tv MSNBC Live MSNBC May 17, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PDT
president asked then-fbi director james comey to close the michael flynn investigation. was it obstruction of justice? >> we have learned, if the reporting is accurate, that the president is willing to directly interfere with an active investigation. calls for impeachment. some lawmakers say it is time for president trump to be charged. just breaking now, the first republican. but is that a step too far? i'll be talking with congressman al green, who just took to the floor last hour to make his case. >> the house of representatives has a duty that it can take up, and that is of impeachment. i stand for impeachment of the president. and russia weighs in. president vladimir putin today coming to trump's defense. we'll tell you what he said and what it could mean for the white house. good morning, everyone. i'm chris jansing. our msnbc headquarters in new york. right now, with a major
controversy swirling, president trump is about to deliver the commencement address to the coast guard academy in new london, connecticut. now, as he boarded marine one this morning, the president ignored shouted questions, leaving white house response to his staff. the "new york times," of course, was the first to report last night about that detailed memo by then-fbi director james comey, where he writes that president trump asked him to shut down an investigation into former national security adviser michael flynn. nbc news has confirmed that, although neither we nor the times has seen the actual memo. a source tells nbc news it is part of a paper trail that comey built to document what he believed was the white house's attempt to derail the fbi investigation into the trump campaign's alleged ties to russia. key republicans now openly talking about serious problems for trump. john mccain drawing comparisons to the nixon white house. >> i think we've seen this movie
before. i think it's reaching the point where it's of watergate size and scale. it's now accelerated. watergate took a few months, and this thing seems to be taking hours. >> we begin our coverage of this with "new york times" reporter who broke the story about the comey memo, michael schmidt. let's reset for everybody. explain exactly what comey says happened in the oval office meeting with the president on february 14th. >> well, comey was at the white house for a threat terrorism meeting. a lot of national security intelligence law enforcement officials were with the president in the oval office. then the meeting ended. the president told everyone to leave. the attorney general tried to hang around. the president told the attorney general that he had to go. and the president and the fbi director had an exchange. the president started off by
talking about the importance of leaks. after that, the president then said to mr. comey, look, mr. flynn has done nothing wrong, and you need to really move beyond this investigation. this concerned mr. comey, who then went back and wrote a memo that detailed all of this. >> that's not the only memo, right? you report that comey created memos about every phone call, every meeting he had with the president. do we know how long, how broad this paper trail might be? >> i think that comey was very concerned about different things that the president was doing, and mr. comey made it a point to document all of these things because he wasn't sure what was going to happen. he wasn't sure how the fbi's investigation of russia was going to be impacted. he wasn't sure how the fbi's independence was going to be impacted. he wanted to have a paper trail. this is something he had done several times over his career when he was in very difficult, you know, politically sensitive situations.
