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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  February 13, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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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 thrones-like battle.
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some are using the episode to settle scores against chief of staff john kelly, and recirculating his various missteps to build a public case for his incompetence. others are point ing fingers at don mcgahn, white house counsel, natural recipient of information about a completed background keck check in normal white house. the president's do podium to ded it. >> christopher wray said it was closed in january, who's telling the truth here? >> both. as i said, the fbi portion was closed. the white house personnel security office, who is the one that makes a recommendation for adjudicati adjudication, had not finished their -- not made a recommendation to the white house. >> let me just clarify one more point, you said yesterday that you didn't get any paperwork from the fbi. chris wray said you did see the paperwork, the various -- >> again, that would come
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through the white house personnel security office which had not completed their investigation and not passed that information to the white house. >> do you acknowledge you did receive paperwork? >> again, the white house, i think you need to be very clear about there's multiple groups here. the white house personnel security office, which is staffed by career officials, would have -- may have received information. they hadn't completed their process and made a recommendation to the white house for adjudication. >> finally, who's -- who allowed john kelly, rob porter, rather, to stay here without permanent security clearance? >> i can't comment on specifics of that other than what we've already said. >> the old career officials did it excuse. but the problem for this white house is that they've now told so many contradictory stories that the fragments of inoperative fnarratives or lies hang out there like this description of john kelly. "he took action to remove porter within 40 minutes of learning
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about abuse allegations from two ex-wives that they were credible." axios putting a finer point on that quoting a white house official who says, "wray's fbi timeline makes one thing clear, the kelly cover-up is unraveling right before our eyes." the entire part of the story about an ongoing process for the background check is in serious question now as well. >> his background investigation was ongoing. he was operating on an interim security clearance. his clearance was never denied and he resigned. >> again, i can't get into the specifics. i can tell you that we were the process for the background was ongoing, and the white house had not received any specific papers regarding the completion of that background check. as i know raj addressed last week, we let the process play out. it was ongoing. hadn't been completeded. beyond that in the statement i just gave you, i don't have anything else to add. >> wray's testimony confirms the
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fbi background process was dple complete, not ongoing. someone at the white house knew he hadn't passed the fbi white house check but remained securely in place until news accounts broke out. let's get to our reporters and guests. joining us from the white house is jill, white house reporter for the "associated press." matthew miller is here, former chief spokesman for the justice department. now an msnbc analyst. with us at the table, "associated press" white house reporter jonathan lemere. a.p. staff porting day. nick. zerlena maxwell, now director of progressive programming for sirius xm. and rick stengel, former undersecretary of state in the obama administration who plays our statesman at 4:00 monday through friday is here as well. let me start with you, jill, this white house story is falling apart on a can ouple different levels. one, the idea that this process was somehow ongoing fell apart when chris wray said it was done in july.
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now, the normal process, and i know this isn't a normal white house, but that means they had an answer in july. what are you learning about that part of their story and the fact that they're still sticking to it? >> yeah, i mean, look, as you play those clips side by side by side, the story keeps changing and changing and changing. we hadn't even heard about this white house personnel security office that had allegedly received these files that they said they hadn't actually received. the line yesterday was very much, look, this is an fbi issue, this is about the intelligence agencies, there was some questioning left about whether, perhaps, that process should be changed, but all of the blame was put on the fbi. now as of today, it's put on the white house. >> matt miller, what do you make of the fact that they are so reflexively enthusiastic to blame career officials? i've never seen anything like it. >> they are looking for someone, anyone, to take the blame, because the real timeline would show serious wrongdoing by people in the white house.
