tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC February 21, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PST
>> tonight on all in. >> feel like you were treated fairly sir? do you feel set up in some way? >> the 19th indictment and the fourth guilty plea in the mueller investigation as the white house looks to blame russia's election interference on obama. >> he has been tougher on russia in the first year than obama was in eight years combined. >> plus, new questions about jared kushner's appetite for classified information without a full security clearance. >> nothing that has taken place will affect the valuable work that jared is doing. >> then new allegations of trump campaign money used to cover up an alleged affair. and mitt romney is running for senate. >> donald trump is a phony.
a fraud. >> but guess whose endorsement he just accepted. >> you cannot let mitt romney in this race. he's a joker. >> when all in starts right now. >> choked like a dog. >> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. a special counsel russia investigation decried by the president as a hoax has now charged 19 people with federal crimes. as of tonight, four of those people have already pleaded guilty according to reporters, another may be on the verge of a guilty plea himself. that is robert mueller's record thus far. and yet again, mueller demonstrated the public only knows a fraction of what he and his team have discovered. yet again, he rolled out charges against an entirely new character in the russia saga whose name had never surfaced once in press reports. in this case, it's al dex van der zwaan a dutch lawyer who used to work for one of the most elite corporate law firms in the world known as scadden. he pleaded guilty to lying about
investigators about his kaks with former trump campaign aide rick gates and an individual identified only as person a in filings. gates and one-time campaign chairman paul manafort were indict last fall on fraud charges related to their work for ukraine's former pro-russian regime. their client then viktor yanukovych jailed the former prime minister minister amid charges her imprisonment was politically motivated they enlists a high powered law firm effectively clearing their client of wrongdoing. that firm was scadden and van der zwaan was a member of the team. the firm has been cooperating with authorities. in a strange twist, van der zwaan's father-in-law is a russian oligarch connected to the kremlin whose name is mentioned in the steele dossier. van der zwaan's father-in-law is right now suing buzzfeed for publishing the dossier last
year. not sure what to make of that. mueller's latest move is another sign he's ramping up pressure on manafort after reports that gates, manafort's deputy may be on the verge of a guilty plea, as well. meanwhile, the white house today struggled to explain why in the days since mueller indicted 13 russians for conspireing to disrupt the 20916 election through information warfare, the president of the united states has attacked just about everyone except russia or putin. the first briefing in a week, president secretary sarah huckabee sanders did what she's paid by the american people to do every day to deny what we all saw and read the president post on twitter. >> the president doesn't really think that the fbi failed to stop the parkland shooter because it was too involved with the russia investigation, does? >> he >> i think he was speaking not necessarily that that is the cause. i think we all have to be aware
that the cause of this is that of a deranged individual. >> did he mistweet? he's pretty direct. he says this is not acceptable. they're spending too much time trying to prove russian colluded. >> he's making the point we would like our fbi agencies not to be focused on something that is clearly a hoax in terms of investigating the campaign. >> sanders declined to identify any steps the president has taken to prevent further interference in this year's midterms but parroted the same bizarre claim repeated over and over again by the president, i have been much tougher on russia than obama. fake news. >> through a number of places obama was too weak and refused to put pressure on russia where this president has. he has been tougher on russia in the first year than obama was in eight years combined. he's imposed sanctions and taken away properties.
we built our military. he has done a number of things to put pressure on russia and to be tough on russia. >> jake sullivan under president obama and chief foreign policy to the clinton campaign in 2016, jake, maybe i'll start with that. what do you make of the claim this president has been tougher on russia than president obama? >> that would be very difficult to do under any circumstances because as you laid out at the top of the program, this president has taken not a single decisive step to either impose real costs on russia for what they did in 2016 or to try to prevent it from happening again. despite the fact that his cia director, his director of national intelligence, both said there's a very strong likelihood that russia will try to interfere again in 2018. donald trump has done literally zero to mobilize the u.s. government to do something about that. when you compare that to what
barack obama did in particular mobilizing broad based sectoral sanctions against the russians and getting the europeans on boorth for that which was know small feat, it's not in the same ballpark. it's not in the same sport. it's not the same activity of any kind. and i think when sarah huckabee sanders was pushed, her argument basically fell apart. >> i want to play you the exchange on sanctions which is one particular aspect of this. before i get to that, do you think that the president obama's actions were sufficient give the fact you were on the hillary clinton campaign? i know there are people in the campaign who feel not enough was done prior to the election to send a signal to russia. do you think president obama acted strongly enough? >> you have to divide between actions before the election to try to prevent the interference we now know occurred and then actions after the election to impose costs. in terms of before the election, i sympathize with the obama administration. the obama administration sent senior officials up to the hill to try to get bipartisan agreement on a statement that
would allow them to begin mounting public pressure and taking other steps against the russians. it was mitch mcconnell by all reports who said if you try to do that, i'm going to cry foul and call dirty politics. so president obama recognized if he tried to do too much before the election happened, he could be called out for undermining a free and fair election. so it is fair to say that the administration didn't take steps to stop the russians from doing this. but i think there are reasons for that that are completely understandable if you put yourself in the president's shoes. after the election, the president did take action. i think it was a first step and a reasonable person at that time would have expected the next occupant of the oval office to go much further.
