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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  May 16, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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thanks for opening your mind, your heart and patience. i'll see you tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. right now i hand you off to andrea mitchell for andrea mitchell reports. north korea threatening to cancel the june meeting between kim jong-un and president trump. >> this is something that we fully expected. the president is very ready for tough negotiations and if they want to meet, we'll be ready. if they don't, that's okay too. tower records. new insight today into the trump tower meeting with the russian. releasing 2500 pages detailing what don junior and others told
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investigators ant the meeting with russians promising dirt on hillary clinton. >> i'm satisfied that we got a lot of collaboration by different people that were there. they seemed to draw the same conclusions. >> what we know with certainty is that the trump campaign sought and received assistance from the russians in their campaign. sties like us. the president's pick to head the cia clears major hurdle and poised to be confirmed by the full senate even as rand paul is raising questions about spying on candidate donald trump. >> i think my concern is gina haspel has been in the very high ranking of the cia. did she know anything about it? did the cia eve drop on the trump campaign when they were in england. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell in
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washington where we're following two major stories. first president trump facing north korea's sudden threats to scuttle the meeting. just as libya's strong man did. he was later deposed and killed. then the senate judiciary committee releasing thousands of panls of testimony about that june 2016 trump tower meeting with are russian informant including more than 200 pages of testimony from donald trump junior. north korea and the message now from sarah sanders speaking with you all out there on the lawn is
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they knew this all along. this despite the fact the president was bragging about the nobel prize, jumping the gun a little bit. they were shocked at what happened last night. >> reporter: especially because part of condition for this meeting coming into fruition was the u.s. and south korea would do some of its military exercises earlier in the year and that north korea had agreed to that. doing additional military exercises should not have been the abrupt change that sent north korea looking in the other measure. there is a certain measure being surprised by this tactic. that may cover the ground for the white house to say they expected this. the president has a lot riding on the success of this kind of
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summit and he's often said he would be willing to walk away from the table if goenegotiatio were not fruitful. he wants to get to the table. this seems to be a speed bump on that front. andrea. >> the denuclearization issue is clearly an optical. the president in the photo opportunity many the oval office note to coming out that he said they're still going to insist on denuclearization of north korea. the difference is profound. the north koreans are saying you're talking about denuclearization of the entire peninsula of all of our forces as well. what are you hearing from the south korean press about this major hurdle in. >> the south koreans are worried. as for north korea, as usually,
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there are so many things we don't know. so many unanswered questions. it is just a negotiating tactic. this statement came from the most senior negotiator. man the u.s. knows well. he's spoken with the personal endorsement of king jong-un. he always spoke because north koreans have signalled many times in the last few weeks they are unhappy at american boasting about sanctions some have forcing kim to the negotiating table. the north koreans say they are coming to this summit from a position of strength. as a nuclear power and not from a position of weakness. if that you like their warning, america, respect us. they are especially irritated by john bolton. he was personally mentioned as being repugnant in the
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statement. they are angry add his demand that north korea disarm just like libya did in 2004. they don't like john bolton demanding they abandon their nuclear weapons program. the third objection is to the joint military drills. they are threatening to walk away. that's straight out of donald trump's play book. they are saying what donald trump has been saying. if i don't get what i want, i'm going to walk away. it's all a negotiating tactic. north korea has set the pace so
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far. try to set the agenda for that summit. >> that is something that's not been adequately described by the white house by the posturing of the last couple of weeks. let me play john bolton, what he said over this weekend that was such a strtrigger for the north koreans and what sarah sanders this morning. >> we have very much in mind the libya model from 2003, 2004. the full complete, total disclosure of everything related to their nuclear weapons program with full international verification. >> i haven't seen that as part of any discussions. i'm not aware that's a model that we're using. i know that comment was made but
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i don't think we're going off of -- there's not a cookie cutter model on how this works. >> ashley, the president talking about the nobel prize. the president describing kim jong-un as hon rable and excellent as releasing prisoners that he never should have had in the first place and going to indiana and come paining with mike pence thursday night after the release of the prisoners as though this is going to be the key to the mid materiterms and . they got way out ahead of the themselves. >> you're right. the president is eager for a deal. he's eager for a deal always on every topic and eager for a win always on every topic. on something like north korea, it holds a special place because not only would it be sort of a huge historic deal and potential win for the united states, understanding that it would take
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many years to play out to see if this was a success but for a president who sort of sets himself in opposition to his immediate predecessor, barack obama, he also views it as something obama could not get done and he could. he's eager. he knows the stakes and it has been mentioned the nobel peace prize. he wants this to happen. that is something his aides say makes him a nimble negotiator. the fact these other countries believer he may do this seemingly crazy thing. the thing you would expect no one else to do. they think that's an asset and think that's why ultimately this summit will still go on, easat least as of now. >> thanks for starting us off.
