tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC May 22, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT
and republicans want to know more. in about an hour they'll be formally calling for a second special counsel as the doj and fbi now say they'll share top secret info with congress. separately we're getting an update on election security on a briefing of just how protected we are. spoiler are it can didn't go as well as some lawmakers had hoped. we hope to hear more from pous house speaker paul ryan on all of this. he will be answer willing questions right there sometime in the next couple minutes over on the pit. a -- hill. >> what he needs to say to president trump to make sure this meeting with kim jong-un goes off. and as if that is not enough, guys, primary day with republicans hoping to keep their grip on four deep red states. democrats seeing opportunity to maybe reshape the political landscape. we've got steve kornacki at the big board and jacob taking us to the lone star state later on in the show. but we start with all those moving parts centered around the
russia investigation. here's what we're watching the in of the last hour or so a classified briefing led by top trump officials on election security happened. we're starting to hear from lawmakers on that and we're waiting to hear from speaker ryan to see if he can tell us anymore about these new developments. in an hour we'll hear from members of the republican freedom caucus who wanted a essential spesht counsel to look into what they claim were surveillance abuses at the doj. this latest demand coming after the whout white house announced a deal to see highly classified material on the russia investigation. a lot going on in the next 60 minutes. let's bring in garrett haake on capitol hill. i've been watching you run around trying to talk with lawmakers about this election security briefing and about what's happening in an hour with this call for a second special counsel now. >> reporter: yeah, hallie, let's start with the election security issue. it is a big deal that gets underpaid attention to. we saw that this morning even from lawmakers. what we had this morning was a
classified briefing in which every lawmaker on capitol hill was invited to hear about these issues around election security in 2018. the fbi director was there are are the director of homeland security was there, along with the technical professionals who would brief them on the details. what i heard from lawmakers coming out of this meeting was they got a lot about what happened in 2016, but comparatively little about what is being done to protect american elections in the midterm elections six months from now, six months from now lawmakers saying they are just not hearing enough about specifics. and, frankly, there weren't that many law make tlers to ask about it. >> right. >> only 40 or 50 lawmakers attended this classified briefing this morning. and some of my questions to the briefers were about why that might be the case, including i asked the homeland security secretary about what role the president's commentary on russia plays. i think can he can play that now. >> you think the president calling the -- everything involving russia a witch hunt and talking about no collusion, no interference, that kind of thing dampens the message you're trying to send that this is a
big problem and that congress and the states do need to take this very seriously? >> i don't. i think the president's been very clear that he agrees with the intel community that the russians did attempt to hack or otherwise through cyber means influence our election. and he remains committed, that's why we're here today, so make sure that his administration is doing everything we can to address that. >> reporter: hallie, i'll leave it to others to parse ow clear the president has or has not been about the role he thinks russia played in the 2016 election. but i asked a similar question also to the chairman of the house homeland security commit tie saying essentially where are your members? why are people not here and are they taking it seriously enough? >> we were told only maybe 40 or 50 members attended this briefing. are you worried that your colleagues may not be tabbing this seriously enough? >> well, it was at 8:00 so in deference to my colleagues, yeah, you know, they've been talking a lot about this issue. we were a little surprised that not as many showed up.
>> reporter: the 8:00 joke there seems like -- >> garrett. >> reporter: that may come back to haunt somebody in 2018. >> were you awake at 8:00 this morning? were you working? >> reporter: i was awake and i've been up for quite some time and i see a lot of these law makers who have time to get up and put on a suit and go to "morning joe" but don't have time to come to an election security briefing. i think it's something that might come around again if we're having another conversation about russian interference in january of 2019. >> one tenth of the members of the house showed up to this thing roughly, that's what it amounted to, one tenth looking at russian interference. garrett, keep on chasing people down, hopefully we'll come backing to you later on in the show. i want to go down to the white house and nbc's kristen welker. kristen were there's a lot happening today, especially what garrett touched on which is what's happening in an hour, the freedom caucus coming out saying we want more investigations of the investigators which echoes what the president's been talking about. >> reporter: right.
