Skip to main content

tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  May 15, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

6:00 pm
high. the reality the president is willing to surprise people. it's going to get topped. if you work in the federal government that is time when you're on red alert constantly. >> that is all in for this evening. good evening rachel. >> thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. i feel like things are getting unsubtle, are getting very blunt very fast. in the first week of april, on april 3rd, the "washington post" broke this very strange story. four great reporters by lined on the story. you can tell it was sourced to the hilt. they have u.s. officials initials europe and arab countries all kwij this strange thing, all confirming that on january 11th and january 12th this year, which was less than a
6:01 pm
week after the intelligence community put out its report about the russian attack on the election. less than a week after that report came out, there was a two-day long meeting that was held in the see she will islands by madagascar. it was a meeting in the shashs for a representative for vladimir putin and an envoy from the trump administration. according to the post, this reporting first week of april, erik prince maintained at the time of that meeting that was authorized to act as an unofficial surrogate for the president-elect. he got that meeting and he spent two days in january in an island paradise meeting with a representative for vladimir putin. what did they meet about? what did they talk about? what took two days to get through? why did they have to meet in
6:02 pm
this far away place? who knows. matters of mutual concern to discuss. here's detail that carried forward to today. the person who set up that mysterious meeting in the islands in january, the person who set up what has basically been reported out as a back channel meeting between the trump folks and the putin folks, the guy who host ed the meeting was this man, mbz. they call him mbz muhammad bin za yesterday al in aian. he's the crown prince of abdab by which is the capital of uae. he's next in the throne in the uae. "the washington post" reports and pictures confirm that mbz met multiple times with vladimir
6:03 pm
putin. he flew to the united states in december without notifying the obama administration. that's weird because national leaders would usually notify the u.s. government when they were coming in to this country for any reason. but in derks he flew into new york without telling the obama administration, without telling the u.s. government that he was coming. they later figured out he was here because his name turned up on a manifest. what he was coming to new york for was to take a meeting with mike flynn, steve bannon and jared kushner. he met with them in december and then the following month in january, he set up and hosted these two days of meetings between erik prince and a russian emissariry who was there on behalf of vladimir putin. that was the host of the organizer of that meeting, the crown prince of abdab by, better known as m b zblnchts guess
6:04 pm
where he turned up today. >> great honor to have chic muhammad with us today. a man that i've known, very special, very special person, highly respected, and loves his country, i can tell you that. loves his country. and i think loves the united states which is very important. thank you very much for coming. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. >> thank you. very good. it's very good. >> how things are moving rapidly. the crown prince of ababout you dab by has a specific role in the trump russia story to the extent we know about any back choonl meetings after the election between the trump side and the putin side, it was organized by and hosted by the
6:05 pm
crown prince of ababout you dab by, and there is he is, randomly in the oval office today. okay, hi. while the president answers questions about firing the fbi director who was leading the investigation into his connections to russia. the day after he fired the fbi director who was leading the investigation into trump and russia, the day after that firing, the administration welcomed to washington the russian foreign minister so he could throw the firing of the fbi director in the faces of american reporters with a sneer. >> thank you, thank you very much. i want to -- i want to welcome foreign minister lavrov to the state department and express my appreciation for him making the trip to washington so that we could continue our dialogue and our change of views that began
6:06 pm
in moscow with the dialogue he hosted on a broad range of topics. thank you. >> does the comey following cast a shadow over your talks? >> you are kidding. you are kidding. [ inaudible question ] >> that same day, the russian foreign minister turned up in the oval office as well. u.s. reporters and photographers were not allowed access to that meeting. we got photos because the russia foreign minister brought with h him a photographer. that's how we found out they let a photographer in there just not an american one. the russian ambassador was in on that meeting too. the white house hasn't said anything about that. this is the same russian ambassador that mike flynn concealed his meetings with and who jeff sessions concealed his meetings with and jared kushner concealed his meetings with.
6:07 pm
i'm not sure we would have known president was meeting with him too last week, but the russian state run news agency photographer let loose in the oval office while american reporters and photographers were banned. that guy ended up confirming the news. look, the ambassador is there too. the white house later explained the presence of that russian photographer in the oval office by saying this, quote, they tricked us. we didn't know they were bringing a photographer. former nationalist council official colin call said, quote, deadly decision was it a good idea to let a russian photographer and all their equipment into the oval office? former deputy director of the cia responded with this, no, no, it was not a good idea. but they did it anyway. for some reason. and that was one day after trump fired the fbi director who was leading the investigation into the trump russia question.
