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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  July 5, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PDT

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but clinton and her team labelled as extremely careless in their use of e-mail. in a closely watched investigation and a highly anticipated announcement the fbi will not recommend charges to the department of justice over hillary clinton's use of a private server during his tenure as secretary of state. >> we are expressing to justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case. although we did not find clear evident that secretary clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive highly classified information. any reasonable person in secretary clinton's position or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about those matters should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. this investigation was done honestly, competently and independently. no outside influence of any kind was brought to bear.
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>> so the clinton campaign responding with this. >> but it is an election year and reaction happen swift. donald trump taking to twitter. "fbi director said crooked hillary compromised our national securities. no charges, wow." #riggedsystem. and dr. ben carson asked the questions on republicans' minds. take a listen. >> are americans willing to place everything in the hands of somebody with such poor judgment? >> hillary clinton is going to be holding an event coming up here in charlotte, north carolina, arriving on air force one with the campaigner in chief president obama at her side. their first public event. and hillary clinton back on the
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campaign trail in what now seems to be a relief to her campaign after director comey made that statement this morning. our reporters are across all aspects of this developing story. kristen welker is in charlotte, north carolina, where the president and secretary clinton are expected within the next hour. kelly o'donnell is live from director comey's -- was at director comey's announcement. joining us outside the fbi and ari melber is here on set to talk about the legal wranglings of all of this. kelly, i know you raced over there. it was like 9:15 when you got the world that they were going to hold a briefing, just a statement, no questions asked. but take us through the fbi decision and what director comey revealed about their process. >> well, what's interesting, thomas, is he gave so much detail and that is typically not a part of a finding like this where the fbi concludes an investigation and decides not to recommend any prosecution to the
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justice department. but he decided given the larger ramifications, the scope of if interest and whatever other reasons he felt he could make the judgment to be as revealing about what they found, he took this kind of unexpected step. so a number of things that we learned we had not known. hillary clinton used more than one server that was privately owned, kept at her home and so forth, not at the same time we didn't get that impression but one machine would be brought on line, another taken off line as they aged or became outdated. so that was new information. he also found that more than 100 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains did, in fact, contain classified information. that determination was made by the owning agencies that determined yes at the time they were sent or received they were classifie classified. >> kelly o'donnell at the fbi headquarters in d.c.
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thanks very much. i want to go to our colleague kristen welker. kristen, we know now the fbi is not recommending pressing charges. they transfer their investive findings. a source i spoke to in the campaign said there's a sense of relief this is behind us however comey said clinton and company had a careless regard for classified information. have you heard from your sources about whether or not clinton will address any of this at the rally there today. >> well, we have reached out to multiple sources, thomas, no definitive answer on that yet. but i think it would be unlikely, here's why. the optics of this. it would put the president in a very walk ward position, of course, this is going to be the first joint appearance with secretary clinton and president obama and its aim to rally democrats and rally those sanders supporters who have been hesitant to get on board with secretary clinton. president obama is going to be a character witness for secretary clinton. he's going to argue that, look,
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she's my former rival and now she's one of my closest confidantes. that he made her secretary of state. the clinton campaign believes he is uniquely suited to do that and to speak to the skills that are required to be president of the united states. but there's no doubt thomas, that this mixed report could complicate president obama's efforts to do that. now if you look at the public polling, our latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll shows 69% of voters say that the issues surrounding trustworthiness are of serious concern to them. so today that the fbi said secretary clinton did show carelessness in the handling of her e-mails is going to be a complicated factor. having said that, the democrats, the clinton campaign believes president obama is going to be her strongest surrogate in chief if you will and they're hoping this event will start to turn the page. thomas? >> i think this is going to be difficult for president obama.
