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tv   MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi  MSNBC  February 13, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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that has been used by previous administrations and we would rely on the law enforcement and intelligence communities to determine if that process needs to be changed and they would be the ones that would make that determination and play a role in what those changes would look like. josh. >> on four different occasions the fbi says that it made the white house aware of the allegations and white house says until tuesday night, they did not realize the extent of the allegations. shouldn't the fbi and personnel security office be punished? >> that is something that is well beyond my scope to determine. >> they weren't told if anyone knew but no one in the senior staff found out. >> i haven't asked him about that specifically. matthew. >> raj the other day said last week that the situation could have been handled better. yesterday you echoed that and
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set the situation could have been handed better. today the chief of staff said it was all done right. can you explain, does the white house think this rob porter situation could have sbahave be handled differently? >> i think every day we come here we do the very best that we can and every day we can come better than the day before and we'll continue to strive for that. we're humans making us imperfect people and so every day i think we can learn from the day before and we can strive to do better and that is our goal. certainly within our team and we'll continue to try to do everything we can to help serve the american people to the best of our ability. >> was it appropriate for hope hicks to be involved in drafting some of the statements given her relationship with mr. porter? >> she was not part of a lot of the conversations that took place. i don't recall any of you being in the room to be able to say specifically what comments she made or didn't make. she is the white house communications director and is an important and valuable member of the staff and she has done a
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great job in that role. steve. >> was there some discussion about promoting rob porter to another job at the time this all fwloou blew up? >> i don't know the answer to that. >> you said the fbi was completed in late july but a followup required more field work on that. was that because something that rob porter said in response to that that the allegations weren't true or what required more field work? >> i wouldn't notice the specifics. i can only refer you you back to the previous statement. >> i would ask again though in an op-ed in the "washington post," the first wife of rob porter said specifically to you i expected a woman to do better. wa do you believer you were believe you were personally misled and do you have any regret how you explained this? >> as i said, we do the very best job we can. i would never presume to understand anything going on with that individual nor would i
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think that she could presume what is going on with me or the way that i'm responding. look, we've condemned domestic violence in every way possible. in fact the president's budget that he released yesterday fully understands the violence against women act. we're looking for ways that we can take action to help prevent this from happening to anyone and to presume that i feel differently is a strong mischaracterization of who i am and who this white house is and what our actions are focused on and what we're trying to do here. >> where does it stand as we sit here today if the president has confidence in him, why based on everything we've learned over the last week? >> look, i don't have anything further to add. the president has confidence in his chief of staff. we'll continue trying to do the best we can to help the american people. julie. >> clarification and question. in july when the fbi was sent back to the field to get more information, are you telling us that no senior staff, nobody in
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the steenor staff in the west wing was involved in that decision to tell them to go back and see if they can could get more information on -- >> again, not that i'm aware of. i can't say with 100% certainty. but not that i'm aware ever of any conversations between those individuals. >> are you looking at now ways that you can change the process so that if a senior official in the white house is facing credible allegations of spousal abuse or some other criminal charge that senior staff would be notified in a more timely way? this appears to have -- if your time line is accurate -- taken more than a year. >> look, again, i think that this is a process that the law enforcement and intelligence community should weigh in on and determine if changes should be made to the way that it is carried out. >> i'm not talking about their process, i'm talk about the process here where serious allegations could surface and nobody in the west wing would be aware of that. >> but that would include those
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agencies and those departments. so you couldn't exclude them from a conversation about what changes should and need to be made to any program. i think that that would have to be something that involved all of the stakeholders and something certainly far beyond my purview to walk you through today. >> and you're saying that law enforcement should weigh in, but you're the white house. you are in charge. and this is your process. should you not weigh in -- >> it is not our process. a large number of the background component is run by the fbi. other intelligence agencies weigh in. again, what i said is that all of the stakeholders should be part of that discussion and it should be looked at and determined whether or not changes need to be made to the process. >> given that it impacts the white house staff, do you not want to request an improved process here? >> again, that is beyond my scope that i can walk you through here today. but i think it is certainly a conversation that all of the stakeholders should have. april. >> a couple questions. in light of everything that is
