tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC May 23, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
>> i'm 30. that's the thing. the stage gives me my youth. the audience crying over songs. that's insane. to walk in a room and change somebody's -- change them? what a gift. what a gift. >> 70, not slowing down. that film steven tyler, "out on a limb," now available on demand. katy tur standing by ready to kicks things off. >> nice interview, craig. that's a fun thing to do. you get the fun stuff. >> you just got back from london! i saw you at the royal wedding. you had plenty of fun. >> maybe. craig melvin, thank you very much. it is 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in the east where the president has a lot to say but not a lot of evidence to back it up. right now, donald trump is in bethpage, new york, where -- at least he is on his way where he is about to talk about immigration and the ms-13 gang. deputy attorney general rod
rosenstein is also there for most of the day though, the president's focus has been on what he wants to call and what he wants you to call spygate. his framing for the revelation that the fbi used an informant to talk to at least three members of his campaign who have been connected to the russia investigation. >> all you have to do is look at the basics and you'll see. it looks like a very serious event but we'll find out. when they look at the documents, i think people are going to see a lot of bad things happened. i hope it's not so, because if it is, there's never been anything like it in the history of our country. we now call it spygate. you're calling it spygate. lot of bad things have happened. >> you're calling it spygate. he is calling it spygate. that's what's happening there. and what facts does the president have to back up his claims of spying? he's not saying. right now there is no proof that the fbi did anything wrong with
that informant. right now there is no proof that there was spying for, quote, political reasons. but do the facts matter for the president? or is it more about the messaging? take what he allegedly said to long-respected "60 minutes" reporter leslie stahl. >> he said, you know why i do it? i do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you. >> that is why he attacks the media but it is not just the media that can be critical of him. his justice department is posing a pretty big threat right now. look at how he is talking about his own justice department and ultimately the mueller probe. witch hunt. spygate. worse than watergate. he used the same tactic during the campaign by tearing down the credibility of those who questioned him. he inoculates himself from accusations of wrongdoing. it is not about the law, it is about the voters. it is about the court of public opinion. muddy it all up until you have the ben if fit of the doubt. that is why it is important to
hold on to the facts that we do have. five people have so far pleaded guilty in the russia probe. four of them are cooperating with mueller. 13 russians have been indicted. trump's former campaign chairman was also indicted. he was back in court today. and trump's personal attorney is feeling the heat, as well. michael cohen's business partner has agreed to cooperate with the government, according to a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations. but the president is not talking about that. he is screaming accusations in all caps on twitter. so our big question is -- whether it is the mueller investigation or the inspector general investigation, will the facts matter? our team of reporters, carol lee, national political reporter for nbc news. ashley parker, white house reporter for "the washington post." and an msnbc political analyst. kimberly atkins is the chief washington reporter for the boston herald. and an msnbc contributor. matt miller, former chief
spokesman for the justice department o department, also an msnbc justice and security analyst. carol, start us off. what are the facts? >> so the facts when it comes to this informant, which the president was referring to as a spy -- which is not a spy. it is not someone who's inside of his campaign. is that during the campaign there was at least one informant or as it technically would be called, a confidential human source because this was a counterintelligence investigation, who approached at least three people who were affiliated or working for the campaign. what we know is that this is an informant who potentially -- one of the names that's popped around is this man named stefan helper who was an american professor at cambridge university and he -- there's a new report saying he was this alleged informant. he also now that his name is out there, he could have been working on a number of other things. but if you step back and look at the broad picture here, the president's trying to paint this
as something where this man was spying on his campaign or the fbi had infiltrated his campaign in a way that somebody was inside. that's the no the case, as we understand if. >> the president is now in bethpage, he is going to be holding a roundtable about ms-13, that gang. carol, you have reported, along with nbc news, that the trump campaign and donald trump himself was warned that this stuff could be going on, that they were trying to help him, essentially, weed this stuff out, protect him intelligence sources over the campaign. correct? >> that's correct. there was discussion with the trump campaign about how the russians and other foreign governments who might try to basically influence the campaign or somehow infiltrate the campaign and said, here's some things to look for. if you see anything along these lines, contact the fbi. it was a very clear warning we don't know how far up the chain or wide within the campaign that