6:08 pm
and that is unsubtle enough. but then we learned the very unusual origin of why that meeting happened. we learned who asked for the for the let those officials into the oval office. we learned who asked for that personally. >> when i spoke with putin, he asked me whether or not i would see lavrov. i said i will see him. >> just put this together for a second. this is not like about the campaign and, like, carter page and moscow in july and the republican convention and what was going on. no. it's now mid may, right? on april 30th [ laughs ] this is happening now on april 30th trump depose on cbs and troefrts his old line that russia didn't hack the election, could have been china, could
6:09 pm
have been anyone. i'm not so sure. two days after that he has a personal call with vladimir putin, putin asks him directly i want you to bring lavrov into the oval office. answer apparently is, sir, yes, sir, no problem, sir. then the following monday we get sally yates's dramatic damming testimony about mike flynn being compromised by the russians and his unexplained and certify repetitious contacts with russian government officials. the day after that, the president fires the fbi director who it who is leading the investigation into possible connections between the trump campaign and russia during the russian attack. the day after that he hosts those russian officials in the oval office. now today, after his oval office meeting at lunchtime with a guy who host ed the two days of meetings between emissaries for donald trump and putin in january, now today, "the washington post" breaks this.
6:10 pm
trump revealed highly classified information to russian foreign minister and ambassador. the story broke this afternoon by "washington post" reporters greg miller and greg jaffy and was confirmed by buzzfeed news and the "new york times" citing not only former u.s. officials, but current u.s. officials which seems important. the post says this, president trump revealed highly classified information to the russian foreign minister and ambassador in a white house meeting last week. the information the president relayed has been provided by a u.s. porn through an intently sharing arrangement that details have been held from allies and tightly restricted within the u.s. government. quote, this is code word information said a u.s. official familiar with the matter using termnology that refers to one of the highest classification used. he revealed more information to the russian ambassador than we
6:11 pm
have shartd with our own allies. the partner had not given the united states permission, meaning the partner country, partnering nation. that country had not given the united states permission to share the material with russia. and officials say trump's decision to do so endangerous cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the islamic state. after they took steps to contain the damage, senior white house officials appeared to recognize quickly trump overstepped and moved to contain potential fallout. thomas p. boss certificate, assistant to the president placed calls to the directors of the cia and the nsa the services most directly involved in the intelligence sharing arrangement with the partner. one of the sboorts also called it to be stricken from internal memos and for the full transcript to be limited to a
6:12 pm
small circle of recipients, all efforts to prevent sensitive details from being disseminated or leaked. we know about it now. now, "the washington post" tonight has been very careful to not describe the information that trump described, to not describe exactly what information trump leaked. they make clear in their reporting that they know that information, but they've been very careful about what they've published basically the implication is that they are trying to not compound the damage that he has reported to have already done by giving this information to the russians. and the white house tonight is furiously calling the reporting false, although it should be noted they are not specifically rebutting the post's actually reporting which is the president described to these russian officials something that was only known because of another country doing very sensitive intelligence operations that the united states was not supposed
6:13 pm
disclose to the russians. why did he tell them that? this is going over exactly how you would expect it to go over in washington. we've even had a peep from a republican chairman of the foreign relations committee, senator bob corker saying tonight, quote, the chaos that is being created by the lack of discipline is creating an environment that i think makes it -- it creates a worrisome environment. he says, quote, obviously they are in a downward spiral right now and have got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that is happening. a downward spiral. we do not know what the spiral's down to. anecdotally just discussing this news with people, people in my life, this is one of the first stories that's come out where people have responded to this news by telling me they feel afraid about what's going to happen next. in february this year, "the wall
6:14 pm
street journal" reported that u.s. intelligence officials were with holding sensitive intelligence information from president trump because they were concerned it could be leaked or compromised if they told it to him. that was incrediblies controversial reporting at the time it came out, almost unbelievable at the time. the administration said at the time that there was absolutely no way that was happening. and i, of course, don't know whether or not u.s. spies were keeping intelligence from trump because of leak concerns as far back as february. but if tonight's bombshell from the "washington post" is correct, any such concerns would have been very well-founded. julio jones is one of the "washington post" reporters who broke this story. greg jaffy. thanks for being here to help us understand it. >> thanks for having me. >> i'm not going to ask you to talk about your sources. but can you tell us about when you started chasing this story down, how long after the president's meeting with these russian officials did the work
