tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC April 13, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
another family member wanted to join and this is what happened next. ♪ >> that is air force major robert routen who's been away from his family the last six months, deployed overseas. based out of joint base mcguire and that is the kind of video that never gets old. always makes me smile. hopefully made you smile as well. >> it makes me cry but i cry at indianapolis commercials. im insurance commercials. craig melvin, happy weekend. now to the news. 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. at the white house where we are following this breaking news. a presidential pardon for "scooter" libby, the former chief of staff to dick cheney was convicted of lying to the fbi and a grand jury back in 2000. during an investigation into who leaked the identity of a cia andtive, valerie plame.
with this pardon, the president though did what george w. bush would not do. bush commuted libby's sentence. he did not grant him a pardon. also breaking this hour -- nbc news confirms that deputy attorney general rod rosenstein has told confidants that he is prepared to be fired. what a dichotomy there. as the president launches a public campaign against the doj officials, insiders say rosenstein is fully aware he may soon his lose job and is at peace with the possibility. today i spoke with one trump staffer. that staffer's advice to trump -- do it. that rosenstein is a bad actor and that the justice department is out to get him. while the staffer says the president does want to fire rosenstein, as of now he is being restrained by his counsel. as big as that news could be, the talk of the town right now though is james comey's new book. it paints a devastating portrait of president trump, his character, and his behavior as
commander in chief. in "a higher loyalty," comey compares the trump presidency to a forest fire that threatens what is good in this nation and his resignation gave him flash backs to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the mob. what's happening now is not normal, he writes. it is not fake news, it is not okay. comey, who has worked under three presidential administrations, sat down for his first interview with "good morning america" and underscored the unprecedented nature of the allegations president trump currently faces. >> 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 in 2013. it's possible. i don't know. >> but comey's claims have not gone unanswered by those in the president's orbit. >> you know, i'm disappointed in james comey. i'll be honest with you. this book should be on the fiction shelf.
>> he has a different recollection of what happened. the other thing is that if mr. comey did not want to be alone with the president, then he shouldn't have been alone with the president. >> trump himself fired back calling comey a proven leaker and liar, a slime ball and terrible director of the fbi. a reminder as trump tries to take comey to task for his alleged dishonesty, "the washington post" has been tracking the number of misleading claims told by the president since his first day in office. 2,400. the question we're asking today, whose version of the truth will the american public believe? we're waiting for a white house briefing, but first to our team of reporters. julia ainslie, a national security and justice reporter. ashley parker, "washington post." eli stokeles and jonathan
lameure. start with the "scooter" libby news. today a person close to the president told me they believe the "scooter" libby news is this. it is very simple. it is a message to everybody who might be considering working with the special counsel that they should not, and if there are consequences for lying or obstructing justice, that the president will take care of them down the line. >> right. first let's examine what the president himself said about this pardon. i quote. i don't know mr. libby but for years i have heard that he has been treats unfairly. that doesn't speak to a particular amount of engagement about the case from the president of the united states. this is a red flare. it is about something else. this is a case -- you are making the point this might be the overreach of a special counsel that led to this conviction. it is a special counsel, two, mind you, appointed by jim comey. and number three, exactly what you said -- a signal flare for the possibilities of pardons. he was convicted of lying under
oath, obstruction of justice. couple of chanrges that could come into play with the ongoing special counsel investigation that this president faces. seems like he is sending a message here. >> so far one of the people who has not decided to work with the special counsel, who has not pleaded guilty so far is paul manafort. wonder what paul manafort might be thinking right now. julia, this story dovetails into another, all part of one big story now, how the president is pushing back against the special counsel, against the justice department. and you have new reporting about rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general. >> that's right. so rod rosenstein is in a place right now where people who have spoken to him recently say it is different from the rod rosenstein they talked to earlier in his tenure at deputy attorney general. they said around the time of may of 2017, when he had fired -- authorized the firing of james comey, and then also when he subsequently appointed special
counsel muellrobert mueller, he under pressure by the president, by the public. he was anxious. they describe someone who was visibly emotional, very anguished. now in just this past week they've seen a different rod rosenstein and a phrase he's been using repeating over and over, "here i stand." if that jumps out to you, it is because a phrase that james comey has used before. he references it in his forthcoming book. it is something used by george w. bush when he was if a political crossfire. he seems to be saying i'm going to let the political chips fall where they may, i think i did the right thing. he's also told people why he authorized why he fired james comey and when that comes out, people will think he did the right thing. i'm sure we'd all love to know what that is. >> speaking of james comey, he's got that new book out. the rnc's already attacking in a