warning went. but it was very clear that -- we know that the fbi definitely notified the trump campaign that these sorts of things were possible, that there could be foreign governments -- >> at the very least, they were concerned about it. ashley, the president has full authority to declassify documents on this informant, this source, this spy, if that's what he wants to say. but then no one is saying it is a spy but him. is there any indication that he's seen them? >> that's a good question. i don't know the answer. my understanding is the meeting tomorrow -- again, we don't know exactly what will happen in it -- but will at least give some sense -- maybe not the documents themselves but some more sense about this informant to the republican members of congress who have been asking about it. but i have to say generally right now what the president is doing, to carol's point, and to your point earlier, is less about the facts on the ground, and it is more about a pr campaign to his voters. and so he, in a person say, has
a real interest in not having the facts out, because the facts, as we know them, is that this is not spygate as we are all calling it. it is an informant who was brought in because these three members of his campaign raised red flags with the intelligence community because of their contacts with foreign governments. and i think sort of a full airing of the facts would likely reveal that. >> that's the point. if he was really concerned about what was happening in his campaign, matt, wouldn't he take that authority to figure out what was happening and so he could get the full facts to clear it up? am i wrong with that assumption? >> no, you're not wrong. i think it is clear that he doesn't care what was happening in his campaign. i think the biggest question is whether he was aware of it at the time or not. this entire incident over the outing of this informant who was helping the fbi with a lawful investigation to try to expose an attempt to interfere with our
election. this has been such a shameful moment for the united states government. his associates have been blown. investigations that he's worked on, not just this investigation but others, some of which could still be ongoing are blown. what's really important now is the fbi and justice department hold firm in this meeting with congress even though the damage has already been done for any of his operations. he's already been exposed. it is important that they not officially turn that name over because then they could never again look an informant in the eye, say we will go to the mat to keep your name secret, we will not turn you over to anyone no matter the pressure. it is really critical to their ability to work with informants around the world -- >> but isn't it already damaged? it's already out there. >> it's already damaged. i think you have to look at the difference between the damage that's been done to him and his associates and investigations he was involved with. yes, it's already hurt the fbi's ability to give that assurance
to people around the world but if they actually take the step of turning it over, unless they are directly ordered by the president of the united states as an order they cannot refuse i think would be a big mistake for them. >> a constitutional law professor, jonathan turley, made this point -- there is legitimate reason for the president to ask for this investigation. he wants the doj to investigate the investigation and the doj has said they're going to appoint -- or allow the ig to do it. this is what turley points out. foreign intelligence surveillance act application, the fisa application, was based, at least in part, on a dossier that was paid, at least in part, for by the clinton campaign. key justice department officials expressed hostile views of trump in e-mails and text messages. peter strzok. do you think jonathan turley has a point that the president, at the very least, is allowed to
ask questions about this given those facts? >> you know, in is what happens when you add one conspiracy theory after another. to each of those things there is an answer. with the two fbi agents, for example, yes, they expressed derogatory opinions of donald trump. and they also expressed derogatory opinions about hillary clinton and loretta lunc lynch. there is no evidence it impacted the work they were doing. the president just gets out there and spreads lies based on nothing. his supporters say we're just raising legitimate questions that need to be answered, then you get investigations that start over nothing. what it does is, the launch of this inspector general investigation gives credence to two things. it gives credence to people who say well maybe something really wrong did happen even though there is no evidence that it did, and it gives credence to the president reaching into the justice department to order a counterinvestigation. two really dangerous things. >> so will the facts matter. a new cbs poll says 53% of americans believe mueller's