that's where trump has fallen down on the job. he has not moved the ball forward in terms of imposing costs for what russia did in 2016. the rope that's important is vladimir putin is sitting in the kremlin right now thinking wow, i can doing this, i can have a big impact and i can make this all happen at very low cost. as long as he does not feel cost for these types of activities, they're going to continue. >> i want to play you that exchange on the sanctions because that is sort of the next step right after booting out those diplomatic personnel who the u.s. said were actually intelligence agents under diplomatic cover. the next step was the massively popular bill on both houses passed with few dissenting votes totes impose sanctions and the executive has to implement them. as of yet, they have yet to. listen to this exchange snooping why hasn't the president implemented the sanctions which congress passed last year? >> look, frankly, that's not completely accurate. look, this president's been tougher on russia far tougher. >> sanctions? >> there's a process that has to take place. and we're going through that process that that law also says that the countries have to vie violate something in order for those to go in place. that hasn't necessarily happened. >> do you buy that. >> i find it remarkable in one
breath she's saying that the trump administration has been tougher on russia than the obama administration and in the next breath, she is saying russia hasn't necessarily done anything wrong here. that's remarkable. i don't buy it at all. what's interesting about this particular sanctions bill is by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the house and senate, republicans joined democrats over the objection of the white house to force him to contend with these sanctions. he's had deadlines that have come and gone more than one where the law requires him to step forward and show what he's done top actually impose costs and impose new sanctions on the russians. he's come up empty handed. as a result, sarah huckabee sanders is left up there essentially trying to tap dance her way through an answer that in itself is incoherent and inconsistent. >> jake, you're very close to secretary hillary clinton. you worked on the campaign at a very high level.
you were with her a lot in the upper echelons of that campaign apparatus. i wonder with this indictment now in the public record, what your reaction is to seeing that sort of in print having experienced in realtime a kind ufd slow i think dawning awareness of what was happening? >> you know, there were moments during the campaign when we were raising these issues with reporters when we were trying to sound the alarm about the nature and scope of russian interference in our election that i felt like i might be wearing a tin foil hat with the way some in the press looked at us. not all. >> there were many reporters actively following this along the way. so to see robert mueller systematically lay this out in black and white and to show both the overt and covert elements of this information warfare operation i think it's a
positive thing, but really at the end of the day, this is not about 2016 anymore. now it's about 201 and 2020. it's about whether our country will pull together to do something about this to make sure it doesn't happen again. as long as we have a commander in chief who is refusing to fulfill his basic duty to fulfill his oath to preserve, protect and defend our constitutional democracy, that's not going to happen. i find that even more alarming and disturbing in many ways than even what happened in 2016. >> jake sullivan, i appreciate it. >> thanks. malcolm nance, former naval intelligence, now a terrorism analyst. larry lipman it, former federal prosecutor. harry, i'll start with you on this indictment. it's hard in washington to make sure things don't leak. as far as i can tell, the only two operations that are successful is the supreme court which never leaks anything and robert mueller's operation. every time he drops something, people are literally running towards google or linkedin searches to be who is this person. what's your reaction to this
indictment? >> first, as you say, it comes out of nowhere. it's pretty much the fourth time he's dropped a bomb in the last week. bannon interviews, the gates cooperation. van der zwaan today and the big russian indictments. he's effect forgively quadrupled the wingspan of his investigation. each of them is a sort of scaffolding to build a different episode on. that's the first point. the second is that it seems to me that it really is focused very heavily now on paul manafort, and i think mueller goes where the evidence leads him but the evidence seems to be leading him into the middle of a tom clancy novel. the actual role that will may have been played by manafort here in doing -- being paid by and doing the kind of bidding
for the russian government is mind bending, yet seems hike something we have to confront. and then finally, the indictment of a lawyer here, that's a special kind of act that you need permission for from the department of justice. i think it's really serving notice to everyone but including lawyers, say don mcgahn, that any attempt to shade the truth with mueller and team will be met with criminal charges. and everyone else who has worked on that report, there are about eight scadden lawyers have to be terrified now. >> indicting a scadden lawyer is no joke. particularly this truck me. they basically had in their posession documents that he then would later delete and asked him about it. it says he dleed otherwise did not produce e-mails saw the by the special counsel's office including e-mail between person a and him in 2016. meaning he had something, he didn't produce it and they're nailing him for that. what message does that send? >> the way you should look at it here, there's one side you can take which is the legal side.
