tv MSNBC Live With Yasmin Vossoughian MSNBC April 15, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
did we act at all. ? there's a stormy forecast on monday. a lot to get to this hour, everybody, but first the all-out effort to discredit the fired fbi director james comey. >> if i ever start considering political fortune, we're done. we're no longer the group of america that is apart from the part sans. >> it's been very clear that james comey is a self-admitted leaker, he lied to congress. >> james comey a man of integrity? >> as far as i know. >> he would still be the fbi director if he had his way. the reason hi wrote the book is because he got fired. >> i was operating in a world where hillary clinton was going to beat donald trump. >> the guy knew exactly what he was doing, he those hillary clinton would win, and he thought this would give him some cover. >> if you knew that letter would elect donald trump, would you still send it? >> i would. i would. >> he would do it again.
it's the day that the left has been waiting for and the day that the president has tried to direct attention for, the first on-camera interview airs tonight, the first since trump game hiv the ax last may. this morning the president does what he does best, taking to twitter, calling him from everything from a liar to a slime ball. sarah huckabee sanders joining in on the chorus this morning. >> he liked to congress, he's been inconsistent. >> what did he like to chronic about? >> he opened the investigation on merits, now we're finding out that it had to do with the political landscape. i find it outrageously -- that he takes copious nodes that he had can't remember why he would
have specifically opened an investigation into a presidential candidate. >> joining me now to talk all about this. renata, and noel nick, and daniel goldman. so much to talk about this sunday afternoon ahead of this big comey interview, which i'm sure all of us will be tuning into. i want to get to you on this first, calling comey a liar and a leaker. you think it's going to work? >> well, you know, you have to look at it the way the gop, donald trump and the administration see that. he went after his attorney, michael cohen. this is an alarming thing with the client -- attorney-client privilege. i can see why they're alarmed. i think it's peculiar timing that comb yes, who has some rather interesting comments both
from the right and the left has released a book, when there is an ongoing investigation. while he has some valid points and he has the absolute right to get his point out, he has released this book, and there's an investigation ongoing. >> don't you think, daniel, now is the time to release a book like this so the public understands exactly what transpired? a he specially considering his testimony on capitol hill before his firing and with regards to the conversation about loyalty, which you walked readers through in some of the excerpts we've been reading. the argued could be made now been would the time to release a book. >> if you're trying to make money, now is definitely the time. >> there's that. >> i would say from a law enforcement perspective, now is not the time. i think this is -- you don't want to be opining any more than what you've had to say under oath as required by either
congress or the special counsel robert mueller if he truly were interested in seeing where the investigation were go, he -- and i don't know if it's entirely his decision, but they would wait. this is relevant for an ongoing investigation. i do great deal with noel, that i don't think it's appropriate for that purpose to release a book that may have an impact on an ongoing investigation. >> if i know anything about working with the fbi or any intelligence organization, if you're releasing a book, they're in on it, they've probably read everything that's being released to make sure you're not disclosing anything classified information. comey responding to trump's tweet today, and i want you to read the tweet. this was around 2:00 p.m. my book is about ethical leadership and draws on stories from highlife and lessons i learned from others. three presidents are in my book.
