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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  May 14, 2017 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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...what you love. ensure. always be you. ♪ ♪ i'm dr. kelsey mcneely and some day you might be calling me an energy farmer. ♪ energy lives here. hello, everyone, i'm alex witt here in new york and here's what's happening right now. there's new fallout over president trump's suggestion there might be tapes of his dinner conversation with former fbi director james comey. here's congressman adam schiff, ranking member of the house intel committee, on the weight
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of president trump's apparent threat. >> can you prove obstruction based on the president's own words when we don't know whether we can believe this president? those close to comey have a very different take, also a troubling take, on that dinner conversation. so i'm not sure you could prove the case based on this, but if there are tapes, of course, that would be the best evidence of what took place. if they exist, congress needs to get them. if they are not provided willingly, congress should subpoena them, and if they are not in existence, if this was yet another fabrication by the president, he needs to come clean about it. >> also weighing in today, member of the house intel committee. >> the president and this administration who said there's no there, there, continues through their actions to indicate they are afraid of where this investigation may head. the dots seem to be fairly obviously connected that there's a lot more than smoke here, but i'm trying to give the president
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the benefit of the doubt until we finish this investigation and reach conclusions. >> meanwhile, a new nbc/wall street journal poll on president trump's decision to fire james comey, 29% approve. 38% disapprove and 32% don't have enough to say on the matter. this poll also shows the president's job approval dropping by one point to 39%. that one-point drop just since last month. also new today secretary of state rex tillerson on why he hasn't brought up the issue of russia's interference with the election with his counterpart, foreign minister lavrov. >> i have seen the intelligence reports, chuck, and, yes, i don't think there's any question that the russians were playing around in our electoral processes. again, there's also intelligence reports also indicated it's inconclusive what, if any, effect it had. >> i understand about the impact, but the fact that they got into it, what should the repercussions be now, in your mind? >> well, just part of that
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broader landscape of conversations, chuck, and i think, you know, the real impact is it serves yet again to undermine the trust between the united states and russia. so what we're exploring is how do we begin the process of restoring that trust. >> let's bring in nbc's kelly o'donnell, once again at the white house for us today. kelly, where does this search for a new fbi director stand today? >> reporter: well, there has been a lot of activity this weekend with eight identified candidates for that position, and the first round of interviews is in the books, and they were conducted by attorney general jeff sessions and his deputy attorney general rod rothstein -- rosenstein, i'm sorry. so what happened was there was a plan for four interviews to happen on saturday and they decided that there was some momentum going and there was accessibility to the job candidates, and so they extended the day about 11 hours in time to do the eight interviews, and
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they draw from professionals who have had a lot of relevant experience either in the law, in law enforcement, in intelligence, and in a few cases political experience. and that raises a question that some are requesting given the circumstances of james comey's firing by the president and the reports about was loyalty asked about, the atmosphere politically, some are saying that a person with political experience, republican elective office experience might not be the best choice right now. that was a view held by south carolina senator lindsey graham today. he was talking about one of his colleagues, john cornyn of texas, a senator who had also been a judge, who is one of those being interviewed, and here's what graham had to say about the kind of person president trump should pick. >> john cornyn is a wonderful man under normal circumstances would be a superb choice to be fbi director, but these are not normal circumstances. we got a chance to reset here as
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a nation. the president has a chance to clean up the mess that he mostly created. he really, i think, did his staff a disservice by changing the explanation, so i would encourage the president to pick somebody we can all rally around, including those who work in the fbi. >> reporter: now, another figure on this list of eight is mike rogers, the former chairman of the house intelligence committee, former representative republican of michigan. he left congress a handful of years ago, and he has been selected by the fbi agents association. they represent 13,000 current and former fbi agents. he, himself, was an fbi agent early in his career, so he was the person they endorsed for the next position, yet he, too, has elective experience. it will be interesting to see what the president does. our understanding is the president will do some interviews, either in person, by phone, we don't know the exact circumstances yet, but based on the reporting i've done today, nothing expected today that any
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advisers are talking about. obviously, it's a sunday and it's mother's day. the interviews last night were finished up late, so if there's a case of jeff sessions wanting to perhaps narrow that field for the president or discuss it with him, we don't have any update yet. now, the urgency of this and why a weekend's involved is the president says he hopes to make a decision quickly, and he leaves for saudi arabia for a multi-country, more than a week-long trip, on friday. so there's a lot going on, and if he wants to act quickly, time is of the essence in terms of getting interviews, a choice, and then later confirmation will be a part of this, too. the senate must ultimately confirm an fbi director. alex? >> absolutely, kelly o'donnell at the white house, thank you for that. joining me now is ben from politico and niles, white house columnist with "the hill." nile, starting with you first, a number of outlets reporting a major smak up could be in the works at the white house.
