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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  January 24, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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td ameritrade. let's take a quick check of the markets before we go. deadline white house with nicolle wallace is up next. hi, everyone, it's 4:00 in new york. nbc news out with exclusive reporting today about what donald trump knew and when he knew it. a clearer picture emerging about the crime scene. mike flynn's west wing office, the place where he lied to the fbi about his contacts with russians, a crime he pleaded guilty to last year in bob mueller special counsel's investigation. missing pieces of the time line to mike flynn's fbi and the way the white house learned about it writing, quote, white house counsel don mcgahn was the first
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senior official to learn of flynn's interview during a meeting on january 26 with acting attorney general sally yates in which she warned him that flynn had lied to vice-president mike pence and other top trump officials about his conversation with the russian ambassador, sergey kislyak, and could be vulnerable to blackmail by the russian government. mcgahn briefed trump, bannon and white house chief of staff reince priebus on his meeting with yates that same day, including news of flynn's fbi interview. people familiar with the matter said. it is important to remind everyone that it was january 27th, the very next day, that donald trump invited then fbi director jim comey to dinner. a rare gesture for any sitting president. but particularly curious in light of what we now know donald trump had learned the day before. here's comey on that invitation. >> with regard to the -- several of these conversations, in his interview with lester holt on nbc, the president said i had dinner with him. he wanted to have dinner because
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he wanted to stay on. is this an accurate statement? >> no, sir. >> did you in any way initiate that dinner? >> no. he called me at my desk at lunch time and asked me was i free for dinner that night, and called himself and said can you come over for dinner tonight? i said, yes, sir. he said will 6:00 work? he said 6:00 first. i was going to invite your whole family. i'll do that next time. is that a good time? i said, sir, whatever works for you. he said how about 6:30. i said whatever works for you, sir. i had to call my wife and break a date with her. i was supposed to take her out to dinner that night. >> that is one of the all-time excuses for breaking a dinner. [ laughter ] >> in retrospect, i love spending time with my wife. i wish i had been there that night. [ laughter ] >> a broken date that will live in infamy. threats' get to carol lee who broke the story as well as our panel of reporters and experts.
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bertrand with the atlantic covering russia with us at the table. msnbc contributor michael schmidt who broke yesterday's news that we talked about during this hour on the russia investigation. john la mere, associated white house press reporter, tons of scoops himself. jennifer rogers, former assistant u.s. attorney now executive director at columbia law school. carol lee, let me start with you and your amazing reporting. i understand a little bit about how this story came to be. you said to look at what happened one year ago, mike flynn's original lie to the fbi about his contacts with russians. fill in some of the other important pieces of the time line that, when you put that together with michael schmidt's reporting and your reporting about the direction that what is public facing in the mueller investigation seems to point at is whether or not the special counsel has an obstruction of justice case it can make against this president. >> sure.
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what we set out to do initially was to just go back and look at this, what now we know is a really significant moment in the russia investigation. part of what we learned was the way that this unfolded inside the white house -- you have to remember this was four days into the trump white house. it was very chaotic at this time and disorganized. and the fbi calls over to michael flynn's scheduler and says, the fbi would like to speak with the national security advisor, we have something on his schedule for later today. the scheduler puts it on michael flynn's schedule and no one else really knows. and so flynn takes this meeting without notifying the national security counsel legal team, which is typical according to people we've spoken with for a meeting like this. and not having his personal lawyer with him. so, he's in there alone. some of the people we spoke to said it didn't seem like he understood what the significance of this was. perhaps he thought, you know, he's an old hand, he's been head
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of intelligence, he's senior in the military, he could handle something like this. so, he takes this meeting himself and doesn't feel the need to tell anybody. one thing we don't know is sometimes the fbi will tell someone that they've interviewed they'd like them to keep it confidential. so, that could also be one of the reasons why he didn't notify anybody. >> well, he had to have known that the things that came out of his mouth were untrue. do you think he had any way of knowing that the agents who interviewed him knew at the time that he had lied to them? >> you know, we don't know exactly what the back and forth was in that interview, but clearly, as we've seen from michael flynn's plea, he was not truthful in answering their questions. as a former intelligence officer, he would presumably know that the russian ambassador's phone would be wiretapped and there would be transcripts of those
