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tv   AM Joy  MSNBC  May 27, 2017 7:00am-9:01am PDT

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"am joy" as tmpznternational tour enters its last day it continues to be overshadowed by russia-gate controversy at home, which now includes one of the closest and most influential members of trump's own circle, his very own son-in-law jared kushner. the latest bombshell comes from the "washington post" which reported last friday in a secret meeting inside trump tower in new york at trump tower, jared kushner and russia's ambassador to washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between trump's transition team and the kremlin using russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their discussions from monitoring. reports it was kushner who asked for the secure channel and the ambassador was taken aback. neither the white house nor kushner's attorney commented.
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loot into russia's meddling in the election, not as a suspect but source of information. investigators focus on meetings with sergey kislyak, as well as a meeting with a russian bank subject to u.s. sanctions. kushner's attorneys tells nbc news, of course, mr. kushner volunteered to share with congress what he knows about these meetings. he will do the same if he's convicted in connection with any other inquiry. meanwhile reuters reported on friday that kushner had multiple undisclosed contacts with kislyak between april and november of last year and that fbi investigators are, quote, examining whether russians subjected to kushner or other trump aides that relaxing economic sanctions would allow russian banks to offer financing to peopl with ties to trump. kushner's attorney said kushner has no recollection of these
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meetings. joining me now nayyera haq, mr. nantz, former cia agent jack rice and former fbi double agent. wow, wow, and wow. i'm going to start with you, nayyera, how normal or typical would it be for son-in-law of the president of the united states or anyone in the administration to not only set up a back channel with foreign adversarial country but suggest doing so in that country's secure facility. >> it is so beyond the pale, it does start to boggle the mind and lead to why, why do all these actions, all these meetings in such quick order after the election f there was a goal to have a better relationship with russia, why not wait a few weeks and months. the idea this was happening during transition, without awareness of intel and
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diplomatic communities does point to something untoward happening. >> the fact the russian ambassador was taken aback by the suggestion by kushner they actually meet inside the russian facilities which the russians are monitoring and the u.s. cannot. it is bizarre, malcolm, it is what does it say to you? >> well, first off, it's bizarre. ening to a certain extent a l ofeople certainly in the news media i've heard of in the last 24 hours are pulling their punches on this thing. this is not bizarre, this is incredibly suspicious. there is no reason that any of these communications could have happened, much less 18 of them. no other administration in transition has ever had communications with a foreign adversary at all. certainly not like this one. now, with regards to jared kushner's recommendation, people are saying that maybe he was just naive. this isn't naive. this is a man who came from a billion dollar industry.
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he knows what the meaning of going into another corporation's headquarters and then using their secure communications would mean and how that would look certainly to the united states. there is a lot more than why here, which is always the question we in the intelligence community ask. another question that really needs to be answered right now and has been unanswered satisfactorily, what did he intend to transmit through russian's system to communicate with vladimir putin? daily presidential briefing? nuclear codes? i don't know. everyone in intelligence has to assume that's what he was going to do. there is no reason that any of this hoof happened and the fbi needs to dig into this right now. >> the former cia director i don't know brennan gave testimony that i think is going to wind up according to the history books when this bizarre period is recounted. i want to play a little bit of that. this is the testimony before the house intelligence committee about russia's brazen
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interference in this election. let's play that. >> i encountered and aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between russian officials and u.s. persons involved in the trump campaign that i was concerned about because of known russian efforts to suborn such individuals. it raised questions in my mind if russians were able to obtain with those individuals. often people who go along that path don't realize they are on that path until it's too late. >> on thursday, the immediate thought in people's minds was mike flynn, thinking about people along a treasonous plan. might be. we don't know what he was talking about. in order, "washington post"
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piece kushner conveys to the russians he's aware it would be politically sensitive to meet publicly but it was necessary for the trump team to be able to continue their communications with government officials, right? you also have the bank -- the sanctioned bank that's in those meetings as well according to the reuters story the russians conveyed a kushner that having these contacts and improving relations might make it possible for loans to be made available to people within the orbit of donald trump. and we know that jared kushner has a building on fifth avenue, 66 fifth avenue that he's in deep, deep debt to, that he needs money for, that he's sought loans for. you see where i'm going with this jack rice. it does feel like there's even
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na nai naivete here. >> it's criminal. people in the intelligence community, prosecutors starting to sharpen their knives here. this isn't about kushner saying i never met these guys, which he did. wait a second. they were phone calls. wait, they weren't phone calls, they were face-to-face meetings. wait, they weren't face-to-face meetings, i was talking about a back channel at the russian embassy. let's think about where we are here. we're finally at a place where we're starting to not see lies but this starts to sound like the conspiracy people in the intelligence community are petrified about. what malcolm said, if this blows apart, goes to the pieces, what is it this man was trying to get to the russians. what is it that was actually coming out. the problem that we really have is that americans die as a result of this. people, including our allies, can die because of this. this is why you start to look at this from a criminal perspective. this is the reason you have to
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start contemplating why you prosecute people who do this sort of thing. as a former cia officer, again, if i was going to recruit somebody, the reason kislyak was shocked by this, you never would with a guy in the embassy but somewhere else. there's so much more that needs to be dug into. there's so much more that needs to be talked about. it's extraordinary. >> one other piece from the reuters piece. this is the reuters piece. kushner and flynn who were in this meeting together discussed with kislyak, known to be a sky recruiter, the idea of cating this back channel between trump and russian president vladimir putin bypass diplomats and intelligence agencies, according to two sources. the other little piece, fbi investigators are examining when russians suggested to kushner or other trump aides relaxing economic sanctions would allow banks to offer financing to people with ties to trump.
