tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC May 10, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
that wraps up this hour of msnbc live. katy tur joins me now. hey, katy. >> chris jansing, how are you in. >> i'm great. how are you? >> i'm good. >> you are looking very festive today. >> i'm trying to be springy. it is 11:00 a.m. out west, 2:00 p.m. in washington and in one month, president trump will meet with north korea's kim jong-un in singapore. first to d.c. where we're wondering how far is too far when it comes to promising access to a president. yesterday during this hour we learned that it was michael cohen who reached out to the drug giant novartis after the election promising access to the new administration. the company paid cohen $100,000 a month for a year, totaling a whopping $1.2 million for what it says was no work. today we're learning that was
just the beginning. "the washington post" reports cohen reached out to multiple companies bragging about what he could offer, quote, he showed photos of himself with trump and mentioned how frequently they spoke, even asking people to share news articles describing him as the president's fixer. "i'm crushing it," he said. cohen's defense -- it wasn't me -- well, at least it wasn't all me. his attorney says some of the transactions listed in the original financial document posted online by stormy daniels' attorney were wrongfully attributed to michael cohen, the president's fixer. some of them were to other michael cohens. one is in israel, another is from canada. so cohen is off the hook, right? not quite. the moneys that went to the other michael cohens amounted to about $20,000. the total monies listed were more than $4 million. cohen's attorney isn't disputing two of the biggest payments, the $1.2 million from novartis and
$600,000 from at&t. those two companies confirmed they had given information to the special counsel, but cohen's attorney isn't confirming two other major transactions detailed in the document by michael avenatti. $500,000 from a russian oligarch and the $150,000 from korea aerospace. the white house legal team says the president had no knowledge of michael cohen's atransaction and no one is saying it is technically illegal. but it all smells a bit rotten. you know, the same way a swamp smells during a d.c. summer. >> the fbi has re-opened its criminal investigation of hillary clinton. they're also conducting a second criminal investigation into hillary's pay-for-play corruption at the state department. she engaged in corrupt pay-for-play at the state
department for personal enrichment. i'm proposing a package of ethics reforms to make our government honest once again. it's time to drain the swamp in washington, d.c. >> remember, we only learned about all of this money, this because of hush money paid to a porn star by the president's lawyer. so our big question is this -- where does the stormy daniels saga end? in just a few minutes, we'll speak with former trump campaign advisor sam nunberg. he knows all of these players. he's going to give us a bit of insight into exactly what could have been going on. but first let's tackle the big question with our reporters and analysts. ken vogel. jonathan lemire, and harry litman. i want to start with you, john. what stands is out to you when you see these stories and watch them unfold and watch these
companies change their statement over and over again to more fulsomely admit what was going on and what you know of cohen, what you know of the president, what is the thing that is a big shining red light to you? >> more than anything, it is just that it is just question after question. each incremental development leads to three more questions. certainly remember, after the president was elected, there was great confusion in corporate america and people were looking for some insight into his state of mind, into what his agenda would be. i think -- it is certainly not unusual for people with access, people with insight into a chief executive's well being or politician's well being to offer their services. now mr. cohen did not register as a lobbyist, therefore that's one potential legal problem depending on how much work he did for these companies. he also has not suggested he had any ties to foreign affairs, register as a foreign agent. that also is potentially
problematic as we are seeing that a couple of these companies had at least some route overseas. people i have talked to in the trump transition, trump campaign officials say they weren't really aware cohen was doing this but they also acknowledge that cohen has a lot of face time with the president, that therefore possibly donald trump knew what was going on. but at the very least, michael cohen is someone who, if not going to have access to the white house was certainly going to find a way to profit off of it. >> so novartis, the ceo, has just released a new letter to the company saying, we made a mistake in entering into this agreement and as -- our engagement and as a consequence we are being criticized by a world that expects more from us. can novartis, a foreign pharmaceutical company paying michael cohen 100 grand a month, saying that they didn't get anything out of him. usually they pay about $12,000 or so, or less, when they're doing business with foreign lobbyists on behalf -- on their behalf in the united states.