investigation is politically driven. and 44% believe mueller's probe is legitimate. those are striking numbers. does the president -- does this white house believe that they are winning this messaging war? >> they do. and that's why the president is doubling down on this strategy. we have seen the polling numbers consistently over the past several months with people losing confidence in robert mueller and his investigation, not just president trump's base, but first it was republicans more broadly were really beginning to question robert mueller, think that this was drawn out. then you have the wider public seems to be slowly following suit. at the very best, the public is confused. they don't understand what's going on. it is a lot of noise and the president's messaging is adding to that. so he sees this as political insurance, if you will, no matter what comes out of this investigation. if he and his allies have done a good enough job in really
discrediting this investigation, and even asserting that it is criminal in nature, something bad going on, then that's going to help him fight and discredit whatever finding comes out at the end. >> rod rosenstein is going to be with the president today at this roundtable in bethpage, new york, talking about ms-13. rod rosenstein was also at another meeting where news cameras were allowed this morning. i think it was a bloomberg event. here's a little aside he had. take a listen. >> when i announced this new policy here in new york a few weeks ago, i explained that the term "piling on" refers to a football player jump being on a pile of other football players. but last night, i learned that the mirial webster dictionary uses a different meaning. the dictionary defines "piling on" as joining other people in criticizing someone, usually in an unfair manner. i also have experience with
that. so i am definitely against piling on, no matter what definition you use. >> there he is being kind of cheeky there, ashley. what's the relationship right now between the president and rod rosenstein? yesterday he said he refused to say whether or not he had confidence in him. but is it rosenstein that's between a rock and a hard place? or is the president as well? because despite those numbers we just read in the cbs poll, there still is a majority of meerns, including a majority of republicans, according to another set of polling, that say that they don't want the president to fire mueller. they want him to finish this investigation. >> that's exactly right. i would say everyone is between a rock and a hard place here. there are no good outcomes. you have rod rosenstein who is sort of fighting for his political survival, trying to find a middle ground, trying to buy, it seems, mueller some time to finish his investigation. and you have the president who -- has made very clear what he would like to do in an ideal
world and how he feels about his justice department, attorney general sessions, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. but he is also being told by those poll numbers you said and even by the friends an confidants who call him late at night and the advisors in the white house and say, look, you are winning this pr campaign and discrediting this investigation. the minute you fire someone you lose that battle. the final point their relationship is horrible. there is a certain irony there when you look at the event they are going to. rod rosenstein, the department of justice is incredibly tough on law and order, tough on immigration, just the way the president is. but this investigation has marred all of that. >> let's remind everybody, he appointed rod rosenstein. he is a donald trump appointee. one last thing. with this president, seems very clear, it is less about the facts or not about the facts. it is all about the messaging. keep that in mind. carol lee, ashley parker,
kimberly atkins, and matt miller, guys, thank you very much. next up, the taxi king of new york and the fixer. no, it's not a tv show. did the special counsel just figure out how to flip michael cohen. the sun comes up, the sun goes down. you run those miles, squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom and floss to set a good example. you fine tune the proposal, change the water jug so no one else has to, get home for dinner and feed the cat. you did a million things for your family today but speaking to pnc to help handle all your investments was a very important million and one. pnc. make today the day.
the news was first reported by "the new york times." the partner in question is -- i don't know how to say this first name -- evgeny friedman, also known as the taxi king of new york. you know you read things and suddenly have to say them outloud. anyway, he and michael cohen managed a fleet of cabs. authorities have accused friedman of tax fraud pocketing more than $5 million in fees instead of paying the irs. that is in addition to forefeur felony charges of fraud and larceny. in other words, he was in big trouble. at least until yesterday when he pleaded guilty to a single charge and agreed to cooperate. now he's only facing fines and probation. and while in court the other day, the judge apparently wanted to make sure friedman knew what he was signing up for. according to the tooim"times," judge asked friedman if he understood the nature of the benefit his attorneys had accomplished on his behalf?
