tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC November 25, 2019 7:00am-8:00am PST
>> thanks for watching. coming up right now, hallie jackson. >> steph, thank you so much. we are watching new fallout after a clash between the commander in chief and the former head of the navy. president trump hiring richard spencer overnight after twists and turns in the case of eddie gallagher. spencer firing off a scathing letter on his way out and gallagher has plenty to say. this morning new questions about the president's role in matters of military justice in a case that's exposing cracks in the president's relationship with the highest ranks in the military. we've got our nbc news team here with the latest on this developing story. courtney kube is posted up at the pentagon. i want to start with you. richard spencer seemed to take what you could call a parting shot on his way out the door. i want to read part of his resignation letter. he says unfortunately i no longer share the same understanding with the commander
in chief who appointed me in regards to the key principle of good order and disciplines. i cannot in good conscious follow an order that i believe doesn't support the constitution. that is written in respectful military speak but it is very clear that is a shot at president trump. what are you hearing this morning? >> it seems pretty clear that the reason that he put that in is that it was referring to the eddie gallagher case. so we had some reporting over the end that secretary spencer was very upset by president trump's tweet on thursday, in which he told the navy not to get involved any more with eddie gallagher, not to review his trident, which of course is the navy seal pin, the accreditation to become a navy seal. and secretary spencer made it very clear on thursday to the white house that a tweet is not an order, he needs a written order. and that if in fact he got that written order, he was likely to resign. he made that clear to a number of people on thursday and friday. well, some of his other pentagon
officials and military leaders stepped in to try to stop this. they talked to president trump on thursday night, again on friday. trying to convince him not to intervene. friday night when we left the pentagon it seemed pretty clear that the president had been convinced not to intervene in the case. so what happened between friday night and sunday afternoon when secretary spencer was fired by secretary esper, is the pentagon is saying that spencer was trying to negotiate some kind of a back-room deal with the white house, where the navy would go forward with the trident review process, but gallagher would be cleared and would not lose his trident. we don't know any more details than what the pentagon is officially saying about that, that there was some kind of a deal and that's why esper fired him. >> hans nichols over at the white house. we've been seeing reaction coming in this morning as this all went down, frankly in this sequence of events, starting with courtney's reporting. and senator gary peters, a member of armed services, was
out this morning on this network and i want to play for you what he had to say. >> to have the president then interject himself in what is a military justice issue and an issue that goes to the very core of the military, which is good order and discipline, is very troubling, and i'm concerned that it sets a very bad precedent for the future. >> what are you hearing from folks over at your end of the woods on pennsylvania avenue on criticism like this? >> reporter: you talk to people in the white house and you talk to the president's republican allies, they like the idea and think it's a political winner for the president of the united states to stand with a decorated war veteran, a navy seal, and wrap himself up in that story and try to protect him from what they see and are hinting at is over-zell is mother may i attitudes from the pentagon. so politically there's a view that it helps the president. to courtney's reporting in the longer term question of the relationship between the new pentagon chief, as well as the new chairman of the joint staff
and the white house, this is the fundamental dynamic that they need to be worried about at the pentagon. whatever they say publicly. and this is why you saw for example, secretary mattis, be so really reluctant to go before the cameras, to have any sort of discussion. because any time the pentagon gets out there publicly on a position, they're in danger of being undermined by tweet from the commander in chief. you saw that on a whole host of issues, whether it had to do with transgender or policies being announced, whether it had to do with afghanistan. there are a lot of serious issues that they're going to be dealing with here in the next 13 months leading up to. and the challenge for the pentagon is not to create any space between them and the commander in chief that they serve who can be pretty mercurial in the orders that he offers up. so the dynamics the same. it's just we're going to see to what extent esper are finessing the dynamic. because the previous defense secretary ran into some
headlines. >> thanks to the both of you. to pick up on this point, somebody who knows this job quite well, ray mavis who served as secretary of the navy under president obama. it's great to have you on set with us. thank you. you have some serious concerns about what went down. explain that. >> well, this just dishonors the military so much and it causes chaos and confusion. it undermines accountability, it undermines the rule of law. it undermines good order and discipline in the military. for a president to interject himself in the decision of who is qualified to wear a navy trident and who is qualified to serve in a military unit that the commander can't make that decision, or in this case that a group of seals, five seals, would be sitting in judgment on, can't do that. just undermines the whole chain of command, it undermines everything that the military has to have to be effective.
