tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC April 13, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT
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 president's
unethical and untethered to the truth and saying he's unsure whether the the most eye-popping rumor in that dossier is actually true. we've got that exclusive new interview coming up with both sides sending a message. and another message maybe from the white house that even if you lie under oath or obstruct justice you could still get a pardon. our rorgtd says that's what scooter libby can expect, the former chief of staff convicted of lying to the fbi into had the investigation of who blew the cover of a cia operative. we have that later on in the show. i want to go first to kelly o'connell at the white house. we were all waiting to see how coreact, now we know. >> reporter: hallie, book reviewer and chief certainly spoke out on twittered it. he w twittered
today. he virtually nerch washington thought he should be fired, that's the president's assessment. accuse him of leaking classified information, lying to congress undernoth. as you pointed out, he used the lime ball reference. had is the president packing into one tweet probably grateful for the bump up to 280 characters very potent critique of james comey. they were ready for this. the president probably had his alarm set in order to differ it. we also heard some of the other wait white house is responding in one of the people who's often a voice for the president in times of crisis is kellyanne conway who was speaking with reporters here on the grounds earlier today. and she talks about james comey and sort of put into her view the sense that comey held back on things in the book that perhaps if he felt so strongly he should have come forward while he was in public office. here's kellyanne conway. >> the president will have his say either immediately or one day. but he has a different
recollection and, again, it's very simple. if that is exactly how jim comey felt at the time, then he should have said it at the time. i'm just amazed that people can get away with saying things that they want to say -- they said things about the president that weren't true. >> reporter: vow different camps lining up here. james comey say well-known figure in washington, over time and over multiple administrations those who have worked with him and know him may view his words in one way. those who stand with the president are certainly trying to discredit the book. interesting it comes alt a time when you reference the scooter libby case. i loved through every minute of covering that trial and never expected that to come around again. hallie. >> and we'll actually be seeing some vintage footage of you reporting on that later on in the show. thank you very much for joining us. we bring in now from new york white house reporter from the associated press, and nbc tommy dupree, former assistant attorney general and our panel for the next 15 minutes, vivian
solana and white house correspondent from the examiner sa sara westwood. john, i want to start with you but i want to be tee it up with some -- let's say a discussion, some words, i don't think any of us thought we would be hearing as we were covering now the sitting president of the united states of america, james comey being asked about one of the rumors in that infamous dossier this morning in his first interview as he's rolling out this book tour on good morning america. let's watch. >> they wanted me to investigate to prove it didn't happen, and then he says somebody distracted me because he said if there's even a 1% chance my wife thinks that true, that's terrible. and remember thinking how could your wife think there's a 1% chance you were prostitutes be with each oth in moscow? i'm a flawed human being but there's literally zero chance my wife would think that was true.
what kind of marriage and what kind of man thinks there's only a 99% chance you didn't do that? i said to him, sir, when he started talking about it, i may order to you investigate that. i said, sir, that's up to you, but you want to be careful about that because it might create a narrative that we're investigating you personally. and second, it's very difficult to prove something didn't happen. >> do you believe his denial? >> honestly never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but i don't know whether the current president of the united states with prostitutes peeing on each other in 2013, it's possible, but i don't know. >> so, jonathan, given what we heard from james comey there, what we expect to be hearing over the weekend from james comey, this is. end from president trump's response or do you expect more over the next 48 hours? >> first all i'm glad the kids are at school and not hearing that description. no, i don't think this is the end of the praes response. we know that the formalized push back to the book was supposed to
come from the committee. the rmc launched a website, they have talking points, we should see a lot of them on the cable network shows over the next couple days. we have tweets from the president this morning. i would be very surprised if that's all we hear of it. comey says that, you know, i read the book yesterday, that this came up repeatedly. this was not the only time that president trump asked about those salacious accusations in the moscow hotel room. that it came up originally in the trump tower meeting. three or four times where the president would ask the director about them, insist his innocence but then go on tan gents that we were doing it during the campaign. he would go one by one and say why they weren't true. it's clearly something that was on the president's mind frequently. >> and, tom, did you -- you have to imagine this is not coming to a surprise to robert mueller at
