tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC July 23, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
that wraps up this hour of msnbc live. katy tur joins me now. >> hi there. have a great week. >> thank you. >> have fun. 11:00 a.m. out west, and 2:00 p.m. in washington. in moments we expect to hear from the white house. press secretary sarah huckabee sanders will brief reporters, and there is a trio, there are a trio of news stories we are following that will likely dominate the presser. we are awaiting a ruling in the paul manafort case. judge ellis will decide on a
request from the former trump campaign chairman's defense lawyers to delay his criminal trial which was supposed to start later this week. manafort will be the first person to go to trial under robert mueller's investigation. the president was focused all morning, and, surprise, it is surrounding the russia probe. trump's false claim that his campaign was vindicated by the release of a highly secretive government document he declassified. this weekend breaking decades of secretive protocol, the doj released a previously classified warrant that was used to request government surveillance of former trump campaign aide carter page. page at the time was under suspicion of acting as an agent for the russian government. the president has been tweeting about it all morning. we are going to spare you the dramatic reading of those tweets. suffice it to say trump is incorrectly using the released information to confuse the
public and to try to claim the investigation into his campaign is a witch hunt. the problem for donald trump is that the warrant shows the republicans had been misleading the public about the intel use the in the fisa warrant on pang. furthermore, another friender to everybody out there, including the president, the russia investigation did not begin with the carter page surveillance warrant. it began after a trump foreign policy advisor, george papadopoulos, bragged that the russians had dirt on hillary clinton. finally, a story not about the russia probe, or is it? trump's threatening tweet to the president of iran. in nearly all caps in this tweet right here, the president writes to president rouhani, never ever threaten the united states again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. we are to longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death. be cautious.
you might be asking yourself where in the world that came from. we are asking the same thing. joining me now white house correspondent hallie jackson, natasha bertrand, benjamin whitis is the editor and chief of law fair and a senior fellow in governance studies at brookings institution, frank is a former assistant director of counterintelligence at the fbi and current cheap operating officer for ets risk management. he is also an msnbc national security analyst. guys, we have a bit of a mixed bag. i want to start with the carter page surveillance stuff. hallie jackson, the president is trying to use this as a way to say this whole investigation is a witch hunt. he has some republicans in the house on his side for this, trying to bolster this claim and tear down the investigation. hallie, walk us through it. that's not what this surveillance warrant at all says. >> right. there is also the piece of this, too, even while there are some republicans on the hill who are
trying to, along with the president, use this to discredit the robert mueller investigation, there are plenty of other republicans who don't believe that the special counsel investigation is a witch hunt as the president now has repeated just several days after trying to walk back his walkback about russian interference in the election. what the president is doing is coming out more broadly again undercutting his intelligence community by casting doubt on the veracity of the special counsel investigation. i imagine that will be a question for sarah sanders. we will see how much later this thing goes. this will be one of the questions i imagine to her as to why the president is making again what seems to be an about face. now, based on my reporting, based on our analysis of this, sanders might say the president is talking about collusion as he has many times. that's something that's been out there. but the issue here is that the president is not drawing a distinction and it is not clear if he is drawing a distinction
between this issue of cloouollu and the legitimacy of it as a whole. as you laid out, one of many topics we know we will be asking the press secretary today, including that tweet putting iran on notice. >> hallie, is that tweet putting iran on notice a distraction? i know we ask this a lot, but this one seems like a plate ebl distraction. >> look to the president's twitter feed. after he tweeted about that, he went back to tweeting about putin and his meeting. if he was hoping to distract from vladimir putin, he did not do a great job because he started talking about it again. >> benjamin, back to carter page and this fisa warrant. the republicans want to say that the fisa warrant was gotten not incorrectly, but under nefarious circumstances because they say the investigators involved didn't reveal all of the information necessary to the courts, to the judges. they didn't say that it was
relying on the dossier. they didn't say who was paying for the dossier. i know you have been focused on this quite a bit over at law fair. can you walk us through what is wrong with trying to claim that even still today. >> yes. so, first of all, one of the interesting things that about this actual fisa application, as opposed to the memos about the fisa application, is that you see that the government was quite careful to not include the names of u.s. persons and entities, including, by the way, donald trump, who appears in the document only as candidate number one, and so one of the things that the document does is not refer by name to the entities that are -- that hired
