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tv   For the Record With Greta  MSNBC  May 10, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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connecticut. >> would i pray it away, wish i was on the shores of connecticut sound, but failing that i don't have any regrets. >> there you go. you know, i guess has a chance to return to the connecticut shore if he wants to. looks like if he wants that life back, he can get it sooner than anybody thought. that's all for tonight. for the record with greta starts right now. greta, what a day, what a week, what a moment. >> chuck, i mean, it's only about 100 some days. i don't know we're going to survive. thanks, chuck. things are strange in washington just in case you hadn't noticed, right? the trump white house getting extreme heat tonight for the now fired former director james comey. why did the president fire him? do you believe the president's explanation or do you think someone is hiding something? and vladimir putin who wanted trump to beat secretary clinton appears to have a smug look on his face. does he? and if so, why? here's putin's bizarre reaction and if you think that's not
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bizarre, how about a hockey uniform at a rink in russia? >> how will the firing of james comey affect u.s./russia relations? >> there will be no effect. your question looks very funny to me. don't be angry with me. we have nothing to do with that. president trump is acting in accordance with his competence and in accordance with his law and constitution. >> meanwhile, back in washington it's chaos. president trump who just last october cheered now former fbi director's criticism of his then opponent secretary hillary clinton, and who once blew him an air kiss, now telling the former fbi director, get out. but get this. the democrats now just like the president singing a different
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tune. for months democrats have been slamming comey for his handling of the clinton e-mail investigation, but now democrats say comey did not deserve the boot. go figure, right? i know what you're all thinking. what's the real reason the president fired comey, his bungling of the clinton investigation or is the russian investigation getting too hot? comey had asked for more money for the russia investigation, specifically comey asked deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, the same man who suggested they fire comey. the white house denies this report. comey's firing is completely how he handled hillary clinton's e-mail investigation. >> the president over the last several months lost confidence in director comey. he lost confidence in director comey, and frankly he had been considering letting director comey go since the day he was elected. i think one of the big catalysts that we saw was last week on
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wednesday, director comey made a pretty startling revelation that he had essentially taken a stick of dynamite and thrown it into the department of justice by going around the chain of command when he decided to take steps without talking to the attorney general or the deputy attorney general. >> and here's what the president said today in a meeting with rm to -- former secretary of state henry kissinger. >> why did you fire director comey? >> he wasn't doing a good job. simply he wasn't doing a good job. >> did it affect your meeting with the russians today? >> pardon me? >> did it affect your meeting with the russians today? >> no. >> thank you. thank you, everybody. >> now, those comments coming after the president sat down this morning in the oval office with the russian foreign minister. and if you think that is something unusual, i have one more thing to add.
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and, no, you cannot make this up. president trump also meeting with russia's ambassador to the u.s. sergey kislyak. the same ambassador linked to many trump officials under investigation. the white house did not release a photo of that meeting, but the russian embassy did. with me senator chris coons who serves on the senate judiciary committee. good eveningsir. >> hey, greta, good to be on with you again. >> senator, tell me, if you were the president, would you have fired director comey? if so, when and why? not why not? >> i absolutely would not have fired director comey three years into his tenured term without a clear conversation with the public about why i was doing so and a clear grounding that explained why i was doing so. the president's first offered explanation was he was trying to restore confidence in the fbi, and that he was upset about the handling of hillary clinton's e-mails during the election. frankly, neither of those hold water, greta.