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do you know anything about this and who wins and who might lose? >> there's clearly a lot of dissatisfaction on how the rollout of this comey decision happened. he's known from my own sources and from many others to be kind of outraged that his communications team did not get out quicker with a rationale for the comey issue. in fairness to them, they were only told, as far as i know, a very short time before, but i think there's, as i say, clearly dissatisfaction on the part of the president. he's not someone who frankly takes a lot of responsibility himself for his errors, so i suspect there are people in the firing line there. >> so, ben, the president is reportedly just seething over leaks from the west wing. the a.p. says the key staffers, they may have been kept out of the loop on the comey decision because he's so worried about leaks. what is his level of frustration, and what can he do about it? >> i don't think you can overstate his level of frustration. there are reports of him yelling
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at television screens, reports of him considering white house officials who previously had been considered safe, people like don mcgann, his white house counsel. what can he do about it? plugging up leaks of this magnitude is going to take a very long time. it starts with fostering a unified culture across the west wing, something this west wing has lacked so far. in the short term he could clean house, start over with a new team, but, obviously, that would be a major undertaking. >> i'm curious, nile, if these leaks are coming from one faction or different factions in the west wing and do you think people are concerned about their jobs? they want to save them? >> i think it's the latter, alex, to be perfectly honest. i think throughout the lifetime of this administration, this has been a very factional white house. it's great for people like me and ben, of course, because people talk to us to promote their own agendas and give us all sorts of inside information and gossip, but from a political standpoint, it's pretty
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dangerous and pretty bad. and it's interesting to me this comey issue has arisen after a short period whenever the white house seemed to be able to put a little bit of a lid on those leaks. this has happened and the president doesn't want to be so unhappy about it. we're seeing all those leaks pouring open once again. >> ben, the "the washington post" is writing the white house system failed with the comey firing but trump is the one who pushed the buttons. let's take a listen to what senate minority leader chuck schumer said earlier today. >> there's a crisis of credibility with the president. i mean, so many things, there's so much factual fabrication and then back sliding and contradiction. >> ben, how much of this is self inflicted? >> it's almost entirely self inflicted. if we're just to take the comey firing, trump made the decision. he got some light push back from his aides, but his aides in
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large part are reticent about really objecting to what the president wants to do. he decided to move quickly on this before he could get his ducks in a row here, and so even if he brings in an entirely new communications team, they are still working for a president who wants them to go out there and often times, frankly, misrepresent his decision making and oftentimes go out with incomplete information. >> and nile, i know you've written about dangers ahead for trump on comey and specifically mentioned gop dissent here here. >> i think we're already seeing that, alex. dean heller, republican senator of nevada, has already come out and saying he's open in certain circumstances to the appointment of a special prosecutor. lindsey graham this morning was talking about the fact he didn't support a prosecutor on the basis of we're not investigating a crime yet. that is hardly a full-footed
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expression of confidence, and i think one of the real dangers for the president is if this leaking of republican support turns into a kind of avalanche where they are running away from him. that's where part of the really gravest dangers lie. >> and, ben, the a.p. says that donald trump may be considering expanding his communications team to that and bringing in fox news producers, maybe one of their anchors. would that help the messaging problems, do you think, what would the effect be? >> you know, it may add some production value to the communications that the white house is putting out there. they may become slicker, but ultimately i think that, you know, just adding to a team that's already pretty dysfunctional, already has problems communicating internally with the other parts of the west wing, isn't a recipe for really improving things unless there's a cultural shift
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and unless they can sort of all sit around a table together in that west wing and get on the same page. >> yeah, i'm just going to ask you both, the president saying maybe i should just put out written statements every couple of weeks and that would be the way i communicate. that's nothing the both of you would particularly appreciate, right? there's a whole host of problems that comes with that. >> go ahead. >> go ahead, ben. >> yeah, that's absolutely right. and i think that there's a fat chance that donald trump would give up the televised drama of having his administration spar with reporters. so, you know, as much as we would hate to see that happening, i think it's more likely that his proposal to give a press conference himself every two weeks is the one that has a much higher chance of coming to fruition. >> how would you approach that, nile? >> you know, i think ben is right in what he says. i think that the idea that the president of the united states would merely issue written statements of his achievements is pretty absurd on its face.
