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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  May 12, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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facebook, twitter, live, insta. coming up more news with chris jansing. >> right now, the contradictions pile up. president trump saying in something very different. including the vice president. now all of the challenges raising serious new questions. >> president trump is dangerous because he may be obstructing justice in terms of the investigation. >> the president launches a still scale attack in six tweets this morning and seeming to want to rewrite the rules for the people that speak for him. >> in this process, i gave you the best information that i had at the moment. i don't think it contradict's the president's decision.
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>> the president saying pefect accura -- perfect accuracy is not possible. some think he should not have sat down for that interview with lester holt in the first place. good morning, everyone. i'm juchris jancing. just hours after new reporting that directly contradicts what president trump told lester holt in that headline making exclusive interview. here is just one in a series of tweets from the president this morning. james comey better hope there are no tapes of our devgss before he starts leaking to the press. this is after an article raising serious new questions. we have the person raising those questions, michael schmidt, but
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let's start with the latest crisis where the white house began. the lester holt interview. >> let me ask you about your termination later to mr. comey. you say i appreciate you informing me on three separate occasions that i am not under investigation. >> yes. and i heard that from others -- >> in a phone call, face to face? >> i had a dinner with him. he want today have dinner because he wanted to stay on, and he said you're not under investigation. >> he said it once at dinner and twice in phone calls. >> well, joining me live now, federal law enforcement correspondent. great reporting. this description by the president of what happened at his dinner with james comey,
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does it stand up to scrutiny? >> it is a little different. basically seven days after mr. trump came into office, he asked mr. comey to come to the white house for dinner. and ath that dinner, mr. trump quickly said to him look, do i have your loyalty? and mr. comey said you will have my honesty. but this answer does not appear to have satisfied mr. trump as he brought it up again later in the meal and he said do i have your loyalty? and mr. comey repeated again and was not willing to give a pledge of loyalty. and mr. trump said i guess i have your honest loyalty, and and he said yes, my honest loyalty, but this is seen as an early sign that the relationship was not going to work out. >> let's make this clear, part of the contradiction, michael, is who invited who to dinner,
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right? >> correct, it's our understanding that mr. trump invited mr. comey to the white house. he did not want to come to the white house. even under president with obama. he didn't want to play basketball with mr. obama because he didn't want to appear too chummy. >> so he told lester holt that he already decided to fire hymn no matter what the recommendation was. and i want to play just a sample of what they say in the course of several days. >> my understanding is the president was presented with the recommendation from the attorney general. >> he did his own analysis, he came to these conclusions, gave his recommendations to the attorney general, to the
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president of the united states who took decisive action. this one is an easy one. >> the president made the right decision at the right time. and to accept the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general. >> there seems to nothing in the interview with lester holt that suggests anything but clearly the fact that the president of the united states made a decision that he was going to do that no matter what that recommendation said. what do you make of all of this? >> it looks like this was reverse engineered, or at least that was the explanation. that is one of the most ten decisions that a president can make. so to do that they need a reason to do that. >> he is supposed to be so independent. did you get a discussion that if indeed what they say happened, happened, did the president not understand that that there was
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supposed to be independence? i'm not quite sure how you have somebody, how you suggest that someone wants to stay on when they're serving a ten year term. >> he may have just seen him as an appointee that was still around, but in the 1970s, after nixon resigns, congress went to great lengths to try to protect the fbi corrector to give him a term. at the end of the day, the president would have the power to fire the director, but this is to insulate the fbi director from any kind of politics. for whatever mr. comey has had said about him, he is showing real independent. maybe we should have seen this earlier, and mr. trump's pride
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and loilt would never work together. >> yeah, they would collide inevidently wifvitabl inevitably. jeff sessions has been ignoring questions from reporters regardi regarding comey. >> why did you recuse yourself on the firing of comey. >> i want to bring in pete williams, pete you have been looking into all of this, what more can you tell us about that din near is at the heart of what president trump told lester holt. >> what you just saw was jeff sessions at the group today. and there he is receiving the award. secondly, i want to make clear that what a great job michael savage has done with this story
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for the new york times. what i'm about to tell you is what i've done to confirm the story, but the original story is all of his, and he deserves great credit. so i think it is important to understand that based on the tweet, he understanding basically mr. comey better be careble about leaking to the press. as far as i know, james comey has not said anything to any reporter since he was fired. and the -- based on michael's own description, and i can tell you based on what i heard, it is all people largely outside of the fbi that heard about this dinner at the time. it is not anything that comey said in response to the firing or the interview. in fact, what we were told from some of the people that he didn't even tell people at the
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fbi that he went to this dinner. he was very reluctant to go. the president says who calls the white house and asks to have designer? the people that i spoke to describe it is exact way, he says can i have your loyalty, and mr. comey said i can't give you my loyalty, but i can give you my honesty. he said i can give you my honest loyalty. so basically, that is the story about the dinner. and by the way, i'm assuming based on the way that hedinner time, that he would be only too delighted if there was faps of the dinner and they came out. >> that will raise certain other
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questions about a president potentially taping a sitle fbi director without his knowledge, but we'll get to that later, pete, thank you. let's go to kristin welt welker he thought the interview would put things to rest, it has done the hop sit. tell us more. >> it is not unusual for this president to wake up and start tweeting, but today really, remarkable. lashing out at a different host of people and entities. he say he better hope there are no tapes of our conversations before leaking to the press if is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy.
