Skip to main content

tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  February 3, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

4:00 pm
it's clear he's doing a blunder attack on the department. one person you can say i'm not sure i have the president's confidence. but he's doing everyone -- >> thank you for your time. the "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> have a great weekend. thank you to you at home for joining us this hour. that's it. . that's all they've got. this is what all the hype was about? two weeks now they have been hyping this. i hyped that i had dthd dth's tax returns and then i clarified that i had two pages of donald trump's tax returns. for one hour before i actually released two pages of what actually were donald trump's tax returns. for a year now people were telling me that was unconscionable hype about donald trump's tax returns. but you know what? at least those actually were donald trump's tax rueturns.
4:01 pm
even if they were boring in the end, sorry. this thing, this was two weeks of this memo is going to end everything. this memo, have you heard about the memo? the justice will have to rename itself the private security task force. i can't believe this is it. i don't really believe in the cable news wars idea. i know people who work across the street at the fox news channel. i have friends who work there. i think we're all doing our own thing in our own way. i wish everybody the best, but oh my god, they have been hyping and hyping and huffing and puffing and working their audience up into a frenzy for two solid weeks. they have literally built a right wing public movement. that this memo must be released because this memo will fix the
4:02 pm
trump presidency. it will fix the russia scandal r for president trump. it will make the whole thing go away. apparently despite all of that, they either didn't know or didn't notice that this thing they have been clambering for and hyping for two solid weeks that they have built up this frenzy around, it actually disproves their whole point. i mean, at some point in the past year, they fixed on this strategy that dossier that buzzfeed published right after the election. republicans and conservatives and conservative media focused on that idea, fixated on the idea that that dossier was something they could use to try to undercut the whole idea that there should have ever been a russia investigation in the first place. they promised the fox news audience, they promised the country. they talked a big portion of the normal media into believing they were about to shake the earth. they were about to prove that the whole basis of the russia investigation was that dossier.
4:03 pm
they never planned to come up with a good argument against the content it of the dossier. it was either step one, say it's bad. step two, say the whole russia investigation is based on the dossier. step three was today. release the memo that proves step two. that proves that the dossier was the basis for the whole russia investigation. and you don't need a step four because game is over. trump is president for life and being a democrat is illegal. i mean, today was the big reveal. today was step three, the memo that proves the russia investigation is based on the dossier. and then they released this memo. which says in its final paragraph sort of distractedly about making a point about agents being bad people who have affairs, they let slip in the last paragraph of the memo that, by the way, the dossier didn't actually lead to the russia
4:04 pm
investigation. the fbi was locking at a trump campaign guy for his contacts with the russians. that guy george papadopoulos did plead guilty to the fbi about lying about his contacts with the russians. papadopoulos is what started the investigation. they released this memo to prove that the dossier started everything. the memo says the dossier didn't start anything. at which point everybody in america goes, everybody else in america, i guess, goes, right, that's what we have been saying. but what happens now to all the hype this thing? this was a lot of hype. what happens to the plan by the white house where the president was apparently led to release this thing? not because he knew what was in it. not because he bothered to read it himself, but because he was watching fox news segments about it and those fox news segments were convincing him that this memo was the magic ticket that
4:05 pm
was going to be his the get out of jail free card. what happens to the president's argument that this memo is all the justification that he needs to start removing the deputy attorney general or maybe even the fbi director or everybody else who might conceivably give him some path towards stop ipin the mueller investigation. fox news apparently convinced the president that this memo is all he would need to be able to fire rod rose b stien. to be able to get rid of the mueller investigation. by one report to get jeff sessions to indict robert mueller. "washington post" reported this morning that the president was left alone with the memo for several hours so he could read it. the memo is only three and a half pages long. and the font is not that small. i know the president does not enjoy lots of reading, but i mean, several hours to read three and a half pages? there's no reason to assume he
