Skip to main content

tv   MSNBC Live With Alex Witt  MSNBC  March 17, 2018 9:00am-9:30am PDT

9:00 am
fbi deputy director fired just 26 hours before his retirement, igniting harsh reaction in the intelligence community today. >> it kind of files like they're warming up the playbook for taking apart the mueller investigation. >> is mueller's time up? the new comments from the president's personal lawyer about the special counsel that are causing quite the stir right now. turning up the legal heat on stormy daniels as she gets closer to revealing her story. >> the details relating to these threats. and they will judge for themselves as to whether she's telling the truth. the trump team prepares its next move against the porn star's claims ahead of a tell-all interview and it could cost her millions. but we begin this noon hour with explosive breaking news. fresh reaction to the firing of former fbi deputy director andrew mccabe. senator ben cardin spoke with me about it earlier today.
9:01 am
>> to fire someone just before his retirement date is very suspicious. it looks like it's politically vindictive. i think there's a lot of questions as to how much the trump administration will try to influence the independence of the department of justice and the fbi. yes, i think there's a chilling impact on individuals who are trying to do their work at the department of justice and at the fbi. >> former cia director john brennan also laying into the president and warning, "you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dust bin of history, america will triumph over you." attorney general jeff sessions wrote that the fbi expects everyone to follow standards of honesty and reliability. john dowd, the president's attorney, says he hopes rod
9:02 am
rosenstein chooses to end the investigation but stopped short of calling for mueller's firing. for more on breaking news and the stories we have, nbc justice correspondent pete williams and nbc white house correspondent kelly o'donnell. welcome to you both. pete, we're seeing a lot more reaction about the timing of the dismissal of andrew mccabe. i mean, 26 hours hours before the beginning of his retirement. tell us how this came about. >> it all started with an inspector general report looking into the whole way that the fbi conducted the clinton investigation, e-mails, the foundation, and what the inspector general said is that last -- or rather, in october of 2016, during the election, andrew mccabe authorized fbi insiders to talk to a reporter from "the wall street journal" to basically knock down the reporter's contention of what he had heard, that the fbi was slow rolling the investigation of the clinton foundation. to the contrary, this article said, people at the fbi were saying, no, they were pushing
9:03 am
for it, and it was the justice department that wanted to derail it. so that's part "a" of what sessions was talking about in that statement. they called that an unauthorized disclosure to the news media about a pending investigation. and they say when mccabe was questioned about this, he wasn't truthful, and that was the main reason he was fired, for a lack of candor, a fireable offense for the fbi. now, mccabe has pushed back saying no, he told the truth, he didn't think the interrogators that were questioning him about this understood what was happening. in any event, he says this is all politics, this is all part of the administration's war with the fbi. >> okay. kelly, mccabe for his part says this is all part of an ongoing effort to undermine the mueller investigation. the president's personal attorney has responded this morning saying the russia probe should end based on the merits of recent revelations.
9:04 am
what more can you tell us about john dowd's comments, kelly? >> reporter: we know that broadly the president has said this investigation should be over soon. we have also heard from lawyers attached to this both inside and outside the white house that they are trying to be cooperative with the mueller investigation. but john dowd, one of the president's personal lawyers on the outside, has said that because of the mccabe firing, that that's a new piece of evidence, if you will, in the larger landscape of the russia investigation, and because of the office of inspector general report and the decision made by the justice department, it is john dowd's view that that should be a reason for rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who has the oversight responsibility for the special counsel's case, to wind down the investigation, as dowd says, on its merits, looking at this as one of the factors. we've seen separately that special counsel robert mueller appears to be expanding or at least continuing his investigation, as we've learned
9:05 am
about additional subpoenas. and there is no real timeline for how long it would take. from the president's perspective and his allies, they hope it ends as soon as possible. by dowd talking about it now and saying he hopes rosenstein uses the same judgment that attorney general jeff sessions or the inspector general has used, that would hasten its end. that's throwing more oxygen into the situation, because we've seen the president's lawyers be more arm's length. so that is making these comments from john dowd very notable today, alex. >> pete, a quick question about andrew mccabe, given the timing of his firing here so close to the beginning of his retirement. he's got a pension, certainly, or should have one. the question is will he have one. i have read somewhere it is reportedly worth millions. >> well, potentially it is depending on how long he lives.
