tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC February 2, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST
declassified this information. >> the real danger is you're letting the public see one point of view, one slice of information that we know from reports from the fbi is extremely misleading. >> i think it's a disgrace what's going on in this country. i think it's a disgrace. the memo was sent to congress. congress will do whatever they're going to do. but i think it's a disgrace what's happening in our country. when you look at that and you see that and so many other things, what's going on, a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves. >> this is not normal politics. this is a hit job here. >> one paragraph worth noting, then director james comey signed three fisa applications in question on behalf of the fbi in deputy director andrew mccabe signed one. then acting dag and rod rosenstein each signed one or
more fisa applications on on behalf of the doj. is this a big nothing burger? george papadopoulos's information triggered the opening of an fbi counterintelligence investigation in july 2016 by fbi agent peter strzok. he's also a favorite target of republicans because of his text messages with fbi attorney lisa page showing bias against trump. but we should also note that strzok also favored opening the clinton investigation. democrats allege the memo compiled by republicans cherry picks information. former fbi director james comey weighed in on the memo's release a minute ago tweeting, that's it? dishonest and misleading memo where he could the house intel committee, destroyed trust with the intelligence community, damaged relationship with fisa court and inexcuse bly exposed classified information of an american citizen? for what?
doj and fbi must keep doing their jobs. we have got the best folks in the business to break this down. joining me now is the host of msnbc's "hardball," chris matthews. let's start with you. we had awe moment ago talking about the politics of this. when you take that excerpt i just read and you look at the names in that paragraph of the memo, everybody has been either fired or removed from their posts. the only person that is left is deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, the man that is overseeing the mueller investigation. it does have the aspect of a death certificate here. clearly the whole memo, in fact, we have dramatized this to death, i've never seen a staff-written document made into such a big thing with all this drama. the way joe mccarthy used to do it, i have a document. we don't even know who the
providence of this document is. it could well have been written by white house staff people in the way nunes played that game as an operative last year getting a document from the executive office, coming back the next morning and delivering it to the west wing as if he had something from outside when he was just playing the role for the trump people. this way the president gets to keep his fingerprints off it saying this is a congressional d. so when he fires rosenstein he'll see i'm doing what i had to do in reaction to the news from the hill, which looks to me like theater. the fact that the chairman of the committee and the purported author of this document will not say it wasn't written by the white house is very important. he wouldn't answer the question by mr. squiggly whether he had then writing this. i think he had a lot of help. i think it's basically probably coming from the white house in the same way that document that he got last spring came from the white house. he works more as an operative
than a separate legislative figure appointed by the people. i think this is interesting. and i think it's a game that's going to backfire against the president because it's clearly -- he's the one behind all of this. >> devin nunes was part of the transition, chris. the russia investigation is looking into donald trump's campaign. donald trump's transition, and donald trump's administration, looking into whether or not there was any sort of collusion with russia and now any sort of obstruction of the russia investigation. devin nunes already recused himself. how is he holding that position when he was a member of the donald trump transition and that is what the fbi is investigating? that is what mueller is investigating. >> the chairmanship is really a result that appointment comes to the limp and for whatever reason paul ryan is backing him up, the speaker of the house is backing him up.
katy i have been watching politics basically all my life. i remember seeing the congress in the hands of either party operating as an operative of the white house. there's seems to be no problem in the leadership people in the house republican leadership obey the daily needs of this president. to back up this guy, he's releasing information that's not supposed to be released, breaking all kinds of things precedent, indicting top officials put there by mr. trump. the behavior's embarrassing. his own paper in california basically called him a stooge the other day. >> go back to the last -- there's much ado about a special prosecutor. go back to bill clinton when he was in the throes of being investigated. what were the democrats acting like then?