christopher steele. they refer to them, rather, as entities that, you know, were trying to dig dirt on or discredit candidate number one. that does not -- that's actually pretty normal fbi practice, and it doesn't reflect anything particularly nefarious other than the desire not to slime u.s. persons and u.s. corporations and u.s. political campaigns. so one of the things that is striking is really how much work devin nunes and certain house republicans tried to make that very fact due. when you actually look at the document, it spends a lot of time, a full page, giving information about why you might have pause about christopher steele, whom is also does not name. >> so devin nunes today is sticking by his guns. he has a statement that says the newly released documents confirm the intelligence community's
long standing argument that unverified information formed an essential part of the fisa applications on carter page. it proves that the fbi used outright political propaganda to spy on an american citizen during the election. here is what devin nunes claimed into the original memo. while the fisa application relied on steele's past record of credible reporting on unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti-trump financial and ideological motivations. here is what law fair, david chris of law fair, writes today. now we can see that the footnote disclosing steele's possible bias takes up more than a full page in the application, so there is literally no way the fisa court could have missed it. the fbi gave the court enough information to evaluate steele's credibility. frank, talk about that. when you are drafting a fisa application, what sort of stuff
goes in there? from what you can see, do the republicans have any cause for concern here in how it was drafted? >> katy, from what i can see, the only cause for concern that the republicans is that they have been shown to be inaccurate about their claims regarding this affidavit. in fact, even though i would have cringed a couple of weeks ago if you were to tell me that the u.s. government was going to release a fisa affidavit, which is unprecedented, i am kind of glad they did because it shows to the world that the fbi submitted an affidavit that went out of its way to explain any potential bias or concerns about the dossier. it demonstrates that the dossier was not a substantial part of the probable cause development for this. it also shows that they asserted strongly that carter page was an agent of a foreign power, not merely what they could have asserted, which was that he may be a target of foreign powers. they argued alternatively that he was both.
it's a very strong affidavit. then, remember, it's repeated and renewed by republican-appointed judges a number of times. each time the affidavit grows bigger and bigger, which tells me, even though it's redacted, they are adding more and more of the take. that the take is actually proving additional probable cause from additional sources perhaps. this is a bad day for those folks criticizing the affidavit. the more powerfully and forcefully they come out against it the more you can rest assured they are troubled by the fact it's a solid affidavit. >> trey gowdy is trying to -- or is saying that, therefore, impossible for us to know who the fbi got evidence from. listen to trey gowdy. >> here's what we'll never know, brett. we will never know whether or not the fbi had enough without the dossier. the unvetted dnc-funded dossier, because they included it. everyone who reads this fisa application sees the amount of
reliance they placed on this product funded by hillary clinton's campaign and the dnc. >> frank, what do you think of that? >> well, so mr. gowdy has issues as well because if you take the time to read through this, you'll see that the dossier is not the bulk of what's being relied upon. secondly, the fbi traditionally uses asset sources, informants. as long as you characterize them and say, look, here's the good story about this informant. we've relied on him in the past. he reported accurately in the past. here is the issues with this informant. when you lay that out, there is nothing wrong with using information, hearsay, secondhand information in this affidavit. >> natasha, what's the goal here? >> to discredit the mueller investigation. i think that's clear. we have donald trump saying that the entire probe is rigged and was based from the very
beginning on this dossier, which of course is not true. but i think that it's important to note that this entire thing started just based on bad faith. i mean, nunes drafted this memo with the help of trey gowdy who saw the underlying fisa application and nunes did not. even though it disclosed christopher steele's potential biases, because it says he was hired specifically to discredit the trump campaign, this memo that nunes wrote said that was never disclosed and that is just not true. this is an attempt to kind of shift the goalpost here and now the republicans' hail mary is there is a lot redacted. therefore, we still don't know what kind of sources that the fbi relied on to get this warrant on carter page, who has been on the fbi's radar since 2013 because he was involved in a russian spy ring broken up in new york city and he was targeted then and he is believed to have continued his conversations and his
communications with the russians ever since then. so this is not something that just arose because of the fbi's interest in the trump campaign. of course, it's also important to note that carter page was not actually wire tapped until after he left the campaign. this notion that he was used as an excuse for the fbi to spy on the campaign is just completely nonsensical. >> it's important to note that this investigation started, this is the reporting that we have, because george papadopoulos, one of the foreign advisors to president trump's campaign, was bragging that the russians had dirt on hillary clinton and he had access to it. so that is how this whole thing started. it's not a carter page thing. in effect, what it's doing, a and hallie i think you can talk to this as well, it is an effort to confuse the entire narrative. donald trump has been going after the russia investigation for over a year in any way possible. standing next to vladimir putin, calling it a witch hunt, using this carter page thing to call it a witch hunt, using devin nunes to call it a witch hunt.
