tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC February 3, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PST
onio should i buy a chinchilla? comment below. did i mention i save people $620 for switching? chinchilla update -- got that chinchilla after all. say what up, rocco. ♪ good day, everyone, aim ai'x witt at nbc headquarters in new york. memo is the word. the fallout from the republican memo release and the impact it could have on the russia investigation. the democratic memo alternative. why it's three times longer than the gop's and what are the chances the president would ever let it be released? >> what's going on, a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves, and much worse than that. >> beyond the shame. is firing next? would the president dare to give deputy attorney general rod rosenstein the heave-ho?
♪ and on the spot. how politics is having an impact on what kind of ads you're going to see during the super bowl. we begin with a live picture of the white house just moments ago pushing back on growing concerns by democrats that president trump will soon move to fire deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. >> does the white house feel that rod rosenstein is a man of integrity? >> the white house believes that rod rosenstein serves at the pleasure of the president and right now he's in his position. there is no conversation, there is no consideration for him to leave at this time. >> but a former fell prosecutor telling me earlier firing rosenstein would no doubt set the wheels in motion for the constitutional crisis democrats have been warning about. >> if rod rosenstein had any significant involvement in this at all, it was only to say, yup, this is an investigation
uncovering relevant information and that it should continue. if that is used as a pretechs to remove rod rosenstein, then we have nakedly a saturday night massacre going on here. >> pete williams, geoff bennett, peter emerson, and lauren zeldt. and house intel committee member mike turner of ohio and jerry connolly who sits on the house oversight committee, we'll see him later this hour. nbc justice correspondent pete williams, always good to see you. what kind of impact has this memo had within the justice and intelligence communities? >> well, not a very pleasant one. but of course you have to remember the fbi and the justice department have been buffeted throughout the trump administration. the firing of james comey, the consistent tweets early on in the administration against jeff sessions, the attorney general, which abated for a while and then picked back up again, some
criticism of rod rosenstein. so it's the latest storm to wash over the justice department and the fbi. but christopher wray, the fbi director, despite all the talk about this that doesn't seem to go away, has shown absolutely no intention of stepping down. senior fbi officials tell me he is more resolute than ever to stay. he issued a long statement yesterday to the fbi staff, basically saying to everybody, buck up, carry on, i intend to be with you and defend you. so, you know, they're doing the best they can. they clearly don't like to be in this position. they don't like to be the center of attention. the attorney general did say that nobody's perfect, he has great regard for the men and women at the fbi but if there were mistakes made, then he'll certainly try to correct them. that's sort of where we are, alex. >> pete, i'm looking at the president's tweet from earlier today. and he says in this tweet that this memo totally vindicates him. does it?
>> well, as a practical matter, no, i suspect it's wishful thinking. the memo actually doesn't say anything about the investigation of the president. of course the critics of the fisa application say that it was -- it didn't tell the whole story. the critics of the memo say the memo doesn't tell the whole story about the application. whether we will ever see the underlying document here that all the talk is about seems pretty doubtful. these applications to the foreign intelligence surveillance court typically never come into public view. so it's going to have to be, depending on what the republicans and democrats say that it says. but it doesn't say what we do know from even the republican memo is it doesn't say much about the investigation of the president or much about the campaign. so i think we're going to have to wait for the end of the robert mueller investigation to know who is vindicated and who isn't. >> so this memo, to your
thinking, pete, does it change the narrative at all of the investigation at this point? >> well, it certainly changes the narrative of the people who don't like it, who believe that robert mueller is going off in the wrong direction. there is this growing sense among some supporters of the president that there are people in the government out to get him. and it certainly seems to have given some fresh fertilizer to this narrative. i don't know that it changes the overall picture for the investigators. remember, the people doing this investigation were well aware of all the things that were in the fisa application. they're the ones who wrote it up. and they're the ones who know what the wiretaps produced. so internally it really doesn't change much. it does change sort of public comments about it, yes. >> okay. pete williams, as i said, always good to see you. thank you so much. >> my pleasure, you bet. >> let's head to west palm beach where nbc's geoff bennett is
traveling with the president. geoff, good day to you. we have the president tweeting his response to the memo, you heard me asking pete about that. let's give our viewers what all the president is saying in this tweet. >> reporter: so this morning, alex, according to the timestamp at least, president trump sent this tweet as he was in his motorcade heading to mar-a-lago, to his private golf course. he wrote "this memo totally vindicates trufrp in promp in p. but the russian witch hunt goes on and on. their, and that was his misspelling, not ours, was no collusion. adam schiff wrote this in response, quite the opposite, mr. president, the most important fact disclosed in this otherwise shoddy memo was that fbi investigation began july 2016 with your adviser papadopoulos who was secretly discussing stolen clinton e-mails with the russians.