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the white house press briefing has its flaws, no one thinks it's an absolute exhibition of perfection, but it is a daily opportunity for those in the media to try to hold the white house to account and to basically seek the answer to questions, which we otherwise wouldn't be able to raise. >> good to see you both. ben and niall, thanks, guys. >> thanks for having us. back off. that's the warning from a leading republican lawmaker to president trump. that's up next. and what to make of one republican's claim that the trump administration is still in the honeymoon period. the leader of the largest trump super pac joins us next. lilly.
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this tweet has to be answered. i would advise the president not to tweet or comment about the investigation as we go forward.
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the russians did interfere in our elections. i don't think they changed the outcome. i have no evidence of collusion, but the president needs to back off here and let the investigation go forward. >> and that was republican senator lindsey graham just this morning referring to president trump's tweet appearing to threaten james comey with tapes of their dinner at the white house back in january. joining me now, eric beech, chairman of great american pac, a pro-trump super pac. welcome to you on this sunday. i want first your reaction to what the senator said there. what is your take on this whole tape business and did the president box himself into a corner with that tweet? >> well, happy mother's day, alex, to you. i think here's the reality. i don't think president trump thinks there's any credibility to the russian investigation. i mean, in many ways, investigation's been happening since november 9th. it's been in the court of public opinion. i think the president had lost confidence in director comey, as did many democrats.
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harry reid after the election said he should resign, as did a few congressional leaders on the democratic side, so this is about losing confidence in the fbi director and trying to move it forward. i think the president wants the american public to, again, restore confidence in both the fbi, but also all of our intelligence agencies. >> okay. what about the reports today about a potential shake up at the white house? do you think the president's advisers, his aides, his spokes people, have they failed him, or has he failed them? >> i think president trump drove a narrative during the campaign and it was really a pro growth narrative, it really talked about job creation, but it also talked about blowing up the boxes inside washington, d.c., and that's a very hard task. no matter who's advising them, no matter how many people are in his ear, at the end of the day that's what president trump ran on and built his businesses and governed as president of the united states. there's a tall task to be had
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where there's been a failing system, failing foreign policy the last 30 years in the united states. there's been failed in terms of job creation and not just about rolling back the last eight years, it's really about rolling back the last 20 years. the president ran on making america great again. when you change washington, which has been in establishment for 200-plus years, you're going to have battles and really your advisers are there to advise, but at the end of the day the president is there to lead and his decision's the only one that matters. >> eric, do you get any sense that a lot of people share that things just seem to be in disarray? everyone's kind of playing defense as you look for the news coming out of the white house. what's going to happen next, and does it sink up with what happened two days ago or a week ago. do you have any sense of that yourself, as well? >> actually, i don't. here's what i have a sense of. i have a sense when president trump ran, he talked about changing and really has been implementing those changes.