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we get right back to the things we've talked about a lot that make people vulnerable to be recruited. need and greed. have you somebody in jared kushner who needs money. he needs money to finance his buildings. you start to see -- you were always asking the question of the why. are you starting to feel like the why might be the need for financing. >> when there is doubt, there is no doubt. we are dancing around this. absolutely, joy, you're right. what this is is a pattern is emerging here. when you have people omitting things sf 86, forget about criminality. more the pattern, pattern of deception. why are you trying to deceive investigators, trying to hide this. when you have flynn and kushner sitting down and having a discussion about this, no longer one person doing it. now you have 2014 if you have two spies, not just one but a spy ring. if you have two, it's much more likely there are three. to go back to jack and nayyera and malcolm has said, this warrants a much, much wider
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investigation. i have to tell you we've heard everything from kushner onto the election in december, this seems to be the time it came out. what i'm concerned about is much more like flynn, we have to go back three, four years. was kushner targeted, recruited years ago much as flynn was. this is a massive thing. this is not an investigation. this is still an active crime scene. we still have whatever the ssians started in january are ill inplay. until we identify those people who are potential assets and physically remove them, the russian operation is continuing. my goodness, this is just nothing short of breathtaking. >> i'm going to go around the room and coming back to malcolm quickly on this other piece. said if there's two, it's a ring. let's go to three, carter page. carter page in this story undersold because so many other things coming out of the fire hose, this didn't make to be a big headline. "washington post" thursday, multiple people familiar with campaigns, carter page brought into the fold at a time of
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desperation with the trump team as trump was starting to win prim areas, he was under increasing pressure to show he had a legitimate presidential c caliber security team. most wanted nothing to do with him. along came carter page. anyone who came in with a pulse, resume and seemed legit would be welcome. have you carter page, who has an office right down the street from trump tower in manhattan, walks across the trellis, walks himself in trump tower, presents himself with phd and background in russian business and he gets on the campaign. does it sound like somebody who was adding himself to the campaign for a reason? >> adding himself to the campaign or injecting himself into a network of assets. i think over at the national terrorism division and counter-intelligence -- for the counter-intelligence division but counter-intelligence officers who are now investigating this, the nation's spy hunters, i can tell you for a fact, they are just going to
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assume right now that they have a network of spies or assets who are witnessiing or unwiting. carter page may have been a walker. that's a person that walks in and offers himself for services but may be an infiltration agent. it's possible he could be an infiltration agent for us, working for the fbi or, in fact, working for the russians. we don't know at this point. but when you tie all of these individuals in, carter payable, paul manafort, michael flynn, jared kushner, michael cohen, jeff sessions, every one of them has one nexus, that nexus is sergey kislyak, russian ambassador to the united states. every one of these people tried to hide their connections with him. this would definitely be considered an active suspicious network. like i said, you're just going to have to assume there's an
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espionage component to this. otherwise it would be negligent to not believe these people were being handled by the russians themselves. >> a hell of a coincidence, all these taking place in trump tower where another guy lives, paul manafort, who lives in trump tower, done business with donald trump, nefarious regions including ukraine pro-russian, manafort and flynn, russian spies collected information senior -- you've got manafort's money trafficked through. now we've got four people. >> the numbers keep expanding here. i try to imagine an fbi agent or group looking at a ring somewhere in michigan or new jersey or florida or anywhere else. if you start looking at the connections, that nexus point, that place where they all come
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together. again, it is kislyak and russians. it's also lie after lie after lie after lie. if you you a one lie, you'd say, well, it's going to happen. it's not just one but two, three, four, five from each of these individuals. as time goes on, it expands. it gets worse and worse. you drop a stone in the ocean and it starts to ripple out. this the ripple effect we're watching. it's getting bigger and bigger. >> everybody stay here. we have to pay for this whole thing. we're taking a commercial break. coming up donald trump's world tour is about to end. many in the world are so happy to hear that. that's next. trumpet "triumph" trt ump tower
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are still not paying what they
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should be paying and what they are supposed to be paying for their defense. this is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the united states. and many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years and not paying in those past years. over the last eight years, the united states spent more on defense than all other nato countries combined. >> donald trump had what the cheeky folks at slate called first big boy trip. took nationals to rhetoric on nine-day took that concludes today in italy. of course it was the bigly best trip ever.
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♪ ♪ >> i never mentioned the word or the name during that conversation. >> congratulations. great job. >> thank you very much. >> despite all that absolute awesomeness you just saw, somehow trump's first global adventure is not being viewed as a success, because of what he failed to say at nato
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headquarters in brussels while standing by new 9/11 and article 5 memorial, a tribute to both the lives lost in the terror attack and nato invoking article 5 for the first and only time ever in its history in support of us. despite that not so subtle reminder of how vital nato's defense pledge is, trump did not do what every other american has done since nato's inception, give a full public, full throated and unequivocal endorsement of that mutual defense agreement and that is a problem. bigly. back with me now nayyera haq, jack rice. how big a deal is it that he failed to make that point from a diplomatic point of view. >> huge. here is why. united states has relied on several members of nato to support our objectives including iraq, 9/11, afghanistan.
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people have bled to defend u.s. national intest. on top of that migration challenges, terrorism. these are intel compacts we have with nato members united states relies on for information. we use nato far more than people think. we are relying on them to step up when the united states has a challenge. >> cory lewandowski who used to be campaign manager on what executive producers calls the kids on the curvy couch show, "fox & friends." he had a different assessment. let's listen to how he thinks the trip went. >> he went to israel, saudi arabia, now in italy with g7. this has been a phenomenal trip by all accounts. the main treadmill media continues to refuse to give him the credit which he deserves, which is showing that the americans are once again the dominant force in the world. reassuring our allies we're going to stand with them to
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thwart global terrorism. >> set up to defend russia-gate, his bestest and brightest to get out and defend his international stage presence? >> well, you know, i'm dumbfounded. i can barely say anything. that trip was great for saudis, u.s. manufacturing shipped to the united states to saudi arabia, hundreds of billions of weapons systems that will create very few jobs in the united states. hover, the trip to nato was an absolute positive disaster. i'm saying that as a former war fighter. i've worked on nato missions. december 12th, 2001, nato came to the defense of the united states by invoking article 5 and donald trump did not commit to supporting and helping our nato allies who one of them be invade. vladimir putin won on that trip. u.s. values, u.s. policies, u.s. security standings since 1940s
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was not reaffirmed on this trip at all. >> jack rice, what he did do was essentially say nato owes us money in the united states. let's listen what he actually did say about article 5. listen to what he said. >> this ceremony is a day for both remembrance and resolve. we remember and mourn those nearly 3,000 innocent people who were brutally murdered by terrorists on september 11th, 2001. our nato allies responded swu swiftly and decisively invoking for the first time in history article 5 collective defense commitments. >> and yet jack rice he did not reaffirm article 5 himself. he also shoved the representative from montenegro who just resisted vladimir putin
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and joined nato, which was sort of kward, j shoved h out of the way, which is a weird germans are very, very bad.t the germany, who is our ally, a lot of people would say angela merkel is leader of the free world at this point, gave an interview where he said germans are very bad and not going to let them sell cars in the u.s. anymore. treating the saudis really, really well and treating allies like germany really, really poorly. how do you think that went over? >> there's so many things to talk about here. the incompetence goes so deep it's asounding to me. i remember being in the field in kosovo when nato forces were there. i was in the field with brits and australians and americans, iraq, afghanistan, we start looking at all the things going on, we cannot do this unilaterally. the idea that nato stepped up, all of these countries stepped up and bled and died beside us in many ways for us and to
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simply forget that. what that does is this. it basically ensures in the future we may be going it alone. now what you see on the other side of the issue back in the middle east is now with $110 billional that goes to the saudis, gaerptuaranteed side in the war, against the shia. not just iranians, iraq and lebron-- iran and other places. so many directions it's almost impossible to know where it's going to start because it's never going to end. >> it is stark. you saw the president curtseying with the saudis, reveling in it, touching the orb, having a wonderful time and being warm with them. at the same time being weird and chilly toward our nato allies. i have to throw in the other thing that happened, other big
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headline from the trip, essentially outing which country he is that he burned in that oval office meeting with the russians by saying i never said israel. i never said israel. nobody said you said israel, donald trump. what do you make of that. no one said israel. no one had confirmed. people were trying to go out of their way not to confirm it was israel. >> whether touching weird orb or outing spies from our allies or calling germany very bad, the host of things the biased mainstream media failed to identify that was the moment donald j. trip became president of the united states. there's so much here, i go to jack. if this man wants to travel country to country, go through expedia. look, all of this happened in the context the day before we find out that jared kushner and flynn were trying to set up back channels comes, clandestine
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communications with the russians. the only thing i can say we have to view that in the context of what happens. basically everything donald trump did in europe to disparage nato benefits russians. that seems to be the unifying theme to everything he does. it's crazy. the tentacles every waking moment, what can i do to help vladimir putin. there's nothing to say. it's remarkable. >> let's be honest, it wasn't the trip about playing to the world but playing to his base, showing he could travel and receive red carpet from world leaders. it's about playing to donald trump's base and not keeping americans safe. >> we're out of time. look at the crowds of barack obama. look at the faces when he's near them. barack obama is out there and got lots of love. he was there with angela merkel and got humongous, enormous
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crowds. it must really bother donald trump. but it was his big boy trip. >> back later in the show. thank you. big boy trip. up next, the politics. stay with us. i count on my dell small business advisor
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anyway, some of the media is terrific. most of it, 75% is absolute dishonest, absolute scum. she's back there, little katie, she's back there. what a lie it was. katy tur. >> this sleazy guy over here from abc. he's sleaze. i have a running war with the media. they are among the most dishonest beings on earth. >> donald trump's attacks on the media were just words. words that whip up people at his rallies to assault protesters but words nonetheless.
