tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC March 16, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT
have you been to south by southwest? >> i have. i love it. right now, andrea mitchell. right now an andrea mitchell reports, storm warning. stormy daniel's lawyer takes it to a new level in a jaw dropping exchange on "morning joe" when asked, for the first time publicly whether she was threatened to stay quiet about her alleged relationship with donald trump. >> was she threatened in any way? >> yes. >> was she threatened physical harm? >> yes. >> can you tell us whether it came from the president directly? >> i'm not going to answer that. >> will you deny the president of the united states threatened your client? >> i will not confirm or deny. >> firing squad. white house and cabinet officials on edge with more shake ups expected. no fewer than three cabinet officials being targeted. >> we have some wonderful ideas. i have gotten to know a lot of
people over the last year. i have gotten to know great people, so there will always be change, but very little. under attack. russian hackers ten trait the american energy, water and power plants, getting close enough to shut them down as the british government blames the kremlin itself with with a nerve agent in england. >> it was not long ago that vladimir putin was, himself, on television in moscow announcing such people should be poisoned and it is overwhelmingly clear that this was directed by russia. good darks everyone, i'm andrea mitchell in washington with more on the allegation from stormy daniel's lawyer today on "morning joe." >> was she threatened in any way? >> yes. >> was she threatened physical harm? >> yes.
>> oh, wow. keep going, mika. i mean, we started the tease. >> was her life threatened? >> again, i'm not going answer this. >> there's obviously so much more here. >> what can you tell us about the threats, the physical threats? >> i can't tell you anything beyond what i have said. >> can you tell us whether it came from the president directly, the physical threats? >> i'm not going to answer that. >> will you deny the president of the united states threatened your client. >> i will not confirm or deny. we are not trying to silence anyone. we want both sides to lay out their version of the facts so the american people can decide for themselves what happened. >> let me ask one more question about the threat. does the threat emanate from one of the parties to the agreement or someone associated with the agreement? >> i'm not at liberty to discuss that. >> peter alexander is at the white house. peter, just another day at the white house. how are they reacting to this? >> reporter: the white house, as
you witnessed is basically deferring this, putting it off to the president's private attorney, michael cohen who has his own attorney. this is not something the white house wants to be talking about and this has become a storm that's been swirling around this west wing for the course of the last several weeks. this attorney continues to reveal new details about this relationship as they claim, between the president and this adult film star, stormy daniels. it is notable, just last week, we heard from the press secretary, there was arbitration, a legal battle on it that went in the president's favor. it was litigated by the president's attorneys. as we follow up on that, the argument is the one particular attorney was part of this dealing with someone working on their own behalf. they were not working on behalf of trump organization that the president's lawyer from the beginning said had no role in
this entire back and forth. andrea? >> there's no comment from them? also, the question is to how this fits in with the white house chaos with all the reports of imminent firings and resignations. >> reporter: so, on the chaos, there certainly has been comment. there are no personnel announcements to make. in terms of stormy daniels, they deny the president had a relationship with her in the past. this story underscores it right now. you consider the reports, many emanating from our organization, nbc news and personal conversations with many people inside this west wing and close to the president that emphasized this point. the president is considering significant changes, including the national security adviser, including h.r. mcmaster that could be out as early as some point this month. unclear exactly who could replace him. the president says he has a great affinity for john bolten,
he was here at the white house the last several days. he is a fox news commentator. his is a name that's been floated potentially replacing david as the veterans affair secretary and then ben carson, obviously, a lot of speculation swirling about his future, given the fact he is said to have wanted to spend more than $30,000 on a dining room set for his offices at hud. that's some of the names, to say nothing of john kelly, the homeland security secretary, how the president's chief of staff. white house officials are trying to poo-poo that saying kelly isn't going anywhere. we know there's a lot of dissatisfaction inside this west wing with how the president has been served by kelly. the president is someone who likes the optics of things. he likes the way things play on television. kelly is associated with moments
that haven't played out well with the west wing. i's a frustration inside this building. >> returning to mcmaster at the moment, my own reporting from someone close to the family, close to mcmaster, is that he's not about to quit. this is not a man who will quit. he will not run away from a fight. the fact is, he is not going to resign. if he leaves, he's been fired. that, of course, has happened before, but there's certainly a lot more respect for him within the white house and the oval office than there was for the way rex tillerson was treated. that said, what about keith kellogg? what do we know about him as a possible replacement. >> reporter: it's a good question. i come back to john bolten because that's the name i keep hearing here. i was in the upper press by sarah sanders office. i looked down the hallway just shy of 11:00 and i saw standing
