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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  March 27, 2017 8:00pm-8:31pm PDT

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away from the russia investigation after a powerful revelation about where he got the information he shared with the president. also tonight, the president's son-in-law expanding his portfolio as he prepares to face questions about his own ties to russia. why we haven't heard a lot from the president about his poll numbers of late. the 11th hour begins right now. good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york. this was day 67, and as we begin week ten of the trump administration, it remains the only presidency to be operating under the specter of russian influence. we know there was overt russian interference in our election, and that's a first as well. as for the covert, that's the focus of several investigations, including the house intelligence committee. it was an eyebrow raiser, to be candid, when people learned the
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committee chairman was a former member of the trump transition team. et cetera a now become more than that with the revelation that devin nunes of california apparently viewed intelligence on white house grounds, and then shared intelligence with the president in the space of 48 hours. now the ranking democrat on the committee says it's time fortune in yes, sir to remove himself from this investigation. >> i think it would be worthwhile for the chairman to recuse himself from any investigation involving either the trump campaign or the trump transition. he was a key member of the trump transition team. i think that presents an inherent conflict. in the interests of enhancing the public correct credibility in the investigation that we do, i think it would be in the best interests of the chairman to step aside at least as far as this investigation is concerned. >> what changed in this story since last we, the reason so many people now want nunes to go or at least step aside is this
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revelation that the day before he shared intelligence with the president he went to the white house complex himself to view intelligence not available to congress. >> chairman acknowledged today that he had received the information at the white house or on the white house grounds, that he later returned to the white house. in my view, there is not legitimate reason to withhold that from the committee. that is charged with the responsibility of overseeing these issues. there is nothing normal about what has taken place over the last week. it's certainly not normal to go and receive information that as the chairman of a committee you can share with your own committee members but you go and share with the president particularly if the investigation involves associates of the president. as far as i know none of the committee members have seen it. it's not just an unwillingness to share with the democrats. none of the republicans nor democrats have seen the information he was referring to.
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>> according to the "washington post" after taking a brief phone call congressman nunes swapped cars and slipped away from his staff, congressional officials said. the post goes on to report it's in that stretch of time when the chairman appears to have reviewed the classified intelligence files, files that were brought to his attention by sources he will not name. chairman nunes n an interview on cnn today, defended his actions. >> i have read a lot of reports that aren't true, number one -- >> tell us what is true? number one, i wasn't sneaking on. it wasn't at night. it was in the middle -- you know, the sun was out. and i actually stopped and talked to several people along the way. all the reports i saw had nothing to do with russia, which is why i thought it was completely appropriate for me to, the next day, to go and talk to the president about this and why i thought it was -- why i thought this needed his attention. >> nunes further told bloomberg vioday his source was an
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intelligence officials, not a white house staffer. more o that later. nbc news has confirmed that aspect. while on white house grounds, chairman nunes used what's known as a skif. we might as well learn this term of art now. it is an acronym for sensitive compartmented information fit. it means a heavily insulated room arc sealed room, sometimes the size of shipping containers, sometimes portable, sometimes not. the rooms guard against any kind of outside surveillance when secrets are being viewed or discussed inside. their scifs in washington at the white house, on capitol hill, at the state department, at the pentagon. during today's briefing press secretary vane spicer was looking about the scif that nunes went in on white house grounds. >> to get access to a scif i
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believe that requires cooperation from the executive branch because there are intelligence places on capitol hill that are secure where this meeting could have taken place. so it appears there was some degr degree of cooperation. >> i will be glad to take a look at that and figure out whether or not that is an accurate statement or not. >> can you say factually, absolutely flatly, that it is not possible that chairman nunes came to brief the president on something that he obtained from the white house or the administration? >> i can't 100% that i know anything what he briefed him on. >> it's possible? as far as you know right now it's possible. >> anything's possible. >> just tonight, the president has once again taken to twitter, saying in effect there is nothing to see here on the subject of russia. quote, why isn't the house intelligence committee looking into the bill and hillary deal that allowed big uranium to go