>> can i play devil's advocate? there is an argument that some say it doesn't matter how you feel, he is the commander in chief. he has the right to make the decisions given that he is a leader of the military in this country. >> absolutely, he's got the right. he's got the right to do a lot of things as president and as commander in chief. that doesn't mean he should do them. that doesn't mean that he isn't dishonoring the military by doing it. that doesn't mean that he is not causing just confusion and chaos in the ranks. and one of the things that -- i think there are two things that have been missing here. number one, gallagher's seal teammates were the ones that reported him. this was not somebody back at the pentagon, this was not somebody not with him in combat. these were his teammates. these were fellow seals that reported him. and the second thing is, how can
you go on television like he did yesterday, on fox and friends, when you're on active duty and trash your chain of command? >> for people who didn't see it, we have that and i want to play exactly what you're talking about. eddie gallagher on fox. >> this is all about ego and retaliation. this has nothing to do with good order and discipline. they could have taken any trident at any time they wanted. now they're trying to take it after the president restored my rank and after we just filed an ig exposing all of the corruption that's been going on during my case. >> you're stunned by this, it seems. >> yeah. here's somebody on active duty going on television and trashing the chain of command. just saying this isn't right. the message that it sends is you don't have to obey the chain of command. you don't have to obey orders. all you have to do is have the right connections. >> but gallagher's team is making sort of a different point. we sat down with his attorney
for an interview and i want to play for you a bit of what the attorney had to say about what the navy could be doing better here. i would like your response. >> eddie gallagher wishes that it had been handled better by the navy and we certainly hope that there will be some lessons learned out of this so that they can improve and not do this again. >> are there lessons to be learned here for the navy? >> now could the navy do this better? what they were going to do was send this to a board of seals to determine if gallagher was qualified to keep the trident. the navy has pulled 154 tridents, taken them away since 2011. this is a process that they do all the time. this is you earn that trident and it's one of the hardest things ever to earn. but you also have to earn it every day. >> before i let you go, you have been somebody who was in the position of secretary spencer.
would you have written the same kind of letter that he did if you had been in his shoes? >> well, secretary spencer's letter said all the right things. and it was also very noticeable that he said i acknowledge my termination. >> rather than i offer. >> not that i'm offering my resignation. >> it is great to have your perspective and expertise on the show. thank you for being with us. other news here in washington, it's not a holiday week but a workweek kicking off for house democrats. they are expected to huddle through thanksgiving on a report laying out their case so far on the impeachment inquiry. >> even as we compile this report, even as we submit evidence to the judiciary committee, we're going to continue the investigation. >> right now no public hearings scheduled for any time the rest of this year? >> we don't foreclose the possibility of others. >> garrett haake is on capitol hill. interesting they don't foreclose on the possibility. what we've heard from democrats is they're not going to let what they describe as white house
stonewalling with some of these witnesses stop them from moving forward. >> reporter: that's right. and a nightmare scenario for democrats is to get caught in a back and forth in the court system that might hold up testimony, hold up the impeachment process for weeks or months. they want to keep moving ahead as quickly as possible. but as we learned over the last two weeks, there is so much new evidence still coming forward, that's part of the reason democrats don't want to say absolutely not. but even as we're on what is largely a holiday week for many members back home in their districts, staff are still here working trying to put together a report, a combination of everything we have seen in the public hearings, the private depositions. there's actually two depositions still withstanding that we've not seen the transcripts from, which we could see as early as today. the staff members are starting to put this together, starting to work ahead, starting to present a paper case through the judiciary committee, which will then take up the baton after the thanksgiving break and start moving forward on their own process of drafting one or several articles of impeachment that could ultimately end up on
the house floor. >> garrett haake, live on the hill. lots going on for you this week. even though it is thanksgiving week, i appreciate it. we're going to stick with this. we have a member of congress joining us. we're also live on the trail with new msnbc reporting on the latest candidate to jump into the race. michael bloomberg's strategy to shake it up. and as i alluded to, the house judiciary committee might begin drafting articles of impeachment against the president. congressman steve cohen is on that committee and he's on the show right after the break. when, you spend less and get way more. so you can bring your vision to life and save in more ways than one. for small prices, you can build big dreams, spend less, get way more.
