tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC April 13, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT
>> -- out tonight, the thing -- >> what? >> i'm going out to a club tonight. >> you can wear that and nothing else and that would be very donny. all right, final thought of the week. >> final thought. one of the most momentous weeks i think we've had in a very momentous year and a half. >> everybody take a break for the weekend, we hope. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage. >> thanks, mika. final thought, donny deutsch, you're too old to hit the club. good morning, everyone, i'm stephanie ruhle. a higher loyalty. fired fbi director james comey blasting the president as unethical and untethered to truth in his new book. >> his story rings true because it is a common theme. the president of the united states putting loyalty above truth. >> this morning, an inside look at the tell-all. and off the table. monday's raid on the president's
personal lawyer may have ended the chances that the president ever sits down with special counsel mueller. plus the president's allies now worried the fbi may have seized taped conversations between michael cohen and his associates. >> this habit of occasionally taping a conversation has created some unease in trump world. >> and weighing his options. the president talks syria with his top advisers as new evidence reveals both chlorine gas and a nerve a gent were used in the ruthless attack on civilians. >> we definitely have enough prove but now we have to be thoughtful in reaction. >> a former fbi director, jim comey, his brand-new book, the one that describes the trump presidency as a forest fire and compares the commander in chief to a mafia boss. the president responded this morning, calling comey a liar and a slime ball. let's just say that one more time. the president of the united states called him a liar and a
slime ball and said it was an honor to fire him. i have a great team here to break all of this news down. first, i want to take you inside jim comey's book which is already the number one best-seller on amazon, despite the fact it won't actually be released until next week. it is comey's interactions with president trump that are the most notable. what was comey's overarching assessment? quote, this president is unethical and untethered to truth and institutional values. his leadership is transactional, eager drivego driven. he describes a political environment where basic facts are disputted, lying is normalized and unethical behavior is ignored or rewarded. as for trump himself, comey compares him to a mafia boss, specifically sammy the bull
gra gravevano, former underboss of the crime family. recalling his first meeting, comey says, quote, i sat there thinking, they are trying to make each of us a friend of ours, to draw us in, as crazy as it sounds, i suddenly had the feeling that in the blink of an eye the president-elect was trying to make us all part of the same family and that team trump had a, quote, thing of ours. he compared trump's request for loyalty as a post-inauguration dinner to, quote, trump in the role of the family boss, asking me what it takes to be a made man. well, there are a few earth shattering revelations in the book. some of the details really are stunning. for example, comey says the president brought up the christopher steele dossier at least four separate times. that is the one known for the unverified allegation that trump is in the company of russian
prostitutes. comey described his first meeting with then president-elect trump when he told him about the allegations. >> he interrupted very defensively. and started talking about it, you know, do i look like a guy who needs hookers and i was asking that rhetorically. i didn't answer that. i just moved on and explained, sir, i'm not saying that we credit this, i'm not saying we believe it, we just thought it very important that you know. >> did you tell him you thought it wasn't true? >> i never said "i don't believe it" because i couldn't say one way or another. >> how weird was that briefing? >> really weird. it was almost an out of body experience for me. i was floating above myself, looking down, saying, you're sitting here briefing the incoming president of the united states about prostitutes. >> get your head around that. of course, the book is not all about the president. comey supplies his impressions of other major figures including president obama, loretta lynch,
condoleezza rice and jeff sessions. he also adds a very important caveat to what he says about mr. trump. comey writes, quote, i have one perspective on the behavior i saw. which while disturbing and violating basic norms of ethical leadership, may fall short of being illegal. that's really important to remember. i want to bring in phil rutger, "washington post" bureau chief who read the entire book in one day. you were busy yesterday. i want to start with what president trump tweeted this morning. because certainly it's already gotten to him. james comey is a proven leaker and liar. virtually everyone in washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did until he was, in fact, fired. he leaked classified information, for which he should be prosecuted. he lied to congress under oath. he is a weak and untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible director of the fbi. his handling of the crooked hillary clinton case and the events surrounding it will go