as second special counsel. we'll have to see how that unrav vels, but it comes after this development at the white house in which chief of staff john kelly has said that he is going to convene essentially a meeting with republican lawmakers, intelligence officials, and they will get to see some of those classified documents that lawmakers have been requesting specifically as they relate to that informant. the justice department saying that they are opening an investigation to look into the origins of that so-called informant. and that, of course, comes after we saw president trump tweeting that very request over the weekend and then of course he met with the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, christopher ray here at the white house yesterday. now, the justice department may be trying to walk a fine line on all of this. there could also be some broader implications. rudy giuliani, the president's attorney, saying that they're not prepared to move forward with an interview with the president or discussions about
it until this investigation has been concluded. and, of course this goes to the big question that we've been asking. what if the president isn't satisfied with the outcome of the investigation? what if he disagrees with it? what happens then? so when is this meeting going to take place with chief of staff john kelly, lawmakers, intelligence officials? that hasn't been nailed down. we're trying to get those details from white house officials. and of course against the backdrop of this big day that the president has on foreign policy. he's going to be meeting with the president of south korea, as you pointed out at the top of the show, to try to move forward with that plan summit with kim jong-un on june 12th amid a lot of concerns and skepticism about whether or not north korea's serious about trying to get a deal. >> that's something that we'll be talking about in a little bit. thank you i'll see you at the kmous u white house later on this morning. >> reporter: thanks. >> i want to talk through these developments. former deputy assistant robert driss cal, msnbc national
security analyst john mclaughlin who spent 30 years at the cia where he served as acting director. and our panel lexi mccabbet and aaron blake. a lot to get into. and let me start, it's a bit of a poe perry pick between the briefing of caucasus members in what we expect to hear from paul ryan in a couple minutes and then this election security briefing that garrett and i were talking about. kearse ten neilson said she was not aware of this intelligence community assessment that in fact russia was trying to help president trump. she sort of clarified that in this conversation saying, well, you know, the social media bots, all the trolls on line were trying to help hillary clinton, they were sending people to her events. don't forget, the intelligence community we assess russian president vladimir putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 adding we further assess they had a clear preference for president-elect trump. >> this was a very strong
confidence conclusion con januay 26 and it's been confirmed. >> correct. last week it came out. >> i'm not sure what kirsten neilson was talking about here. maybe she was mixed up on it, maybe she thought about it a different way, but i don't get it basically because this is something that i think we all understand actually happened. >> law makers don't seem satisfied, as garrett pointed out. lawmakers are saying we're hearing a lot in 2016. but guess what's happening in less than six months from now? we have midterms. people are voting now, robert. >> i think that, you know, it's disturbing to see the report that folks aren't -- don't seem that focused on this because i think that people are caught up in the -- >> robert, it's early. it's 8:00 a.m. my god, who could be expected to go to work at 8. >> people are caught up in trump's specific election as oppose to the national interest in terms of protecting the
election system. and i think that people need to segregate that and probably people in my party, republicans in particular, need to do a better job of segregating that to -- for the public interest. >> the other thing is, this is one of the most complicated, difficult things the government has to do. >> sure. >> we're talking about elections here across all 50 states. we're talking about elections administered by 3,000 counties in those states. and we're talking about entry points for someone who wants to mess with them? people have to register, they have to vote, the votes have to be counted. >> yeah. >> it's complicated. so it ridersequires a tight foc. i disagree with people that say it doesn't matter that the president hasn't spoken out about this. >> you think it does, that message from the president? >> i think it does in two ways first to the country but also to the adversary who might do this. there needs to be a strong declaration that you can't do it this or there will be consequences and it needs to come with the president. >> there's also the message from the president that he's been very clear about, which is the doj needs to be investigated. he's demand, we've talked about
this over the last 48 hours demanding this investigation into the investigation. and now that is being echoed and it's going to happen in 51 minutes from now when you see members of the freedom caucus getting up, calling for a second special counsel here. and robert, democrats say it's pure politics, right? is it in your view, sore there some reason why you might want more oversight of these potential surveillance? >> i think both sierds overstating their case. the reason the ig is there to investigate potential miss condpukt by doj and fbi. if you take the fact that the president is involved in the investigation out of it, this is typical. i represent people if i think i've got earn a raw deal from the fbi or a d orkts j investigation, you file a complaint with michael horowitz, the ig who will investigate it. i think rod rosenstein has made the right decision by referring it to that bran pch thech. i think they've shown in both instances to go after wrongdoing. i've had senior political appointee types lose their job