two helps illustrate the values at the hard of ethical leadership, one serves as counterpoint. i hope folks readed whole thing and find it using. your reaction? >> that shows the can of worms that james comey has opened. anytime you put out a book, our put yourself in the public arena, you get criticized. that's just part for the course. by putting the book out in the misdemeanor st. of a very intense time, he's selling a lot of books and drawing a lot of and of course he's get criticism he has to respond to. i don't necessarily agree with his criticism. i gra he with the other folks on the panel that it's not idea at from a prosecution perspective, though i will say this. at this point, i understand there's been they talks points that gop has been putting out, but i don't really think -- i think it's going to be very hard to find somebody who doesn't
believe that donald trump asked comey about loyalty or ask him to let things go. these are roughly the same things that donald trump has said in public. he's talked about trying to end the russian investigation in public as well. we've heard similar accounts about loyalty from mccabe and others. there's contemporaneous notes taken by others. i think, know, realistically this is not going to move the needle in terms of a trial or an impeachment of donald trump. i think the reality is this has turned into a political circus, and this is going to turn into an impeachment hearing if mueller, you know, finds there's been obstruction of justice. >> in talking, daniel, to some people about this book, one of the criticism that i've heard is that comey is sort of stooping to trump's level here, and that if he was sort of a man that he says he is, a man of integrity
that he says he is, a man of ethics, he would not have gone there in some of the descriptions he had. he described his physicality when he walks into his office. he says his hands were smaller, shorter -- >> but not unusually so. he does say that. however, we do have to previous this that he also describes the physicality of obama when he walked into his office, and he describes president obama as also being overly confident, which he questioned, how president obama at one point said, i can usually solve things like that. comey kind of looked at obama, and why does he think he can solve everything on his own he wasn't just critical of trump, but across the aisle of the leaders he was talking about in his book. >> i think james comey is a man of integrity. he was the u.s. attorney in the office i served before i got
there, has a sterling reputation, and i think there are a lot of valid points to be made from someone like him during this time. it is very tempts and very difficult to resist the temptation to stoop to donald trump's level, particularly -- and i haven't read the book, but an excerpt about how he talks about himself being bullied on the school-yard growing up. it feels a bit like that was gnawing on him, as donald trump has continued to try to bully him and james comey has had a very distinguished career. he's not a liar. it's interesting to me that the attack on him is he's a liar. i think he used poor judgment in dealing with the clinton investigation in the lead-up to the election, at least from a law enforcement perspective, but no means is he a liar. i think he's justified, and i think there's some public interested in him explaining his views, a distinguished career law enforcement person who was a
deputy attorney general, who was the director 6 the fbi, u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york, i think that adds to the discourse, but i think you may be right. it might have been better for him to take a bit of the higher road, as opposed to some of these petty attacks. >> i want to real a poll for everybody before we go to break here. more americans -- it's, more americans believe comey than trump. 48 to 32%. we'll have to wait and see in that changes after this interview this evening and the release of the book, which i'm sure people will be poring over. this is kind of a beach reader, i think. all the exceptirpts, renato, th you, the rest of my panel is sticking with us. and we're also it reading the statement about the health of barbara bush.
in market, it reads she's not going to seek additional medical treatment and will focus on conferred care. she's been suffering with chronic obstructive pulmonary san diego and congestive heart failure. of course we are all that thinking and praying for her family right now. more on the comey tell-all, and arrested for being black. protests this afternoon in philadelphia after two men were arrested while waiting on their friend at starbucks. it was actually captured on video. the ceo of the company has apologized, but is it enough?
because i was operating in a world where hillary clinton was going to beat donald trump. so i'm sure that it was a factor. like i said, 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 illegitimate the moment she's elected, the moment this comes out. >> james comey on why he reopened the investigation just two weeks before the election, one of the many controversies he writing about. joining mess is the former assistant director of counter-intelligence at the fbi. steve israel, and christina
greer, a fellow at the mcsilver institute. frank, i want you to respond first to what we just heard, that he was operating under the jumps in reopening the investigation, doing what he did just before the election that hillary clinton was going to win. >> so, comey was truly between a rock and a hard place in trying to make this decision, whether to go public, whether to tell congress there were nor e-mails found, that he needed to reopen this, but let's not forget he put himself there because of the initial decision to announce publicly there was nothing on hillary clinton and no reasonable prosecutor would bring such charges. so he put himself in that dilemma, but here's the bottom line, fbi directors should not be making decisions routinely based on politics or who they think is about to win or lose an election. it's a problematic statement for me. >> christine, it assignments
