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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  May 11, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PDT

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those are two very different things. once you take over leading the department of justice, that's very different than being a candidate in a campaign. i think also having a letter like the one he received and having that conversation that outlined the basic atrocities in circumventing the chain of command in the department of justice. any person of legal mind and authority knows what a big deal that is. >> there are stunning new details this morning in the firing of james comey, from the timeline of events to the white house rationale of why it happened. we have it all for you. joe, i usually like to start with the news, but i think we want to hear from you first. go. >> mika, the lies of yesterday morning got burned off by noontime. by the late afternoon some great reporting from a lot of great newspapers, a lot of great journalists. what did we find out yesterday
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morning? all the trump apologists, all the people spinning, all the white house hacks came out and said he had to do this because the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein had a memo and the memo was so incredible, he had no choice. what if he had not followed that memo? imagine the scandal. that's all we heard. then we find out two things. first, that james comey, the fbi director, went to rosenstein, the sainted figure according to people in the trump administration whose wisdom and knowledge came down from mount sinai and could not be ignored. what did we find out? actually the president of the united states called him on monday into his office along with jeff sessions and said, i need a memo to justify my firing of comey. what makes this even worse, mika, is the fact that is the
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same man, rod rosenstein -- and this needs to be investigated on capitol hill, this is the same man, right there, the man you see leaving his house yesterday morning, had a meeting with the fbi director, with james comey -- james comey let that man in that car know that he needed more money, he needed more resources and he needed to expand the investigation of collusion between russia, vladimir putin and donald trump. so rod rosenstein, the sainted figure according to trump hacks, gets this information, passes it along to jeff sessions who passes it along to donald trump, we are almost certain. and then what happens? donald trump suddenly decides
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that comey might be fired at once. mika, you're going to be hearing a lot of stories saying this anger has been rising for mon s months. he wasn't even sure the day he was elected whether he should fire director comey or not. he only fired him in rapid succession with these letters, the request, the letter, the firing, because he knew comey was about to kick this investigation into overdrive f. the united states senate doesn't investigate this grilly, if they don't grill mccabe and make sure the fbi is given every penny that the former fbi director was asking for, this is a constitutional crisis. >> well, with us on senate to discuss the crisis of this presidency which is i think coming to a head at this point, veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnic, senior political analyst for nbc
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news and msnbc, mark halperin, former democratic congressman harold ford, junior, and new york time's matt ap pose sew. >> let's lay it out. sources now say comey had briefed congress on monday and requested more staff and money for the russia investigation from deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. a spokesman for the justice department says there was no discussion of funds or resources during the may 1st meeting. multiple fbi insiders tells nbc's pete williams they believe comey was fired because he would not end the russia investigation. the "wall street journal" reports comey had dug into the probe going from weekly briefings to daily ones, concerned over potential evidence of collusion. but the president dismissed such speculation during a white house
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photo op yesterday with henry kissinger. >> why did you fire director comey? >> because he wasn't doing a good job, very simply. he was not doing a good job. >> did it affect your meeting with the russians today? >> excuse me? >> did it affect your meeting with the russians today? >> will the new fbi director be in charge of the russia investigation? >> thank you. >> there's reporting from "the washington post" on the timing of comey's ouster. at work monday morning in washington trump told vice president pence and several senior aides, reince priebus, stephen k. bannon and donald mcgann among others he was ready to move on comey. first he wanted to talk with attorney general jeff sessions and deputy attorney general rod rosenstein to whom comey reported directly. trump summoned the two to the white house for a meeting according to a person close to the white house. the president had already decided at that point to fire comey according to this person. but in the meeting, several
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white house officials say trump gave sessions and rosenstein a director to explain in writing the case against comey. compare that to what press secretary sean spicer told reporters on tuesday, that rod rosenstein made the decision himself to review comey. and what sarah huckabee sanders told us and reporters yesterday. >> sarah, you've made reference repeatedly to the report by the deputy a.g., rod rosenstein. who asked him to make that review? he's just arrived at the justice department. who asked him to undertake that review? >> i'm not aware that it was requested. all i know is the director reports to him, and i would imagine that's part of the process of him coming on board and taking over that position. >> sarah, you've suggested in response to david's questions that the deputy attorney general wrote this report on his own without orders from the white house. that's correct, right? >> that's my understanding, yes. >> so once the report is written, when was it transmitted
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to the white house and why was there an urgency to act on it without an explanation directly from the president and without a replacement lined up. why, once the report was written, why was there an urgency to act on it from the president's point of view? >> i think when you receive a report that is so clear and a recommendation by someone like the deputy attorney general, you have no choice but to act. this is a person who has stellar credentials, and when they make such a compelling case, i don't think you can sit on that. you have to make a decision. the president did that. >> mike barnicle, more misinformation. i'm going to assume the best of sarah and that she was just lied to. just like mike pence was lied to by michael flynn. she came on our show yesterday and gave information. she was either lying or someone was lying to her. the fact is donald trump is the
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one that called the a.g. and the deputy attorney general in and said i need a memo, and this guy needs to be fired. i've got a very basic question, mike. jeff sessions, the attorney general of the united states of america lied, he lied about his meetings with russia. he said he was involved in the campaign as well, so he could not be involved in this investigation. why is it that donald trump is calling jeff sessions in to consult on the firing of the director of the fbi, a decision that all reporting shows was made because trump was getting sick and tired of comey doing his job and investigating russia? this man is supposed to be nowhere nerney decisions made on the russia investigation, and yet he was inside there cooking
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the beeks to get comey out. >> jeff sessions road in earlier as one of the maybe 200 unanswered questions that people are seeking answers to. yesterday i spoke to several fbi agents, current, active fbi agents, and they all indicated, and they indicated they had great respect for rosenstein, an ak come accomplished guy, a u.s. attorney for his entire adult life. they say he has now only one option to maintain his sterling credentials. that is to appoint a special prosecutor. we're going to see going forward exactly what happens here. but the logic of what the white house is trying to sell in terms of the chain of evidence concerning how and why jim comey was fired by the president does not stand up to common sense. >> it doesn't stand up to common sense. willie, rosenstein was being
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trotted out yesterday as this legal giant and the president had no choice but to follow him despite, his words, contradicted the president's own words. then we find out from "the washington post" that he became so agitated that people were blaming him for writing a memo that trump ordered him to write, that yesterday he even threatened to quit. >> you would wonder, wouldn't the time to quit be when you were initially asked to draft a memo to support an existing argument rather than waiting until after the fact. but that's another question. i want to go to matt ap pews sew, one of the by lines from "the new york times" this morning, you talk about what exactly director comey requested in terms of accelerating this investigation into russia. can you walk us through the timeline on that and when the president learned about it and what made him react? >> sure. what we know is earlier this week behind closed doors fbi director -- then fbi director jim comey briefed members of the senate including officials of
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the senate intelligence committee and said i just met with the new deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein and told him i wanted to expand the investigation, we need more money. we know now that means he wanted more prosecutors and we wanted to accelerate it and step it up. comey had been waiting for rod to come into office. comey had a great deal of respect for rod that is a career prosecutor. that is the groundwork and the baseline for what folks in the senate thought was happening. days later comey is fired, and the implication for members of congress -- we heard from dick durbin yesterday who said, boy, this looks like -- it's created the impression that donald trump fired him right as he was asking to increase the investigation into the whougs r white house.
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>> is this presidency in question? >> you can't fire an fbi director without a thorough and complete investigation. that's clear. the nature is such -- >> is this abuse of power? >> right now it is not just confliction explanationtion, it's absolutely inadequate. maybe the president will explain it with lester holt in a way that will start to -- >> mark halperin, it's worse than that. it's not just a complete explanation. their explanation on day one was a lie. they lied about why they fired the fbi director. they said that it was a deputy attorney general that came with a memo that left them with no choice but to fire him. so we know day one is a lie. it's not incomplete. it is false, and if you were
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wondering whether this white house is trying to subvert justice, trying to stop an investigati investigation, there's some pretty good evidence right there that their explanation for the firing, we already know 24 hours later, was a lie. >> the other thing is, if the president's goal was to stop this investigation if that was his goal, it's failed. from capitol hill to the fbi, people are all over the notion that this must go forward, whether a special counsel or not, this investigation, i think people understand now, it's going forward and it can't be squelched. >> willie -- happy birthday to harold. >> happy birthday to harold ford. i want to tick off a few things that are important. yesterday on our show we asked sarah huckabee sanders if this firing of james comey was related to russia. she said, quote, absolutely not. we already know that not to be true. one of the primary reasons they
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gave for firing james comey is he lost the confidence of his agency, the fbi. we know from our reporting that's not the case. there are some agents who didn't like the way he handled the july news conference. generally speaking had he lost the confidence of the fbi? not according to our reporting. one last thing, the "wall street journal" cites three associates of james comey -- he's now a free agent so we'll hear his point of view. trump's claim in the initial letter, that comey told trump three separate times under investigation is quote literally farce cal and he never told the president any such thing. >> you can start in so many places. i would add two things to the conversation. one, all of this happening, and the basis of all this, that there's some belief or collusion or some influence that russia played and some role the campaign played, we're finishing the french election. you don't allow the american
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press into the white house and oval office when you have the two leaders that the russian president wanted in the oval office to see the president. you allow them to be flippant and cavalier about the firing of an fbi chief. for him to mention in his statement, the president, that he was told three times by the fbi chief -- you put him at peril, the phish chief and yourself. it just only compounds the issue. the hawaii senator who looked like he might have jumped ahead of himself, who said we might be in some sort of constitutional crisis, we're closer to that today than we were yesterday at this time. >> there's one other interesting caveat i was told about yesterday with regard to that line in that letter that the president wrote to comey firing him, the three times -- thanks for telling me three times i'm not a subject of an investigation, i was told flat out by two agents that never happened. another person told me there's a possibility that you might be more qualified to answer than
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certainly i would be, there might be a possibility that the president inadvertently waived executive privilege going forward by mentioning that in the letter. >> that has been discussed. we will find out. one thing is for certain, james comey is going to have the opportunity to clear himself because he may find himself in legal peril if he doesn't answer that question. in effect, you may be right. >> we have a lot more to get through. there are many layers to this and more to share with our viewers. joe, i'm going to end on this nugget and let you sum it up here as we close out this block. james comey was supposed to testify before a senate hearing on worldwide terror threats today. we're told the acting director, andrew mccabe will take his place. mccabe who was named the acting director of the fbi was previously deputy director and before that associate deputy director and, himself, was at the center of a conversation with the white house back in february that raised ethics questions. we learned about it after