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obviously this is a big moment for them, kristen. but one of the lines director comey delivered, while not the focus of our investigation, we also developed evidence that the security culture at the state department in general and with respect to the use of unclassified e-mail systems in particular was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government. your sources back in washington, i know you're highly occupied the clinton campaign but do you think or get a sense that president obama is also going to have to answer for the culture of his state department under the clinton tenure? >> i think there's no doubt that he is going to have to answer some of those questions. thomas. i doubt he'll mention it today but the next time he answers questions from reporters, this is what's going to come up. so undoubtedly dli he's going to have to answer questions and
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secretary clinton to have to answer questions in that record. the fact that she consistently said she never sent e-mails marked as classified at the time and yet today director comey said that's just not the case. as kelly o'donnell was just reporting. but the way in which they redress this is the big question mark right now. thomas, i doubt they'll do it here today. the purpose of this event is to try to rally democrats to try to unify the party heading into the convention. what happened today certainly creates a difficult backdrop for secretary clinton heading into the convention but president obama, elizabeth warren, those will be the powerful voices advocating her heading into that important event in july. thomas? >> kristen welker in north carolina, charlotte. we expect to see president obama and hillary clinton arriving shortly. i want to go to our colleague, msnbc's chief legal correspondent ari melber. he's been on this story all day
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as political rivals are tearing down this decision. is this the end of the road for the criminal investigation with comey coming out and giving this much information about their findings? >> step one is evidence, step two is a prosecutor decision. on the evidence this is over. the fbi saying they read every e-mail, they conducted this inquiry, did their interviews all the way up to the secretary of state and find no evidence of intention to commit a crime and they recommend the doj not pursue charges. then they went one further. that would be a lot, thomas, they went one further and director comey said not only that but the facts in this case that we have determined from our career prosecutors who, by the way, prosecute republicans and democrats alike when warranted, these facts wouldn't justify a case we've seen anywhere in history. so the only thing left, step two, is the prosecutorial decision. under precedent that's up to the doj but it's the fbi that makes the case so it would be very unusual for doj to go beyond
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that. that's why it feels over. one other point that is new, we saw secretary clinton do what is called a voluntary interview with the fbi. she wasn't forced into doing it, she did it. that was three and a half hours over the weekend and here on the first work day you see that announcement. that tells us the interview itself was a formality, double checking whether there was anything wrong with what she said but the working thesis but they point was we're speaking to an official not accused of wrongdoi wrongdoing. >> this has been a very swift timeline. it was on friday where loretta lynch said -- the attorney general, that she plans to accept whatever recommendations the career prosecutors and the fbi director make about whether to bring charges related to hillary clinton's personal e-mail server. so she showed her hand first hillary clinton goes in on saturday, comey comes out today, makes that statement. but how odd was it to have director comey give so much specific detail not only about
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process but findings and a suggestion of extreme carelessness? >> all of that to your point was unusual. typically when these guys make cases, that's what it's called. they go into the evidence, they make a case, recommend something that's as far as doj wants it to go. they privately hand that information over, materials, a briefing, doj makes the decision. this announcement was unusual because we don't usually see the fbi director do that. having said that, what he was trying to do and i grade him positively on this, i give him an "a" on transparency is that he was saying given that it's not like any other case, let's not pretend it was any other case, let's be above and beyond transparent. as he said no one knew what he was going to come out to say so anyone who has a conspiracy, was the white house timing this, that. we could see on the side of our screen with hillary clinton speaking and the president with her, not a day they would have picked but they had no notice if you believe the director. i've seen nothing to disbelieve
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it. so an unusually transparent action by the fbi. >> we know the director came out and said they have not coordinated or reviewed this statement in any way with the department of justice or any other part of the government. ari, thank you very much. i want to go to sean spicer, sean being the communications director for the republican national committee, also chief strategist. good to have you with me, first off, do you respect and accept the fbi's investigation and the statements of director comey as conclusionive and fair about clinton's e-mail server and that no recommendations of charges should come from this investigation? >> well, i don't understand it, to be honest with you, thomas. if you listen to the first 14 minutes of the 15-minute press conference the director lays out a case which is very clear. it's an indictment on hillary clinton's judgment, on her fitness to be president. he talks about the words reckless, how there is blatant disregard for the law and the process he set out. that's what her job was. so i don't understand how you
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can lay out an entire case and talk about how the culture at the state department didn't understand the importance of protecting national security, how she was reckless in handling it and not conclude there's a violation. he said we don't think this should be prosecuted. i don't understand how you can lay a case like that of all of those things and come to that conclusion. further more, the bigger point i have that a hard time understanding is the entire reason that the secret server was set up was to intentionally evade detection, tracking, and transparency. so the motive behind doing it frankly which is one of the things that he talked about was to specifically avoid playing by the rules and following the law as set out. so i frankly don't understand how they square that circle. >> when it comes to intent, though, specifically he said they found no evidence and intentionally deleted in an
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effort to conceal them and based on what their investigation was going after it was about the intentional and willful mishandling of classified information. and he said we did not buy this here. >> they found 100 additional ones. >> reince priebus treated about this saying "gross negligence equals blatant indifference to one's legal duty. comey defined hillary clinton's actions as gross negligence in that presser." so is it the rnc's position that director comey is acting in a partisan way to aid clinton of wrongdoing. >> i would say why he lays out the case he does. the chairman's point was he laid out an entire case for gross negligence. she didn't do her job as a reasonable person should have done it which is what the law says and come to the conclusion oh, well, we won't take next. and so i don't understand how he can lay out the case which is the definition of gross