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conversations. so, you know, there was a number of sort of puzzling things about michael flynn's conduct just generally, and that's one of them. >> do we have any more information about why he lied? >> no, we don't know exactly why he lied. you know, he has -- that's not something that necessarily came out in his plea deal, you know. there is this question, you talk to some people and they say like maybe it wasn't exactly clear that he was lying, you know, it was a little murkier than that. we just don't know. >> so, natasha, let me bring you into the story we've been talking about now for more than 24 hours about the mueller probe turning with some vigor toward settling the question or getting to the bottom of whether or not the president obstructed justice. and if you were to set out to obstruct justice and you learned
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on january 26 that your national security advisor had lied to the fbi and you call the head of the fbi on january 27th and invite him over for dinner, and someone has to tell you either your white house counselor your attorney general that that's not very standard. that's not part of the protocol. might that be how you'd go about beginning to obstruct justice? >> well, it's certainly something that mueller will be looking at, right. and i think that another big question is why did trump wait almost three weeks to fire michael flynn after he learned that he had misled federal agents. there's been a lot of reporting that's been done about how don mcgahn was briefed by sally yates about the possibility that flynn had mischaracterized the content of his conversations with sergey kislyak. now, the question is did he keep -- mcgahn briefed trump, and told him he -- flynn essentially told federal agents the same thing he told
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vice-president mike pence which is he did not discuss sanctions with the russian ambassador during the month of december, during the transition. so, now the question is, well, did trump keep michael flynn around during those three weeks because, you know, there was some attempt to keep him in the orbit so that he would not essentially, you know, flip, or become bitter and then start working with federal agents against the administration, perhaps reveal things that would be damaging to the president and his administration. >> all right. you mentioned the time line -- i made you do this before, we'll do it again. january 24 flynn meets with the fbi, tells a lie for which he has now pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the mueller investigation, a crime he has admitted to committing. on the 26th, yates briefs white house counsel don mcgahn about the flynn interview, warns about false statements. on the 26th mcgahn briefs the president, chief of staff, steve bannon about what flynn has done. 27th, trump asks comey for a loyalty pledge at a rare dinner
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between president and the director of the fbi. also on the 27th, as you pointed out, we know from george papadopoulos's guilty plea that he's interviewed by the fbi. why is that important? >> so, papadopoulos was a member of the campaign, a foreign policy advisor. they couldn't really find any really great experts out there that wanted to work with him, so they found george papadopoulos. and papadopoulos met with the fbi that day about his contacts with the russians, how he had interacted with them during the campaign. and it is in that interview that he lied about his -- about how he had been talking to them, how they had been offering things to them, you know, as they were trying to cuddle up to them during the campaign. and that's just another odd coincidence here. in these first seven days of the presidency which have cast such a shadow over them, all of these incredible events coming together, that being on that friday as well. >> so, the two trump campaign members who have pleaded guilty
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to perjury commit their crimes within three days of one another. let me ask you what i asked carol lee. do we know yet why they lied to the fbi? >> the question about why flynn lied is almost like the central question of this issue, of what is going on. was flynn lying because he was told to? was flynn lying because he was trying to cover something up? did he think that he had had too many contacts with the russians before and he looked like he had cuddled up to them again? why was it that he knew that he had discussed something so clearly in a call, but when he sat down with folks that he knew he could get in trouble to lying to, he went to that length. and i think at some day we will know, and my guess is that that answer will provide the huge piece of the puzzle. >> do you think that bob mueller knows if george papadopoulos' lie and mike flynn's lie are the same lie? >> i think bob mueller knows a lot more than we do. >> but do you think -- i mean, they are both cooperating witnesses. >> yeah. >> they both as former
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prosecutors have told me, they both work for mueller now. they work for team -- i mean, does bob mueller know exactly what papadopoulos said to the fbi three days after flynn lied to the fbi? >> totally. >> could they have told the same lie? i guess what i'm asking you is, is it possible there was a conspiracy and they told the same lie to the fbi? >> this administration has a very difficult time doing basic blocking and tackling. >> they did happen to lie within two days of one another. >> what i can be pretty sure of is mueller knows why they lied because they both have to cooperate with mueller and for that cooperation they have to tell him everything. and at the center of that are the lies, and they have, i'm sure, explained to him in great detail and their lawyers have gone through it, why they got to where they did. >> jonathan la mere, we don't know if the white house knows why he lied. they might. and as michael says, we will eventually know. but here are all the things that mike flynn got to work on after the white house was told by
