tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC June 14, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
lawn care service and gaining quite the following as he mows his way through 50 lawns in 50 states and he's doing it for free. he was inspired to help out the elderly, disabled, single moms, and veterans after seeing an older man struggling to cut his grass. in every state. smith also encourages kids to get involved by accepting the 50-yard challenge. rodney smith, jr., we salute you, good sir. that wraps up this hour of "msnbc live." >> i love that you end with a happy story because it puts a big smile on my face and it is a good way to start the 2:00 p.m. hour. >> we started it for you. >> i appreciate that. i like your tie today. >> thank you very much. it's 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in washington, d.c. where we're following breaking news. this hour the department of justice's inspector general will release its highly anticipated report on the fbi's handling of the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. the president and lawmakers have already been briefed on the
report and we have a team of reporters tasked with poring over those 500 pages. we will be sharing those findings as we get them. but parts of the report have already leaked earlier today. the washington says the report includes previously unreleased text messages between fbi officials, peter shock. much of the report is expected to focus on the actions of james comey and his former second in command, andrew mccabe, during the clinton investigation. "the new york times" reports the inspector general concluded comey was insubordinate but found no proof that fbi bias affected the outcome. we'll get the first official white house response this hour. sarah huckabee sanders is expected to brief reporters in 30 minutes. but regardless of what the report says, expect the
president to seize on those texts. expect him to target comey who he called a liar, a leaker, a slime ball, dishonest, slippery, shady, and not smart. and above all, expect him to weaponize it against the special counsel, or as the president called it, witch hunt. so today our big question is -- is there any evidence to support the claim from the president of political bias within the fbi? from capitol hill, nbc news national political reporter, mike memle. justice correspondent pete williams just left a briefing on the report. julia ainsley, an nbc news justice reporter. pete, tell us what you can. >> this is it. 500 pages long. these are what the main points are that the inspector general report says. it says there was no indication of political bias influencing
the major decisions made by the fbi in terms of investigating or prosecuting in the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. but, it says, some text messages, as you just noted, by a few fbi employees cast a cloud over one part of the investigation, and overall, over the fbi's reputation. i'll come back to that in just a second. the report says it was extraordinary and insubordinate for then-fbi director james comey to have that news conference on july 5th of the election year, 2016, to say no charges would be filed against hillary clinton without getting the clearance and the sign-off from people at the justice department. it says general loretta lynch's decision not to cut short her tarmac discussion with former president clinton was an error in judgment, though the ig says no evidence was found that the two of them actually talked about the e-mail investigation. one of the most important parts of the report says that the fbi knew by late september all it
really needed to know to move more quickly on the e-mails found on anthony weiner's laptop computer. it was the discovery of those e-mails that prompted the fbi director to say in late october, just ten days before the election, that new e-mails had been found that might be pertinent to the fbi's investigation. one surprise here, according to the ig, the fbi director comey told the ig that he didn't know that anthony weiner was married to huma abedin, a close aide to hillary clinton. he says comey made a huge error in judgment in his decision to tell congress in late october about the discovery of these e-mails. now back to the issue of the texts. during the investigation the ig recovered a large number of texts between two fbi officials, peter strzok and lisa page.
strzok played a major role. about a month and a half before the wiener e-mails are discovered, she texted to him, trump's not ever going to become president, right? right? and what we learn now is that strzok responded as follows -- no. no, he's not. we'll stop it. now the ig says strzok told them that he doesn't remember sending that, but that he thinks he was simply trying to re-assure lisa page, with whom he was having a close relationship, that he wouldn't get elected, not because he was suggesting that he would do anything improper. this is a subtle little point in this 500-page report. what the ig says is they're not accusing strzok of playing an improper role. he was among the fbi officials who could have gotten the fbi to move more aggressively on the e-mails found on the wiener laptop in late september. they're not accusing him of having an improper political motive in not goosing that along and moving it faster, but they say they can't rule it out.