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negligence and say but we're not going to act upon it. but let's get back, thomas. the entire reason the server or servers as we now know was set up was intentionally to evade detection and transparency. the underlying point, the reason she was told time and time again that she needed to use a state department e-mail and to follow protocols and rules, she that she signed a document saying she would do was to actually undermine the rules she said she would uphold. so that's -- again, i don't understand how he can come to a conclusion that she clearly set out to avoid and evade from the get-go. >> are you saying it is comey's spent two aid clinton of wrongdoing? if he's laying out this case and you're saying it's checking boxes that would meet federal statutes to bring criminal charges then why isn't director comey recommending that to the doj? what is his intent? are you saying it's to aid clinton? >> i'm not quite -- look, again,
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i'm not questioning his intent. i don't agree with his conclusion. but i don't understand how -- he didn't take any questions and there's a lot of explaining to do. a couple days after the attorney general met privately with bill clinton there's a lot more questions that get answer sod i get it that he got to get up, give a briefing but what he laid out for the first 14 minutes does not jive with the conclusion that he came to at the end. you cannot talk about how the actions that hillary clinton had were susceptible foreign hackers. you cannot talk about the fact that there were additional top secret classified and kr confidential e-mails, use a word like reckless, use a word like blatant disregard and then say, oh, by the way, the answer does not prove any further action. it doesn't make sense. and i think there is a lot more questions that have to get answered. i think holding it a couple hours before the president of the united states campaigns with
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her if first time is questionab questionable. there is more that needs to get answered. it does not make any sense. >> so sean, you keep dancing around that, though. now you're questioning the timing of comey's announce some why is comey's timing on the announcement -- >> you're the one -- >> no, no. you just brought up comey's announcement before clinton and obama's event. that's not me bringing that up. why would you bring that up? why do you keep going back to comey's announcement? the atent intent of his finding matching up with legality. it seems as if you're trying to say there's some other type of intent taking place here. >> i think there's questions that need to be answered, thomas. i think to get up, to lay out a case like that and to come to an opposite conclusion without taking any questions or further explanation requires further -- leaves further questions on the table. i think there's more that needs to get answered. i think this is suspicious and the idea that people don't think
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this looks kind of weird makes me question that -- if this was a republican you guys would be indicting them all day long. this idea that there's nothing that looks odd about this the day after she spends 3.5 hours privately meeting -- something no other citizen would get the opportunity to do. again, there's something that -- there's a lot more questions made that need to get answered. this is not a conclusion you can get up, give a briefing and walk away. it seems very odd. i think hillary clinton has a lot more explaining to do. i think there's a lot more questions that the justice department should answer. but i -- and then obviously to have the timing of a rally right after this leaves questions to be answered. i'm not questioning his intent. i'm actually saying there are further questions because i think the timing is odd right after the attorney general meets with the former president. as ari said in the previous segment, the idea that they just probably had the conclusion already made and wanted to meet with her as a formality calls
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into question the timing of this as well. so i think there are additional questions. what the attorney general -- the fbi director laid out for 14 minutes calls in mind a lot of serious questions about the culture of the state department she ran and her actions. the underlying intent, though, of creating a secret server to begin with was clearly to evade detection and transparency and recordkeeping. houma abedin over the weekend talked about her destroying schedules. so to come to a conclusion after laying out that case that all of those things occurred and yet there is no action that should be taken does not pass the smell test. >> so, sean, two things i want to give everybody a quick update on. we're watching on one box the images coming out of charlotte, north carolina, this is where the president and secretary clinton will be appearing at this rally. we're also monitoring a state department briefing where they're giving us an update on isis activities and one thing that had to deal with a drone that went down. we heard from richard engel and
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what happened with that. but sean i want to get you on the record about what donald trump has done as a reaction. he's been tweeting about this. he sent one tweet that said former cia director petraeus got in trouble for -- the system is rigged, general david petraeus got in trouble for far less. very, very unfair. as usual, bad judgment. but as we talked about, former cia director, this was years ago, he got in trouble for not sending e-mails but sharing an e-mail account with his biographer and former girlfriend, revealing and leaking classified information because they would correspond through the drafts folder. then he lied to the fbi about it and he pled guilty to a single misdemeanor. that's another issue with hillary clinton taking this meeting not under oath with the fbi but there would be an issue with a false statement act where she could be in trouble if something didn't jive with their investigation. that is also not something comey announced or spoke to and it
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seems as if the investigative interview matches up with their investigation so far. we'll wait to see if there's more that comes out of that. but then there's the other tweet, sean, the one donald trump sent featuring a six-sided star, the pile of money and an attack ad on clinton and i should note while it came from his account we don't know if he sent it. it was deleted, then fixed with another image. but still we had speaker paul ryan coming out saying he felt it was anti-semitic and that those images have no place in a presidential campaign. going on to say, look, i really believe he has a cleanup -- he has to clean up the way his social media works. does the rnc think that this tweet was anti-semitic? is it concern why the campaign won't say where this twitter account originally sent this image from? >> well, i think they did. they put out a statement from the social media director talking about how it came, saying it was a mistake and it was updated. so i don't think there's any