to a degree it certainly is working among some voters. our friend ali vitale, a white house reporter here at nbc news and msnbc was talking to voters in north dakota. i want to play a couple of sound bites from them and i want you to mull over it with me after we come back. listen. >> do you agree with the president when he calls it a witch hunt? >> i agree. there are a lot of things that it seems like the democrats have been grasping at straws. >> reporter: but bob mueller is not a democrat, right? >> thinking about how much they would have to actually do to rig an election, there is just so much involved. honestly, russia has their own problems. we have our problems. if putin really wanted to involve himself, he would have to have the money, the manpower and the technology. >> reporter: so you're doubtful? >> yes. >> reporter: do you have any thoughts about how the president has interacted with putin and talked about him? >> well, you know, being the
next largest nuclear war nation out there, i support president trump on that because you don't pick little things with a big power like that. >> reporter: putin is coming to the white house in the fall, apparently? >> i did not hear that. >> reporter: yeah. >> i missed that one. >> reporter: that happened thursday or friday. >> okay. i missed that one there. but that's great. when is the last time that's happened? >> reporter: it has been a while. >> yes, yes, it's been a long time. so all of the side note stuff, you know, it doesn't make any difference. president trump is doing the job, doing it well. >> hallie, i imagine the white house would point to stuff like that and say, listen, this is effective. this working for us? >> i mean, the president sees that, katy. it's not surprising. it's not new that the president's supporters continue to support him. that has benefitted donald trump from the moment he began his campaign and it's been a factor
every single day of his administration, ever since the inauguration a year and a half ago. what is most interesting is the way that that dynamic plays out not necessarily here as it relates to the west wing into washington and donald trump, but as it plays out to people like heidi heitkamp, for example, from north dakota. the reason that alley was there talking with some of those voters. how some of these vulnerable read state democrats navigate the donald trump currents, if you will, as we get closer to the midterms. >> we don't know for sure until the votes actually take place, until the votes happen and we get some results. at least in the midterms. hallie jackson, thank you very much. >> and right now in virginia paul manafort is waiting to see if a judge will grant his last-li last-ditch effort to delay his trial. that decision is expected to come at any minute. and sarah sanders is set to brief the press at the white house. we are keeping an eye on both. don't go anywhere. who would have guessed?
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we are keeping an eye on a courthouse in virginia where a federal judge is set to rule any minute on whether or not to delay former campaign chairman paul manafort's trial. the trial was expected to begin on wednesday. it might still begin on wednesday. earlier today that same judge granted a request from robert mueller's team to offer immunity to five people in exchange for their testimony. the judge also announced the names of those five people will, will be made public.
paul manafort, you'll remember, was charged with a number of crimes last year, including bank fraud and filing false tax returns. nbc intelligence and national security reporter kendellani joins me now. why are paul manafort's lawyers asking for the trial start to be delayed? >> katy, they are arguing that the prosecution just recently turned over to them a massive amount of documents, some 120,000 pieces of paper, that they, this group of lawyers has not had a chance to go through. they are saying that it would be unfair to proceed now. i guess the judge has to consider whether, if he rules that the trial should go forward, whether that could become an issue on appeal. >> got it. so paul manafort's trial though, if it starts today, ken, it's the first trial for anybody relating to the russia investigation. manafort is different. a lot of this is focused on tax evasion and fraud and money-laundering, and the evidence that's going to be used in this trial is interesting in
itself. they are focusing a lot on the money and what he spent on things. home improvement and upkeep for 8,265,000 $276 dollars. over $1 million in antique rugs. over $1 million in clothing. touk too why is manafort's case focused on this and why the trump team may say, hey listen, this is not about us. >> in part, they are right because this is a trial about the past. it's about paul manafort's ten years of work for this russian-backed ukrainian politician, the tens of millions of dollars he was paid and the charges that he laundered that money and evaded taxes on it and bought a lot of the things you described there, not to mention $10,000 suits that have been written about. today in court he is wearing a green prison-issued jumpsuit from the alexandria jail because he is incarcerated right now.
