tv Pulse of America MSNBC May 14, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
but they say: if you love something... set it free. see you around, giulia ♪ >> good sunday to you, hope you're having a great day so far. i'm richard lui in new york city and welcome to the pulse of america where your voice can be heard in realtime. the short list for fbi director expands to eight. president trump says he will make a decision possibly as soon as this week. will the new chief have enough independence in a trump administration? president trump says the russia investigation was part of his decision to let james comey go as fbi director. we'll play the exclusive
interview with nbc's lester holt and get your pulse on whether trump's relationship with the fbi may be irreversibly damaged. a worldwide cyber attack at an unprecedented scale. banks, hospitals, transit systems and at least 150 countries now impacted and officials warn that number could even grow more by tomorrow. we're asking, has the hack shaken your faith that your personal information is protected? now, to voice your opinions on our pulse questions on this sunday, just grab your digital device, your phone, your laptop, go to pulse.msnbc.com/america and there you can participate by selecting your responses and do it as many times as you like throughout today's joe. we're going to start this hour, though, with a new poll that's out. how americans feel about the firing of fbi director james comey, what meshes are saying. it's not just democrats who are upset by the move. according to a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll,
38% of americans disapprove of the president's decision to remove james comey as fbi director. breaking that number down, 8% are republicans, 66% democrats, about two-thirds there and 36% independents. just 6% of people say they have a more favorable view of president trump. 30% say they have a less favorable view, 61% say the comey firing has not impacting their view. the new poll also shows what americans think about why president trump fired james comey. 46% agree that the president did it to slow down the russia investigation. 36% say it's because of comey's handling of the clinton e-mail investigation which is what president trump says why. that's the backdrop of an active search which you see right here for the next fbi director which could be named as early as friday. eight candidates in total so far that we're aware of which brings
us to our first pulse question of the day. do you agree or disagree -- i trust president trump to nominate a new fbi director with integrity, experience and independence. let's get to our reporting. kelly o'donnell has been following this. she's at the white house on this sunday. good day to you, kelly. some reporting saying a name possibly this week, right? potentially by friday. how likely does that look from what you're learning at the white house? >> well, the guidance we've been getting both from the president directly and those working on this with him is that they want to do it quickly. they haven't identified a day, they haven't set a specific timeline but the president wants to move quickly and part of trying to get a better understanding of that is the reporters who were with him on air force one yesterday asked if it was possible before his foreign trip. he leaves for saudi arabia this coming friday and he said "maybe even before that time." so that's the window we're looking at.
a long day of interviews happened saturday. about 11 hours of time where the attorney general jeff sessions, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein met with this field of eight candidates. it was originally going to be four. they felt they should just keep pressing on. these candidates were available to come in for personal meetings so they brought in eight individuals who have legal, law enforcement, intelligence and political backgrounds. all have had substantive careers and are being interviewed for this position and so what we understand at this point is that's the first round of interviews and they could have that field narrowed a bit and then the president is expected to do some phone calls or meetings or personal interviews as well. now, he has been at his gulf club in virginia for much of the day. we are told by advisers he is making calls and having meetings, we don't have any indication if it is related specifically to the fbi search but some of the qualities, some of the characteristics of what he would be looking for for an fbi director became part of the
conversation with our colleague chuck todd and secretary rex tillerson who made his first appearance on "meet the press" today talking about sort of the fallout of the comey firing and how that affects the rest of the administration. here's an excerpt from their conversation. >> i am devoted to helping the president achieve his objectives, helping him be success f successf successful and i have to earn his confidence everyday. >> what's the line between service to the president and it was so the country, sir? >> i will never compromise my own values, chuck, that's my only line. my values are those of the count country. so the question of where is the loyalty factor, the political factor that might go into a high-profile job. of course, the fbi director has a ten-year term. that was done to try to span more than one presidency to remove some of the politics from the position. at the same time, the president does have the ability at will to