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intent there beyond a mistake was made and they cleaned it up. when you look at donald trump and you look at 1985 when he purchased mar-a-lago and the liberal elites in palm beach had clubs down there that excluded people because of their religion or the color of their skin, it was donald trump who came down in 1995, 30 years ago before it was cool to be politically correct and said i'm going to open up a club, mar-a-lago, and open it to blacks and jews and anybody else. i'm not going to -- i don't care about the color of anyone's skin, their religion, i'm going to make my club open for everyone and faced a backlash. so 30 years ago when he wasn't running for anything he showed the kind of person that he was and he fought the system, fought the liberal elites in palm beach and said i'm going to make a club open to everybody. so look at the content of the man and the actions he's taken. i think that's who he is. they made a mistake on social media and they apologized. that's a big difference than what hillary clinton has done which is set up a system it was
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intentionally set up to evade the processes, regulations she swore -- signed her name and swore documents saying she was going to uphold. that's a very, very different thing. you're talking about two people running for president of the united states that will have oversight over all classified information and set a culture throughout the entire government. based on what the fbi director said today hillary clinton doesn't have the judgment or character to be that president or carry on that culture. >> sean spice we are the rnc. sean, great to have you on. thank you for your time. i want to go to john kirby at the state department saying they've been coordinating and open to the fbi investigation answering their questions. let's listen. >> the department has, as you know, an administrative process to evaluate cases where information may have been mishandled, as we've said previously, at the request of the fbi the department has not moved forward with that process to ensure we did not interfere with the investigation. as i said earlier, we're not
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going to interfere with the process before the department of justice. i don't have any more updates on the possible scope or timing of our process. >> so one of the words i think that kind of stood out in this regarding the state department was "careless." i think he even said extremely careless at one point regarding the former secretary and how she handled her e-mails, top staff around her, including some still at the department and the agency as a whole. do you agree that this agency was extremely careless with how it dealt with classified and otherwise sensitive information? >> well, i'm not going to, again, comment on the specific findings and recommendations that the fbi director noted today. >> reporter: why not? >> but the question about -- >> reporter: this is a public statement. >> the claim about -- i do want to address the claim about lax environment or culture when it
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comes to handling classified information and i would just say -- and i'm comfortable commenting on that because as the director himself said, that was not part of their investigation. his -- their assessment of a or. we don't share that assessment of our institution. that said, we're always looking for ways to improve, we'll continue to look for ways to improve but we don't share the broad assessment made of our institution that there's a lax culture when it comes to protecting classified information, we take it very, very seriously. >> reporter: i'm sorry, you don't share the assessment that when the former head of the agency had thousands of e-mails that you had to upgrade, including hundreds that were -- over a hundred that were classified at the time that that doesn't amount to lax approach to classified information i mean, how many hundreds would
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you need for it to be lax in your opinion? >> reporter: what i'm saying, brad, is that as a cultural assessment of the state department as an institution that we have a lax culture here, we don't share that assessment. and as the director said himself, that wasn't part of their investigation or the findings and recommendations they made inside that investigati investigation. >> reporter: well, but -- it's true it was not the scope of their investigation but in looking at her e-mails and the number of officials that were e-mailing her about classified information, that's where they came to the determination that there was a lax culture so i guess you would have to look at every single employee and see what their treatment of e-mail to determine it's a lax culture but clearly the fbi found enough -- you know, secretary clinton's intent or whatever notwithstanding that generally there were a lot of officials and that they came across in the scope of this investigation
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which led them to believe that the culture is not taken as seriously as it could be. >> well, i'll let the fbi director speak to their findings and recommendations in his investigation, as he should. the question was do i share, do we share the assessment of the culture of the -- at the institution of the state department to be lax and we don't share that assessment. we take it very seriously here. >> well, clearly he found in the the previous administration -- previous term. so you're saying that maybe there was a lax culture that doesn't exist anymore? >> no, i'm not saying that. i'm not saying that at you will, elise. i'm not parsing words here. i'm saying that the state department has in the past and does today take the treatment of classified information very seriously and when we -- >> reporter: so it was just a few bad apples? >> pardon? >> reporter: it was just a few people that did not take enough care? >> i'm not going to speak to any more specifically about the findings and recommendations that the fbi made and announced
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today. what i can tell you is we don't share the broad assessment that there's a lax culture here at the state department when it comes to dealing with classified information. quite the contrary. >> reporter: i have one more. can you -- the fbi director said that had some of these people still been in office that they would have been subject or could have been subject to administrative penalties. is anybody that's currently employed by the state department going to have anotes in their files as a result of anything that their e-mails uncovered in terms of their communications and also some of the previous employees that worked for secretary clinton that were found to have exchanged what is now believed to be classified information. are they going to have posthumous notes put in their file should they ever seek to be employed by the u.s. government again? and does the state department do
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that or does the fbi do that? what's the pro stlecess there? >> i think i alluded to this at the top. we'll determine the appropriate next steps following a decision by the department of justice. that's where this really lays right now. we have as you know an administrative process to evaluate cases where information may have been mishandled and as i've said previously, at the request of the fbi we didn't move forward with that process so as not to interfere with their investigation. we also don't believe that it's sproept at this time give than the matter is now before the department of justice to determine their next step to make decisions or not make decisions, we don't think it's appropriate for us to move forward on that at this time. so i just don't have an update for you on the -- on any possible timing or scope of that review process.