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do you see this as posturing by the knnorth and by this vice minister of foreign affairs. it's the reality of a 70 year conflict and militarized area of the world. this was never going to be oez zi. i think this is really a return to the type of relationship we have had with north korea over the years. he's gotten us a little farther. i think his unpredictability is
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pr problematic in my ways. it probably contributed to kim jong-un conversations. >> their claim at the white house that this is not going to be a faze e ed step by step, ea side gives and the other side gives. each side had to give something, not we get everything. they give up something they've been building for 50 of their 70
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years and we do nothing in response. >> that's right. >> i think we have to accept that kim jong-un has been quite sophisticated in his approach to all of this. he's given some things but he's largely given things up that don't cost him anything. giving up the three hostages, that's something but they provide him with very little value. it's thrown in his face what he and his regime understand to be his security blanket. starting there for the united states, i think doesn't lead to a very successful outcome any time soon.
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>> the routine spring defensive exercise described by the pentagon and agreed to by the north in that very first march communication through the south. should we hold back the b2s? >> i think they are in same way kim jong-un was willing to give up, it doesn't cost him much, we ought to consider doing the same. >> here is the president with the leader. i think there's a question about north korea. >> we'll have to see. >> thank you.
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>> we haven't seen anything. we haven't heard anything. we'll see what happens. >> we'll see what happens. we'll see. time will tell. >> thank you very much, everybody. >> basically we'll see time will tell. we'll see what happens. this very well may happen on june 12th in singapore. it really will be ceremonial more than deeply substantive if it's a one day meeting to be followed up by experts on one
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side. we can view this as a hiccup but it is a cautionary sign that we shouldn't be talking about nobel peace prizes and someone who imprisons and enslaves millions of his people. >> truthfully the president's comments now were vastly more accurate. we will see. that's the approach we should take. we should walk into this seriously. we should understand what concessions we really are willing to give and understand this is a marathon and not a sprint. a sit down does not get rid of the nuclear weapon ons ts on th peninsula. >> i have to you about the nsc disbanded cyber security unit. >> i think this is unfortunate. i don't understand it. i understand taking out layers and organizations that can lead
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to real efficiency. i think that's a deeply problematic choice. >> china. i can't understand it. his own people can't understand it. on sunday the president tweets we got to save chinese jobs in this firm zte that makes phones that are used for espionage. coming right after half billion dollar loan commitment by china to the trump organization in indonesia. >> this very much threw the national security community and the congress department -- zte has been a company that's violated u.s. export rules, lied to the commerce department and were punished quite severely.
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>> violated iranian sanctions on iran. >> they did everything wrong and were properly punished, in my view. what the president did was take that enforcement, throw it into a bucket of trade disputes and express a willingness to back down on that. this is a very odd place to back down. it's a weird place to start. >> u.s. military not allowed to use those phones because they can used as back doors into all of our other computer systems. thank you. it's great to have you here. coming up, the russia connection. what donald trump junior revealed. you're watching andrea mitchell reports on msnbc.
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we're learning new details about the june trump t2016 trum meeting. thousands of pages of testimony from key figures shedding some new light on the players involved and the fall out once news went public. the committee chairman has not permitted aggressive fact
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finding. welcome both. ken, you've been pouring over 2500 pages since they were leased at 9:15 many thunderstorm warning. apologies for the question of your big take away. don junior kept saying i don't know. i didn't tell my father. he wasn't aware of the meeting beforehand. we never called him. what did we really learn in. >> the republicans who learn the judiciary committee released these transcripts because they feel they tell a story there was no evidence of collusion produced by these interviews so far. it's true that the participants tell a consistent story and their response acknowledge that. here are my big take away. donald trump junior has locked himself into a story.
