tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC April 15, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PDT
>> i'll ask about the president declaring mission accomplished. >> i am constantly amazing with each passing day of the lack of intelligence that has been demonstrated by this man. >> michael cohen faces a judge tomorrow and the attorney for stormy daniels will be there and so will the porn star herself. we'll have some answers next. we begin with a live picture of the white house where president trump is airing new grievances calling the director of the fbi a slime ball. the president's tweets come on the heels of a new clip from
comey's interview that's set to air tonight. >> i was operating in a world where hillary clinton was going to beat donald trump. i don't remember spelling it out but it had to have been, that she is gipg to to be elected president. if i hide this from the america people she will be illegitimate the moment the letter came out. >> if you knew that would come out would you still send it? >> i would. i would. zb >> we had a trifecta of tweets this morning as well as talking about michael cohen. what is he saying? >> he is up to six i think this morning. when talking about attorney/client privilege, that is reference to his long time perm attorney two had his home,
his officer and his hotel room raided by the fbi. some of his personal effects seized. court documents sell us he is under criminal investigation for largely personal bichltz they are arrests attorney-client privilege. there are limited circumstances where a court will potentially go past that rule. that's one of the things that the court certainly had to review in the case of michael o cohen. that's part of the president's views today. he is also talking about the comey book. if the president were in a book club it would be the selection of the week. we have asked if the white house has the book. the officials we had spoken to answered individually that they did not. we adopt know don't know if he
possession of it. he talks about some of the issues he believes are not covered to his satisfaction and returns us to the situation in the campaign where bill clinton and loretta lynch were on an airplane. what we off fiten find it is in the area where he feels attention should be drawn. he also referenced his use of the term mission accomplished which i and many others pointed out it was a term for george w. bush. it appeared behind him during the 2003 iraq war.
in this context the pept gone says the air strikes in syria went off really well but they are saying it could be a sustained military effort therefore the mission may be ongoing as opposed to accomplished. that is one of the thing that's the president ee's mind. >> i want to ask you what the white house is saying. she speak to reporters. >> well, we have spoken to a number of senior officials that have specific expertise to the issues that are underlike here. we are talking about not om syria and its patrons, that
chemical wps will not be tolerated. they are also saying they believe this went well and the evidence does show that both chlorine and sarin gases were a part of the banned substances that assad released on his own peechl. >> in syria it appears to be business as usual. he showed up after air strikes on three targets in his country. what are you telling us about the per specific ifr on that? >> well, the dust has settled. has anything really changed? that's the question they are asking in washington and london
and paris what factually has it deterred. the smoelk has cleared from the stroke of 105 missiles. 76 missiles reduced this research facility to rubble. three words sum it up, precise -- some question saying it was more symbolic than conclusive. >> if the syrian regime uses this poisonous gas again the
this morning russia is offering syria new missiles saying it will update syria's air defense system which dates back to the 1970s. that alliance holding firm. vice president mike pence is saying russia is on the wrong side of history, david. >> thank you very much. joining me now is heather. she is acting under secretary of states spokesperson. let me begin with that question raised at the beginning of the interview. he said has that even really changed. what has changed from the state department's perspective? >> that's something that he had said. that's that assad is trying to act like things are normal. he was driving around trying to act like things were okay in his
country at the same time he was planning to murder millions of men, women and children. i want to bring you information and that is that the regime is trying to convince and pressure people to change their stories, to basically imply that syria was not respopsable for this attack. it is disgusting information we are seeing across the board. >> let me ask you quickly. what are others in the u.s. got doing to combat that campaign if. >> i'm here with you right now to talk about that. we saw what russia attempted to do yesterday at the u.n. security coup sill, so basically put the blame on the united states. they are failing to take respops blt. that's an example of disinformation. i want to be out here talking with you about the responsibility for these attacks.