4:06 pm
had adequate time to get through all pages in several hours. maybe he didn't get to the end, to the really bad part at the end. so after all of the hype u, after all of the excitement, after all of the absolute fixation on this big reveal. this revelatory moment today, i will admit to being shocked that this is what they released. it was just kind of like a sad trombone. we only bring that out for very special occasions. but we did nevertheless get a landmark moment with this today. we got a public release of classified information pushed by house republicans and okayed by the president of the united states. apparent ly because he thought this was going to be good for him politically because fox news told him it would be. fisa warrants are classified. the whole fisa court process is
4:07 pm
classified. we're not supposed to get public information about the warrants. public confirmation of specific warrants and specific targets of warrants, we're not supposed to get that. but now we have that. and so now we know thanks to this memo that october 21st, 2016, a foreign intelligence surveillance act was approved to start surveillance on trump campaign adviser carter page. we then also leshed from this classified memo that that warrant was renewed three times after its initial approval. and that's helpful information. even though it's information we're not supposed to have, it's good to know. i was talking to a reporter friend of mine in my office. we were count iing off on our fingers what those three renewals mean in terms of exactly when that means carter page was subject to this surveillance warrant. if it started in october 2016, they run for 90 days. so that would mean it was
4:08 pm
renewed in 90 days and renew ed for a second time. that would be in april. and then if it ran for another 90 days and it was renewed for a third time, which is what the memo said, that means it was renewed in july. and then it would run for another 90 days, which would be october. so that means from october 2016 to october 2017 at least. carter page was being surveilled under a fisa warrant. which is the kind of thing we are never supposed to know. particularly for something that is an ongoing investigation. but now we have that information because they released this classified information. from at least october 2016 to 2017, this trump foreign policy edadviser was under surveillanc thanks to a fisa warrant because he was believed to be either a foreign agent or at least a u.s. person who was in contact with a foreign intelligence service.
4:09 pm
and it's bizarre that we know that. it's bizarre that's been declassified and given to the public. it's handy to know because it makes clear when carter page came to this studio in this building to do an interview with my friend. chris haste in october of last year, based on the number of fingers i have, that means he was still being surveilled at the time he did that interview. and that interview, when he was here with chris, that was nutty. be had had he did say this one very intriguing thing. not really about his own case or donald trump, but about house republicans. >> in the interest of getting the truth out there, because i think when the truth comes out, when paul ryan says the fisa warrant or the dossier and what happened and all the documents
4:10 pm
is going to be released, that's what i'm excited about. >> the truth will set a lot of people free. >> because of the way he talked, because of the way he behaves in interviews, everything he says he was a little fuzzy. a little where you going, man? but what he just said u there actually is what happened. and he knew about it months in advance. this is months ago last october. carter page somehow knew that speaker of the house paul ryan would green light the release of classified information about what went into the fisa warrant for the surveillance of carter page. >> when speaker paul ryan says the fisa warrant or details about the dossier and. what happened and all those documents is going to be released, that's what i'm excited about. >> paul ryan is going to green light the release of the information around your fisa warrant. it just sounded like another crazy thing he said, but that was months ago. and that's now what just happened. so months ago there was apparently already a plan in the
4:11 pm
works. that carter page knew about that involved paul ryan. that they would try to use this warrant against carter page to make a public case to try to turn that warrant into some sort of public information that presumably would be used to turn the russia investigation into a scandal. and now it's happened. and it's such a bust. it's worth being clear this is something they have been trying to figure out a way to use for a very long time. apparently the let's release the classified information about what led to the warrant plan, apparently that plan was in the works since last october when carter page blurted it out to chris hayes. it's also worth noting that even before that last march you remember the obama wiretapped trump tower scandal?