they acknowledge that they didn't get anything from this. why did they continue paying michael cohen? >> well, could have been just a contract that had terms that extended beyond an initial pay period. however, it's like jonathan said -- >> pretty great contract. i don't have to deliver anything to you and i still get my money paid and it is a lot more money than we normally give folks? i mean it is pretty wild. >> i mean, it was a real buyer's market for people who had ties to donald trump -- rather, seller's market for people who had ties to donald trump marketing their services in that initial period right after the election during the transition, and then during the early days of the administration where many of the traditional k street power players suddenly found themselves on the outs and not really having any ties to this outsider president who ran against k street and ran against washington, came into power,
brought in to his administration a lot of folks who also didn't have these traditional ties. all of a sudden you see folks who do have the ties like a michael cohen, like a cory lewandowski, brian ballard. all of a sudden commanding these huge fees, and it is not unusual to see something like this happen in the early days of an administration. what is unusual here is that there were really no outside players who had these established ties that they could market. then also the brazenness with which folks like michael cohen or cory lewandowski marketed their connections to trump. it wasn't very subtle. it wasn't wink and a nod, the way things normally work on k street. it was basically saying i can get you a meeting for x amount of dollars. that is seen, if nothing else, as gauche and also potentially as a campaign violation. if you are setting up the meetings, you could argue you are simply advising. but there is higher scrutiny
given to advise given to foreign agents, independent of whether there was actually what we think of as lobbying done for these foreign clients like novartis or the korean company. >> good thing we've got a lawyer here. what's going to be a flag? >> there are several flags that ken anden jon have already mentioned. first, as to this great novartis contract, how great was it? they set the whole thing up and began the payments that they said they couldn't withdraw without even having met him. so in the first instance they give him the $1.2 million for basically nothing. it is quite clear -- gauche is one way to put it. it is quite clear it was a naked, almost grister's play of a pay-to-play access deal. what could be illegal? as jon says, there are more questions than answers right now but i think what caused mueller to knock at the doors of these companies about six months ago is possible bank fraud, money
laundering, wire fraud, and then the different possible -- the election law violations that came about with stormy daniels. because what struck me most as a prosecutor is the interplay and intermingling of the big payouts from the companies with -- all with essential consultants, this weird company set up just to apparently funnel money. and the changing story about how stormy daniels was paid. >> why would mueller, if he's interviewed or gotten documentation from at&t, he's gotten documentation from novartis, he's interviewed the russian oligarch behind one of these companies and the russian oligarch's american cousin who was running one of these companies. why hand it off to the sdny? >> very good question. the arrangement here is when things became disproportionally a matter outside of his bail
wi bailiwick he passed it along. some part of it could go back to mueller, but basically it was a decision that, by and large, this was now an outside of his bailiwick. of course, this reinforces the original search warrant which trump raled about. right? we all know now there is lot of smoke there and why sdny went to the court and said we want a warrant, not a subpoena. >> i'm curious to get to the point where we know if there's a fire. we know there is smoke. guys, thank you much. the other big question that i want answered and a number of people want answered right now, where did all that money that was being paid into this account go? did it go directly to michael cohen? did it go somewhere else? if it did go directly to michael cohen, why did michael cohen need a home equity line of credit to pay the $130,000 to stormy daniels? joining me now, sam nunberg, a former trump campaign advisor. sam, i'm going to pose that question to you.