down as one of the worst botch jobs of history. it was my great honor to fire james comey. put this slime ball aside, what do you make of that? he had a lot to say. >> he had a lot to say this morning. it's not surprising because we see him punch back all the time to criticism and there was a lot of criticism in this book as you just played earlier. but comey painted a really scathing portrait of the president, not only of his presidency and his conduct in office, but of his character. he describes the presidency as a forest fire that has to be contained. he described him as a congenital liar, as a dishonorable, unethical leader for this country who kept again and again and again blurring the traditional boundaries between the politics of the west wing and the white house and the independence of the fbi as it pursues justice. >> okay, well, those are some pretty strong charges of the president. to say jim comey should be
prosecuted for leaki ining classified information, any truth? >> it's a misleading charge from the president. it's not clear what he's referring to. i assume he's referring to the alleged leak of that memo. comey maintains in his book it actually wasn't a leak because it wasn't a government document. it was effectively a diary entry of -- recounting his dinner with the president that he passed along to a friend with the hopes it would get out publicly because he was so disturbed by that dinner, he felt it important that the american people know what happened that night. >> i want to drill down into the question of russian interference in the 2016 election. your article quotes the book saying trump asked only one question. you found there was no impact on the result, right? comey recalls being struck that neither trump nor his advisers asked about the future russian threat, nor how the united states might prepare to meet it.
rather, comey writes they focused on how they could spin and what we just told them. what did you take away from that exchange? >> that was such a striking scene in the book because this is when president-elect trump and all of his advisers, his national security team, but as well as his political team were being briefed with classified information for the very first time, documenting exactly how russia went about trying to interfere with the 2016 presidential election to help donald trump win. the briefing was conducted by clapper, by comey, brennan was there as well, the former cia director, and there were no questions from the trump team, according to comey's account. the only question, as you just read there, was from the president-elect. it wasn't a question, more of a statement. trying to assert the interference from russia had nothing to do with the end result of the election, which clapper had to remind them twice in that briefing according to comey. the intelligence community never did that assessment. it's not their job to determine the political impact. all they do is gather the facts
to demonstrate that russia did, in fact, interfere in the election in the united states. >> phil, stay with me. i want to bring in my panel. dately huey burns for real clear politics. lorena maxwell, sirius xm. and worked on the hillary clinton campaign. and ron insana, a cnbc contributor. we need to remember, it was democrats who were so furious with james comey not that long ago. you were part of the clinton campaign. i want to share what comey writes about his actions just before the 2016 election. he writes, it is entirely possible that because i was making decisions in an environment where hillary clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if donald trump were ahead in the polls. but i don't know. what's your reaction? >> it's infuriating to sit here today and to hear him say i was
operating under the assumption that hillary clinton was going to win and that's why i did not tell everyone about the trump investigation that was also ongoing at the time. i just came out and did this unprecedented thing that went against doj's own policies that ten days before the election, i'm coming out to say we've reopened the investigation and then it was quietly reported that, oh, no, we didn't find anything in those extra e-mails. the investigation is now officially closed days before the election and according to all of the analysis, that did have an impact on the outcome. i think that in retrospect, it's infuriating for clinton staffers to hear him say that he was operating under those assumpt n assumptions because i think that's not appropriate. he should have been following the doj guidelines to not come out and do something that controversial so close to an election. it was just he went against their own policies. >> then do you agree with the president when he writes -- he's talking jim comey.
