tv Deadline White House MSNBC January 17, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
here tomorrow 11:00 a.m. eastern with stephanie ruhle and then again at 3:00 p.m. eastern. thank you for watching. deadli deadline white house with my friend nicole wallace starts right now. >> hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. steve bannon slipped up, veering into territory that he was supposed to avoid during his testimony before the house intel committee yesterday. specifically, his time at the white house and his knowledge of donald trump, jr.'s meeting with the russians during the campaign. according to brand-new reporting in axios, bannon admitted that he had conversations with then chief of staff reince priebus, press secretary sean spicer and legal spokesman mark corallo about don junior's now infamous meeting with the russians in trump tower in june of 2016. the white house also confirming this afternoon that bannon's lawyer bill burke was in direct and real-time contact with the white house during bannon's house intel appearance yesterday.
>> it's the same process that is typically followed. sometimes they actually have a white house attorney present in the room. this time it was something that was relayed via phone. and, again, was following standard procedure for an instance like this and something that will likely happen again on any other number of occasions, not just within this administration, but future administrations. >> the white house instructed bannon not to answer questions related to his time in the white house or during the transition, an unusually broad interpretation of executive privilege. but nbc has confirmed that those restrictions will not stand in bannon's way when it comes to his conversations with special counsel bob mueller. quote, he'll answer any questions mueller wants to ask. that's according to one source close to bannon. and after mueller took the rare step of issuing a subpoena to compel bannon to testify before a grand jury, "the new york times" is now reporting that, quote, bannon has agreed to cooperate with mr. mueller's
investigation and will be interviewed in the less formal setting of a special counsel's offices in downtown washington. we've got some of the best reporters and legal minds to help us break it all down. with us from washington, nbc's intelligence and national security reporter ken delanieian. benjamin, msnbc legal analyst and editor in chief of law fair, and friend and former fbi chief jim comey. paul butler former federal prosecutor also msnbc legal analyst, and with us at the table natasha bertrand, political correspondent for business insider. ben, let me start with you and let me ask you, this came across our wire as a bit of a bombshell that steve bannon, one, violated what had been an agreement not to talk about his time as a senior advisor inside the white house, but also that he revealed that he spoke to then chief of staff reince priebus, to sean spicer who was then the white house press secretary, and mark corallo who i believe at the time was acting as a spokesperson for the russia
investigation, about don junior's meeting in trump tower. what's the significance of that to either the committee investigating russian ties or perhaps bob mueller? >> well, the mueller side of that is an easier question, which is i think that there is no significance to what he will or will not talk about to the committee to mueller because the committee and mueller are differently situated with respect to the witness. the claim of executive privilege has a lot more force with respect to congress than it does with respect to the special counsel. my understanding, as you reported, is that bannon has said that he will fully cooperate with mueller and not assert any privilege in that regard. and so i think the point there is pretty muted. with respect to the committee, it might be much more significant in the sense that if the committee decides to try to
compel answers to the questions he's refused to answer, the fact that he alluded to or talked about certain conversations may undermine the white house's assertion of a broad claim of privilege there. it may not, but it really might. >> and, paul butler, how would you use someone like steve bannon as a witness? if you're trying to get to the bottom of what other people did, maybe even the president, of what the president knew and when he knew it, around certain issues that we now know to be of interest to bob mueller, like the crafting of that false statement aboard air force one, like the firing of jim comey, how would you use someone like steve bannon as a witness? >> well, you make them know that it's not a big deal that he's talking to -- not to the grand jury, but to the investigators. it's a different crime to lie to the fbi than it is to lie before a grand jury. but you go to the same jail if you do it. so, that's a lot of pressure.
so, question one, did president trump tell michael flynn to lie? to lie to the fbi? what did president trump know about michael flynn? did he know that flynn was under fbi investigation when trump was trying to protect him? so, it's about obstruction. it's about facts, not opinions, but facts that bannon knows mainly about trump. [ inaudible ] was treasonous. what about trump, jr.? what's going on with him? what did the president tell you about how he wants to protect him? why do you think this is all about money laundering? and finally, nicole, that famous statement that he made on 60 minutes, bannon said that firing comey was the greatest mistake in political history. prosecutors love stuff like that. that's why they want to get him locked in.