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sally yates that mike flynn had lied to the fbi, and after don mcgahn had told donald trump, reince priebus and steve bannon that michael flynn had lied to the fbi. he got to sit in on calls with putin. he went to the white house briefing room and put iran on notice. he staffed up. he hired a man that -- the chief of staff and the president knew had lied to the fbi, went ahead and hired former deputies. and he was allowed to make a pretty major shift in policy designating iran as the world's leading sponsor of terror. so, this wasn't someone who was sidelined after don mcgahn, reince priebus and steve bannon and donald trump learned that he'd lied to the fbi. >> now, the white house certainly displayed some negligence here, if not flat out incompetence in terms of how to deal with michael flynn going forward. to reiterate the point that was made on that, let's flash back to that time in january. it was a very chaotic in the west wing and even in the transition, where this was a team that frankly didn't expect to win and wasn't fully staffed
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up. chris christie was fired a couple days later and some of the keys were turned over to mike pence. they were running late on a number of major appointments. they still are under staffed in a lot of places. those first two days in the white house where a lot of these events with flynn happened, there were rooms the aides weren't sure where the lights were on. >> i could help them with that. but there is a level of crisis, though, that even an under staffed team says, whoa, whoa, whoa. the national security advisor lied to the fbi. i don't care if we're under staffed and can't find the light switches. let's deal with this. what sort of legal exposure -- and i know the lawyer that represents reince priebus and steve bannon is highly regarded. bill burke is his name. you know, i think he's made a case that there isn't much. but is there potential legal exposure for people who knew that the sitting national security advisor had lied to the
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fbi and then they let him carry on for weeks? >> well, first of all i'm not sure they admitted they knew that he lied until later on. you know, they knew that he had been interviewed by the fbi, but as i understood sally yates hadn't really answer that question about how his interview was received or what the fbi thought. there is really not criminal liability for that sort of thing unless you could prove up some sort of conspiracy, you know, some sort of involvement in the lie. what's interesting to me is what does the fact that he was allowed to continue on and do all of these things show about their view towards him. i mean, he's still part of the team. they're not concerned about this. does that mean that they know exactly what he's doing and what's going on and, you know, are they all kind of in this place together so that they're not worried about him? i mean, that's the most important thing. >> that's great context. i guess that's why when the president tweeted that he had to fire mike flynn, he tweeted after flynn pleaded guilty, i
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had to fire flynn because he lied to the fbi. it is a shame because his actions during the transition was lawful, there was nothing to hide. just the confusion, you make a good point. there's always been confusion leading and up to the point when flynn pleaded guilty about whether or not they knew he lied. if you don't, though, think that your national security advisor did anything wrong, why call the head of the fbi the next day and why the day after you eventually dismiss him, say to jim comey, please see to it to let him go, i hope you can see to let him go. >> there is no question that behavior kind of points to a protection of flynn. the question is, is it protecting him because they're all doing something together and they're all in on this, they need to protect him to protect themselves or is it part of this paranoia of they're after my guy, i don't want them to go after my guy just because he's my guy and i'm going to protect him. i mean that's kind of what they're trying to get at here, i think. so, yeah, it's very interesting. there's no question they were
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circling the wagons around flynn and ultimately didn't let him go until it became public. >> is one obstruction of justice and one -- is there a legal distinction wherever that question lands? >> so, obstruction, of course, has to be obstructing an ongoing investigation, which is the russian investigation here. so, if it's just about, listen, this whole thing is ridiculous, i don't need to stop this investigation. that's not what this is about. but they're attack my guy. as a political matter i'm going to push back on that. that's that's not obstruction. >> carol lee, you reported the person an fbi agent described by people in the fbi as one of the toughest and best fbi agents there. but by his republican critics who have read a lot of the text exchanges between him and a woman he was in a relationship with, he's become a very polarizing figure. peter struck. what's the significant of peter struck being the person who conducted the interview with mike flynn as you report in your story today?
