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tv   AM Joy  MSNBC  January 12, 2019 7:00am-9:00am PST

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how xfinity makes tv... simple. easy. awesome. that does it for me today. i'll be back at 8:00 a.m. eastern time. joy starts right now. >> i was going to fire regardless of recommendation. >> he made a recommendation. he's highly respected. democrats like him, republicans like him. he made a recommendation. regardless of recommendation i was going to fire comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. in fact, when i decided to do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a maid-up story. >> good morning and welcome to "am joy." let's go back, shall we, to may
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2017. donald trump had only been in office five months and just fired fbi director, james comey. the official reason for the firing was comey's handling of the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. trump couldn't manage to stick to the official line, as you just heard. he told nbc's lester holt the firing was about the russia thing. now, almost two years later, we know that interview caught the attention of the fbi, according to a bombshell report in the "new york times" opened a counter-intelligence investigation prompting this sentence in the "new york times" report, which i am quite confident has never been uttered about an american president, quote in the days after president trump fired james comey as the fbi director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior that they began
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investigating whether he had been working on behalf of russia, against american interests. just let that sink in for a minute. the "times" cites two instances that led them to open this investigation, the aforementioned interview with lester holt and unsent draft of a letter trump wanted to send to comey about his firing in which he again mentioned the russian investigation, a draft special counsel mueller has, according to a 2017 report in the "new york times." now, mueller took over the counter-intelligence investigation into trump. he has it. it's unclear whether it's still ongoing. regardless, let's be clear, this is completely separate from the russian investigation opened in 2016, which was about russia's interference in our election to help elect trump.
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this counter-intelligence and criminal investigation were opened to scrutinize the conduct of the sitting president of the united states while he's in office. let's bring in our mega panel to break this down. a former state department advisor, rick wilson, former strategist, author of "everything trump touches dies." >> and author of "it's even worse than you think." former assistant general and malcolm williams, author. and benjamin, joining by phone former assistant to counter intelligence at the fbi, frank. thank you for calling in to talk to us this morning. so many things about this are extraordinary. to me, the most extraordinary, we had come to think, over lo these 2 1/2 years, that there
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were two investigations going on. one of them into what we broadly call russia-gate, russia's interference in our election. another obstruction of justice, thought to be firing of comey and the probe. what's going on, that the two might be the same thing, you have the fbi, reluctant to get involved during the election, now investigating whether a sitting president of the united states was an ongoing russian asset. just give us your broad thoughts on this new reporting. >> sure, joy. thanks for having me. i think this is particularly sobering even for career counter-intelligence professionals who always in the back of their minds think there is an outside possibility someone could rise to high office who might be playing for another team. to see this in writing to hear this report, it's accurate to
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say the bureau actually opened a case on donald j. trump is really hitting the american people in the gut. it means likely, joy, even though the article is citing the public behavior of the president, as you just noted, in order to get this to pass muster to fbi headquarters across the department of justice to be the title name of an investigation, i am virtually certain that more evidence than just the public behavior of the president is involved in this, and i think that evidence is likely classified evidence. >> on that point, frank, because of the job you did, you are the former assistant for counter intelligence, the type of jobs
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you've done, although i'm sure you've never done them to the president of the united states. that is still mind-blowing for me. there is another piece of information. i won't take credit for this. i saw somebody else talking about it online that pointed me back to a january 12th, 2017 article, also in the "new york times" that talked about the national security, nsa, does signals intelligence, meaning intercepted phone calls, that kind of thing, they got more latitude to share intercepted communications, something they normally would have had to jump through a lot of hoops to get. the change means far more officials will be searching through raw data, essentially the government is reducing the risk the nsa will fail to recognize a piece of information valuable to another agency and increaseing the risk they will affect privacy of individuals.
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and what the nsa could share with the fbi, those limits were relaxed. does that tell you as a former assistant director of counter intelligence for the fbi, that the fbi might have intercepted phone communications and signal intelligence about ongoing cooperation between the president of the united states and russia? >> the short answer is yes. but i don't even think that those relax regulations may play into that or not. they might. but from day one, joy, you've heard the intelligence professionals saying there is much more to this iceberg than the tip. that is what we call the dark side. the signals of dependence, intercepts worldwide. let's not just say it's the american intelligence community. we know from reporting throughout this case that allied partners have shared intelligence, whether it's
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australians or brits or others. all of that working together could -- this is really the hard part to get your arms around, literally our allies may have been helping and our intelligence community may have been supporting a case and evidence development against our own president. >> we know the george papadopoulos information was sourced when he was meeting with a professor from another country where that information then winds up back in the hands of the fbi. i want to go -- i will come to you in a minute, i want to go to malcolm quickly. we've been at this almost three years, 2 1/2 years, the question was always whether or not donald trump was an asset witting or unwitting of a foreign power of russia. it's pretty hard, clear to many people, russia's interference in the election was to help him. that's the testimony we have from everyone who testified before congress. whether or not he was also helping them was, i guess, the big question.
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here is a picture i want to show you we're all familiar with. this is donald trump meeting in the oval office with the russian foreign minister and russian ambassador respectively. that meeting takes place may 10, 2017, which this is day after jim comey was fired as fbi director. the "new york times" reports that trump told the russians at that meeting that he fired comey and eased pressure on himself from the investigation into russian interference. in light of what we now know about the "new york times" opening not their original investigation into the election interference but this new thing, about possible ongoing cooperation between the president of the united states and russia, what do you make of that picture now? >> well, you might recall that on september 23rd, 2016, i published a book, "the plot to
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hack america," where based on what we knew, russia was carrying out this information to elect donald trump, that he was unwitting unwittingly an asset of russia and after the said about hillary clinton's, russia, if you're listening, please look into hillary clinton's e-mails. and on this very channel, rachel maddow on 2016, i said this was a national counter intelligence threat. that means the fbi and all u.s. intelligence would be on what we knew at the time and now what we know was a spy hunt. that's what counter-intelligence means. it means they are looking for u.s. citizens who are in
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communications or active activities with a foreign intelligence agency or government. this is nothing new. we're just learning now, the fbi officers after the lavrov meeting in the white house, donald trump realized his behavior and activities, and whether we have collection from our sister intelligence agencies, i worked at nsa, i've done activities like that, it doesn't matter, the collective body of knowledge showed the fbi's counter-intelligence spy hunters thought donald trump was an asset enough that they started an investigation. now, believe me, robert mueller has a lot more information than they had. i think this will end up that he was dirty. >> it's extraordinary. ben, i was reading this morning the law fair post you put up on friday that talked about -- what i brought up a little bit earlier, the question of
