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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  July 24, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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for the permit. his old fashioned hot dogs is up and running as an official food stand. if you're in the area, swing on by and get yourself a dog. that is a great little int entrepreneur. that wraps up this hour. i'm stephanie ruhle. i'll see you again at 11:00. more news with my friend, hallie jackson. >> hot dogs will do that. thank you for a little hot dog action on this tuesday morning. see you in an hour. i'm hallie jackson in washington, where this morning, in a city that thrives on access, president trump wants the access denied. only for people he apparently doesn't like. now, there's new fallout today from this unprecedented move to try to strip security clearance from former top intel officials. new reaction from the hill. house speaker paul ryan is set to speak any minute. we'll bring you there live. folks are wonderingpossibly, a
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distraction tactic. the president going off at iran again. the secretaries of defense set to speak today. plus, new controversy over a comedy show. a georgia lawmaker dropping his pants on camera and using racial slurs. why he did it and who does or does not still have a job. we have our tuesday team following this coast to coast this morning. if you think the story of security clearances seem to come out of nowhere, it is because it kind of did. with a push and a shove into the spotlight from rand paul, who met with the president monday. here's what we know. we know the president has never been the biggest fan of intelligence community leaders. he made that clear, even as a candidate, as the president just moments ago steps on air force one, headed to kansas city. what the white house wants to do is strip six former government officials of their ability to access classified material. part of the obama administration. most also worked for republican leaders, too, and perhaps more
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importantly, they've been pretty tough publicly on the president. >> we have a president who hasn't conducted a successful negotiation domestically or internationally. who doesn't seem to like to prepare or be detail oriented. >> he is taking a pick and shovel to institutions and people, harming the structures and the individuals who man the structures. >> when i use the term, this is nothing less of treasonous, it is giving comfort to an enemy, aiding and abetting. >> why do people now outside the government still need to be in on government secrets? partly so they can give advice to successors about sensitive stuff, or be ready if they need to go in front of congress. the white house says they're using the clearance to get cushy jobs. a spokesperson for two of the people on the list, james comey and andrew mccabe, reps for both of them, said they don't have
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security clearances anymore because they got fired and lost the clearance when they were fired. garrett haake is live on capitol hill. rand paul is totally into this. mark warner is totally not. where is republican leadership here, as we wait for paul ryan to speak any minute? >> reporter: you talked about the idea that this is something that came out of nowhere. a lot of republicans included on capitol hill would like to see it go back to nowhere, where it came from. this is not an idea that is broadly popular up here. part of that is because of what you just said. these folks need these security clearances so that they can be briefed, they can be read in, they can be prepared when they are called back to testify in front of congress. i just spoke with bob corker, the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. he is not fan of the proposal. >> i can't even believe that somebody at the white house thought up something like this. i mean, when you're going to start taking retribution against people who are your political
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enemies in this manner, that's the kind of thing that happens in venezuela, where i was just recently. you just don't do that. i can't believe they even allowed it to be aired, to be honest. i mean, it's a banana republic kind of thing. >> reporter: banana republic comparison. it will not be well received at the other end of pennsylvania avenue. corker, as you know, we talk about this all the time, is pretty critical of the white house on things like this, but his general frustration there, almost throwing up his hands that this was discussed, much less something being considered as administration policy, speaks to, i think, the larger frustration that folks have on the hill when the white house rolls things like this out with little or no consultation with their own party here on capitol hill. >> garrett, i'm coming back to you, i'm sure, later on in the morning as you get more reaction from members of congress. we're watching to see what house speaker paul ryan may have to
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say any minute. thank you. let me go to peter alexander at the white house. a lot of words tossed out this morning. unprecedented, dangerous, banana republic, as you heard from senator corker there. the white house seems to have a couple words of its own, oh well. >> reporter: exactly right. another phrase, enemy's list. that's the way that a democratic senator is referring to this right now. it is striking, and you witnessed this yesterday, as did i, that this was off the cuff, suggested by rand paul, and the president ran with it. this morning, a top white house official suggests to me that this has been on the president's mind a while. something he's been focused on for a matter of weeks before the announcement was made more formally by sarah sanders yesterday. they are considering the removal of the security clearances from the six former national security officials. if that were the case, it seems they would have known two of the officials, james comey and andrew mccabe, no longer had their clearances. what else is striking to this,
