tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC March 20, 2018 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
headquarters here in new york. thanks you at home for joining us at this hour, happy to have you with us. got a lot to get to tonight, news tonight from austin, texas. law enforcement have been dealing with a serial of scary and deadly bombings. these bombings started march 2nd. a package exploded and killed a man on his porch and it happened again and again and all together before today. these multiple bombings in austin, texas, killed two people and wounded four. another person was hurt when a package exploded before dawn on a conveyer belt at a fedex facility at an hour south of town. tonight we have reports that there had been another incident in austin. the initial report from the associated press that happened at a goodwill store in austin. we were told that a man in his 30s was injured and he had been taken to the hospital with serious but non life-threatening injury. >> austin police then reported
that although there was an incendiary device of some kind that in jessica aguirrjured the believe this latest incident was not the sixth bomb related to the other five bombs that have gone off in austin. i will be talking to a reporter on the scene in austin, texas, in just a moment as that story continue to s to unfold. we got mark warner here tonight for the interview. this is an important time to have senator warner here, it is a moment of crisis of congress. senator warner is going to join us live coming up later this hour. on november 9th, 2016, the day after the trump/clinton presidential election. the ceo of the data firm that the trump campaign have used at the election. they put out a proud statement of what had just happened. quote, "we are thrilled that our
revolutionary approach data-driven communications played such an intercongressional part in president-elect trump's win." that was from cambridge analytica. the company's board of director announced they'll be removing him as ceo and pending investigations into his recent statements of the company's practices. this follows a third day of reporting from britain's channel four including new tape today where alexander nix explains what his goal was in getting donald trump elected. >> have you met mr. trump? >> many times. >> we have all the data and all the analytics.
>> all the research and data and targeting and we ran all the digit digital campaign and our data informed all the strategies. we did it. that trump campaign data firm is out of that company. british investigators are seeking for search warrants. the federal trade commission have announced an investigation with facebook because of its dealings with the company. with the context of the ongoing special counsels investigation, questions are raised by several aspects of its firm and its work for the trump campaign including the new revelation from a whistle blower who says the core data that the firm was built around, the spying of the company was data that was obtained from the company elici
cambridge whistle. the same whistle blower from cambridge analiytica -- meetings focused on techniques to influence american voters. >> why would a russian oil company care about that? that's all sort of broiling the background in today's news. the president approaching another republican super lawyer to try to add some talent to his russia legal team. the washington post reporting that the president's request general ted olsen as the president is feeling more vulnerable to the investigation led by special counsel mueller. the president wants to recruit
top tier talents for his legal team which is not a very nice thing for his existing, not necessarily top tier legal team to read in the washington post. but, at last, ted olsen, has turned down the president who requested that he joins his russia team. this comes off after one lawyer in recent days also turned down the president. the mere fact that the president is trying to get new lawyers on board at this late date tells you how serious things have become in serious days or how the white house perceives it to be. our closest over sea allies in the world is great britain. i think -- they still, at least that's what we all thought. let's just assume they are still our most important over sea allies. as such, it is important to us as a country that britain right now is dealing with an
incredibly serious situation of their own. >> the assassination of two people on british soils of no conclusions other than the russian state was culpable. it is russia that infringed the national law and the chemical weapon convention. we'll never tolerate a threat to the lives of british citizens and others. >> our quarrel is with putin and with his decisions and we can get over whemingly that it was his decision to direct the use of a nerve-agent on the streets of europe for the first time since the second world war. >> the united kingdom will now expel 23 russian diplomats who have been identified as undeclared intelligence officers.
