it once. >> why are we cutting a dog's tail off? >> we have a shrink coming out soon. >> we can go with the foot of a kitten. >> i don't think that's what's going to happen here. if you look at this from the point of view of donald trump, and that is that, you know, all the really, really smart people who are advising to do this or that, and if these were all the same people who said the really smart people who said jeb bush will be the republican nominee or scott walker. no way donald trump will. he does it his own way and wins the nomination. hillary clinton, people say there is no way he can win. he goes on and becomes the president of the united states and proves his critics wrong. from the standpoint of the president, why would he suddenly change tactics and suddenly do what people like those of us sitting around the table say you should do. he'll continue to do it his own way because he's won
successfully thus far doing that. >> but the real danger here is that, while we may just be finding about this meeting, vladimir putin in russia has known about this meeting or over a year. we talked about sally yates and what she was afraid of and michael flynn and his untruth saying he didn't discuss sanctions with the russian ambassador. it was false. she was alarmed and rushed to the white house. for a year vladimir putin has known presumably -- >> that's why you have to get it all out. >> one has to wonder why not. he has had a couple of meetings with the president and one with secretary tillerson. he has known this information. he has been sitting on it. that's a danger and a danger posed to the u.s. >> more to come on this. coming up, reaction to this bomb shell. more reaction from a lawmaker in capitol hill. should some members of the white house have their security clearance suspended. news that the senate is delaying their august recess by
two weeks. yikes! will they be able to get anything done with the cloud looming over washington. meeting with a foreign government, that's a whole different issue than meeting with an individual. i have to find out all the facts to be able to see. obviously it's a concern. it's a bigger concern because we're looking backwards at this point as well. >> would you like to see don jr. come in front of the intelligence committee and clear this up? >> yep. dad, one second i was driving and then the next... they just didn't stop and then... i'm really sorry. i wrecked the subaru. i wrecked it. you're ok. that's all that matters. (vo) a lifetime commitment to getting them home safely. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
>> it's disgusting. it's so phony. i can't think of a bigger lie. >> did anyone in the trump campaign have any contact with russians trying to meddle with the election? >> absolutely not. i discussed that with the president elect last night. those conversations have never happened. >> i have nothing to do with russia. to the best of my knowledge, no person that i deal with does. >> no collusion whatsoever between anybody involved with trump and anybody involved with russia in the 2016 campaign. >> no. >> there was no collusion. there was no coordination. now i think the issue is officially dead. >> joining us now from capitol hill. senator chris murphy, democratic, connecticut. sits on the senate foreign relations committee. senator, multiple choice here, okay. donald trump jr.'s e-mail trove. the latest of which was released today. collusion, treason, or stupidity. >> is there a and c or a, b and
c as part of the -- listen, i am not an expert on the law of treason. it certainly looks like collusion to me. it's absolutely stupidity. what we know is that we only know a portion of this story. you have to assume at this point that there was a consistent and perhaps vast series of contacts between the trump campaign and the russian government. you have to assume that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg given the fact that this information only comes out when news sources discover it, not when members of the trump administration are asked. and i think that ultimately you may see a series of contacts that may rise to the level of treason. i don't know if this is it, but i know this is not the end of the revelations. >> senator, donny deutsche. we're starting to wonder when on the republican side of the aisle a lot of these folks who will be running for reelection will step back and say, wow, this stinks a
little too much. i know trump has a base, but i have to start stepping away from the president. are you starting to sense with any of your colleagues early rumblings of that? >> i mean, not to the degree that i would hope. i mean, whether or not this rises ultimately to the level of an impeachable offense, there is just a breach of trust right now. this is a white house that has openly lied to the american people about their contacts with the russians over and over again. and seem to be doing so with impunity. and that breach of trust cascades over the rest of us, right. people lose faith in government at every level when they have their top elected leader and his top people lying at this kind of dizzying rate. so this should affect -- that should matter to all of us but i haven't seen that from my republican colleagues. >> peter baker is also with us from the "new york times." i want to ask you what senator