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i mean, first the wrongdoing was on behalf of the fbi, that fell apart. now it's career officials at the white house. i'm sure that will fall apart. when what really came out today, i think the most interesting thing to me was that the fbi gave an interim report to the white house in march of last year, and that is not a usual step in the process. the -- excuse me. the interim report only comes when the fbi finds something damaging and serious in their investigation. something like domestic violence, something like serious wrongdoing that causes them to short circuit the process and go to decisionmakers right away so they can make a decision. the white house decided not to do that almost a year ago in march. that was the initial mistake they made and you see mistake after mistake and now cover-up after cover-up in the months and weeks since. >> you know, the other drama that's playing out here, jonathan, is everyone that is disgruntled with john kelly, everyone that felt like he came to the white house and the word i hear over and over
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sanctimonious, he placed his person who's now the secretary of homeland security in as his deputy, that they tried to rule the west wing with an iron fist, that they pushed out some of the president's favorites, his body guy, mr. schiller, mr. campaign guy corey lewandowski, he tried to isolate the president from some of the original cast. that whole group is using this situation, stringing it together with his other public controversies and making the case that it's time for john kelly to go. >> when kelly came into the office, he had said one thing he was going to do is try to crack down on these rivalries that divided the west wing for months. we saw, anthony scaramucci, too. >> someone made the case today that scaramucci was more qualified for the communications director job than hope hicks. >> i did say today, scaramucci, of course, ousted by john kelly, called for kelly's ouster. so what we're seeing, though --
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>> friends like those. >> exactly. and for a little while, some of those competing leaks went quiet. they weren't eliminated but they went quiet. what we're seeing is the enemies john kelly made within the west wing suddenly had their moment. it there are a lot of people in there who are really upset at the access he's cut from the president, he took corey lewandowski's badge away, threw out omorosa, made powerful people like jared kushner and ivanka trump city thstay in thes and cut down the access people had to the president in the oval office at times to the president's chagrin. there are some people in there, the knives are out, they see this as a moment where kelly is vulnerable, they see this for the first time and this is for folks who don't necessarily oppose john kelly, even supporters in the office suddenly have had their faith shaken a little bit here by how he's handled this last week. that for a while there, they felt like he'd really sort of organized things and not that everything was going smoothly because they have an
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uncontrollable president at the top of the chain, but they felt like the process was working better, they were moving in the right direction at least most of the time, and i think for a lot of people in there, even those who are loyal to kelly, they're not sure of that anymore. >> so not as much score settling going on on the don mcgahn front, but lots of unanswered questions, and you can press even very senior white house advisers, and it's not clear that they've been able to pin down white house counsel don mcgahn about what he knew and when he knee iw it. >> the key question or phrase here is ongoing. said the process was ongoing. i suspect it would have been ongoing for the entire administration if the foes hcht co h hadn't come on. it's clear from the timeline they had information and sat on it. see them blaming the white house office of personnel security which is part of the white house which is, of course, run by the president. they can blame the career staff and the deep state goes all way to the white house. but obviously the white house had some information, and they sat on it. it's very clear. everything else is kind of
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unimportant. what we're going to see next is this hopeless cycle that this kind of downward spiral for staff, where it's harder and harder to get people who want to go in because the mess gets worse and worse, so the mess gets worse and worse. >> let me stay with you, because one of the other revolutions today was about four white house reporters being brought in for a background briefing, arranged by sarah huckabee sanders, where the individual accused, rob porter, defended himself. i'm told that that was green lit, there they are walking in, jonathan swan, josh dawsy, maggie haberman. this happened right before the briefing. i'm told today by a source that that operation was green lit by kelly. >> if that's the case, that shows you that he is, again, the effort to sort of cover his tracks in this. that there's a real attempt at damage control. the white house's story has changed about a half dozen times in as many days since the porter
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allegations first were made public. and i think we're seeing there's an effort in there to try to, you know, as much as there's a camp that wants john kelly out, there's certainly others who are trying to protect him and chief of staff, himself, is, of course, seems like he's leading that charge. where he has given a few interviews, on the record interviews in recent days including one today where he was asked if they had any regrets, if they needed to make any changes to how they handled the porter case. he said, no, it was handled the right way. >> matt, let me get you back in on this on the question of the white house counsel. any justice department entities, normal plug-in to any normal white house is the white house counsel's office. do you think that we will ever know the extent of what don mcgahn knew and when he knew it about rob porter's background and he would likely never be cleared by the fbi for top-level security clearance? >> i think we'll find out in one of two ways. one, we'll continue to see leaks from people in the white house. maybe people at the fbi about what don mcgahn knew.
