tv First Look MSNBC April 20, 2018 2:00am-3:00am PDT
that's our broadcast on a thursday night. thank you so very much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york. this morning a look inside the comey memos, the justice department has provided lawmakers with 15 page documents detailing interactions between comey, trump and other white house officials. and rudy giuliani joins the trump legal team. he says he wants to negotiate an end to the mueller probe. and for the first time ever a sitting senator makes history by bringing her newborn baby to the senate floor during votes. >> good morning, everyone. it's friday, april 20th.
leakers hookers and wiretaps, those are just some of the details in the newly public memos from james comey about husband conversations with president trump. after congressional republicans threatened top justice department officials with contempt charges the doj handed over copies of the comey memos and they quickly landed in the press. the memos are consistent with comey's claims while offering new details about allegations in the steel dossier and the investigation of michael flynn. comey writes that at his private dinner with trump in january of 2017 the president told a story about flynn, then pointed his fingers at his head and said the guy has serious judgment issues. comey adds that he quote, did not comment at any point during this topic and there was no mention or acknowledgement of any fbi interest or contact with general flynn.
comey also describes a meeting with reince priebus asking if this was a private conversation. comey responded that it was and priebus asked if he could answer do you have a fisa order, in other words, a wiretap order on flynn. he said he would answer but priebus must go through established channels. the answer is classified in the version released last night. flynn resigned his post later. the memo showed there is no basis for an obstruction of investigation of the president. with references to comey's recent book, they write quote, the memo show former director comey never wrote that he felt obstructed or threatened while comey went to great scenes. described the multiple times he felt complimented. he never once mentioned the most
relevant fact of all which was whether he felt obstructed in his investigation. comey was willing to work for someone he deemed morally unsuited for office, capable of lying, requiring of personal loyalty, worthy of impeachment and sharing the traits of a mob boss. they claim the real crime was his own firing. >> and last night president trump reacted to the news that the comey memos had been released tweeting quote, james comey memos just out and show clearly that there was no collusion. the witch hunt continue? trump has previously claimed that comey leaked classified information but comey told lawmakers he intentionally avoided writing any classified info on his memos. and donald trump has reportedly backed off the idea of firing deputy attorney general rod
rosenstein after reassured the president last week that he is not the target of the mueller probe. in a meeting with trump just days after the michael cohen raid, bloomberg reports that rosenstein brought up the investigation himself. after the meeting trump told some of his closest advisors that it's not the right time to remove either man. rosenstein or mueller since he's not a target of the probes. one person said trump doesn't want to take any action that would drag out the investigation. however, many legal analysts noetd that rosenstein's assurance to the president should in the be taken as a guarantee of where the investigation will lead. and president trump has added four more to his legal team. warming up the crowds at 37 trump rallies between august and election day of 2016.
giuliani told the washington post quote, i'm doing it because i hope we can negotiate an end to the good of this country and because i have high regard for the president and for bob mueller. there's a belief jewel nan giul like the cool aid man. trump wanting a big name who he's comfortable with pushed for it. he has also added marty raskin. and jay goldburg who represented the president in the 1990s told nbc news yesterday that he has been acting as a legal counsel to the president and conferring with ty cobb. he warned trump about his personal attorney michael cohen and the potential fallout. >> i never said that michael
cohen was not protect you from the truth. i said, michael cohen is of the type that is interested in protecting himself. and he'll say whatever he thinks is necessary to get a deal with the government. >> are you saying that the end of the road of the michael cohen case could lead to impeachment of the president? >> it depends on what michael cohen is willing to say. >> so it could? >> it's conceivable because i believe that michael cohen is not constrained by any rules. >> and special counsel robert mueller is reportedly looking into whether former trump campaign chairman paul manafort served as a back channel between the campaign and russia. this according to bloomberg. nbc news has confirmed that an attorney for the justice department did use the term back channel in reference to the special counsel's interest into manafort's activities in ukraine, but it was only in reference to a hypothetical.