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now, the president has repeatedly attacked the fbi investigation into the possibility of collusion between russians and trump's campaign, and i just find it not credible that he was moved by the mistreatment of hillary clinton in the course of the campaign. lots of us in the democratic party have raised questions and concerns about jim comey. it is possible to have criticized jim comey, but still believe he should not have been abruptly fired in the middle of the investigation into possible collusion between russia and trump's campaign. >> all right. well, the white house says that the reason that he was fired was because he bungeled, in essence, the e-mail investigation into secretary clinton. the letter recommending that he be fired from the deputyid chief rod rosenstein, it mentioned the e-mails, not the russian investigation. why do you believe he was fired if it wasn't hold water, the
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bungeled investigation into the hillary clinton e-mails? >> if our real goal is to restore public confidence in the fbi and to ensure that the investigation, the ongoing counter intelligence and criminal investigations by the fbi into possible collusion between russia and the trump campaign continues unabated, then we've got a few key questions that need to be answered. first, why was attorney general sessions directly involved in the firing of the fbi director when he recused himself from all matters involving the investigation into russian collusion? second, did rod rosen stein actually meet with director jim comey last week and hear a request for more resources, more money, more people into the investigation into russian collusion and did that actually have some influence on the outcome. last, i think we need to see whether we're going to get a special counsel appointed who is truly independent and who can ensure that the fbi investigation moves forward in an appropriate way. on a buy part sarn basis, greta,
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it is in the interest of all americans to make sure we get to the bottom of this and either once and for all clear the trump campaign or reveal the truth about what may have happened in the 2016 campaign. >> if you're in favor of special counsel, what do you suggest we do about the existing committees on capitol hill that are now investigating, still let them continue to invesgate? >> absolutely. i think the senate intelligence committee is making good progress on a bipartisan basis. i was encouraged that republican chairman burr joined democratic vice chairman warner in inviting comey to testify next week and in making public statements that they have concerns, both of them, about the timing and rationale behind the firing of director comey. >> do you have any problem with the way the -- i obviously know you don't think he should have been fired, i got that. but the separate question is how he was fired, that he wasn't brought into the oval office and had a conversation with the president and then he's allowed to resign. it was a much different firing. it was out in california, he was speaking to an fbi office out
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there. >> that's right. >> do you have a problem or is that the president's prerogative to fire as he wishes? >> when he was the star of reality tv show the apprentice was famous for firing people directly in their face in a firm and decisive way. this was the exact opposite. it was even disrespectful for the head of the fbi to find out through a press report that he had been fired as a result of president trump dispatching one of his long-time private security guards to deliver a manila envelope to fbi headquarters. i frankly think if he had the time to call senators and to ask them to support the firing, he had the time to at least meet with comey in person, if not at least call him on the phone and tell him directly and respectfully that he appreciated his service, but decided to let him go. >> senator, thank you for joining us, sir. >> thank you, greta. >> well, it's not just the democrats. some rublins are ao demanding a big change in the russia investigation. republican senator john mccain wants a special congressional
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committee. republican congressman wants a select committee with full investigatory powers. barbara come stock wants an independent investigation. and justin announcing he is reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission. and the numbers are growing. more and more republican lawmakers admitting there will likely be some sort of change. >> i would say it is going to be tough to resist calls for an independent investigation or select committee at this point. >> with me syndicated columnist george will who is an msnbc contributor, his recent article donald trump's dangerous disability, had some tough words for president trump and went firing. nice to see you, george. >> good to be with you. >> george, when the news broeke when president trump firing the fbi director, i heard some people calling it nixonian. is it overhyping it >> i was ten months into my career on saturday night.
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this is deja vu. washington at that point was in the midst of clearly what was a criminal conspiracy and cover up. that's not the case here obviously. as you lawyers say, let's stipulate a few things. there were good reasons for changing the head of the fbi. the reputation of the fbi, the fact that by his behavr durg the campaign, when he had no happy choice to make, m comey had destroyed any constituents he had on either side of the aisle. the question is not should he have been removed, but why now. now let's begin with the razor, the principle that when in doubt take the simplest explanation. we have an impulsive president. maybe something just annoyed him. maybe something caught his attention. we know he does that on occasion. but beyond that, when you realize that you have -- you have fired a man that is conducting an investigation of you who are firing him, you know questions are going to be raised.