>> questions are being raised, of course, if comey was concerned, why didn't he go to the attorney general? why didn't he resign? tell us what happened, and what you might know about why he handled this the way he did. >> that's a fair question. there's a lot about this that we don't know. if, you know -- the president may have actually committed a crime, some legal experts say, in what he said to mr. comey. did mr. comey then begin investigating it? how did they handle it? we don't really know what happened. all we do know is that comey didn't want the line agents and analysts who were working on the investigation to know about this. he didn't want them to be impacted by it. impacted by what the president wanted. he kept it a secret. >> okay. so you haven't seen this memo yet, as we pointed out, but jason chaffetz, the house oversight committee chair, is demanding the fbi turn over memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings of discussions between president trump and
comey. how hard will it be for them to get their hands on all that stuff? >> look, jim comey has taken a lot of criticism over the past, you know, year or so for different things that he's done. you know, democrats -- some democrats don't like him. republicans don't like it. some people in the justice department don't like him. if we know anything about mr. comey, he prides his independence and believes in transparency. i think we'll see a lot of what mr. comey did coming forward, either in testimony or in the release of these -- >> he wants that testimony in public, right? he does not want to go behind closed doors. >> correct. he wants to testify in public. if you look how he handled the clinton e-mail thing, he did extraordinary things in public. very unusual things. he went to extreme lengths in public in that case. so you'd want to think now that he's out of office, i'd be surprised if he hides from this. >> michael, thanks so much. once again, great reporting. >> thanks for having me. let's go to nbc's peter alexander at the white house for us. we know the president has already started his travel. he's going to give the commencement address at the coast guard academy as they
traditionally do. but there at the white house, peter, what more are officials telling you about these claims in the comey memo? >> late yesterday, the white house said in a statement, in effect, saying this was a, quote, not a truthful or accurate portrayal. they said the president has never asked mr. comey or anyone else to end an investigation. i had an interesting conversation with an adviser to the president this morning, who said in effect, they're not disputing even the language, fr fra frankly, the president may have used, but characterize it differently than it is being cast. he said this is the way the president speaks. he wasn't trying to end mr. comey to end any investigation, back off any investigation. he was just vouching for michael flynn, a person who had a personal affinity for, as it was described to me. in effect, saying, don't pile on right now. remember this conversation on february 14th was one day after the president fired mike flynn, a person who was extremely close to him over the course of the
entire campaign and was one of his top advisers, his national security adviser, inside the west wing here. the aide also makes the point, if this is true, if james comey did have the conversation as he describes it with the president, they say, why didn't he come forward sooner? why did he not communicate this information to the acting fbi director, andrew mccabe, who testified on this topic last week? the white house is pointing out that mccabe, during that testimony, said there has been no effort made to impede their russia investigation. this individual with whom i spoke here in the west wing basically said about those memos that he was keeping, was he trying to write a book, or was he trying to advance an investigation? chris? >> peter, thank you so much. joining me now live, former democratic congressman, elizabeth holtzman of new york. during watergate, she was a member of the committee that voted to impeach richard nixon. and we have a special agent, a
fellow at nyu law school. hue hewitt, also a lawyer and msnbc political analyst. let me start with you, liz. we heard from john mccain, bringing up the specter of watergate. we have to start with obstruction of justice. there are different rules for a president of the united states and somebody like you or me, a civilian, but is there anything that you see here, hard, solid evidence, that would lead you to go down that path? >> well, two paths here. one is a criminal path. the other is the impeachment path. we have substantial evidence at least suggesting that the president has engaged in an abuse of power and he has engaged in potentially criminal conduct. >> what specifically falls into each category? >> well, abuse of power would be the firing of an fbi director to stop an investigation.
an abuse of power would be to suggest to an fbi director, let this go. this is a good guy. basically, interfering with an investigation that could affect and implicate the president of the united states. because what's at stake here, the underlying question, is did the president and his team collude with the russians to undo an election? we can't be in a situation where we have a president who is beholden to the russians. that's just incredible. so we have -- i'm not saying we have sufficient evidence to warrant the actual conviction of president trump or the impeachment, but we certainly have enough to start what has to be done to have a full and independent investigation, to see that justice is done here. one is a special prosecutor. that has to be done. i wrote the special prosecutor law. this justice department is too tainted to have the