pre-planned way comey's credibility. the white house is pushing back more than they were with "fire and fury." ashley, what else should we see? >> i think you're going to see a lot of what we saw in the president's tweets but from his surrogates and other people maybe toned down a bit, but basically painting james comey as a liar, as someone who's disgraced himself, as a leaker, as someone who can't be trusted. so far they're not really litigating the specific allegations in his book, but it is just sort of a broad, this is a bad guy who is deceitful and you shouldn't believe anything he says. >> here is the thing that i found most interesting about the book. a lot of the salacious details about the words he had to use when he went in to meet the president, how the president might react. but what i found most interesting is when the intelligence community went in to go see the president and reince priebus and sean spicer and talk about russian
interference in the election, the immediate response from this incoming administration wasn't what do we need to look out for next, how can we protect this country going forward, it was how can we spin this politically, "if" being that they don't believe it affected the election. when you're thinking about that, eli, how does that play with the way we've seen this administration respond so far to russia and the threat of election meddling going forward? >> that's a good question, katy. that's a damning passage from the new comey book, but it is of a piece of the actual reaction that we've seen from this white house which can basically be summed up as mostly indifference to the russia meddling in the election and the conclusions from the intelligence community that russia was meddling in the election on the president's behalf. we know from our reporting that that is something that agitates the president. he feels like somehow that belittles or diminishes his win so he can't really even accept that conclusion and has basically ignored it so far. >> listen to james comey talking
about that himself. >> president-elect trump's first question was to confirm that it had no impact on the election. and then the conversation to my surprise moved into a pr conversation about how the trump team would position this and what they could say about this. no one, to my recollection, asked, so what -- what's coming next from the russians? how might we stop it? what's the future look like? >> there was also a lot of talk in the book, not just about that, but about the dossier and the president's reaction to the dossier. it sounds like comey's trying to say he kind of changed his story in one aspect of it. initially the president didn't say a lot about the dossier, only to say do i look like the kind of person that would need prostitutes. comey says he called him later and said hold on, i was only in that hotel -- i never even slept in that hotel.
>> right. which contradicts the testimony from keith schiller who says they did spend the night in the hotel that he gave before congress some weeks back. comey comes back with this quite a bit. he says the president says three or four different times unprompted, brings up the most salacious allegations of the events that transpired in this moscow hotel room. it struck comey on a couple levels. at one point he sort of went on a tangent of all the women that accused him of sexual assault during the campaign. trump rattled off the details. very familiar with the details and denying them. comey wrote he thought it was an odd segue. another thing is why trump said he was so upset with this allegation out there once dossier was published was that 1% chance melania trump might believe it. comey said -- reflected later that, isn't that a strange thing. he writes along the line, i'm not a perfect man but if someone said this about me, made these allegations about me, there is
1100% chance that my wife would not believe them. so he thought it was odd that trump thought there was the smallest of chances that his wife, the now first dlady might. to the point trump even suggested investigating this claim. comey writes in the book, that's your decision, we can do that if you want. but i'd advise against it. first, if you tell me it is not true, it would be hard to prove that it is not true and further the narrative that we are investigating you. >> eli, is any of this going to affect his prospects electorally going forward? is this going to matter in 2018 to those who support the republican party? those who support the president? isn't james comey already the perception of him -- i hate to use this term -- but baked in to a certain degree? >> yeah. the changing perception of james comey until now and through november will probably continue to be seen through a partisan lens and on the republican side, certainly with the president's
base, that's through the lens in which you look at james comey and you see a guy who is in it for himself, who is a liar and a leaker. incidentally, lying and leaking is what "scooter" libby did and just got pardoned for. but it does bring you back to the sense of the president's idea -- his conception of justice and the role of the justice department. and it is so highly political, comey writes in the book about loyalty and the president really sort of gives definition to that every day in the way that he is treating matters of law and order here and justice in terms of giving out pardons to somebody who could help him establish a pretext to further weaken the investigation. and then you have on the other side there attacking -- the rnc is attacking james comey for this book. i think at the end of the day, the rnc will, through its talking points and its website and the president's aides going after james comey, that will be -- those will be the sound bites that tulhat you'll hear o
fox news. that will trickle down and continue to define the way many people, especially on the right and within the president's base view and continue to view james comey. >> ashley, you talk to a lot more people than i do, but i talked to a couple today. i am getting conflicting accounts of the advice the president is getting when it comes to rod rosenstein, whether it comes to mueller. one person said they told the president that he would be dumb, essentially, to fire rod rosenstein, that two unleash a torrent on him. then i talked to another who said that -- and it is a long-time person in trump's orbit, somebody who still works for the president who said, listen, you should fire rod rose bestein. this is a conspiracy. the doj is out to get you, they are not going to stop and your best bet is to fight back. obviously that's something that i would imagine would appeal to trump's instincts. what are you hearing is going on behind the scenes though where there is a lot of talk, a lot of conjecture today, a lot of speculation, that today might be