you are absolutely right. the trump white house is arguing this isn't about russian collusion, this isn't about us at all. they should be careful because the government alleges that manafort's conduct continued up to and including the time he was working for the trump campaign. there is evidence, for example, he was $10 million in debt to a russian oligarch. that's the same man he was offering private briefings about the trump campaign during the trump campaign. da so what this trial may do is set the stage and explain to the public why paul manafort was in a position, having made all this money, was actually broke and in some debt when he came to work for donald trump and was he seeking to monetize his service for trump and did he do anything in terms of russia collusion. the other issue is if he is convicted, he is facing 15 years in prison. that's the guidelines. not the maximum. >> ken, sorry to interrupt. the only set of charges that could be related to paul manafort, or could we see something else after this? >> you are absolutely right. there is another trial pending
in washington, d.c. that was manafort's choice. it seemed like his lawyers wanted to make the government work a little harder. the result is if he is acquitted in virginia, he faces another set of similar charges in washington, d.c. that carry a long prison term. if he is convicted in either of these cases, the next will -- question is does he flip and cooperate with robert mueller in the russian collusion investigation. >> as you were saying, this tie together into the collusion investigation to figure out whether paul manafort was so leveraged he was using his access to the trump campaign to help russian-backed ukraineions or russians. we don't know that. these are all questions that are out there. could we, down the line, if those questions are still out there, see more man for the charges, more mcharges for some related to the task at hand? >> that's a hard question to answer. they have already thrown the book at him, essentially, in terms of these financial crimes.
i think the next thing we will have to see is whether he is convicted and if he cuts a deal. they'd want to sit down and talk to him under oath, get him to say everything that he knows about potentially meetings with donald trump while he was campaign chairman. paul manafort attended that trump tower meeting where the russian lawyer came and offered dirt on hillary clinton. paul manafort may have a story to tell about russia collusion. it remains to be seen. >> ken, thank you very much. >> you bet. >> next up, squirrel. you're turning onto the street when you barely clip a passing car. minor accident - no big deal, right? wrong. your insurance company is gonna raise your rate after the other car got a scratch so small you coulda fixed it with a pen. maybe you should take that pen and use it to sign up with a different insurance company. for drivers with accident forgiveness liberty mutual won't raise their rates because of their first accident. liberty mutual insurance. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty ♪
welcome back. the president was up late last night, and oh boy, did it seem like he was angry. never, ever threaten the united states again or you will suffer consequence consequences the likes of which few throughout history have suffered before. we are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death, be cautious. all in capital letters. you might be asking yourself where in the world that came from. a lot of us were this morning. well, rouhani, president rouhani said yesterday, quote, america should know that peace with iran is the mother of all peace and war with iran is the mother of
all wars. but is the president's tweet actually about putting pressure on iran, or is it about shifting attention away from his summer with vladimir putin? kristen welker thought the same thing and asked the white house exactly that this morning. >> reporter: is the president trying to change the subject from russia to iran? is that part of the purpose of his tweet today? >> no. i think the president has the ability, up like a lot of those in the media, to actually focus on more than one issue at a time, and certainly we know that the media is obsessed with speaking about all russia all the time. but the president's focused on a lot of things that are taking place across the globe, and iran is one of them. it's been something we talked about -- >> joining me is jim walsh from mit security studies. thanks for being here. we asked was this just a distraction because the president went back to tweeting about russia, russia, russia.