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>> so what would be the -- so once the department of justice makes their recommendation then you would determine what administrative processes you want to move forward with? >> i think we need to wait to see what the justice department decides to do now in the wake of the fbi investigation before we move forward one way or the other. we want to allow the proper time and space for that before we decide anything further with respect to those issues. >> reporter: a couple of detailed questions on this and if you don't have the answers if you could undertake to take them. as has been explained to me, there are two separate processes that can be undertaken here, one of them is an administrative process and the other is a security clearance related process. as has been explained to me, but i'd like to confirm, the administrative process governs
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solely people currently employed by the department of state. can you confirm that that's the case that administrative processes or sanctions don't apply to people who are no longer employed by state? second, as it's been explained to me, it is possible for people who are no longer employed at state but who retain a security clearance to be subject to a security clearance process and perhaps sanction ed. is that your understand aing as well? and then a couple of other specific things. are any -- does former secretary clinton or any of her senior aides p specifically cheryl mills, jake sullivan and houma abedin continue to have security clearances provided by by the state department? and if so is it theoretically possible that you would then
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review those security clearances in the light of whatever is ultimately the justice department prosecutorial decision and the fbi's investigative material? >> there's an awful lot there. let me see if i can dissect it. i'm certainly not going to get ahead of what is still an ongoing process now with the state department or speculate one way or the other about which way this will go. i don't know. i'm happy to ask the question, your question about administrative processes. i don't know if there's a technical definition for administrative and whether that applies in broad scope to only current employees or former employees. i'll have to take that. on the security clearance process or review, all i can tell you generally speaking is that if there's a need -- and i'm speaking broadly, not to this -- that the way it
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typically works as i understand it is that the department that issues a security clearance if there is -- if it's determined that clearance needs to be reviewed for whatever reason it's up to that -- it's up to the department that issued it to review it. regardless of whether the employee is still at the -- is still employed by the agency. the agency has that responsibility unless, of course, that employee went to a different federal agency and then got it renewed there. does that make sense? i'm not going to speculate one way or another about the degree to which this is even part of it. the fbi director was very careful, i'm going to be very careful. these are now decisions that have to be discussed. the findings and recommendations now have to be absorbed by the department of justice and they'll make decisions or not going forward. and then on your last question about the individuals, we do not
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discuss the security clearance of individuals as a matter of policy. we just don't discuss it. >> reporter: these are former officials. >> we do not discuss. >> reporter: one of them, jake sullivan, in the transcript of his deposition in the civil lawsuit in which he was deposed as part of discovery, his lawyer said his security clearance was restored so that he would have the ability to look at some of the material that was classified that they wanted to talk to him about and so it's at least in the public domain in that one instance, according to his lawyer that he had as of that date about a week ago security clearance, why can't you talk about whether former officials have security clearances? >> because that's our policy. >> reporter: do you know why? >> it's been long-standing policy. we do not discuss security
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clearance levels or access of individuals current or former. that's our policy and i won't violate that. >> a state department policy or government-wide policy? >> i know its at least a state department policy, elise. >> reporter: because certainly there have been instances, whether it's general petraeus or san sandy berger or others that when there was punitive action taken they did discuss security clearance. >> i'm not going to discuss individual security clearances from this podium. just not going to do it. and i refer you to the individuals in question and if they are represented by others to speak to that but i don't who do that. >> reporter: one more on the question of laxity. you state you disagree with the assessment that the state department is lax, has a culture of being lax in protection of classified information. why is it that the highest state
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department official was allowed to establish and use a private e-mail server with, as i understand it, no government-provided by security for e-mails that contained information that as the fbi director said this morning some of which was classified at the time it was sent and received. i mean, if it's not lax how can the top official of the department go off and set up their own system that isn't subject to the normal procedures here? >> look, i'm not going to relitigate the investigation, as i said, i'm not going to speak to the findings and recommendations, the fbi director spoke to that earlier today and to what they found in terms of the practices back then
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and how those practices were followed. what i'll just tell you broadly speak i speaking. we don't share the assessment that as an institution, an spire i institution that the state department has in the past or does today take lightly the issue of sensitive and classified information. we absolutely don't. >> reporter: the reason i asked it is that you look at -- as i understand it kind of every level of potential check or balance here, right? the assistant secretaries for d.s. the undersecretary for management. according to the inspector general's report these people were not asked and did not voice an opinion on the use of this system. the person on the 7th floor who was charged with these kinds of
