tv MSNBC Live MSNBC February 17, 2018 4:00am-4:30am PST
about a notorious scandal, but a victim simply of an all consuming jealousy. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. good morning, i'm dara brown in new york at msnbc world headquarters. it is 7:00 in the east. 4:00 out west. here's what's happening. russians indicted in u.s. election meddling. will justice ever be served? and what's being done to prevent the same thing from happening in the midterms? >> the job the doctors did, the nurses, the hospital, first responders, law enforcement, really incredible. >> the president meeting with wounded victims from the florida school shooting, while the fbi admits it didn't follow up on a tip about the shooting suspect. a look at the missed signals. plus, new details emerging about the president and a
playboy play mate. why scandals never seem to stick to trump. and we begin with a live picture of the white house, and new reaction from officials on those 13 indictments by the special counsel in the russia investigation. >> all these efforts were about sowing confusion in the electoral process, and undermining the next president. not about supporting one candidate over the other. and so, really, when you see these efforts by democrats, that pushing this collusion conspiracy, what they're really doing is doing the dirty work for the russians for them. there is an example of collusion in the last campaign. it just has nothing to do with this president and his campaign. >> but the top ranking democrat on the judiciary committee is ramping up pressure on president trump to punish russia for its meddling. here's congressman jerry nadler on msnbc last night. >> the president, as far as i can tell, is breaking the law by not imposing the sanctions. the fact is we should impose very heavy sanctions. we should make sure that the russians are hurt in some very
serious economic way so that they don't keep doing this. they have all this attempt to depress the black vote. to get people to waste their votes, 7/8. it had an effect. how much of an effect, i don't know. no one knows. whether it affected -- whether it turned the election is unknowable. >> president trump leaves the mueller investigation behind in washington this weekend, for a visit to his florida home, and facing renewed questions about the gun debate in the wake of this week's mass shooting, which happened some 40 miles from mar-a-lago. here's the president's reaction after meeting with the medical staff and victims at the hospital where they're being treated. >> thank you very much. >> do our gun laws need to be changed, mr. president? >> the fbi is under scrutiny for failing to act on a tip about nikolas cruz, the shooter in wednesday's marjory stoneman douglas high school massacre which left 17 dead. in parkland, florida, with the latest, is nbc news correspondent tammy light in your. what's the reaction been to this revelation there?
>> good morning, dara. it is a mix of emotions. anger, regret, and confusion. confusion as to why the fbi did not react to this tip they received on january 5th. now it came in to their tip line. it came from somebody who was close to nikolas cruz. somebody who knew and told the fbi that he had a gun, that he was behaving erratically, that he had made threats to shoot up a school, that he was posting some disturbing things on social media. now the fbi has come out and admitted that they dropped the ball, essentially, that they did not follow their own protocol and that protocol dictates that when you receive a tip, that is a threat to someone's life, or a potential threat, that you pass that on to a supervisor, and then in this case, it should have been passed on to the miami field office. the director of the fbi is saying that they will investigate this fully, and that they are committed to getting to the bottom of it. dara? >> and tammy, a makeshift
memorial has been set up in parkland. what can you tell us about that? >> yeah, the memorial is just about 20 yards from where i'm standing. students, parents, even teachers have been coming out here since the shooting has happened. there are 17 crosses hung along the wall. one for each person who passed away in this shooting. there are notes over there. flowers. teddy bears. and you know, each person that we've talked to that has come out, they just want to remember the people that passed away. but it's also about more than just remembering. a lot of the students that we've spoken to, they've said that this is not the end. they want this to be the last school shooting, but this is not the end of their actions. they are going to take this further. they want to make sure that this never happens again. and this is actually the first time that we've seen so many students stand up and be so vocal, so hopefully something will come from this positive.