together, mike pompeo, the cia director, likely to be the next secretary of state with the director of national intelligence and hr mcmaster. i was walking by so didn't hear much of the conversation. i heard kim jong-un, so north korea is the topic of conversation. it seems like an image to say, hey, look, the team is together and working together as the president and aides insisted they want the best team put together. andrea? >> thanks so much, peter, for kicking it off today. joining me now, charlie psychs, host of the daily standard podcast. ruth marcus and msnbc political analyst, josh earnest. let me pick it up there with the mcmaster controversy and all the cabinet possible shake ups. one mention, of course, is john
wa walton, he's been in to see the president several times. he said he would take secretary of state and security adviser. the president very much wants him in the administration. secretary of state is filled, assuming there's going to be a confirmation. the reason john didn't get put in is his moustache. the thought was the president thought rex tillerson looked more like a secretary of state and didn't like his moustache. so, if we see him shaving his moustache, is that a tell he's going to be the next national security adviser? >> it could. the technical term is porn stach, which seems good for today. yes, that's one of the great things about the trump
administration, it brought back terms like porn stache. i it's to john bolton's image problem. >> that would be a great sacrifice. ty cobb has more of a moustache. >> i have a terrific and very old story about john bolton's moustache, which has been with us for decades, with him for decades. many years ago, i was covering the justice department he was head of civil. he was going to argue a case about drug testing. the then solicitor general was in an elevator with an aide. never talk in an elevator if you don't know who is there. the aide said i don't think i have seen bolton, what does he look like? he said he looks like zahata. we did, in the "washington post," a picture of john bolton
on one side and john zapata on one side, the mexican revolutionary. i think he had it framed on his wall. thanks for letting me tell that story. >> we'll see if he becomes the security adviser, moustache or not. josh, how does the white house function with as much chaos and there's a certain amount of conflict and chaos donald trump says he enjoys. this is at interior at each department. we are going to talk about this throughout the show. but, significantly, at the national security council, when you are planning the first u.s.-north korean summit, you have trade wars brewing on all sides and russian hackers going into your infrastructure. >> it doesn't function well at all. the role of the national security adviser, this is true of president obama's white house, to serve as a coordinating function and make
sure all the elements are bringing, you know, essentially have done their homework and the president is getting the best possible advice and that is being heard so decision makers can make the best decision. it's hard to imagine, given the turmoil at these agencies, that that work is being done efficiently and hard to imagine h.r. mcmaster is good doing that when the president isn't interested in listening to him and lost confidence in his ability to do his job. i don't think there's evidence to indicate it's functioning well at all. a lot is because of the chaos there and a lot because of mismanagement or lack of management coming from the president of the united states. >> this is more chemistry than anything else. it's a lack of chemistry with mcmaster who he did not know very well that is influencing the president. it's not to do with competence of this three-star general.
another overlay, the stormy daniels attorney, which was significantly wrote out on "morning joe" today, here is another clip from the show. >> does miss daniels have physical documentation of her relationship, alleged relationship with president trump? >> i'm not going to answer that. >> isn't it in the pleading? >> what? >> the physical evidence, text, videos, pictures. >> there's a reference in the agreement attached to the pleading. >> ruth, how significant is the suggest from her attorney and it's an allegation, not yet substantiated and we have to see how it evolves, there was a threat to her. it could have been both before, during or after she signed a nondisclosure agreement. >> not just threat, but physical threat. it could be explosive or a nothingburger. we don't know yet. kudos to mika brzezinski for
asking the question. michael has been on a bunch of shows. this is the first time he had been asked that question, got a blockbuster answer. he refused to go further. look, it is possible that the physical threat was from somebody completely unconnected to trump or the trump campaign or the trump organization, an outside person. we have all gotten nasty e-mails and some of them threatening. that would be one thing. that would be the nothingburger part. it could be something much more sinister. we don't know. right now, we have to say, it's somewhere between disturbing and tantalizing. >> charlie, some conventional wisdom is this has not yet become a political problem that people have discounted donald trump's past relationships with women as part of the package because of "access hollywood" and they elected him not with
standing. if this were the case, someone close to the trump administration and the threat came before the signing of the agreement or after. >> potentially, we have to be skeptical about what moves the needle because we have had this conversation so many ticmes in the past. this story is not going away like the other scandals. obviously, it's because it has many elements, the porn star, the sex, the money, the cover up. now, potentially a physical threat. look, michael has been very, very careful in not getting out. when he answered that question that definitively, i have to admit my eyebrows went up. obviously, he's teasing the 60 minutes broadcast as well. this is a significant, potential, potential, escalation in all of this. it reminds us of the different layers of sleaze in this administration, including the
thug. we don't know yet whether it's going to become a political problem, but it is not going away. >> josh, this could, worse case for the white house, this could even get involved, become part of the mueller probe because of the payment, partly from the trump organization that makes it potentially subject to the same subpoenas. >> we have seen this in previous investigations including of previous presidents. >> some of us lived through. >> the two of you know better than i. look, there is no doubt that this is the kind of thing that has to be worrying president trump. even if he's unwilling to let on it's worrying him, it is striking there are two people in the world he's never criticizd,z vladimir putin and stormy daniels. the one thing those two may have in common, they have something over the president. they have information about him. >> your column, this is