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this week the country witnessed a real escalation on what it means for a politician to attack the media. when a candidate himself, not someone he inspired at a rally, the candidate himself physically attacked a journalist. the politician was agreeing gianforgen -- greg gianforte. he made news for literally assaulting a member of the press on the eve of the special election after ben jacobs from the guardian accused gianforte of body slamming him while he was trying to ask a qstion about the republican health care bill before a campaign event. here is now the infamous audio. >> cbo score. because you know, you were waiting to make your decision about the bill. >> let me talk to you about that later. >> yeah. but there's not going to be time. i'm just curious. >> last time you did this you
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did the same thing. get the hell out of here. >> jesus christ. >> last time you did the same thing. you with "the guardian"? >> you just body slammed me and broke my glasses. he was charged with assault. turns out that recording and assault charge which, again, came one day before special election were not a deterrent for montana's republican voters who handed gianforte a narrow victory and seat in congress on thursday. here is the question. is this the new normal for gop? i'll discuss with my panel when we come back. break through your allergies. try new flonase sensimist allergy relief instead of allergy pills. it's more complete allergy relief in a gentle mist experience you'll barely feel. using unique mistpro technology, new flonase sensimist delivers a gentle mist to help block six key inflammatory substances that cause your symptoms. most allergy pills only block one. and six is greater than one. new flonase sensimist
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i took an action i cannot take back. i'm noproud of what happened. i should not have treated that reporter that way. for that, i'm sorry, mr. ben
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jacobs. >> well, new congressman elect gianforte apologized for slamming "guardian" reporting ben jacobs but only after winning montana's special election. despite being charged with md assault, he narrowly defeated rob quist on thursday. gianforte faces a court appearance in montana next month. joining me msnbc political contributor jason johnson and breitbart news reporter michelle fields. thank you for being here. initial, you have the unique resume for this segment of having had encounters with campaign people who feel that journalists are fair game when mr. cory lewandowski decided to shove you out of the way at an event. do you think this culture of treating members of the media as props as campaign to be jeered at as donald trump did with katy tur or boo them and physically
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assault them. is this a thing in the republican base and why is it if it is? >> yes, unfortunately it is the thing. conservatives have always been skeptical of the media. they have always had a very wary relationship with them. the reason why, they feel like they are all democrats. they are democrats trying to make fun of them and don't put the story out correctly. the problem is, i think this has pena nieto very much accelerated during the trump administration. it's no longer that they distrust the media, they now despise the media, and it's created this -- it seems everything is entirely situional. in the case of ben jacobs. if ben jacobs had been attacked by a democrat rather than a republican, i think ben jacobs would be the media darling of the right wing. he would be on every headline of breitbart, back-to-back coverage on fox news. because it is a republican, it's completely different.
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so everything seems very situation am. but this antagonistic relationship trump has with reporters, i don't think that's going away. i think the conservative base is going to continue to have that it's been like that for quite sometime. it's just stronger. >> it starts at the top, jason. starts at the top. this is donald trump who took some time out of his big boy trip abroad to make comments about gianforte. take a listen. going one step below that, less listen to the various republicans who refuse to reject gianforte even after he assaulted the reporter. had the head of the national republican campaign committees, the chair, said from what i know for greg gianforte, this is totally out of character. charlie dent saying, he was charged we don't know the facts. franks from arizona, the left has intense confrontation approach. if he wins, he'll have won
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election fair and square. a congressman from wisconsin, i think he'd be very welcome here in congress. seems like a good guy. just one more, one more. this is a tweet from the governor of texas, the current sitting governor of texas greg abbott showing reporters a target sheet. i don't know if we have this element, this is from my producers. he says i'm going to carry this around in case i see any reporters. that's supposed to be a joke, jason. >> this is disgusting. it's cowardly. this is how democracy dies. i'll tart off with this, joy. first off, gianforte should be ashamed of himself. i hope they throw the book at him even though the sheriff gave to his campaign. if you're not tough enough, responsible enough, disciplined enough to take questions about the budget you're not responsible enough to go to washington, d.c. i promise you, i promise you if you try a stunt like this with some of the reporters i know in d.c. you will see these hands in lawsuits in ways you can't
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comprehend in montana. that's the first thing. the second thing, i think this is dangerous not because it represents a cowardice on the part of the president of the united states but a cowardice on the part of a political party that has to know good reporting helps everybody. having investigative reporters helps everybody. if you claim these reporters are bad and ter iblg under these circumstances you're going to miss out when they are investigating the other side. it's dangerous to democracy and should be an embarrassment to paul ryan and any republican who wants to support this guy. >> i'm not a big fan of this for thevoter. they have been critical of culture, ty have talked about hip-hop, rap culture being violent. let's take a look at a couple of examples of culture inside the republican party. there was a chilling picture that came from -- this is november, the day before the
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election. it was a trump rally, a man had am shirt, rope. tree. journalist. he hashtagged it 2016. essentially a lynching motif on his shirt. in montana, gianforte voter talking after she knew he beat up ben jacobs. >> it didn't make me question my vote because i think he can do a good job. he has a business background, and i know him personally. i think he can do a good job. i think he made a mistake not holding his cool. >> michelle, this is somebody not only violent with this reporter, he has a history of being erach, he's tied to a suspected white nationalist and saying, i wasn't aware of some of his views. he's tied to a pastor who wrote that black families were stronger under slavery. this is not an unknown quantity. he's a guy with a bad history, a thuggish presence and yet the
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voters of montana are fine wit. >> i'm a conservative. i cannot defend that. that's just absutely horrible. i do think you're rht in a sense that it comes from the top. republican party as conservatives we always like to say we're the party of personal responsibility. if you do something wrong, you ask for forgiveness, apologize and do better. we believe in the rule of law, law and order. it does seem now with conservatives, not all conservatives but many high-profile conservatives rather support and take the side of the party than the side of civility, human decency. you saw, i don't know, laura ingrah ingraham, a big conservative basically applauding this, that ben jacobs didn't go and fight back. he got his lunch money taken away. this is not conservative, very unconservative. >> not since the caining of charles sumner by a pro slavery south carolina senator have we seen this mainstreaming
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violence. it has happened before. it is happening again. jason johnson back later in the show. new to the show you, michelle fields. we'll have you back. coming up, trump administration just reacted to the latest jared kushner story. keep it here. we've done well in life, with help from our advisor, we made it through many market swings. suree could travel, take it easy... but we've never been the type to just sit back... not when we've got so much more to give
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the white house is now responding to the breaking "washington post" report that jared kushner tried to set up a secret back channel to the russians during the transition. our own hallie jackson will have the latest next. ado don't go anywhere. incredible bladder protection in a pad this thin, i didn't...