dara? >> the days are not getting even easier. thank you so much. now to nbc's hallie jackson with more on how the white house is responding to the mueller indictments. >> the federal government outlining an elaborate, expensive, and extraordinary assault on u.s. democracy, describing how 13 russians, and 3 russian companies interfered online and in person in the 2016 election. the indictment says the russians tried to create chaos, supporting the trump presidential campaign, and disparaging hillary clinton in the general election, not just by posting on social media, but going so far as to travel to key states, organizing rallies, like this flash mob in florida in august 2016. but the government says the americans there had no idea the russians were behind it. the indictment says the defendants paid a clinton impersonator to perform in a cage wearing a prison uniform, and even after the election they
allegedly staged pro and anti-trump rallies on the same day to keep up the confusion. with a budget of more than $1 million a month, the russians even communicated with unwitting members, volunteers, and supporters of the trump campaign, all while hiding their true identity according to the deputy attorney general. >> there's no allegation in this indictment that any american had any knowledge. >> reporter: rob rosenstein specifically citing only this indictment. though the president's taking a broader view, after months of calling the russia investigation -- >> it was a hoax. >> reporter: -- now he seems to feel vindicated tweeting the result the election were not impacted. the trump campaign did nothing wrong. no collusion. but -- >> the indictment doesn't vindicate anyone. what an indictment does is it charges people, and in this case, organizations with federal crimes. but there's no vindication simply because you're not mentioned. >> reporter: the special counsel investigation course a lot of ground. and could be far from over. in a formal white house
statement the president called on americans to unite to protect the integrity of our democracy, and our elections. but he didn't say what he'll actually do. >> mr. president, will you -- >> do you feel vindicated -- >> reporter: or what punishment moscow might face. >> there is absolutely no way that they would have conducted this kind of extensive operation, going undercover into the united states of america, without the blessing of the kremlin. >> reporter: one key defendant does catering for the kremlin. and in his words, is not upset at all to be indicted, telling russian state media if they want to see the devil, let them see him. >> that was nbc's hallie jackson reporting. let's bring in alexi mccannen, and julia manchester, report are for the hill. great to have you both here this morning. alexi i want to start with you. a day before the story broke we learned that former campaign spokesman had spoken about mueller's team. what do you make of the timing of this announcement, considering the indictments were signed two weeks ago? >> the timing is very significant. not only because the midterm
elections are ramping up, and obviously there's fear that russians or other foreign entities will interfere in that election, but because we have seen time and again how donald trump tries to undermine mueller's investigation, he calls it a witch-hunt, he says there's no collusion. just a few weeks ago we were all thinking that trump was considering firing rod rosenstein. so for rod rosenstein to come out and announce this indictment, it's a big deal. because it threatens trump's efforts to sort of undermine this investigation. >> julia, one of the biggest takeaways was that a campaign official from florida reached out to the russians in august of 2016, and another official who has not yet been name, was contacted by these russians. don't these indictments make it harder for president trump and his allies to claim vindication? >> right. that's very possible, it does make it harder for them. however, i think it's important to point out that the president has constantly said that -- denied in public that russia did meddle in the election. or at least he hasn't acknowledged that.
however, i think what's important to see is that the indictment does necessarily mean that he's vindicated or isn't vindicated. this is just certain people being charged. so this is far from over, as we can see. >> possibly just another step here. >> right. >> president trump's allies, most notably house intel chairman devin nunes is pinning the blame on the obama administration, since these meddling efforts were for the 2016 election. but they began in 2014. so alexi, how concerned should americans be that congress won't take action or are there legislative efforts under way that might accelerate as a result of these indictments? >> well, we'll remember that trump's own election integrity commission was disbanded just a few months ago. so i think people should certainly be worried that congress is maybe not moving as quickly as they would hope on sort of addressing this issue. and, cia direct remember mike pompeo recently said that, you know, he was warning that russians will certainly interfere in our midterm elections. so congress has to do something. in the immediate aftermath, after muller's announcement in
the indictments yesterday, we saw how lawmakers responses were typically along partisan lines. democrats were saying this doesn't vindicate trump, and it proves him otherwise. and republicans were not mentioning trump by name, but saying, you know, this is a big deal. so it will only remain to be seen what they'll actually do about it moving forward. >> and julia, i want to turn to you, to chief of staff john kelly, because he's looking to overhaul the process of security clearances in the wake of the ouster of a top white house aide. so what exactly does this overhaul look like? and how much will this help solve the white house's problem that more than 100 of its staff can't get beyond the interim phase of their clearances? >> right. so he's essentially tightening the process for white house employees to obtain security clearances. and those that haven't secured security clearances won't be able to have access to as classified or secretive information as they did before. one thing that's interesting that i saw in the memo that john kelly put out was that he lays a lot of the blame on past
administrations. however, past administrations from officials from the bush and obama administrations have told us that it doesn't -- they've had people with much more minor discretions come -- be denied security clearances back when they were applying for them. however, rob -- officials like rob porter or even jared kushner were able to get through that process. so i think this is definitely an effort by kelly and other white house officials to essentially not cover up, but i guess try to make the situation better than what it was a few weeks ago. >> and julia, you bring up jared kushner. "the washington post" broke this story with the head line, new white house security clearance policy could put bull's-eye on kushner. what kind of effect will this have on his high power job? >> it will totally make it so hard for him to do his job. right? he's a senior adviser to the president, as julia mentioned, he has access to this highly classified information that very few people have access to.