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going on, is there is a review now of all of those who have interim security clearances to see if they should stay or should they go? >> i can't speak about whether or not different staff have interim or permanent security clearances. >> i'm asking about the process. is there a review of those who have interim passes to see if they will stay or go? in light of what is happening now. >> my understanding is that has been ongoing for a while. and that determination would be made outside of anything i can walk you through. >> and you spoke of fully funding the violence against women act. it is up for reauthorization. tell me the price how much the president is trying to put in there and wasn't that the rice prior to all of this that not question. >> the budget. you say the pld will fulresiden the violence against women act. what is he putting in? >> i'd have to look at the specific number, but it was
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rolled out yesterday. >> but is the number the number that has always been or was it just done? >> i know that what was requested has been put into the president's budget. it was in the budget rolled out yesterday that has been part of the ongoing process. we couldn't put together a budget in like 20 minutes. >> i understand that. but there are some things mr. mulvaney did not tell us about yesterday. >> that means you probably did not ask those questions. i'm going to keep going. john, go ahead. >> he personally didn't give us that information. >> thanks a lot, sarah. i wanted to get some clarification from you regarding the testimony sworn testimony today by the fbi director laid out the time line and according to the fbi director's testimony, the fbi submitted a partial report on the investigation in question rob porter's back ground check in march. and then a completed background
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investigation in late july. and yesterday when i was asking you about when the white house counsel learned about mr. porter, had he learned before the report in the "daily mail" last week, your reply was the process for the background was ongoing and the white house had not received any specific papers regarding the completion of that background check. so those two statements, the fbi director's statement mr. wray and your statement yesterday seem to be at odds with one another. do you see anything that you would like to clarify in terms of what i asked you today based upon your answer yesterday in. >> as i said earlier, my understanding is any information would have gone to the personnel security office. that office had not completed their process in order to make a recommendation for adjudication to the white house. that was still ongoing. and therefore recommendation had not been made. >> you said the specific papers
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regarding the completion of the background check had not been received. >> that is part of that process that the personnel security office plays run by career officials and we hadn't received a recommendation from that office. >> yet the fbi director said today under oath that the completed background je investigation was actually submitted in late july. >> let me read this to you again. the white house personnel security office staffed by career officials received information last year and what they considered to be the final background investigation report in november. but they had not made a final recommendation forred a used indication to the white house because the process was still on going when porter resigned. in the view of personnel security office, the fbi's july report required significant additional investigatory field work before personnel security office could begin to evaluate the information for adjudication. we find those statements to be consistent with one another.
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[ everybody talking at once ] >> whatever information you know, so is there is a feeling that chief staff john misled you and colleagues on what he knew and when instead of the communication staff to provide information in order to cover up the way that he handling the firing? >> no, we're simply stating we'll give you the best information that we have. obvious i will the press team may not be as read in as other elements on a given moment on a variety of topics, but we relay the best and most accurate information that we have. >> and can you talk about the other staffers who have been dismissed previously for not passing background checks and why porter wasn't treated in a similarly timely -- >> my understanding is the same process was followed to all employees and the same used in previous administrations. and i can't comment on anybody else's dismissal.
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>> you talked multiple times about wanting to get the best information that you have. this scandal has been going on for a week now and we still don't have answers to the basic questions of who knew what when. >> i've done the best i can to walk you through that process as has raj. we've done that pretty extensively so i refer you back to the statements we've given. >> have you spoken specific throw skron kejohn kelly? >> i have and this was the information given to me. >> paul ryan this morning on the fox business network said we've got to get out on entitlements, he talked about a structural deficit, is said we need to ge other partners in government to be willing to do the entitlement reform that we're willing do in the house. what does the president disagree with house speaker paul ryan on that question of the structural deficit and the problem of mandatory spending?
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>> i would have to ask him specifically. i know the president certainly would like to reduce the deficit and that is one of the reasons that his budget this time reduces the deficit by $3 trillion, this is one of the largest in history and he will continue to look for ways to do that. >> the speaker said the structure all deficit for mandatory spending, not the discretionary spending that was the driver. what does the president disagree with him? i know he said he doesn't agree with that approach. why does he not agree with that assessment? >> i'd have to ask him the specifics are that he didn't agree on. dave, the last question. >> majority leader mcconnell said that the daca negotiations have to be done by the end of this week. did he give the white house a head up on that decision and does that reflect any view from the white house, democrats or not bargaining in good faith for example they blocked the vote on sanctuary cities today? >> it is up to congress to set the time line.