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>> well, one interesting thing about it is you have these two figures who played a role in this particular day one year ago. you have andrew mccabe and peter struck. and fast forward a year later and they are both individuals who are under attack from the president and from republicans in congress to some extent, particularly peter struck. so, you know, you could see how that would fuel the perception that this is somehow an investigation that is politically motivated or unfair. and so the fact that the -- those two individuals were there from the start and this significant moment, and are now in the crosshairs currently a year later, we don't know how potentially significant that is in terms of the investigation. but in terms of the political perception and the way the president has tried to cast this investigation, it could be rather significant. >> and, michael, live me give you the last word here.
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i don't believe in coincidences any more. i suppose it is a coincidence. one thing andy mccabe and peter struck were known to work on is counter intelligence. so, how, if an interview set up by andy mccabe's office and peter struck was going down, did mike flynn not know he could be the target of a counter intelligence investigation? >> he had to know if the fbi was engaging him on a specific thing, they had cards and knew a lot more about it. the thing is the fbi, it's a very chaotic period of time there. they have this russia investigation. it hasn't really come out public publicly yet. there's been some reports in the press about it. there are different strands of intelligence they're looking at. they're trying to figure out if there is a there there. they're dealing with a president who is incredibly difficult to deal with. it turned out to be what they thought. >> and it continues. carol lee, jennifer rogers, thank you for helping us understand it. carol, thanks for your
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incredible reporting. when we come back, the gop and the fbi have a price of loyalty to donald trump risks breaking up the very coalition that elected him. and a conspiracy theory that would make alex jones blub. new signs the gop is losing its grip on reality. donald trump in a down parka? you never know what you see when donald trump hits the global ee leets in switzerland this week. stay with us. directv has been rated number one in customer satisfaction over cable for 17 years running. but some people still like cable. just like some people like pre-shaken sodas. having their seat kicked on an airplane. being rammed by a shopping cart. sitting in gum. and walking into a glass door. but for everyone else, there's directv. for #1 rated customer satisfaction over cable, switch to directv and get a $200 reward card. call 1.800.directv we're pretty sure no one's everg asked howsaid microwaved. eggs,
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when you have a president of the united states who actually demands a loyalty of his fbi
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director, a president of the united states who then fires that fbi director because he doesn't get the loyalty of, the president of the united states who admits to knowing his national security advisor has committed a federal crime, but that same president of the united states then going to the fbi director and pressuring him not to press charges against the national security advisor who he later admits knows that he committed a federal crime. and then sending his troops out to go on fox news, to go in front of cameras on capitol hill, and attack the fbi, to talk about a purge of the fbi. just like, again, right wingers don't like it. that is a language of josef stalin. that's the language of dictators. >> a talk from our own joe scarborough who paints a dark
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pick few picture of the president's war on the fbi, a striking story of a blow up of a top ranking official we've been talking about this hour. the washington post reporting on a meeting between trump and acting director mccabe shortly after he fired comey. the two men exchanged pleasantries, but before long, according to several current and former officials asked mccabe a pointed question. whom did he vote for in the 2016 election. mccabe said he didn't vote. trump vented his anger at mccabe over the several hundred thousand dollars of donations his wife a democrat received for her failed 2015 virginia state senate blid from a political action committee controlled by a close friend of hillary clinton. mccabe who has spent more than two decades at the bureau found the conversation with trump, quote, disturbing, said one former u.s. official. it's a stunning report on a conversation that one person told the post is of interest to special counsel robert mueller. joining us at the table is journalist alicia menendez, now a contributing editor for the