the respops blt for these attacks rests solely on the syrian regime but also backed by russia. remember, several years ago russia proflged to get rid of chemical webs. russia is respopsable for the attacks. what's more ed when you look who is on the ground today you see a russian delegation pledging they will sell more material to syria. it only enables syria to continue attacking its own people. it is disgusting. it has to stop. that's why you saw the united states with her allies, the uk and france taking decisive action just the other night. >> let's go back to that meeting if we could. all of the 15 members talked about the prospects. how does what happened in the last few days get us any closer to that? >> there are a couple of things. one the united states stands
firmly behind the process. many other countries around the dworld as well. that's a political process. we don't see the end result as being achiefed through military means. once the country can be stabilized and we are a lopg way off from that point but when that country does get there the united states and coalition partners, there are 73 members that can help get syria to the geneva process. people will be able to vote for who they want to run that country. imagine the millions of syrians, being able to vote some day in the election is what the united states is pushing for. >> when you look at what's happening, this took place in the last remaining rebel stronghold how far away are we from this happening?
>> i knowledge it is a long way off at this point. let's remember why the united states is in syria to begin with. the united states is to defeat isis. when we have tried all of the diplomatic options at the united nations and elsewhere to stop sas sad then the united states has a moral respopsable to agentment. >> the united states is in syria to defeat isis. many wopdering what the policy is. what do you say to those who say there suspect a clear policy is. >> it is a very complicated country with a lot of terrible
actors involved. ie rap tonights to do so. oufr policy is to be there. we have had it not been for russia assisting several years ago that regime would not be able to control parts of the country lielk it has. >> would you characterize what involvement he had in those conversations that lead to the strikes during the morning hours two days ago? >> thank you for asking that question. sullivan has had lots of
meetings. he has been in all of the meetings with the president to discuss possible options and has given his advice and perspective from the state department cht the acting sec is on his way back. they were meeting with leaders. he was obvious to phone. engamed in these calls. he poke with the turk, the thigh these and ors as well thinking them for their assistance and support. we knead to think for overflight rights. by wul not be able to sustain this kind of engagement.
>> why wasn't there an arab partner? >> i'm not aware of that. i think they have been very alarmed as we have watched what as continued to happen. we have had a lot of support in techls of our action. we'll watch to see if any of those countries decide to zwrjo us. as i just mepgs, over flights basing, that kindover thing. >> are there any problems. the u.s. is locked and loaded. she said she was communicating that on behalf of the president of the united states. m is there a clear position what the raetd line is now that the strikes have taken place in. >> i think he was very clear
that syria is on notice. we are watching. if syria were to declare its dem kal weapons tstockpiles achbtd were to get rid of them then thap certain lip wouldn't face further action i don't think. we'll continue to watch and monitor the situation. >> i'll read to you one of the tweets from the president this morning. the syrian raid was so perfectly carried out with such precision that the only the fake news media could demean it -- >> i think the media talked about it because it was used in 2003 well before the cop flikt
in iraq -- fighting in ie rock in 2003 ch? what do you think? >> i think i was a successful mission. we were successful in degrading the able to test and use chemical weapons. in that sense it was a success. the attack that took place, that was a success. >> last question about the chemical weapons inspections that are taking place.
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so this book come at a comey upon clearly the who is worried about that. >> what are northeast spe. she throws lifrmg under the bus. no golf and grand kids talk. give us all a break. there are things we hope to get more color from this book. what you most interested? >> i understand why the president is dredging that up again because of the thimgs that are difficult for him are being drudged up for him.
there is more to be found out. i think one of the things that's already come out that has been really interesting is the fact that when comey briefed trump and his top advisers about russian interference they department say how the we stop this going for ward. in terms of national security there are some things we need to find out about this if the, how serious they taking this threat of russia some t there are big questions. >> what have we learned about the political figure? many on the left have distas. there are many people on the
right. i'll say i read some of the book. he talks about how his approach was to the job. he said he was a republican. he notes his wife was a democrat. situation this in his political context. >> right. he will say he is not partisan. you don't rise to be director. he talks about seeing the world through the bet let proof wipds. he and i think you to tack that into acould want. he is trying to look out for his career. he also perhaps is a political agenda we can guess at but we can want know for sure. one thing he acknowledges is he
does say he came out aggress ifrly during the campaign in part because he thought she was doing to bin the presidency. so he took for granted when he made that famous press kofrps. it looks like a troubling decision. >> he talks about that during the course of all of that. thachgs to both of you. >> thanks.
