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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  July 12, 2017 4:24am-5:59am PDT

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and jonathan turley will join us next. ♪ binders, done. super-cool notebooks, done. that's mom taking care of business. but who takes care of mom? office depot/office max. this week, get this ream of paper for just one cent after rewards. ♪ taking care of business.
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i have a quick statement that i'll read from the president. my son is a high quality person and i applaud his transparency. and beyond that i'm going to have to refer everything on this matter to john jr.'s counsel and outside counsel and won't have anything else to add beyond that today. i know you guys are going to get tired of it today, not to sound like a broken record, but on all questions related to this matter i would refer you to don jr.'s counsel and outside counsel. to repeat myself, i'm going to refer you to the outside counsel and anything further you guys are going to have to reach out to outside counsel. again, i'm not going to get into the details of anything surrounding this and would refer you to don jr.'s counsel.
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again, i would refer you to the outside special counsel. >> do they get paid like -- >> how does she do her job? >> -- combat pay? >> you couldn't get paid enough to do that job. where is sean spicer? is he still around? do they ever let him talk? >> he's still there. >> the problem with the donald jr. outside counsel like the defense is it's not just him wrapped up in this. we said earlier jared kushner and paul manafort, on that e-mail chain and in the room. so this is about the campaign. it's not just about one guy, they can try to distance themselves and say he's not in the white house. >> and they said this russia story is nothing, there is nothing with russia. i mean, this president has said things that are appearing not to be true. >> i think we have to go back to what bob bower said earlier this morning. this is really at the end of the day not about donald -- or about
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don jr. as much as it is about the campaign, legally i mean. jared kushner actually -- i mean, if steve bannon wanted to plot to get rid of jared kushner, he could not have thought of a more mackavellian way to do it. at the end of the day it's not don jr. facing -- jared kushner is most exposed. >> he forwarded that e-mail and showed up at the meeting. >> i would assume within the white house they are probably consumed, consumed with trying to find out who if anyone on that white house staff is the mole providing some elements of this information. >> and we don't know if it's just the white house staff. donald trump has antagonized so many people and they're all going to get payback.
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and they're getting it. but the campaign at the end of the day is an inanimate object and it's the people working there now like jared that have the most liability because they're part of the administration. and there are going to have to be consequences for them. >> so sarah huckabee sanders always talking about outside counsel, member of the president's legal team, jay sekulow spoke on the "today" show moments ago. >> there was no information that exchanged. a missing fact here people want to ignore but we can't ignore, there was no information that was exchanged. >> but the question -- >> hold on. you asked me a question. there was a meeting that took place. no exchange of information. the meeting ended up producing nothing, and now there's a media frenzy going around this because russia's invoked to attack which is kind of the great involvement in the campaign, well, the fact is zero happened here. >> on june 3rd they reached out -- the trump campaign gets a
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call from goldstone about setting up this meeting offering damaging information on hillary clinton and four days later the president in a speech says i'm going to have some damaging information about hillary clinton, probably coming next week. >> yeah, well, there was opposition research being done every single day by the campaigns. that's the nature it is. and there was information that came out days after, day after day, as did against the president. so that was an incorrect statement. it was not based on any of this. the fact is that this meeting, i just want to be very clear on this as the president's lawyer, i said and i'll say it again, the president was not aware and did not attend this meeting and was only made aware of the e-mail and this chain of e-mails which he only saw yesterday as it was released. >> at one point in the e-mail exchange rob goldstone wrote to donald trump jr., i can also send this info to your father via rona, his long-time personal assistant, have you gone back and checked and rechecked rona's
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e-mails to make sure she didn't receive this information and the president didn't see it? >> well, rona works for the trump organization, i represent the president of the united states, but the president did not see any e-mails relating to this at all. >> first of all, he doesn't know that. >> oh, my gosh. >> also, he said nothing happened here. we don't know that. we have a white house that worked on a statement -- if you're just joining us this morning, worked on a statement to be released to the "new york times" on saturday saying this meeting was just about adoption, which ended up being a lie. and that lie was concocted by the white house staff on flight back from europe. and that lie was signed off on by the president of the united states. the next day another lie was sent to the "new york times" as the story progressed. and then monday they ended up having to once again change
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their story. and finally when the "times" got ahold of the e-mails and were going to release the e-mails, that's when don trump jr. decided to release them all at one time. >> showing that he forwarded those e-mails. >> there's been a series of lies. and i think it was matthew dowd said the only reason we know they're lies is because we have an independent free press that actually held the trump administration accountable and don jr. accountable. so the next time you hear about fake news, understand the only reason we know this, only reason they admitted it was because what the "new york times" and other news outlets have been doing. >> joining us now, law professor at george washington university, jonathan turley. where do we start here? i mean that in all seriousness actually. what are the biggest questions you see on the table right now? >> you know, as i've said all along i actually don't view some
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of these various crimes we're talking about as compelling. i think that the most likely area for a criminal charge if it comes will remain false statements and omissions from federal reports. i've said that all along. that's what people tend to get nailed on. but we have this sort of media rorschach test where everyone looks at these inkblots and says i see a crime. and that could be a dangerous thing when you're talking about changing or expanding the criminal code. people are saying, you know, this could be treason, which is facially absurd. >> let's be specific. let's say you're working for bob mueller and he asks you to say i want you to be as conservative with a small "c" as possible what's the most likely charge we should pursue first, what would you say that is? >> 18 usc 10001, you look at statements made to investigators that now prove to be untrue.