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issues, at least according to the report, told two people not to talk to anybody about it. so even if the quibble is with the word "laxity," do you feel that your systems were sufficient to safeguard classified information sent by or to the secretary of state? >> again, i think the fbi director addressed that as well as part of their investigation. i am simply not going to discuss or comment on their findings and recommendations with respect to this case. this issue. >> reporter: -- well, i mean -- >> wait a second, elise, wait, wait. and to your question -- and as he said himself, his assessment of the state department's culture was not part of this investigation and that's why i'm confidantable addressing that.
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that on -- as a whole in the main we absolutely do not share the broad assessment that the entire culture here at the state department is lax when it comes to protecting sensitive and classified information. and what i'm basing that on, brad, is the long standing -- and i don't just mean recently, but long standing training and indoctrination that one goes through before you get employed here and the periodic reviews of the training and sensitive information handling that you have to go through. all the time. i've been here a little bit more than a year, i've had to go through it several times myself that ef-two networks for e-mail traffic that are deliberately set up to handle various degrees of sensitive information and this the work of diplomats all
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around the world is by its very nature sensitive but also outward-facing and has to be. there's a role here at the state department to be communicative. to have dialogue. to foster communication. that's a big part of who we are and i can tell you that everybody involved in that understands the risks and the opportunities of it and takes it very seriously. so to say that the culture here is lax, that's a pretty broad brush and, again, we wouldn't use it, we don't believe it. >> buyian williams here with you in new york as we have switched once again today into breaking news mode given the extraordinary events of this day after the 4fourth of july in
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washington and points south. you have been listening to the state department briefing they are from the podium trying to defend their angle of this. the fbi director's statement this morning after all was about hillary clinton's time as secretary of state, they are pushing back against a very anxious and persistent press corps saying in effect, not to quote them directly, that this is nothing endemic within their portion of the u.s. government within their building. on the left-hand side of your screen, as we've been watching, air force one has taxied to a halt. the air stairs have been brought up to the side of the fuselage and soon through that door we will be seeing president obama and hillary clinton. what a day in american politics. the fbi director started off the news cycle by appearing in the briefing room, a teleprompter speech, very precise to the
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assembled press corps and the national audience watching on table a what -- the associated press has called a blistering report on hillary clinton's computer practices alleging great carelessness but no criminal action. and here is the presumptive nominee on the left-hand side of the democratic party. on the right, of course, flanked by president obama. this joint campaign appearance, you may recall, was supposed to take place in wisconsin but after the shootings and the terrible death toll in orlando, florida, that was put off, it's taking place today in an equally politically critical state of north carolina. the two of them will appear at the convention center in charlotte not far from where barack obama accepted the 2012 nomination to run as a second-term president for the democratic party. they are being greeted at the
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bottom of the steps. they will then motorcade to the convention center. that is where andrea mitchell is waiting. and andrea, set the scene further as we say the secret of life is timing, the timing of today is stunning. >> it's extraordinary, brian. you and i have covered a lot of politics but i can't recall the confluence of events like this. this was supposed to be her big day. barack obama literally and figuratively embracing her, bringing here here on air force one, the icon nick blue and white plane which conveys authority and presidential power. she had ridden on that plane so many times as first lady and twice as secretary of state. most recently in 2013 when, as a former secretary of state, she went to the nelson mandela funeral with the presidential party but never before as a presidential candidate. this is the first time president obama is campaigning with her. this was supposed to be the high
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point of the general election rollout leading up to the nomination to come in philadelphia at the democratic convention which they anticipate. still anticipate. off very large crowd here, more enthusiastic than most clinton crowds, truth be told. there are people lined around the block. barack obama is very popular in charlotte but he did not win this state in 2012, he lost it to mitt romney. he did win it by only 14,000 votes in 2008 but they now believe that this state is winnable because donald trump's numbers are down here and hers are up so this is an attempt to expand the battleground, we are calling it a tossup in our nbc battleground states so moving this from wisconsin after that horrible, terrible tragedy in orlando caused the delay in wisconsin to north carolina tells you their strategy. they're telegraphing they think this is winnable here and they need to get highly educated swing voters, largely white as