can you compare it at all to how the republicans are acting now? >> you're shrewd to point that out. move on. how many times do we hear the term move on? go pass the -- why are we going after clinton about a sex matter, all the activists were saying drop it. you're right, there's a pattern here. activists don't necessarily go for the truth. they go for the preservation of their political hero at the time. unfortunately there's a pattern here. i have to think about the difference. i've never seen, however, legislative people elected by people in their districts behaving like bots. >> bill clinton was accused of something very different than donald trump is being accused of. donald trump is being accused potentially or they're looking into whether or not his campaign coordinated or colluded with the russians to meddle in the 2016
election. there's a lot of evidence out there that the special counsel has already gathered, already come away with two guilty replies with two indictments. you can say those were differing matters, but we don't really know if money laundering if potentially that's what is going to go with jarell martin or rick gates. if money laundering had anything to do with this russia investigation. still a lot out there we haven't been able to nail down. you have don junior talking to a russian lawyer who's offering dirt on hillary clinton that comes from the russian government. he says i love it. you have don junior talking to julian assange talking about information they had at the time donald trump was really championing last week. donald trump would come out and he would say i love wikileaks. he was going through a rough patch at this time in the
polling. there were so many controversies. when wikileaks came out in that moment, it was as if it breathed new life into donald trump's campaign. there is a lot out there, and donald trump himself, already that seems at least to point in a direction or at the very least have a justification for an investigation. >> especially carter page. imagine this. you have evidence that the russians were trying to intervene in our election to the advantage of donald trump. he wanted to hurt hillary clinton. we know that. and carter page operating as an endear immediate area between the trump people and the russians, very much tied in with the russian oligarchs. here is a guy who clearly was one of the ways that the russians were using or people in russia were using to try to make themselves available to trump
people. and then why wouldn't the fbi check this guy out? wouldn't you want to know what the russians were saying to him on the phone? of course you would. you want to know how the russians were using them. >> they had their eyes on him from 2013, right? >> yeah. so seems to me for the republican party under trump and for mr. nunes and all those staff people, that basically hooked their whole case on the fact that they believe the carter page should not have been surveilled. that's their main case. this guy's a little goofy in his manner and the way he's presented himself 2456789 guy isn't worthy of putting an eye on and figure out what he's doing? it's ridiculous because think of it this way. if the fbi had not been checking up on what carter page was doing, everybody would say, wait a minute, they let it go. they missed a great opportunity.
>> chris matthews. catch him on "hardball" every night at 7:00 p.m. eastern. chris hayes is on the phone, host of "all in" on nbc. you've done a lot of interviews with him over time trying to get down to who exactly he was talking to, when he was talking to, why he was being cagey. i want to play some of your interviews with him to remind viewers of what they were like. >> i genuinely hope, carter, that you are innocent of everything because you're doing a lot of talking. >> i hope that -- >> it's either bold or reckless. >> it's been fun. >> thanks for coming by. >> in the interest of getting the truth out there -- because when the truth comes out, when speaker paul ryan says the fisa warrant, the details about the dodgy dossier and what happened and all those documents is going
to be released, that's what i'm excited about and the truth will set a lot of people free. >> can carter page see into the future when the truth comes out when paul ryan gets in this? >> it's a pretty fascinating thing he mentioned. that was back in october. it's pretty fascinating he was mentioning paul ryan explicitly okaying the fisa warrant. makes you wonder what kind of back channel communication there was. >> what is your take on this, chris, having talked to carter page u seeing this memo come out? what do you think? >> a lot of things. one, from the beginning, carter viewed himself as kind of civil rights martyr in a way, that he is on the wrong side of a vast overreach of the american surveillance state and that he will be shown to be innocent and this was all part of this, you know, conspiracy in a way. i mean it in the real terms.
like, carter held there's a conspiracy about what happened to him, about the fisa surveillance, about the fact that he was sort of referenced in the dossier, the fact he's been referenced in news reports. that conspiracy theory he has had for a while and he would send to me and our staff in text and tell me off set, has now become the official conspiracy theory of the republican party, of the republican majority on the house intelligence committee of the president of the united states. that is now the official conspiracy theory of the people that run the government with a very, very important dissent from the people that run the fbi itself. and i think actually probably the drj. there was this vast conspiracy to subvert democracy to the memo published today which is essentially carter's take on
everything with the inform ma turf devin nunes and the white house. >> pete williams just got a statement from attorney general jeff sessions, right? >> right. this is from the attorney general in response to the nunes memo. he says, quote, congress has made inquiries concerning an issue of great importance for the country and concerns have been raised about the department's performance. i have great confidence in the men and women of this department but no department is perfect. acordingly i will forward information regarding this. i am determined we will fully and fairly ascertain the truth. one more sentence. we work for the american people and are accountable to them and those they elected. we will meet the responsibilitiment this is the attorney general, jeff sessions. >> analyze it for us, pete. >> well, i guess i'm a little