6:15 pm
on this story start? >> you know, not that much long after because the meeting wasn't that long ago. but we've been working on it for the last several days. >> what is code word information? a u.s. official familiar with the matter saying this is code word information. that's supposed to indicate to us this is very highly protected information, for us laymen trying to figure out this out, can you explain that? >> that's right. very highly protected information they don't distribute to allies that is even restricted within the u.s. government. this intelligence came from an ally, and that made it additionally sensitive because they had certainly expectations that we would safeguard it which we didn't deliver on in this particular case. >> in terms of those decisions, how did you as a news organization, how did you are make the decision as to what
6:16 pm
was -- where the line was for what was too sensitive to publish? was it hard to figure out what you could say without compounding the problem of what the president did? >> you know i think that's a decision either or unfortunately that the post has had a lot of experience with over the last de decade or so going back to the disclosures and other things. it's something that happens in collaboration with the government as well, so we don't just gather this information, throw it up online and then contact the government. there were ongoing conversations over the course of today about what would compromise information when & what needed to be held back. he held back information about the precise nature of the threat, the intelligence, and how it was gathered and the city involved. >> i noted in your sourcing on this that it was -- you mentioned both former officials
6:17 pm
and current officials as sources for this information. is it fair for us to read into that there are people serving in government now, either in the agencies or in the administration itself who are themselves are concerned about this -- about what happened here even though we have the white house forcefully calling the story false? >> yeah. there were a lot of people who were concerned, and i think alarmed by the lack of care with regard to classified information. in terms of not sticking to talking points, in terms of just kind of winging it once you get into the oval office. that was the nature of the concern that pro-pedal folks to come forward. >> the national security adviser mcmaster tonight said that the story is false and his leaks on that was the president didn't disclose any sources and methods. >> the story to be clear doesn't
6:18 pm
say the president disclosed sources and methods. what he disclosed was information about the intelligence that that day had been gathered by one of our partners with enough about the plot and the location and other things, that a smart ally or adversary could sort of reverse engineer and figure out where it was coming from and how it was collected potentially. the russians vernal a capable intelligence service. >> so just to be did you mean about this on purpose, just to bottom line this, the concern here is that by having told the russians about isis-related information that was obtained in a specific city which the president actually named, the russians from that disclosure could conceivably discern who
6:19 pm
operating in that city was able to get access to isis-related information and they could want to suppose that, could use that for their own purposes, to compose the people who gathered that information for russia knowing they are doing it. >> that's right. both the information about where and then the nature of the plotting that was going on is potentially troublesome. that's exactly right. and in some cases in syria our transistor overlap with the russians in regard to isis. in other instances they diverge. that's part of the reason we hold struf them. >> greg jaffy one of the "washington post" reporters who broke this bombshell of a story tonight. i know this is a busy time for you. i appreciate you helping us understand your reporter. >> i appreciate it. >> congratulations. all right.
6:20 pm
so we crossed a rube con when we became the first -- when this became the first presidency to have the president fired the fbi investigators. he immediately thereafter hosted russian officials in the oval office and gave them incredibly sensitive and damaging intelligence information they were not entitle to have and he hosted them at the oval office at the express personal request of vladimir putin which he says he feels like he couldn't say no to. high perish will he is dead. blooish. enemy into an ally?webloo. pieces of dna in every sample. we'll be right back. we can analyze the data
6:21 pm
faster than ever before. if we can detect new viruses before they spread, we may someday prevent outbreaks before they begin. "how to win at business." step one: point decisively with the arm of your glasses. abracadabra. the stage is yours. step two: choose la quinta. the only hotel where you can redeem loyalty points for a free night-instantly and win at business. you're going to be hanging out in here. so if you need anything, text me. do you play? ♪ ♪ use the chase mobile app to send money in just a tap, to friends at more banks then ever before. you got next? chase. helping you master what's now and what's next. brtry new flonase sensimists. allergy relief instead of allergy pills.
6:22 pm
it delivers a gentle mist experience to help block six key inflammatory substances. most allergy pills only block one. new flonase sensimist changes everything.