he writes the handling of the crooked eed hillary clinton ca. >> it's a rare moment i agree with the president but i agree with that one sentence in that tweet, and i think it will go down as one of the worst botch jobs in history, and unfortunately, we're all suffering through the consequences of that, and i hope, i hope, that we end up okay. >> do you think the president is playing this right? he's made the decision to call jim comey a criminal because -- but that's one thing that comey has not done in this book. president trump could take a different route that say, it proves i'm innocent. at the end of the day, the book is saying, he's unethical, irresponsible. a lot of people knew that about trump and voted for him. the key here, did he do something criminal? and comey hasn't said he did. >> right, exactly. well you can tell from the president's reaction today in those tweets this has gotten to him. not only because the book comes out, the experts have come out
today, we're going to have several more days of this. remember, the comey interviews one-on-one have just begun. my question is how is the president going to change or try to change the narrative here. remember the backdrop, before this came out, of the president's team discussing options in syria. do we see an announcement over the next couple of days about that? also, back to the point about the president's tweets about comey and what he was saying about the investigation. remember in that interview that trump gave with lester holt -- >> oh, i remember it. >> absolutely. he mentioned the russia thing. and so you've seen trump try to go back and forth between explanations for this. and so while he's coming out and saying this, we know what he's already said in the past. >> ron, i'm not asking you because you are a resident italian. >> sicilian. >> but i am going to ask you about jim comey comparing trump to a mob boss and i want to share another quote. interacting with trump, comey writes, gave him earlier
flashbacks to my career as a prosecutor against the mob. the silent circle of assent. the boss is in complete control. the loyalty oaths. the us versus them world view. the lying about all things large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth. >> he is describing what is very well described in the book "the godfather." where everybody stays silent and protects the boss. now, i would have preferred that james comey approach this as a small family business. the trump organization is run with very few people. its loyalty is to the top of the organization. without necessarily implying that the organization itself is a criminal enterprise. now we don't know whether or not donald trump has done anything wrong or criminal during his business career. he's certainly not been one who supports his constituents and others outside the family business terribly well. i think it is a bit overreaching
to go the mob route because it then also taints everyone's view of how comey is presenting his case. he's really going over the top with this. making the comparison to sammy the bull grave vanno who is a known murderer. i think he could have just referenced the trump business which is organized in such a way that it is small, it's family run, the top guy makes all the decisions. without necessarily going that far. i think it does give fuel and ammunition to others who might want to criticize comey for these rather stark comparisons. >> phil, you read the book and you also spend an awful lot of time at the white house with the president. do you think jim comey's assessment of who donald trump is correct? >> well, jim comey had interactions with the president that i'm not privy to. we know his act is what he witnessed in those moments. the book is based on the notes he took after each of his meetings, each of his phone
calls. he documented dialogue. he documented his recollections of body language, of the atmospherics of what the room was like, of how trump felt to him in those moments. and so this is as real as i guess it can be based on those notes. it's not like he a year later sat down to try to remember everything for the book. >> at the end of the day, the perverseness of this all, if there's not something criminal at the end of it, the character that gym comey is describing as absurd as that character is a character that america knew for years and said, it's so crazy, it just might work, let's vote for him. surlena? >> there were so many americans that voted for all this. >> let trump be trump is what corey lewandowski named his book. >> trump being trump is why we're in a national security crisis at this moment where you don't know what he's going to do on syria. all of this, under the crowd of
the investigation, the comey book, cohen potentially having damaging recordings that the fbi now has in their possession. i think i would not be surprised if he makes a move on rosenstein or tries to impact the investigation some other way, because when he is up against the wall, he lashes out -- >> i already told you in the makeup room, i have big maweeke plan, please -- >> i need a break. >> in the context, i wish it hadn't been published now. with some of the kind of self-reverential language that comey uses in the book, the assessment of mr. trump's physical appearance, the hand size, the eye coloring, the tanning. some of it just distracts from the actual issues we're dealing with in an ongoing investigation is the president was involved in something -- >> this is a good point because
while we could go on about the details of the absurdity, when you leave the news vortex and you go out there, people are saying to us, i'm tired about hearing -- i'm tired of hearing about what an unhinged, you know, horse's bafoon he is. tell me when he does something illegal. whether this is -- what do you think of the "scooter" libby potential problem? >> this raises the question of what kind of precedent the president wants to set. this is his second very controversial pardon of course. whether this sets a precedent for how he wants to behave in the mueller probe and people involved in that. it also of course comes against the backdrop of trump just this morning calling comey a liar. saying he lied to congress and that sort of thing. and now he's pardoning -- >> a liar and a slime ball. i said it yesterday. every morning it's like a surprise party here.