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you know that when you remove him you're setting yourself up for confirmation hearings for his successor. this is going to become messy and protracted. >> all right. when you say impulsive, he has been known to be impulsive. in fact he's been tweeting for months democrats have been complaining about comey, now that he's fired he puts in capital letters, people pretend to be a grieved. he has this letter, memo from the acting attorney general, rod rosenstein who says he's totally -- that he recommends comey be fired and he recommends it on the way he bungeled the e-mail investigation of hillary clinton. nothing but the russians. so, is it impulsive if he takes it from the direction of the acting attorney general? >> the acting attorney general cited episodes dealing with the e-mail problem, mrs. clinton. that's july and again in october. that would be a sensible explanation if thi had happened on day one instead of day 110 of the administration. something -- what, did this just
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ferment in the presidential mind and he said it's gone on long enough? it doesn't pass the laugh test. given that, there is an ongoing investigation that he had to know he was going to disrupt with this. >> how big a problem -- i anticipate this being a huge problem with washington. it's going to tie up everything. it just added -- we already had raging fires in this town. now we've got gasoline poured on them. >> exactly. congress has to sort out whether this is its problem, that is, the investigative power of congress is an important part of the article 1 powers that make congress the primary branch of government. the question is do they want to wield them, and can a republican controlled congress wield them against a republican president. this is a test time for the congressional wing of the republican party. >> if there is a special prosecutor appointed, where are you on that? >> don't they have to repass the law -- >> that's the independent counsel. the special prosecutor is appointed by the attorney general of the united states. >> the problem is that i have
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with that is two things. first, a special prosecutor has unlimited resources and a narrow focus. and that tends to develop a kind of white whale syndrome, they become excessive and obsessive. the problem is it also leaves congress off the hook. this should be a test of congress's ability to investigate and do something on a bipartisan basis. i mean, across the spectrum from john mccain to chuck schumer, there is an agreement that the investigation must go forward, and the default position it seems to me should be to let congress do it until it confesses it can't do it, in which case someone ought to say, why are we being -- why are we paying you people. >> indeed. george, nice to see you. thank you. >> good to see you. >> comey firing making headlines not just here in the united states, but viral around the world. it was the top story today in amsterdam. for those of you who do not speak dutch, the headline says fear of cover up after firing
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fbi's tough guy. here is a front page in stockholm sweden. the fbi director's firing also made the front page in iegs lce and here's what viewers saw today in england. >> remember this, donald trump has already fired the acting attorney general sally yates. he has already dismissed the most high profile prosecutor in manhattan. he's already sacked his own national security advisor michael flynn. so, it is playing out like some scene from the apprentice, but the dismissal of james comey is by far the risky est decision. >> still ahead, was president trump literally screaming at tv clips about the russia investigation? we're going to talk to the journalist reporting that scoop. also fear at the fbi, many of the rank and file are infuriated about the spectacle of seeing their boss followed down the highway. we'll talk with a top official who knows him wl. is congress up to the tact? new questions tonight about the
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committee's investigating the russia election hack. and tomorrow, what a big day on capitol hill it's going to be. it's going to be a explosive day of fire works and should anyone in washington be worried tonight about a grand jury investigation? allen dershowitz joins us. every beat calls... to be heard... ♪ to move... with you... through you... ♪ beyond you. ♪ the following ad for your viewing convenience. i finally switched to geico. oh yeah? ended up saving a ton of money on car insurance. i hear they have a really great mobile app. the interface is remarkably intuitive. that's so important.
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i need one number... not two. i'm always moving forward... because i can't afford to get stuck in the past. comcast business. built for business. the firing of director james comey sending shock waves throughout the fbi. they were stunned, demoralized, some reported to have been in tears, some reported to be angry director comey learned of his own firing not from the president but from news reports. the scene playing out like a reality show cameras chasing through a california freeway. some said it looked like the media facing the famous o.j.'s bronco on the 405. >> they disagree with your contention that they lost faith in director comey. >> we heard from countless members of the fbi that say very
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different things. in fact, the president will be meeting with acting director mccabe later today to discuss that very thing, the morale at the fbi, an offer to go to the fbi if he feels that's necessary and appropriate. >> meanwhile "the new york times" reporting in recent weeks a virginia grand jury just across the potomac from the white house, issuing subpoenas for the records related to lieutenant general michael flynn. nbc news reporting just days before his firing, director comey asked the justice department for more resources to handle the russia probe. with me former assistant fbi director who worked for former director james comey until 2014, and nbc news national security correspondent ken delaniey. first what can you tell me about this report that theormer fbi director asking for more resources for the russia investigation? >> well, greta, this is coming from senior lawmakers who are now on the record saying that
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they were told by comey that last week he went to rod rosenstein, his boss, the man who engineered his firing apparently, and asked for more agents, more resources for this investigation. but a spokeswoman for the justice department is flatly denying this story, not leading anyone on saying it's just not true. we have dick durbin and diane feinstein saying it's true, the justice department saying it's not true. obviously we need to look more into that. not sure what to make of it, greta, but it's significant if it's true. it raises a host of questions about what led up to this firing. >> the plot thickens on that one. ken, let me ask about the rank and file and morale on the firing and this almost bronco chase in california of the former director. >> there's universal fear and concern among former current government officials i speak to that this firing was done to quash the russia investigation.