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and i pressed a white house official on it, is the idea, as you and i reported in the past about the security clearance as they related to the statuses of curb anywhekushner and ivanka t. you remember, they said, we do not talk about individual security clearances. on this occasion, obviously, the white house has changed its mind, and it is something it is certainly trying to make an issue out of. the official also said the bottom line is, they feel like it is a problem if you have individuals, specifically john brennan, who formally served in the intelligence community, still having access to the community, sort of in their eyes, throwing out these hints, as if they know something more than they do know about issues that may reflect poorly on the president. that's what, obviously, infuriates president trump himself and certainly this white house. it is worth noting, thissing you ni -- this ignites a new topic, the president has tweeted
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overnight but not about this issue. it is something that has spiralled and will continue to be a conversation on all sides. >> you and i will be having that at the white house later today. clear space in the booth. see you in a couple hours, my friend. >> reporter: you got it. >> thank you. >> with us now is a former intelligence official who had a security clearance. acting director under president bush. now an analyst. also on set, political reporter am buber phillips. and friends of the show, all. i have to start with you. let me do a couple of things before i pick up where peter left us there. you have security clearance currently. >> correct. >> why is that? >> well, i don't go in every day and look at classified material. i don't do that at all. i have it because, occasionally, i am called into the government for consultation. a few year acs ago, the dni ask me to chair a panel that was looking at a terrorist attack that almost occurred in the united states, when the
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christmas bomber in 2009/2010 almost blew up a plane over detroit, and we didn't detect it. i did that for six months. no pay, by the way. >> the white house is accusing some of the officials of monetizing their clearance, essentially. do you get paid for the work? >> i did not. none of us have a hotel on pennsylvania avenue with our name on it. >> i asked the white house about the idea that the president is accusing these officials of doing things that critics accused him of doing himself. their response was, no, the president has not made baseless accusations of a president of, for example, treason. seeming to be a reference to john brennan who made remarks on the "today" show, on msnbc, after the meeting with vladimir putin. it is raising first amendment rights. somebody with clearance, who has been candid with his thoughts on president trump, do you feel more muzzled, now that the threat is out there? >> i don't feel personally more muzzled, but this is putting poison in the water. this sends a chill through the national security community. i mean, imagine if you're a
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briefer going in to talk to the president, and you're going to give him bad news. he's just made the statement that says, i don't like people to tell me stuff that is either offensive or i don't agree with. i could pull your clearances. it is the kind of thing we have not seen since the mccarthy era. there's one example in that time. jay robert , a nuclear scientis, had his clearance pulled for disappearing on nuclear matters in the mccarthy era. it is cited as something that was egregious at the time and we should not do again. there is a process for doing this, by the way. obviously, the white house hadn't thought this through at all. another impulsive move. the process normally is, you're told why your clearance is being withdrawn. there is an opportunity for a hearing. there is an opportunity for an appeal process. these clearances are actually held by agencies. if this were to play out, you know, someone like gina haspel or dan coats would be asked to pull clearances. >> be in the position of pulling
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a clearance for someone who used to be in the agency. >> it'd go to court, and the federal judge would have to decide whether the president abused their powers. they haven't thought this through. >> sentator langford was just talking about this, and he has a different opinion. he actually doesn't see a problem with this. i want to play you a little bit of his explanation. >> do you have a problem revoking some of this? you're out of the administration. >> i don't. you're out of the administration. there is no reason for you to get access to classified documents anymore. >> does that argument, john, to you, hold water? >> not at all. when i did that study of the so-called christmas bomber, i spent six months with the most sensitive information we had. we made a series of recommendations and a 90-page report, which was adopted and, i think, contributed, modesty, i'd say, to protecting the country. >> which, presumably, the government found useful. >> absolutely. i've been on other panels like that. that's why we have these