4:12 pm
march of last year right at the start of his administration, trump made that strange allegation, terrible, just found out that obama had my wires tapped in trump tower. just before the victory. he said i bet a could lawyer could make a great case that president obama was tapping my phones in october. trump tower was not wire. tapped. and president obama was not tapping donald trump's phones in october. but the fbi was in october wiretapping trump foreign policy adviser carter page. that is in october before the election. that is when they got the fisa warrant to surveil carter page. there was surveillance of trump's ex-campaign aid starting in october. but if that's what was the truth behind that effort to try to create some national security scandal around it, i think it worked for a couple weeks while people were upset about this allegation from the president that president obama had his
4:13 pm
wires tapped and erg everything. it was very distracting. that lasted for a couple weeks before everything realized it was nonsense. then a couple weeks later, they tried to e reup it. a couple weeks after the obama wiretapped me stuff, march 201, it wassen devin nunes, breathing hard, sweating, visibly upset saying he received from a whistleblower terrible information about people from the trump campaign being monitored in foreign surveillance. this was such damn asking terrible information. he said sorry he had to go. he had to rush to the white house to brief the president on this disturbing revelation. that disturbing rev las vegaslation was information provided to nunes from the white house in the first lace. was that about a fisa warrant. was that about that too? what is this all about? the trump campaign did hire
4:14 pm
someone, lord knows why, who had no foreign policy profile, no national security profile and no political profile at all. he was believed by the fbi to either be a whiting foreign agent or at least a u.s. person who was in contact with the foreign intelligence agency. the fbi had him on their radar if years. during the course of the trump campaign, another trump foreign policy adviser came to the attention of counterintelligence officials because of his contacts with russian intelligence. to the fbi was on that case. they were looking at these matters not without pause. and they did get a fisa warrant in 2016. we can confirm that because they released classified information to the public about it in order to make this big political point about it. but they have been trying to make some big political point
4:15 pm
about this warrant on carter page for a long time. it seems like they have taken a few cracks at it. the existence of that warrant for carter page has been kicking around a lot. that itself is ab unusual thing. e details about fisa warrants don't make it into public discussion often. e we debate fooisa and the controversies, but knowing about the target of a fisa warrant, especially an ongoing one, knowing about when the application was made and renewals and who it's about and why, this is stuff that really doesn't leak to the press with any frequency at all. this carter page one is really been around. we have known about it. there's been a ton of reporting about it. "washington post" was first to report on that warrant in april. then cnn got the story. for some reason people knew enough about this warrant to be talking about it. so much so that it good goth picked up in multiple news organizations. it's bye-bye clear for a long time that republicans have
4:16 pm
wanted to try to make that thing into a scandal. i think also based on the timing, this may be what they tried to turn into the trump tower wiretapping thing. and the devin nunes rushing to the white house thing. that may all just have been about the carter page fisa warrant. now it's confirmed because they did take their big shot at it today. they declassified the information about that warrant and what led to it. so they could take their big shot and figure out the highest use they could put that warrant to. they have used this memo. to make the russia investigation go away. they would show the fiez is a warrant for carter page was based on the steel dossier.
4:17 pm
national consensus. this plan is undercut by the memo itself. which notes in passing, quote, the page fiez is a application also mentions information regarding fellow trump campaign adviser george papadopoulos. the papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an fbi counterintelligence investigation in late july 2016. so that means the dossier wasn't the basis for the fbi's counterintelligence investigation. it was other intelligence that the fbi had had had about actual worry and contacts between the trump campaign and the russians. they weren't made up. they resulted in a guilty plea and cooperating witness. oops. why did they put that in their big memo. they could put anything in here. they didn't let anybody check it against the actual facts.
4:18 pm
they just released it on their own. oops. but they did. even if you never fell for any of the now embarrassing fox news hype about this thing, even if you never expected this was going to be a get out of jail free card for the president and his family, there's one assertion that does stick out. it's designed to seem worrying. it's assertion of the memo about christopher steel himself and they have been punching on this a long time. they tried to make the dossier a scandal. cri crist steel was the head russia guy in britain for years. they have tried to make him into a scandal in a dubious person. but because they have been try trying to make that case for a year now they turned the russia investigations into full-time efforts to impugn christopher steel and the russia dossier because republicans have done that, we have actually got pretty good public record.