murphy was just talking about with donny. the level of reality in the white house. we all know that presidents inevitably get isolated. their staffs can get isolated. but there is a level of reality here that is apparent to many people in the media and this country. is any of that reality seeping into the white house? your opinion, i guess. >> well, i think there is a lot of people in the white house, at least some people in the white house, who are disturbed by what's happening here. if nothing else, they're frustrated because it is in fact distracting from any positive agenda they might want to get through. you hear not on the record, but you hear aides and advisers to the president, people in the inner and outer circles shaking their heads with exasperation at what they consider to be the poor judgment exhibited here. there are debates about how transparent they should be in their responses in these statements that we have been seeing over the last few days. so there is a real -- there is a real debate going on inside the white house about what to do, how to handle this and what it
means going forward. >> senator murphy. it's jonathan capehart here. i am wondering how much of all this russia stuff is stalling the agenda on capitol hill. i am saying "agenda" purposely because, to my mind, it seems like there is the president's agenda and then there's republican congressional agenda, i.e., trumpcare, repealing obamacare and putting in something else. is this poisoning the atmosphere to where senator mitch mcconnell feels it is imperative that he cannot leave washington without at least giving his conference something positive from their perspective to go home and talk to their constituents about? >> i had always worried that, when the russia story was at a low boil, that it was actually helpful to the republican senate's agenda, that is distracted the american public from these secret negotiations to try to pass a bill that robbed health care from 23 million americans. but on a day like today where
this issue has reached such a fever pitch, where people are throwing around words like treason, that clearly is not helpful to them. in part because they know they're dealing with a bill, a health care bill, that is wildly unpopular amongst the american public. they know they'll take an electoral hit if they vote for it. now they're less willing to do that because it's compounded at the ballot box of the downward descent by their president. when it gets to this fever pitch it frustrates their agenda. but on days we there are just drips of information coming out on russia, it may actually aid their efforts to go about this surreptitiously. >> all this focused on don jr., but of all the people who met with this russian lawyer, only one is currently serving in the administration with top security
clearance to the president of the united states. and that's jared kushner. what do you think this revelation means going forward for that security clearance, and do you expect it to be lifted and revoked? >> in a normal world we wouldn't be talking about security clearance, as jared kushner would have been fired about four hours ago. the fact is, he allowed for his father-in-law, the president of the united states, the vice president of the united states, and many other spokesmen, to go out and repeat a lie, day after day after day, that one one in the trump operation met with the russian government or operatives of the russian government. he watched the individuals go out and engage in the parade of lies. maybe they knew they were lies. but if this were a normal political world jared kushner wouldn't have a job by the end of the day. he would at least have his
security clearance revoked. they're hoping tomorrow there will be something else. >> senator, i would like to get your view on something else off this topic. it is this. this morning front page "new york times" above the fold, erik prince -- two private citizens basically going over to the pentagon to talk to secretary of defense james mattis about afghanistan policy with suggestions of basically privatizing the war in afghanistan. your view. >> well, erik prince has been the beneficiary of a, you know, large-scale privatization of military operations going back to the beginning of the afghanistan war. i got the chance to question him before a house hearing about six years ago, asked him to disclose how much money he was making, how many millions of dollars he was making after u.s. taxpayer contracts. he refused to tell us. this is nothing new. the scale of privatization he
may be suggesting in afghanistan is new. it's a reminder that the longer we stay in iraq and afghanistan we are making this country less safe, by and large, and enriching people like erik prince along the way. >> senator murphy. thanyou very much for joining us. right now, congressman adam schiff is speaking to reporters following the release of donald trump jr.'s e-mails. >> in june we know the russian government sought to approach the trump campaign to see whether they would be interested in damaging information about hillary clinton. in late july, the president, quite out in the open, then candidate trump, urged the russians to hack hillary clinton's e-mails and said that they would be richly rewarded. during the course of our investigation, one of the questions we have sought to answer is, was there private activity by the campaign in parallel with the very public