rod rosenstein's last day. >> there sure is. we talked to someone who basically said inside the white house that there was a 50%-50% chance as to whether rod rosenstein would still have a job by the end of today. but there is a 50-50 chance about a lot of eventualities. in more general terms the more aggressive advice does play to the president's impulses and instincts, but he is getting the mixed bag on the whole. there are certainly exceptions to both of these, but on the whole from inside the white house, from inside the west wing, the advice is largely much more counseling caution, telling him not to make any rash moves. someone even said let's maybe just get through this serious situation before we decide how we want to shake up the department of justice. and then from outside the president's orbit who are people's opinions who he weights equally to those who work at the white house, it is a lot more of we told you this was going to be a problem, you've been too cooperative, it is time to make
a change, they have crossed that red line. so it is conflicting advice, but the more aggressive, more burn it down advice is largely, but not exclusively, from the outside. >> thank you, guys. catch "headliners" this sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern. chris matthews will host the one-hour special which takes an in-depth look at the fired fbi director. next thursday night it is comey and maddow when he joins rachel live. next up, we'll dig deeper on the white house's announcement that the president has pardoned "scooter" libby. valerie plame's husband, former u.s. ambassador to iraq, joe wilson, will join us exclusively next. and waiting for a white house briefing to get under way as well in a few minutes. you'll see it live right here on msnbc. you know what's awesome? gig-speed internet.
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break news from the white house. the president has pardoned "scooter" libby, the former chief of staff to vice president cheney who was convicted of lying to federal investigators. right now is a good time to remember that donald trump pledged to be the law and order candidate. >> when i take the oath of office next year, i will restore law and order to our country.
in this race for the white house, i am the law and order candidate. >> 449 days into his presidency, is he fulfilling that pledge? he's at war with the fbi, publicly undermining his own attorney general, and threatening his deputy attorney general, the man overseeing the man investigating him, robert mueller. he's also using the presidential pardon in unusual ways, his first one to sheriff joe arpaio convicted of criminal contempt of a federal judge's court order not to detain illegal immigrants. senator john mccain showed it a front to the rule of law. now it is "scooter" libby's turn. the former dick cheney aide was convicted in 2007 of lying to the fbi and obstructing justice, sentenced to 30 months in prison but had his sentence commuted by
george w. bush. in a statement the white house said mr. libby presented credible evidence in support of his innocence. the statement included a comment from the president as well. i don't know mr. libby but for years i have heard that he has been treated unfairly. hopefully this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life. why is this unbelievable? because of the message it sends and it is also subtle. it is okay to lie to the fbi, it is okay to obstruct justice. if you do, i will protect you. that's at least how valerie plame sees it. >> the message being sent is, you can comment 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. >> a long-time staffer to the president i spoke with agrees. after all, why now? besides, the staffer says, the president should fight back against the justice department with everything he has.
on camera today though another staffer, kellyanne conway,
wouldn't go quite that far. >> is the president sending that message? >> the president is not sending that message. >> what message is he sending, i guess? >> why is he pardoning "scooter" libby zbh. >> i can't confirm that. but many people think that "scooter" libby was a victory of a special counsel gone amok. >> a special counsel gone amok. the denial might be there but the parallels are pretty clear. michael flynn, former campaign advisor, george papadopoulos and former aide rick gates are all charged are lying to federal investigator and it is also the charge sending gates' lawyer alex van der zwaan to jail for 30 days. another member of trump's team is still taking charges, former trump campaign chair, paul manafort.
>> former ambassador, joseph wilson, the husband of valerie plame joins me now in his first tv interview since the pardon was issued. ambassador, thank you so much for being here. >> nice to be with you. >> woose should note that you a on the phone. not on tv. joe, listen. we're going to have to go back to the time machine and when this all happened and the tarting of valerie plame, the naming her as an undercover cia operative was because of an op-ed you wrote in the "new york times" in 2003 that pushed back against the justification to go to war with iraq, this idea that saddam hussein was going to niger to find yellow cake uranium and that they had weapons of mass destruction. you went to niger and you didn't find any of that. "scooter" libby was convicted of lying about how he found out your wife's name and how he leaked your wife's name in order to protect his boss, dick
cheney. seeing this unfold now, this many years later, what is your reaction? >> well, i'm not surprised, because they never quit. and i think essentially what you're seeing here -- and by the way, just as a background, not only did i go to niger, but i served there and i worked there extensively during a series of coups to help them bring the country back to democracy. i also was the last american to have confronted saddam hussein before the first gulf war. so i have a certain amount of experience in this area. but with respect to libby, there is a couple things that i think are really important. one, has nothing do with him as a person. he was just a bad man for the root of the conspiracy. he is the guy who took the fall for cheney and possibly for others in the administration. so he doesn't really matter. he did the crime. he paid the time.