it might involve illicit activities with manafort. the other side is, they are trying to find a link that will determine whether all of this money manafort got from the yanukovych government, whether any of this was directly linked to russian intelligence or the kremlin and its oligarchs acting in the interest of the ukraine and making manafort technically an agent of a foreign power. and i mean agent in the sinister sense, not in the usual sense when you say agent of a foreign power. there's just no reason that i can see that they would go this far back and put this much power behind taking mr. van der zwaan and forcing him to come forward and when he lies, then they charge him unless they believe that this link with that report on julia timo shen cowas related in some way, shape or form in
either illicit money laundering or coming from russian intelligence. there has to be because otherwise, why would they put that much emphasis on the money trail? they already have a pretty solid case against him for that. there is something here we're not seeing. and it's black holes like that in the intelligence community we live for. i mean, we know the two the data points but it's the point of what we're not seeing here. >> what due think about that, harry? a lot of people are commenting on the sense of, what is this about? how does this connect given what we know to have this sort of dropped in the middle? what's your thinking on that? >> first, it is related. this is intermediatate fruits of having gates cooperation because the report itself is paid for, to a pretty penny. millions of dollars by man r
manafort and the initial questions that van der zwaan got trapped lying about had to do with the source of money and financing. in a pedestrian way, hayes a connection. in some grander sinister as jake could say sort of tin foil hat way but you have to now begin to give it credence, there may be the sinister interpretation that mueller is certainly going after without fear or favor. and how that would relate of course, eventually to the president of the united states is the $64,000 question. >> right, malcolm. it seems like in the indictment, the friday indictment, people keep talking about a predicate. when you talk about collusion, if anyone colluded, what was the enterprise. is that how you kind of understand what we're seeing coming into view? >> absolutely. it's not a matter of collusion.
it's a matter of conspiracy. if they are taking paul manafort's past life apart, on the point of money laundering and the point of where he was paid to create circumstances where governments were influenced, where policies were influenced, where people went to jail in the case of julia tymoshenko, certainly they're trying to determine whether this man as a potential asset of a foreign intelligence agency or an agent of the kremlin itself, whether he was using all of those resources and assets that he was linked to under the ukrainian government to the influence donald trump and his campaign for the favor of russia. >> that's crystallizes things. so the idea this project of this report is essentially him doing kind of what he does best, which is essentially acting as a representative of a foreign government to launder the reputation or influence policy
in the u.s., that's a sort of trade craft he has developed. that is crystallizing when you think what that could look like in the 2016 context. thank you both. >> thank you, chris. next, do the rules apply to the president's son-in-law? how jared kushner has maintained access to some of the nation's most sensitive secrets reportedly without a full securities clearance next. we all want to know about the new thing.