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>> is that jared kushner? >> yeah. >> is he the person most exposed legally right now? >> kushner is certainly the person who is most at risk because of these omissions. investigators are not unfamiliar with people leaving things off sf86s, the form used for classification to get classified -- access to classified evidence. i've filled that out. many of us have filled that out. it becomes more difficult to make that argument if you are comparing things that you remember and things that you do not. i mean, if you're saying, look, i ate at outback steakhouse in 2013 but somehow forgot to mention the russian with the interpreter, that's going to lead investigators to wonder whether you intentionally left things off. but we're still some distance from there, but those are the types of crimes that criminal defense attorneys are most worried about. it's very hard to defend against false statements or omission charges. but this other -- these other arguments like the federal
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election law. >> right. >> i could tell you are very, very dangerous. >> you're talking about the in kind, the in kind contributions they seem to be suggesting as a crime. that is being a bit more ambitious than the false statements. >> but it would also drive a stake through the heart of the first amendment. if you start to say that sharing information is equivalent to giving money in a campaign, then any ngo, any foreign individual could be charged with a crime for simply sharing information with a campaign. >> so, professor, let's take up the argument we just heard from the president's attorney jay sekulow, which is no information was exchanged in this meeting. nothing came out of it. the e-mail those that set up the meeting that was sent to donald trump jr. on june 3, 2016, said their meeting offered to provide the trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate hillary and her dealings with russia and would
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be useful to your father. donald trump jr. replied minutes later saying if it's what you say, i love it. is sitting down to collect information about hillary clinton enough to constitute some kind of crime? >> i'm not sure whether it constitutes a crime because we still have a problem in conspiracy to do what. >> right. >> but it adds, i think, depth to the argument of collusion under investigation by both congress and by mueller. i mean, these cases are often sort of form of legal pointism. each of these points helps create a damaging image. this is not going well for the white house. and i think they realize that. it's a lack of discipline, frankly i think that this meeting is shocking just because it was sort of amateur hour at the trump tower. i mean, who would go to a meeting like this? in my view it may have been a bait and switch. and the fact is being a chump doesn't make you a criminal. but it is still quite shocking
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that anyone would go to this meeting. you know, it shows -- it sort of portrays these guys as click, bait, chumps who go to a meeting with a lawyer they don't know after this e-mail, which they should have reported to the justice department. >> yeah. >> all right. jonathan turley, thank you very much. >> that's another thing i heard in conservative media yesterday, which was there seem to be almost universal agreement, you get this e-mail, you get this call, you go straight to the fbi. i'm telling you they had couple two different chief of staff over my four terms. if we've ever gotten anything from a foreign government, especially a hostile foreign government, they'd literally would have gotten the paper like this. everybody would have. for people sitting at home thinking, oh, well, this is a close call -- no. and for don jr. going, hey, you know, i got an e-mail, i got to take the call.
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i'm telling you everybody, republican, democrat alike, if they'd gotten that, they would have walked like this and they would have given it to an fbi agent. they would have kept their fingerprints off of it. this is not even a close call. >> that's not just hypothetical by the way. jeremy bash and others talked yesterday about the 2000 campaign working for vice president gore, they got information about george w. bush from a foreign entity and immediately turned it over to the fbi. >> still ahead, we'll talk to one of the "new york times" reporters who's been breaking all of the stories on donald trump jr.'s meeting with a russian lawyer last year. joe becker will be our guest coming up on "morning joe." we, the entertainment-loving people, want an unlimited data plan that gives us more. we want more than just texting.
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joining us now, mark's magazine cover features a cartoon scene. >> hard to make out the characters on tv. go and study it online. it is worth it. the piece titled this town melts down mark examines president trump's impact on washington. >> what is the impact? >> big idea. >> well, the big idea is that he was going to blow up washington. he was going to change washington. >> looks like he is doing a good job. >> well, six months in. i think when you sort of look around the swamp is anything but drained. it's more like a gold plated hot tub at this point.