and now he has accepted a pardon, which means he accepted, despite what people might say about judy miller's recantation, he's accepted he was guilty of the crimes of which he was accused. now the problem with a pardon is, it is not just a pardon of "scooter" libby, the individual. it is a pardon of the entire neoconservative, divisive movement that drove this country to a false war in 2003 and which still has imbigs to drive this country to war in iran. and what he has done is he has given a plank kblanket pardon essentially to this movement and he's invited them back into this administration to again lead a charge to take the u.s. to war. so in pardoning libby, and pardoning the neoconservative movement, he has basically given his seal of approval on things that he claimed to have been
against, i.e., the war in iraq. >> are you referring to john bolton when you say welcoming back into the administration? >> yeah, bolton's just one of them. bolton, by the way, was intimately involved in the vetting of my wife's identity to the community. >> do you think there is more at play here? i think that's certainly one take. i was talking to somebody who said another take is that this is a man who was convicted of lying by a special counsel. that special counsel was appointed by james comey. the president is facing his own special counsel. his advicers are being interviewed by the special counsel. he's got his personal lawyer who's being raided by the fbi. do you think that this sends a message, as your wife said a little bit earlier on our network, that it is okay to do that as long as you are doing it in a politically beneficial way for the man in charge? >> certainly. certainly. you get away with anything.
you want to betray your country, that's fine, because trump will pardon you if it suits his venal political interests. he is a vile and despicable individual who is undermining the democracy of our country and whose administration is a rank repudiation of everything that my generation, since the end of the second world war, has tried to put into place to ensure global stability. he is a menace to society and by bringing the neoconservatives back into his administration, he is an appeaser to those interests that he opposed when he ran for president, and he's also essentially developing a coalition of extremists. and by bringing the neoconservatives back into the fold, they have a massive propaganda operation with which i was very familiar for over a decade. and they will now be spewing his crap exponentially more
powerfully than he was able to do by himself. he was able to do a lot by himself. >> here's the thing. he campaigned on iraq being a bad idea. he campaigned and said he was never for the invasion of iraq, though he never was not for it. even though he said he was for it before 2003. but he used that to his advantage when he was running and used it to his advantage even in deep red military states, places like south carolina, talking to veterans, saying the iraq war was a terrible idea, we should have never gotten into it. do you think that the advisors he has in place right now are going to change his mind on that sort of thing or he's going to change their mind on that sort of thing? >>. [ laughter ] i don't think he has a mind. he think he's basically very venal. he is looking to get himself through the next day and put as many dollars into his bank account as he possibly can.
i think this man is a danger to the united states of america. >> ambassador joe wilson, thank you very much. we appreciate your time. i >> these are serious times. >> ambassador, thank you so much for calling in. nbc's kelly o'donnell is at the white house. i'm also joined by federal former prosecutor, ronado maricotti. the ambassador was giving his perspective by someone being targeted by this entire leaking, the person they were trying to tear down or hurt in leaking valerie plame's identity. you covered this as a reporter. bring us back to that time. what's it like hearing his name again and what it is like hearing the president of the united states 11 years later decides to pardon "scooter" libby? >> in hearing ambassador wilson again -- and we have to remember the personal suffering he and his wife went through -- she lost her career. she had been an honorable public
servant for a long time. once her name was made public, she could no longer serve in that capacity at the central intelligence agency in an undercover position. so they paid an enormous personal price for being thrust into a national news story. at the same time, today the libby family is also thanking the president for this pardon. as ambassador wilson pointed out and the law may provide that a pardon does admit guilt, they are certainly not doing that. libby says that he and his family are immensely grateful to president trump for his gracious decision to grant a pardon. they have suffered under the weight of a terrible injustice. the daughter of the former vice president dick cheney who now serves as a member of congress in wyoming, says "scooter" libby is a good, honorable man who was the victim of prosecutorial misconduct and miscarriage of justice.
at the time, covering this day in and day out, it was the dominant story of the moment and it had, as its backdrop, the war in iraq, which at first had a lot of support from the american people. and then that crumbled with the weight of not finding weapons of mass destruction and all the things that unfolded. what happened here that conservatives -- and it has been really hard-line conservatives who have carried the libby cause over the years. their claim has been that the underlying crime of outing a covert operative was not what was prosecuted in this case. and in fact that they claim -- and we know as a factual matter -- that patrick fitzgerald, the friend of comey appointed as special prosecutor, had lrnd from the investigation who was the first to disclose the name and that set all of this off. where libby got into trouble where it was determined by the fbi and prosecutors that he was not truthful. they believed he was covering up for his boss.