we don't know what we're going to get. i want you to tune in this weekend. msnbc's headliner is taking in depth lock at that man right there, james comey. our own chris matthews provides insight into the controversial public servant before the official release of the revealing new memoir we have been covering all morning. i'm quite sure will be all day. watch it this sunday, 9:00 p.m. eastern, right here on msnbc. and coming up, the expected sit-down between president trump and special prosecutor robert mueller is now in jeopardy. how will it affect the russia investigation? first, president trump hosted an event at the white house tuesday touting key economic benefits of his administration. "late night" seth meyers points out one key accomplishment. >> president trump spoke about the benefits of the republican tax plan today and said, quote, i've been fighting to drain the swamp and sometimes it may not look like it, but believe me, we are draining the swamp. said an aide, sir, you have leeches on your face.
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welcome back, i'm stephanie ruhle. we need to get you updated on the latest details from president trump's ongoing saga with special investigator mueller. preparing to move full steam ahead in the russia investigation without a presidential interview. sources familiar with the matter say months of talks between the president and mueller collapsed with monday's raid on trump's personal lawyer michael cohen. let's go live to kristen welker
who is at the white house. kristen, walk me through this. you're one of the reporters who broke this amazing story. talk us through the reports. specifically what we now know about mueller's investigation into obstruction of justice, because i foolishly thought monday this is only getting him closer to trump. >> well, first of all, in terms of how those talks broke down, stef, we determined based on conversations with multiple sources they were much further along than we initially realized. they were talking about final sticking points. everything from the size, scope and length of an interview. the president's legal team wanted it to last for only a few hours. wanted robert mueller to write his final robert expeditiously in three to four months. and then that dramatic raid on monday of the president's personal attorney, michael cohen. we saw the president erupt in public and of course in private when he started to muse about potentially firing robert mueller as well as the deputy
attorney general rod rosenstein, and at that point the talks all but collapsed, we are told. one person cautions, look, you never say never. this is washington. the president's white house attorney here ty cobb saying look, it's not true that the negotiations have completely collapsed but he wouldn't get into details about what the negotiations entail. what happened was a major setback. what does it mean for a possible interview with the president and the special counsel? the prospects for that have dimmed significantly. and that could essentially give the green light to robert mueller to write his final robert without an interview. now, he could also subpoena the president. a lot of unanswered questions. but we are told that among the things that mueller is focusing on of course the firing of james comey that has been talked about so much over the past several hours, as well as that public statement about donald trump jr.
talk of pardoning witnesses who would potentially testify against him and then of course what we have seen erupt into the public so frequently, the president lashing out at his own attorney general jeff sessions and privacy pressuring him not to recuse himself in the russia probe. so this is potentially a game changer, stef, as these critical, very sensitive talks were derailed after monday's raid. >> i'll let you get back to that landscaping behind you. it is very hard to hear you. mowing a lawn before a big weekend is pretty important. now "the washington post" report that trump allies are worried federal investigators may have seize ed recordings ma by cohen in monday's raid by the fbi. according to the report, quote, cohen was known to store the conversations using digital files and then replay them for colleagues. msnbc's legal analyst joins me now. first, how common is it for attorneys to record conversations and replay them for colleagues?
>> it is not common. however, at least in new york, which is known as a one-party state, it's been legal for decades. whether or not it's been ethical is murkier. for many years, it was considered highly unethical to do this. in the last few decades, courts have taken different views. the general rule is an attorney should not make it a practice to record conversations with other people. however, there may be instances where it is warranted. >> there are also not many attorneys who take pride in being compared to characters like ray donovan and we know michael cohen did. why do we actually believe the tapes? i spoke to people who said no way this guy would have destroyed everything. if i was in michael cohen's position, i wouldn't have tapes in my office. >> the reality is an attorney's duty in a way is to keep records. it's one of our ethical
obligations, is to hold on to things. as a matter of practice, a lot of us are pack rats. michael cohen may have viewed some of these record iings he me as an insurance policy against -- or part of critical evidence, maybe a case. it could have been anything. and now we're hearing he may be filing for a temporary restraining order to stop the government ostensibly from reviewing privileged materials. whether or not he can prevail on that -- >> back it up for me, a restraining order against the government because what might be contained in these tapes is privileged information between he and president trump? >> that's possibly correct. the reason this is, because the federal government, the u.s. attorney's manual, contains specific procedures. because offices like ours contain privileged material.