bick comey saying this, he's playing into exactly what the white house line is, what president trump has been saying, which is jim comey is politicizing the office of the director of the fbi. >> right. never mind all the partisan affiliation of all the mention that president trump has hired and fired. but i agree. comey is not in a position to decide. comey is no the in position and should never have been in the position to prospect what the american people would do. however we know that we keep institutions outside of other electoral positions so they will be the foundation and the steady arm or wing of our democracy when we have all these changes during the executive and legislative branches. it is problematic. i think unfortunately the trump administration will keep with
their talking points and tweets, that he's a liar, a fake, a fraud. the democrats shouldn't trust him and neither should the republicans. >> in hi book, he says that there was a moment he thought maybe we need to develop a special counsel to investigate the situation or scandal, and he recognized that that was not a good move, because it would have made it bigger than it should have been, and they knew at that point that the hillary clinton situation was not prosecutable. there was no way she was going to get in trouble for this. it was more of a slap off wrist, and by setting up a special counsel, the public would see this as something bigger than it was, which i thought was an interesting point. >> it is interesting, yasmin. look, we have two characters in this drama, jim comey, who is a very well-respected special prosecutor, respected fbi director. he makes a mistake in miss pursuit then ump donald trump,
whose rule is to smear people, whose rule is to deflect and detract, and the poll you referenced earlier is accurate. a vast majority believed that jim comey is telling the truth. final thought on this. here's what trump is doing. he wakes up. >> tell us what he's doing. tuning in. >> and then we'll have to go to sleep from all this energy. he wakes up every morning. this guy is deathly afraid of comey, he's deathly afraid of mueller, deathly afraid of his own attorney general, he lives in fear. he excites his base, because the charges are filed, and i believe they will, he will rally his base to his own side and then we're in a whole world of volatility. >> because of this fear -- >> he's building a case. he can only build it with his
base. >> anyone at twitter who is at 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning, he wakes up and literally spews these ideas. i think that unfortunately will be one of the long-lasting repercussions of this presidency. syria is going to be atrocious, this tax cut is beyond abysmal. what he's doing domestically and internationally is degrading. however, planting the seed that truth is fake, and that licensed professionals who are journalists, who are reporting on his misdeeds, but planting the seed that any news he disagrees with is something we'll have to untangle for a much longer period of time. frank you touched on this, and i want to hear more on this, but your view on how comey's release of this look will affect the mueller investigation, and i'm going to go out on a limb and say that mueller consulted -- or comey consulted are
mueller before the release of this book. i'm assuming that, but correct me if i'm wrong if you think differently. >> i would not make that assumption at all. i think comb,is his own man, and mule ear, even if consulted, would say jim, do what you feel like you need to do, but the reality is this is not helpful. the timing is not helpful form the appearance that the former director was making political type of decisions and getting down in the sail gutter that the president resides in doesn't help mueller, as he's trying to get the president's attorneys to come in for an interview, try to win over the public, to realize that mueller is conducting a fair, impartial investigation while we have the former director on tv tonight sounding very political and very vindictive perhaps. i don't think it's helpful. i'm not sure he consulted mueller, and i'm not sure he
would have listen to do mueller if he said hold off. >> thank you very much. tonight "headliners" takes a look at james comey, with chris providing the insight. watch at 9:00 p.m. right here. first tomorrow afternoon the president's personal lawyer will head to court. he's fighting to protect items sized by the fbi. the woman who will also be in court that raises the stakes. but first a saturday night grilling by robert de niro. watch this. >> is your name michael cohen? >> yes. >> and you're a lawyer? >>-ish. >> did you have -- did you make a payment of $130,000 to stormy daniels? >> yes. >> and did president trump know about it? >> no.
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prove to be interesting. >> she did attend. >> as you heard it there. confirming his client will be here, the call was -- to grant a temporaries restaining order. they're seeking to stop earlier this week. this morning president trump weighed in, of course. >> she's also the attorney, gretchen carlson, and kwame jackson, a former contestant on requests the apresentition." talk to me about stormy daniels' appearance.
>> we have public courtrooms, and she has the right to be there, certainly has a relationship with him. he apparently pedestrian her $130,000 on his own, because trump said he didn't even know about it. your lawyer doesn't act without you knowing about it. >> yes, yes, i don't feel a lot to the cameras, but it's moving the country in a good direction in terms of showing if we are paying people not to say thing about the president, that's wrong. >> period.