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reports sur fashioned that white house chief of staff reince priebus asked the fbi to push back at a "new york times" report that trump campaign associates had repeated contacts with russia intelligence. the fbi never gave that public defense, but the white house claims mccabe personally told priebus that there was nothing to "the new york times" story which the chief of staff used as a green light to issue this denial. >> i can tell you i've talked to the top levels of the intelligence community, and they've assured me that that "new york times" story was grossly overstated and inaccurate and totally wrong. i know what the intelligence committees in the house and the senate were told by the fbi, and i know what i was told and what i will tell you is that story was total bologna. >> matt apuzzo, you had that
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byline, what are your thoughts? >> too early in the morning for bologna for me. what this shows is the white house doesn't see the traditional semgs between the fbi and white house political operations, the fact that the white house would try to enlist andy mccabe and jim comey in some political pushback is something that hasn't historically been done. there's been a respect of the division between those two buildings. mccabe is going to testify on the hill today. andy is kind of a classic comey era fbi agent. he's a career fbi agent, rose quickly through the ranks, he's a lawyer, extremely smart. don't expect to have a lot of hand-wringing when he goes up to the hill. i don't expect him to dwell on the comey firing. he had conversations with his top agents in the past couple days and said we're mission
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focused, moving forward, we've got a job to do. as mark said, don't expect just because jim comey is gone, that somehow all these agents assigned to the russia case are going to sit on their hands. >> all right. as we wrap up this block, joe, what's your gut at this point? >> my gut is that donald trump has just made a lot more enemies inside the fbi. there were a lot of conservatives inside the fbi and the cia that supported donald trump for their own reasons. i talked to a good number of them. i talked to one yesterday who was absolutely stunned and said this is the sort of thing that happens in turkey. this is the sort of thing that happens in russia. it's absolutely frightening. as we have mccabe going to the hill, he needs to answer the question about why he's leaking to white house chiefs of staff about what he's testifying to in closed-door sessions in
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congress. we also need the congress -- i've been writing down the lies that everybody has been talking about. mccabe or somebody at the fbi has to be made aware again today that donald trump demanded an oath of loyalty from the fbi director. he didn't get it. so comey got fired. donald trump lied in his statement as to the firing of jim comey saying comey told him three times that donald trump was not under investigation. the fact is donald trump's collusion with russia, donald trump's team and their collusion with russia actually is part of an investigation that jim comey had told the deputy attorney general he was going to expand. after that we find that donald trump calls the deputy attorney general and the attorney general into his office and says draft
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me a memo, i want to fire him. yesterday donald trump and others said comey was not fired because of russia. we find out again today as we read the papers this morning, all lies. they were all lying. everybody in the white house lying through their teeth. the fact that the attorney general of the united states had to remove himself from the russia investigation because of his conflicts and yet he was the one that went in to make the final call with donald trump? donald trump had talked to all the sick ka fans around him and they saul said yeah, boss, yeah, boss, thank you sick ka fans, i knew you weren't going to cross me because you never do because you're sick ka fants. let me call in jeff sessions. he calls the deputy attorney general in and the attorney general and then makes the
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decision to fire to fbi director who has told them he's expanding the investigation. mika, this doesn't have to be a constitutional crisis. if the united states senate and the united states house of representatives does their job. let me say for republicans watching this morning, and i know a lot of you are watching this morning on the hill, you need to understand what you do over the next month is going to determine whether you're in charge of the house or whether nancy pelosi is the speaker. donald trump's approval rating ask 36%. minus 16 against republicans. that neens if the election were held today, nancy pelosi would be speaker of the house and it wouldn't even be close. you went over the clip for a health care bill you didn't believe in. you went over a cliff for a
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health care bill that only 18% of americans supported. you did it for a president who only wanted you as a backdrop in a ribbon cutting ceremony. that's one thing. bad bills come and go and it happens every year. what we're stalking about is a president who is supp verting the constitution of the united states of america. i promise you this. mark it down. if you go along with this man and allow this to go unchecked, you will be swept aside in 2018 and politically crushed. the republican party will not recover for a very long time. your call. it's all in your hands. >> that's the least of our problems, by the way. still ahead on "morning joe," we'll bring in "washington post's" robert costa to take us through the explosive reporting on the accurate timeline of comey's firing and speak with an
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independent voice on the intelligence committee, senator angus king, and from the house intel committee, congressman jim himes. the new polling joe mentioned, new problems for the president's approval ratings and republicans in congress, and that was before the firing of the fbi director. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back. my business was built with passion... but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on all of my purchasing. and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... which adds fuel to my bottom line. what's in your wallet?
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so it's awesomely fast. no. still nope. now we're talking. so it works here and here and here. and so you can even take the occasional time out. nooooooo! yes!!! yes, indeed. speed, coverage, control. introducing xfinity xfi. find your awesome and change the way you wifi. no doubt here calls for a new investigation which could only serve to impede the current work become done to not only discover what the russians may have done, also to let this body and the national security community develop countermeasures and war fighting doctrine to see that it doesn't occur again. >> i don't think that's a good idea. first of all, we have three investigations going on right now, a house investigation by
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our intelligence committee which is the appropriate committee to do that, i believe, and we have the senate intelligence committee. and you have the fbi investigating all things russia. so i don't think that that's a good idea. >> to suggest that would suggest i can't do my job. i think the committee can carry out its responsibility and come to a conclusion. the timing and the reasons for this decision made little sense to me, and i don't think i've heard anything since last night that would clarify that in any way. >> i think they have been investigating the trump campaign and its connections with russia for a long time. i just think that it obviously was not done in an efficient fashion. but when you fire arguably the most respected person in america, you better have a very good explanation. so far i haven't seen that.
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>> president trump's decision to fire james comey continues to divide the republican party with one top member now calling on the department of justice to investigate the move. house oversight committee chairman jason chaffetz has announced he has requested the d.o.j.'s inspector general to expand his review of russia, to look at the president's decision to get rid of comey. meanwhile, as you just saw, house speaker paul ryan has broken his silence after remaining quiet for 24 hours after comey's ousting. >> joe touched on these numbers. a new quinnipiac university poll taken from last thursday to tuesday, before the comey firing, shows troubling numbers for house republicans. 71% disapprove of the way republicans are handling their jobs in the house compared to 58% disapproving of democrats. 22% what the republicans are doing. 34% approve of the democrats job. 54% of voters say they want to see democrats in control of the
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house. 38% for the republican party. the 16-point gap is the widest margin ever measured for this question in a quinnipiac poll, exceeding a five-point margin for republicans in 2013. joe, what does that mean going forward and why is it happening so quickly? i would point out, as you said, in this same poll donald trump has a 36% approval rating, again, the poll taken before any of the comey business of the last couple days. >> so much of that obviously was shaebd again by what we said last block, that the republican party went over a cliff for a bill that only 18% of americans supported, many thought were too harsh, the republicans had not drafted, not messaged, had not gone through committee properly on. they rushed it through because donald trump was in a had you every. he wanted to have a bill-signing ceremony and wanted them as
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props. he got that and the republican house of representatives, the republican congress now has a fight on their hands, a fight for their lives. willie, it's only going to get worse as well because donald trump's numbers are dropping. usually the party's numbers drop with the president's. here is the greatest irony. the republican party's majority may be blown to pieces because they blindly follow a lifetime democrat from manhattan who staged a hostile takeover of their party last year. this is a guy, donald trump, the guy right there, republicans, he gave money to chuck schumer in 2010. that's how long he has been a democrat, and now they blindly follow him, and he's taking them into the political abyss. >> as you say, that quinnipiac university poll shows president trump's job approval sliding as
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well. 36% now approve of the president. 58% disapprove. that's a net negative rating of 22 points. among independents, only 29% approve. that's down nine points just from last month. 47% of whites without a college degree approve. that's a ten-point drop for the president. 48% of white men approve the job trump is doing, down five points. asked about president trump's first 100 days, 58% say it was mainly a failure, 38% called it a success. the president's honesty rating is at a near all-time low, only 33% say president trump is honest. 61% say he's not. that includes 21% of republicans. on the question of who voters trust more to tell the truth, 57% say the news media, 31% say president trump. mark, i'll say it one more time. that doesn't even include the comey firing. this has been -- we've seen in the first 100 days lots of low points. this is now the low point
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because of the implications for the president's credibility and for the fact that he now, as you said before, he's picked fights now with the phish, now picked a fight with capitol hill and picked a fight on an issue that has nothing to do with his core agenda. >> so there are again i'll mention "the washington post" survey, harold, of how many untruths, lies the president has told on an average of five a day. these lies end up on his desk ultimately. do you feel this story at this point and these questions that are just gushing out at this point all land on the president's desk and could put this presidency in question? >> they start and stop with him. he's going to have to answer the questions that have been raised this morning to date before the press cycle ends. he's bringing journalism back. people think we're more credibility based on this. i don't think he thought he would do that.
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he said rosenstein was the one that wrote this memo and he acted on that. it appears there's huge holes in that piece. the three occasions. i think that may be the most important one for the reasons mike raised about privilege and the kinds of things that would happen in a hearing in a court of law. did comey actually give him three passes saying you are clear of any investigation. if he did, both of them will have to answer for that. finally, it strikes me as a weird thing, to hear richard burr say what he said in the calm way he said it, i think burr is setting himself up to be the howard baker of this moment, the first republican to come forward and say, either we can't do this on our own or, mr., you have a serious problem that super seeds anything that happened before. to watch burr and warner over the next 24 to 36 hours will give us a greatest sense of the direction of this investigation. >> if he quits, this escalates
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dramatically. >> that's an understatement. >> i don't know -- if rod rosenstein wants to have a future where he is a respected voice in washington, d.c. as we heard he was yesterday before the truth came out about this, i don't know how he stays on his job. this is a thing that again i've been telling younger people, and i'm not saying rosen stein is younger. but i've been telling younger people that have worked in white houses for 20 years now. you think the president you're working for will be there forever. he's not. it's up to you to protect your reputation. it's up to rod rosenstein to protect his reputation because that guy has been set up. right now he looks dirtier than anybody there. he looks more unethical than anybody in there along with jeff
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sessions and donald trump. i just want to say really quickly, mika, on burr and warner, i support an eindependet prosecutor. right now maybe they deserve the benefit of the doubt as long as they keep pushing this thing forward the way they are. if they continue to do it, we'll see how it goes. >> look, at this point we've got the chaos presidency that is at a fever pitch. we're supposed to be talking about income inequality, health care, infrastructure, how can any of that happen? this presidency is crashing down. question after question after question after question and lie after lie after lie. it doesn't end well. coming up, vladimir putin, yes, vladimir putin, reacts to the firing of james comey. "morning joe" is coming right back. how if guests book direct ater, choicehotels.com and stay twice they'll get a $50 gift card? summertime. badda book. badda boom. got you a shirt!