that point apnd the special counsel investigators? >> i think that's right. his attacks on the president are largely personal and ethical as opposed to legal. from my perspective, one of the interesting things is when he's describing his interactions with the president, how combny said he can't say that the president crossed the legal line. >> we have that. this san excersa is an excerpt book he says i have one perspective on the behavior i while which while disturbing and violating basic norms of edge cal leadership may fall short of being illegal, to your point. >> that to me is critical. jim comey say guy who knows obstruction of justice when he sees it the he has no love for president trump. the fact that comey wasn't willing to say that in his view trump crossed the line is significant. >> sara. >> i think that leaves room for comey to be discredited by not totally, but it leaves room for the republican national committee's pushback campaign to potentially be effective. because what we're talking about is comey's personal opinion that
trump was unethical that trump was saying things inappropriate, not a legal determine medication that he did something wrong. that leaves room for, i think, comey to be attacked on a personal level. and for those kinds of attacks to be effective. >> they're looking for these pockets where they could push back on his entire argument so they called him a leaker last year because of the fact that his memos were given out and this is how the story kind of broke in the first place. >> and donald trump didn't like james comey when he sat for that what is now in the historical record interview with lester holt from over at nbc where he called him a showboat. remember this? >> he's a showboat, he's a grandstander, the fbi has been in turmoil, you know that, i know that, everybody knows that. you take a look at the fbi a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil. less than a year ago. it hasn't recovered. he's not my man or not my man, i didn't appoint him.
he was appointed long before me. >> so, john, donald trump has his issues with james comey but hillary clinton does as well and comey addresses that in the book. i wanted to pull up another excerpt that's getting a lot of attention, what's being framed for example fox news as his apology. comey says it's entirely possible because i was making decisions in an environment where hillary clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern aboutic magazine her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer for donald trump were ahead in all polls. that, i don't know. is james comey fans on either i'd of the aisle on this thing? >> this is -- he is not going to make himself any new fans on either side. the book contains a couple pass bathes clinton. that one just highlighted is chief among them, the idea he may have made decisions through
the prism thinktion that hillary clinton -- thinking that hillary clinton was going to win and if he didn't come forward with the laptop and the e-mails in the last ten days of the campaign, if she were to win and if it leaked later could help discredit her administration. but he talks about the july 2016 news conference where he said charges weren't being brought up against hillary clinton. he said the dj policy, you said do you it when you're not bringing charges. he spoke to michael brown, the young man in missouri who was killed by police. he said i'm glad i did it, i wish i would have done it differently. i wish i wouldn't have the buried the lead. he thought was open to dispute. one more thing, there's an attention-grabbing passage where he talks about how in early 2016 the united states government came in possession of classified material, material that's still classified to this day, the material and the source rarnd he thinks will be for months. but when they obtained it, though, though unfair fied, it was explosive uh that he said it
would cast dait doubt on attorney general's loretta lynch's ability to prove herr independence from the investigation. comey makes clear lynch did anything wrong. he thinks that lichb was largely removed from the investigation, he down-plays significant to that tarmac meeting that donald trump went on and on about. but that's the substantiatantal that's out there and that's one of the questions. is this a bunch of clearly framed in personal terms, a lot of details that are being described as very juicy, but it's from a sort of a heat versus light perspective. tim kane, hillary clinton's former running mate who was central to this was asked about this very question just a little bit ago. listen. >> i'm sure there will be heat, the question is whether will be
light some there will be some juice is excerpts, i'm sure. but we're in a tough time right now. i don't know if the book will offer us who are in the house or senate any guidance about what we have to do but it may help the american public understand the completely unprecedented times we're living in. >> what do you make of that? >> i tend to agree that i don't think there's anything that we are seeing in this book that is going to change the landscape from a legal perspective. i think what it will do is it will spur a lot of debate about comey's behavior during the 2016 election and subsequently. and i think as we heard earlier there are nuggets planted in the book that i think people are going to be focussed on considering the independence of lynch. >> always a pleasure to have you on. john, thank you my friend. i appreciate you from joining us from new york coming up we want to talk about that controversial potential pardon in a story that rocked the west wing during the bush here's. scooter libby set to be pardoned by president trump according to
our reporting. and the woman at the center of that case, there she is, not too happy about it, valerie is joining us life, neve, next. you tell grandma you were going fishing again? maybe. (vo) the best things in life keep going. that's why i got a subaru, too. love is out there. find it in a subaru crosstrek. this time, it's his turn. you have 4.3 minutes to yourself. this calls for a taste of cheesecake. philadelphia cheesecake cups. rich, creamy cheesecake with real strawberries. find them with the refrigerated desserts. the full value of your new car?l strawberries. you're better off throwing your money right into the harbor. i'm gonna regret that. with new car replacement, if your brand new car gets totaled, liberty mutual will pay the entire value plus depreciation. liberty stands with you.