investigation. you have to have a full investigation. the president can't investigate himself. the white house can't be in charge of that investigation. >> hugh hewitt, you're a lawyer in addition to your radio show and political commentaries. do you agree that stuff is starting to stack up, first of all? does the president need a lawyer? >> well, he has a lawyer, chris, in the white house. it is an explosive story in the "new york times." if the memo exists, and i believe it probably does, we need to see it. i had senator ben sasse on my radio show this morning, chairman of the judiciary committee. he spent all day yesterday in an information facility, trying to organize the request not just for that memo but all comey memos. he concurred it would have been appropriate for the former director at the testimony that he gave on may the 3rd before the judiciary committee to have alerted the committee if he felt
any pressure from the president to stop the investigation. i think we're a long way off from articles of impeachment. i think it is grand standing to bring them. but it is certainly very serious, and i would like to read all of the comey memo and all of the other ones, if he's been keeping a file like jay edgar hoover damni damning cia milefiles. what did the president say and what did he intend by what he said? >> michael, this obviously could be key. can we get our hands on the memos? we just know what was read over the phone from someone close to comey, from what was in this one memo. but we're talking now about a paper trail. does it surprise you at all, based on what you know about the former fbi director, that he kept contemporaneous, meticulous, detailed memos? >> no. that's part of his job, both as deputy attorney general under the bush administration and as
fbi director. >> there's nothing nefarious about it at all, this is the way he operates? >> and the way every fbi director should operate. that's actually wrong. muller did have hand-written notes of the previous event in 2004 at the ashcraoft hospital bed, where bush administration officials attempted to get a sick attorney general to sign off on a surveillance program. this is part and parcel of how the fbi acts. >> so the house judiciary committee you served on, liz, voted to impeach 27-11 president nixon. 6 of the 17 republicans joining all of the democrats there. the president lost support of republicans in congress. this is what i was referencing at the top of the show. the representative from michigan said president trump maybe needs to -- they need to consider at least broach the idea of impeachment. he was asked by the hill if details in the memo would merit
impeachment. he said, if they're true, yes. congressman peter king, who i'm sure you know -- >> i do. >> -- has a different take on this. let me play for you what he said. >> if director comey in any way thought that he was being intimidated or the president was trying to interfere with an investigation, i believe that direct ekor comey had an obligan to report it to the justice department. it could be a crime. as director of the fbi, he had an obligation to make that known. >> making a turn, that the crime was not committed potentially by someone in the white house or the president himself but by the fbi director. >> first of all, that's nonsense. the first issue is did the president commit a crime and did the president do something wrong? if this fbi director did something wrong, that doesn't
wipe out or erase what the president does. we have to deal with the presidential misconduct. it is not -- you said before, the president is different from us. the president is under the law, just as you are and just as i am. we don't have a dual system of justice in this country. the minute we have that, we're on the way to a dictatorship. the president has to be held accountable here. the second thing is, if comey -- comey was in a tough spot. first of all, he recorded what happened. should he have reported it? who was he going to report it to? we know that sessions himself was tainted. he had to recuse himself from anything to do with the russia investigation. the republicans in the house and the senate who control the committees are not exactly receptive to doing anything about the president. so i think there could be some justification for what comey was doing. he had a serious intelligence investigation, counterintelligence investigation. was there collusion with the russian government? are they still pressuring white
house officials, including the president of the united states? he needed to keep the integrity of the investigation going. that's the most important thing. he felt, maybe improperly, he could preserve the integrity of the investigation. >> is that how you see it, michael? >> you also have to understand that deputy attorney general had been fired and there was an acting deputy attorney general and a new deputy attorney general hadn't been appoint and had sworn in. i agree, who you report this to is a little muddled here. and the "washington post" at least reported that he did provide the memo to people within the justice department. so i assume those would be high-ranking people. and that brings up another question, is that this justice department is so tainted, they must at this point appoint a special counsel so we're sure there is an independent look. >> do you have a sense the tide has turned? when you talk about people like jason chaffetz, granted, he decided he'll go back to utah, but he is asking for all the
relevant information. any tapes that might exist. we haven't even gotten to the president suggesting that there might be tapes of all this. you have amajohn mccain drawing parallels to watergate. you have a lot of sources within the republican party, obviously. do you sense at all that what we learned over the last 12, 18 hours from the "new york times," then our own reporting here at nbc, that the tide is turning against the president? >> the attention is starting to turn to specific lines of the inquiry. i think that focus is going to increase and dramatically intensify if we get these memos. i have to disagree with michael. the jason chaffetz asked for all the comey memos talked in the "new york times" today. he took meticulous memos allegedly of every meeting with the president. what other people did he take memos about?