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he's rolled back so many regulations. the trump coalition is not just his base, it's a big coalition. it's an anti-d.c., anti-establishment coalition and he's getting things done that he was elected to do. nominating judge gorsuch was a huge win, rolling back all the regulations, markets being up close to 3,000 points. i think we have to step back and look at the actions of a president, not the rhetoric. if we looked at the rhetoric of a president, maybe we're going to say there's a lot of disarray in the white house, but i look at the actions. what he ran on, now what he's doing as president of the united states, we have to look back and say results matter and the results are good. >> how about with regard to the comey firing and the conversation that was had between them? if this president were a democrat and if he had asked the fbi director for loyalty to him and then asked if he was under investigation and then fired him in the midst of a russia investigation. would you be crying for impeachment? >> well, i'm not going to give up on that narrative. i'm not sure those are all the
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facts. i know that's been in so many reports. here's one thing that has been overlooked and concerning, at least in my eyes, really are the leaks. you know, there is a deep stake in our country and it's in the intelligence community and it's okay they are gathering intelligence, but at the end. day, you can't unmask and unleak information on american citizens and at the time donald trump was an american citizen, wasn't the president of the united states. >> but we're confusing my question. so the question is, if that scenario that i put out there -- >> the hypothetical scenario. >> that scenario, which has been widely reported, if that scenario were true, would you be asking, if the roles were reversed and this president was a democrat, would you be asking for impeachment? >> no, i would not. at the end of the day, the president has to have the complete trust of the fbi director, whether it's a democratic president or republican president, and if that is not the case, then that alone in itself is calls for
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removal. you don't have -- we don't allow unelected bureaucrats to lead our country. we elect our leaders. we elect our congressional leaders, and we certainly elect the president of the united states, who was elected on november 8th. so, at the end of the day, the president number one job he has to lead the country and he has to have all of his agencies understand he has to have that confidence in those agencies and he didn't have the confidence in director comey and now it's time to move forward. >> eric, there's a michigan republican telling politico the trump administration is right now still in the honeymoon phase, a period where you get a pass on a lot of things, but another six, eight months from now it might become a bigger issue. what is your reaction from that? >> i go back to my previous answer, which is results matter. and if you're looking at it from a trump coalition, which is to say we wanted to nominate a supreme court justice, constitutional conservative, we've done that. we wanted to roll back crazy regulations that have really impeded businesses and job growth, we've done that. now we're moving on to tax
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reform and other activities that we ran on. illegal immigration's down by some measures 70%. you have to look at results that happen. you can't look at just the rhetoric when it comes to leading our country. if we looked at that, you would have kept your plan, original health care plan under obamacare. can't do that. so i don't think there's a honeymoon. i think this president is a president of action and i think the results may be mixed in many eyes, but the trump coalition is certainly satisfied with our progress. >> all right, from the great american pac, thank you. >> thanks, alex. what could hillary clinton be thinking now that james comey has been fired? coming up, the one thing she wants to make sure doesn't get lost in all the turmoil.
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welcome back, everyone, i'm alex witt at msnbc world headquarters in new york. here's what we're monitoring for you. the u.s. is condemning north korea for test firing a ballistic missile today. that missile traveled more than 400 miles and soared more than 1,200 miles high, raising suspicions it could be a different kind of missile than those previously fired. it is a transfer of power in
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france. emanuel macron was sworn in today, just after a week after beating marine le pen in a landslide. after the cyber attack friday that's been stopped, the number of victims is now more than 200,000 in at least 150 countries. britain's national health service is one of the biggest victims. that virus locked up millions of computers and demanded $300 in bitcoin within a week or the computer's files would be destroyed. senator lindsey graham shedding light on what president trump told him after he fired james comey and what graham wants to see happen next. here's what he told chuck todd on "meet the press." >> the president called me about the firing and he referenced the comey testimony last week, and the judiciary committee about how bad it was, so that's all i know, but i think it's time to call the fbi director before the country at large and explain what happened at that dinner and if there are any tapes, they have to be turned over.
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you can't be cute about tapes. if there are any tapes of this conversation, they need to be turned over. i doubt if there are, but we need to clear the air there also. >> and joining me now is tim winer, expert on the inner workings on the cia and fbi, author of "enemies a history of the fbi." welcome to you. i want to get a sense of how soon before director comey speaks, whether it's behind closed doors or a public setting. what do you think is his thinking right now? >> i think it will happen soon. >> soon, how soon? >> in a matter of days, as soon as he's called, but he wants to be heard in public, not in a closed-door hearing. >> what do you think he has to say? >> well, there's a limit as what he can say about an ongoing investigation, but i think he surely, knowing him, would like to get the record straight as to what has transpired during this head-spinning week. >> and with regard to trump and his perception within the
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community, despite what he has said and others have stood at the white house press podium, what are the risks for donald trump if he's on the wrong side of the fbi? are there any? >> if he's on the wrong side of the law, more importantly. look, this is a president who came into office comparing the cia to nazis. he has called the biggest investigation that the fbi has going a hoax. that is not guaranteed to win respect among the rank and file. and now he's in a situation where he has apparently demanded loyalty oaths from the director and failing to obtain that, fired him. an act that will be seen, i think, some day as an attempt to obstruct justice. >> so, if we look back in history and we think about the character deep throat in watergate. >> fbi agent. >> there you go. is there a concern that if people are unhappy, those people
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being people within the fbi are unhappy with president trump, that they will be leaking information that could be damaging? >> this is not a question of mood swings among fbi agents. the fbi is involved in a huge international investigation involving an attack on our country by hostile foreign powers. they are gathering evidence. they are gathering evidence and they'll follow the trail wherever it leads, including up to the door of 1600 pennsylvania avenue. >> so, tim, the president says he could end up picking the next fbi director as soon as the end of this week. we know eight people were interviewed yesterday, including the acting director, andrew mcgabe. does the justice department's decision to interview more people than announced yesterday, does that give you any suggestion as to how this process is going? >> the universe of people who are, a, acceptable to president trump, b, confirmable by the senate, and, c, willing and able to do this job is very small.
