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>> i wonder if the president knew he was seeking to establish back channel communications at the russian embassy to the russian government and if he didn't know, when did he find out? >> that assumes a lot and the attorney said that mr. kushner volunteered to share what he knows about the meetings and will do the same if he is contacted with any other inquiry. >> did the president discussed? >> i won't get into it, but what your question assumes is a lot of facts that are not substantiated by anything but anonymous sources that are so far being leaked out? >> does he approve of the action? >> you are asking if he approves of an action that is not confirmed. secretary kelly and general mcmaster discussed that back channels are an appropriate part of diplomacy. >> the rush why investigation
includes president trump's long time personal lawyer and confidant michael cohen who confirmed that he has received request for information from the senate and house intel committees. he told nbc news he finds it irresponsible and improper that the request was leaked by those working on the committee. he is not worried about the request. i want to bring in chief white house correspondent halle jack and an opinion columnist for "the washington post" and the white house reporter for the associated press. what stuck out to you and what turned out to be a combative briefing that lacked detail on many questions that were asked. >> combative, short, i would characterize it as the press secretary taking roughly 20 minutes worth of questions in the first press briefing in 15 days. let me tell you what stuck out to me. i talked to the question and answer exchange that you showed from "the washington post."
and sean spicer. that is despite spicer repeatedly talking about what he believed was a false narrative, there was nothing from the white house on what the actual, if they believe it was false narrative. there was no intication or a denial of being more explicit. that was striking and he came in prepared. they asked about the german leader. there was not as you expect to see something a little more substantive from the white house on some of these questions. frankly they linger as much now at 3:00 after the briefing as they did moments before the briefing as well. it was notable that spicer said that the president himself is his own best messenger that may
be true to what we have been talking about and even during the campaign. donald trump likes to speak for donald trump. what we are seeing is not donald trump speaking for donald trump. he did not hold a news conference while on his foreign trip for nine days as is custom for a president to do and didn't get his own message about his son in law other than that quote to the "new york times" out over the weekend that he stands by. i do think at this point we don't know much more than we did prior to the briefing other than the press secretary not wanting to answer the questions about kushner. i think it was notable that he mentioned that the relationship between president trump and angela merkel was unbelievable. >> fairly unbelievable. that can go either way, right? >> absolutely. >> fairly unbelievable. >> let me ask you from the associated press. phil is and sean spicer started to get into the reporting about
jared kushner and another reporter chambers said but the president tweeted today a fox story that sort of had similar reporting. it made similar references to the unattributed reporting. they got themselves wound around the axle. they are not talking about it on their terms. >> absolutely right. to reiterate, the national security adviser said the same thing that sean spicer said today over the course of the trip. the back channels are customary. they are a line of diplomacy and this is the way they do business. he did not dismiss the idea. he did not actually try to say it wasn't true or deny it. the president tweeting this one report that suggests that it may not be true. of course those are not the president's words. again, what will halle was
saying, we haven't had a press conference or direct denial thus far. they refer to fake news, but don't say what elements are fake and if the entire story is fake or what. they are not being specific. to proceed with the white house or having the messages or the lack of clarity involved. that has been a problem with the white house in recent weeks and maybe since the beginning. messaging has been a source of controversy where you have folks saying one thing and maybe the president saying another. this was the latest example and while the president didn't say it, he was suggesting it with that retweet. >> of course sean spicer couldn't get into too much trouble because he stayed in a narrow band. he used prepared 2340e9s when respo
responding. for those who don't know michael cohen, how he is involve and why it matters. >> he is a long time personal lawyer of donald trump that includes entanglements with ukrainians and russians. he was named in the dossier as having had a meeting with a russian representative. heenies that and there is no evidence that surfaced that confirm that, but we are learning that he has been subpoenaed by the house intelligence committee and i can tell you he sent us a text in the last hour that said i de9 the invitation as the request was poorly phrase and not capable of being answered in response to a letter he got with other trump associates asking him to provide a list of contacts with russians and communications with russians and communications with the trump campaign about russia. that was a letter and now we learn that a formal subpoena has been issued. the question is either these can
enforce the subpoena that require both republican and democratic votes to do. >> thank you for that. katherine is with me here and you were listening to the press conference. it was unusual even by newly unusual standards for press conferences. sean in most cases refused to get into detailed answers. >> on almost everything. >> a couple for some reason he was comfortable going down a road he was not going to get in trouble on, but for most things, he didn't provide answers. >> it felt like two questions he had notes ready to answer. those were on the angela merkel quote and kushner. everything else he punted. he either relied on it speaks for itself which is one of his favorite lines or somewhere along the lines of i don't know. for example, when he was asked does the president believe in global warming or man meat global warming, i don't know. i haven't had that conversation. >> it strikes me as odd.