he would contend that he was not, that cheney himself had not leaked the name. and so it's a more discrete set of facts that they're dealing with here in the midst of an enormous political storm. that's so similar to what we're in right now. >> good point. and it is important to remember that this was an obstruction of justice case, not a conclusively a case of libby leaking plame's identity, but part of the leak investigation that he got caught up in. legally speaking, what's your take on this whole episode? >> well, there is a couple of odd things about it, katy. first, this is a pardon with very little practical effect because first of all, george w. bush already commuted "scooter" libby's sentence. then the governor of the state in which mr. libby resided restored his rights. it certainly has a symbolic effect and it has some minor practical effect, but it is interesting that the pardon is
coming at this time. the other thing i would say, too, is this is a pardon that didn't go through the ordinary pardon process. one thing that viewers may not know is that typically there is a lengthy petition that is made for a pardon and a very complicated set of procedures that are followed to evaluate pardons. there's an entire office in the justice department that plays a big role in that. and that wasn't followed here. i think you were mentioning earlier that there's certainly an implication that this is sending a message. kellyanne conway said just a moment ago, you played that clip, that this is what she called i think a special counsel run amok. i used to work for pat fitzgerald. he was the last special counsel and he's a man who's very much respected in law enforcement as somebody who spent decades handling some of the most important cases in our country, everything from being the man who indicted bin laden, to
prosecuted gotti, prosecuted two governors in illinois, a man of impeccable integrity. yet the argument i think the trump camp or conservatives are trying to pivot to win the support of conservatives is that special counsel, by their very nature, are problematic and that you can't control special counsel that they're doing something wrong or that they're engaging in misconduct. and what i will say is that the conduct of president trump certainly seems to strengthen the argument for having not just special counsel but independent counsel to protect special counsel from interference by the political party. >> kelly, really quickly, this isn't a vacuum, obviously, and there are a lot of politics at stake and there is is a lot of real consequences at stake with what the president is facing with his own special counsel. kellyanne conway is denying the president was sending a message. politically speaking what are you hearing out there? i'm hearing some folks saying that it is pretty clear that this is the message that he is
sending. >> well, if the president wanted to remove the appearance of message sending, he could have done this the day he walked in to the oval office. he could do it on his day walking out. or at some time when it is not the obvious question that is next asked. the president has that power. we saw that he didn't follow the department of justice process with the joe arpaio pardon, as well, although libby's lawyers say they have been going through the mechanism in the department of justice to file for this. so the president has to be mindful of timing. when you are the president, your actions carry enormous weight beyond the discrete facts we are talking about here. so he granted the pardon, says he thinks it was the right thing to do, but it will be viewed in the lens of his own legal troubles and that of his universe of people who have been questioned and prosecuted and so forth with the special counsel investigation, the russia investigation. so the president made a choice to put this out right in the
middle of a sort of mirror image set of facts 11 years later. so if he had wanted it not to look political, he could have done it at a different time. >> you can't ignore the timing. guys, thank you. two stories just broke involving the president's personal lawyer, michael cohen. one involves this one's raid by the fbi. another has to deal with a deal i apparently broked between a gop donor and another playboy model. that's next. y pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do? drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had liberty mutual new car replacement™, you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. smart. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, we'll replace the full value of your car. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
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more breaking news. the justice department inspector general just released its watchdog report on fired fbi director -- deputy director andrew mccabe. nbc news justice correspondent pete williams has been poring through this report the last few minutes. we have former chief spokesman at the justice department, matt miller, also an msnbc justice and security analyst. gentlemen, welcome. pete, just reading a few notes that have come in, including "the new york times'" lead, that says the justice department inspector general delivered to congress on friday a highly critical report that adduced andrew mccabe, the former fbi deputy director of repeatedly misleading investigators. what was he misleading them about? >> about a conversation that the ig says he had with reporter devlin barrett then at the "wall street journal," then at "the washington post," about a story that barrett was working on suggesting that, as deputy director, mccabe was, in
essence, slow-rolling the fbi's investigation of the clinton foundation. what mccabe -- what the report says -- mccabe has said this, too -- that he authorized the fbi to say to the reporter, no, that's not true. and in fact, the fbi had had a phone conversation with the justice department, that it was doj that wanted to go slow on this and the fbi was full-speed ahead. now the inspector general says that should not have happened. mccabe has consistently said that as deputy director, he had the authority to authorize the disclosure of materials to the news media if it is in the public interest. the inspector jem cgeneral conc that in what's perhaps the most controversial section of the report that it wasn't in the public's interest because it was an investigation that was still going on. i'm sure people will disagree about whether that was or was not in the public interest to correct the record. nonetheless, having said that, the ig then says that mccabe
twice was misleading, that once he lacked candor, is the phrase used, when he made statements that led comey -- this is fbi director james comey at the time, to believe that mccabe had not authorized the disclosure and that mccabe didn't know who did. then the ig says when he was questioned by the fbi agents, he told agents he didn't authorize the disclosure to the "wall street journal" and that he didn't know who did. that's the basis of it. his lawyers are saying this isn't right. a, mccabe has the authority to authorize material. they're wrong. second, it is okay for him to describe james comey's recollection of the phone call. this is october 20, 2016, when the fbi is in this huge controversy of finding e-mails on anthony weiner's laptop.