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he's asking us to believe and the congress and robert mueller that he was offered this meeting with russians offering increme nating information about hillary clinton during the height of the presidential campaign and he did not tell his father that this was happening. nor did he tell his father about meeting after it occurred. his testimony is donald trump the candidate found out only when the news broke in news reports. that's hard for a lot of people to believe but that his story. >> one quick question to drive that point home. the meeting was one or two floors away from trump's offices in the trump tower and he was there that day, is that correct? >> that's correct. there are a number of phone calls, phone records that the committee has, setting up the meeting with the russian oligarch and calls before and after the meeting to a blocked number. democrats point out that donald
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trump the candidate was known to have used a block number. they were not allowed to subpoena the records to a phone provider to figure out who it belonged to. you can bet robert mule r aelle his team will get the answer. >> what does this tell us about mueller investigation? >> not much. the senate has what the senate has. they are koords nacoordinating mueller to avoid stepping on each other's toes too much. they are not privy to what mueller knows. mueller has what was released today. he probably already had it but they're not getting what he has. congress does not have some of the tools that robert mueller has. for example, we have the
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witness, potential witness, maybe not to this meeting but important events around it. rick gate who is are cooperating with the mueller investigation having pled guilty and that's a witness that congress would not have access to. whatever is coming out of senate investigations, the floor, not the ceiling for what robert mueller would develop around this trump tower meeting and other conversations and connections that may be relevant to what was happening in that time period. >> to ken, one of the e-mails from the don junior or this is from rob goldstone to his russian contact. he was the middleman. i have told them what i know.
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i'm not happy put in this position with federal attorneys investigating. that's an interesting window into the mind set at time. >> before this happened, donald trump junior said he had no connections, no interactions with russians and lam basted democrats who were raising that as an issue. what this e-mail shows is that once the reporters started asked about it, attorneys swung into action and were concerned because they knew how incriminating this would look. that's when the stories started to get into place. we know that robert mueller is investigating the actions of the campaign druing donald trump the candidate. >> illinois senator was critical of chairman grassley today. let's play a bit of what he told garrett. >> there's an important role for the judiciary committee to play.
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not just to find out what happened before but our chart, our responsibility of the constitution is to make sure it never happens again. at this point little or nothing is being done. i hope that changes. i would encourage to chairman to step out and reassert what this committee used to be. >> the committee does have subpoena power. they could pursue many financial avenues they rejected despite pressure from the democrats. >> they could be doing more. it might be better if they're not. we have a special counsel who is staffed up and has more effective tools and more importantly able to operate in secrecy while he gathers the facts.
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i read a bit of it this morning would still even talking to the senate about this try to kind of minimize this thing. it was no big deal. it was a one off meeting on a chaotic campaign day and i don't think that's what we're going to end up concluding when we learn everything that the special counsel will have to tell us about this. i think we will learn it's a big deal. the very momentum when they were complaining about the possibility that hillary clinton let loose e-mail go here or there that could have had national security implications. they were deliberately taking a meeting with people connected closely to a foreign power about collaborating in a political campaign in the yiet election. one thing that's quite clear is whatever donald trump junior wants to say about how this was no big deal, he was keenly disappointed that the meeting did not produce what he was hoping to produce as he said in his "i love it" e-mail.
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>> thank you so much for all of your reporting and analysis. coming up next, jeopardy. was president trump too quick to praise kim jong-un? my digestive system used to make me feel sluggish.
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very nice. thank you. that's very nice. nobel. i just want to get the job done. >> i think that president moon was very nice when he suggested it. i want to get peace. >> do you deserve the nobel prize? >> everyone thinks so. i would never say it. i want to get it finished. the prize i want is vic tt ttor the world. >> president trump saying he wants to declare victory. is the art of deal president now back to the start? joining me is mike murphy.
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thanks very much. the goals are great but what about the execution? >> that's the hard part. the north koreans have already won because just getting a peting with an american president has been something they wanted for decades to get legitimacy for their out law regime. i think they have leverage here and are now trying to use it. i think the co-author of art of the deal is getting a lesson from a better deal maker. both these guys are famous for breaking promises. >> who needs the summit more? >> well, that's a good -- i think the north koreans could declare victory now that they
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have a bilateral precedent and play the long game. i think president trump wants the summit more because he wants the photo op. i doubt much will happen other than an optic of lesser tensions. kim will talk about loving american baseball and donald trump will try not to be insulting. i think trump wants it the most. that puts him at a disadvantage. >> the other big issue we all have been focusing on is the comment by a white house staffer, about john mccain. we've been discussing that and the focus of the white house seems to be to plug the leak, punish the leaker of that meeting rather than apologize. the president was at the senate caucus. nobody asked him about it
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yesterday. sarah sanders today talking about the leaker. let's watch. >> i think some of those leaks are made up and reporters search for validation for them. look, there's definitely something that has to be addressed. i can't answer why people do it because i don't engage it. i find it to be some of the most disgusting behavior that you would participate in and one of the most disloyal things you can do as an entrusted member of the president's team. >> if disgusting and disloyal. one of the most disgusting you could participate in to leak a comment when many people would say that the comment it was arguably much more disgusting. >> yeah, i would. this is a situation where they have their ethical compass completely backwards. presidential administrations hate leaks but they are fact of life. the truth is the more you make your white house into a thunder dome of stabbing each other than
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the more leaks you get. the people who set the culture should understand the comments about john mccain, an american hero are the problem. it shows what a broken culture they've got. i'm sad to see this. i don't think this would have happened in any presidency before now. >> what do you think should happen regarding john mccain from this white house? they clearly don't want to address it. >> they owe an apology and the staffer who is doing comedy routines about a hero fighting terminal cancers ought to go back to the newspaper where ever they found her. she should have been fired instantly. most white houses might have fired her. this is a new era. we used to have standards and shame used to count for something against a white house. it irks me as a republican to say this, we have a new
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precedent here and maybe it will be reveersed in the future. >> thank you for being with us today. coming up, a big first step for women trying to break that political glass ceiling especially in pennsylvania. stay with us. we'll have a full report coming up. your digestive system has billions of bacteria, but life can throw them off balance. try align, the #1 doctor recommended probiotic. with a unique strain that re-aligns your system.