over investigations started by the ig that you want to file the complaint. >> go ahead. >> the benefit of this approach of mark meadows coming out and talking about how we need a special counsel for this, they asked for a special counsel for hillary clinton's e-mails. they wound up getting jeff sessions appointed, the utah u.s. attorney to look into some of these issues before. if they set the goal posts here, rod rosenstein is meeting them here. he's kind of giving them middle ground. >> yeah. >> he's turning the inspector general loose on this and giving them the talking point that this is now something that's being investigated. and so, you know, if you're mark meadows you look at that and say let's ask for a special counsel because we might get something more in the mid that will can lend credence to the allegations that we're making. >> you know adam schiff is real upset about that. democratic member of congress who spoke just in the last little bit this morning on his way into the building. here's what i had to say. >> little by little and sometimes not so little we are seeing an erosion of the independence of the justice department that is gravely concerning. normally when you have congress
trying to interfere with an investigation, the president protects the independence of the justice department. but here the president is part of that interference. >> robert. >> i mean, i'm less persuaded by that because that's just the way washington works. i represented people in the fast and furious scandal and the democrats on the hill played defense for the obama administration. and that the republicans are in some ways playing defense, the congressional investigation dollars. i think unfortunately for congress people don't take the results of these congressional investigation tha investigations that seriously because people are viewed as partisan and they're waiting to see what mueller does because he has a mod couple of independence, at least that representation right now. >> john. >> i disagree. that is the way washington works, but this is no normal time in washington. it's a i have different context than in the past. and when you look at authoritarian societies and how they lose their freedoms, it's by little slices, incrementally. this goes on over time.
and all of the sudden you reach critical mass and you don't realize what you've lost until it's gone. and that's the danger we're in now. because each of these little slices appears okay. it's a compromise, it's innocent. but there are some fundamentals here that the united states has to observe when it comes to law, justice, and procedure. and i think all of those are being eroded. >> boiling the frog slowly if you will. >> boiling the frog slowly, and it's an important frog, it's not just any frog. >> it's our frog. >> the irony is that the president clearly thinks this is all politically biased witch hunt against him. but the more he tries to interfere, the longer he is making this mueller investigation go on. and i think that's something he's not considering when he's making these demands. >> we have a moum more headlines to talk about this morning. john and report, thank you for coming out and being with us on set. we're looking at north korea where that country is now saying it's starting to take down a nuclear test site. back here you've got south korea trying to keep together that
summit between president trump and kim jong-un. what does president moon need to do and say today? that's next. disrupting business and taking on a life of its own. its multi-cloud complexity creating friction... and slowing innovation. with software-defined solutions, like hpe onesphere, you can tame the it monster. hewlett packard enterprise. clouds, apps, and insights faster.
quick cabinet watch four. right now we're looking at two hearings on capitol hill. on your right education secretary betsy devoss making her fifth appearance in front of congress this year, expected to be questioned about how to better protect schools after last week's shooting in texas that killed ten people. on your left, treasury secretary steven mnuchin. he's testifying in the senate
and he will get plenty of questions about trade wars, nafta, china, zte. senators chuck schumer and marco rubio both slamming the president this morning saying china's president xi has played president trump. rubio saying china is winning the trade talks. in addition to cabinet watch, calendar watch today too because three weeks trump and kim jong-un are supposed to be in sing pa pore talking about the summit about denuclearization. but if you're marking your calendar you might want to use a pencil because there's a lot of uncertainty and questions about whether this meeting will happen. that's why you'll want to may attention to this afternoon. because south korean president moon jae-in is head to the white house. part of this last had minute push to save the meeting. here's vice president pence talking about president trump's thinking just last night. >> i don't think president trump is thinking about public relations. he's thinking about peace. it would be a great mistake for kim jong-un to think he could