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we have more on the breaking bombshell news in that "washington post" report that jastremski sought to set up a secret communication channel. h.r. mcmaster responded to the report during off camera press briefingn cicely. hallie jackson is there. what did mcmaster have to say?
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>> reporter: hey, joy, not a whole lot, nothing specifically related to jastremsred kushner jerry combs, top economic adviser had no answer. i asked general mcmaster, national security adviser, about kushner reporting and he said i am not prepared to answer those questions, kicked it to shawn supervisor, said they had nothing to add at this time. later, the national security adviser was asked more generally by "washington post" about communication overall, not in a specific situation but in a general sense. and said nothing. the aides wanted to focus on the
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g7 and the week that was essentially, what they view as the president's accomplishments in saudi arabia and israel, at the nato summit, talking about relationships diplomatically with nations there or european allies as well as g7 and what's come out of that, discussions on trade, et cetera. but as you know, you can't control the questions. the president, i will say, is flying back to questions on the domestic crisis that involves the white house. >> absolutely. i want to get a little color. they want to talk about the trip. they want to make you talk about what they call their accomplishments but don't want to do it on camera. kelly o'donnell had an extraordinary report with thomas roberts. you aren't able to do o camera direct briefings with donald trump or his aide is that correct? only the u.s. pool is in that situation. >> reporter: right. definitely not donald trump. typically on a foreign trip like this as you know, we would have a news conference with the president. that's not happening.
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the president is going to speak to troops. unless there's some surprise there, we will leave not having heard from president trump, which is highly unusual. if you talk to kelly, you know we had one on camera briefing with secretary tillerson last week, i think a week ago last saturday interest saudi arabia. secretary tillerson briefed on camera but on air force one to a pool, small group of reporters, not all open press members. this particular briefing was the second one not on camera. we asked for it to be on camera. we're told ground rules are no, it will be off camera, although on the record. and listen, i would characterize the mood in the room regardless of what the administration wanted to talk about, reporters in the room had a series of questions relating to the domestic issues and continued pressing on those questions, despite the administration officials continuing to essentially punt. >> and it is extraordinary. cannot say it enough, how unusual that is. nbc's hallie jackson.
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thank you for joining us on the phone from italy. thank you. i welcome you in. i stress that. they didn't want to deal with the kushner news, they batted that away. sent hr mcmaster to be the guy, he seemed to not wan to take too many bullets on this. he punted the question on kushner. how unusual is it for the traveling american press pool not to get live briefings with the president they're traveling with and not to get any on mera briefings at all. >> partf the purpose of having american press on the trip is to maintain the transparency with the american people so the american people know what our leader is doing on our behalf. that's denying us, the american public, the access we deserve. it is also usually our show to other countries to promote freedom of the press. so this is setting a pattern for other countries like saudi arabia where you don't have any freedoms of press or gathering
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or protest, that their behavior is okay, and allowing that to happen. h.r. mcmaster is now being brought party to this because they're putting his uniform out there to validate and justify. >> doing what the bush administration did to powell, you have the numbers, we will shove you out there. quickly, jack, this is extraordinary. you have an american press pool. we're the only western country, kelly o'donnell reported this earlier, all the other media pools are getting access to the leader they're traveling with. the united states has a traveling press pool that can only get off camera briefings. and all they want hallie jackson and others to do is say their accomplishments and show pictures that are coming from either foreign press or submitted to them by the white house of him holding the or or doing the sword dance. this doesn't feel like the western press to me. it is not what the united states does. >> joy, it is not extraordinary, it is outrageous.
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donald trump works for the american people. he works for you, for me, he works for all of us. the purpose of what he is doing, he is doing something or supposed to be doing something for benefit of us collectively and we're not seeing that now. that's the outrage. >> this is orchestrating, micro managing in a way that doesn't feel like western democracy to me. >> not at all. i jokingly have said donald trump has a russian information warfare management advisory group. i am starting to wonder if that's true. using the kremlin play book for control of information. it is disgraceful. no american should stand for this. >> they haven't answered for kushner. we will be back. much more news ahead. keep it here on msnbc. are allergies holding you back? break through your allergies. try new flonase sensimist allergy relief instead of allergy pills. it's more complete allergy relief in a gentle mist experience you'll barely feel. using unique mistpro technology, new flonase sensimist delivers a gentle mist
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missteps that could damage america's standing in the world and pose a risk to national security. like trump refusing to confirm america's commitment to nato allies and leaks, some from the president's own mouth that have damaged intelligence sharing relationships with key partners, britain and israel. joining me, state department spokesperson, and executive director of terror project, and former special agent. jack rise. the audience knows you're ready. you're friends of the show. before we went to break, going to make a point on back channels. had to reset for folks tuning in, had the advise, hr mcmaster put out to speak to the press off camera, no on camera briefings, was asked in general whether it would be appropriate for an incoming administration to set up a back channel, he said yes in general that would be okay. how is that not correct? >> generally speaking this is what a back chael is, it is not the secretary of state or president of the united states
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negotiating. those generally carry public obligations to have public discussions, generally on a trip like this you would have press asking questions about what the conversations were between these two leaders. a back channel is one or two layers down, having conversations with foreign diplomats. a back channel is not having access directly from the oval office to the kremlin, for example, cutting out intel services and all of the diplomatic channels. it is simply not -- that's just not the case of how business is done. so what has been the kushner accusations and alleged activity is not a back channel. that is espionage. >> just to make it clear, you work in the state department. going around these processes, these are put in place in part to protect the president. >> yes. >> having the state department, for instance, place phone calls for you with world leaders, rather than calling from the oval office yourself. having the state department brief the president before having a conversation let's say
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with the prime minister, leaders of australia and other countries so you don't say something stupid, giving you talking points, making sure the state department sets up meetings, not having this weird thing in the oval office with foreign minister of russia. those are to protect the president. >> it is to protect the president and american people's interest and bring expertise to the table. you don't go on foreign tour to learn about other countries, you're supposed to have done that through the presidential daily briefing which this president doesn't take or relying on diplomats in this untry. this is the big boy tour. it is not understanding at all how we're supposed to be using resources for betterment of national security. >> there were two possibilities that either this is incredibly naive team, a friend text me, there's no way to call jared kushner with his harvard degree naive, but the reality is it is