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president trump is planning to pardon scooter libby. here's the lens through which to look at this. it's a case way bunch of parallels with the special counsel investigation hachg happening now. you've got claims of a partisan witch hunt rare james comey investigation. libby was found guilty on four felony counts, including lying to the fbi about how he learned about the identity of former cia valerie pran. it had top members of the cia administration. they tried to discredit her husband. here's another look back from our archives from the night of the verdict and our own kelly odannell reporting. >> reporter: libby was not charged with a crime of actually leaking the classified identity of kraft operative and no one else has ever been either. her name was first exposed nearly four years ago after her husband joe wilson accused the white house of twisting against. >> i think we will sleep better
tonight knowing that the jury has done its job and knowing that mr. libby is convicted. >> so, president bush later commuted his prison sentence, but it might send a message if you lie and obstruct justice, president trump will let you off the hook. this morning our team asked just that to kellyanne conway there. >> i can't confirm that but i'm not going to confirm that. >> the meetings that you -- >> many people think that scooter libby was special counsel gone amuck. special counsel appointed -- >> victim of a special counsel gone amuck, sound familiar? it and then there's this person you just heard. you know who appointed that special counsel deputy attorney general at the time james comey. let me start, valorly, wierie, .
what message do you believe donald trump is trying to send by pardoning scooter libby? >> good morning in the is not about me, it's absolutely not about scooter libby, it's about donald trump and his future. it's very clear that this is a message he is sending that you can commit crimes against national security and you will be pardoned. i think he's got an audience of three right now, that would be manafort, flynn, and kushner and perhaps others. >> you seem, and i watched some of what you had to say earlier this morning regarding the potential of this pardon put seem angry about it, valerie. >> doesn't matter what i feel about it, here's what i look at this from the perspective of my former career, had is a covert cia ops officer. and i'm looking very carefully at donald trump, how he's
responding to the investigation into possible collusion and russian interference in our election and i have to look at from that perspective and go, what is he hiding and what is he do to forestall any really damaging developments to his presidency. look there are was an issue that has long been settled. george w. bush declined to pardon scooter libby because he just felt that the jury had reached a fair verdict and i pushed back hard against his vice president dick chain fwhoi real -- cheney who pushed for this from his partisan agenda. >> from her perspective, why is now? what do you make of the timing of this that is the spres considering possibly soon eminently issuing this pardon? >> as you noted already, the connection with comey, he was the one who in fact, appointed
the special prosecutor in the lead case, that was patrick fitzgerald. the president donald trump tweeted out this morning that comey is a liar and a leaker and it's really rich considering that a pardon is in the offing for scooter libby who is also convicted of being called a liar and a leaker. >> what message if the president does go through this with this pardon, what message do you think that would send to the rank and file in the against community? >> i think already the morale within the intelligence community is very poor. the president just prior to taking office, he was -- he denigrated the cia, he's continued to do so. it is -- there's a lot of daylight between donald trump and the intelligence community. the message being sent is, you
can commit perjury and i will pardon you if it protects me and i deem that you are loyal to me. i think the message is very damaging to our democracy and the rule of law. look, donald trump is once again demonstrating deep disrespect for those who actually have served their country. when he was eligible do so during the vietnam war, he conveniently came up with some deferments, bone spurs i think. >> bone spurs, yeah. so bottom line, then, what would your message be to donald trump if, in fact, he's listening and you're able to get him a message it would be what? don't pardon scooter libby? >> i'm not sure that this is a network that he watches continually, but i would simply say that this is a very bad idea. it sends a message that those
who commit crimes against national security can be pardoned. and i don't think anyone in the executive position wants to do that. >> i appreciate you coming on the show and talking through this with us. thank you. i'm going over to sara and vivian now. sara, both of you guys were nodding and reacting during valerie's interview. >> i think regardless of what you think about the ethics of this miff, whether you think it's unethical, it would be a political move from the white house from their perspective. >> explain that. >> because i think instead of talking about how potentially unprecedented trump's efforts to evate the special counsel are we'd be talk about the parallel to the plaintiff there, relitigating whether it was fair for scooter libby to be the fall guy as conservatives described him at the time. and a lot of conserve tichstives came to the defense of the bush administration in a way that they haven't for trump in the russia affair and i think that could be a conversation he would like us to be having.