director muller took ha hand-written notes at ashcraft's hospital bed, but he didn't keep daily logs of his interaction with the president. that is creepy. like jay edgar hoover. there's going to be a lot of intensification of focus on it in the peeks weeks ahead. we cannot jump from a "new york times" story that was dictated by a friend of comey's to a "new york times" reporter to impeachment or crisis. we have to get the memos. if there are white house tapes -- by the way, ben sasse wants the tapes, as well -- look at every one. this doesn't stop with this administration. director muller was the director when loretta lynch met with bill clinton. there are lots of hand-written or personally dictated memos by direct comey that we need to get into the hands of the article i oversight authorities of the congress and let the
chips fall, chris. let the chips fall. >> the most important investigation is going to be one by a special prosecutor. that has to happen. it can't be an investigation controlled by a tainted justice department. it has to be full, fair and professional and thorough. that's what happened in watergate. that's why we finally were able to bring a president to accountability. we had a special prosecutor. just like now, the special prosecutor was fired by nixon. >> when you look at this particular point in time, very different. 24-hour cable news, that didn't exist. tweets that didn't exist. social media that didn't exist. do you still have confidence in this congress that they're going to get to the bottom of this, that justice, whatever that means, will be done? >> i would not have confidence until and unless we have a special prosecutor appointed. that's what drove the impeachment effort. that's what drove presidential accountability. because when you have a grand jury sitting, all of a sudden,
that makes people think about telling the truth. so they were able -- the grand jury, special prosecutor, ultimately was able to get the information. yes, you also had a bipartisan senate. watergate select committee found the tapes. they found the tapes. that was crucial. we can have the -- the whole system has to work but it has t bipartisan and republicans can't be pointing fingers at other people. they have to start to say, what did the president do and when did he do it and what did he know? a republican's questions, baker. >> appreciate it. we should all get together again. i have a feeling it is going to be a long summer, folks. thank you, all. we've got much more ahead on the comey memo. the latest on congressional investigations and we'll look at the democrats' strategy going forward. plus, i'll speak live with congressman al green who called for president trump's impeachment just in the last hour on the floor of the hour. any moment now, president trump set to deliver the commencement address at the coast guard academy in
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we're following the breaking news from wall street. u.s. markets currently having their worst day since september of 2016. this really has been a strong market since the inauguration of the president. now, just so far, 240 points almost down on the dow. we'll keep our eye on that for you. in the meantime, there are now formal calls to impeach the
president. democratic congressman al green of texas made the impassioned plea on the house floor last night, arguing no one, not even the president, is above the law. >> i rise today, mr. speaker, to call for the impeachment of the president of the united states of america. for obstruction of justice. i do not do this for political purposes, mr. speaker. i do this because i believe in the great ideals that this country stands for. this is about my position. this is about what i believe. this is where i stand. i will not be moved. the president must be impeached. i am a voice in the wilderness, but i assure you, that history will vindicate me. i assure you that righteousness will prevail. i assure you no lie can live forever. >> congressman al green joins me now. congressman, good to see you.