and what schiff is alluding to is the fact that this memo confirms the fact that the counterintelligence investigation started in july 2016, as schiff says, because then trump campaign aide george papadopoulos was openly bragging about the promise of dirt on hillary clinton that he got from a russian agent. add to this back and forth an interview that hogan gidley, a white house press secretary, gave to another network in just the past hour. >> the white house feels this vindicates this president? >> it moves toward that decision -- toward that end because there is no collusion, there is no obstruction. these types of pieces of information that continue to come out prove the point. there's nothing there. and democrats keep going down this road. we've been completely cooperative with mr. mueller and the special counsel. we've given them documents, time. it's wasted the taxpayers' money. >> reporter: so we're in a bit of a feedback loop here, alex, because you see there a white house official pointing to a
document that was produced by congressional republicans, the leader of whom is a trump loyalist, to say that document then vindicates president trump. but as pete williams pointed out, we clearly don't know that yet because the investigation has not ended. so substantively the memo will do little to end the fbi probe, the mueller probe into whether or not trump campaign officials colluded with russian agents during the 2016 election. politically, we're seeing how the president, at least according to the administration and trump allies, are laying the groundwork to discredit the mueller probe if there's a finding that implicates the president or key advisers. >> do you know if the president is golfing right now? >> reporter: as far as we know he's still on the golf course. he's been there since about 9:00 eastern, i believe, alex. >> all right. thank you very much, geoff bennett, for that. let's hear right now from one of the republicans on the house intelligence committee, congressman mike turner of ohio. congressman, thank you, sir, for
joining me. i would like to get your reaction to the president's tweet saying this memo vindicates him. he goes on to say there's no collusion. is that how you see it? has the president been vindicated by this memo? >> no. this memo has as its heading "fisa," which is the foreign intelligence surveillance act, "oversight responsibilities of our committee." it points out something that is very wrong that has occurred, misconduct of using material from one presidential campaign to try to seek and ultimately seek surveillance of another presidential campaign. the fact that these materials were used in the fisa court process is of concern. it should be of concern to everyone. it's certainly the content and the purpose of the memo. to give you an example, if a news broadcast took commercially provided materials from a campaign and presented it as news, that would be wrong. in this instance, what we have is the fbi and the justice department using campaign funded opposition research and going to court and presenting it as
evidence. that's wrong. that needs to be addressed. it's something i think that's damaging to democracy. and it needs to be the focus of our debate. that's why this memo was released separately so we could focus on how that affects the operations of the fbi, the department of justice. we should never be in a situation where one campaign funds opposition research and has it be used in court by the department of justice and fbi against another campaign. that undermines democracy. >> now, congressman, so if this is all about surveillance abuses, why not go to the fisa court or a number of other oversight agencies, instead of putting out a memo highlighting just a small portion of how one person's surveillance application was granted, and then the basis for its repeated renewal? >> you have to understand that we are an oversight agency. that by statute is our responsibility. and to make this public is important because it pushes forward the debate. remember, if you take all of the names out of this current situation and then apply it nationally to the future, you
can see its danger. for example, if this is okay then it would be okay for donald trump to fund a foreign agent as a spy to spy on his upcoming opponent in the next presidential race and funnel those materials to the fbi for them to review them and submit them to a court as evidence to seek wiretaps against his opponent. it's just as wrong in the future as it was in the past. this should not have happened. that's why our committee has put this forward. i think as the debate, we can make it clear that this should not be occurring. i would love to heart fbi director say that he agrees that campaign materials should not be used against another campaign, and also we should not have agents or officials of the fbi who are involved in investigations where their spouse has a direct interest. the fbi director needs to make that policy statement. those are principles that are important. >> now, congressman, in the interests of debate, then can we expect the democratic rebuttal memo to be put out as well?