>> daniel, you're from the southern district of new york. what do you think about this restraining order in trying to keep them from moving forward in the things that were obtained i don't think it's going anywhere. a couple things, this is the usual court of action, when they meet the very high standard. >> to some extents-ish, as "saturday night live" says, the interesting thing that i found is that in the government as response to the motion so
they're already reviews, this privileged review process, so it's almost as if the horse is out of the barn and they're trying to close the barn door after everybody is gone. a judge has already authorized this. just remember, this is not the prosecutors making the decision as to whether something is privileged or not, as the government said, they have will not turn anything over to the investigative team, which is separate from the privileged team until a judge authorizes it. so this is going to be authorized and, i think this temporary restraining order. >> what about the report that there are recordings that michael cohen had in his office that are now sort of in the position of the -- is this sort of out of the norm for a lawyer to have recordings? and secondly, does the position have a point that now -- it's
dead, or is this a fear factor. >> there's nothing out of the norm for this administration. >> you know, this reminds me one of my favorite shows on television was yours, but also "breaking back. >> remember that? >> and there's this one scene, he hayes legal and when the going gets tough, you don't need a criminal lawyer. you need a criminal lawyer. i'm not sailing that anybody is a criminal lawyer, but it's clear that the federal government and others believe that michael cohen has certainly materials worst investigating. we also should remind everything that it's a republican u.s. attorney who thought that this was so compelling there could be the acquisition of these materials so the government is
pursuing its interests and the public interests, or even by a client. the attorney-client privilege does not protect it fraud or crime with a client. >> so nancy bringing up the fact that she believes the president knew exactly what he was doing when these women were paid off. what's your take? >> my take is this is a classic movement into the hollywood realm. this is, you know, stormy daniels although attorney has out-maneuvered trump in the hollywood media hype p.t. barnum game.
surgeally what he's doing is creating almost like a kgb honey trap, so essentially stormy daniels is there to stump michael cohen's whole personality, to get him to slip up and by a little more nervous, but also to say we're watching you, we're on top of this, and we're going to push you into something you nay not want to say. >> i think michael avenatti has done a brilliant job, but i think he's going too far on this. i know the judge in this case, she's not going to appreciate this sideshow. i think this is going a built too far with the p.r. aspect. >> i think avenatti is giving president trump a run for his
money. that's for darn sure. >> i think they're playing trump's game. remember trump invited all of bill clinton's -- >> yes, hillary clinton invited mark cuban to try to rattle trump. i'm still trying to -- >> thank you. still ahead, everybody, escape syria, only 11 have been allowed into this country this year. should the white house rethink its stance on the immigration. we'll talk about that, next. ♪ we came with big appetites. with expedia, you could book a flight, hotel, car, and activity all in one place. ♪
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welcome back, everybody. after seven years of war in syria, more than half the country's population is forcibly displaced. 5.6 million fled the country and 6.1 million are still there and discusses placed. president trump caught saturday's u.s.-led strikes on syria a mission accomplished, but what did the strikes actually accomplish? and what is the president's overall strategy? "wall street journal" reports that the continued military air strikes against rebel-held territories just 36 hours after chemical weapons facilities were targeted. joining mice panel now, christopher dickey, and hag hagar chamali, former spokeswoman for the u.s. trier treasuries, terrorism and intelligence division. thank you both for joining me.
we talked about what is next. we heard the president sale mission accomplished, but they were very targeted strikes. that's what the united states wanted in the first place, but what do you think should be here next going forward? >> well, i think the first thing to understand is these strikes are about trump's constituencies. they're not about the middle east, they're about impressing anybody. believe my the syrians and russian and iran yawn sure are not impressed by this. this is all about looking like a tough guy for his constituency here in the united states. then the question is, what is the policy? the answer is, there isn't one. hagar, you bring up a good point. you talk about the fact that bashar al assad is all about combat missions in fact it is a