you've been mentioning the word impeachment for a couple of days now. give us your best argument. i mean, what's the -- what is the legal basis for impeachment? >> obstruction of justice. before i give you the entirety of the argument, let me say that this is something i do with a heavy heart and with a profound sense of duty to country. the president has committed obstruction of justice. the president fired the fbi director, who was investigating the president about his connections to the russians in the 2016 election. this is not about the president, in firing someoneelse. it is about him firing the f director. it is not about the fbi director investigating someone other than the president. he is investigating the president. and the president has gone on to say that he considered the investigation when he fired the fbi director. he went on to say that he in a tweet thought that this was a
made up story. and he went on to give what i call intimidating commentary about the comments with reference to the firing. so this is not something i take lightly. this is something that i believe the american people have to weigh in on. right now, about a million people have weighed in at websites, impeachthepresidentnow.org. it is when the american people stand up that we will find a different attitude in the congress of the united states of america. it is in the about democrats. it is not about republicans. it is about the american people, and i would add this, when impeachment is brought before the house, it will be brought in the name of the people of the united states of america. >> so this, for you -- this wasn't for you about the memo. the big, breaking news that happened late yesterday afternoon was not the motivating factor. it dates back to the firing of comey? >> all the way back is not so long ago. and --
>> it only seems like it sometimes, congressman. >> wel iunderstand. but the memo is secondary evidence, tertiary. the primary evidence was the firing, the firing of the fbi director, who was investigating the president. and for those who think that this is something other than what i say it is, 48% of the american people seem to agree. i think more of the american people have to weigh in. this really is about the american people. it is about the american democracy. it is about government of the people, by the people, for the people. >> but -- >> it is also about -- >> to be fair -- and the american people certainly can have their say about this, but this is a process. and the argument that i've heard, even from democrats who have been extraordinarily critical of the president and what he's done and what he's said, have said, we need to get to the bottom of this. there has to be a process. let's not jump the gun. paul ryan spoke about this just about an hour ago. let me play that for you, congressman. >> we need the facts.
it is obvious there are some people out there who want to harm the president. we have an obligation to carry out our oversight regardless of which party is in the white house. that means before rushing to judgment, we get all the pertinent information. the house oversight and government reform committee is appropriately requested this memo. i'm sure we're going to go on to hear from mr. comey about why, if this happens as he allegedly describes, why he didn't take action at the time. >> there aren't many more things more serious, more consequential than impeachment. should there be a pause, should people step back, wait until all the subpoenas go out, wait until the invest fwaigation is done, until interviews are done, questioning isone before congress, whether in public o private, if there are recordings, if they do exist, get those recordings. are you perhaps a little premature congressman? >> absolutely not. rather than step back, we need to step forward. we need to start the impeachment
process. if you want to get all of the evidence, start the impeachment process. we'll get all of the evidence. we'll great memos. we'll get the recordings if they exist. we will have all of the evidence before us. now with reference to the facts, there are some indisputable facts that constitute obstruction of justice. it is indisputable, undeniable the president fired the fbi director investigating him. it is undeniable the president did it and considered the investigation that was going on with reference to the president's campaign. these facts, when coupled with the fact that the president has tried to intimidate the fbi director thereafter, constitute obstruction of justice. we can get other evidence. i support investigations. continue the investigations. any other evidence is going to be secondary, tertiary. the primary evidence is what i just called to your attention with reference to the president
firing the fbi director who was investigating him. >> congressman al green, good of you to come off the floor and talk to us this morning. thank you. >> thank you. chelsea manning was just released from prison. it happened overnight. very early this morning after seven years behind bars. here's her first tweet. out. marking, quote, first steps of freedom. manning was serving a 35-year sentence for leaking files while working as an intelligence analyst in iraq. it was one of the largest breaches of intelligence in u.s. history. barack obama granted manning cleanse clemency, and she's still appealing her conviction, a process that could take years. in the meantime, she'll continue as an active duty soldier in the army. russian president vladimir putin coming to trump's defense this morning. and what israel is saying about being in the center of an intelligence fire storm. of course, right now, president trump at the coast guard academy in connecticut.