fire any fbi director. how it was done and the circumstances have made this a much bigger story and set of circumstances that has driven the kind of poll numbers you indicated are out there. very interesting different feelings from the parties and circumstances. it has been an eventful week, richard, i can tell you that. the president has quite a bit on his schedule but filling that position is one of the top priorities. >> an eventful weekend as you know since you're at the white house. kelly o'donnell with the latest reporting on james comey and his potential replacement. the senate intel committee's of the democrat saying on that very topic, hold on a second on that next fbi director and voting upon who might be chosen. he wants a special prosecutor appointed to lead the investigation on russian connections first. but senator lindsey graham tells chuck todd on "meet the press"
that may not be necessary. >> let the process work. i promise the people of south carolina, the people of the united states i do care about this. i'm got nobody to punish and nobody to reward other than get to the facts. >> some americans do not agree with lindsey graham. in that new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll it shows a very large number, 78%, believe an independent commission or special prosecutor should handle the russia investigation. only 15% want congress to lead that process. lawmakers may be divided on a special prosecutor, as you have heard but they agree on the resume of the next fbi director. take a listen. >> i think it's time to pick somebody that comes from within the ranks or is such a reputation that has no political background at all. >> certainly somebody not of a partisan background. certainly somebody of great experience and certainly somebody of courage. >> let's bring in jonathan
allen, columnist for "roll call" and co-author of "shattered, inside hillary clinton's doomed campaign." we also have "usa today" washington correspondent paul singer. we'll start with you, jonathan. with this justice department led by this attorney general and although he has recused himself from the question of the issue of looking into the russia connection question, they're leading the vetting of these potential candidates for the fbi. will this choice, whatever it might be, pass the smell test when they do make one? >> well, i think it depends on who the person is, jeff sessions and his deputy rod rosenstein have called into question their independence by essentially inventing a reason for james comey's firing as president trump said in that interview with lester holt that he already decided to fire them before they came up with the justification so i think people will be watching, what do they come up with through this process? is it somebody who can be expected to exonerate president trump no matter what happened or is it somebody that can have an
independent assessment and do that job? obviously the justice department works with the fbi on a wide variety of things not including the russia investigation so just having sessions and rosenstein there working on it is not in and of itself an indication this is being swept under the carpet but it depends on who they come up with. >> so they have to pool from the pool, eight individuals, we go back to the list on screen for a second paul and let's ask that question that's been on air for so many years. is eight enough? >> you made the good point here, this is the eight we know of. keep in mind, the way mr. trump makes decision is pretty impulsive and we're never entirely certain that we have the entire list until he makes his announcement. this is also going to be an interesting challenge for him because, of course, he tends to and has tended to appoint people who have shown significant loyalty, personal loyalty to him and this is a position where, you know, even folks like lindsey graham are saying we
don't want someone loyal to the president, we want someone loyal to the fbi but it could be interesting. he has good candidates on that list, he has the opportunity to appoint the first woman head of the fbi out of that list so there are some people that could get some reasonably bipartisan applause. >> and now that mike rogers is added into this, since we're on the sitcom theme, the concern is it will be "all in the family" because there are several politicos on that list that won't be savory and lindsey graham not wanting that, either, so why have them on the list? >> i think the easiest way to get somebody confirmed is for them to be a political figure. so you have this question on one side trump is going to want somebody that won't conduct the russia investigation. on the other side, you have democrats and even republican senators who are going to want somebody -- >> and americans according to our polling. >> but the way to get it out of that construct is to pick
somebody like a john cornyn, the senate whip, it would be unthinkable he wouldn't gate majority of the votes in the senate since republicans have the majority and he's the guy responsible for counting the votes. i think those political figures would have a better shot. and the other name we're hearing, merrick garland from a couple -- the two utah senators and even mitch mcconnell on another network saying through his former chief of staff that he would be supportive of that. >> your thought, number nine, is that the magic? >> well, they don't need democrats here, right? so they can do whatever they want to. i would think miami gardens would -- merrick garland would be a long shot for donald trump. >> is friday doable, do you think here, paul? >> sure, why not? again, he's got a list of good candidates, he need to make himself comfortable i also don't think he want this is whole thing hajjing out there. he'd like to clean up the comey thing before he goes on the