request that now president trump, then candidate trump, made for the russians to hack and release hillary clinton information. because we now know that the response that the president's son gave to the russians was that he would love it if they would provide damaging information about hillary clinton. rather than report this overture by the russian government to provide damaging information to intervene in the presidential election in a way to help his father, neither the president's son nor the campaign reported this information to the fbi. when it came obvious that the e-mails were being dumped, when it became obvious this was being done by the russian government, when our own intelligence community issued a statement in october affirming that this was being done by the russians, did the trump campaign then disclose that, in fact, they had received an overture to receive damaging
information, the answer is, of course, no, they didn't. so this is obviously very significant, deeply disturbing, new public information about direct contacts between the russian government and its intermead y intermead yariaries and the center of the trump family and organization. obviously we need to get to the bottom of exactly what happened, what was said in that meeting, any of the information that went into organizing that meeting, as well as if that meeting was just the beginning or that was a testing of the waters by the russians to see whether the campaign would be receptive to their engagement and involvement in the presidential election. so this is, i think, a very key development. and in terms of what the public is aware of, our work continues, so we are interviewing new witnesses each week, sometimes
more than one each week. we will be doing that until we get to the bottom of not only these additional facts but all the others that we are exploring. and with that, i would be happy to respond to your questions. >> you mentioned that this seems to have been directed by the russian government. have you seen any evidence that said this russian lawyer was in fact directed by the kremlin to meet with the trump campaign? and secondly, have you seen any evidence of other meetings that may have occurred with trump associates and russia beyond this o? >> i can't go beyond the four corners of what's already in the public domain, but i think that the e-mails themselves, which have now been verified by the trump campaign itself by the president's son himself, make very clear that government officials within the russian government had information they thought was damaging to secretary clinton that they wanted to share with the campaign, and they made
arrangements to provide a channel to do that, and this russian advocate was that channel. now, obviously one of the things that we need to investigate was convsation, did she report at information, the receptivity to getting that information, back to moscow, did mr. gladstone report back to the family that had approached him to say, they would love to get this. and in fact, they would not only love to get it, they would love to get it late in the summer. and it was late in the summer that the stolen e-mails began to be published. these are the kinds of questions that need to be answered. here i think you have quite direct evidence that the russian government had damaging information, communicated that to the campaign, and all of the campaign denials of whether we know this is going on, whether the russians had any involvement, whether the russians wanted to help his
campaign, obviously now have to be viewed in a completely different context. >> were you aware of this meeting -- >> has the committee been in touch with trump jr. or his lawyer and any plan to request documents from him? >> we'll certainly want him to come before the committee. i don't want to discuss any communications we are having with witnesses. they're free to disclose them themselves. we'll want everyone from the meeting to come in. we'll want any documents that they have. plainly, as we saw the constantly evolving stories from the president's son, we cannot rely on any public representations that are made by the family about their contacts with the russians. we've now seen a demonstrable pattern of obfuscation and dissembling about these meetings, originating with denials, we never had the meetings. then forced acknowledgement once the meetings were disclosed and then a shifting explanation about what the meetings were about. in this case the claim was this
was about adoptions. and then it was, well, it was we brought the campaign manager. significant to me that they invited the manager of the campaign. if this was not a campaign meeting as they originally said, what was paul manafort doing there? the reason the reason were approaching them was precisely because he was the apparent nominee at that point. so we're going to want to hear from everyone connected to this. we're also going to want to see as referenced in that e-mail whether the president's assistant received any communication from the russians as well. that was another channel that was alluded to in those e-mails. >> do youelieve that this russian lawyer was a test, was a dangle put out by the russians to see how the trump campaign would engage? >> it certainly appears that way, that this is, you know, very much consistent with t russian practices, with their --
essentially their operating procedures where they will use civilians. they'll use often oligarchs and others. they'll look for relationships. and here, the e-mails, i think, made quite clear that the russian government had possession of damaging information, they thought the way to get that to the trump campaign, to test whether donald trump wanted this information, was to go through people he had done business with. and indeed this is a modality the russians use elsewhere. they had done business with a gentleman known as the russian donald trump, who had worked on the miss universe pageant, who had business discussions with the president over having a tru trump tower in russia. they go to this oligarch. they go to the son who knows the son of the now president. they find out, yes, there is a deep interest in this. and then they dispatch this