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it is completed it is mission accomplished. politically it means something broader. think that the president was referring in military terms. we know our work is not done. we know it is up to assad on whether he will use chemical weapons gep. should he use it again then the president that has made it cleared that the united states is locked and loaded and ready go. >> president trump tweeted the syrian raid was so perfectly carried out with such precision that the only way the fake news media could demean is by my term mission accomplished. for what's next i want to bring in kevin. why don't you react to the tweet from the president and what h haley said there as well. >> i chuckle every time i hear
that locked and loaded line. it's a little over the top. this mission accomplished, i think it's not a big deal. we all remember mission accomplished. as soon as we saw that tweet everyone cringed. the president said got you. he said he was baiting the media. he knew it was draw a rise out of us and he's right. they did it with overwhelming force. the seyrians had zero effect. she is right they have a mission they stated that is not accomplished. that is a unified syria with assad gone. right now there is no path to that peace. there is no leader in the united states government that is in charge of it. we are waiting to see what is
going to happen. right now that mission is not accomplished. >> how much has military strategy changed since that first strike. what's different now than then? >> not much. there are two wars in syria. there's the u.s. war against isis. he has gathered syrian kurds into a coalition. the united states has stayed out of and very deliberately. not much has changed there. the u.s. has watched to see what's happened. what's happened is that the rebels once had a chance. now by most acould wants assad has already won. that's almost over. every knows they are getting closer and closer the united states can want hold the ground
forever. already the russians have poked a little bit. it can't hold. something has got to give. >> last question here about disinformation. she warned about it. we have more on how well equipped to deal with from the syrians. what's yource sense of that? more people saying that's their way of combatting it. how they to deal with information that's not true? >> i think very poorly. it means there's no u.s. government office that's putting out tweet after tweet after tweet and trying to shake the way facebook shows you information or alter tar this.
sit a we they would have to you the media. he stays off camera. we saw them yesterday because of the strielk for the first time in more than six months. if this add minute stlags wants to own the messaging they have got to stop trying to worry so much about the president's entrappings and get out there and say what they want and really come up with this plan and say what the plan is goichk to be. the facts are their best friend. >> the situation has been at the state department. thank you very much. >> you bet cht. >> next, the legal heat on trump's perm attorney and why it could get hotter at a federal
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want to that cohen visited during the 2016 campaign to strike that jazz wi strike that jazz. he reported bad story by peter stone. no matter how many times or ways they write it i have never been to prague. barbara, i woptd wonder what yo. why is there such push back on this do you think? >> this goes to some of the information that's in the dossier. i suppose if it can be verified that he did in fact have this meeting does it bolster the other statements made. it was the photo of the kor. you can enter through any other
country by car. so without getting a passport stamp that you were. there could be things in the law officer that demonstrate that. i think we will figure out whether he was or wuasn't in pra prague. >> let me ask you about the raids. it seems that there's a great deal of concern here. book ending allover this is cohen may have taped a lot of conversations he had. how worried should he be? >> if he is the fixer and has been paying off not only mistresses but has been involved in traps actions with russia perhaps there's good reason.
so it may we lateless to collusion with russia but nor illegal testimony traps actions. there could be must be u money laundering or bank fraud. >> michael cohen is making a statement. the president tweets about attorney-cliept privilege. he says it is now a thing of the past. help us understand the protections afforded by that and how it might apply to this case. >> it is a very well known and very well protected privilege. it is om fnly for the purpose o seeking legal advice. all of the stuff in tof the off includes things that would be yopd the keep of that. no doubt when they scoop up some of these materials they will get matters that are privileged.
they create a privileged team to review that material to make shoo they don't see it's not open titled to. the policy says we don't want them to be able to guide. it is something nonas the crime fraud exception. they are looking to see if there's anything that might fall tapd prosecution will be entitled to that as well. i believe that the jisty dp and u.s. toerp's officer is using that very to make sure it is respecting the attorney-client privilege. >> and stormy daniels says she will be in court tomorrow. help us understand the interest in this hearing regarding michael cohen. >> he says he is there to protect the interest. i don't know that the judge will really allow him to speak but i
can imagine that he does have an interest in disclosing to the world the relationship between president trump and stormy daniels. he has documents, correspondents, copies of the contract maybe even including how it relates to donald trump. i think that stormy daniels does have a strong interest in seeing that documents are turned over to the government. it is regarding this particular controversy. i don't know that the judge will want to hear from the lawyer. >> thank you very much for the time. >> thanks. >> next, james comey on who he thought was going to win the election and how it effected his decision making in the e-mail probe. . like using glucerna to replace one meal or snack a day. only glucerna has carbsteady...