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website. natasha is still with us. let me start with you. what is the significance of bob mueller being interested in the tone and tenor and substance of donald trump's conversations with andy mccabe? >> well, he's trying to establish if there is a pattern of behavior here by the president to try to influence, you know, the fbi essentially, the same fbi that is investigating his campaign for potential collusion with the russians, the same fbi that's investigating whether or not he obstructed justice when he fired james comey. so, these are, you know, these are all indications that trump, you know, according to people that i speak to, that trump seems to view the fbi as kind of his own personal police force, and that is really disturbing on a number of levels. most prominently because it is the bureau that is investigating him for potential miss deeds. so, the fact that he asked comey for loyalty, according to this report he wanted to know whether mccabe was -- had voted for him
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or whether he had voted for hillary clinton is extremely telling as to what kind of, you know, what intent trump may have had when he fired comey months later. >> so, you're the journalist to whom donald trump said, i really like the way eric holder protected obama. he clearly sees the fbi the way natasha described him as seeing it. he views them as his lawyers who should protect him. i'm told of a conversation he had with a close ally where he said all my life i've had great lawyers, and now the most important lawyer in my life, the one that could basically be determinative of my fate -- and he's unimpressed with the people he has. you also reported in that same interview he's looking for his roy cohn. what do we know and what does it matter, donald trump's state of mind, about the nation's top law enforcement officials? >> most would hide it, but he's open about it. he's very open about the necessity for loyalty from his
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attorney general, from the folks at the fbi. he said that he -- >> what does that mean to him? >> look, he said he wouldn't have made jeff sessions the attorney general if he knew he was going to recuse himself from the russia investigation. essentially implying that that would have given him a way of controlling it. when he found out that mueller was appointed, he erupted at don mcgahn and he said, that's when he says, where's my roy cohn? he said, obama had holder. jfk had rfk. where's my roy cohn? and the idea that the person who should be running the justice department and following the facts is someone who he thinks is roy cohn is very disturbing to people at the fbi and to law enforcement. >> and what do you make from your white house sources about sort of -- they take two lines in my conversations. it's all hiding in plain sight. basically he's not hiding what he thinks this should be, but there are guardrails. there are people like don mcgahn
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who are experienced who are telling him how it's supposed to be, and the idea that this is almost so blatant and so obvious, how could mueller not have assembled, along with donald trump's public statements, his public berating of sessions for recusing himself, of mccabe for the reasons that we've been talking about, how could mueller really not be able to assemble an obstruction of justice case? >> i mean, that's the question. is this all part of some sort of grand plan or is this sort of just donald trump being donald trump? donald trump does not care for the norms of the presidency. we see that time and time again. sort of two points here. on this particular exchange, you know, there is some difference of opinion about some officials as the report suggests say the president did flat out ask, who did you vote for, and sort of angrily berated him about his wife's political affiliations. others say it was more the president sort of being jocular and kind of giving him a hard time as we have seen him do. so, i think that is something that i'm sure mueller is looking at and doing interviews to figure out exactly what the tone and tenor of that exchange was.
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no matter what that particular moment was, it is sort of unprecedented to have a president go after repeatedly the fbi and the intelligence services like he has. this is not something that any of his predecessors have done. and whether it is because he is trying to cover something up, or simply demanding, you work for me now, is his belief. and, therefore, i expect your loyalty. i expect you to do what i say and to protect me. i mean, that is who he is. president trump is not someone who takes his cues from the past. he does what he sees fit >> we normalize that type of behavior. the conversation all day has been about what this means for our democracy. >> right. >> if you have an institution that is supposed to be independent of the white house, independent of politics, all of a sudden coming under siege from our commander via twitter. there is something about how the public is supposed to process that information.