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naivety or something else. if you cut out the state department or intelligence services of your own government and going directly to leaders of an adversarial country to do business, there's a naive explanation or nefarious explanation. which is more logical at this point, malcolm? >> set aside nie he have tee. these are adults and people that would know that establishing covert communication, that's what the technical term is here, this is not a back channel. a back channel is sending a note over. this isn't like roosevelt sending an industrialist over to check up on nazi germany. this is asking nazi germ to use one of their ultra encryption systems to send a message to hitler to use historical analysis. this is essentially covert communications with an enemy and that is completely nefarious, intensely suspicious. and the question you want to ask yourself is why did they feel
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they needed to have a covert communication system. what were they intending to transmit to our enemies, using a covert communication system. there's no difference between this and putting a chalk mark on your mailbox and leaving a hollowed out stone for a foreign intelligence agency to pick up. these guys really need to be investigated over it. >> jack price, the problem is you can have both, naivety, if the president of the united states is undisciplined with things he says. we know when he was in the oval office with sergei kislyak and sergei lavrov with no u.s. press again, only russian media in the room, all the photos that came out, photos we're showing come from task, state media of russia, that when he did, he blurted out intelligence information that wound up harming israel, which is one of our intelligence sharing partners. then when he gets to europe, he
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blurts out that it was israel, when he gets to israel, standing with the israeli prime minister, tells which country he burned. then this from the associated press that trump revealed with one of his friends, duterte of the philippines, blurted out the location of two nuclear submarines. jack, when you have a president who can't stop speaking and saying things that violate the intelligence sharing agreements we have with other countries, britain rethinking sharing intelligence with us, israel rethinking sharing intelligence. what do you make of this. >> i am outraged by the entire prospect. this is covert communications. let's remember, it is russian covert communications, very specifically kushner goes to the russians and says set something up that's yours that i can use. this is not something set up by the united states through the
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united states to make sure we get to somebody else. this is literally our adversary setting up a communication system so you can excde the state department, you can exclude the bureau, exclude cia, exclude nsa, and think about what that means. you think about the number of men and women around the world who are americans that risk their lives on a daily basis. think of the number of assets recruited by the cia as well as assets recruited by allies and realize they're all at risk. we can talk about the big picture all day long if we want to. the problem is imagine what happens when we have to sit down after the fact with relatives of that dead asset and explain well, you understand, the president likes to be a big boy. he wants to act like a big boy, wants to do this behind the scenes. you think we're not outraged? you think all of us shouldn't be outraged? this is not a left or right question. this is not about republicans or democrats. this is what americans should be doing for the benefit of america.
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that's much bigger than that. i am waiting for the republicans to stand up and say damn it, we can't do this any more. >> that's the point. donald trump is speaking to u.s. troops, he is commander in chief. yet the person that's put in theory our intelligence secrets at risk the most thus far has been him. >> you're absolutely right. donald trump, the argument is he has the authorization to declassify anything. let's give the president of the united states, that is his right. however, his staff and ones that have all of these clandestine, covert communications with our enemies, you have to ask yourself and certainly the fbi counter intelligence people will be asking themselves has russia run agents into the white house. are they one step from the president of the united states. do we have the greatest national security penetration in the history of the united states going on. if i were in that division, i would have to start there assuming it is happening and i would have to assume that covert
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commication system was designed to steal u.s. intelligence and pass it on to our enemies. i have to assume that in order to keep the nation safe. the president is going to have to answer for this personally. every one of those people in that office needs clearances pulled now because we cannot risk that one of them or two of them may have been recruited into this system now that the russians know we're a giant leaking hole. >> and you still have allies of michael flynn inside of the trump administration. evan cohen was the knee, hr mack master tried to fire, believed to have provided information behind the scenes in that late night meeting with devon nunez, at that time chairman of the house intelligence committee, he was helping the white house rather than chairing the committee that was investigating the white house. he's still there. they just cashier the k.t. mcfarland to singapore, still in the administration. why has no one resigned.
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you worked in the administration. you understand pressures to stay in, try to make things right, nothing like this even close to what happened in the obama administration. >> or the bush administration either. >> why no resignations. why is watnick still employed? >> this is the mind boggling aspect of this. with all of this out there in the public and leaking happening every day, all these accusations, easiest thing to do is revoke clearances. son-in-law doesn't need clearance now, and for his sake he should be probably stepping aside to keep himself legally clear. a clearance by the way can be revoked for something as simple as having unpaid bills that have gone to collection. >> you could use your security. >> that leaves you for potential vulnerability. this is such a low level. you can have -- when hi to fill out my fs 86, i listed ten years of history, not missing a single
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week of where i lived and contacts. >> what if you lie? >> criminal offense and you have to update it. if i had an event at a foreign embassy speaking on behalf of the u.s. government, i am supposed to let them know, you don't forget these things. >> can you say you forgot and update it, is that okay? >> this is the part i don't understand. this is such a high level. how do you forget. everyone in town in d.c. seems tore forgotten meeting the russian ambassador. people in town know is actually a front for the kgb. >> malcolm, you're laughing. is it possible to forget a meeting in which you yourself ask to use the russian embassy as a secret place to meet the russian president and put him together with the president-elect? can you forget that? >> no, you can't. that's a fantastic lie, okay, and we should be taking this seriously. it sounds amusing talking on the panel, but this isn't -- i feel we're standing to danger now
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with this situation. everyone needs clearances pulled in that office right now. we do not know if the russians penetrated the oval office. we have to assume that they have because right now the russians could have flooded the zone from december 1st to now, trying to pick up on all of the other people in the office who may have worked with jared kushner, who may be amenable to recruitment. >> running out of time. jack, i have to give you the last word on this. now we know contacts with jared kushner goes up to donald trump's door, started last april, not last december, not after the election, during the time active hacking was taking place. how serious is this athis point for jaredushner? >> because it is right up next to donald trump. that's the difference. before we had advisers. kushner is not an adviser. this is not unintentional. this is not incompetence, this isn't inadvertent. this is something all together
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different. that's why we have to dig in. that's why we need to understand, not for left or right, for america. >> stay with us. we have a big day of news. that includes sad news. president jimmy carter's national security adviser and the father of mika brzezinski passed away yesterday, zbigniew brzezinski. we send our deepest thoughts and condolences to mika and her family this memorial day weekend. up next, is the white house obstructing justice? stay with us. ♪ ♪ i'm dr. kelsey mcneely and some day you might be calling me an energy farmer. ♪ energy lives here.