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that's the fear. but they are also concerned about how it was done and the message it sent. i had one former official tell me this was like a mafia like thing, senlding a message, leaving the horse head in the bed. the way they did it by e-mail and comey found out about it while he was addressing a group in los angeles and it was flashing on the tv reens. not in person,nd so that was just viewed as an execution-style firing with a lack of respect. and the message sent to other fbi agents working on the investigation is this could happen to you, too. at least that's the concern. obviously the trump administration would not agree with that characterization, greta. >> you know, ron, whether you're in favor of dismissing the director or not, he is the fbi director -- was the fbi director of the united states and we want to respect the office. and i have a problem with that firing. i mean, general mccrystal when he was fired by president obama was brought to the oval office and fired in person. your thought on the manner in which he was fired? >> completely disgraceful,
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disrespectful, disgraceful. it should have never gone down like this. i think reasonable people could agree or come to common ground on whether the director had passed certain lines in some things he did last year. was he coloring way out of the lines when he went as far as he did in addressing an unindicted subject, hillary clinton, and what her conduct was? but jim comey is a good man. he's a patriot. he worked hard. he saw this as the pinnacle of his public service career. and your reporter is right on. i'm getting the same information, that fbi headquarters executives were taken very much by surprise. the director didn't have an opportunity to communicate with the work force prior to this and to see it on television screens behind him as he's trying to address people on another issue is disgraceful. >> have you talked to him since he was fired? >> i have not. >> ken, i can't think of a worst
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job tonight in washington -- maybe i could,ut one right up on the top is fbi director. are there any candidates? there have been rumors, i heard mayor giuliani was seen in washington last night, but he says he's not a candidate. >> pete williams has been reporting a number of names, one is the national counter intelligence detective, but there's no sort of leading candidate at this point as far as we know, greta. but, you know, the democrats are threatening to hold up the confirmation of any -- if they can, if they're going to need republican help to do it. any potential successor until a special counsel is named. >> i don't know if we're going to get that. ron, you know the acting director mccabe. tell me about him. >> andy is a smart man. he's a good, capable, dedicated public servant. however, when information was surfaced over the last year that his wife who had run for a local public office here in virginia
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as a democrat got approximately $700,000 from terry mcall if, very closely aligned with the clintons, there were concerns raised about -- >> 700 grand? >> i think that's the approximate number. there were concerns raised about andy's involvement with the clinton investigation. and apart from whether there was an ethical violation or certainly a legal violation, i think that's being examined by the inspector general. but there is a perception issue. and to me, despite andy's great capability, to me that's disabli disabling for andy to be considered for the director position. certainly a capable man to be acting, to serve in an interim capacity. but i don't see this trump administration inviting him to be the director of the fbi. >> ken, was attorney general sessions in on this at all? i know he wrote that letter, that note that said he concurred with it. he recused himself from all this, but is there any indication he was in on advising the president?
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>> it's unclear, greta. so, people are raising questions. to the extent this decision had anything to do with the russia investigation, how could general sessions have participated at all? i mean, he said he concurred with the recommendation. so, there is a lot of questions about whether he should have been involved at all. >> thank you, gentlemen. >> good to be with you. >> next, president trump reportedly screaming at the tv enraged at coverage of the russia probe. and new reporting from inside the oval office about what led to the firing of director comey. that's also coming up. >> intelligence officials have said there is investigation into potential ties between campaign officials and russian officials. >> that's not what this is about. >> vice-president pence saying the firing of director comey is not about the russia investigation. i'll talk to a democrat on the intel committee and much more. i have asthma...
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we are back with breaking news. just moments ago from the senate intelligence committee, back with me nbc's ken delaney, and ken, what's breaking?