4:19 pm
we have documents in the public domain about the dossier and about christopher steel, and the first that commissioned it. the republicans have hauled gps up to capitol hill and pressured their tounder into. giving congressional testimony about the dossier. in this memo released today, this is what they say about christopher steel personally, which is designed to undercut him as a source, thereby undercut the dossier and the ru russia investigation. even e though the investigation wasn't based ob the dossier. this is what it says about steel today. quote, shortly after the election, the fbi began interviewing a senior doj official, a associate deputy attorney general who had been in contact with crihristopher stee. or had been documenting his communications with christopher steel. quote, for example, in september 2016 steel admitted his feelings
4:20 pm
against then candidate trump when steele said he was decem r desperate that donald trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president. that's actually the only phrase in the entire memo that's in bold type. they really want you to know that christopher steele communicated that when he brought his material to the justice department. thanks to the russia probes in congress being turned into an antichristopher steele transcripts, we actually know what the context is for christopher steele's state of mind around that time. we know what was going on at the time that might have led christopher steele to say something like that about how he felt ant donald trump being elected president. we have more information than just what's in the memo.
4:21 pm
the first transcript was released from his testimony before the senate judiciary committee. on page 219 of that transcript, glen simpson explains his state of mind about donald trump. given all the information that steele had just collected about him that caused had him to take their information to the fbi and the justice department. basically out of fear because they were so alarmed by what this research project had turned up about trump. so this is from the transcript. so after the election obviously we were as surprised as everyone else and chris and i were mutually concerned about whether the united states had just elected someone who was compromised by a hostile foreign power. we were, you know, unsure what to do. initially, we didn't do anything other than to discuss our concerns, but we were gravely concerned. okay. then we get a second transcript talking to the house intelligence committee. and he explains the state of mind that crist for steele had at the time explains it in more detail.
4:22 pm
page 78. did the fbi reach out to you? i was asked to provide some information to the justice department. by whom and when? by a prosecutor named bruce orr who was following up. how did that shake out? i think chris, it was someone that chris steele knows. chris told me that he had been talking to brous and that he told
4:23 pm
now incidentally that's about this article published on october 31st right before the election. investigating donald trump, they see no clear link to russia. the substantiative claims in that article have all basically been disproven. there's a debate over why "the new york times" hasn't corrected that article. it existed at the time. so that led to this. from the transcript, we had also by this time given this information to the fbi, and they had indicated to chris that they were investigating it and apparently they told the "new york times" that they weren't. so it was not clear to us whether anyone at a high level of government was aware of the information that chris had gathered and provided to the fbi. so you know, we were frankly very scared for the country. and for ourselves. e we telt that if we could give it to someone else higher up, we
4:24 pm
should. so chris suggested i give some information to bruce and give him the background to all of this and we met at a coffee shop and i told him the story. and that part of the transcript ends with my time is up. thank you. so the memo released today by house republicans, this classified memo that they thought would be the big get out of jail free card, the one alarming piece of it is when they say that chris steele expr expressed grave worries about donald trump being elected president of the united states. it's one the one line in the memo. they hold that up as the proof that he was a terrible anti-trump partisan even though he's not from this country. they don't mention that the reason christopher steele had feelings of desperation about donald trump might be because what he learned in his research about donald trump in russia and compromised and blackmail.
4:25 pm
what an embarrassment. it's easy to think that all money managers are pretty much the same. but while some push high commission investment products, fisher investments avoids them. some advisers have hidden and layered fees. fisher investments never does. and while some advisers are happy to earn commissions from you whether you do well or not, fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management. but he hasoke up wwork to so he took aleve. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve. all day strong.
4:26 pm
4:27 pm
for 100 years, heritage and innovation have made gillette the #1 shave in america. now get gillette quality at lower prices -- every day. brought to you by 1200 workers in boston -- we're proud of giving you our best. gillette. the best a man can get.
