tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC February 16, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PST
agencies. feinberg has to be cleared by the office of government ethics first. you saw our team a moment ago. i want to go to kasie hunt on capitol hill. we expect perhaps reaction from these republican lawmakers headed to the white house in just a few minutes from now. >> reporter: that's right. there's a handful of republican house members, mostly early supporters of donald trump. everything that's happened over the course of the last 48 hours is going to be on the table. and i think the question here for capitol hill is going to be how does this evolve, what is the next turn here? we know congressman chaffetz has sent a letter wanting to know more about leaks. he want the department of
justice to justify leaks in the course of this. but there are others looking into the contacts that flynn had with the russian government and what was discussed in those phone calls. and one thing i think is noteworthy, there's a letter out last night from chuck grassley, the chairman of the judiciary committee in the senate and dianne feinstein and they're asking for more information, briefings, documents, from the department of justice about this investigation. i think that is something that while we may not have immediate headlines out of it is something that could potentially generate significant information here. you have on the one hand concerns from many republicans about the nature of the conversations between the russian government, the trump campaign, michael flynn, the ousted national security adviser. on the other, republicans are pursuing the leaking. >> thank you. joining me is stephanie ruhle back to talk about some of this. you've got a business
background. tell us a little bit about this guy, stephen feinberg, how you see his role unfolding in the white house. >> in is amazing. yes, he's a billionaire. he co-founted a privaded privat firms. this guy is a wrecking ball. he lacks for companies and cuts them out. people have heard his name before. they one of the main investors in remington. after that massacre at the grade school in connecticut, one of the largest investors said if you don't pull out of this, we're selling you. they tried to sell out their position. he has been a lifetime remember. he's hired guys like dan quayle and gave about $1.5 million to
president trump during the election. he does know steve bannon, but he has no experience in intelligence and military and government. extraordinarily smart guy but this is a guy who tears things up. it's got to be a frightening idea if you're part of the intelligence community. and those are two different worlds. you're truly taking a guy from corpora corporate america and having him face off against intelligence? donald trump clearly ain't happy. >> i want to talk to our guest. senator, good morning and thanks for being here. let me pick up where stephanie ruhle left off. she said steve feinberg is a man who likes to tear things up. does donald trump need to tear up his intelligence apparatus, issue this top-to-bottom review? >> it's frightening to think he wants to do that.
the intelligence folks i've worked with throughout the years are highly trained, professionals, patriotic americans. they spend every minute of the day thinking about how to make us safe and get us the information we need to know. the fact that he is attacking the intelligence community is outrageous. >> you called it frightening he would order this review. is it such a bad thing to make sure that in fact the intelligence community is functioning as it should be functioning? well, no, nothing's wrong with that. we need to constantly have that review. i'm the ranking member on a federal spending oversight committee and we constantly need to do that. but i suspect president trump's motives go beyond that given his reaction of what has been clear e indications of russian involvement in the campaign and
constant contact during the campaign. >> do you have any proof of that, senator, or is that just your gut? >> that's my gut. you don't have to have much aofa gut feeling. he is faced with uncomfortable facts. he likes to deal with alternative facts. when he pushes back, he's going to be undermining some of the core institutions that we have in this country that make sure that we are a democratic society. it's not just the intelligence community, it's been the judiciary, it's been the press. this is just a constant attack from president trump on those institutions necessary to make sure that we have a strong environment and democracy in this country. >> you talk about the facts. one of the facts we haven't seen as members of the public are the transcripts of michael flynn, the phone calls in question. have you seen those transcripts? >> no, i haven't.
>> do you think they should be? >> yes. transparency is important. i hope we'll have full bipartisan hearings on this and transparency is the critical aspect of that. the american people need to see what happened and when it happened. >> nbc news is reporting the fbi is not likely to charge michael flynn after interviewing as part of his investigation in russia's meddling or influence in our election. how much faith do you have the fbi can investigate this independently under james comey? >> i hope he can but that's why we have to have an independent investigation reviewing all of the work being done. in addition to the fbi, there are other intelligence agencies involved. we need a fair, open investigation. this has to be fact driven. the american people deserve nothing less than a fact-driven investigation. that's why it needs to be open
with a number of eyes looking at it. >> let's say the fbi, if that is the only other investigation that investigates this, do you trust them to fully follow through? >> that's why we have to go broader than the intelligence committee. that's a great forum to begin this process. as i know, the intelligence committee also does things behind closed doors. there are folks that think that's where you take investigations to be forgotten and not have the light of day. >> are you one of those folks who thinks that? >> i have concern. i support the intelligence committee moving forward but i believe we have to go broader. other committees need to look at that, my armed services committee, homeland security, all of them have relevance. if we can't get a bipartisan agreement to do it, we need to take the next step, which should be a special investigation or special prosecutor, to make sure there's full independence and a full airing of what are very serious charges.