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>> explain why is the town melting down? >> that was a headliner. it all resolved around the unorthodox of the president which is more of a neutral reading. you can hear a lot more colorful language. the fact is there's a whole new calculus on how you influence the white house. >> why was sean spicer afraid to talk to you? >> he is afraid to talk to a lot of people these days. he kind of disappeared. but this is one as sort of a cross over figure which was a hack back in the old days. it was a man who sort of knew better and was well known who decided to cross over and be in the middle of this experiment. he has been transformed by so
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many people. he is a nervous guy. he has one of the toughest jobs around. >> he told you if he talked to you on record it would hurt him. >> his current status. >> yeah, because the president is not one for sharing. >> okay. so teaser time. tell us a story about hope. >> hope is someone i came to know and like during the campaign. i went to visit with her during the course of reporting. we are sort of chitchatting. after about say or 20 minutes she is like you want to come say hello? she said no. come say hi. i was like okay. sure. it's usually not that easy to schedule. usually some kind of screening or briefing that goes on. i don't know if it was staged or
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not. i walked in and the president was sitting in the little dining room area by himself. he was watching a tape i think of fox and friends of four or five hours before. came in, greeted me. told me i treated him very badly, the new york times was failing. he was very pleasant about it. we talked for about 10 or 15 minutes. he was exactly as you would expect, fake news, fox is treating him well, you know, all of the greatest hits sort of condensed into about 10 or 15 minutes. >> at least my central take away is what you eluded to. you had this great imagery, all of them kind of waiting for that moment.
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they all have free access to the white house. it's the opposite of what he said he was going to do. >> it is unclear how serious he was. the fact is if you are close to this president, if you're perceived as being close to this president and people are not very unshy about it because it's a good business proposition you'll get hired bay lot of corporations and trade groups who have always thrown a lot of money at this town and that has, you know, it hasn't really changed at all. it's a different guy in the white house. >> internally firing squad, people going after each other. people not happy with their jobs, not happy with the president. what did you pick up? off of the people you were around? >> you read the president's tweet which is not the first time he said this but how it's all made up and sources don't know what they are talking
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about. this is all true. i mean, you know, obviously i have a dog in this because i'm in the press. this is all true. it's true. they all leak on each other. it's about as easy to report in. so that's all for real. it's not even a circular. it's in all directions. it's like you're being too narrow here. >> wow. >> mark, which members of the administration have become kind of the celebrities? >> i think everyone in a way. everyone has become a household name. sean spicer, sarah huckabee. this is not an unwell known administration. partly it is because they are all seen -- there is kind of a parlor game of who is up and who's down this week. there is a circular firing squad and a roulette wheel of whose
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imminent departure. it's not an issue for the people who work for the president right now. >> thank you very much. we'll be looking for your cover story in the new york times. >> any illustration. >> it's true. it's all true. donald trump jr. was supposed to be the family member that wasn't part of washington. that is changing fast as congressional investigators want a word with him following hiss -- his release of the e-mail trail in question. president trump was aware of his son's initial statement defending his meeting with the russian lawyer saying it was about adoption. it was a statement that was so incomplete it required multiple follow-ups to clarify it. morning joe is coming right back. i was playing golf a couple days ago...
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my take away, things are going a million miles an hour. things are going a million miles an hour. maybe this is something. i should hear him out. in retro specific i would have
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done things differently. maybe concrete but they were probably under reported for years not just during the campaign. i wanted to hear it out. it was apparent that is not what the meeting was about. >> in hindsight it may not have been the best choice. that is donald trump jr.'s latest explanation. >> the explanations keep chan changing the first was actually drafted by the white house. and signed off by donald trump himself. >> so they knew about it. goods morning. it is wednesday july 12th. this is morning joe.
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we have washington bureau chief julie pace and former justice department spokesperson, a justice and security analyst, matthew miller. good to have you all. before we get to the e-mail trail this bit of reporting is significant. a small of mr. chump's advisers helping to craft statement for the president's eldest son to give to the new york times explaining why he met with a lawyer connected to the russian government. participants debated how transparent to be according to people familiar with the discussions. ultimately the president signed off on the statement from donald
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trump jr. for the times. it was so incomplete it required day after day each more revealing than the last. it got so bad yesterday he knew the times was about to completely expose what he had said is a lie but at least saturday was part of a white house cover up. >> it was an attempt signed off to cover up this story. donald trump jr. last night went away from that story completely because of what the content of the e-mails was it was very
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explicit. it was about hillary and potential ties to russia. it is part of his support to mr. trump. nothing to do with adoption until later when they realize there was no information they could use about hillary clinton. >> well, they are telling us. a very significant part of the lie is the fact that don jr. also lied saying manafort and kushner weren't made aware of what this meeting was about. he forwarded the entire e-mail chain that said right off the top russia, clinton, private and confidential. he forwarded everything. he lied even about kushner not knowing. they are lying every single day.