something he may not be able to buy himself out of. >> yeah. donald trump's m.o. over the years, if you are an employee, a trump employee or trump campaign aide, you sign a nondisclosure, prenup, you speak out he is going to have you. he can't buy the silence of the people streaming out of the administration. going to be interesting books and interviews coming. >> josh, ruth and of course charlie, thank you all. coming up, you got served. special counsel robert mueller's latest subpoena gets closer to president trump. you are watching andrea mitchell reports on msnbc. for the first time. trying something new can be exciting. empowering. downright exhilarating. see for yourself why chevrolet is the most awarded and fastest growing brand, the last four years overall.
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the russia investigation now inching closer to president trump than before. as special counsel robert mueller subpoenas the trump family business, demanding documents, including some related to russia. benjamin is joining us, senator and chief at law fair and chuck rosenberg a senior fbi official. chuck, first to you. the significance of this subpoena, the trump organization said they are cooperating. why would mueller now subpoena them? does that signal anything? >> it might, andrea. you can ask for documents to be produced voluntarily. to have the force of law behind
it, to hold someone in contempt, you need to issue a subpoena. prosecutors, and i was one for a long time, will ask and issue a subpoena. that way you are covering all your bases. >> if there were any mystery as to how donald trump feels about his personal finances, this is what he said in a new york times interview last july. >> mueller was looking at your finances, your family's finances, unrelated to russia. is that a red line? >> would that be a breach of the actual -- >> i would say yes. i would say yes. >> if he was outside that lane, would he have to go? >> no, it's a violation. >> ben, that certainly indicates that would get donald trump's attention. >> i think that's right. i think, look, we don't know what it means. we don't know whether this is a kind of routine subpoena of the
sort that prosecutors issue all the time or whether this reflects some lack of trust in the voluntary cooperation of the trump organization. but, it is precisely the sort of thing that the president might think of as an escalation. >> and, russia, playing such a prominent role, first of all, the indictments of the russians, which indicated how heavily that focus is, donald trump said he had no relationship with russia. he said that repeatedly. it's widely known in the real estate world donald trump always did want to have a trump tower in moscow and that that may well have been why one of the miss universe pageants there, he was saying i hope vladimir putin comes to the event and all of that, reaching out to vladimir putin, knowing the importance of putin and signing off on any deal in moscow. >> you probably don't want me on
the show for the blindingly obvious -- >> yes, we do. >> prosecutors don't take the protest of subjects as gospel. we check, we issue subpoenas, bank records, travel records, hotel records. you have to find the truth. you don't normally or often get it from the people under investigation. >> now, i wanted to ask ben about today, which might be a cig nif cant day in the course of the fbi. andrew mccabe could be fired today. if he didn't fired by today, by tomorrow, having retired, he would be subject to his pension for decades and decades of service by the fbi. if he is fired today, he would not be eligible for those pension benefits. i don't know if you are hearing anything, but there are signs cominging from the justice department. >> look, we don't know what the allegations against andy mccabe
are that the inspector general has found. it is highly irregular to remove a decades long public servant whose been a senior fbi official to fire him days before he is slated to retire. particularly, when the president of the united states has tweeted a demand for his scalp on multiple occasions. so, i don't know what the allegations against andy mccabe are and i'm not going to sit here and evaluate them without knowing what the record looks like. that said, if you are going to proceed with something like this under these extraordinary circumstances, the record had better be awfully awfully strong that there was very serious wrong doing by him because otherwise, the whole exercise will simply stink of having
delivered to the president the political scalp that he has demanded. >> certainly, the signals out of the white house have not been very, i don't know, neutral on this subject. sarah sanders was asked about it yesterday. >> does the president feel the justice department should act by sunday to fire andrew mccabe? >> that's a determination we would leave up to attorney general sessions. but we think it is well documented that he has had very troubling behavior. by most accounts, a bad actor and should have calls for concern. that is a determination d.o.j. has to make. >> ben, for sarah sanders to call him a bad actor before the determination has been made or announced is quite extraordinary. >> yeah. andy mccabe served the country for a very long time, including under the extraordinarily difficult circumstances of the
director comey's removal and the abusive treatment that he personally received, according to a number of news organizations from the president, himself. and, so, i don't think of him as a bad actor. i think of him as somebody who has behaved with dignity and under very difficult circumstances. i would also point out that sarah sanders leaving this in the hands of jeff sessions is quite peculiar because jeff sessions, his own job, is by media accounts currently on the line. so, we have the bizarre spectacle of jeff sessions contemplating the firing of andy mccabe while donald trump is contemplating the firing of jeff sessions. that's a very peculiar environment to make decisions about the future of somebody whose served the country under really difficult circumstances.