they have just one week to leave. >> those russian diplomats and undeclared intelligence officers. they got kicked out of the u.k. today. we got footage of them leaving. these are the russian diplomats and their families. the russian embassies said it was 80 people bundled into advance and taken to the airport outside of london. where they boarded a russian-state owned plane which flew them all to mouscow. they were expelled by britain today as punishment for the nerve-agent for sergei scripal and his daughter. one of the reasons why everybody was so certain that it was carried out was the nerve-agent that was used in the attack were
invented by the russians. it is novichok. it is particularly scary to think about something like that being brought into a ptown like britain and used as an attack. we as the general public cannot imagine what this particular agent may businephysically do t people when it is used on them. since the skripal were attacked, it is striking how we found out of the conditions of the two people who were attacked. sergei and and his daughter have been critical in the hospital, we were told they were still alive but that's it. today a russian publication called the bell, ran an interview with the man who says
he hopes create this classes of nerve-agent for the russian military and if what this scientist says is true, it is a lot more information but it is not the kind of information -- i am not sure i am happy to know of this information, it is unsettling. in the bell today, the reporter asked the scientist, is there a minimal chance of the victims of the tpoisoning will recover. >> most likely they'll suffer the same faiths. there is no antidotes. i can say 100% that if skripal and his daughter are taken off of life support, they'll die. >> i posted a link to the bell's english translation tonight. fair warning, it will keep you
up. >> batches as large as several kilos, as in several kilograms. he had no idea what happens to those stockpiles. large doses were stored in special warehouse and sealed packaging. i don't know what else happened to those. >> the existing of which surprises most people on earth and led alone it is a parent on a british park bench. 23 diplomats and their families eck personn expelled today. another death of another russian kremlin critic on british soil investigated by british counter terrorism police. his death eight days after the skripals attack. here in the united states, it is
just five days ago that the trump enkpakacted some sanction. the sanctions that the trump administration was legally required to impose on russia after denying the intelligence collusion that russia was responsible for the attack. the u.s. government finally admitted that yes, the russians did mess with our elections and yes, we'll agree to do something about it. they finally for the first time put these sanctions on them. that was five days ago. also, five days ago, the same day the u.s. finally issued these sanctions on russia for its 2016 election. we also got this serious technical announcement from the fbi and the department of homeland security about russian government attackers going after american infrastructure, specifically going after u.s. power plants. this technical alert from the department of homeland security from the fbi announcing russian
government enties have hacked into u.s. power plants, not just to mess with them or steal data but so they would have the ability to turn the american electric grid on and off at will. sort of an intense couple of weeks, right? poisoning two people with a previously unknown nerve-agent in broad daylight on the streets of britain and hacking into the grid so to have the power to turn it on and off at will. also serious. not to mention all the election stuff. russians behavior are a little off the hook now. this morning, this is what the president of the united states had to say ant ibout it. >> i had a call on vladimir putin and congratulated him on his victory. the call had to do also with the fact that we will probably get
together in the not too distant future. we had a good call and i suspect that we'll be meeting in the not too distant future. i think probably we'll be seeing vladimir putin in the not too distant future >> president trump called moscow to congratulate vladimir putin on his big election win this weekend which was easier to win because he would not let his opponents run. he repeated three times for you. he's such a good guy, did i mention that we are getting together in the not too distant future, i think we'll be seeing him in the not too distant future. by the way, we knew there had been a call because once again the kremlin announced it. quote, "the conversation is on the focus of accumulating problems in russian/american
relation relations." a reporter asked trump about it and that allowed him to deliver the good news, scoring a meeting with putin. tonight the washington post has one of these scoops that sounds like it is made up. when the president decided to make this call to president putin today, he went rogue against his own advisers. here is the lead of their story. this is almost unbelievable. president trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers when he congratulated russian president vladimir putin on his re-election including a section of his briefing materials in all capital letters, stating, "do not congratulate." i am going to leave it off on the screen there so you can let it wash over you.
the president's national security advisers wrote him a note in all capital letters, do not congratulate putin for his sham, do not legitimatize for that election, do not say congratulations, all capital letters. the president gets on the phone with him, hey, congratulations. >> there is more. quote, president trump also chose not the heed talking points from aids in strustructim to condemn putin of the recent poisoning spy with a powerful nerve-agent. make sure you don't congratulate him and condemn him. that difficult subject did not come up. >> you said election meddling did not come up in the call. i am curious of the recent poisoning in united king come
came up? >> i don't think it was discussed in today's call. >> it is funny, i don't think that came up. thanks to this new reporting from the washington post, we know that subject didn't come up everyone after national security aids at the white house specifically advised the president, that if he was going to call putin, he really needed to condemn putin for that. the u.s. government has joined the u.k. in concluding that the nerve agent attack was committed by the russian government and condemning that attack. the president's aids say if you are going to call, you have to bring up that attack. why would the president disregard that kind of advice? why would the president blow off and there by sort of legitimatize a nerve-agent attack. why would he neglect to mention that or forget to condemn that?