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the president has laid out the priorities that he has for that legislation. and we're only going to support a legislation that deals with those four priorities that we've laid out. we hope republicans and democrats can come together to a consensus to fix that problem and not kick the can down the road. thanks, guys. you've been listening to the recent briefing. it has been a roller coaster of a day in washington. u.s. intelligence leaders are sounding the alarm over cybersecurity threats including a familiar foe, russia. >> the united states is under attack. using elections as opportunities to undermine democracy, sow discord and undermine our values. >> the big bombshell out of the hearing was what sarah huckabee sanders was asked about over and over again. fbi director chris wray contradicted the
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administration's time line of when exactly it learned about abuse allegations against former staff secretary rob porter. >> the fbi submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in march. and then a completed back ground investigation in late july that soon there after we received requests for followup inquiry. we did the followup. and provided that information in november and we administratively closed the file in january. earlier this month we received some additional information and we passed that on as well. >> well, that is not exactly what the white house had to say about the whole thing. joining me now is kristen welker who tried real hard like your colleagues in that room did to get a straight answer -- you all asked it different ways, but ultimately you were trying to
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figure out who knew what when and why does that seem to be in conflict with what the fbi director said in sworn testimony to congress today. >> reporter: this was one of those briefings where almost all of the questions focused on who knew what and when. and in particular that contradiction as you just heard the fbi director christopher wray say ultimately the investigation was closed in january, that information was given to the white house. and of course we heard sarah sanders and raj shah yesterday and last week say that the investigation was ongoing. they say they weren't specifically talking about the fbi's investigation. take a listen to my change with sarah sanders from moments ago. >> i just want to nail down on one important fact because you and raj said that the investigation was ongoing. christopher wray said it was closed in january, so who is telling the truth? >> both.
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as i said, the fbi portion was closed, the white house personnel security office who is the one that makes a recommendation for adjudication had not finished their work, had not made a recommendation to the white house. >> and you said yesterday that you didn't get any paperwork from the fbi. chris wray said that he did submit paperwork. >> again, that would come through the white house personnel security office which had not completed their investigation and not passed that information to the white house. >> but you acknowledge that you did receive paperwork? >> again, the white house -- i think you need to be clear about there is multiple groups here. the white house personnel security office which is staffed by career officials would have -- may have received information. but they had not completed their process and made a recommendation to the white house for adjudication. >> and finally who allowed john kelly -- rob porter rather to
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stay here without permanent security clearance? >> i can't comment on specifics of that other than what we've already said. >> reporter: so that is how sarah tried to clarify that effectively saying look when they said a that there was an investigation that was ongoing, they were referencing the white house personnel security office. what she didn't answer is whether the personnel security office gave that information and relayed that information to the chief of staff and to other top officials here at the white house. so that is the critical question that we'll have to drill down on throughout the day. when pressed on whether the president still has confidence in john kelly, she said the president still has confidence in his chief staff. still mounting scrutiny of the chief staff and how he handled this entire situation. >> a technical question for you. sarah huckabee sanders many times today said i can't comment, i'm not aware. i don't have that information. or some version of that. what do you do in that case?
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because your access to that information, our access through you and our viewers' access comes from the idea that we believe or should believe that the white house press secretary in giving a briefing is providing us with a certain degree of transparency. today was the opposite of transparent. >> and she's making that argument in part she's resting her case on the fact that there was this ongoing probe. so essentially trying to say that look, because there is an ongoing investigation into this, we haven't gotten all of the remaining details. and couldn't answer questions again good who was alerted about that on ongoing investigation and how much detail was given. and so you're right and you heard one of my colleagues there try to press her on that report, that there are still basic questions that haven't been answered about the time line. about who was involved. and that is going to continue to be i think the focus here in this briefing room until we do get those answers.