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>> but what the e-mails really point to is i don't know what the exact definition of collusion is. i'm not a lawyer. but i do know what the exact definition of right and wrong is. i also know it moves that nobody really knows whether russia was involved. we now know for sure russia was involved. we know for sure donald trump jr. sat there and was willing to participate with russia. >> you get to expand this out now. we can no longer just say that donald trump jr. was willing to participate. we now have to say because those e-mails were forwarded with a blaring headline that jared kushner was willing to sit down.
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i guarantee you neater went went into that meeting without reading that e-mail. >> and donald trump jr. did not back off to that position yesterday. if it is good information who cares if it would come from the russians? there is so much going on now that we are seeing in the last few days with donald trump jr. there are stories in the new york times today that both at the white house and on capitol hill. >> talk about that, mark. i know there are a lot of people
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wondering what's going on behind the scenes. by all accounts that we personally heard and you can also read in the newspapers that it's chaos behind the scenes. it is like an immove nl object. >> this was fine that getting information from the russians that was negative would have been fine. it has shocked a lot of republicans including a lot of trump loyalists who say that is not fine with them. it makes them for the first time suspicious there is something to this they didn't think it was. it was not in their view now. again, as the stories ak rally say, there is chaos in the white house as people look at where
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these leaks are coming from. there is a lot of theorizing. but the president is said to be consumed by this even more than he has been over the last few months with few other occasions matching his focus on this and the news coverage of this minute by minute. >> and there are writers that have been skeptical since the beginning who yesterday broke and said this at least shows them. he said maybe there has been too much of a reliance on it. david french and several others
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who said wasn't sure about the russian investigation but now i know not only is it not a diversion, i think david french said it's a national priority. >> yeah. well, it's kind of hard to ignore or blame it on fake news when donald trump jr. is actually tweeting the information which is incriminating himself. >> it is incredible. >> julie pace, what about jared kushner's security clearance at this point? >> that's a great point. this is what separates jared kushner from donald trump jr. he is the one sitting in the west biwing. it was notable when this question came up she didn't just come it and say yes, he has security clearance for
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republicans and democrats on the bill it could become a prime target having someone in the west wing who filled out a security clearance form that was incredibly incomplete based on what we have heard with this story and with other reporting. disturb kushner become the target? he is in this very unique position inside the white house. he has his own staff that is doing their own pr on his behalf even though he is a senior adviser he is operating as his own entity? there. >> what were the examples of the three or so russian connected -- well, kremlin corrected russians that he forgot to put on his disclosure form? >> in addition to this meeting we know he attended there was the meeting he attended with mike flynn.
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he became the latest in a string of trump advisers who had forgotten. there was also the meeting he had during the transition with this russian banker that has been the source of speculation, why the russian banker was having this meeting and whether it was possibly tied to his own personal business dealings. president trump attacks the press as his son faces intensifying questions about working with russia. the president joins the discussion. you're watching morning joe". we'll be right back. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..."
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for years, centurylink has been promising fast internet to small businesses. but for many businesses, it's out of reach. why promise something you can't deliver? comcast business is different. ♪ ♪ we deliver super-fast internet with speeds of 250 megabits per second across our entire network, to more companies, in more locations, than centurylink. we do business where you do business. ♪ ♪ it's not just donald trump jr. it's also his brother-in-law. >> with regard to this one young man working at the white house,
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jared kushner, he has as high a security clearance as you can have. he did not have the judgment after receiving the e-mails to realize this was just wrong, that russia is our enemy. what would be the process of revoking that security clearance? >> there are two things that could happen. one, it could be a revocation but there's also something sort of that that could happen to any other employee. let's back up and remember, jared kushner is a person of interest in this investigation. anyone else, if they were under investigation, if they failed to disclose a series of meetings -- and some of those meetings came just two weeks before he submitted that security clearance. it makes it very hard to believe it was an accidental omission.