advocate for the kremlin. now, why would they choose her? they might choose her because she gives them some deniability. as opposed to someone who has a more direct connection to the government. obviously, this is something that we need to determine, but it would be consistent with russian trade craft to do exactly this. >> congressman, some of your colleagues are beginning to use the word "treason." even if you don't want to go that far or draw any conclusions yet, do you see possible violations of criminal law here? or is this just a breach of norms and etiquette? >> well, it is absolutely not only a breach of norms but a breach of civic responsibility to the country. if you get approached by a foreign government offering to interfere in a presidential election, you go to the fbi, you report it. that's what a decent citizen would do. and i don't want to see us
continue to lower the bar here and say the only question is whether this is illegal. this was unethical. it was, i think, in violation of the oaths of citizenship to willingly solicit, receive, encourage foreign intervention in our election. so this is a very serious business, whether criminal laws were violated or not. there are a number of criminal laws that are implicated here, and we see, again, kind of a shifting defense from the trump administration, first that there is no collusion, then there is, okay, if there is collusion, collusion is not against the law. the reality is conspiracy is against the law. and collusion is one form of conspiring. if there was an effort to conspire to violate our election laws, to essentially get an in-kind contribution of opposition research against their opponent, if there was any kind of quid pro quo, one of the messages that this russian
advocate may have taken back to moscow is that the trump administration will be very amenable to repealing the mag nisssky act. sanctions that goes over people violating russians' human rights. requests it quid pro quo or encouragement for the russians to intervene. certainly they were getting all the right signals. they were getting the signals from the president quite openly and overtly. they were getting signals from the president's son in a covert fashion. of course, all of the allusions to this is highly sensitive, and what's the best way to get you this information, you know, does have an echo of those allegations of mr. kushner wanting to set up a secret back-channel. again, what i think is notable here is the pattern. these aren't a series of meetings, events, denials,
obfuscations regarding china or regarding canada, britain or france. they all come back to russia. and of course, the profound question is why, and that's the question that we need to answer. i have time for one last question. >> congressman, can you give ussenus an update on the sanctions bill and give us an idea whether these events today will affect the path of that bill. >> we stand ready i think on a very bipartisan basis to pass the senate bill overwhelmingly. i have no doubt, if it came up for a vote tomorrow, it would pass overwhelmingly. certainly these events give added urgency to doing exactly that. and i think it's very important to understand, in the context of that sanctions legislation, what is so disturbing and what is so concerning about these new public revelations and why congress has to get to the bottom of it.
the most serious risk to the country, i think, is that the russians possess compromising information, what they call kompramot. the russians know about this meeting. they were behind organizing the meeting. if there were other meetings the russians know about, if there were other interactions with the trump campaign the russians are aware of, that's something they can hold over the head of the president of the united states. the american people need to know that our president is acting on their behalf and not acting because he has a fear that the russians could disclose things that would harm him or his family. so, i think it's an obligation for the congress to get to the bottom of this and make sure that the president's policy, whether it's in syria or ukraine, or vis-a-vis nato or anything else is only influenced by what's in the best interest of the country and not because the russians are in possession
of any material they fear would become public. thank you. >> adam schiff, ranking democratic member of the house intelligence committee talking about the astounding set of e-mails released earlier today by donald trump jr. ron, you were taking copious notes. that's a word donny gave me. copious notes during senator schiff's presentation. >> he is doing exactly what he should do today, trying to frame this in the most unfavorable way possible and build a lot of assumptions into what he just said there. the key there is to make the giant leap that this goldstone character who is more austin powers than 007 is somehow a direct arm of the kremlin here. that has not been established. nowhere in here do we see -- >> i think he was talking about the lawyer, the woman lawyer. >> right, but that was initiated by this goldstone guy. you have to assume he is part of that.