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>> keep at it. thanks very much. kristen welker and an admirable team at the white house who continue to ask questions. lawmakers on capitol hill are reacting to the rob porter controversy. garrett haake is live on capitol hill. and you just spoke with republican senator lindsey graham. >> that's right. and graham became the second. >> referee: republican lawmaker i've heard there today to address the issue in part by saying that the president needs to speak out more forcefully on the issues of domestic violence. it has become a recurrent problem and something of a distraction in -- here is the vice president coming up behind me right now. mr. pence, do you believe the women who made these accusations against rob porter, sir some do you still have confidence in john kelly in the vice president clearly -- >> it was pretty clear not answering that. >> reporter: and that is his prerogative. so let me return to the sound
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boit bite in question. lindsey graham responding to the change in thenarrative and heres graham's response about what the white house needs to do differently. >> what kind of system do they have at the white house, when did general kelly know about mr. porter's allegation, but having said that, i'm a big supporter of general kelly. but i think for future reasons, we need to fully understand what happened here. i think it would serve the president well to stand up aggressively against domestic violence. >> reporter: and that has been the open question, when will the president position cohimself co say something more forceful. >> let me just turn quickly to the other matter that was the senate intel hearing today with really all the leaders of the intel community in america. we learned that u.s. intelligence experts expect russia to ramp up efforts to interfere in the u.s. political system, more specifically in the
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2018 midterm elections. and there was a threat assessment released this morning and according to that, the intel against agencies say we expect that russia will conduct bolder and more disruptive cyber operations during the next year. what did you glean from that hearing, what did you learn that interested you? >> this is a 3 1/2 hour hearing where if you sit for the whole thing, it will make you stay up nights. again and again these intelligence chiefs were brought back to the question of russian interference and the thing that is striking about it when you hear them discuss it, this is not talked about in past tense. this is not a 2016 issue. takes it is a 2017, 2018 and potentially beyond issue. here is part of that conversation from the hearing today. >> let me be clear. the russians utilized this tool because it is relatively cheap, it is low risk, it offers what they perceive as plausible deny
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ability, and proven to be effective as sowing division. there should be no doubt that russia perceived that its past efforts has been successful and views the 2018 u.s. midterm elections as a potential target for russian influence operations. >> reporter: and with congressional elections starting up again here very shortly, expect to see congress try to force this issue of how to improve election security because russia certainly hasn't stopped trying to weaken it. >> thank you for your great reporting. one of the biggest questions, the claim that the porter investigation was ongoing. fbi director chris wray said that the bureau had finished its report long before porter was fired. so here is what the white house said before today. >> his background investigation was ongoing. he was operating on an interim security clearance. miss clearan his clearance was never denied
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and he resigned. >> i can't get into the specifics. i can tell you that the process for the back be ground was ongoing. and the white house mad not received any specific paper regarding the completion of the background check. >> the white house had not received any papers related to that background check. okay? she said that. that is what she said on monday. here is what we heard today. >> we explained the process extensively last week. the white house personnel security office stached ffed by career officials received information last year in what they considered to be the final background investigation report in november. but they had not made a final recommendation for adjudication to the white house because the process was still ongoing when rob porter resigned. in the view of personnel security office, the fbi's july report required significant additional investigation todayer to field work before of personnel security office could begin to evaluate the
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information for adjudication. as director wray said, information was still coming to the white house personnel security office in february. >> white house personnel security office. we hadn't been hearing about that before today. i'm joiled by eed joined by a f watergate special prosecutor and former general counsel for the army. i don't use the words obfuscate a lot on this show, but i think that was the textbook definition of what we were watching sarah huckabee sanders do. she was being asked direct questions, she told kristen welker you need to be more clear on your questions. the questions were an bun dantley clear. >> i heard the question loud and clear and i heard the answer and objec obfuscate is a perfectly good word. lie is another way of saying it. it is protect everybody in the white house. i want to ask why it would take them from everyone novemben nov
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will it became public for them to fire rob porter. >> we think it might be july, but let's say it was november. its february thousand. >> right. i agree that it was -- they had enough in july. no question that the information they had was credible and the only thing that changed their action was the publication of the pictures. it was because it became public. that is what always motivates them to act. it isn't because they are doing the right thin. i would never let anyone on an interim security clearance see any of the materials rob porter was seeing when he was subject to potential blackmail. but then again the president has leaked security information. he leaked it to the russians. i he leaked intelligence race from the israelis. so they don't have the same respect and they are talking about due process and i think they have had due process. the fbi investigated. they found credible information. and action should have been
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taken. and no general that i know would have let it go the way general kelly has let it go. >> it's interesting because the people in the white house not being protected are the new people that we are hearing about from the white house security and personnel office. until you run out of people to throw under the bus, hold steady and don't give anything up. >> it is amgs someolways someon fault. sarah sanders said you should ask a better question. i heard the question. there was nothing wrong with the question. the answer was evasive. it was not answering the question asked. what did the president know and when did he know it, what did general kelly know and when did he thou he know it. were they laid to by rob porter? we don't know any of the answers. >> we can't get past these initial parts of it. all right. jill, thank you. former watergate on prosecutor.
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up next, director of national intelligence is calling for a revolutionary change to the nation's security clearance system. the reporter who broke that story joins me next. hi i'm joan lunden. today's senior living communities have never been better, with amazing amenities like movie theaters, exercise rooms and swimming pools, public cafes, bars and bistros even pet care services. and there's never been an easier way to get great advice. a place for mom is a free service that pairs you with a local advisor to help you sort through your options
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>> in november i got an update on some of the investigations and the update was that there was some things that needed to be looked into. literally that was it. >> you clarified to you exactly the different reporting about the time line and when you found out about things. can you verify that? >> tuesday night. >> you found out tuesday night? >> that the accusations were true. 40 minutes later, he was gone. >> nobody has that little curiosity, let alone a marine general. so when the fbi comes back and says there are things to be looked at about an investigation, no one would actually not ask what those things are. when john kelly admits he was told in november about things happening to do with rob porter's security clearance, claims not to have known why they were. did he not ask? did someone not tell him? did the chief staff say what are the things that need to be looked into? it is not believable. and john kelly has been caught in an outright lie before.