do it here. come see how we're making things simple, easy, and awesome. plus come in today and ask about xfinity mobile, a new kind of network designed to save you money. visit your local xfinity store today. >> you said this again that the investigation was ongoing. christopher wray said it was closed in january. so hosteling the truth here? >> all right. both. 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 process and therefore, not made a recommendation to the white house. >> it's been a full week since the white house held a press briefing and struggled to explain how rob porter who didn't pass the fbi's background
check because the ex-wives told the fbi of alleged abuse how he stayed with access 0 some of the most sensitive information in the country. the white house canceled press briefings last week. today, sarah huckabee sanders was back at the podium for a scant 20 minutes. she did not get any questions about porter. we still don't know the why the security process failed so badly in that case or why sanders and kelly and others lied about the timeline of what happened. but sanders did get a question about one of the most senior white house aides is operating without permanent security clearance, the president's esson-in-law. sources telling "the washington post" he has had access to classified material and apart from staff on the council, he issues more requests for information thank any white house employee. today sanders was asked whether he still has access to classified material despite the new memo from the chief of staff barring certain people with outstanding security issues from
having access to top secret information. >> no decision within the memo will impact anything that jared kushner is working on in terms of specifics on security clearance. i can't get into. >> does he not need classified information. >> i can't answer whether someone has security clearance or not. but i can tell you that nothing that has taken place will affect the valuable work that jared is doing. he continues and will continue to be a valued member of the team and he'll continue to do the important work that seize he's been foorked on the last year. >> carolyn na is a pulitzer prize winning authority at "the washington post." let's start with that claim. the claim is, there's a new memo out from john kelly that's not going to not allow people on the sort of temporary security cleanser access to classified information. i want to read you something dan pfeiffer who worked in the obama white house said. he said kushner and i had the same title.
there are only three options, anderson is lying, kelly is lying, kushner's newport folio includes staring at the wall from 9:00 to 5:00. what do you think of that? >> it sounds pretty clever. i would say right now sarah sanders are not dishonest. they are graceful. she's allowing the opportunity it seems to me for it the process to work out for either the clearance top mysteriously be approved which does not seem likely or for jared kushner to decide to bow out. we'll see what happens. i. >> you think -- wait a second. you think the latter is a possibility? >> if you don't have a clearance and access to top secret information, how could you exactly broker middle east peace?
how could you -- how could you learn anything about the intelligence that's behind what's going on in the middle east? how could you meet on a regular basis with top foreign diplomats? it's an open question. there could be a downgrade of his clearance potentially, but keep in mind my colleagues and i reported about i can't remember, it may be a week ago, maybe ten days ago, we reporteded that jared kushner is one of the people who is reading the presidential daily brief, getting a briefing on the crown jewels of america's intelligence operation. so this is very serious stuff. who is giving us intel in foreign governments? who -- where are our operatives overseas?
what terror cells have we identified and where are their hideouts? these are very, very sensitive matters. if you don't have a clearance according to chief of staff kelly's memo and directive, if you don't have a top secret clearance, you shouldn't be reading that brief. you may be able to read a sort of elementary school version of it, but not the current one. >> just to be clear here before this kelly memo which is a little barn door closing after the horse is out, there's all sorts of reporting 47 people without security clearances direct to the president. 34 started january 20th, 2017. this is a time issue. ten members of the national security council. kushner and ivanka, don mcgahn had an interim security clearance in november. on the case of jared, it seems to me here there's a very strong circumstantial case. it's not definitive that something's come up in his cheng that makes it not possible for him to get a permanent security clearance. isn't that where the breadcrumbs are leading? >> we like not to talk about what the circumstantial evidence suggests in the "washington post." i will say that it strains credulity to think a very, very senior, top top white house adviser hasn't been fully checked and reviewed and determined one way or the other whether or not his clearance is possible. an seems like there is an obstacle here that's fairly significant.
whether that can be is your mounted or not, we'll see. >> yeah. and thank you for staying to the heart and definitive of proven packets while i speculate. just to be clear because the context is hard, it's an opaque process, it's happening behind closed doors. the reason i asked that, in the rob porter case now we know that this very extended period of interim clearance which was weird and bizarre, as well was almost certainly because things had been flagged that had people worried. that's what we know about porter. >> and keep in mind, too, chris, you're asking all the right questions. keep in mind that this is a particularly bizarre scenario. you have al ongoing investigation, criminal and counter intelligence investigation of many senior people in the trump white house because they were in fact in the trump campaign while russia was meddling with our election.
so while that investigation that's extremely sensitive is going on, you also have a security clearance investigation while you also have that going on, you have a senior adviser to the president, a son-in-law in a job position who has had to amend his own you know materials, his own filings i think four times now. that has raised a lot of concern in the fbi about what was material that he might not have been providing. there are a lot of possible obstacles here. >> yes, there certainly are. carolyn na, thanks for your time. >> sure. next, is wa the hush money paid to a former playboy model done to benefit the trump campaign. >> new fec complaint alleging just that next.