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clearances. >> this is something, and we eluded to this at the top of the show, the president has repeatedly come out against, intelligence community leaders. he draws the distinction between the worker bees and the men and the women who lead it. we just did an interview on cbs news with jeff glor. some of the names he mentioned are some of the folks on the graphic we've been showing you this morning. here's the president. >> do you think any intelligence agencies, u.s. intelligence agencies, are out to get you? >> well, certainly in the past, it's been terrible. you look at brennan, you look at clapper, haden, you look at comey, you look at mccabe, you look at strzok and his lover, page. >> strzok and page are not on the list but the other names are, amber. what do you make of that? >> this feels very much tied to russia and the criticism the president got. as we mentioned, there were these intelligence officials who were some of the most vocal
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after helsinki, more than even democrats in congress, with the treasonous comment. the calculation i see the white house making is that these intelligence officials tend to carry more weight in their criticism because they have security clearances. problem with that is, i'm willing to bet most people before yesterday didn't know these people had those. >> what about the idea that the white house told peter, hey, brennan is droppi inping bread crumbs, seeming to make comments related to russia, and it is problematic. >> i don't hear it that way. >> when director brennan has been on the show, he has specifically said, i don't want to get out in front of it and share things that i can't that would be classified information. >> let me say this, just as an example, any time any of us write something that has anything to do with foreign affairs or could touch on our past work, we have to run it through a publications review board to certify we're not using classified information. that applies to what we say on
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television, as well. not that we clear that in advance. you don't clear an interview in advance, but you are not permitted to talk about classified information on television. >> there is the question now that has come up, is this like in the realm of shiny objects, a big old shiny object that the president tossing to distract from other things? if it is a shiny object, it is in the words of some of the critics, unprecedented, problematic, and enemy's list. some other things the president could be talking about that he's not, the twitter threat against iran, the separated migrant kids from their families, something we'll talk about later in the show, north korea potentially dismantling a nuclear site, supreme court picks remarks on the nixon case, recordings on michael cohen, the delay of paul manafort's criminal trial, something the whoite house didnt comment on yesterday when i asked the press secretary. what is this? is it a shiny object? is it something legit? is it both? can it be? >> listen, clearly, they have seized this as something the press is going to talk about, that we are going to go
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wall-to-wall coverage on for the next 24 to 48 hours. they did not -- >> is that the wrong move? >> i mean, i think if you look at it, they did not want to be talking about russia. it held in a way that almost nothing does in the administration. >> are we still talking about russia? aren't we playing the brennan clip about calling trump treaa n treasonous because of the summit? >> he'll going on the trail this week, and these are the things that will rally his base. >> regarding the monetization here, you have former par eer b chief of staff saying brennan hasn't made a penny off his clearance, doesn't need a clearance to speak about the failings of donald trump. does the white house have a point when they talk about or elude to the idea that there is heft behind somebody who has security clearance and speaks out on the matter of security clearance, and isn't that valuable? >> i think there is heft behind someone who has had years and
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years and years of experience dealing with foreign affairs and with how policy is made. i don't think, frankly, that the possession of a clearance adds heft to that. should not. frankly, none of these people, i'm confident, are reading classified information every day. they left that when they left the government. >> michael hayden tweeted me online, he is not going in for briefings. bottom line, what is your message to donald trump and to members of the white house who are considering this at this moment? >> don't do it. it will open up a can of worms. it will send a chill through the national security community. it will put poison in the water. and it will lead to no good, in terms of judgments of the president's powers. >> speaking of officials with security clearance making political statements, it is our understanding now that attorney general jeff sessions is moments ago talking about just this. the attorney general at turning point usa's high school leadership summit here in washington. the audience following with a
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familiar chant that he, today, just now, decided to join in on. >> lock her up. i heard that for a long time over the last campaign. >> i'll go to you on this. your jaw hit the floor. >> this is the nation's top law enforcement official. trump has tried to -- i watched trump in tweets and statements, trying to pressure sessions into saying, you work for me, the president of the united states, to benefit me personally. sessions has given hints he's resisted that, right, by having dinners with the deputy attorney general during a precarious time in their relationship. this looks like a total pivot in this moment for the attorney general to say, lock her up. >> this is stunning. this is a high school event.