sarah huckabee sanders says we're obsessed with it. we are following what the president tweets about every single day. let's focus on iran. the speech that rouhani gave yesterday, is that the sort of thing that you would expect to see trigger a president in such a way? >> no. i would say no. and i think it's actually in the long run, it can be dangerous. why do i say that? presidents in the post-war period have been very cautious about making threats that sound like they are nuclear threats. you don't want to be shouting that all the time. then when it comes time that you actually mean it, your adversary thinks you are bluffing again, you are just blowing smoke. whether it was eisenhower or kennedy, any president, they have been very sober and judicious about invoking something that sounds like a nuclear attack. the president, this is not the first time he did it. he did it with fire and fury on the north koreans. he has done it with others. and i think, you know, there is a reason why presidents haven't done it before. unfortunately, this president
does not observe that. >> he has done it bfrefore. he got a summit from north korea with kim jong-un. the president was happy there were a lot of cameras there. do you think that maybe he was looking for the same sort of photo op here thinking these sorts of tweets might compel iran to come to the negotiating table maybe? >> well, i think -- you know, you were discussing before, was he trying to change the subject? and i thought about this this morning. my answer is no. and the reason why is i think the president is more reactive and emotional than he is strategic. and so rather than this being part of a strategy to change the subject, i think he is reacting to rouhani. what he seems to have forgotten is the u.s. already threatened iran. it's threatened to topple the government, to support efforts to overthrow it, to wage economic warfare, do all the things that were done prior to the war in iraq. if you are the country subjected to this, you are going to want
to say, hey, don't do this or there will be consequences. when the country responds to the initial threat, then the president i think just reactively, wanting to be clint eastwood says, yeah, i'm tougher than you are and blah, blah, blah. i think that's how we got here. >> let's play devil's advocate. could he be exposing or taking advantage of an opening right now in iranian society? there is an economic crisis there. it's only grown since the trump administration decided to pull out of the iran deal. in the month following that announcement in may, oil exports were down 16%. the sanctions go in place, get reimposed august 4th and the rest november 4th. there are a lot of protests right now among people who are unhappy with the way the economy is going and also unhappy with how strict society is there. do you think that maybe this could be the president trying to take advantage of an opening? >> well, if he did, he is not
reading the poll numbers. there was polling in iran -- this was back in april. if the u.s. violates the iran agreement, how should iran respond? 67% of the people living in iran responded that the government of iran should retaliate. now, why? imagine you are sitting in iran. you don't like the economy or you are unhappy with the social police and the government. but if a foreign government that once topled a duly elected prime minister threatens regime change, you are going to rally around the flag. even if you don't like your own government, you don't want foreigners to topple it against your will. i think it's causing them to grow more united, ironically. the factions between rouhani and the hard-liners are on the same page because they think the president has adopted a regime change policy. if they believe that, they will not support a foreign power.
>> the other side of this, why we certainly thought it was a distraction this morning. we looked at donald trump's past tweets while president obama was in office. look at this. november 10th, 2013. remember i predicted a long time ago that president obama will attack iran because of his inability to negotiate properly, not skilled. october 22, 2012. don't let obama start a war in order to get elected. be careful, republicans. october 9, 2012. now that obama's poll numbers are in a tailspin watch for him to launch a strike in libya or iran. he is desperate. november 29, 2011. in order to get elected barack obama will start a war with iran. doesn't that tell you where this president's head is at? that he believes starting a war is a good way to get re-elected when your poll numbers aren't so good? >> i mean, it may be, you know. i think over time i have learned to take some of these tweets less seriously. obviously, it's very hard. sometimes it's very easy to know what the president means, and
sometimes you have no idea. i would say this. i think he's probably generally disinclined to starting a war. he said he didn't like the war in redact, you know. if you like the war in redacirau would love a war in iran. but sometimes you get results that you don't intend. so him threatening and acting as if he wants regime change will cause the iranians to react in certain ways that in a tit for tat exchange can lead to a war. moreover, when he talks this way he is giving the green light to the saudis, to iran hawks in the u.s., like the foundation for the defensive democracies. john bolton, those folks pushing for war, when he says something like that they say, hey, we need to push harder. we are going to achieve our objective. i think that's also very dangerous regardless of what his true intention is. >> you say he doesn't want it, but as you mentioned a moment ago, his administration, you pointed out john bolton, is
packed with warhawks. john bolton top of that list. >> it is. i am happy to say i think there are more prudent people in the administration. if you look at the statements by secretary mattis about staying in the iran nuclear deal, he supported that. if you look at the general, he also supported staying in the iran nuclear deal. and i think the reason why is we -- it serves no purpose to have a second war in the middle east that is costly, costly to our economy and costly to the men and women who serve in the united states and that could again set the region aflame. >> look who is ascended in the trump administration. jim mattis, a lot of talk about him being out of the loop. mike pompeo, an iran hawk. mike pompeo is rising in the trump administration. now he is secretary of state. jim bolton just named nsc. i don't know. i guess you could go both ways. let's hope nothings comes of it.