>> it's going through the same process this memo did. the speaker has said he supports its release. and i think it will go through that process and ultimately will be released. but what's going to be important, with all the discussion and the debate, there is not one piece of information in their memo or even that the fbi is saying was not included, that contradicts the facts that campaign-funded material from the hillary clinton campaign were used to obtain warrants for surveillance on the trump campaign. that is not going to be contradicted. that's what the debate needs to be about. that's where we need to take corrective action and make certain this never happens again. >> to your point about saying one political campaign should not be able to use this kind of information against another political campaign, should, then, in the spirit of that, not a political campaign be prevented from reaching out to a foreign entity such as russia to get information on another campaign? >> you know, it's interesting, right now people have said it's
tre treasonous for someone to sit down and offer information about an opponent but apparently not treasonous for hillary clinton to hire a fortunately nationeig dig up dirt on her opponent. we need to make certain that we have, you know, our candidates operating appropriately. and we need to make certain our justice department does not get caught up into using campaign funded materials as evidence in our courts and our justice system. that, you know, is a compromise that should never happen again. >> does it appear to you that republicans are going about this as vigorously as the memo suggests? >> well, again, this memo is a specific instance of information that's part of the broader investigation, unmasking under fi
fisa, the russia investigation itself, meddling. all these things are parts of investigations. this one, though, is a particular instance where we need to have this debate. i would think that democrats and republicans could come together and say this is just wrong. we don't want republicans doing it to democrats, we don't want democrats do it to republicans, our courts should not be used as a place to use campaign materials as evidence and that legitimacy of our courts needs to be protected. >> as you're aware, fbi director chris wray sent the video to the rank and file members saying yesterday that he stands by the agency's mission, he will stay in place to support them. but justice department officials have told nbc news that the issues raised here in this memo are so highly classified, they may not be in a position to point out errors or misleading statements. so would it not have been prudent to just let this play out until the end? >> as i said to you before, and you will see, as all of the information comes up, there's not going to be anything that's going to contradict that hillary
clinton paid for campaign materials were used as evidence in a court to obtain wiretaps and surveillance on the trump campaign. that's not going to change. and that is where our debate needs to be focused. now, we have other issues to debate that are not part of this memo. and those debates i think will move forward. but as a country, we should say this crosses a line, this should not be happening. i think the fbi director needs to embrace that principle and policy. similarly there should not be agents or officials who have spouses who have a particular interest and outcome of a case and still be working on a case. these are the types of things, regardless of whose name it is, regardless of what party it is, shouldn't be happening. >> may i just say, i would love to be a fly on the wall inside the intelligence committee, not just to get the information you're privy to but more to watch the relationship dynamics between republicans and democrats. how is that going for you guys? >> it is tense. it is tense. and again, what i don't quite
understand is the contortions that everyone goes through on what should be basic principles. remember, this memo, when it was first not yet released but released to congress, was going to be damaging to national security, damage to go the fbi. turns out then everyone who is saying that is now saying it means nothing, it's meaningless. it's neither of those things. what it is is important. and it's important because we have to protect our democracy. this is a threat to our democracy. i want to say also, everybody supports the fbi and the department of justice and those who sacrifice so much to keep our country strong and safe. but these instances undermine the integrity of the agencies, the integrity of our court systems and ultimately our democracy and it needs to be addressed. >> congressman mike turner of the house intelligence committee, thank you for your time, sir, appreciate that. in just about 20 minutes, the democratic view of the memo released. i'll be speaking with virginia congressman gerry connolly. up next, what potential trouble lies ahead for white house communications director hope hicks. o manage my a1c,
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new reaction today to the house republican memo as an article in "the atlantic" warns that trump's saturday night massacre is already happening. it reads, "if the goal is to purge officials who trump thinks represent some sort of threat to him, that's already under way. but trump also doesn't have to purge them to achieve what he wants. he just has to create an environment that stifles things he believes represent a threat to him." a new poll from axios shows how