>> what do you make -- i'm struck by the people that are in the orbit then that are back in the orbit now. the joe da again , these are al from then that are coming back now as part of this. >> it's probably not coincidental and what we're seeing kind of starts pointing that they're trying to set a precedent that it's not just about this president and that incident now. they're trying to say in general any pattern of what they believe is a witch hunt against people in the government or anything like thabit special counsel's office is going to be pushed back on. >> we have a lot more to talk abo about coming up after the break. the president's long-time lawyer in a hearing that's set for five minutes from now and exclusive reporting on how that breakdown happens.
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right now at the u.n. just moments ago nikkei haley spoke to reporters and saying last week's chemical attack was staged and saying at some point you have to say enough. more than 30 schools across kentucky are closed it with thousands of teachers expected to march on the state capital. ed it's protest will make state lawmakers overturn their veto of a bill that would have increased taxes for education funding. matt devin has been frustrate with the protest and, quote, you can't spend money you don't have. but, again, another instance of teachers around the country staging these protests. and new this morning, michael cohen, the president's long-time lawyer is fighting back. he's actually filing a temporary restraining order after his personal law office and hotel room were raided by the fbi this week. this come as we have new nbc news exclusive reporting about the robert mueller investigation and fallout from that raid according to multiple people familiar with this, talks have collapsed between the
president's legal team and special counsel's office. both sides are moving forward presuming president trump is not going to be sitting for an interview. we have one of the bylines on that story for nbc news. viv and sara are back with us too. but before we get to that report, julie, i want to start with what's happening at a courtroom in new york. you've got michael cohen's attorney because the lawyer has his own two lawyers going in and trying to battle back of that raid, right? >> yeah. >> walk us through that. >> it's happening as we speak right no. >> 10:30 this was supposed to start. >> at a federal court in manhattan. he's live walking into that courtroom in new york. obviously he is going to be a part of this discussion and this conversation. he is the attorney for stormy daniels who alleges an affair with donald trump and seeking to inval dade a nondisclosure agreement she signed. >> we know that was part of the reason why these investigators raided mike cal cohen's offices. also michael cohen is trying to
push back and he's seeking a restraining order. that's what they're addressing in this courted it. what's strange about all of this if your head is turning like, what? that's for good reason because this is also a court-approved warrant that allowed thm to come in and gather this information, now comey wants to put a temporary restraining order so that investigators and prosecutors won'ting able to use that information. he wants to protect it under attorney/client privilege. but as we've already seen a strong rebuttal from the other side saying attorney/client privilege only goes so far if there's evidence of criminal wrongdoing. that can't be protected. >> is that what you expect the argument to be from the other side here as we watched him walk into the courtroom. >> the good thing about his argument is we get to hear it publicly all the time and we know that's what he's going to say. >> you mean because he's out on tv. >> we see him quite a bit. but this will really be the court coming together hearing this and they'll weigh in on whether or not this restraining order could go through. i would say it's a slim chance but it's interesting to watch it unfold. >> it sure is.