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and f-150 truck made by the are ford motor company in mish and baseball bats made in pennsylvania. a personal favorite, ranger boats from flipping arkansas is here. the president celebrates every state's effort and commitment to american-made products and he is honored to have these companies here today and we look forward to having you all join us with that shortly. with that we will jump in questions. kevin. >> thanks. is the president considering the republican house intel request to declassify key sections of the records with respect to that fisa document release? and will he do that declassification before the house goes into recess? >> the president wants, has purposefully remained uninvolved in this process. he said repeatedly that he wants the department of justice to be fully transparent with these requests from congress and he is going to continue at this point to remain uninvolved. however, he sees more and more
every single day that this is proving further and fourth to be a total witch hunt, particularly because it was based on a false and unverified and discredited dossier. steve. >> reporter: sarah, we saw the president tweet on iran last night. what prompted him to use such strong language object then the? >> the president has been strong since day one in his language towards iran. he was responding to comments made from them and he is going to continue to focus on the safety and security of american people. >> reporter: what would it take to have direct negotiations between the president and president rouhani? >> i am not going to get into specifics and certainly not negotiate with the press. that would be a determination that the president would make on what that looks like. but the ultimate goal and focus of the president is making sure that we keep nuclear weapons out of their hands and that we focus on the protection of americans. >> reporter: the president tweeted yesterday that russia's election interference was all a
big hoax. those are the words he used. last week he said he had full faith in the u.s. intelligence agencies. so does he believe the interference was a hoax or does he have faith in the intelligence agencies that have completed definitively the other way, that russia -- >> as the president said many times, and stated over and over again, as have i and a number of other administration officials, we maintain that russia interfered in the elections. the president, however, very much so and has repeatedly, as again have the rest of us, that his campaign colluding in that process is a total hoax and we still hold strong to that. >> reporter: it's suggested overall that it was a hoax. >> the president is referencing the collusion component. once again the president has faith in the intelligence that suggests and maintain that russia was involved in the elections. however, it's also important that that same information concludes that it had no impact on the election and that the
president again would like to repeat there was no collusion. john. >> reporter: following up on that question, the president forcefully spoke out against iran, north korea, he will forcefully speak out against -- russia interference is a threat to our democracy. why will he not forcefully denounce that? >> the president has been incredibly tough on russia. he has brought it up directly to him in person every single time that they have met. he has put unprecedented sanctions and been extremely tough on russia across a number of fronts, which we have addressed here many times before. frankly, i'm not sure why that is so hard for the media to write about. we have repeated it time and time again. the policy that the president has been since day one in office has been extremely tough on russia, probably more so than any other country. >> reporter: thank you. another rand paul today made a
strong attempt to -- the credibility of former cia director john brennan, saying he is, and i quote, monetizing his security clearance and that it should be removed from him. he even called on the president to do this. will the president consider senator paul's suggestion and call for the removal of former director brennan's security clearance? >> not only is the president looking to take away brennan's security clearance, he is also looking into the yeareclearance comey, clapper, rice, mccabe. he is exploring the mechanisms because they politicized and in some cases monetize their public service and security clearances, making baseless accusations of improper contact with russia or being influenced by russia against the president is extremely inappropriate. the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides
inappropriately legitimatemacy to accusations with zero evidence. >> reporter: a follow-up question. when the president pulled out of the jcpoa he did not reveal an alternate plan to address iran's nuclear ambitions. he seemed to bank on economic sanctions being enough to get them back to the table. is that still his plan b? >> look, as we have said, the president's number-one goal is to make sure iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon. we have similar and shared interests with our european allies. we are continuing to have discussions with them. when we have specifics on that front, we will let you know. >> reporter: my question about russia is that president trump continues to air his grievances about the coverage of his meeting with vladimir putin. >> because you guys continue to obsessively cover it. >> reporter: we can't, really, because it's been seven days. we have not received any specific details about agreements that were reached whether formally or verbally.