that's playing out. it found that 47% of americans have an unfavorable view of the fbi. let's bring in peter emerson, veteran of three democratic administrations, and republican strategist lauren zeldt. lauren, does it concern you at all to see your party seemingly turning against the fbi? >> i have been concerned to see republicans really politicizing this issue. i will say that. i think that it's important that we respect the fbi. now, that said, what happened regarding this fisa warrant is very concerning. we know that partisan documents were used to obtain a warrant by the fbi and that was not disclosed. that is concerning. that said, though, i am quite concerned about eroding public trust regarding the fbi because, you know, it's a bureau that protects all of us. >> and peter, do you think it's a stretch then to say that it's a saturday night massacre that
is already happening? >> no, i don't. i served as a senior adviser to a member of the house impeachment committee during the watergate hearings and was in washington during that entire time. this is far beyond the saturday night massacre already. we have allegations that the president of the united states and a member of his family worked with russian either individuals, representatives, or agents to influence the u.s. election. we've been told by u.s. intelligence agencies time and again the russians will do this again in 2018, they're going to do it in 2020. what trump has done in his business dealings, from friends who have worked in new york in his industry, and is now doing in the government, he's intimidating, he's insulting, he's bullying people so that as the "atlantic monthly" piece points out, he's creating an environment where people are scared to speak the truth. >> lauren, to that end, the president has not put concerns
about rod rosenstein's future to rest. look at what he said yesterday. >> you figure that one out. >> how do you interpret that, lauren? >> well, you know, i think what would be smart for the produce to do here would be to not terminate mr. rosenstein, he should keep him in place. the president would be best served to let the investigation continue and conclude. we do know that russia tried to meddle in our election in 2016. that should be concerning to all americans, no matter what party you are. so i think that the president would be best served to let this roll on, let it play out, and ultimately, should he be vindicated in the end, then we'll know that. but continuing to talk about this back and forth, and especially by the president himself, it's not serving him. they should allow the investigation to continue and conclude. >> so you're disagreeing with the tweet he put out this morning that it totally
vindicates him. >> yes, i am. >> and peter, your take? >> i'm in complete agreement with what ms. zelt just said. i'm also in agreement with president trump tweeted at the end of his tweet, this is an american disgrace. >> you're coming from a different angle, though. >> it certainly is a disgrace. that you would take down confidence in institutions at one of the most critical times in our history where we have not only russia seeking to influence our elections, we've got economic war with china. we are no longer the central force of the world. so it is most definitely an american disgrace. >> you know, after this memo was released, to peter's point there, we had former fbi director james comey tweeting that it wrecked the house intel committee, destroyed trust with the intelligence community, damaged relationship with fisa court, and inexcusably exposed
classified information of an american citizen. lauren, was it worth it, releasing this memo? >> well, i do think that the american people did deserve to know that a fisa warrant was obtained with documents that were of a partisan basis. look, if the shoe was on the four foot, and it was a republican administration that had used documents from a republican research firm to, you know, obtain a fisa warrant, the democrats would be outraged as well. i do think the american people deserve to know about that. but i do think that we need to be careful regarding incidences like the memo in the future. and this is with regard to the democratic memo, the rebuttal, peter, what's the likelihood that that gets released? >> who knows? obviously they want a time so that this sinks in. they know, as trump has practiced for decades, the most important part of advertising and marketing is consistency and frequency. so the more we talk about it, the less likely they are going to release the democratic memo
because they want the misfacts, the lies in this memo, which actually contradicts itself, as you reported earlier, to sink into the american consciousness, once again weakening american democracy. >> i'm glad we're having our discussions, peter emerson and lauren zelt, thanks, guys. coming up next, the memo is playing to the president's base. but at what cost? ( ♪ ) with 33 individual vertebrae and 640 muscles in the human body, no two of us are alike. life made more effortless through adaptability. the perfect position seat in the lincoln continental. ( ♪ )