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he laid about the florida congresswoman frederica wilson and saying that she said something at a speech where she was vindicated. so i think we just have to be clear about this. john kelly has been known to lie. a white house official is telling axios that the white house is unraveling. kelly's story that he acted immediately is now undermined by what multiple white house officials told reporters in real time. general kelly became chief of staff to right the ship. to bring order to chaotic oval office. but this porter scandal is just the general's latest. a new piece in the "new yorker" takes a deep dive on some of kelly's most alarming comments and it reads in some direction the lens through which kelly regards these cases appears to be distorted. joining me is the writer of that article amy davidson sorkin. when i saw it, i thought for some reason john kelly's pr is really good because he came into
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right a ship that really needed righting. he is disciplined, he is a general, he is what we all want to be the answer to the problem. but in fact time and time again, he has stepped into hot water in unforced errors, things that he was not asked to talk about. frederica wilson, he was not asked to talk about. he did not have to say that the civil war was a misunderstanding and lack of compromise between sides. he did not have to call daca recipients lazy. but he does this. >> yeah, a couple things you want in a chief staff. especially when it is somebody who is supposed to be keeping an eye on a president who has flights of fancy let's say at different times. you want him to be able to see clearly and you want him to speak clearly in the sense of being honest about what he says. today when we learned that last week the white house under john kelly's direction said we hadn't done anything but port aer becae the background check was still
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ongoing and today we learn that the fbi had done its part and it turns out that when the kelly white house says that something wasn't done, what they mean is that they hadn't done anything about it, about the papers on their desk. then you wonder how people are using language and how they are seeing reality. you mentioned frederica wilson. that was a case where he attacked a congresswoman calling her an empty burrow and gave a very specific description of a speech she's given a little over two years earlier that he attended, described how he had gotten angrier as she disrespected fbi agents who were being honored and the building being named for them. when people went to the videotape, the reality was so different. >> it was made up. >> and it wasn't just that he had gotten it a little wrong, she had spoken eloquently about how brave the fbi agents were and how humbled she was.
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it made you wonder what he saw that day when he was looking at frederica wilson and what he sees -- what did he see when he looked at rob porter. >> right, rob porter harvard gradua graduate, missionary, road scholar. you write this, you say is it that people like wilson, dreamers and porter's former wives never come into view for him. and i think this is an important question to ask. >> you have to wonder, does he see people and think that certain types of people, certain backgrounds who look a certain way matter more than others or have certain roles and if they are not in those roles he takes offense in the case of wilson perhaps. and you wonder who he doesn't see at all. so i wondered as i was looking at those cases what john kelly
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sees when he looks at donald trump. there is this idea that in managing the trump white house, he would be clear eyed, he would know when the president had gone too far, he would know when the president needed to be reined in does he though? does he or does he see a president who is doing what -- >> i think he is a man who is a absolutely less disciplined version of mthimself. this article is well worth the read. thank you. check out her writing. we've all heard over and over this past week about failures in the nation's security clearance system. now the director of national intelligence dan coates is calling for a revolutionary change. he spoke to the associated press saying we have a broken system and i think everyone has to do agree with that. he then echoed a similar sentiment this morning on capitol hill. listen. >> the process is broken.
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it needs to be reformed. as senator warner has previously said, it is not evolution, it is revolution. >> okay. let's just take a closer look at what the director of national intelligence is talking about. more than one year into trump's first term there is still a significant number of officials working in the white house without permanent security clearances. nbc news has confirmed that number is between 30 and 40 officials. one possible reason could be the white house's very high turnover rate. the "new york times" reports this administration has a rate of 34%, that is higher than any administration in decades. and it is not just low profile staffers either. jared kushner the president's son-in-law and senior white house adviser does not have a permanent security clearance. because we don't have access to those things, we don't really know why he doesn't. but he is getting access like rob porter was to a lot of highly sensitive information that without the clearances.