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coverup. wow, all gone. when you need your problems to disappear, try trump coverup. no one has to know. >> oh, my god -- i can't laugh. can you all laugh? >> not right now. >> i've been up all night. it can't laugh. >> mika -- >> it's not funny. don't make a joke. >> i'm not. "the new york times" -- i'm going to be boring here, as usual. "the new york times" has an open letter right now to the deputy attorney general, and what they say is deadly accurate. the deputy attorney general has had a stellar career in washington, d.c. in the legal profession. he is now deeply implicated in this constitutional crisis. he wrote the letter, donald trump decided to exploit his 27
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years of service to this country and throw it away. another day trader. donald trump's day trading took down the house of representatives last week. an all-time low for republicans. >> ruins his career on a daily basis. >> he ruins careers. now he has deeply implicated this man in a white house lie to bring to an end an investigation into russian interference that could lead directly into the oval office, and he was the tool that donald trump used to get it done. the lies of yesterday morning, the hacks that supported donald trump. they all hid behind his 27-year career and his reputation. it's a lie. his reputation is solely -- he
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can fix it. but for him to fix it, he's going to have to aggressively clean this thing up quickly and he's going to have to tell jeff sessions the next time the topic of russia comes out, get the hell out of my room, you are recused, get away from me. he needs to say the same thing to the president of the united states and he needs to appoint an independent counsel. "washington post" robert costa, "new york times" glenn thrush both join us ahead, each with front page pieces in their respective papers. political analyst elise jordan, yahoo's bean nah golodryga and walter isaacson joins the conversation. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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and ceo of the aspen institute,
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walter isaacson, author of "einstein" now turned into a series on national geographic entitled "genius." first we want to get your take, walter on the comey firing. it's stunning. >> totally uncharted territory. it does seem to me that there's one clear solution which is you have to have some form of independent counsel investigation. everybody has been tainted. you want to see what connections were there to russia, how did this start, and then i think people would calm down about it. clearly you can't fire comey and say we're not going to have somebody investigate this. i respect senator burr and warner. i think it's time we get a special counsel. >> joe. >> walter, what are you most disturbed about? you have a lot to choose from. what is the most disturbing, that donald trump demanded the
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loyalty of the director of the fbi and when he didn't get it, he fired him. maybe he lied, that jim comey cleared him three times of any suspicions in the russia investigation when comey's people say
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with yesterday work but we don't do it the way russia does. >> i'll throw this to you and everybody else around an investigation against him and his office? >> that's the problem. that's why you need some independent authority here to look at our special counsel. the law is messed up on independent counsel these days. they could have somebody
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independent investigating this and we'll get to the end of it. but if he didn't, he would be good to get that out of the way. >> as you said, no longer independent statute. it was expired. the attorney general, who is recused, deputy attorney general now in a ridiculous position? there's no -- i don't see how someone could be appointed to have credibility at this point. that's part of the crisis. >> i'm asking you this question, mark. the senate committee could create a select committee, right, and they could hire somebody of great integrity to be the lead investigator. >> that would benot be a crimin investigation. >> right. but to help bring in someone for a senate select committee. >> i think people are worried about the criminal investigation's integrity at
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this point. certainly the senate committee. >> right. so -- >> the information, that would be as critical -- because then it could be turned over -- i hear you. but if we got the information out, that would be more important. >> we are trying to figure out how this can be fairly looked into and how these questions can be fairly addressed during this crisis. how does this presidency function, this entire administration, at least the domestic side and definitely on the communications side, has lost all credibility. >> well, they're incapable of functioning effectively. i mean, for a white house to be run by as many sycop mchhants he innorthe ignorant -- for them to be caught off guard, allegedly, that the firing of jim comey would cause people talking about
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a possible constitutional crisis shows an incompetency that is only matched by the pathetic nature of those around him, who would agree that he needed to be fired. and i hate to say this, mike barnicle, but you've got to expand the sycophancy to the republican leadership on the hill. >> yeah. >> who have -- who has come out and supported donald trump, firing an fbi director after the fbi director went to the hill and said, i'm going to need more resources to investigate russia's collusion with donald trump and donald trump's campaign. >> there's so much going on here in this story that began monday that it's almost starting to think this is only day 113 of the trump presidency. and what you have had happen
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this week is just one more indication that donald trump and clearly the people around him do not understand the presidency itself and the value of the presidency to this country. this morning -- >> well, mike, and beyond that, mike, let me ask you then -- go to the front page if you want. the constitutional question right now is if donald trump commits a crime, if the firing of an fbi director to kill an investigation could, in fact, be made a crime, if the evidence supported the bringing of criminal charges, i ask you the walter isaacson question. who brings those charges? it's not the attorney general or the deputy attorney general. they are both so compromised, nobody would trust that. >> rod rosenstein is in play here f you read his memo, as i know you have, as well as many
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other people have read it, he does not call for the president to fire the fbi director. that was jeff sessions. on the front page of "the new york times" and every other paper in this country is this disgraceful picture. >> one of the worst ever. >> yeah. >> you can't get worse than that one. >> and the president is on an overseas trip. >> on that note, walter, we'll be watching for the series genius based on your best-selling book. you have a way to tie this all together. >> yeah. this has happened before. and i think something comparable to this was the mccarthy era when there were just lies all over the place. and einstein, a lot smarter than some of the people we have now running the government today, was actually very worried. he had seen the way that j. edgar hoover, the fbi, all these things were playing out.
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and he said i've seen this before t happened in russia. it happened in germany. this is why i came to america, to escape it. three or four years later, the press, in the form of edward r.morrow, righteous people in the republican party in the form of dwight eisenhower and all, had finally cleaned up the mess and got rid of mccarthy and einstein said it's amazing about america. it's like a gyroscope. it's democracy. when you think it's going to tip over, suddenly rights itself. that's the magic of this country. i think that magic is still there. i think this is going to right itself. >> walter, thank you. we'll be right back with much more "morning joe." ...it starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time and automatically deploying countermeasures. keeping the world of business connected and protected.
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[team member] yes...i know the feeling. [customer] that's how i feel right now about all the financing options for this project i'm doing. i feel like i should know more than i know. [team member] don't sweat it. we have this new tool--my credit options guide-- that gives you a customized comparison like this, which helps you discover which credit options might be right for you. [customer] oh, this is better. they should make one for paint. [team member] want to get started? [customer] sure. he did have a conversation with the deputy attorney general on monday where they had come to him to express their concerns. the president asked that they put those concerns and their recommendation in writing, which
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is the letter that you guys have received. >> so is the white house's assertion that rob rosenstein zied decided, on his own, after being confirmed, to review comey's performance? >> absolutely sbl that's not what the latest reporting is this morning. welcome back to "morning joe." it is thursday, may 11th. with us, msnbc contributor mike barnicle, senior political analyst, mark halperin and harold ford and from "the circus" on showtime, john heilman and glenn thrush. this morning, the fallout continues after the firing of fbi director james comey. they briefed the congress and requested more staff and money for the russia investigation from deputy attorney general rob rosenstein. the spokesman for the justice
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department says there was no discussion of funds or resources during the may 1st meeting. multiple fbi insiders tell pete williams they believe comey was fired because he would not end the russia investigation. "the wall street journal" reports comey had dug into the probe, going from weekly briefings to daily ones, concerned over potential evidence of collusion. joe, where do you begin? >> you begin with the timeline. think about this. on monday, james comey goes to capitol hill. and he lets everybody on capitol hill know, including the deputy attorney general, that he's going to need more resources. he's going to need more agents. he's going to need more money. he's going to have to expand the russian investigation and the ties to donald trump's business
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associates, political associates and white house associates. on that same day, donald trump calls over the deputy attorney general after the request for more resources comes in. and donald trump orders that deputy attorney general to fire james comey after james comey h has, that very today on capitol hill, say i'm going to expand this investigation. i've been getting briefings every day. i'm getting more and more concerned about collusion between russia, vladimir putin, donald trump, the white house, trump's business empire, all the associates directly or indirectly. it happen ed on the same day, mika. and yesterday morning, we saw the white house caught in a lie. as i said earlier. their lies of the early morning had burned off by noon, saying that this was the deputy attorney general.