where did the money go? it is a lot of cash. >> you're going to get me in trouble and i'm going to get called back to the grand jury. i'll just say i have no idea. >> have you been called back to the grand jury? >> i have not. >> do you expect to? >> who knows? is the answer i could be? i don't know. they have an open -- it's an open invite, i guess. >> why would michael cohen need a home equity line of credit to pay $130,000 to stormy daniels if his shell company is taken in as much as $4 million? >> as far as i understand -- this is all from public reporting. if the mueller people are watching. this is -- i have no firsthand knowledge. he took that loan out to pay stormy in october of 2016 so maybe he was a little cash poor at that point and he needed to get her the money before the election. subsequently i don't know why he co-mingled or didn't set up another company to do this corporate work for. >> you worked with michael cohen. you worked with donald trump. you've witnessed the way they do business. how they interact with each other. would you be surprised if michael cohen was doing this and donald trump had no knowledge of
it? >> yes -- no, no, excuse me. i wouldn't be surprised. >> why? >> once again -- i've told this to jon repeatedly, i've told this to ken. i think i've told this to you. the president hates people making money off of him. only one person that gets away with it in his face is lewandowski. he hates it. now look, one of the clients you named is at&t. how did that work out for at&t, katy? they're in a fight right now -- >> hold on, old on. october 22nd at&t said it wants to buy time warner and trump tweets about it. too much concentration of power in the hands of too few. he talks about it on october 22nd. on november 21st, the next month, he says i'm not going to get involved in litigation but personally i've felt that it was a deal that's not good for the country. do you think that because at&t was paying michael cohen, michael cohen was basically charged with trying to convince donald trump to back off this deal? >> well, donald trump is never going to back off that deal. he hates that deal because of
cnn, frankly. but look, i wanted to bring something up. this isn't putting anybody on the spot. this is common business that goes on in administrations. there is a gentlemen, genius. loved his book. david plouffe. >> it's not nice what happens in washington. no one is denying that. that's accepted. donald trump ran on draining the swamp and stopping this sort of action. does he have to live by his word? >> well, i don't know if this is -- draining the swamp could mean a lot of other things such as earmarks and things like that. >> at the actually said no more pay-to-play. i will not allow buying of influence. >> well, apparently michael didn't have a lot of influence if you look at novartis and at&t. >> it remains to be seen. no one's ruled on at&t yet. >> but the fact that the merger wasn't approved by the justice department means that they didn't get what they were hoping for when i was for them to try to find some way to get the idea approved. other people worked on that
deal, by the way. john boehner was working for at&t. >> this is one question i had. donald trump hates people making money off of him. >> correct. >> any reason to believe that the money went to donald trump or his organization? >> no, i doubt that the money went to donald trump. i would be very surprised -- well, first of all. i have no idea. i would be very surprised. i think michael -- let's remember. you know this because you covered the campaign. michael even thought there was a chance he was going to be chief of staff. they held back from michael during the transition until very, very late until telling him you're not going to the white house. then they gave him this title where he said he was going to be counsel to the president, it was almost because they wanted to be nice to him. michael used this, as he should as a businessman, and these companies wanted to pay him. i don't know if he was ever discussed that kind of stuff with the president. look, everybody will claim -- now you are looking -- i never discussed this with the president. i don't know. i can tell you i've never had a discussion with the president on anything i've worked on.
>> have you sold your influence or your knowledge of the president? >> no. no. never. >> not to anybody? >> not to anyone. >> not to anyone. >> i don't lobby the white house. i made a point of saying i'm never making a penny off donald trump. >> what did the special counsel want to know about michael cohen? was he a big topic during your interview? >> once again, i won't talk about exactly in the grand jury. but during the voluntary interview as they go through all these issues and they go through your history, they wanted to mow nye history, my interactions with michael. obviously trump tower moscow was a major issue. they were interested in michael's role with the campaign. in other words, what was michael going to do. they didn't ask me anything about the transition because i didn't know anything about that. >> anything about michael cohen and payments? >> and payments to tomorrow? >> payments to anybody. >> yeah, sure. like i told you, they asked about what his role was going to be and they asked if i had any knowledge about payments, which i didn't. >> got it. >> so i mean certainly it is an
area of interest for them. >> sam nunberg, let us know if you get called back in front of the grand jury. >> trust me, you'll know. >> that's honest. former trump campaign advisor sam nunberg. sam, thank you very much. as the senate weighs whether to confirm gina haspel as cia director, her very nomination has posed a question for all americans. what do we stand for? do you want the same tools and seamless experience across web and tablet? do you want $4.95 commissions for stocks, $0.50 options contracts? $1.50 futures contracts? what about a dedicated service team of trading specialists? did you say yes? good, then it's time for power e*trade. the platform, price and service that gives you the edge you need. looks like we have a couple seconds left. let's do some card twirling twirling cards e*trade. the original place to invest online.