>> there's a new complaint about hush money paid on behalf of donald trump. the complaint was filed by the watchdog group common cause to the federal election commission and the department of justice. it alleges that the reported $150,000 payment maded to former playboy model karen mcdougal four days before the presidential election by the parent company the "national enquirer" was an inkind illegal campaign contribution to the trump campaign. both "the new york times" and new yorker reported mcdougal had a consensual affair with trump in 2006. today's complaint is nearly identical to the fec complaint that michael cohen might have forced him to admitting he facilitated a payment from his personal funds to stormy daniel who's also allegedly had a sexual encounter in 2006 with trump. those alleged payoffs were both for consensual relationships.
there's the allegation afc sexual advances, unwanted sexual touching and sexual misconduct. today president trump drew attention to one an accuser 2003ing a woman i never met is on the front page of the "washington post" saying i kissed her for two minutes 12 years ago in the lobby of trump tower. who would do this in a public space which is security cameras running? jimmy's gotten used to his whole room smelling like sweaty odors.
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and he shook my hand you know, and he kind of gave me the normal double cheek kiss. but then he held on to my hand and he kept kissing me. you know, he kept asking me maybe a question, where are you from and kissing me again and then he kissed me on the lips. and i was shocked, devastate. rachel crooks says donald trump accosted her in the elevator bank of trump tower in january of 2006. "the washington post" wrote about it in the paper today which appeared to be the catalyst for the president's angry tweets this morning. >> crooks responded share the footage outside the elevator bank on the morning of january 11th, 2006. it's liars like you in politics that are prompting me to run for office which makes her part of a stunning national trend. she is running for office. she's part of a national trend of women channeling their anger into doing that. jess mcintosh, executive editor share blue.
in some ways it's the story of women in politics since the election in one person. >> absolutely. that's exactly what it is. i have long said that the me, too movement is the backlash to the election of donald trump. i think it's important to contextulize rachel crooks and what she's doing because when she starred telling her story, there was no moo r me, too movement. >> she e-mailed a reporter. >> yes. at this point, women can be fairly certain if they speak out, there's a support network to catch it. i'm not saying life is rosy afterwards but it is not what it was a few months ago when rachel and the other 18 women came forward. they came forwarded into an absolutely brutal climate where they were telling their story literally to help each other to be there for the other 18 of them that were coming forward. and because they wanted the country to know what kind of a man they were on the verge of electing. the bravery that it took to do that is really exceptional.
the bravery to put your name on the ballot is equally exceptional after it. i think you know, everything she's doing is just commendable. and the president could not have possibly been any dumber than to try to engage with her today. like he wins nothing from that. >> it was sort of amazing. think about she's running for the state house in ohio where she is from. and i would imagine today was probably a pretty good fund-raising day for her after the president attacks her. this has been a theme throughout again this sort of channeling of women particularly dealing with the election of donald trump and what it represents. >> yeah. >> in motivation. we've seen it in democratic campaigns and in grassroots movements. another result in another state house race which we should talk about, a democrat named linda belcher won a special election income house district 49 that donald trump carried by 49 points.
sorry. he carried it by 49 points. she won it and she actually outperformed herself in 2016 by 18 points. >> that was when she lost perform she came back and ran again and flipped a seat trump won by 49 points. a former school teacher who spent a couple years in the legislature after her husband held the seat and pass away in a car accident. she came back and this is a massive win for democrats. a stack of massive wins for democrats. very quietly across the country. these special elections are flipping seats all over the place in red states, blue states, all of it. >> i feel like there is, i wonder if you feel this way. a direct relationship between the sort of core of anger and frustration from someone like rachel crooks and other people who told these stories and nothing happened to the person that did this. and the intensity of the commitment we're seeing in grassroots activists and voters in these special elections. >> this is like a straight trajectory from the women's donald trump and nothing happened. in fact, not only did nothing happen, he became the president of the united states. >> and beat the first woman who
had a shot at the job. >> and beat a very qualified, he took the presidency over a very xwfed candidate who also won three million more votes. women were mad about that. it's not just anger. it's anger that channels into doing something. it'sing ander that channels into activism. i think electoral politics offers one of the few places where you can offer a solution to these sort of systemic pay the arc cal issues. if more women are in leadership, we're going to fix a lot of things top to bottom. it can't just be about getting rid of the guys. women have to have the space to tell their stories and their ideas and what they want to do into the future and to help others. >> rachel crooks is running for the state house in ohio. thank you so much. after mitt romney called trump a fraud and phony and trump claimed romney choked like a dog, romney finds himself running for office. guess who just gave him a ringing endorsement? plus thing 1, thing 2 starts
thing 1 tonight the biggest conservative gathering of the year the political action conference or cpac in maryland just announced the big list of speakers, the president and vice president will both deliver remarks as long with sean hannity and slidely oddly, the hannity and slidely oddly, the niece of marine le pen, heir to france's far right national front party. that's nice. former sheriff david clark was too controversial to get a job in the trump administration but he and his flair still got a spot at cpac. one name absent from the program, nra's executive vice president wayne lapierre. he spoke last year and he spoke there the year before that in 2016 and also 2015 and 2014, 2013, 20 is, also the yearses before that and on and on. you get the point. wayne lapierre representing the nra.