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and it appears that the u.s. government's accountability office on agrees that is change is needed. they recently added a process to its high risk list of federal areas in need of reforms. so this is really important. i want to bring in the reporter who broke that story for the a.p. deb, what are we learning are the problems here other than the fact that the white house doesn't seem to have a good system for figuring out who should get clearances and how. it seems a little broader than that. >> well, first i think we ought to say that dan coates is the only the latest intel official who has been calling for reform in the security clearance arena. there have been reform efforts going on for years. and it has just been a slow slog and they haven't gotten a whole lot of traction on them. but there is movement to reform the system. there is like 700,000
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investigations in the backlog. i think only about 330,000 of those are actual new investigations that are being requested. but you can see the monumental problem that they have just with the plmassive number of people o have to be cleared. >> so we just heard sarah huckabee sanders now trying to explain away why rob porter had still not been fired. she said there was a lot of field work to be country to follow up on some of the things that the fbi said. we don't know if she is telling the truth or not because you can't put your finger on to what the white house is saying these days. but how hard is this? if in july of last year they were alerted that rob poert had reporter had a rob, in this day of social media and all the intelligence gathering, why does it take so long to get national security clearances? >> i do think that they are working on trying to streamline
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that. they would like to be able to make a kooucouple big changes. one would be to use social media and other online tools to speed up looking through people's backgrounds regarding their neighbors or whether they filed bankruptcies. it is a lot easier now, they don't have to actually do gum shoe look at all these people. so they want to streamline that. also they are trying to make it so that a person who is working in the intel field say at a contractor and they are going to go into the government, they already have a clearance, do they need to get recleared. there is a lot of reclearance going on here. the same thing happens when a person is in government and goes to a contractor or a person is in one agency and goes to another. it is called reciprocity and any are trying to eliminate the need for all the reinvestigations. >> and now we have so many new people that a lot more people
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have to go through this process. >> there is another idea and that is that -- and it is already being implemented at the defense department. and that is this idea of continuous review. every time you have a security clearance, you have to get reupped. you have to be reinvestigated every five rkt sev, seven years. they are try doing a more continuous process because they don't really think it is a good idea to wait siceven years to fd out someone has a huge blot on their record all of a sudden. >> thank you for your reporting. appreciate it, deb. coming up, the senate is getting its promised immigration debate, but it is the house that might be immigration's biggest hurdle. after the break, i'll be joined by congressman corbello. but first ivanka was asked about
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rob port er. here's how well that went. >> while we have a moment, your father's handling of rob porter? any thoughts on rob porter? >> no questions.
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happening now, vice president mike pence is on capitol hill as the senate is currently beginning open-ended debate on immigration. the white house has been pushing these four pillars. they want a path to citizenship,
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a $25 billion trust for a wall and other improvements, an end to the diversity visa lottery and limiting chain migration. my next guest has been fighting for daca recipients. joining me now is congressman curbelo, he represents the south florida area. good to see you. we are getting the debate as promised in the senate. it is a little open-ended. but mitch mcconnell had promised democrats that they will get a debate and they are having a debate. what do you think emerges from this? because we don't have a debate scheduled for the houts rigse r now. >> first thing i want to do is thank leader mcconnell for keeping his word and i want to encourage senate democrats to allow the debate to begin. they have not yielded back what they call possess-cloture time. let's have the debate and bring all the different proposals up and see what emerges. so that will be exciting to watch the senate for the next few days. and here in the house, we are
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actually a lot further lady tah than we've ever been. last week before i voted for the bipartisan budget agreement, i secured a commitment from the speaker as did many other members that the house would indeed take up immigration legislation and the reason this is significant is because if we all remember, in 2013 and '14, the senate acted big broad comprehensive immigration bill, the product of a compromise, and the house did absolutely nothing. and the guarantee i wanted to get is that this year would be different, that the house would consider immigration legislation. so number one, many want to see what the senate can produce. and secondly we need to get a vehicle, a bill introduced in the house that is at least similar to what the white house has outlined since we know that is what they are willing to sign and the goal is not to get a messaging bill, not make a political point, but to get something signed into law that