6:23 pm
but we've got the get tdigital tools to help. now with xfinity's my account, you can figure things out easily, so you won't even have to call us. change your wifi password to something you can actually remember, instantly. add that premium channel, and watch the show everyone's talking about, tonight. and the bill you need to pay? do it in seconds. because we should fit into your life, not the other way around. go to
6:24 pm
here's something you should know. with each new weird revelation about the trump administration and the trump campaign into the trump transition and now into the trump administration, what appear to be not just past unexplained contacts with russian officials but weird current ones too including tonight's bombshell from the "washington post" about the president reportedly sharing highly secret code word intelligence with the russian ambassador and the russian foreign minister, with each new revelation about whatever it is that's going on with this president and russia, we as observers and people who've job explaining this stuff, we here on this show have been trying to keep increasingly close tabs on how we're going to figure out what's going on with this president and russia.
6:25 pm
we're been keeping extremely close tabs on the active investigations into this matter. so the most high profile investigations are happening in congress. the house and the senate both leading trump-russia investigations in their intelligence committees. there are also subsidiaries which brought us the sally yates testimony last week and the house sight in the oversight committee which brought at us revelation that former national security adviser mike flynn skreeld his framts foreign sources that led the revelations about further investigations. confirming this area looking into at least the part of this scandal that concerns mike flynn. there have been multiple requests made to the independent inspector general of the justice adopt investigate portions of this scandal although that office will not confirm nor deny to us any investigation that
6:26 pm
they may have underway. there's also, of course, the confirmed fbi counterintelligence investigation into the russian attack on our election, and the question of whether or not the trump campaign was in on it. now that the president has admitted that he fired the fbi director because of the trump-russia investigation, one might also guess that the fbi has now started an obstruction of justice inquiry into the president. but that too has to have a question mark on it because we do not have word one way or the other what everybody expects to be an obstruction of justice inquiry is already underway or not. there is also reportedly an investigation related to the trump-russia inquiry at the financial crimes unit in the treasury department. senate investigators have requested documents from that unit for their own work which is how we found out that unit has those documents. these are all investigations
6:27 pm
that are either confirmed to be ufrts or believed to be underway at this point in time. but there's also this possibility. u.s. attorneys. we got word last week that documents related to michael flynn were subpoenaed by u.s. attorneys office in virginia. it was also reported on friday night by vanity fair magazine that the u.s. attorney's office was investigating the prospect of russian money laundering through donald trump's real estate empire and that investigation was ufrts at the time the trump administration inexplicably fired all the u.s. attorneys. friday night vanity fair quoted was there money laundering going on, money from these resolution plutocrats that's been washed through trump's real estate and businesses, that's gotten overlooked but preet bharara were supposedly look sboochltsds we've got information tonight on that. on march 10th, the president did fire basically all the u.s. attorneys, all the federal
6:28 pm
prosecutors operating in jurisdictions all across the country. that was surprising in particular when it came to preet bharara in the southern district of manhattan because president trump had gone out of his way to invite preet bharara to trump tower and to go public if the with it fact he'd been asked to stay on as u.s. attorney in new york. but without warning mid march he was fired. all the u.s. attorneys were asked to resign. preet bharara refused to resign and he was fired. no explanation, no warning, no replacement u.s. attorneys at the ready. why did that happen? it is particularly worrying and interesting when it comes to preet bharara because those personal assurance were made to him, his jurisdictions includes the heads of the trump organization and because the subsequent reporting from reuters and vanity fair now that he was working on possible money laundering or other trump russia
6:29 pm
connections at the time time he was fired. factor this in too. a high-ranking former justice department official, matthew axelrod who spent more than 12 years in the justice department and was sally yates's deputy at the justice department at the time she was fired, he left that day too when they fired her. matthew axelrod operated at the highest levels of the justice department and through the trump transition. he was at the very upper echelons of the justice department during the transition. he was involved in the transition. and he tells the national law journal that whatever happened with them firing all the u.s. attorneys in march, that was a radical change in their own plans. he says, quote, this was an issue that was discussed during the transition. the transition team recommended to the incoming administration they not get rid of all the u.s. attorneys at one time and that recommendation was adopted.