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welcome back, everyone. i'm alex witt here at msnbc headquarters in new york. new reaction from president trump and the fallout from the gop released memo, the president tweeting in part, "this memo totally vindicates trump in probe but the russian witch hunt goes on and on." >> yes or no, the white house feels this vindicates the president? >> it definitely moves to that decision -- toward that end. the president is clear, there is no collusion, there is obviously no obstruction. these types of pieces of information that continue to come out prove the point, there is nothing there. democrats keep going down this road. we've been completely cooperative with mr. mueller, the special counsel. we've given them documents,
time. it's wasted the taxpayers' money. >> joining me now, two of my favorite writers, good to see you guys. phillip, does the memo absolve the president of anything? >> i was wondering what you were going to say there. of anything? i don't think so. we saw a pretty impressive bit of goalpost moving by representative turner who said this was about using campaign information for an investigation. there were several layers between the campaign and what actually passed to the fbi but also a bad argument on its own merits. the memo itself essentially demonstrates, it misrepresents sort of the pathway for a certain set of information compiled by a former intelligence officer who had been a source to the fbi in the past, which is mentioned in the memo, that this was one part of one part of one part of the
mueller investigation. it is a small subset. and it's hard to see, honestly, based on what came out yesterday, compared to what the news reports had been, it's hard to see what new information we got yesterday at all. >> seema, to that end, we were hearing this was somehow going to lead to a faster end to the probe altogether. is it possible just the opposite has been done by its release? >> i think it could be, because the memo sort of contradicts itself. they're arguing that the fisa warrant and the russian investigation was kicked often because of this dossier by christopher steele. the memo also mentions the contact that papadopoulos had that preceded that, that took place in december of 2016. so i don't think this ends anything. >> what about republicans, phillip, some of whom are making the case that this memo proves bias against this president. is there anything to that? >> so what we know is we know that there was this former intelligence officer, christopher steele, hired by a
firm called fusion gps on behalf of the democratic national committee and hillary clinton. steele went out, talked to sources, compiled these memos and said, hey, i need to tell the fbi what i'm hearing. it's not clear steele knew who was funding the work he was doing. so the representation in the memo by the republicans is that this information that steele had gathered was presented to the fisa court as information to bolster a warrant and the republicans say it was not presented as potentially politically biased material. but democrats and "the washington post" are reporting that it actually was represented, not as having come from the clinton campaign, but as a source with potentially a bias. this was part of the information that led to the warrant being granted and then renewed on three different occasions. >> i read that it was represented as being supported by a major political party, it didn't spell out republicans versus democrats, i don't know who the other political party would be, independents wouldn't be a major one.
so, you know, wasn't that apparent? >> but again, this isn't what the memo said. the memo said this information was not shared to the fisa court which now appears to not be the case. >> okay. so after this memo was released, former fbi director james comey took to twitter saying that it wrecked the house intel community, destroyed just with the intelligence community, damaged relationship with nice so court and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an american citizen. >> if you look at senator mccain's statements and ohio governor john kasich's statements, they've been frequent critics of president trump, but they lay out that it does long term damage to trust in the fbi and justice department in this country. >> and you heard me report earlier that according to axios, they've got 47% of americans now saying they don't trust the fbi. that's extraordinary. do you think that the release of
this memo has been worth it for the president, phillip, and for republican colleagues? >> i mean, honestly, i think there was a case, as made by buzzfeed, which i think is right on, the republicans would have been better served had the memo not come out. there were so many allies of president trump's whipping up the sense that this was a serious memo, the biggest thing since watergate sad sebasti, sa gorka, and it's not at all. one thing that is worth noting, representative trey gowdy came out and said this has nothing to do with the mueller investigation. and trey gowdy was the main investigator in the benghazi investigation so this is not a friend of hillary clinton's. >> thank you, guys. a call for paul ryan to release the democratic memo. plus the nuclear message the u.s. may be sending to the world.
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democrats on the housing intel committee pushing for a vote as early as monday so that their memo can be released as rebuttal, and at the same time wrapping up efforts to avoid another saturday night massacre. meanwhile the president tweeting this morning that the memo vindicates him and proves no collusion or obstruction. congressman gerry connolly of maryland is a member of the o r oversight and reform committee.