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to russia? russian speech money to bill? the hillary/russian reset. praise of russia by hillary? or body sta russian -- pour testa russia -- jeremy bash former chief counsel to the house intelligence committee. and here in new york, nbc's tateth katie tur who has of course covered donald trump from the beginning of his campaign. and we are pleased to welcome back to this table "washington post" correspondent phillip bump. jeremy, your past in the efemme re of skull duggery requires that we begin with you. when you learned that the chairman of the committee went to use the scif, the sound-proof room -- and let's call it on the white house complex. it means the executive office of the president. you can be a de facto white house aide and not have an
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office in the white house. you are instead next door at the old executive office building. it's referred to as the 18 acres. so he entered the 18 acres to listen to or see or get briefed on this intel. what does that fact tell you about what the intel might be? >> couple things, brian. first of all, he cannot get onto the white house grounds without a white house staffer calling his name forward to the secret service, and then saying that he's allowed to be there and then actually taking him inside. >> you have to be cleared in at the gate? >> yes, that's first and foremost. second of all, he would have to get into the office room, the office inside the eisenhower executive building, the eeob, which is adjacent to the white house, where most of the national security staff work from. he would have to go into those offices, they have lock on the door and seifer look and you
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have to park your cell phone in a box when you enter that room. he would have to have a white house stafferings with a white house badge, walk him down the hall in the eeob into that room. and third to get onto a computer in the white house you need to have a login and a password in a only a white house staffer has. i can count at least three instances why which a white house staffer would have to facilitate chairman nunes's access to classified intelligence on the white house grounds. >> is it enough to say this intelligence originated from the executive branch? how could they be in receipt of it? how could that be the kind of regional viewing or listening center for a committee chairman from congress -- and of course not just any committee? >> here's what i think probably happened. and he said -- he said that his source was not a white house staffer. i think what likely happened was
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that the person inside the intelligence community sent the documents to a white house staffer who chairman nunes either has worked with in the past or currently works with. and that staffer facilitated chairman nunes reviewing that material in the white house complex. so his source technically was not a white house staffer, the white house staffer was providing the access. that tells me importantly that the white house staff was witting this communication in fact facilitated it even though the original source may have been someone else inside the committee. >> philip, it's one thing when schumer gets up at a microphone, member of the house love hearing from the senate minority leader what they should do with committee chairs. it's one thing for him and other democrats to call fortune in yes, sir to move aside. it's another thing for -- it adds to the list of distractions. it adds to the list of things we're not talking about. >> right. yeah, i mean, the absolute best case scenario here for donald
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trump is that chairman nunes handled this extremely badly and raised questions that didn't need to be raised about the way he was handling an investigation into the president. that's the best case scenario that that dye has been cast, nunes tainted this investigation that he looked at the information and shared it with him and the press before going to anybody on the committee. that's the best case scenario. we don't know what the intelligence is. the member of the committee themselves didn't see before members of the press heard about it. >> they may see it tomorrow. >> may see it tomorrow. we around sure what the implications are. at the very least we can say it is been handled badly. if you are donald trump, republican lead you would want to move past this, you would want to have someone take charge of an investigation which could clear the president outside the specter of has this been
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tainted? >> katy tur, i would say you are a coner is of the twitter feed at this point in the game. here's the president on twitter tonight saying the russia story is a hoax. this afternoon from the podium in the west wing briefing room his spokesman sean spieser reminded the press corps and the audience watching that the white house was part of the group asking for this to be investigated. we've already had a verdict delivered from the boss. >> it is a bit of a -- they are trying to muddy the waters, and donald trump is doing what he does so often, which is distract. everything that happened today in terms of donald trump's twitter, to say the least, could be put under the banner of distraction, look over here, don't mind what's going on in the house intelligence committee. it is a bit of a revisionist history for sean spicer to come out and say that we asked the house intelligence committee and the senate intelligence committee to look into this. they asked them to look into the