play donald trump. >> we have nbc diplomacy analyst and ambassador to south korean under george w. bush. thank you for being on. president moon and president trump have met three times already, this will be the fourth. they've held 14 phone calls between these leaders. what does president moon have to say today? what does very do today to get president trump to go through with this? >> well, first of all, i think it's important to understand that it's the south koreans in particular president moon, who have kind of pushed the americans in this direction. and it was the south koreans who said, hey, kim jong-un wants to -- wants to meet with your president. yes, they'll talk about denuclearization, though nebraska they never said they would denuclearize. and they've also sort of overall said, gee, if you can talk to them, good things will happen. and now, of course, there are a lot of questions. there was the comment by the north korean senior vice
president, someone with whom i negotiated some four years worth. and he said, oh, we're not so sure we want to give up our nuclear program for just american words and in particular american economic assistance. so i think it's caused a lot of concerns within the white house. and then, of course, right in the mid. white house is a national security adviser, john bolton, who's made no secret over the course of his career that he doesn't like talking to countries like north korea. so i think the president is getting a lot of kind of conflicting signals and, indeed, i think the south koreans want to come and calm him down, tell him it's the right thing to do and he should go through with it. >> we were looking at the "new york times" headline saying this thing is 99.9% going to happen. those are not the numbers that i get the impression about when i talk to my sources inside the white house. i don't think they're feeling quite that confident. ambassador, whaeds your sense? >> i don't think it's that confident at all. the basic idea that the trump administration had was hey, those other fools who talked to these people in the past this
they gave up some sanctions relief in return for north korea do things. we're not going to be so dumb. we're going to ask those north koreans to give up everything and then we'll think about it, essentially. so low and behold, the north koreans say that doesn't work as well for us as it may work for you. and so i think this president was also engaged in some sort of end zone dancing about this, except he was still on his own 20 yard line. and he also, you know, talked -- actually encouraged this idea of nobel peace prize. certainly there's been maybe a little too much talk from the trump administration and a lot too little in terms of the preparation. there was no effort to get a joint draft, joint communication. we know precisely what the north koreans are going to offer. just kind of go in there and wing it. >> how about the china factor here. senator john kennedy or as we call him around these parts senator sound bite was talking about china, kim jong-un, the relationship between these countries and the united states. here's what he had to say.
>> i think if you took president xi jinping of china, turned him upside down and shook him, kim jong-un would fall out of his pocket. >> have you this headline, ambassador, the u.s. accused of blinking on china trade standoff as this north korean meeting looms. how does china play moo this and is the u.s. making the right moves vis-a-vis beijing? >> well, senator kennedy has just made a very colorful metaphor of turning the chinese president upside down. but, in fact, china has been no friend of kim jong-un. kim jong-un's uncle was sort of the main china guy in the government and kim jong-un had him essentially perp walked out of a party meeting and shot the next day. so the chinese have been a little grouchy toward the north koreans. but at the same time they would like to see a resolution of this nuclear deal. doesn't help them, doesn't help anybody that north korea has nuclear weapons. the difference is the chinese are also increasingly distrustful of this administration and i think trade has indeed been the catalyst for
this distrust. >> there's also the piece that's political in this, right? because the president believes, and you see it in the numbers reflected to a degree that north korea is a good thing for him. it's a good sort of drum for him to beat to have this meeting. it seems to play well in these areas where he wants it to play well as we tee up to the midterms. >> he also thinks can he win a nobel peace prize because of this now. and there's a lot at stake politically as you mention ford both of these leaders. moon jae-in has an 80% a prufl rating. the president is reportedly interested in the pageantry of all of this. that would be a huge blow not only to his ego but this possible nobel peace prize and it would reignite that aggressive rhetoric that he's used against kim jong-un in the past. >> fire and fury. >> the president has a lot invested in this meeting. >> too much? >> possibly. think there's a lot of skepttism among his's about where this will lead. but if we understand trump the way we do, is he going to be
persuade or is he going to think can he go into that meeting and negotiate the best deal possible with kim jong-un even if the circumstances aren't as perfect as they could be? i think that, you know, this is a case in which perhaps his ego could work against him and maybe put him in that room in a state that maybe a lot of people don't want to see him. >> thank you. ambassador chris hill, appreciate you joining us here. thank you. trump country by the way, going to the polls today. we're talking about primaries today in four bright red states. if you look close enough, you may see a shimmer of blue. jacob is in texas this morning. jacob, tee it up. >> reporter: hey, good morning, hallie. you're right. happy primary election day here in texas. we have two women facing off for the chance to go up against john kolberson, a long time republican congress cman from ts area. you won't see this anywhere else in america, we'll seal what you it is right after this break.