bannon gets carried away, he gets kind of low kwash us. that's a dream witness for mueller. >> ken delaney, i think it is important to point out something, you guys are all well steeped in this. just for our viewers, "the new york times" in reporting bannon had been subpoenaed did clarify that the subpoena is a sign that mr. bannon is not personally the focus of the inquiry. justice department rules allow prosecutors to subpoena the targets of investigations only in rare circumstances. ken, that suggested to me what he had to say would be important, maybe in investigating someone else who was more in the cross hairs. and a couple theories posited by folks in the trump orbit were that look at where all of the primary public fires were between bannon and who he pushed against. that some of those people may have the most to worry about, just in terms of the things that bannon will talk about, the fights that he had that we know about were over the advice the president got to fire jim comey. and one of the people we know
steve bannon blames for making that decision is jared kushner. >> that's absolutely right, nicole. and, so, that is presumed to be one of his values as a witness, is -- and he may only be a hearsay value. he may have only heard about things kushner was doing. one of the lines mueller is pursuing is what meetings kushner was having during the transition and bannon may have information about that. and i think paul really nailed it. you know, i've always presumed that bannon's chief value as a witness is his answer to the sort of penultimate question of what did the president know and when did he know it. what did he know about -- did he dispatch mike flynn to go negotiate with the russian ambassador over sanctions? you know, the answers to those key questions, that's going to be his value and, you know, presumably he's got a lot to say on that subject, nicole. >> natasha, we talk more about the obstruction of justice line of the investigation because it's got more public facing t t tentacles. there are more lawyers that are
perhaps able to talk about the kinds of questions. we've learned, nbc has now reported that it's clear to lawyers who have been in the special counsel investigation meetings or questioning sessions that mueller is putting together a time line with the specific purpose of trying to drill down on obstruction of justice. but steve bannon having been a presence on the campaign could also have some information or some facts or some knowledge. i believe we have now 19 intersections of campaign representatives or surrogates connecting at some point wittingly or unwittingly with russians. so, steve bannon may be just as important to the russian collusion question. >> and i think that's exactly why we've seen the white house try so hard to keep him from testifying freely. steve bannon clearly knows a lot and that was evidenced today by the report that came out from axios, which is that right after the trump tower meeting broke, the news broke about it in "the new york times," bannon spoke about it with priebus, with corallo.
he was clearly looped in on these very important subjects and that really stands at odds with what trump said in his blistering statement he released a couple weeks ago which is that steve bannon has never had anything to do with me or my presidency. that's clearly just not true. if he was in the loop enough to be briefed on the response to the explosive story in "the new york times" about a potentially treasonous meeting, to use his word, he clearly had a very high-level role, not only on the campaign, but in the white house. >> all right. joining the conversation now, congressman eric of the house intelligence committee who was part of the questioning yesterday which apparently lasted more than ten hours. i know you are jumping in in between things. we appreciate your joining with us. if you could just share with us what, one, what the conflict was with bannon yesterday, and whether the committee was blind sided by his unwillingness to answer any questions outside of that narrow area of his work on the campaign. >> good afternoon, nicole. yes, yesterday we saw in our committee i believe the most
aggressive effort by the white house to obstruct our effort to get the truth. steve bannon claimed that the white house is asserting three privileges. one, that he cannot talk about anything that occurred during the transition. that has never been upheld or asserted before. two, that he can't talk about anything during his time with the executive branch. now, there are some privileges that exist there, but they took it as far to mean if he had a drink at a bar and talked to a friend about anything in the world, we couldn't ask him about that. and then third, the most stunning assertion was that even once steve bannon left the white house in august of 2017, any conversations he had with the president that he was asked about that he could not relay what he had said. and so it's quite concerning, we're a nation -- we have a rule of law and the white house is seeking to muzzle witnesses. >> now, jeremy bash at 11:00 last night on brian williams program said we in the media were bearing the lead. that the real news was that some
bipartisan ship had broken out on your committee which you and i had talked about how partisanship has hobbled some of your endeavors. i want to know how you came to a bipartisan decision to subpoena steve bannon. >> well, it was the best moment of this investigation was members convening, republicans and democrats talking about how we were going to address this. a subpoena was issued almost immediately and we proceeded. that was heartening for me. now, if that bipartisanship is the first step and many more steps like that where we subpoena any executive branch witness or any witness who the white house tries to claim executive privilege, that's a good first step. now, if this is just a one-off so that they could dance on the grave of steve bannon, that will be quite disappointing. i'm hoping it's the former. >> and i want -- the ten hours were not fruitless. i want to read you something that axios is reporting. bannon admitted that he had had conversations with reince