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impeachment, of course, is now in the hands of the house intelligence committee ready to move over to house judiciary committee and a democrat is joining us now, congressman steve cohen. it's great to have you back on the show. thank you. >> thank you, hallie. good to be with you and happy thanksgiving to you. >> you as well. and early happy turkey day. so house intelligence committee staffers are working on compiling a report that will be handed over to your committee. when do you expect to receive the report? are you thinking monday when you get back from the holiday? >> you know, i don't know. i think the answer is in a dictionary or in a jar somewhere, but nancy is the only one that has the key to the dictionary or the top of the jar and she hasn't informed us what's in it. >> you lost me on the mayo jar,
speaker pelosi reference. so you're saying you don't know is the answer. could it be a week, could it be three weeks? >> yeah, i think it's one of those things where it's sealed on an envelope. i don't know where it is. >> let's talk about preliminary discussions on your committee, something that you would know more about, congressman. what are you thinking as far as format? any potential hearings, witnesses you may call? how serious and in-depth have those discussions gotten on your committee? >> well, really chairman nadler i guess is talking to speaker pelosi and we've always -- when chairman nadler was the vice chair of the committee, ranking member of the committee during the clinton days, they did have a hearing on what is impeachment, what are the different things involved in impeachment. so that's something we probably ought to go into, kind of a background on the legal base and that's something we might do. and beyond that, i really don't know. and even that i'm not sure. but precedent said that would be
a logical thing to do. >> i'm sure you've seen the "washington post" this morning reporting that hundreds of documents collected as part of an internal white house review show extensive efforts to generate an after t fact justification for the decision to ultimately freeze the ukrainian military aid and a debate over whether the delay was legal. i wonder if you view this as essentially bolstering the democrats' case here that more documents could be relevant to your inquiry moving forward. how do you see it? >> there's more documents that are necessary. apparently the parnas guy, giuliani's pal from the ukraine, has got some recordings and things that he's given over to adam schiff. there's lots of material out there. and i think it will all show what they've been trying to cover up. to me, just on first blush, it looks like obstruction of justice. when you go back and you try to reconstruct a rationale to what was -- we believe an illegal, impeachable act and it seems
like mulvaney in trying to get that answer and say how can we justify this, must be thinking it was an illegal impeachable act. they had learned apparently through the intelligence that there had been a report filed of an issue with this and they knew it was going to become public and that's why they tried to cover their tracks. that seems to me to be obstruction of justice. so they might have just -- they continually get themselves in problems. maureen dowd talked about him being the whale and he's killing himself. he's ahab and the whale. >> devin nunes, as you know, the top republican on the house intelligence committee is now facing questions himself as reported by cnn as to whether or not he met with ukraine's former prosecutor in order to investigate the bidens. congress nunes was asked about this this weekend and i want to play you that exchange. >> bottom line, were you in vienna with shokin? >> so look, maria, i really want
to answer all of these questions, and i promise you i absolutely will come back on the show and answer these questions. >> the congressman not, of course, addressing this directly, congressman. do you feel like he has more questions to answer here? do you want to know more or are you satisfied with what he has said so far? >> well, i think the house ethics committee apparently is going to look into it. i've been on house ethics in the past. they don't look into things unless there's some probable cause or reason to look at it. he also went on -- i think i read on the fox show, it said 90% of the press was rotten and corrupt or something. i mean, that's just -- we've gotten into an age -- or part of our country's history that's scary. we have people in leadership making statements like that that 90% of the press is illegal -- or corrupt. and then the firing of the navy secretary because he stood up for order and discipline.