so you know back home there's no cameras in the courtroom. we'll bring you the latest as we get developments from gnat we have a team sitting in watching and monitoring and we'll have from that for you. the raid is interesting, it feels like it was a hundred years ago but it just happened this week. we have the impacts on robert mueller and the investigation. >> we know because of that raid the president was infuriated an these negotiations were a little further along than they thought about the scope of this potential voluntary interview between the president and robert mueller's team. those talks had gotten pretty advanced. they've now collapsed because the president is so upset about this raid on his lawyer's offices and hotel. and at this point we understand that mueller is moving forward, his team is moving forward under the presumption that they won't get that interview. >> he's also moving forward with the potential for this report to come out on the possibility of obstruction of justice. >> right. i think it's interesting and important for people to understand what that report
could look like. i don't think we're not going to see a james comey kind of media portrayal where he goes out and says this is why i did not -- or did not refer it for prosecution. mueller's going to follow the book and the book says he would send a confidential report to rod rosenstein if he's still there and rod rosenstein would decide whether or not to send that to congress. if he finds enough or obstruction he could send a referral for immeepeachment. >> you said if rod rosenstein is still there. there's been a lot of question about whether the president will aex him. a guy you might remember, john boehner was out on the today show and he was asked about this. i want to tell you what he had to say. >> it's a very bad idea. these are public servants of who got long careers, stand-up people who are charges with an investigation and it's clear. either they're fact or they're not. either there are crimes that
were committed or weren't. >> that's kind of a line you've heard from establishment republicans, people who are concerned about the possibility of donald trump firing rod rosenstein. then you have the people like steve bannon, jason mill, he and others who are saying get rid of them. how do you square it? >> this is something that we're hearing from a number of republicans who have come out and said -- who are pleading either privately or publicly with the president that firing the special counsel or the deputy attorney general in this case would be a serious mistake. they want the investigation to just take its course and, you know, the president has maintained throughout this whole process his innocence and he did not clued with the russian government officials so they said let it go, let him do his job. >> sara, you were here when i talked to sort of folks across the administration. they're frustrated that this topic keeps coming up in some ways. one, the senator, thom tillis has a solution for how to end the narrative. his solution is this bill basically that would protect robert mule pert he's out with this new open ed this morning
out of the post. he says if the president removes the special counsel without good cause it would result in swift bipartisan backlash and shake the country's faith in the integrity of our legal system. he continues while the president is frustrated with the investigation, i don't believe he would ultimately remove mueller and the white house and legal's team have indicated he does not intend do so. but then he says this bill becoming law would remove that narrative from the conversation. do you think the white house will find that argument persuasive? >> i totally here that from republicans that they believe this narrative about the paper for trump removing mueller is actually being driven by democrats who want that to be a topic of speculation and it's not grounded in any serious discussions in the white house. that being said, i do think that this bill could provide trump a little bit of cover. he's denied repeatedly that he's ever seriously discussed removing mueller and now he could say even if i wanted to i couldn't. that could provide him some
cover. >> good to have you onset, my friend. >> thank you very much. um u up next on this friday, we want to get you to some under the radar news you need to know about that we're uncovering in this avalanche of headlines that's coming out. everything from that beef in amazon to a new headache for scott pruitt. don't miss that next. whether it's a big thing, small thing, or something unexpected, pnc will be right there when you need us. because when it comes to your finances, if you focus on today, tomorrow has a way of working itself out.
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below cost and that's not fair to the united states, it's not fair to our taxpayers. >> after weeks of railing against amazon and the postal service like that, president trump overnight signed an executive order to set up a task force to stud dit post office. but wait a sec, left you think this is a story about the post office, it's about the president in his furry about what he calls fake news and what reporters call real news and pieces of president simply may not like. to explain it, we'll go to peter alexander over at the white house. peter, it feels like this is all about amazon and jeff bezos who happens to own "the washington post," no? >> reporter: quite news night. but the executive order we should note doesn't mention amazon but it's clear that the president i tends for this new task force that he's creating to effectively back up that repeated claim that he's made that the amazon shipping agreement with the postal service is a bad deal for taxpayers. you heard him say just that. the this new panel would make
the review of the postal services unsustainable financial strategy and focus on parts of the business model that appear to directly affect amazon. that's the expansion and pricing of the package delivery market going to the heart of this topic. it reads in part it be the policy of my administration that the united states postal system operate under a sustainable bable business model to provide necessary mail services to citizens and businesses and to compete fairly in kpeshl markets. sounds familiar, right? the president's been saying those things. he's been going off on amazon and the postal service in the in des he called them dumb and poor by losing billions and not charging much more to groups like amazon. experts, as you know, we've talked about this, even the president's aides have tried to convince and urge the president to backoff. they pulled out the amazon aunld the packages it ships they help the postal service. the real challenge the decline in junk mail, you don't get as many and regular mail frankly all the internet and e-mail, getting rid of all of that.