they set up a taint team. the taint team is attorneys and fbi agents that are unrelated to the underlying investigation. in theory they look at these things and say wait, this is privileged, we can't look at this, wink-wink, nod-nod. what cohen may be doing is under rule 41 he can move to return that property or move to suppress it later on but he can basically say to the court, a tro, a temporary restraining order, is an emergency measure. you've got to stop these agents from possibly violating attorney/client privilege by reviewing these recordings. >> am i the only one who cracks up every time someone says "taint team"? walk me through this. what are his options? if you are in his position, it seems the way he's talked about his career, his relationship with the president for all these years, he's been his body guy. it seems as though he's been essentially paying people off to make problems go away for years.
does that not mean he and/or the president could be the subject of blackmail to so many people? >> he's violated a general media rule of thumb which is, look, the doj, like anybody else, watches tv. they look at the internet. they say that cohen has, number one, at least in the stormy daniels case, set himself up as the fall guy. if not the fall guy, the fixer. if you watch enough movies and tv shows -- >> if you're a fixer, that means there are lots of people out there that you've paid to silence them. now the person you're the fixer for is the president. doesn't that mean there are risks all over the world? >> exactly. when you watch shows like "ray donovan," a real ray donovan in real life would have had seven or eight indictments already leveled against him. or at least have the attention of the doj. the fact he set himself up this way for years or referred to himself as a ray donovan type,
he likes it. but it's not a good practice when people like u.s. attorneys and fbi agents are watching you in your high-profile job. a ray donovan only survives without getting indicted on tv and in the movies. in real life, that's the guy that draws the ire of the justice department. >> in the same way that the media and movies sort of glamourize, you know, mob personalities, you know, at the end of the day these are dangerous guys. time now for your morning primer. everything you need to know to get your day started. president trump is forming a task force to review the business practices at the u.s. postal service. the president has repeatedly accused amazon recently of not making its fair share of postage for package delivery. and many public schools across the state of kentucky are closed today as educators plan to march on the state capital to demand more school funding and better
pay. say this again, it's not about pay, it's funding for their students. in the state of arizona, the governor has given in after weeks of protest, agreeing to boost teacher straigalaries by y 2020. some say they're not satisfied because the proposal does not raise school funding and that's what helps the kids. hundreds of thousands of people in puerto rico lost power after a single tree fell on top of a power line. you know this island is still recovering nearly seven months after hurricane maria made landfall. and one of scott pruitt's aides, he just can't stay out of the news. says the epa administrator would direct staffers to book expensive boutique hotels and costly flights on delta airlines. do you know why? in order to earn frequent flyer miles. heaven help me. the former aide told lawmakers pruitt directed staff to find reasons for him to travel home
to oklahoma on the taxpayer's dime during long weekends. i got to take a deep breath on that one. and in a stunning reversal, president trump now says he's looking to rejoin the transpacific partnership agreement. the free trade deal he pulled out of and railed against during his first days in office. the president tweeting late last night, quote would only join tpp if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to obama. this is amazing. we know a guy like larry kudlow who's now advising the president is positive on tpp. but does the united states even have the choice? do those countries that are currently participating want to open it up to the u.s. and offer them better terms than we had a year ago? >> well, the spokesperson, stef, for the japanese embassy told reporters it was a matter of fact it would be difficult to renegotiate the u.s. into the deal. now that it is basically ink dry
on this deal between 11 other countries. they're moving forward with their legislative processes. but they also make no secret of the fact that the deal would benefit from u.s. participation. if the purpose of it is to be a counterweight to china, then it would become more weighty if it had the u.s. participating in that. so i think they want the u.s. to become involved at so many point. when i talked to international trade officials about the possibility, they say they're leaving the door open for a future administration to join but they respect the decision of the president and they need to see what he actually wants because the u.s. had been negotiating 22 different sections of this deal that ended up on cutting room floor when they pulled out. so you'd have to add those back in. and then whatever the president believes would make it a substantially better deal, which no one really knows at this point. >> let's just back that up for a moment. they're saying we are open to future administrations rejoining but they're giving trump the heisman? am i misreading what you're saying? >> no, they're not giving trump