hmm. so where does this fit into the big picture? here with me on set to try and if ig this out is nbc news investigative reporter tom winter. and from washington, kim wayly, a former assistant u.s. attorney and former associate independent counsel in the white water investigation. she's currently with the university of baltimore school of law. tom, how does it fit into the bigger picture? >> well, katy, i think the thing we need to look at, is we know that michael cohen's involvement in the new york city taxi medallion. a medallion is just an ability to have a car. >> it is a license for a taxi. >> exactly correct. he's been involved in this business. a lot of people invested in these medallions because they paid off like a bond. before you made an investment, it appreciated over time. >> it's worth over $1 million. >> and then you would get money back from the taxi drivers paying back for their right to use the cab. so this was not an uncommon investment. michael cohen was involved in
it. we know from our previous reporting that the taxi medallions that he owned and his involvement in that had been under scrutiny as part of this search warrant that we heard about a couple of weeks ago. now we have somebody who is stated on the record, everybody aga evgeny friedman stated michael cohen is a client of his, that they have a business relationship. and yesterday we get to the point you were making before, a tremendous plea deal that he was able to get to avoid significant jail time. >> why do investigators, kim, make that sort of -- or why do prosecutors make that sort of plea deal? he was facing multiple charges. now it is just one charge. what would they get in return for reducing it that way? >> well, one charge and no jail time. he only gets probation. in exchange, he is going to get cooperation that is if he knows anything about mr. cohen or any or wrongdoing by other people, he is going to tell law enforcement and prosecutors. then they can use that information to then follow up on
other leads, potentially mr. cohen himself. and so it's a quid pro quo. listen, i'll cooperate, i'll throw my friend under the bus. and then i get an easier deal. >> but hold on. how valuable is the information he has? or does it need to be -- to get charges like that reduced so significantly to just one charge, no jail time? >> yeah. i mean i think the judge's comments suggest that this is a significant reduction. so we don't know obviously what kind of information he has, but presumably if they're close business partners and there was a number of crimes that this man committed or allegedly committed, he pled to one, mr. cohen could have been involved in that as well. so the implications are that he could then face similar charges and this is a situation -- these are state law crimes. mr. trump doesn't have the authority to pardon mr. koecohe. that's the rub. mr. cohen is going to face some serious jail time and the
president can't get him out from underneath it, assuming that mr. mueller be interested in also talking to mr. cohen really candidly. >> we also have more information from that hearing where the judge talk to mr. friedman. "the new york times" reports, quote, toward the end of the hearing judge lynch asked mr. friedman if he understood the nature of the benefit his attorneys had accomplished on his behalf. mr. friedman said he had spent, quote, long hours speaking with his lawyers, adding, i'm extremely satisfied with the services that have been provided to me. do you normally hear statements like that in court, tom? >> well, you normally hear that when you are happy with your lawyers and you were looking at maybe 20 to 25 years in jail and now you to have write a big check back. we should note he has to repay the -- a large portion of the $5 million that he took from not paying his taxes. but, yeah, i think when you're facing jail and you're facing perhaps 20 years in jail, and now you are looking at having to write a check back and not being
in jail at all and cooperate? yeah, i'd be pretty happy with my attorney, too. >> i wonder what he knows. tom winter and kim wayley. "the new york times" is reporting jared kushner has been granted his security clearance. joining me, matt apuzzo from "the new york times." how did kushner get his clearance back in last i check this was not something he was going to get without a presidential waiver. >> yeah. i don't know about that. but the review has been ongoing to get a full clearance. you do need to get -- you do need to get an fbi background check. that has dragged on for well over a year. and has really fueled this swirl of questions and speculation about why isn't he getting his clearance, what is the problem. and the white house has been trying to beat that back and saying this is the normal process, it takes a long time, kushner has so many complicated financial deals, and he was the
point person for overseas contacts. not to mention the fact that he made a number of mistakes in filing the application for the clearance. when you add it up, this is totally routine. but the more it dragged on, the more it contributed to this question of, what does the fbi or what does the intelligence community have on jared kushner? is he in jeopardy. >> we have been talking to a number of federal prosecutors and former fbi officials about this background check process. the answer we kept getting was that jared kushner -- it would be really difficult for him to get this source of clearance given the ties that he has and real estate ties that he has to foreign money, the ties that his family has, that it would be extremely difficult to get a security clearance without some sort of waiver. i know your reporting doesn't have this yet, but is there -- >> you were saying there was not a waiver.
>> right. our reporting is he went through the normal process. >> got it. huh. >> and it took however many -- over a year to get it. the president didn't come in and issue a waiver. actually there had been frustration. many people around jared kushner who said, for cryin' outloud, kushner's getting killed on this thing. let's just have the president wave his magic wand and give him the clearance. and that didn't happen. right? he could have given him the experience on day one. >> he could have. >> and that didn't happen. so i think if you're on team kushner today, this is good news for you. >> so no waiver from the president. what were the hiccups with the fbi? what was stalling things for so long? >> well, we're still trying to figure that out obviously. i mean i'm quite certain that, as you said, with as many financial entanglements in foreign governments and foreign deals as he had, that was hard to untangle. whether there was something more there, i don't know.