>> trump had that conversation with the american basketball via twitter calling global warming a hoax among other things. it seemed preapproved for him to discuss. he just pickup trucked on. in terms of accountability, very little. >> we are bordering on a press conference not being a press conference. the chief white house correspondent and the investigative reporter, thank you for helping us make sense. the white house shake-up. the director is out. who is next? reports that we may see familiar cases from trump's campaign days settling into roles in the west wing at the president's request. you are watching msnbc.
being rude. when in fact you all in every one of the people did a great job at nato. building stronger bonds at the g-7 and increasing america's presence around the world. that's the kind of thing that the bbc and a reporter that is joining the "new york times" push out and perpet yut with no apology. you are shaking your head. you did it. i'm answering you. that's just fake. >> the president did a great job at nato or built with the g-7 partners. they are focusing on fake news and what sean spicer said the perpetuation of false narratives. halle jackson joins us once again. what was this tweet that spicer was talking about? >> it happened friday and i remember sitting in the briefing room because it was set to start
over there at the g-7 in sicily. i had alerts set for sean spicer's tweets as a lot of folks do. he was correcting a bbc reporter and ultimate low another reporter. we have those tweets ready. >> here's what sean spicer said, potus wears a single earpiece for translation in his right ear n. that video, there was a short clip that pans the rows of leaders, most of whom had head phones and trump did not. he said he wore a single earpiece. you see the president do this with foreign leaders. he has a little earpiece and he putst in his ear. this is what he is refring to. this came to mind when one of the reporters asked the press secretary, hey, give an example of fake news. that is what he zeroed in on. fake versus mistake.
if you poled the people in the west wing, you might come up with two philosophies, but it reminds me of what's going on with an incorrect mistake by a reporter who suggested that the martin luther king bust reported that the bust had been removed and that was not the case. this was where you saw the white house take that moment and others and it appears that may be what we are seeing today. >> he is an author of the gatekeepers to define every presidency. stephanie is anchor of the 9:00 show and the cohost. this is a big distinction that people should make. the difference between mistakes and bad reporter and we should be held to account for fully and fake news that is deliberately
lying to people. >> sean spicer is getting himself in dangerous territory. one can point the finger back at him as far as crowd size or wire tapping or voter fraud. it's across the board. it's not to say that this is not a very, very tense environment. anybody who was in that off camera briefing with hr mcmaster would tl you it was tense on saturday they wanted to talk about the president learning and all these take aways from europe. people wanted to ask about jared kushner. there was a transparency issue where people are not getting answers out of the white house and it's getting more widespread. >> let me ask chris. doesn't matter where you are politically. there is a management issue in the white house. if stephany and i were covering this as a company, it would be a disaster and the shares would be plummeting. the chief of staff is supposed to be a person and i will talk to him in a minute.
andy is listening to this conversation. this is the chief of staff's job to get it. we heard from reince priebus announcing the resignation of the communication director at the white house. otherwise you don't hear from him. . >> the fundamental problem is much higher and goes up to mr. trump. this is a guy with a genius for disrupting, but seems to be incapable of governing. there is no message and no agenda here. trump has failed to learn the lesson that you have to empower the white house chief of staff as first among equals to help you prioritize and help you govern. i think that the war room they are talking about at this point is one of the few good ideas i heard. >> a rapid response like a legal team for all this stuff that is reigning upon them. >> a white house under siege is the bill clinton white house.