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collusion and obstruction we talked about as two separate things. what if they were actually the same thing? a bit of expert from your analysis at law fair is the following. in his congressional testimony this fall, schmidt, who is the "new york times" reporter and goldman, the other "new york times" discovered, james baker, the chief couple of the fbi, made an -- chief counsel of the fbi, made a comment, russia period full stop. the purpose of the investigation he explained was to assess what the russians were up to with respect to the 2016 election and trying to learn what the russians had done and whether americans had learned anything about the efforts knowingly or unknowingly. ben, the reason that question came up that the pushback on the investigations was not simply to harass the president of the united states, mr. baker made it
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clear in the testimony read to these reporters, that the testimony that was read to them, that he gave in private to the house intelligence committee is all about russia. your thoughts. >> yes. it was about russia, it was always about russia full stop. one of the problems we've had as we analyzed this and focused on the question of the president, right? did the president do x? did the president do y? you lose sight of the way the fbi understands the investigation. from the fbi's point of view, this was an investigation of russian activity with respect to the 2016 election and as a subsidiary matter, the interactions or assistance that anybody had with that activity on this side of the atlantic. that is, anybody who may have
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provided support to them. from the fbi's point of view, the purpose of this investigation was to understood and thwart russian activity, it was not an investigation of the president. all of a sudden, the president of the united states swoops in, starts putting pressure on the fbi with respect to this investigation in the case of flynn, demanding things of it, and then turns around and fires the head of the agency. all of a sudden, the fbi is saying, whoa, is the president's activity in trying to shut down the investigation itself a national security threat to the extent that the investigation is important to the protection of national security. i think that is, you know, where that investigation, which has been an investigation of russia, not of the president, becomes
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suddenly, as a subsidiary matter, an investigation of the president's own conduct. >> that, i think, is the crux, right? we had an ongoingn chairman has been pulled into it. questions about what his attorney did and questions about what his son and son-in-law may have done at that infamous trump tower meeting. it's all been people close to the president, about russia's efforts to assist donald trump in becoming president. this is about the president and his own activities and also his own assertions that made him a target of the investigation, his own determination and insistence in including russia in his purported case for firing jim comey, when his administration said it was about the hillary clinton investigation, he said,
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no, it's about russia. he said it to lester holt. he said it in a letter he wanted to write to jim comey and apparently he said it to the russians. donald trump is now the target. am i right about that, barbara? >> yes. i think ben does a wonderful job framing this for the public. one thing towns is how counter-intelligence investigations work. think of them as the umbrella and to detect threats, that's the goal. we were always told criminal investigation is the only way to achieve that overall goal. it may be to sit and listen for a while and watch and learn. it may be to do a double cross and get them to come to your side or feed them false information to send them in a wrong direction or it may be criminal prosecution. when you find americans doing things like lying, making false statements, obstruction of
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justice, those are the kinds of crimes that can immennate from the goal of the russian investigation. that's what robert myourm uelle looking at and trump's being the target of the investigation and ben's framing of it has clarified that point for the american public. >> i want to go to elliott quickly on the response, your take on it as an attorney, because the original response in the white house was sort of all over the place, lashing out at president obama and all sorts of other stuff that didn't get to the substance and didn't address the substance, went on rants about andrew mcquade and other sorts of things. then rudy guiliani, a former prosecutor and mayor, somebody who knows something about the law, this is his response. if it was a counter intelligence investigation and it obtained
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any evidence it would have resulted in some action being taken or are they imperilling our national security. this shows how out of control they are. i want your response to that and then frank's response to it and ben's. >> i can't count the number of times over the course of this investigation rudy guiliani has fundamentally misstated the law in an attempt to throw people off the scent of the president's wrongdoing. he's doing it again. he did it going back to whether the doj could keep investigating during the election season. he's undermining the very integrity of the investigation by misstating the law. there's a difference as some folks, as frank said before, there's a difference between counter intelligence investigations and criminal investigations and there may not have been charges that would have flown from a counter intelligence investigation. what they are seeking to do is ascertain the extent of russians or foreign actors incursion into this matter.
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i just get flustered talking about it because it's so crazy. this is a former u.s. attorney, former associate attorney general of the united states misstating facts and misstating law. nowhere in there is a denial of the allegations. frankly, what i find to be the most interesting line in the article, i'll read it to you, no evidence has emerged publicly that mr. trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from russian officials. ironically, i think that's the most incriminating line, that they use the word "publicly," because there's so much more evidence we're not aware about, that speaks to the level of russian incursion here. once again, it's the same stuff, different day, from the former u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. it's quite disappointing. at this point we shouldn't be surprised by it at all. >> really quickly, frank, on guiliani's response to the report. he says if it's a
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counter-intelligence investigation and obtained any evidence it would have resulted in some action or they are emperilling our national security. there typically are two different lanes, the counter intelligence investigation lane and criminal investigation lane. am i right in saying counter intelligence investigations don't necessarily result in someone being arrested, they're counter intelligence because they're trying to ascertain information? >> yeah. both barbara and malcolm have properly characterized the nature and purpose of the counter intelligence case, which is to identify, penetrate and neutralize. that could take years. you may recall the sleeper cell of 10 russian illegals. that fbi case ran for 10 years before the fbi concluded they had wrapped up the entire cell, identified all the covert communications and funding mechanisms and then and only then did they decide to take it down for a number of reasons.
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>> arrest or overreaction is not the goal at all. counter action is the goal of the counter intelligence case to identify and mess with and make life hard for your adversary. as ruddy comes out and says this kind of thing, he's fulfilling his mission for public relations to twist and turn. the american people need to understand the fbi is there to do the right thing. no one is above the law, no one at any a level can be allowed to join forces with an adversary and the american people should want the fbi to take a look under that rock and that's exactly what they did. >> cording to your article, who is jumping in? >> this is elliott. it would have been irresponsible for the fbi not to, based on the information out there and based on the totality of everything from russia, are you listening, to michael flynn's conduct and on and on. even, frankly, as malcolm would say, our allies overseas and
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their intelligence. i just wanted to get that in there. >> can i add to that? >> sure. >> guiliani is wrong on a different point. it did result in an immediate action, which was the appointment of bob mueller. if the concern was the president perhaps wittingly or unwittingly, is operating on behalf of the russians to shut down this investigation, the urgent task was to protect the investigation. what did rod rosenstein do? he appointed a special prosecutor, special counsel, bob mueller immediately and transferred the entire investigative authority under the regs to that person. the premise to guiliani's point is quite wrong. if there was a counter intelligence concern, there appears to have been, it resulted in an immediate overt action to protect the investigation whose integrity they were concerned about.