and without this security clearance, and this new strategy that john kelly is putting in place, it could make his job even harder, because he wouldn't have access to that information. he wouldn't have access to these documents and things that he could brief the president on. and, you know, officials from the white house told "the washington post" in that report you just mentioned that they didn't expect jared kushner to have permanent security clearance any time soon. so that's a big issue for him. and his job. and i think for the other folks you mentioned, who don't have the security clearance yet. >> and julia, real quick, do we know how many people don't have -- or rather do have security issues in the white house? >> yes. so there is an exact number but i think -- there isn't an exact number. but i think it is potentially significant. i think there are quite a bit of people with interim security clearances, which at this point trump's been president for over 13 months. i think that's definitely something to look at. >> the deadline is looming for next friday. so, alexi and julia, stay with us. we have more to discuss. >> thank you. now turning to the missed
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we're failing our children. we're not keeping them safe. and congress is failing us. and the government is failing us. and something has to be done. >> we are responsible. for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else. >> some of the outrage stemming from the school shooting in south florida that left 17 people dead. joining me now, jim cavanaugh, msnbc contributor and retired atf special agent in charge. he's also a former hostage negotiator. jim, great to have you here this morning. >> good morning, dara. >> the fbi admitted that it
received a tip about suspect nikolas cruz more than a month before the mass shooting. but it did nothing. how could this have happened? >> yeah, it makes you sick to your stomach. when i heard this, i was just -- i was just turned over. because this tip was so specific. it was from someone close to nikolas cruz, they gave specifics about him. said he might kill people in school. he had guns. you know, it's just everything you want to get from a citizen, trying to report something to prevent a mass killing. and you know, if i was a family member in florida, i would be outraged and very, very, very angry. you know, i've worked alongside the fbi for, you know, more than three decades, they're a great organization, and i can assure you they are sickened by it. all of their agents and employees. that is not what they want to happen, either. so director wray has to really come in, and change it. and every agency needs to learn from the vicarious experience of
this mess, and take steps to make sure it doesn't happen in their agency. it's awful. it's totally awful. >> but along with the fbi, there were also warning signs on a local level. the broward county sheriff's office said there are about 20 calls about cruz over the last few years, so where is the bar? i mean what does it take for law enforcement to act? >> i mean this is a failure across the board. look, the broward -- so i was a florida deputy. the broward s.o. is 2800 deputies. that's a good sheriff down there. he's a good guy. he wants to do the right thing. he's got to appoint a detective in his bureau, you know, to be the mass violence prevention guy. and when patrol officers pick this stuff up over those 20 calls, it all got to go to that central place. whether that's in his intelligence section or his detective bureau, no more. you can't make this mistake again. the fbi as well. director wray, he's a good man. you know, we knew him when he was in justice. he worked a lot on gun violence with atf. he's a good man.