these are all the signs of a fascist authoritarian government where nobody can do anything that the boss doesn't like and the boss fires you left and right. and it's not reality tv. somebody needs to come to the rescue. i don't know if it's takes two and come back strong, fair and young, where are you. but there's something going wrong in washington. >> i want to quickly get you on the subpoena that your committee has issued to don mcgahn. we understand we're looking at a potential ruling today on whether or not the former white house counsel will have to testify. if he does, can you talk about how that fits into the ongoing impeachment process, whether you think this adds any kind of article to potential impeachment proceedings if it relates to the mueller investigation? just talk through some of your thinking on that. >> if mcgahn testifies as he did in his mueller depositions or mueller testimony, it will prove
that there was obstruction of justice as was laid out in the mueller report when the president tried to get mcgahn to take action, to either get sessions -- i forget if he was trying to get sessions to unrecuse himself or fire mueller or get sessions to fire mueller, but it was obstruction. >> should that get added then? do you believe that should be an article that gets added to what your committee is going to work on related to the impeachment proceedings? >> it's certainly something for speaker pelosi and chairman nadler to consider and they will make those decisions. you must not -- i know, hallie, you're too young to remember carnac and johnny carson? >> i know my johnny carson history a little bit. i will brush up on it if you're going to talk about it here. >> the answers were in a sealed jar of mayonnaise or something like that. >> i will admit when something goes over my head. congressman steve cohen, we'll
play that clip later on. appreciate it. enjoy your holiday. coming up, michael bloomberg may being his first campaign stop as a presidential candidate in just a few hours. we're talking about somebody who is by his side about how she thinks he could impact the 2020 race. take a look at the celebrations here. pro-democracy activists scoring huge victories in hong kong right here after months of protests. their candidates boosted by record turnouts, sweeping local elections seen as a barometer of public support of the demonstrations. the election might ramp up the pressure on the government by showing that hong kong is looking for change. (vo) the flock blindly falls into formation.
michael bloomberg making his debut on the campaign trail today as an official presidential candidate and in just a few hours, he'll kick it off with two stops in virginia after ending months of the will he or won't he back and forth about jumping in. and he is jumping right into money piles. tons of cash, propelling the biggest ad buy ever in campaign history. you're looking at a $35 million
in a -- well, media blitz is understating it. call it a media bombardment. >> mike is running for president to beat trump and have the wealthy pay their fair share, to build an economy that works for everyone. >> nbc news road warrior ali vitali is in virginia for us. what are you expecting from him today in the sort of first official campaign rallies? >> reporter: you've got a good old-fashioned campaign kickoff because he's officially running and getting out on the campaign trail. we're going to get a little bit of a retail politics stop followed by some prepared, so all of that is coming this afternoon. in virginia we were just talking about the gains that democrats made in the legislature flipping it from red to blue for the first time in a generation. that's something that bloomberg is here to highlight. his team tells me they want to remind people that he's been involved in races like these across the country. he pumped some money into
supporting some of the candidates at play here. and i think that largely is messaging here is he's in virginia to remind of that, but michael bloomberg is someone who has been putting his money into democratic causes for a while now. climate change and gun control just off the top of my head. so really his candidacy is going to be a message about i've done this on the issue and in the local communities. i want to bring in large in the name of beating president donald trump. but there's one thing that the bloomberg candidacy has that i'm looking for now that he's officially in. for all of the democratic candidates running for president, beating trump is the foundation for all of them. but a lot of these other candidates are beat trump and candidates. what i mean by that is elizabeth warren is, yeah, i want to beat trump, but big structural change. for someone like bloomberg is biden, beating trump is the central foundation. even the campaign manager was saying that he thinks that voters want someone who can beat trump first and policy second.