6:30 pm
it's not clear what changed and led the administration to get rid of everyone all at once. that recommendation was adopted. it's not clear what changed. so something happened in trump world between the inauguration, january 20th, and march 10th when they fired them all. something happened that made administration throw out their own previous overt well-thought-out plan. to instead decided they had to fire all those prosecutors, no warning, no plan to replace any of them, got to go including brar ra. everybody out. why did they change that plan? the administration obviously had a little bit of a melt down tonight. for the past week really over the trump russia story. when they started to unravel, coincidentally or not is also when we started to get detailed
6:31 pm
reporting on business ties and financial information moving to the center of these investigation. documents related to mike flynn and his business transistor being subpoenaed by u.s. attorneys office in virginia. reports that the u.s. attorneys's office in manhattan was pursuing trump russian money laundering inquiries before the administration reversed course and fired all the u.s. attorneys even though they said they would not do that. paul manafort banking records being requested by the fbi. that story being broken by "the wall street journal" friday night. the senate intelligence community moving tarred financial questions in their investigation. financial records obtainedty "b"ty trishry financial crimes unit. it seems clear the investigations moving toward the money. what is it about this financial turn this works turn towards the money that might be freaking them out so much? i have exactly the guy to answer that here next. i'm worried i can't find a safe used car.
6:32 pm
you could start your search at the all-new that might help. show me the carfax? now the car you want and the history you need are easy to find. show me used minivans with no reported accidents. boom. love it. [struggles] show me the carfax. start your used car search and get free carfax reports at the all-new will you be ready when the moment turns romantic? cialis for daily use treats ed and the urinary symptoms of bph. tell your doctor about your medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have a sudden decrease or loss of hearing or vision, or an allergic reaction, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis.
6:33 pm
and get medical help right away. 60% of women are wearing the w...experience leaks. introducing always my fit. find the number that's right for your flow and panty size on the top of any always pack. the better the fit, the better it protects. always. adult 7+ promotes alertness and mental sharpness in dogs 7 and older. (ray) the difference has been incredible. she is much more aware. she wants to learn things. (vo) purina pro plan bright mind. nutrition that performs. rumor confirmed. they're playing.
6:34 pm
-what? -we gotta go. -where? -san francisco. -when? -friday. we gotta go. [ tires screech ] any airline. any hotel. any time. go where you want, when you want with no blackout dates. [ muffled music coming from club. "blue monday" by new order. cheers. ] [ music and cheers get louder ] the travel rewards credit card from bank of america. it's travel, better connected.
6:35 pm
"wall street journal" reported treasury the department are sharing their financial records with the senate intelligence committee which has requested those records. quote, financial crimes monitor to share records in trump-russia probe. now, what are those records that they are sharing? i don't know. but here was the sit up and take notice description that one source gave "the wall street
6:36 pm
journal" about them. quote, without these records, the committee wouldn't able to reach conclusion on whether there was collusion between trump associates and russia during last year's campaign. does that mean that with those financial records the investigators might be able to figure o figure that out? what type of information are we talking about here? and does this type of investigation explain why the white house was on the fritz since the investigation reportedly took this turn. joining us is the "wall street journal" reporter who broke that story, shane harris. mr. harris, it's really nice to have you here. >> thanks, rachel. good to be here. >> so the money aspect of this story, the part about business ties involving the president and the president's team, it feels just as an observer of the story, like there is an
6:37 pm
increasing focus or at least that investigations are driving in that direction over recent days and weeks. is that your impression? >> yeah, that is my kbrechlgts it felt like the investigators are coming button more potentially useful leads. there's smoke that's feeling very hot, let's put it that way. what this financial information interest in its shows is that these investigators have particular questions that they're trying to answer in terms of russian money and whether it is or is not flowing into donald trump's company or ones associated with him. that's what we understand drove this interest in wanting to get aholed of this information from fin sat at the treasury department of they wrote in the request we want to see the same kinds of things the fbi is seeing. so you're seeing the senate trying to parallel or mirror if you like, the same kind of lines of inquiry the fbi is pursuing.
6:38 pm
before comey was fired the committee was hearing from him, getting updates about the investigation as well. >> shane, does this mean that the treasury department that this financial crimes unit has been investigating the connections between trump and his business empire and his associates and russia? or does this mean that part of the treasury department is sort of a repository of this kind of information and it's where you would go to get it if you were an outfit outside the treasury department looking for that type of information? >> it's the latter. finsa has this information and it's there for investigative purposes. bank transactions, suspicious activity reports, which banks are supposed to -- the fbi has access to that.