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"that i will faithfully execute." "there was no knowledge of any payments from the president and he's denied all these allegations." "the office of president of the united states." "the raid late today of president trump's personal lawyer and friend michael cohen fbi agents took a host of documents, including some related to cohen's one-hundred-and-thirty-thousand- dollar payment to porn star stormy daniels" "and will to the best of my ability." "giuliani has just dropped something of a bombshell on that one-hundred-and-thirty-thousand dollar payment." "funneled it through a law firm and the president re-paid it." "oh, i didn't know that he did." "oh, i didn't know that he did." "yep." "preserve, protect and defend." "he'll get his facts straight." "the constitution" we're not changing any stories "of the united states." "people lie." "so help me god." tuesday was a very big night for women running in primaries
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around the country. for example, right now there's not a single woman in pennsylvania's congressional delegati delegation. as many as four democratic women could be joining congress following last night's primary. joining me now is nbc kasie hunt on capitol hill. back in your home state of pennsylvania especially in south eastern pennsylvania in those five congressional districts, it was a breakthrough for women almost everywhere. >> reporter: a real breakthrough. pennsylvania has been one of the largest congressional delegations without a woman member for the past few years. the headlines in the local pennsylvania papers are saying we have chance to have a woman be part of our congressional delegation in the fall. there's a host of districts. i think we have a list of four in particularly. that last one is the new charlie
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dent district that is a narrowly democrat district. husba his district was redrawn to be a hillary clinton voting district. we've been watching carefully to see if this trend that we know that numbers of women candidates are up. the question has been, okay, are they going to be able to win first in the primaries and the general election. it looks as though they have taken a significant step forward. >> there are some set backs for the national party in nebraska in a congressional district they were hoping to pick up where obama had done so well. a progressive woman won. she defeated the establishment back former congressman brad ash
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ford. she's not considered the best candidate for a democrat in that republican area. >> it's an omaha, nebraska center district. she's a social worker in nebraska. this democrats the challenges that the national party has when it weighs in on primaries. what you saw in nebraska and around the country is this overwhelming turn out among democrats with relatively modest turn out among republicans akros t -- across the country. i think that bodes well. there was so much of a democrat tourn o turn out that in an uncontested primary bob casey in the sena
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senate -- >> so many casey'scaseys. >> senator casey pulled in so many voters statewide. >> that's right. that was a contested primary. one of the few members of current house of representatives to advantage. there's a number of them trying to run for higher office. the success rate has not been great. that's a very excellent point that you make. this is the sign of a wave. i would say that what happened out in nebraska is potentially indicative of that as well because what determine the outcome there was strictly enthusiasm and we talk a lot about in democrats are a bit divided on whether they have to run on something, an economic message or whether it's going to be enough to be against donald trump and be focused on the
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enthee enthusiasm of democratic voters to show up in polls. there's signs in last night's primaries to say this wave is real as building and that's going to be the defining force in november. >> when you look toward the congress and toward these candidates, how important is gender in both political parties? >> the regard numbers of women running as democrats but also quite a number of women running as republicans. this is the year of the woman. you can't win unless you run. they're going to be a lot of democratic women who will lose. they will be an awful lot who win and pennsylvania is one of those examples. i think it's going to be enthusiastic november. >> congresswoman donna edwards. thanks so much. thanks for being with us today. coming up, spy games. why rand paul is demanding for answers from the future head of the cia who advanced out of committee. patrick woke up with a sore back.