that hearing dealt with whether mueller exceeded his authority by indicting manafort on charges of laundering millions of dollars while acts as an unregistered agent of the ukranian government. lawyers from manafort who has pled not guilty to the charges argue that the charges have nothing to do with mueller's central mission of determining whether anyone in the trump campaign had links to the russian government. but federal prosecutors argue that mueller did not exceed his authority by indicting manafort in relation to his precampaign work because he lhad served at trump's chairman. >> good to have you here in new york. >> good to see you. >> let's talk about rod rosenstein for a moment. what impact that the fact that he has told president trump that he is not the target of the investigation, what kind of impact could that have on the
mueller investigation? >> i think the mueller probe goes full force. this seems like rod rosenstein is trying to save his job and argue that trump is not a target, but that could easily change very quickly if they find evidence in all of those cohen documents that trump did something wrong and so it really has no basis in stopping the investigation or protecting donald trump. it doesn't really matter. >> and it also had a little bit of shades of what comey talked about president trump. he had that tool in his back pocket that he wanted to tell the president about his investigation but he wouldn't go out and publicly say, should we read into the fact that rod rosenstein has not made this statement publicly yet, that the president is not the target of the investigation? >> i don't think it matters if it's public or private, it just matters that mueller is not going to listen to rosenstein if he tries to shut the probe down. >> and what do you make of rudy
giuliani being involved? >> if you constantly get new lawyers on to trump's team, that makes it harder for them to plot a realistic legal strategy because every lawyer has to get fully up to speed on what's going on and it seems like trump has this addiction to lawyers but it doesn't serve him in the overall big picture because he keeps getting new ones. >> and it's disruptive to the overall strategy. you've got new lawyers, you've got this rod rosenstein development about not being the target of the investigation. what is the likelihood that that die ma' dynamic meets with rosenstein for an interview? >> rudy giuliani has known robber muter for-- robert muell for a long time. rudy could reassure trump that mueller won't screw him over but it really depends on if
president trump is positive that he can fly through the mueller interview with flying colors and not trip himself up and lie. so that's a big issue. >> and all of this as the mueller investigation goes full steam ahead. >> it's not going to end in a week or two. >> especially the subpoena of the trump organization documents. a lot to sift through there. we'll talk to you in a little bit. democrats are out fund raising, republican incumbents, so far, political reports says that 43 house republicans have raised less money than their democratic challenges. it's a mirror image of the 2010 midterms. in that cycle 35 democratic indui indui incumbents outraised republicans. according to a new poll,
compared to 37% who said he does not. that's a net swing of 20 points since august when 33% said that trump did represent the majority viewpoint of republicans. 47% said he did not. >> senator duckworth's ten day old baby just made history in the u.s. capitol. the baby cradled in her mother's arms, as the first infant ever brought on to the senate floor. it allowed senators to bring infants on to the senate floor. duckworth who also made history by becoming the first u.s. senator to give birth while in office brought her daughter to work so she could vote against the nasa administrator. >> i was very exciting to have miley pearl with us on the floor just moments ago. certainly the first time i have
seen a little baby on the floor of the senate. >> she slept through the whole thing. it's like a nonevent. >> still ahead, we're digging into a new report that wells fargo could be hit with a $1 billion penalty by federal regulators today and the inspector general recommends a criminal investigation of andrew mccabe, but his lawyers are downplaying the news. those stories and a check on weather when we come right back. (cat 1) friskies world...