6:39 pm
it has technical access. when the senate's asking for that, again, it's trying to get access to the same pool of information that that the fbi would have access to. >> your reporting, they've said, yes they are making this information available to the senate? >> that's right. the senate we're told the committee worked this out with them on friday. there were some bureaucratic tussle over this. we're told that it's been worked out in this information is now going to be provided to the senate intelligence committee. >> shane harris, senior wire of nationalist at the "wall street journal," very clarifying. thank you for helping us understand. >> thanks, rachel. >> up next here tonight, somebody who has spent time in the oval office briefing the president on classified information and who knows specifically how you're supposed to handle classified information with foreign leaders.
6:40 pm
ve very relevant information tonight. stay with us. ♪ very relevant information ♪ ♪ i'm dr. kelsey mcneely and some day you might be calling me an energy farmer. ♪ energy lives here.
6:41 pm
i needed something more to help control my type 2 diabetes. my a1c wasn't were it needed to be. so i liked when my doctor told me that i may reach my blood sugar and a1c goals by activating what's within me with once-weekly trulicity. trulicity is not insulin. it helps activate my body to do what it's suppose to do, release its own insulin. i take it once a week, and it works 24/7. it comes in an easy-to-use pen and i may even lose a little weight. trulicity is a once-weekly injectable prescription medicine to improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. trulicity is not insulin. it should not be the first medicine to treat diabetes, or for people with type 1 diabetes
6:42 pm
or diabetic ketoacidosis. do not take trulicity if you or a family member has had medullary thyroid cancer, if you've had multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to trulicity. stop trulicity and call your doctor right away if you have a lump or swelling in your neck, severe pain in your stomach, or symptoms such as itching, rash, or trouble breathing. serious side effects may include pancreatitis, which can be fatal. taking trulicity with a sulfonylurea or insulin, increases your risk for low blood sugar. common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite and indigestion. some side effects can lead to dehydration, which may make existing kidney problems worse. once-weekly trulicity may help me reach my blood sugar goals. with trulicity, i click to activate what's within me. if you want help improving your a1c and blood sugar, activate your within. ask your doctor about once-weekly trulicity.
6:43 pm
when this bell rings... starts a chain reaction... ...that's heard throughout the connected business world. at&t network security helps protect business, from the largest financial markets to the smallest transactions, by sensing cyber-attacks in near real time and automatically deploying countermeasures. keeping the world of business connected and protected. that's the power of and. vrk, very restricted knowledge. eci, kpejly controlled information. different terms for different levels of classification. these kinds of things are less familiar to us as civilians depending on how many spy novels you read. sci, sensitive compartmented
6:44 pm
information, that's a real one. supra sensitive don't tell anyone or i'll kill you information, that's not a reel one, but if i ever write a spy novel, it will definitely be in there. the idea of code word information is a term of art that turns up in this "washington post" bombshell tonight on president trump reportedly revealing highly classified information to the russian foreign minister and the russian ambassador when they popped up in the oval office last week the day after president trump fired the fbi director. one u.s. official telling "the washington post," quote, this is code word information. the president, quote, revealed more information to the russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies. code word information, i know that sounds bad, but i'm still not exactly sure i understand just how bad that is. joining us is david prius. it's a former cia intelligence officer. he was a briefer under president george w. bush and bill clinton and wrote the book on
6:45 pm
presidential intelligence briefings. nice to see you again. thank you for being here. >> hi, rachel. >> i'm in fair consume of spy novels and i know absolutely nothing in terms of what the real work is of an intelligence agency other than what i glean from people like you and fiction. when an official says this is code word information that was given to russia, stuff we wouldn't even give to our allies, can you explain o us in lehman's terms exactly what that means? >> sure. there are levels of classification that determine the type of classified information that's there. it starts with confidential information abbreviated with a "c" which hillary clinton had trouble knifing her e-mails meaning classified. then there's secret, or "s," or, thes or top secret and that the that is the highest level of classification. beyond classification gets to code word information which means even people with top