surprised there's a statement at all. what he's trying to do, i think, is tow the line between being loyal to the fbi and also being responsive to the administration. as you know he's in a tough spot. he's constantly what he's making speeches, he doesn't get praise from the president. the president says he wished if would have recused himself. so he's always been in this tough spot. i think he's trying to do two things, be responsive but supportive of the fbi. >> he has been in a tough spot. donald trump was not happy with him being recused after all, he was donald trump's pick to head the amoun.g. and he asked if th were loyal to him. and this was seen as something, his recusal from the russia
investigation was seen as something not helpful to donald trump, after all, he was his guy. pete williams, thank you very much. appreciate you coming on and giving us that breaking news. we also have kristin walker at the white house. and we have julia ainsley one of our political reporters, national security reporters. and as i mentioned, msnbc's ari mel burr. guys, thank you all for joining us. ari, i want to get your legal take on this. we have this four-page memo from devin nunes. it is talking about a fisa warrant on carter page. ken delaney was saying four different fisa court judges approved this warrant. so you can infer from that that
they had to go through the bulk of evidence against carter page each time. this wasn't just somebody who was saying, i've done this before, sure. four different people who would need to see all the evidence four different times. >> right. there's a legal process. and this four-page memo criticizes the outcome of the process and suggests a do-over. maybe carter page's surveillance which was authorized in october 2016, maybe it shouldn't have been approved in the first place. that's a hypothetical argument and that's something we often see from people in the process. not to belittle this, but sometimes a court case is like a football game. when it's over on monday morning people talk about how it should have gone. what is not in the memo is any allegation of a cross-claim or
federal law brok comey, sally yates, maybandrew mccabe, these are senior officials. doesn't put pen to paper on anything they did wrong. it just says as a general matter maybe the fisa judge should have known one particular fact about the sourcing of the dossier. legally it is not the case even a biased source or a source with an ax to grind means you don't get a warrant. the other point that comes through, what if they're right? when if you give the most benign interpretation to this memo? i'm not saying we know this, but for the sake of fairness, what lawyers annoyingly call for the sake of argument, what carter page is right? he shouldn't have been surveilled. what if the fisa judge had other
information they wouldn't have approved the warrant. what then? nothing. doesn't change anything with the mueller probe or anything with the doj. it suggests that if they were right, the surveillance shouldn't have been conducted and all that would mean is that underlying material saying that he got wiretap of a only if, you couldn't use it in open court. doesn't mean there was no crime committed. jeff sessions yet again appears in this statement trying to thread a needle to say now that i learned these things, i will do the appropriate thing and refer them to the appropriate place. he doesn't say what that really means. it could be an i.g. report, it could mean a larger criminal probe, although, again, i would observe it would be odd to launch criminal probe on the basis that doesn't make an allegation of a crime, or it could mean nothing. but it is notable that all of this comes out and the attorney
general, because of the weird ways that the rule of law is under strain from donald trump to put as measured as i can, feels the need to say i'm responding to this. again, i don't mean to be rude, but what are you responding to, attorney general? this material came from you. it went through a house g.o.p. process but it's all your material to begin w. there is a lot of evidence of theater and no evidence of crime. >> hold on a second, ari. let's get to kristin walker. this memo has now been out for 2 1/2 hours. feels like it's been out for a lifetime. what is the reaction from the white house? do they feel it's the smoking gun the president wanted it to be? last hour, donald trump said it would prove that a lot of folks in the fbi and the doj should be ashamed of themselves
>> reporter: that's right. seems like the president is painting this as a smoking gun, katy. no doubt about that. look, he will undoubtedly use this to make the case that parts of the russia probe have been basically governed by misconduct. and that is something he's been arguing for quite some time now on twitter and elsewhere. he called ate hoax. so this will only fuel those arguments in terms of the broader fallout, there's a question about what happens next, particularly when it comes to, for example, the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. the president was just asked a number of questions. he's leaving for sterling, virginia, to hold a round table on customs and border protection. asked a number questions about rod rosenstein about this memo. he didn't answer any questions. he did answer questions just as the memo was coming out about whether or not he still has
confident. his response was curious. he effectively said, well, what do you think? not verbatim, but that was the essence of it. so katy, i think there are concerns about the fact that this could only add to the tensions between this white house, between the justice department and the fbi. at this point in time, we have heard no rumblings that there are movements to remove any senior law enforcement officials, but as you and i have been talking about, you do have some republicans who are saying that this memo is going to call for that. adam schiff has been quite clear if this administration were to move to try to remove some top law enforcement officials that that could trigger a constitutional crisis. 9÷'?z the root of a lot of partisan
bickering over the weekend. >> no doubt. let's get to ashley parker. ashley, forgive me, i don't know if you were on this byline, i assume you were because you are on all of them over there. but from your reporting over there, the president said he thought the release of the memo would help build a public argument against rosenstein's handling of the case. trump suggested the memo might give him the justification to fire rosenstein, something about which trump has privately mused or made changes at the justice department which he complained was not sufficiently loyal to him. yesterday on our air, lee zeldin said the memo would show there needs to be leadership changes at the done of the doj and the top of the fbi. >> looks like they would like that leadership change to include the removal of rod rosenstein, the man in charge of the mueller investigation. >> that's exactly right. that was my story.