but i'm sure people you talk to are telling you the same thing they're telling me, which is if this -- if there was a real huge counterintelligence problem in -- with jared kushner in mueller's shop, that that would make it harder to get clearances, too. so that coupled with the news that the lawyer for jared kushner said today that he's now -- that kushner's now met twice with the office of special counsel for several hours and given interviews and is in full cooperation. again, if you're in team kushner, this is a good news day for you. >> matt, stick with us for a moment. kim, does this mean that whatever mueller had been looking into with jared kushner is not a big deal? i mean by him getting this sort of security clearance, does that mean that he's got a kind of -- maybe a clean bill from mueller? >> i think that's probably a stretch. i agree that this is very good news for him and it is interesting that we have an fbi that passed -- gave him the background check in this
instance at the same time the president's attacking the fbi's integrity. the thing to remember about security clearances, the issue really is, does this person have information that a foreign entity or a criminal could use to bribe them. that is, we will make this public if you don't give us some national security intelligence information. so that's what the background check indicates. now the extent to which there is coordination between the people that are doing the background checks at the fbi and the mueller team investigation, that's pure speculation and we don't know that. but i would agree that this suggests that it is a good day for mr. kushner. of course we also don't know -- at least from the reporting i just heard -- what level of security clearance. there are various levels. and the bigger -- from where i'm sitting, the bigger issue is how many people have had access to this kind of information without a cleared top-secret or a serious security clearance. that's something that we'll only find out in time, but it is a problem. >> that was my very next question. thank you for bringing it up. matt, do we know what level of
security clearance he is getting back? >> my understanding is obviously these are the full clearances, the top-secret clearances that you would need to do that job, frankly. remember, back in february in the wake of the reporter fiasco, the white house chief of staff, john kelly, kind of said everybody who's on temporary clearances, provisional clearances -- which kushner was on -- is getting essentially bumped down. and you're getting a low-level of clearance. so he's been operating in the white house, i believe at the secret level or something around there. this reinstates him with his full clearance. >> does that mean he'll be able to see the presidential daily briefing again? >> yeah. look, that level of granularity, i don't know. i think that just depends on who the president decides to give access to. you can have top-secret secure
compartalized information level xeerns clearances. but if the president doesn't want to give you the president, he's not going to give you the brief. that level, i'm not sure. what we know is he finally got his permanent clearances that the white house has been assuring everybody now for a year was definitely just on the horizon. >> just to be abundantly clear, from your reporting, this is not a waiver from the president. this is the fbi doing its work and finally, after quite a while, clearing him. >> yeah. the fbi -- well, the fbi doesn't issue the clearances. the fbi extended to -- there is a security office that's staffed actually not by politicals at the white house. they send the clearance form on to the background check on with -- and flag things that they fink are a problem or not a problem. and then it is reviewed and the clearances are given to the security office. >> matt apuzzo, thank you so much for coming on. good work.
kim waley, thank you. and tom winter, thank you. coming up -- or right now actually, this hour, president trump is talking immigration with lawmakers and law enforcement here in new york. while back in washington, that same issue is splitting the president's own party. around 20 centrist republicans are now trying to force a vote on daca, an obama era program that kept some immigrants who came to the u.s. as children from being deported and the petition is a big problem for house speaker paul ryan as he faces growing questions over whether he should hand over the gop reins earlier than planned. one of the house republicans pushing the immigration issue is california congressman jeff den n dennin. welcome. >> thanks for having me. >> paul ryan is in the middle of this. there's been some calls for paul ryan to leave before next january, before his term runs out. what do you think? do you want him to stay on as speaker or step down?