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it is inconceivable to me when they made this interim report in march that that didn't go to mcgahn and to others in the white house counsel's office. it would surprise me if mcgahn didn't share that with others in the white house then. certainly by the time the fbi finished its full report in july, that had to make it to his desk. i suspect we'll see that in leaks. the other way we would see that is if the white house finally does what a rational white house would do and come clean in this. the only way they can come clean is to do two things. one, to tell the whole story, and two, to let people go. because if they tell the whole story, if they stop lying, what we're going to see is wrongdoing on behalf of officials who knew about this, and didn't take any action and the only reaction to that is going to be to fire those officials. we'll see if they take that action. i'm personally a little bit skeptical. >> jill, i heard this seven-day scandal compared to the six-day fight with gold-star widow, the soldier who lost his life fighting in niger, ladavid t. johnson, where on the six day donald trump live tweeted her
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appearance on "good morning america" and it was pointed out to me that that week-long scandal, this week-long scandal basically bookend the kelly regime in terms of symbolic debacles. this person also tried to make a case that under reince, nothing that bad happened but i'm sure that's debatable. what are you hearing about -- i know kelly's defenders working the phones today making the case that he really had no idea the extent and sort of the credibility that the photo was really what changed his thinking about the seriousness. but what are you hearing on sort of the finger pointing front of all this? >> yeah, i mean, i think the difference here between the incident you referred to before and this is that here, the president and kelly aren't necessarily on the same side. look, there has been a change here in the way that the president, according to our sources, think about kelly. you know, he was brought in here under this narrative of, you know, he was this kind of horse in shining armor, going to come in, going to rescue the white
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house. really was brought in as the problem solver. if the president at any point thought about potentially getting rid of him, there would have been this huge backlash of the president getting rid of the only guy who's actually been able to control the white house. that narrative is gone now. kelly's now the one who's responsible for the kind of chaos that he was supposed to be brought in to end. and it means that kelly, even though the president might not decide to get rid of him this week or next week, it means he's in a much more vulnerable position. also keep in h mind, there aren't a lot of other people around the building who are interested in taking on that job. also not a lot of other people who are there to kind of take over the role that porter had and to really be allies of the president and kelly. >> i'll tell you this, working in the white house, there's always somebody who wants those powerful positions, whether they should be in the job, that's another debate. i want to play you something, rick stengel, from dni, director of national intelligence, kushn status of his security clearance. >> i think sometimes it is necessary to have so some type
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of preliminary clearance in order to fill a slot, but i have publicly stated if that is the case, the access has to be limited in terms of the kind of information they can be in a position to receive or not receive. so i think that's something that we have to do as part of our security clearance review. >> jared kushner's reading the pdb. >> yes. i mean, director coats also said that the classified system is broken, that the clearance process is broken. so just to go into the weeds, i'll be a statesman for one second on this then go out, when -- >> you can stay in your statesman mode. i don't want to stress you out. >> when clearance takes that long a time, when top-secret clearance takes that long of time, there's a problem. >> exactly. >> and so you know that. and one reason there was a problem is because they're going, holy moly, this guy, the president loves this guy, i'm coming up with this stuff that
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is -- >> you're talking about jared or porter? >> well, both. >> both. >> and so -- and then the process really slows down. and then they go, what the heck are we going to do? and do we tell the fbi director, do we tell mcgahn? so when it takes that long a time, there's a problem. there's a larger problem which coats identified which is this clearance process is broken. so this take takes, in my exper, six months was the fastest. nine months was bad. then it would take a year. >> let's be clear -- >> you have people looking at the president's daily brief who do not have a top secret sci, security clearance. there's an issue of national security. you know what, i bet there's more than one in the white house. >> there's 30 to 40. they're not all looking at the pdb. the pdb contains human intelligence, it contains intercept intelligence, it contains the most sensitive secrets our government possesses and there's at least one person we don't know how many more who do not have the appropriate security clearance to look at it. what do you make of the, you know, the human tragedy here is