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i mean, this is how pervasive and where the discourse of our country is right now. you have an official like that, and you have teenagers thinking it is an appropriate thing to yell this about, you know, a former presidential candidate. >> we'll leave it there. anna and amber, stick around. always a pleasure. after the break, we want to talk about another piece of information making headlines. this new and fiery and far from surprising warning from iran after the all caps tweet shout from the president. the evidence that that was actually part of a carefully curated strategy. and how the plan could end up ba backfiring. we wait to see if paul ryan has anything to say on this, on clearances, on north korea, on more. the leadership conference is happening now. we'll sneak in a break. we'll be right back. little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable
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right now, house republican leadership is holding its weekly news conference. kevin mccarthy there. we expect to see house speaker paul ryan taking questions from that podium any minute. as usual, plenty for him to talk about. will he talk about it? we'll find out. we'll bliring you there live. we want to talk about shots fired from iran verbally, not literally, with a top military leader saying the president's threat against iran, a strong, unimaginable, and regrettable response, is what it will bring from tehran. some critics have the president trying to wag the dog, in other words, trying to shift the tension away from negative headlines, like the putin summit, multiple administration sources tell nbc news his tough talk is actually really part of
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a carefully curated strategy. setting the stage for the trump administration to put sanctions back on iran in three weeks. i'm joined by national security and military reporter courtney. love having you on. we debunked the wag the dog theory yesterday, but let's talk about what officials are pointing to, based on your reporting, andrea mitchell's and others. they say the crackdown started with the may 8th announcement to withdraw from the nuclear deal. june 4th, the administration threatened to stop doing business with european countries doing business in iran. sunday, you had the feisty speech from secretary of state mike pompeo, slamming iran, announcing a new 24/7 language channel for iranians to avoid the government news, and then the tweet for slapping sanctions back on iran. >> that seems to be the direction this is going. we heard from the iranian minister of foreign affairs. if, in fact, the u.s. moves to
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block oil exports, if they do impose new sanctions, iran will impose countermeasures. the question is, what could that look like? my colleagues and i put out a story a couple days ago about a potential iranian cyberattack the u.s. has been following now for several weeks. what this is is iran has laid the groundwork for several thousand different attacks. everything from denial of service, which is overloading a server, to actually cutting services. this is including both public services. that means electrical grid, water. and private, which would include health care companies, technology companies. what our reporting showed was that none of this is actually imminent, but that the groundwork is laid, should iran feel the need to fight back against something. should iran feel there be some sort of a catalyst that iran wanted to strike at both the united states and some united states allies, hallie. >> you have in a matter of two
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hours from now secretary mattis and secretary pompeo doing this joint news conference, which is going to be really interesting, given the timing here. safe to say iran will be on the agenda. what are you hearing from folks at the pentagon? >> they don't want iran to be on the agenda. this is a meeting with the australian counterparts. it is out at the hoover institution at stanford university. they want to be talking about everything to do with the australia/u.s. partnership, diplomatic and military. like many things with these kinds of press conferences and news events, news of the day will take over, and that'll be iran. that is largely driven -- as you mentioned, this all started back when the u.s. decided to pull out of the jcpoa in may. the administration is pushing this narrative as iran as an aggressor and adversary. they're trying to encourage u.s. allies who are still a part of jcpoa to see that perspective. we saw that in secretary
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pompeo's speech on sunday evening out in california. they're going to get questions about iran, no question about it, today. we'll see what they have to say. i suspect we'll hear more strong language from the u.s. administration, poet frboth fros and pompeo. >> you'll keep us posted. thank you for coming on. i want to bring in former director of iraq for the national security council. doug, what do you make of the reporting that courtney walked through, this strategy on iran? >> i didn't hear a strategy. i heard what we're going to do. what are we trying to get the iranians to do? are we trying to get them to change their behavior? do we want to jcp away plus, plus, plus from them, or do we just want their regime to go away, to do regime change? we have some models of that. >> house speaker paul ryan. i'm rudely interrupting you. he's talking security clearances. we'll listen in. >> this is something that's in the purview of the executive branch. i think some of them already lost clearances.