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he is a good and honorable man. why, we must listen to the deputy attorney general, because he was a stellar reputation and forget what donald trump, the president of the united states, said. rob rosenstein has said he must be fired. and so they fired him. yet, mika, what do we find out? we find out a few hours later, because of great reporting, that it was, in fact, donald trump who ordered a recused, a recused attorney general to come to his office to talk about firing the director of the fbi because he was enraged that the russia investigation would not stop and that the director of the fbi would not give him an oath of loyalty. the kind of oath of loyalty that you might expect from autocrats in turkey or dictators in
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russia. this is a frightening, frightening day. >> and here is reporting from robert costa in "the washington post" about that timeline you spoke about. at work monday morning in washington, trump told vice president pence and several senior aides, reince priebus, stephen k. bannon, donald mcgahn, among others, that he was ready to move on comey. first, though, he wanted to talk about attorney general jeff sessions, his trusted confidant and attorney deputy general. trump summoned the two of them to the white house for a meeting. according to a person close to the white hout house. the president already decided to fire comey. but trump gave sessions and rosenstein a directive, to explain in writing the case against comey. compare that to what press secretary sean spicer told
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reporters tuesday, that rob rosenstein made the decision himself to review comey and what sarah huckabee sanders told us yesterday. >> sarah, you made reference repeatedly to the report by the deputy ag rob rosenstein. who asked him to make that review? he has just arrived at the justice department. who asked him to undertake that review? >> i'm not aware that it was requested. all i know is that the director reports to him and i would imagine that that's part of the process of him coming on board, and taking over that position. >> sarah, you've suggested in response to david's questions that the deputy attorney general wrote this report on his own without orders from the white house. that's correct, right? >> that's my understanding, yes. >> so, once the report is written, when was it transmitted to the white house and why was there an urgency to act on it without an explanation directly from the president and without a replacement lined up? why, once the report is written,
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why was there an urgency to act on it from the president's point of view? >> look, i think when you receive a report that is so clear, and a recommendation by someone like the deputy attorney general, you have no choice but to act. this is a person who has stellar credentials and when they make such a compelling case, i don't think that you can sit on that. you have to make a decision. the president did that. >> well, i think we need to say past tense, he had a stellar reputation. now he's deeply implicated. >> flawed. >> in what may end up being one of the gravest threats to our constitution since watergate. less go to glenn thrush. glenn, another lie told was that this memo came about. donald trump had no reason to do anything but follow the memo and that, actually, it had to do
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with hillary clinton and the campaign. what did she say? the atrocities. >> he has really gone out of his way to help her. >> yeah, he really has. but your story, how festering anger at comey ended in firing. and you tell so many pathetic, sad stories about donald trump watching tv and fuming and becoming enraged, that he just couldn't get this russian scandal behind him. >> well, let me just backtrack for a second. you showed sarah huckabee sanders. we now forget, almost like a side show, mike pence went up on capitol hill yesterday and told reporters that the president, precisely the same thing that sarah huckabee sanders said. the vice president of the united states, joe, said the very exact same thing, that the deputy
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attorney general did this and trump was following his recommendation. >> we don't know whether sarah huckabee sanders was set up to go lie for the white house. we do know from your reporting that mike pence was in the room when donald trum decided that he wanted to fire j comey. >> not only that -- >> and it's much harder for mike pence to say i was given bad information. it appears he was not lied to. it appears that he lied. >> joe, it's one -- i can't speak to motive on that. what we know is what he said in front of the cameras is untrue and what our reporting also bore out -- we got this from half a dozen people who were around at the time. pence was one of the most forceful proponents for removing james comey. here is another thing people forget about mike pence. after chris christie was sacked on the transition, pence took
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over. and pence, despite the fact that he claimed a former national security adviser flynn lied to him, pence was read in on these early interactions that flynn had. pence has been in the room, joe, as you know, from the very beginning. >> so, bob costa, let me bring you in here. mike pence was also -- pence, going on the hill yesterday and telling an untruth. we don't know whether it was deliberate or not, that donald trump made this decision because the deputy attorney general wrote this report. wasn't it true that donald trump said i need to fire him but i need to call the deputy attorney general and jeff sessions over. >> he was informed monday as well as reince priebus, chief strategist steve bannon. fras framed to me that don mcgahn, counsel, attorney jeff
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sessions, was working on this for weeks. when rosenstein became deputy ag, he starts to review the fbi. they had this meeting on monday. the president has this idea. pence is looped in and so is everybody else. >> did anybody stand up to the president of the united states, in his inner circle, and tell him what a bad idea this was? >> this is something we keep pressing, joe. i keep being told that priebus, bannon, jared kushner, many others, did not push back against the idea of getting rid of comey. they knew that the president was consumed by this over the weekend, that a culmination of all of his grievances against comey had finally come to a head. and though some of them didn't like the way this was rolled out in terms of a media strategy, surrogates not ready to go to
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defend the decision, they say privately, white house officials, they were with the president on getting rid of comey. >> so, mika, nobody had the guts to tell donald trump what a horrific idea this was because they knew it was, as bob said, an animating idea in his head. he had to get rid of comey because comey would not give him a loyalty oath and he would not drop the russia investigation. >> and these obsessions are what's going to bring him down. because these obsessions can't be stopped. there are no measuring forces in the white house. not one. and, john heilman, can you name one, if there were to be one? i think it might be on the foreign policy team, but i don't think they have that direct d - day-to-day access. it's not jared. it's not ivanka. it's not reince. it's certainly not sean spicer. we all agree steve bannon might
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even add more casualties to this situation. who is the person who is going to help this president get this ship back on track? i personally think it's over. i don't think there's anything that can be done to stop this at this point. this cacophony, this gushing of lies, chaos that will stop its presidency in its tracks because they won't be able to get anything else done. tomorrow there will be something new. and tomorrow will thereby something new. there was always more chaos on the horizon. >> over the course of the campaign that he ran and the presidency now, there have been moments when this person or that person has been able to restrain the president, to pull him back from the edge. but never for very long, never in a durable way. when you ask that question at this moment, i can't name a person -- >> you can't name one. >> that has been in any consistent way effective at restraining his impulses.
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if you look at the totality of what the reporting -- exceptional reporting by basically -- we've been on an incredible tear with ""the wall street journal," "the washington post" and when you look at what they've brought up the last 36 hours, with nbc news and others, there's a picture that's very clear. there is a cover-up going on. >> there is a cover-up going on. say it again. >> that has to be the premise of all our reporting going forward. >> yes. >> at this moment we don't know what is being covered up. that is still a huge question. how big it is. who it goes to. is it financial, personal, does it involve the president himself or just his associates? we don't know. this administration and this campaign in russia, everything that they are doing gives the clear appearance of people who are trying to cover stuff up, lie about things and they are doing it with extraordinary neptitude. the point that you raise, mika, whatever their objectives have been about trying to end this, i
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think mark made this point early this morning, they've only exacerbated their problems. this is now -- they have made the situation infiniteely worse, in terms of the level of tension on this, level of scrutiny. number of people whose reputations are at stake, number of republicans who eventually will feel that they can't go on with this anymore purely out of tribal loyalty. this is a precipitating moment. i don't know if you're right, that this will bring the whole thing crashing down. if it does, if we end up there, this will be the moment that caused the entire thing in the end, to fall apart. >> joe? >> i agree with john that there is a cover up in the white house right now. i know mika agrees there is a cover up going on in the white house right now. i don't know what else you call it when you fire the fbi director on the same morning he is trying to expand the investigation into russian/trump ties. mark halperin, do you believe that there is what can be
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described as a cover-up going on in the west wing? >> i don't think it requires speculation. they are clearly trying to keep people from understanding what happened. they're not being forthcoming. it could be even broad er than that. i think mika asked the question, can this be fixed in any way? there needs to be someone new at the justice department in charge of the investigation. i don't think it can be the deputy attorney general anymore. i think someone else there who is fiercely spent and with no taint whatsoever has to be in charge and it has to be someone who publicly pledges fierce determination to get to the bottom of what happened. >> mike barnicle, is there a cover-up going on in the west wing, trying to cover up the investigation into trump russia ties? >> absolutely there is, joe. absolutely there is. they're caught in one of the age-old elements that beleague all cover-ups. in that a lie is the hardest
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thing to remember. they can't figure out which story to tell from hour to hour about what occurred over the last five to six days. i would like to ask both glenn and robert the component parts of this. do we have, in terms of the color flushing out this story, do we have in our hands a president who is isolated in the white house. he's without a family. is he walking around the white house in the early evening hours and late at night, perhaps with keith schiller, screaming at tv sets, and this is fueling many of the decisions that he makes? >> well, one of the things that our reporting showed is that we thought he was going away to bedminster, new jersey, over the weekend to play golf. of course, he said he was having meetings. in fact, what he was doing was watching the testimony over and over again that comey gave. the thing that he really hated was when comey said it made hiss him slightly nauseous to think
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he helped elect donald trump. apparently that really got under his skin. back to an earlier point, people who raised a slight red flag, more like a matador, was bannon, who questioned the timing, said the optics would be terrible. priebus, apparently that portrait showed that priebus was not willing to stand up to trump and probably never will. he raised those issues and backed off. trump has made it so that both bannon and priebus are fundamentally marginalized. and one of the surprising things was jared kushner, his son-in-law, who is supposed to be a moderating influence. >> is not. >> was completely on board with this. it doesn't seem there's anybody willing to stand up with this guy and has filled the entire place with people who are more likely to say yes than no. >> joe?
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>> bob costa, you reported that you spoke to a republican source who told you that donald trump is more isolated inside the white house these days than ever before? >> there's a feeling among some republicans inside the white house and within the president's circle that he has seized on this idea in recent weeks that comey had to go. and he fulminates day after day about it. he is playing golf at bedminster. he is doing events at the white house, as people close to trump has told me. he is not doing these huge, sprawling, public events in the way he has done in the past. part of the reason, i've been told, for why the president went to bedminster, why he's somewhat working out of the white house, he's trying to recalibrate and is frustrated with the way things have gone in the first 100 days with the way his party has treated him, with the constant media scrutiny and the investigations and this has led to him isolated was the word, as
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one person inside the white house put it to me. others contested that characterization. one person did say he seems to be isolated because he misses new york. he misses his friends. he misses the celebrity and the business life and governing right now in this environment has been very difficult for him. he is trying to make it through but it's been a very difficult moment for him personally and politically. >> so, harold, at this point moving forward, do you see a functioning presidency or just constant questions that chip away at -- >> questions will continue to come. qu the question around the table last segment and now is the framework to go after this. there have to be two sessions right away because someone is lying. first session ought to include mr. rosenstein and mr. sessions and they have to answer the question, did you initiate this memo, mr. rosenstein, to the president and he acted on it? if not tell us what happened.
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mr. sessions what are the terms of your recusal. explain what you're allowed to participate in and what you're not allowed to participate in. indeed, was the purpose of the memo because the president was so upset at how comey testified about secretary clinton and how he handled that? comey, yates, flynn. the only one to be defended by the president after he was let go was flynn, and he said he serve this had country honorably. >> thank you. >> mcgahn learned flynn was not telling the truth. didn't mcgahn tell the president after he met with yates the first time perhaps something is not right here and the president said go back to her and ask her if lying between 22 staff members is problematic. the president has created a second problem for himself that may not be impeachable. he won't have to answer about lying, trust, honesty about what they talked about in the white
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house, whether or not this memo was based on russia or clinton. and then you get to the legal issues here, which have him impeached. to answer your question, there are real problems here. >> big time. >> and you have to wonder if there will be -- >> how to set up a framework that can address every single lie and every single cover up here. and, remember, flynn was asking for immunity. wonder what would happen if -- >> still is. >> the offer is still out. >> right. the offer is still out. and we don't know whether the fbi was starting to move on that offer when comey got fired. there's one other question that both sessions and the deputy ag need to answer on capitol hill. and they need to put the right hands up and swear under oath. >> exactly. >> when did james comey go and
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ask rod rosenstein to expand the investigation of collusion between donald trump and russia? what did he ask for? what he did he ask for it? because the justice department now is having a spokesperson lie and say that comey never asked for that and all the sourcing suggests otherwise, that that's a bold-face ed lie. will jeff sessions raise his hand and lie again under oath as he did before when he was asked if he had any contacts with russian officials? will the deputy attorney general trash his 27-year reputation, lie under oath and both possibly face criminal charges when asked what did james comey ask for in the expansion of the investigation and when did he ask you to expand the investigation? and then, how far apart was that
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request and the request on capitol hill from your order from donald trump, the president of the united states, to fire the fbi director, who had asked you that very day to expand the probe into him. >> incredible. robert costa, glenn thrush, thank you both for your reporting on the front pages of the washington post and "the new york times." >> amazing work, guys. and i just want to echo that "the new york times," "the washington post," "the wall street journal" -- i know they haven't done this, but i swear to god the pulitzer committee needs to give an award to all three of these newspapers and something bigger. the united states of america, those of us who are republicans, who believe in the rule of law, who believe in the truth. >> freedom of the press. >> who believe in holding our officials accountable owe so much to these newspapers and to these reporters right now, as my
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party collapses and caves and won't stand up -- their leaders won't stand up and do what's right. show these reporters again. they come to news organizations -- not these two. >> glory days. >> well -- >> glory days. but these men are part of a journalistic army that is speaking truth to power and getting us the truth when, unfortunately, everybody in the white house is lying to us, mika. >> and so are you, joe. and still ahead on "morning joe." >> i'm not lying. >> did anyone at the white house order the review into director comey? >> no. the president was presented with the recommendations of the attorney general, who forwarded it to the president today. the president concurred. >> i felt like joking, that was spanky from the "little rascals" but i don't. >> speaking of lies, mika, again, he lies again.