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if you were watching gina haspel's conif i recallation hearing yesterday and you thought, hey, this feels different -- you were right. instead of politics, lawmakers focused on morality. does the woman who president trump wants to run the cia think torture is immoral? haspel chose her answers and her words carefully. she vowed to never restart the cia's, quote, detention and intier gags program. she promi interrogation program and promised not to do anything, quote, immoral. but she would not say exactly what she did think was immoral. >> do you believe that the previous interrogation techniques were immoral? >> senator, i believe that cia officers to whom you referred -- >> it's a yes or no answer. do you believe the previous interrogation techniques were immoral? >> senator, i believe that
cia -- >> it is a yes or no. >> -- did extraordinary work to prevent another attack on this country given the legal tools that we were authorized to use. >> please answer yes or no. >> senator, what i believe sitting here today is that i support the higher moral standard we have decided to hold ourselves to. >> can you please answer the question? >> senator, i think i've answered the question. >> no, you've not. >> her lack of clarity made it clear for at least one republican senator. in a statement last night, john mccain asked his fellow senators to reject haspel's nomination. he called her a patriot but said her refusal to acknowledge torture's immorality is disqualifying. like many americans, i understand the urgency that drove the decision to resort to so-called enhanced interrogation methods after our country was attacked. i know that those who used enhanced interrogation methods and those who approved them wanted to protect americans from harm. i appreciate their dilemma and the strain of their duty. but as i have argued many times,
the methods we employ to keep our nation safe must be as right and just as the values we aspire to live up to and promote in the world. this obviously is personal for john mccain. you know why. he was a prisoner of war in vietnam. he was held captive for five years. he was tortured. today he can't raise his arms over his shoulders because of his injuries. today he thinks america should be better than that. during the, quote, war on terror, we were not better than that, though. the senate intelligence committee's 2012 report on cia torture revealed in astonishing detail how brutally some detainees were treated. sleep deprivation. keeping detainees awake, sometimes standing with their arms shackled over their heads for days. being beaten and dragged naked down corridors. torturing two of its own cia informants before realizing who they were. and ultimately it was for no
use. the report found that the tactics were ineffective and didn't lead to the collection of imminent threat intelligence. gina haspel ran a cia black site in thailand where at least one detainee was tortured. joining us now, john nixon, former senior cia analyst and author of "debriefing the president, the interrogation of saddam hussein." and john rizzo, former cia chief legal officer and you a thoauth "company man, 30 years of controversy and crisis in the cia." gentlemen, thank you very much. i'm going to go by last name since you're both john. mr. rizzo, let's start with you. you came up in yesterday's hearing. your book came up in yesterday's hoonk. i want to play that moment from senator finestein and gina haspel. >> in his memoir, former cia counsel general john rizzo described how in 2005 jose rodriguez was promoted to be deputy cia director for
operations and installed as his chief of staff an officer from the counterterrorist center who had previously run the interrogation program. is that you? >> senator, i'm so pleased you asked me that question. >> yes or no will do. >> no. and for the record, if you have your staff check, mr. rizzo has issued a correction. >> mr. rizzo, what is that correction? >> well, the correction was, this was -- just put it in context for a second, katy. this was one sentence in a 330-page book i put out four years ago. in this one sentence i said that miss haspel -- i couldn't use her name then because she was under cover -- before becoming jose rodriguez' chief of staff, quote, ran the interrogation
program. when this was brought to my attention a couple weeks ago by a reporter that asked me about it, i gave -- i usually give standard response to stuff in my book, that i stand by what i said. so then the report comes out, other media pick it up and it causes me to reflect back as to what miss haspel's role was. and in retrospect, i overstated her role. she didn't run the program. so that's why i was happy to correct the record. >> she did oversee that black site, correct? >> see, here's problem. as you know, katy, from the hearing, miss haspel is reluctant to give any more details about her precise role. she -- let me put it this way. she was involved in a program at one point. she wasn't involved in it from beginning to end like i was and she was not a senior manager of the program like i was.
that's how i put it. >> what do you make of her refusal to say that torture is immoral? >> well, i mean, look. it is a complicated question. i can tell you what i think but i mean -- you know, had the question been asked of me, honestly what i would have said is, because i was there in the middle of things right after 9/11, and i was a key figure, no doubt, in the creation of the program. and going through my mind was the morality and moral imperative to me was to protect our country, protect thousands of people from not getting wiped out again in any murderous attack. that, frankly, was my primary moral motivation at that point. so i don't know. honestly, i don't know how she feels about it, but that's how i felt. >> mr. nixon, do you think it is a complicated question?