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what do i want to be if when i grow up?day, i want to be someone who ... makes the world beautiful ... and builds up my neighborhood. i want to be someone who helps others ... and teaches them new things. every year, comcast employees and their families come together on comcast cares day to give back. it's a celebration of their year-long commitment to their communities. what do i want to be? i want to be someone who cares. welcome back. federal regul federal regulators are preparing to fine wells fargo. the penalty which is part of an expected settlement between the bank and two regulatory agencies is the toughest action by the trump administration against a
major bank. wells fargo is one of the largest lenders in the united states. its reputation was shattered. the military service members to punishing whistle blowers. since 2016 the bank has paid nearly $1.5 billion in fines and penalties levied by state and federal regulators as well as the justice department. today's billion dollar fine is expected to cite wells fargo for improperly charging mortgage customers and failing to uphold compliance practices. >> and firefighters in several states across central and southern parts of the country are racing to try to get control of raging wildfires. dozens of homes and other structures have already been lost and this is the just the beginning of a very long fire season. nbc news national correspondent has more. >> reporter: across the west, explosive conditions on multiple fronts.
crews in western oklahoma are fighting to gain ground on two large fires fuelled by a deadly combination of drought and powerful winds. at least two have been killed here. dozens ofom larger than new york city. >> i've never seen anything so scary in my whole life. >> reporter: with 11 million people facing elevated to extreme fire conditions crews are fighting fires in western kansas. in colorado more than 40,000 acres have burned. 1,000 forced to evacuate. >> we had 50 foot flames moving at 35 miles per hour. >> after one of the most destructive wildfire seasons last year firefighters are warning conditions across the west are ripe for disaster and it's only april.
this fire season already off to a fast and deadly start. nbc news. >> all right. let's get a check on your weather now with bill karins. a scary situation there. >> yeah, the last couple days were very windy. we'll get a little bit of rain over oklahoma and kansas and north texas so it's going to help a little bit with those fire fighting efforts. so it's another cold morning. you'll start to notice the nicer weather conditions but this morning we have windchill values in the 30s. little rock, raleigh, it's a very chilly morning. you still need the winter coat. freeze warnings in areas of the ohio valley. frost advisories through missouri. you get the picture. it's still cool. so here's the storm system that provide provided all the windy conditions. this is our rain maker as we go throughout the weekend. today is mostly colorado, western kansas heading into
oklahoma and then as we go through saturday we're going to bring that rainfall into wichita, and dallas. a period of rain that may ruin your outdoor plans in those areas saturday. on sunday the rain moves and gets heavy through areas of alabama, mississippi, tennessee and eventually through sunday night into monday it heads into georgia. looks like in georgia most of your weekend is dry and safe but we'll track that rain through the deep south. here's today's forecast. cold and chilly but the sun goes to work melting a lot of the snow on the ground that's left on minneapolis and green bay. nice afternoon after a cold start new york and d.c. still below average but at least with sunny skies it will feel like spring. here's that rain on saturday. nice and mild, lots of sunshine the oes coast for your saturday. then on sunday we track the heavy rain. tennessee, mississippi, alabama, this is what we deserve after a very punishing first half of
april. a nice mild, sunny weekend almost the entire northern half of the country. >> if only we can get that rain to go west ward out over those wildfires. the warriors and pelicans keep on rolling moving one step closer to advancing the playoffs. philly comes back a dominant force as they take on the miami heat. details next in sports. but just one can "behr" through it all. behr premium plus, a top rated interior paint at a great price. family friendly, disaster proof. find it exclusively at the home depot. ♪ ♪ keep your insights from prying eyes, so they won't be used by anyone but you.