every american no matter when you're a democrat or republican should be very concerned over the smoke we're seeing here. and my experience is when there's a lot of smoke, there's usually a fire there. >> what can democrats do? it's going to be mostly up to the republicans in power on capitol hill. other than publicly issuing these calls as you are doing and your democratic colleagues are doing, what action can we take? >> this is something every american should be concerned with. that's why strong public opinion is important. the types of activism we've seen has made a difference in the first few weeks of this administration. we expect the press, likes yourself and others, to ask tough questions and force the answer to those questions. we have to have a fair and independent judiciary.
that's why it's been so damaging to our country to have president trump going after judicial decisions made by federal judges appointed by republican presidents. we have to push back. this is a significant threat to our democratic society. and if we don't all get together to get to the true facts and to say that in america, in this great country of our, that we hold elected officials to transparent investigations, then we have more serious problems. >> senator gary peters, thank you very much for being with us here today. i'll see you in d.c. next week. >> peter alexander is over at the white house investigating the new news. what is happening on the west wing and what's happening on the ground? >> reporter: broadly speaking, a senior administration official here tells us stephen feinberg is president trump's pick to lead what would be a wide review over the nation's spy agencies.
this official tells me that the mandate would be much bigger than the intelligence, that that focus would take place later on. right now it's not entirely clear what his immediate focus would be. in terms of feinberg and his ability to join this white house in some form, worth noting he's a friend of jared kushner and steve bannon here, but beyond that, there are some challenges in terms of the process of getting him vetted right now. it needs to still be cleared by this senior administration official, by the office of government ethics, he has a company worth $40 billion of assets he manages right now and there's concern having an individual who to the best of our knowledge doesn't have any experience overseeing this broad
review and it also gives potentially president trump direct control over review of an agency to at least at this point is involved in some form to the trump campaign's relationship to russian intelligence officials. >> i want to bring you back to kasie hunt. you just talked to congressman peter king about all of this? what's going on? >> reporter: that's right. we caught up briefly down here in the capitol basement. the conference is talking about the health care law but this top being still very much on everybody's mind. i asked congressman king about whether or not this broad review might be necessary. he expressed confidence in the intelligence community. he did say there should be some concern about leaks but he pointed to leaders in the intelligence community under president obama who of course are no longer in those posts. he said he has great confidence in the cia director mike pompeo
and from him not getting a sense there's a great demand for what the trump administration is going for, hallie. >> kasie, i know we'll be checking back in with you later on in this hour. thank you much. in the meantime we're going to talk about and each puzder, the first trump appointee to withdraw his nomination. what impact will have on the new president and who might replace him? plus secretary of state rex tillerson meeting with his russian counterpart at the g-20 summit in germany. we're headed there live later this hour. the same company who designed, engineered, and built the cars. they've got the parts, tools, and know-how to help keep your ford running strong. 35,000 specialists all across america. no one knows your ford better than ford. and ford service. right now, get the works! a synthetic blend oil change,
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happening now, you are taking a live look at a hearing on the pick from president trump to be his ambassador to israel. david freeman, you can see the questioning happening now inside the hearing room on capitol hill, the statements as well being read. we'll be checking in on a different pick, nick mulvaney. he's got his own discussion on capitol hill coming up on just a bit. that's his choice to become the head of office of management and budget. he's also looking for a new labor secretary after andy puzder withdrew his nomination. it became clear he just didn't have the support of several senate republicans. >> there were just too many questions that had arisen about his employment as a business
person of an undocumented housekeeper. >> i am joined by former reagan labor secretary. you were an early critic of the president. i'm going to talk specifically about him but how big of a setback is that for the president? >> not big at all. i didn't like the pick to begin with. >> why not? >> i thought the pick should have come out of the rust belt. >> how do you think it should be now? >> my ideal choice is a good friend of mine, governor john kasich out of ohio. he's worked with labor, done well with the right to work group and he's done a tremendous job building high powered jobs in --
>> but would he do it? he was an early anti-trump guy. do you think he could come on board to be his cabinet pick? >> he's in his second term, he can run again. this would be a way for him to keep himself in the game, mend fences with the trump administration and position himself for the future. he's a young man. >> you have by most reporting at least half a dozen republicans talking their concerns for andy puzder? >> truthfully, i don't think it means anything. i just don't think it was a great pick to start with and everyone is relieved. >> we've also seen the ouster of mike flynn as national security adviser. do you see this as a sign things are not on track at the white house? >> yes, i do. it's think it's a little chaotic because of any administration that goes into power.