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claims of wiretapping of trump tower, which is a definitive claim that donald trump made on twitter to find evidence of that and nobody has found evidence of that. this is a separate matter. and this is -- what it looks like, devin nunes coming out, bending over backwards to try and give trump some cover for his initial allegation, which was that president obama wiretapped trump tower. >> jeremy, couldn't it be that if nunes had said to schiff, the ranking democrat, hop in the car with me, a friend at has some thing he thinks we should see, instead of this several day cycle now. >> schiff would have said, tell them to bring it here. you are the chairman, i am the ranking member of the house permanent seth on intelligence. we get briefed by the executive branch. we don't go down there and find out what they know on bended
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knee. they come to us and give us investigation. we are investigating. that's the way it should have been been handle. brian, the real story, the real issue is not so much about the midnight run by the chairman onto the white house grounds. it's really that they wanted to cancel the hearing this week. the hearing was going to hear from sally yates, the former acting attorney general. i'm told she had some very interesting things to tell the committee, to tell the public, about when she told the white house counsel that mike flynn had in fact being lying to the vice president. and she was only going to be able to speak those things in context of a congressional hearing. so the white house and the chairman needed to shut her down. this was an elaborately choreographed gag order on sally yates. >> philip to our point, the president while he can't end this in a day he can certainly alter all these newscals by saying there is something weird here. i'm going to throw oup open my
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books, my west wing, anybody who ever worked for me, have at it. i'm anxious to find out about this as you are. >> if there arequestions, most politicians would say yes i am an open book, let's figure this thing out. obviously if there are things to be discovered, they may regret it. but donald trump's m.o. has been not only to break with how traditional politics is done but it's been to double down on claims and make false claims on twitter and make false claims in public in order to object few skate things. >> his default position is defensive. >> that's correct. >> on that note our friends on the panel will be staying with us this evening. our first break. coming u.n. up, jared kushner taking on new responsibilities just prior to answering some sensitive questions about his meetings with -- you've got it -- russians. this is the 11th hour. where's frank? it's league night!
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jared get up here. jared is a very successful developer, and he just loves politics now. jared is a great young man, went to harvard, very smart. great, doing a fantastic job in business. he's in the real estate business. done an amazing job. in his own right, just incredible. jared is a very successful man from new york. he's done a fantastic job. creates a lot of housing for people, and real estate. jared is a very, very successful real estate entrepreneur in manhattan, but he likes this better than real estate, i think. >> welcome back to "the 11th hour," a mystery to most people, the president has given his
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son-in-law turned white house staffer jared kushner a very big to do list that includes but is not limited to driving foreign policy, helping to drive domestic policy, personnel, and serving as lead adviser on relations with china mexico canada and the middle east. today his list got longer. the white house announced the office of the american innovation. stated goal, streamlining american bure yost accuracy. its leader, jared kushner. but the headline tonight is that he will appear before the senate intelligence committee as part of that committee's investigation into russia that comes with the discovery that rushner, who met with russia's ambassador during the transition period also met with a man named sergei garkov, the head of a state owned russian bank, a bank that was sanctioned by the u.s. after moscow's invasion of
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crimea. here to talk about that, katy tur remains with us. also joining us, andrew rice who wrote the definitive article on jared kushner. andrew, that's where we'll start. when you meet someone who knows your work knows your subject matter, when they ask, because he is suddenly an important national figure whose fault is not that he has no experience governing, who is jared kushner? >> he is somebody who is fiercely loyal to the president. his ethic even before any this happened was family first. you know, it's what he always said. and i think that means, you know, that he is somebody who is just there to do the will of donald trump. >> and beyond th, the business experience we hear the president touting. were you in your report able to
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glean anything about its transfer nlt into this unwieldy position, being in the west wing of any white house is an other worldly experience? >> i mean, jared is very much like sort of part of this cad ray of young businessmen in manhattan highly influenced by silicon valley. his brother in fact is a venture capitalist, quite a successful one, actually. so bringing these ideas of innovation, disruption into the public sphere is something that he has talked a lot about doing. of course, the transferability of that is a big question. i mean, i think i saw in the "washington post" today, a you know reference to however many rounds reinventing government we have had since al gore smashed the ash tray with the hammer. and i don't think government has gotten substantially reinvented in that time. it is a big question whether jared can pull it off. >> katy tur we have what's called the shiny object rule around here.