>> why would the president ignore the warning, "do not congratulate." when he never the less congratulate putin and ignore the nerve-agent attack. what is driving his behavior that's so different than his own national security staffs believe is the right thing for the country? what explains the distance of what the president is doing and what is own national security staff say the president of the united states needs to do. joining us now is caroline, one of the reporters, congratulations on the scoop, thank you for joining us. >> glad to be here, rachel. >> so the phrasing your report is that these were warnings specific warnings from his national security advisers, do we know what kind of advisers these were, the people within the administration who were giving the president these kiis
of advice. >> there is a lot of effects putting into brief him and what he's asked by the foreign leaders and what issues are like tg hot list that he should address with that person. there is a panel of people that's involved to prepare the president for an important call. each one of these calls are apart of our foreign diplomacy. and q-cards, index cards are provided to guide this president and others in the past through the call and apparently these staffers felt that it was important to make clear that there are key topics that should come up and some things should not be said. the president basically choose for himself what he should do which is his right. >> is it clear that the president did accept some of the other advise of the national
security aids and these were on the putin call in particular that this warning not to congratulate putin and the warning that he should make sure to condemn the nerve agent attack in the u.k. do we know? >> that's all that we know other than the president and sarah sanders and some sources did they were topics that came up in the meeting, for example, syria and north korea. these were the two places where we know things went off of the script. the reason that it is concerning is not because the president has the right to make these decisions on his own but there was a perception that it would not be very good given the current state of affairs. we are under investigation here in the white house for potential campaign ties to russians and outreach to russians to the trump advisers. it would not look too good
because the united kingdom is facing the attack on its own soil on not a citizen but a person who was in their country. that's considered very serious. one of our allies is struggling with that issue and believes that the russians are culpable. it was not viewed as a good idea to congratulate putin on this election but the president chose to do it. >> we've seen the president holds handwritten notes. this one is the fifth point is i hear you. this is for shooting survivors after the parkland florida school miassacre. what striking in this case is that we have not learned about this all caps warning. do not congratulate putin.
we have not learned this because somebody in the case of that shooting took a snapshot of the picture. we managed to get a glimpse of it. clearly people who were familiar with the warnings from the president's national security aids wanted to make it known to national security reporters and your colleagues at the post that the president ignored this advice. i don't want you -- i am not trying to get you to talk to your sources but is it your sense of your reporting this was an effort by the president's own staffers to signal to him that what he did was wrong or dangerous or try to raise the alarm of the president's behavior. >> i would be careful of in tutoring too much of our sourcing. after the president's call with vladimir putin, there was quite of omg moment of what are we going to say about this call.
are we going to say that the president congratulated putin in well, the russians took that choice out of the hands of the white house by announcing that trump congratulated their leader. there was quite a burst of activity trying to figure out what to do. this became widely known quickly. >> that's remarkable. >> caroline, national reporter for the washington post. congratulations on this scoop, this is obviously fascinating. >> thank you, rachel. >> just to underscore what carol just said. omg moment and a burst of activity in the white house to figure out how to make sense and explain this call between the president and vladimir putin today. we had not known in advance that this call was going to happen. the kremlin were supposed to ignore it. we are told that the president
ignored his adviser to not congratulate putin but he went ahead and did it. remarkable reporting. remarkable story. live to austin, texas, we are getting some new and important information about the reported explosion that sent one person in the hospital tonight in a city that's on edge after a series of bombings in that texas city, we got the live report coming up along with senator mark warner, a lot going on tonight, stay with us. buy at&t unlimited and get hbo included. $40 per line for four lines. more for your thing. that's our thing.