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highest ranking catholic official in the world to be convicted of hiding this kind of crime. he faces up to two years in prison. let's check on hawaii because lava flowing from the kilauea volcano is dance dangerously close to a power plant that's setting off concerns bay deadly gas release. the lava is hitting the water where it's form willing a vol can make it haze that can drift up to 15 miles away. this morning, the woman at the center of the missouri governor affair case is speaking out now for the first time. she's still not being named publicly, but she's accuse governor eric greitens of threatening to blackmail her with a naked photo. he has denied the affair and is denying blackmail. she says it's time to come out and tell her side publicly. listen. >> the second that he denied the things that were the most hurtful, that were the most difficult for me to now have to
relive, i just realized now i have this decision. the only ethical thing i felt that i could do is to tell the truth. >> governor greitens is facing possible impeachment from the state's republican legislature. and if it's tuesday, it's primary day and we are watching three key races for democrats in trump states. women are on the ballot in all of them. first you got the battle of the staceys in georgia, former state representative statesy evans on your left. former state house leader stacey abrams on your right battling to be georgia's next democratic nominee for governor. a familiar voice cutting a new robocall for abrams in these final hours. >> hello, this is hillary clinton asking you to vote for my friend stacey abrams for govern nor the georgia this tuesday, may 22nd. >> so, second you've got the democratic primary in kentucky sixth district, lexington mayor jim gray up against mcgrath who busted in the race with this
video highlighting her time as a fighter pilot in the marine corps. then the third texas district, the progressive candidate that they tried to sink is now in a runoff there. we're watching all of it this morning. steve, take us through these three race as whantd most important thing is people need to know. >> let's start in georgia put teed it up there, that dratdic primary, the bigger picture of course it's a republican state, republican governor recan't run for re-election so it's an open seat as well. this is a state democrats, georgia have been eyeing for a while because of bigger picture demographic changes in this state. there's been a big influx of people in the last generation or so, a lot of younger people, a lot of nonwhite people. demographics changing, so democrats have been thinking long term this is a state they can think to flip in the year this democratic primary, it's a very interesting strategic choice for democrats, not just in georgia, but potentially one with national implications for
the trump era. so the two choices here, you mentioned stacey abrams, the they're riff her campaign strategically is, look, georgia's changing demographically. the name of the game for a democrat doesn't mean we have to reach out to to republicans, doesn't mean we have to reach out to trump voters. we have to find those new folks, get them excited, get them registered, get them mobilized. expand the pie of democratic voters. that's sort of the strategic theory behind the abrams campaign. the evans campaign, though, says no, you want to win an election in georgia, you got to get bigger than that. you need to win over some traditionally republican voters. you need win over some folks who were for trump. it's just the reality of running in a state like this. so very interesting strategically. what will georgia democrats choose? the polling evidence we have suggests abrams goes into this as the favorite. always volatility in an election day so we'll see what happens when those returns come in. also you mentioned kentucky. this is a district pretty
solidly republican but we always talk about those college degree, those sa buuburb an nights. this is district 6, lm, university of kentucky, highest concentration of college graduates of any congressional district in kentucky. interesting race here on the democratic side put showed that ad, amy mcgrath, she was on knob's radar at the start of this race. gray was the choice of democrats. mcgrath has caught fire online. this could be an interesting story if she were to win this nomination. i think national democrats would be fine with her as the candidate, but she's not somebody who was on their radar, not somebody they recruited, kind of a party crasher if you will potentially. also quickly mention donald trump himself weighing in in arkansas, the governor there republican asa hutchinson, trump coming out to support him. he's getting a challenge from the far right, jane morgan. she owns a gun shop. she said her gun shop say muslim
free zone. she's challenging hutchinson in this primary. and then texas, this district we'll talk about a lot this fall, went from romney to 21 to clinton by one. democrats are looking at a bunch of these around the country. houston area, this will be near the top of their list. today we find out which one of these two democrats will be the nominee against john culberson, the republican in a race i am sure hallie we'll talk about a lot this fall. >> i can only imagine. steve kornacki, thank you. i want to get to jacob who's live in houston with us with his latest. jacob, you're going into texas's seventh. give us the lay of the land. >> reporter: undoubtedly ha this say battle for the soul of the democratic party. laura mowser the progressive of who weighs tacked by the triple dc as being a washington insider and then lizzy fletcher who is taking a more traditional path trying to appeal to those moderates sent trifts, people in suburban areas here. this is a seat that has been a