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it is not really in our purview. yeah? >> the banana republic comments. >> i think he is trolling people. >> in the latest poll, 49% of respondents said tariffs hurt the economy. the president said they're the greatest. >> in all caps, yeah. >> how long do you give him to see if this strategy works? >> look, i don't -- i've made it clear, i don't think tariffs are the right answer. i don't support tariffs. i think tariffs are taxes. i think there are better tools that we can use to hold abusers of trade laws and people who -- countries that perpetuate unfair trade practices, there are better tools to use to get them to play fairly. i don't think the tariff route is the smart way to go. i understand the president's plan. i understand what he's trying to do. the goal he's trying to achieve is a good one. a better deal for americans. better trade agreements. i just don't think tariffs are the way to go. our members are making that pretty clear. >> it's the way he's already
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going. at what point would republicans try to change that? >> like i said, we've made our points very clear, and we hope that this, at the end of the day, we all want to land in the same place. i'd like to get to the landing spot as fast as possible. >> another question on trade. the european commission president and eu trade commissioner are in washington this week. are you going to be with them? >> i don't know if i'm seeing them or not. >> what is your message to them on trade. >> well, they do -- they don't trade fairly with us on a number of issues. i think -- i'm a person a little out of the mainstream on these things. i believe it is important we lower the trade barriers to one another. they do have higher tariffs on our products in certain areas. agriculture in particular, we have a big beef, no pun intended, with the europeans, and cheese, as well. i think it is important that we work together to reduce trade barriers and trade restrictions between our countries. this friction we're having, as
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long as it results in lowering barriers and making it easier for us to access foreign markets and have reciprocal trade agreements, that is great. hopefully where we can end up with that. >> see a question back there. >> who is asking the last question? >> over there. >> yes? >> sam ryan came to work with dad today. thanks, everybody. take care. >> nice work. >> you've been watching house speaker paul ryan take questions from reporters, including kasie hunt who was in the room, who will speak with us now about the security issues raised yesterday. he's like, the president is trawling people. paul ryan said, not my problem. >> he was loose, feeling comfortable this morning. i think he is trying to deflect. this is not what he wants to talk about. >> something paul ryan has done before.
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>> it is interesting to me. he is having a very different position than what we heard earlier on the show with senator langford about these different things. i trying to say, that is not my focus. >> that's what republican leaders will say. this is an exec putive branch issue. at what point does security clearances for officials become part of congress's problem? >> right. >> never? is that the answer? >> i don't know. congress has to decide where it draws the red line on trump on any number of issues. they haven't figured it out from russia, to security clearances, to freedom of speech. >> kasie hunt was in the room. you asked that question, i think, about bob corker's banana republic comment we heard from garrett haake moments before paul ryan started speaker. he said, yeah, the president is
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trawling people. what do you make of his response? >> reporter: it is his attempt to dispatch another brush fire the president has started. i think that's how he's characterize it. i'm trying to remember if i've heard the house speaker refer to the president as trawling before. >> i'm trawling. >> i'm coming up blank at the moment. >> we'll get our researchers on that. >> reporter: dig through the archives. it was a flip way of responding to what, you know, the white house does seem pretty serious about. as you note earlier, we have heard other republicans, bob corker, refer to this as a policy that might go on in a banana republic. while security clearances are an exec tiff branch decision, there are many people who work in the private sector. defense contractors and others. thousands of people who have to have security clearances to do their jobs in one way or another. to have a political lens cast on that potentially has
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far-reaching immplications that are beyond this handful of officials. i think you can -- it is summer here. this was the last week of the congressional session here in the house of representatives before the august break. don't forget, speaker ryan is leaving. based on the response, i'd say, i'm not sure he is going to miss getting questions about these trump controversies day in and day out. >> and questions about something else, too. you were in the room when we dipped in right after, i think, ryan got a question on vladimir putin potentially coming to washington this fall. as you know, much has been made about the idea that the president doesn't want to be talking about the putin summit that was criticized by a lot of people around donald trump. even some of his friends. ryan basically said, putin isn't talking in my congress. >> reporter: that was a very sharp and direct response from the speaker. one where he said, look, there is no way he's coming to a joint -- be invited to a joint session of congress. that is ryan's prerogative as the speaker of the house.