the heisman. they just want to take his views with a grain of salt. because he changes his mind quite often. and just because he is having larry kudlow explore or study the possibility of rejoining, remember, he deputized the treasury secretary, steven mnuchin, after davos, to establish contact with his counterparts in those 11 countries to start talking about it then. larry kudlow is an unabashed supporter of the deal. perhaps he's been pushing internally for the president to take a stronger tack on this. i think that all of those countries want to be careful about they say because they're not exactly sure what the president will ask for and they're not ready to make those concessions. >> well, your word is your bond. it's something that many people base their business practices on. but we know that the president doesn't necessarily do that. i want to share for a moment what republican senator ben
sasse said. you know he has been highly critical of these tariffs. take a look. >> the president multiple times reaffirmed in general to all of us and looked right at larry kudlow and said lalarry, go gett done. >> you were focused on trade day in, day out. is larry kudlow in a position where he can con vivince the president things that gary cohn couldn't? >> it depends on how much sway he has with the president. he's also backed up by members of congress like ben sasse. tpp would open up so much for farmers who lost so much in the deal. it would be a competitive advantage to some of those southeastern asian countries. so when you couple the loss of those opportunities with potential retaliation against farm country, from china, if these tariffs go into effect, that's basically a one-two
punch. you're hearing senator ben sasse, which you just heard from in addition to administration officials starting to ramp up the fire underneath the president to try to create some of these opportunities or reinstate them because that is going to be a heavy hit to the trump base if, in fact, those go through. >> then we'll see. president is more interested in siding with the likes of nebraska then he is with bernie sanders who thrust himself on to the national stage going after tpp so who knows, maybe president trump is turning the page. we're going to leave it there. next, we're minutes away from an emergency u.n. security council meeting on syria after officials tell nbc news that chlorine and an unnamed nerve agent were present in last weekend's deadly attack on civilians. look at that. that's a toddler right there being treated after that attack. but first, you know we are keeping track of gun violence.
according to the trace, there have been at least, are you ready for this number, 15,741 incidents of gun violence in the united states this year. 700 of those took place just since monday. nothing says spring like fresh flowers, so let's promote our spring travel deal on choicehotels.com like this. (sneeze) earn one free night when you stay just twice this spring. allergies. or, badda book. badda boom. book now at choicehotels.com.
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patients taking ibrance can develop low white blood cell counts, which may cause serious infections that can lead to death. before taking ibrance, tell your doctor if you have fever, chills, or other signs of infection, liver or kidney problems, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant. common side effects include low red blood cell and low platelet counts, infections, tiredness, nausea, sore mouth, abnormalities in liver blood tests, diarrhea, hair thinning or loss, vomiting, rash, and loss of appetite. alice calls it her new normal because a lot has changed, but a lot hasn't. ask your doctor about ibrance. the #1 prescribed fda-approved oral combination treatment for hr+/her2- mbc. in less than 20 minutes, the u.n. security council holds an emergency meeting on syria at russia's request. this, as nbc news exclusively reports blood and urine samples from the victims in syria have
tested positive for chemical weap weapons. two u.s. officials say they found traces of a chlorine glass and unnamed nerve agent, adding the u.s. government is now confident the assad regime was, in fact, behind the attack. president trump met with his national security team on thursday. the white house says there's still no final decision on any way forward. >> we're looking very, very seriously, very closely, at that whole situation, and we'll see what happens, folks, we'll see what happens. it's too bad that the world put us in a position like that. >> nbc's hans nicoles is live at the pentagon. hans, we're waiting on news from the white house. what's the latest messaging from the pentagon? >> the messaging this morning, stephanie, is that nothing is imminent. officials have had their first intel briefings here, their first 70 updates. nothing seems like it's immediately on the table. now, that says in the word of one official things are quiet until they're not. what we heard all day yesterday was really two notes of caution.