6:46 pm
secret clearance can't see all the compartments of information. it's restricted. those are given special names, the code words, and those are put into specialized compartments so that not everybody gets to see them. back in the day, we often called them the secret squirrel compartments. there's another one for your novel. >> nuts. let me ask you about this remarkle reporting from the "washington post" that there were high ranking foreign officials from russia, which is its own thing. our relationship with them is not like any other intelligence relationship we have in anybody else in the world. if this had been done properly, if there had been a pror decision made according to channels to allow the russians in on some intelligence information that they didn't have before that meeting, something about isis or terrorism, what's the right way to handle that. have you ever seen anything like that handled in previous
6:47 pm
administrations? >> there are two ways, someone through regular interactions of the intelligence communities of various countries, passing information after a thorough process off vetting whether it's appropriate to pass that information in order to achieve a mutual goal. that's not what we're talking about here. here we're talking about the president of the united states personally deciding to give top secret information possibly code word information to another government. there is precedent for this. george w. bush had several occasions where he would invite foreign leaders into his president's detail brief, the most sensitive daily briefing the president gechlts there's a difference. in those cases where held bring them in to make them feel important and to, in a sense, show them what the big leagues were like, that's what his nationalist adviser told me, to show them what the big leagues were like. but in that case, president bush asked the intelligence community
6:48 pm
to do it. his chief of staff told me he did not say we're doing this. he asked the intelligence community can we do this? in one case, they even brought in vladimir putin at the flanch crawford george w. bush sat down for his session, he brought in vladimir putin. the sources that i talked to said they prepared a very special book that day. one of them called ate work of arrest. in that case you go through the process before talking about the sensitive information with the foreign leader. this reporting suggests that that process did not happen, that this was just done on a whim by the president. that makes this quite different. >> let me just underscore what you just said. in the past, for example, they brought him in, let him sit on a pdb, didn't tell him it was a special one, but the intelligence community was advised we need a specialty one because we're going to have a foreign leader, prepare
6:49 pm
something that is safe, and he can safely hear. the intelligence carefully did that and it was presented in that context as we will thoughtout package. that's what you're saying: you have that right. there was a no kidding classified intelligence briefing, but they skafrmd to get information that would be appropriate to have in a session with a russian leader there. so it was classified. it was sensitive information, but it was information that could be provided to the russians that would not open up new sources and methods. that it that is a line they didn't want though cross and that's a line the president didn't want to cross. that's why he asked in advance and gave plenty of time for this briefing to be put together. >> remarkable. divest priest. thank you. really appreciate that, david. >> you're welcome. >> much more tonight. stay with us.
6:50 pm
oscar mawe went back toig the drawing board... and the cutting board. we removed the added nitrates and nitrites, by-products, and artificial preservatives in all of our meat. every. single. one. why? for the love of hot dogs. tais really quite simple.est it comes in the mail, you pull out the tube and you spit in it, which is something southern girls are taught you're not supposed to do. you seal it and send it back and then you wait for your results. it's that simple.
6:51 pm
whether you're after supreme performance... ♪ advanced intelligence... or breathtaking style... there's a c-class just for you. decisions, decisions, decisions. lease the c300 sedan for $399 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. you need one of these. you wouldn't put up with an umbrella that covers you part way, so when it comes to pain relievers, why put up with just part of a day? aleve, live whole not part. tell you what, i'll give it to you for half off. whattwo servings of veggies? v8 or a powdered drink? ready, go. ahhhhhhhh! shake! shake! shake! shake! shake! done! you gotta shake it! i shake it! glad i had a v8. the original way to fuel your day. you're going to be hanging out in here. so if you need anything, text me. do you play? ♪ ♪
6:52 pm
use the chase mobile app to send money in just a tap, to friends at more banks then ever before. you got next? chase. helping you master what's now and what's next. the shlike a bald penguin. how do i look? [ laughing ] show me the billboard music awards. show me top artist.