priebus, sean spicer, and legal spokesman mark corallo about don junior's infamous meeting with the russians in trump tower in june 2016. he obviously knows about things that are of great interest to both the mueller probe and to your committee's work. can you talk about how important he is as a witness into the russia question first? >> yes, nicole. i can't go into what he said specifically, but i can say that the invocation was inconsistent and that, you know, sometimes when it was convenient, information was discussed, that the privileges would have covered. but it also illuminated when he did that how important of a witness he is and how much light he could shed on just what happened. >> now, i know you can't tell me what he said and what he testified to, but does he have knowledge of how things like the statement that was crafted aboard air force one came to be? i mean, that was busted as a lie i think within 24 to 36 hours of it being crafted. does steve bannon have
knowledge? he wasn't on that flight, but he was obviously still on the senior staff of the white house and pretty frequent contact with the kinds of communications staffers who were involved in crafting either the ultimate statement or the one that was dismissed. is that the kind of lines of questioning that you would like to know more about from steve bannon? >> certainly, nicole. there is deep evidence he had expansive knowledge from the time he joined the campaign all the way up until when he fell out of favor with the white house, when the "fire and fury" book came out. he's a witness we must hear from. we hope that is resolved soon. if the president is indeed sincere about his declaration that he wants to be cooperative, then he should make mr. bannon available immediately. >> mr. bannon makes some allegations about jared kushner in the new book that's out, "fire and fury." he squarely puts a lot of the blame for the firing of jim comey at jared kushner's feet. is there anything that you expect to hear from steve bannon that would make jared kushner of
more interest to you or someone that you'd like to meet with again? >> nicole, we essential want to understand what led to the firing of jim comey because by the president's own words, it was attached to and related directly to the russia investigation. steve bannon, of course, was at the white house at that time. he was working with jared kushner and would have knowledge of what led up to that firing. so, yes, there are so many reasons we need to hear about what he saw at the white house, what he knows about actions others were taking. most importantly, what does he know about the president's knowledge of russia's interference, about the president's determination to fire james comey. the president's determination to keep general flynn on board until it became a public relation iz nightmare. there is so much he knows and so much that the american public needs to learn. >> you're about to -- your committee, i believe, is about to hear from corey lewandowski. he never worked in the white house. there couldn't be any scenario at all in which the white house would seek to invoke any privilege around any of your lines of questioning on corey lewandowski, could there? >> nicole, that's why i say
let's see. yesterday was an encouraging moment in a bipartisan way, you're not going to come here and assert bogus privileges. now, that will be tested with some of the witnesses we have coming up, and we don't acknowledge witnesses, but i'll just say that will be tested with some of the witnesses we're going to hear from today and throughout the week. let's see if republicans stick to the bipartisan precedent that was set yesterday. >> all right. well, thank you so much for spending some time with us. we know how busy you are. >> of course, my pleasure. >> we appreciate it. ben, let me bring you back to this and ask you about these two, i think it's safe to call them flash points that we started the program talking about and just ask you again if the house intel committee wants to know everything steve bannon knows about the decision to fire jim comey, your friend, does that suggest that maybe a potential obstruction of justice inquiry goes back further than that, that perhaps they're looking at a period that started with the initial information from sally yates, that mike
flynn could be compromised? do these -- we've separated them out in some of our public conversations, but in your mind do you see them as more connected and do you see the investigations, both in congress and perhaps what we know we don't know about bob mueller's probe, do you see it going back further than what we talk about in the public arena? >> yes. so, there is an obvious set of connections between the underlying investigation and the set of issues around the president's interactions with his law enforcement hierarchy. so, the connections are the following. one is that the firing of general flynn takes place -- the lies associated with general flynn's interview with the fbi take place right at the beginning of the presidency. and the president's interactions with jim comey as well as sally yates's interactions with the white house are very deeply
conditioned by this event that just happened. the second issue is the more serious the fbi's concerns at the time about general flynn were, the more you would imagine everybody there would have been disturbed by what seemed to be flynn's longevity within the house, as well as the president's then request to comey that he drop the matter, and the subsequent pressure on the fbi and comey that eventually led to his firing. and the president's statements subsequently, including to the russian foreign minister, that he'd relieved pressure on himself by doing so. so, there's a very deep set of connections between the underlying investigation, particularly as regards flynn, and the basket of material that