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it does happen with key u.s. allies. you'll see addresses that feel almost like state of the union address addresses. the senate invited over. clearly, he wanted to make the point that that was not going to happen for vladimir putin. he also was sharp on the idea of how the president should be approaching him. of course, we heard last week, he said, look, it is fine if they want to meet, but the president better be delivering a sharp message, that russia should not meddle in our elections. >> kasie hunt live on the hill. thank you much. after this break, paul manafort's lawyers are back in court as they're getting ready to pick the jury that will decide this man's fate. an update on the other person behind bars in a different russia investigation. the 29-year-old woman accused of acting as a foreign agent and allegedly trying to use sex for political access. her lawyer is joining me on this set next. eting) eting) this is not a cloud. this is a car protected from storms by an insurance company
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picture of paul manafort walking around and going in and out of the courthouse, i have to keep saying, it's not today. >> thank you. >> memories of distant past. this is when he was still a free man. he is not. he's being held in jail now. today, he was in the courtroom, so as we show you what paul manafort looks like, in case you've forgotten, just remember, this is not how it looks now. >> producers need some kind of footage. we want to show your face as much as we can. we have to show paul manafort's. >> right? anyway, so he did appear in court today. it was a brief hearing. 70 potential jurors came in and filled out a written questionnaire. this is typical in federal court. biographical data, that sort of thing. the judge gave them a version of what you're seeing now, a brief explanation of the case. they went into the jury room. they filled out the questionnaire. the lawyers for both sides will get copies. they can use this next tuesday
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when the trial will begin. six days later than originally scheduled. they'll start to do the actual jury selection. the judge delayed the trial because the defense lawyer said in the past couple of weeks they've received more than 120,000 pages of documents from the government, produced in discovery. most of it coming from the computer and personal electronic devices of richard gates, manafort's former partner in his business. this is, you know, moving ahead now, but there's still some pending questions, hallie. for example, the defense wants the judge to rule before the trial starts, to limit how much the government can say about manafort's work for the ukrainians. >> right. >> obviously, what the defense is concerned about is that the people he worked for were unsavory characters. this was a russian-backed government. mueller's prosecutors say none of their witnesses will not utter the word "russia" once. where it stands now is, the
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defense is going to go through the potential exhibits that the government says it is going to release at trial or use at trial and tell the judge, look, we don't want too many of these pictures of the former president of ukraine. we want you to limit how much can be said about what he was doing for the ukrainians. >> before i let you go, part of your purview as the justice correspondent is covering the department of justice and attorney-general jeff sessions. he came out this morning, and there was this moment that is, to use a news cliche, raising some eyebrows. i'd love to get your take on it. here we go. >> okay. >> lock her up. [ audience chanting "lock her up" ]. >> i heard that a lot over the
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last campaign. >> what is your reaction to that? >> it was sort of a memory reflex for him. i'm not sure he joined the chant. he seemed to be saying that he recognized it. remember, this was something that he did join with, as you know so well, trump campaign chants in 2016, when the crowds would yell "lock her up," referring to hillary clinton. i guess it was -- i guess he was just sort of recognizing it to himself. that's how i see the tape. >> okay. >> sort of -- i'm not sure he joined it, but i'm sure it was, as he said, familiar to him. >> pete williams, thank you, sir. we'll keep coming back to you for the latest on manafort news. >> okay. we'll following another investigation related to russia. it is separate from the special counsel. we're talking about the young woman accused of working as an unregistered russian agent. maria butina is said to have conspired with a russian official and american operative
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to influence politics on behalf of the russian government. her latest activities say butina was a last-minute speaker at a fundraising dinner in may of 2016 in louisville. a dinner attended by kentucky's governor and lieutenant governor, the same week the nra was holding its annual convention in the city. butina's lawyer say the charges against his client are overblown. he pointed out that butina voluntarily testified for the senate committee in april. joining me is that lawyer, robert brdriscoll, wh. you've been on the show many times, never in this capacity, as you represent maria butina. it is reported the russian commissioner for human rights spoke with ambassador huntsman, asking the u.s. to get butina out of jail, put her on house arrest, get her out on bail. what else can you tell us about the conversation? >> i don't know anything about that conversation.