9:06 am
i don't think that that is a thing that we can answer at this point. according to the personnel experts that i've talked to in the last couple of days about this, there are options that he has. none of them are really clear. none of them are a high probability of success. but there are things that he can do. i think one of the things he'll probably do is claim this is political, what the defense department would call command influence, when you have the president repeatedly, personally attacking him, leading up to this presumably decision on the merits from the office of profession responsibility which recommended that he be fired at the fbi and the attorney general accepting it, i think mccabe's argument will be that there is political taint in this. >> well, i'm just looking very quickly at the statement from the fbi agents association. among the thing that are discussed, it does say that every fbi agent is provided appropriate procedural protections. we'll see if that extends to andrew mccabe and trying to get his pension here.
9:07 am
okay, you two, thank you very much. i know i'll be seeing you again next hour. thank you. let's bring in congressman denny heck, member of the intelligence committee, welcome to you. what do you make of mr. trump's lawyer welcoming mccabe's firing and using it to call for an end to the russian investigation? >> this is clearly about the fact that andrew mccabe can corroborate what james comey did and said leading up to his own firing. frankly it speaks to the continuing all-out assault that this administration has on anybody who wears the striped shirts in this society, whether it's members of the law enforcement community when they disagree with him or, frankly, members of the press like you, alex. it also speaks to the depth of the pettiness and the vindictiveness of this president. truthfully, to take away somebody's pension 26 hours out from an individual who spent a career fighting russian
9:08 am
organized crime and terrorism, to take their pension away or significantly slash it? look, rather than be talking about this, i would much rather this administration were focusing its time, effort, and energy on the fact that only about a third of people in our country have adequate savings or a retirement plan. we've got a retirement security time bomb going on and he's engaged in this kind of vindictive behavior in taking away somebody's pension. >> do mr. dowd and his comments add credence to andrew mccabe's claims that his firing was related to his testimony before your committee? >> so look. there is so much evidence accumulated and piling up on the fact that nobody in this administration, and frankly nobody in the majority party in the house intelligence committee ever had a serious intent of getting at the truth of russian interference in our election. who needs another exhibit in this trial? >> okay, there's that point. but i do want to talk about the
9:09 am
republican majority on the intel committee. it closed its russia investigation. it says there's been no collusion with the trump campaign. what happens now? is that the end, do the democrats have any options left? >> well, sure. so procedurally here what what's going to happen, alex. next thursday, march 22nd, we will have the proposed majority report, the report from the republican majority closing this out, quite prematurely, self-evidently. there will be a vigorous debate on that. democratic minority members will offer an alternative point of view. after that vote is taken, all of these work products will have to go through some kind of declassification process, should they contain classified material. but once again, let's go back to a year from this coming tuesday, march 20th of 2017, when we held that quite noteworthy open public hearing at which both admiral rogers and then-director
9:10 am
comey testified, at which director comey kind of dropped the bombshell that the investigation had been under way of the trump organization and russian interference, and the very next day chairman nunes went down on his famous midnight run to collaborate with the white house on how to put an end to all of this. and it's been that way every day, in almost 365 days since. so what they're doing now to abruptly end this is zero surprise. they're doing this despite the fact that we've repeatedly requested additional witnesses and provided them with that list. despite the fact that we've asked them for a long series of supporting documentation from witnesses which they have refused to provide. despite the fact that we've asked them to issue subpoenas to get at really important information. >> is there anybody else you wish you would have been able to talk to, i guess the answer is clearly yes. you feel this is inconclusive,
9:11 am
you have not been given the full picture. >> "incomplete" would be a charitable description of the grade i would give them. i would give them an "f," frankly. at the same time, the senate intelligence committee's work continues and they have indicated a much greater willingness to cooperate in a bipartisan spirit to get to the truth. and of course the mueller investigation continues. >> so i recall so many times when you've played by the rules, and i've asked you details about what went on in the committee hearings, and you very adeptly sidestepped my questions. but now that it is closed technically, who have you heard from yet that you have not? >> it's not closed yet, alex. >> oh, come on. next weekend will you come on and talk to me about that? >> i would love to come back any time, alex. over a year ago today i came on this program with my bright red
9:12 am
gonzaga shirt on. >> that takes it in a little different direction. retired general barry mccaffrey tweeted yesterday that president trump is a serious threat to u.s. national security, refusing to protect vital u.s. interests from active russian attacks. what do you make of general mccaffrey's comments? >> so i know barry mccaffrey and i thank think he's great american. he said he reluctantly made the statement that president trump constituted a national security threat. i know when he says that, that comes from a heart and place of a lifetime of service. this is a man that's been awarded two or three purple hearts, a couple of stars. he's served this country admirably. it makes me sad that we and the country have come to this point. the truth is that russia is an existential threat to this
9:13 am
nation's wellbeing. the sanctions adopted by the trump administration this week were frankly a joke. they were sanctions lite. they levied sanctions against oligarchs and a bunch of 23-year-old hackers sitting in rooms doing this damage. what we really need to do if we want to stop this russian behavior and hold them accountable, is levy sanctions against the oligarchs, those that are closest to prime minister putin, and really put the squeeze on them. and we're not doing that right now, and this administration is steadfastly refusing to either speak ill of vladimir putin or to take the measures necessary in order to get them to change their behavior. >> to your point about the sanctions, five entities, 19 individuals, 13 of whom had been named by bob mueller, that makes your point right there.