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that there are two women who were abused by their then-husband who are now, you know, sort of in the wood chipper of the trump white house rapid response operation, but the other crisis is a security crisis. >> i think it's two scandals, one is a moral scandal. and the fact that they found out that they had a domestic abuser on staff and didn't get rid of him right away. the fact you need an ongoing investigation into something that serious, that's a moral question. also a national security question because if you don't have the right clearance, you have access to those documents and all of that information, what are you doing with it? i think that the fact that rob porter specifically could have been open to blackmail, that seems like a national security issue when you're talking about access to that kind of information. what did he do with the information? we don't know that. >> jill, let me give you the last word here and ask you if anyone on the white house staff has been able to answer whether or not the sf-286, the first forms that this white house
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staffer would have filled out, did he tell the truth? you are specifically asked about any record, any restraining orders, any domestic violence. do we know if he identified this on his initial forms? >> look, the white house has said they felt misled by how porter described it but the answer to your question is, nope, we don't know that, along with so many other things that we don't know at this point. >> all right. i lied about last words. matt miller, i'm going to let you weigh in on that. that, to me, seems like one of the flashing red lights here, if he disclosed this on his sf -- the first form you fill in when you're applying for security clearance, then they've known since day one. >> yeah, that's right, and if it he didn't disclose it, he has bigger problems than just having been fired from his job because he may be potentially charged with a crime. it wouldn't just be for not telling the truth about it on the sf-86, but of course he would have done an fbi interview as part of this background check. if he denied the fbi -- if he told the fbi this story, he apparently told the white house staff about somehow a vase hit
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his wife, and not him, then, you know, who knows what will happen because it's a he said/she said situation. but you have him potentially, you know, lying to the fbi and facing possible criminal charges over this. >> all right. i told my second lie about last questions. you get the last word on this, nick. >> look, president trump campaigned for a year on the proposition that hillary clinton should be in jail because she used a private e-mail server and broke rules about e-mails and record retention at the state department. and now it seems like half his senior staff hasn't had security clearance or proper clearance and seeing classified information. i'm not sure how much worse it could get on the hypocrisy front. >> we don't if they told the truth. jill, matt miller, nick, thanks so much for starting us off. when we come back, it's the second month of the second year of donald trump's president. according to congressional testimony today from his own national security officials the president has not directed anyone to do anything to protect this country from russian meddling. also ahead, another abuse
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victim speaks out and speaks directly to the women defending donald trump. and we go deep inside the seven-day domestic violence scandal that has swamped the trump white house and raised serious questions about who has access to classified information. i'm so frustrated. i just want to find a used car without getting ripped off. you could start your search at the all-new that might help. show me the carfax. now the car you want and the history you need are easy to find. show me used trucks with one owner. pretty cool. [laughs] ah... ahem... show me the carfax. start your used car search and get free carfax reports at the all-new
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has the president directed you and your agency to take specific actions to confront and blunt russian influence activities that are ongoing? >> we're taking a lot of specific efforts to blunt russian -- >> are they directed by the president? >> not as specifically directed
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by the president. >> i -- i don't know what to say. that was fbi director chris wray revealing the president has never directed the fbi to take any specific actions to con front and blunt russian influence despite the fact additional testimony today confirmed russia remains committed to meddling in our elections and is intent on making the 2018 midterms a target. here's the director of national intelligence, dan coats. >> we expect russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false flag personas, sympathetic spokesmen, and other means to influence to try to build on its wide range of operations and exacerbate social and political fissures in the united states. there should be no doubt that russia perceived that its past efforts has successful and views the 2018 u.s. midterm elections as a potential target for russian influence operations.