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that is a reaction to the fact that some of the comments we heard this week have contradicted what we heard from the president yesterday. this one, maybe the best thing to do is cancel all future press briefings and hand out wring responses for the sake of accuracy. and from james clapper himself, and everyone with knowledge of thetapping situation, there is no collusion, when does it snend. >> -- end? >> we asked if there was tapes of the conversations, i have not gotten response or reaction to that. i did have a robust discussion about the tweets directed at the press, it is not about the press, of course, it is about the fact that he is guessing his message out to the american public. he said we're giving the most accurate information that we have at the time that we have it. our briefing today is at 1:00,
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so we will ask them about all of this. >> and we're hearing, and i'm sure you will ask about it as well, they thought it was a bad idea for the president to sit down for an extended interview with lester holt, what do you think of this? >> what are they resporting this morning and that there was some division in the ranks here that some top officials felt like it might not be the best course of action to sit down for an extended period to talk about the decision to fire james comey. as you pointed ut out, the reality of what came out of there were tough questions to answer. the president thinks he is his best spokesperson. i would not be surprised if we heard more in the coming days and weeks about this.
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>> if you're just joining us, michael brook, details from sources contradicting lester holt. they have been extensively writing all about of these issues today. the president seemed to suggest in one tweet that he either illegally recorded a dinner conversation, or he was making a not very thinly veiled threat against the man he just fired. >> i don't know what to make of it, it is quite remarkable. i have been also reaching out to the white house to try to get an explanation for what the president meant when he used the word tapes. we'll have to see what sean spicer say about it this afternoon. but what stuck out to me was the comparison of tweets. it is a baseless allegation, of
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course, but he used quotation marks around "wiretapping" because it was not wiretapping so to speak, but -- >> was someone else at the dinner, ye. >> maybe he contemporanesly said something to someone. it's hard to keep up with the contradictions. after that, the acting director said he had, and has to this a day, broad support, it is a small part of the bureau's focus. it is a highly significant accusation, which brings us to rod rosenstein. >> he made a recommendation,
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very good guy, very smart guy, the democrats and the republicans like him, he made a recommendation, but regardless i was going to fire him knowing is there was no good time to do it. >> did he make a clear recommendation that the president should fire james comey. >> that is really the question. the letter that the deputy attorney general signed was very critical and laid out a case for why he should be moved out as fbi director. what is not clear is whether or not rosenstein went to the president and said he has to go. that was initially the white house's narrative, that is bubbled up from the justice department. but as he said he was going to do this regardless of this. he is a career prosecutor. he has been there for a very long period of time.
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he was not seen as someone that was political. he is not someone like attorney general sessions who is a senator and an early supporter. he was a prosecutor in the sense that comey was a prosecutor, and had been there for a significant time at the justice department. so for the idea that he was used politically is shocking to people. >> and then you have the president going after his favorite target, the media. as a very active president with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at the podium with perfect accuracy. maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future press briefings. you wrote about this as well in a different story. for sake of accuracy, there is nothing else, is there? credibility is everything. >> and it is important to remember that the people at the podium at the white house are
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not political campaign opera operativ operatives. they're paid by the american taxpayers, they're the spokespeople for the u.s. government, and i think the public expects and demands accuracy from them. if they don't know the answer to the question, they should say i don't know the answer to the question, but it's not appropiate to be lying or misleading intentionally. >> it is a tough job, anyone that sat in that room and saw that broad rain of questions, it's a stuff job. >> and part of the problem, i think, is the president. i don't think he gave them enough time to develop their explanations and responlserespo. they're acting in realtime. and as we all know it is happening at breakneck speed. thank you, we'll be talking to you again. >> up next, democrats reaction to the president's latest comments and tweets.