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anyone else would be taken off of working on any matters that involve the government to which they seem to have exposure. it would stay suspended until the conclusion of the fbi investigation at which point he would find out if the person had done nothing wrong. that would happen to anyone else in the government. it's clear it's not happening here. it's the president's son-in-law and the president dunl caoesn't. >> and again, the admission of the banker, the admission of the ambassador and certainly a person that is sold as a kremlin connected lawyer that will work with you and the russian government so donald trump wins is not a meeting that any human being would forget they had. there is no way federal
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prosecutors will not see it that same exact way. >> again, there is so much going on behind the scenes now. one of the concerns of people who are interested is how bob mueller will see this. in this case people are worried it is big flashing light for him to look at. i go back to these two big questions that people are speculating about. one is where are these leaks coming from even if the initial leaks were from the intell community there seems to be some coming from the white house. the other is you talked about the crafting of the saturday statement. they knew for more than a week i'm told that they had these documents, these e-mails that this chain existed. what prompted them to think they could bluff their way through
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when they knew the e-mails were sitting out there? that is one of the many mysteries that people who are concerned about the president's political help are trying to get their arms around. >> they lied about it. they knew they were lying about it. they knew about the existence of the e-mails and the president of the united states and his staff worked together to concoct this lie, concoct this cover-up of this meeting. it was promised to be a meeting that the kremlin would help donald trump get elected as president of the united states. the president of the united states signed off on that cover-up letter. they have now gotten so far into the bubble. i guess they have dug so far down low into the bunker that this is not nixon in '73. this i nixon in the summer of
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'74. no one believes him. no one on the hill believes she a victim. no one believes this isn't wrong other than one or two prin the media. julie pacer, it seems to be that a lot of people inside the white house are in -- i wouldn't quite say meltdown mode but they no longer believe it is going to be okay. they like a lot of conservative writers woke up to the fact that there is something big here. so try to describe what you're sensing inside the white house. >> this feels different in talking to white house officials and to trump advisers who work outside the building. for weeks and months you have heard people saying well, we know this doesn't look good. we know it seems suspicious but it is based on anonymous sources
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or this is largely just circumstantial evidence. i think seeing the e-mails in black and white, having them released by don jr. himself, that changed things for some white house advisers who have been giving people the benefit of the doubt. whether it results in any legal implications for anyone, whether this changes the trajectory of the mueller investigation is almost beside the point when you talk to trump supporters outside. they are struggling now with where this presidency go wes. they know it is something they will live with for month ors years. reported about trump jr.'s meeting with the russian lawyer. did she ever expect if president's son to expound on her story with staggering new
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joining us now, bob bower.
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here onset jeff mason is the current president of the white house correspondence association. >> and he does not put out statements attacking other people in the white house. >> he doesn't? >> you were asked to, right? >> i was asked to release a story that the white house doesn't like. i said we don't release statements about stories written by our members. >> it had to be shocking to you that they had asked you that. such an ignorance of what your function was and what the white house press corp. -- >> yeah. it is definitely not our role to do that. the white house can criticize another reporter or reporting that it doesn't like but we are certainly not going to release a statement. >> all right. >> bob bower i want to take a
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look at this time line. on june 3rd a short time after donald trump secured the delegates to become the apparent rb nominee rob goldstone reached out with an offer of russian government support against hillary clinton. trump jr. replied if it's what you said i love it. donald trump made this promise. >> i am going to give a major speech on probably monday of next week and we are going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the clintons. i think you'll find it very informative and very very interesting. >> so four days later -- >> okay. what's next? >> on june 8th t account was identified as a forum to release
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stolen data. >> that was the next day. okay. >> top campaign aids donald trump jr., jared kushner met with the russian lawyer on the premise she had damaging information about hillary clinton. >> this is moving so quickly and these dates are so compressed -- >> so you're saying -- >> on june 12 -- >> hold on. of a kremlin corrected lawyer to destroy hillary clinton and elect donald trump. four days later trump promises bad information on hillary. >> uh-huh. >> the next day dc leaks is set up. >> on june 12th she announced e-mails related to hillary clinton pending publication. on june 14th the washington post reports that russian government hackers had penetrated the computer network of the dnc.
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on june 15th a tool of russian military intell jens contacts the web site the smoking gun to claim credit for the dnc hack. >> i would like to ask you on behalf of low iq people everywhere. i'm told i have someone from russia coming in offering potential dirt on an opponent of my father running for president of the united states. can my defense today be i was just stupid? i didn't know anything about the law? is ignorance a defense here? >> i don't believe in this case. and again, there are a lot about the fact that is we don't know. this was a fairly deliberated meeting. it was undertaken very consciously. i noted from the e-mails there
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was a precall between mr. trump jr. before the final arrangements were made. so this was very systematic. >> what would that -- what do you mean? >> there was some sort of suggestion in the e-mail traffic that donald trump is trying to reach him and says to mr. goldstone, can i talk to him. that takes place before the arrival of the russian lawyer are made. this isn't that you're simply dropping by. it was accidental. they had no idea she was coming. they understood what she was coming for. there were specific arrangements made for her arrival. coming up on morning joe we go live to the white house for a new reaction involving the
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president's son. peter alexander is standing by. plus, one of the new york times reporter that has followed up with several major scoops since. joe beker joins the conversation straight ahead on "morning joe".