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the fire storm of controversy rocking washington this morning, the comey memos, have almost pushed aside another major story line dogging this white house. allegations that president trump shared highly classified information with russian officials last week at the white house. officials tell nbc that israel was the source of that intelligence. today, israel's defense minister tweeted, quote, this relationship with the u.s. is unprecedented in its contribution to our strength. this is how it has been and how it will continue to be. but have intelligence operations with key allies been affected? even as president trump heads to israel on his first foreign trip. joining me now, former u.s. ambassador to russia and israel, thomas. eric, fellow at the washington institute. also a former nsc senior director in the state department's office and numerous roles over 16 years in three administrations. sean turner, deputy press secretary on foreign policy in the obama white house.
great to have you all here. ambassador, the israeli ambassador issued a statement, as well, saying israel has full confidence in intelligence sharing with the u.s. looks forward to deepening the relationship in the years ahead under president trump. so publicly, obviously, officials are saying everything is all good with our intelligence and our relationship. but there are other reports that israeli intelligence officers were poboiling mad and demandin answers. which do you think is correct? >> both are probably correct. the issue is which is most important? the most important are the statements both from the ambassador and the defense minister that represent prime minister netanyahu's view. he wants to keep on with trump. trump is about to arrive. he doesn't want, i guess, a messy stain on the u.s./israeli carpet as this important visit goes ahead. so that makes sense. individual israeli intelligence
officers are obviously upset. in fact, they stand to lose access or a source. maybe indeed worse, in terms of where things are. >> could it endanger lives? >> the bigger question is how it affects a lot of other people who cooperate with us on intelligence matters. the u.s. will have to find a way to reassure them that, in fact, it is not going to play fast and loose with the valuable information they share with us. >> could it endanger lives? >> well, i think it could because daesh, isis, is not particularly adept at, put it this way, discriminating among people it might figure as sources, brutal in dealing with them. in effect, i think there is tha they believe it is a human source providing information. worse, it could lead to loss of life in a secondary way. daesh can lay off, prepping computer structures with explosives and go to two or three other things where we
necessary have access to the information. as a result, give them an advantage in terror attacks on americans and others overseas and potentially at home. >> the national security adviser, h.r. mcmaster, came out twice over 12 hours to say the president didn't do anything wrong at the meeting. let me play a little of that. >> what the president discussed with the foreign minister was appropriate to that conversation and is consistent with the routine sharing of information between the president and any leaders with whom he is engaged. >> eric, is it routine, to decide on the fly, as we are told happened here, to share sensitive information, not with a trusted ally, but with russia? >> well, it is definitely not routine. and the sort of -- the reports of urgent calls to the cia and to the national security agency suggest that, infact, they were quite surprised by the decision by the president to share that information. and they needed to alert both of
those agencies that it had happened and that they might need to take steps. you know, when it comes to signals intelligence, you can lose millions of dollars worth of equipment or collection in very short order. in human intelligence, you can lose an asset or a source in a hea heartbeat. so that kind of decision, seemingly impulsive, makes people nervous. >> from a communications standpoint, sean, was it important for someone of mcmaster's stature to try to get out ahead of this, not just for the domestic audience, but abroad as the president prepares for this trip? was it important for mcmaster to get out there, and did he help the president? >> well, i do think it was important for him to go out, but i think unfortunately, the information that he had and the narrative that he needed to bring to the public was not one that would -- was a narrative
that was convincing. if you look at what the national security adviser said, when he went out, he did not refute the "washington post" story. he didn't refute the details of the story. in fact, the argument he is making is that because of the unique position the president occupies, that whatever the president wants to do with regards to classified information is within his purview to do. you can debate whether or not that is appropriate, whether or not that is a wise thing to do, but i think the case that he had to make, he would have been much better positioned, both domestically and as the president gets ready to embark on this foreign trip, if he had a stronger case for a deliberat process the president had gone through before he released this information. >> i wish we hade time, gentlemen. we're waiting for the president to speak. shawn turner, good to see you again. ambassador, eric, thank you so much, gentlemen. >> thank you. president trump starting his commencement address at the coast guard academy any minute
in new london, connecticut. he is being introduced. let's listen. >> we're building out 58 fast response ut canners. many of you will be assigned to those. we're building out a fleet of offshore cutters, and awarded a contract for the first nine. >> as we wait for the president to begin speaking, top democratic lawmakers are invoking the word impeachment this morning. where is the proof that president trump violated his oath or the law? i'll be talking with south carolina congressman about calls for impeachment and democratic messaging to the american people.