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i will talk live with gregory meeks who had this to say before the lester holt interview. >> he is a person who lies. you all know it, he lied time and time again. start your day with the number one choice of dentists. philips sonicare removes significantly more plaque versus oral-b 7000. experience this amazing feel of clean. innovation and you. philips sonicare. save now when you buy philips sonicare.
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president trump is again investing that the investigation
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was started by the democrat party. >> when i decided to just do it, i said to myself, you know, this russia thing, the trump russia thing, it is a made up excuse by the democrats. >> he also said talking to lester he wants to get to the bottom of this and he is backing a full investigation. do you leave him? >> no, firing the fbi director at this time, still saying and ignoring what 17 intelligence ass have said, it shows that he does not want to get to the bottom of it and that he may be covering it up. i have real concerns about a
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cover up here. >> a criminal overup? >> a cover up. when you ask the fbi director whether or not you're under investigation, who knows what other conversations you have for an attorney general that had to make sure he rescuesed himself, but still participating in this process, and it seems to me you try to cover up one thing, one story from another. you try to protect your administration, when you look at the investigation going on to flynn, and him saying he has a lot to say, and the president seems to be nervous about that. i believe we have a constitutional question here and why -- >> so to get to the bottom of that then -- >> they need a special prosecutor. >> clearly you're in it the minority. do you have a sense that republicans are moving in that direction? >> you know, i think that we
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all, democrat, republican, independent, took an oath of office in regards to our protecting our constitution in our country. and this is not about politics now. this is real serious business. this is about our country and how we are perceived. i have been on the foreign affairs committee for a long time. we don't operate this way. this is more like russia would operate. the things that i see the president doing now are the kinds of things you have seen putin do. i don't want to live in an authoritarian society. that is when a independent prosecutor is needed more now than ever. >> i think the american people's voices really have to be heard. i hope that as they go home, i think my colleagues on the republican side of the aisle, if
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they hear their constituents expressing concern saying we have to get to the bottom of this. when we had the scenario before, it went just democrats, it was democrats and republicans. >> let me ask you about a few other things going on in the news. the president signed something targeting voter fraud. one of the vice chairs of the secretary of state, who is known for his support of strict voting laws had this to say this morning. >> we do have a great deal of evidence about people voting in more than one state, we have evidence about noncitizens, but now we start digging into the facts and see just how widespread favarious forms of voter fraud are. >> this is a waste of taxpayer money. we have done, there has been looks into voter fraud before,
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and it has shown that after hundreds and thousands of people voted, you might have found 5 or 30 cases. i think what is more prevalent is voter suppression. so again, it is a diversion. i don't think it was a kois dense that he came out with this yesterday. it is a die version frversion o going on. the election is over and he is still concerned about the election and what people are saying. i think he was upset with comey when he said he was mildly nauseated that he may have had a role in this election into he is a drank rout guy. >> thank you for coming in. >> up next welcome a lot more of lester holt's exclusive interview, including more about
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the determination later to james com comey, stay with us. leaf right . a leaf is a hint that is connected to each person in your family tree. i learned that my ten times great grandmother is george washington's aunt. within a few days i went from knowing almost nothing to holy crow, i'm related to george washington. this is my cousin george. discover your story. start searching for free now at wiback like it could used to? neutrogena hydro boost water gel. with hyaluronic acid it plumps skin cells with intense hydration and locks it in. for supple, hydrated skin. hydro boost. from neutrogena
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president trump's
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explanation for firing director james comey is dominating the headlines today. today an op-ed says this. no good layer would have let lester holt give this interview. many white house aides were against it. here is more of that nbc news exclusive. >> are you angry with mr. comey because of his russia investigation? >> i just want someone that is competent. i'm a big fan of the fbi. as far as i'm concerned, i want that thing to be absolutely done properly. >> let me ask you about your termination letter to mr. comey. you said i graeatly appreciate you informing me on three separate instances i was not under investigation. >> what you said about supporting the idea of investigation, the man who just said that tweeted very recently
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"it's a total hoax" a taxpayer charade. >> it was set up by the democrats, lester, and it was a way, an excuse for them for losing. there was no collusion. there is no collusion between me and my campaign and the russians. the other thing is the russians did not affect the vote. and everybody seems to think that. if russia or anyone else is trying to interfere with our elections, i think it is a horrible, and i want to get to the bottom of it. >> the senate intelligence committeements information about your finances, your business finance, can you tell us if you, your family, your businesses, your surrogates accepted any investments or loans from russian individuals? >> i just sent a letter to