whether they want the actual removal is an open question. but they certainly want the option to remove him and make other changes at the justice department. this is something president trump has long wanted. he's sometimes called the justice department the, quote, trump justice department. and gripe why, quote, un, quote, am i guys aren't serving me, aren't being loyal to me. what's striking about this is that this memo two weeks ago president trump didn't even really understand what it was or what it meant but as soon as he started watching his allies talk about it on tv and he became convinced it would give him the political cover or the legitimate justification, depending on what you believe to potentially fire rod rosenstein, make changes at the justice department, he was absolutely convinced helped this memo released. so, yes, there was a process we all watch it go through, but
today the memo being released with no reredaction was very much a foregone conclusion for a number of days. >> it bears underscoring that the president watched cable news to see how his allies were talking about it. this is a man that seems to me is more aware of what people are saying about him and the advice people are giving him on tv than he is from his own advisers, the people he puts in those positions, the people that would know best. christopher wray went to the white house with rod rosenstein. remember, a donald trump appointee, saying this is not good to release. we have grave concerns about it. this is misleading, it is not true. but donald trump would rather listen to cable news hosts? this is donald trump leaving for the event kristin walker mentioned a moment ago.
ashley? >> this is sort of a combination. not only did christopher wray and rod rosenstein go to the white house, but we reported five fbi agents including one in the counterterrorism division went to the white house to make their case. obviously the fbi and the department of justice released public statements. and the way we understand it is that president trump first heard about it from two allies in a phone call, two members of the house freedom caucus who said there's a memo that could help you politically. you should declassify it. and then as soon as he learned about it, and you're exactly right, he did learn about it watching it on tv. he heard a reading in the papers, but we heard at one point trey gaudy was on cnn made a forceful fiery pitch why the public deserves to see the memo and that excited the president. it animated him. all along the way the channels the president watches are what
led him ultimately to this conclusion. >> the office of the press secretary released a statement the -- government's most to against american citizens. it goes on to say the administration stands ready to work with congress to accommodate oversight requests consistent with applicable standards including the immediate to protect intelligence sources and methods. julia ainsley, this is underscoring what lee zeldin said, leadership changes at the top, at the doj and the fbi. if you look at the names that are in this memo, there's one that stands out as somebody who is still there. again, it was rod rosenstein. >> that's true. another one that is still there now is dana binta. you're right, rod rosenstein has been in the cross hairs of all
of this. when i hear that statement from sarah sanders, i can't help but think about how they're making it look as if everything depended on this carter page fisa application to get everything that we now know in the mueller investigation but there's a sentence here i think anyone could drill down if he read this saying the papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an fbi counterintelligence investigation in 2016. that is now the investigation thath9" we know as mueller prob. it is not this fisa application, it's not the warrant into carter page. that application came in october of 2016. and in ken delaney's reporting, four separate judges signed off on that application. >> julia ainsley, ari mel burr and kristin walker, guys, thank you very much. there's a lot more reporting out there today. next we're going to find out how members of congress are reacting to the release of this memo.
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release. they see the premise of the memo isn't true and they have good reason to be concerned about carter page. mark warren said, quote, unlike almost every house member who voted in favor of this memo's release, i have actually
read the underlying documents on which the memo is based. they simply do not support its conclusions. the house minority leader nancy pelosi with this. president trump surrendered his constitutional responsibility as commander in chief by releasing highly classified and distorted intelligence. by not protecting intelligence sources and methods, he just sent his friend putin a bouquet. david cicilline a democrat from rivaled sits on the house judiciary and foreign affairs committees. he reviewed the memo before its release. >> i'm here. >> good. you tweeted after the memo's release there's as much truth in this memo as there is in a typical donald trump tweet.