>> not at all. it is a yes or no answer. yesterday all i heard was a nominee giving evasive, scripted answers and a nominee and an agency who are doing their utmost to minimize her role in order to get her confirmed. >> mr. rizzo, one more question to you on this same topic. the republicans say it's just not possible to find somebody more qualified at the cia who wasn't involved in any way with torture. or with the enhanced interrogation program, if that's how you would like to define it. is that fair to say? there's no one else at the cia who can run the cia, that's qualified to do it, that doesn't have this mark on their record? >> no, i wouldn't say that. hundreds of people during the course of the seven-year period were involved in the program in one way or another. so it was a good chunk of the
agency workforce. but there are thousands of people. i know hundreds of people there who are -- who would also be more than qualified. i happen to think gina is exceptionally well qualified, but, sure, she's not the only one. >> mr. nixon, part of the issue that democratic senators had was asking her what she would do if president trump asked her to do something immoral, to do torture. he has said on the campaign trail that he's all for waterboarding, he thinks we should do it, and worse, he thinks it works. today dick cheney came out and said the same thing, it works, it should not have been stopped. she kept falling back on the army field manual which defines it as illegal and saying that that's what she believes the moral standard defined by the law falling back on those more legalistic answers. are you confident that she would not torture if the -- or allow torture, inhansed interrogation,
whatever you want to call it, if the commander in chief ordered the cia to do so? >> i think that she was sincere in saying that she doesn't ever want to go back there again. but the problem really is, first of all, her judgment because she said that she knows right from wrong but yet back in 2002, apparently she didn't. the thing is, now what i'm concerned about is that it might not be abusing torture. it might be about something else. but this president, i'm fairly certain, this president is going to ask the cia to do something that it shouldn't do and you want to have somebody who is going to have the moral courage to stand up and say, from, mr. president, we cannot do that. in the history of the cia, we've had people like that before and it's always worked out. i think i've said once before on this network, what concerns me most is that confirming it gina haspel -- and i think she is a very talented intelligence officer and has done many good things for this country. but on this issue she was wrong
and confirming her will send a very bad signal that the ends justifies the means and that we don't care from the president's standpoint, we don't care what you have to do in order to get something done as long as it gets done. >> had she come out though and said that it is immoral, it was wrong, we'll never do it again and i will never allow the president to go back to that, would you be more comfortable with her nomination? >> i would be. but i would also have wanted her to give us a little more detail about what she was doing and why she was doing it and why she thought was going to work. and the thing is, she gave just very evasive answers. and also some answers that were absolutely cringe worthy. >> john nixon, john rizzo, gentlemen, thank you very much for joining me. we now know where and we do know when president trump says he'll meet with kim jong-un on june 12th in singapore. on twitter, "we are both try to make it a very special moment for world peace." last night the president had a made-for-tv moment on the tarmac
at joint base andrews welcoming home from north korea three now released american detainees. a high note that was immediately followed by a low note. >> we want to thank kim jong-un who really was excellent to these three incredible people. they are really three incredible people. i think you probably broke the all-time in history television rating for 3:00 in the morning. >> joining me now from the white house is nbc news correspondent geoff bennett. geoff, why step off the plane with these detainees and have that glorious moment of getting these men back, very happy moment. high note for his presidency. and immediately follow it by praising kim jong-un and saying how excellent he was to these detainees, especially after the last time we got a
otto warmbier was in a coma and he died days later. >> it certainly fits a pattern. remember a couple of weeks ago president trump called kim a very honorable negotiator. the president apparently thinks this complimentary talk will help give him a smoother entry to this planned summit with kim. but there are those who point out that rewarding north korea, even rhetorically, for taking hostages, then leveraging them to get a meeting with the president is not a good precedent to set. so as for the summit, as you say, we finally got the location and the date. the president ruling out the korean dmz and settling on singapore. singapore, we should say, has a history of putting together high-profile diplomatic summits. it also represents, i'm told, neutral turf. it's got security partnerships with the u.s., a north korean embassy and strong ties to china. we don't know yet if regional partners like south korea, like china will be involved in this meeting. we also don't know if president trump has spoken directly with