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welcome back to morning joe. we have peter alexander. good morning. the white house working to try to down play the significance of this meeting between donald trump jr. and jared kushner and that russian attorney. >> since the president got back from that sort of controversial foreign trip we haven't even seen him once. today for the third straight weekday he will be meeting there with prime minister.
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we do know he will be taking questions tomorrow. there will be an opportunity to pose some of these questions to him. today he is lashing out and defending his son as well. we'll show you some of the tweets from early this morning. he writes in part my son, donald tru trump -- it is notable he siz his son was transparent. i raised this during the briefing that donald trump jr. only released this e-mail chain after he was informed that the new york times was about to post it. the president lashing out at the media as he likes to do. he writes remember when you hear the words sources say from the fake media oftentimes those sources are made up and do not exist. what's notable is that in this case the words are from his son on the record from that chain of e-mails right now. i think you get the sense here that the west wing isn't just
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under siege but the officials, aids and advisers feel blind sided here. they are almost becoming numb from the repeated and not just the drip, drip, drip but the gush of stories. this was so unique that even mike pence, his team put out a statement distancing himself from this saying that the vice president is working every day to advance the president's agenda. he is not focused on stories about the campaign and this is the important part pertaining to the time before he joined the campaign. the only thing i would adhere is i spoke to an aid early this morning. they think the president is frustrated but he is particularly exs a per rated that it focuses on his son, on his family. a couple of days ago he was defending ivanka trump for
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sitting in his seat briefly. >> we find striking that we wake town the news that donald trump is talking about his son being transparent but donald trump participated in this lie. they come together and create this lie and donald trump signs off on it. there's nothing transparent about that at all. it looks like the president is participating in a cover-up of sorts here. >> and it's not skbrus the shifting story over the last 72 hours, if you will. go back to march when he was first posed questions with any russias and he says there were no such meetings, certainly none that were set up. it is someone that was presented as coming as a representative of the russia government and its support for his father.
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>> okay. peter alexander. thank you. >> and we haven't talked about that yet. it was -- >> i have nothing to do with this and just in case i become president i want you to know that. >> he points out before i ever joined the campaign i really had nothing to do with that. >> we got it, mr. vice president. you are not connected to this. >> it is very weird he had hash tagged 46. >> strange. >> all right. joining us now, one of the journalists responsible for breaking stories on donald trump jr. investigative reporter joe beker. good to have you on the show. >> thanks for having me. >> great job on all of this. what stands out to you now moving forward covering this story? >> i think that the line is sort of the line that you can't sort of get around in this e-mail
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chain is where it's presented to him that it's part of the efforts to help mr. trump. and it's not like donald trump comes back and says hey, i would love whatever dirt you have. what effort? >> yes. >> love it. >> so it raises the questions. it's a second or third or fourth or fifth. were there other e-mails? were there other efforts to help? it says part of, not just -- >> and this is a quote. this is obviously very high level insensitive information but is part of russia and its government support for mr. trump closed quote. >> yes. underline the ward paord part.
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>> yes. and let's look at what we know. his statement with this lawyer and e-mails he revealed -- >> i would argue that the new york times revealed them does it reveal he was try to go lie about the nature of the meeting? >> this story has changed multiple times from the time that we first contacted them when he said this meeting was about adoption. he declined to answer why a meeting about a topic like adoption would require the attendance of the campaign manager and the other president's son-in-law. one person said to me even at the time, this is really -- and that was as you were just pointing out. that was the statement that was crafted on board aircraft one. they set up a whole shop to take
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this out of the white house to essentially let the legal team handle it. you don't want them to become fact witnesses. >> yeah. >> they did it on air force one. does he have the ability to question every person that put together that statement? i think he does. >> we knew that the adoption story -- everybody in washington and new york and we are laughing about it. we came here on monday and we said what in the world changed between saturday and sunday to actually make him come forward with more information? >> it was the e-mails and the pressure of the new york times. we put up a tweet that said they asked for them exactly the time donald trump jr. put them out. mr. we told him we would be publishing. >> exactly. he tried to dump them and then say it was transparency. you know if he wanted to be
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transparent he had four stories to do that. i think there's some frustrations that this came out. if they had just said at the beginning, you know what? you got me. i took this meeting. it was about this. i probably shouldn't have done it. it's a one shot deal. clinton is the kind of guy that you have got bad news, get it all out. get it all out. this is four days of shifting stories. it makes you wonder, why -- if there's nothing wrong with that. he said am i the first guy to take -- >> why not just say it at the --
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>> his defense last night was nothing happened in the meeting. i walked in. >> nothing. >> the guy that set up the meeting said sorry i wasted your time, don. we thought it was going to be something. it doesn't. if you went in with the intention of getting opposition research from a foreign entity that was promised. >> and told it was coming from a senior government official. it is rare that we know that. we know what was in miz mind. we know he cleared his schedule. he got an e-mail that said she can't make it at 3:00 so he moves it to 4:00. this is in the middle of a campaign. i think he created more than he has for himself. >> yeah. he forwards the whole chain. >> they know what it was about.