republican safe seat not just since 2001, but since the 1960. there's onish that both of the democratic candidates will tell you has made this district up for grabs and that's the response and the recovery or lack there of to hurricane harvey. it struck this district extraordinarily hard. it's going to be critical to whoever wins this district come november. we went to meet some people that were deeply affect. take a look. >> we had before the storm hit 24 houses on this one block long street. and of those 24 there are only four houses now that are occupied. >> so 20 of these homes are still vacant. >> yes. 20 of these homes are still vacant. >> they live in houston's briar forest naib along the banks of buffalo bayou. and their home was one of hundreds of thousands of structures damaged by hurricane harvey. many of those snit texas's seventh congressional district which has been a safe seat for republican john culberson since
2001. but in the 2016 election, it's residents also voted for hillary clinton over donald trump. >> it's such an overwhelming event for all of rurs and it has taken away so much time of our lives and the people that can prevent us from going through it again are governmental representatives. >> if democrats want to flip this district and with it the house in november, they'll have to win over storm battered texans like him and his neighbors. just as the next hurricane seasons approaches. >> how's it going? >> that's my frienda breena. >> how long have you been back? >> i'm not back. >> you're not even back in yet. >> not even close. >> you think that will affect how you vote in the midterms are you going to vote? >> yes, i always vote. i do think it's important to elect the people who know what's going on with the problems be in houston with flooding and drainage and building. >> are you a republican or a democrat? >> i'm a. >> are you going to definitely
vote for the republican in the congressional race come november, culberson? >> i don't know that yet. >> have you normally voted for him? >> i have voted for him in the past, uh-huh. >> is what you care about as a republican, what's going on back in washington, russian investigation, what people think about president trump? >> i don't care about what happens with the russia investigation and i do care what happens nationally, but i am more concerned about what happens locally. i don't think these are the last houses to be flooded in houston because it keeps happening year after year after year. >> you think it can happen again? >> i do. i do think it could happen again. >> reporter: hallie, culberson's camp says that you cannot pin the hurricane recovery on one person and one person alone. laura mosier joins me live now. congratulations. >> thank you. happy to be here. >> reporter: when you and i were talking about before you told me that hurricane recovery is the number one issue. people ask you what happens in
candidate for rumds. lindsey fletcher told me the same thing. what sets the two of you apart today and how are you going to win in november? >> i think whoever emerges victorious today will win in part on who hats best hurricane plan. it's not just recovery because that's what culberson is tautding now, he's on appropriation, he collects the checks. in the 17 years he's been in office we've had four devastating storms, three in the past four years. it will happen next, what the woman said, it will happen again. what are we doing to safeguard our city and acknowledge that climate change is real and our city is going to be very affected very adversely if we don't rethink how we approach flooding. >> i know hallie jackson wants to ask you a question, hallie, take it away. >> i just want to ask you nationally the d triple c went after you in your primary. >> i can't believe you bring that up. >> i have the chair of the d trip on who said didn't seem
like you regreted it if the you get elect kd you work with the d trip or does the bad blood linger? >> i would love to work with the d triple c. to win this country we all need to work together. i'm a lifelong loyal yellow dog texas democrat and i'm happy to take any help offered me. >> laura ar jacob, thank you both there life in houston. jay core, thanks for your reporting. jacob's not done because if you want him to go visit you, get at him on twitter, that's where he lives. use the hash tag up for grabs msnbc. much more after the break including more on the president's phone and they've for the apparently to secure his cell phone that he seems to be blowing up. we'll have that after the break. , but maybe not for people with rheumatoid arthritis. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz xr. a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well enough. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling and further joint
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now is enough? >> well, i think they had a meeting to kind of clarify all of that. i think, number one, having the ig report is very important and giving the ig the latitude to take the investigation where it needs go. having the u.s. attorney from utah attached to the ig to give them the kind of tools they need to go after any abuses is important. and what matters to us is the article one branch of government conducting oversight the executive bran sch that we do get these document requests honored. look, fisa abuse is a serious issue. we, the people, the congress have given the executive branch a lot of power in this very important law. and it's really important that we conduct the proper oversight of the executive branch to make sure that that power is not or has not or will not be abused. >> and kasie hunt is joining us now after this question and answer session, could you say, with paul ryan. what do you make of what he said? >> well, i think it's important to note what he did.