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probably fewer than the fingers on my left hand. >> which means that everybody -- meaning everybody that's being interviewed is not, you think, appropriate for the job? >> i think very few people are willing and able to do this job, particularly if a loyalty oath to the president is part of the price of the nomination. >> so, not just for optics, tim, is it worrisome from an ethical perspective that attorney general jeff sessions, his deputy rod rosenstein, they are the ones conducting these interviews? how objective can this process be, and is there any alternative to the two of them conducting the interviews? >> we have been placed, we, our country, have been placed in a legal and ethical moe ras by the president firing the director of the fbi in the midst of a huge investigation that's focused on the white house, the trump campaign, and the president's inner circle. there's no way to objectively
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resolve this without the senate convening a massive independent inquiry beyond the scope of the intelligence committee. and to do that, several republicans like john mccain, like lindsey graham, like senator richard burr, who runs the senate intelligence committee, are going to have to be willing to stand up and put their country over their party to get to the bottom of what was an act of war, to quote senator john mccain. >> so, the president of the fbi agents association spoke about his endorsement for mike rogers. i want to point out that the association endorsed james comey back in 2013, when he was being considered for the job. how big a faction is there in the fbi who want a director with absolutely no partisan ties whatsoever, or will they take someone who at their word says we're going to follow the letter of the law with the constitution? >> the letter of the law and the constitution are at utmost
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what's most important here. far beyond any partisanship, any party, any personality. the fbi is there to uphold the rule of law, to protect and defend the constitution, just as the president swore to do when he took the oath of office, and that's what matters most. to the fbi as an institution and to the tens of thousands of individuals who work there. it is the rule of law that is at stake here. this is not a popularity contest. this is not about politics. this is about whether we are a government of laws or a government of men. >> all right. tim weiner, well said. author of "enemies:a history of law", appreciate it. one key figure has been curiously silent, hillary clinton, who just last week admitted she blamed comey, at least in part, for her november loss. >> it wasn't a perfect campaign.
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there is no such thing. but i was on the way to winning until the combination of jim comey's letter on october 28th and russian wikileaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off. if the election had been on october 27th, i'd be your president. >> let's bring in adrian, former director of strategic communications for the clinton campaign. welcome to you. i'm curious about the reaction to the comey news, do you have any sense of vindication? >> i don't necessarily think that vindication is the right word, but what we're seeing here is that donald trump simply cannot take any criticism from anybody who works in the government. if he has the power to fire somebody who he feels has crossed him in any sort of way, he fires him, and that's a real problem. you know, we're barely 100 days
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into this presidency, you know, i don't know what to expect next, but this is really crazy. >> so, if vindication isn't the right word, can you give an adjective as to your feelings with his departure? >> well, look, there's simply no question that a lot of us on the campaign and a lot of americans had issues with the way mr. comey handled the investigation of hillary clinton's e-mails. but look, at the end of the day, what we are dealing with here is the fact that, number one, we know that donald trump did not fire james comey because of the way he handled hillary clinton's e-mail investigation. i don't think anybody believes that. and secondly, we're dealing with a crisis. i mean, this is a serious problem when the president of the united states is firing people left and right in his administration who he simply disagrees with and feels they are crossing him in some way. >> i'm curious about the "new york times" report who said the biggest concern for secretary clinton is the russia investigation is going to go off the rails now that comey is gone. is there any way for her to
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ensure this isn't going to happen and is she inclined to? >> this is exactly why we need a special investigation, independent 9/11-style type of special commission to look into this, as well as a special prosecutor. congress, i applaud the senate and house intelligence committees for pursuing this investigation and being very persistent in everything they are looking at, but we still have got to have a degree of independence if we're ever to find out the real answers to what actually happened in this last campaign. >> adrian, i'm curious what is the end game here in the secretary's mind and yours, as well, for this investigation. say it ends with a finding that the trump campaign colluded with russia. what do you think secretary clinton hopes happens then? he's still sworn in as president, so what really changes? >> all we can do at this point is look forward. we have to make sure russia does not meddle in the united states elections from here on out and, again, that's why we've got to figure out what donald trump's campaign had to do with colluding with the russians and
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the only way at this point that we will credibly find out what happened is with an independent council and with an independent commission. >> all right, adrian elrod, thank you for joining me so much on a mother's day sunday. >> thanks. >> thanks so much. why north korea's missile test today may be more alarming than recent ones, that's next. and "meet the press" at the top of the hour, including senators chuck schumer, lindsey graham, as well as secretary of state rex tillerson. wise man, i'm nervous about things i can't control... affecting my good credit score. i see you've planted an uncertainty tree.