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live at the scene in austin, texas tonight where we are following breaking news. this was initially reported as an explosion after a serious of five bombs that exploded around austin since march 2nd. the past few minutes though, austin authorities are saying what happened at a goodwill store in south austin tonight was not the results of a bomb. instead they're saying some sort of incendiary device. police just put out a statement, at this time, we have no reasons
to believe this incident is related to the packaged bombs. a man in his 30s reportedly taken to the hospital of what are being described as serious injuries that are not though life-threatening. austin, texas, is one of america's great cities and cultural and austin have been in the grip of this bizarre string of bombings all this bomonth, t people have been killed and five people have been injured before whatever this was of the goodwill store on brody lane in austin tonight. the first bomb went off in march 2nd, a package that was left on the porch exploded. it happened a second time and a third time and over this week, a bomb was set off by what investigators described as a
tripwire which made it seems like a different type of device. over night, in the predawn hour, tlf there was an explosion at a fedex facility and the same package that was intercepted before it could explode. now authorities believe that those incidents are all related. we got word of another explosion in austin, tonight. again, this interesting news just moments ago from the austin police department. there was no package explosion in the 9800 block of brody lane. items inside the package was not a bomb rather an incendiary device. we have no reason to believe this incident is related to previous packaged bombs. this is a still developing situation. let's go right to our reporter on the ground. gabe gutierrez who has been
following this story closely. thank you very much for joining us. let me ask you to correct me if there is anything that did not come part with your understanding of events. >> hi there, rachel. >> reporter: the one thing you did mention that there was a second bomb intercepted at a fedex facility down san antonio. that was near the austin airport. just within the past couple of hours, authorities have linked all five of those previous explosions plus that sixth package as being part of this serial bomber. the past few minutes, we got words that this latest of what we thought was an explosion is labeled not a bomb but an incendiary device. we are here on the scene at brodie lane right now. this is a massive police presence. the strip malil evacuated. a few moments ago i spoke to the
the president of goodwill. he says a short time ago one of his employees were looking through a bag of donations and that's when he noticed a flash of some sort according to the president of the goodwill central texas. that flash, people started to move away from the bag of donation and this employee suffered minor injuries to his hand. we heard there were serious injuries according to the president of the goodwill of central texas. he said it was minor injuries. it does appear to be a fluid situation here. the speech to how much the city is on edge just a short time before an hour or an hour and a half ago, the initial call was that this was another explosion of the atf and fbi and austin police were all responding to
this as it could be another explosion but within the past few minutes, breaking news that this is not believed to be related to those other explosions of the five other explosions as well as the sixth package. >> gabe, in terms of authorities saying those other packages and explosions are all linked, crucially we are talking about five that blew up and one that didn't. from everything that i know from talking to law enforcement sources in cases like this, having an unexplosive device and intact piece of evidence to look at could be crucial in terms of trying to do forensic and figuring out what's going on here. do we know anything about how they link the five bombs and how they concluded those were all linked and whether this unexploded device of the second fedex facility had been key to the investigation? >> authorities have been tight lift of the details of those
packages. we can tell you the fourth and the fifth bomb at least of our understanding that it contains nails in order to inflict for damage. that's according to the tripwire bomb. we spoke to the grandfather of one of the victims who said that his grandson had a nail in the fifth explosion. that one just happened over night, north of san antonio, the initial report was yes, there were nails in that package as well. we do not nknow in the sixth package, the one that was not detonator or did not explode. we understand it detonated later on in the day. we don't know what type of forensic information they were able to get. rachel, today has been a crucial day for investigators because they have been able to not only
get that package but also surveillance video from another fedex facility where the serial bomber is expected mailing two of those packages. that was another fedex facility on brodie lane that authorities are looking at right now trying to determine all this information. >> gabe gutierrez is on the scene for us in austin, texas. >> thank you for joining us tonight. much appreciated my friend. >> you bet. >> what gabe was saying there. this is a long time to have gone. this is a lot of bombs for austin to have gone through and a lot of people are hurt and too many people are killed to not yet be closing in on someone. the incident at a goodwill store and the 9800 block of brodie