it's double chaotic because we have a president who comes out of the bess community, as i did when i went to washington and then you have to adjust your style. you run a business like trump and you become an autocrat and here you have to learn to manage the bureaucracy. >> do you think that's something he has the ability and desire to learn? >> time will tell. >> that's a totally cop-out answer. >> i totally believe he can do it, the question is does he want to do it. we see what happened with president obama. he tried and it didn't work and he went to signing the pen and the automatic resolutions. i don't think that's a way to govern and i hope president trump can adjust. >> i want to get your opinion on
the news coming in on steve feinberg to do a top-to-bot tom review of the intelligence in place. good idea? >> this is classic draining the swamp, bringing an outside in to look at intel. >> that's different from senator peters who said this is bringing in a guy with no experience basically -- >> i agree there's no experience. that's what i mean draining the swamp is all about. he's going to his friends to figure out this problem. stay tuned. >> al angrisian, thanks for being with us. >> coming up, tillerson is at the g -20 summit in germany and mattis is at the nato meetings. we're headed overseas after this break for the latest.
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. we have some breaking news to bring to you right now. neil gorsuch, donald trump's pick to become the next supreme court justice is going to begin his hearings on march 20th. that is roughly one month from now. this is according to senator grassley, ranking member of the senate judiciary committee. i'm going to read off my phone here. this is all just coming into us now. the hearings are expecting to last three or four days so we're looking at opening statements and statements from the nominee on march 20th. after that you'll hear questions throughout that week. it's expected there will be testimony from outside legal experts. apparently according to senator grassley's office, this follows a similar timeline put together for past supreme court picks.
a lot of folks in d.c. have been looking to see when the hearings will begin. now we know judge gorsuch has been making the rounds all week long, meeting with senators. this is something a lot of people in washington will be looking to, perhaps no one more closely than president trump and his team at the white house. >> a third person is under arrest right now in connection with the death of kim jong un's half brother. the new arrest is of a boyfriend of one of the two women previously arrested. and going back to d.c., senators bernie sanders and elizabeth warren rallied workers a day after andy puzder withdrew his nomination. the trump administration not yet announcing a new nominee. check out this video. looks like something out of a movie. a fire in washington state.
a substation essentially exploding, sending flames into the air. thousands lost power but luckily no one was hurt. in germany this hour, secretary of state rex tillerson will attend his first working session after meeting with interestingly russia's foreign minister. lucy, we know that secretary tillerson spoke very quickly to the media and so did the russian foreign minister. fill us in on what they both said. >> reporter: this was tillerson's first statement abroad, trying to toe a very fine line between twieing to keep the door open to warmer u.s./russia relations and taking a tougher stand on ukraine. he said they had a very productive meeting and he said,
and i quote here, when it comes to ukraine, as the u.s. and russia seek new common ground, we expect russia to honor it's commit nonts the m-- commitment to the minsk agreement. and the trump administration said this was a listening tour by tillerson. we weren't expecting any major foreign policy announcements. a lot of allies want to know what this means for them and he's in a tough position because he wants to stay in line with whatever the trump administration wants. whatever he tells them could be upended by what trump puts out on twitter. >> lucy cavanaugh, thank you very much. in belgium, somebody else is
talking a lot about the defense between the u.s. and russia. day two of the summit in brussels. >> we are not in a position right now to collaborate on a military level, but our political leaders will engage and try to find common ground. there's very little doubt that they have either interfered or they have attempted to interfere in a number of elections in the democracies. >> our own hans nichols is in brussels and has more. >> reporter: defense secretary james mattis ruled out military cooperation with russia. he did that here at the nato summit in brussels, wrapping up a summit, really making clear that the military conditions on the ground right now are simply not there for u.s. cooperation with russia. now, he was also asked about interference, russia's interference in the u.s. presidential election. he said he believed that to be true. he also said he expected it in the other democracies of nato, a
clear warning to both france and germany who are going to hold presidential elections this year. and then on the issue of isis, just what nato is going to do, we know the trump administration has tasked the pentagon with coming up with a plan to accelerate the fight. mattis didn't directly answer a question whether or not he supported more ground troops. and mattis sin cysting that nato countries need to spend more on their own defense that, message was well received. hallie, back to you. >> when we come back, we're talking about president trump's plan to review the intel community playing off that developing news we brought you at the top of this hour. we're talking about it all with folks who know a thing or two about intelligence next. i was really surprised that i wasn't finding all of these germans in my tree.