i've met those voters, but as many that say policy also matters to them. so it's going to be interesting to see how voters react and if he can thread that needle. >> the events are coming up today later in virginia. somebody who has worked closely with and knows mayor bloomberg quite well. served as city council speaker while bloomberg was mayor. he is now the vice chair of the new york state democratic party. thank you for being with us. >> sure, call me chris, please. >> have you spoken with mayor bloomberg since he officially jumped into the race idea? what is your sense of his planned strategy of action over the next couple of days? >> we have not spoken. he has a country full of people he needs to speak to. you know, look, what he's doing, which is maybe not too different from mike bloomberg in general, is something unorthodox. he's entered this field, by all usual takes, very late. and he's missing iowa, new
hampshire, south carolina. so the initial biggies. so the question here is, can the amount of money and the message he has make it okay to enter this late? now, as you said, there was a tv bombardment. i saw the ad three times in manhattan before i left the house this morning. soy think we need a bigger word than bombardment. so the question will be will this amount of money and his message be enough to balance out entering so late. and i think only time will tell about that. i know we have $37 million out there now to do the ad by. there's some conversation saying that's not enough. one week of a blitz, bombardment, may not be sustaining and it will be interesting to see what their next move is. >> especially because it sounds like he's not going to be able to participate in the debates, because he's not going to accept campaign contributions, which is
one of the things. so you mentioned the bombardment is not good enough of a word, something that he's doing on tv. all of this money into ad buys. there has been some criticism about the money that he's planning to spend here. do you think he could use his fortune elsewhere better to help the causes he supports? is there a better way to spend the cash? >> i think the answer to that in a lot of ways is yes. i mean, as a democrat, as a partisan, as the vice chair of new york state party, i don't want more people entering the race. i don't want mike bloomberg, i don't want governor duval to enter the race. i want people to be narrowing and focusing and affirming the quality of the great field we have. so when you look at it that way, i say yes. but i also think we need to be very fair to mike bloomberg that he has spent much of his fortune, much on great causes, from guns to climate change, to health care. really the decrease in smoking
worldwide. he's been the driving force of that. so i think, yes, but you cannot take away the targeted really strategic generosity that he's brought to the country and the world. >> that's fair. conventional wisdom has it that he's kind of playing in the same lane here as the former vice president joe biden, as pete buttigieg, that more moderate lane. some of the progressives are going after him pretty hard frankly for his money. i want to play a little we've heard so far. check this out. >> we do not believe that billionaires have the right to buy elections. >> i do know this. and that is elections should not be for sale. not to billionaires, not to corporate executives. >> how big of a threat do you think mike bloomberg is to those candidates? >> pardon me. >> how big of a threat do you think he is to the candidates? >> i think with the amount of
money he has, he's a threat to everyone, maybe, and maybe a threat to no one because he's entered so late. i don't know the answer to that question right now. i don't know that anybody does. i think he's probably the least threatening to warren and bernie sanders, because as your reporter said before, their get trump plus policy wing of the party and their voters i think are going to be offput in a lot of ways at first blush with mike bloomberg because he is spending all of his billionaire money on this, and that can be seen as trying to buy an election. and i think that's hard understandably for a lot of people to digest. i think if you're joe biden, if you're mayor pete, if you're amy klobuchar, he is a threat to you. >> chris, real quick before i let you go. do you personally think he would be a good president? would you endorse mayor bloomberg? this race? >> i'm not endorsing anybody in the democratic primary at this point. every single solitary democrat,
except for tulsi gabbard -- well, she's just a whole different situation. but basically anyone running for president in the democratic primary right now would far surpass donald trump, there's no question. >> and you worked with mayor bloomberg. >> we did. >> would he be a good president? do you think he could do it? >> i think that's a big question. he had a lot of pluses as mayor and i was lucky to work with him on those. but he had minuses. i know he's already addressing those in a full-throated way, like stop and frisk. but is an apology at this point when you're running for president enough? and it's a question of how does he stack up in the field, not just in what he did as mayor, but his experience compared to other candidates. >> interesting answer, christine quinn. thank you for being with us. i appreciate your perspective. thank you. we've got a lot more to get to. including a federal judge set to