>> i do want him to stay on. you know, we initially did a rule to show how many republicans would actually support this strategy. and the whole idea was to empower the speaker to really come back to the rest of the conference and say we are going to get some things done. that didn't work so we've now done a discharge petition. we again want to empower the speaker to have a full vote in front of the american public on all aspects of immigration. >> here's what paul ryan has said about your effort to force this vote. we hope it is coming. oh, it's not coming. i'll read it to you. here's what he said. i can guarantee you a discharge petition will not make law, so what is the point? i think we should have a process that actually has a chance at making law and producing a bill that the president would support. so, i'll ask you -- what's the point? >> well, first of all, i do believe that both parties should come together, as well as in our
own conference, we should come together on a bill that can get not only a majority of the majority but more importantly, a majority of the house and a majority of the american public behind. we're having great discussions with leadership on how we come together on that bill. but let me just address on the discharge side of things. look, goodlatte gets a bill on this. the speaker and the president get a bill as well. whatever he wants in there, he can put in there himself. the clean dream act on the democrat side and a bipartisan bill. we believe that there are a couple of different options that would not only get a majority of the house but the only reason for doing queen of the hill is to get the one that has the most support. and we have one that we know is going to get not only a majority of the house but a much larger number. we want to make sure that we have something that will get 60 votes in the senate and something that the president -- we want to make law.
>> but the president -- here's the thing. your party, the more hardline members of your party, the ones who don't support this, don't support any immigration -- any immigration reform, have not been on board with this. and the president has made it very clear that he is not on board with this. he's not on board with daca in exchange just for border wall funding. they want a visa lottery overhaul. they want to end what the president calls chain migration, what everyone else calls family reunification. how hard is it for you right now to put something forward that your party doesn't generally agree with? >> look, this is a difficult issue. there is a reason that the democrats had control of both houses and the presidency and any never brought it up. both parties have punted on this several times now. it is not only very complicated but it is one issue that doesn't have a timeline. that's one reason we created our own timeline in this process. i know the freedom caucus is
asking for a vote on the goodlatt e-bill. i'm just not willing to extend an executive order i think is not only unconstitutional but wrong. >> you need four more republicans to sign on. are you going to be able to get those signatures by friday? >> absolutely. we wouldn't have started this if we didn't already have the 25 so we're continuing to add more members. both sides of the aisle coming together. >> who are those names? >> you'll see this afternoon. >> california congressman jeff denham. you don't want to give us a preview? i guess that's a no. that's awkward laugh is a no. congressman, we appreciate it. thank you very much for joining us. >> thanks nor having me. while you weren't looking, long-stalled legislation on sexual harassment has finally moved forward on capitol hill. democrats and republicans in the senate now have a deal on a how sexual harassment is dealt with in congress.
taxpayers won't have to cover the costs of any claims against those lawmakers. leaders on both sides of the aisle say the bill should pass quickly. remember kristin gillibrand came on the show to call for a vote on this earlier. after the break, the president's attacks on the press. have you ever asked yourself why the fourth estate is his favorite target? stay with us. h time for this man to take a bite of turkey. but for cyber criminals it's plenty of time to launch thousands of attacks. luckily security analysts and watson are on his side. spotting threats faster and protecting his data with the most securely encrypted main frame in the world. it's a smart way to eat lunch in peace. sweet, oblivious peace. it's a smart way to eat lunch in peace. if these packs have the same number of bladder leak pads, i bet you think bigger is better. actually, it's bulkier. always discreet quickly turns liquid to gel,
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what you read and a lot of what you see on television is fake. they realize it. the people are smart. >> wait a minute. i'm not finished. i'm not finished, fake news. >> fake news, folks. fake news. >> what is your message today? >> typical "new york times." fake stories. >> and it wasn't until i became a politician that i realized how nasty, how mean, how vicious, and how fake the press can be. >> when you don't like the message, shoot the messenger. in other words, when you don't like the reporting, trash the reporters. >> at one point he started to attack the press. and i said, you know, that is getting tired. why are you doing this? you're doing it over and over and it is boring and it's time to end that. you know, you won the nomination. and why do you keep hammering at this? and he said, you know why i do it? i do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me, no
one will believe you. >> we showed this earlier but it is worth taking a closer look. that was leslie stahl of "60 minutes" recounting an unbelievable exchange she had with the president after his nomination to the republican party. not unbelievable because we didn't know that's what he was doing. unbelievable because he admitted it, according to stahl. i mean those in the trump world have told me as much, that's what the goal is. but the president himself bragging about it, ugh! donald trump has already told us he believes negative coverage is fake coverage. bad news is fake news. no matter that fake news is later proven to be real news. for instance, back in march he called out "new york times" reporter maggie haberman by name insisting that her reporting was false and that he was very happy with his legal team of it jay sekulow, ty cobb and john dowd. only for cobb and dowd to leave his legal team just a couple weeks later. last year he tweeted, don't let the fake news tell you that there is big in-fighting in the
trump administration. we are getting along great and major things are getting done. but as the "wall street journal" pointed out, his administration underwent a record number of first-year staff departures. does not seem like everyone was getting along. and just days into his presidency trump tweeted that the fake news media lied about his, quote, very civil conversation with australian prime minister malcolm turnbull. but six months later "the washington post" revealed a transcript of that call. the president told turnbull in response to a discussion about refugees, quote, you have brokered many a stupid deal in business and i respect you, but i guarantee that you brokered many a stupid deal. this is a stupid deal. this deal will make me look terrible. civil. here is a helpful tip -- when you hear the president or his ilk yell "fake news," just replace the word "fake" with the word "real" and you'll be fine.