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lindsey graham from one of the most prestigious law firms that i have nothing to do with russia, no investments in russia, i don't have property in russia. a lot of people thought i had office buildings in moscow, i don't have property in russia, and i'm in very -- i mean, i'm in total compliance in every way. i have to tell you i file documenting, hundreds of pages worth of documents with the federal elections bureau. everyone has seen them. i belt a great company, but i'm not involved with russia. i have had dealings over the years where i sold a house to a very wealthy russia. i had the ms. universe pageant,
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>> it anyone else ask him to. >> just and of the moments from the interview last night. joining me now is a democrat who was a hillary clinton supporter, also nick ackerman, who was an assistant watergate prosecutor. good to have both of you, nick, i have to start with you and the president's tweet. james comey better make sure there is no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. did you think back to water gate? >> it makes you wonder whether or not he purposely recorded that conversation, if he has a tape, or if he is trying to intai intimidate comey. >> is it bad form or is there
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something wrong there? >> it could be a whole obstruction of justice. >> what would it take to be obstruction of justice? >> it would take his intent to basically try and stop the investigation because he is concerned that it is going to lead right up to him. i mean it really comes down to his krucorrupt intent. did he have the intent to stop this investigation and interfere with it. it was his intent this morning in tweeting out that message about the tape to try to intimidate comy asecomey as a wn the case to keep him from talking about the case. there is a lot of smoke out there now that he gave this interview to lester holt, that would give you probable cause to believe that mr. trump is involved in a serious
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obstruction of justice. i want to replay what he said about that. >> it is dangerous because he may be obstructing justice in the investigation that goes to the heart of the democracy. the people around him to the rule of law. protecting our democracy from a cyber invasion by the russians, and credibility has been destroyed. >> could the president will close to crossing a line here? >> well, i think what is important is that we see the appointment of an independent special council for that very rrn. you know this, chris, is about fundamentally restoring public trust and confidence in our system, and unfortunately we have a president and an administration that has demonstrated a clear pattern of disrespecting the rule of law, disrespecting some of the fundamentals of our institutions and government. and that is why given everything that has happened it is essential that at a minimum, the
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deputy attorney general appoints an independent special council and that congress be allowed to continue with it's full and thorough investigation. we need to get to the bottom of this, the american people deserve the covet anfidence andh in they're government. >> and the key to that is the president's ties to russia. nbc news reporting that president trump's lawyers are saying a review of his last ten years of tax returns do not reflect, and i'm quoting a letter from them, any income of any type from russian sources with some exception lgs. oo property sold to a russian billionaire in 2008. he said i have no investments in it russia, none whatsoever, i don't have property in russia.
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>> i handled the nixon tax case in the prosecutor's office. it is assuming the lawyers were shown the proper returns. >> which would be volumnous. it could be used to high investors, and it raises a lot more questions than it answers, it is reminiscent of what nixon tried to do by having him read or listen to the tapes. and the senator was pretty much deaf at the point. so it has the same ring of water gate again. president trump doesn't understand watergate, he has not learned anything from him, and i
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bet the only thing he could tell you is that it involved a hotel. >> let me bring this over to your point, that you're calling for an outside investigation. i'm going to recognize that you, as a lawyer, don't want to jump too quickly, but based on what your hearing, this statement made by the president's lawyer, that he doesn't have business interests with very small exceptio exceptions, and at least a small contradiction, does this give more ammunition to the argument you have been making? >> i think that is just further evidence of the many, many questions raised. with each our and day that passes, there is more questions and concerns. m an attorney general. i oversea and deal with criminal investigations every day. i have never seen anything like this. you don't fire the lead
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investigator of an investigation. you don't talk and engage in the kind of conduct that president trump has endaged in the in the last few days, it ul is something bad and something at the heart of why we need to make sure that we have the independent council appointed. this is not a democratic issue or a republican issue, this is core principals in democracy. we need congress to have the power to go forward and we need an independent special prosecutor with full subpoena authority with the ability to put people under oath. it is as simple as that, the story gets worse and worse each day. from where i sit, from where my colleagues and i sit, we have never seen anything like this. >> i would love to have you
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we're back on day 113 of the trump administration of what may be the most stunning thing for the president's time in office. >> nobody dies because they don't have access to health care -- you kothd do this to us and our children. you're killing us. >> we have all of these multiple players of protection. >> the senate is starting from scratch. we're going to draft our own bill, and i'm convinced that we're going to take the time to do it right. >> there was a reason why health care reform was noft accomplit d
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before, it was hard. >> the russians know that general flin mlynn misled the president and others. >> why did they wait 18 days to fire mike flynn. >> you don't just go jump the gun. >> and we begin with that important decision facing donald trump. >> war sometimes doesn't give you all good options, that's the nature of war. >> breaking news, jim comey is out at the fbi. >> he was not doing a good job, very simply. >> president trump made the right decision at the right time. >> he considered letter director comey go. >> does the firing cast a shadow over your talks? >> was he fired?