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i guess they -- >> that was a lie too. >> yeah. i mean look, we have yet to hear from jared kushner. >> the question is did they read the whole thing or just sort of -- >> subject line is enough. >> if it says hillary clinton russia confidential and personal. >> fair enough. >> and they haven't spoken to this issue yet. i'm sure both of them will at this point with multiple informations going on. i'm sure they will all be questioned. >> what we know about this meeting is there were four people in that room. the meeting took some time, 20 minutes, half an hour, we don't really know the time. what was said, what was spoken about, what was raised, what was agreed to? we don't me any of that. >> we know their account of it. i would say you want to look
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beyond this meeting too and say how many other meetings were there? i think it's part of the russian government. >> so a piece on the web site suggests many in the community believe that the russian lawyer who met with trump jr. was a baited hook sent by russian intelligence. she may have had her own agenda in requesting a meeting with trump. but russian intelligence practice is to co-opt such a person by arming them with secret intelligence information and task them. did trump's associates like it? did they want more? did they report it to u.s. authorities? the point is no russian citizen or lawyer has compromising material on tk tk, which has not been supplied to them from russian intelligence.
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>> in the e-mail itself it was supplied be i the crown prosecutor. it's known to be closed to the lawyer. and of course where are they getting this information? they all claim there wasn't and it was a nothing burger. >> that's a big nothing burger. >> a lot of calories. >> mark. >> do to what extent do you believe they are coordinating their strategy, both legal and public relations? >> i think the times has a great story on this today and basically saying it has become a circular firing squad. everybody is pointing the finger. who was to blame for dragging this out for four days? i don't think there's a lot of coordination going on.
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>> not at all. >> that's really the question. again, they had coordination early ochblt they were trying to keep the president insulated from this. >> right. they are on board air force one while the lawyers are sitting in washington. >> that's as bumbling as it gets. they have the president now involved. they have now pulled the president in to a cover up of that. >> i mean, you know, look, this is -- it's -- they set up a system to make sure this didn't happen. they didn't have people in the white house involved in all of this. they would be insulated exactly for the point you just made. >> and where does this go next? >> we'll keep at it. i think, you you know, the question is even if -- let's just asesume that nothing was
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produced at this meeting and, you know, you just read from this intelligence blog. they say are you interested? maybe they dangled more. maybe there were others. if you look at like who did this come from, and the president is known to trust only a very very small group of people, his family. it came from a former business partner to the former business partner's russian son, this pop singer, to his son, you know, who brings in the brother-in-law and campaign manager. you have to wonder how many other things traveled through this or other similar kinds of close knit sort of -- >> yes. >> jo becker, thank you very much. >> thank you so much. >> a busy, busy week. it's always busy, but it's just
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remarkable. up next, with all the attention on russia, it could have a hidden bonus on republicans taking the focus off health care. that could spell trouble for democrats. we'll explain all of that straight ahead. ♪ only tylenol® rapid release gels have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast, for fast pain relief. tylenol®
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and in this swe see.veryday act, when we give, we receive. ♪ ♪ i'm... i'm so in love with you. ♪ ♪ whatever you want to do... ♪ alright with me. ♪ ooo baby let's... ♪ ...let's stay together... on health care i think it's still a very open question. i think there's been a sense among some democrats that while they love the russia story of the last couple of days, they
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feel like it's distracted from a campaign to try and kill this health care bill. they felt like they were having some success at that, so i've seen some democrats try to sound the alarm to democrats generally and say, hey, don't let this shiny object of russia distract you from focusing on health care policy. >> that was kasie hunt's analysis last hour here on "morning joe." >> joining us now, candidate for california governor, democrat gavin newsom. he currently serves as the state's lieutenant governor and was mayor of san francisco. also with us cnbc's brian sullivan. good to have you on board, brian. so -- >> apparently it's not so interesting i'm here. >> it's great to have you here. >> i'm just hypersensitive, i don't know what it is. >> mr. lieutenant governor, let me ask you -- >> running right now. >> we don't really have a whole lot of time. >> go, go, go. >> because this is important. obviously the media is obsessed