i would just wish that a decision on this could be made credibly on the merritts of whatever the inspector general has found. >> chuck, just very briefly, with sessions job now on the line, how does that affect the mueller probe? >> i don't think it does. here is why. i will try to be brief. you have career professional investigators and prosecutors who will do this work and remain in place, regardless of who is at the help. that's what they do. god forbid bob mueller is fired, i hope that doesn't happen. >> if jeff sessions is fired, is it likely mueller would be removed? >> it's possible. but, i guess the larger point is these men and women will continue their work. this work will go on. they will do their investigation. >> chuck rosenberg, thank you both so very much. coming up, an attack on america. the nation's most sensitive infrastructure compromised by
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russian hackers are targeting the u.s. power grid, incolliding nuclear power plants and tapped into energy companies and computer networks, accessing this screen, the controls for a nuclear power plant. joining me is secretary of defense for russia. rick, secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. welcome both. michael, this is worrying not just because of the hacking, but they have gotten into the controls. if they wanted to, until the fixes may or may not have been done could have shut things down. >> it is. this is a whole new step in terms of probing our infrastructure to go after the industrial control systems of the power plants. the thing is, you know, we have seen russia take down power grids and power plants in other countries, primarily ukraine in summer of 2014 and again, summer
of 2016. this doesn't mean an attack is imminent in the united states. they have done this before and surveilling the terrain for years, if not decades now. we have to understand, russia is, right now, engaged in a war against western democracies. they have the u.s. in their sights. we saw this when i was at the pentagon and it continues now. >> rick, we have the new sanctions from treasury yesterday and the acknowledgement russia was involved in the attempted assassination in the uk. does this signal a change? do you have more confidence the president is going to propel a stronger u.s. response? >> this junction between what the institutions and the agencies are doing and what the white house is doing. i mean, i think the department of homeland security did with was very strong. i think steve mnuchin's statement was strong. what they don't have is the backing of the white house. i would agree with michael. i mean, we are under attack.
a commander in chief should be able to go to the american people and say, look, this is a threat to our nation. i mean, attacking our power grid, energy souses. we need to do something and prepare. we need to be prepared for this kind of thing happening. >> i just want to share with all of you, with both of you, scotland yard is investigating nicholas' death in london, a former putin opponent living in exile and was found dead in his apartment. now, there's another investigation, this time, a murder investigation. the nerve agent used is so appalling and the worst chemical attack in europe since world war ii. this is an exchange between our peter alexander and sarah huckabee sanders at the white house. >> is putin a friend or foe of the united states? >> i think that's something russia has to make that determination. they have to determine if they want to be a good actor or bad
actor. you can see from the actions we have taken up until this point, we are going to be tough on russia until they decide to change their behavior. >> rick, how tough on russia are they, if the president has not demanded on interagency approach? >> you know, the sanctions that came out yesterday, the bar is very low. i praised them because they had done nothing before. as i mentioned, again, this junction between the white house and what's going on with the rest of the government, you have the president of the united states who, for some reason, is reluctant to criticize vladimir putin and to not be able to say, look, they are adversary. that's not saying they are our enemy in wartime, they are adversary in a million ways. we have to say that and prepare for that and have policy that recognizes that. >> i want to ask michael about another cyber attack, this one last august against a chemical plant in saudi arabia. apparently, according to most
investigators, it was a state actor. in the past iran attacked saudi plants. that is clearly a regional rival. russia could be implicated, north korea, china. this is incredibly worrying. >> well, these attacks are picking up across the board. this gets to a broader point. there's a lot of powers out there, disruptive like iran and north korea, watching russia and seeing if they can get away with their actions. so far, the response to russia in terms of ukraine or here in terms of surveilling our infrastructure or the attack in the uk with the chemical nerve agent has been underwhelming. this is nothing. this is sanctioning the same entities and same individuals that had already been sanctioned by the obama administration.