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>> joining our conversation now, some of the best of the best, former senior cia officer and deputy of the agency's worldwide russia operations effort, and msnbc analyst evelyn farkas, former deputy assistance secretary of defense. our panel is also here, of course. so, john, let me just read you a paragraph from the story. "the intelligence chiefs warn the senate intelligence committee during an annual hearing on worldwide threats that russia believes its interference in the 2016 presidential election achieved its chief aim, weakening faith in american democracy. moscow now sees the coming congressional elections as a chance to build on its gains, they said." i mean, you can't argue with that, can you? moscow's winning. >> no, moscow's winning, and moscow, there's no reason not to continue. unless we deter further activity, unless we defend our systems, there's no reason for them to stop. the one thing to remember, nicolle, these weapons that they use, this is part of their war
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doctrine, thaese weapons they ue are asymmetric measures. the one thing vladimir putin has to keep in mind is he doesn't cross a red line and force the big guy to punch back. >> who's the big guy in that story? are we the big guy? the big guy, the president that's never directed the fbi to protect us from russia? >> yeah, we're the big guy. that's why this is more crazy than you'd think. if we made clear to russia what we will accept and won't accept, i think vladimir putin will listen. the fact is he's already achieved what he wants to. we're going to worry in 2018 that he meddled with our voting system not because he necessarily is going to do that because we haven't defended against it and wie know he's capable of it. >> evelyn farkas, vladimir putin also consumes as much of sort of the ambient noise in our politics and in our culture as anybody stateside. and i'm sure that what he's picking up on is he is dealing with an american president very
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reluctant, inexplicably reluctant, to even impose the sanctions that congress overwhelmingly supported. so where do we stand as a country, how vulnerable are we? >> well, i think we're vulnerable, nicolle, because the kremlin only understands the word, no, and if the president, if it's not coming from the highest place in the u.s. government, then the kremlin is going to take that as an implicit green light. and they're going to continue to do what they've been doing. so i agree with john 100%, and, you know, senator reid when he asked the question, he pressed all of those heads of the intelligence agencies and he said, do you guys have an interagency effort? i mean, you know from having been in government, when there's a really serious threat and we have a timeline for it, which is the case with these elections, then you put together a team from every agency to take it -- it tackle it head-on. and he didn't do that. that's clear. >> we also, evelyn, have reporting, nbc news reported last week, i think on a day that john might have been here, that we now know that while they may
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not have effected the outcome, the russians were inside the voting systems in more than a handful of states. so they're getting better and we have a president that has not directed the fbi to protect us from russians' attempts. does that make you more or less nervous than you were in 2016? >> it makes me really nervous. the one thing i feel like they did assure us is they have an eye on it. they did not reassure us there's any action being taken. sure, they're monitoring what the russians are doing. i don't feel reassured they're taking action. i think a minimum step we probably need all states to take is to have some kind of paper verification system in place, because as you said, the american people at this point now need to be reassured that our elections are going to be safe and free and fair. >> john, let me just put you on the spot. how does an intelligence community serve its top client, the president of the united states, when we know from reporting in the "washington post" and other places that intelligence about russia has to
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be delivered in writing because it upsets him, it makes him feel like his victory is being questioned. we also have subsequent reporting saying he doesn't read the written pdb. so we don't know what the president knows or doesn't know about russia. how does the intelligence community continue to serve a president who doesn't know or doesn't read the russia intel, and how does that look on a day like today when all of the intel chiefs go before congress in their open session, we don't know what they said in the closed session, and affirm that russia is, indeed, a threat? >> well, here's where the notion of a deep state may come in handy for us. you know, the -- >> save america? >> exactly. the one thing i know from my time in government is the mission focused on who are our enemies, who are our adversa adversaries, what do we need to do? we oftentimes didn't need the president necessarily to be telling us to do this because it was the right thing to do and it was clear and the intelligence led us there. so i am confident that the fbi,
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the cia, and our national security institutions will be focused on this, but evelyn's right, we need an all of government approach and even need a private/public to work together on this because it involves social media. it involves people in the private sector as well, so what we need from the president is to push this along. but i do believe that our national security institutions will be focused on this, whether the president tells them to or not. >> rick? >> so, i would just say, you know that when i was at the state department, we started the first counter-russian disinformation entity after the annexation of crimea because we saw this disinformation. what we see is this continuum between the hard and the soft, between the cyber which is the hard, and the disinformation which is the soft. we can never stop the disinformation. the soft stuff. those are the troll factories in st. petersburg. >> the bots b s on my twitter f >> that's going to continue. even if donald trump said no,
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they'd continue so. we need to stop the hard stuff, the penetration of the states. that you have to say no. that is a real threat to our democracy. the other stuff we can sort of figure poout. we can figure out how to have media literacy. >> doesn't presidential leadership help with the soft stuff, too? >> it does but i also think that i'm not sanguine about getting rid of the soft stuff. i think we're in for soft stuff for the next 50 years but it's the hard stuff that worries many he in relation to 2018. >> all right. one more thing to be worried about. brought to you be i jauy john s evelyn farkas, mr. stengel. when we come back, a first-person account of what it feels like to be thrust into the trump rapid response machine when you're a victim of one of the alleged domestic abuser rob porter. andkids... ♪ music >> tech: ...every minute counts. and you don't have time for a cracked windshield. that's why at safelite, we'll show you exactly when we'll be there.