9:14 am
the president filing suit against stormy daniels, $20 million suit. is this a side show or does this have the potential to bring down the president? >> first of all, nobody is surprised by this sordid private behavior on the part of the president. it's kind of baked into his brand at this point, almost a point of pride on his part. he has in fact bragged about it in the past. it's only significant if there is a legal implication to the campaign, and we'll see about that at some point. i realize it's all salacious and we all like to thought about it, alex. the truth is, it is so secondary to the issue of the threat of russia to our national security. i really wish we would get at that as to the heart of what really matters here as opposed to. the truth of the matter is we're probably dealing with a scandal day by day to knock whatever yesterday's headlines is off.
9:15 am
whether it's what the president said or stormy daniels or whatever, i'll tell what you this administration doesn't want to talk about this weekend. they don't want to talk about what happened last tuesday in pennsylvania. that's what they don't want to talk about. >> enjoy march madness tonight, i know you can take a little bit of a break from all the madness, if you will, that's out there. congressman danny heck, thank you very much, good luck. >> thank you, alex. coming up, the attorney for stormy daniels says we'll soon hear details behind the alleged threat to her physical safety. . but i've got an idea sir. get domo. it'll connect us to everything that's going on in the company. get it for jean who's always cold. for the sales team, it and the warehouse crew. give us the data we need. in one place, anywhere we need it. help us do our jobs better. with domo we can run this place together. well that's that's your job i guess. ♪
9:16 am
whoamike and jen doyle?than i thought. yeah. time for medicare, huh. i have no idea how we're going to get through this. follow me. choosing a plan can be super-complicated. but it doesn't have to be. unitedhealthcare can guide you through the confusion, with helpful people, tools and plans. including the only plans with the aarp name. well that wasn't so bad at all. that's how we like it. aarp medicare plans, from unitedhealthcare. fthere's flonase sensimist.tchy and watery near pollen. it relieves all your worst symptoms including nasal congestion, which most pills don't. and all from a gentle mist you can barely feel. flonase sensimist.
9:17 am
9:18 am
it is clear as day. it is part of the process by which they want to muzzle my client. we think we have good arguments as to why this case doesn't belong in arbitration. we're going to submit those arguments, whether it be to the federal court judge or the state court judge.
9:19 am
>> michael avenatti, the attorney for stormy daniels, reacting to the trump team's request to move the case to a federal court. they say she owes up to $20 million for violating their agreement. jay newton-small and john harwood join me now, welcome to you both. john, if this case makes it to arbitration, does that mean the end of the stormy saga? >> i don't think so. i think stormy daniels' story is going to come out. i do not believe that the administration is going to be able to stop "60 minutes" from broadcasting that interview. i think the only question now is how drawn-out and painful that process becomes. i also don't believe that the president has any prospect of collecting a big judgment against stormy daniels either. at this position, he is much more than a private citizen trying to enforce a private nondisclosure agreement. >> and i should say, that $20 million comes from the fact that
9:20 am
mr. trump's attorney has counted 20 times allegedly that stormy daniels has violated the disclosure agreement, you add it up, a million times 20, there's that number there. jay, how much of a headache is this for the white house? was there the expectation this would all go away, the whole thing would just die a lot sooner than that? >> i think that's certainly been their wish, alex. i think any day that they're out there talking about a porn star's affair with the preponderapresident with probab is probably not a good day for sarah sanders. this is something they consider a distraction, it's not great for them especially with the president's evangelical base. this is something they've always turned a blind eye too. a few weeks ago when these allegations first surfaced, a lot of evangelicals came forward and said well, the president gets a mulligan on this one. now you notice they're incredibly silent and not defending him anymore. that's not a good thing. >> franklin graham said that
9:21 am
very thing to me on this show. guys, i have to take a quick break. up next, was andrew mccabe's firing an attack on the fbi and does it set up an end to the mueller investigation? that's my girl!
9:22 am
that's it! get it, woo, yeah! mom! my game's over. parents aren't perfect, but then they make us kraft mac & cheese and everything's good again.