kim. president trump has really dodged that question when asked. we also don't know how kim defines denuclearization which is the main point of this summit. so lots of unanswered questions. one thing we do know is the release of these americans from north korea overnight is certainly a confidence building measure. it is another in a series of positive signs. perhaps the most concrete sign yet that kim is serious. >> nbc's geoff bennett at the white house. thank you very much. the question now, can the president seize on these foreign policy wins. "the washington post" reports today that his white house sees the return of the detainees and upcoming meeting with kim jong-un as a chance to recast his presidency and change how voters view him. phil rucker writes, quote, for trump, each bold stroke is like a spritz of febreze on his narrative of domestic scandal, momentarily masking the expanding russia probe. author of "gate keepers," how the white house chiefs of staff define every presidency. chris, that is quite a way to
describe it, a spritz of febreze. >> exactly. donald trump, can y separate the good from the bad? will he have these victorious moments where he gets detainees out, neglect it's a way to sit down with kim jong-un, if you want to see that as a great thing. can you get that stuff without donald trump, the tweeter, and donald trump the erratic president, donald trump the instigator? >> you have to take the whole package. obviously having the detainees released is a great thing. everybody is for that. it is the beginning of a long process and we're nowhere near an agreement. denuclearization still has defined. it is still a real difficult negotiation. foreign wins have always been good for presidents under siege. richard nixon went to china and resigned in disgrace. george h.w. bush had a 90% approval rating after the
persian gulf war and lost to bill clinton. so it doesn't matter at the end of the day if your white house is still broken. and i believe this white house is. >> is he making the argument or will he be making the argument? look at all the good things i'm doing, i'm keeping you safer. ignore this mueller probe. ignore all the hoopla around my lawyer. ignore all the drama within my white house. look what i did to north korea. >> of course he will. he'll make that argument. if he gets a deal with korea, obviously with north korea, he should get deserved kudos for that. all i'm saying is that at the end of the day, foreign successes don't trump, as it were, a broken white house. things can change very quickly even when you're successful on the world stage. >> here's my other question. i think i know the answer to it but i'm going to see what you say. why praise kim jong-un and say that he treated them excellently when he was detaining -- there
was hard labor for at least one of these detainees. otto warmbier came back in a coma. otto warmbier's parents, i wonder what they think when they see the president say those words. >> again, it's no surprise. donald trump is who he is. and he will always manage to take a triumph like this and tarnish it in some way because of his ego and his personality. so it is no surprise that he turns everything into an episode of the "apprentice." so the thing, again, the real test will be, can he achieve an agreement with north korea. as you know, this is -- this process is welcome backwards. he's having the summit with kim before any of the details have been worked out, before denuclearization has been defined. so good luck. obviously we all wish him luck. >> certainly we do. chris whipple, we do appreciate it.
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its regional ally, that reads in part, iran's islamic revolutionary guard corps bears full responsibility for the consequences of its reckless actions an we call on the irgc and its militant proxies including hezbollah to
take no further provocative steps. let's bring in israel's ambassador to the united nations. dan in n danny, thank you for being here. israel was pretty much the number one cheerleader for killing the iran deal. is this strike in the golan heigh heights, this current flare-up, a direct result of the president's announcement? >> good afternoon. it is not direct result but there is connection and the connection is iran. for the last year i have been warning the security council about a build-up in syria. thousands of militants, they built weapons, money, people. they know they mean to threaten israel. can you imagine if god forbid they had nuclear capability and
brought it into syria? we wait for the president's bold decision to pull out from the jcpoa. it is a bad agreement and it is still a bad agreement. >> correct me if tim's wrong, netanyahu's own generals said that they were abiding by the deal. if the deal falls apart, if iran pulls out of it and the european allies that are still within it, can't that speed up the process for them to build a nuclear weapon? doesn't that make the threat of something far worse as you just mentioned much more imminent? >> on the contrary. first of all, i don't know about which generals. we are a democracy. we have a government, a prime minister. the position of the government is clear from the very beginning we are against this agreement, especially about expiration date. if you don't do anything about the weapons today, in seven years iran will have nuclear capability. >> can't they have a nuclear capability on a fast track today in a month as opposed to seven years? >> we will not allow, period.