>> i want to correct you, i'm from virginia. >> i'm so sorry. >> we love maryland. but virginia is paradise. >> we love them both, thank you for correcting me. with regard to your reaction to the president's tweet that the gop memo vindicates him -- >> no. >> -- do you agree? >> no. what i find odd is the president doesn't really involve president trump. what is it he's worried about? no one has said he himself has colluded with the russians. no one has accused him formally of a crime. and so what is it he's worried about that he's claiming in advance vindication from a memo that does no such thing? there's nothing in that memo that could be construed as vindication or accusation. the memo deals with a fairly narrow subject matter, and doesn't do it very well. it's cherry-picked and it contradicts itself. on the last page of the memo, it admits that the original fbi
interest involved not carter page but george papadopoulos, three months before the surveillance was requested of carter page, contradicting the entire point all these republicans went off a cliff to make. >> all of which i'm presuming is going to be in this ten-page rebuttal from the democrats. but what is the likelihood that is even going to get out there? >> you know, an old friend of mine once said, if you're going to be a crony, at least be sincere about it. if you're going to call for full transparency, you release two memos, not one. there is a second memo. it is much more detailed. i read it. i can't go into the content because i signed a confidentiality agreement. but i assure you, in every material respect, that memo will put the fbi activity in a context that is positive and will completely rebut the points made in this republican memo that frankly fails to make the case they wanted to make. >> what about chairman nunes, who says that the state
department in this phase ii is now the target of the investigation into abuses by the government in the russia investigation. do you know what he and the republicans are alleging here? >> i have no idea. i would say consider the source. unfortunately, chairman nunes is nothing but a partisan hack in this enterprise, i'm sad to say. he has abrogated his constitutional responsibilities for congressional independence and oversight. he has shown himself to be a partisan and incapable of any objecti objectivivity. he needs to step down or be removed. >> are you concerned about the investigation or are you more concerned that this is a public relations nightmare? because most democrats are saying what's in this memo is not essentially changing the investigation or affecting it. >> the only thing that i fear from this memo, because i think it's really been a huge dud, the hype leading up to it was far
more interesting, frankly, than the memo itself, because i don't think the memo does anything the republicans claimed it was going to do. and i think the media and public opinion are increasingly settling on that opinion. like, what is this really all about? but i am worried about the tweets coming from the president who is somehow using this by way of vindication and what that might mean. let's be very clear. the republicans have voted to release this memo. they're engaged in a complicit act with the president to attempt to dismember an ongoing criminal investigation by the special counsel. that is of concern i hope to every american. >> let's dive into that as well. the declassification of sensitive material, how concerned are you about that? >> that's right, they're willing to violate classification. they're willing to discredit the fbi and the department of justice and the intelligence community.
for what? to try to protect donald trump from something we don't know he needs protecting from. apparently he does. he's got something he's afraid of. and that really is the bottom line question. what are they afraid of? >> congressman connolly, i know you're a member of the foreign affairs committee, so i want your reaction to the pentagon unveiling a new nuclear weapons strategy that will end the obama era push to reduce the size of arsenals. is this the right message the u.s. should be sending the world given the increased tension with north korea right now? >> i think it is of concern. if this were part of simply modernization and a better distribution of the kinds of nuclear weapons we possess, that's one thing. if this is the down payment of a significant new surge in the development of additional and new and broader nuclear weapons, i think that's a very dangerous moment, especially given what's happening in north korea, even what this administration would do if it could with respect to
iran, and given the attentions and rivalries with russia. it makes for a more dangerous world, not a more secure, safe world. >> democratic congressman gerry connolly from the great state of virginia. it's good to see you, thank you so much. coming up, law and order. a new approach to security at the super bowl. and next hour, a report on why hud secretary ben carson could be facing an ethics violation. e're a go? yes! we got a yes! what does that mean for purchasing? purchase. let's do this. got it. book the flights! hai! si! si! ya! ya! ya! what does that mean for us? we can get stuff. what's it mean for shipping? ship the goods. you're a go! you got the green light. that means go! oh, yeah. start saying yes to your company's best ideas. we're gonna hit our launch date! (scream) thank you! goodbye! we help all types of businesses with money, tools and know-how to get business done. american express open.
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the countdown is on to super bowl lii. the eagles and patriots face off in a frigid minneapolis. the concern for tomorrow is game safety. it's kicking off in a city that's spawned a surprising number of terror suspects, forcing intense scrutiny there. nbc's catie beck is braving the elements in minneapolis for us. what all are officials doing to keep fans safe, since they can't do much to keep them warm? >> reporter: that's right, alex, they're getting ready for 66,000 fans to head into this stadium tomorrow. security a top priority here on the ground. in minneapolis, typically they employ about 850 law enforcers. tomorrow here in the city, 3,000 will be here for the big game. they are borrowing help from six different agencies, the fbi, the