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>> absolutely. rick wilson, what do you make of the responses, the white house statement i'm making a read, kind of sputtering. they had to have been flustered, i was flustered reading it when it dropped last night. even when they had time to think about it, what do you make of the guiliani response? >> joy, i think the response from my old boss, rudy and white house and sarah sanders and rage tweeting this morning, there's no denial embedded in their response at all. they are not denying this. they are saying we will attack jim comey and mccabe and the fbi. all of this is that donald trump's consciousness of guilt is screaming out of these responses. they are hoping they can throw more bait out there to the trump base and they will stick with him. this is one more brick in this actual wall around donald trump, where the proof of his collusion with russia, the proof of his
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conspiracy of his campaign to cooperate with russia, his long-standing business ties with russia and post election behavior toward russia has raised not just a few red flags but a whole sea of red flags. i think that their responses are so insufficient politically and certainly legally. i'm not a lawyer. neither on the political side or legal side does it seem these folks have their message together because there's not a real defense here. donald trump said these things to lester holt, said these things in the oval office to the russians and god knows what he said to putin behind closed doors. this is a rising tide of trouble to this president. >> he was advised not to say them. the thing that is extraordinary here, he does have counsel. the white house counsel is there for him. he was advised by counsel, don't say these things to jim comey in this letter. don't send this letter. he insists he must say it. almost as if he couldn't help
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himself, he had to say it. he said to lester holt, he's the reason he's being investigated encounter intelligence. i wonder as we're digesting this at msnbc and people around the united states, a lot of reaction is shock an american president being investigated whether he is working in the interest of a foreign country, shocking. as a former state department spokesperson, what do you suspect our allies are thinking as they're digesting this? what are foreign ambassadors thinking as they read this story this morning? >> it used to be the united states was not operating on equal footing with many parts of the world but dominating. now we have a president of the united states executing russian policy and putting out kremlin lines about how we should be throughout the rest of the world, syria withdrawal was shocking to everybody including our own military. we lost our secretary of defense
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because the president of the united states decided russian perspective what happened in syria and backing the assad regime was more important. randomly the president decides to talk about how russian intervention in afghanistan 20 years ago was justified even though the president of the united states at the time, ronald reagan, was on the opposite side. this goes well beyond any party lines and party traditions. he is now executing the russian policy and a russian spy who got into the nra talking about how white nationalists can be empowered and the department of justice decided white nationalists were no longer the bigger threat to the united states. all of this is what putin does in his own country and would like to now see the united states as an extension of russia. >> dave johnson, ronald reagan,
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who donald trump, let's not forget, thought about running against in 1988, having published in multiple newspapers with the help of his friend, roger stone, an op-ed, decrying u.s. policy toward the then soviet union. this isn't a new thing for consist. >> well, donald has no sense of history, he has no moral core of any kind. from donald's mind, what's going on here in the investigation of russia and what i've always seen as being interconnected, the evident to esstop the investigation to obstruct are all part of one piece. in his mind, so long as donald wins, no rules apply. the only thing that matters is i win, whether getting money from someone, being elected president, getting a wall built. that's all that matters. donald's reaction to this are not those of someone who has respect for historical issues,
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for putin's number one stated goal, which is to rebuild the soviet empire because he thought it was a terrible crime it disappeared. we will learn a lot more. the most important item one of the other guests brought up earlier was that word publicly in the "new york times" piece. it screamed there's tons of additional evidence we haven't seen yet and at some point, they will discuss how much classified information do we need to disclose for america to understand we have a kremlin agent in the white house. >> saying, i win, we could probably live with a narcissistic president. i win is one thing. the united states should not be saying another country wins, a foreign adversary wins. that's the problem here. if he's operating saying russia wins. that's alarming for a lot of people. i will keep this whole panel. they're all coming back. stay right there. much more to talk about and much
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♪ [ ] it's bedtime. peace of mind should never be out of reach. [ voice command beep ] xfinity home. xfinity home connects you to total home security you can control from anywhere on any device. and it protects you with 24/7 professional monitoring. i guess we're sleeping here tonight. xfinity home. simple. easy. awesome. call, go online or demo in an xfinity store today. my panel is back with me. i want to give everybody a final
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thought. i will start with you, frank. >> we received very sobering information. we don't know where it went or outcome of it. we know it resulted in a special counsel inquiry. we know layers of review were necessary to get it opened and running and not likely the rogue state, loose cannon is involved in this. my gut tells me there's more than the president's behavior opening in this case, there's likely classified intercepts that helped make the case. >> mueller has it all and they are hot. >> russia is motivated by interfering in the united states power and will continue into 2020 and probably only get worse. donald trump is motivated by protecting his own personal assets. that's the connection between donald trump, saudi arabia and russia. >> rick wilson. >> if donald trump is not a russian intelligence and political asset, how could you
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tell the difference? >> wow. barbara mcquade. >> watching this play out is like watching a television series that you may remember the president wanted jim comey to say you were not a target of the investigation and comey resisted, saying i would rather not say that because i may want to go public with it and now we know they knew the president would likely be part of the investigation and won't no -- know the facts until he files a report. >> anybody think jim comey will end up in front of the house? >> we agree it raises a red flag that has a hammer and sickle on it. i'm serious. under any other circumstances, this reporting and these facts would be devastating to the
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united states, the president of the united states. we've sort of become desensitized to all of this stuff. in sight of all the talk of porn stars and payoffs, so on, this is about russia, russian actors, we can't lose sight of that and the severity and seriousness of the conduct. >> i think we refuse to become desensitized to it on this show. every american, whatever your political strides, should be equally alarmed of an on for adversary. ben. >> even if you fire the fbi director, even if you fire the special counsel, even if you fire half of the justice department and fbi bureaucracies, russia will still be attacking and trying to figure out how to exploit vulnerabilities in our system and government and electoral
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processes and you will still need somebody to investigate and respond to that. that is the enduring counter intelligence mission of the fbi. it's not going to go away, just like the climate doesn't care if you don't believe it's changing, climate change happens anyway, the russians are not going away, even if you choose not to believe the incidents are happening and the threat is real. >> indeed. david johnston. >> for our republicans and congressman and every part of this panel, to get the 40% believe donald trump is being persecuted to recognize the facts. i'm concerned if we don't do that i'm concerned we won't have peaceful change of government over time in our country. >> malcolm nance, you and i have been doing this since july, is it, of 2016. we've been having the same conversation. you've written two books with
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the same message in them. it is extraordinary we are not talking about that, into a fresh investigation into the sitting president of the united states, as he is being president, performing the duties of the presidency, being investigated as a potential asset of russia, i will give you the last word on this. i'm sure this isn't the last word on this we will keep talking about it but the last word in this segment. >> it's very simple. this nation is under threat. the threat is the person sitting in the seat of the president of the united states. his actions, behaviors, his staff, they appear to be this wholly owned subsidiary of vladamir putin. he has more loyalty to them than the constitution of the united states. this shutdown is a really good example of that. that being said, former cia director, john brennan mentioned people who betrayed this nation often did it thinking they weren't betraying the nation.
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aldridge aims and fbi officers like aldred hassan, whose job it was to hunt spies, actually a soviet spy at the time, they betrayed this nation. that said, there are other people who could be in this network. i know jared kushner asked the russians for covert communication systems to give a back channel so the cia or nsa could not intercept his communications. that needs to be investigated. mike flynn asked for clandestine communications, then got it and over 100 people at times lied about every contact. this needs to be cleaned up and it's going to be very dirty. >> do not become desensitized to this. this is stroor. we are talking about the president of the united states, talking about the fbi investigating a sitting president potentially becoming an asset of foreign government, whether you are a republican who
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loves donald trump, a democrat, whatever your political affiliation is, this is about the presidency, the president, and whether or not we have control over our own government or whether another country is exerting that kind of control. this is shocking, i'm sorry. this is shocking. every american should be shocked. do not be desensitized to it. they will join us in our next hour. next up, the latest on the trump shutdown, that's happening, too, now officially the longest shutdown in u.s. government history. istory
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it's been 21 days, 10 hours and 43 minutes since donald trump and mitch mcconnell shut down the government, officially making this the longest government shutdown in u.s. history. on friday, 800,000 federal workers received a paystub for zero dollars. some are furloughed but some essential employees like law enforcement agents are working without pay. the shutdown isn't a joke. this has real lasting impacts on our economy and the health of our democracy. we will continue our coverage of the shutdown next. stay with us. you're watching "a.m. joy"
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no paeace, no paychecks. >> hey hey, got to go. we want to work! we want to work!