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sarah huckabee lied yesterday. the vice president lied yesterday. they are all lying to us. >> lying. >> and it's obvious. they need to apologize. >> yes. >> mike pence needs to apologize to america. he lied yesterday on capitol hill. he needs to lie to members of congress -- or apologize. they need to apologize. they've been caught in a lie in what may be, as john heilman said a growing cover-up. >> not trying to be funny, but is the reporting -- i want to make sure i wasn't reading like the onion or something. did sean spicer hide in the bushes from reporters yesterday? >> between the bushes. >> why? >> huh? >> why? >> he didn't want to be on camera. >> so he hid in the bushes? >> between the wush bush. >> he was in the bushes and said that he would talk to reporters but did not want to have
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lights on him. >> so he hid in the bushes? >> so, mika, there's actually -- no, no, no. let's get the language right, mika. it was not in the bushes. he called very upset. they said he was hiding in the bushes. "the washington post" was -- had to change. he was, quote, among the bushes. among the bushes. not in the bushes. among the bushes. >> john meachum spent a lot of time among the bush. >> melissa mccarthy is the host of "saturday night live." >> i know. >> she's going to walk out like holding -- >> we're laughing a lot, mika. >> not funny. it's not funny. >> but let's do the headline of that last clip. sean spicer lied. >> he did. >> he was in the white house and he lied. >> yep. >> yep. >> about the deputy attorney general. that's the headline here.
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we'll be right back. who are we going to be talking to, alex? >> peter alexander joins us next. >> he lied. we'll be right back. >> he didn't lie. >> yesterday when the comey firing happened he was about to leave for his reserve duty and didn't want to answer questions so he hid in the bushes outside the white house. for real. sometimes you've got to stop and smell the rose garden, you know. unfortunately for him, a group of reporters spotted him. i guess they heard crying in the bushes and spicer finally agreed to come out if the reporters turned their camera lights off and their cameras. i guess for some reason he felt like the white house press secretary crawling out of his hiding place might be a bad visual. sean spicer is about two weeks away from throwing down a smoke bomb and disappearing like batman. ♪ ♪ ♪
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request for documents about president trump and the top aides in the investigation. the committee has asked for relevant investigation into money laundering. according to a committee aide speaking on the condition of an anon anonymity. the financial crimes enforcement network, which has been assisting in the russia investigation brought the fine after finding that trump taj mahal had made willful and repeated violations of the bank secrecy act. president trump's ownership of the taj mahal was reduced in 2009 and his stake was wiped in and out 2014 when it was purchased by carl ichan. white house spokesman says the president is confident that the russian investigation will
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exonerate his campaign. member of the house intelligence committee, congressman jim himes. joe? >> congressman, obviously -- >> good morning. >> -- a lot of people will be looking for connections with russia and donald trump's business empire, both of his sons have been quoted as saying that donald trump's organization get ace lot of their money from russia. but how complex is it, the following if that is, in fact, what they're going to find and can the house, the senate, are they capable of doing something that complex? >> yeah. and i'm not sure it's that complex, joe, compared to trying to understand what might have been said in a closed room between two people that may plead the fifth, actually getting financial records,
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records of loans, bank transfers. if you're going to be president of the united states, the public does need to know how you're exposed, who you owe what to. so they can evaluate your ability to make an impartial decision. but this is stuff that's not going to be too hard to come by.
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there's all kinds of alerts, as you said, in the system. a bank takes notice and file ace report. big or unusual movements of cash around the globe. here are ways we can track things like drug dealers, terrorist financing and, of course, it's one of the tools that the treasury has and law enforcement has to try to identify money laundering and other financial crimes.
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what would it take to get jim comey in open session before your committee? >> what you've been talking about all morning, exactly what happened in the firing of the fbi director, an unprecedented historical thing here. in front of the american people. i have to tell you, as one of the investigators on the house side, one thing that trouble mees here is, yes, we're back on track. subpoenas and all of us in congress were really relying on the fbi investigation to get into the details around whether crimes were committed in a way that we can't. of course, the fbi has dozens and dozens of investigators who are professionals at this and who really understand the law and prosecution. congress is not quite that.
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does he appoint a special counsel and basically isolate the fbi's investigation from his line of command? of course from the attorney general, who, in getting involved in this firing, to my mind, stepped pretty close or over the line of his recusal. if the deputy attorney general sets up a completely independent special counsel to run this investigation, he take ace step in that direction.
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by the way, he has to answer some questions. his credibility, his honor was very much put on the line by some of the statements out of the white house. >> congressman jim himes. >> certainly was. >> thank you. >> greatly appreciate it korngsman. mika, as i'm looking at the front pages of the newspapers here. >> that picture. >> and "the wall street journal" also. you look at the pictures. >> can't stand it. >> the shameful picture where the united states press corps was kept out but the russians were allowed in. look at the headlines. trump sinks to [ muted ] comey. outcry. investigators step up russian probe. how fbi firing royals capitol as trump calls out critics. mika, this happened after the latest poll showing donald trump at 36%.
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democrats will be swept into power in 2018. of course, as you said before, that is not the most important issue at hand this morning. i am only hoping if they are incapable of being shamed, to stand up in defense of the constitution of the united states, then perhaps they will step up to defend their own political careers. because they're going down. >> joe? >> yeah? >> vladimir putin scored six
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goals playing hockey. he actually scored seventh, that picture you held up. that's the seventh goal. >> we haven't even said it. do you know why this happened, america? because vladimir putin asked donald trump if he would do it. so donald trump barred american reporters, but let russian reporters go in there with camera equipment that some people in the intel agencies tell me actually was dangerous to let russian reporters go in with equipment of that kind into the white house. >> these are legitimate questions that should be asked now. >> peter alexander joins us from the white house as the president considers visiting the fbi tomorrow. and nbc's lester holt sits down for an exclusive one on one with president trump today. the president's first interview
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since firing comey. it airs tonight on "nbc nightly news." you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. dear predictable, there's no other way to say this. it's over. i've found a permanent escape from monotony. together, we are perfectly balanced, our senses awake, our hearts racing as one. i know this is sudden, but they say: if you love something... set it free. see you around, giulia ♪ brtry new flonase sensimists. allergy relief instead of allergy pills. it delivers a gentle mist experience to help block six key inflammatory substances. most allergy pills only block one.
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♪ up next, "time" magazine takes us after hours with the white house in their new interview, say with the president saying running the white house is a job that's very natural to me.
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hasn't been seen in weeks. no one knows where she is or what she's up to. gum shoes, your mission today is to answer this question.questio. ♪ where in the world is carkel conway ♪ >> action capability at the fbi. they feel the current director was unable to perform his duties. you mention the democrats. that's rich because these oar. >> i didn't mention the democrats. >> no, you did. ♪ >> thanks for the trip down memory lane. i was on your show often last year when you were saying we were going to win michigan and how we were going to do it. ♪ where in the world is kellyanne conway ♪ >> there is a point, though, where networks in general have
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to stop putting people on tv who have no credibility. at some point it's not worth it. it's a circular conversation that goes nowhere. joining us now, editor of "time" magazine nancy gibbs. this week's cover story is from a nearly 100-minute interview during dinner at the white house earlier this week. how did that go? >> it was fascinating. inevitably this would be not only because time we spent with him in the oval office, in the private office in which he literally had tivo'd the hearings that day with henry yates and clapper and wanting to show us the highlight reel but taking us through the lincoln bedroom and talking about lincoln and then quite a long time over dinner of him really wanting to provide the alternate narrative of this presidency which he is absolutely convinced is not being told and he's getting a bum deal from the
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press. and it's extraordinary when you think of the events of this week, what happened less than 24 hours later to be exposed to what feels very much like a royal court. who is saying no? every president i've ever talked to talks about the effect of the office and even the oval office. you walk in and people come in intending to tell the president you're full of it and you're doing this wrong end up saying, nice tie, mr. president. with this president, is anyone able to say this. if no one else, it's the first lady. the first lady isn't even in the white house. who is left to say this is a bad move, this is a bad job. >> i can't think of one person. >> so your reporters got to spend a bunch of time with him and see what his life is like inside the white house? we have this picture presented in a lot of the other reporting from the last 24 hours of an almost captain queeg-like trump.
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this state of pitched emotional. is this a totally alternative, happy as a clam donald trump. >> some of both thp the sense of grievance is there start to finish. it's grievance at the press, certainly, at all of us. he's as critical of our coverage as he is of yours and "the new york times" and "the post." that's very much there but there's almost this bemusement of, i don't understand why there's so much hatred. all i'm trying to do is make america great again and give people great health care. >> did you go in the west wing? did he show you pictures? >> pictures? >> pictures on the wall. >> what were all the pictures. >> former presidents. washington and jefferson and in the private office where he spends his real working time and tables spread with newspapers and spreadsheets is lincoln's
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famous "the peacemakers" oil painting. you can feel him internalizing this idea that i'm now part of this club. >> exactly. >> nancy, you've been around. were you surprised at his openness, the graciousness that appears in this piece? >> i was completely surprised by the atmosphere in the oval office. the single most valuable asset is the president's time. and any president, that time is managed down to the half minute. if you are shooting a portrait of the president, and they say you have two minutes, they mean two minutes. and in this case, the completely free form improvisational open-ended nature of it. you walk into the oval office -- >> lots of people there. >> moving in and out. you know -- >> affirmation for him. >> unlike any west wing operation that i've ever seen. >> i remember, he kept asking me, you ever been in the oval office? you ever been in the portico or
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the blue room? repeatedly asking the question as if he was in awe with himself. >> he's asking everyone that because when the business leaders are there, he asked mary barra, have you ever been here? no, sir. they've come in. they've never seen it. some of them cry. he's very conscious of the power of the office literally of that space. >> he's in awe of himself. >> what was the highlight of your meal? >> highlight of the meal? >> a lot of reporting. >> chocolate cream pie where everyone gets a scoop of vanilla ice cream but he has two. >> special sauces. >> something different. different salad dressing. >> two scoops? >> two scoops of vanilla ice cream. >> you also were able to fold into the issue of -- i don't know how you do it, nancy -- but the comey firing, which is just stunning. >> it is stunning. i think the road forward and i wrote aboutis in in my editor's
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letter. we're testing the resilience of crucial institutions in realtime now. and -- >> this is it. >> this is it. the founding fathers had strong ideas about checks and balances, particularly around the chief executive. and when you see a chief executive behaving in this way, we are in territory we have not been before. for all of the analogies to nixon. this is -- this is still fundamentally different and the challenge it puts to the senators, to the professionals in the justice department and in law enforcement i think are really quite -- >> nancy gibbs, thank you. when we return, the sequence of the firing of james comey. plus senator angus king of the intelligence committee joins us for his calls for an independent investigation into the presidential election. "morning joe" is back in a moment.