road. >> one one of the things we're watching. james comey reportedly was asked to come testify in front of a senate committee, said no because it was going to be in private, he wants to do it in a publicly-aired committee hearing. if that happens you can just imagine the interest and energy around that here, jonathan but is that likely? >> james comey seems to like the spotlight. i think what lawmakers would like to do is find out what james comey knows that he can't say in public not what he can say in public. he's testified before them any number of times and he's good at not giving away more than he would like to so it remains to be seen whether they'll find value in having him testify in public. >> jonathan, paul, i threw two big softballs up there using sitcom titles and neither of you bit and i was hoping we could have a couple laughs, we'll do that next time. >> next time we'll do the happy mother's day sitcom. >> we'll put them in a hollywood
squares mix. >> we've got three squares so far. jonathan, paul, thank you so much. >> take care. >> let's bring a democratic congresswoman, sheila jackson lee, of texas. she's on the house judiciary and homeland security committees. representative, thanks for being with us here. you've heard of the eight potentially nine, merrick garland has been thrown out there. we're unaware of whether he is on the list interviewed by the justice department. of the eight, anybody you like? who do you like the most? >> well, first of all, richard, thank you, happy mother's day to all of the mothers across the nation and particularly those in houston. i believe that the message to the american people should be that we'll find the most independent, objective person to lead the fbi that we can find, that the president can find, the most non-political, if you will individual, and i respect those
names that are serving their country as politicians or former politicians. i think we can do a good job. but i think the circumstances that we're now in, the cloud of potential coverup, the interaction with director comey and president trump cries out for an independent professional. i would suggest as well that we look far and wide. not even the names on the list. >> so you don't like the names on the list, representative, so far? >> well, let me say this. i'm not making a comment about those on the list. i would say are there any other fbi directors across the country, special agents in charge that might be a viable candidate? certainly i think the deputy fbi director to comey is a credible, responsible individual but i would also say are there others that can be looked at as well? i don't know the political connections of some of the names on that list to president trump
and so i think all of them need to be extensively vetted that their only loyalty is to the law and the american people. >> you've probably heard mark warner's statement, the senate intel committee's top democrat. he said hold on a second. chuck schumer echoing the new sentiment say nothing vote on a new fbi director even if one name were to be pushed forward here. first of all, let's get a special prosecutor named. why does that make sense? >> it makes a lot of sense but richard, may i offer you some additional suggestions? we have a very difficult and very serious situation. there is a possibility that the president has engaged in obstruction of justice. certainly a special prosecutor is one tool, of course, to have that done you'd have to have action by the deputy attorney general. have to be convinced to get that done. also an independent commission is a possible tool again. >> which you've called for.
>> absolutely. >> you're on the house judiciary committee and you have called for that. >> absolutely. >> why does it make sense to tie the two together, the special prosecutor and the naming and nomination and approval of a new fbi director? why do those two need to be together? >> because now we need the most transparent investigation that we can possibly have. and therefore to suggest that a new director which we would hope would be completely transparent and independent can work without some further independence as it relates to the investigator, which is a special prosecutor, i want to say, richard, that special prosecutors take a long time, the iran-contra took from '86 to '93. i would add another tool and that is an impeachment investigation that is not an impeachment, it means the how judiciary committee that has been completely absent in this avgs, they should not, could start up an impeachment inquiry. these are tools to get at the
truth and therefore tying the special prosecutor, if that was a tool they were going to use, to the fbi director selection, i think it would give the american people a complete sense -- and you heard some of the town hall meetings -- a complete sense that we are, in fact, committed, members of congress and the president of the united states, to engage in the outright truth of whether he obstructed justice by asking for loyalty, by firing him at the time when we knew that the russian investigation was going very strong. all of these play around 2 edges of obstruction of justice. i think an impeachment inquiry could get to the truth. a special prosecutor could get to the truth and if we could ever get the house and senate to vote on a special commission, that certainly would work. but what we need to do is get working and get this done so the business of the american people that we can proceed with that business, we're not doing any business for the american people. >> representative sheila jackson lee, thank you so much and i know you're going to stop thinking about this topic for a