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and we got to know the friends of our friends.r the friends. and we found others just like us. and just like that we felt a little less alone. but then something happened. we had to deal with spam, fake news, and data misuse. that's going to change. from now on, facebook will do more to keep you safe and protect your privacy. because when this place does what it was built for, then we all get a little closer. the senate intelligence committee approved the nomination of gina haspel
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sending it to the senate floor and could be confirmed in a matter of days but has not cleared up a new objection from republican rand paul who wants to know whether the cia was monitoring candidate donald trump when in great britain during the campaign. cia denied that. the inside scoop from ruth marcus and "new york times" policy reporter jeremy peters. both are msnbc contributors. i want to point out senator paul sent an edgy letter to gina haspel on the eve of her getting the vote out of committee today, and then nbc talked to him on the floor -- right off the floor. let's take a look at that. >> supposed to be illegal for the cia into spy on americans. so the question is, did john brennan ask the british intelligence to spy on americans for him? did he ask him to spy on president trump the campaign? >> is the president concerned about this. >> very concerned about this and
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my concern, gina haspel's been in the highest ranks of the cia. did she know about it? i've sent a letter to her. did the cy cy eavesdrop on the trump campaign when they were in england. >> and you've been reporting on this. the president is concerned on this, too? >> the president and rand paul speak a lot on this subject and what this episode points to is divisions in the white house over who the new cia director should be, and a question of whether or not the president was fully briefed by his staff on what gina haspel did and did not know. rand paul's condition and rand paul has been antagonistic towards the intelligence committee apparatus for overreaches, has said, look, this, if this nominee is somebody who is backed by the quote/unquote deep state, michael hayden, james clapper, people president trump really
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dislikes, why is president trump putting her forward as the nominee? that horse has already left the barn, of course and i don't see what you can do from here except raise a lot of questions about what she may or may not have known about the surveillance on the trump campaign. >> it would be really troubling if -- she's going to be confirmed. goes into this job without the support of the president. we all know how close his relationship was with mike pompeo, and mike pompeo has completely embraced and endorsed her and promoted her for this. >> and so has the president. not only by nominating her, obviously, but by tweeting about her qualifications. noting she was a woman in his tweet. this is a fascinating development on the one -- on one level, it's kind of irrelevant. as you say, i with or without r paul's backing she'll be confirmed. >> take the wheels without an understanding with the president is troubling going forward. >> we've soon the president's
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relationship with captabinet secretaries and other high-ranking authorities go south before. but especially when -- making me laugh. especially when -- >> how do you think jeff sessions -- >> not just that. especially when the president feels he hasn't been fully briefed who these people are and where they're coming from. the person i'm thinking about is the homeland security secretary kee kirstjen nielsen. figures out from the deep state, kirstjen nielsen, era of the bush presidency and didn't know she wasn't fully on team trump. seems the best analogy, though as you point out there are a lot of other cabinet-level problems. >> and agency directors are not
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political. arguably, mike pompeo was more forward leaning on policy than some of his predecessors but the fact is those people you mentioned, clapper, brennan, hayden certainly, were not political at all. they would say, here's the analysis. not what should the policy be. >> but in donald trump's view, everything is not just political but personal. and by attacking him and his credibility, questioning it, at least, those former cia officials have given president trump all the ammunition he needs to suspect a deep state conspiracy, if you want to call it that. whether or not one exists. i will say the battle over her confirmation has turned into something political, because look at who has flipped over the last few days. heidi heitkamp, senator nelson in florida. they're two up for re-election. joe donnelly. >> what do they have in common? >> up for elections that donald trump won overwhelmingly.
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pass the test. have to leave it there. gina haspel could get a floor vote this week if wyden and paul and strong opponents let it go forward by unanimous consent. and we have unanimous consent you're both great. thank you for being with us. coming up, turning pain into action. two parents who lost children in the florida school shooting, running for school board. craig melvin will talk to them about what they hope to change. stay with us. we just switched to geico and got more. more? they've been saving folks money for over 75 years. a company you can trust. geico even helped us with homeowners insurance. more sounds great. gotta love more... right, honey? yeah! geico. expect great savings and a whole lot more.
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that's it for today for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow us online, on facebook @mitchellreports, and craig melvin is here. >> good afternoon. craig melvin here at msnbc headquarters in new york city. inside the meeting. thousands of pages of interview transcripts shedding light on what happened inside that infamous meeting at trump tower, including, according to testimony, a question that donald trump jr. asked about hillary clinton. also -- the message trump voters have for the president. do not fire special counsel robert mueller. why even if they think it's a witch-hunt, they think it should go on. and -- turning pain to public service. talking to two parents living through the unimaginable. losing their children in the parkland shooting. now they're running f

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