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>> the greta, the senate intelligence committee has issued a subpoena for the documents regarding russia or potential russian communications and connections from mike flynn. these are documents that it had sought back in april through a request to a number of trump associates including carter page, paul manafort, and roger stone. and flynn had suggested through his lawyer that he wasn't intending to cooperate and now the senate intelligence committee has issued a subpoena, a legal demand for these documents to be turned over. and it's really -- they're looking for any communications that flynn may have had with russians, russian officials and also any communications between flynn and the trump campaign about russia or russian officials, greta. >> i think, ken, didn't flynn's float a proposal if he got immunity from capitol hill he would testify, although that bait was not taken by capitol hill? >> that's right, mike flynn's lawyer said his client had a story to tell and floated the idea that he would tell it in exchange for immunity. of course the committees have
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turned that down. that would be a dicey option for them when flynn is under scrutiny of the justice department and fbi, greta. >> ken, thank you. >> thanks a lot. >> now to political's intriguing behind the scenes report of the comey firing claiming president trump has been enraged and fuming about the russia investigation. sources telling politico he was angry the director would not ba his claim president obama tapped the trump tower. >> is obama tapping the trump tower a true statement? >> with the alleged tweets by the prior administration, i have no information that supports those tweets. >> one source saying the president was so angry he would scream at television clips about the investigation. and a white house staffer telling politico, it it is total and complete chaos in the aftermath of the firing. josh is the reporter who wrote the great insider story, the
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white house reporter for politico. nice to see you, josh. >> thanks for having me. >> what's going on there? >> i think they are frantically trying to handle this. you know, a lot of the white house staffers last night learned about it just as the president was announcing it. some of the others didn't learn about it until they saw it on tv. the president is privately set for several days to friends back in new york and some of his top folks, chief of staff reince priebus, steve bannon, the strategist, you may want to get rid of comey. a lot of people didn't know this was going to happen. now you have a white house that is really freaking out, i think. >> we say screaming at the tv set? i've seen people scream at the tv over sports. >> sure. several folks i spoke to in reporting this story indicated to me he's been calling friends and calling others, you know, when russia skits come on or russia shows come on, saying, can you believe this, they're not letting this go. he keeps saying over and over he thinkst's a witch hunt. he thinks that it's unfair. he thinks that everyone's focusing too much on it and he's
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mad about it. he's very, very mad about it. >> who is he blaming? >> you know, i think he blames a number of people. i think he blames the media for focusing a lot on it. i hear that a lot. you know, i think he regrets some of the mike flynn decisions that happened. >> he seems to be defending flynn, though. >> he is defending flynn. there are regrets of him and his staff behind the scenes what happened with mike flynn. i think more than anything, he's blaming, you know, the number of folks on the campaign who he says i didn't have anything to do with, carter page, you know, paul manafort. you've seen the white house try to distance themselves from him. the associates of trump over the years had alleged connections. he's saying i had nothing to do with it. we'll see. >> what about anyone's head on the block potentially? >> that's a good question. i think so far no. archipela >> besides comey. >> besides comey. >> what about inside the white house? >> no, but, you know, we've had so far fired national security
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advisor in mike flynn, he fired sally yates, acting attorney general. >> a.g. >> now you have comey firing. three pretty high profile dismissals in 110 days. kind of unusual for a new white house. >> does the staff seem very much on edge? >> yes. >> different than before? >> in the building today, i talked to several people who work in the west wing. it seemed like it was just, let's try to get through the day. let's try to stay above water. i think they're all just playing it hour by hour and waiting for the other shoe to drop or more details to come out like we are. >> thank you, josh. >> thank you. >> hope you come back. coming up, with director comey out, the russia probe is a mess. all kinds of conflicts. will we see a special prosecutor? and how does that happen? comey is the fourth high profile person president trump has fired. there is a pattern. i'll explain it ahead. the new guy? what new guy? i hired some help. he really knows his wine.