while as you enjoy being a mother today on mother's day so have a gate delay in texas. >> thank you. my daughter brought me here so yes, of course. happy mother's day again for having me. >> good on her for doing that. for our first pulse question today, agree or disagree, i trust president trump to nominate a new fbi director with integrity, experience and independence. these are the numbers overall for you. 99% disagreeing with that. very much on one side. viewers 18 to 24 disagree a smidgen less so. then look at the graph by political party, democrats, independents and republicans for the most part fall the same category, disagree, then the final scoreboard changed a bit, 4% agreeing and 96% overall disagreeing in trusting that that nomination will happen with integrity as well as experience and independence. all right, 200,000 victims
in some 150 countries. what the world has learned about stopping a cyber attack demanding your money. we're asking you on that topic. has the global cyber attack shaken your faith in our institutions to protect personal information? log on to pulse.msnbc.com/america. thank you! imagine if the things you bought every day earned you miles to get to the places you really want to go. with the united mileageplus 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. toddlers see things a bit undifferently with pampers easy ups they'll see a stretchy waistband
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to demand money. also targeted were german train stations, hospitals in england's national health service, those among the 200,000 victims just since friday. that brings us to our second pulse question. the global cyber attack has shaken my faith in our institutions to protect my personal information. go to pulse.msnbc/america and tell us whether you agree or disagree. that's get to naveed jamali, former fbi double agent and the author of "how to catch a russian spy." the big headline is, it's not over. typically when we talk about these large scale -- this is grander than the other ones you and i have talked about in the past, 150 countries, it seems to happen within days and then it's done but we still don't know what will happen once folks start turning on their computers at work tomorrow. >> that's a very good point, richard. it begs the question, in a case like this, who is responsible for combatting it?
is it you and i or is it -- is it the government? individual companies? this is a question that's been plaguing this internet of things, when you start having smart tvs and refrigerators as well as smartphones the opportunity to compromise those devices has increased dramatically and where does the responsibility to stop that line? >> that's a good question here, naveed, you formally being in the intelligence business monitor this stuff but the question is what happens after the red light starts blinking wherever it starts blinking and what it's done with that red light that's blinking. >> that's exactly right. so to draw a little parallel, it's the question of the russian investigation versus a counterintelligence operation. ideally on the government end and certainly there's private security firms you want to detect this threat long before it happens. right now we're in reactive mode so microsoft took the unusual
step of releasing patches to note that a lot of the system this is affects are older systems so again we're in a reactionary mode and you want to be on the offense. >> i've had conversations before that businesses are farther ahead than, if you will, government-related organizations or government agencies themselves because of the very issue you bring up which is that the age of certain pieces of technology. i was speaking to someone from the department of defense yesterday and he was saying the government is doggone good, we're good at this stuff, if we're so good at this, why is this happening? >> it's always a question of cost. that's a big part of it. when you start seeing the systems that have been affected, it's not so much that those particular institutions, the railway, parts of fedex were targeted i think it's just the age of the systems. there's the old saying yesterday's technology tomorrow. it's cost. you have to keep your systems current, you have to patch them. that's cost and places when it
comes to corporations, they sometimes try to cut corners and this is sometimes what happens. >> do we need to move it into a different category? cyber terrorism? >> that's a very good question and i think -- when you start thinking about law enforcement, russia, for example, there's no extradition treaty so a lot of these people that perpetrate these attacks, the kind of tentacles reaching back to a state sponsor is sometimes it's there but very squishy but nonetheless a lot of these countries where these hackers reside are unwilling to give them up in some cases the revenue they bring in is distributed back to the government so from a legal perspective, yes, we need to figure out how to get these people, how to make an example of them but it raises the question of a transnational threat which is what we call it. it might be in one country but it's not -- the place where these people sit is not the country they're attacking. >> interesting point. i guess overall it's when we
talk about digital warfare, we're still learning, that's the bottom line. naveed jamali, thank you for coming by on a sunday. >> thank you, richard. still time to weigh in on our second pulse question of the day. has the global cyber attack shaken your faith in our institutions in the united states to protect private information. pulse.msnbc.com/america. let us know what you think about president trump's interview with nbc's lester holt. great interview sit down, mr. trump's thoughts shared with lester holt on one major issue, former fbi director james comey's character. >> look, he's a show boat, he's a grandstander, the fbi has been in turmoil, you know that, i know that, everybody knows that. think again.