>> i'll send a letter, peter, you know. >> reporter: i'll see you shortly. >> i will see you. you can go home and take a nap after being up all night with all of that news. i want to bring in the former spokesman for john boehner back with me. michael, how do you see this? is the president worried about the post office or is this one shot across the bow? >> there's no question that the post office's service model is not sustainable as a business in the 20th century. but amazon is not part of that problem. the postal service has been clear they make money opts business for amazon. had two things for now. this is a president who utterly impervious to new facts, he thinks amazon is costing them money, you can not change his mind. this is a president who's willing to use the tools of the office, the tools of the government to go after those he perceives as his enemies. >> that's an interesting point. i want to talk about another story, which is amazon being in the crosshairs of the president.
scott pruitt is not, somehow, right? this has been every day on this show we have covered pruitt headlines coming out and the epa pushback on this about a former secret service agent who is serving as his he chief of security. it has clashed at least once physically request top officials who are challenging his spending. have you democrats and you want to know what the republicans ever think are thinking about people. if you're advising the president what are you telling him about pruitt. >> he's an effective member of this administration. >> you mean from a policy perspective. >> from a policy perspective. >> but is he spending taxpayer money in an ineffective way. >> this toxic stew of entitlement and pair no, i is-a-is leading to these insane decisions. i have no doubt he has enemies, but there's nothing about that that means flying first class to europe is necessary. >> yet, scott pruitt has survived. >> because he's executing the
president's job, rolling back regulations. >> as we talk about what we could call the ps of this presidency, his pouft office things, the pruitt issue, now the pacific trade deal that he may be getting back into, that was some of the discussion yesterday, now overnight the president pushing back on that. but here's ben to raise some eyebrows, sorry my apple watch is going off here. >> definitely the big headline coming out of this meeting is that the president said he was deputy pew advertising larry ludlow to look at reentering the tpp negotiations. >> holy cow. that's a huge headline except for this the tweet later that said wee only joint tpp if the deal was substantially better than the deal offered to president obama. what in the world? >> this reminded me a lot of something trump criticized very heavily during the campaign which was hillary clinton's flip flop on tpp was almost identical. she supported it when she was in
the obama administration when sanders was dragging her to the left. then is she said she would only support it if kwae got better deal. >> this is down thing for a number of our allies. they don't know if the president is bluffing or if he is having a change heart, his advisers kind of swaying him in a different direction. it's causing a lot of concern among these people who do get into these agreements. >> michael, glad to have you onset. we want to get to some developing news coming out of united nations where nikki haley is talking just in the last couple minutes at the emergency meeting we told you about basically saying that the u.s. will -- we'll let you listen to it. >> is russia alone that used its veto 12 times to protect the assad regime. and to make matters worse, it is russia alone that had agreed to
be the guarantor of the removal of all chemical weapons in syria. if russia -- >> u.n. ambassador nikki haley there speaking again at that emergency meeting with the u.n. security council. we're continuing to monitor. we'll bring you the latest as it develops. we want to bring you the latest on the feds pouring on the links to the president's personal lawyer as they look at a third possible payment after the 2016 election, just before it. once again it's not about the rumor itself but the pattern is raise something serious questions. that's next. we plan for everything from retirement to college savings. questions. that's next. i something serious questions. that's next. n something serious questions. that's next. g something serious questions. that's next. hing serious questions. that's next. ing serious questions. that's next. ng serious questions. that's next. g serious questions. that's next. serious questions. that's next. with the right financial advisor, life can be brilliant.