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together, we are perfectly balanced, our senses awake, our hearts racing as one. i know this is sudden, but they say: if you love something... set it free. see you around, giulia ♪ will the white house oppose the appointment of a special prosecutor to continue to look into the investigation? >> we don't think it's necessary. you've got a house committee, a senate committee, and the department of justice all working on this. i don't think that there's a necessary need at this point to add that. you've got the deputy attorney general who i would say is about as independent as it comes due to the fact that he has such bipartisan support. >> the white house insisting
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that there is no need for a special prosecutor in the russia investigation, but democrats disagree. >> if there was ever a time when circumstances warranted a special prosecutor, it is right now. >> we need an independent commission and i think we also need to consider some new mechanism where a special prosecutor -- >> a special prosecutor, special counsel, independent counsel. >> there is a pattern here. there is more to come, and we need a special prosecutor. >> we need a special prosecutor right now. >> while there are four options, do nothing, a special prosecutor, a special congressional committee, or an independent commission. with us, alan dershowitz, law scholar, harvard law school. i keep saying that. now, before i ask you what to do with this, i want to find out, if you were president of the united states, would you have fired comey? if so why, and when? >> i would have fired him, but i
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would have fired him on day one. i wouldn't have waited until we learned that there was an investigation of people close to him. comey disqualified himself from serving as head of the fbi. he lost his credibility both with democrats and republicans. both were being very selective in their criticism, you know. if you hurt me, i criticize you, if you hurt me, i praise you. there is enough hypocrisyo go around on this one. he lost his credibility and he should have resigned. i called for his resignation months ago on the campaign. >> should president obama have fired him, if so, when? >> yes, he probably should have fired him. probably right after the election during his lame duck period, it would have been a perfect time to do that. but he didn't. and, so, the president trump was faced with a very difficult situation. his deputy attorney general, man of great distinction, says, we don't want to have this guy comey as head of the fbi. but only one person can fire him, the president, and the president has a conflict of
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interest. or at least an apparent conflict of interest. so, he was in a no-win situation much like the situation comey found himself in when he had to either remain silent or disclose what he was investigating. i think the president made the wrong decision, but i think he can come out of this with the right decision if he does two things. if he appoints somebody absolutely above reproach, somebody even tougher, with greater integrity with comey bhol who will pursue the investigation. if he supports an investigative commission. i don't think we have probable cause yet crimes have been committed. i think we need a special investigating commission appointed by congress that could then make the decision whether to recommend a special prosecutor. but it's too early for a special prosecutor, but it's the perfect time for an independent commission to be appointed now. >> do you sees, meaning washington -- people are digging themselves out of this one -- you saw -- i mean, all over the
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world they're watching this. >> it's up to the president. he can make it go one way or the other. if he appoints somebody who is perceived to be a crony, this will be a major constitutional crisis. if he appoints somebody who has absolutely complete support of democrats and republicans, who is absolutely above reproach, he will come out of this thing looking fine because then people will have to say, well, you know, who knows what his motives really were. but he didn't take advantage of it. he allowed an appointment of somebody who will investigate his white house people as aggressively as comey would have. so, the ball is clearly in his court now. he can either make this into a crisis or make it into a win/win for himself and the american people. >> alan, always nice to see you. hope you get the job. >> thank you. no, i don't want it. >> that's why you'd be good for it. anyway, attorney general sessions, he recused himself in the russia investigation and he did so after public reports that the attorney general had
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contacts with the russian ambassador, which by the way, he forgot to mention. >> my staff recommended recusal. they said that since i had involvement with the campaign, i should not be involved in any campaign investigation. i believe those recommendations are right and just. therefore, i have recused myself in the matters that deal wit the trump campaign. >> so, if there were to be a special prosecutor, the job of appointing him or her would fall to the deputy attorney general. robert is a former federal prosecutor in the white water investigation. nice to see you, sir. >> nice to be with you, greta. >> let me ask you the question i asked everybody tonight. would you have fired james comey, if so when and why? >> that's not my call. i'm not the president. the president is entitled to have -- >> but would you have? do you think he went over the top? >> i think that what happened is that jim comey and you can argue about the circumstances, traveled outside his lane.