4:28 pm
we are joined now by
4:29 pm
congressman adam schiff, who is the top democrat on the house intelligence committee. congressman, thank you for being here. i know this has been kind of a weird day. >> yes, it has. >> you know what the underlying intelligence is that led to this republican memo today. we know that the other -- the republican member of congress who has seen that underlying intelligence has actually not devin nunes, who authored this memo. it's congressman trey gowdy who just surprised everybody this week by announcing he would be resigning from congress. there's been conflicting information as to whether or not he wrote this document. we contacted gowdy's office and asked. they told us he was not involved in writing this memo. do you have any clarity on that? >> i think the republican staff
4:30 pm
wrote the memo. that's the best of our understanding. and that's quite breathtaking because the chairman didn't bother to review the underlying material. the only one apparent ly who di is the conspiracies that never proved to be true. but i think it's pretty important for people to understand as they try to justify this use of this never before used house rule to publish this, this is not what oversight looks like. they claim this is part of oversight. we do oversight every day. oversight involves bringing the agencies before our committee, asking them tough questions, get ing answers and demanding information when they raised this memo, which they raised with to notice to us, we said let's bring in the fbi. let's bring the department of justice. let's hear what they have to say. let's look at the full fisa applications. let's go through them and see what's being left out of this memo. we took a vote on it.
4:31 pm
they voted no. we don't want to know. we who haven't read it or don't look at the underlying materials, we don't want to know. we just want to publish our memo. and so clearly this is not about oversight. this is about a narrative that they wanted to tell and get out in the public domain. you're right in the context you said. i would add one other thing to that time line. this all began on march 20th when james comey testified before a committee in the first open hearing and revealed for the first time there was a counterintelligence investigation going on of the trump campaign. we on the committee, the democrats laid out a very profitable case for why an investigation needed to be done. republicans later told me they viewed that hearing as an utter disaster. as did the white house. now why is that a disaster? it's only disaster if you view your job as basically protecting the president and not finding out the truth. it was a very next day after
4:32 pm
that hearing that devin nunes went on the midnight run to his undies closed location to get these documents that didn't stand for anything like he represented them and the day after that he would present them back to the white house. so that whole gam bet began the day after that hearing. and it's never really ended. this is just the latest chapter in an effort to distract attention from the russia probe and try to put the government on trial. >> what do you make of the effectiveness of this effort? to me, it feels quite fitting that today is ground hog day because it feels like we have seen this movie before in terms of waving around. i have this list, i have this classified information that proves that the whole russia investigation is based on something inappropriate that it should go away and the realvill rains are the obama administration. we have seen a number of it rations of this.
4:33 pm
but with the weeks of hype that. conservative media and republicans in congress put into this with the dramatic ask unprecedented action where they released classified information in order to do this, i have to ask you how damaging you think this is and how well this particular attempt of theirs has done at its aim to protect the president and try to divert the investigation. >> i think it's been very damaging, but not in the way the republican hs hoped. it's been damaging because they built this up so much on fox they were trupting this as the worst scandal in the history of the republic. something that made watergate look like a walk in the park. some of the tea party members were out there saying that this is the most vile thing that they have ever seen. it's a big dud. their proof of systemic abuse by the fbi and department of justice consists of a single fisa court application against someone who was under inquiry by
4:34 pm
the fbi because he was approached by russian intelligence for information years before donald trump came along. but the real damage they have done is they have damaged the relationship between our committee and the intelligence community in the future. they are going to be wary about sharing information pause they won't trust us. and sources of information are going to dry up. if you have a neighbor next door who is buying a lot of fertilize and it seems odd because they don't have a yard, are you going to think twice because if they get a search warrant for your neighbor and something is politicized, the political winds change and there's an investigation, your identity is going to be revealed. because you really can't trust that this is going to be kept confidential anymore. there's a reason why this process has never been used before. even so, the process presumed that the president of the united states who has a veto over this would be a responsible person who would have the interest of
4:35 pm
the nation at heart. and that's not what we have here. >> congressman adam schiff, the top democrat on the house intelligence committee, currently engaged in a fight to have the democratic rebuttal memo to this declassified and. released. thank you for being with us tonight. >> thank you. a lot more to get to tonight. stay with us. oh! there's one. manatees in novelty ts? surprising. what's "come at me bro?" it's something you say to a friend. what's not surprising? how much money matt saved by switching to geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. ♪ ♪ with the chase mobile app, michaela deprince could pay practically anyone, at any bank, all while performing a grand jeté between two grand pianos.