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we have a president who is openly attacking one of these institutions. you have also, though, an american public that 45% of them say they don't trust the news media and then you have congressional republicans out there feeding this narrative. how are people to supposed to understand what is normal when everything seems upside down. >> under that norm busting, we put together a list of all of the intelligence and law enforcement leadership officials who are cooperating with mueller. it's fired fbi director jim comey, fired acting chair sally yates, fired, pleaded guilty mike flynn. sitting attorney jeff sessions, cia director pompeo, and coats and rogers also the intelligence agencies. what they all have in common with the exception of flynn who had been fired and yates who had also been fired, is that donald trump went to every one of them and asked them to say that he was not under investigation. so, it's not just that he thinks they should protect him legally. he wanted all of them in the media on tv. he wanted coats and rogers -- there was an article either in
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your paper in the post, he saw the intelligence agencies and their heads as people whose job it was to defend him in the press from the mere notion that a counter intelligence investigation of his campaign was underway. >> he wanted from comey a declaration of innocence. there are people we talked to who have talked to him who think that's what he wants when the mueller thing wraps up. he expects to be vindicated and he wants it to be in a public setting like, i find donald j. trump not guilty of xy and z. that seems like an unlikely event. not that he's going to be found guilty, but he expects it to be washed away. he thinks these folks are working for him. >> what do you think of the list, while all of them running serious agencies like the nsa were asked to engage in rapid response for donald trump? >> well, let's say donald trump has done nothing wrong at the end of the day, that mueller says, you know, he's fine and he says i'm moving on. it's very clear that at the very
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least donald trump did not appreciate the nuances of washington. these things that are taken so seriously, the unique place that the fbi has in the executive branch and the arms distance it's supposed to have. the fact that you don't discuss politics with folks like that. the fact that you don't talk about investigations. he clearly went to washington with the same mentality he had in new york and he ran into this wall that has created at the very least politically for him. at least politically. >> playing with fire, republicans putting their credibility on the line with talk of a secret society. all part of an orchestrated effort to smear the fbi. the great emperor penguin migration. trekking a hundred miles inland to their breeding grounds. except for these two fellows. this time next year, we're gonna be sitting on an egg. i think we're getting close! make a u-turn... u-turn? recalculating... man, we are never gonna breed. just give it a second. you will arrive in 92 days. nah, nuh-uh. nope, nope, nope.
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it is not a coincidence the fact of the matter is these messages run from about the time that the russia/trump
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investigation started at the fbi, and run to the day before special independent counsel mueller was appointed. the texts that have been produced are very concerning as well because they indicate a concerted effort, not just talk between two people, but a concerted effort to do things within the department that cast a shadow on the most important law enforcement organization in the world. >> republicans seeking to discredit the bob mueller investigation have collectively honed in on a new talking point centered around missing text messages between two fbi officials already under scrutiny for privately sharing their personal views about trump and other politicians. their theory goes like this. instead of a computer glitch, it was actually the fbi who deleted the texts as part of a widespread conspiracy to undermine donald trump. the president tweeted about it last night. maybe he was being sarcastic.
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i'm not sure any more. quote, where are the 50,000 important text messages between fbi lovers lisa page and peter strzok? blaming samsung! never mind the fact as the associated press notes, the justice department says 50,000 is the overall number of messages on fbi servers. samsung had to issue a statement. we believe that sam did you think -- i can't keep reading this. let me just stop right here and say this all got that bleep crazy. ken delaney, what's going on? >> i thought you were going to ask me about secret society, nicolle. >> you know what, let me do this. let me do the loons justice and play the secret society sound. let's roll ron johnson. >> very good. >> what this is all about is further evidence of corruption, more than bias, but corruption at the highest levels of the fbi. that secret society, we have an informant that is talking about a group that were holding secret meetings off-site.
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there is so much smoke here, there is so much suspicion -- >> let's stop there. a secret society, secret meetings off-site of the justice department? >> correct. >> and you have an informant saying that? >> yes. >> i want to frame his face when he says, let's stop there. what is going on? >> so, the words secret society were used in a text from the woman you saw on the screen, lisa page, the fbi lawyer, to peter strzok. these guys were having an affair. they were working on the mueller investigation. they also worked on the clinton investigation. they both -- they're no longer on the mueller investigation. and it was a joke, it seemed to me it was a joke anyway. it was written on the day of the morning after the election and she said something like, this is depressing. maybe we should make this the first meeting of the secret society. johnson is saying separately told by an informant fbi agents were meeting surreptitiously. the implication here, which is heartily believed by a lot of people in this country, nicolle,
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there is a corrupt conspiracy in the fbi first to go easy on hillary clinton when she should have gone to jail, and then to subvert the trump administration through the mueller investigation. and i spoke to one of my long-time sources today, former fbi official who was with the bureau for 30 years, who believes this. so, it is believed out there in the land. it just seems to me to be ludicrous to a lot of people. >> listen, the fbi isn't above criticism nor are they above being investigated. my concern is where they go off the rails for the bless your heart coalition of the nuts is that they are being investigated. there is an inspector general investigation underway. i also understand that christopher wray has said, i am making changes. i'm going to put my own print on the fbi. if you don't like the pace with which i am doing that, find somebody else to do it.