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i don't represent the government of russia. >> if she's getting out of jail, wouldn't you know about it? >> i would. right now, she's in jail. we'll probably be moving at some point to reconsider her, get conditions of release that are appropriate and get her out of jail at some point. right now, the court has ruled that she's a flight risk and is remaining in d.c. jail. >> have you had any conversations with u.s. officials about moving her out of the jail? for example, with ambassador huntsman, has anyone reached out? >> we're handling it all through the court right now. >> you denied your client was part of a scheme to funnel russian money through the nra to the trump campaign. >> right. >> do you believe the nra is going to have to produce documents to prove that, to show funding information? is that eventually going to have to be made public? >> i just don't think there is evidence of it. i'm not sure how you move the negative. >> by releasing documents, right, that show that. >> i've seen a lot of documents from maria's side, all her bank account records, any corporation she is associated with, and i
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haven't seen anything like what has been alleged. it is not a matter of interpretation. i haven't seen anything that supports this notion of her being any kind of conduit of russia. >> the argument is she was a babe in the woods who was wrapped in something bigger than herself in. >> i don't know if babe in the woods is fair. she is an ambitious young woman who had a career in russia as a gun rights advocate, and was known as an advocate there and had some fame over there. then came to the u.s. and developed relationships with gun rights people here and was a student. i mean, she graduated in may with a 4.0. >> accused as not registering as she should have. >> the question would be not registering to do what? what the government accused her for is going to dinner and events. i'm not sure that requires registration. if it did, half the foreign nationals in washington would be in jail. >> she's accused of trying to infiltrate organizations in the u.s. >> infiltrate is a loaded term. what does it mean?
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is attending a meeting infiltrating? >> where does paul ericson fit in, who is described as her boyfriend? what is the nature of the relationship? was she using him? >> to my knowledge, no. they've had a five-year relationship, going back before she came over as a student. they attended events together and traveled the country together. i don't think it is that unusual, that people with sim already interests would end up in similar places. >> pretty big age difference. not that that precludes things, but it raises questions. >> who am i to judge, you know? >> because you've been on the show, as your role of doj, why did you take on this case? who is paying you to do it? >> i took on the case because maria contacted me through another client. they're a mauiutual friend. when contacted by congress, she contacted me. part of the reason i'm doing this, i think she is innocent of all this. i think it has nothing to do with the mueller case, because the mueller folks are not interested. i think she's been caught up in
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this unfairly, the russia scare. >> is thisbono? >> no. but she's the only one i'm working for. >> hope to have you back. we want to talk about a georgia lawmaker caught in an embarrassing position. now, the latest in a line of politicians getting punched by sacha baron cohen. why there are growing calls for this lawmaker to resign. we'll bring it to you after the break. my mom's pain from
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have you heard about this one? a georgia state lawmaker caught with his pants down. punked, pantsless. there it is. by a comedian with new calls for this guy to step down. let's unpack this with nbc's gadi schwartz, who is following this rather strange story for us. there's a lot of backstory and front story. fill us in. >> reporter: yeah. sacha baron cohen, once again duping a lot of people in his latest show, including de ining cheney and the state lawmaker there, who found himself deep in some controversy after becoming the butt of a joke. who is america?