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it sure gets attention, but it does it at the expense of check it out. we are taking a live look now at the floor of the senate. that is senator dick durbin. why is he speaking in we're looking at the eventual vote to confirm nick mulvaney, a key position in the administration. we will keep checking in on how that vote is developing. there will be about ten minutes of comments before it begins. we'll let you know in this hour or the next hour what the deal is. in the meantime, we're talking about a former trump campaigner
that he and other staffers may have had repeated contacts with senior russian officials before the election. we spoke with roger stone on the "today" show. >> i had no russian clients, i was not in touch with anyone in russia, i was not talking to anyone i believed to be an intermediary for the russian. >> let me brink in joel benenson and "washington post" reporter -- >> roger stone is someone you know from this campaign. what do you think about it? >> i don't know whether he had contact with russia or not. what i think we do know is that the majority leader, mitch mcconnell, has said that russian interference in our election is a significant issue. the chairman of the foreign relations committee, also a republican, senator bob corker,
said russia is the elephant in the room. i don't think we should take roger stone's word for anything today. i thisnk we should have the senate intelligence committee to do their review. it's a threat not only to our democracy, but we've got elections coming up in key countries that are allies are ours, france, germany. if we take it lightly, imagine what they'll do in france and germany to tip the global power in their favor. >> i want to play what former national security adviser steven hadley said this morning. listen. >> reporter: there's an ongoing fbi investigation. that will gather fact about what went on. i think calls for a 9/11 are way too premature. >> as you heard there, there are some questions about what shape this investigation should take. how do folks over on the hill
sort this out? what should they do? >> it is a stress test of american institutions to get to the bottom of this. do they look sincere, that they want all the information out? rand paul made a very disturbing statement the other day saying in essence republicans shouldn't investigate republicans fan that would be a terrible precedent here. there is an fbi investigation. there are intelligence committees whose job it is to be able to look at this but the level of credible has to be high here. there's a lot of stake. >> president trump was doing what he sometimes does in the morning. he got up and said on twitter, "the spotlight has finally been put on the low life leakers! they will be caught!" devil's advocate here, does he have a point? it doesn't appear anything mike flynn did was illegal.
the fbi said they weren't investigating flynn necessarily. >> there have been leaks in every administration. there have been times when donald trump has embraced leaks and publicized them highly going back to 2012 about his false statements about anonymous sources telling him about president obama birth certificate. i think everybody administration should be concerned about them, particularly if they relate to national security but at the same time, and michael has written about this, there is a sense of chaos, a sense of a rudderlesship in the white house right now. we're seeing a confluence of incompetence coming to head. and whether flynn broke any laws or not, which remains to be seen because we don't know what he said to the fbi, if he misled the fbi when he talked to the
fbi, that is criminal and that hasn't been definitively put to bed yet. but i think we should get to the bottom of each of these things. there are serious challenges we face in our world today, particularly with the president continually saying positive things about russia at a time where russia is still trying to destabilize the world. i think we have to be very careful about the geo political, not just the political impacts of all of this and i'm not a fan of leaks. i've never liked leaks, i don't know anybody who likes leaks. >> joel referenced some of your writings there. "the highest goal of the recent white house turmoil is not to display competence or creative but to display confidence, defined as sucking up." do you think the president wants to do that?