is being investigated under the rubric of obstruction. there is one other important element there, which is that one of the pieces of pressure that the -- that comey has testified that the president exerted on him was pressure to say publicly that the president himself was not under investigation. so, the investigation that the president wanted the fbi to say publicly didn't exist, presumably as related to the underlying matters that the house intelligence committee is now looking at. >> paul, i'm going to put you on the spot because i know you better than i know ben and i'm going to ask you to stitch these things together for me, because we broadened this conversation out. we don't get to do that often enough. but we also know donald trump wanted the heads of his other intelligence agencies to go out, the heads of the nsa and the dna. he wanted all of them to say he wasn't under investigation. is it possible that when we talk about the obstruction of justice inquiry, that we start at the
wrong end, could the firing of sally yates have had something to do with wanting to rid the justice department of anybody who was onto donald trump and his ties to russia? >> absolutely. so, you know, the obstruction of justice statute says you're guilty of a federal crime if you try to impede an official investigation. and we know that president trump has tried to protect people who are potential witnesses in this investigation. so, flynn is kind of the big kahuna and he's cooperating apparently with mueller. so, lots of information from him. but one thing that bannon has to be concerned about is that mueller knows a lot more about than he's going to reveal to bannon. so, bannon is going to be in a tough position if he even tries to shade the truth a little bit in the ways that we've seen trump try to get his boys to do in the past. so, you know, bannon has to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. and from all we know, that's
going to be bad news for president trump. >> and bannon and michael flynn spent a whole lot of time together over the campaign. ken delaney and benjamin wittes and paul butler, thank you so much. natasha, we're not letting you free yet. when we come back, an obstruction during justice. that's how one republican described team trump's antics. we'll ask him what he means by that subtle jab. also ahead, one of the investigators questioning -- we already did that. that was a tease for the congressman who already joined our show. and ex-trump as stalin, more harsh words from republicans about the president's war on the free press.
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congress should consult with the white house prior to obtaining confidential material. this is part of a judicial recognized process. we want to follow through that. we've been fully cooperative with the ongoing investigations and we're going to continue to do so. and we encourage the committees to work with us to find the appropriate accommodation in order to ensure congress obtains all the information that they're looking for. but there is a process this works through. >> completely cooperative. hardly forthcoming. the white house is accusing the house intel committee of breaking an agreement to limit questions for steve bannon only to events on the presidential campaign. admitting today they coordinated with bannon's attorney during his testimony yesterday before the house intel committee. joining natasha and me at the table, jonathan that leer, white house reporter for the associated press. former aide of the george w.
bush white house, and a time magazine columnist. i have to start with you, you had my favorite tweet of the day. obstruction during justice. what were you referring to? >> if bannon's testifying in his lawyer is on the phone consulting with the white house while he's testifying about what bannon is or is not allowed to say, i'm not exactly saying that it's legal obstruction, but it's certainly an unusual event in the history of congressional testimony. as in nothing like this has ever happened before to one's knowledge, and what we heard yesterday was that the behavior was so unusual that in the course of the testimony as bannon was testifying, the committee argued that it needed to subpoena him on-site. in other words, they were going to compel him to testify, essentially, as a hostile rather than a cooperating witness. so, and that's republicans as well as democrats. that's tray gowdy, the congressman from south carolina -- >> devin nunez. >> was getting angry at bannon
for being obstructionist. so, it's a weird day. that was a weird thing that happened. >> and it was weird because devin nunez has essentially functioned as a white house staffer this this whole enterprise. that's been the chief complaint of the democrats on the committee. >> right. and i think a really note worthy aspect of all this is the fact that steve bannon actually didn't have to comply with the executive privilege request from the white house. there is nothing that they could legally do to him if he were to say, well, you know, i'm just going to do it. i'm going to testify freely. i'm going to tell them what i know and answer all the questions. the fact that he is now choosing to abide by these white house requests to narrow the scope of what he can answer is really a testament to how much he wants to stay in the white house's good graces. essie essential he is essentially still on team trump. maybe that is why mueller felt compelled to issue a subpoena to give him cover. look, i was subpoenaed by federal investigators, there is not much i can do. and now of course he's agreed to a less formal interview, so. >> yeah, people in bannon's