sure you're prepared for what's expected and even what's not. and that kind of financial confidence can help you sleep better at night. with the right financial advisor, life can be brilliant. wasn't the decision to reveal influenced by your assumption that hillary clinton was going to win and your concern that she wins, this comes out several weeks later and then that's taken by her opponents to sign that she's an ill-legitimate president? >> it must have been. i don't remember consciously thinking about that, but it must have been. i was operate not guilty a world
where hillary clinton was going to beat donald trump so i'm sure it was a factor. i don't remember spelling it out but it had to have been that she's going to be elected president and if i hide this from the american people, she'll be ill-legitimate the moment she's elected, the moment this comes out. >> the director of strategic communications for hillary clinton, sabrina shaver, both of them joining me. just get your reaction to that back and forth between them. with the hillary clinton e-mail matter for lack of a better term. >> david, listening to james comey actually admit that he thought hillary clinton was the inevitable choice and was going to win the election is really hard to hear. that was a bias that we face throughout the entire campaign. we faced it from many members of the media during the primary, we witness it had during the
general election as well. to actually hear those words come out of the mouth of the fbi who chose to reopen the investigation 12 days before the election which many of us strongly believe is what caused us to lose the election is hard to hear. >> sabrina, let me have you weigh in on this as well. the president is weighing in on. slippery james comey, a man who always ends up badly and out of whack. he is not smart, will go down as the worst fbi director in history by far. >> once again there's someone here in washington that's trying to capitalize their position -- >> just one person. >> right. i think in this case he's doing himself some harm, certainly. if his ultimate goal is to cooperative with mueller's russia investigation he's going to damage that as well. >> let me get to your perspective, adrian and what we can learn from this book. the book comes out on tuesday.
what more do you want to hear about the election, about his role in that election? >> what i'd really like to here is james comey express remorse for having such a biased view that hillary clinton was going to be the inevitable candidate and so far it doesn't seem that he's taken that approach. there's the typical washington blame game where it's everybody's else's fault by the actual person who was leading the charge and that's what we're seeing with james comey here. >> sabrina, what's your impression of james comey? at this point there was a time in 2016 when a lot of republicans had affection or respect for the former director of the fbi. it seemed like that changed at some point here over these last many months. situate him politically, how do you view him at this point? >> i think that's one of the problems that all of these operators are supposed to be working in a nonpartisan fashion and it appears as though politics is leaking into every aspect of government and so even someone like comey or mueller is
now being viewed through a political frame, which is very concerning because they are supposed to be -- they're as, you know, absence from a political drive and that's something that's very worrisome in all of these narratives. >> he pushes back on in the book from the part that i've read, he talks about the fbi and conversations he had with president obama about his role as the director of the fbi, about the fact that the director of the fbi has a ten-year term to insulate him or herself from the political world. >> it's a concern. it's partial the times we're living in. it's human beings and it's hard for people to completely distance themselves from their own political views. as government has grown, as media's influence has increased, it's something we should worry about no matter what political stripe you are. everyone is not in power forever or out of power forever, sometimes it's the process and these deeper conversations that are really important that we
look at. >> adrian, last question to you, how cynical are you about the message in this book? yes, there's the history and biography but he does make a point about leadership and the institution itself. does that fall on deaf ears? >> i think it's important to protect the institution of the fbi and unfortunately, with our president he tends to disparage many branches of government especially the fbi constantly. but look, again, when it comes to james comey, he's very sanctity moanus. this book takes on that tone. he manages to not have any friends in the republican party or the democratic party. he's managed to do what many people don't do in washington which is to make both sides mad. so i guess we'll see what the book says when it comes out. my expectations are not very high. >> thank you very much. coming up at the top of the hour, getting to the bottom of the u.s. led strikes on syria they have been called by the administration a success.
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