deterrence to any policy that we could have. talk to me more about that. >> so out there it's kill or be killed. that's the mentality. they're all in survival mode. they always have been. the assad regime is a minority ruling a majority, different religion. so that's what they're facing out there. what we may see is strikes like this could end up emboldening assad, because iran and russia will dig their heels in and try to support them. >> but to a certainly extent the obama administration did try diplomacy. that obviously didn't work. right. i actually would say -- i believe a greater use the military force that's very targeted, very strategic, that's not just for show, as you said, would end up giving us greater leverage. >> that means having russia and
iran involved in these departmentic talks, no? >> yes, but that would be extremely risky. first of all, i think we ought to give the obama administration credit. we're acting as if no chemical weapons were destroyed, none were revealed, none were admitted, a whole arsenal was reveal and a whole arsenal was destroyed. we reported in "the daily beast" in 2014, there were probably some things left over, but we don't know if those are being used now. the only thing that's been proven is chlorine, it's an industrial chemical, not a banned weapon. so all this idea that diplomacy doesn't work. in going forward, yes, maybe if we use more military force, that would be useful, but that could also bring us eyeball to eyeball with the russian and the iranians. they have a lot of ways of hitting back some don't necessarily mean meeting us back. they have a long record of using
terrorism as a way to respond and they're very effective at hiding their hand in it. >> a lot of democratic lawmakers are basically saying there's no longs-term plan here. you have that have any prongses. that's a problem. >> first of all, the trump administration does have a long-term plan. the long-term plan three weeks ago was to withdraw from syria. the long-term plan was to strike syria. we don't know what the plan is going forward. the president's obligation is to be the commander in chief. here's where i think democrats and republicans can miraculously find some agreement this year, in the meet future. it is this -- we are engaged in these tactical strikes, trying to figure out our strategy. we have 2,000 military in syria,
but we do not have a congressional authorization for any of those activities. we are operating under congressional authorizations that were done immediately after afghanistan and when we went into iraq. it is time for the united states congress, democrats and republicans to work together to pass an authorization for the use of military force that assists the president in developing a strategy by specifically authorizing what troops can and cannot be economied. what conditions of conditionses when you need to bomb and other conditions. i'm hoping congress will do that. i think going into the midterm election people will want to know, is congress exercising its responsibility in a war that's unpredictable. >> do you think the sir use bombing will affect the midterm elections and the way in which have sort of sided or not sided
with the president? >> on hadar's point, you talked about empowering assad. what i work about is did this strike empower president trump, does he view this as somebody he needs to do in order to increase his popularity. in his rambling tweets this morning, he included the fact he's at 50% favorable. if he believes he's at 50%, because he sent a strike over o to. thank you both for joining us, coming up next, thesh the arrests of two black men at a philadelphia starbucks that you just have to see to believe. mr.. your testimony will save lives. mr. stevens? this is your new name. this is your new house. and a perfectly inconspicuous suv.
the manager on duty asked them to leave after they did not buy anything. starbucks apologized for the controversial arrest the are i don't know how many times this is -- i linger all time. on nobody kicks me out. kinchts yes, profession at loitering. >> it is unbelievable that this sort of think happened. >> you're telling a totally
different story. this is a bizarre rule that we live, it's a humanity gap, allow people the benefit of just being themselves. >> one good thin. >> of course he did. how did they not say something? >> i think these people, the managers and state of and white people in general, if you call the police on a black person, you are possibly putting them in a situation where they will be executed within 25 seconds, which we saw last week in brooklyn, right?
27 seconds, excuse me. the apologies ring empty, and kwame has had different experiences, as have i. it's not even anymore. it's a serious anxiety that so many black americans have to deal with when going into shops, a coffee shop, where everyone else goes to buy an overpriced rubbish cup of coffee. >> you bring up such a good point because so often what is lost in this country, and it's uber there's such a disconnect when it comes to the conversation about race, congressman, is all of us have such different experiences and the way i relay my experience comes from my sole perspective and if i don't have a conversation with christina or kwame about their experiences walking into a starbucks, then i'll never know that different experience. >> right. if i were signature -- >> you can't bridge that gap that exist right now. >> if i were sitting at a starbucks my iphone would have beeped an been given a free cappuccino probably and the police would not have called.