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well as energizing the african-american base in the state against the rural less college educated white voters in the areas where the textile industry and others have been severely disenfranchised and hampered by trade deals that donald trump derides so that is the reason they're here, but now for this to be taking place on day when, as you pointed out our colleagues at the a.p. are calling jim comey's report a blistering report. the campaign put out a statement trying to say that this now removes any criminal investigation and putting the best possible face on it. we're told that she nor the president are going to have anything to say about these conclusions and that she's not going to speak to us off the cuff. not on the rope line. she doesn't do that anyway. but there will be no other moment. they'll go ahead with their plan to have hillary clinton talk about president obama, their
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relationship, the economy, how he's turned things around, what more needs to be done. the anxieties that are being felt and have him talk about her and validate her as the best person to succeed him, for him, there's a lot of motivation. not only does he really, really want to elect hillary clinton despite their past rivalry and disagreements on trade and a few other issues, he wants her to be his successor to perpetuate his legacy and carry that on. but there's a personal side of this. barack obama really, really believes that donald trump's attacks on his ethnicity, his nationality in 2011, the whole birther movement are racially motivated and he really wants to defeat donald trump. he won't attack him by name today we are told. he's going to make this more about hillary clinton and the economy so this is the big day. they're calling the president hillary clinton's greatest validator, but it's certainly awkward for them to be flying in together after his own fbi
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director and his own justice department ask preparing to review the recommendations of jim comey which were highly negative i went september for the bottom line which is she and her colleagues won't be indicted. >> andrea mitchell at the convention center, we'll be going back to andrea. we've been watching at the airport something fairly rare and that is for the president to go over to a ropeline at the airport upon arrival. now both clinton and obama are sealed inside behind the massive doors of the limousine, the armored limousine for the motorcade to downtown charlotte. ron allen covers the white house for us. he is at the white house today, not part of the traveling white house press corps today but ron has had access to the federal court the press corps traveling on board air force one, ron,
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what's the advance intel? >> on the matter of the e-mails, the white house is trying to distance itself from this and saying essentially that there was no advance notice of director comey's remarks. no influence from the white house here and they have no "official reaction" because of the sensitivity of it and because this is still an ongoing investigation by the career investigators who even though director comey said he didn't think this case should be prosecuted, there's still the work to be done. beyond that, the white house has been emphasizing the closeness of the relationship between the president and secretary clinton and i don't think you can really overstate how determined the president is to get out there on the campaign trail. this is something that he really takes very personally based on comments we've heard him make in recent weeks and months, because it is donald trump and his legacy and because fe feels so
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strongly about how this election should turn out. now, again, the clinton campaign obviously sees president obama has a great validator, also as a great motivator of the base to get out there and the president, of course, see this is as, again, protecting his legacy and also putting someone in office who can finish so many things he started out trying to get done. so a lot here on the line for president obama as well as secretary clinton. we expect that the white house -- that the president will be out there again and again in the weeks and months to come following in the convention, he'll have a role there at least one evening but the bottom line, the president has wanted to get out there in private comments and comments in the briefing room, comments that -- campaign fund-raising events which are usually done off camera. his attacks against donald trump have been withering, sarcastic, very searing about trump's businesses, about trump the man saying he is not qualified to be
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president. saying this is not a reality show, being president of the united states. we even heard mr. obama go off on trump stake steaks and wine e enterprises donald trump has started with varying success over the years. so i would expect a very enthusiastic to say the least president obama when he takes the stage on behalf of secretary clinton. >> ron allen at the white house as we watch elements of the motorcade going over a speed burden of proof bump on the way out of the airport grounds. they have landed at the north carolina air national guard terminal there. more about how this day started. this extraordinary statement to the press, to the nation, by the director of the fbi james comey saying he spoke not in concert with any one, not with anyone's knowledge, no one tried to
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influence the investigation nor did he try to inform anyone this was coming and after, again, what andrea mitchell and i have quoted the associated press as calling a blistering review of hillary clinton's computer practices while secretary of state, the salient quote toward the end was "no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case." so it will not be recommended to the justice department that hillary clinton be indicted for the laundry list of computer offenses detailed by the fbi director today. our justice correspondent pete williams has been following this all day sand with us by telephone. pete, what else should folks know about this extraordinary outing today? >> a couple of things i would say, brian. first of all, the fact that the fbi had planned to do this once they concluded that they would not recommend there would be criminal charges filed. in other words, the timing of