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and when you do that, you know, obviously that raises concerns by the next administration. once having traveled out of your lane, whether you're going to remain in that lane. i think that was the difficulty that the new administration faced and this justice department faced and the decision that rod rosenstein apparently made. >> how do you investigate this? unless we had blinders on since we're not behind the scenes, but how would you investigate whether there is -- whether there is trump campaign collusion with russia, what would you do? >> i think in the first instance, that's the prerogative of the department of justice there is no reason to think the department of justice is incapable of conducting a full and complete and fair investigation led by a career prosecutor rod rosenstein who i know very well. he's a very able public servant. he's been on the job two weeks. it seems to me, i agree with mr. dershowitz that it's premature to be calling for a special prosecutor. let's see where this goes. everybody eds to take a big
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deep breath, let's let a responsible head, the deputy attorney general, conduct an investigation. until such time as there really is credible evidence -- and i think the president is right about this. until such time as there is credible evidence that there was collusion and that that collusion was orchestrated at the highest levels of the trump campaign, it's premature to be calling for the appointment of a special counsel. there's no reason why the department of justice can't investigate that, and special counsel should be reserved for extraordinary situations and we're not there yet. we're not anywhere close to being there yet. >> we have 30 seconds. how much does the media get in the way of sort of poisoning the american people's views of these investigations in terms of making it difficult for prosecutors? >> well, i think it's hard, and we've lived in a difficult environment post watergate. the hardest thing is for the public to come to respect in a partisan environment that career
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prosecutors of the department of justice are capable, insulated from politics, to be able to make responsible choices about whether or not to hold people account if crimes have been committed, including if those crimes were committed by people currently serving or formerly serving or part of a campaign associated with the existing administration. but, you know, that's the department of justice's task and charge, and it is difficult in that environment. but, look, i think the point now is it's been a difficult week. there will be a new fbi director eventually selected. i agree with mr. dershowitz that obviously a fine choice is what the country needs at this point. and i think we need to, you know, move on with a breath of fresh air and conduct a responsible investigation, which the justice department is perfectly capable of doing. >> and probably we all need to act responsibly in going forward. that includes politicians,
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media, everybody. but i wouldn't hold my breath onnal of those. >> we act in the best interest of the country and i do firmly believe the country gets the big things right. we'll get it right here, too. >> we have to go. thanks for joining us. next a key member of the house intelligence committee joins me live. where true traders trade on a trademarked trade platform that has all the... get off the computer traitor! i won't. (cannon sound) mobility is very important to me. that's why i use e*trade mobile. it's on all my mobile devices, so it suits my mobile lifestyle and it keeps my investments fully mobile... even when i'm on the move. sign up at and get up to six hundred dollars.
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did the president fire director comey to impede the russia investigation? >> well, as you know very clearly, as has been stated repeatedly and the president has been told, he's not under investigation. >> intelligence officials have said there is investigation into potential ties between campaign officials and russian officials. >> that's not what this is about. >> vice-president mike pence saying president trump's decision had nothing to do with the russia investigation. with me congressman joaquin castro democrat from texas, member of the house intelligence committee, good evening, sir. >> hi, greta, how are you? >> i'm very well. and i've seen a description of a statement of yours you describe the firing as extremely
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suspicious. do i have that right? and if so, why do you call it extremely suspicious? >> well, to start with, the timing of it is very suspicious. as you know, about five weeks ago director comey went to comey went to congress and told the country that there may be trump associates who are under investigation for possible coordination, in his words, with the russians who interfered with the 2016 elections. there are also reports that came out day, and i can't confirm this because i have not been briefed on it, but that he was asking for more resources for the russia investigation. all of this makes the timing very, very suspicious. >> what do you make of the letter from the president to director comey which reads, in part, while i greatly appreciate you informing me on three separate occasions that i'm not under investigation, i nevertheless concur with the judgment. he puts in a letter that comey had told him three times he was not under investigation. >> that's a very strange
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interlewd to add in that latter. it seems a way for the president to protect himself and suggest he's not doing it because he's worried about himself or possibly about his team. >> i understand it's been reported by many people on your committee that your intelligence committee is, quote, back on track. you had a little bit of a rough spot a couple weeks ago. why should we as the american people be convinced it's sort of back on track after your chairman -- i realize it's the opposing party -- had that rather unusual trip to the white house and then back, and then he had sort of a spat with the ranking member. how do you give us confidence that you're, quote, back on track? >> i agree. that shook the confidence of many members of the committee and also the american public. now, in a bipartisan way, we have tried with the new leadership of mike conaway of texas to make sure that the investigation is back on track, th we've agreed on a set of witnesses. it's an extensive list. we've got to request documents