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shane, columnist of "the daily beast" and author of "nuclear north korea takes down the world." do you agree this missile launch was driven by paranoia over south korea's new government? >> i think the message was to south korea, but more important, it was a message to russia, because that missile landed within 60 miles of the russia coast, and also it was a message to china, because xi jinping right now is conducting his belt and road summit where he has 70 or so countries represented in beijing to talk about china's number one foreign policy objective at the moment, so it was a message also directed to moscow and beijing. >> okay. let's take a look at the timing of the launch coming just a few hours after a top north korean diplomat saying, hey, pyongyang would be willing to hold dialogue with the u.s. under the right conditions. talk about the strategy there, why do you say that and conduct this new provocation? >> that's the way the north koreans think.
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what nikki haley does get in the head of kim jong-un, she'll understand that. most will pick up the phone and say let's talk, but north korea is a militaristic regime and the way they think you get people to the bargaining table is to intimidate them, bully them, and the best way to do that is if you have an intermediate range ballistic missile, a new one probably, and you fire it off, because you're going to get people's attention and from his perspective that's the best way to start negotiations. >> and if you look at the experts talking about this type of missile, the one that was used was able to reach a very high altitude and distance of 400 miles at least, and that's where it splashed down. that could mean that north korea has the potential now to reach the u.s. military bases in the pacific. there are those on guam that could be, you know, within that range, certainly. do you agree with that assessment? >> yeah, looks like this missile may be able to reach close to guam. you know, american forces in the pacific had been at risk a long
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time. of course, those on the korean peninsula, but also those in japan, because japan, north korea has the nodong missile, probably able to put a nuke to that, which means our 50,000 or so service personnel in the japanese islands are at risk, and pretty soon the north koreans wonill be able to reach the lower 48 states. they have missiles that can get to the lower 48, but they can't put a nuke on top of them. >> on the flip side here, there's a confusion about the missile used here and whether this may have been some previously unidentified type of missile. are you hearing anything to clear that up? >> yeah, there is speculation this is a new missile, because as you pointed out, alex, this went up 1,200 miles or more, and so it looks like it has a range of almost 3,700 miles, which would make it an intercontinental ballistic missile. they won't know for some time. you know, they are going to probably try to fish out debris and see what it is, but, you know, it's going to take us a
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little while to do the forensics on this. >> gordon, you have said that north korea has a nuclear bomb that they are able to test, right? where does this stand? >> yeah, they have buried a device within their test site in northeastern north korea, they've sealed the shaft, pumped the water out, laid the cabling. all that really needs to go now is kim jong-un to make a decision that when it's political maximum effect, he's going to order it to go forward. the reason why he hasn't done it, we don't know. could be because he's been intimidated by trump, maybe because he wanted to wait to see the south korean elections on tuesday, and by the way, he got the person he wanted, so we just don't know why, but nonetheless, it's ready to go. >> new south korean president saying he wants to talk with pyongyang and perhaps re-establish relationship. okay, gordon chang, you know we'll be talking with you again. thank you so much. >> thanks, alex. president trump suggesting he'll eliminate daily briefings
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and do them himself every couple of weeks. how will that turn out? that's next. >> we get here early. we work beyond being here at this podium. as many of you know, we get here early, we work late. we work hard to get you the most accurate and up to date information throughout the day. we don't always have the opportunity to see the president in those cases i think we do a pretty good job of following up. what's that? p3 planters nuts, jerky and seeds. i like a variety in my protein. totally, that's why i have this uh trail mix. wow minty.