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nbc news confirmed federal investigators requested all communications between michael cohen and these two guys, david pecker and dylan howard. they are executives at the parent company of the national inquirer, a company that made payments to at least two people who tried to tell potentially damaging stories about president trump before he was elected. here's stephanie gosk. >> reporter: this morning the tabloid headline you didn't see. it was late 2015. donald trump was fighting for the republican nomination. >> they've gone down, and they've gone down bigly. >> reporter: that's when the new yorker reports the national inquirer paid a former doorman
$30,000 for rights to a salacious story. a statement released thursday, the man confirmed he had heard claims about the president's private life. the trump organization denies the allegation and says the doorman has a history of peddling false stories. at the time of the alleged payment, the national inquirer, the supermarket tabloid known for hyping hollywood and political sex scandals was all in on the presidential election. editors have said publicly their readers flock to the protump editions and it was good business. now two unnamed employees who worked for the national inquirer's parent company tell the new yorker they believe the trump's personal attorney was in close contact with the paper when it bought the story. we reached out for comment but did not hear back. multiple sources familiar with the story say the warrant to search the properties included a
request for all communication with david pecker who owns the national inquirer and is a close personal friend of the president. as well as dylan howard, the chief content officer. >> i think investigators are getting into this pattern where more than a few folks who have negative information on president trump ahead of the election seemed not to have the stories told. >> reporter: in a statement the national inquirer's owners write ami categorically denies that donald trump or michael cohen had anything to do with the decision not to pursue a story it determined was not credibility. the suggestion that mr. pecker had ever used company funds to shut down this or any investigation is not true. former playboy model karen mcdoogl accuses the national inquirer doing the same thing with her affair with trump paying her $150,000 for the rights to the details and giving her a short-lived fitness
column. the white house denies the allegations of the affair. she was on cnn last month. >> i think someone is lying. i can tell you it's not me. >> that was nbc's stephanie gosk reporting. we say it all the time on the show, and i feel like a broken record. it's not about the sex. it's not about the rumors. it's about the money. three payments. number one, the one the agreement between stormy daniels and michael cohen 11 days before the election. . two, karen mcdougal and american media. the former doorman and american media after donald trump announce head would run for president. this seems to be here what federal investigators are raising questions about the pattern. >> the money gaining the attention of the feds. that's why you had the raid, to president trump's personal attorney's office and home this
week. it's because of the fact that in robert mueller's investigation over the course of it, something came up about the money, about this incident with stormy daniels, this payout. and so, obviously, now they're pursuing that. it's going to be very interesting to see what they come with up. >> i think, actually, leaving the rumor aside, you mentioned the fact that this is such an incredible rumor. meaning that there's almost -- totally flimsy rumor. the fact that they made the payment anyway is almost more damming in the sense that it suggests that the pattern was to just strike down any and all rumors. this one was less credible than some of the others and yet, it garnered a five-figure payment. that's a big deal. >> we talk about james comey. i hope there are tapes. that's his famous line. there may be tapes from comey. he has been known to record conversations and the president's allies are concerned about that. >> they should be. if there are recordings, that's
harder to wiggle out of than maybe denying that certain conversations took place that no one was privy to besides the president and the attorney. that's something that the best lawyers in the world won't be able to get president trump off of if the recordings exist. >> love having you both on for the full hour. thank you very much. i appreciate it. we'll be back with today's big picture. don't make a first impression... or a lasting impression without it. ♪ ♪ don't turn your house into a home without it. ♪ ♪ don't go live...
year for 2018. this is the afp capturing this incredible shot. this is in the capital last may. a protester catching fire after a gas tank on his motorcycle exploded in a clash with police. remember, last spring thousands of people took to the streets to protest the president who was moving to rewrite the constitution to stay in power. a year later, the economy is in shambles. a lot of folks are still struggling to get food and medicine and there seems to be in food in site. the world press photo of the year. we'd love to hear your thoughts on that shot. i'm headed to the white house to report for nightly news, the very latest on all the headlines coming out of the trump administration including the comey book and including the potential ali and stephanie for a strike on syria. now to you for more for the next hour. >> thank you. we'll look forward to seeing you later this afternoon.
good morning, everyone, i'm ali velshi. >> and i'm stephanie. >> we begin with jim comey. his new book that describes the trump's presidency as a forest fire and compares the commander in chief if to the a mafia boss. the president responded this morning calling comey a liar and a slime ball. >> in his explosive memoir, he calls the president unethical and untethered to the truth. and highlights donald trump's apparent fixation with salacious but unverified details from an intelligence dossier. january 6th, 2017, trump tower. james comey set to meet president-elect trump for the first time. >> briefing trump and his top aides on how the russians interfered in our election. >> the first question was to confirm that it had no impact on the election, and then the conversation to my surprise