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we want to work! >> wow. we are officially in the midst of the longest government shutdown in u.s. history, 21 days and counting. as donald trump refuses to back down from his demand u.s. taxpayers fund his border wall which he promised mexico would pay for. as mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader refuses to bring the house passed bills to the floor without donald trump's permission, it's everyday americans suffering. on friday, over 800,000 workers missed their first paycheck. some of those employees have been furloughed, so they're working without pay. with no end to the trump shutdown in sight, thousands across the country are dealing with the harsh reality not knowing when their next paycheck will come. >> on monday, we don't -- is our first paycheck that we're going to miss. that's going to hit us hard. >> i'm 45 years old. i shouldn't have to pawn my
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belongings to pay for medication when i do have a job. i'm just not able to do that job. >> it's not easy to go to bed thinking where are you going to get money, you know. we're having to ration what cash we have so that we can pay those bills at the end of the month. >> well, now, trump is toying with the idea of declaring a national emergency, to try and bypass congress and get the border wall money anyway, an idea so extreme, even members of his own party are pushing back. joining me now, dean, from siriusxm and business and marketing consulting and mat welsh, thank you for being here. i will start with you, dean. i used to work in local news quite a while ago. as soon as it was clear it would go on, i said, i know what will happen, donald trump may think all federal workers work in just metro d.c. and all just a bunch
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of democrats and he doesn't have to care about them. nope. federal workers are all over america. local news will talk to them, and they're in the a block and b block and will talk to them until it's over.that, federal workers not getting paid. take a look. >> it's going to affect us when it comes to mortgages, paying rent, day care, even food, gas, everything. >> i am a basket case. i literally don't know how i'm going to provide for my kids. >> i've been a trump supporter. i think he's done a lot of wonderful things. but this is not one of them. >> does this change your mind about how you feel? >> about the president? >> yes. >> um, well, specific to this issue, yes. >> it's easy for people like that last gentlemen to say, i want a wall. >> right. >> and then if you find out, oh, i'm paying for the wall with my job. >> different thing. after what we learned yesterday, maybe russia should pay for the
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wall at this point, because that's who benefiting from this administration more than the average american person. you know on my radio show, i spoke to people who were impacted, as well. and i looked at local news articles in some of the states where the republican senators were running for re-election in 2020, including north carolina, alaska. you go through the list. >> colorado. >> colorado with cory gardner. and it is the local news coverage. it's a great point you're making. national coverage is one thing, but they're hearing from their people in their state saying, i want to change things. i've talked to people who said, they're both out of work or one person is out of work and they're selling heirlooms and things in their home they were going to give to their children to pay their bills. a mother called, almost in tears saying, i can't pay the deductible for my child's health care because even though i'm working, i'm not getting paid. 40% of americans only have $1,000 in their savings account. so think if you didn't get paid for three weeks and you have no idea when your paycheck is coming, you can't even plan for the future. the uncertainty and stress that causes to a family.
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we heard that man almost in tears. it's heartbreaking what's going on, and trump consudidn't even . >> that's the thing, he doesn't even have the emotional intelligence to care. he hasn't expressed any concern for these people, at all. you work, in addition to being a small business owner, you do political consulting. the question in politics is, cares about me. cares about me is the most powerful one. now you have not just donald trump, but every single one of these senators, including mitch mcconnell, he's up in 2022, that seem incredibly callous. 800,000 federal workers. 38 million americans who could lose food stamps. 2 million americans facing possible eviction from their homes if they can't pay their next rent. and here's the map. not in d.c., not being counters that also deserve to work. there's the map, oregon, montana, idaho, wyoming, south dakota, north dakota, new
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mexico, colorado, oklahoma, west virginia, virginia, maryland, vermont, washington, d.c., alaska. those are the states with the most federal workers. >> and not just the federal workers. they're also the federal contractors. if you work for a contractor who as the majority of its revenue with many companies coming from federal contracting, you are also affected. i have a friend who is a single mother whoi mother, who is preparing to buy a home. she works for a federal contractor. so as a result, her efforts to better herself are being harmed. but trump doesn't care, as you mentioned, because he has no shame, no scruples, no morals, and no empathy. and that is why we are here, where we are. and this is why those federal workers and those contractors and americans really need to take to the streets and really voice their concern, because i think what's happening is, we are being desensitized. that's why people didn't react the way they should have to the news you just reported on. we're being desensitized and we're going to turn around and have a country that is not our country anymore.
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and i think people think we're being hyperbolic when we say these things, but he's just taking liberty after liberty after liberty and anyone who's traveled knows where that ends. >> and the thing is, matt. and the reason why i really wanted to have you on this panel as well today, is that the way -- and we're going to talk to the opposite of how democracy is dilated, the way that autocracies usually work, is that there's a certain amount of pain inflicted on the people whoever the autocrat feels is the enemy. the enemies within the population. pain must be inflicted upon them, and no amount of pain is too much pain. but at a certain point, in order to assert their authority, which is usually made possible by a weak legislature or a toady legislature, that just lets them do whatever they want, check, is what we've had in congress, is this idea of a national emergency. erdogan is operating under a national emergency in turkey. that's how he's able to rule. >> victor orban, as well in hungary. it's what dictators do. and lindsey graham really
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disgraced himself in a fundamental way. this is the chair of the senate judiciary committee, right? >> yes. >> he said, please shut down government to build the wall. this is the same guy who signed on an am kicus brief in 2014 wh president barack obama expanded the daca program to cover parents. >> that's right. >> 3.7 million people. and he said, you can't do this because that is subverting the clear intent of the legislature. he was right about that! regardless of whatever you think about the underlying policy. at some point, the president cannot make policy. >> ted cruz said it too. where's ted cruz? >> ted cruz is on the border with donald trump in a beard high fiving him. that's where ted cruz. >> what happened to -- i mean, as a libertarian, what happened to the constitutional conservatives? if president obama had declared a national emergency and decided to use those extraordinary powers, powers to make land deals, powers of seizure, donald trump wants to use land seizure, to take land. >> yes, military-style eminent domain. >> for a policy dispute.