4:36 pm
she could... in a commercial. in real life she uses it to pay her sister, from her couch, for that sweater she stained. what sweater? (phone buzzes) life, lived michaela's way. chase. make more of what's yours. your body was made f things than rheumatiod arthritis. before you and your rheumatologist move to another treatment, ask if xeljanz xr is right for you. xeljanz xr is a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. it can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma and other cancers have happened. don't start xeljanz xr if you have an infection. tears in the stomach or intestines, low blood cell counts and higher liver tests and cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests before you start
4:37 pm
and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests. tell your doctor if you were in a region where fungal infections are common and if you have had tb, hepatitis b or c, or are prone to infections. xeljanz xr can reduce the symptoms of ra, even without methotrexate. ask your rheumatologist about xeljanz xr. ( ♪ ) ♪ one is the only number ♪ that you'll ever need ♪ staying ahead isn't about waiting for a chance. it's about the one bold choice you make, that moves you forward. ( ♪ ) the one and only cadillac escalade. come in now for this exceptional offer on the cadillac escalade. get this low-mileage lease on this 2018 cadillac escalade from around $879 per month. visit your local cadillac dealer.
4:38 pm
that was to our harvard
4:39 pm
graduates, they are experienced lawyers. they are at 27 years in the department. and so they both represent the kind of quality and leadership that we want in the department. >> thank you very much. you figure that one out. >> republicans appear to have laid a bit of an egg with their big memo release today. but the president reportedly had been convinced by watching fox news channel in the lead up to the release. he reportedly was convinced this memo would offer him all the ammunition he needed to fire. deputy attorney general rod rosenstein who oversees the investigation. the president was asked about that today by reporters doesn't make it make you more likely to fire rosenstein.
4:40 pm
the president's response was, you figure that one out. joining us now is chuck rosen berg, former chief of staff and former u.s. attorney. has experience with the fisa process seems like the guy to talk to tonight. it's great to have you with us. thank you for being here. >> my pleasure. >> talk to me about the fisa process. obviously, there's been criticism of the fact that any classified information about the fiez is a process had been released at all. further there's been criticism that if something is going to be released, this selection of information about the fisa process, according to democrats, is is misleading and incomplete. according to the fbi, it's fatally incomplete and inaccurate. from what you know about the process, would it be possible to declassify safely enough information about a fisa warrant to give the public a true picture of what appropriately or inappropriately led to a warrant
4:41 pm
being issued. >> i can answer it this way. if you wanted to give everyone the full picture, this wouldn't do it. what you have are three pieces of a jigsaw puzzle with a 997 missing and no box top. this doesn't give you any picture at all. i can tell you having worked for bob mueller, that i was responsible for reviewing the fisa warrants before he certified them, before the attorney general signed them, before prosecutors brought them to a fisa court judge to be authorized. so lots and lots of people before me worked on those warrants vetting them and corroborating them and making sure that everything was checked to the extent it could be. it's a really exacting process. and in fact, ironically, it's the rank and file of the fbi, the agents and the analysts, the rank and file of the department of justice, the paralegals and the prosecutors who ensure the accuracy of these things. that's the people that the
4:42 pm
president lotted today is the rank and file. those are the ones who helped prepare these for court. >> is there -- to the l extent this is going to be used as a political document, i played that clip from the president at the top because there were multiple reports that the president believes he can use this memo and the publicity to give him public support for dramatic action like fire iing deputy attorney general. given its intended use, which is a political and public relations use, should we expect that there would be some kind of rebuttal, that the fbi would issue a public statement clarifying what are the allegations against them in this memo. >> i think the fbi said its peace and properly so. the fbi is in a tough bind here. they didn't want anything out. and they only compound the problem by putting more out. and here's the -- can i take a minute to explain what's odd about classified information.