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for good reason with the russia story. >> yeah. it doesn't do anything for democrats. >> thank you. that's where i'm going. could you explain to democrats out there and your base how talking about russia on the campaign trail is not going to get you back in power. >> i don't know what more evidence you need. at the end of the day, even if you game this thing out and you get rid of trump, you're left with a guy who's out there talking about conversion therapy. it doesn't do anything for the democratic party and our agenda. unless we deal with the issues of economic anxiety, cultural issues in a substantive way and we get in the how business and we actually demonstrate with some acuity and strength a clear conviction in terms of the fate and future of this country, then we're never going to take back -- >> so you're running for governor, big state, biggest state in the union. take us down the inland empire, normal people working hard, what's on their mind? >> second fastest growing
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region, inland empire. you're talking about economy california that's outpacing the rest of the nation, 61 consecutive months, 2.5 million jobs in the last seven years, 2.9% gdp growth, twice the national average. if you want to know how to take back control of state houses across the country, go west. go to california, study jerry brown. >> first off, i think barnacle just called people not in the inland empire abnormal because he said the people in there are normal. i'm from the other california, southern california. this is the eighth biggest economy in the world. >> sixth now. >> number one manufacturing, number one agriculture. >> 24% plus job poverty. >> $2 million for a three bedroom teardown in san jose. people drive 100 miles from lodi to san francisco to work as a landscaper. >> the disparity is a major issue.
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this bifurcated economy so a lot of unfinished work to be done. we started with a $27 billion budget deficit. people were talking about splitting the state up into six and here we are debating the size of the surplus and tomorrow we'll debate the extension of a cap in trade program. we're leading the nation in low carbon green growth. california is on the move. i think the power of emulation, success does leave clues. people should study california's model. >> as we talk about this republican health care bill during the gubernatorial campaign, you've proposed statewide universal health care. >> yeah. >> who in the world pays for that on the state level for hundreds of billions of dollars? >> we don't look at it from the cost perspective, we look from the efficiency perspective. san francisco is the only city with universal health care. regardless of pre-existing conditions, but also regardless of your immigration status. we did it without any general tax increases. it's an all payer plan modeled along the lines of massachusetts. we've been debating a single payer plan in california. that now has stalled.
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we're advancing a broader plan that, again, is more aligned with what has been accomplished in states -- >> you won't have to raise taxes to pull that off. >> all payer plan requires minimum contributions. so everybody has a stake. but at the end of the day -- >> all we talk about, gavin, is how to pay. we never talk about why health care costs so much, why america is so sick, why are we so overweight. you guys like to pride yourself on being a progressive leader. if you become governor, do you take action to enable more sort of personal responsibility in health care. >> i love that, thank you. we could talk a lot more about that. >> it's an unpopular thing to say but i can say it. >> you talk about wellness, prevention, move away from the sick side of this conversation. but you're right, personal responsibility. by the way, democrats need to talk about personal responsibility. we don't talk about parenting, we don't talk about those things, and so we get pigeon holed in this nanny state frame and that's another part of the problem we have getting back into a majority.
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>> do me a favor. when you come back to town or even when you're on the west coast, i'd love to talk to you a lot more and i'm dead serious. how do you do all of this and make sure small business owners can move to chb today. i live in connecticut. 55% of everything i make in my paycheck, gone. people who live in new york, new jersey, california, the same way. one of the great challenges. >> and i look forward to having that conversation because i'm a guy with 23 small businesses and employ close to a thousand small employees. so i come not from an academic or political frame, but a practical frame. mark halperin, final word. wrap up where we are right now on this story as it moves forward quickly. >> i found it interesting the lieutenant governor didn't mention the relative lack of in-n-out burgers in the los angeles area. >> good call. >> but the ball is kind of in "the new york times" court, i think. they had several days of breaking news on this. we'll see if they break something else and how the administration responds. >> all right. that does it for us this
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morning. >> mark says we need to do this show at 3:00 as well in the afternoon. >> it's just -- >> it moves so fast. >> the incoming is unbelievable. in just a little bit brian williams will be covering the confirmation hearing for fbi director nominee christopher wray. first chris jansing picks up the coverage right now. >> thank you, joe and mika. i am chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle. this morning, damage control. don junior telling what happened in that meeting. >> in retrospect i probably would have done things a little differently. >> and whether or not there may


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