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eventually end in disgrace with his impeachment for obstruction of justice. after firing the person running the investigation into him at the department of justice. but here's what i want you to know. we got through that tumultuous time. >> welcome back to am joy. it was the hillary clinton her supporters have been waiting for, unplugged at her alma-mater. compare trump's win to that of former president nixon who had just taken office in '69 when clinton became the first student to give the welsley commencement address. this week offering more signs that the current president tried to interfere with the fbi's investigation of russia's meddling in the 2016 election. an investigation that's now looking at trump's son-in-law, jared kushner, as a person of interest. among several bombshell reports in "washington post" came news that trump made separate appeals to director of national intelligence and director of national security agency urging them both to publicly deny the
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existence of evidence of collusion between his campaign and the russians. both men reportedly refused to comply. joining me, republican strategist, richard painter, former chief white house ethics lawyer under george w. bush, tamera holder, equal rights attorney. paul butler, professor. i want to start, paul, with definition of obstruction of justice from cornell law school. says obstruction of justice defined as whoever corruptly or by threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, impedes due administration of justice. and says persons charged under this statute based on allegation that a defendant intended to interfere by doing things such as destroying evidence or interfering with duties of jurs or court officers. in your view, does donald trump doing this, element three from the producer, sorry, i am
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jumping around, asking james comey to pledge loyalty, firing james comey with jared kushner's push to do so after he didn't do it. asking dni to certify no collusion, asking nsa director to certify no collusion, reaching out to flynn to say strong when he is a person of interest. does that look like obstruction of justice according to the statute, paul butler? >> as a prosecutor, i'm looking at a pattern of conduct. corruptly impede an official proceeding, corruptly means you know what you're doing was wrong. well, you know what you're doing is wrong when you're meeting with the fbi director and you ask the vice president and the attorney general to leave the room so you can have a private conversation about give my boy mike flynn a break. you look at a pattern of conduct where again, you reach out to the intelligence directors to give flynn a break and they say no, we can't call off the fbi.
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then you go to the fbi director, he says no, i can't do that, i can't show you any loyalty, and then you fire that director. and then, joy, after all of that, you know flynn is under investigation. you give him a call. you say words to the effect of man, i know the feds are after you, but keep your head up. the struggle is real. give me a break. i've seen obstruction of justice convictions on less evidence than this. >> matthew miller, you also have extraordinary information coming out of some of the officials to the recipients of overtours from donald trump. admiral mike rogers addressed staff of national security agency. this is unusual for information like this to come out, unusual to do this full briefing that would become public, this is in the observer. admiral rogers took the unusual step of addressing the entire nsa work force to tell them what trspired with the president. rogers reportedly aitted tha president trump asked him to
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discredit the fbi and james comey which the admiral flatly refuse to do and stated there's no question that we, meaning nsa, have evidence of election involvement and questionable contacts with the russians. that's extraordinary. >> it is extraordinary. we have seen the president call the director of the fbi, seen him call director of the nsa, director of national intelligence. i think the big question other people he may have called, two people haven't talked about interactions with the president with respect to this case, jeff sessions, attorney general, and rod rosenstein, deputy attorney general. hard for me to believe with the president so angry how the case was handled that he was calling people in the intelligence community, wasn't calling jeff sessions, maybe his closest ally in the administration, complaining about how the investigation was handled. that's key, jeff sessions and rod rosenstein signed off on the firing of jim comey. one of the questions we have to ask, will fall to congress to
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ask, what conversations did they have with the president, what conversations did they have with other people in the white house. if he was complaining to them about the way comey was handling the investigation before he fired him, i think that's another piece of evidence that goes to his intent in making that decision. >> and richard painter, david made an important point, framing it as legal versus illegal, rather than adding question of whether or not these are baseline ethical for a president in an administration, regardless if you prove the crime of obstruion of jtice as a political and ethic matter, these are problematic. you as former white house ethics counsel, would you have ever authorized a president of the united states to even do one of these things, namely usher the attorney general out of the room so the president could have a private conversation with the fbi director who is investigating his campaign. >> absolutely not. this is clear evidence of
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obstruction of justice. we've also had several administration officials lie about their contacts with the russians. now we hear that administration officials in the transition team were trying to establish secret communication, encrypted communications with the russians. all i can say is if president obama's transition team tried that, president bush's team would have made sure they were locked up, would have told the president-elect pick up your men in guantanamo on january 20. this is treason. violation of federal law to be communicating enkripcrypted messages, negotiating with the russian government before he takes office. i am amazed anyone on capitol hill is tolerating a combination of obstruction of justice, russian espionage, collaboration with russian espionage, now veelgss veel
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violations of the logan act. very serious for this administration. >> it does beg the question, where are the resignations, where is the outrage on capitol hill. richard painter makes a good point. if anything close to this happened in the obama administration, republicans would have immediately begun i am impeaching the president of the united states. >> there is no accountability. let's be honest. president obama was very smart in that he never met directly one on one with the fbi director, mueller or comey. he always made sure to have somebody else in the room. that's because you have to preserve the integrity of both the fbi and the presidency. the president himself has not preserved the integrity when the investigations have come up. he is talking to dan coats, talking to mike rogers, has to be talking to cia director pompeo, begging them to do their job because they serve him. he fundamentally does not understand the role of the president. the president has hiring and firing power. cannot say i want you to go investigate this and that, stop investigating this. >> it is more than that, not just talking to them.
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according to this piece in the observer, encouraging the national security agency director, head of the nsa, to discredit the head of the fbi, to discredit james comey. i want to play for you what richard nixon did that almost got him impeached, got republicans to walk into the office and say mr. president, you need to resign. it was him attempting to get the cia to interfere with the fbi with the investigation of watergate. listen to his chief of staff, on june 23, 1972 in one of the nixon recorded calls. >> by the way to handle this now is for us to have walters call pat gray and just say stay the hell out of this, this is -- there's some business here we don't want you going any further on. that's not an unusual development. >> in a sense, level of outrage
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on the democratic side is stunning, you have a few people like maxine waters who are saying it, but do you think at this point we have enough evidence that there's a serious crisis of the presidency, many orders of magnitude more serious than we had with richard nixon? >> oh, yeah. what richard nixon, what the tv played, what he did is child's play compared to what we are seeing here. we are talking about crimes here, but you want to know intent. the intent is clear. and the intent is that dald trump has significant business dealings in russia. that's not just making things up. it's true. we know it. he's said it. and the people around him have had significant business dealings around russia or with russia. and now the news is just this week that his own attorney, he is now hiring outside counsel who guess what, not only threatened to sue "new york times" twice this year, but now is representing the biggest savings bank, speer bank,
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russian bank, in a corruption case in the united states for hundreds of millions of dollars. so every single person that donald trump chooses to associate with himself has significant business ties to russia and that is why we need to be very concerned, it is not just the crime but intend of what he and the people around him are doing, and the reason why he doesn't want to get rid of them. >> not to mention considering hiring joe lieberman to be fbi director who works for the firm that is partnered by his lawyer, personal attorney, paul butler. how much jeopardy is jared kushner in given months of dealing with the russians to try to set up back channels? >> jared kushner has two choices, both of which are problematic. he has said he is going to talk to the senate intelligence committee. well, the choice is now he can take the fifth, and i don't see how we have someone working as top aide to the president of the
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united states with access to all kinds of secrets taking the fifth, or he can tell the truth. now, what he said is that he just forgot about this dramatic meeting where he asked the russians to let them use spy channels to have conversations he didn't want the government to know about. that cannot be true. if he tells the truth, i am concerned he faces criminal exposure. >> and should he lose security clearance? >> i tell you what happened to a regular person in government, if they were caught anything close to this, having a meeting they didn't disclose, having a secret channel, they would at minimum have security clearance suspended while the fbi investigated it. that's what happened to anyone in the justice department or cia. it ultimately comes down to the president. the president will get to decide what happens to kushner's security clearance. we have to be asked, will he be treated like anyone else or like the president's son-in-law. unfortunately we know the answer to that.