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time now for sports. we begin with the playoffs. the spurs assistant coach, this spurs made a closer contest than their two previous games. however, golden state would prevail again wins 110-97 winding their series lead 3 games to none. putting san antonio on the brink of elimination. coach steve kerr said they were only sprains and they would be okay. meanwhile in new orleans, the pelicans have also put the trailblazers on the brink of elimination after 119-102 win. a game high of 30 points while anthony davis now a double double with 28 points and 11 boards. also a double double with 16 points and 11 assists there. meanwhile, drew holiday has
locked down portland star making him have a plus minus of 20 in game three. to miami with the 76ers tas taka lead. you see he's got the mask on there. led the way for philadelphia with 23 points in the game. each added 21 of their own. the sixers take game three 128-108. now let's turn to the ice for the stanley cup playoffs. the capitals notch a win on the road to even up their first round win. washington scored three times before columbus could get even on the board and answer the blue jackets' loan goal in the third period to make it a 4-1 victory in game four there. and in toronto, the bruins pushed the maple leafs to the
brink. they'll look to wrap things up and move on to is the semifinals on saturday. turning now to baseball and another historic night for aaron judge. judge became the fastest player in league history to hit 60 home runs in terms of games played. now he's the fastest to 61. he hammered the solo shot in the bottom of the 7th inning against the blue jays in the bronx. it's his fifth long ball of the season. new york goes on to win this one 4-2. let's see if aaron judge can keep it going. >> it's incredible to see how hot he's been when you compare that to john carlos, how bad he's been doing. at least one of them is performing. still ahead, if charging the mueller probe michael cohen
flip? it's a possibility. and the former fbi director's conversations with the president. those stories and more coming up next. hands go here... feet go here... you know what goes here... and your approval rating... goes here. test drive the ztrak z540r at your john deere dealer and learn why it's not how fast you mow, it's how well you mow fast. nothing runs like a deere. save 250 dollars when you test drive and buy a john deere residential z540r ztrak mower.
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congressional republicans after they threatened deputy attorney general rod rosenstein with contempt charges provide new specifics about comey's claims including his briefing and subsequent discussions with the president about the dossier that alleges the russian government had compromising information on president trump. now, after comey raised the subject privately at a trump tower meeting in early january of 2017 his memo says the president elect interjected there were no prostitutes. there were never prostitutes. comey writes the president brought the subject up again saying quote, the president says the hooker's thing is nonsense but that putin told him we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world. comey writes that he did not say when he told him this and meanwhile we have some new reporting on the concerns inside the trump world that michael cohen might actually flip on the president. cohen and the president are
currently battling prosecutors in the southern district of new york over how to handle the materials seized in last week's raid on cohen's home, office and hotel room. we're now awaiting the judge's decision on who gets to decide what material federal investigators can review and what material is protektded by attorney client privilege. that investigation and the fact that cohen is a figure in the mueller probe is led to speculation of whether he'd protect the president if pressed by prosecutors. reports that the general sense is that when faced with jail time, cohen will not remain loyal to trump. reports think they all think the new york investigation is a way to get trump and that none would be surprised if cohen did in fact break the law. a source who has worked slowsly with cohen for ten years says michael might believe he won't flip on the president but he will. it's one thing to be loyal when you're taking shots in the
press. it's another thing to be loyal to a guy who hasn't been loyal to you when it's going to ruin your family. when asked if the white house is worried that cohen was flip a staffer said quote, of course. just look how they're portraying him. they're trying to make him look like paul manafort. the source added quote, people may debate whether cohen flips but no one says cohen did not absolute di do anything wrong. we should know that cohen has not been charged with a crime and denies any wrong doing. >> there's also some new reporting out there on another one of michael cohen's clients. elliot broi di who's close to president trump. he resigned after it was revealed that cohen arranged a $1.6 milli $1.6 million to a playboy model who became pregnant. he tried to use his ties to the white house to win a lucrative