you're welcome. mark liebowitz from "the new york times," welcome. this shoot the messenger, the president used it very well to his advantage during the campaign. he is continuing to do so now. what's your take? >> well, my take is first of all, this is not a new strategy, certainly for a republican white house. the media is kind of an equal opportunity boogie man and woman and has been for a number of decades. what's different now is he has just raised the stakes so, so high. he has called the press the enemy of the people. there are large numbers -- i think a majority of the republican party believes that we are peddlers of fake news and we are the enemy of the people and all the phrases that trump throws around. so it is obviously had a very damaging and somewhat chilling effect but it is also like you said, it is part of the bigger muddle of discrediting the media, discrediting the messenger for whenever there's bad news, his supporters in many cases will just reflexively figure that this is made up and
they shouldn't believe it and they should just discard it. it is almost like a pavlovian thing. >> so much is incorrect that we do so much reporting about what is incorrect that i guess it starts to appear that all of our reporting is negative when in reality we're just reporting on the administration and there is a lot to turn up. >> right. robert mueller is going to indict trump's campaign manager, people are going to report it. i guess by definition that's a negative story for donald trump but we're still going to report it. >> you wrote today about how difficult it is for trump campaign -- i'm sorry, trump administration staffers, for his communications team, to stay on message. everyone should read it. not least of which because you are a wonderful writer, but listen to what you wrote about hogan gidley, one of the comm staffers. you told him you wanted to speak on background -- sorry. excuse me.
gidley told you he wanted to speak on background. i shook my head. he appeared taken aback by my lack of accommodation. he started to protest but then cleared his throat and rambled through a hard to follow answer. fake news is not just news that is incredible or inaccurate. . it is also news that's inherently biased in its presentation. a lot of times when you have reporters, he throws up air quotes while saying reporters, they give you information, biased words. they're your opinion. also on twitter feeds, snarky, mock being the president and first lady. don't pretend you're straight news reporters. talk to me about that. >> well, i mean i think what's striking -- you can certainly attest to this, katy, from your experience on the campaign and i'm sure now -- that the default mode that most white house press people and spokes people want to use with reporters is to talk off the record. they do not want to be quoted, if at all possible. the problem we -- obviously we are sometimes -- we have no choice but to use unnamed sources in stories or on
broadcasts and so forth, but what happens is, you have a president who also, whenever there is a story that includes an unnamed source that he doesn't like, he will say it's made up. so i sort of made a determination in most cases, in this story in particular, that i wasn't going to go off the record with any white house official unless it absolutely was necessary. i just thought it was an important sort of marker to lay down that, look, you might work for him, you might say very different things privately than you do publicly. but we're just not going to play that game and i think it is important just for obviously transparency sake, but also in the sake of just not having -- i mean assuming that the good will that the press and white house officials have in many cases, does sort of erode when the guy in the oval office just spends so much time discrediting what they're trying to do. >> but it is also difficult for his staffers to keep up because seems like he's not telling them the truth. >> that is a huge peril. i think -- look.