democrats did not want this to happen. they had their own memo. how did democrats do that? >> i think, first, let's remember, this is not an intelligence document. this was the a document crafted by devin nunes, his staff. this was a person who was so partisan that he was removed from leading the investigation. it's purported to be a summary of documents that he's never even read. it's like asking someone who's never read a book to do a book report. on the other hand, adam schiff, the ranking member of the intelligence committee read the underlying documents, has detailed the omissions and the incrazies of this purported summary. this is part of a larger effort by the republicans in congress and the white house to undermine this investigation, to set the stage for their firing of rod rosenstein and robert mueller, to stop the investigation so the american people never learn the truth. we should understand that's what this is.
this is about interfering with and ultimately stopping this very serious investigation which is under way about collusion between the trump campaign and the russians and obstruction of justice. we've seen ample evidence of both. it's a sad day for your country. >> if democrats want their own memo released, how do they do that if they're not in the majority? >> there's going to be a vote the intelligence committee, there's going to be significant public pressure. people will want to see an actual memoranda. the republicans are going to have to surrender to public pressure and release it. they should have been released together. but we're at a sad point. we've politicized it. the president has been on a campaign to undermine this investigation since it began. now he wants to get rid of the
leaders of the investigation with the ultimate goal of stopping it so the american people will never know what happened and will ton serve as our president. we can't allow that to happen. >> is there discussion whatsoever ability releasing highly redacted versions so that the american public can take a look at and if this gets released the democratic memo, would you support that? >> people should read very carefully adam schiff's statement. >> these are just dueling statements. >> i understand, but i would say -- >> the underlying documents are going to show what was at play in getting a fisa warrant for carter page. obviously that is extraordinarily sensitive and classified information, but is there a version of which that you would support the american public seeing so they can get to the truth of this? because right now it is very
muddy and there's a lot of noise. it's hard to tell from a layman's standpoint who's playing politics here. seems like everybody is playing politics. >> i would resist -- no, i have to push back hard on that, katy. look, devin nunes has already displayed his a partisan. he was removed from leading the investigation because of his shenanigans at the white house. the difference is adam schiff is deeply respected. he's read the underlying documents. if they would agree to release the memoranda, this would be very clear. anyone who's paying attention, this is about undermining an ongoing investigation that's getting closer and closer to the president of the united states. certainly we always have to keep in mind how important it is to protect our intelligence services, to protect the work to keep us safe. they're releasing a highly classified document. what you're suggesting would be hard to do. >> i'm asking the question, i'm not suggesting. >> it would be hard to do. but this is very, very important
in terms of our ability to keep the american people safe, to continue to have partnerships with our allies. if you read the memoranda and they recognize adam schiff's integrity, there will be no question in anyone's mind what's going on here. this is a blatant political attempt to shut down an investigation that's getting closer and closer to the president of the united states. >> rhode island democratic congressman david cicilline. congressman, sorry. >> david's good. >> donald trump had nothing but kind words for the fbi. here's a reminder. >> i've always had a lot of confidence in the fbi. you have amazing people in the fbi. >> and i have to give the fbi credit. that was so bad what happened originally. and it took guts for director comey to make the move that he made. >> the fbi, and i have them a lot of credit because they're fighting forces that they're not
supposed to be fighting. >> they're out there doing their job. they're amazing people and they're being road blocked. >> and i have such great respect for the people at the fbi. >> and you have amazing people in the fbi. these are great, great people, great men and women, people that love our country. >> oh, how times have changed. the president's views on the nation's top law enforcement agency have changed significantly since the election. he's twaktd the fbi and the justice department leaders over the russia investigation and the release of the nunes memo will likely lead to more attacks. here's what happened to some of those leaders. james comey was fired. deputy fbi director andrew mccabe is now out. the president ordered the firing of special counsel robert mueller, but then he backed off. the fbi's top lawyer, james baker has been reassigned. the memo started rod rosenstein who oversees the investigation, rosenstein's boss, jeff sessions, has been attacked for reaccusing himself from the russia probe.
it could be profound implications not just not fbi, but for the president. host of msnbc's deadline white house, nicolle wallace. i know you have things to do so i tried to read through this quickly. it's a walk down memory lane. i remember the rallies where he didn't like the fbi because they weren't pressing charges against hillary clinton but when they said they're going to reopen the investigation, it was like the fbi gave him life. >> i talked to a former head of an intelligence agency who served under democratic and republican presidents. he says what this reveals is the president has no regard for any american institution. we're talking about the fbi, but what we learned from the release of the memo is something bigger, that he's only concerned with his personal activities.