the notion this was a new measure that is being or showing the administration is being tough on russia is falling. this was one of the least consequential actions the administration has taken. >> michael carpenter, thank you both so much. coming up next, march madness. lavish spending and requests to meet prince harry. that's right. the royal prince. you are watching andrea mitchell reports on msnbc. ng, shooting pain in my feet. i hear you, sam. cedric, i couldn't sleep at night because of my diabetic nerve pain. i hear you, claire, because my dad struggled with this pain. folks, don't wait. step on up and talk to your doctor. because the one thing i keep hearing is... i'm glad i stepped on up. me too, buddy. if you have diabetes and burning, shooting pain in your feet or hands, step on up and talk to your doctor today. you or joints. something for your heart... step on up
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well, president trump is down playing the continuing white house chaos, growing controversy surrounding several cabinet secretaries, raising questions about more staff shake ups to come, perhaps as early as today. david reporting sulking about the first lady's refusal to take his wife to invictus games last fall. to ben carson for the dining room table and interior secretary, ryan syn key's $139,000 office doors. that does not include a trump favorite, steve mnuchin's tab for military private jets. joining me is barbara lee, a member of the house budget committee. does any of this spending concern you?
>> andrea, first let me tell you i have to talk about it as a psychiatric social worker by profession and the impact of what this means in terms of the chaos and musical chairs and uncertainty. the american people are anxious and nervous. everywhere i go, people feel the sense of instability and insecurity. i think the first thing we have to recognize is not only is this drama playing out in washington, d.c., in terms of public policy and cabinet officials. it's impacting people in a very serious way. that's what i'm extremely worried about. >> it's impacting the ability of departments to get things done. if you are going to change a cabinet secretary, not only do you have confirmations and a change of chief of staff and personal aides and their immediate appointees, but you have a dead halt on any larger initiatives. >> absolutely. when you look, forexample, at the aran deal. even though i thought it was a
disaster, the state department under tillerson, at least he supported ensuring we stayed in the iran deal. now you have a posz zable cia director coming over who opposed the iran deal. what does that say about the stability of our country in terms of world stability and keeping us out of war. >> a lot of rumors about h.r. mcmaster. the president undermining his own national security adviser who is not about to resign, i'm told, but could be replaced. >> look at the process the president is using, firing people through twitter. this is unheard of, andrea. it signals a lot to our young people, i think, in terms of how to conduct themselves in a respectful way. if you are going to fire someone, you do it respectfully. you talk to them and explain why. you don't tweet out a firing of an individual. so, the standard, the low bar, the insecurity that this is
creating not only in our own country and throughout the world, it's very dangerous and i'm very worried. >> now, i do want to talk to you about, your good friend and our condolences we admired louise slaughter. she was elected in 1986. this was sudden, she went to the hospital after a fall and did not survive. the loss of this extraordinary pioneer. >> my heart is broken. i was a good friend of louise. i have to just say to her family, my thoughts and prayers and condolences go out to them. louise was a person who was very smart, first of all. she was the only ph.d. in microbiology. she was the first woman of the rules committee. she worked day and night for her district and this country. the rules committee meets late
into the night and louise was there every single night. she had a sense of humor. everyone loved her. she was nice. i remember after her husband, bob, passed away, she came to me after she returned. she said honey, she called everyone honey. you know, i would be dead if i didn't have this job because i love my district and serving the people of my district and this country. i miss her already. she was someone you could talk to. she actually, personally, i visited seneca falls with her in 1998 after i was elected to congress. she wanted me to go with her. she didn't know me that well. she said, honey, i want to be your friend and you to see my district. i was able to visit her district three or four times. i loved her and miss her. >> my memories of her, not just in hearings and corridors, we are all honey, as you point out. there was a day in october, 1991
when louise slaughter and pat schroeder ant meda, those women, all democrats marched on the senate. unheard of. we were all stunned at this protest against the all male senate judiciary meeting, proceeding ramming through the confirmation of clarence thomas. they slowed down a bit. he wasn't confirmed until a week later. they marched over to the senate and interrupted the senate lunch, their tuesday lunch. it was remarkable. they came right over. patsy mink was there. eleanor holmes norton and louise slaughter was just right there in the middle of all that. it was very brave. you tweeted a picture of her, a wonderful picture of louise slaughter. let's finish our conversation, then go to break on this wonderful picture of this great lady, louise slaughter.