world have gotten that message out there. look, this is him showing his loyalty to the president in the wake of course their relationship badly fraying the last few weeks. the story about his cooperation, i might add an associated press story, scoop for us, we heard from sarah sanders confirm from the podium. this is an occurrence, that is not quite right. congressional staffers we talked to said this happens occasionally, but this is not something they see every day. hence these sort of angry reactions from members of lawmakers in the room. >> can i add one point? >> sure. >> you worked in the white house. the executive privilege thing is a very serious thing. that means when somebody is under investigation, when something is going on in the white house, the white house will tend not to fire somebody like steve bannon, in part, to keep them under the umbrella of executive privilege. palomino someo if someone is a white house staffer, congress doesn't have
the right to reach into the white house because of the separation of powers. they fired steve bannon. steve bannon is not an employee of the white house. and i'm not sure the reason they wanted to subpoena him is that -- i'm not sure he has the right not to answer a question. i mean, if it's a friendly and informal process, then obviously he has the right not to answer a question. but if he refuses to answer a question before a congressional, he has no standing as a private citizen not to answer a question if he is sworn under oath in front of the congress or he can be cited for contempt of congress and thrown in jail. >> anna lease jordan, this conversation about loyalty is so irrelevant to the mueller probe because we worked in the white house where a lot of the senior staff -- it was very disorienting to have a lot of the senior staff in the bush white house -- they were not targets or subjects, but they were witnesses in the pat fitzgerald special counsel investigation into the leaking of valerie plame's name. no more loyal than scooter
libby. but loyalty doesn't get you through the criminal investigation into the underlying crime. so, steve bannon is now -- doesn't matter whether he's loyal. i mean, the white house is wasting their time and energy and so are steve bannon's flags. because once you're in front of a grand jury or simply meeting with mueller's investigators, he has to tell the truth. i imagine there are a whole lot of people at the white house sweating that out because until now, until "fire and fury" came out, bannon hadn't lawyered up. he hired bill burke to represent him in front of house intel and he's still in the process of securing counsel for the mueller probe. >> well, what i find so interesting about steve bannon being in the hot seat today is it's the first time that you've had members on both sides treating a witness in a hostile manner. they both have an axe to grind with steve bannon. the republicans because they've chosen trump side and they're going to be loyal to donald trump, and the democrats because they are pursuing this probe. so, today he really -- he can make an effort to say, oh, i'm being loyal again to the trump white house, but like you said,
it really doesn't matter because before a grand jury he has to talk. >> and you've already waeighed n on the politics. you're predicting a wave election for the democrats. how much of that is history and tide shifts? every president's party is distressed in the mid terms. and how much of that do you think the russia probe is going to go on and on and on? i think politico reporting bad news for gop, mueller probe could collide with mid terms. >> okay. i think half of what's going to happen is the normal effect of a midterm with the party in power, particularly if it dominates the congress and the white house. and then the other half, which will determine how large, how big a wave it is, will be an ad mixture of the mueller probe and trump's own personal behavior, and whether or not he depresses republican support by the behavior that a bunch of republicans don't like. and whether he, you know, energizes democratic opposition to such an extent that they drag
themselves over broken glass to get to the polls to vote for whoever they can. and there was a special ad in wisconsin last night where a district that went 24% positive for trump was won by a democrat in a way that even the governor, scott walker, said this is a wake up call. we are in deep trouble here. >> deep [ bleep ]. >> deep [ bleep ]. >> does the white house have any idea how deep the [ bleep ] is? >> they're concerned. they're putting trump on the road tomorrow. he's going to pennsylvania to start his first event for 2018 congressional candidate outside pittsburgh. they do recognize that this is problematic. they can read polls like the rest of us. they know if the democrats capture the house, that could theoretically imperil the entire presidency. they point to the economy is doing well. they will point to some of the things he's accomplished, the tax cut and so on. but they recognize they are swimming upstream here and they recognize that they need to get
him out there and they need some poll numbers to change. >> all right. natasha, thank you so much for joining us. and spending some time with us. so, jeff flake went there on donald trump's authoritarian instincts and constant attacks on a free press today. warning that without truth and the commitment to truth, our democracy is doomed. and where i came from. i did my ancestrydna and i couldn't wait to get my pie chart. the most shocking result was that i'm 26% native american. i had no idea. just to know this is what i'm made of, this is where my ancestors came from. and i absolutely want to know more about my native american heritage. it's opened up a whole new world for me. discover the story only your dna can tell. order your kit now at ancestrydna.com.