6:53 pm
show me the top hot 100 artist. they give awards for being hot and 100 years old? we'll take 2! [ laughing ] xfinity x1 gives you exclusive access to the best of the billboard music awards just by using your voice. the billboard music awards. sunday, may 21st eight seven central only on abc. there is a piece of this bombshell reporting tonight from "the washington post" that i don't get. i know it's important, but i don't get it. here to help with that is ned price. he is a former spokesman and senior analyst for the cia as well as spokesman and senior dro director of the national security council under president obama. thanks for being here. >> thanks. >> if i wanted to state it back to you, i couldn't. it's this issue of sharing of information. "the washington post" is reporting that the president didn't share sources and methods. he didn't give away the location of one of our spies or
6:54 pm
something. he gave the russians intelligence from which they could probably discern the origin. >> right. >> and that violates a sharing agreement we had that got us access to that information in the first place. what -- how is that sharing arrangement work and why is this violated? >> that's how it work there is a core assumption that undergirds our intelligence relationships the world over. our information sharing relationships with friends, with allies, and frankly at times even with adversaries. we will share with you if you share with us with a reciprocal understanding that we will safeguard each other's information. and there is not to be onward passage of that information without explicit consent of the country that gave us that piece of information. so if the details today in "the washington post" report are true, president trump betrayed that core premise. that core assumption under which all of our intelligence relationships are forged. and of course it will infuriate this purport lid close ally. but that's in a way small
6:55 pm
potatoes. what is a much graver threat i think to the united states and to our people is that countries around the world, countries that perhaps have a better presence in places like syria or have more expertise in groups like isil or core al qaeda, they will think once. they will think twice. or maybe they will stop sharing information with us to begin with if they cannot be confident that we can safeguard their information. look, i cannot tell you how many as a cia analyst how many plots we learned of and ultimately thwarted because of valuable information from what we called foreign liaison services. >> in terms of the danger to the foreign liaison service that is involved here, what we're told by "the washington post" is that president trump named a specific city in which this information about a forth cop organize planned isis attack was being planned. presumably, "the washington post" is not going to give up sources here. but what that means by telling the russians that, including the
6:56 pm
name of the city, the russians will be able to and will be able to share with their own allies information about intelligence operatives acting in those cities. which they might previously not have known about. now, will russia want to disrupt those intelligence operations? >> first, let's underscore the point that in a way "the washington post" showed more discretion than president trump. >> by a mile. >> by not printing those details. but yes, absolutely. look, if you had to choose the worst intelligence service in the world to share top secret code information it would be the russians. they have a singular combination of sophistication and hostility towards us, and especially in syria. you have to remember that their bedfellows in syria are the assad regime and iran, both of which are extremely adversarial to us. i think the danger is perhaps with those allies and the syrian context, they will seek to reverse engineer what president trump revealed to them about this classified assessment, knowing these key details, the city, the nature of this threat, the operatives involved.
6:57 pm
they could go back, search their holdings and determine just exactly how our intelligence partner arrived at this information. >> wow. well, i understand it better now. i sort of which i didn't. ned price a senior analyst for the cia, former spokesman and senior director at the national security council. thank you very much. >> appreciate it. >> dark times. all right. we'll be right back. stay with us.
6:58 pm
it could be the next big thing i should totally get that domain name... get your great idea online too... get your domain today, and get... ...a free trial of gocentral from godaddy it'that can make a worldces, of difference. expedia, everything in one place, so you can travel the world better. when you're close to the people you love, does psoriasis ever get in the way of a touching moment? if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, you can embrace
6:59 pm
the chance of completely clear skin with taltz. taltz is proven to give you a chance at completely clear skin. with taltz, up to 90% of patients had a significant improvement of their psoriasis plaques. in fact, 4 out of 10 even achieved completely clear skin. do not use if you are allergic to taltz. before starting you should be checked for tuberculosis. taltz may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you are being treated for an infection or have symptoms. or if you have received a vaccine or plan to. inflammatory bowel disease can happen with taltz. including worsening of symptoms. serious allergic reactions can occur. now's your chance at completely clear skin. just ask your doctor about taltz. just coming up to the top of the hour. there is something i want to make note of here.
7:00 pm
at about 7:30 p.m. eastern tonight, the white house correspondent for buzzfeed news tweeted this, about what was happening at the white house. quote, white house communications staffers just put the tvs on super loud after we could hear yelling coming from the room with bannon, spicer, and sanders. that would be sarah huckabee sander, sean spicer and steve bannon. that was reported earlier tonight. by this time of night, we would have expected the white house to announce something called a lid. they would say there is a lid, effectively telling reporters don't expect any further news from the white house tonight. it is very late at night for them not to have declared that there is a lid. but they have as yet right now not explained that. i don't know if there will be news from the white house tonight. but clearly it's been a weird night there already. that does it for us for now. now it's time for "the last word." ari melber in for lawrence o'donnell. >> more on the national security story gripping the nation tonight. how president trump repo