rule today on whether the former white house council don mcgahn has to testified under subpoena to congress. but it may not be the game-changer some are setting it up to be. we're going to explain why. first, george papadopoulos is running for congress. he filed the run last month but he announced it this morning on cable news. he's running in california's 25th district. the seat now vacant after katie hill resigned. last year he was sentenced to two weeks in federal prison after pleading guilty to lying to the fbi. slow turkey. along with support, chantix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting. chantix reduces the urge so when the day arrives, you'll be more ready to kiss cigarettes goodbye. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix,
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otezla. show more of you. >> lindsey is about to go down in a way that i think he's going to regret his whole life. >> i hope there's nothing there. i like joe biden. i like him a lot. i think he's a fine man. but we're not going to live in a country where just one party gets investigated. >> that was lindsay graham just within the last few minutes. the first time we're hearing from him since joe biden unloaded over the weekend on graham for ramping up efforts of making the bidens a focus of the impeachment proceedings. we're also watching today for a court ruling that might have big implications for the impeachment proceedings. a judge is set to decide whether former white house council don mcgahn must testify. the court battle started after
he defied a subpoena months ago on about russia. but now house democrats are eyeing this as a possible game-changer for the impeachment inquiry now given subpoenas for testimony from other administration officials are currently in question. i want to bring in chuck rosenberg, former fbi chief of staff who is now a msnbc contributor. any signal from the judge? >> she's expressed some skepticism at the hearing so i imagine she's going to rule that this thing they're asserting, absolutely immunity, that the witness doesn't have to show up at all, isn't going to fly. >> if she does end up ruling in favor of house democrats, can it be appealed? >> it sure can be appealed. can i back up a little bit? i think sometimes we tend to conflate the two things that are at issue. there's a thing called absolute immunity, meaning you don't even have to go to court. you're immune from testifying. and then a second thing, executive privilege. you do have to go to court.
>> but you don't have to tell me anything? >> you can still assert the privilege and not answer certain questions. the issue before the judge is absolutely immunity, whether you have to show up at all. so i imagine she's going to rule that this absolute immunity thing is not a thing and that the witness has to go testify. >> but then could executive privilege still be something that mcgahn invokes? >> but then mcgahn could invoke executive privilege and that would preclude him from answering certain questions. >> pull back and answer a question that we sort of set up in our introduction, the idea that maybe it could be a game-changer in the eyes of some. really? because this is something -- you know, somewhat separate from the current impeachment proceedings. do you think it's overblown to try to tie these things too closely? >> maybe it could be. but game-changer is a big word. it might be if the judge issues a strong ruling that absolutely immunity is not a really thing and that's my gut, it's not a real thing. that others will take some sus stenance from that and we may go testify.
of course she could stay her ruling while it's appealed. it could be appealed and that would take months to resolve. and so i'm curious to exactly how she writes the opinion, and whether other people reading it will go and testify even if it's appealed. >> so i want to draw that out for a minute because there are a number of other former and current trump administration officials who are currently not obeying subpoenas from house democrats. some of them have said the white house told me not to go. i'm caught between a rock and a hard place. >> which is not a crazy argument, by the way. >> so do you think, depending on how this ruling goes today, those other officials could infer something, that this could put pressure on them one way or the other from their legal team with their situation? >> so if the judge rules as i expect, that absolute immunity doesn't apply, that you can't assert that -- >> you can't just say i'm not going to show up? >> it may cause some to go and testify. but there is still the executive privilege issue that hangs over their testimony. that doesn't belong to the
witness. that belongs to the president. and so if the president asserts executive privilege over portions of their testimony, we still may not get everything we want. >> chuck rosenberg, we're watching for that later today. >> supposedly later today. >> it's always great to have you on. thank you very much. newly released state department documents show just how involved secretary mike pompeo was in talks about ukraine. we are talking about the leader of the organization that obtained those never before seen documents about what this all means for mike pompeo. first, another secretary in the spotlight this morning. have you seen this? going a little bit viral. the outgoing energy secretary rick perry saying this to fox news over the weekend about president trump. >> i said, mr. president, i know there are people that say, you know, you said you were the chosen one, and i said you were. i said if you're a believing christian, you understand god's plan. of an outdoor grill indoors, and because it's a ninja foodi, it can do even more,