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there have been rumblings for now for a couple weeks that the job security of people in the white house press operation is not looking too good. there have been some rumors about who might be coming in to take the place as the spokesman, including people who are currently working as anchors and correspondents on another network. and, you know, when things go
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badly, it's not that unusual for a president to want a new look. what is unusual is for it to be happening so early on in their tenure. >> certainly things change within administrations, that's for sure. i'm curious about the ap report and the president being super frustrated about the leaks in the west wing. is it rival teams trying to cover themselves, and is there anything the president can do to plug up those leaks? >> you have to remember, donald trump's lifelong relationship with the press. the press talking about everything the biggest, the most luxurious, the most exclusive. he lived in the gossip pages, he lived in the real estate pages. he didn't live in a world where people actually doubted his word or contradicted his stories. so he already came into this relationship frustrated, and now that his own press operation won't necessarily confirm his version of the world, it must be a difficult thing for a
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70-year-old man to have to really change his m.o. he was a page 6 guy. he wanted to have his picture in the paper, shaking hands with famous people and what we call bold-faced type names. now with people actually talking back to him, even though he's the richest guy in the room, he doesn't necessarily control their futures. it's a new world for him. >> as you know, the president last week on twitter threatened to cancel the daily press briefings just to hand out some written statements for accuracy. later on fox, he protested the media's treatment of his team. let's listen to that. >> you have a level of hostility that's incredible, and it's very unfair. sara huckabee is a lovely young woman. you know sean spicer. he is a wonderful human being. he's a nice man. >> is he your press secretary today and tomorrow? will he really be tomorrow? >> he's doing a good job but he gets beat up. >> will he be there tomorrow? >> he's been there from the beginning.
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>> we've seen these reports that trump gave his team just one hour's notice before the comey firing. was that enough? >> of course not. you have to have some time to both talk about the message, talk about who is going to bring it out and who is going to be the bearer of the message, and you have to talk about what's going to happen in the second and third and fourth day out as people start to digest these things, as people start to do sidebars and follow-up stories. politicians know that. they've been in the game a long enough time to know that. but here, a real newbie, really, is not taking the advice, i'm sure, of many of the people around him who might be telling him, look, if we do this, this is how it has to be done. it grates on his sense of being in charge, i suspect. >> so after the president tweeted his idea to hand out the written statements for accuracy, msnbc's hallie jackson tweeted out the document that announced
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the firing. mr. trump floated the idea of daily the daily press briefings. do you think that would do much good, do you think? >> he probably won't do himself very much good if he did that. he doesn't have my number, but if he did and called me, i would probably tell him it's a bad idea. some of this is rookie mistakes. some of it talks about someone's view of the world and how they're used to be treated by the people around him. in donald trump's case, it's both that are pressing on him very heavily in a world where he expected and understood that when he said something, it was law. he's actually shooting himself in the foot by, for instance, contradicting his own press shop by going out and doing a follow-up interview that totally changes the narrative about why he fired james comey in mr. holt's interview.
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>> all right, thank you so much for weighing in. appreciate all that. >> appreciate it, alex. thank you. that does it for this hour. for all of you moms out there celebrating, and mine in particular, i love you, mom. you're great. i'll talk to you soon. i'll give you a call. explorer card, you'll get a free checked bag, 2 united club passes... priority boarding... and 50,000 bonus miles. everything you need for an unforgettable vacation. the united mileageplus explorer card. imagine where it will take you. just head & shoulders? (gasp) i thought it was just for, like, dandruff new head & shoulders. cleans, protects and moisturizes to... ...get up to 100% flake-free and unbelievably beautiful hair it's not head & shoulders, it's the new head & shoulders
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this sunday, the firing of james comey. why did president trump do it? and why now? was it based on a justice department recommendation? the administration said this -- >> because of the actions that the deputy attorney general outlined -- >> the president accepted the recommendation of his deputy attorney general. >> but then, president trump said this. >> regardless of recommendation, i was going to fire comey. >> did it have to do with the russia investigation? the administration said this -- >> you want this to be about russia when this is about, this sunday. the firing of james comey. why did president trump do it and why now? was it based on a justice department recommendation. >> the president accepted the recommendation of his deputy attorney general. >> then president trump said this. >> regardless of recommendation i was going to fire comey. >> did it have to do with the russian inve