the enemy of the people was how the president of the united states called the free press in 2017. mr. president, it is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by josef stalin to describe his enemies. the president has it precisely backward. despotism is the enemy of the people. the free press is the despot's enemy which makes the free press the guardian of democracy. when a figure in power reflex i
havely calls the free press fake news, it is that figure who should be the center of suspicion, not the press. >> gop senator mccain writing in an op-ed, quote, we cannot afford to abdicate america's long-standing role as the defender of human rights and democratic principles throughout the world. congress must commit to protecting independent journalism, preserving an open and free media environment and defending the fundamental right of freedom and expression. the majority of republicans are staying silent or worse, lying for this white house. "the new york times" frank bruni writing, there is no honor or wisdom in cozying up to donald trump just a heap of manure. like the majority of his colleagues in congress. he could give more than he was giving up, which included his dignity. joining the panel, jonathan cape heart, washington post opinion, let me start with you. this case was made most
powerfully by cory booker yesterday, that -- who just seemed to sort of have enough in that testimony with homeland security secretary nelson. >> look, we are in a moment in this country where it's not even -- it's not a partisan issue any more what american ideals are. from senator booker to senator flake, what we are hearing are politicians, senators who are saying, forget the battles over democrat or republican. who are we as a country? what do we stand for? and not just in terms of laws, but in terms of morality. what does it mean when the president of the united states talks about other countries in the way that he did? this is not locker room talk. this is the president of the united states who is supposed to be a moral exemplar, not only at home, but abroad. what does it say to the world when the person who sits in the -- excuse me, who sits in
the oval office denigrates them? what are they going to do when the president of the united states comes to them for help? why should they? and so when you have someone -- when you have senators like flake and booker who are taking their positions and talking about our american ideals, they're fighting for something bigger and more important than just short-term political points or gain. >> the presidency is divided in two. other countries have a head of state and a head of government. here the president is both the head of state and head of government. head of government means he manages the executive branch. head of state means he is the ceremoni ceremonial tichler representative to the rest of the world. that is a ceremonial job. trump's defenders say he speaks so authentic -- >> authentic what? >> let us say he's authentic. let us stipulate he speaks his mind whatever it is, even if it's dark and scary, okay. you don't want an authentic head
of state. the head of state is a symbolic figure -- >> we don't want a authentic vulgarian head of state. >> this there is a certain authenticity of being a head of state representative to the world. standing there three hours without moving, doing kind of those unpleasant stagey things. >> i don't think anyone is disappointed he can't stand still for three hours, but we'd like him not to call our allies bleep holes. there is states man ship you're describing and the disgrace that he is. >> every president might want to unload and go nuts when they lose their temper and go crazy. >> sure. >> and they don't because they feel the burden of world leadership on their shoulders. and the fact that he doesn't is a mark of how unfit he is running -- sitting in the office that has these two phases of
responsibility. you can be a manager who is a jerk and yells at people and is horrible and all that and the country has to decide whether to fire you or not. this is a slightly different matter. aside from the meaning of saying s-hole and all that, there is the, you shouldn't say anything. he shouldn't talk this way -- >> this is my bone of contention with trump's behaviors republicans used to believe that individuals were responsible for their own self-controls. and now it's just like, well, donald trump, that's just him being trump. he just is saying -- telling it like it is on twitter. it's like, well, what about self-control? donald trump, his impulsivity is leading the country to a dangerous place. his impulsivity taunting a dictator on twitter is very, very dangerous. >> the republican voices who have spoken out against him, it's a pretty lonely crew. it's same folks over and over. >> those of us who work at msnbc, it's three.