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question, agree or disagree, the global cyber attack has shaken my faith in our institutions to protect my personal information. this is what you've been saying so far. overall 16% of you disagree that it's shaken your faith in our institutions when you look at that, all education groups agree although viewers with a master's degree a little less so. when it comes to gender, men and women agree. women agree more so slightly. and then the final score, 4% agreeing, 96% disagreeing -- that's not the question that you see in front of us but because the question we're asking about is whether it's shaken your confidence in our institutions to protect us and most of you are saying you feel okay. all right, calling former fbi director a show boat and grandstander, that's the subject of our third pulse question. will the president's relationship with the fbi suffer because of his remarks about comey. pulse.msnbc.com/america.
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on thursday, president trump sat down with nbc's lester holt for an exclusive one-on-one interview. he discussed for the first time his reasons for firing fbi director james comey who is leading an investigation into the trump campaign's possible ties to russia. today we're asking you this -- will the president's relationship with the fbi suffer because of his remarks about james comey? go to pulse.msnbc.com/america to let us know what you think. here now is that extended version of the interview that originally aired on nbc's "nightly news." >> look, he's a show boat, he's a grandstander, the fbi has been in turmoil, you know that, i know that, everybody knows that, you take a look at the fbi a
year ago, it was in virtual turmoil. less than a year ago. it hasn't recovered from that. >> monday you met with the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. did you ask for a recommendation. >> what i did is i was going to fire comey. my decision. it was not -- >> you made the decision before they came in the room? >> i was going to fire comey. there's no good time to do it, by the way. >> because in your letter you said "i accepted their recommendations." so you had already made the decision. >> i was going to fire regardless of recommendation. he made a recommendation, he's highly respected, very good guy, very smart guy, the democrats like him, the republicans like him. he made a recommendation. but regardless of recommendation i was going to fire comey knowing there was no good time to do it. and, in fact, when i decided to just do it i said to myself, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made up story, it's an excuse by the
democrats for having lost an election that they should have won and the reason they should have won it is the electoral college is almost impossible for a republican to win. very hard because you start off at such a disadvantage. so everybody was thinking they should have won the election. this was an excuse for having lost an election. >> are you angry with mr. comey because of his russia investigation? >> i just want somebody that's competent. i am a big fan of the fbi. i love the fbi -- >> but were you a fan of him taking up the investigation? >> about the hillary clinton investigation? >> about the russia investigation and possible links between -- >> look, look, let me tell you, as far as i'm concerned i want that thing to be absolutely done properly, when i did this now i said i probably maybe will confuse people, maybe i'll expand that -- you know, i'll lengthen the time because it should be over with, in my opinion it should have been over with a long time ago because all
it is an exexcuse but i said to myself i might even lengthen out the investigation but i have to do the right thing for the american people. >> let me ask you about your temple nation letter. you said "i greatly appreciate you informing me hon three separate investigations that i am not under investigation." why did you put that. >> he told me that. >> with regard to the russia investigations. >> was in the a phone call? was it in face to face? >> i had a dinner with him. we had a very nice dinner -- >> he asked for the dinner? >> a dinner was arranged. i think he asked for the dinner and he wanted to stay on as the fbi head and i said i'll consider, we'll see what happens, but we had a very nice dinner and at that time he told me "you are not under investigation." which i knew one way. >> that was one meeting, what was the other two? >> when you're under information you're giving all sorts of documents i knew it wasn't under and i heard it was stated at
some committee level that i wasn't. >> so it didn't come directly from him? >> then during the phone call he said it. so he said it once at dinner and twice during phone calls. >> did you call him? >> in one case i called him, in one case he called me. >> did you ask if you were under investigation? >> i actually asked him, yes. i said "if it's possible, will you let me know, am i under investigation?" he said "you are not under investigation." >> but he's given sworn testimony that there is an ongoing investigation into the trump campaign and possible collusion with the russian government. you were the centerpiece of the trump campaign. was he being truthful? >> i know that i'm not under investigation, me, personally, i'm not talking about campaigns, i'm not talking about anything else. i'm not under investigation. >> did you ask him to drop the investigation. >> never. >> did anyone from the white house -- >> no, in fact, i want the investigation speeded up. >> did anyone from the white house ask him to end the investigation? >> why would we do that? >> any surrogates on behalf of the white house?