if john podesta ran that room and he walled it off. clinton dealt with it when he had to, but otherwise he focused like a laser on governing. the big difference amongthers like clinton and trump is that clinton empowered a white house chief chief. >> the chief of staff under is with us. andy, could you be the chief of staff to somebody like trump or do you have to have an agreement that you are in change of some things and you live or die by it? >> the chief of staff is really only empowered by the president. not by his own will. the president has to empower the chief of staff to bring discipline to the process. he has to accept discipline from the chief of staff. that's a tough responsibility for him to have to discipline a president. that's stay in your lane or taste your words before you spit them out and think before you
tweet. those are important instructions to come, but i don't think president trump empowered his chief of staff to bring the discipline necessary for a white house to serve a president who is challenged by things that are not of his own desire. right now we have a special counsel looking at the russian involvement in the election. that is an independent process. the white house has been told that they will respect that and they have to have the discipline not to let it get in the way of getting the job done of governing. the chief of staff can bring that to the process. don't get wrapped around the axle that is not moving the country forward. focus on your job. that's the discipline that has to come from the chief of staff. i think reince priebus can do it. >> let's talk about this. we have often talked about the fact that donald trump is a ceo of a company. he is his own boss. he has not had to report to other people. the concept of reporting to
people who you hire and you appointed to keep you in your lane is unusual to him. >> this is massively difficult. people expected that it would be difficult for president trump. he has never done anything like this. if president trump returns to his comfort zone, you said it earlier. he is a champion disruptor. it's how he got elected. if he revert to that happy place and goes out to the rallies and the campaign trail, they put out a statement saying he can inspire people. this is not just about getting people excited. it's about governing. many who joined the administration after or during said we are here to set policy. we want to work on deregulation and health care reform. are they ever going to get to that with this cloud around them? if the president goes back on the podium, they are never going to. >> reince priebus is not the main topic, but could a properly
empowered chief of staff solve the problems? >> i think reince priebus never had the authority and now he doesn't have the credibility either. the first thing evedy senses is when a chief of staff is not speaking for the president. i think that the only chance trump has of governing effectively would be for an intervention to happen. it happened with bill clinton. you go in and somebody goes in and closes the door and said mr. president, you necessary deep trouble. if you want to be jimmy carter or a one-term president, keep doing what you are doing. if you want to be ronald reagan, you have to find your equivalent of james a. baker iii. >> you think reince priebus can do it. do you believe that? >> reince priebus gets high marks for a lot of things he has done. the overseas trip went very, very well. it's the chief of staff that
gives discipline to the process. there is a lot of moving parts. that was not an easy trip to go on. it worked out quite well. there was discipline while they were out of the country. where the discipline is lacking is inside the white house when they got back to washington, d.c. i do think the leaks are a big problem. leaking to the press is happening because of a lack of discipline and respect inside the building. you don't want leaks out of the white house. it's the chief of staff's job to make sure it doesn't happen. >> that are voice that the president needs to close the door and say let me help set you straight. many people said that's why jared and ivanka were there. they were the moderators and had his ear. to the best of my knowledge, those two are the ones who knew he was firing james comby in such a fashion and james comey himself learned it watching it on television. jared is embroiled in this.
who n that voice? >> there may be the ability to have that conversation, but we don't know who will have it. they define every presidency and former white house chief of staff to president bush and msnbc political analyst. the u.s. military is planning to execute the first ever test of a new anti-missile intercept system. this days after north korea launched the ninth missile this year alone. we will have the details on the test after this break and a quick programming note, nikki haley joins nicole wallace next on msnbc. got it. rumor confirmed. they're playing. -what? -we gotta go. -where? -san francisco. -when? -friday.
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check this out. it is like trying to hit a bullet with another bullet over the pacific ocean while the entire world watches. in the next four hours, the pentagon will try to shoot down an intercontinental range missile. don't worry, this is just a test and has been done like this before. the most recent was in 2014. that was a success. overall though they have gone 9-17 since 1999. this is hard to do. what is unique is for the first
time they will be gunning for an actual mock warhead fireed from the pacific moving at an extremely high rate of speed. joining me now is hans nichols. let's talk about this. i know you get your head into the technology like i do. a fast moving projectile hitting a fast moving projectile in the sky. >> extremely fast rate of speed is not that accurate, but the figures are four miles a second. that's what they think this intercontinental missile travels at. what happened is it was different this time. they are shooting from the marshal islands. this is put down in the waters off of santa barbara. this is very challenging. when you get to the number of tests, i was speaking with an initial and what they like to think of is operational tests.