flake, mccain and sometimes sass like every other winter. >> in fact, and you have some republicans who are in this meeting last week, the immigration meeting, sort of lie about what they heard in there or deliberately misrepresent what they heard in there to give the president cover. so, we're certainly not seeing any ground swell of opposition from his own party sort of objecting to his behavior. >> and senator jeff flake just voted to give president trump warrantless spying powers. i mean, he had just voted to enshrine in law to give trump more power to spy on american citizens. how is that really taking a stand against the excesses of donald trump? >> it is important, if you want republicans to stand up to trump, not to demand that jeff flake be a different kind of republican. it is good that he is a conservative republican who votes with trump who nonetheless will say trump's behavior is disgusting. >> trump is stalin. take the tax cuts. we'll call it stalin. up next, john kelly went to the hill to rally democratic su port for an immigration deal. brand-new reporting he made a
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you could save seven hundred eighty two dollars when liberty stands with you. liberty mutual insurance. all right. we're back with some news that's just breaking in the washington post in a new report that has the president's chief of staff saying, acknowledging, doing some damage control and acknowledging, conceding during a meeting with the congressional hispanic caucus today that there will be, quote, no concrete wall from sea to shining sea, and no wall that mexico will pay for. his comments confirmed by four lawmakers at a senior aide who were present to see them. quote, certain things are said during a campaign that are not fully informed, kelly said to the lawmakers and the aide. i had a lot to do with that, kelly continued, adding trump campaigned against daca but has lightened up since then. kelly also saying, quote, for right now, the first bite of the apple is to solve the daca problem issue, to have the
boarder secured and the next step as we discussed in phase two might be the larger issue of 11 million people who have been here for years. wow, this is the chief of staff who has -- to whom many of the same hard line immigration views that donald trump possesses have been attached to john kelly, a big profile in "the new york times," attach those beliefs to john kelly and other comments sort of out in the public domain. but this certainly suggesting that they know there will be no wall. they know that mexico won't pay for it. we've heard some of that before. but certainly taken together, this paints a picture of a chief of staff more in touch with reality than his boss. >> perhaps so. i mean, kelly, like trump, comes into this with very little political experience. this is sort of new to him as well, a lot of these negotiations. but he is someone -- look, the white house has known for a while that some of the blanket statements that mexico will pay for the entire wall, that seemed unrealistic. you could tell along the way they've hedged their bets on
that. but it's interesting the dichotomy of kelly softening the stance in the meeting today compared to what we saw last week where trump seemed willing to take the deal or was giving signals to linde i grahsey grah accounting of it, take a much harder stance. certainly there is reporting around it that john kelly may have been part of that. >> but you're on the substance. correct me if i'm reading this wrong. i was just trying to figure out how donald trump is going to look at this. his chief of staff calls him uninformed, not fully informed. i mean, is donald trump watching, you know, did your chief of staff just call you dumb? that's my question for the white house. >> i'll certainly say this. there has been friction more behind the scenes between kelly and trump sometimes. we know the president has really bristled against the chief of staff's efforts to sort of reign in who can access him in the oval office, who can call him on this phone. kelly himself has expressed frustration to aides and to his own allies that the president has been stubborn on this issue or that. and we also certainly know this.
president trump really dislikes the idea of being called informed. we remember he challenged rex tillerson to an i-q test. >> uninformed. >> be uninformed. he challenged him on an i-q test. it is possible he won't react kindly to this. >> did john kelly call the president uninformed? >> i'm sure he did. >> let me read it again to make sure i'm not -- certain things are said during the campaign that are not fully informed. that certainly suggests that the immigration promises were -- kelly is trying to explain them to the hispanic caucus as uninformed. >> right. okay, here's what instantly came to my mind reading the story -- >> they are. they are uninformed. >> here's the thing. if democrats -- the democrats in that room, i bet, are taking what kelly is saying with a grain of salt. what we have seen from the beginning of this presidency is
that the president's people will go to the hill, they'll go in front of the cameras, they will say all sorts of things about what the administration believes, what the president believes, and then the president will come in and completely undercut them. >> good point. >> chief of staff kelly is trying to say, listen, everything will be okay. vote for this, vote for that, and we will be there on the other side. i guarantee you those democrats, they are not trusting this at all. it's all hopeful talk. i wouldn't trust it. >> and it's not the first time -- a week ago or let me know if it's been a week. the fisa vote, he pulled the rug out from under his own national security homeland security advisor boss ert, who had that vote locked up. donald trump watching fox tweeted something idiotic about fisa being what spied on me. i was the vicktitim of surveille which was the substance of the tweet. one, is the chief of staff