you heard the secretary of defense explicitly say this. number one, there's this difference between evidence and proof of a chemical attack and just what kind of chemicals are used. as you mentioned, there's certainty inside the u.s. government, you know, they have evidence, but proving it, especially at the u.n., is a different matter. the other big question here, you heard even more caution from secretary mattis on this, if the u.s. does take a strike against syria, how can they control what they call here the escalation ladder. >> i want to bring in barry mccaffrey, and danielle pletka with the defense institute. we heard cautious about any kind of response. do you share that? >> there's no question, i have a great deal of empathy for the leadership on this one. we must make a strong statement
against chemical weapons. they're not very effective against prepared, trained u.s. military forces, against defenseless civilians, they're horrific. we can't allow that to be normalized behavior. as you look at the ground, we have russian and iranian revolutionary guards and hezbollah forces and turkish units inside syria. very careful to not have this turn into a wider regional war. >> if you were advising the president what would you suggest he do? >> i think where we are now, we need to write down a political strategy. there need to be allies. hopefully to include arabs. we need to not just have a target list that we've designed to strike. i do believe we're going to have to take military action against the syrian armed forces elements that are involved in chemical weapons. it ought to be a painful one. but we need to get into the russians and say let's not have
this turn into a confrontation between us and them. by the way, mattis may well be waiting for more u.s. military power to show up in the region. we'd be a lot better off if we had a carrier battle group into the mediterranean before we take action. >> well, we know this is already a very painful situation. danielle, now that u.s. officials are saying that they found traces, every time i say it, i can't believe it, because we look at those videos of those young children. traces of chlorine gas and an unnamed nerve agent. now that we know that, how do you think that will advance the situation? >> well, obviously, it's important that we have -- that we have proof of what happened. but, i mean, let's all be real about this. the assad regime has used chemical weapons. they've used nerve weapons before. the reality is they fall back on this legalistic definition of proof in order to slow us down, slow our momentum and enable them to move their assets, enable them to consolidate their
positions. this is really just tactical on their part. it's not like they care about the rule of law, international norms or the chemical weapons convention. >> it's russia that requested this u.n. security council meeting. what game do you think they're playing? >> the russians are trying to separate the europeans and the united states. they're trying to sew doubt in the minds of various countries around the world as to who was responsible for this. they're trying to buy time so they can move their assets away from their port. they're trying to buy time so that assad can move his materials around so it makes it more complex for us to begin to target those who are responsible for this terrible attack. >> general, we know the president likes to say i and i alo alone. we have also learned he spoke to french president emmanuel macron who he has a good relationship with, and prime minister may
last night. do you think there's a possibility out of these conversations there could be some coordinated effort here? >> i think there will be. certainly the french will take part. i know the germans have already said they won't take part in this attack. the prime minister of the uk is in political trouble. i'm not sure she's going to get concurrence out of her own government. so again, it's important that this not just be a u.s. military strike. but be part of a broader coalition, particularly nato. and hopefully arab allies in some form. that were after syrian armed forces chemical warfare capability. and not trying to strike against the assad regime. this is a very difficult situation. i have great sympathy for secretary mattis who does not want to see us ending up taking down the russian president in syria. we have to underscore u.s. and
nato military power in the region is immensely more powerful than the russians. so the bellicose language coming out of the russia general staff in moscow is unsettling. what are they thinking? >> what are they thinking of? general, danielle, thank you. i appreciate you joining us. i know you'll be back with us again. i appreciate it. coming up, it's my favorite part of the show, money, power, politics. remember when president trump said he would put country first, he would not be part of the trump organization? well, attorneys for that very company, the trump organization, give the president of panama an ultimatum. help us or face the consequences. we're going to explain that next. do you think it's going to surprise your daughter? absolutely. wait, is mom here yet? where's mom? she's in this car. what the heck? whoa. yo, whose car is this?