of the 10, they are almost around 50%. if they knock it down today, they will be at 50%. this test could be taking place right now. hopefully we will find out quickly when it happened and whether or not it was a partial or full success. all morning the pentagon officials are saying even if it doesn't knock it out of the sky, they will think of it as a successful training exercise. they learned something every time. >> a big clue to my viewers as i introduce this, i had a picture of kim jung unover my shoulder. >> the scheduling and the budgeting means it was not in response to the test on monday for the north koreans or the may 14 test that has the pentagon concerned. that's the missile that went up into the air and that said, this is not a system designed to defeat the chinese.
speaking to an official here earlier, they said very much north korea and rogue state actors are on their mind. s in yes, this is about north korea, but it's not a direct response to the three missile tests. >> they get to work and we are at 50% success rate. what's the thing that gets us to 100? is it technology or human skill? >> more test, right? to get to that level of certainty, these guys are scientists. they are looking to corroborate and falsify. when you talk to the scientists behind this, they are interested in the technology of it. to get to 100%, mathematically that is impossible. they will want more certainty. i keep bringing back this point
because it's being drilled at me. they can change the technology and the u.s. may have to change its technology. there is a back and forth and it's complicate and very expensive. >> thanks very much at the pentagon. coming up, growing scrutiny and the probe into russian collusion in the 2016 election includes president trump's personal attorney. as the white house scrambles to manage the multitude in the russian interference. the plot is thickening. researchers of technologies that one day you will. some call them the best of the best. some call them veterans. we call them our team.
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president trump's long time personal lawyer and confidant michael cohen is being asked to produce information into russia's interference into the u.s. election. this comes days after we learned that the president's son in law and adviser jared kushner is under scrutiny in the russia probe for trying to set up a back channel. >> secretary kelly and general master have discussed that in general terms back channels are an appropriate part of diplomacy. >> jared kushner said he is willing to share any information he has with congress and with the fbi. as you heard general mcmaster and secretary kelly over this weekend say they are not concerned.
back channels are the regular course of business. >> should security clearance be taken away? >> we should look at this. this is a bad breech. these guys, the administration, they are not acting like people who have nothing to hide. >> it's again legitimate to establish contacts to meet and greet people and all that, but i think if it steps over the line of undermining the policies of the current administration, that's a different matter. >> okay. the story is not going away. we might as well understand the legal terms that will be thrown around with the russia investigation. what do they mean? one you may have heard is treason. some people say treason. whoever levies war against the united states or gives aid and comfort to those persons is guilty of treason.
this is by the way not a dictionary definition. this is the 18 u.s. code 2381. the law. let's talk about intent. criminal intent is a necessary component of a conventional crime and involves a conscious decision on the party of a party to injury or deprive another. there are multiple shades that may be applied in situations ranging from outright premeditation to spontaneous action. this is a dictionary definition. this is not in law. there are more debates about intent. espionage is u.s. law. a person may be guilty under the espionage act if they disclose classified information with the intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the united states or to the advantage of any foreign nation. the back part of the sentence makes it all important. i want to give that information so when you are hearing these conversations, they make more sense to you.
i want to break it down with a former independent counsel for whitewater and a federal prosecutor. thanks for being with us. when you hear about the possibility that jared kushner was having discussions to set up a back channel as a private citizen before the inauguration took place, what does it mean to you? >> not all that unusual that you would be having preliminary discussions with foreign leaders, foreign officials in the transition to prepare for a new administration. the dividing line seems to be any effort to be making policy or commitments before the inauguration that would interfere with your early succession of government and raises issues under the logan act as to whether one violated the law. i think we are a far cry from that. >> no one has been charged under the logan act. >> so far as i know. will the fbi talk to jared
kushner as part of an investigation conducted by bob mueller and the special council? i imagine that will be the case. obviously he is going to be one of the people who will be talked to by bob mueller's investigators. >> two separate issues. what you can't do is prior to being in office, make promises about policy or things you will do inors. >> it's a matter of judgment. one of the reasons that no one has been prosecuted under the logan act is your preliminary. it's difficult to show criminal intent or mens rhea about something that is a matter of judgment and degree. there is not a clear line. >> that was a dictionary definition and not a legal code. >> in a courtroom you are talking about a prosecutor's ability to prove to a injury unanimously beyond a reasonable doubt that there was criminal intent. that's a far different standard. >> there is a separate story.