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crooked hillary, you remember. >> yes. >> crooked hillary. >> you created this. and then we made creators, hundreds of different kinds of creators and we put it online. >> the oh's were handcuffs and crooked. get it? >> the guy talking about the neat word. he works for cambridge and analytica. the handcuff shaped in crooked are not the only thing that the company is taking credit for. >> when you think of the fact that donald trump lost the popular vote but won the electoral college vote. did you rally in the right
location and moving more people out of those swing states in the election date. that's how he won the election? >> have you met mr. trump? >> many times. >> he had all the data and analytics. >> all research and data and targeting and digital campaign and we provided all data for all of it. all the things. channel 4 releasing more videos. footage today of alexander nix bragging about his firm working for r the trump campaign followed the footage they put out yesterday of the same video detailing services that he said cambridge analytica could help you to win elections. at the heart of this reporting that cambridge analytica built
its whole operation on facebook that took out 50 million americans. today nix got suspended from his company and effective immediately. with all that coming to a boil, the senate intelligence committee investigating russia's attack on our election, took a piece of their investigation off the stove today, calling it basically cooked. the senate intel put out their lists of security recommendations of how america should show up our election against another attack that's surely coming. the chairman of the committee today saying, with a great deal of confidence, it is sure that the russian government is looking at the vulnerabilities of our election. the ceo of the trump's campaign data firm is suspended. the senate closed up a big chunk
of their russia investigation today saying it is complete. and just a few days ago, the deputy director of the fbi was fired. andrew mechan andrew mccabe says he was fired to discredit him and an effort to shot the whole thing down. that's three big things going on simultaneously now. i have questions all of them. joining us now is senator mark warner, the vice chair of the intelligence committee. thank you so much for your time. i know it is an incredibly busy time >> thank you, rachel. >> let me ask you about cambridge analytica. obviously, you have a tech background yourself and you are taken interest of -- how concern are you of these recent
journalistic revelations, are these things being reported of some of these stuff you have been able to figure out in the intelligence committee investigations. >> i had questions about cambridge analytica since the beginning. this is a sketchy firm that operated on behalf of mr. trump's but in a series of countries. they were known for their ability to disrupt an electoral process. potentially it explains why in so many ways the trump campaign crept up on a lot of folks because their ability to use data and use our social media companies in ways that prior to this last election. i don't think the united states government, some of these companies were everyone prepared for. cambridge analytica a lot more stories to be told from that firm. >> so does it sales pitch? because of the under cover investigation by britain's
channel 4, we have seen them marketing themselves and bragging of the ability who they thought was a potential client. when i look at that reporting and i see the way cambridge describes themselves in public verses the -- verses the way they play down their influence in the trump campaign in their public statements. part of me is left wondering is this typical, political strategy? is this the way all political strategy firms work? they talk big game and trying to play down of their effectiveness and public that they did not want to get anything blamed. is it clear to you that they were doing any political consulting firms do? >> well, cambridge analytica says they had a new formula, better ability to drill do down millions of americans in
terms of wants and needs. some were supplemented. the russians used social media and facebook and twitter and other social media platforms. their claims are outrageous. the ceo was suspended and they were using other techniques of actual humans in other country. >> is there any link at all between cambridge analytica between the russian attack in 2016. >> that's a question that still needs to be explored. how was the trump campaign able to so better target their swing voters better than any other campaign? part of this we found some of the answers the last few days they used the so called academic russian british individual, 275,000 agreed to do a survey
where they told this individual about their likes and dislikes. using that survey they were able to -- this individual who had an affiliation of cambridge analytica, literally 50 million american accounts on facebook. and, they were able to lever ag that information in ways that we need to get answers on that potentially affected the results. clearly, facebook knew this was happening before the 2016 election cycle. they said it was inappropriate and i believe we are deciding whether facebook had a legal obligation to notify these 50 million americans. the lawyers can argue about that but i would hope a company relies on the basic trusts of so many of us that they would do
the right thing and notify those 50 million americans of personal information have been abused. >> senator warner, i know you and senator burr made an important announcement today coming up of the investigation of the russian attack. if you don't mind taking a quick break with us in a second. i would love to talk to you when we get back >> sure. >> senator warner, be back with us in just a few minutes. poor mouth breather.