so they're not accusing him of bias, they just say they aren't ruling it out. some members of congress, already unsatisfied with this, have already said they want the inspector general to give them draft copies of his report. but as we understand it, the justice department has never before shared with congress draft of an ig report. >> pete, hang on with us for a second. mike has more. what exactly are members of congress unhappy about in this report? what more do they want to see? >> i think it shouldn't surprise you given our politically charged this whole issue has been that the different parties, republicans and democrats, are sort of reading into this what they want to read into it. from republicans, we're hearing a lot of emphasis on what pete just talked about in terms of the role of peter strzok and the decision he made on whether to pursue either new leads in the russia investigation, or leads involving the clinton e-mail investigation. this is what we call a 28-day -- 28-day gap in between when, as
pete indicated, the fbi came in to some information about information on anthony weiner's laptop and when they actually pursued investigative steps. i spoke earlier with congressman jim jordan, republican, member of the judiciary committee. he's been one of the trump loyalists who's probably been toughest on the justice department. he's interpreting what the department of justice said that strzok acted with political bias. i think pete put it in a less political, more nonpartisan way. it is also important what pete notes. you have some republican members saying that they want to see the drafts of the ig report. as is typical with any inspector general review, the people who are involved in the review itself have a chance to review the findings before they go public and make some comment. that would be a break in precedent if the justice department were to turn over these drafts to members of congress. so i think what you're sensing from them is that this is not
necessarily the larger political win that they were expecting. but we are hearing from them. they want to hear peter strzok, more from him. they think it's past time. >> obviously the republicans and democrats are going to see this report through their own lenses and there will be spin on both sides. but as the long-time justice correspondent, reporter, that you are, can you just help us understand what you think we should be taking away from this report? >> i will answer that question. let me, if i can, just put that on suspension for just a moment and give you one other little bit of information from this 500-page report, specifically about the strzok e-mail. what the fbi says here is that the fbi's decision -- that strzok was involved in the russia investigation. what the fbi is basically saying
here, if strzok had a moattive to try to affect the election and try to hurt donald trump, maybe the fbi might have disclosed -- it might have leaked out that the fbi was aggressively involved in the russia investigation. and the note that lisa page says that the fbi's decision to keep the russia investigation confidential shows that they did not take any steps to impact the outcome of the election. so now back to your question. i think, remember why the ig decided to launch this investigation 18 months ago. early in january, before president trump was inaugurated. there were serious questions about the motives of director comey and how he handled the investigation, whether he affected the outcome of the election for hillary clinton. and by the way, the ig doesn't express any view on that. but he launched the investigation because all of these questions about the
motives of the fbi and the way it was handled. his conclusion is that political bias played no overall role in how the fbi conducted the investigation or in the fbi's decision expressed by comey not to seek charges against hillary clinton. by the way, the ig looks at the history of using any potential charges that could have been brought against hillary clinton and concludes that it was a justifiable decision that the fbi made. nonetheless, it says there are these weak points here, especially these text messages that have cast a cloud over the fbi. but to some extent the ig is saying, really, here that cloud is unfair because it did not find bias in how the fbi handled the clinton e-mail case. >> pete, thank you for that. pete noted this a moment ago. i want to underscore it. nbc's ken dilanian also noted this from his review of this 500-page report. the ig says that james comey made a serious error in judgment
in notifying congress in october about the discovery of the e-mails on the wiener laptop. julia, i can tell you, i was on the campaign, and that was a hairy time for the trump campaign because the "access hollywood" tape are just come out. they were dealing with the aftermath of that. when this news -- when the re-opening of the investigation came out, i remember turning to my producer and saying to him, it's over. donald trump has won. >> that's right, katy. it was the day before my wedding. i remember how that up-ended things for me. it was also a time where you started to see that there could be a violation of something like the hatch act where someone could have said that federal law enforcement, particularly the director of the fbi, should not be putting his hand on the scale so close to the election, and that is why, of course, the camp that we want to hear from now is the clinton camp. we want to know from them if they think that this report
justifies a lot of the claims that they made, that the decisions by comey leading up to the election around this investigation hurt clinton's chances of becoming president. but of course, the one who did win, president trump, is going to be using it in a completely different way. he is going to be looking at the new messages from peter strzok and lisa page and saying that they obviously show bias and that he shouldn't have been involved in the investigation into the trump/russia campaign. but it is not clear at all from this investigation whether or not that actually led to any bias in the trump/russia campaign because that's completely separate from what the inspector general was looking into here. >> jeff, how is the trump white house going to thread the needle -- maybe they're not going to thread a needle. maybe they're just going to hit you over the head with a hammer. when saying that this shows that comey and the fbi were trying to say it shows bias against them, when in reality the re-opening of the investigation can be seen as something that affected
hillary clinton pretty negatively. she didn't win the election. and the russia investigation never came out before the election. >> that's right, katy. i think it is worth pointing out. as we know, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein was here at the white house shortly afternoon eastern to give the president an advanced read-out of this report. shortly after that, katy, the white house added a press briefing to the schedule, one that we did not expect. i think it is an indication that white house officials, perhaps the president himself, found something in this report that they want to highlight, something that they want to use to their advantage. perhaps it is the evidence of those anti-trump text messages exchanged between fbi agents. but even as pete, ken wi, mike, julia all point out, this report concludes there was no political bias that affected the election, i think it is fair to say that the president will continue to make the point that there is a secret cabal of fbi agents who