i think that what happens next, you have a six-year-old who always wants to know what happens next, what happens next is rod rosenstein is likely to find himself on his lawn the way james comey did the day after he was fired. i think there's a lot of concern in the fact that republicans have backed off from legislation that was designed to protect mueller is an ominous sign. i think the fight with the fbi was so startling, so jarring, so disconcerting, that it had the effect of fogging up the president's real target, which was rod rosenstein. >> rod rosenstein is a donald trump appointee. >> yes, he's a lifelong republican. >> christopher wray is donald trump's appointee, hand picked. christopher wray must not be feeling very comfortable right now either after all, he is going against what donald trump wanted. >> here's the wray story. i understand him to be very
calm. yesterday afternoon he made his case. he was seen by the rank and file of the fbi, which is really the guts of the fbi. the reason folks like andy mccabe and everyone that you showed that had been run out, the reason those firings roiled the building more than the departure of james comey was those are the guys that had the backs when things became political. but the real scandal here is that the fight with the fbi was -- donald trump was willing to make the fbi collateral damage to get his ultimate aim, which is to get rid of rosenstein and take control of the mueller probe. >> who is left? if this becomes a saturday night massacre and he gets rid of rosenstein and somebody takes his place as act attorney general until donald trump can try to get another appointee through the senate, who knows if
he can at that point? i don't know if he can get 60 votes on anyone who would unemployment at this point. are you confident the structure is in place to stop that slow roll of another saturday night massacre? are people going to say i'm not going to be a part of this? >> here's the conone drum. no one's resigned. christopher wray doesn't plan to resign from our networks reporting at this hour after donald trump released a memo over the grave concerns which typically means lives are at stake. we're not talking about anyone that's planning to resign. we're talking about someone donald trump plans to fire. so no one has resigned. i'm sure it's complicated. there are people who think their presence makes things better and integrity improves. but i think for a president who
is known to have talked to his associates about recess appointments as it pertains to the justice department, we should all be very afraid. >> they're yelling at me to let you go, but i have one more question. ive congressman paul gosar of arizona, made a name for himself last week what he said dreamers at the state of the union should be deported. you could see he one-upped himself today. he said this is evidence of treason and he will call on the doj to investigate traitors? >> this memo is evidence of the fact that carter page was of grave enough concern to the nation's counterintelligence officials and to the nation's law enforcement officials that his one former intelligence agent put it today, they were willing to reauthorize surveillance of him three times to continue to monitor carter
page. and the real question is they started watching him in 2013. what was he doing on the trump campaign two years later? what was he doing representing the trump campaign on the world stage when he this be target of surveillance two years before he was named by donald trump in an editorial board meeting with the "washington post"? he was one of the only names donald trump would think of when asked to name his national security team. >> your former boss, senator john mccain, has a statement out. this is notable. the latest attacks serve no american interests, no parties, no presidents, only poounlt's. the american people deserve to know all of the facts surrounding russia's ongoing efforts to subvert your democrats, which is why mueller's investigation must proceed unimpeded. we are doing putin's job for him. the senator, obviously, is not
well. who in the senate right now in congress is holding his flame? >> nobody. the most depressing thing of -- john mccain is someone -- listen, sometimes this cuts against the people i work for. john mccain was the loudest voice when i work for george bush criticizing the wars in iraq and afghanistan. he was on the right side of a lot of national security questions and he's always been on the right side of the russia question. and it's galling that the only republican who came out against the memo's release before it was released john. >> where was flake? >> i never heard from him. >> or corker? >> i arrive heard from any one of them. to think that mccain and lieberman assisted america would arm them protect them from
putin's aggressions, they're doing putin's bidding by undermining america's rule of law. >> nicolle wallace, thank you so much for joining us. >> you come down, come hang. >> it's a real treat. >> it's fun for me too. >> nicole and i like each other a lot but we never get to hang out. >> we need ad joining sets. >> i'm going to get a straw and do like a little -- one of those things. >> paper note. >> spit ball. paper airplane is much better. 4:00 p.m. today is her show. it's going to be a good one. don't miss it. let's continue the discussion now with john mclaughlin, former acting cia director msnbc national security analysis. matt miller, former chief spokesman for the justice department and msnbc justice and