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>> where are the republicans? >> there are about two constitutional conservatives left, is the answer to that question. the freedom caucus was started in part to -- >> by mick mulvaney. >> by mick mulvaney, but also mark meadows. mark meadows came out yesterday and said, my god, think about this. you and i have talked about civil asset forfeiture for years. he said, we should use civil asset forfeiture funds to build the wall. freedom caucus guy. they started out as a caucus that was going to conduct oversight over an overweaning executive branch, which is what the legislature should do. they are not doing that now, and by doing that, they're exposing that their constitutional conservatism is completely opportunistic, with the exception of one or two people, and it's disgraceful. >> i think mitch mcconnell is worried, because matt bevin who ran against him in a primary is now the governor of the state of kentucky. he may have to run against him or someone else in 2020. >> and we should not let mitch mcconnell off the hook. we say trump shutdown, this is a trump/mcconnell shutdown tiat ts
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point. and the other thing that republicans need to be very careful of, the implications for the economy, fitch has already come out and said, because of the deficit, which the tax cuts blew a hole into the deficit. because of the deficit, the "n" in this shutdown, that the u.s. economy, the credit rating is going to be impacted. and so trump could be running for a re-election with a bad economy. >> you talk to -- we are really out of time. >> i think the senate has to go to trump and say we're going to embarrass you and override your veto and trump goes, i don't want to be embarrassed like that. the same way barry goldwater and other republicans went to richard nixon and said, we're going to remove you from presidency, they have to go to him and say, we'll override your veto. it will take pressure on mitch mcconnell. it's mcconnell. >> they need to behave as the united states sfla united states senate. the article i power! this was a shorter panel, because we had a really long panel before. really long panel before
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my people came to me, dan coats came to me and some others. they said, they think it's russia. i have president putin. he just said, it's not russia. i will say this. i don't see any reason why it would be. but i have great confidence in my intelligence people. but i will tell you that president putin was extremely
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strong and powerful in his denial today. >> good morning. and welcome back to "a.m. joy." that extraordinary helsinki press conference alongside sl t vladimir putin was one of president trump's odd behavior that caught the attention of the fbi. as they went from investigating what made him president to investigating whether trump was a russian asset, working against the interests of the united states. as "the new york times" points out in a bombshell story that dropped just last night, there were two moments that finally triggered the fbi's counterintelligence investigation, after trump fired fbi director james comey. one, a letter trump wanted to send comey about his firing, which inexplicably mentioned the russia investigation. and two, trump's interview with nbc's own lester holt, in which he said this. >> regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey, knowing there was no good time
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to do it. and in fact, when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. >> joining me now is sam nunberg, a former trump campaign adviser, who was interviewed by the senate intelligence committee just yesterday. and back with me, our david cay johnston, former prosecutor, barbara mcquade, and msnbc contributor, malcolm nance. i want to start with you, sam. thank you for being here, first of all. i want to get your top of line take on this "new york times" story yesterday. >> it makes perfect sense to me. if you're a republican or a democrat or know donald trump the way i did or worked for him those years, any president that hosted the russians, didn't allow american media in and then reportedly shared intelligence, if reports are accurate -- >> the day after firing jim comey. >> less than 24 hours after formally firing jim comey, it would be ridiculous if they didn't look into whether or not this was a counterintelligence issue at that point. that's the difference i have. i don't know necessarily during
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the campaign. it's another issue. but i would also tell you, joy, that not only through my questioning do i know that we're still looking into this with the grand jury, with the special counsel's office, excuse me, they're legitimately looking into this in the bipartisan inquiry that was there yesterday. >> what do they want to know from you? >> well, first of all, i would just say in the beginning of it, they said to me, we hope you can tell who we work for, meaning the six staffers in there, and i couldn't. they wanted to know, in particular, they had some questions that are pro forma i think that they ask everyone. do you know anything about this, do you know anything about that? they wanted to know about my dealings with the president, vis-a-vis russia, what they knew about trump -- >> so they were focused on russia, not on his businesses, not on the campaign, on russia. >> yes, this was very, very narrow. the lead up to the presidency, also policy matters dealing with russia, which we didn't have a lot at that early point in the campaign, vis-a-vis europe, but we had issues in terms of syria and i explained to them, at that
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point, that i didn't think this was problematic politically for the president to say, i would have putin in syria. because of wlahat was going on with isis. >> give us the timeline of when you were involved in the campaign. >> i worked for the president from june 2011 to august of 2015. >> and to your knowledge -- >> the formal campaign, let's say, i lasted all of six weeks. >> but you were there from 2011. to your knowledge, were russians involved in attempting to help the campaign? >> not while i was there. >> was donald trump in communication in any way with russians? >> well, i mean -- >> with russian officials. >> russian officials, i don't believe so. nor do i -- i mean, we couldn't have even been in communication with american officials and take it seriously. what i would say is he had business -- he had business relations in -- >> he was trying to get a tower. >> i didn't know particularly about the tower, but i was there when they had miss universe, and you know, i worked -- i didn't work directly on it, but, you know, but as ancillary with tweets or whatever. but sure, that they had a relationship with thing
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alaffers. >> jared kushner wasn't involved in the campaign. >> he was involved in the social media aspects of it. >> not while i was there. >> what about the son? >> not that i'm aware of. i don't believe so. >> let's bring in the rest of the panel. barbara, i want to start with you on the questioning that sam faced with the senate intelligence committee. in light of this new information, what would you have wanted to know? >> from sam, well, you know, i think that the senate's goal is somewhat different from robert mueller's goal. you know, robert mueller is trying to reach a conclusion, hold anyone accountable criminally, whereas the senate wi wi, i think, is exploring intelligence issues and trying to understand what russia was doing with our election. so i would ask sam questions about any knowledge he had about contacts with russia, any business interests that the trump organization had in russia that could be used as leverage
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against the campaign or against president trump specifically. you know, one of the ways that intelligence operatives work is to try to obtain leverage on someone, in some way. whether it's money, personally embarrassing stories, anything that can be used to blackmail someone, i think those would be the kind of things i would want to probe to see if they had leverage over anyone relating to the trump campaign, whether that's president trump or others. >> were you asked by the grand jury or the senate intelligence committee anything about that, anything that would be personally damaged to trump? >> yes, both. i was asked what i knew about moscow, vis-a-vis christopher steele and vis-a-vis the story. what i would say is that the president was invited to billy graham's, i believe 100th or 99th birthday. and when i was there, i said, i really hope, mr. trump, you can go to this. i understand you're going to be in moscow and they had left earlier. i had also heard, and i don't believe what is in the steele document happened.
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at least that night. i was not there. >> the infamous tape. >> correct. i don't believe it. >> were you asked about roger stone -- obviously. in your might not, do you believe that stone/manafort, who obviously had a consulting firm that worked for a lot of bad actors. they worked for a lot of dictators around the world, do you believe they were still actively working for russia or for russian interests while they were working for donald trump? >> not roger, as far as i know, during that time. what i would say, i don't know if roger had any foreign work since he had worked in the ukrainian election. he worked in that election -- >> roger stone worked it as well as manafort? >> for a smaller party on another side that then joined the coalition. >> okay. >> and they were aware -- by the way, they were aware of this both in the special counsel and in the senate select. and one other thing i would just tell the audience that i found very interesting was yesterday, and i would tell rudy giuliani, yesterday, when they're saying
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that they want to edit the mueller report. here's the difference between my special counsel and my voluntary interview, my interview yesterday. i believe it's pretty much pro forma, you can ask the prosecutors on here. at the end of the special counsel interview, they say, is there anything we didn't ask you that you think we should be looking into? at the end of the interview yesterday in the senate select, they said, is there anything we asked you that you think we should be looking into or anything that the special counsel's office asked you that you think we should be looking into? meaning that their report, their bipartisan inquiry, and i want to go in a debate here about whether schiff can hold one. their report, they will need the mueller report. >> yeah. >> they will base it. and i think that that could go to obstruction by the president, if he does not allow them to at least see mueller's findings. >> that's a very interesting point. because malcolm, now we know that obstruction is not just the criminal obstruction of justice that we talk about all the time, that we talk about with barbara and other attorneys all the
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time. we now know that any attempt to obstruct the mueller probe is an attempt, at least according to this "new york times" reporting, to stop the counter-intelligence probe into what russia is doing to the united states. >> you know, benjamin wittes spoke about that in the last hour, and it's just absolutely stupefying to me that anyone who with two eyes would not have known that the firing of comey was not about obstructing justice or slowing him down or trump's election, it was to stop all inquiries into russia's penetration into the united states and into the trump campaign. and trump was pretty open about why he did it, to stop the russia inquiry. you know, he has that little tic where he has to arrogantly confess all of his sins. that being said, i think that, you know, the house and the senate intelligence committees are now going to really get busy. and they're going to be trying to draw a new base line of what
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the facts are, so that when donald trump finally decides to either speak to the special counsel or not speak to the special counsel, they will have a base line of truth that he will, of course, invariably lie over. >> yeah. let's set up -- david cay johnston, let's go -- let's show this picture again. we showed it in our last hour. this was the oval office meeting with sergey lavrov and sergey kislyak. and you'll recall that sergey kislyak was the russian ambassador to the u.s. who so many people got into trouble for lying about talking to. multiple members of the trump administration, trump campaign spoke to this guy, including michael flynn, and lied to the fbi about talking to him. and that's him on the right of your screen. sergey lavrov is the russian foreign minister. in light of what this was about, "the new york times" headline says that trump told the russians in that meeting, where no u.s. press were allowed to attend, the picture, the readout seemed to come from russia that firing the quote, nut job comey,
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eased pressure on the investigation. just having covered donald trump for as long as you have, why does he seem to not be able to keep it in? why does he seem to be so open and overt about announcing his fealty to russia? >> because, while donald understands right from wrong and guilt, he really creates his own reality. and he has no moral core. so saying things just come out of him, without any filter. and let's not forget who else was in the room. the only other person in that room was a russian agent posing as a news photographer who brought a gadget bag with who knows what kind of intelligence gear and surveillance gear in it. where -- so if a journalist was allowed in, it was a journalist working for the kremlin while trump met with two spymasters and revealed sources and methods. and to build on malcolm's point a moment ago, joy, donald trump not only was -- believed that firing comey stopped this, but
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it tells us that he doesn't understand how government works. he thinks because he's used plil politicians to shut down inquires or get policies changed, he thinks getting rid of comey would stop the fbi and it goes to donald's complete incompetence. >> it's pretty extraordinary, sam. same question to you. why can't he stop himself? he was told by the white house counsel, do not send a letter to jim comey that mentions russia. he insisted on doing that. the draft is now hands of these fbi agent dss -- >> and the original draft. >> and he said it on the air with lester holt. why can't he stop himself? >> i think, actually, as david johnston said before, while he may be adapting a little more, he was not able to adapt to this position early on. he did not understand that you are not going to be sitting on the 26th floor at trump tower and if you have a problem with a municipality, if you have a problem with a city council, even have a problem with a state ag, that can be taken care of.