>> not that i know of. look, i want to find out if there was a problem with an election having to do with russia or, by the way, anybody else. any other country. and i want that to be so strong and so good and int it to happen. i also want to have a really competent capable director. he's not. he's a show boater. he's not my man or not my man, i didn't appoint him. he was appointed long before me but i want somebody who's going to do a great job and i will tell you, we're looking at candidates right now who could be spectacular and that's what i want for the fbi. >> what you said a moment ago about supporting the idea of investigation, a lot of people would find it hard to believe that the man who just said that tweeted very recently "it's a total hoax, it's a taxpayer charade." >> i think looking into me and the campaign -- look, i have nothing to do.
this was set up by the democrats. there's 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. >> there is an investigation under way, though, an fbi investigation. is that a charade. >> well, i don't know if it's an fbi or -- there's so many investigations, i don't know if it's an fbi investigation or if it's congress, if it's the senate or the house. >> well, james comey testified there was an fbi investigation. >> but i think they're also helping the house and senate so you probably have fbi but you have house, you have senate, they have other investigations. >> when you put out tweets "it's a total hoax, it's a taxpayer charade" and you're looking for a new fbi director, aren't you sending a message to that person to lay off? >> i'm not doing that. i think we have to get back to work but i want to get to the bottom. if russia hacked, if russia did anything having to do with our
election i want to know. >> well, there's already intelligence from virtually every intelligence agency that yes, that happened? >> i'll tell you this, if russia or anybody else is trying to interveer with our elections, i think it's a horrible thing and i want to get to the bottom of it and make sure it will never, ever happen. >> were you angry with james comey when he went public and said he can't support your unsubstantiated charges of wiretappi wiretapping, that your predecessor wiretapped you. >> i was surprised he said it but i wasn't angry. there's a big thing going on right now which is spying and you can call it anything you want, the unmasking and the spying and to me that's the big story right now. that's a very, very big story. >> you didn't take that as a sign of disloyalty that he came out and contradicted you? >> i don't think of it as loyalty. whoever the director is, i want him to do the right thing. >> what about when he went public and said there was in
fact an fbi investigation looking at your campaign and russia? did you that anger you? i ask that because there's a sense there's a building anger here. >> i know every once in a whale you'll see that in the newspaper, somebody will report or have false sources that maybe don't exist because of the media the way the media is. no, i will tell you i think that i want very simply a great fbi direct zblor will you expect that they would continue on with this investigation? >> sure, i expect that. >> general flynn is a part of this investigation. sally yates recently testified that the white house was notified he had been compromised, he was at risk of being blackmailed. it was 18 days later he was finally fired. during that 18 days he had access i assume to all the nation's top secrets. one day you meet on the issue of comey and you fire him in a humiliating way, while he's sitting in the room with his colleagues and it's appearing on
the tv. >> because my white house counsel don mcgahn came back to me and it didn't sound like an emergency. he didn't make it sounds like he was -- and she didn't make it sound that way either in the hearings the other day, liked the to be done immediately. this man has served for many years, he's a general, he's a -- in my opinion, a very good person. i believe that it would be very unfair to hear from somebody who we don't even know and smeedly run out and fire a general. >> she's the acting attorney general at the time. >> my white house counsel came to me, they had, i believe, two meetings and we ultimately fired but we fired for a different reason you're talking about general flynn. >> yes. >> because of lying to the vice president? >> yes, but everything plays in. everything plays into it but we faired him because he said something to the vice president that was not so.