9:23 am
(avo) if you'rand you've triedlly pain any number of laxatives, probiotics, and fiber, it could be wearing on you. tell your doctor what you've tried and how long you've been at it. linzess works differently from laxatives. linzess treats adults with ibs with constipation or chronic constipation. it can help relieve your belly pain and lets you have more frequent and complete bowel movements that are easier to pass. do not give linzess to children less than six, and it should not be given to children six to less than eighteen. it may harm them. don't take linzess if you have a bowel blockage. get immediate help if you develop unusual or severe stomach pain, especially with bloody or black stools. the most common side effect is diarrhea, sometimes severe. if it's severe stop taking linzess
9:24 am
and call your doctor right away. other side effects include gas, stomach-area pain, and swelling. ask your doctor if 90 days of linzess may be right for you. to fire someone just before his retirement date is very suspicious. here is just one more example of the trump administration trying to interfere with the independence of the career people at the fbi. >> democratic senator there ben cardin on the firing of deputy fbi director andrew mccabe. how much does mccabe's firing factor into the mueller probe? there is an argument that what he was a witness to regarding the firing of james comey is now tainted. >> that's certainly the objective of trump world, to undermine mccabe and say he's no longer a credible witness and to
9:25 am
say that in fact that trump's lawyer today went so far as to say this is example "a" of why the mueller investigation should not continue because the entire thing was predicated essentially on people like andrew mccabe who now they claim are unreliable and corrupt. this is essentially to a large degree a front run at mueller, trying to undermine his investigation and trying to say that everything is a house of cards and that the entire basis is false. >> so trump's personal lawyer, john dowd, this morning praised jeff sessions' decision to fire mccabe, adding, quote, i pray that acting attorney general rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the fbi office of professional responsibility and the attorney general and bring an end to the russia investigation manufactured by james comey based on a corrupt
9:26 am
and fraudulent dossier. what's your reaction, john? >> first of all, there is no evidence that the dossier was fraudulent and corrupt. it's not been corroborated, but it hasn't been the disproven either. secondly, john dowd doesn't know what evidence robert mueller has accumulated. he does not know what the corroborating witnesses, his former campaign chief, his former campaign policy advisers, does not know what evidence they have provided. so it's a little ridiculous to purport to say i know that the investigation should be shut down. we understand john dowd representing his client. but this goes into the larger fabric of what jay was just talking about with you, and that is the attempt by the administration to politicize all of these investigations. we don't know what andrew mccabe is alleged to have done.
9:27 am
career officials have compiled a report, accused him of wrongdoing. we do know the president's personal involvement has tainted that process with politics. >> we'll have to see what the ig report says. that's a wrap for me, thanks so much. coming up, "velshi & ruhle." wait until you see ali velshi in a cowboy hat. take this left. if you listen real hard you can hear the whales. oop. you hear that? (vo) our subaru outback lets us see the world. sometimes in ways we never imagined. (avo) get 0% apr financing on all-new 2018 subaru outback models. now through april 2nd.
9:28 am
which is breast cancer metastatthat has spreadr, to other parts of her body. she's also taking prescription ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor, which is for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive her2- metastatic breast cancer as the first hormonal based therapy. ibrance plus letrozole was significantly more effective at delaying disease progression versus letrozole. patients taking ibrance can develop low white blood cell counts, which may cause serious infections that can lead to death. before taking ibrance, tell your doctor if you have fever, chills, or other signs of infection, liver or kidney problems, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant. common side effects include low red blood cell and low platelet counts, infections, tiredness, nausea, sore mouth, abnormalities in liver blood tests, diarrhea, hair thinning or loss, vomiting, rash, and loss of appetite.
9:29 am
alice calls it her new normal because a lot has changed, but a lot hasn't. ask your doctor about ibrance. the #1 prescribed fda-approved oral combination treatment for hr+/her2- mbc. at the marine mammal center, the environment is everything. we want to do our very best for each and every animal, and we want to operate a sustainable facility. and pg&e has been a partner helping us to achieve that. we've helped the marine mammal center go solar, install electric vehicle charging stations,
9:30 am
and become more energy efficient. pg&e has allowed us to be the most sustainable organization we can be. any time you help a customer, it's a really good feeling. it's especially so when it's a customer that's doing such good and important work for the environment. together, we're building a better california. heads keep rolling in washington as president trump goes about reshaping his administration in his own likeness. and advances in technology come with a dark side. automation is transforming the workplace, eliminating jobs in the process. the question is, is giving money away for free the best way to help the millions of people who will be affected by all this? i'm ali velshi. >> i'm stephanie ruhle.


1 Favorite

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on