4:43 pm
so here's the thing. imagine that someone leaked the document that said that rachel maddow loved nu tell la but would only eat it with a red spoon. everyone is is wondering why would that be marked top secret. that seems so innocuous. but it turns out that only one person in the whole world your great aunt knows that you like eating newtell la with a red spoon. so we have told the whole world that great aunt barbara is the source for the united states government. she's a mole. she's a spy. and something very bad is going to happen to her in the next couple days in that foreign country. and so the fbi can thot be in the business of rebutting this stuff because to rebut it, they are going to lay out other facts that foreign governments are going to use to their advantage and our disadvantage. they have said their peace. >> i have to tell you i have an aunt named barbara who is kind
4:44 pm
of freaking out right now. but in a different way. than you freaked out the whole country with what they have given away. chuck rosenberg, former administrator, thank you very much. i really appreciate it. we'll be right back. in the modern world, it pays to switch things up. you can switch and save time. [cars honking] [car accelerating] you can switch and save worry. ♪ you can switch and save hassle. [vacuuming sound]
4:45 pm
and when you switch to esurance, you can save time, worry, hassle and yup, money. in fact, drivers who switched from geico to esurance saved hundreds. so you might want to think about pulling the ol' switcheroo. that's auto and home insurance for the modern world. esurance. an allstate company. click or call.
4:46 pm
lobsterfest is back at red lobster... with the most lobster dishes of the year. new dueling lobster tails has two tails that'll fight to be your favorite. one topped with creamy shrimp and scallops, the other... steamed with lemon and herbs.
4:47 pm
and no, you're not dreaming, classics like lobster lover's dream are back too, along with decadent new lobster truffle mac & cheese. but enough talking about lobster- let's get to eating! - because lobsterfest won't last. so dive in today at red lobster! there were high ranking officials today. james comey fired directoren andrew mccabe and pushed out sally yates, fired. acting deputy attorney general dana who had been fired and brought him back. and deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. the white house denied tonight that rod's job is on the line but denied that the president ever tried to fire special counselor robert mueller, which we now know he did. people have been calling this a slow motion saturday night
4:48 pm
massacre. after nixon cleared out the justice department to try to stop the investigation against him. joining us now is our friend michael besh squlosh. thank you for being with us. put this in context in terms of magnitude and how big a deal this is and how strange it is. j just as you have been suggesting, we could in the next few days seeing the firing of rod rosenstein, which could load to an effort to constrain robert mueller's investigation or even shut it down. so i suggest the next couple days we all sleep with one eye open because we don't know what's going to. happen. even a larger context, this is a guy donald trump who since the time he was elected has talked about attacking some of the most
4:49 pm
vulnerable aspects of our democracy. and at the beginning and also in recent times. he's talked about reconstructing the fbi 37. i don't think i want to see a president who can use fbi agents to go after his political enemies. justice department we saw that actually today. there's an effort to cast doubt on the justice department, can which is now our legal system is a threat to donald trump and his circle and also the intelligence community from the very beginning after he was elected. he attacked this is something that has in recent years kept us strong against russia and is one of the bull works against russia invading our electoral system this fall in the midterm elections. this is not only a threat to the mooueller investigation, i thin it goes way beyond. >> as we see the white house and its allies in the republican party in congress try to really not just rebut but really undo
4:50 pm
the mooueller investigation, th fbi, the justice department, to a certain extent the intelligence community. i have tried to see that in the context of the beef that various presidents have had have had with the media over times or the beef that various president haves had with people investigating them. what seems different is the conservative med ya messaging machine. is that new? >> it's something that nixon was desperate to have and we know that richard nixon met with roger ailes of all people and talked to him about establishing a tv network. nixon would have loved to have that in watergate. in the case now it's emboldening donald trump. a little late for nixon. today was a day that threatened
4:51 pm
america's faith in government. that's the top of the russian wish book. this was a great day for russia and that's something none of us want to see. >> nbc news historian michael beschloss, thank you for your time. we'll be right back. stay with us. finest insurance experts. rodney -- mastermind of discounts like safe driver, paperless. the list goes on. how about a discount for long lists? gold. mara, you save our customers hundreds for switching almost effortlessly. it's a gift. and jamie. -present. -together we are unstoppable. so, what are we gonna do? ♪ insurance. that's kind of what we do here.