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this announcement had nothing to do with the fact that the attorney general ended up meeting with former president clinton on his plane last week. if anything, the fbi found that an inconvenience fact that might cause them to delay the timing of their statement but they already planned to do this. they already concluded that because of the lie profile nature of this they would depart from the usual practice. normally when the fbi finishes an investigation if there are no charges, that's that, they never say anything. but given there was so much attention to this, that everybody already knew there was an investigation going on, the fbi felt they had to say something about the fact that they weren't going to recommend charges be filed and that the investigation was over. so the final step was interviewing the former secretary of state last weekend, last saturday. the second thing we have to remember is not only are they not going to recommend charges against hillary clinton, also they're not going to recommend charges against anybody who sent her e-mails or received e-mails
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that contained classified information and finally that this is in a sense still not over because the investigation is over but the process isn't because the justice department has to make the final decision. now the attorney general said she would abide by the recommendations of director comey and the career prosecutors at justice so that's the last step to go through here. but one official told me today that it would be remarkable, extraordinary, if the recommendation was anything but no charges. >> pete to your first point about usual customary justice department procedure when an investigation ends with no result, a couple people have said today, all right, why such an elaborate and detailed presentation if that was going to be the bottom line? for some folks, the fact that this was a high profile case just isn't enough to justify what we saw this morning. >> well, i think the fbi's view
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is that, in fact, it was. normally they wouldn't do this because inn ideal world people would be under investigation and no one would ever know it and the investigation would be over and so there would be no public announcement. but remember the whole genesis of this thing. it begins with a referral from the inspectors general -- the inspector general of the intelligence community saying we want to find out if classified information here was mishandled. so for the past year this has been in the public eye, everybody's known every sort of public d public -- every incremental step here, the turning over of the material by her lawyer, the fbi's interviewing with her former staff. it was happening in front of everybody so they felt they had to say something once it was over and once the decision was made to say something they felt they had to go into detail about why. >> for folks not familiar with the term of the fbi director,
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this would presumably be the fbi director were there to be a hillary clinton presidency, correct? >> well, that's right. i guess he's now, what, three, four years into a ten-year term. >> pete williams, our justice correspondent. pete, thank you for that and following this all day. make no mistake, had this statement gone the other way in terms of that last summation that director comey gave that "no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case" this today may well have ended the candidacy of hillary clinton for the democratic nomination, indeed for president. it did not. it has not. on the left-hand side of your screen you see the next event we will be covering, the motorcade bringing the president and hillary clinton to downtown charlotte, to the convention center there.
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their now once-delayed joint appearance together as president as presumptive nominee, our live coverage will continue right after a break. will your business be ready when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services
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like at&t. we are back coming up on the 3:00 hour here on the east coast and this is the focal point event of the afternoon until, that is, the news cycle churns on into evening, the joint appearance between hillary clinton, barack obama at the convention center in charlotte, north carolina after a flight of exact lly 50, 5-0, minutes. political tongues have been wagging today wouldn't have been something to be a fly on the wall for that flight, for that trip in the motorcade and backstage at this event after a day starting as this one did with the fbi director delivering a scathing report about the
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carelessness of hillary clinton's e-mail practices and habits while secretary of state careless but not criminal in his final finding. from the airport the motorcade went on to the convention center in charlotte. that's where nbc's andrea mitchell is standing by, andrea. ♪ ♪ all right, here what's has just happened. that is indeed hall & oates and not andrea mitchell. we have plugged into the sound system. we're going to try andrea mitchell again. ♪ oh, yeah, again, hall & oates. two hours after the president is supposed to be wheels up back to washington donald trump is supposed to begin an event in raleigh. he has already been active today
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on twitter after the statement of the fbi director about hillary clinton. katy tur is standing by in raleigh covering the trump campaign. please tell me, katy. >> hall & oates, that's a good song. i wouldn't mind listening to that. donald trump is going to be here. he's trying to divert attention from his own scandals by focusing in on hillary clinton today and the fbi, also trying to focus in on his search for a vice presidential candidate. to give you an idea of how he responded to the fbi's recommendation not to bring charges, here is what he has been tweeting "the system is rigged, general petraeus got into trouble for far less, very, very unfair. as usual, bad judgment." also "fbi director said crooked hillary compromised our national security. no charges, wow. #riggedsystem." thisth