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that the fbi is an independent body. it's interesting, whether i like james comey or not, comey said he had never spoken to barack obama more than twice during his entire tenure. as presidents of the united states, you are supposed to leave the fbi alone. leet leave them alone, right. >> exactly. i want to play a little bit of the interview i did with congressman jim heinz that sits on the house intelligence committee last night and i have a quick question for you on the other side of that. >> do you trust donald trump with the national security of the united states? >> i absolutely do not. this president, of course, over the last two years, has demonstrated that he has one concern and one concern only. and that is how much of a big man he is. and how respected and how much he wins as a person. it has nothing to do with the safety of the country. it has nothing to do with the national security of the united states. >> you know, malcolm, republicans have typically sort of gone back to the innocence of donald trump in politics. and he just doesn't know, he doesn't adapt, as sam said, and
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i don't think sam is spinning. but the reality is, donald trump has wanted to have president since 1987. he's had this weird fealty to russia since the 1980s. he kept saying he was going to run for president. he claims to be an expert in politics. i'm still looking for an explanation as to why he so openly announces his fealty and support to russia when he does not have to. >> no one's going to get through that shy of a psychologist's share. >> but it's something that someone who is an asset would do? i hate to be conspiratorial, but could that message be to russia, when he's saying these things so openly, just so they get on television, in your intelligence background, is there a less-innocent explanation than just, he's daft? >> well, i think it's innocent, only in the sense that they chose him as an asset, due to his phenomenal characteristics of just being a blowhard, of being an arrogant were narcissistic personality.
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which, you know, the famous spy said those were the characteristics they wanted in an asset. they wanted a person they could manipulate. donald trump is like a case officer's dream. he comes in and when he comes out and does those arrogant pronunciations, a good intelligence staff like, i don't know, an ex-former kgb officer and his top four staffers who are kgb, fsb retirees, they would be able to manipulate donald trump no matter what he said or when he said it. donald trump sees russia, the russian oligarchy and vladimir putin as his base, equal to the red hats that he has in the united states. so he brags to them in, you know, in the face of america. he does not understand what the constitution is. i used to say that he was treason adjacent. now i say that he's just neck deep in treachery. >> last word to you on this, sam. you think donald trump is worried about potentially being
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prosecuted for any of this? >> i think he's worried about the removal, being removed, i think it's a foregone conclusion, personally, from a political point of view that he's going to be impeached. >> you do? >> sure. >> even with the republicans still in control? >> well, the articles of impeachment, the issue of removal, i think you saw this early on with romney, thchis wasn't a surprise to someone like me. i don't think mitt romney decided he wants to be junior senator from utah. but ironically, the key senator, i believe, during the removal will be -- or during the conviction would be the senior senator from utah. he is the one who -- >> orrin hatch? oh, i'm sorry, maike lee. >> mike lee. because mike lee is a conservative, and basically, he would be the barry goldwater, i would say. with that said, i think that that's one of the reasons that he's going to end up declaring a national emergency on the wall, because it's his base and they want it built. >> the thing that you and roger stone came up with as just talking a point is now a thing
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they really want. >> not just a talking point, but -- >> and you think that the wall is the way he thinks that he can -- >> well, look, i've seen it in the focus groups, so. >> yeah, interesting. sam nunberg, thank you very much for coming in. appreciate it very much. david cay johnston, thank you very much to you, as well. barbara and malcolm will be back later in the show. next up, what "the new york times" story means for donald trump's attorney general pick and his confirmation hearing next week. eral pick and his confirmation hearing next week.