and also what he didn't say here. to start from the top, i mean, he said that it's important that the ig at the doj continue their investigation. he did not say that it was time for a second special counsel, which is what you will hear from the freedom caucus. that's ryan staking out ground that's a little farther away from the president and the freedom caucus in the one instance. but the reality here is that he is still standing behind devon nunez and the freedom caucus members who are demanding this information from the justice department. ryan has frequently used this explanation that this is about fisa, that this has nothing to do with he often says the mueller investigation. but, of course, the political reality is far different from that and, frankly, ryan has been friends with nunez for many years. and he has not stood in the way of devon nunez's attempts to get these documents and this pressure. and that, of course, has led to coverage of an fbi informant that potentially jeopardizes national security.
ryan was asked about that as well in his press conference and he essentially justified that too, which is, you know, frankly different than how republicans have handled this issue in the past. there have been many times when we have heard them talk about sources and methods and sources of course in this case are the people who are doing all of this work. so ryan in a tricky situation in his own conference. there are some moderate members who are angry about the way this is playing out and who do believe that there is there there, that it's possible that the trump campaign did something wrong. but, the center of gravity is with the president. and the president's basin side the house republican conference. and you're seeing paul ryan reflect that. >> kasie hunt on capitol hill. thanks for joining utz. i want to bring in the reporter for the daily beast who's out with a new piece talking about how the president's latest fbi attack has left justice department officials you say beleaguer and demoralized. they're feeling terrible about this. what did you find? >> i spoke way number of current
doj officials yesterday for this piece and what i was told is that morale at the fbi genuinely could not be worse. one person i spoke to said a constant refrain that he hears at main justice, which is the doj's big headquarters downtown is what people say over and over is this is such a dark time for the fbi. and the criticism that i heard is that, look, the president and devon nunez and other people involved in this effort to out the alleged informant seem to be part of a concerted effort to undermine the mueller probe. for people in federal law enforcement, for people who work on investigations like this, seeing a probe like the kind they work on getting undercut is really frightening. >> is there a way back to the light, you could say, when you talk about this being a dark time? is there anything that these officials that you speak with say they want to see happen other than obviously the president stopping trying to undercut them? >> that's a good question. none of them indicated that they had particular grounds for optimism. i think they see this as being the way that president trump operates. i think they see him as somebody who's not going to change how he
approaches the doj. >> it's not just president trump, because you know what happens in 15 snins? the freedom caucus comes out and says we want another investigation. we want another special counsel. we want to look into potential wrongdoing and surveillance abuses in part by members of the justice department. >> that's what's alarming baus because it's not just the president himself es kpa lagt these attacks, it's all these people underneath him who are being loyal to him and politicizing this and attacking these agencies and departments in a way that we haven't seen before. >> we've seen a series of these special counsel requests actually. i think it was about six months ago that jeff session was on capitol hill. he had an exchange with congressman jim jordan who's a member of the freedom caucus and jordan spun this kind of six degrees of kevin bacon tying in how democrats were involved in the steele dossier and how that led allegedly to the russia investigation which of course came before that. and jeff sessions rebuked him pretty strongly. he said the appearance iss here are not enough for us to do a
special counsel and you wonder if they're going to apply the same standard here put would think that they would. >> two other things i want to mention. number one what secretary neilson had to say pushing back against this intel assessment that, in fact, russia was trying to help donald trump in the campaign. i want to play the bite and then we'll talk about it. >> do you have any reason to doubt that january 17 intelligence assessment that said it was vladimir putin tried to meddle in this election to help president trump? >> i do not believe that i've seen that conclusion. >> the january 27th assessment? >> that the specific intent was to help president trump win. i'm not aware of that. but i do generally have no reason to doubt any intelligence assessment. >> okay. i mean, that came out 16 months ago, that was in january of 2017, that the intelligence community assessment came out and specifically said that. >> you would have to deliberately try to miss that conclusion when that intelligence community assessment came out it was the biggest story of the month.