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by a feeble-fingered peasant woman... your mom! as long as hecklers love to heckle, you can count on geico saving folks money. boring! fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. hey, guys, it is time for money power politics alberti today, we are talking with warriors, not for the white house, for the trump organization reaching out to the president of panama for help in a legal fight for the former trump hotel that is located there alberti according to
washington post, the law firm wrote to panama's president in late march to quote, urgently request your influence in relation to a commercial dispute regarding the trump hoe pell alberti yeah, that sound you just ladder there was my mind exploding. the political reporter for the washington post cowrote that report alberti there's no one fwort cover this, this is your jam alberti you say it's the first instance of the trump organization acting directly for a foreign leader's help with a disdispute since trump was elect. walk us through exactly what happened here. it begins with trouble at the trump hotel in panna mar it was something that they managed and somebody else owned. he owns the hotel, you got to get out, we're going to take your name off the building. there was this long fight and a
physical stand off and that turned into fifita cuffs at some point at the hotel before this low level judge gam gave them the order to leave. >> what in the world hads been the white house's response to this letter? how can they possibly justify you better do something and president of panama or else? or else what? eric sg isn't going to invite you to one of hiss golf outings? no, they're talking about or else the u.s. government is coming for you? >> well, the letter itself is very vague alberti . it says you should use your judgme judgment. it doesn't say the u.s. government will come for you. the white house has referred our questions to the trump organization, trump organization
has said we didn't know this letter was being sent. our lawyers went off half-cocked and stheent this letter without being aware of it. >> let's just walk through that. lawyers don't walk off half-cocked, clients do. so if they're saying it wars our lawyers, we didn't know, is this common practice for their lawyers to behave in this way? because remember while it might not be a lawyer for the trump administration, he said this is how the law firms work? >> it's really interesting situation. their argument has been we do this all the time alberti we try continue to tim date the president of panna that all the time. it's routine matter for douse this that we didn't ask this client before we did it. which is hard to believe given that this client is the property of the president of the united
states. you think you might ask him before you did it. but their version of the story is they didn't. >> i didn't go to law school but have you michael cowhhen who wa paying 130 gs out of his pocket, he's got the law firm down there that didn't consult the trump te team. what's the president in panama saying? >> since our story came out a few days ago there's been a lot of pressure from people in panama, chamber of commerce types, the former ambassador to panama saying this is a bad precedent, leave us alone, don't take any action or you're going to enmesh the trump's problems. >> david, thank you so much alberti amazing report alberti we're going to be back with more in two alber.
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always good news somewhere and we think good news rules. this one especially. girl scouts troop 6,000 is not your typical group. they're part of a program specially designed to see the girls of new york city homeless shelter system. had is the first year they're raising money by selling girl scout cook kisses. they s-- cookies. they set a goal of 6,000. their new goal, 12,000. those of you in the new york
city area, the girls will be selling cookies for their final day this afternoon from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at kellogg's cafe in union square. there's a good chance you'll see me there because i'm bringing my two little kids to pick up as many tag alongs as they can carry. or anyone can buy cookies using the girl scout digital cookie website, i just tweeted out the link to that site. please check it out on twitter. but certainly some good news rule. that's stephanie ruhle. coming up now, my friend hally jackson. i want you go to that website and buy cook is can from those girls. >> you know i love cookies and buying things from young entrepreneur women, definitely will. we'll see you in an hour. >> but this morning, listen, cue to comey stop. an untruthful flying ball in the president's world as donald trump hits twitter to snap talk his fired fbi director with james comey with words of his own saying the