first of all, his staffers don't have to work for him. there are a lot of people who have worked for the white house and it hasn't ended particularly well for them. there's also a lot of people who would not work for this white house. a lot of republicans, a lot of veteran white house officials who have worked in republican administrations. so, look. this is a choice. this is not indentured slavery, by any stretch. and i do think that, yes, when you have a president who you are not 100% sure is telling the truth generally to you, or in his twitter feed, it is hard to stake your own reputation on someone you are not 100% sure he is himself being truthful. yeah, i think it is a battle they fight every single day. >> look what happened to sean spicer. rudy giuliani. look what happens to sarah huckabee sanders. you're right, they don't have to be there. mark leibovich, thank you. >> it is wednesday. we'll see what happens next
week. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. big wins for women and history made in georgia. that is next. alice is living with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. she's also taking prescription ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor, which is for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive her2- metastatic breast cancer as the first hormonal based therapy. ibrance plus letrozole was significantly more effective at delaying disease progression versus letrozole. patients taking ibrance can develop low white blood cell counts, which may cause serious infections that can lead to death. before taking ibrance, tell your doctor if you have fever, chills, or other signs of infection, liver or kidney problems, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant. common side effects include
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xenophobia that's coming out of d.c. i'm running a campaign on a new playbook where we bring every voice to the table. we don't have to pivot to conservative values to win in georgia. >> stacey abrams, the newly minted democratic nominee for governor in georgia. thinx get whacky during the commercial breaks in here. stay with us. stacey could become the first black female governor after winning last night it's primary. amy mcgrath surged in the 6th congressional district. joining me now is mark murray, and eugene scott. mark, talk to me about what we saw last night and inny it was such a big night for female candidates not just in georgia but across the board. >> it was across the board. and not just last night, it was last week and the month before
and the monday before that. we are seeing women winning across the board, whether it was that georgia race that you just mentioned with stacey abrams in georgia or amy mcgrath beating out lexington mayor jim gray decisively. and then in texas, lupe valdez won the democratic nomination for governor. also, a whole host of congressional nominees you are going to end up seeing from texas are also female. as a colleague has noted we have 72 women both democrats and republicans who won house nominations. to put that 72 figure into perspective and we have so many more primaries to go it was in 1990 where that number represented the entire slate of female candidates. we have longer to go and it's possible that 40 to 50 of the nominees on the democratic side could be women come november. >> eugene, what put stacey abrams over stacey evans in the
georgia primary race for the democratic nominee for governor? what was the difference maker? >> much of stacey evans' approach was in trying to win a more conservative voters who haven't voted democrat in a while where stacey abrams doubled down on progressive policies and ideas saying this is who we are and we believe that this is the best message to make in georgia, what it should be. it was actually winsome, obviously, with many of the groups that progressives usually attract, black women, latinos, the gay community and millennials. but she did well with white voters and rural voters in the northern part of the state and close to tennessee as well. it communicated to the democrats that you don't have to focus on winning the white working class over. you can just put your message out there and people will get on board. >> mark, still focusing on georgia, the republican side of things, there is going to be a runoff between brian kemp and casey cagle.
brian kemp is running on something of a donald trumpy platform we could say. look at one of his ads. this is about guns, regulations, and his truck. >> i own guns. that no one is taking away. my chain saw is ready to rip up some regulations. i got a big truck, just in case i need to round up criminal illegals and take them home myself. >> the donald trumpy candidates so far in races have not gone on to win. rick is a cone being one of them. don blankenship being another. we could go on. what sort of chance would brian kemp have against stacey abrams? >> he has some of a chance. casey cagle came out ahead, getting 39% of the vote in the crowded field.
now they head to a runoff where you need to get 50%. it's possible that kemp could consolidate all of the non--cagle vote. what you are seeing in republican primaries is that everyone is playing to the base but some people are trying to at least have feelers out to the business community. even casey cagle, brian kemp's opponent, ending up having a campaign against delta airlines for their stance when it came to the nra. you are seeing base plays not only by the republicans, and then also it was mentioned by the democrats. so the georgia governor's race come november is going to be a big base play. >> mark murray and eugene scott, gentlemen thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back.
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that will wrap thing up for this hour. kasie hunt picks things up right now. take it away. >> thanks so much, katy. good afternoon, i am kasie hunt in for ali velshi. president trump wrapped up a round table talking immigration and slamming the gaining ms-13. but the president spent much of his day driving hope his claims that there was misconduct by the fbi against his campaign. just before company a.m. until exactly 9:34, president trump tweeted some nine times. five of those tweets were on the russia investigation. and what the president and his administration have dubbed spygate, a term he repeated before heading to his immigration ro