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are you worried at all about hope hicks? >> i'm close to hope hicks.
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i don't worry about her in that respect. i'm sorry for any suffering this woman had. endured 37 but in the case of hope, i rarely met somebody so strong with such excellent instincts, and loyalty, and smarts. i didn't have the presence of mind and the professional capabilities at her age. >> kellyanne conway seems to imply hope hicks somehow protects her from domestic violence, despite her reported relationship with an accused abus abuser. rob porter. here's how mr. porter's first ex-wife responded to an op-ped in the "washington post," "borrowing conway's words i have no reason not to believe her when she says hicks is a strong woman. her statement implies those who have been in an abusive relationship are not strong. recognizing and surviving in an abusive relationship takes strength. telling others about the abuse
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takes strength. leaving and putting the pieces of your life back together takes strength. being strong, with loyalties and smart, doesn't inoculate a person against abuse, doesn't prevent her from entering into a relationship with an abuser. abuse often doesn't manifest itself early on, only later when you're in deep and behind closed doors. kellyanne's wasn't the only comment from the white house that stung porter's ex-wife. sarah huckabee sanders this week wouldn't answer whether the president believed her credible allegations against porter. >>porter's accusers or are they lying? >> as i just said the president along with the entire administration take domestic violence very seriously and believe all allegations need to be thoroughly investigated and above all, the president supports the vibt victims of dc violence and believes everyone should be treated fairly. >> holderness answered simply, while i cannot say i'm
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surprised, i expected a woman to do better. so did i, sister. panel is still here. i don't know what to say. >> i do. i've been doing add vocacy in ts for a decade. it's a fundamental misunderstanding. what kellyanne conway is articulating is essentially victim blaming, saying if you're strong enough, you can avoid becoming a victim. that's a fundamental misunderstanding because becoming a victim has nothing to do with the woman's choices. it has to do with the man's choices to hit, to abuse, to harass, to sexually assault. the man in the situation is making the choice, the woman in the situation, they could have made different choices and the same result would happen because the man is choosing to hit. it's a fundamental misunderstanding of the issue. and i think it's very sad to hear women articulate this because any woman can be in this position no matter how strong they are. if a woman was the president of the united states, they could still be a victim of domestic violence because a man is choosing to hit. >> i think it's also, we should take a step back and look at the context of which kellyanne made
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the comments. white house senior aides were deployed sunday to talk shows to talk about this issue and give voice to at least some support to porter accusers to sort of suggest that, to say things the president, himself, did not say, still has not said. the president of the united states has not gone out there and said he does not -- thhe ha not gone out and said he opposes domestic violence. the oval office is about 40 feet or so from the briefing room. these last couple days when sarah sanders has been in there and talked about this, the president has not come down to the briefing room and said anything. last week in the oval office he talked about how he praised rob porter's character and said he hopes he would do well in the future. the next day he took to twitter, gave a vague shot at the me too movement where he suggested he didn't want people's lives to be ruined by false accusations with no mention of people's lives being ruined because they were victim of abuse. >> by the way, he doesn't do it for the precisely the same reason he doesn't criticize
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russia because he's culpable on that issue. if me shows any leg on it by saying i'm sympathetic to this, people would go, you have 19 accusers, yourself. he's in a bind. >> why don't the women have any red line? >> yeah. i don't know. i question that literally every day. i wonder how sarah huckabee sanders can stand up there and lie from the podium, but also in this particular moment, it does look like she's having a little bit of a tougher time coming up with these answers that are written out for her to say. because i think that deep down, she knows what she's saying is fundamentally wrong and morally wrong and that as a woman, they should be standing up for other women because it can be any of us in this situation. >> well, listen, domestic abuse is this dark secret, shameful thing. i'm sure all the victims that have found their voice in the me too movement feel the same way about sexual misconduct, the use of power and abuse in the workplace. but domestic abuse, it really is the kind of thing where you are
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led to believe that it is your fault for staying. you are led to believe that it is your fault for not knowing that he would hit you. you are led to believe that it is your fault for thinking that when he said he would stop, he wouldn't. you're lead to believe it is your fault when he said he wouldn't hit the kids and they get -- i mean, it's so much more insidious and for women, for mothers, to be toeing the party line is the most galling thing identi i've seen. i can't watch it. >> they need to say what you just said, unfortunately, they haven't shown human emotion. >> why not? >> they've been patronizing to the women. that's what disgusting about it. >> women do internalize misogyny, we victim blame other woman, say i wouldn't have drank that much if i was in h that situation. going back to the fundamental misunderstanding, it's the person who's choosing to violate consent and committing a sexual assault, the person who's choosing to hit in that situation.