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any person of legal mind and authority knows what a big deal that is. >> there are stunning new details this morning in the firing of james comey from the timeline of events to the white house rationale of why it happened. we have it all for you this morning. joe, i usually like to start with the news, but i think we want to hear from you first. go. >> mika, the lies of yesterday morning got burned off by noontime. by late afternoon, some great reporting from a lot of great newspapers, a lot of great journalists. what do we find out yesterday morning? all the trump apologists. all came out and said he had to do this because the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein had a memo. and the memo was so incredible. you had no choice. what if he had not followed that memo? imagine the scandal? that's all we heard.
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and then we find out two things. first, that james comey, the fbi director, went to rod rosenstein. the sainted figure, according to people in the trump administration whose wisdom and knowledge came down from mt. sinai and could not be ignored. what do we find out? that actually the president of the united states called him on monday into his office along with jeff sessions and said i need a memo to justify my firing of comey. that is the same man, rod rosenstein, and this needs to be investigated on capitol hill. this is the same man, right there, the man you see leaving his house yesterday morning had a meet with the fbi director, with james comey. james comey let that man in that
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car know that he needed more money. he needed more resources, and he needed to expand the investigation of collusion between russia, vladimir putin and donald trump. so rod rosenstein, the sainted figure, according to trump hacks, gets this information, passes it along to jeff sessions who passes it along to donald trump, we are almost certain. and then what happens? donald trump suddenly decides that comey must be fired at once. you're going to be hearing a lot of stories saying this anger has been rising for months. this is -- he wasn't even sure the day he was elected whether he should fire director comey or not. he only fired him in rapid succession with these letters.
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the request of the letter, the firing, because he knew that comey was about to kick this investigation into overdrive. if the united states senate does not investigate this deeply, if they don't grill mccabe and make sure the fbi is given every penny that the former fbi director was asking for that this is a constitutional crisis. >> well, with us on set to discuss the crisis of this presidency, which is, i think, coming to a head at this point, veteran. >> caller: columnist mark halperin, harold ford jr. and adam. want to get straight to the firing of fbi director james comey. let's lay it out for you. sources now say comey had briefed congress on monday and requested more staff and money for the russia investigation
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from deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. but a spokeswoman for the justice department says there was no discussion of funds or resources during their may 1st meeting. multiple fbi insiders tell nbc's pete williams they believe comey was fired because he would not end the russia investigation. "the wall street journal" reports comey had dug into the probe going from weekly briefings to daily ones, concerned over potential evidence of collusion. but the president dismissed such speculation during a white house photo op yesterday with henry kissinger. >> why did you fire director comey? >> because he wasn't doing a good job. he was not doing a good job. >> did it affect your meet with the russians today? >> excuse me? >> did it affect your meeting with the russians today? >> no. >> thank you. >> thank you. thank you. >> and then there's reporting from "the washington post" on
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the timing of comey's ouster. philip rutger and robert costa write at work monday morning in washington, trump told vice president pence and several senior aides -- priebus, stephen bannon and donald mcgahn that he was ready to move on comey. first, though, he wanted to talk with attorney general jeff sessions and rod j. rosenstein to whom comey reported directly. trump summoned the two of them to the white house for a meeting according to a person close to the white house. the president already had decided to fire comey, according to this person. but in the meeting, several white house officials said trump gave sessions and rosenstein a directive to explain in writing the case against comey. compare that to what sean spicer told reporters on tuesday that roseinstein made the decision himself to review comey and what sarah huckabee sanders told us and reporters yesterday. >> sarah, you made reference repeatedly to the report by the
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deputy ag rod rosenstein. who asked him to make that review? he's just arrived at the justice department. who asked him to undertake that review? >> i'm not aware it was requested. all i know is that the director reports to him, and i would imagine that's part of the process of him coming on board and taking over that position. >> sarah, you've suggested that the deputy attorney general wrote this report on his own without orders from the white house. that's direct, right? >> that's my understanding, yes. >> okay. so once the report is written, when was it transmitted to the white house and why was there an urgency to act on it without an explanation directly from the president and without a replacement lined up. why, once the report is written, why was there an urgency to act on it from the president's point of view? >> when you receive a report that's so clear and a recommendation by someone like the deputy attorney general, you have no choice but to act.
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this is a person who has stellar credentials and when they make such a compelling case, i don't think you can sit on that. you have to make a decision. the president did that. >> mike barnicle, more misinformation. i'm going to assume the best of sarah and that she was just lied to just like mike pence was lied to by michael flynn. she came on our show yesterday and gave information. somebody was lying. she was either lying or somebody was lying to her. the fact is donald trump is the one that called the ag and the deputy attorney general in and said, i need a memo, and this guy needs to be fired. i've got a very basic question, mike. jeff sessions, the attorney general of the united states of america lied. he lied about his meetings with russia. he said he was involved in the campaign as well so he could not
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be involved in this investigation. why is it that donald trump is calling jeff sessions in to consult on the firing of the director of the fbi? a decision that all reporting shows was made because donald trump was getting sick and tired of comey doing his job and investigating russia? this man is supposed to be nowhere near any decisions made on the russia investigation and yet he was inside there cooking the books, so to speak, to get comey out. >> well, jeff sessions' role in this over the weekend, and earlier this week, is one of the maybe 200 unanswered questions that people are seeking answers to. yesterday i spoke to several fbi agents, current, active fbi agents, and they all indicated they had great respect for rosenstein. they felt he was an accomplished guy. has been a u.s. attorney for practically his entire adult
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life. but they say now that he has only one option to maintain his sterling credentials. and that is to appoint a special prosecutor. so we're going to see going forward exactly what happens here. but the logic of what the white house is trying to sell in terms of the chain of evidence concerning how and why jim comey was fired by the president does not sand up to common sense. >> no, it doesn't stand up to common sense and rosenstein was being trotted out yesterday as this legal giant and the president had no choice to follow him despite the fact, his words contradicted the president's own words. and then we find out from "the washington post" that he became so agitated that people were blaming him for simply writing a memo that trump ordered him to write that yesterday he even threatened to quit. >> yeah, you would wonder, wouldn't the time to quit be when you were initially asked to
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draft a memo to support an existing memo rather than waiting until after the fact. i want to go to matt apuzo. one of the bylines on the front page of the "new york times" this morning. you talk about what exactly director comey requested in terms of accelerating this investigation into russia. can you walk us through the timeline on that and when the president learned about it and what made him react? >> what we know is earlier this week, behind closed doors, fbi director -- then-fbi director james comey briefed members of the senate, including top officials of the senate intelligence committee and said, i just met with the new deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, and i told him i wanted to expand the investigation. i was going to need more resources. we wanted more prosecutors. and we wanted to kind of accelerate it and step it up. comey had been waiting for rod to come into office. comey had great deal of respect for rod as you said as a career
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prosecutor. that was the groundwork and that was the baseline for what folks in the senate thought was happening. and just days later, comey is fired and the implication for members of congress, we heard from dick durbin yesterday who said, boy, this looks like it has created the impression that donald trump fired the fbi director right as he was asking to expand the investigation into russian meddling and collusion with the white house. >> mark halperin, how would you characterize this criseis? what are the biggest questions and is the presidency in question? >> you can't fire an fbi director without a thorough public explanation that's clear and simple and honest. it's too grave a thing. the nature of the fbi director is such, the ten-year appointment. >> is this abuse of power? >> right now, it is not just conflicting explanations. it's absolutely inadequate. they've not explained it. maybe the president will explain
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it with lester holt in a way that will start to ratchet down the crisis. >> mark halperin, it's worse than that. it's not just an incomplete explanation. their explanation on day one was a lie. >> yeah. >> they trotted everybody out. they lied about why they fired the fbi director. they said that it was a deputy attorney general that came with a memo that left them with no choice but to fire him. so we know day one is a lie. it's not incomplete. it is false. and if you were wondering whether this white house is trying to subvert justice, trying to stop an investigation, well, there's some pretty good evidence right there that their explanation for the firing, we already know 24 hours later, was a lie. >> and the other thing is, if the president's goal was to stop this investigation if that was his goal, it's failed because from capitol hill to the fbi, people are now all over the
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notion that this must go forward. whether there's special counsel or not, this investigation, people understand now, it's gone forward and it can't be sk squelched. coming up next -- the independent member of that committee explains his idea straight ahead on "morning joe." hey, honey. dad, where's the car? thought we'd walk. he's counting steps. walk, move and earn money... goal! dad... hey, we wanna welcome everyone to the father daughter dance. look at this dad, he's got some moves! money you can use on out-of-pocket medical expenses. he's ok, yeah! unitedhealthcare thereit comes to technology, about my small business so when i need someone that understands my unique needs. my dell small business advisor has gotten to know our business
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james comey was supposed to testify before a senate hearing on worldwide terror threats today. the acting director andrew mccabe will take his place. mccabe who was named the acting director of the fbi was previously deputy director and before that associate deputy director. and himself is at the center of a conversation with the white house back in february that raised ethics questions. we learned about it after reporting surfaced that white house chief of staff reince priebus asked the fbi to push back at a "new york times" report that trump campaign
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associates had repeated contacts with russia intelligence. the fbi never gave that public defense, but the white house claims mccabe personally told priebus that there was nothing to "the new york times" story which the chief of staff used as a green light to issue this denial. >> i can tell you, i've talked to the top levels of the intelligence community and they've assured me that that "new york times" story was grossly overstated and inaccurate and totally wrong. i know what the intelligence committees in the house and the senate were told by the fbi and i know what i was told. and what i will tell you is that story was total baloney. >> matt, you had that byline. what are your thoughts? >> too early in the morning for baloney for me. what this shows is that the white house doesn't see the
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traditional separation between the fbi and white house political operations. you know, the fact the white house would try to enlist andy mccabe or jim comey in some sort of political pushback is just something that hasn't historically been done. there's been a respect of the division between those two buildings. mccabe is going to testify on the hill today. andy is kind of a classic comey-era fbi agent. he's career fbi agent. moves very quickly through the ranks. he's a lawyer. extremely smart. don't expect to have a lot of hand wringing when he goes up to the hill. i don't expect him to dwell on the comey firing. conversations with his top agents in the past couple of days who said we're moving forward. we have a job to do. and as mark said, don't expect just because jim comey is gone that somehow all these agents assigned to the russia case are
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just going to sit on their hands. >> matt, thank you. coming up, a member of the senate intelligence committee, senator angus king will be our guest. plus, new reaction to president trump's meet with a russian diplomat seen only by our media because russian cameras took pictures. bianna joins us next. ♪ ♪ ♪
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idea. i think, first of all, we have three investigations going on right now. a house investigation by our intelligence committee which is the appropriate committee to do that, i believe, and the senate intelligence committee. you just played richard burr. and the fbi investigating all things russia. so i don't think that that's a good idea. >> the suggestion by people for a special prosecutor would -- i would like to do my job which is to lead an investigation. i'm not in favor of a special prosecutor. i think the committee can carry out its responsibility. can come to a conclusion. if the timing and the reasons for this decision did -- made little sense to me. and i don't think i've heard anything since last night that would clarify that in any way.