security analysis. matthew, let us start with you. there have been reports president trump sees this memo as a way to push rod rosenstein out. do you see a case for that, one that would stand up, i guess, to anybody past donald trump supporters in congress for rod rosenstein to leave? >> no. there's no legitimate case here, obviously, for rod rosenstein to step down or to adjujustify him being fired. donald trump doesn't need a legitimate case if you think about back to the case of james comey. the memo that rod rosenstein wrote justifying comey's firing is not the actual justification that donald trump used in making that decision, we know, because he told lester holt that he did it because of the russia investigation. i don't think there's a lot of mystery of what the president wants to do. he said behind closed doors to allies, the statement by sarah huckabee sanders makes it clear
that there's serious misconduct at the senior levels of the justice department. if you look at the people identified in the memo, the only one that's left in a senior role is rod rosenstein. so whether he actually moves against him remains to be seen. i think it would cause serious turmoil in the justice department. maybe it's my hope, maybe i'm naive, i think you see resignations that came out of that department if you were to move against him. that's clearly what he wants to do. i think over the coming days we'll see whether he actually thinks he has the political space to do it or not. >> red state noticed a significant inaccuracy in this memo. they're calling the whole credibility of the memo into question. it has to do with an inaccurate summerization of something on the public record. whether the allegations in the
memo had been verified. i'm going to read from the memo and then read what comey actually said. this is the fourth item in the third page. according to the head of the fbi's counterintelligence division, assistant director bill presnap corroborated of the steele dossier was in its infancy at the time of the initial page fisa application. after steele was terminated a source validation report conducted by an independent unit within fbi assessed steele's reporting was corroborated. yet in early january 2017, director comey briefed president-elect trump on a summary. steele dossier even though it was, according to the his june 2017 testimony, quote, salacious and unverified. while the fisa application relied on reporting of unrelated matters, it goernds or concealed his not an trump financial and ideological motivations. further more, mccabe testified
before the committee in december 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the fisa court without the steele dossier information. that last bit about m here in t. but the portion about james comey and what he testified, that the memo was salacious and unverified, that is misleading. james comey in his testimony in front of congress did not say that the entire steele dossier was salacious and unverified. he was saying a portion of it was salacious and unverified. this is chairman bur asking the question of james comey. and the public domain is this question of the steele dossier, a document around for a year. i'm not sure when the fbi first took possession of it. but the media had it before you had it and we had it. at the time of your departure from the fbi, was the fbi able to confirm any criminal allegations contained in the steele document. comby. mr. chairman, i don't think that is a question i can answer in open setting because it goes
into the details of the house investigation. they go on a little bit more. and he says, i didn't use the term counter intelligence. i was briefing him about salacious and unverified material. it was in a context that he strong defensive reaction about that not being true. my reading of it was important to me, for me to assure him we are -- we were not the person investigating him. i'm sorry that i'm -- i mumbled a bunch of it because it is i from a transcript and they are not complete sentences. but this is what comey is saying. he is saying that the portion of the steele dossier that we all know at this point that had the salacious and unverified material having to do with trump's personal life and something that may or may not have happened that has been unverified in a russian hotel room. that comey was alerting him that this was out there. this memo, stephanie, says that he was trying to say the entire
steele dossier was salacious and unverified. is this pointing to what the fbi said were material -- material -- i'm forgetting the word, things left out of the dossier. >> omissions. >> material omissions. thank you very much. >> what we don't see in this document is what else was in the affidavit. and what portions of the steele dossier was actually used to bolster an fbi affidavit for a fisa. you know, it is written -- it is pieced together a bunch of different information we've seen already. and of course it paints a narrative consistent with the narrative that the republicans want to paint. again, i asked the same question as everybody else. what is the ultimate purpose of doing this document? there certainly is a method and
a process for investigating any kind of in complete fisa affidavit or inaccurate fisa affidavit. if the bowe o-- the bureau has done that, the house does have a process to investigate it, identify any gap in the investigation, rectify any problems with the affidavit with the court, and then doll out discipline as needed. and that is something that the house intel committee is able to do, can do and has done in the past. this immediately makes me a little bit more curious into carter page. why is there so much emphasis around what the fbi could have acquired through their fisa coverage on carter page. is that the ultimate concern here that there was additional intelligence gathered through his fisa coverage that could be concerning to the investigation.