when can we expect that? by the way -- >> the only specific agreement made was that the two national security teams from both the united states and russia would continue at a working level these discussions. i can tell you that ambassador bolton plans to have a meeting, a follow-up with his counterpart from russia next month in addition to meetings with other european allies to further those discussions, and we will keep you posted when we have specific details what that is. >> reporter: so does president trump plan on ordering to move any carriers or additional military resources to the region should iran continue to pose the threat that he alluded to in his tweet? >> i don't have any specific announcements on that. >> reporter: secretary of state mike pompeo yesterday talked a lot about corruption and human rights abuses in iran. why is he zeroing in, why is the
administration zeroing in on iran when a number of states are goal guilty of the same transgressions? >> we are tough on them with our policy. we can be tough on more than one country at a time, and that's exactly what we're doing. >> reporter: could you explain the threshold that the president has for taking away former official security clearance? is it his position that any former obama administration official who holds clearance and has made political statements about him should have their clearance revoked or is it limited to the names that you read? >> as of right now, we are exploring the mechanism on those specific names. i will keep you posted. >> reporter: the language that the president used in the tweet that he sent out last night was very similar to the language he used last august in new jersey when he spoke of fire and fury being rained down on north korea. of course, that led to a one-on-one meeting that the
president ultimately had with kim jong-un. is the president open to diplomacy with iran, meeting perhaps one-on-one with president rouhani? >> i am not going to negotiate what the specifics that the president or the administration would be looking again, our goal is to stop iran from nuclear weapons and we'll keep you posted as we move through that process. >> also your statement regarding judge kavanaugh you made at the very top, there's one republican senator who says he's undecided -- well, there's a few that say undecided but rand paul in particular says honestly i'm undecided. i'm very concerned about his position on privacy and the fourth amendment. are you concerned about losing rand paul once this vote for judge kavanaugh ultimately gets to the floor of the senate? >> we're certainly hopeful that senator paul will do the right thing and vote for this very highly qualified nominee. >> sarah, flipping around john's question about iran, considering the comments that we've heard in the past day from the
president's tweet, ambassador bolton's statement and secretary pompeo's speech last night, what is stopping this administration from just openly advocating regime change in iran? >> again, our focus is on stopping iran from having nuclear weapons, regardless of who is there. that's what you are priority is. if we have any further announcements on that front, i'll let you know. but the president and his administration will continue pushing and advocating for that. >> sarah, regarding one of the stories that broke, how did the president feel when he found out that his long-time lawyer and fixer had recorded him surreptitiously? >> i'd refer you to the president's outside counsel. >> does he still deny he ever had a relationship with karen mcdougal. >> the president maintains that he's done nothing wrong and i would refer you to rudy giuliani for all questions on that matter. >> i just wanted to follow up on this statement that you made
about brennan and his security clearance. are you considering any additional actions against brennan and any of the other names you read off in addition to revoking their security action? >> not that i'm aware of. >> to go back real quick to the russia application, the fisa application claims that he is a russian agent involved in clandestine activities. given that the president continues to say there was no collusion between his campaign and russia, is he concerned or does not he not believe the assessment that carter page was a russian agent. >> i think we've spoken extensively what our position is and we have no changes to that. >> sarah, the president is threatening to punish brennan and comey and clapper for saying things about him that he doesn't like. is that presidential? >> the president is exploring these mechanisms to remove security clearance because they politicized and in some cases
monetized their public service and their security clearances and making baseless accusations of improper contact with russia or being influenced by russia against the president is extremely inappropriate. the president contends the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence. when we have further updates on that front, i'll let you know. >> any speech he doesn't like he wants to punish them for it? >> no, you're creating your own story there. the president doesn't like that people are politicizing agencies and departments that are specificalliment to not be political and not meant to be monetized off of security clearances. >> i have a question to follow up on that. isn't the president doing exactly what you just said the president doesn't want all these people just doing, politicizing matters of national security by going after his political enemies? >> no, the president is not
making baseless accusations of improper contact and accusing the president of the united states of treasonous activity. when you have the highest level of security clearance and you're the person that holds the nation's deepest most sake rhett secrets at your hands and you go out and make false accusations against the president of the united states, he thinks that is something to be very concerned with and we're exploring what those options are and what that looks like. >> actually on the message -- >> i've got to keep moving because. >> i want to get the message to paul manafort. >> i've got two more questions left. >> the president's message to paul manafort, does he have one? >> not that i'm aware of. >> when is the president going to make this decision on the security clearances. >> when i have an update we'll let you know. >> last question, david. >> my question that was a follow-up on that. has the president since you didn't answer if he was briefed and they haven't briefed reporters -- >> the president has done a number of interviews and we've
put out a lot of information. >> has the president briefed his national security advisor, his secretary of state, the director of national intelligence and the defense secretary on what exactly was said between him and president putin? >> the president has met and spoken with all of those individuals since his meeting with president putin. >> is he relying solely on his own memory to tell them what happened during that two-hour meeting? >> the president has met and consulted with all of his national security team and we feel very confident in the process. i'm not going into the specific details on how the president interacts every single time with his national security team. >> this is a rarity to sit down with the russian president two hours one on one. >> it's a normal practice for two leaders to have a conversation with one another. david, go ahead. >> what about president obama and vice president biden and their security clearances, are they on the list as well? >> i'm not aware of any plans for that at this point. thanks so much, guys, we'll see you on the south lawn.