contract with malaysia. a person close to broidy said the golf date never happened and it never passed the preliminary stage. how saudi arabia and how the emirates had managed to use him as quote an instrument of influence at the white house. he reportedly worked with and was cultivated by george nader, the foreign political advisor who arranged that secret meeting just before trump's inauguration. and according to the washington post, mueller has evidence that that meeting was an effort to establish a back channel between the incoming trump administration and the kremlin. >> switching gears to the department of justice now, the department of justice's inspector general has referred his findings on former fbi director andrew mccabe for possible charges. mccabe was less than forthcoming when asked about the disclosure of information to the media
regarding an investigation into the clinton foundation in 2016. the referral raises the possibility that mccabe could face charges for his alleged misconduct, but it does not necessarily mean he will be charged. in a statement his lawyer says in part, we were advised of the referral within the past few weeks although we believe the referral is unjustified. this standard for an attorney general or for inspector genre feral is very low. -- general is very low. >> while you were director of the fbi and he was your deputy was there clarity under your leadership about talking to the press about the issue of leaks, about who could authorize people to discuss things with reporters? >> i think so. so andy had the authority to speak to the media and to authorize communications with the media. >> do you think he improperly
spoke to the media in that ka pass pi the -- capacity then? >> i don't know. i would have expected that. but i think he had the authority to do that. >> all right. joining us now once again is coauthor of the political play book. good to have you back with us. we are finally getting a look at the memos written by the former fbi director james comey. i'm not sure if you've had a chance to read all f othem but what have been the big takeaways for you from them? >> i think it provides an unvarnished look at what happened between comey and trump. they were -- he went into the car and wrote them down and then sent them to his colleagues at the fbi and so i think one of the most interesting things is why was donald trump talking about hookers with vladimir putin? can you imagine the right would have crucified barack obama if
it had come out if he was talking about how beautiful russian hookers were with vladimir putin. >> but still a highly inappropriate conversation to be having with a world leader. let me ask you this which is about michael cohen. suggesting that there are reports that michael cohen could flip and it's not a guarantee that he would remain loyal to the president. how concerned would the white house legal team be about the fact that michael cohen play not be as loyal as they are hoping for? >> they seem to worry much more about michael cohen than robert mueller. they probably think there is no collusion between trump and putin and russia. but michael cohen has been cleaning up trump's messes for years and if you're michael cohen, would you really want to spend 30 years in jail to protect someone who might not even pardon you? and we should consider that pardon. michael cohen might be thinking
he might get a pardon from trump. that's why he won't cooperate. >> interesting to see. and we've seen president trump has dangled that pardon a few times out there. >> he did that with lib by. that was a clear signal that he might pass those out. >> interesting timing. let me ask you about another issue and that is the possible referral of andrew mccabe to face rge chcharges for the disc of information. are we likely to see dhargcharg handed down to mccabe? >> attorneys feel confident this referral will go nowhere, that there isn't much -- you know, he just misremembered his interactions with that wall street journal reporter. but this probably only helps mccabe in the -- on the left where they raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in that go fund me campaign to help with his lawyer and so i don't think he's that worried. >> it's interesting to hear james comey in that sound bite
talk about how andrew mccabe did have the authority to disclose information to a journalist but he did not tell james comey about it. >> and how president trump is trying to play off mccabe and comey. >> against one another. what an interesting time. great to have you here in d.c. >> thank you. >> hitting the picket line, the latest on the breaking news overnight of teachers in arizona voting to walk off the job. and plus, the fearless girl statue gets a new home where the celebrated creation is moving next. and bill karins is back with a check on the weekend forecast including some more seasonal weather. i'm not a bigwig.
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series of uprisings from educators in conservative leaning states following west virginia, oklahoma and kentucky. it's republican governor facing re-election in december. he's proposed a three-year pay raise. broader investment and support staff and other classroom needs must be a part of that plan. >> let's get a check on your weather now with bill karins. we're making some progress. >> slow progress, but a lot of us with get out there in our yards. the temperatures are chilly but not tracking too much snow. a rain maker through the upcoming weekend. so this is the storm ichtt's ne spinning over the four corner region. for the most part it's going to be a rain maker. so here's how we're going to look. so the rain today is out here in kansas and colorado.