are working to undermine him. recent history really backs this up. remember after house republicans released the gop nunes memo, it says the counterintelligence investigation began after george papadopoulos was bragging to an australian diplomat about the promise of dirt he got on hillary clinton. yet the president and his allies continue to press the point it was the steele dossier that started the investigation. just a couple of weeks ago, when the president was floating this unfounded theory about a spy planted in his campaign, the justice department held a classified briefing for members of congress. republicans and democrats emerged from that meeting and said there was nothing really to support president's claim, yet the president's allies continue to move forward. so i think we can expect the president to find a way to spin this in a way that vindicates him. >> let me just underscore again. because i was there as this was happening. there was no i understand case
whatsoever to anybody that was covering this campaign, people that were on the campaign, people that were watching it from afar. political reporters, national security reporters. nobody had any idea that the fbi was investigating the trump campaign. there was some talk about whether the fbi or the national security apparatus was interested in what russia was doing in the election, what they were trying to meddle with. that came up when the dnc was hash hacked. it came up later on the day of the "access hollywood" tape came out during that press release from the intelligence community saying russia was trying to meddle, was trying to influence. but again, there was no indication whatsoever. and this would have been a major story that there was investigation in to the donald trump campaign. that did not come out before the election. what came out before the election was that comey was re-opening the investigation in to hillary clinton. that came out before the
election. and right or wrong, bad or good, affected the outcome, didn't affect the outcome, i can tell you that it re-energized the donald trump campaign and they usesed it to their advantage while he was on the campaign trail in that final stretch as he was trying to convince soft republicans, unsure republicans, moderate republicans that they had to vote for donald trump, not just stay home. they had to vote for donald trump because they couldn't afford to allow somebody who was under federal investigation to be elected president. irony? donald trump was under federal investigation. the chief operating officer joins me from ets risk management and former assistant director for counterintelligence at the fbi. he's also an nbc and msnbc news
national contributor. first, my voice is going in and out. there's something with allergies going around today. what are your take-aways from this report? >> first, i'm personally troubled and professional troubled by some of the behavior that we're hearing about with regard to pete strzok. lisa page, we knew that. perhaps there is talk of yet another fbi attorney engaging in inappropriate conduct. so i would predict in terms of internal discipline, pete strzok is going to face at a minimum, demotion from the senior executive service and likely they'll file a lawsuit and he'll need to be removed from the rolls. but put this in proper context. i wonder if we heard pete strzok's side of the story -- and he was interviewed by the doj -- look, i was trying to comfort lisa page, but also we have a candidate for president under investigation that we believe may be a russian operative, that we believe may be compromised by a foreign
intelligence service. so when i say as a counterintelligence professional this has to be stopped, that's what's factoring into my mindset at the time. secondly, i think we do have confirmation that comey acted inappropriately, but he did so, motivated, ironically, by integrity and morality and lack of trust of then attorney general loretta lynch. but ironically we now have a public perception because of his actions that the fbi lacks that integrity or that lack of bias that they must have. so tarnish the fbi's reputation. big conclusion here -- no bias found, and bigger conclusion, we would probably be exactly where we are right now, investigating what we're investigating right now, whether that behavior was different or the same. >> pete williams is back with us. pete, what else do you have? >> well, final thoughts from me, katy, on this segment. first of all, one of the things that the ig did was look back at some of the steps that the fbi
took in the investigation that have been criticized by some members of congress. for example, the ig looked at the fact that during the hillary clinton interview with the fbi, two of her lawyers were allowed to be in the room, both of whom were potential witnesses in the investigation. the ig says that's not -- that violates the rules but it didn't find that it had any effect on the interview. secondly, the fbi decided not to gather up all the potential computers and phones that were used by people associated with the campaign fundamentally after the fbi reached the conclusion that no criminal law had been violated here. the ig says that it didn't find any fault with that. that's a prosecutorial decision. it couldn't find that that was erroneous. so one other thing, katy, obviously we're going to be very interested to hear what the new fbi director, christopher wray, says about this investigation. a draft of the report has been
circulated among all the people who are mentioned in the report, including andrew mccabe, the former deputy director of the fbi. so the fbi is aware of what this report was going to say, and i wouldn't be surprised if perhaps later today we'll hear from the fbi in some form about specifically these allegations and maybe what follow-up steps they're going to take. the inspector general has referred -- that's the technical term -- has basically told the fbi, this is what we found about strzok and page and their texts. we're referring it to you for any administrative steps that you may want to take. now one other thing, katy. we wanted to know -- we were very interested to know whether the inspector general found any indication that people at the fbi in new york were improperly leaking information to people in the trump campaign, most notely, rudy giuliani. the report does not address that. it simly says that there are leak investigations ongoing. it talks about the fact that
some agents in the fbi, some people in the fbi, had improper contact with reporters, but it doesn't talk about people in the trump campaign. it simply says that the whole leak question is still under investigation. so that's something we were looking for and we didn't get the answer. >> pete, one other thing. there's a portion of the report that talked about james comey using his personal gmail to conduct fbi business. pete, you still there? pete, one more time. >> sorry, katy. somebody else was talking to me. >> no problem. one other thing. there is a portion of the report, i want your take on it, first. there is a portion of the report that says james comey used a personal e-mail account, a gmail account, to conduct fbi business. >> yeah.