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from those folks and then schedule them for hours-long basically what amount to depositions. so in that sense, it was moving along. but as i mentioned earlier today, the firing of the fbi director really, to me, is a kind of obstruction in that whole process. >> who would be your -- which witness do you really want to hear from if you could have anyone show up? >> well, you know, because these things are classified, i don't want to get into specific names. but i can say, as you can imagine, that the usual suspects that we've heard about in the news will be called in, and i'm anxious to hear what they have to say. >> and i assume you'd like to hear from general flynn, i imagine, but i don't think he'll be coming. >> we'll see. >> anyway, thank you, congressman. >> thank you. up next, the growing list of people fired by president trump. . it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do? drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had liberty mutual new car replacement™,
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so now president trump has fired four people who one way or another were involved in investigations of the trump administration. acting attorney general sally yates, national security adviser general michael flynn, u.s. attorney preetty bahar ra and o course james comey last night. clarence page is a columnist for "the chicago tribune." annie linskey is a reporter for "the boston globe." clarence, first to you. we're losing a lot of people. >> so far. it reminds me of an episode of the apprentice. i think somebody else said that earlier in the program here. but it's an interesting kind of a carnage if i may usehat word
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because they all seem to be involved in one way or another with an investigation of trump or his people. and trump seems to be rather cavalier about it. i mean not a lot of preparation. this thing sounded like it happened all of a sudden, including leaving comey out there to be notified through the media out in california. >> i guess with pretet bahar ra we focus on him because he's southern district of new york, but there were lots of people who were fired, just not on the investigation. >> oh, yeah. the preparation here was scant to, you know, almost none. i mean the white house last night was a complete -- >> how is it today? kissinger was there. i mean you can't make this stuff there. the foreign minister lavrov was there and the ambassador to the united states, kislyak, who is at the center of the flynn thing, he was in the oval office. >> he was in the oval office, and we got our images from the
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russia propaganda arm. we didn't even have american journalists there. it came from russian sources, those photographs from the oval office. that was really jaw-dropping today to have that happen in the midst of all of this. >> clarence, i hear so many things. i must admit i'm a little mixed up what to think of all this in terms of the seriousness of it. i hear some people say nixonian, and i'm old enough to think, oh, watergate. i remember that stuff. is it nixonian or not? >> well, it is not nixonian or -- well, legally it is not, but the imagery is there. i mean nixon had john mitchell as his attorney general who turned out to be part of the conspiracy. we haven't seen that with jeff sessions, but here session being the conservative that he is, appears to be siding with the president in regard to comey having to go in the way he did. >> but even that's oddecause ecused himself from the whe russia investigation and then he weighed in yet. >> that's right. >> he didn't have to do that. that was a self-inflicted wound. >> absolutely. i mean it was just so shocking
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to hear him say that, to hear him and, moreover, he's going to be involved with hiring the next director of the fbi, who will presumably be the guy in charge of that russian investigation that he said he didn't recuse himself from. so there's a web here that gets very confusing, sort of a web of inconsistency. >> but that works in trump's favor. i mean what i remember about watergate, then i was a young chicago reporter, and i remember people who liked nixon still liked him even after he had been kicked ou. they blamed us in the media for conspireing to kick him out. it's so much like today in that regard. but nixon didn't have both houses of congress on his side either, so that's where we -- that's why the call for the special prosecutor is important this time. >> i don't know where we're going on this. but anyway, it's restraining times. i recommend we just put a fence around d.c., not let anybody leave or come in. build a wall. >> build that wall. >> thank you both. thank you for watching. i'll see you back here tomorrow
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night, 6:00 p.m. eastern. if you can't watch live, set your dvr. follow me on twitter @greta because you get to write mean things about me anonymous. go to my facebook page. "hardball" with chris matthews starts right now. moscow on the potomac. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in a city bouncing with news about donald trump and his attempt to kill the russian investigation. here's the latest cover-up. today the substitute white house press secretary said it was attorney general jeff sessions and deputy a.g. richard rosenstein who came to trump with the call to fire fbi director james comey, the man leading the investigation into possible ties between the campaign and russia. here was sarah huckabee sanders at the briefing today.


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