he needs to fix it. the orders need to go out, monday morning, to the fbi. to the atf. director brandon needs to send the orders out, as well. all the agencies, you've got to be aggressive when these tips come in. you've got to run them to the ground. that tip the fbi got in mississippi, that should have been run to the ground. i mean, the spelling of nikolas was unusual. i mean, just the cursory searches. it's not good enough. somebody wants to be a professional school shooter, a google search could have turned up this guy's instagram, which he's posing on with guns. he's calling himself nikolas the annihilator. i mean it could have been found out with some effort. you got to commit to it. you can't say well, we don't have much on this. no. you got to dig it and dig it and dig it out. and you know, my agents always knew i wanted it run to the end of the earth before you could close that lead. and we never -- we never would accept it unless it was absolutely nothing can be done. the ip address could have been
run down on that i believe. >> you mention it was very specific. and jim, the students at the school, they're very engaged on the issue of gun control and there's a big political divide in the country over this issue. an nbc/"wall street journal" last fall found that 75% of republicans overall think the government will go too far to restrict gun rights. 73% of democrats think the government will not do enough to regulate access to guns. now, you said that there should be a change in gun laws, and there needs to be a groundswell. can you explain that? >> well, every time the gun laws have changed in america, from the 1934 national firearms act to the 1968 gun control act, to the brady bill, after james brady was shot, the '68 act was after the three assassinations of the '60s. the national firearms act in the '30s after the gangsterism of the '30s. it was the public that changed the law. the public groundswell that forced congress to change the law. so, we're fed a narrative, a fantasy that, you know, a
tyrannical government is coming to take everyone's guns. it's a fancy. we're the greatest democracy in the history of the world. and every gun law that's ever been passed has not moved to take anyone's guns. in -- you can still own machine guns in america. s submachine guns, silencers, all kinds of weapons as long as they're registered with atf. in '68 you could even come in in an amnesty period and ledgester them with no penalty. the assault weapons ban didn't take one assault weapon from one person that was existing. everything was grandfathered in. this is all fantasy drummed up to make, you know, the extremists and absolutists get what they want. so, really you got to look at the real till. and the reality is people were being slaughtered in schools, colleges, movie theaters, ball games, and you got to look at that. >> a true heartless and senseless reality here. jim cavanaugh, thank you so much for your input. thanks for joining us this morning. next, the specter of scandal. will a new report on a playboy
president trump denying allegations of yet another sexual encounter, which reportedly took place two years into his marriage with first lady melania. the "los angeles times" summarizing these new details and just another ho-hum day in his presidency. let's bring alexi and julia. julia, is there something different with karen mcdougal's story that could change the ho-hum nature of these allegations against president trump? >> well, i think that karen mcdougal essentially came out and gave quite a bit of details about the alleged affair. but it's interesting, because it will be interesting to see how the evangelical and conservative right responds to this. they've stood by president trump in the face of a lot of these allegations. they keep piling up. >> alexi, republicans, are they willing to look the other way,
because despite the access hollywood tape and previous allegations president trump still won the election. so what's their argument going to be during the midterms when they're faced with questions of moral responsibility and the me too movement? >> i think the me too movement is significant in this time. but as you mentioned, trump won the presidency despite being accused by dozens of women of sexual assault and harassment, after the access hollywood tape we heard how he talked about women. i don't think republican voters are going to press republicans on this. obviously it would come from democratic voters. it would be harder and harder to explain president trump's behavior if more women come forward, which they might. but again, i don't think that republican voters are really going to care about this. >> and julia, real quick, you mention the evangelicals. do you think president trump's supporters see this as simply a marital issue he has to work out with the first lady? >> potentially. but i think a lot of evangelical leaders have said that president trump has changed since these alleged affairs took place. remember a lot of these were in 2004, 2005, 2006.
so they say he's a different person now ten years later. >> julia, alexi, thanks so much for joining me this morning. have a great saturday. and that will do it for me. thanks for watching. at the top of the hour it's hugh hewitt. first it's "your business" with j.j. ramberg. stay with us. d at our factory i more than a thousand workers are starting their day building on over a hundred years of heritage, craftsmanship and innovation. today we're bringing you america's number one shave at lower prices every day. putting money back in the pockets of millions of americans. as one of those workers, i'm proud to bring you gillette quality for less, because nobody can beat the men and women of gillette. gillette - the best a man can get.
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good morninging coming up on msnbc's "your business," a halloween expo in the middle of winter? why you shouldn't be scared of going to conventions and trade shows, they can help you network and find new customers. boyd your photography is not just for valentine's day and not just for the risque. photographers are finding it's a niche bringing in customers year round. that plus how the new tax laws are affecting your business, and what you need to do to capitalize on the changes. let's grow fast, and work smart. that's all coming up next on "your business." >> "your business" is sponsored by american express open.