that's the assumption he is making here. this was all part of the overture on the part of the kremlin. that hasn't been established at all. i think there is such a rush here, the democrats have staked everything. they've raised the bar. he talks about lowering the bar. they've raised the bar to the point that if they don't prove collusion everything will be let off the hook because that's how high they've raised the bar. this doesn't demonstrate that. that's what his job is -- >> so what, if anything, about all of this, about the e-mails, about the woman coming from moscow, the lawyer, what, if anything bothers you? >> they shouldn't have done the meeting. clearly they shouldn't have done the meeting. >> anything else? >> central mistake number one. shouldn't have taken the meeting. number two, when they had this information that implies the russian government is involved you inform the fbi because they are the lead on counter intelligence and the like. there is no doubt that that was a mistake to do that. further, going back to what we discussed earlier in that it's important to stop this drip,
drip, drip, gather all the information that you can, put this out. if you have ever -- every time you have had any caviar. seen fiddler on the roof, gone to a russian restaurant. put it out in the public view, stop the drip, drip, so we can get on to things like -- >> do you think putin is a good guy and a friend of the united states? >> absolutely not. >> the president of the united states does? >> russia is a menace not only to this government under vladimir putin is a menace to their own people. they are a menace in the region. they're a menace to every democracy in the west. they've deliberately tried to intervene in our election. they put the full force of their trolls, fsb and gru in an unprecedented effort to -- >> why can't the president of the united states say that, then. >> we have a special counsel who has been appointed who is a solid guy, has appointed a solid team, and that investigation is ongoing. you have a house and a senate
investigation. so i don't see what the need is to take every little thing and try to make -- >> fired the fbi director. >> it's not every little thing. every time there is a forgotten meani meeting, it comes back to russia. in every way, shape or form it suggests the president is compromised. and out of a bad novel, is beholding to our number one enemy. it's frightening stuff. i don't know how many more nuggets we have to get to that understanding that there is no other possibility. >> the policies that this administration has put forward, nothing suggests -- it's been the exact opposite, yes, the president said at one point during the campaign he thought nata was obsolete. that position has been reversed. he affirmed nato. they launched 59 cruise missiles into hitting an air base in putin's ally in syria in
response to a chemical weapons attack. in terms of policy the russians have gotten nothing whatsoever. this thing has backfired badly. but no doubt there was russian effort involved. the e-mail today, was that part of it? that hasn't been established. >> joining us now, jeff jakobitz. where is bob mueller going with what he has today? >> looking at obstruction, perjury. now certainly conspiracy to violate election fraud laws. what you have are three individuals who are going to a meeting with knowledge, with the knowledge of the e-mails that they are about to receive, possibly, dirt on hillary clinton. in terms of the conspiracy, what nobody has talked about is what about a potential conspiracy between the three individuals attending the meeting and mr. goldstone, in england. not even talking about the russian lawyer. mr. goldstone in england who has
told them, if you go to this meeting you're going to get dirt on hillary. >> only one of the three you mentioned is currently in the employ of the united states government, works at the white house. his name is jared kushner. what's his legal exposure? >> besides the false statements on theform, his security clearance form, he's walking into a meeting where he's high up in the campaign trying to get dirt on hillary clinton from a foreign country, a foreign adversary, which arguably is illegal and conspiratorial. >> so if you were representing donald trump jr., if he called you to represent him, other than telling you potential client to shut up and start talking, what's your strategy? >> the first thing is to shut up and stop talking. you hit that perfectly. the second thing -- the second thing is did i waive the fifth amendment privilege by talking even though i wasn't under oath and can i take the fifth in the future when the senate intelligence committee calls me to testify? >> jeff jacobovicz, thank you
very much. we'll be right back with much more reaction to the release of e-mails between donald trump jr. and a russian intermediary. >> i love e-mails! you can't erase e-mails! you can't erase them! i love them! thank you so much. thank you! so we're a go? yes! we got a yes! what does that mean for purchasing? purchase. let's do this. got it. book the flights! hai! si! si! ya! ya! ya! what does that mean for us? we can get stuff. what's it mean for shipping? ship the goods. you're a go! you got the green light.