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he won't be treated like others. >> last question. is there anyone in the federal government currently that is even capable of holding this administration accountable. even jeff sessions, attorney general of the united states, is part of the club. >> well, i was in washington two days ago speaking with some members of the house of representatives, but so far only the democrats seem to be interested in this. and this is a big tragedy for the republican party. i have been with the republican party for 30 years but i've got to say i remember the nixon situation and he may have been a crook, but at least he was our crook. he was not in bed with the russians. we didn't have to worry about the national security of our country. >> amen to that. thank you all. coming up. the republicans' war on the poor. stay with us.
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there's a lot of breaking news on the on-going investigation into russia's interference with the 2016 election. and jared kushner is right at the center of it. we're going to bring you the very latest. stay with us. break through your allergies. try new flonase sensimist allergy relief instead of allergy pills. it's more complete allergy relief in a gentle mist experience you'll barely feel. using unique mistpro technology, new flonase sensimist delivers a gentle mist to help block six key inflammatory substances that cause your symptoms. most allergy pills only block one. and six is greater than one. new flonase sensimist changes everything. (i wanted him to eat healthy., so i feed jake purina cat chow naturals indoo a nutritious formula with no artificial flavors. made specifically for indoor cats. purina cat chow. nutrition to build better lives. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one.
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money is actually starting to pour into nato from countries that would not have been doing what they're doing now had i not been elected. next i attended the g7 right here in cicely and made great progress toward very, very vital goals. from saudi arabia to israel to nato, to the g7, weade extraordinary gains on this historic trip. >> donald trump wrapped up his nine day world tour with an upbeat message to u.s. troops at a naval air station in cicely, returning home to growing russian investigation, including
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latest breaking news from "washington post" that his son-in-law wanted to set up a secret communications channel between the trump transition team and the kremlin. this morning in an off camera press briefing, national security adviser hr mcmaster refused to comment on specifics of the story, said he wouldn't be concerned about a back channel communication system with russia. i want to go back for a minute before we get back into the jared kushner conversation just to talk a little about what donald trump just did. donald trump just did a speech to u.s. troops that was about donald trump, it was about himself, it was about all of the great things he feels he did. this is a president who can't even spend a speech about the troops talking about the troops, evan. if a democratic president did this, i keep saying this to you, the republican media establishment and political establishment would go insane. >> we've already gone insane by not going insane. i think this president, i expected him to say he invented post it notes in this
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celebration. i really don't understand why he is celebrating this trip when he upset israel twice, both in the disclosure to russia of the intelligence they weren't supposed to share, then in the arms deal with saudi arabia with benjamin netanyahu was furious about, then upset angela merkel. the germans were bad, very, very bad. but he upset the montenegro vice president. >> by shoving him. >> he had to take a golf cart today. >> body checked melania at one point. show the video of that later. go on, continue. >> upset key allies. we had that with theresa may. what is going on, three closest allies have been ticked off on the international trip by the president, and the president is going out and celebrating it as a success. i don't know what's going on. >> you mention belgians. >> apparently he complained to
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the belgian president or prime minister about how it is very difficult in the eu to get permits to build golf courses. that's at the top of the national agenda. >> there's never been a presidency like this obviously. what donald trump is doing in his world tour, his big boy tour, he has made good friends with the saudis, he sort of loved up the saudis, taken their side in the sunni shi'a global struggle between these two powerful sects of islam, alienated every one of our allies apparently. >> this is a fact. this is a matter of american history now. this is not just a guy who gets to go out and have fun on tv, do what he thinks is best for the picture, shoving aside leaders of foreign countries to get in front and show off or show o on the red carpet, it has serious implications for u.s.
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national security. even our troops are feeling that, the fact that he has a pattern of behavior where in front of the cia's fallen stars shortly after his inauguration to his last speech in front of troops where he talks about crowd size, to now his inability to be able to look people in the eye and understand and appreciate what their sacrifices have been for the united states and instead focusing on his own business advantages. >> and jack, that's always been the risk and reason the ee mol u meants clause comes up when you talk about this president. the question of whether the most important thing to him are his business interests or the most important thing to him are the national interests of the united states and our national security is actually extent. you have to keep asking because of things he keeps doing, right? >> absolutely. that's our problem. you can imagine him saying enough about me, what do you think about me. i remember being on a fob in western afghanistan with a soldier in the middle of the
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night, he made 14 tours at this point and i'm sitting across from him, you realize and look into his face and can realize all of the sacrifices he made. everything he has given up, how much he missed his family, how he has never seen his children, they're all born while he is fighting in iraq or someplace else. i am sitting across from this young man and think of donald trump right now and what i imagine is this, that for people in uniform who have sacrificed so much, who are selfless so much, who have given so much, this is a president who has no concept of what that means. the disconnect between who he is, what he is, and who these men and women are is maybe the most disgusting, repulsive aspect of this entire story to me. i can't let go of the young man i still see in my face, i've seen it all over the world and seen it for men and women that protected me wherever i have been, done things for me, and yet all he can talk about is
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donald trump. enough about me. what do you think about me? >> he also wanted a purple heart. he asked that poor guy at walter reed, how can i get one. >> congratulated him. >> one question, has the president ever talked about anyone else or shown concern for others? >> i don't think so. the speech was there, maybe someone from the administration will send it over so we can play it before we're done. you have a president that seems more comfortable around autocrats than democrats, he is comfortable with the saudis, happy with duterte, comfortable with the general assisi from egypt, comfortable with turkey, he he is blatantly uncomfortable with the germans, uncomfortable with the canadians, and in
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france with the weird shake they were doing. can you conceive why that would be? >> vladimir putin is a great influence on donald trump's life, wrote that in my book. vladimir putin views donald trump as an ally. he intends to establish a series of global autocrasies, link the world through that, not through the old communism he was brought up with. donald trump never promised democracy in this election. if you go back, he's always promised autocrasy. you could in fact argue that jefferson, you know, i'm going to lead this, donald trump is the closest thing we had to king george iii, and they're very much alike. he doesn't seem to be conscious of the people of the united states except those that brought him into office. all he can do is go around the world, focus on himself and the
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goals that he views are good for him. john adams warned against that, against a president that would run the government like his own family business. we should take heed. >> and also essentially saying this is a stick out to members of nato, we want more money. evan, you showed me on the phone a piece that donald trump apparently as all the leaders of great western allied nations, there we are, are walking the streets, i believe of cicely, is that where they were, london maybe, germany and italy, that donald trump was in a golf cart. he wasn't even walking with them. >> he is sort of exiled by the other g7. >> don't think they want to walk with him. >> i don't think they want to, i think they're glad he was in the golf cart. a striking image of the tragic standing in the world because of the actions of this president. >> if we are a country that is the object of ridicule, global
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ridicule, headlines are scathing for donald trump, that isn't just something to giggle at. the united states has a moral standing that has meant something in the world. >> that's part of the challenge we have as we deal with every day something new and ridiculous pops up. comedy and humor is a way to not cry. but that's essentially what's happening to o standing in the world, and it undermines the american public in terms of opportunity for economic trade, for standing up for american values, for making sure we have strategically have opportunities in places like africa, europe action and the middle east of peace building. if we don't have peace in these areas, it hits us at home. >> even when our standing is based on sometimes our actions not being what they were supposed to be, not authentic, the united states had ground level. everybody has something to say. keeping all the guests around.