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you're kidding. >> if there was ever a time that circumstances warranted a special prosecutor, it was right now. >> how long are you and your federal republicans going to defend this american nightmare. open your eyes! >> is it accurate that the rank and file no longer supported director comey? >> no, sir, that was not accurate. he enjoyed broad support in the fbi. >> he is a showboat, a grand stander. the fbi has been in turmoil regardless of recommendation i was going to fire him. i asked him, i said if it is possible, will y let me know if you're under investigation and he said you're not investigation. >> the white house bureau chief for the "washington post." on a scale of one to ten, ten
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being outstanding, rate this week for the white house. >> pretty low. it was a dizzying week, i would say, for this president and the problem with the focus is that there are so many other things that the white house want today do. they want today be moving forward on health care in the senate. and importantly, president trump is going overseas next week for his first foreign trip, a hue high stakes trip, and they want today be focused on him preparing for that and instead he is obsessed with the comey situation. >> they talked about making his schedule easier because they wanted time to prep. most americans disagree with director comey's firing, right? >> yeah, 54% of americans, a majority say that his firing was not appropriate. just 38% say that it was appropriate, and chris that kind
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of mirrors the public approval ratings in general for president trump. and then is really interesting by party, too, you have 84% of democrats saying the firing was not appropriate, 79% of republicans saying it was appropriate, but independents are breaking with the democrats where you have 60% of independents saying it was not appropriate. >> that is a difficult number for the president right there, and the president gave and interview that gave a sense of his obsession, i think you could almost say, with television, television about him with tivo. >> it was all about his late night tv habits, and he was showing "time" magazine writers how he watches through all of the shows and said tivo was one of the greatest inventions of all time. what was really striking involving sally yates and the
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former director of national intelligence james clapper, he said watch when they choke like dogs. andrea mitchell will be interviewing james clapper, so an intering comment to have while watching that testimony. >> coming up at the top of the hour, finally melissa mccarthy, aka, scene spicer, has been spotted here in new york city. a new promo out. i was in the briefing room recently, and as you know, people often go stand behind the podium to get their picture taken, and this person seemed surprise thad it didn't move. i'm not kidding, made a comment there is no wheels, what are you expecting this weekend? >> i don't know, she is guest hosting, so it's not just a cold open. he have be between the bushes maybe or echoing some of the talking points from earlier in
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the week, but the riding the segues through the streets of new york city was a busy promo. >> there is rumors that sarah huckabee sanders might make an appearance. >> i know that i will be watching, it will be hilarious, a good chance to laugh at what is happening. >> thank you both, we'll be right back. >> it is time for the your business entrepreneurs of the week. breaking up was hard to do, but reuniting has felt so good. the owners of five string furniture are back together after a two-year break. jeff was running the business solo and now they're growing faster than ever. >> watch "your business" at 7:30 a.m. visit open for ideas to help youroyour business.
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thank you for watching this hour. right now on msnbc, a jam packed hour of "andrea mitchell reports." >> shifting stories. president trump contradicts his top aides saying the comey firing was all about russia and he want today fire the fbi director all along. >> regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey knowing there was no good time to do it. i said to myself, you know, this is a made up story. >> the former head of u.s. intelligence james clapper's testimony backs him up, but is he mischaracterizing the chief? we ask him moments from now. dinner for two.
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>> the dinner arranged, he want today stay on as the fbi head, and i said i will consider, we'll see what happens, but we had a very nice dinner and he told me you're not under investigati investigation, which i new. >> and standing by your man, president trump continues to defend former advisor mike flynn. s he is a very good person. and i don't think you hear from someonyou d't even know and immediately run out and fire a general. >> why is thpr