saturday, rain for you possibly throughout a period of your day. oklahoma city to tulsa, and then even dallas fort worth. houston just a little bit of rain. much of it stays further up towards your north. little rock looking at rainfall at your saturday afternoon and evening and then on sunday, mississippi. that red there by the way the 2 inches of rain so maybe some minor flash flood. obviously it's still cool out there for much of the country. the above average temperatures are in the yellow. many other areas are going to remain cool. highs today, 50s and 60s which sound great but even new york city, still ten degrees below average and as we head through the upcoming weekend, the warmth grows and we start to warm up finally in the great lakes region. look at minneapolis. remember they had last weekend about 15 inches of snow. monday, 66. that snow should be all gone by
the time we end this weekend and even areas of the east are better too. >> much needed relief for those folks out in minneapolis. >> they deserve a sunny weekend in the 60s. >> for sure. after one year of staring down wall street's charging bull, the celebrated fearless girl statue is getting a new home closer to the new york stock exchange. installed for international women's day in march of 2017, the courageous statue was commissioned to call attention to the role of women in corporate america. the original installation period was extended to more than a year. it will be moved to a more pedestrian friendly area. the city is also exploring relocating charging bull but there is no finalized time line for a move for that statue. >> interesting to see how it's become one of the iconic
landmarks in new york city. behind the scenes in talks with north korea. the concessions pyongyang is already making and what secretary of state mike pompeo may be seeking with kim jong un with the talks. [whistling] hello. give me an hour in tanning room 3. cheers! that's confident. but it's not kayak confident. kayak searches hundreds of travel sites to help me plan the best trip. so i'm more than confident. forgot me goggles. kayak. search one and done.
condition for denuclearization. it would be a major concession from pyongyang which has maintained that the american military presence was one of the main reasons for it maintaining its nuclear program. senior ofirms say mike come pay owe d-- pompeo did not ask. nobody accompanied pompeo on his trip. president moon is set for a historic meeting with un. establishing a peace treaty to ofshlly end the korean war will be on the agenda. that has been a long standing agenda from the north and one that it needs to give up its nuclear program. turning to other crisis facing the united states, that is the ongoing war in syria. a new military intelligence report says that despite last week's air strikes the assad regime is expected to resume its
chemical weapons program, this according to an american intel swre -- intelligence analyst. meanwhile chemical arms invest g -- investigators have not been allowed to get to the site of the attack. >> we can confirm that the opcw team has still not been able to enter douma in syria. russian officials are working with the syrian regime to deny and to delay these inspectors from gaining access to douma. we believe it's an effort to conduct their own staged investigations. russian officials have worked with the syrian regime we believe to sanitize the locations of those suspected attacks and remove incriminating
evidence of chemical weapons use. we have reports from credible people on the ground who have indicated that they have been pressured by both russia and th. to try to change their stories so that it doesn't appear that russia and syria were responsible for those attacks. >> speaking of russia on sunday, ambassador nikki haley said steve mnuchin would be unveiling new sanctions on monday before president trump put the kabosh on that plan. mnuchin discussed what in his view happened. >>. >> we had meetings all last week at the national security council with nikki and i participated on, on the overall strategy. i'm not going to go through the specifics, but we were fine to the strategy after nikki made that announcement between sunday and saturday and sunday and monday. we refined the strategy. i was part of the decision to call them off. and that's something that we're very comfortable with.
>> why did nikki haley not get that message? >> i'm not going to go through specifics -- >> she was left twisting in the wind. >> she wasn't left twisting in the wind. this was a fluid decision. the decision changed. >> meanwhile, trump's new national security adviser john bolton held his first meeting with russia's u.s. ambassador yesterday at the white house discussing the current state of u.s./russian relations. according to white house readout, bolton said that while the u.s. desires better relations, this will require addressing our concerns regarding russia's interference in the 2016 election. the reckless use of a chemical weapon in the united kingdom and the situations in ukraine and syria. coming up -- axios jonathan swan has a look at one big thing. coming up on "morning joe" an intimate look inside the trump white house. details from the publicly released memos from former fbi director james comey about his one-on-one conversations with the president. plus, filling out his legal
team bench with the addition of rudy giuliani. what it may signal about the strategy of the mueller probe that it is trying to bring to an end. "morning joe" just minutes away. shortcut, which was a bad idea. [cougar growling] (passenger) what are you doing? (driver) i can't believe that worked. i dropped the keys. (burke) and we covered it. talk to farmers, we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪ where we're changing withs? contemporary make-overs.