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so, i guess my question wrapped in exasperation on behalf of the folks at the fbi who spend their days trying to protect us from another 9/11, what else are they supposed to do? the agents in question have been reassigned. they're not involved in the mueller probe in any way, shape or form. what do they want? do they want, you know, don junior-style exotic animal for their wall? what do they want? >> well, to be honest, to republicans and people i talk to want a special counsel to investigate this matter. they're not satisfied with a mere i.g. investigation. and they also believe essentially that this makes the entire mueller investigation out of bounds, improper. it's the fruit of the poisonous tree because they believe that there were lies at the heart of it and that these fbi agents were involved when, in fact, it's not even clear what substantial role these people played and there's a lot of evidence gathered from a lot of different places involving maybe more than 100 personnel including fbi agents and the
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justice department prosecutors. but that's what they want. they want to invalidate the mueller investigation. >> all right. they're busy little bees. they're busy little nuts and bees. they made a secret, secret memo and they're refusing to share it with their republican friends in the senate. that's breaking news. we're going to have it on the other side of a break. it takes a lot of work but i really love it. i'm on the move all day long... and sometimes, i don't eat the way i should. so, i drink boost to get the nutrition i'm missing. boost high protein nutritional drink has 15 grams of protein to help maintain muscle
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spaces and there is a debate now about whether it should be made public, nicolle. >> natasha, speak to the dangers of dragging fisa -- the folks at d.o.j. that are involved in applying for fisa warrants are the straight est arrows in the building. you want to talk about an incorruptible process, the fisa process would be one of them. talk about the politics of dragging the fisa process and all of the intelligence and all of the foiled plots in the years since 9/11, how dangerous is this in the intelligence world? >> this is a tool the intelligence community considers to be absolutely fundamental to its ability to counter threats coming from abroad. i mean, it allows them to surveil people on foreign soil that they think could pose a threat to the united states. so, this all really started, this political attack on fisa really started when trump tweeted back in march of 2017 that obama had had his wires
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tapped at trump tower, and then this conspiracy theory snowballed that it was an aspect of fisa, the fisa process that allowed the obama administration to then surveil trump and his associates during the campaign and during the transition. now, of course, there is no evidence that the fisa process was used improperly by obama administration officials to, you know, conduct kind of warrantless surveillance on trump and their associates. there is evidence that the fbi did use portions of the dossier to the infamous trump/russia dossier to support certain elements of its fisa application to support surveilling carter page. there is no evidence information they used to get this warrant which is a difficult process. most fisa warrants are approved. by the time they get to the foreign intelligence surveillance court, there's been so much due diligence done that it's kind of rubber stamped because the process is so lengthy to get to that point. but that's the thing, you can't
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rely on certain tidbits of corroborated information in order to get this warrant. it is a really difficult process and politicizing it really undermines the work that the intelligence community does every day. >> where is paul ryan? devin nunes is a recused chair of a committee that is beyond rogue. it makes -- [ inaudible ] paul ryan as the leader of that body and dee politicizing as natasha just detailed, one of the most lifesaving tools -- [ inaudible ]. >> i think what he's trying to do is keep republican party together because this runs the risk of fracturing them. you see so many republicans out there doing this clearly to defend the president. we see two element of the trump [ inaudible ]. he demands loyalty and chaos. this is about inflicting chaos into a conversation that otherwise would be very clear. and it's in sharp contrast to
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what democrats are doing, where they are trying not to talk about this investigation, trying not to politicize it -- >> we talked about it. they're afraid to talk about it. >> i think they are cautious about talking about it because they know that it does not serve them. and when you talk to democrats on the hill, they say, let mueller do his investigation. once we have a full report, then we can start talking about it, but until then, our opinion is not helpful. >> all right. ken delaney, thank you both for joining us. when we come back, send all the hate tweets to me, too. president trump is on his way to mingle with the crowd. he reportedly always wanted to be a part of. we'll go live to the slopes of davos, switzerland next. >> it's time now for your business of the week. houston business owner travis we'ver is one of the lucky ones. when hurricane harvey hit, he made the bold move to shut down his store. with 0 foot traffic, he focused on web sales making sure the