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>> president trump's decision to fire james comey continues to divide the republican party with one top member calling on the department of justice to investigate the move. house oversight committee chairman jason chaffetz announced he's rekwefquested th doj's inspector general to expand his view of russia, to look at the president's decision to get rid of comey. as we just saw, house speaker paul ryan has broken his silence after remaining quiet for 24 hours after comey's ousting. willie? >> the new quinnipiac poll taken from last thursday through tuesday, before the comey firing, shows some troubling numbers for house republicans. 71% disapprove of the way republicans are handling their jobs in the house. compared to 58% disapproving of democrats. 22% approve what the republicans are doing. 34% approve of the democrats' job. in the generic congressional ballot, 54% want to see democrats in control of the house.
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38% for the republican party. the 16-point gap is the widest margin ever measured for this question in a quinnipiac poll exceeding a five-point margin for republicans in 2013. >> the republican party in the house of representatives went over the cliff for a bill that only 18% of americans supported. many thought were too harsh. that the republicans have not messaged -- that the republicans have not drafted or gone through committee on properly. that they've not worked it out. they rushed it through because donald trump was in a hurry. he wanted to have the bill signing ceremony and wanted them as props. he got that. and the republican house of representatives, the republican congress, now has a fight on their hands. a fight for their lives. willie, it's only going to get worse as well because donald trump's numbers are dropping. and usually the party's numbers drop with the president's. and here's the greatest irony. the republican party's majority
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may be blown to pieces because they blindly follow a lifetime democrat from manhattan who staged a hostile takeover of their party last year. i mean, this is a guy, donald trump, the guy right there, republicans, he gave money to chuck schumer in 2010. that's how long he has been a democrat. and now they blindly follow him and he's taking them into the political abyss. >> and as you say, that quinnipiac university poll shows president trump's job approval sliding as well. 36% now approved of the president. 58% disapprove. that's a net negative rating of 22 points. among independences, only 29% approve. that's down nine points from last month. 47% of whites without college degree approve. that's a ten-point drop for the president and 48% of white men approve the job trump is doing, down five points.
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asked about trump's first 100 days, 58% say it was mainly a failure. 38% called it a success. the honesty rating as an all-time low. only 33% say president trump is honest. 61% say he's not. that includes 21% of republicans. on the question of who voters trust more to tell the truth, 57% say the news media. 31% say president trump. mark, i'll just say it one more time. that doesn't even include the comey firing. >> this has been, we've seen in the first 100 days plus, lots of low points in this administration. this is now the low point because of the implications for the president's credibility. and for the fact that he now, as we said before, he's picked fights with the fbi, now with capitol hill. and he's picked a fight on an issue that has nothing to do with his core agenda. >> steve kornacki joins us with much more on the latest polling coming up on "morning joe." tonight on "nightly news,"
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lester holt's interview with president trump. we're back after this. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college.
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after a thorough review by the attorney general of mr. sessions' leadership of the fbi, she has reported to me in no uncertain terms that he could no longer effect iively lead the e bureau. >> why did you fire comey? >> because he was not doing a good job. he was not doing a good job. >> so the only other time an fbi director was fired was in 1993, and we just want to point out the differences in optics. the president, bill clinton, in 1993, held a news conference with attorney general janet reno announcing the firing of william sessions. compare that to president trump firing james comey. comey reportedly initially found out from cable news reports while he was speaking to members of the fbi.
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in the president's only public remarks came from a photo op with a russian foreign minister a day after the firing. but it goes a lot deeper than that. there actually was a long investigation, a scathing 150, 160-page report that detailed extensively the ethical problems that the then fbi director had ensnarled himself in. now all we have is the president of the united states -- >> joining us from the white house, nbc news national correspondent peter alexander. peters, we just saw a clip of bill clinton firing jeff sessions all those years ago. there's a straight line of communication there that hasn't been really with this dismissal of jim comey. what's the latest? >> at one time it was a surprise to you that senior white house
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officials tell us there was no internal meeting. no strategy session. after the gathering of the senior staff with the president the following day, this is something the chief of staff reince priebus believes they glanced over this whole topic and moved on to other issues even as they try to get back in front of this in terms of messaging as the story has changed so many times. let's talk about some of the new information. james comey is reacting to this bombshell firing. he wrote to his colleagues, former staff and friends, to all i have long believed the president can fire an fbi director for any reason or for no reason at all, i'm not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. i hope you won't either. it is done and i'll be fine, although i will miss you and the mission deeply. within the last hour, a white house official tells me that they are weighing right now whether the president will make a trip to the fbi headquarters to show his commit in effect to the agency.
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no decision has been made but it's unlikely to happen this week. fbi insiders, it's notable, tell nbc news that many at fbi headquarters believe that comey was fired because he wouldn't end the russia investigation. sarah huckabee sanders saying the president had been thinking since he took office that comey should go, insisting the rank and file had lost their confidence in director comey. the current and former agents we spoke to tell us that's not the case. some admittedly thought he mishandled the clinton e-mail investigation. but hadn't lost confidence in him. comey was well thought of saying his firing was a, quote, terrible thing and many of the agents found out about his firing the same way that comey did as news reports flashed on their tvs or phones. they described him as being a strong and supportive leader who they didn't want to see go. i just want to tell you very quickly, i just heard from a white house official, the
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president is going to sign a new executive order this morning establishing a review of alleged voter fraud in this country, something he promised back to the beginning of the administration when he claimed more than 3 million voted illegally in this year's election. >> we'll keep track of the numbers. 3 million. we'll find out. peter alexander, thank you. that's a pretty classy letter james comey just sent. joining us, elise jordan, steve kornacki, and the news and fiance anchor bianna golodryga. and joe is still here, too. >> yeah, i'm still here. bianna, let's begin with you. what were your thoughts yesterday when the united states press corps was shut out of the oval office and yet donald trump allowed russian press to go in and take pictures and report on the meeting between the president and the russian officials? >> well, president trump single-handedly helped vladimir
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putin's re-election campaign in ways that vladimir putin couldn't even do for himself through propaganda back at home. there was a reason he was playing ice hockey yesterday in russia. these are photo ops you can't make up to have russians front and center in the white house. sergei kislyak, sergey lavrov, and rex tillerson's back yard to make fun of the firing of the fbi director. it's offensive. and then to be rewarded by a meet with the president of the united states. that meeting didn't have to take place. and politico is reporting that during their phone call, vladimir putin had asked president trump to meet with sergey lavrov. you know what you do in that situation? you bring him in and you start talking about the things you're upset about. russian interference in the u.s. election. you talk about ukraine and sanctions but they talk about how they can work and cooperate together through syria. it's an insult to the american public. it's an insult to the thousands
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of dissidents in russia protesting for democracy every single weekend and risking their lives. >> and to the families of journalists and political dissidents who have been assassinated by vladimir putin and his henchmen. elise jordan, the optics could not look worse and apparently donald trump just doesn't care. >> well, he clearly just doesn't care about public opinion at this point. if he's operating so recklessly. and i think that's what makes it so hard for republicans to still stick behind him and back him unquestioningly because this -- he showed no thought whatsoever into the aftermath of this firing and what it was going to bring. and then immediately bringing the russians into the oval office. this is not a planner. this is not someone that i would, you know, invest my political capital in right now just because he is acting so, you know, without any disregard for the after effects of his actions. >> he's asking so much of
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republicans to follow him blindly on the hill. steve kornacki, they appear to be paying a terrible price politically right now. the new quinnipiac poll out yesterday shows historic divide on the ballot test question between republicans and democrats. democrats ahead by double digits. 16 points and donald trump's poll ratings collapsing to 36%. this again before the debacle of yesterday and all the lies that have been spewing out of the white house n the west wing over the past 24 hours. >> if you just want to look at the politics of this. there's two things that have to concern republicans here. one is baked in whenever your party gets control of the whourks the house, the senate, the midterm is going to be rough for you. there's two particular things here that are unique to this presidency, i think. number one is just the activism you're seeing on the democratic side. the activation of the democratic base. this certainly this news about comey, this is going to heighten
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it. we saw it with health care and with about 20 or 30 different things since president trump became president. just the fact of donald trump's present ha pushed democrats to get really, really involved, really, really sort of eited about politics but the second thing is the nature of a midterm election, generally is sort of a buyer's remorse election. the swing voters who went for obama or trump, those sort of voters tend to air on imposing a check on the white house, a check on the presidency. when you have stories like this about an unprecedented firing of an fbi director, that really ratchets up any instinct out there on the part of swing voters to have a check on donald trump. joining us from capitol hill, a member of the senate intelligence committee, independent senator angus king from the great state of maine. senator king, what were you thinking when you saw that picture on the front of "the washington post" this morning, probably on the "portland press herald" front page, too, of the russians in the oval office with
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the president of the united states? >> and i think what made it harder to take was our press was kept out of that room. and it just -- in the aftermath of the firing of james comey to have that on top of it is -- it really doesn't make a lot of sense. i think that this is, you know, sort of spiraling out of control. i'm trying to keep my head down and work on our investigation in the senate intelligence committee and not be distracted by the polls and all of the atmospherics that are going on because we're making some progress and we're going to keep at it. >> senator mark halperin here. in the aftermath of the still murky role the deputy attorney general rosenstein played in the firing of james comey. make the case that he's still the right person to oversee the investigation into russia and ties -- alleged ties to the trump organization. >> i don't think he is. there's a statute still in place