>> it defends what you mean by loyalty. if loyalty going and repeating the most absurd statements the president made over the last few days. that's having an audience of one, you're trying to please the president and that's a form of power. presidential aide's first duty is to provide good information, his best judgment and then occasi occasionally, not often, but occasionally to stand up to the president and say his instincts are wrong. i don't see any of that happening right now in that staff of five or six power centers, all of which are competing against one another in a chaotic system and where individual staffers are trying to get favor from the president, not serve him in the best way possible. >> hallie, i have to agree with michael radically there. i think the point is the leaks are the least of drummonald tru
problem right now. the fact that his electoral win was not a massive landslide giving him some mandates. he needs to work with both sides and got serious with information he gets from his intelligence people. i don't see anyone in the white house telling him to do that. >> you've had your issues with comey in the past. do you trust him to vet it fairly? >> director comey in particular violated principles that were longstanding in thefbi, not to take precipitous or public actions betwewithin 90 days of campaign. they came to their conclusions that nothing happened. i think they are still one of the finest law enforcement agencies and the professionals there will get to the bottom of what's going on in terms of intelligence discussions that maybe shouldn't be had by people in the administration.
>> okay, joe benenson and michael gerson, thanks for being here. >> coming up, the controversial bill now headed to trupresident trump's desk and what it means for gun laws down the road. ♪ everyone deserves attention, whether you've saved a lot or just a little. at pnc investments, we believe you're more than just a number. so we provide personal financial advice for every retirement investor.
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the other side is the senate vote happening at this moment for mick mull vein mulvaney, se the president to run the office of budget. >> and both houses of congress voted to roll back an obama administration regulation requiring background checks for social security recipients who are mentally incapable of managing their own affairs. it's another defeat for g-- >> it will roll back about
75,000 names for sales. the gop turning the focus to the politically charged issue of gun control. the republican senate voting to roll back an obama era gun regulation, to make it harder for certain people with mental disorders to buy a firearm. it happened after the sandy hook massacre. the regulation took years to write. it would have added people who get social security disability benefits for impairment and deemed unfit to handle financial affairs. >> repealing this regulation will merely ensure that disabled citizens' second amendment rights are in fact protected.
>> but the brady campaign to prevent gun violence called it heartless. >> this is so deeply morally offensive to people m connecticut, frankly, anybody that's lived through these tragedies. >> reporter: today it's on its way to the white house for president trump's significant pure. >> we are going to protect our second amendment, which is under siege. >> reporter: president obama spent years trying to convince congress to pass stricter gun laws. >> every time i think about those kids, it makes me mad. >> reporter: even after tearful pleas, congress didn't act. >> now the only thing congress has done on guns since sandy hook is to make it easier for very mentally ill people to get guns. >> reporter: it want just the nra and gun rights groups pushing for this, the american
civil liberties union also supported rolling it back. they said it contributed to stereotypes that mentally ill people tend to be violent. hallie. >> kasie hunt watching it all together over on the hill. i want to get to a quick programming note here. tonight at 6:00 eastern, israeli prime minister net in the joins greta van susteren to talk about u.n. republgulations and his meg with president trump. 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 can help prepare you for growth at open.com. find out how american express cards and services why pause a spontaneous moment?
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happening now, that is the senator -- well, that's david freeman, the israeli ambassador on one side of your screen, his hearing now to become the next person to interact with israel on behalf of the united states. the other side of your screen, the hearing from nick mulvaney. keeping you posted on any developments as we get them. joining me to talk about all of the developments of the day, senior adviser for moveon.org and let's start with steve feinberg. he will oversee this top-to-bottom intelligence review. hogan, i'll start with you.