>> did you know that he had had -- received payments from the russian government. that he received payments from the turkish government? >> no, but obama perhaps knew because he had clearance from the obama administration and his clearance -- and this is something that they don't want to report. he had clearance from the obama administration, the highest clearance you can have and i think it's a very unfair thing that the media doesn't talk about that. you know, you're talking about 2015. i don't know that i knew him in 2015. >> the senate intelligence committee wants information from the treasury department's financial crimes unit about your finances, your business's finance. can you tell us whether you, your family, your businesses, your surrogates have accepted any investments, any loans from russian individuals? >> yeah, in fact, i just sent a letter to lindsey graham from one of the most prestigious law firms in the country, a tremendous highly-rated law firm
that i have nothing to do with russia, i have no investments in russia, none whatsoever. i don't have property in russia, a lot of people thought i owned office buildings in moscow, i don't have property in russia. and i am in very -- i'm in total compliance in every way. now i have to tell you i file documents, hundreds of pages worth of documents with the federal elections bureau, everybody's seen them. i built 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 russian many years ago, i had the miss universe pageant which i owned for quite a while, i had it in moscow a long time ago but other than that i have nothing to do with russia. >> and one last question on this matter. >> and i have a certified letter just so you understand. i'm not just saying that. i've given the letter, i've
given the letter to senator lindsey graham, he has the letter and i think frankly i assume he's going to give the letter out but it says i am not involved with russia, no loans, nothing. >> did you worry when you made the decision to fire comey when you did, the day before lavrov was here in the white house and the russian ambassador, did you think through the optics of the way this would look? >> i never thought about it. it was set up a while ago and frankly i could have waited but what difference does it make? i'm looking to create jobs i'm looking to create strength and security, i'm looking to have strong borders, i'm looking for things like that, i think it's a good thing i meet with people. this is a public meeting because when you cover this the people watching may say oh, he met with lav r.o. this was announced that i'm meeting with lavrov just like a number of days ago i spoke at a
very good conversation, very public in the sense that everybody knew this was taking place, i talk all the time, just spoke with the head of south korea who just got elected, i speak with the head of india, i speak with the head of china. i have to speak with putin also, it's called russia but when i spoke with putin he asked me whether or not i would see lavrov. now what? should i say no, i'm not going to see him? i said i will see him. during that discussion with lavrov i think we had a great discussion having to do with syria, having to do with the ukraine and maybe that will lead to less people getting killed and lead to peace. so i think it's a good thing, not a bad thing. >> nbc news -- "nightly news's" lester holt in the interview with president trump. yes or no, will the president's relationship with the fbi suffer because of his remarks about
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"saturday night live" last night, alec baldwin's president trump mocking the comey decision. comedienne melissa mccarthy played sean spicer pleading to keep his job and there's a kiss. did "saturday night live" nail it last night? pulse.msnbc.com/america. >> first of all, here's trump. okay? he's the biggest one and he's the most beautiful. and he wasn't happy with the performance of the fbi director, boom. this geicomy. because comey wasn't being nice to our friend, boom, hillary. okay?
okay, this dude -- wait. son of -- okay, that's not -- don't look at him. the next question. >> yeah, were you surprised that he fired comey before he fired you? >> oh, god. >> there's a lot more but what did you think of that? did "saturday night live" nail their impression of sean spicer and everything else. final scoreboard 97% saying yep they nailed it, and 3% they missed the mark. much more at the top of hour including paranoia inside the west wing. a look at how likely president trump will shake up his staff starting with press secretary sean spicer. we'll go live to the white house. nobody's hurt, but there will still be pain. 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™,