mccabe has a clear recollection, his lawyers say, and it is inexplicable the ig close to go with what comey said and not mccabe said. their lawyers said they think this whole process was unfair in that attorney general made the final decision. they say the ag was under all this pressure from the president, constantly being needled by tweets and that it is understand that the attorney general would want to do something to please the president. so they say the whole process is unfair. now, a couple of other quick notes. the ig report says it's issuing this report to the fbi for such action as it deems appropriate. obviously the fbi chose that that action should be firing. but there is nothing in here that suggests any possible prosecution of mccabe for, in essence, lying to the fbi or leaking classified material. the report does say that the material was unclassified. one other thing i would just say. what we really are waiting for
from the inspector general is the big report on how the fbi conducted the hillary clinton e-mail server investigation. we've been waiting for that. as a matter of fact, we were trying to see who's going to go first, whether comey's book was going to come out first or the ig report. now we know the answer -- comey's book is south. the ig says in a letter to members of the hill, that they don't think the ig report on the clinton e-mail investigation will be out until may. >> mccabe has said in the past that his firing was meant to undermine the special counsel investigation being led by robert mueller. what are you hearing on that sort of defense? and in your experience, pete, does this firing amount -- or look as clear-cut as past firings might have? >> well, i think, as i suggested here, i think the linchpin of this whole thing, the part about
whether or not mccabe was honest with the fbi and comey, that's the kind of thing igs look at all the time. they see it one way. mccabe's lawyers see it another way. i suppose they each have their view. but i think the linchpin of this is whether or not the ig's conclusion that it was not in the public interest to set the "wall street journal" correct about the clinton foundation investigation. now, what the ig is saying here is that the director of the fbi, comey, had not wanted to make that public, that he was doing an investigation of the clinton foundation, and that in essence it was wrong, it was not in the public interest for andrew mccabe to authorize talking about it. that's the, to me, the weak spot of this. >> matt, what's your take on this now that you've seen the report? >> i think pete's hitting on the most important point, which is this question over whether andrew mccabe had the authority to make that information public, and just as importantly, why he made that information public. i think what he and his attorneys have argued -- seems like they argued -- to the
inspector general is he was trying to correct the public record, it was in the public interest and it is within fbi and department of justice rules to talk about investigations when it is in the public interest to do so. what the inspector general apparently concluded was, he wasn't trying to advance the public interest but really to protect his own reputation, protect the fbi's reputation. don't know if that's what he was doing or not but you have to take this in the context of what was happening at the time when people inside the justice department and inside the fbi were pointing fingers at each other about this clinton foundation investigation, who wanted it to go forward, who wanted it stopped, who was acting on political mow tetives. then the re-opening of the investigation into her use of a private server er and a non-governmental e-mail system once they found anthony we be you're laptops that included some of her e-mails. the conversation with this reporter at the time happened while the fbi was re-opening that investigation and deciding
whether to send that letter. you have people from across pennsylvania avenue between the fbi and justice department pointing fingers at each other. one take-away we might find, if the inspector general is finding in this case that andrew mccabe in kind of clearing up the public record here with respect to this investigation, he was not acting in the public interest but acting kind of to advance -- to protect his own reputation, i think we could kind of take that as a tea leaf for how they're likely to read james comey's actions when he talked about a different clinton investigation in that same action. >> why do you think it was released today? the ig report? >> it is a great question. i am interested who made the call. i don't have any reason to think the inspector general was playing politics. it was the inspector general's decision to send it to the hill this day, i assume he made it for investigative reasons or because he was just done and it was at a point where it could be
released. if it was someone else at the justice department, if it was say the attorney general, that would raise real questions in my mind. i think the way the attorney general has acted in this case kind of rushing through this firing process so it could happen right before mccabe retired i think was a bit of a suspicious action on his part. if he had anything to do with the timing of this release, i think you might raise questions about whether it had anything to do with the timing of james comey's book coming out. >> i can answer that question, i think. we've heard this was coming now for the last two weeks. and our understanding is that the timing of it, the nature of the way it's timed, was all controlled by the inspector general, not the attorney general's office. >> thank you both. happy friday. republican congressman jim jordan of ohio, co-founder of the freedom caucus, joins me now. congressman, thank you so much for being here. how you doing? >> you bet.