donald trump's draining the swamp? how do you see it? >> i think he ran on draining the swamp. i think that's something that needs to be done. i think a lot of people are concerned. you used the word potpourri and that's an apropos word to use in this instance. so much keeps coming out every single day. right now leaks, as you know, are damaging this white house, they're damaging the president and quite frankly have sunk general flynn in this particular instan instance. as a communications director, leaks to me, i let this out of every campaign i'm on, leaks are fireable o ablable offenses to . i cannot stand it, i won't allow it and it erodes trust. that being said, leaks can also be illegal. republicans are doing a good job pointing out the potential
illegality of it. they could be prosecuted. that being said, we're shooting the messenger, what's the message. if something is going on that's untoward and it needs to be prosecuted. >> a lot of republicans are focused on the leaks. you're seeing calls on the republican side of the hill to investigate that. democrats are saying, no, let's look into russia in an independent way. do you see this whole process politicized? is this just more of a partisan battle like ewe've seen again ad again? >> absolutely. donald trump said he would run the country like he runs his business. thus far all we've seen is chaos. and also i'm going to bring in the most qualified people into the frustration. instead of governing, he's
giving us chaos. to the leaks, both republican and democratic administrations have dealt with leaks. it is something that is part of the washington way, if you will. i think when it comes to whistle blowers, it's really important that we understand that whistle blowers are the ones who put things that will never come to light into light. i think what's happened here is essentially the republicans were caught red handed. if you think about it, if it wasn't for "the washington post" stories, flynn would still be national security adviser. if it wasn't for politico releasing that video yesterday of puzder's wife talking about domestic allegations, he would probably be confirmed. so there's no wonder trump wants to go after press here and attack press because they're doing their job and putting things out there that really matter in this administration. >> let me ask you guys about something else that's going on. i packed my campaign trail
suitcase and put it in the closet and shall unpack it this weekend because the president is heading to florida for a campaign rally. is this just to get the president out of white house where he's been cooped up between there and mar-a-lago? >> i think it's smart. you go back to what you do best. what he did incredibly well is campaign. he went around the media by not just using social media, but he held countless rallies while hillary clinton was hold up in nondisclosed locations prepping for debates time and time again, he was out talking to real people. this is how he won the election and got the agenda moving forward. it's early to be talking about a 2020 -- >> early on? it's three weeks, hogan. goodness! >> i know. >> but the idea of perpetual campaigns dates back to bill clinton. he perfected it. that's what he needs to do.
and take it right to the people. that's where he's at his best. >> corine, are democrats ready for this kind of permanent campaign? democrats don't even have their ducks in the row themselves, critics say. >> the country's not ready. someone needs to tell donald trump to stop campaigning and start governing. who campaigns three months after an election? donald trump likes to say it's america first but really all it is is trump first. it's all about his fragile ego and feeding into the massive ego that he has. this is insane! who does this? >> hogan, you want to jump in. >> you're saying he's doing too many things, he needs to slow down and now you're angry he's out of the office giving a campaign speech. >> that's not what i'm saying. he needs to stop doing the chaos, stop sweeting, turn otwe
off the television and govern here. >> i need to interrupt. we are unexpectedly getting a presidential press conference in one hour from now. the president will be holding a noon conference in the east room of the white house. this is literally unfolding. this was not expected. if this ends up happening 60 minutes from now as we think it will, it will be the president's third news conference this week alone. our colleagues kristen welker and peter alexander are at the white house. we are learning this via a pool. this is a group of reporters who goes in, they're currently watching right now the president in the roosevelt room with republican lawmakers who have come over from capitol hill, who many early on had supported president trump. it is unclear just how this presidential press conference came about, whether this is something that had been planned, whether president trump decided he wanted to do this. there is certainly plenty for
him to discuss. he was pressed about flynn, the ousting of his national security adviser yesterday in that news conference with prime minister netanyahu, but he did not answer at all to these reports now of more connections of connections between his own campaign during the election in 2016 and moscow. perhaps the president will address this in an hour from now. this is unexpected. i'm going to turn it over to ali velshi. big news. >> a lot of people are wondering whether a press conference actually means a press conference -- >> or a statement. >> and will he take questions from a variety of reporters or will he stay concentrated on reporters from conservative outlets, who are not asking him the important questions about russia. hallie, thank you, you are not going far because you're going to be on top of what's happening at the press conference. welcome all of you on msnbc. we have that news of a press
conference and new signs of growing mistrust between trump and the intelligence community. he wants stephen feinberg to head up a review of intelligence agencies. and news that they are keeping trump in the dark about intelligence issues. >> and why are they urging the senate to say no to david freeman? and schools are closing in defines of president trump's crackdown on immigration. i'm ali velshi. a lot to get to this morning. breaking news, president trump targeting the intelligence community with new signing that a showdown may be coming. just last hour
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