>> john, you were on the air a little earlier today and you said we have the president of the united states now having issue to the american public a memo that the director of the fbi said is false. that is never happened in our democracy. >> yeah, katy, the problem you just highlighted a moment ago is i think the story of this memo. when i read it today, having personally signed warrant requests that are usually 50, 60, 70 pages long, i have to assume and believe that this memo is very selectively drawn from a very large document and the example you gave is precisely the kind of problem i was anticipating. in fact, what i thought of when i -- i read it today was the optical illusions you can find online where you look at something that appears to be a rabbit but if you just let your brain add more information it turns into a duck.
and i think that is what we're going to find here as more information comes out. the complexion and the context of the thing will change markedly and there is one sentence in there -- or one sentence in representative schiff's commentary, not formal memo but his commentary today that caught my eye. it is the sentence in which he says thein convenient fact left out of this memo is that without the steele dossier, had it never entered -- had christopher steele never entered the picture, there could still be a very robust investigation of the russia involvement here. if the ultimate memo that the democrats, i'm convinced, did have to put out at some point. there is a compelling case for that now, regrettably because we shouldn't have these -- that is not how this should be handled.
but if that case could be made, i think it is game, set, match. it established this memo is their -- purely partisan purposes. >> former acting director of the cia, john mclaughlin, a former d.o.j. spokesperson, matt miller and stephanie douglas would is now senior managing director at guide post solutions. thank you very much. and so what do constituents in devin nunes's california district think of him and his actions. here is what some of them had to tell us today. >> he's a man of integrity and he's not going to do this just to help out president trump. no, he wants to get to the bottom of this issue. and bringing full disclosure to the american people. >> think he's a patriot. i'm extremely proud of the way he's -- acted in his role as head of the intelligence committee and i think this memo is -- as important as what
happened in watergate. and the american people have a right to know what is happening in their government. if their government is being used -- part of the government are being used for political purposes against the opposition, that runs afoul of our rule of law. >> joining me now, bill crystal founder of the weekly standard and republican strategist rick wilson. guys, i should note that that sound was gathered before the memo was released. but in anticipation of the memo being released. we're basically out of time so i want to get one final thought from both of you, wrap this all up. bill, you go first. >> trey gowdy who did the been investigation, the very respected republican member who is the person who looked at the underlying application which representative nunes did not, his tweet, as i've said repeatedly i remain 100% confident in special counsel robert mueller and the cop tents of the memo do not any any way
discredit his investigation. there is a concern about the fisa process but that is legitimate. but gowdy is saying a conservative republican that the contents of the memo do not in in way discredit the mueller investigation. >> bill do you recognize the republican party right now. >> i recognize trey gowdy. the others not so much. >> rick, you've got a fiery twitter feed. you tweet -- that is an understatement. you tweeted this today -- >> this -- this thing came off today like a far in a hurricane -- >> hold on. >> it is inconsequential. >> that is good. but i want to read your tweet first. nunes and his friends vowed to bring the pain but devin's memo like a far in a hurricane. which you just said. go on. >> there you have it. a little verse here and there. look, i think this is an embarrassment. the republican party and the enablers with president hanity over at fox news hyped this thing into the sky. the first rule of politics is
always underpromise and overdeliver. they turned this into something where they had people believing today you would see hillary clinton and barack obama and james comey and susan rice marched off in handcuffs and instead people are laughing at -- at devin nunes like he is tommy wiso. this is the weakest sauce i could imagine. it is comical how bad it is. and the fak that it is being torn apart even before the democratic memo is released, even before the -- the fbi and the intelligence community have had their say is really telling. the other thing that is telling, bill correctly pointed out tray goud's statement but i think it is very important to see that jeff sessions, even jeff sessions today was defending rod rosen steen, defending the justice department and drawing a fairly bright line that the white house may have to fire him to get to rosen steen. >> give me the tommy wiso from the room -- what is it again? >> you're killing me.
>> you don't do it as well, rick. you don't do it as well as he does. or james franco. at least in that movie. bill crystal, rick wilson, thank you for wrapping it up for me today. and that will be it for me. two hours of breaking news. remember to follow me and all of the things you could follow people on and e-mail us if you want e-mail. we do read them. ali velshi. >> what did he say. >> a far in a hurricane. >> that is amazing. i want to leave it at that. >> i have nothing else to add. >> are you back today or done? >> have i not done enough. look at this table. >> this is what i get. this is what i inherent. >> look at this table and then tell me that i'm doing a great job at keeping it all straight despite the mess that i've made. >> i'll use this space. have a great afternoon. thank you so much. listen, we'll stay on top of this story but the memo but other bigtory going on right now. the memo is about the complicated stuff going