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got on russia? zero. >> that was senator ted cruz in the moments after donald trump jr.'s e-mails were posted online this morning. joining that discussion right now, jeremy peters, ace political reporter for the "new york times" and an msnbc contributor. jeremy, the mood on capitol hill, we keep trying to get at it. it's very difficult to get at it. the difficulty that so many republicans must be in but are not really talking about. >> exactly, mike. and once again you have republicans having to answer questions about the latest donald trump controversy rather than talking about what they're accomplishing. even if they were accomplishing much, which they are not. it would be very, very hard to move on from the fact the donald trump russia scandals are casting a huge cloud over the republican party. in that bite you just played ted cruz is right in one crucial key respect, that voters back home
in a lot of conservative-leaning states aren't really asking about russia. i've been to a lot of these states, and i've covered town halls like this. you don't hear a lot of it when you go door to door with campaigns, especially in the one that just happened in georgia which i covered. however, what you do hear is a sense of fatigue among a lot of the more independent conservative-leaning voters who might well be inclined to ditch the republican party in 2018 and vote for a democrat. and if this drip, drip, drip of trump scandal continues, i think that the party is going to find itself in an increasingly difficult position defending its majorities. >> the other interesting aspect of what you just said about, you know, people are not interested in russia is i don't think it's just in conservative america, it's not in middle america or east coast america, it's everywhere in america. i live in massachusetts. and you go around, you walk around, you do your grocery
shopping, and people are more interested in health care, what's going to happen to my health care policy and my premiums going to go up. we hear all the moguls talking about the economy is in great shape, it's really flourishing, but people don't really believe that. a lot of people live paycheck to paycheck in this country. but you hear many public people on the airwaves, both in the senate and the house, saying exactly what ted cruz just said. and as an interesting point, we pulled up some polling data off of watergate in the summer of 1973 and 1974. only 31% of the population viewed watergate as very serious in april 1973. a year later 49%. a lot of people thought it was just politics in april of '73. less so in june of '74. watergate for people who are over a certain age turned into something pretty serious. but i mean, i don't know what you find in california. >> look, i live in california and i can say among the activist republican base at all this is a
non-issue profar and people get irritated when it comes up. i think there is something to be said for there is something in the media echo chamber. everyone on these shows, they follow each oop on twitter, everyone on the cable shows are following the print reporters and vice versa. and once that media narrative sets in, which happens very, very quickly, faster than ever before, it's harder than ever to break. and i think you have a much greater interest level on the part of the media on the russia issue than people outside -- >> here's where it starts to affect the constituency. when he can't get anything done, when these people don't get their health care back and those jobs don't come back because he's basically impotent because of all, this that's when they're going to care. so their viewpoint is not going to be oh, we don't want him in there because this russia thing. we don't want him in there because he can't get anything done. >> and things have to get done. because republicans, there are nor more excuses. if we don't repeal obamacare now and if we don't simplify the tax code now. what's the message in 2018? send us a few more republicans and then we'll get done? no, it has to get done and i think that's part of the reason why senator cruz is focused on health care and not on russia.
>> and i'm not sure russia is the deterrent here. when you focus on these issues like tax reform, like health care, the republican party amongst itself can't get this issue solved. they're not talking about russia. they're debating over health care. >> every bit of republican band width, house, senate, state level and the white house, has to be focused on getting health care done and then getting tax reform done, which is going to make health care look like a walk in the park. >> so jeremy, you get 20 seconds to do your tv thing. tell us why nothing's going to get done. 20 seconds. go ahead. do it. >> well, i mean, first of all, the health care bill is absolutely falling apart. and i don't think keeping the senate in session two weeks longer is really going to make one bit of difference when the more you subtract from the bill the more you alienate the moderates you that need to bring on board. so i do think, though, the getting things done thing is absolutely crucial to trump's success here. he promised to make america great again, he promised to improve the plight of working americans. if he can't do that, it's not
going to be russia that brings him down. it's going to be the lack of any upward mobility that his supporters feel. >> jonathan, you have ten seconds to say something nice about me before we leave. >> you know, mike, that tie is fabulous. but if they can't do health care they're not going to do an fy2018 budget and not going to raise the debt ceiling and those are two huge things congress must get done. >> thanks to germ peters and our panel, donny deutsch, bianna golodry golodryga. ntp daily starts now with one of my favorite people, katy tur, in for chuck. katy, how are you doing? >> mike, i'm great. i was going to say you are a wonderful man. that's my compliment to you. at the top of the hour. thank you very much. if it is tuesday, it is clear don jr. was eager to accept russian help to hurt clinton. tonight, the e-mail trail. the president stands by his son's e-mail release but no reply on any other questions on russian connections. >> i would refer you to don