doing fine. good to be with you. >> what do you think of this ig report and mccabe? do you think this was a deserved firing? >> it confirms what we already know, that the office of professional responsibility said that andrew mccabe should be fired. he misled them, he misled his boss, mr. comey, and he misled the inspector general. it just confirms everything we know. >> what do you think about the pardoning of "scooter" libby today? what message is that sending? >> i think it sends a simple message -- the president thought he should be pardoned. i don't recall all the details around the "scooter" libby investigation and his prosecution way back when. i do remember at the time i felt like he was getting a bad deal. but i think it says plainly the president thinks he should be pardoned so he pardoned him. >> he was convicted of obstruction of justice. right now the president is facing his own special counsel. there are folks in his orbit who have already pleaded guilty. there are others who are still facing a lot of serious charges, including paul manafort. he's got his personal lawyer right now who's being investigated. do you think the timing of
pardoning somebody like "scooter" libby who is convicted of lying to federal investigators and obstruction of justice is fishy at all? because some folks think it is. >> i mean, look, you'd have to ask the white house there. what i know is and what a lot of folks in our district are talking about is the double standard. the idea that sent clinton -- i asked her under oath in the benghazi hearing if she would agree to a neutral third party examining her e-mails and deciding which ones we on the committee should reef and which ones were personal? she got a better deal. they got to decide versus what happened to mikel cohen earlier this week where they go grab everything at hess only and his business. the double standard is what offends so many americans. >> rod rosenstein is the one who okayed that for the sdny. can you answer question without using hillary clinton's name? do you think it looks suspicious
for the president to pardon somebody who was convicted of lying to the fbi and obstruction of justice when all this stuff is going on? maybe take president trump's name out of it. president x, this is going on around president x and president x pardoned somebody for doing something similar in the past. as a neutral observer, do you think it looks suspicious? >> what looks strange or suspicious, what looks strange is when red rosenstein writes the memo why you should fire james comey, comey leaks a document for bob mueller to be the special counsel. rosenstein gets mueller to be the special counsel. and one of the things that mueller is looking into is was there obstruction of justice in the firing of james comey. if that's not the swamp and suspicious and strange i don't know what is. there is lots of strange things happening in this town. i don't see anything more strange than that scenario i just went through.
>> do you think the justice department is out to get the president? >> i think what happened there with rod rosenstein doing what he did with james comey leaked a government document through a friend to the "new york times" for one stated purpose, to create momentum for a special counsel, and that special counsel was bob mueller -- i think that looks strange. i think that's a problem. and then rod rosenstein, who signed one of the fisa applications and also approved this raid on michael cohen's office and business, who happens to be the president of the united states's lawyer and confidential attorney/client privilege information was grabbeds -- unbelievable. compared to what secretary clinton got, which is -- she wouldn't even agree to a neutral third party to do it. >> you used the clinton name, i said answer without using the name secretary clinton. >> that's two standards. >> she's not the president of the united states, she's not running for anything any longer. >> katy, you can agree. >> i think a lot of people want to focus on the issue and the task at hand, the president is
the president of the united states and there are a lot of questions surrounding it. you can't deny they have come up with a number of indictments that a lot of people pleaded guilty. >> do you think it's strange katy that they handled those two things different. >> come on, let me finish asking the question amount lot of people pleaded guilty to crimes already. this investigation is ongoing. this hasn't -- it's not as if they are coming up with things out of thin air. folks are going in, and they are pleading guilty to crimes committed, to lying to the fbi. do you think that they are being -- i mean, it sounds like you are saying they are being strong armed and there is a justice department conspiracy out to take out this president and his campaign. >> katy, james comey has been fired. deputy director of the fbi, andrew mccabe has been fired. general counsel of the fbi jim bakker has been demoted and reassigned. peter struck demoted and reassigned. page, fbi counsel, demoted and reassigned. last two were on mueller's team.
kicked off mueller's team. bruce was reassigned because he wouldn't tell anyone that his wife was working for gps. that's interesting. that's interesting stuff. those are the top people in our fbi. fine you can look at all the things you want to talk about, those are being looked at by the special counsel bob mueller. how about all the facts i just laid out? they need to be examined as well. >> i want to ask you about the speakership. are you running? are you interesting? do you want to be the next speaker of the house. >> paul ryan is the speaker of the house. there is no race for officer. >> only until january. >> if and when inside a race for the speaker i have had colleagues encourage me to do. i'm open to considering running for that. but the most important thing is, by far, what we do in the next six months. if we don't do the right thing and do what the american people sent us there to do we are not going to be in the majority. i'm focus on that alone.