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all right. welcome back. joining us from washington, d.c., with a look at axios, the jonathan swan. a good friday morning to you. what's the axios one big thing for us. >> the comey memos. often we get immune to how crazy the times that we're living in are. and this particular revelation gives us unprecedented realtime access into the president's conversations with an fbi director. seven conversations. there was a very newsworthy revelation where the president told james comey he had immediate concerns about his national security adviser mike flynn. he pointed his finger to his head apparently and said the guy
has serious judgment issues. and it was also quite revealing of trump's style. we know a lot of this already, but comey is just such a vivid and detailed notetaker that we have just so much from a private conversation that we would normally not get. >> speaking of personal presidential style, the notes. they also focus on how trump likes to speak bluntly and likes to gossip. something we've gotten to know here in the media a little bit. what have your white house sources told you about how the president conducts himself regarding that aspect of it? >> white house staff described conversations with the president like a roller coaster. you have to -- you go in there. crow strap yourself in and you do not know where this conversation is going to go. actually, a roller coaster is probably a really bad metaphor. >> you do know where it's going. >> you have a very clear idea. but it's like some kind of vehicle we've not yet invented. you typically have about 30 seconds max to make your point before he starts interjecting,
and he will go off on whatever is on his mind. if you're there to talk about whatever the policy issue of the day is, you could end up talking about what he's just seen on fox or whatever just is burning in his mind at that moment. >> it seems one of the biggest takeaways has been how much of the president's mind share goes to these grievances and distractions that get thrown at him. how much can those impact him on a moment-to-moment basis. how difficult does that make it for his staff around him when he's so impulsive? >> just ask former -- i was going to say current but former press secretary sean spicer or former chief of staff reince priebus who sean was sent out to explain to the media why the photographs that clearly showed that trump's inauguration crowd was not as large as obama's. was actually -- their eyes were deceiving them and the crowd was really huge. whatever the grievance of the
moment is, it can be very difficult when he wants to become fixated on an issue to shift him off it. that's repeated experience, whether it's mueller, whether it's something that rod rosenstein has done or whether it's something one of his own administration officials has said. he was infuriated when h.r. mcmaster said there was incontrovertible evidence -- >> he tweeted out. >> it's very hard to shift him off it. >> doesn't matter who the person is. he'll lash out against them even if it's his own staff. i want to ask you about the big question looming large over washington, d.c. you have some behind the scenes reporting on the future of the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. where does he stand with the president right now? what is the likelihood we'll see the president take action against him? >> there's been some reporting recently that suggests he's cooled off on rosenstein. i spoke to a source close to the president last night. that's not the case at all. rosenstein's future is still very much in jeopardy.
the problem is internally at least, they cannot, at the moment, conceive of a clean, is the words used to describe it to me. a clean way to get rid of him. so it's unclear when, how, if, who replaces him, but the president still very much wants to get rid of rod rosenstein. >> it will be interesting. jonathan swan live in washington, d.c. we'll be reading axios a.m. in just a little while. to all our viewers out there you can sign up for the newsletter at axios.com. that does it for us on this friday morning. good friday. >> good friday. >> excellent. "morning joe" starts right now. the president said the hookers thing is nonsense, but that putin had told him we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world. he did not say when putin had told them this and i don't recall redacted. some of this is redacted. the president was conveying this
to you at the white house. >> in the oval office. >> and he told you he had a personal conversation with president putin about hookers? >> yes. >> did you believe him or think he was spiking hyperbolically? >> didn't seem to be speaking hyperbollically. >> it became public at the same time he sat down with rachel maddow. and there's a lot in there. welcome to "morning joe." it's friday, april 20th. i'm willie geist alongside the host of "deadline white house" at 4:00 on msnbc. >> this is so, so early. >> nicolle wallace. you forget how early it is. you're on your cushy 4:00 p.m. schedule. >> you walk in. joe and mika have the morning off. they'll be back on monday. we have maike barnicle with us and executive producer and co-host of the circus on