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turning now to syria where american troops and russians could end up in direct contact in a dangerous war zone. in this exclusive report, chief foreign correspondent richard engel takes us there. >> reporter: we're traveling inside eastern syria on an exclusive trip with u.s. special forces. general jonathan braga tells us this rural terrain was isis' heartland and that the extremists have been driven way back. but now there are fears the u.s. could end up in a direct conflict with new adversaries. russians. we drove to the conoco oil and gas refinery now, a u.s. base. it's the first time reporters have been here since american troops came under attack on this spot last month by 500 fighters, including russian mercenaries. an international incident shrouded in secrecy until now. >> on that night we started receiving artillery rounds in
and around right where you're standing, upwards of 30 different artillery rounds. >> reporter: the general pick upped a hot line to the russian military. >> so you called and said stop this? >> yes, i did. >> what response did you get? >> those are not our forces. >> denials. richard engel from moscow. if they're not their forces, whose could they have been? this is really worrying. >> very much so. and it is not over right now. the situation in syria is chaotic. it's effectively a free-for-all. assad's forces making land grabs, turkish forces making land grabs. you have u.s. troops that are still there about 2,000 special forces on the ground. and now there is this other enemy, opportunistic russian forces. these mercenaries who in this case it appears were trying to go after an oil refinery. so think about this. the country is in chaos.
u.s. troops are there trying to fight isis. and in the middle of this chaotic situation you have russian mercenaries tied to a company backed by an oligarch, very close to vladimir putin in this country, trying to grab a oil refinery. we're told that there was a business deal that if the russian mercenaries had grabbed this oil refinery they would have gotten 20% of the proceeds but the mission didn't go correctly because when they approach this oil refinery, they are still american troops there. the american troops responded very heavily killing 200 to 300 of these mercenaries working for this russian firm. and then there was this conversation. this amazing back and forth where the american general is on the hot line talking to this russian general saying don't do this. pull your forces back. and the russian general saying, they are not our people. we don't know anything about it. they were on the phone for several hours, this whole battle took about several hours until
it ended. the u.s. general, the american general saying, do you want to pause? do you want to go collect some of these bodies? and the russian general saying in the end, y a pause would be a good idea. we don't recognize those forces but we'll go collect the bodies. a very risky and mysterious situation but one that shows the cost of getting it wrong in syria right now. >> and you're in moscow because the election is sunday. and this could be the only election they're not hacking into. >> i don't know, but it is a foregone conclusion here that vladimir putin is going to win another six-year term. we were out on the streets today talking to many russians and
they told us, yes, he's going to win. we know he's going to win. it is about turnout. they want -- putin's supporters want to go out in big numbers to show even though it's a foregone conclusion they still went out on the street to support their man. so russia had initially said they want a 70% turnout and 70% vote for vladimir putin. today, some editorials in newspapers here were saying, well, maybe 65/65 would be good enough. 65 turnout, 65 for putin but they want that spread, high turnout, high votes in favor of putin to show that he didn't just win but that he won an election everybody knew he was going to win and that people came out on the very cold, despite very cold weather that's returned here to moscow to stand behind their president. >> richard engel from the deserts of syria to the cold
night. >> quite a commute. >> i take my hat off to you, my friend. thank you. stay safe. on a terrible note, the pentagon is investigating a deadly helicopter crash in iraq near the syrian border killing seven u.s. service members. u.s. central command says the crash of the us-hh 60 helicopter does not appear to be as a result of enemy activity. the identities of those killed are awaiting notification of next of kin. more ahead. we'll be right back.
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that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell returns." watch this space for any firings at the white house. follow us @mitchellreports and craig melvin takes it over on msnbc in new york. >> good afternoon to you. craig melvin here at msnbc headquarters in new york. march madness. reports swirling around the trump administration about a possible shake-up in the cabinet and beyond. many in the white house appear to be on pins and needles on this friday. who is making last-minute deals and are they only buying time? and physical threats? the attorney for porn star stormy daniels says she's received physical threats because of her legal fight with the president. and controversial call. the president is close to announcing his new plan to fight the opioid crisis in this country and could include a plan