it says that he used -- but it was all unclassified information. nonetheless, they say that's improper. he shouldn't have done that. i know some people are going to say, irony alert. the fbi was investigating hillary clinton for improperly using her server. but that was the question of classified information. the ig says that nothing in the -- in comey's e-mails was classified. >> got it. pete williams, i know you got a lot to do. pete, if you read anything else that's pertinent, please come back to the camera and we'll put you on tv immediately. let's bring in jess mcintosh and ben wittis, senior fellow in governance studies at the brookings institution and msnbc legal analyst and a friend of james comey. jess mcintosh is a former clinton campaign advisor. >> i mean that sound you hear is the collective clinton campaign screaming into the void today. of course the fbi acted inappropriately throughout that investigation. of course what james comey did
dramatically hurt hillary clinton. he said what he said in public. he allowed donald trump to stand on stage every night and say, americans can't possibly -- you shouldn't even be allowed to run if you're under fbi investigation. that's his number one case that he's making in the final days of the campaign. and the fbi was all right with that knowing full well that he was under investigation. somehow james comey decided that that was going to be an honorable thing to allow to happen. i can't speak to his motives. i don't know the guy. but there is no question that what his arcses dctions did unf hurt hillary clinton and helped donald trump. the fact that we're being put through some fun house mirror today by the republicans to suggest this somehow benefited her instead of the president who won the election immediately after these events took place just makes no sense and is never going to be bought by the american public at this point. the fact that they have to rest on something to absurd on its face means that they have
absolutely no answer to the completely separate mueller russia inquiry if they have to go here. it is just sad and weird at this point. >> ben, talk more about comey's motivations. he's talk about them publicly quite a bit. they're in his book. he felt like he was between a rock and a hard place. that loretta lynch had put a cloud over herself given that she met with bill clinton on the tarmac and that she, if he dealt with her, it wouldn't be reliable, whatever conclusion came out. give us some more flavor in that and what james comey might be thinking at the moment. >> well, so i only just got a copy of the report and i've not had a chance to read it in any kind of depth yet. look. i think for -- jim has been nothing but candid about the role that he played, why he took the steps that he took, and how
he felt in terms of the pressures on him and that he felt like he was in this sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. he's always taken responsibility for thwhat he did, and i think did it with a lot of knowledge honestly that a lot of people were going to disagree with him, and did disagree with him. so i don't think it is a particular surprise that one of those people who disagrees rather strongly is the ig. and i think jim is comfortable with the decisions that he made and comfortable with the fact that he's accountable for them and this is a form of accountability. >> we have ken dilanian, as well. ken, you have a little bit more on why james comey made the decision to go to congress. >> yeah, katy. what i have is the ig roundly criticizing that decision. if you'll recall on the book tour and to congress and many other public forums, james comey has articulated the decision he
faced in that moment as one of speak or conceal. he thought concealing was really going to open the fbi to charges it was biased and favored hillary clinton. the ig completely repudiates comey on this point. reading from the report, "comey's description of his choices being between two doors, one labeled speak and one labeled conceal was a false dichotomy. the two doors were actually labeled follow department policy and practice. he made a serious air yore in judgment. bottom line is they're saying these e-mails on the anthony weiner computer were not significant enough -- and the fbi did not know enough about them to force comey to make this dramatic decision to announce he was re-opening the investigation ten days or whatever it was before the election. that was a huge departure from justice department policy and practice. we've known this for some time, katy, but james comey's a persuasive guy. he's gone on television in reasonable tones and suggested he actually had good reasons behind his decisions. but this inspector general completely repudiates comey's
reasoning there. >> frank, are you still with us? we lost frank. jess, i'll pose this to you. not attacking -- i don't want to say it like that. by -- if james comey loses his credibility, if this ig report takes away james comey's credibility, at least some of it, dents it, if those on the clinton campaign come out and say, look what james comey did. he has no credibility. is there a concern that what you, in effect, are doing is handing over a gift to the president and to republicans to say james comey has no credibility, mueller can't trust him when he interviews him. the foundation of the mueller report, mueller probe, has no credibility because it began under james comey's watch. >> i think that there would be more concern about that if we didn't have the president on television saying that he fired james comey to stop the russia
investigation. >> but what he does do effectively for his voters -- i don't know if he's going to have enough voters in 2020 or what will happen in 2018, but i can tell you that when you talk to people who are considering donald trump, or whatever, they will say, hey, listen, i don't think any of these people are trust worthy at all. they'll point to the whole justice department and they'll point to all of the media, et cetera, et cetera. anyone that donald trump decides to target and tear down. >> one of the worst things about his presidency is the way he's able to undermine our american democratic institutions. 20% of the country voted for him last time around. i don't believe he has conducted himself in a way that would suggest more people have taken a look at this and been like that's what i want out of a leader. we'll see what happens in 2020 should he make it that far. i don't think is he is able at this point to make a persuasive case to anybody who isn't firmly in trump's camp and will follow him whether he says the earth is flat that the mueller investigation is somehow compromised because the fbi acted in such a way to help
trump win the presidency. that just doesn't make sense on its face. >> ben, the republicans and the president are no doubt going to point to those text messages between peter strzok and lisa page and they'll try and say this is evidence of a conspiracy. what is your take on that? >> so, look, i mean i will not say a word in defense of fbi employees exchanging quite inappropriate political statements in the midst of a highly charged investigation. i think that is genuinely disturbing behavior and it doesn't -- i think it should bother people. that said, the report is pretty clear that the investigation was, at least in the aggregate, in the main conducted on the merits. it does not question the result that the investigation produced. that is the major non-prosecution decisions.