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i can be more active. ask your doctor about lyrica. now to more fallout from capitol hill this morning over the comey memo. a news conference was held a short time ago, and several democratic leaders renewed their call for an independent commission to conduct the russia investigation. while slamming the latest allegations against president trump. joining me now, democratic congressman james clyburn of south carolina, who is assistant democratic leader in the house. thank you for coming on the program. >> thank you for having me. >> do you have a sense this memo changed the equation at all? >> no question about that. one need only walk the halls here and observe some of the reactions from our colleagues, and you knowhe ground has shifted dramatically. how much of a shift, i don't know, but i do know this, that people are very concerned about
the stability of our government, the security of our people and, quite frankly, whether or not this democracy that we've pilt ov -- built over the years is under threat. people are concerned about that. they see what the russians attempted to do in our elections last year, and they know they succeeded on many fronts. and so these things are concerns that we all have, and it is time for congress to get serious about its oversight responsibilities and do what is necessary to make sure that our people are safe and secure and our democracy continues to flourish. >> what does that mean to you, congressman? does it mean a special prosecutor, an independent commission? does it mean, as we heard your colleague al green saying, it's time for impeachment?
>> well, it means two things to me. right away, i think that we need both an independent commission and we also need a special council. the independent commission should be looking at what happened last year and what we can do as a nation to make sure it doesn't happen again. i think one of the reasons we have been as safe as we have been since 9/11 is because we had a commission look at it, made the recommendations. congress followed those recommendations, by and large. and the obama administration did, as well. and as a result of that, we have had this kind of stability for a while. that's why we need that commission. it'll have nothing to do with what may or may not have happened in regards to the trump administration or anything that may have happened with some of
the people he had on board. those are two different things. >> do you think it is premature, before those things happen, before the subpoenas go out, before you have memos in front of you, before you have tapes if they exist in front of you, before you're able to hear the testimony of the relevant parties, it is too soon to talk about impeachment until you have all the facts in front of you, congressman? >> i think so. i understand what was printed recently in the "new york tim " times." if that is true, then i would think the speaker of the house, the other leaders, the so-called gang of eight, will be sitting down looking at what we can do in a bipartisan way to go forwa forward. that, to me, is something that ought to be done without headlines, without publicvi. but among the leadership of this congress, both democrats and republicans, all of whom may
have different approaches as to what we should do and when we should do it, and even who should do it. but we all believe in the fundamentals of this democracy, and we should not allow anything to occur that's a threat to it, no matter who that might be, no matter what position that person may hold. >> congressman james clyburn of south carolina, always good to see you. thank you so much. >> thank you. up next, what does barack obama really think of donald trump? "people" magazine has just come out with what they say is the answer.