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coming up, the latest nonresponse to jared kushner and the russian investigation. more am joy after the break. stay with us. ♪
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be sure to tune into am joy tomorrow morning when i'll be joined by legendary actor george takei to discuss recent back lash over the nustar trek series. donald trump is headed home to face an avalanche on russia gate. stay with us. ♪
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the news in the russia investigation is happening at break neck speed as donald trump wraps up his world tr today, he'll return home to face numerousevelatns including the bombshell from "the washington post" that his son-in-law and all-purpose advisor, jared kushner, wanted to set up a secret communications channel with the kremlin during the trump transition. my panel is back with me. nayyera you were making a point at the break. >> this lack of preparedness of
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having answers for what's going on is not just a disdain for press. on this trip not having any formal press briefings, not doing anything on camera. the president himself not speaking. it also shows a lack of preparedness and awareness of this back channel and the ability to answer what it was for, why was it necessary? h.r. mcmaster didn't have an answer, refused to talk about it. i'm sure they have already had lawyers go out on behalf of jared kushner. if this was above board and something that the entire administration had been in support of, including intel and diplomatic communities, they would have been prepared to answer questions about it. >> yeah. evan, that's the other question is how much tolerance for this there is among the republican party back in washington and the voter -- the voting public among the republican base. how much can the trump administration just not be on camera, only put out state media type pictures, only give us what they want us to see, only the glowing stuff, and never answer questions? >> well, the republican party is getting pretty fed up, but at the same time the special
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counsel might have been the worst thing to happen to them for them developing a spine and saying this is enough. >> why is that? >> because it now allows them to abdicate their responsibility for holding the president accountable because director mueller is so expected. it's an unintentional blowback. however, there are two things. one, republicans are kind of defending at least on the far right what happened with kushner in this. they're saying, well, henry kissinger had a back channel as well, but henry kissinger and his back channels, we're talking about cafes and coffee shops, not the russian facilities, which is a neutral spot. >> if we were doing who won the week, that would have been your who won the week. >> they would have won the year. this is a boone for lawyers. but malcolm, that is the other point because if you look at another point and compare this to kissingerian politics, you didn't have henry kissinger going into these countries where we're setting up diplomatic
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channels. i mean the problem is who is this back channel being done on behalf of, right? isn't that the problem? >> absolutely. and i am really disappointed in h.r. mcmaster. i'm saying that as a former war fighter. mcmaster has had a stellar career in the military. if he doesn't seem to understand that was was not back channel, i'm going to give him an analogy. when he was a young captain in echo company of the second armor ed calvary regiment, this would have the equivalent of his executive officer going over to the iraqi guards headquarters, asking to use their secure communications the night before we got into battle. so this is not a joke. and mcmaster needs to understand and man up to -- unless he's under orders to put out this spin. he needs to understand that the security of the united states may have been compromised here. >> and, jack, even if he was under orders to put out the
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spin, he doesn't have to keep the job. we haven't seen a single resignation yet. to add to malcolm's analogy for that to have happen while it was being dangled in front of this administration official the possibility of loans, the possibility of money for their own business interests. >> that's the motivating factor. potentially this is covert communication, specifically russian covert communications, set up by the russians potentially for the benefit of the russians. it's not just about getting loans for kushner himself, it's also about sanctions for the russians. i mean a big part of this has to go back to what was driving the russians to do exactly what they were doing of the and we know that kislyak was working that angle. we know the russians were working that angle. we know that vladimir putin was working that angle. they have been talking about it for yes. we also saw what president obama was trying to do. we know what the cove com was actually about was something much broader than their claim. oh, by the way, it never existed. it's extraordinary. >> the last one to you, malcolm.
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isn't this the way that people recruit, the russians attempt to recruit american assets? >> absolutely. the acronym is mice, money, ideology, cooption and ego. we have a technical term for people wanting to establish covert communications in exchange for something. it's called a walker. that is something who's essentially willing to come and do espionage. let me tell you, it's not just kislyak who must have been surprised, not just vladimir putin, but the svr, which is the clandestine service of the russian intelligence, the fsb, must have just realized this is a potential bonanza. this could possibly be the greatest collection mission they have ever had based on whatever it is jared kushner wanted to bring to them. >> yeah. and it cannot be said enough that even if it was inadvertent, the russian government managed to get somebody who was on their team, on their side at least, at
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least ideologically on their side, the national security advisor, even for 27 days, that was a hell of a success if that was what they were trying to do. evan, nayyera, jack, malcolm, this has been a heck of a panel. msnbc will continue to cover this breaking news, the jared kushner controversy, russiagate. it ain't going away, donald trump. you may be overseas, but you're coming back and these are the questions journalists are going to ask. join us tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern for more "a.m. joy." coming up, more on the white house's reaction to the breaking news about the russian investigation and the lack of press conferences during trump's overseas trip. more news at the top of the hour. break through your allergies. try new flonase sensimist allergy relief instead of allergy pills. it's more complete allergy relief in a gentle mist experience you'll barely feel. using unique mistpro technology, new flonase sensimist delivers a gentle mist to help block six key inflammatory substances that cause your symptoms.
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a very good saturday to you. we're watching a lot of stuff here at msnbc world headquarters in new york city. it's 12:00 in the east, 9:00 in the west. president trump heading back to washington just this hour pi


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