acknowledging his boss is uninformed? do the words carry any weight when they're trying to speak for this president? >> to the first part, i think that john kelly certainly is acknowledging the obvious, that everyone knows that this president president is uninformed as he was in the meeting with -- that they showed about an hour long -- >> 55 minutes. >> a 55 minute live stream of donald trump saying he would give the democrats whatever they wanted -- >> the daca fix and then the kevin mccarthy had to reel him back in. >> and then cut to a day later and they are saying the countries are s-holes and absolutist and no immigration reform. so he is just making himself increasingly irrelevant, which goes to your second point, in the process because they cannot pin down where he actually is at any moment and he obstructs any policy priorities. republicans have made this deal that they will accept all of donald trump's problems to get some legislation passed, to
further their own policy priorities. but they aren't able to because of his own incompetence. >> mitch mcconnell, senate majority leader, said today when trump decides what his position is, we'll pass the bill. because -- >> did he say that on came? can we look for that? >> i read the quote. i didn't see footage. but basically -- >> said -- >> thursday he said why are you sending me this terrible bill that is so awful. and now mitch mcconnell is like, okay, look, make up your mind, you got your devil and your angel sitting on your shoulder and come to a decision and we'll pass it. and whatever you want to call it. you have the -- >> steven and john. >> you have steven miller on one side and lindsey graham on the other. something like tahat and it is like, okay, you tell us and we'll do. >> it but that comes days after
the president says you come up with something and i'll sign it. so there is no real plan here. >> hard to believe. >> breaking news, there is no plan. all right. we're taking a break, but up next, the fooe aunsee of papadapoulos is coming up. for whom methotrexate did not work well. xeljanz xr can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma and other cancers have happened. don't start xeljanz xr if you have an infection. tears in the stomach or intestines, low blood cell counts and higher liver tests and cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests before you start and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests. tell your doctor if you were in a region where fungal infections
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to the truth which now is a big statement. it is decided to be in the right side -- and he is cooperating and is -- i think it is in the interest of the country. >> you think it is in the u.s. interest that george is cooperating. >> yes. >> that was george poppa lop dus fiancee speaking with ari melber. and jonathan, he was the first trump campaign aide to flitch. to start working for team america as a former prosecutor described it and he may have been doing so for nearly a year now. we have no idea what he has told robert mueller but from her interview with ari and her other interviews that at least in her mind, and what she knows from her fiance, he did not operate without the permission and direct knowledge of his superiors in the trump campaign. >> from the clip we just showed
what i found intering is the phrase, he's loyal, which is abuzzword that comes out of the white house all of the time. the president prides his loyalty and follows it up with loyal to the truth. and that he wants to be on the right side of history and that he's cooperating with the investigation. george popapadopoulos was not a name on anybody's lips until he was arrested and was arrested months earlier and cooperating. he is somebody and she is out there simona mangiante. >> he is showing off. >> she's out there telling his side of the story and letting it be known that this person that none of us had heard of before is cooperating. and this is -- this is a big deal. just because you haven't heard of him, doesn't mean what he has told mueller isn't incredibly important. >> and this is her first
interview since it became public that what was a bar there london where he boasted orn a mission to get dirt about hillary clinton or obtain e-mails that raised red flags in the diplomatic community. and whatever transpired in that bar between george papadopoulos and australian diplomat was sent back via cable through the appropriate channels and that is what initiated the fbi inquiry into potential ties between the trump campaign and russia. not anything in the much maligned dossier. >> and that is taking away a republican or white house talking point where they like to besmirch the dossier and this is fiction and there is no there, there, but papadopoulos played a role in getting this whole probe started. >> but simona mangiante, is going to be the greatest trivia question in mueller-gate. they are getting the $10,000 pool at some party.
>> but -- >> this is ten years from now. >> and let me push back, she has brought to us the mission of getting dirt on hillary clinton and those are the exact words used by don jr. in the e-mails from the russians, that sounds like a larger campaign mission or purpose if -- i forgot her name and i'm not -- >> simona mangiante. this was obviously a covert at the time mission. but they were trying to get dirt on hillary clinton if she is talking about and -- getting dirt on hillary clinton was part of what the campaign was engaged to do. >> but trump talked about in every speech. >> that doesn't make it legal. >> no one said it is legal. but you have to be careful about assuming that papadopoulos wasn't just a braggadocios 28-year-old third grader wandering around london looking like a bigger player than he was. >> well she pushed back against that narrative and that is she's out there. saying he was not just a coffee boy. he was front and center and
setting up meetings with world leaders. >> and having been a low level campaign aide we see and hear a lot but you cannot miss the full interview tonight on the beat at 6:00 p.m. here on msnbc. thanks to my feisty panel. that does it for our hour. i'm nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" starts right now. >> hi, nicole. >> we're allowed to do this. look into the camera to talk to her. i will lean in. >> i'm on my way. >> horrible control room etiquette. thank you. if it is wednesday, a top republican just made a shutdown a lot more likely. >> tonight, more republicans are sounding the alarm on the chaos surrounding the trump white house. >> as soon as we figure out what he is for, then i would be convinced that we were not just spinning our wheels. >> and plus is the pressure on democrats to keep the government open until two days before a shutdown. i