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i think until we fundamentally understand this issue, we're always going to be caught in this mess of, you know, victim blaming and shaming and questioning women's choices when they are the victim of this. >> i want to ask you something, victims of domestic abuse are sometimes in the most danger when the perpetrator is outed. do you know if the government has done anything to protect these women if the white house has asked for that? >> we're not aware of that. that is a step that has been taken. there's certainly people, many many people in the west wing who are very upset by these allegations. most of them, i would say a number of them are upset because they believed rob porter, thought he was a really nice guy and shocked this could have happened. those are the voices, those two have expressed concern for the women. i'm not aware of in e organize organized effort to protect them. this is a president who has never once shown the inclination to use the office to become a moral leader. set an example for the nation on moral issues. this is the latest example, the moment in charlottesville where he blamed both sides for the
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racial violence that took a young woman's life is probably still the best example. >> also under john kelly's tenure, he was also the chief of staff at that time. so i feel like he's normalized racism in that moment and normalizing misogyny in this moment. to your point about being in danger, the most dangerous point for a woman in an abusive relationship is the moment she decides to leave. women are murdered every single day when they try to leave. and so the idea that they're not protected is actually very concerning to me at this moment. >> unbelievable times. when we come back, anatomy of a debacle. we'll go inside the mind of a white house staffer who once sat in the eye of the political storm, himself. that's steve schmidt. bringing folks out, we have seen it in community after community. this new day
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looks nothing like yesterday. trails are covered. paths aren't what they used to be. roads nowhere to be found. ( ♪ ) and it's exactly what you're looking for. ( ♪ )
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and it's exactly what you're looking for. burned me up and down, shno way to cool it. ♪ ♪ ♪ every time you kiss me it's like sunshine and whiskey ♪ applebee's handcrafted burgers. any burger just $7.99. now that's eatin good in the neighborhood. a man who needs no introduction gets no introduction. steve schmidt, jump in. >> hey, well, nicolle, a couple of things. the story imploded today like it was a building implosion or stadium implosion. you were watching on tv. what happened here is that the fbi came back and they said, hey, the staff secretary who has a code word sci top-secret
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clearance is credibly accused of beating his two wives. and white house took no action, kept him in place, and so we see a couple things out of this, right? we see the abject incompetence that was described in the michael wolff book. we see recklessness around national security issues. scores of west wing officials don't have the requisite clearances necessary to see the nation's most closely guarded secrets. we see the usual dishonesty. and it's blowing up in their face. and lastly, we see the cruelty. the cruelty of the press secretary toward these women. of kellyanne conway toward these women. of the president of the united states toward these women. and really the whole of the administration toward these women. >> steve, i want you to see if you can come up with any parallel. i reached back through the palin years, to the bush years and we
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were deeply flawed. we made more mistakes before lunch than most people in normal jobs make in five years. but i can't remember the depravity that i see. >> that's for sure. >> in this white house. whether if you can just talk about how sort of effective it is for them to do such a volume business of chaos and crisis creation. >> i think the important thing to understand, to remember, for the american people, is that this is not normal. this is -- there's never been an administration like this. in fact, when you look out across all the western democracies, you don't see lying like this. the constancy of lying, the dishonesty, the allegations of conspiracy, the smearing, the defend to the death at all costs. the image and the reputation of the leader who through his own mistakes, his own actions, the firing of the fbi director, the drafting of the statement lying about it on air force one, the
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myriad misstatements, the squandering of the moral authority talking about good nazis after charlottesville, the endorsement of a credibly accused pedophile in alabama. there's never been anything like this. we are in a -- we are in unchartered territory with this comportment and it's vile. the behavior is disgraceful. it's disgusting. the filing of the office of the president of the united states is something that's going to take that office a fair amount of time to recover from it. it will recover, but it won't be easy. there's going to be a lot of work to do to repair the damage that's inflicted on the country, in my view, by this administration. >> dave rosen, someone i follow on twitter, i believe he's a journalism professor at nyu, tweeted this week this actually isn't a white house, it's a workplace with a boss and bunch of people that work for him. do you think that there's anything about this white house other than the immense powers that are still attached to the office of the presidency?