and to the extent that there were aggregate errors in the conduct of the investigation, they did cut the other direction, which is to say they cut in a direction of undue publicity about conclusions, about hillary clinton, and re-opening it in the run-up to the election. and so i think the idea that peter strzok's and lisa page's text messages convey any grave unfairness to the president is kind of silly. >> we also have a tweet from james comey, a response to the ig. he says, i respect the doj ig office which is why i urge them to do this review. the conclusions are reasonable, even though i disagree with some. people of good faith can see an unprecedented situation differently. i pray no director faces it again. thanks to ig's people for hard work. it is 2:30 here in new york on
the east coast. i just want to reset for you. the inspector general's report has come out about the fbi and the way it handled the clinton investigation. the fbi report found, according to our own pete williams who has been going through it, who was in a briefing -- it is a 500-page report -- that there is no indication of political bias influencing the investigative or prosecutorial decisions with one possible exception noted below -- text messages among a few from fbi officials cast a cloud over the fbi's reputation. it was, quote, extraordinary and insubordinate for james comey to do the july 5th news conference without telling doj officials, though no evidence was found that they talked about the e-mail investigation. remember, the july 5th news conference was the one in which james comey came out right here, said that they would not recommend charges against hillary clinton in the e-mail investigation. but then he went on for a good
portion of time to say how poorly she handled things. that was pointed to by a number of people in the clinton campaign as unnecessary and that two hurt her campaign. the trump campaign was upset that no charges were pressed. but they did champion the idea that hillary clinton was reckless in her use of the e-mails. let's bring back in -- you know what? bob corker, senator bob corker, is talking about it right now. let's listen. >> i'm sure sarah will have something to say but i haven't seen it. >> broadly do you trust this ig process that produced a fair report? >> honestly i don't know what's happened. i have staffers that have been following it. it is just not part of my daily activity. i can't even weigh in on it properly. now i'm no good, right? >> have you -- you mentioned the texts. have you read any of them and what do you think? >> one of them was read out.
but again -- >> that was senator bob corker reacting. we also have an editorial by james comey in the "new york times" talking about this conclusion by the ig. it says, james comey, this report says i was wrong but that's good for the fbi. some of the highlights include the inspector general's team went through the fbi's work with a microscope and found no evidence of biased or improper motivation affecting the investigation. he also said second, this report is vital in shedding light for future leaders on the nature and quality of our investigation and the decisions we made. he also writes in this the report concludes that i was wrong to announce the fbi's completion of the investigation without coordinating with the attorney general, and that i was wrong to inform congress in late october that we had re-opened the investigation. in both situations, james comey writes, the inspector general's team concludes i should have
adhered to established norms which they see as mandating both deference to the attorney general on the public announcement, and silence about an investigation so close to an election. i do not agree with all of the inspector general's conclusions, but i respect the work of his office and salute its professionalism. ken, he was clearly ready for this ig report. >> he was. and he is clearly being magnanimous and taking the criticism in stride, as is the james comey way. in contrast to some other public figures that we can think of, katy. but here's what i find ironic about this whole thing. donald trump has been saying for mornts the months there is a deep state conspiracy against him by the fbi. to go easy on the hillary clinton e-mail investigation and conkucoct these investigations which he calls a witch hunt. what the report shows the fbi
made a series of misjudgments that hurt hillary clinton and that may have cost her the election, arguably. and no evidence actually of any political bias despite these texts which no one is defending. but no evidence that that infected the process to make it somehow biased against donald trump. now i should also say, katy, the purpose of this report was not to examine the fairness of the russia investigation. this inspector general was conducting a separate inquiry into how and why trump aide carter page came under surveillance. that inquiry is ongoing and could well morph into other questions about the so-called informant and how and why the russian investigation got started and whether that was fair. that is not what this report does and that's question is still open. what this report surely does not do is suggest there was a deep stateiracy against donald trump. >> representative peter king from new york just tweeted -- ig report disclosing the shameful anti-trump political bias of top
fbi officials peter strzok and lisa page puts indelible cloud over trump russia investigation. let's also be clear one more time. this investigation in to the trump campaign by the fbi did not come out before the election of donald trump. it did not come out during the campaign. the voters had no idea that the fbi was looking into the trump campaign. none whatsoever. they did have an idea that the fbi was looking into the clinton campaign or the clintons, period. they did not know about donald trump. donald trump used this, used the fbi looking into clinton, to his advantage in the last weeks of the campaign as his campaign was floundering after the "access hollywood" tape. he went out and he talked about this investigation and he said, hillary is under federal investigation, you cannot have a president who might be indicted. he used that to convince unsure
republicans, those on the fence about him, to go out and vote for him, not just stay at home, because they couldn't risk having a president who might be under indictment. that is just the facts of how it happened at the very end of the campaign. mike memoli, make us smarter. prepare us for what the talking points are going to be on both sides so we, the viewer and the voter can parse it through and get a truthful judgment. >> i'll do my best, katy. it is important just to sort of explain what's been going on here at the capitol today to begin with. there were select members of certain congressional committees and their staff who were invited into an embargoed briefing with be a briefing before this report went out publicly where they had a chance to read it and before it went public, then ask justice department staff some questions. when we had some members coming out we heard especially from republicans a focus on this new text message sent between peter strzok and lisa page. we've already had hundreds of
their text messages available to congress, many were sent up here over the winter. he's already become a real villain among republicans in terms of his role in the investigation. what i think we'll see here going forward as more of the wider swath of congress continues to have a chance to read this, is republicans wanted to have -- have made multiple calls for a second special counsel to both investigate the justice department's handling of this investigation, and a number of other issues related to hillary clinton. the larger question of whether the justice department essentially went soft on hillary clinton on a number of issues. what republicans are saying is that because of the way the inspector general process works, michael horowitz, the inspector general himself, was very narrow in what he was able to do, number of people he could interview and personnel he could talk to in assembling this 500-page report. they want to ask the justice department to appoint a new independent official who can go even broader in a similar, maybe even parallel to the mueller