>> how can you not allow? you can't inspect their sites any longer. >> even in the agreement you cannot expect because you have to let them know in advance. you can't inspect military facilities. we know exactly what they had in mind. we cannot sit idly by in a way to let them achieve their nuclear weapons. i think today when the president puts new rules on the table other countries will follow and eventually we will be able to change this agreement. >> some would argue that israel's kind of spoiling for a fight with iran. >> on the contrary. we have no desire to fight with anyone. we don't want to see any escalation. we want to live peacefully, to flourish, to educate our children. unfortunately we live in a very tough neighborhood. we saw what happened to lebanon. we see what's happening today in syria and we will not allow the iranians to build their bases next to our border on the golan. we will not allow them to take over syria the same way they took over lebanon. >> so the strike from iran on
the golan heights, here is how the guardian describes it, if confirmed it is the first time iranian forces have stuck at israeli positions from inside syria and the response was the largest israeli strike yet against iranian positions. is that true? is this the first time? >> indeed with a major incident, more than 20 rockets from the qods force. iranian forces. they were not syrian forces. they collaborate with iranian forces. syrian areas and golan heights and we retailated and we will continue to do that if they try to attack even. we have very strong air force and we will send our boys and girls to protect israel. >> are you concerned this is about to escalate? >> we hope not. maybe what we saw yesterday will be the end of it for now. but when i see this iranians being so much weapons into syria, i ask why. isis has been defeated so why they are putting so much money, weapons and militants into
syria. we know they are doing it to threaten israel maybe you be quiet for a while but if you not deal with the threat there will be another escalation in the future. >> danny, thank you very much. former israeli ambassador to the united nations. next up, meet viktor vekselberg, the russian accused of funneling cash to the president's fixer. he's known as the, quote, nice oligarch. but what in the world does that even mean? but what a powerful life lesson. and don't worry i have everything handled. i already spoke to our allstate agent, and i know that we have accident forgiveness. which is so smart on your guy's part. like fact that they'll just... forgive you... four weeks without the car. okay, yup. good night. with accident forgiveness your rates won't go up just because of an accident. switching to allstate is worth it.
in a tweet posted earlier this week, stormy daniels' attorney, michael avenatti, claimed that michael cohen had received a half million dollars from a company controlled by a russian billionaire. that oligarch, viktor vekselberg, is alleged to have made payments to cohen's shell company, essential consulting, llc. among u.s. officials who study russia's elite, quote, vekselberg has a reputation as the nice oligarch, relatively free from the taint of thuggery. i thought we weren't going to say taint on this show any longer! bad. according to nbc's reporting, he has advocated for a resatart of u.s.-russia relations. he even attended donald trump's inauguration in 2017 but he was also sanctioned for muddling in
the u.s. election. he was subsequently stopped at the airport by investigators. there is no information note th indication that vekselberg is suspected of any wrongdoing. joining me here, tom winter. by here i mean just upstairs at another studio. tom, good to see you. tell me a little bit more about vekselberg. columbus nova is issuing a statement saying the company is american-roled. they denied vekselberg had ever owned it or used it for payments. does the evidence support that claim? >> katy, not surprisingly, it's more nuanced than that. our understanding of it based upon looking at corporate records, website records, and also the states from the people involved with the companies themselves, columbus nova is part of the renova group, which is victor vekselberg's company.