whether somebody not in government, you or me would be trying to set up a channel of counications with a foreign government so as to possibly evade the u.s. government. >> i think that's what the back channel references. it's not clear what was being contemplated, but we have come to learn as a result of the now what has been referred to as the michael flynn investigation that his conversations were intercepted not because of anything targeted or principally against him, but they were looking at russian officials and the conversations, it was incidental interception. that would be expected in the ordinary course of dealing with russian officials. let's not make too much of this either. there is an old fashioned way of going about doing that and that's walking in the woods free from interception. there doesn't appear to be anything entirely wrong with
that at all. >> you laid out the fact that there may not be anything wrong with this or might be. how does one get to the bottom of this when congress issues invitations for information and subpoenas that get ignored? what is supposed to happen? >> it's going to be a difficult process over the next several months and time will tell. understand first in terms of a process is congress's mission is different than bob mueller. the american people have the right to know whether there was interference in the election. congress will go about that task. at the same time simultaneously you are going to see subpoenas which will be publicly reported that will originate with bob muller's investigation. his task is decidedly different and also much more narrow. he is trying to decide whether or not crimes have been commit and if so, whether individuals
will be prosecuted. that's a different task. he is presumably going to do that with grand jury secrecy in place. you are not going to read about it a lot. >> it might take a while and take longer than the congressional investigation. most of which even from the intelligence community or committees will be out in the open and the public will get to see it. >> thank you very much for being with us. a former whitewater council. changing rules to get his health care and tax plans approved. that doesn't jive with how mitch mcconnell wants things to run. ...i kept looking for ways to manage my symptoms. i thought i was doing okay... then it hit me... ...managing was all i was doing. when i told my doctor,... ...i learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease... ...even after trying other medications. in clinical studies,... the majority of people on humira... saw significant symptom relief...
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(vo) purina pro plan bright mind. nutrition that performs. we have got breaking news on the test of a missile intercept by the military. hans nichols has the latest. hans? >> the first stage of this test has taken place. the ground based interceptor gbi has taken off into the horizon. we have a crew out there and i believe we have video. the goal is to intercept the icbm that took off and was launched in the marshall islands. the goal is to have them get near each other and have the
interceptor get close and not sbint great, but send out a variety of shocks and that is supposed to knock down the incoming missile. we should know here, what pentagon officials are saying they are keen to figuring out if it was successful and where and how it failed. we will read it out when we get it, but the interceptor went up and you can see that streak across a clear blue sky over the pacific coast in western california. that gives you a sense of how complicated it is when you look at the velocity traveling to meet a similar object at multiple times. it's a difficult task. >> they don't read that out. that said, a lot of that is classified. we will see how much they give us on this one, but they typically don't read that out.
>> thanks very much and explaining what was going on now that it has happened. hans nichols at the pentagon. >> somewhere out there is without west wing drama. republicans trying to make sweeping changes. president trump tweeted theus senate should switch to 51 votes immediately and get health care and tax cuts approved. fast and easy. dems would do it, no doubt. >> casey, a couple of things wrong with that tweet. a lot of republicans who don't want that health care bill going back in the model. that's part of the problem. the other is no tax bill to vote on. >> you have listed two of what i think is a slightly longer list of issues. the other being they are using a procedure in the senate to pass the pieces of legislation with
just 51 votes. they are trying to work outside of those rules. the problem is there are not 51 republican votes for health care or tax reform in the senate right now. it's not an issue of having a a having a problem with the democrats. and we do have a statement of from mitch mcconnell, they say senator mcconnell agrees that both health care and tangs reform are essential and that's why republicans in congress are using the reconciliation process to prevent a partisan filibuster of these critical legislative agenda items. so that is again the senate speak for what we were just talking about. they are using a process that will allow them to push the bills through with just republican votes. again the problem being there aren't enough republican votes. >> right. this isn't a procedural problem right now. items just it's just a math problem. good to see you, kasie hunt. i want to welcome a democra fromlifornia. congressman, good to see you. i want to go back to donald trump turning michael cohen, he