investigation, and look at things like uranium one. look at things like the fisa abused we saw in chairman devin nunes' memo. some of the very same people are involved in the mueller probe now. i asked jim jordan, are you suggesting here that the mueller probe is fatally flawed because of what you are seeing now in this ig report? he said i'm not saying that. but he did identify that there may have been a third individual, another person that's mentioned in this inspector general report who's been involved not in the clinton e-mail investigation, as well as the mueller probe, and that there needs to be some accounting in the justice department broadly. as you have been familiar, we've been talking about it for the past several months, this pattern of republicans trying to do things that democrats see as undermining mueller and his cent, that's what we'll see them building off of today based on this report. >> jess. >> the worst part about all this is we're all sitting here
waiting for republicans to act in an intellectually dishonest way. the report came out and said the fbi showed no bias towards hillary clinton and you will not see that in any of the tweets from any of the congressional republican leadership. you will see them saying the exact opposite, that up is down and this report somehow proves that the russia -- the unrelated russia investigation is compromised. the fact that we are sitting here expecting the entire political party, minus maybe a couple of retiring senators, to lie to the american people and their own voters about what happened today is truly stunning. and it's so emotionally intellectually bankrupt for the party to do this to help support donald trump as president. there are very real questions in to what kind of foreign help he got in order to get into the white house. i think most of the country, the vast majority of the country, very much wants those questions answered. we have elections coming up in 2018 and very little assurance that russia is not still capable
of influencing them. we should have government that is really focused on making sure that our democracy stays free and sovereign. instead, we have a republican party that's entirely focused on protecting donald trump at all cost to their own credibility. >> so when the majority of voters out there don't think that donald trump should fire the special counsel. they want to see that investigation come to its conclusion. that includes a smaller majority, but a majority of republican voters, as well, which, although the president goes online a lot and tweets about the witch hunt and we wil try to tear down the credibility of this investigation, maybe that's why he hasn't taken steps he says he can take, which is firing bob mueller or firing jeff sessions or firing rod rosenstein. >> look, i think the president is in a position where he has
been handed a report that actually doesn't support any of the broader propositions that he wants to make. this is not a report that suggests that there is a deep state conspiracy at the fbi to bring down trump. at the most, what it suggests is that there are individual agents who worked on some matters and don't like him and exchanged some inappropriate texts. the report says that there was -- to the extent there were major errors in the bureau, they were errors that were at the expense of hillary clinton. and so i have no doubt that the president will use this to feed his conspiracy theories. but that is not what -- the report actually does not support that. >> is that all that the president has though is going out and complaining about it? he doesn't have the facts behind him. if he doesn't have this report,
if he's not actually going out and firing the people that are in charge of this, is it just him trying to be as loud as he can and to claim that he's the victim as loud as he can? is that the best strategy he has? >> well, so if you're not willing to use the powers of the presidency to stop an investigation, then the investigation is going to happen. and then you have to either hope that the investigation does not produce negative consequences for you, or you have to use some strategy short of using the powers of your office to counter it. and the president's version of that is whining. and all of the tweets amount to whining. all of the -- and bullying. but they're not -- that's not really ultimately a strategy. it's just a tactic of sort of demoralization over time.
>> okay. ben wittes, ken dilanian, jess mcintosh, we want to get in more breaking news. stick with us if you can. we'll follow the ig reporting but let's go to the breaking news from down south. a torna a temporary shelter location has been chosen in texas for migrant children being separated from their parents. jacob soboroff toured a detention facility where children are being held. jacob, you are getting a lot of attention for this report because when you toured this -- we should note cameras were not allowed inside, only reporters with pens and pads. after you toured this, you went on television and said these are basically prisons. >> that's exactly right. let me do the breaking news here. the kids that would otherwising going to facilities like this or this facility in texas may now be diverted because of that trump administration zero
tolerance policy that separates migrant children from their children when they cross the border in what the administration says is an illegal act. the first location would be at the land port of entry not far from el paso. we have learned and confirmed with our colleague at the pentagon that 450 beds will be at that location and it will be effectively a tent camp, a tent city. however you want to characterize it. the reason that those facilities are necessary and that the federal government is scrambling to put them up now is because of this new policy. now back to our tour yesterday. we were part of the group of journalists that was granted the first access inside this facility since that zero tolerance policy was announced. we are looking at some of those pictures right now. there are about 1,500 young boys between the ages of 10 and 17. this is the largest such facility in the country that are inside there. the vast majority arrived in the united states by themselves. but an increasing number were separated from their parents
when they crossed the border illegally, in the words of the government. now that number is up to about 30% here. let me put it in perspective for you. about a year ago there were only 80. eight, zero, migrant kids inside the facility behind me. it's 250,000 square feet. it is a former walmart. now there are nearly 1,500 kids. part of that is because that trump effect has worn off, people are more confident to come into the united states. but a big part of it is this flood of kids being separated from their parents. and now again with the breaking news, there will be the first tent city erected because of the influx of these people in texas. >> i just want to be totally clear. this is the united states of america and a tent city is is being erected for children who have come across the border, for children who are being separated from their parents by the american government. that's happening on the united states soil. >> yeah, that's right. look, we should be really clear. it has happened before.