4:52 pm
but some of us make somethinge make sommuch more. dinner. mom would be proud. with blue apron, any night is a chance to see what cooking can do. on the only bed that adjusts on both sides to your ideal comfort your sleep number setting.
4:53 pm
and snoring? does your bed do that? right now during the ultimate sleep number event, our queen c2 mattress with adjustable comfort on both sides is only $699, save $200. ends soon. visit for a store near you.
4:54 pm
the man has held five different jobs in the trump administration. five jobs.
4:55 pm
dana boente, he was the u.s. attorney for the eastern district of virginia, which is an important position given its proximity to d.c. when the president fired acting attorney general sally yates, until they swore in jeff sessions, then they made him deputy attorney general, until they sworn in rod rosenstein. then they made him attorney general of the acting. considering it was obama hold over they made these efforts to keep him around and in these positions. that's why it was surprising, when dana boente was out.
4:56 pm
suddenly announced he was leaving the justice department and nbc news learned he didn't jump, he was pushed. he had been told to resign. after they gave him all those jobs why did they fire that guy? don't know. but then they changed their minds just a few days ago. they brought him back to yet another big job. they have him working as the general counsel of the fbi. the trump administration just can't quit dana boente. today we learned something else about him. something he did when he was acting attorney general. that is that dana boente was one of the many officials who signed a fisa application for surveillance on carter page. the president had been hoping to use this memo as a way to get rid of rod rosenstein because he signed off on one too, in fact, he appeared to do what everybody else did before him when it came to a warrant for carter page, be
4:57 pm
four different judges were happy to approve surveillance warrants and renewals when it came to carter page. the difference is the other rye high ranking officials have been fired or are out the door or are threatened like rod rosenstein. dana boente signed one too is he not going to get fired? if trump gets rid of rod rosenstein, does he have to get rid of dana boente too? why would rod rosenstein have to go and not dana boente? someone explain it to me. we'll be right back. (vo) make her day with just one touch. with fancy feast creamy delights, she can have just the right touch of real milk.
4:58 pm
easily digestible, it makes her favorite entrées even more delightful. fancy feast creamy delights. love is in the details. when it comes to travel, i sweat the details. late checkout... ...down-alternative pillows... ...and of course, price. tripadvisor helps you book a... ...hotel without breaking a sweat. because we now instantly... over 200 booking sites find you the lowest price... ...on the hotel you want. don't sweat your booking. tripadvisor. the latest reviews. the lowest prices.
4:59 pm
ai'm begging you... take gas-x. beneath the duvet, your tossing and turning isn't restlessness , it's gas. gas-x relieves pressure,bloating and discomfort in minutes !! so we can all sleep easier tonight.
5:00 pm
i hereby wish you a very happy super bowl weekend and i hereby wish you gastro intestinal relief now that this memo has dropped. the ones that our friends at the fox news channel and republicans and those at the white house had hyped and suggested would be the get out of jail free card for anything that led to an fbi investigation over the course of the trump campaign or administration. and now that it has dropped it disproves the main point they were trying to make with it. i feel like -- well, like i said i wish you gastro intestinal relief. i feel as a country we had a relieving burp. it's over. that does it for us tonight see you monday. go pats. it's time for the last word. joy reid is in for lawrence o'donnell. >> i forgive you for being a pats fans. afc.