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>> i was going to say that. look at the timing. today in the morning we learned that jared kushner is volunteering according to the white house to testify in front of the senate intelligence committee. we also learned in the same article that he is getting a new title. this is an attempt by the whi house it sms very clearly to distract againrom what is essentially a pretty negative headline, donald trump's son-in-law, his senior adviser has to go in front of the senate intelligence committee to air out his meetings with the russians. it's just another -- another bit of smoke in an already very cloudy atmosphere. what is really notable is not just that he had a meeting with sergey kislyak with mike flynn. we all knew about that. but there was another meeting that was disclosed today between him and the leader of a state controlled russian bank. this is a bank that was under american sanctions after russia's incursion into ukraine. the trump white house says that
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kushner met with him as a member of the transition team. he met with him as a businessman representing kushner companies. there is another -- there is more incongruity there. what actually were they talking about? were they talking about sanctions, potentially lifting them, so that there could be an investment in say i don't know, one of jared kushner's very prominent properties. >> jared kushner went to harvard. i did not. is it possible he didn't know russia was a thing or going to be a thing and he accepted a meeting with the russian banker? >> during this transition period which happened to be the time i was reporting intensively this profile, jared was very much -- donald trump was elected and he didn't have like a shadow cabinet full of foreign policy egrandees that had been in think tanks preparing the way. he had jared kushner basically doing everything.
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it wasn't really a surprise that he met with the russian ambassador. i think that that's something that often happens in transitions. the news about this bank, i guess, obviously s something that needs more explanation. that's what the senate is going to ask him abt. >> there was already certainly a lot questio about what the relationship wasetween the trump campaign and russia at this time. so the meeting was going to be notable regardless. and the fact that it was found out made it ever more notable. it just adds -- again, i keep saying this, we all keep saying this over and over again, it adds smoke to a very toxic atmosphere. >> i was going to say just as a viewer's guide if anybody thinks this coverage is intrusive, jared kushner is now a public servant. and we are all -- as i always say about government, we are both customers and the bosses at this large company we call the federal government. are there forces within the kushner camp that are really pushing out this narrative that if you hold the calendar up
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against a calendar of white house disasters, the demonstratality is that kushner is out of town or observing shabatt and can't be of use? there is a certain am of actual probably literally truth to that i think that some of the especially early missteps that happened happened at times when jared wasn't around because he is a very observant jew. from friday evening until all day sunday he is not around. that happened to be when the executive order on immigration came down. from everything that i know, you know, he is something of a steadying force on president trump. that said, you know, i think he -- at this point he fully owns everything that the administration has done. his fingerprints are on everything. he actually literally shares an office with steve bannon. there is not really daylight between the two of them.
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they may disagree eye delogically on some things, jared is a little bit more centrist, but as far as their agenda, advancing the president they are sort of in lock step. >> what an interesting office and daytime wanter that must be. thank you very much for stopping by to help explain. andrew rice, we appreciate your time tonight. another break for us. coming up, a new low in the polls, and an embarrassing defeat for the president. what's next? some much-needed perspective after two difficult months for the new administration when "the 11th hour" continues. ok let's call his agent. i'm coming over right now.
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you know i love polls. i love polls. i'm in love with polls. i believe in polls. i love polls. bus i'm number one on every poll, so i love them. if i was number 2:two or number ten, the word poll wouldn't be in my vocabulary. >> given that logic the new gallgal gallop approval rating suspect something he wants to mention. 36%. in the last 50 years three presidents never did hit a rating as low as trump's current popularity. barack obama, bill clinton,


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