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she could... in a commercial. in real life she uses it to pay her sister, from her couch, for that sweater she stained. what sweater? (phone buzzes) life, lived michaela's way. chase. make more of what's yours. us tonight. thank you for being here. just before we got on air tonight, the president ignored written directions from his national security aids when he called vladimir putin today. his advisers told him in all capital letters do not congratulate vladimir putin. he congratulated him on his elections this weekend and he ignored their advise that he should condemn putin for the
nerve-agent attack in the u.k. i want to ask your reaection to that news and his congratutory. >> the leader of the free world does not congratulate addict tat a dictator over a sham election. >> it is time to stand with our closesest al allies with the u.. t america has always been about free elections and spreading democracy around the world and here we are congratulating a leader who's against the principles that america stands for. and, unfortunately, rachel, before we went to break, you are talking about what we did with
our committee, one of the reasons we acted today of the illinois primary happening this year. we had the last three weeks public testimonies again from tru trump's advisers, fbi directors and national intelligence and national agencies, all saying that russia was going to continue to intervene and they did it at a cheap price and they'll continue to intervene in other elections and they all said they have not received any directions from the white house to make election security a top priority. so our committee came out bipartisan visually every member of the committee showed up at the press conference today and said we need to do some basic blocking and tackling. we need to make sure security officials have appropriate clearances so they can be informed if we see patterns of election interference. we need to make sure every
voting machine has an audible paper trail. we need to make sure we provide better information sharing so that we are on guard. these russian tactics did not end in 2016 and they'll be continued unless we are better protected. it is important for us to act as a committee. i will point out in a bipartisan way of this topic of elections security. >> it is important that those are bipartisan recommendations, there is so little that's bipartisan in the public discussion about the attack in 2016 and the way to prepare for it. moving ahead, is there legislative vehicles or funding vehicles for getting these recommendations accomplished and quickly? >> well, there is broadly based bipartisan legislation which i agreed to co-sponsor today. it is common and it should not require huge action. nothing is more basic than protecting the integrity of our voting process.
and, we got to have that paper trail and that information sharing. you know there is protecting the machines and files. i think we need to put out some good cyber hygienes for basic campaigns. it is the ultimate start ups and often time they may not have a cyber high on their list. what we have seen and not only in terms of russian interventions but russians attempted in the french and spanish and catalon. we and western democracy have to be on our guard. >> senator mark warner, vice chairman of the intelligence committee. thank you sir, i appreciate your time tonight. >> thanks, rachel. >> we'll be right back. stay with us.
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i knew there may come a day that i would need a record of what would happen not just to defend myself but the fbi and our integrity as an institution and the independence of our investigative function. >> before the president fired him from the fbi last year, james comey made a habit of writing down in details what happened between him and the president. as he said, the president tried to get him to pledge his personal loyalty and the president asked him to back off the russia investigation.
james comey has stuck to his telling of that story despite attempts by the president to embarrass him or everyone scare him off. the president repeatedly calling him now lying james comey. and now playground taunting of his notes interaction with the president are fake memos. james comey called that question directly. quote. "mr. president the american people will hear my story very soon and they can judge for themselves who's honorable and who's not." >> part of that is mr. comey has a new book coming out. it is called a higher loyalty. truth lies and leadership. it comes out in mid-april, james comey's book. he's going to be doing interviews in public including sitting down with me here on this show, that date will be april 19th, thursday april 19th, 9:00 p.m. eastern, i am so excited about it that i am
telling you now. we are just getting started on the prep rachel, i visit. i have 4-19. i wrote it down. and i got to say as someone who is interested in your reporting and james comey's career, i could not be more interested in what you're going to do on april 19th. >> can you hold that up again? >> yeah, i have it. >> do you do little graffiti letter there's? you didn't just write that in a big sharpie. you kind of spelled that out. did you used to write on the side of your sneakers in school? you did. >> i appreciate your attention to detail. i see this as kind of a nerdy banksy. >> fair enough. it's bank arc. >> donald trump is facing new legal challenges tonight. we're going to get to that in a