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the world economic forum in davos is underway and in hours president trump will board air force one becoming the first president to attend the event since clinton in 2000 and trump the business man never attended peter baker in the new york times wrote, never accepted, never respected, he remained on the outside, pressing his nose against the window of a club of elites he revered and recented. and ali velshi who never has his nose against a glass and he joins us now ahead of the president's arrival. what is the mood like and what do folks expect from this president? are expectations so low he could exceed them. >> because he is telling everybody that he will come here
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and tell everybody what is what about america first. this isn't the place. look at the flags. this is a place about making deals and not trade barriers. and so this -- if you don't like globalists, you are in the wrong place. this is globalist central. it is either the riches people in the world or business leaders or corporate leaders or philanthropists. it is not going to play well. that said, nicolle, donald trump is the president of the united states. that is a big deal around here. people do want to hear what he's going to say. they are hoping that once he gets here there is a little more nuance to his conversation than what he said. and i've been speaking to a few of the president's advisers today and i'm getting a sense there might be a little more nuance to it. the idea is that we've got to protect america because america is such a big consumer in the world that a stronger american consumer is better for all of you any way. we like you and want you to do business with us. so it is more of a wheelie-dealy thing than the tirade or insults
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that have been suggested. but it is friday morning and in the middle of the night for you and first thing minute morning here and everybody is going to be very interested into what the president is saying. >> i'm staying up for it. and i've been to a few of the gatherings but never there but global elites use resources to tackle some of the most dire crises on the globe. but things like poverty, i wasn't to a g-8 in scotland where george bush and tony blair and bono were altogether trying to deal -- they were running -- the one campaign to deal with poverty and the president has a meeting with the nation that might have been lumped into one of the bleep hole nations. how do you think -- the global community will hold their breath or will receive someone who looks so distainfully at the broader issue of immigration and the disdain that he articulated last week if -- in a meeting with bipartisan lawmakers about
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african nations. >> reporter: well so they are two davos. the the one that you go into the congress center and go to panels and they are some of the smartest people on the world. and then the own davos are the deals made in the hallway, between philanthropies and activists and wealthy people and then the private dinners and the receptions. well the president will be at one of those with corporate leaders and the white house will host a lot of people. so in the end people are saying, i'll let him say his speech but i need to do business with the united states and let's see what we can get done. >> ali velshi, thank you for staying up late. i hope you are on the way to one of those fancy parties. jonathan la mere. what is the white house's full articulation of why he is going and what he hopes to achieve. >> they hope he goes there and expresses why nationalism is working and why he feels like the american economy is booming and in his opinion because of the policies he's put in place and the enthusiasm he's lent to the stock market and he feels this could work elsewhere. at the same time they want to strike the idea of fair trade.
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they want to go to -- to this group of world elites, these globalists and suggest we want one-on-one trade deals and not the larger sort of arrangements. now how that will be received, we shall see. remember the president has not been shy. previously being very stern and delivering a powerful rebuke while on someone else's turf. did he it at nato in belgium last spring. but when the president -- this is his fifth foreign trip and i'm sorry not to go but he loves the lavish welcome he received. i think it is a safe bet he won't get one here. >> and if steve bannon still worked at the white house, would he be going to davos. >> i highly doubt it. >> we have to sneak in one more break. we'll be right back. [ keyboard clacking ] [ click, keyboard clacking ] ♪ good questions lead to good answers.
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michael schmidt, the fact that we hear more about the obstruction than the collusion, did that mean anything in terms of what robert mueller is up to. >> we have to remember of the two things with the president there is more things in the bucket of obstruction to look at. there is not a ton that we know about the president's connections to russia. but on that side, there is so many people to look at. >> and people with lawyers. >> and white house officials that need to talk to mueller about stuff that happened while he was president. >> thank you so much. and that does it for our hour. i'm nicolle wallace, "mtp daily" starts right now. >> we don't know what we don't know. >> the known unknowns. >> there it is. it is the mueller way too. if it is wednesday, it's the president versus the fbi. >> tonight the president's scoreched earth campaign against the fbi. why some republicans are


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