says he will not comply with requests for information from the house or senate on russia. what is your reaction to that and what can you do about it? >> i hope he does. we need to hear from all relevant witnesses and be able to review all relevant documents. and we have other ways to compel testimony if people don't want to volunteer information. we can subpoena individuals. but hopefully it doesn't have to happen that way. and if you take a step back, our sovereignty was violated by russia this past election. and so you have to ask yourself who wouldn't want to help us get to the bottom of what happened. if you love our country, if you want to make sure that the future elections are protected, why wouldn't you want to cooperate. >> so you do serve on the intel committee. you have to ask these questions. i mean, you're supposed to be looking at evidence as it preit presents itself. we are always telling our viewers somebody takes fifth, it's meant to protect innocent
people. when someone says they are not giving information, you shouldn't read into it. what do you read in to it? >> we're not conducting a criminal probe either. we just want to understand what russia did, what vulnerabilities existed, whether any u.s. persons were involved and worked with russia, and most importantly knowing that russia intends to do this again, what reforms do we need to make, whether it's the strubltsth structural intel guilty of the election systems or just the general awareness that the american people need to have so that we never find ourselves in a mess like this again. because we know we have elections coming up in this country and so do our allies and russia intends do this in other see this as an opportunity if we do knowledge. >> and donald trump has attacked house and senate democrats for obstructing the white house's bold agenda as sean spicer just called it. xwhen when it comes to health care, they don't have the republican votes. when it comes to tax reform, an
entirely different problem, there isn't a proposal on the table. but what do you make of the accusation that democrats where are doing to donald trump what republicans are doing to president obama? >> we'll happily work with the president if tax reform means that 99% of americans will benefit from it rather than just 1% prp and we'll happily work with the president if health care reform means that we expand access, reduce costs and improve the quality. but the president has not shown a willingness, neither have house and senate republicans to do that. so we stand ready, but we also are ready to go to the american people as we approach the midterm elections with our own plan. >> we'll quick, climate change. president trump says maybe this week we will get some decision on whether the u.s. will pull out of the paris deal. what are your thoughts? >> i hope he stays in the deal for the sake of clean water and clean air for the people in our country. but i'm concerned that america
first, which is the slogan that the president trump ran on, means that america only and we're starting to withdraw from being a leader in the world when stands f securityssues as well as making sure that we addresses devastating effects of climate change. so we have an opportunity to lead and i hope we honor that agreement. >> things for joining us, congressman. >> my pleasure. up next, my thoughts on the portland standing here rows, courageous men who stood up to hate and lost their lives while saving others. d? 'saved money on motorcycle insurance with geico! goin' up the country. love mom and dad' i'm takin' a nap. dude, you just woke up! ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪ ♪ i'm goin' up the country, baby don't you wanna go? ♪ geico motorcycle, great rates for great rides.
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as we end this show, i need to say something about this portland stabbing. here is the story. two teenage girls were on a chain, one wearing a hijab, one not. just headed out in the statistic. all of a stud a man started spewing slurs at them. cue the heros. they were also on that tracin i portland. rick was a husband and father of four. and the other a city employee. mica was on his way to his pete shop job. the men heard the attention and they acted. these men stood up for decency. they stood up for freedom. rick and talison were stabbed to death. these men died heros.
micah was also hurt, he is recovering at the hospital. all three men stood up in the face of darnger and acted. i am muslim and today i hor theseurnlyus mcourageous men. and to the families, i can't begin to imagine what you're going through. my severe condolences. and deadline white house starts right now. hi, everyone. it's 4:00. and he's not going anywhere. that is how one of jared kushner's fellow senior white house staff colleagues described the jared state of play to me earlier today. but there is no doubt that the white house is engaged in a new level of crisis containment now that the russia investigation has creeped into the highest levels of the white house staff. and more importantly, the family. a advisably irritated sean
spicer did not back down on the latest reporting of jared kushner's back channel with the russians. instead he used the podium do some ax grinding. perhaps a window into the president's mounting frustration with his team's inability to change the story line. >> i think that he is frustrated like i am and like so many others to see stories come out that are patently false, to see company unquote fake news. when you see stories get perpetrate that had are false, that are not based in fact, that is troubling. and he's rightly concerned. what i'm telling you is that the reason that the president is frustrated, because there is a per pet chewation of false narratives, a use of unnamed sources over and over again about things that don't ultimately happen. >> joining us are some of the best reporters on the white house beat. hallie jackson, co-author of today's front new york on times piece, and
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