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group, american oversight is now publishing nearly 100 pages of state department documents obtained from a public records request. they may it shows a clear paper trail between rudy giuliani, president trump and mike pompeo. here's a glance at some of it showing a couple of calls between the secretary and rudy giuliani. the president's personal attorney back in march. that's about a month before the former ukrainian ambassador marie yovanovitch was called back to the u.s. and removed from her post. no response from the state department just yet, but we are here with founder and executive director of american oversight. before starting that, he was a senior counsel at the state department in the obama administration. great to have you with us, austin. we just went through a couple of weeks of public impeachment hearings and didn't see any of this. how did your group get these records after all of that? >> i wish it wasn't so simple. we filed an open records request and we filed a lawsuit to enforce it. as it turns out, there's no legal basis to keep these documents from the american people. and to us that tells us that withholding it from congress
amounts to obstruction. >> how does this information advance what we know about secretary of state mike pompeo's role in everything relaltd to ukraine? >> we already knew that he had been in touch with giuliani. giuliani has bragged about it. what we didn't know is that giuliani had to rely on the power of the oval office to get a phone call. so this ties pompeo's role back to the white house. and any effort by pompeo, the president to back off the smear campaign against the u.s. ambassador, we have the black and white evidence showing that they were involved. and this is just the first disclosure. we have multiple lawsuits across the federal government to keep pushing documents out. and while we know a lot about impeachment already, i think the paper trail is just going to get worse. >> republicans may look at this and say this is not the smoking gun that you think it is. it's the president's prerogative to do what he wants with his foreign this think the smoking you think it is. this is his policy to do with what he wants overseas, right? >> ambassador said it well, he
has the ability to put in who he wants. he has the power, it was just gross. here's the paper trail. >> you referenced you had irons in the fire as related to the trump administration i'm wondering if that has anything to do with what "the washington post" reported and "the new york times." the emails showing the extended effort they say to justify the president's decision to block the military aid documents in the internal review. what's the status of that? >> sounds like american oversight had the same idea as white house counsel did. they're apparently worried about communications between agencies covered by open records laws. we have filed a lawsuit to get those documents so when we read those documents from the post identifying post-hoc -- >> meaning after the fact? >> ever the fact. we looked at our lawsuits and said they have a deadline coming up pep they have to start about omb documents. >> this friday? >> this friday. >> you expect to know something
more maybe this friday or the week after, is that fair? >> we need to start pressing our case. >> how long will that take? >>le with this administration it's hard to say. the beauty of the open records regime, a federal judge can stand up for the rule of law. a judge recognized, a, they were critically important, and b, they are yet to come out. >> do you have your hands on the documents yet? >> we don't. >> the next is omb review? >> omb, we filed a lawsuit about the doj today. >> thank you for being with us. we've got breaking news to get to. an update on the controversial firing of navy secretary richard spencer. after everything that went down in the eddie gallagher case. our courtney kube just spoke with them. you can tell us about the conversation? >> he spoke extensively about how this all went down.
he said he found out friday afternoon after a meeting at the white house which we reported on over the weekend where he -- secretary esper and general mark mullen the general of joint chiefs spoke to the president specifically about the eddie gallagher case and other cases, mcelstein and lawrence. we found apparently when they walked out of that meeting, another white house official pulled them aside and said, hey, you should know they're brok brokering a secret proposal for eddie gallagher to keep this trident pin. he laid out a list of values that he said secretary spencer was defying. he said he's not supposed to discuss sensitive conversations he's supposed to keep his chain of command informed on decisions. after that, on sat, the secretary called president trump and said i'm going to ask for the navy secretary's
resignation, president trump agreed. on sunday afternoon, secretary esper called spencer and asked for his resignation. he took it in stride. hoped to have it in 30 minutes. we've all seen that resignation letter, it doesn't seem like it was written in 30 minutes. he confirmed that secretary spencer called him or told him he was considering or likely to resign if the whole eddie gallagher case, if the fred interfered with it. >> that confirmed the reporting you had last week, right? >> it does. it confirmed the reporting we had saturday that spengtser flatly denied in hala fast over the weekend. the other thing that he said was interesting, the story is so confusing. here we have secretary spencer saying he would resign over a decision. but then he tried to broker the deal. >> right. >> with the same decision, that then he got fired over. so, what we did find out that in