we all have an implicit bias and starbucks needs to do a much better job on training their employees on their implicit biasses. >> had this conversation over and over again whether it comes from police departments to starbucks that we need to have these racial bias trainings and in some places it is instituted and other places it's not. >> it's also white allies need to step up. >> absolutely. >> we saw this particular case. >> you see some patrons step up. wait a minute this, actually isn't right, and more people need to do that. definitely plenty of people in the starbucks who pretended like they didn't know what was going on, and that's also how things are going to change when other people -- >> see something, say something. >> you think that's actually good. >> help me. >> i think it's a good point in that we need more participation from the opposite side of the street. >> yeah. >> we need people getting really ride up and saying this is unacceptable from the other side, not just, you know, predominantly black. >> we need to stop ignoring what's going on around us and
being scared of getting involved in a situation. it's none of my business. i'm not real going say anything. i don't know what they did or didn't do. kwame, you were going to say something? >> see something, say something, implies in terrorism and being a citizen of the united states. >> a company who would hire 10,000 refugees isn't able to manage this form of bias and bigotry in its own stores. >> okay. let me challenge you on that though because does this -- so let's say -- i mean, some could argue that this isn't necessarily top down, a starbucks chloe who isn't here nor there, didn't know what they were doing, operated more on instinct and you're right a lack of training, shall we say, but maybe sort of the top doesn't necessarily think this way but this random starbucks employee who acted this way which was obviously very much the wrong way. that could be sort of a defense of the rest of the organization of starbucks. >> but it's not isolated. >> playing devil's advocate here. >> that's also the problem when we talk about incidents with the
police. each time we say, well, that was milwaukee, and that was baton rouge and that was south carolina. >> yeah. >> exactly. we have to put these things together and understand that in 2018 we have a systemic institutional problem. this country is rotten to the root when it comes to racism. >> yeah. >> so, you know, just one manager, well, i didn't really think about it. you never saw the news that said, you know, if black men interact with police and police tend not to ask a lot of questions often when these things occur, like we have the youtubes where white kids get to steal guns and run around and police are trying their hardest to arrest them but that's not the case of what happens to black americans in this country. >> yeah. >> so for her to even call police when they are sitting there, and, unfortunately, you know, they were dressed well, so that's where this politics of respectability comes in. if they were younger and talking a little louder and had on sweatpants, still not doing anything, we don't know if the outcome would have been the same with just them being arrested and released at 1:30 a.m. >> that's the humanity gap i was
talking about. >> here's the crazy explanation from the commissioner, richard ross, police commissioner. the issue was trespassing. the men entered the starbucks to use the restroom and denied access because they had not bought anything yet. when they refused to leave that's when a starbucks employee called 911. that's the explanation for this incident. >> i have a history that i've shared with friends on social media and at different speaking events and i have a group of friends who are african-american professionals went to great schools and worked on wall street and become lawyers and done great things and a group of white friends in the same bucket. what i found out from those two groups of friends is i have an entire set of friends who almost all have been arrested with the same pedigree, the same backgrounds, all of those are my african-american friends. when asked the same question of my white friends, none of them have been arrested. it's not that they are committing more crimes. not that they smoked pot more than once, whatever it might be, but there's a systemic peace to this that we have to figure out how to manage those outcomes and give people the humanity gap and close that. >> yeah.
>> that's such a good point. fantastic conversation. thanks to you all. we're back with what i'm sharing. that's next, everybody. but so . i discovered the true meaning of paperless discounts... and the indescribable rush of saving drivers an average of $620. why does fear feel so good? i fell in love three times -- once with a woman, once with a country, and finally... with myself. -so, do you have anything to declare or not? -isn't that what i'm doing? -so, do you have anything to declare or not? roundup for lawns has arrived to put unwelcome lawn weeds to rest. so draw the line. roundup for lawns is formulated to kill lawn weeds to the root without harming a single blade of grass. roundup, trusted for over forty years.
in 2018 so far, 11. i spoke to one of these syrian refugees in 2016, a teenager alone living with his father in baltimore while the rest his family is disbursed throughout the world in refugee camps unable to join him. his mission here was to study and complete school to return home to his mother or create policy change so his family could be once again together. it's one story of many but it's stories like his that must be heard, a family torn apart after facing an unstoppable civil war at home with no hopes of normalcy. when we think about sereyrian policy going forward we must think of the prospect of this boy who need not just bombs and a show of force but a place to call home. that does it for us. follow me on twitter at jasmine v. the news continues right now with ayman. >> bring up a really hard point. hard to imagine that we're bombing a country under the excuse of humanitarian
intervention and not taking in any of the country's refugees and giving them a place here. thanks for the thought-provoking share. i'm ayman mohyeldin. james comey versus donald trump. their feud reaching a fever pitch with the former fbi director's book coming out and trump's responses burning up twitter throughout the day. that's one item on a legal agenda that has the white house in a state of turmoil, and an upcoming court appearance for trump lawyer michael cohen and an apparent firing waiting game for rot rinosenstein and the always looming robert mueller investigation, some of the things that the white house is dealing with, as the president deals from the fallout from his air strikes in syria and i creasing questions about whether there's a coherent strategy in the region at all. we're going to talk about all of that straight ahead. but we want to begin with the president and james comey. their battle front and center.