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does any of this look familiar to you? >> no, of course not. it wouldn't look familiar to anybody who ever served in any administration in the modern era. here's the reason why. both parties have elected great presidents and bad presidents. they've elected both parties a couple of presidents at existential moments that decided whether the united states of america would survive. we -- we produced the leaders necessary to make sure that it did. but the country has never before now elected somebody who is so manifestly unfit intellectually, morally, temperamentally, for the office of president of the united states. and by a very thin margin of 78,000 votes across 3 states, donald trump losing the popular vote by 3 million pulled the hat trick and here we are a year later. what we see is a capitulation by the republican party, its
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leaders, in support of -- by any definition is reckless, aberrant, malfeasant behavior and there's no public company nl war vessel if wouldn't be relieved of their jobs if they acted like donald trump. >> okay. we'll sneak in a break and be right back. so that's the idea. what do you think? i don't like it. oh. nuh uh. yeah. ahhhhh. mm-mm. oh. yeah. ah. agh. d-d-d... no.
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hmmm. uh... huh. yeah. uh... huh. in business, there are a lot of ways to say no. thank you so much. thank you. so we're doing it. yes. start saying yes to your company's best ideas. we help all types of businesses with money, tools and know-how to get business done. american express open.
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we're back. steve, let me pick up where i left off.
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four star general's job handing by a thread. is that by association with this white house or do you think he was selected because of his willingness to go where trump goes every day? >> well, i mean one of the things that we've seen across the government is that official after official has taken their previous positions and completely flip-flopped in service to the president. i mean, what we do know with regard to russia, the attacks, the domestic violence, the notion that general kelly would be a stabilizing force, that he would get this west wing under control turns out not to be the case. probably the case because the president is in fact in his unfitness completely uncontrollable. but for sure john kelly's story does not add up here. i think he is clearly lying to the american people about what he knew and when he knew it about a credibly accused wife beater who had access to the nation's most closely guarded
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secrets and was imminently blackmailable. >> let me switch gears and show you something that senator king said today. >> i understand the president's sensitivity about whether his campaign was in connection with the russians and that is a separate question. but there is no question we have before us the entire intelligence community that the russians sbfrned in the election into 2016. they are a real imminent threat to our elections in a matter of eight or nine months. but problem is i talk to people in maine who say the whole thing is a witch hunt and a hoax because the president told me. i just wish you all could persuade the president as a matter of national security to separate these two issues. >> not going to happen. >> no, but he had a very good point. they are separate issues. the issue of company ligs is one
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thin collusion is one thing. russia tam appearipering in ourn is another. what we really need to do is protect our nation from cyber intrusion by russia. >> a separate category and also a far flung fantasy. >> the president thinks any discussion of russian meddling in the election cheapens his victory. makes him an illegitimate president. he does not separate these things. and people around him when advisers try to talk to him about russia, they are often met with a very angry response. so many have stopped doing that. i would not expect this president suddenly getting up there and issuing a warning about russia. >> but don't you think it would make him more credible on the former if he expressed the latter? >> it could, but i don't think he sees it that way.
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this culture is very educational for people. but i think we need to stop believing victims, we need to start believing the women. >> and i think those are strong words that the white house would probably take issue with. so that is why you are here. thank you all. that does it for us. "mtp daily" starts right now. hi, chuck. >> thank you for all of that. if it is tuesday, russia could be meddling right now. is anybody in the u.s. government watching? tonight the nation's intelligence chiefs say russia is targeting the midterm elections. and the white house isn't trying to stop it. >> has the president directed you and your agency to take specific actions to confront and blunt russian influence activities? >> not as specifically drektsed by t directed by the plus.


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