it is a big company. they have investments in various industries. they are in the minerals industry, the oil industry, telecommunications industries in other investments that he has. this is kind the american investing arm of victor vekselberg. in addition to that, if ceo of columbus nova is andrew intrader, and he's a relative of vex vek. while there is a clear situation between the two companies to some degree to say they are entirely separate entities, say ge and at&t, yeah, it's not quite that way. >> he has what is being described as a complicated relationship with vladimir putin. why is it complicated? >> katy, vekselberg has always been looked at based on conversations we have had with former ambassadors and people in the intelligence and law enforcement community as a very different relationship than the other oligarchs. his relationship with vladimir putin during the 2008 financial
crisis which impacted russia particularly hard -- he questioned vladimir putin's statements and his efforts to make russia the new financial capital of the world, to make the ruble the next world currency. and conversations that he had with the u.s. state department at the time in the baes in russia he really questioned russia's leadership, what was going on, where thing were going. we predicted that for some of the economic issues in russia that the oligarchs would get a blame for it. but he really seemed to call out vladimir putin's assertions that russia would slide into the position as the financial capital of the world during the u.s.'s financial struggles during that time. >> why was he included in the sanctions? >> it's a complicated. >> every is complicated. life is complicated. >> exactly. when you look at the oligarchs. the oligarchs, the way it's been described to me serve at the pleasure of vladimir putin. and then vladimir putin serves
at the pleasure of the oligarchs. so it's kind of this small cadre of people with an enormous amount of money. and so when you look at that group you say okay if we are going to shut off oleg deripaska who the u.s. has said is a major player in russian organized crime, if you are going to close off some of the other other russian oligarchs who have the ability to move money to have global businesses to perhaps fund counter-intelligence operations against the united states some of the things we saw during the election you have to bring in all the people who have access to it and can move money. and victor vekselberg have not been shy about contributions. andrew intrader of the columbus nova though donated tens of thousands to the rnc and the trump pac. and renova, the superseding company over this columbus nova
group they have donated somewhere between $50,000 to $100,000 to the clinton foundation. these are not people who sit idly by. they have investment interests in the united states and worldwide. they make things happen and want to be engaged in the u.s. community. >> earlier in the show we were talking about the smoke we are seeing and the cohen news and the ties to vekselberg is adding more smoke. if you look at the ties on the graphic wall between vekselberg and kushner and ross and flynn, the inauguration, michael cohen, donald trump, columbus nova there is still a whole lot of smoke here, and now that we are hearing reporting that robert mueller has interviewed vekselberg and his cousin intrader the head of columbus nova. again more and more smoke. i'm desperate to know whether or not there is fire. i want the answer to all of these questions. >> we all do. >> tom winter thank you.
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one more thing before we go, last night in new york former president bill clinton attended town and country's flil an tloep summit. it is the snub that happened last night that is grabbing headlines. someone else was supposed to be in that room. that is monica lewinsky. she tweeted about the disinvitation saying in part, dear world, please don't invite
me to an event, especially one about social change, and then after i have accepted uninvite me because bill clinton decided to attend. it's 2018. this morning, town and country tweeted back, that's where all conversations happen, on twitter. a one sentence apology to the former white house intern. as for clinton, his spokesman says neither the former president nor his staff were aware lewinsky had been snubbed. as you remember, she stayed silent for years after the scandal that rocked her personal life and the presidency and she has reemerged. >> a marketplace has emerged where public humiliation is a commodity and shame is an industry. anyone who is suffering from shame and public humiliation needs to know one thing, you can survive it. i know it's hard. it may not be painless, quick,
or easy, but you can insist on a different ending to your story. >> good for her. that will wrap things up for this hour. my good friend and never a shamer ali very well she picks things up right now. >> are you bad laker on. another busy one. >> at 5:00. it's one of those days and those week. >> trying to make sense of it is hard. good afternoon, i'm ali. just over an hour from now is president heads to indiana for a rally with his supporters. leaving washington doesn't mean leaving the spotlight. there are many headlines swirling around the president today be. a date and place has officially been set for the high stakes summit between trump and the north korean leader. he tweeted the summit will take place in singapore on june 12th. we will both try to make it a very special moment for world peace that tweet came eight