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sacha baron cohen's new show quickly becoming must-see tv for all the wrong reasons. politicians and news makers in the crosshairs of a provocateur who has made a career of tricking people into hairs. comedian known for borat now back with new characters, a israeli -- remember to point puppy pistol's mouth rite at the middle of the bad man. >> on sunday they gave a fake training class to jason spencer telling him to scream a forbidden n word to ward off a terrorist attack. [ beep ] >> this world is disgusting. >> got it.
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>> back in 2016 spencer came under fire for proposing a ban on burkas. >> thank you. thank you. >> dragon chopstick. >> he also convinced spencer to drop his pants saying terrorists could be scared of becoming gay. >> immediately after the show, spencer facing calls for resignation. the governor of georgia saying there is no excuse for this type of behavior ever. >> spencer apologized for some of his language saying they took advantage of my fears that i would be attacked. georgia law maker refusing to step down. later in the same show it was dick cheney's turn. culminating in cohen asking cheney to sign a water boarding kit. >> that's the first time i've
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ever signed. they valuable. >> there's been pushback to the lengths, lies, sort of m misrepresentation. >> some of the biggest has come from big names we haven't yet seen on the show. sar sarah palin. joe arpaio, we have reached out but they have not gotten back. >> thank you for standing up early for us. so we want to talk tariffs a bit. president this morning tweeting tariffs are the greatest. either a country gets treated unfairly or gets treated. we are the piggy bank being robbed. here's what house speaker paul ryan said moments ago. >> i don't think tariffs are the right answer. i don't support tariffs.
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i think they are taxes and there are better tools we can use to hold abusers of trade laws and people -- countries that perpetuate unfair trade practices. i think there are better tools to get them to play fairly. >> that brings us to today's sources say with ann in a aa an. >> i think republican and democratic operatives are trying to figure out what impact they will have on the election. one thing this he agree on are it's not helpful for republicans. they are worried people in agricultural industries are really worried that this is going to threaten their industry. that's kind of a given right now there's heightened concern about these trump voters. that being said, an open question is whether these trump-leaning voters give trump a chance to say, okay, i don't
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debr agree with it but maybe you're doing the right thing. worse case, they stay home. >> ana, your reporting is taking you on a different path. what are your sources saying? >> i think there's a lot of focus in the dome. >> in the dome. listen to you. lingo. >> thinking about what's going to be the future of house democratic leadership. publicly right now the number 4 spot is where everyone's focused. but behind the scenes, i'm talking about whether there's going to be a challenge at the top. there's a lot of conversations happening now and plotting about whether democrats take the majority or not. but there could be a challenge. >> why is there so much conversation about the number 4 slot? >> joe crowley just lost his primary. you have all of these members looking to get into leadership to say hey, i'm going to go for the position. >> even though jockeying against
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each other. >> right. than -- >> when are we going to see resolution? >> i wouldn't anticipate until after the election. even they there's a couple of weeks where you're going to have a lot of quiet conversations in the hallways. >> somebody listening to those conversations will be you. thank you for being on the show. always a pleasure. see you next week. we'll be right back. it's pretty amazing out there. the world is full of more possibilities than ever before. and american express has your back every step of the way-
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for today's big picture,
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heading overseas to the tour de france. check this out. a group stopping in the middle of the race holding their eyes, why not tears but tear gas. local farmers protesting, blocking the road. police were originally trying to clear them out but some of the gas accidentally hit some of the riders. whole thing came to a standstill. luckily it didn't keep them off the road for too long. overhere, would love to hear your thoughts. see you tonight on nbc nightly news. right now ali velshi and stephanie ruhle. good to see you. have a great rest. morning. catch up with you later. good morning everybody. >> it is tuesday, july 24, let's get started. >> not only is the president looking to take away brennan's
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security clearance, also looking into the clearance of comey, clapper, hayden, rice and mccape. they politicized and in some case mon aetize. being influenced by russia against the president is extremely inappropriate. >> do it for political reasons, that's i think that's a terrible preside precedent and commentary. >> i told the president in private what i've been say public. it's very dangerous. they might inadvertently revealed classified information. >> the question is is there any reason for former national security advisers to have clearances. and the answer to the question, i think you have found the answer to the question. >>

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