we've seen tent facilities, temporary structures erected in this 2014 in what was a scramble. then 2016 again with the large influx of unaccompanied child minors coming from central america fleeing violence. but never before has it been part of a policy designed to create unaccompanied minors by separating them from their parents. this is a crisis that was manufactured by the trump administration. it didn't need to happen right now but it is happening because of this trump administration policy that says 100% ideally -- the number right now is around 6 6 60% -- of families that cross and migrants that cross will be prosecuted for doing so. >> when you say tent camps, what exactly do you mean? are these little cities that are erected? are they a number of tents where people sleep and eat surrounded by fencing? what will it look like? >> that's the idea. i've nef bever been in one, fra. i just got off the phone with
the department of health & human services and hope to tour this one in the days to come or next week. the idea is that you are going to put these 450 kids under those tents. a journalist on twitter just pointed out to me that today in that city, the temperature is 100 degrees. it is humid here in south texas. these are obviously outside facilities. i've been inside former maricopa county sheriff joe arpaio's tent city in the phoenix desert and it is unbearable. inhabitants of that tent city say it is a humiliating experience for a variety of factors. i have not been inside these hhs facilities that are tents. they're operated again by hhs and not law enforcement. child care professionals. but until we get inside we can't say for sure and that's part of the issue here, the transparency from the trump administration -- this is all sort of happening in real time and none of it has sort of been laid out in advance as part of some sort of broader strategy. >> jacob, why aren't the kids allowed to go outside for more than an hour or two a day?
>> because they're incarcerated. that's the most simple answer that i can give you. on the weekends they get three hours. they get occasional field trips, katy. but they are in the custody of the department of health & human services for what that department says is their welfare. and inside, the reality is, it is not horrific conditions. there are no cages or fences. people aren't sleeping on floors with those silver plank kets like we saw at the border patrol stations back in 2014. but they are incarcerated. they can do a variety of activities that are scheduled for them. recreation, video games, go to classes, watch movies, get their haircut, go to meals. but for the on average 52 days that they are inside that facility, they are under the control, not of themselves, not of their parents certainly, but of a federal government -- part of the american bureaucracy. >> jacob, how old was the youngest kid you saw? >> 10 years old. there were a lot of them in there. with 1,500.
the other thing, it is 1 staff member to every 8 kids. while it is organized, in a sense it is also chaotic. very chaotic, too, because that's a lot of kids per staff member with -- you know, with 1,500ities kids in there. one of the things this raises is now what happens? people who wanted to normally come and seek asylum in between ports of entry, are they going the make a run for it? what happens then? we know from the 1990s approximately see for prevention tlooe through deterrence that led to a lot of people dying in the deserts here and in south texas. are migrants going to take bigger risk now that the government is trying to deter them from crossing and say we are going to cross in more dangerous ways. >> why were reporters told the smile had he they went into the facility when they went in to look at the kids?
>> the reasoning i was given when i was in there is these kids feel like they are little animals in a cage being watched. that's pretty much the quote of what the official there told me, which is strange because there are no cages but they don't get a lot of visitors from the outside. in fact, the calls they get to make to the outside are very scheduled of the they get the opportunity on a scheduled basis to call their potential sponsors, the people that could pick them up. there are two potential outcomes for the kids inside there. one is they get picked up and meet of a these 52 days, their for and stay here in the united states until they have their adjudication case heard or they can be reunited with their parent once they get out of federal prison. it's not easy. >> jacob, grade a reporting. thank you so much for doing this. i know we've been trying to get a view of what these facilities
are like. we have been trying to keep on it on our show. we really appreciate you coming on, going in there and trying to explain to us what it's like. sake job soboroff. let's bring in jeff leibovich. and dana mill bank. dana, you wrote a column about this on the "washington post" about immigration today. take it away. >> katy, clearly you can see why they don't want cameras in here. on the one hand, they want to deter people from trying to make this trip to the border, particularly with children. but there is another audience, too. that is imagine the visual this would be for the american public to see that this is being done in their name with their taxpayer dollars and that children are whatever word we are going the use for it, incarcerated in tents, frightened. it has this sort of a dickensian notion it's from another time, the time of hoovervilles or
urchins on the street. it is a really rough visual. it's bad enough for americans to know that this is occurring from the descriptions like we just heard. when you think about that, the whole igs notion of family separation, the administration has a reason for accelerating this policy as it's doing. but it has a very dramatic consequence. and it really would look to a neutral observer as abject cruelty. >> yeah. you know, mark, kelli ward, who is running to be the gop nominee for senate in arizona to replace jeff flake wanted to come on our show today to talk about how she supports this, she supports family separation. why do you think that would be a winning issue for someone like ward in the state of arizona? >> if she is trying to get through a republican primary being seen as a hardliner on immigration could be a winning issue for them. in a general election, i would argue these are tough images to
try to defend. toic approximate up on dana's point. you hate to reduce something this heart breaking to a visual. but politics is about arguments, and making case, and there is nothing more powerful in having a debate over immigration than visuals like this, especially when it involves kids when the voters who are going to vote on these things, many of them have kids this age. and it's just a really, really difficult thing to get beyond and actually to think remarkally about as a political argument. and frankly the trump administration hasn't really made an argument in one way or the another. they just sort of -- they said we have got to build a wall, it's very trumpian. >> trump is blaming the democrats for this. that's his argument. blaming the democrats. >> it's crime. he equates this with open borders, crime, end of discussion. frankly, this is the other side to that.