>> congressman jim jordan from ohio. president trump's personal lawyer was in federal court trying to stop from theors and investigators from using and viewing materials seized during the raid this week. investigators searched cohen's office and hotel room. that includes all of his electronic devices. now the "new york times" reports prosecutors also obtained warrants to seize material from his safe-deposit box. the lawyer for stormy daniels, the porn stash who received a $130,000 payment from cohen was also at that hearing this morning. he says he's interested in the case because daniels' documents were some of the documents that were seized. >> we are here to ensure that the american people have as much access to documents and information concerning this critical investigation as possible. >> now this from the "wall street journal." people familiar with the matter sekoen negotiated a deal in late 2017 to pay $1.6 million to a former playboy model who said
she was impregnated by boydy who has tied to the president. in a statement, he confirmed he obtained cohen and acknowledge i had a consensual relationship with the playboy playmate. at the end of our relationship she told me she was pregnant and she alone decided not to continue with the pregnancy and i helped had her financially during this difficult period. i have not spoken to her since that time. chuck joins us now. it has been a exhausting and wild 24 hours just this past hour we have been in the chair here. let's try to break some of this down legally. michael cohen wants to stop the fbi from going through his documents relating to donald trump. can he do so? >> he can try, katy beside but the odds of him succeeding are very, very small. here's why. i can assure you that the prosecutors applying for a search warrant for an attorney's office, where the attorney
happens to be the personal attorney for the president are going to be exceedingly careful. i wouldn't be suppliesed if ten or 12 pairs of eyes looked at that affidavit. i can also tell you, a federal judge has to sign off on it. it's not like prosecutors and agents can take on to themselves the authority to execute a warn like this. plus, once they get into his office, once they get into his stuff, they have to give to it a privileged review team. >> yeah. >> so the procedures here are careful. they are thoughtful. and i don't imagine that mr. cohen's attorneys are going to succeed at this point in having this halted or suppressed. >> this was a question raised to me today by somebody who used to work with the people involved in this. if michael cohen didn't get a retainer while he was working at the trump organization, does that still mean that he's working as an official lawyer for the president or just a staffer at the trump organization?
>> well, it's a fair question. i think i would answer it this way. lots of lawyers work pro bono. that means, for free. you don't have to be paid to have an attorney-client relationship. being paid is some evidence of that. but that seems like a bit of a bridge too far for me. and i'm not sure that the determination of whether or not he was mr. trump's lawyer is going to turn on whether or not he was paid. >> why are federal investigators so interested in all of these payments? we are hearing about another one today. what could they think michael cohen is wrapped up in? >> that's a great question. if he has been associated with mr. trump for a long time he could be wrapped up in a whole bunch of stuff, right? so first thing that comes to mind of course are campaign finance violations. if these payments were really intended as contributions to the trump campaign. they were buying the silence of people who could hurt the
campaign in its final stages. but i'm sure prosecutors are looking more broadly. take for instance katy the manafort indictment. you look at all the financial transactions that are at issue there. and whether or not they end up charging that kind of stuff, i can assure you they are looking at it with respect to mr. cohen. >> we have less than a minute left in the show. i want your take on this. if you were paul manafort's lawyer today and you saw this pardoning of scooter libby, what advice would you give paul manafort? >> i would tell him to hit his knees every night and say his prayers. this seems to be the type of thing that is in the wind right now. without a pardon, mr. manafort goes to jail. with a pardon, he does not. in terms of exit ramps in this case, katy a pardon seems like the best one for him. whether or not it happens, we'll see. >> chuck rosenberg. thank you for coming on. we appreciate night my please your. >> that will wrap thing up for me this hour.
ali velshi. oh, my gosh it has been wild. >> i just don't wanna. >> it's been wild. buckle up. >> i can't keep track. i can't keep -- i'm not a simple guy. i just can't keep track. >> one commercial break that hour. the ig report came out. >> from the fbi about -- >> cohen in court. new information on what was seized. >> the bradentony. >> bradentony stuff. playboy playmate. >> and then there is sarah huckabee sanders. >> let's listen to sarah huckabee sanders for a minute while we collect our thoughts. >> memorial on the ellipse it is a moving experience. president trump and the first lady encourage you to visit the memorial before it leaves washington, d.c. on april 18th. today at the summit of the americans in lima peru vooi ivanka trump oversees private