>> the white house breaking even more news. now saying that they're going to try to revoke the security clearances for a number of high-profile people in positions of intelligence, including former cia director john brennan, former fbi director james comey, former dni clapper, former nsa susan rice, former deputy director to the fbi, andrew mccabe. what are those names all have in common except for rice really because she's kind of the outlier on that, they have been critical of the president. well, not really mccabe either. brennan has been critical of the president, comey has been critical of the president, clapper has been critical of the president. let's bring in michael schmidt. also with us former u.s. attorney guy lewis. michael schmidt, have you ever seen an announcement like that? >> no, it's pretty extraordinary. obviously highly unusual. looks fairly political. i'm not sure what impact it would really have. the things that brennan and clapper are saying are mostly
things that are in the public record and are simply expressing their views. so i don't know how taking this away from them would have any impact. it would be an annoyance to them, but at the same time they're out of government. they're not dealing with classified information on a day-to-day basis. they're private citizens who go on television and speak their minding. >> if the white house were to do this, they said that these folks, michael, are using their security clearances for ill-gotten gains, essentially, by using them to promote themselves on television. hallie jackson followed up by saying aren't you doing exactly what you're accusing them of doing, using it for political purposes? it's kind of hard to refute that. it seems like the white house is using this for their political purposes. they don't like these voices so they're going to try to punish them. >> yeah, obviously those group of people as you pointed out have been some of the biggest
critics or the biggest problems that the president has. comey, for instance, is a witness against the president. he's someone that's been interviewed by mueller. he kept the memos about his interactions with the president. if there ever was anything related to the president criminally or otherwise, comey would be a central player in that. at the end of the day, i think this would play well with the president's base. it's a way of really sort of antagonizing these folks that the president struggles to silence, but i'm not sure it would have any impact. >> guy, what do you think? >> i agree with michael, katy. the other part of the equation, look, one of the reasons the president, his conduct and comey's firing was investigated was the argument that firing him was a retaliation, was an event to keep him silent because he was expressing doubt and frustration and, frankly, objection with some of the
president's policies and practices. in this case doesn't it look almost exactly the same by taking these series of -- and michael is right, it doesn't change anything. they can't talk about secret or classified information no matter what, whether they currently got a security clearance or he revokes it and they don't. to me it just sort of smacks of retaliation. >> brennan, clapper and comey have been pretty public. michael, susan rice hasn't been all that public. she's asked about trump's motivations and she said there are legitimate questions, but susan rice has not really been out there much. >> she's someone, though, that the right has targeted a lot and has criticized a lot. they tried to tie her in, if you remember, with the unmasking scandal and they had her go up to capitol hill to testify about that. so she's long been a person that the right has gone to and tried to criticize as they have
criticized obama and, you know, she was part of the iran deal. so in many ways, she's a face of that. >> boogie man of the right is the term that you were looking for. michael schmidt, thank you very much. guy lewis, thanks for sticking around. that will wrap things up for me this hour. ali velshi, remarkable day every day. but to have the white house say we're going to revoke security clearances about people not saying nice things about the president -- listen, donald trump was on the campaign trail talking about prosecuting hillary clinton. he was talking about doing his political dirty work if he got elected. >> so should any of this surprise us? >> this is not surprising. >> i'm sure you get the same thing, i get tweets from people saying what part of this surprises you? it's not about surprising us or not surprising us, it's the work that we do. you're right, donald trump said he'd do it, now he's doing it. >> ali velshi. >> good afternoon, everybody. i'm ali velshi. america is open for business, ending quote. that's the su
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