it's kind of a fixture at cpac. in the wake of the florida mass shooting did cpac understand how awkward it might look to applaud the head of the world's gun lobby? no, of course not. that's thing 2 in 60 seconds. wayne lapierre will be speaking this year despite the fact cpac it may be time for a change. ask your doctor about entyvio, the only biologic developed and approved just for uc and crohn's. entyvio works at the site of inflammation in the gi tract and is clinically proven to help many patients achieve both symptom relief and remission. infusion and serious allergic reactions can happen during or after treatment. entyvio may increase risk of infection, which can be serious. pml, a rare, serious, potentially fatal brain infection caused by a virus may be possible. this condition has not been reported with entyvio. tell your doctor if you have an infection, experience frequent
infections or have flu-like symptoms or sores. liver problems can occur with entyvio. if your uc or crohn's treatment isn't working for you, ask your gastroenterologist about entyvio. entyvio. relief and remission within reach. wayne lapierre will be speaking this year despite the fact cpac left his name off the official schedule in wake of the florida scandal. wayne lapierre will deliver his week still this week as planned. why leave his name off the schedule? it was done as a precaution sources told the washington examiner among outrage of gun protests in the aftermath of the shooting. cpac is on board with the nra following another school shooting but don't want to say it yet an approach most republican lawmakers take after shootings. but there is another way to respond.
dallas mayor pro tem dwayne caraway said at nra should move its annual convention out of dallas. >> it is a tough call when you ask the nra to reconsider coming to dallas. but it is putting our citizens first and getting them to come to the table and elected officials to come to the table and to address this madness now. constantly interrupting you with itching, burning and stinging. being this uncomfortable is unacceptable. i'm ready. tremfya® works differently for adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. with tremfya®, you can get clearer and stay clearer. in fact, most patients who saw 90% clearer skin at 28 weeks... stayed clearer through 48 weeks. tremfya® works better than humira® at providing clearer skin and more patients were symptom free with tremfya®.
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>> i will make sure that gun laws are changed. i will make sure that there is justice. i will make sure that every other soul that has been gone through shootings will rest because there will be no more laws of guns. they will be gone. there will be no more guns. guns are bad. >> after emotional plea for lawmakers to do thing to prevent another school massacre, this senior, 99 of her fellow students survived boarded a bus to the state capitol in tallahassee to ask florida
lawmakers to change the gun laws. other students were you already watching as the florida house overwhelmingly voted down emotion to take up a bill banning assault weapons. the political power of these survivors, these teenager who are organizing appears to be having an effect. a new poll shows 66% of voters support stronger gun laws while 67% a ban on assault levels, the highest percentage ever measured by quinnipiac. the white house today refused to rule out a ban on assault weapons and pushed a ban on bump stocks. that was about it. >> does the president have any ideas, any ideas at all how to address this or is he starting from scratch? >> i can tell you that the president supports not having the use of bump stocks.