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mr. barr, how's your relationship with mr. mueller? >> terrific. >> william barr, trump's nominee to be the next attorney general of the united states made the senate rounds ahead of his confirmation hearing next week. he's sure to face tough questions about his prior criticism of the mueller investigation, namely a memo in which he called it, quote, fatally misconceived to say that a president could be accused of obstructing justice for firing the fbi director. the potential confirmation of barr also comes as deputy rod rosenstein, who's overseeing the mueller investigation, is set to resign, leaving the department of justice and potentially the mueller probe in barr's hands once he's inevitably confirmed by senate republicans. joining me now is joe conason, author of "man of the world: the further endeavors of bill clinton." i want to start with barbara and elliott on just the question of whether now william barr is going to have to answer some
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pretty pointed questions, because his memo about obstruction not being possible because the president has the right to fire the fbi director, and elliott, i'll start with you, that's real different now. because "the new york times" story says that the obstruction is the collusion. >> oh, absolutely. look, let's start with a really, really big point. there's a lot of chatter about the fact that barr was attorney general and confirmed once for attorney general before and that should take away a lot of the questions for his fitness and his integrity for the job. just to be clear, having been attorney general or any government position before doesn't entitle you to the position for life. and you need to be -- the american people deserve a full and thorough investigate on all of the important questions and issues that might come before this individual, including whether, you know, whether he ought to be -- ought to recuse himself or has compromised himself, based on positions he's taken with respect to the investigation. now, based on the reporting we've seen from "the new york
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times," a significant amount of time should be spent on his confirmation hearing, getting into these questions of -- for instance, would he take the advice of career officials at the justice department, which his predecessor did not, as to whether to recuse with respect to the investigation. would he, you know, would he commit to making any report public based on everything we know now? so, yes, this reporting from yesterday raises a number of significant questions he needs to be able to answer and give clear answers on. otherwise, he can't demonstrate, merely having had the job 25 years ago doesn't render him fit eternally. >> and because, barbara, the investigation now, the counterintelligence investigation really now is about potentially moscow's ongoing influence over the sitting president of the united states, just a clip from this "new york times" story, the criminal encounter intelligence elements were coupled together into one investigation. former law enforcement officials said, because if mr. trump had ousted the head of the fbi to impede or even end the russia
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investigation, that was both a possible crime and a national security concern. that leads me to ask, and i will ask you, that suggests to me that if mr. barr were then to become attorney general and he were to fire robert mueller at the behest of the white house, wouldn't that put him in jeopardy of being investigated for potentially a counterintelligence or criminal probe? >> well, possibly, but it would all come down to his intent. what was his purpose in doing so? if he did it for a legitimate reason, no. but if he, too, were doing it for some corrupt purpose, to derail a counterintelligence investigation, then, certainly. i think elliott makes a really good point in saying just because he had this job 25 years ago, doesn't mean he's qualified to do it today. and i would submit in some ways, it may make him even less qualified, because so much has changed in those 25 years. i think this story demonstrates the hazards of offering an opinion when you don't know all of the facts. what has happened since 9/11 is
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congress, through the patriot act, has brought down the wall that previously existed between criminal investigations and counterintelligence and counterterrorism investigations pinpoiinvestigations. it used to be those two things were kept completely separate. they are now shared. that information is shared, because we want to make sure that the fbi has the ability to connect the dots. that's the phrase that they use so often. and so william barr is operating on a pre-9/11 thought process, about how the government should work. and so i think it renders his opinion obsolete. >> well, and speaking of that, speaking of the fact that he did the job a long time ago when things were quiet different, rachel maddow our wonderful colleague here at msnbc did a really great piece this past week talking about his involvement in the iran contra scandal and his involvement in engineering the pardons that essentially shut down that scandal before george herbert walker bush's own conduct and potential involvement could be unveiled. you unveiled another aspect of his former conduct. something that he did even before that. talk about that just a little
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bit. because this is before the 1992 presidential election. what did barr do? >> in 1992, joy, a partisan employ of the resolution trust corporation, which oversaw the dissolution of bankrupt savings and loans concocted what was called a criminal referral about bill and hillary clinton in order to influence the 1992 elections and pestered the u.s. little rock attorney about this for a while. she became very notorious, her name was jeanne lewis. but this found its way to washington. the fbi and the u.s. attorney in little rock thought this was nonsense, which it was. this is an early version of white water. but it found its way to washington and to the desk of william barr. and barr, in october, 1992, weeks before the election. >> that's before the election. >> ordered the little rock fbi
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office to create a -- basically to concoct a criminal investigation of the clintons by october 16th. this enraged the u.s. attorney there, a very honorable republican named chuck banks, who sent a letter to the fbi saying, i won't participate in this. i won't have anything to do with this. this is a violation of the northeast basic principles of the justice department. and if anybody from the press asks me about this, which inevitably will happen if you do this, i will send them to the attorney general, william barr, because this is coming out of his office. >> this information was in your first book. this was in "the hunting of the president." >> that's correct. this is information that in theory should be asked about. this goes to his partisanship? >> yes, i would think somebody on the senate judiciary committee should ask him whether, given his past record of partisan conduct, as attorney general, which was supposedly very squeaky queen, but was not, would he do the same thing again? is the same basically partisan
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hack that he showed himself to be in 1992? because all of this information is on the public record. this is in the reports of the senate white water committee. the letter from chuck banks is in that report. that's how we found it for our book. this is -- these are questions that ought to be asked. for all i know, there is videotape of some of the testimony of other officials who are involved in this who testified before the white water committee. but certainly, it's all on the public record. >> and i flipped the timeline there. of course, he was involved in ending the iran/contra probe, for months before that. >> i covered that, too. >> he's involved in that, and then he turns around and sort of foments an election just before the election of george herbert walker bush's successor. >> he tried to do that, but luckily the professionals in the fbi and in the u.s. attorney's office in little rock but the kibosh on it. they stopped that. but not because he didn't try. >> not because -- fascinating. well, hopefully this will get asked about at those hearings.
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joe conason, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> we will watch and see if that is part of the inquiry. barbara mcquade and eliot williams, thank you both very much. and next up, the national security threat caused by the trump shutdown. caused by the trump shutdown amazon prime video is now on xfinity x1.
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there are no longer any migrant children being housed at the infamous tent city in tornillo, texas. the department of health and human services said the last of the children has been transferred or released to family members, as hhs prepares to close the facility. more than 6,000 children had come through the detention camp since june, with a peak of 2,800 being housed there as of mid-december. the nonprofit contractor that ran the facility had refused to accept anymore kids, despite trump administration official pressured to do so so, their ceo told vice news. there are still about 11,000 migrant children in federal custody according to hhs officials. and coming up, what the trump shutdown means for national security. the trump shutdown means for national security.
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if i don't have a job, how can i pay for a mortgage? i have coworkers right now that are writing letters to their mortgage companies, saying that they can't pay the mortgage. i don't think it's moral to use aviation safety and the safety of the american people as a bargaining chip. >> wow. as the government shutdown enters a record 22nd day, there are growing concerns about the potential impact on national security, including on essential government agencies, like the fbi, the department of homeland security. more than 51,000 tsa workers continue to work without pay, sparking concerns about possible employee absences and staffing
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at some of the nation's busiest airports. joining me now is mayor keisha lance bottoms of atlanta and nancy malcolm is back with me. mayor, thank you so much for being here. we know that tsa workers were protesting at the airport in atlanta, one of the busiest in the country. we also know that the national air traffic controller's association has now sued the federal government, saying that each day, the faa's air traffic controllers are responsible for ensuring the safe routing of tens of thousands of flights, often working lengthy, grueling overtime shifts to do so. in fact, plaintiffs' jobs are so demanding and require such rare skills that the faa struggles to maintain a full complement of certified air traffic controllers, even under normal circumstances. let me just to cut forward, delta, united and jetblue pilots are now warning that flying will become more dangerous as the government shutdowns continue. officers are quitting. this is making -- this is making a lot of folks nervous.