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where he has the power to appoint a -- what's called an independent counsel or special counsel. and i think that's absolutely necessary. i mean, the problem is, jnumber one, i don't understand jeff sessions being involved in the decision to fire james comey. he recused himself from anything to do with russia and said directly or indirectly and then signs the letter to the president saying you have to fire this guy. that's a recusal. that's like a blintd trust with 20/20 vision. he shouldn't have been involved in that decision. and rosenstein submitted this memo the day of the firing. it looks awfully much like -- i think it's call reverse engineering. the decision was made and they said give us a justification. this is all about public confidence. i don't see how there could be public confidence in the continuation of the fbi investigation without leadership that's absolutely impeccable and it's got to be independent and it has to be perceived as independent. by the way, the people of the
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fbi are terrific, and they are principled and patriotic and they're going to do the right thing. but the question is, a, they have to have the strong leadership and, b, it's got to be absolutely clearly independent and rod rosenstein has the power to do that and ought to do it tomorrow. >> senator, what was your reaction. what went through your mind when you read the president's letter when he let james comey go, that very short letter but happened to include within their conversations, three conversations the president said that james comey assured him he was not under investigation regarding russia. can you tell me what you thought and what questions do you have now for both the president and jim comey? >> the first thing that went through my mind was ronald reagan's line, there he goes again. it's very hard to believe that james comey would have met with the president and given him those assurances in the middle of this ongoing investigation. i don't know what he said. we've all been in conversations where we hear what we want to
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hear. i'm skeptical. the last line was sort of weird, too. good luck in your future endeavors. i have a hard time believing that director comey would have made a statement like that to the president under these circumstances. >> yeah, as senator -- joe scarborough here, one last question. could james comey have a role in the senate investigation? >> you know, i made that suggestion yesterday morning sort of half jokingly, but the more i thought about it and talked to some of my colleagues, i think it makes sense. he needs a job. number two, he's ever impeccable integrity. he knows this issue. he knows investigating and i'm going to urge my colleagues that we consider having him as at least a consultant to the committee. my original suggestion was we put him in charge of the staff to lead the investigation. i'm not sure that's going to happen, but, clearly, i think he has a contribution to make, and we shouldn't let his knowledge
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and experience just sit on the side of the road. >> all right. senator angus king, thank you for being with us. we greatly appreciate it. steve kornacki, things get more complicated now as we move forward for the republicans in the house and in the senate. but right now you can tell it's the republican senators that don't have to face an electorate that's been carved up by gerrymandered districts. you have a bit more independence from the upper chamber on this issue, don't you? >> it's interesting, too. you think on the house side, where have you heard calls for a special prosecutor on this? the name that sticks out is darrell issa on the republican side. he's in one of those districts hillary clinton won. one of the districts where he's in already potentially grave danger in 2018. he's being responsive to the politics of being in a competitive district. what i'm looking for here is, are things going to change and
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evolve in a way that make some of these republicans budge? you heard mitch mcconnell. you heard this reflexible reaction from a lot of republicans yesterday. it was -- in a lot of cases to go with a line that, hey, comey had issues. comey probably had to go. maybe this wasn't the best way but let's just move forward. there's been so much reporting that's come out in the 24 hours since that has really made a lot more connections, drawn a lot more lines between the russia investigation, donald trump's reaction to it and the decision to get rid of james comey. i wonder if that's going to create momentum that makes some of those republicans budge. >> and that momentum is flying forward extraordinarily fast. this story continues to move rapidly. it will be interesting if the senate republicans' attitude changes as well. let's go right now to biz before the bell. sarah eisen. snapchat had about as rocky a day financially as the white house had politically. tell us about it. >> oh, yes, and it is set to lose about a quarter of its value in the market today.
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snap, the parent of snapchat, joe, reported its first earnings as a public company. one of the hottest ipos of the year and the results were not pretty. lower sales, bigger losses. less growth. and fewer users than wall street was expecting. users only grew daily active users, 8 million from the previous quarter. 44 million from the year before. that was the slowest growth rate in years for snap. one of the big problems here for snapchat is that instagram stories is basically mimicking the snap capabilities. while snap would not admit that's a competitive threat, instagram stories has 200 million daily active users. snapchat has 166 million. so it is winning that war. the overall market, though, snap aside, guys, has been pretty calm and steady. the s&p 500, the broader market and the nasdaq, the tech-heavy index closing at record highs yesterday despite the fallout from the firing of comey, the
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questions about what that's going to do to the pro-growth policies, the agenda of tax reform. this market continues to hit record high after record high. part of that is strong earnings from apple and like apple, goog and facebook, but clearly this market is not nervous or not pricing in the prospects of tax reform. back to you. >> all right. thanks so much, sarah. greatly appreciate it. cnbc's sarah eisen. coming up on "morning joe," a republican congressman didn't hold a town hall meeting in his home district so a neighboring democrat held one for him. sean patrick maloney who crossed lines to dial up the pressure on his colleague. we'll be right back. i mean wish i had time to take care of my portfolio, but.. well, what are you doing tomorrow -10am? staff meeting. noon? eating. 3:45? uh, compliance training. 6:30? sam's baseball practice. 8:30? tai chi. yeah, so sounds relaxing. alright, 9:53? i usually make their lunches then, and i have a little vegan so
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they told me all of these places in west africa. i feel really proud of my lineage, and i feel really proud of my ancestry. ancestry has many paths to discovering your story, get started for free at ancestry.com i'm representative sean patrick maloney. where the heck is your congressman? when i heard about these guys not doing town hall meetings it didn't sit well with me. it became a thing when i watched them pass this health care bill. 17 of them voted -- 217 of them voted for this thing including your congressman. and 14 of them are doing town hall meetings. if you're going to change people's health care and proud of it, stand up and explain it, answer basic questions. >> that was democratic congressman sean patrick maloney of new york. we will be getting to him in a second. just real quick summary for
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everybody, axios has a great summary that goes against everything the white house has been telling you for the past 24 hours. the summary of the news, a "washington post" summary, trump was increasingly agitated by comey's statements drawing attention to the russian probe. eventually coming up with a plan while watching the sunday shows. cnn, comey's refusal to provide the president with assurance of personal loyalty and ac acceleration of the russian probe was the reason he got fired and "the wall street journal" gypping three weeks ago comey started receiving daily instead of weekly updates on russia and became increasingly concerned by information showing possible evidence of collusion. so the white house lied all day yesterday saying that it was the depu deputy attorney general who came up with this memo that the president just couldn't ignore. so let's go ahead and bring in
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congressman sean patrick maloney of new york. bianna, take the first question. >> you had this town hall. your republican colleague was not there. you decided to step in. talk about what the constituents carried most about. do they talk about the russian investigation, this was monday before the news of the firing of jim comey, but it has to be on their minds as well given this is in the papers on a daily basis. >> i wouldn't assume people care as much about this as on cable news. they care about their health care. before we leave that subject and to joe's point i was in the white house when louie free sent over fbi agents to take blood out of bill clinton's arm to prove a sexual affair and nobody got fired. and janet reno appointed nine, count them, independent counsels and nobody thought about firing her. this is unprecedented and people are going to start caring about and i'll tell you what, these republicans, like john faso who voted for that health care bill, i think they're starting to wonder why they're walking the plank for a guy at 36% who's in
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so many ways out of control. >> john faso, that's the republican congressman from new york whose district you went into, district you had a town hall in. have you talked to him? >> i called him ahead of time and said i'm going to light you up. i want to be fair. i want to work with you on lime disease and on veterans issues and helping our farmers. i did that for years with his predecessor chris gibson and it's important we do that. i cannot sit by and watch you vote for this terrible bill which by the way is terrible for his district and terrible for new york, a rural district, lot of rural hospitals going to get hurt, medicaid expansion has been really important in our part of the world, opioid epidemic, on and on. i'm going to try to keep it on the merits but if you won't tell your own voters why you did it i'm going to do it. if at any time you want to show up and answer questions i'll go home. >> what did he say to you? >> he wasn't happy about it. i don't want to relay a private conversation, except to say, that i think these guys have to
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stand up and justify this vote. and if they can't something is pretty wrong. >> congressman, back to the fbi and the comey firing. have you spoken to any of your republican colleagues about how they feel about the comey firing and what they are going to do if anything, or are they going to stick with the in the. >> boy, that's the $64 question, isn't it? is who is going to start saying this is wrong? it's pretty simple, right. it's wrong. it's unprecedented in american history. you don't have to make it more complicated than that. the guy is investigating the president. the president fired him. just stop. it's not right. and people of conscience in the other party need to say that. it's okay. the world is not going to stop if you disagree with your own political party. i think americans are so hungry for people who just say stuff that's true, whether or not it helps the red team or blue team, and my god, when the guy is on the scent and you fire him abruptly, bizarrely,
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disrespectfully to the fbi and excuse me in the same news cycle you're palling around in the oval office with the russians tell you what, my dad served in the navy, he was a conservative rirn he would have been disgusted by those images of an american president laughing it up with the russians in the oval office at the same time as he's firing the fbi director. and i think -- i think you're going to see republicans start saying that soon. >> joe? >> well, congressman, you would certainly hope so. you know, there was a time when republicans were actually concerned about russians having an impact on american politics, about russia's impact across the globe, but apparently, they're not as concerned these days. congressman, thank you so much for being with us. and appreciate your good work. let's -- let's move on. there's, obviously, going to be coverage throughout the day of
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what's unfolding at the white house and unfolding quickly. chris jansing picks up our coverage right now. >> mr. scarborough, thank you. i am chris jansing in for stephanie ruhle. breaking overnight brand new reporting on why president trump fired james comey, anger over his pursuit of the russian investigation and dismissal of the obama wire tapping claims. >> very simply he was not doing a good job. >> breaking his silence, comey writes a letter to colleagues as details emerge. sources say the director had requested more resources for the russia investigation, just a week before he was fired. and did he tell colleagues the president was, quote, crazy? >> it may well produce impeachment proceedings. >> plus, subpoenaed, the senate intelligence committee issues its first subpoena to michael flynn after he refuses to cooperate. we want to begin with the new insights to the president's decision to fire

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