national guard, they'll all be here on the ground securing the perimeter as much as possible. as you walk around the city, you can see additional security cameras have been installed. motion sensors, even air quality detectors, so that authorities will have early warning warning there be any threat outside the stadium, to be able to respond to that very quickly. the bad news is that a lot of fans will be waiting in line to get into the stadium tomorrow as these screening procedures will be longer. the high temperature, as you said tomorrow, will be 6 degrees here. so it will really test the loyalty of fans. that being said, the tickets are still in high demand. the cheapest one you can find is about $3,000. alex? >> oh, my goodness, to stand outside and freeze before you get in. katie beck, we'll check in with you tomorrow. stay warm. of course, for many the most anticipated part of the super bowl is not game but the commercial breaks. ad time is officially sold out and according to reports is expected to rake in $500 million. here is a sneak peek of one
commercial. >> doritos blaze, bold new flavor that brings the heat. ♪ hush your mouth i told your mother y'all can't stop me now listen to me now i'm less than 20 rounds ♪ >> that sounds fun, rap throwdown there. declining viewership, industrywide allegations of misconduct have advertisers trending carefully, creating spots to entertain without relying on sexist tropes. >> obviously, alex, what we're going to see this year is less frat and less trump. the thing is, in the age we're living in right now, metoo, time's up movement, advertisers have to be very careful about how they handle this spot. and, remember, you're looking at
an excess of 110 million people. 110 million sets of eyeballs potentially on sunday. what you do and how you project your brand in this environment is going to be incredibly important and incredibly sensitive. and most, from what we've seen from the ads that have leaked out, most advertisers from the car companies, beverage companies, movie studios, tech companies, people are keeping it restrained. >> and they're going to be expensive, these commercials. what, 5 million? is that what it is, 5 million a pop for a commercial? >> well, you said it, alex, at the top. nbc, alex, last night, have said they've sold out and will be making around $500 million tomorrow. that's not a record haul. that's approximately what fox made last year for their super bowl. super bowl lii, the post game showing of the blockbuster sponsors going for around $5 million a shot. however, i will say as a caveat
and i will hold up my official ball of super bowl lii, my little throw out, so to speak. i will also say this, remember, this is being sold as a package. because the network that owns this station as well is also showing another major sporting event, just later this week, called the winter olympics, which officially start february 8th with figure skating in prime time. then, of course, officially -- rather unofficially february 8th and february 9th start with the opening ceremony. we're hearing a lot of the advertising is being packaged for advertisers. maximum bang for your sporting buck, so to speak. >> it's expensive. you've got shows on amazon, hulu, debuting commercials during the super bowl. talk about those shows and the spots and how they're affected by the current me too movement in hollywood. >> i think you're seeing a very, very -- the buzz word i'll take out of this is restraint. amazon are debuting their very first movie spot with jack ryan.
honestly, in amazon's new move toward a wider audience, unless you're doing j.k. rowlings, you can't bigger than tom clancy. having said that, i would say some people are maybe -- to use the pun intended, little too throwback, in my opinion. steven tyler, lead singer of r aerosmith, he takes the car in reverse, goes back to his younger self with a throng of young groupees running toward him. maybe not what you want to go for that. >> that sent up my antenna there. 110 tuned in to last year's super bowl. what are they expecting for tomorrow's audience, advertisers? and is there a consequence to pay if it's not that great, the wide set of audience eyes? >> here is the thing, alex.
ratings are ultimately a math and numbers game, like the betting in vegas. the thing is, the super bowl and the nfl season are two different beasts that happen to share the same gridiron and the same leather ball. the fact of the matter is, super bowl ratings, as i said, are over -- viewership is over 110 million. last year was 111 million. that's only down a little bit from the last time nbc showed it in 2015, when there was just over 114 million. there are some people who worry there might be a little bit of patriots fatigue. to be honest this is the third time tom braidy and the gang have played in the super bowl in the last four years. they know these numbers are going to be big. throwback quickly to amazon. one of the most important things about ads in the super bowl is where your ad is. amazon/jack ryan ad is right after justin timberlake's half time show. the half time show commonly gets, on average, a bigger number than the actual game itself. lady gaga last year got almost 117 million. so, that's where you want the
sets of eyeballs. that's where you want to win the game. >> and the placement of "this is us" and this special episode immediately afterwards, right? >> exactly. take that with a bit of hint this will be the highest rated episode of "this is us" ever. and it's already a blockbuster, two seasons in. but remember -- this is kind of we heard. "this is us" will have a huge number on sunday and this week when it's on but then it's off for two weeks because of the olympics, also bringing in their own huge numbers. moving around pieces corporately and network programming wise. the result is this -- and i'll say this, not just because i'm on this station. whether the eagles or patriots win, nbc is the real winner out of this. >> i love hearing that, dominic. thank you for that. coming your way the next hour, raising questions about surveillance in america. what is legal?
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we are right there at the top of the hour. i'm alex witt. thank you so much for joining me, everyone. i'm out of time. i'm going to hand it over to david gura for this afternoon. hi, everyone. >> thanks, alex. hi, everyone. i'm david gura. much ado about nothing? or fallout over the memo released. >>
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