fact president trump is the one who ordered the defense secretary to allow eddie gallagher to keep his trident pin. we know president trump got what he wanted. eddie gallagher kept his trident pin and sector spencer was forced to resign/fired over it. >> did the secretary have any reaction to the tone of that letter, from secretary spencer the way that frankly spencer as we talked about directly in the show seemed to take direct aim at the commander in chief? >> he took issue at the reporting which is that secretary spencer was resigning over the eddie gallagher case specifically. but there's a passage in the resignation letter that specifically addresses the eddie gallagher case. we haven't heard from spencer he's not putting out any statement beyond this. but secretary esper when asked, he said he didn't want to
characterize spencer's thoughts or motivations pbut he was very clear about the fact he was the one asking for his resignation because he felt that spencer went outside of his chain of command, blind sided both the defense secretary and chairman of the chiefs by trying to broker this proposal. >> this is incredible reporting, courtney. really quickly, though what happens next? who today is functionally in charge of the navy and what is the process moving forward? >> that's another thing fascinating. deputy secretary modeley is in charge now. as part of statement when secretary esper the defense secretary said that he had asked for the resignation of his navy secretary he named his recommendation to replace him. that's really uncommon. usually that is the defense secretary, the pentagon will put the recommendation up to the white house. the white house will have an opportunity to then say that is their nominee.
president trump has tweeted saying this retired admiral is going to be -- endorsed for the job. >> he's the guy, yeah. >> but to name him. if you look at the time line of events on sunday. we have the defense secretary asking for spencer's resignation. 30 minutes later, he gets the letter. and then about 30 minutes after that, we have a statement that names the presumed nominee, to replace him. that's really quick. clearly, it was in his thought. you know, ken bracelet, many of us know him. he's a retired admiral. he was part of the trump transition team. these known for the trump white house and the pentagon. >> courtney kube, great work. you'll write this up for msnbc.com. we'll post that link. thank you, courtney. we're getting a look now live with what our sources are saying, nbc's vaughn hillyard is dubuque, iowa.
following pete buttigieg. this is specific timing of a stop for buttigieg, right? >> reporter: yeah, he's starting a two-day swing, seven stops across western iowa. hal hallie, this is the first stop, in a town of 5400, he's got four stops on the day. to know, you look at the entire field. everybody is all in on iowa because they need to leave iowa with relevancy. the one candidate, though, who has to look beyond is pete buttigieg. talking to the campaign this morning there's a realization that pete buttigieg has established himself as a front-runner here in iowa. at the same time, when you look at polling particularly in places like south carolina, common communities of color, he has quite dismal numbers. there was a poll out of south carolina last week that showed him at zero percent support among black voters. this sunday, he'll be heading to north carolina he'll be
attending a church service where reverend william barber, the poor people's campaign, is the pastor. and then heading to south carolina before heading down to alabama which is a super tuesday state on march 3rd, hali. >> vaughn hillyahillyard. it's beginning to look a lot like christmas. the national capitol christmas tree subpoena. it's arriving on the hill. it's not up yet. it's on the bed of a flatbed. it took three weeks to make the 2,000-mile trek from carson national forest in new mexico right here. you'll see it up december 4th in a ceremony that started 55 years ago. happy thanksgiving, gang. craig melvin that does it for me. i'm going to spend my holiday watching a lot of old johnny carson episodes as i don't continue to humiliate myself on television. >> i myself that. >> in a jar, a hermetically sealed thing.
we're working on it. >> good to see you, hallie jackson. craig melvin here. msnbc headquarters in new york city. and it is a very busy day from the kickoff to a holiday week. the president of the united states taking on the u.s. navy. he just fired the man in charge, the navy secretary has fired back. i'll talk to a four-star admiral and former supreme admiral commander of nato for what it means for the military. plus, the gop's big defense, one of the president's top allies senator lindsey graham laid out his plan to navigate this impeachment process. and some reported new emails show how the white house scrambled to come up with a plan after the fact to justify withholding military aid from ukraine. but first in just a few hours, former new york city michael bloomberg will get a real taste of what it means to run for president. it will be his first campaign stop since he made it official.