additionally the senate intelligence committee headed by a republican just recently put out its findings and concluded that the intelligence community assessment was correct in its judgment that the russians wanted trump to win to win and to lose. >> one other thing related to since we all cover the white house in some fashion, this thing that just happened with scott pruitt, at an event this morning. we are being told according to associated press, one of the reporter who had tried to get in was not allowed in and was, in fact, forcibly escorted out. reporting from the apa, the reporter was grabbed by shoulders and shoved forestably out of the building. scott pruitt has done a lot of things that have caused scrutiny. physically touching one is to far. i spoke with an epa spokesperson who said she was not invited. we provided a live stream. i said that -- why did you push
her? and the spokesman said, i didn't do that. said they'd get back to us. it's another questionable decision. >> there's no excuse. i'm surprised he stuck around for so long. it's either that the president is happy with him and his decisions about rolling back regulations or he feels for him and think the liberal media is out to get him. >> thank you. i want you to hang out. after the break. the president and his phones. no reporting that he's putting himself at a big security breach potential. why this might be a big national security risk. we'll talk about that next. e moo severe rheumatoid arthritis, month after month, the clock is ticking on irreversible joint damage. ongoing pain and stiffness are signs of joint erosion. humira can help stop the clock. prescribed for 15 years, humira targets and blocks a source of inflammation
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then you're ready for power e*trade. the platform, price and service that gives you the edge you need. sweet! e*trade. the original place to invest online. new reports today about this struggle inside the west wing between the president and his security staff. here's the deal. according to politico the president has gone rogue when it comes to his cell phone use. he's keeping search features on his phone that put it at risk for hacking and blowing off staff requests to inspect the phones he uses to tweet. while aides have urged the president to swap out the twitter phone on a monthly basis, the president has resisted that telling them it was too inconvenient.
he's even reportedly gone as long as 5 months without having his phone checked by security experts. let's gotalk to clint watt auth of messing with the enemy. alexi and aaron are with us. clint, to you, lay it out. what's the danger? >> it's the hypocrisy of inconvenience. obama, we were worried about a blackberry. we had the hillary clinton e-mail servers and now the trump cell phone. the vulnerability is everyone around the world that's oured adversaries wants access. and the president makes lots of phone calls and they have to be the juiciest phone calls ever made by a president. we're in the middle of multiple investigations. imagine if those were intercepted or compromised in any way. he has the most powerful twitter account probably in the world. if you could hack into that, monitor it or hi jack it, it
would have a devastating effect. >> a west wing official tells politico pushing back on the idea that there's a problem saying due to inherent capabilities and advancement in technologies, these devices are more secure than any obama-era devices. is that believable to you? >> yeah. i'm sure they're more secure, but we're now talking about this in the public and hackers love a challenge. you got the entire world's hackers out there who would love to be the ones that broke into the president's cell phone. >> what's your best practices? i know what my best practices should be. two-step verification process. when you're a president, isn't there another level? what would you recommend if you were on that security team? >> always rotate phones and pass words. encryption on all phone calls and communications, and to minimize them. they were talking act doing a screen. maybe it hasn't been reviewed in five months.
i think with our president, at least 30 days if not more. he's so active on social media and open communication platforms. >> and i want to bring in aaron and alexa quickly. the idea as clint barack up, too inconvenient? isn't that shades against the talk of hillary clinton back in the day? >> that's precisely the justification she offered. she said she used the private e-mail server as a matter of convenience. others would argue this was a matter of avoiding disclosure, perhaps. but the president said all kinds of things during the campaign about how this e-mail server wasn't just unethical but was a danger to national security. he said she was putting all americans at risk by using the private e-mail server. the idea that that guy would be in the white house and not be using every single security protocol to guard his own communications, i think, is a real not just pr problem but a consistency problem. >> does that change, alexi? is this a wakeup call to him? >> i don't think so. right? i think we've seen the president
is the least likely human to change, and i don't know that this would be any different. >> thank you for hanging out. clin clint, thank you. for today's big picture, one of the best photos in the week. for us, venezuela. these are protesters hitting the streets against the election of the president. the election is widely viewed as fraudulent. a lot of countries not recognizing the result. just yesterday the president called for the end of repress n repressio repressions. most of the country is without food, without medicine, without hope. the photographer here joe skipper for reuters. i'll see you tonight on nightly news reporting on the meeting between president trump and president moon of south korea. now over to ali velshi and stephanie ruhle.
>> no ali. we'll be without him the next couple of weeks. he is doing some volunteer work in asia. you're stuck with me. thank you, my friend. good morning, everyone. i am stephanie ruhle. ali is off. it's may 22nd. let's get started. >> there's a growing belief on both sides of the aisle that the president and his administration are being outmaneuvered by china regarding the trade dispute. "the new york times" says nearly any time china resists a trade demand, the u.s. backs down. >> the president is in a position of weakness. >> the white house is preparing to gather intelligence officials we for a meeting on a secret fbi inform fant. >> it's troubling for those who hold the fbi in such high regard that there are even allegations that people were assigned to surveil or even spy on our campgn