>> on the broader problem of deranged individuals getting hold of weapons and killing people indiscriminately, does he have any ideas how to deal with this. >> look, we're having again, that's part of a lot of conversations we're going to having. > is he starting from scratch here? if at the has to listen to a bunch of people and doesn't have ideas of his own, that would suggest he doesn't have any ideas. >> that's not what i said. >> just tonight in the last hour an idea from the president on twitter. "whether we are (s or dras we must now focus on strengthening background checks," although who knows what's that is worth in the end. survivors of the school shooting having organized a march next month. some are being targeted by opponents of gun control. an aide to state represent sean harrison using state e-mail sent me this. both kids in the pictures are
here is what i know, donald trump is a phony, a fraud. his promises are as worthless as a degree from trump university. he's playing the members of the american public for suckers. he gets a free ride to the white house and all we get is a lousy had. >> that was mitt romney in 2016 and that is him tweeting the same day. if he said the thing the about
muslims, kkk, i would not have endorsed him. >> he has my full support. thank you, mr. president for the support which certainly seems like accepting his endorsement and you have the republican party and incarnation in a nutshell. the new book "out today" you can acquire as of now, the common good and evan mcmullin, independent presidential candidate. mitt romney is one you would tend to look to with respect, admiration, your reaction to this? >> yeah, listen, i understand we're all looking for more republican lawmakers and aspiring lawmakers to stand up to donald trump. so i understand the intention to this, but i do think we're misreading what mitt said and
what he's doing here. i mean, if mitt is anything, he's polite, and if you look at that tweet, to me it reads like a polite response but then he quickly pivots to telling the president that what really matters is whether he can earn the support of utahens and he's smart enough to know that's where his focus needs to be. mitt is motivated to do what he's doing because he's concerned about the direction of the party and country and president's leadership. he's going to continue to speak his mind. he said that recently. he confirmed that a couple days ago he would do that and i hope he does. he'll have the opportunity to do that as a likely senator and i hope that's the case. >> there is ways of looking at
trump as out liar or symptom or cause. this is a freak set of factors or this what the conservative movement has become or he's made the republican party worse, which of those do you think it is? >> a combination of the last two, he made the republican party worse because he's robbed the republican party of principles to the extent it had any principles at all, state's rights and concern about all the of the debt. remember, when the republican party was worried about that? remember when the republican party was worried about russia? all of this is missing now. all you have is the party of trump that's essentially it. he's taken all the oxygen out of the air but people like i hoped there would be mitt romneys in the republican party that would
stand up to trump. maybe he will. he was so clear in 2012, i mean, in 2016 that he would not have taken the nomination. >> the endorsement. >> the endorsement. why thank trump today? >> evan, this seems to be a fundamental question here. if the president is the threat that to the party or to conservative ideology that you think he is and mitt romney or tirkarticulated, what is necessarily being pursued? >> yeah, i wouldn't say it that strongly. i understand your point and in a way, you know, you have a point but i just don't see it. i just know he remains deeply concerned about the direction of the country and the president's leadership. we also have to understand that it's just a little more complicated than we would like it to be in the sense that he's got to actually win election and very popular in the state of utah but he faces a portion of the republican base there that is very supportive of trump so it's just a little more complicated than that but again, i know why he's motivated to do this. i believe that he's not going to be the leader of the resistance. nobody expects that. he'll go along with many republican policy initiatives
though he's concerned with the reckless spending but i know he's concerned about our democracy and about dangers that our nation faces and i expect him, i hope that he will speak on those things as a senator. >> so to that point, so if you have someone like ben romney for the reasons evan is right to point out descriptively. >> you don't have to be anti trump. mitt romney is over 50%. he's got it made essentially. it's not a matter of being anti trump. he just didn't have to and doesn't have to embrace or accept trump's endorsement. i mean, he could have kept more of his distance and we don't know and evan, maybe evan is right, maybe he's just being polite and maybe he will be a flake or a mccain but, you know, in order to really take on this
man, donald trump in the republican party you got to be forceful. you can't just be polite. you have to stick to your guns. you have to make the public know the principles and educate the public about the dangers donald trump represents. >> i would say, i would just say mitt has done that. there are very few republicans, if any, who have been more forceful and clear and early on warning the american people in the republican party the threat that donald trump posed. >> that's true of rick perry, too. i watched the speed he said the same things and rick perry, what that makes me think is rick perry -- >> amid -- >> he almost was. >> no, he wasn't. >> my point is look at rick perry. when you look at rick perry, he didn't actually believe that or if he did, he changed his mind. people keep saying this about donald trump and acting in ways that makes me think they weren't being serious. >> i hear you. believe me, you and i would be
in a close competition for who is more frustrated with that. i can just tell you, i know that mitt remains very concerned as he was in the past. i just -- i'll just confirm that. >> all right. >> he remains very concerned and i think you're going to see a senator whose willing to stand up to trump. >> we will see. time will tell. author of "the common good" that south today and evan mcelderry thanks for joining us. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. tonight, a white house dealing with ongoing crisis. the press secretary today claiming trump was tougher on russia in 2017 than obama's eight years as president. plus, tonight, chief of staff john kelly issuing a statement in support of jared kushner following reports of a clash between the two men over security clearance. that in light of another report tonight that jared and ivanka were in the caribbean amid the president's spectacular tweet