. >> a threat your entire life. an incredible job defending your country, thank you very much. [ applause ] and john, all of his folks are also doing an incredible job protecting our homeland and our border and i'm thrilled that my first address to the service academy is the graduation ceremony of the united states coast guard. believe me, it's a great honor. [ applause ] >> i have been here before, it is a very, very special place. every cadet graduating today, as your commander an chief, it is truly my honor to welcome you aboard. and you should take a moment to celebrate this incredible
achievement. governor ll, thank you for being here governor, thank you. we're glad y couldoin us, i know how busy the governors are nowadays, they're out there fighting. it's not easy, budgets are tight but we're doing a job, we're all doing a job working together. i also want to thank admiral zukoft and his lift, it has been amazing. today's graduates will be fortunate to serve under such capable and experienced admiral. and admiral randone, i understand you come from a true coast guard family, two cousins, a enough few, all passing through this place. very impressive, i guess you
like the place, huh? someone in your family has been doing something right, i can tell you that. i'm sure they're all very proud just as we are very proud of the fine young aufrlofficers who ar graduating today on your watch. i would also like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to all of the parents and the grandparents and family members who have supported these amazing graduates. give your parents and everyone a hand, come on. because america has families like yours and will keep all of those families safe and very, very secure. you're keeping your family safe now. if you're not already, you're about to become military families. starting today, i hope you feel
the full gratitude of our nation. these fine young cadets are about to take their rightful place on the front line of defense for the united states of america. cade cadets, you deserve the graduati congratlations but also the support of each and every american, we all support you, a proud nation and you're part of a very, very proud nation, which salutes the 195 cadets of the coast guard academy class of 2017, good job. and i understand from the admirals this has been a very special class. you have been trained here to handle the toughest of situations, the hardest of moments really that you can experience. and the hard nest people's lives
and to help the weak in their hour of need. this class has been dedicated to public service. you served breakfast at a food bank every weekday. you built a home for habitat for humanity, you donated 24,000 hours, a lot of time, to community service. you have done amazing work. and in the true coast guard fashion you had fewer people and fewer resources but you accomplished the objectives and you did it with skill and pride and i would like to say, under budget and ahead of schedule. a lot of that now in the united states government we're doing a lot of that. >> we will continue to listen in
but we're keeping a big eye on wall street. a big dip down of 250 points. all of this plays into politics on capitol hill, joining me now, stephanie rule and nbc news senior political editor mark murray. down across the board, what is going on. >> when are republicans going to get to their agenda. they have been excited about his pro business agenda. the bigger this james comey distraction gets the further they are getting from it. the economy was doing slowly but surely well under president obama, but the hike came with the tax reform, infrastructure spending, deregulation. have we spoken about any of those things in over a week? the answer is no. and the irony in elected a businessman president was he might not be sure about policy, but we're bringing a business guy that can get stuff done if
is business manage that is tripping the president up. we're heading into the summer that is always sluggish, as it is, we might not get the changes we were promised. >> people are saying this will be the summer of co. >> it is an increasingly tough position. let's look at what susan collins had to say this hour on capitol hill. >> i don't see the need for an independent commission or a committee. the senate intelligence committee is very aggressively and vigorously pursuing all of the evidence related to the russian investigation in a completely bipartisan way. i think we could yuls a former prosecutor, an experienced investigator to add to our staff team and we made a
recommendation for that to the chairman and vice chairman. >> on the other end, what you heard him says is if what's in that memo is true, they could be talking impeachment. what do republicans do? do they circle the way gongons n for the hills? >> how much has to do with what james comey says. he will testify, republicans have called for that. we will see those memos, the republicans called for that including from house oversight committee chairman jason chaffetz. at some point they will be paced with a political choice. as you mentioned they either decide they hold on, try to defend president trump, or that they end up saying we need to save ourselves first. more often than not, we have seen in the past they will probably have a defense mechanism, but the ground is starting to shift everso
slightly they're saying w need to dig into these facts. >> a lot of people are wondering what president obama really thinks about this. and he has been very presidential and post presidential, but "people" magazine says they have a clue, what are they reporting? >> they're reporting that president obama told two friends back in november, awhile ago, and they used the word a bs-er and i won't say the whole thing, but something that was not all too kind about president trump as we certainly know barack obama had very tough words for trump in the 2016 election cycle. and i think this adds just a little built more fuel to the fire that there is no -- not a whole lot of love there between the two men. >> if that's what he thought then, i can only imagine what he thinks now. you a lot of contacts in the financial community in
particular, and there is a distinction between mcmaster, a something, who is used to war. he is will down with the with the ship. someone that comes from the private sector. >> all eyes are on gary cohen. when you're a trader, if your trade stops working you get out of the building. if gary looks at this says i'm never going to get to tax reform, he sees no reason to say. mcmaster is in the fox hole. and then you turn to steve manuchin. the economy talked a lot of nonsense about him and the president backed him. we know he is
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