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can principally as far as i'm concerned help these 1.8 million maybe even more people secure a future in our country. >> and i hope the house sees it the way you do. i'm worried it gets clogged up. but i appreciate it. i want to ask you about a couple other things. what do you make of what is going on with rob porter mess? >> we need more transparency. we need to know who knew what and when about rob porter and if they hesitated to act why did they hesitate. and look, i have great respect for general kelly. i know him from his time in miami as the commanding general. i know he is highly competent and highly professional. but if he or anyone else in the white house did fumble this situation, they should be open about it. they should be transparent. they should probably apologize and make sure that never again does anyone who has a history of
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domestic abuse assuming this is all true have that level of access in the white house or in a powerful position in the white house. i know this staff secretary sounds obscure, but it is actually a critical position. that person sees everything that the president sees. >> congressman, i've been asking people who they are giving up for lent and he said among my intentions promises this year no tweeting. and i'd like to respectfully nfrt real donald truinvite realo join me. >> that's right. and a wonderful time of year except for those of us who are catholics to take a step back, to kind of get rid of some of the distractions and the noidse in our lives. snooed social media is a wonderful tool, but it can be very distracting especially in politics. so what i'm doing and encouraging others to do including the president is to take a little time off, maybe
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reserve a little more time for self self reflection and put the twitter account down. what an idea. >> it is tempting. i got to say, i wonder you how fast i can become a catholic be can become catholic. good to see you, my friend. >> good talking ali. >>. tomorrow is valentine's day, one entrepreneurial american is looking to disrupt the way we buy flowers. listen. >> it's every entrepreneur's dream to build the startup that revolutionizes an industry. from your morning commute, to your homemade dinner, disruption is the buzzword and it's taking the old guard by surprise. but few thought the $30 billion flower industry even needed change. aje corey is the co-founder and ceo of urban stems, an online flower delivery startup. and he said he saw a problem that needed fixing. >> i sent a birthday bouquet to surprise my girlfriend at the time, who lived in philadelphia, and it didn't come and i held off on calling because i wanted
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the bouquet to surprise her and the company i ordered it from kept telling me it's coming, it's coming, it's coming. the bouquet never arrived and ended up with a really angry girlfriend. >> too often, he said, the flowers that did make it were wilted or really bad quality and he saw hundreds of unhappy customers on social media had made similar complaints. here's why this happens. most flowers go down a long supply chain from farm to wholesaler to local florist. when a delivery service takes an order online, it pays the florist a discounted price to send flowers to the customer. unlike walk-ins, online customers don't come back for more business. so local florists have no incentive to sell their best flowers to the delivery companies. urban stems does it differently. it says it sources flowers directly from farms overseas, and it fulfills its orders from distribution centers in cities across the country. the company says it can get flowers out to customers within one day. >> when we came in, the industry
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essentially told us, no, with what's here, this can't be done. and so we essentially by necessity had to reinvent the entire supply chain. what that looks like is taking out completely all the middlemen. >> reporter: that kind of out of the box thinking is propelling startups in other industries, too. >> people for a long time thought there was one way to do something, and all it takes is a new player to come in with a fresh idea, and people start to say, oh, i didn't even know that that was possible. and then you have a new brand of loyalty. >> reporter: multibillion dollar industries have been rattled by disruption across the board. for example, bed company, casper, has upended the $15 billion mattress industry. warby parker became the must-have brand of the $130 billion eyewear industry. and others like venmo, airbnb and uber have transformed the way people make payments, find lodging and hail a cab. >> they don't try to play the game of the incumbent.
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they play a different game. and when you do that, you open up a whole new world for yourself. >> reporter: it's a world that's speeding toward disruption at every corner. >> all right. that's the american dream. a person sees a problem with the system, they come up a better way of doing things and they make it work. but is that the reality for most americans? an op-ped in "the new york times" argues that it isn't. titled "where are the startups? loss of dine hynamism is impedi growth." fewer americans are changing jobs and starting new businesses which in turn is hurting prurktiprurk productivity? has the way we do business fundamentally changed, are corporate behemoths cutting out the little guy making it hard to do business, are burdensome regulations stifle lg small businesses and startups? to help figure it out i'm joined by roger mcnamee, co-founder of elevation michael, managing partner of heroic ventures. welcome to both of you guys, in
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person, i love having you here. tell me what you think about this, roger, what's -- why would we be less dynamic today than we would have been five years ago or 10 or 15 years a egg? >> so, ali the problem dates back to the early '80s. we made a series of changes to get rid of regulation, to essentially change the tax law and those things set in motion the things we see today. you saw the peak in startups in 1977, and we've been declining ever since. we've basically been rewarding companies, the biggest companies are the ones who benefit from deregulation. it's a really ironic thing. when they tell you deregulation is a good thing, they're saying it's good for the big guys. the little guys, it's easier to innovate if the big guys have restrictions. >> have a box around them. >> we've seen this in silicon valley, success of facebook, google, amazon, essentially created huge motes where startups do not go, they can't go there at all. what do can you think, michael? >> first of all, roger is brilliant.