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what's happening from your point of view as the mayor of atlanta? >> thank you for having me, joy. this should make all of us nervous. but thankfully, what we are seeing in atlanta is that as our stakeholders and our partners have these very real concerns, we are seeing engagement in a way that we have not seen before or needed to see before. meaning, on the ground, in atlanta, we are doing things like providing free parking for tsa agents. we are also working with our partners throughout the airport to even provide free lunches and free dinners and free meals for our tsa agents. and so at the local level, we are having to engage, but i'm very grateful for our tsa agents who are assigned to hartsfield-jackson atlanta international airport who are continuing to show up. and so much of it is because they care about the safety of our airport, they care about the people who go through the world's busiest airport, each and every day. and so they are doing what our
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president has not done. they are actually being adults and they are showing care and concern, real concern, for the american people. >> you know, malcolm, they're also human beings, though, who have kids that need to go to school, that have mortgages and bills that need to be paid. i want to play you an employee at airport in chicago. this is a tsa worker. this is from friday. >> i'm not getting paid. i just bought a house. i'm not going to be able to pay my mortgage. so, yes, this is affecting me personally. other people are married, they do have another income. i do not. i live 39 miles away from the airport. that's one way. my gas is what takes up my money, right? i could go probably one more pay period without getting paid. but most people can't go one more day. >> malcolm, the fbi agent's association issued a statement that friday was the first full day with no pay. as those on the front lines in the fight against criminals and terrorists, we urge expediency
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before financial insecurity compromises national security. at what point -- i mean, people are expected to come in and do their jobs with the jutmost diligence, as the mayor has just said, but if you are stressed out because you can't put your bills, because you can't put food in the fridge for your kids. i wonder as a national security professional yourself, how do you do your job? >> well, it's going to have to come from your heart. and there's one thing that i think, and the mayor expressed it very well that we can do to help. and that point is, when you see those people who are at the tsa terminals and the border patrol officers and i.c.e. who are not getting paid themselves, give them -- you know, just say hello. give them some encouragement. this is hard. this is not like the military where the first and the 15th of the month, money magically appears into your bank account. these people are getting zero. zero dollars. and then being issued a pay statement showing that they're getting nothing. the u.s. coast guard does not
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fall under the department of defense. they do incredible work every day, rescuing people out on the high seas. they get nothing right now. so for these families, these u.s. government families, 75% of whom are nowhere near washington, d.c., they are doing this out of love for this country. and you know, we shouldn't have to give them charity. we shouldn't have to go occupy and give them a hand to clean up the trash in places like joshua tree and our national parks. we should have a functioning government and the president of the united states, who cares not a whit about any of them, because he has never suffered a moment of hardship in his life, will not do it based on his own ego. >> mayor bottoms, you know, you know, to the point of giving people charity, i met a young man in d.c. who works in our business who was holding an event to try to raise money to give food and clothing -- i mean, this is extraordinary. to federal workers, right, who are now having to in some cases
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accept charity. in a big city like atlanta, i can imagine that this is -- at a certain point, it reaches a crisis. have you been in contact with the white house or has your, to your knowledge, your newly elected governor reached out to the white house saying, this needs to be ending, the shutdown? >> well, i have spoken with senator isaacson. we had a conversation this week, and he is very much aware of the challenges that we may face, leading up to our super bowl in just a few weeks. because right now, we have about 70 to 80,000 people who go through hartsfield-jackson each and every day. that number will swell the day after the super bowl, which refer to as mass exodus monday, we will have 110,000 people going through the airport. so we have been reassured by tsa that we will receive support that we need. i do know that our federal representatives are aware of the challenges.
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and obviously, join the rest of america in hoping that this shutdown will be long over by then. but there are some very serious concerns and just the impact. our airport is our largest job center in the state of georgia with 26,000 employees. many of these employees are hourly workers. and so there is this trickle-down, if you will, impact on what's happening. not just at our airport, but across our country. >> malcolm nance, the president of the united states is this morning, i guess he has nothing better to do than tweet, that he's all alone in the white house and the democrats, i guess, need to come and do whatever it is. i don't know what he's saying, he's just saying he's all alone. >> again? >> are you concerned that this at a certain point does become a security threat? the super bowl is a massive event that includes massive amounts of people moving through that airport in atlanta. are you concerned? at what point should we start to be worried? >> well, we should start to be worried now. this is coming from a counterterrorism perspective. the border wall is not where
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terrorists are coming into the united states. terrorists a s have either infiltrated the united states through our ports of entry, through international airports, or they were american citizens who radicalized or american citizen extremist who is go out and create these weapons. we need to understand that our national security is protected by the united states government. there is no secret deep state. they are the bureaucrats and the faithful people who come every day to keep us safe. >> you say that a thousand times. i think tweet it, because you have a bigger twitter following. the people who have been arrested for terrorism-related activities, they come often through the airport. you want airport security to be working and not for free. this is -- this is, you know, reaching crisis-level proportions. mayor keisha lance bottoms, we hope that the super bowl impose we well, thank you. and next up, the authors of
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a very timely book, boy, did they write a timely book, "how democracies die." rite a timely w democracies die. and it really shows. with all that usaa offers why go with anybody else? we know their rates are good, we know that they're always going to take care of us. it was an instant savings and i should have changed a long time ago. it was funny because when we would call another insurance company, hey would say "oh we can't beat usaa" we're the webber family. we're the tenney's we're the hayles, and we're usaa members for life. ♪ get your usaa auto insurance quote today.
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i listen to everybody but ultimately my attitude is the one that matters, isn't it. that's the way the system is.
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>> you look at the rules of the senate, even the rules of the house but the rules of the senate and some of the things you have to go through. it's really a bad thing for the country, in my opinion. >> nobody knows the system better than me which is why i alone can fix it. >> according to our next two guests one way that democracy's die off is that they are led by dangerous authoritarian rulers and unrestrained by the legislative bodies that's supposed to rein them in. is that what's happening to us? authors of how democracies die. what is a timely book. i don't know how you prognosticated this book is what people wanted and needed in the moment. in your book you talk about the fact that institutions alone can't really protect democracy. you also have to have a
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institution, democratic norms that are defended and if you have a legislative body that refuses to defend those norms, that's how you walk your way toward autocracy. when you look at the headlines from the washington post, the guardian about donald trump talking about using a national emergency to force money for a border wall, do you start to see this seeds of our democracy dying? >> i don't know about dying but i think we have a lot of evidence that our democracy is pretty darn dysfunctional at this point. we wrote the book when or began to write the book when donald trump emerged on the scene and got elected. for the first time in our lifetimes and many decades, we in the united states had elected a president who is not fully
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committed to democratic rules of the game. that's not fatal for democracy because we have pretty strong democratic institutions. in realized the informal norms, the norms of mutual toleration and forbearance or restraint have been weakening. the combination of a pretty authoritarian president and eroding democratic norms is pretty frightening. >> my question to you is our norms are weakening but haven't fallen. when you talk about forebearance one party gragrees their turn t be in charge are legitimate. republicans have shown since clinton they don't think it's legitimate when a democrat gets to have their turn to be president. they believe them to be ill legitimate and with this
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president, they refuse. mitch mcconnell won't put a bill on the floor unless dump saonalp says he can. do we have a functioning legislature with this republican party? they just let trump do whatever he wants. >> we're in a long simmering democratic crisis for the past two years. i think the first two years of the administration while republicans controlled both house and congress, there was a party of single party control. a model like hungary or turkey where one party dominants and congress abdicates its role to the president. it's now checks and balances in place but this doesn't mean we're in the clear. what we have entered a new phase with the same underlying ailments in which kind of have institutional warfare where the different branches of government are going to go to war with each
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other and not get anything done. i think we will continue to see this kind of escalation between the branches of government. emergency decrees, government shutdowns, executive orders. this escalating politicsliving . this is the way this other democracies have died. our institutions are stronger but a dark spot at this point. >> daniel mentioned turkey and hungary. you can have an elected autocrat. here is the signs. the leader shows only a weak commitment to democratic rules. they deny the legitmaacy of poe opponents. is donald trump an autocrat? >> for sure. he passed our litmus test we present in our book in flying colors in the campaign even before he took office.
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we have more recent evidence. that comes just in the week since the democrats took control of house. in a democracy when a president, even for a cherished piece of legislation, doesn't have the votes in congress, a president has to know how to either compromise or fundamentally to lose. when bill clinton, two spent two years on health care reform, lacked the votes in congress, he knew how to lose. when george bush claims mandate for social privatization after getting re-elected realized he didn't have the votes. he gave up. donald trump is showing with the wall -- the struggle over the wall that he doesn't know how to lose and is willing to violate not only democratic norms but maybe democratic rules. >> and to inflict pain on millions of people in his own word until he wins. the book is allow democracies die. highly recommend every one read it.
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