>> i had matt gates on yesterday a. and he was saying this is the law, what has to happen and he supports rule of law. i pointed out this is not the law, this is a policy that the trump administration has put forth. >> well, it's their interpretation of of the law and how they are doing it. but it has consequences. you have the tent city, you have the walmart filling up with kids. you have all the other reports, the media are doing a lot of it. you have this high school kid arc dreamer from iowa forcibly returned to mexico, has his throat slit. you know, you have at the same time the justice department now going after obamacare. so for these november elections we are going to see premiums skyrocketing and possibly people being denied care once again for preexisting conditions. so there are maybe legitimate policy reasons to do this. but we are seeing now -- and these are going to continue to come, that there are real heme,
real life consequences. >> mark leibovich, dana mill bank, guys we appreciate you sticking around today. we know it has been a busy breaking news day. let's go back to the other breaking news we have been following all hour. the department of justice's inspector general report on the fbi's handling of the clinton e-mail investigation. kristen well ecker is with us from the white house. the briefing was supposed to start 26 minutes ago. >> it was, katy. and when sarah huckabee sanders comes to the podium i anticipate she will have a reaction to the breaking news that you have been talking about throughout the hour. that d.o.j. inspect thor general report. it's possible this briefing was pushed back a few minutes as they sort of processed the information along with the rest of us. i anticipate they will seize on those text messages from lisa phage and peter struck, which are sharply criticized in the report, subject a political bias. but of course their argument is going to get more complicated that there was some type of bias when they are going to be
pressed about some of the criticism of the former fbi director james comey, his decision to reopen the clinton e-mail investigation in the days before the election. of course the report is sharply critical of that as well. so a lot to digest in that regard. katy of course we are tracking a number of other headlines here at the white house today in addition to the d.o.j. inspector general report. of course, the new york attorney general filing a civil lawsuit against the trump foundation, accusing president trump and three of his adult children of mishandling funds. and the press briefing is about to get underway, i believe, katy -- no. that was a false alarm. >> it's hard to see behind your head. you don't have eyes behind your head. we forgive you, kristen. give us more about this lawsuit on the trump foundation. it was a big issue during the campaign. david parent hollywood of the "washington post" was doing a lot of reporting about where that money went to, the foundation's money going to a
portrait of donald trump that he bought at auction, potentially a football player's helmet, another portrait that he bought at another auction, basically using the trump foundation money that had been given to him from other people for the trump foundation to go to charity was being used to buy the president's -- allow the now president to buy himself gifts, like his slush fund. >> political favor. another example, katy, the suit alleges that the president used some of the funds for a fund-raiser that he had in iowa. >> i was at that event. >> you were there. >> yeah. >> that was of course instead of going to the presidential debate that was supposed to be underway that evening. so five different occasions that the suit really delves into over the course of about a decade. undoubtedly sarah huckabee sanders is going to get a lot of sharp questions about that. now we have heard from the president about that suit on twitter. he said he is not going to come
to any type of settlement with this suit. he is clearing going to fight it based on his tweets. and he accused new york sleazy democrats effectively of being behind all of this. the trump foundation also responding, saying this is politics at its worst. >> yeah. >> a little bit of a preview of what we can expect to hear from sarah huckabee sanders. one more point i will make katy. this is the first briefing since the president returned from singapore, the historic face to face with kim jong-un. a range of different questions that we have about the follow-up and what has happened since that summit. of course the secretary of state has been in south korea trying to energize allies. but remember, south korea was caught offguard after president trump announced that he was going to be halting military exercises, joint military exercises. a chance to ask her about all of that hopefully when she comes to the podium a few minutes from now. >> one other thing, donald trump said in the past he refuses to settle lawsuits. he refused to settle the trump university lawsuit that the new
york ag also brought against him. he would never settle that lawsuit. he settled it for $25 million. >> we will continue to watch this one. we will see if he changes his mind. that's for sure. >> talks a big game on twitter. kristen welker. that does it for me. ali val she picks things up right now. >> wasn't there supposed to be white house press briefing. i thought i would be rolling in here during the briefing. >> it's going to happen during ali's hour. >> that's not how it was supposed to be. katy tur. it's supposed to be done by my hour. >> do you want you have scripts? >> i wasn't planning on scripts. i thought there was a white house press briefing. good afternoon, i'm ali very well she. yes i am the guy who gets the press briefing. the trump administration is in a too familiar stance for more than a year. sarah huckabee sanders is expected to be back on defense as she gets ready to answer