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i'm going to disagree with him with respect. look, there are startups and startups. that op-ped, a very good op-ped in "the new york times" talked about startups like every startup is the same. silicon valley startups are u few in number. there are tens of millions of very small businesses in america. the decline in startups has actually been in the second category, decline of small businesses funded and started. hay get funded in different ways. they get funded through loans. loans, loan making has declined a lot since the obama regulation post the crash of 2008. been a lot of restrictions put on the banks. the banks lend to small businesses. when that dries up, the opportunity dries up. look at silicon valley. facebook, roger was an early investor, very successful, has 25,000, 30,000 employees. their market cap is the same as johnson & johnson, basically, exxonmobil, basically. those company have 75,000 and 250,000 employees. silicon valley doesn't create a lot of jobs net, net, net. i think we're seeing the impact of a structural unemployment where there's far more wealth creation for a very small number of people, roger and i are lucky
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to be in the cohort, let's say, in silicon valley. the large swath, broad back of america is being stifled. the lending is too low. i would say, forgive me, roger, the regulation may be too much for small businesses. the average small business spends between $5,000 and $15 is,000 per year per employee on health insurance. now, withe can say that's a ver important thing. if you have a small business, defined as having tlaenless tha $400,000 a year per revenue -- >> this is interesting, two smart guys with who know a lot about starting businesses have a different sense of regulation and impact it has on a little business. >> i think we're talking about different regulations. the critical point i would make here is that what michael's talked about on lending, i actually think goes back to 1999 when we changed the law for bankruptcy. it used to be that when you went into bankruptcy, you could get rid of credit card debt. you know, big companies can get rid of everything right up to and including their pension plan, but individuals who borrow money on their own name --
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>> on their toown name cannot g o ut of bankrupt out of bankruptcy. if you -- >> everybody's got skin in the game. >> they start with a credit card. they -- it's basically we have discouraged -- >> which is to your pointing if you can't get the bank loan for your company, you're going to use -- >> you take venture capital like we do in silicon valley, you don't have is to personally guarantee it. the two, three, businessowner does. it's a big offset for them we don't have to face once we get venture capital. >> rehealth care i sprview as a problem. the kind of ordinarily restricted what a company can do and create the space for little guys to get started and with haderegulated >> take the example of banks. basically impossible now to thanks to regulation, also deregulation on the other side. both elements. it's impossible to start a small savings and loan. there's too much regulation on one side and too little.
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you have to be enormous in order to face it and have to be, right, so there's an interesting mix that disadd vachb t adadvan >> do we knnot know the impact enormity in our economy? so many things we think of in small businesses are not small businesses, you go to whole foods and look at this great yogurt brand you think is a local farm, it's not, it's probably one of the big companies. our company is comcast. we own a lot of little products you might think are independent little fun websites. >> incumbency is very, very, very powerful. incumbency in silicon valley, hard to find any space around google, hard to find any space around facebook. even their insight on what the traffic is on the internet is so superior that they know where to invest and where to buy. >> that's true in every category. >> every category. >> every category is dominated by giant companies and in the old days we used to have antitrust laws that prevented that -- >> from being that big. >> and they were enforced. >> indeed. >> they were enforced. >> now they're not. in my mind, if you want to encourage the development of small businesses you have to make it harder for big companies to crush all the little guys and
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have to take to some of the risk out of it for entrepreneurs. >> you guy are great. thank you so much for triggering a discussion that we don't often have on this show but our viewers are going to appreciate. thank you to both of you. i'm almost out of time. that wraps up a pretty businey r for me. see you right back here tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern with stephanie then again at 3:00 p.m. eastern. i'm going to be back at 10:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow night as with el. . was i right? am i making that up. maybe not. you can always find me either way, doesn't matter where are you see me on tv, find me on twitter, instagram, snapchat. i want to know what you think about discussions like this. "deadline white house with nicolle wallace" starts right now. h hi, everyone, it's 4:00 if new york on this seventh day of the white house domestic abuse scandal. the fbi director weighed in. congressional testimony today,
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chris wray threw a major wrench in the shabbily constructed white house timeline about when it first learned of domestic abuse a abuse allegations a bt about a senor staffer, wray saying the fbi completed its background check into rob porter in july. >> what i can tell you is the fbi submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in march, and then a completed background investigation in late july. that is soon, thereafter, we received requests for follow-up inquiry. and we did the follow-up and provided that information in november then we administratively closed the file in january and then earlier this month we received some additional information and passed that on as well. >> the white house and its allies are engaged in a vicious game of


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